Guns and Erring on the Side of Freedom

The events in Las Vegas should have us all questioning things. How could this happen? Why didn’t anybody know this was in the planning stages? And what about the “bump stock” which allowed this shooter to spray a crowd?


And what about all those guns?


I own guns. Just a few, and none of them are the big scary black kind that the left seems intent on banning. But I also know that the culprit in any mass killing is the individual doing the crime.

The tools which allowed this shooter to kill so many will be debated and discussed. There will be stupid and ignorant assumptions made, and somebody will try again the blame the gun. Banning black, evil looking guns is not really the answer.

 I had a great conversation with a family member who brought up the idea that the Second Amendment was written when muskets were the primary weapon. 

We wandered into discussions of street crime vs. mass shootings.  Apparently a lot of “mass shootings” are being blamed on white guys, while I [pointed out that the carnage in Las Vegas is a bit like a month in Chicago.  We added in the obvious fact that this time we apparently don’t have a Muslim convert as the suspect — though the police are still trying to find a motive.

 It was a frank and honest exchange, because that’s the type of person I was talking with. Too many people jump to odd conclusions about guns because of snippets of information floating about the web. I pointed out that the Second Amendment is not a law, which can be easily changed. But it is open to repeal or editing, just like all parts of the Constitution. Just convince 2/3rds of Congress and 2/3rds of the state legislatures…

Can’t get that much support? Maybe it’s not an Amendment that needs changing. That’s hard. Taking the position that guns are not the problem seems difficult, with so many people dead.  At the same time, we are a nation that is bound to our Constitution and our laws. When they lead, our leaders should err on the side of freedom. 

Update: Apparently Jimmy Kimmel has abandoned comedy for punditry. Breitbart news is not amused. 

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6 Responses to Guns and Erring on the Side of Freedom

  1. JorgXMcKie says:

    Strictly speaking, hospitals “kill” more people than guns do [especially the single payer VA system]. Should we ban hospitals, or prevent people from going to them or what?
    A good friend of mine went to one of the very best VA hospitals in the country for an operation that has become pretty routine. He got an infection and spent 26 days in ICU. Damn near killed him. He still hasn’t been told how he probably got the infection.


  2. SPQR says:

    The idea that guns are uniquely able to kill huge numbers of people is a fallacy. In Nice last year a terrorist with a large truck killed more people. Some years ago, a man with a can of gasoline killed nearly 90 people in the Happyland disco in New Jersey. Our civilization has an unlimited number of ways to cause harm in large quantities.

    Liked by 3 people

    • crawford421 says:

      I always think of the Battle of Cannae — between 70,000 and 90,000 men killed in a single afternoon. ALL WITH MUSCLE-POWERED WEAPONS.

      Gettysburg — fought with guns and cannons — lasted three days and saw 2/3rds as many casualties.


  3. onwyrdsdream says:

    I like to point out that, with the popularity of crime shows, most people should be aware of method, motive, and opportunity, which get repeated endlessly. Killing someone with a gun is a method, but there are a lot of methods. You can kill someone with a candy wrapper or a pillow, a wine bottle, knives, cars, a tiny amount of water, power tools, non-power tools. There is surprisingly little in this world that can’t kill someone if you try hard enough, and quite a lot that doesn’t take much effort. There are probably hundreds of thousands of engineers who could fashion a rudimentary weapon capable of killing someone just from the stuff you find in a convenience store. If you walk around a grocery store parking lot which is filled with people swinging around one ton hammers with lethal amounts of energy but are afraid of people walking around with a potentially lethal device that is not being brandished, perhaps the problem is you.

    It isn’t the method that is the problem. Murder existed before guns, and mass murder has happened without them being involved. Hundreds of Millions of Americans walk around with several potential methods to kill someone, and occasionally a lot of someones, through the course of the day without anyone being purposefully injured. Every death from car crash, accidentally discharged weapon, or electrocution is tragic, but no one considers banning cars or electricity. Well. No one sane.

    Likewise, there isn’t really a shortage of opportunity. Depending upon how concerned you are about escaping afterward (which in the case of mass shooters, seems to be zero) the opportunities range from rare (where you don’t want to get caught) to almost constant (where you don’t really care if you get caught, so long as you achieve your end.)

    Rather, for the people who are interested in mass shootings, the opportunities consist of places with lots of unarmed people. No guns allowed may signal honest people to disarm, but to someone who wants to kill a lot of people, it reads o-p-p-o-r-t-u-n-i-ty. And I’d like to point out that a gun isn’t really the best way to kill a lot of people at once. A gun is fairly slow, and allows many of the potential victims to escape. That is why, worldwide, history-wide, the most deaths in the least time are caused by explosions, a contagion, and/or fire. There is a reason the Twin towers attack didn’t involve a platoon of Al Quida agents storming the buildings. To say that they couldn’t is naive. But even with many people and fully automatic weapons, the number of people who’d die before they were eliminated would be less. Plus madmen like destroying symbols.

    In any case, the motive, they more or less want us to ignore. Any attempt to do something about the motive, either through cultural indoctrination, though mental health screening, via preventing people from foreign and likely to have a motive from entering in an undocumented fashion, or by deterrence of poisonous philosophies is outright denied by the anti-gun crowd. Any attempt to reduce the opportunities, though screening, assuring armed defense of the vulnerable, or though removal (via deportation, prison, or execution) of irredeemable threats is denied. All that is left is method. But, as I pointed out in the first paragraph, there are a lot of methods. I realize the left would like to live in a world where no one has to defend themselves. Both from a lack of personal want as they feel that is the government’s job, and from the perspective that people unable to defend themselves would, in various senses, be forced to listen to what they say.. but, well, a world without a need for self defense is not a world that has more than 3 people in it. Perhaps it’s unpleasant to hear, but Marx’s ideal man will never exist. Of course, as he was a sociopath, I think his view on what ideal was was also a bit off.


  4. This Other Latin F*cker says:

    I’ve pointed out to people in the past that if the 2nd only applies to muskets then the 1st only applies to ink quills and manually operated printing presses. The usual response is “Well that’s different”. People only see what they want in the Constitution. Like the “right” to abortion. Or the “right” to free healthcare.

    Liked by 1 person

    • onwyrdsdream says:

      Also, on the American side, several of the cannons employed were privately owned. Likewise the founding fathers had observed primitive (mostly 1 off) rapid firing weaponry, so if anything they would probably interpret the Second Amendment more broadly than we do.


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