27 September 2010

Questions and Answers

By way of Lawdog comes a link to this questionnaire. He has given his answers here, and I am giving mine below.

1. Do you believe that criminals and domestic abusers should be able to buy guns without background checks?

I don't believe criminals should be allowed to buy guns at all, but that doesn't stop them. Background checks are irrelevant. But, since you mentioned them, does that mean that you are OK with criminals buying guns as long as they have a background check?

On the subject of domestic abusers; number one, the goalposts keep moving as far as what constitutes domestic abuse, and number two, domestic abusers would by definition be criminals. However, I believe the biggest deterrent to violent domestic abuse (the only kind that would warrant the restriction of RKBA) is for the would-be abusee to be armed and trained.

2. What is your proposal for keeping guns away from criminals, domestic abusers, terrorists and dangerously mentally ill people?

We have four different classes of people here, so here are four different answers:

Criminals: either lock them up or reduce their number. You figure out how. Hint: it's hard to rob, rape or maim someone who is armed and trained.

Domestic abusers: we pretty well covered that in question 1.

Terrorists: kill them all, let God sort them out.

Dangerously mentally ill people: if they are a danger to themselves or others they are institutionalized and therefore not a problem, right?

3. Do you believe that a background check infringes on your constitutional right to "keep and bear arms"?

Of course it does.

4. Do you believe that I and people with whom I work intend to ban your guns?

Isn't that the reason you advocate the banning of guns? Note, if you want to ban even one you are by definition advocating the banning of guns. From there it's just a matter of how far you intend to carry out the act. Or as the UCMJ puts it; penetration, however slight, is sufficient to complete the offense.

(completely off topic, but it's interesting to note that as per the UCMJ Article 120, rape is punishable by death.)

5. If yes to #4, how do you think that could happen ( I mean the physical action)?

Since a ban is a legislative action and not a physical one, the answer is "by the passing of unconstitutional laws." However, when it gets down to the physical action of actually rounding the guns up, the answer becomes "by prying them out of my cold, dead hands."

6. What do you think are the "second amendment remedies" that the tea party GOP candidate for Senate in Nevada( Sharron Angle) has proposed?

Love the "scare quotes" there, and nice job getting the tea party reference in as well, but shouldn't you be asking this question of Sharron Angle?

UPDATE: Here's the quote from Sharron Angle, from an interview by Lars Larson in Portland, OR:

You know, our Founding Fathers, they put that Second Amendment in there for a good reason and that was for the people to protect themselves against a tyrannical government. And in fact Thomas Jefferson said it's good for a country to have a revolution every 20 years.

I hope that's not where we're going, but, you know, if this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies and saying my goodness what can we do to turn this country around? I'll tell you the first thing we need to do is take Harry Reid out.

7. Do you believe in the notion that if you don't like what someone is doing or saying, second amendment remedies should be applied?

Have we defined "second amendment remedies" yet?

As long as that person is not attempting to deprive me, or those around me, of life, liberty or property through force or fraud they are free to do pretty much whatever the hell they want. If, on the other hand, they are attempting to deprive me or those around me of life, liberty or property through force or fraud I believe in the notion that I may use any means necessary to convince them not to.

As far as what they are saying, there's a completely different amendment that covers that.

8. Do you believe it is O.K. to call people with whom you disagree liars and demeaning names?

If they are lying I believe it is OK to call them on it. If I call you a wannabe gun banner, and you in fact want to ban guns, wouldn't the name be descriptive even if you feel it is demeaning? Oh, and by the by, that little amendment I mentioned above that covers the whole "what they are saying" thing? Yeah, you might want to study up on it.

9. If yes to #8, would you do it in a public place to the person's face?

Damn straight I would. And then I would give them a chance to explain why they are not what I said they were, at which time I would either apologize if I was wrong or reiterate if I was right.

10. Do you believe that any gun law will take away your constitutional rights?

That's a pretty open-ended question. If the law was "no state or entity may, for any reason, deprive a citizen of his right to keep and bear arms without due process" then the answer would be "no." However, in the context of all the gun laws so far being restrictive, the answer would have to be "hell yes."

11. Do you believe in current gun laws? Do you think they are being enforced? If not, explain.

What does that mean, do I believe in them? Do I believe they exist? It's pretty obvious that they do. Do I believe they are lawful? No. Do I think they are being enforced? Absolutely, but remember only the law abiding are abiding by the laws.

I noticed that you didn't ask if I believed if they are effective. The answer, of course, would be that they are very effective - in creating unarmed victims out of law abiding citizens. Otherwise, not so much.

12. Do you believe that all law-abiding citizens are careful with their guns and would never shoot anybody?

I believe that all law abiding citizens are careful with their guns and would never intentionally shoot anybody without cause.

13. Do you believe that people who commit suicide with a gun should be included in the gun statistics?

There are lies, there are damn lies and there are statistics. If you want to keep track of the number of people who commit suicide and the tools that they use to accomplish that purpose (guns, knives, ropes, cops, etc.) then by all means do so. Just be honest enough to publish the raw data.

14. Do you believe that accidental gun deaths should "count" in the total numbers?

Total number of what? Accidental deaths? Once again, do as you like, but be honest enough to publish the raw data.

15. Do you believe that sometimes guns, in careless use or an accident, can shoot a bullet without the owner or holder of the gun pulling the trigger?

No. So-called accidental discharge of modern firearms can always be attributed to malfunction of the weapon or violation of one of the Four Rules. There are no accidents. Careless use violates at least one of the Four Rules.

Case in point: when the Saiga was being demonstrated to me it refused to fire. The operator turned the weapon on it's side to examine it and it fired without anyone pulling it's trigger. Examination of the weapon revealed an unfired cartridge that had gotten jammed into the mechanism. That is an example of a malfunction. Strict adherence to the Four Rules kept the malfunction from becoming a tragedy. That is the reason for the Four Rules.

16. Do you believe that 30,000 gun deaths a year is too many?

There is not enough information in that question to make a qualified answer. If it is 30,000 deaths of would-be rapists by way of their armed intended victims, then no. If, on the other hand, it is 30,000 deaths of unarmed victims due to asinine gun control laws, then yes. Remember what I said about statistics?

17. How will you help to prevent more shootings in this country?

Leaving alone the point that all shootings are not necessarily the same, I'm going to answer as if you meant to say unintentional shootings: By donating to organizations such as the NRA that teach new shooters about safe gun handling practices and by insisting on strict adherence to the Four Rules by myself and by anyone who is handling firearms in my presence.

18. Do you believe the articles that I have posted about actual shootings or do you think I am making them up or that human interest stories about events that have happened should not count when I blog about gun injuries and deaths?

I have no reason not to believe that everything you write is factually correct and you have the right to blog about anything that you so desire (there's that "what they are saying" thing again). But one can make the truth dance a pretty jig without uttering (or writing) a single word that is not absolutely true. It's all in the context, isn't it?

19. There has been some discussion of the role of the ATF here. Do you believe the ATF wants your guns and wants to harass you personally? If so, provide examples ( some have written a few that need to be further examined).

I believe the ATF, as with all government entities, is a bureaucracy that is not interested in you in the slightest as a person. You are a data point, a statistic if you will, nothing more. They are cold, faceless, and above all, impersonal.

That is not to say that you will not become their special project if they as an entity believe you merit their undivided attention, and individual bureaucrats can indeed make an example of you for any reason he or she wishes to. That is the nature of bureaucracies.

20. Will you continue a reasonable discussion towards an end that might lead somewhere or is this an exercise in futility?

Assuming that by leading somewhere you don't mean the abolishment of all gun control laws as a starting point, this is an exercise in futility. Consider these simple words:

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.

There is no reasonable restriction to a Constitutional right. There is, therefore, no reasonable discussion regarding the same. All "reasonable" discussions up to this point have resulted in the un-reasonable restriction of Constitutional rights, therefore I am not interested in any future discussions unless it involves the abolishment of every single gun law on the books at the present time. Only at that point will there be room for compromise.

Lawdog has a pretty good analogy regarding this last point, and you should really go and read it.

UPDATE: This is probably the most important question that was asked. The answer remains the same, but upon further reflection I would like to add that no compromise can be reached because we're not even talking in the same terms.

We both would like to see fewer deaths due to @$$holes with guns. Your solution is to eliminate the guns, my solution is to eliminate the @$$holes. Until we can agree on which factor to eliminate we will never agree on how to reach the goal of fewer deaths.


LC Aggie Sith said...

I did notice that japete was rather choosy in which comments made the grade at her site. That's her right, but it didn't help her in the least.

You and Lawdog pretty much summed it up for me. :)

Larry said...

Funny how "discussion" seems to mean "only if you agree with me."
Thanks for dropping by Aggie!

Guy S said...

Living in the "Peoples Republick of Illinois", I have major heartburn about ANY law which infringes on my 2nd Amendment right(s).

I would sum up my answers to all her questions with one response: "What part of 'shall not be infringed' do you fail to understand?".

IMHO anyone should be allowed to arm themselves as they see fit. And until they are in direct conflict with that pesky "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness" thing, it is nobodies business but their own, what kind of armaments they have.

You and lawdog are far more patent (and civil) in your answering her questions. I would have gone ballistic at about question 3 or 4.

Larry said...

Lawdog and I are only trying to convince those who would be on the fence.
The writer of this post has had a personal tragedy, and rather than blame the person responsible for said tragedy she blames the tool that he used. No one is ever going to change her mind, and I for one will not try. Likewise she is never going to change my mind. Both sides are therefore battling for the undecideds.
This is why, in my update, I said the most important question was number 20. As long as we disagree on the terms, we will disagree on the solution. And we will always disagree on the terms.
Thanks for dropping by Guy!

Guy S said...

Sorry to hear she had a personal tragedy. with or with out a firearm being the instrument, the damage (emotional and otherwise) is always hard to deal with. And I wouldn't wish it on anyone.

I wonder if her feelings were much the same before it happened? The event only reenforced her beliefs. Having said that, it is interesting to note the late Mike Royko, columnist for the Tribune and the Sun-Times, was an ardent anti-gun (specifically handguns) supporter... until he got mugged. That changed his whole outlook. Made him quite the pain in the butt to Mayor Daley for the rest of the time Royko was alive and writing.

So, sometimes folks can go the other way to, when they are messed with by fate.