It's clearly time for Holden Thorp to be removed from office. Why UNC continues to allow this quasi-judiciary kangaroo court and Thorp's complete ineptitude is beyond me. UNC is a fine school and deserves so much better than this ... as it stands it's shooting itself in the foot.
In response to Beth Clarke ...
So-called "assault weapons" (I think the preferred term is "modern sporting rifles") have plenty of practical hunting and target shooting uses. You say in your letter that you're not a shooter ... if you were, you'd see plenty of people safely and recreationally shooting AR-15's and the like at your local gun range. You'd probably know about the various sanctioned competitions that allow people to safely utilize these weapons in a variety of competitive scenarios (I'm thinking specifically of "three gun" competitions, but there are many others). And you would even know that in some states, the AR-15 can't be used to hunt because the .223 round it chambers is too small for many forms of game. It's hardly the grenade launcher that the media makes it out to be.
The hyperbole about these weapons only being useful for assaulting people is just that—hyperbole. And it's why many responsible firearms enthusiasts object to this proposed ban.
And no, you don't have a right to know if I'm armed or not, any more than you have a right to know what color underwear I'm wearing or how high I pull my socks up. I'm licensed to conceal carry by the State, and I've already provided them a good bit of personal information including my fingerprints, proof of training and a hefty fee for the privilege of conceal carrying. There are numerous statistics out there showing that concealed carry permittees are among the most law abiding citizens in the state; the chances of a CHP holder committing a crime is magnitudes less than a non-CHP holder. Lumping us in with criminals who use firearms in a commission of crimes is like lumping schoolteachers in with pedophiles because they both enjoy the company of children and drive automobiles regularly.
The second amendment doesn't exist to carve out legal provisions for gun ownership; rather, it exists to limit the government's ability to infringe on the citizenry with ridiculous laws like that ones you're proposing. The "squeaky wheels" and "outlandish statements" are, in all likelihood, from people who recognize the very real threat that these so-called "reasonable" restrictions represent. And when they don't work (as they didn't before in the first assault weapons ban), we'll get another round of restrictions, and another round of restrictions after that ...
David, your point about the 30-06 being a good hunting weapon despite (or because of?) its military heritage is exactly my point. Lots of things have their origins in the military, but it doesn't mean that they're sole purpose is to kill people. The former is simply a statement of historical fact; the latter disingenuously attributes cause and motive.
Given that, I don't see the "obvious" connection between handguns and killing people, and the burden is not on me to prove the negative here. Again, the the idea that handguns are "designed" to kill people is an emotional one. A handgun is simply a different shape of firearm; a less accurate one with a shorter range. A compromise between portability and functionality.
And to groovyus's point, the paper targets I shoot at have concentric circles. I don't care for the anthropomorphic targets, nor do most of the people I shoot with. And most competitions don't use anthropomorphic targets.
My broader objection is that "common sense" gun regulations aren't based so much in common sense as they are in a desire to outsource responsibility and accountability (more on that in a bit). Most of these people have no idea what they're talking about to begin with; I wonder how many of them know the difference between a "clip" (which gets talked about so often in the media) and a magazine? Or how easy it is to change magazines? Or that fully automatic weapons are already heavily regulated under the Firearms Act of 1935? Or that 50 caliber weapons are used in a statistically irrelevant number of crimes? Or that banning collapsible stocks is essentially like banning hinges? Firearms regulations aren't perfect and I can think of some improvements, but hyperventilating about military style weapons is a distraction—and in this case, one that will likely sink any chances of effective reform.
There's a good reason that many gun proponents object to these things: because people who actually understand this stuff know that it won't do a wit of good. They also know that the 2nd amendment has nothing to do with hunting and recreational target shooting. The constitution does not carve out narrow permissive provisions for what the public can have; it broadly limits the government's ability to infringe on fundamental rights. This is a limitation I'm quite happy to see remain in place, and it's one I'll work hard to make sure the weak-kneed among us don't chip away at. There's a saying about the camel's nose in the tent ...
Lastly: I don't care a bit for the idea of providing weapons to the police and the military that aren't available to civilians. This may be the point where we simply agree to disagree, and that's fine ... but I've little trust that the police exist to protect my interests and those of my family, and I'm certainly not going to sit around and wait for the people with real armaments to come to my rescue, nor am I going to arm myself with substantively inferior armaments to placate the weak-kneed sensibilities of people who don't know what they hell they're talking about. This is the part about outsourcing responsibility. My safety and the safety of my family is ultimately my family's responsibility, and we choose to be proactive about that. To that end, we choose high quality tools that security and law enforcement professionals choose for themselves.
I've been mugged before. I've had my property broken into before. I've had my stuff stolen. And yes, I've sat helplessly and waited for the police to do something. I'm still waiting to this day. The second amendment doesn't force anyone to own a weapon, and I don't care in the least if people want to have gun free households; that's their choice. Some will characterize me as "paranoid" or "compensating for something", and that's fine; when someone who disagrees with me resorts to character assassination, it simply signals that they're out of intellectual ammo.
And in the meantime, I'll enjoy recreationally shooting paper targets.
Nice ideas, but the NRA has too much political capital and well over a percent of the country's population (and arguably, the loudest and most politically active one percent—at least when it comes to gun rights). Ignoring them would be, quite literally, political suicide.
Your comment about handguns being "designed to shoot humans" is bunk, though. Unlike most handgun cartridges, your 30-06 started life as a military rifle round in 1906. It was the caliber of the M1 Garand, and it helped us win World War 2. It's a good deer hunting round because it is made to kill things. But, as you've proven, there are good recreational uses for it—just as there are recreational uses for handguns and their respective calibers. Come to any of the area shooting ranges and you'll see a lot of people putting holes in paper with handguns; a far less lethal use of the weapon than the (lawful and entirely appropriate) hunting that you so enjoy.
One small beef with this article: it is a "lectern", not a "podium". A podium is what an athlete stands on after winning a medal. A lectern is what a speaker stands behind.
Hal, you sure were right that the tea party supporters are an angry lot. I sure hope they get some professional help for their anger management issues (and given that they don't support public healthcare, I hope they can afford it.)
Brilliantly written, candid almost to a fault and chilling in its accuracy. Bravo, Hal.
All Comments »
Indy Week • 302 E. Pettigrew St., Suite 300, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation