Still some commenting going on over at Dr. Helen’s.Â I thought I’d replicate some of it here for the gun blogosphere, because I think it’s good stuff.Â Â Helen comments:
[…] Notice the politics of how hard or easy it is for certain people to get guns– if there is threat etc. of domestic violence against a woman, a man loses his right to purchase a gun–even if he is accused unfairly. However, if someone stalks women, scares the crap out of university classes and is said to be an imminent danger to himself or others, then neither the courts nor the hospitals have a duty to report this because they might stigmitize the mentally ill. If a man is stigmitized as a domestic abuser, well surely he is guilty without much investigtion! It is one extreme to the other. We must look at the facts logically and think about what should legitimately constitute a reason to deny a person access to a weapon. Surely, we can do that without mass hysteria against the innocent. Or maybe I am being naive.
I think this is a really good point, but I’m a pessimist about resolving it.Â I replied:
I think, unfortunately, in this issue, it’s very difficult to have a reasonable discussion. Not among individuals, but in the political space, as far as what would be appropriate public policy on the matter.
We have plenty of people on the pro-gun side who believe “shall not be infringed” means that no federal or state controls on possession of firearms are constitutional. I disagree with this notion, but the issue is full of absolutists.
On the anti-gun side, it’s been pretty clear all along that their goal is to ban most firearms, particularly ones that are useful for self-defense. I have no doubt that many want to see all firearms banned. This precludes any reasonable debate on the issue, because the anti-gun side is always seeing every measure as a baby step towards the eventual goal of prohibition.
There are gun control laws that I am willing to accept and don’t think are that infringing, but I generally won’t say that in the political space because it emboldens the other side. I think there’s quite a lot of us who would be more open to a reasonable discussion if the other side weren’t pushing prohibition.
Of course, they claim to not be pushing it, but the fact is they have never met a gun control law, including the DC ban, that they didn’t like. I don’t think there’s really much reasonable discussion to be had as long as that’s the case.
I’d love to have a reasonable discussion, but because the Brady Campaign, once called Handgun Control Inc., just wants to crap all over the second amendment, rather than have a reasonable discussion, and listen to our concerns, it’s not going to happen.Â If the Brady’s are truly interested in keeping guns out of the hands of the criminally irresponsible and mentally incompetent, they need to accept our right to bear arms. As long as they are pushing a disguised prohibitionist agenda, there will be no reasonable discussion.