14 April 2018


It's an old, trite, expression.

In theory, there's no difference between practice and theory.  In practice, there is.

Which is another way of saying that reality gets a vote.  Reality also has veto powers.

I have a commenter who's taken the absolutist position that if I don't support complete "any weapon I can think of" rights then I am a gun banner.

Because I stated that I wasn't certain that the founding fathers meant artillery.

While also saying that privately owned cannon and warships were around when The Constitution and Bill of Rights were drafted.

I'm of an engineering bent, so certain means something different from when a political science student says it.

The framers of The Bill of Rights certainly meant small arms.  We know this because they wrote extensively about it.  We know from laws of the time that a personal rifle of the same type the standing army used was mandated, and that the citizen was required to bring it and a requisite amount of ammunition with them to their periodic militia muster.

We don't have similar conversations or laws on cannons or mortars.

I looked it up.

But from reading what these people left behind I do think that we probably have a right to heavier weapons.  They certainly did not condemn the ownership of cannon or warships.

We can infer that we've a right to own a warship because Congress has the power to issue Letters of Marque and Reprisal.  You don't write those for a standing navy, there's no need.  Warships need to be better armed than a small-arms locker.

It stands to reason, but is not proven.

Part of the commenters' position is that our anti-gun laws only work because we betray each other.  The way he's phrased it, I think he's accusing me of turning someone it...  I can't really make it out.

I ask this:  Are you obeying those laws, g1335361?  If so, why?

I know why I don't own an M256 smoothbore.  First off, I can't afford the mount.  Secondly, there's none for sale.  Every company that makes this gun doesn't sell to civilians.  It's perfectly legal for me to own one too.  Just plunk down the cash, fill out a Form 4 for a destructive device, pay the tax and wait for the approval process (and grumble about having to pay $200 and wait when my right to such things is encumbered with the reality of the process).

But it doesn't matter since nobody sells them, with or without the M1A1 that I'd definitely want to go with it.

Did you know that the companies who make tank guns and tanks aren't prohibited by any law from selling to me?  They've made that decision on their own.

So having a right to own something that's also legal to own doesn't guarantee I will own it.

He mentioned owning nukes.  The favorite anarchist pro-gun reductio ad absurdum.

Since he's taking the position of any weapon I ask, "what about any person?"

You OK with a felon owning a nuke after their release from prison?

Someone who's mentally incompetent?  Someone who cannot understand what the shiny red button does?

Reality is stickier than theory.  Practice must bow to reality in ways theory never does.

If admitting there's more going on than a simple theory makes me a gun banner; fuck off bitch!

Admitting that there might be a practical upper limit to what a citizen should own for weaponry doesn't mean I demand the banning of small arms.

But then, I am what the Anarchist/Libertarians call a "statist"...  A statist, JUST LIKE THE FOUNDING FATHERS WHO FOUNDED A STATE WITH THE CONSTITUTION.


  1. I have the same struggle. ANY weapon owned by ANY person - maybe not.

    I tend to draw the (dotted, in pencil) line at indiscriminate, area weapons. So chemical, nuclear, biological, and large-scale explosives are weapons that I am not totally uncomfortable in restricting.

    As to felons, I am not so sure. When it can be a felony to ship a lobster in a plastic bag (as referenced by William R. Kelly in The Future of Crime and Punishment isbn:1442264829), I am not at all happy with the blanket ban on felons in possession of weapons. In general, I kind of like the "if they are too dangerous to trust with weapons, keep them in prison" school of thought.

    Still, when all parties are debating honestly in good faith, the question can lead to some interesting discussions.

  2. What dumbshit doesn't seem to grock is that we didn't get this far removed from the founders overnight.

    We aren't going to strike all the bullshit gun control from the books in our lifetime. How do I know? Most of us we're alive when the NFA was drafted , same with the GCA (that's closer, but those of us alive then weren't the ones fighting against it then) it was a slow burn to lose our rights , it won't be fast (or easy) to get them back.

    And you've documented well with fix NICS what happens when we let perfection be the enemy of good.

    The NFA was SUPPOSED to cover all handguns, that's why it spends so much time defining what guns are considered "concealable" and why the method of firing is relevant in that law (ie from the shoulder, or one hand) but the enemies of the Constitution decided that compromise was better than a perfect ban that would never pass.

    Oh and a bit of an aside, when the government started classifying certain weapons as "firearms" you'll note that ALL artillery pieces of the time are exempt . That tells me a lot .

    So fuck perfection, our enemies don't care about it, and they keep moving the ball down the field, while Florida should have had open carry and campus carry a decade ago . Let's just move the ball in the right direction.

    1. My, now deceased, grandparents were alive in 1934 but not old enough to vote. Mom's Dad was still in Italy.

      I wasn't born until months after GCA was effective, let alone had a chance to influence the electors.

      FOPA became law before I was old enough to vote.

      I screamed bloody murder about the AWB but I am finding that we have a party which is dedicated to being anti-gun and nobody dedicated to being pro-gun.

      So anti-gun advances in little ratchet steps and pro-gun never really gets going. Nobody who gets elected really fights for it.


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