Friday, June 17, 2016


Avoiding a Fair Debate

I keep picking on Nicholas Kristof for his screeds against guns because he keeps presenting stupid and bogus arguments. Once more unto the breach, dear friends.

First continuing mistake. He pads, with suicides, the gun death figures he uses in his arguments. This is mixing apples and oranges. Murders using guns is a problem both the left and right want to mitigate. Suicide is not a problem of violence against another. It is a shame and a tragedy and the loss hurts and haunts those who loved the dead person sometimes forever, But it is not an intrusion on the rights of others. Besides, lefties are generally pro-suicide and they push for laws that will allow other people to murder with impunity the infirm who want to but can't physically take the action to end their own lives. This is so dishonest in a discussion that is essentially about protecting people from murder.

Kristof also trots out the completely bogus figure of 40% of "gun transfers" don't involve a background check. He keeps saying this figure is from a Harvard study soon to be published, but it never is published. Getting the gun from the factory to the gun owner nearly always involves purchases and nearly all of them are completed with a background check. The transfers other than sales include "a gift, an inheritance, a swap between friends". This is a tiny subset of the millions of gun transferred by purchases each year. And the guns which are the gifts, inheritances or swap somehow got to the gift giver, decedent or swap partner from the manufacturer without any checking, right? Clearly wrong. So a legally obtained gun, almost certainly obtained through a background check, is transferred from the guy who passed the background check to someone whom he knows well enough to give gifts to or trade things with, or who is family. So this is a problem only if the good guy gun owners completely throw caution to the wind and give, swap or bequeath the gun to some criminal or crazy person or someone otherwise unable to pass a background check. I'm willing to bet that the number of risky transfers here is such a small number that it warrants not even a troubling thought much less a new law. We already have a law prohibiting giving or swapping or selling a gun privately to a person who cannot own a gun. That this law is so seldom enforced is most likely because good guy gun purchasers hardly ever break it.

Which brings us to the newer talking point: Let's not allow guns to be sold to people on the terror watch list or the no fly list or some secret list the Government generates. I and almost all gun nuts support not allowing terrorists to own guns. It's the list that is troubling. I think taking away an important civil right, the right to keep and bear arms, ought to involve some ordered mechanism for placing a name on the proposed, prohibiting list. The mechanism would have to include giving notice that you might be placed on the list, having the right to confront the people who want to put you on the list and making them prove, in front of a neutral magistrate, that there is sufficient evidence that you belong on the list and a right to have a meaningful appeal of that process. You know, due process (another right in the 5th and 14th Amendment). Kristof and his ilk apparently don't mind denying due process when guns are involved. I mind.

Two of the worst things about the Obama Administration are the severe setback his Presidency caused to race relations in America and the near complete mistrust he and his minions created in our Government employees' ability or desire to do the right thing. So I mind a lot about having a Government bureaucrat be able to rob me of my Second Amendment rights by fiat, without due process. All you have to do is think about the various conservative organizations who were singled out for different and far worse treatment by the IRS. You can think of the EPA turning the Animas river a putrid yellow a while back. You can think of the hundreds of Vets dying because the VA leadership and rank and file are so awful at their jobs. I absolutely don't trust our Government to do the right thing and I call on my fellow defenders of the Constitution to defeat on principal this lawless, unconstitutional proposal regarding one or another secret lists and the Second Amendment.

It's not paranoia if they're really out to get you.


Let's talk about suicide because if you omitted that comment, you post would be mostly bullet proof. First let's dispel the myth that people who want to commit suicide will find the means. For die hards intent on taking their own life that may be true but there is no "cry for help" when it comes to using a firearm to commit suicide. Firearms provide the opportunity for people whose bent toward self destruction may be only temporary. Look, the NRA is evil. Sorry to be judgmental here. Evil, beginning with the primordial monsters of myth, is an agency designed to thwart and suppress humanity and human dignity. That is the NRA which has morphed from an organization whose primary purpose was o promote firearm safety to an organization whose primary, if not sole, purpose is to promote sales on behalf of the firearms industry. In Florida, a doctor whose examination of his patient reveals the patient to be clinically depressed is forbidden by law to discuss with the patient whether there are firearms in the home. The NRA supported members of Congress who have effectively blocked the CDC's ability to study gun violence in the country for the past two decades. The NRA's solution to gun violence is more guns. We all know that the solution to malaria is more mosquitos. There are limits to the 2nd Amendment's right to bear arms, although the late J.Scalia did our country a disservice in Heller. It was Roe v. Wade in reverse. The fact is there is no rational purpose for 30 round magazines to be in the possession of persons who are not members of the military or law enforcement. No one says: "Oh yah. I need that 30 round clip in case I encounter a herd of elk." If people are no longer able to play Johnny Rambo at firing ranges, I find that acceptable if it would prevent one Sandy Hook or one Orlando. And while we are on the subject, when I see some guy with a baseball cap on backwards with a Glock on his hip in Wal Mart, I do not think, "Oh, that fellow is exercising his 2nd Amendment rights." I think, "Time to beat feet because anyone who packs a firearm into a Wal Mart just because they can is someone whose judgment I choose not to trust." Roger. Our country has a serious problem with gun violence whether inflicted against others or self inflicted. If you do not believe there is a problem, then you are part of the problem. If you believe that a slight infringement on your freedom is unacceptable, then you are part of the problem. I could go on, but I will conclude by stating that if you believe suicide rates would not diminish if firearms were not as readily available as they are, you are part of the problem. Tony
You are factually wrong on a number of things. I don't care what your opinion is regarding the NRA or the late Justice Scalia. OK, I'll talk about suicide. I didn't want to go there because it involves noticing the difference in attempts versus successful attempts by sex. Women try more often than men and generally always fail. They don't seem to want actually to kill themselves but present the proverbial "cry for help". Men on the other hand, don't try as often but succeed when they try most of the time. Most men use guns to kill themselves in America and women don't. That is not surprising. We do have an experiment in Australia regarding availability of weapons. The government there bought back and destroyed about 650,000 auto loaders. In a country with 1/10th our population that should have made some difference in the suicide rate. It did for a while but now the suicide rate in Australia is higher than it was before the gun buyback and ban. There has been a steady decline in gun suicides but that was the case before the buyback. It just continued to decline at the same rate as before. Ultimately, hanging replaced the lost gun suicides. I've written about this before and you can certainly look it up to see if I'm accurate. But I'd rather hear your evidence that some sort of gun legislation would actually save lives, either suicide or murder/manslaughter. I can wait while you do your research.
Thanks for the comment. Not that well thought out, but I appreciate the effort.
I had to get to a regularly scheduled breakfast. The solution to Malaria is DDT. There is no valid comparison of arming good guys with guns (through CCPs) with growing more mosquitoes. All (female) mosquitoes obtain blood components to raise their eggs. Not all gun owners go out and commit murder with their guns. In fact, only a very small minority use guns in crime. We call these people criminals which is a 2-3% subset of all people in America, and smaller vis a vis gun owners. So the mosquito comparison was specious at best. The rational purpose for having the standard sized box magazine for the AR or AK is so that we can shoot a lot of rounds before having to change out the magazine (which takes about 2 seconds). There is no question of "need" regarding an inalienable right. "Want" is sufficient. I want to write this blog, or read some of the poetry you put out on facebook. I get to do it. I don't have to show a need. I have no doubt you can actually understand this. You can't hunt elk or deer even with an AR, because the intermediate round it uses is too small and underpowered to kill reliably those animals. Remember that when our president or some other lefty gun hater calls the AR or AK powerful. Now on to pigs. Wild pigs are doing a lot of economic and environmental damage back east, particularly in the south. Back there you can hunt them any time (even at night) because they are so destructive. They are also pretty smart and it's difficult to get a shot before they run off, so semi-auto, even up to the 30 rounds of the standard sized magazine is a good idea for hunting them. So there is a reason for 30 rounders for hunting. Just not elk. I guess I might be tempted to stop Johnny Rambo type fun at the range if I believed implementing the bans on guns or magazine size you support would stop a Sandy Hook or an Orlando, but I don't believe new legislation would. Criminals don't obey laws; it's kinda of the sine qua non that makes a criminal. If they won't obey the murder statute, what, other than blind ignorance on your part, causes to believe they will obey the gun control legislation? Come back to the real planet Earth, old friend. We miss you. If you believe that a "slight" infringement on the 2nd Amendment is OK when the amendment itself, in plain language, using the very word 'infringe,' prohibits any such infringement, then you are part of a bigger problem than that we have, like everywhere, criminals. You are the thin end of the fascist wedge. Don't go there. Support due process and actual rational gun control that will actually affect the criminals and not just punish the law abiding for no good reason (which is not what most of what your ilk support--like with gun bans and repeal of the 2nd Amendment in total). Again, thanks for the comment.

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