Tuesday, Jun. 30, 2015    Login | Register           

Can we talk about gun control rationally?

Terry Garlock's picture

In the aftermath of the Aurora, Colo., shooting, we’ve seen a herd of eager gun control advocates on TV riding the wave of public concern while the news is fresh, bursting with outrage over assault rifles and arguing for limits on gun sales.

While it is true America is up to its neck in guns, none of the talking heads seemed to remember that Norway’s strict gun control laws didn’t prevent a madman last year from killing 77 and wounding 319 in that country.

Maybe our efforts should be refocused on deranged people, not guns.

Gun control chatter all week achieved nothing for two reasons.

First, starting in 2004 when the 10 year assault weapons ban was allowed to expire, Democrats shy away from gun control support because their constituents, just like those of Republicans, deeply resent any infringement of their right to own guns.

Besides, data show the assault weapons ban had little effect on crime since handguns are the predominant tool in crimes, not assault rifles. The law did nothing about the countless assault rifles already in American gun racks, and there was no mention of the countless traditional semi-automatic handguns and rifles that fire one round with each trigger pull.

Second, like politics and abortion, we are polarized on gun control beyond the ability to talk to each other, much less agree and cooperate.

I have one foot squarely in each camp, and I also own what you would call an assault rifle. To some that makes me a right wing gun nut, while Rush Limbaugh would accuse me of being a “moderate,” which he belittles as having no real beliefs.

Rush is dead wrong, of course. I know precisely what I believe; it just doesn’t fit comfortably in the black and white boxes he, and perhaps you, use to categorize people on gun control.

I’ve always liked guns. There is beauty in a well-designed and -manufactured rifle or pistol, maintained with care, zeroed on the range with carefully made shots to achieve a tight group on a target, testament to both the shooter’s technique and the weapon’s precision.

But I admit to being complex on guns, more shades of grey than black or white. After I returned from the Vietnam War in 1970, my appetite for hunting was gone. For a very long time I didn’t want a gun in my house.

In 1998, when I was 48 years old, Julie and I adopted our first child. Yes, I was pretty old for parenting an infant and I refused to let my kids have toy guns.

We teach kids the wrong thing, I believe, when we encourage casual play pretending to shoot and kill each other. Go ahead and laugh, but I strongly believe we serve our kids far better to teach them the casual violence they see on TV is not real, and that real violence from fists, knives or gunshots is an ugly thing with lasting consequences.

We have two girls, and I do realize my no-toy-guns rule would have been harder to enforce with boys, but the girls resisted, too. I never even let them have a squirt gun, pretty unfair if you ask their Mom.

I also made Mom unhappy when I bought a Henry lever-action .22 rifle in a short youth size to help teach my kids the joys of shooting and the proper way to handle a real gun.

I didn’t want my kids to be dysfunctional doofuses who shriek in fear at the mere sight of a gun. It was time for me to come out of my shell and teach my kids how to handle a gun with safety and competence.

My wife Julie wasn’t anti-gun; she had been a skeet shooter for years. But she did think 11 was too young at the time.

I compromised and gave it one more year, so Melanie was 12 when I first showed her how to shoot. I bored her until she rolled her eyes as I went over gun safety rules with her repeatedly. She did like shooting but caught on slowly how to aim.

And then Barack Obama was elected president.

If you are a gun control proponent, you should know that Obama is the greatest salesman American gun stores could ever have imagined. I decided it was time to buy at least one pistol and rifle before new liberal gun control laws prevented me from buying the gun of my choice.

Are you listening? I didn’t “need” guns. But there was a perceived – whether real or not – threat to my right to buy the gun of my choice, and so I started to purchase guns. So did everyone else. Popular guns were in short supply or on backorder. Concealed carry license applications multiplied in Fayette County and everywhere.

Democrats tried to push legislation that would limit the supply of ammunition, a back door means of gun control, and gun owners started buying and hoarding ammo, making some loads, like 9 mm, .45 Colt and .380, very hard to find. The ammo crunch fed gun control worries and the buying frenzy continued with me in the middle of it.

Nobody’s telling me I can’t buy a gun! Now I have plenty, thank you.

One of those guns I bought is a Rock River Arms .223 caliber, 5.56 mm, M-4, or modern day version of the M-16 we used in Vietnam, the same weapon of standard issue to our troops today, except theirs will fire on full automatic whereas mine is limited to semi-automatic.

When Melanie was 13, at the gun range I talked her into firing my M-4 to show her how larger rounds kick harder. She was persuaded to give it a try since she was curious about the scope I had mounted.

With safety checks left and right, downrange all clear, eye and ear protection in place, she settled in and very slowly squeezed off a shot and missed the 100-yard target completely.

After noting how hard it kicked, she settled into firing another round, then another, hitting closer to the bull’s eye and finally emptying a 30-round clip.

Go ahead and gasp in horror. With my guidance she reloaded, did her safety check and fired another 30 rounds, hitting a steel gong at 100 yards several times, much to her delight at the unmistakable sound of success.

When we packed up to leave the range that day, Melanie gave my M-4 a pat and said, “This baby is mine now!” Well, no, it isn’t, but I will never forget that day of her delight, and safe competence, at 13.

Gun control zealots would ask me, “Why do you need an assault rifle?” Well, I don’t. But I wanted it, especially this one with its quality construction and smooth trigger pull, and I like shooting it at the range.

The zealots say assault rifles are only for killing people, not for hunting, but I certainly would use this rifle to hunt deer or feral hogs, that is, if I decided to hunt. And I don’t plan to shoot any humans.

Why single out “assault rifles”? Traditional rifles and pistols come in semi-automatic, too, and large capacity clips are available. The only real difference is how assault rifles look, a silly reason to ban them.

In the 10 years the assault weapon ban was in effect, our government listed 19 specific semi-automatic weapons that could not be purchased, and I am confident bureaucrats full of new-found authority itched daily to expand the ban list. But the ban had no meaningful effect on crime.

If we ban all semi-automatic weapons in hopes of slowing a criminal gunman’s rate of fire, all that leaves are revolver pistols and bolt action rifles. I don’t think a ban like that will ever have a chance of being passed, even if criminals could be counted on to obey such a law, but at least such a proposal would have the merit of being meaningful gun control. Give it a try if you want to wake an enormous angry giant.

I don’t “need” my assault rifle. It wouldn’t kill me if my M-4 had been unavailable to me, forcing me to select from more traditional rifles, like the Savage .308 I considered.

But so long as other semi-automatics are available, an assault weapons ban is nothing more than cosmetics to satisfy a group of people largely ignorant on the difference between automatic and semi-automatic weapons.

I do find myself in agreement with Ed Rendell, a Democrat and recent Governor of Pennsylvania. He said even if we never renew the assault weapons ban, surely we could keep in place its 10-round limit on how many rounds could be fired without reloading.

That would mean prohibiting the sale of 100-round magazines, even 30-round magazines like I use to reduce reloading effort at the range. Surely, Rendell says, we can accept 10 rounds as a reasonable limit and make larger capacity magazines illegal.

I agree, that is a small price for all of us to pay. I would vote for a 10-round limit. But I would stop there because gun control measures become a slippery slope where one limit leads to the next.

Meanwhile, Melanie’s younger sister, Kristen, will be 11 the day after Christmas. Another year or so and I’ll be teaching her. I don’t want either of them to be naive or incompetent about guns.

I have a story to tell my girls about one of my guns. Maybe I’ll share it with you.

[Terry Garlock occasionally contributes a column to The Citizen. His email is terry@garlock1.com.]

Comments

S. Lindsey's picture

How would limiting magazine capacity to 10 rounds have stopped Aurora?
Fact is it wouldn't and "compromising" just to satisfy the anti-gun crowd is like well giving up your blogs just to satisfy those that don't like them. I am sure they would feel that would be a small price for you to pay as well.

"Whoever claims the right to redistribute the wealth produced by others is claiming the right to treat human beings as chattel."

-Ayn Rand

tgarlock's picture

. . . difference at all in Aurora. A 10 round limit might some day reduce the number of shots a madman gets off before someone takes him down. Maybe. Some day. Maybe not. But it is as far as I'm willing to go in compromising 2nd Amendment freedom to "bear arms."

I am completely unwilling to give up gun rights to the radical degree it would take to make any real difference at all, and the measures politicians argue about, like the assault weapons ban, are meaningless window dressing that compromise our rights in order to accomplish . . . nothing.

Terry Garlock

Terry Garlock

birdman's picture

but you have a remarkable sense of reason about most (if not all) your columns. I say this because the Citizen is so radical, but, even though I disagree with you on much, you tend to stay quite rational.
Having said that, I do have an exception to your article. First, your right, a 10 round magazine may not have made a difference. But if it was your 13 year old daughter lying dead in that theater, and she was hit with round number 11, then to you, that 10 round magazine may have made a HUGE difference. But that is hypothetical and beyond your thought or concern, just like it was to the families of the dead and wounded in Aurora, right up until the trigger was pulled.
But the real problem I have with your article is the comment regarding the Politicians "itching" to add more guns to the banned list. You don't know that. In fact most Pols. don't really appear to seem interested in any gun control. Your comment was typical right wing. The very belief that all gun control advocates want an elimination of all guns is exactly why nothing is done. In fact your comment about Obama's election and his desire to take away all guns shows this irrational fear. Obama has done NOTHING to limit your right to bear arms. In fact he signed into law the right to carry weapons in National Parks. Hardly an attempt to take away your guns. It's been 4 years. How has your right to own a gun been affected? It hasn't.
So it's time for some sort of reasonable dialogue on gun control. As much as you have a right to your belief that the second amendment is all encompassing, I have a right to believe that my safety is more overriding.
One other point, the NRA fights to make it harder to identify nut cases, and easier for them to get guns. Holmes was not someone anyone would have identified. Also, why shouldn't gun shows be regulated like gun stores? Why shouldn't gun sales be limited to duly licensed shops, like alcohol?

tgarlock's picture

. . . is that a 10 round limit will make little difference. If the crook has 50 10-round magazines then he just has to swap magazines more frequently, which takes all of 3 seconds if well prepared. Or he could ignore that law along with all the others he is breaking and use illegal 100 round magazines he bought on the black market.

As to gov't workers itching to add more guns to a prohibited list, that reflects my belief that human nature is for someone with a little authority to be prone to crank out rule after rule for everyone else to follow as they try in their own little way to save the world, but that's just me, and let's leave that behind, that's another column.

For the rest of your issues, you've probably got the wrong guy, here, because unlike the NRA I would agree on closing the gun show loophole. And with enough trepidation to shake my knees, I would be willing to rethink the whole gun thing so long as I could be confident the other side was dealing with me honestly and without an agenda to incrementally whittle away at gun freedoms little by little until none are remaining. That means that I would be in the no-man's land of being hated by the left AND the right.

But of course that negotiation will never happen, because for starters I don't trust the anti-gun morons, the division is deep and the battle will always be bitter. As for now, the politics are frozen at stalemate, with the truth obscured by smoke from both sides. My whole point is for starters maybe we could just clear the fog a little.

Terry Garlock

Terry Garlock

NUK_1's picture

You have the 100% reasonable opinion on this, especially the gun show loophole and clearing the fog of "war" in regards to having an adult and unbiased discussion.

birdman's picture

ok... ok... I give up. Obviously this is an issue that no one really wants to discuss. You have your view and that is all there is to it. I get it. You win.

S. Lindsey's picture

It is not about "winning" it is however about stopping the encroachment on what we feel is the basic fundamental element of who we are.
Our forefathers founded this Country with a gun, defended her with a gun and brought Freedom throughout the World, yes by way of a gun.

It is who we are. Now I know there are those that say we need to evolve, move forward and all that. But much like our instincts to mate, to eat, guns are in there, as well.

I love my guns and I would used them to defend my family and yours too.

Birdman I do respect your opinion and will defend your right to express it and I would do so with every weapon I have including this forum.

"Whoever claims the right to redistribute the wealth produced by others is claiming the right to treat human beings as chattel."

-Ayn Rand

birdman's picture

is that I, too, have a couple guns. I will also defend you. I shot Expert in both M-16 and 45 in the military. I love shooting. But I am also one who is willing not to own an AR-15. You see, the root of MY frustration is that you and others seem to have such a prejudiced and irrational fear of the government and of people who don't believe in lock step with your ideas. Just look at the completely irrational fear of Obama trying "take" your guns. Didn't happen, won't happen. Couldn't do it even if he wanted (and I doubt he does). Didn't even bring back the Assault ban. Signed into law the right to carry in National Parks. So he supports gun control. So what. I support gun control. So what. If you guys would simply look at reality and not the political fiction weaved by the detractors you would see that the REALITY is not the predicted horrors.
I had a friend who told me that if Obama was elected we would be in an economic depression by the end of 2009. REALITY: The Stock Market is up 70% since Obama took office. HARDLY a depression.
As all of you like to point out, if we are going to "get rid" of guns then change the Constitution. Does anyone (other than Rush, Hannity, and Fox News) really believe a Constitutional Amendment to eliminate the Second Amendment would actually occur????? Even when Obama had a Democratic Congress NO gun control laws were introduced. No one in power really wants to eliminate guns or change the Constitution.
But nut cases like Holmes getting AR-15's???? Is that really necessary?
You asked me earlier if I feel safe now? Of course not. If I did do you think I would bang my head against the brick wall that makes up this thread? That is the point. I ALSO have a Constitutional right to have degree of safety. A simple limit on Assault weapons wouldn't threaten your safety OR freedom. I doubt that if you ever are unfortunate enough to have to defend yourself, it'll be with something other than an AR-15.
Case in point. A police officer friend many years ago told me that most often when they were having trouble convincing someone to give up in a building, the simple action of pumping their shotgun usually "convinced" him to surrender.

S. Lindsey's picture

because I have done so and I will again if needed.

Like I said why do we have to depend on Politicians to defend our Rights?

With my guns I don't have to.

You would let the Government restrict what THEY FEEL we should not have. You have faith in our Government. Government is made up of people who seem to get richer year after year on a $118,000 salary but yet are Millionaires 10 times over... so.... Why do I not trust the people in Government to make the best choices for me?

When have they EVER done so?

I can run my life BM I don't need Government to make my choices for me.. I know Right from Wrong and I pay my taxes. I support and defend my family, neighbors and the little Old lady at Wal-Mart exactly where is Government doing that for me?

btw- Obama has increased the Stock Market by 70% since he took office?

What is it now? 12,000 what was it in 2007- 14,000 so, but if you want to compare that does go both ways you know.. look the Dot.com bubble, 9/11 market crash see where it was then and where it was when Obama took over so I would not brag too much... Obama has kept us mired deeper in the recession then was needed. We rebounded better after 9/11 under Bush then we have under Obama so I might let that one go...

"Whoever claims the right to redistribute the wealth produced by others is claiming the right to treat human beings as chattel."

-Ayn Rand

tgarlock's picture

You think my M-4 (AR-15) is the problem, yet it is just a semi-automatic like hundreds of other semi models out there in either traditional or assault weapon style. When you seek to ban assault rifles and not all other semi-automatics, you are accomplishing nothing other than soothing the uninformed emotions of anti-gun sentiment, just window dressing. Either you want to ban assault rifles because of their appearance, or you don't know the difference between full automatic (not avail to gen public) and semi-automatic. Which is it?

Terry Garlock

Terry Garlock

Don't give up. The majority participating in this discussion may not agree with you - but there are others who do. Thank you for sharing your opinion.

S. Lindsey's picture

The problem with the anti-gun crowd is that they have NEVER in the past be an honest player and let's face it most don't even know what it is they are trying to pass regulations on.
That's just one reason why I don't think we should give an inch. Terry it doesn't affect me one way or the other... "I already got mine"...so unless they wish to ban all "Assault" weapons already purchased and good luck with that one, I would not be affected.

However most of the time Government goes for the knee-jerk "feel good" at the moment legislation that does little or no good at all.
My solution.. Enforce the laws already on the books. Make crimes using guns so harsh that maybe one would think before using it then actually PUNISH those that do.

The problem with a lot of people, rather they have good intentions are not, is that they have no concept of what they really want in the form of Gun control and unless they push for a complete ban and confiscation it would in all likely hood NOT stop whatever event triggered their knee.

One must remember that the Aurora shooter's "Assault" weapon jammed and most of the deaths came from a regular old shotgun.
Banning hi-cap magazines would not have stopped the event, in fact, having that hi-cap mag probably saved a few lives... Most people keep these types of mags fully loaded stressing the spring causing it to retain a memory. When that happens during rapid fire a stovepipe or stand up is all too predicable. Low capacity mags don't have the same issues but yet we hear those calls to ban hi-caps... so what's is their reasoning...none that makes sense.

They can ban all "Black" guns like they did in 1994 and not make a dent in the private sell of "black-market"/banned guns... in fact it just makes them more profitable and more likely to fall into the wrong hands.

Terry basically what I am saying is this, the Genie has already been let out of the bottle and with enough guns already in the hands of Americans to equipment every man, women and child in America, a ban of any type is at best a feel good move at worst a guarantee that Criminals will seek out and obtain weapons that are banned while average Citizens are denied.

btw- The so called "Gun Show Loophole" doesn't exist this is just another myth.
The ‘gun show loop hole’ refers to the ability for people to meet at local gun shows in their communities and sell firearms directly to other attendees without first conducting a background check.

There are Federal laws already in place that REQUIRE every transaction be accompanied by a Federal background check. If some dealers break Federal law by not doing the checks then that is a Law Enforcement issue NOT a "Loophole" and after attending hundreds of shows I can attest this might be 1 in a 1000 if that.. I have never seen it occur and every weapon every purchased always had a background check unless a CP was present. No one is going to risk their business and their FREEDOM for a $500.00 gun.

Should a "PRIVATE" sell occur between private person's then that still is not a "loophole" at present this is still legal.

"Whoever claims the right to redistribute the wealth produced by others is claiming the right to treat human beings as chattel."

-Ayn Rand

I agree with most of your comments. Those on the anti-gun side need to try to compare apples to apples. Driver's licenses and alcohol aren't mentioned in the Bill of Rights. Guns are. And, the purpose wasn't hunting or sports or even self protection, important as those are. It's to provide the means "for the security of a free state".

S. Lindsey's picture

[quote=birdman]First, your right, a 10 round magazine may not have made a difference. But if it was your 13 year old daughter lying dead in that theater, and she was hit with round number 11, then to you, that 10 round magazine may have made a HUGE difference.[/quote]

Uhh... No. He would have simply loaded another mag 2-3 seconds and continued firing so #11-20 would have been shot anyway.

[quote=birdman] But that is hypothetical and beyond your thought or concern, just like it was to the families of the dead and wounded in Aurora, right up until the trigger was pulled. [/quote]

Why is it people who stand up for their Rights when it comes to the 2nd Amendment "They don't care" they just want to "pull the trigger on someone" blah, blah, blah...

[quote=birdman]But the real problem I have with your article is the comment regarding the Politicians "itching" to add more guns to the banned list. You don't know that. In fact most Pols. don't really appear to seem interested in any gun control. Your comment was typical right wing. The very belief that all gun control advocates want an elimination of all guns is exactly why nothing is done. In fact your comment about Obama's election and his desire to take away all guns shows this irrational fear.[/quote]

Well BM after the event just how many came out to find a camera to "talk" about "something" being done?

[quote=birdman]Obama has done NOTHING to limit your right to bear arms. In fact he signed into law the right to carry weapons in National Parks. Hardly an attempt to take away your guns. It's been 4 years. How has your right to own a gun been affected? It hasn't.[/quote]

You are right nothing YET has been done... However Obama has a long History of Gun control advocacy..

"WASHINGTON -- Half a year after the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), the Obama administration is set to release a series of reforms to the current gun law, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said on Thursday."

"As an Illinois state senator, Obama endorsed and spoke in support of an outright ban on ownership of all handguns and favored the licensing and registering of gun owners."

" In 1996, Obama filled out a questionnaire expressing his support for a ban on the manufacture, sale and possession of handguns."

To name just a few of his views... Like he Told the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev after the election he would have more "flexibility"

[quote=birdman]So it's time for some sort of reasonable dialogue on gun control. As much as you have a right to your belief that the second amendment is all encompassing, I have a right to believe that my safety is more overriding. [/quote]

Reasonable to whom? Do you really think you are safe...Really?
Let's look at that shall we...

So a ban on hi-cap mags... will that make you safe?

<cite>Does the name Charles Whitman ring a bell? He killed 14 people wounded 32 and he did it with a bolt action and a pump action hunting rifle.</cite>

<cite>James Huberty killed 21 people in McDonalds... he used an illegal 9mm Uzi.</cite>

<cite>George Hennard killed 23 in Luby's Cafe-2 pistols used and multiple mags...one of which was a P-89 and it had a 10 round mag...</cite>

<cite>Brown Chicken Massacre- 38 revolver - 7 people killed</cite>

<cite>Columbine Massacre-12 people killed - 10 shot hi-point rifle and shotguns</cite>

<cite>Did Timothy McVeigh need an Assault weapon? He killed 76 people with some fertilizer and diesel fuel. </cite>

So BM still fell safe? The truth is BM none of us are safe. Safety is an illusion they we perpetrate on ourselves to let us go to the Mall, out to dinner etc...

[quote=birdman]One other point, the NRA fights to make it harder to identify nut cases, and easier for them to get guns. Holmes was not someone anyone would have identified. Also, why shouldn't gun shows be regulated like gun stores? Why shouldn't gun sales be limited to duly licensed shops, like alcohol?[/quote]

What legislation has the NRA backed that allows a mentally challenged person to obtain firearms?
Your next sentence belies that first statement no one would have suspected Holmes..
Gun shows are duly licensed and regulated events...This is just typical scaremonger BS. As far as only allowing Gun shops to sell firearms I am assuming that means you do not want private sales... SO you would have Government overturn basic Contractual law... If I own a thing I have custody in all of it's legal ramifications of ownership thus I can transfer ownership in that thing to someone else. You would have Government basically say you don't really own anything we can tell you what to do with it...

"Whoever claims the right to redistribute the wealth produced by others is claiming the right to treat human beings as chattel."

-Ayn Rand

Cyclist's picture

[quote=birdman] In fact your comment about Obama's election and his desire to take away all guns shows this irrational fear. Obama has done NOTHING to limit your right to bear arms. [/quote]

That's Eric - boom boom - Holder's job. You know, the AG boob that was hired by the main clown in Washington. I'm sure the clown knew his views about gun control when he hired him.

Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

NUK_1's picture

What's PETA say about Americans having the right to own a bear's arms? :)

I can't believe you are so insecure in who you are that you need to use the descriptive words 'clown ' and 'boob' when referring to those you disagree with. Hmmmmmm.

Cyclist's picture

I can't help it, I think it's those darn little "red" pills I take. :-0

Anyways, I seem to remember when it was popular by those on the left to do the same for Bush.

Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

LOL. Doesn't mean it was right! Although I didn't support Bush, I still give him credit for some positive things he accomplished . His handling of our military and the economy - negatives.
Red pills? Careful!!!

rolling stone's picture

[quote] I didn't support Bush, I still give him credit for some positive things he accomplished[/quote]
Bush did pardon some Thanksgiving turkeys, and he did end up making Reagan look good, who had make Grant look good, and most importantly, he stayed healthy so that Dick "Boom Boom" Cheyney did not become POTUS.

pardon Libby! That's a plus in my book!

PTC Observer's picture

Cy,

Unfortunately it seems my services are needed elsewhere on Saturday. Perhaps when I retire, I will be able to attend the next one. Retirement may come soon, we'll see.

PTCO

still be a gathering?? We can always send the bill to Elfie. LOL

Cyclist's picture

MYTMITE, Gym and others, yes we are still on for coffee this Saturday at Starbucks PTC - Publix Shopping Center - 0900 till.........

Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

Cyclist's picture

MYTMITE and Gym, I might not be able to make it after all. Duty calls as I have to put in some early hours working with a database.

Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

efdrakejr's picture

I'm planning to attend so let me know if it is postponed.

Gene Drake

MajorMike's picture

Good! Then you can pick up the coffee tab in partial penance for the abuse you dished out. Might I suggest that you also spring for snackies for those individuals that you singled out for some of your nastier comments.

NUK_1's picture

I don't necessarily agree with Terry, but I get where he is coming from.

When Colt manufactures the AR-15 and everyone knows the AR=Assault Rifle, that kind of makes the usual media stupidity on guns in general a little less stupid. When they say "assault rifle," they ain't always wrong or hysterical about it. An AR-15 IS an assault weapon because its maker says it is, so why would the media report any differently? Considering how pathetically easy it is to modify an AR-15 into fully automatic mode and eventually law abiding gun owners may have a struggle in owning them and being able to justify its legitimate purposes.

The MAC-10/M10 gangsta weapon of choice is another one that a lot of even diehard gun owners have a very difficult time defending its existence in the consumer market. I sure do as a proud gun owner myself.

Frankly, a "well regulated militia" to me means something different from the belief that anyone can buy any gun at any time as long as they meet very minimal requirements or none at all. I'm not for gun control or going back to the Clinton-era magazine restrictions, but eventually, we as a country need to have a realistic discussion instead of "anything goes" vs. "no guns" and nowhere in the middle.

Terry - Thanks so much for trying to be balanced. You failed of course, but by moving a centimeter to the left, at least you tried (and this beats all the other columnists in the Citizen). I appreciate your efforts!!

The question for us as a society isn't if we need gun control. We already have severe weapon control. You cannot legally own a bazooka, a grenade, an atomic bomb. We have, and most would say we need, at least safeguards against personal ownership of some weapons. Our societal question is to determine the balance between the cost in misery that can be meted out by a weapon and the benefits of having the freedom to possess the weapon. It is the same as determining the cost of accident-potential for high speeds on a roadway vs. the benefits of being able to travel quickly.

When we begin talking about the issue in rational terms like these, perhaps we can reach an agreement. As long as the discussion focuses on historical meanings of the 2nd Amendment and phobic responses to guns or changes in gun law, we will stay mired in an intractable stalemate.

Again, thanks for attempting to look around at the whole world around you (ten bullets at a time).

Yes, Terry does offer a common sense approach and all you offer is a fuzzy illogical response.

S. Lindsey's picture

If we took the "Historical" view of the 2nd Amendment then EVERY citizen would be REQUIRED to own a gun so......

"Militia Act of 1792, required every able- bodied male citizen of the United States to keep a firearm."

Note also here again the "Militia" meant everyone...

"Whoever claims the right to redistribute the wealth produced by others is claiming the right to treat human beings as chattel."

-Ayn Rand

Shades of Kennesaw!

hutch866's picture

Historically, I don't think there was any limitation on the weapons you could own.

I yam what I yam

I appreciate your responses that prove my point exactly. As long as we focus only on a right to have this or that weapon and ignore that the government already restricts our access to many weapons, the argument can never be resolved.

When the 2nd Amendment was adopted, the U.S. had no standing army, so it was logical that a militia should guard the people. We now have the greatest army that the world has ever known. We may still need guns, but for a different purpose now. Thomas Jefferson famously said that the Constitution should be ripped up every 20 years so each generation could craft their own rules without regard for the previous generations.

The issue is not fuzzy at all. We must stop focusing on historical rights and look at what we as a society are willing to live with today in terms of cost/benefits of weaponry. I assume that a rational discussion of these issues will result in a good deal of gun ownership for many purposes. Knee-jerk reactions to the mere DISCUSSION (both liberal and conservative) of the issue will only lead to strong rhetoric with little thought. We need a discussion, and Terry at least admits this.

Again, thanks for proving my point.

hutch866's picture

The only point I've proved is that your historical argument doesn't hold water. Today I saw an article on China that said one man killed 10 or 11 people with a knife, you going to ban knives? I love it when someone talks about doing away with a right to meet their own agenda. You want to do away with my right to own a gun, and there's some on here who want to put an earnings minimum on voting. Then there's one who thinks you shouldn't have a vote if you work for the Gov. Seems no matter what side of the aisle some people are on, they want to do away with someones rights. Go figure.

I yam what I yam

you just have to apply for a class 3 license and pay the $200 tax stamp for each. yes, even grenades, RPG's and the like. so everytime you shoot your missile launcher, its the cost of the round, plus a$200 fee and 6 months of paperwork. Better plan in advance. Its not illegal, just a lot of paperwork and waiting. same as full auto guns. I dont know about atom bombs, but something tells me they arent technically illegal either,w but good luck trying to get nuclear material for the core. Ha!
from a "historical" perspective, gun control advocates really amuse me by trying to have it both ways. On the one hand they often state that the second amendment only applies to militias and there is no general right for citizens to own firearms. The country had just fought a rebellion to win its soverignty and did so with citizen soldiers as STF points out, we had no standing army. But, as unthinkable to all of us as it might seem, our founding fathers wanted us to have the ability to do that again if neccessary, to throw off a tyrannical gov't. The military would obviously be controlled by said tyrannical gov't. Therefore if citizens had their guns taken away, no one could oppose them. Now i know you arent advocating that everybody give up their guns, just that we dont need "assault" (as a former military member and owner of one of those so called assault weapons, believe me i use the term loosely) weapons. But, heres the thing, and heres where libs try to have it both ways. You say the second amendment only applies to militias trying to fight oppresive governments, but you constantly want to ban military style guns. What are we supposed to use? bolt action .22's with 5 shot mags? my grandads single shot 12 guage turkey gun? that aint gonna work bro. If there is anything that watching Red Dawn 4000 times has taught me, is that being completely outgunned in a firefight against commies sucks. a lot. 200+ yers ago, hunters and soldiers carried the same gun. not anymore. whether or not you think that improbable situation will ever happen, is irrelevant. what is relevant is that its better to have and not need, than need and not have. That is historically what the founding fathers tried to secure for us, the right to have, in case we need. If some people cant handle that rsponsibility, then they should be dealt with. But why is it every time theres an incident, people always want to take guns from the people who didnt do it?

America does not need to simply stand by and helplessly accept a mass killing every few weeks and the other daily killings with guns by the angry or crazy in our society. Such incidents cannot all be prevented but we can take reasonable steps to make them less likely to occur.

Too many guns, too easily available to those who should not have them.

Gun control advocates do not want to take guns away from responsible owners who want them for personal protection or for hunting. This would be impossible in any case.

But tighter controls over what weapons can be sold and how they are sold may help reduce the number of killings.

I hope there are not many gun owners who think we live in some Red Dawn fantasy world in which one needs assault weapons just in case we need to rise up and take on a bunch of commies.

lion

Cyclist's picture

[quote=lion] do not want to take guns away from responsible owners who want them for personal protection or for hunting. [/quote]

That's just exactly what the Firearms Control Regulations Act of 1975 did as it banned handguns thus making those that owned one a criminal. Thank goodness, the "Supremes" struck it down in Heller.

The end-game of several so-called gun control advocates and certain liberal "we" groups is to severly restrict ownership up to and including outlawing of all guns and ammunition.

Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

S. Lindsey's picture

How will "banning" scary guns and banning hi-cap mags STOP one person from being killed?

"Whoever claims the right to redistribute the wealth produced by others is claiming the right to treat human beings as chattel."

-Ayn Rand

[quote=lion]But tighter controls over what weapons can be sold and how they are sold may help reduce the number of killings.[/quote]

you need to read up on the clinton era asault weapons ban. It closed the gunshow loophole, banned hi-cap magazines and prevented the sale of assault style copies of military weapons. AND IT DID ABSOLUTELY ZERO TO REDUCE CRIME. this is not my opinion, it is a fact. My real question is, who are you to decide what weapon i can have to defend my home or my family with? What if Im better with a rifle than a pistol, or prefer a shotgun? Should i be limited to the traditional 3 shotgun round maximum that hunters are bound to? Do you think criminals will comply with bans and magazine caps? IF so, what have you ever seen or heard that would make you think criminals would comply with this? IF not, then why limit the rights of law abiding citizens and make them easier prey for criminals. What part of "shall not be infringed" don't you get?

[quote] 200+ yers ago, hunters and soldiers carried the same gun. not anymore. whether or not you think that improbable situation will ever happen, is irrelevant. what is relevant is that its better to have and not need, than need and not have. That is historically what the founding fathers tried to secure for us, the right to have[/quote]

It was frightening watching bank robbers wound LAPD officers using military weapons that at that time the street officer did not have. We have a military and well-armed law-enforcement. It is beyond my understanding why an individual needs the right to have bazookas, grenades, AK whatevers. The gangs on the streets of LA had military arms. Frightening. They obtained them legally !! (I think that has been corrected)

The famous north hollywood shootout with Police to which you are refering was frighting, but did not go down the way you remember it. First, fully automatic weapons were used by the criminals, and WERE NOT legally obtained. Since the requirement to register fully auto guns came into effect in the '20's, ONLY ONE legally registered fully auto or short barreled rifle has been used in a crime, and that was by a LEO. Hi-cap mags (greater than 10 rounds) have been illegal in california since the early 90's. Plus, even today, any request for a fully auto gun or short barreled gun must go through the local sherrif who must approve the request, before it ever gets to the federal level. That approval would have never happened in L.A. county then OR now. So pretty much every gun the robbers had on them was illegal. Obviously, making them illegal did nothing to curtail people who are determined to break the law from obtaining or using illegal items. All gun laws have ever done is limit law abiding citizens access to those items. The REALLY fun fact of that incident was that the police, using 9mm .38 caliber pistols were hopelessly outgunned by the robbers. The police went down the street to a local gun shop and commandered civilian legal assault rifles, high cap magazines and ammunition, then went back to fight the robbers. How ironic. DM, I dont believe, and i dont think you do either, that the government or governemnt workers should get special benefits and priveledges that the ordinary citizen shouldnt have. So why do you think the government shuld be allowed to have guns, but ordinary citizens should not? The founding fathers thought it was so important that we have the right to defend ourselves, they made ownership of firearms a right. Look at the people in syria fighting a tryannical government. or in egypt. or yemen. or tunisia. Sure, those places are first class third world crapholes, but it doenst change the fact that they couldnt fight back if they didnt have guns.

Larry Eugene Phillips, Jr. (born September 20, 1970) and Emil Decebal Mătăsăreanu (born July 19, 1966 in Romania) first met at Gold's Gym in Venice, Los Angeles, California in 1989. They had a mutual interest in weightlifting and bodybuilding, and soon thereafter began a homosexual relationship which lasted until the time of their deaths. [6]
On July 20, 1993 the pair robbed an armored car outside of a branch of FirstBank in Littleton, Colorado.[7]
In October 1993, Phillips and Mătăsăreanu were arrested in Glendale, northeast of Los Angeles, California, for speeding.[8] A subsequent search of their vehicle—after Phillips surrendered with a concealed weapon—found two semi-automatic rifles, two handguns, more than 1,600 rounds of 7.62×39mm rifle ammunition, 1,200 rounds of 9×19mm Parabellum and .45 ACP handgun ammunition, radio scanners, smoke bombs, improvised explosive devices, body armor vests, and three different California license plates.[9] Initially charged with conspiracy to commit robbery,[10] both served 100 days in jail and were placed on three years' probation.[11]<strong> After their release, most of their seized property was returned to them.</strong>[12]
On June 14, 1995, the pair ambushed a Brinks armored car, killing one guard, Herman Cook, in the robbery. In May 1996, they robbed two branches of Bank of America in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles, CA, stealing approximately US$1.5 million.[13] Phillips and Mătăsăreanu were dubbed the "High Incident Bandits" by investigators due to the weaponry they had used in three robberies prior to their attempt in North Hollywood.[14]

<strong>It is speculated that at least two of the AK-47s were later found to have been legally purchased by Phillips, and apparently converted by him as well using a bench drill to drill out the hole for the autosear pin (this allowed it to be fired in full auto). However, it was not possible for Phillips to legally purchase a firearm due to him being a convicted felon</strongfelon.[14][26][27] The robbers were protected by body armor which could not be penetrated by the officers' handgun and shotgun ammunition.

First, you confirmed what I said, the guns they had were illegal. Either because they could not legally own them, or because they had been illegally converted afterwards. you pick. second, my question was and still is, do you think its okay to grant government emplyees, special priveledges that ordinary citizens cannot get? If the answer is no, then you are a gun rights advocate. If the answer is yes, can you please explain why? What is so special about getting a paycheck from uncle sam that makes them worthy of gun ownership but not you or I?

I am not familiar with government employees being able to purchase weapons that rest of us can't - unless their JOB required it. Please inform me so that I can answer your question. Thanks.

First, i love the police and the military. But what makes them different than you or I? This is the kind of special treatment I am talking about. A policeman or a soldier can have a full auto machine gun. They have undergone background checks, and recieved special training. Sometimes, not always, they need full auto guns or grenades in the performance of their duties. but what happens when a cop wants to chage carreers and become a plumber. Is he suddenly a risk to society? Did his training magically evaporate the day he turned in his badge? Are the oathes hes taken now worthless? but yesterday he can have a machine gun and today he cannot. What sense does that make? I served in the army and the airforce. I was trained to fire all kinds of fully automatic weapons and in the use of grenades and rocket launchers. I am a law abiding citizen. I had to undergo background checks, security clearances and swore oathes of loyalty more often than i can remember. Why should i not be allowed to own a machine gun if i want? Soldiers and police are only citizens, just like us. Why should a member of the governemt be allowed to do something that you or I cannot?

[quote]First, i love the police and the military. But what makes them different than you or I?[/quote]

Their training and their responsibility to society.

[quote]Why should i not be allowed to own a machine gun if i want? [/quote]

Why do you want to?

[quote]I served in the army and the airforce.[/quote]

Interesting.

Training and responsability to society do not seperate us from cops and soldiers. I was in the military and have that training. Im also a teacher now and very much feel a resposibility towards society. More than most, believe me. So, can i have a machine gun now? Why do I want one?
Why should suburban soccer moms have SUV's? they dont go offroad, so they dont "need" them. Why should I have an Armani suit, when one from JCPenny's will cover just as much, I dont "need" it. Why should I go to a resturaunt and order filet mignon and a nice bordeax when hamburger and water will fill me up just as much? obviously I dont "need" it, so they should all be banned, right? DM, i shouldnt have to explain to you that freedom is not based on need. Its based on want, specifically the freedom to do as you want. You dont have to explain to someone why you "want" chocholate ice cream and not rocky road. as long as you dont violate someone esles rights, who cares?

Really? You have an interesting 'slant' on freedom. . Have a nice day.

repeat

Pages

Ad space area 4 internal

Government

All administrative offices for Peachtree City government will be closed Friday, July 3, in observance of the July 4 holiday.

Sponsored Content

Opinion

In 1982, I was serving as an associate minister at a large church in western Colorado. I received an invitation to candidate for the position of pastor at a church in Alabama.

Community

The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9949's next meeting is Thursday, July 9, at 200 Glendalogh Court in Tyrone. The group meets at 7 p.m. the second Thursday of every month.

Sports

The Hurricane Junior Golf Tour traveled to Senoia June 6-7 for the Canongate Series #4. The Canongate Seminole Course played excellent host to two very competitive rounds of junior golf.