As Gun Bills Are Pushed Forward, Some Citizens Push Back

by Criminal Defence Blawg on February 26, 2013

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Don’t even think about taking my guns. My rights are not negotiable, and I am totally unwilling to compromise when it comes to the Second Amendment. –Michael Badnarik 

(Guest post regarding gun laws and the gun control debate). With the recent mass shootings that have taken place, emotions are running high, and rightly so. The victims and their families have had to endure nightmares that most Americans are unable to fathom. The topic of Gun Control is certainly a hot one nowadays, and after much anticipation, Gun Control Advocates in Colorado have finally been given their time to say their piece. The problem is however, they had promised a lot this year to their constituents, and the legislative session is already a quarter of the way through and they are just now reviewing the first of the gun control bills.

I believe that all of our Rights ought to be upheld and protected, one of which is our right to freedom of speech and expression. As such, with so much of the nation in disagreement on this issue, I find it a shame that Gun Advocates in Colorado have had a hard time being heard. This is especially true when that opinion is comprised from a large portion of the total populace in the state.

That being said, and though I wish for them to be heard, I find that the arguments for gun control have lost sight of what is really important. Gun control advocates have increasingly narrowed their focus because they have perhaps realized that it is impossible for every American to accept a complete ban of firearms. So they focus on ways to limit the effectiveness and accessibility to guns. The three typical arguments you now usually hear are:

  1. 1.       Banning the private purchase of assault rifles.
  2. 2.       Banning high capacity ammo clips for rifles.
  3. 3.       A more thorough and intensive background check.

Let’s go over each of these as they stand, and I will try as best I can to keep my opinion unbiased, and simply put forth the logic and reason for both sides. Please forgive me if I fail in the unbiased section, but hopefully you will notice my attempt.

Banning The Private Purchase Of Assault Rifles

The idea you tend to hear from Gun Control advocates is that there is no need for a private individual to own an assault rifle. Now to clarify, an assault rifle is different from a regular rifle in that it has automatic firing capabilities. There are larger caliber “hunting” rifles than assault rifles, so the argument isn’t over the size of the bullet. It is solely that they believe no person should need a rifle that shoots automatically. As it stands however, no “assault rifle” is legal if it is fully automatic and the owner is not licensed and registered to own one. So every legal assault rifle is semi-automatic, but each and every type of gun, whether a hand gun, shotgun, or rifle can be made fully automatic. Thus, the ban on assault rifles will do little to get rid of fully-automatic weapons. Mainly, because they can all be fully-automatic. The point being, that if that is the sole reason for the ban, you are forced to ban every type of weapon as they can all fit under the category of fully automatic.

For the record, there are even hand crank .22 caliber Gatling Gun mods for .22-rifles. These are legal for purchase as they are said to not be for use, and show only. However, people certainly use them. And I have never heard, nor do I expect to hear, of anyone complaining about .22-rifles being owned. Yet, I would fear a .22-rifle with this mod over any other “assault rifle” with fully automatic capabilities. Again, the argument should not be over “assault rifles”, because there are still far more dangerous weapons not being mentioned.

The Pro-Gun argument is simply that owning a gun is constitutional right, and the only right that protects the others. It is therefore needed in order to keep our other rights from being infringed upon. Now personally, I can’t see the reason for wanting a fully automatic weapon. But at the same time, if the government forced me to only drink 3.2% APV beer over harder liquors or higher alcoholic content drinks, I would be upset. Just because a few people don’t know what their limit is, or other people think they know what your limit is supposed to be, means nothing. If someone wants a fully automatic weapon because we’re constitutionally allowed to own firearms, then who is to say they can’t? If at this point you even hint at the “I do” or “we do”, then you are forcing your 3.2% beer onto others who never had a problem drinking pure ever-clear.

Banning High Capacity Ammo Clips For Rifles

The argument here is that there is less danger with people owning rifles if they can only shoot so many rounds per clip. This is indeed a sound argument, and makes perfect logical sense in that the number of rounds shot per minute will be limited. However, is it not believed that people will reload if they run out of ammo, which only takes a few seconds? Is it considered that if a person is willing to kill many people, they will be deterred because they’re afraid of breaking the law by owning a large capacity clip? Do they not think people have the ingenuity to make their own high capacity clips? Again, the focus is on rifles. What about high capacity pistol clips, which can hold up to 40 rounds? That’s larger than most high capacity rifle clips. And you don’t need a large weapon to kill another person; a pistol will do just fine.

The arguments against this point are based on the questions posed above. Reducing clip sizes does nothing if a person truly has it in their heart to harm others. Again, the only way to restrict the deadly use of guns, is to ban the total use of firearms all together.

A More Thorough and Intensive Background Check

There probably isn’t a single person, either pro-gun or pro-gun control who wouldn’t agree on this point. There is no reason a convicted criminal, or a person known to be dangerous or mentally unfit should ever be allowed to own a firearm. Each side agrees on this, the only question becomes whether or not the background check would inhibit regular, law abiding citizens from owning a weapon. In which case, this wouldn’t be fair. So the tight rope will have to finely balanced upon when approaching this issue to ensure those who have done no wrong aren’t punished or treated unfairly.

My Fully And Completely Biased Opinion

When it comes down to it, and you have all heard it before, but guns don’t kill people, people kill people. If someone has it in mind to harm others, than they are going to do just that. Personally, I would prefer to see someone pull out a gun because I would at least have a moment to react. Imagine if rather than shootings, we had people making bombs, using chemicals, or any other nefarious means to kill a person. Not only is there the potential for more people to be harmed, but the person doing the harm doesn’t even need to be near when it occurs. Effectively making it so they can continue their rampage indefinitely, or at least until they are caught.

The recent shootings are all tragic and terrible, as are ones that have happened prior, and as will be the ones that occur in the future. But it does no justice to the dead to use their story as a means to push personal agendas ahead. Some people don’t like guns, plain and simple. They would prefer to see them all gone off the face of the planet, nothing more than a relic of humans barbaric past. But that’s a personal want. Other don’t care either way, while the remaining sum wants every person to have a gun. It’s obvious that we aren’t going to outlaw guns, that much is clear. So why is there so much energy and focus being spent toward this, when especially nowadays there are far more pressing matters that should be discussed. Things like our economy, corrupt politicians, education, foreign relations, public health, and advances in the sciences. Anything… anything would be better than discussing gun control. It’s a waste of time, a waste of emotion, and a waste of money.

Not to mention, think of the publicity these criminals receive once they’ve done their deed. By showing so much attention, by making such a fuss of it, we are spurring on those who have similar thoughts of doing harm. People may not want to live anymore, but they certainly want to be remembered. If anything, as a nation, would should not put these instances front and center before everything else, but rather regard them as the tragedy they are, pay our respects to the dead, and let it pass.

Now this is certainly not out of disrespect for the victims, but out of contempt for the criminal. To show that not only did that person not live a meaningful life, but due to their actions, they will be stricken from our memory. The victims, if anything should receive every second of our attention. Tell their life stories, explain how they enjoyed the life they had and the experiences they lived. If we deemed someone so terrible due to their actions that we refuse to think about them, and they were stricken from our thoughts.

Our focus is so centered upon this issue of gun control that we forget what truly drives a person to want to harm innocents. That want is going to be there regardless of whether guns are or not. What the discussion, if anything, should be on is what drives a person to want to kill. How can we identify these troubled individuals? How do we show them that life is indeed precious, and even though they might not see the value in their own life or of those around them, that we see the value in theirs. It’s clear there will always be those who are willing to harm others, that much is for certain. But for that person to get to the point of wanting to do harm depends on their social interactions throughout life. What their experiences are, and what has shaped their perception of our world is what determines, in my mind, the value they place on life. This is a matter of nurture, not nature. And our focus on gun control doesn’t matter, when there are still those who want to harm others.

Featured images:
  •  License: Royalty Free or iStock source: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/878404

The author of this article is Damien S. Wilhelmi. If you enjoyed this piece you can follow me on Twitter @FacePalmLaw. The law can be a difficult course to navigate, if you live in Colorado, and are in need of a Boulder DUI Attorney, it is highly advised you seek the best around.

Criminal Defence Blawg

Criminal Defence Blawg

Criminal law blogger at CriminalDefenceBlawg
Criminal Defence Blawg is a criminal law blog, sharing legal expertise and intelligence from the UK, US, Australia and beyond. Contributions from those who share great legal information. Want to get published? Contact us today.
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