Wednesday, January 16, 2013


So, the Obama administration offered up twenty-three things it wants to see in regard to guns.

Apparently these were so heinous that Facebook posters on my friends list were driven insane. 

I read them. Twice. If you want to, and you should, google 'em.

Do I think it will fix the problem? No. Am I going to take to the streets in revolution? No. 

I offered this online:

I'm a Second Amendment guy, and no, it's not about deer hunting. On the other hand, nor do I believe that it means any civilian can own any weapon he wants, anywhere, any time.

Last week, a couple of dweebs locally shouldered their black rifles and took a stroll down the street, because they could do so legally. Past a school.

They did it, they said, to acquaint people with the law, since open carry is allowed in this state, at least some places. The police got scores of man-with-a-gun calls and they showed up in force. Given what happened recently, how would you feel if you looked out the window at that school and saw two men thus armed approaching?

Yeah, so would I. Because they could do it doesn't mean they should, but it's legal. 

That "well-regulated militia" part seems to get completely lost. 

I don't see anybody frothing at the mouth because they can't run down to the Walmart and buy a pocket battleship to keep out on the lake for bass fishing. Do you lie awake nights enraged because you cannot drive your cocked-and-loaded tank to the 7-Eleven for a six-pack? You want to keep a stinger missile handy for when those pesky black helicopters fly over?

I hope not. Because I certainly don't want those toys in the hands of civilians, nor do I expect most people with two neurons to spark at each other would, either.

The fact is that weapons for civilians have been regulated from the git-go, and no sane society would have it any other way. Not that we are particularly sane around here; still, most people accept those limits.

There hasn't been civilian parity with the military vis a vis arms since the Pennsylvania long-rifle days. If anybody believes a black rifle and high-cap magazines are going to put him on a par with the United States Marines or the Rangers or the SEALs, or even the basic Army ground-pounder, they are living between Sleeping Beauty's castle and Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. 

Whatever you think about the immutability of the Constitution and its Amendments? It gets addressed by SCOTUS all the time, and altered as society changes. Whatever the founders of the country wanted, they were slave-owning white men and certainly not infallible. 

Yes, regulations should be designed so that law-abiding citizens aren't disarmed, but if you are ready to fight and die to keep your thirty-round magazine? We aren't on the same page. 

Saw a gun dealer interviewed on the news last night regarding high-cap magazines. Why does somebody need a thirty-round magazine? he was asked.

Well, you know, people who shoot a lot, it's inconvenient for them to have to stop and reload so often …

Really? That's all you got? You couldn't carry three ten-rounders? How long does it take you make a magazine change? Half an hour? If you count "one thousand one, one thousand two, one thousand three," and you can't manage to drop-and-swap, you probably ought not to be operating a semi-automatic firearm.

But leave all that. And the part about how Obama has grabbed all those guns, did I miss that? How many types of firearms have been made illegal by his administration? How many get grabbed by those 23 talking points? 

Let me count them, lemme see, one, two, three, um … wait … 

Zero. Nothing in this list takes a single weapon away from a law-abiding citizen.


Master Plan said...

In a way this all does certain gun sellers a favor as pre-ban weapons\mags will now see their value appreciate considerably.

Likewise the more the NRA\whoever can whip up some, "They're gonna take ALL our guns!!!!", hysteria the more of them sell.

The NRA should be giving Obama money; since he took office the only articles I've seen reference more and more and more gun, magazine, ammo buying.

Steve Perry said...

Sure, lines have been snaking out the gun stores locally here since the kids got shot. Congress, with its 9% approval rate isn't going to outlaw anything. States will do what they will do, and that's the same as it's been.

There are enough gray-market pieces out there that tracking all future sales, public, gun-show, or private means Uncle can never pinpoint every firearm. You great-great grandfather's cap-n'-ball revolver will, if somebody kept it wrapped in oily rags, still work as well as it did in 1865.

It's a giant can of worms. There is no easy solution to cowboy mentality. I don't know the answers, but we sure as hell need to find some.

Anonymous said...


A rational and intelligent response to things. I enjoyed reading it.

Why do I suspect some of the return mail you'll be getting to it will be less rational or intelligent.

Steve Perry said...

Lord knows I don't have the answer to this problem, which is a can of worms the size of Idaho; but it is a problem and if there is a solution to be found, it is going to have to come from the middle, because the fringes on either side have no give, and no desire to get there.

All black or all white doesn't address gray, and that's where most of us live most of the time.

Don Hilliard said...

Steve -

You keep drivin' the nails.

Half the conversations I've heard at work today (I live about 100mi south of you as the crow flies) have been bitching (at minimum) and convoluted conspiracist crap (at maximum) about this.

And yeah, were I to move back to California I'd have to trade in the thirteen-round mags for my Hi-Power for tenners. Mildly annoying, but not the biggest problem in my life.

The two putzes in Portland, BTW, aren't exploiting Oregon's open-carry laws, which allow municipalities to restrict such. They're exploiting a badly-written clause in Oregon's CONCEALED-carry laws, which as written and liberally interpreted allow open carry, regardless of local laws, if one has a CCW permit.

I'm sick of this crap. And I get the feeling that you are, too.

Here's a thought: I believe that you and I share the same Congressman, who is a Democrat shading toward the conservative side. I believe that responsible shooters should have a voice in whatever legislation is going to come down the pike. (And it IS, make no mistake.) And I believe, still, that our Federal government can truly represent the will of the people.

Shoot me a call or an e-mail (no pun intended), and let's you and I discuss our various thoughts on reasonable laws...and then discuss them with our friends and acquaintances...and then kick 'em up the chain and see if we can do some good.

You have my e-mail (and my geographic location) via a rabbit hole of a message board that we both sometimes contribute to. My number's in the book.

William Adams said...

It's the same old problems which is sad, since it should be a brand new world. Ideally we could use technology to build a post-scarcity utopia, but technology doesn't address the basics of:

- education --- people need to be able to learn things which will let them have a fulfilling career (not temp job)

- societal effects of increased automation --- wages as a share of the gross domestic product have been declining since 1972, but worker hours and productivity have been steadily increasing

- long term investment returns --- how large does the market have to be for everyone in the world to have a 401-K which they can retire on?

- taxes to fund local governments and essential services --- what happens to revenues as homes switch over to geothermal and solar for energy? how does one fund highway construction if most consumer vehicles which pay the bulk of fuel taxes switch over to electric?

but the modern world we have is likely to start bumping into some unpleasant numbers as we start to run out of oil.

- all the biomass from farming in the U.S., each year, if directly converted to bio-fuels would equal ~14% of annual U.S. consumption

- current farming techniques are depleting top soil at a faster rate than it can be replenished --- and allowing top soil w/ as much fertilizer as modern tecnhiques put into it to run into the ocean is causing problems which may affect fish stocks.

One interesting story which looks at this from an idealistic viewpoint is Marshall Brain's _Manna_:

Anonymous said...

Steve, as I understand (my husband's reporting of it), my governor and legislature just outlawed all magazines except 7-round magazines. We can keep 10-round magazines from before the passing of the new law, but only hold 7 rounds in them.
Also, as we understand it, there *are* no 7-round magazines.

Steve Perry said...

Most magazines for pistols or rifles can be modified to hold fewer rounds by using a plastic plug. This has been done for hunting weapons in some states for a long time -- a shotgun tube might hold five, but a plug is inserted so that only three can be loaded.

Somebody will start making these for New York state pretty quickly, I'd imagine.

There are seven-round magazines for a lot of calibers, including the basic Colt. 45 ACP.

Although it does seem to say you can keep a ten round magazine you already have as long as you only load seven into it.

An additional round can be chambered, so a pistol can effectively hold eight, and this one doesn't count.

Revolvers, depending on the type and caliber, hold from five to nine cartridges, and don't seem to be addressed as such.

I haven't read the law yet, but here are the main points:

What it looks like is that if you already own weapons that are of the "single" or "double feature" type, you have to register them by 2014. Can't buy new ones, can't sell your old ones to anybody but a dealer or somebody out-of-state.

Ammunition checks start in 2014.

Cliff said...

I hope you take this the right way... I love you, man. Thank you for the sanity.

Steve Perry said...

Don't get me wrong -- I believe that the hammer-them-into-quiche-pan crowd wants nothing less than that -- no guns in civilian hands, period. Any step in that direction makes them salivate.

But that's not happening any time soon.

Just as I think the tanks-should-be-legal and nuclear-on-the-table folks on the other side of the spectrum believe a journalist mentioning the word "gun" in a story is an infringement on the 2nd.

Neither of these sides is going to budge, no minds will change no matter what gets said.

The majority are, in theory, how things are supposed to be run. If enough of them -- and that means "me," too -- want something, it is possible we might be able to get something done.

The problem is difficult. Any solution will be likewise difficult. But if we don't try, we surely won't get it done.