Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Guns and Responsibility

An email that is making the rounds get me annoyed. Another one of my pet peeves:
The topic was gun ownership which is certainly a constitutional right but.
The email was off the cahrts to defend the right to bear arms. One reason given was that an armed citizenry prevented the Japanese from invading the US in WWII. Another staement was that the murders committed by Stalin, Hitler and Mao and their armies would have been prevented if it wasn't for gun control lawsthat they passed. Pretty funny and pathetic stuff. Good arguments can and should be made but saying stupid things to fill space just turns people off.
The main problem is – like other social issues – everyone involved is extreme. One side wants complete unilateral disarmament and the other wants the right to have any kind of weapon and an unencumbered sales market.

If only bad guys having them that is obviously not good but neither is arming every meatball who has a few bucks. A middle ground would be that you can have any kind of non-automatic weapon you want. The But: It has to be registered and traceable. The owner is completely responsible for it. Forever. If it is used to commit any crime, the owner is guilty. No excuse; not “I lost it”; not “it was stolen”. Responsible people can have them but they have to be responsible.

The NRA has the worst press office since McCain. They should be including things that people can agree with. They should be campaigning for really tough penalties for the bad guys. Much tougher than they want now. Even in a “tough” state like NY, the dopey football player who shot himself while carrying an unregistered gun in a public place is only liable for 2 years max and he might skate anyway. Armed Robbery doesn’t get much more and it gets dealt away in plea deals.
Their argument against background checks, waiting periods and keeping records is really weak. Known wackos shouldn’t have them, nobody needs one immediately, and records are part of the cost.
There are also reasonable limits. No one needs an assault weapon, a bazooka or like military ordinance.

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