Jaffe: Stop the war on guns …

Editor’s note: This op-ed is by Edward Jaffe, a serial entrepreneur and the founder of a number of technology companies and a Vermont Registered Investment Advisor entity. He has addressed the Vermont House Ways and Means Committee on economic metrics, monetary theory and various economic observations. He lives in Bennington.

… before it becomes like the “War on Drugs.”

America’s brutality is not its gun violence — it is its incarceration madness. The incarceration rate in the United States of America is the highest in the world. The typical mandatory sentence for a first-time drug offense in federal court is five or 10 years, compared to other developed countries around the world where a first-time offense would warrant at most six months in jail. (Wikipedia).

In a civilized society, a felony conviction and a harsh sentence would require criminal intent. In criminal law the concept of criminal intent has been called mens rea, which refers to a criminal or wrongful purpose. If a person innocently causes harm, then she or he lacks mens rea and, under this concept, should not be criminally prosecuted. (Legal Dictionary).

When laws revolve around simple possession of Item X then the simple existence of Item X in your home or car is complete proof of guilt – and there is no effective defense that revolves around Item X not belonging to you – or Item X being legal for 200 years, or your lack of criminal intent, or the vagueness of the arcane law you violated.

Additionally, mandatory minimums destroy the ability of innocent people to request a trial by jury – because losing could mean 10 times the mandatory minimum – and you can’t count on “telling your story” to the jury – because it is not relevant to the issue of possession. The judge (co-prosecutor) will tell the jury, “If the defendant has Item X in his home – you must find him guilty.” The jury does not understand that they can send you home for any reason they wish – unless they are members of the Fully Informed Jury Association. (fija.org).

The evolving War on Guns is being built on the War on Drugs chassis, running gear and steering components. Offenses are primarily felonies carrying mandatory minimum jail sentences – and simple possession being the basic context-dropping framework for being charged and convicted.

How can anyone negotiate or compromise about “reasonable” gun laws with people who want to apply firearms legislation to BB guns?

Like the War on Drugs, new gun laws are not aimed at criminals; they are brutal attempts to change the longstanding behaviors of currently law-abiding or otherwise law-abiding citizens. Soon people will be in deep trouble with the law, because they did not register a perfectly ordinary rifle that had a threaded barrel or a thumb-hole stock. New York insisted on seven-round magazines for pistols – even though there is no such thing – and then decided to make anyone who puts 10 rounds in a 10 round (legal) magazine a criminal.

A new law being drafted in Rhode Island has a definition of “firearms” that includes air rifles and BB guns! Toy guns! How can anyone negotiate or compromise about “reasonable” gun laws with people who want to apply firearms legislation to BB guns? Not surprisingly, some of the weapons violations in Rhode Island S.0859 have 10-year minimum sentences – without any violent crime taking place – nor even possessing a complete gun.

“Assault rifle” is a political invention – you can tell by the tortured language. Once defined by many simultaneous features, we are down to perhaps only one or two. One could register all their “assault rifles” (and toy guns) – and now they are on a list. What do authorities think of the people on this list? If the police or FBI can consider peace activists and Quakers as worth watching as possible “terrorists,” what about the guy who registers 10 “assault rifles”? Guess you’ll find out at the airport.

Let’s make an analogy to a very successful public health initiative: auto safety. Tens of thousands of people were being killed every year in car accidents. The government implemented regulation – not criminal law – and changed what features automobiles had, such as seat belts, safety glass, etc.

Oddly, older cars that did not meet these regulations were not confiscated, registered or forcibly retrofitted. All told, not one person spent one day in jail making the automobile safer. If in fact some sort of firearm should be banned – why not just stop manufacture and importation? Why try to grab all the ones that are already released into the atmosphere?

The most uncomfortable question of all is why would your publicly elected reps produce such draconian legislation? Why would a representative from a small New England state want to see a state resident serve years in prison for not understanding a complex, vague, bizarre law? Where does that viciousness come from? I guess the culture wars have gone kinetic.

People can argue over the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, but here in Vermont, we are heirs to the first constitution in the new world (1777) to outlaw slavery (New York 50 years later) and we still have the following (current Vermont Constitution):

Article 16 — That the people have a right to bear arms for the defense of themselves and the State — and as standing armies in time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up; and that the military should be kept under strict subordination to and governed by the civil power.

Comments

  1. Craig Kneeland :

    It seems that Article 16 of our Vermont Constitution, as referenced above, is exactly right. Standing armies, in time of peace, are dangerous to liberty! Armed gangs and organized armed groups, like the NRA, are a threat to the liberty of ordinary citizens. Because of armed groups we feel unsafe in our schools and on our streets. They should be banned, or at least taxed and regulated. In the Military arms are assigned to individuals who are responsible for their use. At a minimum gun registration should be used to allow guns to be registered to ONLY those individuals who will likely use them responsibly.

    • Bob Donald :

      You seem to be unable to comprehend the definition of standing army. You apparently believe that the definition of standing army equals any sort of group of people that are armed. Your apparent definition is completely incorrect, since the founders abhorred standing armies yet believed in arming and organizing citizens to protect from both foreign and domestic governments. If you were to do a simple Dictionary.com search of the word “Standing Army” you would find the definition as, “a permanent army of paid soldiers maintained by a nation”. There for your sad attempt at a clever twist of words is completely moronic senseless since NRA members are not paid, nor professional soldiers, nor is the NRA maintained by the government.

      You claim that every body feels unsafe because of the NRA, which is completely illogical. People fear mentally unstable, or criminally motivated individuals who want to harm them. Very few people live in daily fear of coming in contact with a NRA member, or an NRA lobbyist, or even finding a gun lying on the table.

  2. sandra bettis :

    yes, gun owners are reasonable people – until something happens. it has been proven that a gun in the house increases the chance of a murder or a suicide. you can’t argue with that.

    • Edward Jaffe :

      There is a tremendous amount of data out there — I am slogging through it for a future article — and pulling sweeping conclusions from the fire-hose of data is not so simple — if one wants to be intellectually honest.

      A good place to start is here:

      http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2013/05/07/gun-homicide-rate-down-49-since-1993-peak-public-unaware/

      The VERY mainstream PEW organization.

      As to the dangers of a gun in a house — that would depend on the house. I don’t have children — or loaded guns here. I don’t drink or take drugs — sure we can peg everything to the lowest common denominator — but that is a burden on responsible citizens.

      It seems to have escaped your (and others — not fair to single you out) attention that Vermont has about the most lax gun laws in the US — and is the safest state to live in or perhaps the second safest — maybe NH is up there somewhere — they also have super-lax gun laws.

      • sandra bettis :

        i have noticed that we are the most lax state (tied with az – something to brag about) and i also have noticed (and so have the law enforcement officials) that is the reason that criminals come here to buy their guns. we have been lucky so far but we are an accident waiting to happen. and, if you think there have not been any gun tragedies here, think again – we just haven’t (yet) had one to equal newtown – are we waiting for that??

  3. sandra bettis :

    well, you can but you won’t get anywhere.

  4. Tom Whittaker :

    1st poster: reread the first line of article 16. Also the NRA isn’t a standing army by any definition. Please educate ypurself before making ridiculous statements.
    2nd poster: Not much to say to that, seeing as the numbers likely came straight from Bloombergs mouth and is therefore gospel. If you guys don’t like the Vermont way of life, go back to MA or wherever you came from. We’d do better without you.

  5. sandra bettis :

    i am not a guy but i am a vermonter.

  6. Bonnie MacBrien :

    Not sure where commenter #3 comes up with the inanae comment “go back to MA or wherever you came from” in reponse to commenter #2. I know commenter #2 and can tell you that she not only was born in Vermont, but so were her ancestors going way back. There are many born and bred Vermonters who feel the same way about guns as she does. He is certainly entitled to his opinion, but it’s not helpful and absolutely irrelevant to the discussion to make such a ridiculous statement about the birthplace any other commenter. Is there some problem with just stating facts instead of vitriol?

  7. Tom Haviland :

    So given the automotive analogy, would you support new safety requirements analogous to seatbelts, such as biometrics that only allow a firearm to be operated by its owner?

    We have to register a car. Would you be ok with a firearm registration?

    We have to have auto insurance. Would you be ok with a requirement for liability insurance if you own a firearm?

    • Edward Jaffe :

      The point of the automotive analogy was that NO criminal law was involved. I don’t know of any gun legislation that only has civil penalties. Want to have gun legislation like hunting legislation? Where there is only a fine?

      BE MY GUEST.

      As to: Biometrics; that would imply we have a problem with unsolved murders committed by previously law-abiding citizens.

      Firearm registration: the issue is TRUST. Have you read the NY, CT, CA and RI laws and drafts? I am up against citizen disarmament — not calls for “regulation”. That is my whole point — the policy makers are not being honest with you. Read the laws – and you will see that.

      Insurance: what is MOTIVE for advocating that? That you really care that someone I shoot by accident is well compensated or — just another drag on the momentum of gun ownership?

      BTW: When am I going to be able to get homeowners insurance that covers Vermont Yankee’s inevitable failure?

      (in case you are in the insurance business)

      • Ann Braden :

        “As to: Biometrics; that would imply we have a problem with unsolved murders committed by previously law-abiding citizens.”

        But we DO have a high suicide rate (12th highest in the country), and a good number of those suicides are by people who are using someone else’s gun. Biometrics would also complicate things for criminals who want to steal guns and resell them (as is happening in our growing guns-for-drugs trade). Biometrics would also make me more comfortable to have a gun in my home, because I would worry less about an intruder (or someone else) finding a way to get a hold of the gun and using it against me instead of the other way around.

        I feel like biometric technology is the type of thing that supports a law-abiding citizens right to own and use a gun, and makes is harder for criminals. Why would you be against this?

        • Edward Jaffe :

          Aside from the issue of a person having a right to commit suicide — might I suggest some connection between suicide and SSRI deployment.

          We have about 300 million guns in the US and few people would willingly pay for the biometric feature — so it becomes compulsory — and then the effort starts to mop-up the non-biometric weapons, etc.

          I think what is ultimately behind putting technology in guns — is a method to turn them OFF.

          As I believe the most important reason to have armed citizens is as a bulwark against Fascism and a Police State — that would be a very bad development.

        • Edward Jaffe :

          US rates #33 for suicide — far behind many GUN FREE countries. See:

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_suicide_rate

          • sandra bettis :

            ask the families of those who committed suicide how they feel about guns in the house…it’s been proven that a gun in the house increases the chance of a murder or suicide…

          • Ann Braden :

            I would argue that when you’re looking at a list of 108 countries, ranking 34th is pretty high, especially when you’re one of the most successful countries on the list.

            But more importantly, I want to be clear: I am NOT advocating for a gun free country. Guns have their place, but so do appropriate regulations — just like you pointed out with your automobile analogy.

  8. Craig Kneeland :

    Re: Subordination of Militia

    Vermont: That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the State — and as standing armies in time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up; and that the military should be kept under strict subordination to and governed by the civil power. Ch. I, art. 16 (enacted 1777, ch. I, art. 15).

    The NRA uses the civilian malitia argument in support of owning a gun. My reading of the Vermont Constitution implies that we should abandon standing armies in time of peace. The Military, and therefore weapons should be under strict subordination to civil power during times of peace. That would seem to require gun registration or at least registration of weapons of war like assault weapons. Sport hunting weapons such as a 30-30 or12 GA shotgun with plug would be exempt. That would exempt most law abiding citizens of Vermont.
    As for sending people to places they, or their families, came from; we should be careful because most of Vermont was settled by people of MA and NY. Unless you can trace your lineage back before VT became a state you might be one of those who could be “sent back”.

    • Jim Busch :

      I think do not comprehend the part of article 16 that states “for defense of THEMSELVES and the State.”

      The SCOVT in 1907 ruled that the individual has that right and is not limited by type.
      In a 1978 study into firearm ownership done by the House, it was determined that there are no limitations outside of Federal that would limit what an individual may own in VT. It was their conclusion that what is good to defend the state is equally applicable to defending ones self. So if the VSP can have M4 Carbines(Which they do) then a citizen of VT can.

    • Edward Jaffe :

      OK — let’s try this again.

      A Standing Army does not consist of any civilians — it may even be a bunch of foreign mercenaries. References by the NRA or anyone else to our National Constitution is not what I was talking about — I was ONLY talking about our current VT Constitution — which clearly allows (in addition to common law) citizens to be armed for their own protection.

      Civilians ARE the civil power and don’t need to be regulated by it — at least not by Constitutional demand.

      Additionally — my whole point is that laws are not “As Advertised” and the Mom & Apple Pie Act may only help artificial apple pie. Likewise — laws that claim to do something that sounds mundane — have another 100+ pages that cover many other issues — that proponents ignore.

      The issue present in laws being passed and debated is Citizen Disarmament — and not “regulation” or “reform”.

      Military “style” weapons are not military weapons. Civilians cannot purchase automatic weapons without ATF approval. For a weapon to feed the next round — and go bang (once) every time the trigger is pulled until empty — has been with us since the “1911 pistol” was produced — in 1911. A revolver (mid 19c) also goes bang every time you pull the trigger.

      90+% of magazines for semi-auto pistols and rifles have between 10 and 20 rounds — with 10 being common. By having a limit of 10 you are creating a huge category of contraband for 100’s millions of pieces of hardware. Anyone possessing unregistered contraband then becomes an unwitting criminal — perhaps felon — without having done anything.

      If the issue is how lethal various firearms are — hunting weapons beat most “assault weapons” hands down. AR-15s are generally .223 Rem with some being .22LR. #12 shotguns and .30-XX deer rifles are *FAR* more powerful and lethal.

      You really would not want to be hit by a 1777 weapon — firing grape shot or 0.75″ balls.

      In 1777 you did not need to hit someone a second time.

  9. Christian Noll :

    Thank you Mr Jaffe.

    Thought provoking yet true, mandatory minimums from Ronald Reagan in the early 1980’s began the era of the American mass incarceration build-up.

    “Where does that viciousness come from?”

    Great question and thank you again for bringing it up.

    Something happened somewhere and our fellow citizens just got mean and nasty. “Viciousness” is a a sad yet accurate description of our current local law enforcement.

    I particularly like your last sentence under Article 16.

    How true.

    • Edward Jaffe :

      THX CN:

      I am astonished that not ONE person wrote in and said: “gee EJ I favor this or that gun control measure — but I do not want to send duck hunters to Dannemora”.

      Not one peep against draconian, merciless laws.

      That says it all….

  10. sandra bettis :

    ‘The issue present in laws being passed and debated is Citizen Disarmament — and not “regulation” or “reform”.’

    it is?? i guess i missed something.

    • Edward Jaffe :

      “Disarmament — and not “regulation” or “reform”.’it is?? i guess I missed something.”

      What you are missing is: you need to read the NY, CT and proposed RI legislation. And look at the arrests that are starting already — like a NY man with a legal, licensed pistol, legal magazine and legal ammunition. He is charged with a CRIME because he did not REMOVE 2 rounds the day the law passed. There are Vermonters rotting in prison in NY & MA — because they wandered across the border and then perhaps had an accident or a traffic stop – and possessed some item legal in VT and contraband in NY/MA. Thanks to mandatory minimums, zero tolerance, everything is a felony, etc. — the prisons will have gun owners to replace the drug offenders, as they die off.

      NY Gov Nelson Rockefeller wanted to terrorize pot-smokers and other drug users — the current NY Gov is following in his tracks. Draconian laws exist to terrorize people and hope that they change some behavior or another.

      BTW: If you are a passenger in a car in NYS and there is contraband on-board — you may go to jail also.

      “Since 1994, magazines sold in New York could contain up to 10 rounds. This continues to be true today. You may buy, sell, and possess any magazine that can hold up to 10 rounds, regardless of when it was manufactured. If you have a magazine that can contain more than 10 rounds, you have until January 15, 2014 to permanently modify the magazine so that it holds no more than ten rounds, responsibly discard it, transfer it to a law enforcement agency or officer, or sell it to a dealer or an out of state purchaser. While at a recognized range, whether you are there for recreation or for participating in shooting competitions, you may load the full ten rounds into any magazine you have. Starting on April 15, 2013, you are limited to putting 7 rounds in the magazine in all other locations. Hunters should remember that for many years there have been round limitations when it comes to guns used during hunting. In New York you may not hunt with a semi-automatic gun that can contain more than 6 rounds unless it uses .22 or .17 caliber rimfire ammunition, is an autoloading pistol with a barrel length of less than eight inches, or has been altered to reduce its capacity to no more than 6 rounds in the magazine and chamber combined.” NY SAFE ACT

      GOT IT?

      This is DESIGNED to snag people. The “assault weapons” parts are even more obtuse and probably one should be a gunsmith with a law degree if you want to stay SAFE.

  11. sandra bettis :

    when were we discussing disarmament? who was discussing it? i guess i missed that one. but, now that you mention it….

  12. Walter Carpenter :

    “America’s brutality is not its gun violence”

    The 30,000 or so gun deaths we as a nation suffer every year is not brutality?

  13. Todd Taylor :

    I suggest you start by trying to disarm the gangs first Sandra. Get back to me when that’s accomplished.

    • Ann Braden :

      What measures do you support to make it harder for criminals to get guns?

      Expanded background checks will not keep any sane, law-abiding citizen from having guns, but it will make it harder for criminals pop by the nearest flea market and pick up what’d they’d like, no questions asked. Do you support that?

      Vermont is the only state in the nation without a state laws banning felons from possessing weapons, and the federal authorities don’t have the resources to prosecute all of the instances themselves. Do you support bringing state law in line with federal law to help law enforcement prosecute felons who are back at it?

  14. Sandra Bettis :

    are you kidding???? private sales are the #1 way to sell or buy a gun!!!! and there are no regulations!!!!! and private sales go on at flea mkts and gun shows all the time!!!! with no regulations!!!!

  15. I recently attended the Rutland, VT Gun Show. I saw no gun sellers who were not FFLs. One gun store booth was manned by a VT chief of police. The ATF had a booth and were handing out pamphlets about keeping records of your serial numbers, etc. Non-FFLs sold accessories and antiques.

    Anyone who thinks that VT is exporting large quantities of firearms to other states — does not grasp the shortage and backlog of firearms and the (very small) scale of VT gun stores.

    MAIG accuses VT of being some kind of major gun “exporter” — oddly they are talking about 142 guns in 2009 — but they are ignoring that places like NYC have 100’s of thousands of contraband firearms.

    If the entire US has 500,000,000 guns and NYC has ~8 million humans — that would be like 15,000,000 guns in NYC — if NYC was level to the rest of the US. OK — let us say that NYC law is 90% effective — that still leaves 150,000 guns. Of what consequence is 142? (If that number is even true.)

  16. Carl Fyrdman :

    “A gun in your house increases the chance of a murder or suicide”

    Like Drano in your house increases the risk of poisoning.

    Or a car in your driveway increases the risk you will be involved in a motor vehicle accident.

    Gun-control advocates are entirely correct in that it is true that the Founders could not have imagined the lethality of today’s modern firearms. Likewise, the Founders could not have conceived of the firepower held by modern police forces, Homeland Security, and the US Army. During the Revolution, the greatest weapons imaginable were canons, and sailing vessels equiped with canon. Today a single Apache helicopter could destroy the entire English fleet from that era.
    What is clear upon reading the Federalist & Anti-federalist debates (and other assorted founding documents), is that the Founders intended for the militia to be “the body of the people, trained to arms”, and to serve as a check upon federal forces. If you deny the citizenry the access to modern weapons, you violate the Founders’ intent.

    Now let us compare the proposed restrictions upon the 2nd Amendment, as if they were being applied to the 1st Amendment freedom of religion.
    We have people calling for universal registration of all firearms, where the owner would have to register the gun & his residence to the authorities. We have also heard calls for being able to restrict ownership on any question of mental instability, and that there be testing to make sure the prospective gun owner is stable (what defines unstable – belief in a guy who walks on water and comes back from the dead? belief that the govt might become Orwellian?). If a person passes, he can then have a license which he must keep on him when bearing his firearm.

    Now let’s apply this line of reasoning to the 1st Amendment.
    Imagine all Muslims must register their residence, like convicted sex offenders, must pass a test showing that they hold only Patriotic views and express no beliefs or political dissent that would suggest they might become terrorists, and each Muslim must carry his/her permit showing they have paid the “Freedom of religion fee” & passed said test.
    While we’re at it, we could require all Jews pay a similar fee and instead of carrying a license, we could just have them wear a little yellow star?

    We are not technically denying anybody’s freedom of religion, we’re only putting a few conditions upon it, for the good of society! (sarcasm heavily implied)

    We could also compare gun rights to voting rights.
    We can require people show ID to vote, take a test that proves they aren’t the type of idiot that would vote for a second term of either Bush or Obama (I can understand voting 1 term for either, but re-election… really? Patriot Act, NSA, Drones, FISA, etc), and each person must register with a political party (no more independents, we can’t have them walking around unregistered).
    Likewise we must do away with secret ballots, no more anonymous voting, and insurance of some sort, so that if they do vote for some jackanape who wipes his backside with the Constitution, we can then know that person X voted for the jackanape and so fine that individual for his vote and take away his right to vote in the future (he’s proven he can’t be trusted to vote).

    None of this would preclude a person’s right to vote. It only helps to make sure only well educated people vote, and that they are accountable for their actions. Like gun ownership.
    Of course depending upon which party is in power, the safety test required to make sure you are “qualified to vote”, might be a bit biased.
    Which would make it like the gun laws imposed by some states, that believe you must demonstrate a “justifiable need” for a gun, and that the people in power get to decide whether your need is valid.

    Speaking of justifiable need:
    Less than 1% of firearms are used to commit murder. There are 3 hundred million firearms are held by civilians in the United States http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/united-states , 1% of that would be 3 million. So if 1% of firearms are used to commit murder, that would require 3 million firearms homicides. If we take the roughly 10,000 firearms homicides per year and multiply it by 300 years that the US hasn’t been around for, THAT would equal 3 million deaths.

    In 2008, approximately 1.21 million abortions took place in the U.S.
    http://www.abort73.com/abortion_facts/us_abortion_statistics/ The CDC lists the number at 825,000 but leaves out at least 3 states (NH, CA, & 1 other). So split the difference and compare 10,000 homicides to 1 million abortions.

    So why would you require greater restriction on the former and yet ignore the latter?

    If you support gun laws where police & govt officials get to require that citizens wishing firearms must demonstrate a justifiable NEED to own a firearm… then moral integrity and cognitive coherence would require that you support a similar law where doctors & govt officials get to determine you whether you have demonstrated sufficient NEED for an abortion.

    The next question which is touched upon by VT Article 16, is the possession of firearms for self defense. Of course the issue here is not guns, but CRIME. Punish the criminal, rather than disarming the innocent. Here are some enlightening statistics:

    I) From the information at http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/reentry/recidivism.cfm the DOJ determined:
    1) About 65% of releasees are rearrested for a felony or serious misdemeanor within 3 years of getting out of prison.
    2) Roughly 6% of each year’s total number of homicides, are committed by just those prisoners who were released from prison within the preceding year.

    II) Then an examination of NYC homicides revealed that more than 90% of those committing homicide had criminal records (See “New York Killers, and Those Killed, by Numbers” – by Jo Craven McGinty, April 28, 2006)

    III) While working on their “Project Safe Neighborhoods” plan, the US Department of Justice, under Attorney General John Ashcroft, stated that two-thirds of all firearms crimes are committed by repeat offenders.
    http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2003/January/03_ag_052.htm

    Even if we use a very low & conservative estimate for the number of Defensive Gun Uses (say 100,000), we still have 10 people being saved for every one firearm related homicide per year. Ten to one? I’ll take those odds.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defensive_gun_use

    http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-12-27/how-often-do-we-use-guns-in-self-defense

    Lastly, Cicero, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Algernon Sidney, Montesquieu, William Wollaston, Jean-Jacques Burlamaqui, Edward Coke, Cesare Beccaria, and William Blackstone all supported the view that self defense is an innate and inalienable right.
    Article 51 of the UN Charter and Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights BOTH uphold the inherent right of individual self defense.

    Of course gun control advocates will state that you no longer need a right to self defense, because the govt (in the form of police) will do it for you. The problem here lies in the fact that Warren v. District of Columbia makes it clear that the police do not have a duty to protect an individual, and thus cannot be sued for failing to defend you.

    Bottom line, the People have the right to be armed for their own protection.

    • Sandra Bettis :

      i guess you’d better get a nuke while you are at it. that would make as much sense.

  17. Sandra Bettis :

    i think the key word here is CURRENTLY law abiding – that means til your girlfriend makes the wrong thing for supper – or worse.

  18. Sandra Bettis :

    when did i say cheap? can you tell me that you have never purchased a gun in a private sale from one of your gun buddies? i find that hard to believe. there are NO REGULATIONS on guns purchased this way. the only regulations are when you buy from a licensed seller and not much even then. no where near enough – OBVIOUSLY!

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