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“(T)here is a difference between a hunter whose cabinet contains a couple shotguns, a .30-06, a muzzleloader, a .22 and a hand-me-down .44 revolver and a thug whose arsenal consists of a couple pistols with a filed-off serial number and an AK-47 that’s been modified to fire as an automatic weapon, rather than a semi-automatic. Reasonable people know the difference between those people, but lots of reasonable people are willing to put up with the latter rather than encroach the slightest bit on the former.” – Rick Fahr

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  1. Yes…and your point? The antics and crimes of the one do not eliminate the rights and protections of the other.

  2. “and an AK-47 that’s been modified to fire as an automatic weapon”
    Does this, ahem, person have any idea how this is accomplished? Does he have any knowledge what-so-ever about how firearms work? Or is he just throwing that out there to inspire fear? What a FLAME DELETED.

  3. Someone who has filed the serial number off of a handgun, or modified an AK to go full-auto, has committed a crime. Therefore, they can/should be punished within the framework of the existing legal system. Therefore, additional gun control laws are not needed to solve this “problem.”

    • “Someone who has filed the serial number off of a handgun, or modified an AK to go full-auto, has committed a crime”

      Only if your definition of “crime” is whatever arbitrary decrees some non-accountable, authoritarian bereaucrat manages to put down on paper.

      • Well, yeah. Since that’s the definition that’ll get you thrown in prison, that’s the one I usually go with.

        • I wasn’t trying to be flippant, I just don’t like conceding to the authoritarians the battle of semantics. It is not unlawful to modify a firearm, it is merely illegal. But, you’re right, they’ll try to throw you in prison for all sorts of illegal things that are not actually crimes.

        • What is the difference between unlawful and illegal? Not being flippant, just trying to understand your point….

        • Huh? “Illegal” and “unlawful are synonymous. “Illegal refers most specifically to violations of statutes or, in organized athletics, codified rules: an illegal seizure of property; an illegal block ( in football ). Unlawful means not sanctioned by or according to law.” The law does not sanction, and in fact prohibits, certain modifications of fire arms. Removing a serial number or modifying a firearm to full auto is both unlawful (not sanctioned by law) and illegal (prohibited by law). Are you perhaps refering to the difference between “malum in se” law (unlawful in and of themselves, like murder) and “malum prohibitum” (illegal because we said so)?

        • I’ve always been of the opinion that without an actual victim, no crime exists.

          The idea that “society” can be somehow victimized by someone traveling a highway at a greater velocity than what some sign says is permissible; or mere possession of certain kinds of plants or plant byproducts; or by violating, as you say, arbitrary regulations made by a faceless, unaccountable bureaucrat, is one of the greatest tricks our overbearing governments (at all levels) have played on us all.

          One of the greatest strides we could make in furthering not only Second Amendment freedom, but all freedom and liberty in general, would be to force a repeal of all laws that make crimes out of victimless activities.

        • So, what are you saying here, that it is not a crime to go blasting down the interstate at 90 mph in heavy traffic until you hit a busload of schoolchildren? Or that it’s ok to pollute until someone actually gets cancer?

    • Except it’s only a crime because someone decided to make it a crime. Who is hurt by removing a serial number or making a weapon full auto on your own instead of buying a full auto weapon that has be blessed with the ATF’s approval?

      While I acknowledge your point, these aren’t REAL crimes because there is no victim – it’s breaking an arbitrary rule that didn’t use to exist and could be removed with the stroke of a pen. If they use those weapons to commit a crime (rape, theft, murder) then you charge them for that – not for holding an inanimate object.

      • “Except it’s only a crime because someone decided to make it a crime.”

        Right. Which makes it a crime.

        There are a lot of laws I disagree with and would like to see changed, but as long as they are the law, I will obey them. For instance: I think it’s absolutely stupid that a 16″ barrel is ok, but a 14.5″ barrel will get me 10 years in prison. But regardless of my personal feeling on the subject, my AR is pinned to 16.1″ OAL.

  4. While I think I understand the sentiment being expressed by the quote, what I don’t understand, nor agree with, is the contention that society can’t take action against the thug without trampling the rights of the legitimate gun owner. Action can most certainly be taken against the criminal. It’s just a matter of identification, apprehension, prosecution, and then an appropriate punishment of the thug. None of these requires the violation of a legal gun owner’s rights. It requires an efficient criminal justice system that isn’t politicalized. Further, the idea that a legitimate gun owner only owns firearms hat have a presumptuously innocuous purpose, e.g., hunting or sentimental value (the hand-me-down) is incorrect. The type of firearm owned is not significant.

    • Sure, but it’s so much simpler for the judicial bureaucracy and law enforcement agencies to assume that gun owners are criminals who just haven’t gotten around to doing the deed yet, and treat us accordingly.

      Laws that exist for the convenience of the government should be struck down, but good luck finding a politician who will vote for that.

      • @rosignol, I think that the situation is even worse than you are painting it.

        IMO, gungrabbers are completely unconcerned with public safety. On the contrary, society’s bad guys provide the excuse gungrabbers need for cracking down on the good guys.

        • Agreed. The first steps of Tyranny are when Politicians and Bureaucrats impose laws and regulations on the populous based on the premise that they know better than the people they govern what is “best” for said populous. It’s that simple.

  5. There’s a difference between the honest, underpaid, unappreciated reporters working for local papers who covers seemingly mundane local government issues to keep the citizenry involved and engaged with their local government, and the mendacious, solipsistic twits in the Washington DC press mob who lie, fabricate, obfuscate and self-aggrandize their way into national politics without being elected.

    Reasonable adults know the difference between the two, and we know we have to suffer the latter to retain the former.

    • Who are these “reasonable adults” you speak of? I’m aware of (more than, perhaps) a few but not nearly enough.

    • honest, underpaid, unappreciated reporters working for local papers

      I’ve had numerous engagements with such local reporters, and found them to be the same lying scumbags as their national-level comrades.

      • That’s true, Ralph. I’m just flipping his trope around… the difference between the local reporters and the DC flaks is that the DC flaks are “stars” of the journalism world and they actually make bank on their careers. These DC/NYC clowns get to “set the agenda” for the national press/conversation, etc.

        In other words, where we’re comparing RKBA with the freedom of the press, the DC presstitute is the “assault weapon” of the press.

  6. What differentiates the criminal from the law-abiding is not what type of guns they own, but their behavior with or without a gun.

  7. Back in the colonial days, there were criminals with illegally owned firearms.

    In modern day Britain, criminals have illegally owned arms.
    In modern day New York, criminals have illegally owned firearms.

    In the year 2020, there will be criminals with illegally owned arms.

    There is not a law on the planet that will ever disarm a crook. After centuries of trying, perhaps a better approach is in order?

    • What would you suggest? I don’t necessarily agree that we should abondon every law that doesn’t work well. About 90% of people exceed the speed limit, but the limit still saves lives.

      Criminals can still get guns. The quote implies that the easy availability of legal guns, in part, leads to the easy availability of illegal guns. If so, then gun laws do not exist to disarm anyone, but only to make certain types of crimes harder.

      A certain number of people are unfairly disarmed, but a certain number of people are unfairly armed as well. To people who see every issue as black-or-white, there will never be any progress.

      • The easy availability of guns also prevents a lot of crime as well. Seattle is a safer city than Oakland, and I think part of that is Washington’s much looser gun laws. I can choose to take responsibility for my own protection here and as evidenced by the reports of burglars being reward with extra holes up here in the Northwest, a lot of others are making that choice as well.

        The point is that we can never eliminate the problem of illegal guns, but we can choose to allow citizens to legally arm themselves or not. The evidence points to yes being the better answer to that question.

      • To people who see every issue as black-or-white, there will never be any progress.

        Good, because “progress” is killing us.

      • LBD, FLAME DELETED the field of traffic safety. This statement is completely incorrect:

        “About 90% of people exceed the speed limit, but the limit still saves lives.”

        Since this site is named The Truth About GUNS, not Speed Limits, I will not go into the reams of information that refute that statement. Let’s just say that I have been an active member of the National Motorists Association (a traffic laws Political Action Committee) for several decades, and I have heard all the sounds-correct-but-isn’t arguments for keeping speed limits unreasonably low. When I say that statement is incorrect, you can be sure that I know what I’m talking about.

        Maybe you should study up on the gun control issue a little more, before you start espousing some of the sounds-correct-but-isn’t arguments for gun control.

  8. “…Hunting and target shooting weapons are not the same as weapons meant to clear a city street. We shouldn’t treat them as such. Besides, if someone wants to mess around with that sort of firepower, the military will be more than happy to accommodate.”

    I have always resented this false argument. The genius of our constitution is that the principles contained within are universal ones which were intended to evolve along with human progress.

    The Second Amendment addresses the question of militia units, not hunting parties. The guns at issue in the Second Amendment are necessarily state-of-the-art military kit—not hunting pieces.

  9. Stumbled across that article via a google alert…I wish I could get the 5 min I spent reading and 10 min I spent leaving a comment (that will likely never be published by that guy) back.

  10. So, even if his comparison had any kind of merit whatsoever, which it doesn’t, he’s basically saying it’s ok to encroach – “infringe,” if you will – on Constitutional rights and freedoms for the sake of imaginary security. His political overlords would be proud.

    We all know the quote by now, but it’s worth reiterating: Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.

  11. I read the article. There was another quote that stuck out at me:

    “Hunting and target shooting weapons are not the same as weapons meant to clear a city street. We shouldn’t treat them as such. Besides, if someone wants to mess around with that sort of firepower, the military will be more than happy to accommodate.”

    So wait a minute… the physically diabled shouldn’t be allowed to own some types of firearms? The guy in the wheelchair can own a 77/22 but not an AR15? No high capacity magazines for the guy with one working kidney? If you want an military style rifle, you need to be in the military? If you can’t serve for physical or ethical reasons, your gun owning options are limited? Really…? I think I’ve seen policy like that put in place before… just trying to remeber where…

    • He also insinuates that people who only want to blow things up and shoot guns should join the military, rather than for the reason of serving the country. This guy really doesn’t care how his intelligence comes off, does he.

      How about, “Hey, there’s a difference between a Prius and a fast, dangerous Ferrari. Anyone who wants to mess around with speed should only be allowed to do so in NASCAR.”

      Typical prick trying to tell other people how to live their lives rather than minding to his own pitiful one.

    • Godwin’s law?

      “Germans who wish to use firearms should join the SS or the SA — ordinary citizens don’t need guns, as their having guns doesn’t serve the State.” -Heinrich Himmler

  12. Reasonable people know the difference between those people,
    OK, fine as there is a difference between law abiding citizens and illegal gun owners.
    but lots of reasonable people are willing to put up with the latter rather than encroach the slightest bit on the former.”
    So why encroach on the former?
    You just stated that reasonable people can differentiate between the two.
    Who hires these type of journalists? Bozo the Clown?

  13. Ok I am assuming this statement was in regard to gun legislation right?

    So how does a person who has probably illegally purchased these firearms get stopped by more laws? I mean seriously, make all of California a gun free zone. Really is this going to stop criminals? Of course not! Prices might go up a little because now the guns have to come from Mexico, Nevada, and Oregon, but they will still get here.
    Someone prove me wrong? I mean seriously show me evidence that the AWB in CA actually dropped crime or that all the restrictions on magazine type, bullet buttons, barrel length actually did anything!
    BTW have you actually looked at their flow chart on what is a legal or illegal gun, OMG!! I got lost!

  14. Another problematic quote: But our nation by far has the most shooting deaths each year, and our states are quickly working toward loosening weapons rules, sometimes in ways that seem to directly conflict with federal law.

    Uh, no. The US doesn’t make the top 10: List of countries by firearm-related death rate (per 100,000 residents):
    South Africa: 74.57
    Colombia: 51.77
    El Salvador: 50.36
    Jamaica: 47.44
    Honduras: 46.70
    Guatemala: 38.52
    Swaziland: 37.16
    Thailand: 33.00
    Brazil: 14.15
    Estonia: 12.74

    The US is 13th, by the way, with a rate of 10.27. It’s not quite as bad as all that, of course, because only 4.14 of that is homicides, while all of South Africa’s number is homicides, since they don’t report out the other categories.

    Our number one offender, South Africa, has a permitting process that can take as much as two years to get a gun permit. Brazil all but eliminated gun rights in 2003. I’d be curious to see what the gun culture of the other countries on this list are. I have a sneaking suspicion that they’re closer to South Africa and Brazil than they are to the US.


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