Gun Control

Gun Control, Ad Infinitum

Gun control is something Americans almost never stop talking about.

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Gun control, according to a recent blog post by Timothy Egan of The New York Times, is "the issue that dare not speak its name." Egan is upset that people who do not like gun control recently said mean things about sportscaster Bob Costas, who does. This proved to Egan that "you cannot talk" about guns in America.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg agrees. Thanking Costas for speaking up, he tweeted: "A frank discussion about gun laws and gun violence is a discussion we need to have."

Bloomberg has an ally in NPR's Neal Conan. In a "Talk of the Nation" segment back in March titled, "Trayvon Martin Story Sparks Difficult Conversations," Conan lamented: "I feel we're missing the opportunity to also have a discussion about guns." 

Liberals aren't alone in talking about how nobody's talking about gun control. "This country needs an honest debate" about the issue, says Juan Williams of Fox News. "The issue should be debated as a matter of public safety. But anti-free speech forces have prevented this debate from happening."

Williams is absolutely right. Remember the movie-theater shooting in Aurora, Colo., earlier this year? After that horrible crime, there was no discussion of gun control whatsoever—at least if you don't count the several thousand news stories such as, "Gun Debate Reignited by Aurora Shooting" (Chicago Tribune) and "Aurora Shooting Highlights Gun Debate" (MSNBC) and "Aurora Shooting Sparks Gun Debate" (AP) and so on.

Yet despite those stories, plenty of gun-control advocates felt enough wasn't being said.

"I think it's time there was a serious debate about guns in the U.S.," tweeted Piers Morgan of CNN. Calif. Sen. Dianne Feinstein said she wanted "a sane national conversation about guns." "Can We Please Have an Honest Debate About Guns Now?" asked Amy Sullivan in The New Republic

"Why Can't We Talk About Guns?" asked the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. "There needs to be a serious discussion" about guns, the paper said, quoting New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg's concurring view that "the silence is almost deafening." Rep. Peter King, a Republican who favors an assault-rifle ban, agreed that America's gun culture is "almost something not debated. It is just accepted."

It was the same story when Jared Lee Loughner shot Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in January of 2011. "Tucson Shooting Fires Up Gun Debate," reported the Los Angeles Times. Nevertheless, Derrick Jackson of The Boston Globe doubted that "even an assassination attempt on a member of Congress is going to spur America into a fresh debate about guns." Blogging at WNYC.com, Justin Krebs took the view that "we have not had a mature discussion about guns in our culture." Paul Helmke of the Brady Campaign said he hoped the shooting would "start a discussion" about gun control. Writing in The Arizona Republic, Ronald Hansen observed that "many people" hoped the shooting "would spark a new debate about guns in America."

What's wrong with the old debate? Search The Washington Post's website, and you'll find the term "gun control" show up more than 3,700 times in just the past seven years. The New York Times' site, whose archives go back considerably further, turns up nearly 30,000 mentions.

Every year, hundreds of gun-control measures are introduced in Congress and state legislatures. Some of them pass; a lot don't. In recent years, lawmakers also have passed—after much furious debate—measures allowing concealed-carry, guns in bars, and so forth. The Supreme Court has handed down a brace of  landmark decisions upholding an individual right to own firearms. There was more than a little debate about those cases too, if memory serves.

As should be laughably obvious by this point, gun control is something Americans almost never stop talking about. The trouble—from the liberal perspective—is that the discussion keeps going the wrong way. Despite the horror at Virginia Tech, in Tucson and Aurora and too many other places to list, Americans consistently decline to adopt sweeping gun-control measures. Just a week after the Tucson shooting, 69 percent of survey respondents still told CNN the episode had not changed their views on gun control.

Gun-rights advocates are being disingenuous when they say the aftermath of a  shooting is not an appropriate time to talk about gun control. Nonsense—it's the most appropriate time. Nobody ever says, "Let's not talk about airline safety right now" after a plane crash.

But gun-control advocates are being just as disingenuous. When Egan and Williams gripe that you can't talk about gun control, what they really mean is you can't talk about it without other people talking back. And when other gun-control advocates say they want a "candid" debate  about guns—or an "honest," "sane," "serious," "fresh," "mature," or "new" debate—what they really mean is: a debate we actually win.

Saying what they really mean would be the candid and honest thing to do. Wouldn't it?

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  1. ……sportscaster Bob Costas

    The smartiest boy on the short school bus.

  2. And when other gun-control advocates say they want a “candid” debate about guns?or an “honest,” “sane,” “serious,” “fresh,” “mature,” or “new” debate?what they really mean is: a debate we actually win.

    Fuck them! They can’t

  3. Thankfully gun control is ignored by the White House – they even expanded gun rights twice.

    The paranoid rural idiots still think Obama is gonna grab their guns though.

    1. And the gunsellers love it.

    2. The paranoid rural idiots still think Obama is gonna grab their guns though.

      It isn’t the rural people around here. More the urban and suburban types. And what jangles them is his reference to hunting whenever he mentions the Second Amendment. It doesn’t begin, “Dead animals being necessary to the feeding of a free State…”

    3. The “rural idiots” already have all their guns.

      Love how you show you’re true, liberal, statist, Top. Men. colors with that comment, shreek. Bravo.

      1. You idiot, Shreek is the only real libertarian here.

      2. “rural idiots” there is no other kind of rural person.

        1. Because living like rats in a city is a sign of common sense? Hardly. I will be glad when you people finally starve out.

          1. I meant that ironically.

            1. Ironically? What are you, a hipster?

      3. Not saying that Shrike is necessarily not an idiot, but having all their guns already in no way suggests that they would be less worried about the government trying to grab their guns.

    4. Clearly, they’re imagining the fact that Obama’s own website still advocates more gun control laws.

    5. I know I’m going to regret asking this but: the White House expanded gun rights? What specifically? By what mechanism does the executive branch “expand rights”?

      1. Through the justice department, Obama sold a bunch of guns to oppressed Mexican freedom fighters.

      2. Allowing concealed carry in national parks, and the closest thing I can think of to a second, I guess, is not invading the Supreme Court after Mcdonald. Although Shrike is probably just giving Obama primary credit for Mcdonald.

        1. Allowing you to check firearms on Amtrak,like you’ve always been able to on airliners.

          Obama signed both measures only because they were attached to legislation he couldn’t veto.

      3. By what mechanism does the executive branch “expand rights”?

        As an example:
        The court forces the sate of Illinois to rewrite the law to allow for concealed carry. Shreek stops masturbating over his Obama photo spread long enough to claim credit for the president at reason.com. Shreek returns to his masturbation.

        And that’s how the “executive branch” expands your rights. See…simple!

        1. Shriek is a sockpuppet. When you spend a thread talking about shriek, you help him accomplish his goal.

          1. I know…it’s like working out on the Slam-Man!

    6. Aside from the national park carry, what’s the other expansion?

      The national carry expansion law wouldn’t have been necessary had the Obama administration not removed the rule passed during the Bush administration.

      Had the park carry law not been attached to Obama supported, must pass, credit card bill, there’s little to no chance Obama would have signed such a bill into law.

      As for taking guns, the only people talking about that are the left. They’ve done a fantastic job of constructing this battalion of strawmen in an attempt to reduce the debate from one about guns rights overall to merely gun rights in the are of simple possession and nothing more.

      Gun rights supporters do not talk about anyone taking guns away. They use terms like “gun rights” and “2nd amendment rights” and sometimes the more hyperbolic “Your guns rights are under attack”. They don’t consider the issue of gun rights or the 2nd amendment to revolve exclusively around mere possession and ownership of the guns one already has.

      It’s far more telling about either the intellectual capacity or true intentions of the left in that they only consider outright theft to be unconstitutional. Apparently bans on certain types of firearms, lengthy permit processes, bans on carry outside of the home, extra hoops to jump through in order to acquire, etc. are all apparently OK.

      1. Apparently bans on certain types of firearms, lengthy permit processes, bans on carry outside of the home, extra hoops to jump through in order to acquire, etc. are all apparently OK.

        Just imagine if the restrictions placed (in some states/municipalities) on acquiring firearms were mirrored in restrictions on getting an abortion, and cue the outrage in 3…2…no, it’s here already. (As it should be; this point is meant only to illustrate unprincipled TEAM behavior.)

    7. The paranoid rural idiots still think Obama is gonna grab their guns though.

      Why would anybody believe that the administration that just gave the go-ahead for the UN gun control treaty might have a gun control agenda?

      Besides, I doubt anyone is really worried about gun confiscation. If you think X is going to be confiscated soon by the government, do you run right out and buy a bunch of X?

    8. The paranoid rural idiots still think Obama is gonna grab their guns though.

      Okay, perhaps the Democrats have no plan to do that, at least not right now. The obvious question is: why not?

      Is it because they believe there is an individual right to own a gun? Nope. They insist there is no right at all, or a “collective right”. Since “collective right” is a ridiculous oxymoron it means the same thing as “no right at all”.

      Is it because they support ownership of guns for self-defense? Nope. They mock it as “crazy” and insist it can’t possibly work.

      Is it because they see them as a defense against tyrannical government? Nope. They don’t think there’s such a thing as a government that’s too powerful. They also have the odd idea that the government’s possession of nuclear weapons makes resistance impossible, although I’ve wondered if they’ve really thought that through.

      No, in the end there’s only one reason they’re not openly trying to ban guns: political expediency. And if the political expediency calculus changes, so will they. So I’m not inclined to trust them on the matter.

    9. Since he proposed an “assault weapons” ban during the debates, I wonder where they could possibly have gotten that idea…

  4. Two things:

    1) Lefty gun controllers – fact and law PWND!

    2) A. Barton Hinkleheimerschmidt –
    His name is my name, too!
    Whenever we go out
    people always shout,
    “There goes A. Barton Hinkleheimerschmidt!”
    LALALALALALALA….

    #2 for RC Dean, of course…

  5. Saying what they really mean would be the candid and honest thing to do. Wouldn’t it?

    Honest debate from anti-gunners?

    “We don’t like guns because they make us feel uncomfortable! We are an emotionally unstable bunch, and we would be unsafe if we were armed! We’d go off and shoot at anyone who got us worked up! I mean, if I had a gun right now I’d shoot you in the face! Being a liberal, if something applies to me then it should be forced onto everyone! That’s what government is for! Forcing my insecurities onto you! Fuuuuuck! Who dosed me with sodium pentothal? I’m never this honest!”

    1. sarcasmic, you are forgetting the most important freedom at all: people’s freedom to walk around secure in the knowledge that no one around them has a gun. Except the cops, natch.

      1. That’s right. Everyone knows that if you ban guns all the criminals will surrender their guns. They’ll probably be first in line, amiright??

        1. If the criminals don’t surrender their guns they will be BREAKING THE LAW and we will arrest them!

      2. I don’t know about you, but if I was intent on murdering people and I saw a sign that said “Gun Free Zone,” I’d turn around and walk home because I wouldn’t want to get in trouble for having a gun in a gun free zone.

        1. Just like the Drug Free Zones around schools, right?

    2. An honest debate with gun controllers would revolve around the question “Should we repeal the Second Amendment”.

      Most of them lack the guts to have that debate or even float the idea. Instead they spew dishonest bullshit.

      1. “But, but, but the Second Amendment, with the word ‘militia’ in it, obviously authorizes the National Guard to arm themselves! I mean, the whole purpose of the Second Amendment is to give the government the right to keep and bear arms! It has nothing to do with regular citizens!”

        1. Funny that I was in the National Guard and never got any more gun rights off-duty than my neighbors in NJ. How does Canada even arm their troops without a Second Amendment?

          1. Hockey sticks. Lots and lots of hockey sticks.

      2. It’s not that they lack the guts, it’s actually just that they’re not that stupid.

        They know they’d get their asses kicked trying to do that and how would THAT accomplish banning guns? It wouldn’t.

        So they have to try the ‘nuanced’ angles.

  6. Fuck off, slaver.

  7. OT: Sick fuck or sickest fuck?

    And even more pressing, is this joe from Lowell?

    1. Not…clicking….on…THAT.

      *barf*

      1. Yeah, don’t. I’ll go with “sickest fuck, until someone else proves me wrong (and someone probably will).”

    2. I’m gonna have to go with sickest fuck. Ever. In the history of the world. If you gave me a gun with one bullet and told me I could shoot either this walking diaper stain or travel back in time and assassinate Adolph Hitler, I’d shoot this fucker. Seriously, I’m not even kidding.

      The only comfort is knowing what tends to happen to sick pedophiles in prison. I hope they put him in general population, tell all the other inmates what he did, and then have all the guards leave the room for 5 minutes.

      1. Good choice.

        I don’t know what makes everyone think Himmler would have been any better.

        1. Actually if I got one hour to travel back in time I’d persuade Coolidge to run for reelection. No Hoover means no Depression (it was worldwide, you know), no Depression means no fascist regimes rising to power. Well, the Spanish Civil War might still happen, but definitely no Nazis. Probably end up with some kind of Stalin versus Western Europe war later on, but you can’t have everything.

  8. For some truly head-exploding comments, check out the comments on the local Portland media about last night’s shooting at the mall. The new meme seems to be blame the gun nuts because they didn’t stop the guy. Sheesh.

    1. Kind of like the photographer who took the picture of the guy who’d been pushed off the platform and onto the NY (I think) subway tracks.

      “WHY DIDN’T YOU RESCUE HIM!!?!”

      “Um, cause I was, like…umpteen feet away, and there were all these other people between me and him, and…”

      Jesus…

      1. You mean, like, if I prank call a nurse, and she commits hari-kiri, I’m somehow responsible that she thinks she lives in 17th century Japan and she must cleanse the shame dishonor she brought upon her family and instiutional masters through disembowelment?

        1. I’m somehow responsible that she thinks she lives in 17th century Japan and she must cleanse the shame dishonor she brought upon her family and instiutional masters through disembowelment?

          Well if you’re going to check out at least this is a way of going out with style!

        2. YI would go farther back in time and do something suggested traiditional suggested by Lt. Giardello when his best friend offed himself. Take the corpse to the center street of town and bury it to be forever trampled upon by the living. She was the weak minded asshole who killed herself over a very mild prank. No one should be made to suffer as the last will and testament of a suicidal asshole. Note also, the loathsome way the royals exploited this for their own PR advantages. Fucking assholes all.

  9. Like I said on the other thread, Vermont has had open and concealed carry since day one (1791). No permits, you can come here on a hiking vacation, put a gun on your belt-whatever, you’re in Vermont.

    Of course we pay for this with weekly shooting rampages, the highest murder rate in the world and whenever two perfectly sane people get into an argument it has to be settled with an exchange of bullets.

    1. Vermont has the lowest murder rate in the… OIC

  10. So 31% of those surveyed changed their views on gun control on the basis of a single incident?

    They’re either liars or idiots. “Look, a dog with a puffy tail!”

  11. the White House expanded gun rights? What specifically? By what mechanism does the executive branch “expand rights”?

    Holder didn’t round up the Supreme Court justices in the middle of the night and ship them off to Gitmo under an executive order in response to Heller; does that count?

    And the President signed that credit card bill with the National Park loaded weapons provision buried in it.

    1. Also, the National Park law would have been unnecessary had they not overturned the rule issued during the Bush administration allowing carrying of firearms in National Parks.

  12. Gun-rights advocates are being disingenuous when they say the aftermath of a shooting is not an appropriate time to talk about gun control. Nonsense?it’s the most appropriate time. Nobody ever says, “Let’s not talk about airline safety right now” after a plane crash.

    Oh, don’t give me that shit. We all know that in modern parlance a “disussion” means a new law passed, and the “debate” is how far the law goes in protecting the children, America’s most precious resource.

    Do you honestly think that when people have a discussion over airline safety they are wondering what private companies can do to make air travel safer? Or could it be that they think we need new regulations that, while making everybody feel warm and fuzzy, do nothing to prevent the probabilistically infinitesimal thing that just occurred from happening again (or the next unforeseen disaster)?

    I guess you feel that the Patriot Act was passed, the TSA was created, and the war in Iraq were started only after our great deliberative bodies had long intellectual debates and discussions only brought about by recent events.

  13. If more guns made us safer, the United States would be the safest country on the planet. End of discussion.

    1. “If more guns made us safer, the United States would be the safest country on the planet. End of discussion.”

      That’s better.

      1. Bah…

        “If more guns laws made us safer, the United States would be the safest country on the planet. End of discussion.”

        That’s even better.

    2. That might make sense if anyone claimed that guns were the only factor relevant to safety.

    3. If fewer guns made people safer, the Brits would be the safest country on the planet.

      Oh, wait:

      http://www.gallup.com/poll/213…..itain.aspx

      1. Why stop at Britain?

        Most of the most dangerous nations on earth have very strict gun laws. Take Jamaica or South Africa, for example. Hell, I think Somalia’s (DRINK!) written small arms law is more restrictive than a lot of American state laws. Not that it’s enforced.

        1. The Somalia meme is hilarious when you look at mortality statistics and compare pre anarchy to post anarchy.

    4. The discussion ends when my guns say it ends.

    5. Except they aren’t distributed evenly. The people who don’t have them are the ones getting killed.

      Gun control mostly affects honest blacks living in cities. They have no means to defend themselves.

  14. An honest debate with gun controllers would revolve around the question “Should we repeal the Second Amendment”.

    Most of them lack the guts to have that debate or even float the idea.

    Some of them are already there.

    And then there are the ones like Bloomberg and Mayors Against Legal Guns, who say, “We have imposed ‘reasonable’ restrictions locally, but those restrictions are undermined by the horrible leaky patchwork of laws in the other states, so the federal government needs to step up and ‘rationalize’ gun laws. In other words, make every state and locality conform to the most restrictive model.”

    And then, when that doesn’t work, they’ll call for wholesale confiscation. For the poor helpless little children.

    Besides, everybody knows how well it worked in that bastion of civilization, Britannia!

    1. You ever hear of the cases where NY was sending undercovers to rural PA to buy guns?

      Afterward the city or state (can’t remember) of NY sued a lot of the mom and pop sporting goods stores in NE-PA that sold the officers guns. Of course, they had a settlement ready for those that didn’t want to be bankrupted by Bloomberg’s legal thugs. It has provisions that all records of these particular shops are to be kept and handed over to the city of NY. So if you buy a gun across the street from Dunder Mifflin your purchase, name, address, and other personal information are registered by the city of NY’s weapons bureau.

      Wonderful.

  15. the cases where NY was sending undercovers to rural PA to buy guns?

    Also Arizona gun shows. And Virginia, I think.

    And the “undercover operatives” and Bloomberg should have been arrested and prosecuted for violating federal firearms laws, but for some unknown reason the DoJ never quite got around to it.

  16. As long as we have a system perpetuated by fear and violence, aka a government that can indefinitely detain, indiscriminately bomb and sell weapons and ammunition to drug cartels and terrorists alike, Americans will never give up their right to bear arms. And they are completely right not to. Perhaps in an ideal world people wouldn’t have to arm themselves, but in a world where people can’t trust one another (this being another symptom of a system based on fear) and most certainly cannot trust their own government, it is every human’s right to be able to defend themselves.

  17. “Yet despite those stories, plenty of gun-control advocates felt enough wasn’t being said.”

    Because when neoLiberals say, “We need to have deep, bipartisan discussion about this issue” they really mean, “Everybody needs to shut the fuck up and do as we say”.

  18. Saying what they really mean would be the candid and honest thing to do. Wouldn’t it?

    Yes, but that would reveal them to be the statist, authority fluffing, boot licking shit heels that they really are as opposed to the beneficent, enlightened, super genius TOP MEN that they want everyone to believe they are.

  19. Control of firearms, while messy, could be more easily achieved by manipulating the manufacture and/or sale of components necessary for ammunition assembly. When the Dod floated the idea of shredding spent military brass and selling the scrap to China a few years back it illustrated this fact.
    There are realy only four or five main manufacturers of primers available to the munitions community and probably less than twenty or so powder manufacturers. Not a tall order at all for a government to curtail the manufacture and/or sales from a small target.
    You could have all the weapons you wanted but within a decade or two they’d be most effective throwing them at someone.

    1. You could have all the weapons you wanted but within a decade or two they’d be most effective throwing them at someone.

      An almost-clever attempt to do an end run around the Second Amendment. All this tells me is that you have no respect for rule of law and want to grab guns by any means necessary.

      Thanks for revealing your true character; not that we didn’t already know that about your sort.

    2. See, also, Loki’s comment at 1:34 above.

      1. I’m not sure where to begin. If you knew me….but then you don’t. Good thing that.
        For what it’s worth, I live in Michigan’s Yoop, in an area that if you were dropped off you’d be reducde to pissing your pants and shaking like a dog shitting a peach seed; own more guns than you do (my guess), and reload and shoot well over 2k rounds a year.
        I have two children who compete with firearms (as I do myself) at the state level, in skeet and trap.
        As far as wanting to grab guns, I’d much prefer your fucking neck at the moment, you pantload wannabe.
        Mine was an attempt to broaden the discourse with a (more) probable scenario on how firearms could/might be rendered unavailable for defense and inasmuch as that went over your head be ever grateful we wern’t speaking face to face.

      2. Now THAT is more akin to my true character.

        1. Harvard, I found this site during a search effort. Never visited before, but I read the thread and had to register just to post that:

          1. Your take on the primer/ammo component angle is right on the mark and has been considered by the left already. Let’s hope they don’t get that act together.

          2. Your response to tonio is the most concise, vividly clear and well done position statement, given the circumstances, that I have read in some time. I spewed coffee all the heck over my desk…

          3. To bad for tonio that his reading comprehension, or lack thereof, blinded him to the intended meaning of some very relevant input.

          4. tonio, asking for clarification is usually preferable to premature braying.

          5. Harvard, I’m not a Yoop nor been to MI, but you’d fit well in the Alaskan interior…

          Ya’ll play nice now…….”out”.

    3. Indeed, that’s why the EPA tried to ban lead ammo (and failed).

    4. Control of firearms, while messy, could be more easily achieved by manipulating the manufacture and/or sale of components necessary for ammunition assembly.

      You don’t think the folks who make meth out of cold remedies could manufacture primers and powder?

      1. But of course, as could all the components. Powder would be the trickiest. Black powder is doable, smokeless is trickier. As to primers, probably some wag would develope an electronic ignition system, but it would mean reconfiguring the entire trigger mechanism and the round itself, especially the primer cup. Just remember, we are talking serious pressures here, and the trial and error wouldn’t come cheap. My guess is, it would be awhile before semi auto weapons were reliable and the ballistics would certainly suffer over the spectrum.

        1. Actually, the Mujahadeen when fighting the USSR used to make powder by chopping up old movie film. It is the same chemical compound as smokeless powder and could even be more fortified if you nitrate it some more.

          Primers as not impossible but a bit trickier. Some reloaders have a large cache (50,000+) which they rotate stock through to keep the overall stock life from aging too fast. Not that I can say I know anybody who does this – I just read it on the internet somewhere.

  20. Any serious, rational, reasonable, adult, mature discussion would lead to everyone agreeing that all guns must be banned. In the discussions held thus far, not everyone has agreed that all guns must be banned. Ergo, no discussion thus far has been serious, rational, reasonable, adult or mature. QED

  21. I think what the left is saying when they say “we can’t have a rational discussion on guns” is that now anytime they try to talk about guns somebody brings up Heller and/or McDonald which basically stops the discussion from going they way they want it to go. After that they have to bring up irrational talking points or feelings.

  22. Despite the horror at Virginia Tech, in Tucson and Aurora and too many other places to list, Americans consistently decline to adopt sweeping gun-control measures. Just a week after the Tucson shooting, 69 percent of survey respondents still http://www.cheapbeatsbydreonau.com/ told CNN the episode had not changed their views on gun control.

  23. In response to Iran’s repeated denials, and amid secret conversations with Iran’s government, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a statement in March 2011 that Levinson was being held somewhere in South Asia. The http://www.cheapbeatsbydretradeau.com/ implication was that Levinson might be in the hands of terrorist group or criminal organization somewhere in Pakistan or Afghanistan.

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