A Primer On Gun Technology And Weapons Bans

TEC 9Updated When I started posting articles on Facebook related to gun control, my gun-toting friends — in the main — weren’t happy with me. They told me in no uncertain terms that I didn’t know what I was talking about. They said I was being inflammatory and had a responsibility to not share inaccurate news stories or commentary.

But the more they posted, the more it felt like they were shouting at me. Verbal attacks, as it were.

Thankfully, I got this Simple Primer on Assault Weapons in an email from another friend. He owns a gun but isn’t a shouter. (For the record, I grew up with guns, too.)

I encourage everyone to read this because

  • The author, Brad Taylor, writes clearly and, more importantly, pretty dispassionately
  • He’s credentialed in my book: a retired Special Forces Lieutenant Colonel and former Assistant Professor of Military Science at The Citadel in Charleston, SC.

But here is the primer in a nutshell:

You can ban guns based on how they operate or you can ban guns by name (make and model). Neither is going to work, according to Taylor. Here’s why.

rifleman rifleIf you try the former, you wind up banning deer rifles, target pistols and shotguns used for duck hunting. That’s because modern rifles are semi-automatics. That is, they fire a single bullet when the trigger is pulled. No need to ratchet a bullet into the chamber manually. You know, like in the westerns where the sheriff walks down the street with rifle in hand, manually cocked and ready for one shot. (Note: Australia has severely limited legal ownership of semi-automatic rifles.)

Added: a friend who is a hunter tells me that hunting rifles are also available with bolt action. I do not know why Brad Taylor failed to mention this. If that is the case, then it would be possible to ban semi-automatic long arms and still have long arms for hunting. What this would do to the “sport” of precision shooting, I do not know. Clearly it would put a dent in long arms sales.

Let me say this again: banning semi-automatic weapons bans all modern guns. Read Taylor’s primer to understand why he says firearms are a lump sum.

If you try the latter (per the 1994 ban), then the gun manufacturers simply change the item name. (It seems to me there should be some way to counter this evasion.) Here’s Taylor on the gun I’ve used as an illustration at the top of this post:

You can ban it outright – as the ’94 Assault Weapons Ban did, IE – “the TEC 9 is now illegal for sale”. Four months later the maker changes the name to “Homedefender 10” and starts selling again (actually they changed it to “AB-10”, as in “After Ban”).

There are two other factors that determine the “deadliness” of modern guns:

  1. The caliber and type of the bullet
  2. How many rounds can you shoot before adding more bullets

According to Taylor, if you ban a caliber (the diameter of the bullet), gun manufacturers will simply retool the weapon. This is a variation on renaming an existing model to circumvent a ban. That’s because guns are big business, a $4+ billion industry. The March Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. recently donated $1.254 million to the NRA — one dollar per gun sold in its campaign.

Hollow point bullets are banned by the The Hague Convention of 1899 for international conflicts. Hollow point bullets cause more damage to our bodies; at high velocity, a normal bullet will simply pass through the body. Hollow points are designed to flatten and expand; no small hole from these. Hollow points are not banned in the U.S.

I do not know if what is best for war is best for civilians but on the surface banning hollow points sounds logical. Taylor does not address this issue, but San Francisco is reportedly planning a ban. It may blow your mind (it did mine) to know that the Social Security Administration (among other government agencies like DHS) has stockpiles of hollow point bullets.

Added: game hunters argue for hollow points in order to be more certain that they kill their prey rather than have them simply injured where they can wander away to a lingering, and painful, death. Britain “solved” this dilemma with an exception for hunting. I do not know how effective it is, but I’d love to have their homicide rate.

I did not mention armor-piercing bullets in the first draft. They have been mentioned in discussion as being a more logical candidate for restricted sales than hollow points.

colt six shooter You may have watched a Bond or Diehard or Arnie movie and said to yourself (suspension of disbelief on hold), “He should have reloaded by now.” Those of us of a certain age grew up with six-shooters. But today’s magazines can hold far more than six bullets. The Glock 17 … holds 17 rounds. The Aurora CO shooting? A 100 round magazine capable of firing 50 to 60 rounds a minute. (His gun jammed or the carnage could have been much greater than it was.)

Here’s Taylor on the 10 round limit (a feature of the 1994 law):

[A] ten round magazine is plenty for any defensive scenario, provided you can shoot – which, if you own a weapon for self defense and don’t know how to shoot it, you are the apostate – and also would have little impact on tactical shooting competitions.

[...]

Changing magazines under pressure is not as easy as it sounds. Forcing some psycho to do that in order to continue killing provides an edge. Provides time for others to react. Provides a gap when he or she is essentially as defenseless as the victims on the other end of the barrel. Provides a host of things that can short-circuit a mass slaughter. According to the Sandy Hook medical examiner, each victim was shot multiple times by a rifle at close range. The fact that it was a “black rifle” is irrelevant. It could have been any number of rifles that will pass any “ban” instituted, but given the rifle at hand, with close to thirty casualties, and assuming a thirty round magazine from news reports, he would have had to reload a minimum of once. That changes to five with a ten round magazine. Five different gaps in time for someone to escape.

Limiting magazine size and banning hollow points (that means cops and the Federal Government, too) makes sense to me as one part of a strategy to curtail gun violence across the board, not just when a young white guy decides to shoot up the suburbs. This has to be across the board; no grandfathering.

At the moment, I believe that we can’t write a law that defines military-type guns (rifles and pistols) effectively, other than calling them out by name. Appearance isn’t what is important, performance is. Look, THIS is an air rifle (aka a BB gun). Looks scary as hell, doesn’t it?

air rifle

There’s already at least one White House petition to ban high capacity magazines. It’s certainly not enough, but it seems like a reasonable first step in a long journey — and conversation — to curtail all gun violence. It’s a conversation that I hope can be sustained without having a mass murder on average every other month like we have had this year.

         

39 Comments

  1. One of my friends noted on Facebook, wryly, that when you’re in the middle you get run over by both sides. I expect that could happen here.

    Thus this notice: I will only respond to rational and reasoned comments. That means watch tone, which includes ALL CAPS and !!!! Want to make a claim? Back it up with evidence or don’t bother. And talk in “I” statements rather than “you.” The end result will be a more civil tone conducive to dialog. Thanks for playing. :-)

  2. Isn’t it sad that you need to add that disclaimer comment? The fact that we can’t even talk about this is irrational in & of itself.

  3. A great summary of the issue, Kathy. Props for digging after the facts.

  4. I have to say tho I believe we are on different sides of the issue this was one of the best articles I’ve read about the subject. On the subject of hollow points, personally I think it would be horrible idea. No way would it be acceptable to any cop because so much of a bullets stopping power is connected to design of a hollow point and then there is the overpenetration issue. You know the special bullets air marshals use, well those would also be banned.

  5. Nicely done, Kathy. Concise, clear and accurate. I fully support your postion and was particularly impressed by the “no grandfathering” qualification which is essential to effective action. This may create some initial enforcement issues, as EEllis noted on another comment thread, but it is the only way to take action that will matter on the ground.

    Just want to add: Some gun control advocates say that it doesn’t matter if one doesn’t know the actual facts about guns. It does matter IMO because not knowing the facts, or exaggerating the facts, opens one’s credibility to challenge by opponents. Articles like yours here help make TMV one place where gun control and gun rights can be discussed within honest and factual parameters. Thank you.

  6. Good one KG, and remember shouters are usually in the minority.

  7. I want more discussion on the terrible state of our mental health facilities around the country and the mental health industry at large. I’m beyond weary of hearing so many mental health issues with these shooters and the, in my opinion, poor way they were helped if at all. Adam Ant said it best:

    Mental health needs a great deal of attention. It’s the final taboo and it needs to be faced and dealt with.

    We can do all kinds of acrobatics on gun control (and I’m in favor of some “better” gun control laws) but the root cause will always be state and health of mind.

  8. “We can do all kinds of acrobatics on gun control (and I’m in favor of some “better” gun control laws) but the root cause will always be state and health of mind.”

    With all due respect, TS, (and I’ll keep it short because it is Christmas Eve) while the “root cause” may be mental health (and other issues, too), as long as those deadly “weapons of human destruction” (and I don’t mean self-defense, sports or hunting arms) are so easily available to those with “mental health issues,” I don’t think we will ever even start to remedy the problem.

    I do wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas, Tyrone.

  9. Hi Kathy,

    “You can ban guns based on how they operate or you can ban guns by name (make and model). Neither is going to work, according to Taylor. Here’s why.”

    Read more at http://themoderatevoice.com/17.....ecQ2IJx.99

    How about specifically banning semi-automatics except for deer rifles, target pistols and shotguns used by duck hunters? How about making it specifically illegal to change the name of a gun or re-tool it, in order to allow its continued sale on the open market?

    For God’s sake! In our history we have passed many pieces of legislation that amounted to several thousand pages of specific policy stipulations. It also took us several decades to get cigarette manufacturers to admit that their products clearly contain carcinogens and are bad for our health! Surely we can do this, along with taking the sensible step of banning large capacity clips, and, we can do it with NO UNCERTAIN TERMS! All we need is to get down to it, and do it!

  10. Samsung owes Apple Billions for supposedly copying it’s IPhone. Let’s do the same with these guns.

  11. Thanks Kathy…the last two post on gun laws and guns have been most informative. Once again we pull back the covers and see the stark mess and maneuvers of deceptive that translate to little control on weapons, and little hope for any real change.

    The more i read and hear from those that are NRA prone the more i feel we need to start at the far end instead of attempting small steps to lead to gun control. The only thing that will clean this mess up is to intelligently define and dismantle the Second Amendment.

    I often listen to alternative places, do not align with them and see them as absurd most often, but i want to hear the full array bounded thought. Suspicion and conspiratorial thought is rapidly growing. Different people have different ways to defend themselves from the illussionary “monsters” which they all too often have created in their own minds. In fairness most Americans have lost trust in the present government, but there is a growing segment of our culture that truly believe they are going to have to defend themselves, not from foreign invaders, but from our government. This gun issue has fear roots that run deep and dark. With the degree of divisiveness in this country, if we do not find a way to pry the guns out of their hands, the very children that we are now trying to protect from gun violence may be the ones that are called to defend the country from the guns that are left in the hands of the anti-gov, or at least that is what many of them feel is coming.

    Gun rights is symptomatic,beneath the covers is a much greater pathology of thought and fear, that all to often. becomes malignant creative forces… The roots of this go deeper than the Second Amendment, it goes to the deep roots of bounded thought created by fear. And we are daily living the consequences of that which is malignantly created then projected to create the “monsters”. I am as concerned of the mental health of the many that demand their gun rights.

    Perhaps mental health is not a minor solution… not mental health of the ‘shooters’ but mental health of this nation, all of us……how we divide, how we attempt to resolve conflict…how we create ‘monsters’.

    The entire mentality of gun use and violence permeates our culture as the ultimate way to resolve conflict… The last three days, i watched the Bat man series… had no desire to see them before. Watched and listened through the Aurora tragedy. It was revealing and lent possible understanding as to why and how a deeply disturbed individual could merge his sickness into the metaphorical scripts that were perceived as real within a delusional mind.

    I do not believe gun control or banning is the solution to the much greater problem in our culture. Every where we look, at every level, we see how poor our skills are when it comes to conflict resolution. The low level consciousness that believes conflict and safety can be solved through gun waving and violence will not consider more wholesome options to resolve conflict until guns are regulated, controlled, banned, and made inaccessible.

    Kathy thanks for peeling the covers, the more we see the layers that are covering the roots, the sooner we will get there…

  12. Limiting magazine size and banning hollow points (that means cops and the Federal Government, too) makes sense to me as one part of a strategy to curtail gun violence across the board

    More importantly, limiting magazine size takes all the air out of most of the NRA’s arguments. You want an AR-15? Fine. You want to call it a “Jack-booted Thug Killer 15?” Fine. But you can’t shoot more than x number of times before you have to reload.

    It is harder to scream “the government wants to take our guns!!!” when you get to keep your assault weapon and a pile of 10 round clips, but not the 30 round clip you don’t need.

    Constitutionally speaking, there is nothing explicit or implied in the 2nd Amendment which gives Americans a right to a certain number of rounds per clip.

    The “good guy with a gun” will still have one.

    Will there still be a “bad guy with a gun?” Of course. Will this stop all mass shootings? No. Yet it is a start.

  13. How about specifically banning semi-automatics except for deer rifles, target pistols and shotguns used by duck hunters? How about making it specifically illegal to change the name of a gun or re-tool it, in order to allow its continued sale on the open market?

    Well part of the reason could be the 2nd. Now people scoff and denigrate it but right now we still have it. A a decision written on the constitutionality of banning short barreled shotguns comments were made on the lack of military use of such a firearm and so it was not covered under the 2nd. Under that premise there is no argument for banning semi auto’s. Truth is you would also have a hard time arguing public benefit considering the conflicting studies. Full auto are only able to be regulated because of tax purposes. When they stopped allowing production then a court ruled they had to stop registering automatics or allow production because it would no longer a tax issue and the Fed didn’t otherwise have the authority under the 10th (paraphrasing of course from memory apologize ahead of time if I’m a little off but you get the drift). Lets face it who would want to push it with the current court and then set in concrete precedent?

    we can do it with NO UNCERTAIN TERMS! All we need is to get down to it, and do it!

    Well right now there are limited choices and these discussions are based on those options. If something else comes up it may lead to more discussion but it’s hard to blame people for disusing the current options and what they think of them. You want something else that people don’t poke holes in. Well good luck but I’m hardly going to go along before it even exists.

    The only thing that will clean this mess up is to intelligently define and dismantle the Second Amendment.

    I tell you what we can do it in order. Trash the first dismantle the second. The third is pointless, and the 4th really just protects crooks anyway.

    Constitutionally speaking, there is nothing explicit or implied in the 2nd Amendment which gives Americans a right to a certain number of rounds per clip.

    Can’t argue with that. I’ve never heard a compelling argument for 2 amendment protection for the size of mags. Now if you banned them altogether………

    My biggest issue is I don’t think it will make any statistical difference. This whole “it’s a start” thing is kind of like saying it doesn’t have to accomplish anything and I don’t agree with that attitude. What are we trying to do with a hi cap ban? It won’t reduce crime, death rates, murders or suicides by any discernible amount so is it just to stop spree killings? OK maybe it might have an effect so lets examine the shootings the shooters the methodology and find out what may of been able to effect a difference. Right now people don’t seem to care whats effective just if they can use the recent tragedy to their advantage. Is someone really going to argue that Police or security will have less effect than banning mags that if we do it the same way would only raise prices? Which shooter appears to have been on a budget? So why are so many who argue that we should do anything to protect kids trashing the idea out of had? Because it might protect kids but you wouldn’t get the gun ban you want. Honestly it’s hard to talk about what a stricter ban on high caps might mean but there will be side effects also. You will be making large amount of people criminals if it is to have any chance of success. People who didn’t clean out their garage well enough will end up going to jail or the law will not be tough enough to be successful at anything.

  14. Thanks, Kathy, for a lucid article on an emotional issue. Given the current gun culture in the U.S., it is unlikely though not impossible that there would ever be a ban on any type of gun other than the full automatics. However, the following could be a start.

    1. Ban the large ammo clips. Ten-round clips are fine for hunting for semi-automatics. Any larger ammunition amounts should be limited to bolt-action rifles.

    2. Try some form of gun registration perhaps at the State level, maybe a re-instituted form of the Brady Bill with some minimum standards of accountability. If anything, a three-day waiting period for a background check would be helpful. I find it difficult to conceive of many sport hunting situations for a person to need a gun immediately. It might offer a “cooling off” period in other cases.

    3. Micro-etch ammunition, register the ammunition to the buyer, and pass on the cost to the buyer. No waiting and no limitation on amount. I don’t like the idea of a lot of hollow-points out in the market, but at least it would be traceable. It won’t stop a NewTown situation, but it would help police in gun crime traceability.

    4. Create gun-responsibility laws. If a person wants to own a hundred semi-automatics and a thousand rounds of ammo, fine. However, if one of those guns or ammunition is used in the commission of a crime, the gun owner would face some penalty and more than just paying a couple of dollars. This would help to ensure that if a gun/ammunition is lost, stolen, or sold, the former owner would notify the police or the registration organization to avoid possible future prosecution or civil suit. These laws would also apply to gun shops as well as individual owners.

    5. The 350M currently circulating guns is a tough one. Maybe a year to register, no cost. Probably can’t do anything about the ammo. Large clips replaced by smaller clips. Cost of the entire program must be revenue-neutral and only born by the gun owners, not the general population.

  15. [MARKED AS SPAM BY ANTISPAM BEE | Server IP]
    Gun crime soars by 35%

    (UK Daily Mail) – The Government’s latest crime figures were condemned as “truly terrible” by the Tories today as it emerged that gun crime in England and Wales soared by 35% last year.

    Criminals used handguns in 46% more offences, Home Office statistics revealed.

    Firearms were used in 9,974 recorded crimes in the 12 months to last April, up from 7,362.

    It was the fourth consecutive year to see a rise and there were more than 2,200 more gun crimes last year than the previous peak in 1993.

    Figures showed the number of crimes involving handguns had more than doubled since the post-Dunblane massacre ban on the weapons, from 2,636 in 1997-1998 to 5,871.

    Unadjusted figures showed overall recorded crime in the 12 months to last September rose 9.3%, but the Home Office stressed that new procedures had skewed the figures.

    With new recording procedures taken into account the actual overall rise was just 2%, the Home Office said.

    Shadow home secretary Oliver Letwin said: “These figures are truly terrible.

    “Despite the street crime initiative, robbery is massively up. So are gun-related crimes, domestic burglary, retail burglary, and drug offences.

    “The only word for this is failure: the Government’s response of knee-jerk reactions, gimmicks and initiatives is not working and confused signals on sentences for burglary will not help either.

  16. If assault weapons are so rarely used in crime, why all the hoopla when certain military-style-semi-automatic weapons were banned by the Crime Control Act of 1994? A Washington Post editorial (September 15, 1994) summed it up best:

    No one should have any illusions about what was accomplished (by the ban). Assault weapons play a part in only a small percentage of crime. The provision is mainly symbolic; its virtue will be if it turns out to be, as hoped, a stepping stone to broader gun control.

    And as another note at max the so called “assault weapons” are maybe 15% of guns sold in the US. I don’t think it’s even that high but due to the variable nature of the term “assault weapon” you might get 15%. Crime committed with an “assault weapon”? you might hit 5%, work the numbers and get maybe 7% but no matter what you won’t get 10%

  17. Thanks, folks. Please note that I’ve updated the article with feedback re both bolt action rifles (which is the preferred gun style in my family and at least some of my friends) and hollow points/armor-piercing bullets.

    Hunter-Seeker — great points. See my friend Alex:
    https://www.facebook.com/kathygill/posts/482881148430242?comment_id=5160138&offset=0&total_comments=29

    There’s a much longer post earlier in this discussion — the beginning of the week. I’ll go find it and add it.

  18. EElis – I’ve not had luck finding data by type of weapon used. If you can find a data source, that would be great. Ditto sales.

    I’m guessing — no data, just guessing — that semi-automatic rifles account for a substantial percentage of gun sale dollars. Otherwise, there would not be as much postering on the part of the NRA which, as others have pointed out, now represents the gun manufacturers.

  19. Hi, OrdinarySparrow

    I do not believe gun control or banning is the solution to the much greater problem in our culture. Every where we look, at every level, we see how poor our skills are when it comes to conflict resolution. The low level consciousness that believes conflict and safety can be solved through gun waving and violence will not consider more wholesome options to resolve conflict until guns are regulated, controlled, banned, and made inaccessible.

    I agree that there are substantial cultural issues. Substantial. There are mental health issues, too.

    But I disagree with the idea that banning all guns is either a good idea or possible. Regulate more stringently? Yes. Require substantial written tests and proof of skills for buying/owning guns? Yes, with no grandfathering. Different licenses for handguns, bolt action, semi-automatic and shotguns (perhaps). Tax the hell out of semi-automatics — annually, not just on each sale — and tax/inspect all guns annually? Yes. All of the things that Hunter-Seeker outlined? Yes.

  20. Of course, I also think motorcycle licenses in the US should be based on engine size and experience to some extent, like Europe and Asia. We used to have this in Washington state but abandoned it. See -> http://www.motorcycle.com/how-.....30001.html …. it seems NJ and Utah now have tiered systems. And CA requires it for riders under age 21.
    https://www2.hill.af.mil/moto/app/index.php
    http://www.newjerseynewsroom.c.....cle-riders
    http://www.ninja250forum.com/f.....537.0;wap2

    I would not be opposed philosophically to a similar licensing system for automobiles. You need a special license to drive a semi-truck why not a separate license to drive a small (on all levels) Ford Fiesta (120 hp) versus a Corvette (638 hp) — because of the risk of loss of control and injury to others. (I’d need to see data on accidents etc before rendering judgment.)

  21. I’m guessing — no data, just guessing — that semi-automatic rifles account for a substantial percentage of gun sale dollars. Otherwise, there would not be as much postering on the part of the NRA which, as others have pointed out, now represents the gun manufacturers.

    Well even 15% of billions of dollars is a bunch of money. And I’m sorry but that added little quip about the NRA is just silly. It takes the discussion from open and honest, if not always agreeing, to the petty partisan place you said you wanted to stay away from. The NRA considers it’s self a civil rights org. Like the ACLU but concerned with the 2nd. You would expect it to fight against any and all restrictions of that right and if you beat them then you can feel pretty good that it is a needed measure. If they just lie down and let anti gun laws pass, well you don’t have that balance. Aclu does the same thing with speech and other issues and while I dislike alot of their current ultra partisan positions I respect the idea and the their reason for being.

  22. EELLis,

    The problem is not the 2nd amendment, the problem is, does the second amendment allow us to ignore taking action to save lives, since no amendment, including the second, supersedes the crime of murder or facilitating murder. I have also never noticed any stipulation in the second amendment that prohibits the military use of weapons by civilians, when also providing specific regulations that may relate to safe usage of some of these weapons in civilian life. Am I not allowed to use large caliber weapons because some military weapons might use them? Even if they can do great damage whether used militarily or not? I have not read the Courts entire comments on this particular issue, but I would say that it doesn’t make much sense, and, if that is what your implying, to me Citizen’s United makes no sense either, even though OKd by the SCOTUS! But don’t get me going!

    The fact that we have often run into snags about which weapons can and cannot be used, is basically a useless argument, if the goal is to protect human life. I just don’t believe that it is impossible to specifically regulate a weapon like the ones used primarily to attack criminals or defend our children, just because we can not specify which guns used solely for entertainment and recreation can be exempted. Are you saying that no one can discern the difference between a hunting rifle and one used extensively for military purposes? Please get back to me on that one, because I don’t understand that argument.

    With all due respect, I am not trying to deny or blame people who are discussing current options, I am merely making the case, that if specifics are needed, we could provide them, if certain types of regulation, are deemed to be important,than eventually we CAN use them to prevent mass shootings like the one in Newtown—Whether taxes are an issue or not, I don’t see why that can’t be worked out either.

    Our nation went from strong skepticism about landing a man on the moon, to exultant jubilation when Neil Armstrong took his lunar steps, only ten years later. So, whether all of the legal snags you mention are insurmountable really depends on our motivation to make something happen. As I mentioned the cigarette industry used every dodge and regulation it could find, or make up, in order to conceal the cancer causing effects of its products, and it took several decades to pin them down and admit it. Likewise, refusing to ban or regulate one kind of harmful weapon on the basis that it is difficult to do so because other, less harmful ones might be in the same category, is absurd. What I mean is, if we want to do this thing we can. WE are only limited by our own devices!

    I could also not disagree more with your idea that the fourth amendment only protects criminals. It also protects people like you who need their rights respected in a court of law, like anyone else. If the government was allowed to easily search a citizen’s home or seize his property without reasonable cause to do so, we would all be in danger. You could be called a criminal because of some impressive but faulty bit of information taken from your personal records after an illegal search of your home. Am I missing your point EELLis? Why does eliminating the access to dangerous weapons equate to personal privacy violations? Are you kidding? The government needs a reason to search your property, and, it also cannot prohibit the sale of anything without proper justification—like mass murders!

    It is the arguments (so far) of gun advocates like yourself which provide the case for large capacity clips, and, whether or not they are justifiable, is not specifically sanctioned by the 2nd amendment. So therein lies the possibility of reasonable regulation laws.

    The argument against large cap, is based on the fact that they DO make it easier to commit mass murders. if they are kept out of everyone’s hands, except entities like the police or military, then no private citizen will be able to use them to kill schoolchildren, or theater goers in Colorado. I do think that banning them specifically to prevent mass murder, is a valid reason justifying not allowing anyone to have them. If you think a shooter with a high capacity clip has no aid in killing more people, I must say that I still disagree. And, if homeowners don’t need them for defense, what individual person will suffer over their ban? Banning hi caps, WILL make people into criminals if they refuse to obey the ban. Just like, my refusal to obey the restrictions about possession of any restricted substance or product, will make me one. But, there are legal defenses and degrees of culpability–just in every offense. The way it is, if you leave a bag of pot in your garage, or any illegal black market purchase, you can be accused of a crime anyway! There are always going to be questions of intent and personal belief but, if we really want to, none of these can prevent us from doing what is required in the end! There are many laws with specific provisions and loopholes, like tax laws, but just because they are often complex issues doesn’t mean they are not given their places in the tax codes. Denying the possibility of solutions is basically a cop-out to me.

    That being said, I have to go to my Christmas eve dinner invitation. I’m sure you will have more to say later!

  23. Allow me to clarify, did not say i am for banning all guns.. but did say; the Second Amendment needs to be intelligently defined and dismantled from its broad interpretation that believe they have the right to as many guns as they want without restrictions…I see the closest we have to a well armed militia as the National Guard. Guns need to be a well regulated privilege not a right…

    There are many that have guns that use them for hunting and safety, and seem to have healthy views of guns, but there are others such as those aligned with the NRA spokesman that believe that guns in as many hands as possible are how we create a safe culture. That i strongly disagree.

  24. This whole “it’s a start” thing is kind of like saying it doesn’t have to accomplish anything and I don’t agree with that attitude.

    Except it’s kind of like not saying that at all.

    The problem we’re facing (we being the people who want sensible gun laws) is that the NRA and their cohorts are against any new regulation whatsoever, and want to repeal existing regulations as much as they possibly can. They believe the 2nd Amendment is absolute, and any regulation of firearms is a forbidden, unconstitutional intrusion which will lead to confiscation of all guns and then, presumably, Hitler. This is absurd. Sensible safety measures do not equal tyranny.

    What we’re facing right now is like the early days of the automobile. Dangerous and largely unregulated, with frequent and (as we now know) preventable deaths. Now, was the introduction of seat belts a fix-all for the problem? No. Did people still die in auto accidents? Yes, but it was a start.

    Nowadays we’ve got much more advanced seat belts, air bags, crumple zones, shatter proof glass, and child car seats. Do people still die in auto accidents? Yes, but your chances of death or serious injury have been drastically reduced in just the past few decades alone.

    All these safety measures (and all the other laws we have restricting motor vehicle operation) have not led to the confiscation of automobiles, nor have they impeded the ability of Americans to own and operate everything from a tiny Smart Car to a giant Ford F-350. Cars, despite all the regulations, are ubiquitous, and as a bonus, people walk away from accidents that would have killed them 50 years ago.

    What will the state of gun ownership look like 50 years from now if we start with banning large magazines? People with a paranoid bent will imagine jack-booted thugs terrorizing a fearful, unarmed populace, and that’s frankly ridiculous. If we follow the same sort of path we did with the automobile, 50 years from now there will still be plenty of gun owners in this country, but they’ll be licensed, their guns will be registered, possibly even insured, and they’ll all have a bare minimum of state-required training. What’s so terrifying about that?

  25. Dear petew, ordinarysparrow and ccjjack — thank you for your comments. I don’t have time to respond right now, but thank you.

    Everyone – please take a moment today and tomorrow to count your blessings and tell the people in your friends and family circle how important they are to you. We can’t say it often enough, IMO.

  26. Hi EELLis,

    Here are a few more impressions concerning your criticisms of my last post.

    You say you have, “never heard a compelling argument for 2nd Amendment protection on the size of mags. Now if you banned them altogether….”

    Excuse me, but don’t gun rights advocates use the 2nd amendment itself as a compelling argument for not messing with any restrictions on the size of those mags?

    As I said before, the compelling question should be, “Does the government have the right to place such restrictions on large capacity mags, on the basis of whether or not they can cause ANY homicides on serious injuries? And, since no law or amendment should be considered able to supersede basic civil laws like the one making murder punishable by death, will a literal interpretation the 2nd suddenly give gun owners the right to place others in great risk of harm or death, by preventing large mags from being regulated?

    Going back to the illegality of yelling fire in a crowded theater—it is clear that each amendment should also be interpreted in ways that do not give unwarranted license for practices that endanger pubic safety? And, yes, large capacity mags represent that threat, and, are a clear danger, having the potential to cause great harm!

    I also take issue with your apparent lament of the supposed fact that “banning hi cap magazines, won’t reduce crime, death rates,murders or suicide by any discernible amount” and, “so is it JUST to stop spree killings?” The last time I heard, spree killings WERE considered a crime, and, if banning large clips can prevent the deaths of dozens of innocent people who are the victims of such crimes, then yes, even if they JUST stop “spree” killings, I still think banning them would be a good idea. They are not really needed by the public for self-protection anyway, and, can only be defended based on trivial reasons that justify their use—such as for hobbies and/or entertainment. Your attempt to trivialize their importance by using the word JUST, in order to summarize any benefits resulting from banning them, is totally unfair!

    There were 26 killed in Newtown, about 30 or so killed in aurora, several dozen killed at Virginia tech, and several more, including the serious wounding of Congresswoman Giffords in Arizona. The list goes on and on, with only the most sensational cases receiving our national attention. So, without even mentioning the cases which were not covered by the press, the regulation of guns and particularly a ban of large cap mags, along with restrictions on the acquisition of powerful “military type weapons,” that enable more people to commit homicides, are obviously important STEPS and, A GOOD START, even though you may object to such concepts.

    I also find your claim that presently, “people don’t seem to care what’s effective, just if they can use the tragedy to their own “ADVANTAGE?” disturbing.

    There is no ADVANTAGE involved in creating sensible gun laws,in cases that involve killing sprees, only the goal of preventing more crimes that enable the massive carnage of the innocent—such as in Newtown. Advantage is only relative in regards to talking points and debates—not preventing the real carnage of schools by mass murderers! Would I create a personal advantage for myself by helping to develop laws that will actually be effective? I’m not running for office, or under the thumb of some lobbyist—I am just a concerned citizen. If I were looking for ANYTHING THAT WOULD GIVE ME AN ADVANTAGE towards preventing gun assaults, I would promote policies that restrict the sale of ALL guns—even though that is not what I think will work. I really believe that, trained, armed defenders in school areas, may play a positive role in defending our children and preventing their murders. But I also would prefer that some sensible gun regulations i.e. banning large ammo clips, high powered weapons, and producing real regulations that have the teeth to actually curtail the flow of weapons into the hands of the mentally ill or unstable—which in that way, would actually, really,literally, reduce the number of harmful guns placed in their hands, are good policies! And,I am totally in favor of that!

    If you deny these ideas which I believe are quite sensible, I just have to disagree. And, I actually DO prefer both regulations, added security, and societal liberation from the mentality of violence—the last being a factor that has desensitized us all—along with any other changes that will produce real and positive results.

    If you obfuscate this issue by throwing in tax laws, and vagaries in defining what weapons fit into what dangerous categories—apparently because reams of legislation would be required in order for us to know the difference between hunting rifles, target practicing guns, and those designed specifically to kill with more efficiency and accuracy, then I say you are only fooling yourself. If we want this enough, we can do it with much less fuss and muss, than we think!

    By the way, the common sense measures endorsed by Hunter-Seeker, are great, and represent the kind of “can do” attitude which will break through all of these complicated cop-outs and rationalizations that only perpetuate our immense tragedies. If you don’t think saving a couple of hundred lives a year, along with removing a criminal’s cockiness, which may come with having a powerful weapon in their hands when they commit other, lesser crimes, like theft, may also result in preventing deaths and/or serious injuries—than I can’t convince you that I have made some good points—except perhaps by saying that, when such a tragedy happens to our own sons and daughters, we can immediately appreciate the many ways that mass shootings can and should be prevented. But, If we minimize the need for laws that supposedly ONLY prevent mass shootings, we will only succeed in raising one smoke screen after another—essentially perpetuating our collective inability to see the forest for the trees!….ad infinitum, ad absurdum!

  27. The gun nuts don’t have a problem with magazine plugs in repeating shotguns used to shoot birds. Hunting and guns are regulated to make hunting fair to wildlife, but guns killing people no such luck.
    http://www.fws.gov/le/hunter-responsibility.html

    Unplugged shotguns. You cannot hunt migratory game birds with a shotgun that can hold more than three shells, unless you plug it with a one-piece filler that cannot be removed without disassembling the gun.

    Plugged shotguns are illegal, but 100 round clips are our 2nd Amendment right?

  28. The problem is not the 2nd amendment, the problem is, does the second amendment allow us to ignore taking action to save lives, since no amendment, including the second, supersedes the crime of murder or facilitating murder.

    That is not the situation. You are talking about limiting peoples rights for things that others do or for what they possibly could do. Not only that you want to do it when there is reasonable evidence that it will make little to no real
    difference.

    I have also never noticed any stipulation in the second amendment that prohibits the military use of weapons by civilians, when also providing specific regulations that may relate to safe usage of some of these weapons in civilian life. Am I not allowed to use large caliber weapons because some military weapons might use them? Even if they can do great damage whether used militarily or not? I have not read the Courts entire comments on this particular issue, but I would say that it doesn’t make much sense, and, if that is what your implying, to me Citizen’s United makes no sense either, even though OKd by the SCOTUS! But don’t get me going!

    Honestly I don’t get what you are trying to say here.

    Are you saying that no one can discern the difference between a hunting rifle and one used extensively for military purposes? Please get back to me on that one, because I don’t understand that argument.

    I’m saying that the differences between a supposed military style rifle legal for civilians and a legitimate hunting rifle are so small as to make no significant difference and that current efforts have been based mainly on cosmetics.

    I could also not disagree more with your idea that the fourth amendment only protects criminals.

    There is this thing called sarcasm. As you may have noticed my comment was in response to someone saying we didn’t need the 2nd. Personally I feel it was the 2nd one the listed for a reason and don’t take it nearly so lightly. I threw that out to see how people would feel about taking the others so lightly.

    It is the arguments (so far) of gun advocates like yourself which provide the case for large capacity clips, and, whether or not they are justifiable, is not specifically sanctioned by the 2nd amendment. So therein lies the possibility of reasonable regulation laws.

    I think it clear that the govt an regulate the sale of such clips. I think it may have trouble with the 10th in making ownership a crime. I also think that the previous ban was totally without any beneficial effect in terms of reducing violence or crime so unless someone could make a case why this time would be different we should not effect a ban on high cap mags.

    I do think that banning them specifically to prevent mass murder, is a valid reason justifying not allowing anyone to have them. If you think a shooter with a high capacity clip has no aid in killing more people, I must say that I still disagree. And, if homeowners don’t need them for defense, what individual person will suffer over their ban?

    First unless the ban is structured differently than before it will have no effect other than raise the price a bit on large cap mags. I also dislike the way this whole thing sifts the focus from the shooter to the gun as if the gun was the controlling factor. It may be easier to blame the inanimate object but I can’t help but feel that trying to work on people is more effective. I think as a practical question that yes limiting people for the good of a society is acceptable in theory but without restraint would put us all in jails of our own making safe but with no freedom. Finally while I said most don’t buy those style of rifles for self defense there have been and will be again people who do use them for such. Sure you would have to create a pretty unusual scenario but when it happens how are we to justify removing someones ability to use anything they can to protect themselves or their family on such thin logic as it may make a difference even though it didn’t before.

  29. Except it’s kind of like not saying that at all.
    The problem we’re facing (we being the people who want sensible gun laws) is that the NRA and their cohorts are against any new regulation whatsoever, and want to repeal existing regulations as much as they possibly can. They believe the 2nd Amendment is absolute, and any regulation of firearms is a forbidden, unconstitutional intrusion which will lead to confiscation of all guns and then, presumably, Hitler. This is absurd. Sensible safety measures do not equal tyranny.

    I think if you act without concern of the law making any real different then it is the same.

    And your statement is just not correct on the NRA stance. They do accept restrictions of the 2nd and exaggeration makes you just as reactionary as the fringe people you complain about.

    If we follow the same sort of path we did with the automobile, 50 years from now there will still be plenty of gun owners in this country, but they’ll be licensed, their guns will be registered, possibly even insured, and they’ll all have a bare minimum of state-required training. What’s so terrifying about that?

    Now what amendment covers the right to drive cars? We should also have govt regulation to blog. People have to take a class, make sure they understand basic journalistic principles and………well let me just say this is more sarcasm because somehow I don’t think others take the civil rights conferred by the 2nd as serious as others.

    Excuse me, but don’t gun rights advocates use the 2nd amendment itself as a compelling argument for not messing with any restrictions on the size of those mags?

    Not mainstream advocates. It is within the feds authority to control commerce which would be the sale of mags but ownership would be a State issue per the 10th. IMHO Tho you never know when someone can come up with the right argument to change the discussion. Look at Roe vs Wade or Miranda. Those cases create rights that previously were not constitutionally recognized.

    And, yes, large capacity mags represent that threat, and, are a clear danger, having the potential to cause great harm!

    Going back to your crowded theater. We punish people for yelling we don’t muzzle them before going in.

    The last time I heard, spree killings WERE considered a crime, and, if banning large clips can prevent the deaths of dozens of innocent people who are the victims of such crimes, then yes, even if they JUST stop “spree” killings, I still think banning them would be a good idea.

    I hate to bring it down to this but you are basically giving something away that you don’t use and preventing anyone else from using. You must have campaigned furiously against every raising of the speed limit right? Because that would save many more lives than banning high cap mags ever will. Not allowing anyone under the age of 21 to drive, maybe giving the drinking age a bump, ban all smoking (except MJ of course), and we are already on the edges of food bans for fast food. All of things will have much more effect in terms of deaths by pop than banning large cap mags. So we have plenty of things we could do to save lives and don’t so the argument that it MAY save a few lives in what are still pretty rare circumstances is not all that solid an argument if looked at logically.

    I also find your claim that presently, “people don’t seem to care what’s effective, just if they can use the tragedy to their own “ADVANTAGE?” disturbing.

    An I find the fact that they do it pretty disturbing regardless of attempts to justify doing so.

    If you obfuscate this issue by throwing in tax laws, and vagaries in defining what weapons fit into what dangerous categories

    Really now giving facts is me trying to “obfuscate”. Look if you don’t know the facts you one, make yourself look stupid. Two, fail to understand what is reasonable possible and or the route that is needed to be taken in order to realize that possibility. Three, make good decisions about the possible effectiveness of different possibilities. If you want what you want and damn the reality just say so and quit pretending.

    for us to know the difference between hunting rifles, target practicing guns, and those designed specifically to kill with more efficiency and accuracy,

    Cus hunting guns aren’t “designed specifically to kill with more efficiency and accuracy”. OK. Look I get in your mind there is some hard and fast line between the different types of guns but honestly there isn’t to most gun people.

    If you don’t think saving a couple of hundred lives a year, along with removing a criminal’s cockiness, which may come with having a powerful weapon in their hands when they commit other, lesser crimes, like theft, may also result in preventing deaths and/or serious injuries—than I can’t convince you that I have made some good points—

    We are not even close to talking about a couple of hundred lives a year. If you could wave a magic wand and have hi cap mags disappear maybe 20 people a year give or take might be saved and I don’t believe in magic. We are not wishing on tinkerbell this is real life. And these rules will do nothing, nothing at all, about any lesser crimes.

  30. Plugged shotguns are illegal, but 100 round clips are our 2nd Amendment right

    Oh come on! You are talking about what you can hunt with not what you buy, sell, or can own.

  31. Hi Ellis,

    I think the idea of limiting people’s rights concerning what otherwise, they might possibly do, is a valid enough reason to make laws in some cases—especially when the lives of scores of children and other innocent people are involved. For example, each bartender (at least in my State) is able to cut off drinkers if he thinks they have become, even a little, too intoxicated. we also have evolving laws concerning fines, and enforcement of, Drunk driving laws— all have to do, with preventing a crisis, or fatal situation, created by a drunken driver. The laws in these cases, are preventative, because we know that in order to stop fatalities and injuries caused by intoxicated motorists, we must PREVENT anyone from drinking excessively and then getting behind the wheel—regardless if a specific individual has never had a drunk driving charge or even, perhaps a parking ticket. These individuals are definitely not allowed to drink excessively, even as a purely preventative measure.

    About your discussion of taxes and weapons used by the military, I am just unfamiliar with the conditions you mention, and how they pertain to weapons that can be considered dangerous.

    As far as my statement about whether we cannot discern the difference between a military rifle and one used for hunting, I was attempting to say that if we want to make regulations involving such weapons, it shouldn’t take tons of contentious legal arguments just to determine which ones have the potential to allow mass shooters to more easily kill their victims and those that don’t pose that risk. If hunting guns have the potential of firing many rounds in a short time, or contain ammo that can to more damage to civilians during shootings, then the guns we allow for hunting, should be not be that kind. As far as I can tell, a hunter will not need the types of weapons that killed and injured over 50 people in Aurora, just to bring down a duck, or shoot a deer, and if such weapons are available to hunters and spree killers alike, it is time to take a good look at whether such weapons should be legal—even for duck hunting.

    About your rant concerning the 4th amendment, I thought you must have been joking and I believe I asked you if you were. The thing is, there are many people who might actually believe the idea that this amendment is only there to protect criminals.

    My point about large gun clips and the 2nd amendment, is that, because this amendment has nothing to do with what size gun clips we use today, and which weren’t even available when it was written, this DOES NOT opens the door for discussing whether such clips should be legal. In other words, if the constitution makes no specific mention of hi capacity mags, then there is NOT any good reason to leave limitations on clip sizes, up to the government. And I also continue not only to THINK that gun advocates DO USE the 2nd Amendment as a definite directive to argue against the restriction of large size clips, but I also constantly HEAR arguments made by those who discuss that amendment, and that its lack of specifics about ANY clip sizes implies that it is, therefore, unconstitutional to prohibit the size of ANY clips— or any other issue which limits the availability of, any or all, kinds of weapons.

    As far as your observations about, what Amendments cover the right to drive cars, of course there is no specific constitutional amendment about that, however, the government has been very involved in consumer oriented regulations involving air bags, seat belts, resistance to crash damage etc. Similarly, all kinds of regulations for guns are also perfectly sensible. If you are just using sarcasm again, I would have to say, that regulations governing the safety of guns are also, completely important and allowable.

    When it comes to mag clip size. Isn’t it also sort of contradictory to believe that the government CAN REGULATE THE SALE of such clips, BUT NOT THEIR OWNERSHIP, especially when WITHOUT SALES THERE CAN BE NO OWNERSHIP. As far as the grandfather problem which you and so many have brought up, why shouldn’t these types of weapons be banned? If meaningful banns and regulations are in effect, then eventually less of these dangerous weapons will be owned by civilians. To think that no regulations should be made, because it will take time to see the results, is like thinking the government should make no cuts in spending, because it will take decades to balance the budget.

    As far as my statement about laws which can OBFUSCATE the issue by juggling too many facts, I certainly am not trying to say that facts don’t matter—only that they can be cherry picked, misinterpreted, and made inaccurately, ad infinitum. In the case of climate science, those who make a life’s work out of studying climate change, have been predicting our present extremes in weather patterns for decades, Yet lobbyist hired by the likes of Exxon Mobile, as well as a host of climate deniers who have been manipulating the actual data, and unnecessarily questioning it, in any way they can, have been clouding that issue for decades also. And, if we can’t just accept the simple correlation between CO2 and global warming—even when eliminating all other possible causes—-then that is another case where the “facts” have been used to obfuscate the simple truth for decades. I would think that you have been around the block enough times to realize that, such obscuring of the facts can, and does, happen all of the time.

    Perhaps I am innacurrate to use the figure of a couple of hundred lives per year, in regards to mass shootings, however, Mother Jones reports that there have been 88 mass shootings since the 1980s, and “mass shooting” are defined by the FBI as involving the death of (I believe) Four people besides the shooter. According to the Brady center, we already had 50 homicides resulting from mass shootings even before the Aurora massacre, and their frequency is increasing. Since 1982 we have had 542 fatalities from such shootings. And remember, his does not even include the scores of severe injuries involved!

    So, although we are not talking about a couple of hundred lives a year yet (excluding the scores of injured) we are talking about an epidemic that is currently only growing. And while I certainly don’t want to discount all of the social influences, and ignore the many gun owners who are not violent, I still think it is unjust to minimize the effects of mass attacks, by asking if the laws are ONLY involved in stopping them!

    In addition to all of mass shootings we are having, there are also many multiple shootings involving less than 4 people, and I’m sure that inner city gang members consider high capacity magazines and powerful handguns to be a premium, especially when it comes to carrying out gang-related executions and shootings.

    NO, I am not saying that only guns are are the cause of gun violence, and I am not ignoring the mentality of the people who use those guns to commit crime, but I also think it makes a lot of sense to regulate the sale of certain weapons and magazine clips and EFFECTIVELY SCREEN their buyers, which would logically mean, that less of these dangerous weapons would be able to find their way into the hands of dangerous people. If we want to find a way to do this, we certainly can! But, continuing to avoid action on the basis of ever more intricate legal arguments, is NOT going to help!

  32. In discussing the 2nd amendment in my post above, I was hypothetically referring to the arguments used by gun advocates who believe that this amendment does not place any restrictions on the right to bear arms—and therefore cannot be used to regulate or restrict weapons.

    AS always, I am so long winded that I sometimes say confusing things. Sorry again.

  33. EELLis,

    Here is a link to FactCheck.org, which illustrates just how contentious the statistics about gun related crime and gun regulations are. Often there are many factors that cannot be adequately factored in, and consequently, it is difficult to verify the accuracy of many studies that support as compared to those which refute the correlation between guns and crime.

    http://factcheck.org/2012/12/g.....gun-facts/

  34. Some would have you believe that it is not fair to comparison between military assault rifles to their ‘semiautomatic’ civilian counterparts and they have spent thousands of words repeating this claim.

    How to make an AR 15 a fully automatic weapon using the belt look on your pants (starts at 00:01:40)

    AND, FWIW, You can do the same with a Glock pistol

    Well, it’s said that seeing is believing. Now you’ve seen, who you gonna believe? Oft repeated NRA talking points… Or your own lying eyes.

  35. As far as I can tell, a hunter will not need the types of weapons that killed and injured over 50 people in Aurora, just to bring down a duck, or shoot a deer, and if such weapons are available to hunters and spree killers alike, it is time to take a good look at whether such weapons should be legal—even for duck hunting.

    What about feral hogs? I know 2 people who use ar15′s as “truck guns” because their property has feral hogs. These animals can weigh more than a man and have attack many people. Is it ok for them?

  36. EELLis,

    Are you saying that you cannot kill several feral hogs, even with only the first type of discharge in the video?—especially if you already understand that, you may be in danger when you are around them!

    Frankly, the videos provided by SteveK, even without the “bumping” method seem to display guns being fired quite rapidly to begin with. And, when using the bumping method they seem to fire as rapidly as machine guns.

    I grew up in the country, and my father was a hunter who kept his rifles in a gun cabinet in the hall. One time while hunting with his gang, he was sitting in the woods eating lunch with other hunters when a black bear foraging for food, boldly came up behind him. With a quick warning from his buddies, he was able to turn around and kill the bear in plenty of time. So, I don’t understand why someone needs large clips that can be fired rapidly for any reason—unless it’s to kill or disable an enemy—as soldiers must do during times of war. I am also willing to bet, that mentally ill people, seek such dangerous weapons because they are aware of how much damage can be inflicted with them, and, in a very short amount of time also.

    The FactCheck.org site which I left a link to, does not claim that any studies have proven that regulating or banning certain weapons ABSOLUTELY WILL reduce crime, rather they admit that a great many studies have not established a direct correlation between gun usage and homicides, with relatively few exceptions. But, what they do point out is that, the studies done on this subject are often criticized for the lack of solid evidence depending on how they gathered data, which data was used, and how accurate the results are when deciding what any specific data indicates within the context of the study. I also remember a couple of specific variables which they stated are difficult to rely on—such as the fact that when it comes to (conceal and carry laws) for instance, the number of people issued those permits is extremely small, and so, even a smaller number of those people are used in studies. Consequently, definitive results are usually unknowable. I also remember mention of the fact that, (as you said, in order to bolster your positions on gun regulations) that there is no way to account for FALLING RATES in gun crimes when gun restrictions HAVE NOT EVEN BEEN INCREASED, and visa versa. You use this observation to conclude that the easy availability of guns can absolutely NOT be the deciding crux of this issue. However, the Fact Check people also mention that there is also NO WAY to know what would have happened to the rates of gun crimes, if no action had been taken —being that rates may have been ready to fall or rise on their own, even without lessening the restrictions on conceal and carry permits. The statisticians who do these studies have also said that because of the many factors involved, they probably will never have a control group composed of a close enough cross section that is supplied guns, compared to another that is allowed use of the same weapons—never allowing them to reach specific and accurate conclusions. The demographic variables in a large and ever changing culture like ours are also bound to contain many factors which change over time—making a completely objective study very, very difficult!

    Since so many factors remain unknown and unaccounted for, I admittedly base most of my opinions on my own common sense (which tells me) If it looks like a weapon that mass shooters would prefer to use, and, if it smells like a weapon that mass shooters would like to use, and it kills the amount of people a mass shooter would hope to kill—then presto—it is a dangerous weapon! And as dangerous weapons, require using real and effective screenings of those who want to buy them, and/or outlawing them so that they are just not available to such people in the first Place! And, such measures (if applied thoroughly) may eventually limit, or end, the types of massacres that happened in Columbine and Newtown.

    The so called “facts” are really far from indisputable, so, I prefer to make my judgments based on the larger view—that American has a great many guns that are being used in horrendous crimes, and over-thinking the problem by creating snags out of how they should be defined, or what they are used for, is really only a cop out. It’s like endlessly studying the track records of different horses, and trying to pick a long shot winner, when the horses that display the most promise for victory, remain the horses that are most likely to win anyway.

    So, forgive any possible oversimplifications on my part, but we have an epidemic level of gun crimes—involving powerful guns with high clip capacities that are usually used in these crimes, and therefore, regulating or eliminating such weapons, cannot help but prevent such massacres in the long run!

  37. The demographic variables in a large and ever changing culture like ours are also bound to contain many factors which change over time—making a completely objective study very, very difficult!

    Yep it’s totally true that these studies are difficult. What to me is clear is that despite the Brady’s campaign that predicted massive increases in gun violence it just didn’t happen. If gun availability were the major factor, because I do think it obviously can be a factor, we would know by now. Other factors are clearly more important and considering everything I feel that focusing on the gun issue is misplaced.

    So, forgive any possible oversimplifications on my part, but we have an epidemic level of gun crimes—involving powerful guns with high clip capacities that are usually used in these crimes, and therefore, regulating or eliminating such weapons, cannot help but prevent such massacres in the long run!

    Part of the problem is we don’t have a big issue. These weapons are not often used in crime and hi cap mags rarely play any part at all in criminal activity. As horrible as it is 100 times the number of victims are killed on Texas highways each year compared to the Sandy Hook casualties. I’m not trying to lessen the event but the epidemic is of TV coverage not increasing violence. And again the bill as proposed by Pelosi is very unlikely to have any effect at all on such shootings.

Submit a Comment