An M4 behind every door?
Mike Thompson, who has represented us well in Congress since 1999, and who was sworn into his new seat in the Fifth Congressional District Jan. 3, will be hosting a public forum on gun violence prevention at the Board of Supervisors meeting room in Santa Rosa on Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
We hope he gets a healthy turn out, and we hope that it’s respectful, unlike a town hall meeting on health-care reform he hosted in Napa in 2009 that was disrupted by organized Tea Party protesters who saw a socialist plot in the effort to make American medicine more universally available.
If health-care reform stirs people’s passions, gun control sometimes drives opinion off a rhetorical cliff. Witness the following statements from Larry Hunter, founder of Revolution PAC and a former White House policy advisor to President Reagan, political advisor to Jack Kemp and former vice president and chief economist at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce:
“Defend your gun rights like your life depends on it, because it does.” Hunter makes that statement not just because he believes gun ownership is essential to protect house and hearth, or in order to form a militia against foreign invaders. No, Hunter believes our own government may very well come for us in the dark of night.
The Second Amendment, he writes in a Revolution PAC email, “was meant to be the constitutional protection for a person’s musket behind the door, later the shotgun behind the door and today the M4 behind the door – a constitutional guarantee of the right of individuals to defend themselves against any and all miscreants, private or government, seeking to do them harm.” (The emphasis is his.)
Hunter looks to privately-owned guns as “a deterrent against government tyranny … Guns are individuals’ own personal nuclear deterrent against their own government gone rogue. Therefore, a heavily armed citizenry is the ultimate deterrent against tyranny.”
Without private guns, Hunter believes, “A people stripped of their right of self defense is defenseless against their own government.”
The M4 carbine Hunter would like us to keep behind our door is a fully-automatic, military assault weapon capable of firing more than 700 rounds per minute. It comes standard with a 30-round clip.
The primary murder weapon at Sandy Hook elementary school was a semi-automatic “civilian” version of the M4 with several 30-round magazines that could each be emptied in less than 10 seconds.
Since Hunter seems less concerned about tragedies like Sandy Hook than he does that Barack Obama is intent on disarming private Americans so he can take over the country, we’re not sure he has much to contribute to a national conversation about guns.
But we do hope that reasonable and responsible gun owners join the conversation with Thompson on Thursday, because we will never arrive at rational gun policies without them.
Thompson, who was appointed by House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi to chair a Congressional task force on reducing and preventing gun violence, is a gun owner, a hunter and a Vietnam combat veteran. We think he is an ideal choice to lead a conversation this nation is literally dying to have.