Michael Battalio

Friday, June 17, 2016

My politics (part 8): guns – part 1

This series deals with some of my stances on political affairs and topics of the day.  I am quite liberal on some issues, but more conservative with others.  I self identify as an independent, but I definitely lean left.  I hesitate to do this, but I need to write a few posts about gun control.  I begin by addressing the argument of someone against banning of semi-automatic weapons.

The US has more guns per capita than any other nation (by far), and at the same time the homicide rate in the US is the highest of western, industrialized nations.  (I recognize that the claim that the US has more mass shootings is not entirely correct.).  Correlation is not causation, but at this point, we have to try some fix, even if we aren’t sure of the causation.  (because, thanks gun lobby, the CDC hasn’t been able to fund research in to guns)

Here’s an article trying to articulate why some people “need” a semi-automatic riffle.  The gist of it is the AR platform is highly customizable and so it is like a toy.  This is a terrible argument.  I get that most people with guns are reasonable, well-adjusted people.  I get that shooting at the gun range more quickly and with a higher caliber is more fun than shooting slowly with a pellet gun in the same way that driving a sports car fast is more fun than driving a minivan slowly.  I get that tinkering is fun.  However, in the same way that we regulate all cars because the people who drive fast also more frequently drive dangerously, then we have to regulate the more “powerful” guns due to few dangerous wielders of any guns.  If your hobby or toy can kill people, the rest of us get a say in how you participate in your hobby.  This is becoming true with drones as well.  Only a few people are perverting the hobby, but because we have to control those deviants for the good of society, everyone must give up a bit of their freedom.   That’s the cost of civilized society.  I do not advocate an outright ban on these more deadly arsenals as I’m a realist and know that will never happen.  However, as the lethality of a weapon increases, the difficulty to legally obtain that weapon should increase in due course.  We can argue about the implementation of that difficulty through waiting periods and background checks or psychological evaluations, but this whole non starter position of “I want the gun; you can’t have it; second amendment.” has crossed into ridiculousness. (not including the successful perversion of the second amendment by the NRA to read that everyone has a right to whatever weapons exist.  It says “well regulated” in the same sentence as “right…to keep and bear arms.”  It also says “militia” with the original idea that states should have militias to protect themselves from the federal government – not individual citizens can form their own arsenals to rival that of a militia.  For more, start with this recent article on the perversion of the second amendment and go down the rabbit hole.)  People kill people, but guns allow people to kill people a lot more efficiently.  That efficiency is what needs to be regulated.

More posts on gun control to (possibly) come.
2003-2016 Michael Battalio (michael[at]battalio.com)