Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Gun Nuts are Wrong. But Not for the Reason You Think

First of all, if I intentionally use an inflammatory term like “gun nut”, you need to understand why. In my mind, there are differences between gun nuts and responsible gun owners.

Responsible gun owners keep their weapons locked up when they are not in use. 

Responsible gun owners practice safety first.

Responsible gun owners own their guns because either they feel they need a gun to defend their homes against intruders, or they are responsible hunters, or they are responsible collectors.

Responsible gun owners don’t normally own automatic weapons. If they are collectors and desire to own these killing machines, they have the firing mechanism welded shut so the weapon can never be used to shoot.

Responsible gun owners don’t purchase “cop-killer” ammunition.

Responsible gun owners register their guns with authorities.

Responsible gun owners understand that background checks are necessary to keep guns away from those who would use them irresponsibly.

So here, I’m not talking about responsible gun owners, but the gun nuts. I’m talking about the gun zealots who are afraid that the government is going to take away their weapons, or that the United Nations is going to somehow usurp the Constitution. I’m talking about the nuts who contend that the murders in Connecticut, Blacksburg, Columbine, and elsewhere are the fault of gays, Jews, blacks, liberals, Mayans, abortion doctors, or gun-control advocates.

It’s difficult to put myself in the mind of these gun nuts, but it seems that their main argument is that they need their killing machines in vast quantity and unparalleled lethality to defend themselves against the government. They seem to contend that someday the black helicopters of the “guv’mint” will descend on their homes to take away their freedoms.

Well, gun nuts, I have news for you. The process of the government usurping our freedoms has started, and your guns are impotent. Your freedoms are already being eroded, and your assault weapons are powerless.

Guns cause harm to physical bodies. But the erosion of our freedoms is not corporal, it’s mostly cyberial. (OK, so cyberial is not a word. But I can invent words, can’t I? It’s an adjective meaning “pertaining to cyberspace.”)

Unless you’re a prisoner in Guantánamo, the government is not going to lock you up for your thoughts. But it is eroding your freedoms with the invasion of your privacy through cyberspace.

With the cooperation of the telecommunications oligarchy, the government has complete records on your phone calls and internet activity. Since the so-called “Patriot Act”, the government has access to your financial data, travel activity, and God knows what else. Much of this without a warrant.  Want to open a bank account? You need to fill out Patriot Act paperwork. If you buy e-books or visit a public library, I would not be surprised if your reading habits are being monitored. What we know is just the tip of the iceberg. It’s what we don’t know about government intrusion that’s worrisome. And your guns are powerless in today’s information-centric world.

So to those who believe that the government is going to take away your guns, chill out.  If you’re a responsible gun owner or just a patriotic American, instead of sending your money to the NRA, send it to the ACLU, where it will do some good.                 

1 comment:

  1. I'm not quite sure what you consider "cop killer" ammunition, but you probably mean "hollow-points", and they are not capable of penetrating body armor (Kevlar, level IIIa - worn by cops). Hollow-point ammunition expands upon impact and transfers the energy across a greater surface area, thus limiting its penetrative capabilities.

    Hollow-point ammunition is great for self/home defense, as the bullet is less likely to travel through your assailant (or a wall if you miss) and minimizes the risk to bystanders, neighbors, family members, etc.

    I fall under the category of "responsible gun owner", as defined by you. However, all of my magazines are loaded with hollow-point ammunition for home defense. When I'm at the range, I use cheaper FMJ ammo. Using terms like "cop-killer ammunition" is either ignorant or purposely meant to be inflammatory because it just doesn't exist.

    All of that having been said, if you're a law-abiding gun owner, there's no reason you can't own whatever ammo you'd like to own.

    My other deviation from your definition of "responsible" is that I disagree that you should register your weapons with the government. There's no need for that. In New Jersey, handguns are registered, but rifles and shotguns are not. No one needs to know what you own in your home. That newspaper in Westchester just published a map pinpointing the location every registered gun owner in the county and included their names and addresses. Tell me now if you trust anyone else with your information.

    Donating to the ACLU is equally as important as preserving gun rights. With gun rights AND civil liberties, we could one day become the free country we have always claimed to be.