Skip to main content

View Diary: President Obama statement on Connecticut school shooting (395 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  The gun community may use such statements ... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jan4insight, liberaldemdave, eps62

    rhetorically to discredit those gun control advocates who are not up on the latest terminology, but the fact is that in a case like this, it's a distinction without a difference.

    If you look up "Glock" (one of the weapons used today in Newtown), you can see that although you have to press the trigger once per shot, you don't need to do anything between shots to prepare, you can fire at least 8 rounds per ammunition container (which they call a "magazine"), and you can perform all actions (presumably including loading new magazines to replace an empty) single-handedly.   That is part of its design requirement, according to the Wikipedia page.

    In short, you can use one hand to keep firing away, and the other to keep reloading, on a continuous basis, as long as you continue to have ammunition.  So the fact that it's "semi-automatic" rather than "automatic" has no practical effect -- in fact, you probably waste fewer bullets and hence run out later in semi-automatic mode than in automatic mode.

    In short a military weapon.  Not something that should be casually available.  The history of the Glock shows that it was designed for military specifications -- for the Austrian military and police.  

    There's no reason that it should be manufactured in quantity, sold with no controls, and made available to anybody who wants one.

    If the 2nd amendment is going to be interpreted so broadly that it means that anyone who feels like it can declare himself a "well-regulated militia", and obtain any kind of weapon of mass destruction, capable of killing two dozen children in a few seconds, then we need to repeal that amendment.  I don't think it was meant that broadly.  Even if you consider that the amendment means an individual right, not just the right of the people collectively to have an armed militia, it was not talking about an individual right to have weapons of mass destruction, whether called "automatic" or "semi-automatic".  The result is that it lets crazy people get easy access to weapons that can kill lots of people.

    Which is exactly what happened.  

    •  How would you do it? There are 300 million weapon (0+ / 0-)

      in the hands of American Citizens?  How do we ban them and collect them?

      •  That's not entirely accurate (0+ / 0-)

        We're talking in this thread only about semi-automatic handguns (fully automatic handguns and rifles are already banned).  There are only 100 million handguns, not 300 million.  I've been trying to look for statistics of how many of those are semi-automatic, but it has to be less than that, so you are off by at least a factor of 3, probably much more.

        We don't have to collect them all at once; if they're impossible to purchase, and there are penalties for not keeping them under lock and key (you are liable if someone steals your gun and commits a crime with it), that will incentivise more people to get rid of their guns.  Right now, it's extremely unlikely that the original lawful purchaser of a gun used in a crime will be punished.

        •  There are 310 million nonmilitary firearms in (0+ / 0-)

          America today....that we know of.   One half of America households own at least one gun.

          The point I was making, is how would it be done....if they were totally banned.  How would you collect them all?  How could you ban them today and get the guns out of the households?  Would we change the Constitution?

          If not totally banned, then what type of gun control are we talking about and how would it be implemented?

          •  But I was not talking about banning all guns (0+ / 0-)

            The context was mass-destruction handguns, such as semi-automatic pistols like the Glock used in the Newtown school shooting.  

            Banning new sales and incentivising elimination of existing WMDs was written explicitly in what I said above, namely:

            We don't have to collect them all at once; if they're impossible to purchase, and there are penalties for not keeping them under lock and key (you are liable if someone steals your gun and commits a crime with it), that will incentivise more people to get rid of their guns.  Right now, it's extremely unlikely that the original lawful purchaser of a gun used in a crime will be punished.
            I don't think we'd have to change the constitution; WMDs fall outside of "well-regulated", even if you agree with those who would turn the word "militia" into an inkblot.  Only if the USSC says there's an individual right for WMDs would I then have to support an amendment.

            In this case, (based upon the possibly inaccurate fragmentary information that's been reported), apparently the mother (who was killed by her son) allegedly was a collector who bought the handguns used to kill her and the schoolkids.  But if she had lived, it could certainly be the case that a law could be passed making her liable for negligent manslaughter for not locking up her guns and making them accessible to a mentally disturbed young man.  Such a law forcing her to keep them under lock and key would not have infringed even a very broadly interpreted right to keep and bear arms.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site