So many things wrong with this picture

Private ownership of semi-automatic weapons = Newtown CT massacre. - promoted by Bob_Neer

Other people have probably made this point more eloquently and succinctly, but events like this make me emotional, and I want to get it off my chest. Reports indicate this particular shooter didn’t buy the guns himself (they were just hanging out in his mother’s house, protecting everyone), but he easily could have bought them himself — and many before him have and many after him will.

Can I buy this six-pack of Corona Light?

Let me see that ID… What?? Only 20 years old? Nice try, get outta here kid!


Can I buy a joint?

Are you insane? That stuff is illegal and highly dangerous! Nobody can sell you that, GET OUTTA here!


Can I buy the strong version of Tylenol?

No way! you can’t get prescription-strength ibuprofen without a prescription. Go check with your doctor to see if it’s safe for you, I can’t have selling that to you on my conscious. Get outta here!


Can I buy a Bushmaster .223-caliber rifle, a Glock 10 mm, and a Sig Sauer 9 mm?

Right this way, distinguished young gentleman! How many rounds of ammunition would you like to purchase with this cache of semi-automatic assault weapons? 50? 100? 1500? It would literally be a crime in most states for me to not sell you whatever you want here.


9 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. I'm sure the counterargument would be...

    …there is no second amendment equivalent protecting your right to obtain alcohol, marijuana, or medication.

    • I agree that would be the counterpoint

      But even the 2nd amendment doesn’t give an obvious justification for assault style weapons or common sense restrictions.

      We aren’t allowed to have our own personal nuclear weapons, or biological weapons even though they could be called ‘arms’. There are limits already, so adding a deeper ban and restrictions doesn’t set any new precedent. I just think the current laws are shifted too far in the wrong direction right now.

      • This "right" is four years old

        Only in 2008 did a 5-4 Supreme Court announce for the first time ever, after 217 years, that there is an individual right as opposed to members of the militia. In so doing it completely disregarded its own precedent in United States v. Miller (1939). In any event, there’s nothing to prevent reasonable regulations. It is not absolute. Assault weapons clearly should not be entirely unregulated.

    • What does the 2nd ammendment say anyway?

      It is pretty clear that the courts do not interpret to actually guarantee the right of anyone to own arbitrary arms, so that rules out one literal reading. Another way to read it is that the right is only guaranteed in the context of state “militias” i.e. the National Guard, state and local police forces. If you read it that way, then there would be no individual right. The courts are probably not going to read it that way either. But there isn’t any language that distinguishes between those two extremes, which allows people to convince themselves it means whatever they want it to me.

      Really the 2nd amendment should be superceded by a more precise amendment that clearly specifies the limits of the right, but we all know that is not going to happen. Personally, 2nd amendment or not, I don’t see why Americans need the right to own any weapons that aren’t for hunting or target shooting.

      In any case, in the case of these type of so called “assault weapons”, the previous ban was not considered unconstitutional so I don’t think the counterargument would apply.

      However, merely banning the sales of weapons suitable for killing many people would just be closing the barn door after the horse is out. There are too many such weapons already in public circulation. To be effective, it must become illegal to own such weapons (outside of the context of your well regulated militia, of course ;-) . But I don’t see that as being politically likely at this time. Sadly, I think the killings are going to continue.

      • The Supreme Court DID

        Another way to read it is that the right is only guaranteed in the context of state “militias” i.e. the National Guard, state and local police forces. If you read it that way, then there would be no individual right. The courts are probably not going to read it that way either

        The Supreme Court DID read it this way until 2008. Since then they’ve decided there is an individual right. So for now that’s the way the Constitution is going be enforced. But, you are right, there are possible restrictions that would be good test cases in the courts.

  2. Not disagreeing with the emotion of this post but

    Adam Lanza did try to buy a rifle at Dick’s Sporting Goods in Danbury and was denied the purchase because he refused the background check.

    The gunman in the Newtown massacre tried unsuccessfully to buy a rifle three days before he killed 20 children, six adults and himself at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Connecticut and federal officials told NBC News Saturday.

    Adam Lanza, 20, went to a Dick’s Sporting Goods store in Danbury, Conn., on Tuesday to buy the weapon, but was turned down because he didn’t want to undergo a background check or abide by the state’s waiting period for gun sales, the officials said.

    The issue for me is the availability of assault weapons. Lanza couldn’t buy a gun so he did just take from Mom. Making the potential sale (that did not happen) an issue weakens the case.

    • I agree

      You are right that the problem is not necessarily whether this one person was able to buy the weapons for personal use, its that anyone would be able to. At least in CT, they did actually run a background check (to their credit, it almost saved a lot of lives). Not everywhere requires that, and the shooter may have even passed had they conducted the check. Just that fact there should be enough to convince the country that background checks offer at least one barrier to this kind of crime.

      If people thinks it weakens the point on this particular case, i can see that. But I do stand by the problem of availability and the contrasts. I wrote it before it was clear how this crime happened, but I think its true for too many crimes like this.

      Maybe it will be good when the conversation shifts to not ‘why did this monster get these guns’ to ‘even good people can have their guns (assault weapons) used for misdeeds’.

    • Weakens the case?

      Cripes, every time I hear “Well, that wouldn’t have stopped this particular crime, so there’s no sense in doing it.” I just want to break down and cry. Absent a time machine, we can’t stop the Sand Hook massacre. It already happened. The best we can do is try to stop the next one. Or maybe if we can’t even do that at least make it so next time maybe only 18 first graders are brutally murdered instead of 20. I mean, let’s not make the perfect the enemy of the good here, people.

    • Ok Definitely a change there

      Dicks should have been required to report him to the police and should have been held criminally liable for refusing to do so. My cousin Chris, no gun control fan, feels personally responsible to support suspicious people that enter the Kittery gun shop and refuse a background check. Not everyone is as diligent so this is one law that should be changed.

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Tue 28 Mar 6:08 AM