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View Diary: If "Gun's Don't Kill People"... (109 comments)

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  •  Self-refuting diary (7+ / 0-)

    Let's take a look at the premise and apply it as historically appropriate.

    My grandfather could have:
    Bought dynamite by the case from the Sears catalog (minimum order size of 25 pounds, starting at 13 cents per pound)* and had it delivered by the US mail. Also surplus but formerly front-line military rifles ($2.90 each). No regulation required.

    *I know it is hard to see and might get lost at the tail end of their 30 page selection of regulation-free firearms, but trust me, it's there.

    In WW2:
    Civilian merchant ships with civilian crews were armed with heavy machine guns, 20mm autocannon and 5 inch naval artillery loaded with high-explosive shells, which they would have kept mounted while sitting in US harbors. Because civilian merchant sailors are inherently responsible types and do not need government oversight to be trusted with this sort of thing.

    To this day:
    Flamethrowers and certain types of cannon are completely unregulated by the ATF. So, a person could theoretically load up their yacht with a dozen rifled cannon, each firing a 20lb shell (solid or high explosive) and this would not even require a background check.

    Current ATF rules allow you to buy 50 pounds of black powder with no oversight (which has a "times .6" equivalent with TNT according the National Counterterrorism Center). That's not 50 pounds total's per day.

    But the diarist or anyone else should feel free to point out the historically larger casualties caused per year (in the past or present) by criminal misuse of items of this type compared to the more highly regulated things like guns, then we can and most certainly should discuss further regulation of them.

    However, if no one can present data to show the number of fatalities these unregulated things had in the past compared to the current figures for today's highly regulated firearms (aggregate or per capita basis, your choice), then I guess the argument that the item itself is "the problem" is pretty thoroughly debunked, and we can forever move past that irrational nonsense and on to dealing with the people who would misuse them as a means of saving lives that is both more effective and more in keeping with liberal principles.

    But that of course would require people willing to have an honest and rational debate on the subject. And if only this diary had published to a group which had those qualities, we might actually get some debate of that sort.

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