RANGER AGAINST WAR: Faulty Premise <

Friday, March 15, 2013

Faulty Premise

I never expected, Perry, to see you
reduced down from a full-grown pestilence 
to such a frivolous fraction of a man 
--The Lonesome Road, O. Henry    

The New Yorker magazine recently featured an essay stating that guns have no purpose beyond that of killing -- an incendiary and obviously false statement, but that is America: "You're with us, or you're against us"; subtlety and nuance is not our strong point.

Most in the anti-gun side do not know that the United States government funds and staffs a program called the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) which sells ammunition and surplus World War II semiautomatic 8-shot Garand rifles and 30-round M1 Carbines for use in training civilians to shoot in coordination with the National Rifle Association (NRA).  The CMP descends from the Directorate of Civilian Marksmanship (DCM), an earlier program with the same goal.

The CMP and the DCM are and were funded by tax dollars for the express purpose of instructing the populace in safe gun handling and shooting techniques.  In our opinion, this is a better use of tax dollars than providing arms and training to foreign armies and police.

However, the killing machine meme is far sexier than seeing weapons as tools or hobbies.  Just as the Phony War on Terror (PWOT ©) is propped up as being an existential threat to the survival of our nation in order to justify an ongoing war, the cries for gun control would have no oomph without the hyperbole of the demon shooting stick.

Guns are more than the sensational spree shootings plastered across the news, much as terrorism is different than the Jack Bauer "24" version in which terrorists © lurk behind every bush in The Homeland ().  Target practice and skill at marksmanship is a long-venerated activity not equivalent to killing. Many collectors never fire their vintage weapons; weapons collectors and sport shooters do not pose a societal threat.

Probably no DCM or CMP gun has ever been used in a violent crime; no registered machine gun has ever been used in an illegal manner. So why do we require collector firearms to be regulated as if they were killing machines?  Why must the transactions of such guns be booked and logged, and necessitate meaningless waiting periods, after we have already passed a background check?  How many background checks are required for a collector to perform in a lifetime of collecting guns before it becomes superfluous?

We in the U.S. will never get realistic and effective gun control because we fail to recognize the fallacy of our basic presumptions.

Guns are not just about killing.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another fine post Jim.

Well, at least in the US you can still legally own your choice of firearms.

The Aussies via fed gov legislation were forced to give up theirs, 17 years ago.

Strangely enough, those in Australia who easily acquire & regularly put to use a wide selection of semi auto & pump action firearms - are the criminal element.

Surprise surprise.


Saturday, March 16, 2013 at 8:34:00 AM GMT-5  

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