Sunday, November 30, 2008

UPDATED: Gun control: another comforting illusion of security

Playing the usual card of citing a crime (the two people killed at Toys R Us), nemski at Delawareliberal has a predictable post supporting new gun control measures, except....

That several of his proposals are not new--they are already the law, and that research shows at least one of his proposals would actually increase crime.

Among his old proposals: holding adults culpable for furnishing guns used in crimes, for furnishing guns to minors, and enforcing existing laws (duh!).

Among a recurrent useless proposal: a permanent assault weapons ban, which is the same thing as saying we should stop selling all eight-cylinder cars with tail fins, while continuing to sell all others. There is no such animal as a semi-automatic assault weapon, and real assault rifles are already illegal.

Then there's the extension of the "cooling off" period--which has absolutely no research backing its effectiveness in states where it has been implemented (yes, nemski, it does exist in some places), or the elimination of concealed carry permits, which, ironically, have been universally shown by serious research to reduce crime wherever they exist, without causing so much as a bump in gun fatalities.

nemski is not looking to have a conversation with gun owners (he characterizes them as lunatics) or even to think rationally about policy. What he wants to do is use the new Democratic majority to legislate because they can:

Let's pass some tough gun control legislation and see what happens.

Yeah, in other words: let's enact our ideological beliefs no matter what constitutional law, policy research, or common sense says--just like all those gungho Republicans did from 2000-2006!

The primary difference between progressives/liberals and social conservatives is not that that one group wants to protect the Constitution and that the other would shred it, but that each of them has different parts of your civil liberties they would like to eliminate.

You can tell this with a simple fill in the blank question:

________________ are destroying America and need to be stopped.

For conservatives this would be queers wanting to get married, and for liberal/progressives this would be frothing at the mouth gun owners.

On a more serious note (two, actually):

1) None of nemski's proposals, even if enacted, will make a dent in the millions of guns already out there. So the logical conclusion is that either (a) gun control advocates are posturing; or (b) their ultimate aim is complete confiscation and registration (nemski regards a first step down that slippery slope as one he's willing to take).

2) This post provides the perfect liberal/progressive extremist counterpoint to the nutjob civil war post I criticized yesterday.

American citizens, I say to both of you, are not extremists.

UPDATE: A postscript: just in case you wondered whether or not you were dealing with a true confiscationist agenda, here's nemski's latest comment, in which he pretty much lays it all out--no guns would equal no crime:

This whole “law-abiding” meme is a crock of shit. Gun nuts use it all the time when someone goes killing with a gun, “Well, what do you expect, he’s a criminal.” But prior to the killings, he was a “law-abiding” citizen and yet gun nuts say it is not the gun, its the person. Why can’t you admit that the gun has something to do with the violence? And, maybe, just maybe, the death would not have occurred if there was no gun available.

A final little snark: beware anybody pretentious enough to throw in the phrase meme: it's a dead giveaway of somebody who has only encountered Dennis Dennett via George Lakoff (or his clones), but badly needs to fit in with the pseudo-intellectual Left.


Hube said...

Expecting a common sense post from nemski, Steve? C'mahn!!

zeister said...

A view from the Great White North

“A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity” - Sigmund Freud. General Introduction to Psychoanalysis (1952)

Bans of any sort are simply a political sop. Bans don't work. To wit, tobacco, drugs, guns and alcohol. You have to remove the demand. The anti-gun lobby is motivated by an ignorance of or an inherent fear of firearms. Since emotion drives them it makes them untrustworthy and potentially dangerous to society. Education is the key but that only works with open minds. Seek out reasonable men and mentally quarantine the rest.

Tyler Nixon said...

Great post, Steve. I like Nemski but he is way-crazed on the firearms issue.

A note on your point about there not existing such an animal as a 'semi-automatic assault weapon'.

Many libagressives, from the world of unicorns and engineered social utopias, would define all semi-autos as 'assault weapons'. They certainly tried to capture as many as possible in their bizarre, arbitrary, and (as a result) easily-skirtable, ultimate failure of an "assault weapons ban."

This bullshit Clinton-enacted law banned certain categories of semi-automatic rifles based literally on the type of frivolous attachments and configurations of certain semi-auto firearms. None of these 'assault weapon' identifying characteristics made them functionally different, in the slightest, from any straight-out semi-automatic rifle with a large-capacity clip (which they also, again unsuccesfully, banned for a period.)

The problem with the so-called 'assault weapons' definitions : they are totally arbitrary and incoherent. It is what ALWAYS happens when lurching throw-it-against-a-wall-and-see-what-sticks ignorance combines with a single-minded ideological agenda masquerades as a "rational" basis for legislation. (See US Drug War).

Trying to ban certain firearms by banning firearms based on certain cosmetic-only features belies a complete and fundamental lack of understanding of firearms and a total divorce from simple common sense.

The citizen disarmament crowd (and that's what they are) operate on a near-superstitious belief that firearms are dangerous, evil, and to-be-banished such that they'll take any piece of the total gun ban puzzle they can get.

They should just be honest about what they really want and come out in support of it straight away : firearms only in the hands of the state.

Bullshit on the laughable exceptions some of this bunch think are fair 'compromise', such as allowing antiques or single shot firearms (as if our rights are determined by a menu of their liking).

Such weapons are useless for self-defense and quite small in actual numbers in existence, relative to modern configuration firearms.

Also bullshit is the "we aren't looking to stop hunters" nonsense, knowing full well that this is only a tiny percentage of gun owners compared to those who are enthusiasts, recreationalists, or most of all those armed for self-defense. The vast majority of firearms owners DO NOT HUNT. Frankly I could care less about hunting as it pertains to firearms ownership and proposed restrictions.

More importantly, as the USSC affirmed (THANK GOD, given the results of this election) : the 2nd Amendment damn sure isn't about hunting and antiques.