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We all need to cool off and take a step back for a moment.  It is never a good idea to have an emotional knee jerk reaction from either side of the fence.

I often get asked why I am here.  I am a libertarian and I am educating myself.  Many people band together and only discuss things with people on their side of the fence.  I have learned nothing ever changes that way.  People don't want to have a debate, they want to be accepted and to have their views accepted and echoed back at them.  So yes, I am here to not only learn, but to share my beliefs, and be challenged by yours.  I hope that my beliefs can challenge all of you as well, and that we can learn from each other.  

With background in the military, law enforcement, and working contract in the private sector I like to believe I am at least modestly qualified to speak about guns and gun control.  Certainly I feel I am more qualified than someone who has never held or fired a weapon.  I am more than a little confused by this 'gun racism' that is going on.  The definitions of an 'assault weapon' are perplexing to me.  A folding stock?  How does that make a weapon more dangerous?  It does not make a bullet travel faster or straighter.  A pistol grip?  Again, this does not make a weapon more dangerous or accurate.  Over 90 percent of crimes are commited with a handgun.  Over 98 percent are commited with 3 bullets or less.  We are talking about reducing gun crime by under two percent with a magzine ban, probably less considering that crimes that use more than 3 bullets almost never use more than 10.  I liken this to the New York law.  You can only buy 16 oz soft drinks, what if I want a 32 oz?  Fine, I'll just buy 2 of them and I get my 32 oz drink, oh and I get to throw more garbage in the landfill, hurray for two straws and two lids.  If I want 30 rounds, I will just carry three magazines.  I have timed my reload time in at just under .7 seconds, trust me, a magazine change is not slowing anyone down, believe me.  

Whats the difference between a 10 round semi auto hunting rifle and a 10 round AR?  Anyone?  The answer is not a thing.  If you understand how a rifle works, a semi automatic is a semi automatic.  I will spare you the details on mechanical function on how these weapons cycle and keep it simple here.  Each time you pull the trigger, it fires.  AR-15s are not automatic, just as hunting rifles are not automatic.  If you pull and hold the trigger back, it fires once.  The trigger must be released to what is called 'reset' before it can fire again. In operational terms, they are the same.  Differences are primarily cosmetic.  'It's Black' is not a reason to hate it guys.  I'm afraid there is a terrible miscommunication between our politicians, the media, and the public about these weapons.  We are focusing on folding stocks, vertical grips, pistol grips, and other accesscories.  But in function, no different than a semi automatic hunting rifle.  So why have an AR then if it is the same as a hunting rifle?  To me it's a comfort issue.  I appreciate the stock in that it reduces recoil.  This means my baby brother can fire it (12 years old) when we go out shooting.  It means my sister can fire it.  I like that it is light weight.  And just like when you get to decide between buying a mustang or a pinto, it is nice that it is kinda sexy.  None of these factors make it more or less dangerous.  It fires a .223, or for our European or military friends, a 5.56 NATO round.  This round is a small round initially designed as a varmint round.  It is considered ideal for coyote sized threats.  It is not over the top destructive, and in fact is not even considered a legal round to hunt deer with in most states.  This is because the round does not insure a clean and humane kill on the animal.  If you want to talk about scary rounds lets talk about the .30-06, a favorite of deer hunters.  This round will put most bears down...

I would really like to see folks educate themselves.  Go out and ask a conservative or a libertarian to take you out to the range some time.  Kindly express to them that you would like to educate yourself on firearms.  You will find that 99% of them will be happy to bring you to a range and let you use their weapon.  In fact, you will find that most of them will even let you use their ammo and ear protection and even lend you a set of eye protection.  They will show you how to safely use a weapon and explain its capabilities and 99% of them are very patient instructors.  Ask them to fire a semi-automatic hunting rifle and then fire their AR-15.  Again, most of them will happily educate you, and you might even have a little bit of fun in the proccess.  

This is my challenge to everyone here who has a beef with guns or is in favor of an 'assault weapons' ban.  Assault weapons are fully automatic or three round burst weapons used in the military.  The AR-15 would never be used by our military in combat, because it is not an assault weapon.  Don't hate it because it looks like a military rifle.  You can put a car kit on your honda civic to make it look like a race car, but it is not a race car.  Go out and try it, get educated, meet a conservative and see how generous he is with his knowledge and his equipment in sharing it with you.  

I am sure I will get plenty of responses like "I hate them and I dont care to get educated and I still hate them".  I would say thats the attitude that kept the civil rights movement from happening much earlier in history.  Don't be ignorant guys.  Take me up on this challenge and you will walk away from it a more educated and well rounded person, I can promise you that.  Hope to hear some interesting stories and view points when I check back for responses.  God Bless, and I hope everyone is having a safe and prosperous new year.  

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thank you for your "Concerns" (n/t) (23+ / 0-)

    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 02:36:20 PM PST

  •  Gun safety is more than just about the AR-15 (13+ / 0-)

    The AR-15 I'm told is a modified M16, which you wouldn't use for hunting either.

    Americans want action, and if we ban the weapon that has been used in the last four shooting massacres as well as a class of weapons that the American people realize that they don't want anyone to use, that's a good step.

    But I know that universal background checks, banning magazines that hold more than 10 rounds(these killers cannot be stopped during a massacre until they have to reload), background checks on ammo purchases, making gun trafficking a federal crime and with very stiff punishments, and repealing the Tiahrt Amendment are a good start to addressing an unacceptable gun violence problem in this country.   I have become more open to stricter licensing and mandatory gun insurance(this could also lead to biometric guns being the norm which would basically stop gun theft and thus stop the flow of illegal guns into the hands criminals).

    Obama's actions are the correct course.  It doesn't infringe on people's basic rights to self-defense and rights to small arms.

    Washington and Colorado said that you've got to legalize it. Hope the DOJ respects that.

    by pistolSO on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 02:43:21 PM PST

    •  Gun safety (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      annecros, Hangpilot

      I agree that there need to be some things done to keep weapons out of the hands of dangerous criminals.  Conservatives do not want to see violent crime any more than liberals.  The second amendment has nothing to do with hunting and only self defense in a round about way.  Do a google search "Founding Fathers quotes about gun rights" and you will find a great deal of information from geoerge washington, thomas jefferson, madison, franklin, and many others on what the 2nd means.  

      I think the issue that needs to be addressed is violence.  FBI statistics just released say the number one implement of homicide was blunt striking objects.  The issue is the evil in the hearts of man, not the implement we use.  This whole 'if we can save one life, its worth it" is not a valid argument in my estimation.  If we did not use cars anymore we could save a lot more lives than if no one used guns.  Generally, the AR15 and "Assault Weapon" issue is brought up by people who do not understand what they are even talking about.  Case and point at the link below.  My call is a challenge for everyone to educate themselves before becoming too gung ho on an issue.  

      •  Concerning the Founders and your other point. (7+ / 0-)

        1.) I have read that the 2nd Amendment was created to protect slavery and Southern interests.  The 13th Amendment obviously makes that point null.   Also I have a good understanding of the Founders who had a diversity of opinions on many issues.  Adams and Hamilton were anti-slavery, Washington and Jefferson were obviously pro-slavery in word and deed.   I think Hamilton would shake his head at what the Republicans were doing regarding the Debt Ceiling and he'd scream at them for not taking advantage of our credit rating and the excellent borrowing conditions due to the world's faith in our Treasuries.  The 2nd Amendment is also obsolete for community defense since our military has far more technology and firepower than any civilian could hope to get their hands on, and thus no foreign power will dare invade our country.   Hamilton and Washington also had to deal with would-be insurgents like the Whiskey Rebellion so they'd understand our government taking action against the survivalist nuts.  Thus the 2nd Amendment can only be interpreted as a right to personal self-defense and hunting.   Even Scalia says that the 2nd is not an unlimited right and is open to regulation.

        2. You don't have people killing a score of people at once using a hammer.  Common sense says that any weapon that can kill a dozen people in a very short time should be taken out of civilian hands(and out of police hands too eventually I might add since other countries don't have armed police either).   To address that kind of violence, you have to address the underlying issues: drugs, poverty, domestic violence, etc.

        As to motor vehicles, I agree with you:  let's regulate guns like we regulate motor vehicles.   Require the owner/user to be licensed and insured and require that they are properly trained.

        Washington and Colorado said that you've got to legalize it. Hope the DOJ respects that.

        by pistolSO on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 03:21:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Actually, about that firepower (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          blueness, Smoh

          over the weekend the militiaman gave his thoughts on the militia vs. a helicopter. The number of recs it garnered was a bit creepy to me, considering. He's basically spelling out some of the tactics to be used in the civil war they're prepping for.

          There is nothing so ridiculous that some philosopher has not said it. -- Cicero

          by tytalus on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 03:26:37 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Actually, if we didn't use cars people (6+ / 0-)

        some people would die from walking, riding a bike or riding a horse - whatever.

        Transportation is a means to an ends for most people.  To get from point a to point b.  Most often people use their vehicles as a means to get to work or to execute work related activities.  That is a productive purpose that vehicles serve in our society.

        Guns and weapons are generally another means to an ends - in a good number of cases the purpose is to get one's way over another person through force.  Sometimes families live on deer or other animal meat that they have acquired while hunting with a gun - that is a productive purpose of a gun.  But he unproductive use of firearms is what people are concerned about right now.

        So, aside from changing "the evil in hearts of man" which is just a bullshit dodge of the issue at hand, what can we do about the problem of firearms and violence against people with same in America.

        FWIW, the people of the UK, Japan, Canada, etc. do not have less evil hearts than we do in America.  And introducing the concept of "evil" is a far more emotional and irrational position to take than most of the people I see debating who oppose guns.  To me it sounds as legit as the Salem Witch Hunt crowd in whatever context it is used.  The Founding Fathers rejected the notion of devil and evil as irrational and antiquated.  You'd think that more than 200 years on we'd be able to do the same.

      •  a (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tytalus, Meteor Blades, poco, Smoh, coquiero

        "google search 'Founding Fathers quotes about gun rights" will no doubt return the same sort of absolutely bogus completely fake quotes as you dropped into your diaries and comments on this site until you were righteously pounded for it.

        As for your "second amendment," that was one of several provisions intended to protect slavery enshrined in that odious document known as the United States Constitution by a bunch of old dead white men. Slavery was wrong, and now it's gone. The slave-enabling second amendment also is wrong, and so all the guns are going to go.

    •  Actually, the AR-15 came first, then the M-16... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pistolSO, Mathazar, annecros, BlackSheep1

      ...then the civilian, semi-auto version of the AR-15 over the space of six years from invention to mass production.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 04:02:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  ar-15 (13+ / 0-)

    can be used as a semi, near automatic, with rapid burst. it's not a hunting rifle. it's an indulgence, the availability of which endangers the public.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 02:44:08 PM PST

  •  kool (13+ / 0-)

    The Oathkeeper militia-man-on-a mission is back.

    This time to fondle his "sexy" killing machine in comparison with the civil rights movement: "I am more than a little confused by this 'gun racism' that is going on"; "I am sure I will get plenty of responses like 'I hate them and I dont [sic] care to get educated and I still hate them.' I would say thats [sic] the attitude that kept the civil rights movement from happening much earlier in history."

    There is no cesspool, in which this gunnie will not swim.  

    •  Yeah, it's as if (10+ / 0-)

      guns are the civil rights battle of our generation. Pretty laughable. But he's just following the example of former NRA president Marion Hammer in comparing gun control laws to racism.

      “And they even admit this is about banning the ugliest guns, it’s about cosmetics and it has nothing to do about how a firearm works,” host Ginny Simone said toward the end of the segment.

      “Well, you know, banning people and things because of the way they look went out a long time ago,” Hammer responded. “But here they are again. The color of a gun. The way it looks. It’s just bad politics.”

      There is nothing so ridiculous that some philosopher has not said it. -- Cicero

      by tytalus on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 03:15:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Never Left (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      notrouble, annecros, andalusi, BlackSheep1

      and you need to find a way to work with us instead of insulting us.  We are here, and we are part of this country too, and if you left this site you would see we are a farily large portion of the population.  I would very much like to see you attempt some debate with me rather than insult.  This is the least offensive response you have left me, and I guess I should thank you for that.  It is people like you and your responses that sometimes make me wonder if it is not because of projection that progressives hate guns so much.  I believe perhaps your may recognize the anger and instability in yourself, and project that onto everyone else.  Therefore because you are so tempermental and quick to anger and attack with your words, you fear that someone like yourself with a weapon would be a huge threat to everyone around you.  Certainly if you flung lead the way you fling sharp words you would be a great threat.  Again, I thank you for not being so brutal in your response this time, that is a move in the right direction, but still, very pointy.  I hope you can grow to understand that disagreeing with my beliefs and my side of an issue does not need to be responded to with such hateful words.  Share your logic with me, I am willing to review others thoughts.  As mentioned above, I am not against all gun control.  You need to be willing to hear something besides the beliefs that come from your own camp.  This country is made up of more than just your beliefs and it is healthy to have your beliefs challenged, that is how we grow.  I encourage you to expand your horizons, see other views, challenge those other views and be prepared to have your views challenged.  If you are closed to that, you are clossed to growth and expanding you intellectual horizons.  I hope in the future we can engage in more adult and friendly discussion.  God bless and be safe.  

      •  See, that's the thing (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mathazar, coquiero, alain2112
        Certainly if you flung lead the way you fling sharp words you would be a great threat.
        And that's why we use words!

        Still, some of us were here for your first diary, with its veiled threats of militias turning on the country in a civil war, with your false and debunked "quotes" from the Founding Fathers. One of which I investigated myself. That had to have been embarrassing, but it seems to have bounced off entirely.

        And now you're hinting that the kossack is mentally unstable.

        There is nothing so ridiculous that some philosopher has not said it. -- Cicero

        by tytalus on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 05:59:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I am not being snarky, but I have to ask (8+ / 0-)

    you what regulations you might suggest be enacted - or which laws that already exist could be better enforced - that you believe would help curtail the level of gun violence and murder we are experiencing in this country?

    I understand that you are a libertarian so the question I pose is not exactly what you'd even necessarily consider valid, but I'm posing the question anyway.

    I see a pretty lawless subculture emergent under the current set of rules that we have - many of which prevent government from doing anything, btw - and we live is what is supposed to be a civil society.  I believe we could strike a better balance than we have now.  How do you think we could do that?

    •  I appreciate this, a disscussion... (4+ / 0-)

      My concern is that if we aren't carefull we will throw the baby out with the bathwater.  This is what I would like to avoid.  As our President mentioned, the current NCIS background system has stopped the sale of 1.5 million weapons felons and criminals who should not have guns.  Of each of those weapons were going to commit a crime, I would say we are on the right path already.  I think the criminal background check should be more strict and penalties should be much more harsh.  Owning what I own and believing what I believe, I can assure you that whenever a criminal commits an act of violence with a firearm I am more angry about it than most of my friends on the left.  The AR is not the issue.  I own an AR, it has not been used to cause harm to anyone.  The weapon isn't evil.  Sadly you can not regulate the evil in a mans heart, which is the cause of this violence.  I think the answer lies more in enforcement of current laws than it does in establishing new laws.  Bad things are still going to happen, this is the world we live in.  Someone who is perfectly sane and has no criminal background may some day do something stupid and hurt someone with their legally owned weapon.  We can stop this no more than we can preemptively stop a drunk from getting behind the wheel of a car and killing a family on the street.  But through tougher enforcement of current laws, we can discourage things like straw purchases.  And for the record, I am not against a background check on EVERYONE who gets a firearm.  Like the drunk driving laws, which used to be a court fine many years ago we can up the cost of breaking these laws.  This provides deterrent, which is the best we can do in my opinion.  If you ban the use of the weapons I own, you are punishing me and 98% of other gun owners from crimes we never commited.  This is my thought on it, so to our president, I agree with parts of what he would like, but certainly not all of it.  Please do respond to this, I would like to hear your feedback and counter thoughts.  Thankyou and I hope this leads to an interesting conversation.  

      •  Considering that most of the people (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MBNYC, tytalus, Smoh, coquiero

        who committed these mass murders had no criminal record prior to the incident and obtained the guns legally, you're leaving out a large part of the equation, aren't you?

        “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

        by skohayes on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 03:37:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  skhohayes: the Columbine shooters (0+ / 0-)

          had criminal records. They had guns obtained illegally through straw purchases.

          Had the NICS system been kept properly Cho could not have bought his firearms.

          Lanza stole the firearms he used at Newtown -- committing a murder to do so.

          LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

          by BlackSheep1 on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 11:27:27 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I am not a prohibitionist for the most part. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ivorybill, FG

        I don't think that banning guns is going to do anything but create a black market akin to the drug trade which I happen to think is a waste of time in all but a few cases - and even in those few cases, I think we handle that problem in completely the wrong way.

        As far as guns go, I actually don't care if you have them; I don't care that you shoot them; and I don't care if you take yourself out with one (in theory - not being mean here).  I DO care if your use or possession of guns threatens other people.  That means that I don't want you hunting on my land without permission (which happens to me all of the time); I don't want you walking the streets waiving your weapon around because you think you're somehow educating me; I don't want you going all vigilante with your gun; and I don't want you to take some mentally disturbed kid to the shooting range.  All of the other obvious stuff about not going nuts and shooting your wife and kids or a room full of school children also applies in this list of things I don't want.

        I think that levels of permitting/licensing for firearms ownership would be a fair compromise that would reduce the number of nutcases who have access to weaponry that is excessively powerful would be a smart move.  I can't drive a semi with my car license - why should I be able to buy the equivalent of a semi in the gun world without any additional requirements on me?  Everything about my car is tracked.  Not sure why guns aren't similarly tracked.  I can't fly to London without a passport - I can't smoke pot in a foreign country (which isn't really that interesting to me) without my government thinking it has some sort right to stop that activity - but people can go on down to WalMart or to a gun show or next door and buy a gun to go shoot illegally without penalty on my property.  I'd like a law saying that if you trespass on private property with a gun, you can face a penalty of three months in jail or a $5,000 fine.  Maybe that would make it safe for me to walk my property during the five months of the year that it is taken over by uninvited hunters.  

        OTOH where this BS goes on, I am at a disadvantage because these people have the guns and aren't afraid to threaten me or my family with them.  Only the game warden who comes around infrequently seems to frighten these people - but the local police do not.  Are you getting the gist here?  The theme of oppression that I feel as a result of this revered gun culture?  

        I really am a live and let live kind of person, but I require that others allow me the same respect.  Telling me that some gun or another is not all that dangerous or that it is just as dangerous regardless does nothing to help your cause.  I am not comfortable with guns.  I do not like the idea that I have no control over my farm land without having to arm myself which I will not do.  I do not think that six-year olds or their teachers should have to learn how to duck and cover because there's a possibility that some maniac will burst in and shred them to pieces with a gun.  

        I think that the gun owners of this country need to think this stuff through and make a real effort to police their own community.  That means making tough decisions like not selling a gun to someone who is scary - following the rules on the books which many do not - and offering to help put together a way to keep track of weapons so that they do not fall into the wrong hands.  This is your opportunity as a community to really step up to the plate and both protect your rights, but also protect the rest of our rights.  You could be heroes without having to pick up your guns.  You know your culture better than I do - you're in a better position to fix it than I am - but if you guys don't do anything - people outside your community will come and insert their ideas and in the interest of trying to get it right - I am open to your offering real proposals for change.  

        And while I believe that mental illness (which some call "evil") is a huge problem with respect to guns, I do not believe that background checks or healthcare providers reporting on patients is the best answer.  I believe that a hugely expensive government-funded mental health initiative is what America needs - that would help on a multitude of fronts - not just on the gun front.

      •  How do you feel about the various proposals? (0+ / 0-)

        If I understand you correctly, most but not all of the items in the Obama package would be acceptable to you?

    •  Rule #1 of getting out of holes: (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      coquiero, tytalus, inclusiveheart, emelyn

      Stop digging.  

      Yes, at this point, banning particular weapons is a little like trying to put toothpaste back in the tube because there are so many out there.  It would be nice if we could go back a couple decades and do the right thing.  A national buyback program could maybe see the light of day in a political cycle or two, and that could help.

      However, the longer weapons only intended to kill large numbers of people stay legal, the more the manufacturers will continue to produce and the longer there will be profit in marketing and selling this crap.  

      Even if it's too little too late, we have to break the cycle at some point to even have a chance.  

      Political compass: -8.75 / -4.72

      by Mark Mywurtz on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 05:42:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Handguns (10+ / 0-)

    I agree with you that handguns are a much bigger problem numbers-wise than the types of guns used in the spree killings of late. I would love to see them better controlled as well. Meanwhile though, even if all we were able to do was eliminate the small percentage of murders that resemble Sandy Hook, that would be a positive step.

    •  I have learned a number of things in the (6+ / 0-)

      Recent news reports.  A number of those things point to the disingenuous arguments offered by RKBa over the years.  The most prominent ones, to me, were:

      1. "Enforce the laws we have".  Without mentioning that ATF has been handcuffed for years trying to do their jobs.
      2. The entire contents of the Tiahart amendment that made research and data collection and dissemination impossible.

      Lies of omission are lies.

      Cats are better than therapy, and I'm a therapist.

      by Smoh on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 04:52:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ummm, how is your #1 point not exactly (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        annecros, KenBee, BlackSheep1

        what RKBA was talking about - current laws aren't is that disinginous, other than by you? Please explain

        And no, I'm not a member of any group on here, before you ask or search

        •  Because the ATF has been completely hog-tied by (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mathazar, coquiero, tytalus

          The law stating that congress must approve a director, which, of course, they don't.  Nothing disingenuous about that.

          Cats are better than therapy, and I'm a therapist.

          by Smoh on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 05:49:23 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  RKBA as far as I've seen want all (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            annecros, KenBee, BlackSheep1

            current laws enforced - it's not their (or my) fault that the President won't nominate, or the congress can't approve  an director.....

            How in the world is "RKBA", or me, responsible for our elected officials not doing their duty? That is disingenuous to blame it on an group, rather than our elected officials.

            •  The NRA has actively prevented such enforcement (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              The NRA and its bought-and-paid-for legislators have hamstrung enforcement and out-right prevented research for YEARS. Have you voted for any of these legislators? Do you know where your elected officials stand on gun research? On the ATF doing its job?

              The civil rights, gay rights and women's movements, designed to allow others to reach for power previously grasped only by white men, have made a real difference, and the outlines of 21st century America have emerged. -- Paul West of LA Times

              by LiberalLady on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 09:11:22 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  Also, I'd really steer clear of terms like (15+ / 0-)

    "gun racism" here.  Not only is it an inaccurate description of the beliefs held by people who do not like guns, but it is also inflammatory and will undermine your stated purpose of open-dialogue between people of opposing views.

    •  I appologize (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      inclusiveheart, BlackSheep1

      On reading it back I see what you are saying.  The statement was indeed inflammatory.  It is a term we use in the shooting world and I appologize as it is probably not commonly known amongst the crowd here.  The term is not designed to be inflammatory, it is designed to underline the way people, even in the shooting world, judge a weapon based on its looks.  Shooters who prefer the high speed black rifles could be handed an excellent wood stocked rifle capable of the same thing and hand it back saying "not for me".  We would accuse that person of being a "gun racist" because he judged the gun based on its looks rather than on its capability.  Again, I want to clarify and appologize.  I can see where this would be taken as inflammatory stepping back and looking at it again.  Thankyou for pointing that out.  

  •  Style over substance (4+ / 0-)
    Differences are primarily cosmetic.
    I have always had the same opinion about switchblade knives.  I have been told that the reason switchblade knives are illegal is that they are too easily opened and used to attack someone.  But knives are easily concealed and produced in general, and I have seen people open jackknives that were not spring-loaded with one hand.  Furthermore, I am unaware of any study that showed a dramatic decrease in stabbings after switchblades were banned.

    The reason switchblades are illegal is that they look evil, and I suspect the motive is similar for assault weapons.

  •  Quite a fertile field here (19+ / 0-)

    But I'm busy and will just address a couple of matters.

    I have timed my reload time in at just under .7 seconds, trust me, a magazine change is not slowing anyone down, believe me.  
    Not slowing anyone down, of course, except for the people that it does.

    Such the Clackamas, Oregon mall shooter, who police reported dropped several full magazines while attempting to reload and eventually ran to a stairwell; possibly after hearing police sirens outside the mall.

    Or Mr. Loughner, who killed and wounded several in Arizona, whose dropped magazine was snatched away by an elderly woman while three other people in the crowd, one of whom had been grazed by one of Loughner's bullets, tackled him and disarmed him.

    It certainly may be true that in the calm of a firing range you can be quite dexterous.  

    But if you were in the process of a mass shooting, with adrenaline pumping, sweaty hands, and an understandable fear of being shot at, clubbed, or stabbed from any direction, you might find your that vaunted skills may not quite be up to their usual standard.

    I think I'll look to, you know, actual events over the random ramblings of a person who spouts nonsense about "gun racism" or who seems to think what he defines as an "assault weapon" is the absolute unvarnished truth while evidently being unaware that the lapsed Section 921(a) of title 18, United States Code defined an assault weapon as:

        `(30) The term `semiautomatic assault weapon' means--

            `(A) any of the firearms, or copies or duplicates of the firearms in any caliber, known as--

                `(i) Norinco, Mitchell, and Poly Technologies Avtomat Kalashnikovs (all models);

                `(ii) Action Arms Israeli Military Industries UZI and Galil;

                `(iii) Beretta Ar70 (SC-70);

                `(iv) Colt AR-15;

                `(v) Fabrique National FN/FAL, FN/LAR, and FNC;

                `(vi) SWD M-10, M-11, M-11/9, and M-12;

                `(vii) Steyr AUG;

                `(viii) INTRATEC TEC-9, TEC-DC9 and TEC-22; and

                `(ix) revolving cylinder shotguns, such as (or similar to) the Street Sweeper and Striker 12;

            `(B) a semiautomatic rifle that has an ability to accept a detachable magazine and has at least 2 of--

                `(i) a folding or telescoping stock;

                `(ii) a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon;

                `(iii) a bayonet mount;

                `(iv) a flash suppressor or threaded barrel designed to accommodate a flash suppressor; and

                `(v) a grenade launcher;

            `(C) a semiautomatic pistol that has an ability to accept a detachable magazine and has at least 2 of--

                `(i) an ammunition magazine that attaches to the pistol outside of the pistol grip;

                `(ii) a threaded barrel capable of accepting a barrel extender, flash suppressor, forward handgrip, or silencer;

                `(iii) a shroud that is attached to, or partially or completely encircles, the barrel and that permits the shooter to hold the firearm with the nontrigger hand without being burned;

                `(iv) a manufactured weight of 50 ounces or more when the pistol is unloaded; and

                `(v) a semiautomatic version of an automatic firearm; and

            `(D) a semiautomatic shotgun that has at least 2 of--

                `(i) a folding or telescoping stock;

                `(ii) a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon;

                `(iii) a fixed magazine capacity in excess of 5 rounds; and

                `(iv) an ability to accept a detachable magazine.'.

    Now, reasonable people can disagree over whether this definition in law was appropriate, too broad, or too limited. But for you to pretend that your opinion on what is or is not an assault weapon is the final word and only truth is, frankly, silly; despite your evidently groundless high opinion of yourself with respect to this topic.
    •  Why though? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      notrouble, annecros

      Why is the pistol grip considered dangerous?  How does it make the weapon more dangerous?  Or the folding and telescoping stock?  What makes that weapon any more dangerous than a fixed stock?  If I attack a spare magazine to the side of the weapon, why is that any more dangerous than having a spare magazine on my belt or my vest?  Pistol weight?  Seriously?  A bayonet mount, so now its about knives?  These things do not make the weapon any more or less dangerous.  Now, suppresors I will concede are used to limit the report of the weapon.  For those who do not know what a suppresor is, it is the proper term for what many call a "silencer".  The issue can be argued that this allows someone to fire a weapon without alerting people.  In Finland they are completely legal and are considered by many to be a courtesy because your firearm use does not disturb your neighbors.  I like suppressors because I can shoot without wearing hearing protection.  They are however illegal in the US, and while I disagree with it, I can understand the logic behind it.  If I can understand the logic, I don't get too fired up about it.  Many of these other parts that turn your rifle or shotgun into an 'assault' weapon make no sense.  I would very much like someone to tell me why a telescoping stock is more dangerous than a fixed stock.

      •  you probably would have to research the (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Smoh, Mathazar

        discussion that occurred prior to this law being written.

        I think part of the problem could be that you're taking too narrow a view here.

        For example:

        Why is the pistol grip considered dangerous?  How does it make the weapon more dangerous?
        A properly designed and manufactured firearm probably isn't intrinsically dangerous if it is unused; pistol grip or no.

        But think about what a pistol grip allows. For example, is your 0.7 second magazine change for a rifle without a pistol grip, for a rifle with a pistol grip, or for a pistol (obviously with a pistol grip)? I don't own guns, but it would seem to me that the cycle of firing, reloading, and then resuming firing would be quicker if you could firmly hold the firearm with one hand in approximately the same position one uses while firing it during the magazine swap; something the pistol grip would seem to facilitate.

        Also -- is it easier to hold and fire a weapon with one hand if it is equipped with a pistol grip? I suspect so. Sure, accuracy would suffer, but probably less so than for a long gun without a pistol grip held and fired with one hand.

        And then this:

        Or the folding and telescoping stock?
        Of course, the nature of the stock doesn't change the firearm's lethality. But it does make it easier to conceal and transport inconspicuously; two qualities those intent on committing murder or a mass shooting may find of interest.

        Many of these things that are questioned may have some logic behind them rather than the usual claim of "just cosmetics."  I'm not saying the 1994 law was perfect; it wasn't. But I suspect there's more rationale behind its provisions than generally is acknowledged.

        •  A rather contorted and confusing sentence (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          poco, Smoh

          Try this instead:

           I don't own guns, but it would seem to me that the cycle of firing, reloading, and then resuming firing would be quicker if, during the magazine swap, you could firmly hold the firearm with one hand in approximately the same position one uses while firing it; something the pistol grip would seem to facilitate.

          •  The Pistol Grip Came About (5+ / 0-)

            Because of the position of the safety relative to the trigger, so one didn't have to shift their grip to operate one then the other. It makes NO difference in ease or speed of magazine changes.

            Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government.

            by The Baculum King on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 04:37:41 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I find that assertion (0+ / 0-)


              As an example here is a video showing a gentleman going through several magazine changes while wasting a substantial number of dollars' worth of ammunition.

              I notice how much he relies on his ability to keep his right hand in the same position on the firearm while switching magazines, save for moving his index finger off the trigger.

              I think my supposition is accurate and your assertion lacks credibility.

              That said, one could argue that, even if your evidently flawed assertion were true, that would also be something that made a firearm faster to shoot and consequently fair game if the intent of the law was to reduce the rate of fire from firearms available to the general public.

              •  You're basing an awful lot on viewing one video (0+ / 0-)

                Did you look at any others? Did you study people shooting semiautomatic rifles without pistol grips to see how whether they moved their hands to a different position when ejecting the magazine?

                •  I didn't base it on that video at all (0+ / 0-)

                  I merely was citing it as an example.

                  I based it on logic and the fact that we have opposable thumbs with which we can firmly grip things with one hand. I think the argument that it doesn't allow shorter breaks in firing while reloading would be more convincing if our hands were like a squirrel's paws; i.e., no opposable thumb.

                  And keep in mind both you and the other fellow fail to address the entire sequence: fire, swap magazine, resume firing. You, for example, just addressed ejecting the magazine.

                  •  Parting thought (0+ / 0-)

                    This could go on endlessly without either of us changing our minds, I think, and for a very simple reason: I have fired rifles without pistol grips. I don't think you have fired rifles at all, pistol grip or no. That doesn't make me morally superior, but it does mean I have experience. I know that if I'm replacing a magazine without putting the rifle down, my right hand stays where it is---no need for it to do otherwise---and my left hits the magazine release, then replaces the magazine. A pistol grip just means my hand stays in a different place.

                    You have one Youtube video and your vision of how magazine changes probably work, but no actual experience and let's be fair, no real research done on your part.

                    I realize what I've written isn't sufficient to convince you. Nor should it be.  You don't know me or my real life experience with firearms. I don't have a Powerpoint with embedded videos breaking all this down.

                    But I hope that you will also see that intellectual honesty would require you to admit that you also do not have proof, or in fact, much evidence to support your argument for what pistol grips do. We're both basically spinning wheels in this discussion at this point.

                    •  Correct (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      At the same time, I hope you recognize that what you are doing is what so many anti-gun control people do (whether you share their beliefs or not). The diarist claimed that "Characteristic A" called out in the definition of an assault rifle in the 1994 AWB did not make the gun more deadly.

                      I offered an alternate hypothesis.  I suggested it might be so.  I didn't claim that that was the reason, the only reason nor was it the only characteristic I addressed. My point was to tell him he was possibly taking too narrow a view about why certain characteristics were identified in the definition of assault rifle.

                      I believe he was.

                      Just because a characteristic shared by certain guns doesn't make the round it fires go any faster or more accurately, it still could facilitate that weapon's use in crime and mass murder and consequently is fair game, in my opinion, for considering it for stricter regulation.

                      And then you showed up, latched on to a minor point I suggested as a possible explanation and kept grinding away at that minor point in an attempt to prove your superior knowledge and experience, and, I believe, to shut me up.

                      It's a common tactic.  I've seen it dozens of times before.

        •  Why "suspect" a rationale instead of finding out? (0+ / 0-)

          The types of rifles that have either a folding stock or telescoping stock are too big to hide under anything but the most substantial of coats, and even then would be pretty easy to spot (and difficult to move into a firing position).

          The purpose of a telescoping stock is quite simple: people are different sizes. You can adjust the stock so that you can hold the rifle comfortably, i.e., have a convenient length of pull regardless of being 6' or 5'4".

          The folding stock is a space-saving issue. It's easier to get in or out of a vehicle with it if you're a soldier and less bulky to carry. You can still shoot with it folded, but you will not be as accurate or comfortable.

          Even folded, though, this isn't something you can just slip under a trenchcoat and walk around without suspicion: keep in mind the stock folds against the receiver, so the rifle is effectively twice as wide for about half the length.

          •  people carry boxes (0+ / 0-)

            People carry all kinds of stuff.

            You're the one bringing the trenchcoat strawman up and knocking it over.

            •  second attempt at this (0+ / 0-)

              Since the comment I wrote a few minutes ago seems to have disappeared....

              You wrote this just a few comments up: "Of course, the nature of the stock doesn't change the firearm's lethality. But it does make it easier to conceal and transport inconspicuously; two qualities those intent on committing murder or a mass shooting may find of interest."

              In other words, you are the one who brought up the idea that folding and telescoping stocks were designed so people could sneak around with them. If you agree that this is a nonexistent issue, i.e., a strawman, then why did you introduce it in the first place?

        •  Some good points there (0+ / 0-)

          A folding stock actually would make the weapon more concealable.  That is a good point and thankyou for making it.  The original purpose for folding stocks was to wield a weapon in closer quarters at the expense of accuracy.  I do not own any weapon with folding stocks, the loss of accuracy when a stock is folded to me doesn't make much sense.  To me you become more of a liability to the safety of those around you when you cant hit what your shooting at, just my opinion, if you have a folding stock weapon don't go off on me.  Collapsible stocks on the other hand do not really increase the ability to conceal, you are looking at roughly a 6 inch collapse.  This is more for shortening the profile of the weapon for use in home defense.  Extend the stock out to stabilize on long shots, collapse the stock inside your home when overall length may cause you to bump into walls or inhibit your ability to turn around in a narrow hallway, again, for me, in home defense.  As a firearm owner I would like to share some insight regarding your thoughts on a pistol grip.  It is actually a very good speculation and I am excited to be able to share some information with you regarding these grips.  A rifle stock without a pistol grip is actually held in much the same was as a pitol grip.  The hand grabs and wraps around the stock of the rifle, if you look at a picture of a rifle stock you will actually see that where it mounts to the weapon itself, it is, in essence, a pistol grip that is angled back rather than vertically.  Look at the textured portion of the stock in this picture ... Hope I am linking this correctly.  Anyway, in my experience I actually prefer my long guns without a pistol grip.  The AR comes with a pistol grip and so you get used to using it.  I find I have more control on the reloads and I get better 'roll' on the weapon when I have that hand back on the stock.  By keeping the rifle pulled tight, you roll it to the right, glance / inspect the bolt to be sure you are out of ammo and not experiencing a malfunction, roll it hard left as you hit the mag release, using gravity and the force of the roll to eject the magazine, from the left, insert new magazine, roll it down and fire.  You can see the roll here, you can see the kid shooting next to the reloader.  Notice one rifle has the pistol grip and the other doesnt.  See here

    •  A more salient point about magazine swap time (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Only a few people have the diarist's level of practice and proficiency.

  •  Couple questions.Who are you planning to kill (7+ / 0-)

    with your guns? Or,to be less inflammatory,who are you protecting yourself from? Some random event? If so,are you so armed everyday and everywhere?
    Why do you think "reducing gun crime by under two percent with a magzine ban," isn't worth mild changes in our laws? Have you any concern for those unfortunate enough to be part of that 2%? Those sacrificed for your limitless entitlement?

    "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

    by tardis10 on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 03:20:03 PM PST

    •  He's a militiaman, guess who he wants to (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tardis10, luckydog, schumann, Smoh, coquiero

      protect himself from? That's why he wants and assault weapon as opposed to a shotgun or a pistol. When the officers come to raid the house, he'll be able to take part in a protracted gun battle reloading his weapon quickly and maneuvering in tight spaces like hallways and door frames.

      Ask yourself, who exactly is his militia's perceived enemy? Certainly not outside invaders, we have a professional military for that.  Nope, it's our very own government that these bastards arm themselves in preparation to kill. They even have the nerve to suggest they are defending the constitution. Yet it is the constitution that provides the power and checks and balances to our government. Therefore, his organization is basically treasonous. Yet, he calls himself a patriot.  

      "If you don't sin, then Jesus died for nothing!" (on a sign at a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans)

      by ranger995 on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 03:43:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Wow! You should be an movie director.... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        andalusi, BlackSheep1

        or not.

        Why should you, or any politician decide what is "appropriate" for self defense, when the SC just recently ruled that police/law enforcement are NOT required to provide "protection" to citizens of this country.

        And no, I'm not an "militiaman" as you seem to be enthralled with - for some weird reason/fetish.

        I live in an very rural area; at best I could get an LEO to my house in 20 minutes - at best. Why should I limit myself to what you "deem" appropriate, rather than what I feel I should have?

        •  Check out the diarists profile, he is a militia (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          coquiero, tardis10

          man. I don't know anything about you, and I don't care.

          "If you don't sin, then Jesus died for nothing!" (on a sign at a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans)

          by ranger995 on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 06:30:21 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I Could care less about the diarist... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I only commented on your comment. What would he diarist have to do with my comment to you?

            And I'm still awaiting your answer to my last question, which you kinda tried to deflect, obviously.

            •  My comment was about the diarist, not about (0+ / 0-)

              you. I quite frankly don't give a shit about you, unless you too are in a militia. Wasn't that what your whole "movie director" bullshit was about? Turns out he's a militia leader.

              In my opinion, a shotgun, long rifle, or pistol would serve any of your needs just fine. You can defend your house with a shotgun.

              You don't need to force assault weapons on other people who don't live in the back woods just because you think they are neat shooting up the volleyballs in your backyard. I get it, it's fun, but you'll just have to do it with a regular rifle.

              That way, we can keep extremely dangerous weapons out of the hands of people with bad intentions.

              Don't even bother trying to tell me that an AR 15 isn't any more dangerous than a Remington 700. It's all bullshit. Anything that has high capacity magazines that can be changed out in seconds, should be banned, not matter what it looks like. That goes for the Sig Sauer SKS and the Ruger Mini 14.

              I don't care about pistol grips or bayonet connections.

              FYI-- I wouldn't mind people owning all kinds of weapons if they would get licenses and register them. The gun people simply refuse to do any of that. So, we have to fight for what can be done under our current court's reading of the constitution and at least limit the most dangerous weapons.

              "If you don't sin, then Jesus died for nothing!" (on a sign at a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans)

              by ranger995 on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 07:07:45 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  It's a slap on the wrist to companies (7+ / 0-)

    such as Remington, who remarket their military small arms to civilians.

    Obama's executive orders don't amount to very much gun control, but they are a national "conversation opener". This first round of gun control probably won't make a large difference in US gun violence, but it wounds the NRA, and it makes future, more significant, gun controls and massive turn-in programs more thinkable.

    Given the immense stock of guns in the US, it will take many years to reduce gun violence; the essential thing is to begin moving in the civilized direction.

  •  Do you consider (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tytalus, MBNYC, ivorybill

    people that don't register their guns where required to be criminals?
    Would these be the same criminals that you're trying to keep the guns away from?

    “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

    by skohayes on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 03:42:50 PM PST

  •  I highly encourage you to read this (9+ / 0-)

    over at Josh Marshall's TPM blog.  It is true that there may be two "tribes" in America - among the many other divisions which we can erect to separate ourselves - gun owners and those who don't want to have anything to do with guns.  I think it is more subtle and maybe more interesting than just that.

    I find myself in agreement with Josh Marshall on this.  I have carried a weapon for personal defense (as a civilian in Iraq) and am proficient with both sidearms and rifles.  I am under no illusions regarding the efficacy of carrying a handgun for protection.  I am not scared of guns, but don't feel affection or desire for them either - I view them as tools.  That said, I do not want my own city to be like Baghdad or Mosul or Kirkuk, where people all around me are carrying concealed weapons and I can't feel secure in my home, business or on the street.  I am not against gun ownership, I just don't want to have to live surrounded by them.  I think it is an infringement of my liberty not to know whether the guy behind me at the sandwich shop is carrying a 9mm, especially if some disagreement occurs.  We hear a lot about the rights of gun owners to be able to carry wherever they like.  We hear less often about the right of people like me not to have to worry about being surrounded by people with the hardware and capacity to kill me, should they wish to. I've lived it in Iraq.  Don't want to live it here.

    From a libertarian perspective, one hopes that you might be able to see how another's personal freedom to carry degrades my right to be free of intimidation or threat.  

    “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

    by ivorybill on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 03:45:35 PM PST

  •  So, as you said, very few crimes are committed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    using more than 3 bullets.

    So you would be in agreement that banning those weapons would not infringe on anyone's right to keep and bear arms, unless the person were a terrorist-in-training who intended to commit a crime that needed more than 10 bullets.

    As I am assuming you are anti-terrorist, I'm glad you are on our side.

    Let's ban those suckers!

    When collective bargaining is outlawed, only outlaws will have collective bargaining.

    My political compass: - 8.38,-6.97

    by pucklady on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 03:52:16 PM PST

    •  This isn't as clever a point as you think, I fear (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      annecros, BlackSheep1, jabbausaf

      Of course it would infringe on the right to keep and bear arms. Unless you believe the only use of a firearm is to commit crimes, that is.

      But for hunting, target shooting, competitive shooting, and self-defense, you will want the option of more than three round magazines.

      Can you not express your argument without sarcasm or attempts at zingers? Whatever missteps you may thing the author made, I do believe he wants a genuine dialogue and I for one would love to actually see one take place. So much gun law reform discussion winds up people taking potshots at the other side and nothing useful being learned or exchanged.

  •  Au contraire. (7+ / 0-)

    Quite a few of us are rather well educated to begin with, and consider the presumption that one needs to be an expert therein to have an opinion on a public policy issue condescending at best.

    Further, whatever education one would reasonably need is provided by the daily toll of dead and injured.

    Lastly, you go right ahead and ponder the Byzantine details. Me, I don't find moral depravity and cowardice attractive, nor do I believe their obscenity should be gilded by the power of life and death.

    Fuck me, it's a leprechaun.

    by MBNYC on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 03:54:14 PM PST

  •  The real reason for banning assault weapons (8+ / 0-)

    You are absolutely right, the ban on assault weapons is a 'cosmetic ban' and not a ban based on functional distinctiopns. But guess what- our gun culture is an idiotic cosmetic macho gun culture.  A lot of gun owners are just playing Rambo and wanting to emulate what they see in Hollywood movies. If they had to do it with long wooden rifles they'd lose interest. Just as nobody (or very few) commits mass murders with cars. It's because there is no romance with driving over people. Whereas we have 60 years of Hollywood glorification of the macho man and his gun. And at least 30 years of video games glorifying the same.

    So yes- it's a cosmetic ban, on a dumb, cosmetic issue. If I was king, I would simply mandate that all guns be painted pink with Hello Kitty hand grips. I guarantee you guns sales would drop by 90% over night, and all the macho a-holes would find some other way to puff their chests.

    •  As to your final comment... (8+ / 0-)

      ...maybe, maybe not:

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 04:13:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  And you would be wrong (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kentucky Kid, annecros, BlackSheep1

      The firing line at my closest range has plenty of women shooting. On a weekend, there could be 1/3 to 1/2 of the stalls with women either shooting with themselves, a girlfriend, or a significant other... but they are shooting. The handgun instructor told my wife and I that a lot of times, his classes are mostly or all women.

      Also, I can't help but think you have very little exposure to actual gun owners outside of movies and TV (including, to be fair, some in the media that do live down to the stereotypes---but only some). You are constructing a straw man macho subculture and then casting us all into that bin. You aren't dealing with reality. I will tell you this: if pink AR-15s were the only kind available, you'd see a hell of a lot of pink guns on the range.

      Though given that it's ridiculously easy to just recoat the gun whatever color you want, the idea is flawed from the start. But I get your point: you want to force gun owners to adopt stereotypical female-gendered colors and accoutrements because (1) you think that's an inherently bad thing for a man to do and (2) you think most gun owners feel the same one to the point they would rather give up guns altogether.

      •  Most gun owners are hunters (0+ / 0-)

        However the minority who own pistols and assault rifles, are by and large people who have bought into the macho gun culture.

        I have fired quite a few guns from 22's to 45's to UZI's to 357 magnums to M16, M60, SAW, etc in and out of the army, and have known quite a few gun nuts- these are people who have completely bought into the NRA lunacy hook, line and sinker.

        And lots of women have bought into the same macho culture as well. It's unfortuntaely not limited to men. Like it or not- there is such a culture out there. If it takes a cosmetic ban to tamp down the excesses of this culture, then cosmetic ban it will be.

  •  What makes you think that someone (8+ / 0-)

    who wanted to gain some instruction in the use of firearms needs to "ask a conservative or a libertarian"?

    I know a few liberals and progressives who could probably do just as good a job and I wouldn't have to put up with typical conservative bull shit in the process.

    So thanks for the suggestion, but I'll pass.

    The only trouble with retirement is...I never get a day off!

    by Mr Robert on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 04:05:33 PM PST

  •  Good blog overall but one problem (9+ / 0-)

    Quite a few of us progressives own firearms, too! Do you really care if someone asks a conservative to take him or her shooting? We liberal gun owners are happy---anxious, even!---to educate folks and share range time with them, too.

  •  There was an excellent editorial at TPM (6+ / 0-)

    by Josh Marshall today about his feelings about guns in general, and gun control.

    He argues that those Americans who aren't "gun people" shouldn't be forced to join some kind of gun culture in the US just because it seems to be an American thing.

    I find it condescending when gun advocates recommend that all the non gun people should just get themselves to the range and we'll come to see the light.

    Some people don't like guns.  Period.  They don't want to learn to fire them, they don't want some friendly gun advocate taking them to the gun range for a good old American lesson in firearms.

    Myself, I recently have gone to the gun range, and have learned to load, clean, fire and store a weapon safely.

    And I STILL find it condescending when gun advocates suggest that a little trip to the range will somehow convince everyone that guns are great and we should stop all this silly nonsense about gun regulations.

    I blog about my daughter with autism at her website

    by coquiero on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 04:26:55 PM PST

  •  Yes, yes we do (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    andalusi, BlackSheep1

    And we're probably a lot more fun to hang out with too.  

    "I'm a progressive man and I like progressive people" Peter Tosh

    by Texas Lefty on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 04:27:18 PM PST

  •  Yeah right. Oh, except for that 'safely' (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    coquiero, Mathazar


    Go out and ask a conservative or a libertarian to take you out to the range some time.  Kindly express to them that you would like to educate yourself on firearms.  You will find that 99% of them will be happy to bring you to a range and let you use their weapon.  In fact, you will find that most of them will even let you use their ammo and ear protection and even lend you a set of eye protection.  They will show you how to safely use a weapon
    Not only does my Libertarian conservative of note invite me to join the tea "party" and go along to meetings with some shadowy (I assume militia, although they haven't been forthcoming about the exact name so I can't say for sure) group my Libertarian of note belongs to, the same Libertarian conservative of note also once--while shit faced drunk--let me hold their gun (while I, too, was shit faced drunk) at a party full of shit faced drunks. Then later that evening they fired their weapon into the sky as some sort of act of drunken defiance that many shit faced drunks in my area ritually participate in on New Years Eve.  Safe?  I have never touched a gun again and my Libertarian should never have pulled their weapon out at a party and handed it to a shit faced drunk who doesn't even have a license.  That was many, many years ago.  My feelings on shit faced drunks brandishing guns are not charitable these days.  
    My Libertarian still likes to get shit faced drunk and these days is now all in at the gun range on any given Saturday and giddily reports to me that years ago there were hardly any cars in the range parking lot on a Sat. night but now the lot is full and families are bringing their children.  My Libertarian conservative tells me, and this is a quote, "You should denounce your Progressive ways and join us.  I promise you will not be judged for your past views, you will be welcomed with open arms.  They will say 'Welcome sister.  We've been waiting for you.  We're glad you're here.' "  Um...yeah.  Wow.  Ok.
    Another conservative of note in my life was a trained law enforcement officer, a sheriff's reservist.  This particular conservative of note kept a handgun hidden on top of the armoire and didn't tell me.  One day I was dusting the top of the armoire with an extended duster and sent the hidden handgun flying across the room.  This same conservative trained law enforcement sheriff's reservist left his rifle case, with the rifle locked inside of it, on the floor in the hallway and his wife let their two year old son jump on top of the rifle case like a trampoline.  I walked in and found the boy jumping on the gun case and asked if the gun was in it and the wife said "It's not loaded, it can't hurt him."
    You have portrayed conservatives as if they are somehow all "safe gun owners".  As for conservatives being safe with guns?  Not by my measure.  In fact, the only experiences I have with conservative gun owners has been very unsafe, indeed.  Shockingly unsafe.      


  •  Lost me at the "here to educate myself" crap. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mathazar, coquiero

    I'm not here to teach you, so I quit reading at that point.

    As  they say, libertarians are just republicans who want to be able to smoke weed. So why don't you find some republicans to play with.

    •  Then... why are you here? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KenBee, BlackSheep1

      If you don't want to learn, and you don't want to teach, then what are you reading blogs about gun control for? The only alternatives I can think of are either hoping to find an echo chamber or else to shout down someone with a disagreeing viewpoint. And what's the use in either of those?

  •  This is obnoxious (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    coquiero, FG

    Tell everyone they need to step back and cool off, and then write insulting and inflammatory stuff.

    Either you're trying to start a fight or you're not too smart.

    We decided to move the center farther to the right by starting the whole debate from a far-right position to begin with. - Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay

    by denise b on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 05:51:17 PM PST

  •  HAHAHA!! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mathazar, coquiero, tytalus, surelyujest
    Go out and ask a conservative or a libertarian to take you out to the range some time.

    So, only conservatives and libertarians use the gun range?

    "Mitt Romney looks like the CEO who fires you, then goes to the Country Club and laughs about it with his friends." ~ Thomas Roberts MSNBC

    by second gen on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 05:59:39 PM PST

    •  or fools like me, according to other commenters (0+ / 0-)

      here today.


      Military vet.

      Democratic voter.

      Firearms owner.

      Someone who applauds the plan laid out by the President and Vice President day before yesterday.

      Someone who swore that oath to defend the Constitution -- not just bits and bobs of it  temporarily popular -- and continues to do so.

      LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

      by BlackSheep1 on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 11:50:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  You lost me (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    First with this statement:

    Certainly I feel I am more qualified than someone who has never held or fired a weapon.
    Why? I'm a citizen of the United States, so I have a right to an opinion about our gun laws - as much right as you. Don't talk down to me and expect a conversation. I don't give a SHIT about the minutiae of gun manufacture, design, or use. (And I have held a gun.)

    Then this statement:

    I am more than a little confused by this 'gun racism' that is going on.
    Your first lesson should be to NEVER misuse a loaded word like racism when referring to something as trivial as gun design. Please tell your friends to quit that -- you won't win any gun control friends with that nonsense.

    To address your overall diary, I think a focus on one particular gun that you own is NOT THE POINT! Even if a ban is passed (which is a big IF), it won't affect you and your desire for a sexy gun. Why don't you expound upon Obama's other recommendations -- more research, resources, and a leader at the ATF -- instead of focusing and expecting others to focus, on your gun of choice.

    The civil rights, gay rights and women's movements, designed to allow others to reach for power previously grasped only by white men, have made a real difference, and the outlines of 21st century America have emerged. -- Paul West of LA Times

    by LiberalLady on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 09:27:31 PM PST

  •  We do need to have a discussion about guns (0+ / 0-)

    We need to be able to discuss them rationally and without hatred toward each other.  It doesn't help.  I am a Quaker and I do not believe in violence.  I do not like guns but that is not because I do not know guns.

    I was raised in a Mormon family.  I left the church when I was 14 because it did not meet my needs.  In the meantime, my father collected guns and taught all of his kids how to shoot.  Pistols, rifles and antique weapons.  I am probably one of the only sharpshooting Quakers in the country.  But I will never pick up a gun again.  I never liked them.  I disliked the noise, the recoil and the fact that their primary purpose is to kill.  Animals or people, I can't bear the thought of killing anything.  

    My target shooting career ended when I was about 11 (he started us very young.  I was around 7)  He gave me a rifle he used to kill deer and told me to shoot some cans.  I was around 5' 4" and I could barely lift it.  I asked him not to make me do it, but he leveled it propped it up and yelled at me to shoot. I was shaking, but he was not a father you ignored or refused to obey.  I shot and the stock of the gun kicked back into my shoulder.  Despite the fact that he was leveling it, I fell to the ground.  It really hurt.  It almost dislocated my shoulder and it left a big bruise that covered my shoulder.  At that point my mother stepped in and said no more shooting for either me or my sister because we both hated it.

    My brother continued to shoot and hunt with my father but he liked it.  It was a shared activity that my father approved of.  He inherited my father's gun collection and nearly shot his foot off getting it down from the attic to take it away.  It also troubles me that he suffers from clinical depression that doesn't quite respond to treatment.  He sits in the midst of his own gun collection and my fathers and will occasionally threaten to "harm" himself.

    I notice that your post leans toward trying to convert people to gun use.  Why?  Not all people need or want guns and they have many reasons that they don't have to share with anyone.  They are called "cowards" regularly by gun owners.  Let me take some gun owners and train them in civil disobedience.  It is simple.  You stand against what is wrong.  

    If someone spits on you, do nothing.  If someone screams names at you it is best not to answer because a lot of the time the next step is violence.  Wait until they are calmer and then keep asking them about what they think.  A lot of the time they tell you and you both have a better understanding.  To end my brief lesson in civil disobedience, if someone knocks you down roll up in a ball and try to protect your head and midsection if they kick you.  Don't fight back.  If a law enforcement official hits you with a baton, try to run away but don't try to hit back.  They will only hurt you worse.When it is over, if you can find your friends and make sure they are OK, then you can all decide if you need medical help or only want to go home.

    The civil rights movement started earlier than you might think and the leaders were non-violent.  They had to be and like Ghandi in India it turned the tide so that people who were otherwise disinterested became so repulsed by what they saw that things began to change.  It isn't over yet, but we can hope for a better future.

    I really don't want to have a prolonged and drawn out discussion with you about why people should have guns.  On that we can agree to disagree.  I responded to you because you said you wanted to hear from the people who disliked guns.  I think that will do it.

    Let me give you Rachel Maddow's explanation of why the military does use assault weapons.  They train the troops quickly in 1 pr 2 weeks and need a weapon which will spray bullets in all directions because the training time is too short to make a sharpshooter.  That seemed right to me.  If you want to dispute that, you can write to her.  I know nothing of assault weapons except that I want to see them outlawed.

    For my home protection, I have a device called a Lifeline.  I am disabled so if I push a little button I wear around my neck or wrist the Lifeline center calls me back.  If I do not respond or ask for help they send it immediately.  It's out of sight and would be a real surprise for someone mousing around my yard or house who was not supposed to be there.

    •  Response times (0+ / 0-)
      For my home protection, I have a device called a Lifeline.  I am disabled so if I push a little button I wear around my neck or wrist the Lifeline center calls me back.  If I do not respond or ask for help they send it immediately.  It's out of sight and would be a real surprise for someone mousing around my yard or house who was not supposed to be there.
      It took the police 20 minutes after the first 9/11 call to get to Sandy Hook elementary, and the nearest police station was just 2.3 miles away.

      The Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that police do not have a duty to protect you from harm: Justices Rule Police Do Not Have a Constitutional Duty to Protect Someone

      The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that the police did not have a constitutional duty to protect a person from harm, even a woman who had obtained a court-issued protective order against a violent husband making an arrest mandatory for a violation.

      The decision, with an opinion by Justice Antonin Scalia and dissents from Justices John Paul Stevens and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, overturned a ruling by a federal appeals court in Colorado. The appeals court had permitted a lawsuit to proceed against a Colorado town, Castle Rock, for the failure of the police to respond to a woman's pleas for help after her estranged husband violated a protective order by kidnapping their three young daughters, whom he eventually killed.

      For hours on the night of June 22, 1999, Jessica Gonzales tried to get the Castle Rock police to find and arrest her estranged husband, Simon Gonzales, who was under a court order to stay 100 yards away from the house. He had taken the children, ages 7, 9 and 10, as they played outside, and he later called his wife to tell her that he had the girls at an amusement park in Denver.

      The only person responsible for your protection is you. I'm not telling you to buy a gun, or trying to scare you, but thinking you can rely on Lifeline just means that the police will get there in time to call the coroner. If that's your choice, that's your right. Personally I'd at least invest in a dog or a baseball bat or something.

      On Ghandi, he chose non-violence because it was the only tool that would work against the British. The same was true in the South with the African-American civil rights movement. If they had been armed they would have been wiped out. Saul Alinsky covers both situations quite thoroughly in "Rules for Radicals".

      It sounds like you've had bad life experiences with guns, especially with your family, that have influenced your opinions of them. That's completely understandable.

      On military training, as a veteran who also got a ribbon for marksmanship, the military does not train you to spray. They train you to carefully line up your shots and pull the trigger at the correct phase of the breath cycle. In 7 years in the Air Force I fired on burst once, when I had finished qualifying and the range had some obsolete training ammunition they wanted us to go through. I never fired on automatic. Here's a link to the M-16/M-4 target that I used when qualifying: M-16 target

      •  Point of information... (0+ / 0-)

        The Deacons for Defence and Justice were armed black civil rights activists.  They performed two roles, protected the non-violent activists and allowed the more mainstream groups to say, "Deal with us or deal with them."

        I favor non-violent tactics as there are fewer negative externalities.  

        Under capitalism man exploits man, under communism the roles are reversed.

        by DavidMS on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 05:20:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Plenty of misinformation here. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    .30-06 a "scary round"? Well, yes, it's a heavy high velocity round that will go through multiple people. But it was replaced as the standard NATO and U.S. rifle round by the much smaller .223/5.56 mm round for a very specific reason. The smaller high velocity round is still plenty able to kill people (See: Aurora, CO and Sandy Hook, CT). It's far easier to fire dozens of rounds rapidly & accurately than the much heavier, higher recoil .30-06 round. The military services judged (correctly) that a soldier could kill or wound far more enemy troops with a given weight of ammunition using the 5.56 mm round than the much heavier and more difficult to control .30-06 (or NATO 7.62 mm) round.

    There should be no obfuscation or debate about this particular point: semiautomatic weapons chambered for assault rifle rounds like the 5.56 mm personified by the Bushmaster are explicitly designed to kill and maim as many human beings as possible, as quickly as possible. They are not optimized to be hunting or target shooting weapons. They are made for killing lots of people. Period. And as such, given the endless wave of mass murder events in the U.S., it might make sense to think about making it harder for crazy people with a grudge to get one.

    •  There is more to the story (0+ / 0-)

      During the Great War, the participating militaries noted that most soldiers did not engage enemy personnel at ranges greater than 300 meters and the vast majority at less than 100 meters.  The rifles of the First and Second World Wars were with a few exceptions intended to engage individual persons at ranges of up to 800 or 1000 meters.  Most solders cannot identify targets at that range or even if they could fire effectively to that range.  As a result armies looked for more suitable cartridges.  

      The first two intermediate cartridges were the German 8x33 Kurtz and the Soviet 7.62x39.  Both fit this need and were chambered in early assault rifles.  The 8x33 in the Sturmgewehr 44 (literally storming gun model of 1944) and the much more common AK-47 (which best translates at Kalashnikov's automatic rifle model of 1947).  Both provided dramatic improvements in the ability of individual soldiers to engage enemy personnel.  The US moved from the M1 Garand, a outdated battle rifle to the M14, a modernized version that fired a slightly less powerful cartridge called the 7.62x51 NATO that was too powerful for automatic fire.  This lead to the adoption of the M16 in the Vietnam Era and its small caliber high velocity ammunition.  

      Intermediate Cartridges are lighter and less powerful than the cartridges they replaced but have a few advantages, less weight so soldiers can carry more ammunition, less recoil and muzzle blast when firing.  The gun is lighter as it does not need be as well built.  The big downside is that intermediate cartridges are less effective as they have less kinetic energy.  

      For civilians, the big advantages of rifles like the AR15 is that these are lightweight, accurate carbines that can be configured for the owner's needs.  For the target shooter, another advantage is that its much easier on the shoulder than the full powered loads previously used.  There are many types of 5.56 cartridges on the market intended for use in target shooting and rifle matches.  

      Under capitalism man exploits man, under communism the roles are reversed.

      by DavidMS on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 05:43:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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