Quite a few of the people I know think I’m a one or two issue person, if any of you have been reading my rantings over the years you know this to not be true. That being said, yes I’m going to talk about guns in this post.
On guns: This country has a long , long history of guns and gun ownership. Having read many of our founders’ writings on this subject , I’m quite clear on what they meant by the Second Amendment. Frankly, it had nothing to do with hunting as many would have you believe. It had everything to do with self protection and keeping the government honest and well behaved.
Thomas Paine said this in regards to the people owning arms
“The supposed quietude of a good mans allures the ruffian; while on the other hand, arms like laws discourage and keep the invader and the plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property. The same balance would be preserved were all the world destitute of arms, for all would be alike; but since some will not, others dare not lay them aside…Horrid mischief would ensue were one half the world deprived of the use of them
This speaks to the basic human right to be able to defend ones self , family, and property from those that would do us harm.
George Washington said this in regards to the people owning firearms and the importance of this basic right
“Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people’s liberty teeth and keystone under independence … From the hour the Pilgrims landed, to the present day, events, occurrences, and tendencies prove that to insure peace, security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable . . . The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference – they deserve a place of honor with all that is good”
What is it that gun control people don’t understand about this basic human right we have to defend ourselves? I’ve heard all the arguments in favor of gun control. They all come down to one basic premise…Need. Why do you need more than ten rounds in a magazine, why do you need this type of gun, why do you need this or that. Last I checked, the Second Amendment is not based on need, but on rights. It’s not for a politician, Hollywood actor, or anyone else to determine whether or not I need a certain amount of ammo, or a certain type of rifle or pistol. That is the entire point of the Constitution, it’s not the government’s business to determine our needs. None of this means I, or any responsible gun owner believes there should be no laws in regards to guns. That has never been our position and it never will be our position.
We can all agree that by definition, criminals don’t follow laws right? I, and many others have said this many times, but it bears repeating once more. How do gun control people think that making more laws in regards to guns will keep guns out of the hands of people that wish to do us harm? The vast majority of crimes committed with guns are done by people that never once followed any law in acquiring their gun/guns. Statistics and studies have shown that in areas with higher legal gun ownership crime is reduced. Conversely, in areas that have low rates of legal gun ownership, or excessive limitations on such, crime increases.
Why are mass shootings committed in Gun Free Zones? When a person stops and thinks about it for a few minutes , it becomes clear why this is the case. Criminals are humans, with a human desire to continue living. Despite everything else they are, they all have the desire to stay alive. In areas where more people are armed , criminals run into a greater chance of encountering an armed person and thus a higher risk of being injured or killed in the commission of their crime. Thus it is really no surprise to see why places like Chicago and Washington DC have some of the highest gun crime rates in the nation and why Gun Free Zones are popular targets of mass shooters. They have the most restrictive laws in regards to legal ownership of guns and in the case of Gun Free Zones, no guns. Criminals aren’t stupid ( in a general sense ) and they realize that the likelihood of them running up against an armed citizen is much lower in these locations. Another observation is that despite these restrictive laws in regards to guns, the bad guys have no trouble whatsoever in acquiring guns. All these laws will do is put more law abiding citizens at risk, while doing nothing to keep guns out of the hands of criminals.
I can fully understand the emotional need , in the wake of school shootings etc, to do something to end the carnage. But emotion and laws do not mix. Rushing to just do something in the wake of these tragedies leads to idiotic thinking and poorly thought out laws. For instance, the assault weapons ban proposed by Diane Feinstein. First of all, to be clear, an assault weapon is a fully automatic weapon. These weapons are owned and used by the military. You can apply for a special permit to own one yourself but it is extremely difficult to obtain. This effectively prevents true assault weapons from being prevalent in society.
What people call assault weapons are semi-automatic weapons, i.e. an AR-15. Despite what it looks like cosmetically, it is no different than any other semi-automatic rifle on the market in operation or lethality. AR-15’s shoot .223 caliber rounds, the same exact rounds many hunting rifles use. Yet, the only rifles that would have been banned by this assault weapons ban were the ones that looked scary, i.e. AR-15s. They do look like military weapons, but they are not military grade weapons. Your typical hunting rifle can shoot just as many rounds in the same amount of time as the AR-15 , but they were not part of the ban. Where is the logic in any of this? The point is, there is no logic in any of this. It was an emotional response to a problem, and therefore an ineffective solution.
On the limitation of rounds in a magazine. This too is illogical when you stop to think about it. Where is the logic in limiting how many rounds I should be allowed to have in my gun? Was there ever a law proposed to limit the number of rounds in a criminal’s gun? That, in a nutshell , is the proof of the fallacy that limiting the number of rounds in a magazine will make us safer. The magazines are already out there, the criminals already have access to them. Does anyone think that preventing law abiding people from owning larger magazines will somehow make us safer from the bad guys? How is that argument even remotely logical? The logical solution is to allow law abiding people the means to defend themselves on equal terms with the bad guys.
This reminds me of a shootout in L.A. many years ago. Two brothers suited up in body armor and many high powered rifles. The robbed a bank and began a running gun battle with police in the streets of L.A. Up until this shootout police didn’t carry very powerful weapons. The officers had their sidearms, and maybe a shotgun or two in their cars. The police quickly realized they were more than out gunned by these two guys. If I remember correctly a couple cops were killed and it took the SWAT teams with their more powerful weapons to finally take them down. Since that time the L.A. police dept and many other jurisdictions re-thought how they arm their officers. Now many squad cars carry high powered rifles on par with the types they could face in the course of their day to day duties. The police didn’t limit the rounds that their officers carry, they didn’t ban the use of semi-automatic rifles by their officers. They logically concluded that they needed to upgrade their firepower to meet the threat they were facing. The same logic applies to legal gun ownership in this country. The police can’t always be there in time to protect us. More often than not it is up to us to defend ourselves and hope the police get there in a timely fashion.
After the Boston bombings , the police had finally closed in on the suspects. During this manhunt , the suspects and police exchanged hundreds of rounds in running gun battles. Where is the logic in the government telling us that we only NEED ten rounds in a magazine to protect ourselves if there is a possibility you could face a criminal with larger capacity magazines? You’ll be out of rounds long before they will and then, you’ll be dead. Of course there is no guarantee that if someone has more than ten rounds in their gun they could fend off a potential invasion. But, the more rounds you have access to, the better chance you have of holding off or stopping multiple attackers.
As I said before, the Second Amendment does not speak to need, it speaks to rights. We have the right to defend ourselves , loved ones, and property. An armed citizenry is also a deterrent to an overreaching and oppressive government. It is not up to our politicians or government to decide for us whether or not we need a gun, or how many rounds we decide to load in to that gun.Even though I have shown a clear need for law abiding people to own guns, the fact remains that we do not require a need determined by the government to own firearms. Until we can prevent bad guys from possessing guns or the will and means to use them against us, there is no logical reason to restrict legal access to guns for the rest of us.