Who Decides If You Should Own a Firearm?

Yesterday a parent of two small children wrote The Dish about getting the guns in the right hands and out of the wrong hands:

… all my previous beliefs have been upended.  Allowing such easy access to these military-style weapons is madness–how could I have not seen it before? …

Having responsible, armed citizens isn’t an inherently bad idea. There are police officers in every school in New York City, and guess what?  No mass shootings there. Trick is to make sure the right people have them and the wrong ones don’t.  Also, if this debate stops and starts with guns, that will be its own tragedy.  Mental illness and the depravity of our popular culture … must also be addressed.

OK, I thought, but who makes that distinction? Because not too long ago in the US, the right hands were generally white and the wrong hands were generally black. Now it seems that the right hands are rural and suburban and the wrong hands are urban, which often has the same effect as the old distinction. In many other countries the right hands are rich and male and the wrong hands are poor or female. And NYPD do carry out mass shootings — but a mass of shooters against one or two targets.

Banning assault weapons is a logical first step, but as Paul Barrett observed on Democracy Now!, the last attempt at an assault weapons ban was ineffective:

… the 1994 so-called Assault Weapons Ban was one of the most porous, ineffective pieces of legislation that I personally have ever had the opportunity to study. It was shot through with loopholes. It had no applicability to weapons that were made and sold on the day before enactment. And the fact that it was coming for a period of years gave gun manufacturers an opportunity to run their factories overtime and to build up huge stockpiles of the weapons. So we’ll see. But if Congress is not proposing to ban weapons that are already out there, then that leaves millions and millions of weapons already out there.

Orion at dagblog, and a lot of other people, are focusing on the the medicated youth — the Aspies, ADD and ADHD types taking anti-depressant and attention-focusing drugs. That concern is justified in some cases, but many such kids are too busy learning to be bronies and pegasisters to be interested in guns. Keeping medicated folk from buying guns should be a no-brainer, but I worry that people will now assume they are all ticking time bombs.

TPM showcases a letter in which an old-school shooter describes the new paranoid culture of tactical weaponry:

The gun culture that we have today in the U.S. is not the gun culture, so to speak, that I remember from my youth. It’s too simple to say that it’s “sick;” it’s more accurately an absurd fetishization.  …

I can’t remember seeing a semi-automatic weapon of any kind at a shooting range until the mid-1980’s. Even through the early-1990’s, I don’t remember the idea of “personal defense” being a decisive factor in gun ownership. The reverse is true today: I have college-educated friends – all of whom, interestingly, came to guns in their adult lives – for whom gun ownership is unquestionably (and irreducibly) an issue of personal defense. For whom the semi-automatic rifle or pistol – with its matte-black finish, laser site, flashlight mount, and other “tactical” accoutrements – effectively circumscribe what’s meant by the word “gun.” At least one of these friends has what some folks – e.g., my fiancee, along with most of my non-gun-owning friends – might regard as an obsessive fixation on guns; a kind of paraphilia that (in its appetite for all things tactical) seems not a little bit creepy. Not “creepy” in the sense that he’s a ticking time bomb; “creepy” in the sense of…alternate reality. Let’s call it “tactical reality.”

That description fits many people who now frequent The Truth About Guns, where I used to contribute until I felt completely out-of-place. But again, how does one legislate against people owning and carrying because they creep you out?

It almost seems that the only people that should carry guns are the ones that would never think to buy one.


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4 responses to “Who Decides If You Should Own a Firearm?”

  1. Donal says :

    Reblogged this on Once Upon a Paradigm and commented:

    Do I feel lucky? Well do ya, punk?


  2. cmaukonen says :

    Good question Donal. Point of info first off. The mother was a “Prepper” http://americanpreppersnetwork.com/

    Those who are convinced that society, culture and the economy is going to go to “Hell in a hand basket”™.

    To assault weapons are offensive in nature. So unless you are a paid assassin or “mechanic” , there is no reason to own one. You may hit the bad guy but are more likely to take out other good guys in the process. Even the Gestapo used mainly lugers for personal use. I read today that for protection a good pistil and the ability to use it are a better choice. Or a shotty with number 2 buck. That is
    more likely to stop someone without doing additional damage to other people/things.

    And that brings up training. Not on just the mechanics of using one, but also the how and when.

    To me this whole thing is like some Hollywood “Wild West”/ John Wayne fantasy fixation that Americans have. And none of these people have the slightest clue what the reality of being in a life or death situation means.

    They need to talk to a Vet. Not the current ones who are outfitted like Robo Cop,
    but a Vietnam or Korean Vet and they may be able to tell you what it’s actually like.


  3. cmaukonen says :

    Commented on paradigm. Would not take my comment here for some reason. Too long ?


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