Monday, November 03, 2008

AR-15. . .Second Amendment rights, market profits and community

Did you hear the news report about the effect of the Presidential election on the price and sales of AR-15 assault rifles?

It seems that people feel that Barack Obama will be the winner in next Tuesday's election and that he will extend the ban on automatic assault weapons that President George W. Bush allowed to expire.

The rush to buy is motivated by several factors. People who want such a weapon fear that they will not be able to purchase one after Obama takes office. Others evidently are in the market feeling that the expected new policy will drive up the price of the weapons, making them a good investment.

Automatic assault weapons, military grade, designed to kill human beings. This is no sport weapon. We can debate the original intention of the Constitution's second amendment another time (for my part, I know Jefferson would be appalled!).

But, I'm thinking of my community just now.

The presence of AR-15 assault weapons on our streets doesn't make sense and cannot be justified by any argument, at least not if your goal is to improve and sustain community health, public safety and human well-being.

Why does anyone need such a weapon? How does the availability of these weapons help anyone.

Whoever is elected Tuesday, I pray the ban is extended. . .permanently.

What do you think?



Ann said...

I agree completely. I, for one, believe it is far too easy to purchase weapons whose only purpose is to kill people. While I don't understand the thrill of killing animals, I do understand that not everyone feels as I do about that. I don't want to keep them from having guns. However, the proliferation of handguns and assault weapons is another issue and I hope the next President does ban them.

Mark said...

As followers of Jesus, we might ask Who Would Jesus Use and Assault Rifle on? That may sound naive to the world's thinking, but let's think as citizens of Jesus' upside down kingdom!

Anonymous said...

I am a strong supporter of the right to bare arms, but I can think of no logical reason why a person should have an assault rifle.


Chris said...

Never fear, Obama has plans to control the conservative, gun-owning, religious-clinging, God-fearing population of this country, Consider his words,July 2 2008:

" We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we've set. We've got to have a Civilian National Security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well funded."

jocelyn said...

I heard a story about this on NPR last week. One man who was interviewed for the story (he had just purchased an oozie) said he wouldn't use the gun for hunting. He'd use it to protect himself. An oozie! I was shocked to say the least. I can't imagine a scenario in which an oozie would provide any more protection than any other less ridiculous personal weapon. I agree, why on earth do civilians need these weapons?

mattdabbs said...

You can always point to Nazi Germany and the strict gun control laws that preceded much of what happened there. There is no practical right now need of these weapons in the hands of civilians. The point is that some day there may be and if you limit that today, they will be absent tomorrow when the need may arise.

There is also a cultural component to this. I have lived in the country where everyone around me owned firearms and enjoyed shooting similar weapons for sport. There is very much a sport component of these weapons in certain areas of the country. Now, in the busy streets of Dallas it is hard to find miles of open country with which to enjoy such a firearm.

I wonder why Peter had his sword and why Jesus didn't tell him to leave it at home in the first place? Now, Jesus rebukes him for using it because that was not the type of weapon or perspective from which Jesus battle was being waged. Nonetheless, he still had it and it seems to me that Jesus allowed it.

Politics and Culture said...

Washington D.C. has the strongest, most oppressive gun control laws in the nation.

Yeah, that's working pretty well for them.....

Odgie said...

I see no practical use for assault weapons. You can’t hunt with them. Unless your home is under assault by an armed force, you don’t need them for self-defense. However, I have never supported gun control for the simple reason that it won’t work and may, in fact, make the problem worse. Gun control will create yet another illegal market for criminals to exploit. Competition for control of territory will lead to more violence. And far more people will end up in jail, not for violent crimes, but for simply owning an unapproved weapon. Finally, look at the history of the U.S.; we can expect gun control to work about as well as Prohibition and War on Drugs, IMHO.

Anonymous said...

There is no reason to own such a gun except to terrorize others. They have nothing to do with sport or self-defense.

Anonymous said...

sounds like a pro-life position to me!

bobbi jean

RTR said...

I also hope the ban is extended! There is absolutely no need to have such a weapon in the home. And the argument about "guns don't kill people, people kill people" is hogwash in my opinion. Yes, if you really wanted to kill someone, you could do it without a gun. BUT it's a lot easier to gun down scores of people with an assault weapon than with a butcher knife.

Politics and Culture said...

rtr -- You should move to D.C.

odgie makes a lot of sense (except for the part about seeing no practical use for assault weapons). You need to do some more research, odgie. Many gun enthusiasts do a lot of target shooting with their AR-15s and AK-47s. And yes, such weapons can be used for hunting. And then there are those who simply like to collect them.

Daniel Gray said...

Hunting season is almost upon us. Can't wait to obliterate that 10-point buck. He won't know what hit 'em... Sadly, the carcass will be unusable.

Being a southerner, I have always loved shooting stuff and blowing things up. But I always wonder about the psychological effects of destroying things...

Justin said...

Larry says "not a time to debate the 2nd amendment" but that's exactly what the comments have become.

Has anyone considered that the second amendment was not about hunting, but about protecting oneself from a tyrannical government? As a proponent of non violent resistance, I have no need for an assault rifle in my home, because I believe in the resurrection, and so do not need to do evil to protect myself or my family... and I trust the holy spirit to guide me in a situation where my life was in danger.

But that doesn't change the fact that the constitution doesn't specify hunting weapons, or semi automatic vs automatic. Its about people having weapons to be able to overthrow the government, if that's what it came to. I can see disagreeing with that, but that requires changing the constitution, and to my knowledge, there hasn't been a broad based movement to nullify the second amendment.

Not to mention, people are still gonna want guns. Making them illegal does the same thing that illegalizing drugs does. It creates a black market, typically a highly profitable, and consequently a violent one.

Instead of trying to control people through use of force, by threat of being shot by the government, I think its better that we encourage people to be non violent peacemakers in a troubled world.

Anonymous said...

What do I think? I think that if you're to go through all of the trouble to post how horrible something is, you should at least know what the hell you are talking about.
The "Assault Weapons" ban that EXPIRED in 2004 covered semi-auto rifles, not the full automatic weapons that you have your panties in a bunch about.
Oh and by the way, it's "Uzi" not "oozi" ya' 'tard.

Jeff said...

I was raised in a gun loving family. We used them for hunting and fun shooting. I made my first gun purchase at 18, a 9mm to protect myself in the Grove. I bought a 8 shot shotgun when it looked like they might be banned by Clinton. I intended it to protect my home. I have not fired a gun in years. I still have them and look forward to shooting again.

In my continuing walk of faith I have come to see the futility of me trying to "protect" anything. I am increasingly putting my faith in God to take care of me in all circumstances.

My faith also impacts my thoughts on gun control and it's ability to impact violence. No amount of restrictions can erase the anger and hate that result in violence. We can't make that problem go away, we are the problem.

Odgie said...

@ politics & culture: I've been hunting large and small game and fowl my entire life, and not once have I run into a situation where I thought "Man, I wish I had an assault rifle"

Politics and Culture said...

Odgie -- I have a friend who owns an SKS Chinese Sniper Rifle and an AR-15. He says that both are great for taking down deer and elk. Very powerful and very accurate.

Anonymous said...


The end of that story is Jesus saying "he who lives by the sword will die by the sword." Not exactly a ringing endorsement of weaponry.


If the 2nd Amend means citizens can have weapons to "protect" ourselves from the govt, what are the limits? Can I have hand grenades? A tank? A small nuke? The founders never dreamt of the kinds of weapons our technology has produced. This amendment simply can't be blindly applied today.

Justin said...

Maybe that's right... but, if we want to follow the constitution, we should change the 2nd amendment, or clarify it constitutionally. Not just ignore it. That's dangerous precedent.

But I would argue that the founders, even though they couldn't fathom the types of weapons available today, who gives governments the rights to have those weapons exclusively? Who has killed more people with assault rifles, bombs, etc? Regular people, or government?

The fact is, if someone wanted to get those weapons, if they had the money, they could get them. Even if they are illegal. In a free society, you cannot stop an evil person from doing something evil if they are dead set on doing it. So what possible gain comes from making assault weapons illegal, except making it easier for a dictatorial take over of our country if the wrong people get in power?

Anonymous said...

The government has the right and, in my view, the obligation to curtail the presence of tools of death and destruction like these. By making the manufacture of such weapons illegal, the government performs a needed public service. To argue hypothetically about threats from without or within is to lapse into the absurd in this nation. If in fact our democracy has any strength about it, we don't need for ordinary citizens to be armed like a military unit. In inner city neighbors like the ones Larry and I live in (though different cities), such a right turns deadly and stupid very quickly.

What is most interesting to me is the fact that most defenders of these weapsons also oppose abortion, which I am not in favor of either. But where is the consistency in commitment to an authentic "pro-life" position in such a view???


Justin said...

Anon 11:48

I do not respond to aggravate the point, but I'd like to press you.

In your neighborhood (and mine as well) are the weapons used by gang bangers and drug dealers weapons purchased legally? How many laws are being broken when violent acts are committed by people with firearms? Clearly, the law of the land doesn't mean anything to someone who intends to break the law anyway. And besides that, do you not think that as soon as the government tries to shut down the production of firearms, that entrepreneurial folks (and morally questionable as well) will not rush to procure weapons to sell in the black market? We've been fighting a war on drugs in this country for 20+ years... how's that been going for us? Drugs any less prominent?

You said "the government has the right, and the obligation" to curtail the presence of these weapons.... that is patently false. The Constitution, the document by which the limits of government were originally spelled out, and on which our legal system is built, contradicts your words. There is no getting around this. If you don't agree, then, by all means, lobby and organize to amend the Constitution.

And to add that the argument (that the founders of this country initiated) that its "absurd" to think that the people of our nation would ever have to stand up to the government is ignorant, not only of the intent of the founders, but on the history of the world. Do you think democracies don't become dictatorships? Why are we exempt from that possibility?

While, like I said above I don't agree with using weapons on people, comparing allowing people to arm themselves with murdering unborn children is not the best comparison. I can get on board with comparing it to collateral damage in war (though many can't) but certainly owning a tool that does not have to be used for harm of a human being is not the same as intentionally destroying an innocent child.

mattdabbs said...

Funny what people post when they can do so as "anonymous."

So what do the pacifists propose we do? Do you pay the government to do the dirty work for you? Do you say well the police will protect me so I don't need a weapon? Wouldn't it be just as bad to approve of someone else to do it for you just because that is their job?

I also wouldn't call self-defense "evil" as Justin said below. If someone decides they are going to harm my family...I am sorry but they just made the decision for me that something bad may befall them in the process. I am unapologetic in keeping my vows to protect my family.

Anonymous said...


I am not a pacifist myself. But if you are going to call yourself a Christian, I think you have to deal with some awfully difficult passages, from "he who lives by the sword ..." referenced above to "turn the other cheek." I'm hard-pressed to find a passage in which Jesus seems to defend the idea of using weapons or even self-defense. After all, he didn't defend himself.


The 2nd Amend is construed by our courts. That is also the law of the land. And our courts have said that the 2nd Amend allows reasonable govt restrictions on the ownership of weapons. That's why we can't own grenades, tanks, etc. (And without those, we could not really stand up to a rogue govt anyway, but that's another issue.) Reasonable restrictions being permissible, the only question is whether an assault rifle is more like a deer rifle or a hand grenade. I'd argue the latter.

mattdabbs said... is one thing to own a firearm and quite another to "live by the sword." I own several firearms and yet I don't "live by the sword." I am a peaceful person to the best of my ability so I don't mind answer to those verses. I can be a Christian and a gun owner. I can own a firearm and still practice turning the other cheek. Your points imply that if you own a gun that it is your only option of dealing with anyone who disagrees with you. That is just flat out incorrect. I hope that makes sense and I appreciate your thoughts that help me challenge and question my own motivation. I have done so and feel fine with my conclusions. God bless

mattdabbs said...

If Jesus had an oath to protect his family I am sure he would have lived up to it as it would be a sin not to. We don't have that scenario as Jesus was never married. As a married man I have taken a vow to protect my wife and it is my Christian duty to honor my word and also to love and respect my own family. If you made such a vow on your wedding day then you are bound to it as well. I really don't see anything unChristian about that.

Anonymous said...


I did not meant imply for a minute that gun owners are somehow unChristian. Actualy, I am one myself. The topic was assault rifles. Since these are designed for use on people by military forces, I personally cannot fathom why an individual Christian would want or need one. That's all.

Brandon Scott said...

I'm with ya!

mattdabbs said...

I own such a weapon and I thoroughly enjoy the experience when I find an opportunity to take it to a range and shoot it. I intend to buy more if the opportunity arises. I am also a minister who is dedicated to loving people and serve my community on a regular basis.

I can fathom why a Christian would want to own something like this. It is enjoyable when used in a safe and controlled environment. I also know dozens of other Christians who share my view and I don't think it makes any of them more or less Christian. So it really doesn't matter whether or not you can relate to such a past-time or if you can "fathom" a desire to own something like this. Owning or not owning them has nothing to do with my spiritual condition so there is really little you can say about that.

Anonymous said...

I have owned an AR-15 with a 100 round magazine for over 10 years and have only fired it once at the target range. That is about $1,400that did not get invested in equities. However, when I think of how quickly society converts from civility to animal LA Riots & post Katrina...which seems to be about 30 minutes, I am very glad that I own one. It gives me piece of mind against the anarchy that can happen in the USA.

Felix said...

I think it is just fine for law abiding citizens to own these weapons. We are the militia if our government gets greedy and decides to take full power. I mean is that not already happening? Government controls all of our lives and is expanding its power everyday. Do you not see that? I mean the patriotic act. IRS taking your taxes before you even get your check. You can't even say what you want or you can be arrested. Now our second amendment rights are being taken away. Pretty soon we will all be slaves due to the laziness of this country.

Do you really think the police will protect you in a time of crisis? I mean look at the L.A. riots in 1992. Where was LE? They were nowhere to be found. The only people safe were the ones who had guns and protected their businesses. That is a fact. Police will not always be there. You are responsible for your own safety as well as your family.

Now I do not believe full auto weapons should be allowed. There is no need for full auto unless your going on a killing spree. But I think that semi automatic rifles are fine. But it doesn't matter because criminal will get their hands on any gun they want anyway. I think its pretty funny how everyone is like why would you have guns that kill people. That is what they do. Guns are meant to kill. That what they were made for. But it is the people who choose what to do with the guns. Good people with guns protect. Bad ones kill. I just think its sad how our country is becoming scared of guns when that is what we were founded on. It was ordinary citizens with guns that fought for this country. They fought against an overpowering government that at the time was the most powerful country in the world. Guns our are roots. THAT is what we come from. Guns are our freedom. Theres an old saying "if you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns".

Anonymous said...

Anyone who says they should ban guns like this in un-American. Plain and simple. I live in chicago. I own handguns and an AR-15. I bring them both to the range all the time. I dont hunt because im not really into killing other living beings that do not deserve it. Both my handguns and my AR are illigal to own. I could go to jail at any time. Would i give up my guns.. hell no. Why should i? If you are a criminal you will get illigal things no matter what... thats what makes you a criminal. But why make it harder for law abiding citizens? Take a look at the "big cities" that have the "Hardest" gun laws. DC, Chicago, LA, Detriot, NY... ALL HAVE HIGH CRIME RATES AND STILL PLENTY OF GUN CRIMES. The laws do not work and just make it harder for the regular joe to protect himself should the time come. They want you to be sheep...They yern for Obama to come wipe their scared little buttholes when crap hits the fan. Obama will fill your gas tank, pay your mortgage, and swoop down in his cape when a murderer comes into your house and rapes your daughter and wife. Or kills you for your TV. When i lived in the "inner" city my pistol saved my life 2 times, when people broke into my home. I never fired a shot. When i called the police after the fact and the home invader left, the police took 40 minutes to arrive. Of course i did not tell them i had a gun but told him everything elese and how the crook looked. They never found anyone. Now fast forward 1 year later. My neighbor accross the street who just moved in had some boxes from moving in his garbage. One of those boxes was one for a tv.... now he didnt have a big tv that the box belonged to.. but the crooks who broke into his home when he was not home thought he did from the box. Now when they were breaking in, his pregnant wife who was home was screaming..they would not stop nor did they care..she called 911 and they continued to break in. After they got in they threw her down and looked around then left shortly afterwords. The polive came about 10 minutes after calling. 10 minutes.....they could have done anything. BUT if she were armed she could have stopped them dead or scared them off. The police did catch them about 2 weeks later down the block doing the same thing. But i ask you this. How much is your wife or kids worth? Know this .. Criminals will be armed and they dont give a crap about you or your fam. It is your duty to protect you and your family... not wait for the government to be there after its over or hoping super obama will wiper your little baby chins when its all done. Step an American and a Man.

Rich Barrett said...

Pretty sure Justin is the only one here who cares what the constitution says. Everyone else is making it up as they go along.

Anonymous said...

you are right. Justin does understand our constitution and what it is to be an American. The rest of these people are just brain washed pansies who think obama or anyone else is going to come down and wipe their behinds when things go bad. Not only that they forget that when they have a family they swore before god that they would protect them. Im not going to bring up our constitution or the amendments here because most of you dont even know what they are without googleing them.

Just because "YOU THINK" that "nobody needs to own a weapon like this" has NO bearing on anything... Our constitution and our rights as americans does.

What if one day people decide that you need to die because you are black or a jew? There may be many people who feel that dosent make it right..Your right as a jewish american and or a black american protects you..forever. You keep imposing things on people and or changing things to infringe on peoples rights... and one day the tables will turn and some of those rights will be yours.