Tell Us Why This Gun Control Bill Is Bad

Colorado Public Radio’s Megan Verlee reports on the passage this week of a gun safety bill introduced in direct response to the mass shooting in Boulder in March that killed 10 people–legislation that would restrict gun purchases to individuals who commit a range of violent misdemeanor offenses, as well as closing what’s become known as the “Charleston loophole” allowing gun sales to proceed if a background check drags on beyond a certain period of time:

If it becomes law, the bill would prevent people from buying a firearm for five years after being convicted of certain violent misdemeanors, including some crimes of child abuse, sexual assault, cruelty to animals, and violating a protection order.

The man arrested for the shooting in Boulder pled guilty to a violent misdemeanor for punching a high school classmate in 2017. Investigators say he passed a background check in order to buy his gun.

“Persons convicted of violent misdemeanors are more likely to be arrested for violent crimes in the future. Communities should not be forced to tolerate risks like this, as the people of Boulder now know too well,” said Peter Fog with Colorado Faith Communities United To End Gun Violence.

The argument against the bill expressed in this story, coming from gun activist Lesley Hollywood, doesn’t seem to have much to do with the bill:

“The more we see ineffective gun control being passed that clearly does not understand current gun law or guns, the more we know this will continue,” said Hollywood.

Again, this is legislation that would disallow gun purchases for specific violent misdemeanor crimes. In addition to the research cited above that violent misdemeanors point to a likelihood of greater violence, the specific circumstances of the Boulder shooter suggest that this restriction would have prevented the shooter from purchasing the semiautomatic assault rifle he then used to kill ten people. The “Charleston loophole” refers the means by which the shooter in the 2015 mass shooting at a Charleston, South Carolina Black church obtained his gun when he would otherwise have been prohibited.

With all of this in mind, our question is very simple: how would this specific piece of legislation be “ineffective,” and in what way does it indicate its proponents do not “understand current gun law or guns?” We look at this legislation and see quantifiable problems being addressed, while the opposition arguments consist of generalizations that don’t seem to apply to the actual bill.

Whoever would like to “gunsplain” this one for us has the floor.

28 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. 2Jung2Die says:

    Not really about the bill, but Hollywood's quote is mushy mealy-mouthed, grammatically incorrect, an attempt to message something as "ineffective" before it even goes into effect – and golly, what a conclusion by I think saying we know gun legislation will continue. Is someone actually paying her for this?

  2. gertie97 says:

    Gunsplain: Any law violates the Second Amendment.

  3. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    “How would this specific piece of legislation be ‘ineffective?'”

    Come on, dude. Are you serious? Even a non gun owner like me can easily figure it out. Do an online query for AR 15 gun kits, to name just one particular firearm. Then continue your query for “incomplete receiver.”

    You also have the violent offenders who manage to get acquitted, or simply the charges get dropped. Background checks won’t find them. 

    Expanding background checks, as this bill proposes, might end up temporarily stopping a few people, who shouldn’t be gun owners, from actually buying guns. The bill may be slightly more effective than other gun bills proposed in this session.

    Don’t get distracted by the pious bullcrap put out by Hollywood and Vine, whoever she is. The sad bottom line is that it’s just another piece of “feel good” legislation. 

    • ajb says:

      You're a sane conservative. Do you have a proposed solution? Or are you satisfied with the status quo?

      • Conserv. Head Banger says:

        @ajb: since you asked politely, my proposed solution is a summit meeting between both sides to come up with a compromise solution that both protects the bulk of gun rights and does something about mass shootings.

        Someone from either side needs to make that first “Nixon goes to China” move. Unfortunately, not likely to happen as both the far right and far left are too invested in the guns issue in order to raise money from their respective bases.

        For JiD, my response was solely on guns. Trying erroneously to extend my opinion to other issues is inappropriate.

        • Diogenesdemar says:

          Your “proposed solution” is to let others come up with a solution?

          Nice dodge, CHB — not quite Nixonian (you’d have to screw some enemies, and allies, and a bunch of innocent bystanders), but close.  Talk about a “feel-good solution” . . .

          . . . Oh, and, never mind that one of the “sides” involved, at least a large and vocal faction of that side, thinks that the near free-for-all death-circus we have now is already far too restrictive and unconstitutionally over-regulated . . .

          • Conserv. Head Banger says:

            I was asked for a possible solution and came up with one. You got a problem with that? Too bad.

            • Diogenesdemar says:

              You were asked for a “proposed solution,” and came up with none.

              Problem?  Hell no, I love jibber-jabber as much as anyone . . .

              . . . I said, “nice dodge,” didn’t I?

              Fortunately, less bullshitty minds are working on solutions . . .

              Justice Dept. Proposes Rule to Crack Down on ‘Ghost Guns’


              . . . of course, that “other side” got right behind the proposal:

              When Mr. Biden unveiled his executive actions, including the request for a proposed rule about ghost guns, the National Rifle Association vowed to fight the proposals, calling them “extreme gun control actions” that would push states to confiscate more guns.

              (Note: let’s list all those states now confiscating guns, and from whom . . .)

              • Conserv. Head Banger says:

                @diogenes: feel free to get your candle or lantern and begin your search for an honest man (or woman).

                Start with your friends on the far left: the “woke cancel culture” persons who want to remove Founding Fathers from the history records; the anarchists who used legitimate Black Lives Matter protests to vandalize stuff; and don’t forget your leftie friends who want to pump puberty blockers and other sex-change hormones into the bodies of confused and immature teenagers.


                • kwtree says:

                  CHB….respectfully, WTF?

                  There isno “ woke cancel culture” trying to remove Founding Fathers from textbooks. Just because weacknowledge their faults (all except Ben Franklin wereslaveowners, and he was a notorious skirtchaser) doesn’t mean we are “ erasing” them. 

                  Most of the people who used BLM protests to destroy property were paid provocateurs. I could provide links to examples if you like. 

                  There are others on this blog much better qualifed to talk about the specifics of medical care for trans youth…but as a teacher who has had several of these students,  I want to see these young people supported mentally and physically in the most appropriate way for the individual, so that they don’t isolate, fall into despair and suicide or are harassed by peers…both of which are far too common.

                  Seriously, you may want to dial back the Fox or Breitbart or whatever the hell it is you’re imbibing.

                  • Voyageur says:

                    Wrong, kwtree.  John Adams, Samuel Adams and Tom Paine never owned slaves.  And Franklin's pursuit of the fair sex is an inspiration to us all.

                    I will, however, leave the issue of treatment of gender dysphoria in teenagers to the medical experts.  It ain't easy being a teenager of any kind and some of these kids go through hell.

                    • kwtree says:

                      Didn’t know that about the Adamses, although it’s unsurprising that the “ “woke” Thomas Paine didn’t own slaves. 
                      At least you managed a simple correction without a personal attack. Congrats.

                    • Voyageur says:

                      A pity that you couldn't do likewise.

                  • Conserv. Head Banger says:

                    "There is no woke cancel culture trying to remove founding fathers from textbooks…."  I don't believe I said "textbooks." But you can check out the apparently now postponed plans to remove Washington from San Francisco schools; also Lincoln.

                • Diogenesdemar says:

                  I believe that kind of conservative response would probably be better expressed, certainly if not at least stylistically, if it were written here using the more traditional all-caps? . . .

      • Blackie says:

        This gun bill IS bad, not for what it does but for what it doesn't do: It should have included requirements for liability insurance for gun owners, gun users, and for gun store owners.   

        • Duke Cox says:

          Great idea.

          It could give the mega giant insurance companies a different profit center so they could ease up on opposing a public health care option….nah.

    • JohnInDenver says:

      Thankfully, I don't know the shooter, so have no idea what his capabilities for getting around gun control legislation may be.  Nor do I know his familiarity with firearms in order to get a "gun kit" and build his own. 

      We have laws prohibiting felons from purchasing weapons.  this legislation extends the prohibition to specific misdemeanors, too.  Will either of them guarantee people won't get around the limits?  No, they won't. However, we know what was done:  the shooter went to a nearby gun store, went through the existing process, and was permitted to complete the sale. If the new law had been in place, he would not have been able to complete the sale.

      The logic of your response says we ought not have laws limiting buying alcohol because teens can always get around it.  We ought not have laws limiting the sale of marijuana, because people could grow their own. And we should not have background checks on licensees for bad doctors, because some of them may have not been convicted and so the checks won't catch them all.


    • 2Jung2Die says:

      CHB, wasn't sure if that comment was for me, and I won't pile on, much.

      "Ineffective" is sort of a near-meaningless term in social "sciences," more valuable for opposition framing/messaging than as a measurement. But in the case of background checks, the CBI already denies thousands of legal purchases every year, and the new bill would probably block a decent number more by adding the violent misdemeanors. And in the case of the Boulder shooter, stopping this guy from buying a serious weapon might have meant: 10 people would be alive, 10 families wouldn't be ripped apart, and a whole bunch of innocent shoppers and employees and folks living in that neighborhood wouldn't be as freaked out as they probably are today.

      I dislike the argument of "if it only saves one life…" when it comes to policy, but only stopping one massacre like what just happened in my opinion would have had a ton of value.

  4. doremi says:

    Feel good legislation?  Like it feels good not to have that bullet piercing my flesh?   

    Sorry. Head banger, but the evidence is there.  People who have show a propensity for violence are more likely to escalate the violence.  Keeping these people from buying guns may be just the thing that keeps you or your loved ones from getting killed.  

    It's not just common sense.  It has been demonstrated academically and statistically.  The measure will save lives.  Perhaps the life of someone you love, but alas, you never will know it. 

  5. Meiner49er says:

    Advocatus diaboli here: guns are an amplifier for toxic masculinity. Therefore, men who beat their wives and children should have them as it makes them even more masculine, in a sick kind of way.

    Other than that, I see no argument against catching those we can with background checks targeting toxic male behaviors. It may not stop all, but if it stops one it is effective.

  6. The realist says:

    All I can say is . . . take a look at 2Jung2Die's 1:52pm post today on the Weekend Open Thread. We need more and better legislation re: access to guns. Why? Because a whole bunch of us are sick of the killing and don't want our family, our friends, our acquaintances, even strangers, or ourselves to be victims. Yes, it's that simple. 

    • Conserv. Head Banger says:

      Are you ready to take on the likes of the NRA, the Gun Owners of America, Patrick Neville, Dudley Brown?

      • kwtree says:

        You mean former representative Patrick Neville, who lost his seat to the first transgender woman in the legislature, Tammy Storey? 

        Corrected. That was Tim Neville, Patrick’s Pa. But the point that Patrick is a former minority leader still stands. 

        And Dudley Brown’s RMGO is more like the Kiss O Death for any candidate outside of already blood-red districts in Colorado.

        The NRA is going bankrupt. 
        Lots of good news for Colorado voters who want sensible gun laws.

        • Diogenesdemar says:

          Patrick Neville is still in the legislature, and is not yet, unfortunately, a former representative.  His most recent former House Minority leader "seat" is now occupied by Hugh McKean.

          The boogeyman troika of Neville, Brown, and LaPierre is a weak shell of what they were, even five years ago — each suffering huge personal, political, and professional setbacks.

  7. Negev says:

    The current ATF Form 4473 already prohibits persons from buying guns if they are under indictment for a felony or convicted of any other crime that would imprison them for more than one year, even if they got probation, as well as any court order against harassing, stalking or threatening a child or intimate partner, which includes threats against your partners animals.(see questions 21c, 21h, and 21i.

    The new law is very similar to current law, which failed. The Boulder shooter was a minor at the time (2017) of his third degree assault charge which would have prohibited him from purchasing a firearm with current existing laws because it is punishable by up to 2 years in jail, which already prohibits him from purchase (see ATF 4473 question 21a).

    Solution in this case would have been this kid being tried and convicted as an adult for his assault charge, and he would have been prevented from purchasing a firearm forever, under current existing law. Perhaps a re-evaluation of the zero tolerance, school to prison pipeline may be in order to prevent the next tragedy. 



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