Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Why I have no confidence in the general populace

Whilst over at Kim's, doing my usual reading, I notice a link (doesn't show in the permalink, for some reason) to Professor Eugene Volokh's place. So, being interested in what he might have to say about the latest shooting sprees at the victim disarmament zones, I click over there, only to be subjected to responses such as these in the comments:

"Professor Volokh poses a false dilemma [How, may I ask?]. The question isn't whether any gun regulation can eliminate all gun crimes, but whether some regulations might reduce the number of them (and without reducing whatever deterrence and self-defense advantages that an armed citizenry provides).

In that respect, yes, there are some gun restrictions that can have some impact on some types of crime [Are you fucking serious when you say this, dude?]. Maybe nothing would have stopped this guy, but waiting periods can potentially stop some who would kill in the heat of passion. Restrictions on the sorts of guns that can be purchased can potentially stop some would-be multiple murderers from attaining enough firepower. Licensing, registration, a permitting process, background checks, and other regulatory hoops could each deter some criminals. (And the "black market" point is also not a definitive argument, as even if illegal guns are available there, that doesn't mean that they will be as easy to obtain or that some people who cannot get the guns legally will not attempt to or be able to obtain them on the black market.) [Guess this guy has never read anything about Prohibition or about a little place called a "speak-easy"]

I don't endorse all these things-- both because I think the Second Amendment confers an individual right and sets some baseline of protection of the right to bear arms, and also because I think in some cases the reduction in the ability of law abiding citizens to own a gun for self-defense outweighs whatever the effectiveness is of the particular regulation. But the issue is not whether a gun regulation will prevent all gun crime or even any particular crime-- it's whether it will prevent some crime, and if so, is it worth the cost (and does it comport with the Constitution)? " Dilan Esper [my emphasis, not his]

and this, by some dude calling himself, oxymoronically, logicnazi

"I suspect that many rampage killers are law abiding citizens until they snap. If they don't have a gun around when they snap or only have a limited capacity gun they might not shoot anyone else or shoot fewer people. For instance a limitation that required guns to shoot only one or two bullets before being reloaded would greatly reduce the number of people a rampage killer could execute."
[I ask, where is the logic?]

or this,

"NRA's position, unless it's changed, is that law-abiding citizens ought to have machine guns even IF the police don't.

It's really, really hard to take seriously contentions that Americans are insufficiently heavily armed." Harry Eagar
[Jesus, again with the complete lack of knowledge about the whole issue of NFA '34 and class III firearms]

There are others there that I'd cite, but these just jumped out at me. This is just constipated thinking and blind ignorance of what is and what isn't, and what has and hasn't been done already, in an effort to reduce the availability of guns to criminals.

The most restrictive piece of gun control that we, as a nation, have ever passed is easily the Gun Control Act of 1968, Period. The reasons were many, some a knee-jerk, but some of it, I will concede, was necessary. In GCA '68, we denied everyone the ability to buy guns through the mail, with no special licensure (FFL and C&R only). That is the avenue that Oswald used in the Kennedy assassination, by purchasing an Italian 6.5 Carcano bolt action military surplus rifle and ammunition. It created the FFL system that we now have. It created the Form 4473, that we use to this day. All of this was done in an effort to vet a potential buyer on whether he would commit an atrocity like the ones we have recently endured. Even many hard-core gun enthusiasts, such as myself, do believe that it was necessary. Other aspects of that law are just asinine, with arbitrary limits applied to import firearms that make NO sense, in any context.

Some of this may have made timely access to a gun, for some, more prohibitive. Most of the above mentioned items, regardless of efficacy, should still be in place today, in my opinion. I hate the idea of the damn Gummint being able to show up at my door some day and start asking questions about a gun a purchased 20 years ago, and (for sake of argument) no longer own. That is the sad fact, however, and I know what my responsibilities are and I am aware of the liabilities involved. That is why I will not engage in any kind of private sale of any of my newly purchased firearms. That leaves a paper trail, straight back to me. Not something I am too willing to 'splain in court, criminal, nor civil.

I ain't goin' there, but there are plenty of those out there that are plenty willing. There are many guns on the black market, (whether one chooses to believe this or not is a matter of personal arrogance, as far as I'm concerned) and there will always be.

Some just do not have a good grasp of history. That is rather obvious. Some are just willfully ignorant. Again, obvious. Others, unfortunately, can't think, which is a far more serious problem. Oh well, not much I can do about it, except hope for the next apocalypse.

Where's the ammo? (as he walks away)


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