Don’t expect to see this story on the network news.
A citizen with a gun stopped a knife wielding man as he began stabbing people Thursday evening at the downtown Salt Lake City Smith’s store.
Police say the suspect purchased a knife inside the store and then turned it into a weapon. Smith’s employee Dorothy Espinoza says, “He pulled it out and stood outside the Smiths in the foyer. And just started stabbing people and yelling you killed my people. You killed my people.”
Espinoza says, the knife wielding man seriously injured two people. “There is blood all over. One got stabbed in the stomach and got stabbed in the head and held his hands and got stabbed all over the arms.”
Then, before the suspect could find another victim – a citizen with a gun stopped the madness. “A guy pulled gun on him and told him to drop his weapon or he would shoot him. So, he dropped his weapon and the people from Smith’s grabbed him.”
…President Obama has watched the blood-dimmed tide drowning the ceremony of innocence, as Yeats wrote, and he has learned how to emotionally connect with Americans in searing moments, as he did from the White House late Friday night after the second bombing suspect was apprehended in Boston.
He didn’t connect with me. I don’t need consolation nor comforting from politicians, especially the likes of Obama. I changed the channel.
Unfortunately, he still has not learned how to govern.
Well, what a shock!
How is it that the president won the argument on gun safety with the public and lost the vote in the Senate? It’s because he doesn’t know how to work the system. And it’s clear now that he doesn’t want to learn, or to even hire some clever people who can tell him how to do it or do it for him.
Why should he? He regards himself as brilliant. And Maureen, you’re one of his ego’s enablers.
It’s unbelievable that with 90 percent of Americans on his side, he could get only 54 votes in the Senate. It was a glaring example of his weakness in using leverage to get what he wants. No one on Capitol Hill is scared of him.
Obama is a natural bully. But bullies eventually get found out.
Obama and Reid were afraid of open debate and thus cooked their own goose.
…Majority Leader Harry Reid was free to bring the deal struck by West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin and Pennsylvania Republican Pat Toomey to the floor for an up-or-down vote, and this background-checks amendment might have passed. It did convince 54 Senators, including four Republicans.
But under Senate rules, a simple majority vote would have opened the measure to up to 30 hours of debate, which would have meant inspecting the details. The White House demanded, and Mr. Reid agreed, that Congress should try to pass the amendment without such a debate.
Majority rules would have also opened the bill to pro-gun amendments that were likely to pass. That would have boxed Mr. Reid into the embarrassing spectacle of having to later scotch a final bill because it also contained provisions that the White House loathes. So Mr. Reid moved under “unanimous consent” to allow nine amendments, each with a 60-vote threshold.
The White House was right to worry. An amendment from John Cornyn of Texas that would have required all states to recognize every other state’s concealed-carry permits earned 57 votes, 13 Democrats among them. The nearby table has the list. On Thursday, Wyoming’s John Barrasso offered an amendment to protect gun ownership privacy that passed 67-30.
The media are attributing the demise of Manchin-Toomey to the clout of rural states, as if those voters don’t count; or claiming it would have passed under a secret ballot, as if democratic accountability is bad. Our guess is the amendment would have received fewer votes in a secret ballot. Many red-state Democrats wanted to avoid handing Mr. Obama a larger defeat on a bill that was about to fail anyway, but more might have parted company once the specifics were scrutinized.
Manchin-Toomey was rushed together on a political timetable, and a thorough scrub would have revealed that its finer legal points aren’t as modest as liberals claim. Tellingly, the White House blew up earlier negotiations with Tom Coburn on background checks. The Oklahoma Republican favored more and better checks across secondary firearms markets like gun shows and online, but liberals insisted that federally licensed dealers had to keep records.
In other words, keeping guns away from dangerous or unstable people was less important than defeating the NRA. The Senate GOP offered an alternative background-checks amendment that failed 52-48. Nine Democrats were in favor, but their colleagues voted en masse to block it from moving forward. How’s that for incoherent?
Mr. Obama is technically right that Manchin-Toomey would not create a federal firearms registry. Then again, its most clamorous supporters are also contemptuous of the Second Amendment, and they are explicitly hoping for a fifth Justice to overturn the Supreme Court’s landmark gun-rights rulings. Manchin-Toomey opponents can be forgiven for worrying that gun controllers will attempt to build a registry from whatever records they get.
Meanwhile, political reporters are ignoring the disintegration of Mr. Obama’s overall gun agenda. Restricting large capacity magazines went down 46-54, with 10 Democrats breaking with the President. Banning certain types of semiautomatic rifles failed 40-60 with 15 Democrats opposed. Those 15 or so Democrats, along with numerous Republicans, are the true mainstream on guns in America: open to reasonable compromises as long as they safeguard individual rights.
People who cling to their guns, or merely to the Constitution, aren’t part of the coalition that Mr. Obama believes re-elected him, and his mistake was thinking they would simply dissolve into history’s rearview mirror in his new progressive era. Mr. Obama was routed this week because he tried to govern from the left and thus played into the hands of the NRA. If the Newtown families want someone to blame, they can start with the President.
James Taranto on Gabby Giffords, a lesson in logical fallacies.
…If Alter meant it when he said he hoped Giffords would become a “referee” of public discourse–an advocate for reasoned civility–he ought to feel terribly disappointed. She has instead turned out to be a practitioner of incivility and unreason.
That’s a harsh but justified appraisal of her op-ed in today’s New York Times, titled “A Senate in the Gun Lobby’s Grip.” It’s a reaction to yesterday’s failure of President Obama’s gun-control proposals in the Democratic Senate. Giffords’s 900-word jeremiad should be included in every textbook of logic and political rhetoric, so rife is it with examples of fallacious reasoning and demagogic appeals. Let’s go through them:
• The argumentum ad passiones, or appeal to emotion. She leads with this one: “Senators say they fear the N.R.A. and the gun lobby. But I think that fear must be nothing compared to the fear the first graders in Sandy Hook Elementary School felt as their lives ended in a hail of bullets. The fear that those children who survived the massacre must feel every time they remember their teachers stacking them into closets and bathrooms, whispering that they loved them, so that love would be the last thing the students heard if the gunman found them.”
• The appeal to motives. Giffords claims that the senators who voted against the measures “looked over their shoulder at the powerful, shadowy gun lobby” and “made their decision based on political fear and on cold calculations about the money of special interests like the National Rifle Association.” She also asserts that “their decision was based on a misplaced sense of self-interest” and on “cowardice.” These characterizations are mutually inconsistent–can a senator’s decision have been based on both unreasoning fear and a cold (but erroneous!) calculation of self-interest?–and they are also entirely unsubstantiated. So is her assertion that “the status quo” is “desperately protected by the gun lobby so that they can make more money by spreading fear and misinformation.”
• Guilt by association. See the references to the “gun lobby” in the preceding paragraph.
• Poisoning the well. She reveals that some of the senators who voted against the amendments “have met with grieving parents” and that some “have also looked into my eyes . . . and expressed sympathy” for her and other Tucson victims. Her purpose in citing these facts is to impugn the senators’ sincerity: “And still these senators decided to do nothing. Shame on them.” In reality, they didn’t “do nothing”; they rejected particular legislative proposals. It does not follow, and indeed it seems unlikely and is boorish to assert, that their expressions of sympathy were not heartfelt.
• Begging the question. Giffords characterizes the proposed amendments as “common-sense legislation” that “could prevent future tragedies.” She also describes them as “these most benign and practical of solutions.” She pretends that the central matter in dispute–whether the benefits would outweigh the costs or indeed whether the proposals would have yielded the benefits their advocates promised at all–has already been settled in her side’s favor.
• The no-true-Scotsman move. “These senators have heard from their constituents–who polls show overwhelmingly favored expanding background checks,” Giffords writes. She ignores the possibility that those polls are flawed and that the senators are hearing a different message from their constituents. Then she qualifies her claim of public unanimity: “I am asking every reasonable American to help me tell the truth . . .” See what she did there? (The switcheroo to every reasonable American reminds us of a probably apocryphal tale about Adlai Stevenson. A woman is supposed to have said to him, “Governor, you have the support of every thinking American,” to which he replied: “But madam, I need a majority.”)
• The argumentum ad baculam, or argument from the club. This consists in attempting to persuade by making threats. Giffords urges “mothers to stop these lawmakers at the grocery store and tell them: You’ve lost my vote” and in other ways for those who agree with her to work for the lawmakers’ defeat–a call to action, not an argument. There is, of course, nothing objectionable about citizens in a democratic republic engaging in such action, but that goes for those on the other side as well. And it’s worth recalling that the “civility” hypocrites back in the day proclaimed themselves troubled and outraged by the phenomenon of citizens confronting their elected representatives at public meetings.
• The argumentum ad miserecordiam, or appeal to pity. “Speaking is physically difficult for me,” she writes. “But my feelings are clear: I’m furious.” It should be obvious that this in no way speaks to the merits of the legislation or even the character of its supporters and opponents.
• The false dilemma. This is Giffords’s closing gambit: “To do nothing while others are in danger is not the American way.”
• The appeal to authority. That would be Giffords’s own authority as a former lawmaker. “I was elected six times to represent southern Arizona, in the State Legislature and then in Congress,” she writes. “I know what a complicated issue is; I know what it feels like to take a tough vote. This was neither.” Perhaps her legislative experience gives her some insight into the senators’ state of mind, but if so, she does not share it with readers, whom she expects to accept her conclusion unquestioningly.
She makes one other appeal to authority, writing of the senators who voted “no” that “they will try to hide their decision behind grand talk, behind willfully false accounts of what the bill might have done–trust me, I know how politicians talk when they want to distract you.”
But the appeal to authority isn’t always fallacious. In this case, Giffords has earned her readers’ trust. The op-ed itself demonstrates her total command of how politicians talk when they want to distract you.
This one is especially creepy:
A Bloomberg editorial, meanwhile, asserts that “if the nation’s laws fail to represent the views of the overwhelming majority of its people, representative democracy becomes a shallow and unsustainable exercise.” The premise is highly questionable–see “The no-true-Scotsman move,” above–but the conclusion is appalling.
If Bloomberg–a media company owned by one of the two leading antigun politicians in America–thinks representative democracy is “unsustainable,” what does it propose as an alternative?
When people become absolutely convinced they are right (“the overwhelming majority…”) they can become dangerous. Every zealot is 100% convinced of his righteousness, even as he plants bombs or usurps personal freedom. Witness Bill Ayers and the Weather Underground.
As for Bloomberg, first a nanny, then a dictator.
“There are good people on both sides of this thing,” President Obama said in a gun control speech a couple of weeks ago, “but we have to be able to put ourselves in the other person’s shoes.” He worried that “both sides of the debate sometimes don’t listen to each other” and wondered, “How do you build trust?” Not this way:
There were no coherent arguments as to why we wouldn’t do this. It came down to politics—the worry that that vocal minority of gun owners would come after them in future elections….They caved to pressure, and they started looking for an excuse—any excuse—to vote no….This was a pretty shameful day for Washington.
That is how Obama explained the Senate’s refusal to approve the gun control measures he supports. According to the president, no one honestly questioned the merits of his proposals; the opposition all “came down to politics,” meaning a desperate desire to retain power. His opponents not only failed to make a convincing case, he says; they offered “no coherent arguments” at all. Since Obama’s case for gun control consisted mainly ofinvoking dead children and grieving parents, that charge displays an astonishing lack of self-awareness. Here is how Obama responds to critics, such as Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who fault him for using victims of gun violence as props:
Are they serious? Do we really think that thousands of families whose lives have been shattered by gun violence don’t have a right to weigh in on this issue? Do we think their emotions, their loss, is not relevant to this debate?
Of course they have a right to speak their minds. But no, their emotions are not relevant when it comes to empirical questions such as the impact of background checks, “assault weapon” bans, and limits on magazines. Their pain tells us nothing about the effectiveness or constitutionality of such measures. To the contrary, it obscures those issues with an impenetrable emotional fog.
Obama does a fine job of empathizing with the parents of Adam Lanza’s victims. But that is something any decent human being should be able to manage. Where he has trouble, despite his lip service to the idea of putting himself in the other guy’s shoes, is in empathizing with his opponents. He not only says they are wrong, which is to be expected. He refuses to concede that people who disagree with him about gun control are acting in good faith, based on what they believe to be sound reasons—that they, like him, are doing what they think is right. His self-righteous solipsism is striking even for a politician.
And it was money gone to waste.
First, according to Gallup, Americans don’t rank gun control as that important. So all the mawkish exploitation of the grieving parents and friends, all the emotional blackmail failed to work.
Today, the Senate bill failed on a 54-46 vote.
Senator Dianne Feinstein blames the money and influence of the NRA for her legislative losses. However, New York nanny Michael Bloomberg donated as much as the NRA all by himself.
And Barack Obama, who lied to the American people when he claimed that automatic weapons were used in the Newtown shooting, petulantly claimed the NRA had lied to the American public.
“It came down to politics,” Obama said, adding too many senators had worried a vocal minority of gun owners would come after them in the next election.
The votes were the culmination of weeks of intense negotiations and lobbying over Obama’s proposed gun restrictions. The defeat of the background checks amendment could doom the biggest package of gun legislation Congress has considered in two decades.
So senators are wrong to vote the way their constituents want?
Elections have consequences, sport. You lost this one.
Actor and comedian Jay Mohr waded into the gun debate on Twitter after Monday’s deadly terrorist attacks at the Boston Marathon.
“What bothers me most about today is that we’re getting used 2 it. ENOUGH. 2nd amendment must go. Violence has 2 stop. Culture MUST change,” the Jerry Maguire actor tweeted Monday night.
As an entertainer, Mohr makes his living from an industry that profits from a culture of violence: movies, music and video games.
Speaking of which, Mohr voiced Tony Montana in the video game, Scarface, described thus:
You play as the ruthless Cuban gangster Tony Montana. Sosa took everything you had and you are going to get it all back. Tony continues too buy business. He continues to deal drugs. He continues on his quest to kill Sosa.
Just another day in Sunday school.
The two Boston bombs were made with pressure cookers. A talking head on TV noted helpfully that these are “readily available.” Ya think? Just like toasters, coffee makers, and iron skillets.
Maybe Mohr will starting tweeting about a need for a national pressure cooker registry.
In an apparent slip of the tongue, Harry Reid this morning referred to the gun-control bill he brought to the Senate floor as “anti-gun legislation.”
“On the anti-gun legislation before the Senate, we are making good progress on the effort to schedule a series of votes on amendments to the anti-gun violence legislation before the Senate.”
In March, PoliceOne conducted the most comprehensive survey ever of American law enforcement officers’ opinions on the topic gripping the nation’s attention in recent weeks: gun control.
More than 15,000 verified law enforcement professionals took part in the survey, which aimed to bring together the thoughts and opinions of the only professional group devoted to limiting and defeating gun violence as part of their sworn responsibility.
Totaling just shy of 30 questions, the survey allowed officers across the United States to share their perspectives on issues spanning from gun control and gun violence to gun rights.
There’s a lot to see.
“Let’s make it a little harder for our kids to get gunned down.”
– President Obama, April 8 2013
Obama’s speech, at once demagogic and pathetic, reminded us of Mayor Michael Nutter’s efforts to censor a different kind of magazine, which we noted last month. Like Nutter, Obama is seeking to restrain law-abiding individuals from exercising their constitutional rights in ways the liberal left disapproves. And like Nutter’s effort, Obama’s is unlikely to succeed.
Here’s an example of the president’s demagogy:
Ninety percent of Americans support universal background checks. Think about that. How often do 90% of Americans agree on anything? And yet, 90% agree on this–Republicans, Democrats, folks who own guns, folks who don’t own guns; 80% of Republicans, more than 80% of gun owners, more than 70% of NRA households. It is common sense.
And yet, there is only one thing that can stand in the way of change that just about everybody agrees on, and that’s politics in Washington. You would think that with those numbers Congress would rush to make this happen. That’s what you would think. If our democracy is working the way it’s supposed to, and 90% of the American people agree on something, in the wake of a tragedy you’d think this would not be a heavy lift.
And yet, some folks back in Washington are already floating the idea that they may use political stunts to prevent votes on any of these reforms. Think about that. They’re not just saying they’ll vote “no” on ideas that almost all Americans support. They’re saying they’ll do everything they can to even prevent any votes on these provisions. They’re saying your opinion doesn’t matter. And that’s not right.
At this point, the audience boos, and Obama leads them in a chant of “We want a vote!” So let’s see if we have this straight: 90% of the public agrees with Obama’s position, yet it can’t get a vote because opponents are playing politics? One or the other of these statements may be true, or both may be false, but they can’t both be true.
Now, this column strongly opposes all Obama’s gun-control proposals, but we’re with our colleague Kim Strassel in thinking Senate Republicans are foolish to try to prevent votes on them. Why not put red-state Democrats like Mark Pryor, Mary Landrieu, Mark Begich and Joe Manchin on the spot by making them vote on each and every antigun proposal? As Strassel notes, the GOP can always filibuster later, if there’s a danger of an actual bill going to the floor–or, if the Senate approves something, they can kill it in the House.
Obama uttered one of the worst lines in the history of presidential oratory yesterday: “This is about these families and families all across the country who are saying let’s make it a little harder for our kids to get gunned down.”
…dry it on oaks leaves for three moonless nights, then bury it seven inches deep in clay soil with chest hairs from a wolf and chant Hare Krishna for good measure?
That would have as much impact.
But aides on Capitol Hill admit that there is not a thing in the bill that would have prevented the killer, Adam Lanza, from killing 26 at the school in Newtown, Connecticut.
“There’s nothing in this legislation that addresses the fact pattern at Sandy Hook,” a senior Senate aide told me on the phone.
The aide explains that the bill expands on the background-check system already in place, but that the system doesn’t work properly.
“They are expanding on a broken system that we know will fail,” says the aide.
Under this law, I’m told, Adam Lanza would still have been able to steal the so-called assault weapon that his mother legally owned—and use it to shoot up the school.
For those who don’t know, actor Jim Carrey put out a video mocking gun owners.
Jim Carrey was once coupling with actress/nude model Jenny McCarthy and joined her in her campaign against childhood vaccination.
Bloomberg’s comment is the worst. The fool doesn’t even know the first thing about guns.
Then there’s Colorado Congresswoman Diana Degette blabbing about gun magazines, assuming that they cannot be refilled.
How do such morons get to the top?
“Why wouldn’t we want to close the loophole that allows as many as 40 percent of all gun purchases to take place without a background check?”
— President Obama, remarks on gun safety, March 28, 2013
Notice the “as many as” in that statement? It’s like “save up to 80%” in advertising. “Up to.” Sure.
We were away last week and have been catching up on the recent rhetoric. A number of readers asked us about this comment last week by President Obama, and his Twitter account (managed by his campaign spin-off Organizing for Action), given that we had looked closely at this statistic back in January, in two columns, and found it wanting. It ultimately earned a rating of Two Pinocchios. PolitiFact in January also concluded there were serious problems with this particular statistic, giving it a rating of “half true.”
Normally we would expect some adjustment of the language in response to a fact-checker consensus. Alas, it appears to be time for a refresher course — and a new rating.
There are two key problems with the president’s use of this statistic: The numbers are about two decades old, yet he acts as if they are fresh, and he refers to “purchases” or “sales” when in fact the original report concerned “gun acquisitions” and “transactions.” Those are much broader categories of data.
This study was based on data collected from a survey in 1994, the same year that the Brady Act requirements for background checks came into effect. In fact, the questions concerned purchases in 1993 and 1994, and the Brady Act went into effect in early 1994 — meaning that some, if not many, of the guns were bought in a pre-Brady environment.
Digging deeper, we found that the survey sample was just 251 people. (The survey was done by telephone, using a random-digit-dial method, with a response rate of 50 percent.) With this sample size, the 95 percent confidence interval will be plus or minus six percentage points.
Moreover, when asked whether the respondent bought from a licensed firearms dealer, the possible answers included “probably was/think so” and “probably not,” leaving open the possibility the purchaser was mistaken. (The “probably not” answers were counted as “no.”)
When all of the “yes” and “probably was” answers were added together, that left 35.7 percent of respondents indicating they did not receive the gun from a licensed firearms dealer. Rounding up gets you to 40 percent, although as we noted before, the survey sample is so small it could also be rounded down to 30 percent.
Moreover, when gifts, inheritances and prizes are added in, then the number shrinks to 26.4 percent. (The survey showed that nearly 23.8 percent of the people surveyed obtained their gun either as a gift or inherited it, and about half of them believed a licensed firearms dealer was the source.)
The New York Times caused a sensation with its kazillion-word, March 17 article by Michael Luo on the failures of state courts to get guns out of the hands of men in domestic violence situations.
The main purpose of the article was to tweak America’s oldest civil rights organization, the National Rifle Association, for opposing some of the more rash anti-gun proposals being considered by state legislatures, such as allowing courts to take away a person’s firearms on the basis of a temporary restraining order.
It’s a new position for liberals to oppose the rights of the accused. Usually the Times is demanding that even convicted criminals be given voting rights, light sentences, sex-change operations and vegan meals in prison.
Another recent Times article about communities trying to keep sex offenders out of their neighborhoods quoted a liberal saying: “It’s counterproductive to public safety, because when you have nothing to lose, you are much more likely to commit a crime than when you are rebuilding your life.”
But that was about convicted child molesters. This is about guns, so all new rules apply.
As is usually the case when liberals start proposing gun restrictions, they assume only men will be disarmed by laws taking guns from those subjected to temporary restraining orders. But such orders aren’t particularly difficult to get. It doesn’t occur to liberals that an abusive man could also get one against his wife, whether or not his accusations are true.
Rather than helping victims of domestic abuse, this — and other Times’ proposals on guns — only ensures that more women will get killed. A gun in the hand of an abused woman changes the power dynamic far more than keeping a gun out of the hands of her abuser, who generally can murder his wife in any number of ways…
Read it all.
President Obama urged House and Senate leaders to bring the assault weapons ban and other measures introduced in response to the Newtown, Conn., school shooting up for a vote.
“These weapons of war, when combined with high-capacity magazines, have one purpose: to inflict maximum damage as quickly as possible,” Obama said in a statement. “They are designed for the battlefield, and they have no place on our streets, in our schools, or threatening our law enforcement officers.”
Weapons of war? Does he believe that members of the Marine Corpse (his pronunciation) go to war with AR-15 rifles?
Does he know the difference between an automatic and semi-automatic weapon? Sure, but he knows many dumbo voters do not.
By now, anyone who cares saw Senator Diane Feinstein get pissy when Senator Ted Cruz pestered her about the 2nd Amendment.
She insisted she wasn’t a sixth grader and didn’t need this newcomer lecturing her because she’s been there a long time. Did she learn about the logical fallacy of “appeal to authority” which boils down to, “Don’t argue with me, I know more than you.”
“I’ve looked at bodies that have been shot with these weapons,” the bill’s chief sponsor, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, told Senate Judiciary Committee colleagues. “How many times does this have to happen?”
How many foolish laws must be passed that accomplish nothing, Diane? Like your last “assault weapons” ban that did zilch.
Besides, who cares if she’s seen dead bodies? That doesn’t constitute a good reason for passing a law. Furthermore, if she means the two dead San Francisco politicians–Moscone and Milk–they were not killed with rifles.
And, in today’s USA, very few are: per the FBI in 2010, there were 358 people murdered with rifles versus 6,009 with handguns.
Dan Baum, a self-described lifelong liberal Democrat is also a lifelong “gun guy.”
His featured article in the Saturday WSJ was one of the best things I’ve read about guns since Sandy Hook.
A lot of assumptions are made about gun owners, by the NRA and gun-control proponents alike. What nobody ever seems to do, though, is listen to them.
I recently drove 15,000 miles around the country doing just that, talking to gun guys in their homes and garages, at gun shows and ranges, at gun stores and in the woods, trying to figure out why they are so deeply attracted to firearms and why guns inspire such passion on all sides. In part, it was a voyage of self-discovery. I’m a weirdo hybrid: a lifelong gun guy who is also a lifelong liberal Democrat. I often feel like the child of a bitter divorce who has allegiance to both parents.
I obtained a concealed-carry permit and wore a gun every place I went. I’d flash it like a Masonic pin, and gun guys poured out their stories. They seemed very glad finally to be asked about their gun lives by someone who was both sympathetic and not trying to manipulate them.
The fondness for firearms is complex. At their simplest, guns are beautifully made things, richly satisfying to handle. The one with which I hunt was made in 1900, for the Spanish-American War. At a gun store in Minnesota, a big man put his credit card on the counter to buy a Glock, and as he waited for his receipt he turned to me with a sigh of satisfaction. “Tell me another thing I can buy for $400 that my grandchildren will be using,” he said. (This, by the way, is one of the problems with gun bans; unless we’re willing to go house to house rounding them up, the country’s 300 million privately owned guns are going to last forever.)
Then there’s the Zen pleasure of marksmanship. One competitor at a match in Kentucky called it “a martial art,” but even less serious shooting is a hoot. At a machine-gun shoot in the Arizona desert—yes, machine guns are legal with the right permit—I rented a Thompson submachine gun and fired it into an arroyo strewed with junked cars and sticks of dynamite. Choose the most antigun peacenik you know, let her shoot a Tommy gun at a stick of dynamite, then ask if it was fun.
But he has some common sense ideas for making gun ownership safer for everyone.
But my fellow gun guys have plenty to answer for, too. We don’t live in a vacuum. Our guns affect everybody, and the non-gun-owning public has a right to expect things to improve. More than ever, after the transformative horror of Sandy Hook, the old defensive crouch is inadequate. If gun culture is to survive, gun guys need to get in the game. If we want to hold on to our guns, we need to be part of the solution…
The wrongest of wrong hands for guns aren’t necessarily those of criminals but of curious children and depressed teenagers. Accidental child death is one of the few gun statistics that has grown worse since 1999. Teenage gun suicide is a lot lower than it was in 1999, but it’s still heartbreakingly high. Almost half the teenagers who kill themselves do it with a gun, and, unlike those who try it with pills, car exhaust, razorblades, or a rope, they almost always succeed.
Where are those children and teenagers getting the guns? Not from gun stores, thanks to age minimums. Not from gun shows, either, unless they’re getting an adult to buy them. And not from some murky “illegal gun market.” They’re getting them, by and large, from adults who leave them around, where immature hands can find them.
To the legislatures of 27 states and the District of Columbia, the solution to both problems seems obvious: Require guns to be locked up, trigger-locked, stored separately from their ammunition, or some combination of the three. A lot of gun guys hate these laws. They argue that a gun separated from its ammunition, disabled or locked away is useless in an emergency.
Not true. I keep my handgun loaded in the bedroom, in a metal safe the size of a toaster that pops open the second I punch in a three-digit code. I bought it on eBay EBAY -0.23% for $25. The gun is secure but instantly available—to me only. Many gun guys use such safes. They just don’t want to be told to use them.
One way you can usually tell that liberals are merely grandstanding is when you find Joe Biden heading up a task force to look into the issue. That doesn’t mean that the self-righteous pinheads on the Left don’t wish that Obama could use his magic wand and make all the guns, along with the Second Amendment, simply disappear. That is to say, all the guns except those in the hands of men whose job it is to protect politicians and Hollywood prima donnas.
In case you missed it, Obama is so opposed to guns that he recently signed a bill that nullifies earlier legislation that offered an ex-president and his family Secret Service protection for only 10 years after vacating the White House. The Obamas, along with George and Laura Bush, will now be protected for life. I’m sure the Bushes were only included so that Obama could claim he was being bi-partisan. I suppose you’d really have to be a politician, one of those hypocrites who are forever referring to themselves as “public servants,” to imagine that your life is more deserving of protection than the folks whom you’ve sworn to serve.
My friend Mark Alexander, publisher of the Patriot Post, the most widely subscribed grassroots journal in the nation, not only saw red, but red, white and blue, when Joe Biden suggested that Obama could employ a presidential fiat to implement gun control measures. Mr. Alexander threw down the gauntlet by stating in terms reminiscent of those uttered so often by our Founding Fathers: “In keeping with the oath I have taken in the service of my country, I will ‘support and defend’ Liberty as ‘endowed by our Creator and enshrined in our Constitution, ‘against all enemies, foreign and domestic.’ Accordingly, I will not comply with any defensive weapons ban instituted by executive order, legislative action or judicial dictate, which violates the innate human right to defend self and Liberty, as empowered by ‘the right of the People to keep and bear arms.’
He went on: “What does this mean? It means I will neither register with, nor surrender to the government, any weapon in my possession, to include lawfully acquired weapons for the lawful purposes of defending myself and family, my home and property, and most importantly, for defense of Liberty in accordance with the Second Amendment.”
That’s the way Americans used to speak, as those of us who grew up reading American history books before the PC crowd revamped textbooks so that they demeaned the likes of Jefferson, Adams and Patrick Henry and denied that the foundation of our country was built on Judeo-Christian values. Instead, the dunderheads running public education today prefer promoting alternate life styles, pretending that the First Amendment calls for “separation of church and state” and playing up the nonexistent role that Muslims had in the creation of America.
Although I believe that there are enough patriots in this country who stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Mr. Alexander to prevent this administration from confiscating constitutionally-protected weapons, I must hasten to add that I was also sure that Mitt Romney was going to defeat Obama.
The trouble with Obama and his stooges in Congress, in the media and on college campuses, is that, as Thomas Sowell said of intellectuals, “The more I study them, the more they seem like a wrecking crew, dismantling civilization bit by bit, replacing what works with what sounds good.”
Well, of course, that’s really only one of the troubles with Obama. But if you listen to the corn dogs on the Left, his cover-up of the Benghazi massacre, his ruination of America’s economy and his dividing the nation along class, race and gender lines, are mere trifles; what really galls them is that he wants to appoint a bunch of white guys to his Cabinet. At times, I swear, places like Afghanistan and Pakistan seem less like backward tribal nations than our own. Does anyone actually think that John Kerry will be worse than Hillary Clinton or that Chuck Hagel would be a better Secretary of Defense if he were black, Jewish or named Charlene?
The real problem is that the Vice President is the only person who should serve as an echo chamber for the Commander-in-Chief, no matter who’s residing in the Oval Office. All Cabinet members should be independent in their thinking so that the President has the benefit of their honest analysis. Unfortunately, it’s obvious that Obama is only comfortable being surrounded by “Yes” men and, for that matter, by “Yes” women, although not in the sense that Bill Clinton was.
One of my readers, who had grown as weary as I have of listening to the left-wing weasels who are always insisting that law-abiding citizens don’t need to own guns in order to protect their homes and families because that’s what the police are for, sent me this pungent observation: “When seconds count, the cops are just minutes away.”
Finally, someone else sent me a photo of a strange-looking instrument and asked me if I could identify it. I couldn’t. It turned out to be a combination of a bellows and a tube that was widely used in the 18th century. The purpose of the contraption was to help in the resuscitation of drowning victims by forcing tobacco fumes into their rectums.
The warmth of the smoke was thought to promote respiration, but doubts about the smoke enemas ultimately led to the popular phrase “blow smoke up someone’s ass.”
Although it fell out of favor two centuries ago, it has not only been rediscovered by the Democrats in Washington, D.C., but Pelosi and Reid are insisting that it be mass-produced as an essential part of ObamaCare.
It seems that guns bring out the worst illogic.
As I watched the manhunt for Chris Dorner play out over a week in Big Bear, I thought this demonstrated precisely why citizens want and need guns.
If you lived in Big Bear last week would you have preferred to be armed or to rely solely on police who could barely protect themselves from Dorner?
Would you want some elitist twits determining how many rounds you could fire before reloading?
The nutty notion that a citizen can be heavily enough armed to fight off the government went up in smoke near Big Bear Lake.
This may sound crazy to most normal people, but there are some obsessed gun owners — although a minority, surely — who believe they need to arm themselves to perhaps combat government oppression.
Skelton goes on to slay a few straw men, reducing the argument about defending oneself against tyrants to a few paranoid kooks.
I remember in 2009 watching the Iranian Basiji speed on motorbikes through crowds of peaceful demonstrators in Tehran, clubbing innocent citizens at will. I remember the mullahs’ snipers shooting young women to death.
And I remember thinking: this could never happen in the USA because we are armed.
The White House released this photo of Obama supposedly shooting skeet.
Don’t they usually launch clay pigeons into the sky? If he’s really shooting skeet, he’s got terrible aim.
The White House warned people not to Photoshop the image, which may be a ploy to make his critics look silly and to get people off topic per gun control.
Naturally, it didn’t stop anyone.
Almost everyone agrees (including “gun nuts”) that felons and crazies should not have firearms.
California law forbids it. But…
California authorities are empowered to seize weapons owned by convicted felons and people with mental illness, but staff shortages and funding cuts have left a backlog of more than 19,700 people to disarm, a law enforcement official said Tuesday.
Those gun owners have roughly 39,000 firearms, said Stephen Lindley, chief of the Bureau of Firearms for the state Department of Justice, testifying at a joint legislative hearing. His office lacks enough staff to confiscate all the weapons, which are recorded in the state’s Armed Prohibited Persons database, he said.
The gun owners typically acquired the firearms legally, before being convicted of a felony or diagnosed with mental illness. Each year, the state investigates and seizes the guns of about 2,000 people on the Armed Prohibited Persons list, Lindley said, but each year about 3,000 names are added to the list.
“Despite our best efforts, the bureau does not have the funding or resources to keep up with this annual influx,” he told the 15 assembled lawmakers.
The testimony showed how some of the state’s strict gun laws have been undermined by California’s budget problems. Lindley said it would cost $25 million to hire enough staff to clear the backlog within three years.
Nah, the state is too busy throwing $$$ into a bullet train to nowhere and stem cell research.
Karl Marx summed up Communism as “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.” This is a good, pithy saying, which, in practice, has succeeded in bringing, upon those under its sway, misery, poverty, rape, torture, slavery, and death.
For the saying implies but does not name the effective agency of its supposed utopia. The agency is called “The State,” and the motto, fleshed out, for the benefit of the easily confused must read “The State will take from each according to his ability: the State will give to each according to his needs.” “Needs and abilities” are, of course, subjective. So the operative statement may be reduced to “the State shall take, the State shall give.”
All of us have had dealings with the State, and have found, to our chagrin, or, indeed, terror, that we were not dealing with well-meaning public servants or even with ideologues but with overworked, harried bureaucrats. These, as all bureaucrats, obtain and hold their jobs by complying with directions and suppressing the desire to employ initiative, compassion, or indeed, common sense. They are paid to follow orders.
Rule by bureaucrats and functionaries is an example of the first part of the Marxist equation: that the Government shall determine the individual’s abilities.
As rules by the Government are one-size-fits-all, any governmental determination of an individual’s abilities must be based on a bureaucratic assessment of the lowest possible denominator. The government, for example, has determined that black people (somehow) have fewer abilities than white people, and, so, must be given certain preferences. Anyone acquainted with both black and white people knows this assessment is not only absurd but monstrous. And yet it is the law.
President Obama, in his reelection campaign, referred frequently to the “needs” of himself and his opponent, alleging that each has more money than he “needs.”
But where in the Constitution is it written that the Government is in charge of determining “needs”? And note that the president did not say “I have more money than I need,” but “You and I have more than we need.” Who elected him to speak for another (more…)
Senator Diane Feinstein cited the Virginia Tech massacre while introducing her “assault weapons” bill.
“These massacres don’t seem to stop,” the California Democrat lamented, listing notorious rampages of past years known by the lone name of their locations — Columbine, Virginia Tech, Aurora, Tucson and Oak Creek.
“We should be outraged at how easy it is” for attackers to get hold of the semi-automatic weapons or large-capacity magazines used in those slaughters, Feinstein told the event at the U.S. Capitol that she organized…
So what did Seung-Hui Cho, the Virginia Tech gunman, use to kill 32 of his fellow classmates? He used two sidearms, a .22 caliber Walther P22 and a 9mm Glock 19.
Neither is on DiFi’s hit list.
Here comes the Theocracy!
And can someone please inform the gaunt preacher that there is no “epidemic” of gun violence — it’s supposed existence is just an article of liberal faith. Those of us in the “reality based community” who read and evaluate statistics, know better.
…want the parents prosecuted for not locking up the guns.
BRYAN COUNTY, OK–A day off for fall break was anything but relaxing for a 12-year old Bryan County girl, when an intruder broke into her home on Michael Avenue.
Deputies say, the girl was home alone when a man she’d never seen before, rang the front doorbell. They say when no one answered the door, the man went around to the back of the house and kicked a door open. That’s when authorities say, the girl grabbed a gun and hid in a bathroom closet.
“He had worked his way all the way through the house and into the bathroom. And from what we understand, he was turning the doorknob when she fired through the door.” Says Bryan County Under sheriff, Ken Golden.
After the man was shot, The 12- year old ran out of the closet and called for help.
Authorities say she kept her cool despite the potential danger. “She was very brave, she stayed on the phone with the dispatcher the whole time – talked all the way through it and was still on the phone with dispatch when we got into the house.” Says Golden.
The LA Times credits Obama with bravery for exploiting the gun issue.
Yid with a Lid actually breaks down Obama’s, ahem, bold actions with his own annotations.
1. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system. Wow..the Govt. Talking to Each Other?
2. Address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that may prevent states from making information available to the background check system. This one reflects a problem many anticipated when Obamacare was passed —your health records are not your own anymore. It it is not a 2nd Amendment issue but it does seem like a violation of the 4th Amendment’s protection against illegal search and seizure.
3. Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system. Wow..States sharing information with the Federal Government…just like they do with fingerprints and DNA.
4. Direct the Attorney General to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun to make sure dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks. Holder is going to do a study.
5. Propose rule making to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun. The operative word is propose.
6. Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers. I bet you it’s going to be a strongly worded letter.
7. Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign. Advertising—I believe in it–heck it pays my salary–but the federal government is lousy at it. This should not be a priority for a country $16.5 Trillion in the hole.
8. Review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes (Consumer Product Safety Commission). Review? Shouldn’t they be doing this already? (more…)