Saturday, February 25, 2012

We have police, so guns shouldn't be allowed. Susan said so.

Tam at View From The Porch noticed a little blurb from a well-meaning (probably, at least I hope so) lady.
When the Second Amendment was created, we were a nation of far-flung farmers. There weren’t any police departments, sheriffs or National Guard. The head of the family was all of those. He had to have a gun.

But today, we have law enforcement. Hunters use rifles, not guns. Now, no one is safe.

... Susan M. Kloepfer, Linden

One of Tam's commenters took issue with the statement right away.
Anonymous said...

"Far-flung farmers"??

How did they fling farmers back in the day--with trebuchets??

I have this image of colonial farmers zinging westward overhead like hefty cannonballs.

Makes about as much sense as the rest of the article.

Tam stated there were so many problems that she didn't have the breath to start. I started, anyway.


I recall the James Stewart, Lee Marvin, John Wayne movie, "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance".

The theme of that movie was that "winning" the Wild West meant laying aside all those nasty weapons and relying on the rule of law, like "civilized" folk (affluent, influential Europeans, I guess). This is nearly the same as Susie's argument.

Of course, it was private men acting in defense of their community that actually dealt with the bad guy. Settled it using guns.

Back to Susan's plaint.

First, we aren't as affluent as the premise of "those that count", white, affluent folk, that is, as those folk were coming into economic and political prominence. Putting away the firearms for the Obamas, while they live in the Secret Service-secured White House, just makes sense.

For those making the news by being victims of random crime, house break-ins, and drug dealer riddled neighborhoods, that doesn't seem like such a winning argument. But then, those victims are often not white, or not influential, or not affluent. Gack, I hate how the anti-gun argument turns racist, so very quickly.

Second, the writers of the Constitutions, those working with and serving those far-flung farmers (I think at the time that the farmers wanted a piece of ground someone else wasn't using, thus achieving a social distribution as if they had been flung by some instrument of random and far-reaching dispersal. Anon 6:30, I think you mis-read the far-flung phrase. At least, I hope that part of the lady's story wasn't bent and twisted, and glossed over, like much of the rest of what she wrote.), those back then, looking at the newly formed nation, had two major worries of the time. First, was that it was the individuals, armed with their personal weapons, that supported the armies when armies clashed in Revolution, and the armed citizenry that denied the countryside to the enemy. Of course, that status of armed citizenry worked in California, restricting the initial Japanese attack to Hawaii, instead of the Golden Coast. I think Californias, like this lady, forgot that part of "national security".

The other primary concern of the survivors of the American Revolution was the reason for the Revolution -- tyrants. Unbridled rulers ignoring the good and will of the people, trampling rule of law, disregarding limits to authority. In the case that the government they designed failed to serve the nation in a reverential fashion, they intended that the same arms that launched the revolt against England would be in place. The purpose of this was not just to overthrow a future tyrant, but to give potential tyrants pause, to keep both foreign and home grown tyrants honest.

And that all goes before her argument falls against the results that the FBI has published, that in the last decade the communities and states that have increased gun presence and permissions, have each seen reductions in crimes. Including accidental shootings. Against crime it is the presence of armed citizens, usually meaning handguns, that is having an impact. Long guns would meet the national security and tyrant-repellent concerns, but not the national need to keep people of good will and good character in charge of their own community.

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