The misinformed public

I’ve been involved in gun rights activism for over 15 years now and I know that I don’t know everything there is to know about the law, important court cases, and the history of gun control. It shouldn’t be a big surprise to me that others get things wrong but it is.

It wasn’t very long ago that I used to still hear people talk about the Brady Act which banned “assault weapons”. This is wrong. The Brady Act created the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) and a five day waiting period. The waiting period provision disappeared in November of 1998 when the “instant” system went online. It was the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 which banned certain common firearms because they (mostly) were a default color of black or looked ugly to some people (technically this isn’t correct but it has a very high correlation to how it came about).

Many other people believe all guns are registered with the state and/or Federal government. This is a very common misconception in the mainstream media.

Many people believe machine guns and/or suppressors (call “silencers” by most uninformed people) are illegal. This is false. I’ve had people approach me, all concerned, at Boomershoot to tell me “someone over there has a machine gun“. My response is some variant of, “And your point is?” They appear to be shocked that machine guns are legal and that ninjas won’t be dropping from black helicopters any second. Similar things happen when people bring suppressors to the event. And that is with people attending a shooting event. You would think they would be relatively well informed.

Still, as inured as I am to the state of affairs the number and magnitude of errors in this editorial shocked me:

Chicago outlawed guns in 1982, but residents challenged the law, saying that it violated their constitutional rights. In 2008, the Supreme Court passed a 5-4 ruling on the issue; Chicago’s law was found to be in violation of the second amendment.

Of course it was the D.C. ban, not Chicago’s, that was ruled unconstitutional in 2008.

According to a New York Times article, the 2008 case, District of Columbia v. Heller, limited the federal government’s power to regulate gun ownership.

Since the two rulings, Supreme Court judges have been debating whether these decisions should apply nationally, therefore overruling preexisting state and city laws.

There was only one case, Heller, not two that the Supreme Court has ruled on.

Would this ruling overturn all the safety restrictions about where people can carry guns and who can buy them?

Even the Brady Campaign does not believe this or fear monger a slippery slope to this sort of situation.

Guns are everywhere and it’s never the safe, smart people who respect and follow the laws that lose their minds and come barging into post offices or schools to shoot innocent people.

Uhh… duh! Guns are just as common as recreational drugs. Bans on products for which this is a market are never going to be very effective. And the second part of that sentence seems particularly pointless to me. What are they trying to say?

Why should we make it easier for them to carry guns in public? While the argument behind the supporting the second amendment is about preserving our rights, what about our right to safety?

The writer apparently has not done any research on the topic or would have been aware that safety is one of the biggest claims of the pro-gun people. And “right to safety”? While it is a fairly common misconception that there is some sort of “right” to safety to ask the question is just wrong on so many levels. It presumes two facts not in evidence: 1) There exists a “right to safety”; and 2) Gun restrictions enhance safety.

I have to give the writer credit for that last sentence. That was really a piece of work. Even the classic, “Have you stopped beating your wife?” only presumes one fact not in evidence.


7 thoughts on “The misinformed public

  1. When I read the article, the line that stood out to me was:

    If that’s true, I’d rather have my amendment rights violated then make it easier for people to buy guns who shouldn’t be allowed to have them.

    If you replace guns with books the absurdity really stands out:

    While the judges aren’t expected to cast votes yet, they are expected to vote in favor of the first amendment and overrule existing laws.

    I understand the right to own a book and keep it in the house for reference or pleasure reading.
    But many states and cities have outlawed the right to carry them on the streets, in public buildings and on campuses. If this ruling goes through, am I going to start seeing books in class?

    Would this ruling overturn all the safety restrictions about where people can carry books and who can buy them?

    If that’s true, I’d rather have my amendment rights violated then make it easier for people to buy books who shouldn’t be allowed to have them.

  2. She is a font of misinformation, isn’t she? Ha!

    You wrote: “Bans on products for which this is a market are never going to be very effective.”

    What about cigarette/smoking bans? They seem to be working. Cigarette consumption is way down.

  3. Well except cigarette smoking bans do not ban cigarettes, tobacco, or the act of smoking, it just bans smoking in certain places. So cigarette consumption is no addressed by the law you state. And the laws are still minimally effective. Kids under age 18 are still smoking, and while I can’t remember the last time I was in a bar or restaurant where somebody was smoking (tho now that I think of it, the last time I smoked in a Bar was after this state banned smoking in bars) But I see street people smoking in the subways all the time. The continue to do so until they’re asked to stop…and then they start right back up again. So another good point, ubu52!

    Oh and on a tangent, another HUGE misconception is that the Brady Waiting period was somehow a “Cooling off Period” for somebody buying a gun, rather than simply a logistical time for background check forms to reach the powers that be, and the powers to respond. Something that technology has since replaced thanks to the NICS. Still there are several places that require waiting periods from the time of purchase to the time of acquisition of a firearm, and this lie appears to be the one used to perpetuate that stupid law.

  4. is Ubu just here to troll too?

    I’m not a fan of her ideologies, but at least I thought she came to pro-freedom blogs to debate, rather than like MikeB302000 who goes to Church just to fart.

  5. I know other people have complained about ubu52 on their blogs but here she has been well within tolerable limits. Even to the point there isn’t that much to disagree with. And when there has been disagreement, IIRC, she appeared to accept facts well.

    My (somewhat timid and totally lacking any data) defense of my claim that bans are never very effective would be that it is a decreased market demand not the bans themselves that decreased cigarette consumption. People don’t smoke as much because they see little personal benefit in it.

    And…Has cigarette consumption really decreased?

  6. Hey it’s your blog, and I in no way want to dictate. Trolls are 100% welcome in my place as they end up doing far more damage to themselves than we could ever manage. I made one exception with MikeB302000, because he’d simply drop in, dump a pro-ignorance, anti-freedom talking point, then wander off and only return to a different post. Of course my readers would chime in with facts and data, and links to studies ect ect. But MikeB302000 doesn’t want to read those studies…hell he’s probably read most of them anyway over the years. He just wants to make a rukus. So I delete all his comments just because I’d rather not see good people wasting time talking to a deaf ear. I don’t like doing it either, but it appears to be the best solution.

    I don’t know if I’ve seen much data on smoking rates I’d trust (espeshally when there is a plethora of gray areas between your 2-pack-a-day chain smoker, and somebody who totally abstains. Hell even when I was smoking I only smoked about a pack a month…sometimes less, and in those days if asked I would say I was a “non smoker”, only when I quit them did I retroactively change that status.

    Still Society has made such a scarlet letter on smoking. Just look at the press pictures. I bet that 70-80% of our Hollywood stars are regular smokers, but try and find a picture of an actor with a butt in their mouth that isn’t in character. Johnny Depp is the only one I can think of who doesn’t hide the nails for the Cameras. Heck, I bet our Prez sucks down a pack of coughin’ nails every day, you won’t ever see a photo of him working late at night with his jacket hung on the chair, his collar open, and a big glass ashtray brimming with dead soldiers….tho i bet that scene plays out fairly frequently.

    Also the nanny-staters have made it a royal pain in the ass to smoke. I remember my last few years as a smoker having to wander away from my party to go smoke a butt on the curb like some outcast on a snowy December night. I remember wanting a smoke but not having one because it was raining and windy, and I’d rather stay warm and dry.

    But people smoke because nicotine is a pleasant drug, and unlike other legal drugs available to Americans, it doesn’t alter your judgment or coordination, so one doesn’t need to take the same precautions you might if your were drinking.

    But in the end, no matter what smoking has done, Ubu52’s analogy doesn’t match her claims. And like your pointed out above, with food poisoning, there is never a case of a person who’s life was saved because they had a pack of luckies in their coat pocket. Meanwhile I know several people who survived encounters because they produced a firearm. Several others who were assaulted who wished they HAD had a gun on them.

    But that’s the anti-gun elephant in the room. They can’t talk about defensive gun use, because all their arguments vanish like smoke rings from the lips of a person illegally smoking in the subway. *heh*

  7. The increased taxes on cigarettes have certainly led to a black market. We have created yet another profit niche for organized crime. How many more do you want?

    How about we just put an end to the nanny state, so law enforcement and the justice system can concentrate exclusively on retaliating against rights violations? If Ubu or anyone else wants to be nanny-stated, they can go anywhere else on the planet and get as much nanny-stating as they can stomach. No one in the U.S. will try to hold them back. When they’ve had their fill of shit, they can always come back and appreciate our freedom for a change. We’ll call it a little educational vacation from freedom. A sabbatical if you will.

    But that’s not really it, is it? Most of the nanny staters’ motivation is based in hatred. Hatred for the individual making his or her own choices and his or her own way in life, especially when people are successful at it. Hatred born of envy. Envy is an almost entirely terrible thing. Even now we’re being told that the human race itself is a plague on the face of the earth. What a sickness it is that has infected us.

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