Sunday, June 19, 2016
A Piece Crammed with Ignorance
So, yes, one person did do that, but it was a weapon that empowered him to do it—a weapon designed only for mass killing on the battlefield, a weapon so dangerous that soldiers keep their version locked up when not actually training with it, out of respect for its rapid-fire lethality, but a weapon that now, in Florida and elsewhere, can be placed freely and without constraints into the hands of almost anyone who wants one. The shooter in Orlando reportedly had, in addition to a handgun, a semi-automatic assault rifle in the general AR-15 family. (Press accounts indicate that it was a Sig Sauer MCX, or something very similar.) Such essentially military weapons—they come in many brands, with the minute distinctions among them a source of excitement to gun fetishists—were involved not only in Orlando but in many of the most recent major gun massacres, including San Bernardino, Newtown, and Aurora. (That we know what the names reference at once is in itself telling.) These are weapons, as one of the Newtown family lawyers put it after Orlando, “designed for the United States military to do to enemies of war exactly what it did this morning: kill mass numbers of people with maximum efficiency and ease.”
I'll start at the top. The Glock 17 and the SIG Sauer MCX used by the miserable Muslim puke to shoot a lot of people in the Pulse are not weapons designed only for mass killing in the battlefield. The Glock is an ordinary semi-auto pistol. The MCX is strictly semi-auto as well and actual battlefield self loading weapons are almost always full auto. Big difference. Gopnik is a fool not to know this yet to write about guns. It gets worse. Yes, soldiers lock up their weapons. All responsible gun owners do that. And we do it because all guns can be lethal. It's their essential nature. Singling out a semi-auto rifle that looks cool/lethal, is a sure-fire conversation stopper with someone with the slightest knowledge of weapons of war. As I've pointed out, the French police use a full-auto model of the little brown rifle made by Sturm Ruger. It looks like a hunting rifle. The semi-auto models (called the Mini-14 and Ranch Rifle) have never been banned nor have I ever heard anyone here call for their being banned. But they shoot the same round from the same size box magazine at the same exact rate as the scary rifles that were banned for 10 years to absolutely no benefit. The silence on the Mini-14 and the huge war of words against the AR-15 are further proof that the AR haters are too ignorant to engage in any useful conversation about guns. Haters got to hate.
Cosmetic features do not make a gun more lethal. If it's a gun, it's already lethal. So Gopnik dives headfirst into this shopworn meme--ban the mean looking guns. He's a tool. There's more, unfortunately, lots more. Gopnik seems amazed that the good people of the United States can actually purchase a weapon. 20 seconds reading and thinking about the 2nd Amendment ought to cure that amazement. I guess he's never done that. Also, Sig stands for Schweizerische Industrie Gesellschaft, which is German for Swiss Industry, Inc. I use caps for all three acronym letters but you don't have to. Sauer (J. P. Sauer und Sohn, GmbH) is an old German manufacturer of high end guns (since 1791). The new composite company was started in 1985. They sell well designed, well made guns. It was indeed an MCX used and that gun is not an assault rifle (it's only semi-auto) nor has it anything to do with the AR-15 (except cosmetically). It was not designed for the US Military. The full-auto version I've seen plenty of Swiss soldiers carry around in town is the assault rifle. The MCX and the AR-15 are designed to put as many aimed shots down range as possible. It's primary use is to kill things, of course, and unfortunately that includes people. That they rarely are used to do that (less than 2% of murders are with self loading rifles in America, less than that in Switzerland) is testament to the stupidity of focusing on self-loading rifles, as Gopnik and his ilk are doing. Handguns are the guns which kill people in large numbers. Let's move on.
The blood lobby for guns [link disabled] insists that the weapon has nothing to do with the murderous act. This is a case in which there can be no room for doubt that the direct opposite is true.
OK, I'm waiting for the proof that the gun did the killing on its own and the murderous Muslim puke shooting it actually did nothing at all. Am I taking Gopnik too literally? The proof never comes.
The gist of his so called argument here is his belief in the efficacy of gun legislation.
As individuals we cannot protect ourselves from all crazed killers, whether theirs is the adopted ideology of religious fanaticism or the idiosyncratic obsession of a lunatic. But as a community we can keep guns from getting into their hands.Really? So the murder statute was ignored over 50 times in Orlando but the prohibition of obtaining a certain type of gun would surely have been obeyed. Moral delusion and fantasy. He should know better.
If you are serious about stopping terrorism but not serious about keeping weapons of mass murder from the hands of those already identified as having ties to terrorism, then you are not serious about stopping terrorism.
That's pretty funny coming from a Democrat who clearly supports President Obama and praised him in this very article. There has been no president less interested in stopping terrorism than Obama. If we know you are a terrorist, you shouldn't be walking around at all, much less into a gun store. But it's the knowing and the slippery slope "ties to terrorism" that worries us on the right. It's the due process thing I wrote about here. The lefty, ignorant gun haters are all itching to go anti-Constitution, and deny some subset of our citizenry basic civil rights as a morally preening sign that they care. They want to ban guns mainly because, as gun haters, it won't effect them but will hurt those they see as the real enemy, law abiding gun owners. Too bad it won't effect those merely suspected of "ties to terrorism" either primarily because of the whole "due process" requirement to depriving people of their rights. It's the Democrats who like to round up identifiable racial groups and put them into camps, not the Republicans. (Although I know sufficient history to support the internment of the Japanese community on the West Coast for the first two years of the war). So if you're merely suspected of "ties to terrorism" the Democrats want to deprive you of your civil rights. Pretty much their whole history is doing just that. Way to let your fascistic roots shine through, Gopnik! I never doubted that you had them. He then pivots to former ACLU territory.
It is possible to argue that a “watch list” of this kind is dubious, in any case, on civil-liberties grounds—that it creates two classes of citizens, without an open process to adjudicate its fairness. But it is not possible to argue that, if we have such lists, they should be used to protect us from the plane hijackers we almost never encounter and not from the gunmen we so often do.
Good of you to notice the problems with what you propose, Gopnik. The real difference is prohibiting someone from getting on a plane and prohibiting that person from keeping and bearing arms is that one is not a God given right actually recognized and written down in the Constitution (and amendments thereto). That fact makes all the difference in the world.
Yes, of course, killings happen in other wealthy, supposedly peaceful countries, but nowhere with the ease and normalcy with which they happen here. The murders in Paris last fall were acts of Islamic terrorism undertaken on behalf of isis—and there is no reason not to call it Islamic terrorism or militant Islamism or anything else you like, just as there is no reason not to identify the politics in, say, a mass shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic as rooted in opposition to reproductive rights.
I'm not sure "ease and normalcy" are the right adjectives to use about murdering people. And our looking murderous in comparison to other countries certainly depends on which nations you pick for the comparison. Mexico and Russia and Venezuela are much more gun murderous than we are and they have very strict laws about private ownership of guns. I'm for calling Muslim terrorism, Muslin terrorism. Wonder why Gopnik's choice of president specifically and his political associates generally have such a problem saying those words. Oh, and the once a decade guy shooting an abortionist or at an abortion facility is not because the shooter opposes "reproductive rights." They hate the fact that innocent babies to be are being murdered, as they see it. Reproductive rights is a euphemism for abortion. Another term the left has difficulty saying.
The point is not to pin the tail on the ideology; it is to stop the killing from happening again. The Paris gun murders were carried out with difficulty, as the end result of a complex scheme involving many perpetrators—they were not, and still are not, part of the regular routine of French life. They couldn’t have been realized on impulse. We have allowed impulse massacres to become a continual and permanent fact of American life.
Does Gopnik have any idea the level of preparation the miserable puke who shot up the Aurora movie house put into perpetrating his crime? Ease, impulse. The mass murderers are the opposite of that, both here and in France. Fat lot of good the stringent gun control laws in France did. Gun control laws never prevent murderers from obtaining guns because the murderers don't obey them. Taking guns away only from the law abiding is stupid. We don't need to disarm them, they're not criminals and murderers. Something tells me Gopnik's big finish is his abiding belief, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that gun control laws stop crime and save lives. Let's see.
Once again, the overriding lesson, as settled as social science can ever be, remains: If we had gun laws like the gun laws of most countries that resemble ours, we would have lower levels of gun violence, as they do.
He went there and he even called it settled science. There are differing levels of violence in countries around the world. Some are law abiding and peaceful (I'm thinking particularly about the Japanese after we nuked them twice--they were pretty murderous for nine years before that unpleasantness), but you could say it about a lot of European countries and usually about former British colonies (except for us). It has absolutely nothing to do with gun laws. Switzerland and Israel have people walking around doing everyday things like shopping or getting on a train carrying full auto rifles and they have low gun murder rates. That's because the Swiss and Israelis are law abiding. It's not because they are denied guns by legal prohibition. Some of the most murderous countries have very strict gun laws and most of the worst don't allow private ownership certainly of handguns and most long guns as well. Just as it's the murderous heart of the shooter that causes gun murders everywhere, it is the culture of violence in the various countries that makes for the different gun murder rates. The gun laws do nothing because only the law abiding obey them. It continues to astound me that the Democrat gun haters can't seem to grasp this simple, established fact. Gopnik has proven he can't.