Gun restriction legislation – does it really help?

Expanding on the thoughts from the video, the question of gun control and restriction is a serious matter. How far does the 2nd Amendment go in allowing the public to have arms? What restrictions are for the benefit of the public, and what are just for the benefit of the politicians?

The issue is not just another Democrat vs Republican ideology battle. There are plenty of Dems (like Sen. Harry Reid) that support the 2nd Amendment – to a degree – just as there are Republicans (Rep. Jack Kingston) who support gun control. Political ideology does not automatically designate a position on the issue, though there is a tendency for Dems to want more regulation and Republicans tend to reject that.

The 2nd Amendment states

“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.”

The key is the portion that states “keep and bear Arms”. It is generally understood to mean firearms not meant for the military or military use. Thus, as example, a bazooka or a howitzer, is not covered by this. But a shotgun, a rifle, a handgun, and other firearms are covered. In the modern world most firearms covered by the 2nd Amendment are capable of magazine fire.

Restricting, as some desire, firearms with capability to fire multiple rounds is wholly unrealistic. First, the fact is firearms with that capability exist and can be gotten with relative ease – legally and illegally. Second, even if such an impractical solution were to be adopted, the potential for misuse continues to exist unabated.

One of the core arguments is that guns kill and in limiting guns more people will be safe. We reject this argument.

Guns do not kill, people do. Long before the invention of guns people were killed by swords, spears, daggers, sticks and stones as well as by unarmed individuals. Regardless of the tool used, those that intend harm can do so. To blame the tool is to dismiss the personal responsibility of those wielding the tool. We do not agree with this, as the video clearly states.

Further, the delusion of safety due to an absence of a singular type of tool or firearm does nothing but assuage the emotions of some individuals. Because X is not available they believe all the world is safe. An overstatement to a degree, but essentially the thought. This does nothing to actually ensure safety.

Part of the reasoning behind the 2nd Amendment was the understanding that the public should not be restricted in the ability to defend their homes – from the government, agents of other nations, or those that would inflict harm. As much as the world has changed, the public still requires protection from each of these things.

Thus, in general, it can be understood that the 2nd Amendment allows firearms for the public as an essential Right, that should not be taken from the public. The fact that this is the second of the key Amendments for the nation to be guided by signifies the importance of the issue. Restrictions on this Right are inherent in its wording, but the emphasis is not on delusional impressions of safety but real actions that can provide safety.

So in the current climate, is the renewed attention on gun control a benefit to the public? We think not.

Action predicated by emotion usually results in legislation that is inefficient and delusional. The effort is not in creating an effective change but a change that will make the public feel better about a situation. In modern history such legislation has tended to also grow the power of the Government at the expense of the individual Rights. The Patriot Act, created at the height of the emotional impact of 9/11, is an example of the overreach of Government in an attempt to lessen the public fear over very real threats that continue to exist unabated.

Assuming that a ban on assault weapons were to be enacted, will the public be safer? No. Because a criminal and/or mentally unstable person would still be able to use other firearms to harm the public. Gun restriction would not alter the mental or moral states of those that would inflict harm. A revolver with 6 rounds is more than enough to create the horrors that have grown more common since Columbine. A morally corrupt individual, or one that is clinically insane, could still cause harm with a sword, a steak knife, a tree branch, or a car as examples.

If gun control (which is in essence gun restriction) were enacted tomorrow, given the fact that the public would be no safer, who would be affected?

Criminals, who by definition have the moral corruption of breaking the law, would have no restriction placed on themselves. Firearms bought illegally, or used to harm others, would suffer no impediment. Criminals would still be able to obtain whatever firearms they obtain now. They would continue to use those firearms as they do now. Potentially, in light of the fact that law abiding citizens would not have certain firearms, it is possible that firearm use in commission of certain crimes (like break-ins to homes) might even go up.

The mentally unstable, who may get access via bad legislation or access from law abiding individuals or got the weapons prior to the instability, would still have most of the same avenues of access. Even if the law would only allow muskets, the mentally unstable would still be able to use that.

Effectively, gun restriction law directly only affects law abiding individuals, who do not create the situations that the gun restriction laws were created in emotional reaction to. Your neighbor who has an AK-47 and a shotgun that has never created an incident before, will still not create an incident upon giving up
the AK-47. The DC shooters, the Oklahoma bomber, and the various school shootings would equally not be affected – perhaps beyond having fewer rounds which does not alter the fact that multiple individuals would still be harmed.

Put into real world terms, Michael Vass (president of M V Consulting) experienced a home invasion in October of 2010. Excerpts of the experience follow:

“I shudder to think what would have happened if I had to confront the intruder(s). Based on my military training and experiences with disasters over the years, I have no problem with the thought of deadly force. Considering that this was a home invasion, in the wee hours of the night, and knowing that I receive death threats from time to time, expecting the worst is only realistic. Considering the fact that there was a pregnant woman to defend, its more than just my life to protect.

…Thus the thing is not that some people didn’t notice, it’s that some people just didn’t care. Not from the first kick, not when the police arrived, nor after the fact.

In a nation where there are more neighbors like mine than like myself, with desperate and perhaps depraved individuals committing crimes, thank God there is a 2nd Amendment…”

Like the overwhelming majority of law abiding citizens, even in the face of an imminent threat, no one was shot in the incident from October. But what if there were multiple criminals? What if they had intent to harm? What if gun restriction legislation, which as a law abiding person was followed, prevented the owning of a tool that was the final guard to the people in the house on that night?

Ultimately, enacting gun restriction legislation does one thing – creation of a delusion of safety. Criminals don’t follow the law, and the mentally unstable disregard anything outside the warped reality they choose to accept. Gun restriction laws serve as a feel-good substitute for serious debate and legislation that actually addresses the issues at hand – mental health, firearm sales, and criminals. If we are to do anything, it must not be based in emotional response to horrific shootings, a mere superficial band-aid.

There is a legitimate argument to be made for some levels of gun control and restriction, but to simply act out of fear and revulsion provides no substantial benefit to the public.

Rating 4.00 out of 5

4 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Response to Facebook comment: Talk about gun restrictions “boring”, so shooting sprees must be “exciting” | VASS political blog
  2. NRA solution as bad as gun restrictions | VASS political blog
  3. Gun violence: Is a ban the answer? Part 1 – just the facts | VASS political blog
  4. Yes your gun too… | VASS political blog

Thank you for lending your voice. We appreciate hearing what you have to say.