Gun Control – What does and doesn’t work
First let me begin by saying that currently the U.S. citizenry is considering implementing some kind of‘gun control’, or better put, we are considering some way to decrease the epidemic of gun violence in our country. We are NOT considering a ‘gun grab’ as purported by the fat drug addict guy, Rush Limbaugh, or by other right-wing reactionary drama queens.
The citizenry, and our elected representatives, have been moved to act in light of the epidemic of mass public slaughter in our schools, movie theaters, and public gathering places. We are tired of it, it’s just that simple.
Let’s stop for a moment and review our gun laws. We are guaranteed the right to bear arms by the second amendment. This amendment was put into the US Constitution to provide the citizenry the ability to fight the government (remember that we had just defeated the King of England and his colonial government) in the event that the government became oppressive. It guaranteed our ability to overthrow tyrants. The second amendment has nothing to do with hunting and the use of the “hunting” analogy when discussing the second amendment is simply a way to divert the conversation from the intent of the second amendment.
When someone says, “Why does a hunter need an assault rifle to kill a deer?” it’s just a way to minimize or refocus the intent of the second amendment. Clearly a hunter does not need an assault rifle to kill a deer, unless that hunter has no skill in marksmanship. The same is true of someone who ‘needs’ an assault rifle for self-protection: either they are not well-trained in the use of firearms, or they have way too many enemies.
The second amendment was designed and written in a time when they didn’t have assault rifles however, and we didn’t have machine guns, or any semi automatic rifles or pistols, or hand grenades at the time, we had muskets. That’s right, the second amendment was written so that the American people could own muskets and also so they could be formed into a citizen driven militia.
In those days we could clearly win a war against an oppressive government with muskets. We did so in the late 1700’s when General Washington defeated General Cornwallis at Yorktown, Virginia in 1781.
Today, as I write this blog entry, it’s 2013, some 232 years later. I ask you, if the government became oppressive to such a degree that we the people chose to revolt and overthrow the government, would we be successful if we used the weapons we currently have at hand?
Could we defeat any army if all we had were revolvers, single shot hunting rifles, semi-automatic pistols, semi-automatic rifles, and or assault rifles? Remember we’d be going up against fully automatic weapons, both light and heavy machine guns, fragmentation grenades, RPG’s, mortars, rockets, both light and heavy artillery, flame throwers, air craft including helicopter gunships, fixed wing aircraft with 20 mm cannons, machine guns, guided missiles, rockets, and bombs, ships, tanks, armored personnel carriers, claymore mines, and all manner of weapons. Could we? Of course we could not.
So, after a closer look, it appears that we’ve gone past the point where an armed population can successfully combat an oppressive government. It might be time to come to grips with that reality.
The NRA tells us that the proliferation of guns is not the problem. Lets look at that for a moment; in the 1930’s the congress drafted and passed the National Firearms Act. That Act was in response to cries from the public to regulate what were considered ‘gangster weapons’ such as machine guns and sawed off shotguns. People were being shot down in the streets by gangsters who owned machine guns, which were legally obtained during that time period. The NFA was passed in 1934, and since then only two murders have been attributed to machine gun use.
Clearly, banning machine guns worked.
Banning the public use of hand grenades has worked as well. Here’s an excerpt from an article about the practice of fragging in Viet Nam. “During the years of 1969 down to 1973, we have the rise of fragging – that is, … hand-grenading your NCO or your officer who orders you out into the field,” says historian Terry Anderson of Texas A & M University. “The US Army itself does not know exactly how many…officers were murdered. But they know at least 600 were murdered, and then they have another 1400 that died mysteriously.
According to this article, there were from between 600 and 2,000 fragging deaths in Viet Nam between 1969 and 1973. There have been fragging incidents in other conflicts as well, but there have been no fragging incidents here in our homeland. Why is that?
Clearly the answer is that hand grenades are not available to the general population. Can you imagine the body count at Sandy Hook if they were? Or the body count at the movie theater in Aurora Colorado? Or at the political gathering in Arizona where Congresswoman Gifford’s was gunned down?
Some things that might work are fairly dramatic and include;
… putting armed guards in every school, but then what do we do with movie theaters and other public gathering places? Do we put armed guards in them as well? How do we pay for that? How many armed guards in each public place?
… arming teachers. Again, what do we do at movie theaters and other public gathering places? Do we arm the kids who are in charge of selling us popcorn and candy? Do we hire ushers and arm them? How do we get the lights on and prevent mass panic so the ushers don’t shoot the wrong people? And what do we do with the public gathering places? Do we simply arm everyone in attendance?
… disarm the Nation? No, that’s a really bad idea and would lead to unnecessary bloodshed.
Here are some more things that might work and are less dramatic than the ideas listed above;
… Responsible gun ownership. If you own a gun, OWN the gun, take responsibility for it’s safety. Keep it out of the hands of your sugar addled children who play violent video games all day and secretly plot to kill all of their classmates.
… Stiff penalties for parents and others who allow their firearms to get into the hands of children, or criminals.
… Restrict the right of criminals to own guns. No felon should be allowed to own a gun, no offender with a violent misdemeanor should be allowed to own a gun. No one who is named in a TRO (temporary restraining order) should be allowed to own a gun while that TRO is in effect.
… Banning assault rifles, and the import, manufacture, or sale of replacement parts for any existing assault rifle (including high-capacity magazines) for the next 100 years would work (as banning machine guns worked, and as keeping hand grenades out of public ownership has worked).
So let’s recap, no one is talking about a gun grab or taking away our weapons. And remember that the second amendment has nothing to do with hunting. And remember that I’ve just shown what does work in a historical context (like banning machine guns and hand grenades). And remember that the second amendment is now so antiquated that it will not provide the protections we need against an oppressive government. So let’s work with what we have, let’s find a way to decrease, reduce, and prevent wholesale gun violence while at the same time taking safeguards to keep the government accountable to the citizenry.
We can do it if we keep our False Outrage to a minimum.