The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Act in haste, repent at leisure

Every time we have a tragedy such as the one in Newtown, Conn. We fret and fuss and make demands that government find a way to prevent it from ever happening again. The only one we didn't do that with, oddly, was the mall shooting in Oregon. I don't know why. Perhaps because there was nothing about it that lent itself to the usual rants that pop up after a shooting.

You know the rants I mean, the calls for more gun control laws. Perhaps the Oregon mall shooting didn't trigger those because it became clear quickly that the shooter had stolen the weapon he used.

These things are scary and I understand the kneejerk reactions regarding guns.

Guns are scary things. But the fewer people who have guns will just make them scarier. The less familiar one is with something, the less one understands them or views them positively.

What can we do to prevent a tragedy such as the Sandy Hook shootings? I don't know. We could confiscate all the guns in civilian hands in this country and it won't stop a crazy person from killing. He will use a knife, he will use fire, he will use explosives.

Could we increase the restrictions? Possibly. But the Sandy Hook case tells us that we would have to restrict or deny gun ownership by anyone with a relative with any kind of mental problems. I don't see how we could do that. And the shooter's problems stem from a form of autism, not paranoid schizophrenia, a condition not considered potentially violent.

You will hear many people calling for something, anything to be done in the next few days and weeks. But laws passed in the heat of the moment, when emotions are high, are rarely wise or effective.


Pearl said...

I'm not against guns, but I am against the ones that fire more than one bullet per squeeze. Yes, he could've killed with a knife, but probably not more than one. A man with a knife must be up close to kill and can therefore be tackled by someone else. A man with a gun can kill from afar -- the very purpose of a gun, actually.


Douglas said...

Pearl, none of the guns used could fire more than one shot with each trigger squeeze. You are right that guns make it easy to kill from a distance. So do explosives, fire, and bows and arrows. I was living in San Diego many years ago when a man randomly stabbed several people on the street (he was quite deranged), killing a couple of them. He thought they were spies.

Tom Sightings said...

I'm one of those calling for more gun restrictions, but I don't rant about it. Gun supporters say it won't work, it won't work ... but it's worth a try, for all the obvious reasons.

Douglas said...

Tom, it's not a matter of "won't work", it's that it cannot work. There are a number of dynamics involved. In some cases, it would definitely help and it others not at all. I leave it to you to figure out which case is which.

Steven said...

fully-automatic weapons aren't really any more dangerous than semi-auto. they're legal to own, you just have to be quite wealthy to afford them. I have a completely legal attachment for my Bushmaster M4 (yes, the newtown rifle) that makes it fire at an almost-fully-automatic rate. it's fun, but it's not what I'd use if i were trying to kill somebody.

anyway, we should be able to own whatever the government can.

Douglas said...

Steven, definitely more dangerous, I think. Especially in the hands of someone unfamiliar with them. In any case, there was no fully automatic weapons involved at Sandy Hook. The attachment you mention... creates three round bursts, does it not? Not the same thing. Trust me. Full autos are legal to own... if you have a class 4 firearms license. Something few people have, usually weapons dealers (gun shop owners, for example), not your average gunowner.

Steven said...

maybe more dangerous to random bystanders, maybe more dangerous if you're trying to fire into a thick crowd...but spray-and-pray isn't exactly accurate, and your aim is thrown off by automatic firing, not to mention barrel rise.

no, 3-round burst is just as illegal as full-auto - the attachment i have reciprocates the trigger against your finger using the recoil...bump it's still only semi automatic, but with a rate of fire on the same scale as full-auto. if i hadn't been using terrible russian jamming ammo, i would've had 30 rounds out of my PMAG in a few seconds in this short video of me using it:

for a civilian to own a full-auto, it has to have been manufactured before 1984 (or 86, can never remember), so the demand is FAR higher than supply. yeah there's some other requirements, but the main deterrent for me is the $25,000 price tag on a (what should be) $800 gun.