Reason.com

Free Minds & Free Markets

If You're Trying to Ban Guns, the Least You Could Do Is Learn the Basics

Sloppy thoughts, sloppy policies.

The Washington Post recently published an op-ed by writer Adam Weinstein in which he argues that Second Amendment advocates "use jargon to bully gun-control supporters." "While debating the merits of various gun control proposals," he contends, "Second Amendment enthusiasts often diminish, or outright dismiss their views if they use imprecise firearms terminology."

How dare Second Amendment advocates expect that those passionately arguing to limit their constitutional rights have some rudimentary knowledge of the devices they want to ban? To point out the constant glaring technical and policy "faux pas" of gun controllers is to engage in "gunsplaining," a bad-faith argument akin to intimidation.

"If you don't know what the 'AR' in AR-15 stands for, you don't get to talk," explains the sarcastic subhead on the piece. If you don't know what the "AR" in AR-15 stands for, you still get to talk. But if you want to ban or confiscate AR-15s and you haven't taken the time to learn what the "AR" stands for, then gun owners have every right to call you out.

Weinstein—and he's far from alone—bemoans the unfairness of gun controllers "being forced to sweat the finest taxonomic distinctions between our nation's unlimited variety of lethal weapons." This statement is illustrative of the emotionalism and hyperbole of the debate (the notion that there's an "unlimited variety" of firearms is absurd). But at the same time, it's an exaggeration of Second Amendment advocates' expectations.

As with any contemporary disputes over public policy, there will always be those who attempt to dismiss opponents who possess less expertise. It's certainly not unique to this debate. And, no, a person should not be excluded from a conversation simply for referring to a "bullet" rather than a "cartridge," or a "clip" rather than a "magazine."

Then again, much of gun control policy is driven by the mechanics of a firearm. So, while not knowing what a "barrel shroud" is should not prevent anyone from pondering gun policy, failing to understand the distinction between a semi-automatic and automatic weapon tells us you're dishonest, unserious or unprepared for the debate.

Take, for instance, Michael Bloomberg.

In a debate imbued with emotion, gun control advocates rely on this ignorance. When then-President Barack Obama told a crowd that a mass shooter used a "fully automatic weapon," he wasn't concerned with the finest taxonomic distinctions of a gun; he was depending on the yawning obliviousness of a cheering crowd. When CNN featured an alleged gun expert explaining that the AR-15 he was about to fire was "full semi-automatic," he was making the functionality of the firearm sound scarier to those who are ignorant about guns.

"Jargon" is words and expressions that are difficult for a layman to understand or use. Rather than using jargon, Second Amendment advocates are usually mocking those who use jargon-sounding words in an effort to fearmonger viewers and constituents. When you claim that the streets are rife with "high-capacity, rapid-fire magazines" or "jumbo clips," you're trying to fool your audience with a veneer of expertise. When you claim that we need to ban "gas-assisted receiver firearms," you're trying to make a semi-automatic weapon sound like a machine gun for a reason.

It's not always the mechanics either. When MSNBC's Joe Scarborough misrepresents the Heller decision, he's preying on policy ignorance that has little to do with gun culture. When MSNBC analyst Steve Schmidt goes on television and passionately tells an audience that it's more difficult to buy cough medicine than an "AK-47—or 50 of them," he's either lying or has absolutely no grasp of how gun policy works. Either way, he shouldn't be talking to grown-ups about firearms.

All these people use a moralistic fallacy, which is often predicated on the ignorance Weinstein rationalizes—not that it stops him from embracing the appeal to authority he condemns elsewhere.

For example, Weinstein takes Fox News personality Tomi Lahren to task for failing to mention that the family of Eugene Stoner, the AR-15's designer and champion, claimed in 2016 that Stoner would be "'horrified and sickened' to see his military rifle pattern become so common in civilian households and school shootings." You'll notice the conflation. Of course Stoner would be horrified that his gun was used in school shootings. But Weinstein fails to note that there's no evidence on the record of Stoner having been "horrified and sickened" by the notion of civilians owning his gun. Since he had been selling prototype AR-15s to civilians a decade before his military model was adopted by the United States, we have no reason to believe he would be.

Perhaps that kind of discussion spurns conversation in favor of condescension. But at least it's a debate that revolves around the veracity of facts, which is a lot more than I can say for the rest of the "gunsplaining" grievance.

COPYRIGHT 2018 CREATORS.COM

Photo Credit: Glen Stubbe/ZUMA Press/Newscom

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.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Grow up, Harsanyi. The meaning of AR is totally useless to this issue -- and not just by the opposing tribe. Gunsplaining is just as bad, regardless of the source, on an issue which gets more infantile every day.

    Gun rights ate NOT absolute, because NO rights are absolute – not even Life --- WHEN they are conflicting or competing. THAT is what "unalienable" means

    Intentional Homicide Rates (Latest available, UN)
    Per 100,000 population
    5.3 United States
    3.0 Europe and Asia (each)
    1.7 Canada
    0.9 UK

    FACT: England's 2nd gun control (1996) saw ONE mass shooting in 22 years
    Adjust for population (5:1) and they had 5 shootings in 22 years ... We had 8 in 6 weeks. Do the math.
    Mass Shootings Per year
    UK = 0.2 per year
    US = 69.3 per year = 31,000% higher
    Are those YOUR values on "sanctity of ife?"

    Left - Right = Zero
    Both sides seek to impose their own view by force of law, aka authoritarian

  • loveconstitution1789||

    It indicates that lefties and gun grabbers are willing to just make anything up to get take your guns.

    I would be easier on gun grabbers about having to know that "AR" in AR-15 stands for ArmaLite and that ArmaLite sold its rights of the AR-10 and AR-15 to Colt in 1959.

    The 2nd Amendment prohibits any gun control at all, such as background checks, firearm bans, license requirements, ammo bans or restrictions, etc.

  • Mcgoo95||

    I don't want to spend the rest of my life looking down the barrel of an Armalite...

  • Agammamon||

    How much time have you spent doing that so far?

  • PeeDub||

    It's OK McGoo95, I don't want to spend the rest of my days keepin' out of troubleas the soldiers say.

  • jerryg1018||

    It's better to be looking down a barrel than looking into one.

  • some guy||

    The word "infringed" doesn't mean what you, me and the dictionary think it means.

  • DatCrazyMongoose||

    I'm pretty sure AR stands for Armalite Rifle, but I could be wrong.

  • jerryg1018||

    You're correct, the 15 was the latest revision to the design.

  • Michael Hihn||

    (snort)

    Justice Scalia, Heller
    We also recognize another important limitation on the right to keep and carry arms. 'Miller' said, as we have explained, that the sorts of weapons protected were those 'in common use at the time.' 307 U.S., at 179, 59 S.Ct. 816. We think that limitation is fairly supported by the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of 'dangerous and unusual weapons.'"

    .... as we have said, the conception of the militia at the time of the Second Amendment's ratification was the body of all citizens capable of military service, who would bring the sorts of lawful weapons that they possessed at home to militia duty..... But the fact that modern developments have limited the degree of fit between the prefatory clause and the protected right cannot change our interpretation of the right.
  • Michael Hihn||

    US v Miller (1939)

    The signification attributed to the term Militia appears from the debates in the Convention, the history and legislation of Colonies and States, and the writings of approved commentators. These show plainly enough that the Militia comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense. "A body of citizens enrolled for military discipline." And further, that ordinarily, when called for service these men were expected to appear bearing arms supplied by themselves and of the kind in common use at the time.

    Which is why the NRA was TOTALLY HELPLESS against the Assault Weapons ban (what it's called) for TEN LONG YEARS..

    Guntards - Libtards = Zero
    Both lie, shamelessly, to advance a tribal. anti-liberty agenda by force of law ... aka statist

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano called for a handgun ban here

  • Michael Whine||

    In the absence of any evidence tending to show that possession or use of a "shotgun having a barrel of less than eighteen inches in length" at this time has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument. Certainly it is not within judicial notice that this weapon is any part of the ordinary military equipment, or that its use could contribute to the common defense.

    LIAR MISSES THE IMPLICATION

  • Whorton||

    I cannot believe he is quoting Miller. Miller was predicated on a bootlegger caught in possession of a sawed off shotgun. It is important to note that Miller had been freed before the case was heard by the Supreme court and DID NOT respond to the allegations. This is important for two reasons.

    First becasue such short barreled shotguns were common usage during WWI and were referred to as "Trench brooms" or "Trench Sweepers" The issue could have been proven by a few officers of the American military during WWI.

    Secondly, Such weapons are not illegal, as they can be possessed legally under the National Firearms Act by submitting an application to the Treasury with all required documentation, fingerprint cards and a $200 dollar tax. After that you can possess one without problem.

    Sorry Michael Hihn, You should be more careful in doing legal research and learn how to shepardize a case. . .

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano is super-mad that he's not getting that handgun ban.

  • dbs5347||

    So by this logic common "militia" weapons including light and heavy machine guns, grenade launchers, and rocket propelled grenades and launchers should all be readily available. You can't have it both ways.

    Also, Miller and was a case where the defense failed to even present oral arguments because the defendant had fled.

  • dbs5347||

    The "assault weapons" ban, which was a joke and which was almost universally ignored, preceded Heller and McDonald, so, there's that.

  • jerryg1018||

    The smooth bore musket in use at the time fired a .58 caliber ball capable of inflicting a horrendous wound.

  • Michael Hihn||

    loveconstitution1789|3.9.18 @ 6:48AM|#
    It indicates that lefties and gun grabbers are willing to just make anything up to get take your guns.

    Says the teat-sucking conservative who DEMANDS
    entitlements for himself .... from o ver $2 trillion in new debt ... while WHINING about America's "crushing debt!" .

    loveconstitution1789|2.8.18 @ 3:08PM|#

    My retired father loves politics and we often discuss the nature of things.
    I cannot get him to openly discuss social security and medicare reform with cuts. He is just hoping to check out before our debt crushes the USA. Its selfish as shit.

    loveconstitution (sic) Insults HIS OWN FATHER, "selfish as shit" ... but DEFENDS his own sucking at the gummint teat! (OMG) ... Alt-Right TROLL says more crushing debt is okay .. ONLY if it lines HIS pocket!

    HIS TROLLING claims that a multi-trillion debt increase (tax cut) is "giving my own money back " ... FROM WHERE TROLL?

    What kind of "libertarian" DENIES federal debt is stealing from our future ... his own children?

    HE WOULD CUT HIS FATHER'S BENEFITS .. AND STEAL FROM HIS OWN KIDS ... TO ENRICH HIMSELF, BECAUSE ... ...HE'S "ENTITLED!"

    The NEW Entitlement Mentality. The Alt-Right, self-righteous goobers of today's GOP.

    Left - Right = Zero

    SHAME ON YOU

  • Ariki||

    Hihn + words = fucken stupid

  • Michael Whine||

  • Michael Hihn||

    Defense of aggression, dumbfuck goober.
    (sneer)

  • Michael Whine||

  • Whorton||

    That's helpful.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    That is not what "inalienable" means at all. Alienation refers to the legal concept of the capacity of a piece of property or a property right to be sold to another. An "inalienable" right is a right that cannot be sold. For example, a person cannot sell him or herself into slavery. So, it is the opposite of what you said.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    Don't let definitions get in the way of rhetoric. You're clearly wordsplaining

  • SQRLSY One||

    "For example, a person cannot sell him or herself into slavery." OK then…

    Also, one does not have the "personal freedom" to contractually allow oneself to be killed and eaten. This has been legally established now, in Germany, at least.

    See http://www.theguardian.com/wor.....ukeharding ... Names were Meiwes and Brandes... Legal consent was all drawn up. "Victim of cannibal agreed to be eaten"... That eats me up pretty badly!

    But you know those Germans! They have a bad history of sometimes strangely restricting your personal freedoms!

  • Michael Hihn||

    (smirk)

    http://www.dictionary.com/browse/unalienable
    unalienable
    [uhn-eyl-yuh-nuh-buh l, -ey-lee-uh-]
    adjective
    1.not transferable to another or not capable of being taken away or denied; inalienable :

  • Mark22||

    Gun rights ate NOT absolute, because NO rights are absolute – not even Life --- WHEN they are conflicting or competing

    And how does me owning or carrying a gun "conflict or compete" with anybody's right?

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    Your owning or carrying a gun doesn't conflict, in and of itself. Your claim of a right to do so, however, needs to acknowledge that the right you claim is yours as a grant from the sovereign People. If you don't acknowledge that, then whatever it is you are claiming both conflicts and competes with the People's right to self-government.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    ""Your claim of a right to do so, however, needs to acknowledge that the right you claim is yours as a grant from the sovereign People.""

    It's a grant from those who added the right to the Constitution. They were sovereign people. The concept of enshrining a concept into a right is to insulate it from the wrath of the 51%.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    Correct. And the concept of popular sovereignty is that 51% have the power to rule absolutely, at pleasure, without limitation. See? The concepts are in conflict. It's a paradox, even.

    It isn't a simple formula that you can invoke to make everything come out your way. But it's worth reflecting that as a practical matter, although a claim of right can be invoked against a sovereign's government—so long as sovereign power backs that claim—no claim of right can be invoked against a sovereign itself. Try that and you try consequences in a test of pure power.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    ""And the concept of popular sovereignty is that 51% have the power to rule absolutely, at pleasure, without limitation. See? The concepts are in conflict. It's a paradox, even.""

    Only if you misconstrue our Constitutional Republic as a democracy.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    Republic, democracy, a king ruling by divine right, constitutional monarchy, dictatorship, parliamentary democracy—those are all styles of government, and they differ. Behind each of those governments, empowering them—and to the extent that they are limited governments, setting and enforcing the limits—is sovereignty. Sovereignty is power limited only by geographic extent. The test of sovereignty is the ability to constitute a government at pleasure, without limitation. What kind of government has nothing to do with it.

    If you find that notion unfamiliar, worrisome, or seemingly radical and unpleasant, too bad. History is what it is. There hasn't been an enduring national government yet which did not run on that principle. The silver lining is that sovereign power is the key to limited government, and the only practical means available to decree and enforce rights. If you want your rights, you owe deference to your sovereign.

    I know this all sounds threatening to folks who learned civics in 20th century American classrooms. There, the almost-universal lesson on rights was that they came from nowhere (or God), that government owed them to you, and the subject of the power necessary to enforce rights did not come up. America's founders—schooled by Hobbes—were not so naive.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    The "sovereign" only exists and can only defend its rights as a result of the power granted it by its members, i.e. it is intrinsically pure power.

    I'm disappointed that you don't understand that. Then again you are convinced we need guncontrol based on data which you believe is incomplete or flawed. How do they spell "religion" where you come from?

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    You have so often remarked on rationality vs. emotion that it seems appropriate to point out to you that as a vociferous defender of gun rights, you rest your argument on something much closer to emotion than to rationality. Not because of anything to do with guns, mind you, but because claims of rights of whatever kind are always essentially appeals to emotion. Claims of rights in the midst of controversy operate as means to forestall rational inquiry. That had not dawned on me until I read it from Ben Franklin. After thinking it over, I have to concede Franklin his point.

  • Whorton||

    Stephen Lathrop,

    Irrespective of arguments predicated on logic or emotionality, the simple fact is that the issue of firearms is enshrined in the Bill of rights, AND the Constitutions of many of the states. Irrespective of the reason the founders elected to include such rights does not negate them.

    You assert, "Claims of rights in the midst of controversy operate as means to forestall rational inquiry." Is interesting. Can you give a citation of the point you read from Ben Franklin?

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    Franklin's remark is cited in historian Edmund Morgan's biography of Franklin. Sorry I don't have a page number for you.

    Morgan, if you are unfamiliar with his work, was generally regarded by professional historians for the high quality of his research, for his staggering erudition, and for scholarly output and quality sufficient to rank him at the very peak of his profession—which he achieved early enough in his career that he had time to do it again, and yet again, on different aspects of pre-revolutionary and colonial American history.

    But you are mistaken when you write "Irrespective of the reason the founders elected to include such rights does not negate them." The founders did not do that. If they had, Heller surely would have taken notice of it. The fact is, there is not one quote in Heller from any founder which even suggests that the 2A is about an individual right of self-defense. As you might suspect, the historical record has been ransacked on that point, and nothing turned up.

    After thinking it over, it may be that I was slightly off the mark to suggest claims of rights might equal appeals to emotion. It's more like claims of rights stifle rational debate, similarly to the way emotional appeals stifle it.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    The rights acknowledged in the Constitution and Bill of Rights were not considered a grant from the sovereign by the men who wrote and passed those documents, but natural rights coming from the Creator.

    But you knew that.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    You are mistaken about the founders. They were of various minds on the subject of rights. Franklin and James Wilson, for instance, understood rights exactly as I am explaining them to you. So did others. The group which became the anti-federalists were more of your mind.

    Also, which notion of rights suited America's founders changed as their political needs changed. When it was time for revolution, natural rights were a handy justification, because to acknowledge sovereign power as the source of rights implied a duty of loyalty to the sovereign—a duty which Americans were about to shun.

    When it was time for a Constitution, enumerated rights decreed by "We the People," became the new rule—which was just the old rule they had previously set aside, but with a new sovereign in place of Parliament.

    The founders addressed their petitions to King George as if he were sovereign, because they despaired of getting a hearing in Parliament, and were trying to exploit traditional deference to the king. But that question had been all-but-settled—in favor of Parliament—long before the American Revolution. So the American's efforts to persuade George to protect their rights were foredoomed. He had no such power.

  • John C. Randolph||

    enumerated rights decreed by "We the People," became the new rule

    Nope. See the 9th amendment.

    -jcr

  • BigChiefWahoo||

    A couple of years back, during the debate over same-sex marriage, we were told that the People had no business democratically infringing upon individual rights. So which is it? Or are some individual rights more subject to democratic control by your sovereign People than others? If so, what's the distinction?

  • Brendan||

    I see. So the People's right to self-government supersedes any rights I may have or claim to have?

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    As a practical matter, absolutely. When you claim a right, you claim it against the government, not against the People. It is the sovereign power of the People which you use to stay the hand of the People's government. You can do that because the People—who in this nation have the double character of subjects individually, and sovereign jointly—wisely and graciously acted in their double capacity to both authorize and empower your claim. You yourself are too puny to enforce a right against the government on your own. Limited government always depends on unlimited sovereign power to keep government in line, and thus protect the sovereign's subjects.

  • BigChiefWahoo||

    Sorry, we don't have a purely majoritarian system. Limits on "the government's" power are in practice limits on the democratic majority, or your "sovereign People".

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    The paradox in your suggestion renders it self-contradictory.

    You are correct insofar as the government is not run on strictly majoritarian principles. That is because the sovereign People decreed it be so. But the government is not the sovereign. It is only the sovereign's creation and tool.

    For your assertion about a "purely majoritarian system," you rely on the Constitution. The Constitution does not bind the People; it binds the government. Constitutional provisions about changing the Constitution apply only to initiatives undertaken by the government. The People wrote the Constitution, and remain free at all times to change it by any means they find convenient, or to disregard it, or to replace it with something else—acting in exactly the manner they did when they created the Constitution in the first place.

    These are not opinions, but facts of history. They are facts which even courts are powerless to set aside.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    ""You yourself are too puny to enforce a right against the government on your own.""

    I can imagine the British saying this in the late 1700s.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    Yup, sovereignty, where it exists, is limited only by geographic extent. Bite off more than you can chew, and geographic extent can diminish—sometimes diminish to no extent at all, with a new sovereign in place of the old. Those questions are always settled by tests of power—not by tradition, the rule of law, or court decisions.

  • John C. Randolph||

    When you claim a right, you claim it against the government,

    Nope. I assert it against anyone who's trying to violate it.

    You kind of suck at this armchair philosophy game you're playing, but go right ahead and keep parading your ignorance.

    -jcr

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    No, you don't, unless you are a completely deranged crank. Your private employer, for instance, is empowered to stifle your speech, disarm you of your gun, and in some cases require that your religious observance satisfy his preference. The constitutional rights it pleases you to invoke are enforceable only against the government, not against "anyone."

    As for your "philosophy" jibe—in these comments I have asked various interlocutors questions mostly about history, not about theory. None of those questions has been answered in historical context, but only with ipse dixits, denials, subject changes, pure imagination, or mistaken grade-school civics lessons presented as facts. If you want to make the case that my points are no good, there is an easy way to do it—go back and start answering the questions.

  • dbs5347||

    That's all spin. Since the government is elected, constitutional limits on governmental power are in fact limits on the power of the majority that elects them.

  • Agammamon||

    In the US, there is no The People, only the people.

    Its an important distinction.

  • Mark22||

    Your claim of a right to do so, however, needs to acknowledge that the right you claim is yours as a grant from the sovereign People.

    I can't quite figure out whether you're trying to be sarcastic or whether you really are that much of a stupid fascist.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    Each individual is their own sovereign.

    No one else can "grant" me a right since no one else inherently had any authority over me to begin with.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    Your problem is that the question of inherent authority over you becomes a practical irrelevancy because power-backed authority over you is already firmly in place. By what means except a test of power can you imagine changing that?

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "Might makes right" isn't an argument.

    And everything you've claimed boils down to nothing more than that.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    No. There is nothing about what is "right," in anything I have said. Nor even about questions of sovereign legitimacy—or illegitimacy—although we could discuss those. Nor is this discussion about sovereignty really even an "argument." I am not trying to prescribe anything, or advocate for anything. This isn't about theory, it is about the world's experience. I am just attempting to direct attention to reality.

    Unless you have found even one counter-example—a nation operating anywhere in the world at any time since the middle ages—which was not founded and based on sovereign power, and yet somehow endured—then I think you have to concede that I am just talking about history, and the way the world works.

    If you would like a hint about where to look for counterexamples, I suggest you might find something to at least talk about among American Indian tribes—but you will have to rummage pretty hard to come up with one of those that both lacked sovereign power, and yet looked like a "nation" in the modern sense of that word.

    By the way, I take it that the question about a test of power proved hard to answer?

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    By the way, Gilbert, if you could come up with an example of an enduring, non-sovereign nation, I suggest that ought to be of extreme interest to libertarians. It would solve the biggest problem in libertarian theory.

    Libertarian ideology is foredoomed to the crank closet unless libertarians can somehow get around their rejection of the notion of sovereignty, or otherwise show that government can work without it. By "show," of course, I mean an example to point to, not just turning up the theory spigot full blast.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "By the way, I take it that the question about a test of power proved hard to answer?"

    It is an irrelevant question as to what is "sovereign" or legitimate authority.

    Power is rule by force - not legitimate authority or "sovereign". There is no entity such as "the People" capital P as you keep referring to that "granted" anything. There are only small p people who granted a certain limited amount of power to the federal government as specified in the Constitution.

    And there has to be a sufficient majority of small p people who want to change that to amend that Constitution according to the rules of doing so in that document itself. There is no large P People entity that can override that.

    "This isn't about theory, it is about the world's experience. I am just attempting to direct attention to reality"

    No you're just making excuses for totalitarian ideology.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    Gilbert, you make the common mistake of supposing the Constitution itself is America's sovereign, and that it can somehow rule the People (or people), despite being an inherently powerless piece of parchment. By itself, the Constitution can't even rule the federal government. It requires the backing of sovereign power to do that.

    Let the People's sovereignty fall into question, and everyone will presently discover that the Constitution is powerless on its own—a dead letter. And discover likewise that their rights are in jeopardy to whatever power it was that successfully called the People's sovereignty into question.

    Do you suppose history ended in 1789? Why do you think people today can not do what people in the 18th century could do? You say the People do not exist, then invoke the Constitution, the very first words of which announce the authority of the People. That seems muddled at best. Do you understand that you are not invoking the founders' meanings, but denying them?

    Deny the authority of the People, and you really are going to have to give up relying on the Constitution for your notions of rights, and of limited government. Assuming your denial is deliberately chosen, what power sufficient to enforce your rights and limit your government do you offer as a replacement?

    Do you count yourself an anarchist?

  • John C. Randolph||

    the right you claim is yours as a grant from the sovereign People

    Fuck you. My rights aren't negotiable.

    -jcr

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    Indeed they are not. But not because of any choice you have the power to make. Which is a good thing for you, because your style of argument would fall short as a negotiating tool.

  • dbs5347||

    The people's rights to self government are limited by the constitution. If the people don't like the limits imposed, the constitution includes a mechanism to modify it.

  • Michael Hihn||

    non-responsive
    cowardly evasion

  • Mark22||

    non-responsive
    cowardly evasion

    Yes, indeed, Hihn, you are cowardly evading my question.

    As for your statistics, plenty of people have already explained to you how you are misinterpreting statistics: it is crystal clear that legal gun ownership is not responsible for the higher murder rates in the US and that gun control is ineffective at reducing murder rates, mass or otherwise.

  • Chumby||

    Mike, you're still alive? Stop cowardly avoiding the Reaper. (Snort)

  • Michael Whine||

  • Enemy of the State||

    Hihnster is a refugee from another libertarian website that finally kicked him off. He's at least honestly identifying himself. His lunatic rhetoric, bold-face caps rants and "sneers" are unchanged.

    His meds still seem equally ineffective in restoring him to a lucid state. His hallucinations must be terrifying to him...

  • Jordan||

    Violent crime of all types is significantly lower in the UK. Additionally, mass shootings were already far rarer in the UK than the U.S. prior to 1996. Also, the rate of mass shootings was already declining in the U.K. prior to 1996.

    Both sides seek to impose their own view by force of law, aka authoritarian

    Says the guy who wants to send men with guns to take my gun that is sitting in a closet collecting dust.

  • Wizard4169||

    Says the guy who wants to send men with guns to take my gun that is sitting in a closet collecting dust.

    Yeah, funny that. Hihn loves to whine about how everybody is committing "aggression" every time they say something mean about him, yet he's willing to deputize the state to forcibly deprive people of their rights and property.

    Don't worry, Mikey, I have no plans to murder you. Unless you threaten or attack me first, I'll never harm a hair on your head. I will, however, continue to point out when you're being a mendacious twatwaffle.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Fucking liars crawl out of the woodwork

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano the biggest liar of all.

  • dbs5347||

    So why don't you just crawl back in it then?

  • Rhywun||

    Violent crime of all types is significantly lower in the UK.

    Not if you're comparing London to NYC.

  • Chumby||

    And if you look at the US, the two states with the lowest violent crime rates, Vermont and Maine, you see that both are constitutional carry. Both also have lower rates than the UK or Canada. The "state" with the highest rate? Washington DC.

  • Ecoli||

    You are dead wrong, Jordan. Violent crime is much higher, per capita, in the UK than the US.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Is violent crime really lower in the UK? I seem to be reading of a number of serial scandals involving police departments in England and Scotland declining to investigate complaints of violent behavior by 'immigrants' for whatever reason (the accusation being that PC drivel was the cause)

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

  • BigChiefWahoo||

    The UK had a lower incidence of violent crime than the US 120 years ago when neither country had much in the way of gun laws. In spite of increasingly restrictive gun laws in the UK since that time, violent crime there has increased steadily over the years..

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano pimping his gun ban again.

  • operagost||

    Ho Chi Hihn, it's not even "gunsplaining", because leftists such as yourself have adeptly proven they are ignorant on firearms. "Womansplaining", for example, is assuming a woman doesn't understand a topic because she's a woman. It's not anything-"splaining" to inform a person who has proven themselves ignorant.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    ""It's not anything-"splaining" to inform a person who has proven themselves ignorant.""

    I think it's called education.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Ah, but the Progressive Left Establishment MUST make calling them on their ostentatious ignorance and deliberate obfuscation out of bounds, or they will never be able to forward their agenda.

  • colorblindkid||

    But America is not really like Europe or Canada, culturally or historically. We are more similar to the rest of the Americas, like Mexico and Brazil. Compare our crime and murder rates to the rest of the Americas.

  • KevinP||

    Why do you support increasing the rate of rape and other violent crime in America?

    Huge increase in crime across UK with 29% increase in both rape and robbery

    By comparison: US: 130,603 rapes in 2016 for a rate of 32 per hundred thousand population
    England and Wales: 48,773 rapes in 2017 for a rate of 84 per hundred thousand population - nearly three times as much!

  • Chumby||

    Mikey likes rapey!

  • wef||

    whine away

    the intensification of polarization and drama queenery among the chattering class is a good sign that the religioid BS of consensus, midwit politics is deteriorating

  • MiloMinderbinder||

    The US non-firearm murder rate is higher than the EU murder rate. We are a particularly violent people, with an even more violent minority.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    So tell me, given our purported propensity for violence, that homicides as well as other violent crimes have dropped so precipitously over the past couple of decades? This in spite of [or because of?] the majority of States actually providing for access to concealed carry permits and what you would call the "proliferation" of guns among the populace? The oft predicted "Wild West" has never come to fruition.

  • vek||

    Actually, we're not ALL violent people... If you remove black and Hispanic murders, our rates are comparable to lower than anywhere in Europe. This is mostly related to drugs/gang stuff. Basically white Americans are some of the most peaceful and law abiding people on earth... We just happen to have a lot more minorities than Europe! But fear not, Europeans are importing plenty of Africans and Middle Easterners to help them catch up to the USA in murder rates!

  • dbs5347||

    Even Huffington Post and Josh Sugarmann agree with you, more or less.

    https://tinyurl.com/ybo8vy39

  • Rossami||

    Michael Hihn is right that gun rights are not absolute. Except for a few on the fringe, no one seriously believes they are. The vast majority of us do, however, believe that gun rights should be held to the same standards as free speech, freedom of religion or the right to vote.

    So unless you're saying that there should be a waiting period before you can buy a typewriter or a computer, unless you're saying that all printing presses must be registered with the government, unless you're saying that it's perfectly reasonable to require voters to pay hundreds of dollars to the government for background checks and identity verifications, then we have a right to call you a hypocrite.

    And you have been called out repeatedly on your sloppy use of statistics. According to FBI statistics, two thirds of those "intentional homicides" are suicides. Okay, there's no a priori reason to expect US vs EU suicide rates to be different so that's largely a wash. In the US, two thirds of the remainder are gang-related. In other words, they are a direct consequence of our irrational and self-destructive "war on drugs" - a problem that the EU largely does not have. That alone is sufficient to explain almost the entire difference between homicide rates between the entities. Gun prohibitions, on the other hand, do not correlate at all well with actual outcomes.

  • Hank Phillips||

    The suicide rate went up after George Waffen Bush went on a faith-based, prohibitionist, asset forfeiture rampage in 2007 and completely wrecked the economy. The suicide rate in East Germany under the altrurian totalitarianism was also shockingly high, despite their Kristallnacht gun laws that kept Stasi agents armed to the gaps in their missing teeth. Communist gun laws and the Wall both kept slaves from slipping their leeches' leashes. That is the utopia the looters are striving for.

  • Chumby||

    Erich Hihnecker does not like you sharing the truth. Das ist verboten!

  • ||

    Gun rights ate NOT absolute, because NO rights are absolute – not even Life

    United States 4.88 15,696 Americas Northern America 2015
    United Kingdom 0.92 594 Europe Northern Europe 2014

    A 'United States' and '5.3' don't appear juxtaposed anywhere on that page. I could make some guesses as to how you got to 5.3, but all of them require you to manipulate the data presented on the page without explaining how you did it or why. Most people would regard this a something between lying and fraud.

    We had 8 in 6 weeks. Do the math.

    Can't. You're conflating shootings, which the UK has certainly had more than 5 of this year, with MASS shootings and pretty blatantly citing only the data that supports your foregone conclusion. You think you're tearing down Harsanyi and dispelling his narrative when, once again, you're just establishing yourself as a Grade A kook.

    Both sides seek to impose their own view by force of law, aka authoritarian

    Says the guy inflating the numbers of dead and conflating shootings, that may or may not have killed anyone, with mass shootings to advance his political agenda.

    You say Left - Right = Zero and then consistently present yourself as some manner of alternative that, not so surprisingly, is indistinguishable from Zero.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Hard to deny. But using new math, with number lines instead of marbles works better. Let religious looter altruism equal +1 rightwards on the abscissa, and nonreligious looter altruism equal -1 leftward on that same one-dementional line. Left - right = -1 - (+1) = -2. That's the sum of Hitlers and Stalins.
    Them what takes what ain't their'n do not cancel out. Together they make one Europe, or Asia, or Latin America or Africa. These States are the first county ever to have a party offering an alternative to both brands of armed looter altruism in the area of a Nolan chart rather than in the false dichotomy between two ends of a line with area equal to zero. The thing is eggzactly the dispute over which end of an egg to open in "Gulliver's Travels." Freedom, choice, never enter the picture because there is no picture in Lineland.

  • Brendan||

    You still haven't explained how the two rights are in conflict.

  • Johnny Lawrence||

    Have you re-read Heller yet? Still have it backwards?

  • Kroneborge||

  • flyfishnevada||

    Why does anyone engage this cherry-picking propagandist? Don't encourage the children.

  • Agammamon||

    1. Hihn, you're obviously not a libertarian, so why do you come here to bitch?

    2. By your own numbers posted right here, the US is barely above Europe for homicides - places that have much stricter gun and weapon control laws. If anything, its looking like it *Europe* that needs them to keep the violence down, not us.

    3. You're numbers on mass shootings in the US are complete bullshit. Are you using the Mother Jones' definition? Probably.

    4. No mass shootings in the UK? They had 3 mass bombings in 2017 alone. They have people beheaded in the streets. They have rape gangs working with the police openly ignoring their existence. Sounds to me like they need some more guns.

    5. As for 'AR not being relevant' - it is relevant. Knowing what it means means you have a *basic* familiarity with the thing you want to ban. And that's necessary to ensure that your proposed ban is going to be effective. If you want to ban AR's because 'OMG ASSAULT RIFLES!' - then you are a moron whose ignorance is causing you to ignore the weapons of choice in the vast majority of homicides in the US. Which is neither AR-15's nor actual assault rifles.

  • Agammamon||

    You're saying that the handful of people killed in a group is a bigger problem than the numbers of people that are killed one-by-one? Even though the latter are an order of magnitude greater than the former? That some kids shot up in a school is more horrifying to you than what happens on an average Chicago weekend? Is it because you don't want to face the fact that the cities that have been controlled by Democrats for multiple generations are filled with murderers?

  • dbs5347||

    "You're saying that the handful of people killed in a group is a bigger problem than the numbers of people that are killed one-by-one?"

    Yea, that's what they are saying. Don't ask for a rational explanation to support the position because none exists. Murder rates overall way down from 80's and 90's + statistically insignificant mass shootings perceived to be up = DO SOMETHING !!!!!!

  • ace_m82||

    How the "one, true libertarian" (Hihn) thinks government should act:

    http://reason.com/blog/2018/01.....nt_7100385

    "Don't like it? EMIGRATE."

    "See .. government DEFENDS rights."

    http://reason.com/blog/2018/02.....nt_7150853

    As the Nazis were elected in 1933, they didn't violate rights. Also, the Jews were free to leave!

    Me: Were the Jews in Germany in the 1940s free to leave?
    Hihn: ANOTHER MASSIVE FUCKUP!!! Of course they could,,.,.and many did. YOU THINK HITLER WANTED THEM TO STAY!!

  • dbs5347||

    The Nazis were not elected. Even in the '33 elections they won less than 44% of the vote. Hitler and the Nazis came to power by the enabling act not by virtue of being elected.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    "FACT: England's 2nd gun control (1996) saw ONE mass shooting in 22 years"

    Since England has had numerous mass murders in the the last 20 years committed with other weapons, that does absolutely squat to prove that England's 2nd gun control act saved even one life.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Somebody wake me when Michael defines "rights" before plastering them over with adjectives.

  • Tionico||

    can't cmpare the UK and the US on gun issues. UK are near completely disarmed. The REAL signficant data would be crimes of violence against persons, perhaps broken down by type. Perhaps another meanignful metric would be the number of gun deaths as compared to the difference in "gun density" in the two populations. How many guns in the UK in private hands, under how many gun homicides results in gun homicides per gun. Or, make it per gun owner.Compare that to the number of gun homicides in the US per gun, or per gun owner. And DO NOT include suicides, two thirds of US gun deaths per year. Anyone intent upon killing himself and unable to obtain a firearm has myriad alternatives. For that, see Canada's suicide rated compared to US suicide rates, both from ALL means.

    Yuo have one other problem in your specious "data"..... in WHAT year dd the US have "60.3 mass shootings per year"? Seems to me the TOTAL of "mass shootings" in the US since aobut 1950 is somewhere around eighty. Still, too many... but a small fraction of what your blather asserts. Cite your sources, or step down.

  • BambiB||

    There is another way to look at the homicide levels in America.

    Blacks: 13% of population, commit 51% of homicides.
    Hispanics: 17% of population, commit 36% of homicides.
    Overall, that's 30% of the population committing 87% of all homicides.

    Take these murderous populations out of the equation and the US homicide rate is less than half that of Canada. In fact, it's lower than the rate in Germany, Australia, Sweden and the U.K.

    93 countries have homicide rates higher than the US. 78 of the countries with higher national homicide rates are in Africa, the Carribean and South America ("shithole countries"). Note: These are the countries from which Demoncraps want to import your new neighbors.

    America's violence doesn't stem from firearms. It is an issue of culture. American culture is basically peaceful. It is black and Hispanic culture that drives up American homicide statistics.

  • vek||

    Yup. I LOVE bringing those stats up with gun grabbing liberals. Their desire to paint all minorities as superior in virtue to evil white people comes straight up against their irrational hatred of guns... They don't know what to do!

  • Gilbert Martin||

    I see the silly troll is still trying to peddle the silly notion of affirmative rights.

  • dbs5347||

    With a record number of guns in circulation US murder rates are at near record lows and nowhere in the US where gun controls beyond federal law have been innacted have they been even remotely successful so you can make all the meaningless comparisons to foreign countries you want but they are meaningless. There's also the fact that the US murder rate is not even remotely uniformly distributed. A relative few areas in the US have a murder problem while the murder rate in most areas is quite low and most of the areas with higher murder rates, like Chicago, are a gun control advocates dream come true and yet have murder rates far above the national rate, in the case of Chicago for 2016 more than five times higher. Meanwhile states like Vermont and New Hampshire consistently post some of the lowest rates in the country with virtually no gun control beyond federal law.

  • DajjaI||

    Gun nuts aren't doing themselves any favors with their word policing on gun rights. I was in Jerusalem last summer and complained on fb about all the religious whack jobs wandering the streets with machine guns and someone replied, "Those aren't machine guns, silly." Well whatever the hell they are, they shouldn't be wandering the streets with them (I guess trying to instigate Arab kids at bus stops to jump up and stab them with kitchen scissors) and I'm sure the Nazis said the same thing to their victims before they riddled them with bullets. It actually comes off as a sinister threat to people who don't own guns. (Yes I just called Zionists Nazis. Welcome to the Reason comment boards in 3... 2....)

  • loveconstitution1789||

    It shows gun grabbers are stupid.

    Why would you want to give up your guns to stupid people. I won't even let stupid people bag my groceries.

  • RT||

    I've been to Israel several times myself and I have to say I had the opposite reaction (and I'm not a "gun nut"). Whatever one thinks about open carry in the U.S., including those that open carry "because they can", Israelis have a wholly different reason to be carrying.

    Once, I was on a tour and we were eating lunch at a restaurant when a bus full of children pulled up. When they got off the bus, a few of the adults had rifles slung on their shoulders. I don't think it was for any other purpose than to protect the children in the case of a terrorist attack.

  • ||

    That probably was the teachers. Which is instructive. When Israel had mass shootings at their schools, they armed the teachers. Mass shootings stopped. Shocking, I know.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Citation for that? Genuine question.

  • Chumby||

    IIRC El Al had few hijacking attempts due to the armed plainclothes agents on board. Mass terror has less appeal when the actor gets shot before carrying out the mission.

  • ||

    I've been to Israel several times myself and I have to say I had the opposite reaction (and I'm not a "gun nut").

    I'm probably as closer to being a gun nut than not and, personally, I found the armed guards at Charles de Gaulle more unsettling than anywhere else. Maybe it was just happenstance, but everywhere else I've been, the security presence was either mostly invisible or a more passive/perimeter security (like an appliance or fixture). Only at CDG were uniformed armed guards milling about among the people for no apparent reason other than an apparent/overt display of force.

  • Brendan||

    The very act is an admission that the whole security screening exercise is theater.

    Why do they need long guns and/or submachine guns if everyone else is disarmed?

  • You're Kidding||

    Did you visit any major U.S. airport post 9/11?

    Uniformed military with M-16s. Well armed, recently indoctrinated into military life, punk assed kids with itchy trigger fingers make me nervous. No matter what country I'm in.

  • John C. Randolph||

    Gun nuts

    FUCK YOU.

    -jcr

  • Chasman1965||

    Wow, what an intellectual argument.

  • John C. Randolph||

    When someone tosses off a smear like "gun nut", they don't deserve anything more than a "fuck you" in response. Got a problem with that?

    -jcr

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    I'm so impressed I am going to counter that with "Fuck You John C. Randolph and any and all gun grabbers."

  • ||

    I'm sure the Nazis said the same thing to their victims before they riddled them with bullets.

    Actually, no. The Nazis rather literally named them Stürmgewehr meaning 'Storm Gun' or 'Assault Rifle' and their ownership and use was restricted (selectively loosened actually) to the military, police, and party members.

    Calling them assault rifles and saying only police officers should carry them is literally behaving like Nazis.

  • FlameCCT||

    Does it hurt being that ignorant?
    Or is it just normal for a Progressive serf?

  • Agammamon||

    If you're calling for a ban on 'machine guns' and you a) don't know what a machine gun is and b) that machine guns are already banned - you *should* be laughed at.

  • Agammamon||

    And its not like we're not consistent on this - Reason itself has been called out multiple times about misclassifying police-acquired APC's as 'tanks' when they obviously are not.

    It doesn't do *anyone* - even our allies - any good to overstate their case.

  • SQRLSY One||

    Gunsplaining isn't nearly as much of a problem as lawsplaining is. Under lawsplaining, there are mega-magazines with jumbo clip-loads of law-jargon which unload barrages of legal buzzwords and politically super-heated gasses, which attempt to persuade the listeners (us) that The Sacred Laws of Government Almighty will somehow miraculously translate the intent of the legislators, their brain waves and verbal ejaculations, etc., into gun-disabling miracles, which will apply only to the guns of "bad hombres" and the mentally ill, and not the guns of cops, hunters, soldiers, and good ol' folks who just want to defend their homes.

    These miracles are eagerly awaited, despite the utter failures of Government Almighty to exercise the powers it already has, to enforce the laws already passed, that were just now on fullly-semiautomatic assault display in Florida!

  • SQRLSY One||

    Excuse me, what I had meant to say was,

    "...that were just now on fullly-semiautomatic assault display in Florida, WITH added menacing-looking pistol grip and bayonet-mounting studs!

  • Michael Hihn||

    Your own lawsplaining also hopes to hide from readers (us) that banning semiautomatics has been constitutional since 1939, and reaffirmed by Scalia in Heller. Harsanyi mentions Scarborough on Heller, but not how Ted Cruz, in that interview, ducked the entire issue of semiautomatics in Heller. Or any weapon not on common use at ratification.

    That's why the NRA (and others) were POWERLESS to challenge the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban (what it's called), for ten long years, until it expired.. It was constitutional.

    Authoritarian Left = Authoritarian Right
    Both sides lying to advance their own tribal agenda by force of law. Sad!

  • SQRLSY One||

    The SCROTUS is made up of the biggest, baddest lawsplainers in town! The Cunts-tits-tution says whatever they say that it says! Freedom and democracy mean nothing to them! Why, look at the case of "Big Moose Running Nose" (a Native American who was dealing in black-market booger rags) v/s Booger-Soakers R Us! In that case, the SCROTUS ruled that, since nose-blowing affects the Interstate Commerce in booger rags, then the Interstate Commerce clause of the USA Cunts-tits-tution enables the USA Congress (as influenced by special-interest groups like booger-rag makers) to fully regulate EXACTLY who can blow their nose, where, when, and how! "Freedom" and "Democracy" and "reining in the Government Almighty" mean NOTHING to the SCROTUS, as is evidenced by a recent survey that said that 97.3576 percent of Americans (the rest are booger-rag makers and minions) do NOT want their noses to be regulated!

    But due to the rules of "regulatory capture" and "concentrated benefits, diffuse costs", people like me who would like to have "freedom of nose-blowing" get over-ridden by flea-ridden regulators! Write letters and emails to your CongressFleas NOW, so that you may promptly be ignored!

  • SQRLSY One||

    Lawsplaining is an IMMENSELY bigger problem right now than gunsplaining could EVER be, in today's zeitgeist. That's because gunsplaining is mere verbal school-yard bullying, with NO "Powers of Government Almighty" behind the thoughts and arguments. Lawsplaining, however, is the official doctrine and dogma of Government Almighty, with the full powers of Government Almighty behind it! Only those Infinitelty Wise in the Ways and Wiggles and Bylaws of the Constitution are allowed to interpret it in a meaningful way!

    Let me explain from the perspective of a USA military veteran.

    When I served in the military, they were all "Constitution this that and the other", enticing me to volunteer to get my bod shot at with bullets… (That never happened, fortunately, but I did volunteer for it). Oaths to "defend the Constitution against enemies, foreign and domestic", and ribbons on my chest, and what-not. Make me feel GOOD about (at least potentially) getting shot at, when it suits Government Almighty…
    But now, as a juror, I am NOT allowed to know about my historical common-law right to "jury nullification", and I sure as hell am NOT allowed to drag my copy of the USA Constitution into the jury deliberation room!
    The Constitution is reserved for the Highest of High Priests, when it comes time to interpret it! But you never see the High Priests in the foxholes… Getting shot at, to DEFEND the Constitution, is reserved for the grunts and peons!

  • FlameCCT||

    I thought it was FleaBaggers not Fleas?

  • SQRLSY One||

    Well, I'm not sure, but it's the ones that I thought that Olivia Newton Goes-to-the-John was singling about when she sang,
    "Fleas, Mister, Fleas,
    Don't play B-17,
    It was his song, it was our song,
    But it's OoooooOOOooooOOOver....

  • Michael Hihn||

    the Cunts-tits-tution says whatever they say that it says!

    balance of power
    checks and balances
    three co-equal branches

    Fascists HATE individual liberty,

    (sneer)

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano HATES being contradicted.

    (titter)

  • Wizard4169||

    What on earth are you talking about? Banning semiautomatic weapons "constitutional since 1939"? I can only assume you're referring to US v. Miller, in which case you're clearly clueless. SCOTUS ruled against Miller on the grounds that the 2A protected weapons "suitable for militia service", and that the short-barreled shotgun he was charged with possessing was not so suited. (This was a highly-questionable conclusion by itself, but that's another argument.) It makes no sense to claim that this would allow for banning semiautomatics, since the standard US infantryman's weapon at the time was the semiautomatic M1 Garand rifle. Similarly, the AR-15 is clearly protected under the Milller standard. It's mechanically similar (nearly identical, in fact), and uses the same ammunition and magazines as the M4, the current issue weapon for most US servicemen. To argue that such a weapon is not suitable for militia service would require some truly insane contortions of logic.

  • BigChiefWahoo||

    The Court ruled against Miller on the grounds that it was not within the Court's notice that short-barreled shotguns were suitable for militia service. Mr. Miller, the bank robber, jumped bail and his lawyer did not bother to file a brief.

  • Wizard4169||

    There were several reasons the AWB was not challenged in court, but ironclad constitutionality was hardly one of them. First, to challenge a law requires standing; that is, you have to prove you have been harmed by the law. In practice, that meant that you would had to have been criminally charged with violating the law. It's much easier to win a case with a sympathetic defendant, which is one big reason there aren't more challenges even to clearly unconstitutional gun laws. Many of the people facing gun charges are, when you get right down to it, criminal scumbags. I'd argue that even criminal scumbags should have their rights respected, but most people (including judges) aren't exactly militant civil liberties crusaders. Thus, an unsympathetic defendant is a lot more likely to lose, regardless of the merits of his case. Since losing means being branded a felon and being permanently deprived of your rights, few upstanding citizens are willing to volunteer as test cases.

    Secondly, the courts, SCOTUS in particular, haven't been terribly friendly to the 2A. A decision against weapon rights would set a precedent that would be extremely hard to overturn. But so long as no decisive precedent had been set, it was always possible to mount a challenge in the future. The NRA tends to be rather cautious about backing any litigation that doesn't look like a sure winner. (They only signed on to Heller when the case was mostly won.)

  • Wizard4169||

    Third, the AWB contained a sunset clause, and lawmakers were in a far less grabby mood as the deadline neared. Why bother to challenge a law that's likely to lapse on its own?

    The AWB was not only unconstitutional, it had zero effect on crime, so why the rush to resurrect it? Sure, violent crimed declined after the AWB passed, but it was already declining before, and continued to decline after the law expired. Aside from warm fuzzies, the only reason to press for a new ban is the hope to use it as a precedent for further restrictions.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    Just so you know, you're arguing with someone that reads this from Heller:

    Some have made the argument, bordering on the frivolous, that only those arms in existence in the 18th century are protected by the Second Amendment. We do not interpret constitutional rights that way. Just as the First Amendment protects modern forms of communications, e.g., Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union, 521 U. S. 844, 849 (1997), and the Fourth Amendment applies to modern forms of search, e.g., Kyllo v. United States, 533 U. S. 27, 35-36 (2001), the Second Amendment extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding.

    And jumps to the conclusion that Scalia is saying that only arms in use at the time of the founding are protected under Miller. In fact it's quite the opposite. Scalia is clearly saying that the language in Miller "in common use at the time" applies to the time of interest (ie 2008 for Heller) and not the time of the founding.

    I'm beginning to think this Hihn account might actually be a parody account, but I'm not sure yet.

  • Johnny Lawrence||

    Yeah, he has it completely ass-backwards. It's clear that Scalia dismissed (as frivolous) the concept that Hihn is pushing (that the 2nd Amendment protects only those guns in existence in 1791).

    I mean, Breyer disagrees with Scalia, but I'm doing so he neatly summarized the majority holding:

    "According to the majority's reasoning, if Congress and the States lift restrictions on the possession and use of machineguns, and people buy machineguns to protect their homes, the Court will have to reverse course and find that the Second Amendment does, in fact, protect the individual self-defense-related right to possess a machine- gun.

    On the majority's reasoning, if tomorrow someone invents a particularly useful, highly dangerous self- defense weapon, Congress and the States had better ban it immediately, for once it becomes popular Congress will no longer possess the constitutional authority to do so."

    That's from page 155 of the 157 page .pdf. I can't figure out how to shorten links to post them here.

    Regardless, Breyer dislikes Scalia's formulation, and criticizes it as being overly subject to change.

  • FlameCCT||

    I would also note that the AWB did not apply to those who already possessed AR platform firearms.

  • operagost||

    Indeed, that's why slavery wasn't banned until 1866-- it was constitutional to hold persons in servitude, and thus moral.

  • Tionico||

    and NEVER FORGET the ultra deadly "shoulder thing that goes up"

  • loveconstitution1789||

    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.

    All gun control is unconstitutionally illegal.

  • some guy||

    The definitions of words are subject to change based on the emotions of excitable people.

  • Tionico||

    now you are beginning to sound like the Clinton He Unit.... whoever that "IS".......

  • Joe_JP||

    "Gun control" being regulations that are unconstitutional.

    OTOH, regulations of guns that are acceptable (like various regulations of speech are), are just that.

    BTW, the 2nd Amendment wasn't in place in 1789. Does it mean you don't love it?

  • Shandower||

    Hey people. We need to ban football because the players can injure themselves while at bat. The player in the position of "Wide Receiver" is especially at risk, since that player - as the name clearly implies - receives home runs from a wide variety of rackets during the volley.

    That's what it sounds like to us when people start talking about "assault rifles" and "barrel shrouds". Words mean things. People who clearly don't know what that meaning is and expecting to have a meaningful conversation with them are going to be as effective as the horses they use in water polo.

  • SQRLSY One||

    Gun grabbers have gone full Calvin-Ball on us!!! http://calvinball.wikidot.com/

  • ||

    Yeah, this isn't new.

    It's called a domain specific language and it's used in all walks of life and in both directions. If your doctor came in and said your shin bone was out of whack, picked up a bat, and said he was going to have a crack at putting it back in line, even without a medical degree, you'd recoil in horror and/or realize that he wasn't any sort of doctor of reasonable repute. Even among lay people 'hand me the thingy' doesn't fly unless you've both clearly delineated what 'the thingy' is.

    Gun owners aren't switching up names every other conversation, using terms that can't be pronounced by English speakers, and generally trying to trick people. They have a lexicon that usually they themselves did not establish and, without which, they genuinely don't understand what you are saying even though both sides understand all the terms used. Much the same way people who grew up boiling fish have to clarify what a fish boil is to people who have never boiled a fish much less taken part in a fish boil.

  • Chumby||

    You're saying I can't walk into an Italian restaurant and order pasta with a vegetable sauce with meat and the waiter won't understand me?

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    I see certain parallels between this and climate change. Aren't fossil fuel restrictionists always criticizing the other side for not learning the basics about the issue?

  • SQRLSY One||

    Yes, and they are correct! The ritualistic ceremonies (and their symbolic meanings) of Gaia-worship are complex, intensely felt, and cannot be fully comprehended unless you "feel the Spirit". Unbelievers are inherently and by definition, are TOTALLY ignorant, and should NOT be listened to, by the True Believers!!! Else the True Believers might start to question their faith, and RUIN THE EARTH, not to mention also ruining their feelings of smug superiority!

    Have YOU been recycling your used toilet paper?!?! Do NOT go off and make the baby seals cry, by NOT recycling your used toilet paper!!!!!

  • You're Kidding||

    Actually, modern sewage treatment plants and even rudimentary septic tanks take care of the used toilet paper recycling matter for us.

  • Mark22||

    Yes, all the while using bogus statements loaded with pseudo-scientific jargon that have nothing to do with actual science or reason in order to spread FUD.

    It's not an anomaly, it's the essence of progressivism. One if the earliest examples of this is eugenics in the US. The Nazis (radical progressives) sprinkled their propaganda language with scientific sounding phrases.

  • FlameCCT||

    The Nazis, specifically Goebbels, learned from USA Progressives Bernays and Lippmann, who developed the methods of propaganda for Progressive Democrat President Wilson to justify segregating the federal government.

  • Tionico||

    Marx and Alinsky in action. READ them.... the gun banners are plying by both of those insane hucksters' rules to take over and subvert a people or culture without using military force. The kinyun has read and studied both of these eedjits, as have I.... but HE is stupid and/or perverse enough to believe in them, and DO what they say. I, on the other hand, having understood them and their goals, have rejected them. But I recognise the rulebooks by which they are marching.

  • Mark22||

    They use fake science and scary sounding words for climate change, economics, education, gender issues, and healthcare. Why would you expect them to do anything different for guns?

    Progressivism is based on the false appearance of being rooted in science and reason.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    Defending gun pedantry is unwise. Pro-gun types often jump into gun pedantry mode before taking any notice of the probable level of gun experience they address. Because I defend the notion of gun controls, I get accused all the time of irrational fear of guns, and accused also of crippling ignorance about how they work. But I have owned ~ 12 guns at one time or another, sometimes as many as 4 at once. I have carried guns in the field for the purpose of killing game for far more hours than most gun enthusiasts have—also, probably more hours than most of them have spent on gun ranges. I have opened carried guns—even hitchhiked successfully while open carrying a rifle. And I have had the experience of being shot at, more than once.

    These facts I have not kept secret, but discussed in my comments. Doesn't matter. Gun pedants don't try to figure out who knows or doesn't know about guns. They just don't want to pay attention to anyone who disagrees with them. So anyone whose opinions they don't like, they call ignorant.

    That makes pro-gun commentary seem more impulsive than it ought to be. It also portrays pro-gun advocates as hot-headed, and personally aggressive—more or less the opposite of the look they need if they want to convince bystanders that arming ever-more people is a good way to organize society. Trying to justify that is foolish.

  • Jordan||

    Defending gun pedantry is unwise.

    Not really, since gun control is often sold by convincing people that certain weapons are uniquely dangerous. Pointing out that no, AR-15s aren't actually fully automatic, or a barrel shroud (a shoulder thing that goes up) doesn't increase a weapon's lethality isn't really pedantry anyway

  • Joe_JP||

    For those who think certain types of guns are particularly dangerous, it is not pedantic at all to talk to them about barrel shrouds. It will convince many of them they are wrong. I'm not being snarky.

  • You're Kidding||

    Not anyone I've ever met.

    They see mass shooting and knee jerk into "ban them all" mode immediately because, in their minds. this is perfectly logical. Just take away guns and no more kids will be killed in school.

    I've even tried pointing out that I did openly take a 12 gauge to school when I was in high school so I could dove and pheasant hunting after school and that no one ever felt threatened by that.

    But, there is no reasoning with their linear, closed minded logic. Ban this ban that. Then there will be no trajedies other than "acts of God".

  • eno.river.bend||

    So, Stephen, do you ever attempt to correct any of the many factual errors that your fellow gun control advocates spout off?

    Sure, there are a few things such as the magazine vs clip issue that are less relevant. But when someone says that a .223 is some exceptionally powerful cartridge, they're very very wrong -- do you correct them?

    When someone calls a semi-automatic rifle "automatic", do you explain to them that there is a very important functional difference between them, and there are millions of the one category, and very few of the other, in private hands?

    When someone advocates banning all semi-automatics while having no clue that this would include not just AR-15s, but millions of pistols and millions of perfectly ordinary ("hunting") rifles, do you correct them?

    If not, then you're just deflecting the fact that a very large percentage of gun control advocates just plain do not know what they are talking about. And there is no way to have a meaningful conversation if one side of the debate is so appallingly ignorant about important distinctions.

  • Wizard4169||

    a very large percentage of gun control advocates just plain do not know what they are talking about.

    True, but I think you may be giving the grabbers too much credit. Plenty of them are merely speaking from ignorance, but I suspect some do know what they're talking about, but continue to make misleading and flat-out false statements anyway. I'd be willing to grant them a lot more good faith if not for the fact that their misstatements almost always serve to make things sound more scary and dangerous than they really are. When all of your "mistakes" are in the same direction, it's difficult to believe they're honest mistakes.

    That's why I'm going to go right on "gunsplaining". Since some of them are honestly ignorant, I'll do my best to be civil and non-condescending, but I'm not going to stop. And I won't pull any punches on those who are knowingly dishonest.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    Wizard, knowing dishonesty is always bad. Knowing what is dishonesty? That's harder. To ease the way, you rely on noticing the systematic way the "errors" seem help your opponents. But what if reality turned out to be "more scary and dangerous" than you believe it to be? Wouldn't that deliver the same systematic-looking result—but with you in the wrong instead of your opponents? Should they tax you with dishonesty? I suppose that some of them probably are, but I don't think they should. The fact is that none of us has reliable information on the social costs of guns in society today—let alone on the costs of particular kinds of guns. Would you back a project to empower the Justice Department and the Centers for Disease Control to collaborate to compile and collate that information?

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Again, would you back a project to document the defensive uses of firearms? Would you back a project to document the social costs of media (social or otherwise)?

  • Rebel Scum||

    social costs of guns

    Irrelevant in the context of 2A. Try again.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    ""Would you back a project to empower the Justice Department and the Centers for Disease Control to collaborate to compile and collate that information?""

    The CDC should stick with diseases.

  • Chumby||

    I would back having the CDC tabulate the social costs of progressivism.

  • Entropy Drehmaschine Void||

    Have any of those kids from Parkland personally walked into a building and bought an AR-15 for $130.00"?

    Seriously doubt it as all are under 18.

    Do they personally know someone who has?

    Again seriously doubt it. And if they do, please refer me to this building as I have $390.00 burning a hole in my pocket.

    They are lying, regurgitating proggie propaganda and as such, I will continue to gunsplain to the ignorant little fuckers.

  • Entropy Drehmaschine Void||

    Have any of those kids from Parkland personally walked into a building and bought an AR-15 for $130.00"?

    Seriously doubt it as all are under 18.

    Do they personally know someone who has?

    Again seriously doubt it. And if they do, please refer me to this building as I have $390.00 burning a hole in my pocket.

    They are lying, regurgitating proggie propaganda and as such, I will continue to gunsplain to the ignorant little fuckers.

  • chemjeff||

    "their misstatements almost always serve to make things sound more scary and dangerous than they really are."

    Imagine if your only experience with guns was seeing them in movies and video games. In those settings, guns ARE 'more scary and and dangerous than they really are'. Many of the gun-grabbers aren't being willfully dishonest when they describe guns, they are instead describing guns AS THEY PERCEIVE GUNS TO BE.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    ""Imagine if your only experience with guns was seeing them in movies and video games.""

    Add news and social media to that list.

  • You're Kidding||

    ^^^^This is true for the majority of citizens today.

    Even my family can quote scripture and verse as factual evidence for banning guns, based on what they've heard or read in the overall media. They don't even stop to question stupid Youtube videos.

    Then again, once we saw the acceptance of "reality" TV and the Kardashians by the general public, should we be surprised?

  • silver.||

    I think a lot of the ignorant ones are arguing in good faith, but they are simply repeating rhetoric. Surely Bloomberg and his crew know very well what banning semi-automatics would entail, and that is exactly what they want. The average gun-control advocate is just a delivery method for intentionally inflammatory arguments made by a handful of psychopathic policymakers.

  • Joe_JP||

    When talking about issues in general, the average person use loose language, and this includes many politicians. It is not limited to guns. There is some value in dealing with specific facts but at some point it gets not too useful. I guess it's helpful that many supporters of gun regulations are gun owners themselves and are familiar with the product to some degree more than others. Finally, it is true that in political debates people who use loose language when pressed would obviously say there positions are more complete than they originally suggest. Thus, e.g., when pressed, those supporting a "limited" abortion procedure would support broad abortion limits.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    erb, I have indeed offered corrections frequently to folks who seemed to need them. I agree, many gun control advocates have been distracted by irrelevancies. As a gun control advocate myself, I see that as a weakness which needs correcting. I have no problem stepping in.

    But you and I disagree on some points. You consider the .223 issue too narrowly. It is indeed exceptionally powerful—for mass killings especially—regardless of comparative foot-pound statistics. It's exceptional power comes from combining characteristics: light-recoil; light-weight; low expense; high velocity; excellent design for semi- or full-auto operation; and sufficient energy to kill out to hundreds of yards range. Dead is dead—.223 dead is just as dead as .308 dead. So on each criterion, the .223 matches or improves upon (mostly improves upon) the .308 as a tool for spree killers. For them, the .223 is indeed a more powerful mass killing tool than .308, or, quite likely, any other cartridge available. Although gun opponents might not quite understand, their generalization remains correct.

    You are also mistaken to emphasize a difference between semi-auto and full-auto. Previously, I would have conceded your point, but the Las Vegas shooting taught the nation that only a pedant would continue to insist on an important distinction. Full-auto capability turns out to be inherent in the AR-15 design, and available after trivial manipulations.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Full-auto capability turns out to be inherent in the AR-15 design, and available after trivial manipulations.

    Now what were you saying about your expertise again?

    Your peael clutching may endear you to some but it doesn't hide your lack of any rational arguments. By your standard of a "killing spree" a 9mm is far, far more lethal than a long arm, so let's dispense with the hyperbole and just stick with the facts for a change. But I guess that would just be more pedantry.

  • Curt||

    re: .223,

    Yes and no. The point that .223 is good out to hundreds of yards is true. And it's also the reason that .223/AR-15 isn't somehow particularly dangerous for these types of killings. Most of them are sufficiently close range that a 9mm is better according to the characteristics that you describe. Vegas is one of the rare examples where range actually mattered. In that case, the number of people injured shows the effect of his high rate-of-fire. But, the ratio of dead:injured shows that increased ROF at the cost of accuracy reduced the deaths. Also, I think it's fair to say that using .308 may have decreased number of injured people, but probably increased number of deaths.

    Just to be clear, my point is that .223 isn't some extraordinarily dangerous round. IMO, in the vast majority of these shootings, 9mm would be more effective. But, currently .223 is the main target for gun control because the anti-gun crowd finds it particularly scary. Magically getting rid of .223s wouldn't magically eliminate mass shootings. I don't think it would make a significant dent.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    Curt, you know who else thinks .223 is particularly scary? The U.S. military—and for the very reason that a lot of what they want it for looks more like a spree killing than like a bank heist.

    I do agree that just getting rid of .223 would probably not "eliminate mass shootings." You want a "significant dent?" Get rid of the combination of .223 (or other light-recoil cartridges), semi-auto operation, and interchangeable magazines. Even if you left the pistols alone, you would get a result—no more Las Vegas events, anyway.

    By the way, are you suggesting the Las Vegas shooter could have efficiently managed a bump-stock-equipped .308? Or, alternatively, accurately targeted with deadly single shots more than 50 people at 500 yards (plus a notable vertical component)? No examples of those kinds of feats to show yet, right?

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Hmm is that why they keep experimenting with larger calibers? Maybe the .223 is TOO deadly. Yeah, that's it.

    How many could he have killed with pipe bombs? The deadliest school event in 1927 killed 38 with a bomb. 29 killed with cleavers in China. OKC bombing killed how many again?

  • Curt||

    The military has significant interest in ammo other than .223 and weapons other than M4/M16. That's because they're concerned about it's limitations. Shooting at Russians attacking through the Fulda Gap is different from shooting down hallways in urban environments. The effective range (and light weight) were keys to choosing it. The ability to shoot people in close quarters wasn't.

    Re: significant dent... that approach may have eliminated what happened in Vegas (although M1-Garand or a Winchester 94 would have been very effective), but that may have just translated to different tactics from the guy. I'm not sure that eliminating Vegas event is a significant dent. I don't say that to be callous; just that if it never happened, I don't think there'd be significantly fewer people who believe that there's a problem that must be fixed.

    Re: if you leave pistols alone... I don't think that's a reasonable "if". Small number of people would agree. Also line between rifle and pistol can be pretty fuzzy.

  • Curt||

    re: pistols. my point may have been lost trying to stick to character limit. I think that a small number of people would be willing to concede to leaving pistols alone. Maybe for the sake of passing a law today, but then pistols would just be the next item on the to-do list.

    Also, a separate point about scary guns and scary ammo. In Jacob Sullum's article from a few days ago, he noted that M1-Carbine and Mini-14 were specifically exempted from Feinstein's latest bill. But, only when they have fixed stocks. I don't see Springfield M1As specifically included or exempted, but most models would not qualify as an assault weapon. So, some semi-auto weapons with detachable magazines in .308 and .223 are still acceptable because they don't look scary enough. It's just so random.

  • Curt||

    Re: Vegas... no, that's not what I'm suggesting. To clarify a bit (and add some more)... A full-auto M16 would have been more accurate than bump-stock AR-15 (devices like bumpstocks don't = full auto).

    My point about ROF vs accuracy was just that I believe (and have had arguments with others at H&R; I agree with some of their points) that firing on semi vs using bump stock would have significantly increased accuracy. Lots of his fire missed his target area because bumpstock limited his accuracy.

    My intended point when including .308 is that more of those injuries would have been fatalities with the more powerful round.

    But my larger overall point is that a discussion with someone like you is more constructive that with the ignorant people who need gunsplaining. We may not change each others mind, but at least your arguments are sufficiently rooted in reality to be worth serious consideration.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    ""Curt, you know who else thinks .223 is particularly scary? The U.S. military—"'

    I'm curious who in the military thinks this. The Coast Guard?

  • FlameCCT||

    Actually the military has always had larger rounds like the 7.62 (.308). I should mention that the government (military more so than others) have always waited to see what the civilian world developed before adapting it to military usage. This includes parachutes, firearms, etc. The AR-15 was developed by civilians for civilians using the .223 round. The government came years later (over a decade IIRC) and requested an automatic version for the military, the M-16. Semiautomatic weapons have been around since the late 1800s although US civilian design and production started ~1905 with pistols first then rifles and shotguns. It wasn't until decades later that the government started using semiautomatic firearms to replace bolt action rifles with the military as late as the 1980s still using revolvers.

  • You're Kidding||

    If he'd only used a bomb. More death. More caranage. No debate about the weapon of choice afterwards, only the cowardly acts of mad men.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    What did Steven Cho use to kill 33 people at Va Tech? A Glock 19 [9mm, 15 round magazine] and a Walther .22 [10 round magazine]. What did Alexis use to kill 12 government employees and contractors at the Washington Navy Yard? A Remington 870 12 gauge, 5 round tube magazine.

    So what is your point again? Mine is that virtually any caliber can be used in a killing spree. If I were a deranged psychopath which would I to choose as my preferred instrument of destruction? It's hard to say, because they all accomplish the same end. So let's ban a particular platform. or ammunition because a group of NY surgeons declares they are too inherently destructive. There, we DID something and now feel all better about it. So the next guy uses a shotgun; must be time to publish xrays of what a 1 1/8 ounce slug does to people and ban those too.

  • Rebel Scum||

    It is indeed exceptionally powerful

    Actually, no. A .223 will put a hole in you. A standard deer round will blow your arm off.

  • eno.river.bend||

    Some of what you say I'd agree with ("Dead is dead") but your .223 comments in general are not convincing.

    For one illustration, why is it that a number of states disallow .223 for deer hunting? It's not because it's too powerful, it's because it may be too weak to reliably kill. (And no, deer are not really harder to kill than humans.)

  • Tionico||

    bump stocks do NOT "convert" a semi auto gun into "full auto". That is a leftist gun grabbing lie.

    Some skilled operators can use NOTHING, just work with the rhythm of the recoil as it fires, ejects, reloads, places in battery, closes bolt, then gets another tirigger pull to fire again. Shoestring rubber bands, a skilled finger, can all replicate that.

    BUT.... the one thing about bump stocks is that tjey can be raised up as a rallying cry by the antigunn folks, and put some weak kneed lemming types, unaccustomed to thinking a thing through, into flight mode at the thought that a fifty dollar device can "make" a fully automatic rifle out of a semi-automatic. So they arae a grat scape goat.

    One other detail consistently left out of this niche of the debate: bump stocks and their pseudo-replacements reduce the accuracy of the 5.56 cartridge firing rifle VERY SERIOUSLY. Ten carefully aimed shots taken together at normal firing cadence (about one every three seconds) will most times do far more damage than a hundred round drum magazine fired rapid fire with a bump stock.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I'll make mistakes and call it a "clip" myself sometimes, even when I know that's wrong. It's a smack myself on the forehead kind of thing.

    The one that gets me is people referring to rounds that fragment as "exploding" rounds. Sometimes the corrections really are fundamental to people's misunderstanding. It's not like you're correcting their grammar. You're helping them understand the issue.

    It's like explaining to people that Bitcoin isn't anonymous. If somebody' thinking about piling into the stuff because they think it's the future of money because it's anonymous, you're doing them a big favor by setting them straight.

  • You're Kidding||

    Oh please. Say it ain't so! :-)

  • Tionico||

    Yes, I ALWAYS correct these misunderstandings, in clear and concise language. Defining terms and getting at their meaning in this context IS important. Some terms are almost ambiguous, or are very close to terms with opposite meaning. "automatic", "fully automatic" are similar, as it would seem. But how about "auto-loading"? To an ignorant one (as in "not informed), not "stupid") that could easily be taken to mean the same thing as "fullly automatic" or simly "automatic". Ask questions.. "what do YOU mean by that term?" What is the SIGNFICANCE of that term in view of performance in action? take time to listen... to their responses, but lead with your questioins. Once tey explain what THEY think" automatic" means, ask if they are certain. then if you can tell them what it really is. Then explain the funcitonal difference. Most times I've been able to do this, I get the most puzzled looks, then a soft downward toning "OOOOHHHhhhhhhhhh".

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Defending gun pedantry is unwise.

    Defending gun ignorance even more so.

    Gun pedants don't try to figure out who knows or doesn't know about guns. They just don't want to pay attention to anyone who disagrees with them. So anyone whose opinions they don't like, they call ignorant.

    Given that gun homicides are far lower than they were 25 years ago, as are rates of violence in the same time frame, it's on the gun control crowd to explain how banning certain types of firearms in certain types of configurations, without resorting to loaded terms like "assault rifle" (anyone can "assault" you just as easily with a lever action 30-06 or a basic Glock) to emotionally manipulate their audience.

  • John||

    Concern troll is concerned. It is not pedantry to understand the subject you are talking about. If you want to take pride in being ignorant and blame those who are not for the trouble it causes you, have fun. Meanwhile, normal people will continue to expect you to know something about whatever subject you are bloviating.

  • Zeb||

    It's not as if the distinction between automatic and semi-automatic, or most of the other things gun controllers often misunderstand or get wrong, are difficult concepts to grasp.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    Zeb, sure, mechanically the distinction is definable, however failure-prone the current defining legal distinction became after bump stocks. In terms of a spree killing, after bump stocks? Are you really sure you could define a clear-cut distinction? What makes you certain the Las Vegas shooter would have done notably more damage with a fully automatic military grade weapon?

    I suggest the distinctions you call easy may in fact prove too difficult for everyone—and will stay that way until uniform data about guns, shooters, and shooting victims can be collected, collated, and published. Would you back empowering and budgeting the Justice Department and the Centers for Disease control to collaborate on such a project?

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Would you back collection of statistical data on defensive uses of guns? For the children, of course.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    I think that data would be a critically important part of evaluating study results. If indeed defensive gun uses frequently prevent criminal violence, who wouldn't want to know about it? And be able to weight it in the balance with whatever data suggest public harm from guns.

    That said, I hope you don't suppose that current data on that topic have any validity at all.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    If you don't think current data have any validity how are you so sure that gun control is the answer?

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    Skippy, what you seem to be trying to do is attack the notion of finding out. People are getting pretty tired of playing that game.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Stevie, you seem convinced that we're missing critical facts. In what area? So far all you've requested is some vague study. Are you claiming that existing gun death statistics are false? What is your basis for doing so? Again, if you think we don't have adequate data, how are you able to advocate for gun control?

    People are getting tired of the emotional appeals too.

  • You're Kidding||

    But why? Emotional appeals have been defining laws for my entire lifetime.

    I work in government. Everything we do is for the children, the elderly or the environment. That's all for everyone's good.

    Just ask us!

  • Zeb||

    It would be interesting to see good data. But it's not going to change the minds of anyone who believes that the right to be armed is actually an inalienable right.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    The "data" he is looking for is something with emotional appeal to push his case. Or are you claiming that gun shot deaths are widely suppressed in coroners' reports, Steve?

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    Appeal to datasplaining?

  • Zeb||

    The fact that there might sometimes be tricky edge cases is irrelevant to what I'm saying. It's technical jargon and if you are going to use it, you should use it correctly. Especially if you are a professional writer. It's not difficult. How different kinds of weapons might make a mass murderer more efficient is a different discussion that also will work better if people know (and agree on) what the terms they are using mean.

    The CDC should stick to disease control. I find the mission creep there rather disturbing.

  • Rebel Scum||

    What makes you certain the Las Vegas shooter would have done notably more damage with a fully automatic military grade weapon?

    Again, irrelevant. The point of 2A is to have military arms in the hands of civilians. And with regard to bump stocks, it is just a sleeve to hold a rifle that allows the rifle to bounce as it fires and cycles. It is mechanically simple and banning them will not stop anyone from getting them. Gun control is not only unconstitutional, it is ineffective.

  • You're Kidding||

    Just like TSA services in airports?

  • FlameCCT||

    Having used an AR platform with automatic while serving in the military as well as using them with semiautomatic as a civilian; I can easily say that full automatic fire is far less effective and far less efficient than semiautomatic aimed fire or even bolt action, lever action, or pump action aimed fire. Even the military has gone to 3 round burst instead of automatic fire. Even as far back as the late 1970s, the military was trained to use burst fire with automatic weapons. I also remember the German polizei, who carried automatic rifles, being trained to use 3 round bursts because of the weapon moving off target when one is fired on full automatic.

    I would also note there is no difference between an AR Platform semi-automatic or a so-called normal or hunting rifle in semiautomatic. IOW gun control proponents base their gun ban on cosmetic appearance of a firearm with no supporting data for their contention except fear of the scary looking weapon.

  • Chumby||

    Hunting for game above varmints, there is a difference: the catridge is more powerful.

  • You're Kidding||

  • Tionico||

    one datum I believe MUST be added to the rosters is whether the shooter had been, or was currently, taken SSRO and similar drugs, or had recently stopped taking them. WHICH shooters, which drug, what does, and for how long, and when stopped, if applicable.

  • Curt||

    As other's have said, it's a matter of knowing or not-knowing what the hell you are talking about. When a person demonstrates ignorance of the most basic concepts of an issue, it's reasonable not to value their opinion. But, yes... understanding what AR stands for or saying magazine vs. clip is generally pedantry. But it's also a mistake that isn't made by people who are informed on the topic.

    From the article, "So, while not knowing what a "barrel shroud" is should not prevent anyone from pondering gun policy, failing to understand the distinction between a semi-automatic and automatic weapon tells us you're dishonest, unserious or unprepared for the debate." This may be true, but not knowing what a barrel shroud is *should* prevent someone from banning weapons that have a barrel shroud. The same concept applies for semi-auto weapons. The same concept applies for "devices that increase the rate of fire".

  • Bongo Supreme||

    Knowing what AR means is not pedantry. Many people believe it stands for "assault rifle". If you believe that, you should not be arguing about guns.

  • KevinP||

    Lathrop: It also portrays pro-gun advocates as hot-headed, and personally aggressive—more or less the opposite of the look they need if they want to convince bystanders that arming ever-more people is a good way to organize society

    They seem to be doing something right - perhaps by not listening to you and continuing to educate their fellow Americans?

    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.
  • Stephen Lathrop||

    Thanks for the antique data Kevin. When I want to know about an issue, I never think I can do better than to survey Obama-era opinions to discover facts about today.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Are you as concerned by the emotional appeals from gun control advocates like yourself? Somehow you don't seem very disturbed when Mother Jones or Everytown intentionally lies. So much for the pearls.

  • Tionico||

    I watched Josh Sugarman boldly lie as he tstified before the Washington Stat Senate Judiciary Committee when thr "cure" for a four-victim ambush on polic officers whilst at coffee before their shift resulted in the listing of an "assault weapon ban" before the WA Senate. Sugarman lied when he declared that part of why they must be banned is that "they can be very easily and quickly be converted to full autmatic rifles". Well, I suppose they can... IF the gun's current owner has the full automatic lower receiver in hand... but what ol Joshie "forgot" is that it is THAT ONE PART that is serially numbered AND restricted. There the issue becomes not whether the conversion can be DONE, but HOW is one going to get hold of the serialised VERY restricted part (the "receiver") in order to swap all the other bits onto the new full auto receiver. He also insisted the AR 15 rifle is a "high power" rifle.. another iie. These rifles are "so powerful" it is illegal to use them for the taking of deer in Washington. They cannot reliably make an effective kill on an animal the size of a deer. Thus in WA at least, the "Second Ammendment" is indeed NOT about hunting deer.....

  • Steevie||

    3 years is "antique"? OK, then, how about you show us more recent data that changes the stats in Kevin's link?

  • FlameCCT||

    Are you looking for the decades long data that firearm homicide has steadily declined in the USA while firearm sales have increased, IOW more firearms has led to less criminal firearm usage?

    Or perhaps you would like the data that shows the USA violent crime has steadily decreased at a rate far faster than the UK and Australia, who saw spikes in their data after enacting their firearm bans with a return to the same yearly decline that was occurring before the firearm ban?

    It is truly sad that you use decades old data to support your anti-2A gun control agenda while ignoring more recent data that supports the pro-2A agenda.

  • GILMORE™||

    "antique data"

    this is new. now, unless a survey was conducted in the current-month, its completely invalid. i will remember this the next time some leftist idiot tries using polls to support flimsy claims.

  • Bongo Supreme||

    Are you trolling? 4 years ago is too old for you? Shove off.

  • ||

    Then if you "know guns" you shouldn't be getting attacked, because you would know the terminology. But since you are, I'm guessing you either don't know the terminology or are intentionally being obtuse to push your agenda.

    And yes, you do have an irrational fear of guns if you want gun control. That's the only reason to push it.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Is it pedantry to correct someone who claims that a handgun cannot defeat someone with a long arm because of the difference on muzzle velocity? I want to make sure I get this right from someone who clearly had all of the answers.

  • Tionico||

    Find Nick Melli, or somewhere near Portland, OR. When the Clackamas Towne Centre Mall shooting erupted, the perp was using an AR style rifle, had a gymn bag holding several hundreds of rounds, all prepped in magazines. He had shot two t death, wounded a third.. -Nick heard the shooting, RAN TOWARD it, drew his lawfully concealed handgun, drew down on the perp as he sought more victims, but held his fire because he did not twant to take the risk of missing or over penetrating and hitting someone in the background with the round intended for the shooter. Mr. Melli used a handgun, I believe a 9mm. The handgun was never fired. The perp noticed the man drawing down on him, turned and walked through the panicking crowds to a side hallway, where he did the bst thing he could have at that point.. he shot himself in the head. So, in that one incident, a nine mm outflanked an AR firing .223. Muzzle velocity never became an issue.

    Besides, at ranges of out to 400 yards or so, the difference between 1200 fps and 2400 fps would mean a WHOPPING difference in arrival time of.... ONE SECOND. So if the guy with the handgun was on target, the perp was not, the handgun round would reach the perp one second after he had squeezed the trigger. Shorten the distance to 100, yards, that difference shrinks to a quarter second. WHEN has any such attempt to end a mass shooting taken place at over a hundred yards?

    at that point in time, what difference would it make?

  • Violent Sociopath||

    The reason nobody believes your claims to knowledge and expertise are because every time you discuss the subject you say preposterously stupid things.

    Take, for example, your "fake but accurate" defense of media bedwetting over .223 ammunition, downthread. We're getting hung up on the details, you say, when the .223 combines a bunch of features that make it attractive to spree killers. But you listed features it has in common with all modern ammunition (i.e., "excellent design for semi- or full-auto operation") or all modern rifle ammunition (i.e., "high velocity" and "sufficient energy to kill out to hundreds of yards range"), features that it simply doesn't possess at all ("low expense" -- relative to what? Have you tried to buy any, recently?), and features that make it attractive to anybody, not merely spree killers ("light-recoil" and "light-weight"). News flash: popular ammunition is popular, even among malefactors.

    As if that wasn't enough coneheaded stupidity for one afternoon, you then argued that because one mass shooter, under circumstances that guaranteed him a high body count regardless of his choice of weapons, used a spring-loaded contrivance that helped him pull the trigger of his semi-auto rifle faster, it's pedantry to continue to emphasize the functionally- and legally-consequential distinction between semi-autos and machine guns.

    It's impossible to believe that someone minimally educated about firearms can subscribe to such bullshit.

  • I can't even||

    The Stoner family statements are completed hypocrisy. Did they keep the money he made?

    After ArmaLite sold the AR-15 design to Colt, Eugene Stoner designed the AR-18 which was sold on the civilian market and never won a military contract (although the piston design was copied on many military rifles).

  • gormadoc||

    How is it hypocrisy? If I made a new kind of sandwich and people started using it to choke other people, I would be pretty sad. That doesn't mean I would regret making the sandwich.

  • I can't even||

    Would you be "'horrified and sickened' to see your sandwich become so common in civilian households..."?

    Or was your sandwich designed just for cops and soldiers?

  • Chumby||

    Call it a doughnut.

  • You're Kidding||

    Nobel Peace Prize?

  • Zeb||

    Did they keep the money he made?

    Would not keeping it prevent anything bad from happening?

  • SQRLSY One||

    "Gun control" is aiming the darned thing carefully, and hitting what you're aiming at, right?

    A legal mandate for adding aiming-assistance laser-sighting to all new guns would be good start, right? Can we all agree on that much? Or would such a law contain a lethal legal defect, in that it does not accommodate the blind, ooops, I mean, vision impaired?

  • gormadoc||

    They must also come equipped with a range finder with some kind of scanning capability so that the target can be reconstructed. The reconstruction will then direct the bearer through audio. Only at this point can the gun be allowed to fire (we'll make it illegal and then nobody will do it)

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    Braille sights will be required under the ADA

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    You will be require by law to say polo, any time a blind shooter says marco.

  • SQRLSY One||

    Winner, winner, chicken dinner!!!

  • FlameCCT||

    And here I thought that "gun control" was:
    1. Aim: Align your sight with the target.
    2. Control Your Breathing: Your breathing can move the firearm just enough to throw off your shot.
    When you're ready to shoot, draw a deep breath and exhale about half of it.
    3. Hold Your Aim: Learning to hold the firearm steady is a challenge. Rather than attempting to eliminate all movement, concentrate on two actions.
    4. Squeeze the Trigger: Jerking the trigger or abruptly clenching the trigger hand can move the gun enough to cause a miss. To avoid these motions, hold the gun comfortably.
    5. Follow Through: After the bullet fires, be sure to continue the squeeze or follow-through to avoid jerking the gun before the bullet leaves the barrel.

  • Rich||

    A problem is that, from the gun grabbers' perspective, "the basics" is "guns are bad".

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    Well, except when they call 911.

    Guns are only bad when THEY don't need them.

  • Chumby||

    And except when they want government force to impose their control on others.

  • Bongo Supreme||

    And even then, they change their tune when cops get caught doing something nefarious. Lefty politics are self-conflicting at every single turn.

  • chemjeff||

    Imagine if your only experience with guns were those depicted in movies and video games. The guns depicted there aren't really guns, more like magical death-dealing devices.

  • You're Kidding||

    Especially when they show a full automatic in action.

    All one has to do is squeeze the trigger on that M-16 and swing it around for 30 seconds and mow down swaths of the "enemy".

    Right?

    Don't bother explaining that, besides the incredible inaccuracy of such a move that the 30 round magazine would be emptied in less than 3 seconds.

    Hollywierd never exagerates or lies.

  • karan98||

    Hindi Love Shayari: This article is for all Lovers.
    https://ishayari.org/

  • Joe_JP||

    "When MSNBC's Joe Scarborough misrepresents the Heller decision"

    I do find misrepresenting court opinions bad but then this includes those who don't understand Heller leaves open a lot of regulations, especially as applied by the lower courts since then & not overturned by the Supreme Court.

    Anyway, I think it's fine to be concerned with basic knowledge here and specifics will be helpful. Reason is more consistent on this subject then others but to be clear that doesn't just apply to guns. There are lots of subjects that is being talked about on the t.v. by generalists & we can point out how repeatedly there is misunderstanding.

    Gun regulation will be passed by legislatures with many gun owners among them & hopefully with input from experts in the field. So, I think some nuance will be provided. Thus, Dave Kopel supported a balanced Colorado approach:

    ["Colorado Consensus on Gun Laws," National Review by Dave Kopel]

  • Ken Shultz||

    People have a hard time comprehending that any "assault weapons" ban will necessarily be arbitrary in practice--because they know so little about guns.

    They imagine that banning the guns they want to ban will be easy to do in descriptive language, but when challenged, they can't provide any examples of such language that won't arbitrarily ban guns they don't mean to ban--because they haven't a clue.

    There was a guy at the Volokh Conspiracy the other day trying to solve this problem by banning guns that fire bullets over a specific velocity--thinking that would only impact "assault weapons". Other people pointed out the problem of hunting Elk from 300+ yards away in Utah, that 9 mm rounds can reach hydrostatic shock velocities out of a handgun, that velocities can be a function of the hotness of the round itself rather than the gun, that he may have just criminalized Winchester '94s and all rifle barrels, etc., etc., etc.

  • ||

    Exactly. They see these guns and think "it can't be that hard to ban this type! This looks scary, so it much work scary!" Then when you point out they are the same as other non-scary looking guns, they say "well we gotta start somewhere! there's gotta be a way!" But they fail to understand there isn't. Its either all semi-automatics or none. There is no in-between.

  • Tionico||

    this l=kind of stuipid thinking could get AR type rifles banned or restricted. What these eedjits don't understand is that a Ruger Ranch Rifle of Mini 14 (or 30 for that matter) are every it as capable as an AR 15, can hold magazines of rhe same capacity, fire the same rounds, can fire at just about exactly the same rate, and cost is also siilar. The difference? One does not look "black and scary ugly", the other looks like Dad's old hunting rifle but shorter. No one would look twice at the Ranch or Mini 14/30. Bring out a Bushmaster, and the pantswetting crybabies will be calling Officer Odie to "come do something, there's a man with a g g g GUNNN!!!

  • Ken Shultz||

    I think part of the problem the left has with this is that they imagine gun owners to be uneducated neanderthals, who don't know anything about physics, math, velocities, etc. Incidentally, the last time I visited Utah, we were in a bar with a bunch of rural "rednecks" who were all talking about the desirability and efficiencies of various solar options. Rural America knows all about solar because they actually use the stuff--something I doubt suburbanite greens ever even consider.

    There's a disease that's rampant in our society of people on the left who assume that because they don't know anything, then other people must be even more ignorant. "I don't know anything about guns, so these stupid rednecks must know even less" is the order of the day on the left. They won't get a legitimate shot at swing voters in the Midwest until they figure it out.

  • Joe_JP||

    Does this apply to the various gun owners who have come out in support of some sort of ban here?

  • SIV||

    Elmer Fudd?

  • Ken Shultz||

    Maybe not on this issue or in this thread.

    We had some impressive examples of that kind of thinking last night in the tariff thread. Listening to some of them, you might have thought that knowing something about what was said by our trade representatives and their counterparts in Canada and Mexico meant you were the most ignorant guy in the room.

    It's all the same thing. Keep an eye out for it--that kid of thinking. I see it everywhere.

    "If I don't know what you're talking about, then you must be ignorant".

  • Brendan||

    No, you're just turncoats hoping to curry some favor with the kind of people who want to ban everything and love confiscation schemes.

  • eno.river.bend||

    I have run into people that claimed to be gun owners, online, that thought all semi-automatics were "machine guns", or that thought "assault rifles" were used in all mass shootings, etc.

    Whether they were lying or ignorant[1], hard to say.

    [1] Not mutually exclusive, of course....

  • Curmudgeon44||

    One time I went to DC and heard some FBI employee address an audience. This person told the entire audience that a semi-automatic firearm would fire multiple shots with one trigger pull. I would have felt better if the audience had shouted her down, but they listened like sheep and I guess, believed that.

    From the FBI. I had hoped they had more integrity.

  • chemjeff||

    "they imagine gun owners to be uneducated neanderthals"

    Yeah, maybe. But also recall that only about 1/3 of Americans own guns, and this 1/3 is not uniformly distributed across the country. In liberal enclaves, it isn't at all unusual to have a circle of friends where nobody owns a gun. So imagine if your ONLY experience with guns is in movies and video games. The guns depicted there aren't really guns, but more like magic devices that instantly kill anything that they are aimed at. So when viewed from this lens, their desire to ban guns seems rational. Not that their position is right, just that it isn't based in animus.

  • silver.||

    A local politician who I really liked for his work in our county ran for a state legislature position. I voted for him in the Democratic primary, but the campaign got very nasty as we're a moderate region, and he accepted nearly a million dollars in attack ads from Everytown.

    He lost in his own neighborhood. At the elementary school where all his kids had gone. I don't know how one can take that much money from an organization as disreputable as Everytown and not expect to lose. I immediately suspected what you said about his enclave-that he didn't have a wide diversity of acquaintances, so he didn't have a pulse on the community. Further, many people are silent gun owners.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    What was his name?

  • chemjeff||

    Well, there's two different types of arguments that I see from the "anti-gun" crowd.

    One is a desire to ban specific guns based on nonsense classifications, like "assault rifle". For these people, yeah, they need to be educated on why it's a bullshit classification. They could use some "gunsplaining".

    But the other is a more general desire to "do something" about weapons that go beyond those "needed" for self-defense, whether they are AR-15's or not. For this argument, "gunsplaining" is counter-productive and can be viewed as just demanding picayune detail for the sake of being argumentative. Because for this argument, the core issue isn't really about the small details about particular guns, but a broader concern about the wisdom of the private ownership of guns beyond those needed for self-defense. The correct counter-argument, IMO, is not to get into pedantic details about guns, and not to shout SECOND AMENDMENT (because that is just an argument from authority, which won't work especially on those disinclined to support the Heller interpretation of the 2A anyway), and not to shout BUT GOVERNMENT TYRANNY (because that just makes you sound like a nutter, regardless of the actual instances of tyranny that do exist), but to calmly explain that guns are tools and the way to cut down on the misuse of those tools is to make individuals who misuse those tools very clearly responsible for their actions, and not to take out the frustrations on the tools themselves.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Propagandists see it differently. If my goal were to cause the US to surrender to the Soviet, images of a girl vaporized picking daisies would segue into politicians saying Jesus will take us bodily up to heaven if we die fighting the commie atheists. Then cue the "moderate" commentator asking whether Peace might not be a better idea. Then anyone pointing to KGB and NSDAP mass murders is handily depicted as an even worse thing. And so it goes... I no more believe the looters want to seize every gun than that they believed they could kill every jew. The idea is simply to make you abandon the defense of individual rights by making the initiation of force too expensive. The specifics are only a ploy to draw you into hairsplitting while the looters stick to glittering generalities in which only good government goons pack heat, like in East Germany and Russia.

  • shawn_dude||

    The problem with holding individuals responsible is that it doesn't prevent future mass shootings. I'm not arguing against holding them responsible here but just pointing out the the goal being fewer mass shootings isn't reached by jailing the perpetrators after the fact. And while I don't have a huge issue with semi-automatics in general, it can be easily argued that it is the tool itself and we recognize that quite clearly with respect to other types of arms that are currently banned. We don't let people stockpile sarin gas, for example. Gas is just a tool and it's the misuse of that tool which is the problem, right? Or a tank, or missile, or a 50 cal machine gun. All that is really being discussed here is where to draw that line and whether we need to, once again, include semi-automatic rifles.

    Personally, I'd rather focus on magazine size and laws designed to inform the police and empower the temporary removal of guns if a person is judged a risk.

  • Rebel Scum||

    full semi-automatic

    I could have gotten one in FULL semi-automatic?!?! I knew that salesman was shifty. //sarc

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    I went down to my basement and converted mine to full semi auto; it's quite simple: take a fine point Sharpie and print out "full" and the safety switch where is says "fire," Or maybe yours has an image of a bullet. Same difference.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    Crap, don't tell a liberal that.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    I'm curious if someone created a meme describing that as a method to convert, how much it would get passed around at true.

  • Chumby||

    I think the ink in a sharpie is carcinogenic. At least in California.

  • Rebel Scum||

    If You're Trying to Ban Guns, the Least You Could Do Is Learn the Basics

    But they won't. The basics serve them no purpose. Acknowledging the basics destroys all of their arguments and reveals their end-game, which is total prohibition.

    Sloppy thoughts, sloppy policies.

    Aim small, miss small.

  • chemjeff||

    Also, it's important to point out that there is a strong majority against banning all guns in this country. For example, the percentage of people polled who say they want to ban handguns is consistently only about 30%. Which is good news.

    http://news.gallup.com/poll/1645/guns.aspx

    I think the reason is because most people can clearly see the connection between handgun ownership and personal self-defense, especially in more crime-ridden neighborhoods. The real question is when we discuss guns that go beyond handguns, like rifles and the like.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    There are many stats re the use of rifles and "long guns" generally in the use of homicides, and it is quite low [CDC and FBI Uniform Crime Statistics will verify that claim]. Banning them will make no measurable difference in outcome. Case in point. What did Cho use at Virginia Tech to kill 33 people?

  • chemjeff||

    I agree with you. My point though is that I think the reason why there is strong consistent opposition to banning all guns, particularly handguns, but nevertheless there is majority support for banning "scary-looking guns", is because it is easy to see a clear connection between handgun ownership and personal self-defense, but it is much harder to see that same connection with other types of guns.

  • shawn_dude||

    I think it also goes to the question of what "self-defense" is envisioned as. Using a rifle in my house to stop an intruder is more difficult than using a hand gun, for example; the hand gun is more maneuverable. If someone is worried about the government invading, they might value the rifle for its distance and accuracy.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Tell me how many of that 30% want to also ban police handguns.

  • Kroneborge||

    agreed. I don't care about this

    "As with any contemporary disputes over public policy, there will always be those who attempt to dismiss opponents who possess less expertise. It's certainly not unique to this debate. And, no, a person should not be excluded from a conversation simply for referring to a "bullet" rather than a "cartridge," or a "clip" rather than a "magazine.""

    But care very much about this

    "failing to understand the distinction between a semi-automatic and automatic weapon tells us you're dishonest, unserious or unprepared for the debate."

  • GILMORE™||

    Vox (a "mainstream outlet" whose views Reason writers often cite as authoritative) writer says this on the Twitters:

    Zack Beauchamp Verified account @zackbeauchamp

    Saying you need to understand gun terminology to have opinions on gun policy is the equivalent of saying you need to understand the biology of a heroin overdose to have an opinion on the drug war
  • Rossami||

    Vox is neither "mainstream" nor "authoritative" and I'd like a citation to the claim that any regular Reason writers view them even as "credible" on anything more than statements of public opinion.

    As to the content of that quote, you may not need to fully understand the biological pathways of a heroin overdose but we certainly reserve the right to call your opinion uninformed when you can't tell marijuana from herbal tea. And we have every right to question your motives when you willfully conflate the harms of LSD with non-prescription allergy medications.

  • GILMORE™||

    Vox is neither "mainstream" nor "authoritative" and I'd like a citation to the claim that any regular Reason writers view them even as "credible"

    See: Where soave's link in his correction at the bottom goes

    "CORRECTION: I initially described Benjamin as "alt-right sympathetic," consistent with how mainstream news outlets have portrayed him. But upon further investigation, those reports seem misleading. Benjamin claims to stridently reject the alt-right and has quarreled with its members."


    If you want more, just follow PM links since 2014 or so for dozens of not-mocking-(but-probably-should-have-been) Vox-cites.

    p.s. I do not mean to insult your intelligence, but the "_______" around terms is often a hint of sarcasm. If i'd been more attentive to detail, i'd have also scare-quoted "news outlet" as well; something they're obviously not. And probably a greater sin to be citing partisan opinion pieces as one's sources of credible 3rd-party characterizations.
  • Agammamon||

    . . . while not knowing what a "barrel shroud" is should not prevent anyone from pondering gun policy . . .

    Well, when the gun control policy you are pondering uses the existence of a barrel shroud as an indicator that that gun is unacceptably dangerous - if you don't know what one is, then yeah, you should stop pondering right then and there until you know what its for.

    Otherwise you just sound like an idiot when you open your mouth to call for banning guns with them.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Nothing here but guntards.
    Moving on ...

  • Mr. Dyslexic||

    I will proudly accept that label. I just purchased another fine firearm from Sig Sauer today in fact!

  • Buddy Bizarre||

    Wait... a site that claims to promote libertarians values is primarily viewed & commented on by people with similar values??

    Inconceivable!!!

  • Chumby||

    NOOO. Please stay. I want to read about your thoughts regarding "guntards" being controlled by Ron Paul and the Christian Caliphate.

  • Brendan||

    (snort) Another Ad hominem from you

  • Michael Whine||

    OH

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Moving on ...

    Please don't--scuzzing your dumb ass is a lot more fun.

  • Hank Phillips||

    There is bad language on both sides. David refers to the Kristallnacht legislators who militarize child-shooting police, ATF, DEA, CIA, FBI, ICE, IRS and PIGS as "gun control supporters." This is as true as saying Germany's national socialists were elected christian altruists who favored a eugenic approach to the elimination of selfishness.

  • ||

    the point being.
    IS MOST GUN CONTROL ADVOCATES HAVE NO BASIC UNDERSTANDING OF FIREARMS.
    just like they DON'T ABOUT ANYTHING ELSE.

  • ManBearPig||

    If the en banc decision in Kolbe v Hogan is demonstrative of "facts" that a court uses to ban a firearm in "common use," then the same flawed reasoning could be used to ban any firearm or an iPhone. The second amendment is a fundamental right that preexisted the constitution. Scalia got it right in Heller. The right was enshrined in the constitution by the people to prevent future legislature or judge from deciding whether it is right worth keeping. The people gave themselves this right: the government is obligated to protect and defend that right along with all the others. Those who seek to deny that right are the same people who seek to limit the freedom of speech or of the press. We have a name for those people: traitors.

  • JungleCogs||

    The fantasy term, "Assault Weapon" was created by the Anti-Liberty Leftists and now is a part of our lexicon; Karl Marx would be proud. Anytime I encounter an Anti-2nd, change the 'Bill of Rights' Leftist, I ask about their hands-on firearm experience... I have yet to find even one of these so-called experts knowledgeable about Firearms (past their hype).

  • DrZ||

    Everyone knows that "AR" stands for "A Rifle".

  • Chumby||

    I thought it was Arkansas. As in "ban AR style politicians."

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    How dare you gunsplain to me while I'm emoting? But you'd better know every one of the 14,387 non-traditional gender pronouns or you're the most deplorable shitlord ever and anything you say can be dismissed out of hand!

  • jerbigge||

    Pump action rifles and shotguns can be fired almost as fast as semi-auto's can be. It also isn't that difficult to convert many semi-auto's to "straight pull repeaters" which will be faster than any bolt action. Both shotguns and center fire lever actions can be reloaded with a round chambered. Pistols using magazines can also be reloaded quite quickly, most with a round still chambered.

    Outlawing the AR-15's and the AK-47's (semi-auto version) would accomplish little. It is much easier to conceal a pistol, which is the common 9mm caliber can hold as much as 18 rounds which then can be replaced by a loaded 17 round magazine (Glock 17). There are also extension magazines such as was used to shoot Gabby Giffords in Arizona.

    I'd suggest that we first work at enforcing the laws we already have along with better security for the schools (controlled entry, video cameras, etc) would be the best solution to the problem.

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    Only a gun-crazed enabler of mass murder would suggest the laws we have are sufficient when enforced and not want to create more laws for the police and populace to ignore!

  • Enemy of the State||

    Fortunately, only a handful of die-hard leftists watch MSDNC...

  • MaleMatters||

    Anti-gun advocates who want to stop mass killings have to face reality:

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

    Join the links and delete the spaces.

  • Michael Cook||

    Not a paid product promoter, but the three guns that would be all I or most people would need to cover the broadest range of self defense situations without taking a massive investment in training and firearms upkeep:

    .22 S&W Model 317 Kit Gun You would be surprised how many trials I have sat through of folks killed with a .22.
    very light. Affordable ammo. Intuitive even for novices to use effectively.

    30-30 Marlin 464 or equivalent lever action carbine. Ballistics are slightly superior to AK-47 7.62x39 extremely reliable, easy maintenance, quick and intuitive to operate, cheap widely available ammo. Put a modern red dot sight on top and be the equal of anybody to 300 yds with aimed shots

    12 gauge Remington magazine-fed pump actions. These are new models of the reliable police standbys. The magazines allow them to be carried empty in a vehicle in compliance with local law but quickly loaded with a variety for rounds, to include pepper balls, rubber bullets, rock salt, bird shot, buck shot, and slugs that will penetrate doors and walls.

  • Chumby||

    All great guns but there may be better.

    A S&W revolver costs twice as much as a polymer wonder 9. And slower to reload. Rimfires also have more FTF than centerfire cartridges. Ammo is cheaper. And recoil less. And yes, S&W K-frame revolvers point like magic.

    Mossberg 464 or Marlin 336? I hunt with a pre-safety 336 and it does quite well. But I'd rather have an AR or AK for SD. Recoil operated chambering is quicker than lever. And reloading is much quicker. More shots until a reload. And ammo is about $.30 per cartridge (fmj stuff). I limit my shots with the .30-30 to 150 yards due to drop. But I'm hunting deer. And it would be hard to justify a SD shooting out that far or beyond.

    Shotguns are a decent choice if you aren't in a confined area (like a small house). Recoil is substaintial from a 12 gauge.

  • Michael Cook||

    Recoil chambering is marginally quicker than lever. Reloading all at once is quicker with magazines, but tactical reloading to stay topped up is easier with the side-loading port jobs. Plus you never have to worry about a mag falling out, which I have had happen several times under stress. Really sucks.

    Back in early WWII before there were SEAL teams the Navy had special demotion and recon swim units that carried 30-30 Winchesters, because the lever actions could be flushed out, cycled, and readied for action faster after immersion in sand and mud than the semi-auto m1 carbine.

    To my mind the ideal CQB carbine is the Big Horn Model 89 500 S&W which holds 10 rds in the tube and one in the chamber. This gives you 3,500 ft lbs of energy per shot in a quick handling 7 lb platform.

    The gun is quite accurate to 250 yds but pricey. Also the recoil from 11 rds will beat you up. All the same, start two people out in a duel from 250 yds both wearing body armor, one with an AR-15 and one with a Model 89, the guy with the old school weapon will usually win.

  • Michael Cook||

    demolition

  • Chumby||

    Thankfully two duelists wearing body armor at 250 yards is an atypical SD scenario.

    Changing mags is quicker than putting several rounds in a lower capacity tube. And if you empty a typical centerfire lever gun (6+1) the AR/AK semi-auto wielder still has 24 shots left (or 19 using the firearm you referenced).

    I can't speak to the track record of an M-1 carbine in poor conditions but the AK is known for its reliability. I have read that some US special forces in Vietnam used "dropped" AKs due to the (initial) function problems of their service rifle.

    I prefer accurate hits on target quickly and big recoil makes that tougher. Your Kit Gun is IMO a better SD choice for many people than say a 10 mm or .44 mag.

  • Michael Cook||

    Two duelists wearing body armor at 250 yds is atypical SD scenario, but not at all atypical modern warfare, For handgun SD the big issues are always taking it along with you and simplicity, which is why a light weight revolver is best for anyone not totally intimidated by a DA trigger pull.

    In the horror world where I could have only one gun, it would probably be the Sig 10 mm with an Aimpoint CompM5 on top. One would look over-dressed in the summer but it could be concealed.

  • Chumby||

    I'd probably take an AR-10 in that scenario. Though I did take a moving moose at 245 yards with a bolt action .30-06 where all three hits could be covered by a fist. Took about two seconds.

    I've seen videos of people concealing AR pistols. But I doubt they do that for more than a few days. There is a popular YouTube gun channel that occasionally does gear checks of private citizens. Rarely if ever is there anything bigger than a 9mm and I'm not sure there's ever been someone carrying a full size pistol. The J frame in one's pocket is better than the 1911 left at home or in the glovebox.

  • Michael Cook||

    I guess the point is, almost all hand gun SD incidents are 5 yds or closer, most survivalist scenarios you can imagine will be 250 yds or closer. I once saw a clerk sell a woman who was being harassed (but had never owned a gun) an auto loading 26 inch barrel 12 gauge and a box of 3 inch mags.

    Most incidents where you can expect the authorities to arrive will be 10 shots or less. I would sell the woman a 9 mm Ruger revolver with crimson trace grips and I would load the moon clips for her, as she will probably never practice. I'd sell myself that new Kimber K6s in .357.

    In either case, the important thing is, if you have a reason to carry, commit to carry. Even around the house, keep it close.

  • Chumby||

    I agree with you on "super carry."

    I had a 9mm Ruger LCR and traded it. The fifth shot wouldn't always happen because the bullet jumped the (weak) semi-auto crimp. More than a few times with different ammo. I like the .39 +P version for new gun owners wanting something for SD. It is smaller and lighter.

    I like the K6. I might have one if they made it with an external hammer and SA ability.

  • Michael Cook||

    Have to be careful with ammo in 9mm revolvers. The best rounds are the new polycase rds of which Ruger has a line. Any really light bullet is better. I have a heavy Blackhawk convertible 9mm and it never has an ammo problem, probably due to the weight of the gun itself. This is the most accurate handgun I've ever owned and always goes to events where bragging might happen.

    I also have a tiny 9mm Texas-made derringer that was just about unshootable with standard lead ammo due to stout recoil and two-finger hold. With ARX bullets it is a dependable dream. This is a pocket pistol for the scenario where you are already wrestling with someone on the ground or about to be stabbed or some such.

  • ||

    Let's keep in mind that the 2nd Amendment does not confer a right to keep and bear arms. Rather, it attests our God-given right to keep and bear arms. The entire Bill of Rights was intended a bulwark against the Federal Government attempting to usurp such rights.

  • shawn_dude||

    1) That is an interpretation and not necessarily true.
    2) The legal interpretation at this time is that it isn't a boundless right but one that can be regulated and limited. We acknowledge that the 2nd Amendment doesn't give us the right to own a tank or a nuke, for example. And...
    3) The folks that wrote the 2nd Amendment probably didn't conceive of what modern arms would look like.
    4) If you think a bunch of guys with pea-shooters can stop a Federal Government with planes, tanks, and guided missiles, I've got a bridge to sell...

  • musgrove||

    The gun-control supporters you describe decide things with their feelings, not information or facts. What AR stands for or how a gun works is irrelevant to them. It's how they feel about the issue, and how the issue is presented to them is what dictates that, and it's presented by the media using terms like "assault rifle," "gun violence" and so on. That's why words and terms are important to the left and they constantly are tweaking them in the media. They control emotions, and emotions are how they make decisions.

  • Exterminator Richmond IN||

    What makes you certain the Las Vegas shooter would have done notably more damage with a fully automatic military grade weapon?

  • shawn_dude||

    "Second Amendment advocates are usually mocking those who use jargon-sounding words in an effort to fearmonger viewers and constituents. When you claim that the streets are rife with "high-capacity, rapid-fire magazines" or "jumbo clips," you're trying to fool your audience with a veneer of expertise.

    As long as we're worried about fearmongering, I think using imprecise jargon is far, far lower on the scale than, say, claiming liberals want to take away *all* guns or that liberals want to erase the Second Amendment. Getting "round," "bullet," and "cartridge" all mixed up is a minor sin compared to the fearmongering we get from the anti-regulation crowd on this issue.

    And yeah, you absolutely can order 100-round magazines for the AR-15 online. I'm not sure if that counts as "rife" or not but they're as simple to get as any other Amazon order. Just Google this: "100 round magazine for ar15"

    The practical difference between a stock AR-15 and an AR-15 with a bump stock or any other modification designed to make the weapon function as or like a fully automatic weapon is nil if bump stocks and instructions on how to modify the weapon are just a Google search away.

    Personally, I have no issues with semi-automatics as much as I do high capacity magazines (or clips). The advantage of a semi-automatic as a weapon of mass murder goes away if you can only insert 10 rounds at a time.

  • Chief_E||

    Let us realize the anti-gun crowd wants to ban personal ownership of firearms not just because they don't want us to have them. They know they can't rule an armed populace. The plan is that once the nation becomes dis-armed they can impose tyranny upon upon the citizens they already deplore and we won't be able to oppose their oppressive governance. The very reason this nation revolted against King George to start with.

    Firearm ownership by law abiding citizens is the reason no other nation contemplates taking our country by force of arms because we are a freedom loving nation with the capacity of personal self defense. Our freedom is guaranteed and unassailable because of personal firearm ownership.

    Read these words of a Father of the American Revolution:

    Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people's liberty teeth and keystone under independence.... From the hour the Pilgrims landed to the present day, events, occurrences, and tendencies prove that to ensure peace, security, and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable.... The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference; they deserve a place of honor with all that's good... A free people ought to be armed.
    George Washington

  • rustythorn||

    so the point of this is: if you don't know every nuance of local flavor about every gun you have no right to even dare suggest we might want to ask if some people should not have access to some guns? sounds like you have drill sergeant envy; even if they get the 'jargon' correct you will still yell at them and say "this is my weapon this is my gun"

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online