Tag Archives: Bushmaster

At which point I am (not) surprised that we will continue to not ban assault weapons

21 Mar

Sometimes I am left wondering about the overall sanity of this country.

I just read an article in The New York Times about the ongoing attempts of California Senator Dianne Feinstein, who is pretty much my hero, to reinstate the ban on assault weapons that W. let expire in 2004.  Her journey, according to the article, ended on Monday when she stormed from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s office after he informed her that the ban would not be included in a gun-regulation measure that is to hit the Senate floor in April.  The conversation surrounding this ban catapulted into mainstream conversation after the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut this past December that left 20 young kids dead along with 6 staff members as well as the killer, Adam Lanza.  You can watch a rather moving report about recent information that was released concerning the mass shooting here, presented by Rachel Maddow.  Beware.  This is not happy-making.

Anyway, the point of all this is that this bill on assault weapons had basically no chance of passing.  None whatsoever.  Despite support by both President Obama and Vice President Biden.  Honestly, I just don’t understand what the big deal is.  Banning assault rifles does not mean people can’t hunt.  It does not mean people can’t protect themselves and their families.  It does not mean people can’t collect some of the other hundreds (thousands?) or kinds of available weaponry.  It simply means that people won’t be able to legally purchase a gun that would then allow them to walk into an elementary school (or a movie theater, or a mall, or a high school) and kill dozens of people in mere minutes.  I mean, to me, and maybe I am just being crazy here, that doesn’t seem like such a big thing to give up.  Like, at all.  So here are a couple of arguments (okay, maybe just the same argument) that I read a lot and hear a lot and that I think are stupid.  So I am going to talk about them.

Argument:  It’s our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

Answer:  Okay, so, the first thing is, and I know we have all heard this a kajillion times and so probably I am wasting my breath, but when that was initially written into the Constitution I am pretty sure that “arms” basically ended at things like muskets, and cannons, and bayonets, and the flintlock pistol (which I had never heard of but then I Googled “weapons used during the American Revolution” and there it was).  People used to fight in formation, for crying out loud.  So, back then when it was written, it made sense, given the recent history, to write a provision into the Constitution to address the legitimate concern of the people that they might have to protect themselves from their own government and also that they actually stood a chance of winning.  But now, here in 2013, even if there was a legitimate concern that we would have to protect ourselves from our own government, we would most certainly lose.  Because you know what? Even with all the assault rifles we still would not be as well trained, or as well armed, as the United States military.  In 2011, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, the United States spent $711 billion, or 4.7% of GDP, on defense.  A lot of that money was spent on, you got it, weaponry.  So, honestly, if People with Unnecessary Guns were to decide that they were going to stand up to the United States government in an attempt to topple it or whatever the fuck, those People with Unnecessary Guns would not stand a snowball’s chance in hell.  They would be blown to smithereens, and a Bushmaster .223 would do nothing to save them.

Argument:  It’s our Second Amendment right to have guns!

Answer:  I know, I already said that.  I know that’s not the only argument (it can’t be, right?!) but it seems to be the only one I ever hear).  But, I have another response!  How about people’s rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?  I am pretty sure that more often than not you get none of those things after you have been shot in the head multiple times.  I just don’t understand how this argument that people have a right to guns seems to always trump the argument that people have the right to actually live.  Because, last time I checked, you do need to actually be alive to even be able to appreciate your right to have guns, am I right?  It just seems like when someone who is unbalanced, or vengeful, or whatever gets some crazy scary, fast-shooting, so many bullets gun and goes into some venue full of people and shoots them all, we hear from all these people who are all

“No!  But if someone had a gun then none of this ever would have happened!”

which is patently false because, most of the time, when people have guns in circumstances like these, they don’t use them because they are afraid of being identified as the killer, or shooting someone by accident, or maybe they are too busy protecting themselves or others using their bodies or whatever else to really think about it.  That’s why usually these things end in the killer killing himself, not being killed by a potential victim. Anyway, we also hear about how scary it is, and sad, and unnecessary.  What we don’t hear enough of is that, because people can get guns, powerful guns, with such ease and in such great quantity, other people, sometimes even children, are stripped of their right to life.  To me, life seems like the trump card.  The right to life should just win.

You want your Bushmaster?  Well, guess what?  I want my breath, and the use of my legs, and a full functioning brain.  Settle for a fucking handgun.