Horse Trading

Borepatch proposes a trade for background checks. The problem with this kind of thing is that it’s hard to do, because neither side really wants to compromise. Perhaps we can get all of those things without having to give anything up in return. Perhaps the other side believes the same thing. Even if we got together with the other side, and shook hands on the deal, there’s no guarantee that’s what’ll come out of the sausage grinder, as friendly lawmakers on each side try to sweeten the deal for their own constituency.

But that said, there’s no way I think they’d accept a deal like this. As I mentioned in the comments of a previous post, unlike many of the other gun control groups, I don’t think MAIG is really rooted in the gun prohibition movement. I don’t think that’s the purpose of MAIG. MAIG is an immune response of costal elites to the idea, pushed by our people in recent years, that the Second Amendment applies equally to big cities, and that New York and Chicago’s gun laws cannot be allowed to stand. Their primary goal is to put us on the defensive, so that day of reckoning is delayed as much as humanly possible, and if it does eventually come, will be on as close to their terms as they can get. The purpose of Bloomberg’s MAIG is the preservation of big city gun control. I have little doubt Bloomberg would be fine with prohibition, or near prohibition, for the rest of us, but I don’t view that’s why Bloomberg founded it. I think Bloomberg founded it to keep the Second Amendment out of his city.

28 thoughts on “Horse Trading”

  1. Bloomberg is a moralistic control freak. He didn’t put restrictions on salt levels in food, or drink sizes, or order limits on the availability of pain killers in emergency rooms because he wanted to keep the 2nd Amendment out of NYC. He did those things because he (believes he) knows what’s best for everyone and has the power to force them to live as he wishes.

    If Bloomberg’s focus were on boutique foods, pot, or designer clothes, the left would have chased him out of NYC long ago. Since he’s going after things enjoyed by the “little people” — and particularly for his lust for disarming the average person — they love him.

    1. He is, which is why I think he’s absolutely terrified of the idea that New York might have to obey the Second Amendment.

  2. Ugh! I would not accept that “compromise” because for me, one of the gold standards for progress on gun rights will be Constitutional Carry — recognition of the right of citizens to have a viable means of self defense at hand, without the prior restraint of being licensed by The State. I therefore have no use at all for schemes to pile benefits and laurels on CCW holders. I have had too much experience with self-styled gun rights advocates who loved their CCWs because they thought of them as Merit Badges proving they were Real Gunnies and Upstanding Citizens, to boot.

    I would note that the alleged “Most Pro-Gun Legislator in Pennsylvania,” Daryl Metcalfe, never sponsored Constitutional Carry legislation, but did sponsor legislation to place county CCW records in a centralized state system that could be accessed by other state’s (and federal) LEOs; the better to achieve CCW reciprocity. And I happen to know that that was at the behest of his close constituents who love their CCWs all to pieces.

    1. This is an area I don’t really agree with you on. I agree with Constitutional Carry, and would like to see it pass in more states, including this one, but in the mean time I don’t have a problem making the current regime less restrictive, more open, and recognized by more states. People who travel benefit greatly from reciprocity.

      1. I’m just responding to exercise some rhetoric I haven’t used for awhile; I don’t want to seem to argumentative about what at present is just a difference of opinion/values.

        Gunnie conveniences are not gun rights. They are privileges. The screws can be tightened on them at any time until they become effectively the denial of rights.

        I know the rap about people who travel with their guns. I want them to be able to travel with their guns and their rights, absent prior restraints. But the people I most heard the argument from, in favor of reciprocity, happened to be handgun competitors who were most interested in their own convenience traveling interstate for recreation. Of course, they deserve their rights whatever their motives.

        But, throw in all the people who need to travel on business with their guns, and I’ll bet they come nowhere near the number of, let’s say, inner city single mothers who maybe once a year feel that dropping a .25 Raven in their purse, when on their way to the corner bodega to get milk for their baby, would be the better part of valor. The nights when the natives seem more restless than usual. I think they should be able to do that, which is their right, without the prior restraint of having to go to an intimidating desk with a JBT in uniform to beg (and pay) for the privilege of doing what is their natural right. They should not need to be gun hobbyists or afficionados to have gun rights. I sympathize with people like that, far more than I sympathize with the guy with several thousand dollars of custom combat handguns who would prefer not to have to package them up too tightly or too remotely when crossing state borders for recreation.

        In short, Constitutional Carry is recognition of universal human rights; CCW reciprocity is a mere extension of privilege.

        Of course I have a major difference from much of the gun rights community. Most people look at their permit with pride. I look at mine with shame.

        1. I understand where you’re coming from philosophically, and I agree with you. I’m hoping that eventually we’ll get enough court precedent behind this that we can attack licensing. But in the mean time, reality is reality, and I’ve not seen too much evidence myself that having more freedom today means people stop fighting for even more. That mother’s day in court will come, or day in the legislature.

          1. Note – we’ve had, what, 3 states go from permits to constitutional carry now? (I don’t recall the exact path AK took). You can progress from no issue/may issue to shall issue without foreclosing constitutional carry

            1. I just feel the need to explain that I am most often guided by personal experience, as well as philosophy.

              I certainly have no problem, within any state, of going from no carry to shall issue, hopefully on the way to Constitutional Carry.

              But I have had some of the past, high-profile RKBA activists in our state admit to me that they didn’t like the idea of just anybody carrying a gun; they opposed Vermont Carry (the working example at the time); and they demonstrated in many ways that they regarded having a permit as a badge of pride. And I also knew these people had the ear of some of the Most Pro-Gun Legislators In the State, who if ever confronted with the question of sponsoring Constitutional Carry legislation would come back with all of the classic arguments about “Of course I want it, but the time isn’t right,” and, “I would squander too much political capital in vain if I tried to get it,” and “I would get on the shit-list with my party leadership,” blah-blah-blah. Meanwhile the same cautious legislators would introduce edgy social conservative legislation and pull stunts that made them laughing stocks to more than half the country.

              Let’s just say I hate it when self-styled Real Gunnies are self-serving, and part of the roadblocks to moving forward toward true gun rights.

    2. There is a simple fix to that…

      I’ve argued for a “reciprocity stamp”. This would allow “Constitutional Carry” within in a state. But for out-of-state reciprocation, you would need a reciprocity stamp. This could even be mandated to be put on driver’s licenses and/or state IDs.

      But honestly, I would concede background checks for all sales, except for family. In exchange for reciprocity.

      1. Why not just have a “not a prohibited person” stamp.

        Then, it could fill in as both a “carry permit” and a means to do background checks.

        Then, the state would maintain and distribute a database to all gun stores of all DL numbers in the state, and their status. In this day and age, there’s no reason that updates couldn’t happen in real-time.

        Thus, you would go into your LGS, and to start a purchase, they would check your ID; If it indicated that you were not a prohibited person, they would proceed to double check with their local copy of the background check system.

        There’s also no reason that the list (just numbers and a go/no go status) couldn’t be publicly published, which also means that this is a way to institute so-called universal background checks without directly involving the government (and thus without the registration concerns that exist with the present NICS/4473 method): For a private sale, all the seller would have to do is notate the DLN of the purchaser, the date, and his/her status per the public database, notating these on bill of sale signed by both parties.

  3. Are you saying concealed carry reciprocity includes coverage for purchases? No – that wouldn’t fly as-is. Problem is the background check in one state and the background check in another can have different outcomes. You know that. Some states, never mind mental health adjudications, they’ve only added 20 percent of their felonies to the state system and NICS.

    But that’s a detail. If you wanted to bend on background checks and magazines, grandfathering in existing magazines, for national ccw you might get somewhere with it.

    But what do I know?

    1. All states would likely have to pass the NICS, they can have their own additionals SICS, like PICS, but it would likely ALL have to pass the national database.

    2. The big problem getting states to report is that the federal government can’t force them to report, they can only entice. That’s one reason I don’t think the HR2640 enticements really did a whole lot (though some states then did start reporting). They could try that again, and sweeten the pot, but federal policy options are limited when it comes to getting the states to act.

  4. The answer is no deal.

    2a says bear which means carry. I do not agree with having to get a CCW and criminal check and fingerprints to exercise my right to bear arms.

    Besides i my state getting a carry license is not possible The socialist state of Md and Wollard does not appear to get approved by the 4 th Circuit

    1. I don’t want to say this too loudly, but PA is one of the easiest of Shall Issue states, to get a permit, and I still consider the process demeaning.

    2. While I agree with Andy in principle (licensing implies a privilege, not a right), the fact of the matter is that with regards to carrying concealed, I much prefer the status quo in PA to the status qo in MD.

      The antis are perfectly happy to chip away at our rights little by little; any gain they make is still a victory for them.

      In my view, our only route to the legislative restoration of the RKBA is do the same in reverse.

      They have instituted licensing schemes that are massively burdensome, and, in my opinion, our best legislative option to oppose this is to fight to make the process progressively less burdensome, until we eventually are able to do away with them entirely.

  5. If you’ll indulge me for a moment:
    Drug dealers make huge profits. All successful long-term business look to invest profits and influence politicians. DC, LA, NYC, Chicago, Baltimore and New Orleans all have a history of police corruption/drug running. Presumably more cities that I’m not aware of. It is entirely plausible that MAIG is funded by the drug cartels. We presume it is Bloomberg’s personal money, but he could be laundering drug money. Certainly his aims align 100% with drug dealers – disarming clients, disarming the victims of their clients when the addicts need fast cash, decreasing the competition. The Obama/Reid standard of proof regarding confidential tax records demands a forensic audit for MAIG.

  6. Things you should do:

    1) don’t compromise. If a thief steals $100 from you,and offers to return $50 – you should punch him in the face

    2) normalize the issue. It worked for gay rights (gay couples in TV sitcoms, etc.), it can work for gun rights.


    “My name is Sean, I am your [son’s cub scout den leader | co-worker | neighbor]. You’ve known me for years, and I hope I’ve earned some of your trust. I’ve been following the issue of gun rights for some time, and would like very much to share my perspective if you’re interested.”

    So far no one has told me to “no” to my face yet. Maybe they don’t agree necessarily, but it forces them to identify with “me”, and not an ambiguous group of “gun owners”.

  7. Okay, since this topic came up I feel it necessary to submit for feedback my own idea for a realistic compromise. In fact I am thinking of formally proposing my compromise to my anti-gun Democratic congresswoman (redistricting stuck me in her district, sigh).

    Now a real compromise might seem like an attempt to poison pill the legislation. True enough. But in my opinion that is a feature not a bug.

    So here is the deal- our side gives up universal background checks for handgun purchases (and only handguns), their side gives up universal CCW reciprocity. Each side gets something they want, both sides can claim a ‘victory’ should they want, and rabid opposition by the anti-gunners to a true compromise reveals them for the extremists they truly are.

  8. I don’t object to the idea of having a background check run on a guy I’m thinking about selling a gun to. What I object to is having the process generate a paper trail.

    And I don’t think I’m unusual. Here in Minnesota, the state requires a permit for purchases of handguns and assault weapons from licensed dealers. Either a carry permit (which costs $100 and is good for five years) or a purchase permit (which is free and good for one year). Both are shall-issue.

    The law does not require a permit on private sales, but every offer of a private sale I’ve seen – on local forums, on 3×4 cards at the ranges, etc. – has stated that the seller requires the buyer to have a permit.

    Gun owners don’t want to sell to criminals, and if you give them a way of determining that a potential buyer isn’t one they’ll take advantage of it – if it is free, and easy, and doesn’t involve a paper trail.

    1. Given that you can’t so much as visit a website without leaving a trail, it sounds like you are pretty much agreeing with those of us who say background checks are unacceptable.

  9. How about this? They want universal background checks? OK.

    When you reach the legal age of ownership, your background is checked. If you are clean…you get one type of ID. If you are found to be a prohibited person, another obvious ID. If you become a prohibited person, your ID is changed.

    When you buy a gun…. you show ID.


    NO FFL, no third party, no registration.

  10. The problem with nation-wide reciprocity as a goal as the anti-jurisdictions will still hammer people with bullshit ordinances and harassment that make carrying illegal and dangerous.

    If we got nationwide reciprocity tomorrow, magically, I guarantee you NY would establish rules like:

    You can’t CCW within 1000′ of a school, playground, daycare center, place that serves alchohol, place that sells alcohol, place designated by the NYPD as a statistical crime hot spot, any location frequented by a drug dealer, etc etc. That basically means no carry anywhere, and if combined with a “duty to inform an LEO upon initial contact” it means no right to carry. You either admit to being in a gun free zone (crime) or you don’t notify (crime).

    Without strong pre-emption carry is effectively meaningless. Even with it, it can be hazardous. I lived in a city (not in Alaska) that maintained ordnances contrary to pre-emption on the books. Their tactic was to arrest people, haul them to jail, charge them, and then drop charges if there was legal resistance to prevent an effective court challenge. This game has been dragging on for years.

    The Chicago police have said they plan on shooting people who carry. There will be no consequences for a Chicago cop that dumps a mag into a lawful CCW’er. ZERO. The cop will get some paid leave, the department may have to pay a settlement, but whatever, that’s funded by the taxpayers.

    Nationwide CCW reciprocity would be nice, but I don’t imagine for a second that it would actually let me safely carry in NYC.

    1. That’s where we have to look to the anti-racist period of the Sixties, where federal civil rights legislation was leveraged to hammer the state’s and municipalities that maintained their unconstitutional Jim Crow laws.

      1. Do you think any POTUS will deploy the 82nd AB to San Francisco or NYC to enforce CCW? That’s what it took to force the south to accept the full meaning of the 13th and 14th Amendments.

        I don’t think so. Not even President Rand Paul would do that.

        There will continue to be zero consequences for these jurisdictions, and more importantly, for the individuals proposing and enforcing the policies.

        1. No, but it’s not going to be necessary or practical, either. The military deployments were, essentially, publicity stunts; the 82nd didn’t escort every black person who wanted to use a whites-only water fountain or every busload of integrated kids.

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