Shifting Second Amendment views

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Martin Blank
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Shifting Second Amendment views

Post by Martin Blank » Tue May 31, 2022 7:26 am

Those of you who have been here for a very long time (nearly 20 years now) will know that I have been a staunch proponent of the Second Amendment, with the caveat of a few practical items. I celebrated both the Heller and McDonald decisions. At this time, we are awaiting a Supreme Court decision on New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, which could force "constitutional carry" on all states. For those not aware, "constitutional carry" would allow anyone legally allowed to possess a weapon to carry such weapon, whether open or concealed, in most locations.

We are now only a week from the Uvalde school massacre, where 19 children and two adults died in a horrific shooting. It is only the latest example belying the NRA "good guy with a gun" theory. In 2018, a gunman killed 17 and injured 17 others as a "good guy with a gun"--the school's resource officer, a full-fledged police officer armed with a gun--cowered in fear. Less than two weeks ago, a "good guy with a gun" countered a gunman in a store shooting at blacks, only the gunman wore body armor and the "good guy with a gun" was himself gunned down without stopping the shooter. Last week, AN ENTIRE GODDAMNED SWAT TEAM cowered in fear as children from their community lost 19 children and two adults. Not only did they refuse to intervene, but they prevented other parents AND A HEAVILY ARMED AND ARMORED BORDER PATROL ASSAULT TEAM from intervening.

And then there are those cases where police have shot and sometimes killed the "good guy with a gun" who took down the actual assailant. I cannot help but be reminded of the Dallas shooting where blacks with rifles exercising their "constitutional carry" rights turned over their rifles to Dallas PD so they didn't get shot.

I still support the Second Amendment and Heller and McDonald. But I have to ask myself more and more often how much of this is logical and how much is emotional attachment to an ideal. I saw a headline that said something like "Active shooter in Texas elementary school." My oldest--like those at Robb Elementary School--was on his second-to-last day of school. My heart leapt into my throat. I'm close enough to his school to hear gunshots outside the school, but inside? I don't know. I've been hit with an online ad for a bulletproof backpack.

At this point, I want to see:
  • Minimum gun purchase and ownership age of 21 (with grandfathering of existing ownership), and that includes members of the military (they don't allow them to carry outside of combat areas anyway)
  • Mandatory background checks on all transfers, including within families, where transfers include those cases where one person purchases a weapon and it is stored a significant time with another person
  • State-level licensing for purchase of firearms
  • Mandatory training and regular range qualification for anyone who intends to carry a firearm in public whether concealed or open
  • Mandatory 10-day waiting period
These would have addressed a number of shootings in the last several years and also correlate with scientific studies that human brains don't reach maturity until the early 20s.

To be honest, though, I'm seriously questioning my adherence to the old philosophy, due to a combination of the school shootings, the militias, and the events of Jan 6. I am still a gun owner, but how long that extends is a serious question in my mind right now.
Last edited by Martin Blank on Fri Jun 03, 2022 5:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Forgot the waiting period when I posted this.
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Re: Shifting Second Amendment views

Post by Seir » Tue May 31, 2022 4:33 pm

The good thing about life is that many issues and facets of it do not, and should not, adhere to an all or nothing philosophy. The NRA and far too many firearms owners/collectors will have you believe that giving any measure of control to local, state, and federal governments when it comes to firearms will mean giving up all rights and access.

In of my readings I discovered that one reasons Prohibition happened is that the alcohol beverage industry fought tooth and nail against any sort of regulation. That only served to increase the general public's resentment of alcoholic consumption. I'm starting to believe that one day that the general public will become fed up with seeing mass shootings take place on a weekly basis and be ready to adopt Canadian or European level restrictions, unless the NRA and the Republican party realize that they need to stop ignoring the role access to firearms play in mass shootings (ie. "It's mental health! Oh no, he was bullied.")
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Re: Shifting Second Amendment views

Post by Doc Giggles » Wed Jun 01, 2022 10:52 am

Martin Blank wrote: Tue May 31, 2022 7:26 am At this point, I want to see:
  • Minimum gun purchase and ownership age of 21 (with grandfathering of existing ownership), and that includes members of the military (they don't allow them to carry outside of combat areas anyway)
  • Mandatory background checks on all transfers, including within families, where transfers include those cases where one person purchases a weapon and it is stored a significant time with another person
  • State-level licensing for purchase of firearms
  • Mandatory training and regular range qualification for anyone who intends to carry a firearm in public whether concealed or open
These would have addressed a number of shootings in the last several years and also correlate with scientific studies that human brains don't reach maturity until the early 20s.
I agree with all these points and would add one of my own.

-Police are given the ability to Temporarily confiscate firearms of people they have reason to believe are mentally unable to handle a firearm safely at that time. Included in this would be what a person would need to do to get their firearms back as well as penalties to any police that abuse this rule.
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Re: Shifting Second Amendment views

Post by Seir » Wed Jun 01, 2022 3:19 pm

In other words, Red Flag Laws?
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Re: Shifting Second Amendment views

Post by NorthernComfort » Wed Jun 01, 2022 4:53 pm

It's ridiculous that we excuse the buffoonery of college students and young adults, but at the same time cling to the idea that age 18 is a magic number for maturity. The prefrontal cortex continues developing until around age 25. Under the ACA, young adults can stay on their parent's healthcare plan until age 26. How about 26 for purchasing any sort of semi-automatic firearm?
But I have to ask myself more and more often how much of this is logical and how much is emotional attachment to an ideal.
This is why I'm not optimistic about any significant change in national policy. Gun ownership is such an integral part of many people's identity, and opposing any and all forms of gun control is a catechism to their faith.
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Re: Shifting Second Amendment views

Post by Doc Giggles » Wed Jun 01, 2022 9:39 pm

Seir wrote: Wed Jun 01, 2022 3:19 pm In other words, Red Flag Laws?
Basically, but most Red lag laws don't include ways for people to get their guns back or penalties for police that abuse it. This kind of law needs to have protections built in to protect the owner of the firearm, both when they are having a break and for when they have recovered
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Re: Shifting Second Amendment views

Post by Deacon » Thu Jun 02, 2022 3:34 pm

Martin Blank wrote: Tue May 31, 2022 7:26 amI have to ask myself more and more often how much of this is logical and how much is emotional attachment to an ideal.
That’s a critical point well made. I own a few firearms that would certainly be the target of any type of ban legislation, and I enjoy their use for target practice and hunting (yes, they’re useful—even ideal—for hunting in some scenarios), with the vague notion of maybe one day possibly being used defense of my home and family sprinkled in there as well. But I have to wonder at what point the resolve of those like us to retain our toys at all costs will actually hold out. What cost is too high?

I know many people who believe current laws are egregiously restrictive as they are, many who support the idea that if you can afford it you should be allowed to amass your own armada of tanks, fighter jets, and warships, complete with fully functional weaponry as originally fitted. And the notion persists that relatively widespread small arms ownership is the only thing preventing America from descending into tyrannical authoritarian dystopia at the hands of “the libs” (despite the fact that American flirting with authoritarianism and trampling of the constitution has been driven almost exclusively by Republicans).

I have a dim view of most of humanity, and I doubt strongly that even if the 2A were repealed entirely we’d actually have a true civil war on our hands, despite assurances of that outcome by chest-pounding internet gun bros. But it does seem like the 2A would have to be repealed to enact any of the gun control measures proposed these days, especially with the makeup of the current SCOTUS that the Republicans so expertly rigged.

Even if that hadn’t happened, it seems likely that any new measures still wouldn’t have been likely to stand, and they all would grandfather in something like 20 million AR’s alone, much less the totality of privately owned firearms in general, pushing 400 million. In other words, even if all new gun sales were banned altogether, there’s a massive supply already in private hands. That bell has been well and truly rung. To un-ring it would require going door to door, a grim proposition guaranteed to result in numerous spectacular shootouts with government agents. That would only harden the resolve of the more sincere True Believers, could sway public opinion toward sympathy for those framing it as tyrannical encroachment on long-held rights to defend their families and exactly what the 2A was designed to prevent (even if it’s not really), and law enforcement agencies could find themselves with unwilling employees.

As a reminder, America has a deeply entrenched problem of weirdly dissonant hero worship. Those who sign up to join the military or take on the authority of the badge are inherently better than the rest of us and should not be questioned. Yet it’s those same military members that hardcore 2A proponents claim to fear, and those same badges they say they’ll aim at as the foundation of tyranny. As long as they’re primarily going after Those People instead of Our People they’re placed on a pedestal. That can change real quick.

And it seems likely that will all remain hypothetical, as I don’t see a repeal of the 2A getting sufficient support any time soon, or even the radical shakeup of the Supreme Court that would be required to uphold anything even half-way effective (note the so-called Assault Weapons Ban of the ‘90s was mistakenly based on cosmetic features and only stoked demand for more). Making violence more difficult by restricting the tools to less effective options makes sense to some, but there are so many who are more than willing to deflect with vague notions that it’s only Those People who make gun violence a problem, and that no amount of innocent blood spilled is too high a price to pay for the collection of toys in their safe.

EDIT: As an addendum, to help illustrate how little grip many hold on reality, a vague talking point persists among those on the far right, that mass shootings are all a hoax, or if not then it’s some sort of shadowy coordinated plan by libtards. That’s such a stupid and nonsensical suggestion that it beggars belief. And yet there are quite a few out there pushing that narrative and sincerely believe it. It’s wild.

PS For those who don’t believe me that wild, unfocused, outlandish conspiracy thinking has a grip on the right, check out the comments in a single thread in a Facebook group for the Texas hill country where the Tulsa PD posting about the shooting was shared.

https://www.facebook.com/59469678057391 ... 31qE9KaoJl

Here's a selection of comments:

This is obviously strategy and manipulation, as everything else has been the past few years.

This is a planned attack on the United States wake up

What’s the deal with all of the shootings all of a sudden? Who or what is causing this? I find it hard to believe that a bunch of nut cases decide to do something crazy all within a few weeks. Something is up

Yes they sure are. Everything they can do ! This has been in the planning

they have been planing on this for along time the found the weekness we can only wonder what that is they dont care about the people the care has to start from the top we know there is none

All of these mass shootings I are getting really suspicious, as well as the multiple food processing plant disasters ...

definitely agree it’s very suspicious

that was my first thought…

AGREE. All planned disasters.

I smell a rat

a big rat they are making our innocent setting targets

Dems are busy


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Re: Shifting Second Amendment views

Post by Rikku_Chan » Fri Jun 03, 2022 3:36 am

As an active duty servicemember (Yes, still lol) I *understand* that guns are a cool thing to have and associate with. I know TONS of other active and reservists who have collections. However, you won't find a single one who says that assault weapons like the AK or the AR-15 are useful for or even practical for anything other than shooting people at medium to long ranges who are likely wearing body armor or behind light cover. As such, they are explicitly tools of war and any "expert" who claims anything different is serving some kind of agenda. If you want to protect your house, an assault rifle will shred your house and anything living in it, use a shotgun. If you want to hunt game, bolt-action hunting rifles offer superior range and accuracy. If you want to carry for self defense, put a handgun in your purse, it's far more effective at extreme close range like when most assaults happen. And if the Gov'ment rises up, well small arms aren't gunna be very effective against drones.
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Re: Shifting Second Amendment views

Post by Deacon » Fri Jun 03, 2022 4:25 pm

Rikku_Chan wrote: Fri Jun 03, 2022 3:36 amHowever, you won't find a single one who says that assault weapons like the AK or the AR-15 are useful for or even practical for anything other than shooting people at medium to long ranges who are likely wearing body armor or behind light cover.
I guess they haven't had to deal with hunting (or for some simply killing) hogs and such like we have to deal with in south Texas. While not your typical optimized choice for hunting elk in the wild at 300+ yards or whitetail at 100 yards from a blind, they are useful--even ideal--in some situations.

It's definitely true that I would never recommend someone legitimately consider turning to a semi-auto rifle as a means of defense against burglars or home invaders of whatever sort. I do have a 9mm AR pistol that would be the closest to any sort of possible application in that scenario, and even then it's not the right tool for the job. The risk of overpenetration is already extremely real with the 12-gauge Mossberg M590A1 loaded with wad control LEO buckshot in my master bed closet or even just a 9mm handgun. I've had the displeasure of dealing with an accidental (negligent) discharge of a Glock 22 that sent a hollowpoint .40 cal straight through 4 rooms and would've been more except it stopped in an interior door it happened to hit perfectly longwise (the side with the door knob latch). People firing rounds at far, far higher energy levels due to dramatically faster bullets exiting much longer barrels so rarely consider the ramifications of that choice.
And if the Gov'ment rises up, well small arms aren't gunna be very effective against drones.
There's something to be said for the old "rifle behind every blade of grass" adage, but realistically any little band of rebels that might get up the gumption is going to be far more effective fighting a PR battle than legitimately trying to take on the US military, no matter how reluctant that military might be. I can't imagine the kind of wildly dystopian, cataclysmic scenario where a true civil war would or could be legitimately fought today. Hardcore chest-thumping gun bros like to insist otherwise, but realistically at most you're going to see a Ruby Ridge or Cliven Bundy style standoff with absolutely zero chance of thinking your semi-auto rifles are going to outgun the US military.
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Re: Shifting Second Amendment views

Post by Martin Blank » Fri Jun 03, 2022 6:12 pm

Rikku_Chan wrote: Fri Jun 03, 2022 3:36 amIf you want to protect your house, an assault rifle will shred your house and anything living in it, use a shotgun.
Not to mention whomever lives next door. I'd hate to maim or kill an actual intruder, only to find out I also killed someone in the family next door. A long time ago, a police chief said in an interview about guns in the home that there's nothing more terrifying to an intruder than the sound of a shotgun racking in the dark.

I am collecting views from across the spectrum. I'm looking for something to settle my mind. I own two pistols, and have for a long time planned to get a shotgun and an AR. Those plans are now in question, especially the last one.

Also: Holy hell, it's Rikku!
Deacon wrote: Fri Jun 03, 2022 4:25 pmThere's something to be said for the old "rifle behind every blade of grass" adage, but realistically any little band of rebels that might get up the gumption is going to be far more effective fighting a PR battle than legitimately trying to take on the US military, no matter how reluctant that military might be. I can't imagine the kind of wildly dystopian, cataclysmic scenario where a true civil war would or could be legitimately fought today. Hardcore chest-thumping gun bros like to insist otherwise, but realistically at most you're going to see a Ruby Ridge or Cliven Bundy style standoff with absolutely zero chance of thinking your semi-auto rifles are going to outgun the US military.
I've read some posts by people who point to Ukraine as the reason they keep their weapons, pointing at the stories of villagers with hunting rifles taking up arms against the Russians, like it's the villagers holding back the enemy. The reality is far less glorious: many of those who did have been killed before they ever shot anyone. And they're mostly not picking off Russians, but instead slowing them by shooting out truck tires in dangerous areas to force Russians to leave behind vehicles and equipment. Sure, there are some battles, but even against Russian conscripts, untrained home militia stand little chance in an outright firefight.

Every time I see someone talking about how they would stand up and fight, I think of a friend who served most of a decade, medically retiring a sergeant, who served multiple tours in Iraq, and saw more than a few buddies come home broken. He saw more than his share of firefights, and the first time that a bullet whipped by his head and he truly understood that someone was literally shooting at him, he wet his pants and was useless for a few seconds. That happened after years of training and after he'd been in the field for at least a few weeks. He and I have mused over how many "patriots" would actually stay on the field after getting shot at. He's not afraid of the ones who run. He's afraid of the ones who stay. But he also believes that they would be left grossly outnumbered and not fare well at all.
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Re: Shifting Second Amendment views

Post by Deacon » Fri Jun 03, 2022 10:15 pm

Martin Blank wrote: Fri Jun 03, 2022 6:12 pmA long time ago, a police chief said in an interview about guns in the home that there's nothing more terrifying to an intruder than the sound of a shotgun racking in the dark.
Was that from the old show “Chiefs Say the Darndest Things”?
I own two pistols, and have for a long time planned to get a shotgun and an AR. Those plans are now in question, especially the last one.
Why? That’s the hard part about all of this: I have no concerns that my weapons would ever be used for any kind of evil. Neither I nor my wife are going to commit a massacre. And I’m positive I could wreak some legitimate carnage with any of my shotguns, just likely not as high a body count as with my semiautomatic rifles.
untrained home militia stand little chance in an outright firefight.
If that’s true, how do you explain glorious Hollywood fairy tales of a single hero outfighting the British with their blunderbusses and flintlocks? If Mel Gibson can do it, why can’t the proud members of today's Gravy Seals?
Every time I see someone talking about how they would stand up and fight
I’ve heard many of these claims, oozing with toxic masculinity. I’ve seen threats of picking people off from bell towers and home roofs. I’ve seen movie-quote style promises to round up the boys and go to war, imposter with instructions to tell them I’m coming and hell’s coming with me. I’ve never seen even one of them ever once backed up with actual action. The closest I’ve ever seen is the overstimulated underinformed misguided shitshow at the capital on January 6 of last year, and none of the people I’ve ever heard making the threats were actually involved in that clownish disaster, to the best of my knowledge.

Seriously, how many times have you seen some variation on the dumb meme with some internal gun part on a table and the line that ladies if your boyfriend doesn’t know what that is you’ve got a girlfriend, or Bushmaster’s infamous “man card restored” ad campaign and so on. The gun culture in this country has gunmetal wrapped so tightly around their testes, so inseparable from a warped view of obnoxious internet tough guy alpha male bro masculinity with their tattoos and cigars, that about the only thing as poisonous is the hyper-partisan nationalism, so often with strong white supremacist undertones, masquerading as patriotism.

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He's not afraid of the ones who run. He's afraid of the ones who stay. But he also believes that they would be left grossly outnumbered and not fare well at all.
He really shouldn’t be afraid of either, except to the extent even a blind squirrel can find an acorn, and as such a lucky shot is always a threat when jacketed lead hisses down range. They would not fare well at all. I’d be concerned that, worst case scenario, there’d be a short groundswell of sympathy and a rallying to the cause, but even those whose face is so red it matches their hat don’t really have their heart in it to such an extent that they’re actually willing to leave their air conditioned couch long enough to actually risk death and dismemberment over some nebulous, rose-colored, Norman Rockwell style ideal of an all-white United Stares of Christian America.
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Re: Shifting Second Amendment views

Post by Seir » Mon Jun 06, 2022 2:19 pm

The only time I see homeowner possession of firearms being involved in a large scale would be if some old-fashioned workers vs strike-breakers somehow happening again in this country. And if the police get involved, I see the morale advantage being on the side of the strikers. Uvalde has shown that police become a lot less willing to shoot someone if they can actually get shot back.
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Re: Shifting Second Amendment views

Post by Martin Blank » Tue Jun 07, 2022 4:35 pm

"The only thing that can stop a good guy with a gun is a bad guy with a gun."

Parkland's resource officer, Uvalde's police, and Buffalo's retired police officer who put multiple rounds into the vest of the shooter before the shooter killed him undermine that statement as the absolute so many people take it to be. I'm sure there are dozens of cases where someone shot a bunch of people and then took their own lives, sometimes before sirens were audible.

Texas Gov. Abbott moaned after Uvalde about the lack of mental health resources available, but he's pulled $200 million in state mental health funding to support his meaningless National Guard deployment on the US-Mexico border. (And it is meaningless--they have no arrest powers, cannot assist the Border Patrol in many of their duties, and are mostly there for gubernatorial grandstanding. Meanwhile, there have been at least four suicides of those ordered to duty and dozens of families who have had their incomes wiped out because state National Guard duty pays much lower wages than even federal NG duty and the state is allowing almost no exemptions.) The only reason I'm glad Abbott won the primary is that his Republican opponents were so very much worse.
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Re: Shifting Second Amendment views

Post by Deacon » Wed Jun 08, 2022 4:02 pm

Martin Blank wrote: Tue Jun 07, 2022 4:35 pmThe only reason I'm glad Abbott won the primary is that his Republican opponents were so very much worse.
It just goes to show what a sad state of affairs we’re in here.
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