Monday, January 14, 2013

Why a Handgun Ban Is Preferable to an "Assault Weapon" Ban

The point of the 2nd Amendment is to allow the citizens to defend themselves against the state. It always has been, and those who talk about "sportsmen" are intentionally misrepresenting the issue. Yes, it doesn't take a 30-round magazine to bag a deer, but it does to keep the ATF at bay.

The anti-gun lobby is trying to show their reasonableness by saying, "You can have handguns, just not high-volume magazines." This is the same as saying, "You can shoot the occasional criminal, but you'll be defenseless before the state."

Most Americans are not the victims of crime. But all Americans are victims of the state. This is why we'd be better off giving up handguns and keeping what have been hyper-dramatically termed "assault weapons."

Logic would require the anti-gun lobby to be on board with this (if they weren't, in fact, allergic to logic). Handguns kill thousands each year. "Assault weapons" kill a few highly-publicized dozen. If we grant their argument that guns are dangerous prima facie, then we should get rid of the most dangerous guns first. These would be the most portable, most easily-concealed guns. We would ban handguns.

A ban on "assault weapons" would not have prevented Newtown. The shooter had handguns with him, and since no one else in the school was armed at all, he wouldn't have been stopped as he murdered children more slowly, he just would have been slower.

The only thing limited-capacity magazines would do is protect statists from resistance. When the state decides to come in my home, a thousand rounds of ammunition might stop them. Seven rounds would kill a few before I was inevitably subdued, and then I would be certainly facing execution. This is why handguns aren't the anti-statist tool that "assault weapons" are, and this is why statists are fine with leaving you handguns.

All of this analysis requires us to talk about how we'd shoot police officers if we had to, which is why most Americans don't think it through. A nation born in violent revolution against tyrannical government has forbidden the concept of revolution against government and will soon ban the tools of such revolution. But the tyrants will still allow you to hunt deer, so where's the harm done?

NB: An acquaintance of mine recently wrote something on Facebook about how un-American it is to oppose the president, and I responded that opposition to tyranny is not un-American. (In fact, Benjamin Franklin once said, "Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.") A friend of this acquaintance responded with ironic detachment that all uses of the word "tyranny" are contemptible. To him the word is just a charged term used to mean "something I don't like." This destroys the word which means "oppressive power," leaving us less able to talk about oppressive power, and thus less able to oppose it. Another example of Orwell's contention that the decline of language has political causes.

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