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McConaughey opines for gun control

Not bad.

I believe that responsible, law-abiding Americans have a Second Amendment right, enshrined by our founders, to bear arms. I also believe we have a cultural obligation to take steps toward slowing down the senseless killing of our children. The debate about gun control has delivered nothing but status quo. It’s time we talk about gun responsibility.

There is a difference between control and responsibility. The first is a mandate that can infringe on our right; the second is a duty that will preserve it. There is no constitutional barrier to gun responsibility. Keeping firearms out of the hands of dangerous people is not only the responsible thing to do, it is the best way to protect the Second Amendment. We can do both.

Depraved acts of violence, with guns as the weapon of choice, are ripping apart families, tearing at people’s faith, and shredding the fabric of our society. We have an epidemic of indiscriminate mass shootings, of parents burying their children, of inaction, and buck-passing. Saving the unnecessary loss of lives is not a partisan issue.

The need for mental health care, school safety, the prevalence of sensationalized media coverage, and the decaying state of American values are all long-term societal factors that must be addressed, but right now, we don’t have the luxury of time. We need to focus on corrections and countermeasures that can also and immediately reduce the gun violence tragedies that have become too common in our country.

We need to make the lost lives matter. Our leaders must make bipartisan compromises on a few reasonable measures to restore responsible gun ownership in our country.

He goes on to support enhanced background checks, raising the age for buying assault weapons to 21, national red flag laws, and a national waiting period for assault rifles, and he’s also now advocating for them in public. You could certainly go farther on a number of these, like all the way to an assault weapons ban like we once had, and he studiously refuses to name the reason why no gun control laws can be passed (it’s so much easier to make grand “both sides” pronouncements), but if we did manage to get these items it would be a step forward, and it can’t hurt to have someone like Matthew McConaughey make the case for them. So, two and a half cheers, B+ for the effort, and so on. Via Reform Austin.

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14 Comments

  1. Ross says:

    Kuff, the 1994 ban did not actually ban anything. I bought an AR-15 while it was still in force, as did millions of other people. The 1994 ban was based on appearance and not function, and was utterly ineffective. The only effective ban would be to ban all semiautomatic firearms, and that is not politically feasible.

    I do not have any real objections to raising the age to purchase any firearm to 21. That brings out the people arguing that “they can enlist at 18 and carry a gun in the Army”, but that’s a poor argument, since soldiers only have firearms under supervision, and personal firearms must be registered and stored in their unit’s arms room, and cannot be carried on base at all.

    It would be good if the anti-gun zealots actually understood firearms. I keep hearing about how “powerful” an AR-15 is, and how the bullets “shred flesh”. That is all true of any centerfire rifle. The cartridge generally fired by an AR-15 type rifle is at the low end of the power spectrum, and not nearly as powerful as a .308 or .30-06 or .243 or any other common hunting cartridge.

  2. Fritz Kraut says:

    Transatlantically speaking …

    ON THE PROPER AGE FOR A SOLDIER’S BRIDE & AMMO CONTROL

    As one who was conscripted at the tender age of 17 and was trained as a state-sanctioned killer at age 18 in case the Cold War would turn hot along the Iron Curtain, I would add that we had the standard-issue assault rifle with us routinely, but *not* live ammunition.

    Nor were you allowed to take what was jokingly called your “Soldatenbraut” (soldier’s bride) off base on liberty (unlike in Switzerland, where the citizen-soldiers keep her at home).

    For guard/sentry duty with live ammo, all loading and chamber emptying had to be done under the supervision of an officer at the guardhouse and the rifle shaft had to be first inserted into a designated hole in a block of wood or such, so that in the unlikely event of an accidental discharge, the bullet would go into the ground.

    At the shooting range, the ammo-dispensation regime was likewise very strict, and a non-commission officer was right next to you when you were doing your target practice and getting your shoulder bones pounded. For training exercises in the field (or rather, the woods, mostly), blanks (bright blue plastic cartridges) were used exclusively instead of live ammunition.

    That said, any one of my fellow teens (18-19 mostly) could still have killed a bunch of us and/or an obnoxious drill sergeant or officer in a rampage while on guard duty at the barracks or at the shooting range. And at that time (in the 1970s) every young male had to serve unless they failed to pass the perfunctory physical and mental fitness exam, meaning that the boot camp was populated by the full range of geniuses, wisecracks, weirdoes, and wackos and everything in between.

    So much, from my perspective (or retrospective), for the argument that 18 is too young to be considered a responsible adult.

    Also, the legal drinking age was 16 for beer and wine, and 18 for hard liquor, and alcohol was tolerated on and off base as long as it didn’t render you incapable of doing what you were obligated to do. I am not saying it’s good or bad, but shouldn’t there be some consistency as to when you are considered old enough to be an adult? Now they even let the kids vote at age 16 in some places in Europe, including Scotland. Not then. But at 18 you were an adult in all respects.

    This is not to say that raising the assault-rifle age to 21 in Texas couldn’t have some beneficial effect in the aggregate, but it would constitute blatant discrimination on the basis of age, pure and simple, with no opportunity to rebut the dubious across-the-board presumption of incompetence.

    And what about the driving age? Should we raise that too to cut down on teen-driven cars careening off overpasses and into bayous or Galveston Bay, or are there better approaches?

    At what age are you presumed fit for Fahrvergnügen, if not the speedlimitless Autobahn?

    More food for thought here:
    https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/soldiers-can-keep-guns-at-home-but-not-ammo/970614 (Swiss militia)

  3. C.L. says:

    Ross is right. We should do absolutely nothing to prevent our fellow citizens be slaughtered by AR…er…I mean legitimate hunting multi-capacity rifles. That’s the only way to shut those f’in libs down..,er…I mean my fellow citizens who don’t share my hard on for guns (in general)…ya know, cause the literal Constitution and all.

  4. Ross says:

    C.L., where did you get the idea that I am in favor of doing nothing? I pointed out that the previous ban did not actually ban anything, that the argument frequently used by gun rights activists is specious, that I have no real objection to raising the purchase age for long guns to 21, and that the anti-gun side spouts incorrect information.

    Both sides have problems on this issue. Both sides spout stupid crap.

  5. Leonard says:

    It doesn’t matter if weapons can easily be used to kill a lot of children in a very short amount of time if you can also use that same weapon to kill a lot of deer in a very short amount of time because killing a lot of deer super quick is cool and thinking of children is a stupid trope.

  6. Ross says:

    C.L. The study you linked to is called into question here: https://journals.lww.com/jtrauma/Citation/2019/05000/Letter_to_the_editor_re__DiMaggio,_C__Et_al_.24.aspx

    As the letter says(or implies) no so called “assault weapons” were really banned by the 1994 law, as it was based entirely on appearance and not on function. If you want to ban so called assault weapons, the only way to do it is to either ban all semi-automatic forearms, including a significant number of conventional appearing hunting rifles, or ban semi-automatic rifles with the ability to use a detachable magazine, which would also ban a significant number of conventional appearing hunting rifles.

    That’s one of the points I’ve been trying to get across – it is nearly impossible to define the firearms to be banned, unless a ban includes rifles with a conventional appearance.

  7. Jules says:

    Ross, agreed, many more types of guns will need to be banned. It may be that it takes time to ban all that need to be banned – we can take each gun banned as a win.

  8. C.L. says:

    You’re absolutely right again, Ross,… We, as a society, should just do nothing to prevent future mass shooting at schools and street parties and church gatherings, etc.

    Ya know, ’cause #Murica !

  9. Ross says:

    C.L., just where did I say to do nothing? However, the feel good proposals tossed out by the anti-gun side are likely to be ineffective, because they do not have a clue as to what they are doing. The 1994 ban DID NOT BAN anything, it merely changed the appearance of some firearms slightly. You can’t ban firearms based on appearance or by name. Both of those are doomed to failure. If they were serious about a ban, they would ban all semi-automatic firearms capable of using a detachable magazine, because that’s the only way a ban will work. However, Biden, Beto, et al do not have the balls to even propose that sort of ban because it will ignite a firestorm of opposition. Especially since a go forward ban will not be effective either, so it has to be a total ban. And a total ban will be expensive, with the cost of buying up all of the affected firearms running somewhere between 100 and 200 billion dollars, if not more(my estimate). There will also be hundreds of police deaths trying to enforce such a ban, as thousands of people refuse to give up their firearms.

    Politics is the art of the possible. What is possible is raising the age to purchase a long gun from 18 to 21, impose background checks on private sales(harder to enforce), and create some sort of red flag laws that allow for imposing restrictions on people that are a threat to others.

  10. C.L. says:

    @Ross. Got it. Do nothing ‘cause nothing will work.

  11. Leonard says:

    When Beto and Biden don’t call for gun bans, they have no balls. When Ross doesn’t call for guns bans, he’s politically savvy.

  12. Bill Daniels says:

    For clarification of the practical impacts of the 1994 “assault weapon” ban, let me lay it out for y’all.

    AR platform rifles were still sold, but with a fixed, not collapsible, stocks. They also had no flash hiders, although adding a muzzle brake was perfectly acceptable. Other than those items, same rifle, same standard (not “high capacity” 30 round magazines. Ross is right. If he bought a “ban period” AR, he got one that came from the manufacturer with a fixed stock….but he still got one, no problem. Are criminals and crazies actually availing themselves of the collapsible stock function when they commit their crimes? That would be interesting to research.

    Now with imported rifles, we did see a difference. AK-47 variants, that already commonly come with a fixed wooden stock were dramatically altered in order to be imported during the ban period. They also had to be sold with a 10 round magazine, but wait a minute, the 30 round standard capacity magazines were still sold separately, and even if they had not been, our country has tens or maybe even hundreds of millions of the standard capacity magazines for both the AR’s and the AK’s in circulation today. You could ban them all today, and all you’d do is create tens or hundreds of millions of brand new criminals, for possessing once legal products, something that wouldn’t seem to be constitutional, considering Ex Post Facto laws are specifically verboten.

    But back to the AK’s…..they had to have the bayonet lug ground off. So a pre-ban AK would have a bayonet mounting attachment, but we were saved in 1994 when new imported AK’s had those lugs machined off. And on to the SKS, the preferred rifle of the Communist Chinese military during Korea, those were imported as is. They did indeed come with the bayonet mounting lug. The semi-automatic SKS, complete with the factory 10 round attached magazine, actually IS a weapon of war, and it was, and is, imported with no problems, it was not effected by the 1994 law at all. And hey, standard 30 round detachable magazines were and are widely sold. Same deal, tens or hundreds of millions of SKS magazines are already in circulation.

    And all this is before we even discuss another actual weapon of war, the M-1 Garand rifle, which is still sold not just by private dealers and private sale, but by the US government itself. The 1994 law didn’t include any restrictions of the Garand. See the CMP (Civilian Marksmanship Program) for details on how to buy your assault weapon right from Uncle Sam. The government selling actual assault rifles carried in combat is a legacy of when Americans didn’t hate their founding and history.

    Whichever way anyone looks at the issue, these are just objective facts.

  13. Ross says:

    C.L., Leonard, OK, tell me where I did not make a suggestion I find practical? What are your suggestions? Keep in mind that you’ve been told why the previous “ban” was not effective.

    If you say “ban assault rifles”, please provide a definition that works, and cannot be circumvented by changing the appearance of the firearm. In other words, how do you define “assault rifle” in a law so it can be enforced?