Sunday, July 22, 2012

Will the Aurora Incident Finally Kill the Second Amendment?

After a long parade of maniacs with guns, many Americans are ready for gun control.

As the Democrat Rahm Emmanuel said, "You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it's an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before."

Removing guns from private ownership has been a long goal of the left. Like all of their prohibitions and compulsory laws, it's for our own good, dontcha know. The Aurora incident will be used to renew the clamor for increased gun control.

Many conservatives oppose any form of gun control for fear that, once the door has been opened, more and more restrictions will occur over time. Using the left's patient gradualism, they will have set in motion the process by which we will eventually be disarmed.

Many conservatives oppose gun registration, for fear that it will give government a list of gun owners, making it much easier to confiscate weapons once that government decides to do so.

I understand these concerns because they are valid. The question is, how can we keep guns out of the hands of maniacs without denying guns to peaceful, responsible citizens?

Should there be some sort of gun control, i.e., preventing the sale of Thompson machine guns to the public at large? How about preventing the sale of guns with huge ammo clips, ones that allow assailants to fire 60 bullets without reloading (like the one used by the Aurora shooter)? Why would such firepower be necessary for merely protecting one's home or business?

James Holmes purchased thousands of rounds of ammunition in preparation for his killing spree. Should there be a limit on the amount of ammunition that one can buy at a given time?

The gun control question is one of freedom vs security. More control might mean the purchase of more security (from armed psychotics) at the expense of less personal liberty. Would the transaction be worth it? Or is more freedom worth the risk that some will abuse that freedom to perpetrate evil?

Would the availability of guns to a well-armed public prevent such massacres in the future? Personally, I believe that it would. Surely the maniacs would understand that their killing spree would likely end in their own deaths. That wouldn't stop them all, especially if they want to die as martyrs. It would, however, slow them down. Right now, the Jared Loughners and Seung-Hui Chos and Dylan Klebolds know that they will be shooting fish in a barrel, i.e. that their targeted victims will be unarmed and unable to return fire.

In my opinion, we need to give them a new paradigm on which to construct their fantasies: one of a well-armed, gun savvy public who will kill them in short order should they draw down on innocents. I support right-to-carry laws, now more than ever. However, having said that, some reasonable controls over gun ownership are inevitable and probably desirable. Furthermore, those controls should be made at the state level, not the federal.

I'd be interested in hearing from readers. Where am I right and where am I wrong?


Adrienne said...

It has been proven that when the populace is well armed (either concealed carry or open carry) the crime rate goes way down.

As for Thompson subs? I use to own one (illegally) and loved it. I felt no need to shoot up a theater just because I had such a weapon. Plinking* bottles on fences was fine with me. Besides, they tend to jam so not too good for mass murder.

*(okay - maybe plinking is not the best word. How about blowing the living hell out of)

Stogie Chomper said...

Adrienne, I have a friend who owns a Thompson as well. He owns it legally, though I am not sure how. He let me hold it once.

Adrienne said...

You can legally own a sub in states that allow them by going to a class 3 dealer and having a background check to obtain a special license to own one, I think it also has to be registered with ATF. Each state that allows them has their own process Thing is, a Thompson costs about 20K and up now.

Ask your friend if you can fire it sometime. I still remember the first time I fired one. Now that's power!

Stogie Chomper said...

Adrienne, he even owns an ammo drum which he says are now illegal now. They hold a lot of rounds and fit on the bottom of the barrel.

Dan_Kurt said...

re: Thompson SMG

1) Have a friend who has a legal one. Circa 15 years ago he took my son, my wife and me to a quarry and we, the host included, shot off no less than a thousand rounds of .45 ACP ball. No malfunctions. The Thompson was really heavy, especially with a full drum mag ( 50 rounds ) but easy to use.

2) Had an acquaintance who is now dead. He was a little fireplug of a man. Always happy and optimistic. He had to retire in his late 50s because of an industrial accident. A jerk was backing up a pickup truck with a long pipe extending well off the end of the bed. The pipe had no RED FLAG at the end. The end of the pipe hit the man in his right eye, lifted him off his feet and flung him a few yards away. His life was saved because he was wearing safety glasses so the pipe didn't enter his cranium although he lost his eye and had a fractured skull. After that when he recovered he got a job as a patrolling watchman at seaport dock yard for at least fifteen years. He told me some stories about his experiences in WWII where he was a paratrooper. Remember the movie The Great Raid about the POW rescue at the Cabanatuan prison camp in Luzon? This guy was in that raid. As I said, he was a short, thick man and was no more the 5' 4" if that but he was given a Tommy Gun as his weapon. He said that because he was so short the sergeant over him said that a Garand would be to big for him to handle--the Garand was about a pound lighter than the Thompson when both were empty.

Dan Kurt

LD Jackson said...

I'm not sure what the answer is. Maybe some form of better control is in order, but I am already having a discussion about that very topic at Political Realities. One of my contributors believes very strongly that we need some form of stricter gun control. His first reaction to the Aurora shooting is to ban the high-capacity magazine uses by James Holmes. He says they have only one use, which is to kill more people, more quickly.

I tried to point out a couple of things. First, there are gun clubs who specialize in shooting the AR-15 style weapon, equipped with a high-capacity magazine. They do have recreational uses, no matter if we believe they should, or not. Second, I tried to explain that banning the magazines would not have stopped the shooting in Aurora. Holmes was determined to carry it out and planned for it extensively. Had the larger magazine not been available, he would have proceeded with whatever he could get his hands on.

I also tried to point out how the left would most certainly use such a ban as a stepping stone to cracking the door open even further. He calls it my slippery slope argument, but I call it reality. He said he doesn't trust the anti-gun lobby any more than he trusts the NRA, but that they would balance each other out, but I can not bring myself to trust the liberals. They have shown their colors far too many times for me to do so.

My point being, we can pass all the gun control laws in the world, yet it will not stop these attacks. Restricting the 2nd Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans isn't the way to go.

Stogie Chomper said...

Larry, I don't trust the liberals either, so that makes the problem that much more difficult. And, if guns and accouterments are made illegal, evil people like Holmes will get them illegally. Mark Steyn has pointed out that European countries with strict gun control laws have not been able to prevent this kind of incident. There is no easy answer. To protect ourselves from maniacs with guns, we need to be carrying ourselves.

Stogie Chomper said...

Dan, that's quite a story!