Gun Culture Fires Back – With Blanks

It really isn’t hard to elicit an attack from ideological fanatics; all you have to do is suggest that their particular ideology might not exactly be the cat’s pajamas. Gun addicts can be among the most passionate of ideologues, so it was only a matter of time before my posts on the Second Amendment myth and the twisted logic used to justify gun ownership drew fire from a gun propaganda website.

This article, on the website, is written by a fellow named Bruce Krafft, who seems to have a great deal of time on his hands, and a willingness to devote it all to promoting his passion (which he deems a matter of “civil rights”). The site is at least more intelligent, more articulate and more adult (despite its haughty dismissal of dissenting voices, even of the most respectful and regularly contributing sort, as “trolls”) than most assemblages of firearm fanatics. It even makes some valid points. If you seek propaganda to quote in support of your gun habit that doesn’t make you sound like a blithering devotee of Beck or Rush, this is the place to get it.  But it’s still quite prone to misinformation, misinterpretation and faulty reasoning.

Now I’m not one to respond to everyone who takes potshots in my direction. That’s mostly a fruitless exercise that only gives them more ammo to twist and distort, and it will go on forever if you let it. I have no desire to engage in a pissing contest, especially with someone totin’ a hogleg. But Mr. Krafft’s remarks do provide some further examples of specious reasoning and other forensic follies, and since that’s partly what this blog is about, it’s worth taking a look.

Racing to Conclusions

The alarm bells start playing a sonata as soon as he mentions the present blog, summarizing its posts about the gun culture thus:

The Propaganda Professor – Gun owners are racist and unrealistic about self-defense.

I suppose the second part is a fair enough conclusion about my commentary. But racist? Where did I ever say that gun owners are racist? Exactly nowhere. The only mention I made of race at all was to note the frequent correlation between paranoia about violent attack with paranoia about illegal immigrants (specifically from south of the border), and how this is reflected in the fabricated Hispanic names in the bogus anecdote I cited. Does this suggest that racism is sometimes a factor in gun addiction? It would appear so. Does it mean that gun owners as a whole are racist? I’d never say so, and to claim that I did is misguided if not misguiding. This type of unwarranted extrapolation is a common way to distort someone else’s words.

He then goes on to accuse ME repeatedly of invoking “straw men”. Seriously. In fact, his “dissection” of my posts is little more than one shell game after another, often with a distinct whiff of straw mingled with the gunsmoke.

Barely Bearing Arms

He takes me to task for describing only one of the bogus incidents I mentioned. What he means is that I described only one of the many variants of the same story I see over and over again. If there really are so meany genuine cases, why is it necessary to keep rehashing the phony ones?

To buttress his implication that defensive gun uses (DGUs, as they’re affectionately called)  are more commonplace than farting, he tosses out a list of 75 of them “from just the last 4 months”. Holy crap – 75 in 4 months. That adds up to…let me see, 225 per year. Almost a fraction as high as your chances of being struck by lightning. (Of course, the estimate that gunsters love to cite manages to bump the decimal point over a few notches, but that’s a story for another day.)

Except that, um, not all of these incidents are exactly bona fide DGUs per se, as such, really and truly. Some mention defense against animal attacks which certainly can be self-defense but not what gunsters normally refer to as DGU; one mentions someone being shot with an arrow, and a few tell of successful defense using knives. Yep, warding off an attacker with a bow or a knife is supposed to prove that guns are necessary for self-defense. That’s only a sampling of the kind of logic that prevails on Planet Heston.

Presumably, the purpose in including those accounts is to suggest that things would have gone down more smoothly in such situations if the defender had been packing. But that’s not how the list is packaged; it’s presented as an enumeration of incidents that did entail self-defense with a gun. And padding the roster in this manner is not exactly dealing from the top of the deck.

Incidentally, if you look at these stories more closely, you see that in many cases there is a nagging doubt, to say the least, that it really was self-defense, or if it was someone being trigger-happy. In one story, a man found another man in bed with his girlfriend, and the interloper (apparently unarmed if not unclothed) allegedly “came at him” so he was shot and killed in “self-defense”. Seriously?

Supreme Arrogance

Mr. Krafft also objects to my observation that the Supreme Court essentially “rewrote” the Second Amendment with a 2008 ruling, and suggests that I only say that because I don’t like their decision. Actually, I say that because they declared that the Second Amendment says something that it just doesn’t say. If that doesn’t have the effect of rewriting it, I don’t know what does. What difference does it make whether I like it or not?

He even pontificates that:

If you don’t bother to actually read the Court’s decision in District of Columbia v. Heller it’s easy to believe the media myth that the Court ruled 5 – 4 that the Second Amendment protects an individual right. If, however, you do read the decision (specifically Justice Stevens’ dissent, with which Justices Souter, Ginsburg, and Breyer all concurred) you will discover that the “ruling” was 9 – 0 in favor of the individual rights argument.

That’s an odd decoy, constructed of something distinctly resembling dried grass. Sure, the dissenting opinion concurred that the Second Amendment applies to individuals – but within the context of a “well-regulated militia”. The real issue is whether the presumed “rights” of individuals to keep and bear arms transcend the government’s right to regulate firearms. If you do bother to read the decision, you will see that Justice Stevens says:

The opinion the Court announces today fails to identify any new evidence supporting the view that the Amendment was intended to limit the power of Congress to regulate civilian uses of weapons. [He also notes that “a review of the drafting history of the Amendment demonstrates that its Framers rejected proposals that would have broadened its coverage to include such uses.”] Unable to point to any such evidence, the Court stakes its holding on a strained and unpersuasive reading of the Amendment’s text. [Translation: they rewrote the goddamn thing.]… When each word in the text is given full effect, the Amendment is most naturally read to secure to the people a right to use and possess arms in conjunction with service in a well-regulated militia. So far as appears, no more than that was contemplated by its drafters or is encompassed within its terms. Even if the meaning of the text were genuinely susceptible to more than one interpretation, the burden would remain on those advocating a departure from the purpose identified in the preamble and from settled law to come forward with persuasive new arguments or evidence. The textual analysis offered by respondent and embraced by the Court falls far short of sustaining that heavy burden.

That last point is key. Even if there is a shadow of a doubt about the meaning of the text, the existence of that doubt means that one cannot unequivocally state that the meaning encompasses a  certain application that is in doubt. Which is precisely what the “conservative” justices did. In other words, they rewrote the goddamn thing. Call my evaluation (along with that of the four disinterested justices) subjective if you must, but to claim that it’s “false on its face” is truly false on its face.

Emulating the Duke

He also tries to divert focus to a consideration of my supposed beliefs in discussing my comments about the Nevada IHOP massacre:

John Wayne wet dream? Seriously? The Prof believes we think this way? The sad thing is that he probably does.

AHHH—CHOOO!!! Sorry, my hay fever is really acting up for some reason.

Having never met Mr. Krafft nor (to the best of my knowledge) his followers, I wouldn’t presume to know how “we think”. But I have met many other gunsters. Many, many, many,many, many. I grew up in the heart of redneck gun culture territory, so I’ve had all too much exposure to cocky lead-pumpers chomping at the bit for a chance to put their devices into action. My comments were not a reflection of what I think about how (or whether) they think, but of what they’ve said about how they think.

Naturally, it would be a mistake to conclude that all gunsters are inbred goobers with itchy fingers. But it’s equally mistaken to assume they’re all intelligent, mature and responsible. What they all are is human; and as such, they’re all different.

Since Mr. Krafft seems to bristle at my use of the expression “gun addict”, let me make it clear that I don’t apply this term to all gun owners. (But if the holster fits…) I have known some whom I never would have suspected to be gun owners, because they didn’t make an issue of it. They didn’t conspicuously flash their pieces, they didn’t display issues of Guns and Ammo  on the coffee table or NRA stickers on their pickups, they didn’t rant about their “Second Amendment rights”. They were just healthy adults who happened to own firearms.

And then there are the others. The ones who frequent gun shows and hang out every day on online gun forums. The ones who forward every anecdote that comes down the pike about a granny with a shotgun fending off a gang of rapists. The ones who foam at the mouth about the big bad guvmint wanting to take away their toys.  The ones who fawn like schoolgirls over implements of death and mayhem as if they were Faberge eggs. These are probably prime candidates for a twelve-step program.

Be that as it may, the point is that given a random gathering of, say, a hundred human beings,  you’re certain to have a wide variety of personality types. Give them all guns, and you’re certain to have a wide variety of armed personality types – and levels of shooting skill.  Introduce a sudden threat to their lives (like, say, a guy opening fire on everyone) and the odds of extensive collateral damage are high indeed- my projection of “a dozen or so bodies” might well be conservative.

Yet many gunsters are perfectly willing to assume that in such a scenario, everyone present would behave with perfect poise, restraint and efficiency – not to mention impeccable marksmanship. How naive can you get?

And the Kewpie Doll Goes to…

But of the many silly utterances in Mr. Krafft’s commentary, the silliest has to be this:

There is no such thing as “gun violence.” There are people who do violent things with guns, but they also do violent things with knives, rocks, pointy sticks and fists.

Oh. I’ll try to remember that, and I’ll also try to remember that there’s no such thing as an automobile accident; there are only accidents that happen to involve automobiles. They could instead have involved bicycles, camels or pogo sticks. The fact that they involved automobiles gives us no right to linguistically link a car with a crash. (Is this some of that “political correctness” stuff I’ve heard so much about?)

I suppose this little display of semantic chicanery is meant to foster an Orwellian disconnect between guns and gunshots, and reinforce the gun culture mantra that “guns don’t kill, people do”. But while the role that firearms might play in inciting violence is open to debate, their very presence in shootings is not. I’ve never heard even the most rabid gun fanatic argue that bullets are discharged by bare hands. (At least not yet.)

Pro but conned

Speaking of loaded language, as it were, I notice that the denizens of The Truth (sic) about Guns have a habit of referring to non-gunsters (including, it would appear, yours truly) as “antis”. Normally the prefix anti designates opposition to something, but I’m not clear just what it is that I/we are supposedly against. If anything, one might infer from reading these pages that I am in favor of certain things – e.g., stricter gun laws and a more precise reading of The Constitution.

In any case, the knee-jerk use of this label is a good indicator of how the gun culture, like the culture of right-wing extremism with which it is so closely allied, is fueled by paranoia and divisiveness. There must always be a THEM out there somewhere, intent upon taking away one’s guns and one’s freedom (which are one and the same of course), and destroying one’s country and violating one’s daughters, etc. etc. etc. etc. The gun lobby, a distinct minority that nonetheless enjoys a powerful grip on media and politics, has managed to convince its constituents that it has been brutally marginalized; and it appeals to the very type of mindset that probably shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near a loaded anything.

Blossoms among the stubble

Still, I don’t mean to suggest that Mr. Krafft always has his head up his barrel. I commend him for at least recognizing that there is for most people a heavy emotional price tag attached to shooting someone, however justifiably. Many gunsters I’ve encountered seem quite clueless about this, and honestly believe they can just blow away a bad guy and then go have a beer and forget about it. The scary thing is, some of them may be right.

And I give him a standing ovation for refusing to name the shooter at Virginia Tech. I’ve always strongly suspected that if the media didn’t lavish so much attention on mass murderers, there’d be far fewer copycats.  But we’ll never know for certain, will we?

Additionally, his speculations about how crime may have been prevented by armed citizens in other mass shootings, and his follow-up post offering possible solutions to the problem of gun violence (though he denies it exists) are, though presumptuous, at least thoughtful.

On the whole, however, the website is yet another example of the very brand of fear mongering and polarization that the world doesn’t need a lot more of.

(COMING SOON: We’ll examine “gun control” and other nifty phrases, as well as gunster mantras such as “gun control doesn’t work” and “more guns, less crime“. And we’ll turn the microscope on the “statistics” about defensive gun use.)


  1. I’m intrigued by your statement in regard to the Heller decision that “They rewrote the thing.”

    There’s a couple of red flags that your post pitches for me. First is labeling Stevens & the other dissenters as “disinterested.” It is clear from his prior writings and his dissent that Justice Stevens is anything but disinterested, it seems clear that he is personally against the private ownership of firearms outside of clearly defined roles.

    The second is the contention that the reading involving an organized militia is justified by the framers refusal to delineate personal protection in the 2nd seems unjustified by the historical record. Justice Stevens seems to simply ignore the clear statements by many of the framers that protection is specifically one of the purposes that the second refers to which are referenced in the Heller decision. I understand that you find that argument uncompelling, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist.

    Finally, I would appriciate it if you would distinguish between “they re-wrote the damned thing” and “they changed their minds”, especially in light of a few other cases where they changed their minds including

    Miranda v Arizona
    Roe v Wade
    Brown V Board of Education
    Gideon v Wainwright

    It seems to me that from time to time, the court simply changes its mind about an interpretation that they already had. These changes are not trivial. Each of the four above resulted in a sea change in our social system.

    In that regard, Heller and McDonald seem almost trivial.

    • Thanks for writing, Rick. Yes, Justice Stevens is clearly biased in the matter of gun regulation, and one might even call his commentary ideologically motivated if one is so inclined. (I wouldn’t, because I have a rather strict definition of ideology, but hey, different strokes.) But when I say that he is disinterested, I mean that he is not the bedmate of an industry that stands to profit immensely from the decision. And no, the “gun control” movement doesn’t exactly count as a lucrative industry.
      Certainly, there were many statements made by the founders and framers that one could (and many do) conjure up in support of the contention that the right to keep and bear arms was meant to be unfettered. But as Stevens correctly observed, a clause that would have given that impression was rejected. Furthermore, as I’ve stated before, an earlier version of the Amendment did stipulate that citizens could not be compelled to service against religious scruples; and this certainly is a strong indication of the Amendment’s “militias” intent. But the bottom line is that it contains (inadvertently, I’ll wager) a certain ambiguity; and for this reason if nothing else, one cannot conclude that constitutional gun rights are absolute.
      Yes, the high court sometimes changes its mind, and sometimes those reverses are drastic. You may even be correct that the four cases you mention had a more dramatic impact than D.C. vs Heller – it’s really too soon to tell. But while those decisions marked a sea change in what specific situations a constitutional amendment applied to, D.C. vs. Heller, in my evaluation, went much, much farther and rethought what the Amendment actually says. I’m not aware that any of the other 4 decisions – with the possible exception of Gideon Vs. Wainwright – crossed that line.

      • Well, I’m not sure how you can see For as much of anything but a re-write, essentially removing a category of behavior from legislative control under the influence of an in-enumerated privacy right where the act is clearly not private, but performed by a third party.

        Given clearly crosses that line, and if Miranda doesn’t, it certainly expands the role the fifth beyond any prior realization.

        About the only thing I can thing of that would be as changing as those three would be if the court where to rule that defense lawyers had the right to discuss jury nullification. 🙂

    • Thanks, good to hear from you. Sometimes I feel like I’m standing alone against a whole army of gun fanatics.

  2. Just a quickie before I go to bed; yes I do have a lot of time on my hands. Due to various medical issues I have been unable to work since August and unable to drive since early October. So in between the visits to various doctors and trying out new recipes (my wife and I have over 300 cookbooks (yes, we are freaks)), and limited by the fact that I can’t stand for very long, I have lots of time available for blogging.

    I may try to address some of your other points later, or I may not; it depends on just how *much* time I have on my hands.


    • Thanks for writing, Bruce, and I hope I didn’t terribly offend you. The best of luck with your medical issues.

  3. By the way, it’s been brought to my attention that while Bruce Krafft is a contributor to the website, he is not its founder or publisher (which I never identified him as). That honor goes to one Robert Farago, who I notice has written for The Washington Times (about which more in the future). So apologies, Mr. Farago, for not giving you due credit – if that is the appropriate word.

  4. Prof., I am a little disappointed that you didn’tpoint out that the use of the term “anti” is one of the US v. Them tools of Propaganda.

    We are “pro-gun” and they are “anti-gun” and want to take them away from us. Blahblahblah.

    Thanks for pointing outh that Farago worked for the Washington Times.

    BTW, I am one of MikeB’s co-bloggers in addition to being a mere neophyte propaganda student (compared to you).

  5. Thank you for writing this post. As a fellow blogger about the issue of guns, “gun violence” ( which apparently there is none of) and people getting shot, I appreciate the sarcasm. Sometimes sarcasm is the only way to counter the rudeness and offensive nature of comments from the pro gun extremists. I have been the butt of many of their posts and their demeaning, threatening, offensive and immature comments. It’s time for that to stop and people like you will only help to point out the nonsensical and divisive nature of any discourse on the gun issue.

  6. I tripped over your blog while searching (almost in vain) for folks in cyberland on the subject of firearms ownership who are not either knuckle-dragging mouthbreathers, or sweaty-palmed statistic benders hopping from one foot to the other, or heating up their bull horns in defense of one side or the other of this polarizing subject. I’ve been an NRA member since i was 12 — no, I didn’t compete at Creedmoor and fixed ammunition had been invented — and the American Rifleman magazine is stil welcome in my house. Except for the editorial pages; which I remove and file. I found the patriotic bullying of the big artillery occupying the NRA’s management suites as offensive as the anti-gun drum pounders who know what’s good for us like the visionary creators of the 18th Amendment. I found myself in the middle.

    So i did what every red-blooded American dissenter does. I wrote a book. It’s titled “American Shooter – A personal history of gun culture in the United States” (Potomac Books, Dulles, Virginia). It will be published at the end of February, 2012. My publisher tagged me with the handle, “A Liberal in the NRA;” which should keep me wearing Kevlar 24/7 until the heat’s off. Anyway, I plow through a third option between “guns for all” and “guns for none” by returning to our roots and traditions of using firearms in spectator sports based on the NASCAR model.

    As a historian and author of 50 titles on bookstore shelves — mostly histories — over the past 15 years and a competition shooter in rifle, pistol and shotgun matches since I could lift a rifle, I had no trouble pushing together 100K words on the subject. Give someone a place to play and an audience to applaud and your have yourself a league. The NRA could stop being a Conservative Republican PAC and refocus on what it does best — stewardship of the sport. Like those outlaw moonshine runners built themselves tracks to run their hot cars for money instead of ending up a fireball wreck on a back country road, firearms marksmanship could be a source of national sports pride — diconnected from the needs of the military and police.

    Thanks for keeping the debate a real debate, not just bloviation.

    • And thank you. Good to hear from you, and I hope to read your book. Alas, the NRA seems much more interested in promoting right-wing politics these days than it does in promoting gun safety. Some of the statements coming from its representatives are about as deep in Loonyland as you can get. My hat’s off to you for mingling with them congenially.

  7. Not long ago, I was running some rounds through a favorite Winchester of mine at the 100 meter rifle range when it came time to take a break and go downrange to retrieve my target. The range officer asked the other shooters on the line if we could break for 10 minutes and everyone agreed. There must have been twenty shooters, none of whom I knew from deep center field. It occurred to me, walking toward my target frame, that I’ve never been to a shooting range where anyone was acting rude, selfish, or lacked courtesy. I think it has to do with the attitude required to master the skills of marksmanship and safely handle these inherently dangerous guns. There’s a sense of pride that goes with working through the rigors of accurately producing a consistent result with a firearm that is recognized in any group of shooters. When we “mingle” we find it hard to be anything but congenial. After all, we’re part of a tradition that goes back hundreds of years.

    Stop by my blog when you have time (souterauthors.blogspot)

  8. POP,

    I must admit that as a legal analyst I have much to overcome, but I have heard several gun advocates harp about the decision in District of Columbia vs. Heller as being proof positive of their rights to own any and all guns which are owned by the military, is allowable in self-defense. My question comes in when it involves their claim that such a decision was reached with a 9-0 unanimous opinion, yet you claim that several justices (Stevens, souter, Ginsburg, and Breyer) all concurred in their dissent in regards to individual rights argument in the Amendment. So, how does the inclusion of four dissenting judges work out to a majority of 9 to 0 in favor of the individual right, or a 9 to one decision against the individual right–or for that matter a 9 to 1 anything. Are you saying that a dissenting opinion is not counted as being for or against the issue at hand, and that, therefore, gun advocates are trying to use this non-vote as evidence to support their position?

    I am serious in asking you to clarify this for me, as someone who doesn’t know a great deal about constitutional law, so that I might better argue about this issue in the future. what I have often said, is that, if we take the language about the “right to keep and bear “ARMS.” not being infringed, then that would allow any type of “ARMS” to be privately owned by citizens. However a dictionary definition of the word, “ARMS” is generally defined as any kind of weapon. So, if it is taken as literally true, then we as private citizens would be allowed to own, flame-throwers, machine guns, bazookas, surface to air missiles, tanks, hand grenades and even Nuclear bombs! Since I think it is pretty obvious that private ownership of these and other weapons is a clear threat to public safety, it makes no sense that the founders intended all military weapons to be used by private citizens.

    Please forgive my ignorance and give me a short response which clarifies the issue in District of Columbia vs. Heller—especially the supposed 9-0 unanimous decision. As alway I am a frequent reader of your blogs and find them refreshingly logical and pertinent!

    • The decision was 5-4, along the usual ideological lines. I’m not sure why anyone would claim that it was 9-0, except for the fact that people do sometimes make such claims that have no connection to reality. Many people have stated, for instance, that the court’s ruling in Bush vs. Gore was 7-2, while it was really also 5-4. In reference to that ruling, they took certain comments by dissenting justices that supported certain aspects of the suit as being tantamount to ruling with the majority. And I can only guess that some are doing the same with regard to DC. vs Heller. I’m no expert on the law myself; but Wikipedia has what appears to be a concise and accurate summary of the case.

  9. Thanks,

    From recent posts, I can only guess, that the person who challenges me on the particular forum I am involved with, views the four dissenting votes as tantamount to unanimously supporting the right to bear arms. I have never had a problem with that as long as these arms are of reasonable destructive power—therefore not posing a public threat by accident or by deliberate intent. However, the commenters i disagree with, love to harp on the previous distinction that gun owners are given the freedom to own and use, any weapons which are ordinarily used by the military. I have never heard this definition included in the 2nd and I suspect it is something added by Judges, who favor it—specifically Scalia!

    As I become more adept at understanding the issues involved (also making good use of Wikipedia ) I am able to respond with considerably improve knowledge.

    Strange how my online opponent seems to think that using Wikipedia makes me a “Wiki Warrior”. As usual only their links are deemed accurate while all of mine are suspect—one of which is a link to which describes the content of Senators Manchin and Toomey’s compromise bill ( also deemed unacceptable by the NRA.) The site includes a video of both senators describing why they support this compromise bill, and, Toomey (the Republican) which you undoubtedly already know— also has an A rating from the NRA—and states his bewilderment about why background checks are considered infringements on the 2nd Amendment.

    Although I have asked repeatedly for comments on Manchin’s and Toomey’s bill, not one other commenter has ever responded with more than the usual insults, and claims that my site is not reliable—. but It’s gun site operated with a pro-gun, attitude! Ya think its has anything to do with dispensing truthful pro-gun information even though it is, in this case, being the devils advocate?

    Anyway, although I am not a lawyer by any means, I think the basic issue is not whose “freedoms” are being threatened, but rather the Government’s right to regulate products that pose a risk to the public’s health. I also think the mention of the government’s role of protecting the “general welfare” as stated in the preamble, clearly support its authority to regulate dangerous weapons. I also think Justice Stevens referred to the fact that the founders were not familiar with the technological prowess of weaponry in 2013, and, would not immediately concern themselves with preventing the authority of future Congressman and future courts to regulate them.

    Sincerely, Peter W. Johnson

    • Wikipedia has been the object of criticism — even ridicule — in the past, and sometimes it’s been deserved. But my impression is that its accuracy has improved considerably in recent times. In any case, to avoid the “Wiki Warrior” stigma, try citing Wikipedia’s source material rather than Wikipedia itself. It may not really matter, though. True believers will scoff at anything that challenges their beliefs.

      • Pop,

        I have heard that unverified information is sometimes added to wikipedia’s articles, but I would guess that when discovered, such content can be removed or edited. I also would think that disagreements would be more likely to occur about its interpretation of facts, rather than the facts themselves.

        So far, the info that I glean, has matched the info provided by those who post against my ideas, and I believe that factually, the site is quite accurate.

        One of the other commenters is constantly tossing his knowledge of Constitutional law in my face, and frequently gives me condescending insults. I tell him that if he knows his Constitution, he must also know that there are several points of view held by scholars who interpret the 2A differently, and, that I don’t have to have a law degree to grasp the basic concepts involved.

        Interestingly, although I have repeatedly asked him and other commenters to give me an example of a believable scenario concerning how their gun will be taken away, and just who, how, and when that is likely to happen. They invariable dodge the question and refuse to answer. I think that, when one considers all the conditions that would need to exist and, because we are a Representative Democracy that would impeach any President for acting insanely quicker than the dropping a hat, the absurdity that the pentagon would drop everything and blindly obey a liberal Democratic President without so much as a blink of an eye, is truly the stuff that science fiction, or at least fiction, is made of! Naturally when I respond to their conspiracy claims by questioning what these would entail, I am accused of launching a straw man attack. But they are the ones who insist on circulatingsuch claims in the first place.

        Thanks, Peter W. Johnson

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