Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Guns

As a gun owner, I am not in favor of a ban on large clips or assault rifles but I am in favor of stricter background checks and ones that are universal even at gun shows or private transactions. I thought I would offer a few words on why I have come to this view, which I haven't always held.

I favored our previous ban on assault rifles and large clips for storing more than 10 bullets. I couldn't see the need. But a lot has happened since that ban expired. Namely Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen and Syria. Let me take the latest one going on in Syria as an example. I think most people would feel sympathy for the Syrian people who are fighting and dying for a cause that they believe in against a dictator run government that is vastly better armed than the civilians. Would the civil war going on in that country be different if many of the citizenry were armed with assault rifles with large clips? I'm guessing things would be a lot different not only there but in the other countries that have already successfully overthrown their dictators.

"A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government." - George Washington

Now here in the states, the common response from people on assault rifles and large clips is why anyone would need that many bullets or need to shoot that fast to hunt? If someone mentions perhaps that we need them in case we are overrun, people scoff and ask by whom? Well I am not psychic and can't answer that question but I do know that in our very short history, we have fought off attempts by the foreign countries to take over parts of our country, some more than once. Will something like that happen in these modern times? Hopefully not but I for sure don't want to be fighting for my piece of this planet with a small gun that only shoots a few bullets against someone with an assault rifle that contains dozens and wondering why I didn't think we needed them ourselves.

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin
"To disarm the people is the most effectual way to enslave them." - George Mason 

Saying that, I don't own an assault rifle nor any gun that holds more than ten bullets. It just doesn't fit with my current lifestyle and two young children exploring around the house. Even if that wasn't the case, I still probably wouldn't own either because the odds of an invasion are pretty slim in my lifetime and I would hope that I might have enough time to go out and get one before they reached this far inland. I seriously doubt that rural southeast Iowa are on any countries master plan for starting their takeover. In all reality, any takeover of our country will probably be preceded by a nuclear shelling making owning guns a moot point. But I have no problem with my neighbor buying an assault rifle should they be so inclined and have passed psychiatric and background checks to make sure he is a sane and honest chap. Perhaps he might let me stay in his basement if I misjudged any hostilities in this part of the world.

"I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery." - Thomas Jefferson
"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.... Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man." - Thomas Jefferson (quoting 18th century criminologist Cesare Beccaria)  

16 comments:

Vince said...

Something of a problem with the argument would be Afghanistan. There most every male was and is armed but you got the Taliban.
And of course in the US you had Jim Crow. How does that sit with you position.

And still wouldn't the best argument be if you cannot hit something with ten you shouldn't be allowed within a mile of any weapon since they must be as blind as a bat.

Ed said...

Vince - Yeah I'm guessing that if everyone had access to assault rifles, things might not always end up in your favor. But like the Jefferson quote said, I still think a dangerous freedom is better than a peaceful slavery.

I'm guessing if black people had assault rifles, their history would largely be the same. The reason their fates changed was due to a changing attitude and peaceful (mostly) protests, not because they were under armed.

Sometimes in warfare, the amount of fire you can lay down is more important than accuracy. Call it an intimidation factor. But if you are referring to a home defense situation, yeah, I believe ten bullets to be more than enough. Any more than that and you are probably putting your family in jeopardy.

Murf said...

I don't know...NRA's Wayne LaPierre is really coming off as a nutball which doesn't do the NRA any favors. It smells of paranoia and I got a faint whiff of it while reading your blog post. ;-)

Rich said...

All I know is that the typical law enforcement officer probably carries a handgun with a magazine that holds 13 rounds or more, also carries at least two extra magazines, and will call for backup before he enters a situation where he might actually have to use that handgun.

If I have to defend myself or my family with a handgun, I will probably only have a loaded handgun and no backup. Once I reach the moment where I feel I have no choice but to use that handgun to defend myself, I will have retreated to the point that I am cornered and have no other option.

Why should I be limited to only 10 rounds?

Ed said...

Murf - Yeah he isn't really helping himself out especially since he is directly contradicting himself on the background checks. That and other things are why I will never be a member of their organization.

Rich - I would probably do the same, especially due to the laws of my state which say you must exhaust all means of escape before you pull the trigger or you get charged with manslaughter, even if the guy is breaking into your house with intent to kill you.

Although I figure if I need more than ten rounds, I probably shouldn't have been shooting so wildly, I certainly wouldn't begrudge anyone for wanting more than ten rounds in their gun, especially if they have passed a background check on their criminal and psychological status.

edifice rex said...

I agree with you and Rich.

Vince said...

@ Rich + ER.
The solution to that problem is go get yourself trained in the use of sidearms. Each one has a minimum and maximum usable distance. And more importantly in a stress situation the discharge on sound alone in a confined space will shock the holder into immobility. It's that very principle that freezes soldiers in the field resulting in their deaths. Further it is one thing to go to a range another entirely to go to a police training building. There you might get used to the sound wave of a 9mm or revolver round discharging three feet from your ear.

warren said...

I don't like the idea of a ban either. The are arguments that make good sense of course, but I suggest that owning a corvette is similar. No one needs to go 200 mph, just like no one may need 30 rd mags. Corvettes can be perfectly safe if used responsibly and so are firearms. In both cases, when stupid people misuse either, they are both deadly. There are tons of things that kill people. Alcohol is an ongoing disaster but no one even mentions it.

I think we should do anything we can to keep bad guys and crazy people from having guns. I just don't think banning stuff will solve much...the previous ban didn't work so I doubt this one, if it comes, will be any different.

woodysrockyridge said...

I have yet to see a ban work. There will always be someone who will self manufacture anything that is encompassed in a ban. The idea that laws will work against those who have no respect for the concept is ridiculous. Set your cruise control on the speed limit and traverse any interstate highway for a sampling of law obedience.
I am a gun owner. I have high capacity magazines and several different firearms. I am not a member of the NRA. Most owners are responsible and law abiding. I don't see a need for a military inspired style weapon and I also wouldn't want some folk I know to own a weapon at all. Having said the following I fear more who will be telling me who is qualified for ownership and who should be excluded.
All things are cyclical and soon the argument and attention will be turned to another. Wouldn't it be grand if the focus was on political contributions/bribery?

edifice rex said...

Vince, what makes you think I'm not trained already? I have been trained in firearm use since I was a young adult and am now married to a Marine who fought in combat. He has continued my training. I assure you, I know the feel and sound of a handgun, shotgun and rifle.

Vince said...

I had take this to be a general discussion and addressed it so. So when I ever use an @ it is to the comment not the person. YOU, should be considered a general you.

The reality is that owning a handgun without being very proficient with it makes it more a danger to the owner than those who it would be used on.
How many people feel safe or safer simply having it in a drawer never to train with it.
ER, ask your marine how long it took the Coup train him properly.
BTW, just in general. Why is it no one seems to think training to drive and then getting a license is the correct way of doing things.

Vince said...

Corp even.

edifice rex said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
edifice rex said...

I agree perfectly with the need to train and be proficient with guns and many other tools before getting a permit. We even had to take a driving/ traffic course in school before we could get our license. That was ages ago though (ugh) and not sure if they still do that! lol!

Vince said...

Yeah, the predictive text on the phone decided that incorrect wasn't what I wanted to say.

On the rest, I think no one needs a antiaircraft .50 gun. But then I do think a tank in a valid keeper for the garage. Look at how much historic stuff from WWII is lovingly preserved in the USA in working order where nothing remains beyond some very nasty Nazi stuff over here.
What I profoundly disagree with is the holding of multi-shot weaponry above say 20 rounds. And I think for home defense if that's what you think is needed then a nice short barrel shotgun with heavy shot is your fellow. Open up a nice hole that. You don't miss and there is no mistaking your intent.

It's a wonder there isn't a sign you can hang on you mailbox showing crossed rifles. That would swat off a lot of scum intent on betting into your home.

Ed said...

Warren - Good analogy. Sadly there are so many similar analogies of things that are very legal to own but could be lethal to the owner or those around it if used incorrectly.

Woody - I think the key thing you wrote is that the majority of gun owners are law abiding and responsible. That doesn't get said often enough!

Vince and Edifice Rex - Thanks for the discussion. I wish more similar discussions were held among people. Things might be a lot different if they were.