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Saturday, October 22, 2016

This new ad from Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America perfectly makes an argument that you’ve probably been thinking about for years: Our guns have changed, so why shouldn’t our gun laws?

More than 30,000 Americans die from gun violence every year. And as you might already know, more Americans have died from gun violence than in all the wars in American history.


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h/t: @aria_ahrary and BuzzFeed

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Copyright 2013 The National Memo
  • Replace “guns” with “communication mediums” and I doubt anyone would make any serious argument to limit our means of free speech by increasing the breadth and scope of our laws because of the, say, the Internet or cable TV.

    An increase in the level of technology (e.g. from black powder and muskets to bullets and semi-automatic firearms) doesn’t mean we ought to give the government *more* power under the guise of attempting to “prevent” that which is ultimately not preventable by legislative means.

    • mah101

      Of course the difference between cable tv and guns is that cable tv is NOT designed to kill people.

      • Allan Richardson

        Although a few of the personalities who appear on it seem to want some of their viewers to go out and kill someone, or at least would not be unhappy if one of them did so.

      • Actually broadcasted speech (on cable TV or otherwise) could incite violent acts in others and certainly lead to someone getting killed as a result (even if the speech itself wasn’t calling for violence). On the flip side, just because guns are designed to inflict grievous harm (not necessarily “kill” outright as you can feasibly shoot someone and simply wound them), does not mean that they must. Just brandishing a weapon against a potential and willful perpetrator of a violent criminal act could lead to avoidance of such an act of violence.

        Additionally, all sorts of weapons are designed to potentially kill (including knives). Should we start regulating anything that could be used as a weapon and potentially fatal (including stun guns if you hit the person across the heart with it) and err on the side of a more defenseless populous?

    • Allan Richardson

      Actually, we HAVE laws regulating the PHYSICAL apparatus to broadcast information, in order to prevent chaotic interference, and they are constitutional because the use of the radio spectrum is INHERENTLY the use of a “commons.” And we still have problems because of wealthy individuals buying up so many of the institutions that operate the physical apparatus that opposing views do not get heard.

      There is a fundamental difference between guns and other products: the ONLY purpose of a gun is to hit someone or something hard enough to produce death or destruction. Automobiles have other purposes as well (but kill more people by accident than on purpose, as far as we know), but ownership and operation are regulated by common sense; before their invention, horses did not need to be registered or regulated, because the horse itself (almost always) has the sense not to run into buildings or other horses.

      If the founders had, in response to hypothetical confiscation by the British troops, put a “right to keep and ride horses” into the Constitution, the same “all rights, no responsibilities” mentality would have fought driver licensing and car registration. Even if we do not register guns, should we not test for COMPETENCE and for MENTAL AND MORAL HEALTH when people want to buy a gun? If you do not think so, could it be because you are not sure YOU are mentally stable enough to pass a background check?

      • ahh the old automobile ruse.. lets use poison (pesticide, rat poison) as a comparator instead. Poisons have one purpose–to kill things…Those things can be cockroaches —or people. Would it make sense to ban rat poison because a small percentage of that product was misused..?

        • Allan Richardson

          There ain’t no rats inside my veins!
          There ain’t no rats in me!
          I take rat poison daily, so
          There ain’t no rats in me!

          Actually the warfarin (Coumadin) that many of us take for blood clot prevention is a very tiny dose of rat poison! But I cannot even buy that without a doctor’s prescription. Of course, I COULD, if I wished, buy a box of pills intended to kill rodent pests without a prescription, but to kill someone with poison requires much more preparation, and if the victim survived long enough to enter a hospital, and the doctor recognized the poison and alerted police, the likelihood of not getting caught, OR the likelihood of completing the murder before getting caught, even if the murderer were WILLING to be punished for the crime, is very low.

          And nobody is going to be able to walk into a school or theater and kill people by throwing poison pellets at them. But a gun can “throw” pellets of lead at such high speed, and so quickly and accurately, as to kill many people in a few seconds.

          But even at that, nobody wants to BAN guns, only to make it more difficult for bad guys, or at least bad guys without the black market connections, to get them. And a background check would put black market sellers (or previously non-criminal “straw man” sellers) ON NOTICE that selling a gun to someone you are not SURE is an honest man COULD make you accountable for that person’s behavior, since you last bought that gun legally, and you did not report the sale or make a background check.

          Basically, would you sell ALL THE GUNS CURRENTLY IN YOUR POSSESSION (not stored somewhere else) to someone, knowing you have none left immediately available, trusting that that person will NOT use one of them to attack you on the spot? If that person is a criminal, and you know of his or her criminal plans enough to be “in on” them, you are an enabler and thus liable for such crimes as an accessory before the fact. All the background check does is give you, the seller, a better assurance of your own innocence, and an ironclad alibi.

          And I can think of ways to store a registration database so that ONLY a specific inquiry on a specific name, registration number, or digitized ballistic pattern would bring up the record in readable form, and a sequential “data dump” to look up all the guns in a geographical area would be impossible. Even without such security, the authorities have never tried mass confiscation of motor vehicles, or even licenses. The kind of technical system I propose would make it IMPOSSIBLE to get a mass confiscation list of guns. Would THAT relieve your paranoia?

          • NOBODY wants to ban guns….? YOU SURE of that…? thats not what I’m hearing from some on the fringe. As far as poisoning mass amounts of people–if a whackjob was a school cafeteria employee the 20 from SandyHook could have gone out differently

          • plc97477

            That’s because you are listening to the fringe. A group of people we know to be wacky.

          • You’re the fringe. Someday the SCOTUS will change and new laws will be passed and upheld. The insanity will stop and the 1st Amendment will be enforced once more.

  • The problem, or its solution, has little to do with the effectiveness of political commercials and a lot to do with common sense and the ambiguity of the Second Amendment. Regardless of whether its ambiguity was caused by the use of poor syntax or was intentional, the fact is that its interpretation is debatable. The Second Amendment contains two clauses: the well Regulated Militia clause being necessary to the security of the of a free state, and the Right to Bear arms (the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed). Not surprisingly, many of us believe the second clause is controlled by the first, while others disagree. The solution requires common sense. Do we favor a free for all – unregulated – environment where anyone, regardless of criminal record and mental capacity can own and carry concealed weapons, or do we prefer a well regulated militia such as the National Guard to guarantee the security of the state and our society? Even the interpretation of the term “state” is open to interpretation as it may pertain to what most of us understand as a state or the institution of government.
    Quite frankly, I don’t expect much from the ongoing debate. Some unenforceable and highly ineffective laws will be passed to save face, and gun violence will continue to dominate the news for many years to come.

    • plc97477

      And more and more of our most defenseless citizens will die.

  • What most Americans don’t know, is that the very same day of the Sandy
    Hook massacre, a crazed man attacked a classroom full of children in
    rural China.

    Stabbed 22 of them. Yes, 22, same number of children that died at Sandy Hook.

    Not one of the Chinese kids died.

  • exdemo55

    What a mindless commercial. We need guns to protect ourselves from evil people like the Boston bombers. The more advanced their weapons, the more advanced ours need to be.
    If someone in that office had a gun, that incident wouldn’t have lasted 10 seconds before the purp. was dead.

    • Fanraeth

      So who should have been shot in Boston? Whatever suspicious looking brown people happened to be in the neighborhood?

    • howa4x

      Right that is the biggest lie ever told. Most people don’t bring their guns to work unless you’re a cop. Do they allow you to bring our Bushmaster to work? No citizen with a gun will stop a bomber that silently lays a backpack next to a mailbox. As for Aurora, who would actually start a gun battle in a movie theater? The shooter was wearing body armor and as soon as he saw the spark of your gun he would kill you and everyone you are with. At that point, you would probably hide under the seat with crap in your pants. It is one thing to shoot at a paper target and another to shoot at someone who is shooting back.
      In Columbine HS there were armed guards in the building but not were the massacre took place. This was the same situation at Va tech, armed police on campus. These are the lies the NRA tells to sell more guns. What do you want to have every elementary school in the country be a potential gun battle site? Or very movie theater or little league game? Isn’t it easier to just have background checks to pick up people who have criminal backgrounds or are mentally unstable? What are all you law biding citizens afraid of? You already have your guns and no one is coming to take them away so lighten up already!

  • ralphkr

    I must say that the fellow in the ad is in dire need of training since the average soldier could fire 3 rounds a minute with his muzzle loading rifle with better ones getting off 4 rounds a minute during the Civil War.

    The thing everyone ignores is that the 2nd Amendment expected everyone to have on hand military grade weaponry and be at the ready to defend the country from invasion so today that would mean having an assault gun or sniper rifle at the very least (just like Switzerland). A civilian militia was a necessity since we had no standing army to speak of in the 18th Century.

  • howa4x

    This issue is that the right wing is arming themselves for a violent overthrow of our country. This is why they want assault weapons, and it’s the only reason. The cynical NRA is funded by the gun industry to sell more and more guns, that is their real job. They have whipped up the gun owning public into a frenzy by constantly telling them that the Feds are coming to take their guns away, which is not true. The republicans have not allowed a director of the ATF in years, so there is no one directing this supposedly gun roundup. Or the real laugher is the one about the black helicopters that the UN has, they are silent and will fly over one night and take away everyone’s guns. The problem is of course that the UN is really inept, and they would be scared to death to come here with a population that is armed better than their own countries army. The republicans win elections not by telling people how they will make their lives better but they do their best when they make people afraid. They have also defunded the mental health system that they blame all the problems on.

    As for the constitution and the sacred 2nd amendment, we have amended it 15 other times to fit a changing world. Women couldn’t vote when it was written and Afro Americans were slaves. These injustices have been corrected and this can be corrected too. The constitution wasn’t written by god as some on the right wing believe, rather it was written by men who were more afraid of a national religion than guns.
    The republicans and the NRA won’t really be satisfied until they turn this country into a giant killing field. They will blame everyone else, even the victims, anything to avoid the issue that gun related deaths will one day top cancer and heart disease, and that will be our national shame.

    • Margiemfn

      Great assessment of the ridiculous right wing. If only there were more rational, intelligent writers like you. Please tell me you have a blog I can subscribe to!

      • howa4x

        I don’t have time to manage a Blog since I’m taking care of a very ill friend so I just write on here. Thanks for the kind thoughts