Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Gun Rights Vs. Crazies

I am a Conservative Republican.  I believe in our Constitution, including our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.  Given those things, you might find a few of my following statements curious ...

The Aurora theater shootings is the latest in a long line of mass homicides perpetrated by looney-toon idiots.  Trying to pin down a specific reason for their insane acts is impossible - how do you find reason in minds who are incapable of reason?  What we can do is look for things that enable their delusions.  Unfortunately, most of those things are embedded in our changing society - daily exposure to glorified violence in movies, TV shows, 'music' videos, video games, and even the evening news.  OUr kids are growing up in a world where they can easily blur the distinction between reality and fantasy.  For deranged minds, there are multiple paths for them to grab onto violence and embrace it.

Insanity like this has been around for as long as the human being has.  What has changed recently is the encouragement to act out violence (through the media as stated above), and the access to weapons to carry out such violence on a horrendous scale.

Left wingers all ove rthe country have jumped all over this as another method of forwarding a gun control agenda.  The bodies in Aurora weren't even cold yet when the first members of the mainstream media, not to mention the left wing kook bloggers, were clamoring for gun control.

The problem isn't a lack of gun control.  The types of weapons that the US citizen is allowed to own are clearly spelled out under Federal Law.  This includes the infamous 'assault weapon' class of rifle, the one that is the center of most of the hub-bub. 

Assault weapon is a general class of military style rifle, semi-automatic, with ammunition fed from a magazine.  The most common examples are the AR-15 and AK-47 families.  These rifles can be purchased from a Federally licensed dealer, who must fill out some paperwork and do a phone background check with the FBI to make sure you aren't wanted for anything.  This process is very quick.  Indeed, if the FBI doesn't have a grudge against you, you can walk into a dealer, and 30 minutes later walk out with your new gun.

I own an AR-15 class of weapon.  I was frankly shocked at how easy and quick it was to purchase it, from a Federally licensed dealer.  There was no waiting period.  I passed the 3-4 minute phone check, and out I went ready to burn through some ammo. 

If you listen to Sen. Feinstein in this clip, assault weapons have no purpose other than to kill people.  That is a blatantly false statement.  People buy these weapons (for the most part) for these reasons, in order of popularity:  sport shooting - hunting - self defense - defense against the zombie apocalypse.  My weapon is used for target shooting.  I don't kill anything with it, I have no interest in hunting.  I have other means of more effective self defense.  And, unlike a few gullible fools, I really don't think we're going to be overrun by zombies anytime soon. 

Other parts of Sen. Fenstein's arguments hold more water, and you might be surprised that I agree with her on some of them.  These weapons are generally fed by 20 or 30 round magazines for sport shooting or self defense.  In most states, you must use a magazine that holds 5 or fewer rounds if you are using the gun to hunt - big time fines will result if you get caught by the game warden walking around stalking Bambi with a 30 round clip!

There are manufacturers out there that make magazines for these weapons that hold up to 100 rounds.  They are called drum magazines, are readily available, and can be had for less than $150.  I agree with Sen. Feinstein that there is no legitimate purpose for these magazines in the hands of the public.  They serve no purpose other than spitting out a huge number of bullets in a very short period of time.  If they are not banned altogethere, they should at least have a background check attached, and not be available via mail/internet.  These things are illegal for hunting.  They are useless for target shooting.  They are too heavy and cumbersome to use for self defense.

There are certain classes of weapons that the public is not currently allowed to own - they are reserved for military and/or poilice use.  This isn't seen as a violation of the Second Amendment by any sane person.  I honestly believe that using a more strict method of qualifying a person for the purchase of one of these weapons, coupled with a waiting period, and a ban on these huge magazines aren't unreasonable, and are not violations of the Second Amendment any more than the government prohibiting me from owning a Ma Duece.

Now, will those things stop the horrors of Aurora, or VT, or Columbine, or Norway?  They might help in a few instances, perhaps delay the perpetrators, but they won't prevent them.  There are simply too many ways for a person who is deranged, evil, committed to the violence, and willing to take the consequences of their actions to accomplish what they want - mayhem and fame.

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