Assault Style Weapons and the “Right to Bear Arms.”

The Second Amendment guarantees the citizens of the United States the “Right to bear (own) arms.”  The big question right now is “does it also guarantee us the right to possess assault style weaponry along with clips/magazines that will hold multiple rounds.  Anyone of us can purchase 30-100 round magazines for an assault style weapon.

I used to be a card-carrying member of the NRA, but have not paid my dues in a long time.  The recent deadly massacre of innocence in Connecticut has put this issue on the front burner.  It has been discussed in the office, the plant, the street, and every community and school from California to Maine.  Everyone has an opinion, and quite frankly it is the opinion of the non-hunters and non-shooting sports enthusiast that will probably decide this issue.  Hunters and those into sports shooting are in the minority in this country.  It’s our relatives, friends, co-workers, and neighbors that stand behind our right to “bare arms” that has kept us from losing those rights.

In my opinion the NRA is making a mistake by digging their heals in when it comes to what amounts to a minor compromise!  Wayne LaPierre from the NRA will not give an inch on this issue, which may end up costing the “gun lobby” crucial supporters.  We could end up losing far more than assault style weapons and mega round magazines if we (our leadership) is not willing to consider the concerns of the populace.  Honestly I do understand the thinking behind the “don’t give an inch” stand of the NRA.  I don’t fully trust our government when it comes to my gun rights either, but sometimes you must cut your loses, in order to fight another day!

I have discussed this issue with many people, and frankly have not found a soul that supports the rigid stand of the NRA.  Three of my brothers are policemen, and they are in agreement that “Joe Citizen” does not need to have more “firepower” than they do.  Mega-clips/magazines are made for one purpose, as far as their concerned!  That is to inflict the highest number of casualties in the shortest amount of time possible.  As much as they all love to hunt and enjoy the shooting sports, they believe assault style weapons and mega ammo should be only in the hands of the military and police force.  My thinking is right there with them on this issue, and I’m hoping public opinion doesn’t turn on “us”to the point we lose more than we ever bargained for.

This may be a mote point, but I know hundreds of hunters/gun enthusiast, and not a one of them owns an assault style weapon for hunting!  For personal protection it’s a bit of an overkill I think.  If it gets to the point that the government wants all are guns-they will get them.  Remember they have tanks, mortars, missiles, bombs, planes, sophisticated weaponry, and an assortment of tactical arms that your puny AR is not going to stop them!  Let us hope it never comes to anything like that, but for now something has to be done to help stem the violence in our society!  I have some other thoughts on this issue which I will share at a later date.

Mike

One Response to “Assault Style Weapons and the “Right to Bear Arms.””

  1. Will says:

    Mike;

    The question, IMO, isn’t should legal gun owners compromise. The question is, why should they compromise and give up the rights afforded to them by the Constitution?

    I believe if this were just about an honest analysis of the statistics there would be no discussion at all. When you examine the Federal Bureau of Investigations; Uniform Crime Report and the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime data both show that murder in America has been tracking downward for the last several years (1980 till current for the UCR and 1997 to 2011 for UNODC). So then what is the grand “push” at this time if our “intelligent” leadership understands the difference between statistical and anecdotal evidence as you suggest they should?

    Instead of just being honest about the goal many are attempting to paint this discussion as if we have an epidemic of violent crime when the hard scientific statistics show just the opposite. This just proves that while figures don’t lie, liar’s know how to figure. This, IMO, is more troubling because of the number of people who are lining up to support a position that has no statistical merit while at the same time behaving as if they have the high ground. It lacks basic logic. I would rather hear people who are honest about the position they hold and who admit they don’t like or want weapons in our society. IMO, those few who do so are not only being sincere but are not trying to utilize a horrible tragedy in a manipulative and ghoulish manner and I can respect the position they hold even if I disagree with it.

    Anyhow, the best statistical evidence we have from the UCR is that:

    Today’s murder rate is essentially at a low point of the past century. The murder rate in 2011 was lower than it was in 1911.

    And the trend is downward. Whatever we’ve been doing over the last 20-30 years seems to be working, more or less. The murder rate has been cut by more than half since 1980: from 10.7 to 4.7.

    And from the UNODC we find that:

    Murder in the United States has continued a downward trend from 1995 – 2011. Further the murder rate (per 100,000) places the US not even near the top in a list of 206 countries but squarely in the middle at 103.

    Of course it is possible that these two studies are incorrect. The difficulty for those wishing to ban weapons is not just that the UCR and UNODC analysis would not seem to warrant this based on supposed “crime prevention” (in essence how do you “prevent” something that is already tracking lower over the last 30 years) but the CDC’s report; “Evaluating the Effectiveness of Preventing Violence: Firearms Laws” from 2003 that stated;

    In summary, the Task Force found insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of any of the firearms laws reviewed for preventing violence.

    I would think that three independent studies would be enough to give pause that the statistical data does not merit a discussion regarding gun laws in spite of the horror that was perpetuated in Newtown. We can have a discussion on banning weapons but we should do so with honesty. Those who wish to ban weapons should simply say that ridding our society of something they find repulsive (firearms) is the goal. This must be the case if they understand the difference between “statistical and anecdotal” evidence, right? To try and give the illusion that the discussion is about reducing crime is, IMO, dishonest as the clear statistical evidence is that the murder rate in America has continued to go in a southern direction even with more and more weapons in the hands of our citizens.

    So the real question is again, “why should law abiding citizens give up a constitutionally protected right” when there exist no evidence to believe that doing so will lower crime or protect citizens? Instead the debate is being framed and a narrative sold that guns are evil and anyone that believes in those rights is out of touch or does not care about “the children”. I believe this is being done simply because the rate of murder has continued to drop and a factual argument is not to be made for changes of the law.

    The question isn’t should or why does someone own a so-called “assault weapon” but are they doing so legally. If they are what business is it of you, me or the government? Using the analogy of “why” should someone own something such as this the samething could be said regarding a Corvette Zr1 which has 638 horsepower and is capable of speeds in excess of 201 MPH. Consider that in America the rate of death in a car accident is more than double that of murder (11.0 per 100,000 v. 4.7 per 100,000).

    Sadly, while many will find the position of the NRA as repulsive the truth is that slow losses of liberty should not be tolerated and that refusing to stand up for those constituationally granted liberties is a dreadful mistake.

    Please take the time to review the bill posted by Sen. Feinstein and then ask yourself if this is about “assault weapons” why are handguns and shotguns listed in the bill. More to the point why does the bill state, “one or more Military Characteristic” for “banning” a bill and what does that mean? As a veteran I know the US Army uses the Remington 870, HK25, Glock 9, Colt 1911. As the military uses them does that mean it has a “military characteristic” and is now to be banned? I sure hope not because the 870 is pretty damn good for turkey hunting.

    Anyhow – thanks for the post and have a great New Year.

    http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/tables/table-1

    http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5214a2.htm

    http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/data-and-analysis/homicide.html

    http://www.smallarmssurvey.org/publications/by-type/yearbook/small-arms-survey-2012.html

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/12/listening_to_the_latest_media.html#ixzz2GRvP6SA9

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