Let’s talk about guns, gun control, school shootings, and the “law abiding gun owner”

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Well, i just binge watched your 3 parts regarding gun control .. a few points from my European Nordic perspective.

Contrary to what many people may think .. here in Iceland we have quite a huge number of guns per capita .. i think its like every 3rd person has a gun (statistically). But we have an average of 0.3 gun related murders per year, zero mass shootings and the police only had to kill one person in our entire countries history.

So – although i hate to say it .. because it does not align with my view on guns and gun control .. you might have a point with the gun not being the problem … strictly speaking.

But yes, there is a cultural problem. Here .. the law forbids you to use a gun for self defense. No matter what .. you are NOT, never ever – allowed to use a gun to defend yourself (applies to human assaults, not wild animals attacking you of course). Also, and that is the countries history … we have learned and it has become culture .. we MUST work out conflicts and make compromise, because if conflict escalates and people get killed or harmed, it endangers the entire society. ( for that one must go back in Iceland history .. when it was settlers vs. nature .. with nature usually winning the fight unless settlers worked together .. and EVERY person was needed, no matter if male, female – no matter what colour the skin or the language.. everyone had to work together)

There is a natural .. lets call it “respect for life” .. every life. And i am sure .. on a cognitive basis .. most gun owners will of course subscribe to respecting life (actually, i suspect many gun owners consider themselves “pro-life” which is another sad topic for America) .. but it means that you NEVER EVER take another persons life (life that is outside the womb). If someone attacks you .. you will calm him down, if someone has harmed another person, you will try to defuse the situation. If someone has murdered a person .. you do not go ahead and sentence him to death, but you try to make him part of society again, because killing a murderer means you might be one person short next winter.

I miss this respect for life in the USA (mind – from reports, videos and media, i have not really met Americans .. ) There is death sentence, there is stand your ground, there is war. There is a culture that dictates that power equals “who wields the bigger stick”. Here it is .. power equals who can better work together. (considering we have no military .. we cannot go for the bigger stick of course)

But there is more – culturally

I forgot who it was .. a YouTube creator who compared the USA to Europe .. on a very specific subject … fear

Americans seem afraid – much more than the average European. That stars in everyday life. Children going to school by themselves in Europe, sometimes across the entire city (basic school children mind .. that is 6-9 years old) – taking public transportation or riding. Here in Iceland mothers tend to just leave the baby carriage (including baby) outside when they go shopping or for a coffee (that is .. leaving the baby unattended in the freezing temperature outside .. for half an hour or longer)

In America .. there seems to be a fear of so much. The USA has a HUGE military and security institutions .. yet .. off of all the western nations .. it seems the most afraid.

President Trump, Deal Maker? Not So Fast

His 17 months in office have in fact been an exercise in futility for the art-of-the-deal president.

  1. No deal on immigration.
  2. No deal on health care.
  3. No deal on gun control.
  4. No deal on spending cuts.
  5. No deal on Nafta.
  6. No deal on China trade.
  7. No deal on steel and aluminum imports.
  8. No deal on Middle East peace.
  9. No deal on the Qatar blockade.
  10. No deal on Syria.
  11. No deal on Russia.
  12. No deal on Iran.
  13. No deal on climate change.
  14. No deal on Pacific trade.

.. Even routine deals sometimes elude Mr. Trump, or he chooses to blow them up.

.. “Trump is an anarchist,” said Jack O’Donnell, a former president of the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, who became a sharp critic. “It was his approach in business, it is his approach as president. It does not take good negotiating skills to cause chaos. Will this ever lead to concessions? Maybe, but concessions to what? Not anything that resembles a deal. I just do not see him getting much done.”

.. I don’t think it’s that counterintuitive to say that playing hardball will lead to better trade deals eventually,” said Andy Surabian, a Republican strategist and former aide to Mr. Trump.

.. We’ll see what the final outcome is, but it’s already a success just to get them to the table.”

.. the major tax-cutting package that passed late last year. But even that was negotiated mainly by Republican lawmakers, who said Mr. Trump did not seem engaged in the details.

.. And as legislative challenges go, handing out tax cuts without paying for them is not exactly the hardest thing that politicians do.

.. In effect, the agreement with Mr. Kim is like a deal to sell parts of Trump Tower without settling on a price, date, inspection or financing. It is not nearly as advanced as agreements that President Bill Clinton and Mr. Bush made with North Korea, both of which ultimately collapsed.

.. But no modern president has sold himself on the promise of negotiating skills more than Mr. Trump has. He regularly boasts that deals will be “easy” and “quick” and the best ever.

.. He has pulled out of Mr. Obama’s Iran nuclear deal, Paris climate accord and Trans-Pacific Partnership, but promises to negotiate better versions of those deal have gone nowhere.

.. Mr. Trump set his sights on what he called “the ultimate deal,” meaning peace between the Israelis and Palestinians. He said it was “frankly maybe not as difficult as people have thought.” A year later, his team is only now preparing to release a plan.

.. “What the president seemingly fails to understand is that in foreign policy and in trade policy — unlike in real estate transactions — the parties are all repeat players,” 

.. “The country you insult or seek undue advantage over today you will have to work with again tomorrow.”

.. Mr. Trump’s approach so far has been to make expansive demands and apply as much pressure as he can. He argues that crushing sanctions he imposed on North Korea forced Mr. Kim to meet. He now hopes to extract concessions from China, Canada and Europe after slapping punishing tariffs on them.

.. “Trump is a bilateral player, in part because that’s what he is used to from his building days, but also because he keeps himself the king, the decider, the strongman,” said Wendy Sherman, who was Mr. Obama’s lead negotiator on the Iran nuclear deal. “In the case of North Korea, however, he wouldn’t have gotten this far — which isn’t all that far — without the South Koreans or the Chinese.”

..  When he gave up on immigration on Friday, he blamed it on Senate Democrats, even though the immediate impasse was among House Republicans who do not need the other party to pass a bill.

.. “Republicans should stop wasting their time on Immigration until after we elect more Senators and Congressmen/women in November,”

.. It was in effect an acknowledgment by Mr. Trump that he cannot reach across the aisle and can only govern with Republicans.

.. the challenge on immigration is that the president has to grapple not just with Democrats but also with Republicans who do not share his philosophy on the issue.

.. Mr. O’Donnell, the former casino president, said Mr. Trump has always oversold his deal-making skills. The casino he managed, Mr. O’Donnell noted, brought in $100 million a year yet still went bankrupt.

.. “The fact is, Trump casinos should have been one of the greatest success stories in the history of casino gambling, but bad deal making caused him to lose all three properties,” he said.

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What do you think about this? This is a video letter to Minnesota Congressman Rick Nolan, and Senators Amy Klobucher and Al Franken that tries to prove a duck hunting shotgun is more destructive and lethal than a Huldra AR-15 modern sporting rifle. Do you agree? An interesting video and good point.

Stuart Mills

Buying guns is harder in Canada than in the U.S. A new bill would tighten gun laws even more.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government is heeding those calls, announcing this past week a proposed law that would require more detailed background checks for gun owners and force retailers to maintain records of gun sales for at least 20 years.

.. The minister’s claim of sharply higher gun crime has since been challenged by criminologists and statisticians, who argue that 2013 had the lowest homicide rate in almost 50 years and that the overall rate of firearm homicides in Canada is up but not dramatically so.

Firearms are already much harder to acquire legally in Canada than in the United States, and the frequency of gun-related violence is markedly lower. But there is a long tradition of hunting and firearm ownership, particularly in rural parts of the country.

The previous Conservative government successfully courted the pro-gun constituency and in 2012 dismantled the decade-old firearms registry for rifles and shotguns, which was criticized by opponents as a waste of money and an intrusion into the right to hunt and shoot. Mandatory registration of handguns and other weapons deemed restricted and prohibited remained in effect.

The Trudeau government’s proposal would force all firearms vendors to maintain records and inventories of transactions and keep those records for 20 years. The records would be accessible to police only if they first obtain a warrant.

..  Sheldon Clare, president of the National Firearms Association, the most outspoken of Canada’s gun-owner groups, called the move the start of a process of “civil disarmament” and a backdoor path to a new government registry system.

.. The legislation would also require the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, which issues firearms licenses, to examine a person’s entire life for potential problems, including criminal convictions. The current requirement mandates a five-year background search.

The new law would tighten rules on transporting restricted weapons, making it necessary to obtain authorization each time owners wished to take their guns anywhere other than a shooting range or club.

.. there were 223 firearm-related homicides in Canada in 2016, 44 more than the previous year. In Toronto alone, there were 51 firearm-related deaths in 2016, almost double the 27 reported a year earlier. The United States, which has roughly 10 times the population of Canada, reported 11,004 firearm homicides in 2016.

.. She noted that the supply of restricted and prohibited firearms has more than doubled in Canada over the past decade and said she was concerned that a firearm like the AR-15 could still be sold as a restricted weapon.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders clarifies: Trump said lots of stuff this week he may not mean

Trump suggested repeatedly that raising the age limit was a matter of political will and doing the right thing, even if the NRA doesn’t like it. Now Sanders is suggesting it might be too difficult — despite a CNN poll this week showing 71 percent of Americans favor the change

 

.. MURPHY: Ninety-seven percent of Americans want universal background checks. In states that have universal background checks, there are 35 percent less gun murders than in states that don’t have them. And yet, we can’t get it done. There’s nothing else like that, where it works, people want it, and we can’t do it.

THE PRESIDENT: But you have a different president now.

SENATOR MURPHY: Well, listen —

THE PRESIDENT: You went through a lot of presidents, and you didn’t get it done. You have a different president. And I think, maybe, you have a different attitude, too. I think people want to get it done.

.. “You have to [be] very, very powerful on background checks; don’t be shy.” He also said he wanted something “really strong on background checks.”

.. he didn’t announce those percentages until the end of an event, when reporters asked him about it. That led to suggestions that maybe those numbers weren’t ready for public consumption. And judging by Sanders’s comments — including at Thursday’s press briefing, in which she said of the 25 percent figure, “I think that’s the intent” — that may be the case.

But here’s the thing: This announcement sent the markets plunging. It inflamed tensions with China and the European Union. And now Sanders is suggesting there’s a possibility — however small — that it might not be ironclad. That’s a hell of a way to do business.

Trump Stuns Lawmakers With Seeming Embrace of Gun Control

In a remarkable meeting, the president veered wildly from the N.R.A. playbook in front of giddy Democrats and stone-faced Republicans. He called for comprehensive gun control legislation that would expand background checks to weapons purchased at gun shows and on the internet, keep guns from mentally ill people, secure schools and restrict gun sales from some young adults. He even suggested a conversation on an assault weapons ban.

.. At one point, Mr. Trump suggested that law enforcement authorities should have the power to seize guns from mentally ill people or others who could present a danger without first going to court. “I like taking the guns early,” he said, adding, “Take the guns first, go through due process second.”

.. “We’re not ditching any constitutional protections simply because the last person the president talked to today doesn’t like them,” Senator Ben Sasse, Republican of Nebraska, said in a statement.

Democrats, too, said they were skeptical that Mr. Trump would follow through.

.. At the core of Mr. Trump’s suggestion was the revival of a bipartisan bill drafted in 2013 by Senators Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia, and Patrick J. Toomey, Republican of Pennsylvania, after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Despite a concerted push by President Barack Obama and the personal appeals of Sandy Hook parents, the bill fell to a largely Republican filibuster.

.. Democrats tried to turn sometimes muddled presidential musings into firm policy: “You saw the president clearly saying not once, not twice, not three times, but like 10 times, that he wanted to see a strong universal background check bill,” said Senator Amy Klobuchar, Democrat of Minnesota. “He didn’t mince words about it. So I do not understand how then he could back away from that.”

.. Just what the performance means, and whether Mr. Trump will aggressively push for new gun restrictions, remain uncertain given his history of taking erratic positions on policy issues

The gun control performance on Wednesday was reminiscent of a similar televised discussion with lawmakers about immigration in January during which the president appeared to back bipartisan legislation to help young immigrants brought to the country illegally as children — only to reverse himself and push a hard-line approach that helped scuttle consensus in the Senate.

.. Mr. Trump’s comments during the hourlong meeting were at odds with his history as a candidate and president who has repeatedly declared his love for the Second Amendment and the N.R.A.

.. But at the meeting, the president repeatedly rejected the N.R.A.’s top legislative priority, a bill known as concealed-carry reciprocity

.. Mr. Trump also flatly insisted that legislation should raise the minimum age for buying rifles to 21 from 18

.. When Mr. Toomey pushed back on an increase in the minimum age for rifles, the president accused him of fearing the N.R.A. — a remarkable slap since the association withdrew its support for Mr. Toomey over his background check bill.

.. The president did return several times to a proposal that conservatives like: arming teachers in schools and ending the so-called gun-free zones around schools