More Thoughts On Reasonable Firearm Control...

by: Les Carprnter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

In the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy in which 20 innocent children lost their live to a sick and mentally unstable individual the subject of gun control has remained center stage.

This is understandable, and as it should be. The pursuit of finding improved methods to better identify unstable individuals and thereby keep firearms out of the hands of such individuals is a worthy pursuit.

As we consider how to deal with increasing societal violence we must find a happy medium that will both improve public safety and preserve our second amendment rights. It can be done, if both sides of the gun control debate will start listening to each other rather talking AT each other.

We have heard from the NRA's Wayne LaPierre, who has offered essentially the same solution as the organization did in 2007. Put armed police guards in every school in America. Not anything most suburban and rural Mom's and Dad's will be comfortable with.

 Senator Dianne Feinstein will be introducing a bill  in 2013 to strengthen gun control legislation. It is by no means perfect, and it leaves questions unanswered, yet it is something from which to build a bipartisan consensus. Assuming of course the goal is to effectively reduce the incidents of death by gun violence n America.

Here then is a summary of the bill Senator Feinstein will be introducing to the Senate in 2013. Rational Nation USA, in publishing the Senator's proposal is not making a statement either in support of or against the bill as outlined.

Bans the sale, transfer, importation, or manufacturing of:
  •  120 specifically-named firearms
  •  Certain other semiautomatic rifles, handguns, shotguns that can accept adetachable magazine and have one military characteristic
  •  Semiautomatic rifles and handguns with a fixed magazine that can accept more than 10 rounds
          Strengthens the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban and various state bans by:

  • Moving from a 2-characteristic test to a 1-characteristic test
  •  Eliminating the easy-to-remove bayonet mounts and flash suppressors fromthe characteristics test
  •  Banning firearms with “thumbhole stocks” and “bullet buttons” to addressattempts to “work around” prior bans
Bans large-capacity ammunition feeding devices capable of accepting more than
10 rounds.

Protects legitimate hunters and the rights of existing gun owners by:

  •  Grandfathering weapons legally possessed on the date of enactment
  •  Exempting over 900 specifically-named weapons used for hunting orsporting purposes and
  • Exempting antique, manually-operated, and permanently disabled weapons
Requires that grandfathered weapons be registered under the National Firearms
Act, to include:

  •  Background check of owner and any transferee;
  •  Type and serial number of the firearm;
  •  Positive identification, including photograph and fingerprint;
  • Certification from local law enforcement of identity and thatpossession would not violate State or local law; and
  •  Dedicated funding for ATF to implement registration

Not perfect, most certainly their are legitimate questions to be asked and needed answer to the same. What is important, at least IMNHO, is that we ask the questions and in the spirit of making things better (without violating our 2'nd amendment rights) we find a reasonable solution.

Captain Fogg over at The Swash Zone  says it best. At least IMNHO.
O' course Bill Cody didn't use a Glock, but he could have bought anything from a Gattling gun to one of the newly popular Mauser and Colt and Browning autoloading pistols every bit as deadly and some more than the plastic gun in the picture. Maybe he did, but I doubt it. Guns are much harder to come buy these days. I don't know how to make it harder unless we require licensing.

Shooting exhibitions were the most popular spectator sport before we learned to watch steroidal men beat each other half to death while we get drunk and cheer. I have it on good authority (my own)that the old showman wasn't death's blue eyed boy unless death is a Buffalo.

But all kidding aside, I have no cowboy origins or fantasies and I think the love of the power firearms convey is just plain old "will to power" humanity we inherited from the other apes. I think it's more that weapons have been restricted to the gentry in Europe for so many thousands of years, it seems natural to them as it seemed natural to change that for the colonials who damned well needed them to survive.

Looking at magazines from 50 or 60 or more years ago, gun ads were everywhere with images of boy scouts holding Ithaca 49 saddle guns, red shirted men in canvas canoes shooting ducks with shotguns and deer with rifles.
After bear? You're not going to want a single shot weapon really.

You know, that's still the real world for some people. In Australia crocodile hunters use spears and ropes. In Louisiana, Swamp Men use repeating rifles or pistols and they have a much higher life expectancy. I have a feeling outdoorsmen all over this huge and empty country fear legitimately that their lives are going to be controlled by people who have no clue and no care for them or their "obsolete" lives.

I hope that's not true, but in a country where boys don't grow up reading Stuart Edward White and Baden Powell and Hemingway and Faulkner and think Central Park is 'nature:' where people's first and only exposure to firearms is in lurid TV coverage of murders, I think it may become so -- with one size fits all laws and stereotypes about people of the "gun culture."

There's a difference between being part of a culture obsessed with anger and acting it out, where people love military looking vehicles and half believe in apocalypse movies with zombies in the streets and who build underground bunkers with booby traps -- a difference between Rambo and Daniel Boone and if I can use that prejudiced term "gun Culture" I think there are several.

And how often have we heard that we need gun control without any clue as to what that might constitute, about what has been done and what effects have been had? What gun owner, what sportsmen or women can fail to ponder what might be suggested next when nearly all the rhetoric not only paints them with the same bloody brush and the same, sometimes outrageously prejudicial and always wrong language? Sniper rifles, automatic weapons, cop killer bullets and of course everything from a slingshot ball up is "high velocity"

Sorry, I agree that the NRA is fond of playing word games and fallacies and fear mongering, but perhaps this is one of those times when we're nearly as bad and by looking at only one aspect of why people buy and use guns we're engineering the conclusion.

I'd like to know why there was a big surge of buying in 2011 and why it came from Democrats and women, while Republican males ownership has remained more steady in the last decade?

But I feel intimidated and drowned out by people who keep illustrating Nietzsche's observation that every word is a prejudice and don't know a Glock from a Glockenspiel.

Hardly anyone who spent his best years paddling remote lakes and rivers and spending weeks in the woods or ordinary afternoons hiking his own land likes to be described as an anachronism or a drug store cowboy because he liked having a rifle with him when a long, long way from anyone else and the same thing goes for Country Club sportsmen and professional target shooters or hunters or Biathlon contestants and if that kind of life dies, replaced by a Western clone of iron fisted Singapore in all its suffocating safety, something American will die and I want no part of that future.

No, I'm not against gun legislation because it's gun legislation or because I'm from the NRA and I think that's true of a great many people. I resent the constant equation. I just don't want more faith put in any more fake bans and trigger locks and waiting periods and arguments about "saturday night specials" and automatic weapons that aren't and all that stuff that did nothing whatsoever but provide false security.

I just don't have faith in the naive proposals, the lack of concrete plans based on concrete data and I'm against the state of mind that assumes everything is getting worse and worse and life is more dangerous than ever - where not only is one in a million too much but the price of civilization is life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

I've yet to hear anyone ask why Americans' private dreams seem to be military and apocalyptic and we see it in their Hummers and AK's and their shootouts. Buffalo Bill made a living with guns and guns were everywhere, but I've not heard of school shootings by him or Annie Oakley or anyone else back over a hundred years ago.

I wanna know what's changed, why everyone is afraid and I don't want to ban first and ask questions later pardner.

Certainly there are reasonable solutions that will address the concerns we all have over firearm safety and keeping firearms, to the greatest extent possible, out of the hands of the mentally unstable and criminals. Most Americans value the right to "keep and bear arms." At the same time it is admittedly hard to understand why any law abiding citizen needs an arsenal of semi automatic assault weapons with extended magazines for either 1) home protection or 2) hunting.

Via: Memeorandum


  1. I usually agree with you. This time, I don't. It seems that the 40,000+ gun control laws already existing in this country should be enough. The boys rifle was already illegal there anyway!

  2. Wow... Something reasonable from Captain Fogg...

  3. until we stop distorting what the 2nd amendment says, there will be no solution.

    1. Anon,

      For the sake of rational discussion, could you elaborate on your personal take as to what The 2nd Amendment does and does not say? I would be most curious to hear your thoughts, here.

  4. My personal take is not at issue, neither is yours.
    The intent of Madison is. Reading Madison it is clear his intent was to keep strong State militias against federal tyranny over the States. Those who would serve in the militias were given the right to keep and bare arms. There was no standing army for the new US. Washington's revolutionary army was disbanded and State militias had the responsibility to defend the new country.
    "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."
    Madison defines the use of the right to bare arms, even before he states the right. It is clear reading the Federalists papers, the notes on the debate at the time, and other documents, that militia was the concern. The amendment went through several rewritings before the final words were approved for the Bill of Rights.
    Documents are clear. There was great debate on whether or not "personal" right was the aim of the amendment. That "personal" right lost out in favor of creating a strong militia.

    "On May 8, 1792, Congress passed "[a]n act more effectually to provide for the National Defence, by establishing an Uniform Militia throughout the United States" requiring:

    Each and every free able-bodied white male citizen of the respective States, resident therein, who is or shall be of age of eighteen years, and under the age of forty-five years (except as is herein after excepted) shall severally and respectively be enrolled in the militia...[and] every citizen so enrolled and notified, shall, within six months thereafter, provide himself with a good musket or firelock, a sufficient bayonet and belt, two spare flints, and a knapsack, a pouch with a box therein to contain not less than twenty-four cartridges, suited to the bore of his musket or firelock, each cartridge to contain a proper quantity of powder and ball: or with a good rifle, knapsack, shot-pouch and powder-horn, twenty balls suited to the bore of his rifle, and a quarter of a pound of powder; and shall appear, so armed, accoutred and provided, when called out to exercise, or into service, except, that when called out on company days to exercise only, he may appear without a knapsack.[97]

    "Each and every" meant forced conscription, to build a defense of the new country. That lost out when the new country created standing armies. Thus the 2nd amendment became moot and unnecessary. As stated above the Congress defined who had to serve and what they had to bring with them.
    If we had no standing armies I suppose you could grant a right to bare arms according to the above law passed by Congress in 1792.But the above law is only applicable, if the State militia system exists, which it has not for over 200 years since the US created its own standing armies.

  5. We can't even check the gun ownership of people on the terror watch list. It's ridiculous. We need new sensible regulations, systems, and restrictions.


  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. @ Anon

    I would think that the 1792 law that you quote offers it's own refutation of your argument against an 'individual' right to bear arms. If, as it says "...every citizen so enrolled and notified, shall, within six months thereafter, provide himself with a good musket or firelock," we must conclude that both the right and the means to do so are both available, and recognized by Congress as existing.

    I'll go back and reread the debates regarding the 2nd Amendment but I don't recall anyone at the time suggesting anything remotely approaching disarming the populace. Rather the reverse, as the states felt that their citizens were the first and best line of defense against the encroachment of Federal power.

  8. Every citizen meeting this criteria:
    "Each and every free able-bodied white male citizen of the respective States, resident therein, who is or shall be of age of eighteen years, and under the age of forty-five years"

    "On May 8, 1792, Congress passed "[a]n act more effectually to provide for the National Defense, by establishing an Uniform Militia throughout the United States" requiring"
    The Congress was defining and setting up a Uniform militia throughout the US. State militias, not a federal force. They (1792 Congress) read the 2nd amendment as meaning a militia, and defining what a militia member was.

    "I don't recall anyone at the time suggesting anything remotely approaching disarming the populace"
    I have no clue where you think I said, or thought Americans should be disarmed, I did not, nor would the founders. I'm not talking about what you, or I believe. I'm talking about the understanding of the 2nd amendment by those who wrote it, and made law based on it.

    The 2nd amendment guaranteed that the federal government could not ban State militia members from owing arms. There was no debate in the 1792 Congress, that the 2nd amendment meant militias. They were securing rights for militia members and the militia. They were not talking about, if the government would ban weapons from the public, they thought the government might ban weapons from a State force, whose job it was to protect its people from the government, or foreign invaders. States wanted autonomy and were afraid (without directly stating in the new Constitution) that weapons and the right to defend itself would be taken away by the federal government, and they were right. State militias were disbanded in favor of a federal force.

  9. If I misread your meaning I apologize, but it seemed to me that your point was that the 2nd Amendment 'only' references militias and says nothing pertaining to an individual right to 'keep and bear arms'. If such is your meaning I have to disagree.

  10. Saw this over at Moonbattery and wanted to drop it in your lap for your perusal. Enjoy!

    Petition to keep President Obama safe from guns via "Gun-Free Zone" implementation

    Also, remember that it is totally acceptable and expected that we would have armed guards protecting our money in banks. So does this mean our money is more important than our children?

  11. Les,

    I forgot to mention that I gave you some publicity over at Perigon Media.

    And I meant it.

    1. Thank you so much for the mention. Truly appreciated.

  12. I'm not philosophically opposed to gun control. But wouldn't it be nice if we approached this at least somewhat empirically and not emotionally? University of Maryland economist, John Lott, looked at gun bans all over the world and he couldn't find a single example of the murder rate going down in the aftermath of them (it either stayed the same or went up). And in D.C., when the gun ban was lifted there, that's when murders went down. This is a hell of a lot trickier issue than the Bidens and Feinsteins of the world are making it out to be.

  13. .

    Oh pshaw. You want simple solutions, try this.

    As the Constitution was ratified in September 1789, then the Second Amendment allows the people to keep and bear arms that existed at that time (black powder, muzzle loading, single shot). Everything else is subject to police gun control.

    People thus can buy and own every conceivable form of modern day fire-arm, magazine, and ammunition on the market - as long as all said items are kept secured within/under active police control locations. Individuals can have access to their weapons as long as they are supervised by the police.

    Now that is a simple solution that meets all situations.

    Ema Nymton

    1. Brilliant Ema. I imagine you foresee a policemen assigned to every hunter during hunting season as well?

      Typical knee jerk off the wall reaction. Proving yet again the difficulty The nation faces in the search for sensible solutions.

      Perhaps Wayne LaPierre and you Ema should be locked in a room to hash out something that actually makes sense. With the two of you at polar opposites who knows.

      During the interim the reasonable players will probably come up with something that is viable.

    2. .

      "... assigned to every hunter during hunting season as well?"

      Not as long as the individual is using black powder, single shot muzzle loader.

      Good enough for Davy Crockett why ain't it good enough for you? Do you hate Merika so much?

      Ema Nymton

    3. Ema, I take no pleasure in stating the following; You are a Looney, which of course makes you every bit as much a part of the problem as your alter ego Wayne LaPierre.

      If I may, look into Mayor Bloomberg's take on the issue and his reasonable and ultimately rational suggestions.

    4. Again, Ema, I ask you to look at the facts. 45-46 states now have right to carry permits and in the aftermath of that the murder rate has actually gone down.......And do you know why the terrorists switched from machine guns (their previous mode of terror) to suicide bombers in Israel? It's because Israel has a right to carry law and little old ladies were pulling guns out of their underwear and killing the terrorists before they could get off too many shots.

  14. Anonymous and Ema have missed the train. The Supreme Court has ruled twice that the 2nd Amendment applies to individuals: Heller 2008, McDonald 2012.

    This makes sense, since the foundation of our constitution is Lockean natural rights. The constitution does not confer rights; rather, it charges a federal government with protecting our preexisting rights, and prohibits it from violating them.

    All of us, by virtue of being a human being, have unalienable rights to life, liberty and property. It is a logical corollary that we may not be prohibited the means to defend these rights.

    Don't like it, lefties? Amend the constitution.

    1. Well stated Silver. Quite true and rational.

      Judging by the comments from the darkest corners of the left it is unlikely reason and common sense will prevail as the general order anytime soon.

    2. Did I forget to mention the same applies to the darkest corners of the right as well.? Ted Nugent comes to mind immediately.

    3. I'll go by what the 1792 Congress (first interpretation of the 2nd amendment by our legislators) by Madison (the person who wrote the amendment) and 200 years of Supreme Court Decisions says about the amendment.
      True, the Supreme Court made the "individual" argument/decision, but that was 200 years after we had lived with the militia interpretation. Don't forget the 1792 Act was made with the approval of the still living founders including Madison. Again, then there was no individual/militia debate. The only debate back then was who and what constituted a militia. The decisions you cite about the individual argument both came in the last 5 years. I'll stick with those who and approved the amendment, then debated and made law by the amendment. No surprise a culture 200 years removed from the signing of the Constitution would come to a different interpretation. The evidence, and interpretation of the amendment is clear by the original author and subsequent legilative bodies. Who are we to deny what the said and did?

    4. "This makes sense, since the foundation of our constitution is Lockean natural rights. The constitution does not confer rights; rather, it charges a federal government with protecting our preexisting rights, and prohibits it from violating them."

      Boom. (No pun intended.) And there it is.

    5. Well, now let us pause a moment if we may.

      Since liberals believe the constitution is a "living document" and subject to the changes only time can bring is it not natural and proper then interpretations such as recent Supreme court decisions are valid?

      Or, is it only so when it fits the narrative? The question is posed to both the liberals and the strict constructionists.

  15. No, no, no...even if we all went back to muskets an/or flintlocks, the lefties would still seek a way to make them illegal.

    This is a never-ending circular argument that only builds in impetus with each gun-related death. The bottom line is that the left will not be happy until they have stripped commoners (peasants) of their firearms, leaving only government officials/policemen with the privilege of owning firearms.

    The Second Amendment was ratified to make sure tyrants never again enslaved us as free men and women of these United States. Each time I see the government vilify our Second Amendment, it only causes me to believe they are threatened by an armed populace. As it has been said, 'guilty dog barks first'. What does the government really fear? Exactly.

    So come, then. Seek to amend the Constitution, removing the Second Amendment due to its offensiveness and threatening truth. See how far you can get. Come on.

  16. It's valid, it's law.
    I disagree and have more evidence to show, than the new (5 years) changed interpretations have. I also believe the original interpretation should prevail, especially since the argument is all about what the amendment means and the intent of the amendment by the men who wrote the Constitution. Or, is that not the discussion?

    1. The discussion is as you say. However, it can be free flowing as long as it is relevant to the discussion.

  17. I don't think the 2nd amendment should be revoked. It's simply moot for the reason it was written. It's ridiculous to think we could take all the guns away now, nor should we. I believe the founders expected and wanted private citizens to have guns in their home; but that's not what they were addressing in the 2nd amendment. In fact an attempt to amend it would open the doors for gun bans - I doubt you could ever get that passed by 2/3rds of the States.

    1. Your points are most cogent, they carry great rational though.

      I hope as well there is no attempt to amend the 2'nd amendment. Pandora's box need not be opened. However, given some of the knee jerk reactions from some on the left I'm not so sure but what it may someday itay come to pass.

  18. I'd be interested in having you cite the evidence showing where the rest of us can access it, as the only discussion I've found so far concerning The 2nd Amendment and personal rights in the Annals of the Convention pertained mainly to whether or not one could or should be exempted from militia service on the grounds of religions scruples.

    I would imagine that if there was an extant record of such a discussion as you mention; "...There was great debate on whether or not "personal" right was the aim of the amendment....", that pertained to keeping and bearing arms the anti gun forces would have been shouting it from the rooftops for decades.

  19. Anon has has a distorted view of things, but it is refreshing to see a liberal stand upon something a founding father said back in 1792.

    Now, excuse my extreme pleasure at employing a common lefty tactic: So, Anon, That means you supported their views on slavery as well, doesn't it?

    But in seriousness, guns have never been banned in this country, so the nation has never interpreted the 2nd Amendment to mean gun ownership is restricted to militias. It is ridiculous to state otherwise.

    The two latest Supreme Court rulings merely reinforced over 200 years of American jurisprudence.

  20. I've oft wondered why the US Constitution gives us the right to own firearms, but yet individual States demand payment to own them, ala safety courses and fees to get a permit.

    I have a verifiable DD214, detailing my ability to properly handle firearms, and still I am expected to meet the same requirements a civilian has to meet to possess an item the Constitution guarantees my right to do. Interesting.

    The ant-gunners use driving a car as their reply, saying we have to go through a driver's safety course to get a license to drive, so why not the same ting for a gun. Well, the Constitution never says we have the right to a car, that's why.

    Like I said, I have a verifiable DD214, showing, in black and white, my level of expertise with myriad weapons. Yet I still have to jump through hoop after hoop to own and possess and carry a sidearm in CT? Yikes. It

  21. 13 years later and still no reasonable, manageable, and truly effective method to curtail and dramatically reduce our country's insatiable desire to possess weapons that have no other purpose other than maximum kill.

    Ban weapons of war for use by civilians. Period. And forever.


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