fee-lings…nothing more than fee-hee-lings…

Every once in a while, I feel the need to reply to a comment with a separate post, to give the issue maximum exposure.  This is one of those occasions: reader “Matt” has taken me to task about my position on gun control.

Gun control does not control the wrong sort of people. Currently the availablitly of guns if anything serves to contribute to crime. The fact that guns are available in our society leads to gun deaths.

The availability of personally owned vehicles leads to car deaths–30,000 traffic fatalities per year, on average.  Of the few thousand gun deaths every year, half are suicides, most of the other half are intentional homicides, and only very few are outright accidents, whereas the vast majority of traffic fatalities are.  How come you’re not asking for a ban on vehicles?  People can take public transportation, and it would save tens of thousands of lives per year.

Semi-automatic and automatic weapons serve no purpose in our current society, Constitution or not. So at least these should be banned.

You can pray that little mantra all you want, but those weapons do serve legitimate purposes all over the country every day: defense of self and home, target shooting, plinking, hunting, or just being looked at in the safe.  Between the people on my blogroll alone, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of legally owned weapons serving a purpose to their owners every day without any crime involved, so your statement is flat out wrong.  What you mean to say is that you don’t agree with the purpose, which is a different statement altogether, and a totally subjective one at that.  Who the hell are you to claim the right to determine what’s a “legitimate” use, and what isn’t?  Unless I use them to infringe on your rights, what I do with my weapons is none of your business, and I’ll be the one determning legitimacy.

 Maybe have a military buy-back system. These guns could also be placed locally in secure buildings where they would be available in the event that our country was invaded or our government strong-armed by people with whom the vast majority disagree with and used to overthrow them.

First of all, you can’t “buy back” what you’ve never owned to begin with.  The government cannot buy back guns, because it never owned them., and the term itself implies that the government is the “rightful” owner of all arms.  Then there’s the breathtaking logic splice in your argument: we should keep the weapons in (presumably) public (i.e. government-regulated) buildings, so we can check them out if we need them to defend from government tyranny?

Irregardless of what is done with them, there should be a ban on these weapons. As to non-automatic handguns, my feeling is that they also should be banned, or put in public armories for use in a situation where militias are needed.

“Irregardless” is not a word.  Also, your “feeling” is not only irrelevant here, it’s also a bad basis for a law.  Emotions are not good foundations for public policy.  My feeling is that you’re alarmingly naive, and that you shouldn’t get a vote at all when it comes to gun control, but you’d never find me campaigning for a law to make it so.  You, on the other hand, support taking my gun away from me on the basis of your feelings, which is pretty damn discourteous, seeing how you know nothing of me and my situation.

You pointed out a good argument in that many criminals don’t need guns to commit crimes, but guns do make it much easier to commit a crime, and also to commit larger scale crimes.

They also make it easier for people to defend themselves.  Hell, they’re the only thing that makes it possible for some people to defend themselves.  How’s someone with a prosthetic leg or someone in a wheelchair supposed to run or fight back against even an unarmed attacker?  Banning guns makes it a little harder for criminals to do their job (but just a little, because anyone who wants a gun will get one illegally), but it also makes it a lot harder–or downright impossible–for many non-criminals to defend themselves.

You could say criminals could use knives, but ask most people, and I am pretty sure they will say it would be much easier from a mental standpoint to shoot someone than stab someone, I think it’s a matter of stabbing being a liitle too violently intimate for most people.

You may want to check the links to the news articles from gun-free Japan I linked earlier, and then get back to me about stabbing being “too violently intimate” for most people.  Are you honestly telling me that anyone who would shoot a person will just abstain from killing if they only have access to a knife instead?  What kind of fantasy world do you inhabit?

You point to violent criminals body-building and being able to commit further violent crimes without the need of a gun. The answer to this is stiffer jail sentences and better rehabilitaion services.

Ah, yes, that’s always the touchy-feely magic answer for violent crime reduction: rehabilitation.  How the hell do you “rehabilitate” someone who rapes and tortures someone just for the hell of it for 20+ hours, to the point where his victim begs him to kill her?  How do you rehabilitate someone who, upon learning of his guilty verdict, turns around and goes back to sleep in his cell?

OK, rehabilitation services will not rehabilitate all offenders, but stiffer sentences would serve to deter crime, or at least to keep criminals off the street for longer periods of time. I know, guns don’t kill people, people kill people; but guns make it a hell of a lot easier.

The point is that guns also make it one hell of a lot easier for the good people to protect themselves against the bad ones, and that the presence of guns in the hands of the good people is a much better deterrent to offenders than any amount of harebrained scheme you can think up.

Our Constitution has been amended over time to fix those issues which served to hold our socity back, and in my opinion this is another one of those issues.

Well, you propose disarming me and all my friends and family, and leaving us helpless against the poor little misunderstood criminals who just aren’t afforded enough quality rehabiliation services.  I’ll give your opinion the consideration it deserves.

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25 thoughts on “fee-lings…nothing more than fee-hee-lings…

  1. Rusty P. Bucket says:

    Sounds like you are arguing with an idiot – and its not me this time, Ha ha!

    This is probably a problem of perspective, I see it all the time. Well off urban people that live in higher end neighbourhoods are sheltered and will never have any use for a gun themselves. Being raised that way, they can’t imagine the situation being any other way. Life is peaceful and regulated, there is always someone around to defend them, and anyone that wants a gun is to be feared. My experience is that logic like yours doesn’t sit well with them. It will be interesting to see if your debate goes into round two. These people are usually well spoken, intelligent…but as you say, naive.

    Far as I am concerned, IF the constitution is irrelevant…then so is the supreme court and they can go suck a fart if they think I will hand in my guns because they say so.

  2. LabRat says:

    That oughta leave a mark.

    For once I agree with Rusty… I’ve met these people, and they just don’t seem to have room in their heads for truly violent, predatory individuals, right up until they find out what it’s like to be prey personally.

  3. MarkHB says:

    I live in a gun-banned country, the UK. I noticed an article in the news about a young girl who’d been kicked to death by a bunch of youths for being a goth. Her boyfriend was also severely beaten. Occasionally, a week goes past without a stabbing making the news – but there are so many, not all stabbings make the news.

    Roll that one ’round your cranial vault a few times – there are so many stabbings in the UK, that they aren’t considered newsworthy enough, unless it’s a celebrity – some actor in the Harry Potter movies was stabbed to death at a nightclub, and that made the news. A couple of weeks prior, a guy was stabbed to death at a club about seven minutes walk from my front door, and that barely made the local papers.

    This is gun control.

    There are usually two shootings a month here. Of course, if ever anyone does defend themselves, they’re sent down for it – one ex-serviceman who made “a citizen’s arrest” of a youth who’d been throwing bricks at his house got to spend three months defending himsef against charges of kidnapping while the vandal got off scott-free.

    This is gun control.

    There’s talk of installing “knife arches” (that’s “metal detectors” to the corticate) in all schools and indeed pubs to prevent people from carrying knives. It’s illegal to carry a knife in public without “a good reason” as far as the arresting officer’s concerned. Parents are buying armoured blazers (school jackets) for their young.

    This is gun control.

    It’s even illegal to wear the traditional flat-cap into the pub in Yorkshire, because they interfere with the closed-circuit television cameras’ ability to see your face. The home secretary advises not going out after midnight. People are not safe in their towns, their homes or their person – and are bereft of any legal way to defend themselves.

    This is gun control.

    Gun control leads to the dominance of the brutish, the lawless, and the vicious many. Gun control leads to totalitarian laws restricting and confining law-abiding citizens in an ineffectual and ham-fisted attempt to “make us all safe”. Gun control leads to the delusion that things can be made safe by tougher legal penalties, and by banning items rather than punishing actions.

    This is gun control. I’m living it’s reality. I wouldn’t wish it on an enemy.

  4. divemedic says:

    He proposes that the government safeguard the weapons? Trivia question: which body killed more humans in the 20th century, civilians, or their governments?

    More lives would be saved if Governments were disarmed, and the people were not.

  5. Thibodeaux says:

    A modest proposal: if your argument for government regulation of individual choices and property includes the word “society,” then YOU LOSE.

  6. Nomen Nescio says:

    his entire argument hinges on the unspoken assumption that you just can’t trust anybody that isn’t him. give somebody, anybody, a sharpened stick, you can’t turn your back on the bugger — they’ll stab you in same back, because they can’t be trusted. no matter who they are.

    seriously, if people are all that dangerously untrustworthy, how is it we have managed to build even this crude of a “civil” society? yet if you don’t make that assumption of general untrustworthiness, why should we need fear our neighbors’ guns?

    it’s a scary-making worldview, to fear all your fellow citizens to that extent. it’s also profoundly anti-egalitarian. if nobody can be trusted, then everybody must be controlled by force — yet who shall control the force? there’s certainly no way for the majority of society to live as social equals in an even mostly classless society, unless you can trust the vast majority of your fellow citizens.

    luckily, in my experience, you can. if my experience were different, i doubt i could be as far out on the political left as i am. most of my neighbors can be trusted with matches, knives, glass bottles, pointy sticks, and firearms, and i’m glad for it, because that means i can safely live amongst them without having to turn my house (or all of theirs) into a prison. i can live as their equal, and let them be my equals, because the vast majority of them will neither stab nor shoot nor rob me — they’re trustworthy. but is your reader “Matt”?

  7. John Hardin says:

    MarkHB: Bravo! {applause} Unfortunately that’s a little long for a Quote of the Day… You should post it somewhere as a standalone essay.

  8. BlueNight says:

    His argument rests on one axiom: Guns Are Scary. This is an Identity Emotion, not a Descriptive Logical Statement, and as such, is personal and subjective, not impersonal and objective. It comes from whatever experience he had with a gun, or perhaps only experiencing gun violence (or threats thereof) vicariously through TV, movies, or other fiction.

    We can trace almost all liberal policies to Emotions used as axioms in place of Logical Statements.

  9. C. says:

    Penalties for violent crimes have never been a deterent. Your “friend” can find many studies that show the death penalty does not deter murder, etc. And with already overcrowded prisions, there is no hope. The guns are not the issue, the behavior is the the issue, “friend” may want to spend sometime finding a solution to bad behavior.

  10. wrm says:

    MarkHB : stolen for my website. I’m hoping you don’t mind, if you do, just say the word.

    http://www.gunownerssa.org

    Meanwhile, in our part of the world, the only people who can be trusted with guns are shooting at one another. http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=13&art_id=vn20080626055452390C806643

  11. MarkHB says:

    Gosh. Thanks, wrm. There’s a far better essay along the same lines right here, by our very own host titled “Why the Gun is Civilisation” – far better reading than my little scribble. But you’re welcome to use mine if you like.

    It just really breaks my heart. The social experiment of demonising the thing rather than the deed has been tried, and has failed. It simply leads to out-of-control societal violence. It’s already done so much damage that it’s time and past time to stop the insanity of blaming things rather than people and get the UK back on track – and to stop the US staggering down the same crazy route.

  12. BRAVO!!!! Thank you Marko! Irregardless is NOT a word! Using it makes the speaker look like a dolt and it completely undermines what ever point they are trying to make. That drives me apeshit!

    Now, about the actual post…

    BlueNight really hit the nail on the head, as far as I’m concerned. The largest impediment that gun owners will face in getting firearms restrictions eased or lifted is the publics perception that “guns are bad REGARDLESS of who owns them.”

    When I was a boy (not so long ago) growing up in New Hampshire, there was nothing odd about seeing an individual with a gun walking down the street. He was obviously going hunting or target shooting. No problem.

    With the MASSIVE quantity of gun violence on the TV, in movies, video games, etc, and the loss of hunting and shooting as a sport, people’s perception of what a gun is for has changed.

    In my opinion, the solution is simple. Take friends who know little to nothing about fire arms out shooting. It’s fun. We know that. Now it’s time to show the folks who are spooked by guns. If we can get them to join us in the fun, they will be both better informed and have a new hobby to protect.

    So, all you guys and gals; get out there and go shooting and don’t forget you buddy who’s a little scared, but also a little curious.

    Turkish Prawn

  13. Mark Alger says:

    Aside from Joe Huffman’s “Just One Question,” I think the dispositive response to such witlessness is:

    How is it moral for the state to render the innocent citizen defenseless in the face of violent predators?

    If some GFW could answer that, I might listen to other arguments. But they can’t, so I won’t.

    M

  14. wrm says:

    MarkHB : Thanks! And I stole Marko’s “Why the gun is civilization” looong ago 🙂

  15. Daniel says:

    I must have missed the part about CRIMINAL CONTROL. Haven’t heard any genius politician or other pundit talking about EFFECTIVE methods to protect DECENT citizens. And so, I’m left with only one conclusion: the people who worry so much about gun control have no interest whatsoever in good people. Good people are fodder to be fed to savages. They should not resist. They should go blindly to the knackers. This is nothing but a form taxation, a give-me to the criminal element by the political class. Sadly, too many people allow themselves to be led. I am reminded of the last line of a famous book, “Winston loved Big Brother.”

  16. John Hardin says:

    MarkHB: Marko’s “Civilization” essay is indeed important, but so is yours. Yours is about “what you propose is in place, and here are the observed results”. They complement each other.

    I’m going to suggest it again: post it standalone, and expand on it. The format is great. More instances, with links and references, would only make it richer.

  17. draabe says:

    Interesting post – I laud you for recognizing the difference between being pro-gun and being pro-gun control. They are two different things.

  18. rantingraj says:

    even a not working clock shows the right time 2times a day, ‘matt’ said some things I agree with, (though I not am an American and it really shouldn’t matter to me :))

  19. Tim Weaver says:

    I’m all for private ownership of guns but you can’t tell me that you need an Uzi for self defense.

  20. karrde says:

    Mark,

    I’m pretty sure I agree with the general thrust of your piece.

    My numbers-geek mind wouldn’t let this one past, though.

    …30,000 traffic fatalities per year, on average. Of the few thousand gun deaths every year, half are suicides, most of the other half are intentional homicides, and only very few are outright accidents…

    You’re right about everything, except the 30,000.

    Last time I looked at the WISQARS database (found somewhere on http://cdc.gov), the total number of fatalities occuring in motor vehicles were 42,000 (give or take a few hundred).

    The total number of fatalities involving firearms was in the vicinity of 28,000, of which 15,000 were suicide, 12,000 were homicide “or police intervention”, and the remainder were accidental. (Total number of suicides for that year were 30,000.)

    I seem to remember scanning back among the available years, and finding that these numbers were pretty good representatives of the “average year”.

    I always compare this to the number of guns in private hands in the United States. Approximately 270,000,000 guns….approximately 28,000 deaths…obviously, the death rate per firearm is very low.

    What’s that about “guns causing death” again?

  21. MarkHB says:

    Karrde:

    Easy. Ban bathrooms. 😉

    John Hardin:

    Thanks for your words of encouragement. I’ll see if I can find time to sit down and cite sources, put it all together into a cogent document. Though I’m quite busy: The main reason I’m still here is because I’m making a comfortable living, which I couldn’t guarantee in the US…

  22. DaveP. says:

    Tim: I’m all for the Fredom of Speech, but you can’t tell me you need a computer (or even a typewriter, for that matter) to present a political opinion.

  23. Ducker says:

    guns rule….guns are tools just like a screwdriver and or a hammer, they serve a purpose in life.

    some people like em, some dont, some people are gay others are straight,,,,diversity is the clue here and tolerance.

  24. Bunnyman says:

    Ah, that “legitimate purpose” malarkey again. If we were to consistently apply such logic, it might then be noted that vehicles with a power-to-weight ratio significantly higher than average (hereinafter referred to as “sports cars”) serve no legitimate commuting purpose, and therefore should be restricted. After all, 42,000 people die every year in this country from automobile accidents, and something must be done! No one needs that much power, except to speed, perhaps escape the cops.

    Of course, an estimated half of all accidents are alcohol-related, but let’s not let that cloud our judgment…

  25. SOG knives says:

    SOG knives…

    Interesting ideas… I wonder how the Hollywood media would portray this?…

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