Sunday, February 10, 2013

Lessons From Gun Goofiness

Since the Sandy Hook massacre, there have been hordes of discussions revolving around how we prevent a recurrence of the tragedy.  This post will attempt to list and/or highlight some of what the debate has exposed.  I want to begin with this link to a blog by a guy named Larry Correia, who is likely one of the best sources for informed opinion on the subject.  His background with firearms, training with them, the laws surrounding them and the facts regarding the use and possession is pretty extensive, particularly from an experiential perspective.  The piece addresses the most common arguments of the knee -jerk gun-control advocates and is such that the time to read it should be taken before daring to dismiss him.

There will be no particular order in presenting the arguments, except that the pro-2nd Amendment proponents are the most sensible and fact-based.  By this I mean that nothing presented by the gun-control people have diminished the need for the 2nd, provide a legitimate argument for its repeal or show an understanding of what it is all about.  To that end, I had listed several quotes from founders and others that show the intention of the 2nd and of those, the following is especially illustrative of what is at the heart of the gun-control side:

"False is the idea of utility that sacrifices a thousand real advantages for one imaginary or trifling inconvenience; that would take fire from men because it burns, and water because one may drown in it; that has no remedy for evils except destruction. The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes."-- Cesare Beccaria, as quoted by Thomas Jefferson's Commonplace book

Before proceeding, it is unfortunately necessary to head off the very likely complaint by gun-controllers that this does not imply anything "trifling" about a mass shooting of the scope of Sandy Hook.  Laws that seek to inconvenience the law-abiding in an effort to prevent abuses of a freedom or right is the point of the quote.  This is what the anti-gun folk seek to do and is the major flaw of their proposals.  Such proposals do not work as only the law-abiding abide laws.  While doing so, they are made to be victims to those who will never abide the law for whatever reason.  So, the above quote expresses the futility of gun laws due to that which provoked them...tragedies perpetrated by those who abuse the right to own guns...and compares them to the outlawing of fire or water for the dangers they present to careless or thoughtless individuals.

The gun-control people have demonstrated their desperation in their arguments.  They have misstated the intentions of the defenders of the 2nd Amendment through a host of ridiculous and unAmerican/unChristian accusations and judgements.  Among the worst are those who proclaim that 2nd Amendment defenders (henceforth to be known as "our side" or "the good guys") do not care about dead children.  To them (henceforth to be known as "them", "the bad guys" or "idiots"), there is no way to both protect a right recognized by the US Constitution and protect the lives of innocent children and/or citizens.  One person in particular, whose initials are "Geoffrey Kruse-Safford", insists this is the case despite citing numerous stories where armed civilians prevented high body counts where such was intended.  What's more, rather than display a blood lust Geoffrey is certain exists in the good guys, at least a couple of these stories included citizens who never fired their weapon for the sake of bystanders.  The perpetrator either surrendered or offed himself simply because he was confronted by someone willing to shoot back. 

Geoffrey believes that our side is willing to allow the murder of more children rather than sacrifice "reasonable" restrictions.  But this is dishonesty and not the least bit representative of our position.  Our position is that what is termed "reasonable" by them is not reasonable at all, nor proven so by any stat or study presented by them.  Indeed, the quality of the stat or study is of no concern to them if it can be used in any way to demonize our side.  What's important is to exploit tragedies in order to characterize our side in the worst possible light.  Geoffrey claims we used Sandy Hook to scream about rights being denied when the truth is that they are using the situation to scream that they should be. 

And of course, Geoffrey wouldn't be Geoffrey without some low class assumption that one's desire to own weapons is to compensate for the size of one's sexual organ.  That somehow the driving force of gun-ownership is to "feel like a man".  While no doubt there exist people like that, it too is no reason to deny those who desire weapons for legitimate reasons. 

Geoffrey and others have tried to dismiss the argument that the 2nd was created to defend the right to life, liberty and property, and that it was meant as a deterrent to the tyrannical intentions of a corrupted government.  It seems that since no apparent moves to that goal have thus far manifested in modern times, that the threat is no longer possible.  The shortsightedness of this position is alarming while typical and such mindless people are willing victims of despots.  There need not be the imminent threat of oppression for the argument to be legitimate still.  But as we have still fresh in our memory the attack of 9/11/01, only idiots would dare say, "It can't happen here."  The more like Geoffrey who live amongst us, the more likely it will someday.

Another aspect of that argument that the bad guys try to foist is that it would be impossible to resist the might of the US military should such a sorry state of affairs come to pass.  "Let's see you shoot down drones and attack helicopters with pistols and shotguns..." they say.  But there are two things wrong with this:  First, your idiotic gun-control laws have left us with only pistols and shotguns, and secondly, the Afghans have been rather successful fending off a far better equipped force for a long time. 

I could go on and on about the extremely poor level of thought that is behind the gun-control positions.  Like most leftist arguments, they are emotion based and not fact based.  Sure, they use facts, or that which they perceive as facts, but actual facts do not support their desires to limit the access of law-abiding people to the defensive weapon of their choice.  That's because their position is not focused on the actual problem.  The problem is not guns or their availability.  The problem is those who use them for evil purposes.  Guns are but one tool of such people to perpetrate their acts of evil.  One doesn't need a gun to commit mass murder.  Ask Mohamed Atta. Ask Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols. Ask Andrew Kehoe.  Those that intend to commit atrocities will find a way. 

A rational attempt to curb criminal activity, including mass murder, must not infringe upon the ability of the law-abiding to protect themselves as they see fit.  Nor should it infringe upon their ability to do anything that does not manifest in the abuse of their liberty and freedoms.  This is especially true if those attempts to curb criminal activity are impotent and unenforceable.  Thus far, as in the so-called "assault weapons" ban, this has been the case. 

I will finish with a brief description of how I feel gun laws should be handled. 

Deny criminals and the mentally deranged only.  Period. 

We have the means whereby convicted felons can be listed on the world wide web for all to see.  We could add those certified as deranged and dangerous.  It shouldn't be hard to do as one can already find who the sex offenders in one's area are.   But if a law-abiding citizen seeks to purchase a weapon, and his name does not show up in the database, there is no reason they should be denied ANY firearm, even automatic weapons.  What reason does anyone need for an fully automatic weapon?  None of your business if that person gives no reason to suspect he is incapable of possessing it responsibly.  If a person is responsible with one type weapon, why not another?   If he is a law-abiding person of good character, why should anyone be concerned?  If the idiots cannot handle possessing such a weapon without turning on their neighbors and spraying the area with bullets, they shouldn't seek to own one. 

The above is very basic, not accounting for any variables whatsoever.  This does not mean I am unwilling to consider alterations.  It is merely the starting point of rational gun law.  It does not assume the worst about the law-abiding, while denying the criminal and sociopath.  The other side assumes the worst of everybody and by doing so, leaves everyone vulnerable to those who are the worst.