Guns. Sensibly, Responsibly, Constitutionally.
I need your help. Please take a few minutes. It’s a quick read. There’s lots of spacing.
Maybe pass the word for others to read this and leave a yea or nay comment. I’m not fishing for views. I need guidance; enough of a response so that it’s representative.
I’m new here. You aren’t new to me. I’ve been reading LGF for years. It’s the third of my five morning reads (sorry). I think you’re an intelligent, critically thinking community, with a fair dose of humor, and you co-exist as a cross section of opinions and circumstances. Rural/urban, states/ regions, USA / not, gun owners / not, etc. I know many of you well.
I am new to you. I am a US citizen. So as not to bias or spin, I will save the rest of my personal pedigree for later.
I’m anonymous. No megaphone or following. I’ve been working with an idea for quite some time that I think has merit. To test it I registered to create my first page here. (Was going to register last week when I was yelling at my screen hoping for someone to acknowledge “homo’s, algebra”. Relief when a bunch of folks nailed it.)
I’m not as eloquent as I’d like to be. I’ve not been exact with my use of terms. I think what I mean is clear enough. (And yes. His = his/her, and all that.) And it’s very possible some of these ideas and quotes came from someone else originally - maybe even here; recently or years ago. I’ve lost track just making sure I save quality thinking when I see it.
What I want is significant reduction in the numbers. The approximately 30,000 gun deaths per year. And that other, likely much larger number that isn’t half as well quantified: injuries, incidents, accidents, choose your own word for “the tragic stuff”..
I want action. Positive, forward progress. Tangible results.
Shiplord Kirel recently wrote “Any attempt at gun control, no matter how modest or reasonable, will fail because of the pervasive nature of the conspiracy theory that underlies practically all right wing thinking on the issue.“ It struck me and I saved it. I’m sorry I can’t cite to the original now. Whether the second part is true - “anything is the first step in them coming for our guns”, the first certainly is: “Any attempt at gun control, no matter how modest or reasonable, will fail”.
I read the Samantha Bee Eddie Eagle thread. And a few others in the last month. I am frustrated. Nothing changes. The arguments are regurgitated, tired. Everyone digs in and nearly always end up back in their starting corner. There is no movement. Not incrementally. Not productively.
The idea of affixing responsibility with consequences has been going round in my head for years. And I’ve had more than enough watching the incessant dance. Then out came this sort of polemic, rambling, probably repetitive, rant that needed somewhere to go. And here we are.
This article was a good try. Interesting even though the database idea is a nonstarter for me. It’s unnecessary and it’ll never happen. And see how the comments immediately get lost in a haze of disingenuous detail while they ignore the overarching theme: accept the accountability for whatever your gun does or don’t own a gun. No mandatory compliance of any kind.
What I see happening is nothing. After every newsworthy event. And all over other general discussions or diaries that go off topic and shift to guns and then, inevitably, derail completely.
Incessantly recycled for and against whatever arguments that do not change the balance of political leverage. Even if all sides were mostly honest and passionate, they have not demonstrably persuaded substantial numbers of people to change positions nor to act.
Twisted interpretations of what the 2A really means, militias, well regulated, competency, forced buy backs / Australia, the purpose of a gun, why I want a gun, why you need a gun, why no one needs a gun, or any other ‘justification’ - all the comparisons to cars, registrations, insurance, etc. Special manufacturer protection laws, databases, permits, buy limits, waiting periods, ammo taxes, bans, training, “guns make you safer”, “no they don’t.”
Most of this is constitutionally impossible stuff no matter how “common sense”.
And clever rhetorical stunts like with the Eddie Eagle costume. What’s their effect? Bumper sticker activism.
I define “work” in this context as getting something done. While everyone digs in defending their own agenda, the actual, real world carnage continues.
No. Unless you’re happy or merely indifferent to 30k+++ a year, none of this “works”. It just maintains a sort of numbly accepted status quo.
I’m frustrated because all this debating has not reduced the death. I sit here angry, sad and helpless while, yet again, everyone argues over the first clause, the second clause, “the comma”, whether clip or magazine is correct, and whether “assault weapon” is a proper term. Oh, and psych evals, smart guns, safes, and on and on.
I think the regulate side will never win or even make significant progress with the goals it has chosen to pursue; lists, checks, bans, limits, training, other “behavior” requirements, etc. There is far too much opposition and more importantly, those steps, at least arguably would not be materially effective.
I think the pro side has gotten too “unrestricted gun access” and defends the 2A with tortured logic to the point of absurdity. I am neither for or against the 2nd amendment as such. It exists and I am sure that its “meaning” will neither be “revealed” nor ever made more clear in some other way.
Further, there is virtually no accountability, no consequences to the owner when things go obviously wrong in use, storage, or transfer. What has to be exposed and remedied is giving a pass to irresponsible and reckless behavior. Were irresponsibility made costly and dangerous, then voluntarily responsibility would be more attractive.
And conveniently for my argument, the pro 2A community already claims, in general that “we’re responsible - it’s other people who aren’t.” Good, we agree. You and everyone you know act responsibly.
The 30k+++ number is undeniable proof that there are a lot of those “others” who aren’t. It’s that group of “others” we focus on. It should be our common goal to rid us of the indisputably irresponsible owner. All of us.
Why isn’t everyone, and especially every pro 2A responsible gun owner screaming for robust, severe laws that affix responsibility on the irresponsible? Good gun owners should want this. It’s not them, and so it wouldn’t affect them. Where is the relentless hue and cry to make the owner responsible for everything done with his weapon? Because (ok my one platitude) - if guns don’t kill people then someone must always be responsible for whatever is done with that gun. Who but the legal owner?
Move in that direction by rendering the arguments on all sides no longer relevant. Not with coercion, persuasion, no changing minds, winning hearts / pulling heartstrings, shaming, begging. By calling everyone’s bluff. Take the wind out of everyone’s sails. Find a path of least (or no honest) resistance. Pick your metaphor.
Ignore everything. All the rhetoric, the lobbying, the sacrosanct constitutional arguments, all the never gonna happen databases, confiscation, restrictions, bans. No constitutional ‘violations’ or infringements, and no requirements to do anything specific. No one has to do anything. Promote basic, unambiguous laws that affix strict responsibility / liability and enforcement where everyone says it already is.
Yes Shiplord’s observation is right. History has proven that you can’t pass long term, effective “gun control”. I think there can be much less gun related human tragedy by focusing on “we already do act responsibly”. And nothing else. The framework to get stuff passed is “a broad 2A interpretation” coupled with “we are responsible gun owners”.
I think the one and only thing necessary for the overall rate of gun violence to go down slowly and surely is for each person who chooses to exercise his right to keep and bear arms to be accountable for his own personal actions.
I asked above, why isn’t everyone…? Because right now they don’t have to. Play it through; it’s obvious.
I think personal responsibility with consequences for failure will encourage people to be more careful. They will want the laws. And they will voluntarily take other steps to protect their naked self interests. Or not.
That only the individual is responsible for his own decisions and behavior and must be held accountable is a hard position to argue against.
An effective message should be clear, concise and unassailable. For the most part, the one side claims they are responsible people and should not have to do anything just because other people aren’t. For the most part, one side wants to see the 30k+++ a year number reduced by a lot. Take them all at their word.
Give everyone what they want and nothing they don’t want. Here’s the only message anyone should ever focus on:
1. Control your weapon at all times.
1a. You, the owner, are responsible for however that weapon is used, whatever it does and/or how you manage its temporary or permanent transfer.
2. If you don’t control your weapon, you will be held accountable criminally, civilly, financially and with your future right to exercise the 2A.
Change the “you” to “I” and it works just as well.
This is not a gotcha exercise to point out hypocrisy. To not wholeheartedly embrace this lays bare the pro 2A position as insincere and unscrupulously so. Because they’ve always said this is their position. Well ‘we’ want to fully embrace it and where it naturally must lead to in law. Otherwise you want immunity from liability for what only you have complete and total legal and physical control over. If so, you’ve just lost any societal moral/ethical high ground. I think the constitutional one as well (next diary). And the low ground. It’s a long term loser argument.
Let’s stay out of the weeds for now. I don’t want to get lost in the details of “how”. Once there’s consensus on the goal, “the details of solution thinking” form easily. Crafting creative and innovative nonpartisan laws with teeth that make it incredibly onerous to be irresponsible. Not clever ways to push an agenda.
If this diary has merit, my next diary will explain the philosophy, assumptions and how and why I think laws of accountability can and would work to substantially reduce the general carnage.
I need your help with points of view that are outside my own self serving head. To hear from people who don’t know me personally. Is this just another rhetorical exercise destined for byte junk heap like every other gun conversation that devolves into predictable polarity? Am I naive? Or worse, in self-deluded Anne Elk territory? And if so, why? Why is the idea so ludicrous that anyone would actively not support it as well as whatever they wanted to promote? Why not both?
Do you think it would be received well if just the two point message were dropped into a conversation elsewhere? Does it stand up on its own without explanation or context?
Help me to understand non-loon based objections.
And lastly, do you know if this has been tried already? I haven’t seen it.
Because I want action. Not in moving the needle or bridging the gap between the differing positions. On the numbers. Please help me see objections I may be missing.
In summing up, how does anyone not support this: You are accountable to you and you are accountable to the rest of us. If you knowingly, willingly, voluntarily and lawfully choose to keep and bear arms, anything that happens to, with or by your arms is entirely and completely your own individual responsibility.
If there is responsibility, there must be consequence. What’s left is inescapable forward motion that cannot be shaded in a partisan way. The laws write themselves.
Thank you for reading. Tell me what you think.
Pass the word, if it’s not obnoxious for me to ask. Don’t make me have to shamelessly drop comments in active threads begging for traffic.