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Photo taken from deck of Warren's home.

Weapons of War

Since the Florida school shooting, I’ve been hearing more talk about “weapons of war” and less about “assault weapons.”

“No one should be able to buy these weapons of war.”

“Why does anyone need these weapons of war?”

“The AR-15 is a weapon of war and no one should be able to have them.”

“These weapons of war are only good for killing large numbers of people.”

It appears that “weapons of war” may supplant “assault weapons” and “assault rifles” in the media and modern lexicon. I welcome the change.

Why do I prefer “weapons of war” over the bogus “assault rifle” terminology to describe the AR-15 moderm sporting rifle? Because it gets right to the heart of the matter. And that is that the Constitution spectifcally protects the right of the people to keep and bear weapons of war.

At the time of the founding, there was no standing army [1] and the founders did not want a standing army. If there was a war to fight, the militia was called up and each militiaman was expected to show up with his own musket, powder and ball and be ready to go to war. That is, with his own, personal, weapon of war.

It was expected that he would be well practiced and accurate (well regulated [2]) with his musket.

Now, it can be argued that the Second Amerdment is an anachronism. I don’t believe it is, but that’s a discussion for another day.

So, unless and until the Second Amendment is repealed, The Supreme Law of the Land protects the right to keep and bear weapons of war. And nothing the federal legislature or the president or the supreme court does can change that. The only thing that laws, regulations and court rulings can do is to infringe that constitutionally-protected right.

Every time someone mentions weapons of war, we should point out that it is precisely weapons of war that are protected by the Constitution.

 

[1]
There is still, technically, no standing army. The Constitution forbids “Appropriation of Money to that Use [Armies] shall be for a longer Term than two Years…” The legislature continues to appropriate funds at intervals such that we have a standing army in effect, if not technically speaking.

[2]
Remember those old “Regulator” clocks? Regulated means it is accurate and consistent. (Not micromanaged.)

A Question For Millennials

I have a question for the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and others of their generation. It is a question they do not seem to be asking themselves but which they ought to ponder. It is not a hypothetical question – I really, really want to know what they think on the subject.

So that they might be fully aware of my reason for asking this question — letting them know where I’m coming from — I should explain that I graduated high school in the class of 1964. In my HS we had a rifle club.

Others of my generation belonged to trap and skeet teams in school and brought their shotguns to school, put them and their ammo in their lockers until after class and then went shooting on the HS team. (One fellow tells that, at his school, one had to leave his shotgun and ammo in the Principal’s office and pick it up after classes.)

Others of my generation took their rifles to school, left them in the back of the classroom and then, on the way home, bagged a few squirrels for dinner.

It was a time before FFLs (Federal Firearms Licensees — gun dealers), long before background checks and a time when one could buy a gun at Sears & Roebuck, the Western Auto store, a hardware store and anywhere else that chose to sell them. You could buy guns by mail order from the ads in the newspaper. Anyone could buy as many guns as they wanted.

By contrast, today, guns have never ever been harder to purchase in the USA.

So, we (my generation) had no FFLs, no background checks, no restrictions on where we could buy guns or how many. We also had no epidemic of school shootings.

So, my question: What has changed between my generation and yours that makes your generation so willing to go to school, and massacre schoolmates?

I think that if you look at the facts, examine them honestly, you will see how best to stop school shootings.

Get back to me when you have an answer. I have my own theory but I’d really, really like to know what you have to say on the matter.

The Gun Debate On Social Media

On a forum I frequent, someone asked for advice on how to address the gun debate on social media. My response was this:

In the gun debate, there are the pro-gun folk, the anti-gun folk and the fence sitters. We (the Right to Keep and Bear Arms defenders) will never convince the antis. Their minds are made up. Facts don’t matter.

The fence sitters, for the most part, are willing to go along with “reasonable” and “commonsense” which means going along with the antis who claim the “reasonable” and “commonsense” ground. We need to make the fence sitters see how nonsensical the antis are. We need to reclaim the “reasonable” and “commonsense” title.

The antis are simply irrational. They are primarily driven by emotion (by definition, irrational). Additionally:

  1. The entire premise of the anti-gunners is that “guns are bad.” Guns are not bad or good, people are.
  2. The people driving gun control measures are largely ignorant when it comes to guns. Very often they simply don’t know what they’re talking about.
  3. Not only are the naysayers ignorant, but much of what they claim to “know” is itself untrue. Much of this is intentional; they are lying and they know it.
  4. The gun controllers only consider the negative things that happen with guns and not the positive. Indeed, they don‘t believe in the existence of positive benefits to society of guns.
  5. Their dire predictions (born of their “commonsense”) have never come true. With any loosening of restrictive gun laws, naysayers predict blood in the streets and shoot-outs over minor incidents becoming commonplace. That it never happens does not seem to have changed their closed minds.
  6. Antis believe that for a gun to be useful defensively, a bad guy needs to be shot. This is simply not true.
  7. The antis distort what the Constitution says about RKBA.

But numbers one (1) and four (4) are the biggees. Unless and until antis acknowledge that there are benefits to society of the people being armed for self defense, there can never be any serious talk about “guns.”

They cannot claim to be “reasonable” and have “commonsense” without taking the very reasonable step of considering all the evidence. Once Defensive Gun Uses (DGUs) are factored in, one is forced to admit that guns are, overall, a benefit to society, being used many more times to prevent crime than to commit it. Just Google “estimates of defensive gun uses” to get some numbers.

Because of (1) above, they want to ban this and restrict that. Yet, the very foundation of their argument is flawed.

We (RKBA supporters) routinely acknowledge that people sometimes do bad things with guns. If they cannot admit that people sometimes also do good things with guns, they are intellectually dishonest and need to be called on it.

So, whether on social media or anywhere else, start by asking them to consider the positive effects of people being armed for self defense**. No one can claim to be “reasonable” and “commonsense” if they are not even considering most of the evidence, indeed, studiously ignoring it.

Offer some numbers on DGUs. Invite then to google it. If they fail to acknowledge that guns have beneficial effects on society, they are obviously not open-minded and there is no point in debating anything. Call them out on not being rational, reasonable or commonsense and move on. You’re unlikely to sway the anti but the conversation may move some fence sitters.

**
Arming teachers is the perfect example. Antis believe that permitting teachers to arm themselves would make them and their students less safe. This is based on the fallacious believe that “guns are bad, period.”

Stop Talking About “The Second Amendment”

Gun rights activists, stop talking about “The Second Amendment.”

As a life-long defender of the U.S. Constitution’s protection of the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (RKBA), I rarely mention “The Second Amendment.” I encourage other RBKA activists to do the same. Speak instead about “The Constitution.”

First off, I don’t know of any gun-rights activst who defends only the one small part of the Constitution that is the Second Amendment. We tend to support the entire Constitution. The Second Amendment is no less a part of the Constitution than any other part. It is the Constitution — the highest law of the land — that protects your RKBA. Don’t be shy about pointing that out!

Secondly, RKBA detractors disparage the Second Amendment as an anachronism. It’s harder to disparage “the Constitution” like that. Just dare them to say that the Constitution no longer applies today. Don’t pin-point the Second Amendment for them so they can attack this one small part of the Constitution. Wrap your argument in the entire Constitution and make it harder for them to disparage it.

And, while I’m at it, don’t talk about RKBA as a “Constitutional right.” Instead, use the somewhat wordier “Constitutionally-protected right.” Why, and what is the difference?

“Constitutional right” implies that RKBA itself comes from the Constitution and we all know that RKBA existed long before there wasa Constitution, long, long before there was a Federal Government.

The Constitution does not confer RKBA, it protects a preexisting Right to Keep and Bear Arms. So, never say, “I have a Constitutional right to keep and bear amrs.” Instead, say, “My right to keep and bear arms is protected by the Constitution.” It’s not a “Constitutional right,” it’s a “Constitutionally protected right.”

So, talk up the Constitution instead of the Second Amendment.

Guns Don’t Belong…

We hear all the time:

“Guns don’t belong in schools.”

“Guns don’t belong in hospitals.”

“Guns don’t belong in church.”

“Guns don’t belong in night clubs.”

The list of places where “guns don’t belong” is considerable. The problem is that “gun-free zones” make fine targets. Assailants will encounter little to no resistance. We the People are sitting ducks in places where “guns don’t belong.”

Anti-gunners are trying to provide Safety by Wishful Thinking. That is, they think that by posting signs, they can enforce a gun-free zone and we will be safe. Of course, signs don’t work. If signs did work, I’d have a “World Peace” billboard on my front lawn.

By posting a “No Guns” sign, they’re just assuring a would-be mass murderer of no opposition and a high body count. Whose side are these people on anyway?

Anti-gunners are quick and vociferous in their condemnation of the one person who had a gun but I have yet to see any hand wringing by the left over all the disarmed people who could not defend themselves. “Safety through defenselessness” is as silly as it sounds and yet this is their stock in trade.

If you want to make a list pf places where “guns don’t belong,” I suggest first making a list of places where it is absolutely impossible for violence to occur. And not just “gunviolence,” any violence, including the far more common kinds of violence. And the more uncommon. I once read about a person who went berserk with a saber on the Staten Island Ferry. I’m guessing there were no “No Sabers” signs. To listen to anti-gunners, you’d think that the only kind of violence there is is “gunviolence.”

When you have your list of places where people will never, ever have to defend themselves, let me know. Then we’ll talk.

Oh, and “Guns don’t belong in civilian hands because they aren’t trained.” But that’s a story for another day.