Plain truths

Before he became an Oregon politician (and so far, not a particularly competent one), Nick Kristof wrote a great column for his then-employer, The New York Times, about guns in America. They're rerunning it today, four and a half years later, for obvious reasons. It's pretty good – two feet on the ground, and eminently sensible. 

Look, we all agree on some kinds of curbs on guns. Nobody believes that people should be able to drive a tank down Main Street, or have an anti-aircraft gun in the backyard. I’ve been to parts of northern Yemen where one could actually buy a tank or an anti-aircraft gun, as well as fully automatic weapons — and that area’s now embroiled in a civil war — but fortunately in America we have agreed to ban those kinds of weaponry.

So the question isn’t whether we will restrict firearms, but where to draw the line and precisely which ones to restrict.

I don't know if the Times has got the paywall in front of it or not, but you can try your luck at reading the whole thing here.


  1. Firearm background checks in Oregon are conducted through the Oregon State Police’s Firearms Instant Check System (FICS). Since 2010, OSP has refused to assist law enforcement agencies with ongoing criminal investigations by providing access to information contained in the FICS database. Reportedly, this refusal to assist is based on guidance OSP received from Oregon AG attorney Herb Lovejoy. If a local police department received information that an Oregon 18-year old was planning a similar massacre and just waiting for a background check to clear to pick up his gun, OSP would refuse to assist an investigation by confirming if a transaction was pending or at what gun store. Even if a massacre occurred, OSP would only provide transaction information if served a grand jury subpoena by the federal ATF. Any request by a local, county or State agency would still be refused.


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