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First off, I don't really tote my gun much. And I do have more than one. In fact I have three: two rifles and a pistol. They rest quietly in the closet, disassembled, no good to anyone but me. I don't fear for my life and have no plans to keep a firearm beside my bed, ready to shoot intruders. I detest the National Rifle Association. They are everything the media says about them and worse. They are a shill for the gun and ammo manufacturers and appear to have no real regard for citizens. But none of that is why I am writing this post. I am writing this for liberals and progressives and moderates and conservatives who don't own guns or have never been around guns much and don't understand them, and certainly don't understand the broad range of reasons for gun ownership. I am writing this as a liberal gun toter who hopes to help his "side" make better arguments for restricting gun ownership.  Even more to the point, I want to get my liberal friends to stop making arguments that are so incorrect that the NRA loves you to say them.

Those of us who argue for greater restrictions on guns are on the right side of common sense, history, practical application of reason, and civilized society. We have the better case and the better argument. Yet we are losing, still. And not just because the NRA pumps millions and millions of dollars into the reelection campaigns of gutless and greedy politicians. The real reason why the reasonable opposition to unrestricted gun ownership is losing the war is because so many people who want to restrict gun ownership simply don't know what they are talking about. And why should they? By definition they don't own guns. Never have and never will. So they continue to build arguments that, in the eyes of the gun owners, makes the good, intelligent, enlightened side look like it has no clue. Now, if that offends you, I apologize. But it is true. And it's time we started making better arguments and got rid of the really uninformed statements we have been bandying about. So let's look at some arguments that are simply and factually incorrect.

"Guns only have one purpose--to kill." Do you think Wayne LaPierre hears that charge and trembles at the mighty weight of its accusation? Hardly. He laughs because that statement plays right into his hands. That kind of statement benefits the NRA because the NRA knows what most gun owners know, and most non-gun owners don't seem to know, and that is this--guns are most often used for target shooting. The kind of target shooting that gets a family out of the house together and up into the forests and hills. The kind of outing that gets the kids off the video games and away from the TV and off the phone and off the couch. I know because I went shooting with my son yesterday. This may not be your cup of tea but it is the cup of tea for a lot of Americans. Good, honest, educated, informed Americans. Americans who have a long tradition of responsible gun ownership and gun related recreation that harms nobody and no thing.  The point is that gun owners have many, many reasons for owning guns. When anti-gun fanatics--yes there are fanatics on both sides--righteously and passionately claim that "guns only have one reason...to kill"--we demonstrate a serious ignorance of the many other reasons to own them. At the same time we insult every law abiding gun owner. Whenever that claim is made the NRA aims their marketing railroad directly at the moderate gun owner who thinks background checks just might be a good idea and they repeat the question for you: "Is that what your gun is for? To kill? People?" And since the answer is a resounding "No" they then take the opportunity to remind that moderate gun owner that the real fanatics and the real extremists and the real ignorance is coming from the anti-gun folks. So quit using this argument. It makes you look like you've never owned a gun before, because you haven't, but you don't have to be ignorant. Ignorance insults the very gun owners we need on our side to shut the NRA up.

"We have to get rid of automatic weapons!" If you have said this or accepted someone else saying this because you don't know the difference between an automatic weapon and a semi-automatic weapon, do some reading. (This diary is a good start.) Automatic weapons are weapons that fire continuously when the trigger is held down one time. When you let off the trigger the shooting stops. Semi-automatic weapons fire once every time the trigger is pulled. To fire more than one bullet, one must release the trigger and pull it again. This can make for rapid shooting but not nearly as rapid as an automatic weapon. In general, and in most locales, automatic weapons are highly restricted, even illegal. Every time the uninitiated refers to a semi-auto weapon as an automatic weapon, the very gun owners we need on our side, those very gun owners who really don't care much for the NRA, simply stop listening to us and turn their collective attention back to...the NRA. To them it is more proof that the "anti-gun nuts" have no idea what they are talking about. Gun fanatics and extremists use this anti-gun ignorance as proof (and yes it is proof) that we don't know what we are talking about. We may be entirely right in our moral points. We may be entirely right in our desire to restrict gun ownership to responsible persons. We may be entirely right about everything else we say. But when we mis-identify auto- and semi-automatic weapons, we lose the argument in the eyes of every gun owner we might have swung over to our side. Get it right.

Stop arguing with gun owners who say, "Guns don't kill people. People kill people," because it is true. Partly. Guns and bullets and the people who use them kill people. And since people are in the equation, as admitted by the gun folks, let's start using their own argument that in nearly every case (yes, there are rare cases of freak accidents) a person was irresponsible, or stupid, or mentally ill, or angry, or drunk, or committing a crime, or whatever...but a person had a finger on the trigger. That is the very reason for restricting gun ownership. Yes, gun fanatics, you got this one right. And incredibly wrong at the same time.

Anyway, I got to thinking about this because yesterday I shot up a couple of boxes of .17's, and .22's with my son. We set up some empty water bottles in the snow at the end of a mountain road with a good hill as a backdrop for safety. We made sure nobody was anywhere around us. We had a great time. I got to hang out with my son and we talked about his job and mine. We solved half of the world's problems and left the other half for later. When we finished, we picked up the bottles and our brass and headed home.

Next up, assault weapons and extended clips...

http://talktothemike.com/

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Comment Preferences

  •  Sorry , (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AdamR510, exterris, S F Hippie
    Automatic weapons are weapons that fire continuously when the trigger is held down one time. When you let off the trigger the shooting stops.
    An auto that fires off 2 rounds and stops by itself is "auto" . If you are going to explain , get the facts right , if you don't you give wayne a ...
    yesterday I shot up a couple of boxes of .17's, and .22's with my son
    I hope they were lead free .

    Drop the name-calling MB 2/4/11 + Please try to use ratings properly! Kos 9/9/11 + Trusted Users have a responsibility to police the general tenor... Hunter 5/26/06

    by indycam on Mon May 06, 2013 at 09:28:17 PM PDT

    •  You are correct. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Little, ZedMont, Robobagpiper, sturunner

      Burst fire weapons, as you refer to, are variations of fully automatic weapons to allow for 2-3 round bursts giving the shooter a bit more control. These still fall into the automatic category and my understanding is that they have been generally illegal for manufacture in the US since the 1980's.

      A true gun person such as yourself would know of this distinction, though for my purposes in this diary I didn't get into those finer details. My intended audience was the non-gun person and as such I was generalizing--perhaps to broadly for you. My point was in saying that there are weapons that are already illegal and those that are not.

      •  He knows that, he was just being a dick. nt (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Robobagpiper
        •  A dick you say ? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          S F Hippie

          In a diary that talks down to people , tells them to get the facts right , he fails to get the facts right .
          Sorry , if facts matter as this diary tries to say , then facts matter .

          Drop the name-calling MB 2/4/11 + Please try to use ratings properly! Kos 9/9/11 + Trusted Users have a responsibility to police the general tenor... Hunter 5/26/06

          by indycam on Tue May 07, 2013 at 06:57:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You read with a (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sturunner

            Chip on your shoulder. I wasn't talking down to anyone. And I didn't get the facts wrong. You, an apparently serious gun expert, were not my intended audience--as I stated in the diary. When you wanted to be more specific than I intended my post to be, I completely agreed with you. Would you have liked me to be even more of a kissass or something?

            •  You thanked someone for calling me a dick ? (0+ / 0-)
              He knows that, he was just being a dick.

                   Gracias.

                  by talktothemike on Mon May 06, 2013 at 10:17:59 PM PDT

              I wasn't talking down to anyone.
              Sure Sure .
              You are just doing a public service pointing out how people who don't get their terms correct are ruining things .
              Well you fail to get your terms correct , you misinform people so that when they repeat what you have told them to be the truth , they will be seen as someone who doesn't know or say the truth .
              When someone tells me that full auto is illegal , I know that they don't know the subject .
              When someone tells me what full auto is and fails to tell me what full auto really is , I know they don't know the subject .

              Drop the name-calling MB 2/4/11 + Please try to use ratings properly! Kos 9/9/11 + Trusted Users have a responsibility to police the general tenor... Hunter 5/26/06

              by indycam on Tue May 07, 2013 at 08:39:52 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I tire of being polite to you. (0+ / 0-)

                You have twisted my statements and  misrepresented me too many times in this post. You miss the entire point of my diary.

                Why do you feel the strong need to "strain a gnat and swallow a camel" with your pickiness of the minutia? You gain nothing and lose any support you may have had.

                I guess I am tired of your claiming to be some expert--which you might be--but you are no critical reader and make poor judgments about the point of this diary. You forced this line of comments into the gutter when you could have helped elevate the discussion about gun regulations. In fact, it is exactly people like you who are keeping us from ever gaining in the political sphere. You go on the attack over a definition that is arguable on both sides--and I told you that when you first commented. But my concession to you wasn't enough so you went looking for more minutia to start a new argument about. You are the problem. Do you understand? You are the problem.

                He called you a "dick" because you were acting like one. I thanked him for supporting me. I also criticized him for his name calling and antagonistic approach. Or did you miss that part?

      •  Eh ? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        S F Hippie
        My point was in saying that there are weapons that are already illegal and those that are not.
        Full auto guns are not "illegal".
        You are saying things that are not true in a diary that is to inform people of the truth .

        Full auto can be bought sold traded in the USA today .

        Drop the name-calling MB 2/4/11 + Please try to use ratings properly! Kos 9/9/11 + Trusted Users have a responsibility to police the general tenor... Hunter 5/26/06

        by indycam on Tue May 07, 2013 at 07:10:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes. How? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sturunner

          How restricted are they? Are they available everywhere? They are illegal in general but like eveything else, including things from speeding to manslaughter, there are exceptions. When you answer these questions you realize that my post was accurate.

          •  Full auto is not illegal . (0+ / 0-)

            That's just a basic truth that is not even questionable .
            When you claim "illegal" you make wayne happy ...
            Don't try and ask clever question to try and prove that they are illegal , it will not work and it will just show that you are not someone who should be teaching anyone about guns .

            http://www.dailykos.com/...

            Drop the name-calling MB 2/4/11 + Please try to use ratings properly! Kos 9/9/11 + Trusted Users have a responsibility to police the general tenor... Hunter 5/26/06

            by indycam on Tue May 07, 2013 at 08:28:01 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Please read (0+ / 0-)

              What I actually wrote:

              "In general, and in most locales, automatic weapons are highly restricted, even illegal." Do you disagree with that?

              I have re-researched the question and feel very confident that the statement I actually wrote--not what you or someone else may think I wrote--is correct.

              Fully automatic weapons require an extensive background check, a special permit, and without those two items they are illegal to own.

  •  I have found some folks are impatient with me (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    talktothemike, ZedMont, sturunner, salmo

    as it seems I obsess over nomenclature but when a Kossack calls for all magazine type guns to be banned, I have to ask the question if he means all magazines or only those with detachable external clips?  It makes a large difference in the discussion because there is a spectrum of opinion here which includes some who would immediately ban all guns of all description, even my Damascus twist wallhanger and some who advocate that the gun owner should be prosecuted for a felony should his gun be stolen or else prosecuted for the crime which his stolen weapon is used to commit.

    Quite a spectrum of opinion.  I probably don't change many mines here but I do encourage people on all sides of the debate to familiarize themselves with the terms and nomenclature associated with guns and also to be conversant with gun laws and penalties.  For example, i have argued with a person who was convinced dealers routinely give their FFL information to friends who are not eligible to own guns so their friends can illegally purchase guns.  I know of no FFL dealer willing to be so foolish as the ATF takes a  very dim view of violations of regulations.

    Thanks for this diary.  Maybe if we continue a dialogue, we can achieve a synthesis we can all live with
    (Disclaimer:  I own several various guns though I no longer hunt and have only fired one pistol five times in the past year)    

  •  Great job (5+ / 0-)

    I really appreciate the thoughtfulness that went into doing this. I am totally gun-phobic, but I like your approach. Language is important. Making someone inclined to disagree with you roll their eyes is not a way to convince them.

  •  I own a semi-automatic shotgun and I love it. (5+ / 0-)

    When I hunt waterfowl, I am legally required to make sure the gun is not capable of firing three shots without reloading.  I do not think this infringes on my constitutional rights in the least.  The gun can hold five shells, if I fire five shots at game, the last two or three are usually fired in frustration and are rarely effective.  I have no reason or desire to expand the capabilities of this gun.  

    The sun's not yellow, it's chicken. B. Dylan

    by bgblcklab1 on Mon May 06, 2013 at 10:02:24 PM PDT

  •  If someone said, "This lathe can turn a block (6+ / 0-)

    of steel into a smooth clyindrical dowel" - nobody on earth would say, "No it can't - people can!"

    If someone said, "This car can do 140 mph - nobody on earth would say, "No it can't - people can!"

    "Guns don't kill people - people do" is not any form of "true," in regards to the discussion of guns in our society. It's an argument not meant to support a view - it's one meant only to obscure and muddle. It's the argument of either willfull liars or idiots with the IQs of doorknobs.

    •  " It's the argument of either willfull liars... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      exterris, Shamash, sturunner

      or idiots with the IQs of doorknobs."

      So are you winning many converts to your argument with that approach?

      If you read my diary you would see that I both agree with you and disagree. In parallel argument to my point I would say it is valid to argue that a lathe and a car only do what you ask when a person is driving them. So why waste time calling those who make this argument liars and idiots. Accept that their argument has some merit and go with it because it is easily turned back on them.

      Guns don't kill people by themselves. Cars don't go 140 mph by themselves and lathes don't turn metal by themselves. I can live with each of those statements. If you can't then you are too closed-minded to be of any help in the debate. However, if your goal is to prove that you can make people angry by insulting them, you are probably very successful.

      •  asdf (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Eric K, tgrshark13

        "In parallel argument to my point I would say it is valid to argue that a lathe and a car only do what you ask when a person is driving them."

        And NOBODY ever fucking says "lathes don't do that - people do!" That's the fucking point. Same with cars. It is not against sense in any way, shape, or form to say a machine has capability - by itself. It is the most simple and understood use of language imagineable.

        "This plane is capable of supersonic speeds."

        "No it isn't - people are!"

        Willfull liars or motherfucking idiot fucks. It's okay to call them that.

        However, if your goal is to prove that you can make people angry by insulting them, you are probably very successful.
        You underestimate the power of insult. And overestimate the honesty or inteligence of people who say "Guns don't kill people - people do!"
        •  I suppose... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sturunner, erush1345

          that if people were trying to outlaw lathes and cars people would be saying exactly that.

          I neither underestimate nor overestimate as you claim. My point is that your approach has us right where we've always been--losing this argument on gun control. This debate will be won on the backs of gun owners who do not agree with the NRA. Stop alienating them/us because they aren't the enemy.

          Let me just remind you of what I actually wrote. "Guns and bullets and the people who use them kill people." I am sorry if you can't live with that statement.

          •  You're being a nice guy, and I appreciate it. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AdamR510

            But I just think you're wrong about the warm and fuzzy on this.

            And we're here on DKos. When I argue with my gun-fetishist freinds abotu things like this and they bring hsit like this out - I call them on their shit and I tell them it's shit. They're my friends. I can do that. And I've probably done more with straight talk than any warm and fuzzy could ever do. Remember the bottom line on this is not warm and fuzzy at all. It's grotesque and bloody and way too often infant-shaped. People need reminding on that.

            •  Again, my point... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              AdamR510, sturunner

              was never to win over the Wayne LaPierre's of the world. Consider how close we are in America to bringing at least a bit of sanity to gun ownership. That will only be done by creating a coalition of gun lovers and gun haters who both recognize that the NRA is truly the enemy for bringing about reasonable gun laws. Those gun lovers who can help bring sanity won't join the fight if we continue to act like asses toward them. That is my appeal to you. When being an ass is demanded, be one. But there are times when an insult is counterproductive.

  •  Okay, educate me about this: (0+ / 0-)
    This can make for rapid shooting but not nearly as rapid as an automatic weapon.
    What is the difference in "rapid"ness between an automatic weapon and an AR with a bump fire stock?

    Note: I may have got some technical jargon wrong. Please use your imagination to help me out with my question. How much more rapid is the automatic weapon?

    Bump fire stock youtube video.

    •  I am no expert on bump fire. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AdamR510, ZedMont, sturunner

      I do know that the literature on them claims that "a separate decision must be made to fire each round" whatever that means.  My understanding, and I could be off on this, is that there is pressure that must be applied on the stock to keep the weapon firing. So it isn't necessarily a new trigger pull but a new shoulder squeeze.

      Perhaps with practice a person could fire a bump fired weapon as rapidly as a fully auto one. The real question though is why, other than to make a lot of noise? Did you notice in the video you linked to that in the bump fire mode they did not show the target, probably because he wasn't hitting it very often.

      Even the military modified its weapons to burst fire (2-3 rounds at a time) because of the ineffectiveness of the fully auto mode.

  •  And when we talk about full auto... (5+ / 0-)

    they come RIGHT back with "Oh, but you ignorant fool, if you ban fully automatic weapons, that won't change a thing, since you can bump fire at a similar rate."  

    If it can fire a LOT of bullets, REALLY fast, it's not a weapon that your target firing non-psychotic YARGO needs.  

    Yes, I'm being VERY general.  Playing technical specification games is the NRA octopus tactic.  Except they spew bullshit.

    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Mon May 06, 2013 at 10:15:41 PM PDT

    •  Arg. (5+ / 0-)

      You would never say to someone arguing for more and better better solar use that it was okay to mix up terminology like ohms and amps. I know - we all know - that gun fetishists use that tack - but it does not mean we should not try to use terminology correctly. They also speak English - should we stop doing that becaused they do it?

      Smarts is good - always.

      •  More and better solar (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        indycam

        Isn't designed to kill people.

        Democracy, if done properly, is rude, messy, and loud

        by allensl on Mon May 06, 2013 at 11:06:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I would say to someone who is for more solar (0+ / 0-)

        who mixed up ohms and amps that it is ok .
        Only a real ignorant dick would say it wasn't ok to mix ohms and amps .
        Anyone with half a brain would be cool with someone mixing ohm and amps .

        Drop the name-calling MB 2/4/11 + Please try to use ratings properly! Kos 9/9/11 + Trusted Users have a responsibility to police the general tenor... Hunter 5/26/06

        by indycam on Tue May 07, 2013 at 07:17:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Ignorance can look like malice to others (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shamash, Robobagpiper, sturunner, salmo

    When someone says something you know to be blatantly untrue, doesn't that make you suspect their intentions? Why should people familiar with guns react any differently?

    Only some of the gun law reform advocates here are malicious toward gun owners. The majority, those who just want increased public safety, should concentrate on messages that don't convey hate or contempt.

    Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

    by Dogs are fuzzy on Mon May 06, 2013 at 11:05:05 PM PDT

    •  How about the "people familiar w/guns" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Crazycab214

      Make the effort for awhile?  Surely they are capable of understanding what is meant, even if the non-familiar people don't have the lingo down?

      Democracy, if done properly, is rude, messy, and loud

      by allensl on Mon May 06, 2013 at 11:09:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It is the rapidity of the kill with a bullet that (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AdamR510, sturunner

    concerns me, and why are so many Americans so distrustful of government and all these guns we got don't make us feel calm and safe they make us more paranoid.  I don't own a gun or been around them.  I come from Wis. where deer season was a common time of hunting.  I'm fine with you and what you said, thanks for the education.  I hope you and your son find a lot of time to share in alot of contexts of life.  You just sound like a great Dad.  

    •  That... (0+ / 0-)
      It is the rapidity of the kill with a bullet that
      and for me that the distance can be so great and I can still develop a gaping wound. And...
      don't make us feel calm and safe they make us more paranoid
      This can only be exacerbated in that the shooters are constantly being exposed to vaporized lead as the projectile leaves the gun.
  •  "Ya shot me!" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    freerad, AdamR510, sturunner

    A friend of mine took his sons shooting, just as you did. He too, was out in the country and had a good dirt backdrop behind his targets. As he and his young sons returned to the car, an old man in another car drawled, "Ya shot me". "What", my friends said? The old man repeated it and pointed to his shoulder, where a bullet had grazed his skin. He wasn't seriously hurt, just some skin that was red.

    The bullet had ricocheted off a small rock. . .that was the mutual conclusion. And, that's where it all ended. Apologies where made and manly chuckles. But, I just thought that you should know that even when used with the utmost safety in mind, guns still pack a wallop and weird things sometimes do happen.

    Like the time I shot at a crow all the way across a lake with a BB gun, allowed for the wind and the arc, pulled the trigger, he turned upside down and dropped into the water. I swear, if I even thought there was a chance my shot could hit that tiny speck on the other side of the lake, I never would have pulled that trigger. But odd things happen and when they happen with guns, it can be very, very horrible.

  •  What about the 2nd Amendment and the Founders? (0+ / 0-)

    It is plainly obvious that the people are meant to be armed to a level that challenge the government and remove it when absolutely necessary.

    And before all this revisionist nonsense and statism took hold in the 20th century, people understood that.

    Look at Miller v US and John Bad Elk v US. Both are turn of the century/early 20th century US Supreme Court rulings affirming the superiority of the countrymen over the government and the right to keep and bear the weaponry to keep it that way.

    The single issue gun voter has been distilled down to this core group of countrymen that will not be swayed be your cheap parlor tricks or revised language.

    •  The only revisionist history (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sturunner

      is the idea that the 2nd amendment was intended to arm the citizens against its own government. If that were the intent, why is armed insurrection against the law?

      The NRA and its disciples are falling just short of inciting armed revolt for one reason only, to sell guns and ammo. That is greed over patriotism. Profit over the well-being of citizens.

    •  New troll alert: this is his/her 1st comment. (0+ / 0-)

      Do not feed invasive species.

      Love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world..-- Jack Layton

      by sturunner on Tue May 07, 2013 at 09:20:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sorry to burst your bubble, (0+ / 0-)

      but have you seen our military? I don't care how many guns you have, you won't overthrow the government. Just like that dumb talking point I always hear about if the Jews would have had their guns, they wouldn't have been in concentration camps. As if citizens with some hand guns would have defeated the Nazis. Come on, there is no level that normal citizens can be armed to remove the government, unless you got tanks, drones and nuclear weapons. Dumb argument.

  •  ammo (0+ / 0-)

    where do you buy it if you don't mind me asking?

     i'm a paid member here and a follower of goa. piss on the nra. i don't support any anti-gun pols.

    i think kos posted a diary titled "the libertarian dem".

    i took my grandkids out and had the lady that teaches 4-h to run them through that program. bought my grandson a 597 and gave my granddaughter my 10/22. i should add that i painted the 10/22 stock electric pink. she loves it. actually all the men at the range love it. we are shooters.

    i have permits in 2 states. i could get more if i wanted. i carry. i don't if care if you do or don't. but if you have a problem with guns, well please don't. if you have any spare .22lr, i'm accepting donations. just to keep them out of unsafe hands...yours.

                                      peaceup  billy

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