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Klavan On The Culture

The Trouble with Guns

January 12th, 2014 - 6:05 am

 

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“A gun is just a tool. No better and no worse than any other tool, a shovel or an axe or a saddle or a stove or anything. Think of it always that way. A gun is as good — and as bad — as the man who carries it.” Shane, by Jack Schaefer, 1949.

No one could call me a gun nut. I go shooting with friends at most once or twice a year and, while I enjoy it, it doesn’t inspire the sort of obsession that grips me whenever I manage to get my hands on a fishing rod, which nowadays is less often. But as far as I’m concerned, the wisdom above from the best western novel I ever read (and reiterated in the famous 1953 film) doesn’t go far enough. A gun is not just a tool, it is the great democratic tool, the tool that put an end to knights in armor and gave (and gives) the little guy and gal a fighting chance against the powers that be.

The left claims it is determined to violate, if not end, the Second Amendment’s guarantee to our right to bear arms in the name of safety. “If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an outright ban, picking up every one of them…  ’Mr. and Mrs. America, turn ‘em all in,’ I would have done it,” said Senator Dianne Feinstein after she and Bill Clinton managed to enact an “assault weapon” ban in 1994.

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Top Rated Comments   
Repeal the 2nd amendment and I still won't turn 'em in. The constitution doesn't guarantee us the right to own anything except guns, and people have been protecting themselves for more years than the constitution has been around. If we don't have a right to self-protection the rest of the document means nothing.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
I think you've missed the point. Keeping and bearing arms in the Second Amendment isn't about a burglar or a tasty duck or a nuisance animal tearing up the lawn, it is about civil defense. Sure one guy or even a hundred guys against the government or foreign oppressor isn't going to work, but what about half a million or more? Sure none of us–at least the sane ones—want to fight against our government, but why else does the government want to take away the arms of law abiding, good civic participants who own guns? A thousand of us with our ARs and AKs are no match for one A/C-130 gunship. We know that. 100 million of us have had guns and committed no crimes with them for decades. We take safety classes and classes on firearm laws so we can be safe and legal. So why do they want our arms? I have about a dozen guns, but haven't shot one for a year. How dangerous is some chunks of metal in a closet that they need to bend heaven and earth to control them?

I don't believe them nor do I trust them.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
“We don't let them have ideas. Why would we let them have guns?” Joseph Stalin

45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (75)
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That said, your guns won't be our salvation anyway. Justifications for their use have come, gone and been unanswered. It would be plain suicide. The government would know of any attempt to organize before we would. They've neutered your right by intercepting and blocking amychance to organize against them.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
No more will I try to justify my rights. They're rights and if that isn't enough for someone they can go to hell.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
"The left claims it is determined to violate, if not end, the Second Amendment’s guarantee to our right to bear arms in the name of safety."

Of course that is their objective and it has absolutely NOTHING to do with safety.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
The strongest argument for firearms restrictions is that, with the massive power of nuclear weapons, we cannot maintain the Founders' position that private citizens should have access to every weapon of the soldier (i.e. the military). Because their is a smooth continuum of destrictive power going all the way from nerf darts to weaponized smallpox, any place we draw the line is going to appear arbitrary, and therefore subject to negotiation and politics. But the line will have to be drawn somewhere.

We conservatives will eventually drown in a sea of immigration, so to win on this issue, we must persuade others that the line should be drawn where we say, and not where they say. To persuade others, we need a theory to promote, with which to defend our position. Here is my theory:

Under feudalism, there were aristocrats and their knights on one side, and the slave-like serfs on the other. There was common law for the common serfs and a more permissive law for the aristrocrats and their knights. The 17th century liberal idea of "equality" was not the ridiculous proposition that all men had comparable ability, nor the even more ridiculous proposition that wealth should be constantly redistributed so every man had an equal share. Rather, equality meant that there was one law for everyone. Everyone could bear arms, not just knights and aristocrats. There would no longer be a knight's "license to kill" -- rather, the laws of justifiable homicide would apply to all civilians, including police.

The development of weapons of mass destruction forced a break from applying this theory with complete consistency; we have soldiers who serve not under civilian law but rather under martial law. They have access to these weapons of mass destruction, but in compensation, while serving they do not enjoy all the freedoms of a civilian. To prevent tyranny, the Posse Comitatus Act forbids them from being used in domestic law enforcement. But we _can_ live by the Founders' ideals with respect to private citizens and _civilian_ law enforcement.

Civilian police should be servants of the People, and should not be treated as servants of the People's rulers. Police as a body separate from the general population did not even exist for the first century of our nation. But as city's became too larger to manage with volunteer efforts, people incorporated into small districts voted to hire and pay workers to look after criminal justice problems as full-time specialists. (At no time, however, did this development imply a decision to give up our individual rights of self-defense.)

There is no basis for the idea of giving our employees, the police, access to weapons that we, their employers, do not enjoy. It is intolerable that the federal government should raise their status above our own, to ban weapons to us while giving exemptions to our police servants. If police need a type of firearm, then so do we. If they need a 17-round magazine, then so do we. If no one needs a 100-round magazine, than neither do police need them -- not even the President's bodyguards.

Police are not allowed to use smallpox viruses, bombs, or nuclear missiles to enforce the law. That terrorists might try to smuggle in a dirty bomb is no justification for allowing police the authority to kill people dirty bombs. What matters is not the weapons criminals _use_, but rather the weapons that are _needed_ to fight them.

At most, police might have an exemption to _possess_ weapons of mass destruction in the course of their work, in the same way that it is legal for a police officer to possess heroin or cocaine in the course of confiscating it. But there should be no exemption for them to _use_ that which is denied to us, their employers. And the weapons police _need_ to fight criminals are the very same types of weapons that private citizens need in fighting criminals when police are not around. Because use of massively destructive weapons is forbidden to all police, my not being allowed to use them seems reasonable.

Therefore, when we draw the admittedly arbitrary line between weapons permitted versus prohibited, our principle should be that any weapon _used_ by police must be permitted to the general public. Our principle must be to reject any ban for which there is an exemption for any use in domestic law enforcement.
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44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
I don't go all weak kneed at the idea that the civilian would possess what you term "weapons of mass destruction".

It's a very ambiguous term, encompassing everything from full automatic submachineguns to poison gas artillery shells to nuclear weapons.

By obfuscating the term, it can be stretched to include basically anything the user decides to label as a "weapon of mass destruction".

Therein is the problem with that term.

I suggest that we simply reference back to what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they envisioned a militiaman showing up for muster call.

Personal arms, capable of being transported and operated by a single individual, and that would be as justifiable for personal use by that individual as it would in being called into service to the state in case of emergency.

Firearms fit that criteria perfectly.

They can be used by the individual citizen to protect themselves and their home from the criminal.

However, by virtue of an entire nation being armed their presence likewise makes the rise of a tyrannical government in this country quite problematic for would be tyrants.

No need to split hairs about nuclear devices or poison gas bombs as neither of those fit the original type of equipment that the Founding Fathers would have envisioned the militiaman showing up at muster carrying.

This only leaves the types of firearms to be discussed, and believe it or not fully automatic machine guns ARE legal to own in this country. There is paperwork involved and a tax - but it is quite legal.

In my opinion, it is perfectly acceptable that the average citizen with the interest and appropriate amount of money should be able to purchase such fully automatic weapons without even the current restrictions imposed by federal government.

It doesn't give them a license to murder - and face it, dead is dead whether one is killed by a machine gun or killed by a single shot to the head.

The proper approach for any concerned about citizens possessing such weapons is to prohibit the feared behavior - not the tool used in the behavior - as murder can be accomplished by something as simple as a can of gasoline and a box of matches.

Therefore, I'd say that any weapon firing a bullet that the military has should be readily available to all, which then serves the purpose of the militia being a check on government actions.

This is not an extraordinary position, but rather the one that was prevalent prior to FDR's gun control laws that were passed in the 1930's.

By that time, weapons like the Thompson submachine gun had been available for years as mail order items to the general public without paperwork or licensing or taxing schemes.

If you had the money you could buy it, no questions asked.

The violence of the prohibition era led to the gun control laws - at least as an excuse - but even in those permissive times the average citizen was not going out an shooting up entire towns with the readily available machine guns.

As always, it was a small percentage of people who were committing the violent acts, and they were doing so with or without government permission to possess machine guns.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
Excellent. Thank you.

44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
Every “Gun Control “ conversation with a Liberal boils down to this:

“I don’t want you to have those anymore. You need to turn them in.”

“Why? I haven’t done anything wrong”

“Because…. I’ve decided that’s what I want…and MY Political Opinions are the only ones people should listen to”

“And… what if I don’t?”

“Then I’ll send Armed Men, who represent my Political Opinions, to take them from you because you threaten me”

“But I’m not threatening anyone…I’m just sitting here, expecting my Rights to be…well, respected.”

EEWW! That’s crazy talk… Total Proof that you’re a danger to everything I believe in….

“But YOU’RE the one threatening to use Force, to take away MY rights”

“OMG, you Paranoid Freak! You say the weirdest things, no wonder I’m so scared of you…I’m calling the Police RIGHT NOW”

Liberals. They are Statists, or Stupid….they suffer from a complete and utter moral weakness, or they are completely evil…They are nothing in between that any Responsible Adult can expect to reason with.

And I for one, will no longer try.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Conservative:
Unobstructed action according to each man's will, within limits drawn around him by the equal natural rights of others - where each man may do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor.

Liberal (code for Leftist/Marxist/Collectivist):
Obstructed action according to some men's will, within limits drawn around him by the unnatural superior rights of others - where some men may do as the please with other men, and the product of other men's labor.

“Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.” Thomas Jefferson

"With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor; while with others, the same word may mean for some men to do as they please with other men, and the product of other men's labor. Here are two, not only different, but incompatible things, called by the same name - liberty. And it follows that each of the things is, by the respective parties, called by two different and incompatible names - liberty and tyranny." Abraham Lincoln

44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's not about the state being about to "defend itself", it's about the state removing any possibility of the little guy being able to defend themselves against the states actions.

Once guns are no longer in the hands of the people, the state can do whatever it wants with the citizen (oops, meant to say subject) and there is no recourse for the individual.

If the government wants to round up undesirables and ship them off to re-education camps, well the ones not yet rounded up are free to take it to court.

Of course, that court is also a part of the same federal government that is rounding people up at that point, and as we've sadly seen it's more interested in justifying the federal government's actions than it is in acting as a restraint on the federal government - so such legal actions won't end well....

I'm sure the first defense against any such legal action will be to inform the relevant party that they have no standing to bring the case since they themselves were not rounded up....yet.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
I honestly think that a lot of this has to do with the conditions in cities. Urban dwellers often feel, not completely without justification, that they cannot protect themselves. This especially goes for very small minorities.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
It isn't just urban dwellers, it can be anyone. The bumper sticker "When seconds count, the police are minutes away" is quite accurate. The police are NOT legally obligated to personally defend you. See: Town of Castle Rock v. Gonzales (04-278).

Check out what happened on this 911 call, and then tell me if you want to depend on the government to protect you. http://seattle.cbslocal.com/2013/05/23/911-dispatcher-tells-woman-about-to-be-sexually-assaulted-there-are-no-cops-to-help-her-due-to-budget-cuts/

The 2nd Amendment is supposed to prevent government from denying you the means for self-defense. If you choose not to make use of that right, fine. If you seek to deny that right to me, we have a problem.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
you mean, like, black dwarfs?
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
Actually, I mean religious Jews. At the end of the day, we fear the mob more than the government. Although the late Rabbi Kahane's slogan was "Every Jew a .22". I suppose it would have to be upgraded, but it wouldn't rhyme as well.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
Nothing wrong with .22s (although if you want to defend yourself from a mob, 9mm or .40 or .45 would serve you a lot better).

It's worth remembering that President Reagan very nearly died from being shot... with a .22.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
A .22 will do nicely, thank you.

A few dozen .22s will do even more nicely.

I hope you and your like-minded friends are well equipped. ;-)

44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
The whole point of the Immigration Act of 1965 among other things, was to accelerate the "fundamental transformation" of those Urban Dwellers...from responsible, decent Patriotic Stock, to what we have now.

“Our Constitution is made for a Moral and Religious People…it is wholly unsuitable for the governance of any other” Who said something like that once?

Unfettered illegal immigration, foreign drug gangs, welfare fraud, lack of any real consequence for violent behaviors, and official corruption driving away all viable businesses is a matter of course in these DNC strongholds…

The PLAN was to create whole swaths of violent "uninhabitable" areas in "Urban America", where Self Sufficiency would be considered a CRIME, where Second Amendment Rights could be made to look more like Gasoline on a Fire than anything else....all by DESIGN.

They created this mess ON PURPOSE…so that the blood and agony it would take to go BACK would become utterly unthinkable…so they just let it simmer now, with less and less rights for the citizens carefully managed as the least “explosive” solution to maintaining order and control……they cannot POSSIBLE turn over Full Constitutional Rights to the “Urban Dwellers” ….corrupted BY DESIGN, who no longer have the Character, Discipline, Courage, Morality or Historic Memory of ever being “free”
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
Do you really think they will not find some loophole to allow their well-connected friends to have private security guards?

Any gun ban ought to include a measure banning private security guards from carrying weapons, with clear enough provisions to prevent the self-incorporated run-around. Let's see how Hollywood likes it.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Feinstein does have some interesting history, too. If not for the gun, namely Dan White's, she would never have been the Mayor of San Francisco without Mascone and Milk's assassinations. Truly, the gun jump started her political career when used by a former supervisor of the city who Mayor Moscone would not reinstate when he had initially promised to do so. Apparently Dan White didn't meet the diversity profile of the other supervisors, including Feinstein. In a sense, conservative Dan White did a Mao moment: political power came from the barrel of his gun to the benefit of Feinstein.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
The hypocritical Sen. Feinstein used to have a concealed-carry permit. She, like so many other Leftist hypocrites, now have armed security guards. Us peons, who can't afford security guards, are not deemed worthy to carry arms to defend ourselves.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
When you get right down to it guns are pretty old technology. Any half advanced country in the world has the technology. A good machinist in your neighborhood has the technology. As far as banning or getting rid of a citizen's right to own a gun? These are the same people that can't keep semi barbarians from trucking in bales of pot and coke over our border. Yeah, good luck with that plan. I wonder if the war against guns will be as successful as the war against drugs.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
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