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Old October 16, 2017, 11:06 AM   #51
Glenn E. Meyer
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It is unfortunate that some people abuse their right to self-protection with firearms and hurt others, but that is not unique to guns. Banning the tool is the wrong approach. Steps in the right direction might be more efficient detection of twisted minds, better enforcement of existing laws and tougher sentences to keep people who use guns in crimes off the street. Wish I had a cleaner, simpler, easier solution, but this is a complex problem that doesn't lend itself to knee-jerk emotional reactio
As a diversion, I might disagree somewhat and turn to something I said before. I think we see two types of gun crimes.

1. Crimes of passion, suicide by cop, etc. All driven by some emotional cause. There will always be such and I think unaffected by gun laws - unless we had total confiscation by a totalitarian enforcement process.

Better detection of the small percent of mentally ill people might help. That several states did not correctly or promptly report to the NICS system has been found in some cases. Overall, though we do not have the tech to find those prone to such unless they have already committed violent acts. The only reliable predictor of violent acts is past violent acts. Well researched.

IIRC, and I would have to dig for the reference, the gun crime rate among middle to higher SES in the USA and Canada was very similar and flat for many years. Relatively stable populations so we just see crimes of passion and the small number of mental illness prone to violence.

2. The major increase in gun crime came with the drug wars in the 70's. It was driven by economic turf disputes and the revenge cycle among gangs. The reason for that was the destruction of communities by loss of economic opportunity. That causes family disruption and turning towards drugs. Been pretty well researched. The loss of jobs - well, look overseas and the loss of US manufacturing. Our inability to provide good jobs for average folks is a problem.

Law enforcement is a band-aid for #2. Gun crimes have dropped overall but we see pockets of intense gun crime correlated with lack of opportunity and its concomitant social disruption.
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Old October 16, 2017, 11:21 AM   #52
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On a side note, I think it's great I could come here with this and not be name called or verbally assaulted. It shows a level of intelligence and respect you wouldn't get on twitter or Facebook.
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Old October 16, 2017, 11:30 AM   #53
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Well, it did take some moderation to assure that. It's what we don't get paid for.
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Old October 16, 2017, 11:37 AM   #54
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I would love to make mass shootings of innocents go away. From all current evidence, it appears that the LV shooter come into possession of his firearms legally and decided to use them hurt innocents.

I see the issue as a balance scale (or teeter-totter) type scenario:
Side 1: Restrict firearms to the point that they can't possibly be used to hurt a large group of people ever. Extreme examples: Only allow private citizens access to revolvers, single-shot firearms and muzzle-loaders. This might be possible in a world that ignore both logistics (some but not all examples given above) and historical precedent (I like to point to the escalating gun violence in Brazil despite outright ban and no historical gun culture).

Side 2: the base requirement for a government to determine outcomes is for that government to restrict choices. Additionally, a government can collect intelligence on citizen behavior to restrict freedom of action as well. How far down this road do you want to go? And before you start working on the mental calculus, you need to recognize that you are giving the government a set of tools that could be turned against ANY right or any group.
NOW how far down this road do you want to go?

Among other reasons, the U.S. constitution/Bill of Rights are special because their adoption was the world's first "post-modern" form of law. The framers recognized that "the government" was simply a social construct which the general mass of citizens should be able to remove (up to and including removal by force if necessary), should that government began functioning in a coercive manner towards its own citizenry. The 2nd amendment is crucial to the the function of of government and the roll of citizenship. If no one buys a firearm, fine. If everyone chooses not to vote, fine. But if the government moves to abolish the availability of the types of firearms necessary to remove it, that should send alarm bells off the same way that it would if the government moved to restrict voting.

If this sounds extreme, recognize that the frames put this extreme power into the hands of the general citizenry by choice. Much has been made about the moral depravity of the founding fathers for holding slaves. While recognizing this, I would also point out that b/c so many of the founders WERE slave holders, they also knew what it took to keep a population in slavery and they didn't want to be on the other end of that pointy stick. There's a historical wisdom at work here that surpasses easy "I'm good/you're bad" labeling that passes as a "history lesson" in so many modern classrooms.

I accept the limits of law. I also accept that the law should have limits. I also accept that free will will also lead to bad outcomes. Tragedy happens. I wish they wouldn't (I realize that sounds trite and uncaring on the surface), and I"m sorry for your losses. The Greeks wrote many plays capturing how the failings of the individual often brought ruin on themselves as well as their entire community. They were also trying to understand these types of happenings.
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Old October 16, 2017, 11:49 AM   #55
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Justin,
Guns are used to prevent more crime than there are murders by guns each year. The lowest number I have heard is that 500,000 people use a gun to prevent a crime each year. i am sure that more than 1% of those guns are semi-automatics. If you take guns out of the picture you are left with the violence. In countries where guns are all but banned the violent crime rate goes up not down. We have slightly lower violent crime rate than England and their gun crime is on the rise while ours has been dropping.

Yes once in a while we have a mass shooting (more than four dead in a single crime) but if you look at Chicago you will find as many killed each month. The gun is not at fault. The accessories are not at fault. Only the violent individual is at fault. Cure the violence and the gun violence disappears. Cure the violent and the whole violent crime concern is gone. More people are killed in the USA by beating with hands and feet than are killed with all rifles which represents the small percentage of events where the AR15 is used.
Banning guns is not the answer because guns are not the problem. The problem is two fold:
1. Violence is nurtured in the USA by the instant fame it allows.
2. We can't prosecute the offender because he killed himself and we have the "NEED" to do something.
In the UK a couple of years ago knife violence was extremely high so they talked about banning knives. Kitchen knives were the tool used most often so they were considering banning them. The use of Cricket bats could have gone up and then they would have to decide whether to ban Cricket bats - that would have affected their popular past-time and angered a lot of people.
If we blame the tool used we will never solve the problem. Only by focusing on the problem (violence) will we ever find a solution.
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Old October 16, 2017, 12:03 PM   #56
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Only by focusing on the problem (violence) will we ever find a solution.
Violence isn't the problem. It is merely the result of all of the underlying causes, many of which are intertwined with one another.
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Old October 16, 2017, 12:51 PM   #57
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If a gun control supporter tells me they want to ban handguns, I'll disagree with them, but I won't necessarily think they're being irrational. After all, handguns account for a vast majority of gun deaths. But when someone says they want to ban "assault weapons" but not handguns, they're being either ignorant or irrational. Or they're just playing politics.

The made-up legal category of "assault weapons" contains some of the most practical and sensible firearms a person can own, like the AR-15. At the same time, all rifles (not just "assault weapons") account for a vast minority of all gun death, including gun deaths from mass shootings.

Justin, this is an honest question and I'd appreciate an answer: Why don't you advocate a ban on handguns? They are involved in far more gun deaths of all kinds than any other type of firearm (including mass shootings), and they're less practical for sporting use than something like an AR-15.
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Old October 16, 2017, 01:10 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by doofus47 View Post
But if the government moves to abolish the availability of the types of firearms necessary to remove it, that should send alarm bells off the same way that it would if the government moved to restrict voting.
Among the most anti-gun states, there probably isn't too much more in the way of anti-gun shenanigans to inflict on the state citizenry. What worries me the most is having it inflicted also on the other states via the Federal Government.
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Old October 16, 2017, 02:02 PM   #59
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Theohazard,

I feel like it's the efficiency. I know assault rifle is kinda a bogus made up classification. I would say it all comes down to high capacity, rate of fire and somewhat range.

I'm not as afraid of handguns because I feel like I'm less susceptible to handgun violence because of my place in this world. Healthy relationship, avoid bad neighborhoods, etc. However I feel like at this point one never knows if and when they will fall victim to the next mass shooting where 20, 30, 50+ people are gunned down with relative ease because the tool they are using makes it that easy.
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Old October 16, 2017, 02:23 PM   #60
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There's no question that mass killings and pervasive violence have a corrosive effect on our culture. It is also true that disarming law-abiding citizens will not stop the violence.

Making semi-automatic weapons and magazines holding over a few rounds illegal will impact my ability keep and bear arms sufficient for personal protection and as a deterrent to tyranny. When fighting for your life not having to reload often might be the difference between living and dying. It will not stop a determined, organized attacker who doesn't care if he lives or dies from killing multiple innocent victims. How many people could have been killed if the Las Vegas shooter had carefully targeted individuals using several scoped bolt action rifles? How about lever actions?

The mass killings and violence are symptomatic of the economic, racial and political division pandemic in our nation. Taking my guns won't fix that.
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Old October 16, 2017, 02:24 PM   #61
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One thing I'm tired of seeing is comparing our gun laws to another country's gun laws and say their gun deaths are so much lower due to their strict gun laws. Usually it's Australia or Britain that I see in these arguments. While we may speak the same language, we are completely different countries with different cultures and different histories. No other country was literally founded with the right to bear arms in mind. It is part of our culture, where it is not in other countries'. Here's a case-study country I havn't seen any comparison to in the news: Switzerland. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe about 50% of the populace own firearms (to include military style rifles, not just bolt/pump actions) and also has a incredibly low crime rate. Granted, they have mandatory military service which allows those who served to own their issued gun to stay a militia. But I still find it interesting they're never brought up in these country comparisons. But again, I don't want to compare our gun laws to another country's. I get it. People do these comparisons because case studies are easy to do. But Tom Servo was right, lets look at ourselves instead of other countries for case studies. Look at the crime rates at cities and states with strict gun laws. Chicago is first to come to mind...

You can issue laws banning semi-automatics all you want, but nobody will turn them in. I think the govt will notice a disparity between ARs sold vs turned in. The only way I can see complete eradication of guns, even just semi-automatics, in America is literally a civil war and/or swat teams going door to door. If that was to happen, many would maybe give them up. But there will be those who won't want to give them up. You said you were a cop. What would be your reaction if you got orders to go to 50 houses a day until every house in your jurisdiction was visited, to take away their guns. That's 50 chances a day you will get fired upon from those not willing to give them up and will either get shot, or be forced to shoot somebody who just wants to be left alone. Imagine what the death toll would be then. Obviously, this is a very extreme case, but it ties in with the "just ban all semi-automatics" scenario without thinking about the logistics and consequences behind it.

P.S. Justin, this is in all due respect. The comparing country gun laws and ban semi-automatics argument is seen a lot. I hope this thread, if anything, made you think about it some more. Thanks for being brave and posting this on a firearms forum instead of anti-gun forums and preaching to the choir.
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Old October 16, 2017, 02:39 PM   #62
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You are welcome and thank you.
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Old October 16, 2017, 03:10 PM   #63
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However I feel like at this point one never knows if and when they will fall victim to the next mass shooting where 20, 30, 50+ people are gunned down with relative ease because the tool they are using makes it that easy.
What about mass killings via homemade bombs, vehicles, or other means? No one can foresee or predict every possibility that someone bent on killing people can dream up.

Banning an object does nothing to stop the root cause. That is putting a bandaid on a severed artery - it never has good results.
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Old October 16, 2017, 03:36 PM   #64
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Justin have you ever looked at the laws governing the Swiss people concerning firearms?
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Old October 16, 2017, 03:53 PM   #65
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Tony, aren't the Swiss the second highest owners of guns but are they the country where everyone serves and gets a military rifle but has to keep it on base?
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Old October 16, 2017, 04:09 PM   #66
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Oh wow it looks like they are stored at home, I'll read more.
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Old October 16, 2017, 04:49 PM   #67
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Justin: First, I'd like to say I appreciate how civil you're being during this discussion. I wish all the TFL members in this thread could have been as civil as you, but that's what we have moderators for.

I'll also say that I don't think your position makes any sense. You say your goal is to enact gun bans in order to reduce the number of mass shootings, yet then you said you don't advocating banning the number-one weapon used in mass shootings: handguns. I certainly don't mean this as an insult, but I think your position is based solely on ignorance and emotion.

And that's OK. Emotions subside and ignorance can be corrected. After that, I hope you'll begin to see that "assault weapons" like the AR-15 are rarely used in crimes -- even mass shootings -- compared to handguns, and at the same time are some of the most practical and useful firearms out there in terms of sporting and defensive use.

On a side note, "assault rifle" is a correct term for an intermediate-powered rifle that is capable of full-auto fire. But the term is almost always misused to refer to semi-auto rifles.
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Old October 16, 2017, 04:50 PM   #68
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Also, again, I'm just talking about mass shootings
I beg forgiveness if I misunderstand, but wasn't your post about banning semi-auto firearms??
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Old October 16, 2017, 06:01 PM   #69
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Y'all say that the AR15 style rifles aren't used as much in mass shootings as handguns. That may be true, but when AR15 style rifles do get used, the number of casualties is much higher. Vegas, Orlando, Colorado, San Bernardino, Newtown, and others, are shootings where those types of rifles were used. Any way you slice and dice it, those types of rifles are patterned after military automatics. They look like military autos, have higher count magazines available for them, and with the right accessories can fire almost as fast as full autos can.

I don't pretend to know how to solve all these mass shootings, but I do know that these types of rifles certainly are more a part of the problem than too many of us in the gun community are willing to admit. There's nothing anyone can say to convince me that the 2A is a blind endorsement of anything and everything gun related. We have to find a balance between our right to keep and bear arms and public safety because, if we don't, the day will come when we will no longer have that right.
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Old October 16, 2017, 06:11 PM   #70
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We have to find a balance between our right to keep and bear arms and public safety because, if we don't, the day will come when we will no longer have that right.
... and still be faced with the issue of public safety, or lack there of.
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Old October 16, 2017, 06:43 PM   #71
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Australia banned certain types of guns after a mass shooting and one hasn't happened since. I think they count a mass shooting as more than 5 people not known by the shooter.
In Australia, at least five people were shot in a single incident in 2002 (Monash), 2011 (Hectorville), and 2014 (Hunt family). So that statistic isn't correct. More importantly, how many mass shootings were there before 1996? If it was a relatively rare event to begin with, then recent scarcity doesn't tell us much.

But let's put that aside and assume you are correct that banning semi-autos would be effective at reducing mass shootings. Australia confiscated around 600,000 guns overall. More AR15s have been sold in a single year than that in the United States. You are talking an exponentially more difficult task that will require a police state to implement. How do you see that going down?
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Old October 16, 2017, 09:20 PM   #72
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I have read this thread and tried to stay out of it but I guess I can't. The problem with violence is nothing new and it will continue well after we are gone. The biggest difference today is that we are in such a progressively choked nation that has absolutely turned its back on God....well, there are consequences. It has nothing to do with a firearm and every thing to do with flat out evil.
Let bans come, NOTHING will change.

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Old October 16, 2017, 10:02 PM   #73
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There are 30,000 gun related deaths per year by firearms and this number is not disputed. The US population is 324,059,091 as of Wednesday, June 22, 2016, do the math that is 0.000000925% of the population die from gun related accidents each year. statistically speaking this is insignificant. what is never told however the breakout of those 30,000 deaths to put them in to perspective as compared to other causes of death.
65% of those debts are by suicide which would never be prevented by gun laws
15% of my law enforcement in the line of duty and are justified
17% or through criminal activity gang and drug related or mentally or persons
3% or accidental discharge death
so gun violence is not 30,000 annually but 5100. still too many!
lets see how these deaths span across our nation
480 homicides 9.4% were in Chicago
344 homicide 6.7% were in Baltimore
333 homicides 6.5% were in Detroit
119 homicides 2.3% were in Washington DC
so basically 25% of all gun crime happens and just for cities all four of those cities have strict gun laws so it is not the lack of laws that is the root cause!
that basically leaves 3825 for the entire rest of the nation or about 75 deaths per state that is an average because some states have much higher rates than others for example California had 1169 in Alabama had 1 now who has the strictest gun laws by far California! of course but understand it’s not the guns causing this it’s a criminal. It must be something other than the tool causing a gun deaths.
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Old October 16, 2017, 11:36 PM   #74
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are they the country where everyone serves and gets a military rifle but has to keep it on base?
I'm not sure what the Swiss are doing today, but in the 70s, they kept their military rifles AT HOME (along with at least 100 rnds of ammo), not on base.

And for the past half century or so, that military rifle has been some variant of a SIG, capable of select fire. (meaning it has full auto fire capability).

Rifles that under US law is ARE machine guns. Rifles that US citizens are not allowed to own under current already existing law, found in the majority of Swiss homes!! Yet, one doesn't hear about much violence in Switzerland.

This should strongly suggest it isn't military rifles that create the problem here, its the people.

Like wise, the example of prison. NO guns, no weapons of any kind for the inmates, but how safe do you think you would be if you lived there? Again, not the weapons (presence or absence) its the PEOPLE!!!

Here's something to consider, among many species of mammal, it has long been recognized that, for no reason we can determine, certain individuals (almost always male) run "amok". They literally go on a killing rampage, doing violence to all they run across. When this happens with elephants, its a rather serious matter...

Perhaps mankind shares this trait. Perhaps not, but it would explain certain kinds of behavior.

Another thing to consider, also something known (and proven) about mammals, when dirt, noise, and overcrowding reach a certain level, general mass insanity often results. (and, of course, the tolerance of individuals is..individual) Again, PERHAPS human beings have a similar behavior, and what varies is the tolerance.

Put too many rats in a cage, they eat their young. There MIGHT be a link there....

here's another point to consider, every one of the mass shootings, EVERY SINGLE ONE, happens at a location where people are not armed and capable of shooting back. They never happen at a shooting range, or a police station in a building full of armed people able to shoot back.

Even a military base has been the target, people would think there are lots of guns, but there aren't, really. All the soldiers guns are locked up in arms rooms, except for the ones carried by MPs on duty. And, when I was in (and I don't think its changed) all loaded arms carried on duty outside of active combat zones, had to be carried chamber empty.

The attacker ALWAYS has the advantage of initiative. They choose where, and when. There is NO WAY to accurately predict who might do this, outside of science fiction.

NO TEST, no screening, no background check can see inside the human heart (or mind if you prefer). And that includes those "trusted" armed folks who wear uniforms, and carry badges of some kind.
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Old October 17, 2017, 12:18 AM   #75
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...AR15 style rifles...those types of rifles are patterned after military automatics. They look like military autos, have higher count magazines available for them, and with the right accessories can fire almost as fast as full autos can.
Actually, the M16 (the military version of the AR15) came after the AR15. Not the other way around.
Quote:
That may be true, but when AR15 style rifles do get used, the number of casualties is much higher.
Higher than when other guns are used? Are we concerned about GUNS, or are we concerned about the actual casualties. If it's the latter, then why focus on guns. Clearly truck attacks can be just as deadly as gun attacks, in fact probably moreso.

If we get rid of all semi-autos and people turn to truck attacks as an alternative it would be reasonable to expect worse casualty numbers, since the alternative method is more effective. Moreover trucks are easier and cheaper to acquire since people can rent them for less than a rifle costs and without having to undergo a background check. Furthermore, nearly everyone can drive but not everyone knows how to shoot a rifle. In other words, the problem of mass casualty attacks could actually be made worse by the "solution".

You don't solve a problem by deciding up front what the solution will be without knowing the facts, without considering possible unintended consequences and without trying to do some basic analysis to determine if the solution will have the intended goal.

In fact, it's important to carefully define a goal in the first place. If the goal is to feel safe, that's a non-starter. Even in a hypothetical world with no semi-autos** there are still numerous ways to cause mass casualties. If the goal is to reduce mass murders or reduce the number of casualties, then one should consider alternative approaches that would-be mass murderers could employ to see if the solution makes sense. If mass murder techniques are a bathtub full of ping pong balls that must all be kept submerged at once with only two hands, then permanently sinking one ball doesn't really solve anything.

BUT, if the goal is to eliminate semi-autos (and that's what it sounds like the goal really is) then let's be honest about it. Let's not pretend that it's about feeling safe or reducing casualties because it's clear that eliminating semi-autos not only can't do that, eliminating semi-autos isn't even possible.**

The right way to solve a problem.
1. Carefully define the problem.
2. Research the problem.
3. Research solutions.
4. If an effective solution is found then implement it.
5. If no effective solution is found then move on to another problem.

The wrong way to solve a problem.
1. Decide we "have to do something that makes us feel better".
2. Implement a response based on feelings without knowing if it will help or hurt and without actually having defined the problem we're trying to solve in the first place.


**I say hypothetical because this is never going to happen. I don't know how a country of people who has seen how ridiculously ineffective the war on drugs has been at reducing drug use and drug sales can pretend that a ban on semi-auto firearms would actually eliminate them. It can't eliminate them.

If people want them they will be smuggled in, they will be made illegally or they will be modified from existing firearms. If you want an eye opener, here's a guy who modified his single action revolver to fire 14 rounds without reloading. http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2...-fed-revolver/

And that's a very basic mod. It's not that difficult to make an entire firearm with easily available equipment these days. If the demand is there, you can bet that there will be a supply to feed it.

So what's the point of banning them? To make them hard to get and use? Like illegal drugs are hard to get and use? Right, that obviously works really well.

Maybe it's to reduce the casualties? In France, the Bataclan shooting casualties were not eliminated or even reduced by the fact that the weapons used were illegal to own. It doesn't take much thought to realize that the fact that a particular weapon is illegal won't make it less effective in a mass attack.

The point of the ban is to take semi-auto firearms from law-abiding persons. It's not going to take them away from criminals because criminals don't follow the laws (by definition). It obviously is not going to make them less effective in the hands of those who illegally acquire and use them, it just means that law-abiding persons will have to use less desirable firearms for self-defense and recreation.

It is worse than pointless. If it had no negative effect, it would be pointless because it is an action which obviously can not achieve the desired goal. But it does have a negative effect. So it not only can't achieve the desired goal, it also takes a useful tool away from the law abiding population. Worse than pointless.
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