Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Fighting Crazy with Crazy

There's a lot of talk back and forth about banning "assault weapons," "high-capacity" magazines, or any number of scary things. The problem right now is that both sides preach to their respective choirs, forgetting that the people who need to be convinced aren't going to be reached by the bickering.
What do I mean, you ask? Well, when the anti-gunners talk about the bannable features, they often depict them as features only intended to maximize death. A pistol grip doesn't give a shooter a secure hold, but makes it easier to sweep an area. Of course, those who aren't even horribly familiar with firearms can often see that an pistol grip makes many guns easier to handle, and therefore safer for some shooters.
Pro-gunners are worse, if only because I agree with them, but get annoyed at their tactics. The knee-jerk response of "hunting rifles will kill you just as dead" makes the case for banning all firearms, not the case against banning some. Also, justifying the use of ARs as hunting/sporting rifles still only feeds the fire, because there are features that aren't necessarily sporting features, and those could seem ban-worthy.
The scariest anti-gunners, in my opinion, are the ones who can convincingly argue against the utility of some features. "Sure, I don't need a barrel shroud," you might think, so you start looking at the hollow victory for the anti-gunners as not being so bad.
Problem is, there's no victory for gun rights in that. Compromise is standing at opposite ends of a room and meeting halfway. Walking halfway across the room while they remain against the other wall is a concession, not a compromise. If they would remove some of the GCA or NFA restrictions, we might gain back some of the ground we've already lost.
The pro-gunners that scare me are the ones who make us all look crazy. I've already mentioned the folks who are quick to point out the killing potential of any firearm. The other notable crazies plan for the "zombie apocalypse." Somehow, this is a major trend, and they either seem like they want to kill mythical monsters or people, neither desire seeming overly sane.
Instead of lumberjack beards or mall-ninja gear, we need more pro-gunners wearing ties and speaking eloquently. Instead of arguing that we can use ARs to hunt, we should point out that we've already given the government an unacceptable monopoly on the tools of war. There is no Constitutional provision for hunting rights. That said, we don't want to discount the hunters, either, as they can be powerful allies, and we certainly need to keep our allies.

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