Category Archive 'Gun Control'
11 Oct 2017

Fully Automatic Establishment Gun Control Demands

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Matt Purple, managing editor of American Conservative, responds to recent demands for Gun Control from sort-of-conservatives Brett Stephens and David Frum writing respectively for those famous conservative organs The New York Times and the Atlantic.

Stephens and Frum aren’t technocrats calibrating the machine of progress; they’re Wayne Wheeler and Carrie Nation, throwing open our saloon doors and smashing our tumblers. Theirs is a moral crusade against what they perceive to be a national vice. America is sick and only they are enlightened enough to make it better. Perhaps that’s a bit flippant—some of our nation’s best (and worst) work has been done by those who set out to mend grand societal ills—but we should at least stop pretending that the kids-cup prescriptions of a Senator Chris Murphy can ever accomplish his jumbo-size ends. This is a nation with one firearm for every citizen, a thriving outdoorsman culture, a history of violent lawlessness, a frontier, a Second Amendment. Jamming those spokes is going to require a far larger stick than anything that fits through the ludicrously exaggerated “gun show loophole.”

The reason many of us take the (authentically) Madisonian view—in addition to our leeriness over a total government monopoly on arms—is that we reject such a crusade as impractical. We see it as premised on a fundamentally false conception of America, one that glosses over her indelible traditions of individualism and defiance. We worry it will result in more polarization and violence rather than less. We observe, too, that the public has lately grown weary of elite designs on their values, their pronouns, their national anthem—enough to elect Donald Trump in the hopes of making it all stop. Presumably an additional betterment campaign against their guns would be met with the same aggravation and pushback. It’s your move, gentlemen, but is this really where you want to go right now?


10 Oct 2017

The Second Amendment’s “Resistance to Tyranny” Intent Is Not Obsolete


One of my liberal Yale classmates recently sneered at the idea of the armed citizen making any difference: “The notion that automated weapons are going to fend off an oppressive federal government or foreign invader is complete nonsense in the 21st century.”

Michael Brendan Dougherty, at National Review, had the perfect response.

Who exactly do you think has stymied the U.S. in Afghanistan for 16 years? The Taliban is made up of Afghan Bubbas. The Taliban doesn’t need to defeat nuclear weapons, though they are humiliating a nuclear power for the second time in history. They use a mix of Kalashnikovs and WWII-era bolt-action rifles. Determined insurgencies are really difficult to fight, even if they are only armed with Enfield rifles and you can target them with a TOW missiles system that can spot a cat in the dark from two miles away. In Iraq, expensive tanks were destroyed with simple improvised explosives.

If the U.S. government (and the American people behind them) doesn’t want to use nuclear weapons on foreign fundamentalists in Afghanistan, why does anyone presume they’d use them against Americans in Idaho?

It is not just our fecklessness. All great powers take into account the moral and manpower costs of implementing their rules and laws on a people. And an armed citizenry, especially if they seem to have a just cause to rally around, will dramatically raise the price of ruling them. The British Empire controlled one quarter of the world’s territory and ruled one quarter of the earth’s population in 1922. In that very year, they were forced to make an effective exit from the main part of their oldest colony, Ireland. Why? Because a determined group of Irish men with guns made the country ungovernable. The British technically could have deployed their entire navy, blockading the restive island, and starving any rebellion into submission. But they were unwilling to pay the moral price, or the price in blood. It was precisely this foreseeable event that had caused the British to ban Irish Catholics from possessing firearms hundreds of years earlier.

And just as in the 1770s or the 1920s, governments in similar positions today or in the future would have a difficult time maintaining military morale while trying to impose rule on a people who resist it manfully.

You can acknowledge this and still deplore America’s gun violence, as I do. You can wish and even work for an American future where there are fewer weapons in untrained and unsteady American hands. And, we all should wish to maintain a law-governed and orderly society that doesn’t inspire thousands or millions of Americans to resist its government in an insurgency. But in the meantime, don’t do violence to history itself. With just the moral support of the society they are living in, and a number of rifles, a small group of men can make it impossible for tyrants to rule.


06 Oct 2017

Prohibition Must Be the Answer!


06 Oct 2017

Murder Rates and Politics

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Top: murder rate / county
Bottom: 2016 election returns /county

04 Oct 2017

A Young Statistician Looks at the Gun Control Debate

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Leah Libresco Y ’11,, a statistician and former newswriter at FiveThirtyEight, a data journalism site, looks rationally at Gun Control arguments.

Before I started researching gun deaths, gun-control policy used to frustrate me. I wished the National Rifle Association would stop blocking common-sense gun-control reforms such as banning assault weapons, restricting silencers, shrinking magazine sizes and all the other measures that could make guns less deadly.

Then, my colleagues and I at FiveThirtyEight spent three months analyzing all 33,000 lives ended by guns each year in the United States, and I wound up frustrated in a whole new way. We looked at what interventions might have saved those people, and the case for the policies I’d lobbied for crumbled when I examined the evidence. The best ideas left standing were narrowly tailored interventions to protect subtypes of potential victims, not broad attempts to limit the lethality of guns. …

As my co-workers and I kept looking at the data, it seemed less and less clear that one broad gun-control restriction could make a big difference. Two-thirds of gun deaths in the United States every year are suicides. Almost no proposed restriction would make it meaningfully harder for people with guns on hand to use them. I couldn’t even answer my most desperate question: If I had a friend who had guns in his home and a history of suicide attempts, was there anything I could do that would help?

However, the next-largest set of gun deaths — 1 in 5 — were young men aged 15 to 34, killed in homicides. These men were most likely to die at the hands of other young men, often related to gang loyalties or other street violence. And the last notable group of similar deaths was the 1,700 women murdered per year, usually as the result of domestic violence. Far more people were killed in these ways than in mass-shooting incidents, but few of the popularly floated policies were tailored to serve them.

By the time we published our project, I didn’t believe in many of the interventions I’d heard politicians tout. I was still anti-gun, at least from the point of view of most gun owners, and I don’t want a gun in my home, as I think the risk outweighs the benefits. But I can’t endorse policies whose only selling point is that gun owners hate them. Policies that often seem as if they were drafted by people who have encountered guns only as a figure in a briefing book or an image on the news.

Instead, I found the most hope in more narrowly tailored interventions.


03 Oct 2017

Dems Exploiting Las Vegas Tragedy to Push Their Gun Control Agenda

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Daren Jonescu explains that that is what Progressives do.

Within hours of a man carrying out a horrifyingly successful mass shooting in Las Vegas, in which the death toll as of this writing is almost sixty, Democrats are out in public demanding gun control legislation. As disgustingly cynical as this is, it is not in the least bit surprising. Many more will join the chorus in the coming days, while a complicit news media will keep the horror fresh to facilitate the Democrats’ exploitation of sadness and pain.

Never wishing to appear to their neo-communist handlers as weaklings inclined to put humanity before politics, or willing to pre-empt the revolution out of respect for human suffering, progressive politicians at America’s moment of “fundamental transformation” seem to want to look callous and inhuman, even as they claim to represent the interests of the suffering and downtrodden.

Rahm Emanuel’s infamous cat-out-of-the-bag moment – “never let a crisis go to waste” – has quickly evolved from an awkward instance of progressive self-revelation into the proud mantra of the American left. Leftists are no longer even ashamed at the old accusation of “politicizing a tragedy.” Tragedy – the bigger, the better – is the grease in their wheels. Politicizing hardship has always been their stock in trade, and now, through years of practice, they have trained to the public to regard this extreme cynicism as the norm, so that the accusation no longer carries any meaning.


03 Oct 2017

Tweet of the Day

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04 Apr 2017

The Japanese: Nuked Just Right

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30 Mar 2017

Gun Free Zone

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Brazilian 3:18 video mocking liberal thinking.

30 Nov 2016

The Non-Shootings at Ohio State

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19 Sep 2016

Welcome to Wisconsin

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17 Jun 2016

Arguing Gun Control With Liberals



16 Jun 2016

Regulating From the Uninformed Position



Ken White explains why people knowledgeable about firearms have a serious problem with regulatory scheme proposed by people who nothing about guns.

It’s hard to grasp the reaction of someone who understands gun terminology to someone who doesn’t. So imagine we’re going through one of our periodic moral panics over dogs and I’m trying to persuade you that there should be restrictions on, say, Rottweilers.

    Me: I don’t want to take away dog owners’ rights. But we need to do something about Rottweilers.
    You: So what do you propose?
    Me: I just think that there should be some sort of training or restrictions on owning an attack dog.
    You: Wait. What’s an “attack dog?”
    Me: You know what I mean. Like military dogs.
    You: Huh? Rottweilers aren’t military dogs. In fact “military dogs” isn’t a thing. You mean like German Shepherds?
    Me: Don’t be ridiculous. Nobody’s trying to take away your German Shepherds. But civilians shouldn’t own fighting dogs.
    You: I have no idea what dogs you’re talking about now.
    Me: You’re being both picky and obtuse. You know I mean hounds.
    You: What the fuck.
    Me: OK, maybe not actually ::air quotes:: hounds ::air quotes::. Maybe I have the terminology wrong. I’m not obsessed with vicious dogs like you. But we can identify kinds of dogs that civilians just don’t need to own.
    You: Can we?

Because I’m just talking out of my ass, the impression I convey is that I want to ban some arbitrary, uninformed category of dogs that I can’t articulate. Are you comfortable that my rule is going to be drawn in a principled, informed, narrow way?

So. If you’d like to persuade people to accept some sort of restrictions on guns, consider educating yourself so you understand the terminology that you’re using. And if you’re reacting to someone suggesting gun restrictions, and they seem to suggest something nonsensical, consider a polite question of clarification about terminology.

15 Jun 2016

Trump Just Bailed on the Second Amendment

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Trump just joined Chuck Schumer and Diane Feinstein in coming out for no-due-process, at-will suspension by unelected federal officials of a constitutional right.

Why bother trying to pass any new Gun Control Law, when one federal agency or another can simply add anyone (or everyone) to a list of people now instantly, abracadabra! without constitutional rights?

What Constitution? What Rule of Law? Trump would say. We have to be smart.

This is where you wind up when you choose a pragmatist unconstrained by principles or ideas as your leader. Of course, we already had lots of professional leaders of the same kind already. They are called liberals and democrats. Donald Trump is the same thing, just appearing currently in a conservative clown suit and pretending to be a brave opponent of Political Correctness. The real Trump is completely indifferent to political philosophy, principles, theory, and ideas. The real Trump is a sociopathic narcissist driven to personal aggrandizement at any cost. He’s exactly the same kind of creature as Hillary Clinton or John Kerry, just more vulgar and with a more limited vocabulary.

So he’s backtracked on Gun Control. Put him in office (if you can, which many of us doubt) and watch him backtrack on everything else, including those promised conservative Supreme Court appointments which you keep arguing justify supporting this orange-faced mountebank with a woodchuck on his head for president. Wake up, Trumpkins!

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