A Response To Someone's Comments On Gun Control
Mar 12, 201301:59PM
Okay, Tad, there are several problems with your post.
First, your comment about "weapons of easy mass murder (like machine guns and rocket launchers) ".
The statement is nonsensical, and doesn't apply to common household guns. I could respond with "no one is talking about legalizing rocket launchers, this is an argument you're only having with yourself." Except that I AM trying to reduce the restrictions on rocket launchers and machine guns. I'll be honest. However, your statement shows you really don't know much about machine guns. In fact, I'd venture to guess TV provides most of your information about them.
Point of fact, I have a Browning 1919A4 conversion. It weighs 33 lbs. It's tripod mounted. I can fire 400 rounds in a minute, but it will cost me $200 in ammo to do so. No one is using these for crime, nor will they ever.
A friend of mine brought his full auto Uzi to our last shoot. Under current law, that gun cost $6000, a $200 tax stamp, requires written permission of the federal government to be taken out of state, and a 32 round magazine ($12) lasts about 3 seconds. Unless you're a trained professional, the best hit rate is likely to be THREE of those 32 rounds, at 15 yards. You won't find any records of anyone committing "mass murder" with these because anyone with the training to do so would find a better way to do it. Automatic weapons serve specific niches. "Mass murder" and "robbing banks" aren't two of those.
Also, the weapons Mme Feinstein is trying to ban are common, everyday rifles. That you don't like their looks (it's because they're black, isn't it?/sarc) isn't relevant. They're common, everyday rifles. Calling them "Assault weapons," a completely made-up term (I might as well call a Hummer a "military style assault vehicle") doesn't change their mechanics, nor define them.
Now, this is a legal and constitutional matter, so you will have to be precise about what you mean, using proper terminology and nomenclature. I understand guns aren't your thing, and you're not comfortable with them. The problem is: That doesn't matter.
Here's a comparison on rhetoric for you to consider:
From Obama's PR people:
"The President believes firmly in protecting our Second Amendment rights.
But common-sense changes can go a long way in keeping our streets and our schools safer -- and there's too much at stake to stand by and wait for action.
The President will not wait. Yesterday, he signed 23 executive actions to start moving our country in the right direction. And he's calling on Congress to act on four legislative measures -- closing background check loopholes, banning military-style assault weapons, "
Then he DOES NOT believe in protecting our Second Amendment rights.
"He believes in protecting a woman's right to choose. He has called on Congress to require waiting periods and ultrasound before abortion..."
"He believes in protecting our First Amendment rights. He has called on Congress to regulate bloggers to prevent hate speech..."
"He believes in protecting the rights of gays. He has called on Congress to strengthen the Defense of Marriage Act..."
"He believes in protecting our right to worship freely. He has called on Congress to pass laws challenging the tax exempt status of churches who argue against science..."
You cannot "protect" a right while calling for limitations on it.
I have a constitutionally guaranteed right to keep and bear arms. SCOTUS says so. I'm sorry it makes you feel uncomfortable. At this point, your options are education on the subject, or therapy. Otherwise, you're trying to negotiate away my rights in exchange for…what? A "compromise" requires each side to give something. So what are you going to give me in exchange?
I've never heard anyone from your side (well-intended or not) offer a "compromise." What they want is for me to give up something I have, in exchange for…nothing.
No. Happy now?
No? Oh, I'm sorry. How about "No"?
You're not getting what you want. End of discussion. You have nothing to offer, and it wouldn’t matter if you did.
Consider: What can the hardcore fundamentalists offer as a compromise for ending abortion? What can they offer in exchange for outlawing recognition for gay partners? What can they offer in exchange for outlawing pornography?
See the problem? You want 100% of what you have, and 50% of what I have. When you talk about "weapons of easy mass murder," you're conflating the concept with guns that I own, and guns that my teenage kids have owned since they were seven years old http://olegvolk.livejournal.com/551736.html
http://www.michaelzwilliamson.com/images/linked/EricBee2.jpg. Perfectly normal, common, guns, of the kind that shoot bullets, like every other gun. You do want to take those away from me, or make it more complicated for me to own them, and in exchange, you're offering me nothing.
So, it's not a compromise, so there is nothing to discuss.
And, SCOTUS says it's a constitutional right on my part. So again…nothing to discuss.
What we need to discuss is that you're afraid of something you can't effectively define in words, and you are a published author. If it's that hard for you, how hard is it for others? And why should we pass laws based on ignorance?
Now, here are a couple of links, that demonstrate what happens when people ignorant of a subject pass laws:
Let's look at that last part again:
"Some have made the argument, bordering on the frivolous, that only those arms in existence in the 18th century are protected by the Second Amendment. We do not interpret constitutional rights that way. Just as the First Amendment protects modern forms of communications, e.g., Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union, 521 U. S. 844, 849 (1997), and the Fourth Amendment applies to modern forms of search, e.g., Kyllo v. United States, 533 U. S. 27, 35–36 (2001), the Second Amendment extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding."."
Constitutional right. I keep repeating it because a lot of well-meaning people are not getting it: It doesn't matter if you're unhappy. It wouldn't matter even if there WERE a connection between particular guns and murder. Much like there is a connection between homosexuality and AIDS. Provably. We live in a free society. We accept that certain actions of the individual aren't always positive for the body politic. But you can't argue against one without logically arguing against others. You can say "porn causes rape" or "gays cause AIDS" or "guns cause death" and the answer is, "So what?" even if you could make a valid case for them.
And as you can see from the posts above—the laws don't work. No effect whatsoever. Rifles are involved in less than 400 killings a year, out of a third of a billion people. Statistically irrelevant, and no cost benefit analysis would support such laws—the police and legal effort is better used elsewhere. Cases in point: The rifle at Sandy Hook was in compliance with CT's so-called "assault weapon" ban. It wasn't an "assault weapon." At Va Tech, the shooter used reduced capacity 10 round magazines. Banning standard capacity magazines (Definitions again: you don't get to redefine them as "high capacity" or call them "clips" based on your phobia and ignorance) had no effect. So, now New York is asking for 7 round limits…from no limit to 30 to 20 to 15 to 10 to 7 in some jurisdictions. You CANNOT tell me, with that information, that "no one is trying to take away your guns." Yes, they are.
Let's look at New York's law again: We've already effectively eliminated ownership of machine guns. We've had bans on "assault weapons" that prohibit designs from the 1930s. New York's law, now under court injunction, prohibits designs from the 1890s. So tell me, at what year of design do we stop? When is your non-compromise enough? You personally are willing to sacrifice my rights back to the 1930s. That's the equivalent of me limiting you to a manual typewriter, film camera and dial phone, and telling you no one is taking away your right to free speech…but maybe some of those typists have put out some hateful ideas, and need to be stopped. What can't you express with a fountain pen?
So, I'm sorry you're not happy with one of my rights. I'm afraid there is no legal, moral or practical reason for me to compromise. You'll need to come to terms with this, and move on with life.
And regarding Constitutional amendments, which you will never get past 38 states: Remember how Prohibition turned out. If you really want a multibillion dollar black market and a bigger police state, there are much easier ways to do it. Please don't. Because I can build an AK47 in my garage: http://www.michaelzwilliamson.com/politics-The%20Steampunk%20AK47.html which means anyone with some 1900s machine tools can make thousands of them for a black market. Remember bathtub gin? Garage AKs, coming your way under a ban. Guns are a 1250s technology. Rifling is a 1570s technology. Self-loading weapons are an 1880s technology. You can't stop it.
That, and a whole bunch of us gun owners have decided liberals are not useful allies to us, http://www.michaelzwilliamson.com/blog/item/the-post-in-which-i-piss-off-everybody (about 250K, last time I checked the page count) and are looking out for ourselves. That means we're voting for "right wing" candidates, who will also oppose your positions on gays, porn, religion, speech and race issues. But those aren't my problems, and I have to put mine first. If you're willing to "compromise" my rights away, there is no reason for me not to compromise yours away in return, to save what matters to me. See how that works?
It doesn't matter whether you agree, or like it. It matters that it's what IS.
Now, let's look at other comments:
You said: "And, no, I don't think taking anyone's gun away is the same as inserting a probe into someone's body, nor is mandated anger management class."
And in your universe, you get to decide. In our society, SCOTUS has said you're wrong. It doesn't matter what you think. And that is the end of the discussion. Because if it's not, then your opponents' opinions on those other matters have to be given the same weight as yours. Also, you're admitting you think there are civil rights that can be restricted without it being "unreasonable." That means you have no moral standing to argue against restrictions on abortion, speech, etc. As you note, the question is where is reasonable. If Americans vote for it, using your logic, it's reasonable. Do you really want to go there?
Now, back to this:
"weapons of easy mass murder (like machine guns and rocket launchers) privately, except in certain collector-related circumstances."
"Collecting." So you're okay owning them as toys, but not for their intended use. Doesn't that seem a bit contradictory? "It's okay to own this horrible weapon I hate, for fun. Just don't use it." How would you enforce that? Again, you're using emotion over logic. If they were really that dangerous, and not a protected right, why would anyone be allowed to have them for any reason? "It's okay to have a canister of nerve gas, as a collectible." Really?
You said: "any more than you can drive a nitro-burning funny car down the streets of your neighborhood, unless you live on a drag strip."
But that's the point. Just as I take my funny car to the dragstrip, I take my .50 BMG to a range 80 miles from here that has a mountain as a backstop. It also is 4' long and weighs 28 lbs, and ammo is five bucks a round, so I'm not exactly going to rob a bank with it. What you're saying is, "You can't own a nitro-burning funny car because you MIGHT drive it on the street." BTW, the nitro burning funny car, as long as the chassis predates emission control, would be perfectly legal, as long as I complied with the driving laws. So it's unreasonable to race on streets or shoot guns on streets except in dire emergency? We agree. What's the problem?
You said: "Just like everything, it's a question of where the lines are drawn."
Correct. And SCOTUS says we're right. Even on the NFA registry, existing decisions on other matters make it pretty clear we're going to win when the discussion gets there, much like the First Amendment people overturned the ban on the Kama Sutra in the 1950s. The line has been drawn. You don't like it. I'm sorry you don't like it. I guess that's a problem for you. Some people don't like gays. Some don't like alcohol. Some don't like meat.
Final note: Based on a tiny handful of incidents over several years, you are, unintentionally, wishing to affect the lifestyles of 94 million families. Consider if someone were to do the same over Penn State and Bradley Manning. Would it be fair or reasonable?