The NRA and its slippery slope

Voter fraud doesn’t kill tens of thousands of Americans every year.


If they throw a tantrum, nanny should slap them around and send them to bed without supper.
Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind.

do you understand how disingenuous that argument is, given that states with serious regulations are almost uniformly surrounded by states with loose and easy regulations?


Can we take a moment to appreciate the fact that the Democratic party has, in recent months, pivoted to really caring about DACA and gun control, two things it’s been really quiet about for a long time.

And, suspiciously, when your average potential-Democratic-voting Americans don’t really give two shits about those things, or at least it’s really low on their priority list, at least when compared with various painful economic reforms and other challenging and unpopular-with-megadonor initiatives, like electoral reform, especially things like dramatically curtailing the influence of the very wealthy on elections.

But sure, yeah. Guns are the thing that we should be fighting the Republican base over, one of the few things that might re-energize them enough to actually show up at the 2018 and 2020 polls for. Fucking genius move there.


I do not know of anyone who has called for smarter gun control legislation seeking to ban all guns. So the endgame is NOT nor has it ever been to my knowledge to ban all guns…not even nearly all.

Now, if you were to specify this to be “ban nearly all automatic weapons and other military grade hardware” then the answer would be a resounding YES. and it SHOULD BE A YES to that. at least I think it should be and I do believe most reasonable people do as well.


I’d argue on basic principle that cruelty is never kindness, and is always barbarism, but I get the gist of what you’re saying and generally agree. Not calling organizations like the NRA and people like Donald Trump out when they fabricate entirely new realities to serve their own purposes effectively enables and endorses that behavior.

Unfortunately, we all have to be careful not to sound “too shrill” when we correct bald-faced liars and duplicitous Machiavellian scum, and even then we’ll still probably be accused of being “just as bad.”

I don’t understand why people struggle with reality so much.

Right, but as it is considered a right by law, then the question is: “Do you support people to be able to exercise that right? If so, is systemic hindrance of that law due to race or class or some other variable acceptable?” For most other rights, that answer would be “no” to most people.

But let’s just assume licensing doesn’t hinder that right, will it actually reduce gun deaths significantly? Though I do concede it may hinder straw purchases, things like the FOID and other licensing schemes hasn’t stemmed crime, as the reasons behind crime are still there.

I realize this is an appeal to authority, but the points brought up in this interview express very closely my views on ownership as a right, and why it is important. It is not some Nugent loving redneck screaming “mah rights”, but a someone I would say considers themselves a radical democratic socialist. But it is 45min long so no one will watch it, but I still will post it occasionally because this interview is “real”.

How so? You can’t go to another state and legally buy a handgun. Some states do allow long guns sales, but they are very rarely used in crime.


What’s funny is, not only is this true, but I feel like Buckley at this point is too far left for some of this crowd.


Frankly it isn’t. Most of my friends lean left, several own firearms, none own military style weapons. None own high capacity magazines. None base their virility or personality around the tool. They’re good fun, but not for in public.

I grow tired of the ‘oops’ around this. There is nuance. Anyone who tells you that a position lacks nuance is bullshitting you.


I would say the appropriate question is “are the proposed restrictions reasonable given the risks involved?”

Voter fraud is essentially a non-issue since even Trump’s own voter fraud commissioner couldn’t name a single instance in American history where it was thought to have determined the outcome of an election. So the cost/benefit of voter ID laws just doesn’t make sense.

In the case if guns, the cost of unrestricted (or nearly unrestricted) access to firearms can be measured in human lives. Scores and scores of them every single day.


I know you know that guns are not primarily owned by working class folks.


Let me see if I can help you through your own fallacies…

Laws that allow individual firearm ownership you mean?

Repeal of the right to keep and bear arms (well regulated militia… blah, blah, blah) does not equal a ban on guns.

A category of firearms, sure. Not all guns though.

See prior item. BTW, you may have screwed up your copy/pasta on this one - headline makes no sense.

See first item.

See second item. (OK, you’re just getting redundant now…)

With a rhetorical million miles to go between the current US stance and an actual ban on guns, that mile is nothing. I’ll take it.


…that is, require testing, both written and field, to thereby attain a license and gun-owners would then need insurance. But of course, the NRA and others would scream, “YOU’RE PUNISHING LEGAL GUN OWNERS!”

Exactly this.

The other half of the Second Amendment that nobody is willing to talk about is that “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State…” opens the doors to allow for the Gun Lobby to come up with a framework defining A well regulated Militia, or at least minimum ownership standards.

This is similar to how the SCUBA industry has their own standards and self-regulates to try to minimize injuries and fatalities. The alternative would have been for governmental regulations that could have been detrimental to this market.

The NRA is in a position where they see any regulation as impediment on selling firearms to anyone, including those that are ultimately diverted to persons and groups prohibited from possessing them.

Instead of opposing all regulation, they are in a perfect spot to set standards for “A well regulated Militia,” implement their own self-regulation, propose meaningful legislation, and participate in this conversation constructively.

The best we can offer is “thoughts and prayers” that cooler heads will prevail and come up with a solution that can satisfy all most stakeholders.


There is another aspect to this argument that nobody seems to be addressing here: if any new proposed law is “the first step” in banning all weapons, then what about previous laws? Aren’t they the first (and second, and third, etc.) steps toward this imagined goal?

If you follow the logic it goes in both directions, so if a 10-year old can’t buy an Uzi at the 7-11 then we must live in a totalitarian dictatorship. /s


Funny that you should mention that, I seem to recall there being some discussion of what Buckley would think about modern conservatives back in 2016 or so, and whether or not he’d find a place among them and the general consensus seemed to be that he wouldn’t be neither pleased or welcomed by them.

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…did you mean semiautomatic? Because aside from some highly specialized (and incredibly expensive) cases, all automatic firearms are banned. And those few legal ones (I think the term of art is ‘transferable machine gun’).

And if you want to ban semiautomatic firearms (also known as ‘auto-loaders’) then you’d have to ban very nearly all firearms anyway. And since someone with a modicum of training can maintain near-semiauto rates of fire with a number of technically not semiauto firearms, it’d be best to ban those, as well.

Which was my position from the get-go.

I don’t actually know what this means. People keep using it, but I can never tell what it means.

Do you mean ‘guns that the Army uses?’ I mean, it’s half-and-half today. You can’t have an M4, but you can have an M9 (Beretta 92FS) and an M11 (SIG P228) just fine.

I don’t know what this means, either. Polymer furniture? Intermediate cartridges? Picatinny rails?

When it comes to the responsibility for deaths, the type of firearm that’s responsible for the absolute most by a wide, wide margin is the handgun. Even if you focus on mass shootings alone, it’s still the handgun in first place. Is a handgun a military style weapon? Because if we want to reduce deaths that is the type that must be banned.

Look, the situation’s really quite simple. You have a situation where the exercise of a right is causing bad consequences. You want to get rid of those bad consequences. You can remove the root cause of the issue (hard, possibly impossible) or attack the right. You can attack the right by either reducing the number of things it applies to, or the number of people it applies to. Removing the right from select people is something we do already (usually in connection to felonies), and we can certainly demand certification and training and the like which will certainly reduce accidents, no question there, but the issue isn’t accidents, it’s deliberate murder. And in the absence of pre-crime you can’t pick those out ahead of time.

Reducing the number of things it applies to, however, is a different affair. All you need to do is determine some sort of technical cutoff that limits the capacity of the devices themselves to do harm. And we have that! In America you can’t buy a rifled weapon that shoots anything past 12.7mm in caliber, and you largely can’t buy anything that shoots more than one bullet per trigger-press, and you can’t buy a rifle that’s shorter than… 16 inches I think it is, and… all sorts of limits, in fact. But people still die. So you have to reduce the number of available firearms. The problem with that is that firearms are really good at killing things. Amazingly good at it. And when you remove all the things that are really good at killing, you will end up with hardly any guns left. Internal magazine bolt-action rifles without the capacity to use stripper-clips or en bloc loading or anything but round-by-round, single-shot and side-by-side shotguns, and gate-loaded revolvers, which is to say no firearm innovation past about 1870.

That’s close enough to ‘ban all guns’ for practical purposes, surely?

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The goal should be to find a reasonable solution balancing rights and responsibilities. It will never be possible to satisfy all stakeholders because many of the stakeholders aren’t reasonable people.


Golly, it’s almost as though guaranteeing people a right to own incredibly lethal tools with literally no other practical purpose is a bad idea.


Take it up with the founders of your (?) county, not me.

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Makes sense. His opinions on drugs alone would have had him directly at odds with Jeff Sessions.