|This is Czar’s idea of making peace. Dead
men don’t cause trouble.
“Hear this, you foolish and senseless people, who have eyes but do not see, who have ears but do not hear.” Jeremiah 5:21.
‘Puter’s been on a bit of a tear of late. He’s spent a substantial amount of time excoriating the more totalitarian among us who think they know better than we do how to run our lives, particularly on the issue of firearm ownership. After giving it some thought, ‘Puter’s decided to attempt to be constructive.**
Right after he takes a shot at Nicholas D. Kristof, who writes in today’s New York Times what may be possibly the most reality-denying opinion column to date on the subject of gun control. Mr. Kristof thinks he’s identified the cause of gun violence. There aren’t enough regulations on guns. Seriously. Get a load of this concluding paragraph:
The bottom line is that to promote public health and safety, we regulate everything from theater fire exits to toy guns (that’s why they have orange tips). And if we impose rules on toy guns to make them safer, shouldn’t we do the same with real ones?
To be fair to Mr. Kristof, ‘Puter’s being purposely obtuse. Mr. Kristof’s larger argument is that rather than banning guns outright, Congress should legislate new and improved safety regulations. While ‘Puter fundamentally disagrees with increasing regulations on guns (particularly imposing safety requirements on a produce that when used properly results in great bodily harm up to and including death) at least Mr. Kristof makes specific proposals in his column.
Joining the ever-ready to trample on some else’s Constitutional rights E.J. Dionne, President Obama announced last night that he, too, is in favor of exciting new gun regulations. Apparently, the President erroneously believes there is a problem with too many AK-47s on America’s streets. ‘Puter’s going to assume that the President meant any of the myriad semi-automatic only AK-47 knockoff, because ‘Puter’s certain the President understands that fully automatic weapons have been de facto banned by taxes and regulations since the National Firearms Act was enacted in 1934.
So where was ‘Puter? That’s right. ‘Puter’s being constructive.
Too often ‘Puter hears gun control advocates charge him thus: “Why aren’t you in favor of reasonable regulations on guns?!?” To which ‘Puter calmly replies, “Well, what specific regulations are you proposing? You tell me what specifically you would legislate, and I’ll tell you whether I agree or not, and why.” Usually, ‘Puter receives one of two responses.
First, ‘Puter’s opposite will stare at him, slack jawed, then suck in breath and reply, “DIDUNTYOUHEERME?!?! ISAID”REEZUNUHBULL REESTRIKSHUNZ”!!!!11!ONE!!1!!eleventy!! Second, ‘Puter’s opposite will rattle off a list of tried and failed regulations (think, Assault Weapon Ban) or proposed regulations that have no chance of ever passing, even in the bluest of states (think, only the police get to have guns).
So here’s your chance to have a serious debate with a serious opponent. Gun haters, what’s your plan that will both unquestionably reduce the likelihood of another mass shooting by a deranged individual and not unduly limit your neighbors’ constitutional right to keep and bear arms? Let’s hear them. And gun lovers, not that we should have to argue against our own position, but are there any restrictions you could live with that you think would both unquestionably reduce the likelihood of another mass shooting by a deranged individual and not unduly limit your neighbors’ constitutional right to keep and bear arms? Let me hear some.
As ‘Puter mentioned earlier, Mr. Kristof actually puts forth some specific proposals in his column today. Here are some of them.
Restrict high capacity magazines.
Limit gun purchases to one a month.
Make serial numbers more difficult to erase.
Require that new handguns imprint a microstamp on each bullet so that it can be traced back to the gun that fired it.
Finance research to design safer firearms.
Require guns to always indicate if a round is in the chamber.
Employ biometrics or a PIN so that a stolen gun would be unusable.
‘Puter thinks all of Mr. Kristof’s proposals are either unconstitutional or unworkable, but ‘Puter admires Mr. Kristof for being specific.
In closing, here’s a freebie for any gun banners that may happen to read this post. If ‘Puter’s hearing you correctly, your real problem with guns (aside from the fact that they are big and scary and mean looking) is that certain combinations of rate of fire and magazine capacity enable the criminal and insane to do massive damage in a short period of time. Rather than advocating an outright ban of all firearms, or banning certain cosmetic characteristics that have absolutely nothing to do with anything, why wouldn’t you simply amend the National Firearms Act to include the concept of “Covered Firearm?” Covered Firearm would be defined as “a firearm with both a rate of fire at or over x rounds per minute and a magazine capacity equal to or greater than x rounds.” Then you can haggle over the difference without debating the red herrings of bayonet lugs, pistol grips, caliber, color, microstamping, etc.
Sure, you’re never going to convince ‘Puter that mandating firearms only hold one round is either constiutional or reasonable, but at least you’ve changed the conversation. And who knows? If you start appearing reasonable, people may actually believe you’re reasonable, despite all evidence to the contrary.
You’ve heard from the gun banners, and you’ve heard ‘Puter give them their best argument for free. Let’s see what you come up with. ‘Puter’s email is in the sidebar. Drop him a line.
**’Puter’s boss once told him the following during a motion term: “You asshat! Quit ranting, be quiet and sit down. Make the same argument you’re making, just in softer tones. Let opposing counsel keep ranting and raving. He’s got the better argument, and what we’re asking for is a stretch. But the judge hates rants. If opposing counsel keeps this up, he’ll snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Remember, it’s more important to appear reasonable than to actually be reasonable. Now, use your indoor voice and smile a lot.” ‘Puter’s company ended up winning the motion. Exceptionally good advice, ‘Puter thinks.