Bob Lazaro, barometer of change on gun views?

The Loudoun Times-Mirror is reporting that Purcellville Mayor Bob Lazaro has joined the Mayors Against Illegal Guns coalition, a bipartisan organization advocating for more (many people would say reasonable) restrictions on firearms. They are advocating, according to the Times-Mirror, “for Congress to pass laws requiring every gun buyer in the U.S. to pass a criminal background check; making gun trafficking a federal crime; and banning military-style weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.”

If one is a legitimate and responsible gun owner, I don’t see how these measures would be a terrible burden. I’m not sure what they mean by “military-style” weapons – that should be clarified – but certainly no legitimate gun owner has a need for high capacity magazines like the ones that made the mass slaughters in Colorado and Connecticut possible. Even if you prefer a semi-automatic for predator control – which I can appreciate – if you can’t hit a coyote without a 30 or 50 round magazine you should probably find a new line of work.

The article has attracted the sort of comments one expects an article like this to attract. However, one commenter makes a very interesting point:

..when Bob Lazaro shifts to a new position, it means that things have somehow changed and the majority is looking at something in a new way.

Whatever your opinion of Mayor Lazaro, I think you would have to admit there is truth to this. In the service of what some might call his political ambitions, and others might call his interest in the commercial development of Purcellville, Mayor Lazaro has shifted his position on all sorts of things, including his religion.

And recent polling data seems to bear the observation out: From record low support for stricter gun control in 2010 and 2011, Gallup now finds that 58% of Americans support strengthening the laws covering the sale of firearms. This is an increase from 43% in 2011, which is remarkable. It remains to be seen whether that shift in public opinion is stable.

Another measure of opinion shift, although not very quantifiable, is the degree to which people on the losing side of the shift abandon all sense of proportion and reason in their interactions. The most-watched example today and yesterday is probably the interview with Alex Jones of InfoWars. Another occurred right here on this blog, when a commenter became enraged by nothing but a description shared by one of our authors of an armed man he’d seen who had made him uncomfortable. That commenter, reflecting his embrace of an up-is-down, no-is-yes world view, actually expressed the opinion that the author of the post is a “bully,” while the man he had observed monitoring a public place with a Glock prominently displayed on his hip is his victim. In both cases, this kind of hyperbole usually signals that the person knows they do not occupy the winning position in a debate. As disturbing as they can be to witness, I generally take these attacks as a positive sign.

65 thoughts on “Bob Lazaro, barometer of change on gun views?

  1. P'Ville resident

    The recent gun shootings could not have been prevented with ANY gun laws. The firearms were bought legally and they were registered. The restrictions that were in place of certain high powered magazines did nothing to reduce gun crimes. Unless you confiscate all of those weapons, which is impossible, then any law against them is just wasted.

    The real need is in making sure people who own firearms lock them up and do not give access to minors or anyone who would possibly do harm with those guns. The shooting yesterday at a High School is a prime example. He was 16 years old and likely took the gun from a parent or relative. The owner of the gun should be prosecuted and serve time for not securing their weapon better. If the penalty is high enough, gun owners will be more responsible. Common sense is that anyone who owns a gun should take a gun safety and use course.

    The Nazi’s started their reign by disarming their citizens……..stopping oppressive gov’t and keeping the balance of power in play is why we have the right to bear arms. Check your history books, disarming citizens is the best way to control them.

    The woman in Georgia who shot the intruder could not have protected herself or her children had she not had a gun. She shot him 5 times and did not kill him. If there had been more than one intruder she would have been screwed, so maybe a high powered gun can be valuable. If every criminal knew that all households in a community were armed there would be no breaks in……..cities in our country that outlaw citizens right to own a gun have the highest murder rate…..because the law abiding citizen is disarmed while the criminals are.

    Lazaro is a windbag….his days are numbered in Purcellville. The P’Ville Mafia is being shown the door in the 2014 elections.

  2. liz

    P’ville Resident, the Nazis thought it would be a good thing if trains ran according to schedule, should we make sure that trains are never predictable?

    The Nazis thought all boys and girls should be able to know how to build a fire and use it to cook while on camping trips, should we end scouting programs?

    The Nazis liked to be organized, should we throw out the Dewey Decimal System?

    They printed money. They wore shoes. They changed their underwear frequently. They bathed. They paved roads.

    Oh! And they had a hugely successful ballistic missle program. Without which the US wouldn’t have gotten to the moon.

    Yours truly, Liz Miller, Jewess in favor of gun control

  3. Epluribusunum Post author

    The most obvious difference between the California school shooting and the shootings in Connecticut and Colorado is that the shooter in California didn’t have a high capacity magazine. Hence the huge difference in lethality.

    You point out that these weapons were obtained legally, and that’s a problem that can be solved. Holmes amassed his arsenal on the internet, over the course of several days, legally. Lanza used weapons owned legally by his mother. Why she didn’t secure them, why she didn’t think they would be used against her by a son she apparently knew was unstable, I guess we’ll never know. I agree with you that part of the solution is to require gun owners to be more responsible, to keep weapons secured, etc. But how would you propose enforcing this? And how would you go about identifying “anyone who would possibly do harm with those guns”? We seem to have very little ability to predict who will turn out to be one of these people. It’s only after the fact that everyone decries the failure to identify them. I don’t think we can continue repeating that pattern. It obviously doesn’t work.

    I have no problem with keeping a handgun for self defense, but there is no reason for anyone to have 30, 50, even 100 round magazines (as Holmes purchased legally over the internet). That’s insanity. And the argument that citizens must have the right to this sort of arsenal in order to defend ourselves from a government run amok is specious. You are simply not going to amass enough firepower to defeat a military superpower. It’s a false argument made up and promoted by a well-funded lobby group interested in selling large amounts of product. Fear sells.

  4. Matthew Osborn

    “The recent gun shootings could not have been prevented with ANY gun laws. The firearms were bought legally and they were registered.”

    P’Ville Resident – I know nothing about Adam Lanza’s mother other than the fact that her son murdered her, and then scores of innocent child at close range, with her own legally purchased weapons. But it’s impossible for me to believe that Adam Lanza’s mother would’ve purchased her AR-15 in an alley somewhere HAD an effective assault weapon ban actually been in place.

  5. Hillsboro

    Bravo Mayor Umstattd …

    By contrast, Leesburg Mayor Kristen Umstattd – an NRA life member – remains steadfast in her support of the Second Amendment and committed to protecting the safety of Leesburg residents. She rejected MAIG saying, “But while the name of the organization, ‘Mayor’s Against Illegal Guns,’ while safe politically, is also meaningless, or perhaps misleading, if MAIG’s goal is to ban guns that are currently legal.” According to the report, she also questioned why MAIG has not put forward a plan to strengthen security in schools.

    (from your evil friends at the NRA)

  6. Greta

    I think the name of the group is misleading also. If their goal is to make the killing machines that are legal now illegal, it doesn’t make sense to call themselves “Mayors against Illegal Guns.” She made a good point about the name, but does Mayor Umstattd say anywhere whether she thinks the assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines should continue to be legal?

  7. Matthew Osborn

    Greta – MAIG has a number of core principles, most of which relate to keeping criminals from obtaining guns illegally, closing gun show loopholes that allow guns to be purchased illegally, and strengthening penalties for those convicted of owning guns illegally. They also happen to support a ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines. Mayor Umstattd’s opposition to their efforts, apparently, because she’s confused by their name, is an embarrassing reflection of her unwillingness to take the murder of innocent people seriously.

  8. P'Ville resident

    For most Americans, high powered guns are not needed and yes, restricting them may make a measurable difference in lowering the rate of killings during such horrific rampages. If someone wanted to, they could arm all the handguns they had and strategically place them and when one was spent they could get the next. Sure, they couldn’t do the extreme damage, but it wouldn’t be stopped entirely.

    Most gun owner’s concern is that once you achieve one restriction, how far will you continue to go? So if someone shoots with a handgun then all handguns gotta go? The people who are opposed to guns in any way are often those who have never been exposed to them or have never needed to defend themselves. Less than 1% of all guns in the U.S. will ever be used against another human being…….much like knives, and other weapons that are legal. Gun ownership should not be demonized because that is quite possibly the one thing that keeps a criminal from coming into my home.

  9. liz

    “Much like knives, and other weapons which are legal.”

    Horsepucky.

    “Under the Switchblade Knife Act of 1958 (amended 1986, codified at 15 U.S.C. §§1241-1245), switchblades and ballistic knives are banned from interstate shipment, sale, or importation, or possession within the following: any territory or possession of the United States, i.e. land belonging to the U.S. federal government; Indian lands (as defined in section 1151 of title 18); and areas within the maritime or territorial jurisdiction of the federal government, with the exception of federal, state law enforcement agencies and the military.[71] In addition, federal laws may prohibit the possession or carrying of any knife on certain federal properties such as courthouses or military installations. U.S. federal laws on switchblades do not apply to the possession or sale of switchblade knives within a state’s boundaries; the latter is regulated by the laws of that particular state, if any.”

    - From the United States section of the Wikipedia entry on knife legislation.

    Talking nonsense does not win you points here.

  10. P'Ville resident

    I said knives, which are easily used as weapons, I did not say swtichblade, huge difference.

    Heart disease kills over 500K people per year……someone needs to ban Big Macs…..?

  11. liz

    I said knives, which are easily used as weapons, I did not say swtichblade, huge difference.

    Read for content, P’ville. The first sentence of the paragraph I quoted says, “Under the Switchblade Knife Act of 1958″

    You may not think switchblades are knives, but the law disagrees with you.

    But you don’t like a discussion of switchblades? Alrighty then. Let’s move on to the very next paragraph in the Wikipedia article:

    “In states like Alabama,[82] Mississippi,[83] New Mexico,[84][85] Texas,[78] and Virginia,[78] the carrying on one’s person of large and lengthy fighting knives capable of causing grievous wounds such as the Bowie Knife[86] is prohibited by statute,[78][87] originally in the interest of controlling or eliminating the then-common practice of “dueling”, a term which had degenerated from a rarely used social custom into a generalized description for any knife or gun fight between two contestants.[81][88] In many jurisdictions, a local tradition of using knives to settle differences or for self-defense[81][89] resulted in the enactment of statutes that restricted the size and length of the knife and particularly, the length of its blade.[81]

    (emphasis added by me)

    And, in case you are serious about your last statement, Big Macs don’t cause heart attacks, but cigarettes DO contribute to cancer and heart disease, and their sale is regulated and taxed to a fare-thee-well.

    (edited by Liz to correct a typo)

  12. Matthew Osborn

    “Most gun owner’s concern is that once you achieve one restriction, how far will you continue to go? So if someone shoots with a handgun then all handguns gotta go? The people who are opposed to guns in any way are often those who have never been exposed to them or have never needed to defend themselves.”

    This makes me insane. Just because the NRA (or your buddies who are NRA members) spout endless drivel about the big, bad gov’t wanting to take all your guns….there’s no evidence. None. I’m as anti gun as they get, and I still think you have every right to sleep with a loaded gun under your pillow every night. Assuming that you bought it legally and a background check was done, and you have a license for it, and it’s registered.

    I don’t know a single person that wants to unilaterally ban guns. If you’re still using that fear in an argument, you’re being willfully ignorant.

  13. Liz Miller

    I don’t know a single person that wants to unilaterally ban guns. If you’re still using that fear in an argument, you’re being willfully ignorant.

    Yes. This. Thank you, Matthew.

  14. Epluribusunum Post author

    Yes. If nothing else, the slippery slope argument was rendered null and void by Heller. The only effect that continuing to use this (no longer even marginally legitimate) argument has is to increase 1) NRA membership and 2) gun/ammo sales. Honest question, P’Ville resident: Whose interests do you think are being served by that?

  15. P'Ville resident

    I am a law abiding citizen with registered guns so I will obey the law…..but if I am a criminal intent on doing harm, this law will do little or nothing. Only stopping access to high powered weaponry to crazy people will help, I agree with that sentiment, but those of you who fear guns don’t think that is enough and when you ban guns, like in Chicago, NYC, and D.C, you end up with a higher rate of crime/murder simply because the criminals know they have free reign. There is always an unintended consequence to every law.

    Let’s clarify for you Miller, I could kill someone with my KITCHEN knife…….does that mean it should be banned? Heck, I could run a bunch of people over with my car, should it be banned? There are so many types of everyday items that can be used to cause harm, but it doesn’t happen because the vast majority of people are not crazed killers and the good these items provide outweighs the bad. In many ways, a person with a gun can be seen in the same light, they may provide more good than harm 99% of the time. I for one feel safer knowing my spouse has a concealed weapon when we are out and about…..if some lunatic decides to start shooting people at the restaurant we are dining in, well, there will be two deaths, the first person he shoots and the lunatic himself. Let’s glorify and cry at the shootings that have occurred and cry gun restriction while ignoring the stories in the news where LAW ABIDING citizens used a gun to stop a mass shooting by stopping someone in the act.

    So in NY, if a person buys a large amount of ammo, they are flagged and investigated. Gee, if that happens nationwide, I can’t buy enough ammo to make a trip to the gun range worth going. Why bother if you can only shoot a few times with one box. Again, for me, I am not stockpiling to commit a crime, I do it so I have plenty to go practice. But hey, I enjoy giving my ID to buy sudafed too and made to feel like a criminal who just wants a clear nose!

  16. Epluribusunum Post author

    P’Ville resident, this is an NRA argument we’ve heard for a long time. Hey, you can kill someone with a 2×4, so should we ban 2x4s?

    Let’s consider your car. A car is a tool with a specific purpose, and its usefulness (we assume) outweighs the carnage that can result from its use. You can do a lot of damage with your car, so you’re required to register and insure it, and periodically prove that you’re qualified and competent to operate it in public.

    A kitchen knife, like a 2×4, can be used to kill people, but it’s also a tool with a specific intended purpose. A rifle or shotgun can be used to kill people, but it’s a tool with intended purposes other than that. A handgun can be, and often is, used to kill people, but (according to Heller) the good (the right to personal self-defense) outweighs the bad (the high number of handgun deaths from murder, suicide, accident, etc). A handgun is still a tool with a theoretical purpose other than murdering people.

    An assault weapon with a high capacity magazine has no intended purpose, even a theoretical one, other than killing large numbers of people as efficiently and quickly as possible.

    That’s why your (really the NRA’s) argument doesn’t hold up, and why the reforms being suggested by MAIG wouldn’t violate the rights of gun owners like you and me to own firearms that have a legitimate purpose.

    I have a related question for you, since you posit “stopping access to high powered weaponry to crazy people” as the solution. Do you think that the threat to “start killing people” by the Tennessee gun dealer (the post above this one) is adequate evidence of mental instability, and should it be grounds for taking away his right to own firearms?

  17. liz

    Total knife (and other cutting instruments) deaths in US for the years 2007 – 2011 (from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report’s Expanded Homicide Data Table), are consistently lower than for total gun deaths. In fact, they are consistently between 1/4 and 1/5 the number of gun deaths.

    They do not break down the numbers for TYPE of knife, so I can’t speak to the rates of kitchen knives vs. particular types of guns.

    When looking at knives owned per capita vs number of guns owned per capita, the difference between the numbers of knife deaths and gun deaths becomes quite stark.

    In other words, P’ville, you are talking arrant nonsense.

  18. Hillsboro

    > An assault weapon with a high capacity magazine has no intended purpose, even a theoretical one, other than killing large numbers of people as efficiently and quickly as possible.

    Other than the thousands of hunters who use them and the thousands who participate in rifle sports, including the National Trophy Rifle Matches, sponsored by the federally chartered Civilian Marksmanship Program

  19. Epluribusunum Post author

    Hillsboro, can you please explain why a magazine with a capacity of 30 or 50 rounds, or, as the shooter in Aurora CO had, a 100-round drum magazine, would be needed for these activities? We’re listening.

  20. Hillsboro

    Given the high failure rate of the 100 round magazines, as the shooter in Aurora CO discovered, I’d suggest that they wouldn’t be a particularly good choice for these activities. I realize this isn’t really what you asked, but you’re listening anyways.

  21. Epluribusunum Post author

    We’re suggesting that it’s possible and desirable to place some limitation on the number of rounds a lunatic or crazy person or monster can discharge into the bodies of innocent people before being forced to reload. Do you agree? If so, then we can advance to more difficult and nuanced questions like how many rounds might a competent person need for, say, shooting a retreating coyote they caught menacing their livestock, or some other such legitimate use of such a weapon.

  22. Hillsboro

    It betrays the fact that you clearly have no interest in posing nuanced questions when you make outrageously false claims such as:

    > An assault weapon with a high capacity magazine has no intended purpose, even a theoretical one, other than killing large numbers of people as efficiently and quickly as possible.

  23. Hillsboro

    Shall we go slowly?

    Thousands of hunters use these rifles.

    Is hunting deer an intended purpose, even a theoretical one, other than killing large numbers of people as efficiently and quickly as possible?

    Thousands of target and competition shooters use these rifles. Again, they are used in the National Trophy Rifle Matches, sponsored by the Civilian Marksmanship Program – a program chartered by the federal government. Is target shooting an intended purpose, even a theoretical one, other than killing large numbers of people as efficiently and quickly as possible?

  24. Epluribusunum Post author

    You don’t need high capacity magazines to hunt deer (if you do, please stop hunting).

    No, practicing/demonstrating proficiency with a weapon designed for the efficient slaughter of human beings does not, in and of itself, constitute a separate intended purpose. Sorry.

  25. liz

    A co-worker of mine, who prides himself on his subsistence life-style (ie, they only eat what they raise, grow, or hunt), says it’s ridiculous to use a high-capacity gun to hunt. You’ll waste the meat. One, or at the most two, bullets per kill is all you need, and you’re only going to take one or two animals per hunting day, considering how long it takes to process the animal afterwards.

    Unless you’re hunting bear. Are you hunting bear? Because if you’re hunting bear, then maybe just maybe it makes sense, but even then, you probably want something with a bigger bore rather than higher capacity, especially since accuracy is important with bears. Otherwise you just piss them off.

  26. Hillsboro

    I am please to see that you now admit that your statement was false — that hunting is a legitimate purpose for these rifles. But now, apparently the issue is that you don’t “need” a magazine that carries over X rounds*.

    Are you dismissing *all* shooting sports as a “separate intended purpose” or just those using so-called assault weapons?

    *X to be determined later when we get into the nuanced question section of your agenda.

  27. Hillsboro

    Liz,

    So your hunter friend has no problems with someone using an AR-15 for hunting? Just with them using a high capacity magazine?

    FYI larger bore ≠ higher accuracy whatsoever. Larger bore generally means greater projectile mass which generally means greater stopping power or lethality.

  28. Hillsboro

    > I’m sorry, where did you get that anyone was backing off of that position?

    It is implicit in his acknowlegement that assault weapons are used by some folks for hunting.

  29. Matthew Osborn

    Thousands of hunters use AR-15s with high capacity clips? Why?

    It’s interesting to watch someone twist themselves into NRA talking points about legitimate hunting uses for assault weapons and high capacity clips. I thought the justification gun zealots cling to is the 2nd Amendment and the right to kill people that tried to assert their tyranny over you?

    Guns are non-lethal hunting devices? Or guns are killing weapons of war? Are are you going to out-perform your would be oppressors in a hunting contest?

  30. Hillsboro

    > Thousands of hunters use AR-15s with high capacity clips? Why?

    I haven’t made any such claim, Matthew.

  31. liz

    Higher bore doesn’t equal greater accuracy, but higher capacity and, specifically, automatic repeating definitely equals less accuracy.

    Which is stupid when you’re hunting bear. According to my co-worker.

    Assault weapons were specifically designed to be used in war, because it was discovered that in battle situations there was a high miss rate, and automatic weapons with high capacity magazines were the solution to that problem. Their purpose is to spread a lot of bullets very fast toward an unknown number of enemy persons.

    They are not the ideal weapons to hunt deer or bear or whatever in the quiet of the forest, where you are supposed to take your time taking your shot and making sure you don’t mistake a guy in an orange hat for the makings of a good venison stew.

    Don’t pretend you don’t know this, these are the simple facts. Arguing against them is what makes people like me (who think that it’s fine for folks to own guns, provided that they are reasonable, responsible, and rational) think that maybe we’re wrong about thinking it’s fine for folks to own guns – because you aren’t being reasonable, responsible, or rational.

    “Well-regulated” are words that should have some meaning.

  32. Hillsboro

    Sorry Liz, but higher capacity has no impact on accuracy.

    I never made the claim that “assault weapons” are good for certain kinds of hunting. Just that they are used for hunting and that that is a legitimate purpose.

  33. Hillsboro

    > Don’t pretend you don’t know this, these are the simple facts. Arguing against them is what makes people like me (who think that it’s fine for folks to own guns, provided that they are reasonable, responsible, and rational) think that maybe we’re wrong about thinking it’s fine for folks to own guns – because you aren’t being reasonable, responsible, or rational.

    I understand where you’re coming from here. I have much the same reaction when I see folks like you who are utterly unyielding on any regulation whatsoever on abortions. I am fully supportive of a woman’s right to have an abortion within reasonable limits. But you lose that support when you aren’t reasonable, responsible or rational. The intractable stances of the NRA and NARAL are interchangeable.

  34. Liz Miller

    I said, “specifically, automatic repeating “. You are making my point for me.

    And I see that you are one of those who thinks that you have a right to own weapons designed to kill the already born, and also the right to decide that zygotes are the only humans you’re NOT allowed to kill. Fine. Nice.

    And please, I am in favor of reasonable restrictions on abortion. For instance, I am not in favor of medically unnecessary abortions after viability (24 weeks). However, I think that those questions are best left to the woman and her doctor.

    Whereas, I do think that if you’re going to buy into the second amendment, you need to buy into ALL of the second amendment. Including the first part. Which includes the words Well-Regulated. Which you are arguing against. If you don’t want the first part, I don’t think you’re eligible for the second part.

    Or, in other words, I don’t mind people owning guns. Heck, I own guns. I mind YOU owning guns. Because you’re proving with every post that you can’t be trusted with them.

  35. Hillsboro

    Maybe I’m just having trouble understanding what you mean by “automatically repeating” … are you talking about automatic weapons?

  36. Hillsboro

    And I apologize if I assumed you were towing the NARAL line… it’s not hard to imagine how such erroneous conclusions are reached. Thank you for making my point.

  37. Hillsboro

    I think I do know NARAL’s positions fairly well, and from your diatribe above, you clearly missed or choose not to believe that I support abortion rights with reasonable restriction.

    I have not said a single word here in support of or against restrictions on guns.

    I simply challenge the nonsense that assault weapons have “no intended purpose, even a theoretical one, other than killing large numbers of people as efficiently and quickly as possible.”

  38. Liz Miller

    Hillsboro, don’t be a shnook. Bushmasters and their ilk are designed, marketed, sold, and bought for the express purpose of killing people.

    People.

    It’s the gun of choice for paranoid people who think we’re all out to get them and they’re gonna get us first. And it’s marketed to those people for exactly that purpose.

    And if you deny that that is the case, then you are either lying to yourself or you are deliberately lying to the rest of us, and it’s too late at night for me to figure out which I think is worse.

  39. Pariahdog

    I recently had dinner with a friend who owns a customized bushmaster and a .22 with a high-capacity magazine and a stainless steel barrel. He knows all about guns. I asked him if he wanted to visit, and maybe do some hunting. He replied:

    “I don’t hunt. I’m a bit of a Doomsday Prepper!”

  40. Epluribusunum Post author

    It is implicit in his acknowlegement that assault weapons are used by some folks for hunting.

    Hillsboro,

    I’m afraid that you’re seeing what you want to see. I absolutely do not think that hunting is a legitimate purpose for assault weapons. Assault weapons, by definition, are those designed and manufactured for the purpose of military combat. That is their intended purpose. The fact that some individuals might misuse them does not make such use legitimate, it just calls into question the judgment of those individuals. I could, I suppose, dress a deer with a switchblade, but that wouldn’t make it a legitimate use of a switchblade, which has a different intended purpose entirely (hence its illegality).

    I don’t know a single person who hunts deer with an assault rifle. I find the idea ridiculous, frankly. I can tell you I sure wouldn’t allow someone who wants to do that to hunt my land, and I don’t think any of my neighbors would allow it either. An ethical deer hunter has the objective of dropping that animal without it ever knowing what hit it, not having fun shooting it full of small caliber lead. If you hunt deer with anything other than the proper tool for the job, I’m sorry, you’re not a real sportsman.

    I asked you to explain what the legitimate use for an assault weapon is other than what it was designed for, and what you came up with was…competitive target shooting. Sure, they’re fun to shoot, no doubt. But that reason amounts to treating a serious and deadly tool like a toy. I also said earlier that I have some sympathy for those who like a semi-automatic rifle for predator control. I still do. But that is not at all the same as agreeing that these weapons were intended for anything other than human combat.

    None of this even begins to address the fact that currently, people can and do purchase these weapons over the internet with no background check, customize them to be fully automatic, and outfit them with high capacity magazines. All you’re doing with this nonsense about hunting is evading the real issue.

  41. Hillsboro

    Maybe we’re just getting tripped up on terminology, perhaps intentionally:

    Assault Rifles, by definition, are capable of fully automatic fire, and were initially (and are still primarily) designed for military use. Newly manufactured guns have been banned from civilian purchase since 1986. Grandfathered guns require a class III license from the BATFE.

    The term “assault weapon” was coined around 1989. From the Stanford Law and Policy Review: “It is a political term, developed by anti-gun publicists to expand the category of ‘assault rifles’.”

    The Federal Assault Weapons Ban defined assault weapons as semi-automatic rifles and handguns with certain cosmetic and functional features which made them look like assault rifles. These guns were never designed or intended for military use. The legal definition of assault weapon refers exclusively to semi-automatic rifles and handguns which were designed for civilian use.

    In order to have any worthwhile discussion, we need to agree on the lexicon. Please let me know whether these definitions are suitable to proceed.

  42. Pariahdog

    Hillsboro says:

    I never made the claim that “assault weapons” are good for certain kinds of hunting. Just that they are used for hunting and that that is a legitimate purpose

    The Federal Assault Weapons Ban defined assault weapons as semi-automatic rifles and handguns

    In order to have any worthwhile discussion, we need to agree on the lexicon. Please let me know whether these definitions are suitable to proceed.

    Sure Hillsboro. Handguns are used for hunting. Hunting what?

  43. Hillsboro

    I’ll assume that’s an honest question.

    The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries regulations state:

    Rifles (including air rifles), pistols, and revolvers may be used for hunting crows, except where prohibited by local ordinances.

    Rifles (including air rifles), pistols, and revolvers may be used for hunting turkeys, except where prohibited by local ordinances.

    Pistols, revolvers, and muzzleloading pistols may be used for small game, except where prohibited by local ordinances.

    Pistols and revolvers are lawful for deer and bear hunting only in those counties where hunting deer and bear with rifles is lawful. Cartridges used must be .23 caliber or larger and have a manufacturer’s rating of 350 footpounds muzzle energy or more.

    Also, note that:

    Valid Concealed Handgun Permit Holders May Possess a concealed handgun while using dogs for tracking wounded or dead bear or deer but no game may be taken.

    So, if you use dogs to track wounded or dead bear or deer, you might just be better off holstering that well-worn glock.

  44. Hillsboro

    This video is very helpful in understanding the differences between gun types and the difficulty in how they are defined. It was put together by a San Jose, CA police officer and firearms training instructor.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysf8x477c30\

    At about 7:30 he transforms a semi-automatic hunting rifle into what most people call an assault weapon. Does the purpose of the gun transform also?

  45. P'Ville resident

    No one can predict who is the molester living next door, or rapists, or murderer, no one can predict or know when and where such a tragedy may occur, but to just go full throttle and take away everyone’s rights is defeating is insanity. There is no such thing as gun control, only centralization of gun ownership in the hands of a small, political elite (gubbermint). The reason the 2nd amendment was put in our Constitution is because our country was formed by the people fighting off a larger and oppressive country we wanted to separate from. In Mexico it is illegal to carry and have most types of guns……how is that working out for them? You couldn’t pay me to live in that country, I would fear for my safety cause the CRIMINALS all have guns and the law abiding citizens don’t.

    Reading you post about abortion: women have a right to get an abortion, but the restrictions on abortion keep becoming so cumbersome that women can’t obtain them, either because a state refuses to allow it, or funding, or forcing her to get a vaginal probe….take your pick. The attorney general of VA wants to make is a crime to even use birth control…..WTF? So essentially, you keep it legal but no one can get it, therefore the constitutional right to it no longer exists. When we let right-wing politicians restrict abortion a little, they keep on at it until it is no longer something that is attainable…….if we allow them to systematically destroy gun ownership like they are trying to do with abortion…well, you hopefully get the point.

  46. Matthew Osborn

    P’ville – I intentionally avoided as much news coverage as I could following the massacre of children in Newtown, so I honestly don’t know what guns Adam Lanza used. Although that website (and the fact that the video is from the Today Show the day following the shooting) gives me serious doubts that the article is remotely accurate. I also read some comments, and the readers of the ijreview think Obama is a muslim, and that Sandy Hook didn’t actually even happen. Seriously.

    And I’ll mention again, no one is talking about banning hunting rifles or handguns or shotguns or anything else, regardless of what the NRA or the editors if ijreview would have you believe.

  47. Hillsboro

    My earlier comment seems to have gotten stuck in the machinery…. so here’s one without the links:

    P’ville – This video clearly shows an officer removing and clearing a long gun – definitely not an AR-15 from the trunk of the car.

    youtube [dot] com/watch? feature=player_embedded&v=RDw0DUpKssA

    I haven’t seen anything to back it up, but my guess is that the AR-15 may have had a collapsed or folded stock and a short barrel leading it to be identified as a handgun, or may even have been an AR-15 pistol.

  48. Epluribusunum Post author

    The repugnant and absurd theories about the massacre of children in Newtown, Connecticut, last month seem like an obvious candidate for the first category, simply too insane to gain any sort of wide acceptance. But some of the factors that can bring theories in from the fringe appear to be driving its unexpected surge this month: a connection to America’s intensely polarized political culture in general, and a message that appeals to a long-standing fear among gun owners, in particular.

    A “long-standing fear” that the NRA spent a lot on, btw.

  49. P'Ville resident

    He had an AR in the trunk of his vehicle that was never used. NBC also reported that he only used handguns. Handguns kill over 6K people a year and assault rifles kill less than 50…..so again, this is all just smoke and mirrors and alarmist type of stuff. No ban on guns will stop the killing of people, if a person is determined they can find other ways, Timothy McVeigh certainly did.

    The craziness that prevails in our society is not surprising….when Americans make less money today than 40 years ago it is just too stressful to survive. When more students are dropping out of school and are ignorant and destitute. When social media institutes fear where there is none. It is not surprising that so many people are going off the deep end and going nuts and killing. This is not a moral decency problem, people in this country are under enormous stress and are living worse than their grandparents……depressing eh. Bad economic times are a result.

  50. Hillsboro

    James McMurtry has written a thoughtful piece on gun control and assault weapons: More Than Just a Tall Order

    He calls out the NRA for pushing the current fear-based gun buying frenzy. He also calls out the ignorance in defining assault weapons by their cosmetics and the argument that no one “needs” such a weapon. McMurtry ultimately comes to the conclusion that there is no sense in banning assault weapons, but banning high capacity magazines would hold some promise in stopping a mass-killing … and that we really do need to seriously address the rage and mental health issues.

    BTW, McMurtry will be performing solo at the Tally Ho on February 27 … Hopefully he’s just one of many great artists coming to the ‘Ho

  51. Pariahdog

    Hillsboro,

    I removed your link because the site contains a security breach that will attack your computer through the browser. Anybody who clicked on the link should run a security scan.

  52. Hillsboro

    I think that it may have just triggered your system’s overly sensitive fear of scary black weapons :) In all seriousness, Blurt is a major music magazine with a legitimate web site and major advertisers. I’m sure they’d appreciate you letting them know.

    McMurtry also posted his piece here…
    http://www.jamesmcmurtry.com/blog.html

    hopefully this will be an acceptable link.

  53. Elder Berry

    Hillsboro let’s do this another way. Do you think there are ANY weapons, any at all, that should not be in private hands, and if so, why.

  54. Hillsboro

    EB, I support the National Firearms Act of 1934 and the Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986 and the restrictions they imposes on the possession of automatic weapons. Do I need to list others, such as thermonuclear devices, nerve agents, etc., or can we accept them as a given?

    Did you make the effort to read James McMurtrys’ piece? I’d say he does a good job of articulating my thinking at the moment on semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity magazines.

  55. Elder Berry

    Hillsboro, I did read it, but I have no interest in debating the ideas of a man who can say this:

    “I didn’t think about the children, or the parents, or anything to do with the actual tragedy. I only thought about the culture war that was about to heat back up.”

    I’m glad you think that weapons of mass destruction don’t belong in private hands. At least you maybe disagree with Timothy McVeigh, then.

    Goodnight. Kiss your kids in the morning, people, because Mr. McMurtry represents a group of people who can not think about them.

  56. Matthew Osborn

    This McMurtry fella seems to bend over backwards to wrap his “mass murders should probably have to reload every 10 shots” acquiescence with too many wordy comparisons to scenarios where murders were carried out with bombs and hunting rifles, bad analogies to owning a porsche, and super weak justifications about the blessed and enjoyable right to shoot up the countryside with Uzis.

    But I guess, since he’s clearly a big gun enthusiast….that’s progress?

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