Common Sense Gun Laws
I’m all for common sense gun laws. For example, felons and those with a recognizable propensity to violence (think restraining orders and such) do have a right to bear arms, they have simply lost that right because of their actions. The Constitution allows for this in the same way it allows for imprisonment, censoring and review of prison mail, and gag orders. You can be deprived of certain natural rights through due process.
I support a states right to limit or exclude open and concealed carry, but only one or the other. There are some not bad arguments for banning concealed carry, and there are some arguments that aren’t bad for banning open carry, but we have a right to bear arms, so there must be some way to do that. Personally I support concealed carry, while being opposed to open carry under certain circumstances.
I am not for laws requiring registration*, nor do I support home inspections or licensing ownership of any kind. Neither do I support limits on magazine size, the number of guns one can purchase at a given time, or waiting periods. I have formulated 2 questions, the answers to which I think settle a lot of the debate on what restrictions make sense.
1. In exactly what way does an AR-15 differ from any other magazine fed semi-automatic firearm? A better question still, in what functional ways are the permitted semi-auto rifles different from the banned semi-auto rifles in the senate bill?
I can answer this one easily. There are no differences, none whatsoever. If a gun accepts a magazine and is semi automatic, they function identically and have the same potential lethality. Yet, while the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 would make all AR-15’s illegal to sell, rifles with identical abilities are specifically exempted because of their recognized sporting use’s. If you don’t under stand that, you have no business expecting your arguments to be taken seriously.
2. If an “assault weapon” is unnecessary for my personal defense, why do police officers need the same things to address the same threats? With regard to magazine size, assuming smaller magazines do confer a significant disability on the shooter, aren’t those faced with a need for armed self defense encumbered to the same degree? If not and smaller magazines are equally suitable for defense, why does law enforcement need larger magazines to, once again, address the same threat private persons do?
I can answer this also. Magazine capacity is largely irrelevant. Forgetting for a moment that they can be made easily, few have ever bothered to do so, even during the last ban from 1994 to 2004. I don’t know that there is any better example out there.
There are also serious problems in trying to argue that the “police and military” should be the only ones allowed to own “assault weapons” and “high capacity magazines”. The biggest problem I see is that the police deal with threats to the public at large, and there is little reason that they need to be better armed than the average joe.
Whats more, is that I was a soldier, I used 30 round magazines nearly every day for almost 6 years of my life, and I had a fair few jam on me. I have never had a smaller magazine fail, even when more cheaply made and more heavily used and abused. If anything, limiting magazine capacity increases reliability, at the cost of capacity.
A 100 round magazine does offer 100 rounds, but they are notoriously unreliable, in fact, had the shooter at the movie theater in CO used 30 round magazines, or even 15 or 10, the carnage may have been worse, because when his rifle jammed, he tossed it aside, with more than half the ammo unspent.
When it comes down to it, if the goal with magazine size limits is to provide openings for a shooter to be taken down, the same is true of citizens engaged in lawful self defense. The average law abiding person is encumbered exactly as a criminal would be, but a criminal is far more likely to ignore the law and buy, make, or modify a magazine to hold more than the legal number of rounds, leaving only people like me at a disadvantage. But, again, every magazines particular capacity has trade offs that more or less make up for the other, which makes the whole thing even worse in some ways.
A rational review of my 2 questions and all their sub-questions leads me to the conclusion that “type and capacity” restrictions are a waste of time and facially illogical. The laws that are currently under consideration will have no impact on crime, because none of them actually address a recognizable problem. You are more likely to die falling out of bed than you are to be killed by any of the weapons on the “ban list”.
I’ve seen figures indicating that as many as 90% of the murders in the US are committed by those who are already felons. That being the case, it occurs to me that guns laws are hardly the issue we need to deal with.
*They are quite simply a waste, there may be a constitutional argument here, but I don’t think it matters. Canada recently tossed their gun registration scheme because it was discovered to cost money, while not impacting crime at all. For Christs sake, we can’t even get 100 senators to show up for work on a regular basis, who thinks 300 million guns could be registered?