Thursday, 25 April 2013

Why would anybody need an automatic rifle?

A lot of fuss has been made about the apparent insanity of Americans with regard to gun control. There is no reason, people argue, that private individuals should have automatic firearms with clips that can fire off tens or hundreds of rounds.

Well, here are a couple of reasons:

  • Why should I, a sane, balanced individual who has never harmed anyone in my life, not have such a weapon for my defence or indeed my pleasure, if that is how I want to spend my time? I mean, people collect stamps or do morris dancing or watch cookery programs for fun. I can't understand doing any of those things for fun, but it doesn't mean I think they should be banned.
  • "Nobody needs more than 30 rounds to defend themselves." Perhaps if you're John Rambo, or Ethan Hunt; but in the real world, things are very different. It's surprisingly difficult to shoot a moving target, even for trained professionals like soldiers and the police. I was once involved in someone running a road block with a car, where around 80 rounds were fired and only 3 hit the car, none hit any of the occupants. (I wasn't shooting mind, if I had been, no rounds would have hit the car!)
  • "There is no need for anyone but the government to have such powerful weapons." This fundamentally misunderstands the skeptical view that the Founding Fathers had of government. It is precisely because the government has such powerful weapons that the common man should have them too, to be able to bear equivalent arms against the state. You need to keep the state's monopoly on violence as weak and counterbalanced as possible.

So there.

22 comments:

James Strong said...

Thank you.
Very good post.

Cingoldby said...

Just to be an irritating pedant, that is three reasons, not a couple.

But three very good reasons!

JuliaM said...

"It's surprisingly difficult to shoot a moving target, even for trained professionals like soldiers and the police. "

Who, when the chips are down (Boston, escaped dangerous cattle) seem less like 'trained marksmen' and more like your average man in the street!

Tuesday Kid said...

Good point about the government not having a monopoly on violence. A problem seen in the UK when the police and the courts accept the government has a right to use violence when keeping the public (especially the underprivileged) under control.

Anonymous said...

As an Aussie, I'm not very knowledgable about the thoughts of the Founding Fathers of the USA, but I didn't find the third point very convincing. Surely it's the function of the separation of governmental powers (supreme court, executive, congress) that is meant to keep the government under control. What you are suggesting is tantamount to support for armed rebellion against a duly elected government.

Anonymous said...

Let me say that being an aussie does not mean that you should necessarily be ignorant of the US constitution.

It just means you are ignorant, which could be forgiven, but also lazy as you do not even try to educate yourself, and arrogant because you also assume that your opinion if of any value in spite of your ignorance.

Let me just add by saying that you effectively do not understand the intentions of the FF, and you just spout some uneducated nonsense.

It appears there are idiots in aussiland.

Anonymous said...

Freedom has nothing to do with 'needs'.

Does anyone "need" a new sports car?

Does anyone "need" lots of money?

Does anyone "need" booze, a private yacht, and everything they ever 'wanted'?

The way I see it, a slave can have all his needs met for the lifetime he spends in captivity. What a slave doesn't have is a choice of his own.

Anonymous said...

Bunny,

With reference to 30 rounds, at the start of WWI with the British Army at its highest level of marksmanship in that War or possibly any war, and even taking into account Mons the level of rounds fired per 'kill' was 1500. So statistically a 303 Lee Enfield SMLE should be allowed 1500 rounds at least.

Leg-iron said...

Why does anyone need guns?

Because the government has them.

Not for armed rebellion, but to ensure the government know they cannot just walk all over their people as they do in the UK.

Anonymous said...

Yep—people need large magazines because they don't know how to use guns properly, and why should they? Indeed it's a miracle Breivik, Holmes, Lanza et al managed to hit anything at all.

And it's not like the 2nd Amendment said anything about "well-regulated militias" or anything.

Flaxen Saxon said...

Mr Clown, I totally agree. I like shooting people. Preferably I would like to tie them down and place the end of the barrel against their head. In this way I'm assured of placing all 30 rounds in the brain. After that I would burn them.

Anonymous said...

"I mean, people collect stamps or do morris dancing or watch cookery programs for fun. I can't understand doing any of those things for fun, but it doesn't mean I think they should be banned."

If theres one thing that fucking annoys me more than anything else it's this "moral equivalence" bullshit.Stamp collecting,morris dancing or cookery is the same as shooting people/things is it? When was the last time you heard of someone killed by a speeding stamp or a high-velocity morris dancers bell? I had high hopes for you Obo but as soon as you stopped to this "moral equivalence" horse manure you blew it.

"It is precisely because the government has such powerful weapons that the common man should have them too, to be able to bear equivalent arms against the state. You need to keep the state's monopoly on violence as weak and counterbalanced as possible."

Ah so violence is inherently ok as long as it's a level playing field. I see where you're coming from.

Storm Saxon's Gall Bladder said...

I was going to say a bunch of things but the comments here have covered them already. You gots good readers, mister clown.

Anonymous said...

"Mons the level of rounds fired per 'kill' was 1500."

A million Afghani's how many rounds
fired by the "Heros" ?

Willy said...

It's easy for the media to jump on a mass shooting and call for gun control, the evidence is all too shocking.

What is not so easy to quantify is the number of lives that guns save.

I have American friends who tell me that small town and suburban Americans enjoy a safety that we have long forgotten.

I imagine the prospect of being shot deters many a would be assailant/housebreaker.

Leg-iron said...

Totally irrelevant but I thought this was so Obo-esque as to be impossible to keep quiet about -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oEWw2utJQJo

Carin Robert said...

what's the need for guns?

Ted Treen said...

"Why would anybody need an automatic rifle?"

There are at least 650 reasons...

Their postcode begins SW1A...

Obnoxio The Clown said...

Anonymous wrote:

What you are suggesting is tantamount to support for armed rebellion against a duly elected government.

I don't think democracy is anything other than a figleaf to disguise thuggery, so ...

Obnoxio The Clown said...

Another Anonymous wrote:

If theres one thing that fucking annoys me more than anything else it's this "moral equivalence" bullshit.Stamp collecting,morris dancing or cookery is the same as shooting people/things is it?

You're a fucking idiot, though. Collecting tactical nuclear missiles is no different to stamp collecting.

USING tactical nuclear weapons to kill people is the bad thing.

There is no reason why people shouldn't be allowed to collect and safely use firearms. It is absolutely no more dangerous than Morris dancing.

Yes, you can use firearms to kill people, but the vast majority of people who own firearms legally do not use them to run amok.

Anonymous said...

"what's the need for guns?"

----

What is the need for freedom? Cant people exist without it?

Rights have nothing to do with 'need'. Rights are a luxury that people will lay down their lives to acquire. But freedom isn't necessary to sustain human life.

Why do we need freedom of expression? We don't.

Why do we need the right to exist? If by "we" you mean society as a whole, then it isn't necessary for every member of that society to survive in order to sustain that community.

The collective has no 'need' for individual rights.

Flaxen Saxon said...

Mr Clown, you mention morris dancing. I contend it is more dangerous than guns. My uncle 'Raven Hair' Saxon actually got a nasty splinter in his eye after a particularly vigorous clashing of the sticks at a gathering of the elder folk at Saxmundham. Line dancing is much safer but inherently sillier.