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View Diary: The Logic Behind Weapon Rights? (44 comments)

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  •  I sense (1+ / 0-)
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    an attempt to conflate "banning weapons"with the regulation of weapons. There is no reason whatsoever for civilian use of an assault rifle or a "mega clip". If you can come up with one, reason, besides sedition, or the ruling tyrant that is intent on confiscating all our "guns". Bring it on.


    •  reply (0+ / 0-)

      Well, that would depend on the definition of assault rifle.  There are semi auto rifles from the early 20th century that fire 10 hunting round from a magazine, or there are modern rifles that can fire up to 100.  I think more than five rounds is a bit excessive but as an enthusiast of all things mechanical  I will be the first to tell you that there is not much technical difficulty in making a magazine longer. As for purpose, it must be said that a rifle has been proven to be the best weapon for personal defense with a semi auto having an enormous advantage.  I cannot tell you why we as a species wish to find better ways to kill one another (maybe its laziness), but I can say that if you try to face modern weapons with old you will not last very long. I doubt that  a ban on magazines will be any more useful that the ban on pot.

      •  playing devil's advocate (0+ / 0-)

        If I was one of these ranchers, I think a good argument could be made for a modern rifle.

        ...a drug-smugglers' camp on his private property.  Stacked together under a stand of trees are blankets, jackets, food, water, binoculars and bales of marijuana from Mexico wrapped in burlap

        ...frequently finds evidence of smugglers on his land -- well-worn trails, cut fences, discarded water bottles, clothing and shoes. His home has been burglarized twice and he is constantly on the lookout for armed smuggling groups while he and his employees round up cows on his remote land.

        For neighboring rancher David Beckham the problem is even more severe.  Earlier this year he made the painful decision to move himself, his wife and three boys away from their ranch, which sits about 12 miles north of the Mexican border.

        "It's not safe, it's not safe for my kids," he said.  The Beckhams have had numerous run-ins on their land with Mexican smugglers.

        Their cattle fences are frequently cut and paths heading north from Mexico cross their property.  Beckham says a smuggler even fired shots at him while he walked his land with a U.S. Border Patrol agent.  Several illegal border crossers have also approached his house at night--one even reaching his hand into their bathroom window.

        "Several years ago, one of my children was taking a shower and had a gentleman reach into the shower while he was in there, and he came out screaming, absolutely refusing to take a shower for the next couple months."

        ... Sue Chilton described what happens when smugglers walk close to their house at night:  "We turn out the lights, Jim gets his guns and we sit somewhere in the dark in the middle of the house where we are not close to our window and wait for the action to be finished."

        My father leased a ranch hand's house on one of these ranches in Arizona.   NO, it's NOT all Republican hype.    Land is a valuable resource, and criminals move right in and set up shop, and they are armed and dangerous.

        They do carry their rifles to shoot people, not just animals. It's the armed and dangerous Coyote they fear most, not the pesky, cute coyote.

        It's an inconvenient truth.  There are people living in the United States that do have a reasonable expectation based on personal experience of stumbling upon dangerous criminals toting assault rifles in their own backyards (or even reaching into their windows), every day.   Yes, it's a Republican talking point, and it's a Republican talking point, because it happens to be the truth, and in this case, the truth is on their side.    The armed smugglers are crossing illegally from Mexico, where they can get any assault weapon they want, and an assault weapon ban in the United States will bother them, not at all.

        And, by the way, the criminals are bringing "controlled substances" into the United states by the ton.   Remember the "Controlled Substances Act"?   Have you noticed how well THAT has worked?   Our laws to "control" drugs has really worked out well, haven't they?    

        I don't care if we try an assault weapons ban. Have at it.  It might keep an assault weapon out of the hands of a law abiding citizen, and that's a start.  It's just that the evidence indicates that it's not going to work very well, and I'd like to see us spending our energy on something that might actually make a difference.

        Maybe if we can pass the thing, we can stop talking about it, and start doing something productive.

        •  Interesting balancing test. Is it acceptable to (0+ / 0-)

          make people in other places take risk of all sorts of mayhem so that the guy who chooses to live twelve miles from the border can feel himself somehow safer? Or to make all people who go to public places like schools and theaters take the risk of being shot there so that the folks on the Mexican border . . . . One of the problem with the argument is that the border situation is being generalized to cover all gun possession and use in the semi automatic range and to rationalize away all that happens with such stuff that has nothing to do with individual literal self protection. This kind of sloppy generalization now has nut cases in my area demanding all teachers carry guns in schools, leaving guns within snitching range of children.

          •  The same argument exists in reverse (0+ / 0-)

            Perhaps people who live near public places where shooters may be attracted to the crowd should move away from them.

            It's no more ridiculous than your argument.

            Do they have the right to make people on the border give up their private property, and their livelihoods, for your convenience?    Not only that, but keep in mind that  the consequences of policies that the entire nation voted for, our beloved Drug War, the New Prohibition, is what made their areas so dangerous.   They are paying the price for the rest of us, and now you want them to pay MORE, give up EVERYTHING?   And, remember, they are part of our food supply.  Those cows they are going after are the beef we eat at our supermarket.

            There may be a very similar argument about avoiding dangerous places, for suggesting that we might want to consider NOT attending Batman movies, and NOT taking your nine year old child to see Batman.    It is time for a public discussion of violence porn.   You wouldn't take your nine year old to see sex porn, and you might even recognize that taking your kid to a theatre full of porn addicts could be a dangerous place for the child, so why would you take your nine year old child to see violence porn in a theatre full of violence porn addicts?   It is abudantly clear that the theme of violence and depravity attracted this predator and influenced his actions.   Perhaps that is not a family friendly or safe situation in which to bring your children, and it is YOU who should avoid that dangerous setting.

            Let me ask you this.   Consider a crazed and dangerous man who has an obsessive desire to kill people.    Let's assume that we have an assault weapon ban in place, but that many types of guns, many with clips that hold up to ten bullets, are still available, as everyone expects would be the case.

            Do you think that a crazed, osbsessive, determined mass murderer who plans for months, would simply choose other available guns, obtain illegal weapons, modify legal weapons illegally, or build homemade devices?

            Or, do you think this violent, obsessive predator, who planned for months, would simply give up, because his rifle only holds ten bullets?  

            Logic tells me our shooter would find a way to make his fantasy come true, and the tragedies will continue.

            I wish you were right that a simple assault weapons ban will fix this problem.   I pray you are right, even though I'm an atheist.    I want to be wrong.

            But, no matter how I want to believe it, I don't.

            I expect Gun Control to work as well as The Controlled Substances Act, which is not at all.    Those same smugglers on the South Arizona Ranch will be bringing in assault weapons by the truck load.   It's a bandaid on a mortal wound.    As long as crazed, violent, obsessive mass murderers are wandering around, they are going to find or make weapons to use.    I would like to believe in the fantasy that the we could just make guns illegal, but let's face it.  Murder is ALREADY illegal.  There was an assult weapon ban in Connecticue.  And that didn't stop the shootings.  

            We have to work on the reasons that shooters got that way in the first place.    Most of them were kids and young adults, so focusing on the welfare of kids is the place to start.   It's not so simple as passing gun laws, but going back to the root of the problem is the only way.  

            If we leave a determined mass murderer wandering around without help to ponder the problem long enough, even if we try everything we know to keep the gun out of his hands, he'll find a way to act on his urges.


        •  Terrible situations. (0+ / 0-)

          As a point of logic, though, if your house is being repeatedly burglarized that's an argument against storing a weapon there.

    •  Don't know if this actually happened (0+ / 0-)

      There have been reports from various riots of store owners standing on their roofs with high-capacity rifles.

      If true, it's "one reason", though rare enough that I won't suggest basing policy on it.

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