Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Shooting Guns for Kicks

On the eve of Vice President Biden's report due to the President...from a week ago, Jon Stewart got it right about gun control (via Raw Story):

On his show Tuesday night, The Daily Show host Jon Stewart expressed his bafflement over conservatives who refused to even consider any new restrictions on gun ownership in the wake of multiple mass shootings. He noted that conservatives had blamed gun violence on movies, video games, mental health, and even sin.

The late-night comedian mocked politicians and others who claimed that numerous gun laws already existed, saying that McDonald’s hot coffee was more regulated than firearms.  “Why is it that there is no other issue in this country with as dire public safety consequences as this that we are unable to make even the most basic steps towards putting together a complex plan of action to slow this epidemic spread? What is really going on here?”
For Stewart, Alex Jones’ crazed rant about gun rights on CNN seemed to sum up the die-hard opposition to gun control. For conspiratorial gun advocates like Jones, absolute tyranny was the inevitable result of anything other than unlimited access to firearms.
“No one is taking away all the guns,” Stewart said. “But now I get it. Now I see what is happening. So this is what it is, their paranoid fear of a possible dystopic future prevents us from addressing our actual dystopic present. We can’t even begin to address 30,000 gun deaths that are actually in reality happening in this country every year because a few of us must remain vigilant against the rise of imaginary Hitler.”
The bride and I were over at some friends' home over Christmas, and our host asked one question that keeps haunting me: "Why would anyone NOT want to do something that would help make kids safer?"

Banning "assault weapons" would not impact hunting as we now know it. (Let's dispense with the argument that citizens need to be armed with assault weapons in case the government turns bad, 'cause you wouldn't have a chance against regular troops). Removing such non-sporting weapons from society would help keep their enhanced lethality out of the hands of the crazies--the homicidal rampages that will still inevitably occur would take place using more conventional (i.e., slower and less lethal) weaponry.

In a nutshell, the downside is that people would no longer be able to have and shoot assault weapons just for kicks.

Let me repeat that: the downside is that people would no longer be able to have and shoot assault weapons just for kicks.

No anarchy, no trampling of self-protection rights, just the loss of one facet of the recreational shooting spectrum.  I don't know about you, but I don't get the objection to the sacrifice above asked of the responsible gun owner.

The precedent already exists that certain weapons are not OK for society at large.  Just like private citizens can't possess tanks or shoulder-launched missiles, this proposal merely expands the window of military-only weapons a bit to cover these "assault weapons" as not being approved for Joe Citizen. 

To me that's a small price to pay for safer children (and I agree that gun safety needs to be addressed as part of a comprehensive solution, to include better mental health diagnosis and treatment, background checks, etc.).


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