A Culture of Guns in Not a Culture of Violence

Bob Costas

By now most Americans have heard the tragic story of the deaths of Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Belcher, and his girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins. For those who’ve not, I will try to synopsize the story as I understood it from NBC sportscaster Bob Costas, as relayed to the audience of NBC’s Sunday Night Football broadcast. As Costas regales, the tragedy started when Belcher got into argument with his girlfriend (and the mother of his daughter), 22-year old Perkins. As the argument escalated, both Belcher and Perkins were too distracted to notice that a gun had slipped into the room unobserved. Taking advantage of the distraction, the gun then jumped out from behind the door, fatally shooting Perkins, as Belcher could only watch helplessly, horrified.

So distraught was Belcher at the killing of his baby’s mama that he fled to the Kansas City Chiefs’ practice facility, where he breathlessly recalled, to the listening ears of his coach and general manager, the events of just a short time earlier. Compounding the earlier tragedy, Belcher was again distracted by his retelling of the killing, and was therefore caught off guard by the same gun which had killed his girlfriend. Unbeknownst to Belcher, the gun had followed him to the practice facility, where it refused to allow Belcher to reveal the horrible truth, gunning him down in front of the coach and GM before the real story could be told.

More hand wringing on guns

Second Amendment

Shootings will continue to make headlines.  Recent incidents such as the Aurora, Colorado shooting and events Friday at the Empire State Building continue to put guns and gun rights under a spotlight.  One of the latest columns I’ve come across was spawned from the Huffington Post.  In it, writer Marian Wright Edelman says she thinks it’s time for “common sense gun control”.

Every time another mass shooting happens in the United States, the debate over gun control comes fleetingly to the forefront — until political fear paralyzes courage and action. Inevitably, some people repeat the argument that the solution to preventing mass shootings is not better gun control laws — even control of assault weapons, which have no place in nonmilitary hands — but getting even more Americans armed. The apparent fantasy result would be something straight out of Hollywood where every single time a bad person stands up with a gun a good person with their own gun would quickly rise up out of the crowd, shoot the bad person, and save the day.

Edelman spends a good bit of time talking about mass shootings, invoking not just Aurora but also Columbine, Virginia Tech, and a host of others.  After all, we must prevent these horrible events.

I don’t think anyone believes that these events aren’t horrible.  However, I want to point out some things to Edelman.  After all, she is writing from a position of emotion, rather than actual facts.

Another shooting, another political blame game

Family Research Council shooting

It is a sad trend that after every shooting in this country, there is a group of people who, without fail, rush to use it to make some political point.  There’s always the perfunctory debate about gun control, with advocates stating that somehow gun sellers should predict when someone will use the weapon for evil.  And when the target is political in any way, one side always uses it to make the case that the other side is “encouraging hate” and thus somehow to blame for the shooter’s actions.

We saw this clearly in the Gabby Giffords shooting, when those on the left tried to tie Jared Loughner’s actions to Tea Party rhetoric and even absurdly to Sarah Palin by posting pictures of a “target map” she had created, clearly referring to taking POLITICAL action against certain incumbents, not violence.  Yet this did not stop liberals like Paul Krugman from plainly implying that she and other conservatives were partly to blame for their so-called “incendiary rhetoric”. This is not to say that the language of Palin and Bachmann is not often excessive and overheated, but it is plainly not encouraging violence.

Fast forward to this week, when a gunman decided to take out his disagreement with the Family Research Council by opening fire, wounding a security guard before being wrestled to the ground.  Now, it should be known that I vehemently disagree with basically everything the FRC stands for.  But never in a million years would I or any other sane person think this warranted violence.  It’s clear that the main issue here was a severely imbalanced person who decided that the way to express his feelings was firing a gun at innocent people.

Let’s Have That Gun Control Conversation

Second Amendment

After the most recent mass killing at a Sikh Temple in Wisconsin, the usual suspects have been calling for gun control (aka civilian disarmament). They seem to believe that if only we had tougher gun laws, some of these people or possibly all of these poor people who died, wouldn’t have. Some other cowardly politicians like our Dear Ruler, Barack Obama (aka the Messiah) say they merely want to hold a “conversation” about stricter gun laws. But never forget, “gun control” is not really about public safety or even saving lives, it’s about increasing government control over the populace.

The arrogance of civilian disarmament advocates is best shown by these comments by Josh Sugarmann, director of some outfit called the Violence Policy Center:

“There is no valid reason for civilians to have assault rifles, semiautomatic handguns and high-capacity magazines,” he said. “We have to start ratcheting down the firepower in civilian hands in the United States.”

First of all, who the hell does Josh Sugarmann think he is!? Just because some left-wing douchebag somewhere gave him a fancy title at a silly anti-gun group, he thinks he knows what’s best for everyone else. I own a semi-automatic AK-47 clone, a 12 gauge shotgun, and a .22 rifle. Personally, I don’t think that’s anywhere near enough firepower for me. I would like to add one of those semi-automatic pistols Joshy boy hates so much for example, among a few other weapons. I like having options to deal with whatever comes my way.

Still more tolerance from the left

Corey Cogdell

When one talks about the left, it’s important to note that the left is a large group and not everyone on the left is in lockstep on every issue.  However, there are a large number of people on the left that have the ideological consistency of a turnip…and I apologize to any turnips that are insulted at the comparison.

The most recent example stems from Team USA shooter Corey Cogdell, an Olympic trap shooter who is in London right now representing the US.  Cogdell, like a lot of competitive shooters, is also a hunter.  Recently, she shared some photographs of animals she’s taken while in the field.

With me so far?  Good, because a report over a shows how “tolerant” some on the left can be with regard to hunting. Screenshots after screenshots of individuals wishing Cogdell would “shoot [herself] in the knees” and declaring her a “waste of oxygen and an embarassment to the human race.”

One particularly stood out to me:

What a f***ing waste! WTFIs wrong with ppl?cruel!! These ppl need to be shot deheaded and posted on a wall

Now, I can understand that not everyone shares my views of hunting.  For the record, I am a hunter as well.  I understand Cogdell’s love of hunting, I really do.  The vast majority of hunters either eat the game they take, or they donate it to programs like Hunters For The Hungry which uses wild game to feed needy families.  While I have little doubt that they exist, I don’t know a single hunter - trophy hunter or otherwise - that doesn’t eat what they kill.

The facts of life on high capacity magazines

Second Amendment

James Holmes is an evil man.  Sick?  Quite possibly, but evil none the less.  The same can be said of Jared Loughner who is responsible for the Tuscon shooting.  The two men, and the events they started, also have something else in common.  Both sparked the debate regarding high capacity magazines.

First, let’s clarify something for the non-gun folks who may be reading.  Most semi-automatic weapons are designed around specific magazines.  For an AR-15 or an AK-47, that is a 30 round magazine.  For a 9 mm pistol, it’s usually in the neighborhood of 15 rounds.  Those are properly considered standard capacity magazines, not high capacity.

Now that the bit of nomenclature is out of the way, I know that opponents of guns don’t see any reason why someone needs so many rounds in their magazine.  Well, let me touch on that one.  I probably don’t.  On that note though, neither do the vast majority of police officers in this country who could legally secure these so-called “hi capacity” magazines during the Assault Weapon Ban.  Law enforcement was exempt from the ban, yet how many officers legally discharge their firearms during the course of their career, not counting range time?  Very, very few.

Despite what the movies tell us, police officers find themselves needing to discharge their weapons remarkably few times.  Most police officers go their entire careers and never fire their weapons. The same is true for most private gun owners as well.

Obama calls for more gun control

Barack Obama

After a tragedy, there are things that happen.  Friends and families of the deceased try to come to terms with the event, journalists try to learn what they can about the event and the people affected by it, and if the tragedy involved a madman with a gun then a politician will scream for gun control.

This time, we have none other than President Obama calling for the gun control:

“A lot of gun owners would agree that AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers, not in the hands of criminals,” Mr. Obama said at the annual National Urban League convention in New Orleans. “They belong on the battlefield of war, not on the streets of our cities.”

“Every day, the number of young people we lose to violence is about the same as the number of people we lost in that movie theater,” Mr. Obama said. “For every Columbine or Virginia Tech,there are dozens gunned down on the streets of Chicago or Atlanta, here in New Orleans. Violence plagues the biggest cities, but it also plagues the smallest towns.”

I guess he thinks he can get it passed now?  After all, four years ago he said he wouldn’t try to pass gun control legislation because he didn’t figure he had the votes.  Now, he has lost control of one chamber of Congress, with a lot of politicians still battling to keep their seats.  Gun control is usually a loser issue for Democrats.

However, Obama clearly believes that the Aurora massacre will swing things his way.  He’s using the word “gun owners” to convey the idea that the very people who will be regulated share his belief that an “AK-47” belongs in a soldier’s hands.  Well, that may be true in a few places, but I haven’t met too many of those gun owners.

Bloomberg: Cops should strike until guns are gone

Nanny Bloomberg

New York Mayor Michael “Ban the Big Gulp” Bloomberg is at it again.  This time, he’s voicing some ideas that are, quite frankly, beyond the idiocy he routinely spouts off.  This time, he told CNN’s Piers Morgan that he thinks police officers should go on strike until guns are outlawed.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg told CNN’s Piers Morgan last night that he doesn’t “understand why police officers across this country don’t stand up collectively and say we’re going to go on strike, we’re not going to protect you unless you, the public, through your legislature, do what’s required to keep us safe.”

First, Bloomberg is actually asking law enforcement officers - you know, the people who can actually arrest criminals, take them to jail, and all that - to go on strike to affect political change in this country?  Really? That’s just downright terrifying…if any police officers were willing to actually do it.

The reason that it’s scary is that many people obey laws simply because of a fear of going to prison.  If there are no police due to a strike, then that deterent is no longer there.  Welcome to downright anarchy.  Bloomberg isn’t a complete idiot, despite his comments.  He knows this.  What he’s basically asking is that police use extortion techniques on the American people to affect change in gun laws.  Extortion happens to be a crime that police arrest people for!

But I’m sure Mayor Bloomberg won’t let that stop him.

A Libertarian View Of Gun Control Laws

Second Amendment

I was disconnected from social media outlets almost all day on Friday, so I didn’t hear about the movie theater shootings until Friday night. Since the topic is all over social media, I’ve been asked a number of times what I think about gun control.

My standard answer to the gun control question (which is one I picked up somewhere, but don’t recall where) is:

Gun control, as far as I’m concerned, means using both hands.

Of course, I don’t mean to make light of a terrible situation, but it’s a real tragedy that anti-freedom groups jump on a situation like this one as an opportunity to stress the need for more restrictive gun laws.

As if criminals obey the gun laws. Gun control laws disarm law abiding citizens while giving criminals notice of where unarmed victims will be.

It’s baffling that people argue with this logic. If a criminal is going to use a gun to commit a crime, would he be more likely to choose a location where people are known to carry guns for protection, or a location where guns are banned?

Gun control laws, very simply, are a form of prohibition. And, as I’ve said a number of times before, prohibition just does not work. We are fools if we let ourselves believe that gun control laws protect anyone but criminals. Gun control isn’t about guns; it’s about control.

Fast and Furious over Fast and Furious

By now, you’ve undoubtedly heard about Operation Fast and Furious, which actually is not an effort to catch illegal drag racers.  Instead, it’s an operation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) where it’s been alleged that BATFE agents let tons of firearms flow south of the border by people they knew to be buying for the Mexican drug cartels.  One of these guns was reportedly used to kill US Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.

The gun rights community, predictably, is up in arms (pun unintended) about it.  Some are going so far as to claim it is all part of an effort to push forward increased gun regulations here.  Yesterday, President Obama claimed executive priviledge regarding documents that Congress and subpenoaed.  They had ordered them eight months ago.

Now, first let me address the conspiracy theory regarding using Fast and Furious being a way to push forward regulations here.  I might have had something to do with that one.  Months ago, on a blog that is no longer up on the net, I wrote that if I were inclined towards conspiracy theories, I would believe such a thing.  After all, the use of American guns by drug cartels was cited by both President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as reasons why we needed tougher gun regulations in the US.  This was while Fast and Furious was going on and sending a proverbial buttload of guns down to Mexico…guns that BATFE knew about and did nothing to prevent.

Of course, a report from CBS News from December, 2011 looks like I might have been on to something:

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