Mother Jones Shoots Down Rambo

In case you missed it, the April issue of Mother Jones features a short but potent piece called “10 Pro-Gun Myths, Shot Down”. These 10 myths include the favorite mindless canards you so often hear parroted by the gun culture, including “They’re Coming For Your Guns”, “Guns Don’t Kill People, People Kill People” and (my favorite) “An Armed Society is a Polite Society”.

Needless to say, the NRA took notice and started “debunking” this debunking. Subsequently, MJ has run a debunking of the debunking of the debunking, which holds up to scrutiny much better than the NRA’s attempted ambush or a similar one run by National Review.

No matter how heavily armed you are (or think you are), it’s not a good idea to mess with Mother.

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52 thoughts on “Mother Jones Shoots Down Rambo

  1. I find it difficult to comprehend the psychological blinders gun-rights advocates employ to deny the intellectual bankruptcy of their arguments. The “mass shootings prevention” myth is especially egregious. The claim is that any regular average citizen with a gun can play Matt Dillon and blow away a potential mass murderer, but they can’t give one example, and those they do offer feature real-life Dillons who have special training to handle those emergencies. But because they’re citizens they count, even though they’re not “regular average citizens”. It boggles the mind.

    Meanwhile, having law enforcement say, “PLEASE!!!!! Don’t try to stop mass shooters!” only makes them more determined. After all, the most virulent gun-rights advocates are libertarians, especially anarchists, and they think the police are American Gestapo / SS / Brownshirts anyways. They obviously just want to make us helpless slaves for the tyrant Obama overlord.

    Madness.

    • “The claim is that any regular average citizen with a gun can play Matt Dillon and blow away a potential mass murderer, but they can’t give one example”

      Oh really? Look up the Saint James Church massacre. One man with a revolver (Charl Van Wyk) was able to scare off a heavily armed “liberation army” in Cape Town. Your move.

      • Just to join in again,

        No one is saying that one or more persons with guns has never stopped a crime, but how many of these DGUs really, and genuinely, represent self defense, and how many have resulted in even more deaths or injuries, not to mention the fact that so many mass shootings are still happening?

        The least we could do is prevent guns from being sold without adequate documentation at gun shows, or online, (there are still ways to do so with the internet).

        Merely noting if anything in ones record indicates that one should not have a weapon (namely prior criminal offenses, or mental illness) and if it is prudent to investigate further before handing a gun to the next potential mass killer, will not endanger anyones right to own guns. Please don’t tell me that such killings are relatively rare–I already know—but if reasonable precautions can prevent just some of them, then what is our excuse not to try?

        I think just about any of us, would like to see better screenings or red flags raised when a mental illness is involved. So, even if present safeguards are woefully inadequate, lets work on some sort of legislation that will allow dealers to be tipped off, without publicizing anyones name, or dramatising the incident and violating anyone’s privacy, while ignoring second amendment rights! We can do so, if we put our minds to it!

      • These incidents do happen sometimes; but the fact that we have to go back 20 years to find one is a good indication of how heavily their frequency is exaggerated. Under the circumstances, Van Wyk probably did the right thing — desperate circumstances call for desperate measures — but there’s no getting around the fact that he was just damn lucky. (Compare the disastrous attempt at heroism against ONE gunman at a courthouse in Texas a few years ago.) And the real question is whether this kind of success once every 20 years justifies the kind of insane risk that would accompany having every member of every congregation armed. Parenthetically, the use of expressions like “your move” is a good indication of the type of combativeness that makes so many gun owners such a big risk.

      • Hello POP,

        No matter how hard I have tried, I have never succeeded in getting a gun advocate to discuss the issue of public safety and how it relates to the ownership and availability of guns. unerringly they let that question go out the window and prefer instead to discuss whether of not limits on gun ownership represents a precursor to eventual confiscation and government domination, or the erosion of individual rights, but here again, not a one is willing to offer a detailed and feasible scenario of how this will happen.

        Obviously the government should and does step in when issues that involve large risks to the pubic are involved. However, scores of casualties in Colorado, or the murder of 20 children and 6 brave teachers in Newtown, seem to be marginalized by those who favor only few or no restrictions at all on gun usage.

        Just once, I would like to hear people like Mitch, really consider the issue of public safety and how it is legally acceptable to expect the government to take a part in that role–or to just admit that it is a logical concern to bring up

        Instead they push numerous ideas that are intended to convince us that effective background checks and other simple measures that could indeed serve to protect everyone’s safety and answer our personal security needs, are absolutely impossible—making an endless counter-intuitive list which denigrates those who consider such claims, to be some sorts of unpatriotic trouble makers.

        Wouldn’t it be nice for once to have a conversation about other Constitutional amendments that have undergone clear changes over time, especially when their validity is determined by future or Supreme Court justices, or, in the few cases in which currently serving justices (serving during different historical periods) reconsidered and changed past rulings in accord with the passage of time and increased awareness of specific issues?

        No more arguments about whether we should pass legislation to ban rocks because they can be used to kill, or about the idea that making laws won’t work on people who don’t follow laws in first place.

        Despite such supposed lofty goals of supposedly defending individual freedoms, why don’t they instead focus on just what is so wrong or impossible about helpful laws, such as those that might be passed to end many of the loopholes which gun advocates admit are easily circumvented by those who desire to commit crimes.

        My contention is that if loopholes are added to any kind of laws, then there are also ways to limit, change or remove them.

        But will we ever have the luxury of engaging in rational discourse on these topics if political fanaticism remains as seductive as it has apparently become to so many Americans?

        Anyway, thanks for starting and continuing to stress the hypocrisy and propaganda concerning the demonization of simple and politically non-invasive regulations and giving us all the chance to discuss them—even those who feel that such regulations are unacceptable and should not be examined in detail.

      • “Parenthetically, the use of expressions like “your move” is a good indication of the type of combativeness that makes so many gun owners such a big risk.”

        Oh gee, the phrase “your move” is now indicative of “combativeness” and the possibility that I may be a “big risk”? Gotta love dimestore psychology… That being said, an allegedly educated fellow such as yourself should be aware of the fact that we do not have to “go back 20 years” to provide an example of an armed individual preventing a massacre. You want a more recent story? Look up the Appalachian Law school shooting of 2002. Better yet, do some research on Jeanne Assam from 2007, or Yitzhak Dadon from 2008. And by the way, why is it that gun control advocates typically only support firearm restrictions for the citizenry and not the authorities? Do police officers really “need” assault rifles or magazines that hold more than 10 rounds? If it’s good enough for the peasants, it’s good enough for the warrior class. Equality now, maaaaan.

      • Mitch,

        The words, “your move.” obviously are confrontational and aggressive—you might as well be challenging someone to a Chess, or even an arm wrestling match. But more importantly, whenever people like you bring up positive examples of DGUs which went as intended, these examples are invariably few and far between—often years earlier or later than another. So, if this is some kind of logical defense, then why do pro-gun people like you, always pooh pooh the fact that relatively few mass shootings occur? and, that therefore they do not warrant some kind of improved regulations? Isn’t the fact that scores of people can be killed in one brutal assault at least as persuasive as a handful of DGUs, over many years?

        Sure, most gun owners are responsible citizens and are not killers, but the fact remains that, if guns are made easily available for others who may not be as responsible, then we are only tempting fate.

        What made the Congressional defeat of the Toomey-Manchin gun bill so upsetting is that it only sought to make background checks more likely to pick out those with criminal convictions and make the undocumented sales of weapons at gun shows more difficult to happen. When reasonable precautions are used to prevent those raising obvious red flags, from having guns, where is the denial of responsible citizens to own and use their guns? Whose rights are being violated? Unless you believe that allowing those with several drunken driving convictions to (by some god-given right) continue driving without interference from the law—NO ONE!

      • One needn’t be a psychologist, dime store or otherwise, to recognize the blatant hostility that is the lifeblood of the gun culture.

        Your comment about “equality” of firearms is too silly even to scoff at. Would you also argue that citizens should have access to all the pharmaceuticals that doctors do?

        I’m quite familiar with the incidents in which armed citizens supposedly stopped mass shootings, having researched them for my post titled Cops Against “Gun Control”? (And a Word on Mass Shootings). As I pointed out in that discussion, even if all such incidents touted by the gun culture held up to scrutiny, they’d still be very vastly overestimated. But very few of them do hold up to scrutiny. For example, at the Appalachian Law School shooting you mention, the “armed citizens” were actually (shudder) police. And apparently, before they even intervened, the gunman already had disarmed and had been wrestled to the ground by an UNARMED citizen. Indeed, of all the cases on American soil commonly cited by the gun culture, only one appears to have been an incident in which an armed citizen MAY have stopped a mass shooting. That happened in 1982. How long ago was that, anyway?

      • “The words, “your move.” obviously are confrontational and aggressive”

        Oh my, leave it to the regulars at this website to have their delicate sensibilities offended by a commonly used phrase. BAW me a river.

        “No one is saying that one or more persons with guns has never stopped a crime,”

        But someone who calls himself “Blochemborg” did say “The “mass shootings prevention” myth is especially egregious. The claim is that any regular average citizen with a gun can play Matt Dillon and blow away a potential mass murderer, but they can’t give one example” I provided an example. Actually, I provided several. I could provide more if you like, but I am sure they would be denounced as “irrelevant.”

        >but how many of these DGUs really, and genuinely, represent self defense, and how many have resulted in even more deaths or injuries, not to mention the fact that so many mass shootings are still happening?

        First of all, I would be interested to know what you consider “self defense.” One thing I have noticed is that many (thought not all) supporters of firearm restrictions tend to have a rather pathetic attitude when it comes to defending one’s self against criminals. Is shooting a mugger that demands your wallet self defense? What about shooting someone that breaks into your home? I would say yes, but I have heard many gun control advocates argue otherwise. Also, concerning mass shootings, a better question would be – Why do they constantly seem to occur in gun free zones?

        “The least we could do is prevent guns from being sold without adequate documentation at gun shows, or online, (there are still ways to do so with the internet).”

        So universal background checks at gun shows? Might sound like a good idea, but overall it really won’t accomplish anything. How would you stop private sales from occurring OUTSIDE of a gun show? How do we force people to undergo background checks with ALL private sales? The only way that such a scenario would be enforceable is through the registration of all legally owned firearms, something which would not only be costly, (ask Canada) but would also receive fierce opposition from the public overall. Also, online gun sales are not as simple as one might think. If you purchase a rifle/shotgun/handgun online, you can’t have it mailed directly to you unless you possess a Federal Firearms License. I have purchased a number of guns through Gunbroker.com, and all of them were shipped to a local sporting goods store where I was first required to undergo a background check and fill out a 4473.

        “Merely noting if anything in ones record indicates that one should not have a weapon (namely prior criminal offenses, or mental illness) and if it is prudent to investigate further before handing a gun to the next potential mass killer, will not endanger anyones right to own guns. Please don’t tell me that such killings are relatively rare–I already know—but if reasonable precautions can prevent just some of them, then what is our excuse not to try?”

        Because, as I noted earlier, universal background checks are impossible to enforce without registration. Here in New York, part of our so-called “safe” act requires that ALL gun sales first involve a background check, and even many of our Sheriffs have pointed out the stupidity of this law. I mean, two New Yorkers could simply drive to Pennsylvania or Vermont and conduct a private gun sale in a parking lot with no background check. Doing so would be perfectly legal since the sale did not occur within the confines of New York. Also, as far as I know, selling “gun parts” without forcing the buyer to go through the NICS is still legal here. So while I technically cannot sell an actual gun to someone without having them first checked out, I can still legally sell them a barrel on Monday, and then a trigger on Tuesday, and then a stock on Wednesday…you get the idea. Point is, the loopholes that exist make this law utterly unenforceable.

        “I think just about any of us, would like to see better screenings or red flags raised when a mental illness is involved.”

        But the problem is, not all mass killers have shady backgrounds. Did James Holmes have a criminal record? George Sodini? Darion Marcus Aguilar? What would you recommend that we have in place to prohibit individuals like that from purchasing a gun? A mental health screening before anyone decides to exercise a constitutional right? I’ll just be blunt – The problem with gun control is that the anti-gun side of the aisle is NEVER satisfied. As I mentioned earlier, I live in New York, a state that has the most restrictive firearm laws in the nation. We were the first state to actually require citizens to first obtain a permit before they can legally possess a handgun. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, what started off as a simple permit requirement eventually evolved into a bureaucratic mess that can takes upwards of a year to be completed. If you want to possess a handgun in my county, you have to first live here for six months. Just moved in and want to exercise your 2nd Amendment rights? Tough shit, gotta wait half a year. Afterwards, you have a to fill out a form, get photographed, fingerprinted, undergo a background check, pay over $100, (which is nonrefundable btw) have any involvements with family court investigated, and then find four references in your county who are willing to attest to your “good, moral behavior.” Then, it usually takes 6-8 months for the judge to make his decision. And for the record, he can literally deny your permit for ANY reason at all. This is what an honest citizen has to endure in NY before he can legally own a pistol. And despite all of that, gun controllers are STILL demanding that we implement even more restrictions. So yeah, “give an inch and they take a mile” rings true where I live, and that is the primary reason why I vehemently oppose any further restrictions on gun ownership.

      • Mitch,

        Just a word on the basic premiss that justifies gun advocates who decry virtually all gun regulations—that he second amendment unconditionally guarantees citizens the right to bear arms—even without considering the first part, “a well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State,” and the controversial but common sense assertion that this reference is to the security of a free state, and refers to government run militias formed to defend the existing government, and not a band of individualists who fear the government itself—where does the constitution say that any of our rights are meant to be applied without any reservations or limits?

        We have freedom of expression except in cases that would spark public harm such as hollering “Fire!” in a crowded theatre. We have freedom of religion EXCEPT when that religion seeks to dominate the government or visa versa —as well as having our religious rights acceptable only within the reasonable parameters of existing laws, i.e. We CANNOT start tossing virgins into volcanoes as part of our freedom of expression, we CAN’T hold kool-aid parties with spiked poison drinks, or conduct brutal executions of hollywood celebrities in the name of Charlie Manson etc.

        We also have the right to not be subjected to unreasonable searches and seizures, UNLESS accompanied by a legal warrant based on probable cause. No one can be made to answer for a capital offense or crime, UNLESS appropriate legal channels are operative in his arrest—EXCEPT in times of war and as members of military forces. We CANNOT be punished for crimes, UNLESS this happens without due process, or is too cruel and unusual, And, we CANNOT be forced into conditions of slavery or involuntary servitude UNLESS duly convicted of a crime…etc…etc…etc.

        On and on it goes! we are continually restricted as individuals or the government is restricted in how it regards us—all depending on rational interpretations of the Bill of Rights and other rights guaranteed in the list of Constitutional Amendments. Rarely is a cut and dried, simplistic interpretation of any amendment made without conditions or reservations. So why should the 2nd be beyond this limitation and accepted as having only the meaning that gun advocates see as being irrefutable. Sorry! it just isn’t real to regard the constitution in this way!

        Our laws are full of exceptions to unrestricted freedoms based primarily on the fact that one man’s meat is another man’s poison, i.e. the litmus test of a law’s legitimacy often depends on whether it, or an aspect of it, endangers other members of the public. Is it wrong to ban anyone’s right to transport vials of nitroglycerin along a pot-hole filled street without observing local or State and Federal ordinances? Is it our right to build and sell medical devises which don’t meet certain standards and that pose risks to our health? Do we clearly have the right ot free assembly in all places and at all times? Can we block entrances to government offices any time or place that we choose? can we willfully leave a quarantined zone just because we WANT to. And if we have the RIGHT to bear arms, does that include fully automatic weapons, flame throwers, bazookas, Sherman tanks, or our own private nuclear bomb? After all, according to you the right to bear arms should be unconditional!

        The point I am trying to make is that it is simplistic and absurd to think that any of our amendments are above being legally interpreted by the courts, and that, constrictions on account of preventing the endangerment the public are not only logical, but necessary.

        You can continue to claim that your particular views of the 2nd Amendment are the only ones that matter, or that they are a clear and unrestrictable right, but that is not often the case in practical reality, and, for that reason we have the courts and, we have conditions that work ot prevent the public’s harm written into most of our laws. AS far as I am concerned we have the right to own firearms, but not unconditionally, and not under conditions that gravely endanger others. Especially NOT because we choose a certain interpretation of the 2nd Amendment which is far from absolute, as being infallible!

      • “One needn’t be a psychologist, dime store or otherwise, to recognize the blatant hostility that is the lifeblood of the gun culture.”

        Or perhaps individuals like yourself simply feel the need to be easily offended/upset by anyone who doesn’t share your worldview. I mean, really? “Your move” is causing you this much pain?

        “Your comment about “equality” of firearms is too silly even to scoff at.”

        That’s right avoid the question. Why do police “need” assault weapons or high capacity magazines?

        “Would you also argue that citizens should have access to all the pharmaceuticals that doctors do?”

        Yes, I would. I am not a fan of the drug war, (or of drugs to be honest) but if people want to sell and/or use pharmaceuticals, so be it. Your mov…I mean, your turn.

        “I’m quite familiar with the incidents in which armed citizens supposedly stopped mass shootings”

        “Supposedly?” Interesting way of putting it.

        “As I pointed out in that discussion, even if all such incidents touted by the gun culture held up to scrutiny, they’d still be very vastly overestimated.”

        It doesn’t matter how many examples are put forth, because no number would be sufficient for you and your ilk. For reasons that are palpably political, you choose to downplay documented examples of defensive gun use.

        “But very few of them do hold up to scrutiny. For example, at the Appalachian Law School shooting you mention, the “armed citizens” were actually (shudder) police.”

        Interestingly enough, Mikael Gross (one of the (shudder) police) has stated that “Citizens who have intervened in armed robberies, rapes, etc. have saved lives and property. These incidents are not well noted by the media.” The other (shudder) officer is on record saying that “gun free zones” do not work. https://www.readthehook.com/85728/news-first-interview-hero-2002-shooting-dislikes-gun-bans

        “Indeed, of all the cases on American soil commonly cited by the gun culture, only one appears to have been an incident in which an armed citizen MAY have stopped a mass shooting. That happened in 1982. How long ago was that, anyway?”

        1982, eh? Once again proving your ignorance I see…

        articles.latimes.com/1992-01-01/local/me-1021_1_public-safety

        “Late at night on Tuesday, Dec. 17, two men armed with recently stolen pistols herded 20 customers and employees of a Shoney’s restaurant in Anniston, Ala., into the walk-in refrigerator and locked it. Continuing to hold the manager at gunpoint, the men began robbing the restaurant.

        Then one of the robbers found a customer who had hidden under a table and pulled a gun on him. The customer, Thomas Glenn Terry, legally armed with a .45 semi-automatic pistol, then fired five shots into that robber’s chest and abdomen, killing him instantly.

        The other robber, who was holding the manager at gunpoint, opened fire on Terry and grazed him. Terry returned fire, hitting the second robber several times and wounding him critically.

        The robbery attempt was over. The Shoney’s customers and employees were freed. No one else was hurt.

        Because Terry was armed, and used his gun to stop two armed robbers who had taken a restaurant full of people hostage, there was no drawn-out crisis, no massacre, no victims’ families for Dan Rather to interview. Consequently, the story hasn’t received much coverage.”

      • Jeez Louise, could you possibly cram more red herrings, unwarranted conclusions and impertinences into a few paragraphs? What difference does it make what kind of weapons police have? No, scratch that. (I have a feeling you could use that question as a cue to launch into yet another irrelevant tangent.) But what difference does it make what kind of weapons I think police should have? And what difference does it make what the self-proclaimed heroes (in contrast to witness testimony) at the Appalachian Law School think about gun-free zones or armed citizens?

        Since you keep trying to stray off topic, let me remind you that the point is not that armed interventions never occur, but that they occur rarely; and their frequency is greatly exaggerated by the gun culture, which keeps producing a pitifully meager list and padding it with incidents of highly questionable significance. Even the one from 1982 that I mentioned is quite a stretch: the intervention occurred after the gunman had fled the scene, and thus the shooting was probably already over.

        And now you summon up the 1991 episode in Alabama in which a guy with a gun stopped a robbery at a Shoney’s. Yes, armed citizens sometimes prevent crimes. But again, the frequency has been astronomically inflated — the Kleck nonsense has been demolished many times over, including in these pages. And I may be “proving my ignorance” again, but I’ve seen no indication that this robbery would have turned into a mass shooting, despite the claims of gun nut blogs.

        But let me generous and assume we know beyond a doubt that it would have. How long ago was 1991, anyway? Weren’t you trying to establish that these things happen more than every 20 years or so?

        And even if you could dig up one that happened only 10 years ago, or 5, or even one, you’d still be trying to kill a herd of elephants with a pea shooter. The question is whether you and your comrades with your unlimited stash of firearms and pharmaceuticals can effect a net reduction in violent crime.

        Last year, mass shootings int he U.S. occurred at the rate of ONE PER DAY. In order to make your case, you need more than that puny little list going back several decades. You need a massive database of bona fide successful interventions. And if you want to be taken seriously here, you won’t come back until you have your trigger finger on one.

        Your shot, podner.

      • “Jeez Louise, could you possibly cram more red herrings, unwarranted conclusions” and impertinences into a few paragraphs?

        What “red herrings” have I put forth? What “unwarranted conclusions” have I posted? Oh, and let me guess, “Your move” was an “impertinence” to ends all impertinences. Still upset over my use of that phrase?

        “What difference does it make what kind of weapons police have? No, scratch that. (I have a feeling you could use that question as a cue to launch into yet another irrelevant tangent.) But what difference does it make what kind of weapons I think police should have?”

        Well, considering the fact that you seem to be a proponent of gun control, I think asking someone such as yourself why firearm restrictions for the police are not just as logical as firearm restrictions for the citizenry. After all, is police brutality/corruption not common in this country? Why not restrict the amount of firepower they have before yet another Christopher Dorner decides to go on a rampage?

        “And what difference does it make what the self-proclaimed heroes (in contrast to witness testimony)

        For the record, some witnesses merely claim that they did not see the two men with their weapons when the shooter dropped his gun, that hardly disproves that they did not play a role in stopping the carnage. Considering that most of the students and faculty were probably more focused on a madman shooting up the place, it isn’t at all unlikely that they did not notice Mikael Gross and Tracy Bridges approaching the shooter from different angles. I have not found any contradictions in the claims made by Gross or Bridges, nor am I aware of any interviews where they proclaim themselves to be “heroes.” (But I am sure you can furnish me with evidence that they have, since you boldly accused them both of being “self-proclaimed heroes”)

        “at the Appalachian Law School think about gun-free zones or armed citizens?”

        Because a gun free school zone nearly made these men victims.

        “Since you keep trying to stray off topic”

        Making things up again I see..

        “let me remind you that the point is not that armed interventions never occur, but that they occur rarely”

        Really? Because I don’t believe I said otherwise. Seriously, check out my previous posts and feel free to quote me if I am wrong. Yes, it is rare for armed citizens to rush in and save the day when a shooting occurs, (let’s just keep avoiding the fact that most of these mass shootings occur in “gun free zones”) but that isn’t the point. You continue to downplay defensive gun use while simultaneously acting like gun violence in this country is a raging epidemic, despite the fact that it’s actually down by almost 50% since 1993. Don’t take my word for it – http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2013/05/07/gun-homicide-rate-down-49-since-1993-peak-public-unaware/

        “but that they occur rarely; and their frequency is greatly exaggerated by the gun culture, which keeps producing a pitifully meager list and padding it with incidents of highly questionable significance”

        Well I can’t speak for all representatives of “the gun culture,” but I don’t go around claiming that real life Paul Kerseys are constantly showing up to thwart criminals. What I do claim, however, is that A) Armed citizens have prevented massacres, and these stories tend to receive little attention for obvious reasons. And B) It isn’t at all uncommon for proponents of gun control to downplay incident of defensive gun use while at the same time screech incessantly about gun violence, even though gun related homicides have plummeted.

        “And now you summon up the 1991 episode in Alabama in which a guy with a gun stopped a robbery at a Shoney’s.”

        Correct. The reason for doing so was to show that you’re not nearly as educated about this subject as you might think. You previously claimed that “of all the cases on American soil commonly cited by the gun culture, only one appears to have been an incident in which an armed citizen MAY have stopped a mass shooting. That happened in 1982.” Completely ignorant statement, which is why I brought up the Shoney’s example, which as you acknowledge, occurred in 1991, not 1982. But thanks for playing…

        “And I may be “proving my ignorance” again, but I’ve seen no indication that this robbery would have turned into a mass shooting, despite the claims of gun nut blogs.”

        Oh really? Perhaps the legally armed gentleman at Shoney’s was reminded of an incident that occurred in West L.A. back in 1980. On December 4th of that year, 11 people who were inside of a Bob’s Big Boy restaurant were herded in a freezer, (much like the people at Shoney’s) robbed, and then shot. Would the same thing have happened to the Shoney’s patron’s in Alabama? Fortunately, thanks to an armed citizen, we’ll never know…

        “But let me generous and assume we know beyond a doubt that it would have. How long ago was 1991, anyway? Weren’t you trying to establish that these things happen more than every 20 years or so?”

        I gave a more recent example from 2008 (Jeanne Assam) in a previous post, which you conveniently ignored. Or you could look up The Pearl High School shooting. That occurred only 17 years ago and was stopped by an Assistant Principal with a handgun. Now before you try to misconstrue my point, just keep this in mind – never once did i claim that these incidents occur frequently. They are, in fact, anomalies that occur during anomalies. (Yes, school shootings and gun related massacres are rare overall) My point is merely that having armed citizens on hand is a better roll of the dice than having no armed citizens at all.

        “And even if you could dig up one that happened only 10 years ago, or 5, or even one, you’d still be trying to kill a herd of elephants with a pea shooter. The question is whether you and your comrades with your unlimited stash of firearms and pharmaceuticals can effect a net reduction in violent crime.”

        And like I said before, no amount of incidents involving DGU is going to satisfy you. One could make the argument that people who shoot intruders/burglars are preventing possible massacres, (The Petit family in Cheshire Connecticut ring a bell?) though you would no doubt resort to the same tactic of downplaying those incidents while sensationalizing this nation’s homicides. (even though they’ve dropped dramatically over the last decade) And oh boy, here we go with the accusations and HOSTILITY – “you and your comrades with your unlimited stash of firearms and pharmaceuticals” My, what PERTINENCE. Are unsubstantiated allegations what people like you resort to when someone gets under your skin? Pretty ironic that a man who complains about my use of “Your move” is now accusing me of being a hoarder of guns and drugs. But hey, keep it up with the assumptions, it only further proves how ignorant you truly are.

        “Last year, mass shootings int he U.S. occurred at the rate of ONE PER DAY. In order to make your case, you need more than that puny little list going back several decades.”

        Please refer to the information that I posted from the Pew Research Center. Homicides are down by 49% since the mid 90s, yet that doesn’t stop people like you from acting like the sky is falling with bullets.

        “You need a massive database of bona fide successful interventions. And if you want to be taken seriously here, you won’t come back until you have your trigger finger on one.”

        I wouldn’t even bother, because you’re already set in your ways and would no doubt do everything in your power to make DGU seem irrelevant.

        “Your shot, podner.”

        Such pertinence. Such hostility. Why must you be so combative? I shall now sob about this for hours on end.

      • First of all Peter, I like how you completely ignored my questions in the previous post that I made. For the record, those questions were not rhetorical, and I was hoping that you could actually provide some answers. I mean, what laws WOULD have prevented an individual like James Holmes (someone who did not possess a criminal record and was never committed to a mental institution) from legally purchasing firearms? Also, should someone be forced to undergo a background check before they sell gun parts? If the answer is yes, how do you plan to make such a law enforceable? By registering every component of a firearm? If your answer is no, then why couldn’t people simply circumvent universal background checks by selling a gun to someone piece by piece? People are already doing just that here in New York, and it’s perfectly legal.

        Second, concerning the wording of 2nd Amendment, the militia is (as George Mason put it) “the whole people,” and the phrase “Well regulated” does not, in old Englsh, mean “well controlled or managed by a government”. “Well regulated” means well skilled, well drilled”. In fact attaching the term “regular” to a unit was meant as a comment on their skill at arms.

        Third, never once did I say that I oppose ALL firearm laws, nor did I claim (as you suggested) that “our rights are meant to be applied without any reservations or limits” or that my “right to bear arms should be unconditional.” Do I have a problem with restrictions on nuclear weapons or cruise missiles? No. Do I have a problem with restricting violent felons or mentally insane individuals from possessing guns? No. How do we keep these people from obtaining a weapons? It isn’t as easy as you might think, but I would argue that they should face criminal charges if they are caught possessing one. Also, anyone who knowingly sells firearms to such an individual should face prosecution.

        That being said, do you have any better ideas? Because I’d love to hear them. People have already found numerous ways of getting around the nonsensical “safe” act in here in New York. We can’t buy “high capacity” magazines now. (i.e. anything over 10 rounds) So instead of purchasing a mag that can hold 30 rounds, people just go out and buy three 10 round mags. And let me tell you, it doesn’t take much time to empty a ten round mag and then replace it with another. Also, we’re supposed to have a system set up so that background checks can be performed on all ammunition sales, (something which is estimated to cost us millions) yet that has been delayed for a number of reasons. Regardless, even if it is implemented, people who wish to avoid that nonsense can merely drive across the state border to PA or VT and buy ammo there, and it’s perfectly legal to do so. But by all means, feel free to post specific examples of new gun related laws that you would support. Then explain to me how they would not only reduce gun violence, but also how they would be immune to loopholes…

      • “Where’s yer database, Lefty?”

        That’s your response? Gee, I was at least hoping you would have something to say about the information concerning the 49% drop in gun homicides from the Pew Research Center. Then again, people like you would probably prefer if the public remains unaware of that fact…

      • On the contrary, people like me are very much interested in figures like these. I’ve already been analyzing them as part of my series on how the gun culture manipulates statistics. Stay tuned. And do your homework before you come here. The two cases you accused me of “ignoring” were discussed by Mother Jones, and I’m not here to just repeat what they say after I’ve already linked to them. Not only have you not presented a database, but your little list is shrinking.

      • “On the contrary, people like me are very much interested in figures like these. I’ve already been analyzing the”m as part of my series on how the gun culture manipulates statistics.

        Well that’s funny, because I doubt your “gun culture” boogeyman has any ties to the Pew Research Center. Funny how you act like gun violence is at unseen levels in our era, even though it has dropped dramatically over the last decade.

        “Stay tuned. And do your homework before you come here.

        Oh boy, that’s some irony right there. If I am not mistaken, you’re the same “educated” fellow who previously said, and I quote – “of all the cases on American soil commonly cited by the gun culture, only one appears to have been an incident in which an armed citizen MAY have stopped a mass shooting. That happened in 1982.” Um…nope. I already established that a man in 1991 prevented what could have been a repeat of the Bob’s Big Boy massacre that occurred back in the early 80s. Also, your precious Mother Jones article contains some errors, which I will point out…

        “The two cases you accused me of “ignoring” were discussed by Mother Jones, and I’m not here to just repeat what they say after I’ve already linked to them.

        Except concerning Jeanne Assam, Mother Jones refuses to acknowledge that she WAS, in fact, a civilian by definition. Was she a police officer at the time? No? Was she in the military at the time? No? Well there ya go. Also, the brilliant minds at MJ apparently didn’t do too much research, because they seem to be unaware of the following incidents, the first one is from 2008…

        http://www.ktvn.com/story/8378732/three-men-killed-in-winnemucca-shooting-on-sunday

        “Deputies say about 2:25 a.m., 30-year-old Ernesto Villa Gomez walked into the bar and starting shooting. 20-year-old Jose Torres and his 19-year-old brother Margarito Torres were killed. When Villa Gomez was reloading his semi-automatic gun, a man from Reno took out a gun and shot Villa Gomez. That man has a concealed weapons permit.”

        Was the man with the concealed weapons permit a soldier? An off duty cop? Unless someone can provide some evidence that he was, it is safe to say that MJ was (once again) wrong.

        But here’s yet again another incident, this one from 1998. A businessman armed with a shotgun was able to convince a 14 year old shooter to give himself up before he could commit more carnage…

        http://www.cnn.com/US/9804/25/school.shooting.pm/

        “The restaurant’s owner, James Strand, armed with a shotgun, pursued Wurst and persuaded him to give up his weapon and surrender in a nearby field, police say.”

        Was James Strand a soldier or an off duty cop? My research has found nothing indicating that he was anything other than a restaurant owner. Thus, I think it’s safe to say that Mr. Strand was a mere CIVILIAN.

        “Not only have you not presented a database, but your little list is shrinking.”

        Actually, my list just grew. But, do I have to incessantly repeat myself? I already previously mentioned why I am not going to compile a list of every documented instance of DGU that has occurred in the last 20 years. It would be a colossal waste of my time because you are clearly set in your ways regarding this issue. That being said, I find it highly amusing how you continue to avoid the fact that gun homicides are down even though your ilk would have us believe that gun crime is at an all time high. You focus on school shootings and public massacres and decry the (shudder) “gun culture,” even though gun related deaths are lower now than they were during the Clinton administration. Yes, “Propaganda Professor” suits you well, though not for the reasons you fancy…

      • I was waiting for that last little childish barb, which has become a standard among hair-splitters who seek validation here. I repeat, bring me your database (no, you don’t have to do the legwork yourself — surely someone else has compiled one) if you want to be taken seriously. And do your homework before you come in with six-guns ablaze. You still don’t know what I’ve said and what I haven’t.

      • “Thank you, I was waiting for that last little childish barb”

        This coming from the same man who recently accused me and my “comrades” of having an “unlimited stash of firearms and pharmaceuticals.” So not only are you ignorant, but you’re also a hypocrite. I think I hear your glass house shattering, “professor.”

        “which has become a standard among hair-splitters who seek validation here.”

        Oh wow, if we’re gonna talk about “hair splitting,” why don’t we start with Mother Jones’ insistence that Jeanne Assam was not a civilian, despite the fact that she is by definition. Or would you prefer if we simply toss definitions out the window when they don’t suit your agenda?

        “I repeat, bring me your database”

        Keep repeating yourself, because I am not going to.

        “And do your homework before you come in with six-guns ablaze.”

        I already did, pal. Got any evidence that the man with the concealed carry permit who stopped the massacre in Nevada (which, if you remember, was in 2008) was not a civilian? Got any evidence that James Strand in Edinboro was not a civilian? If not, than that silly little claim by Mother Jones that a civilian has not stopped a mass shooting recently is absolute tripe. I figured you would ignore the information that I posted, shows your true colors alright.

        “You still don’t know what I’ve said and what I haven’t.”

        That’s funny, because I have been quoting you numerous times and pointing out your ridiculous and hypocritical comments.

      • Sorry, Mitch, but your 15 minutes in the spotlight are just about done here. I commend you for being determined to dig up successful interventions that others have overlooked. And if they all pass inspection (a big if in view of what you’ve presented so far) then you only have about 100 to go to establish that maybe they aren’t so rare. And you only need about 1000 to have a database that is impressive in relation to the number of shootings. If you succeed, bring them to me; I’d love to see them. In the meantime, you’ll need to find somewhere else to engage in sophistry with you.

      • Sorry, Mitch, but your 15 minutes in the spotlight are just about done here. I commend you for being determined to dig up successful interventions that others have overlooked. And if they all pass inspection (a big if in view of what you’ve presented so far) then you only have about 100 to go to establish that maybe they aren’t so rare.

        Ah, and there we have it – the very reason why I have chosen not to waste my time digging up every documented instance of DGU in the last 30 years. Because as I predicted, you would no doubt do your best to downplay the information to the best of your ability. Your sure this little website isn’t just an outlet for your own propaganda? And hey, thanks for commending me on the successful interventions I found that prove Mother Jones is full of BS.

        “And you only need about 1000 to have a database that is impressive in relation to the number of shootings. If you succeed, bring them to me; I’d love to see them. In the meantime, you’ll need to find somewhere else to engage in sophistry with you.”

        I’ll take that as your white flag. Have a good one, “professor.” In the mean time, you might want to stop relying on third-rate media outlets like Mothers Jones for reliable information. As we have seen, they don’t seem to have a knack for doing extensive research…

      • Hello Mitch,

        Here is a section of your last post to the POP:

        “And you only need about 1000 to have a database that is impressive in relation to the number of shootings. If you succeed, bring them to me; I’d love to see them. In the meantime, you’ll need to find somewhere else to engage in sophistry with you.”

        “I’ll take that as your white flag. Have a good one, “professor.” In the mean time, you might want to stop relying on third-rate media outlets like Mothers Jones for reliable information. As we have seen, they don’t seem to have a knack for doing extensive research…”

        Pretty strange of you to interpret an open invitation to examine other proofs you might provide, as a “white flag!”

        And for your information, Mother Jones is widely regarded as a very prestigious and provocative publication—even if it disputes the handful of examples which you provide as dubious absolute proof that successful DGUs even exist at all!

      • By the way Mitch, if you bothered to actually read Mother Jones before condemning it, you’d know that it (like me) was discussing specifically American incidents. Broaden the field to the entire globe and yeah, you might come up with a few more. You’d also know that Jeanne Assam was an armed SECURITY GUARD at New Life Church. And a few other things that might have spared you the embarrassment of some of the blunders you’ve made here. See how easy it is to do your homework?

      • The problem with what you propose is that it could essentially deny 2nd Amendment rights to people who are simply on psychiatric meds or who voluntarily spent time in a mental institution. Think that’s not possible? Again, do some research on what is occurring here in NY. NBC affiliate WGRZ reported a story about a Buffalo attorney who claims that his client (who does not possess a criminal record) had his gun permit revoked due to the medication that his doctor prescribes him.

        http://archive.wgrz.com/news/article/209826/13/Attorney-SAFE-Act-Pulls-Clients-Pistol-Permit-due-to-Medication

        “unlike you, I don’t fear that a National database is a sure step to domination and confiscation.”

        Of course not, because you clearly disregard the registration-leading-to- confiscation examples that I mentioned earlier. Also, you also seem to think that it isn’t unlikely that our politicians would ever jump on a confiscate-certain-firearms bandwagon,even though previous comments made by some of this nation’s most prominent gun control advocates indicate that they would love to do just that.

        “because that inch is always perceived by them to be a mile.”

        And like i said earlier, look at what happened here in my home state. What started out as a simple permit and registration requirement for pistols has evolved into a lengthy, bureaucratic mess that involves, cash, references, paperwork, and months of waiting. And then there is the “safe” act, a law that was literally passed in the middle of the night without the public even getting a chance to debate it.

        “the POP has never claimed that nothing of the kind has ever happened, or that it may occasionally have worked.

        I know, but I pointed out how he isn’t nearly as educated about the issue overall. (remember what I said about his lack of knowledge concerning the Shoney’s incident in 1991? Or the fact that he was unaware of the 2008 incident in Nevada as well as the 1998 incident in Edinboro?)

        “And by the way, since when do you think one should not submit to any authority? Didn’t know that was objectionable to you! Is that what you’re saying?”

        If you’re going to rely on an unbiased authority, that is one thing. But if you honestly believe that the so-called “propaganda professor” isn’t just using this little website to promote his politics, then you are sadly mistaken. And, as I said earlier, he wasn’t even aware of the incidents that I previously mentioned. Not only that, but he considers “Mother Jones” a reliable source, even though I was able to shatter one of their claims with less than 2 minutes of Googling.

        “I explained my position about making laws that prohibit mailing guns piece by piece as a way to get around the law. I did this by relating the case of a store owner in a nearby community who used a similar strategy to sell illegal drugs by constantly using alternate chemical formulas which were altered and tweaked in order to evade legal liability.”

        But that’s apples and oranges, friend. Guns and drugs are completely different things altogether.

        “I also believe that preventing guns from being sold piece by piece and later assembled, can also be accomplished by writing an adequately worded law, that bans such partial purchases. Just like I believe it is possible ot prevent the smuggling of a nuclear bomb piece by piece.”

        Ok, first of all – To build a nuclear bomb piece by piece, you would need to obtain a few things which are not even legal for the general public to possess, so you can’t even compare a piece by piece manufacture of a nuclear warhead to the piece by piece manufacture of a firearm. Second, how exactly do we prohibit someone from buying enough components to manufacture a gun anyway? I mean, to do so, you would essentially have to register every rifle, shotgun, and handgun component that is currently in circulation. Then what? Require background checks before someone buys a firing pin or a barrel? Do you fail to realize how much paperwork, time and money something like this would be? Simply saying that we need an “adequately worded law” doesn’t cut it. Let’s hear something specific, and then explain why it would be absolutely immune to loopholes. Then explain how you would propose that we pay for your brilliant plan.

        “I’ve got to give you credit for the absurd effort to counter my mention of the fact that the word “ARMs” in the second amendment is only a general description of weapons and therefore subject to interpretation. Do you really think that by questioning if the definition of the word “bear,” is a valid claim that the law could be interpreted only as referring to weapons that we can physically carry? Are you the member of a comedy group for your night job?”

        Well golly, maybe you should ask the Associate Justice of Supreme Court Antonin Scalia the exact same thing, because here’s what he had to say..”He (Scalia) then volunteered that the second amendment refers to the right to “keep and bear” arms, so that it “does not apply to arms that cannot be hand-carried…It doesn’t apply to cannons.” Then the justice asked himself about “hand-held rocket launchers that can bring down airplanes.” About that, he ventured only, “it will have to be decided.”

        Here’s the link, bud..blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2012/07/29/supreme-court-justice-scalia-says-addresses-nations-gun-laws/

        “Do i really have to debate your absurd contention by mentioning that—one of the alternate definitions of the word “bear,” which is listed in the English dictionary, is, (“to be equipped with”)?”

        The Oxford Dictionary define “bear” as – (of a person) carry

        http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/bear

        “Are we now going to discuss weather we must posses such weapons while nude, or transport them on the back of a grizzly bear? are you going to say that bearing “ARMs,” requires that we must show our biceps in order to properly understand the 2nd Amendment? You know that this is absurd, and, it is now you, who are using such BS to completely ignore the point I brought up!”

        if anything is absurd, it is the above paragraph. Are you even aware of what you just typed and how little sense it makes?

        “As far as a world with people like Andrew Como—the world of politics is full of many different views and you just mentioned one of them. This is only one position and is not about the many positive ways to prevent ill people and criminals from killing others with guns.”

        Yeah, but Cuomo is a Governor, one that wields a lot of power. The fact that he not only mentioned that confiscation could be an option, and then used his “message of necessity” to have a gun law passed without any public debate is scary to say the least.

        “Senator Feinstein is admittedly not the most knowledgeable person concerning guns,”

        Wow, we agree.

        “But her more recent recommendations (after Sandy Hook) did not question the right to keep grandfathered weapons in private possession, nor did she propose anything but voluntary surrender of other weapons.”

        Sorry, but I don’t buy it. She already admitted on 60 Minutes that she didn’t push for an outright ban because she couldn’t get the votes to do so. But if the opportunity arises, she WILL make such an attempt, I guarantee it.

        “I am sorry you feel so threatened by something so simple and non-invasive.”

        And I am sure that is what people were saying to new Yorkers back when the Sullivan Act was passed. ” Oh, just a permit and a registration requirement to obtain a handgun? That’s Nothing!” Decades later, look what it evolved into.

        and that you feel the ultimate goal of the government is that will make it difficult extremely difficult to own guns. I come from a family of deer hunters and i can attest that very few Americans believe it should be difficult to own many common kinds of guns. However where is the need for the average person (not the professionals that display or sells specific weapons to official buyers) to order a 100 round barrel magazine over the internet, along with body armor?

        Ah yes, the “What average person needs ____” argument. This time it’s a “100 round barrel magazine” along with “body armor.” (Btw, do you also propose background checks for body armor?) Concerning high capacity magazines or drums, the idea that no private citizen “needs” one is not necessarily true. A prime example of individuals defending themselves with “assault weapons” and high capacity mags occurred in California during the 1990s….

        http://www.humanevents.com/2012/12/23/when-assault-weapons-saved-koreatown/ – “With the cops nowhere to be found, hundreds of people marauded through the streets towards Koreatown. The neighborhood suffered 45 percent of all the property damage and five fatalities of storeowners during the riots. Having had enough of waiting for police, Korean storeowners assembled into militias to protect themselves, their families, and businesses. According to the Los Angeles Times, “From the rooftops of their supermarkets, a group of Koreans armed with shotguns and automatic weapons peered onto the smoky streets…Koreans have turned their pastel-colored mini-malls into fortresses against looters tide.”Rhee claimed that the storeowners shot off 500 rounds into the sky and ground in order to break up the masses of people. The only weapons able to clear that much ammo in a very short time are assault weapons. Single shot pistols or rifles might not have been able to deter the crowd hell-bent on destroying the neighborhood.”

        “I guess nobody could question the right of James Holmes to do so, or to have his history of mental illness revealed–not if it means you might have to buy three 10 round magazines instead of one 30 rounder. What a terrible inconvenience!”

        It’s also idiotic. Why prohibit 30 rounds mags when you can simply buy 3 (or more) 10 round mags? You still basically have the same amount of firepower, so what exactly is the point?

        “I would assume that you fully approved the last stand made by the Davidians of Waco Texas, as they used a private arsenal against government troops.”

        Interesting fact, a San Antonio jury found that the four BATF agents that were killed during the initial raid in Waco were killed in SELF DEFENSE. That’s right, the agents overstepped their bounds that day (the 911 calls pretty much proved that) So yeah, I fully support the Davidian’s right to defend themselves against excessive force, and a Texas jury agreed.

        “Go ahead, describe specifically how such a thing could happen!”

        First of all, did you miss what i said in my last post? I’ll reiterate – “Nor do most of us even believe that Obama is looking to establish some Soviet style dictatorship.” I am not really worried about a “dictatorship” popping up anytime soon. That is not to say it isn’t entirely out of the question. But that being said, my primary concern is the gradual erosion of civil liberties. Funny how people like you think that the gun control advocates will eventually be satisfied if we simply implement universal background checks or some other ridiculous law that can simply be circumvented through loopholes. And then they’ll be demanding another law, and another, and so on. Seriously, it never ends. As a resident of the most anti-gun state in the nation, I have seen this first hand.

      • Mitch,

        Let me begin by mentioning that I checked into the Conceal and Carry requirements in different States. According to a 2011 report by the Government Accountability Office, Alaska, Wyoming, Arizona and Vermont had no requirements to obtain a permit in order to carry a concealed weapon. The others require various levels of training ranging from little, to moderate instructions. So, it is quite possible for “ordinary people,” without training to be permitted to publically carry lethal weapons.

        As far as denying anyone taking psychiatric medications from owning a gun or not being given a permit to do so, even without a criminal record—I am all in favor of it! First of all, psychiatric patients may suffer form paranoia, deep mood swings, delusional and/or psychotic episodes, manic episodes, or cognitive disabilities while using medication, and, often the fact that they are given medications in the first place, is made necessary because they have extremely serious symptoms which may also include murderous rage or deep depression with the desire to commit suicide. Just like drunks should not be allowed behind the wheel and pilots should not fly while taking heavy prescription medications, this only makes a great deal of sense. And, if at some future time the symptoms abate and a qualified doctor takes such a patient off of his or her medications, they may then qualify once again for responsibilities like that of gun ownership.

        About those politicians and prominent gun control advocates who might support confiscation of personal weapons and, who, as you put it, “indicate that they would love to do just that,” They are not in the majority. I also could point out that there are still politicians and judges, who would still like to ban inter-racial marriages, certain types of personal sexual acts, any public access to alcohol, equal pay for equal work, any form of gambling, large carbonated sodas, and bicycles operating on public highways as well as boom boxes blasting music from drive by motorists. The list could go on and on. Whether any of them succeed, are part of a strong majority, or endanger the fabric of democracy with such archaic of banal beliefs, I doubt. In any case I am not going to lose sleep just because some people have extreme beliefs, because that fact does not overly concern me. But someone opening fire in a crowed Colorado theatre with a semi-automatic weapon, body armor, and a magazine capable of firing 100 consecutive rounds of ammunition at the crowd inside, or someone who enters a primary school with a semi-automatic weapons and succeeds in killing twenty innocent children, and six courageous teachers—does! I also don’t think that seeking better screenings and background check information about those with mental illness along with setting off red flags about them in extensive data bases is important—yet some believe that even considering the regulation of certain kinds of weapons, makes me a bleeding heart of some kind of unpatriotic denier of the 2nd Amendment? I think examining such avenues for change, is a natural and logical response to such horrific tragedies!

        You also need to be aware that since the POP, publishes blogs anonymously, you have no idea of how extensive his knowledge is, or what his level of education he might have. You also cut him down for actually questioning the validity of the DGUs you reports and mention, but still incessantly berate him for not agreeing with your own accounts about them (even if they are contaminated by numerous uncertainties about their accuracy and/or how they occurred). The fact that you are not aware that this indicates extreme bias on you part, also makes me wonder about the nature of your intelligence and the extent of your education! How can you expect me to reject the POPs information as biased, while displaying such belligerent disregard for anyone who doesn’t blindly accept your versions about alleged DGUs or the validity of the websites you get them from? That’s certainly something that can be discussed, but would better be done with mutual respect. And as much as you claim that he is being unfair and insolent, you are not exactly a prime example of someone who does not personally possess just such traits either!

        Mailing guns piece by piece and using changing formulas to sell dangerous psychotropic drugs may not involve the same physical objects, but they are both examples of similar ways to circumvent the law. I mentioned the head shop owner’s legal difficulties to illustrate that even those laws that are hard to implement, CAN be adopted, and, there are almost always ways to enforce them if the pubic will is behind them. In this case the answer might be to pass legislation banning or regulating the strategic practice of manipulating chemical formulas that only maintain the effects that such drugs deliver, or, prohibiting any combinations of the base chemical in these drugs from being sold as bath salts, incense, or any other form that can be covertly consumed by human beings to create a high.

        In the case of mailing weapons piece by piece thorough the mail, so that they can later be assembled into semi-automatic (or) other weapons, perhaps a similar answer would involve making such a process itself illegal, not focusing on registering every last piece of weapons that are shipped in this manner, or that can be illegally purchase in this way on line? I don’t have the skills or the knowhow to create such laws, but our local, state, and federal authorities are often eager to take on the challenge. At any rate I loath those who criticize taking any actions at all, based on the assumption that every possible avenue is pre-ordained to fail—and then try to convince the rest of us that it is useless to try.

        Also, you are undoubtedly smart enough to realize that not every website available on the Internet is known for its unbiased views, and that claims of “shattering,” arguments by spending two minute Googling, is not a claim that is above suspicion—not in the least! You also have failed to challenge much of the information that the POP presents to discredit some of your claims, yet in a recent post, you expressed the desire to not even try providing an extensive data base, to establish any legitimacy for the argument that successful DGUs, are as frequent as many 2nd amendment devotees claim they are. We can’t just take everything you say as gospel, without solid proof or good reasons to, either!

        And Hey, I’ll grant you that it is much more difficult to smuggle a nuclear weapon piece by piece than a semi-automatic, or a fully automatic weapon. The point is that, even that is probably preventable despite the fact that terrorists are now crawling all around Middle Eastern countries with just such nefarious intentions in mind. And, if we lend our best efforts to preventing cases like these, it IS likely just as easy, or easier, to do the same about the illegal sale of guns in our own country! We don’t have to go after every one who might buy a firing pin or a barrel by merely using background checks, or by individually registering every last component of a weapon. We could rather devote time and energy to promote undercover sting operations, to make it very difficult for those who execute such deals, to sell weapons in this manner. The FBI and the CIA often conduct such stings, and some of the same efforts could certainly be made to shut down illegal sales of weapons on the internet in this way, as well as exposing undocumented gun sales at gun shows. After 911, the efforts of our intelligence agencies were coordinated with each other because if such cooperation had existed in the year of the attacks, many analysts believe we could have been able to prevent the attack on the World Trade Center! Isn’t it also possible to coordinate the information shared by various State data bases concerning people that should not have ballistic weapons? You can hide your head in the sand and insist we should give up because the task at hand is difficult, but I do not subscribe to such a view.

        My satirical comments about the notion of outlawing weapons that cannot be physically carried based on the word “bear,” make perfect sense given the context of how they were used in response to such an absurd argument. And, you say Justice Scalia has subscribed to such an interpretation of the 2nd amendment involving the mention of such terms—well that tears it! If Justice Scalia said so, it must be valid!—I can see him walking down the mountainside with Moses and Jesus by his side, ready to deliver his revolutionary take on the Bill of Rights! This is the same guy who considers Corporations to be people, and that having the right to use unlimited amounts of campaign money is the same as “free speech.” Besides just because any Justice expresses a cockamamie belief, does not set it indelibly in stone! How many Justices in History, have ruled against equality for black American, women, or the human rights of others from being upheld by law, simply because they may hold certain views which they falsely and automatically define it as being valid ones? And, I am not attempting to place myself above the law, if that’s what you are thinking!?—instead I am affirming my right to freely express an opinion that might differ with a Supreme Court Justice! Who ever heard of such a thing?

        Now, I cannot believe I am about to make this argument, but in order to play along, what Scalia says about the physical stature, gender, or age of someone who cannot carry a certain weapon. Are these traits integral to such a notion also? If not, why not? If your 100 year old grandma cannot easily carry a common handgun, does that nullify her right to own one, and do we have to measure the muscular development or the health status of everyone who attempts to buy any heavy weapon? Does the same thing apply to large quantities of ammunition, etc. etc. etc?—Like I said this comes straight from the bizzaro world, and I am not required to blindly agree with a loose cannon like Scalia! And I pity the fact that you apparently seem to think that your Oxford dictionary contains only one valid definition of the word “bear,”

        And, do I have to spell out the logic of banning large ammunition magazines that might potentially be used to gun down dozens of people in just a few minutes? You may claim that three ten round magazines can be fired just as quickly as 100 consecutive rounds, but I would ask you if you really would want to go up against someone like Holmes and his huge magazine with only ten rounds at a time. No matter what anyone says, or what theoretical objections are raised, Ill wager you and any other gun advocate would much rather have another 100 round magazine handy when trying to stop him—whether you pride yourself on the ability to change magazines quickly or not! In this case we can see evidence of the very valid belief that, legal limitations on magazine size should be applied to facilitate the protection of the theatre’s patrons—or those at risk in any other similar case!

        I expected you to come to the defense of killing cops over a legal error. Pardon me, but if a cop tries to arrest me with a weapon in his hand, even if I am not guilty, that doesn’t give me a legal right to engage in a mass fire fight with several of his comrades with the obvious intent to deliberate kill them! I am sure that the Uni-bomber was also often miffed by the authorities, but that shouldn’t have justified or allowed him to destroy the lives of innocent children that were attending a day care center located within a government building in Oklahoma—or to kill others along with completely demolishing that same building! Where’s your patriotism man!?

        I don’t recall saying anything about a “Soviet style” dictatorship taking hold in America at the hands of Obama. What I did say is that in a society like ours, there is no chance that ANY PRESIDENT, would succeed in accomplishing massive confiscations, and enlist the rest of Congress, the Pentagon, the CIA and the FBI as well as a good chunk of the American public, to blindly support such an effort. If you happened to be sleeping in Civics class, we live in a representative Democracy based on a system of checks and balances, and governed by a valid court system. If any president—including Obama, Roosevelt, LBJ, Kennedy, Reagan, Bush, or Nixon, had tried such a foolish thing, that President would have been under impeachment proceedings quicker than you could say, “ Second amendment rights!” And, Nixon was impeached over an arguably much lesser offense. The whole idea of a government takeover is a complete fantasy used to justify fears of any common sense regulations concerning dangerous weapons, and no one would successfully support such a President—not Democrats, Republicans, libertarians, or Independents! However, the same blindly paranoid people who allowed the massive incarceration of patriotic Japanese-American citizens during WW2, might have gone for it!—especially if their paranoia about those they imagined as a threat, along with fearing the regulation of firearms that might be used to defend themselves against such a self-perceived racial threat, was strong enough—because that’s exactly the kind of thing that can happen as the result of mass paranoia and fear!

        You say your primary concern is about the erosion of civil liberties, but, In every day life, we participate routinely in many kinds of regulated situations, including, registering to vote, obtaining a drivers license, receiving a library card, filling out financial or medical forms, obtaining a liquor license, opening a business, obtaining a credit card, buying a home, getting a handy-capped parking permit, or even participating in calendar parking laws in order to facilitate snow removal. We do this along with an endless list of other dutifully regulated activities that are not synonymous with domination, or forced confiscations, and do not automatically justify needless suspicions and fears!

        Over the course of your posts you have displayed frequent belligerence and disrespect for anyone who attempts to bring up the logical need for defending the public’s safety by regulating dangerous activities or objects. You have every right to assert a contrary opinion, and there are many valid ways to present such an argument—I just wish you’d exhibit a little respect for those who feel every bit as passionate about their beliefs as you do—that’s the least that you should be able to do!

      • “Pretty strange of you to interpret an open invitation to examine other proofs you might provide, as a “white flag!”

        Apparently you weren’t paying attention. Otherwise you read have seen me explain (repeatedly) why I am not going to sift through every reported instance of DGU over the last 30 years and then compile a list of every incident which is 100% proven to be legitimate. The “professor” is set in his ways and clearly has an ax to grind with the “gun culture,” so I am not about to waste my time on research that could potentially last for weeks simply to have it disregarded as irrelevant.

        “And for your information, Mother Jones is widely regarded as a very prestigious and provocative publication—even if it disputes the handful of examples which you provide as dubious absolute proof that successful DGUs even exist at all!”

        Please refer to the incidents I mentioned earlier. Here are the links…

        http://www.ktvn.com/story/8378732/three-men-killed-in-winnemucca-shooting-on-sunday

        http://www.cnn.com/US/9804/25/school.shooting.pm/

        Yeah, MJ is so “prestigious,” even though I was able to shatter one of their claims using nothing more than a search engine…

    • “No, you didn’t. Read what I wrote more carefully:

      “…and blow away a POTENTIAL mass murderer…” [emphasis added]

      “I also referred to it as “[t]he ‘mass shootings PREVENTION’ myth”. [emphasis added] To count, your “example” would need to describe someone who used a gun to prevent a mass shooting from happening, not merely reduced the amount of bloodshed. None of your examples count.”

      Well first of all, there were well over 60 people in the St. James church in Capetown. Less than a dozen were killed. The ultimate goal of the “Azanian People’s Liberation Army” was to murder every member of the congregation either with bullets or petrol bombs. So basically, van Wyk was able to prevent a total massacre from taking place. Yeah, he wasn’t able to prevent bloodshed overall, but that would be a nearly impossible task since it is rare for mass shooters to proclaim their intentions before they start firing…

      “For the record, I never said that a citizen with a gun has never stopped a crime, so your Shoney’s example is irrelevant. Neither is it an example of someone preventing a mass shooting, because as you said we cannot know if the robbers even intended a mass shooting, much less would have carried one out.”

      First of all, no, the Shoney’s example is irrelevant at all. That incident had all the makings of possibly becoming another massacre similar to the one that occurred at the Bob’s Big Boy restaurant in 1980. The major problem here with your criteria is that when armed civilians kill robbers, they are potentially stopping mass shootings before they can actually BECOME mass shootings.

      “Here is an example of the kind of story I would accept as proving my statement wrong: A gunman (the weapon is immaterial) walks into a mall/store/church/etc and starts shooting at people. Before anyone can even be hit, much less killed, an ordinary citizen (not law enforcement/security guard/current or former military/etc) takes out his gun and shoots the gunman, thereby preventing any bloodshed from occurring.

      So to fit your narrow criteria, a shooter would have to basically walk into a building, start firing his gun, not hit a single person, and THEN be taken out by an armed citizen? Meanwhile, you’ll simply disregard incidents like the one at Shoney’s, even though the outcome could have very well turned negative for those people who were herded in the walk-in refrigerator. Btw, are there any incidents at all, anywhere, that involve a crazed gunman who can’t hit the broad side of a barn being taken out by ANYONE? Hell, are there even any incidents that involve a crazed gunman repeatedly firing at people and missing each time?

      “Can you give such an example, or something else in a similar vein? If not, my statement still stands.”

      Can you provide an example where a mass shooter decided to fire his gun wildly and miss every intended target? By all means, scour Google.

      “Any other kind of example, like those you have already given, or reply, would be a red herring that tries to divert the discussion away from the topic at hand.”

      Still not familiar with the term “red herring”, eh? Might want to look it up. Definitions are available online you know… To reiterate, the narrow criteria that you put forth concerning mass shootings and the prevention thereof is nothing more than a lame attempt on your part to demand an example so outlandish that nobody could possibly find one. I’ll say it again – Is there even one example of an attempted mass shooting where the gunman fired off his weapon at numerous people and missed every time?

    • “Yes a civilian,”

      Then you agree – Assam was indeed a civilian. Glad we could come to that agreement. My point still stands.

      “not an ordinary person with a conceal and carry permit, but someone who also new how to handle a weapon. And, because of the nature of their job, not typical ordinary citizens either.”

      Well wait a minute, what exactly would constitute an “ordinary person with a conceal and carry permit?'” Must they be blue collar and/or white collar nobodies who have absolutely no military, security, or law enforcement background? Also, with regard to your “new how to handle a weapon” comment, what about people with concealed carry permits who received training prior to getting their license? Your statement seems to imply that “ordinary” people with CCWs do not know how to handle weapons properly.

      And just so we’re clear, I made it known in a previous post (which may or may not be up yet due to the fact that some of them appear to be “awaiting moderation”) that I am not a member of the NRA, so I can’t speak for them or what they do. Are they alarmist? Yeah, sometimes. I have called out their claims before, (like I said before, I don’t believe that most politicians want a TOTAL gun ban) and I also find the top brass at that organization to be extremely hypocritical at times. I mean, they used to despise John McCain, but then they decided to endorse him for president. I found that absolutely pathetic. So don’t think for a minute that I am some partisan who is always going to side with a gun rights organization simply because I agree with them concerning the 2nd Amendment.

      And I have already explained repeatedly, over and over and over, why I am not going to spend time compiling a list (which would probably constitute weeks and months of research) going over every documented instance of a DGU within the last three decades with a fine tooth comb. I don’t need a crystal ball to know what would happen. Even if every incident was posted here, nitpickery would no doubt ensue from the so-called “professor” and his yes-men. Statements along the lines of “Well how do you KNOW this particular incident was actually an example DGU? How do we know there isn’t more to the story?” Even posting examples where the shooter went to trial and a NOT GUILTY verdict was handed down would undoubtedly be subjected to comments about “stand your ground” laws in a feeble attempt to derail the conversation overall. So for the final time, that’s why I’m not compiling a list, Keep harping about it, because from here on out, any mention of me doing so will be ignored. You received your explanation for the last time.

      • Mitch,

        Here goes your hair splitting strategy again,

        Security guards unlike many civilians are trained in how to use a gun, and many with conceal and carry permits also have received such training (but I would hesitate to say all of them do, since I think some states have no real requirements that restrict gun ownership and use). in any case, many “ordinary” people, also do not have military of law enforcement backgrounds, and the use of the word “ordinary,’ is only meant to narrow the field of people who have such training from those who don’t. But this is a surprisingly unexpected response from someone who uses semantics to imply that the right to “bear” arms would disqualify weapons that can’t be lifted or carried by their owners—a big BOO!! BOO!!—Get that half-baked comedian off of the stage, or at least, continue to bake him completely until he is done!

        And Mitch, I guess I am expected to take your word that you are not a member of the NRA, even though I referred to them primarily to illustrate the fact that they are really the ones who are impossible to satisfy—whether or not that guy named mitch is too, or is not! Yet you do seem to mirror many of their talking points, and I would guess your philosophical views about gun ownership and the 2nd Amendment, are much closer to theirs than to the ATF! Can we please just establish that important fact? And, no, most politicians or people do not want a total gun ban, however, people who belong to the NRA, do not seem to want any effective regulations preventing the ownership of any gun that a “law abiding” citizen might want to use— outside of course, those that are undeniably destructive—like a tank! But does this overworked term mean that those of us who want to see guns regulated are NOT also “law abiding citizens?” Your overdependence on semantics only reveals your hypocrisy when referring to others who choose to use common terminology to make their points. And while you are doing this shell game concerning the real issues about regulating firearms, they are never really discussed!–the most importance of which, is that the government has every right to step in where issues of public safety are involved—you know, like how one might misuse a 100 round barrel magazine–or the needless purchase of thousands of rounds of ammunition! Remember though, I am advocating regulation, not complete prohibition! But you still seem dead against accepting legislation like the manchin-Toomey bill, and delight in pooh poohing the need for more effective background checks, along with preventing undocumented sales at gun shows. Oh! you may not be opposed to all weapons, But only like one might not be opposed to all violence–without further explanation. What this really is, is another diversion, since even someone who does not opposed to ALL violence may be much more belligerent than others when advocating an armed citizenries right to fight off a mythical government take-over—Which by the way, you still have not adequately explained!

        So, the POP is to be condemned for doubting the legitimacy of references to certain accounts of DGU. Do you think he would be more legitimate, to accept any alleged incident you might mention, without debate?

        The fact is that, if you want to prove a case involving the frequent benefits of DGU in order to defend gun ownership–specifically conceal and carry laws, you damn well will be expected to provide a list of cases, and a convincing data bank that does not consist of faulty research, cherry picked statistics and subjective recall, from those who may make those claims. Do you advocate such mindless acceptance of any contention at all? Why then expect the POP to do the same for you? It isn’t rocket science!—honest debate always included questioning evidence and getting down to the truth. Both parties in any argument should expect no less! It take more than a lock-step endorsement of John McCain, to certify one as not possess partisan interests i.e.although I considered McCain one of the most acceptable GOP candidates, I have never voted for a Republican in my life.

        So watch out for those nitpickers, who never want ot accept information just on someones particular say so, and who often think that this attitude is a rational one. Because if you expect your specific instances to pass the litmus tests, you will have to be willing to prove them! As far as your condemnation of not believing the not guilty verdicts in “Stand your ground cases,” do you think it is appropriate to accept any guilty or not guilty verdict that a trial might produce without personal skepticism? The number of death row inmates that are released with the addition of DNA evidence, and the number of exonerated people who later confess, would seem to suggest you should think otherwise!

        You won’t provide a list because you know it wouldn’t be a substantial one, nor would it contain solid evidence concerning the validity of your claims. You are not entitled to be believed only because you say so. And you will never submit a reasonable scenario that might confirm the possibility of mass confiscation and governmental domination, because you know that all of them, would sound so ridiculous and unlikely as to inspire laughter! And whatever points i bring up either to defend or criticise you, do not require your permission! UNDERSTAND!

    • Guns are here to stay. All your talk will not change that fact. With so many more pressing issues let’s stop grabbing straws on wishful thinking.

  2. I agree with Biochemborg,

    But what is amazing to me is that they would actually think there is any real-world justification to believe that the evil King Obama, wants to send the military and/or the police force charging through their front doors, or that, the entire pentagon, or the entire police force of, say, New York, would lend their unconditional support to such efforts.

    Since many of our police may not want semi-automatics with large ammo magazines, to be available to criminals, and therefore might want to support regulations that would keep such weapons out of the hands of the criminals they fight, I would hardly think that most cops are in the same political camps as liberal Democrats, or that, they would immediately support the mad edicts of a (lets face it) black, Liberal President, with a Arabic sounding name, unquestioningly!

    The same goes with the Pentagon and our military. Most soldiers and officers I would guess, would be against confiscating and/or overly regulating guns, and so, it would be like some sort of social science fiction movie for them to rally behind the wishes of ANY President–perhaps especially Obama—without first considering that such a brazen attempt to exert dictatorial power, would not be, in essence, an insane action by any American President— worthy only of, immediate impeachment proceedings to remove that President from power.

    Sure many gun advocates are much more knowledgeable about the makes and styles of various weapons and can throw up many roadblocks which take the focus off of public safety vs. 2nd Amendment “rights.” But this all seems like so many technical delay for avoiding really getting down to the essence of the issue. And what is more offensive, is their attempt to display all of us who are actively trying to find ways to reduce this violence, as mere political players who are seeking personal agendas.

    truthfully speaking, I have never lost a friend or family member to gun violence, but I can not help but empathize with the horror and loss of those who lost precious children in Sandy Hook. I really have no need for a personal agenda, but the NRA, which only claims about 4% of gun owners as members is brazenly acting as the lobbying mechanism for an incredibly lucrative gun industry.

    It pretty obvious that many gun owners are not nearly as extreme in views as the NRA, but are merely being used as political pawns to preserve the power of the NRA—the financial brokers of weapons sold and distributed for immense profits by gun manufacturers!

  3. “Mitch’s” example is a red herring meant to detour the discussion into an area he thinks is to his advantage. The situation he describes happens even less in the US than the kinds of mass shootings most gun-rights advocates claim gun owners stop.

    Plus, “Mitch” left out important details, such as 11 people killed. Hardly a case of “scaring off” the bad guys.

    And you’re right: Van Wyk was insanely lucky.

    • “Mitch’s” example is a red herring meant to detour the discussion into an area he thinks is to his advantage.”

      Huh? You previously said “The claim is that any regular average citizen with a gun can play Matt Dillon and blow away a potential mass murderer, but they can’t give one example” I provided an example. Hence, you were wrong, but now you’re trying to divert attention away from that fact by whining about my “red herring” example? Interesting, not to mention ironic. Btw, it is true that 11 people were killed, though the objective of the “liberation army” was to burn down the entire church and murder every member of the congregation. Van Wyk prevented further bloodshed because he did, in fact, scare off the heavily armed men once he started firing.

      • “Huh? You previously said ‘The claim is that any regular average citizen with a gun can play Matt Dillon and blow away a potential mass murderer, but they can’t give one example’. I provided an example.”

        No, you didn’t. Read what I wrote more carefully:

        “…and blow away a POTENTIAL mass murderer…” [emphasis added]

        I also referred to it as “[t]he ‘mass shootings PREVENTION’ myth”. [emphasis added]

        To count, your “example” would need to describe someone who used a gun to prevent a mass shooting from happening, not merely reduced the amount of bloodshed. None of your examples count.

        For the record, I never said that a citizen with a gun has never stopped a crime, so your Shoney’s example is irrelevant. Neither is it an example of someone preventing a mass shooting, because as you said we cannot know if the robbers even intended a mass shooting, much less would have carried one out.

        Here is an example of the kind of story I would accept as proving my statement wrong:

        A gunman (the weapon is immaterial) walks into a mall/store/church/etc and starts shooting at people. Before anyone can even be hit, much less killed, an ordinary citizen (not law enforcement/security guard/current or former military/etc) takes out his gun and shoots the gunman, thereby preventing any bloodshed from occurring. (The gunman doesn’t have to be killed, just incapacitated.)

        Can you give such an example, or something else in a similar vein? If not, my statement still stands.

        Any other kind of example, like those you have already given, or reply, would be a red herring that tries to divert the discussion away from the topic at hand.

  4. Mitch,

    One way to ensure that sellers at least respect the idea of documenting sales at gun shows, would be to use undercover officers actively purchasing guns and then arresting dealers who fail to follow the rules. Of course it would never be 100 percent effective, but it would offer a deterrent.

    It is also woefully inadequate to do nothing about online sales, with or without loopholes. And, just as loopholes which allow guns to be purchased bit by bit, should not be acceptable, so, too are all of the untraceable purchases made by buyers who use advanced encryption methods and pay in bitcoins to cover their trails. In fact it is entirely possible to purchase enough firepower online to supply a small army or revolutionary force. Here is a link to a website which examines those types of purchases:

    http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/thinking-tech/inside-the-secret-online-marketplace-for-illegal-weapons/12402

    Then there is the fact that even though most conventional websites ban purchasing firearms online, they do allow the purchase of large amounts of ammo plus body armor—two things purchased by John Holmes—someone with a mental illness who purchased an AR-15. However, that came with a 100 round barrel type magazine that I am not sure he would have been legally able to purchase otherwise (at least he shouldn’t have)!

    There are unfortunate gaps that exist which enable many red flags involving mental illnesses, to go undetected when those suffering from them, are able to purchase firearms.There IS a valid need to protect the privacy of those requiring help, from imprudent disclosures by those who monitor and treat their mental illnesses— revealing their conditions and violating anonymity—i.e. many bipolar people have prestigious jobs which could be jeopardized by public knowledge of their afflictions. But this does not preclude possible safeguards which might allow those with such personal histories to be detected by dealers. I am sure all of us agree that much good would result from instituting a legal way to raise such red flags.

    I also don’t understand all the paranoia concerning the registration of firearms? Although automobiles are not specifically designed to be weapons of mass destruction, or used to deliberately kill, they are nonetheless potentially dangerous to other drivers and people in general. Every year I must pay a fee to renew my automobile license tags and registrations, as well (if I am a beginning driver etc.) a written and road test designed to assess my abilities as a driver. I also must pay a substantial amount for car insurance in order to drive (at least in my state). However, regardless of all this official red tape and these legal requirements, my vehicle has never been taken from me by the government, and won’t unless I violate laws clearly designed to protect the public—particularly other drivers. So why is there some sort of deeply held suspicions by gun advocates, that the government wants to use registration and confiscation to take some sort of dictatorial control of peoples guns as a prelude to enslaving them—sorry, but this is pure fantasy, and I have yet to hear any gun advocate that believes in such a fantasy, offer me a feasible scenario about how this nefarious government takeover in a democracy will happen—any scenario at all—yet alone a feasible one.

    I haven’t the time to go on forever, and I am sure you have talking points to counter my common sense concerns, but I have got ot include how obviously silly and irrelevant it is to imply that, law enforcement is somehow benefititng from a double standard when allowed to keep and use weapons in the line of duty. Denying their obvious need (beyond the scope of we ordinary citizens ) to defend themselves and apprehend violent criminals, which they have specifically been trained for, is absolutely absurd! We might as well be angered by the fact that our soldiers in the military are being spoiled by being able to use guns in combat conditions—really Mitch??

  5. Mitch,

    In my last post I ended by telling you that I could go on all day with a back and forth about every point made in your rather long previous post. The truth is, just like you undoubtedly do, I have other things to do during the day, and, I never promised to respond to every last one of your points anyway. So, in my last post I wanted to address some of the basic arguments i have heard from gun advocates who seem to hold the same opinions as you—especially on the interpretation of the 2nd Amendment. I am also puzzled since some of your posts that seem to be an attempt to respond to both the POP and myself, at once, and I worry that you may confuse what I have said with what he has said.

    In regards to individuals like James Holmes—he was actually receiving psychiatric counseling before the shooting, but his therapist found her hands and mouth bound by many laws designed to protect the privacy of mental patients. As I said, these kinds of laws, although necessary to prevent intrusions into one’s private affairs and medical history, also prevent many like Holmes from being detected in various databases. Secondly our gun laws vary greatly from state to state, and, this hodgepodge of differing laws, often serves to suppress the circulation of vital information that could have prevented people like Holmes from buying a gun. So, first of all, we need a laws that are consistent from State to States. But the NRA, which claims to be interested in seeking ways to prevent the mentally ill form acquiring guns, has done a bang-up job (pardon the pun) of preventing even the most reasonable legislation from Congress—the Manchin toomey bill was one that I mentioned. And, personally I fail to see the great harm many gun owners fear in simply setting up a national database and a National registry of guns. My analogy about the regulations employed in regards to driver’s licenses and the regulations of motor vehicles and their drivers, was meant as an example that in matters of public safety (such as those depending on the competent operating abilities of a driver)! After all, piloting a three ton hunk of metal down the road at speeds in excess of 70 miles per hour, does pose an obvious and potential danger to other drivers, as well as other people in general. So, I wish you would get this point, which for me is axiomatic when it comes to the limits we place on personal freedoms. Instead, what I hear from you is that any attempt to pass reasonable regulations, is a threat to your individual rights under the 2nd Amendment—particularly according to YOUR interpretations of the Amendment.

    I never meant to imply that everyone (including yourself) has no scruples against public ownership or access to powerful weapons like a nuclear bomb. My mention of weapons like these was to illustrate that (if taken literally) the phrase, “the right of the people to keep and bear ARMS, ” would necessitate that ALL types of weapons should and can be available for private ownership. In fact, if you look up the word “ARMS” in the dictionary you will likely find that it is primarily described as being synonymous with the concept of “weapons” or weaponry–which flamethrowers, bazookas, tanks, and Nuclear bombs definitely are. yet few of us would condone their use by private citizens. And, why? because in the wrong hands they pose an obvious threat to the safety of the public! So, why don’t gun rights extremists like yourselves recognize that no Amendment should be taken literally word for word, and that therefore it is also legitimate to wonder if the founders had semi-automatic weapons with 100 round barrel magazines in mind when they described the right to bear “ARMS.” At the very least this generality about the term “ARMS,” illustrates that no one has a monopoly on interpreting the amendments within their own conceptions, as being literally, and/or unquestionably true, word for word. We need the courts to do that! But, sometimes conservative justices rule one way and liberal justices another—depending on how they feel a particular amendment should be understood. And, this is a fluid operation that changes over time. I am not saying that you don’t have a right to YOUR interpretation, I am just attempting to show that in many ways the differing interpretations of the 2nd indicate that its meaning is far from being a done deal!

    I also take issue with the role played by a “well regulated militia,”—being necessary to the security of a “Free State.” being a call to arms to protect against our government. To me a free State, implies a government that is already established as such, and that people have the right to come to the defense of with ballistic firepower (not to overthrow it when it begins ot disagree with their specific ideas and beliefs). Would it make any sense for a government like the United States of America, to think it necessary to give its approval for the violent overthrow of ITSELF, based only on the subjective values of those in rebellion?….. Possibly, but if the structures of any other long enduring governments in history mean anything—very likely NOT!

    Here again, I cannot go on and on with this post! But let me express a couple of important points.

    1. It invariably seems that gun advocates like yourself, seem self assured that passing adequate laws that would prevent destructive weapons from falling into the wrong hands, is virtually impossible! However, as I stated, one of the problems I see with this difficulty, is the crazy quilt of differing laws and regulations in existence from state to state, and, I am not phobic about any type of federal legislation that might make our laws more uniform throughout the Nation, and thus be able to provide consistent enforcements of gun regulations across the board. I also think the those with histories of mental illness are too carefully shielded from detection in background checks, and there are ways to provide dealers with this information, without making the public aware of such people, and therefore potentially, and unfairly, damage the reputations of those who are ill. Sure it would be nice not to discriminate against anyone, but the reality of mental illness, is just as compelling as the real threat posed by those with criminal records, and therefore, present very possilble threats to our pubic safety.

    In a City in a neighboring State of mine, the owner of a head shop was accused and convicted of selling harmful drugs which he passed off as bath salts, labeled “not fit for human consumption.” Thus legally shielding him from liability. This also was a case which involved the effective regulation of harmful chemical combinations that dealers were able to constantly change, and thus avoid specific prohibitions. Although I think the head shop owner should not have been convicted of selling drugs that were legal under present laws, the city and State are now pursuing active legislation designed to close the loopholes that perpetuated the sale of these dangerous psychoactive drugs. The point here is that, if the public will is strong enough— there are specific laws that can be passed to prevent such chemicals from being sold on the open market—perhaps as simple as making all possible combinations of certain drugs which are then sold as bath salts and incense, but commonly used for human consumption—illegal. Likewise, I doubt that nothing can be done to prevent selling guns piece by piece, which can be then assembled into various weapons, and I believe we could using sting operations to close illegal arms dealing on websites such as the one which I provided link for. If we want it enough, it can be done! And it makes little sense to consider making the availability of dangerous weapons to dangerous people, permissible—just because we consider it too difficult to accomplish!

    2. You have commented that I didn’t spend time enough responding to specific ideas and occurrences that you have mentioned. Perhaps that is because I am willing to admit that I have no extensive knowledge about many of those occurrences, and thus cannot comment on them specifically, and, that I would rather focus on the points I do have knowledge of—such as the fact that many laws are made specifically in order to prevent harm to the public, and, that I believe reasonable regulations such as improved background checks are a no-brainer in that regard.

    I also trust that the POP has and is, giving you pertinent responses about these myths Concerning just how frequent successful DGUs really are, and that since, he has done much research on the subject, I accept his common sense debunking of the fact that gun proponents often exaggerate these instances immensely. And, the reasons for these exaggerations indicates their desire to build a false case about how numerous DGUs really are!

    I have also heard many anti-gun regulation advocates warn over and over, about the imminent government confiscation of weapons, in advance of a complete takeover of our nation. So, if you want to respond specifically to any of my points, I would welcome any feasible scenario, you might offer about just how this will be accomplished, and, by whom. It’s my opinion that we have a democratic system of checks and balances, which does not take kindly to abuses of power, and which, would rapidly move to impeach any President crazy enough to try something of that nature! The current Administration certainly doesn’t have a controlling lock on the majority of Congress, and, I doubt that the head brass in the Pentagon would blindly obey orders issued by any executive, to unquestioningly begin taking away the private and legally acquired weapons of American Citizens—I also see no real correlation about what would inspire dominating liberal sentiments, and blind loyalty to Obama—anywhere in the pentagon, or in the Congress as a whole.

    So please, enlighten me! How will this mass take over and confiscation of weapons take place, and what in the world has it to do with taking concrete steps to make weapons less easily available to criminals and mental patients? To me this is merely a theoretical question but, judging by how passionately gun advocates like you seriously parlay this idea, I would guess that it is completely real to you. So, go ahead and explain why and how!

    • Peter,

      First of all, concerning this statement..

      “As I said, these kinds of laws, although necessary to prevent intrusions into one’s private affairs and medical history, also prevent many like Holmes from being detected in various databases.”

      So then what do you recommend? You acknowledge that these laws are necessary, yet you also seem to imply that we need to change them lest another James Holmes is able to acquire a firearm. Saying “we need a laws that are consistent from State to States” isn’t very specific, nor is it likely. Also, the so-called “reasonable” Manchin-Toomey proposal could have easily been circumvented if it was ever signed into law. In virtually every state, it is legal to make your own receivers and purchase firearm components through the mail. Now you claim that “I doubt that nothing can be done to prevent selling guns piece by piece, which can be then assembled into various weapons” yet you offer no proposals. What should we do? Make homemade receivers illegal? Require that all firearm components be registered? Require that anyone who wishes to sell a firearm component conduct a background check on the potential buyer? If the answer is yes, do you know how much such a proposal would cost? We can’t even get a system up and running here in NY for background checks on ammo sales.

      Also, you may “fail to see the great harm many gun owners fear in simply setting up a national database and a National registry of guns,” but those of us who are aware of what gun registration can lead to have good reason to oppose it. Did you not watch the link that I posted featuring the Canadian journalist? Are you not familiar with the gun ban that recently occurred in Venezuela? You may consider us “paranoid,” but just bear in mind that we live in an era where anti-gun politicians (like Andrew Cuomo) openly admit that “confiscation could be in option” when proposing new firearm laws.

      “if you look up the word “ARMS” in the dictionary you will likely find that it is primarily described as being synonymous with the concept of “weapons” or weaponry–which flamethrowers, bazookas, tanks, and Nuclear bombs definitely are.”

      This is true. BUT, keep in mind that the 2nd Amendment states a right to keep AND bear arms. Can one BEAR (i.e. carry) a tank or a nuclear bomb? I suppose one could bear an RPG or a flamethrower, and as Justice Scalia has mentioned, the Supreme Court will eventually bring that issue to the table. Interestingly enough, flame throwers are actually still legal in most of the U.S., as are many weapons that people mistakenly believe are “banned.” That being said, my primary focus is firearms, not hand grenades, atom bombs, and so forth. Now concerning the 2nd Amendment itself, the reason why it was put into place was for two reason 1) So that the people could have the ability to defend the state from hostile enemies, and 2) so that the people could have the ability to destroy the state if taken over by hostile enemies. If want me to go into detail about this I will, because the founders made numerous statements concerning revolution and when it is necessary to take up arms against tyranny.

      “I also trust that the POP has and is, giving you pertinent responses about these myths Concerning just how frequent successful DGUs really are, and that since, he has done much research on the subject”

      Sounds almost like an appeal to authority, those I doubt the “professor” is a expert on this issue. (refer to what he said earlier about an incident that occurred in 1982) Seems like his research didn’t go far enough, especially since he relies on a debunked Mother Jones article as “proof” that armed civilians have not recently prevented any mass shootings. I was able to find two prime examples, one of which occurred as early as 2008. (there is no evidence that either of the men who intervened were soldiers or police officers) Instead of acknowledging that he’s wrong, he will no doubt go back to his usual routine of demanding a list of every DGU that has occurred over the last several decades. (no doubt so he could simply denounce it as irrelevant or downplay the results) Funny how he also hasn’t had much to say about the 49% drop in gun homicides that was reported by Pew. And by the way, here’s an interesting quote from the Pew article – The National Academy of Sciences review of possible influences on crime trends said there is good evidence of a link between firearm ownership and firearm homicide at the local level; “the causal direction of this relationship remains in dispute, however, with some researchers maintaining that firearm violence elevates rates of gun ownership, but not the reverse.” Hmm…

      Finally, few of us actually believe that the government wants to confiscate “all” firearms. Nor do most of us even believe that Obama is looking to establish some Soviet style dictatorship. Judging by your previous posts, you’re a big fan of strawman tactics. While some gun owners may fit the description of conspiracy obsessed lunatics, please remember that most of us do not fall into that category. Hell, your average NRA member is typically someone who likes to hunt or carry a gun for self defense. I am not even part of the NRA, but I know numerous people are are. The Dale Gribble types do exist, but they are few and far between. Do you like when certain folks on the pro-gun aisle imply that anyone who supports gun control is a communist or an effeminate homosexual? Accusations of that nature should be denounced. Likewise, so should insinuations that those of us who are rightfully concerned about about gun registration are merely worried about “evil king Obama” as you so eloquently put it. Now concerning confiscation itself, I believe that the anti-gun folks in power only want to confiscate certain firearms. (basically anything that has scary features like a telescoping stock or a bayonet lug) One of the most prominent gun control advocates in the senate (Diane Feinstein) is on record stating that she would like to see an outright ban on certain guns are are legally possessed (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffI-tWh37UY) As for other firearms, I suspect the ultimate goal of the anti-gun movement is not to ban guns altogether, but instead to implement laws which will discourage gun ownership by making it extremely difficult. Please refer to what I said in a previous post about what it takes to get a handgun permit in New York state…

      • Mitch,

        About restructuring laws that would give a national data base, or a large group of State data bases, knowledge that a certain gun purchaser, has had a history of mental illness—I don’t pretend to be a law maker, or someone with all the answers, only someone who believes that there are positive changes that could be made to provide such important information to those selling guns. Perhaps such information could be available for background checks, but illegal to provide for consumption by the general public—i.e. not permissible for public print and news circulation—especially if the person in question does not yet have a history of violent crimes. Or perhaps, like the records of other background checks, the information could only be kept for a limited amount of time and then destroyed by particular dealers, but still available for other outlets—not perfect, but it would help.

        I also do not believe that State laws should or can always trump federal laws, and, that they cannot be overruled by the Federal government. That is not The way it works with many civil laws and regulations. ANd, unlike you, I don’t fear that a National database is a sure step to domination and confiscation. So, If you ask me, organizations like the NRA are the ones with the least ability to accept compromise and they could more accurately be described as not giving an inch, because that inch is always perceived by them to be a mile.

        Senator Toomey was a A rated defender of second amendment rights, according to the NRA, and he considered the compromise bill bearing his name to be one of the most reasonable and non–2nd Amendment invasive bilis ever proposed. He absolutely could not understand why improving background checks was so threatening. Here is a link to an article in a gun journal about that bill. Not only are its objectives and provisions given a brief outline, but there is also a link to click to see the details of that bill in full. I believe there are many references to ways that the mentally ill can be kept from owning guns, and, I believe it also rejects the idea of a national registry.—something I personally would not find offensive!

        http://www.guns.com/2013/04/10/senators-reach-deal-on-universal-background-checks-its-not-gun-control-video/

        Now about DGUs that happen only rarely, the POP has never claimed that nothing of the kind has ever happened, or that it may occasionally have worked. He only discusses the vast exaggerations made by many pro-gun groups and expLains some of that hype in one his post titled, “MAKE MY DAY, MENTION GUN DEFENSE STATISTICS!” If I defer to his “authority” it is only because I have read his article and find that the logic simply exposes the cherry picking, faulty and inaccurate poll methods employed by many gun advocates, by using both facts and common sense to debunk such deceptions! I respect the opinion of someone who has made this topic a priority and whose links are solid and factual. And by the way, since when do you think one should not submit to any authority? Didn’t know that was objectionable to you! Is that what you’re saying?

        I explained my position about making laws that prohibit mailing guns piece by piece as a way to get around the law. I did this by relating the case of a store owner in a nearby community who used a similar strategy to sell illegal drugs by constantly using alternate chemical formulas which were altered and tweaked in order to evade legal liability. Right or wrong, once the public became tired ot this travesty the owner was arrested, and that State’s laws are now undergoing drastic changes to prevent such loopholes. I also believe that preventing guns from being sold piece by piece and later assembled, can also be accomplished by writing an adequately worded law, that bans such partial purchases. Just like I believe it is possible ot prevent the smuggling of a nuclear bomb piece by piece. Of course its possible if the political will was there—despite being regularly trounced upon by the NRA and legally sabotaged by anti-regulation efforts. The way I see it is that a major purpose for passing many of our laws is contingent on the need to prevent public harm—something that is happening over and over by madman conducting massive shootings, after acquiring the weapons to do so much too easily. You are saying that this is completely impossible to prevent so you recommend making no changes and ignoring he problem completely.

        I’ve got to give you credit for the absurd effort to counter my mention of the fact that the word “ARMs” in the second amendment is only a general description of weapons and therefore subject to interpretation. Do you really think that by questioning if the definition of the word “bear,” is a valid claim that the law could be interpreted only as referring to weapons that we can physically carry? Are you the member of a comedy group for your night job? Do i really have to debate your absurd contention by mentioning that—one of the alternate definitions of the word “bear,” which is listed in the English dictionary, is, (“to be equipped with”)? Are we now going to discuss weather we must posses such weapons while nude, or transport them on the back of a grizzly bear? are you going to say that bearing “ARMs,” requires that we must show our biceps in order to properly understand the 2nd Amendment? You know that this is absurd, and, it is now you, who are using such BS to completely ignore the point I brought up!

        As far as a world with people like Andrew Como—the world of politics is full of many different views and you just mentioned one of them. This is only one position and is not about the many positive ways to prevent ill people and criminals from killing others with guns.

        And by the way, when I question the hows and whys behind our government’s supposed intention to confiscate weapons, I am not trying to use a straw man argument to discredit the idea that gun should not be regulated. I am merely pointing out that I don’t understand the rationale of using such a hypothetical scenario to justify not regulating weapons in ways that will reduce crime. there are plenty of other better arguments that we could discuss, but, whether or not believing that the government is soon going to confiscate all weapons, is highly unlikely and is not one of them! At least, (if it is)I would like to know why you, like every other gun advocate I have talked with, seems to think such an takeover is a very possible reality? The justices may have discussed the ability to overthrow the State if it is taken over by hostile enemies, like perhaps the King of England, or the Nazi party, however, what I hear from many who seem to agree with you, is that the government itself is going to BECOME a hostile enemy which must then be resisted forcefully with arms. You also are probably among many fellow gun advocates, who do believe that President Obama is planning to ban our guns. If you don’t believe me, go to one of the more extreme gun journals or listen to fox news—the topic has not been shied away from by many 2nd Amendment devotees.

        Senator Feinstein is admittedly not the most knowledgeable person concerning guns, and it is a given that, the distinction between semi-automatic weapons and fully automatic weapons, has frequently been blurred (although I would question where, when, and by whom this confusion really started). When Senator Feinstein began describing a group of features like telescopic sites, or certain types of magazines ( not clips) although I would think that generally the words can be interchanged, as a way to define which weapons should be banned, it was not the best way to approach the problem. But her more recent recommendations (after Sandy Hook) did not question the right to keep grandfathered weapons in private possession, nor did she propose anything but voluntary surrender of other weapons. Besides, the Mancin-Toomey bill did not concern itself with such matters, only with ways to improve simple background checks and prevent illegal sales at gun shows.

        I am sorry you feel so threatened by something so simple and non-invasive. and that you feel the ultimate goal of the government is that will make it difficult extremely difficult to own guns. I come from a family of deer hunters and i can attest that very few Americans believe it should be difficult to own many common kinds of guns. However where is the need for the average person (not the professionals that display or sells specific weapons to official buyers) to order a 100 round barrel magazine over the internet, along with body armor? I guess nobody could question the right of James Holmes to do so, or to have his history of mental illness revealed–not if it means you might have to buy three 10 round magazines instead of one 30 rounder. What a terrible inconvenience! If you think private militias should be able to be organized against established governments like the United States, I would assume that you fully approved the last stand made by the Davidians of Waco Texas, as they used a private arsenal against government troops. This is not just a straw man argument since, if “the people have the constitutionally valid right to oppose and/or overthrow the government, the fight put up by the DAvidians would certainly have to have to be considered well within the law! AS for me, I’ll go with the logical assumption that well regulated militias are expected to defend the government against its enemies—i.e. the English Army, a possible German occupation or, even a take over from the bizzaro world—all of this makes much more sense than a militia formed because any President might actually try to take over the government. I have yet to hear a reasonable and feasible scenario from you that would justify armed insurrection against a President—even if that President could preform the impossible task of lining up the Congress, the Pentagon, or hell, even the IRS behind him! Go ahead, describe specifically how such a thing could happen!

  6. Mitch,

    Security guards are not policemen but they are trained in how to use a gun, and the very fact they take such jobs means that they have agreed to use that gun as necessary. They are not cops or the military, but they have agreed to voluntarily put themselves in harms way—if they need to be. As such, are they ordinary citizens, and if so, how many times have DGUs on their parts happened? Probably not exactly astronomical numbers, but likely more than other citizens. Does that fact prove that many other DGUs with happy endings have been initiated by gun carrying citizens?—remember, correlation is not causation, nor is it proof of anyones own opinons.

    • “Security guards are not policemen but they are trained in how to use a gun, and the very fact they take such jobs means that they have agreed to use that gun as necessary. They are not cops or the military, but they have agreed to voluntarily put themselves in harms way—if they need to be.”

      Still doesn’t mean they aren’t civilians. You don’t like it? Have the definition of the word changed.

      “As such, are they ordinary citizens, and if so, how many times have DGUs on their parts happened?”

      Irrelevant. The point is that they are civilians by definition. Thus, Jeanne Assam was a civilian. Is that so hard to understand?

      • Yes a civilian, not an ordinary person with a conceal and carry permit, but someone who also new how to handle a weapon. And, because of the nature of their job, not typical ordinary citizens either.

        Besides this does not exonerate those erroneous reports of DGUs which omit the fact that a situation was brought under control, or a gunman stopped, by a military person or, that a policeman was really behind such a successful attempt to stop a gunman. Are you saying none of these exist,and have not been falsely characterized as being carried out by ordinary civilians?

        Even if successful DGUs do happen rarely, why do the NRA and other pro-gun organizations feel the need to distort so many cases and manipulate facts? Could it be that they are desperate to provide some real data that justifies permitting guns to be exempt from prudent regulations.

        A real database used to defend unregulated gun uses, would, as the POP claims, need to be supported by a base including many many more of these supposed successes—Not merely a handful of clearly undisputed ones that happened over decades! Thats why you should provide such a comprehensive list, or admit that gun advocates are deliberately attempting to misrepresent actual cases. Someone who builds a solid case, does not have the need distort or omit facts in order to do so!

  7. I thought it might be instructive to list some of Mitch’s other blunders, as they illustrate some of the tactics troublemakers can use in order to try to lure you into an endless loop of pettifoggery. So here are a few:

    1. He suggested more than once that my debunking of gun culture bullshit is a political operation. Had he done his homework, he would have known that I only mention politics in connection with gun culture bullshit to point out the irrefutable, unavoidable and highly significant alliance between the gun culture and the right-wing loony fringe. If it’s getting political to mention that other people are getting political, then guilty as charged.

    2. He has deluded himself into believing that he has dug up instances of successful armed intervention that I and Mother Jones are unaware of. Nope.

    3. One of these was a 2008 incident in Nevada. It was a shooting in a bar involving a family feud. Public mass shootings normally involve random targets, but we’ll let that slide. What’s more significant is that Mother Jones (as he would have known had he actually read it) adopts a definition of mass shooting that entails 4 or more fatalities; the shooter in Nevada only killed 2. Now here the gunsters will cry foul; after all, if a shooting is stopped, then naturally the carnage will be reduced. Fair enough — I actually prefer a looser definition. But if we adopt one, there will be only a very slight increase in successful interventions and a huge, huge, huge, huge increase in the number of shootings that are NOT stopped. Consequently, the success rate falls waaaaay below the 1.6 percent Mother Jones posits.

    4. Another of the golden interventions is the Pearl High School incident. But in that case (as in the Pennsylvania incident he also brandishes) the shooter was apprehended after the shooting was already over. Is this really stopping a shooting? Mother Jones, by the way, discusses this.

    5. Even after I informed him that the 1991 Shoney’s incident was a robbery and not a mass shooting (the “good guy” fired the first shot), he still maintains that it counts anyway because the criminals COULD have started shooting,

    6. Despite the lack of corroboration, he insists that the two armed guys at Appalachian Law School really were the heroes as they claim — ignoring the unarmed man who claimed he wrestled the shooter to the ground after he’d already dropped his gun and before the other two arrived on the scene. When in doubt, believe whoever’s armed.

    7. He has suggested more than once that I am “ignoring” or even denying the decline in violent crime during the past two decades, and that I am instead trying to suggest that violence is escalating. Had he done his homework, he would have known that I’ve discussed the decline in these pages already. But what point is he trying to make by even injecting that topic into this discussion? Is he trying to praise the Brady Bill, which was passed at about the time the decline began?

    8. Jeanne Assam. Mother Jones also discussed her, and noted that she was an armed security guard; fighting criminals was her job (before the church dismissed her for being gay). To Mitch, since she’s still technically a civilian, her act of heroism should be lumped with those of armed citizens who just happened to be on hand when trouble struck.

    9. He repeatedly conflates the stopping of a mass shooting with a DGU. Both are much more uncommon than the gun culture is willing to accept, but by no means is every instance of the latter also the former.

    10. He parrots the myth that most mass shootings occur in gun-free zones. Mother Jones discussed this, by the way.

    11. In discussing the Second Amendment, he repeats the gun culture canard that in “Old English” (which we’d have a damn hard time understanding) “well-regulated” meant well-trained as opposed to restricted. But even in “Old English” there were different nuances of the term and as applied to the military they were complementary rather than mutually exclusive.

    12. Most amusingly and amazingly, he makes a huge issue out of my use of the phrase “firearms and pharmaceuticals”, which was (I thought) an obvious humorous allusion to his own assertion that one should be as unregulated as the other. Is his short-term memory really that bad? Hmmm… Maybe he did do his homework, but promptly forgot it all.

    This is not intended as a complete list — like Mitch himself, I’m just selecting a few. You probably can find plenty more.

    • I neglected to mention that contrary to what Mitch indicated he believed, the armed hero at the Nevada bar was in fact a U.S. Marine. (He even alluded to this possibility at one point, and yet claimed this as an instance of an armed civilian intervening.) It’s not surprising that he would be unclear about this detail, since it invariably gets omitted in the gun culture’s account of the incident. Sometimes “five minutes of Googling” just doesn’t do the trick. But why make an issue of the law enforcement, security or military affiliations of so many of these heroes? Because when the Mitches of the world boast of “armed citizens” or “armed civilians” doing the Batman thing, they’re generally not talking about individuals whose profession entails the use of firearms to defend the nation or actively seek and apprehend criminals. On the contrary, a frequent gun culture talking point is that we should not have to rely on the professional defenders to defend us — that the average Joe Six-Gun while minding his business at the mall, the cinema or the bar can effectively fight crime on his own. But the “evidence” they offer to support this premise not only fails miserably to do so, but actually seriously undermines it.

      • “I neglected to mention that contrary to what Mitch indicated he believed, the armed hero at the Nevada bar was in fact a U.S. Marine.”

        The article that mentioned him as being a Marine stated that it was unclear whether or not he was active duty. Considering that he was 48, it’s very likely he wasn’t. But hey, I’m sure you have plenty of evidence to indicate that he wasn’t a civilian at the time…

      • The Reno Gazette-Journal referred to him as a marine rather than a former marine; and since he’s from Reno, there’s a good chance that’s the case.Particularly since it was stated four years later rather than under a news deadline.

  8. I have got to correct a small error made near the last part of the third paragraph of my most recent post. What I should have said, is, “I also “THINK,” that seeking better screening and background information…etc…etc. Not, that I also “DON’T” think such things are important.

    There are probably other minor errors but I thought that this one should be corrected.

    Thanks

  9. Even if the Nevada bar gunman was a former Marine, he was still a professional highly trained in the use of weapons and dealing with emergency gun fire situations, and not some barely trained (if at all) amateur who thought he could play Marchall Dillon.

    This whole debate reminds of a “motivational” poster showing a female Israeli schoolteacher carrying an automatic weapon while supervising grade school on a field trip. The caption suggested that if Israel armed its teachers, so should the US.

    The problem with that argument is that it ignores three inconvenient facts:

    1. Israel has compulsive military service for both men and women, so that schoolteacher would be well trained in both how to use the gun properly and when was the right time to use it. Her military training would also allow her to react in a cool and organized manner during an emergency.

    2. Israeli citizens are under a constant threat of terrorist attack, a situation that has no parallel in the US. As such, arming Israeli teachers is a sensible precaution.

    3. An armed assailant will likely target the armed teacher first, so he can kill the kids at his leisure. A dead armed teacher is more useless than a live unarmed teacher; the latter might be able to save some children whereas the former can save no one.

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