Ban all the guns!

24 Jul

Last week another crazy struck again and massacred 12 people in a movie theater with an assault rifle. Predictably my favorite progressive podcasts start screaming about gun violence and how we need tighter gun control. Every time something like this happens we go through this same tired old back and forth with both sides talking past each other. Why I find conservatives to be grossly wrong on so many issues, gun control is the one issue I agree with them.

I find it strange that those on the left, who are correct in their logic about drug control and birth control suddenly abandon their logic when it comes to gun control and instead start parroting arguments that conservatives use against legalizing drugs and providing more access to birth control, but with the words drugs and birth replaced with “guns.” Crazy people are going to kill people. They always have and always will. When I went to see The Dark Night Rises I took my gun with me in case there was a copy cat killer. Banning guns or making them much harder to get isn’t going to solve this issue. Better mental health facilities will. But I don’t want to go down that rabbit hole here. There is something else I wanted to point out. My fellow liberal friends often completely misunderstand the point of guns in the 2nd amendment. Sometimes they understand the notion of self-defense, or hunting, but not the real purpose.

 

The purpose of gun ownership as outlined in the 2nd amendment is to enable a citizenry to violently overthrow their government.

That’s not what I’m advocating, but that was the purpose of the 2nd amendment. We had just violently overthrown our government at the time and the founders wanted to make sure the people would be safeguarded from yet another oppressive government. It’s not about hunting, it’s not about self defense from criminals, it’s about overthrowing the government.  It is for this reason that assault rifles and high capacity magazines are important. The purpose is to enable you to have some degree of level footing in a war scenario. Whether or not that’s possible in an age where the government spies on all of its citizens and has drones in the sky is another matter, but it’s the thought that counts. Yes this tragedy is horrible, yes people will be murdered every now and then by some psycho, but taken together it is not enough to warrant removing an entire populace’s final recourse to dealing with an oppressive government.

 

7 Responses to “Ban all the guns!”

  1. slrman July 24, 2012 at 4:24 pm #

    From my own blog at: http://slrman.wordpress.com/2010/10/22/guns-or-no-guns/

    Guns or No Guns

    “When a government fears the constituency, its first action is to disarm them. When faced with this action, the constituency’s duty is to arm itself even further.”

    This has probably the most pointless discussion people can have. The issue is so emotional that no one is going to be moved from their beliefs by anything anyone else says.

    The main thing that I have noticed is that the people who are known to me to be the most knowledgeable on the subject have been very quiet. I suspect that is because, if they are carrying weapons, they do not wish to advertise the fact. If they are not, they don’t need to shout about that, either.

    With all the considerable rhetoric I’ve seen, I have yet to read one simple truth. Owning a firearm is a responsibility that demands you become, and stay, proficient. To do this requires more time, effort, and money than most people, even gun owners, are willing to invest. Even then, no amount of proficiency will prepare you to take a life when face-to-face with the situation. Winning target matches is not preparation for defending your life. Paper targets and clay pigeons do not shoot back.

    I spent many years as a martial arts instructor and saw several instances where tournament champions were assaulted and, in one case killed, by people not fit to shine their shoes. Why? Perhaps on that day and time, the assailant was luckier. More likely, because the martial artist was not mentally prepared to take the instant and brutal action necessary to survive. That decision has to be made long before the need arises and most people never give it serious consideration.

    If you think you need a firearm for protection, then be prepared to invest what it takes to be ready if you need it. Also be prepared for the financial, legal, and emotional burden of using it. In fact, these can apply even if you never use it. If you’re not ready for that, do not have a firearm no matter where you stand on the question.

    Both pro and anti-gun people make good arguments for their respective sides. In the end, the decision has to be a personal one and no one can or should make it for you, either way. The issue of defending yourself and your family is something each of us has to consider whether we ever leave our home or not. Whether you use a firearm, flare gun, or baseball bat, you must still be prepared to perform a harsh and often fatal act to another human being. It’s a lot more difficult than you can imagine. It isn’t like movies, where you waste the bad guy and move on without another thought.

    Ask any police officer who’s been there, you think about it for a long time afterward. Anyone that says you don’t either doesn’t know anything about the subject or is a very sorry excuse for a human being.

    As far as gun ownership, perhaps it too easy for unqualified people to own a firearm? After all, you have to have a license and proof of at least minimal competency to drive a car, fly a plane, and in some areas, operate a boat. Why shouldn’t you have to show that you understand the care and maintenance of firearms and safety issues involved and are able to take all the correct actions. This would include an understanding of self-defense ordinances in your area as well as any laws concerning when and where you may or may not be armed.

    Then you would be issued a license to own a firearm. Having the license would not be evidence that you did own a gun, but were qualified to do so. This would be the same as having a driver’s or pilot’s license would not prove you owned a car or plane, but that you could if you chose.

    Naturally, none of this would keep guns away from criminals, no law can do that. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons they are criminals? Here in Brazil, for example, it is almost impossible for private citizens to legally possess a firearm. Yet, criminals frequently have more firepower than the police. In a country where private guns are very rare, criminals seem to be able to get all they want. That seems to be the case in most countries with restrictive gun laws. So much for “gun control.”

  2. Ashley F. Miller July 24, 2012 at 11:37 pm #

    I would like access to put drugs in my own body is very different from I would like access to put bullets in yours. Worst false equivalency ever.

    And until we’re OK with every home having nuclear launch codes and a fully armed tank the overthrowing the government argument is absurd. I agree that that was the point of the 2nd amendment, I think we’ve just got to accept that we’ll never outpower the government regardless of the magazine size and that escalation is how we ended up in the cold war and something to avoid.

    I agree that the problem isn’t guns – it’s income disparity and lack of social services. But the guns help, and many of the people who commit these mass murders aren’t people with immediate access to illegal weapons trading. There is no rational reason to have guns whose sole purpose is to murder other humans available for easy purchase. Just like there is no rational reason for people to have easy access to the smallpox virus or napalm.

  3. godlesspaladin July 25, 2012 at 12:22 am #

    I see your rationale and I understand how the drugs v guns argument might not line up. I would also agree that citizens shouldn’t have access to WMDs, but I don’t know how I feel about saying “Welp, we’re not going to be able to overthrow the government, thus it’s kind of a mute point.” It’s not that I don’t agree with you that we can’t overthrow the government, I do, but rather it just makes me sad about the state we’re in. I guess in that aspect guns are some what of a placebo.

  4. teo July 25, 2012 at 12:44 am #

    I really have to disagree. Maybe it’s because I live in Europe, but the idea that I need guns to deal with a suppressive government is just absurd. Mostly because I can’t really recall that guns were ever used for this purpose in the modern history of the USA. Why didn’t the 99%-ers just shot the government than? If that’s the purpose of this amendment, it’s just not working…

    I’m glad, that you have a self-defense option in the movie theater. But the law is not really made for allowing the people to use guns as self-defense. If you want to overcome the government, you organize protests and just elect another government – I believe, the USA is a democracy. So why do we need guns again?

    Otherwise I have to agree with you – crazy people will find ways to kill people even without guns. Massacre happens here too, although guns are much harder to get…

  5. godlesspaladin July 25, 2012 at 1:46 am #

    It varies greatly from state to state, but SC does have the law written to enable you to carry guns for self defense as I do. You have to pass a criminal/mental background check and take a course taught by a certified instructor and then wait several months to get your permit to carry a weapon. That’s the process I went through to get mine.

    In the case of the law, in my state we two laws that come up a lot: “Stand your ground” and “Alter Ego.” The first says that if I am in a place I have a legal right to be (like at the grocery store) and someone tries to kill me, I don’t have to run away, I can stand and fight back. The Alter Ego law is the same kind of thing, but it applies to other people. If I see someone else who is in a situation where, if I were in their shoes, I could draw my weapon and defend myself, then I’m able to draw and defend them without legal repercussions. For example, if I saw someone being stabbed or shot, I could draw and fire at their attacker and claim Alter Ego defense.

    None of this is taken lightly however. Actually drawing my weapon is the very last thing I want to do. There are so many things you have to take into consideration in a split second. Are you sure what is going on can only be stopped with lethal force? Is the person under attack/you in danger of losing their lives? What are your surroundings? If you drew and fired, what is behind your target? Could anyone else get hurt? Will you be able to draw and fire without being shot first? It really is a last resort of last resorts thing. It is simply there to give you an chance of survival should someone try and kill you/others around you.

    As for the whole politics angle of the US being a democracy, and why wouldn’t the 99% just shoot the government, that’s really complicated. Most of the protesters protesting for the 99% tend to be more on the liberal/anti-gun spectrum. I disagree with their tactics, but that’s another post. The Tea Party protesters on the right did bring guns to their protests. Even though citizens are armed to defend themselves from the government (which Ashley above pointed out is kind of impossible now-a-days) you can’t just start shooting government officials. The government would have to be rounding up people and putting them in camps and shooting others before the general public believed it was justified in shooting back, but I doubt the general public will ever come to that point. They’re too apathetic and distracted at the moment.

    I would also argue that the US is not really a functioning Democracy anymore, at least not in the sense that people have their concerns addressed through elected officials. Sure we elect people by voting, but that doesn’t ultimately change anything. There are a lot more factors that affect policy than just a bunch of people casting ballots for candidates. (But again, that’s another post)

    • slrman July 25, 2012 at 6:21 am #

      FWIW, the USA is not, and never has been, a democracy. From the adoption of the Constitution, it has been a representative republic. This is how Franklin described it when asked what kind of government we now have, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

      Given the corporate take-over of the nation through PACs and les legal means, it’s doubtful that we have kept it.

  6. Michael July 30, 2012 at 9:50 am #

    While I agree with the writer on most all points, I really think, as a logical individual, he needs to re-think his position on gun control. The 2nd amendment has far outlived its value. Do you really think your high-powered assult rife is going to have any effect against an Abrams tank? Or even a Bradly? Not a chance. There is simply no way an “armed milita” can overthrow any US or National Guard armed force. Of course, the ‘gun nuts” would say that is why we all need to be allowed to own anti-tank and RPG’s!
    Also, concealed carry in the theater is another blood-splatered absurdity. Think about it: The crazy gunman, in a dark movie theater, isn’t trying to shoot at any one target, simply aiming at random, killing anything that moves. The armed defender, on the other hand, would have to be able to target the killer, and no one else. In a dark theater, the best he could hope for is to aim toward the muzzle flash. As one observer put it, with enough concealed-carry patrons, there would have been 120 dead instead of 12. As any trained law enforcement officer what they would have done. Answer: unless they were able to get close enough to the shooter (without being shot themselves) to be 99% certain of their target, nothing. We need common sense controls against high capacity magazines. At least give us a fighting chance when the gun nut has to reload. Congress has blood on their hands.

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