Guns Guns Guns

So now that Obama is president, some Americans are afraid that they are going to lose their right to bear arms, or at least certain types of arms, mainly assault rifles. Well, there may be some truth to that as Obama has said that he is for reinstating the federal ban on selling assault rifles. In preparation for this possible law, people are flocking to gun stores and buying up all the guns they can afford. In fact, in the struggling economy, gun shops seem to be the only retail genre that are not suffering.

One town in Fort Worth Texas has sold $100,000 worth of guns A DAY since the election. Not 100,000 dollars since the election, but PER DAY. That’s 400,000 thousand dollars in gun sales in four days. The shop owner seemed pretty happy about it, but then I guess he forgot that he will get taxed on 150,000 dollars of that at a 3% higher rate. And Colorado has seen 1500 background checks for first time gun buyers since Tuesday.

This is astounding, and scary to me. It’s astounding because I wonder how people are paying for these guns. Are they dipping into their retirement funds? Are they willing to go wihtout food for a week if it means they can get their hands on some cold blue steel? Is the economy really not in that bad of shape? I mean, when folks in one city can spend almost half a million dollars on guns in four days, I have to ask: where is the recession? Or are they just not paying their credit card bills and mortgages for fear that the liberal black man will take them all away.

It’s scary to me because that is a lot of guns going into the hands of citizens. I believe that they are law abiding citizens, and I believe in the 2nd Amendment, to a degree. I do not necessarily believe that the general population should have access to assault rifles, though. Just look at that guy who killed the twelve year old trick or treater who knocked on his door. Sure, the dude was an ex-felon and probably should not have had a gun in the first place, but he definitely should not have had an assault rifle. Those things are what the military and SWAT teams use; they should not be allowed in the hands of average citizens.

I know I may come off as sounding too liberal, or ant American, or whatever, but the fact of the matter is that guns in general are dangerous, and assault rifles are moreso. Why do we need them? For home protection? I sincerely doubt it. For when the goose-steppers come knocking at our door? Okay, I’ll agree to that a little more willingly, but now that BushCo is on the way out, I am not as scared of that as I once was. It’s still a possibility, sure, but it’s about as likely as Obama suddenly revealing that he is a Muslim who wants to destroy America: not very (cause he’s not a Muslim, and I truly believe he cares about this country).

I am open to reasons why citizens need assault rifles because I cannot fathom any genuine ones, except for the argument that they are not illegal and that we are entitled to them under the 2nd Amendment of the Constituiton. Like I said, I am not against the 2nd Amendment, but I don’t think it means that we should be allowed to own rocket launchers or RPGs, even though those are technically arms as well. Small firearms, hunting rifles, shotguns, those I’m okay with because they can be used for home defense, and hunting. Sure assault rifles can be used to hunt, but they are not really designed for that purpose (unless you’re hunting humans, and in that case you really shouldn’t have a gun at all).

So please if anyone has any reasons (I’ll decide if they’re valid or not) as to why we should be allowed to own assault rifles leave a comment. I am interested in the other side of the coin because, as I said, I am having a hard time seeing any real good justification for it.

As a note: Apparently is is extremely difficult (though still possible) to obtain a gun in the Czech Republic. There are a multitude of tests, you have to be at least 18 (I think) and it is very expensive to get the papers that allow it, let alone the cost of the guns themselves. I mention this not because I think their system is better, but because that is where I live, and I thought I would offer a different country’s perpesctive on gun ownership, just to offer a glimpse into how a different country handles this issue. If I think about it I will explore it more, and maybe write a post on it.

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6 comments on “Guns Guns Guns

  1. Randi says:

    Assault rifles do not need to be sold to the general public. Period.

    I think only hunting rifles and (only to people who are well-trained) handguns should be available.

  2. Tony Belding says:

    A little education is in order here. . . ASSAULT RIFLES — meaning machineguns — have been strictly regulated in the USA since 1934, and the production or importation of new ones for private citizens has been completely stopped since 1986. In America nobody can just go down to the local gun shop and buy an M16 or a bazooka or a hand grenade. That’s not an issue.

    The issue is “assault weapons”, which is a name invented by the anti-gun faction to try and make ordinary pistols and rifles sound evil and dangerous. They want to ban ordinary pistols and rifles which Americans are long accustomed to having and which we have generally used responsibly.

    Just to put this in perspective. . . In the 1930s gangsters used Thompson guns to mow down one another, along with a lot of innocent bystanders. In the 1980s drug gangs used MAC-10s to mow down one another, along with a lot of innocent bystanders. Those are machineguns, and in both instances the law stepped forward to control those weapons. I have no problem with restricting those, because we’ve seen what happens when we don’t.

    On the other hand. . . Surplus M1 Carbines flooded the market after WW2, and semi-auto “assault weapons” (as they are now called) have been available to the public ever since. That’s a solid 60 years of availability, and it’s never been a problem. Why the panic now? If there was some kind of AR and AK crime wave going on, then maybe I could see an argument against them — but that’s not happening.

    Misleading the public about the kinds of weapons they want to restrict is a long-standing ploy of the anti-gun faction. Gun owners have been struggling to educate the public and counter the propaganda for more than 15 years now (since before the original AWB law began), and it’s a never-ending struggle.

  3. Right but AKs semi-automatic ones sure but AKs nonetheless–are being sold to the public. Just because there isn’t a crime wave involving them right now doesn’t mean that they should be available to the public because semi-automatic means you can fire as fast as you can pull the trigger.

    I thank you for your comment, but I’m still looking for a reason why people need semi-automatic rifles such as Aks, Mac-10s, Ar-15s and others, especially since the ones on the market now bear the slightest difference (to make them legal) from the full auto assault rifle variations.

    So you gave me a history lesson, which is appreciated because I like to be informed and need to know when I am being inaccurate, but I’m still looking for a reason. Can you give me one?

  4. Tony Belding says:

    Keep in mind that this is America, and we tend to assume the burden falls on our government to show something is harmful before they forbid it. We don’t like for our legislators to go around banning anything they decide we don’t “need”, without rhyme or reason. (After they enacted the earlier AWB law, many legislators found themselves looking for new jobs.) When you demand an answer to why people need semi-auto rifles, that’s somewhat asking the wrong question.

    Why does the government need to ban them? Where is the crisis that compels the people to give up something they are long accustomed to enjoying?

    Anyhow, people are buying a lot of them. They must think they need them, or at least want them, for some reasons. This I will attempt to explain. . . Here in Texas they are popular for shooting coyotes and wild hogs. They are also popular for target shooting. They are used in service rifle competition. A whole industry has grown up around the AR-15 in particular, as we now have many companies making them in a wild profusion of variants, from ultra-lightweight carbines to heavy-barreled varmint guns, and many more companies producing parts and accessories. It’s a design which has expanded to fill many roles. Remington now even produce their own AR aimed at traditional hunters.

    However, the main political issue is self-defense. Pistols are much more important than rifles for this purpose, as pistols are much more likely to be carried or kept in homes or in vehicles to protect against common criminals.

    Even so, semi-auto rifles do also have a defensive role to play. Korean shop-owners used them to protect their stores during the Los Angeles riots in 1992. In the same year people in Florida guarded their homes in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew with shotguns and rifles. And I’ve heard from one individual who credits his AK with scaring off some threatening people in the aftermath of Katrina, in New Orleans. (He never fired a shot, but they saw the AK and got the message.)

    These incidents are rare in America. They only happen under extraordinary circumstances, breakdowns or near-breakdowns of social order — but they can happen. I think any society that considers itself civilized has to recognize a right of self-defense. To recognize such a right but deny the tools to exercise it would be a mockery.

  5. I do not think it is a wrong question at all. I seriously want to know why people feel they need these weapons. Why are they buying them up like they are going out of style? The reason of self defense is a popular one (and I agree that we need to defend ourselves) but I don’t necessarily think that we need semi-auto assault rifles, or machine pistols with extended clips for more ammunition, for self defense.

    As for shooting coyotes, wouldn’t a hunting rifle suffice? It is a difficult issue to be sure, I was just curious as to what some of the reasons for maintaining access to these types of weapons were. I am not trying to change minds, I am simply voicing my opinion that I think these weapons are more dangerous than so-called standard pistols and pump action shotguns, especially when we take into consideration such incidents as Colombine, Virginia Tech, and the man shooting the child through the door with an assault weapon.

    Are these every day occurrences? No, of course not. But they do happen, and they happen because we have not been strict enough on who can get access to these weapons. So if we are not going to ban them outright (and I agree the impetus is on the government to demonstrate a need for the banning) we at the very least need to institute stronger controls to make sure we do our best to keep the weapons in the hands of law abiding, mentally stable folks.

  6. Todd says:

    In reference to one part of your blog, “but the fact of the matter is that guns in general are dangerous, and assault rifles are moreso.”, i want to take exception, on 2 points.

    “…guns in general are dangerous…” … Cars in general are dangerous (in the control of the wrong individuals). Now obviously cars are not marketed as killing devices, however the operators of them kill many many people every day. I would assume more than guns, but I do not have data to back that up. My real point is, many things we all have ready access to in our daily lives could be said to be dangerous in general. The laws in place to prevent those who should not have these weapons should be examined and renewed, but anybody that has not given a reason to own one should not be prevented from doing so.

    “…and assault rifles are moreso…” … This is just not a supportable statement. If you take the definition of “assault rifle” from the Clinton AWB, many of the criteria are strictly asthetic and do not contribute in any way to the lethality of a weapon. How can you define the “dangerousness” of a rifle? You would have to examine ballistics of available calibers, rate of fire, accuracy (big varible here), and many other data. The truth is, depending on the individual using the device, other rifles not mentioned could be more dangerous than the scary “black rifle”. The concern about civilians owning a semi-automatic rifle is bourne of ignorance to guns and their use. An AR-15 cannot be definitively defined as more dangerous than other rifles.

    And if I may, one additional point. Inrefernce to .. “So please if anyone has any reasons (I’ll decide if they’re valid or not) as to why we should be allowed to own assault rifles leave a comment. I am interested in the other side of the coin because, as I said, I am having a hard time seeing any real good justification for it.”

    Many rifles classified as “assault rifles” are used in competition, sport shooting, etc. These are valid competitions, nobody is getting hurt, participants are enjoying the sport and challenging themselves in a healthy manner. The technology of these rifles and the accessorizing of them has brought them into a new role, and are not all made or owned with the intent of being war machines. In many modern configurations they would be less effective than guns that aren’t feared by the non-knowing.

    Repectfully submitted,
    Todd

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