Fellow Travelers

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The gun bans and confiscation we're told nobody is talking about

"Nobody is talking about taking your guns" we gunowners hear on a regular basis. That, and "Nobody is talking about banning all guns". Well, "nobody" is a broad and definitive statement, and just a handful of people talking about those exact things proves the lie of it. Sure, you can say it's a handful of unimportant people, but the reality is that more and more influential and powerful political figures are talking about both banning guns and taking guns. Senators, governors, mayors, as well as a host of political commentators, have done this, and there's no shortage of other major blog posts online discussing it as a serious option and even literally laying out a plan wherein creeping incrementalism is used to ban all civilian ownership of guns. 

But you don't have to take my word for it. Here's a bevy of sourced examples. 

Banning Guns Is Necessary But Not Sufficient

Banning all guns is necessary but NOT sufficient in light of the increasing violence in our society. We need a fundamental transformation as well as banning guns. Otherwise, we will now revert to the normal debate between liberals wanting more gun control and conservatives saying that it's not guns that kill, but people. Both are right. So here is what we need to do: 
1. A constitutional amendment to ban all guns, and to create special holding units for hunting rifles to be held in control of locally elected officials in every neighborhood who keep the rifles under lock and key except when given to hunters during a hunting season and to be returned immediately thereafter, with all necessary criminal controls and penalties for those who do not return them in a timely manner and mthose who continue to hold on to their guns privately. No private ownership of guns of any sort. Police must similarly be disarmed, and allowed only to use billy clubs and mace, except in emergencies in which a judge signs a warrant for the temporary use of lethal force against someone who is using lethal force. Lesser measures (background checks, banning only extreme assault weapons, etc.) are wimpy and will have only slight impact.
Shame on Us, America: Take a Stand and #BanGuns Now
As Katie J.M. Baker at Jezebel put it, "Fuck you, guns." It's strong language, but appropriate. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney should be ashamed of himself for saying that "today is not that day" to discuss gun control. If there was ever a time to speak up, it is now."
As citizens, we must all take a stand. March, protest, Facebook, Tweet, write your congressman, senators and legislators urging them to ban guns. Send the President this petition and speak up for the 20 innocent children who no longer have a voice.
Assault Weapons Ban Is Not Enough
I am officially beyond a place of wanting to find a compromise with those who want to argue for the right, or the need, of citizens to arm themselves with guns. Focusing on assault weapons only is just giving in to the gun lobby out of a fear that we can't beat them if we don't give them something. The time has come for our society to say enough is enough and that we must completely outlaw private citizens from owning guns. There is just no good logic to it and the number of senseless deaths attributed to people wielding all too easily acquired guns has reached a point where we have to say this has to stop.

What If President Obama Simply Issued Executive Orders Toughening Gun Curbs?

In the meantime, Obama could heed the lawmaker's pleas and follow the precedent of Bill Clinton and George H. W. Bush and issue executive orders on gun curbs. Bush in 1989 used the 1968 Gun Control Act to ban the import of assault rifles. 
A decade later Clinton went further and banned firearms and ammunition from China. Bush and Clinton got around the squeal from the gun lobby and anti-gun control congresspersons that this was an abrogation of congressional fiat by invoking the provision in the Gun Control Act
that automatic weapons had to be "suitable for sporting purposes" to be legally bought and sold. The stockpiles of AK-47s and AR-15s hardly fit that description. 
Obama could use the "sporting purposes" language to allow local and federal law enforcement agencies to crack down on the proliferation of these type weapons by mandating rigid inspections and confiscation of these weapons at the point of import. He could expand the requirement that gun shops in border states -- and even nationally -- require instant reporting of anyone who purchases two or more homegrown manufactured assault weapons. He could also mandate gun dealers to take even more stringent steps to secure firearms from theft, run screens on their employees and end the right of gun dealers that are closing up shop to sell off their guns absent any background checks on buyers.
How to Ban Guns: A step by step, long term process (this is the
radical plan to use licensing and registration to ultimate confiscate
all guns from everybody over a ten year period)

The only way we can truly be safe and prevent further gun violence is to ban civilian ownership of all guns. That means everything. No pistols, no revolvers, no semiautomatic or automatic rifles. No bolt action. No breaking actions or falling blocks. Nothing. This is the
only thing that we can possibly do to keep our children safe from both mass murder and common street violence. 
Unfortunately, right now we can't. The political will is there, but the institutions are not. Honestly, this is a good thing. If we passed a law tomorrow banning all firearms, we would have massive noncompliance. What we need to do is establish the regulatory and informational institutions first. This is how we do it...
Gun Control Poll: Which arms would you ban?
Where would you set the limit of what arms you – and your next-door neighbor – could legally keep at home? In the poll below, pick one level of banning. Each ban includes all those prior.
Lawmakers push for tighter gun controls in California
State Sen. Leland Yee introduced a bill that would prohibit gun owners from fitting semi-automatic weapons with devices, known as "bullet buttons" or "mag magnets," that allow them to be easily reloaded with multiple rounds of ammunition. 
The San Francisco Democrat's measure would also prohibit add-on kits that allow high-capacity magazines. He said he was drafting legislation that would require yearly background checks for gun ownership and toughen safety requirements. 
His action came as state Sen. Kevin De Leon, a Democrat from Los Angeles, said he would introduce a bill this week requiring ammunition buyers in the nation's most populous state to obtain a permit issued by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Mayor Bloomberg Telling It As It Is on Gun Control
The President campaigned back in 2008 on a bill that would prohibit assault weapons. We’ve got to really question whether military-style weapons with big magazines belong in the streets of America in this day and age. Nobody questions the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms. But I don’t think the founding fathers had the idea that every man, woman, and child could carry an assault weapon.
No more silence on gun limits
Certain classes of weapons that are strictly military and have no useful purpose in sport, hunting or self-defense should not be legally sold.
Magazine clips with more than 10 rounds should be prohibited from civilian use.
Cuomo Says He’ll Outline Gun Proposal Next Month
"I don’t think legitimate sportsmen are going to say, ‘I need an assault weapon to go hunting,’ ” he said. At the same time, he noted that he owns a shotgun that he has used for hunting, and said, “There is a balance here — I understand the rights of gun owners; I understand the rights of hunters.” 
In the interview, Mr. Cuomo did not offer specifics about the measures he might propose, but, while discussing assault weapons, he said: “Confiscation could be an option. Mandatory sale to the state could be an option. Permitting could be an option — keep your gun but permit it."
Incidentally, "I understand the rights of hunters", which we hear so often from anti-gun politicians, means "I understand the rights of the wealthy people we actually care about, people who aren't working constantly, who live in gated neighborhoods where the police actually show up when you call, and who actually have the time and the money to hunt and trap shoot with fancy $10700 collector's edition shotguns."

If these people actually cared about sport or hunting, they wouldn't be trying to ban AR-15s, which are incredibly popular for sport shooting and for non-big game hunting. It's hard to beat an AR-15 platform for dedicated target shooting, 3-gun competition, or varmint and small game hunting. Chambered in .300 Blackout, it's a great boar gun for those parts of the country (usually in the disregarded flyover states in the Midwest and South) where wild boars are a serious environmental menace. 

But I could go on and on, and have, about M4/AR-15s and why we shouldn't be looking to ban those. The point of this piece is that there are people talking about banning guns. All guns. Not just the scary looking AR 15s. Are they likely to have much political success? Probably not. Anybody honest on the pro-gun side will admit that there are unrealistic and crazy people on the pro-gun side of the argument, some of whom are very highly placed and influential, like Wayne LaPierre or Ted Nugent. 

Few of us will pretend that there aren't unhinged people out there who think that Obama has a gay muslim socialist conspiracy to establish a 1000 year Reich and put all the white Christians in camps. But the problem that we have is that, on the anti-gun side of the debate, there are people calling for bans, there are people calling for confiscation, there are people calling for gun control laws more strict than even those of our neighbor to the north, and yet the people who claim to just want "reasonable limits" (the definition of which varies by person) will claim that nobody wants those things. And when one person claims this, and then in the next 3 minutes another person completely contradicts it, gun owners are just pushed further and further away from compromise. 

After all, it's difficult to want to compromise even on the things we might agree upon with people who will say openly that they are "officially beyond...wanting to find a compromise" with those of us that value civilian ownership of guns. What, exactly, are we getting in return for giving up rights to people like this? The people talking about the things we're told they aren't talking about. 

From Missouri, an actual ban with confiscation, that would make existing current law abiding gun owners into criminals with the stroke of a pen:
Missouri Democrats Introduce Legislation to Confiscate Firearms – Gives Gun Owners 90 Days to Turn in Weapons

4. Any person who, prior to the effective date of this law, was legally in possession of an assault weapon or large capacity magazine shall have ninety days from such effective date to do any of the following without being subject to prosecution:

(1) Remove the assault weapon or large capacity magazine from the state of Missouri;
(2) Render the assault weapon permanently inoperable; or
(3) Surrender the assault weapon or large capacity magazine to the appropriate law enforcement agency for destruction, subject to specific agency regulations.
5. Unlawful manufacture, import, possession, purchase, sale, or transfer of an assault weapon or a large capacity magazine is a class C felony.