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White and Valdez call for sensible gun control measures

Good.

Andrew White

The recent Florida school shooting is spurring the Democratic gubernatorial field to press for new firearms restrictions, looking to draw a contrast with Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s response to the massacre — and touching on a sensitive subject in gun-loving Texas.

Democratic hopeful Andrew White was the most outspoken Monday, traveling to Austin to meet with local members of Moms Demand Action, a national group pushing for laws to prevent gun violence. Speaking with reporters while being flanked by the moms afterward, White invoked recent remarks from Emma Gonzalez, a survivor of the shooting earlier this month at the Parkland, Florida, high school that left 17 people dead.

Lupe VAldez

“Today I call BS on Gov. Abbott,” White said. “I call BS because you can support the Second Amendment and also support common-sense gun safety legislation. I call BS because the governor is in charge of the safety of 5 million school kids in Texas, and yet he’s too afraid to do anything about it because he’s protecting his A-plus NRA rating.”

White went on to call on Abbott to convene an “emergency special session to pass common-sense gun safety legislation.” He specifically proposed instituting universal background checks and banning large-capacity magazines. In response to reporters’ questions, he also voiced support for raising the age to buy an assault rifle from 18 to 21 and banning bump stocks, devices that make it easier to fire rounds more rapidly.

In a statement following White’s appearance in Austin, primary rival Lupe Valdez called for a “comprehensive approach to gun violence, instead of a reactive approach.” Valdez, the former Dallas County sheriff, echoed the need for universal background checks and a ban on high-capacity magazines, calling them “common-sense efforts we must take now.”

I approve of this, of course – I’d go further if it were up to me, but I don’t claim to be representative. It’s hard to say how well proposals like these would go over – polling can be tricky, though universal background checks are usually popular. As an election issue, especially in a year like this, the better question to ask is whether espousing these positions will drive more supporters to the polls or more opponents. This sure seems like a good year to be optimistic about the former, but who knows? The Chron has more.

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27 Comments

  1. Bill Daniels says:

    Universal background checks means a husband who buys his wife a gun for protection while he is traveling for work would have to background check his own wife. A woman selling a gun to her childhood friend from Girl Scouts would have to background check her best friend. A father buying his son would have to background check his own son. An elderly person giving his gun collection to his long time friends and his family member would have to do multiple background checks on people he has known since the war, and on his own kids and grandkids.

    If I was selling or giving a gun to someone I did not know, I would insist on a background check, but to mandate that for sales or gifts to anyone….yeah, don’t know about that.

    But let’s say that is what we want to do. OK, what are the gun grabbers willing to give up in exchange for that? If the answer is nothing, I don’t see anything to talk about.

  2. Flypusher says:

    Well Bill, I can give you a gift of a car, but you’re not going to be able to drive it legally without the license, insurance etc. So let every gun transfer be brokered by a licensed registered dealer, and they will do the background check.

    Why can’t the wife in your scenario go with her husband to the gun shop and get her background checked?

  3. C.L. says:

    I can’t go into the local U-Tote-Em and buy a six pack of Buckhorn for my 16 year neighbor kid or stop by the Avis counter to rent a Mustang for my 19 year old sister. You want a gun ? Go buy it yourself. If you can’t do that because you’re underage or have mental health issues or on a no fly/terrorist list, etc., then I guess you don’t get a gun.

  4. Bill Daniels says:

    Fly,

    First, you’re putting a damper on birthdays and Christmases in many households. Imagine the excitement a 16 year old feels that Christmas when he’s expecting to receive his very own .22 rifle, just like his father got from his grandfather at that age. Instead of a Kodak moment, the son is told, “Sorry, son, you didn’t pass the background check because you are under age. Here’s some socks and underwear instead.”

    Let me give you an anecdotal, real world example. My neighbor and friend died a while back, leaving a large gun collection as part of his estate. I don’t know who got what, but what would you propose in this situation? The executor of the estate needs to background check himself prior to taking possession of the guns, then runs background checks on the other family members before handing them out? Awkward.

    This all seems like an exercise in absurdity, but again, if this is what you want, what are you going to give me in exchange?

  5. Bill Daniels says:

    C.L.:

    U-Tote-em? Buckhorn? LOL! Somebody’s showing their age!

  6. C.L. says:

    @Bill… Re: “This all seems like an exercise in absurdity, but again, if this is what you want, what are you going to give me in exchange?”

    You’re starting to sound like my daughter or a lawyer – what makes you think you deserve something in return for society’s attempt to keep guns out of the hands of folks who shouldn’t have guns ?

    Buckhorn, U-Tote-‘Em reference… thought you’d like that.

  7. Bill Daniels says:

    C.L.: What makes you think you deserve to take something from me and other gun owners? Every time “gun control” comes up, the left expects to take, with nothing given in return. How does that inspire me to do anything other than dig in my heels and double down on obstructing anything you want? Serious question.

    Have you seen the news lately? South Africa’s congress just voted to seize the property of whites…..no compensation, just take it by force. This is the ultimate Bernie style redistribution of wealth. Do you want that to happen here? If so, keep haranguing gun owners.

  8. Flypusher says:

    “First, you’re putting a damper on birthdays and Christmases in many households. Imagine the excitement a 16 year old feels that Christmas when he’s expecting to receive his very own .22 rifle, just like his father got from his grandfather at that age. Instead of a Kodak moment, the son is told, “Sorry, son, you didn’t pass the background check because you are under age. Here’s some socks and underwear instead.”

    1) if that’s your worst disappointment in life, you’ll get over it. You’re putting disappointment over the national body count from gun violence? That’s the stand you’re choosing?

    2) parents can still allow minor children to use firearms “held in trust” under their supervision. When the kid reaches legal age, you go to the dealer and transfer ownership. That’s not even a molehill.

  9. penwyth says:

    I guess common sense safety of the public has to be put behind Xmas gifts excitement for little Johnny and the “hassle” of background checks on friends/relative/Brownies.

  10. Flypusher says:

    “What makes you think you deserve to take something from me and other gun owners? Every time “gun control” comes up, the left expects to take, with nothing given in return. How does that inspire me to do anything other than dig in my heels and double down on obstructing anything you want? Serious question.”

    This is classic Greek tragedy stuff right here- you fear a certain outcome, and to prevent it you choose the path of self fulfilling prophecy. There is indeed a hardcore minority who are “gun grabbers”. There are far, far more of us in the middle, those of us who are fine with responsible citizens owning firearms, but also find the current situation with guns to be horribly broken and unacceptable. When the people in the middle see people like you refusing to compromise, when we see kids who just went through hell getting defamed as “paid crisis actors” for daring to speak out, when NRA spokespeople say insane things like the media loves mass shooting ratings (after literally seeing people break down in tears covering this story), we start to lose sympathy for you. Drip, drip, drip. I’ve actually heard a person here, a person there come out and say screw it, this is a failed experiment. Drip, drip, drip. Keep digging in and refusing to engage in any reasonable discussion, and the tipping point will be reached. I don’t know when that will happen. Chould be this year, next year, 10 years from now, 20 years from now. But if the status quo remains, it will happen.

    You ask what do you get for any consessions you make? You get to avoid that tipping point.

  11. Bill Daniels says:

    Fly,

    You are offering a Hobson’s Choice. If it comes to that, and we become Zimbabwe or, seemingly in real time, South Africa, I can only leave you with words from the Great Communicator:

    “If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on Earth.”

    Ronald Reagan

  12. C.L. says:

    @Bill… I’m missing something… Did someone, somehow pass a law that’s giving Law Enforcement the right/ability to seize individuals personal firearms ? What a bullsh** argument you’ve presented here.

  13. Flypusher says:

    You are offering a false dilemma – the status quo or total confiscation. If all you fear does come to pass, don’t say we didn’t warn you.

  14. Bill Daniels says:

    C.L.: Fly has laid out a pretty fair case for what the left is pushing for. Don’t give in to gun control folks at your own peril, because at some point they won’t be asking, they will just be taking. I didn’t lay out that scenario, Fly did.

    Having said that, for some reason, “common sense solutions” can only be found on the left side.
    It seems that Broward County (and others) had an explicit policy of dealing with student crimes by writing civil citations, vs. arresting them and getting them in the maw of the criminal justice system where, oh, I don’t know, they would pick up convictions that might preclude them from buying guns. For a kid who had the cops show up at his house 39 times who also was expelled from his school, this might have been germane, don’t you think?

    Yet, when that is pointed out, the left’s response is “but muh school to prison pipeline.”

    How about mandatory reporting to NIBC system? That’s another thing gun crazies like me and the NRA support. Why not insist that we do what is presumably supposed to be happening anyway? From the left? Crickets.

    I won’t even get into using the 170 Texas school districts that allow staff to CCW on campus as a deterrent, and without negative consequences, by the way, as an argument for allowing that nationwide, because, well, that’s just crazy talk.

  15. Flypusher says:

    « C.L.: Fly has laid out a pretty fair case for what the left is pushing for. Don’t give in to gun control folks at your own peril, because at some point they won’t be asking, they will just be taking. I didn’t lay out that scenario, Fly did. »

    Reality is what it is. Your intransigence is turning off people who could side with you on many of the issues with this problem. I’m hoping the middle ground prevails.

  16. C.L. says:

    @Bill… Looks like you won’t have to wait for the ‘Left’ to come collect your arsenal, POTUS/AG may end up beating them to the punch.

  17. Jules says:

    Bill, why did you pick a 16 year old for the “Kodak moment” (whatever that is) instead of a 5 year old? Are you saying you support age limits on owning guns?

  18. Bill Daniels says:

    C.L.:

    You haven’t figured out Trump yet. Read his book. Trump did the exact same thing with DACA. He knows his voters don’t want amnesty of any kind, yet he not only dangled DACA amnesty/citizenship in front of you, he upped the ante and dangled amnesty/citizenship of 2 million ‘dreamer’ illegals in front of you, with some requests of his own, in return. Look how that turned out. He knew the left would never agree to limiting immigration of the poor and uneducated, because that’s the left’s base.

    This is no different. Trump’s like the fisherman on the State Farm commercial dangling a dollar in front of the policy holder. She’s never going to get that dollar, and Trump is never going to turn on his base. He told Feinstein to go ahead and load up her proposal with all the stuff she wants, knowing full well it is DOA. It won’t ever reach his desk to veto, so why not? He knows the left is never going to agree to ending gun free zones, or nationwide CCW reciprocity, or any of the other things he will ask for to make their dreams a reality, so hey, he gets style points, and the Dems look like obstructionists.

    Let me predict how this is going to go. There will be no legislation passed, and Trump will sign some EO’s insisting that more reporting is done to the instant background check database. Of course, liberal cities will continue to downplay and hide crimes by students to keep getting that sweet, sweet, federal money, so those EO’s will have limited success. What he will do could maybe have stopped the Southerland Springs church shooter, because Trump has the authority to insist that the military actually report its people’s crimes to the background check folks.

    Finally, for those who want another “assault rifle ban,” let me clue you in what that actually entails. I had one, purchased in the middle of the ban period. You know what that means, in actuality? It means you go buy a semi auto AK, for example, and it has the bayonet lug ground off so you can’t attach a knife to it. It has a non collapsible stock, and it has no forward grip on the furniture. It also has the muzzle adulterated to make it more difficult to put a flash hider on it. That’s it. Other than that, it looks, functions, and IS exactly the same as its pre-ban counterpart. Functions the same way. Accepts the same magazines. As I recall, there was one other issue. You could own all the pre-ban hi-cap magazines you wanted, but you couldn’t buy new ones. Do you know how many high-cap magazines are floating around? Hundreds of millions, easily, maybe even more. The AWB law didn’t even raise the prices of those pre-ban magazines that much because there are just so many already out there. There wasn’t and isn’t a scarcity.

    People think somehow that was effective at lowering crime, when in actuality, it was Bill Clinton’s crime bill that was the reason crime went down. Turns out locking up super predators for a long time reduces crime. Who knew?

    Meanwhile, Mini-14’s, the guns made famous by the A-Team, continued to be sold, unadulterated, and nobody said nothin’. Perhaps that’s because the A-Team couldn’t seem to hit anybody, ever with those Mini-14’s, and of course, they weren’t black.

  19. Jules says:

    Wait, what? Bill, you think Trump is doing what he’s doing because he’s smart?

  20. Bill Daniels says:

    Jules,

    You’ll have to ask C.L. what a Kodak moment is. He’s old enough to remember that. 🙂

    Also, if you want to lower the age to buy a gun to 16, I would consider it, but would probably prefer to keep the buying age at 18….old enough to vote and join the military.

  21. C.L. says:

    Incredible coincidence that recent mass shootings with ARs seem to have coincided with the reversal of the AWB.

    @Bill… I’ve never owned an assault rifle, but I’m fairly certain ‘flash hider’ isn’t the term used. Perhaps future gun purchases should contain, at a minimum, a written test where the buyer has to be able to properly identify the specific name and workings of the firearm itself.

  22. Bill Daniels says:

    C.L:

    Dammit, I didn’t want to look up how to spell suppressor, because I always think there’s an extra ‘r’ in it. Now look what you made me do. And you completely missed the point. During the AWB years, the same exact guns were being made and sold, stripped of a few features nobody uses anyway. The prices for pre-ban guns with the collapsible stocks, bayonet lugs, forward grips, flash suppressors, and grenade launcher lugs went through the roof, but the basic gun, without those things was still being sold brand new, and if aesthetics are your thing, muzzle brakes were no problem to add to your EBR.

    If you bought a neutered “assault weapon” during the ban period, you could always feel free to violate the law and put a collapsible stock or forward grip on your EBR, all of which were being freely sold, along with piles of pre-ban magazines. With a little gunsmithing, you could install a flash suppressor, too. If there was less crime during the AWB years, I’ll just say, correlation doesn’t always equal causation.

    I think if someone sat down and showed you ban period vs. current examples, so you could compare and see what it was all about, you’d see that it was useless for deterring violent attacks.

  23. Bill Daniels says:

    Can I point out that during the ban period, SKS’s were being freely sold…with bayonets attached, because the AWB listed features that legislators felt were bad, and only allowed one of those features per gun. Think about that….”assault weapons” were banned, but you could pick up an exact copy of a gun actually used by the Chinese military, complete with bayonet. M-1 Garands were also being freely sold, to, IIRC. That was an actual military use rifle, too.

  24. Bill Daniels says:

    *too

  25. Bill Daniels says:

    Edit:

    @C.L.: “flash hider” is as correct as “flash suppressor,” although I agree that “flash suppressor” is the parlance more commonly used.

  26. Ross says:

    @CL, flash hider is one form of the term. I hear both used all the time. Personally, I never had a flash hider on the AR I owned, because I felt like it would harm the accuracy.

    No one can define the term “assault rifle” well enough to make a ban feasible. The previous attempts, and current state laws, are guns with a strange appearance bans. The items banned are functionally identical to firearms that can still be sold.

    If any ban is passed, existing firearms would have to be taken away from current owners. Assuming 40 million firearms that meet the definition, that’s about $20 billion in compensation, and that’s at lower than market rates. That’s not going to happen.