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Basura: Where is common sense in gun control issue?

“We are healthy only to the extent that our ideas are humane.”Kilgore Trout, in Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut

I have some bona fides about guns. I carried an M-16 as an infantryman in Vietnam. I carried a .38 caliber revolver during a ten-year portion of my career. I believe that in the U.S., there is a crisis of epic proportions. 

Other countries don’t have the mass killings as often as we do. As the horror in Uvalde, Texas, was revealed, one commentator said, “Guns don’t kill people. Americans kill people.”

Our citizenry has similar frequencies of mental illness as other counties. Similar frequency of criminality.  What’s different here? We have availability of guns unknown in comparable countries. 

We have the availability of weapons like the AR-15, and its many clones. Magazines with high capacities for rifles and handguns. In Texas, turning 18 years of age is sufficient to qualify for buying guns.Yet, one needs to be 21 to legally buy a beer.

One needs to be licensed to operate an automobile, and must be tested periodically to renew the operator’s license. Conviction of a felony, and court ordered commitment for psychiatric hospitalization may disqualify one from legally buying a gun – otherwise, go get ‘em.    

We have one party in our country that seeks to advance “gun rights,” the one that likes to be called the “Pro Life Party.” Luminaries of the Republican Party are to speak this weekend at the NRA convention. I suppose they will address the Uvalde massacre, and may offer some thoughts and prayers and other pabulum on the issue.

One commentator last night said, “Americans love guns more than we love our children.”  He cited the recent killings at Robb Elementary School, in Uvalde, Texas, and other horrific examples, as proof of that contention. 

I did some work in a county south of Grand Rapids. One of my appointments was to assess the suitability of grandparents to serve as legal guardians of a boy of elementary school age. At my initial home visit, I found that the grandparents had a gun cabinet that contained numerous long guns, handguns and ammunition. It was out in the open, and it was unlocked.

The grandfather was proud of his collection of firearms. There were no trigger locks. No lock on the doors of the gun cabinet. I asked the grandfather how he insured that the child, who was living there, was kept away from the guns.

“Oh,” he said, “I told him not to go by the guns.” Sure, what could ever go wrong with that? Grandpa thought that was just fine, and instructing the young child provided sufficient protection. I did not.

We reached an accommodation that was agreeable to the family, and to the court. Some safeguards were put into place to monitor compliance. 

What are common sense gun laws?  We hear that question from time to time, usually after someone cites how most Americans favor common sense gun laws. I think it might be worth considering what might NOT be common sense. For example:

• Is it common sense to sell military weaponry to civilians, for hunting and target practice?

• Is it common sense to expect that if someone finds themselves in the unlikely position of having to defend their home from dangerous intruders, that a hunting rifle would be insufficient for that purpose?

• Is it common sense that high capacity magazines for rifles and handguns serve some sort of useful purpose? 

• Is it common sense that an elderly, untrained, obviously somewhat confused person can, by virtue of attaining the age of majority, and being felony free, be unfettered from purchasing a gun?  (I watched that happen one day, at the Sheriff’s Department, and saw the man walk out with a permit to purchase a handgun).

• Is it common sense that safe storage of firearms is suggested, but not required?


• Is it common sense that more attention to prayerfulness will make a difference? Haven’t the believers been praying since Sandy Hook? 

30 Comments

  • Basura,
    The answers to your questions are as follows:
    No.
    No.
    No.
    No.
    No.
    And no.
    Is anything likely to change in the do-nothing congress?
    No.
    But I’ll keep hoping anyway.

  • When will the legislators accept that assault rifles serve no purpose in civilian life?? Game animals do not shoot back! Assault style weapons & multi shot clips are not necessary to defend one’s home or property from an intruder. They are needed for only 1 purpose: to kill multiple people within seconds.

    • AR-15 was designed as an assault weapon for the US military who called it the M16. There are nearly two dozen companies manufacturing AR-15’s for the US and they range in list price from $775-$2600. AR-15/M-16 was and still is designed to kill people.

      The velocity of bullet leaving the barrel of an AR-15 type rifle is 3 times faster than a bullet leaving a 9mm handgun. When it hits a bone, like a femur (largest bone in the leg) the AR-15 shot has so much kinetic energy can disintegrate up to 3” of bone while a 9mm shot gets stopped by the bone. When an AR-15 round enters the body, the speed causes cavitation that damages tissue and organs near the bullets path. Might miss an artery but the energy damages the nearby artery as it passes.

      US military issues 30 round magazines and AR-15 manufactures also have 30 round magazines. AR-15’s are semi-automatic, shoots one round every time the trigger is pulled. AR-15’s have little to no “kick” so a shooter can get off a lot of shots with little effort.

      The recent killings in Uvalde Texas is just the most recent school shooting where the killer used an AR-15 type rifle to kill. Uvalde saw 19 students and 2 teachers die. Stoneman Douglas HS in Parkland Florida had 17 deaths and Sandy Hook Elementary in CT left 26 dead.

      In Texas the shooter went into a sporting goods store and purchased 2 AR-15 type rifles. He carried a Daniel Defense DDM4 7M model into the school and started shooting. Reports were more the 250 rounds were used. He had up to ten 30 round magazines and they found he had purchased 1600 rounds.

      None the purchases didn’t raise any red flags because Texas laws have made buying guns, ammunition and magazines for rifles legal if you are 18. No waiting period and no questions asked. Have a valid ID and ability to pay via cash, credit or debit and you can be very well armed in less than an hour including time to set up the rifle and load several 100 rounds into your 30 shot magazines.

      While I have little faith in Federal legislation changing. I suggest anyone concerned about Michigan gun laws to show up at candidate forums or meet and greets for state representative, state senators, attorney general and governor seeking election this November. Ask them the hard questions the many current legislators refuse to discuss.

  • It’s strange, to drive a car you need to take a drivers training course, pass a written test and skills test. To pilot a boat, you need to take and pass a boater safety class. To ride a motorcycle on the road, you need to take a skills test. But at 18 years of age you can purchase an AR-15 ASSAULT rifle, no questions asked.
    We need parents teachers and grand parents to be given back the power to discipline their kids. Discipline is not child abuse!

    • Yes, Dennis, it does seem ironic. licensure is required for so many things. There are prohibitions against many forms of military weaponry. Hand grenades, for example. I’ve written sometime ago about flamethrowers.
      We have the right – and duty – to provide discipline our children. When it crosses the line into abuse, then intercession is warranted (see the story of Adrian Peterson, football player, who beat his young son with a stick). Usually, striking a child with an object, and/or leaving a mark that persists, is considered abuse.
      My point, I hope, was to suggest that the phrase common sense gun laws can make sense, most people people can agree.

  • Looks like some of you don’t know about certain guns and starting to assume AR-15’s are assault rifles.
    The “AR” in “AR-15” rifle stands for ArmaLite rifle, after the company that developed it in the 1950s. “AR” does NOT stand for “assault rifle” or “automatic rifle.”
    AR-15-style rifles are NOT “assault weapons” or “assault rifles.” An assault rifle is fully automatic, a machine gun. Automatic firearms have been severely restricted from civilian ownership since 1934.

    If someone calls an AR-15-style rifle an “assault weapon,” then they’ve been duped by an agenda. The only real way to define what is an “assault weapon” is politically
    AR-15-style rifles can look like military rifles, such as the M-16, but by law they function like other semiautomatic civilian sporting firearms, as they fire only one round with each pull of the trigger.

    My AR-15 hasn’t killed anyone. I just walked up to it a few minutes ago and told it a couple insults. It still didn’t shoot me.
    Is it or easy access for the kids to get ahold of? Absolutely not.
    Why do I have it? Why not. I still had to do a background check just like everyone else does to buy a gun like that. It’s fun to shoot.

    • Ticky-tack semantics are no substitute for solid logic. The only point your comment seems to prove is that you didn’t even read the article.

      • Jakie old boy, Liberals such as you are devoid of logic. Banning AR15/M16 platform will not, repeat, will not solve the mentally challenged killers bent on evil.
        The receivers for these weapons can be 3D printed and the remaining pieces can be purchased separately and an assembled weapon can be accomplished without buying one fully assembled firearm.
        As your know nothing dementia patient president has so aptly shown his stupidity and ignorance, and a Naval Academy selectee (Joe speaking through his demented mind). He is a laughingstock of a president and even our allies don’t take his calls anymore.

    • Joe-
      According to the U.S. Marine Corps, the venerable M-14 was a battle rifle, and the replacement, the M-16, was a battle rifle. The 14 was big, and heavy. It was chambered for 7,62mm (.308 caliber), as opposed to the 14, which was shorter, lighter, chambered for 5.56 mm (.223 caliber) and said to be more effective in jungle/urban/firing from vehicles. Some 14s, and the 16s, had selectors to allow for fully automatic or semiautomatic or in the 16s, burst firing. I think we all knew that knew referring to the 16 as coming from Hasbro or Mattel was a joke. The 14s came with a walnut stock, which could be made to shine with applications of linseed oil. In Vietnam one could carry the lighter 16, and much lighter – and more – magazines. More magazines, that is, more rounds, were appreciated. I’m happy to learn that you keep you guns securely stored.

    • It was very easy for the Texas shooter to acquire his weapons. And to go into semantics regarding what an AR -15 style rifle is ridiculous.

  • Joe Blow AR15 is not just light it was designed to kill people. you are duped that your AR 15 did not shoot you. Are they easy access yes they are. So is the one you are so proud to own if it was stolen and killed someone would you still be so proud. As proud as you are to own it I am sure you are not the only one who knows you own it.

    • I’m proud to own one!!!! They are fun to shoot. My friends and I all have one!
      If you weren’t such an idiot and could make me believe you didn’t have any mental illness, I would invite you to come to the shooting range with us and target shoot.
      See if your shot is as good as how your mouth runs

  • Longstreet, AZ, 2030,

    You seem to have the most knowledge on this forum. Please define an Assault Rifle.

    Cheers!!

  • I may have mistakenly attributed the Vonnegut quote. My aging memory bank now suggests that the Vonnegut quote might have come from “Venus on the Halfshell”. I will try to discover which is the correct citation.

  • And your weapon hasn’t killed anyone just like the Texas killers weapon didn’t kill anyone. Until it did.

  • In the days of yore, we threw the lunatics into prison or the state mental hospitals before they hurts others. With the Libs nowdays they get to attend public schools.
    For they sow the wind, but indeed they reap the whirlwind.

    • Oh David, I think I missed the Christian warriors thoughts and prayers in the comments section for the 30 plus people who were massacred over the last two weeks. Who would Jesus shoot? And by the way none of these people have been diagnosed with any mental health issues. But some how managed to purchase and murder so many people. But I know now’s not the time we have to send out thoughts and prayers.

      Skoal!!

  • (David
    May 30, 2022 at 9:15 pm

    (In the days of yore, we threw the lunatics into prison or the state mental hospitals before they hurts others. With the Libs nowdays they get to attend public schools.
    For they sow the wind, but indeed they reap the whirlwind.)

    I think you will find that it was conservative Republican Governor John Engler that emptied out the psychiatric institutions. He did it as a cost saving measure. Last I heard Engler was on the east coast, working as a lobbyist. He didn’t care about people with severe and chronic mental illness. Nor, perhaps, community safety. He cared about cost savings.

    • Sir, Thanks, that does not change the facts. The bottom of the barrel in our society, gets the best treatment. Just look at the queen bees on welfare. Sitting home on their plump tails and eating and living better than most of the working class. Oh, but the way, they have more children than the working class and the same Vote we do. What a shame and sham.

      • I would suggest, David, that you have very little knowledge of how the “welfare queen bees” live.
        Are they living so well that you would trade places? Who are those working class whose lives are worse off than theirs? And in what way? And what does that say about how we pay working people that their lives are, maybe, worse off than living on welfare? And if your claim is true, what does that say about our fine capitalist society that allows the wealthy to exploit the working class to this degree?
        If welfare is better than working a mind-numbing job that makes you feel like crap while you try to get ahead, why not go on welfare? It seems like the reasonable thing to do if you’re dirt poor.
        I realize this is completely off topic, but I think your remarks about welfare folks are indecent and ignorant. None of those people want that situation. Ask any of them. Then offer to trade places for just a month, or a week, or a day. They’d rather their lives were different.

        • Ms. Mandaville, the welfare receivers and queens (those who have multiple children by different fathers or not knowing the father) may not like their situation, but damn if they get off their asses and try to improve themselves and their family situation. Those that do are labeled Uncle Tom’s and Cracker lovers.
          You are wildly out of touch with reality like all Liberals.

        • Lynn,

          Thanks for giving me the hearty laugh. Boy…you really got it figured out. What a lack of street smarts.

        • The “fine capitalist” system that allowed you to have a good paying librarian job and your husband to own his own business? What other governmental system would allow you to make the money you did in your lifetime and retire in relative splendor in sunny Arizona? The only governmental and economic system that allows free people to improve themselves are the Republic of the United States and Capitalism. There are other countries you will cite as “better” than ours (as all nutjob Liberals do), but never do they leave for what they consider a “better” country. If they would, the Democrat Party would cease to exist as most hate their country but they never leave as they insist they will. And so it goes….

  • WOW! DTOM, that may be one of the most racist statements I have ever read. Uncle Toms and Cracker Lovers? So all people on welfare are African American? Let me guess, you also think CRT is being taught in our schools! Your idol Trump couldn’t have said it in more “black and white” terms.

    • And there it is, thank you a read for calling them out old David had the same comment, so basically they insulted everyone one living in sawmill estates and heritage village and others. But don’t tell Mr Smit he thinks we got them wrong.

    • Democrats know all about racism, they were and are slaveholders in the literal and figurative sense. Race is the only weapon in their quiver for the mid-terms. So “Reader”, keep your eyes closed and stay in your fantasyland. Change will be coming and right soon!

  • DTOM,

    My personal political beliefs have nothing to do with your blatant racism. Typical republican, changing the narrative. Ted Cruz would be proud of you.

  • If commenting on the obvious is racism in your demented mind that is your problem. I hold the same views on white trash that suckles from the hind teat of government. We need a more productive populace contributing to society instead of being a burden.

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