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Opinion: Can We at Least Make it a Little Harder to Get Killed in America?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012 - 11:11 AM

A lot of noise is being made about how Connecticut has some of the strictest gun control laws in the country, and therefore gun control is simply pointless, so let's just sell them at 711, but when Americans say "gun control," we mean "gun inconvenience." We mean "gun paperwork." We mean "filling out gun forms." We mean "waiting a couple of days, or maybe a few hours."

And in some of the really "strict" states, we mean "getting fingerprinted." That isn't gun control. That's the process that they use to hire people at the UPS Store. And if you happen to live in one of the many states where the "gun show loophole" is still wide open, you can get a handgun, shotgun or rifle without bothering with any of that.

And why limit yourself to handguns, shotguns or rifles? If you have a hankering for something big and bad, you can legally purchase a fully functioning machine gun in 41 states, provided that it isn't a new one. But since the Russians dumped tens of millions of AK-47s on every third world country that said they knew a guy who might have read Karl Marx once, finding a used AK isn't any trouble at all.

All it takes is money, a clean record, and some paperwork, and you'll be protecting the sweet living hell out of your freedoms at 10 rounds a second. If you like guns but noise bothers you, why not buy a silencer? Those are also legal to own in 41 states.

Of course, you probably don't need a machine gun or a silencer. As recent events have shown, a semi-automatic rifle or handgun can be just as effective. But isn't it nice to know that you could buy one if you wanted to? I sleep much easier just thinking about it.

Bear in mind, an AK-47 is an "assault rifle," and not an "assault weapon." Those are different things entirely. An assault rifle has a multiple round clip that is capable of firing in sustained bursts, and these are illegal in the United States, except where they absolutely are not illegal, which is pretty much everywhere in the United States. (See above.)

An "assault weapon" is a rifle that looks just like an assault rifle, but is only capable of firing in semi-automatic mode, which means that it fires as fast as you can pull the trigger. So the logic here is that an "assault rifle" is more dangerous than an "assault weapon," which is a distinction that means positively diddly.

The M-1 Garand was the first semi-automatic "assault weapon," and we used that to win World War II. A semi-automatic rifle seems perfectly dangerous to me. But whatever. It's either a little paperwork or a lot, and you can have whichever one you want. Your choice.

So yeah, this is what passes for "gun control" here.

Can we at least make it a little harder to get killed in America? I suppose that's the question that I have in the wake of the shooting at the elementary school in Connecticut. And the shopping mall in Oregon. And the immigration center in upstate New York. And the army base (for God's sake) in Texas. And the movie theater in Colorado. And the multi-town rampage in Alabama. And the church in Knoxville. And the Temple in Wisconsin. And the supermarket parking lot in Arizona. And the nursing home in North Carolina. And the college in California. And the hair salon in California. And the sign company in Minnesota. And the IHOP in Nevada. And the beer distributor in Connecticut. And all the people in ones and twos day in and day out.

Could we at least make people burn a few more calories in order to get their hands on something that serves no other function but to kill a lot of people in a short amount of time? I'm not talking about bolt-action deer rifles, and I'm not talking about revolvers, and I'm not talking about shotguns, and everybody knows that I'm not.

The argument is that "guns don't kill people, people kill people," but guns allow you to kill in the American fashion, which is with as much convenience and as little effort as possible. They aren't going to go away, and it would be stupid of us to try to ban them. But can we start using a little common sense in what we make available to the public? I cannot for the life of me think of any scenario that would happen in the United States where Joe Citizen would need an AK-47, or a knock off of an M-16, or a pistol with 33 rounds in the magazine.

But I guess that's the way it is, huh? Oh well. At least bullet-proof vests are just as easy to get as guns. Maybe we should all start buying those. I'm sure that's a compromise that the NRA would love.

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Comments [22]

Jason

I know this is older.. but I just read through this; You should make sure you have a clue what you are talking about before you open your mouth. Almost everything you stated is plain wrong. You blur terms with entirely different meanings, you make things sound completely different than they are. You act like anyone can go get a full auto gun which is not even close to the truth. Granted that only changed recently - by which I mean around 1943 - so maybe you missed that news brief. You clearly think that making something look scary to the uninformed makes it more dangerous (I have some 'turbo' stickers for you that will make your car go faster, any interest?) and on and on... frankly though as I type I am realizing there is little point in trying to educate you. If you were willing to learn you wouldn't have typed this nonsense without doing some honest research in the first place. There is a word for that... prejudice without knowledge is known in the common vernacular as bigotry.

Dec. 07 2013 08:30 PM
try it once

adam

after the navy yard incident do you still have the same comment about handguns? a shotgun and 2 handguns in a gun-free city in a gun-free workplace equals all the time you need especially when you disarm the guards; if there are any. we do not know how many lives could have been saved if the navy allowed their serviceman and women to carry the weapons the navy trained them to use? you can not stop a mad man and you can not control the supply by banning or slowing it down with paperwork. an armed society is a safe society. we have learned nothing from prohibition or the drug war

Sep. 21 2013 08:16 PM
try it once

why make it easy? because it is a right not a privilege. does the first amendment require you to use a quill instead of a computer? If you really want to know why AR-15's are so popular go rent one for an hour and see what you are missing. they made drugs so hard to get only criminals can use them; look at the violence this causes.

Sep. 21 2013 08:05 PM
Jeff Nesmith

Seriously, most of you guys looks like dumbasses.

How many of you are going to continue on about how many rounds are in a chamber and the difference between a .223 vs. a 5.56 caliber gun? I mean, that's your argument? Give me a break. Before spouting off on the difference between a "silencer" and a "suppressor" you should preface your comments with, "I don't get the author's point, but I call IGNORANCE!"

Nobody said making it harder for people to own guns would fix everything. His point is, why make it so easy? There are too many idiots and nutsos with guns. So make it harder for those people to get them. Period. That's what he's saying.

At least engage in the debate at hand, nobody cares about your knowledge of the 1903 spring action whatever. There are valid points on both sides of the debate and you're missing them all completely.

Sep. 17 2013 02:02 PM
Conservative Young from Midland, NC

Sir are you aware that these guns you are attempting to use as your argument are not legally owned? True enough you did state it is easy to obtain certain rifles easily, and more often than not the owners are already not law abiding citizens. If you were to search the car of a known gang member you won't find a fully automatic AK-47. You will find a Glock, either 9 mm or 40, or maybe a cheap uzi if they've been in the trap for years and have been smart with their money. If you search the car of a known conservative you may find a gun rack the guns on said rack will be registered with papers most possibly even in the car. These murderers use unregistered weapons or stolen firearms or they have a severe mental disability like maybe say, asperger's. Have you ever held a gun? How about shot one? Most importantly cleaned one? Oh you didn't know they require cleaning? That's right they do! Americans who buy guns legally not only clean their guns, but also they don't buy them with intent to kill. It is for the satisfaction of knowing that should some thug from down the block decide to break into their home to brutally beat their wife and children, with possible rape, they are comfortable with the fact that they can reach a bigger stick than the other guy. This is also the same principle President Roosevelt used while in office. Are you committing treason on a former president because not only is that disrespectful because he was your superior, but also, the man is dead have some respect. Furthermore your Communist idea of not allowing Americans to own guns will make it impossible to defend against the guys that will still be getting them illegally! Good job with making yourself look like an ignorant communist.

Mar. 13 2013 08:43 AM
Nick from Central NJ

BMC. I am glad you keep exhaustively ranting and rambling about why you hate the writer so much. It is called ad hominem attacking and it shows why your side is losing this battle. In the 4 or 5 posts of your rambling you have not made a single dent in the author's argument or logic. I actually feel dumber from reading the garbage you call an argument. I am still waiting on a good argument as to why average citizens should be allowed to own high capacity magazines or handguns. I am farther on the anti-gun scale than the author. I believe handguns should be illegal. The only guns that should be legal are muzzle loaders, LIKE THE 2ND AMENDMENT ALLOWS!

Jan. 25 2013 03:26 PM
BMC from Albany NY

Your assertion that 8 rounds of 30/06 Caliber firepower is less dangerous or destructive because the .223 caliber AR-15 can potentially fire more bullets is as absurd as saying my 100 shot Air Soft rifle is more dangerous than a .22 caliber 3 shot rifle. You sound like a fool, and more to the point you demonstrate an unbelievable lack of professionalism. The notion that you would write a piece (for example about computer systems) and not even do the basic research to understand the difference between a Mac and a Windows system, would show you to be a fool and a hack. No right thinking reader would give you an ounce of credibility or respect your opinion as it would not be based on anything resembling fact. Yet you have no problem doing that in the debate about firearms. Lastly, I know it is the standard SOP of you liberal, gun grabbing, cowards, to throw in the "deer hunting" line or try the old goodie of maligning the "shooting ability" by asking why a person needs so many shots to hit something blah blah blah. When you show me which section of the second amendment discusses deer hunting or target shooting I'll respond to that. But perhaps with all your vast firearms knowledge you could give me the magazine capacity that is an acceptable amount for self defense situations and what is not? I would also like to hear how you arrived at that number? What expertise of statistical data did you use? What Crime data was used to arrive at your "acceptable number" of rounds I or anybody else needs to be allowed? I am sure in the same cowardly fashion that you wrote your first reply, you will obfuscate and dodge everything I said in this one. But humor me Karl Marx Jr.

Jan. 14 2013 08:21 PM
BMC from Albany NY

Well let us see how many absurdly incorrect statements you made. Number one, you watch too many James Bond movies. There is no such thing as a "silencer". The device is called a suppressor. Your absurd rant about them shows that you want to imply some sort of "evil" connotation to the object. Why would a gun owner having a suppressor matter? They don't silence the gun as you and your other ignorant quasi journalist brethren seem to think. The only purpose of your statements about being able to buy one in 41 states was meant to do was regurgitate another liberal lie. Suppressors are not the crap you see in the movies where a guy shoots his gun and it sounds like a fly buzzing by. Secondly, your ignorance as to what is called a "fully functioning automatic machine gun" is only exceeded by your arrogance. In order to poses a class III firearm (capable of automatic fire or a short barreled shotgun) one must go through an exhaustive ATF process that takes sometimes years to complete, cost significant money and requires a $200 transfer tax be paid for EACH weapon you wish to own under the classification. Not one person who posses one of these licenses is a danger to society unless you don't trust the ATF. OR due to the fact that never has one of these legally owned weapons been used in a crime with the exception of a few stolen ones. And I do mean a few as in less than a dozen. You literally don't know what you're talking about when you say "if your record is clean and you have the money, you can buy one of those Thompsons that get you all weak in the knees". In fact many people who apply DON'T get approved by the ATF so having money and a clean record does not guarantee you the ownership of a select fire or full auto weapon. Frankly, your embarrassing lack of even the basic knowledge of firearms undermines your argument even more, as surprising as that sounds as it was a pathetically weak argument to begin with. Your assertion that 8 rounds of 30/06 Caliber firepower is less dangerous or destructive because the .223 caliber AR-15 can potentially fire more bullets is as absurd as saying my 100 shot Air Soft rifle is more dangerous than a .22 caliber 3 shot rifle. You sound like a fool, and more to the point you demonstrate an unbelievable lack of professionalism.

Jan. 14 2013 08:19 PM
Adam Dawson from Arlington, VA

What's factually incorrect? Can you not buy silencers in 41 states? Can you not buy fully functioning automatic machine guns in 41 states? You absolutely can. In fact, if your record is clean and you have the money, you can buy one of those Thompsons that get you all weak in the knees.

And yeah, if a Bushmaster AR-15 can fire thirty semi-automatic rounds to the M1 Garand's 8, then as far as I'm concerned, it's more dangerous, irrespective of your particular ammo porn diatribe.

But here's a question: What the sweet crikey hell do you need it for? Are you that terrible of a shot? Do you need 30 rounds to bag a deer? Is there a burglar army out there?

Dec. 31 2012 08:18 PM
Fatliberal

Mama ate the dumb babies...

Dec. 28 2012 07:45 PM
BMC from Albany NY

Oh and I normally wouldn't give your ignorance a second though but I just read some of the replies and I had to add something. The AR-15 is most commonly chambered in .223 and then 5.56 as far as caliber goes. In response you asinine statement about weapons being bought that are more "powerful than" the ones we used to beat the Nazi's is imbecilic on some many fronts that I have a hard time addressing all of them. The main rifle for US infantry troops in the beginning of WWII was the 1903 Springfield bolt action rifle; quickly that was replaced with the M1 Garand. Both Chambered in 30/06. Anytime you want to compare the ballistics on a 223 or 556 to a 30/06 you call me and tell me the 223 or 556 is "more powerful" than what we used against Nazi's. The Thompson SMG chambered in 45 caliber is bigger than today's most popular pistol caliber the 40. caliber. Again your ignorance shines through. How about our allies? Well the Brits used the 303 Caliber Lee Enfield again a .223 is essentially a full metal jacket with a 22 caliber bullet on it backed up a much larger powder charge. So once again compare the 303 to ANY of today's 223's and tell me who makes out better. Or the Soviets who among other weapons used the venerable Mosin Nagant Chambered in 7.62x 54 caliber. Again a better round than the .223 5.56. Your absurd and transparent "Nazi" quote makes no sense and was only done to continue your absurd assault on gun owners rights.

Dec. 28 2012 05:50 PM
BMC from Albany NY

The ignorance you spew in this article is shocking coming from a person who is purported to be a "writer". You could at least educate yourself on the very weapons you are trying to demonize and the laws you are trying to imply are somehow weak. You made a series of factually incorrect statements about "silencers", "machine guns" and "assault weapons". People like you and your selective ignorance are what fuels the fire in this debate. As people who bother to take the time to actually learn what they are talking about and what the Constitution says could have a reasonable discussion on the matter of the second amendment with varying views. But people like you would rather be ignorant, spew half truths and parrot incorrect descriptions and names in the hopes that it will demonize a segment of people or a type of gun the choose too own. You don't care about rights, and the last time I checked, nobody had to get registered and fingerprinted before they could write or say something. Or before they could assemble for religious purposes or for any other of the 10 rights listed in the Bill of Rights. And according to our illustrious President a few months ago, a little free speech project on Youtube was the cause of violence, death and destruction all over the middle east. So Free Speech would seem to carry with it a lot of dangers as well. You just wrote an idiotic diatribe full of false statements an outright incorrect information and stated assumptions. Maybe a little "journalistic inconvenience" should be applied to your freedom of the press rights? Maybe you should have to wait a few hours or days for the "idiot review board" to edit and review your piece and weed it out for errors and lies. Perhaps you need to be finger printed as well so you're on file and the next time you write some puff piece full of falsehoods we can keep track of you.

Dec. 28 2012 05:38 PM
D from Denver

Adam, I agree with most of what you and others have said. Responsible gun owners do NOT want guns the hands of people who will use them maliciously. However, many of them DO want to own firearms, even those classified as "assault weapons," for self defense, hunting and sport. For example, something that has escaped the media's recent and widespread coverage of the AR-15 has been the meteoric rise of the rifle's popularity since 2004 and the resulting increase in applications many people would describe as "sporting." Prior to widespread ownership, the gun was essentially a clone of the military tactical-style automatic weapon, the M-16. However, the rifle's particular design has enabled numerous companies to re-engineer it for a multitude of uses. From long-distance hunting of varmints to controlled and sanctioned 3-gun shooting competitions (the roots of shows like Top Gun), the rifle has many configurations. It can even be rechambered from the original 0.223 cartridge (underpowered and illegal for big-game hunting applications) to larger calibers capable of humanely taking elk, all the while maintaining great accuracy and easily-customizable ergonomics.

My point is this, firearm enthusiasts purchase weapons for reasons that may ultimately differ from your understanding of their "needs" for hunting, sport, or protection. Please be considerate of their viewpoints and try to find some merit to their arguments. In response, I would love to see responsible firearm be more understanding of the fears and concerns that gun control advocates have towards "assault weapons" and the proliferation of private gun ownership in this country.

I expect that some form of gun control legislation to pass in the coming months. Only if both sides remain considerate, logical, and willing to compromise will this debate make any real cultural headway in addressing the problem of gun violence.

Dec. 21 2012 07:24 PM
Adam Dawson from Arlington, VA

Again, I'm not talking about banning all guns. I'm saying that selling weapons at Wal Mart that are more powerful than the ones we used to beat the Nazis is perfectly insane. And the car argument doesn't work. Cars have functions other than killing people. Guns only do one thing. And besides, the number of car accidents and the number of gun deaths in America are getting closer and closer every year. Contrast that with the number of gun deaths in countries where guns are allowed (and there are TONS of them,) but the sort of artillery that we sell here is not.

Look, hunt. Bag many deer. Protect yourself and your family. Good on ya. But I cannot think of a valid reason for an M-16 knock off to be on sale next to the damned Cheetos.

Dec. 20 2012 11:50 PM
Jefferson Davis from RI

We all want it to be harder to get killed in America. OK,40,000 die needlessly each year in 100% preventable traffic collisions. 10,000 of those, including thousands of innocent children are killed by drunk drivers. Very often these are repeat offender drunk drivers. You want to save lives? Let's act on the top ten killers of Americans first. Where's your righteous indignation against automobiles and alcohol? You probably have none since you may use and enjoy both. But that's what is killing most of us the fastest.

Dec. 20 2012 09:48 PM
Matt In Denver from Colorado

I think the answer is to put more responsibility on gun owners. With gun ownership comes responsibility. If you have these guns and they are used in crimes the gun owner need to be somewhat liable. Perhaps mandatory jail time. This will make gun owners take better measures to ensure their guns don't get into the hands of these freaks. Matt

Dec. 20 2012 03:40 PM
Adam Dawson from DC

Forgive my ignorance on the subject, as I'm not really a gun guy, but revolvers usually have between five or seven rounds in the barrel, right? And even with one of those speed loaders, it still takes a bit longer to re-load a revolver than it does a clip fed firearm, correct? Shorter firing capacity plus longer re-load time should equal more of a chance for people to run away or at least tackle the guy, shouldn't it? So I'm not buying the premise that he could have done just as much damage with a revolver. And excuse me for a moment while I bang my head against the desk, because even when we try to come up with perfectly reasonable ways of minimizing casualties, it leads to howls of outrage.

It's true that a gun is an inanimate object, but so are hand grenades. Do you think people should be able to legally own those?

Dec. 20 2012 02:19 PM
not a chance from pa

That is bs people do kill people not the gun if he would have had a revolver just as many would have died siquit saying its a guns fault how about beef up security in all schools like fort Knox after all thesec this our are children and r worth far more than gold they r our future

Dec. 20 2012 10:43 AM
NRAGuy

Thanks Adam. I agree with you to an extent. But unfortunately there are so many bad guys that can get their hands on this type of stuff. I personally do not own a assault weapon. I don't know, maybe more armed citizens could help out in bad situations. I don't know the answer. Well I do know the answer and people is afraid to talk about it, but that answer is God. God is love and God is joy, with God really in your heart, you should be filled with both. We take God and prayer out of schools and everywhere else and we see how the world is becoming. America needs to bring God back. When I was a kid my worse fear at school was going to the principal's office or having alot of homework.. I hope and pray I never have to defend my safety or my families safety by using a weapon. And while Im on that subject, I want to thank all our soldiers and policemen for fighting for our safety and freedom, they have a very hard job.

Dec. 19 2012 03:06 PM
Adam Dawson from DC

I never said we should ban guns. I know a lot of people who knock $500 off their grocery bill by bagging a deer or two. And I'm not going to begrudge anybody who keeps a revolver or beretta in their house. But unless burglars start traveling in platoon sized packs or deer start firing back, I can't imagine why we need military grade hardware available to the general public.

Dec. 18 2012 06:41 PM
NRAguy from Russellville

If you think that banning guns(assault rifles, etc) will make it all better.. You need to take a reality pill. Does banning drugs, keep our streets free from drugs? Does making Alcohol intoxication illegal, keep our kids and love ones from dying?? THATS A BIG NO to all. The bad guys will always have and will be able to get a hold of guns and that would leave the innocent familys defenseless against criminals. Pretty Simple. Oh I definately think something should be done to protect our innocent babies, kids and adults, but gun banning is not the solution.

Dec. 18 2012 05:08 PM
Paul from Boston

That's all fine, and since we're already sentencing people to draconian terms in prison under 'mandatory sentencing guidelines' and 'three strikes' laws for things like marijuana possession and shoplifting, I would also propose the following:

If you're convicted of committing a crime during which you're in possession of a gun, the automatic sentence is life without parole. No pleas, no exceptions.

It would never stop a madman, but I guarantee gun crime in general would plummet.

Dec. 18 2012 03:14 PM

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