Monday, April 02, 2018

Guns, Part 2: A "Well-Regulated" Militia for Concealed Carry

Borrowing in a way from William's prior comment that didn't like my idea of guns that didn't last forever:

I think this kind of thinking is just the wrong way to go. Overly complex, hard to sell. I'd go the other way: take the constitution more literally. Accept the right to bear arms, but in the context of "a well-regulated militia", which is your justification for extensive background checks, etc. etc. I think your path to success is convincing folk that the liberals aren't coming for their gunz, providing they are responsible. Offering them rubbish gunz that fall apart doesn't seem likely to work.

I could get distracted here:  I wasn't saying to sell guns that wouldn't work, but rather guns that wouldn't work forever. If you keep a gun for self-defense (mostly stupid, but whatever) then get your lazy butt off to a gun range once every five years and shoot a few rounds to make sure it works. You'll probably have to dump that gun after five to fifteen years and get another one. It won't kill you to do that.

That's not what I wanted to talk about though, but rather the well-regulated milita angle. I think that's a good one too. The gun-control researched often cited in favor of gun-control, John Donohue, said that the "good guy with a gun" that helped stop the Texas church shooter last year had the type of training that would fit into a well-regulated civilian militia. I've thought that is an area where the left side of the spectrum could say if someone is fixated by the idea of self defense with a gun, then get serious about and qualify for a civilian milita. If you're not willing to do that amount of work, then your self-perceived need for a gun couldn't actually be all that great.

The milita-service requirement could be to own a handgun or to have a concealed-carry permit, according to whatever the local politics will allow.

17 comments:

William Connolley said...

> sell guns that wouldn't work, but rather guns that wouldn't work forever

Yes, I know. I think you've misconstrued my answer. I'm not accusing you of suggesting selling gunz that won't work; I'm suggesting that your plan to sell guns that will gradually fall apart won't work. In some techno-utopia I could see a "smart" solution whereby the electronics that now control the gun, in the way that electronics now control cars, will disable it after n years use; but I can't see a way in which built-in obsolescence making the gun rust to uselessness would be acceptable to gun nutz. Or indeed pretty well anyone; the dangers of such an idea are all too obvious; think of applying the same idea to cars.

I'm glad the well-regulated-militia idea appeals. I think that it could actually work, legally. However, there are massive problems in the way. On the Left, people would have to give up their hope of banning gunz, and might even have to give up their cherished ban on fully automatic gunz, which would after all be most useful to a militia. And the Right would have to "trust" the Left. Though actually this "trust" would have to express itself in court cases: states would put forward regulation of gunz, on the explicit well-regulated-militia foundation, and those would then get accepted by the supreme court as not violating the constitution.

Jan Galkowski said...

I heard an interesting presentation in May 2017, ``Gun Violence Prevention: Data and Statistical Issues'' given by Professor David Hemenway from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He mentioned the product-oriented approach to gun safety, and gave a reference, namely,

S. P. Teret, P. L. Culross, ``Product-oriented approaches to reducing youth gun violence'', in R. E. Behrman (ed.), Children, Youth, and Gun Violence, 2002.

While the journal issue is focussed upon youth and children, it reveals a lot about attitudes of gun manufacturers and the public regarding gun safety and these matters. For example, Teret and Culross opine

The authors envision a future when the law requires product safety features—including
personalization—on all new firearms. These product safety features have the potential to
reduce both intentional and unintentional firearm injury and death.


something which Professor Hemenway mentioned as well in his talk. The idea is having technology which disables the weapon unless a particular person is holding it.

Professor Hemenway's talk also spoke to how kids get killed with guns, with the typical case having access to a parent's unlocked weapon, or figuring out how to unlock it. It's also interesting that, statistically, the great majority of kids who kill or injure themselves or others with guns are male, at least in the United States. We're talking here about children under 12. Such evidence also argues against guns being used in any legitimate way.

Why do parent leave guns unlocked? One reason noted was that in case of self-defense, they did not want any delay in being able to use the weapon. That about says it all in terms of improper assessment of risk.

Andy Mitchell said...

Hmmm... a well-regulated militia. I like the idea that if you want to own an AR-15 you have to sign up in a National Guard unit that gets priority deployment for frontline combat. I suspect a great many people would decide they don't want an AR-15 after all.

DF said...

I could get distracted here: I wasn't saying to sell guns that wouldn't work, but rather guns that wouldn't work forever. If you keep a gun for self-defense (mostly stupid, but whatever) then get your lazy butt off to a gun range once every five years and shoot a few rounds to make sure it works. You'll probably have to dump that gun after five to fifteen years and get another one. It won't kill you to do that.

This sounds... rather sci-fi? What're they made of, Unobtainium?

Then there's this mentality:

https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/11/16/564655569/epa-moves-to-shield-older-semi-truck-engines-from-emissions-rules

Jan Galkowski said...

The motivation:

J S Vernick, M O'Brien, L M Hepburn, S B Johnson, D W Webster, S W Hargarten, ``Unintentional and undetermined firearm related deaths: a preventable death analysis for three safety devices, Injury Prevention, 2003, 9, 307-311.

One solution:

Safe Gun Technology, inc: ``SGTi Engineers have designed our safe gun system to have zero impact on normal operation of the firearm and meet law enforcement service pistol with safety technology baseline specifications. Some of the features include but are not limited to:

- Minimal change to firearm dimensional specifications and finish
- No impact on firearm functionality, maintainability, or reliability
- Meets service pistol specifications for durability, environmental and mechanical shock
- System does not impact firearm accuracy or dispersion, or speed in deploying and firing
- Meets Service Pistol MTBF outlined in baseline specifications
- System functionality and performance is not impacted by electromagnetic interference
- System can be disengaged to an open fire position
- System does not have a data or communications interface, assuring it cannot be ‘hacked’
- System can be operated in adverse conditions with gloves''

And Smart Tech Challenges Foundation: The market for smart guns.

DOJ standards for gun safety technology: A gun safety technology challenge.

I have overheard, online, the occasional smirk from a gun fan suggesting that smart printing technology could overcome any limitation on available guns having such permissible action links and locks. On the other hand, the same kind of technology could be used to create guns which are essentially unforgeable.


Russell Seitz said...

" If you keep a gun for self-defense (mostly stupid, but whatever) then get your lazy butt off to a gun range once every five years and shoot a few rounds to make sure it works. You'll probably have to dump that gun after five to fifteen years and get another one. "

seems by turns daft and moot.

It must be an awfully rough neighborhood if guns kept for defense wear out in a decade/

On the sporting side, I've been in shoots where most of the well-used guns , including mine, were older than the shooters.

This durability reflects laws that sensibly command that new-made guns be proved robust by firing off four times their normal powder load.



jrkrideau said...

A well regulated miltia. Isn't that Switzerland?

I think the USA would have to clean up a lot of social problems and introduce some massive cultural changes before it would work.

Still, a nice idea

Rattus Norvegicus said...

A well-regulated militia. We have that, it's called the National Guard. Under control of the states, but armed and trained according to congressional mandate. Able to be nationalized by the Federal government when necessary. It is defined as the militia on the USC.

These are the requirements in the militia clauses of Article 1 Section 8. If you want to be in the militia, join the Guard.

Russell Seitz said...

It does the Swiss great credit that have not sacked Rome more often.

Hank Roberts said...

As I recall, as Rattus points out, the militia concept was brushed away by the courts in past decades with the argument that the National Guard had replaced militias as the home defense force. That left the "right to keep and bear arms" operating disconnected from participation in any well regulated assembly of citizens, unfortunately.

At the time few people ever traveled far from home, and people knew their neighbors, everyone would have had some clue whether Joe Patriot in the cabin in the valley had started to go off his rocker.

I applaud Andy's suggestion: " I like the idea that if you want to own an AR-15 you have to sign up in a National Guard unit that gets priority deployment for frontline combat. I suspect a great many people would decide they don't want an AR-15 after all."

But ya know, that gets into the gummint (not just the arms manufacturers' warranty departments) having lists of who owns what and where they keep it, which recordkeeping engages the frothing-at-the-mouth brigade.
Apparently the right to keep and bear arms _secretly_ is how it's been interpreted.

Some editorial cartoonist pointed out the nutwhackery of people patriotically defending the flag and the pride of the government that they believe is going to try to take their guns away.

If everyone owning a military-grade arm was perforce enrolled in a militia -- barring gerrymandering of the membership -- then they'd all be expected to know one another and to take some action to, well, regulate any member who was going off the rails. Mutual responsibility should go with owning military equipment.

Otherwise you end up with all these little freeholds any of which may be armed to the teeth. And who knows which is which?

PS, I point out that this problem of identifying the legitimate user of a device has been solved by the pet door companies that needed to keep raccoons out of your house. You know those little ID chips the veterinarian inserts? They can be read by pet doors to decide whether Large Animal Trying to Enter is allowed to use the pet door.

Of course that gets us into the Number of the Beast frothing ....

Woof! Meow! BANG!

Hank Roberts said...

https://www.catfooddispensersreviews.com/sureflap-microchip-cat-door-review/

Memory good for up to 32 chips, in case you are a Mad Cat Lady or the patriarch of a large gun-totin' family.

Hank Roberts said...

P.S.

The Black Panthers probably qualified.
https://www.google.com/search?q=militia+legal+status


But you know how The Man and the NRA reacted to their arming themselves.
https://www.google.com/search?q=%22black+panther%22+arms+legal+response

Hank Roberts said...

PPS:

https://www.facebook.com/janisianpage/posts/1617874681632577

Janis Ian

Those of us old enough to remember the Nixon years recall John Erlichman, Nixon's counsel and close advisor, heavily involved in Watergate.:

"The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did."

https://www.cnn.com/2016/03/23/politics/john-ehrlichman-richard-nixon-drug-war-blacks-hippie/index.html

Jan Galkowski said...

@Hank Roberts,

A ``well regulated militia'' needs some kind of registration component in order to be, well, ``well regulated''. It isn't a stretch to ask, and I believe this is part of the Swiss model, for arms intended to be used in such regional defense also be registered and that, if some crime be committed with them, due process be conducted in a military court rather than a civilian one.

Russell Seitz said...

How can they play down the Facebook massacre relative to the school and disco shoot-ups when the intersectional vegan perp's YouTube video features her walking a baby bunny on a leash?

Let us hope Brian adopts the poor orphaned creature.

Brian Schmidt said...

Some thoughts in response:

William and DF: I think at a minimum, using metal that rusts. That type of gun would work just fine for a few years and could work much longer than that if well-treated. Someone buying a gun for self-defense might voluntarily choose a cheaper gun like this than a more expensive one that's taxed for longevity.It would still serve the purpose of a limited lifespan - I suspect that guns that are stolen/lost/transferred are not as likely to be well-treated.

Electronics that self-destruct would be good too, for guns that have them. I'm thinking about something that encompasses cheap handguns that may not have electronics though.

I'm less certain but think it might be possible in addition to design the moving components of a gun so that they might fail and seize up after several hundred or several thousand uses. That should be fine for self-defense, and still help limit its longevity.

Jan and Hank - very much agree on gun access issues. Will do another post on that.

Andy and others - I view the existing National Guard as a subset of what could be considered a "well-regulated militia". You could have something else that's much less of a commitment and that still constitutes some level of training/screening/regulation far beyond the pathetic, one-time training requirements that some states have for concealed carry permits. I think this much more extensive requirement for participating in a well-regulated milita, one that doesn't require joining the Guard, constitutes a politically viable opportunity to sensibly restrict gun access. Not in the red states, at least for not for a while, but in some blue states where it can eventually spread further.

Hank Roberts said...

I'd sure like to see the FBI interviewing all the nutcase's gun-owning neighbors.

Ever hear this guy talking crazy at the gun range?

Oh? And what did you do about that, since you're one of his gun-owning neighbors? How well are you regulating each other?