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The National Gun Control Debate: Chasing Technology: Emotions vs. Logic



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The Liberty Man




Chasing Technology: Emotions vs. Logic

By John Moore, March 2018


The anti-gun rhetoric we read and hear is mostly driven by two things:
1.) Emotion
2.) Ignorance

Both can be incredibly powerful. One of the first things one learns in college debate is one may not successfully use a logical argument to counter an emotional argument.

The pro-gun rhetoric is driven by:
1.) Logic
2.) Knowledge

Therein lays the quandary we find ourselves in with the debate over firearms.

I'm an unapologetic member of the American Gun Culture. My bio is not all that exceptional for a Baby-boomer. I received my Daisy Red-Ryder BB gun at age 8, my first firearm at age 12. I'm a combat veteran of Vietnam, Homicide Detective, and NRA Certified Firearms Instructor.

While I have more knowledge of firearms than 99.9% of Americans, I don't consider myself as an expert as I personally know a number of that 0.1% who are the true experts involved in research and development of firearms, ammunition and optics.

Most of the national debate concerning firearms (all other national issues) takes place on TV, Radio and  social media. The portion taking place in print media (ink on paper, or electronic) is small by comparison. A major problem we have in any national debate is a glaring lack of substance and depth in these discussion on both side of any given matter.

I have little hope that this article will change the minds. However, it may strengthen the beliefs for some in the gun culture and cause others to be more knowledgeable. 

Illusion:

Many (most?) Americans believe the 1994 Assault Weapon/high capacity magazine ban stopped the sale to the public of these items. It did not.
We now have quite a few Congressmen, U.S. Senators and national gun-control spokes persons speaking in glowing terms of the 1994-2004 Assault weapon and high capacity magazine ban, as somehow having been a "success" that should be put back in place.

Reality:

The 1994 assault weapon and high-capacity magazine ban did not stop either from being bought, owned, or sold. It took the firearms manufacturers only weeks to convert the banned rifles into no-longer-banned rifles by making minor changes to non-functional, cosmetic details to their rifles (such as eliminating the bayonet lug, a 1/2 inch square piece of steel allowing the attachment of a bayonet to the barrel of a rifle). The sale, purchase and ownership of the pre-ban existing tens of millions (not an exaggeration) of high-capacity magazines continued, only with higher prices.

Illusion:

It takes a semi-automatic rifle such as an AR15 or AK47 to murder many victims quickly. Anything that enhances the rate of fire (such as  bump-stock, which only 5% of Americans ever heard of prior to the Las Vegas tragedy) also enhances the lethality of said firearms.

Reality:

Attached as a link to this article is a short (less than 30 seconds) video. It's the introduction to the wildly popular 1960's  TV show "The Rifleman"  (starring Chuck Conners).
In the first 4 seconds, Conners shoots an 1892 Winchester lever-action rifle 12 shots. Yes, you read that right, 12 shots in four seconds! It could have been 15 shots in 5 seconds, as that is the maximum magazine capacity for this model rifle. It's also true that Conners rifle had a minor modification that allowed this performance, that being the installation of a screw in the lever that depressed the trigger every time the lever reached the top of the upward stroke. A modification that any high school shop class student could do during a one hour shop class.

The 1892 Winchester (which commenced manufacture in 1892 had 1,007,608 rifles made prior to being discontinued for WWII is now being manufactured by several companies) continues to be a popular rifle all over the world. Since 1892, many millions of rifles have been manufactured perfectly capable of doing what Mr. Cruz did at the Parkland FL High School. Point being: the chasing of firearm technology is a fools errand. Those who want to commit murder will find the means to do so. The recent terrorist attacks with stolen trucks being the weapon of choice show the absolute futility of attempting the control weapons, rather than people, should be quite clear to all neutral observers. For those less knowledgeable, I should point out that the 1892 Winchester is but one of many dozens of lever action rifle models manufactured by a number of different companies. Be advised: there are literally tens of millions lever action rifles owned by free Americans.

Illusion:

We may now only trust men and women 21 years old to purchase firearms.

Reality:

Prior to the passage of the Gun Control Act of 1968, 18, 19 & 20 year old men and women could buy AR-15's through the mail. No background check. Prior to 1934, an 18 year old could walk into any gun shop in the USA and a few minutes later, walk out with a Thompson sub-machine gun. Yes, a machine gun. As a side note one may legally (while following all applicable laws) buy as many machine guns as they want here in the USA.

The national debate over the rights of men and women 18 to 21 in this country is many decades old. It's beyond the scope of this article to go very deep into this. Those proposing the age 21 point to alcohol and tobacco age limits.

Those favoring the age 18 have statutory guidance to give legal credibility to their stance. Both Federal and all 50 states state that the Federal and State Militias include all 18 year old men. Yes, the National Guard came into being early in the 20th Century. However, the creation of the National Guard did not eliminate the Federal and State Militias.

Illusion:

Laws, properly drafted, well enforced, will deny criminals access to firearms. Firearms (semi-automatic & otherwise) are manufactured in large factories, with expensive specialized equipment run by highly trained technicians.

Reality:


Anyone may buy machines the size of a microwave oven that will fabricate the receiver of any AR 15 (or the receiver of most any rifle, pistol, or shotgun). The machine costs less than $2,000.00 and requires no more technical expertise than programing a microwave oven to cook your TV dinner. Be advised: These are not 3D printers. Rather, they are small CNC (Computer Numeric Control) machines. Be further advised: The receiver of any rifle, shotgun, or pistol is the firearm! Once you have the receiver, you may build your rifle, shotgun, pistol from all the necessary parts available on the open market with no legal restriction.

Once again, it's a fools errand to believe prohibitions work. The Volstead Act (prohibiting alcohol) was a dismal failure. The "War on Drugs"? We've had 1/2 century of failure, yet it continues? My article:"Las Zatas Marketing Memorandum" (posted at my web site www.thelibertyman.com) is both humorous and serious. The point of that article is to point out the reality of markets meeting demand.  The market will always meet demand. Always.

Illusion:

We have no way of knowing, or controlling, the behavior of men, or women, who may commit violent acts.

Reality:

The one common denominator connecting most all mass murderers (except Muslims) is the their having had prescriptions for psychotropic drugs. About 1970 (give, or take a year) the American method of evaluating and treating those with mental defect, or disease, changed dramatically. Previously, we institutionalized men and women who were a threat to themselves, or others. Since then, they now evaluate these men and women for three to seven days. They decide which psychotropic drug(s) to prescribe and release these men and women back into public.

There's a high likelihood that (in 1968) Mr Cruz would have been institutionalized prior to his harming anyone.

Illusion:

Various Anti-gun groups will promote the numbers of "children" shot to death and the total number of gun deaths as valid reasons to enact the gun restrictions they lobby for. A very strong emotion-driven argument, well-received by those ignorant of reality.

Reality:

A 6 foot tall 180 pound 16 year old criminal gang member is legally a "child". His death at the hands of opposing gang members enters the ledgers of crime statistics as a child's death.
Granted, there are, in fact, innocent children shot to death every year. However, there is no solid way to determine how many of these murdered "children" are criminal gang members.
Gun related deaths overall? A huge percentage of these are suicides. Tragic? Yes. Preventable? Not likely.

Illusion:

The anti-gun groups refer to Modern Sporting Rifles (MSR) [to include all AR platform rifles and most all center-fire semi-automatic rifles that accept a detachable magazine] as "Weapons of War". They state "Who needs a 30 round magazine to hunt deer?"

Reality:

Modern armies do not issue semi-automatic rifles to their troops. Hunting? None of the 50 states permit 30 round magazines for deer hunting. Hunting is not the reason for the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The founding fathers knew and understood history. Their concern was that this new government they were creating would not have a monopoly on the possession/availability/use of deadly force. We now have more than 1/2 century of American military forces being successfully resisted by barefoot peasants with hand-held firearms.




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