The ongoing national discussion about gun control

I find it ironic President Obama and Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) have suggested a national discussion on gun control since we’ve been having one since before I was born. The gun control discussion is not taboo – like mental health issues – rather it’s been completely out in the open for years. During the two weeks after the Newtown tragedy, every other Facebook post was about gun control and before that it seems like “the discussion” came up every week or so.

I’ve got nothing new to say on the subject, other than to reenforce the fact the gun control lobby out there is driven primarily on emotion. Really … it is. This post might ramble a bit for a Monday morning, but stick with me and please share this post with those who think “reasonable” gun control is a good idea. Email it to them, post it on Facebook, share away! I’m looking for your comments and questions so please contribute … if appropriate, I’ll update this post with additional information or answer in the comments section myself.

The Second Amendment has absolutely nothing to do with hunting, got that? It has everything to do with the protection of yourself, your family and your country. Protecting liberty from tyranny is an extremely important part of the checks and balances between the people and the government. And before you get all worked up, I’m not talking about armed revolution, I’m referring to peace and liberty through strength of the people.

There are well-known politicians who have mentioned confiscation. Those who have said “they are not talking about taking your guns away” have been misinformed. There are plenty of political leaders out there who have suggested confiscation.

People ask why do you need a sporting rifle? Other than the “it’s none of your damn business” and the “they are fun to shoot” arguments, the use of a sporting rifle for defense in the home is a very reasonable choice. Those Evil Black Rifles (EBRs) are easy to shoot, easy to load, have a easy-to-handle recoil – as compared to a .45 cal pistol or a 12 gauge shotgun – are very accurate and can stop a threat with a limited number of rounds. When maintained properly – just like most firearms – they are very dependable.

Of course, your home is quite different then every other home out there so it’s very possible a different choice of firearm – if you choose to use one – would suite your needs better. There is no one answer when you have to consider everything from how many floors your home has to where the bedrooms are and where the kids sleep. Do you have a plan if you know someone has broken into your house?

The media and the “assault rifles cross the line” crowd will suggest the .223/5.56 rifle projectiles will go through multiple walls – and multiple homes – unrestricted. I’m not a ballistics expert, but I know one of the top guys in the country on the subject and the information being fed through the media and some websites is total hogwash. In short, a 9mm bullet from a pistol or rifle will penetrate just as much or a lot more than an EBR bullet. If you’re a ballistics expert, feel free to chime in but if you’re not you can find a multi-page discussion here.

One thing to note is law enforcement’s slow switch during the past decade or so from variants of the MP-5 rifle (9mm projectiles) to the AR platform. The AR platform is used for clearing businesses and homes and in response to shooting incidents including the most recent events in Newtown and Aurora. Is the law enforcement community concerned with over-penetration of the .223/5.56 round? It seems not.

Let’s look at limiting magazine capacities. One source I know referred to law enforcement hit rates of less than 20 percent. That’s the number that is used within the law enforcement community and at training events and I wrote about the topic in January, 2011.

In stressful shooting situations, most studies show “hit rates” of less than 50 percent. A New York Times article from Dec. 2007 noted the hit rate for law enforcement in the city was 17.4 percent in 2005 and 28.3 percent in 2006. Los Angeles law enforcement shot placement was better than New York’s in 2006, with a 40 percent hit rate. Keep in mind these are law enforcement officers, who partake in regular training.

Civilians would be taking a more defensive posture, but the stress level is still there. In a situation where multiple attackers invade a home or attack someone on the street, it would be very reasonable to assume one defending himself or his family may run out of ammunition quickly if they were limited to a ten round magazine capacity. Certainly home invasions or attacks by multiple gun-toting criminals are rare, but mass shootings like Columbine and Tucson are even more rare.

Combine low hit rates in stressful situations with the fact one, two, three or even four rounds that hit the aggressor may not stop the threat, and you have a strong case to completely avoid a magazine capacity limit.

Of course civilians who train on a regular basis can be taught to exchange magazines in a very short period of time. Dropping the empty magazine and inserting a full magazine can easily be done in less than three or four seconds. I can’t imagine how stressful a shooting situation must be, but adding even more stress to the event by introducing a magazine change at a critical time could be life-threatening.

If someone can not stop the threat in less than 10 rounds does that mean they no longer have the right to defend themselves and their family? Those of you supporting a 10 round maximum capacity for rifles and pistols are saying just that … if you can’t stop them in 10 rounds you don’t deserve to live. Why do cops use 20 and 30 round magazines in their rifles? Certainly, law enforcement is primarily a defensive organization as compared to a military war machine on offense. If it is perfectly acceptable for law enforcement to have multiple 30 round magazines to feed their rifles in a defensive situation, why is it absurd for civilians to have access to the same? Certainly you can reload, but if the 10-round-limit crowd suggests people can “just reload” is that not contradictory to their entire position?

Please don’t try to suggest law enforcement are trained and less likely to kill or injure a bystander. Total hogwash. All cops are not gun people and a few cops I know don’t like to shoot recreationally and they only partake in the minimum training required. In short, they are very good cops but bad marksmen. Heck, in August nine bystanders were shot or injured by two cops who got into a very brief shootout on a crowded New York City street.

Even in the recent Oregon mall shooting, it’s possible a civilian with a carry permit stopped the event. This civilian did not shoot, but he claims (official police witness reports have not been released) the shooter saw him as he pulled his own weapon and the shooter left the area. The next shot was the one he took to kill himself.  In short, good guys with guns have routinely stopped bad guys with guns. Even in Newtown, the arrival of the good guys may have stopped the shooting and resulted in the suicide of the madman.

During the Virginia Tech shooting, the madman killed 32 and wounded 17 and he did not use an assault rifle or high capacity magazines. Think about that for a minute. Everything the gun-control crowd has been telling you revolves around “assault-style” rifles and high capacity magazines. The VT shooter used neither and still he perpetrated the deadliest mass shooting incident by one person in the United States. (The VT shooter used multiple 10 round magazines and a few 15 round magazines. Although higher capacity magazines were available to him, he had none.)

One last thing … compromise. Firearms owners and enthusiasts have already compromised when it comes to gun control. It’s called the National Firearms Act of 1934 and the Gun Control Act of 1968. In most states we’ve had to train and register ourselves with the state government for the permission to own and or carry a weapon for self defense. Registration, fingerprinting in booking rooms, police interviews with neighbors, applicant interviews with the chief of police, and cost-prohibitive fees are just a few of the hoops owners go through to own and carry a firearm. All compromises as it relates to the Second Amendment. No more.

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

The gun control reaction is all emotion and if additional measures are past, they will be – exclusively – feel-good measures that will do little if anything to ensure mass shootings do not happen in the future. They will however ensure law-abiding citizens who wish to carry and defend themselves and their family with a firearm are treated like “bad people” who need to be monitored by the government.

This shall not stand.

35 replies
  1. Anne-EH
    Anne-EH says:

    The sad reality is that no amount of extra gun control laws is going to stop those who are determined to go on shooting sprees creating the most deaths and injuires. Enforce the laws that are already are on the books.

  2. Dimsdale
    Dimsdale says:

    I was writing something on this line, but Steve hits the mark well.? The bottom line is that it is all about incrementalism with the left, and they are exceptionally patient about it. always taking advantage of some murder spree.? Today, 30 rounds are unacceptable, pass their legislation, then next year, 10 rounds will be the only acceptable amount, then one round if they can manage it.?
    What is left, pistol whipping an intruder?? Of course, even that would be counted as a gun related assault by the flying monkeys of the media.
    Pick, pick, pick, and your rights and liberties eventually vanish.?? And don’t think it will stop with legal gun ownership.? You know what they are doing to free speech with “political correctness”….
    They could have kept thousands of illegal guns off the market if they didn’t try that ill begotten Fast and Furious scheme.

  3. yeah
    yeah says:

    On one hand, this makes me immediately want to go get my concealed carry permit.
    On the other, this makes me immediately want to just get a gun, and to hell with your quasi-illegal “permits.”? As far as I’m concerned, the second amendment IS my permit.

    • Plainvillian
      Plainvillian says:

      …. and what few people realize is that Lexington and Concord, in April, 1775, was all about the Crown’s attempt to control guns.? We’ve been about this for a long time.

      • PatRiot
        PatRiot says:

        And we have lost?a lot of?ground already.? Consider the fact that you can say what you want from sea to shining sea, but you?cannot protect yourself?in the same fashion.?

  4. Shock and Awe
    Shock and Awe says:

    Switzerland requires that every household has a handgun and machine gun, they have one of the lowest crime rates in the world. Really? Civilians dont need them? Tell that to our citizens on the US Mexico border being attacked by the drug cartels by people with AK-47’s. The second amendment is about weapons of war, not hunting or self defense. It’s about giving people the power to overthrow the government. though we are no where near that point (though Obama is the worst, least qualified, most incompetent most dictatorial person to be president) where armed revolution would be the right or moral course of action, that may not always be true. We are supposed to be able to keep the government in check by force if absolutely necessary. When politicians were scared by the so called mobs clinging to their god and their guns, the system was working as intended. The second…

    • Shock and Awe
      Shock and Awe says:

      … amendment was intended to scare politicians and make them think twice before doing something. The fear that if I as a politician taking too much power could cause me to be at the wrong end of the barrel of a gun causing them to have second thoughts is a GOOD…

      • Shock and Awe
        Shock and Awe says:

        Here is another thing no one talks about. They say why do you need an “assault weapon” such as an AR-15 style weapon when they are too big to be any real use for self defense (before anyone jumps on me for ignoring the real intent of the second amendment, see my earlier post), they ignore the fact that it is government that made that the case. There are the military personal…

      • Shock and Awe
        Shock and Awe says:

        defense weapons such as the the P-90 or HK MP7 that are designed to be small enough that you can turn through a door with it, but has the added power of a rifle bullet rather than a pistol bullet in it would be perfect for self defense. Except that the government mandates the barrels for the civilian equivalent be longer and it takes away some of that ease of use in a close quarters situation.

  5. Plainvillian
    Plainvillian says:

    No matter the subject under discussion, emotion always trumps logic in Amerika today, but especially so when the subject is guns.? Chicago?? They have strict gun control laws with thousands wounded and 500 dead this year alone so their gun laws must be working, right??
    Newtown?? One deranged individual and event in a state with some of the most restrictive gun laws in the nation, and we must have further restrictions to protect the children….I read that in 1936, Hitler militarized the Rhineland “for the children”.? How well did that work out?
    EBR? – I like it.? Got one.? Plan to keep it.

  6. stinkfoot
    stinkfoot says:

    The US government- particularly the activist incumbent left- is not interested in an empowered general population… and as well they are not particularly concerned about the crime rate- which perpetuates demand for tighter domestic security.? The move toward early release programs furnish further support for my hypothesis.? All this gun control rhetoric is nothing more than evidence that our socialist government is ensuring that another perfectly good crisis does not go to waste.

  7. sammy22
    sammy22 says:

    I keep getting stuck when I read:” A well regulated militia being…” Where or what is this well regulated militia that the 2dn Amendment refers to?

    • Plainvillian
      Plainvillian says:

      Context.? The second amendment was written, as were the other nine that make up the Bill of Rights, to limit the government’s legal ability to intrude on citizen rights and states’ prerogatives.? What about that is so difficult to understand?

    • PatRiot
      PatRiot says:

      Until you get unstuck,? keep in mind that if one amendment is compromised, any of them can, and will?be, compromised.?
      The amendments articulate rights we were born with.? We can choose to exercise those rights or not, but we should never allow them to be compromised.

    • PatRiot
      PatRiot says:

      Per Merriam Webster dictionary – Militia:? 2: the whole body of able-bodied male citizens declared by law as being subject to call to military service.
      To me, that is any male who signed the selective service card?upon reaching 18.? Refusing to?sign up?disqualifes a male from receiving a government student loan.??A “Tax” or “penalty’ for not being patriotic- hmm…??And why haven’t the?women’s rights groups demanded that?all 18 years old females sign the selective service cards?? Equal is equal after all.? And the pay is equal too !

    • PatRiot
      PatRiot says:

      Let’s boil the 2nd amendment down into more familiar?terms:? “Keep your laws off of my body/rights.”

  8. RMagnano
    RMagnano says:

    May I take the liberty to repeat the phrase, Guns are no more responsible for injuries or deaths than autos are for accidents. They are both controlled mostly by unresponsible people. A clip with 7 or 100 rounds don’t make the gun a killer.

  9. PatRiot
    PatRiot says:

    As long as the criminals?have the more fire power than the cops, there will be a need for father’s to meet and defeat the threat that faces their families.?

  10. PatRiot
    PatRiot says:

    Reality check:
    Have the Feds held to one of their primary duties?and protected out border.??No.
    Will they let Arizona do the job that they refuse to do???No.
    When the fed’s own pocketbooks are getting fat but they cannot seem to balance the budget (read- be responsibile with our tax money), am I to trust them with reasonable gun control laws??? No.
    Please note that both parties are irresponsible in all respects noted above.
    Opening a discussion to limit any rights of the individual is against their oath of office to support and defend the Constitution.

    • PatRiot
      PatRiot says:

      The above arrogance shown by the politicians is a danger to the American people and the Democratic representative Republic that is America.?
      Giving them one inch will only embolden them.?
      Speaking out like I am is simply self defense.

  11. PatRiot
    PatRiot says:

    Proposal:? 1. State, Feds and courts practice and uphold the law.??2.? Fully prosecute criminals.? 3.? Win the war on drugs.? 4.? Deal with mental health issues.?
    A secure border will:??Keep alot of drugs out.? Will keep drug cartel weapons out (even if we sold those weapons to them).? Inner city gun deaths from turf?battles will go down.? Other drug related deaths will go down.? The kids will be better able to concentrate and succeed in school.? And the immigrants will be given the dignity of getting into the existing naturalization process.

  12. JBS
    JBS says:

    The Liberals will simply reclassify all any firearm they fear as a National Firearms Act weapon. Add a new category to machine guns, etc, and their mischief is complete.

  13. Dimsdale
    Dimsdale says:

    “I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them.” George Mason, during Virginia’s Convention to Ratify the Constitution (1788).
    “No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.” Thomas Jefferson, Proposed Virginia Constitution (1776).
    “The said Constitution be never construed .to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.” Samuel Adams, during Massachusetts’s Convention to Ratify the Constitution (1788).
    “The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed.” (Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers at 184-8)
    These are contemporaries and contributors of the Constitutions…

  14. Aaron0084
    Aaron0084 says:

    As a law enforcement Officer, I can tell you that we carry .223 rifles in the trucks of our cruisers precisly because they are NOT over-penetrating as some of the larger calibers might be.? Yes, a .223 will go through multiple walls, but so can a .22 long rifle when fired from a long gun.? (the .223 actually IS a .22 caliber bullet in a larger cartridge).? Again it brings us to the definition of what an “assault weapon” is.? The action in the Stag 15? is identical to numerous other rifles on the market which feature wooden stocks instead of the black metal and plastic.? The earlier ban focused only on cosmetic features of the weapon and made certain combinations illegal.? If you recall the imfamous TEC-9 which our former attorney general attempted to hide under his jacket to show how “concealable” it was, the manufacure, Intratec, simply changed a few of the cosmetic features and re-named it the Intratec DC-9.? It still had the same, unreliable action, still fired the same 9mm round and was still just as ugly.? But it no longer fell under the ban.? I still have not heard of any studies comparing gun deaths before, during and after the ban to see if it really was effective.? I think since there has been no such study…

    • Steve McGough
      Steve McGough says:

      Aaron. We do have the FBI crime statistics, but I’m not sure if they publish the type of weapon used – if any – during a violent crime.

      Update: They do, but there are a significant number of murders by firearm where they are unable to determine if a handgun, rifle or shotgun was used.

  15. Aaron0084
    Aaron0084 says:

    Ok then,reguardless of the type of weapon used, did gun deaths go up, down or remain the same after the ban when into effect and did they go up, down or remain the same after the ban expiered?
    And another question… All the focus now is on gun violence as if violence that doesn’t involve a firearm somehow isn’t as bad.? All everyone is talking about now is “reducing gun violence”.? I suppose if you are one of the hundreds of thousands in Rwanda killed with a machetti you might feel differently.

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