Friday, February 16, 2018

gun control word vomit

I posted this on Facebook this morning, but I wanted to keep these thoughts handy so I can reflect later. And in a few weeks, any hope of finding this post again would be relegated to lots and lots of scrolling, unless I wait 365 days from today and let it show up on TimeHop.

Addressing the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida.

The following is what I call "gun control word vomit", several paragraphs loosely held together with one very tragic common thread.

As a very right wing conservative, I have been trying for two days to understand why asking for universal background checks is a bad idea.

I am all for the 2nd amendment, and even though I personally do not like guns, I support your right to own as many as you want, if obtained and operated legally. I support your right to own as many unnecessarily big guns, bazookas, tanks and the like, as long as you fall under the laws as set for by your state and our federal government.

But I also believe that there needs to be a paper trail for every gun owned in our country. There should be an age minimum for purchasing a gun -- 18, maybe even 21 (though its hard to argue you can die for our country in a firefight overseas at 18 and not be allowed to purchase until 21 here). Is that hard to do? You betcha. But if someone does what happened the other day, I want to know where that gun came from and if it should have been on the streets. And maybe with 300 million firearms in the country, its a task that retroactively isn't even feasible to attempt.

Which brings us to background checks. I'm for them. All of them. Anyone who sells a gun to someone needs to know who they are selling them too. Those convicted of violent crimes should not have the right to possess a weapon. Those charged and/or convicted with stalking, abuse and the like should not, at least temporarily, have the right to possess a weapon. Those who are diagnosed with certain mental illnesses should not be able to own a gun.

Personally, I don't think you can just walk into a gun shop, plunk down $150 and immediately walk out with a firearm. And I'm not sure it's all that easy at a gun show.

I don't think there are mile-wide loopholes at gun shows as portrayed by the anti-gun lobby, but I do think there are enough to be addresses. And I'm willing to adjust my opinion on all of this if someone gives me something that makes me think "Oh yeah, that's why universal background checks are not a great idea..."

My conservative friends will tell me this goes too far. My liberal friends will tell me this doesn't go far enough.

All of that said... none of this would have prevented what happened in Parkland. None of it. Perhaps this kid being unable to legally purchase a gun would have made it harder, but I have no doubt that he would have procured a weapon in another manner... when you are hellbent on the revenge you think you are owed, few things can stop you.

Finally, this falls on one person. That 19 year old punk jackwagon who decided to shoot up a school. This isnt Trump's fault, unless you want to fault him for not doing enough to stem the unmonitored purchase of guns. If so, then you can also blame Obama, George W and Clinton, as all had legislation that addressed gun show loop holes come up in their admin, and all died before a vote -- and at various times, Congress was controlled by both sides of the aisle.

Also, this isn't an NRA problem. Ben Shapiro reported that the NRA donated 200 million to their causes from 1998 to 2017 -- and likely most of that was for Republican causes. Unions donated almost 2 billion in the 2016 election, and nearly all of that was for Democratic causes. None of these shooters were members of the NRA, and the NRA didn't put the guns in their hands.

So here's my position. Stop the yelling at people about how the GOP only cares about babies before they were born, and stop using the Democratic line "There have been 18 school shootings this year alone!". The former is an incredibly stupid position to take, and the latter is an incredibly stupid talking point that has no basis (The Washington Post of all places debunked it, though I gave 15 minutes of research to it and knew half the story before they printed).

But also understand that Dems (at least most of them) aren't seeking to take away the 2nd Amendment, and many of them understand that banning guns is a completely impossible task.

Stop with the "rest of the world doesn't have this problem because they banned guns!" rhetoric. Many other countries also throw gay people off of roofs and throw acid in women's faces for speaking up about being raped, so I think our country of 330 million is doing okay in that manner.

Finally, banning the AR-15 does nothing. Because another gun will take its place. Oh, by the way, I also discovered that AR doesn't stand for Assault Rifle. It stands for ArmaLite, which is a brand name. The AR-15 isn't much different from a standard rifle, even though it looks like a machine gun. Its the (likely illegal) modifications made on such guns that cause the rapid fire, otherwise the shooter would be pulling the trigger on each shot, and would probably wear out from fatigue much faster.

If a GOP or Dem talking point looks funny, or unbelievable, look it up. Read a little and learn, which is the best way to formulate any argument.

This is my gun control word vomit, and will be so until someone gives me facts that make me think otherwise.

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