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.