Meta-spam! It’s shelf-stable!

If you want to know what NRA talking points were circulated after Newtown, just look at the comments in any forum like Facebook, or Huffpo, or NYT, or a “gunner” forum.  A few examples:

An AR-15 isn’t an assault weapon because it isn’t full-auto!  Yes, Virginia, it is an assault weapon.  If it makes you feel better to split hairs, sleep tight.  But the real deal is that a military-spec weapon designed to inflict maximum carnage is an assault weapon.  If you think it is the same thing as a 3-shot fixed mag hunting rifle, then why don’t law enforcement officials carry those to defend against AR-15s?

The real problem is that we have a “mental health crisis”!  Tell me more!  Please hand over a list of dates where the NRA gave testimony on mental health issues to anyone, ever.  Who is their lead lobbyist on mental health issues?  Credentials?  Produce a single mention of “mental health crisis” from an NRA publication prior to 12/14/12.  I spent the past 12 years receiving American Rifleman, so please keep the photoshopped crap in your mom’s basement where you made it.

The last assault weapons ban was a failure!  Really!  That is shocking since the NRA spent considerable funds and effort gutting it and ensuring that it would be toothless and counterproductive.

And that is my “top 3” from the meta-spam crystal ball.  You might not believe it but I have a great deal of sympathy for gun owners and gun retailers.  The shift in attitudes on gun ownership is happening, and it will be accompanied by a shift in public policy.  Ever try to register an ATV for road use?  A Caterham?  How about a road-legal race car?  If you have, have you been able to insure it, as required by law?  See, you can drive an Ariel Atom, legally, but there are rules and a cost and some of those costs are dictated by accident data and actuarial tables.  That’s why you don’t just wobble on down to the Cessna dealer and take off in a small plane.  That’s why you see a lot of golden-agers driving supercars and M5-class sedans, but not so many 19 year-olds.  Regulation happens.  Cars.  Airplanes.  Alcohol.  Tobacco.  Firearms.  Explosives.

Extra Credit: The focus of the NRA on the concept of a “ban” is a red herring.  A “ban” is a non-starter, but keeping the narrative on a “ban” means that bandwidth is being stolen from productive dialogue.  When you hear “ban” it might help to picture Wayne LaPierre with his fingers in his ears, shouting “NANANANANANA I CAN’T HEAR YOU!!!!!!!”

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2 responses to “Meta-spam! It’s shelf-stable!

  1. Beg to differ on this one, Pete. The reason why cops use AR15s is (1) modular design (adjustable stock, tac light, forward grip, multiple optics, sound suppressor, rail system – none of which affect firepower), (2) less penetration than a 7.62mm or other such round (no sense firing at a perp and killing everything downrange at the same time), and (3) they look bad-ass (same reason why your local Barney Fife dons a black balaclava when he goes out to play SWAT). They want high-cap mags and full auto (or at least burst fire) … that’s why they like the M4 or the H&K MP5, the latter not exactly the kind of weapon that you want to have when you go up against the North Hollywood shootout dudes. But since the cops know that even an MP5 is monster firepower in 99.99% of cases, they stock up with them.

    Note that full-auto M16s are commonplace in PDs now. The Army has been moving that weapon into civilian PDs for years through the Defense Reutilization Management Office (scary). I find that to be another step in the militarization of police, a direction distinctly contrary to where they should be going (community policing). No wonder they want to limit the unwashed masses to your 3-shot fixed mag hunting rifle (whatever that may be).

    Many of these bits were told directly to me by two local cops and our resident trooper.

    Banning semi-auto AR15s is not going to make the world a safer place. And now that the term “semi-auto” has been demonized by idiots, the general non-gunner population will want your pistols next – because the AR15 ban ain’t going to stop shooters.

    My wife works in a public place. She’s afraid. I wish a simple AR15 ban would solve the problem and attenuate the risk and the fear. But it won’t.

    • Not going to get into a pissing match, but your concept of how a de-defacto defensive force chooses their weaponry is off base. The rest of this seems to be more about your concept than about my blog post.

        At no point did I advocate or address an AR15 ban.

      My comment about the last ban being coined a “failure” by opponents was about the lobbying efforts of groups like the NRA. They successfully weakened the last assault weapons control legislation. They don’t get to come back and talk about what a failure it was. Otherwise I am simply having some games with how I saw the same comments, verbatim, in disparate e-locations. And yes, I happen to believe those arguments are weak to the point of being laughable. I think that much is clear.

      If you believe that magazine design and capacity is irrelevant, feel free to believe that. I prefer to stay on the realist side of the fence. You are confronted with an assailant, does his choice of weapon make a difference? I believe so. Ask your cop pals. Your defensive options are severely limited when you are facing a high rate of fire, rapid reloading, and lightweight ammunition. If it was a level playing field regardless of weapon then LEO’s could carry muskets and be secure. They don’t. Also, no LEO wants a level playing field, they want a tactical and provable advantage. They carry M16’s (as you state) against AR15’s because it gives them a firepower advantage.

      There are no immediate or complete solutions, but shutting off an entire line of discussion is counterproductive. Availability matters.