Monday, April 23, 2007

This week? Guns suck...

We are going to have a special week-long feature here, provided I get enough arguments from my readers to sustain it. I am intentionally structuring this to elicit debate, so let me have it. I should warn you that I have thought about this A LOT, and know exactly what it is you are likely to say (and by "you", I mean people who disagree with me, which I expect most of you will, as I know I am in the minority on this. At least according to virtually every national poll ever taken.)

The topic is guns, and writing this stuff is somewhat of a response to last week's shootings in Virginia. I want to make clear that my thoughts on this have not changed an ounce a result of this episode...this is not a "knee-jerk" reaction to a single event.

First, I want to get the emotional part of the argument out of the way:

I hate guns. I hate that people are allowed to own guns. And I hate that so many people do own guns. If I had to pick one single thing that I think the United States gets wrong and the rest of the world gets right, it is our attitude about guns. that I got that out of the way, we can focus on the rational arguments. To that, I say that the benefits of allowing gun free gun ownership are no longer even remotely comparable to the cost of allowing that free ownership.

There are two problems. The first is that it is WAY too easy to buy a gun. In most places, unless you have already been convicted of a gun-related felony in that state, you can still buy a gun legally. And anyone, regardless of their criminal past, can buy ammunition. Once that gun leaves the store, it is essentially gone...there is no way to track it or regulate it.

The second problem is that there are way too many guns already in circulation, which means that...even if you are one of the virtually NO people who can't buy a gun legally...anyone can get a gun really easily. No one has any idea exactly how many guns there are, who owns them, where they are, and what they are being used for.

So, to start, I will ask why it is that we ignore the second amendment.

"Ignore?" you say? "But surely, you have realized that second amendment is the basis of our right to own guns!!!"

Not quite...what the second amendment says is: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

Oftentimes we hear people argue about the intentions of the framer's of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. But in this case, there is no need...they went right ahead and wrote their intent right into the document. Worried about the ability of the nation to defend itself, the Framers hoped that a well-armed citizen's Militia would serve as protection against foreign (or other) enemies.

Do I really need to point out that this is maybe a little bit outdated? Seeing as we have determined that Militia's are NOT necessary to the security of the nation (they are basically illegal), why do we still maintain the right to own firearms? So, why is it that the pro-gun lobby constantly chooses to ignore half of it's own personal Bible?

OK...there is the first let me have it...


brookem said...

I have never put the amount of thought into this that it seems you have! I think it's really great that you are so passionate about such an important, timely topic. Because I haven't put all too much thought and/or research in the topic, I can't really give that grounded of an opinion.

Kate said...

my brother got his gun permit and it took him a while. at least six months, i think. there are actual steps you have to go through and it's not that easy.

if i wanted to obtain a gun through illegal channels i would have not the first clue about how to go through doing that. i don't think many normal, law adbiding citizens have those kinds of "connections."

i guess if you are someone intent on causing harm to others, you'll go to any length to obtain what you need to carry out your will.

there's no stopping some people unfortunately.

cat said...

AM, what makes you think your readers are representative of the population as a whole and will disagree with you?

i think the supreme court has already interpreted the 2nd amendment as applying to individuals rather than militias only.

k.d. said...

100% great post. thank you.

Princess Extraordinaire said...

I like that you've that you've put so much thought and research into this...I think guns need to be regulated and I agree with the second ammendment as well.

Still just me said...

I agree with you 100% so far, so I guess I will have to read the rest of the installments.

Too many people can get guns, and yes, even I can get one on the streets.

allbilly said...

yeah...obviously the Supremes don't agree with your interpretation of the 2nd amendment, but Scalia would love your "just read the words" approach.

There is no debate here. You can't stop drugs and you can't stop guns. But yet, we somehow seem to debate these stalemate issues. Waste of time.

I guess you'll want to debate abortion next.

GreenLineBoy said...

Wisdom from the Simpsons:

Lisa: The second amendment is just a remnant from revolutionary periods, it has no real meaning today.

Homer: You couldn't be more wrong Lisa. If I didn't have this gun the King of England could just come in here and start pushing you around. Do you want that, well do ya?

Honestly though, I believe that from cars to guns to Plutonium one should be able to obtain whatever they want given the right amount of training and regulation. I have to register my car and have a license to drive it. And were I to want Plutonium the regulations would be much more stringent and I'd need a facility to store it. And I couldn't get it until those regulations were met. Guns need to be regulated as well, which they are. If your problem is with that regulation, how would you improve it?

Note: Of those items listed, guns are the only ones that's intended use is to make things dead.

Ally said...

My first thought on reading your post is "Well given the fact that almost everyone and their brother (in the South at least) alreadly legally owns a gun or three, practically speaking how can we now take those guns away without spending millions of dollars, law enforcement time, etc. on prosecuting people who are otherwise not criminals?" My impluse reaction is that a war on guns would end up like the war on drugs (with college kids getting prosecuted for smoking pot rather than the big drug dealers) but instead (otherwise) law abiding citizens being arrested for owning their handguns, deer hunting rifle, etc. rather than the people who are really a threat to society. So I'm looking forward to your installments as maybe you've got some ideas on this matter. I've not given this the type of thought you have, and I appreciate your passion for the subject.

Jordan said...

a lot of the things that pyschopath (from VTech) bought, were from ebay, can you imagine?

there's a lot of work to be done as far as gun "control"...

for those that say "guns don't kill, people do".. well, no shit right... but using guns is a coward's way out.. if you have an issue, take it up in the boxing ring.. we'll see WHO wins...

Aaron said...

It's way too easy to buy a lot of things legal or not. You want to smoke some pot tonight? How difficult do you think it is to find it? But it's illegal to manufacture, distribute or possess the drug, correct? But anyone can walk into a novelty shop and buy a "water pipe."

We can debate all day what we think the second amendment means. I have my opinion and you have yours. But that's someone else's job. Oh, and militias aren't illegal.

Prohibition didn't work.
The war on drugs didn't work.
There are more than 20,000 laws already regulating guns (many which aren't enforced). I mean, what's one more?

I could go on and on and on... but I at least have respect for you because you out-right wrote your intentions. :)