Okay, so Caribou Barbie got the Paul Revere thing as confused as George W. Bush, who once proclaimed to a worker at a cafe, “I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family.” But she had a point to more than her head. That point being that Paul Revere *was* warning that the British were coming to take the guns — of the Massachusetts militia. A *real* militia, formed by local governments for self defense purposes, and their guns were kept in *arsenals*, not at home. Just like our National Guard today. Dudes don’t get to take their military weapons home with them from the Guard arsenals, yo.
One of the things that idiot NRA types are quick to say is that the 2nd Amendment was meant so that individuals could own guns that could be used as a check on the government if the government exceeded its powers and tried to impose tyranny. To put it bluntly: That’s utter balderdash, based on myths and fantasies with no basis in reality.
The first fantasy, of course, is the fantasy that the U.S. War of Secession that bankrupted the English Crown was won by rag-tag militias armed with personal weapons. Uhm, no. As I’ve previously explained, the U.S. War of Secession against the English Crown was won by regular military. The weapons of the era meant that the majority of battles were won by bayonets, not by guns, and civilian weapons did not mount bayonets. So our founding fathers knew first-hand that it was not just guns that were necessary, but *military* guns, in the hands of well-trained people who knew how to organize and use them.
The shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and more than a dozen of her constituents in Tucson this weekend has sparked criticism of Arizona’s lax gun control laws and renewed calls from some to tighten those restrictions. Six individuals were confirmed dead. Here’s our attempt to briefly break down a few of the issues at play:
Types of weapons available
In the Arizona case, the gun used by accused shooter Jared Lee Loughner was a Glock 19—a semiautomatic weapon with a 33-round magazine. The New York Times reported that this magazine is banned in six states and D.C., but not in Arizona. It was also previously illegal under a federal assault weapons ban that expired under the Bush administration in 2004.