I just stirred the pot on Twitter by telling the @NRA to choke on it regarding Oregon’s new law requiring background checks for ALL gun sales (internet and private sales were previously exempt). I know, I know, probably not the best way to approach NRA types. What can I say? I am human too and don’t always tolerate the stupidity I see in the world. Anyway. Not only do the the NRA trolls apparently like the idea of gun sales to folks without background checks (insane), they also predictably united against me in rabid, gun-nut propaganda and hostility. Rather than taking my chances by further taxing the emotional state of angry and unstable gun-users, I decided to release myself from the insanity and not waste any more time trying to reason with them. Nevertheless, I thought it would be fun to add a quick blog entry about the encounter. I put a link out there for them to engage on the blog, but I suspect most of them are too busy congratulating themselves on attacking me. But I digress.
The first NRA mantra that surfaced was the faux-point that gun laws of any stripe won’t stop crime. The implicit conclusion they want to force is that we should therefore not have any gun control laws. What a load of garbage. This is like saying that murder should be legal since laws against it won’t stop it. Fail.
I mentioned this to one of the gunnutters, but it didn’t compute for him. I then asked him why he thought we had any laws at all, and his response was to “punish those who break them and deter crime.” His failure to connect the dots was lost on him. I briefly tried to get him to think, but he switched to telling me that criminals fear people with guns more than they fear prison. I asked him to support this, so he referenced a 30-year old study that only considered the input from a select group of inmates in a handful of prisons and merely assumed that it applies to all criminals today. I hope reasonable people can see the problem with this. For just one example, by his reckoning, “60% of criminals avoid crime when they know their intended victims have guns.” Sounds like an impressive case for guns, right? Wrong. The inclusion of all criminals is like saying that a drug-dealer wouldn’t sell crack cocaine to his usual clientele if he knew they were carrying or that a tax-evader wouldn’t have dodged his taxes if he knew IRS agents carried guns. Once again: fail.
The second and perhaps most mindless dogmatic claim that was made (this time) is that guns are “harmless.” I told the Twitter-er who said this that he should therefore let his children play with a loaded gun. Needless to say, he didn’t like that and then switched to the old adage that “guns don’t kill people; it’s people who something something.” I’ve dealt with the stupidity of that argument here, but it always amazes me that people are so indoctrinated with that logic (and oblivious to its problems). When will it ever die? Never, I suppose, at least as long as folks are willing to let the NRA do their thinking for them.
But anyway, for the third argument that was made, Bobby B. (isn’t it always a guy?) posted the following meme in reply to my suggestion about regulation and cars:
I love dissecting this sort of thing, so let’s consider it line by line:
1) The first line posits that cars are not regulated for use on private property, therefore guns shouldn’t be regulated either. This begs the question: How are you going to get your car/gun to your private property without crossing not-your-private-property? Fail. And a car isn’t much good if you can’t take it off your property, but whatever. I might not be opposed to enforced laws (and technology) that prevent any guns from leaving one’s private property. I’m pretty sure that the gun-nuts don’t want that, so once again, number 1 fails to make a decent argument.
Line 2) No license required? Hardly. You have to take a test (or series of tests) to drive a car regardless of its transmission. The same should be the case for the regulation of guns. Number 2 fails.
Line 3) You are required to title and register a car through proper paperwork when you buy it. Period. This is all the more the case (as well as required insurance) if you want to use it on public roads, regardless of private or “public” sales. Number 3 fails. Like cars, guns should be titled, registered and insured.
Line 4) “Full faith and credit?” I don’t even know how that part of our legal code applies to cars, much less concealed carry laws for guns. Number 4 not only fails; it is three notches up on the “Huh?” factor.
Line 5) Unsupervised operation at 16? Yes that’s true for cars, but applying the same standard for guns seems questionable at best. At the very least, I would not oppose raising the driving age to 18. Does number 5 fail? Hmm. I don’t know, but I don’t find it particularly convincing either.
Line 6) Mufflers and Suppressors required? Like number 4, this so vapid and ridiculous that it totally fails. Mufflers don’t increase the chance of murder like suppressors do. That being said, I think that perhaps my EV should have synthetic Harley pipes broadcast outside so unsuspecting pedestrians don’t step off the curb into my path. In that sense, perhaps guns should be required to be louder or have warning signals broadcast when they are in use. That’s some reasonable #gunsense that I could support.
Line 7) Limits on fuel and magazine size? This is another stupid, apples to envelopes comparison. Gas in the tank doesn’t increase potential death tolls like bullets in a magazine do. Besides, how many bullets do you reaallly need for hunting deer and target practice? If you need a machine gun with a huge magazine to go hunting, you’re probably doing it wrong.
So, nice try, @bobby_b71, but you’re going to have to try again. Your meme is stupid and unconvincing. At best.
For my part, I think I’ll stick with a more realistic comparison between guns and cars:
Unless it is because of the irrational fears and general paranoia fostered by the NRA, or unless they actually want irresponsible types to have guns (and perhaps they do), I don’t understand why any “good person with a gun” would be against any of these sensible regulations. Don’t they want guns to only be in the hands of functionally responsible citizens? Don’t they understand that requiring proper training and licensing would be a good thing and make it more difficult for criminals to attain and keep such weapons (or at least help authorities know an unauthorized gun when they see it)? Don’t gun advocates want people with guns to be physically and mentally capable and in good health before having or using a deadly weapon? Shouldn’t responsible citizens want to know what happens with guns, who has them, when they are sold, traded or given away? Don’t responsible citizens want accountability for people who are irresponsible in who they give, trade or sell guns to?
The NRA and their minions are against each and everyone of these common #gunsense suggestions. It begs the question: “Why?”
If that’s not enough, be sure to look at my other, related blog entries regarding the ridiculousness and insanity of our gun-nut culture:
As always, thanks for reading me.