April 06, 2009

Tin Revolutionaries

Apropos of the discussion here and here.

If you ever have to rely on the Second Amendment to save you from a tyrannical government, you've left things too late. Several decades too late, in fact.

I don't know whether you've noticed, but the world has changed since the days of the Revolutionary War. Most of these changes are improvements, such as the availability of clean, safe water and the ability to communicate nearly globally nearly instantly. Some changes, like a globalized food chain, are more a matter of cost improvements. Whatever the reason for the changes, they've come, and dragging behind them have come the changes in our infrastructure to support them.

Changes, not additions. We've dismantled the older, simpler structures that we used to rely on, abandoning redundancy for efficiency. How many people can still draw water from wells if they want to? How many have even a kitchen garden? How much commerce can we still support via unpowered water travel? How many people know what to do about a high fever in the absence of NSAIDs or how to know when a doctor is really needed without referring to the internet or a nurse line?

Not to belittle the sacrifices and hardships of the American revolutionaries, but by virtue of their decentralized infrastructure and economy, they didn't face the same kind of collapse that we would under a modern armed revolutionary scenario. There was a time when the question of who was in power made so little difference to the average citizen (i.e., peasant) that revolution was a game for only nobles and anyone unlucky enough to be drafted into their armies. That time is no more. Any militia that wanted to overthrow our government by armed force would have to be very well-organized indeed in order to avoid a massive humanitarian catastrophe.

They would need to have a plan in place to keep the water flowing, the lights turned on and supplies coming in from outside. (Napoleon's problems in Russia were nothing compared to our global, just-in-time supply organization.) They'd also need to be able to communicate that plan convincingly to the rest of the population. If they didn't, the population would--rightly--view them as nothing more than criminals willing to sacrifice everyone else's lives to further their own cause. The revolutionaries would very quickly be fighting on two fronts.

In other words, in order to be successful, any revolution would have to be so well-organized as to be the thing it wanted to replace. It would have to be a true revolution of the people, even if it were directed from above.

What would a popular revolution look like? In fact, I've seen one take hold during my lifetime. The regressive movement that sought to undo the cultural changes accompanying our switch from an agrarian to an industrial economy and to roll back the economic regulation designed to keep industrialization from reinstituting oligarchy showed the true shape of a modern American revolution. The conservative movement, as they prefer to be known, seized power in this country through the perfectly legal means of making sure they had representatives at every level of government, from schoolteachers to city clerks to the Supreme Court. Nary a gun in sight.

Sure, political and bureaucratic takeover isn't as sexy as a cold, sleek piece of metal that makes noise and holes, but it's the reality. Eric Rudolph didn't change anything for any length of time except his own address. Same with the mountain militias. Same with every idiot who ever shot a government agent performing their duties.

Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols did make a difference, but it was only to persuade others to allow more restrictions in movement around and access to government buildings. They ultimately increased the number of people and vehicles subject to government searches. That wasn't what they were after. That isn't what anyone who points to the Second Amendment is after.

No, the people who have done the most to fight the tyranny of the U.S. government in my lifetime have used other amendments in their cause. They have spoken. They have assembled. They have reported. They have filed suit over unreasonable search and seizure or over unequal treatment.

More recently, they have staged the beginning of a counter-revolution to remove the regressives from power. Again, it was done without guns. It did, however, provide a glimpse of what the American populace thinks of having its infrastructure and economy threatened. Ask McCain or the wave of retiring Republican representatives about the kind of political support offered to anyone associated with a person or movement responsible for jeopardizing people's standard of living. They'll tell you how quickly decades of popularity evaporates and how loudly the hounds bay for blood.

And that's a lesson to which any would-be revolutionary should pay attention.


critter said...

The gun folks "we will stand against tyranny" beliefs are so quaint and stupid.

DEEN said...

Thank you for this post. I've always been amazed at the revolutionary fantasies these gun nuts have. What do they really think they can do with their hand guns against trained professionals with sniper rifles, RPGs, tanks, planes, IR equipment, etc? Or against a government that has the option to retreat into one of several nuclear-proof bunkers?

Maybe it's time to admit that the second amendment has outlived its usefulness? Gun ownership has become a goal in and of itself, because the original purpose of overthrowing the government in an armed uprising is clearly not realistic anymore.

Stephanie Zvan said...

critter, I can't place all the blame on them. There's a lot of effort dedicated to convincing them they're also patriotic for thinking this way.

Deen, they don't have much chance against someone who can simply blockade the roads and stop the trains. I think there is still a use to the amendment, though. If nothing else, it protects the existence of a National Guard under control of the individual states.

DEEN said...

If nothing else, it protects the existence of a National Guard under control of the individual states.
True, but I've never heard a mob chant about that part of the 2nd amendment.

gregladen said...

This National Guard thing is important.

I'm pretty sure we Minnesotans can form an alliance with North Dakota to invade South Dakota and finally reunite the Dakotas. Then, the new Dakota can give Minnesota a better deal on fishing and duck hunting license, and discounted access to some of their excellent golf courses.

r.k. matthews said...

Delusions of power wound with the bow of the American myth: the rugged individual conquering the West, standing above nature.... It has nothing to do with reason and everything to do with mythical desire.

Carl said...

These are some of the most asinine things I have ever read.
True, a microscopic portion of the gun owning community my entertain fantasies about overthrowing the government, but the percentage is so small as to be insignificant.

Stephanie Zvan said...

Which "these" are you referring to, Carl?

In discussions about the regulation of guns, I see three basic obstructionist arguments against even talking about the situation. (1) There is no problem, or at least no problem big enough that you shouldn't just ignore guns while you fix something else. (2) If you take away my gun, I'll die because the world is so unsafe. (3) Second Amendment. So there.

What do you think the purpose of the Second Amendment is if not to enable another revolution?

Aquaria said...

The gun folks "we will stand against tyranny" beliefs are so quaint and stupid.

The Rambo wannabe crowd isn't bright enough, numerous enough, or in possession of enough firepower to do more than sporadic damage. For now.

The main problem is that delusions of grandeur make these nuts think that they have teeming hordes ready to join them, if only enough of the fat dumb and happy would get it. but they don't realize that sane people can't wrap their minds around the bizarro world ideas these mental midgets have. No offense to midgets. Anyway, it's the attempts to make people get it that we have to worry about. These always escalate in intensity and violence, and they often end very badly. Sometimes, the dumb thing helps, because the feds will catch a lot of these monsters before they go on rampages. But not always.

At some point, we'll have to deal with these Red Dawn part duh crazies. I don't think it will be pretty.

Carl said...

The problem is not guns, it is the MISUSE of guns.
More people are killed by drunk drivers each year, yet I hear no one calling for a ban on booze.
Oh wait.
We tried that, and people bought booze illegally.
Are the folks in the gun control crowd so naive as to think that if a ban were imposed, criminals will give up and stop using guns?

The world is an unsafe place.
The area wher I live does not even have a police force.
Who do I call if someone is trying to break into my home, the pizza delivery guy?

I agree that America is a much different place than it was when the Second Amendment was written.
However, can you offer a viable alternative to the right it gives me to be able to defend myself if need be?

Stephanie Zvan said...

Carl, where did I call for a ban on guns? I happen to be a very good shot, for the record. I'd be better if I bought a lighter gun, since my shoulders get tired before I'm ready to stop.

What I am looking for is a world in which I can do something like talk about the differences between the society in which the Second Amendment was written and today. I want to be able to talk about whether technological advances in guns prevent enough deaths and injuries without people screaming, "NO BANS!!!" so loudly that all the information on the topic gets lost. I want a world in which we can talk about what makes us safer.

The best data I've seen on violent crime, by the way, suggests that the solution is very similar to that for decreasing abortions: living wages and reduced economic disparity.

gregladen said...

More people are killed by drunk drivers each year,

And my dead grandmother made the best creamed salt cod casserole east of the Mississippi. But we should really stick with the discussion at hand.

if a ban were imposed, criminals will give up and stop using guns?

I want every crime where a gun is recovered to involve at state expense a full investigation as to the source of the gun, and I want this information made public. Then, we can start to have a conversation about where the guns ultimately come from and how, over the short medium AND long term, we can curb that flow of firearms into the waiting hands of the bad guys.

The area where I live does not even have a police force.


Doctor Faustroll said...

The second amendment doesn't kill people. It just allows some people to kill other people more easily than if they had to use their teeth like I do.

deatkin said...

"The problem is not guns, it is the MISUSE of guns."

Bzzt. Wrong. The presence of an aggressive stimulus, for example a gun, has been proven experimentally again and again to increase the probability that a person will behave aggressively versus an identical scenario in which there is no aggressive stimulus. This is in "normal" people, not criminals. Yes, people who want to commit a crime using a gun will probably attempt do so regardless of how regulated gun access is, but even people who have no or very little inclination towards using a gun aggressively will do so with greater frequency when guns are widespread and focus in people's minds the potential for violence versus when guns are rare. This is the real argument for gun control; it is not that hardened criminals will be thwarted by gun control, but that crimes of passion and thoughtlessness will be prevented by reducing the number of people who can access a gun during the time in which acting aggressively seems like the only option, when reasoned reflection would eventually generate non-aggressive options.

Guns aren't a problem for everyone, and they aren't the problem in some gun crimes. That doesn't make them a non-problem, period.

Carl said...

My statement about drunk drivers IS part of the discussion.
About one-third of the citizens in this country own guns.
Yet just about everyone os an age to do so drives, and the majority of the citizens drink.
The easy access to automobiles and alcohol is a much more serious problem, MADD does what they can, but there is almost no one in the halls of Congress addressing this issue.
I agree 100% with your statement about guns used in crimes.
With the provision that as part of the investigation, the previous record of the person who used the gun in a crime be examined, very few are first time offenders, and why our so-called "criminal justice" system allowed this person to be on the streets in the first place.

As to your question, yes,seriously, the town I live in, for economic reasons, disbanded it's police force several years ago.
We no have to rely on coverage from the State Police, who's average response time is 20-25 minutes.

Carl said...

Doctor Faustroll:

I respectfully suggest you read the following:


Carl said...

Again, you folks with your rose-colored glasses lock onto your feelings on an issue and ignore logic and common sense totally.
Yes, "crimes of passion" are committed with guns, but hey,if someone wants to kill another human being badly enough, they will find a method.
Thousands of these crimes occur each year using something other than a firearm, do those deaths not count simply because a gun wasn't involved?

As far as a reduction of incidents, there are, and have been for years, severe penalties/laws regarding the sale, use, possesion of narcotics such as cocaine and heroin, hell you even have to see the druggist to buy a decent bottle of cough syrup.
These restrictions have virtually eliminated drug trafficing and drug addiction, haven't they?

The point I am trying to make is simply that by restricting access to a product, regardless if it is a .357 magnum or a vial of crack will not eliminate someone obtaing and misusing that product if they are bound and determined to do so.

The root causes of the problem go much deeper than that.

DEEN said...

Carl, did you read the original article linked from that blog post you recommended? Did you notice that they referred to all offenses where knifes were involved? That out of 130.000 offenses, there were over 8000 wounded and only 250 knife-inflicted fatalities over the whole year?

The article says very little about gun violence, but it does say:
Firearms offences recorded by police rose 2 per cent last year to reach a total of 9,803, while homicides were up three per cent to 784.
So it seems a safe bet to say that despite being used far less than knives, gun fatalities are likely to be at similar levels as knife fatalities. Clearly guns are considerably more lethal than knives.

You nor the blog post you link to provide any statistics on UK gun fatalities, nor statistics about US gun and knife fatalities. Without these, it's just another red herring. And even if you did give those statistics, I'm inclined to think it's distracting from the main point Stephanie Zvan is making.

Stephanie Zvan said...

The introduction to this paper gives a basic background to what deatkin is talking about with aggressive stimuli provoking an aggressive response in some people. It's a little more jargon-laden than I'd like, but it will do for the moment.

Carl, pointing to research is hardly locking onto one's feelings. Quite the opposite, in fact. If you read it carefully, you'll also note that deatkin said this is not a problem for everyone.

Carl said...

DEEN and Stephanie, please allow me to address your responses. I'll get to Stephanie in a separate comment.

"Clearly guns are considerably more lethal than knives."
Not necessarily.

I have been both shot and stabbed, and I can tell you neither one was a pleasant experience.

As to "red herrings", in 1997 England passed a law banning ownership of nearly all types of hanguns, yet gun crime has nearly doubled.
See this article:


Then read this one:


pay particular atten to the section under the heading of "The Rise in British Crime and Violence."

I am not avoiding Stephanie's point sir, I am merely addressing yours.

Carl said...


I read the report you linked to, however I take issue that the claim that media violence increases aggression.
It may in some people, but i would tend to think that the person was mentally unbalanced to begin with.

I grew up on a steady diet of watching the Three Stooges beat each other over the head with anvils, Elmer Fudd shooting the face off of Daffy Duck, and at least one killing an episode on such shows as Bonanza and Gunsmoke.

As did just about everyone in my generation.
Yet I have never committed a violent act against anyone, save in matters of self-defense.

Now, as to the societal issues.

Technological advances in guns will not lessen crimes of passion.
A gun that has fingerprint recognition software so that the only person who can use it is the owner will not prevent that person from committing acts of mayhem.
And if someone is hell-bent enough on such a course of action, they will simply find another method.
You may counter with the response that giving the person time to "cool off" may help, but a three day waiting period to buy a gun has been a dismal failure as far as reducing such occurrences.

gregladen asked if I was serious about my town not having a police force, which is true.
What is also true is that I can't agree with your premise that living wages and reduced economic disparity will have an effect.
I am in my early fifties, and the town I grew up in could have been the poster child for poor.
Numerous homes did not even have indoor bathrooms.
Yet no one I grew up with randomly shot a neighbor nor did they turn to a life of crime.

I place more blame on a decline of basic moral values, and the notion that "it's because they had a bad childhood."
If a bad childhood was the criteria, I should be standing in the street lobbing hand grenades at people.

Another huge part of the problem is the legal system in America.

Take the case of Jeffery Dahmer.
A man who lured young boys into his hme, had sex with them, killed them, and then used various body parts to make soup out of them.
What happened when he was captured?
The legal system decides to hold a sanity hearing.
Of course the SOB is nuts!!
In the interest of trying to keep this comment smaller than War And Peace we can. if you like, at some point discuss the case of Patrick Purdy as another example of the failure of our legal system to keep unstable people away from the rest of us.

For something more current, go to my website and read the story I did today regarding NY mass murder Jiverly Wong, yet another individual the legal sytem ignored until he began killing people.

DEEN said...

I have been both shot and stabbed, and I can tell you neither one was a pleasant experience.Not really relevant, so yet another red herring.

I've read your links, and they aren't as strong of a support for your position as you claim. Sure, the hand gun fatality almost doubled after hand guns were banned, but so did all other forms of gun crime (see for instance http://www.gun-control-network.org/GF05.htm). Your link to the knife crime rise shows that many other types of violent crimes are on the rise in the UK as well. Clearly something else is going on.

Also, I wouldn't have expected immediate results anyway. It's unreasonable to expect that all illegal hand guns will be removed from the underground immediately.

And finally, you don't mention the fact that the per-capita number of gun fatalities in the UK is still an order of magnitude smaller than that in the US.

Besides, we weren't discussing the UK in the first place. Stop throwing red herrings around.

gregladen said...

Carl, no, it is not relevant. I do not accept arguments of this sort. Generally, all situations (such as problems that need solutions) can comapred to other situations, but that comparison is not a reason to ignore the initial situation. There are no problems in our society that can't be avoided this way. Not allowed.

You DO live in a place with state police. 25 minute response time is faster than the police in London, or so I hear. If you think you live in a place with no police but they show up in five minutes than you have drunk too much of the nanny-state police-state kool ade. You should be careful about giving up your guns.

Anonymous said...

'What do they really think they can do with their hand guns against trained professionals with sniper rifles, RPGs, tanks, planes, IR equipment, etc?'

History was really wasted on you wasn't it.

The American revolution was fought by rag-tag groups of people against the best trained, best equipped army in the world at that time. Look who lost !

You're also going to find that that modern soldiers are not mindless robots who will slaughter AMERICANS just because they are ordered to do so. At some point, it will become obvious that while 'Joe' is capturing/killing families in neighborhood A, some one else just might be capturing/killing families in Joes's neighborhood. Not good. The chain of command just might start to smolder around the edges.

You should read The Federalist's Papers. They spell out, quite clearly, the intent of the second amendment without any of the grammatical gymnastics tried today to alter it's meaning.

Its purpose was for self defense and to resist tyranny is necessary. The framers had just done that very thing successfully.

Stephanie Zvan said...

Carl, I'll get back to your comment when I've got a bit more time. As you noted, it's a bit long and contains several arguments.

Anonymous, the point of the post is that the world has changed in some important ways since the Revolutionary War, so I won't discuss that again. However, your point about soldiers is an interesting one. Not only have soldiers shot Americans on orders (Kent State), but that's largely not who would-be revolutionaries would be facing. For the most part, they would be up against an increasingly militarized law enforcement establishment. These are people who are trained to shoot American civilians.

Don't expect a lot of outcry about it either. If you want a snapshot of the probable public reaction, just look at how quickly people were ready to declare the RNC protesters criminal last year for things like blocking a bridge.
Anyone who actually posed a serious threat to order would be greeted much more harshly.

DEEN said...

Anonymous said:
History was really wasted on you wasn't it.
Even if that were true, at least reality isn't wasted on me. Things have changed since then. Considerably. Did the British have any of the equipment I listed there?

You're also going to find that that modern soldiers are not mindless robots who will slaughter AMERICANS just because they are ordered to do so.
That's a fair point. Of course, it works both ways: revolutionaries will be similarly reluctant to fire at American soldiers as well.

On the other hand, soldiers have been trained and prepared to hunt down terrorists for a while now. Guess how the first revolutionaries will be labeled?

Unless maybe when they are part of a much bigger movement, with wide support in the general population and in politics, like Stephanie Zvan argued. And if you have that, violence is not really necessary anymore anyway.

Carl said...

Alright, in the hope of not spending the rest of my life here, I'm going to try and sum this up.
But before I do, I need to ask DEEN a couple of questions.
Red herring this,red herring that, what is this fascination with fish?

And are you always so intolerant of anyone who doesn't totally agree with your point of view?

Now, as to the rest of it.

DEEN, my response to your claim that guns are clearly deadlier than knives was simply an attempt to point out that either can be deadly.
Or, in my case, not.
Thank God.
Sorry DEEN, I realize that the mention of God is, in your point of view, just another red herring.

"Clearly guns are considerably more lethal than knives."


"...many other types of violent crimes are on the rise in the UK as well. Clearly something else is going on.
Also, I wouldn't have expected immediate results anyway. It's unreasonable to expect that all illegal hand guns will be removed from the underground immediately."

If you did read the story DEEN, you should have noticed that the law has been in effect for over ten years.

DEEN, you may as well stop reading now. the rest of this will be a reflection of my views.
Or as you call it, a red herring.

Now, let me try and sum this up for everyone.

The original topic of this post was how ludicrous it would be for modern-day gun owners to try and stage a second American Revolution.
And on that point I am in complete agreement.
And I am NOT the exception to the rule, many more gun owners such as myself feel that way than those who do not.

But of course we are all depicted as a group of drooling, slack jawed yokels because we feel we have a right to own guns.

Do I, or all the other "gun nuts" think we are going to stage the next American Revolution?
Don't be idiotic.

Sure there are some fringe cases among gun owners who think such a thing is possible.
And if they were foolhardy enough to pursue such a ridiculous feat, they will quickly learn that a semi-auto rifle is no match for an Apache attack helicopter.

But tarring all gun owners with the same brush is just an example of deluded thinking that is beyond me.

There have been numerous cases of people so concerned about global warming that they have set fire to car dealerships with a large inventory of SUV's.
Yet that does not mean that everyone concerned about global warming is an arsonist.

Do I feel that the Second Amendment gives me the right to own a gun?
Damn right it does.
And we can all comment to each other back and forth about that until our keyboards catch fire, that isn't going to change.

Why are so many people so afraid of the Second Amendment?
Why are you so afraid of the fact that I own a gun?
Would you all feel better if all the guns owned by gun owners were confiscated?


Laws banning the ownership of guns will be as effective as laws against drug sales or drunk driving.

Another favorite argument of the folks in favor of stricter gun control laws is that "the easy access to firearms is the reason there is so much gun violence."

To paraphrase an earlier comment:

Until the late 1960's you could purchase (except for fully automatic) war surplus firearms through the mail and have them delivered right to your home!
Magazines of that time period, such as Popular Mechanics, routinely had ads for such items as Lugers, M-1's and the like.
So if guns were so much easier to obtain back then, why were the levels of violent crime, senseless random shootings and domestic violence so much lower back then?

I, as well as millions upon millions of other gun owners have no plans to try and overthrow the government, contrary to the beliefs of you who allow your hysteria to overrule your common sense.

Those of you who are incapable of accepting that notion will also have trouble accepting the fact that any one of those same millions of gun owners who happened to hear of anyone hatching such an asinine plot would immediately report them to law-enforcement authorities.

Of course the inbred bias most of you have will cause you to dismiss that statement.
Which also precludes any sort of rational discussion.

Stephanie, my comment that is after the following quotes does not apply to you.

Our beliefs are "quaint and stupid"

"I've been amazed at the revolutionary fantasies these gun nuts have."

"Delusions of power."

"The Rambo wannabe crowd, bizarro world ideas, mental midgets."

I should have listened to Grandma.

She told me "Never argue with an idiot, they'll beat you to death with experience."

Stephanie Zvan said...

All right, Carl. I won't go over everything, since you'd rather move on.

I don't think you fully got the link I posted. As I mentioned, there was a lot of jargon, so that's not too surprising. There are a few identified factors that contribute to the mention of guns increasing aggression. They have to do with emotional states, but that's not the same thing as being unhinged, just as the legal definition of insanity is not the same as the diagnostic definition or the definition most of use use in our day-to-day lives. Unfortunately for the rest of us, whether or not you want to believe the results that come out of decades of study on the matter doesn't change the reality behind those studies.

No individual technological advance is going to stop every crime and accident. I don't expect it to. I do expect to get to a point where we as a society can actually talk about what effect they will have and whether that effect is worth the costs and inconveniences involved. That conversation has been impossible to date.

As for the question of how I view you, I don't know you. I have no reason to think you want to stage any kind of revolution. However, when I try to talk about guns and ask whether anything can be done to improve their safety or find ways to keep them out of the hands of loons, I do regularly run into people who talk about how important it is to have guns to protect them from governmental tyranny.

Yes, it's ridiculous. I wrote a post pointing out why. Now I'm afraid because you have a gun? If you want people to avoid stereotyping you, please try returning the favor.

DEEN said...

Red herring this,red herring that, what is this fascination with fish?
You do know what a red herring refers to, right? You keep bringing up stuff about knives (which aren't guns) and the UK (which is not the US), but the statistics you point at are always incomplete and you don't show how it's relevant to the original topic.

And are you always so intolerant of anyone who doesn't totally agree with your point of view?
Project much?

Why are so many people so afraid of the Second Amendment?
Why are so many people so afraid of the suggestion that maybe the 2nd amendment outlived its original purpose?

And no, I don't believe that a large group of people is actually plotting to overthrow the government. Where did you get that idea? Does it make you feel better if you make yourself believe the person you are debating with is hysterical?

Instead, there are clearly a large number of people who use the possibility of such a revolt as a valid reason to hold on to their guns. Since you clearly agree that the idea of such a revolt is ridiculous, why do you have such a problem when people point out that maybe this is not a good reason for owning guns anymore?

Finally, I'd wish you would stop the arrogance of telling us what our positions are on gun control, or what we think causes the gun violence, let alone on what our emotions are.

Anonymous said...

I'm only on page 24, but so far Saul Cornell's award-winning A Well-Regulated Milita: The Founding Fathers and the Origins of Gun Control in America is well worth a read.


Stephanie Zvan said...

Thanks, Cassandra.

(Her take on the book so far is here, and it looks fascinating and informative.)

gregladen said...

Laws banning the ownership of guns will be as effective as laws against drug sales or drunk driving.

Drunk driving laws where enforced have saved innumerable lives.

Diogenes said...

It never fails. I try to keep an open mind to the debates of this issue and I find invariably that the pro Gun control people will not listen to Facts but continually resort to fallacy that has been proven to be nothing but hype.

I am a proponent of Gun control too. I like knowing that what I point my handgun/rifle/shotgun at, I will hit. Do I want a violent revolution? NO. Do I believe one is on the way. Yes. Will our society stop functioning if it does? Does society cease functioning when a Hurricane hits or wildfires take out huge tracks of land? NO.
I have been involved in one war and I saw society continue on as if that war was nothing more than another car accident on the highway: everyone slows down to look but only those directly involved actually were doing anything.

"delusions of grandeur" ? WTF? Are you kidding me? I just want to get up everyday and know that I am allowed to go to work for myself and NOT BE SUPPORTING EVERY WACK JOB IN THIS COUNTRY THAT FEELS 'ENTITLED' TO MY INCOME.
I am not blaming Obama, or Bush, or Clinton. I am blaming all that voted for the bread and Circuses. If it comes to a fight I will be there, until then I will continue yelling at the Tea Parties and writing my Reps and trying to vote the thieves out of office.

Stephanie Zvan said...

Carl just sent me a link to a follow-up post of his here:

Anonymous said...


It is people like you that make me glad that people like Stephanie are heavily armed.

The Intelligence Report said...

The guns folks as you put it..have been responsible for your freedom to be stupid of how your government works..as for the military defending the government??...They won't..The military of this counry has no respect what so ever for this administration or congress..See they swore an oath to uphold the constitution of this country..not violate it at every turn like those in washington do on a daily basis..We know this for fact!
Some of you really need to pull your head out of your ass and read the constitution..It keeps the government at a distance..unless of course you want government in your business..then that tells me you can not think or do for yourself..When government forces programs down the throats of citizens..because they feel it is what they want to do..that is not right...Congress or the executive branch are not superior to the citizens...they work for us...If it were not for the second amendment you would be speaking japanese now..read your history...There is nothing worse than people who think government can solve all problems and privide better than the individual...History in this country has proven itself time and time again..everything the government does turns to shit..look at social security and medicare and other social programs..they do not work...If you like paying high taxes to the government for programs that are useless and garbage..that tells me you have no brains what so ever...and the times have changed...but not enough to walk all over our constitution..it is the supreme law of the land...some of you here are just so damn ignorant it is a shame..you do not have a clue.

Stephanie Zvan said...

Japanese? Really? You're just pretending to be a fruit bat, aren't you?

Jared said...

You see, I would turn my firearm in if required to do it, unless, of course a route was established for persons such as myself to keep their firearms lawfully; a database of known gun owners who have had experience to own them and reason to own them. A number of legitimate reasons to own handguns are as follows:
1) Actively competing in shooting tournaments (only those used in the specific competitions)
2) Being a member of a police force or military unit (9mm and .45 ACP handguns only)
3) Hiking in areas with known dangerous animals (.40, .357, and .44 only)
4) Firearms collectors (real collectors such as historians and museum owners/curators)

I also think every one of these individuals should have to undergo a psychological screening in addition to a background check. Also, I think purchasing ammunition should require a background check and each casing and bullet should be traceable to the purchaser. Brass casings for hand-loading applications should also be labeled in some way and hand-loading machines should be fitted with a stamping device in the first station (where it resizes the brass). I think these are all things which can be and should be successfully implemented to limit the number of dangerous individuals with access to firearms and to encourage a bit more responsibility on the purchasing parties.

Anonymous said...

Jared: are you saying that people in training to compete, but who aren't actively competing yet shouldn't be allowed to own firearms? Might want to reword that bit. Oh, and military people don't need to own their own weapons, they are issued to them by the military. I don't know if police forces are the same way, but I'm fairly sure that they are at least in the majority that way. As far as the dangerous animals go, why only the big guns? Some areas have fairly small dangerous animals, and you'd be better served dealing with them with smaller weapons...especially if you're a smaller person.

As for collecting, why need a person be a museum curator or the equivalent to collect? Basically, your guidelines would prevent me (and almost everyone else) from owning my handgun unless someone started a specific competition for it (one does not currently exist).

Frankly, I'm all for regulation, both before and after purchase. I think it's completely reasonable for firearms to be tracked and for people to be required to be educated and trained in their use (very much including safety). I'm pretty strongly against a ban or restriction on ownership except from violent criminals and the mentally unstable.

To Stephanie's original point - I think we're making some strides in the right direction for using technology to make firearms safer, but more can and should be done as better tech arises. Still, no amount of safety tech will replace good education. It'll augment, and backup, but education should be primary.

Jared said...

rystefn, I agree with most of what you said, it was damn near midnight and I was just kind of spitting out ideas. As for the .357, if you know your firearms, the most common .357 is a revolver which can fire a .38 round also, but the firearm is heavier meaning less recoil, perfect for a smaller person. I hope you knew that.

I was also referring to a "collector permit" for serious collectors, not just John Doe who wants an AK-47, so he has to call himself a collector; to qualify, you must pass the screenings currently done for "collector permits" as well as a few newer ones. (also, note the "such as")

Another few interesting high-tech ideas:
1) biometric safety systems
2) easy temporary deactivation for certain situations, (example: in "no firearm" areas for civilian-issue weapons)
3) periodic deactivation requiring a reset of the internal system before operation; call it yearly a few weeks after the permit reapply time?

Anonymous said...

Requiring a collector permit still more or less blocks me from owning the one firearm I have or want... unless the definition of "collector" gets pretty far from the common usage (not uncommon with the law, really).

Also, a heavy gun chambered for smaller rounds is still a heavy gun. Yes, the weight reduces recoil, but it increases inertia, making it harder to aim quickly in a pinch. In my experience, your average .357 isn't the most ergonomically-friendly thing you could be swinging around at arm's length to start with.

Yes, I'm aware it's a bit of a nit-pick, and not a super common issue, but all it takes is one person to miss one shot for someone to get mauled. One preventable death is one too many, right?

On the subject of tech, I wouldn't put too much faith in software. There are a lot of tech-savvy people in this world, and it only gets more common as time goes on. I'm not saying don't have it at all, just that it'll only do so much, and it'll be a near-constant arms-race to keep it working. Not to mention that it's not exactly terribly difficult to make a weapon from scratch. Sure, you can make doing so illegal, but is that likely to deter someone making a gun for the purpose of committing crimes?

In the end, that's something we always have to keep in mind when talking about most laws, really: there's no such thing as perfect security. There's nothing you can do to completely stop the truly determined. All we can do is take steps to discourage the casual and make it as problematic as possible to weed out the incompetent and encourage the determined that their skills are better applied elsewhere. Doing so without needlessly imposing on non-criminal sorts is a balancing act with the audience throwing rocks at you.

Anonymous said...

So basically... sarcasm sarcasm, passive agressive sarcasm... the 2nd amendment is dumb... and if you believe in it, then you're just a crazy terrorist whack job. Got it. Glad you could explain to me Which rights are important, and which aren't. And why. The founding fathers were obviously just stupid racist old men that didn't really think any of this "government", or "rights" stuff through.

DuWayne Brayton said...

Anonymous -

While I happen to disagree with them, reasonable people can read the 2nd amendment to mean something other than absolute freedom to bear arms. Try reading it objectively sometime, without considering the history of the gun control debate - just look at it as though you have no preconceived notions about what it means. Pretend you are a foreigner reading it for the first time.

Note that I am not asking you to change your position, I imagine that you and I probably have very similar views on this. I am just asking you to consider this from another viewpoint - one that is not even necessarily at odds with what some of the founders of this country believed.

There is a strong tendency for people to think of the founders as some sort of monolith - like the constitutional convention was all sunshine, roses and "pat on the back" agreement. The fact is that there was a great deal of violence surrounding those proceedings (which took years). Enough so that people on all sides who wrote about it, used pen names to avoid having their homes burned down, being killed, seeing their families killed. On a whole, the discussion then was far less civil and considerably more dangerous than it is today. And there was no more agreement about what it meant then, than there is today.

By all means hold fast to your beliefs, but don't be a close minded fucking moron in so doing.

Stephanie Zvan said...

Anonymous, there's essentially no sarcasm in this piece. Nor is the limited amount of aggression passive. I suggest you either look up what those mean or work on your reading skills.

As for what I said about the Founding Fathers, I said they lived in a different world and had no way to predict the future. So unless they needed to have crystal balls in order to be appreciated for the balls they did have, you're again off the mark.

Which rights are important? I described a modern revolution to you. Look at what was required for that revolution to occur. Those are the rights that still make a difference.

Azkyroth said...

As a side note, I've noticed most gun nuts seem to have more or less this problem.