Makes no sense

Robyn Ringer, in her blog posting Unfettered Access to Guns Makes No Sense, says:

Restrictions must exist in regard to who can own a gun.  Allowing criminals, the mentally ill, and children easy access to guns makes no sense.  And restrictions must exist in regard to the types of guns that may be purchased.  Allowing the ownership of guns that can shoot down airplanes or cause massive numbers of casualties in just seconds or minutes makes no sense.

It’s actually Ringer that makes no sense. If someone is allowed “unfettered access” to gasoline and matches then they should have the same access to firearms. Either you can trust them to roam the streets or they should be locked up or, in rare cases, executed. Molotov Cocktails can take out tanks but you don’t hear the anti-gun bigots trying to restrict access to gasoline and bottles. It’s just guns their irrational minds cannot tolerate. These bigots need to be answer Just One Question. But of course they can’t answer it.

3 thoughts on “Makes no sense

  1. I tried to post a link back here. I wasn’t bright enough to get the comments to take the link.
    Sorry.

  2. I tried slapping together a post on the matter, but I dunno if it’ll make it through her comment filter.

    I hate to ask a stupid question, but do you also suggest we should heavily restrict access to computers, shop tools, and the majority of the stock at any local grocery store?

    As you read this, you sit next to the necessary materials to produce thermite, the components electrical device capable of killing an adult from four feet, and a laser capable of blinding an individual in mere microseconds; all parts of the wonderful technology used for nothing but entertainment and productivity. Shop tools are obviously dangerous on their own and can be used to easily manufacture weapons including firearms. Many food or home utility components can be deadly (in the classical case of bleach and ammonia), explosive (the lesser-known example of ‘Coca-Cola’ TM and molten candle wax), or a fun combination (egg whites and gasoline make something quite similar to napalm).

    Tactically, I’m also unfamiliar with any firearm capable of reliably taking down an aircraft larger than an RC car. The weapon most typically cited for such purposes, a rifle chambered for .50 BMG which is also the most powerful cartridge not considered a destructive device and licensed by the BATFE, is not particularly effective at such a task. These weapons provide less than 15,000 ft-lbs of force and create holes smaller than the width of the average human thumb, not exactly enough to significantly imperil a Cessna without incredible luck — equivalent to taking out a car with a tossed pebble. These weapons also are limited to less than 2,000 meters of effective range against metal and thus not particularly effective against aircraft which tend to spend their time above 7,000 feet.
    While they were once used as anti-aircraft weaponry, doing so required more than 12,000 bullets for every enemy aircraft downed, and those aircraft relied on WWII technology and flew at very low altitudes to drop bombs.

    More powerful ammunition and weaponry exists, although most are currently regulated by the BATFE, but largely any gun remains limited by the simple limitations of size and technology. Simple physics dictates that any weapon capable of taking down an aircraft by anything but a freak accident would fall quite far from the traditional definition of firearm.

    The United States Constitution refers to arms, which as any reading of Jefferson’s writings show included bladed weapons and conventional firearms but not cannons or explosives not usable as deflagrates. As a result, no originalist reading of the Constitution prevent bans on the sort of weapons required to take down aircraft.

    Finally, the “no sense … a patron to [falsely] yell “Fire!” in a crowded theatre” example comes from the SCOTUS case ‘Schenck v. United States’, which has been overturned, and thus while an individual doing so could deal with being ejected from the theatre, civil suits and even a manslaughter or bodily harm rap, the actual speech itself would be protected. The replacement test established by ‘Brandenburg v. Ohio’ requires that any speech be directed to incite imminent lawless action and likely to cause that lawless action before an officer of the peace could be summoned.

    It’s arguable whether this make sense, but it’s a rather common mistakes to make when defining limitations of constitutional rights. Thus, I feel they are important to correct, if only to for the edutainment. 13 USC 311 defines the militia as composed of all males over the age of 17 and younger than 45, and thus the whole “individual versus collective” is moot to a degree.

    Dunno if it’s particularly good, though.

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