Category Archives: The Usual Suspects: Gun Control Groups & Politicians

John Yarmuth voted against shutting down Operation ChokePoint which targeted firearms businesses.

Operation Choke Point was launched by the Justice Department in 2013 as a way to fight fraud by pressuring banks to “choke off”  access to credit and other banking services by merchants and industries the administration considered at a high risk for fraud.

Without access to banking services, it is difficult—if not impossible—for a business to survive.

Republicans who have been fighting the program believe the Obama administration abused its power under Operation Choke Point by targeting entire lines of legal industries. Some members view the tactics as “reminiscent of the IRS targeting of conservatives,” as Rep. French Hill, R-Ark., said Thursday on the House floor.

http://dailysignal.com/2016/02/04/find-out-if-your-lawmaker-voted-to-end-operation-choke-point/

Well that doesn’t say much, clearly they had a reason, right?

In 2011, guidelines created by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) labeled firearms and ammunition sellers as “reputational risks,” pinning them alongside pornography and other enterprises like Ponzi schemes and racist materials.

This is why it’s important to vote like a gun owner.  Antigun politicians will use any tactic to try to destroy our rights.  It’s not just about “common sense safety regulations” and “reducing crime” – it’s about burdensome regulations and a “death of 1000 cuts” approaches to removing the private ownership of firearms.

Another head scratcher from the Washington Post: “How to protect gun rights while reducing the toll of gun violence”

WaPo churned out an editorial that had me shaking my head about the gall of the antigun movement.

The opening paragraph doesn’t hesitate, but rather leaps straight in to revisionist history:

Twenty years ago, one of us was director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, supporting research to build an evidence base to advance the science of gun-violence prevention. The other of us was a Republican representative from Arkansas determined to dismantle that effort because conservatives had concluded that it was aimed at gun control and not gun violence.

Well.  That’s one way to put it.

The two authors, Jay Dickey & Mark Rosenberg, are listed with the byline:

Jay Dickey, a Republican, represented Arkansas in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1993 to 2000. Mark Rosenberg, president and chief executive of the Task Force for Global Health, was director of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 1994 to 1999.

Dickey was the the key figure behind the Dickey-Wicker Amendment that slapped the CDC on the wrist for their overt bias in antigun research; he apparently had a change of heart after Sandy Hook.  Rosenberg was the head of the CDC department that funded said research, and is by no means impartial, having been a supporter of outright confiscation.  This Reason article contains quotes from him, including:

Rosenberg “envisions a long term campaign, similar to [those concerning] tobacco use and auto safety, to convince Americans that guns are, first and foremost, a public health menace.” In 1994 he told The Washington Post, “We need to revolutionize the way we look at guns, like what we did with cigarettes. Now it [sic] is dirty, deadly, and banned.”

Oh yeah, I’m sure he’s completely changed his tune twenty years later. It’s not like he was quoted here in 2013 when talking about the CDC funding prohibition:

“It terrorized the bureaucracy and it terrorized the research community,” Rosenberg said of the episode. …

“I think they want to suppress information that doesn’t support their ideological position,” said Rosenberg, referring to the gun lobby.

Terrorized? That is strong wording it must be a fluke… oh wait, here’s one from a month prior.

Mark Rosenberg, former director of the CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, had even stronger words. “The scientific community has been terrorized by the NRA,” Rosenberg said.

And here’s one from October 2012:

We’re being held hostage to firearm violence,” Rosenberg says, citing the NRA as the cause. “All of the science that could possibly give us answers is being stopped.”

Sure, he’s changed his tune, just listen to him:

When we met, at a congressional appropriations hearing in 1996, we fiercely opposed each other’s positions. But over years of communicating, we came to see that, while we had differences, we also shared values. We became colleagues, and we became friends. We have argued with each other and learned much from each other. We both belong to the National Rifle Association, and we both believe in the Second Amendment.

The problem with this statement is that the 2nd Amendment isn’t there to preserve duck hunting or single shot .22LR pistols.

The dishonesty continues just two paragraphs later:

Our nation does not have to choose between reducing gun-violence injuries and safeguarding gun ownership. Indeed, scientific research helped reduce the motor vehicle death rate in the United States and save hundreds of thousands of lives — all without getting rid of cars. For example, research led to the development of simple four-foot barricades dividing oncoming traffic that are preventing injuries and saving many lives. We can do the same with respect to firearm-related deaths, reducing their numbers while preserving the rights of gun owners.

Sure, we haven’t gotten rid of cars.  There’s also no organized movement to remove them, no “Moms Demand” for mass transit, no “Everytown” to get rid of sports cars. You can bet your ass though that when driverless cars are a viable option, they will be mandated.

You know what’s missing from this empty statement? An actual example supporting his claim.  You mention scientific research into cars and even a layman can list improvements that reduce accidents & fatalities: seatbelts, third brake lights, airbags, etc.  All of these, however, were privately developed by automobile companies and only later mandated in safety standards.

Strangely though, the authors can’t give a single example for research & development that would preserve firearms rights as he claims. Why is that?  Why have all of public health recommendations been “ban assault weapons” and “ban magazines” and “ban guns”?

If we are to be successful , those of us on opposite sides of this issue will have to do a better job of respecting, understanding and working with each other. In the area of firearms injuries, collaboration has a special meaning. It will require real partnership on the design of the research we do because while we often hear about “common-sense gun laws,” common sense is not enough to both keep us safe and to protect the Second Amendment.

And for some reason the “common sense” laws aren’t so much “common sense” as talking points that don’t bear up.  There’s no “respecting, understanding and working with each other” because one side has absolutely no interest in compromise or even rational thinking.  They just want a death by 1000 cuts approach until they can make sweeping bans.

There is urgency to our task. Both of us now believe strongly that federal funding for research into gun-violence prevention should be dramatically increased. But the language accompanying this appropriation should mirror the language already in the law: “No funds shall be used to advocate or promote gun control.” This prohibition can help to reassure supporters of the Second Amendment that the CDC will use the money for important research and not for gun-control advocacy. However, it is also important for all to understand that this wording does not constitute an outright ban on federal gun-violence prevention research. It is critical that the appropriation contain enough money to let science thrive and help us determine what works.

Overall, I’m not impressed with this plea for funding.  Sorry, Dr Rosenberg, but we’re way past the “once bitten, twice shy” stage. The funding prohibition against gun control advocacy already exists and yet antigun “researchers” simultaneously whine that there is a prohibition on research (through various articles & OpEds that fail to mention the CDC’s past activities) while churning out antigun studies funded by Bloomberg & Joyce.  Given these facts, why do you think we should not be suspicious that revisiting the issue and increasing funding will happen without

  1. The advocacy prohibition being stripped away
  2. A return to the previous shenanigans

It’s not like Wintermute, Hemenway, Kellerman or any of the others have changed their stripes.

If you have a plan on addressing “preventable” firearms deaths, you need to realize that suicide, homicide, and accidents are three distinctly different problems that require separate solutions. Come back when you have a proposal other than “Remove guns, problem solved.”

The so called “terrorist loophole” or how the Left admitted they hate due process

In the wake of the Paris attacks, Harry Reid and his buddies have decided that they just can’t let this opportunity slide by – they want to eliminate the so called “terrorist loophole” on firearms:

“Republicans care more about kowtowing to the NRA than preventing terrorists from legally buying assault rifles and explosives like the ones used in the Paris attacks here in America,” Reid said in a statement. “Shockingly, Republicans continue to preserve a loophole that allows FBI terror suspects to buy guns and explosives legally, without background checks.”

Wut.  Chuck Schumer got in the act as well:

“Right now there is a major loophole that would make your jaw drop. Under current law, suspected or known terrorists who are on a no fly list can legally purchase firearms and explosives,” Schumer said.

“We have to change this law. No-fly should mean no-buy for terrorists. Right now, amazingly, it does not.”

Motherfucker, that’s not a loophole.  That’s how the law was designed.  I’ve called out Schumer before when he tried to use this tactic – The problem with this “terrorist loophole” idea is twofold: one, it’s yet another attack on the private selling of firearms without universal background checks, but even worse it would appear that Reid, Schumer and their ilk are saying that they no longer are even pretending to care about due process.

The people on the terrorism watchlist haven’t been convicted of a crime. Techdirt had an article illustrating that 40% of them aren’t even associated with any known terrorist group, that’s 280,000 people.   There’s no oversight on how someone is added, and even the ACLU is showing concern over it.

Yet despite this, Schumer & Reid think that it’s ok to strip away civil liberties without even the barest hint of a trial let alone a conviction Naturally their allies have absolutely no problem with this which shows just how fucked up the press is.

Nancy Pelosi was unintentionally ironic when she made this statement that it was:

 “outrageous that we would slam the door on women and children but allow terrorists to buy guns.”

Because, you know, it’s wrong to be worried about refugees after fake Syrian passports were used in the Paris attacks and there is a booming black market for them.   I agree, it’s wrong to assume that all refugees are terrorists – but when it comes to gun control Reid, Schumer, Pelosi and the rest have absolutely no problem acting like all firearms purchasers are hardened criminals.

What’s almost as bad is that the New York Daily News is using this to bash the NRA.  You might remember them from trying to have the NRA declared a terrorist organization back in October.

The hypocrisy is blatant and the fact that nobody of prominence is calling them out for it is sad.

Update: Salon.com has leapt into the fray to seize upon how the NRA is a bunch of mean meanies for wanting people to be convicted before losing their rights:

The GOP will do just about anything to cloak itself in patriotic bellicosity. They’ll send your brothers and sisters into harrowing war zones, poorly equipped and without exit strategies, with enemies blended into the population. They’ll call for the invasion and occupation of nation’s with zero connection to 9/11. They’ll tell us we can’t have a First Amendment if we’re dead. But all of that ends at Wayne LaPierre’s line in the sand. It’s been nine months since the most recent proposal to close the gun gap has been proposed and there’s no real passage in sight, knowing the NRA’s history of strong-arming legislators against the overwhelming will of the people and of common sense. The next time you have to practically strip naked in an airport security line, bear in mind that any would-be terrorist in line with you was easily able to buy a gun. You know, because liberty.

Free speech, voting rights, equal protection and privacy rights for women, and the ability for Muslim-Americans to freely practice their religion is totally up for grabs, but the ability of suspected terrorists to buy a gun shall not be infringed under any circumstances, according to the GOP. It’s difficult to accept how egregiously disgraceful this is, and in a perfect world the GOP would be scolded into submission and the NRA would be exposed for its deadly absolutism. But don’t hold your breath.

It’s a horrible thing that free speech, voting rights, equal protection & privacy rights for women and all the rest are being attacked, so Salon thinks it’s only fair that the 2nd amendment be destroyed as well.

The sheer lack of self awareness.

In the wake of fully automatic weapons and bombs used in Paris, the EU response is more gun control. Democrats seize the opportunity as well. Seriously?

I can’t make this up.

Despite the fact that the attackers used fully automatic AK-47 rifles and had suicide vests loaded with TATP explosive, both of which are banned outright, the EU response to this has apparently been that more gun control is needed.

A normal person would go “Hey, these are guns that nobody can legally buy already.  The explosives are extra illegal.”  The EU resposne? Make deactivated weapons extra illegal, restrict flare guns, ban semiautomatic weapons and develop a “plan” to attack the black market.  Because the black market has been stopped so effectively in the past.  I feel like I’m taking crazy pills.

There really is no better example of “let no tragedy go to waste”

There’s over 120 dead people who were all defenseless and giving them the option to fight back isn’t even considered.

Meanwhile in the US, Harry Reid & Chuck Schumer decided that it’s time to try to attack the “terrorist loophole” – their term for stopping people who’ve been added to the “terrorism watchlist” from buying guns.  There’s just one problem – they may be on a watchlist but haven’t actually been convicted of a crime.  

This has me so irked that I’m going to have to make a separate entry.

What can be done to stop mass shootings & gun crime? I’m ever so glad you asked.

With another mass shooting making headlines, the antigun extremists are out in force, from the President stating he would like Australian style gun control (and the firearms bans & confiscations that go with it), columnists not even bothering to hide that they want confiscation, to the slacktivists sharing facebook memes.

Here’s the thing, though.  When they are done venting, if you ask them what their plan is to specifically address these shootings, they can’t identify what would have prevented them.  Watch Charles W. Cooke do just that on Morning Joe:

I’ve got some ideas though.  Pardon the coarse language, but it’s time for real talk and if you can’t handle it, you aren’t ready for a serious discussion on this topic.

Identify the current policies that are failing
All jokes about nuclear holocaust and wiping out humanity as a solution aside, I think we all can agree that the current policy of “let’s make sure that the crazy guy with a gun has a safe working environment” has failed miserably at preventing mass shootings. When you are just nutty enough to commit several death penalty felonies such as mass murder and the like, a sign on a door saying “no guns” isn’t going to stop you. With that in mind, maybe it’s time to allow people to defend themselves since there’s at least 10 instances of people with CCW preventing mass shootings or stopping them from getting any further.

Nobody is saying HURR DURR GUNS EVERYWHERE. Nobody is calling for armed swat teams in schools. Please save the “blood will run in the streets, armed vigilantes getting in fights over tests!” arguments as they haven’t born out in the 30 or so years CCW reform has been spreading through the US. Texas collects CHL revocation rates and unsurprisingly people who bother to go through the legal rigmarole of having a clean criminal record, getting tested and getting a permit to carry commit far fewer crimes than the general population as a whole. Before anyone starts whining about drunk freshmen carrying guns at college, most states have a 21 year old age limit for CCW so chances are the only people carrying are going to be adults doing continuing education or veterans using the GI Bill. All things being equal, I’d rather dudes like Chris Mintz have something other than their gigantic brass balls to fight with if they happen to encounter a school shooter.

As it is right now, even if your state allows you to carry at work or school, you can be fired or expelled for doing so. Maybe, just maybe, that should change.

This is not a “guns everywhere” argument.  This is about being pro-choice when it comes to self defense.

Stricter enforcement of firearms violations
Most firearms crimes are felonies. It does no good to make all these felonies if you don’t prosecute. If someone is stopped on a background check because they are a felon, put them in jail. Obama has talked tough on this but hasn’t delivered

Then again, neither has any president. This is a decades long problem, across all administrations. Nobody has ever cracked down on these crimes – you know how you hear about background checks stopping [x] number of felons from getting guns? Each of those is a slam dunk fed felony with prison time up to ten years and fines up to $250k. They aren’t enforced ever so they aren’t effective deterrents – they are a toothless threat. When Colorado passed universal background checks, they touted something like 2900 criminals being stopped by background checks within the state and claimed this was a sign of success (and these were actual felons with ag assault, murder, burglaries, etc convictions). They made around 230 arrests off them. Who knows how many went to jail for it.

Meanwhile guys like this get probation for actually getting caught trafficking by nutball judges.

On top of that, a couple of these mass murderers had run ins with the cops prior to going hog wild

  • The Navy Yard Shooter, Alexis Aaron, had shot out some guys tires, claiming he went into a blackout rage and got his ass kicked out of the navy on another firearms charge.
  • The guy that shot up the Lafayette movie theater had been denied a CCW because he’d been brought in on arson and domestic violence charges. Guess what? No convictions.

Maybe, just maybe, getting some of these guys to plead guilty to felonies or putting them behind bars might have prevented them being able to buy a gun in a store.

Fixing the background check system
For those unfamiliar with the process, every time someone buys a gun from a FFL, they are put through the National Instant Background Check system that was proposed by the NRA when the 94 Brady Bill went through. The NICS system takes the info filled in on the ATF 4473 and checks it against a FBI database and returns either PROCEED / DENY / DELAY. It’s only as good as the info that gets put into it.

NICS needs to be fixed. States are inputting crap into the database, or not putting in complete records. The gun industry has a campaign to solve this: http://www.fixnics.org/factinfo.cfm

  • Remember the Lafayette movie theater guy? Yeah, GA removed his info from NICS, allowing him to buy a gun from a pawn shop.
  • Dylan Roof, the Charleston Church Shooter, had been arrested for drug charges and was pending trial, making him a prohibited person blocked from purchasing. Whoops, the reporting agency didn’t put the data in correctly and when Roof bought his gun, he was passed by NICS.
  • Jaylen Fryberg, the Marysville School Shooter, got his firearm from his father, who falsified his 4473.  Fryberg’s father was under a permanent protective order and a prohibited person – NICS should have caught that, had the information been properly

Worried about the so called “gun show loophole”? Open NICS to the public
We hear a lot of whining about how everyone needs Universal Background Checks and the Gun Show loophole and that sort of bullshit. The facts are that most of those mass murderers bought their guns at gun stores.

  • The asshole that shot up Umpqua? Bought 13 guns over 3 years, all at gun stores. Background checked for each. Apparently he got chaptered out of basic too, so there’s that…
  • Roof bought his gun at a store, and was background checked.
  • Alexis Aaron, the Navy Yard Shooter, bought his shotgun from a store and was background checked.
  • Holmes bought his guns at a store, and was background checked.
  • Cho, the Virginia Tech shooter, bought his guns at a store. You guessed it, background checked.
  • Eliot Rodgers, the Isla Vista beta bought his pistols at a store, registered them in California’s database, and underwent a waiting period for each after getting background checked – ticking off just about every gun control wish list item.

Lanza wasn’t background checked, but his mom was, and registered her guns, and complied with CT’s waiting periods and all that jazz. Even had them locked in a safe. He just murdered his mom to get to them, possibly because she was going to have him committed.  So clearly background checks aren’t a factor in stopping mass shootings and aren’t going to do any good, even if you implement Universal Background Checks.

B-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-but 40% of criminals get their guns from private sales! Nope. Not true. That’s based on a study that came out before the background check even was in place in 1995. On top of that, a study from U Chicago just came out that surveyed inmates in for violent crimes and they asked where they got their guns from. 2% said a store. 70% said family or fellow gang members. In IL you have to have a FOID to get ammo, nevermind a gun, so these enterprising lads would have a girlfriend with no rapsheet buy a bunch of guns, report them stolen, and turn them over to the gang. The rest came from street connections such as drug dealers who’d been traded guns for drugs.

Color me shocked that people who can figure out how to get cocaine from Columbia, superlab meth from South America, heroin from the far east and a host of other illegal shit including human beings for the sex slave trade are also able to figure out ways around obtaining firearms in order to protect their profits.

The “gun show loophole isn’t really a problem. Criminals state flat out that they don’t like buying them from strangers because they worry about stings.

So what can be done? Universal Background Checks aren’t a good idea – it doesn’t solve the problems listed above, and adds a whole host of new ones because the NICS system currently gets overloaded on busy sales days. Plus, it’s really a dick move to whine about people living in food deserts and then make them ride public transit across the county (or in San Francisco or Chicago’s case, out of the goddamn city since there’s no gun stores there anymore) and find a FFL during business hours, forcing them to take time off from their 3 minimum wage jobs…. etc etc etc to use every possible tumblr stereotype about why [proposal x] is racist.

What is a good idea? Open a public, smartphone accessible NICS portal to allow private sellers to prevent unlawful transfers – not perfect but better than nothing and a positive defense against trafficking charges. The Coburn proposal was just that. The same people shitting their pants about how we absolutely had to do something about the gun show loophole and needed UBCs voted in lockstep against it, showing that they really aren’t for making improvements, just telling gun owners to fuck off.

Blah blah blah MENTAL HEALTH
Yeah, it’s a trite thing to say and paid a lot of lip service, but something needs to be done. There need to be clear reporting policies for people who are a danger to themselves and others. This is tough because on one hand you don’t want to prevent people getting help. On the other hand, Holmes told his therapist about wanting to kill people before Aurora and she sent his journal by snail mail instead of getting the cops out there. Aurora was the result. Lanza was supposedly getting committed. Alexis Aaron had several episodes including hallucinations prior to shooting up the Navy Yard. As did Hauser in the Lafayette Theater shooting. Cho,the Virginia Tech Shooter had court ordered psych evals too. The guy from Umpqua was apparently a sperglord and on several meds as well. Notice a pattern?

And you know there’s no way Big fucking Pharma is going to allow a study to be done on what kind of psych meds all these crazy fuckers were on when they shot up the place. So the therapists need to be more proactive as they are the early warning system.

Rounding out this giant TL;DR there this
Stopping things before they start
An ounce of prevention, right? Violence interruption work such as what Dr Gary Slutkin does – http://www.ted.com/talks/gary_slutk…ipt?language=en – this has worked everywhere it’s been tried from Chicago to Iraq.

See also Richmond California’s efforts which led to a 2/3 reduction of murders – http://m.motherjones.com/politics/2…-rate-gun-death – stop likely offenders before they turn into murderers by making them productive members of society. This involves police work and community outreach.

Anyhow, if you don’t like this wall of text SMDFTB

If you want to whine about how we need more gun control, here’s another wall of text from an actual subject matter expert on firearms, competition shooting, firearms training, best selling author and more. This is most of the standard gun control arguments broken down so ignore the parts that you aren’t bitching about.

It’s been an “interesting” time lately. Are we seeing the beginning of a full court press?

If you’ve ever heard the phrase “May you live in interesting times” then you understand why it seems so apropos these days.

In the past 6 weeks we’ve seen a number of highly publicized mass shootings in addition to the usual gang related violence that is reported, then ignored by everyone.

June

On June 17, a deranged idiot decided that he’d try to start a race war by shooting up a the oldest African Methodist Episcopal Church in the Southern United States, in Charleston South Carolina

Dylan Roof, pictured below, was a poster boy of how the system has failed to stop mass shootings yet again.

 

He killed 9 and wounded 1, seeking out South Carolina State Senator Clementa C. Pinckney, who was the pastor for the church.

In the days after the shooting took place, the narrative began to take shape – Roof had been arrested for drug possession. Roof was awaiting trial.  Somehow he’d gotten a gun – early reports stated that Roof had been given it by family.  It seemed like this was going to be seized upon as evidence that Universal Background Checks needed to be passed, lest another tragedy like this take place.

Then, just before the UBC bandwagon could reach full speed, law enforcement sources revealed that Roof had purchased the gun at a store and filled out the necessary background check paperwork.

Roof should have been prohibited from buying the gun – under federal law those facing charges where they may be imprisoned for over a year are not allowed to own or purchase firearms.  When Roof filled out his 4473 to purchase the murder weapon, he lied.  This lie should have been caught by the NICS system, but his arresting paperwork hadn’t been filed properly.

The Narrative had changed.  Robbed of their opportunity to blame the “gun show loophole” for this atrocity, the people upset by this pivoted and went after another the Confederate Flag which was prominently featured in Roof’s social media profile and symbolized the racist views expressed in his manifesto.

Ironically, Pinckney had voted against South Carolina’s laws that would have repealed prohibition of  concealed carry in churches without the express approval of church staff.  Obviously the law failed to stop the shooting.

In the aftermath of Charleston, President Obama made a number of statements, but in one televised address he suggested that the US should follow Australia’s example:

When Australia had a mass killing – I think it was in Tasmania – about 25 years ago, it was just so shocking the entire country said ‘well we’re going to completely change our gun laws’, and they did. And it hasn’t happened since.

This was important, because Australia did several things: They banned multiple classes of firearms, and they confiscated privately owned weapons under the guise of a mandatory “buy back”.

Never before has this been suggested at such a high level in this country.  Previously politicians may have suggested confiscation obliquely, or in unguarded moment, but for a sitting President to state it outright was an eye opening moment.


July

A few weeks later, on July 16, there was another mass shooting.  In contrast to the Charlestown one, this shooting was carried out by a self-radicalized homegrown Islamic extremist decided to target a Chattanooga, TN recruiting office and then a Navy Reserves center. Local law enforcement chased him down, and killed him shortly thereafter.

FBI officials and the media quickly played down any attempt to classify the shooter as a “terrorist” despite him travelling to Jordan shortly before the attack took place.

FBI Evidence technicians process the scene at the Marine Recruiting Center in Chattanooga, TN. Juxtaposed with the bullet holes from the shooter’s attack  is the “Firearms Prohibited” sticker that graced the front door to the offices,

 

The perpetrator was revealed to be Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, who carried out the attack with an AK-47 style rifle, a pistol, and possibly a shotgun.  Four Marines were killed at the scene while Navy Petty Officer Randall Smith died later at a hospital.

The Brady Center and other antigun groups didn’t waste any time in immediately calling for more gun control, despite not knowing how the firearms were obtained.   The FBI special agent in charge of the investigation stated that

“Some of the weapons were purchased legally and some of them may not have been,”

Attempts were made to try to highlight the need for a renewed assault weapons ban, others wanted to focus on Armslist.  Instead, the public reacted in a wholly unexpected way; they were outraged that military personnel were unable to defend themselves.

Paradoxically, though, people remembered that the military areas were gun free zones – press pool photos and footage showed the front doors of the Marine recruiting center riddled with bullet holes, next to a “Firearms Prohibited” sign.

Despite this, the intended victims fought back.  This was confirmed by statements from various military officials: the Marines did not run, and did not die laying down.  At least one Marine and one Navy officer had fought back with personally owned firearms – despite standing orders prohibiting having them.  No information has been provided on how many lives were saved as a result.

The reaction was swift.  Private citizens showed up in droves to guard the “defenseless” recruiters.   Senior military officials didn’t like that, viewing them as a security threat.  Naturally, it didn’t take long before someone showed off their lack of safe firearms handling skills by having a negligent discharge in the parking lot – and no one was surprised when this individual had previously had firearms confiscated for doing the exact same thing.

Politicians also seized upon the incident – Senator Moran (R-KS) introduced legislation end gun free zones on military installations:

The Safeguarding Service Members’ Second Amendment Rights Act, would repeal bans on military personnel carrying firearms on Armed Forces military installations and Department of Defense (DoD) sites and prohibit the president, secretary of defense and secretaries of military departments from enacting similar restrictions or prohibitions in the future.

Governors in at least a half dozen states ordered that National Guardsmen be armed.    In lieu of active forms of protection, some areas decided that to ‘turtle up’ and stacked sandbags inside recruiters offices.

The antigun side of the debate was not faring well in the court of public opinion.

(Un)fortunately, they soon had another chance to make their opinions heard.


 

On July 23, John Russel Houser opened fire in the Grand 16 movie theater in Lafayette LA, during a showing of Amy Schumer’s “Trainwreck” – killing two, wounding multiple others, then killing himself after seeing the police arrive on scene.

Police outside the Grand 16 theater after the July 23 shooting in Lafayette LA. Source: CNN

Details about the shooter quickly made their way into the media: Houser had been involuntarily committed by his family.  Houser had been convicted of arson.  Houser admired Hitler & the Tea Party, and hated President Obama.

You could practically see the antigun talking heads rubbing their hands with glee over this.   They had their perfect example for why gun laws needed to change.  Clearly there was no way that this guy had gotten his gun legally, right?

Wrong.  Houser bought his gun at a pawn shop after passing a background check.

Turns out that despite a well documented history of domestic violence, arson, and involuntary commitment, Houser was never actually prosecuted.  All of this could have been avoided had he been convicted for arson back in 1989, and “[c]ourt documents filed as part of a divorce say Houser had a history of hospitalizations for mental conditions.”

Usually involuntary commitment makes someone a prohibited person in the eyes of the ATF.  Unfortunately, the system failed in this case too:

That’s because Georgia, where Houser was the subject of a mental health evaluation in 2008, removes mental health records from the federal database used to conduct background checks after five years.

Politics waits for no man, though, so at this time various parties are still spinning and attempting to control the message.

Presidential candidate & Governor of Louisiana Bobby Jindal  suspended his Presidential campaign to handle situation and urged other states to tighten their reporting of prohibited persons like Louisiana has done.  Reactions to this ranged from New York Times claiming he wanted toughen gun laws (instead of the more accurate description of improving proper reporting compliance) to Wonkette’s ever so classy accusation that he was giving the NRA a rimjob.  A Buzzfeed editor showed her overt bias by stating don’t pray, push for more gun control – and got called out for it, resulting in an apology from her superiors.


There seems to be indications that gun control proponents have decided it’s finally time to start calling for the removal of the 2nd Amendment altogether, or at least curtail it severely.

Legendary attorney Alan Dershowitz stated in an interview:

We have tried an experiment for the last 250 years and it’s failed miserably and we have to start a new approach. The new approach has to be guns should not be available to people generally, except if they have a significant need.

Surprisingly, Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was actually ahead of this wave, stating in early July:

“I’m going to speak out against the uncontrollable use of guns in our country because I believe we can do better,” Clinton said Tuesday in Iowa City.

A few days earlier, she said in Hanover, N.H.: “We have to take on the gun lobby. . . . This is a controversial issue. I am well aware of that. But I think it is the height of irresponsibility not to talk about it.”

President Obama, who stated outright that gun control was his biggest disappointment with his time in office, said that he was going to devote the last 18 months of his term to gun control and that gun ownership was a bigger problem than terrorism

Even Bernie Sanders has gotten in on the gun control bandwagon, saying  “certain types of guns, used to kill people exclusively, not for hunting, they should not be sold in the United States of America” – apparently not realizing that this effectively be every self defense firearm in the country.

Antigun media allies certainly haven’t changed their tune:

Celebrities like Richard Dreyfuss, Judd Apatow and Rebel Wilson have also been sure to add their two cents.

Interestingly enough, the American public doesn’t seem to agree with the media, politicians, or celebrities, as a recent opinion poll revealed that more Americans see guns as the solution, not the problem


 

Fake update: It would appear that I’m not alone in noticing this trend:

Business Insider: The dark reason why guns are virtually guaranteed to be a major issue of the 2016 campaign

After years of ducking presidential-campaign battles over gun laws out of fear of the powerful gun lobby, it appears that Democrats are finally ready to go on the offensive.

Democrats are becoming more and more outspoken about gun violence in the wake of seemingly ever increasing mass shootings, despite the fact that the American public remains as opposed as ever to many gun-control measures

It remains to be seen whether this represents a turning point in election politics, or a repeat of Clinton’s 1994 mistake.

Opinion polls “debunk” facts now? “New Harvard Research Debunks the NRA’s Favorite Talking Points”

Mother Jones (never known for their journalistic integrity or honesty on the topic of firearms) vomited up this piece of journalistic excrement today:

New Harvard Research Debunks the NRA’s Favorite Talking Points
Surveys drawing on scores of experts reveal a clear consensus against the gun lobby.

In it we have the usual uncritical fluff piece fawning over anti-gun shill David Hemenway’s latest work that is lauded as a decisive & stunning blow against the evil NRA… an opinion survey.   Opinion surveys should always be taken with a dump truck of salt since they don’t always match up with reality as documented in this Pew Research Survey where despite gun crime being at decade lows, 56% of people believe it is higher than 20 years ago.

The article opens with the scoff worthy platitudes that anti-gun writers peddle as without merit:

Anyone familiar with the gun debate has heard the talking points of the National Rifle Association and other gun rights advocates: “Carrying a gun for self-defense makes you safer.” Or: “If only more ordinary citizens were armed, they could stop mass shootings.”

Yes, because being unarmed is certainly safer when facing someone who is willing to kill your child when you don’t have enough money to given them.   And a mass shooting has never been stopped by a concealed carrier. Certainly not in the last two weeks, in Philly.

As we’ve shown in our reporting, these arguments don’t stand up to scrutiny. After the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, David Hemenway, director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center, commented on another long-running assertion from the gun lobby: “There is no evidence that having more guns reduces crime,” he told the New York Times.

If by “don’t stand up to scrutiny” you mean “don’t survive our straw man arguments” – arguments like:

“Myth #1: They’re coming for your guns” where they say that just because outright confiscation isn’t on the agenda yet, there’s no middle ground between that and nothing at all.  Certainly nothing like trying to ban assault weapons.  Nevermind that confiscation has happened in places like California under Roberti-Roos, Canada, or elsewhere.  It certainly isn’t happening in New York, where law enforcement officers barely wait for the bodies to cool before swooping in to confiscate legally owned firearms from the families of the deceased.

or “Myth #5: Keeping a gun at home makes you safer.” where they conveniently make an apples to oranges argument by blaming firearms for suicides and use those suicides to pad total homicide stats, while undercounting defensive gun uses by limiting them to justifiable homicides.  After all, situations where a mother defends her child against a home intruder by shooting him 5 times don’t count since the attacker didn’t die.

As for the “no evidence that having more guns reduces crime” comment, that’s also been addressed as there’s zero proof that firearms availability has an effect on firearms crime either.

Yet, Hemenway says that some in the media have continued to treat such assertions as legitimate points of debate. That leaves the public thinking, “Okay, so there’s disagreement on this,” he says. It occurred to Hemenway that this was a familiar problem, so he set about surveying a wide range of experts on guns—modeling his project after a game-changing 2010 study on climate change, which found that 97 percent of researchers believe that humans are responsible for global warming. Hemenway’s team at Harvard went through about 1,200 articles on firearms published since 2011 in peer-reviewed journals focused on public health, public policy, sociology, and criminology. In May 2014, Hemenway began sending monthly surveys to the authors of these articles—upwards of 300 people—with questions concerning firearm use, background checks, and other gun policies. The Harvard team has completed nine surveys so far, with about 100 researchers responding to each: They show that a clear majority of experts do not buy the NRA’s arguments.

So let’s cut to the chase, let’s look at the information itself:

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/hicrc/firearm-researcher-surveys/

Expert firearms researchers were defined as those individuals that 1) publish in peer-reviewed journals and 2) publish specifically about firearms in the public health, public policy, sociology, or criminology literature. Expert researchers were defined as first authors on at least 1 peer-reviewed journal article from 2011 to the present (February 2014). It was felt that including all authors would overweight the public health/medicine area of research since articles there tend to have more authors.

If you can spot the selection bias already, give yourself a pat on the back.

Let’s dig further and look at the first survey dataset and see who responded:

Emails sent: 287
Emails opened: 194
Surveys started: 158
Surveys completed: 150

Interesting.  So out of this highly cherry picked group, just over half responded.  What did they have to say about the first question?

Q1: “In the United States, having a gun in the home increases the risk of suicide”
Strongly disagree 3%
Disagree 5%
Neither Agree or Disagree 8%
Agree 26%
Strongly Agree 58%

Looks like these people never read the research coming out of Australia showing that firearms availability has little effect on overall suicide rates.  Of course I’m not the only one to mention that other countries with much harsher gun control can have higher overall rates of suicide as well.

But what really takes the case of this opinion poll is this:

Q3: Rate your level of familiarity with the literature on this topic
Not knowledgeable 7%
Slightly knowledgeable 13%
Medium 19%
Knowledgeable 33%
Very knowledgeable 28%

Yeah, no possibility for confirmation bias or Dunning-Kruger here.  No possible selection bias.  No one invested in firearms research or policy. No breakdown of disciplines past vague generic

Public health/medicine 48%
Criminology/sociology 33%
Public Policy 5%
Other 14%

Which lumps in psychiatrists with cardiac surgeons like noted shill antigun hack Arthur Kellerman.

The rest of the surveys are just as worthless.

The entire exercise is an Appeal to Authority writ large, with healthy amounts of the previously noted fallacies thrown in for good measure.  Of course, since there’s no benchmark or standard behind who is viewed as an expert, simply that they were “peer reviewed” at some point, we can dismiss this as junk science like most antigun agitprop.