Gun Control

After the Gun Ban

Looking back a few years after hypothetical new restrictions on semiautomatic weapons in private hands, we see a country grown more divided, but no less armed.

|

Can Americans overcome hurdles to changing this country's gun culture and the laws regulating firearms? There may be a path to accomplishing just that—but it's unlikely that anybody would like the results. Let's look back from a possible future…

The strategy that gun controllers finally settled on was to shift the culture to make firearms ownership socially unacceptable. Then, legal changes would be possible.

"I think we have to cleanse our culture of this false idea that guns are cool," gun opponents wrote. "Guns are not cool. Cool kids don't use guns." Others agreed, and they all pointed to an earlier example of demonizing a previously popular product. "Guns should be the new cigarettes," they insisted.

Perhaps sounding a bit of a cautionary note, cigarette smoking was actually on the rise among college students who rolled their eyes at the gross old TV ads. One risk of cultural programming is that people may change the channel. But the plan to shift the culture was adopted, and it worked—sort of.

That's "sort of" because, while anti-gun messages were a big hit with some media platforms, they were immediately countered by vigorous counter-efforts through opposing channels by pro-gun groups. That was something that never happened during the battles over tobacco. American culture—and media, with it–was far more fragmented than it had been in the days of unchallenged anti-smoking ads.

So the anti-gun message found an audience among those who were already predisposed to listen. These were people whose politics were generally left of center, and who followed media outlets to match. The result was declining gun ownership among those who were already wary of the practice. Before the anti-gun campaign, researchers found that "44% of Republicans and independents who lean to the Republican Party say they own a gun, only 20% of Democrats and Democratic leaners say the same," but now the number of left-leaning gun owners started to fall even further.

Pollsters who had found that many gun "owners associate the right to own guns with their own personal sense of freedom" were unsurprised to see them openly stockpiling weapons and ammunition in response to the cultural battle. It quickly became clear that the partisan arms gap was growing in a politically fragmented country. Conservatives and, especially, libertarians (who almost universally valued liberty over laws that threatened that liberty) owned weapons at far higher rates, and increasing, than their opponents

But the cultural onslaught, ably assisted by the stumbling GOP and its internal civil war, had enough impact at the margins to affect elections. Democrats seized the White House and majorities in both houses of Congress and promised major changes to come—including on guns.

Warned by experts that yet another "assault weapons" ban made no sense because "as a matter of functionality, these guns are just like other rifles. They're more powerful than some handguns and rifles, and less powerful than others," they decided to go a step further. Encouraged by Supreme Court turnover and the resulting opportunity to redefine the Second Amendment out of existence, Congress banned all semiautomatic firearms in private hands, with compensation promised in return.

Many lawmakers later admitted that they never realized that semiautomatics made up maybe half of the 310 million guns estimated by the Congressional Research Service to be in private hands as of 2009. Just as important, they'd never understood that, outside of a very few jurisdictions with some sort of registration on the books, the government really didn't know who owned what guns. Even in those jurisdictions, compliance had been spotty—15 percent compliance with assault weapon registration in Connecticut, and 5 percent in New York. Many owners had openly refused to abide by registration laws out of fear of precisely what had come to pass: compensated confiscation.

A few million guns were surrendered, and victory weakly proclaimed—to much cheering in some media circles, and jeering elsewhere in the fractured country. The largely unplanned-for cost of compensating the owners of those few million guns sparked a new round of jeers. The surrendered guns came overwhelmingly from the jurisdictions with registration, and from people sympathetic to the law.

Congress summoned its energy one more time and passed ammunition restrictions. From now on, you could only purchase ammunition for weapons registered in your name.

Gun sales surged again, now for bolt- and lever-action rifles chambered in rounds traditionally used in semiautomatic rifles, and revolvers that similarly accepted traditionally semiautomatic calibers. It escaped nobody's notice that ammunition purchased for a legal weapon could also be used in guns that never made it to the registration lists.

Enjoying similar surges in popularity were ammunition reloading supplies, purchased by people who wanted to stay entirely clear of registration lists. A new generation of 3D printers and CNC machines also saw booming sales as enthusiasts flocked to arsenal-in-a-box solutions that let them manufacture almost anything they wanted at home. The simplest CNC machines converted 50 percent lowers into finished firearm receivers—that was down from 80 percent, but likely to go no further after engineers scolded legislators that they were coming close to criminalizing blocks of metal.

Enforcement of the new laws proved to be exceedingly uneven, with many state and local law enforcement agencies—especially those serving gun-friendly constituencies—explicitly opting out. "It is well established that the federal government cannot force state officials to implement federal laws," legal experts reminded angry gun control advocates. That left the most enthusiastic enforcement in areas where support for the law and compliance was already strongest.

New restrictions on semiautomatic firearms had been driven by concerns over mass shootings, but it remained almost impossible to tell if the law had any effect on crime. The U.S. remained average to above-average in the frequency and impact of what had always been unusual crimes. "Though rampage shootings are rare in occurrence, the disproportionate amount of coverage they receive in the media leads the public to believe that they occur at a much more regular frequency than they do," scholars noted before the law changed. Such incidents remained rare—and frustratingly horrifying—after the new laws passed. Few actual experts had held out much hope anyway. As one gun skeptic commented after researching various proposed policies, "the case for the policies I'd lobbied for crumbled when I examined the evidence… I can't endorse policies whose only selling point is that gun owners hate them."

What increased in frequency, though, were confrontations between law-enforcement officers seeking to enforce the new laws and citizens on the receiving end of raids. Like earlier drug-enforcement efforts, the new gun laws were implemented with violent, no-knock raids–especially in minority communities that had relatively little political clout with which to resist. Grisly headlines spoke of the death of innocent people killed when police hit the wrong address, and of officers killed when targets shot back. Juries in some areas showed a growing tendency to give defendants a pass when they'd broken the locally unpopular laws—and even when they fired on police. Local law enforcement became even more inclined to let the feds enforce their own laws—if they were up to the job.

With guns now a more explicitly partisan issue than ever, left-of-center media have taken to painting gun-friendly areas as practically in a state of insurrection. Opposing gun-friendly media return the favor by encouraging resistance to what are seen as police state tactics and by sharing tips on doing just that.

An especially troubling development is that political violence appears to be on the rise in a country where the seams are beyond frayed and where members of opposing political factions "despise each other, and to a degree that political scientists and pollsters say has gotten significantly worse over the last 50 years." A line appears to have been crossed in the minds of many Americans, and what were opponents are now enemies.

New elections loom, but nobody expects them to resolve much of anything.

NEXT: Achtung Baby: When It Comes to Parenting 4-Year-Olds, Germany Is More Laid Back Than America

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. This is a hell of an article

    1. I’d go see that movie.

      1. This article is why it would never happen in America, at least not for another generation or two. The police get a lot of their legitimacy and support from the same people who own guns. Confiscation and no-knock raids are betrayal, and that would end really badly.

        1. Maybe in the next generation but not much more than that. That is unless the younger generation(s) learn to think on their own.
          But look at the nations that have gun bans. These nations fall in two types. The first type are the totalitarian who is afraid of a revolution. The second type is nations that have lulled its citizens that the government can protect them. Yet we have seen many times in not very distant history that the government cannot always protect its citizens. Just look to Europe where guns are strictly controlled there have been attacks by guns. Some of those guns have been of the machine gun or fully automatic and some that are not but are still band in Europe. But that is not the only that those who want to kill will use to accomplish their goal. Cars, trucks, propane tanks have all been used to kill.
          So that leads me to think that those who wants to ban guns here in the US are of the type that wants to prevent a revolution against them. But even that is against the constitution. So the best way to limit gun usage in killings is to enforce the law (all the laws) and not pass more laws until all laws that have been passed are enforced. What good is another law if the ones we have now are not being enforced. It would become just another law would not be enforced.

          1. I’m making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life.

            This is what I do… http://www.onlinecareer10.com

    2. Yes, it is a hell of an article. The shooting of JFK was a purge in my estimation – to move the party away from the middle, away from normal, and race towards some amalgam of Eurosocialism and whatever chairman Mao liked minus the gulags [for now]. The downward trends of our public schools pretty much begins there, and the race to the bottom was on. As for gun regs, I think we have enough composites knowledge today to produce a firearm without any metal at all, although shells may need to be replaced with a disposable cube of sorts that once distended/distorted from a round firing are disposed of as a single use consumable. Barrels will have short lives too, maybe limited to 100 rounds, but it can be done. So if congress gets more stupid [refusing to lift the felon like punishment of teachers for getting their degrees] to put metal detectors in all schools that’s next. And it will be a disaster: non metallic projectiles still not only do great damage, but the survivability goes down. I don’t know if an ER has time for an MRI with contrast to map blood pooling/loss points as a method for finding the pieces of anything radio opaque. The needle needed for an IV could heat to a point that does permanent vascular damage if not tear the wall out of whatever vessel it’s in.

  2. Interesting idea! Whenever I thought of “What if they won and could ban guns by waving Harry Potter’s wand?”, society reverted to might makes right, because of course the only way you really could ban all guns would be to include police and the military; otherwise, we know what corruption does. Thus you’d end up with “God made man; Sam Colt made them equal; hoplophobes reverted that cultural advancement.”

    I’ve tried pointing this out to hoplophobes, and they simply refuse to admit that fists would rule the world. Actually, they first amend their fantasy to include banning knives, swords, arrows, etc, and you can sort of get them to admit that’s nt very practical, but nevertheless, that’s where they go. They just refuse to admit that any good ever came out of guns.

    Same way they refuse to recognize defensive gun uses have any relevance. A niece recently blindly reposted some facebook rant about gun deaths. I commented on 2/3 bing suicide, with Japan and Australia for reference; the war on (some) drugs causing most of the rest, and all being far outweighed by 2M DGU. That will go nowhere but I’m not going to let these blidnly naive factoids go unchallenged.

  3. I’m glad I checked in again and saw this article. You rock, Tuccille!

    I’m sure you get that a lot, but still. This was well done.

  4. You forgot to add where some Americans went on the offensive with their guns to stop the tyranny of the politicians, bureaucrats, and police.

    Not all Americans are just going to sit idly by and wait for the police to try and grab their guns.

    1. If this is how America must rid itself of its lesser elements — the superstitious, downscale, disaffected, no-count, irrelevant right-wing goobers left in our depleted backwaters — so be it.

      Go “the full LaVoy.” Be my guest.

      Say ‘hey’ to LaVoy for me when you see him.

      1. Clearly you don’t understand what “going on the offensive” can entail.

        La Voy was driving down the road and thought he was being equally treated under the law. He was wrong. The government was scared of all the armed protestors in Oregon and Nevada. The protestors never shot anyone. The FBI murdered La Voy though.

        J.D.’s hypothetical would leave no doubt in most American’s minds what was going on. Big difference.

      2. If the Day of the Rope ever does come, Arty-poo, rest assured the police will be far too busy responding to massacres of known progressive havens to start doing door-to-door raids on gun owners.

        At that point, progressives will learn to love the police!

        1. That’s right buddy. Massacre those filthy Untermenschen, progressives! Them along with the intellectuals, gays, and communists. God you bad-assed Uber-Murican patriots get me wet.

          1. You’re still operating under the delusion that they don’t want to see you and your children dead.

            1. Jesus Fucking Christ. Get out of your Mom’s basement dude.

              1. Jesus Fucking Christ. Take your thumb out of your mouth dude.

        2. Any insurgent knows not to attack the army head on. You catch them at home with their families. Newbs.

      3. Kirkland, what do you think of this depleted backwater?

        In California, harassment scandals roil ruling Democrats

        Quote:
        A national reckoning on sexual harassment that got its start in Hollywood is now upending Democratic politics throughout the nation’s most populous state.

        “We have rapists in this building. We have molesters among us.”

        Last month, then-Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra, a Los Angeles Democrat, resigned after the Los Angeles Times published accusations of harassment from six women. Shortly after, Assemblyman Matt Dababneh, a former aide to Democratic Rep. Brad Sherman announced he will resign effective Jan. 1, after multiple women accused him of misconduct. A Sacramento lobbyist, Pamela Lopez, accused Dababneh of cornering her in a Las Vegas bathroom last year and masturbating while urging her to touch him.

      4. Poor Artie… he has so many people doing satire accounts using his name it is hard to tell if it is the real Artie or not. Must be hard going thru life as a living example of Poe’s Law.

  5. I can’t endorse policies whose only selling point is that gun owners hate them.

    Um, OK. I thought that for most leftists that was the only necessary selling point.

  6. Cars kill more people than guns.

    Ban cars!

    1. I know the typical response is that cars are not made for the express purpose of killing people, and guns are.

      The fact that I own a half a dozen or so guns, none of which have killed anyone, kinda takes the air out of that balloon.

      They are good for putting holes in paper, in varmints, and ex wives. (that last part was a joke of course)

      Later this year I hope to find a hunting buddy so I can put Bambi’s meat in the freezer and liver in the skillet.

      Mmmmmm. Bambi…….

      1. Hunting partner? You mean dead body coyote bait. *backs slowly away*

      2. Your ex wife’s name is Bambi too?

        1. No way would I eat her liver. I know where it’s been.

      3. Everyone I know who has a car has been in a car accident, everyone. Of all the people I know who own guns there has been only one minor gun accident. there have been several cases of self defense.

    2. That is how you know its not about related deaths but controlling people.

      Getting rid of guns is essential to completely controlling a populace.

      1. Leftists are people who use government to unjustly impose their will upon their neighbors. Armed neighbors makes this difficult. So of course they want their neighbors to be disarmed.

        1. And conservatives are all apple pie and ice cream! Yay team!

          1. You forgot guns. Yay!

          2. Um, sure. That’s exactly what I said.

            1. Reading between the lines can be difficult, but not impossible Sarc.

              1. Only when you are focused on a false dichotomy.

                Saying A does X is not saying B does Y.

                I won’t defend your assertions because I did not make them.

                1. You call out A constantly, but almost never say a peep about B. In your world, and most of the right leaning libertarians here B > A, so you greatly prefer B. To me B = A, there is no difference.

                  1. Get back to me after you take a rudimentary course on basic logic.

                  2. To me B = A, there is no difference.

                    Well, there is your problem. You’re obviously stupid.

                  3. That’s funny, Eric; in point of fact, you spend all your time here complaining about conservatives; that suggests, by your own logic, that you must think B > A, or that progressives are all sunshine and apple pie.

      2. When are you conservatives going to finally rise up and throw of the yoke of this oppressive government? Or do you only bleat like that when a Democrat is in office?

        1. The yoke is pretty big. Plus, every Democrat in office is fighting it.

          It might take some time.

          1. The most impressive part will be you bravely facing off the drone strike with your mighty AR-15 with a stock, a compass and this thing that tells time.

            1. I find it interesting how gun control advocates like to imagine such ‘insurrections’ as some kind of set-piece battles between the insurrectionists and the full force of the US military, in the style of First Bull Run (Oh, wait, the government didn’t win that one). Just how much political support will there be for drone strikes (or other military actions)against US citizens in pursuance of controversial domestic laws? In any case, the insurrectionists will likely be focussing on the infrastructure that serve high population areas. Have fun guarding those power lines and aqueducts with your drones.

              1. Who says I’m a gun control advocate. Not all of us fetishize firearms or get our evening wear from Cabelas.

                1. Not all of us fetishize firearms or get our evening wear from Cabelas.

                  Well sure, soyboys tend to migrate towards adult footy pajamas.

              2. That’s the part they don’t really want to think about: That their power center is in cities that are only a few days away from food riots, and a few weeks away from mass starvation. Within weeks of a civil war starting, the urban centers they get most of their votes from would be charnel pits.

                It would be horribly ugly, but there’s really no question at all who would win a civil war in America. It wouldn’t even be close.

                America wouldn’t be a major power again for decades, but it wouldn’t be a country where the left was competitive again for a century.

                That’s why they don’t really want a civil war, it’s just a bloody fantasy on their part. They really just want to regulate us into extinction. Force everybody to move into the urban centers by economically destroying everywhere else, make not being a liberal so starkly unpleasant that the next generation would submit just to get along.

                They’re not going to start a civil war with gun confiscation. Maybe end one, but if they really do start a civil war, it will be economic and information war, not a shooting war. At least not until the very end.

              3. some of us know where the drones are flown from and the people who fly them. They live in our neighborhoods with their wife and kids. so unless they want to take their families behind the fences, and if they do then we will know whats up.

                much like the police they have to go home at night

            2. So you are saying that the government will violate Posse Comitatus Act and use drones to strike?

              1. Doesn’t matter what I think. Ask Trump at his next rally, maybe.

            3. The most impressive part will be you bravely facing off the drone strike with your mighty AR-15 with a stock, a compass and this thing that tells time.

              Progressives always love to bring up MUH DRONE STRIKES as if they think that’s all a war is fought with these days.

              1. They like the idea of drone strikes because drones don’t have those pesky consciences, you tell one to blow up somebody’s house, it just blows up somebody’s house.

            4. I like how people on both sides imagine that open fighting with small arms would play a large role in a hypothetical insurrection.

              It’ll be bombs. It’ll be murdering the other team’s family. It’ll be assassinations. Infrastructure attacks.

              Nobody will win, even after one side calls itself the victor.

              1. quit possible multiple independent states would form up since many states in the interior will not want to waste blood in California, they will just cut it off. then California will have fighting between the north and the south with elements from both Mexico and Russia lending a hand. Remember Cali was once part of Russia

                1. That was Alaska. I’d hardly call Fort Ross, a single outpost, California being part of Russia.

              2. A dedicated for with small arms can easily defeat an opposing force with advanced weapons. Go talk to one of the history teachers in your school and ask them about Vietnam. You assume the US military would turn on the people and I would argue the number who would refuse to obey that order is much larger than those who would not. Remember, they would be asked to kill their family, friends and neighbors and that is something I dont think the US military will ever do

              3. I’m thinking that there will be a lot less “murdering of the families” of the team that maintains individual ownership of effective firearms.

                That’s kind of the point.

            5. Who do you plan to strike? How will you find them? Drones are fine if you know where to strike you assume people will be sitting in locations know to the government. Besides remember drone strikes can go both ways ans IEDs are more effective and easier to build and use than drones. They also have a much greater impact on demoralizing the opposing force. Look what they did to us in Iraq? IEDs hastened our exit.

              1. As you say TxJack, infrastructure will be destroyed outside the cities isolating them. The lefties will have to endure, no water, limited food, all the exit roads blocked by armed patriots or bridges blown.

        2. Are you referring to the oppressive government in California?

          The dark cloud of the War Against Women is forever hovering over Republicans but usually manages to land on Progressives and Democrats.

          9 Women Describe Horrific Treatment at the Hands of Their Jailers

          Quote:
          Women imprisoned at California’s Santa Rita Jail say they’re being housed in filthy conditions, denied basic hygiene products, pressured to have abortions, subjected to incessant strip searches, and forced to endure many other manners of cruel and inhumane treatment from guards and staff at the progressive Alameda County facility.

        3. Conservatives are too busy getting their asses kicked — a half-century of liberal-libertarian progress shoved down their throats and up their butts, a process destined to accelerate as America’s electorate improves and the backwaters continue to be hollowed out by bright flight and education disparities — to do much of anything other than pine for good old days that never existed.

          1. Arthur V. Shitlib thinks he’ll be saved by Operation “Get Behind the Darkies” when the Day of the Rope comes.

            1. Society’s can’t-keep-up, left-behind losers fantasizing about vanquishing their betters.

              I guess it’s that or a handful of street pills to get through another shambling day for a poorly educated, socially inept, bigoted, superstitious yahoo stuck in America’s depleted backwaters.

              Carry on, clingers.

              1. Society’s can’t-keep-up, left-behind losers fantasizing about vanquishing their betters

                Society’s limp-wristed soyboys fantasizing that the police state and their pets will save them.

                Carry on, GRIDS-lad.

  7. Hmm, a good article, only a few comments, so its probably not Hihnfected. Well fuck.

  8. The strategy of the gun control movement was to make gun ownership just a huge hassle with “reasonable” regulations, with the idea that in another generation or two the number of gun owners would decline to the point where every one of them voting single issue would no longer be enough to decide elections.

    And then the real pogrom would start.

    Fortunately we were able to counter that just in time, and gun ownership started trending up again. And now it seems they’re losing on the PR front, too.

    But the suggested approach isn’t new. It’s merely failed.

    1. Lefties blame Trump for most everything but the reality is that Americans are just fighting back on multiple lefty agenda items at the same time.

      Fighting PC, fighting gun control, and ignoring the media are really setting lefties back decades.

      1. Needs MOAR lefty.

        1. Lefties to make fun of?

          1. No there are plenty of those. I just need to you to focus more on those dastardly lefties LC. You’ve been giving them a pass lately.

    2. Correct. Polls find the evil NRA fairly well aligned with public opinion:

      Gallup Poll: More Than Six in 10 Americans Say Guns Make Homes Safer

      Quote:
      The percentage of Americans who believe having a gun in the house makes it a safer place to be (63%) has nearly doubled since 2000, when about one in three agreed with this.
      ?
      Although there is a gender gap in the results for this question, majorities of both men (67%) and women (58%) believe having a gun improves home safety.
      ?
      About two-thirds of whites and Southerners endorse having a gun to improve home safety, as do majorities of nonwhites (56%) and residents of the other three regions.

      1. My daughter who is a high school teacher was asked if you were safer with a home security system or a gun. She laughed and said a home security system only tells when you need to go get your gun.

        1. She laughed and said a home security system only tells when you need to go get your gun.

          To be fair, there’s nothing wrong with defense in depth, especially in our vibrant urban enclaves.

    3. No the strategy of the movement is to label them reasonalblr so when they do not work they can push for more draconian restrictions.

  9. “the case for the policies I’d lobbied for crumbled when I examined the evidence… I can’t endorse policies whose only selling point is that gun owners hate them.”

    It’s so odd hearing from people with actual principles and integrity today.

  10. “I think we have to cleanse our culture of this false idea that guns are cool,”

    Do you know who else wanted a cultural cleansing?

    1. Jamie Lee Curtis?

  11. “owners associate the right to own guns with their own personal sense of freedom”

    “There is no freedom without gunpowder.”

  12. New elections loom, but nobody expects them to resolve much of anything.

    I propose that we end the defenseless-victim zone policy.

  13. Any reasonable mind with a little knowledge of history can see that firearms have been the great equalizer in the struggle of the common people vs. their oppressors (in whatever form of government it may be). The fact that leftists want to take that equalizer away exposes what their true motives are, regardless of supposed “good intentions” and alleged sympathy for the children.

  14. The book “Unintended Consequences” by John Ross lays out a much more likely scenario. It’s available as a free PDF download and is excellent

    1. Also of course gun deaths have been dropping for 20 years while the number of guns have been increasing
      http://www.aei.org/publication…..-and-2013/

    2. And actually there are a number of other countries with MUCH stricter gun laws with more mass shootings (per capita)

      I would post the link but it won’t let me

    3. Good thing, too, paper copies have gotten pretty expensive. Good book, somewhat embarrassing cover. I had no idea Lady Liberty was so stacked…

      You can get it here.

  15. Many of us load our own ammo making ammunition restrictons a moot point. I do not load it to avoid the “government” but to improve the accuracy. In addition in addition to 3D printers, there are a number of companies selling 80% lower recievers. The lower is the only part of a tactical rifle with a serial number. However it is legal to finish a 80% reciever and build a rifle for yourself, you just cant sell it. These are the “ghost guns” you have heard mentioned. The simple reality is there is someone smart enough to come up with a solution to circumvent any law made by policitians who are short of facts and long on rhetorical nonsense.

  16. Good article lending still more evidence about how nuanced the subject is despite the howling from the emotional left.

    Also.

    Is Hihn on drugs?

  17. Does anyone know any libertarians that don’t have a well stocked armory?

  18. I don’t, and I just as an FYI, I don’t live anywhere near the place you might think to come mass shoot me.

  19. If I were advising a looter kleptocracy on how to continue to advocate the initiation of force without seeming like murderous goons, I would point to the only party that is growing and shriek: RIGHT-WING GUN NUTS! Subsidized ads would remind Republicans that the Libertarians wrote the plank that framed the Roe v Wade decision a month after the electoral votes were counted. Other ads would tell Dems that Ayn Rand wrote the Non-Aggression Principle in 1947, and later said bad things about communist propaganda movies in hearings. Both parties continue to force taxpayers to subsidize their electioneering (and not the LPs), so “bipartisan support” is already a done deal, right?

  20. Too bad the comment section to an interesting article got messed up by Hihn.

    1. Damn straight! When I see every other comment is his BOLD FACED DIARRHEA-SCREED, I go out of my way to not read his voluminous verbal vomitus. Hihn is clearly mentally unbalanced, but he should know that trying to derail every thread with inane scribblings is definitely not the way to win friends and influence people! Quite the contrary. Maybe if more of us ignored him, he’d give up and go away?

  21. So the military, police, and the state should be the only ones with guns.

    What could possibly go wrong in a military police state?

  22. Point 1) The absence of LAW is what allows this real scenario and the “projection”. Law is essentially “do all you have agreed to do and do not encroach on other persons or their property”. If Law were upheld in the court system and the court system was BASED on this perspective, most if not all criminalizations of personal activity could not exist. Legislation could not overrule Law. With the recognition of PERSONS, most if not all rules called “laws” that allow the many to harm the few or the few to harm the many could simply not be enforced.

    Point 2) The Oath of Office is a legal and binding contract. If our happy “officials” were held to honoring their Oaths on the penalty of a civil crime (with the civil penalties of tort Law), most of the legislation that happens now could not exist. The price for harming the citizens would simply be too high. Also, since the first 10 Amendments are what the federal government can NOT legislate, decree, or “rule” on, most of the crap/legislation that comes from Congress could simply NOT exist. They clearly have NO authority to legislate away Constitutional Limits on their authority.

  23. A quick thought crossed my mind: democrats seem to love chaos, and the power it bestows upon them as citizens scream “do something!” in need of relief from the very problems brought on their heads by the malfeasant hiding in government. To that end, the attempt at starting a civil war using BLM failed last year, so they are moving for more mayhem. And, the greater the imbalance between criminals and honest citizens, the more atrocities will happen. Todays left is nothing but flat out dangerous.
    You and I both know that if capitol hill received the same treatment as teachers, there would be shootings every year. Give just one “resource officer” for the house and one for the senate, then tell security to get out of the building, arrest any congressman providing for their own self defense… the rest would take care of itself. Not that I wish that on them, but if they thought about it in those terms, they would have mercy on our schools and the staff besieged with bad law, and let them defend themselves to restore equal application of the law. Most shootings are over in two minutes, which is about how long it takes police to respond in the absolute best of circumstances.

  24. If the Congress ever bans semi-automatic rifles just follow the game plan in the movie “The Wind That Shakes the Barley”.

    1. And… how does that stack up against Idiocracy?

      1. Maybe you watch the movie.

  25. To me, when it comes to mass killings, whether by the distraught or by ISIS-type terrorists, the endless debates on what to do about guns are wasteful and distracting.

    Stop thinking mass “shooter.” See what I mean in:

    “Gun Control and Mass Killers”
    https://relevantmatters.wordpress.com/
    2016/06/30/rush-draft-why-gun-control
    -fails-against-mass-killers/

  26. I have only one to say, in reference to (school) shootings.
    What is wrong with you Americans? Why do you insist on standing alone in the world; as if on a separate planet?

    Thank God I am a Canadian citizen!

    1. Can we send our vibrant gang members up to your country (Refugees Welcome!)? That should drop our violent crime rate down to white-bread Canada levels.

  27. If they succeed in banning AR type rifles, the next target will be semi-auto handguns and then semi-auto shotguns. In numerous online debates, the most common reason for banning guns from the gun control crowd is “you having a gun does not make me feel safe.” The reality is most of the arguments then use are based on flawed data, inaccurate information and in man cases, flat out lies. When you have to lie to gather support, it only proves your position is weak.

    1. Your slippery slope has a gaping hole in it…

      A semi-auto isn’t an issue if the clip is limited in size, which is the sort of thing you see in California.

      I’d feel safer if gun buyers had to go through a similar process as they do to get a drivers license. Background checks, medical waivers, training, regular testing, etc. And a car isn’t even designed to kill people like guns are. I’d feel safer if people who do things that make them a risk lose their license to have guns until they are able to prove they can safely handle them, just like we do with drivers licenses. Background checks, training, and licensing doesn’t keep responsible drivers from driving and it won’t keep responsible gun-owners from having their gun.

      The data is pretty clear: Americans with guns kill far more of each other than they do in any other country, even countries like Canada that also have guns.

      1. I’d feel safer if gun buyers had to go through a similar process as they do to get a drivers license.

        Oh, I LOVE when proglydytes bring this up. Yes, let’s treat buying a gun EXACTLY like we do cars. I’ll happily get an operator’s license, registration and insurance for my firearms, just like we do for cars. That also means the following:

        –The license renewal consists of NOTHING more than a simple vision test—just like cars.
        –I can buy any gun I want, with no background checks, including across state lines–just like cars.

        Deal?

  28. Came here expecting to see a sh!t show blend of conspiracy theories and slippery slope arguments in favor of guns. Wasn’t disappointed.

    Remember, Trump stopped Medicare/Medicaid from reporting people with certain forms of mental illness to the background check database because the gun lobby doesn’t support background checks.

    But let’s hear about all those “thoughts and prayers” from conservatives as yet another classroom gets shot up.

    1. Remember, Trump stopped Medicare/Medicaid from reporting people with certain forms of mental illness to the background check database because the gun lobby doesn’t support background checks.

      It was more than the “gun lobby,” (scare quotes definitely required here) but like most left-wingers, you’re too dishonest to bring that up or too ignorant to even know it.

      But let’s hear about all those “thoughts and prayers” from conservatives as yet another classroom gets shot up.

      Funny how progtards only give a crap when it’s a school and not our vibrant urban enclaves.

  29. Trust me: When you are awakened from your sleep by the sound of shattering glass at 3 am and 911 gives you a recorded message, guns are cool.

    1. Last time I called 911, I got a recorded message saying the call center hadn’t been set up yet. Turned out they were saving the fees from the phone bills up to build a fancy building, instead of running it immediately out of an available office.

      Fortunately I managed to get help from the phone company operator before I passed out; I was getting kind of stupid from the shock at that point.

  30. I realize that Reason doesn’t have an ignore feature, but surely by now somebody must have created a “don’t display any comment by Hihn” browser extension…

  31. Mr. Tuccille is too kind when writing about the citizens “on the receiving end of raids.” He knows LEOs would not be targeted except in reactionary outcomes. Who would be on the receiving end of the citizen’s ire are the lawmakers who were stupid enough to enact and pass such a ban. That’s what his piece left out, but I understand why.

    I remember reading in 2014 about the Connecticut state legislators having to get enhanced state police protection because someone posted all their names and home addresses online with the usual hints of retribution. They were afraid angry citizens would simply go to their houses, set them on fire, and shoot them as they tried to escape the flames. And would work their way down the list of “aye” votes. Thankfully, such incidents did not occur, but neither did enforcement of their new semi-auto registration law, which was ignored by 85% of owners in the state. The stand-off remains intact today in Connecticut.

    Matt Bracken’s 2012 excellent think-piece, “What I Saw At The Coup,” is also another interesting one to read about post-law enforcement and reaction to these kinds of legislative / governmental overreaches. I commend readers to take a look and think about its conclusions: http://ow.ly/Px6a30iyKos

  32. This very well thought-out and well-written article just demonstrates that the only logical solution to the “gun control” issue is freedom. Allow those who wish to take the chance of being victimized and possibly put their lives (as well as the lives of their families) in the hands of often inept or simply not present persons make up their own minds and take their chances. Let those who aren’t inclined to allow evil people to determine the outcome of their future, or that of their family, make the decisions necessary to allow them to accomplish those ends. The only thing that really makes this a contentious issue is the fact that liberals are the annoying (and dangerous to individual liberty) type of people who want others to conform to everything they want and believe, and Constitutional conservatives and libertarians (real libertarians, not the recent socialist infiltrators) want people to make their own decisions, be responsible for their own actions and live their lives free from the interference of others. And, before anyone brings up something as silly as abortion–besides letting them pay for their own and don’t involve everyone else in your poor decisions–should be a state (not federal) issue. This original tenet of our Founding Fathers should also be applied to almost every other silly argument that leftists bring into similar discussions.

  33. If guns are the “new cigarettes: then 3D printing must be the new vaping

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.