Is a straw ban. Everyone (except possibly a few nuts) is fully in favor of an actual assault weapon ban. Assault weapons have always been illegal. The problem is what an assault weapon actually is and what it is not. An assault weapon by definition is a automatic-fire capable carbine with a quickly replaceable magazine. These are illegal. Always have been. A single shot semi-automatic rifle is not a assault rifle. A full length rifle is not an assault rifle.
What the knuckleheads in Congress call an “assault weapons ban” is a “scary looking rifle ban” … which alas has the kindergarten sound that it deserves but want to avoid.
This has been a PSA from your friendly neighborhood blogger.
Lots of silliness has ensued in the weeks following the shooting in Newton, CT. Gun advocates suggest putting TSA-like agents in every school (as if schools aren’t expensive enough), gun control advocates suggest restricting “assault weapons” (a fictional category for semi-automatic rifles) and “high capacity magazines” (as if the 1-2 seconds to swap magazines would really make a difference) and basically making it far harder to obtain guns (against for example, peer reviewed academic studies showing that the elasticity to gun availability is .1 to .3 out of the 50-60 gun related deaths per 10k people per year. As much posturing as we have on this matter, if the time the President and his Renfieldian co-conspirator Biden have wasted giving speeches on gun control more children have died in auto accidents than did in the incident they pretend is motivating their interest in gun control. But do they go after drivers and car safety? Nope.
Frequent commenter Boonton has suggested stopping gun violence by tying the liability (financial) for any gun violence to the gun owner …. the economic study above suggests the actuarial costs of such a tie would be about $10/year if you own a gun for his suggested $100k payout. The higher cost to that suggestion is figuring out how to actually reliably track the ownership trail for the millions of guns out there not to speak of those purchased in the future. That will change … what? Offer a public notion that were-guild is legal notion whose time has come?
There are those who would suggest that gun ownership is part of a former age and that modern man doesn’t have any call for guns. There are two problems with that suggestion. It suggests that the person who says that has never ever ever lived in rural America. Get out out of your current aviary and take notice that the majority males and many females living outside of cities are avid hunters. The second problem is akin to the Sudan vs Congo problem alluded to above. In the Sudan 10’s to a few hundreds of thousands of people were killed in a genocidal spasm of violence. In the Congo over the last decades millions have died. Which got the angst and notice in the press … the Sudan not the Congo. What kills Americans (besides lack of exercise)? Cars. Automobile deaths dwarf those by gun violence by orders of magnitude. But do we have hue and cry for limiting automobile speeds to under 30 mph? Do they cry for immediately restricting cars to be only driven by state licensed professional drivers in state owned and operated vehicles? Nope. So those who decry “more gun control” need to explain why “more car control” is not a higher priority, many orders of magnitude more die that way …. so you’d think that would be were the legal and social action would be driven. But no, this is just like you’d think that the violence in the Congo would get more notice than the Sudan and Darfur was noticed. So … if you think you don’t have any call for guns in the modern age, well some people disagree and exactly the same argument you’d pretend to use to explain why you can buy a car that you prefer and drive it at more than 25-30 mph the argument exactly paralleled that you have to turn around and (hypocritically) argue applies to your desire for driving fast but not to someone else who wants to do something that you do not.
But … that begs the question. Lots of people (if not most of the people) suggest stupid things on both sides of the argument (although to be truthful, post Newton, more of the errant stupidity comes from the control/restrict side of the aisle …. however suggesting putting TSA-like guards in cash strapped schools is pretty dumb in itself). Can some intelligent suggestions be made?
Where do we see gun violence of the unwanted kind? We find gun violence in sporadic random mass shootings (like Colorado, Ms Giffords, and the recent Newtown shooting), armed robberies and muggings, some assaults and rapes, in home invasions, gang violence, suicides, and in some crimes of passion. If there were no legal access to guns, it is likely that gun usage in the suicides and crimes of passions would fall slowly over the years as gun ownership slowly dropped. Gangs and drug traffickers aren’t obtaining their guns legally and for that matter lots of them aren’t using guns (such as fully automatic guns) which are available anywhere legally now.regions in which gun ownership is close to 100% of the population don’t have much higher gun violence (and in many places it is lower). Clearly possession isn’t the problem. Like cars (and say impaired by drugs or inattention) …. the bigger problem is intentional misuse by a very very small minority. As an aside the liberal (urban) plea for gun control and less guns in general sounds a lot like the liberal insistence that government tax us to provide charitable services (which only makes more sense if you are a standard liberal who does not (willingly) give to charity in any real measure) … that is the urban liberal is against guns because he isn’t safe with them … and figures everyone else is just like him.
So we have a variety of issues to solve. How are might these individually be addressed? Let’s quickly run this list of problems and suggest ways to ameliorate them:
- Random mass shootings and many assaults, muggings and rapes might be solved (as suggested elsewhere) by more, not less people who carry and are trained in the use of firearms. Specifically, if the President and his cadre of liberal intelligentsia instead of moving against the presence of guns in our society tried to push that more and more of our women carried and had training … it would be a lot harder for mass shooters to get much traction. Much like the Darwin award contestant who tried to use a pistol to hold up a gun store (and got shot by a number of customers) if those schoolteachers were armed, it is quite likely that either the shooter wouldn’t have even tried or that he wouldn’t have been able to continue his rampage for so long. One of the TPM anti-gun crusaders pointed out that if you pull a gun in the presence of an active shooter that you become a target. Yes. But if 10% of the movie theater audience does so … there is no longer one target … and the odds of the shooter surviving long become themselves long. Arming our girls is the solution to both the danger of unstable mentally ill white boys and to the alleged rape epidemic and violence against women in general.
- Legal-to-purchase (non-automatic) Guns and fully automatic weapons in the presence of gangs are, in my view, a lot like trying to solve the “problem” of corporate money in politics. Those with the money want to spend it. It is impossible (as we see) to stop them with regulations. Just so with guns and gangs. How then to proceed? You have two choices … to fight it with greater force (police) or to move to take the profits out of the activities they perform to make their money.
- It might also be useful to note that magazine limits and caliber limits are not good federal laws. You may want to pretend that no person in Chicago has any need for a .50 caliber Desert Eagle pistol. But … against grizzly bears in the Montana and Alaskan backwoods may still be that same pistol. And “need” is a fuzzy word. Remember, you don’t actually ever “need” to drive more than 25 mph. You just want to. And so too does the Chicago shooter. He might want to fire that .50 cal. So … remember that as you whiz along on the freeway at 70 mph.
OK. Regular blogging will return tomorrow … and later tonight I’ll finish and publish the gun control article I wrote half of two weeks ago flying here, I didn’t finish it on the plane … and didn’t have time to finish it until tonight.
For most of last week and possibly through the next blogging will be very light. I’m working 11-13 hours a day 7 days a week, which doesn’t leave a lot of room for much besides eating and sleeping, driving to/from the job site and … about an hour of relaxing. I’ll try to keep any comment conversations going as I have time.
Good, well, whatever … day/night what have you.
- Dignity and value of human life ontological not a constituent property, e.g., you are “human” if you posses particular virtues and not if you don’t. This is the central basis for anti-abortion ethics. If you resist that notion, read Ms Delsol’s book on those forgotten 20th century lessons.
- My daughter, now a senior, very much was saddened that “woods 3″ was dropped because of lack of interest at her school.
- Political squabbles.
- A book.
- Except that it’s not true. Watch “The Island”, asceticism is a virtue and don’t you forget it.
- Thick and thin thinking.
- The criminal set thanks you for identifying the vulnerable for future rapes, home invasions, and other mayhem.
- The real reason for not-disarmament. And another reason.
- Ms Biel was quite funny.
- And I’ll leave y’all in the mud.
On the way to the left coast …. it’s likely that link posts will move to the evening. I’m going to try to write a post en-route.
Well, one day back after two weeks off … prior to heading out for a big big job tomorrow left little time for much of anything.
- First, what isn’t a surprise, here and here.
- Disarmament … consequences to follow.
- Not disarmament, for the gun control debate.
- Post Newton, remember the noise and nonsense over AR-15s and the Bushmaster rifle? Woops.
- What gun control buys you. That and a dollar will buy you … well what little a dollar will buy you.
- Patience and charity.
- Time porn.
- Linking two variables.
- The geniuses at the TSA.
- Is this rape? Perhaps not legally … but morally I think it may be.
- Maths and theology.
- Well, for myself, that objection is just plain stupid. Those $3-6 day “sweatshops” are often the best jobs in town.
- Following the money.
And, over the break I saw a complaint about Mr Obama spending very little time this family on vacation. No, I’m not normally one to defend Mr Obama, but … he has two teenage daughters. Two teenage daughters. ’nuff said.
Well, tomorrow we head back to the Midwest by Amtrak and Amtrak (and finally Metra and a car). For those interested that’s mostly the NorthEast Corridor from Trenton to Washington DC, and then the Capitol Limited to Chicago. Our roundtrip was a little over $700 for 4 adults. Not bad.
- The other parent trap.
- Pretty woman … gets fired.
- Insurance and gun ownership.
- More on guns, bottom line: gun ownership is sharply up over the last few decades and gun violence is trending consistently down. So … why the dialog on guns?
- Names or not. What does it mean?
- To read?
- Unintended does not mean not anticipated.
- Three new blogs to watch via kbj.
- Moving on from Afghanistan.
- Benedict on Epiphany.
- A blog entry to read to the tune of “all I want for Christmas is …”