Saturday, February 2, 2013

But it ain't about machine guns!

A number of citizens think that the "assault weapons" bill has to do with machine guns. The media outlets are doing nothing to dispel that disinformation. In fact, machine guns and military destructive devices such as cannons and grenades and so on have been very strictly regulated since 1934. The supreme court's Heller decision left the door open for restrictions of the kind. Arms, for the purposes of the Second Amendment, are the sorts of things an individual might reasonably use in personal defense.

Here is--and I suppose it is funny in a snide sort of way--a cartoon suggesting that automatic weapons--machine guns--are legal and by implication need to be banned. Some of the weapons shown are entirely unavailable to private citizens. Some are mechanically operated, not automatic. Notice the revolver and the lupara. Some are ordinary pistols. The implication, of course, is that the USA is awash in deadly machine guns, which is not the case.

So sallies like the above exist in the fact free zone where the NRA wants you to have machine guns. This trend in argument has popped up repeatedly in the recent broad national conversation. This is a letter to the editor that appeared in the Las Vegas Sun:

A thought about weapons, legality
William Bacon, Las Vegas 
Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013 | 2 a.m.
Where do we draw the line? When are they going to let me buy a shoulder-fired rocket launcher? A well-regulated militia needs shoulder-fired rocket launchers and fully automatic .50-caliber machine guns. It’s my right under the Second Amendment. When will those liberals in Washington understand that rocket launchers don’t bring down 747s; people do. Right, NRA?

Of course all that is twaddle, in light of existing law and precedent. The letter writer's attempt to be snide falls rather flat when you take into account that America already has a vast array of gun control laws that already amount to strict control of the kinds of weapons named. Such weaponry is in no way the matter under discussion in the gun control debate. It is not similar enough to be a useful comparison. What is at issue is outlawing a now-legal style of rifle that is little used by criminals but is just great for home defense or the purposes in view when the Second Amendment was framed. I find it odd, not to say suspicious, that the guns the leftists seek to ban are those that would be most useful in an insurrection, and which rarely figure in criminal activity.

Once again, when I see so many bad arguments being offered for more gun control laws, I conclude that there is a scarcity of good reasons. Remember, children, no good ever comes of a lie.

Addendum: Here's someone who still doesn't get it:

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