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View Diary: This is why I carry a gun when I can. (219 comments)

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  •  Semi-automatic carbines (1+ / 0-)
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    are ubiquitous ... and we are not yet restricted in the particular form or purpose in which we own and use them -- as a constitutional matter: as examples, self-defense, target shooting, hunting, collection or any other lawful purpose.  

    Not banning for impermissible reasons in our constitutional society is good -- per se -- and I should not have to argue that particular assertion to anyone who believes in the principle that we are a society governed by the rule of law.

    If regulations are instituted, they must be reasonable to pass at least intermediate constitutional scrutiny (and here I am being generous as to the standard of review).

    A reasonable regulation must bear some appropriate relationship to the identified problem and corrective intent.  If there is no clear or understandable correlation between the purpose and effect, then it should and likely will be found to be unconstitutional.

    With these points in mind when we debate these issues, the efforts to ban "assault weapons" must demonstrate some reasonable correlation to solving an recognized problem.  At the very least, on a statistical level this proposed ban is not reasonably correlated to the various identified problems of firearm violence ... and even more especially relative to the wide range range of constitutionally permissible reasons why such firearms are actually owned and used.

    Now ... if you are not personally concerned about this ban, then we are in agreement.  And I suspect there may be other areas in which might agree that regulatory efforts are reasonable and appropriate -- illegal trafficking but for one example.  See Senator Gillibrand's proposed legislation.

    In any case, thank you for your thoughtful contributions to the debate.

    •  Well I suppose I agree with you there (3+ / 0-)
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      ancblu, coquiero, aseth

      And again, banning any particular weapon, at least federally, is not a concern for me.  I think limiting magazine capacity would do more to mitigate the mass shootings that everyone seems to be worried about than banning types of firearms, but that is not a cure all either.

      But my understanding of where the Supreme Court stands right now means none of the measures being discussed will be struck down in a court challenge.  Which makes them constitutional.  I may be wrong, but I think Heller and Scalia's comments back that up.

      And I stand by the assertion that the cost to society of having assault weapons freely available to whatever crazy asshole wants one does not outweigh whatever benefits they provide.

      But to me focusing on that aspect of the issue is similar to the obsession we have with protecting kids from getting molested by strangers when the vast majority of abuse happens within the family.  It ignores the bigger problem.

      I think states and cities should regulate guns, but the federal government needs to deal with the sale and flow of guns.  So Virginia or whatever can have whatever guns they want, as long as the federal government can make sure they don't end up in my state and city (and yes, some will still get through), I don't care.

      There is truth on all sides. The question is how much.

      by slothlax on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 12:05:09 AM PST

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      •  Based on this thoughtful exchange (1+ / 0-)
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        I think we differ on most points more at the margin of degree and emphasis.

        What should unite the progressive purpose and direct our agenda, IMO, is the underlying causes of our public violence -- and not the fixation on instrumentalities.

        Under-privileged, under-educated, minority, inner-city, younger males are the wholly disproportionate social victims associated with firearm violence.  

        There are policies we could and should address and fight for on this front that would be far more effective than arguing over a pistol grip, bayonette lug, flash suppressor or scary black cosmetics.

        But alas ... the progressive agenda is still in retreat after so many years of incremental and steady assaults.  Talk about missing the forest for the trees.

        •  I think we have to do both (2+ / 0-)
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          ancblu, coquiero

          While we are working to improve education and job opportunities for people in the cities, we can also try to limit the amount of guns on the streets.  I don't think its a "fixation on instrumentalities" when cities want to have stronger restrictions on firearms, the availability of weapons on the streets is a clear and present danger.  And a lot of the arguments the RKBA people use here are the same ones the NRA uses to stop local governments from doing anything about the flow of guns.

          Regulations, restrictions, and bans will never be 100% effective, but I do not think there's a credible argument to be made that nothing can ever possibly do anything about the availability of guns.  So the argument should be on what will be effective.

          But the fixation on cosmetics that you cite is pretty stupid.  It confirms to skeptical gun owners that the gun control types don't actually know what they are talking about.

          There is truth on all sides. The question is how much.

          by slothlax on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 12:56:13 AM PST

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          •  Agreed ... (1+ / 0-)
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            the "nothing can be done" argument is completely wrong.

            But, respectfully, I do not see that argument being advanced by the DK RKBA group (that I support, but have not joined).  I won't call that a strawman with you because it would be inappropriately insulting, but it is a strawman argument for the majority here on DK.

            With respect to reasonable regulation, I have seen many proposals presented by members and supporters of RKBA addressing illegal trafficking, for example.  But these points are more often than not (usually/always?) studiously ignored, including:

            Straw-man purchasers, dealer inventory controls, expansion of NICS, including better incorporation of available state data, etc.  Some in RKBA even support magazine size regulations -- which I do not for the simple reasons that they are more concealable and less prone to failure than HiCap mags that are far more likely to cause jamming irrespective of shooter experience.        

            Look ... we have some 250-300 million firearms in this country and any regulation will provide a grandfather clause out.  But the hardest question for me, truthfully, is what we do with handguns in urban environments -- and at this point I honestly do not have a constitutionally survivable regulatory answer to that question.  And this is why I believe that progressive socio-economic policies offer the clearer and more direct pathways to solving the real problems in all their dimensions.

            •  Those ideas are a start (2+ / 0-)
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              ancblu, aseth

              And by start I mean let's do those things first and see what happens, not let's start with that and add a bunch more shit on.  Once we tighten up the sales market and see what happens, we can add things on if necessary.  There are a small number of legal, licensed gun dealers who supply a disproportionally large amount of the guns on the streets, but our current laws don't let us do anything about it.  A little record keeping and oversight would go a long way to mitigating the problem of the illegal urban gun market, IMHO.

              Cities tired to sue gun manufacturers for having business practices that led to their guns being on our streets illegally.  The NRA got Congress to block that action.  I think the threat of litigation would be an incredibly powerful tool against manufacturers who knowingly make and market products for criminal use.  You may not be on board with that and I don't know all the details, but it makes sense to me.  

              I can't speak definitively on all the RKBA folks, but in the comment threads I've participated in I see a lot of obfuscation and raising of what I consider to be irrelevant issues.  Its an understandable response from a besieged minority.  I think they (you) get defensive about the ignorant gun haters and start attributing that view to anyone who voices any gun control opinion.  Professions of how skilled they are with firearms, getting into the minutia of details that the gun control people may be wrong about but in the end aren't really germane to the argument they were making, anecdotal stories that highlight situations where a gun may come in handy, and never seeming to offer solutions along with all these blocking tactics.  It makes people question motives.

              This is a debate where people are going to have to agree to disagree and work together to find the best common solution.  I think you guys are our best asset in this, I want you to engage constructively.  Next time you shoot down someone's stupid assertion about assault weapons say, "But I do think XYandZ could work much more effectively to reduce gun violence".

              There is truth on all sides. The question is how much.

              by slothlax on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 02:18:32 AM PST

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              •  I agree with much of your first several (1+ / 0-)
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                It is also certainly true that I have lost complete patience with much too frequent mouth breathing idiots and as a result have become firmer in opposition to their unreflective, unworkable, unconstitutional and politically disastrous proposals.

                However, Senator Feinstein's proposed ban (and, you should be aware, universal registration) is based precisely on technical minutiae.  It is therefore a weak and disingenuous position to oppose in-kind arguments in refutation that address technical detail and minutiae.  For example, I am all ears if you can describe to me an honest and principled distinction between a pistol grip of the "assault rifle" and the thumbhole stock or vertical grip/low heel of the Anschutz or Monte Carlo stocks that are commonly used in target and hunting rifles.

                Feel good regulations suck.  I do not like that Americans, when flying, are now required to disrobe and submit to unwarranted invasive imagery because of one or two isolated cases of an idiot with a bomb in his underwear or shoes.  Our 4th Amendment has been eviscerated with the Patriot Act and other such regulatory assaults.  With utmost respect, the Bill of Rights is worth fighting and dying for.  We have suffered too grievously in our nation's history protecting those Rights to belittle the obligation.

                All that said ... your constructive suggestions are very well placed and deserve "my" and "our" consideration.  Teaching, by various methods, is a noble craft, however daunting the task may be on occasion.  I will try to do better.

                •  Yeah, AWB sounds kinda dumb (1+ / 0-)
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                  Its easy to be against "assault weapons".  When I saw how they define "assault weapons" in the legislation I immediately saw the weaknesses you point out.  IIRC, the features listed were cosmetic accessories that don't really make the weapon all that much more effective.  The most deadly aspect of the weapon is OK, as long as you don't have too many cool extras.  It almost seems designed to antagonize law abiding people who want to own that kind of weapon.

                  "So I can own this incredibly dangerous firearm, but a bayonet mount is off limits.  That makes total sense."

                  And yeah, every time I go through airport security or get wanded going into a sporting event (the freaking Carrier Dome is not going to get bombed) I think "The terrorist won."

                  There is truth on all sides. The question is how much.

                  by slothlax on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 03:24:34 AM PST

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