Several folks sent me links to the unfortunate statements made by some magazine I've never heard of about some "weapons system" that they think "civilians" shouldn't be allowed to own. Nope, no links - if you don't know what I'm talking about, count yourself fortunate. Basically, it showed that the Fudd mindset is NOT just a hunter thing (I've been accused of hating on hunters, and nothing is further from the truth) - something I've tried to make clear in the past.
The "Fudd" mindset is the mindset that [insert type of firearm X here] is fine for "civilians" to own, and [insert type of firearm Y here] is not. TL/DR, I've got mine, f**k you and yours. My bolt action rifle is all I need, ergo no one would ever need one of those eeeeevil ZOMG ASSAULT RIFLE WITH THE SHOULDER THING THAT GOES UP. Or, the "handguns are made for killin', ain't no good for nothin' else so let's ban 'em" crowd. You're either with us or against us in the fight to preserve our Second Amendment rights, and if you start off with "I'm a gunowner but" - you're lost already.
My personal threshhold is pretty hardcore. I'm of the opinion that anything that won't take out a city block should you have a negligent discharge should be fine to own - machine guns, rocket launchers, etc. The misuse of said items should be punished swiftly and terribly to discourage same, but let's face it - fully automatic firearms are difficult to shoot well without significant training (read: $$$$ for ammo alone) and a determined psychopath DID use fertilizer to destroy far more than a hand grenade ever could. There are ways to wreak devastation that do not require anything handled by the ATF to the truly committed nutjob or terrorist.
Any time you say "this is okay, but this isn't" you're giving those whose ultimate goal is the complete and utter removal of firearms from private hands (excuse me, from legal, law abiding private hands; even England - where there is a complete ban on handguns - routinely sees criminals armed with same) a toehold. Because "ZOMG MACHINE GUNS" were effectively banned in 1986 (after being heavily regulated since the 1930s), it became that much easier to blur the line between full auto and semi auto and go after "assault weapons" (read: scary looking rifles) in the 1990s.
They're not going to stop at "machine guns" or "assault weapons" or "all semi-automatic firearms". They're going to stop at a complete and utter repeal of the Second Amendment, where all private ownership of firearms is outlawed - well, except for the security forces that guard politicians and celebrities, of course. Fortunately, with the advent of the internet and the immediate dissemination of information, we've been far more effective at pointing out the absurdity in their arguments and for the past 20 years they've been losing.
But the moment we turn our backs on them, they'll strike again. The fact that they have sympathizers who are allegedly on our side means we need to remain forever vigiliant no matter how small the threat may appear to be. They had been working on a one major restriction per generation deadline - the National Firearms Act in 1934 that heavily restricted fully automatic weapons, suppressors, and short-barreled rifles; the Gun Control Act of 1968 with serial numbers, no mail order, and restrictions on importation; then the Hughes Amendment in 1986 that forever (hopefully not) froze in time the number of "legal" machine guns. And then the 1990s happened, and they pushed their luck, and pushed it too far.
We've made a lot of strides since the dark days of the early 1990s. We've brought some form of concealed carry to 49 out of 50 states; a supermajority of states are even "shall issue". Three more states have joined Vermont in removing the requirement to have a permit to carry concealed entirely, and there are rumors of several more states doing the same. Even states with onerous restrictions on where one can and cannot carry a firearm legally are starting to revisit these restrictions accordingly. Even in the wake of high-profile shootings, further legislation to restrict ownership of firearms by law-abiding people has gone nowhere. I think this is happening because more and more information is readily available, meaning that more and more people both see how futile that new legislation is and also are more informed and eager to contact their representatives to block this legislation.
But, as this recent kerfluffle shows, we're not out of the woods yet, especially when people that should be on our side are eager to stab us in the back...
That is all.