Thursday, September 19, 2013

Sense on guns

I don't post on political issues too much, because I have strong beliefs but no partisan litmus tests for friends and ideas. I would rather discuss other things (i.e. almost anything else). But this is  a good summing- up on guns, one that people I know who differ on other issues agree with, so I think I will make an exception.  I am tired of being told we can have a simple "fix" for this "problem" in the US, and still have any vestige of privacy or respect for law:

"... If there is a more “gun free” zone in the United States than a Washington, D.C.–based Naval facility that houses non-combat groups such as the JAG Corps and the Navy Band then I would like to know where it is. Washington, D.C. itself is now so locked down that there isn’t even a (legal) gun store within the city limits (one has to get one’s firearms through a dealer who works out of the city’s police headquarters), it remains the last place in the country without a concealed-carry regime, and it inexplicably limits its residents to buying weapons that have been approved by the states of California and Massachusetts. At the Navy Yard, meanwhile, most military personnel are not armed, and neither are the civilians who make up most of the workforce...

"The first and most important question to ask those who reacted to today’s shooting with the predictable call for more laws — or, more amorphously, “outrage” — is, “what exactly would your desire changes do about this?” The most likely answer, as so often when unpredicable and imperfectable human beings are involved, is nothing. The federal Toomey-Manchin gun-control bill failed earlier this year in part because the American people instinctively oppose gun restrictions but also because none of the included proposals would have done the slightest thing to have prevented the abomination in response to which it was allegedly contrived — and everybody knew it. It is no accident that crime has dropped consistently over the last two decades while gun laws have been loosened in most states and at the federal level...

[ LARGE snip full of factual information- RTWT ]

.. " Leaving to one side for a moment the constitutionality of gun control, it should be remembered that America is a nation with around 300-million-plus privately owned guns and a much-cherished constitutional amendment protecting the right of the people to keep and to bear arms. It is, in other words, like neither Britain nor Australia...  In Britain, the 1997 gun ban prompted around 2,000 people to protest; in Australia, critics were a little louder, but they still allowed themselves to be disarmed without much of a fight. In the United States, conversely, it is neither hyperbolic nor unreasonable to predict that any attempt at either confiscation or prohibition of common weapons would start a second civil war.

"... How na├»ve do you have to be to look at an event like this in a nation with hundreds of millions of privately owned guns and an explicit constitutional amendment that protects ownership and conclude, “let’s pass a law!”?

" Earlier today, David Frum inadvertently demonstrated where the authoritarian mindset goes in the face of evil when he called for doing just that. On Twitter, Frum wrote sarcastically:

"Rule 3: All gun owners are to be complimented as responsible and law-abiding until they personally have hurt themselves or somebody else.

"Aha, a Minority Report-style Pre-Crime system! Perfect.

"I understand that David Frum considers this to be amusing. But I do not. In fact, his suggestion should be taken literally. Treating “all gun owners . . . as responsible and law-abiding until they personally have hurt themselves or somebody else” is precisely how one should treat free people in a free country. "

Me again. I think it a basic American and even Western precept that all law-abiding members of a society are legally and morally innocent until they do something wrong-- is this now under fire?

David Frum considers himself a conservative Republican, but he is also a Canadian immigrant from Toronto. And it was a large percentage of Democrats who determined the fate of the Colorado reps, especially Ms Giron. Being unreflectively urban may mean more than any party label. Ask Jim Urbigkit.


Moro Rogers said...

"Unreflectively urban" is a term. Makes me want to go out and reflect.

Moro Rogers said...

"Unreflectively urban" is a term. Makes me want to go out and reflect.

Anonymous said...

I have become convinced that the "gun issue" is another one of those issues that is so closely tied with peoples' sense of identity that it is difficult if not impossible to have a rational discussion on the subject.

It must be understood that there are multiple layers of complexity and competing values at stake here. There are differing kinds of "gun violence." Mass shootings are almost always correlated with mental illness. Domestic violence is another breed, as is gang violence, as is homicide during the commission of another crime, etc.

I do believe it behooves the gun culture to work toward separating the drunks from the car keys. Unfortunately, Dianne Feinstein and her crowd aren't really any more interested in that than is the NRA.

There are no simple fixes, but we certainly could have a more useful conversation than the one we always have in the wake of these all-too-common tragedies.

More later, maybe. I feel like I just said a bunch of nothing. I am so frustrated with this subject.

Jim Cornelius

Darrell said...

It ain't about guns, it's about control.

Anonymous said...

I don't doubt that if more people are allowed to carry guns, that shooting incidents will occur that would not have in a more gun restricted society. That's tragic, for sure, but how many more incidents are prevented or "body counts" lessened considerably when citizens are allowed to protect themselves with guns? I'm sure accurate statistics would show that guns used for defense do much good. But the antis focus on only the negative side of it. Kinda reminds me of the Pit Bull Terrier Witch Hunt--the rabidly anti-pitbull people only focusing on the tragic unprovoked(???) dog attacks--never realizing people often keep Pit Bulls for protection, and that they have also saved many a life as well--far more than they've killed. Somebody needs to compile all of the "saved" stories to use to shout down the antis(because shouting them down LOUDER while they are shouting is THE ONLY WAY to effectively counteract them). All I know fer sure is that if anybody starts shooting at me, or just in my general vicinity, I sure as hell will want to be able to SHOOT BACK! And I am not fond of, interested in, or a gun afficiondo at all! But whiteman got'um firestick, I want'um firestick!!.....L.B.

BorderWars said...

"the predictable call for more laws — or, more amorphously, “outrage” — is, “what exactly would your desired changes do about this?” The most likely answer, as so often when unpredictable and imperfectable human beings are involved, is nothing."

That right there is why I am a libertarian. When there is no connection between problem and solution, no accountability, but an incessant need to pass more laws, just because, then you must stand against the inevitable largess of government and the creeping statism that legislating everything (and for no good effect) entails.

Anonymous said...

There's an interesting NPR piece today, noting that Russia has far stricter gun laws than the U.S., a smaller population and much higher rate of firearms homicide.

The evidence is pretty strong that short of a politically impossible, dangerous, unconstitutional (and undesirable) draconian gun round-up, gun control just won't work. The DC shooter may have been the best background-checked mass shooter in history and that didn’t help matters, did it?

We have deep-seated cultural problems, from gangs to a broken mental health system. Addressing these problems is difficult and complicated and involves stepping on somebody’s civil rights. Anti-gang crackdowns can work — but they involve guilt-by-association that’s kinda squishy for a free society. And how far do you go with “cracking down” on the mentally ill? Could impinging upon their “rights” have the unintended consequence of causing many to avoid seeking treatment?

None of this is easy. But as a sane, law-abiding firearms owner and user, I have become increasingly convinced that most if not all proposed gun control measures impinge upon my (and/or my fellow gun owners) liberties with little to know discernable effect on gun violence. Even the “common sense” ones.

I’m willing to try to be socially responsible, but I won’t be a chump. I’m done wrestling with the issue and feeling like there’s something I should do.

Thanks, Steve, for engaging this subject and letting me think out loud in your yard.

Jim Cornelius