Sunday, December 16, 2012

Why have gun restrictions? We know who is naughty and nice.

I lightly trolled a Facebook friend's feed this morning regarding gun control advocacy. It was illuminating to me that two people against gun control could be so detached from elucidating their beliefs in any sort of concrete fashion. It reminded me of the GOP fiscal debates currently embroiling Washington. Details? Who needs details? I say it should be this way and therefore I am right. It got to the point where one of the people I was interacting with actually felt so bold as to imply that I may be a member of the the group of people who are violent gun owners.

Here is the relevant part of the conversation (all grammar and spelling original) with names eliminated and some bracketed comments of mine that I withheld from the original discussion so as not to further muddy the waters:
Commentator 1: I have the right to bear arms.

Me: How about land mines? Do you have a right to bear those arms?

Commentator 1: Not sure why Adam? [The confusion here lies with the lack of punctuation so I was not certain if this person was saying "Not sure why, Adam?" or "Not sure, why Adam?"]

Me: Just answer the question Commentator 1. Do you have the right to bear land mines?

Commentator 1: I did answer the question. I said I'm not sure. There are good and bad people and I think all the good people should be armed
Me: So, then you agree that there should be restrictions on weapons for U.S. citizens who are bad people? Or put another way, there should be restrictions on our rights to bear arms as U.S. citizens.
Commentator 1: No I said all good people should be armed.

Me: Is everyone good?

Me: Are all U.S. citizens good?

Commentator 1: No, but all the bad people are already armed. [I laughed out loud when I read this assertion.]

Me: Logic fail. Have a nice Sunday.

Commentator 2: The peeps with bad intentions don't give a $hit about getting their firearms legally.... So, let Good Americans arm themselves!! Just making it a little more even, that's all....

Commentator 2: Time for a hot breakfast!!

Me: Who are the good Americans again, just so I know which list is which?

Commentator 2: The folks who defend themselves and others from assholes like the one in the news.... Come On MAN!!!!

Commentator 1: Well put Commentator 2. I didn't realize my opinion would be so ill received. The good Americans would be the list that I am on, and my father who served and my son who just got back and Commentator 2.

Commentator 2: Peace out... Time to hit the sportsbar so, I can watch All the kick-ass morning games... Have a fab Sunday peeps!!

Me: So just to be clear, the only people who can legally bear arms in the US are people who have defended themselves from assholes featured on the news?

Commentator 2: Grey Matter is absent here. BYE!!

Commentator 1: No Adam your not listening and makes me wonder what list your on. [Always nice to run across a former teacher that can't make the you're/your distinction]

Me: I'll let you know if I'm on the naughty or nice list after Santa decides to visit my house or not. You two were a hoot this morning. Thanks!
Commentator 1: Yes. And back to [the original post], if I had all the answers I would still be teaching and Sandy Hook would never have happened.
Anyway, I really enjoyed listening to the claim that everyone should have the right to own guns except for the people who should not have the right to own guns but that there should essentially be no restrictions because those who should not have guns already have guns. There is some dizzying reasoning going on.

I would have loved to delve deeper into the use of anti-personnel land mines and the Ottawa Treaty (which the U.S. still hasn't signed) and the idea that if nations and their armies are willing to set rules of war and limit the kinds of weapons that are used (by virtue of their destructive power), why should it be any different for civilian rules? Unfortunately, Commentator 1 did not step into my trap by asserting that civilians should be able to have any and all weapons they want or that there should be reasonable restrictions on what weapons and how many they can own.

The St. Petersburg Declaration of 1868 restricted the use of explosive projectiles under 400 grams for small arms. Among other things, the Hague Convention of 1899 restricted the use of projectiles which release deleterious gasses and projectiles which flatten or expand in the human body. The Geneva Conventions went even further and the world's powers have continued to meet and address how weapons may be used with all kinds of treaties and declarations.

So, I ask again, if we're willing to agree to limitations on weapons use with our potential enemies, why is it so evil that we might agree to limitations on weapons use with ourselves?


Peter Wall said...

The real victim of gun violence is critical thinking. There appears to be nothing like knowing that any trouble can be "resolved" by shooting enough people to deaden Inez's mind to the possibility that there are other ways to live.

Peter Wall said...

One's mind. Damned iOS.