Friday, April 20, 2007

I’ll ask the questions here. . . .

I was a little nervous when I cross-posted yesterday’s extended capitoilette piece to Daily Kos. As noted, I kind of got blindsided a couple of days back when I wrote about the need for stricter gun laws in the wake of another high-profile gun massacre, and got a string of rather hysterical/hostile comments. It seems that even on the left side of the American blogosphere, happiness is a warm gun.

So, after I published my latest “gun” diary, I added a comment to start the thread and, I had hoped, encourage discussion over diatribe. The comment read like this:

To those that love their guns. . .

Please don’t resort to screaming about how I want to take away your guns. . . I don’t. Just tell me why you oppose:
gun registration,
better background checks,
additional licensing procedures for concealed weapons,
mandatory waiting periods,
restrictions on assault-style weapons, Saturday night specials, and extended clips,
mandatory safety training and periodic recertification,
closing so-called gun-show loopholes,
legal liability for gun manufacturers commensurate with other consumer product liability,
and limits on the number of guns and rounds of ammo you can purchase at any given time and over the course of a year.

(I know VA restricts you to 12 guns per year, but otherwise. . . .)

If you can address those points, we can have a discussion. . . or you can just scream that I want to take away your gun again if that makes you feel better.

Well, I am happy to say that the response as measured by the tone of the comments was a bit more favorable on Thursday than it was on Tuesday—but this might have been a fluke of the lower traffic my diary got during the meat of the day. I am sad to say, however, that I did not get any answers to my questions.

So, while I hope not to have to write much more about the Virginia Tech shooting for a while, I will continue to ask the questions detailed above. And, if you encounter a lover of high-powered side-arms, see if you can get him or her to stop “running around henny penny” screaming about how we are going to seize their precious, precious guns, and try to get them to answer these questions instead.

If you get an answer, please let me know.

Labels: , , , , , ,


Blogger Will said...

Im probably one of the most conservative readers of your newsletter, but your arguments are well reasoned and I appreciate seeing the other side of things.
Every law abiding American is constitutionally guaranteed the right to have guns, the reason being is that the founders saw from their study of history that an unarmed populace is easily controlled and cajoled by the powers that be. The police arent always around and every person has the right to defend their lives and the lives of their family as well as their property. There is also the ability to procure food by hunting if you happen to live or travel to the country.
I oppose gun registration because of exactly what happened in New Orleans during Katrina. The police went around and illegally confiscated law abiding citizens weapons who needed them to protect themselves from the looters who had unregistered guns. Registration does nothing but makes more bureaucracy and allows the government knowledge of who may be deemed a threat in the unlikely event of change of democratic government. I dont oppose background checks as it is the only way to prevent those who should not have a gun legally to procure one. But again they will simply find a gun on the black market. What additional procedures are you suggesting for CHLs? I have taken the class and I found that it teaches all that is necessary about safety and the law associated with guns, and even more that what was necessary. Those who get CHL's are generally good citizens who want to protect themselves in any event they might need protection. Do you not find it odd that gunmen usually only open up fire in places where those around them generally dont have any means of protection? What may have happened at Virginia Tech if students with CHLs were able to legally carry on campus? Do you think possibly that a good citizen may have stopped the rampage?
As for assault style weapons, those bans are completely stupid. To have them legally a citizen must purchase a license anyway, at least in Texas. That money goes to pay for many good programs. Most states already require periodic recertification every few years or so. But I would encourage you to investigate crime statistics in states and counties with "open carry" laws; where Citizens can carry their gun on their belt.
States with CHL laws tend to have lower per capita violent crime. If you doubt this look at the gun ban effect in the UK and Australia where violent crime against unarmed civilians has skyrocketed. Gun bans only take guns away from the innocent, not from the criminals who are basically given a guarantee that their prey is unarmed.
I do not oppose laws that require gun dealers at gun shows to obtain a background check before selling a buyer a gun, but once the check is cleared the buyer deserves the gun.
Gun manufacturers should only be liable for faulty craftsmanship if an operator is wounded or killed through no fault of their own, such as improper handling, maintenance, bad ammo. The only other liability on gun manufacturers is if they are illegally selling guns on the black market or pushing dealers to make illegal sales off the books.
There should be no limit on the purchase of guns or bullets as long as the buyer passes a check. The FBI and ATF have more than enough manpower and funding to investigate black marketeers of guns.

I grew up with guns, I was taught to respect their power, how to use and care for them. I understand that not everyone has easy access to learning, but its not like its impossible for schools to teach young students in 1st or 2nd grade the rules about guns or how they work and what kind of damage they can do. Nor is it unreasonable to ask responsible parents to talk to their kids about guns just like they should about drugs, sex, and responsibility for your choices and actions.
Hiding things from the public has almost never done anything positive. Hiding the truth or reality nearly always results in a violent change in direction or a negative reaction. Truthful education and reasonable access is the best preventative method in history. It breeds responsible and knowledgeable citizens. Case in point being the pictures of Hiroshima and Nagasaki which helped to prevent another future use of nuclear weapons on a population because the destructive power was so evident to those who saw them.

I hope that I have been clear enough in my points of response and thank you for a theater of discussion.

10:59 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home