Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Las Vegas Nevada
Current Game: Dungeonseige series
Tommy, you should read the Federalist Papers. Madison (The framer of the 2nd) Amendment, commented that in the event of the Federal govrnment (Who had less than 50,000 troops in 1783) using them to force Pennsylvania to accept a Federal decision, they would face several times their number (and this is only a paraphrase) 'armed with equal weapons ready to stop them'.
There is a term called the law of unconsidered consequences at work here. Until 1903, Militias (Such as the different Regiment on both sides of the War Between the States, and later the Rough Riders in the Spanish American war) were armed with whatever their state could buy them, or wanted to buy them. During the first war, this meant that the US government was supplying ammunition in over 60 different calibers and bullet weights instead of just a few. In both of those wars, the commanding officers on the Regimental level were originally [i]elected]/i] to lead, which if you think about it, explains a lot of the problems both sides in the WBS and later had.
The wording of the Militia act only allowed the US to pick the officers and equipment, with a 'when war occurs they come under Federal command' codicil instead of the blanket 'we control them, not the states' accepted by our government since.
The one nation where guns are allowed for whoever wants to buy them, yet has the least violent crimes of any type is Switzerland. That is because every man between the ages of 18 and 45 serves in the military and reserves. Would you break into a home to rob it knowing the man inside or his neighbor has anything from a pistol and rifle right up to a Carl Gustav anti tank launcher to hit you with?
As for using an illegal firearm, To quote Dirty Harry, 'go ahead, make my day'.
Part of the reason it works is because the Swiss regulate the weapons and ammunition sold. A soldier going into reserve, or home on leave carries his issue weapons and sealed packs of his full ammunition issue for those guns. If he wants to practice with them, he leaves the ammo at home in the locked room required, carries the weapon down to a military of police range where he is issued ammunition for his practice.
Civilians have to follow the same rules; if I had an urge to buy a Barrett .50 caliber just for the fun of, as Sean Connery said in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen of 'pipping the ace' at 1500 meters, I could do so. But the same rules for the military applies. I have to go to a military range (Police ones don't have the range), show them the ammunition I brought, fire them off, show them the expended brass, then take it home. Every round fired, even for a civilian has to be accounted for.
If you defend your home or neighbor by loading that weapon, as soon as the danger is gone, you report immediately that you have done so. The local police arrive, verify this is true, verify the amount of ammunition loaded (It is issued in magazines,) how many rounds if any, were fired, and actually unload and count every round in every magazine.
If someone is killed with a gun in that nation, even as the street cops and Homicide are blocking off the scene, other cops are going to every residence with a gun and verifying that they have not used the issue or legally purchased ammunition. If they do not find someone has done so, as soon as they know what caliber was used, they extend that search nationwide to anyone who has that caliber of weapon. With modern forensics, they can even tell you what make and model was used.
Their laws for illegal use of a fire arm, or using ammunition smuggled in is draconian. If you want to spend the next twenty odd years in jail, just get caught smuggling ammunition, let's not even consider what the penalty is for an illegal weapon.
I hadn't noticed that the laws regarding automatic weapons of the 80s had included the stopping of the Tax Stamps for them. That is bothersome because of the internal problems it would create. You see, I did know they had to be purchased from the government every time an automatic weapon was sold in the states that allowed ownership. The problem with them back then when I first heard about them was they were (1970s) were 150 dollars per gun, and the new owner had to buy one before he could buy the gun if you had to sell it.
Back in the decade right before the War Between the States the US government made the importation of new slaves illegal.That meant the only slaves still allowed were those already owned. In the South, a number of states made manumission illegal. You could no longer free slaves. There had been punitive taxes already in place since the Revolution on freeing slaves; the way our founding fathers got around it (Washinton and Jefferson) was by freeing them upon their deaths in their will. But a slave owner of say 1852 was not allowed to do this. The slaves of the dead man automatically became the property of their children, who, at need, were required to sell them on to other slave owners.
As a simple example of applied economic, let's say I was living in Texas in '75; chosen because in the 70s, I could legally own a machine gun (Hell, under Texas law, the only things I could not own were bazookas, modern artillery pieces, and modern tanks). I decide to buy a cheap sub machine gun just because I am the type of nut that wants to say I have it. The John Wayne Movie M'Q had Wayne using an Ingram M11 in .380 caliber, and I decide if the Duke used it, it's all good. So I go down to the local gun shop, and ask. The gun is cheap straight from the manufacturer; try $125. But then he tells it will cost me $275 because of that blasted tax stamp. But hey, if I want to sell it, I just find someone willing to pay me that amount, and leave the next tax stamp to him.
Jump to today, assuming I had bought that weapon way back whenm and still had it. Nevada is one of those states that still allows me to own it, I just get a 10 round clip and turn in the 32 round ones I used to have. The ban didn't stop me from owning the weapon itself, it's grandfathered in because it was bought before the ban, which only banned new purchases.
I'm skirting on the edge of the poverty level (As I am in actuality), and I can use what a collector would pay for the gun (try about a thousand now). But then I find that I can't sell the gun unless I am willing to find a foerign buyer, and even then, I have to get permission to sell it overseas. Why? Because if it were sold to some nice guy from Columbia say, and he uses it anywhere and the weapon is recovered by law enforcement, take a wild guess who ends up in jail linked to not only illegal weapons, but maybe drug charges as well.
Worse yet, if I were to die, my daughter could not even own the gun, let alone sell it because she can't buy a new tax stamp.