Gun Control in America, Military Assault Weapons

A logical approach to the subject

It seems that Americans have a unique and peculiar attitude toward weapons that are uniquely designed and sold with a single purpose, that of killing as many other people in a Military field environment. It seems about time that we carefully look at the situation. Other countries, including Japan, Australia and Great Britain have chosen to pass laws totally outlawing civilian ownership of all guns, and it seems that those countries have become rather safe places to live, where very few people are murdered or even accidentally shot by guns.

In extreme contrast, the United States chooses to ENCOURAGE all citizens to have and to use as many Military-style weapons as they can buy. Currently, there are around 320 million people living in the United States, including children and babies, but they own around 350 million handguns. More peculiarly, over four million Military style Assault Weapons are owned (and used) by Americans. All of the rest of the countries in the world do not have that many handguns owned by civilians and even all of the Military Armies of the world do not own and use as many Assault-style weapons as American civilians own and use.

The subject has become a totally Political and Emotional issue. People seem to overlook the fact that around 19,000 Americans kill themselves every year with guns by suicide. That is comparable to the number of Americans who are murdered by guns every year, even including the amazingly many mass murders that American news media report on every week.

I would have thought that the established fact that 19,000 people kill themselves with guns every year, which is more than 50 suicide deaths every day might seem newsworthy, but apparently, suicide deaths by guns must be a forbidden subject. Would our attitudes toward having more guns in America than people change if half of the front page of every newspaper mentioned and discussed the 50 people who intentionally killed themselves that day? But apparently, the deaths of those 50 people were not as important as a spectacular crash where ONE person died and the front page news stories invariably discuss the wives and children of the person who had accidentally died in that crash. Have you ever noticed that the wives, children, and parents of those 50 gun suicide deaths (every day) are never mentioned in any newspaper or TV news reports?

Instead of there being any actual logic in such stories regarding guns, the only issue seems to be the Politics and the "gun toting rights" of gun enthusiasts. It is a sign of how incredibly effective the NRA is regarding distorting the public views where countless millions of Americans now seem to think that they deserve to own and use Military-style Assault weapons, which they can get and use if they are at least 18 years old, and they have not yet killed anyone.

Sure, very logical arguments could be made regarding hunting rifles, although virtually all modern Americans choose to get their meat from a grocery store rather than needing to develop the skills to go hunting. Moreover, very logical arguments could be made regarding having a securely locked handgun in a house to defend against criminals that might try to attack the family.

But exactly what is the alleged justification for owning and using a Military-style Assault weapon, which has a single purpose, of killing as many humans as possible in the shortest amount of time? Fifty people murdered in a Club in Florida? Twenty (unarmed) small children murdered in school at Sandy Hook. Seventeen teenagers murdered recently in Florida? People enjoying a movie in Colorado? Hundreds of such examples, all of which involved the (often one person) criminal using an Assault weapon to be able to kill many people. Did I miss hearing the justification of owning and using Assault weapons? I once saw somebody wanting to impress a group of friends by using an Assault weapon (in that case an old fashioned AK-47) to splatter a squirrel into dozens of tiny pieces. All I saw was that such a weapon was of NO use in any hunting. All I saw was that a Macho young man with an excessive ego wanted to try to impress his friends with how powerful he was. In a deafening roar, he also pumped at least a hundred bullets into a foot-thick tree to blow it apart. Again, all I saw that day was that he had spent an awful lot of money for a weapon and ammunition to try to build up his self-image.

Well, the egos of young men being what they are, none of this is going to change. Those four million Military-style assault weapons owned by civilians in the United States, seem to have NO functional purpose whatever, except that the egos of the young men are apparently expanded when they can go into any local gun store with a few hundred dollars and walk out thinking that they are now Al Capone or John Dillinger.

Nevertheless, the logical approach to really needs to be entirely different. There are still tens of millions of young American men who have egos to flaunt and money to waste, so the four million will soon be ten or twenty million Military-style Assault AR-15 weapons. Sure, there will be a few people who are influenced by common sense reasoning, but there are far more who want to FEEL THE POWER of carrying an incredibly deadly weapon. They realize that they are NOT allowed to buy or own a Rocket Launcher or a Military Tank or even a fully-automatic Assault weapon, so THIS is as close as they can get to pretending to be Arnold Schwarzenegger or Clint Eastwood or Dirty Harry. I am not sure that many young American men even admire John Wayne any more, as he did not aspire to kill many people.

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Few people seem to be aware of how brief the Constitution's Second Amendment is. It is a single sentence, just 27 words. In its totality "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

It is not obvious to me that I am denied (civilian) ownership (or usage) of atomic bombs from that text. (Isn't that Arms?) Or (civilian) ownership or usage of Chemical or Biological weapons. It seems astounding to me that gun's rights lobbyists have recently even somehow expanded this to now have permission to "Concealed Carry" where almost anyone can HIDE the gun or weapon in his clothing, even when he play's Softball or goes to get drunk in a bar or drives around in a car killing people that he does not agree with.

I don't see that anywhere in its text is there any reference to being allowed to carry weapons absolutely anywhere. It seems to me that the Second Amendment text instead makes very clear that any American has a right to have and use weapons on one's own property. In other words, as per the stated "right of the people to keep and bear Arms", to defend one's own property (or country). NOT to be capable of winning street fights or flaunting one's ego!

Rather than permitting every drunken man to carry a concealed and loaded gun into bars, theaters, schools and stores, I don't see that the Second Amendment says or even implies that. However, HAVING weapons in one's own home, and USING such weapons to defend that private property and family, yes. that seems crystal clear to me. Within that house, it seems to me that the Second Amendment would allow ownership of hundreds of weapons! But it seems to me that the moment the owner stepped out on the street with any of them, with the exception of shotguns or hunting rifles or antique weapons, the rules seem to change and that person probably should be immediately arrested and the guns from that individual confiscated.

There was an incident which occurred around twenty years ago which made all the National news broadcasts. I believe it occurred in either Virginia or North Carolina, during a Men's League Softball Game.

That was before any laws had been passed regarding being allowed to Carry Concealed Weapons, but it turned out that SEVERAL of the (adult) Softball players were carrying handguns IN THEIR UNIFORMS while playing the game!

A player was running from First Base to Second Base when an argument arose. The runner pulled out his (concealed) handgun and shot the opposing Second Baseman dead on the spot. The opposing Shortstop saw this and immediately pulled HIS (concealed) handgun out of his uniform and shot the runner dead on the spot. Moments later, an apparently different argument arose near Third Base, and yet another player pulled yet another (concealed) handgun out of his uniform, and shot an opposing player. As I recall, that person did not die, and I think that argument involved the Third Baseman and a Runner, either as the shooter or the target.

The TV News broadcasts did not describe how the various players were able to hide handguns within their uniforms, while still being able to play the game and without the fans seeing the bulge of the guns. The TV news also did not mention whether ALL the players on both teams were carrying concealed handguns, or whether all the players in that entire Softball League did, or whether they had already been carrying their guns during Softball games for many years.

That was not the only such incident, but it was certainly the one that captured the most National News media attention. It boggled my mind that MANY State Legislatures later passed laws which ALLOW and ENCOURAGE all citizens to carry Concealed Handguns during their daily lives. I recognize that there are SOME people who are calm enough to do that without representing a danger to society, but a single (friendly?) Softball game seemed to show that there are certainly some who cannot stay that calm. Recent arguments by gun enthusiasts insist that THEY would never misbehave with their weapons, that the ONLY people who might endanger the public were the FEW aberrant individuals who are known to have severe mental disorders. Have they all simply found a way to delete a Softball Game from recorded history, or do they believe that there are apparently many Softball players who have severe mental aberrations?

I never heard any News Reports about the Trials of the Softball shooters of that day. Were the events considered "accidental deaths" where the shooters got a slap on the wrist? However, when a Softball player INTENTIONALLY hides a loaded handgun inside his uniform before a game, doesn't that imply PREMEDITATION regarding shooting someone during the game? Isn't that the very definition of Premeditated Murder?

Given that so many Softball players had concealed handguns in their uniforms during a single game, twenty years ago, shouldn't that make us wonder how many THOUSANDS of other Softball players have had hidden handguns inside their uniforms during the many hundreds of thousands of League Softball games which have occurred in the United States during the succeeding twenty years? And it makes me wonder regarding how many football players carry concealed handguns within all the padding they wear during games. I do not see how basketball players or swimmers could be carrying concealed handguns during competitions, but one wonders how many other sports might be affected.

In the middle 1990s, our Church used to play very competitive volleyball on Friday evenings, and afterward, we sometimes used to go to a nearby Denny's Restaurant for snacks. As was moderately common in that portion of Calumet City, Illinois, one of the Restaurant's front windows was boarded up, due to having been shot out earlier that day. While we were sitting in that very busy restaurant on that Friday night, waiting for our food, it dawned on me to publicly comment a rhetorical question, regarding whether there was more or less than a dozen guns in the restaurant at that moment. Everyone was silent as people were clearly fearful of even mentioning such a subject (again, because concealed handguns were then still all illegal).

The point of these anecdotes here is in addressing the recent claims that ONLY mentally aberrant people would ever misuse guns, which is apparently the latest argument to imply that there is no need to try to address any gun safety issues regarding the 350,000,000 handguns and 4,500,000 assault-style weapons now registered in the United States.

My point is that, no matter WHAT the politics or the arguments might be for or against guns, some NEW approach is needed which might materially reduce the danger to children and to the public. So this presentation is NOT meant to promote any specific viewpoint, but instead simply to present a NEW TECHNOLOGY of safer guns. It seems to me that IF guns no longer represented a grave danger to children or to the public, there may be no need for any government intervention regarding the rights of citizens.

But a far more logical approach toward trying to pursue actual sanity is quite different. Think about this, logically. Just WHERE could anyone actually make any decision regarding your personal choices regarding any kinds of guns? The answer is only in three specific rooms, the Senate, the House of Representatives and the Supreme Court. Nowhere else.

In those three organizations, all of the Members insist that they have flawless judgment and behavior. And so only they can "interpret the Constitution and its Second Amendment". In addition, since they insist that they have flawless judgment, morals, and principles, they believe that EVERY decision they make is also flawless.

However, all three of those of those organizations have made many logical blunders. We will overlook the many incredibly stupid Supreme Court decisions, such as Dred Scott, and instead note that the Members of the Senate and House have often gotten into ferocious and emotional arguments. For example, on May 22, 1856, within the United States Senate, Representative Preston Brooks attacked Senator Charles Sumner with his walking cane, two days after a Sumner speech. The caning nearly killed Sumner. In addition, it was totally intentional, as Brooks waited for the galleries to clear, especially concerned that no ladies be present to witness what Brooks was about to do. The impacts of the thick cane on Sumner's face and head caused him to lose his sight immediately due to his own blood. Brooks even broke the cane on Sumner's head, but still did not stop caning him. Another Representative (Keitt) had his own cane and pistol, and he shouted "Let them alone, God damn you" to other Senators who wanted to help the blinded Sumner. Another Senator (Toombs) later stated that he approved of the caning. However, some other Senators kept Brooks from killing Sumner.

Sumner had traumatic brain injury for the rest of his life, and spent three years recovering from his head injuries. Brooks was charged and fined $300 but with no prison sentence. Two years later, Rep. Keitt attempted to choke Rep. Grow during an argument on the House Floor.

Many books have been researched and written about the many hundreds of times when Members of Congress brought loaded guns into the Chamber. A notable example was during an intense debate n 1850, when Senator Henry Foot (MS) drew a pistol on Senator Thomas Hart Benton (MO). He did not pull the trigger.

A modern variation of that seems valuable today. The Senators and Congressmen certainly believe that they each have impeccable character and judgment.

I hereby propose that 535 AR-15 Military-style Assault weapons be obtained and loaded with a full ammunition clip and GIVEN to each Senator and Congressman, and placed on the top of every Senator's and Congressman's desk in Congress.

Inasmuch as they alone have the flawless character and judgment to decide our Laws and that every American should have the easy access to Military-style weapons, it seems logical to enable them to each demonstrate to all of us how absolutely perfect their judgment actually is. Actually, they would also be able to demonstrate to all of us citizens a cardinal statement that the NRA insists is true and that the Republican Senators and Congressmen agree is true, that " the only way to respond to a bad person with a gun is by a bunch of GOOD people with guns" With all those hundreds of loaded AR-15s sitting on all of their desks, some day a "bad person" would likely pick up his (loaded) AR-15 and start firing to kill some of his political opponents. I think it would make the nightly News when fifty of those political opponents picked up their own (loaded) AR-15s and blew him to bits. Is THAT an example of how "good people with guns" should respond to one "bad person with a gun?"

During heated arguments and intense political conflicts, we (including the High School students who are currently trying to get Congress to "do the right thing") can watch just how impeccable their Senatorial and Congressional characters actually are. At any moment, any one of them might get angry and he could pick up the loaded Military-style Assault weapon at arm's reach and kill off a hundred of their Political opponents then in Chambers. Would they? Are they aware of a Congressman who heard a political opponent give an unwanted speech two days before, and where Congressman Preston Brooks brought a sturdy walking came into Congress where he did his best to KILL Senator Charles Sumner, where he even broke the cane into many pieces, always choosing the sturdiest remaining piece to continue his effort to kill Sumner. Sumner had to take a leave of several years but he never fully recovered from that caning.

Or would they behave as they claim that they would and should, and never even threaten their Political opponents with a quick flick of their index finger?

The proposed demonstration of providing the loaded AR-15 Assault weapons is also meant to remind all the Senators and Congressmen what the "real world" is like in big cities, where many (innocent) people are murdered by people with such weapons every day.

I am noting that many hundreds of Senators and Congressmen have brought their own guns into Congress in the past. So far, it appears that no Congressman or Senator has shot and killed any Political opponents within the Halls of Congress (yet). Since THEY insist that they have the judgment to determine whether another twenty million young American men should have that sort of immediate access to loaded Military-style Assault weapons, I think we should INSIST that they DEMONSTRATE that each of THEM would behave at that stellar level of behavior. IF they can SHOW US that THEY can all behave flawlessly around loaded AR-15 Military-style Assault weapons, then MAYBE we could trust them to "make the correct decision for all of us Americans"

There is another purpose for this continuous display. I think that ALL of us American citizens deserve to KNOW the rationale of WHY we should each be put in a position much like theirs. More than them just being so much smarter than all the rest of us, I really WANT them to constantly stare at that roomful of loaded Military-style Assault weapons all day, every day, where they might THINK about whether it really is such a brilliant idea where millions of urban Americans spend every evening at home in that exact same environment. Far too many of them have a child studying homework near a window when a drive-by Assault-weapon attack kills that child. I WANT all those Congressmen and Senators to THINK ABOUT this, all day, every day, until they DECIDE that Military-style Assault weapons should NOT be so easily available to all young people with a few hundred dollars, as we see on every Evening News of every major American city.

I personally suspect that, in less than a month of looking at all those hundreds of loaded Military-style Assault weapons, they MIGHT decide to make a new law to forbid such weapons, even over their very powerful friends in the NRA that are willing to give them millions of dollars to ensure that they forever get re-elected.

Note that this discussion has NOT even mentioned "hunting rifles" or "shotguns" or the vast variety of handguns which are everywhere in our American society.

It also seems pretty obvious that neither the Senate nor the House is likely to permit such a "gift" to all their Members. They would certainly all realize that if even one of them ever messed up, it could be the greatest humiliation in the history of America, in suddenly needing to elect twenty or fifty or a hundred dead Congressmen and/or Senators. So we present a "Plan B" of having 535 REPLICAS of Assault weapons made out of hardwood and painted to look like the real things. The Politicians would KNOW that they were not actually in any danger of being exterminated, but maybe the fact that they would still SEE all those replica Military weapons on every disk might encourage them to THINK about the environment that many millions of urban Americans experience every day. Would they actually ever ACT if they knew that they were personally never in any danger? It still might be interesting to have the High School students with their video cameras watching how they behaved every time they would argue.

This presentation was first placed on the Internet in February 2018.

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C Johnson, Theoretical Physicist, Physics Degree from University of Chicago