Should Negligent Gun Owners Be Prosecuted to the Fullest Extent of the Law?

I’m not a fan of irresponsibility, particularly in the realm of firearm ownership.  Let’s face it, irresponsible gun owners are at risk of not only killing themselves, but of others as well.  While it’s not a huge issue within the gun community, it does exist and it is a threat to the Second Amendment.  Think about it, every time an irresponsible or negligent gun owner causes a death it makes national headlines and it gives those that want to put greater restrictions on the Second Amendment more momentum to push their gun-control agenda.

My primary solution to the problem of the irresponsible gun owner is not to deny them of their Second Amendment rights but to educate them on the proper way to handle firearms.  Turn an irresponsible gun owner into a responsible gun owner.  Yet, there are many who believe that part of that education has to do with holding negligent gun owners who kill or wound others accountable in a court of law.  It’s a persuasive argument on many levels and therefore has resonance to folks on either side of the gun divide.

Recently, I corresponded with Amanda Gailey, the director of the pro-gun control organization Nebraskans Against Gun Violence, to explore the issue and to discuss areas where there may be common ground as well as areas where there is legitimate concern.

S.H. Blannelberry: Let’s start with your background and involvement in the gun debate.  You are the director of Nebraskans Against Gun Violence, what policy objectives does your organization chiefly support?

Amanda Gailey: We support evidence-based efforts to curb gun violence. Our primary policy points are:

  1. Universal background checks
  2. Child access prevention laws and legal consequences for gun negligence
  3. Rigorous training requirements for anyone carrying a gun outside the home
  4. Preserving laws to protect the public that are already in place
  5. Improved data collection and research on gun violence

S.H. Blannelberry:  In your recent article in the New Republic, “Why Americans Don’t Treat Fatal Gun Negligence as a Crime,” you make a very persuasive argument for holding negligent gun owners accountable in a court of law.  You give some hair-raising examples of instances where individuals acted irresponsibly but avoided prosecution:

“A man in Washington practiced drawing a loaded handgun and unintentionally shot and killed his girlfriend’s daughter. A man in Florida twirled a handgun on his finger and killed a pregnant woman. A man in New Mexico handed a loaded rifle to his six-year-old daughter, who unintentionally shot her sister in the neck. None of these gun owners was prosecuted. The district attorney in the New Mexico case told the Farmington Times, “The father did not follow basic and universally accepted firearm safety rules” but “the problem is that the standard for criminal negligence is higher.”

I think the gun community by and large would agree with the premise that negligent gun owners should face criminal charges.  However, due to the fact that our legal system is imperfect and inexact, many are concerned that if there was a greater emphasis on expanding prosecution for negligent behavior the subsequent wider net being cast would ensnare gun owners who don’t necessarily fit into the “negligent” category.  How do you respond to these concerns?

Amanda Gailey:  I don’t think that responsible gun owners have anything to fear from laws that hold irresponsible owners accountable. We have a problem in this country with negligent shootings, and I think it’s reasonable to anticipate that we will see more unintentional shootings as people are allowed to carry guns in more places with fewer training requirements. We certainly need to think fairly about what constitutes negligence, but we should put a real problem—innocent people being shot—ahead of the hypothetical one that gun owners might sometimes be held to too high of a standard. This is how we treat other crimes—we don’t stop prosecuting reckless driving simply because the law is imperfect. Negligence is a concept we are comfortable with when we apply it to other dangerous activities, such as driving, and we ought to be willing to hold an inherently dangerous activity such as handling loaded guns to a similar standard. Responsible gun owners can offer valuable perspectives on what ought to constitute negligence with firearms.

Firearm Related Accidental Gun Deaths.  (Photo: TTAG)

Firearm Related Accidental Gun Deaths. (Photo: TTAG)

S.H. Blannelberry: As a follow up, so much depends upon the definition of negligent.  I think as a gun owner I know it when I see it, but does it have a legal definition or a clear definition in this context?  How far should the liability go?  Perhaps an example, similar to the one in your article, would help clarify your position, so if I leave a gun in a dresser drawer for example, unlocked and loaded, and someone breaks into my home (I don’t have children) and steals it, uses it in the commission of a crime, should I be prosecuted?  I don’t think that would fit my definition of negligent.  Your thoughts?

Amanda Gailey:  Laws regarding negligence vary somewhat state to state, but typically negligence is defined as behavior that grossly deviates from normal standards of care. So there may be some gray areas, as there are with any crime I can think of, but we can certainly agree that some behaviors, such as shooting into a yard where children are playing, grossly deviate from normal standards of care. Other situations may not rise to that level. As for your hypothetical situation, the people of a state would need to determine whether storing a gun accessibly within the home qualifies as negligent. I can see two sides to this: on the one hand, it’s in your home, and you don’t have kids. On the other hand, hundreds of thousands of guns are stolen every year and many of these are subsequently used in crime—it might be argued that normal standards of care require that gun owners make their guns less easy to steal by locking them up. A law that specifies the expectations for responsible gun ownership could clarify this, and I would anticipate that most people would think that it is not negligent to keep a gun unlocked in your own home, so long as children don’t live or visit there.

S.H. Blannelberry:  On a different note, another reason why many of these negligent gun owners escape criminal prosecution is because the result of the incident — the death of a loved one, child, friend, etc. — is so damaging and tragic that the thought of a criminal charge on top of that loss seems almost cruel.  What are your thoughts on this way of thinking?

Amanda Gailey:  When I began researching the article I thought I would hear that prosecutors declined to charge many of these people because they were already burdened by guilt. However, that is not what prosecutors told me. Instead, they seem to think that the law is not specific enough regarding what constitutes negligence with firearms, so that if they bring the case before a jury of members of the community, they will not be able to convince all twelve that the charge of involuntary manslaughter, for instance, applies to that particular scenario without clearer statutes. I think they are also worried about political fallout from pursuing cases that will require them to publicly argue that certain behaviors with guns are negligent. If some prosecutors do decline to press charges because of a shooter’s sense of guilt, that would be inconsistent with how they charge other crimes. I believe almost anyone would feel devastated by guilt after unintentionally killing a family member. Some of the cases I looked into were truly heartbreaking—families are often torn apart by guilt and blame. However, that doesn’t stop DAs from charging reckless drivers, for example, because the public as well as the family has an interest in these cases. It doesn’t seem too much to ask that someone who chooses to own a gun maintain it responsibly, especially in a home with children.

S.H. Blannelberry:  Available statistics indicate that accidental gun deaths are at record lows.  Many attribute the drop in accidental gun deaths to safety programs like the NRA’s Eddie Eagle and the NSSF’s Project ChildSafe, what is your reaction to the stats and the efficacy of these initiatives?

Amanda Gailey:  I think it is great when anyone is taking gun safety seriously. Unfortunately, though, I think these programs are deeply flawed. First, there are some problems with the research behind the claim that accidental gun deaths are at record lows. The NSSF claims that gun accidents dropped 25% from 2001 to 2011, but the National Center for Health Statistics contradicts this—they show a 6% increase over the same period, up from 802 in 2001 to 851 in 2011. And even these numbers don’t tell the whole story because of inconsistencies in reporting: some coroners categorize many of these accidents as homicides and they don’t even figure into the accident tally.

Also, the NSSF’s Project ChildSafe has been a disaster—they put countless defective locks on guns at taxpayer expense.

The problem I see with Eddie Eagle is that we can’t put the burden of gun negligence on children. Their brains aren’t ready for it, and studies have shown that boys in particular find it extremely difficult to resist the allure of accessible guns, even when they have received clear firearms safety training. It is our job as adults to protect kids by keeping guns out of their hands, including by asking about how guns are stored in homes they visit. Unfortunately, I think we as a country have been misled by some bad science that distorts the number of defensive gun uses, so some of us make errors in reasoning about the risk of keeping a gun on hand versus the risk of unintentionally injuring or killing someone.

S.H. Blannelberry:  When reading your article gun owners will take issue with the one attorney’s comment on Glock in which he says, “With any other product in the world there would be no Glock company because they would be sued out of existence. You don’t have a safety? That can’t be right.”

Part of Glock’s appeal as a tool for self-defense is that it has no external safety.  Many believe that under the extreme duress of a self-defense situation the fine motor movement required to disengage an external safety would be a hinderance.   What are your thoughts on this argument?

Amanda Gailey:  I know that there is lively debate about this issue. The way I see it, almost all other products are subject to consumer safety oversight. If I sell a dangerous stroller it can be recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. If I sell a car with defective brakes the National Highway Safety Transportation can recall it. But gun manufacturers don’t have an analogous supervising body, so if they sell guns that fire when dropped, no authority can force a recall.

I am worried about actual gun violence. Having a gun ready to fire without a safety puts everyone around you at risk, all in service to an imagined scenario in which a split second gives a gun carrier an advantage. I can imagine all kinds of scenarios in which a safety device *could* be a hindrance–being buckled up if my car goes into water, for example–but the far greater risk is in not buckling up in case of a traffic accident. Similarly, people who choose to carry guns around others must mitigate the actual risk they create rather than increase that risk because of a hypothetical and less likely situation.

S.H. Blannelberry: Moving forward, what would you like to see accomplished over the next few years in terms of gun laws that target negligent gun owners?

Amanda Gailey: Well, the fundamental improvement I would like to see is for us to have reasonable discussions about these issues without allowing wild fantasies and ideological extremism to determine public policy. I think most Americans want to keep their families and communities safe, so I would like us to have a discussion in good faith about how to do that.

As far as particular policy points, child access prevention laws are part of the answer, but I also think we need to empower prosecutors to pursue clearly negligent behavior that kills or maims other people. If prosecutors are telling us that they need more targeted statutes, then we need to think through what those statutes should look like. So much recent gun legislation in state legislatures has been about loosening gun laws. It’s time to think about tightening responsibility.

***

Thanks to Ms. Gailey for taking the time to respond to my questions.

As for where I come out on this, I think in terms of prosecuting negligent gun owners, the devil is in the details.  Obviously, the law and how it defines negligence matters but so does the circumstances of each case.  Generally speaking, this is an issue that must be handled with a scalpel and not an axe.

What are your thoughts on prosecuting negligent gun owners?

{ 30 comments… add one }
  • Robert Webber May 12, 2015, 6:09 pm

    No it should be taken as a case by case. Background checks are a joke and if I not breaking the law the government should not have the right to snoop on me. Americans have a right to privacy do they not? I fail to see how violating my privacy makes me anymore safer.

  • Sheldon May 12, 2015, 2:38 pm

    The very premise of the question is flawed. The purpose of the justice system is not to do the correct or “right” thing; it is to arrive at a decision based on a competition between prosecution and defense as provided by law and perception of the process in trial. The law does not seek truth; it seeks a resolution; that in no way assures justice.

    What we know for a fact is that if you legitimately shoot and kill in self defense, you may as a result live, but you may lose virtually everything that is dear to you. Self defense – in legal terms – is not about saving innocent life; it is about deciding between death and a ruined life. I sure you can imagine how a man with a ruined life might enjoy a day at a D.A.s home waiting for mom, kids, and daddy to come home.

    Again – justice has nothing to do with law; never has – never will. As long as criminals and crazy people are defended by my tax dollars while I have to use my after tax dollars to defend myself, the bigger funding source has the advantage.

  • Russ May 12, 2015, 3:03 am

    Q – “SHOULD NEGLIGENT GUN OWNERS BE PROSECUTED TO THE FULLEST EXTENT OF THE LAW?”
    A – NO!
    Let them all go with a warning.
    Those poor gun owners have gone through hell just to acquire their firearms, why continue the punishment?

    # 10 – We firearms enthusiasts have a sense of humor.

  • Davy Crockett May 12, 2015, 12:41 am

    This woman is addressing criminal negligence as if it is the same as civil negligence. It isn’t.

    She bends the meanings of things, subjectively, to support her position. You could never make her happy. Agree with her and she’ll want more and more. She completely ignores everyone else’s civil rights, but her’s and thinks that’s justified. She is what I call a ‘2nd amendment denier,” she thinks she can ignore the 2nd amendment, because it’s inconvenient. Probably gets frustrated when people don’t line up to give up their civil rights to placate her, too.

  • Michael Twidle May 11, 2015, 2:47 pm

    Is death from a negligent gun owner different from death from a negligent mother who lets her 3 year drown in a swimming pool.

    • Dan Henkel May 11, 2015, 6:10 pm

      Tee to years or so ago Houston TX passed a law thT of a child acquired your firearm and discharged it the gun owner was criminally responsible. When my son was born I bought a gun safe, thought him gun safety supervised his shooting and had him get a shooting merit badge at camp.
      Just as you would not leave razor da harp knives around, we as gun owners are responsible for our firearms. That includes protecting them from children. Educating our kids and other gun owners as to what safe gun handling should be.

  • William J. Stewart ETC USN Retired May 11, 2015, 2:47 pm

    What is ‘Negligence” to one is not to another. Is a LEO, who has been Threatened with Murder of him and his Loved ones and Keeps a Loaded Pistol Close at hand at all times, day or night, Negligent if a Child gets a-hold of the pistol while he is Sleeping? What about a None-LEO under the Same Threats and Conditions? Los Angeles, CA seems to Demand ALL firearms in the Home be Unloaded, With Trigger Locks, and Stored in a Safe, Which would preclude ANY Viable sue as a Home Self defense Weapon under Any Reasonable scenario. What is Reasonable is not Legal but is it Negligence?

  • gonzo gonzales May 11, 2015, 2:22 pm

    IMO a negligent gun owner is no better or worse than a would-be felon; you don’t give an unsupervised child a hammer to play with, why give him access to a firearm? This demonstrates a lack of responsibility as well as common sense. Part of this is a lack of proper training. It is too easy to buy a firearm (of any type) without proof of training. IMO in order to purchase a firearm from ANY source, the buyer should present proof of such training. Selling a firearm without such proof shall make the SELLER negligent as well.
    When I served in the military, we were shown the effects of our weapons before we spent two weeks in learning care and maintenance and “dry firing” before we ever saw a live round. Then we had to demonstrate proficiency with each weapon. To my knowledge, there is no state that requires this type of intensive training prior to being allowed LEGAL access to a firearm.
    IMO the end of the debate is in the individual being charged with and accepting the responsibility, as well as the consequence, of that individual’s actions, or lack thereof.

    • Jessica June 25, 2016, 11:33 am

      Thank you.

  • Uncle Dave May 11, 2015, 12:36 pm

    There were reportedly over 2,362,000 auto accident injuries in 2012, and 33,500 fatalities (NHTSA). I investigated auto accidents and homeowner liability for a major insurance company for over 29 years. I saw many deaths and injuries from horrific, preventable accidents (autos, drownings in pools, guns, slip/trip and falls, poisonings etc), Yet, outside of DUI scenarios, few were prosecuted for criminal negligence.
    In 2010, it was reported there were anywhere from 14,000 to 19,000 accidental gunshot injuries (CDC) and about 600 accidental gunshot deaths. There were over 30,000 shooting deaths (of which about 11,000 were suicide, leaving 19,000 homicide deaths) (smartgunlaws.org).. In 2013 there were 38,000 accidental poisoning deaths.
    I’m more worried about children being hurt by poison or in a car, bathtub, or swimming pool (often by a parent who is ill-equipped to raise a child, since that requires no training or qualification), than by a gun. If someone pushes for firearms negligence to be singled out for criminal prosecution over these other things, then it seems that they have some other agenda.
    The reference to Glock in the article is laughable and must be directed to uninformed and gullible non-gun owners, To say a gun has no “safety” does not deem it unsafe. Outside of locks, how many revolvers have safeties? Why would so may police departments around the world and federal agencies assume the liability of equipping their officers with an unsafe gun?

  • Josh May 11, 2015, 12:03 pm

    There were some good points by both parties, but I have to draw the line at this one: “The problem I see with Eddie Eagle is that we can’t put the burden of gun negligence on children. Their brains aren’t ready for it, and studies have shown that boys in particular find it extremely difficult to resist the allure of accessible guns, even when they have received clear firearms safety training. ”

    So many adults think children should be seen and not heard and believe they’re not capable of rational thought! I was reading at a college level between the ages of 6 and 8 and continued upward while schools tried telling my parents that I was retarded because I wouldn’t do their simple addition ( when I already spoke 2 languages fluently and understood in addition to being able to work through addition, subtraction, multiplication, division in Kindergarten ) or other simple assignments that were assigned in grade-school; put simply, I was bored with their menial work and they refused to listen when I asked for something challenging claiming I was too stupid to understand what I was asking for.

    I was also introduced to firearms at a very young age ( 4 or so ) and they were in the house ( gun cabinet with the majority and several in night-stands etc ) but because one of my parents took the time to explain what a firearm was and that they needed to be respected along with the general safety rules I never played with them but I was trusted enough to have my own revolver at age 5-6 ( which I could handle with supervision without ammo ) and I was taught how to maintain them, etc…; I believe the best thing is to have mandatory firearms training starting at a young age because the majority of people against firearms only believe what they see in movies, are told by bureaucrats or what they read on shady sites while browsing the internet instead of doing thorough research.

    If you raise your kid to be seen and not heard then that child will struggle to have a future where-as if you raise them to think for themselves and also trust them enough to allow them to help with the handling / assembly of new household wares ( instead of telling them they’re too stupid to figure something out, let them try and fail or try and succeed [ had someone waste an hour on something before handing it to me as a child and I solved it in an instant ] because those lessons are far more valuable than shushing them ), in addition to treating them with the respect they deserve instead of shunning them…

    Instead of fearing to instill the “burden of knowledge” upon a child, consider the cost of ignorance. How many children live with the guilt of killing another or how many have lost their lives because a friend, sibling or adult was ignorant of important safety knowledge regardless of the tool?

    • dkeach May 11, 2015, 7:04 pm

      Agree with Josh. I have believed for a long time that if firearms training were mandatory for children in elementary school that there would be no excuse for accidents or negligence. We train children to not play with matches. We can train children to not play with guns. Guns are tools. Use with caution. Don’t hit yourself over the head with a hammer, don’t stab yourself with a screwdriver, and don’t point guns for fun.

  • Warner Anderson MD May 11, 2015, 11:47 am

    The NRA has published and taught their “Ten Commandments of Safety” since I learned them as a teen, 50 yrs ago. I think they represent a standard we can all support, and many firearms distributors and manufacturers distribute them in a new gun’s packaging. Non-compliance is negligence and if willful, should be prosecuted.

  • Pepprdog May 11, 2015, 10:07 am

    If they consider negligent discharge to be inforced to a max sentence, then we shouldn’t allow gun specifications in criminal cases be allowed to be plea bargained away…… which is the case in WAY too many criminal prosecutions..
    The biggest reason we have so many criminals packing is they are very seldom prosecuted to any extent of the possibilities if at all!
    Look at how many armed robberies are prosecuted with no weapons charges…..

  • dancingbill May 11, 2015, 9:59 am

    why not. the law is the law and everyone that breaks the law should face the same penalties as the next guy.

  • Roy May 11, 2015, 8:28 am

    You did not ask this question and no one has addressed it yet, so I may be stirring a hornet’s nest but . . . what about prosecuting gun owners whose children take said guns and go to school and shoot children? As for the “accident” scenario, we simply cannot legislate away risk. As Justice Douglas would say “this is s slippery slope” with no end.

  • Skip May 11, 2015, 7:18 am

    Accident: an event that is not planned and occurs by chance. Herein lies the rub… in order to placate the public so that they can feel good about themselves, our government has incorporated “accident” into acceptable everyday behavior. The truth be told, if we were to fully disclose events as they happened, there would be very very very few “accidents” and many many many more stupid occurrences due to lack of diligence: the attention and care legally expected or required of a person.

    Does not matter whether it concerns gun laws, traffic laws, tax laws, or the rest of the laws that members of congress seem to have no regard for unless it/they may lead to their re-election.

  • Tj2000 May 11, 2015, 6:03 am

    OK, I know this will be flamed but I get tired of all the excuses from both sides of the isle about gun rights. As with any right we have to exercise it with great individual control and understand that with that right is great responsibility.
    Take for instance freedom of speech; you can say what you want but there are consequences like yelling fire in a crowded theater, that’s your right but if there is no fire you could go to jail. That’s a consequence of that right. Everyone has a right to own a firearm but does that go without responsibility? If the answer is no, then it is our responsibility to make sure we have some basic training and knowledge of the proper use of that firearm we own.
    We make sure our armed services are well trained in the basics of firearms, we make sure our police and sheriffs deputies as well as other LEO’s are trained in the basic operation and safeties on the use of firearms. so why shouldn’t we be trained too?
    I don’t understand why we get so upset when the “T” word (training not thugs) is used when it comes to firearms ownership. I used to live in Ga. and you didn’t have to have any training requirements to get your carry permit and that always bothered me, now I live in Florida and to get your Concealed Deadly Weapons License you have to go through a training course which is 8 hours long usually 4 hours on the laws and 4 hours range training time. Its not much but it does cover the basics. If nothing else, that should be required for ownership too.
    Ok, let the flames begin,
    Tj

    • Pepprdog May 11, 2015, 11:11 am

      What part of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights don’t you understand?

  • fhedrickjr May 11, 2015, 5:08 am

    I think it is actually already modeled for us (somewhat) by how “negligent” drivers/vehicle owners are handled. You drive drunk, you get caught, you “broke the rules” so, you suffer the consequences. You allow a distraction to cause you to do harm to others or their property with your vehicle, you “broke the rules”, so, you suffer the consequences. I don’t think some massive “new” law needs to be written. We do NOT need some 3,200 page document that very few or perhaps no one will read, only to find out there are flaws and hyperbole in the body of said document. Take the standard gun safety programs and their Mantra for “due caution and care” and see if any of the “rules” have been broken, whether by accidental or wanton negligence, and take it from there. I would be willing to bet, that with their record on Firearms Safety, the NRA or the NSSF would be more than willing to sit down and talk to people like Amanda Gailey, provided that said people aligned with Ms. Gailey have the ability to(and I quote) “..have reasonable discussions about these issues without allowing wild fantasies and ideological extremism to determine public policy…”. This is definitely a double edged sword. Furthermore, how MUCH leeway would be given to Prosecutors? If Joe Gun Owner has taken all due care to secure and lock his firearm up, in all the acceptable ways and means outlined, and, there is a key or a combination to said gun locker or gun immobilizing device and said key/combination is found by a determined thief or a family member, is the gun owner deemed negligent because the key was discovered? Yes, extreme, but not out of the realm of possibilities. If commmon sense rules the day, there should be some middle ground (I hate to say that because it connotes compromise) that can be reached. I stress the common sense issue and say again: “….have reasonable discussions about these issues without allowing wild fantasies and ideological extremism to determine public policy…”
    “Let us Pray”……

  • J.E. May 8, 2015, 2:49 pm

    Thanks for this, interesting and thought provling. Re: negligence, I think of it in terms of a scenario where my family and I are visiting with friends at their home. The kids play while adults talk, drink, watch a game on TV. What is my tolerance for negligence in that scenario? I may not know if the friends have guns, or how or where they store them. Am I ok with just assuming guns are safely stored? The consequences are that of any assumption, except one of us is a dead ass. There needs to be a clear legal definition of negligence & liability for “accidental” injuries or death for gun owners that is reasonable and consistent as with existing legal definitions of negligence.

  • PJ May 6, 2015, 7:19 pm

    The government is looking to disarm as many of us as they can. Next they will say you have to have a 2 ton safe that has to have 2 keys & a dial combination lock to keep your guns safe or they will come and get your guns. NO THE GOVERMENT
    HAS 2 MUCH POWER ALREADY.

  • Nathan Gifford May 6, 2015, 6:52 pm

    One thing I would like to understand is how do they define themselves as pro-gun? It is a vague term. I much prefer pro self-defense is that more accurately describes why we support the 2A.

    I find all 5 of her mission statements a problem especially since based on Colorado prosecutions violations of their background check law resulted in just 3 prosecutions. When you add situation like Shaneen Allen’s in NJ you have to wonder what those new laws entail.

    Children laws tend to focus on not letting any child even see a gun. As many people are aware in custody disputes in some states, the person owning a firearm has a higher hurdle to clear. That a felony can be attached to just taking your kid hunting or to the range is big problem.

    I would like to see what the problem was with NSSF locks. Too bad she wasn’t specific, but I have come to expect that. Gun locks are kind of hard to get wrong unless they were manufactured wrong. Since these gun violence groups have been giving away locks themselves, how do their locks differ and offer better security.

    When she says Eddie Eagle is a bad idea because it puts negligence responsibility on the kid is just plin insane. A parent can be responsible for a negligent act of their kid, but I want to see how you convict a kid the target ages of EE of negligence.

    What is worse is their lock up your firearms programs only focuses on the adult. Basically they are enforcing illiteracy on the kids. If the kids find a crime gun near a school or park, they would rather the kids get killed with it instead of following EE Stop, Don’t Touch, Runaway, Tell a grownup.

    Their real reason for opposing NRA, NSSF and other groups gun safety rules is their fear that people will find those sound. They need that for two reasons-
    1. They need to continue the character assasination of 2A groups that presently enjoy the public’s support.
    2. They want to isolate firearms as much as possible in the belief that if they do they can discourage gun ownership.

    On safety training you ought to ask yourself, considering their lack of expertise in that area, do you really want them drafting anything? The only safety rule they seem to profer is keeping the gun locked up. One similar group believes that even a defensive gun needs to be locked up.

    Are these the groups that ought to drafting laws?

    The NRA wrote the first safety rules 141 years ago. They started working with police around 1916. They formed their police department that specifically addresses police training and safety fundementals around 1960. Since these so-called gun violence groups ignore that experience why should we believe they would even know what standards to use?

    Further, they ignore DGUs and refuse to acknowledge the low crime rate of CHLs. That points to a trust problem in my book.

    I do believe in being civil with them and arguing facts. You are deluding yourself if you think they have any goal other than confiscation. The laws they propose are meant to harass, tax, provide legal peril for gun owners. Add to that, if you are poor, and live in a crime ridden community, ask them if they support giving people credit to defray the costs of their gun laws upon the poor.

    Want to prove me wrong? It is very easy. Have them show you the laws they really support. Not the one line description but the actual laws they support.

    My bet is you might as well not have a gun…which is what they want.

    • Will Drider May 7, 2015, 9:10 pm

      All good points except I can not agree that the 2A is pro self defense only or only supported for self defense. The gun grabbers would gladly write law to allow firearms for self defense if they could outlaw the rest. You must know after the expired assault weapons ban, they would prescribe what is acceptable for self defense (VP BIDEN says its a 12 ga pump, others say nothing with a removable mag). They would also ban all the rest, require turn in or make millions of new criminals. When all the inappropriate guns are gone, they will say the feds, State and local LE are now in charge of every citizens safety. Now you don’t have a lawful reason to have a defensive gun. Its being confiscated so it does not fall into criminal hands, which will further enhance community safety. A nice neet package. Please review the history of gun control in Ireland and Australia.
      The Second Ammendment is about firearms posession. What you legally possess you can legally use. To exclude any lawful firearm or legal type of use would erode the very foundation of the 2A.

  • Will Drider May 6, 2015, 4:35 pm

    Very good interview, though I don’t agree with her broad brush solutions that would surely expand and infringe the Second Ammendment. All prosecutions should be based on the totally of the circumstances, period. That is the law and that Law is not broken. It is the discretion of the prosecutor and/or a Grand Jury to make the decision (unless riots break out and Law caves to mob mentality and racist political instigators).
    I don’t agree with universal background checks, though I think they will be forced upon us all.
    There is a firearm negligence problem. We observe it at the range, in gun shops and at Shows. Hopefully WE address it. Youtube has hours and hours of it. The majority of people don’t read their car owners manual, gun owners manuals fall the same way for a lot of people. I am 100% for personal responsibility and accountability.
    Safeties on handguns: personal preserence not a governmental dictate. Ask anyone who has been in a gunfight if they want to add or eliminate safety disengagement time! Tossing the safety issue at Glocks shows ignorance ot the pistols multiple safety features.

    • Warner Anderson MD May 11, 2015, 11:55 am

      My team was ambushed in Iraq in 2003. Everyone on the team was hit by one guy concealed, with a Kalashnikov. I was carrying my driver’s M-16A2, and he had my Beretta. The M-16 was safed. In spite of having two bullet wounds, I flicked off the safe and killed the son of a bitch. No performance degradation in trained and practiced shooter – there’s your lesson from combat.

      • Kevin Yancey May 11, 2015, 4:17 pm

        HOOAH!!

      • jtm May 11, 2015, 8:27 pm

        good on you Butch. weather is bad this week, next week 3 gun if you’re in country, found someone I know on a web sight cool

  • David May 6, 2015, 2:48 pm

    They already prosecute people based on what exactly happened when an incident occurs. Ms. Gailey acts like nobody is held responsible for negligent discharges. Every state that I know of has a law about negligent handling of a firearm. More laws do not make people safer!

    http://www.komu.com/news/teen-to-be-tried-in-accidental-gun-discharge-case/
    http://abc30.com/news/two-arrested-in-corcoran-on-gun-drug-child-endangerment-charges/368092/
    http://www.denverpost.com/ci_22002593/cu-staffer-gone-charges-filed-accidental-shooting

  • Alex May 5, 2015, 3:44 pm

    This is a PR issue too. Yes, prosecute. Prosecute hard. Send the message to the non-gun owners that we’re 100% serious about overall safety and protection of the citizenship.

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