While I support the rights of those who wish to own a firearm, I do not believe such a right extends to the point where public safety is at risk. So, I support bans on assault weapons; I believe in background checks and waiting periods. I do not support laws such as Virginia’s recent “Open Carry” law, or any other laws that allows folks to pack heat just because they are concerned about their safety. See, because them having guns makes me worry about my safety.

In any case, I’m entirely disappointed (though not surprised) that the Federal ban on assault weapons (what exactly does one hunt with an uzi? – lots of squirrels at one time?) expires midnight Monday.

What really pissed me off (if true), was the following tidbit from the San Fran Chronicle article Expired ban on assault weapons will leave us vulnerable:

With NRA support, Attorney General John Ashcroft (a longtime NRA member) has refused to allow law enforcement officials to check the federal list of firearm purchasers for suspected terrorists, purportedly because to do so would violate the privacy rights of gun owners.

Wait a second. You can search my library records, but the AG is unwilling “to allow law enforcement officials to check the federal list of firearm purchasers for suspected terrorists.” Ashcroft might just believe that the pen is mightier than the sword, but someone should slip him a memo that an Uzi with a 100 bullet clip sort of trumps both.


6 Responses to Up in Arms

  1. kari says:

    So here’s a question: where does the ACLU stand on the privacy and firearms issue?

  2. dave says:

    this is gratuitous, maybe tangential, but in case you mised it, here’s the link to a story that appeared in last week’s national review online:


    see, teachers should carry guns into the classroom. if the current administra… er… gun lobby gets its way, maybe first-grade teachers can bring that ak-47 to recess.

    “If we are really serious about gun laws that protect “the children,” then it seems clear that — whatever other gun laws a society adopts — every civilized nation at risk of terrorist attack ought to ensure that armed teachers can protect innocent children.”

  3. Matt K. says:

    The right to bear arms: I’ve always been a big supporter of the right to arm bears instead.

  4. Jason says:

    I got it! We’ll put armed bears in the K-12 classroom.

  5. Shannon says:

    Jason, Look at the stats–when concealed or open carry in a state is passed, crime rates DROP. If you are a law-abiding citizen, then there is absolutely no reason to be worried about your safety from someone packing heat. Most states require course work on handling a gun, shooting practice, and judicious use of deadly force. If you have a criminal record, guess what, no gun and no carry lic. Everyone that legally carries has NO criminal record and usually has practiced with thier weapon many hours. The only reason to fear us that carry is if you plan on doing something criminally wrong to us.

  6. Jason says:

    Shannon, when you point me to stats that say that crime rates drop due to concealed or open carry laws, I’ll be happy to review them. Overall, violent crime has decreased nationally, but I’m not willing to attribute that drop to open carry laws. In fact, crime had descreased before Virginia’s open carry law went into effect (begging the question of why it was necessary to begin with).

    As I said many months ago, I respect others’ right to own weapons (with appropriate checks and balances), but the sort of behavior that many people (predominantly white males, as I recall from the articles) were engaging in politically, in which they would arrive with a weapon on their hip in politically sensitive discussions (the VA legislature sessions) or even in public (gathering in groups in Starbucks) simply to make a point, well, I find it threatening. You might assert that you are law-abiding and there’s nothing to fear, but that would be pretty easy to say if you were standing in a restaurant with a gun on your hip. If you don’t trust me or other citizens enough to walk around unarmed, why in the world should I trust you?

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