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View Diary: Memo to NRA: You had your chance (307 comments)

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  •  The NRA really just wants to sell more guns (16+ / 0-)

    all else is posturing.   The only way to do that is to encourage individuals that like guns to own LOTS of guns, not just one for each legitimate purpose.

    It's easier to sell lots of guns to an individual if you have a lot of different types, for different uses.  But if you can get real paranoia worked up, so the customer buys a basement full of guns to defend against the coming zombie hordes (which is about as likely as overthrowing the US govt with civilian arms), then you get "growth" without needing more customers.  Also someone like that is likely a repeat can never have too much firepower if you're in that mindset.

    It's similar to how the Big Ag encouraged restaurant portions to get larger over the last few decades, because the population rate wasn't growing fast enough for them to hit their numbers and satisfy Wall street.

    Traditionally the NRA had power for the same reason Norquist has power.  They could fund primary challenges to people who were impure on policies that affected the profits of their backers.

    What might be different this time is that enough politicians may ignore them to give each other cover (they don't have deep enough pockets to primary EVERYBODY) and also the threat may not be as effective (2014 may not be a good year for trying to overturn an incumbent in a primary on a gun control vote).

    •  I completely agree (5+ / 0-)

      Some of the anti-gun control people here oppose both stringent background checks and clip restrictions.

      To me, this is the litmus test for telling the "NRA brainwashed" folks from the people who are willing to have a conversation.

      The only reason I can see for opposing those two measures is gun sales. The NRA opposes these, I understand. Just as the Tobacco Institute for years opposed any science that proved that cigarettes were unhealthy.

      And just as with that trade group, a lot of smokers parroted everything that the trade group said.

      But background checks? I mean, that seems like a no-brainer. And clip size? A gun that can kill twenty people in a minute is basically like a bomb, and who thinks people should be able to carry concealed bombs with them?

      But I think you're right on that the NRA is about increasing sales -- I wish gun owners would see they are a false prophet.

      "Stare at the monster: remark/ How difficult it is to define just what/ Amounts to monstrosity in that/ Very ordinary appearance." - Ted Hughes

      by MarkC on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 11:21:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah. My position on guns is pretty simple (11+ / 0-)

        Provide the weapons people need to go about their civilian lives, and regulate the rest to extinction.  I also feel anyone who owns a gun should be licensed to prove they have basic competence (similar to a driver's license) and should probably be held liable for any injuries/deaths the weapon causes and maintain insurance against such liability (similar to a driver's automobile liability insurance).

        The legitimate uses of private guns in 2012 American society.

        1.  Target shooting  (perhaps gun ranges could be allowed to have extended magazines and even assault rifles, carefully regulated and not allowed to leave the site).  This is about the only case where extended magazines and assault-type weapons might give you a more "fun" experience than using a 10 round shotgun, say.

        2.  Hunting.  To paraphrase Sen Manchin, if you need more than 10 shots to kill a deer, you probably should reconsider your hobby.   This implies a need for rifles and shotguns with limited ammo capacity.

        3.  Vermin/Predator defense of rural homes and farm animals/pets.   Light rifles and (for vermin) handguns are used in this role, again, limited ammo capacity is plenty.

        4.  Self Defense.   Most conflicts where a gun might help happen at very short range, and 10 shots is plenty to allow for missing, warning shots and the like.  If you have failed to defend yourself in 10 shots you're likely already dead or incapacitated.

        Hunting weapons or handguns in the home are more than enough for a home invasion scenario, and if they're not the right kind of ammo/caliber are too much if you live in something like an apartment, where you could shoot through a wall and kill a neighbor.   The tool should be appropriate for the job, just enough and no more.   There is an ugly tradeoff here though between gun safety and actual protection offered.   A gun with a trigger lock, in a gun safe, will keep the neighbor's toddler from shooting himself, but it won't be much use if you're attacked.    A gun on your person at all times will always be there when you need it (although drawing it under stress is remarkably challenging if you don't do delta-force level training to make it a reflex) but it is also there to be taken from you.  A gun nearby but ready for use (eg under pillow) might not be close enough and IS available for another person to do something bad with, either on purpose or accident.

        I can't gauge self-defense needs for others, as in my life I've never felt owning a gun would improve my physical security (I'm a moderately wealthy large white  male in an urban environment)...but some kind of carry permit process involving background checks and training certification should be the bare minimum.  

        5  Gun collections...anything not "street legal" could be disabled (firing pin removed or similar) and kept for display purposes.  If caught in the possession of a functional illegal weapon, the usual penalties apply.

        •  no handguns (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Well written comment.  My notes:

          Pistols are in-defensible.  They are for mobile homicide.

          Defend your home with a shotgun or riffle.

          •  Long arms have a problem for the self defense mode (1+ / 0-)
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            Dogs are fuzzy

            If you are truly worried about your own safety, you can carry a handgun on you and it will always be within reach, ready for use.

            A long arm will often be in another room, another building, somewhere inaccessible.  Doubly true if you are serious about things like gun safes or trigger locks for unattended weapons.

            I'm not saying the ordinary person should need to carry a handgun at all times.  But if you have enough of a worry about your safety to carry a gun, you will want to actually have the weapon with you any time you are concerned about your safety (which may be on your own property).  A long arm is quite heavy, and if you don't want to tie up your hands, the best you can do is a rather awkward sling on your back.   A pistol and holster weighs about as much as a tool belt and is much less likely to get in your way or be a nuisance.

            This is of course why police carry handguns.  They are in a lot of situations where a long arm would be clumsy, socially counterproductive and even a risk of being taken and used against them (it's easier to grab a shotgun on a sling than to get a piston out of a holster).

            They might have a shotgun or similar weapon in their vehicle, but they only carry it when they intend to use it.

            A farmer doing chores in an area that has wild animals might carry a pistol too...the chores preclude toting around a rifle or shotgun, but he can carry a pistol of appropriate size for the threat.  (most really large pistols were developed and intended for places like rural Alaska where the wildlife isn't a mountain lion-sized thing, it's a bear or a moose).

    •  Weird idea (0+ / 0-)

      If someone did start confiscating some guns, the owners would buy replacements, thus sending more money to gun manufacturers.

      Imagine a program which progressively banned weapons lacking modern (i.e. expensive) safety features. People who could afford it would upgrade.

      Such a hypothetical approach would hurt poor people, benefit gun manufacturers, and maybe even save lives.

      How would the NRA react?

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