Thursday, July 19, 2007

Dangerous Disconnect

I was watching the NBC Nightly News tonight and saw a story about the number of people buying M-16s for recreational purposes since the end of the assault rifle ban and how that ban isn't likely to return because these people don't want to give up their new found weaponry. Their rationalization seemed to be that a few bad apples (such as the Virginia Tech shooter) shouldn't ruin honest people's fun.

Then I read this story: Police deaths up sharply in first half of year with the subtitle: Officials blame more violent criminals with deadlier guns after lapse of ban.

These two stories put contrasting images in my head. The first of someone playing harmlessly at a shooting range. The second of 101 police officers being murdered in the first 6 months of this year.

Should anyone in the second group be an acceptable sacrifice to keep the first group happy?

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 7:43 PM   5 comments links to this post


At July 21, 2007 5:52 AM, Anonymous joe said...

Without going into a lot of detail. (i can if you'd like) I want to point out a couple of things

The gun that most people can buy is as AR14. It's very similar to the M16 but is not fully automatic. owning a fully automatic weapon still requires a federal license. The sale of fully automatic weapons is closely tracked and didn't change with the end of the AWB. If the people in the story you mentioned but did link were shooting M16's my hunch is that they were club property and likely never left the club.

On a separate not the AWB was silly. The banned guns were selected from a catalog based more on looks that deadliness.

At July 21, 2007 8:03 AM, Blogger Marcella Chester said...

Joe, you missed my point completely. What I was talking about is self-absorption that refuses to look at this issue from any angle other than how it will impact the personal convenience of those who aren't facing danger every day.

Many people don't have this luxury, including those who live in areas with high murder rates.

At July 22, 2007 8:23 AM, Anonymous joe said...

I see your point. But I don't think the contrast is accurate. The ending of the AWB didn't put M16's on the market. It didn't put ANY fully automatic weapon on the market.

Basically I don't think your example supports your point.

At July 22, 2007 8:54 AM, Blogger Marcella Chester said...

Joe, since you don't get my example, I'll point to another example where the difference in safety is much starker.
The Situationist: An Apathy Epidemic

You are trying to debate a specific law, I'm trying to point out that only considering how a law will impact your fun is dangerous.

At July 22, 2007 10:40 AM, Anonymous joe said...

I got your example, I just thought it was incorrect to your broader point. The new link is much better. I agree that there needs to be a cost benefit analysis done with most laws.


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