Class Warfare Blog

February 26, 2014

NRA: “Mission Accomplished!”

This is the title and first paragraph of a recent NRA press release:
U.S. Firearm Production Sets Record in 2012: AR-15 Production Up Over 100%
“The number of firearms manufactured in the U.S. for sale to American customers hit an all-time high in 2012, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (BATFE) new Firearms Manufacturers and Export Report. American firearm manufacturers produced roughly 8.3 million firearms for sale in the U.S., a new record, up 33 percent from the 6.2 million produced for American customers in 2011.”

Wikipedia says this about the AR-15:
“The AR-15 is a lightweight, 5.56 mm/.223-caliber, magazine-fed, air cooled rifle with a rotating-lock bolt, actuated by direct impingement gas operation or long/short stroke piston operation. It has been produced in many different versions, including numerous semi-automatic and selective fire variants. It is manufactured with extensive use of aluminum alloys and synthetic materials.
“The AR-15 was first built by ArmaLite as a small arms rifle for the United States armed forces. Because of financial problems, ArmaLite sold the AR-15 design to Colt. After modifications (most notably the relocation of the charging handle from under the carrying handle like the AR-10 to the rear of the receiver), the new redesigned rifle was subsequently adopted as the M16 rifle. Colt then started selling the semi-automatic version of the M16 rifle as the Colt AR-15 for civilian sales in 1963 and the term has been used to refer to semiautomatic-only versions of the rifle since then. Although the name “AR-15” remains a Colt registered trademark, variants of the firearm are independently made, modified and sold under various names by multiple manufacturers.”

The phrase “adopted as the M16 rifle” means adopted by the U.S. Military. In other words, this is not a hunting weapon or a self-defense weapon, this is a weapon designed to kill a great many people as fast as possible, a military weapon. The rate of fire of the fully-automatic AR-15 was 800 rounds/min. The rate of fire of the semi-automatic version, the only version legal in the U.S., is indeterminant because it depends on how fast you can pull the trigger. Some say it is as low as 12-15 rounds per minute and that if you go faster, the barrel will overheat and the gun will jam. This seems a preposterous claim for a weapon designed to shoot 800 rounds/min. Also, a technique called “bump firing,” was devised that, while inaccurate, allows the trigger to be pulled at a very fast rate.

To make matters worse, while the interior parts of the commercial AR-15 have been redesigned so that the fully automatic parts from a military AR-15 cannot be just dropped in, consider this comment from January 2013 (Source: This Simple, Legal Add-On Lets an AR-15 Rifle Fire 900 Rounds Per Minute, Slate.com, 1-7-13):
“. . . a company called Slide Fire Solutions introduced a replacement rifle stock called the SSAR-15 that, for $369, allows you to bump fire your AR-15-style rifle from your shoulder while still retaining accuracy and control. The stock, in the simplest terms, is the part of the rifle you hold and brace against your shoulder. According to the Slide Fire website, “unlike traditional bump firing, the Slidestock allows the shooter to properly hold the firearm and maintain complete control at all times. As a result of the forward movement required to discharge each round, the shooter naturally corrects their point-of-aim for each shot and prevents recoil from pushing the firearm’s muzzle upward in an unsafe direction.” Or, as the subhed more concisely puts it, the SSAR-15 lets a shooter “unleash 100 rounds, in 7 seconds.” A product review at a site called Guns America notes that the SSAR-15 “installs in one minute with no special skills.”

Ah, that’s more like it. The NRA is crowing about record sales of a rifle that for a fraction of its original purchase price can be converted in just a few minutes to a fully automatic weapon capable of killing hundreds of people in just seconds.

Why would anyone think this was a good idea?

Ah, according to the Christian Science Monitor, “The estimated economic impact of the US firearms industry in 2012 was $31.8 billion, according to data from the National Shooting Sports Foundation. That’s up from $27.8 billion in 2009.” You can always determine the “whys” of American politics by following the money.

The NRA is a shill for the U.S. firearm manufacturers. When they make money, the NRA makes money. The next time you hear of a mass murder, remember it was not a crime of passion, but of greed.

Postscript Many people claim being able to fire automatic rifles is great fun. I agree. I have done so myself. This can be enjoyed by one and all at licensed establishments designed for such pleasures. There is no need for individuals to own such weapons.

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22 Comments »

  1. There is no need for individuals to own such weapons.

    Except when large groups of people riot and decide to kill, loot, plunder — as they did in the Rodney King Riots in LA.

    Or collecting a piece of American history; personally I would love to own a fully automatic Thompson Sub Machine gun. That rifle was used in WW2 and is an iconic part of our history.

    The NRA is crowing about record sales of a rifle that for a fraction of its original purchase price can be converted in just a few minutes to a fully automatic weapon capable of killing hundreds of people in just seconds.

    Sorry but your statement is legally and factually wrong. By definition a fully automatic weapon is capable of firing more than 1 round with a single pull of the trigger. All the ‘bump fire’ or “slide fire’ stocks do is use the recoil of the weapon to make it easier to pull the trigger faster; still only 1 round per trigger pull.

    So help me understand something; are you concerned that someone will be able to kill others at a faster rate?
    If so, what is the highest acceptable rate of murder you approve of?

    This is where I really don’t understand the mentality; if someone is going to murder another person, does it really matter if the rate of fire is 400 rounds per minute, 12 rounds or 800 rounds?

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    Comment by 3boxesofbs — February 26, 2014 @ 9:27 am | Reply

    • I think if you are going to kill someone, you should do it with your own hands. Doing otherwise means you are a pussy.

      And, 700-800 rounds per minute and you are kvetching about that doesn’t formally fit the definition of a fully automatic weapon? As if the functional equivalency is not good enough, it has to meet the definition?

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      Comment by stephenpruis — February 26, 2014 @ 10:15 am | Reply

      • I don’t know what your problem is or why you are so violent — common trait with anti-rights cultists though — but I don’t want to kill anyone. Nor do I want my wife, my daughter to have to try to fight their attacker one on one if that ever happens.

        Do you deny that firearms also prevent crime?

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        Comment by 3boxesofbs — February 26, 2014 @ 10:42 am | Reply

        • This is not a “do firearms prevent or cause crimes” question. Firearms *escalate* a vast number of disputes from non-lethal to lethal, a much larger number than they de-escalate. My somewhat tongue-in-cheek comment about killing with one’s bare hands was simply to make a distinction between the ease of pulling a trigeer versus the amount of hard work it would take to kill somebody with your hands. Killing by trigger means you do not even have to get close enough to a victim to fear physical retribution. (Noblemen used to fighting with swords considered early firearms to be coward’s weapons, as any sane person who brought a knife to a gunfight would.) The skill required to kill with a firearm is almost zero as all of the stories of toddlers killing themselves and others with their parent’s guns so well prove.

          I have no problem with rifles and shotguns (having owned both) designed for hunting or sport. For thrill seekers wanting to experience rapid fire weapons, shops can provide such thrills safely.

          Regarding your wife or daughter fighting off an attacker, do you suggest they carry an AR-15 with them at the Mall? If someone breaks into your house at night, will you have time to get your AR-15 out of your gun safe or will you leave it out “locked and loaded” next to your bed where you (and your attacker) can get to it, maybe when you are not even home? If someone breaks into your house, I can think of no better deterent than the racking of a slide action shotgun. Hearing that 99.9% of all criminals would be on their way out of your house by the shortest path. Instead, maybe you should like a great many full-metal jacketed bullets flying through the air in the general direction of where you heard some sounds, passing through walls as if they were paper, killing your household pets and maybe your children and neighbors?

          Yes, I am being facetious and impractical, but validated studies show that you are more likely to be injured by the gun you keep in your house than an burglar is (a fact the NRA keeps trying to cover up).

          In any case, home security does not require rapid-fire military style weapons, in fact they are quite impractical. Hunting doesn’t require them. (I had a friend who shot a very large Grizzly Bear at a distance of under 20 yards with a wooden longbow and wood arrow.) Having fun does not require them (but having shops licensed to provide you with a Thompson Machine Gun experience would be cool; I’d even go with you).

          There is middle ground between gun owners and safety-minded people. The NRA leadership used to be there. NRA memebers are still there. But the NRA leadership has been bought by the money provided by the manufacturers of arms and munitions to create an atmosphere of fear that leads to greater gun sales. The tagline has always been “outlaw guns and only criminals will have guns.” That’s the stupid side. No one is talking about outlawing guns. But if we were to do so, well consider Australia. They put severe restrictions on the purchase, owning, and use of firearms and gun-related deaths in Oz dropped by two-thirds. That sounds kind of nice.

          On Wed, Feb 26, 2014 at 10:42 AM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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          Comment by stephenpruis — February 26, 2014 @ 11:07 am | Reply

          • Validated studies?
            You mean like the infamous Kellermann study which was so bad he had to revise it. Originally he stated a person in the home was 43 times more likely to be killed by a firearm then kill a criminal – then it slipped way down to 2.7 times as likely.

            Why?
            Because he excluded any defensive use of a firearm that didn’t result in homicide. His case study has been torn to shreds so many times — yet it is still being used by Hemenway in a recent meta-study.

            will you have time to get your AR-15 out of your gun safe or will you leave it out “locked and loaded” next to your bed where you (and your attacker) can get to it,

            There are other alternative methods — including biometric safes which make access easy. Of course, not all home invasions happen in the night time without any notice. Look at Katrina for example; plenty of people were armed and stopped people from breaking in there. Look at the Rodney King Riots in L.A. – hundreds of people trying to kill and burn down large swathes of the neighborhoods. The merchants of Korea town were able to use those weapons you decry to protect their families and their livilihoods.

            As far as shotgun; who are you Joe Biden’s cousin?
            An AR-15 has less recoil and greater capacity then a 12 gauge shotgun; which makes sense for a smaller person to use?
            Of course the softer recoiling firearm. And the non-sense about racking a shotgun scaring off people — just that. The bad person has to already be inside or close enough to hear it. —

            Instead, maybe you should like a great many full-metal jacketed bullets flying through the air in the general direction of where you heard some sounds, passing through walls as if they were paper, killing your household pets and maybe your children and neighbors?

            And if you studied the issue you might know that 12 gauge buck penetrates as much if not more than the .223/5.56 round. That pistol rounds can also penetrate just as far. Next urban myth you want to trot out without any basis in reality?

            Having fun does not require them

            Who are you to tell me what my definition of fun requires or not? You don’t want to own one; great. DON’T.
            But stop trying to pass off your opinions as acceptable restrictions on my rights.

            (but having shops licensed to provide you with a Thompson Machine Gun experience would be cool; I’d even go with you).

            If I ever purchase one, I’ll invite you out to experience it. Have to buy your own ammo to turn into smoke and noise though; just not that generous 🙂

            They put severe restrictions on the purchase, owning, and use of firearms and gun-related deaths in Oz dropped by two-thirds. That sounds kind of nice.

            That’s like saying the island without any cars experienced no more car related fatalities once they were legally banned.
            The homicide rate has dropped from 1.9 to 1.3 but that was part of a decades long decline in homicides anyways. Look for the charts yourself. But that doesn’t mean homicides suddenly stopped. Just the implement used changed.

            There has been a pronounced change in the type of weapons used in homicide since monitoring began. Firearm use has declined by more than half since 1989-90 as a proportion of homicide methods, and there has been an upward trend in the use of knives and sharp instruments, which in 2006-07 accounted for nearly half of all homicide victims.

            Nor does it mean other types of violent crime didn’t increase. Are you okay with people “just being beaten” as long as they aren’t murdered?

            Recorded assault increased again in 2007, to 840 per 100,000, compared with 623 per 100,000 in 1996. The 2007 rate was the highest recorded since 1996.

            No one is talking about outlawing guns

            I don’t know how you can type that with a straight face — or if you did. If you believe it, you haven’t been looking around. Even now we have calls to repeal the 2nd Amendment and ban all firearms. Despite the Heller and McDonald decisions.

            Like

            Comment by 3boxesofbs — February 26, 2014 @ 11:40 am | Reply

            • Do you know anything about guns? Why would you assume a 12-gauge shotgun, why not 10-gauge? The weapon has to be sized for the person. And why would you use buckshot as an anti-personnel round unless you intended to kill. I would use bird shot and a .410 or 20-gauge low-power round. Pirates used blunderbusses (essentially very short-barreled shotguns) with very wide shot patterms because of the closeness of the range involved. A 12-gauge shotgun is designed for long range uses.

              And pardon me “no one *here* is calling for the banning of all guns.”

              On Wed, Feb 26, 2014 at 11:40 AM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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              Comment by stephenpruis — February 26, 2014 @ 11:49 am | Reply

              • Do you know anything about guns?

                A 10 gauge is a larger size then a 12 gauge.
                You are probably thinking of the less popular 20 gauge.

                And why would you use buckshot as an anti-personnel round unless you intended to kill.

                Because buckshot is recommended — even the police use it — by most people who are experts in self defense.

                I would use bird shot and a .410 or 20-gauge low-power round

                Bird shot is not recommended for self defense because of it is less able to penetrate — there fore less able to stop an attack

                A 12-gauge shotgun is designed for long range uses.

                And again you show your ignorance of basics; it isn’t the gauge of the weapon that matters so much in distance as the length of the barrel. A blunderbuss was a very short ranged weapon because the barrel was short, flared to make reloading easier. Tactical or self defense shot guns normally have an 18 to 20 inch barrel length while hunting shotguns normally go between 24 to 28 inches. The barrel length also matters when moving around a house — the shorter the better.

                Look use what you want where you want and how you want. Just give me and others the same courtesy.

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                Comment by 3boxesofbs — February 26, 2014 @ 12:31 pm | Reply

                • I know a 10-guage is large than a 12-gauge (an 8-guage is even larger); I was being ironic. I know all of those things. I an not trying kill the burglar, I am trying to scare the hell out of him. Hence I do not want the power of a small gauge weapon, I want something more like a Blunderbuss (more noise, more scatter, more frightening, less lethal), which is what tactical shotguns are all about.

                  And anyone hot by a 20-gauge shotgun, or even a .410 shotgun, blast at short range is not going to ignore it. Those tactical guys are often talking about someone attacking with killing intent, which most burgulars are not.

                  On Wed, Feb 26, 2014 at 12:31 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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                  Comment by stephenpruis — February 26, 2014 @ 1:08 pm | Reply

                  • You can do what you want — personally I don’t want to ‘scare’ the burglar. I want to stop him or her.

                    Those tactical guys are often talking about someone attacking with killing intent, which most burgulars are not.

                    Help me out here. Do you have different criminals where you live?
                    Are they willing to call you up, email. sent a litter announcing on the night of the 27th, they’ll be at your hour to rob you?
                    Do they wear Neon signs announcing their Intentions “Burglar specializing in home electronics”?
                    Or perhaps they stop at the front door/ back door and clearly announce “Hey, This is Bill the Burglar. I’ll be taking your jewelry, your credit cards and your IPAD”?

                    See where I live criminals don’t do those things. Nor am I a mind reader to know what their intentions are. Do you have telepathic powers?

                    Those tactical guys are often talking about someone attacking with killing intent, which most burgulars are not.

                    WRONG – They are talking about STOPPING A CRIMINAL Sorry to ‘shout’ but time and time again you ignore that fact. While a criminal might not ignore a .410 blast, it is less likely to stop them then a 12 gauge. That is why the police carry them. That is why most security agencies carry them. NOT because they are intent on killing but to make sure the criminal stops as soon as possible.

                    Again — you want to carry a blunderbuss or keep one at home. GREAT. Just stop trying to tell me what I need or not in my home.

                    Deal?

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                    Comment by 3boxesofbs — February 26, 2014 @ 1:15 pm | Reply

                    • I still say nobody needs an AR-15 modified to approximately full auto status to defend their home. Nobody. You are so good about statistics, so how many people broke into someone else’s home with the intent to kill the occupants in any recent year? How many break-ins were for the purpose of robbery in the same year? What is the statistical likelihood that will happen to you? People trumping up worries is not a justification for anything. I live in Chicago, there seem to be somebody killed here on a daily basis. I have lived here for seven years. I have seen one dead body. The guy fell out of a boat and drowned and the body floated to shore in my line of sight. Now there are some places in this city, were I to live ther, I would seriously consider getting a home defense weapon. But most of the people buying firearms live in rural areas, far from the ‘hood. What is their excuse? Usually it is fear, what the NRA trades in, wholesale, just to bolster sales. Can you seriously argue that the skyrocketing arms sales that began when Obama got elected are due to rising crime rates? Or could it be the fear that “Obama is gonna take your guns away, booooo.”

                      On Wed, Feb 26, 2014 at 1:15 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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                      Comment by stephenpruis — February 26, 2014 @ 1:25 pm

    • To counter any NRA nut’s pleas I need only present the Australian case of successful gun control.

      http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/dec/14/america-mass-murder-australia-gun-control-saves-lives

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      Comment by john zande — February 26, 2014 @ 10:26 am | Reply

      • Ah, but you see Australia has the unfair advantage of having a functioning federal government that serves its people. Our government serves only corporate interests and then the people’s interests, if they don’t interfere with those.

        On Wed, Feb 26, 2014 at 10:26 AM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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        Comment by stephenpruis — February 26, 2014 @ 10:30 am | Reply

  2. How many break-ins were for the purpose of robbery in the same year?

    What difference does it make if someone is in my house ‘just to rob’ me or if they are there to rape or murder?
    Are you saying I shouldn’t defend my property but I can defend my family. How effing generous of you to decide for me.

    I still say nobody needs an AR-15 modified to approximately full auto status to defend their home

    Great say what you want but stop trying to make it illegal for others who do feel it is necessary or just want one for fun. That is the difference between us; you advocate to decrease liberty and I advocate for liberty. My liberty to own a fully automatic weapon or the an approximation of it does not mean I plan on using it to kill. No more than you would.

    People trumping up worries is not a justification for anything.

    There is a 1 in 36 chance a home will be burglarized according to the FBI. – Now you may want to give up your property without a struggle but I don’t. You may want to take a chance the person(s) robbing you only are after property but I’m not going to take the chance.
    See there is two aspects to the equation; the probability and the consequences. Shouldn’t the criminals have the greater consequences of their actions , e.g. running into an armed homeowner ready to use it; then the home owner being defenseless against a criminal already willing to break one or more laws?

    But most of the people buying firearms live in rural areas, far from the ‘hood.

    You must not be keeping up with the latest trends but violence is spreading out from the cities into the suburban and rural areas; meth and it’s production is a large problem. Along with the violence the drug culture brings with. Gangs are also spreading out and affecting rural areas.
    .
    Now there are some places in this city, were I to live ther, I would seriously consider getting a home defense weapon.

    I love the myth that crime only happens in bad places or is limited any where outside of certain neighborhoods. In ‘good parts of Dallas’ in the last 2 months there have been a string of ‘driveway’ robberies. Why? Because they know the people there are likely to have money. in the area where I live, work, shop, eat; there have been many robberies in stores and restaurants. — But guess the criminals didn’t get the memo to stay out of those areas.

    Can you seriously argue that the skyrocketing arms sales that began when Obama got elected are due to rising crime rates?

    Nice straw man argument. Set it u and knock it down. Claim that I’m pushing that argument — NOT EVEN close.

    Let’s see Obama’s election; there is the “working on gun control behind the scenes” issue and bam — suddenly the ATF is ‘walking guns’ to Mexico. About the time Eric Holder and his crew are pushing the “90% of all guns” in Mexico come from the USA lie. Ever hear of “Fast & Furious” ?

    Then there is the outcry of anti-rights cultists after every mass murder – excuse me — after a limited number of mass murder events. They seem to ignore the ones like in Chicago or Los Angeles — ones where not a single gun control law would have stopped. The Washington Navy Yard shooter — remember how they demanded an ‘assault weapon’ ban — turns out he used a shotgun — see how I worked that into the argument. Not only did he use a common self defense shotgun, but he passed several background checks.

    Please don’t insult people’s intelligence by saying “no one here” is saying ban all guns when I clearly stated that others are definitely doing that.

    Or could it be the fear that “Obama is gonna take your guns away, booooo.”

    Especially when New York State passed their “Safe Act” and demand people turn in their firearms. Not when Connecticut passed their registration law and are sending out letters demanding people turn in their firearms.

    Like

    Comment by 3boxesofbs — February 26, 2014 @ 2:04 pm | Reply

  3. http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2014/02/26/suspect-sought-in-arlington-shoe-store-murder/

    By the way…that happened not far from my home — an a “good part of the town” near a major Mall attraction.

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    Comment by 3boxesofbs — February 26, 2014 @ 2:06 pm | Reply

  4. >So help me understand something; are you concerned that someone will be able to kill others at a faster rate?
    >If so, what is the highest acceptable rate of murder you approve of?

    Utter sophistry. Why would you make your case with the rhetorical equivalent of the question ‘Do you intend to stop beating your wife?’

    The issue with high rates of fire are that they are simultaneously more lethal and less specific. A shooter with a high RoF weapon can send a lot of lead downrange in a hurry. If firing into people clustered together they can indiscriminately wound and kill. A shooter with a bolt action rifle will take longer to discharge the same number of rounds as another with a semi-automatic (not to mention a fully automatic) weapon. Even if an experienced shooter is capable of a high rate of fire with a weapon that is not semi-auto there are all manner of complications that can make that fire less accurate and much less sustainable such as having to reload using a stripper clip (for a 1903 Springfield) or an M1 clip. I understand the view that says – exactly, and I want a weapon that I can use without these limitations in a life-or-death situation. But there are other points of view here as well. When people use weapons antisocially (e.g. school shootings) then the limitations of their weapons can translate to more time for people to escape, or fewer people killed and injured before law enforcement can respond.

    You appear to argue that you have a right to defend yourself using rapid-fire, high capacity weaponry and that the rest of society should stay out of your damn business. If the environment of law necessary for your choices only mattered to you and your family, if they had no implications for the rest of society, I’d agree. My part of the country is under no threat of rioting and violent crime is low. If there is a concern here it is that guns will be used as an outlet of antisocial behavior. Why shouldn’t my state or local government be able to regulate categories of firearms that are primarily for military application rather than hunting,etc. in accordance with the interests and concerns of the local polity?

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    Comment by Peter Walsh — February 27, 2014 @ 10:18 am | Reply

    • You are proving my point exactly.

      shooter with a high RoF weapon can send a lot of lead downrange in a hurry. and >A shooter with a bolt action rifle will take longer to discharge the same number of rounds as another with a semi-automatic (not to mention a fully automatic) weapon

      So you are saying that you accept the capacity to kill people at a bolt action rifle rate of fire but not a fully automatic rate of fire. That is the basis – crude and blatant — but the factual basis for limitations on high capacity magazines and firearms with high rates of fire.

      then the limitations of their weapons can translate to more time for people to escape, or fewer people killed and injured before law enforcement can respond.

      According the statistics and evidence; most mas murder events are over before the police can respond. So that really shouldn’t be a factor. Definitely not a factor in most home robberies or home invasions; very few of those ever are stopped by police response.

      And in places like Oakland; sometimes the police leave people to fend for themselves — http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/local&id=9172087

      . If the environment of law necessary for your choices only mattered to you and your family, if they had no implications for the rest of society, I’d agree.

      And if my actions endangered or injured others; there are already laws in place to handle that. Surely you can point to the vast number of home owners opening fire to defend themselves and killing dozens, right? Or are most of the crimes committed by people already violating the law; drug dealers, gangs, burglars, rapists?

      My part of the country is under no threat of rioting and violent crime is low.

      Bully for you. I’m sure the people living in New Orleans thought the same thing before Katrina. The people in Los Angeles probably didn’t expect riots like they saw after the Rodney King Police Verdict. How does it make sense to limit our rights to the current conditions; things can and do change.

      Why shouldn’t my state or local government be able to regulate categories of firearms that are primarily for military application rather than hunting,etc. in accordance with the interests and concerns of the local polity?

      UHH….the 2nd Amendment says so????

      Do you think your local polity should be able to regulate your freedom of speech, your right to exercise (or not) your religious choices? Change federal laws regarding unreasonable search and seizure?

      The relatively recent Supreme Court rulings (Heller & McDonald) make it very clear that weapons in common use are protected, that the right to keep and bear arms extents to self defense and is separate from militia related activities. If nothing else; that aspect; forming a militia should protect most of the weapons discussed here. Because ultimately the 2nd Amendment isn’t about hunting, it isn’t about target shooting. It is about protection; from criminals or a tyrannical government.

      And before you say we don’t have to worry about that; look around at the state of the country and tell me we haven’t lost many of our freedoms.

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      Comment by 3boxesofbs — February 27, 2014 @ 10:42 am | Reply

  5. >So you are saying that you accept the capacity to kill people at a bolt action rifle rate of fire but not a fully automatic rate of fire. That is the basis – >crude and blatant — but the factual basis for limitations on high capacity magazines and firearms with high rates of fire.

    Following up sophistry with more sophistry doesn’t change the fact that you are making an entirely self-serving and disingenuous argument. I do not in fact accept the capacity of low RoF weapons to kill. I accept that a specific history has made such weapons a part of our society and that it is unlikely that removing them entirely can be done in a way consistent with our laws and our Constitution. But that does not mean that high RoF weapons can and must be accepted without limitation. Pursued to its absurd conclusion your position would have individual citizens with the means to do so able to own any weapon they wished without limitation.

    >UHH….the 2nd Amendment says so????

    >Do you think your local polity should be able to regulate your freedom of speech, your right to exercise (or not) your religious choices? Change >federal laws regarding unreasonable search and seizure?

    Until the passage of the 14th Amendment state and local governments had the ability to do exactly that. State and local polities *did* circumscribe the freedom of speech, etc. but they limited those practices to people who were purposely excluded from the polity itself – eg. enslaved people, Indians. Such practices continued even after the passage of the 14th Amendment because the pre-Civil War Bill of Rights did not apply to the states. It was an open question as to exactly how the 14th Amendment would change that picture. That’s part of why the rights of non-whites were circumscribed by things like segregation laws. A legal process called incorporation has gradually expanded the scope of the Bill of Rights to the state and local level. Only recently has the Supreme Court moved to carry the process of incorporating the 2nd Amendment down to the level of local government.

    The idea of a local government being able to impose tyrannical restrictions over a local polity (eg. local voters not disenfranchised people) is a joke. The elected officials of local governments don’t circumscribe the rights of speech, or religion of the voters because they would cease to *be* elected officials, not because the Constitution in some way forbids them. For 70 years there was no Constitutional prohibition on the ability of a state to pass a law that would completely disarm every citizen within its boundaries, or require them to pay taxes supporting an established church. Massachusetts had an established church until 1833. Often state constitutions had elements mirroring the Bill of Rights.

    Federal intervention in state and local politics was made necessary by the criminal stupidity of generations of bigots who couldn’t envision living as the equals of people who didn’t share the same ethnicity. The idea that the 2nd Amendment had to be incorporated as a matter of necessity is highly arguable. For most of our history local governments did have the ability to regulate gun ownership. The loss of that ability is a recent innovation.

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    Comment by Peter Walsh — February 27, 2014 @ 11:15 am | Reply

    • I do not in fact accept the capacity of low RoF weapons to kill. I accept that a specific history has made such weapons a part of our society and that it is unlikely that removing them entirely can be done in a way consistent with our laws and our Constitution.

      IF the goal is safety, then any rate of fire should be unacceptable. Right?
      That isn’t the argument being made.

      Many people claim being able to fire automatic rifles is great fun. I agree. I have done so myself. This can be enjoyed by one and all at licensed establishments designed for such pleasures. There is no need for individuals to own such weapons.

      The argument isn’t ‘we need to control all firearms’ for public safety; we already have laws against criminal or negligent misdeeds. The argument is high rate of firearms shouldn’t be owned.

      So no, it isn’t sophistry to make the argument. Repeated statements to the contrary doesn’t disprove my point.

      I do not in fact accept the capacity of low RoF weapons to kill. I accept that a specific history has made such weapons a part of our society and that it is unlikely that removing them entirely can be done in a way consistent with our laws and our Constitution. But that does not mean that high RoF weapons can and must be accepted without limitation.

      So hunting rifles and shotguns are part of our society — right>

      “The number of firearms manufactured in the U.S. for sale to American customers hit an all-time high in 2012, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (BATFE) new Firearms Manufacturers and Export Report. American firearm manufacturers produced roughly 8.3 million firearms for sale in the U.S., a new record, up 33 percent from the 6.2 million produced for American customers in 2011.”,/b>

      8.3 Million in 2012, 6.2 Million in 2011 and on….sounds a lot like society has made it’s decision on high RoF weapons, doesn’t it?
      We already have limitations on them….again, we have laws on who can purchase them, how they can be sold, etc. So what more do you want? Banning them completely?

      Pursued to its absurd conclusion your position would have individual citizens with the means to do so able to own any weapon they wished without limitation.

      Convince me why a person shouldn’t be legally allowed to own a nuclear weapon, a tank (they can) or any other weapon as long as they don’t harm anyone else. If we are going to talk about weapons; let’s put everything on the table. The 2nd Amendment does protect “Arms” — at the time of the writing of the Constitution; private citizens owned armed sea going vessels. Private citizens owned artillery weapons and cannons.
      The 2nd Amendment doesn’t protect just hunting rifles but all the weapons of war. The idea that the people had the ability and could maintain the ability to deter the depredations of the government is at the heart of the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. That is why fully automatic weapons aren’t prohibited but just subjected “tax laws”.

      The idea that the 2nd Amendment had to be incorporated as a matter of necessity is highly arguable.

      So every other right of the people should be incorporated by the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is ‘arguable’. Some of the very laws you mentioned –ones over turned by the 14th Amendment were designed to keep freed slaves disarmed.

      Like

      Comment by 3boxesofbs — February 27, 2014 @ 12:50 pm | Reply

      • >So no, it isn’t sophistry to make the argument. Repeated statements to the contrary doesn’t disprove my point.

        Your “point” is built on a self-serving and narrow interpretation of the complaint against high RoF arms. To the extent that you insist on your narrow meaning and disallow what has been plainly explained to you is what makes your position merely rhetorical rather than substantive.

        Automobile accidents kill thousands of people in the U.S. each year. The fact that I own and drive a car does not represent my endorsement of those fatalities. It does not make it invalid to require that people own automobile insurance, have their cars inspected, pass a driver’s license test, and obey traffic regulations. It does not mean that certain types of modifications to automobiles, or even entire types of cars should not be regulated.

        You have repeated the argument that laws pertaining to guns are useless insofar as law breakers will not obey. The exact same argument could be employed to disallow all vehicle regulation in the U.S. We regulate the use and even ownership of automobiles in order to minimize the harm (intended or unintended) that can come from their use. The same idea applies to guns. Why should we not regulate the use and ownership of firearms in order to reduce the potential for harm? We do not allow Formula-1 racing cars to drive on our highways, we limit them to the appropriate venue where their use in sport and entertainment is appropriate. Why should the people have no ability to decide that a particular class of weapon, such as those with high RoF?

        Oh right, the 2nd Amendment as interpreted by you and other likeminded people. Except that I’ve shown that the way the 2nd Amendment as currently interpreted is an innovation, a new creation of a conservative Supreme Court.

        >So every other right of the people should be incorporated by the Right to Keep an Bear Arms is “arguable.”

        Your meaning here is unclear. That the process of incorporation is arguable is a demonstrable fact. It is part of the historical record. Incorporation is a tendentious process that is nearly 150 years old. It has involved arguments all along the way, as it still does.

        As for your proposal that people should be allowed to own any arm including nuclear weapons. This is patently absurd. Our nation and much of the world has been engaged in efforts to limit the proliferation of nuclear arms. The potential for public harm in the case of privately owned nuclear weapon should be obvious. Furthermore, regulation of class 3 weapons is not simply a matter of “tax laws” as you suggest. Obtaining such weapons requires the participation/approval of local officials and the ATF. In some cases local officials have withheld their participation as a way of preventing the transfer of class 3 weapons. The ability of local officials to take such “non-action” is currently in dispute.

        Like

        Comment by Peter Walsh — February 27, 2014 @ 2:09 pm | Reply

  6. We do not allow Formula-1 racing cars to drive on our highways, we limit them to the appropriate venue where their use in sport and entertainment is appropriate.

    Actually as long as they pass all the requirements; yes we do allow them to drive on the streets. We also allow nearly unlimited engine size, horsepower, etc — they have to meet minimum requirements regarding safety equipment, etc.

    Why should the people have no ability to decide that a particular class of weapon, such as those with high RoF?

    Because the Right to Keep and Bear Arms Shall not be infringed It isn’t the Right to Keep and Bear Arms with a rate of fire under 15 rounds an hour. I can’t tell you not to drive your gas guzzling Caddy, I can’t tell you not to churn out post after post condemning people for being not like you, I can’t tell you to limit the size of your religion. There are some areas of choice that the people don’t get to vote on. That is why we are not a true democracy !
    My rights are not subject to your vote.

    The potential for public harm in the case of privately owned nuclear weapon should be obvious.
    So is the potential harm for public transportation and even private transportation via car, airplane, boat. There is potential harm in allowing people to own diesel fuel and fertilizer. And house hold chemicals — yet we still allow them.
    If we are going to have the argument about what weapons are acceptable; then we really need to have that debate and not start with “this already are off limits or tightly controlled” and we need to restrict from there.
    The effective difference between a fully automatic M4 carbine and a semi-automatic AR-15 is nearly negligible in real terms of rate of fire.
    For too long gun owners have set back and had our rights chipped away. We used to be able to have firearms shipped to our doors from out of state. We used to be able to own, without local LEO approval, Class 3 firearms. How much sense does it make to allow those very LEOs to determine who owns a firearm or not?
    Gee, isn’t it just possible those officers could be crooked, or oppressive, or have personal grudges against people?

    That the process of incorporation is arguable is a demonstrable fact.

    Or maybe, just maybe those local officials still don’t want to treat everyone as if they have equal rights?

    And given the current process — one you seem to approve — why couldn’t we extend that to F-35s or Abram tanks or Missile Destroyers or even nuclear weapon ?

    We allow dangerous things to happen all the time. We allow people the potential to harm others all the time. A gallon of gasoline has more potential energy and more potential harm than a full magazine of 5.56 or .308 rounds.
    We allow people to purchase gallons of chemicals that can be used to make explosives or poisons. The idea that firearms are unique in their ability to harm is an artifact of the gun control movement.

    Like

    Comment by 3boxesofbs — February 27, 2014 @ 4:25 pm | Reply

  7. >Actually as long as they pass all the requirements; yes we do allow them to drive on the streets. We also allow nearly unlimited engine size, >horsepower, etc — they have to meet minimum requirements regarding safety equipment, etc.

    Vehicles are regulated primarily by state and local authority. This is not a counterexample to the idea of regulating firearms in similar fashion, it in fact reinforces my point.

    >Because the Right to Keep and Bear Arms Shall not be infringed

    Yes, thank you for quoting the federal Constitution. I see you’re determined to ignore the fact that historically and until quite recently there was no conflict between the 2nd amendment and the ability of local jurisdictions to regulate firearms.

    >The potential for public harm in the case of privately owned nuclear weapon should be obvious.
    >So is the potential harm for public transportation and even private transportation via car, airplane, boat.

    I am under no illusions that you are going to change your paranoid and willfully equivocal way of thinking. Having you make a statement like this is more than enough for me. You’ve revealed a bizarre mentality that sees no difference between ownership of a nuclear device and ownership of household chemicals. By all means continue to say such things: You make my argument for me.

    Like

    Comment by Peter Walsh — February 27, 2014 @ 5:13 pm | Reply


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