On handguns, tradition and radicalism
I write a lot about the clash between traditional American culture — which tends to be conservative — and the rapid societal changes that have triggered deep anxiety and bitterness, particularly in rural white communities.
In broad terms, this axis defines the country’s culture war, far more than any red vs. blue or North vs. South paradigm.
The truth, which I think is irrefutable, is that our nation is changing with stunning speed in ways that have sparked a sometimes understandable backlash.
In a mere handful of decades, our concept “family” has been reinvented. Homosexuality has evolved from a recognized mental illness into a widely accepted version of “normal.”
The role of women in society has changed in radical ways, one of the largest shifts in the human paradigm in recorded history. Soon, the white community will be only one of many minorities in a truly diverse ethnic landscape.
Active Christians make up a smaller and smaller portion of citizens and the fastest growing “faith” group is made up of people with no religious convictions at all.
That’s a lot to take on board, especially since it’s hitting the “real” America all at once.
When my urban, progressive friends wring their hands about the conservative uproard against these changes, I remind them that America’s traditional culture is merely holding on to and defending values that were entirely mainstream just a few years ago.
But when it comes to guns, I don’t think this argument holds true.
When it comes to firearms, it is traditional America that’s changing, profoundly and perhaps even radically, in ways that are finally sparking real debate.
I grew up in rural America, and have always been a proud, unambiguous part of the gun-owning culture. I’ve owned firearms my entire life. My father and I were members of a shooting club at a range in my home town. We hunted whitetail deer.
While courting my wife — herself a holder of NRA merit badges for marksmanship — I hunted turkey and deer with my future father-in law.
One of my wife’s proudest gifts to our son (he was 13 years old at the time) was his first .22 rifle.
My brother Allen and I have hunted together since childhood, and he writes one of the best hunting and fishing blogs in the Midwest.
What we didn’t do? We didn’t own military-style weaponry.
In all my childhood and young adulthood, I don’t remember anyone owning assault rifles or high-capacity banana clips, or talking about the need for such weapons.
Guys owned shotguns for hunting fowl. We owned hunting rifles. Some men — not, by a long-shot, all — owned a pistol for home security, to protect their businesses, or for protection against grizzly bears, or for sport.
Through the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, when I was a kid and a young man, the loggers and fishermen and outdoorsmen I grew up around would have been baffled by anyone packing a military-style heat.
I remember in particular one of my friends bragging that his dad still had an old German Luger military pistol locked away in a drawer, a legacy of his grandfather’s service in World War II.
The idea was kind of shocking and exciting.
But if you asked me whether any of our dads would have advocated legalizing teflon coated “copkiller” bullets or fought for the right to use high capacity magazines, I’d say no way.
I’m not sure when the gun culture changed.
What I can tell you is that in the part of America where I grew up — Arkansas, Kansas, Oklahoma, and later Alaska — it didn’t look much like the gun culture that exists today.
Guys didn’t talk about the need to arm themselves so that they could someday resist their own despotic government. There wasn’t survivalist talk or talk of “2nd amendment” solutions to democratic debates.
I suspect the change came from the narrowing agenda of the NRA, which shifted from a mom-and-pop style hunter and gun-safety organization to a sleek, powerful culture war advocacy group that sees no room for compromise or nuance.
In their worldview, there are gun lovers and believers in the Constitution, and there are those who would confiscate every single firearm.
It’s a gun culture that leaves no room for people like me, who value sporting guns and believe in protecting gun ownership, but have serious moral and practical questions about the need for high-efficiency military-style pistols and assault rifles.
I suspect that at least some of the change also came from a growing population of American gun enthusiasts who don’t have strong ties to rural life.
There are a lot of suburbanites and urban folks who embraced the gun-show bang-bang culture that gets a rush out of hard-core hardware, without having been introduced to firearms through the common sense values of their fathers and mothers.
Finally, I suspect that a lot of the change in America’s gun culture came through the commercialization of firearms, as manufacturers — who now clear $12 billion a year — worked to sell more and more high-end “cool” weapons.
The kind of guns that ravaged Aurora and Newtown and Columbine have much higher profit margins — and fanboy appeal — than you see for a serious hunting rifle or a practical shotgun.
So while on many issues, it is urban, progressive Americans who have moved into new, experimental, and sometimes nervous territory, when it comes to guns I think it’s fair to argue that conservatives are the ones who have changed.
While talking about the long-standing tradition of gun ownership and flying the banner of the 2nd amendment, they’re drawing lines in the sand that I’m guessing would have made little sense to the guys in the coffee shop in my hometown.
So here’s my question to those of you who see yourselves as gun rights advocates. When was the first time you saw people in your community owning (or desiring) these kinds of weapons?
When did you or your friends begin to see military-style pistols and assault rifles and banana clip-type accessories as part of America’s gun culture?
Since the beginning of time, there have been major disagreements, with each side fighting passionately for what they believe in.
One could look at the American Revolution and conclude the Patriots were wrong. Or one could conclude the Loyalists were wrong.
Same thing here.
Conservatives believe in a more anchored society where moral codes and traditional values are based on the definitive. Liberals believe in a more fluid society where moral codes and traditional values are redefined.
If original constitutionalists are likely to adhere to absolutes and interpreting our nation’s foundational documents within the guidelines of context (ie; United States v.Emerson, federal judge Sam Cummings), we are never going to line up with living constitutionalists who are unlikely to adhere to absolutes and interpret the documents through the eyes of current culture.
Mankind has the power of choice. How we use that power should be guided by conscience. The liberals redefine conscience, often as old fashioned, thus feeling justified in tossing out what is deemed irrelevant in today’s world.
I don’t believe culture comes first and we form society around it.
We have grappled with abortion (calling it a woman’s right to choose), gay marriage (calling it a right to choose) – all prohibited by conscience in terms of what God says. But if you don’t believe in God, then of course you will dismiss this world view.
But why is the idea of choice allowed with abortion and gay marriage – and not with gun ownership? And why is the position of restricting these high powered weapons fine, but if anyone is mentions restriction on abortions or gay marriage, we are nailed?
Because we are living in a heavily progressive, politically correct society which may pat itself on the back because they are not enforcing religion, but another “religion” is being enforced. And it picks and chooses what choice and freedom means.
Larry’s Hillary Clinton quote says it perfectly and bears repeating: Being pro-choice is trusting the individual to make the right decision for herself and her family, and not entrusting that decision to anyone wearing the authority of government in any regard.
The 2nd amendment is apparent, but living constitutionalists will naturally want to interpret this with their belief system and want restrictions to make a fair and euphoric society.
The original constitutionalists are cautious about where these restrictions are going since it is viable to think it may lead to banning guns altogether. Yes, we want a better world, too. Yet, it may be a better society when people have freedom (freedom to abort, freedom to be gay). It works both ways.
The evolution of our society proves it. Slowly, we have seen so much of what was taboo 50 years ago, acceptable. What reigns us in? If you’re a progressive, nothing. Not if it’s acceptable to redefine and interpret our nation’s documents. Using that same measure, some of us are concerned what gun restrictions will lead to.
Dave re-quoted Brian’s statement which said:
“We oppose tyranny not by arming ourselves like Afghani militants, but by participating in a free and fair political process, by winning (and sometimes losing) elections.”
That’s a very nice quote and it looks good on paper. But I’ll bet that’s not what was going through the minds of the faculty in the Sandy Hook school shooting.
In other words, we can participate in the political process and own a high powered weapon.
“The liberals redefine conscience, often as old fashioned, thus feeling justified in tossing out what is deemed irrelevant in today’s world.”
You totally don’t get it. You don’t need the Bible to have a conscience. The golden rule is vastly older than the Bible. You’re so utterly convinced that your beliefs are the right ones that you can’t imagine that you are wrong. Good luck with that!
“In other words, we can participate in the political process and own a high powered weapon.”
Or not own one.
That is part of the point of the quote.
The owning of the high powered weapon has nothing to do with the political process in our country.
We are no longer rebels looking to break away from a foreign power. That is our past. I recognize that conservatives have trouble leaving the past… in the past… but this should be an easy one to grasp.
We are a mature, established, free and fair democracy. We elect our leaders. Mythical tyrants do not parachute into the Whitehouse and take over, and you do not need military weapons to protect us from them.
Again, we elect our leaders. Our political process itself is what protects us from tyrants. Not your guns.
Despite Brian’s intemperate attempt to pin that one on me, I never suggested overthrowing the government or taking up arms against the American military. It’s a long step from the premise of the Second Amendment to overthrowing the government unless one is deliberately trying to be provocative.
“Paul – it’s only the white suburban republican males who are the gun owners not the democrats living in the same neighborhood,”
Since when did all the democrats give up their guns?
What I’m calling you out on is the dog whistle. It’s a long-standing conservative trope to raise things like the armed threat against American Marines in Afghanistan — suggesting the inherent value of being able to take up arms against our service members — while also adding little headfakes like “not that it’s relevant.”
When people compare Barack Obama’s discussions of gun control to Adolph Hitler’s policies, these dots are connected in ways that are both practically and morally troubling. I know that you didn’t use those words, but that framing is everywhere in the conservative media culture
The bottom line? You can’t have it both ways.
You can’t wink at the political power of guns being used against our own elected government and also suggest that you’re not talking about the possibility of guns being used against our own government — particularly in a society where guns are actually quite often used in violent acts against our own government.
You don’t need the Bible to have a conscience.
I agree with you Walker.
Conscience is vastly older than the golden rule, too.
We’ll debate where conscience comes from. But one thing is sure – we can use it or lose it. And the results will speak for itself.
But either guns really ARE a true deterrent against government power or they are not. I have heard both sides on this board. I think that given the modern experiences of armed citizens successfully opposing huge well funded military machines; either from their own governments or foreign interventions (which we have been involved in), the answer would have to be that they are a potent force. I am not sure it is a legitimate reason to have all of these guns in modern America; however I don’t think we can write off the effectiveness of well armed citizens in opposing both invasions and tyranny from their own government. There is a reason our government DOES act in very extreme ways against armed groups who act threatening. They bombed MOVE’s headquarters Philadelphia, they surrounded and killed armed Native American members of AIM when they re-claimed Wounded Knee in 1973, so yes our government obviously takes it seriously when groups are armed. Those groups were small, think of 10 million. It would be a problem for the government no doubt about it.
But the whole discussion is no longer about assault rifles and large clips, just as predicted this is about comprehensive gun control; handguns, long guns, they are all being being brought up.
Do you agree that excessive regulation, (such as excessive taxation of any business or industry) can weaken or even kill it?
One reason people are turned off to religion is because they don’t like the rules and laws that some hard core in-your-face Christians confront with. I agree, because sadly, that kind of person is not reflecting the true heart of God.
That said, shall we consider this when it comes to our government as well? Over regulation is not good for us and what we have seen in the last 20 years is that. Every time someone doesn’t like something or doesn’t approve of something we create a regulation.
Look at what Bloomberg has done in NYC. It’s ludicrous! No one here sees the government getting involved in our choices? What’s the deal? Is this a precursor to managing us so we are not using our national health care too much?
One has to ask these questions. And that is what is at the heart of this gun debate. Not so much oh my gosh I want an assault weapon, but what is this leading to?
Taking up arms against the US government is a VERY extreme position and I can’t imagine how that would come about for me. People who talk about it, should remember what they are talking about, they are talking about dying, its not play and they are talking about giving up their citizenship and of course fighting other Americans. Its not some sort of video game, I think many of these guys who are really into it are not thinking about the reality of death and killing.
But would it ever happen, could it ever happen? Of course it could happen, we can’t look at our world and not see that every government is temporary that our systems, that what we think are solid and infallible, are not, they are all transient. We are a very very young country, we have already fought one major Civil war.
The reference to Afghanistan is actually a good one but the comments pretty much all around are wrong because apparently people are pretty ignorant about Afgahnistan even though we have been messing around there for about 30 years.
In the late 70’s the Afghans elected a socialist government. The backstory to that is pretty complicated and I don’t know all of the ins and outs of it, but anyway some factions of the Afghan populace decided to fight the government and the US helped to arm and back those groups along with our allies the Pakistani’s who really liked the idea of Afghanistan ending up as a failed state. Some of the groups we decided to arm turned out to be — guess what? — the worst kind of conservatives and fundamentalists who after they got done fighting the legitimate Afghan government and the Soviets started fighting each other and assassinating technocrats and people who knew how to run the government. So most of the government leaders who wanted to stay alive fled the country.
So arming all those Afghans ended up not stopping tyranny but destroying the ability to rebuild the nation once virtually all the educated, the wealthy, business and government leaders fled along with something like 20% of the population.
If anyone believes that Afghanistan is a good example of what happens through armed resistance to the government they should understand what they are talking about.
Larry, how did taking up arms against the United States work for the South?
“But the whole discussion is no longer about assault rifles and large clips, just as predicted this is about comprehensive gun control; handguns, long guns, they are all being being brought up.”
The only thing I want to consider doing about all guns is registration. Look, gun advocates keep saying “let’s improve our mental health system– it’s the nut jobs that are killing people, not the guns.” But people aren’t (generally) ID’d as nut jobs at birth, it is discovered later in life. Unless we’re going to lock up every person remotely likely of running amok, we’re going to have to be able to confiscate guns from newly identified crazies. There’s no way to do that if you don’t know what weapons they have.
All of the preceding obviously applies to new felons.
So if you made me gun czar tomorrow, I’d call for mandatory registration, but the only thing I’d like to see simply outlawed is large capacity clips. Your mileage may vary.
And Walker, saying that Afghanistan has always been warlike is just plain wrong.
From about 1800 to 1979 Afghanistan has never been involved in a war beyond it’s own borders. It was involved in 3 wars with the Colonial British Empire/the British East India Company and one major but brief border war with Pakistan. There were some internal struggles in which the various rulers consolidated power but the death toll in those battles was probably fairly light.
I may be un-aware of some small fights but that is about it in terms of fighting in Afghanistan until the US got involved behind the scenes in the 1980’s. I would say that Afghanistan and it’s people have historically been among the most peaceful in the world when left to themselves.
The point was that an armed citizenry is an effective fighting force against the strongest military in the World. In Iraq and Afghanistan, I remember the question being posed (by the anti-war groups) WHO is training the insurgents? Why do we need all of this support and training to fight these guys? Well they are armed and they believe in their cause. All of the training in the world won’t create that. If you believe in something you fight for it; I think the majority of Afghans in the South do support the Taliban and are simply waiting for us to leave. Not so in the North and they are armed and will continue to fight.
I would totally agree that we should all leave Afghanistan alone, we should have left 8 or nine years ago.
But I think you make the point, that the side in Afghanistan that has been armed will in the end likely win control.
We are not at war with Afghanistan. Hello, their President just met with President Obama. Our military has been given the impossible task of trying to “defeat” a rogue bunch of religious fanatics who are interspersed with the Afghani population while not causing too much collateral damage.
It is an idiotic Rambo fantasy to think a bunch of American middle-aged suburban weekend warriors could defeat the U.S. military at their game. And as Brian said, “…we are a strong, vibrant and confident democracy and we don’t flirt with political violence as a means of solving our domestic problems.”
I remember during the Cold war there were all of these insurgencies around the globe, and the line that we got sold was that these guys are all being funded by the Soviet Union, they are training and arming them and that is why this is happening. Sometimes that was true, often it was not.
But in the case of these Islamic revolutions; there is no world power we can blame, these guys are just regular guys who believe in what they are doing and picked up a gun. I am not supporting Islamic revolutions or terrorists, but just consider the power of belief and will, over money.
Get a grip on the paranoia, Brian. Armed rebellion against the government isn’t relevant here primarily because we have the Second Amendment. My reference to Afghanistan was in response to the suggestion that the right to keep and bear arms is moot because it wouldn’t work anyway. I believe the Second Amendment works because the Framers understood that an armed citizenry is the best counterweight to potential government tyranny. It is more about prevention than it is about cure. I can’t help it if people don’t understand that or if they think there’s an angry, old, conservative, rural white man with an assault rifle behind every tree. If the Framers thought that people could trust the government or the political process to guarantee their rights they would not have proposed the Bill of Rights.
myown I think you are revealing the real intent of gun control for some, it’s cultural, you just don’t like those guys who you “think” have all of the weapons (which is not even really true anyway). You and others seem to created a fantasy character who is easy to dislike who has all of these weapons.
It is certainly not a fantasy that an armed group of citizens can be a very effective force against any military. We see over and over again the US military fought to a draw by an armed bunch of citizens. The Taliban is certainly very popular in Afghanistan, we can’t defeat them, they are not going away, the population is giving them help. Its how insurgencies ALWAYS work, the Taliban are no different from the Viet-Cong, and they use the same techniques.
My point is that an armed population certainly is a powerful force to deal with, and I think our failed wars in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq have shown that fact.
Of course it is an idiotic nation building fools game for us to be there, on this we totally agree.
Sorry, but you cannot get away with this.
“Polls show that most Americans think that abortion should be legal and safe and available in broad terms”
Gallup’s latest numbers that I could find show 50% Pro-life 41% Pro-choice. May 2012.
You will now have to defend your claim with real facts. You cannot make a broad claim that is 10 or 20 years out-of-date.
JDM – it totally depends what question you ask.
Also abortion is the black hole of all discussion which is why we should leave it for another thread.
“…saying that Afghanistan has always been warlike is just plain wrong…”
Depends on what you mean by peace:
I think it’s safe to say that even before the start of the thirty-four year “recent” history of nearly endless war, Afghanistan has not known many years of anything like the peacefulness enjoyed by North America. I’m no expert on Afghani history, but my guess is that the relationship of the Afghan people to their local warlords predates the eighties.
Peter Hahn: “JDM – it totally depends what question you ask.”
Those that consider themselves pro-life: 50%
Those that consider themselves pro-choice 41%
Gallup notes: “Since 2009, Americans have been closely divided in their identification with the labels most commonly used by each side of the abortion debate, although twice in that time period, including today, the percentage identifying as pro-life has been significantly higher than the pro-choice percentage.”
Can’t handle the truth?
“The only thing I want to consider doing about all guns is registration.” I think I probably agree but lets be honest at some level this is about ALL guns. You can’t say “I own a shotgun bla bla bla and I have no interest in making you do anything if you just have a gun for hunting or shooting at the skeet field bla bla bla”. The VP has already suggested that what we may want to do is universal BG checks. They have little to do with assault weapons and high capacity clips. The idea of a BG check doesn’t bother me but again lets be honest in the discussion.
As several people have aptly pointed out, the “discussion” that began with assault rifles and high capacity magazines has now broadened to include all guns. Gee whiz, why would anyone be suspicious of the anti-gun crowd’s motives?
Walker, I believe your piece proves my point perfectly. Between 1800 and 1979 Afghanistan was quite peaceful. The US on the other hand was involved in many hundreds of wars and the extinction or near extinction of many peoples and species. And the US is a major initiator of warfare in Afghanistan itself since 1979.
The fact that Afghanistan is a natural geographic crossroads through which many armies flowed in ancient times is a distinctly different question. The fact is that the Peoples of Afghanistan were usually bystanders.
Paul, I’m not sure what you think I said. I’m in favor of mandating registration of all guns. If someone on your block flips out, and they have an arsenal in their basement, wouldn’t you want the police to know about it? Register, not confiscate, unless an individual has a problem.
So KHL, prior to 1978 it’s your opinion that there were no warlords in Afghanistan, or if they existed they were entirely at peace?
well i think it’s safe to say then, that there are two black holes in the universe of discussion. if one is abortion, as suggested, then this topic is surely the other…
“Paul, I’m not sure what you think I said. I’m in favor of mandating registration of all guns.” Walker I think I understand what you said. Liker I said I think I agree. But what you are saying is that ALL guns should be registered. That goes way beyond assault style guns and high capacity clip restrictions. You are saying that everyone that owns a gun no matter the type should register it. Like I said lets just have an honest conversation. This will not effect just a portion in your thinking but every gun owner in America.
Gun registration is not a ban.
The discussion about banning firearms is still limited to certain assault style weapons and accessories.
Stop trying to make it seem like slope is getting slippery. It isn’t.
Dave, true. But a discussion on bans and registration of all guns is what it it is. More than just a focus on the former. Not a slippery slope just an observation on the discussion.
I assume that the purpose of a system of registration is to weed out folks that perhaps should be banned from owning such a firearm Or is it just for the heck of it after the fact? Like I said, maybe a good idea. But lets have an open and honest discussion. Its more than a ban on some type of guns and clips.
No Walker, only that Afghanistan is held out as an example of a war-like place and the US as peaceful when the statistics show the opposite.
Warlords? Al Capone, Rockefeller, Hearst, the Lincoln County war, the Pullman strike…
Afghans got nothing on Americans when it comes to bloodthirstiness, barbarism and warlordism.
Maybe not, but if I had to pick 100 guys at random from one country or the other to make up a fighting force, I’d pick my team from Afghanistan.
“I assume that the purpose of a system of registration is to weed out folks that perhaps should be banned from owning such a firearm Or is it just for the heck of it after the fact?”
Asked and answered, at January 12, 2013 at 4:49 pm:
“Look, gun advocates keep saying “let’s improve our mental health system– it’s the nut jobs that are killing people, not the guns.” But people aren’t (generally) ID’d as nut jobs at birth, it is discovered later in life. Unless we’re going to lock up every person remotely likely of running amok, we’re going to have to be able to confiscate guns from newly identified crazies. There’s no way to do that if you don’t know what weapons they have.
All of the preceding obviously applies to new felons.”
Paul: ” Like I said, maybe a good idea. But lets have an open and honest discussion. Its more than a ban on some type of guns and clips.”
The truth is, politicians can’t keep people safe, which frustrates them.
They do what the can do – i.e. take guns away from honest people.
They don’t do what they can’t do – i.e. identify killers before they kill.
So we’re left with this “feel good” gun control hogwash that will do nothing to make anyone safer.
I’ll tell you what’s hogwash, JDM, is saying that improving our mental health system will reduce gun violence. If you don’t register weapons, how is improving the mental health system going to stop these mass killings?
Walker, of course the gov’t may limit what is and isn’t put in movies. Why do you think we have a ratings system? Why do we not allow snuff films and child porn? There are already limits in place, same as with the 2nd Amend. The point is “what is reasonable?. I feel the the restrictions we already have are more than reasonable.
Walker- “If we were truly after unsafe drivers, then we wouldn’t require safe drivers to wear seat belts. Where is it written that we can’t make reasonable regulations to promote public safety?”
Your seat belt analogy fails. You aren’t going after “unsafe” gun owners, you’re going after guns regardless of who owns them.
Brain, regarding your comment on taking arms up against the gov’t. Well, yeah, NO ONE wants to do that. The point is that if we are disarmed then what happens if our gov’t then turns on us? Do you really think the gov’t wants 6 million armed people that are capable of resisting actively to illegal actions? For that matter, do you really think every US military member would willingly fire on his countryman, any more than our citizens would willingly fire on our servicemen? It’s a horrible event to even consider, but it was fresh in The Founders memories at the time and that’s part of why we ahve a 2nd Amendment.
Lets not forget the “Shot heard round the world”, the opening salvo of the Revolutionary War was fired by the British military as they tried to disarm Colonial citizens!
Dear God! Here we go with another of Peters baseless lies! “Unfortunately, a bunch of old white mid-western suburban republicans are blocking their efforts to protect their children. Whats worse, they are now naively suggesting that the good-guys – even the children – should arm themselves.”
Are you so incredibly dense as to believe ANYONE would buy that tripe?!! Where have you seen anyone suggesting children carry guns to school? Current TV? MSNBC? The Daily Koz?
Complete and utter BS.
Waker- “Besides, what percentage of Americans do you think would join in an effort to overthrow the government? My guess is that your armed resistance would be a mighty small fraction of the population.”
Yes, it likely would be. I’d prefer to die rather than live as a slave should it come to it. Maybe you’d be okay with that, a lot of us aren’t. But you should also realize when people talk about this uncomfortable subject they aren’t talking about overthrowing a gov’t, they are talking about protecting themselves FROM the gov’t.
Walker: “I’ll tell you what’s hogwash, JDM”
Actually, Walker, I partially agree with you.
There is no one easy answer to this.
Using this recent violence as a vehicle to forward a gun-control agenda will not help.
Focusing just on mental health alone will not help.
Demagoguing the issue will not help, but I’ll bet that is all that will happen.
Brian- “You can’t wink at the political power of guns being used against our own elected government and also suggest that you’re not talking about the possibility of guns being used against our own government — particularly in a society where guns are actually quite often used in violent acts against our own government.”
And you can’t allege that all acts committed by gov’t are legal- Ruby Ridge, Waco, numerous other less famous debacles where the gov’t overstepped it’s bounds. Do you defend the shooting of Randy Weavers unarmed wife as she held a baby by an FBI sniper? If that were to become common place, would you still believe the answer to self defense is to knuckle under? It’s not all nice and clean Brian.
“I’ll tell you what’s hogwash, JDM, is saying that improving our mental health system will reduce gun violence. If you don’t register weapons, how is improving the mental health system going to stop these mass killings?”
Uh, by institutionalizing and treating the nut jobs! By a critical and very thorough review of what prescription drugs are doing to people. We have the most highly medicated population on earth and it isn’t working well. I have ZERO problem barring people with mental real health issues from owing guns- period. But that brings another problem to the table since not every person with depression or sleep issues is a killer nutjob. If we put as much effort into mental health issues as we do disarming law abiding, sane, citizens the problem would get solved much faster.
Can someone please explain how registration of firearms will reduce violent crime? I don’t understand the real purpose behind this suggestion.
“You aren’t going after “unsafe” gun owners, you’re going after guns regardless of who owns them.”
Wrong. I just want to register gun owners, exactly as with cars.