Saturday, December 13, 2008

Of Shooting Galleries And Gun-Free Zones

You know those amusement-park shooting galleries where you use an air rifle to knock down multiple rows of moving mechanical ducks? The way they work is, you shoot at the targets all you want, and none of the targets can shoot back.

Most schools and workplaces operate on the same principle.
To read the rest of this week’s column (about gun-free zones), kindly visit the Bristol Press, New Britain Herald or Middletown Press.


Blogger Caveman Lawyer said...


Jen, I know the gun thing is big with Libertarians but the war is over. The bad guys won. Get over it.

5:16 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Then kindly give me a list of what you consider appropriate column topics.

5:40 PM  
Anonymous smartass sob said...

Then kindly give me a list of what you consider appropriate column topics.

Granted it is a well-worn phrase, but the silence is deafening. ;-)

12:48 AM  
Blogger Caveman Lawyer said...

Trying to sell people on individual liberty is pretty much a dead issue. The left is looking for scapegoats to blame for everything that is wrong. They are fitting Libertarians with that particular yarmulke. I'd be looking for a way to reattach your philosophical foreskin if you take my meaning.

5:59 AM  
Anonymous smartass sob said...

I'd be looking for a way to reattach your philosophical foreskin if you take my meaning.

They're really rather unsanitary - philosophically and otherwise. Besides - most women don't care for them much, I hear. :-)

7:25 AM  
Anonymous smartass sob said...

Trying to sell people on individual liberty is pretty much a dead issue.

People love individual liberty (there's some other kind?) - for themselves. They just don't want others to have it. The Left is no different in that regard.

7:42 AM  
Anonymous A Moose said...

CML has a case of cranial rectal inversion again.

This will be one of the more inflammatory issues within the Obamanation. He's on record of "I'm not going to take your guns", but also "I'm going to take your guns, but it's for your own good." Politically it's extremely stupid, lawfully it's questionable at best, but I suspect he'll need to pander to someone.

To say the war is over is a ridiculous statement. If anything, firearm owners are ahead at this point, given the rise in RTC states since the 70's and the recent court decisions. We just need to stay vigilant.

Then kindly give me a list of what you consider appropriate column topics.

I don't know, you seem to be doing ok yourself. The only ones that come to mind to me involve the coming administration, the flip floppery combined with obfuscation, and how we're sold out to whatever "change" happens to mean on Tuesday, or something just as arbitrary.

9:54 AM  
Blogger Anne O'Neimaus said...

@CML: "The bad guys won. Get over it."

To shamelessly paraphrase the NRA, the bad guys haven't won until they pry my gun from my cold, dead fingers.

I think you (CML) are pigeonholing too much, again. While few of my acquaintances go around wearing simplistic labels on their foreheads (like "Liberal", "Conservative", etc.), I'd guess that the mix is about 60% "Liberal", 30% "Conservative", and 10% "Other" (or clueless). This ratio may well have changed recently (since I moved to Kansas).

However, every citizen I have discussed the issue with agrees on two broad gun-control issues:

1. Banning guns means only criminals have guns. An obvious tautological truism, but most people see the underlying truth. I have not discussed this issue with anybody who was satisfied with the current "solution".

2. Society at large probably would not be enhanced by the proliferation and deployment of military hardware throughout the populace. (The argument seems to center on what exactly is military hardware: grenade-launchers & anti-tank weapons, or just "military-looking" rifles...or, in extreme cases, weapons of any sort.)

Jennifer contends that the second amendment is the only one for which citizens require governmental licensing to exercise. This is false.

Just taking it from the top: many aspects of the First Amendment require special licensing to exercise.

* Sure, you can mostly worship who and what you want - but actually establishing a house of worship generally requires special permits. In Northern Illinois, recently, the long-planned construction of a Mosque was derailed by local legislation.

* Freedom of speech doesn't seem to require much in the way of special licensing - but perish forbid you speak about something the government deems "against the national interest". And, of course, the list of proscribed subjects is itself secret, and cannot legally be published.

* Freedom of assembly often requires special permits, especially if the assembly occurs in a public forum (parade permits and the like).

* And, of course, the "Right to Petition" must often be specifically approved by a federal court. As things currently stand, I personally do not "have standing" to petition for redress about warrantless wiretapping, even though that would appear to be guaranteed by the First Amendment.

The U.S. Constitution, and its Amendments, is theoretically the fundamental law of the land. In practice, however, it is a statement if ideals against which the actually-implemented laws must be measured for a "best fit". Different interests weigh the importance of various aspects differently, which is why we can't all agree on that "best fit".

The "Liberal-Conservative" axis seems historically to have been drawn along the lines of "populist/humanist" weightings of importance, versus "national-security/business" leanings. However, if these categories were ever coherent-enough to be meaningful, they have been totally skewed by various forms of fanaticism.

When I was much younger, I leaned more Republican, mostly because I couldn't associate with the sanctimonious hypocrisy of the so-called Southern Democrats. Come the Reagan/Gingritch Revolutions, and the Southern Democrats became "Family-Values" Republicans, instead. I still can't stand them, so I lean more Democratic now (as if there were only two political parties). Yes, it's a big voting bloc; I think it's also a poisoned pill, which has a lot to do with the Republican fall from social graces.

However, these "Southern Republicrats" are a case-in-point about pigeonholing. To pigeonhole a bit myself, I'd say that they generally do have a somewhat humanist bent - making them sorta liberal. It's just that their particular humanist bent is based on religious fundamentalism. Thus, rather than "liberal", they are generally considered "conservative" these days. But it's not social/national conservatism per se - it's religious conservatism. In this country, that is actually radicalism - something I worry about far more than (literal) liberalism.

Of course, the so-called liberals are basically 90% of everybody who doesn't conveniently lump into the "conservative" bucket. That means a lot of disparate ideas and movements get labeled "liberal", when they have little to do with each other. For example, being anti-war in general, or even anti military-adventurism in Iraq (or Vietnam) in particular, doesn't necessarily make one "liberal" in any reasonable sense. However, anti-war activists and protesters are almost uniformly mislabeled "liberal", "leftist", or even "pinko communist" and "un-American". As if not wanting to squander our resources and lives on ill-defined ideological goals of little tangible value were not the very definition of "conservative".

Personally, I wouldn't call the perennial movement to restrict or ban firearm ownership "liberal", any more than I would call Prohibition liberal. They are both "reactionary" (and, IMHO, short-sighted).

11:27 AM  
Anonymous A Moose said...

Anne-You're confusing action (building a church, speaking out) with potential for action. The analogous comparison to owning or carrying a firearm in regards to regulation is having vocal cords (potential for speaking out), visiting an architect (having potential to build a church), etc.

The use of a firearm is equivalent to the building of the church or the speaking out. Appropriately, society recognizes that one is responsible for one's actions, and if a firearm is used in a manner contrary to the law, the user is held responsible. To say "Can't say fire in a theater" is equivalent to "Can't discharge a firearm in a nightclub, even if you're only wearing sweatpants." Both are wrong. To mix "Can't yell fire" with "Can't carry" is incorrect.

12:12 PM  
Anonymous NCDan said...

Here in North Carolina we have a "shall issue" handgun carry permit law. Unfortunately, we also have a huge and often vague list of exceptions to the law. The end result is that the permit isn't worth having. If you live in an urban area, you almost certainly can't carry your handgun on a normal Saturday shopping trip without violating one or more of the exceptions. I wonder if this is the pattern the Dems will follow. Will they continue to say, "We're not trying to take anyone's guns away.", while repeatedly piling on regulation after regulation after regulation as DC did and is continuing to do? Yes I know many think the DC case was won by the good guys, but DC does not seem to have admitted defeat.

4:03 AM  
Anonymous A Moose said...

I wonder if this is the pattern the Dems will follow.

I think that's kind of like wondering if it will snow in Alaska. I guess it's possible it won't.

4:33 PM  

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