Lawson Clarke is an ad exec from Massachusetts and a “Gun Owner Who is Perfectly Comfortable With Gun Control.”
Translation: he’s a serf, who has no comprehension of the meaning of a right and thinks the Second Amendment protects his “right” to hunt.
In his article for NPR, he details the laborious process he underwent as a Massachusetts resident to get state permission to exercise his rights, and he apparently doesn’t mind the numerous forms, background checks, and exorbitant costs associated with being able to exercise a fundamental right, because MASS SHOOTINGS!
STEP 1: I enrolled in a four-hour firearms safety course registered with the state.
A safety course is always a good idea. Only four hours? Most gun owners I know train much more often and much longer with their self-defense tools. But when mandated by the state, it really becomes a perfunctory gesture. I won’t even get into the whole “registered with the state” thing!
STEP 2: I joined a properly licensed gun club to demonstrate I was merely interested in hunting and recreational shooting. While this was by no means mandatory, it was encouraged by my local police department.
I wonder how much the kickback is for said “encouragement.” And I wonder why this particular brand of stupid doesn’t consider paying to join a club “encouraged” by the police to “prove” that you are only interested in exercising your right to engage in activities that have little to do with the intent of the Second Amendment isn’t a gross violation of said right and a twisted perversion of freedom.
STEP 3: I then visited my local police station, where I presented my application for a license to carry, my firearm safety certificate and a letter from my gun club stating my membership was in good standing.
STEP 4: Along with my paperwork I had to pay a $100 application fee. NOTE: In Massachusetts a firearms license is only valid for six years, and the $100 application fee is due any time I reapply.
A $100 fee to exercise a right, eh? I have to wonder once again if this serf even understands the basic definition of a right.
I also have to wonder how poor people, who ostensibly don’t live in safe, often gated communities (unlike Boston ad executives), but want a means to protect their homes against armed thugs, can afford all these extra expenses in addition to the several hundred dollars for the purchase of the actual gun!
Why do you hate poor people, Lawson?
STEP 5: I sat through a face-to-face interview with a police officer and submitted to a preliminary background check.
STEP 6: My photo and fingerprints were taken and filed digitally with the Massachusetts State Police, along with the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health and the national criminal records database.
Are you applying for a top secret clearance or begging the “authorities” to allow you to exercise a fundamental right?
STEP 7: I made an appointment at the police firing range on Moon Island in Boston Harbor to demonstrate my proficiency with a firearm in front of a state trooper.
Hopefully it wasn’t this guy.
A Massachusetts State Trooper is expected to survive after accidentally shooting himself in the leg, State Police said.
STEP 8: I waited approximately 30 days for my license to be approved.
STEP 9: My class A license to carry arrived in the mail.
I’m sure if you ask any assailant trying to victimize you really nicely to wait until you get your state-sanctioned permission to own a firearm, they’ll oblige. No. Really! Stop laughing!
STEP 10: I visit a nearby gun store, which by law is registered with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms as well as the Massachusetts Firearms Records Bureau. After presenting my license to the clerk, I was then allowed to browse the store’s inventory.
It’s instructive that you need a license to even go shopping in the People’s State of Massachusetts! But apparently, that bit of statist ploddery doesn’t bother Lawson either.
STEP 11: I selected my very fist firearm: a 30/30 Winchester Model 94, a tried and true staple of New England deer hunting.
Because that’s what the Second Amendment is really about — deer hunting. It says so right there in the text. Wait… no? But… but… but… we in Massachusetts know what the Second Amendment is about! We KNOW freedom, darnit!
STEP 12: While in the store I submitted to yet another background check, this time over the phone with the FBI.
Sure! What’s another background check to make a constitutionally-protected purchase between master and slave?
STEP 13: I waited three days.
Luckily you weren’t a woman who was being stalked and needed a tool to protect herself, eh? But I’m sure if you asked very nicely, the stalker or a violent ex would wait for you to finally purchase your gun!
STEP 14: I returned to the store and picked up my Winchester 30/30, effectively adding my name to the list of over 250,000 legal gun owners in Massachusetts.
Good to know that you don’t mind being added to a state-maintained list of innocent people whose only crime was a desire to exercise their rights. How do those chains taste? Want a gold Star of David so you can be properly identified?
From start to finish, the entire process unfolded over the course of several months, but then again so did acquiring my driver’s license and first car. In fact, one could argue automobiles and firearms are equally lethal machines: each responsible for over 30,000 deaths per year in the United States; so perhaps there’s justification for requiring patience in this endeavor.
I’m willing to bet that acquiring your driver’s license took several months, because the state wanted to ensure that while you’re operating a machine weighing several tons on public roadways, that you are properly educated and trained to do so. I’m also fairly sure you didn’t have to sit down for an interview with law enforcement or undergo two background checks to buy a car or get a license to drive it.
Did you have to pass a background check to buy your car? Did you have to get fingerprinted like a common criminal? Did you have to wait several days before you could take your car home? I don’t think so, Sparky.
Don’t conflate purchasing a car with the months of bureaucratic hoops you had to jump through to purchase a gun. The auto purchase takes a couple of hours and the mere ownership of it does not require training, background checks, fingerprinting, or even a license! The mere purchase requires you have money or sufficient credit to pay for said vehicle. Purchase and operation of the vehicle are two separate things. Of course, I don’t expect someone who doesn’t comprehend or respect the plain language of the Second Amendment to understand that nuance.
As a gun owner, I’m perfectly comfortable with the notion of sensible gun control, and in the stark light of recent tragedies, I’d say the process of acquiring my first firearm in Massachusetts was exactly as difficult as it needed to be.
While we’re all thrilled that you’re “perfectly comfortable” – OK, we really don’t give a damn, but still… – let me ask you something, Lawson: Are the people who take the time to go through months of background checks, the training, the fingerprinting, and the waiting periods the ones committing violent acts with firearms? Are all these measures effective crime reduction techniques?
Massachusetts has a national reputation as a bastion of gun control, but crimes and injuries related to firearms have risen — sometimes dramatically — since the state passed a comprehensive package of gun laws in 1998.
Murders committed with firearms have increased significantly, aggravated assaults and robberies involving guns have risen, and gunshot injuries are up, according to FBI and state data.
But… but… but… that’s because illegal guns are flowing from other states!
That’s not what I asked, Sparky. Are the people who are legally licensed to keep and bear arms in Massachusetts the ones committing the crimes?
Judging by the records kept in these states, nope! The majority of people willing to undergo all that rigamarole will, in fact, never commit a single crime with that gun, so how is it, exactly, you think you’re helping mitigate violence by subjecting yourself to statist regulations?
Some vocal conservatives are quick to accuse Massachusetts of being a bastion for the liberal elite who are grossly out of touch with the fundamentals of the Second Amendment. It seems they’ve forgotten this is where the “shot heard round the world” was fired in the name of Independence; where simple colonists in 1775 formed a militia and rose up in arms against a formidable force of British Army regulars.
Do you think those colonists registered their weapons? You think they paid some gold to be able to keep a simple defense tool in their homes? They would have probably slapped you stupid at the thought, you quivering-lipped coward! I would submit that given your ardent willingness to submit yourself to onerous infringements of your rights, you are the one who has forgotten Massachusetts’ history of liberty. Not only that, but you spit in its face!
You’re welcome, by the way.
Oh, please shut your ignorant yap! If it had been you and your fellow vassal colostomy bags fighting the war for Independence, begging the government’s permission to allow you to own a simple firearm, we’d still be a British colony!
Trust me, in Massachusetts we know our history and we know the significance of the Second Amendment. However, we also understand that owning firearms is an immense responsibility, and we have carefully balanced our right to keep and bear them with what I would argue are an appropriate amount of institutional safeguards.
You keep referring to that knowing the significance of the Second Amendment thingy… I do not think it means what you think it means.
If you know your history and the significance of the Second Amendment, then you should also know that responsibility has nothing to do with paying bribes to petty statists to allow you to exercise a fundamental right.
And no, I don’t trust you when you tell me how much you respect the right to keep and bear arms, even as you gleefully submit to noxious infringements on said right! Thanks for playing.
Is it a perfect system everyone can agree on? Certainly not. But in a time when contentious shouting has largely supplanted meaningful debate, perhaps that’s too much to hope for. However, there is data to suggest our state gun ownership laws are working. Well, that is to say, they seem to work better than the gun policies of most other states. In a recent study, Massachusetts stands out as having one of the lowest rates of gun-related deaths, second only to Hawaii, a state with a population one-fifth our size.
Actually, no. And the statistics you cite for only one year are deceptive at best. If you refer to the Boston Globe article I cited above, you will see that gun-related deaths have nearly doubled from 1998 when your state first ushered in its tyrannical infringements on people’s rights!
In 2011, Massachusetts recorded 122 murders committed with firearms, a striking increase from the 65 in 1998, said Fox, the Northeastern professor. Nationwide, such murders increased only 3 percent from 1999 to 2010, the CDC says.
There were increases in other crimes involving guns in Massachusetts, too. From 1998 to 2011, aggravated assaults with guns rose 26.7 percent. Robberies with firearms increased 20.7 percent during that period, according to an FBI analysis conducted for the Globe.
So not only has gun-related violence increased in Massachusetts since the package of draconian gun control measures was passed, but said violence has increased at a higher rate than the rest of this country! How are those “gun ownership laws” working out for you, Lawson?
Clearly the epidemic of gun violence is an issue that needs to be addressed on a national level. For any gun owner or gun rights advocate to suggest otherwise is not only stubbornly myopic, but inhumane.
And here we have the emotionalist rhetoric we’ve so grown accustomed to from gun-grabbing freaks and their obedient chattel.
If you don’t support tyrannical infringements on your rights, you’re heartless.
If you don’t useless bureaucracy to make your right to self defense cost-prohibitive, you’re stubborn.
If you aren’t willing to submit yourself to a metaphorical anal probe in order to exercise your fundamental rights – an anal probe that has no hope of actually reducing violence – you’re myopic and inhumane.
Clearly you haven’t heard the news that overall, violence has been on the decline in the United States. So maybe, before you decide to spew another load of nonsense into the Interwebz, you’ll do some research, and also look up the meaning of the word “epidemic.”
So if we’re earnestly looking to take steps towards reducing the number of gun-related deaths in the United States while respectfully preserving our Constitutional right to legally own firearms, perhaps the rest of the country should, once again, look to Massachusetts to lead the way.
And watch our gun-related violence nearly double, as it did in Massachusetts? You’ve got to be kidding me!
Please keep your statist mitts off my rights. I can see you obviously enjoy your shackles, but the rest of us are just a bit smarter than that! So just go back to licking the boots of your masters and leave the rest of us alone.
Stick to advertising, Lawson. Obviously logic, basic research, and policy are not your strong points!