Welcome to the HLC podcast for October 3, 2017, it’s the Take Their Guns (Already) edition of the show with your hosts, Hartford Connecticut drive hour radio host Todd Feinburg and nanophysicist (and recent Ricochet Podcast guest) Mike Stopa. This week we try to bring you a not-too-cynical but not-too-lugubrious slant on the massacre in Las Vegas. Should we start placing greater restrictions about the purchase of guns in America? We already make arbitrary distinctions between guns we can have (9 mm handgun) and guns we can’t have (bazookas). Why can’t we simply be more restrictive in our laws regarding background checks and regulations? Why not have the type of security check that’s needed for a security clearance if you want to own, say, a semi-automatic weapon. We can hire the personnelle, we can spend the money. What slippery slope are you talking about?

Next, we will discuss the Trump genius at work again in the Puerto Rico hurricane cleanup. Honestly, a podunk mayor of San Juan wants to go up against the Donald? Maybe she’s smarter than we think. Maybe she’s on the cover of Time next week!

We will have our omnipresent shower thoughts and this week, alas, Tom Petty has met his maker (or has he?). In any event, we will have his “The Waiting” as our hidden gem.

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There are 16 comments.

  1. Coolidge

    I’m very torn on gun legislation this close to a tragic event. I am open to considering universal background checks and different safety measures. No one seems to make those arguments and point to a bill. Which makes me think the legislation must be too problematic.

    I try to support legislation that is good legislation, not overreact with emotions. If there are good gun laws that merit consideration, then I would like to see them proposed well after an event like this and take the emotion out of it.

    After 911 I fully supported the Patriot Act, I regret that now. Totally made that choice out of fear, grief, and emotion. I don’t want to make a mistake like that again.

    • #1
    • October 3, 2017 at 7:46 am
    • 1 like
  2. Podcaster

    connorfamilyr1 (View Comment):
    I’m very torn on gun legislation this close to a tragic event. I am open to considering universal background checks and different safety measures. No one seems to make those arguments and point to a bill. Which makes me think the legislation must be too problematic.

    I try to support legislation that is good legislation, not overreact with emotions. If there are good gun laws that merit consideration, then I would like to see them proposed well after an event like this and take the emotion out of it.

    After 911 I fully supported the Patriot Act, I regret that now. Totally made that choice out of fear, grief, and emotion. I don’t want to make a mistake like that again.

    I guess that while everyone in principle is willing to trade some freedoms for some securities in some cases the problem is – at least in part – that the calculation is so difficult. I agree that doing the calculation right after a tragic event like this one biases the outcome.

    • #2
    • October 3, 2017 at 9:59 am
    • Like
  3. Member

    There is a very significant diffference between the kind of chatter we hear from Northeasterners and from those of us who live in states where the Second Amendment hasn’t been encroached on for years by their state and local governments. I grew up in New York. The attitude that both Mike and Todd express is very much the way I felt before moving to the Northwest. You guys may not realize it, but you are far closer to spouting the progressive line when you make the kind of statements about guns that you made in the podcast. That you do not own guns, and do not enjoy shooting sports is evident. For a great many of us, the liberal have represented a threat to our rights. The do it largely in the manner of boiling a frog. There are an incredible number of laws governing the purchase and use of guns. None would have stopped the killer in Las Vegas. He passed all background checks. No one has come up with a new idea that would have stopped him and anyone else determined to do what he did. It is as simple as that. Life is risky. You cannot eliminate all risk. What can do is be prepared to defend yourself and your family when someone intends you harm. That is one purpose of the Second Amendment that you seem to not understand.

    • #3
    • October 3, 2017 at 3:01 pm
    • 1 like
  4. Coolidge

    Saw the title, assumed it was facetious, instead it was closer to literal. A disappointing episode.

    • #4
    • October 3, 2017 at 3:14 pm
    • 1 like
  5. Podcaster

    Mister Dog (View Comment):
    Saw the title, assumed it was facetious, instead it was closer to literal. A disappointing episode.

    I appreciate what you and Eugene have to say here. And indeed neither Todd nor I own guns (though I have gone to a shooting range on a few occasions and borrowed some). There is, however, a pretty strong gun culture here in Massachusetts I have found.

    But still let me ask: Paddock had evidently at least a couple dozen guns – presumably legal. Is there really no additional scrutiny that could have or should have been given to him? How many people in all of the United States own twenty guns? Not a *tiny* number, maybe, but tractable, no?

    • #5
    • October 3, 2017 at 6:20 pm
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  6. Coolidge

    I guess it depends on where you live. I’m in Alaska and I know plenty of people with 20+ firearms. I don’t have that number myself but I’d bet a dollar to donuts the New York Times would classify my collection and the related ammunition as an “arsenal.”

    • #6
    • October 3, 2017 at 9:02 pm
    • 2 likes
  7. Thatcher

    I thought Mike Stopa’s argument was bizarrely made. He started out saying that he wants to compromise, just a little, with the progressives.

    Well, other mass shootings haven’t changed things, and this one won’t either. So we don’t have to compromise.

    Given that, what exactly would Mike trade for this compromise? It’s not clear. But I’ll tell you this. Republicans don’t do well when it comes to horse trading with Democrats. And the reason is simple. Democrats love government. They love pulling the levers of power. Republicans, conservative ones anyway, by definition don’t love government as much. Occasionally a politician comes along that hates it, and of course those will term limit themselves out.

    So of course the Democrats are better at manipulating government, especially at the legislative level. They love it so much more.

    Republicans aren’t going to win at that game, unless they have a very savvy president/governor doing the bargaining. One that comes along every 30-40 years (and Trump has shown he’s not it).

    I wouldn’t trust them to bargain gun rights against the Democrats.

    I did not find this “compromise” schtick at all compelling. He should have just laid out what he wanted to change and why. I would have at least respectfully disagreed then.

    • #7
    • October 3, 2017 at 10:05 pm
    • 2 likes
  8. Coolidge

    Al Sparks (View Comment):

    Given that, what exactly would Mike trade for this compromise? It’s not clear. But I’ll tell you this. Republicans don’t do well when it comes to horse trading with Democrats. And the reason is simple. Democrats love government. They love pulling the levers of power. Republicans, conservative ones anyway, by definition don’t love government as much. Occasionally a politician comes along that hates it, and of course those will term limit themselves out.

    So of course the Democrats are better at manipulating government, especially at the legislative level. They love it so much more.

    Republicans aren’t going to win at that game, unless they have a very savvy president/governor doing the bargaining. One that comes along every 30-40 years (and Trump has shown he’s not it).

    I wouldn’t trust them to bargain gun rights against the Democrats.

    I did not find this “compromise” schtick at all compelling. He should have just laid out what he wanted to change and why. I would have at least respectfully disagreed then.

    I’m here. Doing nothing and living with the need of constant vigilance is preferable to passing something short sighted that then results in continuing bad policy we can’t take back. Democrats had a supermajority and wouldn’t touch this subject, there’s a reason for that, they want the political cover of horse trading Republicans to say “see, you guys were for it.”

    I absolutely loathe the push to get the CDC involved in this, as if they want to make gun ownership a mental illness (and therefore conservatism) through pseudoscience

    • #8
    • October 4, 2017 at 6:00 am
    • 1 like
  9. Coolidge

    Michael Stopa (View Comment):

    Mister Dog (View Comment):
    Saw the title, assumed it was facetious, instead it was closer to literal. A disappointing episode.

    I appreciate what you and Eugene have to say here. And indeed neither Todd nor I own guns (though I have gone to a shooting range on a few occasions and borrowed some). There is, however, a pretty strong gun culture here in Massachusetts I have found.

    But still let me ask: Paddock had evidently at least a couple dozen guns – presumably legal. Is there really no additional scrutiny that could have or should have been given to him? How many people in all of the United States own twenty guns? Not a *tiny* number, maybe, but tractable, no?

    If the thought is the right to bear arms is for the possibility of needing to oppose one’s government, why do you want the government knowing what you own?

    • #9
    • October 4, 2017 at 6:02 am
    • 1 like
  10. Thatcher

    A couple of things.

    First in relation to the golf course sound issue. Gun users are really aware of how loud our guns are and have been trying to get noise suppression technology to be legal for our weapons for many years. We actually had a chance of this happening under this congress until the idiot in Vegas last weekend. Not that has been stopped, so our ears and your golf games and any neighborhood around a gun club has to live with the noise because Democrats will not allow commonsense gun laws.

    Historically the NRA is a civilian gun training organization teaching gun usage and marksmanship. This was done after the civil war when many in power realized how poor gun knowledge and marksmanship was in new troops. The NRA supported and were instrumental in crafting many gun and hunting laws such as the machine gun ban. The problem came over time when the membership / organization realized that efforts were being made to legally ban all weapons from the general populace. Since then the NRA has fought to keep weapons legal to the general populace.

    I guess my point is that maybe you guys should do a little more research into your topics before commenting on them.

    • #10
    • October 4, 2017 at 7:00 am
    • Like
  11. Member

    The basic argument about registration goes back to the beginnings of WWII when the NAZIs took away all of the guns owned by civilians. That the current US government would do such isn’t a possibility to my way of thinking. However, things do not remain the same. Changes happen, new laws are passed, and a slow steady stream of regulations which inexorbly limit freedom grow. The adage about boiling a frog is one that should never be forgotten: If you drop a frog into boiling water he will jump out. However, if you slowly raise the heat in small increments he will be boiled to death without protest. The Left has tried both approaches, but has been far more successful with the slow, incremental increase in rules. Anything we give up is lost forever and the new rules become the baseline for future restrictions. What I own is nobody’s business but mine so long as I do not break any laws. What Paddock did with his guns and why he did it is yet to be fully determined and understood. Speculating and proposing laws based on almost no knowledge of the circumstances is a fools errand. I suspect that when all is exposed we will discover that he broke a large number of laws that are already in existence. That is the definition of an outlaw. He apparently had no criminal record and no prior indication of mental illness. He, therefore, was allowed to legally purchase firearms. Background checks are less of value in a situation like this than is the willingness of people who knew him coming forward and warning authorities of a possible problem brewing. No one does what he did without alerting someone. There isn’t a law that I know of in existence or possible that would change that.

    • #11
    • October 4, 2017 at 7:11 am
    • Like
  12. Thatcher

    Eugene Kriegsmann (View Comment):
    That the current US government would do such isn’t a possibility to my way of thinking

    One of the reasons against such lists are their abuse in this country. In my state concealed weapon permits were required to carry guns. In theory you paid your money, got finger printed, and the sheriff would check you out to ok the permit. But I lived in a Democrat area. Only political friends of the sheriff and the Democrats were permit worthy. Everybody else did not have a compelling reason to get a permit. Thus owning a hand gun was an issue. If you carried concealed without a permit you would be jailed. If you carried open holster you would be jailed for creating a public nuisance or endangering public welfare or other such charge. I still remember when young, my dad and I would shoot on our land, in theory legal. But if the cops heard we had to hide our guns since they would be taken on some charge or the other. Nowadays thru the efforts of the NRA things have changed. GOP can own guns as well as Democrats. If the Democrats had their way it would go back. Guns for them and theirs none for others.

    • #12
    • October 4, 2017 at 8:24 am
    • Like
  13. Member

    Compromise with the left on gun regulation? Mike have you never heard of the saying, “Give them an inch and they’ll take a mile”? I generally enjoy the podcast, but never have I heard such tripe from someone nominally on our side.

    • #13
    • October 4, 2017 at 3:31 pm
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  14. Thatcher

    No compromise with the left on the Second Amendment. At all.

    • #14
    • October 4, 2017 at 3:44 pm
    • 1 like
  15. Contributor

    Mike. This episode makes it sound like you were always a liberal.

    • #15
    • October 7, 2017 at 6:46 am
    • Like
  16. Thatcher

    In the past, the Harvard Lunch Club podcast was one of my favorites. I’m reconsidering. Under no circumstances should anyone consider using a tragic event as happened in Las Vegas as a basis for legislation. Legislation based upon a tragic event is virtually always wrong. That said, I am willing to consider a ban on country music concerts. :-)

    • #16
    • October 8, 2017 at 6:34 pm
    • Like