In response to Comments on Burr Deming's
Cameron, Gun Safety, Social Security, Abortion, Palin
Nazi Germany did not arise from a vacuum, but from a set of circumstances that we do not face today in our country.
- Ryan, January 26, 2013
While America today is not like Nazi Germany of the 1930’s, there are increasingly similar circumstance that are developing. After losing WWI, Germany was in an economic mess. Hitler came to power with his national socialist party (Nazis) to restore economic prosperity. He blamed much of the economic woes on the Jews. Today, we have wide-spread (and horribly under-reported) unemployment, multiple rounds of quantitative easing which will eventually create horrible inflation, and a national debt that exceeds the entire GDP of our nation. We are inching ever closer to economic collapse. Many progressives in elected positions are blaming this on the rich that refuse to pay their fair share, hence all of the Occupy protests, which at times turned violent. If economic collapse does come, it is very likely that martial law and restrictions on our constitutional freedoms will indeed be mandated. The fact that you don’t think it can happen when the foundation for such catastrophe already exists shows that you are either not paying great attention to history, or you have far greater faith in our government and people today than I do.
Your AR-15 doesn't stand a chance against a drone or, if it came to it, a nuclear strike.
- Ryan, January 26, 2013
First, the likelihood of a nuclear strike, even during a widespread revolution is exceptionally unlikely, so I won’t even bother with that argument. As for drones etc. you are correct that a single person with an AR-15 is hardly a match. That said, if there are lots of like-minded people with such firearms, the possibility of survival is definitely improved. Ask the rebels in Syria fighting against the cruel and repressive regime under Bashar Assad if they wish they could all have AR-15 style weapons, or would be okay with only five shot revolvers. Regardless, I am not advocating nor anticipating having to engage in armed conflict against our government. I am simply exercising my 2nd amendment right in a prudent and safe manner.
...being armed is by no means a sufficient condition for effective resistance against our government.
I just acknowledged this to be true. That said, being unarmed or armed with only revolvers is even less likely to help ones’ cause in such a case.
Does one really need an assault rifle or grenade launcher to fend off a thief? Isn't a handgun sufficient?
I last qualified in the military as an expert shot with a rifle and as a sharpshooter with a handgun. That said, a pistol is something that you place in your night stand safe to provide you the time necessary for you to be able to get to your rifle in the case of an emergency. The technically inaccurately named assault rifles are deemed such by IDIOTS like Senator Feinstein because they can hold more than ten rounds, or have a removable magazine, or have a flash suppressor on the muzzle, or any of a number of other arbitrary characteristics that evidently “scare” her. A true assault rifle is a fully automatic weapon. They have been illegal to the general public since the 1930’s, if I am correct. A grenade launcher is not needed to stop a thief, but a shotgun with six rounds in a magazine and a forward grip to ensure accuracy sure would do the job, except those are proposed to be banned by Feinstein’s legislation too.
Unless you think that people should be allowed to carry assault rifles around with them in public (what, over their shoulder for all to see?)
Do you mean like this guy in my state that walked into a JC Penny’s with his AR-15 on his shoulder did in order to exercise his 2nd amendment right a few weeks ago? (He called the cops ahead of time to inform them what he was doing, even though by state law he was well within his rights to do so.) Most people in Utah were very supportive of him.
...it is a legal argument that has already been rejected by the Supreme Court.
Actually, the SCOTUS just affirmed again in 2010 that the second amendment is an individual right and guarantees average Americans the right to keep and bear arms regardless of bans and restrictions placed on citizens by the states or cities.
If you have a gun, everybody in your home is more likely than your non-gun-owning neighbors and their families to die in a gun-related accident, suicide or homicide.
- Jerry Critter, January 26, 2013
Not in my household. The only one more likely to die there is the uninvited criminal breaking in to my home. I have seen many such discredited studies, sir. If someone purchases a weapon and has no idea how to operate, clean, and store the weapon and ensures that all members in their household are appropriately trained, then I suspect the chances of accidents are indeed much greater. That said, I am a military veteran that is very familiar with my weapons and keep them secured where no one else can get to them except my wife and me. She is similarly trained, is a great shot, and was raised with guns since her father was a deputy sheriff. In other words, if a person acts responsibly, the chances of an accident is not very likely. The same could be said with owning a car. I would hope most drivers are trained and act responsibly there too, but based on my morning commute today, I am not certain that this is the case. Perhaps we need to ban automobiles for the average Americans next.
T. Paine, a frequent contributor, owns firearms and an automobile, and is trained in the use of both. He also writes for his own site, where neither is banned.
Please visit Saving Common Sense.
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Sounds like a call for better gun safety regulations including registration, training, licensing, background checks, etc. all stuff currently being call for. Congratulations for seeing the light.
I have no problem with background checks to ensure that criminals and the mentally unstable do not acquire firearms easily. (and so does the NRA, for that matter.)
I absolutely recommend safety and marksmanship classes for those that are new gun owners. I do NOT think those things should be mandated by law, however.
I sure as hell don't think we should be registering our weapons. That would make it real easy for a corrupt Republican government to come and round up our weapons since they then knew who had them. (I know a Democrat government would never do such a thing, so they are exempt from the example.)
You have chosen one set of (arguable) similarities and seemingly blamed it entirely for the rise of the Nazi party. Economic problems alone were not a sufficient condition for its rise, just as they are not today.
But if we are talking about a general scenario in which there is civil war or the government, in possibly reasonable response to widespread rioting or rebellion, institutes martial law, then I acknowledge that it is possible, particularly because of economic strife. It is just not likely.
"First, the likelihood of a nuclear strike, even during a widespread revolution is exceptionally unlikely, so I won’t even bother with that argument."
It is indeed unlikely, but if we are talking about a tyrannical government that sees its power slipping away and fears its fate after the war, it is not so far out of the realm of possibility that it is not worth addressing. At the very least, the threat of such could compel many people to abandon their fight.
In any case, the point is that our government has access to technology that the public (1) does not, (2) cannot easily replicate, and (3) cannot easily defeat. This applies to more than just drones and nuclear weapons. If we were only up against the military as it is now, we might have the advantage of numbers and the size of our country, but this wartime scenario would undoubtedly involve a great many people who would take the government's side and join the fight against the "rebels" accordingly. I just can't see the government losing. After all, as many conservatives love to point out, we have exceptional military power. It doesn't disappear just because some of the American people might be the enemy.
"Regardless, I am not advocating nor anticipating having to engage in armed conflict against our government."
OK, but it is certainly a common conservative and libertarian argument in support of unregulated or much less regulated gun ownership.
"The technically inaccurately named assault rifles are deemed such by IDIOTS like Senator Feinstein because they can hold more than ten rounds, or have a removable magazine, or have a flash suppressor on the muzzle, or any of a number of other arbitrary characteristics that evidently “scare” her."
I am familiar with the distinction, though I believe that the term being used right now is "assault guns" or "assault weapons." "Assault rifle" still retains its meaning as you describe it.
But let me be clear that I have taken no position on recently proposed gun legislation, largely because I haven't read any of it. (And, honestly, this is not the most important political issue to me.) I am trying to rebut conservative arguments against gun regulation and for some of the supposed virtues of gun ownership.
"They have been illegal to the general public since the 1930’s, if I am correct."
Does this mean that you also oppose allowing the public to own assault rifles?
"Do you mean like this guy in my state that walked into a JC Penny’s with his AR-15 on his shoulder...?"
That was not an answer to my question. Do you support that? I would be incredibly uncomfortable if I were surrounded by people with such weapons out in the open for no clear and necessary reason. Rational and self-interested people might not be a threat, but not everyone is rational and self-interested. Moreover, it would (1) make distinguishing the average law-abiding citizen from a would-be criminal much more difficult and (2) likely create a culture of fear or distrust. If, as you say, you don't have much faith in people today, then I wonder how you could be comfortable in a group of well-armed strangers.
"Actually, the SCOTUS just affirmed again in 2010..."
But did not affirm the right for people to own any weapon that they want. This is the argument to which I was referring. An automatic weapon ban is still in place, is it not?
As for the gentleman that carried his rifle and side arm to JC Penny’s, I don’t have a problem with that either. Now if I saw him loading the weapon and drawing to fire on someone, I would assess the situation and act accordingly. In general, I don’t have a problem being in the company of strangers that may be well armed and open carrying their firearms. Depending upon the state in which you live, you might be very surprised to find out how many strangers you pass in public settings that are armed with concealed weapons. I see little difference in whether those strangers are carrying their weapons for the world to see or in a concealed manner. The only difference is that it is psychologically more uncomfortable for some folks to actually see a stranger carrying a firearm in public. They are fine though not knowing that in the crowd of hundreds at the grocery store that they shop at every day, they may pass dozens of people that are armed without ever knowing it.
"Currently I see no likelihood of that ban on fully automatic weapons every being raised though."
Nevertheless, the same arguments that you use against further regulation apply to the ban on automatic weapons, so it is relevant.
Where do you draw the line on acceptable weapons and why?
I see it as a matter of needs vs. danger. Automatic weapons increase danger without addressing any needs, so a ban on them (and anything more dangerous) is appropriate.
"And yes, the SCOTUS has not granted that people can own any weapon they want."
This is important to keep in mind. As I said before, there is no sense in making purely legal arguments if the Supreme Court has already ruled against you. The law is the law, not the law that you would like it to be. Conservatives are better off making purely moral arguments in order to convince people that existing regulations, while legal, are undesirable.
"I see little difference in whether those strangers are carrying their weapons for the world to see or in a concealed manner."
True enough, at least in the sense that they can use a weapon either way. But, as I said, this would likely only create a culture of fear and distrust. There is indeed a psychological effect in constantly seeing that the strangers around you could kill you in an instant and from a distance, even if it is not likely or does not apply to you. Moreover, it would make it more difficult for the average citizen as well as law enforcement to determine who is a criminal and who is not. Criminals would not only be able to walk around with their weapon in the open, but, if open gun-carrying were widespread, might even be able to harm others and get away with it by blending into a group of other, similarly armed people.
It is difficult for me to understand how you could be comfortable in a country where people are not required to register or train with their guns (even though we appropriately expect it for would-be drivers), are allowed to own apparently whatever weapon they want, and are allowed to carry it in the open for all to see.
This is often times very true. Unfortunately, making moral arguments against things like abortion or gun control typically fall on deaf progressive ears, sir.
Next, I am against gun registration, because that is the first step to a complete banning of firearms. It is easy to confiscate them if you know who has them.
Further, as I said, I would hope that everyone is very comfortable, knowledgeable, and well-trained with whatever weapon they deem to carry just as a matter of personal responsibility. At the end of the day, you cannot legislate away neglect or stupidity.
Look at how many people drink an drive. Look at how many people text while driving. Drinking is legal and so is texting, but responsible people don't do either when driving. It is an absolute impossibility to legislate stupidity. If such were possible, with the federal government we have in place now, they would become the mother of all oxymorons.
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