Almost a week into our National Discussion on Gun Violence, even flower children like PostScript, whose anti-burglary plan is to hug the mugger in order to confuse him, are getting a little tired of everyone agreeing the time has come, again, for an assault-weapons ban. It’s been like this for DAYS. PostScript was really expecting more pushback from firearms advocates! It’s weirding her out to see even commenters on the Opinions Page of the Washington Post more or less, by the numbers, agreeing. The more-guns arguers are fading, and their arguments are lapsing into culture-war rhetoric:
The people who are pushing gun “control” aren’t interested in solving a problem, they’re interested in pushing a social agenda. They’re as offended by gun ownership as they are by country music, American flags, and pickup trucks. Guns are things owned by dumb, scary rednecks (who probably smoke), so they should be banned. Mental illness is a wonderful individualistic specialness that should be celebrated, lest the mentally ill person in question should ever for one moment feel like they aren’t a beautiful butterfly.
This is in response to Fareed Zakaria’s column today about how stopping mass shootings isn’t complicated at all. Other countries manage it, and they do so with stricter gun laws than ours. No, it won’t fix the scourge of mental-illness worship/country-music peril, but it’s a start.
CJamesJr writes, in response to Whorton:
I am a long-time gun collector, gun owner, and gun rights supporter. I’m interested in fewer people being massacred in places they should be extremely safe, like an elementary school, college class, or movie theater. There is no sane reason that an AR-15 with a grenade launcher should be legally available to civilians.
We are surely offended by ignorance in light of knowledge, but we’re not interested in a ‘social agenda’. I’m interested in fewer children being ripped out of our world.
And, it looks like to PostScript, this odd collective will toward more gun regulations seems to be coming from gun owners such as CJames rather than the haters of all things redneck.
As analyzed elsewhere in the Post, support among hunters for military style weapons is diminishing fast. Mental health improvements can help, but if you want to reduce homicide deaths by multiple thousands per year, then stricter control of weapons is required. The majority of deaths is from handguns, many purchased through the secondary market. Tightening rules on registration and sales would help fix this problem.
SpecialForcesVet, too, seems to be drawing a bright line between gun enthusiasts and people against stricter gun laws:
The ‘wannabees’ are a huge part of the problem. This is why we should have a higher level competency requirement for military pattern weapons. A service requirement would also help; military and [law-enforcement officer]-trained people do not find these weapons so alluring. You want to have an AR clone? Fine, join the military or complete law enforcement training, prove yourself, get an honorable discharge and pass the background check. Otherwise no.
But jeffdc1 thinks it won’t be as simple as Zakaria envisions:
I support a real ban on assault weapons, but am not at all confident that such a ban will do much to deter gun violence in the short term. Yes, Australia achieved results. But they don’t own 50% of the guns in the world. Any ban should – one would hope – prevent the future sale of assault weapons. Some people who already own assault weapons would turn them in either voluntarily or as a result of some inducement by their local, state or federal government. But there will be some – a lot, I think, given the number of weapons out there and the number of sales that have taken place since the Sandy Hook shooting – who will not turn in their assault weapons. So, while any ban should prevent future sales, what in the world do we do about all the assault weapons out there? And, of course, this argument applies to any weapon that is banned or restricted. I agree we have to start, but am concerned that, as we have in the past, we will enact some sort of restriction, note in the next 10-20 years that gun deaths haven’t decreased that much, conclude that the ban is ineffective, and repeal it. And more guns will flood the market.
satxusa, too, doesn’t see a ban imposed today or tomorrow as getting to the heart of the problem:
Without a door-to-door search for weapons it would take many years, even with the complete banishment of manufacturing and sales, to reduce the number of weapons in this country.
So despite the favorable political winds for a potential new gun law, we’re not all sure it’s going to have much effect on gun violence. But PostScript has figured out at least one of the things ooking her out about this Serious National Discussion on Gun Violence, and that is: We’ve been having it for a whole week, and it seems to be getting more and more…reasonable. That is not the way the process works! PostScript has no idea what this new spirit of concord is all about, but it makes her a bit insecure about her place in the world. She must reluctantly come out in favor of fewer controls on verbal assault weapons.