A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.
We see the topic everywhere in the news this week for obvious reasons. In the wake, the House has passed two new bills and Biden has called on Congress to ban semi-automatic rifles and standard detachable box magazines. We must have a fragile republic indeed if every time some psycho breaks the law, we have to question the very foundation of the country.
The mendacity from the Left is impressive. If they were a little more consistent, they might not have to worry about which lie they told last. We hear everything from “common sense safety” measures to outright bans (Biden) to confiscation (“Hell yes” Beto). And every time it is pointed out that their most recent “flavor of the day” proposal would not have prevented the most recent tragedy they dismiss the argument or go silent. They do not have an argument, they can’t read data, and they can’t do the math.
The common denominator in these tragic events is not the equipment. If the Left wanted a list of dangerous equipment to go after, based on the number of deaths, they would be looking at cars, motorcycles, bicycles, and snow skis. The common denominator is the deranged shooter, but the Left does not want to talk about mental health.
As Tom (@thetommycshow on Parler) pointed out in a recent post, the second amendment exists to protect the people from a tyrannical government (he cites Federalist 29). I would also add that “all threats foreign and domestic” does not leave much out. This isn’t about shooting ducks or deer.
An outright ban will not work for the same reason Prohibition didn’t work. Underreported in the media is this; the technology to build a gas-operated semi (or fully) automatic rifle is over 100 years old. The cat is out of the bag. With modern manufacturing technology, these are not all that difficult to build. A blowback operated firearm firing from an open bolt is even easier. Firearms will still be made and sold, underground, and probably by organized crime. They will have no records, no quality or safety controls, and no accountability. Does the Left suppose this would represent a public safety improvement? Prohibition is a wonderful example of the government getting it completely backward. They attacked the supply, the problem was the demand. Where there is a demand, there will be a supply (legal or not). I think we are all well aware of what the demand for firearms and ammunition looks like right now.
Here in my home state of Washington, we have a recent example of Left-think at work on this topic. I-1639 passed a few years ago (full text here). The “intent” is explained in the first few paragraphs where mass shootings and violence are cited. The balance goes on to impose age limits, waiting periods, mandatory safety training, registration, safe storage, etc. Not one word about mental health. Not one provision to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals (background checks were already required before the measure was passed). Not one word about enforcement of existing state or federal laws.
The writers of I-1639 recognized the folly of the federal ban of 1994 wherein purely cosmetic features of a rifle (bayonet lugs, pistol grips, handguards) were used to define “assault” weapons. To solve that they redefined “assault rifle” as follows: Any semi-automatic rifle with a detachable box magazine. So now your Ruger 10-22 squirrel rifle is an “assault weapon” here in Washington.
The burden of I-1639 falls exclusively on law-abiding citizens. It has no impact on criminals.
There is nothing about firearms that is not already covered by law at the federal and/or state levels. Manufacture, transport, sales, repair, possession, carry, use; these are all covered under existing law (existing law that is frequently not enforced). It is difficult to correlate firearms laws with any direct effect on crime and violence. From the National Firearms Act (1934) to the Gun Control Act (1968) to the Brady act and the 1994 assault weapons ban, crime and violence vary with time and location without any apparent connection. There is little to support the idea that any of these measures are (or were) effective. By the government’s own assessment, the 1994 ban had no impact on crime or violence.
One of the most laughable arguments from the Left is that at the time the second amendment was written, “arms” generally referred to muzzleloading flintlocks. True. Conveniently absent is the fact that at that time, such weapons represented the latest military state of the art. By that logic, we should all be able to own fully automatic rifles with bayonet lugs and grenade launchers attached. It is also worth pointing out that this ultra-modern military terror the AR-15 (which is NOT a military weapon) has been available on the civilian market for over 50 years.
Another manifestly false narrative is all about the “awesome power” of “assault rifles” such as the AR-15. While difficult to nail down exactly (at least in my research) the source of the term “assault rifle” generally grew out of some firearm developments during World War II. At that time, a “standard” infantry rifle (or “battle rifle”) was full size, full length, and fired a full-power rifle cartridge such as the .30-06 Springfield or the 8mm Mauser. The Germans, in particular, began the development of a smaller, lighter rifle that used a reduced power cartridge; more powerful than a pistol but less than a battle rifle. Assault rifle was probably coined to differentiate from a battle rifle. The 5.56 NATO used in the AR-15 is less powerful than your typical deer rifle. In my state, it is illegal to hunt deer with anything smaller than .24 caliber (the 5.56 NATO / .223 Remington is .22 caliber). The 5.56/.223 is very similar to the older .222 Remington and .222 Remington Magnum. The typical rifleman views such cartridges as suitable for squirrels, rabbits, and coyotes – not big game such as deer and elk. They will absolutely kill humans, but they are not possessed of the “awesome power” presented by the Left and some in the media. “Assault rifle”, when used by anyone that knows what they are talking about, refers to a reduced power rifle.
As a bit of a side note, I’m not being very careful here to distinguish “assault rifle” from “assault weapon.” Both terms have issues with precise definition. “Assault weapon” looks to me to be made up out of thin air by the anti-gun crowd to counter the argument that typical military rifles in this general category are selective-fire (full auto or burst) and already heavily regulated if not completely banned. True military weapons are not being sold into the general civilian market, a fact the Left can’t seem to accept.
Once again, the Left insists on zero-sum thinking. The only way to get at the bad guys is to take away from the good guys. It doesn’t seem to enter their minds that you could go after the bad guys and leave the good guys alone. The proposals they have made would not prevent the tragedies we see in the news, but they are not bothered by that. It doesn’t occur to them that if they proposed solutions that left law-abiding citizens alone, they would not get much resistance from anyone of any political stripe. This leads one to question whether or not they want to do anything to address crime and violence. My view is they do not. At best, they are trying to score political points with their base by “doing something” even if it doesn’t work. At worst, they want a disarmed citizenry so they can consolidate total power.
The government should fear the citizens, not the other way around.