Monday, March 4, 2013

Response to "My Life as a Tyrant"

Response to My Life as a Tyrant.

Update: He hasn't posted my comment.

Having served in a metropolitan police force a decade ago and having served as private security in Iraq in 2004; I hear you.  I hear you on the abuses in Kosovo (the tyranny) and on how citizens need to protect themselves.  My thought is that personal firearms are for personal defense; "protecting yourself or another from grave bodily injury or death."

Like you, I have little or no problem with legal carry and ownership, especially if the person carrying is qualified (most are not) to handle those firearms for self defense. Sadly, most are not qualified, most are not trained in bring their firearms to bear in a combat situation.  I'll touch on this later.

Now, what I write next may seem to disagree with you. It may be arguing for the banning of the possession of some weapons. In essence I'm not.  I just has some concerns about the ramifications of saying the 2nd amendment protects us from the tyranny of ourselves (our government).  As for protecting ourselves from the tyranny of our government? I don't know how that is possible or practical in any real sense.

Why?  That would mean weapons of war in the hands of civilians.  We are talking about AR variants in their many forms which, with the exception of one function (select fire), are basically functionally the same as the weapons you and I carried overseas.  You carried weapons of war. I carried weapons of war.  I'll say it again.  Many of the AR variants sold today by the manufacturers and dealers are functionally the same as what you and I carried.  The only thing missing is select fire.

Even with that function missing, you and I both know just how effective an AR variant is, even in single-shot mode.

Should the general population have access to weapons of war?  I really don't know.  I don't have an easy answer for that.  We could try to ban them, as we have attempted to do in the past.  It didn't work very well.  It especially won't work very well when the technology exists *today* to use 3D modeling software and a 3D printer to "print" an AR lower receiver and large cap magazines.  The latest version of that lower receiver shot over 600 rounds before failure. It cost almost nothing to produce.  *Anyone* with the software, the plans file and a printer could have made one.

Add all the accessory components available over the internet and from local dealers and -- Bingo!  Instant weapon of war.

There are more weapons in currently in the hands of civilians in this country than we have in the hands of trained military.  It's not practical, nor even possible, to collect them all. I don't think it will ever be.  Would you participate in the door to door search and ollection of said firearms?  When, not if, but when the inevitable confrontation breaks out, would you return effective and deadly fire?  That is the situation every front line solider and police officer would face.  The government knows this.

Can the government convince our front line soldiers and police to try to take them away? Can they convince our front line soldiers and police to get into firefights with civilians by deeming them domestic terrorists?  It's possible they can.  Such confrontations always depend on the willingness of the front line enforcers to carry out the orders of their superiors.

Even in your situation, you could not stop Joe.  No one would listen to you.

So we have an uneasy state of balance in this country. There are really more firearms out there already than we can every hope to take away.  They are in the hands of a populace that, to a significant degree, will not turn them in. There is even another significant part of the populace that, dare I say, is actually hoping someone will try.  Those are the deterrent to any real attempt to remove firearms from the populace.

But we also have a problem.  Those same AR variants are falling into the hands of people who are "good guys" on paper. Those good guys are turning out to be not so good.  They are mowing down innocent theater goers, children in schools, with those same weapons of war. Other "nice quiet men" (yes, they are mostly men), are using handguns to clean out coffee shops in Seattle to avenge supposed wrongs.

Now, the pat response to this from some "gun rights" advocates is to have more firearms out there, to arm more people, to arm our teachers, our firefighters, our first responders.  Really?

There has to be another answer to gun violence in this country than "more guns".  There has to be an answer to the Gun Culture in this country, the fear they continue to feed, the violence they continue to dismiss with rhetorical hand waving, and the hand they have in the same violence.  When I say Gun Culture, I'm taking about the people who don't see weapons as a tool but as a hobby, a fetish, a multi-million dollar line of business, and a security blanket.

That same Gun Culture fights, at every front, at any reasonable (yes some are quite reasonable) attempts to regulate the ownership, sale and transfer of weapons.  They see *any* regulation as infringement. I am of the opinion that they are wrong and, the thing is, it helps the mentally unstable, the criminal, the "bad guys" get access to what are basically weapons of war.

This United States of America has a real problem with gun violence.  That problem is fed through a deadly combination of fear mongering, afraid people, opportunistic politicians and capitalists, and entertainment where violence and firearms are the stars, not the actors.

I believe that we have a legal right to have the ability to effectively protect ourselves and others from the imminent threat of grave bodily injury or death.  I believe that firearms are effective and reasonable tools to that end.

I also believe that the firearm ownership in this country is an effective deterrent to outright government tyranny.

But I also believe we have a serious problem with gun violence in this country that cannot be solved with more guns and less regulations.

So, what are we going to do about it?

By the way, thanks for trying to stand up for what was right in Kosovo.  I ran into similar situations when I was in Iraq, and when I was a LEO.  It's sometimes hard to balance your career/safety/paycheck against your desire to do the right thing.  That balancing act isn't always easy.  Thanks for trying.

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