The question occurs to me pretty much every time I bump into the current major conservative conspiracy theory. Why would anyone want to confiscate all guns from every American? But this sort of motivation is projected onto even the mildest of safety advocates. Those who want to take obvious moves to save lives are thought to be predatory, looking to take away all weapons.
That is the message of the NRA. The slippery slope is the basis for nearly all NRA arguments. Gun safety sounds sensible. But if you surrender your assault weapon, the semi-automatic firearm with a magazine that allows you to spray dozens of bullets without reloading, then they'll soon come after your hunting rifle, your target pistol, and pretty much everything.
Why? Because those anti-gun people just hate guns, all guns, every gun, without exception. Why would they just hate all guns? Well, they just do, that's all.
Every once in a while, we do hear an argument that goes beyond the "that's all." Sometimes it involves Bambi lovers whose imagination is held captive by Disney animation. More often it involves the obligation of government to safeguard the future right of conservatives to wage a war of revolution on the rest of America.
It is true that a weapon that can mow down little kids in a classroom can also be used in the future envisioned by some conservatives to kill dozens of police officers and US troops. Conservatives seem unnerved by the the lack of enthusiasm on the part of most Americans to that planned uprising and the mass killing that will accompany it.
Apart from objections to the planned uprising, apart from those mythical anti-hunters who are horrified at killing Bambi, what reason could anyone have for wanting to ban and confiscate all guns?
I can't imagine it. Neither can most conservatives.
What conservatives can offer is evidence that a prominent Democrat, Senator Dianne Feinstein, for her own elusive reasons, has said that the only thing holding her back from universal gun confiscation is that she doesn't have the votes . . . yet.
In fact, they can point to a video of an interview conducted in 1995. There she is, eighteen years ago, stating her goals straight out:
"If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an outright ban, picking up every one of them, Mr. and Mrs. America, turn 'em all in, I would have done it. I could not do that. The votes weren't here."
Wow. Confiscate all guns. Clear as day.
The problem with that argument is the original 60 minutes segment is available on line. It is an exploration of why rapid fire assault weapons could be used in the Columbine massacre, even though such weapons were temporarily banned in 1995. The actual interview was conducted by 60 minutes in 1999 - conservatives sometimes get dates wrong. You can see the Feinstein interview as a major part of the segment beginning at about the 3:15 mark.
The answer to the 60 minutes question, the question of how an assault weapons ban could have allowed a tragedy like Columbine, is quite simple. The ban was only on new assault weapons. Weapons already in circulation were unaffected, and so children died.
Human nature sometimes dictates that the truth shouldn't interfere with a good story. The conservative rage machine takes that directive seriously, stretching it as far as elasticity can go. Run a Google search, and you can get a picture of right wing blogs: Dianne Feinstein wants to take your guns. All of them.
Theintelhub.com shows the hypocrisy of Senator Feinstein stating in 1995 that she has a personal carry permit, and yet a video from 60 minutes shows she wants to take all guns from everyone.
"Dianne Feinstein Assault Weapons Ban Could Be the Start Of a Total Gun Ban" is the headline at policymic.
"Here is video," says Free Republic, "of Dianne Feinstein from “60 Minutes” in 1995, saying she wants guns confiscated."
Even our own T. Paine, a conservative who is pathologically truthful, is taken in.
Her interview on 60 minutes back in 1995 reveals exactly what her agenda is: disarming the American people. Feinstein is heard to say, “If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States, for an outright ban, picking up every one of them (every gun) Mr. and Mrs. America, turn ‘em all in. I would have done it.” So what kept her from doing it? She didn’t have the votes. She likely does have the votes in the senate this time, if not the House… thank God.
Why do so many - not all, to be sure - conservatives feel the need to slice and dice the truth into falsehood? I suspect it is for the same reason so many want to rig elections, making it hard for legitimate voters to cast ballots, trying to make their votes count for less.
They have come to realize they cannot win a fair election. So they need to rig elections to protect voters from wrong choices.
They cannot win a fair argument. They need to help the truth along, when the truth, all by itself, does not support them.
In their lack of confidence, they have hit upon a sad, sad fact. Cutting corners is the only way they can win.
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Also, while I suspect 2nd amendment infringing gun safety legislation will indeed pass in our cess pool senate, I don't think it stands a chance in the House. The only way gun bans will be done will be by illegal executive fiat. I have no doubt that such will happen under this president.
I also have no doubt that those of us who still give a damn about the constitution will be in an uproar the likes that hasn't been seen since the civil rights era. I look forward to being further demonized accordingly.
Do you suppose that, had the point been presented honestly by conservative bloggers that it would have been as convincing?
I don't know whether Senator Feinstein is correct in her opinion. I would need to research it a little more.
What I do know is that a substantial number of conservatives do not have enough confidence in their own arguments to present them in a way that is consistent with the easily documented truth.
Jerry, do you mean to tell me that someone broke the law in purchasing those weapons for the Columbine Shooters? I guess those "gun safety" laws didn't work, did they. So of course, the alternative is to take those scary weapons away from people that ARE following the law.
While I'm sure that some conservative bloggers are simply dishonest, errors like this are generally unintentional. However, we can point out that a consistent willingness to jump to the worst conclusions and forgo further research indicates the existence of a belief in search of supporting evidence, a hallmark of conspiracy theories. This is often accompanied by a failure to acknowledge the error when it is pointed out.
"Mr. Deming, I have not knowingly cited any evidence in my arguments that was not known to be absolutely true to me."
I never doubted it. I continue to picture you as pathologically truthful. Like others, you were taken in by one of many such falsehoods floating about the web.
No one was procecuted for purchasing guns for the boys. One person illegally sold a handgun and the other illegally purchased ammunition. Also, they did not use assault weapons.
The solution is stronger gun safety laws. No one is talking about taking away guns from people who are following the law. You are just making things up. How about using the truth instead.
Jerry, if the person(s) that illegally sold those weapons to the Columbine shooters were not prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, then that is the fault of the attorney general and the public for not holding him to account for not doing so.
Next, you are wrong, Jerry. I (hypothetically) must now acquire parts and any spare magazines I may want for my hypothetical firearms in case Feinstein¡¦s legislation is passed. If this unconstitutional infringement becomes pernicious law, my right to own the firearm I choose will indeed be infringed upon. Further, as the dissembling senator admitted, if she had her way and the votes in congress, she would have us turning in all of our scary weapons. I don¡¦t need to lie to make my case. A simple layout of the facts supports that we have elected officials, buoyed by a yet-to-be-determined minority of the populace, that want to ban, restrict, and ultimately have us turn in our guns in violation of the Constitution they swore to uphold.
My second amendment right should be the same. I should have the right to own whichever firearm I choose, since it will do no harm to you whatsoever unless you criminally try to harm me or my loved ones.
Except when you miss the person you are shooting at, or the bullet just passes through him, and travel a mile away and hit my child, killing her. Or are you just going to write that off as collateral damage?
That is an important point, though I'm not sure how often it happens. Unlike close-quarter weapons, it is much more difficult to control a gunshot's point of impact, particularly in the hands of the untrained or against a moving target. Moreover, even a marksman cannot necessarily predict what the bullet will do when it hits its target.
I see this as a greater problem in some of the scenarios that conservatives present where, while waiting for police to arrive, armed citizens try to suppress criminals. I can only imagine what harm (and confusion) a group of untrained gunmen firing from different locations might cause.
This is indeed a very valid concern, and one that should make any gun owner take that responsibility as deadly serious, and seek intensive training accordingly.
The alternative though, as we have seen repeatedly in just the last year, is that an unarmed populace is completely without ability to stop a murderer bent on killing as many folks as possible. Which would you prefer?
I don't know, since we don't have the numbers on total gun-related injuries and deaths in the society of the gun-owning, -carrying, and -using populace. Obviously, if a gunman were pursuing me, I would like to have a gun to defend myself--but that is not the only concern here.
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