(H/T: Say Uncle)
(....) there is a way forward to more rational gun control through the Second Amendment and a close look at that critical year in American history, 1794. (1) Gun control is a long-established principle and practice in the U.S. (2) Military-type weapons have no place in the hands of private citizens, at least where they can be used in public. Assault rifles, and indeed any semi-automatic weapon, can be banned or confined to closed ranges for sport shooting. (3) Citizens do have a right, as the clumsy Second Amendment states, to keep and bear arms. What kind of arms is the question; why not adopt the notion of some gun magazines and websites, that a revolver is a better choice for personal self defense than a semi-automatic weapon? A “wheel gun” is much less likely to jam than a semi-automatic, which must be cleaned and oiled regularly to work properly. Revolvers are slower to fire and to reload, giving the public more protection from mentally disturbed shooters, while giving good guys a reliable chance to shoot. Nor is there any self-defense need for a large magazine. In the hands of an untrained and frightened person, a shotgun is far better for home defense than a pistol is. Semi-automatic weapons are not needed for hunting; a simple bolt-action rifle or a shotgun is enough. (4) Let each gun owner be restricted to a certain number of rounds at a time, say 12, a number that again provides for self-defense. Israel limits gun owners to 50 rounds a year. We can do that, although the task of reducing the 10-12 billion bullets and shells purchased each year in the U.S. to a manageable number will be immense. But there is no longer any excuse for not starting the process.
(1) "Gun Control" is a recent abrogation of the Second Amendment, and one proposed by weak-minded people who assume that police are competent to defend your person and your property. The police are not obliged to protect either your person or your property; their mandate is to investigate the crime scene and attempt to arrest the perpetrators. They are not your protectors.
(2) a "Wheel Gun" is neither more reliable nor more effective in defense of self, family or property. They are subject to malfunction as much as is a semi-automatic pistol. Auto-loading firearms may actually be less susceptible to malfunction in the event of, say, a primer which has not been fully seated (admittedly a situation which is most experienced with reloaded ammunition).
Also, anyone who owns a firearm and does not pay close attention to the proper maintenance is equally likely to experience failure-to-feed problems, whether using a pistol, revolver, shotgun or rifle.
(3) "Military Style" weapons not only have a place in the hands of civilians, but they are prominent in regards to the original intent of the Second Amendment. That Constitutional Right was not promulgated to protect duck hunters or target shooters, but to provide citizens the means to oppose an oppressive government by force of arms. When civilians are not allowed access to firearms which are the functional equivalent of those weapons issued to the military, citizens are at a decided disadvantage when the government turns against them. (And that is the situation which resulted in the American Revolution against the British occupiers.)
(4) "The Clumsy Second Amendment" stipulated that the right to keep and bear arms "shall not be infringed". There is nothing "clumsy" about that, any more than the wording of any other Constitutional Amendment. The first amendment states freedom of speech, press, religion, assembly, etc. When the Internet replaced the printing press, Americans found it easy to include technological advances under the aegis of 200-year-old phraseology. There is no reason to assume that advances in firearm designs should be more controversial than the Internet.
(5) " No need for a large capacity magazine" is simply a feel-good way of imposing a limitation on the Second Amendment. If assaulted by multiple attackers (who also may have "large capacity magazines"), the honest citizen should not be limited by a law which is not observed by his attackers. Moreover, the individual may find it necessary to protect himself, family, home and property against multiple attackers. The attackers have the advantage if the citizen is disadvantaged. I do not think this was the intent of the founders of the Constitution.
(6) "... a shotgun is far better for home defense than a pistol is". Says who? In the confines of a private residence, a long gun is more unwieldy because of it's length, which makes it difficult to return fire around a doorway (for example). Also, a shotgun is VERY LOUD! One shot renders the home-defender temporarily deaf, which negates his ability to hear the movement of his attackers. The advantages of a shotgun are the ability to spread the shot in a wider pattern than a pistol (or rifle), but in a close-combat environment such as a residence, that questionable advantage is negated because most encounters are likely to be engaged in distances of, say, twenty feet or less. There is no significant expansion of a shot pattern at that distance; hence, no increase in efficacy. Also, shotguns which are used for hunting are often limited to a three-round capacity as they are intended for "sporting purposes" (small-game hunting). A pistol or revolver will typically allow at last five or six shots before reloading is required.
(NOTE: there are shotguns which are not intended for hunting, and which have a higher "magazine capacity"; Mossberg has a few.)
(7) "Semi-automatic weapons are not needed for hunting; a simple bolt-action rifle or a shotgun is enough." What a strange statement to make in an article which is not themed on hunting, but on self-defense. Actually, semi-automatic weapons are becoming more prevalent in hunting (the same gun used for home defense may be used for hunting, in many cases), and it only makes sense that the firearm owner uses the same weapon for multiple uses ... if only to maintain his familiarity and efficiency with a single weapon. And why NOT use a semi-automatic weapon for hunting? Is this a moral wrong in the view of the original author?
(8) "In the hands of an untrained and frightened person ..." is a base canard in which the author assumes that anyone who chooses to defend hearth/home/family is either untrained or frightened.
Okay, I will grant you "frightened". I spent the year from September 1969 - 1970 being frightened, in Viet Nam. I survived because I received a LOT of training (over a year) before I rotated to "The Land of Bad Things" and I was familiar with a number of weapons.
I so much believe in training that I teach a class in "Practical Pistol Shooting" at my local gun club, where I introduce new shooters in the techniques and practices of shooting a pistol under conditions of (sometimes) 'extreme' stress. Competition shooting is a great way for people to learn and practice safe gun-handling procedures. I do not charge, nor does my home gun club charge, for this instruction; we do it because we want everyone to be well versed in safe gun-handling. I very much encourage anyone who chooses to use a firearm for self-defense to seek out and take advantage of any training offered by a local gun club.
Sometimes there is a nominal fee involved (for materials, etc.) but most frequently the training is either at a very low expense, or (in the instance of my class) is free of charge.
(9) Restricting the number of rounds at a time" ... is a very, very BAD idea!
The only way to achieve proficiency and safe gun-handling expertise is practice, practice, practice!
Thinking that limiting the amount of ammunition an individual may be "allowed" to expend is the best way to keep him from learning to be a safe and proficient shooter. Is this what people who don't really know anything about shooting think is the best way to be safe? The only way to learn to be a proficient, SAFE shooter is to shoot a lot, frequently, and pay attention to getting the best hits in the shortest possible time. Shooting skills deteriorate without frequent and intense practice.
Did the author of this article learn to drive a car by reading a book and sitting through a long and boring lecture? (That seems likely, and I do not want to be on the same road with him!)
Nobody learns a complex physical skill without constant practice, and practical exercises. You cannot learn without making mistakes .. we learn more from our mistakes than we do from taking a written test.
(10) Academia Sucks!This original article (see above) was penned by by Robert W. Thurston
I seriously question the qualifications of Bob to expound on the Second Amendment, or any subject which has to do with
Has he ever been shot at, or shot at another living entity? At ALL?
I think not.
I think he's an academic who has never been in the field, never fired a shot in anger, never killed, never had to defend himself, never got blood on his hands and ... in short ... does not know what he's talking about.
I may be wrong about Bob. He may be a war veteran who ... oh, no?
This is Robert W. Thurston.
He's an Academic.
Never mind; for all of his scholarship, he don't know a damn thing about "Real Life".
Move on. There's nothing to see here. He's a nobody.