Let me educate you about guns a little bit. With all of the misinformation flying around out there about guns, I want to clear the air and poke holes in some fallacies. First, let me say that I’m a gun enthusiast who has owned multiple guns of various types for years. I don’t just have one that I keep at my grandpa’s farm. My wife doesn’t make me keep it locked in a safe. I’ve got a Glock in the sock drawer, a .45 for my car, and a sub-compact 9mm for personal concealed carry. And those are just the handguns. I take defending myself seriously. Secondly, I have formal training to include my time in the military. Third, I work in the gun industry – I’m not a johnny-come-lately. Fourth, and most importantly, I have been in two, count ’em TWO armed encounters where I was relieved to be a gun owner. You tell me you want to control my gun ownership and I will spit in your face. My guns have detered and saved me from criminals. When you outlaw guns, only the outlaws have the guns.
With that said, as usual, I was dismayed at the liberal posting of an op-ed in the Washington Post today. Its even titled: ‘gun owners beware” ; Blech! You can read its fallacies here:
After reading this article, don’t think you can control the argument on this issue my liberal friends. Ms. Marcus commits the fallacy of an appeal to emotion at the end of her op-ed while also dismissing Velleco’s points without actually addressing them. She actually paints the guy in a negative light – far from objective.
She and others also have made the recent supposition that I am a danger to my fellow man as a law-abiding gun enthusiast who has shot and carried his concealed high capacity gun for years. She doen’t know me, the formal training I’ve been through or seriousness of the responsibility I take when I am out in public and armed – which is more often than not. She also doesn’t know of the thousands of rounds that I have shot and the practice time I have invested. Yes, for every me, there is a person who owns a gun and doesn’t take the responsibility as seriously…but they probably haven’t gone through the effort to get a concealed carry permit either. You can’t cast us all in the same light.
The focus here shouldn’t be on high capacity magazines – the focus should be on an obviously mentally distrubed person buying a gun – which is already illegal. Yes, he might have to reload less often, but there is a reason you don’t’ see police and special forces walking around with those high capacity mags. Any person who is familiar with a Glock 9mm be it a Glock 17 or 19 will tell you that those after-market high cap mags are tactically unsound. They are after-market products not made by Glock. You shouldn’t put the last few rounds in or you risk the follower in the magazine jamming. it also ruins the designed balance of the gun with the extra weight of the additional bullets. They also are not necessarilly drop-free. Drop free means an empty magazine ‘drops free’ of the magazine well in the grip of the pistol with only one hand operating the mag release. Instead, on a non-drop free mag like the high cap 9mm mag used in the mass slaying, you have to use two hands; one to hold the gun and one to pull the empty mag out. I imagine this is what slowed Loughner down and was a fortunate tactical error. Lastly, and most importantly a practiced and disciplined marksman can quickly reload their gun with a magazine of any capacity, be it 10 or 30 rounds – again assuming you are using the right tools. I can reload with a second standard 15 round mag of a Glock 19 faster than one of those 33 round schroeder mags. This lessens my down time in a fire fight. To be disarmed by a 61 year-old woman shows he took an inordinate time reloading after he was empty.
My point here is 4 fold. One, Don’t demonize the gun, it is only a tool. Even if you could somehow take away every gun in existence, Loughner would have used a crossbow or a sword – even injuring just 1 person is inexecusable – Loughner would be violating that persons rights regardless. The problem is no matter how you try to flag Laughner in the background check system, even to the point that you violate his and my rights so that it is inordinately cumbersome to get a gun, he still has other options. It is a slipperly slope that doesn’t stop violating your rights. The next step would be making private sales at gun shows illegal. Then it would be a ban on all private sales. It still won’t stop the transaction from happening for a determined assailant. Ever heard of a black market? Now we have also gone from a gun control issue to a property rights issue. Where does the intrusion of government in your life end? As a free society, we are going to have to deal with the 1 in X number of millions of Americans who are mentally ill enough to actually commit such heinous acts. That is the price of freedom, but the solution is not to restrict law-abiding citizens. They aren’t the problems, its the criminals who are and they by definition, don’t abide by the law. I contend that more gun ownership would have limited the carnage because someone could have been there to protect everyone. The alternative at the other end of the spectrum is to live in a government controlled nanny state where everything you do is regulated to protect you from yourself. More government is not the answer – personal freedom as the founder’s intended, is. Giving a private citizen the access to a high capacity gun allows him to better protect himself and those around him who choose not to be armed. You just are smarter than the criminals because you use 2 hands free drop free mags with a quick reload and better handling, concealability, and reliability as compared to one 30+ round magazine.
Two, shooting a sitting member of Congress in a fit of mass murder just feeds into the hype around an already politically charged issue – it doesn’t help or solve anything. See my previous post today to get a flavor of that.
Three, restrictive gun laws discourage law-abiding citizens from legally carrying guns. This makes a crowd of people less likely to have a law-abiding citizen there to protect themself and others from criminals. In part, crime is higher where guns are restricted because the bad guys know the citizens have been disarmed.
Four and my main point – it is the man, the training and his skill with a tool that makes him proficient or not. You don’t blame the cars for all of the deaths on the highways, why then do you blame and regulate the gun? Leave my high capacity magazine alone since whack-jobs like Loughner will get ahold of them if they want them. You can’t erase from existence all of the high cap mags that have been made and the best Congress would ever be able to do is put a ban on them from X day forward. Just like the flawed assault weapons ban that thankfully expired in 2004, all of the high capacity magazines made up to that point were still legal to own – they just cost more because they were grandfathered in and the law of supply and demand took effect. What is a few more dollars to someone who is planning on dying at worst or spending the rest of their life in jail at best?
Robet Heinlein said it best: An armed society is a polite society.