New York's New Gun Control Legislation

by: Mets102

Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 22:00:20 PM EST



New York State is on the verge of becoming the first state to pass new, and stricter, gun control legislation after last month's massacre in Newtown, CT.  It looks likely to head to a vote either today or tomorrow, with Governor Andrew Cuomo waiving the usual three-day waiting period before legislation can be voted upon.  According to the details reported in The New York Times, the legislation will:

  1. Ban any magazine that contains more than 7 rounds (current limit is 10)
  2. Expand background checks to include most private sales and ammunition sales
  3. Establish statewide handgun license database
  4. Require mental health professionals to report any individual deemed dangerous and such persons firearms license could then be revoked
  5. Mandatory sentence of life without parole for anyone convicted of killing a first responder

Explaining his support for the legislation:

Senator Jeffrey D. Klein of the Bronx, the leader of an independent faction of Democrats that has allied with the Republicans to control the Senate, said: "I think when all is said and done, we're going to pass a comprehensive gun bill today. And I think it's important, and this is an issue that shows we can work together, Democrats and Republicans."

"Republicans, it's very clear, wanted harsher criminal penalties for illegal guns, which is something I agree with," Mr. Klein added, "but on the other hand we're also going to ban assault weapons and limit the number of rounds in a magazine. So I think putting those two things together makes it a better bill."

Full text is here.

Mets102 :: New York's New Gun Control Legislation
It is important to note that not only is this the first gun control legislation to actually be passed in the wake of Newtown shooting, but that it will pass with at least some Republican support.  I cannot say for certain how many Senate Republicans will vote for the legislation, however I would imagine that many of the downstate Republicans will.  Unlike those from Upstate they represent constituencies where gun control is very popular and where if they are seen as kowtowing to the NRA they could find themselves in electoral jeopardy.

This also comes as Vice President Biden is preparing to present his findings to President Obama and the Obama Administration is preparing to begin its second term by pushing Congress to pass federal gun control legislation for the first time in nearly 20 years.  This includes 19 potential actions that President Obama can take via executive order and therefore bypass the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.  At least one House Republican has threatened impeachment should President Obama do so.  However, I don't think such articles would face good prospects in the Senate, assuming, of course, that the entire House acted upon them in the first place.

As for my view on the New York legislation and, by extension, the potential federal legislation, I believe that it's a good starting point.  Yes, there is a right established under the Second Amendment.  However, it specifically mentions a "well regulated militia."  Additionally, I don't believe the founders envisioned allowing people to arm themselves with weapons like M-16s or AK-47s or other weapons that are designed with only one purpose in mind:  to kill and injure human beings.

The fact remains that such weapons are nothing more than murderer's tools.  Many states ban burglar's tools because they only serve the purpose of committing criminal acts.  Those guns that only serve a similar purpose should be banned.  Murder is against the law.  It should be illegal to possess murderer's tools.



Update:  After passing the Senate 43-18 last night, the bill passed the Assembly 104-43 this afternoon.  It will now head to Gov. Cuomo's desk for his signature.


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Yes, I'm very proud that my state... (1.98 / 46)
will be the first to pass more stringent gun control and hope that it shows the way forward for other states and for the federal government.

I'm a Democrat.  Yellow.  New.  Progressive.  Blue.  Liberal.  Centrist.  We need them all in our big tent.

I wouldn't mind if they go further (2.00 / 21)
such that...no loopholes...increase penalties for using a gun in a crime...and make all guns fall under the licensing arrangements and make it an annual renewal and a 5-year in person testing. Like cars...since so many people like to push the concept that 'Cars kill people, why not ban all cars!!! ::droool::"

Just curious, it seems that the NRA is quite adamant about pushing for greater access to mental health care. They most certainly don't care and don't want to pay for it, but it is what they're pushing to avoid talking about any type of gun control at all.

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." - Albert Einstein

Wouldn't it seem that allowing assault weapons and hi-capacity magazines, that have been continually used in gun massacres, would fit that description?

i.e. If you can still support allowing military assault weapons in the hands of civilians, aren't you repeating the same thing over and over again? Isn't that Einstein's definition of insanity? And, if a person that supports those military-style weapons can be deemed "insane", should they be allowed to own firearms per the direction of one Wayne LaPierre, the head of the NRA? Well?

Two things:

1) Deterrence: The idea of getting more and more fire power to deter others, including a Government with stealth bombers, tanks, etc..., only works if the other side is sane. e.g. Many people don't want rogue nations to get nuclear weapons. So, we work to restrict their ability to get those weapons. Now, if you drop that back down to reducing massacres by banning certain types of military weaponry, nationwide, wouldn't that reduce the number of these events? It wouldn't stop them all, certainly, but one? Is that enough reason to take these weapons out of circulation? Because, unless you want to put a squad of fully-armed soldiers at every possible target in America, you won't stop these events with more guns.

2) Bad apples. We have laws. Most of the laws we have relate to the least common denominator. If you apply that principle to gun laws, you have a situation where responsible gun owners have worked against responsible gun laws. So much so that now the pendulum swings back to force them to make up for the sins of the few. So it has always been. People don't like restrictions. I get that. But that's why we call it a society. You want a Libertarian utopia...pack up your manhood-supplanting arsenal and move to Somalia. I'm sure they'd love to have ya...


[ Parent ]
"people need greater access to mental health care" (2.00 / 22)
It is too bad folks tossed that to the NRA like a life preserver. They latched on to that as The Answer to the question of "What do we do about mass murders?" completely ignoring the Bushmaster in the murderer's hands. Insane+guns might be the cause of 90% of these cases but Insane+noguns doesn't often result in the deaths of 20 1st graders.

And, Hedwig, if folks really need weapons to "protect us from our country's enemies" why aren't nuclear devices available to everyone?  

Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.


[ Parent ]
On the mental health diversion (2.00 / 22)
I wrote about this a few days after Newtown. Apart from the fallacy that mental health problems are anything to do with gun crime, I'm pretty sure the turn was spun:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/a...

In what must count as one of the most successful campaigns in U.S. history, the NRA has managed to reduce support for gun control in the U.S. by 50 per cent in the last 20 years. One of its key lines of argument throughout that time has been that, "It's not guns that kill people, but people who kill people." On Friday the NRA's Facebook page was taken down, and its Twitter feed went silent, and the organization seemed to have no response to the mounting calls for gun control in the wake of the most recent tragedy.

According to Mark Borkowski, a British PR titan with extensive knowledge of crisis-management campaigns, "anybody in this territory is equipped to deal with extreme events like this, and defend against or capitalize on them depending on what happens." "The key thing is to sow doubt," Borkowski told The Daily Beast. "Doubt is a product, and you have sleepers and advocates who are well briefed to construct a counter-narrative in times of crisis."

There is no evidence that the NRA or any of its lobbying arms has been involved in any kind of crisis management in the last few days. However, opponents of gun control are now using a variant of the old NRA adage, "It's not guns who kill people, but mentally disturbed people who killed people." In doing so they are perpetuating what is effectively a slur against millions of Americans who suffer from mental illness, and stigmatizing a group who already suffer enough.




The p***artist formerly known as 'Brit'

[ Parent ]
"diversion". Thank you!! (1.95 / 22)
I was struggling for the right word and that is exactly what it is.

"Hey look over here at this crazy person shooting at children!!".

The week of Newtown, there was a story of an angry person in China going after some people with a knife and the death toll was 0.

And you are right, of course, it is a terrible slur to people struggling with mental illness and their families. I flinched every time I heard "Why didn't the mother get help for her son?" It is not as easy as it sounds.

Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.


[ Parent ]
Saw a meme (2.00 / 22)
with the idea that Obama has men with guns protecting him...

But yeah...a great comment pointed out that also did Kennedy, Lincoln...not too mention the attempts...

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

So yeah, everyone walking around with a gun isn't going to stop all of these...neither will gun control legislation...but if it stops one...and one parent doesn't have to bury a 1st grader...then maybe target practice might be a bit less fun...or maybe a bit more inconvenient.

Live with it.  

I know the NRA pushed the mental health issue (and video games and movies...since other countries don't have violent movies or video games or crazy people...oh wait) but since Reagan tossed so many...and now we have two wars that will bring about a lot of homeless vets...who need mental health care...

I looked at Newtown as a terrible tragedy. And it always will be seen as such. But maybe...it will mean that people hug their kids a little tighter...that neighbors keep an eye on the kids in the neighborhood...and that the legislation from brave politicians (Yeah, I still have hope, sue me) can mean that the lives of 26 souls in CT may just mean saving 1,000s of people a year.

If we don't make that happen, who are we to claim any moral authority...on anything.

Benjamin Wheeler's dad was one of the family members at the press conference yesterday. To let them speak and to mark the one month date since the massacre.

He asked a simple question, "What is worth doing?" What is worth doing to protect our children. If we can't protect them, then we are nothing. Nothing.

http://photos.newhavenregister...

http://www.countytimes.com/art...


[ Parent ]
So who has released the latest "Target Practice" app? (2.00 / 17)
The NRA...
In their words:
A description on the iTunes store says the free app "instills safe and responsible ownership through fun challenges and realistic simulations. It strikes the right balance of gaming and safety education, allowing you to enjoy the most authentic experience possible."

And, of course, since all apps have to be rated for their audience.  The NRA decided that their app was appropriate for all people, aged 4 (that's correct four year olds) and up!

Source:http://blog.sfgate.com/sfmoms/2013/01/15/nras-new-target-shooting-app-for-gun-enthusiasts-age-4-and-over/

The article includes a great quote from someone on iTunes:

"Is this some kind of sick joke? The NRA complains about violent games and then releases one a week later. Sure you're not shooting at humans but does it really matter? ... I hope this gets pulled off the App Store."


[ Parent ]
Tone deaf (2.00 / 15)
doesn't come close to describing the gun nuts.

[ Parent ]
parents.... (2.00 / 19)
The interview on Rachael Maddow last night was heartbreaking...."Mama you said you would keep us safe"
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26...

If we don't make that happen, who are we to claim any moral authority...on anything.

Benjamin Wheeler's dad was one of the family members at the press conference yesterday. To let them speak and to mark the one month date since the massacre.

He asked a simple question, "What is worth doing?" What is worth doing to protect our children. If we can't protect them, then we are nothing. Nothing.

Thank you Hedwig.

Love is the lasting legacy of our lives


[ Parent ]
I'm entertained (2.00 / 6)
by the number of people saying "New York, the Unconstitutional State"

I'm not sure where any of this takes away the right to bear arms? What are these people going to do when it turns out no one is looking to take their guns away?  


[ Parent ]
easy (2.00 / 6)
What are these people going to do when it turns out no one is looking to take their guns away?

what they always do:  freak out about someone looking to take their guns away.  that's the absurd beauty of their CT:  if it hasn't happened, it's only because it's about too.  self-perpetuating fear.

Earth is the best vacation place for advanced clowns. --Gary Busey
 


[ Parent ]
Thanks for breaking it down, Mets. (1.97 / 29)
It's a decent start.  

That is a good start. (2.00 / 28)
I really think the NRA is, on the national level, on the losing end of this. They didn't have to be - they could have aligned themselves as a tough negotiator - but they have gone completely off the edge compared to public opinion.

Rep Gifford's husband on CNN tonight quoted a stat of 75% of NRA members being in favor of universal registration. That doesn't surprise me, but apparently LaPierre would be shocked (if he cares what his membership things, which I doubt).

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


Before the crazies and the gun industry... (2.00 / 28)
took over the NRA it tended to favor common sense measures because they realized that keeping dangerous guns off the street and out of the hands of criminals was a good thing.  Then we got "from my cold dead hands" and the GOP afraid to do anything and the mass shootings are made easier by that.  Hopefully this represents the turning of that tide.  I also hope that there will be fallout if the House GOP opposes expanded background checks and ammunition limits, as there is broad popular support for those measures.

I'm a Democrat.  Yellow.  New.  Progressive.  Blue.  Liberal.  Centrist.  We need them all in our big tent.

[ Parent ]
Does New York have an assault weapons ban? (2.00 / 20)


"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

Also would like to see mandatory firearms training. (2.00 / 20)


"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

[ Parent ]
We already have an assault weapons ban... (2.00 / 23)
and we're further strengthening it.  The modification loophole is being closed and assault weapons that are grandfathered in have to be registered.

I'm a Democrat.  Yellow.  New.  Progressive.  Blue.  Liberal.  Centrist.  We need them all in our big tent.

[ Parent ]
i hope this works in all of the possible states (2.00 / 22)
it won't happen in utah :-(((((

thanks for the diary Mets (2.00 / 22)
:-) good to read you here.

Painting seems like some kind of peculiar miracle that I need to have again and again. -Philip Guston

Thanks for the update (2.00 / 21)
It seems like decades since any sensible gun control laws were passed.

Ah. It has been! Be very interested to see what Biden's proposals are.

The p***artist formerly known as 'Brit'


The problem with state legislation, of course, (2.00 / 20)
is that it's easy to go to another state, buy guns and bring them back.

Nevertheless, I think this is a good start, and will help. Even people who violate this law by importing guns will probably be more careful with them then they would have otherwise.  

"Most people worry about their own bellies and other people's souls when we all ought to worry about our own souls and others' bellies" Israel Salanter


Hey Kestrel! (1.60 / 5)
Been a while, nice to see you!

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
Those look like sensible regulations (2.00 / 22)
I get a little nervous about reporting people with mental health issues because "dangerous" is a subjective judgment. Dangerous to themselves or others? Makes me itchy.

I am going to guess that this one was inserted by the Republicans:

Mandatory sentence of life without parole for anyone convicted of killing a first responder

People who are murdering first responders are not going to be deterred by the possibility of a life sentence. Republicans have this thing about "deterrence" as evidenced by their support for the death penalty because it deters killings. Nonsense. Most murders are committed in the heat of anger and angry people don't stop and think about the penalties. And mass murderers who value life so little that they would wipe it out in an instant don't care about their own lives either.

What do they think the court challenges will be, Mets102? I know that the Supreme Court has said that there can be some regulations on gun ownership and use but will these past muster?

Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.


In addition, they appear to have inserted a provision (2.00 / 14)
which would restrict the public access to gun permit information that recently resulted in the Journal News' publication of a map of handgun permits in Westchester and Rockland counties.

I am for the individual over government, government over big business and the environment over all. -- William O. Douglas

[ Parent ]
Not surprising. (2.00 / 15)
Republicans don't like accountability. I recall that getting Senators to post their financial disclosures online was like pulling teeth. The Prop 8 proponents wanted to remain anonymous so that they could do their hating without anyone calling them out.

In Wisconsin, sex offenders have to register in an online database so that people can know when they are living in their neighborhoods near their small children. I guess if a guy had an Armageddon arsenal in his basement, I would like to know that also.

The Tiahrt Amendments which block the federal government from gathering information about firearm related injuries and deaths are another example:

POSITION: The Brady Campaign supports the repeal of the Tiahrt (TEE-art) Amendment that hides from the public valuable crime gun information and hinders law enforcement.

PROBLEM: The Tiahrt Amendment severely limits the authority of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to disclose crime gun trace data to the public. It also codifies the Bush Administration policy to destroy certain criminal background check records after only 24 hours. Finally, it bars the ATF from implementing its proposed regulation requiring gun dealers to conduct annual inventory audits to address the problem of guns "disappearing" from gun shops with no record of sales.

THREAT: The Tiahrt Amendment hides from researchers, press, politicians and the public valuable information on crime guns that has been used to identify the sources of illegal guns, as well as to establish the effectiveness of policies to prevent illegal guns. The Tiahrt Amendment makes law enforcement's job more difficult by requiring background checks to be destroyed in 24 hours and by barring annual inventory audits by gun shops.

How can anyone make a case to the American public for sensible gun controls if they are not allowed to gather statistics?


Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.


[ Parent ]
And similarly, just how afraid of the statistics... (2.00 / 16)
are opponents of gun control?  I would imagine that the statistics would bear out that gun control can be quite effective.

I'm a Democrat.  Yellow.  New.  Progressive.  Blue.  Liberal.  Centrist.  We need them all in our big tent.

[ Parent ]
Just like when the automakers blocked gathering accident (2.00 / 15)
statistics ... they know darn well what the statistics will say. For years, people have wanted a few changes in handguns which made it more difficult for them to be fired accidentally, things that would add to the cost of the gun. If the statistics, for example, were to show that 70% of the deaths of small children playing with handguns could have been avoided with a trigger lock, it would be a lot harder for the gunmakers to insist that adding them would not cut down accidental gun deaths.

Energy-absorbing steering columns, mandatory since 1968, "prevent 1,300 fatalities and 23,000 nonfatal injuries requiring hospitalization" each year.

Who could have known? Well, the automakers did but they did not want the NHTSA to know because safety adds cost.



Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.


[ Parent ]
Thiart Amendment - most likely bought and paid for by the NRA. n/t (2.00 / 4)


Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.
                       - Bertolt Brecht


[ Parent ]
I would like to hear the arguments in favor of Thiart, (2.00 / 4)
so I could tear them to shreds.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
Actually, I found the perfect link for you: (2.00 / 2)
Very recent, too - from January 15, 2013

The NRA tells us why the Thiart Amendment is a good thing

The "Tiahrt Amendment" on Firearms Traces: Protecting Gun Owners' Privacy and Law Enforcement Safety


Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.
                       - Bertolt Brecht


[ Parent ]
Gack. (2.00 / 2)
The NRA just doesn't know how to have a civil debate.

Every chance they get they throw around terms like "anti-gun" (which apparently is the same as "cities", fer god's sake). Every argument is made with a conflated emphasis on the NRA's concern and denigration of anyone who does not agree with them.

Makes me wish there was a Master Fail Button on the Intertoobs.

The NRA leadership is not an honest partner to be trusted. I would never do business, break bread or chat at a coffee shop with folks so unable to contemplate reasonable discourse.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


[ Parent ]
Is it any surprise they are inciting the ignorant, the clueless (2.00 / 1)
with their vile lies? They don't care about people, only about profit. Humanity? What's that? They left it behind long ago. I weep for my country.

Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.
                       - Bertolt Brecht


[ Parent ]
I'm sure there were some in the GOP that pushed... (2.00 / 15)
for the option of the death penalty in such cases, however, the governor, like his father, is anti-death penalty and such a provision would have been a bill-killer.

As for the court challenges, these are similar to laws that, as far as I know, have been upheld (in the case of the assault weapons ban) and involve regulation rather than restriction.  Additionally, even Scalia made clear that there are certain instances where gun ownership can be restricted (for example those that are deemed dangerous by virtue of mental illness or convicted felons).  Finally, for those that believe the Court is immune to the political passions of the day, I suggest reading this.

I'm a Democrat.  Yellow.  New.  Progressive.  Blue.  Liberal.  Centrist.  We need them all in our big tent.


[ Parent ]
I agree, I'm not thrilled about (2.00 / 10)
some of that language.  I think we should definitely be improving mental health facilities and resources for those who need it, but the subjectivity of reporting individuals "deemed dangerous" makes me leery.  

Likewise, the Mandatory Life Without Parole for anyone who kills a first responder - is that under any circumstance? I'm thinking like car accidents where a driver is deemed at fault that result in the death of a first responder, that sort of situation.  Or is it only for cases where someone lures first responders out in order to kill them (as happened with the fire in NY recently?)


[ Parent ]
Just checked over the language... (2.00 / 16)
and it's only for Murder One (in NY most murders, including pre-meditated ones, are Murder Two — Murder One requires specific factors beyond that) and for aggravated murder:

Several sections of the bill create new and enhanced penalties for
illegal gun use. Sections 33 through 36, known as "Mark's Law," will
include the intentional murder of certain first responders in the
Class A-1 felonies of murder in the first degree and
aggravated murder. The mandatory penalty for a conviction of
aggravated murder is life without parole.


I'm a Democrat.  Yellow.  New.  Progressive.  Blue.  Liberal.  Centrist.  We need them all in our big tent.

[ Parent ]
ah, that's better then. Thanks for digging it up. /eom (2.00 / 6)


[ Parent ]
Thanks, Mets, for sharing this. (2.00 / 26)
I agree that it is a good start, and hopefully more states will adopt some of these restrictions and policies.

I just read an article at the Atlantic the other day that had a bunch of statistics comparing homicides, suicides, and overall deaths by gun in major metro areas that I thought was very interesting. http://www.theatlanticcities.c...

One thing they found, no surprise,

The rate of gun deaths is negatively correlated with states that ban assault weapons, require trigger locks, and mandate safe storage requirements for guns.

I guess I just don't understand why this is so complicated, when the answers seem so easy.

Shake it like a Polaroid picture.


Thanks Mets (2.00 / 20)
Glad to see my old home is working on the guns.
My personal opinion tracks with Colin Powell and Stanley McChrystal.
A .223 round fired at 3000 ft/sec from a semi-automatic is designed for one thing and one thing only-Inflicting the maximum amount of damage on the human body.
I get it- I've fired a weapon on full automatic- it's a rush when you're shooting at a target. But there is no need for these weapons in the hands of the average citizen.

That over under shotgun will protect your home from an invader in a rural area.No one needs an asualt weapon.

" Intolerance betrays want of faith in one's cause. Mohandas Gandhi "


Are the banned magazines referring to selling them (2.00 / 14)
or owning them?

Does anyone even make a 7 round magazine....yet?


Not 100% sure, but based on the fact that there are grandfather provisions... (2.00 / 15)
I'm guessing that the ban is going forward and that previously acquired 10-round magazines are legal.  As for the 7-round magazines, I guess someone will have to start making them if they don't already do so.

I'm a Democrat.  Yellow.  New.  Progressive.  Blue.  Liberal.  Centrist.  We need them all in our big tent.

[ Parent ]
Interesting reaction by the NRA, Mets102. (2.00 / 18)
NRA: Cuomo Trying To 'Steal The Thunder' From Obama
Cuomo seized the opportunity to exploit tragedy and put his own personal politics ahead of sound public policy.  New York, with some of the strictest gun control laws in the country, is on the verge of enacting even more onerous laws on the backs of gun owners.  In fact, according to the Brady Campaign's national ranking of state gun control laws, New York is the fourth "best" (most restrictive) in the nation BEFORE this legislation is enacted.  Instead of preventing crime and punishing criminals, S.2230 focuses only on law-abiding gun owners and will do nothing to address public safety or crime.

I am going to guess this (not very well written) diatribe has more to do with the NRA's perception that they will do better nationally in stopping any sort of meaningful action and how this changes the conversation than their "concern" over Gov. Cuomo stealing the White House's thunder.

Can anyone explain how one "enact[s] onerous laws on the backs of gun owners"?

Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.


It passed the NY Senate 43-18... (2.00 / 20)
That means there were at least 11 Republicans that voted for it (the chamber is 32-31 Democratic, but several of those Democrats have their own conference and organize the chamber with the GOP).  I think that's what's freaking the NRA out the most.  Remember, Republicans are dependent upon the suburbs for their majorities in many places and the NY Senate is no different.  It is instructive to look at the fact that Dean Skelos, the Senate GOP leader, who is from the NYC suburbs (Long Island), voted for the bill.

I'm a Democrat.  Yellow.  New.  Progressive.  Blue.  Liberal.  Centrist.  We need them all in our big tent.

[ Parent ]
Skelos also knows that the Independent Democratic (2.00 / 12)
Caucus might just walk on this issue, and then he would be Minority Leader.

I am for the individual over government, government over big business and the environment over all. -- William O. Douglas

[ Parent ]
That certainly helps as well... (2.00 / 13)
Because, after all, they mostly sit in overwhelmingly Democratic districts and still have to win the Democratic nomination if they want to stay in the Senate.  Also, I think Skelos is aware that they could lose key seats in Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester if they side with the NRA.  Those areas are already trending blue federally and locally and this would be just the type of nudge they would need to get rid of their GOP senators and complete the transition.

I'm a Democrat.  Yellow.  New.  Progressive.  Blue.  Liberal.  Centrist.  We need them all in our big tent.

[ Parent ]
Anyway, my point was that right off the bat I don't see anything (2.00 / 8)
in the NY law that couldn't sail right through part three of the Heller decision unscathed. DC's ban was held to be over the top. I don't see that NY's "conditions and qualifications" are.

You might think I'm nuts (2.00 / 1)
but I ain't THIS bad :)



FWIW (2.00 / 8)
I'm sorry about the whole kerfuffle up-thread, especially since I wasn't around to dialogue with you which may have helped diffuse things.  The dangers of posting from work, I suppose.  My original comment was meant to be more light-hearted; we have a lot of joking banter about serious issues where I work, and I posted the taglines in that spirit (our email taglines are limited to 70 characters, not exactly the length for meaningful debate).  I've posted a more in-depth reply up-thread.  

[ Parent ]
Now that's the way to do it (2.00 / 7)


The p***artist formerly known as 'Brit'

[ Parent ]
Dare I say this out loud? (2.00 / 12)
Even constitutional amendments aren't sacrosanct. Remember prohibition?

"Do your little bit of good where you are; it is those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world." ~ Desmond Tutu

There's quite a few things (2.00 / 14)
I'd like to see changed in the constitution.  "Corporations aren't Natural Persons", and "Money is Not Speech", for a start.  "Equal Rights for ALL people regardless of race, religion, gender identity, or sexual preference." is another.
I'd like to see the 4th amendment updated for modern times (no, you can't read our email without a warrant, thank you).  The right of all people to have a job, and to be supported if they are unable to work.  The right of all people to a free education.  The right of all people to healthCARE (frack insurance).  And yes, I think we could revisit the 2nd Amendment, in light of the founders' original intent and considering that we have a military for the country's defense.  

The big problem though is really the Supreme Court.  They took on themselves the power to throw out laws they deem unconstitutional, which makes amending the constitution no sure thing for guaranteeing our rights.  That's a whole 'nother rant for another day though.  :-)


[ Parent ]
I wish I could double-Fierce your comment! n/t (2.00 / 11)


"Do your little bit of good where you are; it is those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world." ~ Desmond Tutu

[ Parent ]
Attention: (1.97 / 29)
As most are aware, there has been some Moderation intervention in this thread. We feel it important to make a couple of things clear while the opportunity is fresh.

Motley Moose does not abide by "HOS" for any user. Users are to be judged by their diary and comment history here on the Moose only. Trust Moderation to deal with all users accordingly and fairly.

Additionally, threats of leaving and/or requests of self-banning/account deletion will do nothing to affect the judgment of Moderation. If someone wants to leave the Moose, at any time for any given reason, that is their prerogative and will have no bearing on how the Moose is managed.

One is allowed to disagree with others on any topic here, but if one cannot do so civilly and act in good faith, s/he will not be doing it on The Moose.

As a reminder to everyone, please read the Posting Guidelines. They are straightforward and clear. If, however, you have any unanswered questions about how to interact/behave in a particular situation, please email The Moose explaining the problem, and you will be answered in a timely fashion by Moderation.

Thank you.

- Motley Moose Moderation


May I make one OT comment? (2.00 / 25)
It's a refreshing delight to witness good site moderation at work. I'm sure it's a time-suck for all who do it, so I'd like to say thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

"Do your little bit of good where you are; it is those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world." ~ Desmond Tutu

[ Parent ]
An unfortunate comment (2.00 / 2)
Additionally, threats of leaving and/or requests of self-banning/account deletion will do nothing to affect the judgment of Moderation. If someone wants to leave the Moose, at any time for any given reason, that is their prerogative and will have no bearing on how the Moose is managed.

If someone is being bullied and verbally abused, and threatens or does choose to leave as a result, you should indeed care and hopefully make adjustments in a way that makes people feel like this is a comfortable and safe place for them.


[ Parent ]
If it wasn't clear.... (2.00 / 7)
That is precisely what happened in this thread. We are a community and as such, it is up to all of us to stand up to this type of behaviour.

"I spend my days and nights pondering the meaning of life, the state of the universe, and the Home Shopping Network." -- Donald Roller Wilson

[ Parent ]
I agree (2.00 / 2)
that is what happened in this thread. I saw much latitude and slack given to the offender, very polite requests to change behavior, and despite that, the offender seemed to double down on the bad behavior and it appears was banned/suspended. I'm satisfied with that. I guess my point is the actions don't match the words above. Thats all.

[ Parent ]
I don't think I quite... (2.00 / 6)
Follow... But I assume you are alluding to how others were reacting to what went down. All I can say this, since every moose is part of the moderation here - as we continue to grow it is the key to keeping true to the ideals of our community. The comment above is simply stating that no decision about moderation will be made summarily.

"I spend my days and nights pondering the meaning of life, the state of the universe, and the Home Shopping Network." -- Donald Roller Wilson

[ Parent ]
It is important to understand that formal moderation is not in all cases realtime. (2.00 / 6)
This event unfolded while I, as one mod, was not around (or even conscious). By the time I looked there was more email on the topic than there were comments in the thread, as the moderation team convened and weighed the situation. As you note, in the end fairly firm steps were taken.

Other than the time-lag between the beginning of the argument and the resolution, I am unclear as to how the actions of the moderation team failed to align with the intent noted.

Similar to the topic this thread is embedded in, neither in the physical or virtual world is realtime protection achievable without loss of the freedom to act as individuals. Fires will burn, crimes will be committed, arguments will unfold more quickly than First Responders can organize and act. These are the risks we all accept as part of drawing breath.

While none of us - myself most emphatically included - will always be able to choose wisely in the heat of conversation, we trust that each will on average choose well most of the time. Most of the time situations can be managed reasonably inasmuch as participants on average resist the urge to flinch-respond to provocative statements. Much of the remaining discoursial (is that a word?) risk can be mitigated inasmuch as others not directly involved are able to provide thoughtful commentary of their own. The residual risk is what cannot be removed without eliminating the value of open debate entirely, and will always remain in the hands of the individuals involved to manage.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


[ Parent ]
Your comment seems almost to imply (2.00 / 6)
that we do not live in an ideal world.

[ Parent ]
Imperfect? By some definitions, but (2.00 / 3)
actually, I think the world is ideal just as it is.

The Movie Michael and other bits of fiction speak to my point better than I will. But the Perfect World imho is the one we live in. The perfect world of our imaginings lacks all the grit that gives meaning to our existence.

As kids we look forward to the day when we will be free from uncertainty and finally have control. As adults we come to peace with life - if we ever do - when we realize we really don't want that at all.

Life is always hard and never gets easy, and I wouldn't have it any other way. :~)

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


[ Parent ]
The world is what it is. (2.00 / 5)
Not perhaps what I would have designed, but for some reason I was not consulted. In any case reality is overrated.

The day we stop imagining something better though, we might as well just die. I think more than anything now we suffer from an impoverishment of imagination.  


[ Parent ]
You've got some poetry in your soul, (2.00 / 4)
you do know that, eh?

:~)

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


[ Parent ]
We don't live in an ideal world (2.00 / 4)
Part of this is my problem. I have an exceptionally raw nerve when it comes to bullies and abuse and I react accordingly. I tend to rush to defend the victim faster than most and probably more than is required.

[ Parent ]
Well... (2.00 / 4)
I wouldn't exactly call 'rushing to the defense' a problem.

That's a good thing.  :)

Earth is the best vacation place for advanced clowns. --Gary Busey
 


[ Parent ]
My history with it resulted in an opposite response, (2.00 / 3)
sometimes misinterpreted as coldness.

In fiction I find resonance with the lead character in Ender's Game. While I would not want to overstate my childhood experience as a victim - I am under no illusion that others have not had much worse - the particular level of ongoing helplessness in my own early life is well represented in that story. Being unable to find an immediate response that would suffice, in the end I trended to a much more preparatory approach.

I try to choose my battles carefully, and show up outrageously well prepared.

One of my favorite quotes (to reflect one of the more enjoyable recent thread here) is from a one-man play about the life of WWI ace Billy Bishop. It is framed as advice given to him by a haughty British dowager who takes him under her wing, and has always been a touch-point for me:

When you fight
Stay as calm as the ocean
And watch what's going on behind your shoulder!

Remember: "War's not the place for deep emotion"
And you might get to be
A little older.

Going down that road presents other risks, a loss of trust and faith in others being one of them. Fortunately, I like to believe, that risk as well has been one I have been aware of all along and I have managed to maintain my belief in others.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


[ Parent ]
Good lord, they made a movie. (2.00 / 1)
Looks good, too.

and not available for streaming on NetFlix...



John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


[ Parent ]
I understand your point, but that isn't what the quote means. (2.00 / 9)
The situation that leads to such a statement, the context, of course matters. That context is always the whole point.

While it may be that it is difficult to put in exact words without being contentious, at the same time I think the intent is easy to understand.

Thoughtful moderation (or thoughtful anything) cannot be shaped by reaction to emotion itself. The reason an emotive outburst occurs is what can be addressed, responding to the content of an outburst much less commonly so.

If anyone wants to leave anything, of course they can and that is always their choice. A demand followed by a threat of departure cannot be the primary driver for contemplative decisions, the context that led to that demand can.

We all understand that bullying and verbal abuse is not tolerable. There is no contention about the requirement to address any such behavior. The context of events which are perceived as such is, however, a more complex topic to consider.

Anyone choosing to attempt to foster environments which both allow for passionate and adult conversation while also providing reasonable limits is faced with owning responsibility for making decisions as to how to achieve that end. That responsibility carries a weight of diligence that does not rest easy, and is not a reliable path to popularity.

What is necessary both among participants in discourse as well as those who would foster such discourse is a continued awareness of good intent by all parties. The Moose moderation team takes the emotional well-being of participants in conversation here very seriously. In executing our responsibility to do what is possible to protect our membership we accept that responsibility. While our success or failure in that effort cannot be shirked, we would only hope that our membership accept the positive intent on the part of the moderation team which we believe our membership shares.  

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


[ Parent ]
'zactly (2.00 / 7)


Earth is the best vacation place for advanced clowns. --Gary Busey
 


[ Parent ]
thanks for the thoughtful reply (2.00 / 7)
I don't believe Hedwig made any demand. I see Hedwig as a refugee from bullying and verbal abuse and came here. And when confronted with the same bad behavior, made the same choice to leave again. I believe many of your new members fall into that same refugee category. Its a moot point now because it seems action was taken and Hedwig is still here. So, I'm happy about that.  

[ Parent ]
Thanks, I try (and on rare occasions, succeed. ;~) (2.00 / 7)
It should be noted that the elder Moosen were pleased with the attempts at fire-damage-reduction on behalf of the newer Mooses. I am very pleased with the nature of the folks who have joined our little klatch most recently, being both a pleasant enough bunch as well as not being anyone's doormat.

Folks like yourself who bridge the space between us old farts and these crazy kids are a crucial part of maintaining the culture we so boldly (and requisitely: foolishly) have endeavored to build.


John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


[ Parent ]
Precisely. (2.00 / 2)
I wasn't going P/A. Not sure I know how to do that. I'm Presbyterian. :-) But seeing the same sort of behavior and assuming that Brit was a Mod...and the way it played out. I was pretty annoyed. The reason I stuck around the GOS was I kept hoping that 'progressives' would play fair. That they at least played by their own rules. When one calls another dimbulb and then lies about it...and it's accepted with no review...things like that can make you a bit skeptical when you see what Eddie was doing in here. I see now that this is very rare and I hope I can contribute here in the future more than trying to stave off another pie fight...and adding to it...in the future.

Glad to see that moderation does work here, in this instance at least. Other joints 4-5 people would have been tossed out with the bath water. :-)

See ya around.


[ Parent ]
Ah, a gun debate! (2.00 / 12)
I napped through the excitement above, so let me toss my comment on it here.

The gun debates I have been involved in are rarely smooth. The topic is highly emotional, and good folks get pie-flingy all the bloody time.

While I missed all the conversation about moderation of the discussion I generally agree(ish) with the conclusions. Some folks got entirely out of hand, either in instigation or response. But, at the same time, anyone debating guns and expecting to avoid that completely isn't being entirely realistic.

Enough has been said about who flung poo at who ("whom"?), so I will leave that lay. For my part I trolled through the comments (see what I did, there? ;~) and rated a range of comments, so let my comments on comments be my, um, comment.

I wrote this in a comment thread at some point and another admin chose to add it to the Posting Guidelines.

I fierce most everything most of the time, just to mark that I've been there and encourage folks to talk. Meh is more recent, and usually humorous, but imo it has the real use for disagreement. Fail is forrealz use among Moose a bit of a nuclear option, but if the discussion has gotten that heated then a little bit of fail is probably appropriate (I've been failed by Moose I love, and that's cool).

The only thing that would really tip over the trashcan would be for someone to say [sic]"you hate (teh gays/poor people/men/women/dogs/fish) and want everyone to die!!!!! aaahhh!!!" - or words to that effect. Simply "I don't mehgree with you" or "sorry, but you are being a complete jerkfail about this" isn't more than we all risk for talking about tough stuff with friends.

In this thread I have fierced some, meh'ed some, failed a few and left some unrated. Some, including other mods, may disagree with my ratings but that's the way it's meant to work: things average out.

I don't think getting a "Fail" rating should be cause to upset anyone intrinsically. As above, it can be an outright "you be breaking rules", but it can also be "I really fucking disagree": it isn't the same as "you are a jerk". If anyone was an actual jerk they wouldn't be here at all (see the recent not-here-any-longer event in another thread).

We all know gun debates are about as likely to get nasty as it is possible to be in a conversation. I never get into any of them if I am not in the mood to get a stick in the eye from someone. Even someplace like this where folks are going to tend to be on the same side, things are very likely to get, er, "rather warm inside". Take part, avoid-like-plague, but don't expect it to be just like other conversations.

Overboard moments aside, I for one appreciate everyone's fools-rush-in choice to spend some time on topic. We can expect to have a lot of these conversations as we work through the gun issue this year across the nation. Everyone involved here can be proud of at least speaking their piece, unlike some NRA presidents named LaPierre whose names I won't mention... ;~)

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


Chris! (2.00 / 14)
 I think people are free to rate comments as they choose though I tend to agree/adhere with the way in which you choose to view and dole out ratings.

That said, while this topic (or many others) may be emotional for some, we created the moose with a very clear philosophy on behaviour in discussion. Sadly, this line was crossed, again and again in this thread, even after a bunch of folks tried to redirect things.

Though I think the moderation soul searching is charming, it's unnecessary. If people can't play nice, nay politely, they shouldn't be here.

"I spend my days and nights pondering the meaning of life, the state of the universe, and the Home Shopping Network." -- Donald Roller Wilson


[ Parent ]
Scratch that... (2.00 / 13)
Won't be here : )

"I spend my days and nights pondering the meaning of life, the state of the universe, and the Home Shopping Network." -- Donald Roller Wilson

[ Parent ]
Good points Chris (2.00 / 10)
What on other sites is called 'ratings abuse' is not such a big deal here. There isn't some kind of superstar hierarchy of 'mojo', or instant banning for a number of hidden comments, so I completely concur with your ratings. Some of Kestrel's comments deserved an uprate.

Just so it's clear in terms of transparency for other Moozog: after a Moose Moot the user in question has been suspended indefinitely for multiple personal attacks and - most egregiously - bringing conflicts from other sites and relitigating here. This was done despite several warnings.

An email was sent out explaining the temporary suspension. The response was another personalised attack on both the Moose and its users through another 'sockpuppet' account. This does not bode well for any kind of reinstatement.

I for one often valued Kestrel's contribution, and his point of view on the gun debate is an important one. But no one was banned for their opinions. Many senior Moose have sympathies with RKBA. The problem was tone, bring up old flame wars and then arguing about the moderation system.


The p***artist formerly known as 'Brit'


[ Parent ]
thank you and the Elder Mooz (2.00 / 10)
for your active moderation Peter and for showing us how it can and should be done. it's a pain, it's time consuming but in my view, it's necessary.

i was lurking in this thread as i often do on complex issues, trying to gather information to further inform my opinion. in addition to 'tone, bring up old flame wars and then arguing about the moderation system', as you stated, the end result as always, is an end to any rational discussion.

derailing the debate, no matter which side you happen to agree with, is what i find most egregious. we can all learn from those we disagree with, if only to bolster our own opinions.  

time...it seems to move so slowly until that day, when it doesn't.


[ Parent ]
I would ban Wayne LaPierre if he posted his thoughts here. (2.00 / 9)
Not because I disagree with him - though I do on making schools military zones - but for derailing the debate and refusing to engage in bilateral discourse.

Seriously.

His words in recent weeks are the MSM version of Trolling.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


[ Parent ]
yeah, the armed school guards idea was (2.00 / 8)
disconcerting, but expected. he's an effective lobbyist for his clients and look what the result was. legislators across the country jumped on the bandwagon.

i despise the idea personally but on a decision like that, with such unknown and far reaching consequences, shouldn't there be a conversation or two about it first?

there are few things i like less than being steamrolled.

time...it seems to move so slowly until that day, when it doesn't.


[ Parent ]
Actually caught me off guard, (2.00 / 8)
though it shouldn't have. It was Donna and my first reaction about our own schools.

But unlike LaPierre - and, giving credit, a lot of good folks (not that I think he is one, he's on my shit list) - it quickly became clear what a stupid idea that was.

Because it wouldn't work, would cost at least $100B/year to do right (and $100B/year could save more than 100 children's lives, applied elsewhere), would effectively terrorize all children, and would mean that half a million Americans are paid to do nothing 99.997% of the time.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


[ Parent ]
yeah, there was a small article from (2.00 / 8)
Pennsylvania of a smallish city that had fired a large percentage of teachers, yet they suddenly had money ready to apprpriate for armed school guards.

if there's money available, hire back the teachers.

i'm afraid this issue is another ugly, divisive economic wedge issue that's going to play out in a lot of school districts, especially where the R's hold the majority.

time...it seems to move so slowly until that day, when it doesn't.


[ Parent ]
.... (2.00 / 9)


"I spend my days and nights pondering the meaning of life, the state of the universe, and the Home Shopping Network." -- Donald Roller Wilson

[ Parent ]
Yes, but that is not really the argument. (2.00 / 7)
What they are saying is that all teachers should have rocks.

And let's be clear, what we are talking about is having teachers kill kids. Yes, kids with guns trying to kill other kids, but still the same.

Or having armed guards kill kids.

Yes, some of these shooters have been adults (like the Amish School shooter), but most have been kids.

The whole bloody debate is a cycle of fear.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


[ Parent ]
sort of... (2.00 / 7)
The argument is that the solution to curbing gun violence is to put more guns in more hands.

"I spend my days and nights pondering the meaning of life, the state of the universe, and the Home Shopping Network." -- Donald Roller Wilson

[ Parent ]
The argument itself is not insane, (2.00 / 5)
though I generally disagree with it I can follow the logic.

On a broader non-gun application, I actually agree (iow "people who take personal responsibility for creating a safe and secure society will get one").

I'm not a fan of the glib positions from either perspective. While the lady with the sign is no-doubt well intentioned, by pure application her argument leads to a level of pacificity that I very much do not agree with.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


[ Parent ]
We'll have to... (2.00 / 6)
Disagree here Chris. This has little to do with pacifism.

It really is a simple issue which the NRA and other special interest groups have managed (really quite amazingly successfully) to co-opt into a conversation about freedom/individualism and politics when its only about one thing: money. The numbers don't lie. There are more gun dealers in the US than grocery stores.

That's sick.

"I spend my days and nights pondering the meaning of life, the state of the universe, and the Home Shopping Network." -- Donald Roller Wilson


[ Parent ]
You? Me? Disagree? (2.00 / 5)
Shocked, shocked I am!!!

;~)



John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


[ Parent ]
Think of it in game theory terms (2.00 / 4)
The US understood this about nuclear proliferation. As an individual, of course you're rational to arm yourself to the teeth in a highly armed country, but it's a positive feedback loop which leads to escalation and more gun use.

Just as invisible hand can lead individuals to make wiser choices any collective can make, there are clear situations with externalities like this where a personal rational preference leads to irrational group hysteria

The p***artist formerly known as 'Brit'


[ Parent ]
Word (2.00 / 3)


John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
Well done, New York (2.00 / 9)
But, I'm still frustrated by language like this:

Expand background checks to include most private sales and ammunition sales

Most? Why not ALL? Background checks should be universal, not just for sales for all transfers of weapons.


POTUS agrees. (2.00 / 8)


"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

[ Parent ]
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