Welcome to Jercol's Back to the Basics. This is where I will post useful information, tips, and gear reviews about what I learn about Outdoor Survival, Activities, and Disaster Preparation. My only goal is to be informative, realistic, and at least a little entertaining.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Guns by Stephen King

In case you haven't noticed, I like firearms a lot.  I like their shape, their engineering, the variety, the culture, the practice, and the focus it requires to get the perfect shot.  Obviously, I'm a fan of the Second Amendment that allows me own these firearms.  However, that doesn't mean I'm totally against gun regulation or controls.

I also read a lot and I'm a huge fan of Stephen King, so when he came out with a Kindle Short called "Guns", I picked up a copy.

This is an extended essay on Stephen King's opinion on gun violence and gun control.  It's a no BS take that doesn't pull punches toward any group or party, he pretty much mocks everyone involved and all of the politicians.  He also discusses politics in general and American culture.  I would call it a page-turner but I'm not sure that term really applies to an essay.  Lets just say it was a quick and interesting read.  His wit keeps it rolling along well.  I think it's worth a read, whatever your opinion on gun control (Hint: King is for it).


In the end he agrees with a lot of the President's proposed legislation.  Universal background checks, limits magazines to 10 rounds, and ban "assault" rifles.  He backs it with studies and examples.

While I don't agree with some of his points, and I don't necessarily agree with the conclusions he draws from his examples (granted, I'm fairly biased), it is an interesting read.  It is at times funny, thoughtful, respectful, or even sadly retrospective.  It is as well written as all of King's works.

If you are a fan of gun control, or King, or just looking for an interesting read, you should check out "Guns".

Now a couple of thoughts in response to to his conclusions:

The two points that I disagree with are the ones on magazine restrictions and the ban on "assault" style rifles (and the misuse of the term "assault" drives me nuts these days.  They mean 'military style' semi-auto rifle, not one with selective fire).

First, the magazine restriction is a hindrance to legal firearm owners and does nothing to limit illegal use.  Look at two guys with Glock pistols, one trying to kill the other.  The legal owner has 10 rounds (or 7 if you are in New York) and the illegal owner has the 15 round magazine that gun originally came with (or an after market 33 round mag).  Or what if two (or more) criminals break into your house, you're ability to defend yourself is hampered against those that don't follow the law.  Another point, many "restricted" magazines are standard magazines with a block installed that limits the capacity.  A criminal can simply take the block out to go back to the larger capacity.  On the other hand, it's harder to justify the 30+ round magazines that are available for some rifles (unless preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse).

I totally agree with the universal background check and closing the gun show loop hole.  Those decrease the likelihood of criminals and crazies buying guns.  I'm also OK with waiting periods, as frustrating as they are, because that would force any emotions to cool.  Those are two concessions that I think gun owners should make because they could actually make a difference.

As for the "assault" rifle ban, it would block the most popular rifle in America, the AR-15.  Banning a certain weapon will only mean that other weapons get used by criminals and crazies.  I think a better option would be to make legal gun owners liable for their fire arm, how it's stored and used.  Or require fire arms to be locked up (you could exempt one or two for home defense when the owner is home), or require specific security measures for specific fire arms.  After all, the owner goes through the back ground check, their family, friends, or robbers don't.  I think that would drastically limit access by those that couldn't pass a check.

As a legal gun owner I have no empathy toward anyone owning, carrying, obtaining, or using firearms illegally.  I absolutely support logical gun control that limits the illegal use of firearms.  It's just too bad that so many of the proposed restrictions do more to restrict legal owners than the criminals.

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