Monday, March 14, 2005
The Danger of Guns -- Part II
Our point seemed, to us, to be a simple one -- The current rules and regulations, which are innumerable, cannot stop listed terrorist suspects from purchasing guns. These rules and regs. have created an unimaginable bureacracy and tons (literally, not figuratively) of paper. We're obscure on the particulars, but let's just say that there are only two copies of BATF Form 4473 (some of us think it is three -- but that caused a big argument over whether or not the third copy is sent into BATF, which there was a big stink over many years ago, so we're going with two) AND there are 192 million firearms in the U.S. -- that makes 2 x 4 x 192,000,000 (not counting unsuccessful purchases, which require the forms to be filed and retained for five years or forms that were discarded for one reason or another). Anyway, that is 1.536 Billion, with a 'B,' pages of paper. With 500 sheets in a ream, that is 3,072,000 reams of paper. And, at five pounds per ream, that is 15.36 million pounds of paper -- or, 7,680 tons of paper.
This is an unimaginable amount of paper. It is an unimaginable amount of signatures and answers to questions that are not intimidating, as some suggested in their responses, but patently ridiculous. A point we attempted to make with our reference to the question regarding whether or not you are mentally impaired. What lying criminal would answer any of the questions honestly? The only people that would answer the questions honestly are honest people with nothing to hide, the rest would lie their asses off to get a gun.
We summed up our comments by saying that with such an unimaginable amount of rules and regulations -- going so far as to point out that there are actually regulation of potato guns -- that, perhaps it had all been for naught. Although each step in the journey from a robust frontier to today had been taken with the utmost care and reason, the result is so obsurd that a reasonable man just might consider doing away with the system in its entirety.
Yet, still we hear things like, "Well, we don't want just anyone to have access to firearms . . . " Or, "The founders never invisioned modern weaponry . . ." And, things like this. All very reminiscent to us of "Gun Control" debates we participated in fifth grade in the 1970's. So, as much as we hate to enter into the fray at this level, we feel compelled to list our responses to the most common arguments for gun control. If you don't want to read them, we'll understand, but for those who are interested, we make the following available.
To help you get a feel for the things we've heard regarding this issue, there is a lengthy commment section to a post over at Down with Absolutes (to which we reply, "Absolutely!") about the terrorists buying guns and even attempt to "dispute one portion of our entry." We want to address some of the standard gun control advocate positions which are on display there as if in a museum.
Regulation is needed across the board. We canít be giving assault weapons to ANYONE without proper checks
Unfortunately, in this universe all of the above action items are largely ignored by the very people you mean to include in the phrase, "ANYONE." See it up there? All in capital letters? No, here, in this universe, the only people that pay one bit of attention to your new piece of paper are the very people you weren't talking about in the first place -- law abiding citizens that fill out meaningless government forms out of habit.
This is why you see bank robbers showing up with fully automatic AK-47s to bank robberies -- completely unregistered and without proper taxes paid or anything. Terrorists frequently arrive in countries where fully automatic weapons are completely banned, and you know what they have with them? Fully automatic weapons. And, finally, drug distribution networks also employ many men with fully automatic weapons to keep distribution channels open and cut-down on competition -- none of their weapons are compliant with the thousands of BATF regulations that apply to them. How can this be?
Very simple. So simple it is actually lost on many gun control advocates who are otherwise very intelligent people, many with advanced degrees. You see, bank robbing is illegal. Let me repeat this. Robbing a bank is illegal. It has been illegal since they invented banks -- ask Jesse James -- oh, he's dead. Killing competing pharmaceutical distributors is illegal. Even slower, murder is illegal. It has been illegal since Cain killed Abel. You could look that up, if you wanted to . . . And, not to put too fine a point on it, but seizing control of an airport, disco-tech, train station, shopping mall, Olympic Park, luxury liner, or any other public space with a group of men in ski masks pointing automatic weapons all over the place is definitely illegal.
You see? In this universe, all these things happen. They are all illegal. You know killing your ex-wife because she won't let you see the kids is illegal. Here is the shocking truth of this universe. Things that are illegal are done everyday. Now, let us ask you a very simple question -- Would people willing to break laws against robbing banks, killing people, and terrorism stop and stomp their feet because owning fully automatic weapons is illegal? Anyone?
The answer is so obvious it doesn't really require an answer. It is what the writers call a rhetorical question. But, for the slow learners we'll give you the answer -- No, they would not be stopped by such a law. They are, in effect, in the law breaking business. This brings us full circle to the "We need regulation across the board . . . " argument. The only people controlled by such "regulation across the board" are people that won't be breaking the laws against bank robbing, murder, terrorism, and pharmaceutical distribution. See?
Such regulations just make everyone feel like they are doing something. In reality, they are doing nothing. So, why put so much energy into doing nothing.
But, you didnít have crap like TEC-9ís on the streets in 1776. If Jefferson and Franklin were alive today
I think they would certainly be interested in seeing the Second Amendment at least REVIEWED.
For this little nit, we like to remind people of what the founders DID know when they put the little amendment in place. In the 18th century, any gun shot -- regardless of where it hit -- could prove fatal. That's right, a perfectly round lead musket ball could hit you in the calf and you could die. Why? No anti-biotics. And, more ruthlessly, no anesthesia. So, when someone was shot, they screamed and screamed until they passed out while the doctor poked around the injury attempting to remove the lead ball. Usually, all this doctoring resulted in the loss of the limb that was injured, if the patient wasn't simply overcome by infection. This is where the fond nickname for doctors was conceived -- "Old Saw Bones." If you listen to a lot of country music, you can still hear this nickname in use.
But, it gets worse. 18th century frontiersman Joe didn't always want to waste money on perfectly round lead musket balls. They were too expensive for this frugal rustic survivor. So, more often than not, he simply poured nails, pieces of chain, or any other scraps of metal laying around his dirt floor workshop into the barrel of his blunder bust and pulled the trigger. Basically, anything that would come flying out of the barrel once the charge was set. Needless to say, this created quite a number of nasty wounds in the recipient and most certainly death either at the scene or two or three days later when the recipient was overcome with infection.
Unknown to the founders was the idea that a man could get into a gun fight on Saturday night; get five or six 9mm bullets shot into him; be rushed to a state-of-the-art triage center; have the bullets painlessly removed under anesthesia; be administered intravenous antibiotics; and be home to watch football Sunday afternoon with a bottle of pills for pain and another bottle to fight infection.
So, from our 21st century perch, it might be just as easy to imagine the founders looking at the situation we're in today and abolishing the 2nd amendment all together in favor of a mandate that all citizens of the republic be armed.
If you have a favorite "gun control is good because . . ." item you would like us to address, we would be happy to do it. The two items above seem to be the staples of all good citizens that want to do something about gun crimes. We thought we would go into such detail because it might help those on the fence. Those who are convinced they are correct will not change their minds because of a bunch of sentences composed by a group of malcontents, but for those of you who are still reading, may we suggest a few items for you to do.
Go out and buy a shot-gun. 12 guage. A Mossberg is fine. It is cheap. You can afford it. Get a two boxes of 00 Buck 3" shotgun shells (i.e., double-ought buck). Have the gun store clerk help you with this. Your shotgun should be able to use 3" shells. If it cannot, do not buy it. Get an experienced gun owner to show you how to use it -- again, the gun store clerk will know many instructors in your area. You can defend your home and your loved ones with this weapon. It will cost you less than $150.
If you have more money you should purchase a handgun. This is expensive relative to the shotgun, but it is much more easily ported around. You can keep it in your waistband as you putter around the house. The basic rule is to use your handgun to fight your way to your rifle or shotgun. Get a revolver if you are not familiar with handguns -- .357 magnum or bigger. If you want to buy a semi-automatic pistol get a .45.
Get training. Learn gun safety. This is not as impossible as it sounds. You live in a house with 115 volt outlets all around you. You've taught yourself and your children how to do this with a very low mortality rate. Why? Because there are great benefits to having electric power in your home. You also operate a motor vehicle which has an extremely high injury and mortality rate associated with its use, but you and your family receive great benefit from this modern tool. So it is with firearms. There is a great benefit, namely staying alive that is to be gained by gun ownership.
So, now, in the event of a home invasion or other such assault on you and your family, you can call 911, retreat to a secure location of your home, have a 12-guage shotgun on your lap, and wait for help to arrive. It is infinitely better than calling 911, hoping like hell they don't take the long way to your home, and wait for help to arrive.
Finally, join the NRA. Remember the 35% of U.S. households that own firearms? Well, ten percent of them belong to the NRA. The NRA is not the "gun lobby" as it is referred to by its detractors, it is the "gun owners' lobby." Three million citizens that want to be heard by a Congress that seems to be tone deaf to the idea of freedom. All you guys that own guns -- send in the 35 bucks. Thirty-five million members would be a lot louder.
Thanks for listening. We feel better and we hope you do too.