Category Archives: Guns, Right?

Gun policies, rights and responsibilities.

It Won’t Stay in ‘Vegas

The atrocious murdering took barely ten minutes. It is very likely that not one person who was killed or wounded one Sunday afternoon in Las Vegas, knew the man we are told was their killer. Ostensibly Stephen Paddock had been accumulating weapons for “years.” He sent his “girlfriend” back to her native Phillipines two weeks ahead of the carnage he was planning, and then wired her money. He may have been trying to set up a shooting a week or more earlier but couldn’t obtain the rooms he needed for his desired perch. So, it’s possible that all of the weapons, volumes of ammunition and loaded clips, and other preparations were solely the work of one secretive, virtually unknown man. Maybe.

The current profile of Paddock indicates that he wanted to shoot at country music fans. On the other hand, he was a Democrat. Does that paint him with a group identity that explains anything? He owned guns – like 50 to 80 million other Americans. That makes him part of the American “gun culture.” It hasn’t been reported whether he owns a power drill or handsaw, or possibly a router, like 50 million other Americans, so it’s not clear whether Paddock was part of the “power tool” culture. However, he must, must, be placed in a hated group and “gun owners” will do perfectly.

One reporter has already been fired for stating that country music fans were likely “Republican gun-toters” who deserved no sympathy. She made the mistake of stating how rabid leftists feel, and that’s a political no-no.

Legal gun owners woke up Monday, October 2nd to find that they were all potential murderers, kept from shooting up public gatherings, nightclubs, elementary schools and churches only by the thinnest of membranes between sanity and insanity. Who knew? Paddock had prepared his “blind” to be relatively immune from armed response. Most of these kinds of attacks place the shooter(s) at the scene where, in good likelihood, armed targets could have shot back.

What liberals never consider, and gun owners fail to proclaim, is that every year in the united States, more than 800,000 times (not every instance makes the papers), a private gun owner stops a crime or a criminal, usually with NO shots fired. In many instances, a non gun-owner overpowers an armed criminal and wrests a weapon from his hands and subdues him. Eight hundred thousand (some estimates are well over a million) are a lot of incidents. Essentially, open America could not maintain a civil society without private gun ownership. Oh, the horror.

The alternative is a police state. Thoughtful people should realize that they do not really want to live in a nation that will confiscate private property that is deemed undesireable by the government! Some think that that same government will somehow add to “freedom” by limiting it… so long as the limits are placed on the “group” they don’t like. Those same accuse President Trump of being “Hitler,” when the exact opposite is the case. Those who want the government to have more power to regulate this or that disapproved group, are playing the game that Germans played as Jews and Slavic peoples were systematically rounded up, stolen-from and finally eliminated in camps. Oh, the ignorance.

It should be clearer, by now, that individual freedom is the most precious of jewels, yet faced with freedom’s challenges, leftists are quick to trade it away for shifting quantities of safety and even for convenience. For shame. While a crude freedom, the ability to self-defend is excruciatingly fundamental to individual freedom. Yet the first reaction of socialists and communists of every stripe (stay mindful of the fact that Hitler, that old ultra-left socialist, disarmed Germans, too) is to limit this fundamental freedom.

In the United States, with supposedly universal public education, the most costly in the world, the lessons of history and the majesty of the ideas of America, ought to be fully appreciated. But, on balance, it appears that the rest of the world appreciates our exceptional promise of individual freedom, far better than we do, ourselves.

Freedom is a tremendous threat to socialist, controller types: those who naturally gravitate toward governments everywhere, especially bureaucrats who, never neutral, impose increasing structure and regulation on populations. By establishing itself merely as well as was done in 1776, the idea that created “America” out of disparate colonies has forever drawn enemies and subversion, and lately, outright attacks.

None of that speaks directly to Stephen Paddock’s craziness, but to the distinctly divided reactions to it. The “Left” immediately wants to restrict everyone’s rights to, theoretically, prevent future murders, mass and otherwise; the “Right” wants to enforce existing laws and employ better methods to inhibit crazy people and proto-criminals from obtaining or using weapons, including strict sanctions on less-murderous misuse of weapons. We can’t make the wild actions of one deranged screwball into a pattern that justifies attacking our rights.

What we can do is share information to identify unusual purchasing and collection patterns that might identify individuals who are potential threats. But we must guard our Fourth Amendment rights. The visceral urge to control people in order that they’ll be “safe,” cannot be allowed to subvert our privacy and personal sovereignty. Paddock was a monster and he’s now dead. Let’s not destroy our freedom because of him. Far, far more people are killed by handguns involved in gang and drug activities, almost every month.

We don’t count the innocents aborted by the tens of thousands.

The Guardian Program

1-minuteman-grangerIt is time that we institute a national program I call “Guardian.” The Guardian program will be populated by men and women who are trained to take emergency defensive steps in all sorts of venues, and who are willing to carry and employ firearms as part of those steps. Each would be carefully investigated by the U. S. Marshall service, and trained, at partly their own expense, at certified gun safety ranges and, later, at police academies in each state. The idea is that these thousands of individuals would have a form of interdiction powers, such that one might stop an incipient crime or shooting by presenting his or her weapon and a trained stance, in situations where an idiot wielding a firearm would have expected no resistance whatsoever.
Copious history supports the likelihood that a fool with a gun will usually abandon his plans and submit or attempt to flee when faced with a defender with a gun. At the worst, like the examples of Adam Lanza at Newtown, or James Holmes at Aurora, Colorado, or even the two dopes at Columbine High School, a single armed and trained individual would have stopped the carnage before or immediately upon its beginning in all three of those circumstances.
Guardians would also be equipped with “911” buttons, so to speak, that would be required equipment anytime they are carrying a firearm. One push of the button would open a 911 channel unique to that purpose, such that the wearer could explain what was happening as it unfolded. Police could respond at their fastest, knowing it was a potential shooting incident, probably active.
Guardians would be insured under a federal policy, and held harmless from prosecution unless true negligence were established. It will be at some risk that a gun owner might submit to the rigors of Guardianship, but, aside from announcing the existence of the program and the numbers of Guardians in the country, neither their identity nor their locations – even generally – would be published.
Obviously they would be witnesses, but perhaps better-quality witnesses – part of their training. Masking their identities at trial is not an insurmountable problem.
Many of the objections raised to the free exercise of 2nd Amendment rights eventually come around to “that’s not the kind of country we are,” or, “we aren’t that kind of people.” Such statements are correct, in the worst way. America is increasingly occupied by who must be seen as “non-Americans.”
That is, there are, ANNUALLY, many thousands of illegal and legal entrants added to our population, who have no desire or intent to “become” Americans. In other words, they are not interested in our culture, morals or heritage of individual responsibility. Many of these entrants and immigrants, come to the U. S. for no more than personal gain. They may work, but this means “under the table” for a large number. They may be granted refugee status and this provides various forms of welfare support without waiting, and it is as likely as not that what is claimed to earn “refugee” status is a lie. They may have a distant relative already here, making it easy to “win” welfare status.
They may simply be criminals, drug merchants or otherwise, ready to take full advantage of liberalism’s open arms. Despite their receipt of welfare and education, these criminal types remain members of criminal gangs who ply death amongst us.
The rise of indigenous gangs is another source of extreme criminality that soft hearts and softer heads attempt to explain, rationalize and justify as a fault not of the criminals involved, but of society -American society – itself.
None of these sources of sociopathy can be traced to the mere availability of guns, nor to the legal ownership of guns, regardless of number. What these sources have done, similarly to the influx of Italian gangs in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, is to introduce a new element of danger and criminality to American society, with two significant differences.
One is the scale and reach of modern criminality – largely connected to drugs – which reaches down to virtually every street, unlike “organized crime” that may have profited from many streets, but which limited its murderous effects to rivals in its own universe. The other is that, today, murder is a way of doing business, even crappy, penny-ante neighborhood-dominance business. Kids are being shot before they can overdose.
The conditions for widespread death-dealing are a direct result of federal policiy failures. Yet many are afraid to recognize – or are blind to – that fact. As suburban kids, from “good” towns and families run a race to eternity with heroin, fentanyl and pain-killers, not always beating the cops with the Narcan, at least not the first time, more and more parents, police, teachers and counselors are asking why things have sunk to this.
Having porous borders for not just the past 8 years, but for the past 30, has promoted the hard drug trade like nothing else. Instead of delivering drugs to retailers, loose immigration has enabled larger-scale wholesalers to establish themselves in every metropolitan area and in many mid-size cities. Drugs, now, are delivered in tons rather than pounds. Shipments of cash in return are measured the same way.
A federal administration that prevents arrest and deportation of illegals only compounds failures of policy marking the last 30 or more years. Compounding that, the policy of releasing convicted criminals, mostly drug dealers – re-defined as “non-violent” offenders – has made a mockery of federal law in general, and a mockery of the oath by every member of our armed forces, to “…support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic…”
Finally, we have entered a period of social confusion that seems more concerned with the misfortune of criminals than with that of their victims. A new faith in “rehabilitation” has infected our judicial network and we are less safe. Some can be rehabilitated, and God bless them. The other 80% of violent offenders – and I include drug dealers – will not be. Yet we feel compelled to parole them, somehow, to test arcane psychological theories. No one involved is held accountable when a parolee murders an innocent, and we are less safe.
Combined with the influx of new criminals from outside our borders, we have created our own, unfolding tragedy. Gun ownership is a perfectly logical reaction; self-defense an inherent right, the Guardian program a wise extension of those rights. I strongly encourage its adoption.

Shooting Back

The second amendment is also an area of increasing logical failure. And factual failure. The killing of innocents is a crime no matter how much news is generated. When a group of innocents are killed, and the news multiplies, along with public upset, and the killer has used a gun to do the killing, there is no longer room for common sense. All gun owners are blamed… and responsible.

Guns are objects, mechanisms, machines. None does anything until intimately directed by a human. Ahh, but they facilitate the doing, don’t they? Any sane proto-murderer would blithely discard whatever hatred, passion, ill-will or socio-pathology that may have bubbled up prior, when faced with the lack of a firearm. Right?

Well, no, silly, but at least he or she won’t be able to kill as quickly as he or she might with one of those… those… scary-looking GUNS. For Heaven’s sake, use your head!

Maybe that’s right; how silly of me.

On the other hand, Timothy McVeigh managed to quite efficiently eradicate 168 of our fellow citizens and injure nearly 800 more without a single bullet or gun to fire it.

Oh! Be serious! An act like that takes a lot of planning and preparation. Most gun-involved deaths are spur-of-the-moment acts of passion or stupidity. There’s no point to be made bringing up Oklahoma City.

You know, you’re probably right… if your point is how the government can make it harder to be an efficient killer. In fact, that is where the argument is, isn’t it? If we can somehow make murder by amateurs harder to do, we’ll save a few lives. And, as any person who shrinks from the silhouette of a scary assault rifle will quickly tell you, “If it saves only one life of an innocent child, it’s worth it!”

Maybe that is sufficient reason to lop off a chunk of the Constitution, but I’m not so sure. To start with, look at the nature of past and proposed gun bans and their possible positive impacts.
The 1994 “Assault Weapons Ban” had a nebulous impact on U. S. so-called “mass murders.” A stricter ban in Australia appears to have had a more significant effect on multiple-murder events, there, but a single statistic does not a story tell. There are so many social-demographic differences between Australia and the United States that a far broader analysis is needed before we should try to set public policy (and Constitutional subversion) based on an apparent impact on a very different population.
Most of the parameters of the “ban” were derived from the appearance of the weapons, and not their functions. The one key exception was the size of the magazines, which could have a limited role in inhibiting a mass-murder. How would that work?

Suppose the situation were like that at Newtown, Connecticut. A sick, twisted, bent-on-mass-murder dope breaks in to a purposely gun-free school. Instead of a 20 or more cartridge clip, he is limited by the availability of no more than 9-shot clips. So, he brings 2 extras, with one in the rifle. As soon as the first few shots are fired, everyone is scrambling to save him or her self or to protect the kiddos. No one is charging at the murderer. When the clip empties there would be a brief quiet period – but very brief: maybe 5 seconds while the clip is popped and a new one inserted and the slide pulled to “cock” the rifle again. The next 9 shots will fully terrorize a grade-school staff that is not only ignorant of firearms, but who fear them, firing or not.

Murderous dope will get his 27 shots off with no problem. If that Newtown numbskull had more clips he could have walked to another classroom and murdered some more people. He shot himself when police arrived, evidently acting out a suicide ritual he had long contemplated.

So the 1994 “Assault Weapons Ban” would have made no difference unless the rifle, itself, had not been available at all. In all likelihood, the difference would have been that the murderer would have made more shots with pistols. One can imagine that in lieu of a large-magazine rifle, our knucklehead would have brought maybe 3 or 4 handguns and equally terrorized the school’s population with 20 to 30 bullets fired slightly slower than with a scary-looking Bushmaster. No one there was prepared or equipped to challenge him, either physically or psychologically. Dope’s mom could have prevented the tragedy by keeping her legal firearms away from her known-to-be-disturbed son.

Essentially, all the non-NRA proposals that have spawned from the Newtown tragedy will have one basic effect: children in school buildings will be left defenseless, but, since murderers will eventually be a bit less efficient, a few fewer kids will be murdered than otherwise. Hopefully, mom and dad, your defenseless kiddo will be one of the lucky ones.

Those who are aiming at complete confiscation of all but BB guns, could, if their hare-brained concept ever comes to pass, conceivably save most of the TWO hundred lives lost to non-drug, non-gang, non-criminal gun events each year. They might prevent a few suicides, too, and consider the loss of freedom well worth the cost.

What they won’t prevent are the tens of thousands of criminal gun events, because criminals don’t register their weapons and can hide them fairly easily when the Gestapo comes looking for them. I hope that no one reading this is looking forward to living in a country that can even attempt to confiscate private property (or forcibly buy-back) from tens of millions of owners. It’s the same country that doesn’t enforce the gun laws it has now.

All plans for restricting guns and their law-abiding owners can be seriously considered only by putting on blinders to some serious, serious reality. There are many myths that liberals and those further left, continuously proclaim as truth, and which all the people that matter believe. Here are a few:
• The presence of guns will spur an increase in gun accidents, stupid gun crimes, and random, foolish shootings. The opposite is what reality is, in fact.
• Attackers will take a defender’s gun and use it against him or her. This happens extremely rarely, and can be made even rarer with proper education. Rare means a literal handful of times each year. It is more common that unarmed defenders wrest weapons away from attackers.
• Gun deaths increase, overall, because of the availability of so-called (ie. “scary-looking”) assault rifles. In truth only about 6% of shootings involve such weapons, and not even 6% of deaths. Most deadly shootings are done with handguns, often with small calibers.

Finally, the far more important statistic, the far more life-preserving and crime-preventing statistic is this one: EVERY YEAR IN THE UNITED STATES, PRIVATE FIREARMS ARE USED IN SOMEWHERE BETWEEN 830,000 AND 2 MILLION DEFENSIVE EVENTS. Most of these involve no discharge of the weapon, but not only lead to hundreds of thousands of apprehensions, but prevent many tens of thousands of other violent crimes because perpetrators encountered an armed defender, leading to arrests. The logical argument is that we could not enjoy a civil society without private gun ownership.

The only truly effective change that should come from Newtown, Aurora and other such murders of defenseless innocents, would be to teach gun safety and handling to every child, starting around age 8 or 9, including proper self-defense. Teach it right in public school. It is certainly more productive and worthy than lesson plans based on homosexuality and gender-identity problems. Worse, they teach kids how to have sex “safely” in far too early years. There are thousands more lives ruined with pre-marital sex by kids, than by guns. Taking away the unalienable right of self-defense, and damaging the Constitution in the process is a “solution” that deserves the very highest skepticism and suspicion.

Stupid is as stupid does.