Where Do You Draw the Line on the Personal Ownership of Weapons?


Guns America – by S.H. Blannelberry

So, last week the lead article in our weekly Digest was a review of the XM42 Flamethrower, a fire-spitting tool capable of hurling flames as far out as 25 feet!

The XM42 is badass, and we expected many of you to geek out over it. While many of you did express your jubilation for a civilian flamethrower, others were not only less than impressed, they were downright offended that we published the article.

I’ll give you some examples of what I mean:

“I’m sorry, but this is one weapon so horrifying that no ethical person should ever bring this to market,” wrote one reader. “Imagine a home invasion and someone decides to roast you and your family with one of these?”

Another reader wrote, “People like this man, the company who manufactured this, and all who buy this, make all responsible, pro 2nd Amendment gun owners look horrible!”

“This should not be supported whatsoever I really think this is going to far, next some nutcase like the one using it will kill a bunch of children TAKE THIS ADD DOWN,” wrote another commentator.

First off, let me just say that we at GunsAmerica love and embrace the free exchange of ideas. We understand that not all of us are going to agree on every issue and therefore, at times, there will be (hopefully constructive and not overly contentious) dialogue and debate in the comment section. It comes with the territory of running a popular and pro-Second Amendment publication.

Everyone has a right to their opinion and we are pleased when they express it on GunsAmerica. That said, as the curators of and contributors to GunsAmerica we also have opinions on your opinions and from time to time we like to publicly express them, not in a belligerent way or a I-know-more-than-you way, but in a way that clarifies how one of us may feel about an issue.

Now, I’m going to start to speak for myself here, because I’m not entirely sure how the other GA guys feel about this particular issue and it would be unfair if I were to pretend that I speak for them all.

So, let me start off by saying I was shocked by those aforementioned comments. I knew there were going to be negative reactions, there always are. However, I figured it’d be over the price of the XM42, which is around $1,000. A bit steep for many of us, myself included. I never thought there were going to be individuals who opposed the flamethrower on the grounds that it was “horrifying,” or that it “went too far” or on the underlying implication, evident in the majority of the negative comments, that the XM42 is excessively dangerous and therefore not fit for law-abiding citizens.

Allow me to point out the apparent cognitive dissonance in those reactions, which is based on the presupposition that all of the commenters support one’s right to keep and bear arms, including widely popular and commonly owned black rifles, e.g. the AR-15, AK-47. Let’s suppose for a minute that instead of talking about the XM42, they were talking about an AR-15. How would those comments read:

“I’m sorry, but this is one weapon [AR-15] so horrifying that no ethical person should ever bring this to market. Imagine a home invasion and someone decides to roast shoot up you and your family with one of these?”

“People like this man, the company who manufactured this [AR-15], and all who buy this, make all responsible, pro 2nd Amendment gun owners look horrible!”

“This [AR-15] should not be supported whatsoever I really think this is going to far, next some nutcase like the one using it will kill a bunch of children TAKE THIS ADD DOWN,” wrote another commentator.

The XM42. In your opinion, is it fit for public consumption?

Well, let’s just be grown-ups and state the obvious. Several wackos have used AR-15s to shoot up schools, movie theaters and other public venues in a horrifying and unspeakable manner. Yet, we still support one’s right to own these tools. Why is that? Why is it that one potentially lethal tool [the XM-42] is not okay when another tool, that is arguably purpose built to be optimally lethal [AR-15], is okay? I guess that’s the question I have for those commenters and anyone else who feels that the XM42 is too dangerous.

From my standpoint, it’s not really a question of tools but a question of who is going to be the end user? I have zero problem with responsible, law-abiding citizens possessing optimally lethal tools or weapons (and that includes all NFA-regulated items). Why? Because I believe in the natural right of self-defense. Moreover, I believe that crafting laws that infringe on fundamental rights because one is afraid that a tool may fall into the hands of an evildoer is putting the deluded idea of “public safety” over the very real and invaluable enterprise of individual freedom (which is the cornerstone of our Democracy and the reason why we are the envy of the world). Ideologically speaking, I’m not that type of person. I always err on the side of liberty and the belief that we are responsible for our own safety, not the government. And as a free man, I think in terms of rights (It’s my right to own an AR-15, It’s might right to own a flamethrower), not needs or government allowances (i.e., Who needs an AR-15? Am I allowed to own one?).  Don’t limit my freedoms because you’re afraid to take responsibility for your safety.  Don’t limit my freedoms because you’re afraid of what might happen.  Don’t limit my freedoms because you’re afraid to acknowledge that evil exists in the world.

Now, I’m willing to accept that my position is maybe a bit radical in the eyes of the average Joe, but at least it’s consistent and intellectually honest.  What I’d really like is to hear where you draw the line on the individual ownership of weapons?  Do you draw the line at the ownership of a flamethrower?  If so, how does it differ from that of an AR-15?

https://www.gunsamerica.com/blog/where-do-you-draw-the-line-on-the-personal-ownership-of-weapons/

8 thoughts on “Where Do You Draw the Line on the Personal Ownership of Weapons?

  1. Shall not be infringed is fairly easy to understand. .and I have never met anyone who would rush a flamethrower. .

    That said I’ll take two..

  2. In the past, people even owned cannons.
    A piece of magic parchment does not limit your rights.
    It is a right as long as it does not infringe on others rights.

  3. When will these be available at Wal-mart ?
    I guess these would-be considered a true firearm ? The way things are now….they would probably be on back order. Get one ordered on lay away now for Christmas !
    The Chinese need to get pumping these things out…. just in case we want to cook a thanksgiving turkey or roast a commie fag.
    Don’t loose that market share. Git er dun !

    Flee

  4. “I have zero problem with responsible, law-abiding citizens possessing optimally lethal tools or weapons (and that includes all NFA-regulated items). Why? Because I believe in the natural right of self-defense.”

    The author, and the commentators he’s complaining about, all seem to be missing the point (from my point of view).

    The second article is not only about “self-defense”, but defense of the nation, too. (where’s Henry with that Tench Coxe Quote when you need him?) That’s okay, Henry. I can dig it up:

    “Congress has no power to disarm the militia. Their swords and every terrible implement of the soldier are the birthright of Americans.”

    “The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments but where, I trust in God, it will always remain, in the hands of the people.”

    The American people were always intended to be the army here, so war profiteering, and illegal wars couldn’t exist. Note the phrase “UNLIMITED power of the sword”. They weren’t using swords (very much) when the Bill of Rights was written, but instead they used the word to mean “arms”, because they fully understood that the technology would be improved beyond the musket.

    Americans need the tools of war; NOT just a twelve-gauge to defend their home, and that’s what’s been forgotten. The debate is always framed around defending one’s self from criminals, but that leaves us poorly equipped to fight off the Chinese army, so yes, we definitely NEED flamethrowers, grenades, machine guns, and tons of ammo. (but don’t try to buy this stuff from an FBI informant. Like everything else we buy these days, the Chinese will import these things for us, but this time we won’t be paying for them)

  5. Where would I draw the line? Only at weapons that are impossible to use, even properly, without endangering or infringing upon the rights of innocent people. Basically, this means any weapons that are indiscriminate in their effects over a large area: nerve gas, nukes, etc. Such weapons are neither necessary nor useful for defending against domestic tyranny; they’re really only useful in a war between large powers, or as a deterrent to such a war. If a government were to use them against its own population, it would be essentially destroying itself.

    The answer to the question probably also depends on context. For example, I can understand people who live in urban areas agreeing to rules against storing large amounts of explosives. But a farmer whose nearest neighbor lives over a mile away should not have such restrictions.

    In the end, wherever the line is drawn, the crucial point is that government agents must never, ever be permitted to have the citizens outgunned.

  6. I stand with G. Washington; “A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined; to which end a uniform and well-digested plan is requisite; and their safety and interest require that they should promote such manufactories as tend to render them independent of others for essential, particularly military, supplies.”

    We are required by that ex General and ex US President to have our own, promote others to have, factories for creating “particularly military, supplies” for our own safety. All weapons of war used today people should be training on.

    Where should the line be drawn? Chemical, germ, bio, nuclear, etc warfare. That should be refused to all on this planet.

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