The Case for Resurrecting the Manchin-Toomey Gun Bill

Libertarians should endorse a compromise solution that moves gun policy in the right direction.

Jacob Sullum’s April 30 post at Reason.com takes issue with my New York Times op-ed, “A Libertarian Case for Expanding Gun Background Checks.” Essentially, Sullum’s objections are that I “neither explain[] why expanding gun background checks is a good policy nor justif[y] it based on libertarian principle.” He’s right on both counts. But that doesn’t alter my conclusion that gun rights advocates would be better off if an improved version of the Manchin-Toomey compromise were enacted.

For starters, in papers like The New York Times, authors don't select the title of their published op-eds. That's up to the editors. My title, as submitted, was "Manchin-Toomey: The Case for Resurrection." The article was not intended to rest on libertarian principles—but it was intended to promote a pro-liberty result.

Moreover, I have no illusions about the efficacy of expanded background checks. Indeed, I’ve written at length in the National Law Journal and elsewhere expressing great skepticism about gun controls in general and background checks in particular. I do not believe that such checks will reduce random mass killings such as occurred in Newtown.

Nonetheless, on the merits, even if Manchin-Toomey will have little or no effect on gun violence and isn't the legal regime that libertarians would like, the compromise bill is superior to the legal regime we now have. The relevant comparison is not Manchin-Toomey vs. no background checks. Instead, it’s existing law vs. the improved version of the bill that I've recommended.

The broader philosophic question is whether libertarians should endorse a compromise solution that does not comply with pristine libertarian principles. My answer is yes, if the compromise moves us in the right direction and we declare on the record our more principled position. That’s why most libertarians support private Social Security accounts and school choice even though we believe that government should not be involved in personal retirement decisions and education.  

Libertarians cannot implicitly embrace a one-way ratchet whereby our opponents expand the powers of government, but we are precluded from trying to contract those powers because a proposed compromise wouldn’t be ideal. We usually face this choice: Accept whatever legal regime is implemented by the state, or try to minimize the damage that's done when the state overreaches. I find it puzzling that some libertarians would tolerate rather than reduce the impact of government regulations that they believe to be unwise or unconstitutional. In short, the perfect must not become the enemy of the good.

In a lengthier blog post on Cato@Liberty, which responds to some of the concerns raised by Dave Kopel in National Review Online, I enumerate 10 benefits of an improved Manchin-Toomey bill: (1) interstate handgun purchases from dealers; (2) layers of protection against a federal registry, including criminal and civil damages plus codification of Justice Department regulations on data destruction; (3) a two-thirds reduction in maximum time for a background check, (4) exemptions for holders of carry permits and some rural residents; (5) liberalized rules for interstate transport; (6) legal immunity for all sellers (absent complicity); (7) better mental health data for NICS, with due process protections for veterans; (8) partial public funding of fees for background checks; (9) equal processing priority for gun stores and gun shows; and (10) reduced penalties for marijuana-related offenses by gun buyers and owners.  

Gun rights proponents should welcome those changes. Gun controllers might disapprove. But that would simply mean status quo ante, with different politicians characterized as obstructionists. If nothing is done, there will be a political price to pay. I would prefer that the anti-gun crowd pay that price. That said, my primary argument for Manchin-Toomey is substantive, not political.  

Here are the offsetting concessions in the bill: (1) Private buyers at gun shows will be subject to a background check if the seller is unlicensed. But note that licensed dealer sales at gun shows are already covered, and private, in-person transactions will still be exempt from checks everywhere except on the grounds of a gun show. (2) Sales over the Internet and through published ads will be subject to a background check. But note that those transactions are already covered if the seller is a licensed dealer or if the transaction involves a handgun and the parties reside in different states.  

From my perspective, those are modest concessions vs. significant benefits.

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  • Jesus H. Christ||

    "moves us in the right direction..." and how does more anti-gun legislation move us in the right direction? I think we disagree which direction is right.

  • dalewalt||

    IOW, moves us towards confiscation

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  • Jon Lester||

    Khimki forest dot com. You will care.

  • ||

    Exactly. The difference between compromise in the case of "common sense" gun control and background checks is a movement towards statist ends.

    Privatized SS and school vouchers is a step in our(most of us,anyways) direction.

  • Paul.||

    Jesus H. Christ, you beat me to it.

    As soon as I read it, I was all, "Moves is in the right direction of what?"

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    The right direction is repeal of existing laws, not rewriting them.

  • ThisGuy||

    I think he's aiming for the "enough to hang themselves" direction. maybe we should just let them ban guns entirely. then when the vast majority of people refuse to comply with the law and revolt, libertarians will have a chance to get in on the ground floor.

  • ||

    Fuck Levy, and fuck compromise. And fuck whoever promotes compromise (*cough* Tulpa *cough*). We are right, and we have the advantage. Only fools compromise when they have the advantage, and only moral cowards compromise when they're right.

    Fuck you, Levy.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Compromise between reasonable people on reasonable topics is one thing. Compromise with unreasonable people on unreasonable topics is something else.

    For example, should the Jews have compromised with the Nazis to say that exterminating three million was okay?

  • ||

    Leave it to ProL to Godwin the thread. You're worse than Hitler. Though not as worst as nicole.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Dude, I know it's racist, but I can't tell fascists apart. They all look the same to me.

  • SugarFree||

    Don't let him brow-beat you, PL. Everyone knows he was grown in a lab from a diseased cell scraped off of Hitler's rotting prostate.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I have this vision of a TV show called Young Hitler, starring Episiarch. It's about Episiarch, just called Young Hitler.

  • SugarFree||

    Maybe at the end of every episode Epi goes into an endless void and has a discussion about what lessons he learned with the disembodied voice of his "father."

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Isn't that Mork form Ork's schtick?

  • SugarFree||

    Mork? Who's that?

  • ||

    How did you know I was shopping that to Skinemax?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Where do you think I work? I have to admit, you really wowed the execs with the women you wanted to be shown masturbating to in your fantasy scenes.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

  • SugarFree||

    I love YouTube comments:

    Conan Ruisi 2 years ago
    what sucks is how short these songs are

    "I love heavy metal, but what's with all the guitars?!?"

  • SQRLSY One||

    I'm not listening to anything y'all say, 'cause yer ALL just like Hitler... Hitler breathed oxygen, and so do you, you racists, you...

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    For example, should the Jews have compromised with the Nazis to say that exterminating three million was okay?

    Your stubbornness just cost three million lives.

  • KPres||

    What's three million lives compared to being able to say "I was right!"

  • Killazontherun||

    I came to say the same thing about fools and compromising when you have the upper hand. What would prevent Levy from understanding that the grabbers are the ones backed into a corner? Does his professional standing depend upon cowtowing to those the rest of us can safely ignore similarly to Nick Gs relationship to Bill Maher?

  • KPres||

    "Only fools compromise when they have the advantage, and only moral cowards compromise when they're right."

    The former part of this is right, the latter usually ensures that you'll never have the former.

  • ||

    First. And as a practical sense, I agree with Mr. Levy... though I have to grit my teeth a bit and loosen my clutching to a more desirable libertarian outcome.

  • ||

    Okay, so I'm not first. Slow thinker, slower typist.

  • ||

    Levy, you're a damn fool if you think they are going to improve the bill.

  • Entropy Void||

    The only "improved bill" is a dead bill.

  • Henry||

    And I will graciously assume that Levy is just an honest damn fool.

    He's walking in the footsteps of Alan Gottlieb, who thought he could out-clever the grabbers at their own game, and pass a bill that had lots of goodies in it for the gun owner. Then when the final language in the bill came to light, and it was disclosed how the gun-grabbers had larded it up with extra crap, it was a cosmic OMG moment.

    For example, the bill's "guarantee" against a registry turned out to be a prohibition against a single government bureau -- any OTHER bureau was still free to create one. Not to mention it was worthless anyway, in a land where the federal background check computer was specifically designed to keep records of the background checks forever, EVEN THOUGH the legislation SPECIFICALLY PROHIBITED THAT.

    Add to that the "iron curtain" created to gun owners in Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire who might like to travel to the rest of America with an unloaded, cased gun without a MA, NJ, or NY gun license -- unless they travel by sea.

    I doubt Levy is a gun owner. If he was, he's have learned from experience that there is no spoon long enough to sup with this particular devil. "Guarantees" are only good if you can actually collect on them. After witnessing the dismal failure of other public "guarantees" like the Privacy Act, the junk fax law, the Can Spam law, and the NCIC records retention law, none of the gun owners I know would give you warm spit in a Dixie cup for any of them.

  • From the Tundra||

    No compromises. After the shit yesterday in CA, you must be joking.

    Oh, and a nice nut-punch (cunt-punt?) for the next person who says:

    "In short, the perfect must not become the enemy of the good"

    Thanks for playing, Levy, but fuck off, slaver!

  • Pro Libertate||

    Compromise on what? What am I getting in return for giving up my freedoms? Not safety--that's bullshit. So what? If nothing, then why on Earth would I "compromise"?

  • From the Tundra||

    Dude, to be 'reasonable". Duh.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Screw that.

  • Shirley Knott||

    I tried being reasonable.
    I didn't like it.

    (HT to LOLcats -- this is an oldie but goodie)

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Did you read the article? Levy listed the benefits of the compromise.

  • Pro Libertate||

    How is that better than today? It assumes my rights will be infringed upon if I don't agree to these infringements. I don't make or accept that assumption.

    We can only protect our liberties by fighting every inch of the way. When has conceding actually done anything but reduce our freedom?

  • Paul.||

    We can only protect our liberties by fighting every inch of the way. When has conceding actually done anything but reduce our freedom?

    Never, because the compromise is, by definition, a reduction of your freedom.

    The ONLY question in this bargain is what do I gain if I release (even if admittedly) a small amount of my freedom? If the answer isn't immediately clear, measurable and demonstrable, go pound sand.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Yes. In theory, I've given up my freedom to shoot people on sight to not be shot on sight myself. Okay, fine.

  • sloopyinca||

    Levy listed what he claims are the benefits of the compromise.

    FIFY.*

    *Jist because he listed them doesn't make him correct. He could have listed the benefits of the Khmer Rouge. That wouldn't necessarily mean his point has merit.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Then point out how you think they are not beneficial. Cartesian skepticism is not enough, you need to have a reason.

  • Paul.||

    (1) interstate handgun purchases from dealers

    Don't know what he's talking about here.

    (2) layers of protection against a federal registry, including criminal and civil damages plus codification of Justice Department regulations on data destruction;

    We're going down this road again? If we give the government what they want on this, they'll let us alone on that.

    And observance of history proves what?

    (3) a two-thirds reduction in maximum time for a background check,

    Why do we need to reduce my freedoms to make my previous reductions of freedom more efficient?

    (4) exemptions for holders of carry permits and some rural residents;

    Interesting on the first half, why are some rural residents exempt from the law?

    (5) liberalized rules for interstate transport

    Ok.

    (6) legal immunity for all sellers (absent complicity);

    So, we don't have legal immunity now?

    (7) better mental health data for NICS, with due process protections for veterans;

    Uh huh. The governments going to have better mental health data on its citizens. That's never been abused. And why are veterans exempt?

    (8) partial public funding of fees for background checks

    Huh?

    (9) equal processing priority for gun stores and gun shows; and

    *shrug* ok

    (10) reduced penalties for marijuana-related offenses by gun buyers and owners.

    Say what? And, FREE PONIES!

    My answer: No.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    1. You would be able to buy/accept a handgun while outside your state of residence (currently illegal). It may be that this would also allow FFLs to work gun shows outside their state of permanent location (I believe that's the point of the "located or temporarily located" revised language).

    2. I would have prefered that state govts could prosecute ATF violators, but alas.

    4. Rural residents may have a harder time travelling to FFLs, and I think the first part is more than "interesting", it's huge. How much frigging time I would have saved not going through PICS the past several years!

    6. You can be sued in civil court for selling the firearm to someone who later harmed someone with it.

    7. Govt already has the data in question, it's whether it gets forwarded to the FBI. Vets are protected more because the govt handles their health care/injury problems, e.g. PTSD diagnosis, so such data is immediately available to govt.

    8. I hadn't heard of that before, not sure.

  • Paul.||

    1. Thanks for researching that. Now I understand.

    6. My point was, "Is this a huge problem now?" I'm skeptical about giving any favored group blanket immunity from lawsuits. I hate frivolous lawsuits, but I'm always more concerned with limiting an injured party's right to sue.

    7. I've always wondered about this. What

  • ||

    Tulpa, you're the stupidest character ever.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Although I'm not a huge fan of the TNG movies, this line seems apropos:

    I will not sacrifice the Enterprise. We've made too many compromises already; too many retreats. They invade our space and we fall back. They assimilate entire worlds and we fall back. Not again. The line must be drawn here! This far, no further! And I will make them pay for what they've done.
  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    It is indeed appropos. Picard said that while blinded by his selfish desire for vengeance against the Borg for what they did to him in the past. Then Lilly brought him back to his senses and made him recognize his feelings and how they were affecting him; he ordered the crew (other than him) to abandon ship and set the self-destruct, precisely what he was refusing to do beforehand.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Whatever. I'm done conceding. That's the point.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Without safety measures, even a holographic bullet can kill.

  • trutherator||

    Lilly's point was to show him how his emotions made him want to charge at the raging bull instead of shooting the bull.

    In other words, instead of "compromising" to save the ship and get his jollies in a personal tug-of-war over square feet on a deck, just BLOW UP THE DAMN SHIP, CAPTAIN!

  • sloopyinca||

    I propose we get the reason admins to make the following change:

    Tulpa Towelie (LAOL-VA)

  • SugarFree||

    And every time he post, the first part of "Funkytown" plays.

  • ||

    That would be sweet.

    Wanna smoke some weed?

  • ||

    No. Towelie is actually a great, albeit ridiculous, character. Tulpa is just scum. Moronic scum at that.

  • tarran||

    You guys realize you are encouraging Tulpa, right?

    He thinks that people calling him names is evidence that he is making good points - just like Socrates.

    He says something mind-numbingly stupid, your guys call him names, and he thinks he just won a crushing intellectual victory. And no matter how often you rub his face in the poo, you will never get him to recognize it ain't delicious chocolate fudge.

    Filter him out and be done with it.

  • ||

    You're right, I know. But he's so fucking stupid. It's like a vortex of imbecility. I'm having trouble looking away.

  • Robert||

    Tulpa is actually raising facts here. S/he does so in other comment threads too. I've never figured out the acrimony against Tulpa here; it seems to be just a substitute for saying substantive things in disagreement. Tulpa subthreads are sometimes the most interesting here, once you get past some of the acrimonious responses.

  • Paul.||

    I've never figured out the acrimony against Tulpa here; it seems to be just a substitute for saying substantive things in disagreement.

    Tulpa's ok.

    If you live with him long enough, he eventually starts arguing pedantically in the cracks for the sake of the argument, often veering off into left field.

    What you're seeing here is a kind of family/sibling dysfunction, where when you step into the fray for the first time, as an outsider, you don't know why Fred gets so angry when his mom said something that seems (to you) rather innocuous. However, Fred knows what his mom meant, and knows where she's going, so everyone just comes out of the chute defensive.

    Sometimes Tulpas devil's-advocacy gets frustrating. But he can put two sentences together and makes cogent arguments-- many of which are wrong-- but cogent.

    His favorite tic is to accuse you of begging the question while begging the question so hard himself he's practically on his knees.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    I don't beg the question; I demand the question. And it always backs down, so far.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    S/he does so in other comment threads too. I've never figured out the acrimony against Tulpa here; it seems to be just a substitute for saying substantive things in disagreement.

    During my vacation I thought much about this. All the things I'm accused of (nitpicking/contrarianism/refusing to admit wrong/cluster posting) are routinely done by others here, often far more intensely. The fact that some here have openly said they prefer Tony and Mr. Buttplug to me is what led me to what I think is the sad truth -- they don't like libertarianish dissent. They can dismiss the others as ideological foes, but my POV often represents a real threat because it really is close to libertarian, and the most annoying thing I do is judge their positions by libertarian principles themselves.

    One of the most rage-filled subthreads I've started was the one where I questioned whether libertarianism allowed punching a guy who insulted your wife, which is as much of a slam-dunk as it gets. Some of the biggest mouths in this place are the most insecure.

  • ||

    Tulpa's reflection post: nitpicking about nitpicking. Self-reflection, thy name isn't Tulpa.

  • trutherator||

    And how is joining up with the tyrant class to meet them half-way on what they wants because he promises A, B, and C, how is that "libertarianish". That reminds me of the saying, "A fool and his money are soon parted".

    What you gotta do is to ask yourself, WHY THE HELL ARE THESE GREEKS OFFERING US A TROJAN HORSE??!

  • trutherator||

    In other words, what are they hiding? What is Levy not telling us, or what did he miss.

    "Trust me", said Madoff..

  • Paul.||

    If nothing, then why on Earth would I "compromise"?

    You know, to reach around the aisle, to the other side.

  • Henry||

    Ha ha! You won't get as much as a reacharound in return.

  • ||

    According to Levy, we will pay a nebulous political price if we dont compromise.

    What no one on the other side of the debate gets is that they truly are playing with fire. This is the one issue they will never fucking win.

  • Jon Lester||

    Levy seems unconcerned with medical privacy, the question of who, exactly, gets to report mental health diagnoses (many of which will be incorrect) to the NICS database, and undoing many decades of hard-fought efforts to de-stigmatize mental health matters in general.

  • Pi Guy||

    And, judging by the new DSM-V - hitting shelves at a shrink's office near you - Internet Addiction Disorder or Excoriation Disorder (I shit you not) could now be just cause for denial of a permit or purchase.

  • Jon Lester||

    I heard the NPR story when it was first completed. I guess we'd better find ways to cover up our time spent in libertarian fora.

  • trutherator||

    If the executive has blatantly violated with no remorse the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 8th and 10th and 14th amendments with impunity, and has blatantly committed criminal acts in Fast and Furious and "Operation Showtime" (the code name for the Waco massacre) and shooting down a pregnant wife at Ruby Ridge in cold blood, WHAT THE HELL MAKES YOU THINK THEY'LL OBEY ANY LIMITATIONS IN A STUPID "COMPROMISE" BILL???!

    "Compromise" is a dirty, spittin', frothin' at the mouth angry-makin' word.

    Every one of these stinkin' bills should be used the way Ron Paul did it: To educate the clueless, to educate the ignorant, educate the gullible, educate the people who are not sure.

    HOW can anybody trust the institution that brought us a war based on the unproven Battleship Maine explosion, or Gulf of Tonkin, or MK-Ultra, or intentional syphilis injections, or NDAA, or the Expanded New and Improved Patriot Act, or PIPA, SOPA and CISPA, or a total war against Libya..?

    Repeal, repeal, repeal, should be the demand relentless from the liberty factions.

  • John||

    Mr Levy,

    What you don't understand is that today's compromise is tomorrow's loophole. Agreeing to this bill would set the table for liberals to come back and revisit the issue after the next high profile shooting and move the gun control needle a little further towards outright ban.

    You think this is a "compromise". It is no such thing. A compromise settles and issue and ends the conflict. This does nothing of the sort. This doesn't settle the issue of gun control. Liberals are not going to decide that after this bill no further debate or push for gun control is needed. They will just take up new positions are argue for more control. That makes this a concession bill not a compromise bill. And concessions just set the precedent for future concessions.

    It can never be stated enough that this bill would not have stopped Newtown and will do nothing to stop future shootings like Newtown. For this reason, all this bill does is affirm that idea that passing useless legislation in the wake of tragedies is appropriate. If this bill passes and there is another Newtown, and there will be, what standing will you have to argue against further gun control then? That such control won't prevent future tragedies? So what, this bill didn't either and you supported it. That guns rights shouldn't be compromised over? You were willing to compromise over this, why not then?

  • fish_remote||

    Why don't you send this to him?

  • ||

    Liberals are not going to decide that after this bill no further debate or push for gun control is needed. They will just take up new positions are argue for more control. That makes this a concession bill not a compromise bill.

    Exactly. This is the kind of incrementalism that they've spent a century successfully quashing liberty with.

  • wareagle||

    Liberals are not going to decide that after this bill no further debate or push for gun controlfor any issue where people disagree with them is needed.

  • Paul.||

    The future, Mr. Levy cannot see it.

  • Paul.||

    I'm 100% with John on this.

    The compromise bill was background checks in the 80s.

    Liberals got their background check in a compromise back in the Brady Bill era.

    Then individual states like California compromised on magazine limits.

    The compromise bill was waiting periods.

    Completely absent the Toomey bill, I'm living under a whole host of compromises.

    I for one do not want to be clinging to my single-shot .22 sport pistol that I'm not allowed to carry, unloaded and locked in a case outside the home without a special permit, while screaming "no more compromises!"

    I'm refusing compromise now, while I still have some rights left.

  • Tejicano||

    "clinging to my single-shot .22 sport pistol"

    A HANDGUN? You think they will allow you to keep a handgun?

  • Henry||

    Never forget: today's "gun-show loophole" was yesterday's "compromise to get universal background checks."

  • John||

    Mr. Levy if you are reading this please understand the damage you are doing to CATO by your position here. More than a few people who should be CATOs biggest supporters are writing the entire organization off because of your willingness to disregard 2nd Amendment rights in the rather sad and pathetic hope that liberals can ever be placated on this issue.

  • ||

    For real.

  • ||

    Agree. If this represents the official position of Cato, I have completely lost interest in them.

  • ||

    I have written them off already. The ball is in their court....win me back if you can.

    The possibility is there but I dont see it happening.

  • Tejicano||

    Definitely. I have no interest to even click on anything they put on-line after this.

  • From the Tundra||

    The more I think about it, he MUST be trolling us.

  • sloopyinca||

    The broader philosophic question is whether libertarians should endorse a compromise solution that does not comply with pristine libertarian principles. My answer is yes, if the compromise moves us in the right direction and we declare on the record our more principled position.

    It doesn't move us in the right direction, and most of us are already declaring on the record our more principled stance, you stupid fuck.

    That’s why most libertarians support private Social Security accounts and school choice even though we believe that government should not be involved in personal retirement decisions and education.

    You got a turd in your pocket? I don't think "most" libertarians support any of these government programs in any iteration.

  • John||

    Levy's problem is that he is assuming this is some kind of a solution. Levy actually seems to believe that if this bill is passed liberals will go away and not ask for anything else. So from his perspective it seems like a great idea to agree to this and finally end the debate.

    I honest to God can't figure out anyone who has thought about or watched this issue over the years could possibly think that. Has Levy gone nuts? Is his brain going soft? This isn't a solution to anything. This is just giving in and making liberals goal of ban and confiscation easier.

    I hate to drop the cocktail party card. But maybe Levy really has been in Washington too long. And being there has somehow caused him to convince himself that liberals actually mean well and can be placated on things. Whatever it is, his whole performance is kind of sad.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Levy actually seems to believe that if this bill is passed liberals will go away and not ask for anything else.

    No, he isn't.

    If, after this bill were passed, the liberals came back and asked for universal background checks, in exchange for dismantling even more stupid federal gun legislation from the past and/or writing more protections for gun owners into the law -- like the Toomey bill would have -- we could evaluate that deal when the time comes.

    If anyone is naive it's you guys, who seem to think that if the other side ever gets anything they want, we've been had, regardless of how much we get in return.

  • wareagle||

    usually when the other side gets something it want - that side being the left - it is emboldened to come back and try to get a little more. Lather, rinse, repeat. It's who statists are; as long the bar moves in their way, they don't care by how much because they know that they will also come back to move it further.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    usually when the other side gets something it want - that side being the left - it is emboldened to come back and try to get a little more.

    Then say no when they come back! It's not hard.

  • John||

    Sure Tulpa, you will say no to gun control one of these days. You promise.

    Fuck off troll. Stop concern trolling. It is worse than being a sock puppet like Shreek.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Sure Tulpa, you will say no to gun control one of these days.

    I've said no to gun control several times, via telephone, email, and in person to my representatives. This is not new gun control, this is enforcing the laws already on the books.

  • ||

    You don't need a new fucking law to enforce the ones already on the books.

  • Virginian||

    No, won't you be urging another grand compromise?

    Fuck that. Next time the GOP controls the House, the Senate, and the White House I want the Firearms Freedom Act proposed. I want NFA, GCA, and the Hughes Amendment blasted into oblivion.

    Why the hell do you want to surrender when the gun grabbers basically just had their Waterloo. Were you dropped on your fucking head?

  • John||

    Why the hell do you want to surrender when the gun grabbers basically just had their Waterloo.

    Because he is a gun grabber and is just concern trolling. That is the only conclusion I can make.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    No, won't you be urging another grand compromise?

    Depends on what we get in return.

    Next time the GOP controls the House, the Senate, and the White House I want the Firearms Freedom Act proposed. I want NFA, GCA, and the Hughes Amendment blasted into oblivion.

    The same obstruction that (thankfully) kept an AWB/mag limits from being passed will prevent your bill from being passed too. It's a double edged sword.

    Why the hell do you want to surrender

    Making a deal isn't surrender. I thought libertarianism was the philosophy of entrepreneurs and shit? Cause if you guys approach business like you approach politics you would starve after a few weeks.

  • Virginian||

    Making a deal isn't surrender. I thought libertarianism was the philosophy of entrepreneurs and shit? Cause if you guys approach business like you approach politics you would starve after a few weeks.

    Except free trade is mutually beneficial, by definition. So...no Tulpa, you're wrong again.

    The same obstruction that (thankfully) kept an AWB/mag limits from being passed will prevent your bill from being passed too. It's a double edged sword.

    OK, so then we compromise to just getting rid of the Hughes Amendment, and lowering the NFA tax, and moving SBRs, SBSs, and silencers off of Title II.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Except free trade is mutually beneficial, by definition.

    Not exactly; you can get ripped off in a free trade transaction.

    And in any case, our side would benefit from this deal, for the reasons Levy gives. Not sure if the leftists benefit (a lot of them did not consider it a good deal for their side, remember).

  • Virginian||

    Not exactly; you can get ripped off in a free trade transaction.
    ____

    Not true. Leaving aside fraud (selling a lemon, passing off a fake Rolex as a real one), all trade is mutually beneficial. Because if it wasn't, people would not not engage in it.

    We've been through this before. You were wrong then, and you continue to be wrong.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Leaving aside fraud (selling a lemon, passing off a fake Rolex as a real one), all trade is mutually beneficial. Because if it wasn't, people would not not engage in it.

    Each party THINKS it's beneficial for them at the time of the trade. You've never heard of buyer's remorse? If you buy an iPad for $500 thinking it's going to make your life so much better, but after a couple of weeks you just leave it sitting on your desk and don't use it any more, that's free trade but not mutually beneficial.

  • Zeb||

    all trade is mutually beneficial

    Well, perceived to be mutually beneficial at the time of the transaction. Even without fraud or deception, sometimes people misjudge.

  • wareagle||

    if you've already said yes to one thing, they will ask for more because the precedent of yes has been set. It's like negotiating with a killer; what do you say? Just hurt me badly instead?

    Save the delay and just say no from the beginning.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    if you've already said yes to one thing, they will ask for more because the precedent of yes has been set.

    So if I sell you my car for $2000, I have to worry about you coming back and demanding my truck because the precedent of yes has already been set?

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    You still aren't getting the voluntary vs. coercive thing. Or you're getting it, and just being obtuse.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    The analogy is between a car sale and a "legislation sale". Toomey is the seller, Manchin is the buyer, background checks are the car, the money is repealing stupid federal laws, the truck is whatever gun control you fear in the future. And the M&M is just an M&M.

  • wareagle||

    right...because a car sale and a political issue are totally the same thing. Compromise is only effective if both sides get some benefit AND it settles the issue.

    In the car scenario, it's you setting a number, me accepting it or making a counter-offer, and us deciding on a final price. There is no follow up transaction.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Compromise is only effective if both sides get some benefit AND it settles the issue.

    I don't think that's always true. You can have compromises where the sides still hate each other afterward and have various plans to gain the upper hand in the future.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    So... you just made the case that gun grabbers may have plans to gain the upper hand in the future. That is exactly what we were saying, and you were denying. You just switched sides to our side of the argument?

  • SugarFree||

    Expecting consistency from Tulpa is just mean.

  • itsnotmeitsyou||

    Expecting consistency from Tulpa is just mean stupid.

    FTFY

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    you just made the case that gun grabbers may have plans to gain the upper hand in the future.

    What they plan for and what's going to actually happen may well be two different things.

  • ||

    Then say no when they come back! It's not hard.

    If anyone is naive it's you, who seems to think that if the other side ever gets anything they want, you've been had, regardless of how much you get in return.

    Oh wait...I'll save that response for the next time, when you tell them no. Because this moment exists in a vacuum, and this is the only moment ever that gun owners have been asked to sacrifice their 2nd and 4th Amendment protections in the name of "reasonable compromise".

  • Generic Stranger||

    Then say no when they come back! It's not hard.

    That's exactly what we're doing right now, you fucking retard.

    We compromised in '34, '68, '86, and and '94. NO FUCKING MORE.

  • ||

    Tulpa - Then say no when they come back! It's not hard

    You are right Tulpa it isnt. This IS them coming back and this is us saying NO.

  • Henry||

    We are. That's exactly what we're doing with Manchin-Toomey!

    As I posted elsewhere, today's "gun-show loophole" was yesterdays "compromise to get universal background checks."

    So -- NO!!!

  • ||

    Suck that authority cock, Tulpy-Poo! Hey, get these comments deleted too, coward! Please, please beg them to delete this, you fundamental coward. PLEASE. Everyone already knows it, but you can just drive it home more, you little mendacious fuck.

  • John||

    If, after this bill were passed, the liberals came back and asked for universal background checks, in exchange for dismantling even more stupid federal gun legislation

    I know you are a troll Tulpa. But universal background checks IS A STUPID FEDERAL GUN LEGISLATION you fucking moron. They only want that because they know it will make gun owners who engage in private sales to friends and relatives criminals. The whole point is to criminalize as many gun owners as possible and make owning a gun less attractive.

    I don't believe that even you are this stupid not to see this. So I have to therefore conclude that you know this and view it as a good result. That you are in fact just a concern troll who supports gun control. it is either that are you are the dumbest person who posts on here. Which is it? Since you seem to be smart enough to feel yourself, I am betting you are troll who loves gun control.

  • ||

    No, he really is that stupid. Remember, Tulpa is that special kind of retarded where he thinks he's a genius. So he goes into discussions like this with completely unwarranted confidence and will propose the stupidest thing you can imagine all while thinking to himself "isn't that the most genius proposal ever?"

    Yes, he really is that delusionally stupid.

  • John||

    If he is not concern trolling, delusionally stupid is probably a weak term for what he is.

  • SugarFree||

    Seriously. Look at how many shitty fucking gun laws are on the books already. All of of the have been compromises to the RKBA, because the 2A doesn't say "shall not be infringed except for machine guns, plastic guns, Saturday night specials, or whatever else you assholes want to ban.

  • ||

    They don't even deserve the chance.

    How the fuck can you call yourself a LAOL when you don't even respect the words in the founding document of our fucking country?

    Jesus Christ you might have actually surpassed Tony as the most annoying poster on here.

  • SugarFree||

    Because "Law" is whatever the majority decides, "Order" is the sound of boots in the street that Tulpa's microcock throbs to, and calling himself a "libertarian" is some sort of joke. At this point, I wouldn't even have high hopes on him understanding what "and" meant.

  • Henry||

    I thought it stood for Laughing my Ass Off at Libertarians. Does is mean something different?

  • ||

    Jesus Tulpa.

    Their goal is complete confiscation. What the fuck dont you get about that?

  • sloopyinca||

    I just sent him an e-mail. I won't go into the details, but I did end it with "Good day, sir".

    This guy is going to ruin a once-great organization. Him and all the other boot-polishing cosmotarians that are more concerned with getting a seat at the adult table than keeping their principles intact.

  • ||

    I don't care if his brain has gone soft, fuck him. Seriously, just fuck. Him. I am sick of this weaselly compromise shit. If you are right, you do not compromise. That is it. We're done here.

  • WTF||

    Epi for the win. He can go fuck himself sideways with a lunchbox.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    Agreed, seconded, amen.

    Compromise what?

    "Hey, I'll just hand over a little liberty, just this one time!"

  • prolefeed||

    And being there has somehow caused him to convince himself that liberals actually mean well

    Most of them DO mean well. They sincerely think their good intentions will not cause bad outcomes, despite all the evidence to hand.

  • Jordan||

    I don't think "most" libertarians support any of these government programs in any iteration.

    Er... what? So if Congress proposed a law to privatize Social Security, you wouldn't support it?

  • sloopyinca||

    Er... what? So if Congress proposed a law to privatize Social Security, you wouldn't support it?

    Probably not. If, on the other hand, they proposed a law abolishing it, I'd be on board. Even privatized Social Security is stealing from one person and giving it to another. That's always wrong.

  • Virginian||

    What does privatize mean?

    Are they gonna give it to Jon Corzine to manage? Or are they gonna give me back my money with interest? Or somewhere in between?

  • Jordan||

    Well, sloopy said that libertarians don't support it "in any form", so pick one. I would certainly support certain forms of social security and school vouchers over what we have now.

  • Jordan||

    "in any iteration". Whatever.

  • sloopyinca||

    That's not quite what I said. I said I don't think a majority of libertarians support them. He's casting a pretty wide net without supporting his position.

    I'd also make an addendum to my earlier comment. I'd say that the ones who do support those programs do so from a utilitarian, rather than principled, position in an effort to placate the statists.

    The problem is that the statists cannot be placated. Their goal is control, and they will incrementally get it one way or the other unless we refuse to compromise. We've got to draw the line somewhere. It may as well be here.

  • Jordan||

    I'd say that the ones who do support those programs do so from a utilitarian, rather than principled, position in an effort to placate the statists.

    Well, I disagree. The logical conclusion is that it's unlibertarian to support legalizing marijuana, since it will be taxed and regulated.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    I think the point he is making is that you would rather support legalization without regulation and taxation, as opposed to legalization with regulation and taxation.

    The utilitarian might argue that we should take the taxes and regulation to get the legalization, where the more principled libertarian would say legalize without the statist strings attached.

  • wareagle||

    The utilitarian might argue that we should take the taxes and regulation to get the legalization, where the more principled libertarian would say legalize without the statist strings attached.

    I get the philosophical argument but seems the libertarian loses out either way. The taxation proposal at least includes some benefit for him. Then again, it's only a principle is you stand to lose something by sticking to it.

  • ||

    Well, technically, it IS unlibertarian to support legalization that has a tax and regulation rider on it.

  • sloopyinca||

    Well, I disagree.

    I appreciate that.

    The logical conclusion is that it's unlibertarian to support legalizing marijuana, since it will be taxed and regulated.

    Here's where we diverge. You appear to think that just because the powers that be only propose two alternatives (prohibition or taxed/regulated pot) that we have to choose one or the other. I believe we should loudly voice our opinions that the third option, the free market, be pursued.

    And if they put a bill to legalize it with a tax and regulation scheme in place, we can quietly vote in favor of it and then attempt to dismantle the regulations...by getting them to compromise. But too many "libertarians" are always willing to compromise when it's easier to make your opponent do so. But I spend all day every day negotiation deals with people, and it's in my nature to never give an inch unless it's going to get me 2" down the road.

  • ||

    "What does privatize mean?"

    Here is my plan to privitize SS.

    Instead of the government forcibly taking money from people and squandering it, individuals will have the money in their hands and invest it as they wish.

    If they want to put it into annuities, good for them. If they want to put it into the stock market, good for them. They could lend it to their brother-in-law so he can start a new business, fine. They can invest it in their children's education if they want. If they want a new skidoo, fine. They can invest in beer and cheetos if the mood strikes them. It is their money and they can invest it as they see fit.

    Now some troll tell me how emaciated bodies will pile up in the street and prepubescent prostitution will thrive if we 'allow' people to freely dispose of their own property.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    That's a good idea, but it's not really Social Security anymore. You're talking about totally obliterating Social Security, not privatizing it.

  • Zeb||

    I don't think it is possible to privatize Social Security. It is and always has been a government wealth redistribution program, weakly disguised as some sort of public pension plan. I guess maybe mandatory accounts which people manage themselves might be close.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Probably not the best example (and that's Levy's fault for bringing it up) as privatized Social Security might be an even bigger disaster than existing SS. Imagine how much fun BO and company would have deciding where your SS money gets invested in the market.

  • sloopyinca||

    Imagine how much fun BO and company would have deciding where your SS money gets invested in the market.

    Do you know what the word "privatize" means?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    In this case it means putting SS contributions into the private investment market. That was Bush's plan, which was generally referred to as "privatization" by people on both sides.

    Letting everyone just invest whatever money they want (which I think both of us prefer) would not be Social Security, privatized or otherwise.

  • sloopyinca||

    I assumed Levy meant letting people manage their own accounts, which would at least go slightly in a libertarian direction (after, you know, the theft from other people part). If he's proposing privatization where the government still steals it but invests it in companies of donors, cronies and interest groups they have control over through legislation and regulation, then he's even more mendacious than I thought.

  • Zeb||

    If that is what people mean by privatize, that's scary. That would mean the government owning a very significant part of the investment market, i.e. real, no fooling socialism.

  • Virginian||

    When politicians say privatize, they mean cronyize.

  • wareagle||

    maybe but there is no danger of Congress EVER seriously talking about a law that would do that. Moot points are moot.

  • Pi Guy||

    I suggest that we start doing background checks on people who exercise their 1A rights. Like voting. And OWS. And arguing on Facebook.

    Much damage is done as a result of the freedom to associate and assemble and speak freely by those who are mentally ill. Just look around us.

  • Jordan||

    I would actually support such a bill, except for this:

    (7) better mental health data for NICS

    But that's not what's on offer.

  • John||

    Liberals know they can't ban guns with the Supreme Court as it is. But what they can do is make owning a gun harder and more likely to produce criminal liability. So they do things like insert that provision with the full intention of it resulting in millions of people becoming criminals at the stroke of a pen. They make background checks mandatory. Sounds great and reasonable except they know that people are never going to bother to comply when they sell a gun to a friend or family member. They want gun owners to all have insurance for the same reason. The idea is that if you make it a real hassle and legal risk to own a gun, a large part or hopefully a majority of gun owners will give up owning guns. Then they will be able to make the remaining gun owners a demonized minority and the majority of the public who no longer own guns will sign on for ban and confiscation.

    That is the long game they are playing. And I can't for the life of me understand why an otherwise smart guy like Levy can't see it.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    This is disproved of course by the lack of any follow-up to the (atrocious) 1994 ban.

    I don't see how making ONE compromise forces you to accept every gun-grabber proposal for the rest of the future.

  • John||

    What the fuck are you talking about you idiot? The Dems lost control of Congress in 1995 and the White House in 2000. They couldn't follow up because they didn't have any power. And the only stopped talking about gun control after they concluded it lost Gore the 2000 election.

    Do you really think we are dumb enough to believe the idea that liberals happily settled for the 1994 ban and didn't support any more gun control? I don't mind that you are stupid and say stupid things. But please stop acting you I am stupid and will believe anything no matter how ridiculous.

  • WTF||

    Notwithstanding the ban boners the left has right now. But I guess that doesn't count.

  • sarcasmic||

    He's more than stupid. He's dishonest. There really is no point in attempting to debate with him because he does not argue in good faith.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Then vote out the liberals in 2014 so they again have no power. And of course they didn't even try to pass anything stricter in the ensuing years after 1994 until they got control of Congress back.

    Plenty of people around here (not you, John, but others) were saying we needed to vote LP to punish the Republicans in 2012. How did that work out?

  • John||

    Then vote out the liberals in 2014 so they again have no power.

    Maybe they will. And liberals will bide their time knowing they will eventually get back in power. And when they do, they will take up gun control again that much closer to their goal of full confiscation thanks to useful idiots like you.

  • ||

    Plenty of people around here (not you, John, but others) were saying we needed to vote LP to punish the Republicans in 2012. How did that work out?

    Uhh...perfectly?

    Not that I personally believe in distinguishing Republicans from Democrats, in that the policy and politics is all the same.

  • ||

    You're so, so stupid. It's stunning. You are the new joe. Please go kill yourself as soon as possible, preferably by autoerotic asphyxiation.

  • ||

    Of course YOU don't Tulpa.

  • ||

    Have you ever talked to a gun-control proponent (other than yourself)?

    They will all very candidly tell you that they would love to eliminate private ownership of firearms, but that is not doable today so in the meantime they'll just take one step towards that end and continue the fight tomorrow.

    Seriously, you need to pay better attention.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    And when they try to do that we say no.

    So long as they're proposing minor restrictions like the stuff in T-M's compromise and giving significant pro-gun-rights concessions in return, I'll take that deal. I don't give a crap what delusions are racing around in their head; I'm concerned only with the current deal because I know if they come back tomorrow I can always say no.

  • ||

    And when they try to do that we say no.

    Why can't you understand that this moment in history is the time that everyone is saying "No"? The 2nd amendment says "shall not be infringed", and yet throughout the years people have "compromised" to allow all sorts of restrictions on something that was never supposed to have any.

    So basically, you are wrong, intellectually dishonest, historically inaccurate, and basically WAAAY outside your element (whatever that may be) right here.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    I'm not saying "no" to this because it's a net win for our side. We get more than we give.

    If they come back asking for too much, I'll say "no". No problem.

  • Unindicted Co-conspirator||

    These aren't "significant pro-gun concessions." They're marginal. And the "compromise" on our part moves the Overton Window a little further toward enshrining gun ownership as a political privilege rather than a fundamental human and constitutional right.

    So fuck you, fuck Levy, and fuck compromise. Go eat shit.

  • ||

    significant pro-gun-rights concessions

    I not think that means what you think it means. Nothing about this "compromise" is pro gun rights. In exchange for giving massive new data to the government and ending medical privacy as we know it on the wink and nod promise that they won't ever ever use it to create a database (how you collect data without a database in the modern context being something of a mystery in and of itself), we get to submit to additional background checks in order to purchase firearms. Even if you're actually brainless enough to believe that government can be trusted with such sensitive data, the "benefits" amount to a promise to streamline the approval of background checks that should either not exist or already be efficiency processed in the first place, some giveaways to certain kinds of gun owners who live in certain places, including the use of public dollars for background check fees (totes libertarian!), and very narrow limitation of liability that already exists for most sellers anyway. Go. Fuck. Your. Self. Tell ya what, streamline the background checks, give blanket immunity to sellers, do away with the rest of the useless shit in this bill, including making taxpayers pay for your background check, and in exchange, you won't be drummed out of office, tarred, feathered, hung by your ankles, beaten to death, and buried upside down in a faulty casket. There's your compromise.

  • Robert||

    Do you think the only people moving this issue are those on the extremes? That's possible, but it's also possible that there are a lot of people in the middle who stand to be swayed by such things as concessions. If you were ever in a position to mediate or even evaluate a dispute you didn't know too much about, did you not tend to side with whoever seemed to have made the greatest concession already?

  • ||

    did you not tend to side with whoever seemed to have made the greatest concession already?

    Precisely why I'd side with the gun owners who have already been subject to tens of thousands of pages of legislation and regulation infringing on their fundamental human right to self defense, also enshrined explicitly in the constitution and upheld by the Supreme Court on numerous occasions.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    The idea is that if you make it a real hassle and legal risk to own a gun, a large part or hopefully a majority of gun owners will give up owning guns.

    This is what I've run into in MA.

  • Pi Guy||

    What part of "...shall not be infringed." is so hard to understand?

  • sarcasmic||

    "Militia" dude, as in National Guard. The 2A protects the right of the military to keep and bear arms, not the people.

  • wareagle||

    *sniffs air*
    I detect a missing sarc tag

  • LTC(ret) John||

    I think the use of "dude" fits that bill.

  • sarcasmic||

    Generally "dude" "like" "and stuff" "totally" and/or lots of punctuation indicate sarcy's having a sargasm.

  • wareagle||

    duly noted.. Sargasm. That's good.

  • Jordan||

    You realize that certain forms of infringement are more tolerable than others, right? I think Levy's proposal, minus point 7, is a net gain for gun rights.

  • ||

    Point (4) is the only one I really like, with points (8), (9), and (10) being pretty good:

    (1) is something that can already be done; interstate sales of guns already go through dealers.

    (2) and (5), rather than doing what they claim to, do the opposite through poor construction - the Volokh Conspiracy did a piece outlining the reasons.

    (3) and (9) sound nice, but I'm very skeptical that these things would happen simply by legislative fiat.

    (6) I think is unnecessary; lawsuits asserting culpability almost always rely on complicity, claims that they're culpable for selling in good faith tend to go nowhere.

    Overall, I think what is gained (and there IS gain) is outweighed by the losses.

  • Robert||

    OK, now see, that is a good argument on this issue. I respect Robert Levy, but I know that even leadership can go wrong in analysis. I saw a striking example of that in a food & drug law reform bill ~20 yrs. ago, so I know that just because someone has a well deserved following that I generall agree with doesn't mean s/he's always right. But that doesn't make hir a stupid fuck, either.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Looks like everyone's citing the same longish rant by Kopel about the compromise, which I eviscerate below. More Kos-esque swarming behavior, how sad.

    BTW, (1) doesn't address shipments, it addresses face to face sales at dealers outside your state of residence, and dealers crossing state lines to sell at gun shows, which are currently illegal for handguns.

  • ||

    Looks like everyone's citing the same longish rant by Kopel

    Well, no, actually not. It's just that most people with functioning brains happened to reach similar conclusions for obvious reasons.

    which I eviscerate below

    Lol, you're cute. Kinda like the Philosophy 101 freshman who thinks he's "eviscerated" Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Descartes, Kant and Rousseau after his first lecture.

  • ||

    My article is not the one you responded to, and I don't think you "eviscerated" anything. Bringing up concerns about a single point he makes doesn't qualify. It's just not worth responding to. Your point about handgun sales is noted, however.

  • Gray Ghost||

    Especially when, at least in his reply to my advice to read Kopel, he admitted not wanting to slog through the text. The guy's only an attorney who's been writing on the subject of the 2nd Amendment for the last 30 years: what could you possibly learn from reading him?

    "Eviscerate?" Idiot.

    Screw it, SF and Epi are right. I'm done arguing with him. Take your tired, needlessly pedantic, faux-devil's advocate shtick elsewhere.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    I read through about a third of his text and he was dropping red herrings and unjustified claims left and right. He stated BO was in fact creating a registry, and started giving examples of DHS and ATF requesting extra records from FFLs and CCW lists from state police in MO. Concerning, perhaps, but not evidence of a registry. And he never connected the registry concerns with expanded NICS checks which is what we're dealing with in this proposed legislation. I'm not sure he could, since the NICS system is ultimately under the control of the Attorney General, ie the person/office forbidden from producing a registry.

    Then he moved on to another topic and I didn't feel like wasting more time with him. Unless there is a huge change after that first part, it is a poorly-written and ill-conceived article. Every ideological movement that gets big enough seems to develop these high priests that they turn to to justify their positions, and I guess Kopel has that status in the gun rights movement. Not a fan of high priesthoods myself; I prefer rational argument.

  • itsnotmeitsyou||

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    As I stated above, Picard was actually acting irrationally there, and realized this once Lilly made him confront his true feelings. Then he did precisely what he was refusing to do in that clip.

  • ||

    And yet no one ever talks about how awesome his calming down was.

  • sarcasmic||

    In any compromise with liberals, all you do is take them a step closer to their goal. They may say that it will end with the compromise, and before the ink is try they'll be pushing for the next step towards their goal.

    The simple fact is that liberals are fraudsters. If their lips are moving they're probably lying.

  • GregMax||

    I used to think "reasonable" gun laws were acceptable. But the more I see the more firmly I have moved to the no compromise side of this.
    First, gun ownership and the right to carry are as fundamental Constitutionally protected rights as freedom of religion, speech, the press. . . and they should simply not be infringed at all. In fact, government at all levels are prohibited from infringing on these rights. Government can punish you for anti-social action but not for the possibility that you may commit some action.
    Second, as to background checks - if background checks are supposed to be a safety net to stop transfers to people who threaten society or provide some level of danger then why does the serial number of the firearm have to be included in the check? The weapon type maybe be prohibited from transfer and an FFL would know this and refuse the transfer. But the ATF does not need to know that a 22 caliber piston with some specific serial number is part of the transfer.
    These records are required to be kept for decades and can (by executive order perhaps) be demanded turned over to the BATF at any point and put into a permanent record of who last transferred a specific gun. This is a complete con!

  • GregMax||

    . . . Third, by what authority does the government have the power to tell a person convicted of a felony they can't exercise their 2nd amendment right? Can they punish a felon by saying they can't be Catholic? Or say they can't have a blog? No.

    This whole thing is unconstitutional and nothing more than a liberal/collectivist mindset that has no respect for people's superiority over government.

    NO COMPROMISE!

  • sarcasmic||

    fytw

  • John||

    Beyond the second amendment issue, where does Congress get the authority to govern the effects of state convictions? If New York wants to make it illegal for its felons to own a gun, that is one thing. But for Congress to unilaterally decide for the entire country what affect a state conviction should have?

  • sarcasmic||

    When the ban on felons was passed, felonies were some serious shit.

    Now everything is a felony.

    I wonder why that is?

  • From the Tundra||

    This is an incredibly important point. Every time we let these fucksticks pass ANY law it moves more decision making and problem solving further away from the individuals and their immediate community. 2A is just too important to fuck with. Life=risk. We get it. Now, just let us deal with it. Don't fix any more problems. Is it really that hard to understand?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Most of the federal gun laws are presumably based on the interstate commerce clause, so they're not really regulating state penalties, they're regulating "commerce". (Yes, I know the ICC is overly expansive)

  • ||

    That is fucking retarded. (of them, not you)

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    One of the few recent "good" enumerated powers rulings was US v Lopez which invalidated the Gun Free School Zones Act on the books at the time because it exceeded the powers of the ICC.

    The next year Congress rewrote it, replacing (for example) "firearm" with "firearm which has moved in whole or in part in a manner substantially affecting interstate commerce" and the courts gave their blessing. And that's the GFSZA we have today.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Fuck off, Levy.

    I have to leave now, but that pretty much covers it.

  • mr lizard||

    I think these assholes believe that they and their constituents can outlast 2a proponent's attention span.

  • John||

    Prominent liberals, not just cranks but actual powerful politicians like Feinstein, Pelosi, Bloomberg and many others, have been frank for years about their desire to ban private gun ownership. And leftists in other western democratic countries like Britain and Australia have banned and confiscated guns.

    Yet, we are supposed to believe that the Dems want "reasonable gun control" and whatever bill they come up with isn't a Trojan horse designed to lay the foundation for future gun control or a way to empower the executive to confiscate guns based on the use ambiguous terms like "mentally ill" or "dangerous"?

    Sorry but you can only negotiate and compromise with people who have earned some amount of trust and faith, which these people haven't on this issue. So compromise is impossible. Any bill that involves some kind of horse trading of loosening laws in one area in return for tightening laws in another is dead on arrival. Liberals cannot be trusted on this issue to keep their end of the bargain or not twist any new law or restriction way beyond what it was intended to be or sold as. Forget it.

  • Ray||

    If this "compromise" is so great from a pro-gun standpoint, why did the failure to pass it make the gun-grabbers so hysterical? The supposed "protections" Levy cites all have loopholes large enough to drive a freight train through, as multiple observers have already pointed out. Inexact language is *always* exploited by the gun-grabbers, which is why the production of fully-automatic firearms is currently banned, for example.

    BTW, Social Security "privatization" is probably the most retarded-ass idea ever the beltwaytarians have ever come up with (and that's saying something). If Bush had actually managed to pass it in 2005, the massive losses all the "private account" holders would've taken would make politically necessary a multi-trillion dollar bailout, which would have been blamed on "unbridled capitalism," and would've given us the joys of Obama with 70 Senate seats for 8 years.

  • John||

    If this "compromise" is so great from a pro-gun standpoint, why did the failure to pass it make the gun-grabbers so hysterical?

    That is an excellent point Ray. I guess the gun grabbers agreed to such a pro gun bill and support it so much because they are just kind souls or something.

    Wow is Levy a rube.

  • Ray||

    I realize I may have offended mentally-disabled donkeys by comparing them to what beltwaytarians come up with. Allow me to use my correct n-word-privileges: It's a gay-ass idea.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    If this "compromise" is so great from a pro-gun standpoint, why did the failure to pass it make the gun-grabbers so hysterical?

    Because they're idiots who cheer for whatever their team tells them to cheer for. BO and the Dems really wanted a "signature gun reform" measure to tout as a victory to their base, and when it became obvious that even UBC wasn't going to pass, they were desperate for something, anything.

    Hell, they were furious when Obama removed the "public option" from Obamacare, remember? But now they cheer for Obamacare like it's the greatest legislation in history.

    When the compromise terms first came out the gun grabbers hated it because it gave too much away. Only after it failed and became a convenient stick to beat pro-gun people with did they pretend to favor it.

  • Ray||

    So Obamacare is now a great libertarian compromise too? I hope you're not a lawyer, because I'm not putting you at any negotiating tables.

    A gun-grabbing bill championed and enthusiastically supported by Four Loko, the Wicked Witch of the West, and Big Gulp is never going to be a good one, period. Simply because they would prefer something more extreme doesn't make their "compromise" proposal the least bit good.

  • ||

    Well, they wanted to confiscate and destroy all guns, but they settled for just destroying medical privacy and collecting terabytes of data on gun sales that they would never ever ever ever ever ever ever use for nefarious purposes (pinky swear!), so you see? We compromised!

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I enumerate 10 benefits of an improved Manchin-Toomey bill

    I see most of those as "no change".

    And if you think the cops give a shit about actually obeying the law, you're an idiot.

  • CJR||

    I would be willing to talk about compromise, if the gun-control advocates would show some good faith. If Bloomy, et al., would get behind a bill that would allow out-of-state individual purchases from an FFL, or remove silencers from the NFA, then after that bill is law I'd be willing to sit down and talk. Until then, I'll keep working under the assumption that the gun control shot-callers are the same lying weasels that they've always been.

  • John||

    But that would require the other side to show good faith and give ground. And they don't have to do that. It is our job to give ground and be happy they didn't take more. Tulpa told me so.

  • CJR||

    Yup, that's the point. When you have prohibitionists openly stating that this bill was nothing more than a starting point, you'd have to be a fool not to take them at their word.

    "Killing the attack in the nest" is a perfectly reasonable strategy.

  • ||

    remove silencers from the NFA

    WTF is a silencer?

  • Virginian||

  • CJR||

    It's a piece of safety equipment, used to muffle the report of a gunshot.

  • ||

    That's a suppressor, aint nothin' silent about it.

  • CJR||

    Silencer and suppressor are both technically correct terms, among others. Nobody likes a pedant, especially when they don't know what they're talking about.

  • John||

    I would like to think Levy might read this post and he could have read the objections to his positions. Instead Tulpa showed up and shit all over the thread insuring all of the cogent objections are lost in the cloud of stupidity and mendacious bullshit he put out. Thanks a lot Tulpa. You have done your concern troll duty for the day.

  • tarran||

    And you encouraged him by interacting with him like he was people.

  • ||

    Tulpa is soylent green?

  • SugarFree||

    He's just working his beat. shrike is handling the Obamacare thread disruption today, and Tony is keeping an eye out for any global warming threads he can muck up.

  • ||

    You know, I have been noticing that pattern more and more lately.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Right, John, we must present a unified front when dealing with heretics. Maybe H+R should be more like Kos and delete posts that dilute the groupthink.

  • AlmightyJB||

    This is the worst chatroom ever.

  • ||

    No YOU'RE a towel!

  • prolefeed||

    Nonetheless, on the merits, even if Manchin-Toomey will have little or no effect on gun violence and isn't the legal regime that libertarians would like, the compromise bill is superior to the legal regime we now have.

    "It won't make things better than the status quo, but it is better anyway"? The fuck?

  • 16th amendment||

    I have no problems with background checks at gun shows and private sales on ebay and such. The problem with the bill was that it was too long. I think over 200 pages. It's more than background checks. If it was one page law republicans would have passed it.

  • ||

    private sales on ebay and such.

    Lol. eBay hasn't allowed gun sales since it was founded. Nor ammo, nor most accessories. The online auction sites that do allow gun sales (like gunbrokers) all require background checks for interstate sales, just like anything else.

  • Gray Ghost||

    eBay hasn't allowed gun sales since it was founded. Nor ammo, nor most accessories.

    Though they do offer holsters and snap caps, oddly. Great prices.

    I thought---help me out with this---that the only people who don't need a background check currently are when someone who isn't in the business of selling firearms, sells to a same-state resident, in that state? Is this so big a loophole for crime that we need to stamp it out? Particularly when it would have the effect of eliminating transfers between family members, friends borrowing guns for the weekend, etc...

    Closing the loophole wouldn't have stopped most of the notable mass shootings, other than perhaps slowed down the Columbine guys. Then again, Harris was 18, and IIRC would have passed any background check then or now.

    I'm still not seeing the concessions offered by Levy that are worth moving off this stance. Especially since my side looks like it's winning.

  • ||

    I thought---help me out with this---that the only people who don't need a background check currently are when someone who isn't in the business of selling firearms, sells to a same-state resident, in that state?

    100% correct. Face to face private sales don't require a background check. Out of state sales must be shipped to a FFL holder in the receiving state and are subject to the same background check that any FFL purchase would be.

    But hey, in exchange for making you into a law enforcement officer for a day when you go to sell your gun to somebody in the same state or transfer it to your nephew for his bar mitzvah, daddy gubmint promises to clear up their backlog in background checks. And if your buyer is a veteran, they might not turn him down because he took Effexor 10 years ago. How can you not see what a huge victory this is?

  • 16th amendment||

    In any case, what constitutional authority does the government have to regulate gun sales? The states can do it.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    The commerce clause is pretty indisputably active (even in literalist circles) if the gun is sold across state lines, and/or (possibly) using the Internet as a means of communication of the offers.

    The expanded commerce clause that actually exists according to the courts allows it because gun sales affect interstate commerce.

  • ||

    The obvious solution to this is for the republicans to draft a mandatory gun bill with some form of penaltax for NOT buying a gun.

    It's sure to pass both houses because TAX! and the supreme court has already decided that a penaltax is a-ok.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Actually, you don't even need the tax logic; in the early days of the US there were laws requiring that able-bodied men of military age purchase a musket and a certain amount of powder and balls (justified by Congress' constitutional power to regulate the militia).

  • GregMax||

    So, by the logic of the interstate commerce clause if I buy a bullhorn from Maryland and use it in Washington, the federal government can regulate speech?
    Or if I buy vestments from New York and use them in Iowa, the court thinks the Feds can regulate religious practices . . . in the public interest.
    There's really no limit to this twisted logic. Can they regulate cars? Okay they aren't constitutionally protected. But to simply lump accoutrement of protected rights into the commerce clause is little more than statist rationalization.

  • An0nB0t||

    But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain - that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    There are implicit exceptions to the BoR to protect public safety/justice system functioning.

    If your religion requires sacrificing virgins, the Free Exercise clause does not immunize you from murder laws. If you make a death threat to a person, or lie under oath in court, the Freedom of Speech does not protect you from prosecution for that speech act.

    Because of the inherently destructive nature of using "Arms" as opposed to Speech and Religion, the Second Amendment is necessarily going to trigger more exceptions than the First. These exceptions, of course, should not be allowed to neuter the rest of the amendment, as the minority opinion in Heller would have done, but they are there.

  • Mr. Weebles||

    Nonetheless, on the merits, even if Manchin-Toomey will have little or no effect on gun violence and isn't the legal regime that libertarians would like, the compromise bill is superior to the legal regime we now have.

    Could someone please explain what the compromise is? Compromising means both parties in a dispute give up part of their demand. Exactly what would I, a lawful gun owner, gain in return for agreeing to expanded background checks?

    The bill isn't a "compromise," it's getting fucked slightly less rougher than planned.

    If they truly want to compromise, here's my proposal

    1. Drop the National Firearms Act
    2. Nationwide CCW reciprocity
    3. Do away with the Lautenberg Amendment

    Give me those three, and you can have your expanded background checks.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Did you read Levy's listing of the benefits to gun owners in the article?

  • ||

    Yes, and they are all bullshit in one way or another.

  • Mr. Weebles||

    Yes, I did read them. They are horseshit.

    It would allow Americans to buy handguns from out-of-state sellers, which is not allowed currently.

    I can already buy handguns from out-of-state sellers. In fact, I've done it in the past. When I ordered the handguns, they were sent to a local FFL and they ran a background check on me and I took the guns home.

    It would explicitly prohibit the creation of a national gun registry, and make it a felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison, to misuse records from the national database used for background checks.

    Registration is already prohibited.

    It would affirm that unloaded guns with a lock mechanism in place can be transported across state lines.

    FOPA already allows unloaded and locked guns to be transported across state lines.

    Once again, I'll ask: Where is claimed compromise? What do I get in exchange for expanded background checks?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Section 124 of the amendment alters (18 USC 922) in the following manner

    (b) It shall be unlawful for any licensed importer, licensed
    manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector to sell or
    deliver -
    (3) any firearm to any person who the licensee knows or has
    reasonable cause to believe does not reside in (or if the person
    is a corporation or other business entity, does not maintain a
    place of business in) the State in which the licensee's place of
    business is located or temporarily located, except that this paragraph (A) shall not
    apply to the sale or delivery of any rifle or shotgun firearm to a
    resident of a State other than a State in which the licensee's
    place of business is located or temporarily located if the transferee meets in person
    with the transferor to accomplish the transfer, and the sale,
    delivery, and receipt fully comply with the legal conditions of
    sale in both such States (and any licensed manufacturer, importer
    or dealer shall be presumed, for purposes of this subparagraph,
    in the absence of evidence to the contrary, to have had actual
    knowledge of the State laws and published ordinances of both
    States
    the State in which the transfer is conducted and the State of residence of the transferee), and (B) shall not apply to the loan or rental of a
    firearm to any person for temporary use for lawful sporting
    purposes;
  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Oops, the last boldified text actually replaces "both Such States" before the parenthetical.

    Anyway, it allows you to buy a handgun directly from a dealer while out of state, so long as the laws of your state are considered similar to the state you're buying it in.

  • Mr. Weebles||

    What is the benefit to me? I live in NH. Driving elsewhere to buy a handgun would cost me more due to the price of fuel. Besides, I can buy any kind of handgun I want here.

    I still fail to see any meaningful compromise on behalf of the Anti-2nd Amendment fanatics.

    They're starting off with the assumption that there will be some sort of restrictions on my Constitutional rights and are now only deciding on the severity of those restrictions.

    Basically what they're saying is "We're gonna fuck you but will fuck you gentler if you don't oppose this bill."

    Well, they can go fuck themselves. How about no restrictions at all?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    What is the benefit to me?

    The 30.06 bolt rifle and over-under shotgun owner might ask the same about your opposition to an AWB and mag limit.

    No restrictions on handguns has as much chance of happening as a national handgun ban. The same obstructions that prevent Schumer/Durbin from doing as they please prevent us from doing as we please. Having bars on the windows is swell if you're worried about burglars, but not so good if you're worried about fires.

  • Mr. Weebles||

    Tulpa, I can explain this to you but I can't understand it for you:

    The article's author spoke of a "compromise." That means the anti-Constitutional gun grabbers will give up some of their demands if I give up some of mine.

    However, they have yet to articulate what they are willing to give up. I asked for the NFA to be repealed, the Lautenberg Amendment to be rescinded and 50-state CCW reciprocity but they won't give me any of them. Is that compromising?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Compromise doesn't mean you get everything you want...

  • Mr. Weebles||

    No shit.

    But the anti-2nd Amendment lunatics NEVER asked what the other side wanted. They merely said there WILL be gun control and here's the least-worst option.

    That isn't compromise, that's extortion.

  • ||

    When the left in general, and gun Nazis in particular, speak of compromise, you aren't a party to the negotiations. They compromised with themselves. They wanted to fuck you in the ass vigorously, but they settled for fucking you in the mouth, on the condition you swallow. Congratulations! You've just "won" your first "compromise"

  • Gray Ghost||

    Dave Kopel does an excellent job eviscerating the "benefits to gun owners" that Levy cites in his post. Like most of the rest of you, I fail to see exactly what benefits gun owners were supposed to realize from this legislation. Kopel does a great job showing that Levy's points 2 and 5 have large loopholes that prevent them from meaningfully constraining the Gov't.

    Point 1 would be great if it actually operated the way Levy implies in the quote used here. However, when you look at his longer reply to Kopel, it looks like a non-FFL buyer still can't purchase a handgun from an out of state seller. So I'm not seeing any gain from the amendment. Point 6, I thought, was already the law, i.e,. knowing intent to sell to a prohibited person was already required. So again, I'm not seeing a gain here.

    You can go down the line and see that Levy's cited gains are either minuscule or illusory. Not worth the concession of requiring a background check for every transfer of a firearm, IMHO. And definitely not worth helping the Feds start a more comprehensive firearms registry, which this amendment would have aided, protests from Levy to the contrary.

    Again, go read Kopel's concerns about the amendment.

    I'd be very concerned if I was on CATO's board of directors or was responsible for explaining Levy's comments to donors.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Kopel's article is very long and, judging by the first point, doesn't look very promising in the "not being stupid" category either.

    Has this stopped the Obama administration from registering guns? Definitely not. On July 12, 2011, the Obama administration sent a “demand letter” to every licensed firearms dealer in the four southwest border states ordering that any sale of two or more semi-automatic rifles to a person within five business days must be reported to the ATF. Ostensibly, this mass demand for gun-sales records is part of “a criminal investigation” into gun trafficking into Mexico.

    This is at worst a falsity and at best a red herring. His claim of an Obama administration registry is not supported by the subsequent facts he gives. While I think BO's administration is probably up to no good here, demand letter != registry.

    Plus, every one of those transactions must have had a NICS check performed for it, as the records are demanded from FFLs only; so if the NICS checks are being used to produce a registry (which I believe is Kopel's ultimate point), the additional demand letters seem superfluous, no?

    He follows this up with another red herring about DHS getting CCW permit information from the Missouri Highway Patrol. Troubling, of course, but I'm still waiting for something that has to do with NICS being used to make a registry!

    Not promising. Maybe if I have more time later I'll trudge through the voluminous essay he wrote.

  • ||

    Here's his piece at the Volokh Conspiracy about the registration and interstate transport portions of the bill.

    Basically, rather than protecting against registration and providing for safe transport, through poor construction it effectively allows registration and makes more people transporting guns into felons.

  • Robert||

    I'd be very concerned if I was on CATO's board of directors or was responsible for explaining Levy's comments to donors.


    What, because he got something wrong?

  • Gray Ghost||

    Not just something wrong, Robert. Coupled with his idiotic support of a magazine size limit, if I were a sizable donor, I'd question why someone working for an organization that ostensibly exists to advocate protecting all civil liberties, is repeatedly advocating limiting liberties for no effective reason. Even if such were his personal opinion, I'd question why he would've thought publicly saying so would be a good idea, considering the mission of the organization he leads. And then I'd wonder whether he'd made similar errors in judgment than I hadn't heard of.

    Really, I think John hit it on the head earlier in the thread, with the supposition that Levy's gone native, gotten Beltway disease, what have you.

    Hell, just read his own words from the linked article:

    But the NRA is less convincing in its opposition to a ban on magazines with 20 or more rounds, a sensibly refined version of the assault weapons ban, and background checks (if they can be completed in no more than 24 hours) on private sales at gun shows.

    This sound like someone firmly committed to ensuring that all civil liberties---not just the popular ones in Georgetown---are zealously protected and advocated for?

  • ||

    At the least, it shows he has a skewed grasp of how much of a violation these proposals are, and very poor political sense (Mr. Levy would do well to read Megan McArdle's article as to why opposing gun control won't significantly affect elections).

    Really, I think John hit it on the head earlier in the thread, with the supposition that Levy's gone native, gotten Beltway disease, what have you.

    This presumes he's changed his mind and used to be against these sorts of concessions. I don't think that's the case. I really think he views gun rights as having less weight and doesn't understand why we're against making concessions. He seems to think more background checks are a minor thing to concede and doesn't realize the consequences of making such a concession.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    A lot of confusion as to what the compromise involves/involved. Here's the full text

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I'm just glad the KOCHTOPUS hostile takeover was thwarted.

    They might have destroyed CATOs credibility as a principled libertarian organization.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    It may not be so bad if you can get a good deal.

    But can you keep Obama from gutting the benefits with "signing statements"? Can you be sure his DOJ will actually obey the law? What can we do if it doesn't?

    And keep in mind that they'll take those benefits right back at the first available opportunity, and as always the media will be 99% on their side.

    It's okay to be pragmatic. But be completely pragmatic. I've been trying this sort of thing for 30 years with little to show for it but scars. You cannot take it for granted that the antis are dealing in good faith.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    If they can take our rights by EO with the bill in place, they can take them by EO without the bill.

  • RightNut||

    I'm all for compromise, even if it requires concessions in the short term, provided in the long term it forces concessions from opponents. I see the concessions gun owners would give with Manchin-Toomey, but I fail to see any concessions from the gun grabbers, even long term. Would Manchin-Toomey mollify the gun grabbers for a time? Yes, but we've all seen this movie before, as soon as the next mass shooting happens they will cry out "Manchin-Toomey did not go far enough!", and we'll be back to square one. No thanks.

  • ||

    Exactly, to them every killing is an opportunity for more restrictive policies. What's amazing is allowing them to use these tragedies and stand on graves and wave bloody shirts to promote policies that would not have prevented the tragedies.

    So today it's mandatory background checks on private sales. This wouldn't have prevented any mass killing in recent memory. The best this could have done is allowed CO to prosecute the girl who got the guns for the Columbine killers. That's it. I highly doubt any of this would have prevented that tragedy and it sure as hell wouldn't have prevented Newtown and Aurora.

    So the next time, when background checks fail to stop a tragedy it will be back to banning scary guns and magazines larger than 2 round and some other sort of silly nonsense. When that doesn't work it will be banning guns that start with the letter S and barrels larger than 3". On and on until private ownership of firearms is a distant memory.

    Every appeasement only emboldens them and makes it obvious that they will get what they want next time and the only thing they need to do to assure themselves victory is show up.

  • Robert||

    What's with all the "stupid fuck"s? Here it's Robert Levy, there it's Richard Epstein. People, these analysts did not get to where they are by being stupid fucks. And you didn't get to be a commenter by being super brilliant. I'm not saying lots of you aren't smart, just that you're drawing conclusions about people's bona fides and/or intelligence based on AFAICT the fact that you disagree with them about something. Did you ever consider the possibility that you could be wrong?

    I had plenty of disagreement with, say, Thomas Szasz or any of loads of leading libertarian lights, but I never thought of them as stupid fucks. Once in a while I even thought for a long time about where Robert LeFevre (an example that comes to mind) was wrong until I realized he was right.

  • ||

    Yep, it must be everybody else. It couldn't be that THE Robert Levy might actually be behaving like a stupid fuck in this particular case, when 99% of the libertarians on planet earth disagree with him. We must just all be retarded. Please ejimicate us!!!

  • ||

    You're being an overbearing ass. That isn't what he said. He didn't call you stupid but you ARE acting like a retard just because someone wants you to rebut his argument rather than throwing insults like monkeys throw poop.

  • ||

    Sorry, but being libertarian doesn't mean I lick the boots of other libertarians. That's not how it works. You don't get the benefit of the doubt when you advocate anti-liberty policy just because you've been right in the past. To convince me you actually have to present and coherent argument, Levy has failed and here on reason.com in the comment section you get called a "stupid fuck" for doing much less.

  • ||

    Where the hell does "calling him stupid is nonsensical" equal "licking boots"? God some things just make everyone here lose all reading comprehension.

  • ||

    People, these analysts did not get to where they are by being stupid fucks. And you didn't get to be a commenter by being super brilliant.

    actually, some of us are able to read between the lines, and don't just say "oh these people are our betters."

  • ||

    No one said that you condescending asshole. Some of us are able to read the ACTUAL TEXT and don't just say "he thinks they're better than us!"

  • Robert||

    In other online forums I raise hackles (sometimes even get kicked out by jerk moderators) for failing to lick the boots of authorities so thin skinned they can't brook disagreement. Here it's the opposite, authorities are called stupid fucks for being wrong (or putatively wrong) in a given case. Folks, can't we just think about things, and neither take them for granted because they come from an expert nor impugn the expert's expertise or bona fides because s/he got something wrong?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    People, these analysts did not get to where they are by being stupid fucks. And you didn't get to be a commenter by being super brilliant.

    Well, I'm not comfortable with giving special treatment to people who are christened "analysts". If he's wrong he's wrong and one should argue strongly against him (though in this case I agree with him). I think a good policy, however, would be to just refrain from calling anyone a "stupid fuck" as it doesn't help one's argument at all and makes one's comment look like it's written in crayon.

  • Tejicano||

    The items mentioned by Levy in the supposed "comprommise" were struck off the actual bill by Chuck Schumer befpre the vote was taken and nobody called him an obstructionist so, no, I don't believe any deal struck in DC will be played fairly in the press.

    The so-called compromise to allow out-of-state handgun purchases would have to see state laws repealed first. Seeing how quickly Chicago jumped up to change the law after it lost McDonald IN THE FREAKING SUPREME COURT I see little reason to expect much fruit from that "compromise".

    We already got FOPA over 25 years ago and states like NJ refuse to observe the "travel rights" that was supposed to return to us. By their past examples the states which are the biggest opponents to gun ownership have proven that they are not going to go along with anyting we are supposed to be winning from this even if these "compromises" are not struck from the bill before the vote again.

    So, not "no" but "Hell no" would be my response. Molon Labe motherfuckers!

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    The so-called compromise to allow out-of-state handgun purchases would have to see state laws repealed first.

    That's not entirely true. Sure, if I'm a NY resident I still can't buy a handgun in PA because the laws are dissimilar, but if I'm a PA resident and want to buy a handgun in AZ (on vacation/on temporary job assignment/etc) this compromise would have made such a sale legal, which it's not currently.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    You're a dumb fuck, "Robert".

    Go away.

  • Robert||

    Seems to be the label for somebody thoughtful.

  • ||

    Not really. It's a good description of someone who is saying something stupid and acting like a fuck though.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Damn, you guys have a chip on your shoulder. Or maybe somewhere else in your anatomy.

    Anyone who disagrees and doesn't disappear is nitpicking/trolling/arrogant/whatever.

  • JeremyR||

    I don't understand what is gained by this. Giving up liberty and getting nothing in return.

    I don't think background should exist. Committing a felony shouldn't automatically disqualify you from being able to protect yourself.

    A famous libertarian SF writer once wrote a novel on the premise, "The right to buy weapons is the right to be free". The novel wasn't as good as the line, but he's absolutely right.

    If anything, we should be reducing restrictions on guns. Would those children have been any deader had the murderer used a fully automatic weapon? No. So why are the law abiding denied them?

  • Tejicano||

    "Would those children have been any deader had the murderer used a fully automatic weapon?"

    The truth is that you could expect that fewer children would have been killed had the murderer used a fully automatic weapon.

    Everytime I have let a shooting buddy fire a couple magazines though one of my registered machineguns they are universally amazed at how little they hit and how fast the magazine goes empty.

  • ||

    That's one of the reasons that most infantry don't fire on full auto most of the time.

  • Tejicano||

    I served four years in the US Marine Infantry - but lots of people who've never had the chance to fire anythingon full-auto just like to keep he trigger mashed down to see what it feels like.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    If, by "thoughtful" you mean "deferential to authority".

  • ||

    I don't think he's being deferential to authority here. He's saying we should argue on the merits of Levy's argument rather than implying he's an idiot or hates freedom ("fuck off, slaver", "eat shit", "fuck you Levy"). He (Robert) doesn't even seem to support the bill ("he got something wrong").

  • Tejicano||

    OK, so when was it that we gave anything up to the anti-gun group which put an end - once and for all - to the discussion?

    So here we are again, Charlie Brown, and this time you have Mr. Levy telling you that Lucy really will let you kick the ball. Could you blame Charlie Brown for thinking Levy is a stupid fuck?

    I mean really. In the past few years our side has won some of the biggest cases before the supreme court in this issue - and what has changed in reality? Districts, cities, and states continue to flout these findings and act as if nothing has changed.

  • ||

    Districts, cities, and states continue to flout these findings and act as if nothing has changed.

    This.

    It amazes me that so many of the restrictions in localities and states aren't being fought with more vigor. Best to gain these victories while there are 5 justices who recognize the individual right to own firearms.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I don't think he's being deferential to authority here.

    His opening gambit was a pure appeal to authority: "Mistah Levy is a very important and highly regarded man, you dumb hicks."

    And there are plenty of substantive rebuttals to Levy's assertions about the alleged "gains" in the bill, if Robert could bring himself to wade through the usual fetid swamp of vitriol and Star Trek references.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Unlike the people defering to Dave Kopel's authority upthread?

    Oh, THAT's acceptable because he's been a lawyer for 30 years.

  • Robert||

    Seems like people are just extending the false maxim, "The personal is political," to its logical conclusion, i.e., "The political is personal."

  • An0nB0t||

    Turns out that Rothbard was right about Cato and the Kochtopus. Again. The idea that RKBA owners could assume good faith on the part of a movement that is, by virtue of its existence, engaging in bad faith arguments against a natural right codified into a civil right by the highest law in the land, is absurd. At best, the M-T bill would trade a promise to slacken a handful of infringements for new categories of infringement.

    No. We're done with that. We need to start having a national conversation about permitting people to defend themselves legally in public by ending gun-free zones and may-issue permitting, about reducing federal involvement in the manufacture, sale, and ownership of firearms, and of including firearms safety training--even the bare minimum Eddie Eagle would be a good start--in public school curricula to improve public education re: firearms. This is the only conversation I'm interested in having, and I look forward to the day when household 3D-molecular printing puts an end to the central planners' anxious and endless desire for control of what is inherently uncontrollable.

  • Justblaze24||

    "The idea that RKBA owners could assume good faith on the part of a movement that is, by virtue of its existence, engaging in bad faith arguments against a natural right codified into a civil right by the highest law in the land, is absurd."

    Exactly. There has already been too much "compromise" with the gun control crowd. Gun ownership is a fundamental right, not a bargaining chip. The truly disturbing part of this is that Mr. Levy pretends such compromise would actually be advancing gun rights. There is no tenable argument for that. It is a mere assertion. The ten alleged benefits would not offset the damage caused by national background checks. The burden is on the gun controllers to justify their arguments, not on the rest of us to satisfy their prejudices.

  • Anders||

    I don't mean to Godwin but basically this guy is Hitler and everyone who agrees with him failed the test as gas chamber technicians.

  • ronaldlouis105||

    just as Mark said I am startled that a mom can profit $6160 in 4 weeks on the computer. did you see this site link..... WWW.DAZ7.COM

  • Justblaze24||

    I don't understand. Are those ten benefits part of the original bill that failed in the senate or are they part of a nonexistent proposal? The problem with this whole premise is that it assumes that going along with the anti-gun crowd in their efforts to restrict gun rights is OK as long as we sneak in a few things that might be attractive to libertarians. Why don't we rather push for complete repeal of all current federal gun laws instead of adding to and complicating the layers of bullshit already on the books? If you want to reduce gun violence why not push to disarm the state? What purpose does complicating an already stupid law with a few concessions serve? I can't think of one other than to appear to be reasonable. But it's not reasonable to compromise with idiots, and that is exactly what Mr. Levy is asking us to do.

  • LTCOLRET||

    I AM A REASON SUBSCRIBER, #790409406051# . WTFO GOOD DOES THAT DO ME?

  • crystallann||

    upto I looked at the bank draft which said $7947, I did not believe ...that...my neighbour could realey bringing home money part-time from their laptop.. there moms best frend haz done this 4 only about ten months and recently paid the depts on there home and purchased a brand new Aston Martin DB5. go to, www.up444.com

  • Jon Lester||

    Aston Martin sales records disagree.

  • trutherator||

    The better idea is to keep pounding on one repeated theme, over and over again, until they get it. Have one ten-word sound bite that is included everywhere, and then set it loose with a new wrapper each time. By wrapper I mean some story or image or statistic that proves the point, or another supporting quote.

    Susan Krupp made her point in an appearance before legislators. The main point of the 2nd amendment was to protect us from "you" and she pointed to on of those same legislators. "And you" and pointed to another one. "And you", and pointed to another one.

    Burn those images into their brains and stop giving ground to these tyrants and their compromisers. "Compromise" got us here, and it has ALREADY taken us back to Lexington.

    How about a background check on every Congressman that votes in either direction on a gun bill?

    Gimme a sound bite. Or image. Post Susan Krupp on youtube pointing at these wannabe mini-tyrants.

  • Neoconwatch||

    Robert Levy has fallen under the influence of the neoconservatives. He is using their language in this article, including their buzz words "compromise," "regime," and (mockingly) "pristine" philosophy, while exhorting the reader to ignore "libertarian principles" for the sake of "a pro-liberty result." This last is boiler plate Straussian logic, the archetypal example being George W. Bush's infamous 2008 statement that he has "abandoned free market principles to save the free market."

    Levy's co-option likely happened since he retired down to Florida, which is swarming with neocons. The entire GOP in that state is compromised.

    Levy has done some good things in his time, and he is unlikely to ever be a full, consistent neoconservative, but he should no longer be considered a libertarian. Who better for the neocons to co-opt and reverse on gun freedom than the man who personally fought to bring D.C. vs. Heller to the SCOTUS?

  • Lawman45||

    He just wants to get invited to dinner at the White House.

  • Jayburd||

    I don't have a lot of free time to spend in forums so I'll keep it short. Compromise is when a wolf and a sheep agree to only eat the sheep's leg. Hey, the sheep gets a meal out of the deal!

  • EstherBartz||

    upto I saw the receipt saying $6362, I accept that my mom in-law was like they say trully making money part time at there computar.. there uncles cousin had bean doing this for only about 17 months and just now cleard the loans on their villa and bought themselves a Chrysler. I went here, www.up444.com

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