Hal's red herring


Hal Herring's "Why we all need the Democrats to abandon gun control" deserves our derision (HCN, 10/27/08). Herring may share some values with most Democratic voters, but proselytizing for gun addicts of the Palinesque variety is not one of them.

I learned as a boy on a western Montana ranch that the thoughtful and competent use of firearms is generally practiced by law-abiding citizens who hunt to provide meat for the table. Regulating the type and use of firearms to protect innocent people from gun users who do not respect the law or the rights of others does not require abrogation of Second Amendment rights. The scope of the right to bear arms should, however, be based on reasoned thought and discussion.

Capability to forestall hypothetical government tyranny imposed by force of arms would require private ownership of anti-aircraft, anti-tank, or other major artillery and would introduce an immediate safety hazard to the general public. The notion promoted by Herring that an assault-weapons ban is based on cosmetic rather than lethality considerations is misguided.

Successful proselytizing for reduction of restrictions on use and/or ownership of guns would undoubtedly expose the innocent citizen to even higher levels of violence. Herring's conclusion that abandoning gun-control efforts "seems a small price for the Democrats to pay" is insidious nonsense, an obvious red herring.

Doyle McClure
Colfax, Washington

Second amendment
Dec 19, 2008 12:45 PM
Mr. McClure is more than misguided. It is clear that restrictions aimed at so called 'assault weapons' would do nothing but infringe on the rights of law abiding citizens. 99.9% of these weapons are used for lawful sporting purposes. You cannot make that claim about automobiles. Okay--so let's ban all cars because they are often abused. Firearms are misused at a percentage far less than that of automobiles. Mr. McClure's thoughts and flowerey language are a smoke screen for trampling on the second amendment. Okay, let the goverment take away your second amendment rights today and how about taking away McClure's first amendment rights tomorrow. Would McClure expect us to come to his defense once his rights are gone too?
Cars and guns
W John Faust
W John Faust
Dec 30, 2008 10:29 AM
I can dig it. We should get rid of cars (and trucks) too. Actually, they do a lot more damage than guns do. They make us fat. They kill us and/or our neighbors in fiery crashes. They break down social relationships (think suburbia). And, they and their ugly roadways destroy the environment.

Let's go for it. Get rid of both guns and automobiles. With all the money we save, maybe we can afford a national health care system and group therapy for all those who actually think their owning a gun preserves our democracy.

Memo to 2nd Amendment Worshipers: You missed the battle. Democracy was lost long ago. This is an plutocracy thinly disguised as a democracy. And, if it reverts to a democracy, it will have nothing to do with your guns.
Dec 19, 2008 05:17 PM
I don't see anyone lobbying for a right to anti-tank weapons major artillery. This is a straw man and irrelevant.

Certainly modern rifles such as the semi-automatic civilian AR-15 and the fully automatic military M16 are relevant to defense of the nation, something that the consitution did entrust to all the people.

It's one thing to ask that we can trust holders of such weapons are not inclined to criminal or irresponsible conduct. It's another matter entirely to insist that no citizens but "law enforcement and militiary" are responsible or competent enough to keep and maintain them. This is certainly disproved by more than 75 years of the NFA system, where hundreds of thousands of fully automatic rifles, and even canons have been owned by Americans with virtually no incident.

The goal of gun control policy is not to find a safe way to keep an armed populace, there is a safe way, and they wont acknowledge it. The ultimate goal is to see, to the greatest extent possible, the arms of private citizens banned, collected, or otherwise kept inoperable. No compromise can be possible with persons who only offer you the greatest level of abridgement of your rights they can acheive.
Consider a move
Dec 20, 2008 01:18 PM
Mr. McClure should consider moving to one of the Eastern states... say, Massachusetts?
Dec 20, 2008 01:32 PM
"The notion promoted by Herring that an assault-weapons ban is based on cosmetic rather than lethality considerations is misguided."

I would like you to expound please. To my knowledge, the majority of the weapons banned were not functionally different than their non-banned counterparts. For instance, the replacement of the wood parts with plastic rendered many guns illegal. In no way did that change the lethality of the gun, it just made it LOOK more lethal.

FWIW, it was a poorly written piece of useless, feel-good legislature, full of contradictions and indecipherable jargon. This made compliance for the owners and enforcement of the laws very confusing. Perhaps if we got Obama's speech writer to draft a new one instead of reusing the one Joe Biden wrote, everyone would be on the same page.
speaking of insidious nonsense
chester arthur
chester arthur
Dec 20, 2008 09:53 PM
What would the definition of 'Palinesque' be? Would that mean someone who believes what the Constitution says,who believes that government,not citizens,need to have strict limits,someone who goes to church when democrat arsonists haven't burned them down?And what about the 'insidious nonsense' of relaxing the current high levels of restriction on a pre-existing birthright because someone writing an letter to the editor believes,contrary to any evidence,that the public would be endangered?Are the law abiding,who after all,are the only people who would obey new restrictions,the cause of crime and violence,or are crime and violence something usually work of people who would not be obeying any restrictive law anyway?I think the writer has a pretty low opinion of anyone who dares to think for themselves,if they come to an opinion not in line with his.Would that be the new definition of open-mindedness?