THORSDAY THUNDERBOLT: Hammer Control

sockpuppethorGreetings from Asgard noble warriors! Tis I the one, the only, the Prince of Asgard, Surly Thor. The fine mortals here hath asked Odinson nicely to write a column for you the wonderful people of Midgard. Initially Surly Thor was confused by the offer wondering if Banner and Stark were perchance not returning the phone calls? Clearly those two mortals are bright enough to write a well researched article on near anything, and there in was the crux of why Surly Thor was contacted, they wanted an outsiders opinion on a mortal issue, sort of a WWAD (What Would Asgard Do) situation.
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The topic suggested was that of the raging debate on Midgard in regards to gun legislation or gun control. Asgard is no stranger to violence—generally if the Jotun aren’t acting up the dark elves are, and if the dark elves are quiet it means the fire giants are about to attack. Well thou gets the gist. However, what Asgard does have an issue with is its residents taking their Uru hammers, wandering down to the Asgardian Ikea (yes, we have one), and smiting two dozen people for no good reason. At times Surly Thor feels like America is the addict who won’t take the first step to admit it has a problem. So Surly Thor did pour over as many tomes as he could and found there art basically three areas of disagreement on the issue: those being universal background checks, the limiting of the size of one’s magazine, and the ban of assault weapons. Surly Thor will go point by point through the three issues as well as adding a fourth issue that bears mentioning at the end.
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1) Universal Background Checks

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Lets start with the easy one. Apparently most mortals art in favor of John Q Lunatic not being able to walk into a gun show, find a private seller and purchase a shiny new gun. Seems simple no? Apply the same standards across all the states and get rid of loopholes or things that allow people like Christian Oberender to arm themselves. The short version is that Mr. Orberender killed his mother at fourteen and a few months ago was still able to legally obtain thirteen various guns. Let that sink in…
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You currently have a system in place where criminals, Hell e’en those on a terrorist watch list, can purchase firearms. It seems almost a no brainer people would want this fixed, but, nay, some feel tis not worth pursuing. The common irrational fear from those who art anti-gun control seems to be that this will create some sort of government tracking or file of who hath what weapons. The punch line becomes that when one applies for a gun permit one goes to their local police station—you know, the government—who will now take your information and put it on file. Irony is not lost here in Asgard.
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2) Magazine Size

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The standard line the Prince of Asgard doth hear is “But Surly Thor, it takes a mere second or two to reload a magazine.” Great, now use that Midgardian thing called math and extrapolate that second or two out over multiple magazine changes; it doth come out to be roughly around a 20% increase in time John Q Lunatic tis not shooting at people. Will it stop people from going out and committing these horrible crimes? Nay. Can it cause these crimes to be less lethal? The answer whilst situational tis most likely yes.
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The other common whine Odinson doth hear from across the Bifrost tis “But if they take my thirty-round magazines how will I defend myself?” Surly Thor doth really enjoy this jest on several levels. First off, one has to wonder what sort of scenario they art envisioning. Not to mix metaphors but do they think Hans Gruber will mistake their home for Nakatomi Plaza, and they will have to go all John McClaine with a MP5? Secondly, a Mossberg shotgun is six-to-eight rounds and the sound of it being cocked tis probably the last thing any intruder wants to here short of “Thou hast a pretty mouth.”
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3) Assault Weapon Ban

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Here is where thou will most likely do a double take. Surly Thor doth not favor the assault weapon ban. Now hear me out before you start grabbing thy torches and pitchforks. Lets say of the three main pieces of gun control regulation you can pass two, you take the universal background checks and you take magazine size.
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Or perchance look at it this way. With a magazine restriction in place what is the real difference between a AR15 with ten rounds and another .223 rifle with ten rounds? Aesthetics. Verily the pro-gun crowd basically admits all things being equal they want the gun that looks cooler. Let them, for even with an assault weapon ban in place the majority of the weapons that fall under its purview will get grandfathered in. Asgard suggests putting thine energy into other endeavors.
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4) Mental Health

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Odinson would be remiss without addressing this very real issue that while not wholly related to gun legislation falls into the “chicken soup” category (in so much that it couldn’t hurt). There seems to be a stigma around mental illness upon Midgard; this needs to change. How many depressed people or people with schizophrenia felt it was easier to opt out of your world or decided to take their pain out on innocent people than stand up and admit they had a problem for fear of being ridiculed or labeled? This will more require a paradigm shift with a back end focus on making the services more available to everyone. Allow Surly Thor to put it another way; stop making it easier to pick up a gun than to see a doctor.
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The ball is in thy proverbial court Midgard, rise to the challenge. Surly Thor and Asgard hath faith you will do the right thing.
  • matt

    As always Surly Thor. You hit the nail right on the head with your massive hammer.

  • Lynn

    I would like to add to your #4. In order for most people to get Mental Health services, they need to be amazingly rich. Health insurance and Medicaid needs to acknowledge that mental illness is an ILLNESS and needs to be treated with a small copay and unlimited visits. A lot of people do not get proper care because they can’t afford the office visits. As the child of a mentally ill person, I can tell you, they need talk therapy AND medication, not one or the other. They are not mutually exclusive.

  • Joe

    For the assault weapons ban, anyone who says it didn’t work clearly doesn’t know about the loopholes that the gun lobby found, and how they restricted information from getting out to the public. Also they pretty much neutered the CDC’s ability to do any research into gun violence

  • I love it. Great stuff. Will be putting this in bookmarks- KEEP IT UP!

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  • Thou art severely afflicted with logic and reason that doth savage the minds of mere mortals Odinson.

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