Sunday, July 15, 2012

Gun Politics at San Diego Comic-Con 2012

Comic-Con Girls

San Diego hosts Comic-Con, a pop-culture festival encompassing games, movies, television, art and comic books. Jay Leno and other comedians are not in attendance. The draw is largely the other attendees who spend tremendous effort to attend the convention in costume as their favorite character. You would think that a rebelliousness would infuse the convention, but surprisingly you would be wrong.

It could be the scantily clad women dressed as Wonder Woman or other female heroes who hold the attention of the attendees. It could be the innate politeness of nerds. Whatever the reason is, the immense crowd is very well behaved.

Among the zombies and villains are religious groups making attempts to recruit young souls. These groups patrol the trolley and stand outside the convention at crowded intersections. Comic-Con has security to check toy weapons and ensure that everyone entering has a pass. Police are also on hand, but mostly relegated to checking that toy guns have orange barrels outside the event.

In California, there is no longer an open carry law and the right to bare arms with a concealed-carry permit is virtually non-existent. This makes policing the population of law abiding citizens a little less stressful for the police, but makes policing SDCC farcical. Toy weapons are everywhere. It was even a point of debate in the masquerade ball waiting line as many participants are from Texas, Arizona and other less totalitarian states. The debate started as police threatened to confiscate hand-made and other valuable replica weapons to the horror of all in attendance.

One member of the Galactic Empires' 501st Legion, otherwise known as "Vader's Fist" had grown too hot for his tie-fighter pilot outfit and changed into a Harry Potter wizard, complete with lighted wand. He was an ardent opponent of gun rights for the public. A very typical "lawful" point of view, which he defended by saying that we didn't want to become "like Arizona, where people can bring guns into a bar and get drunk."  It is my guess that he is a former prosecutor or other city attorney. He mentioned that you "should never shoot a police officer" as they are "peace officers" in response to a question from a nerdy teenager about what to do if a police officer were to go bad and start shooting people. The Imperial trooper then took a photo in which he used his wand to eliminate an opponent. It was awesome.

It was apparent that the young, superhero-worshipers were disgusted by the attitude of California toward our constitutional right to bare arms. Being a political person, the fact that the government derives its powers from the people and cannot hold rights that American citizens do not hold, escaped my mouth. It comforted the young nerds to hear opposition. The conversation then turned to our nation's past as an English colony when I added that current restrictions on firearms may end in the disarmament of the police as is typical in England. You simply cannot vilify guns and then expect voters to forget that the people with the guns make the rules.

The Gun Ban, I had no choice!
Gun ban, I had no choice!
The moral to the story is that the Empire wants your gun rights which is a perfect segway to the U.N. Small Arms Treaty debate. Snopes and have both rallied against an email that threatens a civil war over the U.N. treaty. It is a typically dishonest way to address the debate. Someone should let them know not to mess with a wookie.

What are the stats, Forbes' Larry Bell reported on the U.N. treaty last summer:
There are many like me, and fewer of them would be alive today were it not for exercise of their gun rights. In fact law-abiding citizens in America used guns in self-defense 2.5 million times during 1993 (about 6,850 times per day), and actually shot and killed 2 1/2 times as many criminals as police did (1,527 to 606). Those civilian self-defense shootings resulted in less than 1/5th as many incidents as police where an innocent person was mistakenly identified as a criminal (2% versus 11%).

Just how effectively have gun bans worked to make citizens safer in other countries? Take the number of home break-ins while residents are present as an indication. In Canada and Britain, both with tough gun-control laws, nearly half of all burglaries occur when residents are present. But in the U.S. where many households are armed, only about 13% happen when someone is home.

Recognizing clear statistical benefit evidence, 41 states now allow competent, law-abiding adults to carry permitted or permit-exempt concealed handguns. As a result, crime rates in those states have typically fallen at least 10% in the year following enactment


Dawn said...

Charles, I don't agree with everything you say, but I do agree on this one leaning toward personal protection rights. And those rights include protection against the government as well as those folks who would not normally respect laws on gun restrictions. So while I do not own a gun myself, I know how to use one and still want the right to do so. By giving up this right, I give up many rights in such a general acquiescence.

Dean said...

Great round-up, Sir Charles!

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