I have been licking my wounds from the Presidential Election but now that all the celebrating is done and we are back down to business, I felt it was time to opine about the gun debate that has so many people up in arms. I myself have been animated about the topic in discussions with friends, but I have learned through my experiences it is best to let the emotions roll out of the system before stepping up to the microphone. I am going to hit this on many levels so stay with me.
First, the hypocrisy that exists with our politicians who are against gun control but have armed guards themselves. Yes, I am talking to your Senator Feinstein. This is Elitism at its finest. The California Senator’s “let them eat cake” moment, because it is ok for her to have the protection SHE CHOOSES TO HAVE BUT WE ARE NOT ALLOWED TO HAVE. Fox News Sunday Anchor Chris Wallace accused NRA Executive Director Wayne LaPierre of being an elitist last Sunday with that very argument, but the argument is hollow. If you have money and think you need security, you should be able to engage in capitalist practices to get what you can afford and there is nothing wrong with that. The majority of us can’t hire armed security, but we can be a gun owners and take our own money in the way we see fit and spend it to defend ourselves the best we can. That is individual Liberty at its purest.
Second, the Assault Weapon and multi-round magazine argument is foolish on the face of it. The AR-15 and those like it that politicians decry as Assault Weapons are semi-automatic weapons. For those who are not familiar with the term, semi-automatic means that when the weapon is fired it reloads itself and is ready to fire again without having to recock the weapon. So, by its very nature it is a single fire weapon that shoots one round for every pull of the trigger. To illuminate the distinction, a pump shotgun has to be pumped every time it is fired to move a round into the firing chamber or “action” in terms of a shotgun. It has to be manually reloaded every time. It is not semi-automatic by its very nature.
Most pistols these days are semi-automatic so if someone has a concealed weapons permit and they can carry two pistols, they can carry the same amount of fire power, by bullet count, that an AR-15 has with a 20 round magazine. So, what is the difference? Zero. The very definition of a Assault Weapon is one that can carry firepower into close quarters. Shooting someone from 200 yards is not an assault, that is being a sniper but pistols are for close quarters and are most accurate from 60 feet or less depending on who is shooting and what the situation is. Finally, pistols can be purchased in calibers more than twice the size of an AR-15 which really is a glorified .22 caliber hunting rifle and in some cases, not as powerful as a hunting rifle.
So, really this debate is about taking the guns out of our hands so we cannot complain against government intrusion. An article I read a couple of weeks ago said that there were close to 300 million guns in the United States. I don’t know if the number is accurate but I am sure it is not to far off.
Which leads me to my last point. The focus of this whole debate is focused on the wrong things. It should be about taking gangs and loonies off the street but, unfortunately, it is about money, of course. If you don’t believe me consider this. Why does Homeland Security need 7,000 AR-15’s and why does it need over 500 million rounds of ammunition when the government already has contracts for weapons and ammunition? One report today said that government had purchased enough ammunition over the past ten months to fund a 30 year war. Who is the fight against? Are we going to begin selling our ammo to the Egyptians like we are our top fighter jets? Probably not, but the Federal Government knows that if takes rounds out of the stores that 1) price goes up and with that Sales Tax revenue and 2) it can filter money back into the economy and artificially help make the economy look stable in the manufacturing sector.
I am not being cynical here. We heard for the last six months that things we getting better but we had to be patient. Well, we have been patient and a majority of people voted that they have patience only to find out that the economy showed negative growth last quarter. No surprise.
The second part of the money theme is this- for years throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s, the Federal Government along with the States, began the process of closing all the insane asylum’s and integrating those who need medication on a daily basis to remain in reality back into the mainstream public. Why? Because it was money being spent that could have gone to other things like pensions and health care and elections. I saw this happen because my mom was in the middle of this transition. The rights of the mentally unstable seem to trump the reality of keeping them locked up and unable to do harm to innocent people. So, we have schizophrenics and the like on the streets without a mandate to take their medication and that is the rub. They cannot be forced to medicate like they used to because politicians don’t want to spend money on that. Why not just add to to deficit? That is the commonplace thing now isn’t it? Is public safety more important than increasing the food stamp rolls?
So, if we had those old and expensive mechanisms in place would Jarod Loughner have been on the street? Would the Sandy Hook shooter? I don’t know, but I know that there would have been mechanisms in place to identify them sooner instead of after they committed their heinous acts.
Let’s get back to reality and address the real problem. The people doing the shooting. I have had enough of the politics on this one. Don’t infringe on my right to own a gun, you have already infringed enough and quit wasting my money on elections and spend the money getting the gangs and disturbed off the street.