Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Gun Advocates are Losing the Argument but Winning the War…For Now
A blogger, who calls himself Pythagoras, wrote a blog in our local forum because he’s tired of the ignorance of so many Americans. I’m not going to call those who disagree with my thoughts ignorant, but I am going to challenge the points he made in his blog.
I don’t know where we’re going in our local form but it’s hard for me to imagine a bible side –by- side on a table with a nine MM Glock with a 33 round magazine. Posters are interpreting scripture and reading the founder’s mind and their intent, to suit their argument. Let’s consider that not all American citizens are Christian and they don’t all believe in the same bible. The argument is not about where the you call a pistol a weapon or a gun. You can call it a lollipop, but it’s still a gun to me.
I’m going to assume that we are all adults and we can all interpret the Second Amendment as well as any other amendment. I think the 2nd Amendment was settled as recently as 2008 when in section (2) of the District of Columbia v Heller said “Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. Miller’s holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those “in common use at the time” finds support in the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons.” Petition the Supreme Court and tell them that you want to file a suit based on what you think the founders said or what you think your God given rights are.
From what I see 92% of Americans want universal background checks. That includes those weapons, guns, or whatever you want to call them, that are sold out in the parking lots of gun shows. Legislators want to pass a federal law that imposes a 20- year prison term on those who engage in straw purchases. I can see this piece of legislation passing with some exceptions for private sales and for passed down weapons but I don’t know what language will be used to maintain the integrity of a background check.
I can see where banning the high-capacity ammo clips will be a little harder because it would forbid the manufacture, sale and importation of them. That hurts the gun manufacturers and gun shops, so they will pay a lot of money to legislators to prevent that from happening. The language is not quite clear to me but as I understand it, if you already own a high capacity clip you will be grandfathered. It’s the grandfathered clause that needs to be interpreted because as I read it- it says that “you may be forbidden to give away, sell or in any manner transfer the grandfathered item to anyone else.” I have yet to hear a legitimate argument for the use of high capacity clips other than a Rambo- like hypothetical. Let’s get an up –or- down vote on it; that’s the side of democracy that gun advocates never mention.
The Bushmaster AR- 15 will survive until another gunman uses it to massacre innocent human beings. Senator Dianne Feinstein has a bill to ban 158 semi-automatic weapons with at least one military feature. It would also ban fixed magazines that are capable of holding more than 10 rounds. The bill is too complex and has very little support but who knows if another massacre breaks out?
There are a very small group of gun advocates who don’t want any gun legislation other than what’s on the books right now. Some of them think they are entitled to the same weaponry the government has because they fear gun confiscation similar to those of tyrannical governments. I want law enforcement to have the upper hand on criminals, survivalists, and conspiracy theorists and not the other way around.
We are beyond the “guns don’t kill people…people do” or we would not have banned automatic weapons a long time ago. No argument, a gun is an inadament object but we regulate a lot of inadament things. The AR-15 and the high-capacity ammo clips represent a culture of violence and they’re too readily available for anyone who wants to cause a lot of damage in as little time as possible. As General McCrystal said “I spent a career carrying typically either an M16 or an M4 Carbine. An M4 Carbine fires a .223 caliber round which is 5.56 mm at about 3000 feet per second. When it hits a human body, the effects are devastating. It’s designed for that,” McChrystal explained. “That’s what our soldiers ought to carry. I personally don’t think there’s any need for that kind of weaponry on the streets and particularly around the schools in America.”
I don’t expect the more intensive background checks and the banning of high-capacity clips to be a cure –all, but it’s a start because we can’t keep sitting on our hands hoping that the latest massacre is the last one. That doesn’t mean we can’t discuss the violent movies, games and mental illness but it has to be done as a separate issue.
The gun advocates will continue to use scare tactics like the one used by a poster when she said that police officers are only trained to save themselves and not the general public. She also criticized the response time but first responders have responded in less than 10 minutes in in all of the massacres I’ve read about. Those types always advertise their firepower and their anxiousness to use it.