An open call to gun-control advocates and gun supporters
To those who have offered support for the announced attempt by Obama and the Congress to go full out for gun control — be they unprincipled and timid Republicans, liberty-snatching and opportunistic leftists, or even just mostly apolitical adults who’ve become so Oprahfied that they think with their syrupy hearts, that is, like children — here is your chance to venture out of your consensus circle and actually defend your position.
The text of the second amendment reads: “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.”
And what the President wants to do — with many in Congress along with him — is infringe on the rights of the people. This is a political power grab, opportunism masquerading as compassion. And I defy gun control advocates to show me how this isn’t so.
An “assault weapon,” which is a military term defined militarily as “selective firearms (full auto-continuous, or burst fire plus auto-loading) of sub-caliber” [source: second amendment foundation] is already subject to onerous taxes, long wait times, and special approval for ownership — and is not the kind of weapon, legally purchased, you ever see in spree killings. That is, they are under a de facto ban already to nearly everyone who legally owns other types of firearms.
Which means that, as with “marriage”, the progressive left (and some pro-gun control advocates on the right) is looking to broaden the definition of “assault weapon” to include things that are by established definition not assault weapons. Essentially, they wish to place a ban on anything that looks scary, and what makes a rifle look scary is some combination of features that in no way change the lethality of the weapon. They just change the cosmetics — cosmetics that, for many gun enthusiasts, create a more enjoyable and comfortable shooting experience. For instance, in the 1994 ban, what came to count as an “assault rifle” was “semi-automatic rifles able to accept detachable magazines and two or more of the following:
*Folding or telescoping stock
*Flash suppressor, or threaded barrel designed to accommodate one
*Grenade launcher (more precisely, a muzzle device that enables launching or firing rifle grenades, though this applies only to muzzle mounted grenade launchers and not those mounted externally).”
As a Special Forces friend of mine noted last evening, “Those are meaningless features, as to its capability to kill a bunch of kids in a school rapidly. So you take an AR-15, cut the flash suppressor and bayonet lug off, don’t install a grenade launcher, and you’re good to go. No more school shootings, right?
Precisely right. Folding or telescoping stocks are what allow people of various sizes within a family, eg., to share a rifle. Flash suppressors or compensators offer better control over the rifle — and a threaded barrel can be used to add an (already difficult to come by) suppressor, which in certain parts of the world is mandatory, because they dampen the sound of gunfire and so curb noise pollution. What they don’t do is impact the lethality of the weapon.
Too, the idea that by banning “high capacity magazines” you are likely to do anything other than increase sales of smaller mags — or perhaps convince someone to carry two guns to make up for the loss of ready firepower — is more leftist magical thinking that serves only one purpose: showing who has the power.
As with Commissar Bloomberg’s ridiculous soda sizing restrictions, the way to circumvent such a petty tyrannical law, as Mark Levin noted last evening, is to buy 2 sodas — which uses up more resources and creates more waste — or two guns, which has the effect of putting more firearms into public hands.
Yesterday on Facebook I carried on several “debates” simultaneously with the pro-gun control crowd. And what became readily apparent is that most of them knew not a thing about firearms — and those who did were simply interested in positioning themselves on what they perceived to be the “compassionate” side of the issue. These latter folks are easily recognizable because they tend to introduce themselves into the debate by way of asserting some appeal to authority — eg., “I’m a gun owner and an avid hunter and outdoorsman, but even I would tell you that no one needs an assault weapon” — as if his having purchased a gun of his choosing gives him the moral authority to determine what someone else might “need.”
But here’s the thing: the second amendment was intended to protect a natural right, the right to life, to self-preservation, to autonomy outside of the sphere of governmental molestation; and in fact, it is the right that protects all the other individual rights laid forth in the Bill of Rights. Hunting, someone needs to tell Joe Manchin and others, is incidental to the second amendment’s design and purpose — an activity made either easier or more enjoyable to some that comes as a result of the primary right itself, which is intended to keep the individual (and the nation) free and protected.
And it is absolute. “Shall not be infringed” being about as straightforward as it gets, legislatively speaking.
During my Facebook “debates” I was able to point out, for instance, to one woman — a gun owner who carries a 9mm Sig Sauer, but who claims no one “needs” more to defend themselves or their families — that her weapon has a 15 round magazine. 2 of those magazines make up a “high capacity” magazine as it is currently conceived outside of the few states who seem to think 11 is the magic number (making her a potential gun nut / fringe loon already by the standards of those states). And how much time does it take to change magazines? As someone who’s fired a gun and changed out the magazine herself, she was forced to concede that it can be done in a matter of seconds by even the most unpracticed shooter, and much faster by those who practice rapid fire exercises.
Another debate, as is always the case, centered around the oft-repeated, oft-misunderstood “militia” argument, wherein we’re to believe that the modern-day National Guard is what the Framers had in mind when they noted that the right of the PEOPLE to keep and bear arms should not be infringed. But this is easy enough to check, even if you haven’t read Heller. To the Framers, militias had two compositions: those men between 17-45 who were citizens or wished to become citizens, referred to as the ready militia; and then everybody else, who made up the reserve militia. That is, the militia, as George Mason explained, was and is the people. As is evident by language both in the federal code and in many state statutes and constitutions.
And finally, one commentator, citing Heller, pointed out that the Justices considered as anachronistic certain trajectories the second amendment might take, noting that tanks or modern day bomber planes are clearly deserving of some controls, while things like restrictions on where guns could be carried were also open to legislation. This, he suggested, opens the path to removing the more dangerous weapons from the hands of civilians. Like, for instance, assault weapons.
Leaving aside his rather dubious rhetorical stretch that hopes to conflate Air Force bombers and Bradley Fighting Vehicles with civilian versions of military rifles, what he means by assault weapons is not an assault weapon at all. It is the civilian version of a military assault weapon, clearly defined — with the very things that make an assault weapon an assault weapon having already been removed. That is, it is styled after a military weapon, but functions just like a typical semi-automatic pistol, which most gun-control advocates, hoping to appear sensible, agree are perfectly fine to keep for self defense, so long as it’s kept in a safe, separated from its cartridges, and never carried into many public spaces.
That is, they support the right to own semi-automatic weapons if those weapons look one way; but they support banning semi-automatic weapons styled after military weapons because, well, because.
This is all nonsensical.
I asked a lot of pro-gun control advocates if they supported a ban on sniper rifles. Those who knew nothing about guns replied with “of course!” Those who had begun by proclaiming themselves hunters and gun owners who nevertheless supported “assault weapons bans” didn’t reply at all, having caught on to where the argument was going.
Because there is no practical difference between a “sniper” rifle and a hunting rifle — most sniper rifles are bolt action and scoped — just a semantic one. And if the government can turn what isn’t an assault rifle into an “assault rifle” merely by arbitrary changes to the definition, clearly they can do the same thing to hunters by classifying their weapons as “sniper rifles.” Add to that the fact that many hunters use rounds far more powerful than those used in a Bushmaster AR-15-style rifle (which takes Remington 223 or 5.56×45 Nato; whereas a SCAR-17 “assault rifle” takes .308 Win / 7.62×51; and a 30 06 hunting round is 7.62×63), and one can begin to anticipate the emotional arguments for forcing us all to begin hunting with BB guns or bows and arrows.
Now. Since the day of the shooting in Connecticut I’ve known where Obama and the progressives would take us. And I advised immediately that we go on the offensive — something many on the right, fearing the press or calls that they don’t care about the children, etc., refused to do, with a few notable exceptions. Some on the right even tried to join the emotionalist cascade being driven by the progressives and their media enablers and immediately and without thought agreed with calls to revisit gun control.
Today I’m going to reissue my earlier call to go on the offensive, and I believe it should be done thusly: House Republicans and Republican Governors who enjoy majorities in their state legislatures, should coordinate a legislative effort — going around the feckless orange crybaby Boehner — to remove “gun free zone” ordinances and laws from public schools, and encourage private businesses [by way of addressing civil liability claims, as Ernst points out in a comment, below] to do away with their own gun-free zone restrictions. They should call this effort the “Protect the Children Act” or the “Anti-Sitting Duck Act”, argue that advertising to crazy people –many of whom use nothing but ordinary handguns to produce a great number of casualties — where the softest targets are, and where they are nearly guaranteed to meet the least lethal resistance to their slaughter fantasies, is the height of legislative stupidity, a fact borne out by the number of spree killings that have occurred in gun-free zones, and be done with it legislatively. National conversation on gun violence addressed.
Take the emotional argument away from ignorant or opportunistic leftists. Do something based in first principles. And provide the means to protect children and other living things currently not afforded us.
More, by doing so we can create the state “experiments” envisioned under a federalist system. Spree killers look for soft targets. The way to stop them is not to disarm law abiding citizens who are in the most immediate position to stop such attacks.
Merely the threat of armed teachers, or pilots, or movie theater patrons and managers with concealed carry permits (meaning, they’ve taken classes, been finger-printed and added to some database, had their backgrounds checked, and been vetted by a Sheriff or other law enforcement entity) would likely deter many of these efforts, and could almost certainly minimize the loss of life.
Those states that implement such common sense reforms can then see how they stack up against those states that maintain the most restrictive gun laws. We already see that those cities with the most restrictive gun laws often have the highest rate of gun crime.
It’s time to stop being afraid of the press and the left and the academics who wish to mold us and stand up for principle by forcing facts into the debate.
And it’s time for gun control advocates to make their case rationally and logically, because once their arguments are stripped of a knee-jerk emotionalist appeal, they cease to make any kind of coherent sense. Suggesting to me that they are merely opportunistic and have no connection whatsoever to wanting to keep people safe. Rather, they want removed what they don’t understand simply because they don’t wish to understand what it is they want removed.
As it’s a natural right of mine they’re hoping to take away, the onus needs to be placed on them to make the case — and then take the issue to the states for a constitutional amendment battle.
I encourage anyone reading this who has a Twitter account to please Tweet this out. Post it to Facebook. Email it to your lefty friends.
The President says he wants to have a national discussion. Let’s us here do our part in precipitating just that. And let’s have it known up front that we will not accept as an extra-legal assault on one of our natural rights the pre-fabbed decisions of some handpicked, poltically-motivated politburo.