Over the years, my ear had deadened to the high pitched screech of gun nuts ensuring all who will listen (and those who would prefer not to as well) about the imminence of “jackbooted thugs” kicking in doors to round up all firearms.

While it’s often fun to dismiss ridiculous conspiracy theories with the derision they deserve, I would point out some of the more interesting facets of the entire question.

First, the wording as it appears in the consider this more in line with organizing something like a militia. Until the last decade or so, the National Guard was supposed to fill a position similar to that of a Colonial-era militia. It has since, of course, become very nearly a slightly-less-often-on-active-duty version of the Regular Army (or Air Force). But states do still have unpaid state militias. These are theoretically to fulfill the duties of the National Guard in the event it is deployed elsewhere. But this Jefferson quote from a November 13th 1787 letter to William Stephens Smith seems to plainly state otherwise,

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.”

So fine. Muskets all around. Why not muskets? That’s certainly the firearm in question. Well, looking at the intention, it would seem that the implication is for firearms of military value. Certainly a musket would be of little use on a modern battlefield. What, then, would? A rifle is the only answer. While submachine guns, pistols, shotguns, and other such devices are in military inventories today, they are not particularly useful. The submachine gun is best used for terrorism. It may be able to kill, but if you have ever shot one, you will have noticed it has an embarrassing grouping. It is designed to throw bullets in a general direction to keep heads down, or to kill randomly when fired into crowds. Pistols are again useful only at short ranges. Technically, they are necessary. Paradoxically, they are needed by law enforcement to counter the millions of pistols out there. The primary use of the pistol is in crime. Like submachine guns, shotguns are generally used compensate for poor marksmanship (or for shooting birds and vermin).

If only rifles were legal, gun crimes would require a much greater commitment of effort. Those who profit from gun-nuttery have been able to pull the strings of the gun nuts in effecting massive proliferation of handguns and assault weapons. The result is that even if such weapons were ever outlawed in this country, enforcement would be impossible. This has worked out very well for those benefiting from lawlessness in Iraq, Mexico, and Afghanistan.

What bothers me the most, though, is that the overwhelming majority of gun nuts are racist assholes. Do you doubt this is the case? Read the comments on any Trayvon Martin article online.

Note: I do not hate guns. I happen to have some firearms, including pistols. I do not harbor any delusions about any of them being militarily useful.