If the objects above cause you consternation, pain or hyperventilating, you might want to speak to your doctor about some anxiety medication. ‘Gun Control’ should mean putting lead on target, not relieving me of my lawful property.
So, this guy James Schlarmann decided he’d like to tackle the gun control debate. His blog, Political Garbage Chute, is aptly titled, as it comes off as a bunch of garbage. He says it’s a left leaning satirical site, but I’m apparently too dense to note the satire. Actually, what I see is condescension in stuff like “We’re sorry that your paranoia has made you afraid of the government and law enforcement. But the adults are trying to have a conversation.”
One of his points is that “We’re a violent species, warring on each other since the very first time a caveman told another caveman to get out of his cave and go find a cave of his own, and no one is denying that humans will find a way to kill humans regardless of the tool they choose to use, but nothing changes the fact that it is in our best interest to tightly control tools of wanton murder.” Apparently he’s of the strict Darwinian model of ‘survival of the fittest’, where the biggest-baddest-mutha rules the day. Personally, I would prefer not to have take on some 200 lb MMA practitioner with just a frying pan I was able to grab in the kitchen let alone my bare hands. And, I certainly don’t want my wife or daughter having to do it. So, the obvious choice, should I feel the need, to defend myself, my family or my property is to utilize a tool that allows a more equal playing field.
He then goes on to my favorite part, “What those of us who want to see a renewed assault weapons ban, universal background checks, and limits on the size of ammunition magazines, cartridges and clips are asking for is an adult conversation, and an acknowledgment from the other side of what we all know to be true – there is no logical reason for a citizen not in a militia or branch of the armed forces to own an assault weapon.” (emphasis mine) Now, first of all, there is no consensus on ‘what we all know to be true’, that’s just his own misguided opinion on the citizenry. Secondly, there are plenty of logical reasons for people to own firearms. Off the top of my head I can think of several: Self defense from criminals, self defense from an oppressive government, hunting, sport/target shooting, appreciation of fine craftsmanship, investment opportunities…
Then, he states that people who object to more firearms restrictions are merely throwing a tantrum. “A tantrum over being even asked to be inconvenienced, and in terms of the assault weapons ban, a tantrum over whether or not we should allow these kinds of guns to hit the black market, or whether we should at least attempt to stem the tide of their flow into the black market.” It’s slightly more than being inconvenienced. He openly states that he wants a ban on ‘assault weapons’. Perhaps he should think through that sentence a little more, because a ban on ‘assault weapons’ effectively puts all of them on the black market. I know many people who would never turn in or even register such weapons, so banning them is only going to increase the ‘black market’ demand, not decrease it. Given the lifespan of a well maintained firearm (both of the handguns above are over 70 years old), it will take many decades before a significant proportion of these firearms are out of service, and probably centuries before they are gone from anything but museum collections. A good machinist can make parts or even entire weapons; the plans are readily available via the internet. And, if you aren’t a machinist but have some cash on hand, you can get yourself a 3D printer and start making them. These guns aren’t going away anytime soon. He even admits you can’t “rid our society of guns altogether” later on.
He then states an assault weapons ban won’t stop the “dozens and dozens of every day gun crimes that are perpetrated with handguns…that’s what other laws are for.” So, what is the point of an assault weapons ban? Banning ‘assault weapons’ to stop gun crime is kinda like banning wine to stop drunk driving. Sure, it’ll reduce a couple of incidents, but won’t have any significant effect. As for those ‘other laws’ used to reduce gun crime, I think the estimate that keeps going around is something like 20,000 various federal, state and local laws address firearms in this country. Most of the violent gun crimes are committed with handguns, something he admits later in his blog that he thinks should be allowed under the 2nd Amendment. Hmm, maybe the problem isn’t all the laws on the books?
Another doozy he has is “We don’t want to take away your guns, we just want to do everything possible to make sure only people we all trust get them.” Well, since we’re unlikely to come to any sort of consensus on who we ALL trust, that becomes a comprehensive gun ban. He says “…all we on the side of gun control want is to have a talk about the boundaries and limits, nothing else.” Well, we HAVE been talking about the boundaries and limits for eighty years now, and the progressives keep going after more and more. The National Firearms Act was first passed in 1934. Over the years we’ve seen increasing restrictions on automatic firearms, short barreled firearms, sound suppressors, selling and shipment of firearms over state lines, restrictions on who can legally own firearms…the list goes on and on.
And then he gets into the name calling. “Ultimately it’s not about whether the gun kills people or people do the killing; it’s about being reasonable. It’s about looking at gun ownership under the auspices of personal protection, and deciding as a people what we consider to be reasonable restrictions on gun ownership. That’s why using the “guns don’t kill people” mantra makes you look like such an asshole.” As noted above, there have been many laws passed under the auspices of ‘reasonable’. Perhaps, if he were to actually come up with something ‘reasonable’ the rest of us would embrace it. But, since we’ve got 80 years of experience with ‘reasonable’ laws that haven’t really done diddly squat, my guess is that he won’t find anything that people who actually read the 2nd Amendment and who hold dear can agree to.
His paragraph on the AR-15 gets a little nonsensical, I think he probably needs an editor. “Then we have to ask ourselves if unhinged people are using these weapons we have to ask ourselves if that they are something we the people — not the Founding Fathers and not the gun lobby — consider to be sensible for home protection.
In other words — it’s about Democracy.” I think what he’s trying to say is that the majority of citizens should do something to take weapons out of the hands of ‘unhinged’ people. Well, we’ve already done that, with the Gun Control Act of 1968. Since then, background checks on nearly every gun sale have been implemented.
He then gets into the comparison of guns, cars, and drugs. He’s correct that it’s a false analogy in that they weren’t designed for the same purpose. However, he misses point that just because something is designed for one purpose it doesn’t have similar effects as something designed for a different purpose. Considering that more people are killed by motor vehicles (the supposedly benign object) every year than firearms (the dreaded, scary, dastardly killing object), more people should probably be worried about their neighbor’s Ford Taurus sitting in the driveway than their neighbor’s Taurus pistol sitting in the closet.
We finally find out what he considers “…a valid expression of our Second Amendment rights – a shotgun or a handgun…” Some of us who like to hunt might want a deer rifle, or something to shoot varmints with, but I guess that’s out of the question. He also states “But one thing that gun control is not about, nor will it ever be about, is an outright disarming of the populace.” OK, so you will allow citizens to own firearms, but only those citizens that everyone can agree is responsible enough and only those firearms that he likes. Since no consensus is ever likely to be formed over either approved citizenry or approved firearms, seems like he’s starting his conversation from a point that isn’t going to get him anywhere.
And finally, “What we’d like to do now is ask you why you think you need a lightweight, military-style semi-automatic rifle with lightweight large capacity magazines to defend your home. If your answer to that question is “I don’t have to tell you,” or “AMERICA!” then you’re wrong. Dead wrong. This is how democracy works. Enough people get tired of the way something is going and they get together and address it.” Actually, I believe it’s him that “wrong. Dead wrong.” The US isn’t just a Democracy, it’s a Republican Democracy. The will of the majority still must take a back seat to certain concepts that our founders considered ‘inalienable rights’. So, I really don’t have to tell you why I might want a certain firearm for defense, hunting or sport, because America had some rather prescient leaders at its founding. The fact that you find something scary and/or too dangerous to handle doesn’t mean that we all do. The 2nd Amendment is pretty short and clear, but certain ‘progressive thinkers’ have been trying to muddle it for decades. Those of us who hold our constitution dear have been willing to allow certain inroads into our rights for the sake of peace in this country. Eventually, the progressives and liberals will push too far and things will spiral out of control of anyone. Pray that time isn’t near.
We’ve seen over and over again in this country that gun bans don’t work. Gun Free Zones would be more aptly named ‘Shooting Galleries’. Much like defenders of Communism, defenders of gun bans keep saying “well, it didn’t work because we didn’t try it right, or in a wide enough area, or ….”. Actually, it just doesn’t work. The problem with gun violence isn’t the gun, it’s the culture of violence surrounding it. In urban areas intentional firearm deaths (homicide, manslaughter, suicide) see a tendency towards homicide/manslaughter, while rural areas trend towards suicide. Comparing firearm violence rates, or any crime statistics really, between various countries is problematic due to the way different countries count their stats. So, while Japan might ban firearms and have a really low homicide rate, it’s done nothing for their suicide rate. What I can say with a fair amount of certainty is that gun violence is a cultural problem, not a gun problem. If it were merely a problem of the availability of firearms, we should see similar rates of gun violence and/or suicide across the spectrum rather than certain localized areas with one cultural background having one prevalence while another area has a separate and distinct prevalence.
Really James, if you actually want to start a conversation, calling someone an asshole isn’t a real good way to start out. As for paranoia, you seem to have more of it than I do. I’m not the one who’s afraid of his neighbor’s finely machined hunk of steel in his house. Just because you don’t appreciate the 2nd Amendment doesn’t mean that the rest of us should throw it down the garbage chute.