Thursday, February 28, 2013

Thoughts on the gun debate part 2

So, in the last installment, I had decided to try to figure out what my position in regard to gun ownership should be. What was right and proper?  Early on, it became clear that at various times in various places in this country all sorts of laws had been passed and enforced regarding all sorts of guns and all sorts of people.  A data-based approach to the question didn't seem to be served by spending a lot of time researching those laws or why they were passed or their constitutionality, or the legislative and judicial history of gun control in the U.S.. What I wanted to know was what the effect of the guns was.  What was the risk and reward?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Thoughts on the current gun debate.

No one changes their minds based on stuff posted on the intertubes, and anyone who reads this ever will already have had access to all this info, but I'm going to try to pull it together for my peace of mind.

The first 50 years of my life I owned no guns.  I didn't hunt, I didn't shoot.  I largely "protected" my kids from guns, and was of the opinion in general that guns are sufficiently dangerous that I don't need them around any more than I need a chainsaw or an dune buggy or a motorcycle.  Guns are dangerous hardware, and I just didn't want to go there.  Note that I also didn't play with chainsaws, dune buggies or motorcycles.  I'm a geek.  I sat at my computer, and was content.

However, around 2003 something changed.  Perhaps, as I became more and more exposed to the gun community, as I  hung out with the 1632 writers and fans, as I met and socialized with other Baen authors, I became somewhat more acculturated to guns.  They moved out of the motorcycle category into the circular saw category  something that is dangerous, sure but not so intrinsically dangerous that they can't be handled and used.

At about the same time, my political position shifted too.  I'll never be a right-wing-ideologue but the longer I was a partner in a small business, the more I was forced to deal with out-of-state business regulations and taxes, the more I interacted with my customers about the regulatory difficulties that they had running their business, the more I came to the position that MOST of the regulations that apply to small businesses in the US are trickle down regs resulting from bad actions of a few idiots, and of large impersonal businesses.  More and more I came to ask why the government was involved in regulating things that I didn't see a need for them to regulate, nor an authorization for them to in the US or state constitution.