Gun Control Idiocy

To begin; I’m in favor of a few gun-control ideas (check the bottom if that’s what you’re here for :]). However, as usual, the rhetoric on display is astonishing in its stupidity.

To start with; The Five Extra Words That Can Fix The Second Amendment , by the Washington Post. As usual, I cut to maintain clarity and sanity, not to remove meaning, and the above link provides easy proof.

John Paul Stevens served as an associate justice of the Supreme Court from 1975 to 2010. 

OK, I know I’m supposed to respect this guy as a constitutional expert or such. But seriously, when you read what follows, you’ll see that he doesn’t deserve your respect at all.

Each year, more than 30,000 people die in the United States in firearm-related incidents. Many of those deaths involve handguns. The adoption of rules that will lessen the number of those incidents should be a matter of primary concern to both federal and state legislators. It is those legislators, rather than federal judges, who should make the decisions that will determine what kinds of firearms should be available to private citizens, and when and how they may be used. Constitutional provisions that curtail the legislative power to govern in this area unquestionably do more harm than good.

So far as I can understand, the whole point of a constitutional right is to be kept regardless of what legislators think, unless they can get a massive majority together. That’s because these rights; the right to speak, to be private, and to defend yourself, are integral to maintaining a free democracy, and therefore shouldn’t be mortgaged by the whims of a short-sighted public.

the Second Amendment provides that “a well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

For more than 200 years following the adoption of that amendment, federal judges uniformly understood that the right protected by that text applied only to keeping and bearing arms for military purposes, and did not impose any limit whatsoever on the power of states or local governments to regulate the ownership or use of firearms. Thus, in 1939, the court unanimously held that Congress could prohibit the possession of a sawed-off shotgun because that sort of weapon had no reasonable relation to the preservation or efficiency of a “well regulated Militia.”when Warren Burger was chief justice, from 1969 to 1986, no judge or justice expressed any doubt about the limited coverage of the amendment (military use of arms only), and I cannot recall any judge suggesting that the amendment might place any limit on state authority to do anything.

Organizations such as the National Rifle Association disagreed with that position and mounted a vigorous campaign claiming that federal regulation of the use of firearms severely curtailed Americans’ Second Amendment rights. Five years after his retirement, during a 1991 appearance on “The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour,” Burger himself remarked that the Second Amendment “has been the subject of one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word ‘fraud,’ on the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime.”

In recent years, the Supreme Court decided that the Second Amendment protects a civilian’s right to keep a handgun in his home for purposes of self-defense, and the court decided that the due process clause of the 14th Amendment limits the power of the city of Chicago to outlaw the possession of handguns by private citizens. I dissented in both of those cases and remain convinced that both decisions misinterpreted the law and were profoundly unwise.

In my dissent in the McDonald case, I pointed out that “this is a quintessential area in which federalism ought to be allowed to flourish without this Court’s meddling. Across the Nation, States and localities vary significantly in the patterns and problems of gun violence they face, as well as in the traditions and cultures of lawful gun use. . . . The city of Chicago, for example, faces a pressing challenge in combating criminal street gangs. Most rural areas do not.”

Well, that was long. Here comes the good bit.

the Second Amendment, which was adopted to protect the states from federal interference with their power to ensure that their militias were “well regulated,” has given federal judges the ultimate power to determine the validity of state regulations of both civilian and militia-related uses of arms. That anomalous result can be avoided by adding five words to the text of the Second Amendment to make it unambiguously conform to the original intent of its draftsmen. As so amended, it would read:

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the Militia shall not be infringed.”

So, just to clarify, you want the second amendment to say: “Active Soldiers in the Army are Allowed to Have Guns”.

What government in the history of the world has ever purposely deprived its soldiers of its most effective weapons? At most, there have been cost issues, but this amendment doesn’t require the government to buy any kind of weapon, so that’s not a solution. It’s laughable to suggest that the government would try to do this; doubly so that the Founding Fathers would be so frightened of this unlikely eventuality that they devoted one of their ten amendments to preventing it.

Looking at the court cases mentioned, the main one was against a sawed-off shotgun. Which, I mean, is that really a weapon for self-defense? It seems like that fits the definition of ‘assault weapon’ to a tee, and is therefore something that I would be fine on clamping down on in any case. In short, I am not convinced that anyone believes that this is a fair interpretation of the amendment; rather, I think they want to limit guns and are willing to say whatever they can to do so. Well, argue honestly or not at all.

Other stupidities:

Slate top comment: “Does anyone believe that if we sold 100 million hand grenades to civilians that hand grenade homicides wouldn’t dramtically increase?”

Imagine the following scenario. I am a godlike figure who can read minds. Whenever someone plots a murder, I swoop down and hand them a couple of frag grenades. Would this increase grenade murder rates? Sure. Would it increase total murder rates? Well…let’s get into that.

Providing more effective weaoonry arguably increases chance of succeeding, and may empower more people to make attempts. But this is something that would show up in higher total murder rates, so the argument still holds-show me an increase in total murders.

I see this non-understanding all the time; in fact, one Vox article I recently read noted that suicides and gun suicides both increased, but suspiciously failed to mention in the same article total homicides when talking about gun homicides. Anyways, be on the lookout for this deceitful dodge.

Finally, Hillary belly (flip)flops with both feet in her mouth;“Allow victims to sue gun manufacturers”

I mean, the second that car manufacturers realize that this law creates a precedent that could be used to hit them with a few million lawsuits, they will leave the country en masse. But hey, maybe if their unions had donated more to Hillary, they would have been spared…too bad, auto workers.

Even if you argue that car accidents shouldn’t be actionable, what about drunk drivers? What about people whose preferred method of suicide is piping in the car’s exhaust? What about the few people who actually do use a car as a murder weapon?

Now : solutions.

Gun-show loophole is just private individuals selling each other their private property; the ATF automatically classifies someone who sells a significant amount as a gun dealer already. The solution? Get together a kickass team to develop an amazing app which allows people within states (or even between them, although I know this can get sticky), to sell each other weapons. Delete any information generated after the sale is made, like Snapchat. Meanwhile, collate all the various data that could relate to a background check in an easy-to-use government database; essentially pull it all together and automatically mark people as a yes or no (maybe have an option that says ‘heavy psych eval’ as a midground?). Then, after about a year, ban selling guns outside of the government app, which hopefully everyone is pretty hooked on regardless. Then, have the app run on the background check system as well. This also functions as an easy way to get every state running background checks.

Frankly, another important thing is to teach parents how to deal with mental un-health. As much as I enjoy occasionally browsing 4chan, any regular poster under the age of 21 probably could do with a bit more of a, how you say, life. Not saying 4chan drove Mercer to it or anything, just saying his activity was proof that he might have needed some kind of help.

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Gun Control Idiocy

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