After the Orlando Massacre, I posted a series of posts on my Facebook feed regarding this issue. This post serves to consolidate them in one place, clean up, edit, and add a bit more thought and information to them.
I’m limiting this post strictly to the issues regarding guns and the Orlando Massacre. I will not be posting on any other aspects, and I would ask commenters to likewise refrain from bringing those issues up. My Friends List is varied and diverse, and I actually like most of the people on it. In fact, the 2 or 3 people I like least are among those most likely to agree with what I’m saying here, so. . . chew on that a bit.
Subjects addressed will be: The Weapon Used in the Orlando Massacre, A Brief Mention of Gun Crime Stats in the US, the Truth About “Assault Weapons” (If you skip all the others, pay attention to this one), the Purpose of the 2nd Amendment, and Why I have had an AR-15 on my personal wishlist for a few years (self-styled feminists should take note of this one, too).
Ok then, let’s go!
The Weapon Used in the Orlando Massacre
The firearm used in the Orlando Massacre was NOT an AR-15. Let’s first be clear about this. The firearm used was a Sig Sauer MCX Carbine. “AR-15” is a specific system design (AR from ArmaLite Rifle, before they sold the design to Colt), not a overall classification. The media and other ignorant people like to call all semi-automatic rifles “AR-15s”, because they’re scary-looking and AR-15 sounds scary. Calling this an AR-15 is like calling an American Girl a Barbie, just because they’re both dolls with changeable clothes. “AR-15” is a registered trademark to Colt but, due to common usage, the term is sometimes used for variants of the same basic design which can use the same parts. But this shiney-ass Sig? It’s a rifle system that sometimes utilizes the STANAG magazines that are common to more than 60 different firearms (because interchangeable magazines are just basic sense, see link), but otherwise has no major parts that interface with AR-15s in any way, shape or form. Therefore, not an AR-15.
I bring this up because I’ve seen a petition passed around for banning AR-15s. So, knee-jerk ignorance has yet again struck upon an utterly useless solution that will solve nothing, prevent nothing, and probably make the situation worse, as usual.
Why should the average, non-gun-nut person care? Because if you actually give half a damn about trying to prevent future massacres, future unnecessary, innocent deaths, then you need to actually care about 1) What has worked historically to accomplish that end, 2) What might possibly have prevented the events that horrify you, and thus, 3) What ideas might possibly help in the future, as opposed to those ideas that will accomplish nothing good, and might actually make things worse.
Every time you promote a solution that clearly and obviously would have done nothing to prevent the event you claim horrifies you so much, what you’re really promoting is your own arrogance and self-righteousness. It shows that you don’t actually care the slightest bit for the victims or their loved ones, or the future victims and their loved ones. It shows that what you really care about is your unearned sense Moral Superiority, your belief that you are So Much Better than everyone that disagrees with your knee-jerk, brainless emoting. All you care about is making yourself feel good in public. It is Public Masturbation of the Ego, and it’s disgusting to the rest of us. Which is why we keep telling you to stop already, put that mess away.
Some sources for you (and that I’ve pulled some info form): http://bearingarms.com/…/narrative-fail-orlando-islamic-te…/
Moving on. . .
A Brief Mention of Statistics.
I’ll note right out that I hate statistics. Of all my textbooks from all my college and university courses, the only one that prompted suicidal thoughts every time I opened it was my “statistics” book. I’m of a mind to agree with Mr. Mark Twain: “There’s lies, damn lies, and statistics.”
That said, if we keep away from some of the more egregious number manipulation, they can show some good, useful information. So:
I’ve tried to keep these sources as non-political as possible, which is hard when it comes to this matter. The only one that I’d say isn’t 100% objective is the first one, but I included it sums up what follows.
But it also comes down to basic sense: Murder is already illegal and generally socially unacceptable. Pretty much No One supports Murder. And yet, it happens. Because people who choose to murder don’t give a damn about the fact that it’s outlawed.
Once a Bad Person has decided to Murder (thus flouting the law against such an action), they tend to not give much of a damn about any other laws, like “This thing is Banned”, or “Register this thing”, or “Don’t do this other thing, cuz we say so!”. Like, seriously, they don’t care. They’ll find a way. And if there are laws that others obey, thus cramping their Murder-Style, why then they’ll go buy fertilizer and rent a truck, get creative with kitchen gadgets like pressure cookers, get stabby with a kitchen knife, or go onto the black market and buy some illegal firearms. Or get a security position with the government thus giving them a position with carefully crafted exemptions to the laws. Like just happened.
The only people, in fact, that abide by gun control laws are the law abiding people who don’t Murder others. They care about the law. They don’t want to be criminals, because they’re Decent, Civilized Beings. Such laws only effect non-murderers. Only Non-Murderers are disarmed, thus leaving them as happy(?) sitting ducks for any Murderer to come and pick off at will.
Which is why every massacre happens in a Gun-Free Zone, filled with defenseless innocents who can offer no effective resistance. Which is why they Never happen at Gun Shows or NRA Conventions.
The Truth About “Assault Weapons”
If you do nothing else, if you skip every other post in your quest to remain sanctimoniously ignorant, go to this link and go through the Whole Damn Thing. http://www.assaultweapon.info/
Summary: Assault Rifles are already banned. “Assault Weapons” is a term that, I Shit You Not, means “Scary Looking.” Seriously, go through the whole thing. None of this is new to me, but it might be new for you. Please, even if only to make your own arguments more intelligible. I will know if you haven’t done your homework. It will be patently obvious to everyone who already knew all this, or who just learned it all themselves.
Related Extra Credit Reading: http://www.gunsandammo.com/gun-culture/9-misused-gun-terms/
The Purpose of the 2nd Amendment
The 2nd Amendment has Jack Sh*t to do with hunting. There purpose of the 2nd Amendment is to protect civilians from the government when it inevitably turns against them.
Like it did at say, Wounded Knee (The Lakota women weren’t even allowed to possess the tools needed to to sew beads onto their dresses, okay? And they and their children were mercilessly slaughtered, and their murderers given Medals of Honor. Don’t tell me it won’t or can’t happen in America– it already has). Or, as has happened in countless other countries in the 20th and 21st Centuries.
The core purpose of the 2nd Amendment is to act as an Auto-Destruct in Case of Constitutional Failure. The only reason we haven’t yet gone to the terrible extremes of other totalitarian states is because enough legislators know that enough citizens remember that it is the government that should be scared of the citizens, not the other way around.
Which means, yes, the 2nd Amendment protects theGod-given Right of the Citizens toeffectively defend themselves against their own military. In this context, then, the fact that I can’t own a working Tank is an abomination (I even know where I’d park it!)– but one I understand due to the mess that would result if everybody took tanks to work. Likewise my lack of F-16 (don’t know where I’d park this).
Y’all know I love the US Military, and not just because the US Army pays my bills. I love and Respect The Crap out of our War-fighters, okay? I don’t want there to ever be a day when the 2nd amendment is triggered for it’s purpose. But you know what? I have no respect for our politicians, and little hope that they’ll suddenly learn even a sliver of the honor of our war-fighters. The 2nd Amendment *must* be preserved against that horrible day.
The secondary purpose of 2nd Amendment is that it is the only thing that allows minorities to effectively protect themselves against a hostile majority. It is the Right that allows the Great Equalizer to take effect– it allows women to stand a chance against stronger male attackers, it allows racial and religious minorities to protect themselves from the likes of the KKK. The Pink Pistols say that “Armed Gays Don’t Get Bashed.”– and you know what, they’re right! (Also, the Pink Pistol’s ain’t the only Gay Guns! Group in town anymore: Check out the delightful https://www.facebook.com/LGBTforGunRights page!)
If any of you want to learn the safe and proper handling of firearms, I highly recommend the NRA courses. I’ve taken a couple, and they’re very informative, and include range time and tests.
Why I Want An AR-15 (Since the State of Maryland Won’t Allow Me to Own an AK-47)
So, truth be told, I’ve been wanting an AR-15 of my own for a couple of years. I have to straighten out some other finances first (I still owe my Dad $300 from Balticon), and there are some House-things that need doing, but an AR-15 is on the wishlist. Let me tell you why (“feminists” might find this of interest):
Coupla years ago, I think it was my friend Kory, he let me borrow his AR-15 during a shooting day at a mutual friend’s range. And I fell instantly in love. Know why? The Adjustable Stock.
Here’s the thing: the proportions of my upper-arms to my lower-arms (length-wise) are a bit out of whack. For reasons therefore of strange geometry, the standard-size stocks of most rifles I’ve tried are very hard for me to handle. It’s like my arms simply aren’t long enough, or jointed right, to hold properly and securely.
In addition, I’m left-eye dominant, even though was born ambidextrous and generally write right-handed. I need a left-handed or ambidextrous rifle.
Also, maybe you didn’t know, but I’m female. Although I do my pushups and haul heavy boxes with the best of folk (often surprising the fellas when it comes to such things), I’m still relatively weak when it comes to upper-body strength. Rifles are both long and heavy, therefore requiring greater arm strength to properly control for more than a minute or two at a time.
The AR-15 is a modular system, which means that you can assemble a custom built rifle for a much more affordable price than if you had to order a non-modular rifle with the needed specs. So I can get the adjustable stock for my weird arms, and I can make sure it’s set up for left-handed use (or more easily get a gunsmith to make a few adjustments to make it ambidextrous). It’s relatively lightweight, which means that I and other women can use it with greater ease and accuracy.
It’s also generally quite affordable (depending on what parts you choose), which means that lower-income women have economic access to it.
Please keep in mind that accuracy is a safely matter above anything else. So too, flash suppressors, sound suppressors, and heat cages. They might look scary because Hollywood has taught you that they looks scary, but these are all safety measures.
I’ve been invited to take part in several informal shooting competitions, but I can’t really take part at this time because my rifles either don’t have change-able magazines, or because their cartridge capacity is too low. An Ar-15 would allow me to compete with my friends (who, themselves, mostly use Ar-15s in these competitions), but would also allow me a self-defense weapon that is reliable, is easy to use in an emergency, and is easy to control when adrenaline might otherwise make it very difficult.
So why do I want an AR-15? Because it would allow me to play with my friends, *and* effectively defend myself should my living-on-my-onesies situation become a little too tempting for the local criminal element. And because I can customize with all the obnoxious Hello!Kitty crap I want. Just like my ammo cans!
I may post further updates. Eventually. Who really knows.