Obviously it's way too early to get into the Las Vegas Massacre; all the facts aren't in, we simply don't know a lot, therefore I can't really write about it with any confidence. What I can write about, what I know, is what this whole gun-nonsense is about from the gun owners' perspective.
Why on earth does a law-abiding civilian need a military-style assault-rifle? What exactly is the objection to registering firearms with the government? Why aren’t there more regulations and restrictions on private gun-sales? Why aren’t gun-show sellers required to do background checks just like gun-shops are?
Most of the non-gun owning public, those that care, think the entire answer to those questions is simply the classic knee-jerk NRA-driven response to all firearm legislation, i.e.: the rejection out-of-hand of any and all rules and regulations, no matter how reasonable, that might in any way interfere with or restrict a citizen’s “Constitutionally guaranteed right to bear arms” (put another way, interfere with their “right” to sell arms) and to a degree that is a correct assumption.
There's no denying the fact the NRA is primarily financed by the gun-manufacturers and that fact should not be lost on anyone as you can well imagine they and their well paid lackeys in congress only support laws that result in more sales and never any laws that might impede in any way same-said sales (see: https://youtu.be/rYGOg1xElBc). This part of the equation is hardly complex.
That reality, however, does not really explain the “gun-nut” position; most “gun-nuts” make not one dime off the sale of firearms and even given a desire for unfettered access, why be against background checks and registration? If you're “legal” you'll still get the gun.
Well, there are some very specific rationales – albeit insane rationales that would inevitably lead to horrible outcomes – used by gun-owners to reject each and every one of those sensible ideas; and the 2nd Amendment has not a damn thing to do with it.
The truth of it is that the 2nd Amendment, as incorrectly interpreted by the late Justice Scalia’s Supreme Court, is, without a doubt, the best cover (as in “concealment of the true facts”) that gun enthusiasts could ever ask for. First of all, and most importantly, the 2nd doesn’t say that everybody gets to own a gun without any rules, regulations or restrictions. If you took an English class in elementary school you already knew that.
Or as retired English teacher Mark Moe put it in a Denver Post opinion piece, “(T)he Second amendment… is actually a very straightforward call for the establishment of an armed militia when necessary. It has nothing to do with individual gun “rights” except in that context.” (to more completely appreciate his reasoning, see Mr. Moe’s complete article here: blogs.denverpost.com/...)
Moreover, when you consider that originally the Founding Fathers clearly did not intend for the U.S. to have (or pay for) a “Standing Army” (we know this because they flat-out said it many times) their desire for a “well-regulated (armed) militia” in every state – i.e.: self-financed “Citizen Soldiers” equipped with their own firearms; most importantly that the government didn't have to pay for – to defend the country against invaders makes perfect sense and clearly defines the context of the 2nd.
Still, this, going “on-the-cheap,” was ultimately deemed an ill conceived plan that the “War of 1812” disabused everyone of entirely and today, of course, we have a very large and capable standing army. In other words, you could honestly say the 2nd Amendment outlived its true purpose many years ago and is actually presenting nothing but problems and not solutions today.
Unfortunately, gun-nuts never let the facts sway them from their “personal truth.” And that “truth,” such as it is, is actually quite fascinating as well as horribly frightening. The 2nd Amendment, in their mythology, has absolutely nothing to do with standing armies or even militias. It’s sole purpose – a purpose that will never become outdated to their thinking as the risk will never cease to exist – is for each and every gun-owner to use their hand-guns, shot-guns and rifles to prevent the government from imposing tyranny and if need be to over-throw said-same tyrannical government!
Everybody’s heard that before, I know, but what makes this position truly fascinating is the implications and consequences that arise from this thinking and what lies beneath the surface. First let’s address some of those initial questions using this mindset. What exactly is the objection to registering firearms with the government? When the tyrants come to take everyone’s firearms they’ll know exactly who has what and what to look for (and confiscate).
Why aren’t there more regulations and restrictions on private gun-sales? Private gun-purchases are your most secret firearms. The buyer doesn’t have to know the seller and vice versa (though legally, the seller is supposed to keep a record, this doesn’t happen often). So, even if the Feds take all your “registered” guns (see above), you’ll still have hidden your secret guns that were bought privately.
Why aren’t gun-show sellers required to do background checks just like gun-shops are? If you’re a convicted felon or pled guilty to domestic abuse (even misdemeanor domestic violence charges) you won’t pass the background. Aside from private sales, this may be the only way to get a gun for some people.
And, lastly, why does a civilian need a military-style assault-rifle? Well, obviously the enemy, the government, is fully equipped with all kinds of military-style weaponry, and here’s exactly where this twisted thinking totally breaks down (as if it wasn’t already barely limping along before). Simply put: Okay, you can do a lot of damage with an assault-rifle, we all know that, but the government can always up the ante; right up to the point where your little AR-15 might as well be a cap-gun. That’s a fact.
Case in point: The Waco siege of ‘93. Once lunatic religious fanatics, known as Branch Davidians, killed 4 ATF agents (in the initial raid, losing 6 of their own), the die was cast. There was only one of two things that was going to happen after that: either they would surrender or many of them would die (NOTE: In fact, both things happened).
Two facts should be specifically pointed out: One, the Davidians were armed with military-style fully-automatic assault weapons – still, notably, the government did not lose a single agent after the initial raid – and two, the government brought in a fully-operational goddam tank (i.e.: that’s called upping the f—king ante!) and at that point, for all practical purposes, the “siege” was over. Point being: Once you’ve killed a federal agent or a law enforcement officer, the government will always “up the ante” as far as it takes to bring you to “justice.” Believe it.
The lesson to be learned: The age of the blunderbuss is long over so unless you have a fully-armed tank parked in your driveway and a loaded F-15 fighter jet, fueled-up and ready to take off on that runway in your back-yard, your puny-ass assault-rifle is little more than an embarrassing joke against the power of the government of the United States or even local law enforcement!
Obviously, the vast majority of the gun-nuts out there just like to play with big guns that fire lots of bullets and are personally relatively harmless – just grown-up girls & boys playing with their grown-up toys – but the ones who repeatedly scream and yell (literally and figuratively) about “the tyrannical government” and display paranoia about confiscation of their firearms are a different breed all together. Not unlike their spiritual brothers, Jihadi extremists, these people are insane, psychopathic fanatics.
And make no mistake, these militants have already given this subject a lot of thought; certainly enough thought to fully realize they’d have no chance in a face-to-face fight with any branch of the U.S. military, regardless of how many like-minded friends they have on their side or how many military-style assault weapons they own.
Which brings us to the real reason behind all this extreme defense-of-extreme-gun-ownership nonsense. The fact is that these fanatical gun-owners have no intention of getting into a stand-up fight with any “tyrannical government” that they have no chance of even messing up its hair a little let alone actually defeating. No f—kin’ way!
If they are in any way honest with themselves they know that they’ve already decided, when the time comes, they’re going to become terrorists. They know the assault-weapons they so desire to retain aren’t meant for an attack on an army base or a police station. Maybe a Mosque or a Church or a Synagogue; maybe a gay bar or a school bus full of kids (if they could come up with a foolproof escape plan, of course) but definitely not for a stand-up fight against soldiers or cops. That would be suicide and these guys simply aren’t suicidal types; no “Suicide Vests” in this group.
I know, it’s a pretty radical assertion to suggest these extremist gun-owners, “good” Americans ALL, are actually just budding terrorists who will ultimately attack all of us but, clearly, there’s precedent for such a claim. There was a guy who was pretty upset about the Waco siege and the Ruby Ridge incident in ‘92 and totally pissed-off about what he considered a tyrannical, out-of-control Federal Government and so in ’95 he decided to fight back. Did he go to an army base with his trusty AK-47 assault-rifle with an enormous capacity magazine and get into a fire-fight with people actually representing the federal government – i.e.: soldiers – equipped and trained to handle such a situation? No, of course not. They’d have killed him, and like I said, no “Suicide Vests” here.
What he did was load up a truck with explosive fertilizer and parked this lethal truck in front of an office building that contained a daycare center full of children – which he was aware of prior – as well as hundreds of other innocent people, then he lit the fuse and stepped out of the vehicle. This terrorist’s name was Timothy McVeigh and he was a white, American-born Christian who had served in the United States Army and the resulting blast from his homemade truck-bomb killed 168 men, women and children, wounded 680 others and damaged or destroyed 324 buildings in a 16 block radius around ground-zero. Of course, before the bomb went off, McVeigh drove away in a car; see, clearly not the suicidal type. (NOTE: McVeigh was captured 90 minutes later.)
Later McVeigh, from prison, defended his murder of innocent children and babies and other innocent people by claiming that the “government” killed innocent people at Waco and Ruby Ridge without ever acknowledging that the people who died at Waco and Ruby Ridge were given the chance to surrender (i.e.: live), whereas the people McVeigh killed were offered no such choice.
When I hear these guys talk about fighting “government tyranny,” I truly believe that they have a lot in common with McVeigh and, most significantly, that they already know it, because I know for goddam-sure they aren’t talking about going toe-to-toe with the United States Military in absolutely any form or fashion.
Terrorist types? You betcha.