Gun Control Ideas for 2013

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.

 

 

 

 

 

About BradGolding

Former Republican, Former Democrat, currently non-aligned with any party. Served in the United States Marine Corps 1968 throught 1972.
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11 Responses to Gun Control Ideas for 2013

  1. Brad Golding says:

    Evets,

    I agree that the concerns of southern slave owners influenced the consitution and the bill of rights, however the main motivation for the 2nd ammendment wasn’t slave uprisings. The questions of maintaining a militia and the individual right to bear arms is rooted in European law as far back as the 1600′s.

    Our national history in regards to slavery is indeed shameful and that shame is not at all mitigated by the world history of slavery. As I’ve commented before, the Adam Smith observations on economics described in ‘Wealth of Nations” are based largely on slave based economies which is one reason for their invalididty in today’s economic climate. But those thoughts are for other posts.

    If your interested, the Journal of Law & Politics published a very informative artical on the evolution of the second ammendment in 1987. Follow this link for some very interesting reading http://www.guncite.com/journals/hardhist.html

    Thanks for you comment, your opinion is not only welcome, it is valued.

    Brad

    • BradGolding says:

      The comment from Evets was in the ‘About the Daily Drill Down’ post. I’m reposting it here…

      Evets says:

      January 14, 2013 at 8:09 pm (Edit)

      Good one Brad, but the real reason for the 2nd amendment even being placed in the Bill of Rights has more to do with controlling rebellious slaves than it does fighting tyrants. As you well know, there is no mention of “government” nor tyrant in the 2nd amendment. It speaks to the “security” of a free State. The southern states were very fearful of the “Negro” population due to several murderous uprisings. Their leaders demanded that Madison include wording about weapons rights and particularly “militias” because these had already been formed and employed to hunt down escaped slaves. The 2nd amendment has a darker past than most Americans would care to admit.

  2. asknod says:

    My how simplistic, sir. Give up your inferior semi-automatic knockoffs and lookalike AK’s because the military outguns you? Turn in your AR-15s to ensure the right to Life? The Japanese rightfully opted not to invade us for fear of those very same bolt action deer rifles. You blithely assume America’s military would have no problem slaughtering their own? The Posse Comitatus forbids the military to operate against its citizenry. So the police would have no problem mowing down their constituents? That doesn’t speak well about the mantra of “To Protect and Serve”. I notice Terry McVeigh didn’t need a hand grenade to take out the Alfred P. Murrah Bldg. in Oke City. I agree with your sentiments of more stringent background checks. I agree that anyone with “problems” shouldn’t be allowed to possess. I differ in one major vein. Outlawing assault rifles will only lead to a gradual erosion of what constitutes one. Then there will have to be another discussion on a reasonable solution sometime in the future when the next one occurs with a semi auto pistol. Perhaps all semi-auto handguns in that eventuality. Then single-shot rifles which hold an interior magazine of five rounds. Next perhaps pellet and bb guns.
    You use the argument:
    <<>>
    Shall we apply that to the First Amendment? Certainly a side-arm press in 1776 holds nothing in comparison to a Xerox printer. Look at what our good buddy at Wiki leaks produced. Do we rescind the Right to Free Speech for fear our national secrets will be exposed? I think not. Your passion for this debate is well-intentioned but your logic is poorly thought out. America is very resilient. When we tire of this type of violence, we’ll enact meaningful legislation that corrects the problem rather than convicting a lot of innocent folk and disenfranchising all for the sins of a few. Guns and the NRA are not on trial here. Compassionate treatment for those who suffer mental illness is the panacea.
    Your diatribe in favor of a “reasonable accommodation” in relinquishing certain firearms is simply to beginning of an avalanche. As I mentioned, many of the progressive enlightened people you stand with such as Senators Diane Feinstein and Chuck Schumer are far more vociferous in their desire to do away with all firearms- not just black ones to which you can affix a 30-round clips and bayonets.
    Some folks like to dress up in camo and run around in the woods shooting at cans with 5.56X 45 mm semi-automatic rifles. Granted, they are idiots but they are not insane. Do we outlaw idiocy? That is the right to pursuit of happiness no matter how misguided and nonsensical it is. In America, you still have the right to remain stupid. It’s been against the law to kill your fellow man and school children since the inception of the Constitution. The only thing that has changed is that we’ve set the lunatics free to roam about and do this. Sometimes they use assault weapons. Sometimes pistols, knives, baseball bats, vehicles, poison- the list is endless. Rather than focus your anger on an inanimate object like the tool, focus on the defective person. I find it hard to say some should be locked up for nothing more than a bent brain but a 20 year old gal shot and killed my 40 year old stepson simply because he was a man. She stole the gun from her grandparents. They knew she was schizophrenic. I don’t blame her. I blame society for setting her free and I blame her grandparents for their stupidity. Shit happens Brad.

    • BradGolding says:

      Yes, shit happens. And when it gets out of control we are obligated to address it if it becomes a problem. At this time in our history, the people agree that mass public slaughter has gone too far and we must act to reduce that mass public slaughter. If we do not act, then the blood from the next mass public slaughter will be on our hands. I cannot accept that burden.

      Yes, it’s simplistic. In brief, we have a problem and we need a solution. It’s that simple.

      We can engage in paralysis by analysis if we choose; this is our normal choice when faced with simple problems. We parse words, challenge each other’s definitions, argue for our positions with passion, and finally do nothing. But if we do engage in paralysis by analysis (or hiding our heads in the sands of the 2nd amendment and choosing not to make hard choices) we are failing in our duty to at least try to ensure the safety of future generations.

      Banning assault rifles and high capacity magazines may be a slippery slope, but avoiding our duty to attempt to create a safer environment for our progeny is a cliff. We have the moral dictate to act. There’s another simplistic statement for you to ponder.

      I do not advocate gun grabs or mandatory gun turn ins. I do advocate responsible gun ownership.

      Let’s get back to what might work shall we?

      If we ban assault rifles and high capacity magazines right now we won’t be addressing the availability of existing weapons, that’s completely true, but as time goes by these weapons of mass destruction will decrease in number due to attrition. They will become even less available to those who would use them for mass murder if we become more responsible in our gun ownership (a key factor), and as the population grows, they will become less significant as available weapons in regards to the percentage of weapons in our public arsenal.

      I did a Google search on ‘how many assault weapons in the US” and came upon this site: http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20121222/NEWS02/712229941 , they estimate that there are somewhere around 3,750,000 AR-15-type rifles in the United States today. So let’s just use that number for our math (while it in no way reflect the actual number of assault type weapons, it a starting place). We have a population of about 311,591,917 people here in the US. It’s also estimated that the number of assault rifles such as the AR-15 type are growing at a rate of about 3% per year, and the population is growing as well. If we stop the production, importation, and sale of this type of rifle, it’s percentage of available weapons in relationship to the population will decrease.

      If we accept this data, we can extrapolate a growing scarcity of assault weapons in relation to those who would use them illegally if they could. Yes, that’s simplistic, but most likely true.

      Will that help us today? Maybe, most likely not, but we have to do something. We have the moral obligation to our children to do something to make their, and our, country safer.

      If we ban the manufacture, importation, and sale of replacement parts for assault rifles we will speed the reduction by attrition.

      While we take these simple measures to create a safer environment for future generations, and to a lesser extent for our own generation, we can then work on more complicated measures like defining what types of mental illness, criminal history, personality disorders, or whatever we decide on as a metric for gun ownership.

      As time goes by our existing public arsenal of assault weapons will become antiquated just as the musket became antiquated. We both recognize that new weapons are developed all the time. The evolution of weapons technology will continue, no doubt about it.

      We don’t need to kick the can down the road just because we don’t have a final solution. We can start with a partial solution and then work more comprehensive solutions. We can, if we want, fuss, cuss, and discuss the DSM and what mental disorders would disqualify a person from gun ownership or access. We could discuss the safety requirements in regards to current owners of assault rifles, we could discuss what constitutes assault rifles, we could discuss until we’re blue in the face.

      I stand by our right to bear arms, and I also stand by my remarks regarding our need to re-evaluate the provision in the 2nd amendment about what a “well regulated” militia looks like. And I stand by my belief that we have a moral obligation to our fellow citizens to take preventative action now rather than engaging in paralysis by analysis.

      We’ve found some common ground which doesn’t surprise me, rather, it delights me.

      Thanks for your comments, we need more voices, not fewer…

  3. asknod says:

    I don’t see the common ground. My objections are still unanswered. Kicking the can down the road on mental illness puts off the inevitable- a nuanced discussion and meaningful laws on mentally ill people. If you see a shrink, that’s it. No guns. If you have any mental or anger management problems-lights out. Lock up the ones who are a potential danger to themselves and others-not proven by their actions with guns. Don’t wait for the apocalypse to act. It’s like the no-fly list. Unless you can get a bye from a shrink with a clean bill of health- sayonara. That is the solution. Law-abiding citizens have constantly given ground (machine guns, etc.) to solve the violence problem. It doesn’t work. The assault weapons ban from 1994-2004 didn’t work. Even the FBI was intelligent enough to observe that. Why would reenacting it change anything.
    You project that technology will change on guns. I shot the earliest M16A1 prototype the Air Force decided to accept in 1964 at Seymour Johnson AFB. That was 49 years ago. They haven’t changed much since then.

    This is America. Just as you cannot be “a little pregnant”, nor can you just give the 2nd Amendment “a little haircut” a la the NFA of 1934. Use your own argument. They outlawed machine guns, sawed off shotguns, hand grenades and all manner of explosives devices to protect us in 1934. Absent all of these items for 69 years, we now are endangered by “semi-automatic” guns. After you outlaw those and the carnage continues, the next inevitable step is taken. For our safety, all guns must be outlawed so that these atrocities will never occur. It’s politically incorrect to cite to examples such as Hitler, Stalin, Fidel Castro, Idi Amin, and Pol Pot. Look no further than Mexico next door to you for what’s next. They have nice, enlightened laws on the possession of any kind of gun-period.

    In every civilized society, this doesn’t pose too much of a problem until a mentally deranged person pops up. Norway is virtually crime-free in this respect. Note the adverb virtually. There are no absolutes in life other than birth and death. Restricting any item simply breeds a black market for it. Outlawing it merely makes the existing ones far more valuable. It would take a century to rid us of every existing assault weapon optimistically. Would that even put a dent in these horrific incidences? If not, then why go there?
    Solutions to problems are easy. Having the gumption to enforce laws to prevent this is what is lacking. The habit of throwing more laws at it doesn’t work. If it did, the NFA would have solved it. It didn’t. Neither did the laws following Kennedy’s assassination, 1986 and the GOPA? Nope. 1989 and opening the NFA books to grandfather in any old machine guns? Negative. The 1994 ban? Nope. What, exactly do you see that has changed in 2013 that is going to bring a new dynamic to the table?
    I pride myself on my open-mindedness, Golding. I draw the line on the Koolaid cure. Put the weirdos back in the asylums. Perform meaningful background checks that can pull up records that disqualify violent people. Sell guns at gun shows like they do here in Washington-only to those with concealed weapons permits. They have already passed the “test”. No sales to anyone who needs a psychiatrist to navigate life. None to domestic violence offenders of either sex. That leaves the average American who has not done anything wrong free to enjoy what you tout as the “Right to life”-as paraphrased in “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Call it the Second Amendment, the fourth or whatever floats your boat but do not advocate abridging the right because others abuse it. There can be no more “accommodations” with the govt. We have rid ourselves of Saturday night specials, short shotguns and all manner of guns that do not pass the “sensitivity” test. Tell me about how all that hope and change on the gun laws has panned out over the last three score and ten years.

    If you advocate for more stringent gun laws, that is your choice. Please do not feel we stand on any common ground if your position is more controls. I see you have some of the most stringent in the nation in California. Check your state crime statistics and murder rates to see if they have eradicated the crime. Murder is decreasing everywhere in the US. Guns are increasing. See any correlation?

  4. asknod says:

    I had an epiphany I wanted to add as a postscript this afternoon. Look at Pot. Well, heroin, coke and all the other dangerous drugs afoot in 1930. They outlawed them all, curtailed prescribing them and created the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs(BNDD), the forerunner to the DEA. They OUTLAWED pot. Period. Did that stop its use and sale? It actually increased in cost but the availability didn’t evaporate. By the sixties, it’s use became rampant and cheap. Here we are in the 21st century and my state (as well as Colorado) have legalized it in desperation to fund their social agenda. If assault weapons could be made to produce a bounty for the Govt., you can rest assured they would be welcomed with open arms. Unfortunately, the Pittman-Robertson act upstaged that by several score years and taxing it harder will never happen.

    What you can expect will be a curb on ammunition. Either that or a stupendous tax. No bullets equals no guns shooting. Control that and you essentially have everyone’s undivided attention. Again, a new black market will dawn. I trust America and Americans. I know in my heart that most are law abiding. Laws of any country depend on the majority adhering to them. The few that refuse should be dealt with harshly. As long as capital punishment is on the books, any Govt. talk of restricting how people kill each other is a nonstarter. Laws have loopholes and unintended consequences. If they don’t work, the tendency is to fix it with yet more laws. Look at our tax code for confirmation of this.

    In closing sir, I observe that outlawing pot seems to be turning us into a nation of pot smokers.-quite the obverse of the desired effect. I cringe to think how law-abiding citizens will react to abridging our rights further. Your heart is in the right place. No one wants to see carnage like Connecticut’s. But then, no one wants to go unarmed when they know others are. As long as there is evil in the world, Govt. will seek to suppress it. How they choose to do so speaks volumes about their own morals. The people who advocate we do away with these weapons are surrounded with bodyguards sporting MP-5 9mm fully automatic submachine pistols. Some carry Car-15 fully auto assault carbines with (gasp) collapsible stocks and 30 round clips. Are they to restrict their weapons to comply, and if not, why not? They sure don’t need them for hunting. Since the NFA rid us of SMGs and hand grenades, they really don’t need anything more than .40 cal pistols. Nevertheless, they do and we don’t but they insist a reasonable accommodation would be to give up yet another class of weapons in hopes of getting it right “this time”. I know I will not change your mind on this. I just ask you to view it from many perspectives. Be your own devil’s advocate and meander down the road of “what if we…” Walk all the way through the consequences of past laws and how they helped or hindered. Craft a solution that fixes a problem rather than feeding pablum to assuage public opinion. Identify the problem and you are halfway to a solution.

  5. Brad Golding says:

    Here’s some common ground regarding this particular thread:

    1. asknod January 20, 2013 at 9:20 pm……”I agree with your sentiments of more stringent background checks.”

    2. asknod January 20, 2013 at 9:20 pm…..”I agree that anyone with “problems” shouldn’t be allowed to possess.”

    3. asknod January 20, 2013 at 9:20 pm…..”When we tire of this type of violence, we’ll enact meaningful legislation that corrects the problem rather than convicting a lot of innocent folk and disenfranchising all for the sins of a few.”

    4. asknod January 20, 2013 at 9:20 pm…..”Guns and the NRA are not on trial here.”

    5. from facebook…Ask Nod “I abhor violence now, Brad.”

    6. from facebook…Ask Nod “I don’t see changing a perfectly good document every time a disaster arises.”

    7. Here’s the biggest common ground item, we both agree that something needs to be done to curb, reduce, or mitigate the epidemic of public slaughter. That’s the base agreement, however we do disagree on how that should done.

    8. I also agree with you that ammo will be the easy target.

    Further comments:

    On item 6, I have not advocated for changing the constitution, nor do I advocate it so in effect we are in agreement here. What I do advocate is a public re-examination of what ‘well regulated’ means to us as a society. I agree that life, or justice is not static, it’s dynamic. Being that life and justice are dynamic, so must our ability to interpret law be dynamic. The founders didn’t envision a standing army, they envisioned a well regulated militia. Well we don’t have a militia, what we have is an armed public which is barely regulated. I suggest that we regulate the weapons that are available.

    True, many laws are broken every day, we both agree on that. But that’s no basis for continuing to hide our heads in the sand and give up trying to imporve our society.

    As far as not answering all of your questions, that’s not what I do. I am not here to be directed or controlled by your questions. I choose what I’ll answer and decline to engage in “whom ever asks the questions is in control of the conversation” tactics. Especially when the questions are only an attempt to divert attention from the problem at hand. The tried and true tactic of ‘reduce it to the ridiculous’ won’t work here just as the ‘expand the argument to dilute the objection’ won’t work here.

    As I see it, we both want something done, we both want a reduction in needless public slaughter. That’s common ground. We can build from there but neither of us will get 100% agreement, that would be uncommon ground. In our search for answers we must understand that we can build on our agreements rather than let our disageements continually divide us.

    You commented in your opening statement on Jan. 20, “How simplistic Sir…” Well let me say that any fool can get complicated. You’ve heard of Occam’s razor yes? The razor states that one should proceed to simpler theories until simplicity can be traded for greater explanatory power. Or, put in a simpler way, the simplist idea is often the best.

  6. Douglas Bisballe says:

    I think gun control should be like this.
    If you shoot someone on purpose and he lives then you should be shot also. If you kill them, then you should all so be shot and killed the same way that you killed that person. An eye for an eye

  7. Douglas Bisballe says:

    I believe that if you shoot someone intentionally then you should also be shot in the same way. The old adage a eye for an eye.

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