Sunday, August 12, 2012

Reply to AN Anti-Gun Gun Owner

An editorial appeared in the Willits News calling for the renewal of the Federal AWB.  The author attempted to burnish her 2nd Amendment street cred by appearing in photograph with the shotgun. You can read the editorial and see the author here.

I posted the following in reply:

Ms. Futcher,

You write,

I despise that damn shotgun, but I'm glad I have it.”

I'm glad you have it too, and despite your distaste for the shotgun, your statement seems to indicate that you acknowledge that firearms have social utility. Many of our fellow citizens would agree, including the 8 million people who are licensed to carry concealed weapons in the U.S. In fact, many people use guns for self defense every year. Here are 43 examples of citizens who successfully defended themselves outside their homes with legally carried handguns:

And lest you think these are rare events, this survey reports that defensive gun use is more common that reported in the news:

While you decry the availability of so-called “assault weapons”, and want to jump on the bandwagon to renew the Federal Assault Weapon ban, these rifles are also excellent self defense weapons, as this man found out recently:

Lastly, before going too far down the road of banning a class of firearms, we should perhaps take stock on the effectiveness of the previous AWB. This report

written for the National Criminal Justice Service draws the following conclusion about reinstating the AWB:

Should it be renewed, the ban might reduce gunshot victimizations. This effect is likely to be small at best and possibly too small for reliable measurement. A 5% reduction in gunshot victimizations is perhaps a reasonable upper bound estimate of the ban’s potential impact (based on the only available estimate of gunshot victimizations resulting from attacks in which more than 10 shots were fired), but the actual impact is likely to be smaller and may not be fully realized for many years into the future, particularly if pre-ban LCMs continue to be imported into the U.S. from abroad. Just as the restrictions imposed by the ban are modest – they are essentially limits on weapon accessories like LCMs, flash hiders, threaded barrels, and the like – so too are the potential benefits.118 In time, the ban may be seen as an effective prevention measure that stopped further spread of weaponry considered to be particularly dangerous (in a manner similar to federal restrictions on fully automatic weapons). But that conclusion will be contingent on further research validating the dangers of AWs and LCMs.

Hardly a ringing endorsement.

California already has an assault weapon ban, but that did not prevent Lovelle Mixon, a convicted criminal who should not have had any access to firearms, from getting a rifle and a pistol with which he killed four Oakland PD officers. Many mass shootings do not involve so-called “assault weapons” at all, but are perpetrated with handguns, as the Sikh Temple shooter, Virginia Tech shooter, and the Tuscon AZ shooter all demonstrated. Where are the calls to ban handguns? Oh, that's right, these guns are now constitutionally protected as a result of the 2008 Heller decision from the Supreme Court of The United States, so handgun bans are off the table. I suggest to you Ms Futcher that your so-called “assault weapons” are equally protected arms, and that the Supreme Court will rule that to be so within the next few years. The push to renew the Federal AWB are no more than a PR stunt, an attempt by certain politicians to be seen to be “doing something” about “gun crime” instead of a serious attempt to reduce the level of violence in society. You're misguided if you think the AWB effort is anything more than political Kabuki Theater.

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