Michael Maiello's picture

    Zombie Gun Ideas

    There are 300 million guns in America, which is enough to arm everyone.  About half of households are gun owners.  That includes the house I grew up with.  It includes some of my colleagues and friends.  It includes right wingers and left wingers.  They're good people and to them, guns are objects and they have as much a right to them as they do to any other object in their lives.

    And, the good news about that is that I think those people can be reached with reasonable arguments like the one that Professor Cleveland makes about restoring the assault weapon ban.  I'd go further and say that no civilian needs a pistol or rifle that holds more than between 6-9 rounds at a time.  It's not a perfect solution to mass shootings.  A six shot revolver, for example, can be reloaded quickly with "speed loaders," by a skilled gunman.  But, most people aren't actually skilled.  Handling guns well is actually difficult.  So if you take away something like the ability to fire a hundred shots without reloading, you probably are making a difference.

    No hunter or target shooter or hobbyist or home defender is going to claim that they need to fire 100 rounds without reloading.  Unless your house is being robbed by a military organization or you're hunting robot Terminator deer it makes no sense.

    So now, let's stop making sense.  I've been reading all around the web today about how the second amendment is what protects the first amendment.  They believe that the Founders intended an armed populace to keep the government in line.  Of course, the second amendment doesn't say that.  It says:

    "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
    It's stunningly simple.  The Founders put down two early rebellions.  The Shays Rebellion and The Whiskey Rebellion.  So they were not exactly open to the idea of picking up a rifle and telling the government "no."  Seems more likely the Founders meant what they said.  Without much of a professional military, they knew that the government might well have to ask ordinary people to arm themselves to fend off invasion or, uncomfortably, violence from the Native American population being forcibly displaced by the former Colonists.
    Of course, in 2012, no matter how many fancy assault rifles you buy, you will not be able to fend off the U.S. government.  You're bringing a gun to a drone fight.  You're bringing DYI battle skills and they're bringing the guys who killed Osama bin Laden even after one of their helicopters crashed in hostile Pakistan.  It's laughable.  And, it's not at all what the authors of the second amendment intended anyway.

    Another funny thing about this notion is that so many of these people who think that their guns will keep the government from stealing their rights, vote for the very same "law and order" Republicans who support granting extraordinary powers to the police, our intelligence agencies and the military.  When they're not talking about jack booted thugs, they're supporting the PATRIOT ACT.

    I get, or at least hope, that this notion of private gun ownership as a check on government power isn't exactly mainstream.  But it is influential.  It leads a good enough portion of the population to resist any and all gun regulations and we have a Supreme Court willing to go along with it.
    We can have guns and reasonable regulations, but this zombie idea has got to finally die.
    Oh, and one more thing... Every criminal incident is unique.  When we get all of the Sandy Hook shooting details, we'll no doubt be told that this law or that regulation wouldn't have made a difference for whatever reason.  It doesn't matter.  Our goal is not to unmake Sandy Hook via legislation.  It's to, in general, make the nation's murder weapon of choice a bit harder to get, particularly for mass shootings.  Serious collectors, sportsmen, hobbyists and the like will adapt to the new rules.  The people who refuse, and thus don't get their guns, just aren't committed enough.  That's more than okay.


    Thanks Mike.  Great argument to what I am also reading and will be repeating it to people in my community who likes to throw in the 2 nd amendment.

    Oh, and one more thing... Every criminal incident is unique.  When we get all of the Sandy Hook shooting details, we'll no doubt be told that this law or that regulation wouldn't have made a difference for whatever reason.  It doesn't matter.  Our goal is not to unmake Sandy Hook via legislation.  It's to, in general, make the nation's murder weapon of choice a bit harder to get, particularly for mass shootings.  Serious collectors, sportsmen, hobbyists and the like will adapt to the new rules.  The people who refuse, and thus don't get their guns, just aren't committed enough.  That's more than okay.

    So can we all stop the discouse of "how do we end?" this incidents? If we couch our goals as being "a bit harder to get" then we might actually make some progress on gun laws. 

    Anyone who is screaming ban all guns, as I have seen all over the internet, just reinforces every "fear" of the NRA member to resist the most mundane gun control law.

    Ban all guns.

    Smart post, Michael. Thanks.

    When something, some massacre, some terroristic behavior ends up in the deaths of little children only a few years out of diapers; I weep and I get angry.

    I lose focus.

    Huckabee is blaming this massacre on the lack of God in the schools.

    I would inform him that the info so far is that there are prayer centers all over Newtown; that most of these families are church goers that...

    Oh forget it. Nobody can teach, cajole or correct huckleberry; ever!

    The Mich Legislature just passed a bill allowing GUNS IN SCHOOLS FOR CHRISSAKES!

    See, I lose focus.

    I seek someone to blame.

    I cannot help this emotional reaction.

    If I stand back and think about it...well your clip argument is a start.

    And there was a machine gun involved in this besides two really dangerous pistols.

    So we go back to Clintons assault weapon ban.

    There is another start.

    This school for babies already had put in place emergency measures and practiced lock downs and other measures to save the children.

    Hell one teacher found the lock down on her door did not work so she sent the children into the corners of the room and stood and held the door with her body receiving two or three bullet wounds...it looks like she survived.

    And I thought it was the A-Bomb that was the biggest threat when I was a kid!

    DD, I thought of one response to Huckabee's assertion:  Advocating putting God back in schools is like advocating putting breathable air back in dome-less football stadiums;  both the air and God are already there and being used by those that need them and ignored by those that don't ...

    P.S. Thanks for such a well-reasoned piece, Mr Maiello.   I will be sharing it with friends.  


    It's not possible to ban all guns, of course.  Years ago there was talk of banning handguns, a move that would have at least placated the hunters--members of a long-time all-American institution and big-time spenders at sporting goods stores.  That went poof.

    The gun collectors spend big money to add to their collections, so taking out the big guns probably isn't going to work, either.

    But there's nothing that says we can't ban ammunition.  It's been done before and it could be done again.  Anything but standard single-shot bullets are armaments and shouldn't be available for private sales. 

    What would be the argument for heavy-duty ammo in the hands of just anybody?  It's not necessary for hunting, self-defense, or skeet-shooting.  It makes target practice really messy.  It does give mass murderers the upper hand, but that's hardly reason enough to allow them.

    There really isn't a good argument for military style ammunition.  We don't need armor piercing bullets.  If you're shooting at somebody armored, you're shooting at a soldier or police officer.  You shouldn't be doing that.  We don't need hollow points that explode within the target.

    If you must arm yourself in the cause of personal protection, fine.  But you will not be attacked by Batman.

    But you will not be attacked by Batman.

    Michael, Tell me what kind of gun would you want; if and when thirty men in white sheets showed up at your home,  burning a cross in your front yard, screaming for you to send out your wife and daughters?

    Id like to tell Diane Feinstein and the rest of her elite friends; YOUR body guards, will be exempt from the ban and they’ll be able to protect you.

    “You peasants can call 911. We’ll send an officer to investigate when available. ”  

    This argument is ridiculous. How likely is this to happen? My father hunted. Between hunts his gun was stored unloaded in the back of his closet. If someone tried to invade our home its unlikely he could have got the gun out and loaded in time to defend himself. But he didn't think anyone was going to invade our home and he was right.

    I hunt. When not hunting I stored my guns in the back of  a closet unloaded. I've owned guns for almost 40 years and never kept them readily accessible because I knew that it was extremely unlikely I'd need them to defend my home. I was right. I support the right to own guns but I have never needed a gun for home defense and its unlikely I ever will.

    You can spend your days with your M-16 loaded with armor piercing rounds next to your favorite chair worried about the hoards coming to your door demanding you send out your wife and daughter. But the reality is that if you do not only will no hoards, or even a single thief, ever show up but more likely that your daughter will accidently shoot herself or one of her friends with your loaded weapon.

    You must be one of the lucky ones; the right ethnic group with just the right color living in just the right neighborhood?

    A neighborhood with walls and guards at the gate?

    I must not have received the memo that racism and hatred had been eliminated?

    Good thing, during the Rodney king riots, the truck driver didn't have a gun; when a mob grabbed him from his truck cab and did bash his head in, with a cinder block.

    Had the truck driver had a weapon, sufficient to fend off a mob attack, someone might have been killed?

    You seem to be confusing ammunition with clips or magazines Ramona.

    Every bullet is 'single shot'.  The storage part of the gun that feeds the bullets may hold only one for old rifles, or up to 100 for assault rifles. The clip or magazine feeds the bullets to the firing chamber, hence the term 'massacre magazine' for 20, 35,100 round bullet feeding magazines, which automatically feed a new bullet every time the trigger is pulled. The Clinton Ban, and current law in some states, prohibit the sale of magazines larger than 10. As I noted on the other thread, Republicans believe that 100 round magazines are protected by the 2nd Amendment, even though they were not invented until 150 years after it was written. From the 2012 GOP Platform:

    ..We oppose legislation that is intended to restrict our Second Amendment rights by limiting the capacity of clips or magazines or otherwise restoring the ill-considered Clinton gun ban....

    Republicans believe that the inconvenience of changing a clip after firing 10 rounds is an intolerable denial of their freedoms. 

    In an example of Orwellian 'Doublethink', they also say restricting the size of magazines 'won't make a difference' to the toll taken by mass murderers because 'clips are so easy to change'.

    Thanks for the clarification, NCD.  That is what I meant by "heavy duty ammo". 

    You said it very well here.  With every one of these tragedies, we say the same thing:  "Something has to change."  And nothing ever does.  If anything, it gets worse.

    "When the night has come and the land is dark And the moon is the only light we see No, I won't be afraid, oh, I won't be afraid Just as long as you stand, stand by me
    If the sky that we look upon should tumble and fall Or the mountain should crumble to the sea I won't cry, no I won't cry, no, I won't shed a tear Just as long as you stand, stand by me."

    Ah, what a great song. Also the theme to a movie everyone loved, everyone watched with their children. As they watched a common reaction was to feel sweet nostalgia for their youth. But what nostalgia could the young kid sitting next to them feel. That kid, most importantly if he was a boy, was too young for nostalgia to be entertaining but had certainly already experienced bullying, because everyone who ever lived on planet earth has experienced bullying. He quite likely saw the movie not as a nostalgic reminder of youth but as a youthful learning experience to bear on future problems. He was shown an approved way of dealing with the bully. He had to stand up to the bully but he didn't have to be dumb and get his butt kicked, he could get an equalizer, even as a young kid, and be the hero of the moment.

     "So teach your children well,
    Their father's hell did slowly go by,
    And feed them on your dreams
    The one they picked, the one you'll know by.

    And you, of tender years,
    Can't know the fears that your elders grew by,
    And so please help them with your youth,
    They seek the truth before they can die."

     Yes, teach them well. Teach them the American way.
     Back to Stand by Me.

    The Writer: [voiceover] I was 12 going on 13 the first time I saw a dead human being. It happened in the summer of 1959-a long time ago, but only if you measure in terms of years. I was living in a small town in Oregon called Castle Rock. There were only twelve hundred and eighty-one people. But to me, it was the whole world.

    The problem. There are assholes in the world. The lesson? Be a man, deal with it.

    Ace: You got two choices. You leave quietly, we take the body. Or, you can stay, we beat the shit out of you, we take the body.

    Ace: Okay, Chambers, you little faggot. This is your last chance. What do you say, kid?
    Chris: Why don't you go home and fuck your mother some more?
    [Ace pulls out a knife]
    Ace: You're dead.

    Instantly, the iconic movie sound that says, I mean it, asshole, wanna make my day?"

    click click

    Ace: What are you gonna do? Shoot us all?
    Gordie: No, Ace. Just you.

    The lesson? When you stand by me, bring your piece. I'll have mine. If you stand alone? Better have a piece. If you are crazy? or pissed off? or junked up? or just tired of someone's shit? Be a man, prove you are ready and willing to use your piece. Its a kind of rite-of-passage. I saw it in a great movie.

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