Thursday, March 08, 2018

Magical Thinking

All the usual propositions are being trotted out in the latest well-organized and well-funded push for anti Second Amendment legislation, and apparently the people pushing them are immune to cognitive dissonance. None of these proposals would have stopped a monster intent on shooting his way to the forefront of the 24-hour news cycle.

Let's break it down, shall we?

  • "Universal Background Checks": The Columbine shooters acquired their guns via straw purchasers who passed the background checks. The Sandy Hook shooter got his by killing his background-check-passing mom and stealing hers. The guy who tried to shoot up the Townville elementary school killed his dad and took his Glock.

  • "Raise the purchasing age for firearms to 21!" Leaving aside all the mass shooters who were over 21, this ignores all the dudes referenced in the previous section.

  • "Ban the AR-15!": Townville dude used a Glock. There were no AR-15s at Columbine, nor at the summer camp in Norway. The Virginia Tech shooter used pistols. The Winnenden school shooter in Germany used a Beretta 92 9mm pistol.

  • "Ban 'assault-looking weapons'." Perhaps not coincidentally, none of the weapons I just mentioned would be affected by such a ban.

  • "Well, then ban semiautomatics!": The Washington Navy Yard shooter used a pump action shotgun, as did the perpetrator of the Erfurt school massacre in Germany (although his jammed). Two of the Dunblane shooter's four handguns were revolvers, and the Monkseaton and Cumbria shooters in the UK used double-barrel shotguns. The Cumbria shooter also had a bolt-action .22 squirrel rifle.

  • "Three-day (or five- or ten-day) waiting periods!" These nutbars scheme for months or years before they act out their crimes. This proposal borders on farcical straw-grasping.

  • "Smart gun technology"? Even if this worked, this only affects the one or two who killed someone to steal their guns. The rest were all 'authorized' users of lawfully-purchased guns.

  • "Microstamping"? Great, we know all these shell casings came from the gun in the hand of that dead guy over there. That sure helps. Wow.

So none of these proposals help anything. All this does is make things annoying for normal, law-abiding people who want to be able to defend themselves from robbers, muggers, rapists, and the occasional King of England (or creeping fascist tyranny, which the same people who are trying to take our guns away paradoxically assure us is descending on our fair land.)

So, what if you were successful in your wildest dreams of returning us to 1870s firearm technology (a pipe dream at the federal level and unlikely outside of the most anti-gun states)? Surely that would end the plague of death-spraying bullet hoses, right?

Dream on.