sitting on the edge of the sandbox, biting my tongue

March 19, 2013

“Bang!” The Ban

Before I start this post, let me explain the title.  I wrote a bit about the plastic grocery bag bans sweeping California towns, and in the process discovered an excellent website that accumulates resources for the opposition; it’s called bag the ban.  I doubt any of my readers came across the website.  So why did I choose a title referencing a website my readers know nothing about?  Because I’m crazy, that’s why!

Which brings me to this.  Leslie Eastman noted that in California, the state uses its power to confiscate guns from law-abiding citizens using the most tenuous mental health reasons (spending money we don’t have in the process):

Just last week, the California Senate approved a $24 million funding bill to expedite the process of collecting guns from owners in the state who legally acquired them but have since become disqualified due to felony convictions or mental illness.

Such was recently the case for one woman, who had been in the hospital voluntarily for mental illness last year that she says was due to medication she was taking. Lynette Phillips of Upland, Calif., told TheBlaze in a phone interview Monday she had purchased a gun years ago for her husband, David, as a present. That gun, as well as two others registered to her law-abiding husband (who does not have a history of felonies or mental illness), were seized last Tuesday.

“My husband is upset that they took the right from us that should never have been taken, Phillips told TheBlaze.

But according to the state of California, that doesn’t matter.

“The prohibited person can’t have access to a firearm” regardless of who the registered owner is, Michelle Gregory, a spokeswoman for the attorney general’s office, told to Bloomberg News.

What’s “crazy” anyway?  In the 90s, the lawyer for the Unibomber was talking about the insanity defense.  In the Soviet Union, dissidents were shipped off to mental wards.  The GOP, I hear, can use less “nutters”.

The perpetrator of the Sydney Hook massacre, the massacre that caused the latest round of anti-gun hysteria, is said to have had Asperger’s.  Maybe he could had been diagnosed with something else, or perhaps he’s just evil, but arguably, Asperger’s is a form of normal male behavior, often revered throughout history — Pierre Bezukhov in War and Peace, for instance, was probably modeled on a person with autistic traits.  Today, 1 in 54 boys is diagnosed with autism, most of them have mild symptoms, and quite a few will outgrow their diagnosis.  How many “crazies” (and their relations) are we prepared to disarm?

A politically insane individual like myself is weary of denying the “crazy” their Second Amendment rights.  Sure, there are people out there, very obviously scary people, like the perpetrator of the Aurora mass shooting, who should not had been able to have access to firearms.  The problem with people like him is larger than possession of weapons.  The man should have been involuntarily hospitalized, and we do need to have laws for that.  In his case, a mental health checks to buy a gun would be like putting a band aid on a wound that cuts to the bone.  It does not address the underlying problem, and does not prevent him from, say, picking up a hammer and cracking a few people’s heads.  Furthermore, many people obviously in need of mandatory psychiatric treatment (take a walk in downtown San Francisco) are not violent or at least not capable of actually getting themselves to a sporting goods store and not freaking out the clerk.  What would gun checks do for them?

It’s very much possible that the Sandy Hook murderer would slip through the cracks and not be hospitalized.  But no system is perfect and life is full of unpredictability and danger.  And yet, despite the impression we get from the evening news, mass shootings are rare.  Parents of the Sandy Hook first graders can be consoled by the fact that their beautiful children died in an extraordinarily rare event, but it was an extraordinary rare event.

Lets look at the mass shooting in perspective.  The same people that are rallying against the Second Amendment are typically environmentalists, also rallying for grocery bag bans.  In San Francisco such ban is linked to a 46% increase in deaths from foodborne illnesses.   According to CDC estimates, 3000 people died of foodborne diseases across the United States in 2011.  If we are to implement a similar plastic bag ban on federal level, we should for 1380 dirty bag deaths — and I hope the turtles are worth it.  Sixteen mass shootings were perpetrated in the US in 2012, leaving 88 people dead, meaning that grocery bag bans are quite likely to be nearly 16 times deadlier than mass shootings.

“Oh, that’s just mass shootings,” my readers may say.  “But what about the murders committed with ‘assault’ rifles?”  Actually my readers would never ask a question that stupid.  They know that according to the FBI, in 2011 323 people were shot to death with rifles.   This means that grocery bag bans are probably more than 4 times deadlier than bad guys with rifles.

Clearly, some residents of “reality-based community” need to have their priorities straightened out.  Or else, their political convictions are more about identity, about sticking it to the bitter clingers, and not so much about saving life.  Or else they prefer to return to “natural” pre-industrial living, the one characterized by high birth rate and low life expectancy.  That’s totally sane.  And get this, if we actually subsidize birth control and stop breading, the Earth will be returned to the animals.  In this case nobody will be shooting those AR-15s.

So, dear friends, support life and liberty, our Second Amendment rights and oppose government’s intrusion into personal matters!  (Crazy, I know.)

UPDATE: Related: anti-vaxxers kill. (Via Instapundit.)

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6 Comments »

  1. In my experience, the people who hate the 2d amendment despise ‘violence.’ They also hate ‘religion’ because they believe religion causes war. One person I know was surprised when she found out that the Chinese often had mass murders, NOT because of religion! The way I see it is that people so ready to enforce their own fear and hate, by using the armed might of the State, are very sure of their own place in that state (ie, the elite). And the State is definitely ‘armed.’ Something these snowflakes do not want to openly confront.

    Comment by heathermc — March 19, 2013 @ 11:04 pm

    • I think it’s about identity more than anything else. People form their identities against others, in this case the bitter clingers. Guns are bad, religion is bad… but the stay at home mommies with master’s degrees know the way.

      Comment by edge of the sandbox — March 26, 2013 @ 10:03 pm

  2. Let’s bag the politicians and ban them to never never land.

    Comment by Jim at Asylum Watch — March 21, 2013 @ 11:51 am

  3. The only good thing is you are not required to let the police in your house if they knock for your guns – at least for now.

    Comment by Harrison — March 25, 2013 @ 11:52 pm


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