Saturday, January 19, 2013

America's Mental Health Epidemic - Assault Rifles

I am a gun owner.  I own two rifles.  They are both single-shot rifles.  One is a hunting rifle although I use it for predator protection.   The other is a .22 rifle for plinking down at the local range.

I do not own a semi-automatic rifle of any description, which means either a semi-automatic hunting rifle or an assault rifle like an AK-47 or an AR-15, the weapon of choice in American massacres.

It's hard to keep track of what weapons are legal in Canada and what are prohibited.   Mine are what are called "non-restricted" firearms.   As a general rule, handguns and some military-type weapons are deemed "restricted" which imposes stricter conditions on storage, transporation and actual use.   Then there are the fully-automatic, machine gun variety of weapons and they're "prohibited" firearms.   You can't get a licence for those and, let's hope, you never will.

I recently spent several hours exploring America's assault-rifle gun culture by visiting just some of a vast number of bulletin-board sites and watching web videos.   There is a huge (self-described) AR-15 "community."   Behind them stands an even larger industrial complex that manufactures a variety of AR-15 knock offs and a vast array of accessories.   People buy these things and then they spend a bundle on after-market accessories to customize them.  Custom grips, custom sights, custom optical sights, lasers and lights, custom magazines, custom stocks and flash suppressors, muzzle brakes, bipods, even custom triggers.   And then they post a video on YouTube to show off their stuff.   Here's a young guy with his Bushmaster, the make of gun used to kill those kids at Sandy Hook.

What is most chilling is when you listen to them talk about their "A.R.s"   There's a level of dark fantasy that runs through their monologues.   Talk about going "tactical" with their assault-rifle.  Discussion about how suitable one component or another is to CQB conditions.  "CQB" means close quarter battle.   These are living, breathing Gun Nuts.  They possess highly-lethal weapons designed for one purpose, killing people, and they fantasize about wielding their weapons in some sort of Armageddon scenario from the galley kitchen in their 400-sq. ft. basement apartment.

Obama has his work cut out for him.  He's dealing not simply with a gun control issue but a gun control issue attached to a serious, mental health issue.   And he's going up against this guy and all the types who see him, not Obama, as their true leader.


Edstock said...

The fine individual pictured is the consequence of 35 years of Reaganomics on the lower and middle class. Add GOP War On Drugs and the rise of the gangs and the social devastation. Add state insolvency and education cutbacks.
So we behold a powerless, ignorant, paranoid gullible who has his fetish, his Sword of Freedom. The GOP took away his life. Now, Obama threatens his fetish.

The Mound of Sound said...

Ed, you might be right. It does seem to have the elements of a fetish alright. Some of them seem to actually bond with their toys.

Edstock said...

Like the Talking Heads' song goes, same as it ever was. Thor's hammer, Excaliber, Michael Wittmann's Tiger tank, everywhere and everywhen, men have decorated their weapons.

Troy said...

These people live in a fantasy world, honestly. I laughed at one, just last night, when he blurted out some Hollywood-style fantasy standoff between himself and a gunman threatening his family. I'm glad I was on this side of the internet when he went off of some crazy ass tirade about illegal guns (but almost all of the guns used in these shootings have been legal, so I don't know what world he's living in).
Reality ain't reaching them. It's all emotion. Taking their guns away, and then trying to reason with them might be the best course of action. Maybe institute a buy-back program for these dangerous weapons.

Boris said...

Or just give them what they want. Institute a system of reserves for gun nuts where they can hang out armed to the goolies and utterly free of government services, taxes or infrastructure. Come back in a year and offer the survivors a ticket out if they surrender their weapons.

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