Posts tagged ‘mass murder’

12/18/2012

Those proposing bans on semiautomatic firearms* want to take us back to the ’80s

by wfgodbold

The 1880s.

Those of you who are good at math will note that that is closer to the 1791 ratification of the Second Amendment than to today (~90 years vs. ~130 years). Certainly far closer to the framing than TV, or the internet, but about on par with radio.

Proposing that somehow the arms protected by the Second Amendment are only those in existence at its framing and ratification is the first step down a dangerous road. If that logic applies to the Second Amendment, there’s no reason it couldn’t apply to any of the others.

Twitter? Facebook? The entire internet? TV? Movies? Video games?

Not protected under the First Amendment because at its framing and ratification you had to own a printing press and print pamphlets or stand on a soapbox and shout at passers-by to be heard.

Email? Cars? Your computer? Cloud storage?

All searchable without a warrant, probable cause, or even reasonableness, because the framers did not have any of that technology.

If you don’t like the Second Amendment, you’re welcome to try to repeal it, but consider: Would repealing the First Amendment mean that we no longer have the freedom of speech, or the press, or religion? Rights are not conferred by the government–they are, in the words of the Framers, unalienable.

Self-defense is a human right, and the best, effective means of self-defense is a firearm. A firearm puts the weak, the infirm, and the small on equal footing with their attacker.

To abrogate that right in the face of media-driven hysteria would be wrong, particularly when that hysteria is based on several false assumptions: (1) Mass shootings are not becoming more common, (2) An assault weapons ban would not have stopped the CT shooter, (3) Anything that would have prevented the CT shooting would have serious constitutional problems, and (4) America has already had a conversation about guns, and the gun control side lost.

I understand the drive to do something, but gun control proponents are focused more on doing anything, whether it would work or not, and whether it would be constitutional or not.

*Including, among others, the NY Post, which somehow fails to note (probably because of the pearl-clutching) that the AR-15 was invented in the late 1950s. The NYT notes that the AR-15 is the most popular rifle in America (and yet disingenuously posts a picture of a rifle that would be illegal under CT law, instead of one that was legal, like the shooter actually used). In Heller, the Supreme Court held that the Second Amendment protects arms in “common use.” (554 U.S. at 627) The most popular rifle in America surely falls under this “common use” umbrella.

12/17/2012

In memoriam

by wfgodbold

I’ll talk politics later.

08/07/2012

Why should I do any soul-searching?

by wfgodbold

I didn’t kill anyone.

I didn’t suggest that someone else kill someone.

Yes, the shooting at the Sikh temple in Wisconsin was a tragedy. But it was no less a tragedy than the recent mass stabbing in China (which, you will notice, was more deadly: 8 killed and 5 wounded in China, as opposed to 6 killed and 4 wounded in Wisconsin).

President Obama said that we must “do some soul searching to examine additional ways that we can reduce violence.”

I will commend him for not actually saying “gun violence;”* being shot kills you just as dead as being stabbed, bludgeoned, or poisoned. However, I can’t actually reduce violence myself; I’m not violent.

“But,” you say, “don’t you carry a weapon?”

Yes, but I don’t carry it to be violent.

I carry to prevent violence.

The police aren’t there to protect me. They’re not there to protect you.

The police are there to clean up after the fact, investigate, and deter criminal behavior.

Not to protect anyone else.

Since I can’t afford bodyguards (like Michael Bloomberg or Richard Daley), I choose to take responsibility for my own safety.

*Unlike the nanny of the decade, Michael Bloomberg. Given his track record with other amendments, it’s not surprising he still hates the second. DC v. Heller is still good law; handguns and semi-auto weapons are protected because they’re in common use.**

**This standard seems to be begging the question. Automatic weapons aren’t in common use because they’ve been heavily regulated since the 1934 NFA, and de facto banned since 1986***. According to the court’s logic in Heller, this ban is fine because automatic weapons aren’t in common use, but they’re not in common use because they’re banned.

***They’re not actually banned de jure; if you pay for the tax stamp, you can buy a machine gun that was manufactured before 1986; however, they’re not making any more of them, so qualifying automatic weapons can cost upwards of $10,000.

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