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Published: Saturday, April 27 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

" He forgets that this is not a democracy where the people get to rule by majority."

I will remember this when a repub comes to me to complain about Romneycare errr I mean Obamacare and claims that the majority of Americans didn't want it.

Utah_1
Salt Lake City, UT

It is true we have a compound constitutional republic.

Re: gun laws, many forget that Utah has this to say in its constitution:
Article I, Section 6. [Right to bear arms.]
The individual right of the people to keep and bear arms for security and defense of self, family, others, property, or the state, as well as for other lawful purposes shall not be infringed; but nothing herein shall prevent the Legislature from defining the lawful use of arms.

Our representatives and senators in DC should represent Utah and make sure we don't lose our state constitutional rights at the hands of the Feds as well.

UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

If already most guns are sold with background checks, then this new law was going to change little. If that is that case, why was the opposition so strong to something so insignificant and already the rule of the land? Why fight against so hard something that was simply going to close a few loop holes in what the author claims was already a very inclusive law.

If all the things the author stated are true... it just reinforces the point that the vote was purely political... and in fact "fixing" a problem was not the motivation at all. If that vast majority of gun sales were covered by background checks... there should have been little to no resistance in closing back channel method of acquiring weapons.

this was all political theater and had nothing to do with protecting the constitution. The existing laws the author references prove background checks was not the issue at all..

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Yes, we are a Democratic Republic where we choose others from among us to represent us. We have city councils that represent us on the local level. We have county commissioners that represent us on the county level. Then we have representatives that represent us on the state and federal level. We elect "electors" to vote for us when a President is elected. Those who bring up "popular vote" know little about our form of government.

California uses popular vote to amend its constitution. Recently the popular vote outlawed same-sex marriage. The first thing that those in favor of same-sex marriage did was to enlist the help of a judge who admitted to being homosexual to overturn the vote of the people. They want it both ways. They want popular vote so that everyone has a voice, but when that popular vote doesn't suit the minority, they look for "justice" in the courts.

The Democratic Republic system works. It keeps emotion to a minimum and protects us from "pop star" presidents who temporarily gain power.

the old switcharoo
mesa, AZ

The supreme court already ruled that reasonable requirements such as background checks ARE constitutional.

Hamath
Omaha, NE

Examine the source. Whenever anyone starts throwing numbers around in their argument, I am reminded that a large percentage of the population do not understand what the difference between a percent and a percentile, let alone margin of error, sampling bias, etc.

We have a great need of more librarians (who make us check our sources) and statisticians in our society (who help us understand the numbers).

Furry1993
Ogden, UT

What Richard M. LaFontaine is saying is that what the people want doesn't matter. He forgets that we elect people to do OUR will . . . such as voting in favor of background checks to keep people safer (not totally safe -- just safer, and something that an overwhelming percentage of the people of the United States wanted). Instead, the only thing the majority of the politicians care about is pandering to the special interest groups to get their $$$ to fund their next campaign. The vote against background checks had nothing to do with "liberty" or "the Constitution" and everything to do with politicians getting dollars so they could fund a campaign to get themselves re-elected. The politicans forget (or ignore) what they are supposed to be doing and who they are supposed to be representing, and act for their own interests. Sad.

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

Background checks don't violate the constitution. Those that voted against the bill didn't defend the constitution, they did it to get a gold star beside their name on an NRA list somewhere.

cjb
Bountiful, UT

Suppose it is true that 90% really wanted gun control. Those people would have been better off getting their representatives to deal with the violent people in their jurisdictions, rather than to try to force their views on other areas of the country that don't share their views.

We realize something they don't. Overly restrictive gun laws actually increases violence. FBI statistics proves this. Why would this be? Because good people follow the law, bad people don't. In areas where bad guys know good people are defenseless, they are less afraid to mug and rob people.

Take a Chicago thug and put him in Utah. If he continues in his ways, he wouldn't live a year. Chances are in this environment he would get a job instead.

ugottabkidn
Sandy, UT

Have you ever noticed that polls are meaningless unless it agrees with your opinion? Have you ever noticed how Congress pretends they represent citizens when in reality it is for their wealthy donors. Have you ever noticed how some in this forum who claim expertise in the Constitution one day and the next, well it's another story because their leaders ignored opinions of the masses and demonstrated cowardice that corresponded with their opinion? Have you ever noticed that the rules of the King's English are thrown out when it comes to the 2nd Amendment? People just chop off half the sentence they don't like, kinda like how they interpet the whole Constitution and Bible. This amazes me everytime.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

The alternative of rule by majority is rule by minority.

The representatives of the people in government are elected by the people to do the will of God, as determined by the representatives. Not.

The “We the People” of republicans is not necessarily the “We the People” that most people think of as being “We the People”.

The only reason we have any freedoms at all is because we have a government to enforce the restrictions of freedom from those who would take away our freedoms.

pragmatistferlife
salt lake city, utah

And...Republicans are doing everything they can to kill democracy in America (voting restrictions, electorial college changes, excessive use of the fillibuster etc.) because they have lost the public.

Argue over 90% or 40% all you want but general social studies clearly show Republicans are losing the gun battle also. Studies that have consistantly been taken since the '70's show a sharp decline in gun ownership. Again you can argue about the validity of the individual study but when the same study with the same questions has shown a decline from 50% to 35% over the last 30 years you have to believe the trend favors the 90% number. In addition the study shows the decline comes from democrats and independents and the prevelance of female heads of households all trends supported by other studies. Two more trends..increased urbanization leading to fewer hunters, and a decline in the number of citizens introduced to guns through military service.

Republicans will eventually lose this battle because gun restrictions are legal..and fewer and fewer Americans believe that liberty is defined by guns.

Truthseeker
SLO, CA

From Politifact:
"Jay Corzine has attended and studies gun shows in Florida. The UCF professor says that based on his observation, no more than 15 to 20% of sales at gun shows happen without a background check. But when you add in other private sales -- neighbors selling to neighbors, ads in the paper, etc. -- the 40% figure is "probably accurate" and "a very good figure to use."

Gary Kleck, whose research has provided the foundation for less restrictive concealed carry laws, agrees that conditions in the gun market haven’t changed much.

"I know of no affirmative reason to think that the methods of acquiring guns has significantly changed in recent decades, or that conditions have changed such that private (non-dealer) transfers have become more (or less) important. The laws regulating gun sales have not gotten significantly more (or less) strict since the Brady Act, so there's no strong basis for expecting fewer dealer sales or more non-dealer sales as a result of legal changes," Kleck, a professor at Florida State University, wrote in an email.

Kleck says the 40% estimate is "probably still reasonably valid today."

cjb
Bountiful, UT

The problem with the background check bill is that would have made all transfers of guns illegal unless a background check was performed first. what this means is you couldn't loan your friend your gun unless he got a background check first. It also means that he couldn't give you back your gun unless you got a background check first.

If you needed to have your gun repaired you couldn't transfer your gun to gun Smiths unless he got a background check first. When you went to pick up your gun he wouldn't be able to give it to you until you also have a background check first.

As in many things the devil is in the details and this is what gun owners were fighting against.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

"The problem with the background check bill is that would have made all transfers of guns illegal unless a background check was performed first. what this means is you couldn't loan your friend your gun unless he got a background check first. It also means that he couldn't give you back your gun unless you got a background check first."

Um no. Not at all. You clearly don't understand the background check bill.

What gun enthusiasts seem to advocate is unlimited and unfettered gun sales. Should anyone and everyone have access to any and every weapon ever created? So we should all have access to machine guns, drones, and nukes? Remember now, according to you folks any regulation is an infringement on the 2nd amendment!

SteveD
North Salt Lake, UT

I hope this points out how liberals choose to ignore the fact that most people did not want Obamacare but it was shoved down our throats anyway. Now they scream about the majority wanting a law that gets voted down, you can't have it both ways.

atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

Toomey has seen a 10 point approval minus disapproval gain since voting for it and Ayotte a 15 point drop since voting against it. Hopefully that pressure can stick.

Howard Beal
Provo, UT

We are a Republic with democratic principles. The dangers of democracy are ultimately mob rule. Republics focus on the rule of law and protect the rights of the minority and the individual from the people and its own government.

Truthseeker
SLO, CA

Re:cjb

"The NRA said that the Manchin-Toomey amendment would have "criminalized certain private transfers of firearms between honest citizens, requiring lifelong friends, neighbors and some family members to get federal government permission to exercise a fundamental right or face prosecution."

The amendment specifically exempted family and friend transfers from the requirement to conduct a criminal background check. But it did extend the requirement to Internet and gun show sales. So only if a friend or family member purchased a gun in one of those settings would the background check requirement kick in. That’s a limited circumstance, to be sure. And as Wintemute argued, it was added a layer of paperwork but did not make familial gun transfers crimes."
(Politifact)

one old man
Ogden, UT

It would be VERY interesting if some TV station set up a deal in which they sent a convicted felon to a gun show and recorded his attempts to purchase weaponry. Record it with a hidden camera.

Want to bet that within a few minutes our felon would have all the guns he could carry?

But, right now, it would not be possible to charge the people who should be charged with a crime for selling to a restricted person.

So why not just make background checks for personal sales optional? But declare that anyone who sells to someone who would fail a check would be slammed into jail for five years or more? Would that do the job?

No -- but right now there is absolutely nothing to stop a dangerous person from going out to find somebody who wants to sell a gun and buying it.

Something needs to change.

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