Is Our Liberty at Risk? - ITS Tactical

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Is Our Liberty at Risk?

By Bryan Black

For the most part, we’ve kept fairly quiet on the current issues facing our nation and for a good reason. While there’s no denying that ITS has a presence on the internet that can be used to spread a message, we want it to be one that’s educated, informed and accurate.

There are so many inconsistencies flying around right now from all corners of the Internet; from pro 2nd Amendment groups, anti-gun groups and everything in-between. Many things are on the table right now that will affect our industry, our way of life and our children’s futures.  I feel like those that visit ITS are all concerned citizens that want to better themselves through the skill-set building articles we write, the reviews we produce or the general principles that ITS was founded on. Whether they be active-duty Military, Law Enforcement, Veterans or First Responders, we’re all in this together as a country. A country with tough decisions ahead.

When I first started ITS back in 2009, I had no idea what it would become, but I had one goal in mind. Community. I wanted to create a resource where everyone could share information openly to better their lives and to become more self sufficient. A place that cultivated little known or forgotten skill-sets, yet also provided well-researched and documented reviews on equipment to support those skills.

That aside, I’ve made some life-long friends along the way, which have helped to reinforce the “good judge of character” I’ve personally always felt I’ve had. Those that I consider my friends have many traits I respect and work hard to project in my own life. Honesty, integrity, passion and service towards something bigger than myself. Right now, what scares me the most about what’s on the table is how this is all going to affect my friends and their families.

Current Political Climate

Today finds us in a difficult situation as an industry. Potentially having our rights stripped away directly impacts businesses and decades of combined output and innovation. At what benefit? It seems that those making decisions haven’t really seen factual crime statistics and feel that by restricting our rights, the criminals will be equally affected. When did a criminal, intent on doing harm, ever play by the rules? They don’t, they live outside the laws.

The current legislation on the table is purely for those that live inside the law. This goes for more government intervention in general and a topic for another day. One question I keep asking myself, is when are those that are seeking to restrict our rights, even going to properly research the  difference between a clip and a magazine? One reason that I’ve personally tried to remain quiet on these issues, is to ensure that I’ve done my due diligence in research before making a public statement, waiting until some of the noise died down and actual actions from the government were imminent.

All those have now been met. As of yesterday, Vice-President Biden was quoted during meetings with victims’ groups and gun safety organizations as saying,  “The president is going to act. There are executive orders, there’s executive action that can be taken. We haven’t decided what that is yet.” If you’re familiar with how bills become law, this should cause the hair on the back of your neck to stand up. This is essentially stating that if the result of the current talks and subsequent legislation proposals don’t yield the results the President is looking for, he’ll act as he feels the American people would want him to.

Trust me, I’m trying to stay as optimistic and positive as possible. The fact remains that the President has publicly stated what his agenda is. That’s been made clear through his public statements a few weeks ago. Here’s a link to a YouTube video produced by the White House, if you’d like more background into what I’m mentioning.

I’d encourage you to do your own research into both what’s on the table right now with current legislation and what we’re really looking at in terms of the crime our government is now trying to prevent. A good place to start is with the FBI Crime Statistics. I can’t argue with the fact that what’s happened recently in Newtown and Aurora are tragedies, but will restricting our rights help to prevent more of these incidents from occurring? That’s the real question here. In another video released today by the White House, Vice-President Biden can be heard stating that if just one additional life can be saved, it’s worth it. I personally feel that limiting the legal rights of everyone will not produce the intended outcome of actually saving more lives.

The question I keep asking myself is how much more of our rights being stripped away will America be willing to take? I’m not trying to incite a riot or even state that this is something new, it’s been occurring for much longer than our current administration has been in office. In my personal opinion, we’re reminded time and time again of our current government needing serious reform and I’ll just leave it at that.

At the end of the day we’re all responsible for the country we live in, we all have a duty to make it a better place and one we want our children to grow up in. What can you do? Write your elected officials, be respectful, but remember that they work for us. Support the organizations you believe in, whether that’s  joining the NRA,  the Gun Owners of America  or another organization you firmly believe in.

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Discussion

  • Zac

    I would just like to say, you do make good very valid points about politics and politicians failing to do proper research,to respecting factual information and to respect science. This is not only in this issue but is a global problem. Especially where science is being politicized to a point where it is no longer seen as scientific fact, but as a belief… Which is ABSURD!
    And the modern press and media are the one that have a lot to answer for in this issue.

    Something for you to think about…. Cheers

    • Dan

      Research would be great, but Congress has made research on guns very difficult. There are many restrictions on funding, primarily due to aggressive NRA lobbying. It would be very nice if the NIH could compile statistics on how responsible gun laws affect public health, but under current law the Institutes can not do so without losing funding.

    • Bob

      Science is never FACT that is a contradiction of terms. Once something is defined as fact it is no longer science.

    • Derrick

      There are facts in science, they are known as laws. Gravity, as a force, is a law. It is known that throughout the known universe, gravity affects all objects with mass. That said, it is not yet known what produces gravitational force, aside from the fact that it directly correlates with the mass of the object that is producing the gravity. There are lots of theories, but I’ll save the comment section from the monologue that can quickly become.

    • Bergman

      Not true. The so-called physical laws are the result of observation, the same as anything else in science. To reach physical law status, an observed phenomenon must be completely reliable; But things that were believed to be solidly established have been overturned before.

      There is a certain hubris to science. The belief that what we know now is the true shape of reality. Nothing has been further from the truth in history, and it’s highly dubious that we know everything now either. Scientists of every age have authoritatively made statements that we now know to be provably untrue. No one can predict what will be provably untrue next.

      It could be gravity next, for all we know for certain.

  • Brandon Franklin

    A lot of people seem to suspect that an EO would be drafted to ban weapons, which is incredibly unlikely. It’s much more likely that an EO would be drafted to affect wait times for background checks or to increase firearm registration requirements.

    It’s important to remember a few things with these issues: a) they are complex. Anyone that thinks they have the full picture of what the results of a particular political policy will be is blowing smoke. This is a problem that lies at the center of personal liberty, personal security, and I would also argue, widely available crisis mental health care; b) It’s not un-American to be on one side of the issue or the other. No one should trash the first amendment to protect the second; and c) leave Newtown and Aurora out of it. Let these people grieve and not be political pawns. Whichever side of the argument you are on, the data is consistent and supports the same argument whether you include these incidents or not. Any argument that needs to include the two of them is highly suspect as an emotional argument and not a logical one.

    • Christian Nadeau

      Brandon,

      From what I’ve been hearing it does indeed sound like the president plans on using an EO to ban standard capacity magazines at the very least. The anti-self defense types in D.C. have always seen privately own guns as a threat to their power, and there is no way in h3ll they will use events like Newtown and Aurora to simply push for background checks. They want privately owned guns gone and jump at any opportunity to use such tragedies to attempt to meet their political agenda, praying on the family’s and the nation’s emotions to garner support for the kind of legislation that nobody would stand for in the absence of tragedies.

      Chris

  • Joe

    I sent this to a local news station in NY that just ran a story and asked the viewers to do a poll and make a comment. Last I knew the pole was at 77% to 23% in favor of people being able to buy assault rifles. I voted on the 77% side and posted this comment as well…
    A true assault weapon has a selective fire switch enabling the operator to choose between full auto and semi auto. Civilians can only own weapons that are Semi auto without the selector switch. It is irresponsible to blame and punish all gun owners, millions of gun owners, for the actions of a few criminals. Blaming an inanimate object like a gun is really wrong and disturbing as there is no logic there. Taking away the guns or limiting access to bulk ammunition or magazine capacities are all wrong and completely disturbing. Take gun free zones off all the schools as that is a magnet to criminals and obviously has a track record of failure and does not work at all. Go after Psychotropic drugs makers, fix mental health care, fix how criminals are let out on the street with plea bargaining and early release work programs, bring down the level of violence on video games, take R-rated commercial content off prime time TV. that would be the best attempt to prevent this from happening again. But unfortunately there really is NO law that could ever be passed that will help as criminals will always have access to the banned guns, it is the law abiding citizens that will suffer from any restrictions, not the criminals. Why doesn’t cbs 6 do a report that the FBI.gov webpage shows stats that violent crimes are down Tremendously! Clearly the gun Laws Are good the way they are written currently. Represent true journalism and report the true facts not the ones the lobbyist want you to show to feed their fear agenda. This is all so obvious to me, a 43 layman, how do you expect us to have faith in government when they make erroneous choices like this. They took an oath to protect the Constitution against attacks both foreign and domestic. If they do not adhere to that oath, they have no business being in office and all of them should be impeached, every last one of them. The most common argument is why do civilians want such high capacity magazines (not a clip) Well, because we can. I guess all those people who ask also forgot about the LA riots.
    And why do we need V8, V10, V12 supercharged, turbo, twin turbo, nitro charged cars and trucks…when a 3 cylinder will do the current state speed limits and save gas…well because we can.

    • Christian Nadeau

      Joe,

      I like your argument. Blaming and inanimate object for a tragedy is pointless, and vilifying all gun owners including concealed carry permit holders (who, by definition, have no criminal history) is like saying that cars cause accidents or that every person with a driver’s license is a drunk driver. On your point about gun-free zones, the deadly attack at Columbine High in 1999, right in the midst of the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban, and every school shooting since 1990, which includes the University of Iowa in 1991, Simon’s Rock College of Bard in 1992, Richland High in 1995, Frontier Junior High in 1996, Regional High in 1997, Pearl High in 1997, Heath High in 1997, Parker Middle in 1998, Lincoln County High in 1998, Heritage High in 1999, Beach High in 2000, Lake Clifton Eastern High in 2001, Martin Luther King Jr. High in 2002, Roccori High in 2003, Red Lake high in 2005, Platte Canyon High in 2005, Virginia Tech in 2008, North Illinois University in 2008, the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting this past December, and numerous others occurred during the Gun-Free School Zone Act of 1990 (The Patriot Exchange, 2007). It is beyond comprehension how politicians cannot look at such information and see that gun-free zones do nothing to stop criminals. On your point about magazines I always clarify that the so-called “high capacity mags/clips” are in fact STANDARD capacity because that is how they were originally designed. For arguments against “military style” weapons, I say take a look at history. The weapons used by citizens during the Revolutionary and Civil Wars “military style”. Your mention of the L.A. riots should probably be accompanied by mentioning the London riots a few years ago. Their anti-gun laws didn’t seem to protect their citizens from the looting, arson, and other destruction that went on. It’s funny how the media doesn’t seem to bring up their lack of guns during that incident as a positive note, and heaven forbid if they ever heavily reported incidents in which a concealed carry permit holder stopped a crime. I think the attention they gave to the Oregon Mall shooting was more along the lines of “another mass shooting” as opposed to “private gun owner stopped mass shooting”.

      Chris

    • Ricebll

      Well said, I agree with everything but the parts about violent video games and R rated content on TV, neither of those are part of the problem. Putting bans or restrictions on them would have no more positive effect than more gun control would, just like the number of crimes committed with guns is very low in comparison to the number of legally owned the same is true with violent crimes being committed by people who play “violent” video games or watch R rated programming on TV is very low. The mainstream media would have you believe that because some of the people who committed the shootings in Columbine, the Co theater, and Sandyhook happened to have played “violent” video games is the reason behind their actions is no more true than the belief that if there were more gun control laws on the book then these shooting wouldn’t have taken place. It’s just more misdirection and refusal to address the core issue which is mental health, a sane person is no more likely to go on a rampage simply because they play “violent” video games than they are because they own a so-called assault weapon.

  • Eric

    First, why should Newtown and Aurora be left out of anything? Those incidences are why “gun ban” is the hot topic right now. Second, I do agree that background checks and screening procedures are the best route. There is a pattern of mentally ill people owning weapons and using them for evil.

    If Obama was smart, he would have procured an FFL before opening his mouth on the subject because gun stores are empty. People are acting like this is the end of firearm ownership as we know it. The same hysteria occurred when Clinton did his deal with guns and to that point it was only assault weapons and high capacity magazines. No one had guns taken from them. Who needs assault weapons for self defense? I can make a bigger mess of someone coming through my door with a shotgun than I can a .223. I can take any of my pistols into Wal Mart and no one has to know.

    And let us not forget that the ten amendments, and specifically the 2nd one which is the issue, were proposed by the states because they felt that the Constitution without them gave the Federal Government too much power. The amendments were a move for the states to retain their power and the Constitution would not have been ratified without them. So I do not think anything will happen with the 2nd amendment. For the Feds to take it away is an act of taking power away from the states, which is a conflict of its purpose in the beginning.

    • Bob

      At first pass I don’t have an issue with background checks. But thinking about the bigger picture and the legal precedent it sets and the law creates a much different scenario.

      Performing a background check can be construed as making the assumption guilty until proven innocent.

      A background check wouldn’t have prevented Sandy Hook as the murderer killed his mother stole her firearms and massacred the people and children at the school.

      No action against the rights of gun owners will prevent such actions in the future. It’s nothing more than a feel good, knee-jerk reaction that accomplishes nothing other than stripping more freedoms from law abiding Americans.

      The people pushing this anti-gun agenda at the highest levels are simply “not going to allow a good crisis to go to waste” to further there personal and political agendas. Do you own research. There are plenty of video’s and statements made by politicians that demonstrated they would take these actions if the conditions were right.

      True freedom assumes a certain amount of personal danger as well as personal responsibility/accountability in society. The real issue is fixing our culture and society closer to what it used to be – a value and character based society….common values not a “D” or and “R” or whatever bucket someone would like to put us collectively into or separate us from.

    • Bergman

      More people have been killed throughout history by the misapplication of knowledge than by the misapplication of bullets. Nearly any argument in favor of gun control can also be applied to banning literacy.

      Let’s have a background check to learn to read. Let’s have waiting lists and permits for people wanting to read, possess or own books that contain (arbitrarily defined) dangerous knowledge. Let’s close the lending library loophole.

      The 2nd and 1st amendments have equal amounts of constitutional protection. If it’s possible to get rid of guns, it’s equally possible to get rid of literacy too. That’s a very dangerous precedent to set.

    • redbear762

      @eric,

      Have you read The Jefferson Papers, United States v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939)) or the District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008) decision and it’s amicus curiae briefs? I think you’ll find that the powers aren’t reserved for the States as much as making it clear that a Federal government should recognize the God-given Rights of the Individual.

      The American public should be on par with at least the common weapons of an Infantry platoon in order for common defense and, by extension, personal defense. This is a recognized principle by two SCOTUS decisions as well as many lower court cases.

      As far as your question, ‘who needs xxx’. I have to say that this an appalling problem in the gun community because the ‘mine are okay but yours aren’t’ mindset is without a true and clear understanding of the true intent of the Second Amendment We can’t be decisive in the gun community because if we continue on the path you are suggesting that ‘mine are okay but others are not’ , we will find ourselves disarmed by the ‘death of a thousand compromises’

    • Bergman

      Many of the politicians who loudly proclaim that guns are useless for self defense and should be banned because no good person needs one…

      …are also the politicians who themselves own and/or carry a gun, and have armed guards to protect them.

  • Mark Bateman

    Our misguided adversaries need to understand that, for the majority of us, the issue of firearms control is not about the love of weaponry but that which said weapons protect. As such, any attempt at controlling or restricting our ownership and possession of these firearms strikes at our core values of our love for our family, our home, our values, our country, and our Constitution. These are priceless things that we are willing to kill and die for. Tolkien said it best:
    “I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers

  • Raven

    I’m of the opinion that the issues the government and the president are trying to address aren’t even gun related issues. The tragedies that occurred recently are truly sad and horrific but as I recall, there wasn’t a rifle involved. The ar-15 the police found was in the suspects car: unused thankfully. The issue, I believe, is one of access and requirements. While a law abiding individual may purchase a weapon for personal use, a criminal or individual not meeting te standards for legal gun ownership could potentially still obtain access to the weapon(s). This was the sad case involving the Newtown massacre. I don’t have answers for what, if anything, should be done but I do know that attacking the guns for the actions of disturbed individuals is just as effective as going after makers of alcohol who 1. Regulate sales by age limit, 2. Include responsible usage in advertising and 3. Have every legal right to sell to qualifying individuals (non-probationary adults 21 years old+) who also assume the responsibility of enjoying the product they purchase. The people have agreed: a controlled sale of an certain item (tobacco a well) is legal when the previously set criteria is met for purchase and what the individual does with said product is not the fault of the manufacturer or distributor. I’m afraid of what this establishment will do to our freedoms, truly. I can only do what is within my power to conform to the laws of my country and attempt to stop injustices within the system by honest means: write my representative and support the 2nd amendment groups whilst this misinterpreted issue is in the spotlight of madmen and cowards. Feet wet, powder dry. America the free, forever!

  • GuardianEthos

    Brian, you have done a great job on tackling this subject and the fact that you would want to obtain as much information and do the research before jumping in is something to be proud of…something our officials could take a lesson from.

    I have always taken two standpoints…

    Whether you are a fan of firearms or not, the 2nd amendment is an amendment of defense. Defense of ones physical self from those who would attack it by force and defense of the country’s founding principles. This includes the rest of the amendments and the constitution. Probable or improbable, if any of the other amendments were to be infringed in such a way that the citizens of the country found reprehensible, the 2nd amendment is a last resort to protect them at all costs…without it we would be fighting with hopes and prayers.

    I have always looked to law enforcement as the experts on the current crime tactics, and if those experts deem it necessary to be issued handguns and rifles, that are semi-auto, that have magazines exceeding 10 rounds…that why is it that a normal, law abiding citizen, who is also at risk from with the same criminals so unworthy of the same protection? Citizens cannot have an armed escort at every turn like our officials, and citizens cannot expect in every instance to be able to access a phone, dial 911, explain the situation, give a location, and have a law enforcement officer there in time to make the difference. I wish that were that case…I truly do, but its not.

    All I ask to be given the proper tools to protect my family, my friends, and my country through my natural right to defend myself, affirmed by the 2nd amendment. Evil people will always find a way to do evil things and guns are not the only means to do so. Human beings have been killing each other for centuries, the great majority without firearms. The only way for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing…and they, in my opinion, are limiting the ability of good men (and women) to do something.

  • Ian

    That we have to have this conversation is unfortunate, but I want to say how I personally feel.

    We live in a culture that, not to our credit, is infatuated with bigger better faster. We’ve spent billions of dollars in an aim to prevent countries from having the technological capabilities to develope weapons that we as a nation have possessed (legally or illegally) for years, not to mention the only recorded users of it in history. We want to be the best, there’s nothing wrong with that, but at what cost? We’ve managed to piss the rest of the world off by not letting them have what they want. However, we feel ourselves that we can’t be told as citizens what we can and can’t have because it upsets our constitutional rights.

    We all live in jurisdictions where there are by laws, can’t park here, can’t have a pet boa constrictor there, and can’t wash your horse between the hours of 2pm and 5pm every second Sunday. We don’t argue them because they don’t effect most of us negatively to the point where we feel its necessary to do so. But guns, holy cow, do we get pissed off about guns. We want guns to protect ourselves from the evil of….our own citizens. We think that if the intruder/terrorist/drunk neighbor from next door enters our home, we will locate our AR15, insert 30 round magazine, yank the bolt handle, push the bolt forward assist and let that dirty prick have 30 rounds of winchester’s finest. Just one problem, statistics show that you probably won’t. But it sure feels good knowing that you could…right? We are obsessed with feeling prepared, but many criminals know that the average citizen is woefully unprepared for a situation like that to happen thus victimizing the weak. I would feel pretty bad if an intruder entered my home, located my firearm and ammo, loaded it, offed my wife, stole my valuables and then offed the first law enforcement officer that tried to stop him…with my gun. My house is safer because I take the necessary steps to protect it from unauthorized entry, not because it has a cache of weapons. In fact, I feel less safe thinking that I might go to the safe and try and get one prepped in an entry situation, cause what if…. What if the intruder is stronger than me, what if he’s better trained than me, what if his desire is to steal my TV and beat it and I bring out a gun, he wrestles it away and I end up dead. For what? A TV that insurance will replace? My passport? Some cash? I am a warrior, I have a warriors spirit and a don’t give up mentality, but part of that is knowing your opponent and knowing that if he has a gun, I can probably take it from him because that’s what 17 years of combined military and law enforcement has taught me I can do. But, if he doesn’t and I bring it, will I 100% end up with it?

    I have guns, for hunting. I live in a safe neighborhood, we have break ins, we had a gang related murder on my street last year ( I knew that little prick was trouble but he was court ordered to live with granny) but at no time have I ever thought, “if only I had my AR and a couple 30 round mags with me, things would have been different” The 30 round mags can be disposed of except for military and law enforcement, in my humble opinion. I just can’t see a citizens need for one when we pay such high tax to have sworn officers protect us. I firmly believe (with the exception of police and military) that a 30 round magazine is more likely to cause heartache than satisfaction. I only say that because time spent by a bad guy reloading is a great window for law enforcement to put an end to the threat. 30 is a lot of rounds to chuck in a civilian oriented situation if you think about it.

    Keep guns, guns are good. Lets start taking some steps to make delivery of lead upon OURSELVES less convenient for the offender.

    • Peter BE

      Sir, do you really believe that legislation can keep 30 round magazines out of the hands of a bad guy? The gestapo didn’t succeed in preventing my granddad owning a STEN SMG even when there was a death penalty on such things in that time.

    • Saul Yanez

      If we stop the production of high capacity magazines for non-military/police use at the manufacturer’s level we can diminish the stock the bad guys can draw from. The added benefit is they would have to steal from the military/police which would increase the cost and risk exponentially. It wouldn’t stop them completely, but it would severely hinder their efforts.

    • John Q.

      Dear Sir,

      The logic you present has several flaws. 1. Bad guys are bringing multiple firearms to mass shooting which negates the hi cap magazine arguement.
      2. Places with hicap bans (eg CA) have not seen a diminish in shootings/crime.

      3. Over the past 10 years if you add up all the peole that have died from mass shootings (210) yu can see that tragic as it is it is a small small issue (150 times more likely to get hit by lightening) and sho uh ld not ditacte policy.

      4. You must loom at a cost benifit analysis. Cars kill tens of thousands every year. If we baned car it would save many lives, but the benefit to our economy/freedom and so fouryh far outweighs this.

      John

    • Peter BE

      A ten year assault weapon ban and high capacity mag ban proves you wrong on that one.

    • Saul Yanez

      John Q.
      1. So wouldn’t making those guns harder for them to get seem to make sense?
      2. You’re right, but the comment I made was about stopping the production of them, not banning them in a certain area, as long as they’re made for civilians they’ll still be easily available.
      3. You’re right, the odds are low, lets make them lower.
      4. We didn’t ban cars, but we have raised the driving age, made drunk driving illegal, raised penalties on drunk driving, made it illegal to drive without a seatbelt, and made car manufacturer’s increase safety features on cars. Each of these has brought car fatalaties down.

      Peter BE: It was effective, just not as effective as was expected. Look up the statistics somewhere besides the NRA website or FOX news.

    • John

      Saul,

      W have already restricted firearms by passing various laws (just as the driving age example), and the age and penalties for misuse are go to the person and not the vehicle which is the right approach.

      Why would a ban on production have any different of an affect than the ban in CA? These are already almost never used in crimes. More people die from lighting beatings. As a soldier and high power competitor, I see thousands (kids) compete with these as well as hunt (due to the low recoil).

      Do you think that pistols wouldn’t have done as much damage? The newtown guy had multiple guns, the Virginia tech guy had two pistols (one a ten round gun and one a 15 round gun with a backpack full of magazines). Read the stats, rifle are rarely used in crimes (look at the FBI stats not the Brady Campaigns) and passing the laws (which may not affect you since you may not use these rifles) affect many many others with no benefit. Chicago and DC which banned everything and pistols have the highest crime rate . I know you probably have your mind set that somehow ar15s and a magazine with more than ten rounds will stop or limit bad guys ability to kill and that civilians have no use for these, but I hope you consider the possibility that you may be mistaken.

    • CAMPBELL

      Smells like troll in here.

    • Christian Nadeau

      Ian,

      I sleep with my loaded rifle (one in the chamber, 30-round mag) next to my bed. Your position seems to be that every gun owner leaves their self-defense weapons unloaded, locked in a safe and possibly even field stripped, thereby making its usefulness as a defensive tool null. You also seem to be of the opinion that a criminal who breaks into a house in the middle of the night knowing that someone is asleep inside and very well might put up a fight if they awaken will simply take a material possession and then leave. Did that happen with the Cheshire (Connecticut) home invasions? If you are really so worried about an intruder wrestling your gun away then get rid of your guns and pray to whatever god you believe in that the criminal will be merciful, but don’t try to restrict the number of rounds I can carry to defend my home. Supposedly Thomas Jefferson stated, “Tyranny is that which is illegal for the citizenry but legal for the government”. If police and the military are allowed to have 30-round magazines in order to combat criminals why should I not be allowed to have them when police are minutes away and I am being attacked by a criminal NOW? When my life or my family’s safety is at stake I think 30 rounds is barely enough. The only way to reduce the “delivery of lead upon ourselves” is through superior delivery of lead FROM us. An AR-style rifle with a 100-round drum magazine will be a lot more effective at stopping a gun fight with a criminal than a CA ban-compliant 5-round top-loading rifle.

      Chris

    • Bergman

      The difference in time it takes to fire 100 shots from 30-round magazines and the time it takes to fire those same 100 shots from 10-round magazines is quite a bit less than 10 seconds. That’s for the average shooter. A highly skilled one comes in under 5 seconds difference. Go to YouTube and look up “fast magazine change”, it’s an eye opener.

      All those who say that we need smaller magazines so that we can rush a shooter while he reloads are delusional at best. Besides, the only people with 10-round magazines in a spree killing will likely be the defenders — criminals will continue to break the law.

  • Laurier Heymans

    i follow this site as an adventurer and traveller and not as a gun enthousiast.

    But just wanted to leave a small comment. I’m a european and as such i really dont understand why you all cling so hard to be able to buy fire arms and especially such big ones?

    Here in my country(belgium) it’s impossible to buy those kind guns since there made for war and nothing else(thats my vision of it). Th only weapons you can buy here are small arms for hunting and i find this more than normal.

    Would i like to shoot with a full automatic weapon? Yeah i’d like to try that, and i i want to try it i go to a gun range and try one in there, but i cant take it home.

    My last comment, offcourse criminals are not following the rules. But if everyone has firearms at home and you can just go buy them in shop then it’s not harf to get the weapons. Here in belgium you do not see many assaults with weapons….

    • Peter BE

      Mr Heymans, semi automatic military type rifles can be bought in Belgium, there are two provinces (Antwerp and East Flanders) who try to disencourage people to buy them but there are thousands of Belgians that own semi automatic military type rifles. Last september there was a magazine capacity ban for them – a magazine can only have 30 – thirty – rounds from now on. There are indeed not many assaults with weapons which is not that extraordinary because the country has only 11 million inhabitants. “Not many” is relative however because if you follow the news you should know that we have our fair share of armed criminality. Professional criminals routinely use automatic weapons and cases where grenades or anti tank weapons were used to attack armored cars are not unheard of. These weapons are leftovers of the Yugoslav civil wars of the nineties and are quite plentiful on the black market. Best regards Peter, Antwerp BE.

    • Pyronick

      When looking at Europe (more specifically the European Union in general) the amount of (semi-)automatic rifles per capita is very small. Countries like Belgium and the Czech Republic are very liberal towards guns. However, the first is striving towards a more strict gun policy. At most people are carrying their guns concealed and unloaded. In some countries if you do not hunt or shoot for sports you are not allowed to carry guns. Even less countries grant you a license for self-defense, you have to prove that you are in a situation dangerous enough for you to carry a gun.

      There are various area’s where guns are more common such as Northern Ireland or former Yugoslav republics. But that is because of their modern history. Switzerland has a lot of military firearms kept at home, but the Swiss people seem to be the least triggerhappy people in the world. In most EU countries the police forces provide licences for firearms and regularly check if you are still eligible, testing your knowledge and checking if you apply correct safety measures (i.e. seperate gun and ammunition safes of which only you and the police dept. know the codes). I live in the Netherlands and keeping a gun is pretty much a taboo, it is a private matter and nobody needs to know that you have guns, except for the police and the ministry of the interior.

      Our governments actively discourage the sales and the keeping of weapons of any kind. And the European Union is trying to make our governments to stricter gun policies. And yet, our weapon and defence industry is amongst the biggest in the world.
      It does not mean that school shootings do not happen, but a lot less than in the USA even though the EU has 200 million more inhabitants. Unfortunately, in the case of a school shooting, there isn’t much anybody can do. Teachers with guns is never going to happen and security officers are not allowed to keep and use guns in their jobs.

      There is a lot the US government can learn from a continent that has been plagued by the most and the worst wars in history.

    • Pyronick

      Addendum:

      Gun policy depends on culture as much as politics. The modern American culture comes from the New World age where armed civilians claimed their own freedom and land from colonists.
      We don’t know such a thing in Europe, if diplomacy fails we have suspended conscription that can be activated. Conscripts can be mobilized really quickly as we have learned in both World Wars.

      We believe in the state monopoly of violence because armed civilians started both World Wars. I do recognize the liberty to use guns. But I disapprove those that have their guns at home, considering the risks. There are more ways to stop pistol toting criminals than to reply with more (threats of) gunfire.

      I think a Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy on the usage and keeping of guns is worth suggesting. Why should you know your neighbour has an AR-15, a Glock 17 and enough ammunition to start a war? It could lead to problems on his end, or a fatal problem on your end. Only those that professionally uphold public safety should know where and how many guns are in their territory.

    • redbear762

      Each country has a unique outlook on law, culture, and politics that doesn’t fit another country so shoehorning a culture that never broke the shackles of a tyrannical and utterly insane monarch into a culture that enshrined the beliefs that no King or Tyrant should ever rule us again and that we should, would, and will take up arms to prevent it from ever happening again.

      Americans, for better or worse, believe that the right to self defense and property is a core and unalienable Right derived from God and is not subject the whims of a government that would seek control over it’s populace. Parliament’s decision to disarm the Colonists was *the* core reason for the American Revolution.

      There is a certain intellectual rigor required of a serious discussion about the 2nd Amendment and the American view of self-defense so a review of the SCOTUS decision of DC vs Heller and the amicus curea briefs associated with it will help you have a cogent understanding in regards to US law, culture, and politics

    • Christian Nadeau

      Laurier,

      I can’t speak for everyone but I think part of the reason we cling to our guns rights so tightly is because those gun rights are what allowed this country to originally break free from the tyranny of the British Empire through the Revolutionary War and then to secure the freedom of slaves (among other things) through the Civil War. Guns were then used during the exploration and westward expansion. Though guns in this country have been misused they still play a very large part of our country’s history and as such many Americans are not enthusiastic about abandoning such a part of our nation’s history. As for your position that more available guns leads to more crimes, there have been numerous laws passed here that prohibit the ownership or possession of guns, such as the Gun-Free Zone Act of 1990, that have done little or nothing to stop incidents of gun violence. States that limit gun ownership still experience gun related assaults and crimes because criminals do not care about such laws. I think it is great that Belgium does not have many cases of assaults involving weapons but the U.S. still does and many law-abiding citizens here are not willing to give up our only source of protection from such violence, especially since our government has not been at all successful in bringing such violent crimes to an end.

      Chris

    • Ricebll

      I’d like to further add that statistics show that countries, and regions within countries that have more liberal gun laws and higher gun ownership rates actually have a lower rate of violent crime than countries and regions with stricter gun laws and lower rates of gun ownership. While it may be true that the US may have higher rates of gun violence than other countries we have been experiencing an ever increasing low rate of violent crime and it’s been that way since the sunset of the assault weapons ban law.

      One thing that I find very disingenuous and puzzling when people talk about gun crimes is that they ignore the violent crimes that still get committed in places where guns aren’t allowed like in England and Australia, like somehow the outlawing of guns means and end to violent crime altogether. People forget that when guns aren’t available criminals turn to other means like knives, and clubs or even their fists and feet. And why is it that the anti gun crown and Europeans too seem to place such emphasis on crimes or violence that involve guns? To me violent crime is violent and it doesn’t matter what’s used, am I supposed to feel better if I got stabbed instead of shot, will I be less dead if someone beats me to death as opposed to shoots me?

    • Bergman

      The so-called assault weapon the anti-gun nuts want to ban isn’t what you think it is.

      The classic example in the U.S. of what they want to ban is the AR-15. It fires a 5.56x45mm NATO cartridge, which is really underpowered for hunting. Most medium to large game hunting rifles are at least 7.62mm, and even that is a bit underpowered. You might use 5.56mm for a badger, but you wouldn’t use it for even a small deer. Forget elk with a 5.56mm.

      The Newtown, Connecticut killer did have an AR-15 but he left it in the car during his rampage. All of his killing was done with pistols.

  • Scott

    I am so tired of hearing people like Eric spouting the same line “Who needs assault weapons for self defense?”…

    It’s not up to you… it’s up to ME. MY choice what legal weapons I’m allowed to own. My AR15 is NOT an assault rifle. My Glocks with 17rd mags are no more dangerous than a Glock with a 10rd mag. It’s a matter of my preference, my money, and my rights.

    If I want to go to the range and punch paper with my FN PS90, thats my decision…not subject to your ideas of what someone should have.

    • Saul Yanez

      The better question could be, “Why do you want it?” The weapons and magazines they are talking about have no alternate purpose. They are made for killing humans. And it may be up to you, but if you are my neighbor and someone breaks into your house and steals your PS90 (Maybe you’re on vacation and you can’t stop them) then your choice becomes my problem real quick.

    • John Q.

      The firearm isnt more or less powerful based on its looks. The bullet doesnt magically change. The same arguement could be true of any firearm that is stolen. Perhaps ownera should propperl y secure their firearma but firearma are all designed to discharge bullets which can be used for hunting/target shokting/pest removql/ combqt. To say that some firearma are more danherous than others or designed to kill humans and are therefore more lethal is a bad argument. They can all kill humans or a deer just changingvthe stick doesnt make itmore dangerous and therefore an assault weqpond. Yhe ps90 desihned to kill as you say is a semiauto version on the reql p90 adsauslt weapon. Very diiferent.

    • Saul Yanez

      You are right on several counts. But, my Rem 700 (a bolt-action .308) wouldn’t be able to kill 30 people as fast as I could pull the trigger which a FN SCAR (semi-auto .308) would. And the SCAR wouldn’t fare as well in close quarters as a PS90. Furthermore the PS90 wouldn’t be as manuverable as a Desert Eagle in close quarters. Design matters, and that’s why soldiers and marines don’t go to war with automatic versions of hunting rifles. (Even though many hunting rifles are civie versions on military rifles…)

    • Peter BE

      That would be a good question in a totalitarian regime. In a free country you can do AS YOU PLEASE. You can have my freedom IF there is a compelling reason to do so . For that you must at least prove that your ban is a realistic solution to the problem that you are trying to tackle. Again, the ten year assault weapon and high capacity magazine ban has proven you wrong. It is the right of your neigbour to have the weapon, it is also his responsability to secure it while he is away.

    • Saul Yanez

      If everyone did as they should we wouldn’t have to be discussing this in the first place. And you are right, banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines isn’t an end-all solution. It is only a part. I really like the ideas presented by U. Fridman on Dec. 18th. As a soldier I believe having trained and armed personnel at each school is a very good idea. However, I also agree that everyone should spend a couple years in the military and many years in jail if they are irresponsible and have their firearms stolen. Somehow I don’t believe these ideas would ever be put into effect in America.
      And while this is the land of freedom and we should be able to do as we please, we also need to take our fellow man into account. Having our way is not as important as our responsibility to protect those which we can. Mission, man, self.
      Also in respone to both your statements about the assault weapons ban:
      http://www.bradycenter.org/xshare/pdf/reports/on_target.pdf
      It was effective, just not as much as either side would have liked, due to loopholes in the legislation. (yes the link is a document from the Brady Campaign, but their sources are legitimate.

    • Steve

      If you’re my neighbor and someone breaks into my house and steals my baseball bat and 12″ inch kitchen knife, then my choices become your problem as well.

    • Saul Yanez

      I’d much rather face down a baseball bat or a kitchen knife than a semi-automatic rifle which is desgned to shred multiple people in close quarters…

    • Skip

      Yes, many firearms are made with the sole, specific, dedicated purpose of fighting people…. multiple people.

      And anyone who actually takes responsibility for there families protecting would want the best tools for that job they can find.

      Liberals may choose to trust the government to protect their kids…. I do not.

      Having lived through a man cutting through a screen porch and shattering a sliding glass door with a lawn chair while I was home alone as a child, I can tell you…..

      The Police generally solve crimes after they happen. When seconds count, the police are at least minutes away… if at all.

      If you trust the government to protect you, you are foolish. Not stupid, just misguided into a false understanding of the real world…. where you need every advantage possible because the bad guy, a guy hardened by years of abuse, living on the street, jail time/gladiator school… a guy who is solely made put of Muscle, Bones and Scar tissue… a guy who doesn’t even understand the concept of remorse….. all he notice’s is weakness!

      Who am I…. or WHO ARE YOU!… to question the tools or the means by which a Father or Mother chooses to defend them selves.

    • Saul Yanez

      I say this as a soldier, husband, father, gunowner, and Repulican.
      Unless you have 10 guys breaking into your house, each armed with an AA-12, there is nothing a good plan of action and a hunting rifle can’t protect you from. And if you need more than 10 bullets in that rifle you need the police’s help.

    • John

      Saul,

      With all due respect, I am not sure what kind of soldier you are but I can tell you anyone (LE/Mil) that has combat training knows that round count is BS. How rounds does it take to stop a bad guy? Answer: as many as it takes. This is why you see police shooting a bad guy many more than 10 times in a matter of seconds (that’s how long it could take until the threat is eliminated). You may be conditioned to believe from movies or whatever that people shot with one round will fly backwards and be killed, or believe that you can know what type of scenario a civilian may face in there home (most intruders are not alone), but hopefully you will not decide what people “need” for protection or to exercise their rights.

    • Bergman

      A standard .30-06 hunting rifle is more powerful than a PS90. It’s almost exactly the same cartridge used by the M1 Garand rifle, and any student of 20th century history knows how effective a weapon that was.

      It’s designed for killing deer and other medium to large animals. Yet it will kill a human just as readily. Many .30-06 hunting rifles are semi-automatic.

      Magazine size has little to do with it, since a skilled shooter can drop one magazine and insert another in less than a second.

      Weapons are dangerous. Not having them when someone comes to do you harm is even more dangerous.

  • Michael Johnston

    Great article if you assume Government intends to do the right thing. It’s almost as if the left wants to create the conditions that cause a response so they can then stomp on us. I’ve been a SOF Operator for decades in service to this Nation with the knowledge death is always just one mis-step away. One of the things that makes us successful is our planning. It seems prudent to me that we should do what we have always done; Plan, develope contingency plans, identify primary and alternate positions, escape routes, maybe even an E&E plan. Identify true friends, develop alternate means of communication that aren’t collected by the NSA, and stock up on things that might be useful in an emergency. We have morphed from a Contitutional Republic with the Rule of Law to a Democracy in a very short period of time and when the takers finally decide they want all my stuff I intend to make them earn it….The Constitution was not designed to restrain the People, it was designed to restrain government and the professional elite politicians in Washington have forgotten that.

  • decepticon

    The second amendment was written by men who had lived in an occupied country and who had just been through a war against their own government. Yes, they were well aware of the advantage a gun could give in terms of self defense – against bears, Indians, thieves. But they also knew it well as a weapon of war. And in their knowledge and wisdom, they saw fit to equip the citizenry with the same firepower as the federal government. In the event that the current government became a problem as the British had, they wanted Americans to be able to defend not only themselves, but their country, from its leaders.

    Flash forward to today. If President Obama is willing to take drastic measures to possibly save even one child, then he needs to take a good, hard look at mental illness in this country. Because as we saw on the same day as Sandy Hook, an insane, knife wielding man in China injured 22. The criminally mentally ill will find a way. With or without legal access to certain types of weapons. They have been documented to use baseball bats and rocks when no other instruments of destruction are at hand. Changing gun laws will have no effect on that.

    But not surprisingly, the government has been quick to latch onto the idea that violating the second amendment is the answer to the problem. Pass a bill, change a law, no fuss, no muss, no bother. Because dealing with the issue of mental illness is a very messy business. It involves hard things like determining who has what rights, it will cost LOTS of money, there is no quick fix and we might be faced with having to change society as we know it. The gun thing looks easier by the minute.

    Not to mention that negligible, all but forgotten side benefit. That taking away this class of weapons would further decrease the citizens’ ability to rise up against the government if need be, just as the framers of the Constitution originally intended us to be able to do. There are some lawmakers, I’m sure, who are truly focused on the loss of innocent life and trying to do what they think will accomplish that goal of protecting the weak. However, I fully believe that there are others, shadowy figures haunting back rooms and dim corridors, whose eyes glint with anticipation of finally getting those pesky guns out of the hands of the general population. I think we have to ask, to what end?

    • Brian

      Good comments on the mental health aspect. If you recall, back in the the late 80’s or early 90’s, the Reagan andministration gutted many social programs that were in place to assist and treat the mentally ill – many facilities were closed and the patients left to fend for themselves. At that time, I worked in San Francisco and was shocked to see the numbers of homeless rise dramatically on the streets. Fast forward to today – we have seen increasing incidents of crazies taking out people in schools, shopping centers. I don’t know if there is a correlation between the decrease in public funds to treat the mentally ill and the increase in this sort of crime, but it makes me wish that some of the tax money I already pay would go to helping the mentally ill – rather than to line a lobbyist’s pocket.

  • redbear762

    It’s time to start up the ratlines

  • Charles J MIller

    I posted the following in reply to your question: “Is Liberty At Risk?”

    Yes it is. Isn’t it ironic that the First Amendment fell first, with the government forcing Catholics to violate their religious beliefs? Now comes the assault on the Second Amendment. Again, ITS takes the higher road. Get educated, get facts, and act. This Republic of ours cannot be left to die without a even a whimper from a cowed and uninformed society. To paraphrase Marx (imagine that…): media is the opiate of the masses.

  • Skip

    Irony!

    The irony of the this whole political thing never fails to blow my mind….

    Irony – Liberals believe another law will stop a law breaker!

    Irony – Liberals believe they are qualified to regulate firearms, even though they have literally never held one!

    Irony – They want to reinstate a ban on Hi Capacity magazines, a ban that existed for 9 years and only managed to increase the cost of magazines!

    Irony – The want to reinstate a ban on bayonet lugs, flash suppressors, pistol grips… when even the CDC after 9 years couldn’t find evidence outside the margin of error that it did anything to curb violence!

    Irony – California just had another school shooting, that horribly sad situation occurred despite California’s truly draconian gun laws!

    Irony – Connecticut had an assault weapons ban in effect during the horrific murder of those babies!

    Irony – NYC, Chicago, DC, and All of California have stunningly restrictive guns laws…. and stunning gun violence!

    Irony – Liberals believe that our founding fathers made the 2nd amendment to allow for hunting, when in fact, they were specifically concerned about limiting and preventing tyrannical governments.

    Irony – Obama just signed a law ensuring life time 24hr ARMED Secret Service protection for himself while in the same breath legislating against our ability to the same!

    Irony – Liberals will never understand what we are talking about until they are truely scared ……. afraid and alone…… they can’t run ….. they don’t know where there kids are or if there ok …. and the Police just put them on hold.

    • Marco Sanchez

      You keep using that word…I don’t think it means what you think it means…

    • Skip

      Love…Princess Bride!

      I used irony because Nausea just seemed too dramatic!

    • Leo

      If I may, in regards to your sixth comment, the ban was not retroactive. In regards to the seventh, they also have the most urban areas. Finally, in response to the eighth, he has also received many thousands of death threats. I find it unlikely you’ve received the same.

    • Christian Nadeau

      Leo,

      Personally I don’t think it matters how many threats someone has or has not received; we should all have the same ability to defend ourselves. If the president wants to leave me defenseless he should be just as defenseless. Being the president does not suddenly make his life more important than my life, your life, or our family member’s lives; he is still just a man.

      Also, I’m not sure where you’re from but it must be nice to have muggers tells you they’re about to knock you out or for a home intruder to send you an RSVP. For the rest of us, we live in a world where the threats to our safety are not always known beforehand and as a result we need every ability to protect ourselves, which includes our right to be armed.

      Chris

    • Leo

      The mugger RSVP comment was cute, but you know full well what I meant about having a higher chance of a targeted attack rather than a random act of violence.

    • Skip

      You find no Irony in the fact that the same day he called for disarming law abiding citizens, he also ensure he will get armed protection for life….. honestly, you can’t see that?

    • Leo

      Let’s give the hyperbole, “disarming,” a rest, shall we? If we mandated that everything from a kitchen knife to a toe-nail clipper be removed from your house, then it’d be plenty ironic, but your statement was under a false premises.

    • Christian Nadeau

      Leo,

      I understand that you feel the president, as a public official, is a more visible target. However, most people already know, and if they didn’t they are know aware based on the attention the issue has been getting, that the president and his family are protected 24 hours a day by ARMED guards. With that in mind, how many times has he or his family been in actual physical danger because of a mugger, home invader, mass murderer, etc. since he took office and became a so called “target”? According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports 2008 had about 1,420,000 reported violent crimes, 2009 had 1,330,000 reported, 2010 had 1,240,000 reported, and 2011 had 1,200,000 violent crimes reported (http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/violent-crime/violent-crime). With so many violent crimes don’t you think we would have heard if even one of them had been against our own president? It seems to me that none of these violent crimes were committed against the people you claim as more likely to be targeted, but instead were committed against everyday citizens (apparently law abiding citizens to boot because they actually reported the crimes instead of doing drive-by’s in retaliation). So, do you still think someone who is quite obviously surrounded 24 hours per day by armed guards is really at a higher risk than an average citizen being stalked by a mugger or rapist, or the single mother in Georgia a few days ago hiding in a crawl space with her two children as a home invader comes after them?

      Chris
      p.s. Skip & Leo, I’m commenting here because there is no “reply” button under Leo’s original RSVP comment.

    • Ricebll

      Yet you have politicians like Feinstein who has access to private armed security (which the average citizen does not) and (despite her anti-gun stance) possesses a concealed carry permit, which in CA is very hard to get unless you’ve been directly threatened, would deny the regular citizen the ability to protect ourselves from those would do us harm.

  • Ian

    I just want to speak on the “hostile take-over” issue. I wonder how many of us REALLY feel like a government cou is a true possibility in this country. I can’t see it, I mean our leaders have to be so über-qualified that becoming president is next to impossible. That being said, many of us are expecting Obama’s eyes to glow red during his inauguration and Kim Jong-Il to pop out of the stage door like a jack in the box. Obama will wear him like a parrot on his shoulder and the those two will put a hurtin on us.

    But really, how far are we from having to protect ourselves from a rogue government? We are a democratic nation, so staunch in our belief that democracy is the right way, that we have been trying to install democracy in other conflicted countries all over the world.

    Should a rogue government occur, what happens to the military? Do some of them become rebels and some stay true to the COC? If so, will I have to point my Ruger Carbine at a US soldier? I don’t want to do that, I have a support the troops flag in my yard, I’ll be so confused. Thank God it’s not going to happen, it just isn’t.

    If an outside nation tries to attack us and our current military cant handle it for us, we’ll be drafted and we’ll be able to use the millions of rifles etc that we have mothballed around the country.

    What I’m getting at here is that the Second Amendment has become a crutch for us. I think we love it because its one of the last things we have regarding property that is a right and not a privilege. Gun ownership IS a privilege though and it should be a right of those that have proven to have the maturity and clearness of mind to be law abiding. I watched a video recently where a girl takes the post sight of a desert eagle right in the forehead. She shouldn’t own a gun, at most she should own a pillow. If it comes to the point in this country where that girl claims the second amendment and takes up arms to protect YOU and I, I am outta here and you should come too cause we’re F’d in the A.

    I like background checks because I can pass one. But, if you don’t like them because you can’t pass them, should we really trust you with a gun? No, and we should make an honest effort to get the ones you already have, away from you. I’ll end here at the risk of the “you try and come take them a-hole” comments… Yawn

    • Skip

      Ian, Until a few weeks ago…. I would have agreed with you 100%

      But we now have a sitting Vice President talking about using an executive order to circumvent congress and the Constitution…….

      To MIS-quote the first lady…. “For the first time in my life, I’m AFRAID of my country.”

    • Peter BE

      Ian, the trustworthyness of a government aside, don’t you think a high capacity military style rifle can be useful or even essential in case of a major disaster or social unrest when criminal elements take advantage of the situation? There are quite a few examples of this in recent history.

    • Ian

      To be honest, it sure would be. But not being the relenting type, I would like you to qualify the recent historical events statement. What? Where? When? And was a firearm with a high capacity magazine used to eliminate a threat by a private citizen? I think an event like Katrina where even law enforcers put down their arms and retreated might be an example. However, that started as a looting event and became a desperation event. I don’t recall seeing any reports of citizens being required to empty 30+ rounds at anyone. That being said, I wasn’t there and I don’t watch Fox News who most certainly would have reported such a thing, they get everything right I was told by a buddy.

    • Peter BE

      @ Ian, I was especially referring to the LA riots when we saw on the news that shop owners stood on the roof with rifles to protect them from being looted and burned down. Not only did they protect their own life and property, but the allowed emergency professionals to focus there attention somewhere else where it was needed.

    • Jay

      Search youtube for “Boy defends self and sister from intruders with dad’s AR15” … in this incident in Texas, a 14 year old boy protects himself and his younger sister from multiple intruders, 3 I think using his dad’s AR15. He hits one of the intruders and they all fled, saving himself and his little sister from who knows what might have happened. Chew on that one for a bit…

    • Skip

      Check out that Mom that protected herself and her kids….

      She shot the guy 5 times, missed with one and the revolver was empty.

      The guy didn’t instantly stop, he actually ended up driving away….

      Thank goodness there weren’t two of those monsters…. those kids might be dead.

      2 lessons here….

      1) Pistols are poor fight stoppers

      2) Who knows how many rounds will be enough…..

    • Ricebll

      As the lyrics to an old song went, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”.

      I don’t think that many here think that Obama and his kin are truly evil and in league with the likes of Kim Jong Il and are really set out to become an evil dictator. However, it’s not impossible to believe that this country could potentially become a dictatorship through the slow eroding of our rights and thus enacting a bloodless coup.

      If an active coup were attempted I don’t think (hopefully) that you’d have to face down many US Soldiers, Marines, or any other service member because the oath that all of us who have served and are currently serving is to the Constitution of the United States and not to the President, Congress, or even the DoD. Specifically, the oath says to “. . . to protect the Constitution of the United States from all enemies, foreign and domestic”. Furthermore, it goes on to stat that we are to obey the lawful orders of those appointed above us, the key words here being lawful orders and I’d say that any order to fire on innocent civilians resisting or protesting an attempted coup would constitute an illegal order.

  • TearsinmyBeer

    There’s an excellent writeup on this very subject over at thetruthaboutguns blog

    http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2013/01/william-c-montgomery/american-gun-rights-power-to-the-people/#comment-604835

  • Brian James

    As usual, thank you for the well considered commentary.

    I don’t think that a knee-jerk response based on statistically insignificant mass murders, is right for the country. I certainly think that an EO would send the wrong message. Obama should remember that he barely got 50% support for his reelection, and many gun-owning democrats do not support him on this issue.

    As a responsible gun owner, I have never been involved in a private-party transfer. I wouldn’t want to sell a firearm to a prohibited person and I believe that other gun owners would feel the same way. Requiring all transfers to go through a FFL01 is expensive and honestly adds too much to the cost of say a $200 handgun purchase. I would support a streamlined method to determine if a person was prohibited, but the system as is won’t work. Fixing this part of the system, not waiting periods, not capacity restrictions, not semi-auto bans could be useful.

    Finally, I have to say that it is hard to engage the other side, when they won’t do the research. When they won’t learn the proper terminology. Words are important and they have meaning.

    When it comes to an intelligent discussion about guns, I am more likely to teach a 5 year old how to shoot safely, than have an cogent discussion of firearms legislation with the likes of Obama, Biden, Feinstein and Bloomberg.

  • Steve

    I think that one of the challenges that we having in expressing our position clearly is that those in the public who may be convinced to support an assault weapons ban simply don’t understand guns and the terminology used to describe guns. I believe that we have a responsibility to clearly educate the public some we can have more informed, civil discourse. Those who would want to limit our freedoms call they plans “common sense solutions.” We know that is not the case because of our “technical” knowledge of firearms.

    I posted the following to Facebook and a number of friends who I had pegged anti-gun responded very positively.
    ~~
    One of the things that is getting in the way of a constructive conversation about gun policy is the jargon used to describe the firearms in question. As with any conversation, the misunderstanding, inconsistant, or otherwise inaccurate use of terms creates miscommunications. And, miscommunication inevitably leads to frustration and intense emotion (as we have seen on both sides of the debate) and ultimately results in the inability to have positive discourse.

    I feel a responsibility to help educate people at large about this issue so we can have a more intelligent conversation. I believe that by creating a larger “pool of shared meaning” we can better discuss the problems in our current gun policies and work toward taking actions which address those challenges.

    Please understand, there is a difference between Assault Rifles and Assault Weapons. While the sound the same and look similar they should NOT be used interchangeably as they often are in conversation and in the media. Assault Rifles are a class of weapons that are fully automatic – meaning you hold down the trigger and the rifle fires until empty. These types of rifles have bee well-regulated under the National Firearms Act passed in 1934. They are largely inaccessible to civilians. Assault Weapons on the other hand is a broad term used to describe weapons whose appearance resembles that of a fully automatic Assault Rifle but are semi-automatic in nature – i.e. pulling the trigger fires one bullet. The trigger must be released and re-pulled to fire another bullet. Many commonly owned firearms are semi-automatic including those owned for sporting, hunting, and self-defense purposes. In fact, the technology itself has been around for over 100 years.

    Put simply, the mechanical function of Assault Rifles and those understood to be Assault Weapons are completely different. The only thing they share in common is their cosmetic appearance.

    • Christian Nadeau

      Steve,

      While I agree it is frustrating for people like us to hear anti-gun advocates misusing terms, I do not think it is worth it trying to point out that their terminology is wrong. I think it is more important to point out how their position in unconstitutional regardless of whether they want to say a flash suppressor is the shoulder thing that goes up. Arguing over what each gun is called distracts from the real issue of the fact that they are trying to take the guns away. As far as the media is concerned, a 30rd magazine has and always will be a “high capacity clip” and nothing we say will change that opinion. I think it would be a far better idea to pose questions to anti-self defense type people; ask how the government plans on enforcing personal responsibility (for instance, there are laws prohibiting texting while driving yet there are still car accidents and deaths that happen because the driver was texting); is the graphic depiction of brutality, murder, rape, explosive amputation (i.e. dismemberment), torture, against humans good or bad, and if they are bad then why does the media persist in pushing shows with these depictions such as “The Walking Dead”?; why are the media and politicians focusing solely on the tools used to commit the crime instead of the psychological and outside factors that instigated the person to commit the crime?; ask what percentage the previous AWB decrease crime by; how has the Gun-Free Zone Act of 1990 worked? (hint – Columbine, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, and far too many more to list); ask if they would support measures that would respond to such incidents with an immediate armed response; would they have supported a police officer if one had shot the attacker in Sandy Hook?, then follow up by asking if they would have also supported a civilian if one had brought the attack to an end (after all, it shouldn’t matter who stops the attacker so long as it is stopped). These are the kinds of questions we should be posing to anti-self defense folks. You can find more such questions in Nutnfancy’s video “The Greater Good – Arm Up” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2MLQTnEGRg). Again, I think it is pointless to argue about terminology when the real issue is the taking away of our right to self defense.

      Chris

  • Michael Mauldin

    “Assault Weapon” is redundant. All weapons are for “assault”. You defend yourself by assaulting the other guy before he assaults you.

    The good news is that here in Texas our newly elected Senator Ted Cruz is very pro-2nd amendment (whereas Kay Bailey Hutchison was recently quoted as being against standard capacity magazines).

    The bad news is that just like the presidential election, our state is a lock, so voting here has no additional effect. One thing you can do is go to your local gun store and buy something using cash. Many of those panic buys during December were on credit cards, so our local merchants are going to be hit with very large holdbacks.

  • johnyD

    I truly appreciate ITS and this article. While writing my elected (not necessarily by me-) representatives, I could not include enough words to stress what ITS has started with: educated, informed and accurate. As I wait for the changes, many that will devastate good American industry people, I pause daily to ponder how a woman scorned (over, and over, and over?) and the pundits that back the “personal opinion poll” have conceived together a power (with the mainstream media backing) to infringe on rights, hands down. Not one of them is truly pointing to a problem/ resolution based on sound reasoning. And yet here I am, Letters and phone calls, two cents worth amounts to a rubber nickel, waiting, as the boxes are checked. I, like most I am sure, are feeling a little disillusioned by my state and country because of these “creditable” twits and now I eat my crow and fall miserably off my soap box. I never looked at it so profoundly until it came to what it is today- Un American- No matter the outcome, we should never diminish are efforts to provide a safe environment for our children, family, friends, and continue to serve (however we can) our communities. I am the sheepdog-

  • Davis

    Gents, for any interested, I have started a thread in the Forums to be able to hopefully have a healthy back and forth discussion on this article and topic. Link: http://itstactical.com/forum/index.php?/topic/1555-is-our-liberty-at-risk/

  • Mark

    Please allow me to preface what I am about to write by stating that I am an owner of multiple firearms. The thing is this – The US Supreme Court has ruled that the right to bear arms is an individual right granted by the 2nd Amendment. Leaving aside for a moment that this is a stance that is of very recent vintage in constitutional jurisprudence, I think it bears stating that none of the rights conferred to us under the Constitution are unlimited. “The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man falsely shouting fire in a theater and causing a panic.” Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., Schenck v. United States, 249 U.S. 47 (1919). In other words, even one of our most cherished rights, the right to free speech, is a limited right and the 2nd Amendment is not an exception to this principle. Not even the most ardent support of gun rights would argue that the 2nd Amendment gives an individual the right to possess a nuclear or chemical warfare weapon. So the question becomes, how is the right to be limited? There is no serious debate about whether severe restrictions on owning fully automatic weapons constitutes a threat to our liberty. So I ask, on what basis does one argue that a ban on owning a semi-automatic weapon designed specifically for war fighting threaten our essential liberties? No one with a straight face can claim that an AR-15 has much utility as a hunting rifle. In fact, many states consider the 5.56 NATO round to be inhumane as a game round because it is unlikely to kill the animal quickly. Most serious hunters would choose almost any other caliber weapon over the AR-15’s .223. So this weapon of war has no utility other than killing another human being. Why do we accept a ban on fully automatic weapons? Because such a weapon serves no other purpose than to kill more efficiently. Why should we treat an AR-15 any differently? If one wishes to argue that owning an AR-15, or any other battle rifle, is legitimate for entertainment purposes, fine, that is a valid argument. But to couch your arguments in terms of a threat to essential liberty is, in my opinion, nothing more than a fear mongering falsehood. RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED.

    • Davis

      I just want to take a moment to respectfully point out sir, that first the .223/5.56 round is in fact widely used as a hunting platform for predator animals in many, many US States, as well as Canada. Including myself, I know lots of hunters that use the AR platform in the caliber for hunting purposes.
      Secondly, from your wording it would appear that you think fully automatic weapons are banned and illegal to the general public. If you are in fact under this impression than you are lacking knowledge in that area. Fully automatic weapons are quite legal, they simply involve a bit more paperwork and a tax to be paid, but so long as you can pass a background check you can have one.

    • Leo

      That is true, there are some that use the .223 caliber bullet while hunting. That being said, I don’t think you are going to need that thirty round magazine for holding off an ambush by deer. I believe ten would suffice in that scenario.

    • Christian Nadeau

      Leo,

      I’m pretty sure there are hunting laws in place that limit you to 5-10 rounds in a semi-auto when hunting, but the issue isn’t whether we should have up to 30 rounds for hunting. The issue is whether we’ll still be allowed to own the semi-auto and have 30 rounds for whatever legal purpose we want, whether it is self defense, target shooting, etc.

      Chris

    • Ian

      That’s well written. I hate that you are going to get three thumbs down and it won’t be shown anymore. I subscribe to lots of these sites via twitter and other forums. The one thing that I have noticed is an overwhelming response of “I will because I can and its not my governments place to stop me” To that end, some one even challenged me on a governments right to ban smoking in places, one of those being a hospital. I thought to myself, if the governement’s choice to ban smoking, something that has medically proven to do nothing but harm, wasn’t banned in hospitals, would some one light up in the bed beside me? I’ve answered “absolutely” to that. Why does the government make are choices for us? Because they recognize, and we by electing them and not moving to an uninhabited island, recognize that people out there will do dumb things if its left up to them. Our biggest problem is that we don’t want to be told “NO” by anyone. But that’s not how we live on a daily basis. We live by cultural norms, where something things are worse than others and the killing of another person is the worst. I already said, I like guns, guns are good, when good people have them. We need to make an effort to get them out of the wrong hands, I just don’t have an answer on how to do it.

    • Christian Nadeau

      Ian,

      I’m not going to get into an argument about smoking, but I will say that if hospitals didn’t want people smoking in them they could simply choose not to allow it; they do not need the government to step in. Back to the real issue, your statement about how people do dumb things seems to imply that you feel gun-ownership by law abiding citizens in this country is dumb and thus must be taken away. In my opinion such disarmament is dumb because after firearms are banned only criminals (read – PEOPLE WHO DO NOT OBEY LAWS) will have them, so how are new gun control LAWS (you know, the things that criminals do not obey) actually supposed to protect law abiding citizens? As for “we by electing them”, I can with absolute certainty say that there are a great many people in this country who did NOT choose to elect our current president and gun-grabbing legislators. To that end, you are damn right that we do not want to be told “No” when it comes to our Constitutionally-recognized rights. Focus should be on the psychological and biological factors that cause the person to commit a crime, not on the tools used.

      Chris

    • Christian Nadeau

      Mark,

      To quote the Bill of Rights, “The Declaration of Independence recognizes God, the Creator, and there is a Supreme Judge – Devine Providence, from whom we receive certain inalienable rights, that of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” The “life” part of that statement includes the our right to protect our own lives. Notice also that it is clearly stated that this right is RECOGNIZED by our Constitution, not that it is GIVEN by our Constitution. In my opinion, this clearly means that our Second Amendment rights are indeed unlimited. Bringing nuclear and chemical weapons into the argument seems a bit childish to me because absolutely nobody is talking about extending the Second Amendment to cover nuclear weapons; we are talking about our right to own and use firearms. The reason there is no debate about full-auto weapons is because the gun-grabbers do not care if a firearm is full-auto or not; they simply want all firearms out of the hands of law abiding citizens. To that end, they have already made it incredibly hard (and maybe in some cases impossible) for citizens to own full-auto firearms, so semi-autos are the next stop on the road to total disarmament of private citizens. I may be wrong about this because I was only 4 when the original AWB was instituted but I’m willing to bet there were plenty of law abiding gun owners who did not simply accept the ban of full-auto weapons without a fight. Also, I’m willing to bet that you don’t really have much if any knowledge of what happens when you fire a weapon full-auto, and though I have never fired one personally I understand the mechanics and physics involved. Simply, firing a weapon causes the gases expanding out of the barrel to push the weapon backwards (Newton’s Third Law of Motion) in an action known as recoil that inevitably raises the barrel to a certain degree. Firing full-auto causes the barrel to rise and move around much more in spite of attempts to hold the weapon steady, and as a result the point of impact from one slug to the next varies, meaning that accuracy decreases. When accuracy decreases it is less likely that every slug will hit a vital organ, which means that firing full-auto is less likely to kill the intended target than individual well-aimed shots. Less likelihood of killing your target does not seem to be a “more efficient” way of killing people as you claim. Finally, diverting the topic to whether or not a particular style of weapon has a purpose in hunting is of little consequence because the issue is not about our right to use such firearms for hunting; it is about our Constitutionally-recognized right to own such firearms.

      Chris

    • Leo

      That is true, American rifleman use semi-auto or burst in almost every combat scenario. I still cannot thing of a single good reason to have full-auto firearms more available, though. They seem fun as hell, but so do many other illegal things.

    • Christian Nadeau

      Leo,

      I’m not aware of any proposed legislation to make full-auto firearms more available. There is, however, proposed legislation aimed at taking away all semi-auto firearms as well as restricting magazines to 10 rounds. To that end, those in government do not care about protecting citizens from “fun” or dangerous things, they only care about protecting their own power. For example, the vice president has stated that if Congress doesn’t pass stricter gun control laws the president will simply go around them by using Executive Order. Congress’s unwillingness to encroach on the citizen’s constitutionally recognized rights shows that the president isn’t able to control them and as a result he takes action (through the use of EO) to circumvent them, in a way saying that he’s still got power no matter how wrong it is. If the government cared at all about protecting citizens there would be discussion on how to keep the mentally ill away from the general public, not how to disarm law abiding citizens so they cannot protect themselves from such psychopaths.

      Chris

    • Leo

      The fact is, they are still available to the civilians who put in the necessary paper work and dollars necessary to own one, which still has no logical reasoning. Also, it is my belief that the responsible gun owners will accept a system which requires more steps to procure a firearm as long as these steps are effective at keeping weapons with a high potential to cause damage out of the hands of the mentally ill. Sure, it may be a pain in the ass to go through more steps and spend more money to get guns anymore, but its not much of a cost when compared with the tragedy that would be caused otherwise. I don’t wish to for fewer guns to be legal, just for more requirements for people to own guns legally.

    • Jeremiah Pitts

      I don’t think that ruling means what you think it means. Schenck v. United States was later revised in Brandenburg vs. Ohio to include only when promoting an imminent lawless act. That is to say that speech is completely unencumbered until that moment where violence results. Free speech cannot be restricted because of potential future threats, only imminent real ones. Are you suggesting that’s a good bar for the second amendment, too? Gun rights should be unencumbered until the moment when a person performs a violent act with one?

  • Dave

    If standard cap mags and military style weapons are so bad why than does our presidents guards use them for his protection and the protection of his family? What makes his family more important than mine? Why are guards in public schools bad yet his family gets to go to a school with security that is stronger than most banks?

    • Saul Yanez

      Probably because he has active enemies rather than enemies of opportunity. But we definitely should get armed guards in our schools. JOB CREATION!!

  • Nate

    MOLON LABE!

  • Mike

    I appreciate the well thought out article and comments. I also believe we need to try to present a more carefully worded position then “you can pry it from my cold, dead hand”. While the tough sayings and cool pics of the grim reaper are fun, they are not getting the message to the majority of the people who are in the middle. As with any issue, we will never change the minds of those who have the extreme views either way. We need everyone to work in the middle and find compromise. We can’t really expect there to be no change at all after the tragic occurrences that force gun issues into the national spotlight. Most everyone can agree on some type of gun laws (personally I’m good with not letting felons possess guns for example). I believe that if we as a nation can catch our breath and think for a minute, we can see there is really no difference between a 20 round mag and a 30 round mag and move on to issues that might actually help to prevent the carnage.

  • Pesky Fruit

    I think you’re missing the point people.

    I understand your built-in need to carry a gun, and this is obviously driven by the Consitution. Constitution written in times, when walk into woods would produce an encounter with big, wild animal. Where there was still wilderness on the other side of the window (if the window was there).

    Times changed, and now guns, militia, military industry slowly loose their need to be. There’s no need to fight the wars, and wilderness is now limited to some very specific and well defined geographic areas.

    Biggest problem with that way of thinking is that you’re mixing the NEED to carry a gun with RIGHT to carry a gun (‘arms’ in Constitution). In other countries around the world, where people generally don’t have access to guns or it’s strictly limited – the crimes using any forms of guns are close to 0% of the total quota. With the 2011 data: you have 89 guns for 100 Americans. And you’ve had 8583 murders using gun in 2011. Compare this to less than 150 in France, Canada, Germany, or less than 50 in Japan.

    Really, guys? Really you feel so afraid of YOUR COMMUNITY? This has a solution, but giving your guns is worst possible idea then.

  • Leo

    After commenting on several others’ positions on this issue, I shall present mine. While some firearms are more effective at killing humans than others, I believe that most firearms have the potential to do a great heal of harm in the hands of an experienced shooter, regardless of type. Jared Loughner did plenty of damage with a fairly standard handgun.

    This is why I have little concern as to the types of weapons available to civilians, but rather to whom may own them. The effort needed to acquire a weapon at a gun show is comical. If firearm ownership was so essential that we would allow them to obtained so easily and with so little security, then everyone would be issued one at the age of eighteen. While it is neither of these two ends, firearm ownership is closer to a privilege than a right. It is my belief that if a person is to have the responsibility of owning a weapon of high lethal potential, then they must demonstrate the maturity and stability necessary first. If you wish to have this responsibility, I say pay the additional fee to have yourself background checked and have the security of knowing that the mentally unstable must also do the same. Furthermore, long-term firearm safety and marksmanship training should be a prerequisite to firearm ownership, not matters of preference. A person may feel powerful after purchasing such a tool, but I will not feel safe if they are just as likely to shoot me by accident as they are a dangerous gunman on purpose. Military personnel are not given their rifles until they know how to use them safely, requiring the civilians of America to do the same is no outlandish request.

    In a different direction, a serious discussion must be had on the effect that our laws have on criminals versus our popular mythology of all types. An oft repeated sentiment is that criminals do not observe the laws anyway, how would our gun laws affect them? Instead of asking that question, why don’t we ask what laws we can institute to hold law-abiding citizens to a higher standard of responsibility? Mandatory gun safes, gun locks, and proper ammunition storage.

    More power without more responsibility or discrimination towards whom may possess such power is a recipe for instability.

    • Christian Nadeau

      Leo,

      According to the New York Times circa 2004 the average car in the U.S. weighs 4,000 pounds and the average top speed is between 145-155 miles per hour. As soon as a juvenile turns 16 he/she can go to driver’s ed (which is about 40 hours long), spend a bit of time driving around with an adult and then they pretty much have free-reign of these 4,000 pound battering rams to do whatever they want. One statistic states that in 2011 there were over 32,300 deaths due to motor vehicle accidents. Do you think a 16-17 year old behind the wheel of a 4,000 pound hunk of metal (what could be described as a weapon of highly lethal potential) texting their friends, playing with the radio, etc. is more mature or has a better sense of responsibility than a 21 year old pistol permit holder who knows darn well that his/her handgun can kill if misused? TV shows such as “Teen Mom” and “World’s Strictest Parents” do not give me the impression that kids old enough to first get their driver’s license are mature, responsible, or stable.

      In regards to your comment about the importance of gun ownership, I think most 18-year-olds would get a gun if not for the government’s attempts to completely strip citizens of their guns. Many in Washington have made it clear that they do not care about how essential citizen’s rights rights are by stating that our very own Constitution is just a scrap of paper from our past and that it has little importance. Also, why must law abiding citizens be held to a higher standard when they have already shown they have not committed criminal acts? They have already shown they have higher standards through the fact that they DON’T BREAK THE LAW. Why establish more laws to control law abiding citizens when the criminals are the problem? If your car keeps getting flat tires (crimes) would you say that we need more regulations on emissions testing (law abiding citizens) or would you say that we need to get the damn nails (criminals) off the street? More power taken away by the government is a recipe for the complete loss of liberty and the eventual establishment of a dictatorship.

      Chris

    • Leo

      Couldn’t agree more, the drivers’ licenses should be more difficult to earn. The human mind is neither developed nor mature enough to handle such a responsibility at that age. I’m not necessarily sure that 21 is a wise general minimum age either. It is clear to me that some can handle it, such as military personnel as young as 17 (16 in the UK), but a matter as life-and-death as firearm ownership shouldn’t be something trusted to the absolute minimum, but more so bestowed to the best. As mentioned above, they don’t give military recruits weapons until they have shown how they can handle themselves, and they are still in a highly controlled environment with those weapons in training. Being familiar with the sheepdog/wolf analogy, you know that it is more difficult to be a sheepdog than wolf, but you will do it because it is about the safety of others close to you. I’m not saying that you be taken out of your home monthly and flogged in return for your 2nd amendment rights, I’m saying that we ask more of you for all the times you aren’t there to save someone. It is easy to say that criminals will get their guns, legal or not, but that is often said with the assumed precondition that I am proposing that all guns be outlawed rather than restricted, and that total gun removal would be the only way to affect criminals. Its easy to get the scenario in your mind of rogue gun factories producing weapons to be smuggled into the hands of criminals; it is dramatic and exciting. However, all guns are created equal, it is how easily the criminals may attain them that is the important independent variable. If gun control really made no difference on who had guns, then they’d be bought like candy so everyone could have one to defend themselves against everyone else. Moving on from that digression, it is unrealistic to think you’ll somehow get rid of all the nails on your road. Why not make them more blunt? (crappy responding metaphor, I apologize.) Sure they’ll have knives and whatever else their devious minds think of, but you rarely hear of mass stabbings.

  • Rick

    This might sting some. Most of you are going to tell me I’ve got no idea what I’m talking about. The thing is that I do know what I’m talking about. I’m going to get a lot of negative votes, I know.
    Let me tell you where I’m coming from first.
    Since I was 17 years old, I’ve been defending this country: first as a Soldier and now as a Police Officer.
    So here it is:
    Scientifically speaking, 98% of people out there would not kill another person (see Grossman, On Killing).
    That’s right, 98%.
    But according to Wikipedia (not research, I know), there is something like 88.8 guns per 100 US citizens. Yet only 2 of every 100 could use the gun to kill someone.
    That means that the vast majority of people will bring a gun to a situation and then, simply, fail to use it in any effective way. There was an armed guard at Columbine. The shooter in Portland was confronted by a person who was carrying a firearm, but didn’t engage the threat with fire. I’m not judging – I’m stating a fact. I work with people who probably couldn’t do it.
    Most of you out there, who cherish your Second Amendment rights, would not be able to bring your precious weapon to bear, whether to protect yourself or to protect another person or to defend the country from an outside invasion or internal coup. Again, I’m not judging. The reason is that the majority of you out there are really good, decent people who can’t really imagine wounding or killing another person. Most people out there have probably never even been involved in a fist fight or physical confrontation, or at least, not in their adult life.
    So here’s the big issue with everybody out there wanting to carry or own a gun. Other than the obvious, being that you will probably never be the victim of a violent crime for which a firearm would provide protection. Most people, if they were the victim of a crime and had a gun, wouldn’t be able to use it effectively to end the threat or crime. This is where most of you reading this are saying “Not me” or “You’ve got no idea about what I’d do…” but unless you’ve been trained, and trained extensively, the likelihood of you effectively engaging a hostile target is pretty remote. Truth. The likelihood of you firing off a bunch of rounds, not hitting anything or hitting someone that you didn’t mean to hit are far greater.
    Gun fighting isn’t a joke. It’s not easy. It’s not fun. You don’t level up at the end of it. It’s terrifying. It’s bloody and it results in an absolute bucket load of trauma, both physical and mental. The outcome of a gun fight is always tragic. You’d like to think that if you were in a situation, say you were in the neighbourhood of Sandy Hook or at the theater in Aurora, that you would have engaged those threats. No body armor, no distraction devices, nothing but that Glock 22 that you got the CCW certificate for because you didn’t feel safe taking your family for frozen yogurt unarmed. I’m going to tell you that you probably wouldn’t have. You, most likely, would have waited and watched while police filled the area. You’re more likely to have pulled out your cell phone camera and recorded what was going on than to have pulled out a weapon and engaged anything. Once again, this isn’t me judging or telling anyone what they should or shouldn’t do. Human nature is to run away from danger, not move toward it.
    If the police who responded to those calls, and who will continue to respond to those calls, come across you, and by some chance you’ve got your Glock in your hand, you will be engaged like a threat but you probably know that. You’re of no use to us, because we don’t know you. We don’t know your training and more importantly, you don’t know ours, and we don’t have time to talk about it. You’re probably not equipped to assist us anyway. Without body armor, without tactical training, without communications – you’d be more of a liability than an asset.
    The day after Sandy Hook, my cousin called me and asked what he should put in his critical incident “bug out bag”. He said he wanted to be able to go to any sort of incident in his neighborhood and engage the threat. He wanted to help the cops if they needed him. I told him that if he really wanted to help the police, he’d quit his job and become a cop. I told him that outside of that, the best thing for him to have is a trauma kit and some first aid training. Cops aren’t going invite a random guy with a bug out bag and a gun into a wildly unpredictable and dangerous situation like a gun fight. It comes back to your lack of training, an urgent need to identify and engage the threat and an over-abundance of liability.
    I have guns. I’ve never used one of my personal guns to interdict a criminal act. I’ve used my personal guns to feed my family though. What bothers me about what I’m reading these days from the anti-gun control people is that they all seem to believe that the day they don’t have a loaded gun on their person or under their pillow, will be the day that someone tries to rob them or breaks into their house in the middle of the night. The paranoia and fear is borderline crazy. I know, just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean that they’re not after you. Statistically, you have something like a 0.007% (7 in 1000 people) chance of being violently attacked by a stranger. It’s not a 0% chance so I guess some level of worry is warranted.
    I don’t have the magical answer to stop these mass killings and shooting sprees. But as a Police Officer, I can say that the solution must start somewhere. Gun control legislation is as good a way to start us toward the solution as any. The solution isn’t more guns or more people with guns. The solution starts with stringent background checks on people who own and want to own guns. You have to have a background check to coach little league or be a scout leader. Why shouldn’t you need one to buy a gun? If you are a convicted felon or criminal then you should not have one. If you have a history of mental illness, you should not have one. If you can’t pass a background check, then you shouldn’t be able to coach my kid and you shouldn’t be able to buy a gun.
    If you think that you need an AR-15 rifle to protect you and your family, maybe you do…but maybe you need a home security system and an escape plan more.
    I’m not going to tell you how many rounds you need to protect yourself. If I said that we should limit commercially available magazines to 5 rounds, you’d just go buy 20 magazines so you could still carry 100 rounds. In the end, you’re going to say that you’d rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it. And I bet Adam Lanza’s mom said the exact same thing. You’ll also say that bad guys will get guns and the law abiding citizens won’t. To that I say you have police (who have training, accountability and who are sworn to protect you) , courts and jails to deal with bad guys with guns. And in truth, you’re only one poorly interpreted threat cue from being seen as a “bad guy with a gun” anyway. “Bad guy” is such a subjective term. The fact of the matter is that if you are a good, law abiding citizen and you can maintain some semblance of situational awareness, you will probably never have to worry about an encounter with a bad guy anyway. And if you do find yourself face to face with a bad guy, your cell phone and wits are what you need, not a bullet launcher.
    If there is one thing that I have learned over the last 22 years, it’s that guns don’t make you safe. If they did, I’d have the safest job in the world. Situational awareness, training and planning make you safe. Think about what I said the next time you’re strapping your .45 into your CCW holster before you head out to walk the dog. I’m sure that you’re part of the 2% who are capable of using it. It’s all these other bozo’s who can’t. After all…we’re all blogging on a tactical company’s website.
    God bless the Sheepdog’s and the Rough Men out there. Stay safe, America.

    • John

      While I respect your opinion on this, I have to disagree. Having been to Grossman’s lecture and reading his books, I can tell you the figure is correct for untrained people. Do you really believe that all police and military otherwise would only have 2% capable of handling a lethal threat? Would you thing police should have 5 round limits on mags too? Probably not as that would severely limit there ability to defend themselves and others (how many rounds does it take to stop a bad guy?)

      I agree that the chances are low of a person being attacked but that isn’t really the point of the 2nd amendment. Also, you fail to realize that there are other purposes that people own forearms than for defense (such as sport…three gun for example.) The problem is that these types of things are very very rare and crime is the lowest since the 80s. If the laws banning these types of things were in effect they would not have made a difference except to law abiding citizens. The bad guy brought multiple guns and stole them. Passing more restrictive laws wouldn’t have changed that. And even if it would have an impact do you know at what cost? 210 people in the last ten years have died in all of the mass shooting combined, while 45 million of these rifles where used for hunting, high power and three gun competitions, as well as self defense (see comment above where 15 year old shot an intruder with an ar15 to protect his 12 year old sister.) If we banned all cars we could save tens of thousands of lives per year (and cell phones), but the cost to our economy and freedom would be too great. I respectfully ask that you may consider the possibility that you may be mistaken in this regards.

    • Rick

      Hi John,

      You’re absolutely right about a lot of things. Grossman clearly says that the 2% tend to gather in military, law enforcement units and, unfortunately, prisons. No, I do not think that only 2% of police can deal with a lethal threat.

      I also don’t think that limiting a police officers ammo load out is effective at all. But I don’t think I eluded to that, either. I don’t think that magazines and magazine capacity is the problem at all. Neither are the people who use their firearms to compete in legitimate sport.

      You seem to be open minded about some of this stuff. You say 210 people have been killed in all of these mass shootings…I find it amazing that we are sitting here talking about 210 lives like it’s a low number. It’s a company plus sized group. If an entire company gets wiped out in combat, a commander MUST reassess his strategy. Similarly, the citizenry of the US must reassess their strategy on preventing this sort of senseless slaughter.

      It bothers me that the anti-gun control argument somehow swings back to cars all the time. Cars kill people, too, but we don’t ban cars. It’s apples and oranges. A 16 year old kid in a Ford Escort on your street might cause you a bit of consternation, but that same 16 year old with an AR-15 on your street would cause you to panic. The best part about it to me is that I don’t think that most of the people who attempt this argument actually believe in it.

      Like I said, I don’t have the magical answer. We can’t look at this as a 1 step solution. It’s a multi-tier problem with a multi-tier solution required. The problem is now. It’s actually 30 years old. But we’ve let our fear of losing something prevent any good faith discussion of a real solution. There are parts of the problem that are just too big to address effectively. And then there are parts that could be addressed easily and quickly. The mental health and societal issues which drive young men to act out this way is too big an issue to be tackled immediately. The availability of the weapons of choice is a much easier part of the problem to address. It’s a part of the problem that can be addressed immediately and have some effect.

      Anti-gun control people just want to tell you how this won’t work or that won’t work. But what we are doing now, or not doing now, isn’t working for sure. And as a cop, I’d really like to see this change. As a parent I’d like to see it change. As a person I’d like to see it change.

      How about this? Instead of telling what won’t work, tell me what will work. Tell me what your solution is. You think your liberty is in danger, so help solve the problem.

    • John

      We are taking about 210 deaths over the course of ten years out of a country of three hundred million. This is a tiny tiny fraction of a problem which should not dictate policy. Your 150 times more likely to die in a tornado.

      The banning of cars is a way of showing that the cost v benefits don’t add up. Some say, as you mentioned that 210 people over ten years is a big deal and if we save even one life it is worth it. If we ban cars (different I know) we would save tens of thousands of lives, but the benefit of cars greatly outweighs the relatively few accidents (much more than gun deaths) even if it would save more than just one life. And even if I do not have a solution, it doesn’t mean that a ban (which doesn’t work) should be a solution. Millions of these firearms are produced and sold and used lawfully and yet only a handful are used in crimes…should we ban the millions because of this (more people die from beatings). Resticting firearms of goodguys doesn’t make sense. The newtown bad guy brought multiple firearms that he killed to get, yet somehow a ban or mag capacity limits is proposed as the solution.

      The politicians that are proposing such measures have been long trying to ban firearms and are trying to capitalize on this incident.

    • Ian

      John,

      Other than taking lives (hunting included) and recreation, what bennefit are guns? Cars, trucks, etc have a number of purposes that further society.

      That question is coming from a hunter, a target shooter, and a driver. I couldn’t live without my car and my milk needs to get to the grocery store somehow but I could live without my guns.

    • Ian

      Unless I come under attack. But at least I have a car to get me the hell outta there….

    • Ian

      John, one more thing,

      If you are so unlikely to be killed in a mass shooting why does the anti-gun control lobby feel so passionate about self protection? Isn’t it really quite a long shot? No pun intended…

      And since you’re more likely to die in a tornado, what steps have you taken for tornado preperation? Do you carry a Doppler Radar? Where is your nearest tornado shelter? You’ll carry a gun to protect yourself from some one with a gun (mass shooting or otherwise), know all the stats about gun related deaths, but with tornados being the real killer here, shouldn’t we all be talking about steel v wood home construction?

      I’m headed for the National Weather Service website to talk about gun control. Who’s with me?? Then we can hit up the General Motors website and talk some more about tornados

    • John Q.

      Ian,

      Many people live without cars. There is public transport. You’re missing th point of the cost benefit analysis though. Also, just like many things the benefit of firearms is yhe utility ones dervires from it, collecting, hunting, protection, target shooting. Yes, other things such as torna doea are rare and some places have tornado drills and warning systems, but no one considers restricting rights for littlw or no beneifit to such a rare event.

    • Leo

      Indeed, about the “shooting sport” argument, if 9,000 people died every year from football or basketball as they are with guns (that statistic excluding accidents), something would be done immediately about that. It is like few other sports (it requires very specific equipment with the potential to kill on a large scale, as opposed to archery), and personally, I couldn’t give a rat’s ass about how much people want to do a sport if it will lead to unnecessary death. Self-defense, a more complicated issue, is a more valid argument, but it should be known that gun owners are far more likely to be killed by firearms, and 500% more likely to commit suicide. A very small percent of the people killed by guns every year are actually criminals presenting an immediate threat.

    • Rick

      Hey John,

      At least 20 of those 210 were kids. Those are 20 people who had never heard of the second amendment. And we aren’t talking about weather patterns. We are talking about real lives. 210 names, John. And Sandy Hook accounted for 26 names on a list of something like 15,000 names nation wide including 126 Police Officers. Tell me about the cost vs benefit analysis of that, again. I missed it.

      This is going south in a hurry. There’s a lot of scary stuff being posted up on this topic board right now.

      I think our goals are pretty universal:

      1) We want to keep our guns;

      2) We want to feel safe;

      3) We don’t want the right of the individual to defend himself or his fellow man diminished in any way.

      People, the long and short of this situation is simple: Change is coming. We can all feel it. That’s why we are in this discussion right now. You might as well get on board with background checks and you might as well take a picture of a Tech 9 the next time you see one because before too long background checks will be the norm and the Tech 9 will be a distant, ugly, poorly constructed memory. And guess what? The Second Amendment will still be part of our Constitution.

      Ross will still be able to pack his handgun everyday, Phil will still be able to do whatever he was talking about (hypothetically). The Stars and Stripes will still fly proudly over this land. I’ll still go to work and try to keep everyone safe and in one piece, and then hopefully, God willing, I’ll go home.

    • Ken

      Rick,

      I’m not against gun control. In fact, I enforce it. I, too, work the streets. I carry a gun. I arrest for illegal carry, etc.

      On Grossman, I think you might have those figures a little off. If I remember correctly the 98% is the figure who would develop some sort of mental illness if left in combat for an extremely extended amount of time.

      The figure for people not wanting to kill another human being is much, much lower. (I couldn’t find it flipping through the book.) You also forget the two additional responses to threat he mentions: posture and submit. Many instances a person trying to defend himself isn’t actively trying to kill his assailant, but merely trying to make the threat go away. Sometimes, yes, death is the result.

      Speaking of Grossman, something you might have missed in contemplating the matter, having a firearm on one’s person provides one self with sense of at least being able to effectively posture without resorting to fighting.

      Certainly people by in large don’t want to kill. They don’t won’t to have to submit when faced with the possibility of not being able to effectively flee, either. Enter, the firearm and that brandished threat. It’s like bared teeth.

    • Rick

      Hey Ken,

      I’m not gonna tell you what to do or that you’re wrong, but I think if you re-read On Killing it might be of some benefit to your argument.

      I find it hard to figure out why any person involved in law enforcement would think that fewer gun laws and more guns on the street are the answer. That said, that’s one of the things that makes this country great…we get to disagree.

      I will say this, I haven’t spent my adult life defending the constitution so that some damned fool could enjoy his right to bear arms and celebrate it by executing 6 year olds. I don’t do it so that some loony can walk into a theater and celebrate HIS 2A rights by blowing away a dozen people who just wanted to watch a movie. I fully understand the “well regulated militia” in it’s spirit and definition and I think that if a reasonable American can’t see that the 2A is being exploited at the cost of the lives of our sons and daughters, then something is very wrong.

      I’ll just jump down off the soapbox and reiterate something I said before: this isn’t an issue about magazine capacity, muzzle velocity, auto vs semi-auto…none of those things are responsible for the violence of the past 30 years. This is about keeping guns out of the hands of people who perpetrate this type of violence. I personally feel that ANYTHING done to that end, is better than nothing done. It may not work, but I agree with the Pres on this one…that shouldn’t mean it ain’t worth trying. And as far as I’m concerned, if the average American feels persecuted by the fact that they will have to have a background check before buying an AR-15, but that same check prevents some psycho from getting the same gun to commit an unspeakable act, then too F’ing bad. Your right to dress up and pretend to be a Navy SEAL in your basement should not supersede the right of every other American to enjoy their life to the fullest, free of fear and paranoia.

      Ken, you’ve probably been to a few shootings…so you know firsthand how bad the problem is. You also should be aware of the principle of de-escalation as opposed to the philosophy of escalation. As law enforcers, we should probably preach de-escalation and not perpetuate the idea of immediately going to guns. Also you are probably keenly aware that you and I have to qualify with our use of force options but obviously there is no provision of accountability, qualification or competency within 2A. We can’t ask the same of the average gun owner because obviously, that would be an infringement.

      Last thing, I saw this thing on twitter where a comedian said something like “it’s amazing how fast a law abiding gun owner can go all “I’m gonna kill you with my gun”…” It’s kinda funny, but it’s also kinda true. One bad day, one catalyst is all it takes and like they say – you can’t put that bullet back in the gun.

    • Christian Nadeau

      Rick,

      From my perspective it seems more like the lack of adequate mental health care is being abused more than the 2nd Amendment. After all, it was a psychopath who pulled the trigger in Sandy Hook and Aurora, so why are we trying to place blame on sane gun owners? In addition, both shootings occurred in “gun free” zones; do you think that might be a factor? A few reports I’ve heard state that the Aurora shooter specifically targeted it instead of closer theaters because he knew nobody would be able to fight back. To that end, every school shooting since 1990 has been in a “gun free” zone, so I would question why the Gun Free Zone Act of 1990 has not yet been repealed before I would jump on the bandwagon saying we need more ineffective laws. Now I now this probably sounds like I am just another anti-gun control person telling you what will not work rather than presenting actual ideas for a solution, but does it really make sense to ignore logical arguments and clear evidence simply on the basis of “We need to do this even if it’s wrong because it at least shows we’re doing something”? I am all for keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill but the proposed gun control legislation, I feel, will simply do absolutely nothing to accomplish that goal.

      As for your point about teaching de-escalation of the use of force continuum, I am not a police officer and still have 2 more year before I graduate with a Criminal Justice degree, and I do agree that not every situation warrants an all-out armed response with bullets flying everywhere. However, in situations like Sandy Hook and Aurora bullets from armed law abiding citizens flying back at the shooters would have been more than appropriate whereas decisions about use of force ( “What’s the bare minimum I should use to try to stop him because I really don’t want to hurt this guy that just shot four people next to me” ) should be left to sworn officers who have brothers and sisters in arms who can watch their 6 in case they make the wrong decision. After all, yesterday (at the risk of sounding corny) thousands of legal gun owners hurt nobody.

      In regards to the last part about the comedian, replace “law abiding gun owner” with “cop” and see if it is nearly as funny a statement. I’m sure you will agree that police officers often face much more challenging situations and have many more “bad days” than most law abiding gun owners have in their entire lives, so what makes us so much more dangerous? It can’t be level of training otherwise Fort Hood (the deadliest mass shooting on a military base in the U.S.) would not have happened, and none of our military personnel returning from overseas would ever commit suicide since they are trained specifically for combat. So again, why do anti-self defense folks feel that we are so dangerous? Why aren’t there more road-rage and bar-fight induced shootings in Florida since they eased up on their gun control laws?

      Chris

    • Rick

      Hi Chris,

      You are 100% right saying that the mental health system is in disarray and that has contributed to this problem as much or more than the accessibility of guns has. But it is the hardest part of the problem to solve. You have to define mental illness – because like I’ve said before: you don’t get diagnosed as “mentally ill” you get diagnosed with a specific mental illness, or mental disorder. Some of these are treatable wit medication, some with therapy, some with a combination. You’d need to decide whether head injuries like concussions would be included. So you’d need to define what gets a person disqualified from gun ownership and what steps they can take to have their right reinstated. It is a very very complex problem. It’s also the part of the problem that needs to be addressed the most, but will take the longest.

      As far as what you’ve said about “gun free zones” – I’d like to remind you that Columbine had an armed security guard on duty the morning of that disaster. I’d also say: who would YOU hire to be an armed guard in a school? A retired cop? A retired SOF operator? How do we pay for armed security when the state of our education system is already in disarray? If you are going to hire armed security for EVERY school, do you think that a retired cop or SOF operator is going to work for minimum wage searching backpacks? The idea makes no sense. How can you have a low paid security guard who you expect to take a bullet for your kid and who you expect to feed bullets back at the threat without hitting your kid? In order to do it, you’d need for train the person, maintain their training, pay them well, supervise them, and arm them appropriately. Then you’d have to define their duties in a clear way so that they go shooting some kid’s dad because he’s upset that little Johnny got a D in social studies. And you’d have to do it in every school in the nation.

      I agree with you, wholeheartedly that the vast majority of what was done yesterday is going to have little or no effect. But if some of it works and some of it doesn’t at least we’ll know, right.?

      I want to just touch on a couple things that you said about citizens engaging threats. In 13 years as a cop, I have never seen a case where a law abiding citizen has shot and killed someone who had shot and killed someone. Based on what you’ve said, I’m thinking that you are young, and have not served in the military or as an LEO. There is a level of chaos and fear inherent in any gun fight (I don’t know if you’ve ever been in one) or high risk crime scene. Police and military train for it. It enables us to operate effectively under conditions that would send an untrained person running. The idea that a citizen or group of citizens would engage an active shooter is erroneous. There is simply too much chaos to even think about engaging the threat. There are people screaming, running everywhere, bleeding etc. you as an untrained citizen can’t shoot through that. Hell, I’m trained and I don’t know if I could shoot through it or if I would even try. In fact, as a gun owner, if you have never heard of the concept of “target, backstop and beyond” I recommend that you turn your guns in immediately. When a gun goes off and people start to panic and scream and run is certainly not a situation where your CCW is going to help you. Like I said, police train for that scenario. I’d be willing to bet that you don’t train for it. So you can’t imagine what it would be like and you can’t predict what you’d do. I’m comfortable saying that you’d hastily find an exit, try to account for your friends and find some safety. In all of the mass shootings that we have experienced no citizen has ever engaged an active shooter with fire. In fact, I can only think of one situation where citizens mobilized to prevent mass murder, and that would be the heroes of United 93 on 9/11, not a gun to be seen.

      I’d like to talk about your mention of the Fort Hood incident. This really convinces me that you’ve never served in the military. Troops in garrison, that is to say, not deployed, do not walk around with loaded rifles. At least they didn’t when I served (if that has changed, then by all means flame me up). So when somebody started shooting in Fort Hood, they were, for all intents and purposes, firing at defenseless people.

      I also think that you have little understanding about PTSD because it would seem that you think that veteran suicide is a little more than a training issue. It is a legitimate and treatable mental illness that many Americans don’t understand because you don’t get it from playing Call of Duty. And that’s not to make light of PTSD, or the contributions that 99.55 % of the population who don’t serve. It’s more to illustrate that most Americans get their impression of combat from movies or video games. And they decide what they think they’d do based their impressions. But like General Powell once said “no plan survives initial contact with the enemy.” Nobody who hasn’t been there, knows how they’ll react when lead starts flying.

      As far as road rage shootings and bar fight shootings – how do you know there aren’t on the rise? The sad thing is that unless it is a very slow news day, single victim shootings seldom make the news. You’d probably need access to actual police stats to know whether what you’re saying is true. I mean, 900 Americans met their end at the business end of a gun in the month since Sandy Hook, and the the only ones who made the national news were 2 firefighters (also heroes in my opinion) in Webster, NY.

      I’m not anti-self defense. I’m not anti gun. I’m not anti-gun control. I’m a husband, a father, a gun owner, a veteran, a cop and most of all a concerned citizen who would love to live the rest of my days never having to hear about another mass shooting on US soil. Unfortunately I know that I will hear about more.

    • Rick

      Sorry, Ken, I just re-read my reply to you and it kinda looks like I’m jumping down your throat a bit. That wasn’t my intention. I’m off today so I’ve been following the story pretty closely…listening to the NRA dummies has me wound a bit tight…I certainly don’t think that you personally dress up like a SEAL in your basement…hopefully I’m right about that at least.

    • Christian Nadeau

      Rick,

      I completely understand that it will take time to figure out how to define, diagnose, and treat the mentally ill and that there will be an abundance of debate on what mental illness constitutes a potential threat or is likely to cause criminal tendencies. What I don’t like is when such issues as these cause people to postpone working on solving them in favor of pushing through more emotionally-driven knee-jerk legislation.

      For Columbine having an armed guard, all I can think of is that the AWB at the very least contributed to lulling everyone into a sense of security, thinking ,”Oh, that could never happen because we’ve got a law against it.” Also, if I’m not mistaken one of the president’s 23 Executive Orders was to provide funding for hiring and training more school resource officers. Admittedly they won’t be able to hire nearly enough for all the schools in the country, but I feel there would be plenty of tax revenue available if not for wasteful government spending. Maybe some funding should come out of teacher’s paychecks. After all, there are a plethora of examples of overpaid teachers who do absolutely nothing to teach the kids in their class, and for the good teachers out there the new resource officers would be protecting them in addition to the children so why not have them share some of the financial burden. The idea of using former military and law enforcement makes sense to me because they have already had more training that the average citizen, which means they will probably have little trouble distinguishing angry Johnny Sr. from an actual threat, and being retired would mean that even minimum wage would merely be supplemental income for them. Further, police and military personnel throughout the country are already being trained, paid, trained some more, and supervised, so why is it so difficult to conceive that the same could be done for resource officers?

      Next, if you re-read the second paragraph of my first reply you should be able to see that I specifically point out that I am not military or law enforcement and as such have no real-world experience. I cannot begin to comprehend what goes through your mind when it hits the fan, I do understand the concept of target, backstop and beyond, but if something were to happen I want more options than “A. hide or B. kiss your ass goodbye”. I don’t doubt your description of the chaos but it seems to put forth the idea that the CCW holder is responding to the shooting from another part of the scene as opposed to actually taking rounds. Given the fact that I have no experience or training in such situation, maybe you can clarify; if you are actively taking rounds are you going to return fire or will you sit there taking hits while waiting for the “perfect shot”? As for United 93, guns were banned from planes prior to 9/11, so there is a reasons nobody had any weapons to fight back with. Much like “fun free” zones have done to schools, the government set the stage for those passengers to be defenseless. Why do you think the hijackers had to use box cutters instead of combat knives, machetes, or guns?

      Again, I’ve already specified that I have not served. I must ask, though, why don’t troops in garrison have their weapons? They have been trained to handle them safely (and not all have PTSD) so why are they forced by federal mandate to be as defenseless as every single school child in Sandy Hook was in their “gun free” zone? Again why are we focusing on taking away citizens ability to purchase guns and gun accessories than on trying to fix the mental issues that we know exist?

      Aside from my interpretation of the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report data, I have no data to support my position on road rage and bar shootings. However, it seems to me that at least somebody would be talking about it if road rage and bar shootings were becoming more frequent, especially given the current focus on gun related issues.

      Chris

  • Liam

    I’d like to offer an Australian point of view if I may. Many years ago we had a mass shooting in Port Arthur where the offender used a semi-automatic rifle which was at the time perfectly legal to own. As a result of that all semi-auto military style firearms were banned country wide. Now we still have gun crime but it is limited to stolen 10 round capacity handguns and cut down bolt action rifles or maybe a shotgun. There are no hi capacity or semi-automatic firearms to steal or borrow and commit offences, they are limited to the ADF and police. It’s a compromise in the end. If you have laws allowing people to have a specific type of weapon, regardless of what controls you put in place someone will use that type of weapon unlawfully. If you want that freedom someone will abuse it. The question is; are you willing to accept the consequences of the freedom you want? I was a Clearance Diver in the Navy and am now a Police Officer in Western Australia. I’ve been a sheepdog my entire adult life.

  • marko

    All I know is the NRA is acting like a domestic terror front organization and against any sensible common ground. And being paranoid pussies about the govt taking away our rights doesn’t do anyone any good. The truth is that powerful weapons are too easily falling into the hands of madmen.

    • James

      I can’t speak to the NRA, but a single guy dies a horrific thing and banning millions of guns is the solution? These are almost never used in any crime (more people die of almost anything you can think of every year). These are one of the most popular rifles among kids at target competitions and hunting (little recoil). No matter how rare and tragic these crimes can be, you have to admit they will occur (even if all 300 million guns were outlawed) and when that happens the best way to stop that person (despite a law or a sign posted no guns) is a trained person with a gun. Because you may not use this particular firearm, or believe that a person doesn’t need more than ten rounds for self defense (almost every pistol now days has more than ten and ANY police officer would say they would NEED more than ten in a self defense shooting) doesn’t mean that others do not. It especially doesn’t make sense if the laws would have no or almost no effect on crime.

  • Phillip N.

    Completely hypothetically speaking…

    Lets assume, that for a group of people that consider moral values in a VERY low level of priority when compared to making profit, that SELLING GUNS to the public is a beneficial business cycle. Hypothetically speaking, the government would be the entity responsible for regulating such an activity, in a manner no different than taking driving lessons and issuing a drivers license. One might argue that this has already been done, but my argument on the issues is, “really? is everything that could possibly be done, being done already?”.

    The government, for various sectors of public safety (military, LE, others) holds INTENSIVE screening procedures to ensure “a psycho” doesn’t come near a gun EVER. And despite the efforts, misuse and/or abuse of guns on the behalf of the government is still a fact. Apart from the psychological factors, motor skills required to use a gun are constantly evaluated and recorded and any significant deviation towards lower results is “a warning flag”. Further more, to bear a gun, is regulated and constantly monitored. To lose or to misplace your gun would mean the end of your career or very serious consequences to say the least.

    So has everything been done to avoid school shootings (or any kind of shootings for this matter)? To avoid guns ending up in the wrong hands? Why not -based on constitutional rights to bear arms- not put a gun in the hand of every mentally ill person (nothing against mentally ill, they just exist in any society) and send him to his daily routine?

    The way I see things, the US society exists between many lies. One of the lies is that the government cares for its people MORE than the industrialists that make arms and ammo. This is simply not true, as presented with my above mentioned arguments. All along the road (very possibly from the beginning) it has been profit over anyone’s life on the line (as long as its not relatives to very rich and powerful people).

    Only for the sake of argument, lets assume that “to ensure a certain outcome” (e.g. increased taxation, or disarming an entire population, or both … which in the last case ensures that those who end up holding guns are the wealthy rather than the poor and the government) circumstances must exist so that this appears to be “a democratic procedure”. So lets say that -hypothetically speaking always- for that initial group of people that value profit more than moral values, to make such an outcome to appear as a democratic procedure, it must be done with the consent if not demanded by, the majority of the population. If you followed my thoughts so far, then, the next thought is simply a question of “how to create such circumstances, in which the majority of the population will demand or consent in such a non-balanced (think poor-wealthy) way?”.

    For a person (or a similar minded group of people) who considers profit before moral values, to have some people killed is simply means to an end.

    Of-course, all of the above, is completely hypothetical and exists only in my imagination -which I assure anyone- is very vivid. I encourage EVERYONE to think for themselves and read books.

    “No matter what anyone says, no matter the excuse or explanation, whatever a person does in the end is what he intended to do all along.” Cus D’Amato (January 17, 1908 – November 4, 1985).

  • Ross

    Marko, can you please elaborate on how the NRA is acting to conceal activities or provide logistical or financial support to illegal activities?

    Also, why has ITS decided to keep such a low profile on so many issues that pertain to the Second Amendment? You had no problems blasting RECOIL over what you perceived to be a major injustice.

    I am tired of the ramblings of idiots. People only choose to follow laws voluntarily. Keep preaching to me about gun free zones or “reasonable” gun laws and how they will keep me safe. Legislated safety is living in denial. I have the right to defend myself as a human, not just as an American. The Second Amendment allows me to do that in an effective manner. The chances of ever having to defend myself using a firearm is slim; however, I will not hedge my bets on that. I carry a gun every day because there are several “James Holmes” and “Adam Lanzas” that walk among us.

  • Brian

    Politics always trumps ideology – politicians always want to save their jobs. Write to your Congressmen and Senators – especially the ones in favor of these restrictions – and let them know how you feel. The NRA will sponsor some letter writing campaigns in the next few days, so jump on one of those at the very least.

  • Ian

    Is there anything wrong with saying “you have the right to have arms, but you need to prove that you have a good track record in the other avenues of life first”

    Application criteria:

    Prove competency with a selection of firearms to a licensing Official (takes an hour or two)

    Pass and move on to the background:

    NCIC Check
    Local Police records check (past behavior is best indicator of future performance)
    Consent of your spouse(s) or ex-spouse(s) (domestic issues are a leading cause of homicides and your spouse probably has a good idea of how dangerous/unstable or the opposite you are/aren’t)
    Couple of Photos of yourself for your licence card
    $10 admin fee

    Re-apply every five years at no cost and with no issues you continue to excercise your 2nd Amendment right.

    If you possess guns now and don’t pass, your guns will be held for safekeeping by local police for one year. Can’t pass within that one year, you have the option to transfer (sell) your guns legally to a licensed citizen or have them destroyed.

    Here is a potential argument, criminals have guns and they won’t have to be licensed to have guns. It’s accepted though, that criminal’s don’t play by the rules, but that shouldn’t stop us. Take the case of a rapist who has sex without consent, does that mean that you would say “well if he doesn’t have to ask I ‘m not either” The interesting thing about rape, who some will say is TOTALLY different than this issue, is that at one point it was culturally accepted to rape. But we’ve moved past it and accepted that it’s not okay, and now a good solid majority of us ask before we go weenie waving. Impaired driving: It was culturally acceptable to get whaled, get behind the wheel and take out a few mailboxes on your way home from the bar. It’s not like that anymore. The common line between these things is that we the people woke up one day and said enough is enough, there’s a problem for which there is no easy solution but we need to do our damndest to fix it. I as a citizen am pissed off that my mail box post got wrecked….again, my neighbour keeps clubbing and banging my wife without permission and my kids keep getting shot. (I’m not making light, it’s a true statement of how effected people are feeling since Sandy Hook)

    We keep saying “don’t blame the guns,” and we’re right. However, guns are the delivery system and we need to take steps to ensure that the delivery system stops falling into the wrong hands and that, like rape, and impaired driving, gun toting loses a little bit of it’s allure. We know it’s cool, we know it requires responsibility and we don’t have to tell everybody about it. I have a fishing hole that holds some of the best Crappie in my area. It’s fairly secret and it’s a little hard to get to but it’s totally worth it. I don’t tell anybody about it because I know they’ll ruin it. I treat gun ownership the same and if I had to go through a little hardship (like a licencing requirement)to keep it, I would because it’s worth it. I don’t even tell a lot of my friends that I enjoy my guns because I don’t think that they would be respectful about ownership, they’re lovable idiots and have no business owning a gun. Our society is filled with laws that we needed because some one screwed it up for us. So, thank whatever the guy’s name from the Sandy Hook shooting is and the guys from Colorado (I refuse to give any of them the satisfaction by wiriting their names) when you are filling out your application to possess a firearm. The weird thing is, I have no idea who I am supposed to thank when I fill out my driver’s license because I’ve just come to accept it.

    Who can’t live with the above conditions with the aim of safer communities and why not? All laws can be repealled or changed so you could even take it on a trial basis and see if it helps to lower anything. I don’t think the answer “I shouldn’t have to because I’m not the criminal” is a good answer. Just because you choose not to drive drunk doesn’t mean that the law shouldn’t apply to you. You don’t drive drunk, therefore we have no issue with you, thank you for abiding by the law. You have a licence to possess your gun, you aren’t breaking any law, we have no issue with you either. Carry on sir

  • Martin

    As a foreigner I agree with your viewpoint Brian. What people seem to forget is that the right to bear arms is not necessarily for self defense from criminal fellow citizens. The right to bear arms is to protect the common citizens if a government becomes tyrannical and oppressive. That is why the people should be armed – to act as a deterrent to the government. When you disarm your citizenry to stop them from killing each other as a by-product you also harm their ability to protect themselves against an oppressive regime.

    The problem with Newtown and Aurora is that there was nobody present who could protect themselves and those around them, including their loved ones. It is every man and woman’s right to protect themselves. Predators will automatically attack the softest target, in this case locations where firearms are banned. The government (State or Federal, as a foreigner I am not sure) disarmed their own citizens and exposed them to harm as a result. In the strong emotions of what has happened with these tragedies, this balanced opinion is being lost.

    One of your Founders, Benjamin Franklin, said: “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” This is exactly what is happening here.

    I hope everyone can take my comments in the spirit in which they were given – the hope there is a good outcome to this difficult issue.

    Regards, Martin.

  • Peter BE

    There is a lot of sense in what you write Ian. In my country you have to apply for a firearm since 1933. “You have a license to possess your gun, you aren’t breaking any law, carry on” doesn’t apply in practice however. Over the years, when there were incidents with guns, most of the time even illegal ones, permit holders were harassed with more and more restrictions. As I write this a list of antique weapons that collectors could get without much of a hassle is being banned because of an idiot that went bananas with a stolen military rifle and a few handgrenades on a market. Every time a firearms incident happens, even in your country over the ocean, legal gun owners here lose some of their rights. That is why your countrymen are so opposed of even the reasonable restrictions you are talking about. Best regards, Peter BE

  • Jay

    I think we overlook something in this debate. It takes two sides to compromise. Feinstein, Schumer, and many of the “policy centers” that support them have a stated goal of ending civilian firearms ownership. They are not willing to compromise in their stance unless forced to do so. If you approach the debate with a “I’m willing to give something up so I can keep my firearms”, they will take everything you give them, then come back for more at the next tragedy. Feinstein has had this bill drafted for a long time. All she did was wait for the right tragedy to introduce it, knowing that she would be defeated in her efforts unless she had an emotional response to exploit. While I am not your typical NRA member and do not buy the entire party line, I also understand the reality of politics. If I give something up, I expect something in return (ie, better background checks and madatory training in exchange for nationwide reciprocity). Allowing me to keep something I already possess and that the Supreme Court has ruled is a right protected by the Constitution is not compromising.
    For those who have said that people who carry concealed or own a gun for defense are paranoid, I bet the woman who protected her kids last week from the crowbar wielding nutcase was glad her husband was paranoid, and my friend who had to pull his gun on the knife-wielding guy in the parking lot of the local mall was sure glad he was paranoid. Bad things happen. Preparing for them is not being paranoid.

  • LTC Wilson

    People, seriously!! It took you this long to start thinking your government is out of control? Some idiot doing a bunch of hand-waving during his term of puppet in chief about guns, and NOW you think the 2nd Amendment is the most important thing? What about everything else you’ve lost over the last 15 years??!!! You’ve had your head in the sand, or likely up somewhere else.

    Truth is, the entire constitution has been gutted, the rule of law, gutted. Justice is only for the well connected and extremely wealthy. Anyone who has a prior military intelligence background should damn well know what the NSA, CIA and others is/has been doing to US citizens, and the rest of you better start catching up right the f’ now! (William Binney, or Thomas Drake anyone?!!!???! google them!) You have no idea how much evil secret squirrel sh*# “your” .gov has been up to over the last 50 years, and especially in the last 20. If you’d been paying attention, you’d have been wondering WTF a very long time ago after many events in the last 20, hell 60 years.

    You no longer have a 1st amendment right
    You no longer have a 4th amendment right
    you no longer have a 5th amendment right
    you no longer have a 6th amendment right
    The .gov has sh*$ on the constitution a long time ago, and you’re only now getting worried because they’re finally going after “yer GUNS”?

    The Republic is DEAD! It has been shot in the face at contact range with a 12-gauge load of OO Buckshot, dead right there. It’s bled out all over the F’ing floor, and the wall painted with it’s cranial tissue. You don’t have a constitutional republic any longer, deal with it. Put your big girl panties on and prepare to protect YOUR family, YOUR community, and YOUR natural, God-given, inalienable rights.

    “I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do. I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. ” –Robert Heinlein

    https://mountainguerrilla.wordpress.com/2012/10/05/the-heinlein-doctrine/

  • Don Ruane

    After the Bills and Executive Orders are signed, I think it would be a great idea to turn our guns in at the Whitehorse.
    Every law abiding Citizen who owns a gun and anyone how loves the Constitution, turn our weapons in at the Whitehorse, the Supreme Court or the Capital building.
    I figure 3 to 4 Million Citizens at a time, 330 Million citizen should take about 4 months.
    By that time all the Professional Politicians should be gone home, waters better at home.

  • Paul

    We should also have psych exams. Besides having reasonable restrictions on registering to exercise a right, how would this reduce crime or mass shootings? Maybe Ian can be a precog and decide who gets a gun. Better yet gps chips in guns and all people need to carry cameras that film their activities.

    Your solution would not have stopped a single mass shooting but sounds good.

    • Ian

      Paul,

      I have no interest in deciding who can or can’t possess guns. But I do take a keen interest in Law Enforcement as I have been involved in it for many years now.

      Psych exams probably aren’t an awful idea if it’s somehow found to be an aggravating factor in a background check. I have been in a ton of dangerous situations where mental health was involved and for a while I found myself on the extreme end of the “what do we do with these people” argument. Nukes, apparantly, aren’t the answer, I would later be told.. Let’s say that Mom of the Sandy Hook shooter get’s subjected to a background check, her M.I. son get’s listed as a dependent and the local police have a file on him. Sh’e denied a license, forfits her guns and we aren’t even having this conversation. Let me guess, he would have got the guns anyway… Yup, accessibility had nothing to do with that shooting at all…… riiiiiiiiight

      Here is one thing I noticed about your reply. You say that I should be a precog, how very scientific of you. One thing you didn’t do is offer any real suggestion about why it’s over the top, and what your ideas are. So….what are they? It’s awful easy to come to a forum and say “that won’t work” “you’re stupid” “hey everybody, look at this guy’s ideas..pffff” without having to throw out any real ideas of your own. So, let’s have it… Or do you think things are good the way they are????

      Jay, you told me to chew on something a while ago, chew on this…..

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tchCHyq_D6Y

      that’s a police dashcam video of two of MY BROTHERS IN LAW ENFORCEMENT being taken from their families at the hands of a pair of delinquents with an AK-47. Kudos to the kid though, we need people like him on our team. I hope he isn’t effected by PTSD like many of our brothers and sisters who are involved in officer related shootings are. I mean that whole heartedly, I really do hope that he isn’t and it’s not an off color attempt to mute your point.
      I saw a stat today that the number of suicides related to Afghan combat stress has now surpassed combat fatalities. Having lost friends to both, my heart sunk.

      Here are a few questions I’d like to ask: Are we as a society really happy with where we are? If we are afraid to the point that we feel like we have to carry firearms to protect ourselves from the dangers of daily life, are we really that free? Or are we really really really f-ing scared? If we’re scared what are we going to do to change it? Am I going to be part of the solution, stand by, or be part of the problem when things change just cause I didn’t like my ELECTED government’s solution?”

      If you don’t like the color of the sky in your world, get out your paint brush, or stay inside while the rest of us do it.

    • JayfromVA

      To answer your questions: no, I am not happy with where we are as a society, and that unhappiness goes far beyond gun control laws, to include what I perceive to be a general moral decay and an utter lack of drive and self-sufficiency in young people today. No, I am not so afraid that I feel a need to carry a firearm to protect myself from daily life, and I feel free to go about my life. I do however, carry a gun every day, because I would rather be safe than sorry, just as I have life insurance, though I am not scared of dying on a daily basis (and my job consists of dangerous things like fast roping and machine guns – you aren’t the only cop or military guy on here, although you act like it).
      What do I do about it? I volunteer with young people, I try to raise my two kids the best I know how, I vote, and I contact my representatives. I also attempt to have constructive discussions with people about issues I care about, which is something I see greatly lacking in this current debate (not just here, but all over the web). I am sorry that you lost two of your brothers in that video to an AK-47, but I just lost one of mine to a guy who ran him over with a boat as he shielded his subordinates. Many of us have lost brothers to people who misused an inanimate object to cause death or destruction.
      As I said in an earlier comment about compromising (I commented as Jay then, but changed my name so as not to be confused with the Jay you were arguing with earlier), I don’t toe the entire NRA line. I actually don’t have an issue with some of the requirements that Uri talked about in his article a few weeks back. I do, however, have an issue with politicians and people who are simply not educated on the facts and are making emotional choices that have an effect on the rights of millions of people within the United States. Step back, have a solid conversation, leave your emotions out of it, and you’ll see that while some of the leaked proposals from the President are solid (stiffer penalties and prosecution for straw purchasers being a good one), some of them are feel good knee jerk reactions (assault weapons ban, mag restrictions) that in the end will not prevent the killings that have occurred. Even according to the Violence Policy Center, who is chomping at the bit to get rid of every AR they see, the most popular type of firearm used in a mass shooting is a handgun. They base this on a list of mass shootings going all the way back to the 50s or 60s, so they aren’t just talking about the last year like everyone else seems to be.
      Anyway, my two cents…

    • Rick

      Jay, everything you are saying is reasonable. I think that you have thought about the problem thoroughly. You seem like you might be a moderate on this issue. I am very interested in what you’d do to solve the problem.

      Guys in our positions, Ian and ken as well, are subjected to the issues of mental illness daily. You probably see an awful lot of PTSD. We see everything from drug induced psychosis to paranoid schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder and borderline personality disorder. We understand that you can’t label a person “mentally ill” as a blanket. Some illnesses are treatable, others are a mystery. We know that tackling this issue will take a lot more than an EO.

      We agree this isn’t about magazine capacity.

      We agree that something must be done.

      I’m interested in what you, personally, think would work.

  • Ken

    I saw a bumper sticker a while back that crystallized a feeling I’ve had a long time. It read, “I love my Country. I fear my Government.”

    I saw a quote somewhere recently that vocalized the actual reasoning behind the anti-gun push. There is no better time to force gun restrictions through than now when emotions are raw and people are making decisions with their heart and not their head. I can’t remember who said it or where I saw it, though.

    There has been no meaningful discussion on keeping the public safe. The anti-gun folks jumped on their bandwagon within hours of the tragedy, even before the general public knew what was going on. It’s their go-to solution–it’s their magic bullet. Only thing, it won’t slay this beast.

    Police officers stationed in each school in both a joke and a waste. There are a lot of good SROs, but too many go to schools to get off the street. You want a warrior protecting our kids, not some fat cop who can’t run even halfway across campus.

    Protecting schools should be a multi-faceted approach starting with allow teachers and staff who want to carry and who can pass the tests to do so. Second, restrict the campus. Harden the buildings that exist and design for better protection in all new schools. Enforce security policies. Hold drills for intruders. We did it for nuclear attack and tornadoes, why not active shooter?

  • Ken

    Here’s another issue that anti-gunners don’t get–actually I think they do get it, but will not in a million years acknowledge because it destroys their argument–the scary black gun in not the problem.

    We don’t hear much about killings with machine guns, Saturday Night specials, handgrenades, etc. because they are heavily restricted. The gun-grabbers will point at that and say “See, the restrictions work.” They do, for those weapons.

    Okay, restrict the scary black gun with detachable magazine. What have you accomplished? magically take that gun out of the scenario in each of the last few massacres. What have you done?

    Think about it. Poof, those guns are gone. Now what?

    They all had other weapons! Shotguns and handguns!

    “Oh, wait! The death toll would have been smaller!”

    Really? Does it take a .223 to kill a child? No, it doesn’t. A person with a 9mm and a bag full of 10 rd magazines could have done similar damage.

    Banning one type of gun does nothing. Banning all guns would be worse. There is no way you can eliminate all guns. How many of us cops come across folks who shouldn’t be in possession of a firearm, a person carrying illegally, and illegally modified weapons? How many thugs on Thugbook (facebook) are posing with guns that are already illegal and/or they aren’t supposed to possess?

    It’s disgusting that the gun-grabbers are using the death of children to further their agenda.

    • Christian Nadeau

      Ken,

      In addition to your statement, if the reports I heard were accurate the rifle wasn’t even used in Sandy Hook but was found in the shooter’s car. Of course, we can’t expect the anti-self defense types to bring up that little fact. If true that would only further show that an AWB would have had absolutely no effect on the outcome. To that end, the deadliest mass killing in a school in U.S. history didn’t even involve guns (i.e. the Bath School killings were committed using explosives).

      Chris

    • Ken

      It’s still too earlier to get a really accurate account of the tragedy, but as I heard he left the shotgun in the car because it was too heavy for him. Weapon used was a Bushmaster XM-15.

      An additional note is Lanza reloaded multiple times even discarding a magazines still half full. So much for limiting the size of magazines as a factor in limiting the tragedy.

  • Mark

    I am pleased to see continued debate on this issue. I wish to clarify a couple of items as the language of my previous post on Friday was not as clearly stated as I wish it had been. First, I am fully aware of the fact that automatic weapons are not illegal – however there are very stringent restrictions on the possession and sale of fully automatic weapons for reasons I believe most people would consider logical. As an FYI, I am a veteran of the US Army where I served four years on active duty and was re-activated in 1990 for Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm where I received a Purple Heart. I am very experienced and familiar with the use of fully automatic weapons and, while I acknowledge the accuracy of a weapon fired on full auto decreases with every round that goes downrange, one cannot legitimately argue that a fully automatic weapon is not a more efficient killing machine than a semi-automatic in the hands of an experienced operator. This is the very reason the possession and sale of fully automatic weapons is restricted and these restrictions are not considered to be a threat on our essential liberties by any serious commentator. For example, the NRA does not take the position that restrictions on fully automatic weapons are a violation of the 2nd Amendment. Another point I feel needs to be rebutted is the notion that the 2nd Amendment is an unlimited right. Clearly the right is limited and the restriction on the possession and sale of fully automatic weapons is a perfect example of this. My mention of nuclear weapons was hyperbole. However, the point is I believe valid. It cannot be argued that any of our essential rights conferred under the Constitution are unlimited. To attempt to do so simply ignores the reality of constitutional jurisprudence. If you don’t believe me, do a little research and you will find that my statement is 100% correct. Now, the article that began this discussion presented the argument that gun control measures now under consideration are threats to our essential liberties. In order to make this assertion we must begin with a discussion of what liberties we are considering and the source of those liberties. Also, we must consider whether and what legitimate limits exist on those liberties. I think we can all agree that the source of the right we are discussing is the 2nd Amendment. I think we can further agree, and this is certainly my position, that the 2nd Amendment confers on individuals the right to possess firearms. Having established what I believe to be this common ground, we must next examine where opinions begin to diverge. The points of divergence here appear to be the sale and possession of “assault rifles/weapons” and high capacity magazines. I agree with statements made here that the definition of “assault rifle/weapons” is not clear. This ambiguity is troublesome from a constitutional law perspective, but for our purposes we can probably point to Armalite variants as prime examples of the types of rifles gun control advocates in the current debate wish to eliminate and leave it at that. The other question is with respect to high capacity magazines. I propose we look at the second question first, which is: (and please voice your disagreement if you feel differently) Do the rights conferred under the 2nd Amendment protect the right to buy, sell or possess high capacity magazines? Let’s use any magazine with a capacity higher than 10 rounds as a baseline. Does the 2nd Amendment grant the individual the right to buy, sell and/or possess a magazine with a capacity higher than 10 rounds and why?

    • Liam

      Mark, I agree, the 2nd Amendment does not define what firearms can and cannot be possessed. There has to be a line in the sand somewhere, and that is the responsibility of the government on behalf of the people. No laws are going to please everyone and some will be aggrieved at any further limits imposed on their freedoms. Australia banned semi-auto rifles years ago and that pissed people off. But we as a country got over it and moved on. We can still possess certain firearms provided we pass the requirements of genuine need (not just because I want one).

    • Ken

      The Government can restrict “rights” only if there is a legitimate hazard to public safety. The 1st Amendment restricts speech in certain instances and only when the speech becomes more a danger to the public than simply having an opinion. Think shouting “fire” in a theater when there is no fire, libel, slander, threats, etc.

      Much of the restrictions on firearms today–from the Acts of ’34 and ’68–are what I call “perception” restrictions. Kind of like the reason marijuana is illegal–there is no legitimate reason for it to be so. If it were for public safety reasons then alcohol would be illegal and marijuana not. Anyway…

      The “perception” of the scary black gun is just that, a misguided perception that a rifle with a detachable magazine and pistol grip somehow it so much more dangerous than any other firearm. It’s not. In fact, what puckers my behind is rolling up on a barricaded subject who is an avid hunter. Even among my own team–and I gave an ass chewing later–there is a perception there isn’t much of a danger from hunters. Never mind that with a scoped bolt action 30-06 in a typical suburban neighborhood, if he can see you he can hit you. With a good imagination of your body mass he don’t even have to see you, but imagine where your body is behind that quarter panel or door, or even corner of the house. Me, I find the biggest tree I can find of at least shoulder width wide and still feel too exposed. Rounds that hunters use can be many times more powerful and penetrating than that of the scary black gun.

      To your query of capacity of magazines. Why use an arbitrary size of 10 rounds? Where is that figure come from? I don’t know, but I imagine it came from some gun grabber perusing a gun catalog and figured that a 10 rd magazine was the smallest offered for the scary black gun and presented that as “reasonable.” Also, 10 rds is more than 6 which is typical for a revolver. Believe me, I’ve been up against folks trying to restrict an activity and they will try to make a “reasonable” compromise without knowing any facts.

      So, why 10 rds? Why not 20? Why not 5? Why not restrict all guns with a detachable magazine? Look WWII was fought with a semi-automatic 30-60 without a detachable magazine and took only 8 rounds.

      Today, the AR platform is the most familiar platform in the U.S. Folks learn it in the military. LEO use it on the job. No wonder it would pop up on more scenes. The issue of detachable magazine as all here know is the convenience of reloading, both combat and tactical. Larger magazines allow for more rounds to protect yourself and family when all you grab is the weapon. It’s a safety issue. It’s going to a sinking feeling when you’re trying to protect your family and that bolt locks back because you’re out of rounds. Me, I’m going to want more.

      One thing I want to touch on before concluded this long post. It’s a common notion that it is illegal to shout “fire” in a crowded theater. This is generally posed as a restriction on Freedom of Speech. However, the reason is it could cause an unjustified danger. But, what if there IS a fire? Would you be justified in shouting “fire” then? Of course you would.

      So, why does the 2nd Amendment grant an individual the right to possess a magazine with a capacity greater than 10 rounds? Because the Government has failed to show larger capacity magazines are more of a danger to the general public than a safety issue to the user in legitimate uses. See, we shouldn’t have to justify the exercise a Right, the Government has to justify the restrictions of it.

    • Christian Nadeau

      Mark,

      I would have to say, yes, the 2nd Amendment grants the individual the right to buy, sell and/or possess mags with a capacity higher than 10 rounds. The 2nd Amendment does not state that citizens have the right to keep and bear arms only when those arms have a capacity less than the arms used by law enforcement or the military; it states that the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. Civilian ownership of weapons equivalent to those used by the British Army and Confederate Army is the reason we won the War of Independence and the Civil War respectively. Though I do not advocate violently overthrowing the government today, or tomorrow, I do feel the citizens of this country should have the ability to do so if the need ever arises, and we should not have to get the government’s approval to get the tools necessary when our right to own and use those tools has already been recognized and affirmed. Lastly, please clarify for me how limiting the number of rounds I can carry would have stopped the shooting in Sandy Hook. The reports I’m reading state that he had a backpack full of mags and changed a few before they were completely empty, which leads me to believe that limiting the number of rounds law abiding citizens can carry would have had little effect on this criminal.

      Chris

    • Leo

      I know there is plenty of talk about “fearing the government” and “keeping it in check,” but let’s face it. We wouldn’t be able to overthrow our government if we wanted to, and that is not even factoring in the possibility of allies assisting. There is the argument made that the Taliban have been able to hold onto certain parts of Afghanistan while only lightly armed like our average gun owner. That is with less than a tenth of our total national military force, and they certainly do not have “control.” It is not realistic. And about your first sentence, it does no such thing. It also does not say that you cannot have a 2,000 round magazine; it addresses neither. Our weapon restriction laws are almost entirely of our own interpretation, which is why the “How dare you step on my 2nd amendment rights!” argument does nothing for me. The government could take away everything except the one shot small caliber rifles, and it would still be “constitutional” thanks to the vagueness of its language. Sure, they could let you have whatever military tech you wanted. It is all about our interpretation of the constitution.

    • Christian Nadeau

      Leo,

      “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED” leaves little room for “interpretation” as far as I am concerned. Common citizens (aka militia) used “military grade” weapons to fight the British for Independence and to fight the Confederates to keep this country intact (and to abolish slavery). Who’s to say common citizens won’t one day need “military grade” weapons again to stand up against a tyrannical, dictatorial administration, or other threat to our way of life, regardless of how impossible you think it might seem? Just as an example, the Viet Cong seemed to do pretty well despite being heavily outnumbered by our military, and if my knowledge of history is correct the South Vietnamese government fell in 1976. The ability of overthrowing our government is not the resounding issue, though; the issue is of whether our Constitutional rights, the rights this country was founded on, should be stripped from us on a whim because of the actions of one or two lunatics, particularly when stripping us of our rights will do nothing to prevent further tragedies. History has shown how well disarming the population has worked for citizens in the former Soviet Union, communist China, Cambodia, Serbia, and Iraq, right? Also delving into history, go research how the Nazi’s used national gun registration lists to confiscate weapons and execute their owners. I support your choice to give up your rights, but don’t try to force me to give up mine.

      Chris

  • Craig

    I want to start with something we all should be familiar with! whether you are religious or not. Trust me when i say I am not a bible thumper nor do I follow any religion. I also do not condone any religion that states convert or die. The first four are vary specific to religion but as a society we need to get in touch with the last six!
    thou shalt have no other gods before me, thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, thou shalt not take the name of the lord thy god in vain, remember the sabbath day to keep it holy, honor thy father and thy mother, thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not steal,thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor, thou shalt not covet.
    I’m not going to say take gun control off the table but want to inlighten and educate! To start the term should be firearm control because GUN by definition refers to a cannon also clip is a part inside the firearm, a box magazines or just magazines are what carry the ammunition, not bullets, bullets are just on part of the ammunition. now im not going to go on and on about terms! I am going to say this once a firearm is a inanimate objects therefore a firearm can not by any means kill. IT TAKES SOMEONE WILLING TO TAKE ANOTHER LIFE!
    The Second Amendment. most think it states you have the right to bear arms and thats all. Wrong, it states “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed”. For you who still don’t get it if are freedoms are impeded whether it be are government or another we have the right to stand up for are familys, friends, neighbor and that is what makes ues truly free!
    None of this excuses the senseless killings that have plagued are nation time and time again. However people like to point fingers! Yes I truly believe are society glamourises crime in movies, Tv, books and one of the worst culprits the media! To all who want to point fingers I give you my absolute favorite bible verse MATTHEW 7:5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye. (You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.).
    That brings me to Parents and the topic that is not discussed much in the media when it comes to events of tragedy like those of recent years, not that these events are new in fact they have been going on for centuries sad to say. Parents teach you children morals and values. Teach them respect not just for elders but respect for all walks of life. Show your children love. I know life is hard but don’t ignore your child when you get home, play with them! I may not be a parent but i can asher you if I have the opportunity to father a child, my life will go from fun and thinking of myself to what is going to be best. I would simply live to spend time with them.
    My heart bleeds for the familys of the young lives that have been taken over the years. I cant imagine the pain you have suffered.

  • Rick

    Here’s an interesting tidbit from “thetruthaboutguns”:

    Just a Random Canadian says:
    I was raised in Florida, but I am a Canadian. My parents still live in Florida. I find the American Gun Control argument really fascinating. I have a question:

    What is more important? Is it the RIGHT to have a gun or is it the actual POSSESSION of the gun that is important?

    What would happen if the US government removed all restrictions against the Second Amendment? If they came out and said that you, as an American citizen now have the right to own and carry any weapon that you want. You could buy anything from a Phalanx CIWS to claymore mines to a .22 revolver. If you can afford it, you can own it. BUT: You have to pay a government tax of 100% of the value of the weapon. You have to insure the weapon against loss, damage and liability. You have to demonstrate competency with the weapon. And if you want to sell the weapon at a later date, you’ll have to pay another tax. They’d, in effect be giving you more rights, and at the same time, limiting access to the weapons. Its not a perfectly thought out idea, but the micro-chip started out as a “what if” too and after a while it worked out pretty well.

    I read some stuff by a 2A advocate, and he, in typical fashion, brought the gun argument back around to cars. He said, and we’ve all heard this a million times, “Thousands of people die because of cars but we don’t ban cars.” I think that the pro-gun lobbyists are shooting themselves in the foot with this argument because in order to drive a car you have to demonstrate competency with a car to get a license. Then you have to register your car with the government. Then you have to put insurance on your car. If you sell your car, you have to report the sale to the government. So in my worthless foriegn opinion, if you’re going to use the “Cars” argument, you should be willing to accept the implementation of a similar system of government control.

    It’s just my 2 cents.

    • Ken

      You have to be licensed to drive a car, register the car, and insure the car ONLY if you’re going to drive the car on public roads. You can have any car you want without registering or insuring if it is never driven on the road–a race car is a perfect example.

    • Rick

      A valid argument, Ken, if we were talking about 88.8% of the population driving race cars. But I think the demand for race cars and their impact on the lives of Amercians is significantly less than the impact of guns, don’t you?

    • Ken

      I’m just pointing out the fallacy of pointing at registering cars as a reason to register firearms. If there wasn’t a property tax and safety inspection then there probably wouldn’t be a need to register cars.

      There IS a real danger of being lulled into “just” registering firearms. The biggest question is why? Why register a firearm? Why would the government want to know the location of every firearm?

      I’ve posed that to others and the answers generally given is to keep them out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have one. Yet, today, it’s already illegal for broad groups of people to possess a firearm or ammunition–yet they still do.

      One of the biggest fears is being lulled into “just” registering your firearms is allowing the Government know where all of the firearms are and then in similarly ” New York swift” enactment a new restriction force folks to turn in those registered firearms.

  • Mark

    Ken, you have hit on the crux of the issue and you are absolutely correct – restrictions of the liberties/rights granted us under the Constitution must be grounded in what is called the “police powers” of the government (the government to include everything from the Federal to your local municipality). By the way, with respect to the shouting fire thing, what Oliver Wendell Holmes said was that free speech rights do not protect the right to falsely shout fire – I just wanted to make that clear and hopefully we can all agree that is a reasonable position. On the subject of how to define “high capacity magazine” which I, in what was admittedly an arbitrary designation, placed at 10 rounds, this is obviously a highly debatable point. In my mind, and Ken very correctly pointed this out, in order to define “high capacity” and use the police powers to restrict this, the government must tie the number of rounds to a consideration of public safety. That is assuming, however, that the 2nd Amendment affords such a protection (that is, to the ammo capacity of a given firearm) at all. Honestly, though, this debate can easily devolve into something akin to arguing how many angels can dance on the head of a pin and reasonable people can differ. We can all agree (I assume) that the 2nd Amendment affords an individual right to buy, sell and possess firearms. I find the level of hyperbole surrounding the current debate interesting for a different reason. We hear voices out there which are beating a drum of fear, basically stating, “They are going to come and take away your guns!” This is, quite frankly, in my mind, a bunch of hooey. If you consider this president as an enemy of the average gun owner then you have not been paying attention. The Obama Administration has literally taken zero action to restrict gun ownership rights in its first four years. That’s right, zero legislation – none. If this guy has an agenda of taking away our guns then clearly he has done a lousy job of advancing that agenda. Now we are hearing, in the wake of Sandy Hook, talk of using Executive Orders to tighten background checks and enforcement of existing gun laws. We are hearing about proposed legislation which seeks to ban “assault weapons/rifles” whatever that means and “high capacity magazines” again an issue of definition. Here’s the thing folks, this legislation has essentially zero chance at passage. Maybe it gets through the Senate, but in the House it’s toast. So what’s all this about really? In my mind this whole brouhaha is being driven by the arms industry and it’s working brilliantly. They want to make money, which is fine, that’s the American way. But they are doing it through fear and misinformation. They are stirring up fear that the big bad scary government is going to start coming door to door and collecting firearms. Do any of us really believe this is going to happen? Seriously? No way, at least not under conditions as they exist today. Now, take down the power grid for six months and all bets are off. But the way our society is ordered today, it’s just a fantasy spun by Armalite, Colt, Bushmaster, fill in the blank with your favorite arms manufacturer, to sell more rifles. At least that’s what I think. RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED.

    • Christian Nadeau

      Mark,

      I would have to say that the administrations apparent lack of activity on gun control during his first 4 years was two-fold: first, he wanted the best possibility of being reelected and second, there weren’t any major gun-involved tragedies that grabbed national attention and that he could use to further his anti-gun agenda. Having him puppeteer kids from Sandy Hook on national television claiming that they support his stance should clearly show that he needed such a tragedy in order to accomplish his goal, that he was waiting for a time when he could use the general public’s emotions to push through legislation that a majority would appose if they were thinking clearly. What better way to pass such controversial legislation than by waving the bodies of 20 dead children in front of the public (metaphorically speaking, of course) and saying that his plan will stop this from ever happening again despite proof that such legislation does nothing to prevent such tragedies. On your point about how his EO’s won’t “pass”, according to Cornell Law the president, “can issue executive orders, which have the force of law but do not have to be approved by Congress” (http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/executive_power). That means there is no issue of passage; if he signs it Congress doesn’t have any say; it will be the law. I also have to disagree about your stance on how the arms industry is causing all the controversy; in my opinion everyday law abiding citizens are speaking out because they have become tired of the government’s unwillingness to actually listen to the people of this country. We are also tired of an administration that is continually wasting our money (i.e. bailouts, funding to alternative energy companies that produced nothing before taking the money and then closing, cash-for-clunkers, refusing to put forth a budget plan for over three years during first term, continued insistence that raising our debt ceiling will somehow pay the debt off, etc.). Though the government might not be able to take our guns tomorrow, I do feel that the steps they are taking is just a preamble that will set the stage for them to take all guns away at some point in the not-so-distant future.

      Chris

    • Mark

      Chris, so if I’m understanding your theory, you think Obama held back on gun control to lull voters into a false sense of security so they could re-elect him without fear of restrictions on gun rights in the second term? This theory is premised on the assumption that Obama voters were people who cared about whether they would be able, in the future, to buy an assault weapon (whatever that means – if you are New York any long gun with a detachable magazine is an assault weapon which is ridiculous as far as I’m concerned) or a high capacity magazine. I don’t have any data to prove this, but I have a pretty strong gut feeling that gun rights advocates were not a strong demographic for him in either of his elections. As far as a lack of gun tragedy to play on, here is the list: 3/29/09, Carthage, NC, 11 killed/injured; 4/3/09, Binghamton, NY, 18 killed/injured; 11/5/09, Ft. Hood, TX, 43 killed/injured; 8/3/10, Manchester, CT, 11 killed/injured; 1/8/11, Tucson, AZ, 19 killed/injured; 9/6/11, Carson City, NV, 12 killed/injured; 10/14/11, Seal Beach, CA, 9 killed/injured; 4/2/12, Oakland, CA, 10 killed/injured; 7/20/12, Aurora, CO, 70 killed/injured; 8/5/12, Oak Creek, WI, 10 killed/injured. Several of these captured national attention, yet the administration did nothing to limit gun rights. Maybe he was waiting for elementary school kids to reveal his surprise tyrannical nature. I have a friend who is a liberal Democrat and, trust me, the left thinks this guy is way too moderate for their taste. And what did he do with his extraordinary executive powers today? He tightened background checks, which I happen to agree with. I want to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. They tend to give us a bad name. Other stuff he did with executive orders today will do absolutely nothing to make it harder for us to legitimately purchase firearms or ammunition. Look, I don’t like the guy. I didn’t vote for him and agree with him on almost nothing. I own three firearms and believe very strongly in gun rights. But I think all this talk about the big bad government coming to take our guns is a bunch of overblown hype. I wish everyone would just take a deep breath and look at this whole thing in a clear headed way. I don’t want them to re-impose the assault weapons ban and I want to be able to choose a 20 round mag if I want one. Realistically, the chances of the House passing a bill banning either of these is roughly equivalent to me growing utters that give chocolate milk. The GOP has a majority there for pete’s sake. The Dems had their chance to tighten gun laws when they owned the whole ball game, House, Senate and White House, for two years at the beginning of Obama’s first term and they took a pass. It’s obviously not that big of a priority to them. We all just need to calm down because I’m sick of paying $1 per round for 5.56 ammo. I just wish I owned stock in Armalite, Glock, Colt, Remington, Bushmaster, you name it, because they are raking in the bucks like nobody’s business right now.

    • JayfromVA

      Mark,
      Actually, there has been talk of taking away firearms, NY was actually discussing that exact thing. It died in secret negotiations because I think they realize that the practicality of attempting to enforce such a proposition was beyond their capabilities. The funny part about the whole speech yesterday is that I actually have no problem with most of his executive actions. He could have left it at that and most likely garnered bi-partisan, and even NRA support (a safe gun ownership campaign? Who owns that exactly?). Instead, he chose to push ahead with what he knew would be controversial legislation to ban mags and “assault weapons”.
      And yes, I do think that they are taking advantage of the fact that children were killed. Feinstein has had this bill drafted for quite some time, and various gun control measures have been submitted for the last several years, but let’s be honest, a bunch of adults dying never creates the same emotional response as one child dying. These measures have been defeated because there wasn’t a full-blown outcry to exploit. Now there is. Realistically, I don’t think a firearms ban will pass, a mag ban I am not so sure about. But NY is a great example of a politician pushing even further restrictions with no basis in research or fact and affecting a large number of law-abiding citizens with an arbitrary numbers game because of a tragedy. Am I hunkering down in my bunker like a Nat Geo reality show star? No. But governments rarely take drastic action, they realize that gradual is much more effective, and they have plenty of time, so I attempt to stay vigilant and contact my elected representatives when I feel it is necessary, not on the orders of some manufacturer.
      I personally hope that some time in the next 3 or so months, things calm down so I can finally find some .308 to zero my Scout with, and we can all go back to debating which pistol design is the finest in history…

    • Christian Nadeau

      Mark,

      Purportedly a large number of democrats (even those who do not own guns) feel that the president’s EO’s on gun control are a bit far-reaching, and as such might not have been as supportive of him during his first term or during elections. As I recall, the president downplayed the Fort Hood shooting and it occurred on a military base, which are mandated as “gun free” zones, the Tucson shooting had limited body count, and the Aurora shooting occurred in a “gun free” zone, which likely would have raised questions about increased gun laws when that gun control law did not work. As for the others you list, I cannot say with certainty that I saw them receive national attention but I can say that none had nearly the same emotional effect as 20 dead children. With the president’s EO about tightening background checks it seems to me that they are saying, “Criminals (i.e. law breakers) did something bad so lets look harder at law abiding citizens because they might one day do something bad”. As a Criminal Justice student this seems to go against our systems “innocent until proven guilty” model and prejudges citizens without any proof. Next, can you tell me with 100% certainty that the president will not push to ban big bad AR-15-like rifles and that such a ban will not make it harder for me (a law abiding citizen) to legitimately purchase one? Why not actually focus on keeping guns out of criminals hands by cracking down on black markets rather than on what things can sold by legitimate gun dealers who keep records, inform legislatures of gun purchases, and are already completely abiding by the government’s laws and restrictions? Additionally, why is it that people keep stating that proposed gun control legislation “will not pass in the House” when the president is using Executive Order to push them through, which by Cornell Law’s definition, “have the force of law but do not have to be approved by congress.”

      Chris

    • Mark

      Chris, he can’t use an EO to ban “assault weapons” (such an arbitrary designation, isn’t it?) or high capacity mags – this would require Congressional action and that’s why I believe it won’t happen. The funny thing is, if you look at the previous federal assault weapons ban, which is the one Feinstein has been pushing for years to bring back, it ended up that gun manufacturers were able to come up with ways around it simply by making modifications which didn’t fall within the definition. For example, the Ruger Mini 14 ranch model didn’t fall under the ban, yet as a matter of function there is no difference between the Mini, which I happen to own, and your average AR variant. Seriously, is a pistol grip that important? So the Mini doesn’t look as cool as the AR, are it’s function over form, right?

  • Ken

    I feel sorry for you folks who live in New York!

    Note the 7rd limit. They were pretty slick in effectively banning nearly all pistols considering few are available with 7 round or less magazines. They probably looked on the Glock website, saw that the smallest magazine available was 8 rounds and made the limit 7.

  • Mark

    Personally I believe the NY gun law recently passed was over-broad. It defines an “assault weapon” as any long gun with a flash suppressor or detachable magazine. A single characteristic such as the ones I mentioned would bring the weapon under the law. As such, if I’m reading this right, a bolt-action rifle with a detachable magazine would be banned and even the folks in Washington aren’t looking to go after those types of guns. The other draconian measure is that any magazine with more than 7 rounds is not just banned for sale, it’s banned for possession. In other words, if you have one now there’s no grandfathering it in, you have to just get rid of it. I will be interested to see what happens to this law in the courts which is where I am 100% certain it will land.

    • Christian Nadeau

      Mark,

      The law does seem quite absurd in its reach and I am also interested in what the courts will say. Even if they strike it down, though, will it happen before or after the law takes full effect? By that I mean, is it going to take the courts longer than a year to strike it down, thus ensuring that anyone in the state who complied with the law has already long since gotten rid of their mags? I’m willing to bet the law exempt law enforcement, certain politicians, and those who protect the politicians.

      Chris

  • tragicview

    Thanks for the great piece Bryan. Spoken like a real pro.

    Cheers,

    Tim

  • Bryan,

    Thanks for your very well thought out words. I couldn’t agree more and I appreciate the time that ITS Tactical has taken to follow things methodically and respond when necessary; encouraging it’s readers and members to get involved. Well done.

    R/
    Jordan

  • WIlliam Higgins

    I hope all of your customers and readers ar coming out this Saturday 19 January to protest. There is a rally at every state capitol across the country. Please look up Guns Across America on Facebook. If you can’t make it to the capitol there is Gun Appreciation Day. It is the same say at local gunshops. I think they also have a age on Facebook. If there is a huge turnout the politicians may start to have second thoughts.

    Hope to see you there
    Bill Higgins
    Honolulu HI.

  • Brian C

    I see many well thought out arguments and comments here. Too bad the NRA, can’t seem to make the same arguments as clearly as some of you have. In hindsight, it appears that paranoia from some might come back to cause problems for us all.

    We all can see that any talk of of an AWB is ridiculous. Rifles account for less than 1% of deaths by firearm in this country, so why not look at handguns if serious about ending gun violence. Not scary, not sensational enough I guess. Crime rates have more to do with the economy than anything else, so attempts to restrict or remove weapons, especially rifles, will not eliminate this problem.

    From my POV, it seems that all of the recent mass shooters obtained their weapons “legally”. It seems to me that the system we use is broken, and what is worse, maybe the NRA broke it. We talk about the criminals ignoring the laws, but then support or fight to remove controls that could help keep guns off the street. What I say next may anger some, but that doesn’t change the fact. Nothing in the Bill of Rights, including the 2nd Amendment is absolute. Acting like it is and being overly paranoid about confiscating arms has resulted in the current situation. Reducing or eliminating background checks, stopping research on gun violence, making it more difficult to track sales of weapons……these aren’t the actions of people trying to be part of the solution. You can tell me I am wrong, but sometimes it is not about right and wrong….it is about perception, and I am not feeling to good about the NRA at this point. I hope I am wrong, but it appears that their overzealousness may have found a limit.

    Before you start trying to lecture me about defending rights, etc..let me first say that I agree with you. Secondly, let me ask you what rights you want to defend? What about the 1st amendment? What about the 4rh? What amazes me is the number of people ready to fight for weapons to preserve freedom, but the lack of protest to things like the Patriot Act where the freedom we claim to love so dearly is under direct assault.

    Not sure where to go next. Just wish the NRA would stick to relevant facts.

    • Chance Eary

      The NRA has to push “the line” back as far as possible so that there is ground to lose before critically important things are threatened. I often don’t agree with them myself, but you have to remember: the anti-gunners are never going away. Ever.

      Anti-gunners are going to demand some sort of concession to mollify them, however symbolic or frivolous that concession may be. They’re not really concerned about pragmatic solutions anyways, only with what makes them feel better about themselves or provides them with a false sense of security.

      So I, personally, want the NRA fighting for stupid things. The war on guns is never going to end, and battles will definitely be lost. I’d rather lose battles over bad ideas than lose battles over things that affect the core of the Second Amendment.

    • Incognito

      Personally I’m tired of the NRA getting a bad rap for everything that goes on with regard to guns. I have guns.. I grew up with guns.. I was hunting at 8 years old.. Was taught to carry my own rifle.. clean my own kills and care for my own guns.. and heaven forbid if I ‘in a moment of not paying attention’, pointed my gun toward anyone whether loaded or unloaded.. the smack I would get up side the head would have my feet off the ground.. My brother, who taught his ‘baby sis’ to hunt and shoot was a demolitions expert in WWII and he took a no nonsense approach to gun safety.. His kids and myself were taught proper handling and safety..The majority of gun owners, especially those in the NRA have been trained as well and I don’t see any of those nut jobs shooting up schools and theaters and what not that are members of the NRA. So why do you have to ‘down’ the NRA? Why is it that our guns are in jeopardy now? Is it because you think we don’t know how to use them? We’re better trained than the average person. And what would give you the right in the first place to make any decision regarding our/my gun rights? I’m thankful for the NRA and their stand and fight attitude.. Were it not for them we would have lost these rights a long time ago. And yes, I’m a staunch patriot and will victoriously defend the Constitution and yes it is…’set in stone’ leave it alone.. If you want to register your firearms and tell big brother everything you own..then go for it.. but not mine. It’s my business and the government needs to stay out of it. I’ve committed no crimes therefore no one has any business IN my business. And believe me, the criminals that do the bad stuff don’t have background checks.. and most don’t obtain their firearms legally..Background checks outside those you get when you purchase a gun are nothing more than an invasion of privacy and most certainly the registering of your firearms.. That just sets us all up for a tyrannical government to confiscate your guns! Leave the law abiding people alone.. this is not Russia or China..This is America! an armed man/woman is a citizen. An unarmed man/woman is a subject. “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” (Benjamin Franklin).

  • JayfromVA

    Rick, for some reason I couldn’t reply to your post, so my reply ended up here. You asked what I thought, so I figured I would run down the President’s proposals and give my two cents. Since I think everyone knows I disagree with the proposed firearm and magazine ban, I’ll stick with the Executive Actions that were proposed.
    1. Federal agencies must make relevant info available to the background check system – agree. The background check can’t do its job if it is being fed bad info. Garbage in, garbage out as they say.
    2. Address barriers in regards to HIPAA and making info available to the background check system – mostly agree. I’m a very private person and don’t like guys digging in my medical records, even though I have nothing to hide. On the other hand, if HIPAA is being used as a shield to not report violent/threatening behaviour or conditions, then I see the issue.
    3. Improve incentives for states to share info with background checks – agree.
    4. Review categories of prohibited individuals – unsure. The list of prohibited individuals is already pretty thorough, and it seems like most of our recent problems stem from not knowing “who has been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed to any mental institution”. I tend not to like making additional laws when we haven’t made sure we’re enforcing the ones we already have.
    5. Run a full background check before returning a seized gun – mostly agree. I think my sticking point here is what they mean by “full background check.” If a gun gets seized for a valid reason, a NICS check before its return seems reasonable. However, if they mean people visiting the house and interviewing neighbors, digging into financial records, etc, that can easily become an issue.
    6. Provide guidance on how to run private seller background checks – agree. I actually prefer to sell my guns through an FFL, as it gives me a CYA feeling. This doesn’t require that it happens, just lets FFLs know the procedures if they are asked to conduct one.
    7. Launch a safe gun ownership campaign – agree. I think its a little ironic that the government now wants in on what the NRA has been doing for years, but whatever…
    8. Review safety standards for gun locks and safes – mostly agree. I’m not really sure what this accomplishes. If they intend a requirement for everyone to have their guns locked up, then I see where this could be useful. I actually don’t have a problem with a requirement to keep guns locked up, but there needs to be a recognition that a “ready service gun” can be left loaded if secured. To go DC style and require that every gun be completely unloaded and looked down is not realistic for home defense.
    9. Require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations – agree. Data on where people get their illegal guns can help to combat specific problem areas instead of blanket targeting all gun owners.
    10. Analyze stolen gun info and make it available to local LE – agree. Once again, info to specifically target problem areas, and increase public awareness of the need for properly securing firearms.
    11. Nominate ATF director – ambivalent.
    12. Provide proper training for active shooter situations – wholeheartedly agree. There needs to be a well-thought out solution that includes lockdown procedures, orderly evacuations, armed response (police or otherwise), and post-incident procedures.
    13. Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun crime and prosecute gun crime – agree. Gee, it starts to sound a little like the NRA theme of enforcing laws already on the books, doesn’t it?
    14. Research causes and prevention of gun violence – mostly agree. This needs to be full and impartial, not a “study” that cherry picks info for a already developed conclusion.
    15. Issue a report on gun safety technology – ambivalent. Sounds like another reason to push for expensive technologies that aren’t proven (except in the most recent 007), but its a report, not a rule.
    16. Clarify that doctors can ask about guns in the home – somewhat agree. I don’t have a problem with them asking, but it should be an information only question, not a diagnostic question. IE, they ask if I drink so that they can tell me the risks associated, fine, but don’t report me because I legally indulge in a pastime, make sense? Anyway, if you don’t want to tell them, don’t, it’s not like your doctor can check…
    17. Clarify that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence – agree. I’m not sure why this is an issue, I have been told by mental health professionals that what I tell them is in confidence unless it indicates that I may harm myself or others (I had to get a screening for my current job, don’t let your imaginations go crazy). If it is already a policy, then getting the word out is a positive.
    18. Provide incentives to hire school resource officers – agree.
    19. Develop model emergency response plans – agree.
    20. Clarify the scope of mental health care that Medicaid must cover – agree. Getting people the help they need is imperative.
    21-22. I’m not even gonna pretend I know what those mean, athough I assume they deal with paying for mental health treatment. In that case, see 20.
    23. National dialogue by HHS and Education about mental illness – agree, although I think the best work would be done by grassroots education campaigns.
    So anyway, there are my thoughts on the President’s proposals. On the surface at least, most of these actions address the problem (people), and not the tool (firearms), which is where I think we need to be looking. If done right, I could easily get behind his proposals, assuming the politicians don’t turn them into some Frankenmonster of regulatory hell, which they are prone to do. I’m not going to pretend I know everything about mental illness, but I think that there needs to be serious dialogue among professionals (not the media and politicians) to address the issue. I have plenty more thoughts, but I think this post is long enough.

  • It saddens me to see you, too, fall into the mire of hinting at “revolution” — violent or otherwise — as we explore this particular political discourse. I think there are some concessions that can be made that will not, ultimately infringe upon the basic American right to bear arms, but that — ultimately — has the potential to protect others. The funny thing about prevention is that there is always very few statistics to support it: it’s either (a) working or (b) not working. Look at fire prevention, for example.

  • Skip Van Hook

    I’d like to first say that I really enjoy your site and will continue to do so.

    As proponent of the 2nd Amendment the current issue is really troubling often because of unreasoning and ignorant positions on both sides.

    On the one side you have a majority of supporters who would be lucky to get past the Fifth Amendment in naming and understanding just the Bill of Rights, much less the other seventeen. Worse still their misguided notions of American history stand as tragic examples in the failure of the American education system.

    On the other side you have individuals advocating a utopian fantasy of perfect safety and security; all built around the premise of unilateral individual disarmament in that a firearm is both the cause and effect of today’s problems.

    There is no liberty without responsibility. We owe it to ourselves and each other as Americans to be active, reasoned and educated participants in the determining how to preserve our Rights and safeguard our communities. This is what will separate the Citizen and Veteran from those out there who are little better than a thug with a gun.

  • Austin

    “Those that are willing to give up liberties for security will lose both, and deserve neither.”
    ~Ben Franklin

  • Michael O’connor

    The night I heard the current VP utter those word I immediately rose from my chair and stated to my wife that this was outrageous and that if the current President tried to act in this manner then I would go to war. If that is my fate then so be it. I refuse to live under a dictatorship and I am willing to go to the front in place of my younger sons, my grand children and my God children.

    I have lived a good life and if sacrificing it at my age to preserve the freedom of the younger generation is the only thing left then I am prepared. Older but never the less prepared.

  • Mark Alan

    Since we all know that everybody else knows (including Joe Biden himself) that nothing currently being proposed would have prevented any of the tragedies of last year, the only conclusion we can come to is the current administration wants our guns out of our hands.

    This is not new as the State Dept published a memo in the ’60s outlining the process for disarming Americans under a United Nations Plan to disarm the entire planet, with the exception of the UN “Peacekeepers” who obviously need weapons to fight against whatever “rogue” nation has the gumption to fight back.

    Since the war on terror started we’ve seen many of our legal protections disappear, some of the most recent being indefinite detention and the killing of American citizens at the whim of the President. We’ve also seen a huge increase in Federal Law Enforcement, primarily Homeland Security. Which makes sense if you’re wanting to control the population and you’re prevented from using your military against against your citizens.

    As seen during Katrina governments will declare martial law at the slightest provacation which enables them, among other things, to confiscate our weapons. With the Patriot Act along with executive orders the President has made sure he has given himself the capability to confiscate weapons if he wants to.

    So don’t call me paranoid or radical if I scream about government infringing on my 2nd amendment rights. That right was given to us for a very good reason and it is not to be restricted (infringed). I personally will resist any and all efforts to limit what firearms I can purchase or how large a magazine I can have and my vote will always go to the candidate who most strongly supports the Bill of Rights and the sovereignty of the United States.

  • C/od

    Question to all: You know where you live, but do you know your LAW?
    Read eveything that this man, Dr. Edwin Vieira PhD has written including his new book (finally)” The Sword and Sovereignty”.
    We have been overrun with damnable lies. It is our fault! I do not like whiners and fools that give in and up! .
    C/od

  • spuppets4

    Thanks Bryan for your insight, it’s intelligent, thoughtful, responsible and I believe sincere. I think and feel “The American Manifesto” that you have here on your website says all the things that people living here in America need to know. This is the greatest country on the planet and we all need to know what it means to be an American and have the freedoms we have, the American Manifesto says it all in my opinion and needs to be spread and read. I personally link that to everything I can and have made all my family and friends read it, it says so much about what we are and how we should be conducting ourselves for our own betterment as a whole. Our way of life is absolutely worth fighting for and dying in the fight if necessary.

Do you have what you need to prevail?

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