The Universal Notebook: Sick of guns, sick of intimidation

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On Election Day, I signed the Maine Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense petition to once again try to close the gun-show loophole that allows anyone with a fistful of dollars to purchase a gun without a background check. Many of the other people coming out of the polling place signed, too, but I despair of such a reasonable measure ever passing.

Why? Because we live in a gun-sick society.

Polls consistently show that the majority of Americans favor universal background checks. Whether such checks would reduce gun violence in this country is debatable, but there’s no reason for anyone to be opposed to background checks unless they believe they couldn’t pass one. Background checks are already required for all guns sales by licensed dealers. It’s not like closing the gun-show loophole amounts to gun registration. So what was a group calling itself Project Dirigo doing videotaping petitioners and signers at some polling places?

Shane Belanger, founder of the Maine Open Carry Association, was one of those videotaping the petition gathering. Belanger made his first appearance on the public stage in 2010 when he organized an open carry picnic on Back Cove in Portland just to demonstrate that it is legal to carry a gun in public.

In July of this year, Belanger was in the news again, this time at the Statehouse as pistol-packing Gov.. Paul LePage cheerfully signed the law into effect allowing anyone to carry a concealed firearm without a permit. Then last week, Belanger was at the polls at Woodfords Congregational Church in Portland, videotaping petition signers.

“This is all about making sure the petition process is fair and transparent,” Belanger told a reporter.

The ostensible motive for the videotaping was to prevent out-of-state petition circulators from gathering signatures, a hangover from the bear-baiting referendum, when blood sport enthusiasts charged that out-of-state animal rights activists gathered signatures illegally.

The more obvious motive was intimidation.

It should be perfectly clear by now that if we could not get our elected representatives to enact meaningful controls on guns after 20 little children and six adults were slaughtered in Newtown, Connecticut, we are never going to get them to do so. The gun lobby has won. But if they persist in stunts like trying to intimidate voters, their dirty tricks may backfire. These video vigilantes may learn the hard way that if you abuse a freedom you can lose it.

Belanger obviously cares a great deal about the right to bear arms. I don’t. But then I don’t believe we are going to have to fight ISIS house to house in Portland, nor do I view our government as the enemy. I am much more worried about the threat to democracy from groups like Project Dirigo.

What I do care about is that in a day and age when we should be imposing reasonable restrictions on the acquisition and use of firearms, we seem determined to do just the opposite. First we decided to let any yahoo carry a concealed weapon. Then we decided it was OK to use silencers on hunting rifles. What next? Do away with background checks altogether?

In an ideal world here’s what we’d do about guns. First, we’d replace the Second Amendment with a law stating that gun ownership is a privilege, not a right. Only people over 21 who have passed an extensive background check and a gun safety course would be allowed to own firearms, subject to certain limitations.

No automatic or semiautomatic weapons. No assault weapons. No high-capacity magazines. No silencers. Concealed-weapon permits issued by police only upon demonstrated need. All gun owners to drill once every two years with local law enforcement because, after all, the right to bear arms is not about hunting, it’s about maintaining a well-regulated militia.

None of this is likely to occur of course, but, at the very least, we should make every effort to pass a universal background-check law. At this point I could care less whether background checks would have any effect on gun violence or not. Maine has a lot of guns and relatively little gun violence. That’s not the point. It’s simply time for the good people of Maine to take a stand, to take back some of their rights from those who have adopted the politics of threat and intimidation that Paul LePage has inflicted on the state.

We, the people, have the right to demand that anyone buying a gun pass a background check and we should do so. And we, the people, have the right to be free from intimidation. If we need a law to prohibit videotaping at the polls, let’s do it.

Freelance journalist Edgar Allen Beem lives in Brunswick. The Universal Notebook is his personal, weekly look at the world around him.

  • DanH

    No. Next issue.

  • Bob Smyth

    HA HA HA. This is the equivalent of a toddler stamping his foot because he can’t get his way. The author can puff and spew all he wants, but his self-righteous anger amounts to not even a hill of beans. It must be terrible to be alive in a world that is so intractable in its opposition to one’s beliefs. Bottom line: guns are legal, videotaping is legal, get over it.

  • Cracker Jack

    This guy is a whackadoodle. If he has any guns, they need to be taken away. And I want that to be videotaped.

  • freddy

    And why exactly are suppressors bad? Because people with whom you don’t agree should be exposed to sound beyond OSHA legal levels? Is there anywhere else we legislate people must damage themselves to exercise a right?

    I like part of this article. It is honest where it says: I don’t care if it helps the problem, I want the law because I am vindictive. This is exactly why gun enthusiasts disagree with the proposed law.

  • Jdberger

    “…nobody wants to take away your guns….”


  • Queenie42

    Wow, Mr. Beem. You’ve really kicked a hornet’s nest with this one. Good for you!
    I have always said that any man who feels he must pack heat everywhere is a tad bit shortchanged in the manhood department.

    • queenie, please allow me to express my deep admiration of the sexual appendage you are evidently able to deploy for self-defense in place of a gun. You must be very proud. I am certain every lady you know feels safer in your presence than with nearly any other man.

      I admit that my own, personal peniis is pitifully inadequate for self-defense purposes.

      It appears that you would prefer that women should be left defenseless, since they are anatomically unsuited for it. Plus, it makes them so much easier for you to subdue.

      It’s also apparently a true belief of yours that the elderly and handicapped, regardless of size, do not deserve the right to self-defense, since their wang-fu will likely be inadequate for a variety of reasons. You obviously think that we don’t need such human rubbish, anyway.

      I admit, I’ve always found it disturbing that the police and military, being unable to find recruits of your mighty dimensions, instead must brand them as the puny weaklings they are by issuing handguns and rifles.

      Congratulations to you again, and I am sure we will hear more of your exploits as you defend your self, your family, your neighbors, and your nation with your wee-wee..

      I implore you to post the resulting news pictures.

    • jarhead1982

      Only perverts and pedophilesxare so concerned with others junk size, you be both

    • LongPurple

      Hey Queenie, I’ve got your refutation swingin’.

  • Chew H Bird

    While I think it is not appropriate or proper to record people at polling locations, I remind myself that stoplight cameras, security cameras, toll booth cameras, airport cameras, dash cameras, and many other cameras are virtually everywhere. Elevators, supermarkets, department stores, most school grounds, sports fields, all have cameras… What is the difference between recording a high school basketball game and recording a polling location? All I can think of for a difference is the basketball game might be broadcast on local television…

    While I am all for closing loopholes in backgrounds checks and have no understanding of why so many people might want to carry a concealed gun, I could care less who is packing a weapon unless they use it in a harmful manner.

    So, I am with you on background checks and loopholes. I might even go so far as to have a tiered license (safety and usage training) for higher powered weapons (like we have tiered driver licenses), but to ban recording outside of polling locations is simply putting the camera(s) in plain sight rather than having them concealed.

    I am proud to say that I voted and if someone wants to record me entering or leaving a polling location so be it (although I think it is rude, uncalled for, and not appropriate).

    • jarhead1982

      So you believe punishing the innocent for the crimes of the few criminals is logical and moral, got it

      • Chew H Bird

        No. We all have the same rights and rights are rights, no two ways about it. That said, if I want to yell “fire” in a crowded theater my right to free speech goes away or if I am travelling through a police roadblock my right to unreasonable searches goes away.

        It matters not to me if my neighbor has a full armory in their garage. I believe it is their right. I also believe that the real issue nobody wants to talk about is the mis-use of force, whether it be bullying, fighting, guns, knives, legal maneuvering, or whatever for the intent to cause harm to others that is the real problem. Then we have exceptions for all kinds of things, much of which are not worth the paper they are written on but some which have great importance.

        While I do not own any guns (other than a pellet gun), I fully support the right to do so. That said, it seems when people are living in close quarters problems with violence are far more likely, so some basic training and reinforcement of the responsibilities that accompany our rights are not out of line. Solders have training before going into combat. Why should regular citizens not have the same requirement?

        • jarhead1982

          Let us know when you receive your training for exercising your first amendment rights sweety….

          Since words in the form of stories which were used to create religion have been the justification for 800 million killings in world history, make the abuse of words the deadliest killer of all, so surely you wouldn’t be against required training for the 1st amendment…

          Or you can disprove that 2012 -2013 NYTimes anti gunterd Joe Nocera ran a gun blog to emberass lawful gun owners.

          He closed it in 2013 as he found out that 97 of the 100incidents involved a criminal being careless or criminal activity….

          Let us know when you have govt cites and proof to demonstrate this isn’t true in all 50 states sweety…

          How again are you going to force training upon those criminals without violating their 5 th amendment right of no self incrimination…

          • Chew H Bird

            The point is would you want someone with a learners permit driving a school bus with your child on board? Would you want your next door neighbor in a city neighborhood with absolutely no training to be trying out his new rifle after a six pack of fun?

            We have successfully managed to raise multiple generations of people with absolutely no common sense or life skills.

            When I was a kid we had acres of land around. I (like many kids) learned to shoot at the town dump under supervision of the adult males on our town. It was fun and it taught me valuable skills and raised my understanding of being responsible. Today, our youth plays video games. Think about it.

          • jarhead1982

            Then you should have thopusands of examples of lawful gun owners being careless….

            Oh wait, you dont…

            In fact were you to compare a state requiring large amounts of training vs a state that doesnt, using GOVT/CDC accidental shooting data, we see there isnt a difference, now go prove that wrong….

            Next we see the following….

            Funny, how is it that a media outlet, claims that accidental firearm discharges are 1 in a million, do tell.


            Lets use government data and compare someone supposedly safe, a doctor, to the chance of your children being killed by an accidental firearm discharge and again, we won’t use one single NRA generated data source.

            CDC Death Data 1930’s, over 3,000 accidental deaths by firearm discharge

            CDC Death & Data 2013 505 deaths by accidental firearm discharge, right at 107 age 0-17 yrs old.

            (505/3,000)-1 = -.8317 = -83.17% reduction


            US Census 1930’s 112.8 mil

            US Census 2013 314 mil

            BATF 1930 TO 2013 165 Million more firearms in civilian hands

            So explain again how there is a….

            50% increase in gun owners….
            68% increase in guns owned by lawful gun owners…..
            -83,17% reduction in accidental deaths……

            Now lets look at the quacks……


            700,000 doctors in US kill 98,000 to 195,000 by medical malpractice every year or .135 to.278 per physician.



            Dr. Barbara Starfield of the 
Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, 250,000 deaths 
per year are caused by medical errors, making this the third-largest 
cause of death in the U.S., following heart disease and cancer.” So that alone tells many of us that the anti-firearm ownership movement is not about saving lives, it’s just big on someones agenda. It’s just something they want to do.

            Since kids = 1/3 of population, will adjust deaths to reflect = 13,200 to 65,000
deaths. (0188 to .0926)

107 / 135,000,000 = .079 deaths per 100k gun owners.

            Physician is .045 or .0927 /.000000079 = 56,962 to 117,215
            times more likely to harm your child than they being accidently harmed by a lawfully owned firearm and
that is only in homes with a firearm, ah wow, thats soooooooo scarey, well, to 
an idiot maybe its scarey!

            So where is the risk from law abiding gun owners and why aren’t you antis crying to ban doctors?

            Actually anyone taking their child to a doctor for a non illness reason should have Child Protective Services called on them for risking their child’s lives so frivolously.

          • Chew H Bird

            I have no problem with people having guns. However, if we want to continue to have guns in today’s world there needs to be an understanding that not everyone agrees with the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Long term, and regardless of right or wrong, there will need to be some sort of peace between the two absolutes in the gun debate. I suspect the author of this editorial disagrees with my opinion, and obviously you disagree, so I suspect that some sort of middle ground will ultimately be the way to preserve gun rights while providing those people against guns some sort of concession so they can think they actually accomplished something. In my experience, when both sides of a debate are unsatisfied with an outcome, the resolution is often (not always) the correct decision.

          • jarhead1982

            Why should an innocent law abiding gun owner give up any more of their rights, accept more regulatory bs hoops fee’s and fines for the actions of the few criminals, when the selfish immature anti gun nutters have given up zero in compromise in the last 6 decades…..

            Because it makes you feel better…..ya not happening

            Here is a simpler solution…

            We implement the IMPLICATED CRIME LAW.

            This means that any person convicted of a violent crime or commits suicide, their family is arbitrarily financially responsible for any restitution for court costs, incarceration, medical expenses and such for their victims.

            No appeal, no parole, no due process, just like all those gun control laws that can’t be used to punish the actual criminals because of the 5 th amendment thingy….

            Hence the implicated crime law is already proven constitutional as all those gun control laws only punish the law abiding gun owners….

            Unless of course you can prove all criminals pay the license fees permits registrations etc etc….

            Oh wait, showing their I’d to do so self incriminates…

            Or are you going to prove that USC 18 Sec 922 identifying the 10 categories of bad guys is null and void eh….no…

            So when you going to get a clue and implement the IMPLICATED CRIME LAW
            as it will address the violence issue rather quickly and effectively …

            Cause we sane law abiding gun owners are finished giving anything to selfish immature bro gun Marxistpriks who give nothing in compromise and don’t pay a fkkn penny for what they want, gun control.

            How is that not reasonable, demanding the anti gunterds pay for what they want..

            Unless you can prove lawful gun owners are the problem, whoops, you’re fkkd there also….

          • Chew H Bird

            All I am saying is the longer this debate continues, regardless of “rights vs whines”, the worse it will turn out for the rights. Far better to come to a compromise that allows people to own guns of their choosing and enjoy them, than continue to debate this in the court of public opinion. This entire debate basically boils down to: People have a legal right to have guns vs we need to reduce gun sales to save lives. We all should know that criminals will have unregistered and un-regulated weapons of all types regardless of what any law dictates. The only real question is: Should being able to exercise a right come with some sort of legal responsibility? A legal citizen has to show identification to cross the border into our country. That citizen has a legal right to enter our country but… We require a passport to do so. I see little difference in requiring some sort of verification regarding purchase and sale of firearms.

          • jarhead1982

            Then you give up your rights sweety, were done negotiating with pathoogical lying ba ssterds that they are!

            Then as always you, like they, have no fkkn proof to base ANY claims that reducing the guns in law abiding gun owners hands reduces violence by the criminals…

            Go on, prove that beating and punishing the innocent for the crimes of the criminals stops the criminals from committing crimes…..pretty please….you will be famous…

            You really are that fkkn stupid arent you….

            Implement the IMPLICATED CRIME LAW or GFY….

          • voip-1

            So those of us who agree with the Constitution and Bill of Rights (which, last time I checked were the law of the land) need to compromise with those who either don’t understand or don’t respect those documents?

            To that, myself and millions of other law abiding, peaceful gun owners would say – “sic semper tyrannis”.

          • jarhead1982

            Now for the final nail in the coffin so to speak, you need to prove the following facts arent true in all 50 states..

            The New York times gun report created in 2012 by anti gunterd editor of the NYTimes Joe Nocera, was created to embarrass gun owners. Funniest thing was, it was shuttered in 2013 because people started noting police reports on the comments section of each death and it turned out virtually all were criminals shooting criminals, and the 100 kids they listed, 97 lived in homes with criminals.

            When the times lists a 20 year old “child” shot and killed, and people with access to arrest records note that the “child” has five arrests for gang activity the NYT has a problem with its spinning.

            The first child death they covered in my state, a 4-year-old was living in the home where his mother was living with a boyfriend who had a prior murder conviction. He was high on crack and shot the kid by accident with his illegal gun.

            The NYT’s problem was what it really showed is almost all gun death is about criminal’s killing each other or homes with criminals being dangerous to other occupants. guns don’t elevate danger at all, criminals do.

            Why is it the arrogant anti gun terrorists cant provide any real govt. cites or data to prove this isnt true in any of the other 50 states eh….

        • voip-1

          The analogy to yelling fire in a crowded theater would be pulling your gun out and shooting into the air at a theater. Both are illegal, both are dangerous and both almost never happen.

  • Rudi Mentory

    We, the people? Really, Ed, are you now so ego bloated, you think you speak for the people? Trust this comment Ed, you will NEVER speak for me.

  • Jdberger

    Queenie, do you feel the same about women who feel that they need to carry guns to protect themselves from abusive ex-spouses? Are they also shortchanged in the “manhood department”?

    Are you always this sexist? Misogynist? Angry?

    Perhaps you might want to re-evaluate your own feelings and emotions. Because it isn’t normal to start questioning the sexuality of others simply because you disagree with the tools they carry.

    • Hermon36


    • Queenie42

      B.S. Any man who must prove his point by carrying around a loaded weapon is not the kind of person people in a decent society should put up with. Yes, I am angry. You blowhards with your trigger happy ways have turned our civil society into the wild west – shooting people on the highways just because you don’t like their looks or going into a restaurant or shopping mall to take out your paranoia on innocent bystanders. Causing parents to worry about their children in school.
      And your answer to all this? More guns. That’s pure nuttiness.

      • Jdberger

        Queenie, I didn’t ask about men. I asked about women protecting themselves against abusive ex-spouses. Are those the kinds of people a decent society should put up with?

        And it’s strange of you to blame 8,000 murders a year on the 150 million gun owners who weren’t involved, it demonstrates some pretty serious cognitive dissonance. Perhaps a course in Logic or maybe, expressing your feelings to a good therapist would be helpful.

        Get well.

  • DanH

    As I said before:

    No. The only reason this is pushed is to get 100% registration so there’s a list of where to find firearms later. That is the only way your background check would work. Oh you say it won’t be but then later someone will come up with the bright idea “Hey, we cannot know if this law is being followed unless we register all of them.”


    The biggest complaint of ranges is noise. Suppressors only make sense and make for better neighbors. Again, no.

    So basically no to everything you propose. Not now, not ever.

    Next issue.

  • RE Hafner

    Maybe we should consider this leftest clown as the poster boy of absolute lunacy. Nothing but an insecure control freak who seems to have problems with his equipment. His social experiment has been tried and resulted in genocide, uncontrollable crime rates and complete government dominance enslaving of the people. Does the old Soviet Union come to mind? What a freaking wackado.

  • fsilber

    Let’s assume your goal is to prevent the sale of guns to children, criminals and the insane. You’re failing because you’re going about it wrong.

    Requiring a background check for every sale would eventually allow the government to learn who owned every gun. To gain the people’s trust that the government would not misuse such information, the government should first kill or imprison all the state and local officials who’ve used such knowledge to discourage gun ownership among people who _don’t_ fall into the above categories.

  • Renov8

    Clearly biased and lacking of any background to comment on what you write about…….you write without knowledge. Fear and ignorance…..the Liberal way.

    • SamAdams1776

      Not so sure–I just think he is a statist. For him, his philosophical lineage on government is (possibly also Marx) Thomas Hobbes. I don’t think Locke is in his sights. I doubt he has read the Constitution (probably not at all, but certainly not completely), nor has he likely read the Bill of Rights, and on the off chance he did, he did not grasp what the document is: a restriction upon government.

      I am positively certain he has not read read the Federalist papers nor the anti-Federalist papers.

      SamAdams1776 III Oath keeper
      Molon Labe
      No Fort Sumters
      Qui tacet consentit
      Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
      Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges.
      Idque apud imperitos humanitas vocabatur, c u m pars servitutis esset

      • Don Mei

        I agree with you that he’s just a simple statist. His last paragraph proposes infringing on your FIRST Amendment rights. Not even most liberal media folk would advocate that.

  • Les

    Ironically, Moms Demand Action supported a law requiring all gun and ammo sales be video recorded and handed over to law enforcement weekly.

    When they do it, it’s to ensure compliance with the law. When others do it to them, they call it harassment.

  • jsmith5893

    Re: “closing the gun-show loophole”

    There is no gun show loophole. This is progressive speak for wanting to pass laws to monitor and control loans, transfers or physical access of firearms, ammunition, or “high capacity” magazines to distant relatives, friends, domestic partners, roommates or other acquaintances you have known for years. You can see this philosophy reflected in the laws passed in OR, CO and WA. If you are really worried about gun shows you should change the rule implemented by Bill Clinton’s administration that prohibits anyone wanting to sell guns at gun shows from getting a Federal Firearms License (FFL) without having a storefront. (Google ATF form 5310 FFL application and look at question 18a)

  • jdege

    Every gun owner I know who engages in an occasional private sale insists that the buyer show a carry permit – precisely so that they can ensure that the buyer has passed a background check.

    Gun owners don’t oppose the idea of extending background checks to private sales, most of them are already doing background checks, voluntarily.

    But gun owners are almost unanimously opposed to the “universal background check” bills that have actually been proposed. Why? Because they don’t do what the authors are telling people that they do.

    The proposed universal background check legislation does not extend background checks to private sales. It outlaws private sales entirely. And it outlaws all private transfers, other than sales, as well.

    They require that every transfer be done through a federally licensed firearms dealer, with the accompanying paper trail.

    There is a long list of reasons why this is simply unacceptable to gun owners. I don’t expect you to understand these reasons, or to agree with them. But you need to recognize that they exist, and that they are not negotiable.

    If you want universal background checks, propose a bill that provides for background checks on private sales that does not involve a paper trail or trips to third-party storefronts, and you’ll have it easily.

    Keep attempting to pass a bill that outlaws private transfers and you’ll see gun owners absolutely opposed. And if you manage to get it passed, gun owners will not comply.

  • El Laton Caliente

    Well, the totalitarian is angry he can’t take rights away from people.

  • jsmith5893

    Re: “reasonable restrictions”

    In 1934, 1938, 1968, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1993 and 1994 I suspect similar arguments were made for “reasonable restrictions” when more restrictive federal gun laws were passed. Since all of the regulations derived from these laws are apparently not enough, maybe you can understand the reluctance of gun owners to entertain the idea of quietly accepting the any more. The problem is the real agenda of the people leading the charge for more gun control is to ban all guns except for the government and governments (unlike individuals) have the track record for killing people that don’t agree with them. This is really just about using relatively infrequent, isolated incidents of gun violence to whip lawmakers into an emotional frenzy to goad them into quickly advancing the agenda of gun control irrespective of any facts in more incremental “progressive” steps in order to set a new baseline and move the goal posts to the point where an unscrupulous government would have the option to do what ever they please.

  • jsmith5893

    Re: “Polls consistently show that the majority of Americans favor universal background checks.”

    These polls where large numbers of people support background checks ask questions like “Do you favor or oppose a federal law requiring background checks on all potential gunbuyers “? That is not the same question that is relevant with regard to the laws that are actually proposed like the federal gun legislation that failed to pass the US Senate in 2013. The relevant poll question in that case would have been “do you support or oppose US Senate Bill 649 or any of its amendments”? Read the bill (SB-649) and the amendments. The title of the bill is word doctored to be innocuous but the devil is in the details and what was being proposed as part of the background check process was a litany of vague, abstruse and onerous restrictions on friends and family members that could trip them up and subject them to intimidation and entrapment by overzealous and unscrupulous authorities who are aligned with an anti-gun agenda. In addition, the hastily written Toomey amendment was worded in such a way that existing gun laws that currently protect gun owners (like a prohibiting a registry) could be circumvented by the President simply having the BATF report to DHS instead of the Attorney General.

    If the totality of what is really desired is universal background checks, the answer is simple and easy – give anyone free, anonymous, public access to the federal NICS background check database of persons prohibited from owning firearms and then tell private sellers if you sell or give a firearm to someone and don’t retain a piece of paper that documents you did a favorable NICS check on the buyer, you could be held liable if they commit a gun-related crime. There is no reason to get the government involved any further in the process unless you have other goals in mind like a federal registry of all firearms.

  • jsmith5893

    Re: “And we, the people, have the right to be free from intimidation”

    Actually you don’t nor do you have a right to not be offended. There is, however, a Constitutional right to keep and bear arms.

  • oneParty

    We may disagree, but for the author to state that there is no reason to oppose background checks unless you know you couldn’t pass one is absurd hyperbole. No one should ever beg for permission from the government in order to exercise their natural rights. There, now you may disagree with me, but get off your high horse and quit with the absurdities.

  • jsmith5893

    Re: “In an ideal world here’s what we’d do about guns…”

    The problem you have is that in 2010 (for example) there were 725000 violent criminals in state prisons and 15000 in federal prisons. This works out to a total of 740000 or about 0.238% of the US population which means that about 1 out of every 420 people in the US that have been caught have no qualms about ignoring whatever laws you pass and killing or injuring someone and the gun is often their tool of choice. So the bottom line is (1) The human race produces a few bad individuals prone to violence who just refuse to play by whatever rules you promulgate and until you find some way to identify these individuals and the courage to permanently eliminate them from society, innocent people are going to be killed (2) Because of these bad individuals, bad things happen every day to people who through no fault of their own were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Criminals will always have guns if they want them. If worst comes to worst they will be smuggled into the US from Mexico inside a bale of marijuana and sold on the black market.

  • oneParty

    Maine has a lot of guns and very little gun violence, but that’s not the point? Hahaha! That’s exactly the point. It means you have to look elsewhere for a cause, and you won’t like what you find.

  • Kafir911

    Who determines “reasonable restrictions”, you and your liberal friends? Didn’t the communists and Nazis take away their citizens’ guns? We all know how well that worked out.

    After skimming your article, I decided to purchase a JFM15 “rifle” for a Christmas (not holiday) present for myself. Here’s a sneak peak:

    • Renov8

      vid was good.

  • WardDorrity

    The question of firearms ownership is the absolute,Vulcan mind-meld issue that divides those who believe that they have the right to dictate the terms of existence to us from those who of us who believe thatno such ‘right’ exists.

    Those who presume to tell you that you have no right to defend yourself, your
    family or your property are not merely holding the United States Constitution,
    The Bill of Rights and in particular, the Second Amendment in contempt – what
    they are really saying is that you have no right to your own life. To them, you
    are a thing, an animal, or a machine. Nothing more.

    They are declaring their supremacy over you by holding the value of your life as little than a wheelbarrow full of bricks.

    THAT’s who we’re dealing with. And as history has shown us, the ultimate destination of that outlook is something far, far worse than slavery. History has also demonstrated that there is only one way to stop them.

    So here’s the bottom line and an invitation for the compromisers and confiscators: the right to defend my own life, liberty and property (yes, property) is as absolute as my right to live. It is not subject to compromise or “reasonable restrictions” “common sense” laws.

    I invite the author of this screed to live the courage of his convictions; be in the ‘vanguard of the elite’ that you imagine in your sick dreams of power and control to be and be the first ones through my door. Let’s see if you’ve got the courage to deal
    with the consequences of what you really want, and this is to disarm law abiding citizens.

  • Michael Meador

    It must suck to be so weak. But that’s the authors issue, not mine. But, if we’re going down this road, we the People demand universal background checks for voting. $100 voting fee for every vote. Your voting record recorded and kept in the registration record. What the author doesn’t seem to understand is that what you apply to one Civil Right must be allowable to all others. Continue trying to target firearms and firearms ownership and you will see a backlash against other Civil Rights. Note, this is how Liberalism works. They do not support Civil Rights but work against them as they always have. Gun control is racist just as it was when it was first introduced post Civil War. Gun control supporters are no better than the KKK. They support hate and oppression. They claim it’s out of fear, but if they’re that scared, maybe they need to look inwards for the problem instead of projecting their inadequacies on to others. The author is a weak beta male. Like I said, must suck to be that way. But it’s your problem, not mine. Stop trying to shove how pathetic you are off on others. You should be embarrassed by it, not proud of it.

    • SamAdams1776

      I think people who are allowed to vote (voting actually is a provilege, unlike the RKBA) should have skin in the game. 1 vote for being employed, 1 vote for serving in the military (past or present), one for owning property and for each separate piece of property, and on extra vote for every 200,000 dollars of annual salary.

      No one on welfare should be allowed NEAR a voting poll.

      SamAdams1776 III Oath keeper
      Molon Labe
      No Fort Sumters
      Qui tacet consentit
      Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
      Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges.
      Idque apud imperitos humanitas vocabatur, c u m pars servitutis esset

  • Maurice Chavez

    There is no gun show loophole. Why are you propagating this lie?

  • Sophie Maele

    Any woman who would marry this kind of self-emasculated male should be aware that he will not protect you in a life-threatening situation. He would timidly cower and weep while you are raped and murdered rather than perform the most basic function of manhood: protecting his wife and children.

  • unpundit

    Let’s drop the pseudo-philosophical posing, pal.
    WE have guns.
    YOU want to take them away.
    Think about what that’s likely to look like, with 100 million gun owners in America.

    If confiscation is 97% peaceful, (wildly optimistic, I know) that will come up to three million shootings between otherwise law-abiding citizens, and your beloved State.
    Let me help you with the math.
    That will likely be something like 10 million deaths.

    Your move.

  • Aegis Buckler

    Just another liberal, feminine male, who voted for the worst president and watches “The View” shouting, “you go girls!” Certainly not a lover of the Truth.

  • bethie

    Nobody wants to take away your damn guns. Get over yourselves. WE just want to know that you are trained and licensed to use them properly and that you don’t have an absurd arsenal buried in your basement, ffs. You DO NOT need an assault rifle. You DO NOT need ammo that has a hundred rounds in it. You will NOT be fighting ISIS on US territory…the Canadians, maybe…You DO NOT need a silencer to go hunting.

    There is absolutely no reason that tighter restrictions equal “taking away our rights.”

    After all, a car is a deadly weapon and you need a license and training to use one of those, don’t you?

    • Damocles

      ^^^ This is one of the most factually challenged diatribes that I’ve seen online.

      • bethie

        And your point is…

        • Damocles

          You espouse a lot of emotional rhetoric but not much else, you simply don’t know what you’re talking about.

          • bethie

            that is your opinion. I am doing fourteen other things while commenting on this thread, perhaps my thought process is jumbled. Regardless, I don’t really care what you think.
            fwiw my brother is an olympic-standard target shooter and guns have been around my entire life. RESPONSIBLY.

          • Damocles

            Your brother is an Olympic shooter….and so what? I’m an US Army veteran and have been a responsible gun user for most of my 40 plus decades on this planet. I live in a Constitutional Carry state and I carry a gun every day. I shoot and train regularly. CCW permit holders are 23 times LESS likely to be convicted of felonious crimes than law enforcement officers. I stand by what I stated above. It isn’t about “needs” or “wants”. It isn’t about “needing” a suppressor to hunt. You don’t get to decide whether or not I buy 30 round magazines or a 100 round drum for a rifle. You don’t get to decide how many background checks I go through.

          • Mike Faulkingham

            Your brother doesn’t need his rifle for target shooting. You don’t need a Coach bag. You don’t need A/C in your car. When the government gets to legislate what I “need,” well, that’s when I will know that defending my right to keep and bear arms was well worth the fight. Luckily for me, the Constitution guarantees that you cannot decide what I “need” either.

      • Mike Faulkingham

        Your brother doesn’t need his rifle for target shooting. You don’t need a Coach bag. You don’t need A/C in your car. When the government gets to legislate what I “need,” well, that’s when I will know that defending my right to keep and bear arms was well worth the fight.

    • Damocles

      An AR-15 is not an assault rifle, an M-16 is. Assault rifles are capable of select fire, as in semi to auto or semi to 3 round burst. An Ar-15 is not capable of select fire. Assault rifles are Class III firearms and one must have deep pockets in the tens of thousands to purchase one. The 2nd Amendment is a bill of rights, not a bill of needs. Bethie doesn’t get to decide for the rest of us what we need because Bethie doesn’t know anything about firearms. There is no *license* required in most states.

      • bethie

        I know enough to know that just because you dont think YOU need any safeguards against who uses what weapon that apparently I don’t have the RIGHT to have safeguards against who uses what weapon? Don’t I have a right against feeling intimidated and threatened by your ridiculous weapons? Or do rights only belong to people with guns?

        Sorry. Sh*t doesn’t fly.

        • WardDorrity

          No, but sh*t like you does draw flies.

          • bethie

            get over yourself, big man. all you can do is resort to namecalling…no wonder you need a gun. or seventy.

          • WardDorrity

            Live the courage of your convictions: start here. With me.

          • bethie

            you gonna shoot me?

          • bethie

            I’m waiting.

          • WardDorrity

            You’re just going to have wonder about that, aren’t you?

          • bethie

            i don’t waste my time wondering about fools. And with that said, I have to get ready to go to a funeral. For someone who died from a…you got it! Violent gunshot wound caused by somebody else!

          • WardDorrity

            Oderint dum metuant. That works for me.

          • Damocles


        • jarhead1982

          Go see a psychiatrist for intensive therapy as obviously you’re scared of the law abiding for no sane substantiated reason

          Unless you’re a clinically insane mass shooter, pedophile or criminal afraid of being shot by your intended victim then that’s logical

        • jsmith5893

          Re: “Don’t I have a right against feeling intimidated and threatened by your ridiculous weapons?”

          No. You have a desire but not a right. However, there is a Constitutional right to keep and bear arms.

        • voip-1

          It’s called the Bill of Rights not the Bill of Needs for a reason. There is no “right to not have irrational insane fears about inanimate objects”. The crib notes is there is no right to your own special “safe place” that you get to define the rules of.

        • Mike Faulkingham

          Bethie, how about you tell us what percentage of gun deaths were caused by so called “assault weapons” last year, since you seem so horribly opposed to them. Obviously, you want solve what you see as a gun “problem,” correct? So come out and inform us why a particular type of firearm that is responsible for less than 1% of all gun violence in the U.S. is the one you choose to target for restriction. Is it because it looks “mean” to you? Or is because you truly don’t give a hoot about reducing gun violence, and only for allaying your own misplaced, irrational fears? Oh, and also, if you believe so strongly that your views are based on truth and good reasoning, come on out from behind your anonymous tag and show the world how strong you are in your beliefs.

    • John OC

      1. You can’t say “nobody wants to take away your damn guns” when it has happened and several people have already stated that they would like to do what they did in Australia, confiscate all guns.

      2. Every gun owner I know takes the time to spend time shooting their guns. Many of us are trained, or have taken training (tactical, mil/pol, and other). Most of us are family members and have kids and their safety is part of the reason we take the time to teach gun safety on our own.

      3. That’s your opinion, and is not born out in real life. Part of it is being prepared, or just in case. Some people are proactive and not reactive.

      4. Silencer is incorrect, please use suppressor. Hunters and shooters like them since they help to reduce the amount of noise when hunting or shooting. Saves people from dealing with hearing issues.

      5. Inherently, what many are proposing is indeed “taking away” my “rights.” We hold the 2nd Amendment as that which protects the 1st. We hold it as inviolable.
      6. Driving is a privilege and not a right.

    • Renov8

      Asshat, driving a car is a privilege, not a Right.
      NEED has nothing to do with it……..
      Everything you stated above is equivalent to taking away our rights……smuck!

    • jsmith5893

      Re: “Nobody wants to take away your damn guns.”

      Really? In 1976 a gentleman by the name of Nelson Shields said the following “The first problem is to slow down the increasing number of handguns being produced and sold in this country. The second is to get handguns registered. And the final problem is to make the possession of all handguns and all handgun ammunition – except for the military, policemen, licensed security guards, licensed sporting clubs, and licensed gun collectors – totally illegal.” Nelson Shields was one of the founders of Handgun Control Inc which is better known under their current “re-branded” name as The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. In 1987 another gentleman by the name of Josh Sugarmann said regarding so called assault weapons “The weapons’ menacing looks, coupled with the public’s confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons—anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun—can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons.” In 1988 in response to an NRA comment about criminals always being able to get handguns he also said “The NRA is Right: But We Still Need to Ban Handguns”. On 11/4/99 he said in a NYT interview “A gun-control movement worthy of the name would insist that President Clinton move beyond his proposals for controls — such as expanding background checks at gun shows and stopping the import of high-capacity magazines — and immediately call on Congress to pass far-reaching industry regulation like the Firearms Safety and Consumer Protection Act introduced by Senator Robert Torricelli, Democrat of New Jersey, and Representative Patrick Kennedy, Democrat of Rhode Island. Their measure would give the Treasury Department health and safety authority over the gun industry, and any rational regulator with that authority would ban handguns. Real gun control will take courage. In the long run, half-measures and compromises only sacrifice lives.” Josh Sugarmann is currently the head and founder of the Violence policy Center and was one of the founders of The Coalition to Ban Handguns which is better known under their current “re-branded” name as The Campaign to Stop Gun Violence. While the names and tactics of these organizations may have changed, the goals and a lot of the personnel remain the same.

      Also, more recently, we have Senator Diane Feinstein

    • jsmith5893

      Re: “After all, a car is a deadly weapon and you need a license and training to use one of those, don’t you?”

      Not if it’s use is confined to private property

  • Beezelbubba

    Ok first of all, gun show sales are not even a tertiary source for guns used in crimes. This is a fact, studies have been done. Criminals get their guns from friends and family primarily followed by straw purchases. It has been a felony to give a gun to a prohibited person since 1968, family or not. It has been a felony since 1968 to purchase a firearm for an illegible person. (straw purchase, a criminal pays people who can pass a background check to buy guns from a licensed dealer and then resells them on the street) it has been a felony since 1968 to sell guns as a business without a federal firearms license. So more background checks are going to fix what exactly? All over Europe, suppressors are legal and in some countries mandatory for hearing protection of the shooter and to keep noise pollution down, no special permit or tax needed like here in the USA, automatic weapons have been tightly regulated since 1934, a normal citizen cannot purchase or posses an automatic weapon made past 1986. The supply is limited and demand is high so what would be at best a $500 gun is now selling for thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars and there is a lengthy federal process to acquire one, also since 1934 only 2 registered machine guns have been used in crimes, and one of those was buy a police officer who killed an informant, If we register and ban all guns, then no one will have them! Sure thing, keep dreaming. more people die from drug overdoses every year than guns and drugs are very illegal to possess, use or sell yet there is an over abundance of them for the taking. Sorry, your letter is all about feelings and not facts but then again, that is the liberal way of doing things

  • ramrodd

    The hard-left Marxist and Islamists who infect our federal government plus the MSM media prostitutes who protect them will gleefully lie, falsify, fabricate, slander, libel, deceive, delude, bribe, and treasonably betray the free citizens of the United States..

    Second Amendment foes lying about gun control – The Second Amendment has nothing to do with hunting. The Second Amendment has nothing to do with personal self-defense.Firearms are our constitutionally mandated safeguard against tyranny by a powerful federal government. Only dictators, tyrants, despots, totalitarians, and those who want to control and ultimately to enslave you support gun control.

    No matter what any president, senator, congressman, or hard-left mainstream
    media prostitutes tell you concerning the statist utopian fantasy of safety and security through further gun control: They are lying. If their lips are moving, they are lying about gun control. These despots truly hate America..

    These tyrants hate freedom, liberty, personal responsibility, and private property. But the reality is that our citizens’ ownership of firearms serves as a concrete deterrent against despotism. They are demanding to hold the absolute power of life and death over you and your family. Ask the six million Jewws, and the other five million murdered martyrs who perished in the Nazii death camps, how being disarmed by a powerful tyranny ended any chances of fighting back. Ask the
    murdered martyrs of the Warsaw Ghetto about gun control.

    Their single agenda is to control you after you are disarmed. When the people who want to control you hold the absolute power of life and death over your family, you have been enslaved. The hard-left Marxist and Islamists who infect our federal government plus the MSM media hookers who protect them will gleefully lie, falsify, fabricate, slander, libel, deceive, delude, bribe, and treasonably betray the free citizens of the United States into becoming an unarmed population. Unarmed populations have been treated as slaves and chattel since the dawn of history.

    Will we stand our ground, maintaining our constitutionally guaranteed Second Amendment rights, fighting those who would enslave us?

    American Thinker

  • And they wonder why we can’t have an adult conversation.

    • ramrodd

      hang a gun free sign on your home

  • gdnctr

    “… we should make every effort to pass a universal background-check law. At this point I could care less whether background checks would have any effect on gun violence or not. Maine has a lot of guns and relatively little gun violence. That’s not the point. It’s simply time for the good people of Maine to take a stand, to take back some of their rights from those who have adopted the politics of threat and intimidation that Paul LePage has inflicted on the state.”

    Your BS agenda is laid bare, Little Eddie Boy. You’re a mindless, left-wing wacko libtard. Seek some serious medical help, sonny.

  • Geoffry K

    So let’s go with background checks for sales of automobiles between private parties. Make it illegal to sell a car to someone who is a convicted drunk driver, or who you may think is a drunk driver.
    It is already illegal to sell a gun to person you know or suspect is a prohibited person.

  • LibertyToad

    The author obviously isn’t looking at all of the gun statistics and is using the Mom’s debunked stats instead. Is it too much to ask that people who write articles like this base them on facts and not on feelings or debunked claims?

  • Isaac Shelby Baker

    Ha ha ha… Strap on a set of sweat stained body armor and Come. Take. Them.

  • Top_Ward

    Why do I need your permission to use my right to self-defense? If that’s the way rights work, then you need to ask my permission before speaking.

  • Jon Holloway

    To Edgar Allen Beem: What is the big deal? I fail to see why one would be offended or intimidated by having their picture taken in a public place committing no crime , unless of course you have something to hide??? Or perhaps doing something you really dont believe in? Or maybe you are just a coward. Did you feel as if your privacy was violated while you were in the process of exercising your Constitutional rights? Perhaps you need to undergo a through background check? The irony …Huh.???

  • parks207

    After combing through volumes of crime data from
    the FBI UCR, The CDC, etc., etc., etc.. How the Left blames conservative states
    and people for crimes committed with guns, however, the Left owns the market on
    crimes committed with guns. First, take a good look at the vast majority of
    cities with the highest violent crime stats, total number and rate. They are overwhelmingly
    Liberal bastions of enlightenment, diversity and acceptance. Even within the
    conservative states, the highest crime areas are overwhelmingly Left voting
    havens of tolerance. This leads me to think, Uh oh… The Left is probably so anti-gun,
    due in no small part to their constituency either spending a great deal of
    their lives within some US penal system, or the tragedy of their own constituency
    killing off their own voters. The Left would rather see a 100lb. woman beaten
    to within an inch of her life but survive then to have that same woman kill the
    perpetrator on the spot. I’m not sure why they think that way, but they do, for
    the most part…

  • John

    Fortunately The Bill Of Rights is granted to me by my creator and is in place to protect me and all free Americans from tyrannical leftists like Edgar. You can dream about creating your own gun “privilege” laws until you’re blue in the face but try and force your will against our Constitution and you will see exactly why we have the inalienable right afforded to us by 2A.

  • timbroweraz

    Well……. your poll data is wrong. Its kinda sad to watch you sign your petition, cause there is no such thing a the gun show loop hole, but your putting a lot of effort into it and wasting your time. Your lack of understanding of these tools leaving you without the understanding to make a clear decision and direction. Therefore your discussion about the what and the why is confusing to the rest of us. Guns do produce dangerous levels of sound, suppressors could save the hearing of many people. But again your lack of understanding is limiting in the conversation. Suppressors will make it quieter, less likely to damage your ears, but its still loud and clearly being a gun fired.
    About a 20-30 db drop. The constitution does not say who you train with or what limits are ok. I’m not sure how filming you is intimidation, but in a world where you are afraid of everything, I guess cameras are scary too. We are filmed everywhere, why does it only scare you there? But you’re a really nice guy, but not too smart, and want to do “something”. I would suggest some education or a DR to work on that excessive fear of cameras. By the way, out of the 360 million guns in the USA .0001% of them are ever involved in crimes.

  • Allen Scheer

    Just a few points:

    1) Most people who favor “Universal Background Checks” don’t know what that means. They either think that there are no background checks now at all, or they are confused in some other way.

    2) Six or seven states currently have “Universal Background Checks”. There is no genuine evidence that they reduce crime or gun deaths. To be fair, bought-and-paid-for “studies” show that they make a difference … but scratching the surface shows horribly flawed methodology.

    4) RE: “Whether such checks would reduce gun violence in this country is debatable, but there’s no reason for anyone to be opposed to background checks unless they believe they couldn’t pass one.” Incorrect. One very good reason to oppose them is that they don’t accomplish anything. Just doing “something” is not the same thing as doing something EFFECTIVE. Feel good initiatives are waste of time and money … reason enough to oppose them.

    5) Video taping anything done in public is a function of the 1st Amendment … surely you don’t oppose that as well? Or perhaps people should be limited to quill pens, since that’s all they knew about at the signing of the document? Calling this “intimidation” is ridiculous.

    6) RE: “First we decided to let any yahoo carry a concealed weapon.” This is simply a falsehood. Nowhere in the U.S. is just “any yahoo” allowed to carry concealed. Most states require a permit, which involves being vetted by local law enforcement, state law enforcement and the FBI. (“Triple background check”, if you like). In those states which do not require a permit, it is still illegal for felons (even non-violent) or those mentally ill to own or carry firearms.

    7) RE: “At this point I could care less whether background checks would have any effect on gun violence or not” I know. It’s pretty obvious that the point of your rant has nothing to do with public safety or gun violence. I applaud this level of honesty, as it’s so uncommon for irrational gun-grabbers to say it out loud.

    8) RE: “Maine has a lot of guns and relatively little gun violence. That’s not the point.” Well it really sort of IS the point, as it demonstrates that there is no necessary cause/effect relationship between gun ownership and the kinds of horrible events you say you want to prevent. Why are you calling for measures which – by your own admission – do nothing, and about which (see previous) you really don’t care?

    9) RE: “It’s simply time for the good people of Maine to take a stand, to take back some of their rights from those who have adopted the politics of threat and intimidation that Paul LePage has inflicted on the state.” So, the horror (!) of someone videotaping public proceedings, means we should pass gun laws … of the kind you admit won’t/don’t make a difference and don’t care about anyway.

    Yes, that’s “common sense” I suppose /sarcasm.

  • Barry Hirsh

    Re: Title

    And WE are sick of YOU.

    Yet more liberal poopstink.

  • SamAdams1776

    Well, MR Edgar Allen POE

    Freedom is not on your priority list. My so-called NEED is my right to have the weapons that MAY be needed to prevent or overthrow tyranny.

    The Right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental, natural right–we don’t get that right from the Second Amendment–for that matter we don;t get any rights from the Bill of Rights. If you bothered to read the PREAMBLE to the Bill of Rights, you would see its purpose is to RESTRICT government from interfering with those rights–rights the Bill of Rights assumes, not grants.

    Where did you get the idea that my rights–any of them are subject to the democratic process, or for that matter to any arguments grounded in social utility? They are neither!

    So NO! NO! NO! But if you want intimidation and “Gun Violence,” by all means, you come try and take them

    A former army officer
    SamAdams1776 III Oath keeper
    Molon Labe
    No Fort Sumters
    Qui tacet consentit
    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
    Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges.
    Idque apud imperitos humanitas vocabatur, c u m pars servitutis esset

  • Les Abbott

    I am sorry you are such a sackless whiner, stamping your feet all over the place because you don’t get your way. there is a reason better men than you put these amendments in place. I find it ironic that you are sitting here on the web, practicing the RIGHTS as stated in the First Amendment, KNOWING that it is protected by the 2nd. According to your “ideal world”, how long do you think you would be able to enjoy that right to free speech? Probably not long……But, you “don’t care”…..

  • James Post

    On the one hand, I give credit to Mr. Beem for writing his views on gun ownership, registration, etc. On the other hand, he sure seems to be categorical in his denunciation of anyone who disagrees with him. Not a good way to convince people. However, a lot of the comments against Mr. Beem go beyond the pale. Seems like we will never be able to have a good dialog on this important issue.

    I have been fortunate to know lots of law abiding gun owners, and most are willing to see some controls, but they fear that the controls are simply the first step toward severe limitations/confiscation. Mr. Beem’s opposition to the very existence of the second amendment would not encourage a law abiding gun owner to try to find common ground with Mr, Beem. Nevertheless, I do give him credit for being open about it.

    Mr. Beem states he does not care if the universal background checks would have any effect on gun violence. He wants to stand up to the pro gun lobby. Seems he has mostly an emotional approach to background checks at this point.

    It scares me that the police could determine “demonstrated need” for concealed weapons. The Baltimore Police might not be qualified to determine such a need, since they let the rioters have their way, without protecting the law abiding business owners. The same police whom countless progressives accuse of having so many racists in their ranks would be deciding yes or no on the question of that demonstrated need.

    Not an easy issue, and the over the top responses show the other side of the problem. No respect for the intelligence or intentions of those with whom they disagree.

    As I have said in other posts on guns, the restrictions would have little favorable impact on mass killings although they would help the impulsive, enraged person who buys a gun and uses it in a fury.

    This controversy will continue, and finding middle ground, as we can see by the back and forth, is as elusive as ever. But, make no mistake about it, premeditated killers are not going to obey laws on registration, etc, and with the internet, connecting illegal buyer to illegal seller will be very easy, no matter what the law. That does not mean the laws should not exist, it just seems we are expending lots of time on what will be marginal benefit.

  • Clifford Mechels

    Any firearm sold by a dealer must have a background check performed and approved before the sale can be completed, even at gun shows. The private sale “loophole” only applies to sales between non dealers, that are residents of the same state, if they aren’t it has to go through dealers in both states.

  • TyreByter

    “In an ideal world here’s what we’d do about guns. First, we’d replace the Second Amendment with a law stating that gun ownership is a privilege, not a right.”

  • Joe

    Two points, private sales between two people are just that. Private. It doesn’t matter where they are done, including at a kitchen table.

    Second It does equal registration. You see every single transaction through a dealer (including at gun shows) goes on a form 4473. Those are retained for a minimum of 20 years by the dealer and if the dealer closes or sells the shop between 0-20 years, all those forms get transferred to the government. With every form either in the governments hands or a pen stroke away from being collected from dealers there is your registration.

    The only way I could even think about agreeing to this would be for the 4473’s to be destroyed instantly, as soon as the check cleared. Since the government can’t be trusted to do that, it’s a moot point.

    Throughout history registration has preceded confiscation. Every single time. I have no idea what 20 or 100 years holds in store for America but America has locked citizens in concentration camps, they’d slaughtered woman and children numerous times, the most famous being Wounded Knee, and they’ve turned on it’s Veterans during the bonus march killing or severely injuring hundreds.

    Every time a populous has been disarmed, a genocide of one segment of the population always followed within a generation.

    Sorry, every life matters and that’s why registration must be opposed at every single step.

  • I was wondering what it’s like to be born with no brains, balls or spine. After reading your little rant, now I know…try to not be afraid of inanimate objects and learn that the people who use them to commit crimes are the ones to be concerned with.

  • Frank Clarke

    There is this weird meme prevalent through the anti-gun community that gun shows are some sort of underground economy where normal laws don’t apply. Nothing could be further from the truth, and when you write things like this everyone who has actually been to a gun show snickers at your naivete.

    Let me set you straight. If someone buys a gun from someone who is not a federal firearms licensee (FFL), there is no requirement to perform a BGC. In all other cases, a BGC will be performed. ALL other cases, period. At their store, in your garage, behind the cathedral at dawn, or at the gun show, it doesn’t matter where, it doesn’t matter when.

    Virtually NO ONE who sets up a (gun sales) table at a gun show is NOT a FFL. Now for the logic problem: what %age of gun sales at a gun show will NOT be accompanied by a BGC?

    A: virtually none. It is possible that Jed will walk the aisles with a cardboard sign around his neck saying “Colt .44 Magnum; make offer” and it is possible that someone will make him an offer that he accepts, and a gun will be sold w/o a BGC. This will happen rarely, but the laws you’re talking about would require me to BGC my daughter before I sell her my old pistol.

    No. Take a hike.

  • Kevin McCarthy

    Well, Ed, you at least were able to elicit the evidence of gun-sickness.

  • Chris Crowley

    Why the hate for women and the elderly?

  • MaineCWP

    Edgar needs to pee in a cup – Intellectually dishonest at every level.

  • Whiskey_and_Porkchops

    Milquetoast pantywaist progressive, straight out of central casting.

  • PavePusher

    Your ignorance, arrogance, paranoia and psychological projection are noted.

    May I please see your First, Fourth, Thirteenth and Twenty-Sixth Amendment Permits?

  • peterplus

    Here’s the real truth, Mr. Beem. The 2nd amendment does not guarantee the right of every moron to carry an automatic weapon. And currently in America, the vast majority of gun owners who oppose meaningful gun regulations are morons. They reveal themselves to be morons in the comments to your latest column. And the primary reason these morons own guns is because they are also cowards who are trying hard to believe they could protect themselves. The truth is, most of them would end up shooting themselves if they were ever in harm’s way. I certainly wouldn’t want a moron trying to protect me. Here’s the solution: Police departments administer a basic IQ test to determine if you are intelligent enough to own a gun. I am willing to bet my Charles Daly Model 635 shotgun that the vast majority of those whose comments appear here would not have a chance of passing the test and would have their guns confiscated for the safety of their neighbors.

    • Sianmink

      When they administer the same test to voters or people who want to reproduce or post idiocy on the internet, we’ll talk.
      Until then, our rights are guaranteed. Your strawman accusations are so old and tired they were declared legally deceased a decade ago.

    • Christopher Armour

      Look everybody!! It’s a real, live, FUDD.

    • RetLEO

      Ah, yes. The ‘intelligent’ FUDD rears his head. Based on your shrill comment, I’m fairly certain that few of the so-called morons would rush to your defense. What is it with your kind? You can’t make a coherent argument so you resort to name-calling? Your hero-author above has already admitted that he doesn’t care if a proposed law works at all. And you cal US morons? By the way, which law enforcement agency is tasked with protecting the public? Answer…none. We are there to protect the law. And I’ll take your bet. Most law-abiding gun owners are more than qualified and safe. Or do you think it’s somehow random that so few of the 100 million plus gun owners make the news. Please crawl back under your rock…

  • whitney slater

    In response to the terminally ignorant, I’d like to explore the idea that we regulate cars like we do guns.

    To buy or operate a standard car, one will have to be 18 years old. Under that age, adult supervision will be mandatory. This means the adult must be in the
    vehicle with the under age driver.

    To buy a sports car, you will have to be 21. A “Sports car” will be defined as any
    combination of any two of the following: 2 doors instead of 4, spoked
    rims not requiring hubcaps, aerodynamic effects such as spoilers or
    air dams, a wheelbase under 100 inches, a manual transmission, a curb
    weight under 3000 lbs, fiberglass or other non-metal construction, or
    painted logos.

    For every purchase, you will have to fill out a questionnaire confirming you’re a US citizen, do not use drugs or abuse alcohol, have never had a conviction for alcohol related incidents or reckless driving. Lying on this form will be punishable
    by 10 years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.

    New cars will only be purchased from Federal Automobile Licensees who must provide fingerprints, proof of character, secure storage for all vehicles,
    and who must call the Federal Bureau of Motor Vehicles to verify your
    information before purchase. They may approve or decline or delay the
    sale. If they decline, you may appeal the decision in writing to a review board. If they delay, it becomes an approval automatically after 10 days. However, the dealer may decline to complete such a sale in case of later problems.

    Some vehicle law convictions will result in loss of your driving privileges forever. This includes reckless operation, drunk driving, an incorrect bumper height or attachment, or the wrong type of exhaust. Collisions may also result in permanent loss of driving, if injury occurs and negligence is proven. In addition, any felony
    conviction of any kind–even tax evasion–will mean permanent loss of
    your driving privileges. In these cases, it will even be illegal to ride or sit in a friend’s car.

    There is also discussion of prohibiting brightly colored vehicles. Vehicles are transportation, not toys, and should not be marketed in a way that suggests they are
    intended for casual use. It is important that everyone be aware of the dangerous nature of cars.

    In the future, we may have to consider large displacement engines (anything over 2.5 liters) and transmissions with more than three speeds as being High Performance Items to be added to the federal registry. There will be a window during which you can register your items for $2000 each, provided you meet the background check. Otherwise, you will have to immediately surrender them to an FAL/SOT to dispose of on your behalf. Operating an unlicensed HPV after this
    date will result in confiscation and destruction of the vehicle, and
    the 10/$10,000 punishment.

    Eventually, we need to move away from the notion that owning and operating a vehicle is a right and entitlement, and limit it to people with a proven, bona fide
    professional need. There are plenty of trains

  • The_Jack

    ” At this point I could care less whether background checks would have any effect on gun violence or not.”

    So…. you’re admitting the laws you want aren’t about reducing crime. And you openly state that you /want/ mass bans and confiscation. And you bemoan why gun owners won’t compromise with you?

    Why it’s almost like your motives are suspect!

    Lines like “learn the hard way that if you abuse a freedom you can lose it.” give a very *strong* suggestion that you are motivated by spite and want to punish those you disagree with. Again if you demand a gun law that you don’t even *care* if it saves lives shows that your actual interest is in using the state to punish people you don’t like.

  • Sean Sorrentino

    So this guy wants to turn every hunter who hands his rifle to his hunting buddy as he crosses a fence into a felon. Nice.

  • tiresias75

    Thank you, Ed – excellent column as always. Ignore the knuckle-draggers….

  • Emfourty Gasmask

    Lol. As if the pro gun side isn’t sick of weak-willed beta males and social elite telling us what to do because guns are icky and scary. Please. This article highlights every reason why the anti gun movement is going nowhere.. because nobody is buying this BS anymore.

    I’m going to buy a new gun today now and name it the Beemer. Just so I’m reminded of the fact that there is somebody that gets their panties in a bunch over a piece of metal and plastic.

  • cgray

    “The gun lobby has won”. Uh, no. It would be the 100 million law abiding, free Americans who have won. We have defeated, and will continue to defeat, totalitarian leftists like yourself.

  • Sianmink

    So it comes down to: you hate guns so they should be illegal.
    Change guns to ‘black people’ to really see how very wrong you are.
    I encourage and welcome you to start the process to amend the Constitution.

  • Louis Marschalko

    Newspaper columnists should have to pass a background check before publishing their opinions too. What’s sauce for the Second Amendment is sauce for the First Amendment.

  • Jeffrey Liss

    Sure, right after we do the same for the First Amendment to prevent clueless leftists from getting on the internet and spouting ill-informed drivel. After all, the pen is mightier than the sword, right? How many millions have gone to their deaths because of the words of politicians, lawyers, academics, and yellow journalists?

  • Glen Ellestad

    And to exercise their First Amendment rights, journalists’ work would be reviewed every two years, and if their articles weren’t completely fact-checked and balanced they could no longer write

  • Christopher Armour

    “At this point I could care less whether background checks would have any effect on gun violence or not.”

    Wow, you’re some kind of awesome critical thinker Mr. Beem.

  • Hinson

    Funny, the Bill of Rights is not called the bill of privileges for a reason.

  • Sianmink

    “we, the people, have the right to be free from intimidation”
    And if you don’t agree with me, we’ll send armed employees of the state into your home to force compliance.

  • Chipsterr

    “… At this point I could care less whether background checks would have any effect on gun violence or not.”

    Very few of the anti-gun crowd are willing to say openly that the only thing they want to do is limit the freedoms of others. Thank you for your honestly. It is very refreshing to hear in a veritable sea of co-called ‘common sense solutions.’

  • Alex

    My personal advice is talk to people who have lived behind the iron curtain about having less rights, and being intimidated.

    The primary reason that what this country does works is that there is a level of accountability by its citizens to themselves. There are plenty of states where the governments heavily regulate firearms. Perhaps you should go see one. I suggest Mexico.

  • John Suppressors

    In my perfect world the right to vote would be a privilege restricted as follows…
    1. Property owners 35 and up.
    2. College graduate in a productive field, IE no liberal arts or social sciences.
    3. Ineligible if you take food stamps or welfare.
    4. Apply to a board of currently approved voters to determine if you make good decisions. This would be required every year.
    5. IQ of at least 120

    In my perfect world the right to free speech would be a privilege. No written free speech of any kind unless it was with a quill and ink, or hand set printing press. Use of anything not conceived of by the founding Fathers would be illegal without a permit.
    You would be allowed to apply for a permit to a group of free speech judges. Your concepts of writing properly would be judged to see if what you are planning on writing about is 100% truthful and of a topic that wouldn’t upset anyone or make them feel uncomfortable.
    Failure to do so would be a felony and up to 10 years in prison.

    In my perfect world you would have no right to secure your person or property. If the police think you look guilty of anything they have the right to strip search you immediately or enter your home and search.

    If your perfect world restricts the second amendment to your ideal then you can expect my perfect world and worse to follow. Sorry Mr Beem but I don’t want to go that route. You don’t like firearms and that’s fine. Nobody says you have to own them. You have just as much right to take them as I have to tell you to stop writing about it.
    The gunshow loophole is out and out false. Probably 95% of sellers at a gun show are licensed dealers. They have to perform a background check on every sale the same as if the gun was sold in their shop. Any sales by others that don’t go through a background check are private sales. Private sales are no different than the sales that happen when someone places an ad for a gun in most major newspapers on any given day. Guns you own are no different than the car you own. Your free to sell it to whomever you wish whenever you wish.
    You would ban suppressors? Why? What danger does a devise that acts no different than the muffler on your car pose to anyone? First of all they are not like what you see on TV or the movies. They are far from silent. The crack of a bullet traveling faster than the speed of sound is almost as loud as the blast from the gun. At best suppressors stop hearing damage. However if your using one on a rifle you still will need hearing protection as the sound will still be above safe levels.
    I also see you don’t like standard capacity magazines. Most handguns store the ammunition in the handgrip. The handgrip is large enough to hold between 10 and 20 pistol rounds depending on caliber. That is the standard size or normal capacity. There is nothing large about it. What you want is minimized magazines. Instead of common sense that says 15 bullets fit nicely you want to waste space to make yourself feel better. I could care less about your feelings.
    You also lump semi-auto and automatic firearms together. They are completely different and while there are full automatic firearms in the hands of the public they are expensive and rare. Not only that but the only time a legal full auto weapon was used in a crime the criminal was a police officer. So no I don’t feel safer if only the police have them.
    Assault weapons is a made up term. The only assault weapons being sold are those sold to military and police. Assault weapons are full automatic rifles. We can no longer buy them and haven’t been able to since 1986.
    So while your proposal will not do anything, and you even admit it, you still want to violate my rights just so you can say you did something. I think you must have a mental disorder. Put your keyboard away before you hurt someone, please.

    • KC1979


      • PavePusher

        Aaaaaaand we have our first disqualifyee for voting.

        • KC1979


  • Ted Varias

    People like Mr. Beem are the enemy of a free people.

    This is the tyranny our founders warned us about.

    Perhaps Mr. Beem would like to move to a part of the world where he would be a subject to the crown instead of a citizen in a constitutional republic?

  • Kyle Guthrie


    I am overwhelmingly happy you were NOT involved in the formation of our nation, nor have any ability to act upon your dream.

  • Frank C.

    Why is it that the liberals always want to take things and rights away from other people, just not themselves? You know as well as I do that not one of the mass shooters bought their weapons using a gun purchased at a gun show.

  • Chad

    You bring some interesting thoughts. A few questions, though. Should we also consider doing similar things with other amendments? Right to vote? Maybe you must pass a knowledge check about current events, current leaders, past leaders, American history, etc, before being afforded the right to vote. People ignorant of the current issues and where the nominees stand on those issues can cause terrible damage by they votes they cast out of ignorance.

    How about the 1st amendment. Should the press really be free to say whatever they want? Maybe their influence is too large, and we should limit that freedom as well. Before you argue that guns kill people and words don’t, look at all of the suicides caused by bullying. What’s that about words not killing??? Words DO kill. Sometimes, it a long and painful death.

    Maybe we should not allow people to remain silent when arrested. Maybe people should be called to account for themselves. Sometimes, it takes too long for a legal representative to show up. We can’t always wait for that.

    How do you feel about your right against illegal search and seizure? After all, why would you be searched, if they didn’t have good reason to anyway? And regardless of your explanation for why you’re carrying something you shouldn’t be, they cops know your just trying to save your neck by telling a lie.

    Our founders were actually pretty intelligent men. The lived through some difficult times and had plenty of time and experience to help guide them through the process of enumerating the existing human rights that their prior leaders, ie the king of England, refused to acknowledge. Our leaders wanted to ensure that those abuses would never happen again. Don’t be too hasty in denouncing something you likely don’t fully understand.

  • Max

    In an ideal world here’s what we’d do about the media.
    First, we’d replace the First Amendment with a law stating that writing for the
    press is a privilege, not a right. Only people over 21 who have passed an extensive
    background check and a “approved writing topics” course would be allowed to own
    a word processor, subject to certain limitations. No silicon-chip computers. No
    auto correct. No LAZER printers. No editors. Access to anything other than a
    Gutenberg Press is contingent only upon demonstrated need . . .

    … All writers are to attended workshops on government-approved
    topics once every two years with local political officers because, after all,
    the right to free speech is not about opinion, it’s about maintaining a an
    organized and government-approved press. None of this is likely to occur of
    course, but, at the very least, we should make every effort to pass government-controlled universal journalism control. At this point I could care less whether free
    expression or free press maters to you or not.

  • RetLEO


    “At this point I could care less whether background checks would have any effect on gun violence or not”…Really? Why would you or anyone else advocate for ANY law addressing ANY issue that doesn’t work?

    Maybe you should try reading the Bill of Rights, Federalist Papers, Declaration of Independence…you know, the documents that founded the nation…those that describe Unalienable Rights…those that come from the Creator (or Nature, if you are atheist), NOT the government. Changing the Second Amendment to fit you agenda is no different than repealing any or all of the original amendments in the Bill of Rights.

    In other words, you are advocating that the government destroy the BoR and the concept of Unalienable Rights. You aren’t even advocating steps that, the Constitution and BoR notwithstanding, will even have a positive impact.

    I am thankful that your opinion (protected by the same Bill of Rights that you would gut) is just that and carries no force.
    Then we would have a problem…

  • Ben Gordon

    This guy assumes that the Constitution grants rights.

  • rcerke79

    The problem the writer, along with every other anti-2a person has, is they believe the constitution grants rights to the people. The constitutions sole purpose was to limit what government can do, not the people. In essence what that means is the 2a was written to limit what government can do. Even if the 2a is completely repealed the fact remains that the the founders believed the right to bear arms is a natural right we are born with, not granted by what someone wrote on a piece of paper. In fact they thought this was such a given that many of them thought the bill of rights was not even needed.

  • David Noble

    “we should make every effort to pass a universal background-check law. At
    this point I could care less whether background checks would have any
    effect on gun violence or not.”

    And there it is. It’s not about reducing violence or saving lives, it’s about control.
    And if you read between the lines the only way universal background checks work is if you have universal registration.

  • BD Barney

    And I’m sick of bad ideas, like this article.

  • KevinK

    Apparently the reasons for the Revolution, and the ideals enshrined in both the Declaration and Constitution escape you. You demonstrate a complete lack of knowledge of natural rights and the purpose of the Bill of Rights within the confines of the Constitution. It’s not a framework or rights granted by the government. It’s a list of the rights that the government is not allowed to touch. Our nation’s founding fathers understood exactly how they ended up in the situation they were in: despotic government rule. Once people hand over complete control to a government, they have complete control.

    Your assertion that gun owners view the government as the enemy is false. We don’t view the government as the enemy, but we clearly understand that a government that remains uncontested in power can easily *become* the enemy. Ben Franklin clearly understood this, and I quote, “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.”

    That is the reason that 2A defines the right to bear arms as an uncontested, natural right. Until you can grasp the concept of natural rights you will likely never truly “get it.”

    Lastly, your apparent understanding of firearms, use of terminology, the actual purpose and meaning of the 2A, and what I feel amounts to a clear lack of any hands-on experience with anything related to a firearm is abysmal. There’s no such thing as an “assault weapon.” It’s a nonsense category. If I assault someone with a pencil it falls into that category. More people are killed by “assault hammers & blunt objects” each year than anything that falls into your false idealization of an “assault weapon.”

    Stick to writing about unfair taxes on feminine hygiene products – I’ll wager it’s something you’re far more familiar with. Oh, and in fact you do NOT have the right to demand that I do anything.

  • Bacon Chaser

    You, sir, are a complete and utter moron. And that is the nicest terms in which I can possibly phrase it.

    What I want to call you and others like you has no place in civil discourse, so I will refrain from using those terms. Which is far more considerate than you and others like you act, with your constant use of bigotry.

  • Joel Drake

    In an “ideal world,” sir, nobody would ever need a gun. Heck, we wouldn’t even need cops or the government because we’d all mind our business, trade peacefully, and live in harmony.

    Sadly, we DON’T live in an ideal world. We have threats to our lives and to our family’s lives. And it’s OUR responsibility to protect ourselves. And it’s our RIGHT to be able to do that.

    Mr. Beem, this is a stupid idea. Thank God you’re not in a position of power.

  • Mike Crognale

    How’s this for intimidation fool. You and the rest of the Moms Demand Action for Gunsense and Bloomberg and his Everytown organizations are guilty of TREASON. You either support the Constitution and the Bill of Rights or you are a traitor. Period.

  • Tony Jeralds

    more leftist, elitist lies. If you know a law won’t work (universal BGC) and push for them anyway, sounds to me like an abuse of the system-much the same as a frivolous lawsuit. These guys love touting European gun control models, ignoring the fact that many of those countries make no law against use of, or encourage-even require- use of a silencer. But guys like these base all their gun “knowledge” of the Rambo or James Bond movies they’ve seen. It’s frightening that people like this may have an influence over the minds of others. Very dangerous thinking. But freedom of speech, right? Nevermind the fact that it’s that pesky, pointless, unnecessary 2A that secured and ensured the right to free speech.

  • jsmith5893

    Re: “but there’s no reason for anyone to be opposed to background checks”

    In Colorado where a similar law was passed in 2013, many dealers (FFLs) refuse to do the checks because (1) they make no money on the transaction (2) it ties up a sales person and the fee the state allows them to charge for doing the service will not cover his time, overhead costs, or the sales lost by not being able to wait on other customers. (3) BATF rules for the transaction require them to temporarily move a privately owned firearm into their inventory which requires paperwork that can be a potential source of errors which will be dinged in a BATF audit (4) The form 4473 they are required to keep on the transaction becomes a potential liability because some BATF inspectors will ding them for nits like abbreviations or illegible entries – and after a certain number of dings, you can loose your license. FFLs put up with all of this as a cost of doing business when they make money selling a firearm but they have found it’s not worth it if all they are doing is the background check

  • Justsomeguy

    To the author. No.

  • yathink2011

    It makes you wonder if the businesses that advertise in the Forecaster read these articles, and know that it could have an affect on their sales. Why would I support a business that supports this type of thinking?

  • Don Mei

    I’m really impressed. You managed to crap on our natural rights protected by both the first and second amendments all in one paragraph:

    We, the people, have the right to demand that anyone buying a gun pass a background check and we should do so. And we, the people, have the right to be free from intimidation. If we need a law to prohibit videotaping at the polls, let’s do it.

    You seem to forget the fact that the same protections that allow you to say pretty much whatever you want are the same protections that allow someone to video tape in public. Your position is actually interesting. Since most people in the media are (as they should be) first amendment extremists.

  • peterplus

    Throughout the
    history of America, conservative so-called Christian republicans have opposed
    all meaningful social change. They opposed social security. They opposed medicare. They opposed the Civil Rights
    Bill. They opposed equal rights
    for people who didn’t share their sexual practices. They lost on all these issues. Sometime in the next twenty
    years they will lose on gun control as well and history will look back on their
    opposition the way history now looks back on those who opposed integration of
    schools. Conservative so-called Christian republicans who believe in a virgin
    birth but don’t believe the polar ice caps are melting even when you show them
    photographs of the polar ice caps melting are doomed by their own ignorance to
    lose every fight.

    • yathink2011

      You got some photos?

    • James Post

      If the conservatives lost on “all these issues”, and we thus have a society in which the liberals have won out, why do we have so many problems in this country? Liberals have gotten their way, and we see what it has produced. You got your “meaningful social change” and things are certainly not humming along beautifully.

  • Nathan Fellows

    The gun show loophole, the lie that just won’t die.

  • Nathan Fellows

    “Maine has a lot of guns and relatively little gun violence. That’s not the point.”

    I would have though that was exactly the point. No, no, lets fix what isn’t broken.

  • Rob

    You’ve got to be kidding, there is no gun show loop hole. Every time I’ve purchased a gun at a gun show a background check had to be done. Fear mongers the whole lot of you. Why did you move to Brunswick, we don’t want you here. Rest assured we will vote this down just like we’ve done before. You don’t like it leave coward.

  • John McPherson

    Well we do agree with you, you are truly sick. I do love to breath the free air of this country, but when I see people like you wishing to tax the air I inhale I am afraid. Maybe we need someone to review your writings before publishing. After all, while we are changing the Bill of Rights, we might as well fix this “free press” problem also.

  • Kevin McCarthy

    The looniness exhibited by the vast number of comments here might be entertaining if there weren’t an underlying menace implicit (in some cases explicit) in many of them. This column has appeared in at least 3 different so-called conservative websites. Several of the comments here have been cut-and-pasted from other publications. Several of the commenters here are have made startlingly bigoted, misogynistic or just plain stupid comments on other topics in other publications. There’s even a spillover to another story in The Forecaster about gun sale regulation. About 6 weeks ago, another columnist asked to have a conversation about guns. I’d like to believe we can. But looking at the comments here, it seems unlikely.

    • James Post

      This is an emotional issue, There are lots of issues that fall into that category. We really have not advanced this gun control dialog in my lifetime. We all have to ask, about this, and other issues, “is my role in the discussion putting heat, or light, on the subject?”. I clearly see that most of the responses are heat. We should try to be governed by one concept: a person who disagrees with me on an issue is not evil, or possessing bad intentions, simply because the person has a different point of view. We should also ask ourselves, “when have I been wrong on an issue?”. Thoughtful posters, outnumbered as they are, should not be drawn into the mud with the insults and the threats of other posters.

      • yathink2011

        So what you’re saying is that what you think is right, and what everyone else thinks is wrong? And you disguised it with a well written paragraph. You should write a column for the Forecaster.

        • James Post

          Since you asked the question, here is my response: I think that what I think is right, or I would not think it. That is not the same as my categorically stating that I am right.

          Additionally, I believe in dialog, because there certainly is a possibility I am wrong. What I emphasize is that we are not going to resolve problems if we start out with the view that an opponent is evil, lacking intelligence, and without integrity. Good people can disagree on things, and we should keep that in mind, in discussing all issues, not just guns. There is too much in the way of insults and vilification in our dialog.

          • yathink2011

            Thank you for taking the time to write that. Next question, so Edgar Allan Beem thinks whatever he says is right, and whatever everyone else thinks is wrong? You can’t disagree with that can you? I think there are too many insults on both sides, but it’s the nature of these comment boards don’t you think?

          • James Post

            Being able to move people to my cause means having contact with all types of views. Individuals do not change very quickly, but over time, cultures and societies change, through constructive communications. It is not easy but it happens.

            Hatch and Kennedy were political opposites in the Senate, and great friends. Dole and McGovern, the same, and they found areas where they could work together, to help a lot of people.

            I have recently started to read Mr Beem’s columns, and do not find him particularly respectful of the opinions of others, but responding to him in tirades distracts from the substance of the issue, and focuses the debate on the tirades, not on the issue. Additionally, I learned long ago that getting angry and staying angry at someone does me more harm than it does to the object of my displeasure.

            There is plenty of reason to disagree with Mr Beem, but he uses his real name, and we see his picture, Given the number of violent people in society, that takes courage. You never know when some nut will take offense to a column, and go too far. It has happened.

            The nature of these boards is for over the top comments, but I am not obliged to follow that example. And, no doubt about it, if a person on the left thinks the intolerance and insults are only from right wingers, that person is divorced from reality, The same can be said of those on the right who only the left’s intolerance. Too much use of off the shelf talking points from too many people. I hope I can resist that.

          • yathink2011

            I highly respect your view, and everything that you wrote. I agree that constructive communication is required to affect change. But I sadly believe that the days of any communication are over, and we are in a disagreement mode. I also think both sides are guilty. One of the differences I see, is that Mr Beem has the podium, and is paid to write his opinions. Those that reply have a tendency to over-react, myself included, because many of the podium holders in this country have similar views as Mr Beem, and Americans as a whole, in my humble opinion, have some sheep in their blood. I can see no other reason why Americans would support Bill and Hillary Clinton, based on their track record. I can see no other reason why Americans would elect a Community Organizer as President, for two terms, who has clearly been over his head for the past 7 years. But those two beliefs come from my own belief of what a society should be like. I have recently tried to stop my knee jerk comments on these forums, but do once in a while like to write something to get a reaction, and to start, or further a conversation. Sadly, some of what I have read recently tells me I am wasting my time. Hopefully someday, constructive communication makes a return.

          • James Post

            Optimism springs eternal. Demographics will keep the Democrats in the White House for the a few more terms. But, this country is very resilient. Eventually, people will see that scapegoating corporations, the NRA, and upper income people may make your electorate feel good, but it won’t solve too many problems. But also remember that advocating reasonable gun controls is worth discussing, and yes, as efficient and effective as capitalism is in lifting people out of poverty, it is not evil to oppose crony capitalism and corporate wrongdoing.

      • Kevin McCarthy

        I agree with you. Opinions aren’t right or wrong. But they can be assessed on the basis of their reasoning, particularly with regard to their underlying empirical foundation. We have too often come to accept the mindless recitation of talking points and the incoherent exhortations of desire as “opinions.” There’s a difference between passion and pathology. In the context of discussions about guns that distinction is almost non-existent.

        • James Post

          “Underlying empirical foundation”- I did not get far enough in school to understand that without a dictionary.

          The posters on this forum and on this subject are certainly more in the pathology and less into passion. The insults run wild, and we get nothing accomplished.

          On the gun issue, I know from personal experience that most gun owners I have met, and I know plenty of them, realize that guns are very dangerous, by their nature, and are open to reasonable controls at the point of sale. They don’t post on this forum. Neither do 99% of the readers of Mr. Beem’s articles.

          You have not stated it, but let’s make it quite clear that the over the top insults are by no means restricted to the issue of guns, nor are they restricted to one ideology. The art of respectful dialog has taken quite a beating over the years, and there is plenty of blame to go around.

          If you want to see a bipartisan example of pathology, look at
          nearly any discussion about minimum wage, affirmative action,voter ID, or abortion. With respect to economics, you could not have a greater dichotomy of ideas between the late Milton Friedman and Paul Krugman. We should all be able to agree that both of these economists are/were quite intelligent.

          Milton Friedman did not have a malicious bone in his body, his compassion came from a different angle. Rarely did I read any recognition of the fundamental decency of Milton Friedman. Yes, you can find flaws in social security, and not be of the mind to throw the senior citizens off a cliff.

          We can all do better in our discussions, and I have evolved into that view, as I formerly practiced the scorched earth approach, and now realize it was counter productive. When good friends stop speaking to each other because one favors (for example) limits on abortion and the other does not, there is something wrong going on.

          My primary function on this forum, with respect to Mr Beem’s writings, is to challenge him, on his statements, not to counter the impossible: the committed ideologues who will not be convinced no matter what the evidence is. On occasion, I challenge posters, but if they are so far out on a fantasy flight from facts and reality, a general statement on the excesses is all I consider necessary.

  • Hermon36

    Why no mention of Bloomberg pumping hundreds of thousands of dollars into Maine to pay people who are out of work to collect petitions. If this was such a concern wouldn’t many Mainers step up and volunteer? Many people have been asked to sign this. When any questions are asked about the petition they get responses like, ‘This law prevents criminals from getting weapons,’ or, ‘This will get rid of the loophole that allows criminals to buy guns online or at a gun show.’

    Let’s fast forward.

    The law has become enacted and now we’re all required to do an FFL check on all private sales and TRANSFERS. So if my best friend of 20 years wants to borrow my 30-30 for deer hunting I need to go with him to an FFL, pay $50 for the check. He gets the gun then. All transferred. Now he needs to return it but now I need to pay another $50 and do another background check. $100 to let someone who I know better than my brother to borrow my rifle. This is what this law will do. This will only hurt law abiding gun owners. But this will prevent criminals from obtaining weapons, right? WRONG. You see the thing with criminals, they don’t follow laws so much. How will they get the weapon then? They will obtain them by stealing them. They will also have a strawbuyer like a wife or girlfriend. Heck if someone is broke they’ll pay them $50 to buy it for them. This does happen. This isn’t some kind of over the top tinfoil hat speculation.

    How will they ensure that all background checks are done? Well, I’m glad I asked myself that. It so happens there is a wonderful system that will be put into place to ensure all transfers are tracked. It’s call universal gun registration. They will keep the serial number of your gun on file. No biggie right? WRONG. This slippery slope has already played out in CT and CA. Once their registry was put in place Bloomberg’s next course of action was magazine size restrictions. CT went as far as attempting to confiscate firearms. They ran into one small snag though. When they ran the names of the cops through the system over 50% of them never registered their firearms. So how are you going to make a cop confiscate his own weapon? California has set $24,000,000 aside just to confiscate firearms. $24,000,000.

    I say bring it Bloomberg. This grassroots effort has ruffled some feathers I see. Story after story about the video taping. It’s legal so get over it. Personally I’d like to prevent any petition gathering inside of a polling place. It has no reason being there. It instead democracy at work. It isn’t part of the voting process. It’s people getting paid to sell Mainers out. This will never pass in Maine. Bloomberg is going to get steamrolled by a bunch of Mainers who don’t have billions of dollars.

    And Edgar, nobody is buying into any of this editorial. You present little to no facts. Everything you wrote is driven by emotion. What is good enough for you is NOT good enough for Maine. I look forward to your future complaining when this law never gets passed.

    You are responsible for your own life. Cops are minutes away when you need them. Buy a gun, train well, and conceal it proudly without permission from anyone. It’s our RIGHT! Don’t be scared to practice it.

  • You want people to only train every other year lol Are we allowed to train more then the police?? Is that allowed in your utopia??? What is it like to not have a clue? France is gun free, high regulations for law abiding citizens, did you notice criminals dont follow laws???

  • Alex Giger

    Dear Readers,

    There are numerous problems with this upcoming Universal Background Check
    (UBC) Referendum. Below is a partial list of the consequences of this gun
    control proposal.

    1. The fact is that this would take away freedoms, and impose time and money
    costs, on Mainers who have traditionally exercised their private sale and
    transfer freedoms responsibly.

    2. The fact is that this referendum goes way beyond gun SALES, and also
    controls all but a few narrowly defined gun TRANSFERS.

    For example, loaning a gun for a couple of weeks to the trusted victim of
    domestic abuse for personal protection would require a trip to a gun dealer to
    process the “transfer” – both coming AND going.

    3. The fact is that police and prosecutors are already overburdened, and
    creating a whole new class of “victim-less crime” UBC “criminals” has no realistic chance of being fairly and uniformly enforced or prosecuted. Please see Portland
    Press Herald Letter to the Editor dated 02/11/16.

    4. The fact is that young people aged 18-20 would have a de-facto handgun
    ban imposed on them by this referendum; without any debate, due process, or
    discussion. Please see SUN JOURNAL Letter to the Editor dated 02/04/16.

    5. The fact is that former NYC Mayor Bloomberg is behind this referendum. He
    paid for the signature gathering, getting it on the ballot, and he will pay the
    millions to promote it via ads, direct mail, TV commercials, etc. He has made a
    mockery of the citizen’s initiative process in Maine.

    There are many other problems with the referendum, but I will leave the
    reader to ponder these five (5) concern areas on their journey to really,
    really understanding what this gun control referendum is about.


    Alex Giger
    Naples, ME

    • Alex Giger

      Dear Readers,

      If the voters were to pass the Universal Background Check referendum, it would effectively “gut” Maine State law with regard to handgun ownership and concealed carry rights for the 18-20 year old age group. This would represent a significant imposition of new gun control in Maine.

      Readers should be aware that persons 18 years and older can own handguns in Maine.

      Readers should be aware that persons 18 years and older can apply for a Maine concealed carry permit.

      The voters of Maine owe these young people an open and proper discussion /
      debate before stripping them of their civil rights by voting for this referendum.

      We need to learn from the experience in Washington State (via referendum) and Oregon (via legislation) that imposed this “back door” handgun ban when they implemented Universal Background Checks.

      We can do better for these young people in Maine.


      Alex Giger
      Naples, ME

      • Alex Giger

        Dear Readers,

        If the voters were to pass the Universal Background Check referendum, it would effectively “gut” Maine State law with regard to handgun ownership and concealed carry rights for the 18-20 year old age group. This would represent a significant imposition of new gun control in Maine.

        Readers should be aware that persons 18 years and older can own handguns in Maine.

        Readers should be aware that persons 18 years and older can apply for a Maine concealed carry permit.

        The voters of Maine owe these young people an open and proper discussion / debate before stripping them of their civil rights by voting for this referendum.

        We need to learn from the experience in Washington State (via referendum) and Oregon (via legislation) that imposed this “back door” handgun ban when they implemented Universal Background Checks.

        We can do better for these young people in Maine.


        Alex Giger
        Naples, ME