Gun Control


#1

Original forum thread:

Obviously, one of the most violent events in modern American history - 60 dead, 500+ wounded - warrants a discussion on gun control.

Frankly, the argument that civilian gun ownership in any way could serve to counterbalance the power of the government/military is laughable in a modern context. The toll in lives is horrendous. No other modern nation has this problem.


#2

What? You mean civilians can’t fight a full military power with only firearms? Crazy.


#3

The argument that the Second Amendment was included to serve as a counterbalance to the power of the government/military is historical revisionism. The original purpose of the Second Amendment was to preserve the slave patrol militias in the southern states. There’s a reason the Second Amendment says “State” instead of “Country.”

In fact, the Second Amendment was necessary to get the Virginia delegation’s vote for the new Constitution. At the ratifying convention in 1788, Patrick Henry said:

"Let me here call your attention to that part [Article 1, Section 8 of the proposed Constitution] which gives the Congress power to provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States…

“By this, sir, you see that their control over our last and best defense is unlimited. If they neglect or refuse to discipline or arm our militia, they will be useless: the states can do neither … this power being exclusively given to Congress. The power of appointing officers over men not disciplined or armed is ridiculous; so that this pretended little remains of power left to the states may, at the pleasure of Congress, be rendered nugatory.”

George Mason also had similar fears:

"The militia may be here destroyed by that method which has been practiced in other parts of the world before; that is, by rendering them useless, by disarming them. Under various pretenses, Congress may neglect to provide for arming and disciplining the militia; and the state governments cannot do it, for Congress has an exclusive right to arm them [under this proposed Constitution]… "

The main concern was that Article 1, Section 8 of the newly proposed US Constitution, which gave the federal government the power to raise and supervise a militia, could also allow the federal militia to take control of the state militias and change them from slavery-enforcing institutions into something that could, eventually, even free the slaves.

Patrick Henry was worried that the new Constitution’s power over the various state militias given to the federal government could be used to strip the slave states of their slave-patrol militias.

As a result, Madison changed the first draft of the amendments to address the militia issue to make sure it was unambiguous that the southern states could maintain their slave patrol militias. His first draft for what became the Second Amendment had said:

“The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; a well armed, and well regulated militia being the best security of a free Country [emphasis added]: but no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms, shall be compelled to render military service in person.”

But Henry, Mason and others wanted southern states to preserve their slave-patrol militias independent of the federal government. So Madison changed the word “country” to the word “state,” and redrafted the Second Amendment into today’s form:

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State [emphasis added], the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

It was only in the last 50 or so years has the idea that the purpose of the Second Amendment was to enable citizens to right up against the tyranny of the federal government. Like I said, it’s historical revisionism.


#4

No, we can’t talk about gun violence now. There’s too much gun violence happening!


#5

Fuck the Second Amendment. Ban guns in urban and suburban areas outside of maybe shooting ranges, and require extensive training and licensing for shotguns and rifles used in hunting. Ban handguns entirely.


#6

Start using guns against the rich and powerful. Then you’ll see gun control happen very quickly.


#7

This is why we need our own Metal Gear.


#8

If California is any lesson then all you need to do to pass a gun control law is to merely arm black people. Before a single black person gets to fire a shot we would see gun control fly through the Congress.

Which brings up the fact that most forms of gun control that exist and that would pass would be operationally useless like the assault weapons ban. Most conversations don’t really tackle the difference from a reactionary gun control law and a left version that might actually save people. Demanding laws to ban certain guns, depending on the police to enforce it, while not meaningfully regulating the arms industry and challenging America’s imperial foreign policy that abets it would merely give cops an extra reason to incarcerate and murder black, brown, and sometimes white people.


#9

On the subject of the efficacy of laws… print your own guns! It’s prohibited, and they don’t work that great (yet), but I suspect you’re going to have a hell of a time actually regulating that sort of thing without going full police state.


#10

At the Maker Faire I saw a lot of major improvements in laser cutting, 3D printing and CNC that can be done at home with non-plastic materials. Sure, the machines weren’t cheap, but things have advanced quite a bit since I last checked. Within my life a machine will be available for purchase that will be capable of manufacturing very dangerous things.


#11

Oh, that’s easy. Printed guns are just hella illegal. Finding one in your possession constitutes a felony. Good luck ever using that gun, and catching people who are mass printing will be similar to how we get meth labs today.


#12

I’m done with considering “The other side” of the Gun Control debate. Gun companies make money hand over fist after every mass shooting, they pay the NRA which buys off the GOP, who throws their hands up and offer thoughts and prayers.


#13

Guns are a great issue for the GOP to consolidate power. There is a small but consistent and militant voting bloc in the US of single-issue gun nuts. They will reliably vote en masse for you if you take a hard line against gun control.

So the NRA pays you to be pro-gun, and you also get a guaranteed voting bloc.


#14

No set of regulations works perfectly, sure. We will never have 0 gun deaths in this country until guns no longer exist anyway.

But regulations regarding a problem can indeed reduce the frequency of that problem.

Gun crime should be viewed as a public health issue. Intervention strategies of various sorts reduce but cannot eliminate the problem - but reducing them is a pretty damn good goal all things considered.


#15

So pretty ineffectual. Meth labs were not super impacted by police actions. It was cutting down access to the cheapest available materials that raised the price of meth to the point that heroine came back into vogue, at least where I live.


#16

We can’t 100% enforce the anti-smoking law in New York. (It’s illegal to smoke in ANY park in New York City).

But, by having the law, it allows the enforcement. Furthermore, the minimal enforcement we have today has cut down significantly on people smoking illegally in the parks.

The main drawback is that low enforcement breeds selective (racist) enforcement.


#17

Let’s just work harder to invent personal energy shields.


#18

Hardly. It meant that anyone caught with a meth lab was jailed and unable to continue to run meth labs. It made running a meth lab much more secretive and difficult. It wasn’t the complete solution, but the alternative is to throw your hands up and legalize meth labs. That’s a ridiculous position.

If it’s illegal to print guns, then search warrants, investigations, court orders, etc… can all be applied to find, track, and destroy gun printers.


#19

So that the wealthy can be even more (and literally) insulated from this problem while the masses continue to be shot down?


#20

That’s not my position at all. It’s a different subject, but I’d probably be for legalizing tested recreational drugs in terms of how effective that strategy is over the current methods. But the gun/weapons debate in a lens looking at the future changes if people can manufacture good working parts in their home. Not that different from your coke bottle meth (that or like a big cooler were way more common around here than like a “lab”), or a pipe bomb, or whatever.

Just give me 100 ton assault mech and the problems go away.