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AndyS

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Pelican Bay, TX 76020
Home country: United States
Current location: home
Member since: Thu Jan 20, 2005, 02:07 PM
Number of posts: 12,969

Journal Archives

Why we can't have nice things

There’s a belief among some American gun owners that the second amendment is highly individualized and was placed in the constitution as an individual right to fight government tyranny. Therefore, each individual has the right to own whatever and however many weapons they want, free from any government interference. A licensing law or a universal background check law would mean the government knows who’s got a gun. If you believe there’s an individual right to insurrection, you can’t have any gun laws.
======
When National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre says things like, “The guys with the guns make the rules”, or politicians and elected officials say, “We will rely on second amendment remedies”, what they mean is that people with guns will, in fact, set the political agenda and settle political disputes. That is a profoundly undemocratic idea. As Abe Lincoln famously said, “Any appeal from the ballot box to the bullet box must fail.” We are a country based on the rule of law. Guns don’t make you a super citizen with the ability to make special rules or have special political influence because you happen to be armed.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/oct/18/guns-are-a-way-to-exercise-power-how-the-idea-of-overthrowing-the-government-became-mainstream

I have heard this 'insurrection theory of the 2nd Amendment' argued right here on DU. I have yet to have anyone explain to me just why the founders would go to such pains to create a government of, by and for the People and then espouse the possibility of destroying it through violent revolution. Nor have any of them explained to me why, if they believed such overthrow might be advised, they included Article III Section 3 in the document that created it.
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

Regardless of any reasoned explanation to the contrary it is a widely held belief fostered by every gun rights advocate and furthered by the marketing by gun makers.


As the sign in the mall says, You are here. What can be done to counter this insurrection inspiring dogma that has adherents wearing combat gear into government buildings and plotting the kidnapping and murder of heads of state?

I suggest that the best place to begin is to ban the manufacture, import, sale, transfer and possession of any semi automatic weapon that accepts interchangeable magazines.

This is not who we are . . .

I keep hearing this.

A Muslim ban, this is not who we are . . .

Children in cages, this is not who we are . . .

George Floyd, this is not who we are . . .

Nazis in Charlottesville, this is not who we are . . .

White supremacists storm the Capital, this is not who we are . . .

THIS IS EXACTLY WHO WE ARE.

Who we always have been.

If we, the white, privileged, moderate, mainstream Americans don't realize and embrace this, THAT THIS IS WHO WE ARE, it is who we will always be.

Martin Luther King tried to show us the way. We killed him. John and Bobby tried to show us the way. We killed them. Abraham Lincoln tried to show us the way. We killed him.

WE DID THIS. The white, privileged, moderate, mainstream Americans.

Trump has shown us who we are. If it weren't Trump it would be someone else.

The only question remaining is, now that we've been shown will we see? Will this upheaval that pulled the curtain aside, that held the mirror to our face and exposed us to ourselves will we seize this as an opportunity for redemption or quietly settle back into who we are?

I fear the answer.

Why we can't have nice things

It's been said that, at it's most base, the job of the Military is to tear things up and kill people. Of course that's an over simplification and definitely not a primary mission but in there somewhere is that last option.

In the implementation of that last option the Military has a LOT of guns and a LOT of people well trained to use them. So, how does the Military treat guns which are so vital to it's mission?

Why don't do what James Fallows, a reporter for the Atlantic, did and ask an Army Officer:

My niche perspective is this: in the Army, firearms are much more heavily regulated than in civil society. How can so many enthusiastic gun owners say that they hold the military as a model, and yet not accept the strict regulations that go with the military’s use of firearms?
. . .
In the Army, firearms are stored under lock, key, and sometimes guard, and god help you if one goes missing—the post shuts down and a frenzied search bordering on a religious quest begins. After basic training, soldiers are required to go through a few hours of refresher training with practical drills before they are even allowed on a range for individual shooting qualification. These are ranges that are heavily monitored, with a monumental emphasis on safety.
. . .
Can many of the gun-rights advocates be heard seriously advocating for hours and hours of training and qualification by competent authorities before a civilian is allowed to own the same weapon soldiers carry? Perhaps, but I am not aware of it….
. . .
To put a final twist on Oscar Wilde, even in the niche of American gun culture we are living with both extreme barbarism and extreme decadence, with only a precarious sliver of civilization in between.

There is so much more context in the article and it's a good read. Four paragraphs are very limiting so I hope you take the time to at least scan it.

https://www.theatlantic.com/notes/2018/03/an-army-officer-says-regulate-weapons-just-like-we-do-in-the-military/554816/

From another article in the series:

During the Vietnam war era, as a newly graduated mechanical engineer, I was hired by Colt's Firearms, the original manufacturer of the M-16, and tasked with M-16 related assignments during my employment.
. . .
The AR-15 was developed specifically as a military weapon to replace the M-14. It was probably one of the first major weapons systems to be privately developed following the DOD's decision to privatize the design and development function. This function had heretofore been carried out by publicly funded government operations, most notably, in the case of military small arms, the Springield Arsenal.
. . .
Only after civilian manufacturers like Colt's made boatloads of money producing M16A1's and selling them to the government did someone (I believe it was Colt's Firearms) decide to make and sell a semi-automatic-only version of the weapon for civilian sale. It was, of course, known as the AR-15.
. . .
Like Eugene Stoner, whose mission was producing better equipment for the military, I do not believe that there is any place in the civilian world for a family of weapons that were born as an assault rifle. I am a staunch supporter of properly equipping our nation's military but also of effective gun control for weapons available to civilians, to include banning those which are inappropriate outside a military context.

As with the first article this one has much more context and is is worth the read or at least a scan.

https://www.theatlantic.com/notes/2017/11/why-the-ar-15-was-never-meant-to-be-in-civilians-hands/545438/

These articles are part of series with the other parts linked at the end. I anticipate that I'll be posting from them as well assuming the assembling militias in our state capitols don't preempt me.

I ask again, is it time to talk about the free access to guns in American society?

In light of recent events and warnings of pending events . . .

There are more than 393 million civilian-owned firearms in the United States, or enough for every man, woman and child to own one and still have 67 million guns left over.

About one in three Americans owns all these guns.

About one third of gun owners own 5 or more.

Just about 5% of gun owners who are not collectors of curios and relics own 15 or more.

Two thirds of gun owners cite protection (presumably from other people with guns) as reason for owning a gun.

There are 285 pages of safety regulations that apply to cars. None for guns.

Deaths from autos has steadily declined since the 1960s, from guns a steady increase.

Last year 40,000 people died from gunshot in the United States, three times that (120,000) were injured.

80% of mass shootings happened with legally purchased guns by people who qualified as law abiding before they slaughtered fellow Americans.

2020 saw yet another record set in gun sales.

The FBI, after the seditious attack on the Nation's Capital, warns that similar protests are planned for ALL 50 STATE CAPITALS.



Is it time yet to discuss the easy access to guns in the United States?



Disclaimer: as a former Federal Firearms Licensee for Curios and Relics I own more than five guns, all but one designed before WWI and one before WWII. As such I was background checked by the ATF, State and local law enforcement and probably by the Animal Control Officer in my city.

Why we can't have nice things

This is the seventh in this series. I stopped numbering them at 5 because I realized that this is a never ending problem. For years the death rate attributed to guns has been about 30,000 a year and in the last few years has grown to more than 40,000. That's bad enough but along with those deaths goes 3-4 times that number in injured and damaged victims ranging from near vegetative state to simple (?) PTSD. That's as many as 160,000 people a year ranging in age from 2 to 90+ years old.

So, yeah, the Pandemic has taken precedent and deservedly so, but there is no vaccine to fix this.

So far I've devoted myself to discussing the fallacy of how we have attempted to suppress the level of carnage. I've pointed out that no matter how we try to compromise with gun extremists there will be no success because it's like pushing on a water balloon, no matter where we push it only expands elsewhere.

That is why, as a collector of antique and not so antique firearms and an avid shooter, I have come to the conclusion that we must ban the import, manufacture, transfer and possession of semi auto firearms that accept removable magazines. Period.

In earlier posts I've shown how the piecemeal approach to prohibitions and restrictions have failed because of the ingenuity of the gun industry. Today I offer an article from the gun rights side of the issue. Please take the time to read it to gain an understanding of how the industry responds to simplistic attempts to compromise with them in attempts to reduce, not eliminate, the daily carnage.

An excerpt:
Gun bans aren’t new. States have been enacting bans for years. For instance, California banned the Intratec TEC-9 pistol by name after an elementary school shooting in 1989. To get around the ban, Intratec created the TEC-DC9 and changed the location of the sling points. However, all models were banned under the Federal Assault Weapons Ban (AWB) of 1994.

Although the AWB has since expired, Intratec found a way around the ban. The company started producing the AB-10, which is basically just a TEC-9 Mini without a threaded barrel so it can’t accept attachments. When Intratec was still in business, the AB-10 was sold with smaller, 10-round magazines as opposed to the 20 and 32-round magazines sold with the original TEC-9.
When the next ban is enacted, manufacturers will produce new models with new names and change the characteristics of existing models. However, the federal government will probably pass legislation with verbiage that prevents manufacturers from sliding by like they could in the past. If your favorite firearm is under attack, be prepared for the possibility that it might be banned for good.

The article:
https://www.explosion.com/138461/how-to-be-ready-for-the-next-potential-gun-ban-in-the-united-states/

I will continue along this line and expand it to answer some of the objections hurled at any attempt legislate these military inspired rapid fire death machines.

Previous posts can be fond in my journal.

More reasons we can't have nice things. Ban all semi auto guns with removeable magazines.

First Amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Second Amendment:
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.

Do any of the pictures below conform to the emphasized portions of the Amendments above cited?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-apps/imrs.php?src=&w=916
Michigan

https://i.insider.com/5eac2453e3c3fb73644ccc22?width=2000&format=jpeg&auto=webp


North Carolina


Missouri


Virginia

?resize=770%2C513
New Mexico

https://www.click2houston.com/resizer/cEJymDE5K2VqWDMPvWh17MXFu8c=/1600x1066/smart/filters:format(jpeg):strip_exif(true):strip_icc(true):no_upscale(true):quality(65)/cloudfront-us-east-1.images.arcpublishing.com/gmg/GC6VJTOPCRGN3HKXWZKZ3PLLIY.jpg
New Hampshire

?auto=compress&crop=faces&fit=fit&fm=jpg&h=0&ixlib=php-1.2.1&q=45&w=1260
Texas

?quality=80&strip=all
Clearly part of the 'Well Regulated Militia". My advice for him? Go ahead, pull the trigger and see what happens next.

Why we can't have nice things part 5.

Stand Your Ground laws, or as some have called them 'Shoot First' laws, are the darling of the 2nd Amendment absolutists. Made famous by Florida and subsequently passed by 33 other states SYG laws are a pox on the land (but only a Smallpox).

The right to self defense is deeply ingrained in English Common law which is the basis of US law. The concept is that a person has the right to respond to threats of physical harm or death with sufficient force to neutralize that threat including deadly force. Embedded in that right is the Duty to Retreat or the responsibility to avoid violence when possible. Who wouldn't want to avoid confrontation and violence? Apparently people who carry guns.

In the decade since Florida passed SYG murders have increased 22% and lawful homicides increased from 3.4% of that total to 8.7% or a 75% increase. Other crime, both violent and nonviolent, has remained flat. So the only thing that changed was the number of people getting shot. Whoda' thought?


“Both justifiable and unlawful homicides increased substantially after the law’s effective date, unlawful homicides made up the majority of that increase,”


From this I surmise that a lot of people carrying guns thought they could get away with shooting someone but were mistaken. Still, somebody's dead. Then there is this little tidbit:

“The difference between murder and justifiable homicide hinges largely on the self-reported and difficult to refute subjective feeling of being threatened prior to killing someone,”

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-homicides-standyourground/murders-surge-in-florida-in-decade-after-stand-your-ground-law-idUSKCN1AU1QL

In other words he who survives gets to tell the story any way he wants. George Zimmerman was one of those 'justifiable homicides' until public outrage resulted in charges of second degree murder for which he was acquitted.

So, what has the gun rights movement and the SYG laws it fosters gotten us?

MORE DEAD PEOPLE.

These laws must be repealed. They do not decrease crime and do not decrease unlawful homicide. Evidence suggests that the increase in 'lawful' homicide is vastly exaggerated. They do not make anyone safer, quite the contrary.

This epidemic has no vaccine. It's up to us, you and me, to bring this insanity under control. Join an anti gun violence organization of your choice. Give money, join, go to meetings, write letters to the editor and your representatives. Make your voice heard.

Part 1 here:
https://www.democraticunderground.com/126213614

Part 2 here:
https://www.democraticunderground.com/126213620

Part 3 here:
https://www.democraticunderground.com/126213623

Part 4 here:
https://www.democraticunderground.com/126213627

Why we can't have nice things part 4.

Gun nuts all say that gun laws are stupid. Ya' know what? They're right. Look at this 6 minute video and I'm sure you'll agree. It's distasteful and insulting but bear with me because it points out the fallacy of how we go about regulating firearms and how gun nuts always find a work around.



Nobody sets out to write stupid laws. Nobody wrote a law that said, 'put a piece of plastic on a military inspired rapid fire death machine'. Somebody attempted to write a law that would make the military inspired rapid fire death machine less so without actually taking the military inspired rapid fire death machine from 'law abiding citizens'. The fact that the gun industry will use the letter of the law to thwart the intent of the law is the flaw in writing legislation to accommodate gun owner's tender feelings.

Time to say, “Fuck you and your gun fetish!” and legislate the lethality of guns.

What made the guns used at Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, Pulse and Las Vegas so deadly? The ability to fire bullets rapidly and reload instantly. A shooter's ability to kill and maim is limited only by the physical strength necessary to carry extra high capacity magazines. THAT is what must be legislated, not some esoteric description or line in the ATF handbook.

I propose, as a minimum, making the manufacture, import, sale or transfer of any semi automatic gun that uses removable magazines illegal. Period. Offer a one time 90 day buyback after which any illegal gun found will be confiscated and the owner punished with a fine and/or prison. Period.

Objections will begin with wild eyed screams of Second amendment!!11!! Sorry but no. The decision in Heller vs DC very clearly says that there is no right to own any gun for any reason by anyone and the State may regulate guns by type (it specifically mentioned the M16). The next objection will be Precedent to which the answer is Precedents are overturned all the time—Scalia ignored 200 years of Precedent in Heller. Besides, the SCOTUS has upheld state 'assault weapon' bans.

Some will say there are 300 million guns so a buy back is too expensive. Nope, not all fit the criteria and only about 1/3 of the rest will be sold back. The rest will be in one of two categories: hidden under the bed or in a closet where they will never hurt anyone or found when the 'militia' plays war games in the woods and confiscated. In any case we won't be seeing any pretend patriots in camouflage flaunting them at protests.

If all else fails the ATF can subpoena the NRA's data base and track them down. Yeah, the NRA has maintained a database of gun purchases with ownership data since the '70s. Gun dealers provided the information to them for marketing purposes.

This epidemic has no vaccine. It's up to us, you and me, to bring this insanity under control. Join an anti gun violence organization of your choice. Give money, join, go to meetings, write letters to the editor and your representatives. Make your voice heard.

Part 1 here:
https://www.democraticunderground.com/126213614

Part 2 here:
https://www.democraticunderground.com/126213620

Part 3 here:
https://www.democraticunderground.com/126213623

Why we can't have nice things part 3.

Before part 3 I have an addendum to part 2. It appears that the ATF has also noticed that the difference between a SBR and a 'pistol' with an arm brace is indiscernible. They posted a request for comment regarding these definitions and receiving only answers from gunners have decided to make no changes to the ATF handbook. So, having admitted that the two are the same one remains legal and the other not. Go figure.

Now to continue:

These are guns. I think we can all agree on that, right? Pretty obvious.



This is also a gun. It is a gun because the ATF handbook defines a gun as the 'receiver' or the part of a gun to which the barrel, trigger and other parts are attached. Because it is a gun it has a serial number and is traceable from the point of manufacture (or import) to the final sale through a FFL (Federal Firearms Licensee).



This is NOT a gun. It has no serial number and therefore cannot be traced. It can be bought over the internet by anyone of any age without a background check. ANYONE. Including felons, people with a mental health restriction and underage minors. Anyone can also all the other 'parts' and 'accessories' that are not classified as 'guns' and serial numbered.



Why is it NOT a gun? Because it cannot be fitted with some of the parts necessary to meet the ATF's handbook definition of a 'gun'. Compare it to the 'gun' above and you will notice that there are some holes drilled in the 'gun' that don't appear in the 'not a gun'. It is, in gun parlance, an 80% receiver; not completely finished. Anyone with an inexpensive drill press from Home Depot can drill those holes with enough precision to make it a 'gun' and it is legal for anyone to complete weapon assembled from this 80% receiver and other non regulated parts and accessories. The only restriction is that it can't be sold. Confused yet? Yeah, me too.

So anyone, including criminals, can buy and assemble a gun from 'parts and accessories'. These are known as Ghost Guns and they are entirely unregulated and becoming a major problem for law enforcement.

https://www.courant.com/breaking-news/hc-br-hartford-north-end-shooting-arrest-20201130-qqoi7lnu45d7bloreeisbirsie-story.html

https://www.cnn.com/2020/12/11/us/atf-raid-ghost-gun-manufacturer-invs/index.html

https://www.wwlp.com/news/crime/cocaine-heroin-seized-after-narcotics-investigation-on-cliftwood-street-in-springfield/

30% of crime guns in CA are Ghost Guns.
https://www.kpbs.org/news/2020/sep/29/california-sues-us-regulator-bid-deter-ghost-guns/


This epidemic has no vaccine. It's up to us, you and me, to bring this insanity under control. Join an anti gun violence organization of your choice. Give money, join, go to meetings, write letters to the editor and your representatives. Make your voice heard.

Part 1 here:
https://www.democraticunderground.com/126213614

Part 2 here:
https://www.democraticunderground.com/126213620

Why we can't have nice things part 2.

This is legal, it can be bought in any gun store with a background check.



This is not legal, it's barrel is too short and it is regulated under the National Firearms Act as a 'short barrel rifle' (SBR).



This is legal. It is not a short barrel rifle, it is a pistol. It is available over the counter at any gun store with the standard background check. It is equipped with an arm brace which is a legal accessory.



Can you see the differences between a SBR and a pistol with an arm brace? Yeah, me neither.

What's the big deal with an SBR? A rifle is more accurate, more easily controlled and more lethal than a pistol for a variety of reasons. A SBR is easily concealed compared to a full length rifle.

These 'pistols' are useless for 'self defense' or sport shooting. They are strictly designed to be easily concealed so as to penetrate a target and create maximum casualties in minimum time.

It's past time to stop pussy footing around and act on the FUNCTIONALITY that makes weapons deadly, not some picayune definition. Make all semi auto weapons that are easily and quickly reloaded illegal on the civilian market.

This epidemic has no vaccine. It's up to us, you and me, to bring this insanity under control. Join an anti gun violence organization of your choice. Give money, join, go to meetings, write letters to the editor and your representatives. Make your voice heard.

Part 1 here:
https://www.democraticunderground.com/126213614
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