My first grader getting on the bus

So, before I get rolling, I should mention a few things about myself:

  • I grew up in a conservative family in a conservative town.
  • I went to a Baptist church and still am a born again Christian.
  • All my friends hunted when I was growing up.
  • I fantasized about having big powerful guns when I grew up.
  • I learned to hate liberals.
  • But now that I'm grown up I vote democratic because the ideology of conservatism in the USA makes me throw up a little bit.
  • Despite that, I am disappointed in the ability of our democratic party to run government effectively.
  • My opinion is that semi automatic and pump action firearms should be banned, as well as concealed or open carry of any firearm outside a shooting range or hunting situation.

Now, before you get all pissy and start looking for an address to send hate mail, re-read the above points about myself and realize I'm more like you than you'd like to admit. At the very least you have to admit I have the cultural context to understand the topic at hand.

If this is all too much reading for you, just skip down and watch the video at the bottom.

That said, I'd like to present my case for a gun ban.

Australia

Some facts:

  • From 1986 - 1996 there had been 10 massacres committed in Australia by guns
  • There were 32 human beings shot dead in the Port Author massacre in 1996 by a crazy guy with a gun
  • The Australian people decided not only to ban semi automatic and pump action guns, but to raise their taxes and buy back as many as they could from public hands.
  • Since the gun ban put in place in 1996 there have been 0 massacres committed by guns in Australia. Zero.
  • Zero massacres. None.

Here is a quick summary of the Australian gun law:

The National Firearms Agreement prohibited automatic and semiautomatic assault rifles and pump shotguns in all but unusual cases. It tightened licensing rules, established a 28-day waiting period for gun purchases, created a national gun registry and instituted a temporary buyback program that removed more than 20 percent of firearms from public circulation.

You can read more about it on Wikipedia, New York Times, and the Washington Post.

So the crime rate might have already been decreasing in Australia before the gun ban was put in place. That's true. And it might just be some strange coincidence that there has not been a gun massacre there since the gun ban. That might also be too.

But, if there is even a shred of evidence that banning and removing semi automatic and pump action guns from civilian hands can prevent even a single gun massacre, we owe it to ourselves to do it.

I know there are strongly held arguments against any gun ban, but I've carefully considered them all, and I believe they are a load of bunk.

The Second Amendment

Here is the text of the second amendment. It's pretty short, so it should be easy to understand, even by me:

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.

Here are a few more facts about the Second Amendment:

  • At the time the Second Amendment was written the best gunman in the world could get off 4 - 6 rounds per minute with his musket.
  • There were some cannons back then too, but they were wicked heavy and hard to manage.
  • The United States Government has proven quite adept at killing people on the ground with flying drones.
  • Not to mention that the United States Government now possesses over 7,000 nuclear warheads, just a few less than Russia.

So, if you really need to keep your government overlords at bay, you'll have to keep a battery of anti aircraft missiles and a nuke in the garage. At the very least.

Also, in case you were not aware, the Supreme Court has interpreted the Second Amendment to mean that you have the right to keep and bear arms, even outside of a well regulated militia. But no matter. We can change it, because the original authors understood they could not possibly for tell technological and social changes far in the future.

The word "amendment" is defined as:

A formal or official change made to a law, contract, constitution.

As an example:

The 18th amendment banned the manufacture, sale, and transport of alcoholic drinks. As a nation we came to our senses and repealed the 18th amendment in 1933.

You Want to Own a Gun for Protection

Some facts:

  • You are 80% more likely to use your gun on yourself than on someone else.
  • Your children are more likely to kill each other, themselves, or a friend with your gun than protect themselves with it.

Imagine walking the streets knowing that a large percentage of the general population is carrying a gun, with a twitchy trigger finger, thinking they are going to be a hero and save us from the next gun massacre. Good. Now think of all those accidental and mistaken shootings the police have had. They are trained to deal with crazy violence, and even they break down.

I'll take my chances on meeting a crazy guy with a gun he got off the black market before I walk around with half our general population armed to the teeth. And it would probably be the least mentally stable half at that.

Teachers with guns in the classroom is terrifying. Students carrying guns on campus is even more terrifying. If we arm our society for protection we are dramatically increasing the odds that your kid is gonna get shot to death before reaching the age of 21. On purpose, or by accident.

You Don't Want Just the Bad Guys to Have Guns

It is much harder for bad guys and crazy people to get guns off the black market. It is also easier to spot and track an illegal gun owner if there is a gun ban in place. Owners of illegal guns would tend to stick out like a sore thumb if they showed up to the range with one. Not to mention that a $1000 AR-15 costs $35,000 on the Australian black market.

This is probably why Australia has not seen a gun massacre since banning semi automatic guns. I'd be willing to bet that the 66 lives taken at Virginia Tech, Sandyhook, and Aurora would still be with us if there was a gun ban in place here in the US. I don't see how those nut job teenage boys would ever have the resolve or the money to get such an effective killing machine off the black market.

Guns Don't Kill People

Guns don't kill people, people kill people.

Hogwash. That's like saying "beer and cars don't kill people, drunk drivers kill people". It seems pretty obvious to everyone that when people get drunk and drive cars they kill people. So we made it illegal to drink and drive.

A mentally unstable kid is not going to kill 20 first graders, 32 college students, or 12 movie goers with a sword. It takes an automatic gun to do that.

The Real Reason You Don't Want a Gun Ban

The real reason you want to stop gun control laws is that you want to stick a middle finger up to those smug liberals. That's the real reason. Just admit it. There is no rational reason left for keeping the Second Amendment as it was written over 200 years ago. If you think there is, please let me know.

Wrapping Up

It seems to me that instituting a ban on semi automatic and pump action guns could save us from at least a massacre or two, and maybe even slow down gun homicides in general. So, tell me, why haven't we demanded this from our lawmakers?

My two boys, 6 and 3 years old, are going to be growing up in this world, and I'll be damned if I'm going to sit back and watch it filled with loaded guns ready to blow their lives to bits. Let's not add more of these human killing machines to our society. We made them, we can remove them.

I've also written about the psychological impact assault weapons have on a young man. You should check that out too.

Here is my argument articulated by comedian Jim Jefferies. Warning: This is fall-out-of-your-chair funny.

Part One

Part Two