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December 14, 2019 · OPINION

Senate and Rep. Riggleman ignore the people’s wishes

Broad Run
By Margaret Sanders, M.D.
Broad Run

The House of Representatives has been legislating and about 275 bills have been submitted to the U.S. Senate and were never taken up.

Many bills popular with 90 percent of Americans passed by the House will never see the light of day, such as Violence Against Women Act, SAFE Act to protect elections, Paycheck Fairness, Save the Internet Act, Equality Act, ending discrimination against LGBTQ community, Dream and Promise Act, and the Lower Drug Cost Now Act.

Our 5th District congressman, Denver Riggleman (R) has voted against all of these bills. The next time you vote, please, decide whether you want a government which is FOR the people or whether you want a government which is for corporate America.
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JustCurious · January 12, 2020 at 3:10 pm
Silii: Additional proof that "paranoia" isn't the correct diagnosis ---> see the WTOP story at this link:

The critical portion is:

“I just have to say that this is something that’s been recommended by our Capitol Police. And I think there are times when we sort of have to trust what our law enforcement officers are telling us,” House Majority Leader Charniele Herring said.

But Capitol Police Col. Anthony Pike said after the vote that he made no recommendations on whether guns should be banned, only on how to implement the ban Democrats wanted.

So we have the Democrat Majority Leader actually telling non-truth to the assembly, in order to get something passed.

We are not paranoid! The Truth about the Liberal/Dem plan is astounding; the lengths they will go to are unlimited.
You might be OK with the means as long as guns are the target? May I suggest a reading:
[or simply search for: The Hangman by Maurice Ogden]

"I did no more than you let me do."

It is to weep.
JustCurious · January 8, 2020 at 3:02 pm
Silii: NO, the voters were not loud and clear IMHO. 53% to 47% is not loud and clear (to use one random "R lost to D" district).

DonkeyFarmer is correct: more laws are not needed. Enforce the laws we have.

Consider the recent shootings - all tragedies - which would have been prevented by ANY of the proposed gun safety laws?

Paranoia is an irrational fear that people are out to get you. The Gov, the AG, and certain legislators have been very explicit about their goals (to 'get' guns). My concerns are not irrational: the concerns are based on explicit facts!
Paranoia simply isn't correct!

DonkeyFarmer · January 7, 2020 at 10:24 pm
Gun safety.... What about car safety? Or pool safety? Gravity safety? They all kill more kids than guns. Maybe Republicans didn't pass any laws because we already have plenty.
Silii · January 7, 2020 at 4:52 pm
Oh please. Get over the paranoia. The voters of Virginia were loud and clear on gun reform. Republicans had years and years to do something about gun safety and they simply didn't. So, the majority voted. Gun safety laws aren't the end of the world.
Jeffersonian American · January 3, 2020 at 6:32 pm
I wish to pass along to all law-abiding citizens in our Fauquier, Culpeper, Madison, Rappahannock and Orange county regions of the following Facebook information and announcement posted and forwarded by other Compatriots for an upcoming public event in Culpeper to be held on Saturday January 11, 2020:

On July 17, 1775, citizens from Culpeper, Fauquier and Orange counties came together in Clayton’s Old Field under a large oak tree, in present day Yowell Meadow Park, to raise a cadre of 350 men to defend themselves and their families from a tyrannical government. Those 350 brave men would go down in history as the Culpeper Minutemen.

Today, we are facing equally ominous threats from our own state government, including threats to confiscate our arms, threats of economic and legal retaliation against our localities, local elected officials and local law enforcement, and veiled threats of the use of military force against peaceful, law-abiding citizens who have done no wrong. The Governor and legislators in Richmond have said they intend to strip of us of our God given rights. They are not listening. We are being threatened.

It is time to join together again in defense of our liberties. Please join us. All law-abiding citizens are welcome. We are renewing our commitment to the defense of our right to keep and bear arms and to the principles of liberty upon which this great republic was founded. We will meet on the same hallowed ground where the Culpeper Minutemen pledged their lives in defense of liberty and do the same.


Meet at the Yowell Meadow Park Gazebo

12:30 pm
Short walk to the monument at the site of the old oak tree where the Culpeper Minutemen mustered for a short prayer and remembrance.

1:00 pm
Return to the gazebo to hear from patriots working in the trenches to protect our liberties.

When: Saturday, January 11th 2020

Where: Yowell Meadow Park N Blue Ridge Ave, Culpeper, VA 22701 (Gazebo behind the park off Gardner Street Entrance)

No matter the weather we will gather.
JustCurious · January 3, 2020 at 9:56 am
SB240 appears to be a reasonable, well-crafted 'red flag' law.
DonkeyFarmer · January 2, 2020 at 8:16 pm
JC - In regards to the founding fathers writing of the 2A. "Well regulated" is not describing a degree of regulation, but rather the functioning of the militia. It is a term that is no longer commonly used. A well regulated watch for example would be a properly functioning watch. A well regulated militia would be running properly, equipped properly, and ready for service. Nothing to do with regulation in the sense of restrictions.

I don't believe UBC will reduce gun violence as criminals will just ignore the law, the same with registration, not to mention there is no way to enforce registration on guns already owned. I was trying to think of the least offensive thing to give to the Democrats so they can claim a victory and we can all move on.
JustCurious · January 2, 2020 at 7:00 pm
Your points are well made and accepted.
If a well crafted UBC will satisfy 'them' then I'm ok with that. My warning is merely ensure it isn't as restrictive as New York (for example). All 'sales' of weapons require a UBC through an FFL. Fine. Dropping off a weapon for a gunsmith to repair shouldn't require an FFL/UBC in and an FFL/UBC out. Loaning/borrowing doesn't need a UBC. Loaning you my weapon (or borrowing your weapon) shouldn't require and FFL/UBC out and back. No FFL/UBC at all in those situations.

Cosmetic features and magazine capacity must not define a weapon for a ban.

Regards and thanks,

JustCurious · January 2, 2020 at 6:53 pm
Registering to vote is another red herring.

No one can confiscate your vote. [let's skip identify theft and similar].
Registering to vote SHOULD merely identify you as a Citizen who is eligible to vote. [whether it accomplishes that is another debate]
The present background check does the same for gun purchases through an FFL.

The comparison to registering guns fails.

[Before you bring it up: registering vehicles is not the same, either. Vehicles are not mentioned in the constitution. Horse thieves (vehicle stealers) used to be hanged. (not for stealing horses, but so horses would not be stolen).]

Every mention of registration, eventually, went to removing weapons from a [future] felon or a red flag law target. In other words: confiscation [whether the result of due process or not].

Registration isn't a restriction from your POV - clearly it is a significant restriction from many other POVs. You want your POV accepted, I want your POV disregarded.

Your comparison fails.

Your challenge to propose policies has been answered by me and many others - several times. Enforce existing laws would be a good start.

Nossir, I'm not seeking policies of perfection. There you go again. I've never used that term.
I do insist on policies that can/will/might achieve the stated goal. A policy that claims "gun safety" but fails to provide that under even minor scrutiny = bad policy.
Take that same policy, but instead of selling it as 'gun safety', sell it truthfully. "This policy won't enhance gun safety, it won't restrict illegal weapon transfers between felons, it won't reduce armed crime. It will harass law abiding citizens who have guns -- but whom 'we' believe should not have those because that is what 'we' believe. In fact, this policy might increase crime because, when guns are banned, only criminals will be armed".

Still bad policy, but at least honest.

Should policy be dictated by those who are afraid of guns, who don't own guns, who don't use guns? May I submit the answer is 'no'.

Nossir, I did not vote for those going to Richmond to implement The Gov's desires w/r/t guns. I voted for the loyal opposition.

Registration is needed so that something can be well regulated? Hmmmm, that IS an interesting point. The threshold for 'well regulated' probably needs to be discussed. Oh how I wish the founding fathers had written 2A in simpler terms! A threshold between unregulated, regulated, and well regulated is something to be discussed. That might be a good point for a discussion.

Jim Griffin · January 2, 2020 at 5:04 pm
Understood, agreed, accepted. Registration does not to me feel restricted anymore than say registration restricts someone with the right to vote.

Registration feels like something needed such that something can be well regulated.

I am the last person to argue for restricting a civil right, and I do see the Second Amendment as a civil right. But registration does not feel like a restriction from my POV.
DonkeyFarmer · January 2, 2020 at 4:53 pm
Jim - Well regulated militia does not mean regulated in the sense it is restricted. Well regulated means properly functioning and equipped, ready to do it's job.
Jim Griffin · January 2, 2020 at 4:33 pm
Why the objection is a "well regulated militia"? Registration, UBC and red-flag laws seem consistent with the stated constitutional protection -- how do we regulate without so much as registering them?
DonkeyFarmer · January 2, 2020 at 10:44 am
Just Curious- All very good points. I know because I have made them myself, for years. I've read the books, I was active in the NRA ILA. I've written the letters. I've done the rallys.... It did a lot of good in California, where now you need background checks for ammo, AR style firearms are banned, any magazine over 10 rounds is banned, all handguns are on a list of what is approved, you need to pass a test and get a license to purchase a handgun, lead ammo is banned, steel ammo is banned in fire season....etc etc..

The Democrats took power. They are going to pass something. They can't show their face back home if they don't. What are you going to give them? Or are you hoping for the alternative that they pass an AR ban and we fight it in court? Or hope we vote them out?

I know background checks don't work on criminals. You know they don't work. Most politicians know they don't work. It does not matter to them. They just want to say they did something, so give it to them, especially if we can get something in return. It does not harm any of us. I've done a background check on every firearm I own.
Jim Griffin · January 2, 2020 at 10:28 am

You seem to think this is a debate about perfect solutions.

It is not. This is power politics focused on counting votes.

Your "facts" are your own, not universal. It is you who asserts policies must pass your muster of perfection. Those proposing them, and preparing to pass them, do not use your predicates as guides.

Your style of reason led to the Blue takeover of Richmond. Either propose something meaningful to defend or clear the way for others who will take action. After all, they have the votes and a mandate.
JustCurious · January 2, 2020 at 9:26 am
DonkeyFarmer: You are correct - Democrats want to 'do something'. Whether that something is effective remains TBD.
Be very careful about giving up UBC. First, UBC won't apply to illegal gun sales in the alley among felons. Second, some states enacted draconian UBC to the extent that handing you my gun at the range or on a hunt would be a violation. Whether they prosecute or not, it is a violation. Do we want to live by the grace of prosecutorial discretion??
Illegal third party transactions won't be reduced by a UBC law. Every transaction through the 'net goes through FFLs, so checks are made. UBC will stop people selling weapons in the parking lot at the great American gun show - true. Does anyone know how many of those are used in illegal actions later? UBC won't stop those selling weapons in the alley - because criminals don't care about violating laws.

Gun locks? Another 'after the fact' law. The only way to ENSURE SAFETY is to ENSURE every gun has a lock at all times. That requires inspections - 'no notice' inspections would be most effective. Do you want that? Mandatory gun locks is just an additional charge to pile on after a terrible event.

Red Flag laws that don't violate due process? I'm not aware of ANY currently enacted red flag law that doesn't violate due process. Red flag can work ONLY if someone identifies a potential miscreant. We, as a society, are reluctant to report neighbors/friends/strangers for a number of reasons. Harry is having a bad day - but he might be all better tomorrow. Or he might kill everyone in his home tonight. Or he might run down everyone on the village sidewalk tonight. Who knows? Are you gonna call 'red flag' on Harry?

Mr Griffin: ... sigh ... you are an interesting study. You make assertions, then when those assertions are challenged with facts, you decline to defend. You circle back, cross over, and repeat. You are having neither a debate nor even a discussion: You are having a NASCAR race = go fast and turn left.

We shall see what Richmond enacts into law this year. Then we will see if a court challenge is appropriate - and who can challenge it ( bring a checkbook unless you have pro bono legal support). AND we shall see how enforcement is done.

We have laws that prohibit murder/armed robbery/domestic violence. Those are routinely violated every day using guns, cross bows, edged weapons, clubs, 2x4s, pipes, vehicles, fists and so forth. The mass shooters seem to have mental problems. Diagnosing mental problems is not trivial and it is not well understood. A person could be assessed 'fine' one moment, then 'snap' and go wild the next moment. We don't know how to predict this.
Removing weapons --> Remove all weapons from all people, then any who 'snap' will have a limited [but not zero] arsenal. But what about people who are not going to snap? Why remove their weapons of defense? Oh - because we can't distinguish between the two?

No ideal solution is apparent. Various solutions have consequences. Some find those consequences OK; others find them not OK.
Jim Griffin · January 1, 2020 at 8:03 pm
The agreement you make is always better than the "solution" imposed upon you.
DonkeyFarmer · January 1, 2020 at 7:56 pm
The Democrats are not going to go through the 2020 session without passing SOMETHING. It does not really matter to them what they pass as long as they pass something to appease those that voted them in, especially the freshmen.

So there are two ways to think about this.. The first is let them pass outrageous laws up to consfication and hope the voters take them out in 2 years. The second is let them pass SOMETHING, for the people that say we have to dooooo something! Give them their universal background checks, in exchange we ask that they are done at either very low cost ($5) or at no cost. They don't hurt anyone, and like I have explained in previous posts they can be done without registration. And give them gun trigger locks and gun safes on all guns in homes with children. In exchange no sales tax on them. Who could argue against gun locks around children? And give them red flag laws when protections are provided for the subject that do not violate due process. Red flag laws are the ONLY laws that I believe could prevent a crazy mass shooter.

I've been an NRA member since I was 18. I know all the arguments. At this point I think of it like, " do you want to do this the easy way or the hard way?" Give them something they can satisfy their constituents, it won't harm our rights one bit, and we will actually get something out of it.
Jim Griffin · January 1, 2020 at 7:18 pm
JustCurious: I must've missed your proposal in all those words.

I asserted voters sent legislators to Richmond in part to address firearm safety. They have the votes to accomplish their goal. Richmond is not a debate tournament; It is a place to cast votes and gun control supporters have the majority.

If you don't want them to pass the bills before them, propose other bills for them to approve that address firearm safety. Do not expect them to adjourn without change to report back to voters.

As I wrote, the worst strategy is no proposal and registration is not the most adverse outcome.
JustCurious · January 1, 2020 at 6:27 pm
Sir: you asserted that the majority want legal measures to promote gun safety.
You asserted that registration does that.
I don't see how registration accomplishes that end.
Analogies only drive you off the rails into fresh territory - so no more of those.
Gun safety is promoted by good training, for one thing. Weapon familiarization also promotes gun safety. Good supervision promotes gun safety.
Using an illegal gun to accomplish illegal goals (e.g. robbery, murder) will not be reduced by registration.
Where does that leave us?
Enforcement of existing laws that prohibit bad acts while armed is one thing. Alas, those are post priori not a priori. Interdicting bad actors with bad intentions is challenging in our legal system - and for good reasons. Due process shouldn't be swept away.
Temporary stays are not easy to obtain.
Consider: Richmond thinks Solution A is constitutional (whatever Solution A is). Some think not. A judge might think it is; another judge might think it is not. Differences of opinion are quite common in our legal system. A short glance through the petitions for cert at SCOTUS reveals two widely varying interpretation of the same law. A split among circuits is common. How can judges read the same law and come to different conclusions? (a topic for later) The fact is: they do so, and regularly.
Don't count on getting a temporary stay.
Don't count on registration doing anything for gun safety - it can't, and it isn't designed for that purpose. The only purpose is tracking where a weapon is (until it is stolen/missing - then the registration is useless).
Why does the govt need to know where a weapon is (or was)? What is the 'gun safety' factor here?
Jim Griffin · January 1, 2020 at 10:11 am
JC: Agreed! Let's end registration for voting. It's not necessary and voting is *the* most fundamental of rights.

No comparison has been made here to the registration of vehicles so I don't know how that came up.

Neither is this about reason. It is about politics. The majority was elected in part to address firearm safety. What solutions are you proposing?

Registration is among the most innocuous of solutions, along with UBC and so forth. The most unlikely outcome: Doing nothing. The worst strategy: No proposal.

But, hey, if you want to shrink govt and reduce registration, start with the most fundamental of rights: Voting.

And, yes, there are jurisdictions that either eliminate advance registration or implement same day registration. Ballots can be cast into double envelopes where eligibility is in question, opened only if they determine the outcome and are judge approved.

For your question, btw, registration helps remove guns from those later adjudicated criminals or those where due process raises a red flag.

As for the time delay between passing a law and ruling on it, that's what temporary restraining orders are for and they are easy to get when courts are passing judgment.
JustCurious · January 1, 2020 at 8:51 am
"Right now, the majority spoke at the polls and wants legal measure to address firearm safety.

The solution will not trample on your rights. If it does, it will be struck down. "

How does registration of otherwise lawful guns promote safety? The bad actors are not going to register their guns!
A bad law might eventually be struck down. Both the Gov and the AG have mentioned calling out the National Guard to enforce a law! The AG opinion clearly claims that ALL laws are presumed constitutional unless/until ruled otherwise in court. That takes time. In the meantime ... ... ...
Taking away guns, whether under a red flag law or whatever: what process will be in place for returning the property?? Perhaps to an heir? After the citizen is deemed no longer a threat? Is this a 'one strike and done' situation? Does The State intend to destroy weapons immediately or after 90 days or what?
Informing LEO about weapons in a domestic doesn't promote their safety. They can't know if unregistered weapons are present. They can't know if registered weapons are in play. That is a data point, but of not much practical use.
Registering a vehicle is different. The right to that is NOT enumerated in the constitution. The right to a gun IS enumerated.
Jim Griffin · December 31, 2019 at 5:15 pm
Disingenuous: It is also against the law to use a golf club or a ragdoll to commit a crime.

Right now, the majority spoke at the polls and wants legal measure to address firearm safety.

The solution will not trample on your rights. If it does, it will be struck down. Scalia's decision in Heller left a roadmap of options for the new majority in Richmond.
jim goodwin · December 31, 2019 at 5:12 pm
It is already against the law to use a firearm to commit a crime. All these new laws are doing is creating a new class of victimless crime surrounding firearms.

What the majority of the voting public want is protection. The problem is they keep seeking protection by government. But government is rarely positioned to bodily protect the citizens. It is only there after all the trouble starts; after the screaming and the violence, the injury and death.

Then, in the aftermath, they look to the implement of the destruction and ask how the perpetrator was able to acquire it and whether any future perpetrator ought to be able to acquire it. They never look in the mirror and wonder, what did I do facilitate this?

The solution? There is no perfect solution but I prefer ones that don't trample on our rights. So the solution is for people to take responsibility for themselves, their families and their communities and to stop delegating responsibility to government. We need to stop treating government like overindulgent parents. We need to instill proper values in our children. We need to teach them that with freedom comes responsibility. We need to be mindful of our family and friends and to try to set them on the right path when they stray.

WE need to do that. Not the government.
Jim Griffin · December 31, 2019 at 8:16 am
goodwin: Fine, make govt smaller and eliminate registration as a condition for voting. Works for me. Or use same-day registration. Any doubts result in a provisional ballot (only counted if determinant and judge approves eligibility).

Propose solutions, goodwin. Republicans made a big mistake ending the special session on firearms after one hour. Outraged many good Virginians who want solutions and now Virginia is Blue.

As a result, there is now a much longer discussion about firearms, one likely to culminate in action. If we agree with many that the problem is not the gun then we are focused on the shooter and that means UBC, registration, red flag laws or whatever else you want to propose.

It is unlikely nothing will happen, but that seems to be your position. You can stick with that or propose something. The majority of the voting public wants action on firearm safety.

Registration is the least that could happen, the least offensive measure, the result of doing nothing at all at a time when the statehouse is occupied by those elected to do something to address the issue.
jim goodwin · December 31, 2019 at 7:01 am
Again, Jim Griffin, why would we want to enable the government to get bigger and meaner than it already is? The anti-gun stance is always that this one more step isn't a big deal. It's common sense. It's the responsible thing to do. It will save lives. Maybe.

But what if it doesn't. What if the next wave of mass shooters are registered gun owners? Then what? Where does it stop, Jim? Because I can tell you the next "logical" step is complete and total confiscation.

Once registration happens, it will facilitate door-to-door confiscation. Maybe not now, or in 10 years, but the authorities WILL eventually go door-to-door with their list of every weapon owned by private citizens. If the citizen doesn't comply or can't produce every firearm, they will be jailed. The jails won't be large enough and they won't be able to build them fast enough so prisoners will be sent to "temporary" camps. Those camps will become permanent. They will be in remote areas overseen by low IQ, resentful guards that will eventually abuse the prisoners. They will become the Gulags of the US.

Government will, in the meantime, get more and more totalitarian because a large portion of the people that would have opposed it with votes would now be in prison. They would be in prison even though they never violated anyone else's rights.

I'm sure you think that's far fetched. Do you think anyone in the former Soviet Union ever envisioned the Gulags? How about China or North Korea?

UBC and registration will allow the government to get bigger and meaner.
DonkeyFarmer · December 30, 2019 at 8:49 pm
I don't agree with gun registration but Jim Griffin makes a good point. If we are to find some nutcase for example posting to Facebook that he wants to shoot up a school, it would be good to know if he has firearms. I know in California the police when responding to a domestic (the most dangerous call for police) get a list of every handgun in the house (long guns were not registered in california until recently). I don't know if this has helped in crime reduction or not. I do know that TRO's in divorces are an absolute nightmare for a legal gun owner and that alone is reason to keep my guns my business.

In California, when buying a long gun, a background check is performed, a Dealer Record Of Sale DROS is executed, a 10 day waiting period starts (cooling off period for hot-heads) and when the firearm is picked up, the record is destroyed. It seemed to work out well although I never saw the sense in a cooling off period for someone who already owned firearms.

The other problem with registration is it will only work for those that comply with the law. You can go get a gun in baltimore tonight for $100 if you want one. You can build an AR15 with every part mailed to your door with not only no registration but no serial number, and it's all legal by the way.

This is definitely a problem that needs a real discussion and debate. It won't be solved by just saying Dooooo something! I'd rather have no law than bad law.
Jim Griffin · December 30, 2019 at 8:01 pm
1. The same is true of voter registration: Unnecessary. Any questions about eligibility can be addressed by casting provisional ballots. OK with you?

2. The govt we have already knows more than I enumerated. As the NYT just proved, mobility/cellular tracking (available to private companies now) can track where you work and where you go and who you meet -- even if you are POTUS. This is simple reality.

3. If you carry a cellular device to gun ranges or hunting hot spots, you are on record in these particular databases. Same with meetings and so forth.
jim goodwin · December 30, 2019 at 6:57 pm
I can answer all of those questions with a definitive "No." except for visiting firearms related websites. But that doesn't qualify as registration. It qualifies as interest in firearms or firearm related issues.

Of course you consider registration "no serious sacrifice." You trust your government. The one you have now. But government is doing nothing but getting bigger, meaner and bluer. It may not be in my lifetime but the totalitarians are coming and they have a plan to reduce the government you currently trust to rubble.

If you wouldn't be surprised if "they didn't already know what guns we have" then we don't really need registration, now do we?
Jim Griffin · December 30, 2019 at 6:46 pm
Did you sign the petition? Use a credit or debit card to buy firearms or accessories? Subscribe to firearms publications? NRA member? Visit firearms web sites? Call ranges? Concealed carry permit? Yada yada.

If so, consider yourself registered. No problem doing it again. Unless you are a hermit, we already know what you're trying to hide. Our data-laden world likely has you pegged. Registration and UBC are not 2A violations, will not be found to be violations by any court, and is required to exercise the right to vote.

Asking you to register is no serious sacrifice. I will not object. I'd be surprised if they didn't already know what guns we have. We certainly receive postal mail and email in sufficient quantity to confirm what we already know.
jim goodwin · December 30, 2019 at 6:25 pm
UBC is being coupled with Registration in order to be more enforceable. But Registration is a non-starter. Find another way. My means of self-defense is nobody's business; especially not the government's.
Jim Griffin · December 30, 2019 at 2:10 pm
1. UBC limits access like checking IDs limits access to liquor. Not perfect, better than nothing.

2. Registration leads to separating criminals from guns. When convicted of crimes, guns should be moved.

3. Red Flag laws are supported on a non-partisan basis and require subjective judgment as do all laws. Even murder.

JustCurious · December 30, 2019 at 1:59 pm
How will UBC limit criminal access to guns? UBC's don't apply to the illegal gun transfers in the back alley, at night. UBC will apply only to law abiding citizens. UBC has failed in the past because 'others' didn't do their job (USAF in a Texas church shooting, various LEO departments in other cases). UBCs have worked in a few cases.
In 2017, roughly 8.6 million checks, 113K rejected but only 13K referred for prosecution (numbers are rounded). Some states claimed 'higher priority enforcement issues".
How will registration limit criminal access to guns? The statements below reference only seizing registered guns --> newly convicted felons. The common fear is using the records to seize guns from everyone. "show me the person; I'll show you the crime"
Red flag laws depend on subjective assessments. Many stories can be easily found about red flag laws used for revenge/retribution or by misunderstanding. Those laws open a huge hole in 'due process'. "proper due process" simply does not exist in any of the laws. No matter how well-meaning, these can't be accepted.

What policies would restrict criminal access to weapons?
FIRST: Enforce existing laws!
THEN Enhanced sentences for armed robbery = no access in prison. Doesn't stop the first crime, but will stop subsequent crimes for the duration of the sentence.
VERY enhanced sentences for subsequent crimes.
Punishing law abiding citizens makes no sense. Registration and red flag and so forth ARE punishments - no matter how hard anyone tries to claim otherwise.

Another good policy = teach EVERYONE how to safely handle a weapon. Get over the fear. Learn how to not kill yourself and others. Learn something instead of simply fearing the unknown. Schools used to do that.
Jim Griffin · December 30, 2019 at 9:19 am
RGLJA: Thank you for echoing my initial comments: "focus on limiting criminal access to guns." Now get on board and tell us what policies you favor that further these aims?

Universal background checks pass constitutional muster, as do registration and Red Flag laws. These measures focus on keeping guns from the wrong hands.

UBCs determine if the purchaser has a criminal background. Registration ensures that guns registered to those convicted will be removed from their hands. Red Flag laws with proper due process reduce risk to the population.
RGLJA · December 29, 2019 at 1:43 pm
The scholar referenced in the comment below has done a good job of explaining the issues. It really is very simple... if the government would focus on limiting criminal access to guns, rather than taking millions of guns from law abiding gun owners, the solutions would be far more effective, and are constitutionally legitimate as well. Unfortunately, many politicians have it exactly backward, when they advocate banning guns. Our previous 10 year ban on "assault weapons" did absolutely nothing to stop gun crime. Instead, we should focus on people, the criminals and the lunatics, not the guns.
jim goodwin · December 28, 2019 at 3:23 pm
PBS - Kwame Holman talks with second amendment scholar Joyce Lee Malcolm about likelihood of Congress voting on bill that would ban assault weapons.
This is from 2013 but very relevant nonetheless.

Post Washington · December 27, 2019 at 5:01 pm
Everybody is calling me and telling me what I wrote was funny and to the point. People are coming up to me and agreeing that Comrade Riggleman and DJ Trump are trying to get us to abdicate to Moscow. The capital of a country with a smaller GDP than Italy. Not me just saying that. People on the streets coming up to me and saying that. I don't know. They might be right!
Post Washington · December 27, 2019 at 4:56 pm
Hmmm. Music Licensing Committee. Music Committee. Licensing Committee. Comrades! Committees! Riggleman is the head of our Collective! Comrade Riggleman and DJ Trump! All roads lead to Putin. May I have some more bread please Comrade Riggleman. Better yet! More Vodka!!!!!!!!
Jim Griffin · December 24, 2019 at 7:42 pm
JC: You are welcome. Happy to help with digital music issues or explanations of digital media policy issues. Agreed, this topic is obscure; it relates to a requirement that bills explain directly how they will be financed, even back-up requirements in the event Plan A fails, which is how judicial asset forfeiture funds get involved, though a music manager friend observed that musicians are also more likely to have their assets seized for various judicial reasons, thus his joke that he knew musicians would pay for it one way or another.

Bottom-line: Songwriters must register songs with the new Music Licensing Committee to get paid. Anyone needs help write me at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
JustCurious · December 24, 2019 at 7:16 pm
Jim Griffin: thank you for that explanation.
The reasoning was not apparent in the bill. A plain text reading of the bill does NOT lead to that conclusion.
Interesting how the simple public citizen reader can't put together the pieces unless someone on the inside provides missing details and context.

Our system is really fascinating!

Jim Griffin · December 23, 2019 at 10:59 am
JustCurious asked for an explanation on why the MMA includes a provision on judicial asset forfeiture. It is a "pay for" that will go unused so long as the designated payers -- the digital service providers (i.e., music services) -- pay as expected. The legislation required a backstop, the asset forfeiture fund is one of them, in part because it is from the judiciary committee and then-Chair Goodlatte.
Demosthenes · December 22, 2019 at 8:39 pm
Anyone else notice the similarities in the typical writings of Jeffersonian and Gonearthedays? I assume it is more likely that he is trying out additional screen names rather than recruiting disciples, but I guess both are a possibility.

As for this article, it would seem that while the President tries to label the democrats the "do-nothing democrats" it is our republican majority in the senate who deserve than moniker. Thank you Dr. Sanders for bringing this to our community's attention. Obviously there are some here who won't be persuaded, but there are moderates who are affected by your writings.
Jeffersonian American · December 22, 2019 at 6:39 am
** (Corrected text below with my apologies- chalk it up to fatigue. Christmas Blessings to all):

Deception is essential to much of politics. It is key to all Marxist Progressive operational procedures.

Let us consider what our last truly great U.S. President, Dwight D. Eisenhower, observed to his Attorney General Herbert Brownell in a 1953 secret memo, since declassified, about Communists and anyone who expresses sympathy with Communism (sound familiar with today's Democrat Party and nearly all of its candidates and supporters?). It was President Eisenhower who waged a secret, successful war behind the scenes to quietly and efficiently rid our Federal Government of thousands of Communists who had become embedded there at all levels after 20 years of the Roosevelt and Truman Administrations. President Eisenhower minced no words to his Attorney General in his very astute personal views, as relevant in 1953 as they are today, as we witnessed this past week such a broad desecration of our U.S. Constitution at the hands of a Marxist-Communist Democrat Party Sham "Impeachment proceeding," where all constitutional rules and due process were deliberately thrown out the window and ignored:

“The Communists are a class set apart by themselves. Indeed, I think they are such liars and cheats that even when they apparently recant and later testify against someone else for his Communist convictions, my first reaction is to believe that the accused person must be a patriot or he wouldn’t have incurred the enmity of such people. So even when these “reformed” Communists have proved useful in helping us track down some of their old associates, I certainly look for corroborating evidence before I feel too easy in my mind about it... But I also believe that anyone who, after the blockade of Berlin began (or some other equally revealing incident), continued to speak in support of the Soviets or in terms of sympathy for them, is either very stupid or very dangerous.”
Jeffersonian American · December 22, 2019 at 6:26 am
Deception is essential to much of politics. It is key to all Marxist Progressive operational procedures.

Let us consider what our last truly great U.S. President, Dwight D. Eisenhower, observed to his Attorney General Herbert Brownell in a 1953 secret memo, since declassified, about Communists and anyone who expresses sympathy with Communism (sound familiar with today's Democrat Party and nearly all of its candidates and supporters?). It was President Eisenhower who waged a secret, successful war behind the scenes to quietly and efficiently rid our Federal Government of thousands of Communists who had become embedded there after 20 years of the Roosevelt and Truman Administrations. President Eisenhower minced no words in his very astute personal views, as relevant in 1953 as they are this past week as we witness a desecration of our U.S. Constitution at the hands of a Marxist-Communist Democrat Party Sham Impeachment where all constitutional rules and due process was deliberately thrown out the window and ignored:

“The Communists are a class set apart by themselves. Indeed, I think they are such liars and cheats that even when they apparently recant and later testify against someone else for his Communist convictions, my first reaction is to believe that the accused person must be a patriot or he wouldn’t have incurred the enmity of such people. So even when these “reformed” Communists have proved useful in helping us track down some of their old associates, I certainly look for corroborating evidence before I feel too easy in my mind about it... But I also believe that anyone who, after the blockade of Berlin began (or some other equally revealing incident), continued to speak in support of the Soviets or in terms of sympathy for them, is either very stupid or very dangerous.”
DonkeyFarmer · December 21, 2019 at 11:08 am
Jim goodwin- They usually give the bill a name that describes the OPPOSITE of what it is. Just look at the grandaddy of them all the Affordable Care Act.
jim goodwin · December 20, 2019 at 6:20 pm
I guess my questions are answered. Only the name of the Violence Against Women Act is discriminatory. The funds are for EVERYONE! Yay!

"(13) Civil rights
(A) Nondiscrimination
No person in the United States shall, on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity (as defined in paragraph 249(c)(4) of title 18), sexual orientation, or disability, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity funded in whole or in part with funds made available under the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (title IV of Public Law 103–322; 108 Stat. 1902), the Violence Against Women Act of 2000 (division B of Public Law 106–386; 114 Stat. 1491), the Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005 (title IX of Public Law 109–162; 119 Stat. 3080),2 the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013, and any other program or activity funded in whole or in part with funds appropriated for grants, cooperative agreements, and other assistance administered by the Office on Violence Against Women."
jim goodwin · December 20, 2019 at 5:57 pm
Yeah, all those bills sound so benevolent on the surface, just like every other progressive law, regulation and policy every enacted. They all have good intentions. But they're all propped up by intellectual elites that most certainly DON'T have good intentions.
Open your eyes, Dr. Sanders. Take a good look at some of the cities that have been run for decades by Progressives. Why on God's green earth would we want all those well intentioned laws to spread everywhere, unless we have some kind of ulterior motive.
And, I'm curious, how can one be for the Equality Act and the Violence Against Women Act at the same time? Doesn't the VAWA provide UNEQUAL funding for investigating and prosecuting crimes against women? Shouldn't that funding be distributed equally between men and women violent crime victims?
And since the VAWA singles out women, isn't it in direct violation of the ERA by ignoring all the other genders in the spectrum? Because I'm sure the otherkins would really like their share.
JustCurious · December 20, 2019 at 8:33 am
Ah yes, the Music Modernization Act.
Approximately 155 pages, including this:

Of the unobligated balances available under the Department of Justice Assets Forfeiture Fund, $47,000,000
is hereby permanently rescinded. "

The relationship between music and DoJ forfeiture fund is not readily apparent. Can you enlighten us?

Then the law mentions:
blanket license
compulsory license
download licenses
voluntary license
nondramatic musical works

UNAUTHORIZED ACTS.—Anyone who, before
February 15, 2067, and without the consent of the rights
owner, performs publicly, by means of a digital audio
transmission, a sound recording fixed on or after January
1, 1923, and before February 15, 1972, shall be subject
to the remedies provided in sections 502 through 505 to
the same extent as an infringer of copyright.


‘‘(1) the transmission is made by a transmitting
entity that is publicly performing sound recordings
fixed on or after February 15, 1972, by means of
digital audio transmissions subject to section 114;
‘‘(2) the transmission would satisfy the requirements for statutory licensing under section
114(d)(2), or would be exempt under section
114(d)(1), if the sound recording were fixed on or
after February 15, 1972;

and so forth and so on.

Govt involvement IS necessary in IP matters - that has been recognized for centuries. But that should not require 155 pages of dense text with multiple cross-references and convoluted definitions and invented terms.

Keep It Simple.
DonkeyFarmer · December 20, 2019 at 12:16 am
Gonearethedays- I hear you. I am also disgusted with the actions of the Democrats. The media have a huge responsibility for this. Lying for ratings. It's just a TV show for them. Trump will serve 5 more years. The supreme court will be 7-3 or 8-2. That's what is important. And Trump will and should take the v fake impeachment as a badge of honor.
Jim Griffin · December 19, 2019 at 11:22 pm
Yes, I am aware as I am involved in the process.

I think you are now making Dr. Sanders' point for her, reaching her conclusion, one to which I can bear witness: Independent musicians are the most likely critics of the new Music Modernization Act precisely because they believe it benefits major players over small and medium creators.

Govt involvement is essential in IP matters. Left to private resolution any agreement between businesses would (and does) draw antitrust scrutiny. As a result, if govt does not Act, it will intervene anyway, so why not bring people together in a civil way to effect change?
DonkeyFarmer · December 19, 2019 at 11:14 pm
Jim- You do know that these legislators, both Republican and Democrat, do not write their own bills? They are written by lobbyists and whichever party is paid off enough introduces the bill. House members spend their days eating steak and seafood with the highest bidder. Public support does not matter to these people.
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