Welcome to Common Gunsense

I hope this blog will provoke some thoughtful reflection about the issue of guns and gun violence. I am passionate about the issue and would love to change some misperceptions and the culture of gun violence in America by sharing with readers words, photos, videos and clips from articles to promote common sense about gun issues. Many of you will agree with me- some will not. I am only one person but one among many who think it's time to do something about this national problem. The views expressed by me in this blog do not represent any group with which I am associated but are rather my own personal opinions and thoughts.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Law abiding gun owners, permit holders, talk show hosts, and the Militia

What do some law abiding gun owners, permit to carry holders, talk show hosts and most militia groups have in common? Guns, for one thing. Doing dumb things with guns for another. Making threats for yet another. Let's start with this one about a Florida man who didn't even appear to know that he shot himself while standing in line at McDonald's waiting for his food. Blame it on the cold. He put his hands in his pockets to warm them up and, voila, a bullet was discharged from his small caliber gun. It wasn't until he was later picked up by police who noticed blood on his pants, that the man even knew he had shot himself.


This Michigan man thought he was protecting himself and his family when they stopped for a rest while on a long drive through Ohio. As it turns out, holding a gun while sleeping is not a good idea. For this man it meant a trip to the hospital after he accidentally shot himself in the leg with his gun which was resting on his chest.


Oh well. No problem. Someone pointed out on the comment section of this article that if this guy really wants to protect himself from the gangs or whoever he might encounter with his gun, he ought to have a gun that would cause some actual damage. After all, that's what this is all about. If you can't actually hurt someone with that gun, why have a gun at all? It's just common sense!


But before I got the chance to post this one, I ran across this very weird story about what's going on with militia groups and "law abiding" citizens in Alaska. If you want to be scared about what the extremes on the side of gun rights are willing to do, please read this one. There is a group, I think I have written about them before, called the Soverign Citizens, who don't believe in any laws. To them, the government is a non-entity and they don't have to follow the rules. In addition, these folks happen to believe in violent means against the government if there is any perceived threat to their rights or "freedoms". Now never mind that their rights and freedoms have been granted by the government but don't worry about the facts. Shaeffer Cox, local Alaska militia leader, has taken the law into his own hands and even "served" the judge with papers saying the judge was a criminal. Whatever. 


And killings seem just fine with these extremists. From the article: " Since January 2008, sovereign citizens have gunned down seven law enforcement officers in this country. On May 20, for example, two West Memphis, Arkansas police officers pulled over a white minivan for having unusual license plates (many sovereign citizens refuse to deal with any Department of Motor Vehicles and manufacture their own license plates). Inside the van were Jerry Kane, 45, and his 16-year-old son Joseph. As the officers puzzled over a stack of handmade identification documents Jerry Kane provided, his son burst from the minivan firing an AK-47. Both officers were killed. Jerry and Joseph Kane died about 90 minutes later in a gun battle in a Wal-Mart parking lot during which two other officers were wounded but survived.

A subsequent investigation revealed the Kanes had been traveling the country, delivering seminars on Sovereign Citizen ideology and legal tactics, dressed in matching white suits. “I don’t want to have to kill anybody,” Jerry Kane said at seminar not long before the West Memphis shootings. “But if they keep messing with me that’s what it’s going to have to come down to.”"  From Wikipedia- " Anarchy (from Greekἀναρχίᾱ anarchíā, "without ruler") may refer to any of the following:
  • "No rulership or enforced authority."[1]
  • "A social state in which there is no governing person or group of people, but each individual has absolute liberty (without the implication of disorder)."[2]
  • "Absence of government; a state of lawlessness due to the absence or inefficiency of the supreme power; political disorder."[3]
  • "Absence or non-recognition of authority and order in any given sphere."[4]
  • "Acting without waiting for instructions or official permission... The root of anarchism is the single impulse to do it yourself: everything else follows from this." [5]
  • Anarchy is the basic rule of a no rule society."


And then there's this one. A right wing talk show host got sent to prison for threatening judges for daring to support gun control laws. I mean, really. I know that the gun guys don't like any gun control laws, but don't you think threatening judges is just a step too far to take? I do. I would like to say to the gun guys that as long as some of you act like the people in this post, all of you will get a bad name for defending this stuff. When you state on a radio show listened to most likely by other gun guys and threaten the "ultimate punishment" you deserve whatever punishment you get. And threatening murder? Not a good idea. I hope you all are careful about the things you say on blogs or radio shows. You never know who is listening and will act on it. There are enough nuts out there who believe that anyone who supports any gun control measure deserves "punishment". Be careful to all of my readers about what you say here. Many are reading your comments. Words matter. 

Some people have no common sense. They think that threats and accusing people of messing with their perceived rights and freedoms is O.K. It's not. See "anarchy" above. I'm not sure what they have on their side except guns, actually, which can speak louder than words. Watch for more shenanigans and maybe even actual violent actions. 

49 comments:

  1. Japete,
    They should be more careful with their weapons, I agree. And this militia does sound a little worrisome.

    However, I have to take point with this.

    "Now never mind that their rights and freedoms have been granted by the government but don't worry about the facts."

    Rights and freedoms are not granted by governments. If they are granted, they can be taken away. Do you honestly believe that your right to live was granted by the U.S. government? And before you say it, the Constitution does not grant us rights either. It protects those rights by binding Congress. It does not give them anymore than the government.

    I do believe in the rule of law though, to a point. Threatening someone is not ok, however, your and my definition of threats is probably different.

    I am bothered by your words "perceived rights". Do you mean like the "right to have someone pay for your medical bills" (that is a perceived right) or the "right to live" (which is not a perceived right but an actual right)?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Please don't make the mistake of equating the Sovereign Citizens with the vast majority of us gun owners. There's only 100K or so of them, who aren't all gun owners, and 80 million of the rest of us.

    Also, "rights and freedoms have been granted by the government" is a false statement. Our government derives it's powers from the consent of the governed, not the other way around.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Should we point out the left-wing nutjobs too? Or should we focus on real progress?

    The moderates are waiting...

    ReplyDelete
  4. That right wing talk show host was taught by the FBI to be an "agent provacateur" and thought he could use that as his defense. http://www.sott.net/articles/show/147249-Provoking-Stupidity-and-Violence-Hal-Turner-outed-as-Agent-Provocateur

    However, let us take a look at the last 24 hour news cycle just for "home invasion"...
    http://www.14wfie.com/story/13756084/homeowner
    http://www.click2houston.com/news/26315229/detail.html
    http://www.fox23.com/news/local/story/North-Tulsa-Woman-Victim-Of-Home-Invasion/b0TGCtE_gk2JuwnNIwdKkQ.cspx
    http://www.kcra.com/r/26312772/detail.html
    http://www.wickedlocal.com/falmouth/news/x1458579204/Falmouth-home-invasion-results-in-stabbing

    And that isn't even half of the first page search results.

    I'll take my chances with the gun, thank you very much.

    ReplyDelete
  5. What about the Constitution? I thought that's what you guys were all about.Yes, it is the consent of the governed through elections. The Constitution was written by the Founding Fathers with rights and freedoms in it, isn't that right?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Yes, anon. I just know you could have protected yourself in every one of those cases. Maybe. Maybe not. I am not saying, by the way, that people should not have guns for self protection in their homes. Did you see that anywhere here? I am saying that I read as many incidents of things going wrong with guns as you just gave to me about home invasions.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Joan, my point was that for every "accidental discharge" story you throw up I can find many many more. I limited myself to a specific type of crime, home invasion, in a specific time frame, the last 24 hours. Let's go to page two.

    http://www.wpxi.com/news/26312438/detail.html
    http://newstalkradiowhio.com/localnews/2010/12/three-face-federal-and-local-c.html
    http://whmi.com/news/article/11488
    http://blog.al.com/wire/2010/12/gadsden_home_invasion_shooting.html
    http://www.ksnt.com/news/local/story/Home-Invasion/H-8ohV6naEemIcR0btEDtQ.cspx
    http://www.annarbor.com/news/ann-arbor-police-investigating-home-invasion-on-division-street/
    http://www.recordherald.com/main.asp?SectionID=1&SubSectionID=1&ArticleID=138075
    http://www.swtimes.com/news/article_4381fa54-135b-11e0-9250-001cc4c03286.html

    I can only assume that you try to paint gun owners as "defending against nothing" or "capable of making mistakes" to further your agenda of gun restriction. I am only illustrating that there are real threats that gun owners (as well as martial artists, people who install home alarm systems, people who participate in neighborhood watch programs, people who own guard dogs) are prepared to deal with.

    Seriously I know that you don't care whether or not I have a pitbull (which other people are trying to ban) you only care whether I have a gun. But you pick out a few incidents from a gun owning population of over 50 million people and use it to justify your agenda... That's a little insulting.

    ReplyDelete
  8. "The Constitution was written by the Founding Fathers with rights and freedoms in it, isn't that right?"

    Rights come first. They pre-exist government, Government was created for the sole purpose of protecting individual rights, and has no legitimate function beyond that.

    Do any of these strike a bell?

    "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,"

    "Society in every state is a blessing, but Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one: for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries BY A GOVERNMENT, which we might expect in a country WITHOUT GOVERNMENT, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer. Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence; the palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise. For were the impulses of conscience clear, uniform and irresistibly obeyed, man would need no other lawgiver; but that not being the case, he finds it necessary to surrender up a part of his property to furnish means for the protection of the rest; and this he is induced to do by the same prudence which in every other case advises him, out of two evils to choose the least. Wherefore, security being the true design and end of government, it unanswerably follows that whatever form thereof appears most likely to ensure it to us, with the least expense and greatest benefit, is preferable to all others."

    "The sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for among old parchments or musty records. They are written, as with a sunbeam, in the whole volume of human nature, by the hand of the divinity itself; and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power."

    Or how about this?

    "Honor, justice, and humanity, forbid us tamely to surrender that freedom which we received from our gallant ancestors, and which our innocent posterity have a right to receive from us. We cannot endure the infamy and guilt of resigning succeeding generations to that wretchedness which inevitably awaits them if we basely entail hereditary bondage on them."

    And this?

    "If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animated contest of freedom, go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen!"

    ReplyDelete
  9. Joan,

    1) Alaska Media Sources
    ADN = Our moderate (arguably center-left mainstream paper)
    Fairbanks Daily News Miner = Fairbanks's moderate mainstream paper
    Frontiersman = The Mat-Su Valley's center-right mainstream paper, a distant third in publication to the ADN
    AK Press (Your Link) = Our local indie leftist paper. They literally give this rag away for free downtown because nobody will pay $0.50 for it (unlike the ADN or even the Frontiersman).

    So, for more balanced coverage, you may want to look at some of the other papers.

    2) Schaeffer Cox
    I think he's going to learn about Contempt of Court really quickly.

    Frankly, I don't think his antics are particularly helpful. If he wanted to challenge the Alaska Misconduct Involving Weapons statute, then a sober, level-headed legal challenge would have been better. If the charges against him were trumped up as he argued, it'd be better to fight on the facts of the case or plead it down (although the charge is already a minor misdemeanor).

    Alaskans often have a libertarian streak. For some reason this state attracts a lot of people who have a desire to be left alone to do their own thing or sympathize with such a desire.

    However, as far as oddball political extremists go, "sovereign citizens" are pretty low on my list of groups to worry about. There are violent extremists on the far left, on the far right, and on the far-extreme of libertarian ideology too. If your point is that political extremists can sometimes be violent, well, ok, sure, I'll agree, but I don't think that radical extremist libertarians have proven to be a significantly greater threat to society than neo-nazis, radicalized Muslims, or environmental terrorists.

    Even if your answer is, "Throw all political extremists in jail" or "put them all on probation and revoke their gun rights/letter to the editor writing rights/right to assembly/etc), I don't think that singling people out for prosecution based on expressing political views that make others feel uncomfortable is necessarily appropriate (there's that whole pesky first amendment protection).

    3) The Origin of Rights
    I, along with most of the founding fathers, believe that certain rights are inalienable, granted not by the State, but instead are natural rights that belong to each person.

    You may notice that the original Constitution doesn't have many restrictions on government power (i.e. the "Bill of Rights"). If you read the Federalist papers and other primary source materials, this is because most of the founding fathers felt that no government could ever usurp such natural rights, and that the strictly limited powers granted to the federal government by their document precluded any such usurpation anyways. Thus an explicit enumeration of rights was unnecessary, and maybe even dangerous (because one might then believe that the government could do anything that was not prohibited to it).

    The anti-Federalists (inc. extremists like Thomas Jefferson) only agreed to ratification if certain Amendments would be immediately considered. These became the Bill of Rights we know and love today.

    You don't have to believe me; consult the Federalist Papers (or any basic US history text book) and you can read for yourself. Trying to argue that the Founding Fathers generally believed that people only have the rights bestowed upon them by a benevolent government is just not accurate. One of the rights they believed in was the Right to Self Defense, which by extension included the Right to Keep and Bear Arms and the Right of Revolution.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Well, lets see -- PETA, ELF (Earth Liberation Front), Anarchists...Marijuana Legalization...

    Google any of these, and you'll have your stories on left wing nut jobs as well (funny that they're possibly even more numerous than your stories, but don't get as much press).

    Just like ELF radicals don't speak for you -- the Sovereign Citizens whackos don't speak for me either. I'd rather focus on the ~79,900,000 other responsible firearms owners out there.

    Making threats of violence against others isn't necessary to get your point across during debate or argument -- its just not a good technique, and frequently lands you in jail! Same with trying to paint your opposition as mentally unstable (calling names). It means you've run out of legitimate arguments...I find it hard to believe that you're out of arguments Joan...

    ReplyDelete
  11. I can't help it if you are insulted by the incidents I "choose" to include in my blog. They are just a few of the many I know about that come my way on a daily basis. If I listed all of them or tried to write about all of them, it would be a full time job. Given the fact that 32 people a day, on average, are murdered by a gun and 80 total lose their lives to gunshot wounds through homicide, suicide or accidental shootings, it would take a lot more space than I have and a lot more time than I have.

    ReplyDelete
  12. jedge- I have not memorized the Constitution- the first quote, of course, is familiar- " that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,"" I look upon that as my right to have pursue life without guns in every public place I go. You choose to interpret a different way. I love the pursuit of happiness- something that my sister no longer has and some of which was taken away from our family by her shooting death. As to the other quotes- what is the source for them?

    ReplyDelete
  13. Pat- " trying to paint your opposition as mentally unstable (calling names)." Have I called you names? You should see the stuff I don't publish. It's ugly. I am not "trolling" through articles about the gun issue as so many on your side do, waiting to pounce on anyone who dares to write about "gun control". I see the same names on some of these articles and blogs saying the same stuff and calling people ugly names. I really don't think you see much of that on my side. In fact, I don't read your blogs and comment on them. I don't have time nor am I interested. I am doing my own thing to raise awareness. As I have said, more people than you "gun guys" are reading my blog. They are just not making comments. If they did, you guys would pounce on them, too.Why bother?

    ReplyDelete
  14. I for one enjoy the spirited debate you engage in -- and have learned some things from your postings (like better research techniques).

    I indicated the name calling portion because through your posting above you insinuate that all firearms owners are one-step away from going "Militia" or shooting themselves in the thigh.

    It may (or may not) have been your intention, but its wearing that we're painted as ignorant hicks.

    In my postings I don't paint the "antis" as yogurt eating, birkenstock wearing, pot-smoking hippies...uninformed, but certainly not fitting any stereotype.

    ...and "Anarchists", those advocating for anarchy, are decidedly left-wing...not conservative (if I remember 9th grade Civics correctly).

    ReplyDelete
  15. Pat- thanks. I enjoy it too when I have the time to engage in it. As to saying that you are one shooting away from being labeled militia members, that is certainly not what I am saying. What I am saying is that there are enough of these incidents that make the gun rights group look bad. That happens on all issues. A few bad apples can cause attention to an issue and then make others look bad. If you all join us in condemning these incidents and helping with the issue, you would look really good and we might actually come to some common ground. But unfortunately, there are enough of you out there ( whose comments I don't publish by the way) to make me scared that this is a larger movement. Ever since I have gone public with some of the worst and damaging comments, some of those who made them have stopped commenting on my blog. That's a good thing but it just means that they are out there and not being as public on a blog advocating for sanity concerning gun policy. I do think it was you, however, who said that there is an "unwashed mass" of us who are ignorant and uneducated. I think you would be surprised at how informed and concerned many on my side are. They are not making a fuss or blogging or commenting. I have a lot of support for my positions. Time will tell how that will play out.

    ReplyDelete
  16. "...uninformed"

    I believe there are just as many Internet-only types of folks on your side who sit in their pajamas and debate policy, without going out and actually meeting people, or experiencing life.

    Experience is the best teacher. I belonged to a Brady type group in college, and even participated in Citizens for a Safer Minnesota rallies and marches. Then, experience...I realized that the hunting tradition I came from was "under fire" from this group -- despite the public statements indicating that they weren't interested in pursuing hunting restrictions. Once I saw the undercurrent, I got informed about the opposition (took a shooting class, learned about firearms laws). I also learned about the undercurrent of violence against the innocent in the US. That prompted the purchase and training with a handgun and taking a carry course to allow my lawful carry. I didn't do it because I'm paranoid, just like I have a winter survival kit in my car, I'm just better prepared.

    Turns out that this side (if we must call it that) -- isn't quite the redneck, beer-swilling side its portrayed to be. For example, after participating in a "military shoot" with firearms from WWI and WWII - I become friends with several "collectors" of military firearms...and enjoy scouring the Internet looking for a WWI era oiler, or sling, or a parts kit...we also share holidays with each others' families now too.

    I don't see how any of my activities affect your safety or "pursuit of happiness" at all...and I will oppose any move on your end to restrict my activities that doesn't produce a tangible, demonstrable benefit to the public good.

    ReplyDelete
  17. "I look upon that as my right to have pursue life without guns in every public place I go. You choose to interpret a different way."

    No. You can live your life without owning guns, if you like. The right to keep and bear arms does not compel you to keep or bear arms.

    As for the rest:

    "Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil ..." - Thomas Paine, in "Common Sense".

    "The sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for among old parchments ..." - Alexander Hamilton, "The Farmer Refuted".

    "Honor, justice, and humanity, forbid us tamely to surrender that freedom which we received from our gallant ancestors ..." - Thomas Jefferson, "A Declaration by the Representatives of the United Colonies of North - America, Now Met in Congress at Philadelphia, Setting Forth the Causes and Necessity of Their Taking Up Arms"

    "If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animated contest of freedom ..." - Samuel Adams, speech at the State House in Philadelphia on August 1, 1776

    ReplyDelete
  18. Pat, as long as I have been involved in Minnesota gun violence prevention groups, I have NEVER EVER heard anyone say they wanted to take away anyone's rights to hunt or take away their guns which is in total opposition to what you said, above: " I realized that the hunting tradition I came from was "under fire" from this group -- despite the public statements indicating that they weren't interested in pursuing hunting restrictions." Can you give me a specific example? We have hunters who are members of our group and who have worked very well with us. In fact, some of them have lobbied with us at the state and national level and believe whole heartedly in what we are doing. I think most hunters actually agree with our positions and I have found quite a good number who were willing to sign a resolution to that affect.

    ReplyDelete
  19. jedge- I think you worship the founding fathers more than life itself. If you take everything they said as sacred without considering modern circumstances, you will interpret their words from a different perspective than I do. I am not an "originalist" which it sounds like you are. That doesn't make either of us more right than the other. It just makes us different.

    ReplyDelete
  20. @Joan: I also stated that it was an "undercurrent", not outright policy or statement. It was the whole "armor piercing" ammunition and "sniper" rifle debate that brought it home to me. That and the round-about way that some proposed "restrictions" would have made it exceedingly difficult/expensive to practice shoot anywhere.

    Maybe I was associating too much with the fringes, and not enough with centered persons such as yourself (no insult intended, honestly!).

    Thats part of why I'm interested in what you have to say, with the caveat that I'm a little better informed than I used to be.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Interesting, Pat. I do think that armor piercing bullets are unnecessary. You guys like them for target shooting. But so do criminals like them and when they are available, they will be used. Police do not like this ammunition. Why would they? As for sniper rifles- why the name? A sniper rifle may be used for target shooting, I guess, but since you have all kinds of other guns to use for target shooting, why do you need a "sniper rifle"? They are called that for a reason. Do you remember the D.C. snipers who randomly killed people from the trunk of their car? I saw that car on display at the Newseum in D.C. in a great exhibit about famous crimes. These guys were sick. They got their sniper type gun from a dealer in Tacoma, WA who failed to report hundreds of stolen guns to the ATF. This was one of them that made its way into the illegal market. Maybe a name change so the public doesn't get the idea that this type of gun can actually be used by a criminal or sick person to shoot them down from a distance? Would a name change make it more acceptable for anyone to have these guns? And since we have not closed the loophole allowing anyone to buy one from unlicenesed sellers or we continue to have bad apple dealers who knowilngly sell to straw purchasers or fail to report lost and stolen guns, these type of guns will be in the illegal market for guns. Who will get them there? Not you. I assume you buy yours at an FFL. Why do your REALLY need one? And as to expense, since guns and ammunition are lethal and kill people, I think they should be expensive. Cigarettes and alcohol are expensive. Maybe it will discourage some folks from buying them. Just some thoughts about what people on my side think about these things. Thanks for sharing where your ideas come from. I think we have some ground in the middle, however, since you sound like a reasonable person.

    ReplyDelete
  22. See...thats the whole point. I abhor violence of any kind, I abhor criminals who shoot/kill/maim innocent people.

    "Armor piercing" was a phrase coined by your side to describe any ammunition that would penetrate police Level III body armor. Unfortunately, that describes most full metal jacketed rifle ammunition (including from a anemic .22 target rifle). Full metal jacketed ammunition is the cheapest, most plentiful practice ammunition that exists. We don't purchase it to kill cops...despite the intonation.

    "Sniper" rifles were described by your side as any rifle that could accept a telescopic sight, and was capable of accurate fire at 100yds away. The describes nearly every single deer rifle ever invented. Based on this description, my Grandfather's Remington deer rifle would have been banned. The one that has his initials whittled into the stock - one of my most cherished mementos of my Grandpa and the time I spent with him when I was young. I'd have had to "surrender" that rifle to be destroyed in the name of stopping crime. Ludicrous!

    So you see my point yet? By calling them "armor piercing" and "sniper" rifles -- the negative intonation is apparent to the public, but the actual effects are not spoken. Much like making them prohibitively expensive to own/use will eventually "weed out" future generations.

    ReplyDelete
  23. " Full metal jacketed ammunition is the cheapest, most plentiful practice ammunition that exists. We don't purchase it to kill cops...despite the intonation." But Pat, if this type of ammunition is available to you, it's also available to people who shouldn't have it? How do we know the difference when selling it? That's my point. I think "sniper rifle" was not made up by my side. It's a pretty common name for that type of gun which is somewhat different from your grandfather's hunting gun. Check out this website- it's not from "my side" -- http://www.snipercentral.com/rifles.htm It's a commonly used term for a rifle that can do more than a common hunting rifle- thus the name. It is a military type gun used in war. Also this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sniper_rifle

    ReplyDelete
  24. Agreed - anyone can buy ammunition. Then again, anyone can become a criminal. You, me...anyone can decide todays the day, and perform a criminal act. You can't legislate to the crazy...

    ...and by making me purchase hunting ammunition for target practice, it'll cost me $1 or $2/round every time I goto the range... eventually I'll stop going. Eventually the next generation will lose interest in such an expensive hobby. Its essentially putting a "poll tax" on exercising a right, and eliminating the next generation of shooters and hunters...and its not acceptable.

    True "sniper" rifles do exist and are available for purchase (also a fact) -- the problem is that they have the same features as my hunting rifle -- just in a sexier package (so to speak). I can take my Grandpa's rifle, and put a full-metal jacketed round in a paper plate at 300 yds, its not that hard to do. The problem is, you ban "sniper" rifles, you ban my hunting rifle...not acceptable, nor common sense.

    Therein exists the divide. I agreed to background checks in a previous post...but with a few caveats going back this direction too (can't post this one out of context). You have to reward the law-abiding with a carrot if you're going to beat them with a restriction stick.

    ReplyDelete
  25. "Pat, as long as I have been involved in Minnesota gun violence prevention groups, I have NEVER EVER heard anyone say they wanted to take away anyone's rights to hunt or take away their guns which is in total opposition to what you said, above: "

    Well there you go... You didn't hear it, so it didn't happen. Are you calling Pat a liar, Japete?

    ReplyDelete
  26. Japete,
    Sniper is a job title. Sniper Central is a website for people who have the occupation of "Sniper" and used by anyone intrigued in the discipline it takes to be a "sniper". The term Sniper Rifle as used in the news would count a .308 deer gun as that is the same gun that the LA SWAT team uses for it's "Sniper" team.

    And as we told you before, but you just won't listen or believe us, cops wear body armor to stop PISTOL rounds. Almost ALL rifle ammunition will pierce through the vest. You statement would lead MANY of us to believe that you would be willing to ban any rifle as they are all "armor piercing" by your definition. Do you get it? It doesn't matter how many times you say "I don't want to ban..." when you make uninformed comments like that it tells me (us) that you would go after the hunter rifles even though you say you won't. Unintended consequences because your side doesn't understand weapons as much as you think you do.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Remington 700.

    The basis for the M24 Sniper weapon system and the most common hunting rifle on the market.

    The most common rifle ammo available can penetrate most body armor so that makes it 'armor piercing'? No. Unless you're trying to restrict ammo sales.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Nope, anon- just holding accountable for statements made and letting him know that has not been my experience. Are you calling me a liar?

    ReplyDelete
  29. Anon- I am perfectly honest and sincere when I tell you I have no interest in banning your guns or taking away your rights.

    ReplyDelete
  30. if this type of ammunition is available to you, it's also available to people who shouldn't have it?

    Jacketed ammunition is necessary for virtually any modern rifle--by 'modern' I mean anything designed less than 100 years ago. Without a jacket, velocity is limited. Low velocity requires a much larger caliber to remain effective against typical game even at short distances--but rifles other than muzzle-loaders over .50 caliber are restricted. Low velocity also means a much bigger difference in bullet drop at different ranges--Some Western state hunters would have to aim several feet over their targets at distances they encounter.

    It's a commonly used term for a rifle that can do more than a common hunting rifle- thus the name


    "During the Vietnam War, the Marine Corps decided they needed a standard sniper rifle.[2] After testing several possibilities, they ordered 700 Remington Model 40x rifles (target/varmint version of the Model 700 bolt-action rifle), and gave them the M40 designation."

    From the Wikipedia article on the M40. A sniper rifle is nothing more than a hunting rifle that meets certain standards of accuracy. Hunters (especially in Western states) have almost identical requirements as snipers, only the targets differ.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Maybe you should get everybody to stop using the term, then, if you don't like it. I'm just referring to a commonly held idea that is not just mine.

    ReplyDelete
  32. O.K. everybody. I see the point about the sniper rifle designation. I'm just using a term that is commonly used out there by more than just me. Let's end this one for now.

    ReplyDelete
  33. "a commonly held idea' perpetuated by the media and gun control groups in order to demonize another class of firearm.

    Just like 'assault weapon', 'Saturday night specials', 'cop killer bullets', 'plastic guns' the list goes on.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I'm just using a term that is commonly used out there by more than just me. Let's end this one for now.

    This basic tactic has been used for other classes of guns--call them something scary-sounding and then ask for restrictions. If you give 'assault weapon' or 'Saturday Night Special', or 'cop killer bullet' the same examination, you'll find a hyped up and over-broad definition for something in common use.

    ReplyDelete
  35. "I think you worship the founding fathers more than life itself."

    I value the preservation of individual liberty and freedom more than life itself. Which is what Sam Adams was saying.

    "If you take everything they said as sacred without considering modern circumstances, you will interpret their words from a different perspective than I do."

    There's nothing about the nature of man or of the nature of liberty that changes with "modern" circumstances.

    ReplyDelete
  36. These guns get their "nick names" I suppose by how and why they are typically used.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Most of the 80 million would consider Pat and Chris radical fanatics and wish to have nothing to do with them. By far the 80 million American gun owners couldn't care less for what these guys have to say. That's why the inflated and probably exaggerated membership of the NRA is 4 million.

    ReplyDelete
  38. I personally know of more than a few people who have dropped their NRA membership because of its' extreme positions. They just don't agree.

    ReplyDelete
  39. japete, yes, some people have dropped. But that doesn't change the fact that the NRA is growing. So more people are buying into what you call "extremism" than people leaving because of that "extremism".

    But I would classify the Brady Bunch as "extremists" who have financial troubles because they can't get people to buy into their brand of extremism.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Totally unfounded, anon. Sorry- you are off the mark,

    ReplyDelete
  41. jedge- I think you worship the founding fathers more than life itself. If you take everything they said as sacred without considering modern circumstances, you will interpret their words from a different perspective than I do. I am not an "originalist" which it sounds like you are. That doesn't make either of us more right than the other. It just makes us different.

    WHEN RIGHTS COLLIDE

    You actually raise a significant question: What happens when rights collide? For example, I have a right to freedom of speech. You have a right to life? What happens if my exercise of free speech impacts your right to life? For example, inciting a riot, calling "fire" in a crowded theatre to create a panicked mob, etc. That is where the courts have created various standards of review ("strict scrutiny," etc). In your organization's withdrawn amicus brief for the TX minor case, you basically invented a new standard of review which basically set a very little bar. I think that Strict or Intermediate scrutiny is more appropriate, but really, it will matter what Justice Kennedy believes.

    In any event, while you may have a natural right to life (from which we derive the natural right of self defense), you do not have a right to feel safe against hypothetical dangers. Part of the standards of review discussed above establish what bar the government must meet to prove that the proposed law actually protects against a real, likely, imminent harm. For example, even if you feel unsafe if a family of a different ethnicity moves in next to you, the courts have established strict scrutiny for most anti-discrimination type cases, so you're unlikely to be able to erect a local ordinance that excludes people based on race from your neigherhood.


    ...MORE THAN LIFE ITSELF
    jedge- I think you worship the founding fathers more than life itself

    There are worse things that dying for an ideal. I personally know people who have given their lives for the ideals that are represented by the US Constitution. If you know any sworn law enforcement officers, military personnel, or other such people then you may too. I don't consider their deaths to be in vain or cowardly or out of a lack of love for life. To the contrary, the people I knew were devoted to their families and actively lived life to the fullest.

    I think some of the worst cowardice is not having anything for which you'd be willing to stop breathing. Most people have something or someone for whom they'd give their life, whether it be an ideal, a loved one, or whoever. Is there any more miserable sight than a mother who will not defend her children from harm, then a police officer that refuses to defend the innocent, or of an able-bodied person that declines to help a handicapped victim who is assaulted before his eyes?

    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things; the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse. A man who has nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance at being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."
    — John Stuart Mill

    ReplyDelete
  42. Anon- I am perfectly honest and sincere when I tell you I have no interest in banning your guns or taking away your rights.

    Except for... Shall we list out all the objectionable guns that you dislike, or list all the rights that you also dislike?

    You don't like FMJ ammunition, centerfire rifles with optics that fire flat-shooting cartridges out to beyond 100 yards (aka deer rifles), inexpensive guns, semiauto guns, small guns, quiet guns, guns that look scary, and so on.

    You don't like people having a right to have guns in their cars, or carried on their persons, or when driving on the highway within 1000 feet of a school (even if they're an off duty police officer), or in a bush plane flying in to a remote hunting camp, or in a readily accessible location in the home (even if no children are present), allowing people to buy guns across state lines even if they pass a NICS background check and fill out a 4473, and so on.

    You have refused, even when asked, to affirm any single type of gun that you think is acceptable in private hands, or any single firearm related right that you feel is permissable. On the flip side, you have never highlighted an infringement that you think goes too far or is not particularly effective. I can only conclude that as long as one person is allowed to own a single shot .22 target rifle (or maybe BB gun) then there is no "ban" in your mind. Am I wrong? Please, prove me so! If you want a real dialogue then it will help to not be so coy.

    ReplyDelete
  43. @Mikeb: Wow! I'm a radical fanatic? You seriously need to visit the States one of these days...I can put you in touch with radical left-wingers...and right-wingers. You'll think I'm a saint after that...

    @Joan: See...this kinda stuff from people doesn't make me want to agree with anything...straight name-calling with no basis in fact.

    ReplyDelete
  44. So are your anecdotes. I've personally signed up over a dozen people.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Wow- Chris- you are waxing philosophical tonight. You are wrong. I believe I have stated clearly that you all have the right to own your guns. I don't name them specifically because then we get in a round about exchange about certain guns vs. others. That is not my purpose here. I just know that guns are designed as dangerous weapons and one of them killed my sister and kills a heck of a lot of people on a daily basis. You can carry your guns on your person but I am reading about and writing about more and more folks who are carrying whose guns are used irresponsibly. That's not a good thing for you all. There are guns and laws that I don't particularly like but the law is the law and I am not going to work to change the ones already passed unless there is a serious problem with it or there is public demand or legislative interest in changing something. I have said before that I report these because they are happening and in some ways prove my point that guns are dangerous and get used to kill oneself or others or accidentally. I want to prevent those things from happening if at all possible. I think it is with the help of some of you all who say that you are in favor of preventing shootings as well. How we get there is yet to be determined but I'm willling to give it a try.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Pat- you guys are pretty much on my blog non-stop. I wonder what else you are doing with your time? Occasionally someone who agrees with my basic premise comments on this blog and you guys hate it. Mike B does not speak for me but he often defends me. You guys are constantly on the offense. It feels good to have someone on the defense.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Its vacation, and icy/snowy...luckily the Internet still works out in the fish house when the fish aren't biting!

    I have a thick skin - but you write about not liking the comments you receive, and finding common ground. "You guys" -- who's this? I don't coordinate with anyone else...

    ReplyDelete
  48. "..and by making me purchase hunting ammunition for target practice, it'll cost me $1 or $2/round every time I goto the range... eventually I'll stop going. Eventually the next generation will lose interest in such an expensive hobby. Its essentially putting a "poll tax" on exercising a right, and eliminating the next generation of shooters and hunters...and its not acceptable. "

    Not acceptable to you, but perfectly acceptable to the gun control lobby. I'd even go so far as to say that's their goal. To legislate shooting into nonexistence or at least make into a wealthy man's hobby, like yachting or private aircraft.

    Those folks who horde guns and ammo? Maybe they aren't so crazy. Buy it cheap, stack it deep.

    ReplyDelete