Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Someone's not a Fan of the NRA

The gentleman who wrote this article isn't a fan of the NRA. However, his credibility is tied up in one paragraph:
If I hate the NRA so much, why did I buy a gun at 37? As a meat eater with no particular desire to become a vegetarian, I wanted to confront the fact of killing animals for food. Once I took up hunting, I discovered that I relished the time I spent off the grid. Some might scratch this itch with a weekend camping trip. I chose to trudge into the woods before dawn, often in freezing temperatures, to keep a silent vigil in the trees as the morning light begins to filter through the branches. I rarely see a deer. Such a contemplative, frequently fruitless endeavor isn’t for everyone, but it suits me.
That's right. His opinion is worth listening to because he's a hunter. That's the only piece of credibility that he brings to the table. Well, that and the fact of the NRA's admittedly annoying robocalls.

One of his main points is that the NRA, with only 5 million members, doesn't represent the majority of gun owners. He's technically right about that, but he draws the wrong conclusion. While there are a number of Fudds like the article's author running around with only hunting rifles and not caring about any of that pesky gun control, large numbers of people who hold views somewhat in line with the NRA don't donate for whatever reason, and there's also a significant number of gun owners who hold views far beyond those of the NRA. Those gun owners (such as myself) will, if they have the spare cash, be members of other gun rights organizations. I'm personally a member of Gun Owners of America and the National Association for Gun Rights, both of which are considerably more hardline than the NRA. Now, I'm also a member of the NRA, but, in light of past performance, the NRA has proven willing to either accept limitations upon the right to keep and bear arms (in fact, the NRA supported the National Firearms Act of 34), I donate to the GOA and NAGR to keep the NRA honest.

He uses the usual guilt trip tactics - providing examples of gun use by criminal or deranged individuals, even going so far as to call handgun supporters "handgun apologists".
Last Feb. 10 in Chapel Hill, N.C., 15 miles from my home in Durham, three young Americans of Middle Eastern descent were murdered by a home invader. The killer was their neighbor, notorious and feared around the apartment complex for flashing his perfectly legal concealed handgun. Without his weapon, he would have been an angry but perhaps harmless, crank. With it, he snuffed out three lives in a matter of seconds. The deaths affected our community profoundly — everyone seemed to know someone who knew the victims.
Handgun apologists see nothing wrong with this killer possessing both a gun and a carry permit, because he had no prior record. In the moral reasoning that NRA has honed to soundbite perfection, it was his choice to commit a crime. The gun didn’t shoot itself.
There's a lot of things wrong with this excerpt. Let's start with the idea that "without his weapon, he would have been an angry but perhaps harmless, crank". Has he ever heard of mass stabbings? The killer wouldn't have needed a gun. For three men, all you really need is a big knife and the element of surprise (and depending upon the victims, not even that). Next, the idea that those of us who support gun rights are "handgun apologists". That seems to imply that handguns are the cause of the crime, rather than the tool used to commit it. Are we to regulate just what sort of cars people can drive because of drunk drivers?

While we North Carolinians reel from the killing of Deah Shaddy Barakat, Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, our legislators continue to chip away at gun laws, an anti-business, anti-faith agenda that has forced shopkeepers, restaurateurs, barkeeps, schoolmasters and clergy to post “no-gun” signs on their doors.
I'm not sure how it's anti-business or anti-faith to make someone post a "no-guns" sign on their door if they don't want guns in their establishment. The only problem I have with it is that, with such a sign, you're announcing to the world that your shop is a safe place to rob/hold a mass shooting in. Or has it slipped your notice that every single successful mass shooting happened in a no gun zone or another place where the shooter could be reasonably confident that no one had a gun?

I agree with the NRA on one point: Tightening controls on gun ownership will not eliminate gun violence. And it may not do much to address the psychopathology of young men who commit mass murder. Timothy McVeigh and the Tsarnaev brothers committed their crimes with bombs, while Adam Lanza, with no criminal record, inexplicably stole his mother’s guns, murdered her, and headed off to Sandy Hook Elementary School.
 At least he's honest enough to admit that gun control won't stop gun crime. Too bad he isn't honest enough to admit that more gun control doesn't mean less crime, and in fact, often results in more violent crime.
There are some signs that this could occur. Thanks to the decline in hunting and in violent crime, the percentage of homes with guns has been waning steadily since the 1970s. In 2014, the figure was reported to be 31 percent. Although there are believed to be about 300 million guns in the United States, they seem to be concentrated in fewer, undoubtedly more fervent hands: aging hands, perhaps. Millennials and guns? Not so much.
I don't know about you, but when someone calls me and asks me if I have guns, I tell them no as a matter of principle. How am I to know that the caller is legitimate and not a criminal checking to see if I own anything of value? While there are certainly a few demographic reasons for the decline in homes with guns, I'm certain that at least part of the reason for the "decline" in gun ownership is reporting bias.

Gun control is a gimmick. A skilled individual can create a professional quality modern firearm with a few commonly available tools. Less skilled individuals can create anything from serviceable (but ugly) firearms to plastic deathtraps. It is literally harder to make meth than it is to make a gun. Moreover, guns aren't even the problem. Criminals - predators in human flesh - are the problem. If you were to somehow remove guns from the situation, all you'd be doing is removing the one chance that physically weaker individuals have against stronger attackers, because criminals don't care if they kill you with a gun or a lead pipe - and in a society where the primary weapon is a lead pipe, a 200 lb male is going to wipe the floor with a 120 lb female, unless the lady has some serious martial arts skill, and possibly not even then.

God made man. Samuel Colt made him equal. Gun control proponents want to remove that equality.