Thursday, January 31, 2013

Paranoia Strikes Deep

[Note:  I'm having some financial problems right now.  I know my timing is atrocious, given all the fund raisers lately, but if you can spare a little more, please donate to my "cat food for me and Home Boy" fund.  Thank you.]

The news has shifted from immigration to gun control the past couple of days.  I'm about as optimistic on this issue as I am on the various immigration proposals.  David Horsey seems to agree with me.

Gun owners truly have nothing to worry about. There are no federal commandos coming to break down their doors and take away their guns.

Sure, there is an outside chance that a universal gun registration system will be approved by Congress, but anything more, including -- and especially -- an assault weapons ban, will be scuttled by the House Republican caucus, if not by Democrats trying to win reelection in gun-friendly red states.

And yet, given the rhetoric of the National Rifle Assn. lobbyists and the noisy agitators in the conservative media complex, one would think that President Obama is planning the modern equivalent of the British march on Lexington to confiscate patriot firearms. ...

But, paranoid rants aside, the logical conclusion of the hyper conservatives' argument ends in a strange place. If the patriots of 1776 could match the redcoats with muskets and cannon, doesn’t the absolutist interpretation of the 2nd Amendment suggest that today’s "patriots" should be able to stand against a modern army? Doesn't it mean that citizens have a right to keep and bear, not just AR-15s, but rocket launchers, tanks, fighter jets and attack helicopters?   [Emphasis added]

Please, David.  Let's not give the NRA new talking points for their crazier supporters.

The distressing part is that it's not just the conservative House that will block any meaningful gun control laws (which would ban private ownership of semi-automatic military-style weapons and large ammunition clips, as well as end the gun show exception to background checks).  Democrats in both houses of Congress have also come to enjoy the largess of the NRA and gun manufacturers.  It is unlikely that many will be willing to bite the hand that has fed them so well.

Meanwhile, death by guns in the hands of private citizens is a daily occurrence.  That doesn't seem to bother our elected representatives in Washington.

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Blogger John Gardner said...

> Meanwhile, death by guns in the
> hands of private citizens is a
> daily occurrence. That doesn't
> seem to bother our elected
> representatives in Washington.

Yes, there are deaths of every kind every day. There are 300+ million people in the US. The law of large numbers means that everything possible happens to someone every day.

People are killed by cops every day. People are killed by cars, knives, tornadoes, explosions, snow, water, baseball bats, stairs, ladders, chairs, lightning, liposuction, aspirin, etc, every day. Guns are just popular today.

The way I read the 122 page bill, there is a lot to be paranoid about. Ignore the giant list of guns, it is pointless. you just have to look at 2 lines to be paranoid:

According to page 2, any semiautomatic firearm (of any kind!) that uses a magazine, which is also equipped with a pistol grip, would be banned.

According to page 13, "pistol grip" is now defined as "any other characteristic that can function as a grip".

So if it is semi-auto, and you can hold it, it is now an assault weapon. Who needs a giant named list of things when that language exists.

And that section about AR15's and rocket launchers isn't "new talking points". The supreme court has previously ruled in US v Miller that the 2nd amendment specifically protected the right to keep arms that are "ordinary military equipment". (even if an AR15 is semi-automatic and therefore less capable than an M4, which is select-fire, not semi-auto...)

9:46 AM  
Blogger P J said...

Common law in America had always protected the right to arms, but the constitution never did. Nor was it meant to.

SCOTUS precedent has concluded that the constitution puts minimal restraint on the power to regulate firearms as long as the laws are non-discriminatory.

The gun advocates have been with us forever. Their arguments have been rejected by the courts. If only our present congress critters had the stones to uphold the precedents.

12:03 PM  

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