Aimee Patton

A pleasantly eccentric take on politics

Dear Sen. Blunt,

1950s kitchen

It’s me again, you know Aimee, a.k.a.  the pain-in-your-ass.  Anyway I’ve got another issue to bring up. I know – shocker.  Just give me a second.  I keep hearing from you that you are opposed to any gun legislation that would, in your words, prevent if  “two guys living next door want to trade shotguns.”  You and your pro-gun politicians also go on to say that background checks shouldn’t apply to private gun sales or if a family wants to hand down guns within the family.

The more I think about this the more I have a problem with it.

Please just keep reading.

The more I think about this one, the more the visual keeps popping up in my head of the 1950’s housewife coming over to borrow a cup of sugar.  See, it’s not the 1950’s anymore.  Unfortunately ,we rarely know much about our neighbors, let alone what their mental history is.

  • Do you really know if your neighbor is paranoid schizophrenic?  
  • Do you know if your neighbor has ever been hospitalized for bi-polar disorder?  
  • Do you know if they have ever had a restraining order out for harassing someone?  
  • Do you know if your neighbor beats his wife?

You may be all cocky and think you know, but you really don’t know.  This is something I know for sure.

I was doing google research this morning on Adam Lanza.  Turns out nobody really knew if Adam Lanza was on any psychiatric meds.  His neighbors certainly didn’t know.  See nobody in his neighborhood really knew Adam Lanza.

If I came to your neighborhood and asked you about all of your neighbors and all of their mental health history, could you tell me?  I certainly can’t tell you all of my neighbors names, let alone the status of their mental health.  Do you really think it’s ok for me to be able to trade or borrow weapons that can kill people if I don’t know any of this vital information that could prevent another mass killing?

I think hiding behind this belief that it’s ok to keep background checks out of it if it’s between neighbors or family is a cop-out.  A deadly cop-out.  If we are serious about gun control, let’s include this as well.  If you want a gun bad enough, go through a background check.  That is the best way to keep our public safe and still uphold the right to bear arms.

Now we can all wish for the good old days when we did go next door to borrow a cup of sugar and our kids ran free all over the neighborhood, but unfortunately those days are gone.

Let’s continue to be serious about strengthening gun control laws – including background checks and apply it to all guns and all people.  I know this is against what the NRA believes, but it’s time to stand up to the NRA.

Sincerely,

Aimee Patton

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10 thoughts on “Do I want neighbors trading guns? Hell no!

  1. lwk2431 says:

    The NRA and many like myself oppose legislation against private sales and registration primarily because we believe that it would be a prelude to mass confiscation. That is not paranoia. That is exactly what happened in the U.K. and Australia.

    We also don’t believe they will do much good in preventing crime. There is little evidence that it will. Canada just recently trashed their registration system for longs guns. Didn’t do much good and cost a lot of money.

    But you would like a background check and registration? Ok, how about showing good faith with gun owners that you don’t just want to create a list for future confiscation? Are you ready to show good faith?

    We have the 2nd Amendment, but we had to fight forever to get the Supreme Court to finally agree it protected an individual right. See District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008).

    Let’s add some more amendments written in modern language.

    How about something like:

    Every citizen who is not a convicted felon, or abjudcated mentally ill, has an unquestioned right to own a semi-automatic rifle with detachable magazines that hold up to 30 rounds, or whatever is used currently by the military.

    (Real “assault rifles” or “machine guns” are covered under the National Firearms Act of 1934 – none of these weapons are real “assault rifles” or fully automatic).

    Every citizen who is not a convicted felon, or abjudcated mentally ill, has an unquestioned right to own a semi-automatic handgun and it may hold as many rounds in a detachable magazine as any police organization uses.

    It is an affirmative defense of homicde that a government officer was attempting to illegally disarm a citizen.

    How about it? Are you willing to show good faith to get gunowners to happily and voluntarily participate in background checks, and/or registration (a waste of time that latter, but if it makes you feel better …)?

    lwk

    Who Needs An Assault Rifle?
    http://free2beinamerica2.wordpress.com/2012/12/19/who-needs-an-assault-rifle/

    1. I have to think about this one – first what is a “good faith gun owner”? Second, I believe things like abortion have been protected as a constitutional right, but states have done everything to make it all but impossible to get/have an abortion. Isn’t this the same type of thing? If I really wanted an abortion I need to travel or find a clinic that actually does one, but it is still “legal” correct? The barriers are just enormous. Why can’t that be the same way it is for guns? Why are gun owners any more protected than women?

      I am fine with gun owners continuing to have guns, but not semi-automatic assault weapons. They are not necessary for sport and have been found to be all too common in our nation’s mass shootings. They do not protect against home invasion any more than regular hand guns or shot guns. They have no place in a civil society.

      Thanks for commenting. I truly do respect other differences of opinion..even though I’m always right 🙂

      1. lwk2431 says:

        You wrote:

        “…what is a “good faith gun owner”?

        If you could convince the NRA that you meant business and they came out for it then most would go along. There are always – in any camp – those who will loudly disagree.

        How about people getting a license to own firearms? It could involve some basic training in safety and a background check. Put it on your drivers license. Then I go into a gun store and buy whatever I want, or buy from my neighbor, the only caveat is I have to have the license? No registration or background checks. Just a license and a severe penalty in private sales for selling without seeing the buyer has one?

        Canada has such a system for long guns I am told (although handguns there are highly regulated).

        And:

        “I am fine with gun owners continuing to have guns, but not semi-automatic assault weapons.”

        What you say is a contradiction in terms. No semi-automatic rifle by definition (other than a “political” definition) is an “assault rifle.”

        I wrote about that here:

        Assault Rifles
        http://free2beinamerica2.wordpress.com/assault-rifles/

        My son in the Marine Corps has an M-16 assault rifle. I have a Colt AR-15 that is not an assault rifle. It is a semi-automatic rifle that _cosmetically_ looks like the M16.

        There are many other semi-automatic rifles, many used for sporting purposes, that do not cosmetically look like an M16. A real assault rifle must be able to fire full auto. Period. That is why they are called “assault rifles.” The Germans and Soviets in WWII came up with tactics involving masses charging with rifles firing full blast auto.

        AR-15s are simply not full-auto (and not easy to convert by any means).

        And:

        “They are not necessary for sport and have been found to be all too common in our nation’s mass shootings.”

        “Necessary” is a matter of definition. And by the way, many modern hunters now use some form of semi-automatic rifl.e See the link I gave you previously:

        Who Needs An Assault Rifle?
        http://free2beinamerica2.wordpress.com/2012/12/19/who-needs-an-assault-rifle/

        One of the first things it shows is the Remington R25 used for hunting, based on the same design as the AR-15. By the way, the “AR” in “AR-15” does not stand for “Assault Rifle.” It stands for “Armalite Rifle” after the company that invented it back in the 1960s.

        And:

        “They do not protect against home invasion any more than regular hand guns or shot guns.”

        You do not know what you are talking about. Again, read my link above, “Who Needs An Assault Rifle.” It is arguably the best possible weapon for home defense, it also one of the _safest_ to use for home defense.

        My wife has arthritis in her hands and cannot put back the slide on my Glock handgun. However she can easily “rack” my AR-15 carbine. Not being a gun enthusiast she is not particularly good at shooting a handgun (which is a difficult skill to master). But she can shoot the AR-15 carbine with acceptable accuracy for home defense. She can use an attached flashlight to blind an attacker and insure it is not a family member. She doesn’t have to worry with her hands about reloading in the middle of the night if someone breaks in (or a gang breaks in).

        Becasue the AR-15 shoots one of the _least_ powerful centerfire rifle cartridges in existence it has little recoil. That also helps my wife a lot. Again, read the article. It covers the technical details of why it is so good.

        And:

        “They have no place in a civil society.”

        They have a very rightful place in civil society. The millions of people who own them are no threat to anyone.

        Here is something to think about.

        Back when I was a kid in the 1950s and 1960s we had tons of guns – M1 Garand battle rifles from WWII and Korea and M1 Carbines with 20 round detachable magazines. Kids in my rural school might bring a .22 rifle to school.

        We didn’t have mass shootings.

        What is different? People could point to a lot of things. Here is one that concerns me:

        One problem today is the huge amount of psychotropic drugs prescribed to young kids. Just about every mass shooter we have reliable info on was using, or withdrawing from one of these drugs (like SSRIs). Many of these drugs have serious warnings about symptons, for example drugs prescribed for ADHD:

        Aggression/hostility
        Agitation
        Depression
        Hallucinations
        Hypersensitivity
        Increased irritability
        Insomnia
        Mania
        Mental/mood changes
        Psychosis
        Suicidal thoughts
        Violent behavior
        “Zombie” demeanor

        See:

        http://www.cchrint.org/psychiatric-drugs/stimulantsideeffects/

        Do you suppose it is possible that 1 in 100,000 (or some number) of kids with yet undetected serious mental issues that will later bloom in bipolar disorder or schizophrenia or something similar might be turned into a remorseless “zombie” with violent and suicidal thoughts, hallucinations, and that might lead to an Adam Lanza?

        lwk

      2. Rick says:

        Which Amendment is that covers abortion? I can’t seem to find it. You may find this hard to believe but it is people such as myself and the other gun owners in this country that gave you the right to write the letter. Without armed citizens your first amendment rights would never have existed, you maybe willing to trade freedom for security, in the end you will be just another subject to a tyrant.

      3. Oh I forgot that all gun owners today are directly tied to patriots of the past. Do gang members also count? I should probably get a thank you note out to them as well.

  2. Amyclae says:

    The idea that the government, your mumblings on the subject aside, or any other institution could effectively regulate personal transactions of weapons (be them ‘assault’ weapons or not) is an absurd proposition. It’s not workable, or politically feasible (can’t you already see the headlines? “Grandfather, 92, killed in ATF raid after he was suspected of handing down 1915 bolt-action rifle to grandson.”)

    After all, the government has already proven to be wildly ineffective at preventing the distribution of guns among paroles and convicts. There is no reason to think that their ineffectiveness is going to translate well into the wider population. At some point we’re all going to have to admit that while gun violence is wrong, and should be corrected, throwing out unworkable, idiotic ideas on preventing it is not going to do anyone any good.

    1. lwk2431 says:

      I started to reply to AMYCLAE, but then my response got large enough that I just decided to post my reply on my blog, here:

      Freedom Or Safety
      http://free2beinamerica2.wordpress.com/2013/02/09/freedom-or-safety/

      1. Excellent points! I really like this and you are an amazing writer! I think compromise is the key. I have said before on the radio that my perfect world would have no guns, but I know that’s not possible or fair so a compromise is key. What is the pro-gun lobby willing to compromise on?

        Also, the best way to predict the future is study the past. History of this country has shown us that our system of government is stable and not tyrannical. Take Nazi Germany-anti-semitism was rampant in Europe for centuries. The Nazis just took it to the next deadly step. Also the Nazis turned on minorities, an already mostly unflavored class of people, not the majority of citizens. It’s not the same hypothetical scenario.

        If we are so concerned as civilians about our government, why not demand the possession of all types of military weapons for civilian use? Why not grenades, rocket launchers and tanks?

        I’m sure there is no better deterrent for a potential thief than a tank sitting in someone’s driveway 😉

    1. Thanks for the comment! Tell me more. Why do you think that? What if they contract it out to a private company to handle background checks?

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