Monday, October 05, 2015


The Kristof Template Yet Again

Although he calls his piece A New Way to Tackle Gun Deaths, there is nothing new about it. It is the same stupid 'guns are just like cars' piece he always writes and on which I comment from time to time.

Unlike most gun haters, Kristof at least tells us what he would do to stop gun violence. His ideas are useless but at least he puts them out there. He has the same tired ideas each time.

A poll this year found that majorities even of gun-owners favor universal background checks; tighter regulation of gun dealers; safe storage requirements in homes; and a 10-year prohibition on possessing guns for anyone convicted of domestic violence, assault or similar offenses.

We should also be investing in “smart gun” technology, such as weapons that fire only with a PIN or fingerprint. We should adopt microstamping that allows a bullet casing to be traced back to a particular gun. We can require liability insurance for guns, as we do for cars.

Before I start on the solutions he proposes for mass shootings let me just slip in this quote which immediately follows his suggested solutions.

It’s not clear that these steps would have prevented the Oregon shooting.

No, Mr. Kristof, it is clear that none of these would have prevented the Oregon shooting, nor any of the infamous gun free zone massacres. But let's look at each one individually.

The Oregon shooter passed a background check. Most of the mass murderers did too. Real evil criminals don't get their guns from gun stores or gun shows. They get them from other criminals or from non criminal family members. It's stupid to keep flogging this non-solution of expanded background checks.

I'm not sure there is any room to regulate Federal Firearm Licensed dealers more. I'd tell you what was stupid about new regulation proposed by Kristof but he goes all general on this one. See above for source of guns for criminals.

Safe storage? That might have an effect on fatal gun accidents, which is the most miniscule of the gun death categories, but not on planned mass murder.

This last of the paragraph is kind of a whopper. Does Kristof not know about the Lautenberg Amendment? Domestic violence perpetrators lose their second amendment rights forever now under current law. A ten year limitation would be loosening the current restriction.

In the second paragraph, he again champions guns that will only shoot for their owners. How is that going to stop a gun owner from shooting other people? Stupid. It might prevent a cop being shot by his own weapon after losing a fight with a criminal but most cops want nothing to do with technology designed primarily to make weapons not work and who can blame them? They want their weapons to be reliable all the time.

Micro stamping would help, perhaps, with prosecuting a crime after the fact but I thought this was about preventing mass murder? Did I misunderstand the purpose of the article, titled a new way to tackle gun deaths? Also microstamping could be defeated with just a few swipes of a flat file to the end of a firing pin. And if the shooter used a revolver, there generally won't be any casings to inspect.

I'm OK with mandatory liability insurance for gun ownership, as long as each of the insurance commissioners in each state is vigilant about making the premium for such insurance reasonable. I am aware, however, because I am an attorney, that liability insurance is generally not available for intentional bad acts, like using a gun to murder someone. I can't tell if Mr. Kristof is aware of that fact.

So since the mandatory liability insurance would only cover negligently caused damages, the reasonable premium for say a $100,000 coverage would be about a dollar, or so. I can afford that.

So, not a good solution in the lot.

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