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December 20th, 2009

Frank Luntz Produces Something Interesting

Posted in Law, Politics, Society by MB

Frank Luntz has an obvious talent, but it’s so often been used to such appalling ends (“death tax”, “government run healthcare”, etc.) that I don’t often look twice when I see his name.   However, he’s a gun-for-hire at heart, and he has occasionally crossed into unfamiliar territory to produce something interesting.  Looks like he’s recently done that, on the subject of guns:

Mr. Luntz queried 832 gun owners, including 401 card-carrying N.R.A. members, in a survey commissioned by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the alliance of hundreds of executives seeking stronger gun laws. In flat rebuttal of N.R.A. propaganda, the findings showed that 69 percent of N.R.A. members supported closing the notorious gun-show loophole that invites laissez-faire arms dealing outside registration requirements.

Even more members, 82 percent, favored banning gun purchases to suspects on terrorist watch lists who are now free to arm. And 69 percent disagreed with Congressionally imposed rules against sharing federal gun-trace information with state and local police agencies.

I don’t think that’s dispositive of anything, but it sure is interesting.  I think the continuing public conversation over gun ownership and what it means would be well served by less insane NRA fearmongering and more intelligent engagement of the issue.

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8 comments

  1. Warren says:

    I must say I’m a little disappointed in you. Do you really advocate deny people their rights without due process? People are put on that watchlist without due process, without notice, and often people with identical names are denied their rights because of that list. I have a co-worker who was prevented from boarding a plane because his name matched that of an IRA terrorist on that list, and my co-worker holds a Top Secret clearance!

    Such a law would violate the 5th or the 14th Amendment, depending on whether it was a federal or state law.

    December 21st, 2009 at 10:13 am

  2. MB says:

    No, actually, I don’t advocate that. Which is why I said it was “interesting”, and not “good news.” I suppose I should have been a little more clear on that. Believe me, I’ve gone on about that watch list and its related idiocies here many many times before.

    December 21st, 2009 at 10:19 am

  3. Warren says:

    Thanks for clearing that up. You had me going there!

    As for the “gun show loophole,” I really don’t see why any firearms transactions made or agreed to in those venues cannot be subject to the instant background check. FFL dealers would charge a flat fee (say $10) to provide the form and call in the background check.

    December 21st, 2009 at 11:10 am

  4. LFS says:

    Warren, those advocating to fix the “gun show loophole” want it to apply beyond gun shows. This is really about the private sale of firearms. There truly is no such thing as a gun show loophole.

    And FFLs generally charge around $50 for transfers, which is what you are talking about. Some offer less if you are a member at their range or have some other business arrangement.

    If you have ever been to a gun show in Virginia, you’d notice that there are plenty of Virginia State Policemen around. They could easily do the background checks at that venue, but they won’t.

    December 21st, 2009 at 5:06 pm

  5. James Young says:

    Gee, Mark: you’re right. It’s suddenly become apparent to me: let’s make application of fundamental constitutional rights subject to majoritarian whims.

    No?

    December 21st, 2009 at 5:14 pm

  6. Warren says:

    There is more involved in a transfer than simply calling in the background check. And the shop I frequent in Prince William County charges only $30 for a transfer.

    If the State were willing to have the police perform those checks (for a nominal fee), would that satisfy you?

    December 21st, 2009 at 5:19 pm

  7. LFS says:

    Warren, if it were for a nominal fee and the seller’s identity is not recorded and this is only required at gun shows, then I think that would be fine. But fat chance getting the Brady Campaign, MAIG, or any of the other gun control groups on board with that. They want the FFL transfer process.

    And I quoted $50 because that’s what I’ve been quoted at gun shows by FFLs. Also, keep in mind that many FFLs won’t transfer from the general public any more, or they restrict the types of firearms they will transfer.

    December 21st, 2009 at 7:07 pm

  8. MB says:

    Gosh, James, that’s *exactly* what I said. Another Keen Powers of Observation star for you.

    December 21st, 2009 at 7:12 pm