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BeardedHoplite 02-07-2013 07:49 PM

Editorial
 
Fun fact: I'm the editor-in-chief of my local high school's newspaper. So given my extra clout and the potentially anti-gun legislation coming up, I decided to pen an article denouncing the reaction to Sando Hook. It's not quite finished yet, but I want to put it here for you guys to see; tell me if anything is overtly wrong.




In the wake of the Sandy Hook school shooting two months ago, many politicians are calling for an increased level of control on firearms in the United States. Of course, a total ban, as some fringe elements always call for, is wholly unconstitutional and politically impossible, so I won’t waste type on it. However, many other proposals that have a higher chance of being passed into law such as a max magazine (it is never a “clip.” A good way to tell if someone is totally ignorant of firearms is if they refer to magazines as clips) capacity of ten rounds and an “assault weapons” ban. Both serve no practical practice while the assault weapon ban infringes on the constitutional rights of all Americans.
The logic behind a fixed magazine capacity is that a potential shooter would have to reload more often and that this period would save lives. Such a theory would have been perfect in the age of muzzle-loaded, single-shot muskets, but modern magazine-fed firearms can be reloaded in a matter of seconds by even unskilled hands. During the Virginia Tech incident, shooter Seung-Hui Cho was “limited” by ten-round magazines, he still managed to commit the worst school shooting in U.S. history by simply packing multiple magazines and reloading more often. So if a limited magazine capacity cannot save lives on a state—only six states and Washington D.C. have limits on magazine size—level, why even consider it?
The same sort of logic can be found in the cries for an “assault weapons” ban. I use the quotations because the term within is a completely arbitrary one invented by politicians. An assault rifle is a weapon that fires an intermediate cartridge bigger than a pistol round (9mm Parabellum, .45 ACP) and smaller than the large rounds used in battle rifles (7.62x51mm NATO, .30-06, 7.92mm Mauser). The most popular intermediate rounds are the ubiquitous 5.56/.223 cartridges and the Russian 7.62x39mm. examples of rifles firing these rounds include the AR-15, an umbrella term for civilian versions of the military M16 and M4 rifles, the AK-47 (with it’s many, many copies) and the Ruger Mini-14. All of which are legally required to fire in semi-automatic only. The idea that anyone can walk into a gunshop in America and walk out with a machinegun is horribly incorrect. It is possible to get ahold of fully-automatic machine guns, but it requires an extraordinary number of extra legal and tax hurdles to jump over.

funkychinaman 02-07-2013 08:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BeardedHoplite (Post 37917)
Fun fact: I'm the editor-in-chief of my local high school's newspaper. So given my extra clout and the potentially anti-gun legislation coming up, I decided to pen an article denouncing the reaction to Sando Hook. It's not quite finished yet, but I want to put it here for you guys to see; tell me if anything is overtly wrong.




In the wake of the Sandy Hook school shooting two months ago, many politicians are calling for an increased level of control on firearms in the United States. Of course, a total ban, as some fringe elements always call for, is wholly unconstitutional and politically impossible, so I won’t waste type on it. However, many other proposals that have a higher chance of being passed into law such as a max magazine (it is never a “clip.” A good way to tell if someone is totally ignorant of firearms is if they refer to magazines as clips) capacity of ten rounds and an “assault weapons” ban. Both serve no practical practice while the assault weapon ban infringes on the constitutional rights of all Americans.
The logic behind a fixed magazine capacity is that a potential shooter would have to reload more often and that this period would save lives. Such a theory would have been perfect in the age of muzzle-loaded, single-shot muskets, but modern magazine-fed firearms can be reloaded in a matter of seconds by even unskilled hands. During the Virginia Tech incident, shooter Seung-Hui Cho was “limited” by ten-round magazines, he still managed to commit the worst school shooting in U.S. history by simply packing multiple magazines and reloading more often. So if a limited magazine capacity cannot save lives on a state—only six states and Washington D.C. have limits on magazine size—level, why even consider it?
The same sort of logic can be found in the cries for an “assault weapons” ban. I use the quotations because the term within is a completely arbitrary one invented by politicians. An assault rifle is a weapon that fires an intermediate cartridge bigger than a pistol round (9mm Parabellum, .45 ACP) and smaller than the large rounds used in battle rifles (7.62x51mm NATO, .30-06, 7.92mm Mauser). The most popular intermediate rounds are the ubiquitous 5.56/.223 cartridges and the Russian 7.62x39mm. examples of rifles firing these rounds include the AR-15, an umbrella term for civilian versions of the military M16 and M4 rifles, the AK-47 (with it’s many, many copies) and the Ruger Mini-14. All of which are legally required to fire in semi-automatic only. The idea that anyone can walk into a gunshop in America and walk out with a machinegun is horribly incorrect. It is possible to get ahold of fully-automatic machine guns, but it requires an extraordinary number of extra legal and tax hurdles to jump over.

As a former editor-in-chief myself, I have to ask whether a high school paper is an appropriate forum for such an editorial. Most of your audience A) can't vote, and B) can't buy guns. Maybe you can submit it as an op-ed in local non-school paper?

funkychinaman 02-07-2013 10:23 PM

Maybe you can put a student's perspective on it? After all, it was a shooting at a school that started all this. Maybe how these new measures won't help protect you or your fellow students?

BeardedHoplite 02-08-2013 07:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by funkychinaman (Post 37918)
As a former editor-in-chief myself, I have to ask whether a high school paper is an appropriate forum for such an editorial. Most of your audience A) can't vote, and B) can't buy guns. Maybe you can submit it as an op-ed in local non-school paper?

I wouldn't even know where to begin to look for a paper that takes non-staff articles. I'm mostly writing the article to get out my opinion and to fight alot of myths I hear around school (we're close to a very anti-gun city, so it trickles down).

With luck, some kid'll take it to their parent and it'll influence them.

Quote:

Originally Posted by funkychinaman (Post 37919)
Maybe you can put a student's perspective on it? After all, it was a shooting at a school that started all this. Maybe how these new measures won't help protect you or your fellow students?

Hmm, that's a good idea, I'll see what I can re-write before the deadline next week. Thanks.

funkychinaman 02-08-2013 07:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BeardedHoplite (Post 37938)
I wouldn't even know where to begin to look for a paper that takes non-staff articles. I'm mostly writing the article to get out my opinion and to fight alot of myths I hear around school (we're close to a very anti-gun city, so it trickles down).

With luck, some kid'll take it to their parent and it'll influence them.



Hmm, that's a good idea, I'll see what I can re-write before the deadline next week. Thanks.

Maybe as a letter to the editor? Your position as head of the school paper might give you extra weight.

Maybe you can do a story on what measures your school has in place for such scenarios? (Assuming such measures exist.) As minors, you can't buy guns, you don't vote, or even pay taxes, but you do have the most to lose. Maybe politicians wouldn't suggested such half-assed, knee-jerk measures if it were THEIR lives on the line.

BlackIce_GTS 02-08-2013 07:45 PM

Maybe a little too technical? A lot of people tend to get hung up on the way anti-gunners are technically incorrect about nearly everything. While there's a point at which their ignorance becomes relevant (actual legal wording of things), it's not always helpful to make obvious corrections such as, clip vs. magazine, 'high capacity magazines' are really standard capacity, 'high powered rifles' (which they always say, because it sounds scarier) are really medium powered.
For example, it would be a good argument to say that I'm wrong and that it's impossible to have a proper discussion with one party being woefully uninformed on the issue*. And maybe that's true, but I think that the technical and physical realities of firearm aren't and shouldn't be the real issue here.
It would be a bad argument to say that I use commas incorrectly and my thought structure is chaos (which I'm sure as an editor you have noticed). Get what I'm saying?

Arguments (facts!) I like (not necessarily relevant to your article):
-Very very few crimes are committed using 'assault weapons'.
-Politicians behind these bills admit they will have little effect on crime.
-Magazine size restrictions will not help anything. You got that one.
-A lot of anti-gunners, Pierce Morgan especially, seems to think that 'assault weapons' are some kind of magical death ray. While they have features relevant to military usage, they're really not any more effective against a room full of people with no guns than anything else. (This isn't super useful because it says 'yeah they're all pretty deadly'. But it's a lot less possible to get away with banning all guns. The point is that the AWB is useless.)
-'Sporting purpose' is irrelevant, the supreme court says people have the right to commonly used military arms (link)
-If anyone brings up that in households with firearms, the most likely person to be injured is a family member (some wording like that), 90% of that statistic is suicides. Somebody else knows the stat I'm talking about, right?
People use it to make it look like guns are just inherently dangerous unstable things that will spontaneously kill everyone in the area and gun owners are panicky idiots who shoot at anything that moves, when in reality nearly all the injuries are intentional and self inflicted. Now the stat is all about suicide which is a completely different issue. Discussion Judo!

*why does that happen? People against abortion know all about abortions, people against drugs (well, some of them) know quite a lot about drugs, environmentalists know tons about the environment. People against guns know nothing about guns. It's weird and it results in bad laws.
(I really don't want to start a discussion on any of those topics, they're just examples.)


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