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Friday, August 27, 2021

CT ‘Overreacted’ with ‘Draconian’ Gun Laws Says AK Lawmaker

On Sunday night, 60 Minutes featured an unforgettable interview with some of the family members of those killed in the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. It’s been nearly four months since the unspeakable tragedy that left the nation in shock and mourning. This month, Connecticut passed a gun control law that expands background checks, and limits the number of rounds in ammunition magazines to 10.

The families are now urging changes of a similar nature in Washington.

This transcript begins at 4:57 in the clip.

When asked what changes they would like to see, the following exchange occurred on 60 Minutes.

Bill Scherlach (husband of the school psychologist who was murdered): Limiting magazine size, and universal background checks, if I had to pick two.

Nicole Hockley (mother of Dylan, 6): And anything that helps to limit gun trafficking, and straw purchases.

Scott Pelley (60 Minutes): A straw purchase is when someone who has a clean record buys a gun for a person who would not have been able to pass a background check, which happens all the time.

Nicole Hockley: Correct. That’s common sense.

Neil Heslin: (father of Jesse Lewis, 6) Common sense laws.

Scott Pelley: But gun rights advocates make the argument that this wouldn’t have helped in Sandy Hook.

Neil Heslin: I mean, of course, on the federal level not every law passed is going to make a difference in what happened to us. Generally speaking, it is important for us to try and control the illegal flow of weapons. I don’t think anyone is against that. I don’t think anyone is against… If you look at the subject of universal background checks, and you look at a study that came out of the New England Journal of Medicine in January – the majority of Americans asked, support that. You hear all the time that “guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” Well, then let’s start some background checks for people.

Three days after the show aired, Alaska State Senator Fred Dyson of Eagle River weighed in on Connecticut’s response to the slaughter of 26 children and teachers.

I was surprised when the Presidential…I’ve forgotten the right word, but the actions taken after the Newtown, Connecticut tragedy that, as seems to be a tradition in our country, that we react to crisis and almost overreact always, and don’t make wise decisions. A number of jurisdictions started the process of enacting some very draconian restrictions on the entire firearms industry, and ownership. Colorado would certainly be the first one. Shortly afterwards, the manufacturer of semi-automatic weapon magazines announced that they were pulling the pin, and moving out. Then I saw the most draconian restrictions on the second amendment, I think in our country’s history, and that was in Connecticut. And I thought to myself, “My goodness, do you guys know what you’re doing?”

So, what exactly are these “draconian” measures? The most “draconian in the country’s history?”

The new law restricts sales of the sort of high-capacity ammunition clips that the gunman used to massacre 26 people in minutes. Adam Lanza used magazines with 30 rounds of ammunition. The law restricts the number to 10.

The law also requires background checks for all gun purchases, expands the number of guns covered by the states’ existing assault-weapons ban, and establishes a $15 million fund to help schools improve security infrastructure.

I wonder what Senator Dyson would have said if a gunman had shot his way through the doors of Eagle River Elementary School, and used high capacity clips in a semi-automatic assault weapon to murder 20 children, and 6 Alaska teachers in cold blood? Would background checks seem draconian? Would limiting the number of rounds in a magazine? Five children escaped when Adam Lanza had trouble reloading. How many more may have been saved if he’d only been able to shoot ten rounds at a time?

Dyson is all for state’s rights, and the state of Connecticut, which has been the seat of gun manufacture since the country’s beginnings, and is in no way a stranger to gun culture, has chosen this. Perhaps experience is a greater teacher. Perhaps it’s easy to criticize an “overreaction” when it isn’t your child, your wife, your community, that has been broken. Maybe, “those guys” in Colorado and Connecticut actually DO know what they are doing. Maybe, as the father and mother of slain 1st graders told us, this is common sense.

And it’s telling that his first worry is about how the “draconian restrictions” are being received by the firearms industry. They have plenty of lobbyists, and they are making plenty of money. Legislators are supposed to be enacting laws for the benefit of their citizens, not manufacturers of high-capacity magazines for semi-automatic firearms. I’m pretty sure the Constitution bears me out on that.

On the federal level, Senator Mark Begich (D) joined Republicans in an attempt to filibuster discussion on the floor of proposed federal gun legislation.

Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) voted to block gun legislation from coming to the floor for debate on Thursday, one of only two Democrats to do so, along with Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.). Another Democratic senator who had threatened to vote no, Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), did not. (Today), the gun bill reached the 60-vote threshold needed to move forward.

And the playing of politics continues.



58 Responses to “CT ‘Overreacted’ with ‘Draconian’ Gun Laws Says AK Lawmaker”
  1. Paula says:

    If you NEED 30 rounds maybe you really aren’t capable of defending yourself. Anyone who is trained to handle a gun properly needs one shot – TWO- at most to kill a deer, wolf, bear or intruder. My husband shot 4 deer this year. He used FOUR bullets.

  2. strangelet says:

    Being just returned to the Flats, I’m going to refrain from getting into the libertarianism discussion, but I will pose one question, suitable for asking anyone who is exercised about the Connecticut law.

    Question: What is the reason you need a magazine that holds more than 10 rounds?

    Please note, this is asking for a reason for need, not for a legal argument like “the 2nd Amendment says I can”.

    Why do you NEED an expanded magazine?

    • JHypers says:

      Since I’m pretty sure this was directed at me, I will respond by saying that this long-trodden NEED question is getting old, and is completely irrelevant.

      But, I have some practical answers to that question:

      I need a 30-round magazine, so I don’t need to carry three 10-round magazines.
      Or…because the 11th round might be the one that saves my life one day.

      Furthermore, I find it a bit absurd that common people who happen to support property rights and self-defense (myself) are being asked to justify their needs to someone (you) who has zero ruling capacity over their lives. In other words, I didn’t have to answer your question…and making that choice would not make me an evil human being who wants to see more people killed by psychopaths.

      Please try to understand that before you go asking that question again.

      • mike from iowa says:

        OH Boo! Sounds like someone got his feelings hurt. With thirty round mag capacity the next nutjob won’t have to re-load after 10 shots-11 through thirty might get his name into the record books as the all time mass killer. Might I suggest more target practice to improve your aim if you think the first 10 shots aren’t enough?

        • JHypers says:

          More target practice. Thanks for the pro tip, Mike. Police and Military are afforded multitudes more time and ammunition for target practice than I am, yet they still carry 30-rounders. Why do they need more than 10 shots in a magazine?

          Do you honestly think my owning this particular kind of magazine is such a danger to society that I should be faced with the threat of men with GUNS taking me away and locking me in a cage because I respectfully and peacefully disagree with the entire notion of victimless crimes?

          If you can answer that, I will take my leave from this arena.

          • beth. says:

            Seems to me, JHypers, that it doesn’t matter *how* mike from iowa answers your question…you are absolutely set in your convictions and will not entertain any information or argument to the contrary. Period. Even if mike from iowa responds with logic and sensibilities that ‘knock it out of the ballpark’, you will retain your current views…intact.

            Why does it seem that way to me? Your final sentence.

            You don’t say, “I’d be interested in discussing your views” or “I’ll consider it”, or anything else; instead, you say, “I will take my leave of this arena.” IOW, ‘unless you give me answer *I* like, I’m going to keep on believing exactly as I do now.’

            End of discussion.

            BUT, if you (mike from iowa), by some wild fluke, DO happen to answer my question and turn my world on edge with logic and sensibilities, I’m going to quit this site (and implied: go somewhere where there are likeminded people who fully support my views and will ‘yes sir’, ‘yes, sir’ them without question.)

            Just my take, but seems also, to me, that that is not a very good strategy for ‘winning hearts and minds’ to your view of the issue, JHyper.

            And, yes, I’m a HUGE fan of the notion that doing that which ultimately Greatly benefits the many, is More than worth temporarily pizzing off the few. beth.

            • JHypers says:

              I’ll be done either way, whatever his answer is. I’ve been highly active on here all weekend and I need to move on. Your assumptions are false, but I blame myself for not typing the words in a way that lead you to believe otherwise. If I wanted to make comments and receive praise from fellow readers with lock-step viewpoints, I would never post on this news blog. I am here to challenge others with what obviously appears to be a differing viewpoint. Question me all you want, but the reason I don’t type “I’ll take that under consideration” is because I’ve already done so before responding, and was not swayed.

              I’m still waiting on the superior logic and sensibilities. I haven’t seen any yet to convince me that societal punishment through the initiation of force against victimless crimes is in any way morally justified. It is perhaps my main issue with not just liberals, but also conservatives.

              At least I know what your position is. It’s a rather violent one, but not unexpected from the hive mind.

              • beth. says:

                “Violent”? beth.

              • mike from iowa says:

                Violent Beth. Like it. Has a nice ring to it. Don’t mess with Beth. And so,Ladies and Gentlemen a new star is born. A super hero who conquers all with passive violence. Who knew?

            • beth. says:

              (@ mike from iowa) Yup, that’s me, alright…violent as all get out! Super Hero, I’m not too sure about, but definitely Super Violent. O:-)! beth.

              –I’ve thought for a long time how much I’d enjoy spending a face-to-face evening with you, just chewing the fat. Realistically, however, it would be IMPOSSIBLE for me to do that. You have such a fantastic ‘take’ on things and such a marvelous way with words, that I’m positive I’d Never be able to hold up my side of the conversation. I’d spend the whole time doubled over in laughter! b.–

              • Alaska Pi says:

                It’s from a notion that anything which is not entered into voluntarily is not only unacceptable, it is of necessity violent.
                The principle of non-coercion, or non-initiation of force, appears in most self-definitions. It is the equivalent of the liberal concept of ‘negative liberty’ and some libertarians use that term. Libertarians say they are against coercion, but they support the free market. The introduction of a free market in Russia after 1989, lead to an excess mortality of about 3 million people. I call that force (and not defensive or retaliatory force): libertarians do not. Some US employers require their employees to smile at all customers, or lose their job. I call that coercion: libertarians call it freedom of contract. There is no point in further discussion of these issues: they are examples of irreconcilable value conflicts.”
                There are many, many forms of libertarianism. This underpins most of them to some degree.
                Whenever I feel like totally giving into my left libertarian impulses I go read Treanor’s take down.
                All well and good to know what one thinks, not so hot to get all whupped up about how everyone else is wrong if they don’t agree.

          • beth. says:

            “Police and Military are afforded multitudes more time and ammunition for target practice than I am, yet they still carry 30-rounders. Why do they need more than 10 shots in a magazine?”

            Police and Military have a Different ‘mission’ than the ‘average’ citizen, does. That’s why, JHypers. beth.

          • mike from iowa says:

            I have no idea whether you are a danger to your society. There are dangerous people,there are mental cases out there that have access to any and all weapons you have access to. You are of little concern to me. My concerns are for innocent schoolchildren being slaughtered because our elected representatives care more about appeasing the NRA than protecting kids.

            If the choice is finding ways to keep kids safe or satisfying your need to feel safe from imagined dangers,I’m going with the kids every time.You stand a much better chance of survival with a 10 round clip than a school full of kids do against a single nut job with assault weapons. Stay or go-no concern of mine. In the larger picture trying to keep kids safe and alive trumps any person’s personal rights.

            • JHypers says:

              Thanks for the response (didn’t see it before I typed what’s above).

              On a final note, I couldn’t care less about the NRA. I am not a member, and never will be, despite the collective push from the “other side” to join.

              You’ve created a false dilemma. You don’t have to do anything to satisfy my needs. If keeping kids safe is this important to you, help the kids where you live by providing something of value that achieves your goal. I’ll do what I can to help the kids where I live. If enough people start doing that (and everything else) voluntarily, there will be no need for any group of people to point guns at others to solve problems.

              Keep on having fun.

  3. mike from iowa says:

    Please take a minute to view this from HuffPo=

    In the wake of SandyHook and every freaking day since then and every freaking day after today,WE DO NOT NEED MORE GUNS!!! We can’t seem to get one side of the equation to engage in serious talks. People that are supposed to represent all of us in Congress are scared s#$tless of the NRA. The NRA is keeping score on which members of Congress toe the NRA line.

    • mike from iowa says:

      Since this link doesn’t work,Google gun deaths since SandyHook and view the HuffPo link from there. Interesting inter-active map.

      • beth. says:

        Or, if you really want to see the HuffPo graphic(s) our mike from iowa mentioned, go to: or its TinyURL: beth.

      • Alaska Pi says:

        stats for many years show 2 gun injuries for every gun death.

        Firearm & Injury Center at Penn
        (Version 2011)
        Trauma centers, primarily located in metropolitan areas,
        disproportionately treat gunshot wounds
        and serve a critical role in managing these
        injuries, thereby improving outcomes for firearm
        injury survivors and decreasing fatalities.

        New approaches to diagnosis and management of
        wounds, including damage control and temporary shunts,
        have decreased mortality, but
        less is known about the long-term emo
        tional and sociological sequelae.

        In 2007, there were over 100,000 fatal and non-fatal in
        juries associated with firearms (Figure
        19). On average, 60% of those surviving long
        enough to be taken to emergency departments
        require hospitalization.

        Studies in the 1980’s found that the average length of hospital
        stay for firearm injuries of
        moderate severity was 10-13 days.

        A study of length of stay in an urban trauma center in
        2004 found a median length of stay of 2.5 to 3 da
        ys for patients with four or fewer gunshot

        Trauma center patients with 5 or more
        wounds or with 3 or more anatomic
        regions had a median length of stay of 8 days.

        The establishment and growth of trauma centers and
        trauma response systems may partially
        account for the decline in the nation’s homicide rate in the late 1990s.

        There is some
        evidence that a part of the downward trend seen in firearm homicide is due to expert clinical
        care provided in trauma systems

        bibliographical info and full report at :

  4. Mo says:

    Who keeps voting for these old road apples?

    And yet more evidence as to why it’s now immoral to be a Republican: covert [verbal] sniping at the SandyHook victims.

  5. JHypers says:

    The CT law is far more than what is referenced in this “article”. If you would like to verify what I cite below with the primary source document itself, please look here:

    Direct from the law:
    {My comments in brackets}

    “(2) No person, firm or corporation may sell, deliver or otherwise transfer, at retail, any semi-automatic centerfire rifle that has or accepts a magazine with a capacity exceeding five rounds to any person under twenty-one years of age…”

    {So at 18, you can vote for your favorite RepublicratDemocan who will keep appropriating more tax revenue and debt in the effort of sending men with a “semi-automatic centerfire rifle that has or accepts a magazine with a capacity exceeding five rounds” to routinely harass, arrest, imprison, torture or kill people half way around the world, who harmed no one…but you can’t go and buy that same firearm for your own defensive or recreational purposes. Three years really makes a difference.}

    “(c) On and after April 1, 2014, no person may purchase or receive any long gun unless such person holds a valid long gun eligibility certificate issued pursuant to section 2 of this act…”

    {The right to keep and bear [a .22 rifle or a .410 shotgun] is hereby infringed.}

    The NRA actually benefits from gun control laws such as this, due to people being forced to receive official training in order to get their deniable/revokable long gun permit. Nothing new, but I thought it was worth pointing out.

    “Sec. 4. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2013) (a) The fee for each long gun eligibility certificate originally issued under the provisions of section 2 of this act shall be thirty-five dollars and for each renewal thereof thirty-five dollars, which fees shall be paid to the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection…
    (b) A long gun eligibility certificate originally issued under the provisions of section 2 of this act shall expire five years after the date it becomes effective and each renewal thereof shall expire five years after the expiration date of the certificate being renewed.”

    {So, for the super low price of 35 federal reserve notes, you can buy back your natural right to own a defensive piece of property…and you won’t have to worry about paying again for 5 whole years!}

    “Sec. 16. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2013) (a) The fee for each ammunition certificate originally issued under the provisions of this section shall be thirty-five dollars and for each renewal thereof thirty-five dollars, which fees shall be paid to the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection and shall be in addition to the fee paid pursuant to subsection (b) of section 29-17a of the general statutes for conducting the national criminal history records check…”

    {But wait, there’s more! You might have bought back your right to own defensive property…but that doesn’t include the super dangerous ammunition you need for it to function! For that, you gotta cough up another $35…and guess what:}

    “(b) An ammunition certificate originally issued under the provisions of section 15 of this act shall expire five years after the date it becomes effective and each renewal thereof shall expire five years after the expiration date of the certificate being renewed.”

    {You got it. Just like the long gun permit, you gotta pony up very 5 years to stay legit.}

    “Sec. 23. (NEW) (Effective from passage) (a) As used in this section and section 24 of this act:

    (1) “Large capacity magazine” means any firearm magazine, belt, drum, feed strip or similar device that has the capacity of, or can be readily restored or converted to accept, more than ten rounds of ammunition…”

    “Oh well. CT readers (if there are any my sincere condolences) just talk to your geeky friend with a 3D printer, and download your own 30-round mags from….and if you’re under 21, download an AR lower receiver while you’re at it.}

    “(c) Except as provided in this section and section 24 of this act: (1) Any person who possesses a large capacity magazine on or after January 1, 2014, that was obtained prior to the effective date of this section shall commit an infraction and be fined not more than ninety dollars for a first offense and shall be guilty of a class D felony for any subsequent offense, and (2) any person who possesses a large capacity magazine on or after January 1, 2014, that was obtained on or after the effective date of this section shall be guilty of a class D felony.”

    {Wow. A felony conviction for a victimless crime. Liberals, what does that remind you of? (hint: it can be leafy or powdery) The assumption that carrying a piece of property with 30 rounds of ammunition in it represents the intention to commit mass murder is quite amusing when you take the time to actually ponder such an absurd concept.

    …and the kicker:}

    “Sec. 26. Section 53-202b of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

    “(a) Except as provided in section 53-202e, any person who, within this state, possesses [any] an assault weapon, except as provided in sections [29-37j,] 53-202a to 53-202k, inclusive, as amended by this act, and 53-202o, [and subsection (h) of section 53a-46a,] shall be guilty of a class D felony and shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of which one year may not be suspended or reduced…”

    {There’s more to that subsection, but I figured I should start limiting this as I think everyone reading knows where I’m going with this.

    I’m sure you’re wondering how they define “assault weapon”, and here is one example out of many:}

    “(E) Any semiautomatic firearm…that meets the following criteria:
    (i) A semiautomatic, centerfire rifle that has an ability to accept a detachable magazine and has at least one of the following:
    A forward pistol grip;”

    {So, your semi-auto rifle will be considered an evil, unmentionable assault weapon, worthy of a class D felony (or something else depending on when you got it), another victimless crime for owning property, simply for adding an ergonomic enhancement that causes no functional alteration in the operation of the firearm itself.}

    I’ll leave it at that…but I didn’t even get half-way down the page. Anyone else can look for themselves to see that this new law has far more bells and whistles in tow than what the mid-stream media (and apparently this skewed blog) care to mention….but I’m not surprised. I just thought the readers deserved a slightly more thorough examination of the details.

    Keep on having fun.

    • mike from iowa says:

      Your Mother dresses you funny.

    • Alaska Pi says:

      You are in danger of developing something akin to a cult of individual rights which focuses on internal costs, individual costs, divorced from social costs, external costs as relates to gun regulation and the like, as well as ignoring any meaningful argument about what might be construed under law as a true abridgement of the right of Americans to bear arms.
      We have a large body of law which addresses the 1st amendment freedoms and what things may be considered reasonable regulations which do not meaningfully abridge the rights of individuals to exercise those rights.
      We have not been able to have a similar set of legal conversations about the 2nd amendment in recent years nor have we been able to really study what the social costs of individual gun ownership might be said to be without getting lost in screaming from the NRA.
      There has been some study :
      and I would like to see more since we pay for a lot of this without having a clue where the bill/invoice really comes from .
      Minimal fees every 5 years has no appearance of meaningfully abridging the right to own guns by Americans, especially in light of the costs of buying guns and ammo.
      Different than what was? Yes.
      Draconian? No
      Enforceable law? Probably.
      Times are a changin…

      • JHypers says:

        Most of the silliness was intentional.

        I appreciate your willingness to at least engage with the libertarian perspective, which is not the conservative perspective, yet gets lumped into the same group in a painstaking effort to make the word “libertarian” synonymous with conservative. Adam Kokesh gave a fairly decent monologue about this recently:

        I have two question for you, personally.

        Do you recognize yourself as a free, beautiful, and independent human being with inalienable rights?
        Do you own yourself and your actions?

        The mistake liberals make (or a concept many libertarians mistakenly convey) is the false assumption that individuals are divorced from society under libertarian principle. We just want to work towards developing a society where everyone engages through voluntary interaction. Any failure on your part to envision how that might come about, is not prove of it being impossible. I would love to see a society where no guns are necessary, but until the state gives theirs up and effectively dissolves due to obsolescence, it is only logical that we keep them around, to protect ourselves.

        My solution involves no government, because that’s really what is draconian here. The mere existence of a ruling class (be it one person or 50% plus 1 of them) is the problem. Gun laws, like free speech laws, and drug laws, and marriage laws, war, all victimless crimes, legal plunder, and whatever other ones you care to list, are just symptoms.

        The specific problem I have here with “gun control” is that we have a state that just enacted a law downgrading a right (an action for which no permission may be demanded) down to a deniable privilege. Now, if you want to make the claim that we have no rights, by way of the societal operating system’s functioning I would have to agree with your conclusion. We don’t.

        • COalmostNative says:

          Remember that the Constitutional rights and Bill of Rights are not unrestricted. The most common example is First Amendment; one cannot yell”fire” in a crowded theatre, cause injuries, and not be prosecuted.

          Read the history of the Second Amendment; there were restrictions from the beginning (it was against the law to openly wear a gun in public and cause fear), as well as taxes on guns at times during our history. And the first clause that refers to a common defense came about over concerns of mounting a force quickly, as there was not standing army; a militia, in Southern terms, included possees that hunted escaped slaves.

          The right to own a gun has not been downgraded, as you claim, unless you feel it is your right to own as many weapons as you want. Your gun ownership right has to be balanced with the rights of the other members of society: those who don’t like/feel threatened by guns, the rights of the abused not to be killed… You do know that the majority of annual gun deaths are suicides and domestic violence, right?

          I went through a background check and paid a fee to obtain a teacher license; I went through a background check to get insurance, get a mortage- even rent an apartment. While it might have been cumbersome, I saw the necessity of protecting others’ rights while gaining something I wanted.

          You want to own an item, its purpose is to kill. I don’t see it as unreasonable for society to take precautions before you can.

          • JHypers says:

            Let’s revisit that yelling “fire” in a crowded theater example. The issue there was that asserting first amendment rights was simply an invalid defense for deliberately making a false statement that directly resulted in the physical harm of other human beings. This action was one that could never be permitted. The same for a person who shoots a propane tank and blows up a neighbor’s unoccupied house. You’re still guilty of destruction of property, or arson, and the 2nd Amendment has no bearing.

            I have read the history of Amendment II: there were initially more words than what made the cut. Pennsylvania even wanted hunting mentioned. It used to be against the law to open carry? Yet another double standard for the enforcement class.

            Do words no longer hold their meaning? If you have to get permission from someone else to do something, it is not a right. It baffles me how people don’t understand this.

            With the exception of the teaching license, your other background checks were through private contracts. You had a choice in those instances. The people of Connecticut no longer do for this specific action…at least not on the white market.

            • Alaska Pi says:

              “Do words no longer hold their meaning? If you have to get permission from someone else to do something, it is not a right. It baffles me how people don’t understand this.”
              This is exactly why I have chucked my notions of inalienable rights up for total review.
              The notion felt comfortable for a long time in light of occupying multiple permanent minority places and working as an advocate for acceptance of 2nd and 3rd generation civil and political rights.
              However, as with all human rationales there comes a time when full extension of the logic hits a wall . I am uncomfortable with the idea that attempts to decide what our responsibilities are, in relation to rights, are of necessity and by definition loss of said rights.
              You are mostly correct that CO’s examples don’t fully satisfy use in this context, however, they are a useful place to start in trying to figure out how to attach responsibilities to rights which is where the larger argument lies.
              Rather than question whether words retain meaning, it is likely more to the point to question whether ideas retain meaning. Some do, some don’t, many, many shift as we shift.

        • COalmostNative says:

          I just reread your post; while a pure libertarian view of society might be admirable, it isn’t reasonable or practical. In a society, even when there’s agreement on basic principles and common purposes, there will be conflicting desires and goals. Thus the need for a framework of governance and laws.

          Using your example, you feel you shouldn’t need “permission” to have guns- I don’t agree (I have valid reasons, having lived through Columbine and the violent suicide of a family member). So the compromise is you can own a reasonable gun, after a background check and paying a fee. After all, why should I, the taxpayer who doesn’t want any guns, pay for you to have one?

          • JHypers says:

            Government is force; pure and simple. The concept has been around for a very long time and it wasn’t made up by libertarians. What you are saying, essentially, is that people will NEVER be able to figure out how to organize a society by peaceful and voluntary means. I absolutely agree that conflicts will still arise, and nobody is claiming perfection will result from this, but where we differ is I see freed markets as the solution, not a coercive body with a monopoly over the use of force. The argument you are making right now, in effect, is fundamentally the same argument that was made in defense of monarchs (i.e. divine right to rule). The only differences are the precise wording, and the nuances of the overarching superstition of the necessity of a ruling class. It’s highly ironic, because while most people on here would peg me on the far right…when it comes to notions of political power and its concentration, (right being totalitarian authority) it’s difficult for me to be any further to the left. We can discuss property and markets some other time, but even these economic elements (mostly prescribed to capitalists) are not foreign to the far left in terms of being supported.

            I am confused by your last comment. How exactly did your tax dollars fund my firearm purchases? Feel free to create the flow chart.

            • COalmostNative says:

              I’ll address the tax dollars question, using my state as an example: in Colorado, a person who wanted to purchase a gun at a dealer and/or gun show submitted information for a background check, which used to cost him/her nothing- it was paid for by the state. Meaning my tax dollars- This was changed during our current legislative session, although the nominal fee does not completely cover the cost of the service.

              My personal view is, if you want to own a gun, you should pay for the background check; I’d rather have my tax dollars support public mental health services, education, infrastructure, or other areas that truly benefit the common good.

              “…where we differ I see freed markets as a the solution…” You, of course, are entitled to your opinion, but I disagree. Our current economic system is close to a freed economic market, and it has seen the greatest, growing disparity between the very rich and the working poor, and the destruction of the middle class. Almost 50 years of statistics show no correlation between tax cuts, especially for the higher incomes, and job creation.

              Although- one could argue our economic market is free only for the wealthy, and instead is skewed toward the big banks, large corporations, and very wealthy in terms of tax code. Capitalism at its finest…

              • JHypers says:

                Please see the discussion below between Pi and myself regarding capitalism.

                Here is where I will meet you in some respect. If a seller of the firearms decides they want to add a background check as a condition of the sales contract, if they agree to the transaction the buyer should pay, and no tax money should be involved. There we can agree.

                What I do not agree with, is forcing private citizens and businesses to conduct a background check…for anything. This isn’t just a gun issue in my mind. I agree with the purpose of a background check and its application in various instances, but it should be a decision that’s contractual between the product or service provider, and the buyer/applicant.

                The ownership of a piece of property by an individual (especially consumer goods) is none of society’s business. Where society does become a factor is precisely how the property is used in the future. If you live in close quarters (apartment building) and start shooting a gun out of a window into the air, then we have a problem of one individual forcing others to endure the nuisance of undesirable noise, not to mention the danger, while slim, of the projectile eventually coming back down to earth and potentially damaging others.

                My challenge to you:

                Using this situation described above, see if you can figure out a way of resolving this micro-societal problem without resorting to force or violence. No government exists in this situation. Any and all services in existence (you may create them) are peacefully and voluntarily provided through free markets. Assume the problem individual is non-violent, but does think they can use their property however they want to long as it’s not “hurting” anyone, and will make a compelling argument in its favor.

                Have at it.

        • Alaska Pi says:

          I don’t have any problem ” engaging with the libertarian perspective ”
          I’m a very far left libertarian- almost falling out of the basement in the Political Compass.
          Per your questions- I never answer any questions about freedom without hours and hours of discussion about what each of us think freedom is and while AKM is a gracious hostess this is not the time and place for that.
          As per ” recognize…inalienable rights…”- maybe not anymore. Once upon a time but maybe not now. Have been working through assumptions I had about natural law ( a status based rights view)

          as I’m increasingly uncomfortable with neoliberal economics as it relates to property rights and the every(hu)man is an island effects of our current way of looking at individual rights.
          I reject anti-statism from anyone and I reject right libertarian notions of economics pretty much completely .
          There are responsibilities attached to each right- whether we decide they flow from a status base, contractual or instrumental source.
          Right libertarian thought seems to think that that responsibility is adequately discharged by owning one’s actions. I disagree. I think we have responsibilities to our communities that include accepting reasonable adjustments to using our rights (entitlements) which do not abridge the fundamental entitlement and by and large that is the way this country has sorted out managing this stuff. Requiring a few bucks, registration, and the like does not materially affect folks’ right to own guns anymore than requiring a permit for certain types of peaceful assembly disallows folks to gather, march, whatever .

          Given all that ,I have to reject your claim that CT’s law reduced a right to a deniable privilege. It has every appearance of trying to address serious problems without putting too heavy a burden on gun owners.

          • JHypers says:

            So, if my compass bearings are correct, you’re at the bottom left hand corner?

            You and I certainly disagree on what it means to be a left libertarian. Sam Konkin took the position that operating outside the statist system through counter-economics (peaceful human action prohibited by the state) was the most realistic means of achieving market anarchy. As a result he developed Agorism, which in my continually-evolving philosophical perspective is what I currently choose to identify with.

            When I think of neoliberal economics, the first guy that pops into my head is Milton Friedman. He certainly was not a libertarian. Nor was Ayn Rand. Murray Rothbard did great work on praxeology, but his protege Konkin took his propositions to their logical conclusion…which ultimately meant from “right” libertarian (working within the status quo of partisan politics) to “left” libertarian (activist or revolutionary means from outside the power structure).

            As Noam Chomsky has referenced numerous times, during the 19th century the term libertarian used to be synonymous with socialist anarchist. I would agree with this so long as the term “socialist” could be envisioned without letting Marx screw it up. It would be analogous to capitalism and it’s triad of definitions:


            “1) an economic system that features property rights and voluntary exchanges of goods and services.
            2) an economic system that features a symbiotic relationship between big business and government.
            3) rule – of workplaces, society, and (if there is one) the state – by capitalists (i.e. a relatively small group of people who control investable wealth and the means of production)”

            I am in favor of 1, but reject 2 and 3. Being in favor of 1, while also a libertarian, means I support such a framework for all people. Thus, I see capitalism(1) as a way to achieve socialism’s goal of liberation: that freed markets promote dispersed property and decentralized wealth/capital. Without freed markets, there is a greater likelihood of accumulated wealth and eventual rule by capitalists. It’s a compelling argument for free-market anti-capitalism(2,3).

            In this context, my definition of socialism is a network of people cooperating freely and voluntarily, which naturally leads to anarchy, or the non-existence of a ruling class.

            But since you “reject anti-statism from anyone” I can’t see you going for this. Does this mean you are an “anti-socialist” if we were to use my definition? It would be nice if we could compare our personal philosophical dictionaries on these matters….but I think that discussion would have to happen elsewhere, as by now we’ve floated far above the original topic.

            • Alaska Pi says:

              Yes- way bottom left hand corner. and left libertarianism is made up of multiple schools of thought, which vary dramatically from each other.
              Agorism has some mirror images in far left libertarian thought but seems to me to differ fundamentally as regards property. I most closely identify with the Steiner-Vallentyne notions of property and recognize that comes from the strong personal influence of my Native heritage.
              Friedman occupies a place in right libertarian thought, neoliberal economics included. The monetization of human life and the replacement of human ethics with market ethics there seems to be a real and present danger not acknowledged by enough folks.
              I reject 2 and 3 and would have to discuss 1 as property rights are where I differ from most folks .
              I have lots and lots of issues with notions of what could be considered voluntary- again heavily influenced by my Native heritage.
              Would have to think more about the other stuff… yes, is beyond the issue of gun regulation at this point. Interesting.
              Still think CT appears not to have abridged its citizens’ rights to bear arms nor demoted the right to a grant of privilege…. which set me to thinking about how assumed and institutionalized privilege is so often invisible to those who have it. Whole ‘other subject and trail to wander…

    • John says:

      I appreciate the additional information about the new statute. Seems like reasonable regulation to me. Three years does make a difference, hence the different ages for driver license, voting, and drinking. Arbitrary lines, of course, but you have to draw a line somewhere unless you want to have no age restriction at all. All of our constitutional rights are subject to reasonable regulation. The courts have been saying that for years. There can be legitimate disagreement about whether the all the CT restrictions are reasonable regulation, most seem appropriate to me.

      And part of the post here was about the irony of it all. Alaska passing laws that say “State’s Rights” are supreme over the federal constitution while at the same time criticizing CT for passing a law that its representatives feel is appropraite.

  6. Pinwheel says:

    I’ll understand a Begich ‘no’ vote if this currently presented bill comes to a vote, but to vote against having a debate in the US Senate seems to be pandering to a voting block which won’t support him anyway.

    • simple mind says:

      I understand and agree with the distinction you make, but I suspect those kind of distinctions get lost in campaign rhetoric. A vote to bring this measure to the floor will be called a pro-gun control vote. That being said, my guess is that Begich truly would rather this not come up for debate and a vote. If he votes against gun control, he alienates a significant part of his base. If he votes for gun control, his already tough shot at re-election becomes immeasurably worse. Its really a no-win situation for him. I’ll bet he is lighting a candle and praying every night that this doesn’t come down to a one-vote margin.

      • TeekeeMon says:

        Background checks are certainly not gun control.

        If you pass a background check… you get to own a gun.
        If you pass a driving test… you get a license to drive a car.

        Who in hell would vote to not even have a discussion about keeping criminals from having easy access to guns.

      • John says:

        Unfortunately, Mark’s “base” is only about 30% of Alaskan voters. His remaining votes come from those who are scared *&%#@less by who ever the other side puts up to run against him. Luckily, the opposition is doing its best to find the craziest person in Alaska to be their candidate.

  7. simple mind says:

    I’m no fan of Mark Begich, but in this case his vote (as well as Pryor’s) was likely pure pragmatism. Both are very, very vulnerable Democrats trying to hang on in deep, deep Red states. Begich is looking at strong challenges from Treadwell and possibly our old friend, Joe “Jackboot” Miller. Gun control is about as popular in Alaska as the IRS and noroviruses. You could say that Begich was just voting the way the majority of his constituents would want him to vote. Or you could note, as he likely did, that the measure was going to win regardless of his vote. Why hand the Republicans yet another stone to throw at him? If we get down to a situation of win/lose based on his vote, we can talk again. Until then, its hard to blame Begich for keeping his head down.

    • John says:

      Pragmatism makes sense. But if you keep voting with the Rs to protect your re-election, at some point you might as well just change parties and be honest about it. Not sure this was the vote to do it on, but at some point he has to vote his conscious.

    • TeekeeMon says:

      Voting no on the actual bill for expanding background checks is bad enough. Voting no to even have the debate is something no Democrat should tolerate.

      I hope Alaskans soon find a suitable alternative to this dirtbag.

    • Beaglemom says:

      Wouldn’t it be wonderful if senators, instead of worrying about re-election from the day they are elected and pandering to lobbyists like the NRA, listened to their consciences as well as their constituents before they voted. The vast majority of Americans want serious gun control legislation to come out of Washington. And we want it now before there is another Sandy Hook tragedy.

  8. COalmostNative says:

    I had to have a background check for a teaching license- actually two, one when I began teaching, and fhe second to get a CO license- and pay a hefty fee. Insurance companies do background checks, banks do background checks when you apply for a mortgage… and many Republican states want de facto background checks when one either registers to vote, or votes- or both.

    But I guess that works for Red States and the NRA, because those examples don’t involve items that can kill.

    See? GOPers make perfect sense…

  9. mike from iowa says:

    Of course,all right thinkin’ rill ‘mericans know its god’s fault for makin’ people susceptible to gittin’shot multiple times. I can see how this would piss off the NRA to no end. On the other hand it kinda ‘splains rwnj position on lead in paint and drinking water,etc. That accumulation could help hide lead bullets and confuse coroners as to the cause of puny human’s demise. Then,to top it all off we have a nutjob in Texas running around a school stabbing folks with a sharp stick or something. Shoots holes in the theory that if mass killers didn’t have guns they’d use sharp sticks to kill with. Remember,sharp sticks,like guns,don’t kill people. At least not in Texas.

  10. Mo says:

    We’re right in there with Alabama and Louisiana at the top o’ the heap. Of bodies.

    States with weakest firearm laws lead in gun deaths: study

  11. Phyllis says:

    Mark Pryor of Arkansas has already been informed by me that he won’t be getting my vote in 2014 because of his stance against the civil rights of the LGBT community.

  12. Beaglemom says:

    I cannot imagine what is “draconian” about the Connecticut legislation passed in the wake of the Newtown massacre regarding gun control. I am also really sick and tired of people who are so fearful of their guns being taken away. What a fretful whiny bunch they are? Here in northern MI the requests for gun licenses are way up and so are sales of weapons and ammunition. A county sheriff from around here was on local television to say that no questions are asked about why applicants want gun licenses and that the process is intended to explain gun laws to potential gun owners, not to weed out those who should not own them. This gun mentality is so far removed from my own that I cannot believe that we live in the same country and in the same era.

  13. John says:

    The patriot act was an over reaction. TSA is an over reaction. Iraq was an over reaction. Background checks for all sales instead of just some as is the current law seems rather moderate and sensible.

  14. Alaska Pi says:

    Senator Begich- shame on you!
    Senator Dyson- oh jeez. pay attention.

    • mike from iowa says:

      Dear Ms. Pi,since there was no appropriate space to comment on yesterday’s fun,I just want you to know that I’d be happy to hang side by side with you,if us two ruffians ever get caught and brought to justice. You could,however,do much better. Individually and/or collectively,we need to keep putting our toes in danger. I raise my bottle of tap water in salute to the greatest National Treasure ever.

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