Saturday, January 19, 2013

Gun Control Nuts, Are they?

Obama's executive actions have been receiving a lot of tread this week. Most of it is the bickering back and forth between gun control proponents and opponents. There has even been a "fact check" stating that Obama's executive orders were not excessive, This is kind of funny considering that is an opinion statement and you cant really fact check an opinion without data. Before I begin I do not believe Obama went overboard with gun executive orders, I measure this factor by comparing what the actions were with what they could have been and the truth is he could have done far more. That's not an endorsement just remember that.

We all remember the statement that driving is a privilege and not a right. The state can take it away if you misbehave. Maybe you heard it when you were learning to drive, or your kids were or maybe a stern discussion after you broke the law. The point is that driving is a privilege which means that it can be taken away by the state when they so choose.

Kind of an important discussion here as this is drastically different than a right, like say the second amendment, which is part of your bill of rights. The second listed right of the constitutions bill of rights which says very clearly, A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of the state, The right of the PEOPLE to keep and bear arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED. See that bolding there its cute right? So whenever you hear a political pundit ask why you need assaults weapons or AR-15's or high velocity rounds or whatever have you the answer that should be shouted back is and always should be, BECAUSE I WANT TO. its as simple as that. See that no infringement sign up there in big bold letters? That is the only justification anyone needs when defending their weapons of choice. 

Because no one,  technically, and I say this in broad strokes, needs a gun. People also don't need TV's, couches, a hot shower, a bed or a roof over their heads. We have them because we want them and SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED is a damn fine enough reason to justify a gun no matter what it looks like. 

What the pundits and gun control proponents are really asking is what practical uses for a gun are there. I can think of four.

1. Hunting
2. Shooting for fun or target practice
3. Self Defense or Defense of your loved ones 
4. Defense against the overreach of a tyrannical government.

Now no one in their right mind is honestly itching for the last two options. I doubt my friends and relatives are anxiously watching the door hoping for an assailant to burst through so they can shoot them. Even with the discontent i don't see people lining up to overthrow the government either. But just because there isn't a need right now right this second or year or decade to defend your house or yourself from those who wish you harm doesn't mean there will never be. It's also much more difficult to ask robbers or tyrants to share their weapons when they do come knocking.  

So the next hastily uttered argument is that only a gun nut would argue this point. How many times have you heard that we cant have a reasonable discussion on gun control with them there crazy gun nuts? Well there's a big problem with that argument and that is that it is one sided.  To gun control proponents any form of reasonable discussion on gun control clearly must lie between a total ban and what we currently have today. To those who are on the other side the spectrum are effectively looking at the problems and believing a solution exists between what we have today and no gun control whatsoever. A gun nut is simply on the other side of the tree of a gun control nut. there is no overlap and there never will be it doesn't mean one sides crazy and the other is rational, it means, either both sides are crazy, or both sides are providing rational solutions to the problems that they respectively see.  I tend to side with the latter idea but clearly the gun nuts ruin gun control debates argument is less well informed intelligentsia and more little child throwing a tantrum.

So, says the brilliant people musing on this problem, what does the data say? I'm glad you asked, because the data is a bit lopsided. No it doesn't tilt towards gun control it actually leans fairly heavily the other way.  There are lower crime rates, drastically lower, in areas where there is less gun control. As if that's not enough there were several other attempted mass murders in the past few months. but in at least two of the cases the perpetrators were stopped by legal gun toting citizens before the death toll became news worthy. We also know that most of these mass murders occur in what are typically considered gun free zones. Not really a surprise if you want unanswered rampage why would you go armed to a police station, military base, or gun show. But of course clearly the AR-15 is a problem because it was used in the 4 last mass shootings.

You know what it was, but its also the most popular gun in america.  Why? Because Americans like them. Tell you what I would be willing to bet that if you sat down and found out what the most popular make and model car was on the road that is going to be correlated to the make and model with the highest number of traffic fatalities. Id bet that criminals are more likely to have Iphones as their personal phone than any other make or model. There are more viruses coded for PC's than Mac's, and more viruses coded for Mac's than the Google Chromebooks.  the overwhelming majority of men that cheat on their spouses watch porn.  I can go at this all day because first correlation does not imply causation and secondly because items which are popular in general are likely to be as popular for any negative or criminal activity. If you think that the AR-15 being used in the past four mass murders is significant and not a red herring your dumb and I got great cancer prevention method to sell you. 

Dont believe me, that's fair ill prove it. My paintball gun is an assault weapon.  I own a Tippman A5 with a pistol grip, a collapsible stock, a high round hopper (paintball storage) and special modifications to make it fire faster and even a tactical barrel shroud.  Its not a weapon of war it was a stylistic choice. Kind of like this is the first google image result for Tippman A5

So umm ya people like assault weapons just because.   

But what about those damn extended clips clearly they are a problem. Well no actually the largest number of rounds fired from a clip in the Aurora shootings was about 10 bullets, And this is similar to other incidences. Thats because most mass murderers aren't well trained, they don't count their bullets and maximize the number of shots per clip they just start shooting and switch out clips when they feel like it. you'll see the same behavior from kids playing a first person shooter. 

Which reminds oh video games sweet, sweet violent video games. THERE HAS NEVER EVER BEEN A PROVEN VIABLE LINK BETWEEN VIDEO GAMES AND MASS MURDERS, IN FACT MANY MASS MURDERERS DON'T PLAY VIDEO GAMES ON A HARDCORE LEVEL. So ya theres that but more importantly with the bulk majority of mass murderers being male and the overwhelming number of males playing or having played videogames it kind of goes back to that correlation causation thing we just talked about.  

But, But what if we banned guns or bullets or weapons then there would be no guns for mass killings. The thing is people are really good at just using whats convenient to kill people. Theres an entire museum dedicated to prison weapons and some of them are damn ingenious. The Oklahoma city bomb was made with... fertilizer.  Humans have evolved to find ways to kill things, and guns particularly the most popular gun on the planet is really just convenient.  If you take that away people will simply start grabbing whatever other guns are around. so ban the guns and its not gonna slow down or stop the mass murder rate.  Lets be honest how much worse would aurora had been had the kid used his bombs in the theater. 

The hypothetical what if scenarios played out by gun control proponents are just that, what if scenarios. They don't exist and will never exist. the guy who wakes up in the morning and decides he wants to kill a bunch of people isn't going to be deterred simply because he couldn't find an easy gun. They'll build bombs or worse. Hell simply grabbing a pesticide sprayer and filling one of or more of the classrooms with gasoline would have killed way more kids. So the key is to fight fire with fire, when crazy walks into the classroom you put him down that's it problem solved. simply knowing that people could have had a gun is going to be a greater deterrent than any gun control. 

Lets tally the scores
                                         Gun Nuts                      |                            Gun Control Nuts
1. Statistics
2. Logic
3. The Law

Kind of unbalanced. It's unfortunate but on an objective scorecard fear, empathy, and passion don'tt count for anything. That Being said lets revisit that first paragraph, the one asking about Obama's executive orders and whether or not they were unreasonable. Well considering there are no arguments for gun control and several against it can comfortably be said ,speaking objectively, president Obama went too far because anything with no objective support is too far.  Does that mean that what he did was unreasonable or tyrranical? No, it reasonable to want to prevent a tragedy like sandy hook, and he had far more power to push if he wanted it. Is what he did right? Absolutely not. Was bringing children on stage aiming for a logical or reasonable discourse? Hell no.

The only way to prevent, slow or stop the body count of incidences like sandy hook is to level the playing field. Obama knows this its why he his wife and his children all have armed bodyguards. Mandating the white house be a gun free zone isn't likely to stop someone who wishes him harm. Guns are.

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