Friday, June 17, 2016
Avoiding a Fair Debate
First continuing mistake. He pads, with suicides, the gun death figures he uses in his arguments. This is mixing apples and oranges. Murders using guns is a problem both the left and right want to mitigate. Suicide is not a problem of violence against another. It is a shame and a tragedy and the loss hurts and haunts those who loved the dead person sometimes forever, But it is not an intrusion on the rights of others. Besides, lefties are generally pro-suicide and they push for laws that will allow other people to murder with impunity the infirm who want to but can't physically take the action to end their own lives. This is so dishonest in a discussion that is essentially about protecting people from murder.
Kristof also trots out the completely bogus figure of 40% of "gun transfers" don't involve a background check. He keeps saying this figure is from a Harvard study soon to be published, but it never is published. Getting the gun from the factory to the gun owner nearly always involves purchases and nearly all of them are completed with a background check. The transfers other than sales include "a gift, an inheritance, a swap between friends". This is a tiny subset of the millions of gun transferred by purchases each year. And the guns which are the gifts, inheritances or swap somehow got to the gift giver, decedent or swap partner from the manufacturer without any checking, right? Clearly wrong. So a legally obtained gun, almost certainly obtained through a background check, is transferred from the guy who passed the background check to someone whom he knows well enough to give gifts to or trade things with, or who is family. So this is a problem only if the good guy gun owners completely throw caution to the wind and give, swap or bequeath the gun to some criminal or crazy person or someone otherwise unable to pass a background check. I'm willing to bet that the number of risky transfers here is such a small number that it warrants not even a troubling thought much less a new law. We already have a law prohibiting giving or swapping or selling a gun privately to a person who cannot own a gun. That this law is so seldom enforced is most likely because good guy gun purchasers hardly ever break it.
Which brings us to the newer talking point: Let's not allow guns to be sold to people on the terror watch list or the no fly list or some secret list the Government generates. I and almost all gun nuts support not allowing terrorists to own guns. It's the list that is troubling. I think taking away an important civil right, the right to keep and bear arms, ought to involve some ordered mechanism for placing a name on the proposed, prohibiting list. The mechanism would have to include giving notice that you might be placed on the list, having the right to confront the people who want to put you on the list and making them prove, in front of a neutral magistrate, that there is sufficient evidence that you belong on the list and a right to have a meaningful appeal of that process. You know, due process (another right in the 5th and 14th Amendment). Kristof and his ilk apparently don't mind denying due process when guns are involved. I mind.
Two of the worst things about the Obama Administration are the severe setback his Presidency caused to race relations in America and the near complete mistrust he and his minions created in our Government employees' ability or desire to do the right thing. So I mind a lot about having a Government bureaucrat be able to rob me of my Second Amendment rights by fiat, without due process. All you have to do is think about the various conservative organizations who were singled out for different and far worse treatment by the IRS. You can think of the EPA turning the Animas river a putrid yellow a while back. You can think of the hundreds of Vets dying because the VA leadership and rank and file are so awful at their jobs. I absolutely don't trust our Government to do the right thing and I call on my fellow defenders of the Constitution to defeat on principal this lawless, unconstitutional proposal regarding one or another secret lists and the Second Amendment.
It's not paranoia if they're really out to get you.
Thanks for the comment. Not that well thought out, but I appreciate the effort.