The AR-15 Owner Responds To My Questions - Arguments
First off, comparing MA with Fla or any other large state is a smokescreen to obscure the real facts. MA has a population of 6,811,779 compared to Fla’s population of 20,612,439!
Secondly, although he may be correct in the “gun death rate” comparisons, he fails to cite the cause of those gun deaths. Well, maybe I can help him out here.
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), in 2015 (the latest stats available), MA had 216 firearm deaths, of which 144 were homicides. Fla, for the same year, had 2,559 firearm deaths, of which 1,208 were homicides. It should also be noted that the CDC does not list how many of those firearm homicides were committed with semi-auto rifles or handguns.
Now, sure, I don’t disagree with my friend that states like MA (as well as Illinois, Calif, NY, Rhode Island, D.C., et al), that have some of the strictest gun laws in the nation, have seen gun homicides decline in the past decade. But even setting aside his lack of stats for the AR-15, were the states’ tough gun laws responsible for the declines?
If he says “yes,” then I would ask him to explain how the states that have rolled back gun regulations and have a low number of laws on the books have also seen declines in gun homicide rates. One of these is Texas. The state isn’t exactly on the front lines of progressive gun policy — you can carry your handgun to your college biology class if ya so desire — yet its gun-homicide rate has plummeted 61 percent in the last quarter century. Gun laws?
I’m confident that my friend will also concede that there are also lots of factors that almost certainly affect the gun-homicide rate that have nothing to do with firearm laws. States with low gun-homicide rates also tend to rank high in other quality-of-life rankings, like per-capita income and educational attainment, while states with the most gun homicides, like Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, also rank near the bottom in such measures. There is also, typically, a wide murder inequality within states, and even within cities. In Chi-town, for instance, the homicide rate in the dozen or so highest-crime ‘hoods’ is eight times higher than in the lowest-crime neighborhoods.
My friend then pulls up his red herring and writes:
He [meaning myself] also lists, in terms of hunting, all the prey he fancies killing with the AR-15, including: coyote, white tail (deer), prairie dogs (encountered on a trip to TX), and other varmints. Fair enough but he still cannot deny the recent Health Affairs research that concluded that the United States has become “the most dangerous of wealthy nations for a child to be born into.” According to the Health Affairs study. the homicide rate in this country is 49 times higher than in other rich countries. It doesn’t take a Mensa level IQ to grasp this ratio cannot be solely from the U.S. having more crazies on the loose. I.e. the US of A cannot have 49 times more crazies than those other rich nations. That is a statistical impossibility – unless our nation is a giant nuthouse.
This is a red herring because he introduces an irrelevant topic in an argument to divert readers’ attention from the original issue – which is new gun control laws as well as the AR-15’s.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the rate of violent crime dropped from 79.8 to 18.6 victims per 1,000 people age 12 and older from 1993 to 2015.
These statistics do not support the opinion that more guns lead to more crimes!
As a result of the 1994 assault weapons ban, a national database referred to as NICS (National Instant Criminal Background Check System) was created. This database is supposed to have the records of all convicted felons, domestic abusers, dishonorably discharged military members, people deemed mentally insufficient and anyone else who should be excluded from ever legally owning a firearm. Any time anyone legally purchases a firearm, their name and Social Security number are run through the database.
Regarding the claims of a need for a “universal background check,” the NICS database already exists.
The more concerning issue is that Massachusetts is one of the worst states for submitting the names of people deemed mentally insufficient by the state into the NICS database. While MA legislators seek more and more gun control, they don’t follow the laws already in place; laws that all law-abiding, safety-conscious gun owners believe should be followed.
The assault weapons ban was not renewed because it had little to no impact on firearm-related violent crimes.
Further research shows that since the assault weapons ban ended in 2004, violent crime has actually decreased by 16.6 percent from 2004 to 2016, according to FBI statistics.
According to FBI data, 13,455 people were murdered in the U.S. during 2015, with 1,544 people killed with knives; 624 by personal weapons such as hands, fists, or feet; 437 by blunt objects such as hammers or clubs; and 252 by all rifles combined. Rifles accounted for only 1.9 percent of all murders in 2015. You were more than twice as likely to be killed from someone kicking or punching you to death than to be shot by a rifle.
Judging by these numbers, rifles are not the problem the left make it out to be.
Some states, such as MA, limit the number of attachments that can be put on a rifle — as if limiting cosmetic features make rifles safer.
According to Alan Korwin, co-author of “Gun Laws of America,” there are 271 gun laws at the federal level, a 17 percent increase in the past decade. That does not take additional laws of individual states, like MA, into account. Murder is already illegal. Criminals, terrorists and the mentally ill don’t obey current gun laws. Do we really expect that they will obey new ones?
My friend then goes on to write:
Given this, I propose that – especially as a former law officer – he should have no qualms, ZERO about accepting the MA gun laws.
Well, yes I do. Why? Because it reeks of Nazism! My friend, you are an educated man, so you must concede that the Weimar Republic’s well-intentioned gun registry became a tool for evil.
The same arguments for and against were made in the 1920s in the chaos of Germany’s Weimar Republic, which opted for gun registration. Law-abiding persons complied with the law, but the Commies and Nazis committing acts of political violence did not.
Granted, they went a step further than the current MA gun law…but not by much. In 1931, Weimar authorities discovered plans for a Nazi takeover in which Jews would be denied food and persons refusing to surrender their guns within 24 hours would be executed. They were written by Werner Best, a future Gestapo official. In reaction to such threats, the government authorized the registration of all firearms and the confiscation thereof, if required for “public safety.”
In 1933, the ultimate extremist group, led by Adolf Hitler, seized power and used the records to identify, disarm, and attack political opponents and Jews. Constitutional rights were suspended, and mass searches for and seizures of guns and dissident publications ensued. Police revoked gun licenses of Social Democrats and others who were not “politically reliable.”
In 1938, Hitler signed a new ‘Gun Control Act.’ Now that many “enemies of the state” had been removed from society, some restrictions could be slightly liberalized, especially for Nazi Party members. But Jews were prohibited from working in the firearms industry, and .22 caliber hollow-point ammunition was banned. The time had come to launch a decisive blow to the Jewish community, to render it defenseless so that its “ill-gotten” property could be redistributed as an entitlement to the German “Volk.” The German Jews were ordered to surrender all their weapons, and the police had the records on all who had registered them. Even those who gave up their weapons voluntarily were turned over to the Gestapo.
No wonder that in 1941, just days before the Pearl Harbor attack, Congress reaffirmed Second Amendment rights and prohibited gun registration. In 1968, bills to register guns were debated, with opponents recalling the Nazi experience and supporters denying that the Nazis ever used registration records to confiscate guns. The bills were defeated, as every such proposal has been ever since, including recent “universal background check” bills.
As in Weimar Germany, some well-meaning people today advocate severe restrictions, including bans and registration, on gun ownership by law-abiding persons. Such proponents are in no sense “Nazis,” any more than were the Weimar officials who promoted similar restrictions. And it would be a travesty to compare today’s situation to the horrors of Nazi Germany.
Still, as I mentioned at the start of this post, the road to hell is paved withgood intentions.
Now, what would I change if I could?
First off, I would change the minimum age to 25 for anyone to buy and legally own a firearm…any firearm! This would be waived for those on active duty military or those honorably discharged veterans. Fla, as I mentioned, already has a mandatory 3-day waiting period for purchase of a handgun. Thus, 72 hours must elapse between the purchase and the delivery at retail of any handgun, exclusive of weekends and legal holidays. I would extend this to include the purchase of rifles, since currently there is no waiting period to buy a rifle at a retailer in Fla. The 3-day waiting period is so a background check can be done on buyers via the NCIC (National Crime Information Center), which would also include any prior confinements for mental health issues (voluntary or involuntary, e.g., Fla’s Baker Act Law).
Ditto with issuing of CCL’s (Concealed Carry License). Note that for a CCL in Fla, the applicant must submit a separate application to the state, undergo another background check (local and national), and be at least 21-yrs of age. They must also show proof of successfully completing a 40-hour state approved firearm safety and proficiency course (which includes the gun range). This is currently waived for individuals like myself who show proof of being an honorably discharged veteran (i.e., DD-214), and/or proof of prior LE experience. Convicted felons are not eligible unless they had their civil rights restored.
I would also apply the above (age requirements only) to gun shows.
Would my ‘changes’ be a panacea? Of course not. Even IF my changes had been in effect prior to this POS going off the mental rails (including gun shows), he was “hell bent”, as Sheriff Scott Israel said, to commit this atrocity, and he would have got the guns, etc…from the numerous ‘street dealers’ – especially in So. Fla. I mean, GEEZ…it’s easier to get an illegal, unregistered handgun, AR-15, fully auto weapons…you name it – in any major metro area today than it is to try and rent a car without a credit card!
Lastly, as for you stating that I should “hear the cry” of Parkland student “Sarah” who tweeted the following to the prez: “I don’t want your condolences, you fucking piece of shit, my friends and teachers were shot, Multiple of my fellow classmates are dead. Do something instead of sending prayers. Prayers won’t fix this. But gun control will prevent it from happening again!”
Well, I, for one, consider the source. A young, emotionally traumatized (rightfully so), kid, spurting a spontaneous juvenile outburst. I’d like to hear what other “gun control” laws that she has in mind to “prevent it from happening again.”
I would also ask her to set aside her (obvious) libo hate and indoctrination and reflect on what a sheriff in Washington state said about the youth of today: “You started glorifying cultures of violence – you’ve glorified the gang culture, you’ve glorified games that actually give you points for raping and killing people. Guns didn’t change. We, as a society changed.”
The left, when HUSSEIN Obozo was in office for 8-yrs (2 of which the Dems had the House and Senate – plus the WH), didn’t ‘fix’ this gun control issue. They blamed the NRA, Repubs (when we got the House and Senate), and the “gun nuts.” They NEVER blamed Obozo and the Dems. Yet, now…they do a complete 360 and blame the prez and the NRA, etc. And, btw, I challenge my friend here – or anyone – to show me where any member of the NRA has committed any of these atrocities!
The bottom line, let’s leave any more gun control laws to the individual states. I know you won’t agree with me here, friend – but as I said, we can agree to disagree. And may I respectfully suggest that the left stop politicizing these incidents and exploiting the victims for their own political purposes.