Gun politics live chat
11:34
The Oregonian: 
Hello and welcome to our live chat on gun politics. Jeff Mapes and Charles Pope will join us at noon. Until then, please feel free to submit questions and comments. Expect a short delay between the time you submit and the time you see your post in the chat.
Monday February 11, 2013 11:34 The Oregonian
12:00
Jeff Mapes: 
Hi folks. Glad to join you for our chat on gun issues -- particularly in regards to the poll we did on the issue. And Charlie Pope will be joining us from our D.C. bureau. He just surveyed the Oregon delegation for their opinions on gun issues, so he can certainly talk about that.
Monday February 11, 2013 12:00 Jeff Mapes
12:00
Charles Pope: 
Greetings from The Oregonian's Washington DC outpost.
Monday February 11, 2013 12:00 Charles Pope
12:00
The Oregonian: 
Welcome all!

Jeff and Charlie, in both The Oregonian's survey of 504 Oregonians and the state's congressional delegation, what if any consensus did you find on gun control?
Monday February 11, 2013 12:00 The Oregonian
12:01
Jeff Mapes: 
Well, on the poll, it sure showed strong support for expanding background checks in Oregon.
Monday February 11, 2013 12:01 Jeff Mapes
12:01
Jeff Mapes: 
And we already have more expansive background checks than in most states. All gun show sales already are required to go through a background check.
Monday February 11, 2013 12:01 Jeff Mapes
12:01
The Oregonian: 
What issues showed the largest divide?
Monday February 11, 2013 12:01 The Oregonian
12:02
Charles Pope: 
It also showed that Oregon's lawmakers hold a lot of the same views. For example, support for better background checks.
Monday February 11, 2013 12:02 Charles Pope
12:02
[Comment From HenryHenry: ] 
Background Checks are a good idea, but how are they going to ensure complaince without requiring registration ?
Monday February 11, 2013 12:02 Henry
12:02
Jeff Mapes: 
Just about everything else: a ban on military-style semi-automatic rifles, limits on high-capacity magazines, etc.
Monday February 11, 2013 12:02 Jeff Mapes
12:02
The Oregonian: 
Charlie, here's a question for you about the Supreme Court.
Monday February 11, 2013 12:02 The Oregonian
12:02
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Has the U.S. Supreme Court made clear what the limits of gun control must be?
Monday February 11, 2013 12:02 Guest
12:03
Charles Pope: 
Like the state and nation, there was variance - and indecision - among lawmakers about banning weapons.
Monday February 11, 2013 12:03 Charles Pope
12:03
Jeff Mapes: 
Henry, that is a good question. Would the state police monitor sales over Craigslist, or what?
Monday February 11, 2013 12:03 Jeff Mapes
12:03
[Comment From ThomasThomas: ] 
How were the poll questions asked. In recent media stories you hear about "automatic weapons" or "assault weapons" both of which are incorrect.
Monday February 11, 2013 12:03 Thomas
12:04
Charles Pope: 
I can take that one. The Supreme Court's Heller decision struck down a DC law that banned handgun ownership. That was in 2008. Since then though, there has been a lot of room created that most legal experts say gives Congress plenty of room to pass new laws dealing with background checks and the limits on some weapons.
Monday February 11, 2013 12:04 Charles Pope
12:04
Jeff Mapes: 
We put the exact wording of the poll on line. We referred to them as "military-style semi-automatic guns, which automatically reload when the trigger is pulled."

Monday February 11, 2013 12:04 Jeff Mapes
12:04
The Oregonian: 
Thomas, here's the link to the survey, with the questions and answers.

http://media.oregonlive.com/politics_impact/other/OREGONIAN%20GUNS%20TOPLINE_wm.pdf
Monday February 11, 2013 12:04 The Oregonian
12:05
[Comment From HenryHenry: ] 
why is the Oregonian promoting a social position that attacks rights provided by the almighty and confirmed by the consitution?
Monday February 11, 2013 12:05 Henry
12:05
[Comment From Ric from Fl.Ric from Fl.: ] 
I do not think Craigslist allows gun sales anymore.
Monday February 11, 2013 12:05 Ric from Fl.
12:05
Jeff Mapes: 
All I can say is that nobody on the news side is trying to promote a position. We're just trying to cover the news. The poll was an attempt to see where public opinion is on this issue.
Monday February 11, 2013 12:05 Jeff Mapes
12:05
Charles Pope: 
The idea of "universal" background checks is a misnomer. Even the White House says there would be exceptions for tranfers from one family member to another and for niche weapons like antiques.
Monday February 11, 2013 12:05 Charles Pope
12:06
[Comment From HenryHenry: ] 
Here's a better example. I sell my handgun to my son. How would anyone know?
Monday February 11, 2013 12:06 Henry
12:06
Jeff Mapes: 
The sponsor of the bill in Oregon to expand background checks said she would exclude sales or transfers involving immediate family members.
Monday February 11, 2013 12:06 Jeff Mapes
12:07
[Comment From DanDan: ] 
A) Can all agree on three things? WE ALL...: 1) Want to protect the innocent. 2) Desire peace. 3) Value life. The only difference is how we feel we can reach those goals. NO LAWS can stop the crazies, criminals and/or tyrannical government. B) If you want to feel safer, what other Amendments (rights) should we get rid of? “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” ― Benjamin Franklin
Monday February 11, 2013 12:07 Dan
12:07
[Comment From ThomasThomas: ] 
Are either one of you aware of even one mass shooting where a person bought the weapon from a neighbor or garage sale. I have never heard of one.
Monday February 11, 2013 12:07 Thomas
12:08
Charles Pope: 
You articulated what a lot of members of Congress are saying, or at least wishing, for how things unfold. We'll see if it happens.
Monday February 11, 2013 12:08 Charles Pope
12:08
[Comment From HenryHenry: ] 
almost every semi-auto firearm in America is based on a "military style" weapon...even revolvers were and are military classed weapons.
Monday February 11, 2013 12:08 Henry
12:08
Jeff Mapes: 
No, I haven't heard of one either, Thomas. But I haven't researched it either.
Monday February 11, 2013 12:08 Jeff Mapes
12:08
Charles Pope: 
Ooops. Meant to say that was a response to Dan.
Monday February 11, 2013 12:08 Charles Pope
12:08
Jeff Mapes: 
YOu're probably right Henry. So how does that inform your thinking on this issue?
Monday February 11, 2013 12:08 Jeff Mapes
12:08
[Comment From HenryHenry: ] 
how about we (i.e. the media) call it "enhanced" or a "background inquiry" ? instead of beating it into the ground as "universal" ?
Monday February 11, 2013 12:08 Henry
12:09
Jeff Mapes: 
I'm not sure I see the advantage of using the word enhanced. But make your case!
Monday February 11, 2013 12:09 Jeff Mapes
12:09
[Comment From Ric from Fl.Ric from Fl.: ] 
The 40% number that is being bandied about is not realistic. Private sales are only 5% to 20% at the most. If you are a FFL at a gun show you still have to do a backround check.
Monday February 11, 2013 12:09 Ric from Fl.
12:10
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Im deeply disturbed by the oregonians unfair one sided representation of the issue of gun controll the oregonian fail to give fair time to the nra and people who believe in protecting there second amendmants rights. I believe in freedom of the press but Im comitted to the ideal that the press only prints the facts where as the oregonian as not and as doing so is politically swaying innocent that arent ignorant of all the facts. In the first place guns are nerely tools that can be used to either safe a life or take a life. Im personal very tired of the news media blaming the guns versus the people that pull the triggers.
Monday February 11, 2013 12:10 Guest
12:11
Jeff Mapes: 
Guest, I've talked to and quoted a number of people who are very critical of additional restrictions on gun ownership. I've sought comment from the NRA, so far without success. But I've frequently quoted people from other pro-gun groups, such as the Oregon Firearms Federation.
Monday February 11, 2013 12:11 Jeff Mapes
12:11
Charles Pope: 
You touched on a core issue, which will get lots of debate. The question of gun violence is two parts: hardware and human behavior. both are complicated. both are politically treacherous. Which his why this topic is always turbulent. it will be this time too.
Monday February 11, 2013 12:11 Charles Pope
12:11
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
I am trying to understand what is different, besides external styling, is different between a so called "assault rifle" and a standard semi-auto rifle or for that matter- a semi-auto handgun? The only differences that are readily different are a collapsible stock and a pistol grip. All pistols have a pistol grip. Beyond hysteria, there is zero difference in function, or I suppose my question should be, what is the difference?
Monday February 11, 2013 12:11 Guest
12:12
[Comment From HenryHenry: ] 
trying to modify the constitution is one of the dumbest ideas I have heard in a long time. Once they start messing with the bill of rights, the "rights" will start being reduced more and more.
Monday February 11, 2013 12:12 Henry
12:12
Charles Pope: 
Guest ... the point you raise is exactly why some lawmakers believe the better focus is on limiting the size of magazines.
Monday February 11, 2013 12:12 Charles Pope
12:12
[Comment From ThomasThomas: ] 
I watched an interview the NRA head where he said they had strongly supported gunshow background checks but had never and would never support universal checks even though the media was reporting. There is definitely a difference between gunshows which Oregon does and Universal.
Monday February 11, 2013 12:12 Thomas
12:13
Jeff Mapes: 
Well, Guest, that's a good question to ask if legislation on this issue advances in the Legislature.
Monday February 11, 2013 12:13 Jeff Mapes
12:13
[Comment From HenryHenry: ] 
It's always referred to "universal"..and it's not. The databases are so screwed up already...and even if they catch someone the feds rarely take action. I don't understand the need to punish the law abiding folks and favor the criminals.
Monday February 11, 2013 12:13 Henry
12:13
The Oregonian: 
Charlie, after hearing from Oregon's reps in D.C., what responses surprised you?
Monday February 11, 2013 12:13 The Oregonian
12:14
The Oregonian: 
You've all been in this business awhile now. Does the current gun control/rights debate seems particularly polarized? Why is that the case do you suppose?
Monday February 11, 2013 12:14 The Oregonian
12:15
Charles Pope: 
I'm not sure I was really surprised. The answers more confirmed the existing complexities. Most were skittish about offering absolutes, especially before actual legislation is offered.
Monday February 11, 2013 12:15 Charles Pope
12:15
[Comment From Ric from Fl.Ric from Fl.: ] 
The size of the magazine is a restriction on us being able to protect ourselves. You should be able to have as many bullets as are needed to stop the threat.
Monday February 11, 2013 12:15 Ric from Fl.
12:16
Jeff Mapes: 
This has always been a very emotional, polarizing debate. I remember when the Legislature had a big fight over background checks at gun shows in 1999. It was just like now.
Monday February 11, 2013 12:16 Jeff Mapes
12:16
[Comment From DanDan: ] 
In my opinion, I would like the following: A standardized class for ALL Americans. That way, Educating EVERYONE. That's right, EVERY citizen would be required to take this standardized gun class. This would decrease all the myths, fears and misconceptions in people who do not have guns. If they did not want a gun afterwards, they would have that right. But again, stop trying to limit/take away my rights. You don't want a gun, that's your right. If I do want a gun, that should be (and is) my right.
Monday February 11, 2013 12:16 Dan
12:16
Charles Pope: 
It's always polarized. The dynamic changed because of Newtown. But the visceral reaction to that tragedy is already fading a bit so it will be interesting to see how it influences debate. The first bills are expected to introduced by the end of the month.
Monday February 11, 2013 12:16 Charles Pope
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