Friday, September 07, 2007

We're Standing On It

But we are still arguing where "there" is.

From our "friends" at, I happened upon this article stating that fighting between the NRA and the Brady Campaign has made settling on a "middle ground" impossible.

My response to her, the writer of the article, is that we are already "on middle ground." What is constantly being debated is what constitues the middle ground. This is being argued at the same time that those who would completely abolish private gun ownership argue with those that would have VADSSPAAG's in the hands of individuals.

Her point is that those on the extremes are silencing those that are "in the middle." She then goes on to say thus:
What the two sides don't acknowledge is that reasonable people can oppose civilian ownership of machine guns or .50-caliber rifles so powerful they must be shot using a tripod while still supporting hunting and owning guns for self-defense. Americans can support background checks on guns sold everywhere – not just by licensed dealers – without putting gun companies out of business. The United States can require registration of guns and proficiency tests for gun owners, just as we do with cars, without making it impossible, or even difficult, for law-abiding citizens to buy guns.

That is what she is calling the "middle ground." She talks of reasonable people's opposition as if it were the same of the implementation of such. It is one matter to believe in something but entirely another to enforce those beliefs on others.

Here is where we "are" at the moment:

Individuals may legally own machine guns only with the strictest of licensing and checks from both federal and state governments.

Most .50 caliber rifles are fired using bipods. They are currently banned in many places around the country. I do not agree with the bans but they still remain.

Even owning guns for hunting and self-defense is severely curtailed if not outlawed in many parts of the country. Her "middle ground" is sliding away in Chicago, San Francisco, Washington D.C.

I do not know of any who are arguing that background checks are putting gun companies out of business. She may be confusing this with background checks at gun shows which for the most part (perhaps all now) are done. She may also be confusing it with an individual selling a firearm to another. In any case, the statement seems to be a red herring in her thesis.

Her statement regarding the registration of firearms removes her from her ideallic "middle." Has any country in the history of the planet that required registration of firearms not used those records to disarm, at least in part, their populations? For many that also consider themselves in the middle - I do not include myself in this group - this is a basic human right that may not be granted, licensed, or tested any more than the right of them to speak their minds at the town hall. The thought that ownership and usage of firearms may be licensed yeilds to the understanding that the license may be revoked.

Lastly, while this may be a statement about "how" something is accomplished rather than "what" or "why" as the rest of her paper reads, she is sorely incorrect in the statement. Even if we assume that licensing and testing would not be used as tools for restricting otherwise qualified people from owning firearms, implementing them in a manner that is convenient or easy would not be.

Consider any place where this is already required, and see if convenient or easy. It is often not. Usually, it is impossible.

It may be also necessary to consider the relative terms of "the middle." She may see herself as standing in the middle, as a even moderate. Others on the far right of the gun debate may see her as a shill for "gun grabbers" while those on the left may see her as an impediment to ending "gun violence."

Given her statements, and being as objective as I can, I see her as being left of center. To her the middle ground is one of great compromise around her beliefs where everone should be able to come to a consensus.

To me, her beliefs are left-of-center and the preamble for disastrous arms rights.


Weetabix said...

I confess to sitting firmly on [and in ;-)] the right.

I figure everyone should be able to own anything they want. If they misuse it, let their neighbors deal with them.

The gun genie is out of the bottle, and there's no putting him back. I think that's good, and the anti's think it's bad, but we can't argue about whether or not it's a fact.

Disarming citizens or nations just tempts the bad guys, be they our government, someone else's, or terrorist, to do the wrong thing.

The Japanese didn't invade the mainland US because we had too many guns. The Russians didn't for the same reason. The Swiss haven't been invaded for how long? The Finns handed the Soviets their ass in 1939-1940 with what? Guns.

Think of all the genocides in recent memory. What was missing on the losing side? Guns.

Guns are a tool of freedom, and those who want to take them away have their eyes on something bigger: our freedom.

PS - too bad you had to turn on moderation...

Shawn McManus said...

I hate having to do it as well but that comment from lane "change" had a lot of likes to malicious web sites.

Heh... I make no bones about being firmly on the right myself but I do acknowledge that there is a middle ground and sometimes the voices of moderation aren't all that bad.

I don't include her in that group. Makes me want to buy a .50 just so I can ignore having to register/surrender it when the day comes. (Like I needed another reason to want one.)