Comment Rescue: Day of One Billion Rising

Nob Akimoto

Nob Akimoto

Nob Akimoto is a policy analyst and part-time dungeon master. When not talking endlessly about matters of public policy, he is a dungeon master on the NWN World of Avlis

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133 Responses

  1. Avatar zic says:

    Thank you, Nob.Report

  2. Avatar M.A. says:

    This is one of the main reasons I want to see gun registration pass.

    The NRA and gun nut crowd say “gun registration is the first step to confiscation.” Well, we register our cars, and very rarely are they confiscated (and that only in dire circumstances).

    I think domestic violence or abuse, on the order to create a restraining order or other orders similar through the court, are one of those “dire circumstances” that ought to qualify, though.

    Give the police a list of the guns the abuser (male or female) owns, and take them away into secure storage until the situation is resolved or a permanent order against owning them is entered.

    But to do that, we have to require gun registration. It’s a sane, sensible step.Report

    • Avatar alanstorm says:

      M.A. –

      Guns are not cars.

      Nowhere are cars mentioned in the Constitution.

      Registration is not a sane or sensible step, unless you believe in a government which is perpetually benevolent, and would never use violence against its own citizens.

      Thousands of years of history proves that such a belief is idiotic.

      You have no idea what you’re talking about.

      You want to minimize violence against women? Issue them pistols and train them in their use.Report

      • Nob Akimoto Nob Akimoto says:

        Give me a fucking break.Report

      • Avatar zic says:

        unless you believe in a government which is perpetually benevolent, and would never use violence against its own citizens.

        Thousands of years of history proves that such a belief is idiotic.

        You have no idea what you’re talking about.

        You want to minimize violence against women? Issue them pistols and train them in their use.

        This strikes me as a good example the cowardliness sweeping the land; of people so afraid of speaking up for rights, so mistrustful of real democracy, that they must arm for perpetual war.Report

        • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:

          Owning a gun & learning how to use it is not “preparing for war”.

          That said, just telling a woman, “go get a gun & learn to protect yourself” is a dis-service. Being able to aim a gun at another living person & pull the trigger is, in general, a massively difficult thing to do. Some people can not even conceive of such an act, and are incapable of preparing themselves mentally for it. It gets even harder when said woman still has very complex emotions for her abuser. He is no stranger, no faceless thug in the dark. It’s a person she knows, probably loves at some level. And if she can not overcome that internal check against murder, even if it is completely justifiable, she will hesitate, and she will die, possibly by the very gun she possessed.

          My better half was adamant against learning how to shoot a gun, and convinced she could never shoot someone (at least, until our son came along – she won’t hesitate to kill to protect him, but it took his birth to trigger that change).

          If a woman is in danger, I firmly believe she should have the option to arm herself, should she choose, but telling abused woman to just get a gun & shoot the bastard is… well, it isn’t that simple.

          I get extremely annoyed when people treat such an act so casually, as if pulling a trigger is as easy as throwing a punch.Report

          • Avatar zic says:

            MRS, I respect you a lot.

            But I’m tired of the mind set that the best defense against fear is a gun. As the statistics on domestic violence eloquently demonstrate, the gun increases the reasons to fear, it doesn’t diminish the reasons. I think the same is true for much of the ‘personal protection’ arguments, and I’m not afraid to say so. It is, in my view, a cowardly stance, one of arming for a war the person making the argument imagines.

            It’s cowardly.Report

          • Avatar Stillwater says:

            Some people can not even conceive of such an act, and are incapable of preparing themselves mentally for it.


      • Although I’m generally on the pro-gun rights side of arguments, it seems worth pointing out that domestic homicide rates for women are noticeably higher in states where gun ownership is widespread.

      • Avatar Morat20 says:

        I’m afraid that no matter how broadly I read the Second Amendment, I cannot see any barrier against gun registration. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone make a case that gun registration is unconstitutional.

        Prelude to, as MA notes, confiscation — but the act of requiring you to register your guns seems entirely within the scope of state or federal government.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        You want to minimize violence against women? Issue them pistols and train them in their use.

        “Hey baby, where you going?”

        “To the range. I’m training up so I can shoot you if you start hitting me. You got a problem with that?”Report

    • Avatar Just Me says:

      If cars are not driven on the street they do not need to be registered. At least where I live they don’t, nor do they need to be insured.Report

      • Avatar zic says:

        Very few people are injured in off-road auto accidents.

        But women experience violence in their homes every single day. If there’s a gun in that home, they’re more likely to experience violence.Report

        • Avatar Just Me says:

          I find it ironic that the people who holler the loudest when automobile injury/death statistics vs gun injury/death statistics are compared are now using the fact that cars are registered as a comparison for registering a gun. I do not dispute that women experience violence in their homes everyday. I grew up in a household with domestic violence.Report

    • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:

      Except you’ll never be able to register the guns already out there. It’ll take decades to register them all, and gun owners will never agree to it absent some legal guarantee that governments can not confiscate a gun absent a violent crime. Both NY & CA have both made legislative decisions that some guns or accessories are banned, and used the registries to confiscate said items, depriving people of their property without cause or compensation. So it has happened.

      On a side note, I thought that in domestic violence cases, where a person has a TRO or PO against them, the police can search the premises & retrieve all the guns? I understood this to be federal law.Report

      • Avatar M.A. says:

        It’ll take decades to register them all, and gun owners will never agree to it absent some legal guarantee that governments can not confiscate a gun absent a violent crime.

        This is the fallacy known as “making the perfect the enemy of the good.”

        Will it take years or a decade or two to get, say, 90% compliance with a registration law? Sure. Will that be better than no registration at all? YES.Report

        • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:

          Still not addressing the issue that registration makes it easy to confiscate, when no violence has been done.Report

          • Avatar zic says:

            Then it seems like concern should be on limiting the ability to confiscate; on substantial probable cause.

            The problem for this topic is that until there’s proof of violence, it remains much like the discussions of rape — one persons word against another’s.Report

            • Avatar Will Truman says:

              As (I think) I’ve mentioned, if it weren’t for the concern of confiscation, I’d absolutely support a registry.Report

              • Avatar zic says:

                My take is that registration and mandatory insurance are a good thing.

                Confiscation of registered/insured weapons without court-approved justification would constitute a 2nd amendment rights violation.

                I’d be really happy to advocate for 2nd amendment rights if we had mandatory registration of insurance. Without those, I will advocate on behalf of limiting our current interpretation of the 2nd. And I think there are a lot of liberals who feel this way, or something very similar.Report

              • Avatar M.A. says:

                Confiscation of registered/insured weapons without court-approved justification would constitute a 2nd amendment rights violation.

                That wouldn’t be a 2nd amendment violation, it’d be a 5th amendment violation (“nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law“).

                The government can order you to surrender your gun, within due process of law. That’s already long-settled.Report

              • Avatar Just Me says:

                That pretty much sounds like I don’t want anyone to have guns so lets make it so we can “within the due process of law” confiscate them. Reduce the scope of the 2nd amendment enough and you can kill it completely with other laws.Report

          • Avatar greginak says:

            MRS- I’m not really seeing how registration makes it easy to confiscate or at least confiscate inappropriate. If there is a DVRO then the cops can take guns if they know about them. But that is an appropriate restriction of gun ownership or at least i will defend that.

            However to confiscate guns on a wide scale without any violence then we are talking dystopian dictatorship. If that happens then the Army and cops will be in the street, drones and choppers overhead, etc. If that happens they will be knocking down every bodies door no matter what. But isn’t that just the slippery slope fallacy writ large based on fear that the gubmint is coming to get us.Report

            • Avatar Will Truman says:

              Just because it’s unlikely that a registry would be used to confiscate all guns everywhere, that doesn’t render concerns that they might be used to confiscate guns to be illegitimate. As MRS has pointed out, and nobody has contradicted, registries have already been used to take guns that were legally purchased and subsequently banned. With that in mind, I don’t understand why this is being treated as a Godwineque hypothetical slippery slope.Report

              • Avatar greginak says:

                Well the simple answer, which you won’t find convincing, is that I don’t think a gun grabbing dictatorship is remotely likely. If there was some sort of powerful dictatorship that was overthrowing the gov my guess is it would be strongly supported BY many people who would be using there guns to back up the gov. Many, if not most, dictators/ tyranny rise to power on the backs of citizens, often citizens most prone to violence. It is often armed violence by citizens that puts the tyranny in power. So i don’t think a dictator is coming and if it was it would only get in power by having a lot of armed followers/citizens/militias.

                Just to be clear this is not meant in any way as an attack on gun owners. They love the country just as much as everyone else. Its just my observation about how dictators came to power. The KKK was an armed militia after all. And saying blacks should have been armed misses the entire point and shows unawareness of actual incidences where armed blacks fought back and were slaughtered.Report

              • Avatar M.A. says:

                The right wing meme lately has been “Hitler banned the guns.”

                The truth, which the right wing is too cowardly to admit to, is: Hitler rose to power in a wave of public support that included a hell of a lot of perfectly legal Germans waving their legally owned guns in the air, especially on kristallnacht.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                The truth, which the right wing is too cowardly to admit to, is: Hitler rose to power in a wave of public support that included a hell of a lot of perfectly legal Germans waving their legally owned guns in the air, especially on kristallnacht.

                So, as it turns out, only the undesirables were disarmed.

                I don’t know that this makes as much as a “pro-gun control” point as you seem to think it does.Report

              • Avatar trumwill mobile says:

                Greg, I agree that the dystopia future where all guns are confiscatedis uunlikely. But that’s not the only meaning of “registries can be used to confiscate guns.” Even if all guns are not confiscated, they have been used on some guns. Not speculative, not hypothetically, but according to MRS and Patrick, really have been used in that capacity.Report

              • Avatar greginak says:

                I’m curious what sort of confiscations have been done? I genuinely don’t know.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman says:

                MRS and Patrick can give more detail

                Patrick discusses it briefly here, under “There are no drawbacks to a gun registry”Report

              • Avatar greginak says:

                Definitely the newspaper printing the names of gun owners was stupid, sleazy and suspicious. Bad idea nor should that kind of thing be allowed. The rest of what is saw was mostly about a Cali AWB. I’m not particularly for an AWB.Report

              • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:

                Politicians don’t have to make a widespread confiscation of all guns, they just need to make them illegal, one or two at a time, and then use the registry to confiscate those. Then wait a bit for people to simmer down & forget before the next round.

                You think the 4th Amendment became nearly dead letter all at once?Report

            • Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

              Let me say this.

              If you are unwilling to register your gun because you are worried about confiscation, then the presence of the registry doesn’t matter. Because you’re not going to register your gun.

              Whether or not there is a registry or isn’t, that’s not really the issue. Personal preference – I want a gun registry because I want real gun data so that I can know if this actually is a problem or not (and how big it is).

              The question is, what does it mean to register your gun, what is the penalty for not registering your gun, how is the gun registry enforced, etc.Report

          • Avatar M.A. says:

            Registration has a whole host of legitimate reasons:

            #1 – Inventory for the militia if called up.
            #2 – Statistical relevance to the use and scientific inquiry into patterns of gun ownership and use.
            #3 – Use of the courts if, after constitutional due process (Amendment V), the confiscation of property (e.g. a gun) is ordered for reasons germane to the situation (conviction of a felony, temporary impoundment due to court ruling for safety of others, court ruling of mental incompetence or danger to self, or other categories where such an order can be entered).

            “Waah the government is going to come for all the guns” is so far out of the realm of even remote possibilities that bringing it up can only be viewed as a sort of Godwin tactic, designed to polarize the discussion and shut down all debate.Report

            • Avatar Will Truman says:

              “Waah the government is going to come for all the guns” is so far out of the realm of even remote possibilities that bringing it up can only be viewed as a sort of Godwin tactic, designed to polarize the discussion and shut down all debate.

              The whole “registries wouldn’t be used to confiscate guns” might be more credible if registries weren’t being used to, you know, confiscate guns and accessories. Not all guns, agreed, but the makes and models that get banned. Registries are good for knowing where guns are so that you can take them when you need to.

              You argue that this should only be so after “constitutional due process” but MRS is arguing that’s not the threshold being used on these registries in NY and CA.Report

              • Avatar greginak says:

                Will or MRS- What is being done in Cali and NY? What is being done that violates the Constitution?Report

              • Avatar Will Truman says:

                If MRS is arguing that registration alone is unconstitutional, or shouldn’t be allowed because it would allow unconstitutional behavior to occur, I don’t agree with that. But I consider a constitutionally permissible confiscation of guns, and a registry that makes them easier, to be problematic. Not constitutionally problematic, but “I don’t support it” problematic.Report

              • Avatar M.A. says:

                A google search for “california gun confiscation” has as its number 3 link, ordered by popularity (hits on search):

                That’s just repulsive. But I would understand why the actual racists preparing for “helter skelter” are worried that we would take their guns away before they start shooting random “muds.”Report

              • Avatar M.A. says:

                I am NOT, repeat NOT, saying you or anyone here is racist. But I think that it’s worth pointing out that the same arguments are being used by some very unsavory individuals who have demonstrated actual malicious intent.Report

              • Avatar James Hanley says:

                Holy irony, Batman!Report

              • Avatar M.A. says:

                Unlike you, when I fish up, I offer an immediate correction and apology.Report

              • Avatar zic says:

                Can we just stop with this crap?

                If one of you were a woman, I’d fear for your safety.Report

              • Avatar James Hanley says:

                Oh, you’re just too rich for dessert, man. But you’re giving me some good laughs on an otherwise pretty blah day, so thanks much!Report

              • Avatar trumwill mobile says:

                I don’t care if you are directly calling me a racist or not. You have just associated me with white supremacists for disagreeing with you.Report

              • Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

                I’m not sure anybody understood what that post was about. It was terrible. I decided to let it die rather than try to fix it.Report

              • Avatar zic says:

                Patrick, I quite liked it. But I think it important for people to realize we live in an analog world, not a binary world, ambiguity is normal, and it’s something we should grapple with in nearly everything we do.Report

              • Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

                It’s probably not even analog. It’s probabilistic at best, not deterministic.Report

              • Avatar M.A. says:

                No, no, no.

                I am pointing out that the arguments used are also being used by people whose motives (and past history of actually committing gun violence) are seriously in question.

                That fact needs to be considered in the equation. An abstract conversation about “gun rights” that doesn’t consider the portion of the population known to misuse guns for vile purposes has a problem with applicability.Report

              • Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

                So you agree that all this talk about states impounding guns to disarm their populations are actually worthy of merit in this discussion?Report

              • Avatar greginak says:

                MA just because Hitler owned a dog doesn’t mean every dog owner is Hitler. Just because stormfront douchebags make a bad argument doesn’t mean everybody else on that side of the debate has to apologize for them or is tarred by them. It isn’t a line of inquiry that will lead to a productive discussion.Report

              • Avatar M.A. says:

                So you agree that all this talk about states impounding guns to disarm their populations are actually worthy of merit in this discussion?

                What’s your actual position on guns as owned by organized crime groups, gangs, members of the KKK…?Report

              • Avatar Will Truman says:

                The odiousness of your comment speaks for itself. I believe that it wasn’t meant personally – that you think I am a racist or supremacists – but it doesn’t matter. The association is there. You made it.

                I’m not asking for an apology. I’m not demanding that action be taken. Substantive conversation here is over, as far as I am concerned.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                I think M.A.s point here is to push the limits of justification to extreme cases. It’s easy for a gun rights advocate to frame the discussion around the rights of responsible gun owners and say that any restrictions compromising those individuals rights require substantial justification. M.A. is just extending the logic to cases involving irresponsible gun owners: do we want to accord irresponsible individuals rights on the same model as we accord them to the responsible?

                I don’t think M.A. was implying that responsible people support the KKK or even apologize for the KKK. I think he’s gesturing at a reductio on the initial conditions of the debate. Or trying to highlight an inconsistency when it comes to public policy. Something like that.Report

              • Avatar trumwill mobile says:

                The problem is that he took an argument being made hereand said SStormfront is making that argument, too. Which is different than his KKK mention elsewhere, where he is clearly talking about undesirables owning guns. This is about actual comparison. “You think this. So does Stormfront.” As though that’s relevant in any manner except to imply association with Stormfront by virtue of a common objection to gun confiscation in California. It crossed a line that “Do you think Stormfront should be able to own assault rifles” wouldn’t have.Report

              • Avatar trumwill mobile says:

                Oh, I see. You’re talking about the KKK comment. I agree. I’m talking about the Stormfront comment at 1:19.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Let’s split the difference and merely disarm the lower class.Report

              • Avatar M.A. says:

                Again, no. The association is NOT there.

                I was pointing out that Stormfront members use the exact same logic about their right to own a gun (despite history of violence) as do other gun advocate groups that lack a commensurate history of violence.

                Stillwater has it right: the question is, when Stormfront uses that argument, is it valid facially? Or is there, in fact, a reasonable case to be made that the argument needs revisiting when we have groups with a known history of violence that use the logic of “but it’s our right to have guns” as justification for their gun ownership?

                How often do we look aside on that, based on an abstract concept of a “right”, as opposed to the reality of what they have done with that right?

                You say you don’t ask for an apology, but here it is anyways, because I phrased my words badly and incompletely. I realized it initially which is why I posted the immediate followup, but to make it perfectly clear: I give you my wholehearted apology for the bad wording that made an implication that unrelated gun rights advocates supported the racial violence or supremacist aims of Stormfront or similar groups.Report

              • Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

                Stillwater has it right: the question is, when Stormfront uses that argument, is it valid facially?


                Or is there, in fact, a reasonable case to be made that the argument needs revisiting when we have groups with a known history of violence that use the logic of “but it’s our right to have guns” as justification for their gun ownership?

                Last time I checked, thoughtcrime is still not punishable in this country. If some members of Stormfront have committed violent crimes, lock ’em up. If other members of Stormfront have not committed violent crimes, we don’t have much cause to lock them up.

                Or take away their guns.

                Mumble mumble due process mumble mumble presumption of innocence.

                Sucks, but there you go.Report

              • Avatar James Hanley says:

                Or is there, in fact, a reasonable case to be made that the argument needs revisiting when we have groups with a known history of violence that use the logic

                Ad hominem fallacy.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                Let’s split the difference and merely disarm the lower class.

                Excellent proposal. We might also think about splitting things vertically and disarm only conservatives. I think that’s a better proposal, myself. Not to take anything away from your well thought out suggestion Jaybird.Report

              • Avatar James Hanley says:

                Why don’t you two compromise; we’ll just disarm lower-class conservatives?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                Perfect solution James. I’m willing to cede ground for the sake of moving the country forward on this important issue. I hope my esteemed colleague across the aisle understands the gravity of the situation at hand and is willing make the necessary concessions to enact this historic legislation.

                Thank you. Thank you all. No really, thank you.Report

              • Avatar M.A. says:

                There you go again Hanley, ignoring reality and dismissing it as “ad hominem.”Report

              • Avatar James Hanley says:


                What reality am I ignoring? Did I in any way imply that such groups don’t make those arguments? Far from it, the relevance of the ad hominem is dependent upon such groups making those arguments–that’s the nature of the ad hominem.

                In other words, I agree with you that white supremacists have made the argument. I agree with you that white supremacists are scum. But the ad hominem fallacy tells us that their scumminess does not bear in the truth value of the argument, whatever that truth value may be (and on that I am not taking any position whatsoever).Report

              • Avatar James Hanley says:

                Just for kicks, let’s pretend the ad hominem isn’t a fallacy and see where it takes us.

                Herman Goering believed in the power of propaganda. Goering was evil despicable scum. Therefore we should reconsider whether propaganda is effective.

                George W. Bush believed the U.S. should help Africa fight its AIDS epidemic. George W. Bush was a horrible president who launched an illegitimate war in Iraq that resulted in the deaths of over 100,000 Iraqis. Therefore we should reconsider whether the U.S. should help Africa fight AIDS.

                Hanley believes it’s wrong for the U.S. to engage in illegitimate wars that kill a hundred thousand or more people. Hanley is wicked FYIGM libertarian scum. Therefore we should reconsider whether it’s wrong for the U.S. to engage in illegitimate wars that kill a hundred thousand or more people.

                I eagerly await the reconsideration of illegitimate war-mongering based on my undeniable scumminess.Report

              • Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

                I don’t think you can make that case, credibly.

                In any event, should they be convicted, then yeah, take away their guns. If they’re not even arrested, let alone tried or convicted, I don’t think you get to call them “accessories”.Report

              • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:

                Re: Actual confiscations

                Here are two (CA & CT)

                It happens, if you want a registry, this kind of crap has to be illegal.

                I’m done with this topic.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

                I don’t think it’s purely an ad hominem argument. We hear upstanding, law-abiding citizens argue that they need arms to go about their business safely, and we of course sympathize. Then we hear that Stormfronters want arms to go about their business safely, and when we realize what their business is and why it requires arms, we have second thoughts.Report

              • Avatar greginak says:

                MA- Whoever comes up high on a Google search is really irrelevant to the content at hand. I did a wee bit of Googleing and couldn’t find out what exactly is the confiscation at issue in Cali.Report

          • Avatar Stillwater says:

            MRS, I think you’ve got a good point there. But I don’t think the argument even needs to appeal to empirical evidence. If the second amendment is justified as a necessary (and actually effective) measure to limit the power of government, then any restriction imposed by government is not only unjustified, but inconsistent with the amendment’s essential purpose.

            So: no restrictions, no regulations, no nothin.

            But it also stands to reason, as you wrote in your earlier post, that no right is absolute. That sets up a bit of a quandary, doesn’t it?Report

            • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:

              No one said it was an easy tangle to work through.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                Is it a tangle or is it an impossible task?

                Let’s suppose that the second amendment’s goal of denying government a monopoly on the use of force could be accomplished by permitting citizens a determinate number of various types of weapons. Anything more than that number is unnecessary.

                Would it make sense at that point to limit the purchase and private ownership of guns on the premise that extra weapons are no longer justified by the second amendment?Report

              • Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

                For starters, if you’re going to forbid weaponry to the citizenry, it makes sense to forbid that same weaponry to the police force.

                We can assume that the military, largely being voluntary, is under a different set of likely exception scenarios.

                I haven’t seen anybody suggest that the AWB in California be extended to the SWAT team.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                Earlier MRS mentioned that a certain amount of rifles would be sufficient to engage in a rebellion, and I don’t recall the claim being qualified by a concomitant reduction in police weapons.

                But to your point (and assuming the same justification for the second amendment): it seems to me you’re saying the right accorded by the second amendment isn’t absolute but relative. It accords citizens the right to own weapons in sufficient numbers to effectively deny the police a monopoly on the use of force. By that reasoning, there is presumably a lowest limit in police power which, if reached, would effectively nullify the right of citizens to own guns.Report

              • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:

                It’s not that simple, and the sinus pressure in my head is going to preclude me from constructing a serious argument as to why.


              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                No worries, MRS. You’ve been doing yeoman’s work on this thread. If you don’t find the time we’ll come back to it sometime down the road. The short of it is that while a justification for the second like that author gave (sorry, I don’t remember his name) is attractive and does lots of good work, I’m not sure it’s actually doing what people want it to do. Or even can. I could be wrong about that, of course, and that’s one reason I wanted to talk about it some more.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                {{Ooops. I thought we were on your gun rights thread.}}Report

          • Avatar George Turner says:

            Heck, just today some Missouri legislators proposed a bill to confiscate all assault rifles in Missouri within 90 days of its enactment.Report

            • Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

              I will bet you $5 it doesn’t pass.Report

            • Avatar George Turner says:

              I’ll bet you the legislators who proposed it don’t get re-elected unless they’re in a very, very safe district. ^_^Report

            • Avatar Will H. says:

              It was actually the website from KCMO that turned me against all domestic violence legislation as a matter of course.
              They want to extend the definition of “abuse” to include exhibiting jealousy.
              If such a thing as mundane as exhibiting jealousy constitutes “abuse,” then it is proper that the default position should be against all manner of domestic violence legislation as a matter of course.
              I really don’t care to protect people against that, and I don’t believe this warrants action from the state; especially action on an ex parte basis.Report

          • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:

            Although they claim it to be a mistake, this kind of thing is what validates gun owner fears of confiscation.

            “In order to continue to possess an assault weapon that was legally possessed on the effective date of this section, the person possessing shall … safely and securely store the assault weapon. The sheriff of the county may, no more than once per year, conduct an inspection to ensure compliance with this subsection.”

            Sure, it was a mistake, but the very IDEA that our elected officials even consider that laws like this are constitutional, or a good idea, enough so that it gets put into a bill, & at least two legislators gloss over the obvious problem.Report

      • It is my understanding that this is generally correct. At minimum, the judge certainly has the authority (and, IIRC, in many cases, the obligation) to order at least a temporary surrender of the defendant’s firearms.Report

        • Avatar M.A. says:

          A preemptive list is better, though. It gives the police a starting point.

          With a “search the premises” list, hiding a firearm or two is trivial. Put it in the glovebox of the car. Stash it in a work locker or somewhere else. Since the police don’t know he owns it, they don’t know they missed it.

          And that’s even before we get to the question of if an overstretched police department with a hiring freeze has the time or inclination to conduct a really thorough search beyond a once-over “went to every room? Yup. Seen any guns in the open? Nope. Guy says that’s all of them? Yup, ok we are done” cursory glance.Report

          • Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

            A preemptive list is better, though. It gives the police a starting point.

            In theory. I’m not sure about practice.

            Look, if someone is the sort of dude who isn’t willing to surrender his firearms willingly to the cops when they ask him for his firearms (whether or not they have a list to check against), he’s also not the sort of dude to register his firearms in the first place *and* he’s also likely to be the sort of dude that would just club his wife to death if it came to that.

            Build a logic table.Report

            • Avatar M.A. says:

              Except that people change over time. And requiring registration upon purchase doesn’t leave him that much of a loophole, once we’ve hit a reasonable timeframe in which the law and registration structure have existed.

              “It won’t fix everything tomorrow” and “Well he just won’t register” are the same fallacy: making the perfect the enemy of the good. We have to start somewhere and those arguments are just trying to stop any dialogue at all.Report

              • Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

                No, this argument is just pointing out that I don’t think your process will provide the solution you think it will.

                That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it (even for the reasons you’re proposing), or talk about it. It just means we need to discard all the categorical statements and surety and admit up front that it’s not a THIS then THAT discussion.

                Something the anti-registrants also need to acknowledge, because their arguments generally have the same weaknesses.

                Have I mentioned that the gun debate makes me really tired? This, “you’re just shutting down debate” accusation is exhausting, in particular.Report

        • Oh, I agree with this. I was just verifying that the authority to confiscate in domestic violence cases does, in fact, exist.Report

          • Avatar George Turner says:

            I don’t think they necessarily have to confiscate, just that the person with the EPO can’t possess them. To be deprived of property they’d have to go through a court case and most EPO’s don’t involve a trial of any kind, just a hearing that the accused may not even be aware of, depending on the state.

            It’s the difference between yanking your driver’s license and seizing your car without compensation.Report

            • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:

              Place the guns in escrow. If the order is lifted, you get them back. If not, or you are convicted, the escrow company sells the firearms at auction and you get a check.Report

  3. Avatar zic says:

    Some facts on women and gun violence from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence:

    Over 90 percent of female homicide victims are killed by someone they know (VPC, p. 3, based on 2008 data).
    In 2010, at least 574 women were shot to death by a husband, ex-husband, or boyfriend (VPC, 2010). That’s more than one woman murdered every day.

    Women are more than twice as likely to be shot to death by their male intimates as they are to be shot, stabbed, strangled or killed in any other way by a stranger (Kellermann, p. 1).

    For non-fatal injuries treated in emergency rooms, women are 3.6 times more likely than men to be shot by a current or former spouse than by a stranger (Wiebe, p. 405).

    When firearms are used in a family or intimate assault, death is 12 times more likely than if another weapon is used (Saltzman, p. 3043).

    An abuser’s access to a gun is associated with an 8-fold increase in the risk of homicide (Campbell, p. 1090).

    Firearms appear to be more common in homes where battering has occurred (36.7 percent) than in the general population (16.7 percent) (Sorenson and Wiebe, p. 1412).

    In two thirds of battered women’s households that contained a firearm, the intimate partner used the gun against the woman, usually threatening to shoot/kill her (71.4 percent) or to shoot at her (5.1 percent). (Sorenson and Wiebe, p. 1412).

    Batterers threaten their victims with guns by threatening to shoot them, cleaning, holding or loading a gun during an argument, threatening to shoot at a pet or person the victim cares about, and shooting a gun during an argument with the victim (Rothman, p. 62).

    The health-related costs of rape, physical assault, stalking, and homicide by intimate partners exceed $5.8 billion each year (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2003).


  4. Nob Akimoto Nob Akimoto says:

    I’m going to say that I will congratulate whoever the fuck “alanstorm” is for turning what was meant to be a post about the importance of acknowledging the reality of domestic violence into a long drawn out argument about gun registration and the perils thereof.

    It’s a fucking travesty that even a community like ours can’t have a decent discussion on weighing the reality of domestic violence and weaponry. I am, in all honesty, disgusted.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman says:

      I don’t know how we can blame “alanstorm” for it. He wasn’t the one who brought up the “gun registration” topic. Which I can’t really blame MA for, either, since it (or gun control more abstractly) was alluded to in the original post. And, before alanstorm commented, Zic pulled some information from a gun control group, which you then incorporated into the post.

      If this conversation is going to involve gun control, is it incumbent on the “anti-” side to keep their mouths shut? As I ask below, is there an appropriate response here other than agreement or letting arguments go uncontested?Report

      • Avatar zic says:

        You know, Will, it would be progress just to get some serious recognition from the ‘pro’ side that there’s actually a problem; and that while guns don’t domestic violence, that the violence seems to be more pronounced in households where there’s a gun.

        But I’ve sat with women who had to watch, after an argument, as their abusers took the gun out, pointedly cleaned it, loaded it. I’ve heard that story three times, three different women. And each had the same chilling detail — during the process, long and drawn out, his teeth were clenched, and he never spoke a word. But the message was always loud and clear.

        That’s not against the law. In none of these instances did he threaten to kill with words. But each woman knew the threat was there.

        I did bring guns into this, for two reasons. First, it was a comment on a post joking about a woman’s murderer, as if she didn’t matter. Second, because I wanted to bring the words of a governor’s state of the state address into the equation; It’s a heinous crime, and we need to stand up. We, the men in this room, need to stand up and shout loud and clear, that we are going to protect our women and children. We, the men in this room. Men need to stop this violence.

        It’s not that I object to anyone asking for their second amendment rights; it’s that the responsibility of those rights include standing up. Men standing up.Report

        • Avatar Just Me says:

          It requires more then men standing up. Though that of course is a big part of it. It requires women standing up too. Standing up and saying that it is not acceptable that you abuse me. That was supposed to be one of the upsides of women joining the work force. Women would be able to provide for themselves. They would not be “stuck” in a relationship because they had no skills and no way of earning a living to provide for them and their children. Somewhere the cycle has to be broken. The cycle that women deserve to be abused. The cycle that women are going to put up with abuse. In my relationships I have always come straight out and said that if a hand was ever lifted towards me there would be no second chance. No I’m sorry honey. That is my deal breaker. I may love you but you hit me once your gonna do it again. No thanks, not interested.Report

        • Avatar trumwill mobile says:

          Men standing up and doing what? Objecting? I object. Not just to actually crimes but also the behavior with the gun that you refer to. So now what? I don’t hit women nor do men around me, as far as I know (and can find out). So now what?Report

          • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:

            I think the men standing up is men refusing to provide social, or legal, cover for abusers.

            The problem is that most abusers are not running around a trailer park with a beer in one hand and the other in a closed fist. They are, essentially, sociopaths, able to blend in to society.Report

            • Avatar Will Truman says:

              The blending part is true, at least in the only exposure I really have on the issue. Many years ago I helped facilitate a coupling. It turned out the guy was not who I thought he was. I thought he was a little bit awkward but generally harmless. It turned out that he was the kind of guy that didn’t take no for an answer from his girl. I had no idea.

              I wrote a post about it a long time back on Hit Coffee. I’ll see if I can find it and reprint it over at Not a Potted Plant.Report

            • Avatar greginak says:

              No, abusers are not sociopaths. Sociopathy is fairly rare and also a really big diagnosis/label. Abuse is much more common for one thing. There are also more than one type of abuse. The common typology is 1) coercive controllers- these might in some case reach the level of sociopathy. They exhibit a long standing pattern of control and dominance of all levels of behaviour of their spouse, frequent physical and verbal abuse and an absolute need to have everything their way. 2) situational abuse- This is isolated incidents often tied to alcohol or drugs. There is no pattern of control or dominance. This really does not come close to meeting the definition of sociopathy.

              People use the word sociopath way to freely. If you really want to count abusers as sociopaths then you need to reckon with how socially acceptable and common family violence was up until the changes of 60’s. Hell are you willing to call every pro-slavery southerner, even the founders, sociopaths. Because if beating your wife would make you sociopath then being pro-slavery sure as hell should.Report

        • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:

          that the violence seems to be more pronounced in households where there’s a gun

          This is a self-selection problem, i.e. the presence of a gun does not lead to violence, rather, violent people seek out guns.Report

  5. Avatar Citizen says:

    “that we are going to protect our women and children.”

    You obviously have never met my wife and child. Their options for protection and security don’t live or die with me.Report

  6. Avatar Citizen says:

    What is the performance record for state task forces in altering domestic issues? It just appears as more top down political lip.Report

  7. Avatar Chris says:

    As Nob points out, there is a weird disconnect here between the content of the post from zic, and the discussion, which devolved into a shouting match about California and gun registration, which doesn’t actually address the topic at hand, namely domestic violence against women, particularly domestic violence against women in which a gun is used. I think that this disconnect is unfortunate, but it’s precisely the disconnect we see in our dialogue on guns generally. More and more what I see happening is some horrible gun violence, followed by a reflexive defense of guns by the pro-gun side, and an immediate call for solutions like registration or banning assault weapons or high capacity magazines by the gun control side (the pro-gun side offers some solutions, but they don’t seem to be any better, and might be objectively worse, which is saying a lot). Now, I suspect that banning assault rifles and high capacity magazines would make mass shootings with really large numbers of casualties more difficult*, but this post was about domestic violence, not mass shootings. Domestic violence usually involves one shooter, and one or more victims in a dwelling, where a handgun with fewer than 10 rounds can easily do the trick, so banning assault weapons and high capacity magazines isn’t going to help. And while it’s not the subject of the post, the everyday violence in places like Chicago, Philadelphia, Baltimore, L.A., New Orleans, or Detroit won’t be helped much by these measures either. So what would? A registry? How?

    Obviously, keeping guns out of the hands of people with histories of convictions for violent crimes, right? But how? Particularly since so much of the domestic violence goes unreported, or charges are never pressed, I don’t see this being effective. So what do we do?

    I’ll end with one more question, this one for the pro-gun people. At what point does the safety of everyone, and for the post, women in particular, trump the right to own guns? How many people dying? Or imagine that 6 out of 10 people shot with a gun kept for self defense (as opposed to guns kept for hunting) are shot in the commission of a crime like domestic violence? What about 7 out of 10? 8? 9? 9.5? At what point do you say, “OK, that’s too much! Guns kept for self defense are too dangerous”? Is there a point, or is the right to gun ownership so sacred that even if every single person shot by a gun kept for self defense is shot in the commission of a crime like domestic violence, that right would win out?

    *I know Patrick has given us examples of mass killings with knives, but with a one or two exceptions, the number of deaths in those cases were significantly lower than recent mass shootings, and in the one case that I can remember in which the death toll was high, the killer had to hide out for hours killing people as they passed by in order to reach a high death toll, and he did this in a rural area about a century ago. I’m not sure this case is particularly relevant, then, because the circumstances would be difficult to replicate in present day America.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman says:


      A natural potential solution to the problem pointed out in the post is gun registration. I don’t think MA was wrong in bringing the subject up since that is one way to address the issue. Nor do I think it’s wrong it’s wrong for others to disagree.

      I mean, domestic violence is terrible. So what should and shouldn’t we do about it? That’s the question. Is it wrong to explore that aspect of it? Or are we supposed to say “domestic violence is terrible” and leave it at that, lest we betray the subject of the post?

      I’m not sure what the appropriate response here is, except agreement that domestic violence is bad or that we should all agree to do something we’re not presently doing about firearms due to domestic violence. The first of which I am on board with, the second of which is obviously a point of contention.Report

      • Avatar zic says:

        The second is contentious. That means while people want to defend their right to own a gun, there’s also this, from above:
        In two thirds of battered women’s households that contained a firearm, the intimate partner used the gun against the woman, usually threatening to shoot/kill her (71.4 percent) or to shoot at her (5.1 percent). (Sorenson and Wiebe, p. 1412).
        Batterers threaten their victims with guns by threatening to shoot them, cleaning, holding or loading a gun during an argument, threatening to shoot at a pet or person the victim cares about, and shooting a gun during an argument with the victim (Rothman, p. 62).

        So when we discuss rights, that has to be a large part of the discussion.Report

        • Avatar Will Truman says:

          Which is fine. You bring up your points, people who disagree bring up theirs. And so we debate gun control. But it’s being suggested that debating gun control was the wrong thing to do. Or rather, that it was incumbent on the “anti-” side to keep their opinions to themselves.

          That’s what I am pushing back against. Either guns and gun control are a significant part of this conversation or they aren’t.

          To address your point, domestic violence cases seem particularly problematic as a springboard for advocating gun control. Not that it is inappropriate to do so, but it makes me think of Javon Belcher, wherein the question is… to prevent this, who can have a gun? Nobody can.

          Registration does make sense in this context. For the subset of cases wherein the woman can get the courts to remove the gun from the premises. But registration opens up questions about later confiscation (and not because of domestic violence complaints), which sort of brings us back to square one. As I said earlier, if I felt confident that registration wouldn’t be used for confiscation, I would be all for it.Report

          • Avatar Chris says:

            How does registration prevent gun violence? Because we know who has the gun? I’m not sure that’s going to help in domestic violence cases, but maybe I’m missing an implication of registration.Report

            • Avatar Will Truman says:

              I don’t know if it would do any good or not, but that was MA’s assertion and that is what got the ball rolling here. It also seemed like what Governor DuPage was alluding to, being frustrated that the government didn’t know whether there were guns or not in a case of domestic violence.Report

              • Avatar M.A. says:

                Registration does two things:

                #1 – it lessens the chance of someone not allowed to have a gun (and many domestic abusers are also felons for other violent crimes) getting his hands on one. Not perfectly, but after registration has been in place for a reasonable amount of time, the opportunities to acquire guns are significantly lessened.

                #2 – it gives the police, in the even of enforcing a restraining order against someone that includes surrender of their firearms, a starting list that can be checked against what has been turned in. Currently, a judge can order the subject of an RA to turn in the guns, but either the police make a “thorough” search of the premises (time consuming) or rely on the subject’s word (bad policy).Report

              • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:

                The short circuit is men who own un-registered firearms, or who know someone who does & is OK lending the guy a gun.

                As I said before, abusers are often sociopaths, very adept at influencing people.Report

              • Avatar Chris says:

                Or abusers who don’t get reported or don’t get charged and have a registered gun and use it. Which, I suspect, would be most of the ones who used a gun.Report

    • Avatar George Turner says:

      Well, for an honest discussion of domestic violence we’d have to bring up the unpalatable fact that half the time the women are the abuser, not the abused. In fact, abusing seems to be primarily passed maternally because children use their primary care giver (the mom) as their model for future behavior.Report

      • Avatar zic says:

        This is one of the most offensive things I’ve ever read by you, George.

        If you want to make the point that men, too, are abused, I’d be there with you. But the facts are that there’s a horrific amount of violence heaped on women by the men in their lives, and the facts are that women die, they’re threatened, they’re terrorized at a much greater rate then men are.

        And even when you dig into the facts of men who are victims of domestic violence, again, a goodly number of the abusers are men.

        But this shows a complete and utter lack of comprehension, empathy, or willingness to shoulder responsibility: In fact, abusing seems to be primarily passed maternally because children use their primary care giver (the mom) as their model for future behavior.

        Because most of that passing along is not that the mother abuses, but that the mother is abused. Sounds to me like you’re veering awfully close to blaming women for the horrific actions of their male partners. That’s not much different then saying it was her fault she got raped, her skirt was too short.

        If we’re honest, men have a problem. And women and children bear the brunt of it.Report

        • Avatar Will H. says:

          I’ve seen much the same sort of data, and from some non-profit in Mass. that deals with such things.
          I think that, with domestic violence, there are often issues of substance abuse, history of sexual abuse, etc. behind it.
          Treating the matter solely as one of aggression is a disservice to everyone involved, and in the end perpetuates the matter in treating a symptom rather than the cause.Report

        • Avatar M.A. says:

          The “equal measures” versus “mostly women” claims are dependent highly on the sampling method used for study.

          Between 600,000 and 6 million women are victims of domestic violence each year, and between 100,000 and 6 million men, depending on the type of survey used to obtain the data.Report

        • Avatar George Turner says:

          It’s written about frequently, and one book I read years ago is “When She Was Bad.“. From the blurb:

          “Women commit the majority of child homicides in the United States; more than 80 percent of neonaticides; an equal or greater share of severe physical child abuse; an equal rate of spousal assault; about a quarter of child sexual molestations; and a large proportion of elder abuse… The rate at which infants are murdered by women in the U.S. is higher than the rate at which women are murdered by men.” With carefully researched facts, fascinating case histories, and incisive argument, Patricia Pearson succeeds in demolishing the myth that women are not naturally violent.”

          As I said, having an honest discussion requires bringing up some unpalatable facts.Report

          • Avatar Will H. says:

            I’ve seen statistics which state that in 3/4 of all cases of child abuse, a female is the perpetrator.
            But I wonder how much of this is innate aggression, and how much is a crime of opportunity and expanding definitions of “abuse.”
            I believe the above cite refers to injury to a child.Report

          • Avatar George Turner says:

            It was an interesting read, and I believe that’s where I read that most abusers had abusive mothers, not abusive fathers. The ones with abusive fathers tend to end up in abusive relationships in which they get abused.

            The theory is that the children of abusive mothers tend to be the abusers, imprinting their primary care giver’s relationship behaviors (and the behavior often doesn’t manifest during dating). The children of abusive fathers tend to be the people who hook up with these abusive partners and become enablers, because that’s how they saw their own mothers cope with an abusive relationship.

            The abused person is actually the strength in the relationship, because without them putting up with it there wouldn’t be a relationship at all, and they tend to think they’re “fixing” the abuser, which is probably what they saw their abused parent doing. Other folks walk away from these situations pretty quickly.

            This might explain the statistics showing that women and men are about equally likely to be abusive, since the sex of the children is random and would include equal numbers of both sexes. So the first generation of abusive mothers produce equal numbers of male and female abusers in the second generation, and the abusive males from the second generation produce the third generation abusees and the second generation abusive females produce the abusers. From there they are equally matched, cruising the bars and eventually hooking up to form yet another generation of abusers and abusees.

            Exceptions to the pattern would of course occur if the children identify with their father as the primary care giver, which is possibly more common now (post 1960’s) due to divorce, or possibly less common than the 1800’s because males are no longer likely to retain custody and just can’t run a woman off, threatening to kill her if she takes the kids.

            Anyway, here’s a report on spousal murder from the Bureau of Justice. 59% of the murder defendants were husbands and 41% were wives. You might see statistics indicating a much larger disparity, but that’s because the wives are about half as likely to get convicted.Report

          • Avatar Chris says:

            Ah, yes, I’ve seen the data that you’re thinking of. You can see 2009 stats here:


            A few things to note: mothers are much more likely to be the perpetrator of abuse and neglect, but the data isn’t broken down by abuse or neglect (I’ve never seen it broken down that way, but if you know where I can find it, that’d be great), and since the vast majority of these cases are neglect, it’s not clear to me how the data looks for abuse only. Also, it’s a clear case of opportunity.Report

  8. Avatar Just Me says:

    The sad part of this whole thread is how much “guns” overshadowed the whole conversation. Guns are but a small part of domestic violence. As long as people don’t respect one another, as long as people are selfish and only think about their wants and needs we will have domestic violence. Look on here at the league. Familiarity brings contempt. Not contempt for the person, more of a I know them well enough I can let my “evil ass” side show. In public we hold ourselves in check. Someone we don’t know may think less of us. But with those we profess to love, they are familiar, we can kick them, yell at them, call them names. It’s all good, they are family, they love us, they are safe to use to relieve my frustrations out on.

    Why is there so much domestic violence? Because we don’t know how to talk, we don’t know how to deal with stress, how to deal with disappointment, how to deal with this is just a really crappy day and I need to let off some steam. Why is it that usually the abuser is well liked and the most congenial person you ever met? Because they save their ugliness for those who are they are closest to. They are so worried about “being someone” to others, that they only have the left over to bring back into their intimate relationships. Why do most abused not let anyone know they are being abused? Appearances sake. I don’t want to be a failure, I can’t admit that the person who professes to love me would do such a thing. My friends and family will think I’m the bad person, that I deserve this.

    Above all….why do people say they are staying together for the sake of their children? As a child one of my earliest memories was sitting at the top of the stairs crying because I couldn’t go to school with my brother and sisters. Because I missed them? No, because they got to escape and I had to stay behind and hear the arguing, see the fists fly, watch the dishes break. The worse thing you can do is stay together for your kids sake. If your relationship is so horrible that you are beating on your spouse, believe me you are doing your kids no favors staying together.Report

    • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:

      I saw a quote recently:

      America has a violence problem disguised as a gun problem, and a tyranny problem disguised as a security problem.

      Men have been beating & killing women for millennia, & even if all the guns were registered, or all the guns were gone, women would still die. By knife, by club, or by fist, it’ll continue until we find a way to stop it, and it requires both sexes.

      Women need to stand up for themselves, men need to stop covering for abusers. This is not an easy thing, and we are all handicapped by a public stereotype of an abuser being some trashy male that no self-respecting women should ever be seen with.

      The reality, as I said above, is that most abusers are sociopaths, able to influence the people around them, and most of all, able to influence their victim to a degree that boggles the mind. And we, as a society, tell such victims to pull on their big girl panties & leave, or shoot the bastard, or for Pete’s sake, file charges! Never understanding the level of brainwashing that goes on, and how difficult that is to do.

      I recall a case, when I was in the service, of a female marine, a soldier that was highly regarded as a tough as nails, bad-ass Marine; able to hold her own against men twice her size in unarmed combat, an expert marksman – in general, someone you DID NOT want to get on the wrong side of. Imagine everyone’s surprise when her husband, a man not much larger than her, put her in the hospital for 2 weeks (I remember hearing about it during the base safety report at morning muster one day).

      As with most things, it isn’t a simple thing…Report

  9. Avatar Citizen says:

    Somewhat of a blind spot here is that my wife is the one who owns the 45 auto hand gun. Most proposals about the handgun control issue will affect her much more than myself.Report

    • Avatar George Turner says:

      But by the gun registration theory being advanced in this thread, if you sought a restraining order against her the police would ask her if she owned a gun, she’d lie, and they’d never bother to ask you if she had a gun. We have to pretend that the spouse seeking an EPO has no idea if her husband owns any guns, or how many, even though she probably handled them, stored them, and looked long and hard at the credit card statement that paid for them.Report