Tuesday, May 15, 2018

What do gun control advocates advocate?

A lot of people assume that those who advocate gun control want a blanket ban on guns. Virtually no one is suggesting this. Gun control advocates support assault weapons bans and strengthened background checks. 

60 comments:

W.LindsayWheeler said...

It is the "assault weapons ban" that is the essence of the debate.

The Right to Bear Arms is about protecting us FROM the Government. It is about the necessity to overthrow said government when it goes bonkers.

It has NOTHING to do with pistols or hunting, or sports shooting.

What do militias do?

The fight for the government or against it. Your "assault weapons" is key to defense and assault.

What the Left wants to do is disarm their foes so the government can control everything and they control the Government. That is all there is to it.

Starhopper said...

What all too many "gun nuts" fail to realize is that the Second Amendment was in no way intended as a "protection from our government, but rather as a protection of that government. As they say in football, let's go to the tape:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

First of all, the only persons covered by this amendment are members of a "well regulated militia". It says absolutely nothing about untrained, unorganized private citizenry.

Next. Why are these citizens given the right to bear arms? To protect the state - not to overthrow it. "being necessary for the security of a free state. Hmm.. kind of the opposite of arming revolutionaries, wouldn't you say?

And finally. Everywhere else in the Constitution, when the term "the people" is used, it means the states - not private citizenry. Therefore, what the 2nd Amendment is saying is that there should be well regulated state militias. That's all it says.

bmiller said...

It's an interesting debate.

But I haven't seen anyone provide actual historical documentation/links to support their sides of the argument.

I'd be interested in reading sources supporting both sides. Can anyone supply them?
I mean of course, not NRA articles or New York Times opinion pieces, but actual historical documents. Federalist papers, Anti-Federalist papers etc. Can't be that hard to find, right?

Dave Duffy said...

miller,

Good grief, plenty of NYT and NRA articles provide historical documentation links. Read a few, clink on the links. It's not that hard.

Legion of Logic said...

Everywhere else in the Constitution, when the term "the people" is used, it means the states - not private citizenry.

Should be interchangeable then. Put bolded "states" in place of "the people".

"The House of Representatives shall be composed of members chosen every second year by the States of the several states..."

States of the several states?


"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the States peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

The States have a right to peaceably assemble?


"The right of the States to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

States have a right to be secure in their person and houses, along with their belongings?


But the true deal breaker would seem to be the Tenth Amendment, which states:

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

"Or" indicates a difference between the states and the people. Otherwise, this would read "reserved to the states or to the states". And elsewhere in the Constitution, "the States" is used along with "the People". I see no reason to assume that "the people" in the Second Amendment is any different than "the people" in the Tenth - neither Congress nor the states.

bmiller said...

@Dave Duffy,

Thanks for telling me to read all NYT and NRA articles and click on the links. But I was really asking the folks posting to provide references to support their positions.

For instance, Legion just quoted sections of the Constitution ending in a quote of the 10th Amendment.

Dave Duffy said...

You're a good man Mr. Miller.

W.LindsayWheeler said...

Bmiller says, "I haven't seen any evidence" Horse-puckey.

Why don't you go to your local library? There are plenty of books on the 2nd Amendment. Read them.

Here is the best book on it you can buy at Amazon.com that has all the relevant material: That Every Man Be Armed Excellent book! It is all right there.

About the Author::: Stephen P. Halbrook has taught philosophy and law at Tuskegee Institute, Georgetown University, Howard University, and George Mason University. He has won three cases he argued before the U.S. Supreme Court, including Printz v. United States, which overturned portions of the “Brady Bill” requiring local police to enforce federal gun control regulations.

One Brow said...

I agree that "the people" are not "the States". However, it is clear that the intent of the Second Amendment is for the security of the US, nor for rebellion.

Not that this matters to the fevered imaginations of people desperate for the stopage of progress.

Starhopper said...

I stand corrected on the issue of states and the people. But the two were used rather interchangeably in contemporary literature such as The Federalist Papers.

In any case, not to get distracted by an obvious error I admittedly made, my main point stands unchallenged, which is that the 2nd Amendment was in no way intended to facilitate rebellion, but rather the exact reverse. It was meant to establish a well trained militia for the purpose of defending the state. That would include defending it against rebellion.

Joe Hinman said...


Atheist philosopher takes issue with those who Say Christianity is a relationship and not a religion but it is both,

Metacrock's blog

Joe Hinman said...

I advocate controlling the out of control gun availability thing,I don't advocate taking away all guns.Better checks on criminal and mental illness histories and ban assault rifles.

SteveK said...

Victor: "Gun control advocates support assault weapons bans"

The term "assault weapon" is so subjective as to change with every argument. A person can argue that ANY gun is an "assault weapon" based on their own definition.

AR-15's need banning because why?

Too many deaths? Not compared to other guns.
Too easy to kill? Subjective
Too powerful? Not compared to other guns.
Too scary looking? Subjective
Too popular? Not a reason
Too automatic? Not any more automatic than other guns.

One Brow said...

SteveK,

Semi-automatic rifles (aka assault weapons) remove the limitations that any other type of guns offer. Handguns are also semi-automatic, but less powerful and harder to aim at a long distance. Single actions rifles can be just as powerful, but don't offer the same number of bullets/min. Shotguns can be even more powerful, but only at close range.

Handguns are used more often because they are cheaper and more likely to be at hand. That's not an argument in favor of semi-automatic rifles.

Outside of revolution, as W.LindsayWheeler proposes, what need of a gun owner is solved by having a semi-automatic rifle?

Legion of Logic said...

"Not that this matters to the fevered imaginations of people desperate for the stopage of progress."

What is progress and how do we know?

Anonymous said...

Starhopper: First of all, the only persons covered by this amendment are members of a "well regulated militia". It says absolutely nothing about ...

...members of a militia. It just doesn't. The first clue is that the word "member" nowhere occurs in the words that you yourself quoted. It refers to "the right of the people to keep and bear arms".

Next. Why are these citizens given the right to bear arms?

They aren't given that right. The Second Amendment says nothing about giving the people a right. It refers to "the" existing right, and says that the government must not infringe upon it.

"being necessary for the security of a free state". Hmm.. kind of the opposite of arming revolutionaries, wouldn't you say?

Well, whether something counts as rebellion or security depends on who's taxing whose tea, I guess. Fortunately, we don't need to delve into the thorny philosophical issues of whether fighting the state can be defending the state, or its platonic ideal, or repelling tyrannical imposters, or whatever. We don't need to know all the possible applications of the amendment to know what it says — to quote, again: "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

Therefore, what the 2nd Amendment is saying is that there should be well regulated state militias. That's all it says.

If "all" it says is something it does not actually say, then it sure was sloppily written.

Starhopper said...

"then it sure was sloppily written"

I agree with you there! It was abominably written. But the Founding Fathers were not omniscient and did not have the gift of prophecy, and thus never imagined that the amendment would be so badly misconstrued as it is today by so-called "gun rights" advocates.

SteveK said...

One Brow: "Outside of revolution, as W.LindsayWheeler proposes, what need of a gun owner is solved by having a semi-automatic rifle?"

The need to protect himself from people with other semi-automatic rifles intent on harming him. You want to make that necessary solution, illegal - why?

Anonymous said...

Starhopper: I agree with you there! It was abominably written.

Well, I don't think it was abominably written; and I suspect that there's a bit of room between "omniscient" and "can't even write plain English". But it seems that your main point has now changed to arguing that the Founding Fathers meant — or, maybe, should have meant — something significantly different from what they actually said.

Starhopper said...

"But it seems that your main point has now changed"

Nope, not at all. I believe the interpretation of the 2nd Amendment I gave above is Original Intent (other than my admitted error about the meaning of the word "states"). If Jefferson and Madison, et.al., were here in this room right now, they'd be telling me, "That's right, Bob. That is exactly what we meant!"

One Brow said...

Legion of Logic said...
"Not that this matters to the fevered imaginations of people desperate for the stopage of progress."

What is progress and how do we know?


Fair point. I should have just used "change".

One Brow said...

SteveK said...
One Brow: "Outside of revolution, as W.LindsayWheeler proposes, what need of a gun owner is solved by having a semi-automatic rifle?"

The need to protect himself from people with other semi-automatic rifles intent on harming him. You want to make that necessary solution, illegal - why?


A solution in search of a problem. When is the last time someone fire on you from a semiautomatic rifle? If they are made illegal, this will be even more rare.

Not to mention that, even if they may be inferior as killing machines, handguns and single action rifles are still a defense.

You inclusion of "necessary" is a flat-out lie.

Starhopper said...

What I glean from this conversation is that the issue isn't so much guns versus no guns, but rather two differing perspectives on the world around us. One group ("pro-gun") sees threats and dangers everywhere, and the need to be constantly ready to kill if necessary to keep one's self safe. The other group ("no gun") sees the above attitude as the problem. Just as mutual suspicion and a search for balance of power led the various European powers to stumble into the First World War, this second group sees the neverending desire to out-arm any hypothetical Bad Guy as a danger in itself.

Legion of Logic said...

One group ("pro-gun") sees threats and dangers everywhere, and the need to be constantly ready to kill if necessary to keep one's self safe.

While I agree there are people like this, I don't personally think of it in those terms. I categorize owning a firearm and knowing how to use it in the same way I categorize things like smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, seat belts, life insurance, band-aids, etc. It's not based on fear, it's not based on paranoia, it's simply common-sense preparation for things that happen to people on a daily basis because we live in a fallen world. I have absolutely no expectation or fear that I or my children will ever experience a violent home invasion or anything of the sort, but it's still sensible to be prepared in case it does.

Starhopper said...

Legion,

Your smoke alarm, etc. analogy might be relevant if having such devices in your home actually made your family less safe, and more prone to being killed by them.

SteveK said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SteveK said...

One Brow: "A solution in search of a problem."

HUH? An AR-15 was recently used in a situation like I described. We know the problem exists because the problem is the reason you want to ban the gun. LOL!

"Not to mention that, even if they may be inferior as killing machines, handguns and single action rifles are still a defense."

Not an argument for making something illegal. I don't want an inferior defense. You want to throw me in jail if I attempt to make it a fair fight - why?

SteveK said...

Starhopper: "Your smoke alarm, etc. analogy might be relevant if having such devices in your home actually made your family less safe, and more prone to being killed by them."

The analogy is relevant because it explains why someone wants to have a gun other than out of irrational fear.

You would never say it's an irrational fear of death that makes you want to own life insurance, or an irrational fear of fire that makes you want to own a smoke alarm -- would you?

As for your other concern, people are free to make their home less safe if they want to. Having stairs is less safe than not having stairs. Having a pool is less safe than having no pool. Life is dangerous and you are not required to live as 'unsafe' as other people. If you want to live in a house with no stairs or pools, go right ahead.

Starhopper said...

Your argument about people having a right to do whatever they want in their own homes does not apply in this case, because you cannot bring your stairs or swimming pool to a place of business or a high school and kill people with them.

SteveK said...

You cannot legally do that with a gun either, so what’s your point?

Starhopper said...

If you don't own a gun, you are less likely to do illegal things with one.

One Brow said...

SteveK said...
HUH? An AR-15 was recently used in a situation like I described. We know the problem exists because the problem is the reason you want to ban the gun. LOL!

You didn't describe a situation, just a vague hypothetical.

Not an argument for making something illegal. I don't want an inferior defense. You want to throw me in jail if I attempt to make it a fair fight - why?

Perhaps you would like to add in a cannon? If the other guy has a cannon, it needs to be a fair fight, right?

SteveK said...

Starhopper: "If you don't own a gun, you are less likely to do illegal things with one."

True. Also true: If you don't own a knife, baseball bat, a car, an ax, an ice pick, etc you are less likely to do illegal things with one.

SteveK said...

One Brow: "Perhaps you would like to add in a cannon? If the other guy has a cannon, it needs to be a fair fight, right?"

I haven't heard of this tactic being used during home invasions, muggings, murders, kidnappings, rapes or robberies. I don't need to be protected from things that aren't happening.

One Brow said...

SteveK said...
I haven't heard of this tactic being used during home invasions, muggings, murders, kidnappings, rapes or robberies. I don't need to be protected from things that aren't happening.

I look forward to your presentation of semi-automatic rifles being used in home invasions, muggings, kidnappings, rapes, or robberies. What the frequency on that per year? "Murders" is very generic, for example, mass shootings are murders, but having a semi-automatic in your house won't prevent them.

Legion of Logic said...

Starhopper,

You seem to advocate that I, as an example of "people", should not own a gun because either I am more likely to do something illegal with it (which is false, zero times anything is still zero), or because my being allowed to own a gun means that someone else will misuse that same right and do something bad. In other words, remove my self-defense options in the hopes that bad people will be inconvenienced.

I don't know if you've been reading any of the drivel One Brow has been spouting at me in the other thread about women, but if so you might notice I have a thing about people being empowered when it comes to their own protection. I find the thought of being rendered effectively helpless to be absolutely repugnant. And no, I'm not at all in fear of my own safety - I live in a safe area and I'm not exactly a small guy - but my daughter, my elderly parents, absolutely I am pleased that they have the option to depend on something other than good luck and police who are ten or fifteen minutes away at a minimum.

Yes, owning a gun would obviously increase the risk of an accident. The risk, when the math is done, is extremely tiny. The risk decreases further with proper education and training, and goes down even farther for people not engaged in questionable behavior or not in garbage relationships. I simply believe that even if there is a dark side to people having the ability to defend themselves effectively if they choose, that it is worth it. The poor decisions of others should not invalidate basic rights like self-defense.

Starhopper said...

I guess we're all products of our experiences. I was held up at gunpoint about 45 years ago. I was a cashier at a Circle K convenience store, when two young men came in and stuck a gun in my face, asking for all the money in the registers. They were (hah!) arrested before they got out of the parking lot, because I had phoned the police about 10 minutes earlier due to their extremely suspicious behavior. Turned out that the gun they used in the holdup had been stolen from a "law abiding, responsible" gun owner's home less than an hour before they hit my store. So much for that person's gun ownership increasing the security of the general populace!

But I genuinely do not understand something. You've emphasized several times now that you're not in fear for your safety and live in a safe area. So why the need for a gun? It doesn't make sense.

Legion of Logic said...

Starhopper,

You've emphasized several times now that you're not in fear for your safety and live in a safe area. So why the need for a gun? It doesn't make sense.

I don't feel the "need" for a gun per se, any more than I really feel the need for a smoke alarm (I personally know more people who have stopped a home invasion with a firearm than I do people who have had their home burn down), or a life jacket when I kayak (I don't do anything that would result in me winding up in the water), having a disaster preparedness kit, etc. I don't put a gun in the same category as life insurance, which is guaranteed to be useful to others at some point, but I guess I have it for a few reasons.

One, I'm the first line of self-defense for myself in the unlikely event something happens, so it makes sense to be prepared just in case - just like any other similar measure. Two, by seeing how I do things, my children (particularly my daughter) will be empowered to properly do the same if they choose, especially useful if they move to a less safe area when they grow up. Some other reasons, but those two would be the primary ones for me.

Starhopper said...

"in the unlikely event something happens"

I see. And do you also keep a supply of elephant repellant on hand?

One Brow said...

Legion of Logic said...
... or because my being allowed to own a gun means that someone else will misuse that same right and do something bad. In other words, remove my self-defense options in the hopes that bad people will be inconvenienced.

Not "bad people", but often other people in the home. People who might have gotten a recent cancer diagnosis, or be suffering from recently acquired depression, or are just too young to appreciate the danger. It's fine by me if you want to accept the risk, but it's unfair to you to distance yourself emotionally from that risk by thinking that only "bad people" would use the gun to hurt people you love.

SteveK said...

One Brow: "I look forward to your presentation of semi-automatic rifles being used in home invasions, muggings, kidnappings, rapes, or robberies."

I present YOUR reason for wanting to ban the guns as the evidence that these things do occur. If the guns aren't a problem, why are you wanting to ban them?

SteveK said...

One Brow: "Murders" is very generic, for example, mass shootings are murders, but having a semi-automatic in your house won't prevent them."

I didn't see that you separated out murders from my list. Having a semi-automatic rifle in your home will prevent a murder. It's been demonstrated. Why do you want to make self-defense illegal?

SteveK said...

Starhopper: "You've emphasized several times now that you're not in fear for your safety and live in a safe area. So why the need for a gun? It doesn't make sense."

For the same reason I lock my door at night. It's the responsible thing to do. If you were to look at the crime statistics you'd say my neighborhood is very safe (it is) so locking the door must be based on some irrational fear. It's not. It's what responsible people do to protect their home.

One Brow said...

SteveK said...
I didn't see that you separated out murders from my list. Having a semi-automatic rifle in your home will prevent a murder. It's been demonstrated. Why do you want to make self-defense illegal?

What did the semi-automatic rifle do for the homeowner in that situation that a handgun would not also have done? Why do you hate handguns so mush?

SteveK said...

One Brow: "What did the semi-automatic rifle do for the homeowner in that situation that a handgun would not also have done?"

I have no idea and neither do you. Maybe an airhorn or a dog would have worked well, but you don't know that beforehand - so you prepare to your level of comfort - just like you prepare for intruders by purchasing a door lock.

"Do you really NEED a door lock and what did your fancy lock really do for you since the intruder got in anyway?" That seems to be your reasoning applied to guns so let's apply that to door locks on homes.

Starhopper said...

Door locks don't kill people. No one has ever shot up a schoolyard with a door lock.

Legion of Logic said...

One Brow,

Suicide is a whole other matter. Far as the youth issue, my son is not allowed to touch them and does not know where they are. My daughter is old enough to learn safety and how to shoot, but my kids are never here without me here, as well. Short of a malfunction, nothing bad is going to happen with my guns in my home.

Now, when they get older they could potentially do something stupid and come over and try to get the gun while I'm not home, but they are far more likely to do something stupid like getting in trouble with alcohol, up to and including killing themselves or someone else. To borrow a Sam Harris phrase, if I could wave a wand and get rid of guns or alcohol, I would not hesitate to get rid of alcohol.

SteveK said...

Starhopper: "Door locks don't kill people"

The same is true about guns. My gun hasn't killed anyone and there are millions more just like it, but that wasn't my point and I think you know that. My point was the logic being used by One Brow also applies to door locks. Your 'fear' argument also applies to door locks.

bmiller said...

Door locks don't kill people.

Hey, that sounds like the start of a good slogan! :-)

Starhopper said...

"The same is true about guns.

Utter and complete nonsense. Nothing more than a catchy (and false) bumper sticker.

Guns do kill people. And yes, so do knives. So so baseball bats, rocks, frying pans, bricks, and twisted rope.

But amongst those items, only guns kill lots of people at a distance.

(Plus all those other items have legitimate uses other than killing people. Guns, on the other hand, serve no useful purpose whatsoever. They are killing machines, and that's it.)

One Brow said...

SteveK said...
I have no idea and neither do you.

If you didn't hate handguns so much, you have recognizes that in the close quarters of a home's interior, the handgun is just as effective as the semi-automatic rifle.

One Brow said...

Legion of Logic,

It sounds like you are trying to convince yourself that your home is not more dangerous to your children with a gun in it. If you choose to lie to yourself in this manner, mere facts will not change your mind. It is a disservice to you and your kids, but probably one you will never have to face consequences for. That is my earnest hope.

SteveK said...

Starhopper: "Guns do kill people. And yes, so do knives. So so baseball bats, rocks, frying pans, bricks, and twisted rope."

If what you meant by "door locks don't kill people" is that people don't use locks for that killing then I agree and say "so what?". People don't use guns to lock doors either. I have no idea what your point is.

"But amongst those items, only guns kill lots of people at a distance.

Yes, so? Knives kill people at a close distance. Bricks and rocks at a medium distance.

"(Plus all those other items have legitimate uses other than killing people. Guns, on the other hand, serve no useful purpose whatsoever. They are killing machines, and that's it.)"

Killing machines deter/stop people from committing acts of violence. I want one to deter/stop other people from doing harm to me and my family. Why do you want to make that illegal?

Starhopper said...

Steve,

I have written multiple times on this website that I have no interest in making guns illegal. I regard that as a fool's errand. What I do have an interest in is in showing people that they have no need for one, and get them to the point where they do not wish to own one. In person, I have had considerable success in these efforts - even in as gun soaked a city as Baltimore. (There are many community efforts along these lines.) On the internet, not so much. I guess it's easier to convince people face to face.

Legion of Logic said...

One Brow,

It's more dangerous in the same sense that it's more dangerous because I own knives for cutting apples and watermelons. The existence of a thing logically increases the risk of that thing causing an injury, but that doesn't make the risk a substantial one.

SteveK said...

Starhopper: "What I do have an interest in is in showing people that they have no need for one, and get them to the point where they do not wish to own one"

How do you show people they don't NEED a gun when you have no idea what the future holds, and neither do they? They could very well need one. Do you also show them they don't NEED a smoke alarm or a car or another child?

Starhopper said...

It's all a matter of statistics. Statistically, your home is less safe with a gun in it, than without. Statistically, you're more likely to encounter deadly force used against you if you have a weapon, than if you don't. Statistically, a gun in the house is far more likely to be used to commit suicide, kill a friend or family neighbor by mistake, or kill someone by accident, than the probability it might be used in defense against a hypothetical intruder.

Statistically, we're all better off without guns than with them.

SteveK said...

There's a very long list of things that make your life less safe. Is it your goal to eliminate everything on the list, or just target the things you personally dislike?

SteveK said...

It's easy to misuse statistics.

Statistically, people are healthy when they are young adults and will live until the statistical average age of death. Does anyone NEED health insurance when they're a young adult, or life insurance before the average age of death? In most cases, yes.

Simple statistics don't tell you everything.

One Brow said...

Legion of Logic said...
It's more dangerous in the same sense that it's more dangerous because I own knives for cutting apples and watermelons. The existence of a thing logically increases the risk of that thing causing an injury, but that doesn't make the risk a substantial one.

Really, this comparison to knives and other things is tired and facile.

You have knives for uses that do not involve killing/hurting/threatening people. To my understanding you are not a hunter, in a profession that requires gun use, etc., so your gun is there for the purpose of killing/hurting/threatening people. Your knife has everyday utility to weigh against the risk, your gun does not. Your gun is more likely to be used against a member of your house than against an intruder.

Feel free to take on that added risk. Be honest and recognize it.