I have been hearing a very routine run of statements on several blogs and threads, from those who support stasis in existing gun laws, who believe the 2nd Amendment is immutable and always should be, and who seem to regard the rest of us as a pack of weak kneed fools.
That standard litany goes as follows often in this order.
- Guns don't kill people, people kill people.
- Cars kill a lot of people and no one is talking about banning them.
- You can kill someone just as easily with a knife as with a gun.
- You are safer if you have a gun in your house or concealed on your person.
- Banning guns won't stop mass shootings because of outlaws and maniacs.
- There is no way you can collect all the weapons that are out there.
- We need weapons to fight our government when it turns tyrannical.
Have I missed anything on the Don't Mess With Guns Creed? The points are stated as if their logic is self evident ... formidable ... even profound.
If one notices their limits, suggests we can fly over this Maginaux line of gun and gun rights defense, I often see the smoke puffs of derisive pot shots, attacking the oppositions manhood (assuming he is male), his presumed political status (Leftie, socialist, commie), his psychological strength (he is just emotional, all about feeling), his intelligence or knowledge base ( low informed, idiot,) etc.
In a word, I see wild flailing to try to knock the blogger out of the skies.
I would like to review the key points I have heard and please suggest revisions or additions if I have missed a few.
1. Guns don't kill people, people do. Whoever noticed this point first probably thought he was having a Sir Issac moment. Plunk. Someone has to pull the trigger! After all, as many point out in all seriousness, a gun is just an inanimate object, IT doesn't kill anyone.
So, I would like to point out, in sympathy and agreement with them for making this point: Bananas don't kill people ... People do. And since anyone can pick up anything and kill someone with it, I would like to suggest that we have now found a way to cut down on military expenditures and help the Latin American economy while preventing ourselves from falling off the financial cliff. We can start sending our soldiers state of the art Bananas, and they can sneak up and stuff them down Al QUEDAS throats. There are disadvantages in a fight, of course, to the art of martial bananas, or knives, clubs, maces, swords, etc.
Among the obvious are lack of surprise, and the whole close range hand-to-hand thing ... But you CAN kill someone with a banana and maybe someone can research this and prove someone has. I know Mama Cass choked on lettuce. It could be said, that a set bear trap is a lump of metal, but I certainly wouldn't leave one in my car, under the seat, in my house where my kids might think it is a cool looking lump of metal or carry one around on a Friday night while I was drinking with my buds. But, all-in-all, even though bear traps and guns have been designed and refined for centuries to do a single job effectively and with dispatch ... there is no essential difference between guns and bananas ... It's all about how you use them, right?
2. Cars kill a lot of people and no one is talking about banning them. I think Newtonstein came up with this one as well as is. Has that sort of plastic logic thump to it ... no ring. If we could and had to drive guns to work to exist, guns would not be banned either. A car, or most cars, even Humvees, are designed to transport people and things, safely, effectively and for a long time to work. A gun is really not even an orange in this apple to orange comparison ... It's more like comparing a shopping bag to a snare.
Cars are, of course, heavily regulated, you need licences to drive them, training to pass tests, police watch over our roads, hide on crossovers monitoring how we are doing, you have to have seat belts, auto emissions checks, insurance, and you have to drive them in designated areas called "roads," at or under predetermined state by state applicable LIMITS ... so that you don't kill yourself or anyone else. Still people do get killed ... but, with very few exceptions, these are accidents. Homicidal use of cars is probably negligibly low. Yes ... no one is banning cars ... Or riding lawnmowers or bicycles or Skidoos. We get it.
3. You can kill someone just as easily with a knife as with a gun. (There was a mass knife attack in China!) Really??? REALLY??? Wow. Well, you haven't met my little friend, the M82, a fifty caliber scoped rifle used in Desert Shield and God knows where else. This ain't your mamas banana tosser. You get your combat knife and go face to face ... the nut with the Barrett can send you into space from five football fields away in a light wind. No one died in the mass knifing in China. Bunk ain't just the bed you slept in as a kid.
4. You are safer if you have a gun in your house or concealed on your person. Is that so? I don't know if this is true or not. I do know there are conflicting claims. Among them: A gun in the house doubles the risk of suicide of someone in the house. An American is 50 percent more likely to be shot dead by his or her own hand than by a criminal assailant. More than 30,000 Americans injure themselves with guns every year. From Science Daily, in a first-of its-kind study, epidemiologists at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine found that, on average, guns did not protect those who possessed them from being shot in an assault. The study estimated that people with a gun were 4.5 times more likely to be shot in an assault than those not possessing a gun. Another: Author David Hemenway studied the various risks of having a gun in the home, including accidents, suicide, homicide, and intimidation.
Additionally, the benefits of having a firearm in a household were also examined and those benefits included deterrence, and thwarting crimes (self-defense). From this in-depth look, it was concluded that homes with guns were not safer or deter more crime than those that do not. In fact, it was found that in homes with children or women, the health risks were even greater. "Whereas most men are murdered away from home," wrote Hemenway. "Most children, older adults, and women are murdered at home. A gun in the home is a particularly strong risk factor for female homicide victimization."
Obviously facts and figures can be arranged in many ways ... but let's at least say that there are statistics easily accessible that seriously counter those compelled by the NRA and people with vested interest in the multi-billion dollar gun industry ... They counter, as well, the knee jerk conclusion that if you have a gun on you or near you, and know how to use it, you will prevail against attackers. The CT shooter's mom was shot in the head three times by her son with a gun she purchased legally to protect herself. She had lots of guns and was practiced at using them.
5. Banning guns won't stop mass shootings because of outlaws and maniacs. This all or nothing thinking is one of the greatest bubbaisms of the pro-stasis set. Of course it won't stop ALL mass shootings. Rewriting Lincoln, "You can stop some of the nuts all of the time but you can't stop all of the nuts all of the time. " And of course there are WARS ... Mass shootings ramped up in geometric proportions!!! Is it OK if we just settle for REDUCING mass shootings, for making it LESS likely as many people will kill as many people as fast as they are able to. Can we make it somewhat easier for SWAT teams to get the perpetrator and make it more likely fewer police will die in firefights? Is this OK?
I know it's very emotional of me, but it actually really disturbs me to hear that first graders were riddled with bullets. It doesn't sit well. I really would prefer FEWER mass shootings here and more mass banana attacks ... to the status quo. Research the Australian weapons ban if you are interested in a factual look at a nationwide ban and the carefully compiled statistics regarding the effects. That's not hearsay ... It's a country doing something to lessen weapons violence and succeeding.
6. There is no way you can collect all the weapons that are out there. Check out Australian weapons buy back program.
"In 1996, not two weeks after a horrific mass killing of 35 people at a resort in Tasmania, Australian politicians came together around the 'National Firearms Agreement,' which banned semiautomatic and automatic rifles and shotguns and created a compulsory buyback program for the outlawed weapons. (To do otherwise would have amounted to a taking of property without compensation.)
"The number of homicides involving firearms has dropped 59 percent in Australia since then, and the number of suicides by firearm fell by 74 percent, according to the Journal of Law and Economics. The percentage of homes with guns has dropped in half. A Harvard study found that, while Australia experienced 13 gun massacres in the 18 years before 1996, there has been none since. The government purchased and destroyed 700,000 weapons between 1996 and 1998 — about one-fifth of Australia's estimated stock of firearms. That would be like destroying 50 million guns in America today. The Australian 'outlaw and repurchase' option is one approach.
"But if Congress balks at banning certain weapons entirely, it could make gun owners an offer they can't refuse. Instead of $200 a gun, Uncle Sam might offer $500. So imagine a $100 billion, one-time program aimed at buying back 200 million firearms at $500 a pop. We issue the payments in prepaid credit cards that expire in three months to be sure the money is spent fast."
If 100 billion sounds like a lot of money, remember that the point is to protect law abiding American citizens from rampant gun violence. We spend trillions regularly waging wars to protect our national security ... any amount we chose to use violence to try to solve problems. Why not drop a hundred bill on an attempt to LESSEN violence? It worked in Australia. That is fact. But my point Is there ARE ways to collect a lot of the guns ...
7. We need weapons to fight our government when it turns tyrannical. It's been surprising to me that so many of the self-identified conservatives, ostensibly patriots, justify their ownership of weapons as vital, not to fight thugs and maniacs, but to fight the United States Government itself!
If you think this sentiment is limited to campfire talk in the woods of Michigan or to survival retreats in the badlands somewhere, you need to read the threads in these gun discussions ... My thoughts beyond questioning the likelihood of this Fourth Reich sort of image in any foreseeable future is the following.
First, your guns will do some damage for a time but you are up against a superpower, the biggest badest fighting force ever assembled under one flag. There have been armies of greater numbers but never any with greater killing potential, higher tech targeting capabilities, better in-tel, etc. You will be taking(relatively) "knives to a gunfight," as the saying goes. Secondly, anticipating the next response... " well in Vietnam a bunch of peasants beat the US of A...and what about Afghanistan?
You can do a lot of damage with home made IEDs." This is a very simplistic look at both engagements. Millions of "peasants" died in Vietnam and Cambodia from US superiority in arms, technology and training. Sixty thousand American soldiers gave their lives in this debacle. The country was ravaged by our forces. The populace was poisoned, burned, mined, terrorized etc. Yes some fought on... Millions died directly and countless numbers after we left from the residual effects of our military power.
In both countries, our forces and aggression is limited and challenged by the facts that, we knew little about our foes, we didn't speak gauge,language, we had no friends on the ground, their customs were foreign to us and their climates were harsh for many of our personnel. Not so when the US decides to ATTACK ITSELF! The US forces and intelligence have incredible access to intelligence. They know all of us already as we keep blogging what we think here! They speak your language, know your topography and climate, your customs your habits ... hell boys ... they have your name and address ... even I can Google earth an aerial photo and map of your home. These guys have drones ... they don't need to strap on a heavy weapon and march down your street if they don't like your talk!
Can you target a silver glint hanging 50000 feet in the sky over your home, piloted by a kid on a computer screen in Arizona? The farmers in Vietnam, more specifically, the Vietnam Cong, were supplied by a superpower ... China. You have no supplier on this scale. Your weapons manufacturers will be taken over by the State in the first week. You better make banana launchers at home as your Glocks are going to run out of bullets. These wars were proxy wars ... it was not the US against a bunch of unfunded, un-supplied, amateurs. The government can shut you down financially, can have you arrested for anything or nothing, and, on top of it...who...in your own country will you trust?
Guess what ...? When states go repressive it's notnthe whole citizenrybthat rises up against them. Most are understandably terrified by state terrorism. Most keep their heads down and try to avoid flagging the secret police and army. Your uncle, your brother, your priest, your boss...are as likely to turn you in under threat of violence as are the most ardent of special police. Once they start torturing people, history indicates humans say anything, name anyone, to try to stop the pain. I think people who support this notion that can adequately defend themselves from a State gone Bad, need to read the histories of places where this has occurred and then magnify it with the firepower and technology of the US Military and intelligence community.
You are DREAMING. I should go back and spell check all of this I know but it's just a blog. I think you get the drift. When you come back to refute the SEVEN SERIOUS ARGUMENTS for doing nothing ... Please don't repeat them ad nauseum. I wish all of you PEACEFUL holidays. Treasure your family and friends.