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Christopher "Tanoro" Gray is a web programmer and science advocate especially concerned with resource management technologies, biology, and artificial intelligence. He is a student of epistemology and philosophy as well as an Atheist competent in Christian theology.
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Moving the First and Second Amendment
Posted by: Tanoro - Jun 17, 2016 10:50AM

"Our rights should not be taken away or altered because of a select few!"

Am I talking about gun rights or freedom to be Muslim? Both are being called into question in light of the Orlando massacre. At a cursory glance, this controversy may feel like a conflict between the first two amendments of our constitution. Some of us want to ban a class of firearms that is capable of mowing down large numbers of people over short range and in confined spaces. Some of us want to ban the religious ideology that promotes such violence. Either way, one of the two amendments is going to be moved ever so slightly. So how do we sort this out and keep it consistent?

First, we need to abandon over-simplifying both positions and accept that the world is more nuanced than we want to believe. There is more than one kind of Islam! There is more than one kind of gun! We can ban sub-categories of both without infringing on the overall freedom we practice under those amendments.

Moving the First Amendment

There are dozens (if not hundreds) of separate Islamic sects, depending on how finely you want to separate them. They teach Islamic extremism, Islamic pacificms, and every blend in between. Unfortunately, they are all camouflaged behind the same label: Islam. ISIS is a movement under Salafi-Jihadism, a subsect of the Sunni who have been feuding with the Shiite Muslims for years. Remember when Catholics and Protestants hated each other? This is similar, but far bloodier. If you are found to be one of these guys or speaking any of their rhetoric in public, you will almost certainly be investigated by the FBI as the Orlando shooter was. That said, our protections from Islamic extremism are not non-existent!

Who is not the enemy?

The Ahmadiyya is one of the most outspoken pacificist groups in Islam and they consistently condemn the actions of Islamic terrorism by their fellow Muslims. There is a spectrum of groups both for and against terrorism to varying degrees. Sticking them all with the "Muslim" label and regarding them equally as potential terrorists is the lazy "dumb Murican" way of badly assessing the problem and only hurts the wrong kind of people. We want the Ahmadiyya agreeing with us and fighting with us against extremism!

Moving the Second Amendment

I get mixed signals verifying exactly what the Orlando shooter used in his massacre, but most reports indicate he was using an AR-15. I will proceed in a general sense under that assumption. The AR-15 is a "military rifle" developed for the purpose of laying down suppressive fire, mowing down scores of human beings at short to medium range -- in the ballpark of 50 meters or less -- with as little recoil as possible and a fast reload if your kit is in order. By default, it is not a fully automatic firearm (though it can be converted to full auto very easily if your adherence to the law is negotiable). In a packed night club, this gun can injure or kill multiple people with every squeeze of the trigger. This weapon is designed for indiscriminate mayhem!

The AR-15 has applications in hunting, but is considered a weak choice for large game. How is that possible!? Gun proponents like to argue that the AR-15 is so weak that one can only hunt small game with it. This is true -- if your target is 200 yards away and can panic dash at 45 mph. Bagging a single buck at a distance and fending off an advancing infantry are two very different ballistics tests. The golden question is: Can it mow down scores of human beings at medium range with little or no disruption? Yes? That is all we need to know. Call it an "assault rifle" (or not) if it makes you feel happy. It is not relevant. Both sides of this debate cannot deny this gun's capabilities (and similar firearms) in this specific application.

What are not guns of mass murder?

Contrary to the argument gun proponents yank from their arse, you will statistically never be in a position where you alone must fend off scores of attackers. Therefore, a gun designed to do that is best left to the military. You need a gun for personal defense and hunting. For personal defense, what is good for your neighborhood policeman is good enough for you. Cops use every handgun from Glocks to Rugers, shotguns, and tasers. The only time you see an M4 Carbine is when the SWAT is scrambled. As for hunting, the proper kit depends highly on your prize, but hunting firearms favor the frugal use of expensive ammo. Being a good hunter is not unlike being a good sniper: one shot, one kill. For large game, standard hunting rifles do this more than adequately. For small game, shotguns are adequate.


The take away point is that the First Amendment has already been moved short of "banning all of them." If you wave around your jihad, you will be picked up and probably have some trouble buying a plane ticket for a while. The next compromise in line is logically the 2nd Amendment. If you wave your AR-15 around without the proper permits for having it, you should be picked up with similar discretion.

This blog is an editorial and contains only the opinions of the author. The author claims no expertise on most topics of discussion and this blog is not to be cited as an alternative for properly vetted journalism or scientific sources.

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