RANGER AGAINST WAR: Rational Thought <

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Rational Thought

  We don’t need no truthless heroes 
--The Spy Hunter, Project 86   

Christ was crucified for preaching without a police permit 
--Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert Heinlein 
___________________________

In 2011, out of 12,664 homicides, 6220 people were killed in the United States with handguns versus 323 killed with rifles (Obama's Potemkin Gun Plan); the 323 figure includes all rifles, including the so-called assault rifles. 

The proposed gun control aimed at these military look-alike rifles is pure theater, much like the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).  Neither address a significant threat or make us safer, while both serve to irritate law-abiding citizens. We accept the idea that limiting magazine capacity is reasonable and rational (A Rational Response to Sandy Hook), but lack statistics to verify the effect.

Since 1982 the U.S. has suffered at least 62 mass shootings, leaving 543 dead.  During the same period there were 564,452 homicides, which means that .01% of all murders in the US are due to mass or spree shootings.  We are reacting to the grand spectacle of the spree shooting event, when regular workaday homicide is the real problem. Why do we not have data on the types of weapons used in these murders?

George Gascon at Politico (Time to Ban Assault Magazines) notes that between 1984 and 2011, the killers used a magazine that carried more than 10 rounds.  He claims 1,500 rounds were used to kill 225 people and wound 242 others.  If true, this means that the killer in each episode fired approximately 70-75 rounds.

It is clear that neither the Gun Control Act of 1968, the George W. Bush assault weapon import ban, the Bill Clinton assault rifle ban nor the Brady bill has had any effect upon the criminally-minded shooter.  The laws only harass legal gun purchasers.

In addition, The New York Times reports that 80,000 people were caught lying about prior criminal records when attempting to buy a gun in 2010 ( Lie and Try), while only 44 were charged with a crime.  It makes one wonder why people lose their voting and gun rights after they have served their complete sentences, to include probationary time -- especially when their crimes are not violent?

Ranger is against gun control and believes that such laws are ineffective at best, and unconstitutional at worst.  Guys like me are not National Rifle Association weenies who have never seen military service, nor are we politicians who have no experience with violence. We who have served in the military have been acutely trained in all things weaponry, yet we are being told we may not own a weapon with more than rounds in the magazine (11 rounds, since I will have one up the snout).  And you think limiting our magazine capacity is all that it will take to keep you safe?  From us?!?

We used our skills to defend you, the citizens, and now Ranger takes offense that he will be told in what manner he may defend his body and his home.  If my government does not trust me now, then why did they trust me when I was a soldier?  Please, America, don't tell me that I may defend democracy with a real assault rifle but cannot defend my home with an ersatz version. 

Ranger finds himself a stranger in a strange land when he is barraged in the creative media by the ubiquitous terror threat wreaking mayhem and death, countered by well-outfitted Jack Bauers, yet is told to stand down by the same actors who peddle this brand of paranoia.  Does this hypocrisy gall anyone else? 

In a nation of limited economic resources, from where will the funds for enacting the new laws come?

--Who will pay for private gun sales background checks?

--Who will be tasked with the record-keeping?

--Doesn't requiring private background checks trun every private owner and seller of a firearm into a "federal firearms dealer"?
--If the buyer or seller must pay for this required back, does this mean that gun rights are subject to a form of taxation in order for the gunman to exercise his civil rights? If Poll Taxes are illegal, then would this constriction upon a civil right be commensurate?

The U.S. already has the largest prison population in the world, and the new gun laws will add a new category of criminal to that mix: A normal citizen selling a gun to another citizen sans background check.  This type of criminality is the basis of most totalitarian regimes, and will require secret police and agents to ferret out miscreants who disobey the new laws.  Along with the informants will arise a thriving new black market. 


There is nothing good to expect from the proposed laws, other than a temporary soothing of the madding populace which is now being treated to a constant news feed which keeps their collective mind in a Tourette's-like state.  The new proposals will be a feint and a ruse, but it will not address our high homicide rate.

 The gun control rules will not keep guns out of the hands of bad guys.

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16 Comments:

Blogger BadTux said...

In Japan, personal ownership of firearms has been basically illegal since 1945, when Emperor McArthur banned them then wrote the ban into the Japanese Constitution that he forced them to adopt at nuclear gunpoint. This means that in Japan, the citizens are disarmed and helpless before criminals, while criminals run rampant with firearms, right? Err... not exactly. It seems that the penalties for firearms possession are so draconian that even the criminals don't use firearms. If they use anything, they use a knife, which can be deadly but at least isn't the sort of carnage at a distance that firearms can commit. Gun crime in Japan is ridiculously rare, only a few dozen instances per year. The number of people murdered in Japan each year is 1/20th that of the US, despite the fact they have 1/3rd the population of the US. It's simply hard to do a drive-by knifing the way you do a drive-by shooting...

Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 1:47:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

B.T.,

The National Police Agency (NPA) reports the Japanese murder rate is 1/10th that of the U.S. With a population 40% that of the U.S. [128K vs. 314K (US)], that means they are behind us by 3/10ths (per capita).

In nations which have enacted some form of gun control (AUS, S. Africa), gun murders are reduced, but the number of homicides by other means remains unchanged. While fly-bys with a knife might be rare, the issue of homicide is not dismissed by gun control.

Living in the USA is a touchy proposition as you may well know, B.T. I'd just as soon stay armed, and choose my acquaintances wisely, as most murders are committed by an associate.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 2:31:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

B.T.,

The National Police Agency (NPA) reports the Japanese murder rate is 1/10th that of the U.S. With a population 40% that of the U.S. [128K vs. 314K (US)], that means they are behind us by 3/10ths (per capita).

In nations which have enacted some form of gun control (AUS, S. Africa), gun murders are reduced, but the number of homicides by other means remains unchanged. While fly-bys with a knife might be rare, the issue of homicide is not dismissed by gun control.

Living in the USA is a touchy proposition as you may well know, B.T. I'd just as soon stay armed, and choose my acquaintances wisely, as most murders are committed by an associate.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 2:33:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger BadTux said...

Actual numbers for 2010, intentional homicides:

USA: 14,748
Japan: 506

Big difference there.

Regarding life in the USA, my shotgun is nice and deadly and all, but was utterly useless when the dipsticks did a drive-by shooting outside of my house last month. By the time I moseyed on up to the front of the house (quite slowly I might add, not being in any hurry to intercept any additional bullets they sprayed around), they were long gone. I repeat: Nobody does drive-by knifings. It just doesn't work.

-BT

Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 2:36:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

bad tux,
Maybe i'm kinda dense, but if i am killed by a gun , or by a knife am i any more dead?
Screw stats - dead is dead.
Your drive by cmt about the knife is cute but i don't swallow it.
As for the drive by you sustained-were these gang bangers or nra members doing the shooting.? Was the driver a nascar driver? Did the driver have to do a wait period before buying his 2000 lb. bullet? Wasn't the car part of the scenario, and therefore shouldn't there be further laws req'ing safety locks and all the other jazz that is related to gun control.?
Do we have any stats on the racial component of gun violence?
jim

Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 9:23:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

bad tux,
Maybe i'm kinda dense, but if i am killed by a gun , or by a knife am i any more dead?
Screw stats - dead is dead.
Your drive by cmt about the knife is cute but i don't swallow it.
As for the drive by you sustained-were these gang bangers or nra members doing the shooting.? Was the driver a nascar driver? Did the driver have to do a wait period before buying his 2000 lb. bullet? Wasn't the car part of the scenario, and therefore shouldn't there be further laws req'ing safety locks and all the other jazz that is related to gun control.?
Do we have any stats on the racial component of gun violence?
jim

Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 9:23:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger BadTux said...

Yes, kind of dense.

A knife won't go through the walls of my house.

A bullet will. Especially jacketed 9mm bullets like were fired in the drive-by.

I am equally dead if killed by knife or gun, but it's just *harder* to kill me with a knife, because you have to get up close and personal with me. Thus a big reason there are so much fewer murders in Japan, where guns are virtually impossible to get.

Regarding NRA members, likely not. They were just common street punks who bought a gun off the street, a gun that likely was purchased legally by someone at some point before being stolen. My point was a) that even though they weren't aiming at me, I was a possible victim in that drive-by if one of the stray bullets had passed through my front window, and b) they wouldn't have had access to that (at one time legally purchased) gun if guns were illegal because it wouldn't have been out there in someone's nightstand to be stolen. And, uhm, I've never heard of anybody getting hit by a drive-by knifing through their front window, have you?

As for the car being part of the drive by, not really. I've heard of drive-bys being done off of bicycles or motorcycles. Besides, you need to show some basic proficiency in driving before being allowed to drive a car. No such thing applies to guns -- you just walk in and buy one like cabbages, no need to show any sort of proficiency at gun handling or shooting. The NRA has kittens every time someone proposes licensing guns and gun owners the way cars and car owners are licensed. Funny, huh?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 10:28:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Deryle said...

Y'all,
We've got too many guns.
We've got too many guns in the hands of idiots.
We like it like that.
We don't have any viable answers as to how to bridge that gap.
Even if we did, folks who love de guns ain't about to give them up.

Ol Ray Hubbard said "if you're afraid , say the 23d Psalm."

I did all my gun totin' in the war against the Vietnamese.
I'm done with guns, but I carry a knife.

That makes me a different kind of idiot.

There it is,
Deryle

Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 11:09:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger BadTux said...

Dang, Deryl, didn't think I'd run across a fellow Ray Wylie Hubbard fan around these parts :). Ain't that one kicker of an album?

As long as you're not the darnfool who figures out how to do drive-by knifings, I'll spot you your knife and leave you to your foolishness. A knife can certainly be deadly (just Google "Tueller Drill" for the scoop on that), but that's assuming no walls and doors between the guy with the knife and the potential victim. Same ain't true of guns.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 11:24:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous jim at ranger said...

BT,
So the solutionb as i see it is to require all gang bangers to take a nra gun safety course , and to get a CCW permit that requires the toter to be range trained.
These safety requirements should suffice.
BTW - i'm not concerned with Japans gun laws nor do i want an imperial governor to dictate my policy.
I'd like to point out that Japan had gun laws and restrictions on carrying swords BEFORE ww2 and that didn't prevent their national violence tendencies.
DP,
I carry a knife only to get me to my gun.
In the SE America only an idiot would be unarmed.
I've never used my gun for violence nor do i hunt but i will defend myself.
jim

Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 8:17:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Thus a big reason there are so much fewer murders in Japan, where guns are virtually impossible to get."

I don't agree with your analysis, BT. Even if you remove gun murders from the equation, Americans still kill each other at a higher rate than Japanese (and a bunch of other countries). But that is Americans as a whole. Things are different if we look at them by zip code.

Looking at US gun murders, the bulk of these are committed by monorities, living in urban settings (where, btw, gun laws are the most strict) and would appear to be associated gangs and other habitual criminal behavior.

IMO, it is our violent urban minority subculture that makes us unique - and more murderous in the the statistics - than other countries. Something(s) is deeply wrong there and the politicians don't want to address the root.

For the typical non-urban non-minority, the American experience with guns is similar to mine. Where I live,in a rural predominately white, county (though with a state university in the town with the county seat)everyone has a gun of of some sort. Mostly hunting rifles and shotguns, but a fair distribution of handguns as well. This latter is a fact based on personal observation, but is known also from the number of county residents that have applied for handgun permits in the last two years now that failure to comply with permitting laws is a felony with a mandatory min. sentence of 3 1/2 years; the sherriff, who controls the permitting process recently stated he was "shocked" at the number of applications and has had to even hire new staff to process them all.

Yet, in the entire county (about 64,000 residents + college students+ seasonal migrant workers) there has been only 3 non-vehicular homicides (people drive like idiots here and kill themselves off in droves with cars) in the past ten years. One of these was a stabbing. One was a bludgeoning and one was done with a shotgun.

avedis





Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 9:28:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous PF Khans said...

Jim,

Just an observation from my experience in Afghanistan, I don't know how reflective it is to the country as a whole or to guns in general, but here it is.

I was talking with a village elder about the need for collective security and asked him about 'personal defense.'
'Every man has a rifle in his house.'
'An AK or a bolt action?' I asked.
He shrugged and said a bit of both.
I asked him about handguns and if anyone had those.
He told me, 'no handguns are for assassins and government killers.'

Handguns are sparse on the ground in a war zone, and where I was, they carried with them images of murder and the assault rifle is the protective weapon.

I think that in America, its the opposite view, although maybe not the opposite reality.

PF Khans

Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 1:47:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous jim at ranger said...

Avedis,
Every time i buy a fire arm i must indicate my race/ethnic group on the fed. permission form, but i can NEVER find accurate stats on gun violence by ethnic group.
The Mexicans for example in my community use knives and i suggest this is due to the restrictive Mex. laws against gun ownership. They are used to not having guns. Also they are less likely to kill one another since they have a fraternity of sort. They mostly have stable families and a solid religous base. Yes, i know this is a generalization.
Here in Fl we are having a spate of juvie cases where murder was done in a cold and calculated manner. I call these the apostrophy killers b/c all their names are like a letter and then and apostrophy something. IE-D'shan.
I'd like to see the breakdown by state and race. Example -ID,MT,and WY,UT are slap filled up with guns , but what is their gun death rate?
I ask why this would be true, if in fact it is true. I have my guesses.
jim

Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 3:46:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim,
You have to look at homicide rates by zip code (the FBI has these out on the web somewhere - I found them once) and then look at Census reports, by zip code. So, in other words, check out the gun homicide rate then see who lives in that zip code in the census bureau.

avedis

Friday, February 22, 2013 at 2:00:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

try this. it's not exactly what I was looking for, but it's pretty interesting. see the table on the right hand side.

http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/offenses-known-to-law-enforcement/expanded/expanded-homicide-data

avedis

Friday, February 22, 2013 at 2:19:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It would be nice if the NRA didn't lean on legislators to make sure the amount of research into gun-related violence in the US was sharply curtailed back in the 1990s.

From http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2011/01/nra-asks-wheres-evidence --

"How much firepower does the gun lobby have? Consider this: since the mid-90s, the NRA has 'all but choked off' money for research on gun violence, according to a story today in the (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/26/us/26guns.html?ref=us&pagewanted=all) New York Times. 'We've been stopped from answering the basic questions,' said Mark Rosenberg, the former director of the National Center for Injury Control and Prevention, part of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which used to be the leading source of financing for firearms research. Thanks to the gun lobby's obstruction, questions like whether more guns actually make communities safer, whether the ready availability of high-capacity magazines increases the number of gun-related deaths, or whether more rigorous background checks of gun buyers make a difference, remain maddeningly unanswered."

Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 2:14:00 PM GMT-5  

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