Thursday, December 20, 2012

Why Would Anyone Need 30-Round Magazines or an "Assault Weapon"

One of the questions being raised right now is why anyone would need what the media so gratuitously and incorrectly calls an "assault weapon" or magazine capacities of more than 10-rounds. There are many reasons, so let me go through some of them in no particular order:

1.  Because I want to. This is supposed to be a free country, meaning that as long as I don't do anything that interferes with the property or rights of another, or injure someone else, I should be free to own or do what I want. If we are going to ban things just on the basis that a particular person or group of people don't need them and they might be misused, then we might as well ban all cars that can go faster than the speed limit, etc., etc.

2.  Because it serves a sporting purpose. Many of the arguments against particular models of weapons or full-capacity magazines are really implied arguments that the Second Amendment is limited to hunting. These people's reasoning are "if it isn't needed for hunting, then it shouldn't be protected." Of course, the Second Amendment is not limited to hunting, so this arguments is senseless. But even addressing the substance of the argument, it becomes clear that these people either know nothing of hunting, or are only concerned with the particular type of hunting that they do. In fact, if you hunt feral hogs or other destructive animals, you may need to dispatch a large number of animals quickly. But, moving beyond that, there are shooting sports other than hunting (gasp!) that are based on the number of targets you can engage in specific (and generally very short) periods of times that call for full-capacity magazines. Plus, for the person who just wants to shoot cans or steel targets, it's just plain fun. If we are going to limit people to what they supposedly "need" for a legitimate sporting activity, then there is no reason for a golfer to have more than a single driver, putter, and, maybe, a sand wedge.

3.  Because it serves a self-defense purpose. If 10-round weapons were sufficient for self-defense or defense of others, then there would be no reason for any person in the U.S.--be it a law enforcement officer, soldier, security guard, etc.--to have a weapon of any greater capacity. However, law enforcement officers, guards, and so on, recognize that there are times that they may encounter more than one or two criminals, or may be involved in an exchange of gun fire from people in concealed or barricaded situations. So may you. As most preppers that follow foreign news know, groups of criminals working in concert is a problem in many countries, from South Africa (such as the attacks on farmers) to Argentina (kidnappings, car jackings, and home invasions) to Mexico (kidnappings, gang wars). Let me put it this way, if a gang decided to conduct a violent home invasion of your house, how many rounds would you want in your magazine?

4.  Because it serves a broader purpose of defending against tyranny. I frankly don't know how anyone that is LDS could ever support gun control given the history of the Church--the mob attacks, the extermination order from the Missouri governor, the federal government sending an army to invade Salt Lake, the mass arrests in the late 1800s. Given the Holocaust and numerous pogroms against Jews, I don't understand how a Jew could support gun control. To those who say such tyranny and persecution couldn't happen now, in the U.S., I would ask how many beforehand thought it could happen to the Armenian's living in Turkey, or the Jews in Germany and other parts of Europe, or the Cambodians, or to the Rwandans, or all of the other genocides, pogroms, etc., that happened in the last century. Michelle Malkin has an article discussing the threats and death wishes aimed at just the NRA and its members in the past week. Remember the hatred and threats against the Church and its members because of Proposition 8 in California? The U.S. is not that special--it could happen (again) here.

5.  Because George Washington would have wanted one. One of the more obtuse arguments I've heard in the past several days is that George Washington and the founders never envisioned modern weapons, and therefore, would never have intended to include them in the Second Amendment. This argument is so patently absurd, it is almost not worthy of response. Ignoring the fact that Washington would have been aware of the early repeating firearms (including some used by a small number of British soldiers) and rapid fire weapons such as organ guns, and that private individuals could own cannon (including the large number found on private vessels) and exploding shells, there is nothing in the history of the Second Amendment to indicate that the authors would have envisioned it as restricting in any way the types or quantities of arms that a person could own. But, perhaps more to the point, would any rational person believe for a moment that given a choice between arming his ragtag citizen army with Brown Bess muskets or modern sporting rifles such as the AR-15, Washington would have chosen the Brown Bess? 

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