About that sit-in over guns by Democrats in the U.S. House…


Twitter photo from U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle.

This is my day for going to awards ceremonies. I’m about to go to The State to see Cindi Scoppe get the Gonzales Award.

But while I’m gone, y’all should talk amongst yourselves about the Democrats’ sit-in over guns in the U.S. House.

Here’s what the president thinks:

What do y’all think?

79 thoughts on “About that sit-in over guns by Democrats in the U.S. House…

  1. Doug Ross

    Grandstanding without an actual solution to a problem that doesn’t exist. Is it an election year? Oh, yes it is.

    The problem is criminals (including onshore terrorists) using guns, not people owning guns. Criminals can get as many weapons as they want.

    1. Mark Stewart

      Sometimes I feel like it’s just like we should give up and crawl under a fallen log to die when I read your comments.

      Of course criminals act outside of the law! Does that mean we go all fatalistic over it and just give up? Since there will always be criminals, why don’t we just disband our police forces?

      Why not instead work to improve and enhance the structures of our civil society? You know, provide leadership and direction. Build a better world. A lot of space between nihilism and butterflies and unicorns does exist in which to do that building.

      1. Doug Ross

        I’m all for improving and enhancing the structures of our civil society. That doesn’t require controlling legal access to guns.

        Let’s see you fix Chicago’s problems with guns first. Then we’ll talk. But that might require profiling, shaming parents, talking about race, and a whole bunch of stuff unrelated to whatever weapon of choice gang members select.

        But, no, go ahead with your Prohibition 2.0 ideas.

        1. bud

          Brad talks about WW 2 whenever someone suggests a smaller military footprint. Doug and Bryan talk about gun violence whenever we discuss multiple shooting solutions. Can’t anyone stay on topic?

          1. Doug Ross

            What’s your solution, bud? If I give you everything you want, will you guarantee there will be no more mass shootings?

          2. Bill

            Brad likes to turn any criticism of his WW2 fetish into a conservative vs progressive thing. It’s not. It’s an old fogy vs. everybody else thing. A friend who until recently taught in the military academy system – instructing newly minted majors — says officers view references to WW2 as practically on par with references to the Civil War or ancient battles in the Peloponnese: kinda interesting, yeah, but not really relevant to anything they’ll actually have to deal with today.

    2. bud

      Doug do you not think for one nano second that these people genuinely believe in this cause? There is no panacea for this gun issue but we should at least start with a few common sense measures. Given that gun violence is 20 times more prevalent here than in Europe there are strategies that can work. Endless moments of silence and libertarian naysaying won’t get us anywhere but regardless of the odds we should at least try. After all the libertarian way, and make no mistake about what we have now is the libertarian approach, has failed us utterly and completely. Why not go in a different direction? Right now I’m pretty glad to be a Democrat.

      1. Doug Ross

        What is “their cause”? The same as the global warming cause? The same as the ending poverty cause? The same as the War on Terror cause? The same as the War of Drugs cause?

        There are no big solutions to these problems. The mass shooting problem is a people problem not a gun problem.

        But keep talking about guns. And keep sitting in. That’ll work.

  2. Claus

    Sooner or later someone is going to have to get up and pee.

    If photos of the chamber isn’t allowed when not in session, how are these photos getting out? Shouldn’t those violating the rules be held responsible?

  3. Bryan Caskey

    I’m just a young’in so I wasn’t around in the 60’s when people did the sit-in thing. But isn’t the idea that when you hold a sit-in, you are by definition an outsider trying to grab the attention of those in power?

    But these are congressmen. They ARE the people in power. They ARE the ones who make the laws. So against whom are they protesting?

    It just seems to me that these people are openly making the point that they are not capable to hold the reigns of power.

    I mean, we’ve got congressmen, the most powerful people in the country, holding a sit-in inside the Capitol Building against…themselves? Other Congressmen? Huh? How about try and govern, make laws, reach compromises, talk with other legislators and try to reach some sort of consensus?

    I mean, even everyone here on the commentariat has opinions that span the political spectrum. But I bet we could all do better than these bird-brain Congressmen who seem to have given up on reasoning and persuasion.

    1. Mark Stewart

      It was a stunning display of powerlessness from members of Congress who, perversely, were on the cusp of gaining the upper hand in the eyes of the populace over the issue of gun control reform.

      I’d like to hear their strategic and tactical reasoning for this sit in. It’s just so bizarre I don’t know what to make of it.

    2. bud

      these are congressmen.

      Actually they are Democratic congressman. Pretty much outsiders in this congress.

      1. Doug Ross

        The same Democrats who had a majority plus the Presidency and couldn’t do anything meaningful.

        1. Harry Harris

          An oft-stated erroneous opinion. Stimulus act that turned the recession around in less than six months. Equal pay law that helped trim gender pay gap a little. Health care bill that has slowly expanded coverage by about 22 million. All without Republican votes even for items they had supported previously (tax cuts in the recovery act, individual mandate in ACA, tax rebates in the recovery act). One year later, the Republicans take the Congress, and no Obama-proposed economic policy has passed since except a tax-cut extension and a few unemployment insurance extensions in exchange for estate tax exemptions and some raiding of SS funding (remember the two year 2 percent cut in SS payments). The stimulus bill turned the economy upward – minus 10% GDP growth first 2009 quarter to average 3.1 growth in summer 2009 to quarter 2 in 2010. Repubs take house in 2010, and growth has been around 2% since. Republicans try to blame the sluggish economy on Obama when nothing he’s pushed has been enacted.

  4. Bryan Caskey

    Gotta say this, too: I’m surprised that Rep. John Lewis is participating in a sit-in to strip Americans of their civil rights.

    You would think he would be old enough to know better.

    1. Assistant

      This sit-in act is irony rich.
      – According to a CNN report on 8/20/2004, Rep. Lewis was stopped 30-40 times over the preceding year because his name erroneously appeared on the No-Fly list. He and his staff had numerous contacts with DoT, DHS, and various airlines, but to no effect by the date of this report.

      – Iowahawk points out that Martin Luther King, Jr. was a gun-owner who was on an FBI watch list.

    2. bud

      What civil right is being stripped? And please don’t go on and on about due process again. There is nothing in the constitution that gives anyone the right to own a gun. There is something about arms being well regulated.

      1. Bryan Caskey

        It’s certainly clarifying that you do not hide your scorn for the Bill of Rights.

  5. Assistant

    It’s about time that someone protested the shooting and murders in our cities, and it’s natural that the Democrats are doing it, because the most dangerous places are run by their party.

    While the overall homicide rate in the US has been declining, there’s been an uptick in our urban centers which are climbing on the list of the world’s most dangerous cities.

    – St. Louis, with a murder rate of 59.23 per 100,000 of population, now ranks at 15 on the list of the world’s most dangerous cities; burglaries and assaults are at sky-high levels too.
    – Baltimore, ranked 40th last year, has moved into the top 20 to place at 19 with a murder rate of 33.92/100K.
    – Detroit is at 28 this year with 43.89 / 100K.
    – New Orleans comes in at 32 with 41.44 / 100K

    While my old hometown of Chicago had 2,900 shootings and 468 murders in 2015, those numbers are not enough to boost it into the top 100 dangerous cities in the world; its murder rate in 2014 was 18.6 / 100K. So far in 2016, March murders rose by 29% compared with increases of 75% in January and 126% in February. Over at heyjackass.com you can check the Chicago violence in real time: a person is shot every two hours and 17 minutes, with murders averaging 13 hours and 21 minutes.

    None of this is funny, the HeyJackass website is a reaction the senseless violence that Chicago’s leaders seem unable to stop. Most of the crime is gang-related, but gangs now have some respectability because they have money that they are using to buy / rent politicians, and prices are cheap in the Windy City.

    I hope those pols are enjoying their sit-in. At least they’re not crafting legislation that might do some real damage.

    1. bud

      I say we should be talking about global warming. This is the warmest period of time in the last several thousand years. Probably has about as much to do with the subject at hand as the shootings in Chicago. And no Mike the satellite data most assuredly does not suggest otherwise. Even the guy who manages the satellite data thinks the planet is warming.

    2. Barry

      Don’t mention the crime or murders in Chicago. No one wants to talk real issues. More fun to make up issues.

    3. Mark Stewart

      Two questions for all y’all:

      In these gang shootings, how many are targeted murders and how many are spray and pray type magazine emptiers that kill and wound intended victims and bystanders. I don’t know the answer to this; or even whether given the NRA’s gun use research legal restrictions it is even knowable today.

      Does anyone else remember that the nation’s only two successful gun control measures – the 1934 NFA and the 1886 FOPA (and the 1968 version that preceded it) – were both based in reaction to public perception that gang violence was out of control? So why this time is it illegitimate to debate gun control in this context? Maybe because this is the mental/emotional connection which has been proven to lead to public support for gun control measures?

      I think these issues are worth considering within the context of this debate. Wether Al Capone, Black Panther/Hell’s Angels or Miami Vice style violence is any different than what is happening today across this country as a result of the Mexican Cartels drug trade is worth some thought, no? Or is that the hidden subtext in denying this – the fear that the public connection will lead to new, successful gun control measures?

      1. Assistant

        You ask a good question about why gun control is not discussed in the context of gang activity. I am certainly somewhat astonished that so little seems to be said about gang activity. I suspect that we’d be talking a lot more about gangs / cartels with guns had Fast and Furious not blown up in this administration’s face. After all, the BATFE was forcing dealers to sell guns to individuals who certainly had gang or cartel connections. That they had no way of tracking the guns makes me think that the BATFE folks had ulterior motives. It did earn then-AG Holder a Contempt of Congress citation.

        As to your question about the proportion of victims who were intended targets compared to bystanders, I looked around heyjackass.com (Chicago homicide / shooting data) for a bit but did not find that sort of detail on the site, nor could I find victims’ ages. There are a lot of backup files, so I may do further research when I have some spare time.

        But let’s talk about gangs and the cartels. I’ll argue that they are strong because they’ve gotten smarter and are now wired in politically. That’s apparently the case in Chicago. Couple that with the slow pace at which law enforcement has developed or mastered methods to counter the gang threat, and the case for disarming the public seems weak.

        I don’t expect much in the way of further gun control in most states. About 40 states now have shall-issue CWP laws, meaning that citizens must be issued a CWP if they pass a background check, take some training, and pay a modest fee. The number of CWP holders is growing at double digit rates especially among women and minorities, five states now have more than 10% of their adult population with concealed handgun permits, etc. Certainly states in New England will continue to curtail the liberty of their citizens, as will California.

        We do live in interesting times, and the next step for the gun-controllers is prohibition. Most of the homicides are committed using handguns, but they may try to ban semiautomatic rifles first. Prohibition has never worked too well in the US, but that won’t deter the true-believers.

        1. Barry

          I’ve wondered for years why the Governor of Illinois doesn’t call out the National Guard for the south side of Chicago- especially on summer holiday weekends to prevent violence.

          40-60 people a weekend get shot or seriously injuryed and normally 8-14 die – every weekend in Chicago.

          Of course the reason is that it’s not politically feasible and people would cry racisim.

          So instead, people die.

          1. Assistant

            Give the man a cigar! Yep, the poor black folks die because the politicians can’t stomach the thought of stiff sentences for the black criminals doing the shooting.

            From Kevin Williamson at National Review:
            Consider the history of “Project Exile,” an experimental program in which Virginia firearms offenders were shifted to federal court and prosecuted under the Gun Control Act of 1968, meaning a minimum of five years in the federal penitentiary for those convicted. Who was in support of using the Gun Control Act to control gun crime? The NRA, for one. Who opposed it? The Congressional Black Caucus, civil-liberties groups, Families Against Mandatory Minimums, etc.

            If you can figure out why that is, then you’ll know why our gun-control debate is mainly about punishing the law-abiding and ignoring violent criminals.

            Chicago has Wild West levels of homicide. (Worse, in fact; the criminality and violence of the ungoverned West has been greatly exaggerated, and some of those old cow towns had lower per capita crime rates back when they had no formal government than they do today.) Do you know what kind of crime illegal possession of a firearm is in the state of Illinois? It is a misdemeanor. A 2014 study conducted by the Chicago Sun-Times found that in most cases, Cook County judges handed down the minimum sentence for gun possession, and in most cases, the criminals ended up serving far less than that, doing only a few months. Those charged with simple possession had an average of four prior arrests; those charged with the more serious crime of being a felon in possession of a firearm had an average of ten previous arrests.

            Ten arrests, and the eleventh is for a gun-related crime. One wonders how many undetected crimes are covered by such criminal careers.

            Many in Illinois have argued that, given the state of crime there, stiffer sentences are warranted. A bill was introduced to that end, and it was opposed by Democrats who argued that stiffer sentences for those actually committing crimes with guns would “unfairly target African-Americans,” as the Sun-Times put it.

            Look at the now-suspended stop-and-frisk initiative in New York City. Yes, most of those arrested were black and Hispanic, but that’s because the cops were patrolling high-crime areas that were — wait for it, can you guess? — black or Hispanic! And the criminals were preying on their neighborhoods, they were not commuters, they did not live in the ‘burbs and take the train or subway in to commit their crimes, but were indigenous.

  6. Pat

    I was happy to see the democratic representatives were having a sit-in. Why would Paul Ryan be afraid of having an up or down vote? Because the republicans don’t want to go on record? What is ridiculous is doing nothing at all.

    1. Mark Stewart

      I agree with all but your first sentence.

      We all deserve actual recorded votes on lightening rod issues. There is no ducking this responsibility of leadership.

    2. Barry

      He’s not afraid. That is silly.

      He’s not going to be bullied into it.

      If I were Ryan, I’d let them sit in there until January.

  7. Bryan Caskey

    You know who’s enjoying this mess in the House right about now? John Boehner. Probably laughing his behind off.

    1. Barry

      Just now watching Representatives yelling and screaming at each other on the house floor.

      They all look and sound like idiots.

      My son’s middle school recess breaks have more decorum.

  8. Barry

    Notice who was at the podium this morning at 7am as the morning shows on the east coast came on the air—– Nancy Pelosi.

    What a dumb stunt.

    Enjoying watching them waste their time.

  9. Doug Ross

    I’m appreciating Scott Adams (Dilbert cartoonist) has the right humorous take on issues these days on his blog. Here’s what he thinks of the gun debate (Democrats, prepare to get angry)…


    On average, Democrats (that’s my team*) use guns for shooting the innocent. We call that crime.

    On average, Republicans use guns for sporting purposes and self-defense.

    If you don’t believe me, you can check the statistics on the Internet that don’t exist. At least I couldn’t find any that looked credible.

    But we do know that race and poverty are correlated. And we know that poverty and crime are correlated. And we know that race and political affiliation are correlated. Therefore, my team (Clinton) is more likely to use guns to shoot innocent people, whereas the other team (Trump) is more likely to use guns for sporting and defense.

    That’s a gross generalization. Obviously. Your town might be totally different.

    So it seems to me that gun control can’t be solved because Democrats are using guns to kill each other – and want it to stop – whereas Republicans are using guns to defend against Democrats. Psychologically, those are different risk profiles. And you can’t reconcile those interests, except on the margins. For example, both sides might agree that rocket launchers are a step too far. But Democrats are unlikely to talk Republicans out of gun ownership because it comes off as “Put down your gun so I can shoot you.”

    Let’s all take a deep breath and shake off the mental discomfort I just induced in half of my readers. You can quibble with my unsupported assumptions about gun use, but keep in mind that my point is about psychology and about big group averages. If Republicans think they need guns to protect against Democrats, that’s their reality. And if Democrats believe guns make the world more dangerous for themselves, that is their reality. And they can both be right. Your risk profile is different from mine.

    So let’s stop acting as if there is something like “common sense” gun control to be had if we all act reasonably. That’s not an option in this case because we all have different risk profiles when it comes to guns. My gun probably makes me safer, but perhaps yours makes you less safe. You can’t reconcile those interests.

    Our situation in the United States is that people with different risk profiles are voting for their self-interests as they see it. There is no compromise to be had in this situation unless you brainwash one side or the other to see their self-interest differently. And I don’t see anyone with persuasion skills trying to do that on either side.

    Fear always beats reason. So as long as Democrats are mostly using guns to shoot innocent people (intentionally or accidentally) and Republicans are mostly using guns for sport or self-defense, no compromise can be had.

    If we had a real government – the kind that works – we would acknowledge that gun violence is not one big problem with one big solution. It is millions of people with different risk profiles voting their self-interest as they see it.

    So stop acting like one side is stupid. Both sides of the gun issue are scared, and both have legitimate reasons to be that way. Neither side is “right.”

    *I endorsed Clinton for president for my personal safety. I write about Trump’s powers of persuasion and it is not safe to live in California if people think you support Trump in any way. Also, I’m rich, so I don’t want anything to change in this country. The rest of you might have a different risk profile.

    1. Norm Ivey

      Disturbingly funny and frighteningly true. I’d like to see Nate Silver run numbers on his claims.

  10. Norm Ivey

    It’s a campaign year stunt. They’re trying to force the House to vote on bills similar to those the Senate has already voted against so they can use the vote in campaign ads.

    I’ve yet to hear of any legislation that would make a significant difference in shooting deaths, but I also haven’t heard anything proposed that sounds like an unreasonable burden on citizens wanting to purchase firearms. I’m kind “meh” about all four proposals the Senate considered.

    What’s needed is better data. Knowing how a gun used in a crime got into the criminal’s hands and where it passed from law-abiding hands and into criminal hands should allow for better enforcement of laws already on the books. From what I’ve been able to find online, the single biggest source of guns used in crimes are straw purchases. Straw purchasers have to know what they are doing is a crime, but if not, perhaps prominent display of the penalties for such action in gun shops and at shows might give them pause (although I imagine that such signs already exist). Maybe harsher penalties for straw purchasers, and prosecution of dealers who knowingly participate in straw purchasing would be a good place to start.

    1. Bryan Caskey

      “but I also haven’t heard anything proposed that sounds like an unreasonable burden on citizens wanting to purchase firearms.”

      Here’s what the blood-soaked, Congress corrupting, death-merchants at the NRA…oops, I mean the ACLU think.

      1. Norm Ivey

        The problem is less with the legislation and more with the No-Fly and Terrorist watchlists. There’s no doubt there are names on those lists that should not be, and getting a name removed is apparently difficult.

        I’m still “meh” about it because its effectiveness in stopping unjustified shootings and its burden on law-abiding citizens would both be minimal. The only citizens adversely affected would be those who are mistakenly on the watchlist and also want to buy a gun and can’t find a source where a background check is not required (like a private sale).

    2. Mark Stewart

      I’m going to go ahead and commit a cardinal sin and repost a comment I made very late to Monday’s tread. I think it’s relevant to Both Norm and Bryan’s comments here. It amazes me that the Democrats would be advocating for such bills that really aren’t much different from the kinds of undemocratic responses Trump calls for in his speeches. And then I’m also dismayed by the Republican’s closing ranks around bad ideas that have made it into law. The rest of us (mostly) are interested in reframing this situation by overhauling the existing gun legislation in ways that benefit our social order – which of course includes gun owners.

      A few steps to more effectively regulate firearms, without restricting rights to ownership and use of firearms to the general public, could include:

      1) Lift prohibition on firearms related social research
      2) Make firearms acquisition/possession prohibitions for the mentally ill and any non-citizens as least as strong as for felons (hunting as an activity by foreign nationals excepted).
      3) Mandate the information flow necessary to have a workable national background check system.
      4) Require background checks for all firearms transfers.
      5) Require registration of all firearms at transfer.
      6) Ban the sale of all magazines or feeder systems over 10 rounds. Ban their transfer and establish a bounty system to pay 2015 FMV prices for all disgorged magazines.
      7) Establish a category of the combination of assault rifle/handgun and over 10 round magazine/feeder systems under the NFA and permit each subject to those regulations and controls.

      I’ll refrain from calling this a “common sense” list. It might be, or it might not be. It is, however, a coherent framework, I think.

      1. Norm Ivey

        2–Generally agree, but “mentally ill” is broad. There are mental illnesses that do not make the person dangerous.
        4–Meh. There’s the issue of how to handle the background check if I want to give my nephew the .22 rifle my dad passed down to me.
        5–Agree as long as the fee (if any) is minimal. Firearms currently legally owned are excepted.
        6–Agree. We may quibble over the size of the magazine.
        7–Meh. Again, anything legally owned should be grandfathered, and if your other proposals are enacted, this one seems kind of moot.

        1. Mark Stewart

          2) I mean mentally ill as in having been involuntarily committed as a minimum threshold. We’re all slightly nuts and that isn’t a disqualifier.
          4) We have a system that makes passing vehicle titles very easy. I see no reason why this simplicity couldn’t be put in place for guns. Sign and submit.
          5) Fees should be administrative; but the intent is that this process be a user funded mechanism. So no freebies here. And yes, the point is that there is no registration of current firearms until sale or transfer.
          7) The reason for this is to permit “responsible” owners to retain these weapons with high capacity magazines in perpetuity. Want to keep one, or more, of these to target shoot with friends, or keep at home for the zombie apocalypse, no problem. The wrinkle here is that each magazine would be treated as an NFA categorized item.

      2. Doug Ross

        How about:

        1, Mandatory death sentence for murder with a firearm
        2. Mandatory minimum 10 year prison time for any crime committed with a firearm
        3. Allow pilots on commercial airlines to carry handguns if they are certified to use them

        1. Mark Stewart

          What does a handgun within a locked cockpit even mean? Wouldn’t a tazer be a better idea if something defensive were needed in the cockpit. Pilots are supposed to fly the plane; they aren’t the sheriff of the aircraft.

    1. Mark Stewart

      Continuation of the 1994-2004 ban on high capacity magazines certainly would have been relevant to your point, Doug.

        1. Claus

          Depends how many thugs voluntarily turned theirs in. You know there would have to be at least 3-4 that would have done so.

        2. Mark Stewart

          You ask an unknowable question. Even if the data were available. One can’t count what didn’t happen.

          One could, however, learn about what did happen – victims (intended or otherwise), guns used, bullets fired, etc.

  11. Pat

    There are no statics on guns because the republicans won’t allow the CDC to record, research, report, and recommend.
    It makes no sense to me that anyone wouldn’t want the loopholes on background checks to be closed. There also should be a viable solution to correcting the records for those mistakenly placed on the no fly list.
    Regarding sit-ins and decorum, I guess I’m a person of the 60s, and I’m not sure there is much decorum in 21st century politics. You have to get people’s attention before they will listen. And I don’t believe what they are doing is nearly as bad as shouting “you lie” while POTUS is speaking at a joint session or other such shenanigans.
    Besides an AP report reminds us the Republicans did kind of the same thing in 2008 in an attempt to force off shore drilling vote when Pelosi was in charge.

    1. Claus

      How would they research? The ATF has a good idea of how many guns were sold over the past 20+ years.

      Question: “How many guns do you have in your house?”
      Answer (take your pick): “None”, “I sold them all”, “I lost them in a freak boating accident”,

      1. Pat

        I think the idea was to examine gun-related incidents and make a determination as to the causes and search for solutions. It was not to count the number of guns in each household.

    1. Mark Stewart

      Or mentally unstable.

      If our first thought is always to leap to the terrorism label, then the goal of terrorism has been achieved – and we become our own fear combatants. Let’s see what the news brings forward before leaping to any conclusions.

    2. Mprince

      No terrorism. Just a deranged young man.

      No one killed. Or even injured. Only four shots fired, according to reports.

      Not even clear it was a real gun. Reports say it may have been a facsimile (Schreckschusswaffe) that only shoots blanks. In Germany even this type of non-lethal weapon is regulated.

      1. Mark Stewart

        It isn’t a weapon if it can’t be lethal. We regulate toys here, too, btw. Just because a deranged man went the suicide by cop route doesn’t make this about anything but insanity.

        The example here is not a lesson about guns (either way), but of the reality of a certain form of terror that has always, and will always, exist. No matter how much effort and expense we devote to mental health care, there will always be the insane among us, and sometimes they go berserk.

      2. Mprince

        The fact that no one other than the intruder was killed was not a result of a quick action by police (who took about 30 min. to respond) but rather to the fact that the young man didn’t have access to real firearms. It’s now been confirmed that his “guns” were in fact facsimiles that only shoot blanks.

  12. Bart

    Al Franken is in the middle of the sit-in photos, no surprise there. Maybe a red rubber nose and orange wig would be more appropriate for Franken. Maybe he thought he was back on SNL. And we wonder why our so-called representatives are incapable of achieving anything beyond name calling and juvenile behavior unbecoming to what is supposed to be reasonable adults attending to the legitimate affairs of the people.

    Why was the ban for 10 years and not permanent of high capacity magazines? A Bill Clinton compromise with a Republican congress? I don’t think so. From January 3, 1993 to January 3, 1995, Democrats controlled both houses.

    While it may not be on the subject of guns, another reason gun control opponents are so stident and remain so adamant about not enacting any regulations that may prevent a citizen from obtaining a gun if they pass the background check is the continued use of Title IX to further the LGBT agenda. Title IX was intended to protect minorities, especially females, from discrimination in sports activities in public educational institutions when federal funding is involved. Title IX did a great service and is a worthwhile law but in 2014, the U.S. Department of Education issued the following guideline. The text is copied from Wikipedia.

    “In 2014, guidelines were issued by the U.S. Department of Education stating that transgender students are protected from sex-based discrimination under Title IX, and instructing public schools to treat transgender students consistent with their gender identity in single-sex classes, so that a student who identifies as a transgender boy is allowed entry to a boys-only class, and a student who identifies as a transgender girl is allowed entry to a girls-only class.[40] The memo states in part that “[a]ll students, including transgender students and students who do not conform to sex stereotypes, are protected from sex-based discrimination under Title IX. Under Title IX, a recipient generally must treat transgender students consistent with their gender identity in all aspects of the planning, implementation, enrollment, operation, and evaluation of single-sex classes.”

    Title IX was used for purposes other than what it was originally intended to be used for, equality in sports for females and funding and support for female sports programs. Thus the adamant opposition for any gun control measures because the government, depending on which party is in power at the time, will use an existing law that was intended for other purposes as the basis for a decision to expand the law into other areas without the benefit of congress acting on and approving the changes and guidelines.

    I believe there should be stricter gun control laws but once the first one is enacted and if the language is not specific and strict guidelines established, at some point, the law will be expanded by a government agency without the approval of congress. When the government tried to use RICO against abortion protesters, it almost succeeded but in the end, it was decided RICO could not be used. But, what if RICO was allowed to be used? Consider how it would have been abused by over zealous government agencies.

    Just my thoughts on a couple of subjects.

      1. Mark Stewart

        Whatever one thinks of his politics, Al Franken appears to have become quite a credible, lucid and effective Senator. It’s shocking, but seems to be true.

    1. Mark Stewart

      Quite a threadjack. I’m glad you are onboard with some sort of more effective gun control legislation.

      1. Bart

        Not a threadjack but a reasonable explanation why the widespread distrust of even limited legislation on gun control. Once a law is passed, however innocuous the language of the law is on the surface, opportunists will take advantage of it and it will end up being used for reasons other than the intended purpose. Title IX was intended to correct the wrongs suffered by female athletes and to give them a level playing field with football, basketball, and baseball, the main revenue sports for universities and colleges.

        If a clean bill can passed without amendments and with clear, concise language spelling out what can and cannot be done, then it would have my full support. Otherwise, my distrust of elected representatives on both sides of the aisle has grown exponentially over the past few years and especially bureaucrats in government agencies interpreting the law to suit their agenda. Therefore the reason for the references to Title IX and RICO.

        It is not my nature or desire to inflict harm on another human being because of differences in religion, sexual orientation, race, gender, or anything else. I believe in the message of loving each other Christ gave us to live by along with many other messages about obeying the law of the land and submitting to the authorities governing us. I am not a hunter because I don’t have the desire or need to shoot a deer, turkey, or any other animal unless there is a true need for survival. Trophy hunting to me is not indicative of being a “sportsman” and I do not agree with blood sports of any kind. Dog fighting, bull fighting, and cock fighting to me are disgusting and inhumane.

        Guess this is another threadjack. 🙂

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          I get what you’re saying Bart, but when it comes to gun control, there seems to be very little chance it would do MORE than advertised. On this issue, whatever the Congress passed would almost certainly do a lot less than claimed.

          1. Bart

            Will agree to disagree. If any legislation is passed and even if it has total bipartisan support, the language will leave room for interpretation to serve another purpose or agenda somewhere down the line. And if passing something so watered down it is ineffective, why waste time and effort to do it? The only reason I can see is for the momentary political benefit for one party over the other.

            I guess my skepticism has grown over the years and I see nothing in the near future to allay my concerns or lessen my skeptical attitude toward any elected official.

            1. Mark Stewart

              There is also the idea that our needs as a society evolve; and that we sometimes call this progress. But you are right, sometimes one idea does get co-opted to perversely address another agenda. The tricky part is the process we all have to go through to conclude which is which. And it isn’t always clear.

              I think I agree with you about Title IX being co-opted to address another situation; no more than tenuously related to the idea of gender balance in athletic opportunity. Certainly Title IX never contemplated a transgender sports division as well – and yet that would be the logical conclusion of a strict interpretation of the legislation, not whether the legislation covers restroom use – and by whom.

              The first question, without doubt, we should ask is what is this hysteria about who uses what restroom? And why has it reared up now?Clearly, we all want to keep perverts out of where they should not be. And that’s the crux of it; how do we view people who feel the deep need to identify themselves as transgendered? Are they perverts to be disparaged? Or are they individuals we can empathize with (whether or not we understand their disorientation)?

              Personally, and I might not have agreed with this 10 years ago, I feel that this restroom restriction push is on its face nothing but ugly intolerance. The older I get the more I empathize with the different hurdles and journeys we all face. Lashing out at a group of people who aren’t bothering anyone – and frankly for whatever reason have gone through the mental anguish of having to find that their mind and body are not one – is to me like being prejudicial to the handicapped. I would have preferred that the government stood up for these defenseless souls by invoking the ADA legislation. However, I think we can all understand why transgendered people would resist that route – just as many people do not want to separately addressed as first and foremost a handicapped person.

              In the end, it’s about tolerance and respect; for everyone who needs to use a restroom. Symbolic, exploitative prejudice is not something we should condone; and if Title IX, in lieu of the ADA, is a mechanism to stop this illegitimate – and frankly unChristian – reaction which harms real people who simply want to live as humans, then so be it in my eye.

              Between being angry at bureaucrats who are trying to do their job for the people and the bigots who felt the need to lash out at a persecuted minority as reaction to something else entirely; I chose to level my disgust at those who provoked this anti-American screed over those who seek to defend us all. And put in those terms, I think it highly likely that you agree with me, no?

  13. Burl Burlingame

    It’s not about the actual bills, which don’t have the votes to pass anyway. It’s about highlighting how conservative members of Congress are in the pocket of the gun manufacturer lobby (which is what the NRA actually is) and also how the current Congress refuses to legislate on anything meaningful. Yes, it’s a campaign year stunt. And it’s working.

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