It’s been a while since I felt the need to break out the katana to a lieberal’s words, but I think I’m still in practice. Today’s victim is one Dan Simpson, retired diplomat and member of the idiotorial boards of the Toledo Blade and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and the bloody carcass is his column from Wednesday’s Blade calling for the disarming of America. Let the fisking commence:
Las week’s tragedy at Virginia Tech in which a mentally disturbed person gunned down 32 of America’s finest – intelligent young people with futures ahead of them – once again puts the phenomenon of an armed society into focus for Americans.
No, it puts the phenomenon of one armed nut turned loose among a disarmed populace into focus once again.
The likely underestimate of how many guns are wandering around America runs at 240 million in a population of about 300 million. What was clear last week is that at least two of those guns were in the wrong hands.
That’s still less than 1 gun per person.
When people talk about doing something about guns in America, it often comes down to this: “How could America disarm even if it wanted to? There are so many guns out there.”
Maybe in your circle. In my circle, it comes down to this: “How can we allow citizens to better protect themselves?” Of course, since I’m in Wisconsin, and there is no such thing as legal carry, that might skew my circle a bit. Nonetheless, remember that the Virginia Tech campus was a “gun-free” zone, where only Cho and the out-of-position police had guns.
Because I have little or no power to influence the “if” part of the issue, I will stick with the “how.” And before anyone starts to hyperventilate and think I’m a crazed liberal zealot wanting to take his gun from his cold, dead hands, let me share my experience of guns.
By jumping to the “how”, you just proved yourself to be a crazed liberal zealot wanting to take my guns from my cold, dead hands. Please, continue.
As a child I played cowboys and Indians with cap guns. I had a Daisy Red Ryder B-B gun. My father had in his bedside table drawer an old pistol which I examined surreptitiously from time to time. When assigned to the American embassy in Beirut during the war in Lebanon, I sometimes carried a .357 Magnum, which I could fire accurately. I also learned to handle and fire a variety of weapons while I was there, including Uzis and rocket-propelled grenade launchers.
I don’t have any problem with hunting, although blowing away animals with high-powered weapons seems a pointless, no-contest affair to me. I suppose I would enjoy the fellowship of the experience with other friends who are hunters.
So you meet the other definition of liberal – wanting to deny others what you enjoyed. As for the whining about high-powered weapons versus Bambi and friends, the more powerful the weapon, the faster the animal dies, and the faster the animal dies, the less it suffers. Now, you wouldn’t want to REALLY piss off PETA by having hunters make these animals suffer (after all, that’s the job of PETA).
Now, how would one disarm the American population? First of all, federal or state laws would need to make it a crime punishable by a $1,000 fine and one year in prison per weapon to possess a firearm. The population would then be given three months to turn in their guns, without penalty.
Allow me to introduce you to the Second 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.”. Since you’re not in Wisconsin, allow me to also introduce you to the Wisconsin Constitution, Article I, Section 25, “The people have the right to keep and bear arms for security, defense, hunting, recreation or any other lawful purpose.” Last time I checked, Constitutions trump laws and stupid lieberal wishes.
Hunters would be able to deposit their hunting weapons in a centrally located arsenal, heavily guarded, from which they would be able to withdraw them each hunting season upon presentation of a valid hunting license. The weapons would be required to be redeposited at the end of the season on pain of arrest. When hunters submit a request for their weapons, federal, state, and local checks would be made to establish that they had not been convicted of a violent crime since the last time they withdrew their weapons. In the process, arsenal staff would take at least a quick look at each hunter to try to affirm that he was not obviously unhinged.
Dad29 has the perfect take – “‘Arsenal staff’ would be qualified pshrinks, eh?” Oh, and just how are the hunters going to remain proficient shots? Slinging a couple dozen rounds downrange just before the season starts just doesn’t cut it.
It would have to be the case that the term “hunting weapon” did not include anti-tank ordnance, assault weapons, rocket-propelled grenade launchers, or other weapons of war.
Again, one of the reasons the Second Amendment came about was so that the people could defend themselves against a tyrannical government as a last resort. It is no accident that the United States has the longest-lasting system of government in modern history; rather, it is because government has ultimately always remembered that it is accountable to the people in every manner possible, including revolution.
All antique or interesting non-hunting weapons would be required to be delivered to a local or regional museum, also to be under strict 24-hour-a-day guard. There they would be on display, if the owner desired, as part of an interesting exhibit of antique American weapons, as family heirlooms from proud wars past or as part of collections.
I was remiss in not mentioning the great fault of centralizing guns before. While it is easier to take a couple of weapons from a less-than-vigilant owner, if one wanted a heap of weapons, all they would have to do is bribe the local “caretaker”, or if they had the foresight to bury some of their weaponry, storm the holding areas. Further, I rather doubt that these weapons that are centralized will remain in good condition very long.
Gun dealers could continue their work, selling hunting and antique firearms. They would be required to maintain very tight inventories. Any gun sold would be delivered immediately by the dealer to the nearest arsenal or the museum, not to the buyer.
BWAHAHAHAHA!!!!!! Without the ability to try out or observe the weapons, they’ll be out of business before you could hang the “going out of business” signs.
The disarmament process would begin after the initial three-month amnesty. Special squads of police would be formed and trained to carry out the work. Then, on a random basis to permit no advance warning, city blocks and stretches of suburban and rural areas would be cordoned off and searches carried out in every business, dwelling, and empty building. All firearms would be seized. The owners of weapons found in the searches would be prosecuted: $1,000 and one year in prison for each firearm.
Bring shovels. LOTS of shovels.
Clearly, since such sweeps could not take place all across the country at the same time. But fairly quickly there would begin to be gun-swept, gun-free areas where there should be no firearms. If there were, those carrying them would be subject to quick confiscation and prosecution. On the streets it would be a question of stop-and-search of anyone, even grandma with her walker, with the same penalties for “carrying.”
Allow me to introduce you to the Fourth Amendment – “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
The “gun lobby” would no doubt try to head off in the courts the new laws and the actions to implement them. They might succeed in doing so, although the new approach would undoubtedly prompt new, vigorous debate on the subject. In any case, some jurisdictions would undoubtedly take the opportunity of the chronic slowness of the courts to begin implementing the new approach.
And those areas will be crime havens.
America’s long land and sea borders present another kind of problem. It is easy to imagine mega-gun dealerships installing themselves in Mexico, and perhaps in more remote parts of the Canadian border area, to funnel guns into the United States. That would constitute a problem for American immigration authorities and the U.S. Coast Guard, but not an insurmountable one over time.
I can see the Border Patrol now – “Hey Pedro, you packing? No? Here’s some water and a Social Security card.”
There could conceivably also be a rash of score-settling during hunting season as people drew out their weapons, ostensibly to shoot squirrels and deer, and began eliminating various of their perceived two-footed enemies. Given the general nature of hunting weapons and the fact that such killings are frequently time-sensitive, that seems a lesser sort of issue.
Oh, and the fact that, other than Chai Vang, hunters just don’t do that now, either during hunting season or outside of hunting season.
That is my idea of how it could be done. The desire to do so on the part of the American people is another question altogether, but one clearly raised again by the Blacksburg tragedy.
Frankly, your idea sucks, is unconstitutional, and wouldn’t work even if it were constitutional.