I’m not talking about gun control. I’m not talking about gun rights. I’m not talking about the Second Amendment. I’m not talking about slippery slopes. I’m not talking about trampling on my rights.
I’m talking about the gun control debate.
The recent shooting in Colorado has thrust the gun control debate, in all its ignorance, into the spotlight. Full disclosure, so half of you can click away without ever reading what I have to say – I’m a gun owner, a hunter, an Endowment Member of the National Rifle Association, and I’m trained as a gunsmith. You might call me pro-gun, although I find that label rather odd myself.
I’m running into the same arguments over and over in the news and on social media. From the pro-gun side I’m hearing the standard lines about things like 5-gallon buckets and cars. More children drown in 5-gallon buckets each year than are killed by firearms. (I have no idea if that’s true.) So where are the calls for banning buckets? Some 40,000-odd people die on America’s highways each year, but where are the calls for a ban on cars? And of course, “The Constitution says…”
From the anti- side I hear a lot of “Assault rifle” talk. “What’s the sporting case for an assault rifle?” “How can anyone disagree that civilians shouldn’t have 100-round magazines?” And my favorite, “If it saves just one life…” I call that the “it’s for the children argument.” You can say just about anything you want and tack “it’s for the children” to the end and nobody will disagree.
What all these points seem to have in common is ignorance. Nobody is calling for a ban on cars because it would cause total economic collapse, among other reasons. Just because you can draw an analogy doesn’t mean you should use it in debate. And if the question is “Should we re-evaluate the legal status of guns in this country?” your answer can’t be “The law says I can own a gun.” And if you ever find yourself resorting to the idea that the citizens need to be armed to defend against the tyranny of government just pack it up and go home – you’ve lost that debate. You could have a dozen guns and even 6,000 rounds (gasp!) but the government has, you know, tanks and helicopters. Fighting the government with bullets wouldn’t be a David and Goliath situation. It would be more a David and Marine Expeditionary Unit situation.
If you want to argue against the assault rifle I urge to first learn what that term means. I’m not seeing many calls for the blanket banning of guns (this is America, after all) but instead I see people saying civilians don’t need military guns. The guns you’re talking about when you use that phrase suffer from poor marketing. They look mean, and the military uses them. There’s nothing magic about black guns. As it stands now civilian versions (semi-automatic) are legal, relatively affordable, and easily accessible. So why aren’t the deer woods full of them? Well, .223, the bullets you’ll find in an AR-15, kind of suck. Depending on a bunch of factors they’re really only effective to a few hundred yards. We don’t hunt deer with .223 because we have .30-’06s and .308s, which have something like double that range.
I’m all for debate, when it’s informed and productive. If you want to join this debate (on either side) you have an obligation to learn a little about the subject. When you take to the forums simply to recite bumper-sticker philosophies you’re bringing nothing to the party, and we’d all be better off if you just stayed home and reloaded some ammo or washed your Prius.