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Do You Now Own, or Have You Ever Owned, a Gun?

The Politico reports on a curious addition to the Obama transition personnel questionnaire for potential appointees to the new Administration.

Tucked in at the end of the questionnaire and listed under "Miscellaneous," it reads: "Do you or any members of your immediate family own a gun? If so, provide complete ownership and registration information. Has the registration ever lapsed? Please also describe how and by whom it is used and whether it has been the cause of any personal injuries or property damage."

Paul Light, professor of public service at New York University, said there was no such question for potential appointees when President George W. Bush took office in 2000.

"It kind of sticks out there like a sore thumb," Light said.

He expressed uncertainty over why it was included but surmised it was out of an abundance of caution, a desire to avoid the spectacle of a Cabinet-level or other high-ranking appointee who is discovered to have an unregistered handgun at home.

"It's the kind of thing that, if dug out, could be an embarrassment to the president-elect," Light said.

UPDATE: Eugene posted about this here.

jukeboxgrad (mail):
You might not know that EV already wrote about this.
11.21.2008 1:57pm
Tony Tutins (mail):
Only a Chicagoan would ask if a handgun registration ever lapsed. Earlier this year, Ald. Richard Mell discovered he had let his registrations lapse, and tried to create an amnesty for himself in the City Council. Alan Gura is also litigating this issue on behalf of three Chicagoans.
11.21.2008 1:59pm
Eli:
At least there is no question:

“Do you or any members of your immediate family cling to religion?”
11.21.2008 1:59pm
Archon (mail):
The vast majority of jurisdiction do not require any registration of handguns or long guns (other than bona fide machine guns which must be registered under federal law.)

Only a liberal goon would write a question like that thinking that the rest of the US must be just like Chicago and require onerious registration.
11.21.2008 2:03pm
Pippin:
Or:

"Please identify any guns you have that have a shoulder thing that goes up."
11.21.2008 2:09pm
ForWhatItsWorth:
Pippin: Loved it! lol.

"Please identify any guns that shoot bullets or have a pointy end shorter than 5 feet"
11.21.2008 2:16pm
BGates:
Given his circle of advisers, he really ought to add a question about nail bomb ownership.
11.21.2008 2:16pm
J Richardson:
Registration? What is registration? Most of us live in areas where there is no registration.

The one thing that forgot to ask is if anyone owned a firearm that had a "barrel shroud". Carolyn McCarthy may not know what it is but it is in her bill.
11.21.2008 2:17pm
PatHMV (mail) (www):
We reached the point several years ago where I decided I have no desire to ever become a presidential appointee. The politics of personal destruction have become too vicious, and the preemptive probing of personal lives too invasive.

The people who have spent their lives trying to keep their paper-trail clean are not necessarily the best people for the jobs available. Indeed, they are sometimes the worst, as their sole criteria for decision-making is "which of these policy options poses the least risk of hurting my career?"
11.21.2008 2:19pm
ForWhatItsWorth:
JR, exactly!

So there we have a device to surround a hot barrel that will keep one from burning ones self....... and they want it to be illegal..... what a bunch of maroons! It "looks" dangerous, therefore is must be.
11.21.2008 2:20pm
AntonK (mail):
Yes, this is what an Obama administration might look like with Eric Holder as AG. The military-style seizure of Elian Gonzales, which happened during Holder's time in the Justice Department, was predicated on the charge that someone in that house might have a gun.
11.21.2008 2:21pm
Archon (mail):
There is no duty to register most firearms (save bona fide machine guns) in almost every jurisdiction in the United States.

Only a Chicagoon would come up with a stupid question like this one. They think the only political reality is Chicago and have no grasp that the rest of America doesn't remotely subscribe to any of the political beliefs of that crappy mid west city.

These are the same stupid people that think an "assault weapon" is something like the giant Gatlin gun used by the really big guy in the movie Predator. Instead of actually realizing it is nothing more than a bad ass looking hunting rifle.
11.21.2008 2:28pm
Ex-Fed (mail) (www):
I doubt it's a signifier that the Hussein Clown Posse considers guns to be an ideological disqualification. However, it might be a signifier of plans to pursue gun control measures. As the last two sentences of the quote suggest, the administration might be embarrassed if they were pursuing some sort of registration or waiting period or similar requirement, only to have it revealed that an administration member had broken the law already in place.
11.21.2008 2:30pm
MCM (mail):
Archon:

Really? There's no difference between my cousin's AR-15 with a pistol grip and my Remington 700 except that his is "bad ass looking"?

He'll be really disappointed that he wasted all that money.
11.21.2008 2:33pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
I don't see embarrassment here.
I mean, "We get to do it, you don't." is perfectly acceptable in the nanny state.
I can recall, I suppose, some republicans being embarrassed thusly.
11.21.2008 2:35pm
ForWhatItsWorth:
MCM: Yes, there is a difference. Your cousin's AR-15 shoots .223 (5.56mm) while MY Remington 700 is chambered in 300 Win Mag. You tell me.... which of those is more powerful? Which of those can shoot accurately to well past 1000 yards?

If you really owned a 700, you wouldn't be asking that question.
11.21.2008 2:39pm
Chris Moffet (mail):
To any moron that would ask those questions of me: By which Constitutional Amendment do you gain the authority to ask me those questions? I believe that you are threatening the dismantling of the very Bill of Rights that every CITIZEN in this country lives freely by. That would be subversion of the Constitution and that makes you my enemy.
11.21.2008 2:41pm
MCM (mail):
"MCM: Yes, there is a difference. Your cousin's AR-15 shoots .223 (5.56mm) while MY Remington 700 is chambered in 300 Win Mag. You tell me.... which of those is more powerful? Which of those can shoot accurately to well past 1000 yards?

If you really owned a 700, you wouldn't be asking that question."

FWIW: You totally missed my point. Archon said:

"These are the same stupid people that think an "assault weapon" is something like the giant Gatlin gun used by the really big guy in the movie Predator. Instead of actually realizing it is nothing more than a bad ass looking hunting rifle.

Of course there is a huge difference: THAT WAS MY POINT. I do really own a Remington 700 (a VS, actually, chambered for .308), so you can feel free to shut the hell up any time you want.
11.21.2008 2:54pm
New Pseudonym:
I want to know if any of them have ever quartered soldiers other than in time of war.
11.21.2008 2:56pm
Virginian:

The people who have spent their lives trying to keep their paper-trail clean are not necessarily the best people for the jobs available. Indeed, they are sometimes the worst, as their sole criteria for decision-making is "which of these policy options poses the least risk of hurting my career?"


Yeah, like legislators who vote "present" hundreds of times rather than take positions on issues (ya know, the thing they are paid to do).
11.21.2008 2:56pm
sabinefemme (mail):

surmised it was out of an abundance of caution, a desire to avoid the spectacle of a Cabinet-level or other high-ranking appointee who is discovered to have an unregistered handgun at home.

“It’s the kind of thing that, if dug out, could be an embarrassment to the president-elect,” Light said.


Well, duh. That this isn't obvious to all bemuses me. But it's more fun to run around yelling "The 2nd!! OMG! They are going to take our guns away...and this is Teh_Proof!"

A large chunk of the country may not have registration, but that wouldn't stop some enterprising blogger from digging out some nugget like one of Obama's folks owning a gun THEY were required to register, etc. And shouting, Invasion of the Body Snatchers style, "Hypocrite!!!!".
11.21.2008 2:58pm
Patrick216:
It just shows you how hostile liberals are to firearms. I'm somewhat amazed by it. I mean, there is zero evidence that conceal-carry laws leads to an increase in accidental shootings and/or gun violence. If anything, the evidence shows that the more law-abiding citizens have guns, the less violence you have. So the fact that our Glorious Leader and his Central Committee are flagging this issue in multiple places (e.g. talk of bringing back weapons bans, a federal ban on conceal-carry, and now this) truly amazes me and just convinces me that the long night for freedom and liberty is upon us.

My municipality has a registration requirement for firearms. It's a $3 fee and you have to provide photographs and fingerprints.... And you have to renew it annually. It's absurd. I do not understand the fear people have over handguns.
11.21.2008 2:59pm
ForWhatItsWorth:
MCM: Nice choice. 308 is great. Ok, I read you a little backwards, sorry about that.

I do, by the way, know many folks who hunt with the AR15. Personally, I wouldn't, but that is because I don't hunt critters I don't eat and there is nothing I would hunt with a .223 that I would want to eat...... but that is me.

Then, I guess you think all the hoopla over the so-called "assault" weapons is just that.... a bunch of bull. Well, in that case, good on ya! I knew we had to have some common ground somewhere. :)
11.21.2008 3:02pm
zippypinhead:
MCM wrote:

Really? There's no difference between my cousin's AR-15 with a pistol grip and my Remington 700 except that his is "bad ass looking"?
Well, one difference is that your Remington 700 is a MUCH better "sniper weapon" than any little AR mousegun.

In fact, your civilian Remington 700 deer rifle is the same basic rifle as the bad-ass looking "M24 Sniper Weapon System" fielded by the Army, and also the guts of the Marine Corps' M40 sniper rifle. Or the Remington "700P tactical Weapon System" - with the "P" standing for "police," the intended customer segment. And before you say "but those guns are bad-ass looking and DIFFERENT!" note the following wiki-factoid: "The police version (700P) is also marketed to private citizens and is very popular with shooters and hunters who like the "government issue" appearance as well as the handling and accuracy. Remington also sells the standard, U.S. Army-issue Leupold Mark IV M3 10 x 40 mm telescopic sight used by the Army's M24 as an optional feature."

And this is without even discussing the additional problem that your Remington 700, if chambered in .308, .30-06, .300 Win Mag, or about a half dozen other available large-game appropriate cartridge sizes, can easily penetrate literally any of the soft Kevlar body armor issued to police in the U.S.
11.21.2008 3:11pm
ForWhatItsWorth:
Zippy: Yup! I have one chambered in 308 (168 grain HP boat tail preferred) that I used for competition. Douglas heavy barrel, etc, etc. Old Unertl scope. Used it much during my younger years for Palma matches. The 300 Win Mag version is for hunting elk.

I have several others, mostly in the calibers you mentioned, like Ruger, couple of Winchester Pre-64's, etc. All incredibly accurate off the shelf.

The "assault" weapons hoopla just shows how little people actually know about firearms. I own an MP5, so what?
11.21.2008 3:22pm
Jim at FSU (mail):
I own a lot of unregistered handguns. See, I don't live in Chicago. I live in America, where we don't register handguns.
11.21.2008 3:28pm
gattsuru (mail) (www):
I'd rather have the Remington 700 than the AR for a target match, personally, and I assume that's what the previous poster was talking about. 300 WinMag can get sub-1MOA groups at 1000 yards with a good gun. .223 Rem is a bit hard to pull off that same feat with (not impossible, but closer than I'd like).

As to the survey, do you honestly believe that many people in the Obama administration are going to be from anywhere where firearms are not registered?
11.21.2008 3:29pm
wyswyg:

Really? There's no difference between my cousin's AR-15 with a pistol grip and my Remington 700 except that his is "bad ass looking"?



None that the government need concern itself with.
11.21.2008 3:35pm
ForWhatItsWorth:
I'll stop posting so much on this thread, but I have to comment.... gattsuru, you have a GREAT point!

Actually, here is some question(s) I'd love to see: Do you or your body guard(s) own any full auto weapons like Teddy Kennedy's do? If so, would they be willing to guard you with no firearms, at all? Would you be willing to be guarded by UNARMED secret service agents? If not, is it because you think your life is more important than the average American?
11.21.2008 3:38pm
CJColucci:
The vast majority of jurisdiction do not require any registration of handguns or long guns (other than bona fide machine guns which must be registered under federal law.)

Only a liberal goon would write a question like that thinking that the rest of the US must be just like Chicago and require onerious registration
.

Then the correct answer to the question: "provide complete ownership and registration information. Has the registration ever lapsed?" is "Not applicable. Registration not required in [fill in the blank]." Not all that "onerious" a questionnaire.
11.21.2008 4:25pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
ForWhatItsWorth:

"Do you or your body guard(s) own any full auto weapons like Teddy Kennedy's do?"


I suspect Ted Kennedy would respond by telling you that his bodyguards are trained professionals, and that he by virtue of his notoriety is a target needing protection. This is the standard liberal answer to this sort of question. I would respond by telling him that he if truly believes guns should be denied to most citizens, then he should lead by example. Isn't that what the liberals always say? The US should limit carbon emissions before China and India to set an example. The US should stop nuclear testing etc.

Of course he really does think he's important than you because he's a Kennedy.
11.21.2008 4:34pm
zippypinhead:
I'd rather have the Remington 700 than the AR for a target match, personally.
Might be a reasonable choice for long-range matches at 600 yards or more, but in a standard match course of fire, you're going to be at a big disadvantage for the rapid-fire stage. The National Matches and most other highpower competitions nowadays are done with AR-class rifles. They're black. They look "bad-ass." Therefore, they need to be banned, or so I'm told.

The whole "assault weapon ban" movement is a mystery to me, since BJS/DOJ statistics say rifles of ANY type are used in less than 3% of firearms crimes, and I suspect a lot of those are domestic violence-type situations with hunting rifles.

Speaking of the definition of "assault weapon" and since the Remington 700 has come up for comparison, my plain-vanilla 700 BDL chambered in .30-06 is just an average deer rifle and won't hold a candle to a match-prepped AR-15, but at 200 yards its a tad more accurate than my 60-year old Springfield M1 Garand with a new Criterion barrel firing the same cartridge (keeping in mind the Garand has iron sights). My 65-year old Inland M1 Carbine, like all of that model, isn't worth beans beyond 100 yards and doesn't have enough stopping power to cleanly drop anything larger than a coyote. But both of these vintage C&R collectables would be banned by Rep. McCarthy's AWB reauthorization.

Why? The AWB reauthorization bill calls out the M1 Carbine by name, even though the last crime I know of committed with one occurred over 40 years ago. The Garand also clearly gets nailed by the bill's catchall provision:
A semiautomatic rifle or shotgun originally designed for military or law enforcement use, or a firearm based on the design of such a firearm, that is not particularly suitable for sporting purposes, as determined by the Attorney General. In making the determination, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that a firearm procured for use by the United States military or any Federal law enforcement agency is not particularly suitable for sporting purposes...
A very broad and circular definition that leaves a huge amount of discretion to the A.G. Go figure...

Of course you realize that if the wrong person reads this thread, they're also going to want to ban all highpower bolt-actions (or at least the black ones) as naughty "sniper rifles" that fire "cop-killer" ammunition. You can still go deer hunting by throwing rocks, but only if you promise not to miss and scare the poor deer...
11.21.2008 4:47pm
Pete Allen (mail):
Lest there be any confusion, a "barrel shroud" may surround the barrel but is most commonly the part of the stock between the shooters hand and the hot barrel. It is more commonly called a "forend," since it is the "fore end of the butt stock."

A "pistol grip" MAY be a vertical grip immediately behind the trigger, but it is more commonly a curved section of the stock for the shooter to curl their fingers around. It provides a more secure grip when the shooter pulls the butt plate into his shoulder.

As the McCarthy bill is written, I suspect something like 99.9 percent of all sporting long guns would be banned because they have both a pistol grip and a barrel shroud.

Instead of puzzling over the why of all this, I consulted the man who wrote the book. The various translations vary slightly but some variation of "There has never been a case in the history of the world in which a Prince whose subjects hated him did not disarm those subjects, that his subjects may not depose him by force of arms," is a fair consensus. Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince, "On Castles."

Pete Allen
11.21.2008 4:48pm
Karan Singh (mail):
I'll throw out this bomb:

From the perspective of the person at the "wrong end" of the barrel, the AR15 works no differently than the Remington 7400 or Ruger Mini-14. That's what the "assault weapons" bans are all about, right? Protecting those who find themselves at "the wrong end" of the gun?

Eh, what's that you said? The pistol grip makes all the difference? What?
11.21.2008 5:29pm
Karan Singh (mail):
Zippy: that ban would include the Remington 1100. I can hear the duck and turkey guys howling in 3 .. 2.. 1 ...
11.21.2008 5:31pm
KeithK (mail):

To any moron that would ask those questions of me: By which Constitutional Amendment do you gain the authority to ask me those questions?


Article 2, Section 2:
and he [the President] shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, judges of the Supreme Court, and all other officers of the United States, whose appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by law

No one filling out these questionaires is under a legal compulsion to answer them. They have a right to say no. But then the President-elect has the right not to nominate them.
11.21.2008 5:33pm
zippypinhead:
Zippy: that ban would include the Remington 1100. I can hear the duck and turkey guys howling in 3 .. 2.. 1 ...
Well, that's possible. The 1100 isn't specifically listed in Rep. McCarthy's bill, but may fall into the catchall, depending on whether it was designed for Mil/LE purposes. Certainly at least the current tactical version, which holds 8 rounds, would be banned, because the bill also prohibits "A semiautomatic shotgun that has . . . (iv) a fixed magazine capacity of more than 5 rounds."

If they wanted to wreak real havoc, they would apply the "designed for military or law enforcement use" catchall to handguns too, which would then sweep in the millions of M1911s and other pistols based on the 1911 action, the Beretta 94, Walther PP/PPK, Glocks, Sig Sauers, and pretty much everything else you can think of all the way back to the original Mauser C96 Broomhandle.
11.21.2008 6:20pm
zippypinhead:
...oh geez, I just got a chill when I realized that a truly devious gun-banner might want to also apply Rep. McCarthy's "designed for military or law enforcement use" catchall to ammunition.

Wanna guess what goes away then? Off the top of my head, this would ban 9mm Parabellum, 9mm Makarov, .45 ACP, .32/7.65mm, .380, .223/5.56NATO, .308/7.62NATO, .30-06, 7.62x39mm, .303, .30-40, .50 BMG, and a whole bunch more. Unless there was an exclusion for rimmed cartridges only suitable for wheelguns, we'd probably even lose .38 Special.

I have to close my browser now; I'm scaring myself. Excuse me while I go off to be bitter and "cling" to some politically-incorrect devices. Sheesh...
11.21.2008 6:51pm
Horatio (mail):
The election of Obama is the best thing to happen to the gun industry. Demand is through the roof. Dealers are smiling. Life is good.

On another note, I prefer my Weatherby .257 Mk V to those Remingtons.

:)
11.21.2008 7:19pm
therut (mail):
HEHE! This is one of the best threads ever.
11.21.2008 7:48pm
Enquiring Minds:
therut:
"HEHE! This is one of the best threads ever."

Please tell me you aren't working for the Presidential Transition Team!
11.21.2008 8:16pm
therut (mail):
NOPE. I would never be in the .gov. I have more intregity than that. I can serve the public without being part of the problem..
11.21.2008 9:22pm
SIV:
I own a few guns.I've never had a registered one.
11.21.2008 9:51pm
Daedalus (mail):
Dealers may be smiling right now, but "O" is only the president elect.....wait until he is the President and see what Executive orders come out. Will he put some type of excise tax on firearms and ammo. How about a limit on the total amount of ammunition you can own without some type of license from ATF, and don't forget the attitude that its more important to ban a gun on its appearance than what it can actually do. There are lots of ways he can impede gun owners without ever touching the second amendment.

The question is laughable and shows the absolute stupidity of "O", but it also shows the mindset of the people who are surrounding him and will insulate him from reality........and that is downright scary !!!!!
11.22.2008 9:01am
MarkJ (mail):
For my part, I would modestly propose any firearms prohibition legislation to be named, "The Organized Crime Full-Employment &Citizen Civil Disobedience Act of 2009."

Jesus, Joseph, Mary, and All the Blessed Saints, we're dealing once again with the "congressional super geniuses" who genuinely believe:

1. Raising taxes solves problems.
2. No problem is so small that it doesn't require another bureaucratic layer to address it.
3. Teddy Kennedy has really told the truth all these years about Chappaquiddick.
4. They had absolutely nothing to do with the ongoing financial crisis.

A question: Given that Congress can't even adequately deal with illegal transit of drugs and immigrants across our borders, how in hell does it think it's going to stop smuggling of a) easily-portable ammunition, b) arms that can be broken down into their component parts prior to shipment and then reassembled after delivery, and c) creation of underground arms and ammunition factories?

Hell, most any talented "Joe" with access to the technical information, the right materials, and a well-equipped machine shop can produce firearms and ammunition. If the Pakistanis, Israelis, Vietnamese, and other guerrilla movements can do it, what's to stop our good old American "Can-Do!" spirit? Shucks, I remember reading once about a WW II resistance group in Europe that produced bullets out of cut-up metal curtain rods.
11.22.2008 9:19am
therut (mail):
And metal lipstick cases.
11.22.2008 9:49am
ThomasD (mail):
It’s the kind of thing that, if dug out, could be an embarrassment to the president-elect,”

Only if when his administration starts gun grabbing
11.22.2008 10:27am
tallmanj (mail):
"Please also describe how and by whom it is used..."

Ah...I use mine by pulling the trigger. How do you use yours?
11.22.2008 10:43am
fast richard (mail):
I own a few guns, not a large collection, but more than one rifle, more than one shotgun, and more than one handgun. The sights on all of them register quite nicely to point of impact. If that registration were to lapse, I would correct the situation promptly. I have used them to cause minor damage to paper targets, as well as more effective damage to deer, squirrels, and assorted pests. A couple of them may have been used by previous owners to inflict serious damage on enemy soldiers. In short, I have about the minimum number guns that any good American ought to have.

Any politician who doesn't like my answer, doesn't deserve my support.
11.22.2008 10:48am
Bill Twist:

Of course you realize that if the wrong person reads this thread, they're also going to want to ban all highpower bolt-actions (or at least the black ones) as naughty "sniper rifles" that fire "cop-killer" ammunition. You can still go deer hunting by throwing rocks, but only if you promise not to miss and scare the poor deer...


You've missed the boat on that one. The Violence Policy Center has already tried that one, with "One Shot, One Kill" (Due to technical incompetence at the VPC, you can read the whole thing at http://www.vpc.org/graphics/snipcov2.pdf I think the intention was to just show the cover graphics).

It is also important to note that the VPC produced that paper largely with funds provided by the Joyce Foundation. In 1999, one of the dozen or so members of the board of trustees for the Joyce Foundation that helped to pay for it was none other than President Elect Barack Obama.

It looks like I am going to have to start writing "Barrel Twist" again.
11.22.2008 10:50am
Bert (mail):
I think it's telling that they are willing to concede that someone who may now be in a position to become an appointee in a presidential administration might have at some point let their gun registration (if it were necessary where they lived) expire. Essentially they're in agreement that a person can live an upstanding life and be a valuable servant to their community despite having lived outside the law for the duration of their lapsed registration (so long as they don't do it in their administration). That they still cheer for registration is ridiculous.
11.22.2008 11:08am
Bert (mail):
I realize that my comment was obvious but I still wanted to say it as I'm continually astounded by the lack of logic.
11.22.2008 11:12am
Paul in NJ (mail):
What, that question? Just to make sure Mrs. Palin doesn't try to sneak in and get a job...
11.22.2008 11:20am
MQuinn:
Wow! I am amazed by the vitriol that erupts from conservations upon the mention of a survey question that in no way suggests that the Obama administration will "snatch guns." I wish conservatives would protect all aspects of the Constitution as vivaciously as they protect the Second Amendment.

As an example, look at the Equal Protection Clause, which provides that "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall . . . deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." Conservative refuse--refuse!--to read this as allowing homosexuals the right to marry the person of their choice. After all, the argument goes, this would involved a right that is not expressly stated in the text.

Yet, conservatives are quite willing to make a text leap from the Second Amendment. The 2A provides that "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." This amendment in no way suggests that we have the right to bear any and all arms without regulation in any form, as seems to be suggested by many of the posters in this thread.

In other words, conservatives are willing to make a textual leap under the 2A but are unwilling to make such a leap under the equal protection clauses. But I am sure that this flagrant contradiction is unrelated to conservatives' preferred outcome, right??
11.22.2008 12:46pm
Mark Rockwell (mail):

To any moron that would ask those questions of me: By which Constitutional Amendment do you gain the authority to ask me those questions? I believe that you are threatening the dismantling of the very Bill of Rights that every CITIZEN in this country lives freely by. That would be subversion of the Constitution and that makes you my enemy.



Maybe that's why you aren't anyone's favorite for a cabinet spot.

CITIZEN.
11.22.2008 12:50pm
Deep Lurker (mail):
I don't find it odd. It's more evidence for my working theory that anti-gun types consider it inherently criminal - malum in se - for mere private citizens to possess firearms. To their way of thinking, it's merely a 'loophole' in the law that gun ownership isn't totally banned; that we gun-owners can't (yet) be put in jail for our inherently criminal act. (And CCW permits are even worse - an actual government license to commit an aggravated version of that crime: Private persons carrying guns in public. Horrible!)

So of course their questionnaire is going to ask about gun ownership. In their minds, it belongs on the laundry-list of criminal acts that applicants might possibly have committed, to the eventual embarrassment of the new administration if the applicant is accepted and the crime is discovered.
11.22.2008 12:52pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
Obama might want to know about gun ownership because it could be seen as a positive, not a negative. Someone with a personal history of gun ownership (legal, of course) could have an enhanced ability to devise and sell policies that relate to guns. And that's true without regard to the actual policy, i.e., whether the policy itself is 'pro-gun' or 'anti-gun.'

If Obama actually intends to cut gun rights, a gun owner could be exactly the right person to help in that process. Kind of like Nixon going to China.

Also, a person with a personal history of gun ownership is perhaps more likely to be 'culturally conservative,' and a person like that could have extra utility inside an Obama administration, to the extent that Obama wants to engage with (or at least neutralize opposition from) people like that.

Even though I said this on the other thread, and even though I think it's pretty obvious, no one has said this here. Instead there's been a lot of hysterical OMG HES COMING TO TAKE MY GUNZ.
11.22.2008 1:10pm
Tony Tutins (mail):

the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." This amendment in no way suggests that we have the right to bear any and all arms without regulation in any form, as seems to be suggested by many of the posters in this thread.

When does a regulation infringe our rights? (Our national security requires an armed citizenry, remember.)
11.22.2008 1:33pm
Brett Bellmore:
The reason nobody thinks that Obama is interested in the gun ownership of potential cabinet members because he sees it as an opportunity to reach out to gun owners, is that it's absurd.

Obama is a former member of the Joyce Foundation board, has expressed support for numerous expansions of gun control which would, if implemented, render gun ownership virtually impossible, he has one of the most anti-gun records in Congress. Believing that he sees this as a positive is like thinking the head of the American Family Association is asking your sexual orientation on a job application because he's looking to hire some gays.

Aside from fooling the occasional gullible gun owner into voting for him, his only known interest in gun owners is making us EX gun owners.
11.22.2008 1:35pm
matt (mail):
I guess the Colt Navy/Army revolvers can be added to the list too now....
11.22.2008 1:39pm
Kazinski:
I don't think there is any doubt that Obama will try to enact gun control to the degree that he is allowed. But we are not going to let him. He's going to overreach and 2010 will be 1994 all over again.
11.22.2008 2:42pm
Jonathan Limebrook (mail):
MQuinn:
Wow! I am amazed by the vitriol that erupts from conservations upon the mention of a survey question that in no way suggests that the Obama administration will "snatch guns."


1) The track records of P.E. Obama and his A.G.-designate Holder are what bothers us "conservations", not the questionnaire.

". . . deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

2) Homosexuals have precisely the same marriage rights as other members of society, namely the right to marry a person of the opposite sex who is not within the second degree of blood relationship.

Yet, conservatives are quite willing to make a text leap from the Second Amendment.

3) The United States Supreme Court, which is rather more conversant authority than MQuinn, has held that the second amendment guarantees an individual right to keep and bear arms. It looks like they're the ones who made the "leap", not conservations.
11.22.2008 2:45pm
Jonathan Limebrook (mail):
jukeboxgrad
Obama might want to know about gun ownership because it could be seen as a positive, not a negative.


Sorry, dude, your entire post is a load, and I think you know it.
11.22.2008 2:50pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
brett:

he has one of the most anti-gun records in Congress


Please work on your reading comprehension. I admitted that Obama might want to implement 'anti-gun' policies. I pointed out that someone with gun experience could be useful to him in this regard. Maybe you find it hard to grasp the possibility that someone who ever owned a gun might be willing to help implement an 'anti-gun' policy. But much stranger things have happened.
11.22.2008 3:47pm
juris_imprudent (mail):
sabinefemme noted A large chunk of the country may not have registration.

I'm only guessing here, but this sounds like someone from SF, NYC or Chicago. "A large chunk"? That is a riotous understatement. Try, the tiny chunk of the country that DOES have registration.
11.22.2008 4:10pm
Kazinski:
MQuinn,

The 2A provides that "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." This amendment in no way suggests that we have the right to bear any and all arms without regulation in any form, as seems to be suggested by many of the posters in this thread.


This is parody right? What does "shall not be infringed" mean to you? The plain Enlgish meaning is that its scope shall not be reduced by regulation.
11.22.2008 4:51pm
zippypinhead:
The Violence Policy Center has already tried that one, with "One Shot, One Kill" (Due to technical incompetence at the VPC, you can read the whole thing at http://www.vpc.org/graphics/snipcov2.pdf I think the intention was to just show the cover graphics).
Holy cow! I read this little Joyce Foundation-funded ditty and am in shock. I knew that in the highpower realm VPC had a thing for the .50 BMG, but I assumed they hadn't over-reached much beyond that except for the usual naughty black semi-autos. But especially from page 46 onward in this piece, they directly attack rifles firing .308, .30-06, and .300 Win Mag rounds. They mention by name the bolt action REMINGTON 700 and 77 models, the SAVAGE 110, and the WINCHESTER 70. Those would, of course, all be top-10 most-popular hunting rifles. All bolt-action, of course. And (of course...) they don't ignore the near-antique M1903 Springfield and the venerable Garand. And a few variants of Springfield Armory's M1A line.

If it uses the word "tactical" or "varmit" in any submodel names, or is designed and marketed to be accurate, or can hit a target at 300 yards, or has ever been used by a police department or military anywhere, it's a "sniper rifle" according to VPC.

Morons. This is so over-the top and unreal that I checked a couple of times to make sure the link hadn't secretly redirected me to a satire piece at The Onion. If anything even minimally like this ends up as policy, the campaign promise "nobody's going to take your hunting rifles" will have been a total lie. In-freaking-credible!
11.22.2008 5:04pm
Allan Walstad (mail):
Zippypinhead: The "accurate-high-power rifle = dangerous-sniper-rifle" scam is well-known. I know about it because as an NRA member I get regular updates via the magazine publications. I also get regular email updates. I try to read the stuff. The barf bag is handy.

As for Obama, I can only hope he goes nuts on gun control. He'll be facing a hostile Congress in two years, if he does. And that would be good for all sorts of reasons. Gridlock is your friend.
11.22.2008 5:35pm
Kazinski:
Zippyhead,
That is not satire, it is extremely well researched, and not written by morons. I read on page 6 that:

300 meters is only slightly less than the length of two football fields

You'll have to concede only a man with an IQ of over 150 wouldn't know the length of a football field. Though I will allow that a man with an IQ of less than 90 might know the length of the field, but may not be able to do the metric conversion properly. I think we can rule out the possibility that the passage was written by a woman, because a woman wouldn't feel the need to reference a football field at all as a reference point for length.
11.22.2008 6:16pm
zippypinhead:
The "accurate-high-power rifle = dangerous-sniper-rifle" scam is well-known. I know about it because as an NRA member I get regular updates via the magazine publications. I also get regular email updates.
OK, I admit it, I've been a bad pinhead. Very Bad. So bad maybe I should change my VC blog handle to "sheeple." Why? I typically skip the Chris Cox NRAILA stuff at the back of The American Rifleman and the LaPierre stuff in the front, on the assumption it's mostly partisan hyperbole. The shocker here was reading it directly on the VPC web site. Scary stuff like that is more believable from the horse's mouth. Or horse's a**, as the case may be.

OK, I confess: NRAILA's credibility just went way up in my book. Now if only I can found equally good corroboration for some of the stuff Dave Kopel's been saying?
11.22.2008 6:20pm
zippypinhead:
"300 meters is only slightly less than the length of two football fields"
And my Remington 700 is a "sniper rifle." Equally brilliant. You may be off by an order of magnitude on your IQ estimate of the authors...
11.22.2008 6:24pm
rosignol (mail):
In making the determination, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that a firearm procured for use by the United States military or any Federal law enforcement agency is not particularly suitable for sporting purposes...


So all that has to happen to get any firearm (not just rifles) added to the 'restricted' list is for any federal law enforcement agency to purchase one for evaluation?
11.22.2008 8:25pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
juris:

Try, the tiny chunk of the country that DOES have registration.


I realize it's "tiny" by land area. But is it "tiny" by population? Because that seems to be the more relevant measurement. Does anyone actually know the number?
11.22.2008 9:27pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
kaz:

What does "shall not be infringed" mean to you? The plain Enlgish meaning is that its scope shall not be reduced by regulation.


The National Firearms Act was passed in 1934. It's definitely "regulation." Are you claiming it's unconstitutional? If not, why not?
11.22.2008 9:27pm
Bill Twist:
zippypinhead:


OK, I confess: NRAILA's credibility just went way up in my book. Now if only I can found equally good corroboration for some of the stuff Dave Kopel's been saying?


Give me some specifics and I'll see what I can do. What specifically that Dave Kopel has been saying that you are skeptical about?

/I probably *SHOULD* start up that column again.
11.22.2008 10:08pm
Kazinski:
Jukeboxgrad,
I think the national firearms act may be unconstitutional. I'd like to see some more scholorship on the question, especially post Heller.
11.22.2008 11:33pm
Mule:
Alright McQuinn, I’ll bite. Let’s continue your exercise in futility with an apples-to-apples comparison between the 2nd and 14th Amendments.

Let’s say that marriage between a man and a woman is like the old Winchester 1873. After all, it’s the gun that won the west – you can’t get any more traditional than that.

But what kind of gun would represent wedded matrimony between two members of the same sex? I began my quest for knowledge by typing in “gayest gun” on a well known search engine. Although I made some new friends on a few 14th Amendment-friendly blogs, my analysis was lacking academic credibility.

Ultimately, I regrouped and made a breakthrough by asking myself this one simple question, “If I were a firearm in pursuit of a gender neutral hand to hold my barrel, where would I be manufactured?” Of course... Europe! And nothing says gay more than France. Finally some momentum.

So I narrowed my sights to manufacturers located strictly within the land of wine and cheese. And it was there were I found the perfect partner for our friend, McQuinn – the Le Francais "Modele de Poche". Seriously, just take one look at that piece and you’ll know it was dropped by at least half the French army.

But here’s my problem. That particular gun is automatic and often carried by high ranking French officers. And since I’m sure that qualifies the Le Francais "Modele de Poche" as an assult weapon by VPC standards, that means gay guns will be equally outlawed under Obama.

Moral of the story: A vote for Obama means a vote against the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.
11.22.2008 11:37pm
rosignol (mail):
But what kind of gun would represent wedded matrimony between two members of the same sex?

An over-under double-barrel shotgun.

The jokes practically write themselves.
11.23.2008 12:02am
Mule:
Do you know how hard it was to keep my rant under 5000 words, rosignol? It's just too easy.
11.23.2008 12:24am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
kaz:

I think the national firearms act may be unconstitutional.


Fair enough. I was curious. Thanks for the response.

I'd like to see some more scholorship on the question, especially post Heller.


There was a lot of discussion here re Heller. I didn't follow it closely. Searching now I see that NFA was discussed, to some extent.
11.23.2008 1:27am
cboldt (mail):
-- The National Firearms Act was passed in 1934. It's definitely "regulation." Are you claiming it's unconstitutional? --
.
The District Court in Miller found part of the 1934 NFA to be unconstitutional in light of the 2nd amendment, and quashed the indictment of Miller. And that conclusion would have been upheld by the logic in the SCOTUS review, had counsel for the defendant provided a factual finding that a shotgun with a barrel less than 18 inches in length "has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia."
11.23.2008 11:19am
Brett Bellmore:
I might note that the NFA was originally upheld by the Supreme court on the basis that it wasn't really firearms regulation, (Which would have been presumptively unconstitutional under the then enforced enumerated powers doctrine.) but instead a revenue measure. And that any regulatory aspects were purely meant to implement the revenue raising aim of the bill.

Naturally, this was a bit of a polite lie, given that the tax was upwards of 10,000% on some items, but that was the basis. And that basis has been largely invalidated by subsequent amendments which don't permit you to PAY THE TAX.
11.23.2008 12:31pm
juris_imprudent (mail):
And that basis has been largely invalidated by subsequent amendments which don't permit you to PAY THE TAX.

Presumably, the Hughes amendment to FOPA should run afoul of the NFA. One can be valid at a time, but not both. Talk about a Catch-22 for gun-banners!
11.23.2008 2:46pm
David W. Hess (mail):
Presumably, the Hughes amendment to FOPA should run afoul of the NFA. One can be valid at a time, but not both.

The United States District Court Central District of Illinois had much the same thought:
As applied to machineguns alleged to be possessed after May 19, 1986, prosecutions may no longer proceed under 26 U.S.C. § 5861. This is because the National Firearms Act is part of the Internal Revenue Code, and its provisions — including registration of machineguns possessed after May 19, 1986 — are valid only to the extent they aid in the collection of tax revenue. Since BATF would not register and accept tax payments for any machinegun after May 19, 1986, registration of machineguns made and possessed after that date no longer serves any revenue purpose, and such registration requirements are invalid. Since 18 U.S.C. § 922(o) is interpreted to ban registration and taxation of machineguns under the National Firearms Act, § 922(o) effectively repeals such registration and taxation provisions. Congress has no enumerated power to require registration of firearms. However, since registration of firearms may assist in the collection of revenue, Congress passed the National Firearms Act in 1934 pursuant to its power to tax. Section 922(o) destroys the constitutional basis of registration.
11.23.2008 10:33pm
ShyAsrai (mail):
if the gun question truly was designed merely to weed out potentially embarrassing questions of unlawful possession of firearms (which registration is against the 2nd Amendment, IMO) then the question should have/would have read:

"Have you followed current laws and regulations regarding any weapons you may own?"
11.24.2008 3:03am
cboldt (mail):
-- Congress has no enumerated power to require registration of firearms. However, since registration of firearms may assist in the collection of revenue, Congress passed the National Firearms Act in 1934 pursuant to its power to tax. --
.
Aside from registration of firearms, is there anything that would be beyond assisting in the collection of revenue? Federal transfer tax on automobiles comes to mind (although, as others have pointed out, cars aren't protected by a constitutional amendment, and cars are unnecessary to the protection of a free state), but tax revenue could be obtained by a tax on just about anything. Maybe a "green tax" to cover the energy of production and disposable cost of durable goods.
11.24.2008 5:56am
Soronel Haetir (mail):
I don't like it, but I would actually think a registration scheme (if there is actually a way to comply) would be legitimate under the militia powers clause. Knowing where all the arms are would greatly aid a muster. Terrible policy, but I do believe such is constitutional.
11.24.2008 8:14am
Yankev (mail):

If it uses the word "tactical" or "varmit" in any submodel names, or is designed and marketed to be accurate, or can hit a target at 300 yards, or has ever been used by a police department or military anywhere, it's a "sniper rifle" according to VPC.
Of course, one of the frequent anti-gun memes is that "assualt weapons" are designed to inaccurately but rapidly spray bullets over a random area. That's what the all Democrat Columbus City Council pushed when they adopted their "assault weapons" ban a few years ago. Catch 22 -- if it's accurate, it's a sniper rifle and needs to be banned. If it's not accurate, it's an "assault weapon" and needs to be banned.

Not unlike the ploy with ammunition -- if the bullet deforms, it's a dum dum bullet and must be banned. If not, it's an armor piercing bullet and must be banned.
11.24.2008 9:37am
Yankev (mail):

Unless there was an exclusion for rimmed cartridges only suitable for wheelguns, we'd probably even lose .38 Special.
And the .45 Long Colt and the .45 Schofield.

How long before they go after the deadly Muzzle Loader Loophole? After all, look at all the havoc that Quantrill wreaked with the .36 Navy revolver?
11.24.2008 9:40am
cboldt (mail):
-- How long before they go after the deadly Muzzle Loader Loophole? --
.
The blunderbuss loophole too.

Although I suspect those are already covered by the "any other weapon" and/or "destructive device" statutes.
11.24.2008 11:06am