Category Archives: Gun Control

Calling these groups disingenuous doesn’t even begin to describe them.

Every one of Bloomberg’s gun control groups state that they are for reasonable gun control but doesn’t reasonable connote a willingness to compromise? Everytown for Gun Safety, formerly known as Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Mom’s Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, was a huge endorser of Governor Terry McAuliffe when he ran for office in Virginia on a pro gun control platform until he worked out a deal with pro gun rights Republicans to get the guns out of the hands of domestic abusers and encourage background checks on private sales at gun shows.

Last week, Everytown unleashed Facebook and Twitter ads against McAuliffe, posting his photo side-by-side with that of the National Rifle Association chief Wayne LaPierre.

Source: Bloomberg gun-control group launches new ad against McAuliffe – The Washington Post

Forget about doing a little to reduce gun violence if it doesn’t give lip service to the demands of Bloomberg’s thugs.

Don’t just do something, do something that works!

Some people wonder why I can get so wound up in opposing gun control. It isn’t because I’m an avid shooter or a gun collector, it’s because I hate seeing people implement solutions that are going to put a burden on people who aren’t the problem and that just aren’t going to work. People don’t just shoot someone only because they have a gun, there has to be some motivation driving that decision to shoot. Paul Heroux, a state representative in Massachusetts, feels the same way and has written a great article on this.

A lot of the solutions that are proposed by people who fiercely for or against guns just don’t work. They argue about what they think should work or what makes sense, or what fits their political worldview, but not what has been empirically proven to reduce gun violence.

Source: Guns and Politics and What Actually Reduces Gun Violence | Paul Heroux

Reducing gun violence isn’t going to happen by controlling guns, you have to control people to reduce gun violence and, more importantly, identifying the people that must be controlled. Mr. Heroux gives some examples of how proven methods of doing this have been verified.

Violence is a complex problem.

I’m not a gun enthusiast or a member of the NRA so people often wonder why I’m such a supporter of gun rights. I’m not really, I’m a supporter of solutions that work rather than “feel-good” efforts that are bound to fail.

Take away guns from violent people and you still have violent people with other implements of destruction at their disposal. John Streby, a gun control advocate, understands this.

It is overly simplistic to attribute problems as complex as urban violence to any single cause, such as the proliferation of illegal weapons. Lacking handguns, people will resort to knives, motor vehicles, firebombs and other devices. Only when the root causes of poverty, substance abuse, and urban pathology are addressed can those problems be remedied.

Source: Gun violence only one piece of larger urban problems in need of solutions | MLive.com

So you can expend resources and butt your heads with gun advocates all you want but until we address the issue of violence we won’t see any ground gained on reducing the gun violence.

Seriously, why can’t people see this?

Why Are We So Violent?

I’m not a fan of Marco Rubio. I think his stand on the economy, immigration, defense and relations with Cuba are simplistic and often just wrong. However, he has at least one thing right.

“What law in the world could have prevented him from killing them, whether it was with a gun or a knife or a bomb,” Rubio asked a crowd of about 250 people. “What has happened to us as a society that we now devalue life to such a level? What has happened in our society that people have become so violent? That’s the fundamental question we need to confront.”

Source: Marco Rubio tells N.H. voters gun laws are no solution | Boston Herald

Take the guns away from violent people and you still have violent people, people who will deliberately ram their cars into your car over a real or imagined slight and then run you down when you get out to check the damage, or people who will beat you with a ball bat over a text message. 

Rather than debate over tightening background checks or how many bullets a gun can hold doesn’t it make more sense to spend that effort in finding out why we are so violent and solutions for that?

Personally, I think we will find the reason for that being our spending so much time in a car, on a cell phone, watching TV or at a computer that we stop seeing others as individual human beings and start seeing them more as a source of irritation. We don’t spend enough time face to face with other humans so they tend to lose their humanity. Add to that the poverty and hopelessness we see in some sectors of society and how can we expect us to be anything but violent?

So what is the solution? I don’t know for sure but I would suggest looking at getting out of our cars, out of our houses and socialize, face to face, with our neighbors. Find out their likes and dislikes, see them as humans and in our conversations find ways to bring opportunities to neighborhoods stricken with poverty.

Take away a violent person’s gun and you still have a violent person. Talk to a violent person and you may find a way to lessen their rage.

Rick Perry vs. Bernie Sanders: Both are Wrong

Rick Perry makes the statement I expected and he’s wrong. I have no problem with legal gun owners with carry permits taking their guns into a movie theater. However, I don’t care how many people had guns to fire back in LaFayette this past week, those two women and the gunman would still be dead. Maybe fewer people would have been wounded, maybe more, but those dead would still be dead.

What disappoints me is Senator Sanders new stance on gun control.

Senator Sanders might once have agreed with Perry that taking guns away is not the solution. Coming from a rural state where hunting is common and gun rights have popular support, Sanders has opposed some of Democrats’ gun control measures. But on Sunday he told NBC’s Meet the Press that he supported a nationwide ban on guns other than those used for hunting.

Source: Rick Perry vs. Bernie Sanders: More guns in movie theaters? – CSMonitor.com

I could understand Bernie changing his position to supporting expanded background checks but his change to ban all guns except for those used for hunting is just bizarre. I thought he had more integrity than to move away from his long held core principles just to pick up support from a demographic of voters.

Intellectual Arguments? No, those were all emotional.

“Everytown has done a great job of presenting intellectual arguments to people about gun violence prevention, common sense laws and public safety measures, but we really weren’t engaging people emotionally,” Jason Rzepka, the Director of Cultural Engagement for Everytown told The Daily Beast. “But for some reason it felt like the movement wasn’t moving as quickly as it could. We hadn’t made it easy enough for people to show their support for the issue.”

Source: Can Slacktivists Stop Gun Violence? When Fashion Meets Activism – The Daily Beast

No, Jason, your organization hasn’t done a great job of presenting intellectual arguments, every argument presented is based on false assumptions, disconnected datasets or pure emotions. Your social media campaign is made up entirely of sound bites and memes and those aren’t intellectual arguments, they are marketing tools.

Don’t feel alone in this, though. Gun rights activists have done no better. I’m especially troubled by open carry activists even though I’m sympathetic to their cause. They have given you a very easy target to take pot shots at.

But, I shouldn’t be surprised, your organization was derived from Mother’s Demand and I have to believe that Shannon Watts had something to do with your public relations campaign strategies. Her organization has been intellectually dishonest from the beginning. Her platform started out with Mother’s Demand being an informational outlet that did not condone boycotts. Boycotts are the only claim to success her organization has and most of those successes were actually failures spun to look like wins.

You may one day be successful and get guns banned in the U.S. but you won’t do it on intellectual arguments, you will do it with distorted data and out and out lies. I’d rather not be successful that way.

Gun Control Groups Lobby Sens. Toomey and McCain Against CCW Reciprocity – Breitbart

U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) is pushing a bill in the U.S. Senate to force states to recognize weapons carry permits from other states. This is called reciprocity and many states have an agreement between them and certain other states for this.

This is one time I’m going to side with gun control groups on this.

Besides lobbying pliable senators like Toomey and McCain, gun control groups are also castigating national reciprocity in the harshest terms. Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence President Dan Gross calls it “evil and dangerous,” and Brian Malte, the group’s policy director, suggests its passage will wreak havoc on states with stronger gun controls.

via Gun Control Groups Lobby Sens. Toomey and McCain Against CCW Reciprocity – Breitbart. 

I’m all for this type of agreement as long as it is made between states. In fact, I’d like to see each state honor carry permits in  the same way they currently honor driver’s licenses. However the state level is where this type of agreement needs to remain, not at the federal level.

I know many of my gun advocate friends are going to disagree with me on this but what you need to understand is the power of precedent. If you support the federal government’s plan to mandate reciprocity between states of weapons carry permits you are giving credence to the federal government’s claim of authority in regards to weapons carry permits.

If we set this precedent of the federal government having authority to mandate reciprocity on weapon’s carry permits then there is precedent for the federal government to govern the terms and conditions of the permit and how it is issued. Some states are “must issue” states, meaning that in the absence of any disqualification of gun ownership the permit must be issued. Other states are “shall issue” states, meaning that issue of the permit is based on the judgement of the issuing authority, usually the county sheriff. Involve the feds and the feds will decide whether permits must be issued or shall be issued.

There’s also a matter of the cost of the permit and the amount of training required for the permit. And since now the federal government is deciding how the permits are issued it can be argued that the federal government now has the authority to standardized where the permits are valid. Can you carry in a restaurant with your permit, even one that sells some alcohol? Is the permit invalid within a quarter mile of a school?

These are all decisions that should be made by the state, not the fed. Allowing the fed to decide on reciprocity is just opening the door for the feds to regulate all conditions of weapons carry.

 

Shooting guns: It’s rather fun, actually

The Economist has an article by D.K. on its Democracy in America blog that is worth reading. D.K. is a gun control advocate who has figured out that shooting guns is fun and you don’t have to be a violent person to enjoy guns and enjoy shooting them. He’s still all for gun control but isn’t for banning them or even for limiting the types of guns or their ammunition magazine capacity from the sound of his article but he is for keeping them out of the hands of criminals and crazy people.

But keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill is not incompatible with widespread gun ownership. And bringing about the changes that will make America safer means convincing people who routinely use guns safely that they are not the enemy. Perhaps what gun control needs is a few advocates who are a little more visibly familiar with the sheer fun of holding a pistol and pulling the trigger.

via Shooting guns: It’s rather fun, actually | The Economist.

That is a reasonable statement. The problem is that most gun control advocates I’ve listened to or read want to go further than that. Many want to ban certain types of guns used by many recreational shooters or limit the number of rounds that civilian owned guns can hold or just outright ban the civilian possession of any gun.

Dianne Feinstein made that  very clear.

Discussing why the 1994 act only prohibited the manufacture or import of assault weapons, instead of the possession and sale of them, Feinstein said on CBS-TV’s 60 Minutes, February 5, 1995, “If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an outright ban, picking up every one of them . . . Mr. and Mrs. America, turn ’em all in, I would have done it. I could not do that. The votes weren’t here.”

From Wikipedia’s article “Political positions of Dianne Feinstein”

And she’s not alone. The Daily Kos even came up with a detailed plan on how guns could be banned from civilian hands.

The very first thing we need is national registry. We need to know where the guns are, and who has them. Canada has a national firearms registry. We need to copy their model. We need a law demanding all firearms be registered to a national database. We need to know who has them and where they are. We need to make this as easy as possible for gun owners. The federal government provides the money and technical expertise, and the State police carry it out. Like a funded mandate. Most firearms already have a serial number on them, so it would really be a matter of taking the information already on the ATF form 4473 and putting it in a national database. I think about 6 months should be enough time.

From “How to Ban Guns: A step by step, long term process”, – Daily Kos, FriI Dec 21, 2012 AT 03:20 AM PST

And that’s why most gun advocates are against anything that could create that national registry. So D.K., if you want gun control advocates to begin understanding why gun advocates seem so obstinate with any argument for gun control, maybe you need to consider how wide the opinion gap actually is between gun advocates and gun control advocates.

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported.

What’s Your Goal Reduce the Number of Guns or Reduce the Number of Shootings?

So what is it you want to do, get rid of guns or stop people from getting shot? There is a big difference there, you know. In a country of 325 million people that has 300 million guns in private hands you can’t pass any more laws that will keep these guns out of the wrong hands. The only thing you can do is persuade gun owners to be more responsible in storing their guns.

Surprisingly this author of this Aljezeera America article has it exactly right in every way. Make it cool to secure your weapon. Work with the NRA to make it happen and quite trying to make someone else do something, persuade them to do it.

But this isn’t about what’s fair. It’s about seeing to it that fewer people get shot, which is a much more important goal than sticking it to the National Rifle Association or scoring political points.

via Gun-control Advocates Gun Owners Allies | Al Jazeera America.

Seriously, let’s stop with the being confrontational, finding blame and using coercion. Let’s start with doing things to keep people from getting shot.

 

Boycott Liam Neeson? I have absolutely no desire to do so.

Liam Neeson went on a rant against the high incidence of gun ownership in the U.S. calling it disgraceful. Now the supplier of guns to his new movie “Taken 3” is up in arms calling for a boycott of Liam Neeson movies. I find this as unpalatable as I do Moms Demand Action demanding a boycott of stores not banning guns from their properties.

Mr. Neeson is a naturalised U.S. citizen so he should be aware of our constitutional guarantees. As with any other U.S. citizen he has a right to work toward changing our laws that he believes are unjust. I enjoy his movies and won’t stop seeing them just because we don’t see eye to eye on things. Little good it will do in changing his mind about guns even if no one went to watch his movies again.

Bloomberg’s Everytown to Sponsor Journalism Seminar on Ethical Reporting of Gun Violence.

I can’t think of anything more disingenuous than this:

To help journalists and news organizations in the Southwest improve their reporting on guns and gun violence, the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma at Columbia Journalism School is organizing a two-day regional workshop April 17 and 18, 2015 for reporters, editors, news directors, photographers, producers, and bloggers. The workshop, funded by Everytown for Gun Safety, will offer independent expert briefings and specialized reporting skills training to enhance the practical ability of journalists to report on guns and gun violence knowledgeably, ethically and effectively.

via Apply Now: Covering Gun Violence | Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma.

Independent expert briefings? Will those briefings also be unbiased? This is a joke!

Mental Health Isn’t An Issue With Gun Violence

Kimberly Yonkers, MD, a psychiatrist  and professor at the Yale School of Medicine, makes a very good point regarding the concentration on the treatment of mental disorders as a primary method of reducing gun violence.

But it is time to recognize that adequate treatment for people with a mental disorder is a distinct problem from gun violence. A much better indicator of whether someone will be violent is whether they come from a violent, poverty stricken environment, and whether they struggle with addiction. Eliminating poverty, domestic violence and childhood exposure to bloodshed would likely make a dent in our problem with gun violence. It may even have made a difference in the life of Ismaaiyl Brinsley.

From – Stop blaming mental health for gun violence. The problem is guns. – The Washington Post 

Dr. Yonkers makes a very good point. Poverty and childhood experience with bloodshed and violence breeds violent adults. Violent adults most often vent that violence in domestic situations which exposes a new generation to violence and bloodshed. The best solution isn’t to concentrate on gun control or mental disorders. The best solution is the true reduction of poverty and that involves education and job opportunities, not just handouts.