Barack Obama, Jon Stewart, Sandy Hook, and "Common Sense" Gun Control

The impulse to control weapons more is understandable, even if it's misplaced.

Click above to watch Reason TV's "5 Facts about Guns, Schools, and Violence," originally released on January 10, 2013.

Last Monday's episode of The Daily Show (watch it here), Jon Stewart opened with a long, heartfelt, and sardonically witty segment that showcased the stupidity of some well-known gun-rights advocates. In many ways, that segment perfectly captures the desire for what President Obama has called "common-sense" gun control laws that will prevent horrific tragedies like December's Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

It's worth thinking about where Stewart is coming from, and not simply because he hosts a TV show that has supposedly replaced network news as the main source of information and analysis for most of America. Stewart makes a lot of good points, or at least points worth thinking about. In the end, though, he comes up well short of proposing meaningful reforms. In that failure, too, he's capturing the anti-gun zeitgeist.

In The Daily Show bit, the NRA's Wayne LaPierre was shown namechecking 20-year-old movies such as Natural Born Killers and equally ancient video games such as Mortal Kombat as the proximate cause for the Sandy Hook school shooting. LaPierre even called for a national database of lunatics, though the loud-mouthed hysteric declined the chance to be the first entry.

"Technology has democratized carnage," said a hoarse Stewart (he was getting over a cold), who was put out by Second Amendment defenders who point out the fact that the amendment is part of the Bill of Rights. Riffing on the flesh-shredding capabilities of current weapons, Stewart said, "When that constitution was written, people had muskets."

Showing a clip reel of characters ranging from homeless-man impersonator and former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura to Fox News' amiable Steve Doocy saying not particularly smart things about guns and history, Stewart acknowledged that mass shootings are complex phenomena that almost surely have more than a single or simple cause. Then he asked,

Why is it that there's no other issue in this country with as dire public safety consequences as this that we are unable to take even the most basic steps toward putting together a complex plan of action just to slow this epidemic spread?

Cue more nutjobs and numbskulls - such as conspiracy-monger Alex Jones - talking about how guns are the last line of defense against tyranny. Stewart concluded that folks who worry about the government taking their guns are the reason we can't talk about common-sense measures to reduce the likelihood of another Sandy Hook shooting. Why not shrink magazine capacities, asked Stewart. Or keep assault weapons only at shooting ranges? We can't even discuss such ideas, he averred, because of freakazoids such as Jones and Ventura and Steve Doocy (!) wetting their pants about the second coming of Stalin or Pol Pot.

Their paranoid fear of a possible dystopic future prevents us from addressing our actual dystopic presence. We can't even begin to address 30,000 gun deaths that are actually in reality happening in this country every year because a few of us must remain vigilant against the rise of imaginary Hitler.

That 30,000 number stood out to me because it seemed very high. According to the FBI, in 2011, there was a total of 8,583 firearm homicides in the U.S. That may well be 8,583 gun murders too many, but it's nowhere near 30,000 (the total number of murders by all methods came to 12,664). The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) uses a different method and found about 11,000 gun-related murders in 2011 and the total number of homicides to be around 16,000 (see table 2). So How did Stewart get to 30,000? By adding the number of gun-related suicides to the number of homicides. When you add those figures in, you get up toward the 30,000 figure.

As with the total number of homicides in a given year, it's easy (and arguably right) to say that any number of suicides is too high. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death among people 10 years and older, according to the CDC, and guns are involved in a majority of male suicides and a smaller percentage of female suicides. More than is commonly thought, suicide is an impulsive act, not the product of long-term, rational deliberation (though it is that sometimes, and is certainly as basic a right as there could possibly be). The impulsivity of many, maybe even most, suicides is an argument for keeping guns away from people. It's harder to kill yourself on the spur of the moment, I assume, with a rope than with a pistol.

But overall trends in suicide are pretty flat over the past 20 years. A basically flat trend (with some upticks depending on the age group) isn't as good as the falling declines in violent crime and gun-related homicide, but it suggests that there's no cause for urgent action. More to the point, very few people seem to be calling for gun control as a way to stem suicide. In fact, Stewart didn't even mention that the majority of gun deaths in his 30,000 number are actually self-inflicted. To do so would undermine his case that the reason to ban guns - or at least limit who can legally possess them - is to prevent school shootings and a more broadly invoked "epidemic" of gun-related violence that shows up everywhere except crime data.

So, should we be pursuing new, "common-sense" restrictions on the buying, selling, owning, and operating of guns? I am not a gun person - I've gone shooting exactly twice in my life and didn't enjoy either experience - and I find many of the arguments of gun-rights advocates unconvincing or uninteresting. The notion that a rag-tag band of regular folks armed with semi-automatic weapons and the odd shotgun are a serious hedge against tyranny strikes me as a stretch (and I even saw the remake of Red Dawn!). Hitler and the Nazis didn't take away everyone's guns, as is commonly argued. They expanded gun rights for many groups (though not the Jews). When the whole mutha starts to come down, if the choice is between Jesse Ventura or Janet Napolitano, I'm not sure where to turn. 

And yet the idea of armed self-defense is a totally different matter and I also realize that many people live out in the sticks or even in urban neighborhoods where the police aren't a realistic option when trouble comes a-calling. I know people for whom owning a shotgun is no different than owning a tennis racket and hunting is a family affair more revered than holiday dinners. I don't see any reason why law-abiding people should have to explain to anyone why they want a semi-automatic gun or a magazine that holds 10 bullets instead of seven. 

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  • Dr. Frankenstein||

    When that constitution was written, people had muskets."
    and the printing presses were inked by hand. There was no television or internet which are far more powerful ways of reaching more people. I know I know words don't kill but the basic principle still remains.

  • Brendan||

    The people who dredges up this canard are surprisingly oblivious to the fact that wouldn't have careers if the 1st wasn't interpreted in the exact opposite way they would have the 2nd amendment interpreted.

  • ||

    People who make this argument can and should be immediately ignored. They're too stupid and mendacious to even bother with.

  • JW||

    While true, it's always good to ask them if they are making their online statement using a Stanhope printing press.

    No? Then STFU. Only your unamplified voice and printing technology available in 1789 are permissible forms of expression.

  • GILMORE||

    And you have to wear a powedered wig, breeches & stockings, and carry a cane. FOUNDERS INTENT!

  • ant1sthenes||

    People had fucking rifles ("minuteman rifle" being a thing), so they're factually wrong to begin with. They also had cannons.

  • Drake||

    And privately owned warships licensed to commit piracy.

  • fish||

    I'm so going to get me one of those! Arrrgh matey!

  • ant1sthenes||

    You would be the one to point this out.

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    I want a cannon in my front yard now.

  • ||

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    People also took those weapons, and defeated the most powerful military in the world. The deliberate historical ignorance is astounding.

  • ||

    People had fucking rifles ("minuteman rifle" being a thing), so they're factually wrong to begin with

    I would guess that most people making the "muskets" argument couldn't tell you the difference between a musket and a rifle (hint: the "rifling" grooves to make the bullets more accurate).

  • Hopfiend||

    Actually three classes:

    Muskets
    Rifles
    Rifled muskets

    just to make it more intersting

  • Caleb Turberville||

    It's amazing how safe we all are and no one seems to know about it. Right now, in fact, is the golden age of being able to walk the streets at night without getting your throat cut. I really don't know what single factor contributed the most to the decline in violent crime over the past 20 years, but whoever was most responsible probably deserves the Nobel Peace Prize.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    I really don't know what single factor contributed the most to the decline in violent crime over the past 20 years...

    Economic opportunity. Thank you capitalism. More please.

  • ||

    Let me be clear. There will be NO more evil capitalism.

  • Everclarity||

    ^ this. If only we could 1) find the first guy who accidentally invented capitalism and 2) award Nobel Prizes posthumously...

  • StackOfCoins||

    From what I gathered reading Ayn Rand, capitalism is the only economic system that best "fits" man as a living being, since it recognizes his rationality and individual nature, and rewards it. I don't think it was invented in the sense of being conceived and put into practice. It was just a description of what rational, productive people (who did not resort to thuggery) did in order to remain productive.

  • GILMORE||

    ... I really don't know what single factor contributed the most to the decline in violent crime over the past 20 years...

    .............BATMAN.............

  • ||

    So who's Bane? Obama or Biden?

  • Taggart||

    I do, and it's not what libertarians want to hear - a massive increase in incarceration rates (500% over the past 30 years), owing in large part to the War on Drugs. Violent crimes are committed by a miniority of the population. When that minority is imprisoned, it's not on the streets committing those crimes.

  • ||

    The war on drugs has decreased violence? That's news to most people.

  • MarioLanza||

    Crime rate down as the incarceration rate exceeds that of the former Soviet Union or Mao's China.

  • GW||

    "The notion that a rag-tag band of regular folks armed with semi-automatic weapons and the odd shotgun are a serious hedge against tyranny strikes me as a stretch"

    Yeah, well those insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan have done a number on quite a few of our troops with small arms and homemade bombs.

  • Drake||

    They seem to be holding their own in Syria too. Obviously they up gunned when the opportunity presents itself.

  • Brutus||

    In the scheme of things, you don't need a tank or artillery piece to fight the military. You just need a weapon of sufficient power to be able to commandeer things like that.

  • Jordan||

    And that's fighting against an army that's united. How many soldiers would refuse to fight or would actively aid an American insurgency if it ever came to that? How many state governments would do so?

  • Drake||

    Most of the combat arms soldiers and Marines.

  • RG||

    Thats always been my point to the jokers who say that private weapons won't do a thing to stop the military.

  • JW||

    The thing is, is that I don't even care if my hypothetical weapon will stop an army or not.

    I'm going to make it as painful as possible for them before I'm killed or captured. If I can take 2 or 3 of them with me, so much the better. Repeat that enough times and they'll soon declare a victory and pull out.

  • AZ||

    People making the argument that "the army would kill you" tend to be selfish and nihilistic enough that they could never imagine a losing fight still being worth it as a matter of principle.

  • SIV||

    "Those stupid Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto. They should have just gone to work for Oscar Schindler!"

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    ^THIS IS WHAT GHANDI BELIEVED^

  • Drake||

    I wonder if he would have still believed it if victorious Imperial Japanese and Nazi armies had taken over India after WWII.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    No, it isn't. Ghandi recognized that his actions were operating on the minds of the (somewhat civilized, as compared to their government) British people. Against a totalitarian state, he admitted that he would've had to resort to violence.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    People that make that argument are little pussies who have no moral compass.

    It's the same type of person who wouldn't bum rush an idiot who's holding a plane hostage with a box cutter.

  • Brutus||

    Yeah, Gandhi wouldn't have had such an easy time with Tojo as he did with Chuchill and Attlee.

  • Hopfiend||

    The proper authorities, with the sanction to legally use violence will be here any moment and I can get up and go to the bathroom and change my undergarments.

  • Brendan||

    Indeed.

    If you ever engage them in longer conversations, you find that A LOT of them believe that living as long as possible is a virtue, and something everyone should do whether they want or not. This is what I think motivates the bans on smoking, food portions, large sodas, etc.. We should all WANT to live for as long as possible.

    I'm sure somewhere in that train of thought is the realization that people who live longer tend to work long and pay taxes longer. That might be a feature instead of just a secondary effect.

    They simply cannot wrap their head around the idea of dying for something, anything. They seem really surprised and say things like "If someone did that, they would end up dead" as if it's something the other person just happened to overlook and needed to so that they would avoid doing it.

    That, and they are really wrapped up in what other people will think of them. "If someone did that, then everyone else would think they were the bad guy", or "you'd be just as bad as they are".

    It doesn't happen much anymore and luckily I wasn't the only one making the points about revolution or active resistance, but did it let me know that there are certain people I would never want on a long hike, walk, drive or anywhere else danger might be above average. It also let me know who to avoid if bad things every did begin to happen.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    There's a big difference between fighting when you personally have no chance of survival, and fighting where you have no chance of success.

    The Flight 93 passengers had no real chance of survival, but they did have a chance at success -- which was keeping the terrorists from flying the plane into another building. Very different from a revolt against a modern military, where you have no chance of success.

  • ||

    Because if you can't succeed you should just roll over and take it?

  • Brett L||

    One good raid on a decent sized farm supply store would give insurgents all the boom they need.

  • Brendan||

    Follow with a quick trip to any racing supply store for some nitro methane and you're in business.

  • dehaul||

    See also, The American Revolution

  • jonnydoe||

    I think Nick Gillespie needs to get out more. He often seems quite uninformed on issues.

  • Brendan||

    Hitler and the Nazis didn't take away everyone's guns, as is commonly argued. They expanded gun rights for many groups (though not the Jews).

    Coincidentally, the category 'Jews' is at the very tip top of the list of people massacred by the Nazis in Germany and several other countries that they occupied.

    So no, the Germans didn't take away everyone's guns, they just made sure the Jews were disarmed.

  • SIV||

    Buthe Nazis "expanded gun rights"!. Just like Scalia and Thomas and hysterical Wayne LaPierre. Coincidence?

  • BarryD||

    As the son of a Holocaust survivor, I have to say that Jonathan Leibowitz is one vile, disgusting fuck.

  • Brutus||

    Even today, the Kapo exist.

  • Hopfiend||

    Using your clan as a human shield. Awesome.

  • Blake||

    The worst atrocities in history only happen to those that are unable to defend themselves. Slaves were not allowed to have guns or weapons because it would make them impossible to manage. Once armed they could no longer be intimated, beat into submission, and dragged behind a pickup truck because they were now able to fight back and have the power to speak out. The civil rights movement would not have happened without more gun rights.

    Populations are only abused when they are unarmed and docile. Those that are controlling guns are really painting targets on those that are most vulnerable. They choose the school because it's easy and gun control advocates made it that why by ensuring that they will have no barrier between them and slaughtering children. The problem isn't that there are actually no guns at the school the problem is that they go out of their way to advertise it to be so.

  • Sevo||

    Blake| 1.15.13 @ 1:58PM |#
    "The worst atrocities in history only happen to those that are unable to defend themselves. Slaves were not allowed to have guns or weapons because it would make them impossible to manage"

    Governments exist as a result of the population's granting of monopoly on force to that government.
    Anyone who claims slavery is a result of 'the market' is, at best, an ignoramus. More likely a lefty propagandist.

  • AgrarianBarbarian||

    That line kind of annoyed me too, for the same reason.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    In the end, the Bill of Rights and the liberty it helps preserve will be no match for the earnest feelings of progressives like Jon Stewart.

  • John||

    Can we please never again pretend that Jon Stewart is anything but a card carrying member of the fascist left? The love that fucking clown gets from people who should no better is appalling.

  • Brendan||

    If he gets called on his BS, he'll just claim he's a comedian and shouldn't be taken seriously, which is why I stopped watching his show years ago

  • PapayaSF||

    I stopped in 2004, when it started feeling like the Daily Show was the Humor Department of the Democratic National Committee.

  • Brendan||

    I kind of liked some segments of his show, and Bill Maher during the Bush era, but to me both became intolerable after Obama was elected.

    Any pretense of balance or evenhanded discussion with a lot of these shows was tossed out with the Bush presidency.

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    +this.

    I liked him as long as Team Red held the white house. I stopped when it was apparent that he'd never hold the anointed one to the same standard.

  • Hopfiend||

    Silly slobbering Obama fluffer girls is all Maher and Stewart are. Colbert's bit on the talking vagina hand puppets was a thing of beauty though.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    He's actually used this argument so much it's frustrating. Even Maher is more willing to take criticism as well as he can give it than Stewart does, and that's saying something.

  • BarryD||

    Hallmark of a weak, passive-aggressive person.

    "I was just kidding!"

  • SIV||

    Nick makes it clear he believes Stewart "makes good points" while every media spokesperson he cites arguing for gun rights ia a "hysteric, nutjob or numbskull".

    Sounds like he is staking out ideological territory to the left of Cato and Megan McArdle.

  • ||

    He goes on to illustrate why when he outs himself as an anit-gun urban pussy.

  • ||

    Or alternatively, an ANTI-gun urban pussy...

  • dehaul||

    I honestly think he is just a really good entrepreneur and likes flying private jets by saying things that people like to hear.

  • TayF3rd||

    Sometimes I wonder if Jon Stewart and Rachel Maddow are secretly having a straw man building competition with each other...

  • ||

    For fun, try telling a liberal Jew that of all people on Earth, Jews should be the biggest gun nuts. Try it, it's a blast.

  • John||

    Right up there with telling a liberal gay or black person the same thing.

  • ||

    I know a decent number of black dudes who are into guns, but only two Jews who are. But none of them would count as liberal, so I guess the lesson is that I pick my associates well.

  • John||

    Black people get it a lot better. I guess they still at least have the cultural memory of Jim Crow.

  • newshutz||

    not Jim Crow on this one, KKK and lynching

  • Drake||

    I'm more of a passive-aggressive asshole. I'll start talking up Woodrow Wilson.

  • geekster||

    Maybe the black people that that media holds up as the Spokesmen For All Blacks in major metro areas, but most blacks I know (some of my best friends are black, including my parents)get guns. Also keep in mind the wholesale disenfranchisement (thanks, War on Drugs!)of big chunks of that community means that 'urban' + legal gun ownership is rare (and the first rule of Illegal Gun Club is don't talk about Illegal Gun Club - unless of course you rap about it) and in professional circles 'black man with a gun' doesn't equal 'firearm enthusiast' so much as 'someone call the cops'.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Well, as Colion Noir says, "if you carry a gun, you won't be liked."

  • geekster||

    Actually, I think people worth a damn like you just fine. Of course this is a dramatically decreasing percentage of the population.

  • ||

    Did you just drop a hard J on me, dude?!?

  • Zeb||

    "Hard J"? Where do people get the idea that "Jew" is an inappropriate word to use when referring to a Jew? It's not a dirty word when used as a noun. Now when used as an adjective (e.g. "Jew lawyer"), that's another matter.

  • ||

    It's an Always Sunny quote, dude. Learn your comedy references.

  • Zeb||

    Sorry, I'm a little behind on that show. I'm working on it.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Here are some other "Jews" that will supplement your comedy education.

  • Brendan||

    I always piss them off when I explain that the Nazis/SS were the police/army of Germany.

    Same with every army they bitch about in Africa, the Middle East, etc.

    Those guys in various African countries with machetes chopping everyone to pieces? They're the army of that country, should they be the only ones to have guns?

  • IceTrey||

    The Jews are gun nuts, in Israel.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Jews should be the biggest gun nuts.

    They are. It's just that the Jewish gun nuts tend to call themselves "Israeli".

  • Restoras||

    I've done that. It's awesome.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Let's say there's 30,000 gun-related deaths every year. Anyone want to take a guess at the percentage of those that are directly linked to the drug war?

  • PapayaSF||

    You can also give pause to people by pointing out that most murder victims are criminals murdered by other criminals.

  • Brutus||

    Didn't I just read that something along the lines of 90% of murder victims have a criminal record?

  • PapayaSF||

    Not sure about that figure, and it depends on the jurisdiction, but I did some Googling a few weeks ago and lowest number I found was 60%.

  • Tejicano||

    About 20 years ago - when gun violence in the US was much worse than now - I read about a study done in NYC which found that over 75% of gun-murder victims had at least 5 felony convictions. It made guns sound like a crime solution more than a problem.

  • geekster||

    How many of those people are 'criminals' because of the drug war? You create a lucrative, extra legal market/economy that basically has zero form of dispute resolution other than violence, and are shocked, SHOCKED! that you get tons of violence, concentrated in the areas where that market operates.

  • Sevo||

    geekster| 1.15.13 @ 3:27PM |#
    "How many of those people are 'criminals' because of the drug war?"

    Entirely too many. White kids get 'diversion'; black and brown kids get 'education' (in prison).
    And that fucking asshole Obama thinks it's just fine for him to smoke, but those others? Why, throw 'em in the clink!

  • ||

    Let's say there's 30,000 gun-related deaths every year. Anyone want to take a guess at the percentage of those that are directly linked to the drug war?

    I've read that like half of all gun deaths are suicides, and as far as I'm concerned, you can' toss those right out the window when discussing the issue of gun violence in the US.

  • Brendan||

    More so when you consider that 'gun free' countries like Japan and Australia have equal or greater suicide rates.

  • ||

    More so when you consider that 'gun free' countries like Japan and Australia have equal or greater suicide rates.

    Exactly. Japan in particular, which is completely gun-free, has the 6th highest suicide rate in the world.

    (South Korea is No. 1)

  • Hopfiend||

    "South Korea is No. 1"

    Probably related to Gangnam Style

  • ||

    Hangman style? Too soon?

  • ||

    Let's say there's 30,000 gun-related deaths every year. Anyone want to take a guess at the percentage of those that are directly linked to the drug war?

    Outstanding question.

    Reliable statistics on the number of drug-related murders in the United States are hard to come by. A 1994 Department of Justice report suggested that between a third and a half of U.S. homicides were drug-related, while a recent Center for Disease Control study found that the rate varied between 5% and 25% (a 2002 Bureau of Justice report splits the difference). Part of this variance is that "drug-related" murders are hard to define. There are murders committed by people on drugs, murders committed by addicts to get money for drugs, turf-war murders by drug suppliers, and murders committed by gangs whose principal source of income is drug sales.

    Link

  • PapayaSF||

    I haven't done it, but I am tempted to troll my anti-gun Facebook friends with a Swiftian proposal. Isn't the number of people murdered by guns less than the number who die of AIDS? Why don't we have a nationwide registry of people with HIV so that anyone can find out if a potential sex partner has HIV? I hear lots of talk about guns as a public health issue, so why aren't people with HIV treated like carriers of a fatal contagious disease? Are you sure the right to secretly have a contagious disease is more protected by the Constitution than the right to own a gun?

  • John||

    And if it is a good idea to search every house for guns, why isn't everyone forced to take an HIV test and register?

    It is a shame that guns are not a popular hobby with gay people or some other culturally loved group instead of hated middle class white people. If they were, we would have no gun restrictions and anyone arguing for such would immediately be shouted down as a bigot.

  • DaveAnthony||

    You know, it's funny, but I feel people hate me more for being a libertarian than they do for me being gay.

    Maybe it's because I live in a liberal town...

  • Brett L||

    They're more comfortable with gay. Libertarians don't conform to their internal models of people and make them think.

  • PapayaSF||

    Exactly. "Huh. You seem to be smart and informed and to not want the poor to die in the gutters, and yet you're not a leftist...? I don't get it."

  • Brutus||

    That's because they treasure diversity, Dave. And, as we all know, diversity means black leftists, white leftist, Asian leftists, gay leftists, female lefists....

  • lap83||

    They would probably accuse you of being homophobic since the HIV database would "unfairly" target gay people since they are more likely to have the disease.

    Rights for those we like. Regulations for those we don't. That sums up progressivism.

  • ||

    Rights Privileges for those we like. Regulations for those we don't. That sums up progressivism.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    They would probably accuse you of being homophobic since the HIV database would "unfairly" target gay people since they are more likely to have the disease.

    And yet they are the firs to point out that the "gun nuts" are predominantly white males. That means that gun restrictions and registrations would unfairly affect the white male population.

  • nicole||

    Check your privilege, dude.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    *barf*

  • R C Dean||

    I've checked my privilege, and its just fine, thanks for asking.

  • fish||

    I sense more "unfriending" coming.

  • Brendan||

    I might do that to cull some of my whiny anti-gun friends who feel it necessary to shower their terrible logic on me, then walk away with "Well, I don't want to argue about it anymore. but we gotta do something."

    The ones who are pro-gun or at least logical will understand the point I'm making.

    I'm not sure if that means I'm trying to create my own facebook echo chamber, or spare myself the irritation of dealing their crap all the time.

  • JW||

    I think you will be saddened at how many of them think that is a FANTASTIC idea.

    The right to a risk-free life is right there in the Constitution.

  • Brendan||

    So it might work both ways. Maybe unfriend or segregate the ones who express agreement with it too.

    If I end up alone with some family members, 3 people, and one or two cats, I only have myself to blame.

  • ||

    I had three people unfriend me today.

    And I don't even use teh facethingy.

  • Brutus||

    You too?!

  • AlexInCT||

    Sites like facethinggy is how the NSA collects their social information on peoplez! Avoid that crap at all costs.

  • Unusual Dave||

    You inspire me, I am now mulling over doing that myself.

  • Zeb||

    I have been completely avoiding facebook since a month or so before the election. Why do people feel a need to express their most idiotic political opinions on there?

  • JD the elder||

    According to Wikipedia, in 2008 there were about 14,000 murders in America. The number of AIDS-related deaths was over 20,000. Motor vehicle fatalities were over 37,000.

    So anyone who tells you that guns are the most pressing "public health" issue in America is either whoppingly misinformed, or just plain full of shit.

  • geekster||

    Per wikipedia, there's about 260 million (rounding up) passenger vehicles in the US, about 300 million guns. 32k automobile deaths in 2011, 14K firearm murders. So, one death per every 8k vehicles on the road, one per every 21K guns. If cars are a perfectly acceptable risk, why aren't guns?

    Say it with me. 'Because nobody NEEDS a gun!' And that's the shit they're full of. Started with a conclusion and worked backwards.

  • Brendan||

    Link

    nationally estimated 1,560 children died from abuse and neglect in 2010.

    Includes people up to 21 in those numbers, but 92% are under 12 years old.

    11.1% are 4-7, so 173 OR to explain it in terms they might understand, 8.5 Sandy Hooks a year

    79.4% are under 4, 1238 or about 62 Sandy Hooks a year

    Quoted:
    "In 2010, more than two-fifths of fatalities (40.8 percent) were
    caused by multiple forms of maltreatment. Neglect alone
    accounted for 32.6 percent, and physical abuse alone accounted
    for 22.9 percent. Medical neglect accounted for 1.5 percent of
    fatalities.

    No matter how the fatal abuse occurs, one fact of great concern
    is that the perpetrators are, by definition, individuals responsible
    for the care and supervision of their victims. In 2010, parents,
    acting alone or with another person, were responsible for 79.2
    percent of child abuse or neglect fatalities. Almost 30 percent
    (29.2 percent) were perpetrated by the mother acting alone.
    Child fatalities with unknown perpetrator relationship data
    accounted for 8.3 percent of the total."
    ==
    The gun control crowd will excuse me when I call them opportunistic concern trolls who care nothing about children unless those children are killed with a firearm.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I hear lots of talk about guns as a public health issue, so why aren't people with HIV treated like carriers of a fatal contagious disease?

    They are, by the INS.

  • sonofloud||

    The NRA claims to need guns to protect our freedoms yet we have been living under NDAA and FISA for years. NRA = Epic Fail

  • John||

    The NRA is a single issue organization. They protect your right to keep and bear arms. It is not their problem to protect your other rights anymore than it is the anti defamation league's job to protect your gun rights.

    FAIL.

  • Drake||

    The ACLU, on the other hand...

  • Unusual Dave||

    Oh, snap.

  • sonofloud||

    When did that issue become putting armed thugs in every child's classroom?

  • Zeb||

    When they thought they had to say something. They should have just said that the second amendment says that people can own guns, including so called "assault weapons" (whatever that means) and no amount of kids getting murdered will change that.

  • ||

    Agree. I was extremely pissed when WLP started bagging on Hollywood, video games and the mentally ill to deflect the blame away from guns.

    None of the above will solve the problem and will only diminish liberty.

    The correct answer is, "While tragic, this is the price you pay for living in a free country. Get over it."

  • Killazontherun||

    The price you pay to live anywhere on planet Earth. Russia has strict gun control but they can't guarantee you that you wont be killed in a Chechen terrorist bombing and gun spray, or much less a GRU false flag event.

  • sonofloud||

    So then the "single issue" NRA isn't single issue at all.

  • Zeb||

    What's your point?

  • sonofloud||

    If you read the first reply to my comment it is from John who claims the NRA is a "single issue" organization.

  • SIV||

    The NRA won't spend one thin dime on anything not related to gun rights, safety and education.

  • sonofloud||

    lol

  • Restoras||

    This is T o n y. Ignore it - it's just another sock.

  • Restoras||

    John, this is T o n y. Don't you recognize its patently obvious comment seeking MO?

    I beg of you, ignore it.

  • SIV||

    Things cosmotarians say:

    Stewart makes a lot of good points, or at least points worth thinking about.


    So, should we be pursuing new, "common-sense" restrictions on the buying, selling, owning, and operating of guns? I am not a gun person - I've gone shooting exactly twice in my life and didn't enjoy either experience - and I find many of the arguments of gun-rights advocates unconvincing or uninteresting.

    Nazi gun rights expansion:
    On November 11, 1938, the Minister of the Interior, Wilhelm Frick, passed Regulations Against Jews' Possession of Weapons. This regulation effectively deprived all Jews of the right to possess firearms or other weapons

  • John||

    That was exactly two days after Krystalnacht. After Krystalnacht, Jews finally realized their lives were in danger and the government was going to do nothing to stop the mobs. And right on schedule they were outlawed from owning weapons.

  • ||

    Not only that, but literally everything in Nazi society was subordinate to the Party, so if you wanted to own a gun you likely had to join the local National Socialist Shooting Club or you'd be harassed by the local Gestapo.

  • ||

    "Don't you know old chap I was head of Gestapo for ten years. Five years! No, no, nein, I was not head of Gestapo at all...I make joke."

  • SugarFree||

    "Mein Führer! I can walk!"

  • BakedPenguin||

    "Yah, mein fuhr... I mean, mine old dickey chum."

  • ||

    I've gone shooting exactly twice in my life and didn't enjoy either experience

    This makes no sense. Are you a vegetarian or something, Nick?

  • ||

    No, he just went with his mom.

    and I even saw the remake of Red Dawn!

    So did I, Nick. It's nothing to be proud of.

  • ||

    WOLVERINES!

  • Brendan||

    I think he's eyeing a spot at the Huffington Post.

    By giving him a hard time about, we are kind of doing that whole libertarian purity/no true scotsman thing so many people complain about.

  • ||

    He's not a scotsman, he's a filthy Mick or something.

  • Zeb||

    It's nothing to do with libertarian purity. It's just baffling that anyone could fail to enjoy shooting guns.

  • Radioactive||

    almost as much fun as explosives...

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Why is it that there's no other issue in this country with as dire public safety consequences as this that we are unable to take even the most basic steps toward putting together a complex plan of action just to slow this epidemic spread?"

    I guess it's hard for John Stewart to get his head around the fact that lots of Americans still care about their freedom.

  • ||

    The irony is that Stewart calling gun violence an epidemic is just as much senseless hysteria as the people he makes fun of.

  • ||

    For a supposed comedian, Stewart's grasp of irony is amazingly tenuous. HOW IRONIC.

  • Ken Shultz||

    If Stewart wants an epidemic?

    Some 80,000 women were raped in 2008. How's that for an epidemic?

    And stigmatizing gun owners--like he's trying to do with this bit--isn't the solution to that "epidemic" at all.

    I guess he rationalizes all those thousands of defenseless women being raped every year as an acceptable price for gun control?

    Notice too, they say they're just trying to go after "assault weapons", etc., but they don't see the guns as the real problem either. They're trying to stigmatize gun ownership. They hate gun owners. They're going after the gun owners in everything they say. They don't want to place restrictions on our guns. They want to place restrictions on us.

  • ||

    I propose a petition to ban the word "epidemic."

  • ||

    Overuse of the word epidemic is kind of becoming an epidemic

  • Brendan||

    "basic steps toward putting together a complex plan of action just to slow this epidemic spread"

    Someone just used up all of his hyperbole credits.

    This is close to the whole "I'll create a GUI in Visual Basic, track his IP" kind of nonsense.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "I also realize that many people live out in the sticks or even in urban neighborhoods where the police aren't a realistic option when trouble comes a-calling."

    I keep seeing incidents listed when people used guns to protect themselves, but really we should be listing all the incidents when people who didn't have a gun were victimized, too.

    How many sexual assaults never would have happened if only the victims had been armed and "regulated"? It's hard for some people to believe that the government isn't the solution to some creep breaking in through a woman's window, but it isn't.

  • sarcasmic||

    A liberal would rather that woman die with a phone in her hand than live with a gun in her hand.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I think they're not really concentrating on the situation or the consequences.

    They're just lashing out at people they see as conservatives. For a lot of them, it isn't really about Sandy Hook or gun policy--it's about lashing out at people they perceive as conservatives.

    It's the same thing that drives their thinking on taxes and spending and just about every other issue. That's the way it is in California--a critical mass of them don't care about the issue or the consequences; they just care about lashing out at conservatives.

  • sarcasmic||

    If she has a gun for protection then she's probably a conservative. For that she must die.

  • Ken Shultz||

    And it must be painful for them to shriek about how women should be independent and take care of themselves out of one side of their mouths--while muttering about how women shouldn't be free to protect themselves as they see fit out of the other.

  • nicole||

    And it must be painful for them to shriek about how women should be independent and take care of themselves

    It would probably be more painful if they actually wanted women to take care of themselves. Sadly, if they think the state should be providing me BC pills, they probably don't think it's at all strange to think the state should also be providing me violent-crime protection.

  • Ken Shultz||

    This really should be an excellent opportunity to market libertarianism to women.

    And we really should take advantage of such opportunities.

  • SIV||

    Nick Gillespie seems to be struggling too.

  • c5c5||

    Agreed. This was not one of his best. It seemed he was inconsistent.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    I guess it's hard for John Stewart to get his head around the fact that lots of Americans still care about their freedom.

    Or that the slowing of this "epidemic spread" has been happening for 20 years.

  • Troglodyte Rex||

    I guess it's hard for John Stewart to get his head around the fact that lots of Americans still care about their freedom.

    Stewart doesn't give a damn about freedom save for his precious freedom of speech. He cares about ratings as evidenced by his pandering to the young, hip, sanctimonious left-leaners.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Stewart doesn't give a damn about freedom save for his precious freedom of speech.

    And not even that, so much.

  • Proprietist||

    I still wonder why Piers Morgan and Jon Stewart haven't had the Korean shopowners who defended their lives and their stores with AR-15s in the LA Riots on their shows. Of course, they can't let real-world examples of legitimate self-defense uses for assault rifles stand in the way of their pompous punditry.

  • Brendan||

    semi-automatic rifles, not assault rifles.

  • GW||

    No, no.

    Sport Utility rifles....

  • Brendan||

    Many of them are gas operated. Wait until they start whining about the Co2 output or mileage on those SURs.

  • Hopfiend||

    It was obvious during the interview with Shapiro that Morgan hasn't the foggiest what "semi-automatic" means. It just gets his lacy thong in a giant wad that there are these "death machines" that can "riddle" with bullets.

  • sarcasmic||

    Then they would have to be honest, look those people in the eyes, and tell them "It would have been better if you had died with a phone in your hand instead of living with a gun in your hand."

    Since liberals are incapable of honesty, that of course will never happen.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Well, that, and they'd have to confront some unfortunate racial issues.

  • Killazontherun||

    Strange, just two years after the incident, Feinstein pushed through the ban. Almost as if the Koreans defending themselves is what offended proglodytes the most about the riots.

  • DarrenM||

    proglodytes

    Or is that progluddites? I suppose that's getting a bit too complicated, though.

  • ||

    i LOVE my job

    these thugs that beat the woman senseless are going DOWN!

    note to thugs: bragging about your exploits and how defenseless your victim was on facebook is NOT an intelligent act, but thanks for helping us out

  • sarcasmic||

    I assume that by "going DOWN" you mean some officers of the law will beat them severely while shouting "STOP RESISTING!"

  • ||

    a certain victim's brother would LOVE some beatdown (tm) time, but i am of course referring to DUE PROCESS and rule of law "going down" procedures. i haven't checked their priors yet, but hopefully they have enough to make this sentence choice and they go away for a while. encircling a girl and kicking her while she is down AND calling her the "C" word is just beyond the pale. i don't like bullies. the great thing about my job is i get to do something about them

  • sarcasmic||

    i don't like bullies. the great thing about my job is i get to do something about them

    Monopolies hate competition.

  • ||

    i realize you are still bitter and deluded about modern policing, but you were justifiably prosecuted and you should get over it and move on with your life. cops are, overwhelmingly so, good people, doing a good job for the benefit of society.

  • sarcasmic||

    Once I was walking home in a winter storm and a cop pulled up beside me. I muttered "Fuck, not again" expecting the usual. He asked me where I was going and I told him. He patted me down for weapons and asked me to get into the car. He drove me home and then drove away.

    I was dumbfounded.

    I expected the usual "where are you going, where are you coming from, give me your id I'm running you for warrants, you got lucky this time" routine.

    I was shocked. Flabbergasted. He didn't even ask my name.

    I think I had an encounter with a mythical peace officer.

    Though it wasn't too long before a few more encounters with jackboot law enforcement reaffirmed my belief that 99% of cops give the rest a bad name.

  • ||

    He patted me down for weapons and asked me to get into the car. He drove me home and then drove away . . . I think I had an encounter with a mythical peace officer.

    I wonder how mythical and magical he's have been if you'd politely declined to be patted down.

  • sarcasmic||

    I wonder how mythical and magical he's have been if you'd politely declined to be patted down.

    It happened so fast I'm not sure I could have declined. He came out of the car and asked where I was going, then didn't even ask but just gave me a quick pat down, recognized the pack of cigarettes for what they were, didn't really ask me to get into the car as much as told me he was giving me a ride home, down the street, out of the car, and he was gone. The entire encounter might have taken three minutes.

    I mean, the guy was driving around not looking for lawbreakers to punish, but for people to help!

    I've never seen a cop do that before and doubt I will ever see it again.

  • Restoras||

    Dude, do you have any more of that smack you were on? I want me some o'dat.

  • Restoras||

    Though it wasn't too long before a few more encounters with jackboot law enforcement reaffirmed my belief that 99% of cops give the rest a bad name

    My BiL is a sgt in a large metropolitan police force. He has told me straight more than once 1)90% of the people he works with are complete dirtbags, and 2) never trust the motives of cops that show up at your door.

  • sarcasmic||

    1)90% of the people he works with are complete dirtbags, and 2) never trust the motives of cops that show up at your door.

    ftfy

  • LTC(ret) John||

    "cops are, overwhelmingly so, good people, doing a good job for the benefit of society."

    Objection. Assuming facts not in evidence. They are no better than any collection of people in this country - and the job does attract more than its share of people who want to have dominion over their fellows.

  • R C Dean||

    cops are, overwhelmingly so, good people, doing a good job for the benefit of society.

    Which explains why the instinctive reaction of every person in this country when they see one is anxiety.

  • Hopfiend||

    If your statement about cops were true, they wouldn't stand for the dirtbags in their midst.

  • John||

    . The notion that a rag-tag band of regular folks armed with semi-automatic weapons and the odd shotgun are a serious hedge against tyranny strikes me as a stretch (and I even saw the remake of Red Dawn!).

    Is Nick really this stupid? I have always suspected he was a liberal taking a paycheck from Reason. But I never actually believed it. But this makes me wonder. The point of an armed populace is not to take on the US army or even the police. The point is to take on the mob. The way fascist and totalitarian movements work is to use mob violence to come to power. It isn't until much later that they take over the police and military. At first, they just need the police to stand by and do nothing while their mobs of thugs go out and do the dirty work of terrorizing their political opponents. That is how you destroy a Democracy and take over, you make sure anyone who says anything against you winds up dead or in the hospital. This is very difficult to do with an armed populace.

    Is Nick too stupid or historically illiterate to understand this? I have my issues with Nick. But really this article is a new low.

  • Drake||

    That paragraph was the dumbest I've ever read from Nick.

    Nick - look up "American Revolution" on Wikipedia.

    (Spoiler alert - it was a rag-tag bunch of Colonials up against the most powerful military in the world.)

  • John||

    The other point is that an armed populace means that a budding dictator can't do shit unless he is willing to call out the Army on their own people. And that is a very difficult thing to do. Even the Nazis didn't get the Army to round up German Jews and dissidents. That is what they had secret police for. And Secret police don't fair nearly as well against an armed populace.

  • Drake||

    It's risky too. Some General or Colonel decides he likes the Constitution (or he would make a better Dictator), he might decide to march his brigade down Pennsylvania Ave, instead of rounding up gunowners in Virginia.

  • ||

    The Nazis didn't dare have the army do their dirty work because the Prussian officer corps hated them, and they knew it. That's why they had to have their SA and SS goon squads.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    Why do you think we have Dept of Homeland Security and TSA?

  • SIV||

    That paragraph was the dumbest I've ever read from Nick.

    You should read more of his "work".

  • Pro Libertate||

    First of all, I'd say an armed insurgency is a really big problem for even modern militaries. Witness pretty much ever occupation ever where there's a resistance movement.

    Second, if armed rebellion happens again in this country on a large scale, who thinks the military itself wouldn't be divided?

  • John||

    Exactly. The military would be loath to ever fire on Americans. The cops would. But the military wouldn't or if it did, there would be mutinies in the ranks. An armed populace makes creating a totalitarian state much more difficult.

  • Pro Libertate||

    One of the smart things the Founders learned from their study of the Roman Republic and its fall was to keep the politicians and the military separate. So it's a little harder for a popular general to turn his troops on our government.

  • BakedPenguin||

    One thing that really, really impresses me about the US military is their total adherence to that split, and their acceptance of civilian command, even after receiving many, many bad orders.

  • Paul.||

    even after receiving many, many bad orders.

    that's why the President is switching to Robots.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    You are hereby awarded the Golden Order of the Monocle, with bronze "s" (snark) device.

    Nicely done.

    BTW - The IL National Guard would not do a damned thing if the State tried to do anything as described above. Except maybe switch sides or disband.

  • Pro Libertate||

    We need to work on hacking them in advance.

  • DarrenM||

    that's why the President is switching to Robots.

    Shades of Terminator II.

  • John Henry||

    The cops would. But the military wouldn't...

    I think this is where a lot of the fighting would be. But I wouldn't bet on it.

  • Drake||

    Big city cops and federal alphabet agencies would be the primary bad guys in that fight.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    And the Guard has an awful lot of combat experienced troops. I'd lay money on a state National Guard Brigade Combat Team vs the sturmtruppen of the DoJ or ATF.

  • John||

    And they have big toys. the NG would slaughter any LEO

  • JimBob7||

    A good friend of mine is still in the Guard; about 3/4 of his unit have multiple combat tours.

  • SIV||

    Look at the recent troubles in the Middle East. Even dictators generally reserve there military for engaging massed opposition while they use secret police,thugs and para-militaries to take out dissenters.

    An Ar-15 is no match for an Apache helicopter but it works just fine on a sedan full of hired killers with a list of "anti-government" addresses.

  • Brendan||

    An Ar-15 works just fine on the pilot of that helicopter and may prove useful on the engines as well.

  • Drake||

    That's the thing about a civil war. I don't have to shoot the chopper out of the sky. I just take a ride down to the air strip. If it's well guarded, I wait for the pilot at his house.

  • ||

    Most likely, the pilot will be flying for your side.

    The oath is to the Constitution, not the government.

  • Brendan||

    Then he has nothing to worry about.

  • Paul.||

    Always a difficult conversation filled with what-ifs, but yeah, if the country ever collapses into an armed revolution, it won't be the populace taking on the full force of the entire US military. It never works like that. Didn't even work like that in Syria where that scenario is closer to the truth.

    It's much messier than that. There would be roving groups and factions with very labile loyalties.

    It might even very mich be a purly localized thing, where the police overstep their bounds and now you've got a civilian populace taking on the police.

    Sorry, Nick, it ain't going to be 345 million gun owners with their hunting rifles taking on a couple of million soldiers with F-15s.

    Despite the fact that that's what T o n y believes (and maybe he believes it because the military currently belongs to him, right now-- or maybe he believes that because he lives in a gated community that creates an us and...them mentality) but it'll never, ever go down like that.

  • AlmightyJB||

    " The notion that a rag-tag band of regular folks armed with semi-automatic weapons and the odd shotgun are a serious hedge against tyranny strikes me as a stretch"

    A) 250,000 MODERN weapons in the hands of civilians is one hell of a DETERENT against any government going too far. You can't exactly go out and start rounding up dissidents by the thousands without first disarming the populace.

    B) No, violent rebellion by itself is probably not enough by itself. Obviously, the modern military way outguns the populace. However, it is definitely one part, and a very important part of any resistance. You'll aslo need, outright disobedience, sabotage, infiltrations, military revolts and defections, etc. We are never powerless against tyranny. Having modern weapons to resist with makes us even less so. Yeah, that includes high-cap mags.

  • MoreFreedom||

    I agree. What is government going to do, send a platoon of troops to search and confiscate weapons in every home? The inhabitants will be moving the guns before they arrive, and move them back after they leave. And they may run into booby traps and bombs while they're at it. I sure wouldn't want to be a government official involved in confiscating weapons from my neighbors. I'd quit and join the resistance first.

  • Sosalty||

    I don't think too many BATFE enter paintball matches.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "The notion that a rag-tag band of regular folks armed with semi-automatic weapons and the odd shotgun are a serious hedge against tyranny strikes me as a stretch (and I even saw the remake of Red Dawn!)."

    A well armed populace might not be able to resist the first imposition of martial law, but we could resist martial law pretty effectively with small arms--over time.

    Think about the insurgents in places like Iraq, Afghanistan, and Chechnya. They were going up against armor, jets, and drones, too.

    Also, as the federalist papers point out, the point of having a well "regulated" milita isn't to have the same firepower as the army, exactly. The point of being "well regulated" means to have have had regular training...to already know how to use and care for a weapon.

    It's that training that's important. Everybody tries to keep weapons out of the hands of insurgents, but if the insurgents don't have a problem obtaining weapons in poor places like Africa, I don't think it would take an insurgency against an American dictatorship long to obtain effective weaponry--given that Americans are wealthier than insurgents in Africa and elsewhere.

    The training that "well-regulated" refers to, though, that doesn't come overnight. I think it helps a lot if you already know how to shoot. How different is the skill set--shooting an AR-15 rather than an M-16?

  • Restoras||

    Yeah, this is stupid. There are 80 million armed Americans (legally), even a very small portion of that will quickly overwhjelm local police and acquire heavier arms, and then go on to acquire yet heavier arms at army bases, where a large portion of the the inhabitants will be on the side of any revolution.

    As much as I revere The Jacket this line of thinking doesn't pass muster.

  • Hopfiend||

    Yea, thank goodness for all those Homeland Security grants

  • geekster||

    What I find hilarious about this oft reppeated bit of 'logic'.

    'A rag-tag band of regular folks' - The number of trigger pullers available to the state is limited. There's 3 million active duty/reserve in the military; a little less than a million Fed/state/local LEO (that's counting campus police). A lot of the 'regular folks' spend a decent amount of time/money on their tools/hobby and a large number of them have military training. According to the Dept of Veterans Affairs, there's roughly 3 million vets under 40 in the US (Excel file); there's a decent amount of tactical/military skill out in the general pop. And that's assuming (as every progressive I've ever heard, and Nick, seems to) that the police/military communities would to just roll over en masse, and become the progressive's wet dream of ACU clad hit squads, blindly following orders and putting the hillbillies in their place. AFAIK a lot of the military ARE hillbillies. I'm going to bet that a straight up fight wouldn't be as lopsided as people seem to think.

  • Sevo||

    "There's 3 million active duty/reserve in the military; a little less than a million Fed/state/local LEO (that's counting campus police)."

    Pretty sure the obvious lesson here is to REDUCE the number of gov't trigger-pullers rather than the alternative.
    The gov't(s) have too much power; reduce it every chance we can.

  • Killazontherun||

    There are a lot of former Vietnam vets in my family and the stories they will tell you about the Vietcong are both chilling and revel in the ingenuousness of the bastards in bringing about a maximum amount of destruction from the fewest resources. To think that American resistance would be any less of a threat is stupid. I have truly lost respect for NG for those ignorant remarks.

  • ||

    ^THIS^

  • JeremyR||

    Especially as there is recent proof of our army having difficultly coping with armed insurgencies.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    John, the point of an armed populace, if you'd bother to read the Federalist Papers, IS to take on the gubbmint.

  • handbanana||

    You are the first person I've ever heard use this argument. I think Nick was commenting on the common argument that 2nd amendment activists actually use: we need to protect ourselves against our government.

    I'm a bit of a "gun-nut", have many friends who are also, and I've never heard anyone make the argument that "we need to protect ourselves from pre-totalitarian mobs".

    I wouldn't call Nick "stupid" for responding to the actual argument that most people make. As per your story, maybe it would happen, maybe it wouldn't. But I wouldn't consider a "mob" that is backed by the full force of the military just a "mob". Armed rebels would still eventually have to deal with the military. So I don't really agree with your point.

  • handbanana||

    I also don't agree with the "we can take on the modern U.S. military because of what happened during the American Revolution" argument. That fight was technology-limited. During the American Revolution, a couple of guys with a bit of know-how could hand-build weapons that were mostly equivalent to what the British had. That's a completely different scenario than today, when the U.S. has the kind of weaponry that it does. I'm sorry, but that's an apples to tuna comparison.

    I might also add that many historians believe that the Americans would have easily lost that war if the British didn't make so many bone-headed mistakes during the campaign. Despite our help from the French, the Revolution was a hard-won fight.

    I do disagree with Nick on one point though. Even though we are completely out-gunned and should have no illusions about being a match for the armed forces, I'd rather have some guns than no guns. I'd rather have some chance than no chance at all. So, I agree with modern comparisons to Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria for the most part. There are still a lot of differences, but I wouldn't want to make life any easier for a tyrannical government by not being armed at all. So I do think the defense against tyranny argument still has legs.

  • UnionBuiltOhioRoads(LAOL)||

    Your argument is still very weak because as we have seen in the last decade, a "rag tag" group of rebels are clearly able to fight a modern army, and in a desert environment to boot. The taliban and Al-Qaeda are definitely not as well equipped as the typical American gun owner, and the American gun owner has a wooded, temperate environment, to their advantage.

  • nicole||

    I asked in the AM links what exactly it was that (anti-gun) people were getting so excited about with the CDC doing "gun research," and later saw an article in the Atlantic that's supposed to like, put the fear of God in us or something:

    But what the gun lobby wants is more good guys -- normal average citizens like teachers and movie theater patrons -- to have more guns. That is why it has been fighting since the mid-1990s to block any science that might show the costs of lots of good guys having lots of guns might outweigh the benefits.

    Apparently this is what gun owners should be most afraid of. Because, like, we give a shit about a cost-benefit analysis or something.

  • ||

    It's SOP for the authoritarian left: you don't have rights, you have state-granted privileges that can and ought to be suspended if it doesn't serve the collective.

    That's why they always feel so clever when they ask why you 'need' that extra gun or an AR.

  • ant1sthenes||

    That sounds familiar. Oh, hey, look at the article Nick just posted trying to disabuse us of our silly libertarian notions.

    The 1938 German Weapons Act restricted ownership of firearms to "...persons whose trustworthiness is not in question and who can show a need for a (gun) permit.

  • DarrenM||

    That's why they always feel so clever when they ask why you 'need' that extra gun or an AR.

    No one needs a gun...until they do.

  • John||

    Good to know that in the day and age of antibiotic resistant strains of TB and gonorrhea they are working on the important things.

  • Zeb||

    It is really irritating that a certain segment of the public health community has decided that anything that can be statistically correlated to rates of death is somehow properly considered a health issue. Things like owning guns or wearing seat belts are the most obvious examples. The CDC, or your doctor, should not be concerned with these things. They are not medical issues or diseases.

  • ant1sthenes||

    That's not true. I've never seen a public health crusader consider the health impacts of over-imprisonment, drone bombings, or taser abuse.

  • Hopfiend||

    makes me a tad triumphalist about being monogamous

  • R C Dean||

    block any science that might show the costs of lots of good guys having lots of guns might outweigh the benefits.

    I smell a "consensus" coming on, courtesy of the CDC.

  • ||

    When has Jon Stewart not being an insufferable left-wing a-hole? I gave up on that show in 2008 when him and Colbert became hardcore Obama cheerleaders and stopped being funny.

    You know he's bad when he made you feel sympathetic to John McCain because of the things he said and the thing he'd let his guests say unchallenged.

  • John||

    Never. He has always just been a smug bully asshole who brings people in to ridicule them. How anyone with a brain can watch that show is beyond me.

  • sarcasmic||

    How anyone with a brain can watch that show is beyond me.

    I always snicker when I hear liberals say "Statistics show that really smart people watch the Daily Show" as if watching the show will make them smart. Then again these are people who honestly believe that ad hominems win arguments.

  • ||

    The squealing apes that compose his audience tell you all you need to know about the people who like his show.

    He used to be pretty funny, and was sometimes relatively fair, but Obama has turned even the semi-ok people's brains to much. TEAM BLUE has nuked the fridge, utterly and completely, and show no signs of slowing down. They're going for the brass ring of FULL RETARD.

  • John||

    When he started out he made fun of the media. And that was funny. Then he made fun of Bush and that was funny because Bush was in power and making fun of the powers that be can be very funny.

    But once Obama took over he was done. There is nothing funny about bootlicking authority.

  • Pro Libertate||

    He was better when he was Craig Kilborn.

  • Paul.||

    Meh.

  • AZ||

    I used to find it amusing when I'd flip by it occasionally and see only bits and pieces.

    However, when I lived with a couple roommates who tend TEAM BLUE and would watch every night, I realized that the humor was less about novelty or incisiveness and more about affirmation and belonging, a recharging station for smugness.

  • sarcasmic||

    a recharging station for smugness.

    That's a good way to put it.

  • Libertarius||

    That is the root of the matter. The lefty collectivist/statists have everybody on tv and in the (statist/collectivist) ivory tower constantly telling them how smart they are.

    Nothing causes as much mouth-foaming as when I have told libtards that "You have everybody on tv telling you how smart you are, but you aren't smart enough to know when someone is blowing smoke up your ass and stroking you in order to advance their evil agenda."

  • ||

    You can tell Jon is a true-blue-believer because when he has a member of Team Blue on the show, he will let that person say anything. When Team Red is on, Jon does most of the talking and every question is basically "well you're a hypocrite, you said this and that makes you a hypocrite right, so you're a hypocrite and you must agree that you're a hypocrite?"

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    Stewart was pretty cool to Ron Paul, but that was probably just to piss off the establishment Rs.

  • John||

    And come on guys, the Nazis only restricted the gun rights of the people they planned to murder. Doesn't that make you feel better?

  • Paul.||

    The wrong people were in charge then.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Hey, they expanded gun rights for Fudds, government workers, and members of the Nazi party. Does that sound like something someone determined to implement institutionalized oppression would do? Give more guns to themselves and their supporters and take them from the people they hate? Pshaw, you silly libertarians.

    Fuck off, Nick.

  • Mike M.||

    Firearm confiscation is pretty much always the precursor to government-sanctioned genocide against whoever the powers that be don't approve of. It's a heck of lot easier to commit mass murder when your victims can't shoot back at you.

    Of course Block Yomomma is completely different. He loves this country dearly with every fiber of his being, and he and his worshipful followers would never in a million years even dream of killing anyone who stands in their way. Just ask Andrew Breitbart and his coroner, they'll tell you.

  • Paul.||

    Firearm confiscation is pretty much always the precursor to government-sanctioned genocide against whoever the powers that be don't approve of.

    Historically, weapon confiscation is also a precursor to heavy, confiscatory taxation.

    Oh shit...

  • R C Dean||

    I dunno about "pretty much always".

    But whenever you do have a purge/genocide/ethnic cleansing, it always seems to follow confiscation.

  • geekster||

    Ask a Pakistani farmer.

    Excuse me, a Pakistani terrorist.

  • ant1sthenes||

    The notion that a rag-tag band of regular folks armed with semi-automatic weapons and the odd shotgun are a serious hedge against tyranny strikes me as a stretch (and I even saw the remake of Red Dawn!).

    Tyrants tend to be pretty self-centered at heart. If you happen to share a territory with them, that rag-tag band of regular folks doesn't have to defeat your entire army to pose a problem, they just have to have a non-negligible shot at killing you.

    That said, it's increasingly looking like we'll get to see whether this statist argument holds up.

  • ||

    The notion that a rag-tag band of regular folks armed with semi-automatic weapons and the odd shotgun are a serious hedge against tyranny strikes me as a stretch

    Hey Nick

    Go ask the US Army if people can mount an adequate defense against it with nothing more than semi-automatic weapons and shotguns. Ask them about Afghanistan. Hell, go ask the Russians the same question.

  • Bam!||

    "The notion that a rag-tag band of regular folks armed with semi-automatic weapons and the odd shotgun are a serious hedge against tyranny strikes me as a stretch"

    Iraq and Afghanistan seem to show otherwise.

  • Restoras||

    Not too mention lots of other places around the world and throughout history.

  • AlmightyJB||

    "wetting their pants about the second coming of Stalin or Pol Pot"

    A) That's a pretty short list of historical Tyrants.

    B) Yeah, because some Cult of Personality could never emerge again. Some really popular figure with broad media and pop culture support that may want to disarm the populace? That's just crazy talk.

  • Paul.||

    Golf clap.

  • Drake||

    I worry a lot more about the second coming of Lucius Cornelius Sulla, Marcus Crassus, Ceasar, Pompey and the rest. Those who used class warfare and eventually naked violence to accumulate power. It scares me how similar Obama's rhetoric is to theirs. I swear his speech writers are ancient historians.

    They destroyed the Republic as an afterthought - and very few in Rome seemed to care.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Well, they'll probably be populist conservatives, who are far, far more likely to command enough of the military's respect to execute a coup. Which is the rich, dark irony of the Democrats love of the total state.

  • Hopfiend||

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NzdUy90vTuk

    Posted this to FB numerous times during election cycle. Few understood the message.

  • SIV||

    I don't see any reason why law-abiding people should have to explain to anyone why they want a semi-automatic gun or a magazine that holds 10 bullets instead of seven.

    Only 10, Gillespie?

    The Cato Institute's Robert A Levy thinks we should be limited to 20.

  • Paul.||

    It should be limited to whatever the engineer could make work reliably.

  • Brendan||

    I'm ok with a ban on magazines over 1,000,000 rounds.

    I can compromise.

  • Radioactive||

    23
    6.02x10 is my lower limit...

  • Hopfiend||

    Guess we shouldn't talk about the really cool drum magazines.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    Drum magazines suck. If you can get one to consistently empty w/o jamming at least twice, I'll kiss your ass.

  • Brendan||

    I believe in compromise and will support limiting drum magazines to 1,000,000 rounds. sure, it's arbitrary, but a line has to be drawn somewhere.

  • Sevo||

    I LIKE it!
    So long as armed gov't agents are also limited to that amount.

  • fish||

    All these comments are well and good but we really need to address the more pressing issue. Why Jesse Ventura looks like a homeless guy these days.

  • Ken Shultz||

    They got someone who looks like a homeless guy advertising t-shirts on this site!

    I guess Jesse's just a hep cat.

  • Mike M.||

    The copious amounts of anabolic steroids he was taking back in his fake wrestling days?

  • Jeff||

    "I want a SERIOUS DISCUSSION about COMMON SENSE gun control, therefore I'm going to make noted conspiracy theorist nutjob Alex Jones into the spokesman for the other side in this SERIOUS DEBATE and strawman the shit out of him."

  • Ken Shultz||

    Yeah, that's some SERIOUS COMMON SENSE he's got goin' there.

  • MoreFreedom||

    "common sense gun control" is an oxymoron

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    I challenge any of the Smug here today to refute any of Alex Jones' points. (Do not equate style w/ substance)

  • Sevo||

    If Jon Stewart says "common sense", you know there;s no sense involved and zero evidence.
    Stick you head in a toilet and drown, Stewart.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "Texas Proposal: JAIL Any Federal Officials Trying to Enforce New Gun Restrictions in the State"

    http://radio.woai.com/cc-commo.....z2I4bh7Tbt

  • Libertarius||

    Fucking A man. I can't wait to go back to Texas next week, the libtardiness of my home state of Ohio makes me want to fucking puke.

    Of course, back in Texas I will have to deal with the social conservatism. I was charged with tempting married women and barely escaped hanging! lol

  • ||

    I was charged with tempting married women and barely escaped hanging!

    http://youtu.be/jGQ-ISsDm8M

  • UnionBuiltOhioRoads(LAOL)||

    Dude, Im in the same boat. Heading to the great state of Texas in a few weeks.

  • radar||

    This was a really weak, really disappointing piece. Been hanging out with Weigel again, Nick? Christ.

  • Hopfiend||

    I follow Weigel on twitter just so I can insult him whenever I want.

  • IceTrey||

    Nick you made one glaring error in the piece. You conflated homicide with murder. Homicides include justifiable killing either by cop or civilian.

  • ||

    Hiring psychiatrists as tipsters will warn authorities before one of their patients goes on a killing spree; it will also help remove guns from the hands of the mentally ill. But any Heroin addict will still be able to get an assault rifle. Drug dealers keep them for protection against robbery and will lend the rifle to the customer that buys the most dope. Laws must be passed making it a class one felony for a drug dealer to sell a weapon to one of their clients.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    You're trolling, right?

  • LTC(ret) John||

    Or on heroin.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    This has got to be one of the most stupid things I have read on the internet. Go away.

  • John||

    I t hink he was kidding.

  • GILMORE||

    EDG reppin' LBC| 1.15.13 @ 2:53PM |#

    This has got to be one of the most stupid things I have read on the internet.

    i *does* have at least 3 layers of complete DERP going on. even the first few words of the first sentence express a complete ignorance and misunderstanding of the world. I do sometimes wonder how people make it to adulthood with brains like this; or worse - how they manage to breed. It is a frightening thought.

  • StackOfCoins||

    Being rational is no way enhances your ability to breed. In fact, it's subverting rationality for whats convenient/sexy/fun that makes you a desirable breeding partner.

  • Gladstone||

    Extremely disappointing article. I used to think the whole "cosmotarian" thing was a neocon attack or part of some turf war with the Rockwellians but this article gives me reason to think that those attacks might have some merit.

    I mean no rebuttal whatsoever to the incredibly stupid "muskets!" line. Freedom of the Press meant...the printing press back in 1791. Or the attempt to make all anti-gun control types look like nutjobs and gun controllers sensible folks. Or trying to suggest that the Nazis really weren't a bunch of gun grabbers despite the fact that they disarmed the Jews and their opponents.

  • MoreFreedom||

    The people that the Nazi's increased access to guns, were Nazi party members, government workers, and holders of hunting permits. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G.....in_Germany

  • Gladstone||

    Nazis allowed their thugs to go unchecked. This proves the need for gun control. Or something.

  • SIV||

    I think Nick's point is that expanding gun rights is the Nazi thing to do.

    That the Nazis actually restricted rights is kinda inconvenient for his "anti-gun hysteria".

  • Mike M.||

    Extremely disappointing article. I used to think the whole "cosmotarian" thing was a neocon attack or part of some turf war with the Rockwellians but this article gives me reason to think that those attacks might have some merit.

    Gee, ya think so? Well, at least more people are starting to see what's right in front of their face. I mean, if guns aren't the last line of defense against tyranny, than what the hell is, cocktails?

    It has actually gotten to the point now where seeing this kind of rubbish here no longer even surprises me; I've come to almost expect it.

  • Trident||

    "I used to think the whole "cosmotarian" thing was a neocon attack or part of some turf war with the Rockwellians but this article gives me reason to think that those attacks might have some merit."

    Now you know why it's right on the money.

    In order to appear "reasonable" to the establishment, they are willing to write articles filled with fallacies, ad hominem attacks on more 'radical' libertarians, and evasions of the core of issues.

    Their best work is not in writing about issues that have a profound importance to the first principles of libertarianism, but about things that can keep them safely politically correct with a number of liberals, e.g. immigration, pot smoking and gay marriage.

  • JeremyR||

    Yeah, between this and the love for Howard Zinn, it's not been a good week here at Reason...

  • MoreFreedom||

    Obama called for "common sense gun-control" which to me is an oxymoron.

    Regarding the Newtown shooting, will any of the government employees entrusted to teach and protect our children be held accountable for not doing their job? A lawyer representing one of the victims submitted paperwork to get permission to sue the government and school and received death threats (from whom I wonder - probably government employees). Liberals didn't like it either (but I'm sure they would approve if it was a private school). In the meantime, Obama's daughters attend a private school with 11 armed guards. Where would you prefer your children attend school? I'd much rather them attend a school where the school and its employees are held accountable, and that's not government schools.

    Have you noticed how quiet the media is is digging into Adam Lanza's IED (Individual Education Plan) that's required by government. What's in it? Why the conflicting reports on his mom being a teacher? Smells like government employees covering up their actions to me, actions that should be known by the people they work for (us). Instead they prefer to be unaccountable. And fellow government employees who should be investigating them are giving them "professional courtesy" that thieves show one another.

  • Gladstone||

    Or the fact that the facts show that yes a bunch of ragtag people with guns can indeed put up a fight against a modern military. See Afganistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, etc.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "Hitler and the Nazis didn't take away everyone's guns, as is commonly argued. They expanded gun rights for many groups (though not the Jews)."

    I hesitate to call this Yogi Berra-esque, because I don't know if Berra was ever that silly, but it kind of looks like one of his malopropisms, with that "(though not the Jews)" stuck at the end kind of defeating the whole reassuring purpose of the rest of the sentence.

  • Jeff||

    Haha, it really does.

  • GILMORE||

    It reminds me of one of Sara Silverman's classics:

    The Holocaust would *totally never have happened* if black people lived in Germany in the 1930s and 40s!

    … well, it wouldn't have happened to Jews.

  • SIV||

    I used to think the whole "cosmotarian" thing was a neocon attack or part of some turf war with the Rockwellians but this article gives me reason to think that those attacks might have some merit.

    Live and learn.

  • ||

    You'd think someone who was Jewish would be especially disinclined to scoff at the possibility of any country turning tyrannical. Does he really think the Jews in Nazi Germany voluntarily disarmed themselves before the trains started carting them off to concentration camps?

    And a few thousand gun deaths a year seem like a rounding error compared to the millions murdered in those death camps.

  • Brendan||

    Whenever I get some plea for emotion, "How many more children have to die?" nonsense, I say that I'm willing to accept the concept of limits once we hit the 100 year mark of the end of the holocaust using 4/30/1945 (Hitler's death) as the date OR until as many people or just children are killed by guns as were killed by the Nazis.

    So, when we hit 4/30/2045, 5,933,900 people are killed by guns, or 1/4 of that number of children are killed by guns, then I'll be happy to talk about reasonable measure like banning AR-15s, 40w phased plasma rifles, and Romulan style disruptors

  • Landru||

    The inclusion of suicides with firearms as a justification for gun control has one major problem. It is not the proper role of government to ban possesion of items that one may use to kill themselves with. This occurs when people are put in jail or confined in the asylum. No legitimate government has any business treating the citizenry in a similar manner.

  • Tatordic||

    While I appreciate the point Nick is trying to make his own words reveal what the real issue is and that's culture. This whole gun control bullshit is really about the two different countries we live in: the one country that is densely urban and filled with latte-sipping hipsters and the other country of rural folks who appreciate rural values like farming, going to church and hunting. Nick doesn't like to shoot and neither do most people in the great metropolises. And it's those city folk who decide our elections most of the time these days.

    My dad hates hunting but would take us out shooting when we were kids. Every boy I knew got guns for Christmas presents. And there was not and is not anything weird about that. What's weird to us is how liberals love to squawk about the safety of the children yet want women to get taxpayer-funded abortions by the hundreds of thousands. The urban part of America sucks. I live in new orleans and while I loved it at first, I realize now after having a child that it's just another urban hell hole run by Democrats who have an insatiable lust for graft and new taxes. I recently formed this opinion after living in various major cities over the last 13 years. I'm going back to my roots where the people aren't insane. I could care less what Jon Stewart thinks. He grew up in New York which might as well be Mars as far as I'm concerned.

  • TallDave||

    "The notion that a rag-tag band of regular folks armed with semi-automatic weapons and the odd shotgun are a serious hedge against tyranny strikes me as a stretch"

    Surprised to hear you say this, Nick. Libya and Syria have shown ordinary people with guns can make a huge difference, and that's just in the past few years. Granted guns aren't much good against tanks, but demonstrably they don't need to be.

  • Page Turner||

    You're exactly right. I was disappointed to see that line from Nick.

    You might also add Vietnam and Afghanistan who kicked our butts and 2 other well equipped nations for decades without sophisticated battlefield weapons.

    One more thought - if the government does turn against us it is no guarantee that the military will. In fact, knowing the military as I do I believe more would fight alongside us than against.

  • DrAwkward||

    A LITTLE GUN HISTORY

    In 1929, the Soviet Union established gun control. From 1929 to 1953,
    about 20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded
    up and exterminated.
    ------------------------------

    In 1911, Turkey established gun control. From 1915 to 1917, 1.5 million
    Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and
    exterminated.

    ------------------------------

    Germany established gun control in 1938 and from 1939 to 1945, a total
    of 13 million Jews and others who were unable to defend themselves were
    rounded up and exterminated.
    ------------------------------
    China established gun control in 1935. From 1948 to 1952, 20 million
    political dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and
    exterminated.
    ------------------------------
    Guatemala established gun control in 1964. From 1964 to 1981, 100,000
    Mayan Indians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and
    exterminated.

    ------------------------------

    Uganda established gun control in 1970. From 1971 to 1979, 300,000
    Christians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and
    exterminated.
    ------------------------------

    Cambodia established gun control in 1956. From 1975 to 1977, one million
    educated people, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and
    exterminated.
    -----------------------------

    Defenseless people rounded up and exterminated in the 20th Century
    because of gun control: 56 million.

  • Trident||

    "The notion that a rag-tag band of regular folks armed with semi-automatic weapons and the odd shotgun are a serious hedge against tyranny strikes me as a stretch."

    Nick thinks slingshots will work better.
    Either that or he thinks when the time comes it's just better to accept your fate and have the jackboots stomp all over you.

    Either way it shows how "libertarian" Nick Gillespie's arguments are once he is not invested in a certain issue.
    Just fuck off already.

  • Jeff||

    Sure, his argumentation was fucking pathetic left a lot to be desired, but this "Nick's not a libertarian" stuff is a real head scratcher. He clearly takes a libertarian position on this, however tortured his reasoning and however far outside his wheelhouse this particular issue is.

  • ||

    In what sense? That he's okay with the yokeltarians hanging on to their 10 round mags instead of having to deal with a 7 round restriction? Thanks a bunch, Nick!

  • Jeff||

    In the sense that he kind of thinks guns are icky and Jon Stewart is a pretty cool guy, but he still manages to come down on the libertarian side. Hey, that shit annoys me, too. Stewart is a HACK. Nick deserves to have this terrible article annihilated, but for fuck's sake, he's clearly a libertarian.

  • DenverJay||

    Another thing that bugs me is the stupid "back then they only had muskets" line of bullshit. Not only is it not true, but it ignores a couple of points:
    1. The people had the right to the same kind of weapons as the Government, and
    2. The Second Amendment is not the Right to Keep and Bear Guns, it is the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. If some nut job busted into a school, or movie theater, or whatever, with a sword, I bet he could kill a helluvalot of people before he was stopped.

  • An0nB0t||

    As was mentioned earlier, "arms" included artillery and private warships at the time the 2A was instituted, a sensible thing given that we're talking about arming a civilian militia that is capable of overthrowing an authoritarian regime.

    This right has been infringed on time and again through the years, most notably in the attack on firearms, but in plenty of other ways as well. That semi-autos are all that civilians can purchase on what passes as a free market is ridiculous given the stated purpose of RKBA, and any serious defense of the 2nd Amendment needs to retake lost civil ground rather than just defending the last slivers that we still possess.

    So screw giving ground on magazine size or any other token nod to the Fabian sleaze on the left; now that we're mobilized and tempers are high, I want GCA68 repealed and the NFA gone. When they mount another attack, we get a bunch of loud, angry radicals who aren't afraid of marginalizing themselves to go after GCA38 and so on.

    When the prohibitionists give ground for a change, then we can finally declare that "common sense" initiatives and "compromise" are the words of the day.

  • DenverJay||

    Whoa Dude, having my own warship would be even better than having my own dinosaur, or a Enforcement Droid Series 209 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5X-1Pthb_w

  • DenverJay||

  • Sevo||

    "2. The Second Amendment is not the Right to Keep and Bear Guns, it is the Right to Keep and Bear Arms."

    It is also one of the few enumerated rights or freedoms; it is NOT granted by the government, merely listed as a special case since government tried to take it away as often as they have.
    EXACTLY the reason not to yield .0001" on it.

  • ygsrf||

    2013 Happy New Year,NFL,NBA,fashion kickoff for u

  • ||

    So the lesson for today is that Gillespie is a total and complete cunt on gun rights, but can't quite get himself to agree completely with Jon Stewart on the issue despite his honest and persuasive rhetoric on the matter, especially in light of the idiots, nut jobs and "conspiracy theorists" who think owning guns might just end up being a fringe benefit if the shit hits the fan, because the shit totally could never ever hit the fan here?

    This from a guy who has no problem accepting that the American government intentionally drone kills Pakistani children because it hates brown people...

    Will the last libertarian leaving Reason - turn off the lights

  • Thomas Paine||

    Question for all:

    When was the last time a mass shooting happened at a shooting range? A sportsman's club?? A police station??? Even a sporting goods store???

    The biggest thread that weaves through our mass shootings are the ridiculous, liberal-created "Gun Free Zones". Can we all agree that they are a complete and total failure?

    Look, if i'm a crazy, mentally unstable person looking to kill as many people as possible, I'm heading for a "Gun Free Zone". At least while I'm there, I know that while I'm there, there will be nobody to stop me! This is absolute INSANITY!!! When will we stop "doing something" that won't have any effect whatsoever, and decide to do something that will really have an effect? Eliminate Gun Free Zones and allow people to defend themselves! Stop setting law-abiding citizens up to be victims!

    As Thomas Jefferson once said:
    "The laws that forbid the carrying of arms .... disarm only
    those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes.
    Such laws make things worse for the assaulted
    and better for the assailants. They serve rather to encourage
    than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be
    attacked with greater confidence than an armed man."

  • Gladstone||

    Two Comments:

    1. Nick seems to think the gun controllers are sensible folk and tries to make the other side look like a bunch of nutjobs. Would he write an article suggesting that the Drug Warriors have a good heart and the drug legalizers are a bunch of paranoid lunatics? Hmm....

    2. I always find it amusing seeing libertarians express disappointment at Maddow and Stewart being statists. I mean leftist Democrats are in the end leftist Democrats? Shocking.

  • KRoyall||

    Really a horrible column by Gillespie here. An armed citizenry is no match for a military force in preventing tyranny? Tell that to the guys who are in Afghanistan right now.

    Most of our military members probably wouldn't fire on American citizens but certainly a nation that has 300 million guns in private hands could prevent a tyrannous regime from taking control. Even taking into account the superior firepower the military has.

    I guess Nick hasn't read the Federalist Papers which is a shame. He was one of the few guys at Reason I liked.

  • Tejicano||

    Yup, the first time I took the oath of enlistment I had just turned 17 so I didn't think about the whole "defend the constitution" thing so much. By the third and fourth time it really sunk in.

    I expect that most of the grunts who have served in the sandbox have a similar view on it as I do. With equal manpower and currently available firearms they could shred any federal agency sent to round then up.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    This Afghanistan canard is seriously ridic. If we wanted to be tyrants and stomp the opposition there, we could do it in a week. But we have rules of engagement, and are sort of trying to keep civilian deaths to a minimum, and an ultimate purpose of turning AFG into a sustainable democracy.

  • Libertarius||

    Nick has been assimilated into the neo-liberal collective, where his individuality was erased in exchange for getting to be just like all the other neo-liberal bootlicking degenerate losers out there. Resistance is racist, sexist and yokeltarian.

  • happel||

    Splendid commentary as usual, Nick. Thank you. We need more level-headed people out there.

  • ||

    It's hard for me to come up with a more clear demonstration of the absurdity and inconsistency of government than gun control.

    As the story goes, individuals are apparently too dangerous, and cannot be trusted with weapons. Therefore, we should ban certain weapons outright. This implies that there is no valid reason for an individual to have or use these weapons.

    And how do we achieve this? Through a powerful state, using the threat of violence against people, ordering them to give up their weapons, and punishing them if they buy or sell weapons. We use guns to prevent people from having guns, because guns are bad, except when we're using them, in which case, they are good.

    In short: a bunch of politicians with guns and democracy can do no wrong. An individual with guns can do no right. Yet politicians are individuals, and democracy is just a set of individuals voting. It's magical thinking.

    Just embrace the concept that government does these things because they have guns and they can do them, not because of any consistent argument that establishes legitimacy.

  • Liberty||

    In the Warsaw ghetto, a small band of Jewish fighters held of the nazi any for longer than either under militart of France or poland. We arent given the right to bear arms so we can shoot, deer. It's so we can shoot criminals and tyrants and their enablers. Better to die fighting.

  • ||

    Chicago drug dealers are giving their Heroin customers guns knowing that they will return with cash. The average junky with a gun is a one man crime wave; they are responsible for thousands of unreported muggings and 564 murders in 2012 Chicago. Generous rewards should be given for shooting muggers or home invaders, but first free guns must be distributed to all residents of the windy city.

  • prandtl_glauert||

    Then what is the fix for the problem people?!! What happened in Dec, is not ok and something must be done to prevent it from ever happening again. That insanity should not ever be allowed to happen here. There are a lot of opinions on here...a lot of people opening their mouth and saying....what? Simply standing on the sidelines and pointing out how things may not work is unproductive and cowardly. The point of all of this is that our country should be too proud to allow a situation where innocent people (little kids!) are gunned down in their classroom. If such things are happening then NO the status quo is not working and something needs to be done. A country that allows such things to go by without taking action to fix the problem deserves no one's respect. Those that propose at least starting to address some of the problems are behaving like true Americans...those that simply try to shoot holes in ideas to protect their own pet philosophies are selfish cowards and are dragging this country down.

  • DenverJay||

    The answer to the problem has already been given in this thread. Do not ban guns; ban gun-free zones- also called "target rich environments". Make it easier for people to defend themselves- instead of people having to run and cower, let them protect themselves and others.

  • prandtl_glauert||

    Offering up any solution is better than doing nothing and whining about those who are taking action. In general I agree with you but I do not see how this would protect an elementary school...except for the rare teacher etc that is interested in carrying a weapon to school and competent in its use during an emergency in crowded spaces. Also, the problem is more complex than to be fixed by one action. More direct solutions will be aimed at how the crazies are allowed to get so far out there in the first place and then turn their violent thoughts into violent actions...and then how on earth do such violently crazy people get their hands on such powerful weapons...im sorry but that must be stopped at the expense of their 2nd amendment rights...and it is insane to say otherwise. Regulate the crazies or the government is going to try to regulate us all.

  • ||

    Nothing is worth giving up your rights for. And certainly nothing the government is "doing" right now helps the situation regarding school shootings in any way, except to make their smug Progressive agenda seem like it's a godsend. The AR-15 was in the trunk of Lanza's car. He killed all those kids with semi automatic pistols and a shotgun. Now, the "assault weapons" ban won't ban semi automatic pistols, but it will ban guns that had NOTHING TO DO WITH THE SHOOTINGS. (Colorado? Va. Tech? Glocks.)

    Here's a question for you:

    Would you stop racism by giving up some of your 1st Amendment rights? Would you be willing to give up your right of free speech so things deemed "racist" by a board of elected and appointed politicians can be made illegal? If the promise was that racism would be "on the ropes"? Would you like to give up your rights to attempt to solve this problem?

    I bet you wouldn't. Nor would most people.... just the idiots who worship at the feet of Obama.

  • prandtl_glauert||

    I would have to agree that the government is generally making us all suffer for its incompetence. It's been that way for a generation at least...through presidents of both dogmas. True, the current congress is more inept than we have ever seen...so no, I would never be content redefining a constitutional right based on a board of their design...but would I modify the first amendment? Hell yes. Whatever ground the first amendment gives that cult that protests the funerals of military members should be removed...thereby modifying some of the historical protections offered by the first amendment in order to close a loophole being used by modern day evil to harm quality Americans and their families. Is that giving rights up? No...it is adapting them to modern day. I would say the exact same thing about the second amendment. Both amendments were written in a different time...morals were different, honor and self respect still defined lines that folks wouldn't cross...there were certain things that even insane people wouldn't or couldnt do...we don't live in that world anymore. Both amendments could use some updating to deal with modern developments...as that document was always intended to be used. I, and all other responsible gun owners I know, have nothing to fear from background checks to rule out violent insanity...our 2nd amendment protections will not be affected by such checks. Anyone that can't pass a background check has no business with a weapon.

  • DenverJay||

    "would I modify the first amendment? Hell yes. Whatever ground the first amendment gives that cult that protests the funerals of military members should be removed...thereby modifying some of the historical protections offered by the first amendment in order to close a loophole being used by modern day evil to harm quality Americans and their families. Is that giving rights up? No...it is adapting them to modern day."
    Who decides what is a reasonable adaptation? The First Amendment must protect unpopular opinions or it is useless.
    "Both amendments were written in a different time ...there were certain things that even insane people wouldn't or couldnt do"
    Simply not true. History shows that neither mass murder nor psychopathology are new to the human condition, it only seems more common because of our communications technology. The data shows that society has become less violent, not more.
    Granted, insane people would perhaps be less likely to be walking the streets, but that's because they would either be dead or in chains. Modern America has decided that the mentally ill deserve rights. Besides, the events we are discussing are seldom perpetrated by people with a history of serious mental illness. Not only that, but the guy who did the murders at Sandy Hook stole the guns he used.
    The fact is, life is not without risks, and you cannot make it so. The only thing you can do is empower individuals to react to risks, and to be able to defend themselves and others.

  • TPL||

    End the Drug War, and you will see a big chunk of those gun homicides disappear. But naturally we cannot entertain that as an option...

  • ||

    Whenever politicians want to talk about gun control, I always find myself wishing we were talking about drug legalization. My mind too quickly shifts to the large portion of gun homicides that are gang related, and the millions of lives wasted each year in drug arrests. I cannot help but think how much good we could do to legalize drugs, not to mention how much money we would save not trying to run and ruin people's lives.

    Instead, politicians are trying to figure out how to make the next Adam Lanza reload more often.

    Stupid fucking country.

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