Gun Rights

Many Greens are strong pacifists, many go as far as eating vegan. While I agree that our country is far too aggressive, the way I see it humans have sharp front teeth because we’re meant to eat meat too. My stance on firearms is also more nuanced than most you will find.

My first time shooting was when I was 12 and they finally let me try a rifle at Boy Scout camp. I make no apologies for owning guns today & enjoying shooting sports, recently found out a friend is an accomplished hunter and I’m planning to join him next season. I’m far from being a radical-right libertarian on the subject of regulation though.

Safety and responsibility are of course paramount – I was shocked when buying my first rifle that there was no requirement for taking a safety class first, though at least it is required for a hunting license. Adding some restrictions to mandate education and testing is only logical.

On the subject of so-called “Red Flag” laws, I’m very much in favor of police being allowed to take guns away from someone facing credible accusations of domestic abuse, with a court order and for a strictly limited period of time. Any extension should require a formal indictment from a grand jury.

I’ve been on the receiving end of domestic violence, and while I recognize that in many ways I was far luckier than many others for my situation, especially compared to most women victims, I’ve experienced how hard it is to admit to myself that I had made a mistake on such an important decision as who to spend my life with, and to actually walk out that door. Luckily I was the one with the guns, I changed the locks on them early on, took them with me when I left, had family nearby I could stay with, left before I got seriously injured. But many are not so lucky, many in my position face the thread of being shot at if they try to leave, or violence against their children, regardless of gender roles though by far the majority of deaths are women shot by husbands or boyfriends. Their right to life is more important than our right to bear arms.

When it comes to restrictions on the types of firearms people are allowed to own, in my experience they are generally ludicrous. For example the NY SAFE ACT places restrictions on cosmetic features of guns that don’t impact their lethality in the slightest. All it did was spur the creation of “SAFE ACT-compliant” AR-15s and other rifles. These look weird and are extra expensive because they’re made in much smaller quantities since nobody outside NY needs one, but they still hold the same number of bullets of the same caliber, the rifle is the same size, and they all shoot one bullet per pull on the trigger. It’s like the law was written by people who have never shot a gun before.

For a long time, I thought there was only one national organization that really stood up for 2nd Amendment rights, and in most respects I think they take things a good bit too far, plus they’ve a rather conservative bent and some racist history, but I was recently very pleased to learn of the Socialist Rifle Association, pro-2A but explicitly welcoming to all people, regardless of color, race, gender expression, or any other irrelevant, artificial divisions, and without the far right politics.

Everyone should be able to defend their home and family with firearms unless they’ve clearly demonstrated that they can’t be trusted to do so responsibly. When all you have are seconds, the police are just minutes away, and the only reason we are not still a colony of England today is because when a peaceful revolution failed, we had the means to start a violent one.

Police have guns to protect themselves first and foremost, defending you is secondary and will always be. We still need to have some police, just not anywhere near as often. For example, if we make marijuana fully legal and focus on reducing the demand for illegal drugs through compassionate outreach and help for addicts, work on improving their lives in general (and having universal healthcare that includes mental health/addiction treatment), we can bring the demand down to the point where selling illegal drugs isn’t profitable anymore, so that would take away the excuse most often used for law enforcement to harass/kill black & brown people especially.

As we’ve just seen in the case of Breonna Taylor most recently, police make some very dire mistakes. “No-knock raids” are extremely dangerous, and should be strongly discouraged by holding the people in charge strictly accountable if they are wrong. For example, the agency and the officer in charge personally should be required to accept unrestricted liability if they raid a facility and find no evidence of the crimes alleged under the warrant, and an innocent civilian defending their home from what would appear to a reasonable observer as a home invasion, like Kenneth Walker, should not even have been brought into custody – his girlfriend is dead, the man has suffered too much already. Body cameras should also be absolutely mandatory for all officers involved in such raids, there were none for this instance.

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