Let me be clear here. That smoke and fire belching gray piece of machinery to the left is a gun. To be precise it is a MK45 5 inch 54 Naval Gun as we had on my ship in the navy. At twenty rounds per minute it is a fearsome implement of war that our enemies would do well to stay out from down range of.
That to the right is a firearm. It is man portable not to be confused with the fire breathers that are too heavy to be carried by a single individual in its intact functional condition. To be precise the firearm in the illustration is an M1 Garand rifle that was the state of the art in World War II and our enemies that the time should have had the sense to stay out of the way of the weapon especially in the hands of a pissed off 19 year old Marine.
I’m posting this today because it annoys me to no end to hear especially uneducated reporters refer to “guns.” I know I’m being especially pedantic but I have my reasons.
There’s a symptom here that the use of terminology like this underscores and that is one of ignorance. Now that we no longer have to hunt for our food and can just nip on down to the local grocery store and buy our meat prewrapped and precut in shrink wrap very few in our culture ever come within arm’s length of a firearm.
We now universally have police officers that are a telephone call away and no longer have to defend ourselves from native warriors or marauding bandits thereby lessening the need again for individuals to interact with firearms.
There are still places in the USA where subsistence hunting is still practiced, most notably in areas of Alaska where a failure to bag game during the hunting seasons dooms one to a very bleak winter without a major component of food.
This lack of familiarity becomes the fertile breeding ground for hysteria when someone does something either stupid, criminal, or anti-social with a firearm. There’s a huge temptation to say “we don’t need firearms let’s outlaw them.”
The fact of the matter is criminals will still have firearms. A sociopath sufficiently motivated will still have a firearm. I’m not talking about BB guns here, the most frequently sold on the black market firearms are AK47s and their ilk and handguns.
Not true you say? Let me cite the example of the so-called war on drugs. We’ve been trying to get illegal drugs off the streets for decades… tell me hows that working out?
What annoys me the most is the focus the anti-firearm crowd has is on the inanimate object. Last time I ever checked I’ve never come across a case where a firearm leaped out of its place in storage and shot anyone.
The real issue here is the human using the implement to cause harm.
When is the last time you’ve heard of a case where a drunk driver committing vehicular manslaughter caused a hew and cry in the press to get cars of the street?
Instead they call for tougher laws against drunk drivers. I agree. They call for taking senior drivers from behind the wheel. I conditionally agree but I’ll post another article on that topic another time.
In the case of a drunk driver the focus on the deeds of the individual and I agree with that take. Far too much has been done in the legal system to allow people to escape the consequences of their actions.
Criminals will always find a way to buy and sell whatever they want. Further anecdotal evidence of this would include a case study of what happened when Prohibition took effect. The end result of Prohibition was a stronger organized crime presence in the United States. The very people who lobbied for Prohibition realized their mistake and lobbied for its repeal.
That sort of thing has happened with drugs. Now a much more violent presence in the form of street gangs has become stronger due to the drug traffic. Along with drugs most of these gangs are also running firearms. They feel they need to be armed to enforce their idea of law as well as their territory.
The excuse the “Gun Control” lobby uses for further firearm restrictions is to get “illegal guns off the street.” A patent lie if there ever was one. “I’d better turn my piece in since it is illegal for me to own one” said no criminal ever.
And there you have it.
What would I suggest?
- Mandatory draconian sentencing (10 years to life is a good start) with no chance of parole for having a firearm merely present during the commission of a crime.
- Issuing firearm permits to anyone who can pass a background check. These would have expiration dates and would have to be renewed periodically. These permits would be revoked upon being found guilty of a felony.
- Anyone found in possession of a firearm without a valid firearms permit would be subject to a minimum sentence of five years and would not be eligible to apply for a firearms permit in the future.
The focus here in on the person, not the object. In my estimation that is the tack we should be taking as a nation.