Tuesday, September 14, 2004

You Can't Shoot Me!

Well, OK, maybe you can. The Assault Weapons Ban has now expired. There's been some celebrating on the right, some hand-wringing on the left, and not a whole lot in between.

My thoughts (it's why you're here, right?) are mixed as well. My view about gun rights and gun control took a turn in my senior year of college. At this point in the United States, banning guns seems, well, silly. There's a hell of a lot of them floating around, and actually taking them away from people is a task so Herculean that no government would ever want to begin tackling it - as it would probably cause a revolution if they tried.

That being said, I always thought the ban was a bit of a joke anyway, one of those phrases ("assault weapon ban," much like "partial-birth abortion"), designed to create an emotional response rather than apply an accurate name for that which it describes. It doesn't really "ban" assault weapons; it bans certain kinds of clips and certain kinds of barrel lengths from certain kinds of guns. So, instead of a 30-shot clip for your semi-automatic AK-47, you can only have a 10-shot clip. Yup. It doesn't really even address automatic weapons, which require you to have a certain class of firearms' dealer's license to own anyway. And, you could go to a gun show and buy a "pre-ban" weapon anyway. Whoop de do.

In other words, it was a stunt designed to make the liberals appear like they accomplished something without actually accomplishing much, and its expiration is a stunt to make the conservatives appear like they accomplished something without actually accomplishing much.

It actually seems like a pretty asinine thing for both sides to be addressing, when there are obviously much larger issues facing our nation right now. There was a small drop in crime since the ban was enacted, but that could also have something to do with other conditions, from socioecomonic patterns to the 100,000 cops Clinton put on the streets.

The entire gun debate has always seemed like a red herring argument to me anyway, a method of dodging bigger problems in favor of a small one that will really never change much, especially in the US.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have a definite point of view on this one: Rifles and other sporting weapons should be allowed, with proper licenses. Handguns, other than those used by law enforcement should be banned (with exceptions for tournemt shooting, etc., etc.). Any automatic weapon smaller than a standard long rifle- banned.

Why? The 2nd amendment gives us the right to bear arms in the event that we need them to overthrow the government. Concealable firearms are not what you need to overthrow an unjust government. Those are what you need to kill a fellow citizen.

The 2nd Amendment does not give you the right to carry a concealed weapon. It does not give you the right to 'protect yourself' with a handgun. It is only intended to make sure that government cannot take away the tools we need to ensure our government is just.

I have no problem with fully automatic long rifles. If someone can smuggle a long rifle into someplace and start hosing folks down with lead, there are bigger problems than just the shooter at work.

You can have your gun. I just want to know you have it, so I can be forewarned, thur forearmed.