Archive for Gun Rights
Dave Killion — April 21, 2013
Happy news in the U.S., as anti-rights Senators were unable to assemble enough votes to attain the super-majority required to pass gun-control legislation. This led to some very emotional responses by supporters of the legislation, in which opponents of the proposal have been attacked with every sort of ad hominem. This is nothing new. For example, consider this passage from a recent article –
“You won’t find anyone willing to dare say it much in the media, but a good percentage of the white men who oppose gun control of any sort – and who back measures that would even allow alleged terrorists and straw purchases for drug dealers to buy guns – are just afraid that without their guns, their phallic power will be reduced to size.
You can feel at least temporarily reassured when a long-barreled assault weapon compensates for just another average manhood; it’s an irresistable testosterone high to the beleaguered white male.”
I am a white male, and there are a few very kind, generous women in this world who can confirm that it is only my visible appendages that are larger than average. Does this count as beleaguered? One is uncertain. This much I know: although I have a couple of long guns that would certainly bolster my sense of phallic power (were it lacking), I also have a couple pieces so weak-kneed that I would hesitate to shoot anybody with them for fear they might notice, became angry, and kick my ass.
More importantly, I’ve heard variations on this argument long enough to know they always come from a predictable type, and that type is always waaaay more concerned with the size of my genitalia than I am. Instead of wasting time accusing decent people of compensating, I think they would be better served examining their own tendencies toward projection and penis envy.
Dave Killion — March 16, 2013
“The prospect of tyranny may not grab the headlines the way vivid stories of gun crime routinely do. But few saw the Third Reich coming until it was too late. The Second Amendment is a doomsday provision, one designed for those exceptionally rare circumstances where all other rights have failed–where the government refuses to stand for reelection and silences those who protest; where courts have lost the courage to oppose, or can find no one to enforce their decrees. However improbable these contingencies may seem today, facing them unprepared is a mistake a free people get to make only once”
Alex Kozinski, Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in his 2003 dissent for Silveira v. Lockyer. I understand that English is a second language for the Romanian-born Kozinski, and I am humbled by his mastery.
Also, a reminder: in Canada (and in many U.S. cities and states) acquiring a firearms licence is a tedious and time-consuming process. I can’t imagine how terrifying it must be to realize you really need/want a firearm, only to be months away from being able to obtain one. Because of this, I would suggest that even those who have no intention of ever owning a firearm take immediate steps to acquire their licence.Be prepared.
Dave Killion — March 5, 2013
“You get a tank, you end up with an ex-wife.”
Lance Miller, private citizen and Sherman Tank owner
It gets crappy mileage, but it does have a sunroof.
I have been in the thick of several discussions concerning ‘reasonable’ restrictions on firearms ownership, and more than once my interlocutor has queried as to whether or not I would allow my neighbours to own bazookas. Well, of course I would! My neighbours are good, law-abiding citizens, and certainly no threat to me. None of that would change simply because they owned a bazooka. In fact, I imagine my world would be marginally safer if such were the case. But there is no need to theorize, when the evidence is right in front of us – in the U.S. there is estimated to be up to 1,000 private citizens who own tanks, many of which are fully operational.
Dave Killion — March 4, 2013
Officer, when I say you cannot buy this gun, I mean it!
In response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, the New York State Legislature has passed regulation further encroaching on the rights of N.Y. residents. In this respect, it is much like many other state, county, and local governments, and like those other governments, the N.Y. Legislature has exempted several categories of its employees, e.g. police officers. In retaliation, over 100 U.S. firearms distributers have announced policies to close this ‘police loophole’, by refusing to sell to those governments any firearm or accessory denied by law to non-government personnel. While some of these vendors limit the restriction to New York State, many others apply their policies nation-wide. Less widely-known is the fact that several distributors (such as Cheaper Than Dirt, Ammo Clip, and Extreme Firepower,) have had such policies in place since well before Sandy Hook. From the Extreme Firepower website –
“The Federal Government and several states have enacted gun control laws that restrict the public from owning and possessing certain types of firearms. Law-enforcement agencies are typically exempt from these restrictions. EFI, LLC does not recognize law-enforcement exemptions to local, state, and federal gun control laws. If a product that we manufacture is not legal for a private citizen to own in a jurisdiction, we will not sell that product to a law-enforcement agency in that jurisdiction.”
I hope this is a good move for these vendors, but if not, I still admire their sacrifice. It would be wonderful if Canadian firearms distributors took similar actions, and I will certainly encourage those places at which I shop to do so.
Dave Killion — January 27, 2013
As I mentioned, a few members of the LBC got their Possession and Acquisition Licences last year. Next step? Acquiring and possessing a firearm! No doubt, this can be an expensive task, but it doesn’t have to be. The firearms market is very competitive, which means even cheap guns can provide good value. For example –
The Stevens 350 Pump Shotgun
Norinco SKS 7.62 x 39mm semi-auto rifle
Norinco Type 54 semi-auto pistol
And, an inexpensive pistol that fires inexpensive ammo, so you can get lots of practice –
M-93 “Woodsman” semi-auto pistol
Set aside a little money each paycheque, and soon you will be able to build up a collection that will allow you to become adept with the various styles of firearms. And because guns tend to hold their value, you will be in good position to trade up over time.
Dave Killion — January 21, 2013
Firearms are federally-regulated in Canada, and we already have the sorts of restrictions on high-capacity magazines that many in the U.S. seek: handguns are limited to ten rounds, and most semi-auto centre-fire rifles are limited to five. Proponents of such restrictions offer arguments like “No one needs a high-capacity magazine” and “It doesn’t take 7 rounds to kill a deer”. Now, it’s my view that no one’s rights should be subject to violation based on a cost/benefit analysis. However, since the utilitarian argument in favour of high-cap magazines is particularly strong, I don’t mind making it.
When a mass murderer acts, he is almost always attacking the unarmed and the defenceless. The victims are frightened, and attempting to hide or flee. Being defenceless, they offer little threat to the attacker, who can well-afford the 1-3 seconds it takes to eject one low-cap magazine and then insert another.The number of lives saved by criminalizing high-cap mags is likely to be zero.
On the other hand, someone who is using a firearm in self-defense will usually be facing someone else who is armed, or perhaps multiple aggressors. For the target, any interval during which he is unable to fire may cost him the upper hand, and could prove fatal.
The fact is, in most situations banning high-capacity magazines offers no impediment to bad guys, while disadvantaging the good guys a great deal. Banning them is a mistake for Canada, and it would be a mistake for the U.S., too.
Dave Killion — January 14, 2013
In the wake of the Newton, Connecticut shooting, U.S. senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California) intends to propose a bill further restricting the firearms ownership rights of U.S. citizens –
“The senator said she’ll introduce the bill when Congress reconvenes in January and the same legislation will also be proposed in the House of Representatives.
“We’re crafting this one. It’s being done with care. It’ll be ready on the first day,” she said, adding that she’ll soon announce the House authors.
“It will ban the sale, the transfer, the importation, and the possession. Not retroactively, but prospectively. It will ban the same for big clips, drums or strips of more than 10 bullets,” she said. “There will be a bill.” “
Happily, I expect efforts such as this to go nowhere. Gun control in the U.S. and Canada has been loosening steadily, and to no ill-effect. To even halt this advance would require more evidence than gun-control advocates can hope to muster. Furthermore, thanks to new media, citizens are much more able to fight back against dinosaurs like Feinstein. Witness one of the latest pro-gun rights sites on the net – senatorfeinstein.com. Feinstein may command great wealth and power, but any public figure so out of touch with the modern era that she neglects to protect herself from attacks like this is butting her head against a wall.
Dave Killion — December 19, 2012
Determining the number of lives saved by privately-owned firearms is not so easy a thing as totalling the number of those killed by gun-wielding criminals. For example, a gunman recently opened fire inside a theatre complex in San Antonio, only to be dropped by an off-duty sheriff. So how many lives were saved? Considering that the Aurora shooter killed 12 people and injured 58, maybe that’s how many.
Another recent example – a shooter in an Oregon shopping mall killed two people and injured one before turning the gun on himself. Why did he stop at three victims? Perhaps because he saw an armed citizen taking aim at him. How much worse could it have been? Well, George Hennard shot 50 people, killing 23 of them in the 1991 Luby’s massacre.
Are there 33 people alive now who would have been otherwise killed in San Antonio and Oregon? Maybe. You can’t say with the same sort of certainty that you can say 20 children were executed in Connecticut. But you probably hadn’t heard about the San Antonio shooting, nor the Oregon shooting, and they were both in one week. Multiply that by the 52 weeks there are in a year. Then add the countless other incidents that you don’t hear about, where people use arms to defend themselves. And of course you will never hear about the incidents that never even happened, just because a target simply brandished a firearm.
So can it be said, precisely, how many people are alive because of privately owned firearms? No. But it can be said beyond a reasonable doubt that they far outnumber the victims.
Dave Killion — December 16, 2012
My Facebook page has lit up with pain and rage since the Connecticut school massacre Friday morning, a great deal of it incoherent and contradictory. One particularly livid fellow insists it is time my fellow Americans have a serious dialogue concerning gun control in the U.S. He is also encouraging his like-minded fellows to join him in ‘shouting down the idiots’. Presumably ‘the idiots’ consist of people who don’t think what he thinks, and I’m not clear how he intends to reconcile his desire to shout them down whilst having a serious dialogue with them. Doesn’t matter, though. We have been having a serious dialogue about guns for many decades, and the arguments for reason and morality increasingly carry the day. And if shouting down the opposition worked, the anti-gun crowd would have prevailed long ago.
To further uglify the matter, there are plenty of accusations against people defending gun rights, the 2nd amendment, the NRA… people like me. It seems we have blood on our hands… that we are partly to blame for the death of these children. Myself, I only blame the shooter, but if some of the teachers or administrators had been armed, it’s not a stretch to conclude this tragedy would have been at least marginally less tragic. And it wasn’t libertarians that kept those teachers and administrators defenceless.
Dave Killion — November 20, 2012
This is alleged to be the bottom of a pizza box in the southern U.S.
Tastes like genius.