This may end up being a rather long post. I haven't read all of the pages of discussion, probably 20 something by the time I finish, but I'm pretty
sure the talking points are the same as usual for a discussion on firearms, the 2nd amendment, and crime. I'm a strong proponent of the 2nd
amendment, as many on these boards already know. There are a large variety of reasons for this, some personal, some not, but when it boils down to
the fundamental reason why I am a 2nd amendment supporter is because it is right, as in correct. Over the last 5 years I have learned that to deny an
individual the right to keep and bear arms is, at the bottom of it all, wrong. There is no subjectivity about it, and I will explain in as much
detail as I can as to why. It really is a question of correct and incorrect. I will go over definitions, both legal and otherwise, statistics,
demographics, and purpose. The information in each section points clearly to the conclusion that having private ownership and possession of firearms
as a fundamental right and intrinsic part of society is the correct decision in the maintenance of not only a successful and free society, but a
systemically resilient one as well.
1. The 2nd Amendment: 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.
- The most common misrepresentation of the 2nd amendment that I see as a major talking point of people who propose infringement of the 2nd amendment
is the text of the 2nd amendment itself. People refer to the word "regulated" to mean a piece of legislation, some form of oversight, some kind of
sanction, or some kind of imposition by the federal government to control the right to keep and bear arms. Today the term regulate means to control,
and regulations in industry are just that, government controls. However, the term "well regulated" had a considerably different meaning when it was
written into the bill of rights, and had this meaning from the mid 1700s all the way up to the 1920s. It is common in literature and administrative
records of all kinds in this period of time. The term "well regulated" means "to be of proper or good working order" for whatever the subject is.
A person with a well regulated mind was said to be of rational thought and sound judgement, a well regulated watch kept accurate time. A well
regulated machine worked reliably and efficiently. A well regulated militia means a military unit comprised of civilians that is well versed in the
basics of war, drill, marksmanship, tactics, etc. www.constitution.org...
2. Assault Weapon: A rifle that resembles
a military firearm in form if not function.
- This term didn't exist in the English lexicon, or in legalese (an actual separate language from English) until the late 80s. It had been tossed
around form time to time by, you guessed it, politicians in the mid 80s, but was basically a buzzword with no definition until 1994. This term has
remained that, a buzzword. it's meaning varies depending on who is saying it, and where, and often is used in place of a more accurate descriptor by
the ignorant to conjure up images in the audience's imagination. An assault weapon may be legal or illegal, and it is mostly applied incorrectly.
Assault weapons differ very little from most recreational weapons beyond the way they look. en.wikipedia.org...
how messy the term is.
3. Arms: weapons, ammunition, armaments.
- Arms, covering the above three includes everything from frying pans to shotguns, beer bottles, rifles, spoons, handguns, pencils, rocks, crossbows,
spears, swords, boots, or any noun that is a man portable personal weapon that one uses to defend themselves with lethal or non lethal force. If you
can use it as a weapon, you guessed it, it's probably an arm. So why the focus on firearms?
4. Ordnance: Mounted weapons, artillery, exceptionally destructive weapons.
- Arms are not Ordnance (not to be confused with Ordinance with an 'I' meaning law). A Nuclear weapon is not an arm. A tank cannon is not an arm.
high explosive is not an arm, a chemical weapon is not an arm. They, for the most part, are considered ordnance. There was then, just as there is
now, a distinct and recognized difference between arms and ordnance. Ordnance is of an unusually destructive nature, may be crew served, can't be
carried by an individual or can't be used as a personal weapon. Guns of a certain caliber or greater, 12.7mm or 1/2 inch, that don't have a
sporting purpose are also considered cannon and therefore ordnance. I see the argument from anti-bill-of-rights people along the lines of "if you
think firearms should be unrestricted, then do you think everyone should have access to nuclear weapons?". This question and perspective is based on
pure ignorance. It is an extreme hypothetical that an educated individual would never ask and never answer.
5. NFA: National Firearms Act
- In 1934 at the height of the great depression in the US along with prohibition of alcohol, created an environment perfect for violent crime.
Violent crime was especially bad. So bad, in fact, that congress passed the NFA (national firearms act) in that year. This categorized certain
weapons that fell into the gray area between Ordnance and Arms into new categories. Weapons belonging to these categories are required to be
registered, require an extensive background check conducted by the FBI and ATF which can take up to 6 months, and a 200 dollar tax for any and all
sales/transfers. Machine Guns, Destructive Devices, Any Other Weapons, Short Barrel Shotgun, Sort Barrel Rifle, and suppressors (silencers for those
not in the know) are the new categories. en.wikipedia.org...
is a fairly accurate source.
6. Machine Guns: Any weapon that fires more than one shot for a single depression of the trigger
- Assault rifles are machine guns. Assault weapons (ugh, I hate that term) are not. So if you see someone refer to an AR-15 as an assault rifle, you
know they are wrong as an AR-15 is a semi-automatic weapon, and depending on the state and features on the rifle, may or may not be an assault weapon.
7. Destructive Device: Any weapon that counts as an arm as well as ordnance at the same time.
-Some shotguns are classified as destructive devices as well as man portable grenade launchers and rocket launchers due to their caliber or explosive
8. Any other weapon: Firearms that don't fit into any other category
9. SBR & SBS: Short barreled shotgun has a barrel less than 18" in length and a total length less than 26". Short barrel rifle is a rifle with a
barrel less than 16" in length and a total length less than 26".
-The recent "ghost gun" slop job of a press conference in California was an SBR.
10. FOPA: Firearm Owners Protection Act
- Makes the sale of newly manufactured machine guns to civilians illegal after 1986. All legally owned machine guns in the US in civilian hands were
made before 1986. You cannot purchase one that was made yesterday legally. The only way newly manufactured machine guns exist in private hands are
at the hands of importers or class III manufacturers who are granted the privilege by the FBI and ATF to make such weapons for military and law
enforcement. There are an estimated 300,000-350,000 registered machine guns in the US. Since the NFA there have only been two murders with legally
owned machine guns, both after FOPA. One was by a police officer. The rest are by illegally owned machine guns, that were imported illegally,
usually from Mexico or china. www.guncite.com...
The statistics are really not in favor of gun control. There are much much much stronger drivers of criminal violence, including homicide by
firearm, than the mere presence of firearms. In fact, the availability of firearms provides a statistically significant violent crime deterrent.
Lets start with usual talking points. Firearm related homicide. There are ~31,000 deaths related to a firearm every year. The vast majority are
suicides. Lets not go into the morality of suicide, morality is subjective and has no place in this discussion. Of those ~31,000, ~15,000 are
homicides. Of those ~15,000 homicides, ~11,000 are by firearm. Okay. Lets look at this number, 11,000.
Of those ~11,000, almost 9,000 are gang related slayings. ~7,500 a year are black on black crime, or 21 a day. ~94% of those are firearm related, or
~7000. That means the largest majority of firearm related deaths besides suicide is gang related, and among gangs is African American gangs. It also
means a huge use of illegally procured firearms. That means those committing the offense would acquire the firearms regardless of their legality.
This leaves us with ~2,500 deaths a year that aren't organized crime related. About ~1,000 of the remaining 2,500 is legal use of lethal force by
civilians and law enforcement officers combined. So that's about 1,500 deaths in the US a year attributed to non gang affiliated but still illegal
homicide. Mass shootings, home invasions that aren't gang related, straight up murder, and the others fit into this ~1,500. This is how many
people die a year in the US who don't necessarily put themselves in a position in their life to get shot and killed, but do anyway. Not too shabby
considering our population and demographics. Deaths involving mass shootings very seldom break double digits over a year and sometimes don't even
get into the double digits.
Unless you are criminally affiliated, the statistics of gun crime in the US are extremely tame considering the number of firearms possessed legally by
law abiding citizens. This partly proves that the mere availability of firearms to the legal citizenry doesn't necessarily translate into higher gun
crime. The gang stuff has demographics behind it and I will get into that later on, these demographics are a far stronger driver of gun violence
than the mere presence of them. There is also an ethics portion to this that I will go into at that time. When 10s of thousands die annually at the
hand of someone else, a number like 20 or 15 is a statistical anomaly. I blows me away that people want to legislate away a constitutional guarantee
for the sake of expediency over a statistic of null value. I can only imagine they would do the same with the other guarantees if they were
indoctrinated enough to think something like free speech or free travel were somehow deadly business.
The most conservative of estimate regarding the number of violent crimes (Murder, Rape, Assault, Robbery, etc) deterred by the mere brandishing and
not shooting of a firearm by a would be victim is ~800,000 a year. Or 1.5 a minute. These are only the ones reported to police. The top end
estimate including those not reported to police is in the viscinity of ~2.4 million. Or 4.5 a minute. These are crimes that don't happen because the
potential victim is armed, and no one gets hurt. I don't know how badly violent crime would surge in the US if citizens were disarmed over night,
but considering the drivers for violent crime and homicide, I think the potential is high. Brazil comes to mind. I also think these statistics show
that the availability of firearms provides for a significant deterrent to crime in general. Enough to possibly completely counter every firearm
related death with a life saved and crime prevented. No official source has ever gone into it, but based on what I'm seeing, I don't think it's
unreasonable to think it's a very possible notion, do you?
Conservative estimate: www.cdc.gov...
Top end estimate: scholarlycommons.law.northwestern.edu...
Kennesaw Georgia is an excellent example within the US as to how the availability of firearms deters more crime that it creates. Kennesaw is a
suburb of Atlanta. In the late 70s to early 80s, Kennsaw had an increasing robbery, burglary, assault, and home invasion problem. In 1982 the city
passed an ordinance that made it mandatory for every home owner in the municipality to own a firearm. Burglaries dropped by 83% in two years.
It's no coincidence that the areas with the highest crime have the lowest income. The lack of educational and employment opportunities goes with
violent crime like peas and carrots.
For all the boons that diversity brings, the potential for considerably increased violent crime is certainly one of the busts that has to be accepted
with it. Typically, diverse areas have very low civic participation leading to increased violent crime.
IQ, basic unlearned natural intelligence, your born intellectual potential, also greatly affects your proclivity for violent crime. IQ affects
educational and employment opportunities and therefore income, and therefore the likelihood of living in a "diverse" area.
Violent crime, and therefore homicide by firearm is greatly affected by not only educational and economic demographics, but by cultural, and ethnic
demographics as well. So much so, that these demographics can predict gun crime fairly accurately, even in states and countries that have extremely
strict firearms laws, and even in places that have outright bans. Likewise relatively high social homogeneity, IQ, and standard of living equate to a
lack of violent crime overall and therefore gun related crime. However, like all systems, it's the combination that matters, not the individual
part. A homogenous but low IQ area would see a marked increase in violent crime. Diverse high income areas with high IQ demographics typically have
low crime, too, but more crime than homogenous areas.
South Korea is the most homogenous nation the planet. Japan a close 2nd place. Both have outright bans on firearm possession. They also have
extremely low homicide rates.
Lets look at the UK where there is a complete ban on handguns.
Now lets look at the UK Demographics
The gun laws haven't changed.. Why the increase in gun violence... As my history professor at university once said "demographics os destiny". Also
notice, most of it gang related. There are stronger forces at work here besides the availability or lack thereof of firearms.
Switzerland while not linguistically, is very culturally homogenous. Firearm ownership is, by European standards, a casual affair. Note the lack of
violent firearm related crime.
Canada too. Firearms aren't terribly restricted in Canada. Sure they have some funky laws, but they can get some stuff that Americans can't. Lets
look at their firearm related violent crime. Guess where it's highest? You guessed it, the least demographically homogenous areas.
The purpose of the 2nd amendment is two fold.
- The first and most apparent is the right of an individual to own and use a personal weapon. In this capacity, the 2nd amendment allows someone to
hunt with the appropriate weapon, allows them to practice hunting if they desire, participate in shooting sports that may or may not be hunting
related, practice archery or fencing, or any other activity where a noun is being wielded as a weapon. The above also includes defending ones self
with the threat of or use of lethal force. That's what weapons, even a frying pan, do. Sure, a frying pan or baseball bat aren't designed to kill,
but can do so quite easily. Just like a rifle isn't designed to punch paper at 1000 yards or a shotgun designed to break clay, they can be used in
non-lethal recreational activities. The intent of design matters little.
- The second is to allow the citizens of the country to present and project a credible threat of force against the government should a rogue faction
within the government try to seize unlawful power or the government itself becomes unrepresentative of the people or a veritable host of other things.
People will say, "but the military has fighter jets, and tanks, and well, ordnance. If we only have arms, what can we do?" If arms isn't enough,
I would like to point you in the direction of Libya, where simply armed individuals overthrew an ordnance wielding dictatorship. Lets look at
Afghanistan while we're at it. A place where the merely armed have had two of the worlds largest powers die at its feet. Chechnya. The Balkans in
the 90s. Syria. Wherever you go in the world, societies that are armed are self determining preeminent societies that either have the power to
resist an outside power or an inside power. That's the root of it. It empowers the people like nothing else does. The US revolution is one of the
few in the history of the world where the victors stripped themselves of the power they just won and gave it to the people. They gave over the power
so completely that they also gave over the ultimate check to that power as well. I think it was chairman Mao who said "political power grows from
the barrel of a gun"
This is the best way I have seen it put in a long time. Please take the time to read it:
Quoted for convenience:
"Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another: reason and
force. If you want me to do something for you, you have a choice of
either convincing me via argument, or force me to do your bidding under
threat of force. Every human interaction falls into one of those two
categories, without exception. Reason or force, that’s it.
In a truly moral and civilized society, people exclusively interact
through persuasion. Force has no place as a valid method of social
interaction, and the only thing that removes force from the menu is the
personal firearm, as paradoxical as it may sound to some.
When I carry a gun, you cannot deal with me by force. You have to use
reason and try to persuade me, because I have a way to negate your
threat or employment of force.
The gun is the only personal weapon that puts a 100-pound woman on equal
footing with a 220-pound mugger, a 75-year old retiree on equal footing
with a 19-year old gang banger, and a single guy on equal footing with a
carload of drunk guys with baseball bats. The gun removes the disparity
in physical strength, size, or numbers between a potential attacker and
There are plenty of people who consider the gun as the source of bad
force equations. These are the people who think that we’d be more
civilized if all guns were removed from society, because a firearm makes
it easier for an armed mugger to do his job. That, of course, is only
true if the mugger’s potential victims are mostly disarmed either by
choice or by legislative fiat–it has no validity when most of a
mugger’s potential marks are armed.
People who argue for the banning of arms ask for automatic rule by the
young, the strong, and the many, and that’s the exact opposite of a
civilized society. A mugger, even an armed one, can only make a
successful living in a society where the state has granted him a force
Then there’s the argument that the gun makes confrontations lethal that
otherwise would only result in injury. This argument is fallacious in
several ways. Without guns involved, confrontations are won by the
physically superior party inflicting overwhelming injury on the loser.
People who think that fists, bats, sticks, or stones don’t constitute
lethal force watch too much TV, where people take beatings and come out
of it with a bloody lip at worst. The fact that the gun makes lethal
force easier works solely in favor of the weaker defender, not the
stronger attacker. If both are armed, the field is level.
The gun is the only weapon that’s as lethal in the hands of an
octogenarian as it is in the hands of a weight lifter. It simply
wouldn’t work as well as a force equalizer if it wasn’t both lethal and
When I carry a gun, I don’t do so because I am looking for a fight, but
because I’m looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I
cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don’t carry it because I’m afraid,
but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn’t limit the actions
of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of
those who would do so by force. It removes force from the equation…
and that’s why carrying a gun is a civilized act.
So the greatest civilization is one where all citizens are equally armed
and can only be persuaded, never forced."
The same applies to a people's relationship with their government.
From a legal standpoint, legislating against the 2nd amendment is illegal. Legislation against a constitutional guarantee is an infringement. If you
really want the amendment nullified by another, then amend the constitution. It's very difficult, but it has been done. That would be the only way
it could be altered correctly. Assuming that the militia means the people, well regulated does not mean mandates, legislation, sanction, or any other
form of government imposition against their right to keep and bear arms. Therefore, arguing for the legislation against the 2nd amendment is wrong,
not in a subjective sense, but an objective sense.
Focusing strictly on the availability of the firearms themselves while at the same time ignoring the statistics attached and demographics to support
the statistics means that you are not interested in positively impacting gun related homicide, but are more interested in control for the sake of
Depriving an entire people's ability to protect their individual selves, denying their ability to project credible force as the final check to
government, denying their ability to act with self determination as a society, by illegally legislating against a constitutional guarantee because
you're focusing on the wrong part of the societal system is wrong.
Too many people are concerned with what is expedient vs. what is right.
There is a right way to make our society better, and it isn't by stripping the rights of the good guys.