Yipes!

What a hornet’s nest I opened with my “Gun Nut Culture” post!

Dealing with the most critical issue first: Victor, that’s “Sheavian” not “Shea-n”. :)

Um, I’m not advocating taking anybody’s gun. I’m saying it would be handy to know what gun a bullet is fired from and who bought it where and where they are at present. I don’t see anything “unconstitutional” about that, any more than I see something unconstitutional about the state telling me I can’t practice human sacrifice as part of my religion.

My point is not that abortion is a right similar to the right to keep and bear arms. It’s not a right at all. My point is that advocates of both often seem to me to tend to have extremely low threshholds of common sense in this department. Just to pick on Victor again, here’s what I mean: To say “The right to life — all human life — is only secured through the right to bear arms — all arms” is, it seems to me to utter manifest nonsense. I have the right to keep and bear field artillery? A nuclear warhead? A daisy cutter? Assault rifles? Grenades? These all fall under the heading “all arms”. This and many other responses to my first post seem to me to inadvertantly illustrate exactly my point: that any attempt to speak common sense is met with the “overwhelming retaliation” response in which everybody screams about the right to “all arms” and calls you a Nazi sympathizer. It’s what a friend calls “digital thinking” rather than analog thinking. You’re either a 1 or a 0, Nazi or Liberty-Loving American. It’s the same sort of rhetoric as the crowd “Let’s expand the abortion license to safeguard infanticide, just in case the prolife crowd tries to take the first step toward herding us all into concentration camps by banning partial birth abortion.”

Now, in the case of abortion, I’d be in favor of a complete ban. With guns, I don’t want to take away anybody’s gun. This is called “nuanced thinking.” But in neither case, do I want concentration camps. I just think that we are probably entering a time in which the prudential judgment of the Founder in framing the second amendment is going to run smack against terrorist who will exploit it to do great harm and hamstring the cops in some rather reasonable steps to stop them.

Saying “It’s in the Constitution!!!!” is not a Total Trumps argument for me. The Constitution is not sacred scripture. It’s a prudential arrangement that works pretty darn well, but remains a prudential arrangement. I don’t advocate taking any law-abiding citizen’s gun away. I do, however, continue to think that it would be a good idea to have a system in place so that we have some fighting chance to know which gun the bullets in Maryland are being fired from, who bought that gun, and where they are. This seems like common sense to me, not fascism.

It’s true the technology is not foolproof. Likewise, clever criminals can remove their fingerprints and wear gloves. But a large number of criminal are criminals because they’re stoopid and will not think to do these elementary things. This includes many of the dolts in Al-Quaeda.

Also, I need you guys to make up your minds. Is this technology pointless and unworkable, or is it the infallible all-seeing technological power that Big Brother will use to track us down and enslave us? Some of you are saying one, some the other. You need to discuss it among yourselves and make up your minds. My own view is that it sounds like a moderately useful tool, in some cases, for figuring out where a bullet used in a crime came from and for helping to track down the last known owner of that gun so that more evidence can be gathered. I continue not to see why that is cause for hyperventilation.

So please. The reductio ad Hitlerum is really wearing thin. There are lots of examples of societies that try to keep track of their guns, which have not descended to Nazi barbarism. It does not help your argument to say things like “Forget the Nazi experience (it WAS after all 65+ years ago), look at Britain – Now.” Um, I’m looking. I’m seeing an annoying Nanny State that I don’t particularly want to live in. But I’m not seeing Hitler’s Germany.

As to the technology: the guy in the interview acknowledge that barrel signatures change with wear, but said the technology looked for pattern similarities, not exact matches, and could narrow the ID down to just a couple of guns. I’ll take his word for it as a non-expert.

Finally, kudos to T. Marzen for astutely pegging my Zionist Nazi sympathies and cracking me up. That’s the funniest comment I’ve read all day.


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