Wednesday, January 09, 2013

More on gun control

The rhetoric on both sides of the gun control issue in the US is, not surprisingly, heating up to a pitch I do not recall seeing in recent memory. I don't think even the Columbine shooting generated this kind of momentum. Where it will ultimately lead is still an open question, of course. With shots like this coming from guns rights advocates, however, it looks like the pro-gun forces might just prevail.

To quote:

The position of pro-Second Amendment Americans is that gun ownership is part of the fundamental human right to self-defense, explicitly stated in the Constitution by the Founding Fathers due to an overarching political philosophy regarding the balance of power between the individual and the state.

The position of the anti-gun activists in the Obama administration is “guns are icky.”

The media consider them the intellectuals in this debate.


Some of the gun control proposals I have heard are quite extreme, not only exceeding the regulations of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban which expired in 2004, but even going beyond the legal restrictions in Canada and some other western countries. Admittedly, the most extreme proposals are being made by some liberal state senators in blue states and aren't likely to gain much traction at the federal level, but they do gain media attention far in excess of what is warranted. Inevitably this filters down to the voting public as something seriously being considered and there is a run on sales of AR-15s. Such is the perversity of this debate.

Now, personally, I tend to lean toward the gun rights side, but I'm not convinced by some of the arguments of the pro-gun lobby. The framers of the US Constitution may indeed have envisioned the right to bear arms as a necessary counterweight to power of the state, but the simple fact is, that balance does not exist anymore regardless of the Second Amendment. Semi-automatic rifles are highly-effective at slaughtering civilians and even give local police forces trouble, but against armoured fighting vehicles and Predator drones, they are useless. If the US government wishes to oppress its people and the US military is on side with that, civilian small arms are not going to make much of a difference.



Gleichman said...

In general I wish that people would leave real world political issues out of RPG blogs...

But since it's here...

To answer the question about the effectiveness of civilian arms vs. the Government...

I consider this a very secondary argument to make as the primary one is the right of self-defense and relationship between the individual and the State.

But since it's been raised- the issue isn't who would win in a stand up fight.

The issue is that the Government has decided upon a course that causes the people to undertake a lethal response. This in turn causes a serious gut check for the national military/police (who in our case, draw heavily upon those same people in recruitment) as they must decide if they're willing to fire upon their own people to enforce the government action.

If the answer is no, revolution follows. If yes, the rebellion either ends, or moves on to becoming an Insurgency. The course of that Insurgency will determine the final outcome.

The threat here is what matters. That an armed people *could* take exception to government action is a reason for government to avoid highly contentious action.

A people without firearms, and the traditions around them are less likely (and able) to make that first stand as they don't have a lethal option. Restricted to non-lethal methods, they can be dealt with as a simple riot and the 'gut check' by the military/police is less troublesome.

For what it's worth, my own opinion is a very traditional American one. However I think those traditions are dying and I expect much of what I believe and do to be unlawful if not in my lifetime- in my children's.

Rognar said...

There is some merit to that position. However, I suspect any government that has degenerated to the point of large-scale violent suppression of the civilian population will have already undertaken significant incremental measures to isolate and neutralize the more belligerent sectors of that population.

As to your first point, I can't say I feel any reluctance to discuss more serious issues on my blog. Even high-profile political bloggers like Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit include some pretty lightweight stuff from time to time. So what's wrong with going the other way. Having said that, I have a growing sense that the days are numbered for this blog in its current form. Quite frankly, there is almost nothing to talk about anymore as far as tabletop role-playing games are concerned.

Gleichman said...

Part of "isolate and neutralize the more belligerent sectors" includes removing and tracking weapons. As the old chestnut notes, Gun Control was an early Nazi policy.

Back to RPGs, I'm sort of with you. The hobby has stagnated in a form that I find very unappealing, leaving little to actually talk about.