NOWTTYG: MSNBC Urges Dem Senators to Seize ‘Opportunity’ of Terror Attack to Push Anti-Gun Agenda

Newsbusters posted this a few days back, with a clip from MSNBC’s Morning Joe show.

Here’s the transcript:

JOE SCARBOROUGH: …background checks, still 97% of Americans support background checks. 60% of American support some sort of ban on so called assault weapons. In that stricter gun law, 61% support. That assault weapon number is higher than usual. So now does seem like again an opportunity, I think, in large part because of the acts of terror that have happened in San Bernardino and then in Orlando. 

KATTY KAY: You know I think there is an opportunity, but all of us who have watched this over the years right Joe after Newtown we’re so feel so cynical and defeated about the prospect of getting anything done. But I was wondering, from the senator, is there anything that can be done short of changing the statutes. For example, red flags that pop up to the FBI if somebody has been under investigation, but that investigation is now closed. Which is what the FBI’s argument is in this case. Is that you know is there something that can happen short of having to actually get congressional approval?

Oh, this is an opportunity for change? Let’s approach this from a facts based manner:

The last “several” mass shootings were carried out by people who were background checked, or more. In the case of the Orlando shooter:

  • The shooter bought his guns at a gun store, where he was background checked.
  •  He had a concealed carry permit, for which he was background checked.
  •  He had a state firearms license, for which he was background checked.
  •  He was also an armed security guard for a government contractor which required an active security clearance, for which he was (you guessed it) background checked.
  • Somewhere in the last two he had to have 60 hours of training and a medical exam that certified he had no issues.
  •  The FBI interviewed him, twice, and investigated him for 10 months. He wasn’t on the Terrorist Watchlist either – they pulled him off after they didn’t find anything actionable.

Universal Background Checks wouldn’t have stopped this. Using the Terror Watchlist wouldn’t have stopped this. FBI interviews didn’t stop this. This was a government failure all the way around. This guy was a poster child for antigun policy proposals and still turned around and killed people.

In the case of San Bernardino, the shooters killed their victims in spite of a litany of California laws:

  •  Assault weapons ban.
  •  Mandatory handgun registration
  •  Mandatory rifle registration
  •  Mandatory safety training requirements
  •  Mandatory waiting periods before picking up guns after buying them.
  •  High capacity magazine bans
  •  Detachable magazine bans on rifles
  •  Mandatory Universal Background Checks
  •  Ban on open carry of weapons
  •  De facto ban on concealed carry thanks to arbitrary “may issue” requirements
  •  Total prohibition of bombs

Something does have to give. We need to stop rewarding the failure of gun control with more gun control. We need to examine whether these laws work, and if they don’t, eliminate them because they aren’t serving their purpose (other than to make red tape for non-criminals).

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President Obama lies to the nation while shedding crocodile tears, then compares gun control to civil rights. Shameful.

This afternoon, President Obama showed a stunning display of dishonesty, idiocy, and emotional blackmail during a press conference covering his executive orders on gun control.  Here’s a transcript of his remarks: http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2016/01/05/transcript-president-obamas-remarks-on-gun-violence/

President Obama started with a statement about the shooting of Gabby Giffords, and

That’s why we’re here today. Not to debate the last mass shooting, but to do something to try to prevent the next one.

Strange, I can’t think of any mass shootings that would have been prevented by a background check.  In fact:

Each time this comes up, we are fed the excuse that common-sense reforms like background checks might not have stopped the last massacre, or the one before that, or the one before that, so why bother trying. I reject that thinking. (Applause.) We know we can’t stop every act of violence, every act of evil in the world. But maybe we could try to stop one act of evil, one act of violence.

Some of you may recall, at the same time that Sandy Hook happened, a disturbed person in China took a knife and tried to kill — with a knife — a bunch of children in China. But most of them survived because he didn’t have access to a powerful weapon. We maybe can’t save everybody, but we could save some. Just as we don’t prevent all traffic accidents but we take steps to try to reduce traffic accidents.

Seriously?  The President said background checks were “common sense” and then segued into Sandy Hook, a mass shooting that background checks singularly wouldn’t have prevented.  You know, because Adam Lanza murdered his mother to get her guns (which she was background checked on, and duly registered).    Jared Loughner, perpetrator of the Giffords shooting in Tuscon was background checked too.  Later on he states:

Our right to peaceful assembly -– that right was robbed from moviegoers in Aurora and Lafayette. Our unalienable right to life, and liberty, and the pursuit of happiness -– those rights were stripped from college students in Blacksburg and Santa Barbara, and from high schoolers at Columbine, and from first-graders in Newtown. First-graders. And from every family who never imagined that their loved one would be taken from our lives by a bullet from a gun.

With the exception of Newtown, each of these perpetrators were background checked.  How on earth can he use these to justify background checks? How?  Even CNN knows that background checks probably won’t stop mass shootings.  It’s not like the White House hasn’t been asked these questions before either – watch them duck and weave when asked whether their proposals would actually stop mass shootings back in December, 2015:

Yes, the gun lobby is loud and it is organized in defense of making it effortless for guns to be available for anybody, any time. Well, you know what, the rest of us, we all have to be just as passionate.

Seriously?  Wow, let me just rush right out and pick up a new M4 at 7-11.  He made this statement  just seven sentences after talking about the gun lobby lying.   He then went on to make this claim:

A  violent felon can buy the exact same weapon over the Internet with no background check, no questions asked.

This right here is complete unvarnished bullshit.  It’s got no basis in fact, guns aren’t shipped to your door from an internet sale, especially from gun dealers.  There’s no exemption for background check requirements if a sale is done online.  This is just an updated version of the so-called “gun show loophole” (which also doesn’t exist)

But what really galls me is this statement:

And, yes, it will be hard, and it won’t happen overnight. It won’t happen during this Congress. It won’t happen during my presidency. But a lot of things don’t happen overnight. A woman’s right to vote didn’t happen overnight. The liberation of African Americans didn’t happen overnight. LGBT rights — that was decades’ worth of work. So just because it’s hard, that’s no excuse not to try.

Gun control is not in any way comparable to women voting, or civil rights, or LGBT rights. Each of those empowered people who were previously denied constitutional protections.  What the President wants, instead, is to make sure that people are victims at the whim of the state.

That’s terrible.  It didn’t save Carol Browne, nor will it protect anyone else.

The “US vs Developed World” fallacy

Gun control argument #102937: “The US has the highest gun death rate in the developed world!!!!”

Before someone even finishes the opening sentence of this argument, you know this is dubious science because they’ve already admitted they’ve cherry picked the data.

Much of the political thinking about violence in the United States comes from unfavorable comparisons between the United States and a series of cherry-picked countries with lower murder rates and with fewer guns per capita. We’ve all seen it many times. The United States, with a murder rate of approximately 5 per 100,000 is compared to a variety of Western and Central European countries (also sometimes Japan) with murder rates often below 1 per 100,000. This is, in turn, supposed to fill Americans with a sense of shame and illustrate that the United States should be regarded as some sort of pariah nation because of its murder rate.

Note, however, that these comparisons always employ a carefully selected list of countries, most of which are very unlike the United States. They are  countries that were settled long ago by the dominant ethnic group, they are ethnically non-diverse today, they are frequently very small countries (such as Norway, with a population of 5 million) with very locally based democracies (again, unlike the US with an immense population and far fewer representatives in government per voter). Politically, historically, and demographically, the US has little in common with Europe or Japan.

https://mises.org/blog/mistake-only-comparing-us-murder-rates-developed-countries

What I find particularly interesting about this article is that it mentions the issues with GDP comparisons:

Few people who repeat this mantra have any standard in their heads of what exactly is the “developed” world. They just repeat the phrase because they have learned to do so. They never acknowledge that when factors beyond per capita GDP are considered, it makes little sense to claim Sweden should be compared to the US, but not Argentina.  Such assertions ignore immense differences in culture, size, politics, history, demographics, or ethnic diversity. Comparisons with mono-ethnic Asian countries like Japan and Korea make even less sense.

And some blatantly dishonest nonsense from antigun editors with axes to grind who use OECD:

[M]any who use the “developed country” moniker often use the OECD members countries as a de facto list of the “true” developed countries. Of course, membership in the OECD is highly political and hardly based on any objective economic or cultural criteria.

But if you’re familiar with the OECD, you’ll immediately notice a problem with the list Fisher uses. Mexico is an OECD country. So why is Mexico not in this graph? Well, it’s pretty apparent that Mexico was left off the list because to do so would interfere with the point Fisher is trying to make. After all, Mexico — in spite of much more restrictive gun laws — has a murder rate many times larger than the US.

But Fisher has what he thinks is a good excuse for his manipulation here.  According to Fisher, the omission is because Mexico “has about triple the U.S. rate due in large part to the ongoing drug war.”

Oh, so every country that has drug war deaths is exempt? Well, then I guess we have to remove the US from the list.

Nobody is talking about “banning guns”… they just want to greatly limit ownership. And ban you from being one of the owners.

Remember when the common phrase was that “nobody is talking about banning guns” or that gun control was a political third rail?

Yeah about that.  The HuffPo, which rarely (if ever) is moderate on the firearms issue, published an article titled “Needed: Domestic Disarmament, Not ‘Gun Control’

Well at least they are being forthright about their intentions now, instead of beating about the bush.

Good progressive people may well respond that they must start with small, incremental measures, because the really big, effective ones do not have a prayer. But neither do the tiny ones, at least on the national level. The NRA will not yield an inch.

One needs no better evidence than to note that Congress just refused to ban people on the no-fly list, those strongly suspected of being terrorists, from buying guns legally in the U.S.! Moreover, the NRA is moving the needle in the opposite direction, getting more and more states to allow people to carry concealed weapons, in more and more places.

Most progressives seem unaware that whatever laws are finally enacted will have very little effect because the NRA and its allies in Congress have found powerful ways to prevent their enforcement. The Firearms Owners’ Protection Act of 1986 bans the ATF from inspecting gun dealers more than once in any 12-month period, even if violations are uncovered, and it reduces record-keeping violations from a felony to a misdemeanor offense, the result being that gun dealers are very rarely prosecuted.

There is nothing “good” or “progressive” denying people effective self defense and curtailing civil liberties in the name of security theater.  Using a secret government watchlist in order to do so should be anathema to any actual “good progressive” that isn’t a complete shill.

It’s not just the HuffPo either.  Besides the previously mentioned NYT’s front page editorial calling for an end to the gun “epidemic”, other people are bravely stepping forward to say that it’s time for us gun owners to give up our rights:

Samantha Paige Rosen opined:

As long as guns are in wide circulation, people who intend to harm will get hold of them.

Which explains why heroin, cocaine, meth and other drugs are completely eradicated from the country.

Daylin Leach writes that we should “Stand up to the NRA, pass commonsense gun-control” like “one gun a month” legislation, magazine capacity limits and more… ignoring that California has these exact laws in place and it did not stop the San Bernardino shooting.

He does have this correct though:

Guns have become the line in the sand. It doesn’t matter how reasonable or modest the restriction, there will be no compromise. Logic doesn’t matter. This is no longer a political issue. It is a theological issue.

He just doesn’t realize that he and his cohorts are the zealots who thump their gun control bibles while screaming that the heretical NRA must be burned at the stake.  The Wall Street Journal also noted this in their article “The Liberal Theology of Gun Control

Earlier this year I wondered if we were seeing the beginnings of a full court press on gun control.  Looks like I was right.

Yesterday House Democrats tried to push gun control over a dozen times, using the terror “watchlist”.   While trying to create a “gotcha” moment for the Republicans, this may backfire later when their attempts to eliminate due process are held against them in upcoming elections.

A great response to the NY Times “historic” front page editorial: “An Open Letter to the New York Times Editorial Board on Guns”

The New York Times decided that the San Bernardino shooting was so outrageous that they decided to vent their spleen by publishing their first Front Page Editorial in Forever… and it was on Gun Control.

Specifically we should End the Gun Epidemic in America

It is a moral outrage and a national disgrace that civilians can legally purchase weapons designed specifically to kill people with brutal speed and efficiency. These are weapons of war, barely modified and deliberately marketed as tools of macho vigilantism and even insurrection. America’s elected leaders offer prayers for gun victims and then, callously and without fear of consequence, reject the most basic restrictions on weapons of mass killing, as they did on Thursday. They distract us with arguments about the word terrorism. Let’s be clear: These spree killings are all, in their own ways, acts of terrorism.

Now if someone tells you that there is a “gun epidemic” I won’t fault you for scratching your head.   Gun crime is down 49% since 1993, though the public is unaware.

And those “barely modified” guns that are “weapons of war” are semi automatic rifles that aren’t even firing bullets big enough to hunt deer with in most states.  The New York Times wants them banned though, despite not knowing what they are.  In this display of stunning ignorance, they are joined by the President of the United States

There were plenty of reactions to this, from Christie’s dismissal of the OpEd as “liberal claptrap” and Colion Noir’s analysis dissecting the issue & response to  WaPo’s hamfisted defense that lambasted those attacking the NYT

We will always self-correct as time goes on and sooner or later, America gets what America wants.  However, the founders set an intentionally high bar on altering the rights they fought to secure.  A simple majority won’t get it done, but a morally outraged nation can make it happen quite quickly.  Yes, the founders perhaps didn’t foresee the advancement of modern weapons of war, but they didn’t foresee women getting the right to vote either.  It was a moral outrage and national disgrace that women couldn’t vote at one point in our nation’s history, but when America woke up to realize that, they changed the constitution to reflect it.  For that reason, I am not ashamed of America.

However, I would be ashamed of an America that allowed women to vote, but said they had to complete 20 pull-ups to do so.  I would be ashamed of an America that prohibited a poll tax, but charged $500 for parking outside a polling station.  I would be ashamed of an America who says we have the right to free speech, but makes words that could be offensive or hurt someone’s feelings criminal as apparently 40% of millennials would preference.  I would be ashamed of an America that said 18-year-olds had the right to vote, but they had to prove they weren’t an absolute idiot first.  Now wait, that last one is actually not a bad idea. But the point is, if it was indeed a moral outrage as you called it, then America would respond as we always have in kind.  It is called the 2nd Amendment because it is literally the 2nd one on the list, not an afterthought.  To alter it with anything less than the constitution itself  would in fact be, a moral outrage and national disgrace.

The response goes on to point out that the NYT recently published an article dismissing the danger of so called “assault weapons” –

Do you know how many people have been killed in America by assault weapons?  I’m sure you have fact checkers out there, but wouldn’t that be an interesting number to publish so that we can determine the scope of this moral outrage.  Actually, you already did that last September in another editorial you titled, The Assault Weapon Myth.  I attached a link so you can refresh your memory.

In my opinion, the most important paragraph is the one compares these strident screams to “do something” to other political hot topics:

You know that feeling you get when states pass Voter ID laws and you believe it to be an infringement on a person’s right to vote?  Despite the fact that anyone can easily get an ID, you believe the hurdle put in place to be much more nefarious that it seems.  That is kind what supporters of the 2ndAmendment are feeling right now.  I support voter ID laws in the same manner I am ok with background checks and some basic mental health component for a gun purchase.  Both can be very dangerous and lead to an infringement of a basic constitutional right, but if done well and aggressively kept in check, harmless.

http://www.unprecedentedmediocrity.com/an-open-letter-to-the-new-york-times-editorial-board-on-guns/

Edit:  David at Gun Culture 2.0 wrote a very good fact based response to the NY Times editorial to compliment his earlier “opinion” based one: https://gunculture2point0.wordpress.com/2015/12/07/a-fact-driven-response-to-the-new-york-times-gun-epidemic-editorial/

The rush to judgement is real, but what’s missing? Rational examination of what failed.

Newsbusters has outlined yet another example of “blame the NRA for everything” and outright media bias in the rush to judgment after a mass shooting:

http://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/culture/kristine-marsh/2015/12/02/media-blame-conservatives-nra-knowing-anything-about-san

There’s some things to keep in mind about California, which has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the nation.    California:

  • Assault Weapons Ban
  • Magazine Capacity Bans
  • Bans detachable high capacity magazines in rifles
  • Universal Background Checks
  • Mandatory Handgun Registration
  • Mandatory Long Gun registration
  • Mandatory waiting periods for all firearms purchases
  • Mandatory safety testing of all firearms, with only “approved” guns being allowed to be sold in the state
  • A total ban on open carry
  • “May issue” concealed carry, which is effectively a de facto ban of the same.

None of that prevented the San Bernardino shooting.  Yet those measures are the “wish list” for gun control advocates.  Maybe it’s time to start asking the hard questions about why their policies don’t work.

From TheFederalist: “14 Things Everyone Should Understand About Guns”

The Federalist posted a great article highlighting just how little “journalists” know about firearms despite pontificating on how laws must be changed:

Guns can be dangerous in the wrong hands. But so are articles about guns written by people who don’t understand anything about them.

There’s sadly no excuse to be ignorant about firearms. They’ve been around for hundreds of years. They’re owned and operated safely by tens of millions of Americans each year. Our Constitution guarantees our individual right to possess guns so that we might be able to defend ourselves from those who would violently take away our freedom. Many gun controllers, however — some of whom have bylines for major media organizations — don’t actually know the first thing about firearms.

http://thefederalist.com/2015/02/24/14-things-everyone-should-understand-about-guns/