Friday, December 28, 2012

The assault rifle debate

Normally, I wouldn't broach such a subject, because it has little if anything to do with sports. Yet an OP blogging colleague recently wrote an article which started off about hunting, then opened up into his own opinion on whether such weapons should be banned from citizen ownership -- or not. Given it appears to be "open season" on this issue, no pun intended -- if he can do it, then I might as well get my 2 cents worth in too, before I return to my usual sports nonsense.

Hunting for food, and even sport, has been around in this country since before it even WAS a country. Whether it's necessary or not these days is an entirely different issue, but do we need machine-gun type automatic weapons to riddle Bambi or Bullwinkle with a hundred bullets? Of course not. That's not hunting. That's like fishing in an aquarium. Hardly sportsmanlike.

Semi-automatic weapons (as in each pull of the trigger fires one shot -- and the one used in the latest horrific episode in Connecticut) are quite a different thing. Should law-abiding citizens be allowed to possess them?

In my opinion, yes, at least for now. Hunting for certain game aside, consider self defense. If one is at home with perhaps a spouse and/or children, and armed intruders enter one's residence intending mayhem, or worse, perhaps in the middle of the night, one has every right to defend themselves. That might entail shooting. If there are several of them, and one only has a single shot weapon, then one won't have time to reload if and when gunfire breaks out. You might get one of them, but you and your family will likely die in the next few seconds because you didn't have enough fire power at hand to stand a fighting chance.

Secondly, there's much truth in the bumper stickers you've likely seen which say... "When they take our guns away, only the criminals will have guns". Indeed, why would criminals, by their very definition, care about new gun laws? They will attempt to get them regardless.

Even given such new laws, would anyone seriously dispute that such weapons will continue to be manufactured abroad and our borders also continue to remain porous? Given Mexico, Canada, boats, airplanes, you name it, things many of us might not care for pour into this country every day. From heroin, cocaine, other drugs, pornography, and yes, weapons; if there's a market for it, which the US is, then the sellers will find a way to get it here. Every time the authorities crow about making a huge "bust" involving any of the above, all they really did was the equivalent of putting an ordinary household mosquito zapper in the middle of the Everglades. Who's kidding who?

There's still another point that has been taken for granted on the weapons debate. Most everybody says only the military and police should have them. Yours truly says -- hold on right there. Sure, the military should have them. Wars are all about killing people, and whoever runs out of ammunition or bodies first -- loses.

But the cops are a different story. Why should they be allowed to have such weapons when citizens cannot? They already have armored vehicles, helicopters, robot drones, bullet-proof vests, tasers, mace/pepper spray, tear gas, stun grenades/flash-bangs, attack dogs, night-vision goggles, snipers, and likely other things we don't even know of.

Consider a scenario that happens all too often: Police get a report of a shooter, or potential shooter. They will typically respond with a small army of their own, most of which will be manning assault rifles. That leads to a pertinent question -- assuming the "perpetrator" has to to "neutralized", as cop-speak goes, how many times do they need to shoot him? A few thousand? Wouldn't one think perhaps two or three would suffice?

Even if it was a well-armed group of criminals that out-gunned the cops -- that's what the National Guard exists for.

The point is, while it's seemingly flying under the radar, and taken for granted by those that aren't paying attention, there's a huge distinction to be made between the military and the police, regarding having such weapons. One needs them. The other does not. It's overkill.

Yours truly would get behind denying the citizenry access to semi-automatic weapons given a few conditions.

First, we have to know the criminals no longer possess, or will have future access to them. How that would ever be accomplished -- I have no idea.

Second, the cops, from the feds on down to small local police forces, have to agree to give them up as well. Good luck with that too.

The current politically correct rage amongst many is to deny the citizenry the right to possess such weapons. Sure, the Founding Fathers had no way of knowing how sophisticated and lethal weapons would become, but one might presume their whole intent with the Second Amendment was to ensure the citizens would never be disarmed, and thereby rendered basically defenseless. Like bringing a knife to a gunfight is mostly useless as a defense, so too is trying to ward off evil-doers when they possess far superior firepower. Would Thomas Jefferson and Co. approve of modern day citizens possessing such weapons, given everything else that's going on? We don't know, but I'm thinking that's a definite maybe.

There's another old saying that goes -- "the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun" -- preferably a bigger one.

Everything's ass-backwards. Law-abiding citizens should be the LAST to lay down such weapons -- not the FIRST.

That's not only Orwellian, it defies self-preservation amongst the good people that made and continue to make this country the great nation it is.

And in my opinion, something is horribly wrong with that picture.


  1. John: Here are some facts for you...obtained from the FBI & CATO Institute..I am sure you can Google it and find the same info...

    99.9% of all guns in America are not used in violent crimes

    99.8% of all guns are not used in crime at all

    Guns are used 4 times as often in self defense as in crime and 98% of the time, it is not even fired.

    Only 1% of the time when a gun is being used in defense, does the criminal take the gun from the defender.

    After guns were banned in the UK, the armed robbery rate spiked over 40% and 44% in Australia. Now, In Britain most robberies happen when people are home.

    Only 4% of guns used in crimes were obtained legally.

    Bottom Line...if evil people want to do something, they will find a way. Whether it is bombs made out of household cleaners, guns gotten illegally, or some kind of poison...they will find a way to accomplish their evil. There will always be evil people.