My issue is primarily with the justifications being used for various proposed regulations with regard to firearms. They seem to be less based on an assessment of facts and more on emotional reactions.
Nope. They aren't. They're based on the fact that *access* to firearms that can kill a lot of people quickly by people seeking to use them in a crime is increased in proportion to their general availability.
Sure. And access to firearms that can be used to defend people quickly and easily against potential assailants also increases in the same proportion. What's missing is an assessment that on net firearm ownership (or whatever specific aspect of that ownership you choose to focus on) in the US is sufficiently more harmful than helpful that it justifies infringing the 2nd amendment. Just saying "this can be used to do harm, so lets decrease its availability to the public" isn't a very strong argument.
Just like high explosives.
Just like a lot of things. But perhaps we should look at other factors which differentiate them rather than just declaring them the same because both can cause harm and access increases in proportion to general availability.
The issue is really one of complexity. Semi-automatic firearms are reasonably complex. I could make one at home out of stock metal, but most would be armed robbers can't. That's the crux of the gun control argument. Why make it easy to acquire reasonably complex killing machines designed to kill en masse quickly?
That's a terrible argument. Revolvers are about as equally unlikely to be constructed from scratch by a random would be robber. The fact that something is hard to make at home isn't a great justification for restricting it either.
The 2nd amendment is law, and that's fine, but there's ample space to enforce the "well regulated" text along with the "not be infringed" text. We'll set aside for a moment that a stockpile of 10,000 assault rifles isn't going to help you against the flying killer robot if the government decides to kill you.
Neither will 10,000 packages of tissue paper. Yet, amazingly, we don't argue that's a great reason to ban them. Yes. I'm being sarcastic. You're arguing every single aspect of the issue except the one that really matters.
The original idea that this right would somehow keep governmental military power in check is long, long dead.
No, it's not. This is a claim that those who support gun control repeat over and over though. I suppose if you say it often enough, it must be true.
Restricting cyclic rate or mag capacity is a perfectly rational thing to do, likely to lead to a decline in the death toll of these sorts of events.
There is very close to zero evidence that reducing magazine capacity has ever had any effect on the rate of such events, or the death toll when they do occur. Well, that's not entirely true. There's decent evidence that if the Colorado Theater shooter had brought several 10 round magazines instead of one 100 round mag, he would almost certainly have killed several times more people. That's probably not the kind of outcome you imagine would happen though.
And cyclic rate? Outside of automatic or selective fire weapons (which are illegal already) that's not really an issue either.
It would be objectively better if that were the case.
If that were the case, maybe. Again, we'd have to weigh this against the right being infringed. Objectively, we could argue that if we limited all vehicles to a top speed of 25 mph, we could save tens of thousands of lives a year. That does not mean it's what we should do though.
If it isn't the case, there's virtually no harm. Hunters don't need 25 shots, and honestly, neither do people defending themselves or their homes. Nobody gets to the sixth shot, really, in a legitimate defensive situation, a Colt Navy would be as useful as Glock 17 (although not so amazingly well designed and smooth to operate, @#%^ing Austrians know how to make killing people effortless, I'll give them that)
Except that the basic concept of rights themselves preclude the idea of the government restricting people to just what they need. The fact that you don't think someone needs something is also a terrible reason to restrict it. People don't need pie, so why don't we make pie illegal? A free society only restricts actions when such restriction is absolutely necessary to protect the liberties of others, and even then as cautiously and in as minimal a manner as possible. The concept that we should restrict something just because we don't think someone needs it is in complete opposition to the principles of a free society.
These are the sort of laws you're worrying are based on emotion...making 35 shot clips for Chinese AK clones illegal. They aren't.
Yeah. They're based on emotion Smash. People see a long magazine hanging out of a semi-automatic rifle, especially one with military styling, and they get scared. Cause that looks like a military weapon. It's why the term "assault weapon" was adopted by the anti-gun folks. To reinforce this knee-jerk fear response. The reality is that the frequency with which the number of shots in a magazine actually has any effect on the outcome of a shooting is so incredibly low as to be somewhat meaningless, and as often as not decreases rather than increases it.
So yeah. Emotional.
They're considered policy decisions.
Based on emotional reactions of the public, fueled by half truths and fear. I get that.
There are no "take all the guns away!" laws even being considered. No one's adversely effected by the laws being considered who isn't involved in an ongoing dispute with a Mexican drug cartel.
Today. But the arguments being used are about taking (nearly) all the guns away. The actions proposed today are only as minimal as they are because those proposing them think that's the most they can get away with. Today. Failing to see the end goal of a cause is pretty foolish, isn't it? Edited, Jan 10th 2013 2:17pm by gbaji