A meme popped up today that sort of had me feeling a certain way, and I decided to engage in some polite Facebook politics.
I love to debate. I would think I’m someone maddening to debate against because I normally show up to the party with an armory of assorted stats, facts, and ways at looking things where my opponents are usually one-trick ponies with some emotional strings they try and tug. Occasionally, I spar with some worthy opponents, and a few times in my life, my position has changed when I learned new information from sparring partners. Some things I’ve changed my position on over the years:
1) Legalizing pot
2) Gun control
3) Climate change
4) Taxing positions
5) Gay marriage
This does not boil down as simply as republican or democrat. I usually dig a few layers deeper than the average person to try and understand both sides to an argument. When one side has a clear positional advantage, I will adopt that way of thinking. People need to be open to hearing out someone else’s position. Even if you disagree with them. Especially if you disagree with them.
Today, it was about gun control. Some memes had popped up over the years and it got me to question things. Because of this, I’ve sided with the 2nd amendment folks. My original position focused a lot on the whole “militia” thing, but over the years, it has been decided by many Supreme Court judgments that it seems to include the normal person. Below, you can see some things that got me thinking about assault weapons bans.
The meme that got me steamed focused a lot on the technical means of how to repeal the second amendment, and since that is nearly impossible to do, that gun loving folks have nothing to worry about under a Clinton presidency and it is a completely irrational fear. At first, I thought the meme was a joke. Then I realized it was serious, and yeah, it made me feel a certain way about it. It is most certainly rational.
First, the idea that Hillary could repeal the 2nd amendment on face value is rather absurd – that technicality is agreed upon. However, for arguments sake, let’s say that Hillary puts on Obama’s pick from this year and 3 more liberal-leaning justices. For me, this is acceptable for the gay rights movement. However, think about a 7-2 court that leans left. Perhaps the concept of “militia” is brought back up, and a far left Supreme Court says that militia does not include normal people. I would believe this could create as close to a civil war as we’ve had in the last 150 years. You simply can’t compel 100+ million gun owners to hand in their 200 million guns. It just won’t happen like you think it would. Maybe half would turn in their guns. Then what? So, can we agree that a total ban of all guns in this country might not really work?
So let’s assume Hillary and friends don’t go that far. What else could be done?
In order to get people to stop smoking cigarettes, they seem to like the idea of making it extremely expensive. These are, in effect, taxes on the poor. Many don’t quit because they are addicted. Many do quit. But the idea is to get people to stop using smokes not by outlawing it, but by taxing the shit out of it. The republicans kind of did the same thing. They don’t like Roe v wade. So each state who doesn’t like Roe v Wade has been trying to game the system. Let’s just say you have a clinic that opened up in Smithtown that performs abortions. They would then go back and write laws about shit like corridors need to be 8 ft wide for the safety of the woman and yours are only 6. Forced them to shut down. They have done this for years, to the point where in one state, there was only one clinic who even did it. Sure, abortion was legal, but they found ways to impede it. Those abortion clinic impediments were recently shot down by the Supreme Court, who caught on to what they were doing.
With guns, gun owners are fearful of the “gun grab”. This is championed by those on the far left, so this is not an irrational fear. So, rather than wait for the death by a thousand paper cuts, the 2nd amendment folks basically tell you to pound sand at any time you want to take more rights away. They got together, lobbied, and run a tight ship. This is mostly found with “assault weapons” bans. When you think “assault weapons”, you think machine guns, really powerful rifles that can pierce armor, etc. The truth is, a regular rifle can be deemed an assault rifle just by changing the stock. Yep. Same fucking bullet. Same power. So the dems have gone the death by a thousand paper cuts by trying to get assault weapons banned, and then trying to classify more and more things under the assault weapon umbrella. 2nd amendment folks are not buying what you’re selling.
Every time there’s a massive shooting in this country, it’s the same tired arguments. Every time. You could have a guy who unraveled and goes into his office and shoots coworkers with a hand gun, and you will hear the assault weapons people again.
But the violence must STOP!
So, let’s discuss some ways of doing this. I would posit there is more than one way to do this than by essentially repealing the second amendment. Death by assault weapons make up a tiny, tiny, tiny fraction of gun-related deaths in this country. Handguns make up most of those deaths.
Let’s look at a pareto chart. If you look at the chart below, you see that a good portion of your costs are made up from the water heater, furnace, and air conditioner.
A logical person says if I want to make the biggest changes, I need to address the items who are causing the most problems. Right? Let me tell you, 95% of the left arguments over the past 5 years has been in trying to take my electric can opener and telling me that since it’s plugged in, it must be costing you money. Yeah, it is, but it’s nickels compared to my biggest cost items.
So…most gun control people would then say, “well what guns caused the most deaths, so we can ban them!” That’s perhaps one way of looking at it. Automatic weapons should be banned! Well…they are. And to your shock, assault weapons are not doing most of the killing in this country, hand guns are. In order to get a hand gun, you have to go through background checks per the Brady Bill. I think there’s a 7 day waiting period. Great!
Wrong. Insane people and those who have felonies cannot buy guns legally – so they get them on the street or steal them from relatives.
What I would then contend is that we look at the root CAUSE of gun violence. Guns are merely the tool, and more people die from knives than rifles and assault rifles. Would it be fair to say that drug violence is a root cause? Mental health? Domestic violence?
The war against drugs as mostly failed. Why not decriminalize things like pot?
I would suggest that legislation to fix our problems not simply keep trying to chip away at the 100 million or so legal gun owners, but to enforce the rules on the books already.
If you look at Australia, they have virtually no gun violence. Great!! I want to then make a motion for Mexico to be directly attached to Australia and let them deal with Mexican drug cartels on the border, and coming to a city near you!
Back in the mid 1980s, it was determined that mental health had become too costly. Essentially, they let everyone out and changed their way of approaching mental health.
With domestic violence, you may indeed have registered gun owners of handguns killing their spouse. But it’s also just as likely with bare hands and/or a knife.
What might work???
I would posit that the following ideas are kind of useless:
1) Limiting clip sizes. If I want to go and kill 100 people, I will simply find a bigger clip on the black market….or take more clips. Useless law.
2) Gun free zones. So this means legal, law abiding citizens will not pose any resistance to someone that actually wants to kill people with a gun in a gun-free zone. If we’re talking schools, I would want a few teachers packing heat to protect my kid. Columbine. Those kids used bombs and guns they stole from their parents. No one could really stop them. It’s called “soft targets”.
So why not do the following?
1) Mental health – when you go to buy a gun, I want a real background check. Give me 5 references. I will then talk with these people to try and find any signs that this person might be unstable. In the DoD, the same indicators are used to find inside threats. This can strengthen your background checks.
2) Enforce existing laws – I feel like we’re at a point where we need to take back our cities. Call in the national guard. Roll in police. In each of the 30 most violent cities, roll in troops and police. Random car searches. Random stop and frisk. All items must be recorded on camera. Members of local community groups will be brought in to advise and consult. These people want their streets clean. They know who the bad people are. So we suspend the 4th amendment, temporarily. Those who are the worst of the worst are scooped up and sent to prison for 20 years for illegal weapons. All gun owners need to be licensed legally. My thought is if we had to choose between disbanding the 2nd amendment permanently, or temporarily suspending the 4th amendment, it is of the greater good to temporarily suspend the 4th amendment. The idea here is to target the worst neighborhoods, rinse, and repeat. Do this over different districts in these cities.
3) Increase money to shelters for victims of domestic violence and substance abuse programs. Often, these people feel they have nowhere to go. They go back to the abuser time and time again. One day, the abuser kills their victim when they try to leave. Much of this violence, while not being excused, may be sourced with substance abuse, mental health, and financial stress. At some point, the abuser flips a switch and commits to a path which ends the life of another. If there was no gun there, a knife is also used. If you want to save this life, don’t look at the gun as much as the underlying factors.
4) Increase money to drug programs. I would contend that a lot of violence over drugs is a huuuuuuuuge problem in this equation. Someone needing a fix, they break into someone’s house, steal shit (including guns), and go trade it for drugs. Rinse and repeat the next day. There needs to be a large effort towards getting a lot of these people off of drugs. Then, once the cities are cleaned up, hopefully there are jobs for them to go to.
Above all, my feelings are people who have guns, legally, are also rightfully fearful of violence with guns by bad actors. The left want to make laws which they feel infringes on their right to protect themselves and their families. It is therefore not an irrational fear that they have with Obama/Clinton. Furthermore, it frustrates them that they seem to be trying to take rights away from millions of legal gun owners because of a handful of people – I would content that if they wanted to suspend any amendment, be it the 4th so they can clean shit up. If there’s no longer violence by bad people, citizens may no longer feel the need to own guns. You want to take guns from people who are law abiding citizens who therefore cannot protect themselves from the people who have illegal guns because your sorry ass wasn’t able to go get them and enforce the laws already on the books. So…it’s broken, let’s just pass more gun laws. You’re still not treating the problem with the millions of illegal guns. Take them. They are illegal. Those guns are what are causing most of the death and violence. The people owning those guns need to be put away for 20 years. Send a message. Lock em up.
As a disclaimer, I do not own a gun, and I do not like guns. I just feel both the left and the right is dug in so far with their positions, that no one is actually looking at the causality of the violence. I’ve lived in a violent area with gun shots almost every night in summer. Last week, 2 people were killed 2 blocks from my old house via gun. I was fearful, and I wished I had cops around that could stop and frisk anyone they wanted (including me if necessary) to make our streets safe.
If you want to take rights away, look towards the 4th before the 2nd.