Friday, October 21, 2016

Defend the Constitution: Restrict Assault Rifles

Yesterday was the first time I shot a semi-automatic, military-style rifle since I left the Montana Army National Guard 14 years ago. It reminded me just how deadly they can be in the wrong hands. Most anyone can rapidly become fairly proficient with them. My teenage son, who had never shot such a weapon before, put a deadly group of multiple shots into a paper plate from 25-yards in about ten seconds. He can't do that with my bolt-action hunting rifle. Neither can I. Nobody can.

The National Rifle Association (NRA) and its followers like to say things such as, "Guns don't kill people, people kill people." "You can kill people with a baseball bat as easy as a gun." That's true. But it's a hell of a lot easier to kill a lot of people quickly with the right choice of weapons. Nobody can go into a school and kill 22 kids in less than five minutes with a baseball bat. It's a lot easier to kill people when you have a weapon designed and made to efficiently kill lots of people in a short amount of time. This is why I was issued M16-A2 rifles, HK 9mm submachine guns, M60 machine guns, M203 grenade launchers and other potent, deadly weapons in the Marine Corps and National Guard -- not baseball bats. (See "Myths, Lies and Bullshit from the NRA.")

Some weapons are made for efficient, deadly assaults, hence the term "assault rifles." (There are those who resent that term, and claim its use shows a lack of knowledge about guns, and yet even some of the manufacturers and gun dealers who sell them call them "assault rifles.")

These weapons should be further restricted -- more extensive and thorough background checks along with registration, training and licensing requirements. And no, that would NOT violate our Second Amendment Rights. President Ronald Reagan and President George H.W. Bush didn't think so, and neither do I.

There have and always will be restrictions on Second Amendment rights. Even our "founding fathers" who crafted and approved of the amendment often fervently disagreed on it. Constitutional scholars, politicians, and others have had many rationale, reasonable, heated debates over it ever since. I am not allowed to have an M60 machine gun, an M203 grenade launcher, an M1 Abrams tank, a LAAW (Light Anti Tank Assault Weapon), Stinger anti-aircraft missile or a nuclear warhead. Those all seem like reasonable restrictions to me. We all draw the line somewhere.

Where does the NRA and its supporters draw the line? And why is it they think that wherever they chose to draw the line is what the rest of our nation should except --  and that any restrictions that cross their line is unconstitutional?

It is not unconstitutional for citizens to speak out and fight to make changes through the democratic process as outlined in our Constitution. To the contrary: It's very Constitutional. It's the American way. It's patriotic. What's actually unAmerican is for a special interest group to spread lies, myths and misconceptions and bully, threaten and intimidate our elected public officials and others to get their way -- effectively hijacking our democratic process, against the will of a majority Americans, preventing us from making our nation more safe. More sane.

There is no legitimate reason for citizens to own weapons designed and made to rapidly kill a lot of people in a short amount of time. The risks and dangers to our nation and innocent people far outweigh any benefit that can possible be gained. The NRA defends the rights of people to own pretty much any sort of weapon they desire -- not because of Second Amendment rights, but because they have become an arm of and public relations firm for a huge, powerful, wealthy and influential gun and weapons manufacturing industry. They have purchased our Congress to do its bidding through money, threats and intimidation. It's about profit, not the Constitution.

It's time for change.

16 comments:

  1. You list a odd combination of issued weapons but something that wasn't mentioned is that those are inherently different than rifles available to civi's as they are capable of automatic fire.

    As far as the term "assault rifle" goes we both know it's primarily a scare tactic and despite your link the vast majority of gun stores/owners do not call them such. Namely because assault rifles were essentially banned from production in 84.

    "These weapons should be further restricted..." I would actually be fine with things like longer waiting periods and SHALL issue (as long as not legally barred of course) licensing like CPL's. Unfortunately we've seen time and again that gun control groups don't push for sensible restrictions such as this and reach as far as they think they can get away with. Oh, and it should be noted that Reagan specifically stated "automatic" weapons and was already deteriorating mentally when he made said statements.

    As far as portraying the NRA as the boogeyman and accusing them of lying, bullying politicians and spreading fear I say pot, meet kettle. I mean that's exactly what anti-gun groups do only they turn it all, especially lying, up to 11. It's interesting how I never hear gun control proponents complain about the big money gun control groups toss around when lobbying. Especially considering they often outspend the big bad NRA.

    The plain and simple fact of the matter is that as currently written the assault weapon bans go well beyond sensible. They pretend that little plastic bits magically make a gun more deadly and are pushed by people who usually can't identify what said parts are or describe how they turn a regular old .22lr into an assault weapon.

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    1. Thank you for the feedback. We apparently draw the line in different places. President Reagan supported the original assault weapons ban passed in 1994, which expired in 2004. At the time of that ban’s passage, in a joint letter to The Boston Globe with Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford, the former presidents wrote, "While we recognize that assault weapon legislation will not stop all assault weapon crime, statistics prove that we can dry up the supply of these guns, making them less accessible to criminals." In that same letter, the presidents state, "Every major law enforcement organization in America and dozens of leading labor, medical, religious, civil rights and civic groups support such a ban. Most importantly, poll after poll shows that the American public overwhelmingly support a ban on assault weapons. A 1993 CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll found that 77% of Americans support a ban on the manufacture, sale, and possession of semi-automatic assault guns." President Reagan also supported the Brady Bill. We all draw the line in different places. Personally, I agree with President Reagan.

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    2. Those are simply modern personal defense firearms (bolt actions are not). Civilian police and private citizens alike have always chosen the same firearms and ammo from the same marketplace for the same reasons: combat effectiveness. And they are what the would-be tyrant's enforcers would use to terrorize and subdue the people. For government to impose arbitrary "gunfight handicaps" on the people would change the balance of power and violate the right of the people to keep and bear arms.

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    3. There already are arbitrary "gunfight handicaps" on the people and the balance of power was changed long ago. In the highly unlikely (nearly impossible) event that a "tyrannical" U.S. government turns on us do people really think they can defend themselves against a modern Marine Corps, Army, Navy and Air Force? They better quickly arm themselves with a big arsenal of machine guns, grenades, grenade launchers, mortars, anti-aircraft missiles, tanks, air craft carriers, fighter jets, drones and other weapons; get themselves in good shape and start studying and training hard.  Even then, my money is on the Marine Corps; I sure wouldn't want to go against them, and I’m a highly-trained Marine. The real and actual threats of current gun violence seems more urgent than far-fetched delusions of a tyrannical government turning against us. Go dump tea in Boston harbor if you want, but let's face and deal with reality instead of indulging in paranoid fantasies.

      Where do you draw the line?

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    4. Thank you thank you thank you. You are articulating my feelings perfectly (only more clearly and effectively) It is so nice to know that I am not alone think about where we draw the lines.

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  2. "The real and actual threats of current gun violence seems more urgent than far-fetched delusions of a tyrannical government turning against us." That's pretty short-sighted, self-serving, ignorant, bigoted, and silly. The people are responsible, now and forever, not you or the Marines or anyone else. And you need schooling in 4GW. It would be ugly. I don't relish the prospect. But it all comes down to people with rifles. That is critical.

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    1. And I think you sound pretty short-sighted, self-serving, ignorant, bigoted, silly and tremendously arrogant. Our democratically-elected government is "by and for the people" and I do not see our elected officials as the enemy. I need no schooling in 4GW (a fancy term for insurgency; I likely know more about it than you. Go throw some tea in Boston Harbor and figure out a more harmless way to live out your delusions of 1775-era Patriotism. Oh, and thanks for checking out my blog.

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    2. You won't get anywhere understanding gun matters with that level of immaturity and emotionalism. Once you accept the principle that the gov't can have whatever it wants, and can tell you whatever it is you need, that is the point where the people lose their rights. If you accept the principle you enable the consequences.

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    3. And you won't het anywhere with such a level of arrogance. I suggest that you read up on how our government functions. There are elected members of Congress discussing further restrictions on firearms because their constituents, and many other citizens, want further restrictions on firearms. That is not the government getting what it wants -- that is a government of and for we the people listening to we the people.

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  3. What make an assault weapon? Is it the magazine or accuracy or rate of fire? You are not saying guns need to be inaccurate are you? So please clarify what an assault weapon is?

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    1. "assault weapon" is a made up term invented by the anti-gun liberal loons.

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    2. Some weapons are made for efficient, deadly assaults, hence the term "assault rifles." (There are those who resent that term, and claim its use shows a lack of knowledge about guns, and yet even some of the manufacturers and gun dealers who sell them call them "assault rifles.")

      You can choose to call them whatever you want. Regardless, some weapons should be further restricted -- more extensive and thorough background checks along with registration, training and licensing requirements. And no, that would NOT violate our Second Amendment Rights. President Ronald Reagan and President George H.W. Bush didn't think so, and neither do I. (By the way, Julie, those two conservative Republican presidents used the term "assault weapon" and worked to restrict them.)

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  4. David…..Great article, "Ballot Box Biology"
    Where is it?

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  5. David….once again…Would like to share the article on "Ballot Box Biology"….
    Why did you remove it??

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  6. Someone mentioned that you were coerced by MFW to remove it. I hope not….you don't seem like the type.

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  7. Hello Jerry. You are correct; I am not the "coercible" type. Feel free to email me at: stallingd@gmail.com or call me at 406-274-8579 to discuss. Thanks.

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