In Murdock, FL, ca. May, 1986, with an AR-15. Make no mistake these rifles are not for squirrel hunting!
"The idea that the 2nd amendment granted every man the right to keep and bear arms on his own is one of the greatest pieces of fraud on the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime."- Chief Justice Warren Burger
In the wake of the recent mass shootings, at the D.C. Navy yard, and then in Chicago, 25 people killed in all, the NRA and its gun mavens are all hyper -reactive. Once more they're paranoid the "libtards" want to take their substitute cocks away from them, but the truth is we only seek regulation. So this attitude of the hyper-'any' gun Right needs to be addressed.
Once more I am not an anti-gun lib. I have owned and used rifles and fired off shotguns as well in target practice. (Including in 1968 in New Orleans when testing the "jet effect" nonsense peddled by JFK conspiracy deniers). However, I've never owned anything automatic, with multicapacity clips!
Unlike the whacko contingent of gun owners, I don't believe the 2nd amendment gives people the "right" to own rocket propelled launchers, bazookas, .50 caliber anti-aircraft guns, or military assault type weapons - capable of mass slaughter. The Second Amendment authors - inhabiting a world where single load muskets were the rule - would have been flabbergasted to see the extent to which their amendment had been misconstrued today - such as by the NRA and their denizens. They'd have thrown up their hands and yelled: "Wait! We intended that amendment for state militias, which were the extent of military at the time, and then to only own the type of rifles used then.....the musket! WTF are you doing?"
The argument that the new high powered rifles - such as AR-15s, and Bushmaster .223s are entitled to be owned as a "right" is just plain bollocks. No, you can own a 30.06 as a right, because it's a legit rifle with which to go out hunting. You can own a .22 as a right, and it does a nice job of killing small game especially if you use hollow points. But you don't need the other semi-automatic weapons, or AK 47s. Their main purpose is mass killing of enemies, such as one might face in Afghanistan - with the Taliban. The same applies to rapid firing smaller arms, such as Glocks. (The type used by the Virginia Tech killer).
Even though I don't believe the 2nd justifies such powerful weapons, I do acknowledge our laws have been distorted over decades and realize that - once the cow has escaped the barn- it is difficult if not impossible to get it back in. Thus, I am not for banning such guns, but properly regulating them. I believe no sane or sensible person can argue against such measures. These include regulating the use- say by demanding nationwide background checks as well as limiting magazine capacity to a rational standard. In other words, IF you really are a hunter, you don't require an AK-47 or an UZI! A true hunter, out for deer say, can get by very nicely with a good, old -fashioned Remington 30.06, the tried and true standard. If you need a weapon for protection, you do not need a Glock 9 or a Glock 19, you can get a .38 revolver and with enough shooting practice be just fine.
In other words, I am arguing for rational standards on gun ownership, not anything goes. I argue by similar analogy for rational pet ownership. No, you shouldn't be able to own as many jaguars, anacondas, Burmese pythons, or tigers as your little heart desires! THAT is irrational, and moreover those WILD animals can't be contained properly in captivity. That is also why so many pythons (estimated at 30,000) have now made their home in the Florida Everglades, not to mention hundreds of monitor lizards, because pet owners couldn't control them once they grew too large, or too feisty. (I won't even go into the character in Colo. whose pet python ate him while he was sleeping with the snake still in his queen bed digesting him when the cops arrived.)
In the same way, zealot gun crazies have upset rational gun ownership "ecology" and culture in this country by their extreme demands and desires. They make the rest of us appear also like crazies, because of their inordinate demands for weapons which do not fit any normal use for citizens.
What these gun nut Americans are really doing, or would be doing, is effectively placing higher gravitas on 2nd amendment rights than 4th amendment. This is what causes me to scratch my head: Why so much zealotry in the name of the 2nd amendment, and so little for the 4th - even while NSA spooks are scooping up every thing in sight?
In a previous blog post I observed that intangible rights (such as enshrined in the 4th amendment) don't carry the same import in the minds of a somnolent or detached populace as rights which have attached to them actual material implements, weapons (AR-15s, Glocks) . In other words, the very fact of a rifle - say an AR-15 - being a physical object that can be physically possessed, is what makes it real to the 2nd amendment rights defender. If it is physical, touchable and real then it CAN be taken away, hence Charlton Heston's famous zinger: "You'll have to pry this rifle from my cold, dead hands!"
But what about privacy, the right at the core of the 4th amendment? To the average gun owner it sounds way too airy-fairy. "Privacy? Don't need it, ah got mah gun!" The fourth's problem is that it is completely intangible. You don't really know whether or when it's being taken from you (like your gun), or not. A gun seizure is therefore viewed as far more serious and substantial because it entails a physical taking away, removing the object from one's possession. Privacy, not so much!
The problem for the gun nut culture is just this: by dissing or diminishing the 4th amendment in favor of the misinterpreted 2nd, they are actually making it easier for a future administration (say with continued lack of habeas corpus and a toughened 'continuity of government' clause in the Patriot Act) to actually seize their guns....every one of them! After all, the NSA spying already means the feds likely know exactly where these owners live and exactly how many arms they own, and the type. A simple Posse Comitatus perversion could send National Guardsmen and Army in every state barging into homes in the dead of night to seize them, and the gun nuts wouldn't know what hit them until too late. While they express much bravado this would never occur, they are fooling themselves.
Indeed, their reasoning skills leave them open for exploitation and yes, one day being led like sheep to the slaughter. Some of the codswallop I've beheld to defend their weapon ownership is positively bizarre. It demonstrates "logic" at about the third grade level. But again, that's also about the level of the NRA's PR.
One common argument, is: "Hey, it ain't the guns and taking 'em ain't gonna work. I got 45 big knives including Bowie knives! I can kill anyone with them!"
Yes, Sparky, but you miss the larger point: It's much, MUCH harder to mass- kill using knives. Much more difficult than opening up on a crowd with an AR-15 or Bushmaster .223 or Glock! Maybe you will manage to kill, or seriously wound three - maybe four, with one or more knives - but by then any bystanders will be all over you and any cops will shoot to kill. It takes TIME and much more effort to kill with a knife than with a semi-automatic rifle.
But let's not let facts get in the way.
Another tactic is deflection from the real cause. This was employed some months ago by the NRA's Wayne LaPierre who blamed the "violent video games" and that mentally unstable people who use them will be affected and besides they contribute to a culture of violence. He named several, including 'Grand Theft Auto'. I do agree these games are violent and hence may trigger aggressive impulses, but the fact that millions of people play them and aren't affected shows that Wayne's solution of banning or regulating them is as whacky as his "pseudo-cop" solution (i.e. placing thousands of hired guns in schools across the country to act as ersartz "police" and discourage would be shooters). One more fact: Japan has more violent video game addicts per capita than any other country but barely any homicides, especially by gun. Why? The Japanese are a less violent people and they own fewer guns!
The lamest arguments entail attempts to turn the mass shootings against "libtards" and "registered Dems". The misfits who resort to this tactic typically trot out singleton anecdotal examples of killers as "registered democrats" - but of course never provide the evidence to back it up (i.e. that the shooters really are "registered Democrats"). Even if it were so, it does not constitute proof that "Liberals are mass killers". Indeed, those who invoke this bunkum commit the classical logical error of the fallacy of distribution, or arguing from the specific to the general.. An analogous case of such shoddy reasoning would be:
"Barbie was raped by Jack"
"Jack happens to be a man"
"Therefore all men are rapists"
And, from the gun nuts:
"The Aurora, Newton and D.C. Shipyard mass murderers were all registered Democrats"
"Therefore, all registered Democrats are mass murderers"
Note the converse of the last statement, i.e. "all mass murderers are registered democrats" is equally fallacious, because a selective sample is employed to argue to a general conclusion applicable to a whole class.
What will it take to finally get our congress critters to pass legislation to regulate military -style weapons and staunch the mass killings? The other night, after watching the news of the D.C. ship yard killings, I suggested to Janice it would be something like a madmen barging into a hospital pediatrics section and shooting dozens of infants with an AK-47. But my wife disagreed, asserting even that wouldn't change the sick gun culture and the NRA would have legislators quaking in their boots, pointing to the recent recalls (here in Colo.) of John Morse and Angela Giron.
If that is true, and it might well be, we truly are sick and .....well, fucked. We will continue to witness many much more slaughter, and no political will to halt it. Until our legislators finally get some balls, as opposed to kowtowing to the NRA and kissing their butts, we can expect to see more tragedies like those in D.C. and Chicago. And that is a damned tragedy!