The Future of Firearms by VICE News on HBO

firearms

From the introduction to The Future of Firearms:

The firearms industry experienced unprecedented growth in the last decade. Fear of government regulation drove much of that growth as President Obama repeatedly tried to pass gun control laws in the aftermath of numerous mass shootings. Now, with the political landscape fundamentally changed, the industry, and gun rights advocates, are looking for new ways to expand upon their 2nd amendment rights and the bottom line — with some surprising results.

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32 Comments

  1. Geoff

    Very enlightening!

    The law of unintended consequences. Under Obama gun sales soar, yet under Trump they dwindle. Who’d have thought it?

    And Muslims buying guns like there’s no tomorrow because of all the anti-Muslim rhetoric from Trump.

    If North Korea decides to launch a missile strike on the US all those guns are going to prove invaluable and, in the meantime, represent a serious deterrent to Kim Jong Un.

    Reply
  2. Janf8

    This disturbing video illustrates how obsessive and out of control the gun culture has become in the U.S. It’s depressing that people feel the need to arm themselves from other Americans. Much of their fear is unwarranted, and statistics show that. I can only surmise that the future will bring more and more repercussions, in direct correlation to an over-armed angry and fearful public.

    The children depicted in this video gave me the same uneasy and disgusting feeling I get when I remember the Toddlers and Tiaras phenomena. These kids should be doing something better with their time; their parents and other adults should stop encouraging and rewarding their unhealthy obsession.

    America needs to enact responsible gun laws. As Mike Russell says, “It’s time for CHANGE right now. This cartel (NRA and gun manufacturers) need to be held accountable. We need a ban on automatic weapons as well as large capacity magazines. We need full registration for all semi-automatic weapons. We need licensing and training for anyone to carry. We need some type of mental evaluation for those who want to own these weapons. Anyone who owns or intends to own a gun should also need a permit to do so.
    Owning and carrying a LETHAL weapon should come with some serious Responsibility.
    No one should be able to simply walk into a gun store an buy an AR 15 and large capacity magazines without having to show that they are responsible enough to do so. Better yet. Why don’t we just ban the sale of these AR 15 type weapons from this day forward? They are nothing more than WMD’s and do not belong in the hands of civilians. They are weapons of war, period.”

    Reply
    1. Veronica

      If gun owners are to be required to ask the government for permission to use a gun and what kind they can use, then the same should be required of all other constitutional rights. Free speech? Freedom to practice your religion? Look up the video on Trey Gowdy discussing this issue. It is educational.

      Reply
      1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

        The problem with your line of augmentation is that the Second Amendment does not apply to gun ownership as now practiced in the United States. You want strict interpretation of the Constitution, yet when it comes to the Second Amendment, you want to abandon this approach in favor of unrestricted gun ownership. The Second Amendment deals with well-regulated militias, not every citizen’s right to own firearms. So, if all gun owners are members of militias and their firearms are muskets, I am fine with gun ownership. If not, I support the abolishment of the Second Amendment or strictly controlling firearm ownership.

        As far as the other amendments are concerned, no right is absolute — including free speech.

        Reply
        1. Veronica

          The difference today is there are restrictions placed on gun ownership now that did not exist when the amendment was written.

          Yes, it was about militias that could rise up against its own government if it turned tyrannical. That means we should have the same firepower the government has now.

          I only want the second amendment treated the way the rest of them are. Freedom to practice without having to ask permission.

          Reply
          1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

            Correct. The U.S. Constitution is a living, breathing document. As society progresses our understanding and application of the document changes. You seem to be demanding a strict interpretation of the Constitutions. If so, then what I said about militias applies. If the document is viewed as a living, breathing document, then how we view, understand, and apply the amendments change.

      2. Janf8

        The 2nd Amendment already has restrictions in place, so adding judicious new ones shouldn’t be a problem.

        Also, other amendments do have restrictions. The 1st amendment has no protection for child pornography, defamation (libel and slander), speech that may be harmful to children, or yelling “Fire” in a crowded room when there is none.

        An amendment can be amended if deemed wise. Here’s a link for a more detailed explanation: http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2015/12/second_amendment_allows_for_gun_control.html

        Reply
  3. Veronica

    It is not a living breathing document. It can be amended though and if that is what society chooses then do it. But do not deny rights without going through the proper channels.

    There are common sense gun laws already. In fact there are too many and it has not done anything to slow down gun crime. The video was a wonderful example in that it said 80% of gun crime is from people who steal those guns. These aren’t law abiding citizens that need to be regulated more. That is the reason these laws aren’t working.

    Adding the gun requirements you are asking for is just one step from banning which means they are extreme, and it takes away a constitutional right until a person can get the government to agree to give it back. That is not legal. I know many people think this is no big deal. Just try to imagine this same argument with free speech. You can’t write a blog until you ask for permission and the government says yes.

    Reply
    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      If it is not a living, breathing document then owning firearms — muskets — is restricted to white, male militia members. This is the strict interpretation of the Second Amendment you demand.

      Britain and Australia, two thriving Western democracies have strict gun laws. Seems to be working out just fine for them, and so it would for us if our political leaders had the balls to stand up to the NRA.

      No one is arguing that laws as they now stand are working. The REASON they don’t work is that they are half-assed measures that have been neutered by the gun lobby. The first step is the registration of ALL firearms, much like we register ALL automobiles. The second step is incorporating technology into firearms that make it impossible for anyone but their owners to fire them. The third step is to remove from circulation ALL military-style firearms and accessories.The fourth step is to require all gun owners to carry liability insurance and be certified in firearm use. The fifth step is to repeal all stand your ground, concealed carry laws. If a gun owner kills or injures someone with a firearm, they must be required to justify their actions, and if they can’t, they should be criminally prosecuted. The only people that should be carrying firearms in public is law enforcement.

      I am one of those liberals you speak of coming for your guns. You have every right to be worried. Our numbers are growing daily. We are sick and tired of the violence and bloodshed. Enough, I say, enough!

      Reply
    2. Janf8

      Trey Gowdy’s argument is parroting Wayne LaPierre’s decade-old line that existing gun laws aren’t enforced.

      So let’s change things; make sure laws do get carried out and simultaneously enact even better gun laws.

      What Gowdy fails to relate in the video is that the NRA’s influence is one of the significant reasons why gun laws aren’t enforced well.

      …”lobbying records and interviews show the [NRA] has worked steadily to weaken existing gun laws and the federal agency charged with enforcing them.”
      https://www.mediamatters.org/blog/2015/10/28/nra-falsely-claims-that-obama-refuses-to-enforc/206481

      Reply
  4. Veronica

    The second amendment only states well armed militia to stand up to tyranny. There is no restriction on who or type of firearm. That would be like saying free speech does not apply to the blog you have here. Better write it on rudimentary paper with a quill. Don’t publish it on the internet either because that wasn’t around either. Your argument does not stand.

    The reason the laws don’t work is because the guns are not the issue. The heart of man is. Mans heart is evil and sinful. I would like to see people not killed by guns also, but let’s put something in place that actually saves lives.

    The NRA is one of the rare lobbyists that people volunteer and pay to be a part of unlike teachers unions and such that try and force people to be members so they can lobby for their own agendas.

    Driving a car and flying a plane is not a constitutional right. Apples and oranges.

    Concealed carriers in TN have to take a class they need to pass by passing a written test and proving they know how to use a gun safely. Before they take that class they have to petition the government for the permit. Then once they pass they have to have 3 background checks and be fingerprinted. Then they go to DMV and have your picture taken to give you your permit which will arrive by mail. If there is an altercation the shooter is responsible for every bullet that comes out of that gun. Concealed carry permit owners are encouraged to have the name and number of an attorney on him in case of an altercation because the police will try to find a reason to arrest them. There is plenty of responsibility on that gun owner.

    My husband used to live in NJ. He had to get permission to buy a gun, have his entire family interviewed by detectives. That took a year. Then if it was approved he could buy the gun but he had to apply for a license to purchase cartridges for the gun. That was just to own it. There are no concealed carry laws in NJ. Like I said, there are a lot of laws already.

    You are not my enemy Bruce. I am not worried. What comes, comes. My faith isn’t in a gun.

    Reply
    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      You are missing my point. You are arguing for a strict interpretation of the Constitution. All I am trying to do is hold you to that belief. I don’t hold that view.

      How we interpret the Constitution changes with time. Freedom of speech today is not as it was in the 18th century. Times change. To attempt to hold Americans hostage to the founder’s “intent” is silly. All that matters is how the Constitution is interpreted today; and that’s why we have legislators and courts.

      Reply
  5. Veronica

    Trey Gowdys point was the second amendment cannot be treated differently than the rest of the constitutional rights. This means you have the freedom to participate in that right unless it is taken away by a court of law that allows you an opportunity to defend your right to participate in the constitutional right. You can’t take it away, without due process. That applies to all constitutional rights.

    I am only fighting for the second amendment to be treated with the same legality as all of the constitutional rights.

    Hostage? No, freedom! We are in serious trouble if holding to our constitution is silly. The constitution allows for changing. That is the beauty of it! What the framers wrote is a beautiful thing! Obviously things change, that is why we have so many amendments to the constitution. The amendment stands until society chooses to change it. The balance has not shifted enough for the second amendment to be changed at this time. But it can be changed if the balance shifts. What a beautiful foundation we have!

    Reply
    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      I’m not talking about amendments, I’m talking about interpretations. Most of our current civil rights are based on interpretations of the Constitution — often very broad interpretations. I am down with that. I value progress and see little value in attempting to return America to the good old days — days that were anything but. We are a secular, progressive, maturing republic. Attempts to drag America back to the good old days must be rebuffed and rejected through legislative and judicial means if we intend progress as a society. (and please, no religious arguments.)

      Reply
  6. Veronica

    I understand what you are saying. You and I interpret what the second amendment protects differently. Taking it less than literally erodes the foundation of all of our rights. It should not change easily because it puts all of our rights at risk of being banned. My husbands family fled Cuba when Castro took over. They saw first hand how easily rights can be taken when the government is given such power. They lost their freedom of religion, speech, to earn a living. I don’t want to see that happen in this country. It can if rights are taken and given on a whim. I stand on my opinion with much sobriety and have given it much thought. Me fighting for my rights, protects everyone’s rights at the same time. We can disagree on gun control and still choose not to erode the freedom of others, which ultimately erodes our own freedom.

    Reply
    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      I assume, then, that you support the “freedom” of same-sex couples to marry, women to have abortions, and the terminally ill to end their lives. Shall I go on?

      Reply
  7. Veronica

    Are those constitutionally protected freedoms? Abortion is not. Same sex marriage is not. Euthanasia is not. Apples and oranges.

    Reply
    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      So, then, when you speak of freedom, it doesn’t apply to behaviors you disagree with. Fortunately, the U.S. Supreme Court disagrees with you.

      Reply
  8. Veronica

    You make a lot of assumptions when you interact with me.

    The Judicial branch does not write law, the legislature does. Abortion and same sex marriage are not were not written into law by the legislature. Euthanasia is not federally accepted yet. If it were a constitutionally protected freedom then I would support that right or work to change it if I disagreed with it. Same as you with gun rights, except I want to do it legally.

    Reply
    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      The Supreme Court has ruled these laws are Constitutional, thus the right to an abortion, the right for a same-sex couple is constitutionally protected. Our difference has to do with how we view the Constitution; not that it matters since the current court has generally taken a broad approach to the Constitution. The people behind our moron-in-chief certainly want to change that by packing the court with right-wing justices. Hopefully, their reign of ignorance and regressivism will come to end in November 2018.

      Reply
      1. Geoff

        Bruce, this is an interesting exchange of views with Veronica. I find it enlightening as to the way in which her thinking manipulates her logic. I’m especially interested in her obsession with a ‘literal’ interpretation (is this an oxymoron?) of the constitution, because it matches Christian insistence on literal reading of the bible; when it suits! Of course, with the bible, when literal statements are plainly wrong then you must read it ‘literally but in context’. So how about reading the constitution in context; for example restricting the rights of gun ownership to weapons available at the time the constitution was written. Personally, I thought your list of restrictions you mentioned a few comments up was very sensible, and the equating of gun ownership with vehicle ownership makes much sense. To the comment that vehicle ownership isn’t protected by the constitution I’d just say ‘on yer bike’, to quote an English expression.

        Reply
  9. Janf8

    Veronica, I can see why you’re concerned about protecting rights after what happened to your husband’s family. I don’t want to do away with civilian’s legal entitlement to bear arms, but I do want better oversight and laws regarding this issue. Bruce laid out some useful gun legislative steps for making America safer, which is ultimately the goal of each of us.

    Reply
  10. Janf8

    In my personal experience these are the gun-related injuries and deaths I can think of:
    3 separate incidents where young people committed suicide, 1 terminally ill person committed suicide, 2 separate hunting accidents which resulted in fatalities (son killed his father, brother killed his sister), a man shot his foot to get out of military duty, a daughter murdered her father, and a small boy accidentally killed his baby sister.

    I have never known anyone to defend themselves from someone else using a gun, although the daughter who murdered her father and subsequently did prison time may have used that defense.

    From my perspective accidents and suicides are the primary cause of gun deaths. Below are some statistics to consider.

    “Nearly two-thirds (62 percent) of firearm deaths in the U.S. are suicides. … America’s gun homicide rate is more than 25 times the average of other high-income countries.” everytownresearch.org

    “17,012 American children and teens are shot in murders, assaults, suicides & suicide attempts, unintentional shootings, or by police intervention.” “In America, 1 out of 3 homes with kids have guns and nearly 1.7 million children live in a home with an unlocked, loaded gun.” https://www.bradycampaign.org/key-gun-violence-statistics

    Reply
  11. Veronica

    I hear you both and understand your concern. Our views are quite polar on this topic. Thank you for the conversation.

    Reply
    1. Janf8

      It’s valuable that even when we don’t agree we can compassionately converse about it. Kind regards to you, Veronica.

      Reply
  12. Veronica

    Before I go I am interested in knowing what your definition of a semi-automatic weapon is?

    Reply
    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      A firearm capable of quickly firing a bullet each time the trigger is pulled. Many semi-automatic firearms can easily be converted to fully-automatic.

      I was raised around guns, owned guns, hunted, and worked in my Dad’s gun store. I also manned Dad’s table at gun shows. My Dad was in law enforcement and a gun collector. My brother was the Marshall of Tombstone and a detective for the county sheriff’s department. I’ve fired everything from a .22k hornet to a .458 Mag. In other words, I know a good bit about firearms. Today? I don’t own any guns.

      Reply
  13. Janf8

    You have an impressive knowledge of guns, Bruce; it says a lot that you don’t feel the need to own one currently.

    Reply
    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      I lost interest in firearms after I stopped hunting. The bloodlust waned and I chose, instead, to photograph wildlife. My political views certainly have affected my view of firearms.

      On a more personal note, I suffer with depression, sometimes deep, dark depression. Counseling has helped me manage my depression, but I felt it unwise for me to own a gun. My mother killed herself with a handgun at age 54. Her death certainly played a part in my evolving view on firearm ownership.

      Reply
  14. Janf8

    Oh my, I’m so very, very sorry about your mother’s suicide and all the sadness that must evoke.

    Reply
  15. Veronica

    A revolver fires as quickly as a semi automatic weapon. Modification to an automatic weapon is illegal.

    The definition of a semi auto is a gun that automatically chambers the next round with each trigger pull.

    The first six shot revolver was made about 45 years after the second amendment was put in place.

    I just wanted to know what the knowledge levels were here about guns because I see so many people having strong opinions on what guns should be illegal and yet they don’t know a thing about guns.

    Reply
    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      I’m glad I could pass your test. I weary of gun nuts straining over word use when blood is running in the streets. Too bad most Evangelicals are more concerned over gun ownership than they are violence and bloodshed.

      No need to respond. I’m tired of hearing the same song over and over and over again. I’m beyond evangelization when it comes to guns.

      Reply

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