I could probably write 10,000 words if I wanted to cover all the nonsense. From the contention that banning civilian versions of military weapons somehow means every gun will be confiscated to the idea that because President Obama's children get armed security, he's an elitist hypocrite. But I'll try to keep my focus on 2 memes that seem to always crop up.
The first is that people who hold the most liberal (from a gun rights perspective) interpretation of the Constitution contend that nearly unregulated gun ownership is necessary to allow the citizenry to be a check against government from becoming tyrannical or to defend themselves against a tyrannical government. I honestly don't really know where to start on this. I mean, at a broad, basic level, I get it. American colonists acted against a government that allowed them no input on how they were governed and no avenue to change that government. It WAS tyrannical. The issue today is that just because a minority (on some issues, an admittedly sizeable minority) disagrees with some government actions and laws does NOT make it tyrannical, about to become tyrannical or anything near that. Every official that passes a law is still elected. A government is tyrannical when even the majority cannot tolerate what is being done. Don't like the Affordable Care Act? Too bad. A majority of elected officials created it. A majority do not find the law burdensome. Don't like the ATF? Too bad. The vast majority find it necessary to properly enforce existing laws (created by a majority of elected officials) on alcohol, tobacco, firearms and explosives. You are still free to vote for whomever you choose as Representative, Senator and President. This is not Soviet Russia, so you can leave if you like (even without giving up your citizenship!).
There is nothing tyrannical about a large government. You may have noticed we live in the world's largest economy (for the time being), with some of the best standards of living (for most of us...), a system of laws that prevent us from having air you can collect with a mosquito net (looking at YOU, Beijing), the safest air travel system in the world and some of the most advanced healthcare in the world. You don't get that by chance and it doesn't continue by accident. It requires a government. It was created by...you guessed it! A majority of elected officials.
Let's consider, for the moment, though, if the government were tyrannical. Let's say a couple agents from any one of the 82 federal agencies that employ at least some sworn, armed agents (note: I read that figure somewhere and while on first blush it seems high, the truth is virtually every federal agency has armed enforcement agents) show up at your door to impose their tyranny. You fight back, killing them with a 9mm handgun. Ok, so a bunch more agents from a bigger, badder agency shows up. You upgrade to a more powerful rifle and kill them all, with the help of a few like-minded neighbors. Then, more agents from specialized units of more agencies show up. You lose a few neighbors but your fight-the-power group manages to kill them all the agents with some of the biggest guns you have. Well, then the National Guard shows up and the messing around stops. But, wait! You've called in every friend, neighbor, brother-in-law, whackjob and supporter you can find and you reach a standoff. Fine. Another National Guard unit is called in to support the first. At this point, just how, exactly are you going to stop an armored personnel carrier? A military-grade RPG? (Remember, this is an allegedly "tyrannical government"--they'll stop at nothing to get you). The fact is, many of the people that have the same goofy attitude that the government is out to get is them belong to a group of people that fully support the largest possible military and defense budget we can get. Doesn't this seem self-defeating? If the government wants to get you, it's going to get you, even if you have 1000 friends and neighbors all armed with AR-15's. Why? Because the members of that military are trained to use the best weapons the US taxpayer can buy against similarly very well-trained members of other militaries, not beer-guzzling, brat-eating fat guys who drive a forklift. And that's no insult to beer-guzzling, brat-eating forklift drivers because I know a lot of them. But they aren't Army Rangers. So it's NOT about keeping government in check. It's paranoia, delusions of grandeur and toughguyitis. It's ridiculous, pointless and frankly, dangerous.
Gun regulation has never been, is not and never will be about banning, confiscating or eliminating guns used for hunting, nominal self-defense against criminals or sport shooting. I had a conversation on Facebook with someone who argued that if I knew anything about guns, I'd know that people who participate in sport shooting NEED a 30 round magazine. My interaction in sport shooting says that's not true..but let's say it is: That doesn't mean you can't use one at the event site and leave it with the organizers of the event. You don't need to OWN the magazine, nor any high-powered, civilian version of a weapon originally developed specifically for military use. And if the sport shooting you do DOES need it, then you just need to find a different event. I watched shooting events at the Olympics and Outdoor Games and while I'm no Ted Nugent, I'm pretty sure none of them were using AR-15s. (But I could be wrong. I still think the broader point is the average person who does sport shooting is out shooting skeet, which I *KNOW* doesn't use anything more than a shotgun).
The second silliness is memes similar to "If we treated drivers and cars like we do guns, everyone would be arrested and imprisoned after driving drunk" (or the like). This isn't as preposterous as the "the government is out to get me" attitude, but it's actually far more stupid. Every part of our interaction with automobiles is regulated. The federal government already heavily regulates the manufacture of vehicles offered for sale in the U.S. EVERYTHING about a car is regulated by the government--from the type and strength of window glass used, to the size, brightness and color of taillights, to the required safety equipment (and the standard to which that equipment must perform). When you buy a car, every local jurisdiction charges a fee to register the vehicle (some charge annually based on the vehicle type, some a "property tax" on its value). They also (in nearly all cases--I believe only 1 state--NH or VT--do not require insurance) require the vehicle be insured (so if you use the product and injure someone through your negligent use, the injured party can recover damages--imagine that!). To be able to operate the vehicle, you have to meet basic requirements, pass a series of tests and pay a fee for the license to operate the vehicle. Then, when you operate the vehicle, another massive set of regulations apply to how and where the vehicle is operated. Those laws control how fast you can drive the car, your physical condition, require obeying signs and signals, on and on. Ultimately, driving the car itself is very highly regulated. The consequences of disobeying the regulations can be minor and inconvenient (a parking ticket or a couple hundred dollar speeding ticket) to criminal punishments as strong as any other criminal act (if you drive drunk and kill someone, a specific law exists to imprison you).
Alright, alright, we got it, Corey. I'm sorry, but I exaggerated this and drew it out to point out that car ownership and operation is far more burdensome and regulated than owning at least some type of gun in basically every state in the country. Despite the clamoring about "takin' away my guns!" even states thought of being very strict on guns allow fairly easy ownership of hunting and sport weapons (like basic rifles and shotguns). And in fact, outside cities with their own laws, even strict states like NY allow reasonable access to owning handguns for those that qualify. So the outrage is conflated to fear-mongering and paranoia. It's unhelpful and foolish.
Last point (I know I said I'd focus on 2 memes, but this one I can't let go). The NRA is getting a lot of attention for a web ad it released this week demanding why President Obama is ok with his daughters having armed guards while they are at school, but doesn't want "your kids" to have that security. A meme of varying versions has popped up on Facebook over the last few weeks. This one is probably the stupidest of the 3 I addressed today. First, the President and his/her family are provided security by the Secret Service, as required by federal law, EVEN IF THE PRESIDENT OR ANY FAMILY MEMBER DOES NOT WANT IT! Read that again: The President is not special for getting Secret Service protection for his daughters. They are protected even if they don't want to be. Second, let's try to get our egos in check, shall we? No one's children face the risks the children of the President faces. No one's children have people who are targeting them SPECIFICALLY because of who their father or mother is (or who they are, themselves). And I hate to break it you, but if there are children out there targeted specifically because of who their high-profile father is, then I can guarantee those children have private, armed security...because those fathers are certainly wealthy CEOs, celebrities or other officials. The fact we are at the point that the NRA thinks it's perfectly acceptable invoke the security of the President's children means it has to have jumped the shark and this approach has completely devolved into demagoguery and irrationality.
Reasonable people must be able to talk about this issue and find a point that reasonably controls guns and their sale. This is about whether we're a "gun country" or "guns don't kill people, people kill people". The facts are: Lots of people are killed by people using guns--not knives, baseball bats or any other weapon. Guns are easily obtained by those that DON'T intend to hunt, shoot skeet or kill an intruder. No one is trying to take guns from law-abiding, mentally healthy people who want to own guns for those purposes. Those are the facts and they are not in dispute. If you try to dispute them, you are not rational. It's time for rationality, not hyperbole.