Why restricting gun magazine capacity is a bad idea
Restricting gun magazine capacity limits the usefulness of guns used legitimately in self-defense, but it does little to curb the real problem. It's time for politicians seeking a quick fix to go back to the drawing board.

Restricting gun magazine capacity ensures that criminals can have more bullets than you. Brilliant!

President Obama wants to restrict gun magazine capacity for you, but not himself. The Secret Service agents who protect him need many bullets to protect him, but you may also need more than proposed limits to protect yourself and loved ones.

Melinda Herman would agree. The young mother in Loganville, Georgia was at home with her 9-year-old twins when Paul Slater, a 32-year-old who had “reportedly been arrested six times since 2008” broke into her home using a crowbar, then used it to “bust open three doors inside the home as he chased [her] and her two children.

Mrs. Herman grabbed her kids, a gun, and her phone, using it to call 911, then ran for safety. When Slater found them hiding in a crawl space, she fired six times, emptying her revolver, striking him five times. He didn't drop dead or fly across the room as they show in movies; he walked away, but he could have used his crowbar to bash in her skull (as two thugs did to my father, killing him) or kill her kids, then rape her—or whatever evil plan he had in store for her, which seems more than simple burglary.

What if two intruders came after her? She could have been raped and murdered. If politicians who want to limit the capacity of gun magazines had bodyguards with the same restriction, no lawmaker in his right mind would propose such a foolish limit because they may need more than 6 or 10 bullets, but so did Melinda Herman and many others.

A pack of hungry coyotes in spring massacred my flock of chickens feet away from my home. What if they attacked me or one of my neighbor's daughters? I might need considerably more than 10 bullets to stop them. My life and the lives of Melinda Herman, her kids, and my neighbor's kids are no less precious than that of President Obama.

If you think coyotes don't attack humans, consider what happened to Taylor Mitchell, a beautiful young Canadian folk singer who was attacked and killed by three coyotes who were less concerned with the rules of what coyotes are supposed to do than they were with having a tasty meal. Ditto for the coyotes that killed three-year-old Kelly Keen.

A pack of raccoons 'filleted' a 74-year-old woman in her backyard, mauled a girl in Michigan, attacked a woman and her dog in Sacramento, and repeatedly bit a 43-year-old woman at a New York railroad station, dragging “her into the nearby woods.” And on and on.

Many folks have an unduly negative opinion of guns because they hear about them only when they are used to harm others, not to protect them, but for several decades the Armed Citizen column in American Rifleman magazine has presented countless cases in which guns were used to stop or limit crimes. I've used a gun to protect myself and others, and I've educated gun-hating people so they loved using them, such as one of my friends who is now a professor at the medical school I attended and chair of her department at a hospital in the Detroit Medical Center. Knowing how to use a gun may save her life one day.

Guns could have saved the lives of Jennifer Petit and her daughters, victims of a home invasion that resulted in two of them being raped and all being savagely killed while police were reportedly outside “roping off the area outside the home while the two assailants were still inside committing the horrific murders.” One of the killers “"resented" the accusation that he raped the 11-year-old.” Instead, he said he “ejaculated onto her.

When cops are cowards, or just plain stupid, people need Smith & Wesson. When I was assaulted in my home, the police took their sweet time getting there and left before completing the investigation, claiming they had something else to do. People who solely rely on police for protection are more likely to prematurely end up in a grave, as the beautiful Petit women discovered. When police are better at giving excuses than protection, you need to protect yourself. Unless you have a crystal ball or assurance from God that you'll be safe forever, blind faith that you don't need a gun may not be enough.

Having more bullets available before reloading doesn't make people more likely to snap and go postal. The need to reload does not significantly impair the lethality of offensive shooters such as Adam Lanza because they are in charge of such situations and can bring extra guns and loaded magazines they can swap in a flash. They know when they will attack, so bringing backup weapons and extra ammunition is not a significant impediment to doing their dastardly deeds.

However, because people cannot predict when they may need a gun for defense and toting around extra guns and ammo is often impractical, they generally limit themselves to one gun and however many bullets it holds. Therefore, restricting gun magazine capacity limits the usefulness of guns used legitimately in self-defense, but it does little to curb the problem politicians are trying to solve.

Politicians who propose such legislation are generally not very knowledgeable about firearms. If they were, they would not waste our time with laws that make us feel better without solving the underlying problem—which has nothing to do with the appearance of a gun or its magazine capacity; the problem is what is inside the twisted minds that pull triggers to kill innocent people. It takes a truly deranged mind to do that. The common wisdom is that predicting who is a danger to society is too difficult, and that clear-cut warning signs often don't surface until bullets begin flying.

Wrong, dead wrong, but again typical conclusions of armchair theorists who don't know what they are doing. I spent most of my career as an ER doctor working in Detroit and Flint when they were the Murder Capital of the United States. I have a real knack for quickly detecting mental pathology and planned or past criminal activity. Every time my nut detector went off, I found gold, so to speak. I knew how to ask questions to elicit information confirming my hunches that the patients I suspected of being dangerous nuts indeed posed a threat to themselves or others.

Of course, this is news to politicians who've never been alone in a room with a man who just killed his friend or boss, raped a woman, stabbed someone, or so forth. But I have, many times, and my inquiring mind wanted to understand what made them tick, so I performed a psychological autopsy of nuts when nuttiness was fresh in their twisted minds.

This information would be incredibly useful to President Obama, who indicated that he will leave no stone unturned in seeking a solution to this vexing problem, but he will likely brush off effective solutions in favor of ones that conform to his preconceived ideas on how to fix the problem or at least make us think he did something worthwhile. However, the track record of such legislation isn't good. For example, the U.S. homicide rate fell substantially after the Federal Assault Weapons Ban expired on September 13, 2004.

The opposite of entitlement is gratitude—something we all should have, with trillions and trillions of reasons for everyone to perpetually bubble with gratitude, and with solid science justifying it.

Virtually all educators miss an opportunity to impart a lesson bound to change the brain of everyone who has one. That lesson erases entitlement and replaces it with profound gratitude, an emotion lacking in killers and other criminals with a burning sense of entitlement and a dangerous deficiency of gratitude.

American educators always want a pat on the back and more money for the work they do, but they need to intelligently address educational deficiencies that contribute to societal problems. Educators in general (not only those in the United States) miss countless opportunities to give us more bang for the buck. They are purposely resisting efficiencies made possible by the Internet, sticking to antiquated educational methods to maintain the justification for their paychecks, and they're stuck in the Stone Ages thinking that they've done enough by conveying loads of information.

Educators are now like Luddites—“textile artisans who 200 years ago smashed the mechanized looms they thought threatened their jobs.” Just as Luddites resisted the inevitable Industrial Revolution, teachers and professors are resisting the inevitable revolution in education that will slash its cost, spur its efficiency, and improve its product. As someone who came out on top of today's educational system, you might think I'd be fond of it, but it is unconscionably rigged to benefit educators more than students, and hence is an abomination ripe for revolution.

A first-class education includes ways to augment intelligence and send creativity into the stratosphere—all of which is possible, but rarely done. It happened to me because of what I did, not because of what my teachers and professors did. My sixth-grade teacher called me “slow” but I graduated in the top 1% of my class in medical school, and my creativity enables me to now work in an occupation in which I am paid for finding solutions to problems that weren't solved by the 106 billion people who ever lived.

If our leaders were wise, they would do what my boss does: pay people to solve problems. The problems that plague us are solvable but leaders are not eager to control them so they can continue to demagogue them using their sick political games that help them but hurt us.

A first-class education also includes surprisingly simple ways to amplify empathy—another emotion lacking in criminals. I was never a criminal, but I went through too much of my life with too little genuine empathy (not the ersatz veneer our culture thinks is good enough) until I serendipitously stumbled on simple ways to boost it from “I care about me, myself, and I” to caring so much about strangers in China and other Asian nations I never met that I spent months researching and writing about what Japanese war criminals did to them—including acts so shocking they would have raised Hitler's eyebrows, such as gang-raping children and raping many others before spearing their vaginas.

The lessons the world should have learned from World War II could be applied to modern problems, including crime, but our leaders are too stupid to learn from history. I used to think Republican politicians were the intelligent ones until I realized how incredibly stupid they are. Republican Governor Bobby Jindal would agree, because he castigated the GOP to “stop being the stupid party”—something they excel in.

If Republicans were smart, they could give more to people who vote for free stuff while remaining true to conservative principles they give only lip service to, but Republicans are so stuck in the past they make idiotic Democrats seem like geniuses. Collectively, these fools are our leaders who for decades went to Washington vowing to solve problems, yet we have more problems than ever. The downfall of the USA is the predictable result of leaders having more power than brains.

Voters have an easy and ethical way to quickly take control of a government that is clearly out of control, but they can't figure out the very obvious solution. Instead, they wait for the next election to empower politicians with the same old promises to fix things, but those fixes will never come from leaders who love problems they use to justify the power and money given to them.

The problem is multifactorial, but one root cause is that the United States is a giant breeding ground of entitlement, surfacing not only in evil people but many others, too. Too many Americans feel too entitled to too much, and when they don't get what they want, they get mad and feel eminently entitled to their anger. This is clearly a problem, but it is one that spineless politicians run from because their playbook of how to win elections instructs them to flatter voters, even lie to them, not to tell them the unvarnished truth. I didn't become a better person until I faced my flaws and addressed them, fortunately aided by a serendipitous discovery that facilitated the transition. Change can be difficult, but with the correct catalyst, it can also be easy.

But who really wants to change? We typically want others to change. They're the problem, right? That thinking is too common: thinking others have problems and need to change, but not #1 who is #1.

We cannot solve problems in the real world without facing reality, so let's do it. The gun that shot Rep. Gabrielle “Gabby” Giffords is bad, but the gun that protected Melinda Herman and her kids is good, right? No, guns are inanimate objects incapable of good or evil, though they can be used by good and evil people to do good and evil things. The gun is never the problem; it's always the people. This is why we don't need gun control, we need nut control.

If our leaders are so determined to deny freedoms, a more logical place to begin would be to deny the freedom of evil people to live amongst us. I know how to weed out many of them, but will politicians listen? I'm skeptical. Very few people look for information that changes their opinions; most want info that reinforces their beliefs, whether they're right or wrong.

President Obama is supposedly liberal and hence should be very open to new ideas, but for all his purported affinity for change, has he ever changed himself other than kicking his abuse of drugs and booze? Although I am only partly liberal, I am likely more liberal than he is because by sincerely listening to others, I realized that some of my prior hidebound ideas about politics were flat-out wrong.

It isn't ironic that I am partly conservative yet considerably more open to change and new ideas than the USA's Liberal-in-Chief because while I strongly side with some liberal ideas, I am disgusted by too many liberals suffused with close-mindedness and an arrogant presumption they have all the correct ideas—so why bother listening to anyone else? Too many people who fancy themselves as liberals are really bigots:

bigot (noun): (1) a person who is utterly intolerant of any differing opinion, belief, or creed; (2) a person who is obstinately intolerant of any ideas other than his or her own, especially on politics or religion, and has animosity toward those of differing beliefs.

Our leaders are sworn to uphold the Constitution, but most give only lip service to it, including Republicans who profess to be passionate defenders of freedom. Think about it: Virtually all common-sense laws (prohibiting murder, rape, theft, etc.) were written long before you and I were born. In the decades since, our legislators wrote millions and millions more pages of laws and regulations to control us.

Do the math:

No freedom gained + freedom lost = net loss of freedom

This flood of legislation and bureaucracy unquestionably restricts freedom. The mountains of laws and regulations enacted by our leaders offers a mountain of evidence they are control freaks obsessed more with controlling us than preserving our freedoms. They target good behavior, not just bad behavior.

Example: In Wickard v. Filburn, the United States Supreme Court said Roscoe Filburn, a farmer who grew wheat to feed his chickens (not to sell), had unlawfully affected interstate commerce so the federal government ordered him to destroy his crops and pay a fine—thus establishing a precedent that the Constitution means whatever the tyrants in Washington can twist it to mean.

Faced with such a threat to freedom, George Washington and other Founding Fathers would shoot the tyrants who imposed such ridiculously intrusive restrictions on freedom, but I have no desire to start a war, only a desire to give free produce from my garden and eggs from my chickens to people who could use them. However, I don't have enough money to hire a team of lawyers to pore over thousands of pages of legislation to see if I might inadvertently be subjected to a draconian fine for doing that, so I do the legally safe thing and discard vegetables and eggs that I cannot eat.

spot a typo?
If so, please tell me about it.

Based on the Wickard v. Filburn ruling and others like it, my concern isn't groundless. The control freaks dominating the Supreme Court and Congress say that we engage in interstate commerce by not engaging in interstate commerce. Their twisted logic goes like this: by producing something for your own use, or giving it to others, you're denying an opportunity for someone to sell something, and hence denying the government a chance to tax that transaction. Taxation is one of the primary ways the control freaks control us, so even most Republicans resist fundamental tax reform. Americans are being screwed from the Left, screwed from the Right, and some of them are finally figuring out that neither party is their friend.

With friends like this, who needs enemies? The most notable accomplishment of our politicians has been to take the United States, seemingly destined to be the world's indomitable economic superpower, and inflict considerably more damage upon its future than all of our past and present enemies combined, including Germany and Japan in World War II, the USSR during the Cold War, Islamic terrorists, and everyone convicted of treason in U.S. history. All of those enemies combined couldn't begin to deliver the KO blow that our liberal and conservative politicians have given to present and future Americans.

The Left wants to blame the Right, and the Right wants to blame the Left, but neither side could have done it alone. They've both screwed us and our children in ways that will surely have future generations loathing us as the Brainless and Spineless Generation that ruined the United States, in contrast to the Greatest Generation whose hard work and sacrifices once saved our freedom and prosperity.

Our country is not the same as its leaders. Loving your country and fellow Americans is not the same as loving its leaders; you would need rocks in your head to love leaders who've screwed us. If another country had done to America what our federal leaders have done to us, we'd bomb them into the Stone Age and virtually every American would cheer.

But when our leaders screw us, we look the other way and let them continue slitting our throats. Are Americans brainless? Spineless? In denial? They're certainly not tuned into reality; the reality is that the USA is almost bound to collapse. The federal government is borrowing trillions of dollars to postpone the collapse, but by doing that, they make our downfall increasingly inevitable.

However, violence compounds problems, not solves them. So what might influence our leaders to stop screwing us? Elections? Dream on. We had problems decades ago, but after many elections in which candidates promised to go to Washington to solve them, what do we have? More problems than ever, but less freedom than ever.

You know what that means, don't you? And you know how to resist that, don't you? No, I'm afraid that very few Americans know how to do anything other than blame the other party and their supporters—which is, of course, exactly what the real leaders (the ones who control our politicians) want: to divide us and conquer us, then control us.

I'd say they are doing a superb job of that. What would you say?

Related topics

The Newtown massacre: We need nut control, not gun control

How to prevent school and other shootings

The views expressed on this page may or may not reflect my current opinions, nor do they necessarily represent my past ones. After reading a slice of what I wrote in my various websites and books, you may conclude that I am a liberal Democrat or a conservative Republican. Wrong; there is a better alternative. Just as the primary benefit from debate classes results when students present and defend opinions contrary to their own, I use a similar strategy as a creative writing tool to expand my brainpower—and yours. Mystified? Stay tuned for an explanation. PS: The wheels in your head are already turning a bit faster, aren't they?

“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald

Reference: Imagining dialogue can boost critical thinking: Excerpt: “Examining an issue as a debate or dialogue between two sides helps people apply deeper, more sophisticated reasoning …”

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