Sebastian (Snowflakes in Hell) dealt with Chris Floyd's first installment of anti-NRA hate speech quite well, and I thus didn't see a need to add my own take (which would have been pretty much along the lines of "Yeah--what he said"). I see now that Chris has decided to expand on his position. I guess I'll take this one.
However, I am somewhat dubious of the "gun ownership is an indispensable bulwark against The Man" argument. You can have a house crammed full of AK-47s, but if they send a SWAT team – or the 101st Airborne – against you, you are still going downIf they don't know who has "a house crammed full of AK-47s," how will they know where to send their stormtroopers? Getting a clue yet about our utter rejection of gun registration schemes?
Having some guns around the house might let you take a few with you, but they are not going to stop the gargantuan armed might of a modern superpower.Have you mentioned that to the insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan, Chris? It would probably save a lot of lives if they realized that their lack of fighter jets, tanks, heavy artillery, helicopter gunships, and submarines (or any navy at all) dooms their insurgency. But I think you know that's wrong. Insurgencies are devilishly difficult to fight, even for superpowers.
Or even a backwater tyranny: as we've learned in recent years, almost every household in Iraq traditionally packs heat, and did so throughout Saddam's reign, and that didn't stop him and the Baath Party from imposing a ruthless dictatorship.The Baath Party dictatorship rendered privately possessed weapons largely irrelevant by crushing the will to resist, by creating an atmosphere of fear and paranoia in which secret policemen would destroy any nascent rebellion before it ever began.
They won't march, they won't strike, they won't boycott, they won't put spikes under the Black Maria's tires; they won't do anything except carp to a pollster every now and then. It doesn't matter if such a quiescent populace has weapons at home or not; they're not going to stand up against "The Man" in any case.Don't be so sure. The sleeping giant of Americans' love of liberty might be maddeningly difficult to wake, but I do not believe it to be dead. Those in power seem hell bent on exploring the limits of the people's patience with the state's innumerable usurpations of power that belongs, rightfully, to the people. If those limits are reached, today's "gun violence" that has the gun restriction advocates in such a bed-wetting uproar will be looked back on with nostalgia.
As for the lapse in the assault ban fueling the Mexican drug war, this was a statement by a law enforcement official involved in the situation. I didn't just pull the idea out of my hat. If he's wrong, well, he's wrong, and I was wrong to quote him. Send me stats or evidence to counter the notion, and I'll be happy to see it.Sebastian already addressed that, and I quote:
It was allowed to expire because it was worthless. Machine guns are already, for all practical purposes, illegal. The assault weapons ban covered things like pistol groups, flash suppressors, and bayonet lugs. Can you explain how any of these impacts the function of the rifle?Not to mention that the "ban" on "assault weapons" didn't even actually ban even the ones that did have two or more of the "evil" features that put them on the "assault weapon" list--if they had been in the country before the effective date of the "ban," they were perfectly legal to own, to buy, and to sell. There were thus many hundreds of thousands of "assault weapons" in the country, perfectly legally.
As for the NRA, it is the organization's national leadership itself that boasts of its political pull, its intimate connection with the White House, etc. I didn't make that up either.So you don't think advocacy groups should try to cultivate political pull? What, exactly, do you suppose is the point of advocacy groups?
Nor did I make up the fact that the NRA has pushed laws restricting the rights of communities to exercise their freedom to take issues to the courts. Of course, every case that a city might file against gun corporations might not be legitimate and well-grounded; some will be, some won't – but that's for a jury to decide. (And if the case is truly specious, it will be thrown out anyway.) But I do think that it is heinous and dangerous to dictate by legislation what issues a community or individual can or cannot take to court.I suppose this is a reference to the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which, contrary to your objections, leaves plenty of room for legitimate lawsuits (and, with the help of activist judges, apparently still leaves enough even for the illegitimate ones)
I got into the NRA angle in the post because I was upset at the treatment doled out to my AFP colleague Jayne Stahl after she wrote an article stating her beliefs on America's gun culture. For this expression of her ideas, she was subjected to death threats, and ugly behavior exacerbated by an official NRA website.Have any evidence that the NRA made, or even endorsed, death threats? By the way, have any arrests been made in conjunction with those threats? If I understand correctly, the capability exists to track such threats to their source--if the threats were truly made, one would think action would be taken. Stahl's screed was offensive and inaccurate--she has the right to be both of those things, but she ought not be surprised that there will be a backlash.
Chris wrote more, but I have already spent enough of my time on this vacuous bed-wetter. Chris takes issue with much of what the government does (I can hardly hold that against him), but he seems to want to minimize the force the people can use to stop it. Kind of odd, don't you think?