Guns are Bad

In the past 48 hours there have been two developments in the gun control debate that merit some consideration.  The good news is that the laughably moderate gun control package I mentioned in my previous posting has passed in Colorado and was signed into law by Governor Hickenlooper this morning.  Tragically, the (very) right-leaning Denver Post allowed the so-called “Colorado Citizens Protecting our Constitution” to post an ad that declaring that the law banned ALL FIREARM MAGAZINES, when in fact it only bans magazines with a capacity of more than 15 bullets.  (see image)


If you click on the ads they take you to a single page which equates the new laws with disarming women so that they can be raped.  The “group” funding the ads is a 504(c) and does not have to reveal where they get their money from.  (Linked article refers to another incident where this same 504(c) has struck before in Colorado.  The Citizens United decision really is the gift that keeps on giving, isn’t it?)  The Denver Post should have some minimum standards of ethics for the advertisements they run, but apparently they do not.  If we look at the slanted writing in their coverage of the bill signing, it could be discerned that they even agree with the pro-gun-massacre groups.

While I have been personally highly critical of Governor Hickenlooper in the past I would like to take a moment here to point out that it took courage to sign the gun-control package into law.  Fortunately for him, universal background checks enjoy 80% support and magazine size limits enjoy 60% support.  I think he’ll be OK.

The other event is that the Senate Democrats have removed the assault weapons ban from the Federal Gun Control package.  A federal ban would be much more effective than a patchwork of local bans since assault weapons are so easily transported across state lines.  The cowardice of Harry Reid and company is simply deplorable.  The public gloating of the NRA over their victory is worse.

Since it appears that tragic assault weapon massacres are going to remain a fact of life here in the United States; I’d like to take a cue from the Weather Channel (who is now naming snowstorms) and suggest that the media just begin naming massacres.  We can start with the names of Wayne LaPierre and Ted Nugent, but then let’s move on to every Senator who didn’t have the courage or common sense to vote for a comprehensive ban.

I have been keeping one eye on the debate over Colorado’s proposed “gun control” laws and am simply disgusted with the level of discourse that has been taking place online.  I am constantly appalled that the radical right feels empowered to make completely bogus claims and the so-called left pathetically compromises with their absurd positions.  Our society contains a small but self-righteously vocal element that forces us to compromise with their childish, racist, ignorant and insecure would views – by merely entering the debate and being given a platform by the media in the name of ‘balance’ they pull the discussion rightward.  Unfortunately, the left has had no such ability to do the same.  I’d really like to see these people that the Tea-Baggers supposedly fear who want to take everyone’s guns away – because I’d like to vote for them.

In reality the proposed Colorado bills do 4 things:

1.) Limit ammunition capacity to 15 rounds per clip

2.) Expand background checks

3.) Make the gun owner pay the cost of his or her background check

4.) Prohibit people with a history of domestic violence from clearing a background check.

These changes are not major, and are almost laughably cosmetic.  But to hear the rabid right and the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners association (a group that makes the NRA look like a bunch of hippies), these laws will overturn the Second Amendment or will result in the state legislature “taking their guns away”.

To the RMGO and your insane, illiterate, paranoid followers let me offer you an alternative view of gun control.  Real gun control would look like the following 5-year plan:

Years 1-2: The manufacturing, importing, and sale of guns are banned, the government offers to buy guns and ammunition for $100 per gun and $5 per bullet.

Years 3-4: Gun ownership by private citizens is illegal, owning a gun will result in a $2000 fine and one month’s imprisonment.

Year 5 and beyond: Owning a gun remains illegal – penalties increase to $10,000 and 1 year in prison for firearm possession.  Additionally any reports of gun ownership will result in the National Guard (the “well regulated militia” that is actually mentioned in the 2nd Amendment) being sent to your house to search for said weapons.  If they find a working gun of any kind then you will get the bill for the cost of having sent them to your home in addition to the aforementioned penalties.

There – that is what REAL gun control would look like.  Quite frankly, it is the kind of gun control I would actually like to see.

In comparison – the proposed Colorado laws only limit your gun to killing 15 people before you have to reload to kill 15 more.

So, to all of the paranoid freaks out there who are crying that your freedom is being taken away by a marginally more adequate background check system…Relax – it could be worse.

One of the most dangerous and most unchallenged assumptions in the whole gun-control discussion is that guns are effective for self-defense.  They are not.  Most of the “Rambo-Wannabes” and “paranioa warriors” that tout the need for home defense because the police can’t respond fast enough would be useless in a firefight.  Under real pressure, your aim sucks, you aren’t James Bond fast on the draw, and in the past few mass shootings the killer wore body armor.  I respect the police, and in my experience working with them they are to the last dedicated, compotent, highly trained professionals who live to serve and protect their communities – but even they have trouble keeping their bullets on the intended target.    What makes the gun-nuts think they are so much better than our police or even the secret service?  (see image below)