Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Listening to Gun Advocates Talk

A curious thing has happened during the last few days since I published two blog posts and tweeted more actively than I usually do about the topic of gun reform: I have heard from people I don't normally interact with--people who do not share my ideological stance about gun ownership.

I oppose gun ownership and see no reason for anyone apart from military to actually possess automatic weapons. My posts and tweets have been exceedingly kind, invitational in nature and the responses from gun advocates have been for the most part both aggressive and offensive in tone.  This has given me pause and made me wonder if these few are representative of the larger group of gun advocates.

Perhaps, it is unusual given the millions of Bushmaster AR-15s in circulation (most sold by Walmart), but I don't know anyone who actually owns an automatic weapon of any kind and I know only one person who owns a gun (a retired detective) who would prefer better gun control.  I heard one caller from the Rockaways who phoned into Brian Lehrer's show today and I listened to the arguments he made for why automatic weapons are critical. He told us that he and others need the Bushmaster AR-15:

  1. For personal protection against flash mobs and riots
  2. To hunt wild hogs
  3. For paramilitary purposes so that 'average citizens' can wage war against the US military when the US takes military action against the average citizen

The offered reasons by the Rockaway caller are hardly satisfactory and citing protection for potential riots or to arm paramilitary factions is disturbing.   So I am assuming that these reasons are not ones that the majority of the gun owners would cite and yet I have heard no other reasons offered.

Why should the US allow citizens to own automatic and semi-automatic weapons?  What need  does anyone have to do so?

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