Why Licensing Gun Owners Is Unworkable and (Probably) Unconstitutional

When I appeared on HuffPost Live to discuss guns and gun laws with Daniel Fisher of Forbes Media (that's him, to the right) and Christina Wilkie of the Huffington Post, we all agreed that gun registration is a non-starter. I think everybody pretty much thought the same of universal background checks, though I'm open to being corrected on that point. Oddly, we never got around to "assault weapons" — probably an artifact of the time that we spent discussing culture and enforceability, though I know that Fisher, to the extent that he thinks there's a gun "problem," considers it to lie in the mis-use of handguns, not long guns. Which leads us to a proposal he made, with which Wilkie seemed to agree, and which I didn't have an opportunity to rebut: That owning a handgun should require a license based on meeting certain conditions, and that violators should be harshly punished.

Fisher also mentioned his licensing idea in a Forbes article in which, after examining Canada's experience, he dismissed gun registration for reasons of both practicality and non-compliance. He also, interestingly, points out that "every country is different and rates of gun ownership versus homicides have almost no correlation with each other." Nevertheless, he suggests "there are sensible things the U.S. can do to try and curb gun violence, including following Canada’s lead and passing strict regulations covering who can possess handguns — and jailing anyone found with one illegally."

The main problem that I can think of for licensing gun owners is that it converts a right that you can exercise at will into a privilege for which you need government permission. That raises important practical objections and, potentially, constitutional hurdles.

The practical objections should be clear in such a politically loaded issue: Informing millions of gun owners that they now need permission from government officials they've already clearly indicated they distrust to purchase and own firearms — something they consider a natural right — is begging for opposition and non-compliance on a massive scale. Fisher says he foresees little opposition because many gun owners have submitted to licensing and permitting requirements for concealed carry and hunting. But ... hunting is a recreational activity involving a use of a firearm that's already owned. Concealed carry also involves a use of an already owned gun — and permitting requirements for concealed carry are sufficiently controversial that several states, including my own Arizona, have repealed them or made them voluntary (some people still want them for the purposes of reciprocity with other states).

Requiring a license just to own a handgun already raises hackles in those jurisdictions that require it. Making the restriction national would involve a huge political battle. With many tens of millions of handguns already in circulation, the majority of gun owners would likely refuse to submit. As for "jailing anyone found with one illegally" ... Ask New York State how big an impact the draconian Rockefeller Drug Laws had on drug use. As Time's Madison Gray put it, "The laws almost immediately led to an increase in drug convictions, but no measurable decrease in overall crime." Frankly, jailing unlicensed handgun owners sounds like nothing more than a recipe for re-filling prisons that might start losing a few tenants if we ever seriously de-escalate the drug war.

As for the Constitutional issue ... We'll be years discovering the exact parameters of the Heller (PDF) decision, so it's impossible to say in absolute terms that a licensing requirement for handguns wouldn't make the cut in terms of judicial scrutiny. On it's face, it shouldn't — try to imagine a license for owning a printing press or practicing journalism surviving a serious reading of the First Amendment; there's no logical reason why the Second Amendment should be applied any differently. Writing for the majority, Justice Scalia said (PDF):

Although we do not undertake anexhaustive historical analysis today of the full scope of theSecond Amendment, nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.

Going on to overrule Washington, D.C.'s ban on handguns, Scalia continued:

Before this Court petitioners have stated that “if the handgun ban is struck down and respondent registers a handgun, he could obtain a license, assuming he is not otherwise disqualified,” by which they apparently mean if he is not a felon and is not insane. Brief for Petitioners 58. Respondent conceded at oral argument that he does not “have a problem with . . . licensing” and that the District’s law is permissible so long as it is “not enforced in an arbitrary and capricious manner.” Tr. of Oral Arg. 74–75. We therefore assume that petitioners’ issuance of a license will satisfy respondent’s prayer for relief and do not address the licensing requirement.

So the Supreme Court did allow a licensing requirement to stand in D.C., but only on the explicit understanding that it amounted to a certificate for passing a background check for a short list of exclusions. Requiring, as Fisher suggests, "strict regulations" to license handgun ownership would almost certainly run afoul of the Supreme Court's ruling that "the inherent right of self-defense has been central to the Second Amendment right" and "the American people have considered the handgun to be the quintessential self-defense weapon."

Before the idea enters the national conversation, let's make it clear: requiring handgun licenses would likely be national defiance-bait that would fill prisons and fuel political animosity — in the unlikely event that it survived a Second Amendment challenge.

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  • ||

    Frankly, jailing unlicensed handgun owners sounds like nothing more than a recipe for re-filling prisons that might start losing a few tenants if we ever seriously de-escalate the drug war.

    The Prison Guard Union approves this message.

  • Mediterranean Death Cult||

    The Prison Guard Union approves this message.

    If there's a group of people I have zero insight into, it's the ones who put themselves in prison for a living.

  • ||

    "If there's a group of people I have zero insight into, it's the ones who put themselves in prison for a living."

    I know some. They are mostly cop-wannabes that are actually too dumb, brutish or sadistic to make it onto the force.

    Let that soak in for a minute.

  • Hyperion||

    I for one, don't have much problem grasping that. Some people are sick sadistic fucks who love to abuse other people, who are helpless to stop it.

    That would definitely be the dream job for that type of sicko.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    And some are only looking for a paycheck and benefits. I admit I don't know which group better represents the occupation.

  • SIV||

    If I was imprisoned I'd rather have guards who were there for high pay and early retirement with a fat pension than someone who just loved his job and wasn't capable of doing anything that paid better or was more fun.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Unfortunately, it's a culture. Even the guys who go into it for just the steady pay and bennies can end up picking up prick habits from the established guys.

  • Sam Grove||

    Even the guys who go into it for just the steady pay and bennies can end up picking up prick habits from the established guys.

    That's called "socialization".

  • ||

    Went to a high school reunion a while back. The two biggest bullies in my graduating class...

    ...both prison guards.

  • Jim Tom||

    And I know several really well. They're OK dudes. But like any other job, they tell of the numbnuts they have worked with. The prison population takes care of them by and by.

  • ||

    Yeah, I was just thinking how the prison infrastructure has been built up. If the drug war really does wind down, it will be sitting there waiting to be refilled. I Have no doubt that the liar in chief would gladly try.

    I dont think that would turn out like he thinks it will.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    A couple of days ago, there were families of prison guards on TV protesting the fact that PA is closing the state jail in Greensburg due to low occupancy. They got offered new jobs at other state jails but they're pissed because they don't want their families to have to move.

    See the human cost of not locking up drug offenders. You family-splitting monsters.

  • Paul.||

    Jobs created or saved!

  • Hyperion||

    following Canada’s lead and passing strict regulations covering who can possess handguns

    Umm, don't we already have regulations about that, like umm, you have to pass a background check? Anything more than that is probably in violation of the 2nd, and I am still not really decided on if at least parts of the Brady Act of 93 might have went too far.

  • Hyperion||

    That being said, I think we just draw a line in the sand here and say 'no more fucking gun regulations, period'.

    Matter of fact that is pretty much my position on anything that the left wants. At least half of what they have already done, needs repealing.

  • Mediterranean Death Cult||

    And same for the right.

  • Hyperion||

    If you are talking about the GOP, I hardly consider most of them as being on the right.

  • Mediterranean Death Cult||

    Using common parlance. I consider the Republicans to be an equal disappointment to the Democrats. Both claim a public ideal, then betray it.

  • ||

    Come now Hype...

    The right thing do is compromise. Compromise is always good.

  • Hyperion||

    Yeah. You forgot the /sarcasm.

    Compromising is how we got to where we are today.

  • ||

    well, where we are today is the most LIBERAL (in the true sense) gun laws and the most expansive shall issue conceal carry we've ever had.

    and we haven't been compromising.

    but let's not forget , there are a few constitutional issues that have gotten MUCH BETTER over time. gun rights is one of the rare few (on a nationwide level. in many states, several privacy fronts have gotten much better while federal law has gone the opposite direction).

    the BRADY bunch would love some compromise but we haven;'t given them any, and i see no reason to start now

    the proof's in the pudding - 40 yr low for violent crime. lock up the scumbags, not the guns

  • Hyperion||

    I was talking overall, not just gun rights. We have gotten a little better on that, but for the most part, we've slipped way down the slippery slope into progressive hell.

  • ||

    a little better?

    sorry, i think this is more reasonoid myopic cynicism - mopery for the sake of mopery

    on the RKBA front, we have gotten MUCH better. dozens of more jurisdictions have gone to shall issue, heller, macdonald, etc etc

    it's been an astounding victory thus far

  • ||

    reasonoid myopic cyicism"

    That's bigoted.

  • sticks||

    Stop using shit like Rkba. Speak English motherfucker.

  • rollcast||

    I got it in ~5 seconds. But it was an annoying, unnecessary intellectual workout.

  • ||

    Amen brother.

  • Jim Tom||

    I got an idea for a compromise. I'll get a hand gun permit if you let me buy all the full auto rifles and suppressors I want (unregistered, of course!).

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    If we were dictators of the country that would work swell.

  • Hyperion||

    So, you want more compromise with the progressives, Tulpa?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    It may be unavoidable at some point, given demographics and the relative value Americans place on free shit vs. rights. Of course they totally screwed up this "opportunity for a discussion" by going right for the jugular the day after Newtown. But we can't count on that happening every time.

    If they had just talked about universal bkgd chex they would probably already have passed that. But now a lot of people have dug in their heels.

  • Hyperion||

    It may be unavoidable at some point

    You just proved my point. You may as well just give them everything that they want, right now, and get it over with.

  • juris imprudent||

    Given the demographics, your ass is going to get reamed some day. Might as well start today with Warty.

  • wakeup||

    one does not simply start with Warty.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    Yeah, isn't that usually the tragic ending?

  • ||

    The right get's pulled into this trap repeatedly.

    Post disaster:
    Left: We finally need to have a debate on sensible gun restrictions.
    Right: We aren't sure we need one.
    Left: See, these obstructionist bastards want the chilrenz to diez.
    Right: What do you have in mind?
    Left: Get rid of all guns.
    Right: We propose getting rid of no guns.
    Left: Let's compromise, we'll get rid of half the guns.

    Post next disaster:

    [REPEAT]

    The correct response:

    Left: We finally need to have a debate on sensible gun restrictions.

    Right: FUCK YOU, Second Amendment!

  • Hyperion||

    ^THIS^

    Tulpa is ready to give them 'just a little more' until next time, when they want just a little more, again.

  • ||

    what is the consensus on allowing private access to background checks? personally, i don't see this as a concession, but i am aware some might see it that way. imo, it's a benefit for RKBA freedoms.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Not quite. I'm talking compromise, not giving it away for free.

    As in, I'll give you universal background checks if you agree to roll back the Gun Free School Zone Act to something approaching sanity, clarify that airline travelers with stopovers in NYC are protected by FOPA, and roll back some of the stupidest parts of the NFA.

  • db||

    The NFA definitely needs to be revamped. Sound suppressors and SBRs, SBSs need to be reclassified as Title I firearms, and at the very least the '86 MG ban that created the categories of "transferable" and "post '86 dealer sample" needs to go away.

  • SIV||

    The NFA definitely needs to be revampedpealed.

    FIFY

    But yes, even w/o repeal a bunch of that SBR and AOW crap needs to change.AT LEAST when it comes to (pardon the awful term) sporting weapons. There should be no penalty, much less felony hard time, for having a single shot or bolt action SBR or a short barreled .410/.22 combo as a pest or pack gun.Even much of the EU treats suppressors as the sporting accessory they are.

  • db||

    Totally agree with you on the repeal, but baby steps may work better.

  • juris imprudent||

    Honey, I'll only put the tip in.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    This will only hurt a little,
    I'll only put the tip of it in,
    This tax increase is temporary...

    Any other great lies of the world?

  • ||

    The whole discussion of super-strict handgun registration is just more mental masturbation from the BAN BONER crowd. Essentially, they fantasize about shit that will never, ever, happen, and if it did, it would mean unrest and potentially violence on a large scale. So I guess the implication is they're fine with that as long as the demon guns get registered/banned. Because we see how well that worked in England.

    These people are, frankly, repulsive. From corpsefucking dead children to proposing schemes where people are sure to get jailed and killed, they sure show us what they're really about, and it sure isn't "safety" or "teh childrenz". It's good that they've let the mask slip so far, and is, in my opinion, part of the reason gun ownership has been on the rise.

  • ||

    This is a good insight. And the reason I dont say much on gun threads anymore.

    They want a disarmed, helpless populace that they can steal from and lord over. What is the point in debating with them? They are mendacious fucks.

    I am with Hyperion and his line in the sand.

  • ||

    The gun debate about nothing but tribes. TEAM BAN hates the stupid redneck rubes who are dumb enough to own guns, and TEAM GUN hates them right back.

  • ||

    "...TEAM GUN hates them right back."

    And for good reason.

  • Hyperion||

    TEAM GUN has guns. Could be big problem for TEAM BAN.

    Reminds me of the episode of Parks and Recreation, where the Native American guy recounts how the tribe was slaughtered by the cavalry, because 'they had no weapons'.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    TEAM BAN ironically has a lot of guns too.

  • Hyperion||

    How so?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    NYPD, ATF, Secret Service, Rosie Odonell's bodyguards, etc.

  • SIV||

    They have them by proxy.Law enforcement officers are usually very pro-"civilian" on gun rights.The ATF technical division is a bunch of gun nuts.

  • ||

    yes. this is skewed by the repeated quoting of IACP as if that's representative of real cops.

    real cops are overwhelmingly pro gun, pro concealed carry, especially in rkba states of course.

  • Virginian||

    *rolls eyes*

    Oh for fuck's sake this "anecdotes by dunphy" bit again? You think the NYPD is pro 2A? The Chicago PD? LAPD? SFPD?

    If you're counting by departments, then I'd say the majority of departments are. Except every single rural PD in the country combined probably doesn't have the raw numbers the big city goon squads have.

    The issue is that the NYPD has 35,000 jackbooted thugs officers of the law. If ordered to, they will go door to door. I'm not worried about Sheriff Jones in Smallville County, USA. I'm worried about whoever says Jawhohl when Mikey Bloomberg comes up with something else to ban.

  • SIV||

    In my experience cops who like guns as a hobby, as opposed to the ones who treat them strictly as a tool for their jobs, are very pro 2nd Amendment. The ones who aren't into guns probably break along the same lines as their political ideology.

  • JD the elder||

    "You think the NYPD is pro 2A?"

    There's a big difference between the department as a whole, or the chief or commissioner, and individual beat cops. Some years ago my girlfriend got mugged at gunpoint in NYC. Talking to an NYPD detective, she complained that if she'd been in Louisiana, she would have had her own gun on her. The detective said that he thought Louisiana had the right idea, but unfortunately there wasn't much he could suggest to help her in NYC.

  • Paul.||

    They have them by proxy.Law enforcement officers are usually very pro-"civilian" on gun rights.The ATF technical division is a bunch of gun nuts.

    People keep saying this, and I keep seeing evidence in direct contradistinction to this.

    Sure, cops may be gun nuts, in the closed circle that is cops. "Civilians" carrying guns? Not so much. See NY cops demanding an "exception" to the law being passed for "civilians".

    Youtube evidence upon request.

  • Stew||

    One of my buddies is now a cop in Miami, he's hella pro 2A. My Guard friends who are NYPD? Much less so. :(

  • waaminn||

    Sounds like a pretty good plan to me man, WOw.

    www.Anon-dits.tk

  • The Late P Brooks||

    after examining Canada's experience, he dismissed gun registration for reasons of both practicality and non-compliance. He also, interestingly, points out that "every country is different and rates of gun ownership versus homicides have almost no correlation with each other." Nevertheless, he suggests "there are sensible things the U.S. can do to try and curb gun violence

    It'll never work, but what the fuck, let's give it a shot.

  • ||

    there ARE sensible things we can do to try to curb gun violence... many have been done- we are at a 4 decade low for violence in general, to include gun violence.

    lock up violent criminals is one thing we can do.

    here in seattle, they gave the tuba man killer less than 2 yrs for manslaughter, for MURDERING the tuba man. is anybody surprised he's in trouble for murder AGAIN?

    the thing about curbing gun violence is that "sensible" things involve concentrating on VIOLENT CRIMINALS not guns.

  • ||

    You keep using this word 'sensible'. I dont think it means what you think it means.

    /Anti-2nd activist

  • ||

    here in seattle, it means wearing socks with rubber slippers (what mainlanders call "thongs")

  • ||

    To me these are thongs.

    http://littlethongpanties.tumblr.com/

    I dont see any of them wearing socks though. They must not be sensible girls.

  • ||

    Thank you for that.

    I'll be in my bunk.

  • Entropy Void||

    Right behind ya, Francisco ...

    ... um ... er ... to MY bunk, that is ...

  • Hyperion||

    The first one has too much ass for Sarcasmic, so I guess it might be up to me or John to bid on that.

  • Paul.||

    The first one has too much ass for Sarcasmic, so I guess it might be up to me or John to bid on that

    Already taken.

  • Killazontherun||

    Trampstamp girl needs no instructions.

  • Virginian||

    See that's the shit that pisses me off about juvenile delinquents. If you're old enough to beat a man to death for no good reason, you're old enough to spend the next six decades looking at the sky through steel bars.

    Hell, the best thing to do would be to treat them like the feral animals they are. They beat a man to death basically because they felt like it...and people ask me with all seriousness why I need guns. Well, reason number 9 is so I don't serve as the evening entertainment for a pack of jackals that have somehow learned to walk upright.

  • Homple||

    I hope nobody here thinks that "unworkable" and "unconstitutional" stop this administration doing what it wants.

  • Hyperion||

    It won't stop them from trying, that's for sure.

  • Hyperion||

    The creepiest thing that has been suggested, and possibly decreed by executive order is having health care professionals asking patients if they have a gun in their home. Fuck.That.Shit. That is over the top dystopian non-sense, and I for one will tell any doctor that asks me a question like that, that it is none of their damn business, and that asking me that is offensive and creepy as hell.

    Just goes along though, with what I have been saying about how they will abuse the healthcare law to no end.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    That answer is guaranteed to get you on an even worse database than saying you have guns would. I just lie about it, which I don't consider fraud (sorry GM) as there is no possible medical relevance to the question.

  • ||

    PCRM is behind a lot of that nonsense, as well as insurance companies.

  • Hyperion||

    Fuck it, Tulpa, I don't care. I damn well want our government to know that I am fed up with their bullshit, and I hope a lot of others will have their voices heard also, instead of acting like compliant sheep. That is how we got here, because no one has balls enough to stand up against these assholes that are destroying our liberties and our country.

    Our government has grown far too arrogant. They have pissed off people all around the globe and inspired a highly determined Islamic Jihadist movement. Now they are pissing off and alienating millions of American citizens. They are playing a very dangerous game, and it's going to end badly for them.

  • ||

    health care professionals asking about guns isn't govt. e.g. big brother, it's private industry e.g. little brother. althouhg, with obamacare, the line blurs.

    our police dept. health care plan specifically modified some of their protocols since our union (go union) protested about the gun question.

    you're angry at the wrong people vis a vis health care professionals asking about guns if you are targeting government. theoretically, their databases aren't even govt. accessible (See: HPPA)

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    You mean, like my phone calls and emails weren't govt accessible due to FISA?

    "Legal? Illegal? I'm the guy with the gun."

  • ||

    completely disanalogous. HPPA is a strong shield. it's one of the few we've got

  • Hyperion||

    Umm, dude, I think you are talking about HIPAA.

    Unfortunately, Obama has decreed that the healthcare law overrides HIPAA, because he says so.

  • Hyperion||

    What?

  • Sevo||

    OK, Dunphy, let's say a cop responds to a call totally unconnected to any question of firearms.
    Then, just for fun, let's say the cop asks about firearms in my possession.
    What is a safe answer?

  • ||

    "Got a warrant, pig?"

  • Sevo||

    Francisco d Anconia| 1.23.13 @ 9:09PM |#
    "Got a warrant, pig?"

    Pretty sure that's not gonna be a 'safe' answer.
    I'm serious here; some poor sap answered the question when the cops responded to some graffiti call or other, and he's now looking at 6 years in the can.

  • ||

    Ask him if he stopped beating his wife.

    Seriously, I don't know. I read about that yesterday. I think I'd just say, "Respectfully, sir, that's none of your concern."

    I don't think they can come to your place of business and start asking you questions in the hopes you may incriminate yourself.

    Thankfully, I live in a place where being armed is condoned and expected. I had the sheriff to my new house after a contractor I fired was trespassing. I had my loaded pistol sitting on a work bench. I wanted no misunderstandings, so I preemptively told him it was there. He looked at me like...who cares, why are you telling me?

  • Hyperion||

    If they ask you if you have any pets, just lie like hell, to save fluffy.

  • General Butt Naked||

    What is a safe answer?

    Nothing, refuse to answer. They can't get a warrant based upon your refusal to answer. They aren't asking because they want to help you; it's because they want you to got to prison.

  • Sevo||

    "They aren't asking because they want to help you; it's because they want you to got to prison."

    I have no doubt this is true, I simply have no desire to help.
    So if the cops ask 'do you own any firearms?', my answer is silence?

  • General Butt Naked||

    "I don't see what that has to do anything" "Am I under arrest/suspicion?"

    Watch some of the 'how to talk to cops' videos put out on youtube, they're a good guide to how to handle these situations. They want you to talk, because they want to put you in prison; remember that and keeping your goddamn mouth shut is easy.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    They want you to talk, because they want to put you in prison; remember that and keeping your goddamn mouth shut is easy.

    Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Depends on the situation.

    If George Zimmerman had refused to talk to the cops when they arrived and found him standing there with a gun in his hand and a dead body below him, he would have immediately have been thrown in jail and charged with murder 1 the night of Obama's son's death. Because he did talk to the cops he would have gotten off with just an uncomfortable night at the station, had it not been for the outrage industry's intervention.

  • General Butt Naked||

    I love how tulpa knows exactly what would of happened under different circumstances, and that what would have happened always supports his view. Never mind all of the well trained attourneys that tell you not to speak to the cops, tulpa teaches eighteen year olds calculus so he knows the ins and outs of the legal system.

    Have you ever had a bad experience with law enforcement, tulpa? Have you ever been through the system, charged with a crime, handcuffed in the back of a cop car, hit with a nightstick maybe? What about getting clients off on fourth and fifth amendment causes, ever done that?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Tulpa (LAOL-PA)| 1.23.13 @ 9:51PM

    Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Depends on the situation.

    I'm not the one dispensing general advice here.

    In SOME situations your rule of thumb is going to get you in more trouble than you'd be in otherwise. Probably a lot of situations, tbh.

  • Sevo||

    "Watch some of the 'how to talk to cops' videos put out on youtube,"

    I will do exactly that. My question is serious; if the cops end up on the sidewalk over some bum and then turn around and ask 'do you have firearms?' I want to be able to answer with minimal harm to myself and my family.
    The real answer is "none of your business", but I'm not sure that's the safe answer.
    And I notice dunphy hasn't answered.

  • HellsBells||

    I would answer "I have no illegal firearms on the premises." But I'm guessing you're envisioning a scenario where you do.

    In that case, I'd go with GBN and keep quiet.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    You're not giving us much in the way of details to work with, Sevo.

    If a cop approaches you on the street and has reasonable suspicion you may be committing/ have committed a crime, he can do a Terry stop & frisk. In which case lying and/or remaining silent isn't going to prevent him from discovering the truth.

    If you yourself called the cops and answer the door with an illegal gun in your possession you deserve a Darwin Award. In fact, if you routinely answer the door with an illegal gun in your possession period, you're asking for trouble.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    On the Zimmerman case, I agree that his only way out was to talk since it was quite obvious he shoot and killed someone.

    If smart, he said very little without legal counsel, but without any information from his side the only ruling would have to be a murder charge where he can argue to a jury why he was justified.

    & no - this isn't a case of guilty until proven innocent, as once the life is taken and that individual has no weapons, a crime can be rationally assumed without having any information to the contrary.

    Otherwise what would the default assumption be? The dead person must have deserved it?

  • DJK||

    Best idea is probably still to remain silent. Put the gun down, don't act hostile to police, etc. In a heated situation like that, it's absurdly easy to say something stupid while trying to justify your actions. And everyone you say can and will be used against you.

    Moreover, why would you ever admit that you had killed someone, even if the evidence is right there? A prosecutor still needs to prove that in court - why give him a confession?

    Much better to just shut the fuck up and be civil, but not answer any questions, until you lawyer up.

  • DJK||

    In response to the thing about being charged with murder...that charge is not coming minutes after the crime. But a defense attorney certainly can. I can see no good that comes from talking to police prior to consulting with an attorney.

  • Paul.||

    Then, just for fun, let's say the cop asks about firearms in my possession.
    What is a safe answer?

    Start here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8z7NC5sgik

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    don't forget part ii

  • Jim Tom||

    According to my Dr., the affordable care act puts ALL your medical records online. Access is supposed to be restricted, just like credit card information...Uh Oh.

  • JeremyR||

    Jihadists don't need any help getting pissed off. Just non-muslims existing is enough.

  • Hyperion||

    Regardless of whether they need help or not, they had plenty of it. You start bombing the hell of people and killing their families, it's probably going to get them very pissed off at you. And where they were probably perfectly content just fucking with their neighboring tribes and hating you from afar, now they are determined as hell to kill you.

    I know, Ron Paul is a crazy old coot and there is no such thing as blowback.

    Bullshit.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    The 1950s & 60s Japanese terrorist blowback for Hiroshima was pretty horrifying.

  • Hyperion||

    Oh, well shit, I just forgot, we should have nuked everyone.

  • mr simple||

    So you're saying we should nuke any country where terrorists probably are?

    Analogy fail.

  • Calidissident||

    Of course we all know if something doesn't happen in one scenario, it could never happen at all.

    I mean, it's not like Great Britain, Russia, China, or anyone else has ever had a terrorist attack by a minority group upset with an occupation

  • ||

    I love any time someone tries to compare another country to fucking Japan.

  • ||

    Not as far as you know... that's as good an answer as any.

  • ||

    I just lie about it, which I don't consider fraud (sorry GM) as there is no possible medical relevance to the question.

    I agree with you, Tulpa. I will never ask that question, and I take, "...SHALL NOT... be infringed deadly seriously.

    I do not consider it either a valid medical or valid health question.

  • ||

    The Air Force docs started asking about guns in the house just before I got out. My answer was, "none of your fucking business."

    The gun issue has been my line in the sand for a long time.

  • Hyperion||

    Funny, but I guess it took a lot less for me.

    It was back in 2007 when I tried to buy sinus pills and had to show my ID.

    That was my line in the sand.

    Less than a week later I was a card carrying member of the LP.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    ...and which I didn't have an opportunity to rebut...

    If you had had your gun, Tuccille, they wouldn't have stopped you from your rebuttal!

    Trying to require registration of handguns when you know the effort will fail would still be very appealing to prosecutors. They love laws that people will ignore but for which they can still add to charges against defendants.

  • ||

    fall back laws.

    "well, the shooting is justifiable self-defense, but at least we can charge him with failure to register"

  • Sevo||

    Sevo| 1.23.13 @ 9:01PM |#

    OK, Dunphy, let's say a cop responds to a call totally unconnected to any question of firearms.
    Then, just for fun, let's say the cop asks about firearms in my possession.
    What is a safe answer?

  • Hyperion||

    I don't have a dog, I swear!

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    If you're calling the cops and answering the door while in possession of an illegal gun, you deserve the Darwin Award you're about to get.

  • ||

    I think in the article he's referring to, the cops went to his auto shop as some sort of investigation concerning stolen cars or something. He then asked if he had any guns around and the owner showed him a box of AK-47 parts.

  • HellsBells||

    In that case, the guy was on parole. He didn't stand a chance no matter what he said.

  • ||

    Look, all I want is to have a national discussion where you abandon all your principles and agree with me completely and give me everything I've been wanting for decades. Let's be reasonable here.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    You can take my blued phallus from my cold, dead hands.

  • ||

    "Look, all I want is to have a national discussion where you abandon all your principles and agree with me completely and give me everything I've been wanting for decades. Let's be reasonable here."

    I stand in awe. You just put every speech obama has ever given into one neat little nutshell.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    Don't stand in awe of the Warty, you'll get crabs.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    No,no... that comes from standing in proximity, not awe.

  • Sevo||

    You left out the part where Obozo isn't about to 'pay ransom' to those who disagree with him!
    No way is he going to agree to anything other than everything he wants!

  • Hyperion||

    Because he won! He won! Now he's the emperor, and everyone gets a free pony. Except for those meanies that don't agree with him, they get indefinitely detained, unless he can get them with a drone first.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Because he won! He won!

    I say this about twice a day, but dudes, he beat Romney, possibly the worst republican candidate ever, excluding John McCain. He's (barely) won the gold medal the special olympics.

    jesus.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Yawn. Who would have done better against Obama?

  • ||

    Ron Paul.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Right, because telling people no more free stuff would totally have swung the vote the other way. And it's not like there's anything in Ron Paul's past that BO's smear machine could have used. Oh no siree Bob.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Shorter tulpa, "Let's go down whimpering!"

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Just injecting a rare dose of realism into the discussion.

  • ||

    He certainly wouldn't have done any worse than Romney. Those that voted for him were voting against Obama, not for Romney. It stands to reason (drink) that all those folks would have voted against Obama if Paul was running. And Paul would have returned the libertarians to the Republicans.

    We warned you Red fuckers to dis RP at your own peril. Take your medicine.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    It stands to reason (drink) that all those folks would have voted against Obama if Paul was running.

    Sorry, no. The neocons would have either voted for BO or stayed home. That's already a larger group than Paul would win over. Plus a lot of independents (a group Romney won by quite a bit) would think RP was too extreme. Especially after a 24/7 MSM continuous loop of Ron Paul Survival Report exegesis, mixed in with a dash of RP talking about legalizing heroin.

  • ||

    You keep telling yourself whatever you need to to get by Tulpa. But Romney was no more appealing to the right than Paul would have been. Neither is a Republican.

  • Hyperion||

    Ron Paul

    ^THIS^

    We warned the stupid assholes and they didn't listen. No GOP voters would have not voted for Ron Paul, because they all hate Obama. However, libertarian leaning voters and a lot of other younger voters would have went to the polls for RP, where as they did not for Romney.

    I voted for Johnson, but I would have also voted for RP.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    No GOP voters would have not voted for Ron Paul, because they all hate Obama.

    A lot of them hate RP worse than BO.

    And there's no way RP wins independents once they get the MSM story on him.

  • Hyperion||

    No GOP voters would have not voted for Ron Paul, because they all hate Obama.

    A lot of them hate RP worse than BO.

    You are completely full of shit, Tulpa. I have read thousands of posts, pre-election, on lots of sites, other than here, by conservative posters, and also heard conservatives say right to my face, that they would vote for ANYONE who got the GOP nomination. I have never, on the other hand, heard any potential voter say they would vote for Obama if RP got the nomination.

    You, sir, are very uninformed, or you are, as I suspect, totally full of shit.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    There were several prominent neocon opinion leaders who said they would vote for BO over RP.

  • ||

    Who?

    Name them.

  • juris imprudent||

    There were several prominent neocon opinion leaders who said they would vote for BO over RP.

    Well, that just clinches it. If you can't suck neocon cock to their satisfaction you can't ever win.

    Really?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    I'm talking about electoral realities here.

    If you want to say Romney was not a libertarian, fine. I'd agree with you.

    If you want to say he was a BAD candidate politically, then I blow the whistle.

  • ||

    Blow until you're blue in the face.

    You red fuckers shot yourselves in the foot. You can either embrace libertarianism in the Republican party or you can continue to lose elections.

    Given his record, I could have beaten Obama. You had a winning candidate and you rejected him. Adapt or die.

  • Paul.||

    If you want to say he was a BAD candidate politically, then I blow the whistle.

    Romney 2016! This time we're serious!

  • General Butt Naked||

    Dude, I don't know what kind of infatuation you have with Romney that you can't even admit that he flubbed the campaign horribly. If you're gonna lose, lose mean. Don't slink into the night with your damp, flaccid penis in your hand.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    So you don't know of anyone who would have done better?

  • General Butt Naked||

    I am not psychic. I can't rewrite history to suit my agenda, but I can say that Romney ran a campaign of failure and impotence against an easy target.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    I'll take that as a no.

    So regardless of who the GOP nominated they were going to be the worst candidate in history. That sucks.

  • General Butt Naked||

    If you're a defeatist then you pretty much have to lose. That sucks.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    This blog was chiefly populated by people claiming that Romney = Obama and it didn't matter who won the election, all flerking campaign long. And I'm the defeatist?

    I offered a way out, a way to quell the darkness, and was rebuffed at every turn by those who are now suddenly convinced that shouting "NOOOO IT'S MY RIGHT YOU CAN'T TAKE MY GUNS" and stomping their feet is going to save them, and any talk of actually finding a political workaround is "defeatism". It's the pragmatic work of the GOP voters back in 2010 to actually win elections that's protecting your guns now, peeps. If that task were left to Gary Johnson and the LP we'd have UK-style gun control now.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Romney wasn't a pro-2nd candidate, dumbass. I guess you think he would of turned into james yeager after the election, right?

    Fuck, I'll take a stab at being psychic. If romney were elected he'd be cowtowed by the media and urging republicans in congress to just consider some common sense measures. He'd probably get further than obama, because assholes like you would be making excuses for him.

    He's a fucking gun grabbing pussy, and you're in love with him, so fucking what? Doesn't change what he is.

  • ||

    If that task were left to Gary Johnson and the LP we'd have UK-style gun control now.

    DERP!

  • Cliché Bandit||

    holy shit

  • juris imprudent||

    That sucks.

    The GOP, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

  • Hyperion||

    So you don't know of anyone who would have done better?

    Romney would have done better if his VP pick would have been Rubio, instead of Eddie Munster.

    Ron Paul would have done better also, if he would have got the nomination. But I still doubt that any of them would have overcome the freeper voting bloc.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Yawn. Who would have done better against Obama?

    Ron Paul
    Newt Gingrich
    Rick Perry
    Herman Cain
    Gary Johnson(as an R)
    Rick Sphinctorum
    Michelle Bachman
    Pawlenty
    Mitch Daniels
    ...

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    I'll give you Perry and Daniels as possibilities, but Perry did horrible at campaigning and especially at the debates. He may have just been sleep deprived, but he may just be bad at it. His softer immigration stance may have helped though. Daniels we don't know about -- as with Perry and Fred Thompson in 2008, a lot of great potential candidates fizzle when they actually try to run a campaign.

    Gingrich and Santorum already had name recognition and were HATED by independents, a group that Romney won. So, no way would they have had a shot against BO.

    Pawlenty is basically Romney with a Minnesota accent and no private sector success. I don't see how he does any better.

    The rest were clearly not ready for prime time...they couldn't even endure the primary spotlight, forget going up against the BO smear machine. And yes I'm including Ron Paul in that.

  • juris imprudent||

    And you are saying all of this in defense of the Republican nominee, right?

    I mean really, could you indict the Republican party any more brutally?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    And you may have noticed that Gary Johnson did run against BO and didn't win.

    Yes, I know that the MSM blacked out his campaign and didn't allow him to spread his popular message of legalizing heroin and closing all our international embassies to the masses, but ...

  • Cliché Bandit||

    tulpa just crossed into MNG/Dunphy territory. I must now incif his posts. To argue in such blatant bad faith...and to think I defended him...once...when i was drinking.

  • Paul.||

    Yawn. Who would have done better against Obama?

    Another guy.

  • db||

    possibly the worst republican candidate ever, excluding John McCain.

    You weren't around for Bob Dole, were you?

  • General Butt Naked||

    Dole was not good, but he was running against a president with a rapidly improving economy. I think Clinton could of beat Reagan in '96.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Didn't Reagan need someone to wipe his ass at that point?

  • db||

    Possibly. Dole was, however, the first in a string of "it's his turn" candidates the Republicans have fielded with predictable results.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    This silliness again? There have been 3 other GOP nominees after Dole, and it certainly wasn't GWB's turn in 2000 as he'd never run before. So that's not much of a string.

  • db||

    Maybe he's the exception (who won an election) that proves the rule.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    GHWB was "it's his turn" but Reagan won the floor battle. GHWB got his turn riding an 8 year Reagan.
    Dole was next in line. Then GWB, being another boooosh, it was his turn.
    simple really, and now we have ANOTHER bush looking.

  • juris imprudent||

    The Republicans generally operate on the "it's his turn" model. Goldwater and Reagan are the major exceptions to that over the last 70 years. Ike and "W" are the minor exceptions; though if you accept the Repubs wanting their own version of the Kennedy clan it makes a certain sense. And with another Bush on the horizon we come full circle.

  • Paul.||

    There have been 3 other GOP nominees after Dole, and it certainly wasn't GWB's turn in 2000 as he'd never run before. So that's not much of a string.

    GWB was a known name from a political dynasty arguably bigger than the Kennedys.

  • Hyperion||

    Well, I have to say that McCain is a bigger fascist than even Obama. The only reason that I hate McCain a little less is because he isn't POTUS.

  • Killazontherun||

    Romney a bad candidate? Yes, but most candidates are. W was a bad candidate, but still won. Giant douche, shit sandwich, no explanation needed.

    And, it still doesn't excuse the American people for the shitstain in the White House. Anyone should have been able to beat him. He should have come in third. But he didn't, he won over both the Republican and my candidate Johnson, and I'll be goddamned before I give the democrats the satisfaction of being caught in the act of recriminaton. You guys are giving democrats hardons by doing that.

  • ||

    Is it my imagination or are there a lot of new names around here lately?

    Maybe libertarianism is catching on?

    20 down, 150,000,000 to go.

  • Jim Tom||

    Your the only people making any sense on this island I;m stranded on.

  • ||

    Not your imagination and their libertarianism doesnt seem to need much if any polishing.

    It is very heartening.

    I thought you were in your bunk? You are typing with those fingers?!

  • ||

    They're sticky.

  • Hyperion||

    Yes, there are. I noticed that also, bro.

  • Hyperion||

    And some of them need training, cause they are all Tulpa like. Sorry Tulpa, but you really do deserve that.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    I'm sure with a few weeks of saturation they'll be as politically irrelevant as the rest of you.

  • Killazontherun||

    Present company excluded, right?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Stay strong, brother!

    Unfortunately I fear I may soon be irrelevant myself if the GOP turns leftward cause that's where the votes are.

  • juris imprudent||

    I don't mind being politically irrelevant - given how fucking retarded the relevant are. They will one day push the whole thing over the edge. I will at least have the satisfaction of seeing it coming while they all sail into oblivion wondering what the fuck just happened.

  • mr simple||

    Seriously, why the fuck would I worry about being considered relevant by Tulpa when it requires comprimising everythingnI believe in? Romney would not have been any better and I don't feel bad about not voting for one flavor of statist over another.

  • ||

    That's fucking rich coming from you Tulpa.

    Did the election break your brain or something? Jesus Christ.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    the election

    shh! don't speak of "the incident"

  • ||

    More people throughout history have been hurt and killed by the malicious use of knowledge than by the malicious use of guns.

    Given the similar language and equal levels of constitutional protection for the rights mentioned in the first and second amendments, if you can require a license and/or registration to own a gun, then it's equally constitutional to require a license and/or registration to learn to read or possess books.

    Both sets of protected rights have benefits to society, and both sets of rights can be abused to cause great harm. If we weaken the protections of one set in the name of "common sense" then we weaken both.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    Sorry to interrupt, but is anyone else watching Sharapova go down in flames?

  • Sevo||

    no

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    ok then

  • mr simple||

    I saw it. Now Stephens isn't even putting up a fight.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    she's not in Azarenka's league

  • mr simple||

    True, but she played much better yesterday. She's just giving it away today.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    she's making a match of it now

  • mr simple||

    Yeah, I really want to go to bed, but now it's interesting.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    well now you can

  • wakeup||

  • luelladaube||

    before I looked at the bank draft which was of $5242, I be certain that...my... mother in law was like actualie taking home money in their spare time from there computar.. there neighbour had bean doing this for under fourteen months and recently paid the loans on there condo and bourt a great new Acura. this is where I went........ BIT40.ℂOℳ

  • juris imprudent||

    Outsourced to Nigeria I take it.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    I can't believe the Penguiins lost to the Maple Leafs.
    I'm in shock.

  • Tman||

    Dude this season is gonna be terrible.

    You knew that already.

    Here, this will cheer you up.

    http://www.mediaite.com/column.....-hearings/

  • Paul.||

    Concealed carry also involves a use of an already owned gun — and permitting requirements for concealed carry are sufficiently controversial that several states

    The problem here is that the constitution guarantees my right to keep and bear arms. The only conceivable reason that we as a nation can even tolerate them [cc permits] is as an enforcement mechanism for people denied the right to carry a firearm, period. Think felons or what not.

    Even this argument is tenuous and full of what-if-yeah-but holes, but most Americans are willing to shrug off a licensing process to allow me to hide a gun in my pants.

    But in a perfectly constitutional world? Shouldn't even need a licensing requirement to hide one.

  • R C Dean||

    Of course licensing the exercise of a Constitutional right is unconstitutional. There's no "probably" about it.

    A separate issue entirely is what SCOTUS might say. However, if SCOTUS deems some gross violation of the Constitution to be Constitutional, that does not make it Constitutional. SCOTUS can be, has been, and will be again, wrong.

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