Re: public safety laws (Re: guns (Re: Cell phones of death!))

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From: Bill Stoddard (
Date: Thu Dec 21 2000 - 08:15:25 PST

> The military and police have been well-trained presumably on
> the proper use of firearms.

YES!! Exactly!! My point is to focus on what the statistic really means. Then
you can have a -fully informed discussion-! Thank you for recognising that!

I am not against requiring gun owners to go through periodic training so long
as the clear intent (and enforcement) of these laws is to 'train' people in
the proper use of firearms and not to deter ownership. Some gun owners would
disagree with me on this point using the "camel's nose in the tent" argument.
They may be right. I am -not- in favor of registering individual firearms

> And I think that gets right to what should be
> the core point. It should not be easy to get a firearm for anyone and the
> penalty for unlawful possession should be firm and strictly enforced.

 Disagree on the first point. It should be easy for a "qualified" person to
get a firearm (instant back ground check, etc). It should not be onerous for a
person become qualified.

 I agree in principle with the second point, although there are significant
cases where gun owners have been harassed to death by the BATF (people
arrested, property confiscated and kept for years and subsequently ruined by
the authorities through misues and negelect only to be resolved that the
person arrested really did nothing wrong). The 2nd amendment plays a role
here as well. If possession laws run afoul of the intent of the 2nd amendment
(read the Federalist Papers) and the government took a stand on 'strictly'
enforcing unconstitutional gun laws, then you have an explosive mixture where
people are going to die and that's not cool at all. You then have a government
that is not that different from the famous 20th century dictators.

> Some thoughts:
> When politicians I've heard lobby against stricter gun-control
> laws they always use some anecdotal example of their wives being alone and
> needing protection or the need to protect the family from crime, etc. Why
> is it you don't hear them talk about the need for citizens to be able to
> form a well-organized militia in case the govt. becomes oppressive?

The notion of your own government becoming despotic is a difficult concept to
grok. I have come to my own conclusions only after many years of considering
the options. I could have arguably spent this time on better pursuits, but
what's done is done.

An aside... I will always remember the scene in Schindler's List where the
woman in the german bunk house is rationalizing to her friends (I'm
paraphrasing, because I watched the movie once and don't remember the scene
exactly) "They (the Nazi's) need us. They would never hurt us." I literally
cried through the whole damned movie and I have no intent of ever watching it

Another aside... U.S. government today generally works as designed IMHO. I am
happy with it and believe those that would say it's time to overthrow it are
idiots. Clinton is not a bad guy. I disagree with some of his politics. Bush
is not a bad guy. I disagree with some of this politics. Jesse Ventura, now
there is a guy I can identify with but not sure he is presidental material
(yet ;-).

> For those of you who are against gun-control, where would you draw
> the line on what firearms an ordinary citizen can
> own? Automatic? Semi-Automatic, how about a hand grenade? What I'm
> interested in is do you think a line should be drawn? and if so, why and
> where?

For "qualified" people (see above):
What: Small arms (handguns, rifles, shotguns, etc.). Full or semi auto. No
magazine capacity bans. No "ugly gun" bans (bayonett lugs, pistol grips on
rifles, et. al. are okay).

Why: This covers hunting, personal self defence and 2nd amendment intent.

What Not: hand grenades, nuclear bombs, etc.

Why: Not necessary to fufill intent of 2nd amendment. The idea behind
political revolts is to make life too painful for the ruling party to keep
doing what they are doing, not launch a land and air war against a standing
military. It is completely impossible to outline all the scenarios where
personel ownership of firearms could make a crucial difference. And I agree
that some scenarios, personal ownership of small arms would not make a

For "nonqualified people":

Other more abstract arguments boil down to what world view you hold. I like
taking responsibility for my own life and actions; I do not like receiving
unearned praise, property, love, etc., I do not like controlling (or
attempting to) other people and I do not like others attempting to control me,
I don't believe laws should be passed that no one intends to support, and
finally I recognise the right of other people to be treated in the way I
expect to be treated. I guess that makes me a Libertarian politically. And
people like me are generally not friendly to the pro gun control point of view
(although the individuals that hold those views are most often fine folk!)


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