Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"
Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot, by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Self-Defense

One story.

Sebastian has been carrying on a dialogue with a member of the Brady Campaign's board. I applaud him for doing that, but I have to admit that I am of the opinion that trying to convince the Brady folk to change their minds, even slightly, is as productive as spitting into the wind.

I believe that the Brady Campaign, the Violence Policy Center and the rest of them want to outlaw all firearms. I have never seen a proposed gun control bill that any of those folks thought was too onerous. They approve of the near-total ban on private firearms ownership in places like England and Australia. Semi-automatic rifles are, to them "assault rifles". A rifle with a scope sight has been labeled a "sniper rifle" or a "terrorist weapon". They have pushed for bans of large-caliber rifles because "a terrorist could use them", with zero empirical evidence to back up their claim. To them, full-metal jacketed bullets are "cop killers" and hollowpoints are "dum-dums". Every state that has liberalized their concealed carry laws has been inundated with predictions from the gun control folks that "people carrying concealed weapons will engage in gunfights on Main Street", "they will shoot it out over fender-benders" and "the streets will run red with blood", none of which has happened, but that doesn't stop them from making the claims.

This is probably the only kind of rifled firearm that they grudgingly approve of: An open-sight, single-shot .22.

And they'll probably ban them if they could.

There was a time when I believed that there could be a middle ground, a place where reasonable controls on firearms could be agreed to. I no longer hold to that view. I believe that the gun control folks will keep coming back for more and more restrictions. I believe they operate from the principle of "what is mine is mine, what is yous is negotiable."

So this is my stand: Firearms ownership is a civil right. I will concede that "destructive devices" may be proscribed, but those should limited to things like land mines and hand grenades (if you want to buy a 20mm rifle, have at it). I believe that the NFA Act of 1934 should be repealed.

However, those who use firearms in the commission of a crime should be sent to a remote Federal prison for a very long time. Rob a person with a gun and, if you are apprehended, it should be well into the second half of this century before you are freed.

So, as far as I'm concerned, the Brady/VPC folks are on the other side of the debate, a debate that they are losing almost completely across the board. Which is probably why they now want to talk to the gun community.

UPDATE: From my co-blogger elsewhere, her views.

11 comments:

montag said...

IIRC there was a scandal in Texas back in the '60s that included someone who "committed suicide" by shooting himself in the back several times with a bolt action single shot 22.

dbliss said...

I fully agree with you -- making guns illegal is indefensible. Making the use of a gun *in a crime* subject to enhanced punishment is the only reasonable approach.

But then I realize that if you set up that mechanism, the fucking anti-gun nutjobs will go out and make the commission of *any* 'crime', no matter how trivial, while in possession of a gun subject to a life sentence. And the laws of this country being what they are, *everyone* is guilty of *something*, whether it's failure to yield, spitting in public, or wearing a hat on the Sabbath.

The biggest thing that worries and upsets me about carrying concealed is that my benighted states has *very* stiff punishments in place for 'trespassing while in possession of a weapon', and 'trespassing' can be as simple as stepping off the sidewalk by an inch or criticizing an incompetant idiot of a bank manager (been there, done that.)

I have no qualms at all about substantive use of a weapon to commit a serious crime being a one-strike-you're-out deal, but I don't at all trust the system to distinguish 'substantive' or 'serious'.

Comrade Misfit said...

Dbliss, that's why it would have to be "use". Not just "possession", actual use.

Eck! said...

One of the issues with laws is there are so many and they overlap and often unintelligible.

Maybe I'm simplistic, if you kill someone with a gun, bat, tire iron, felling a tree on them it's all the same, murder. The conviction for that means time served measured in decades minimally.

Now the problem is we don't do a background check for arborists, Tire iron purchasers, or little league baseball players, do we? Yet the tools they use can and are used in crimes.

I'm sorry all the compounded laws make it impossible to see the woods are composed of trees.

Eck!

Eck! said...

I took the time to read all the fist level comments and then track down and extrablog comments.

My conclusion remains unchanged. These are people incapable of critical thought. Their conclusions are bankrupt and used to support falsehoods that satisfy their goals.

My reaction to engaging them is training pigs to sing. It annoys the pig and you will not like the result.

To deal with them is pointless and the only goal is to do reconnaissance to see what direction their next possible attack may be. I'd think if 2A is at risk then other are equally at risk.

Eck!

perlhaqr said...

I do not agree with your idea of making "gun crime" more severely punishable than "non-gun crime".

Either what you did was a crime, or it wasn't. The presence or absence of a certain class of inanimate tool is irrelevant.

Eck! said...

Perlhagr,

Of all weapons firearms carry the greatest responsibility for their misuse as it allow the criminal to act at a indefensible distance.

However allowing that murder is a capital crime one should go to prison for a long time on that alone. Often the same said criminal obtained and used the firearm in the most illegal way which is not in the defense of self or family. The problem and the commentary is that criminals get out way too soon and repeat.

We should not be removing guns from people. We should be removing people that have proved their lack of control and responsibility from society.

Eck!

Bob S. said...

Eck!,

Sorry but I disagree with your comment about firearms.

Bows and Arrows, a thrown knife, a car bomb, molotov cocktail, the list is pretty extensive as to what can act at a distance.

And about the distance, the difference is exactly what?

That a 95 pound, 5'2 female stands a better chance of fighting off her mugger if he only has a knife?

Or that a more intimate and up close killing is preferred to one at a distance?

I absolutely agree we need to focus on the criminal and focus on keeping violent thugs locked up.

Eck! said...

Bob, I do not disagree. As someone that has enjoyed firearm sport and hunting I've seen what a good archer can do as well.

But,

The people that write the laws or advocate them never see a bow used in a convenience store camera footage. That and they already know they can't ban bombs. Oddly the threat of explosives is fairly common in bank robbery.

I'd say that the use and treat with any weapon should garner the perp extra time.

As to the mugger comment, if she is unarmed the knife is preferred over a gun in the muggers hand. If I had my way she'd have a gun. It should be a fair fight, she is a civilian and the criminal should be dead!

The antigunners are after two things the criminal and the gun. In their warped world no guns make better so any crime even a simple transport or ownership issue is criminalized. They see that as good to penalize people that have guns. While it's being a bit hyperbolic it would seem the anti-gun sorts see firearms especially handguns as possessed of magic that will cause normal people to go out and do unspeakable things after picking up one. However some of the anti-gun sorts project that "guns are inherently bad". It's a corrupt way to think.

I live in MA, the home of repressive gun laws.

Eck!

Firehand said...

You're .22 isn't safe; sometime last year a Brady clown had as one of the 'qualifiers' that any gun capable of firing more than 100 meters should be banned.

Which, by the way, takes out a lot of pellet rifles and my bow.

dbliss said...

All well and good, Comrade, but where do you draw the line of 'use'? I shoot you with a gun, okay, yes. I demand all your money while pointing a gun at you? I demand all your money while open carrying without drawing on you? I demand all your money with a suspicious lump in my pocket? I demand all your money and tell you I have a gun? I demand all your money and show you a polaroid of a gun? I demand all your money while pointing out that, hypothetically, someone like me might have a gun?

And do you trust the legislature and the courts to get it right? Every time? I don't.