And you don’t have to:
Yes, the guy in the second panel really exists and really did say he would start shooting people if any more gun control laws are enacted. Some random loony? No, he’s a former police chief, and owner of two companies that provide tactical weapons and training to police and military units. And there are plenty of other people saying similar crazy things.
And the guy in the last panel is none other than Larry Ward, the instigator of Gun Appreciation Day, who really did try to use Martin Luther King Jr., a staunch promoter of non-violent protest who was himself assassinated by a gun, as a symbol for his gun rally. This is based on the fact that King once applied for a hidden carry permit, but was turned down. What Ward doesn’t mention is that King later said he was glad he was denied and would never carry a gun again.
And if all that weren’t crazy enough, there are conspiracy theorists who think that the whole Sandy Hook massacre was staged in order to take away our guns.
This past Saturday, a group in my state rallied at the state house in protest of legislation that would have banned the sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. The legislator that initially proposed the bill stated that he was withdrawing it after receiving threats and a constant stream of negative phone calls and letters from gun advocacy groups, gun lobbyists, and citizens in his district.
When a local talk radio station carried the story, the announcer made the erroneous point that the legislator had pulled his bill due to realizing that there was no legislative support, and that it had nothing to do with outside gun control groups. This being the exact opposite of what the legislator said, I’m inclined to believe that the talk radio station had it wrong.
We don’t negotiate with terrorists, but apparently we do listen to anything a bunch of crazy people with guns are willing to say often and loudly enough. How are these any different?
I can’t quite remember, but does anyone recall what the reaction was when the original assault weapons ban was passed? I don’t remember the extremism that is all around now.
The original ban was passed in 1934 to restrict short-barrel rifles, sawed-off shotguns and machine guns used by organized crime. After a few years, it was gutted by the Supreme Court in (I beleive) 1967. That was quickly replace by the National Firearms Act of 1968. I don’t remember the mood at the time, but I suspect due to the strength of the bill and the speed in which it was passed, it had good popular support.
Things changed under Reagan, and the Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986 pretty much set the tone of todays gun lobby.
There are 2 camps in the pro gun group as I see it among friends and enthusiasts I know, the sportsmen and the defenders. now in each of those 2 groups there are sub groups sportsmen are hunters an target shooters and in the defenders there are defend home and property and the defend against tyrannical govt. the later seems to be the loudest and most extreme and the are IMO the smallest sub group, your far right wingers if you may.
I personally think we should be allowed to have any weapon assault, handgun or hunting shooting rifle. Of course I have been trained by the military and I am considered an expert by the military in qualification. I do not believe untrained people should possess any weapon and more then a few shouldn’t be allowed to drive a car for that matter.
We need to appeal to the 75% or more of gun owners who would favor stronger background checks and mandatory in person gun classes or the equivalent prior service in the military or law enforcement. I’d also be in favor of creating some link to mental health records as an additional check. Gun show purchases an private sales should also require registration and check on completion of training before handing over the weapon.
I have fired many times on a military range with hundreds of people and accidents can happen, but only because people don’t follow instructions and we are very strict about clearing weapons, muzzle awareness and safety’s on. I would not want half the idiots I see on the street going anywhere near a weapon in my proximity.
We could use our National Guard to give weapon classes and qualify people on a range to clear them for gun use or the police force, or the reserves. We can think of something sensible that would appeal to the 75%.
PSgt, we totally agree.
So how do we make this happen? How do we overcome the gun lobby position that *any* gun regulations are unacceptable? Heck, they won’t even confirm a director for ATF.
I think a media campaign like that used for the presidents election talking about sensible controls. Leave out the far left messages about banning any weapons or restricting access. Keep the message about common sense safety checks and good training. Let the far oppposites shout their rhetoric, but keep the moderate focus on point.
As soon as the topic becomes banning, then the conversation is over or can’t be heard above the noise.
I think the President has proposed some sensible ideas in his executive powers, but thats not the right way to go either IMO. Get both sides involved in a discussion about how to keep weapons in the hands of the 99% that use them responsibly and out of the hands of the 1% that don’t. It’s a message war, so let the message be clear. This is where the president needs to clarify and be heard. If he said I am a firm believer in the 2nd amendment and don’t want to take away that right from any responsible person, I just want to keep guns out of the hand of those who are not. Start the media blitz and then get lawmakers into the room to discuss it.
This is the right media version of the Assault weapons ban being proposed by the Senate this week.
This is the left media version of the same bill
IMO proposing this type of legislation will guarantee that no legislation gets passed. The Clinton assault weapons ban did not cause crime rates to drop and neither will this one. Including handguns, shotguns other rifles along with military style weapons will doom the bill for failure. But I guess they’ll parade stories of murdered children and say anyone who opposes the bill wants more dead kids.
If they had focused the bill on the problem, which I see as background checks, mental health screenings, weapon security and yes even high capacity magazines then they might have actually made a difference.