Gun Control

'Assault Weapons' vs. 'So-Called Modern Sporting Rifles': A New York Times Lexicon

|

As I mentioned last week, The New York Times is using the Sandy Hook massacre as a pretext to flog just about every proposal on the wish list of gun control supporters, even when the ideas plainly have nothing to do with Adam Lanza's crimes. The lead story in today's paper, for instance, implicitly advocates a comprehensive national database showing who owns what guns (or owns them legally, at least). In Adam Lanza's case, such a database would have shown that his mother owned several firearms, a fact that in itself was hardly a red flag indicating that her son would one day murder 27 people (including his mother). And since Lanza, who killed himself after shooting all of those people, was immediately identified as the attacker, a national gun registry clearly was not necessary to solve the case. The Times nevertheless claims that making it easier for federal officials to trace guns "has gained renewed urgency with the school massacre in Newtown, Conn." 

Despite all the thinly veiled policy pushing, the Times is making an effort to include the perspective of people who think new gun control measures make no more sense today than they did on December 13. In today's article, Erica Goode and Sheryl Gay Stolberg mention the fear that registration could lead to confiscation (something that actually has happened in various jurisdictions, as J.D. Tuccille noted in his recent piece about defiance of gun regulations), although they end with a quote that dismisses such concerns as a paranoid fantasy. More notable are the pieces that focus on the views of gun owners who do not understand the urge to ban "assault weapons" in response to the mass shooting in Newtown (especially since the rifle Lanza used did not qualify as an "assault weapon" under Connecticut's law, which is similar to the federal ban that expired in 2004). In a December 16 story, Goode put the issue in perspective by describing legitimate uses for such guns and noting how rarely they are used to kill people. A December 19 story by Trip Gabriel began this way: "Anyone seeking to limit the sale of assault weapons must reckon with the fact that millions of Americans own guns that might be classified as one, and for many it is no more exotic than, say, a motorcycle or sports car, from which they derive a similar satisfaction."

But terminology is important, and the casual use of assault weapon puts a thumb on the scale in favor of prohibition by implying that the phrase, which was invented by the anti-gun lobby, describes an objectively defined class of especially dangerous guns, as opposed to an arbitrary category of firearms whose looks offend activists and legislators. Notice how Gabriel implicitly acknowledges the latter reality even while using a term designed to confuse and scare people. The Times, which editorially has always supported bans based on this fraud, also has a history of uncritically referring to "assault weapons" in its news coverage. In a December 21 story about a surge in gun purchases that seems to be driven by fear of new restrictions, Stephanie Clifford highlights this bias by using the phrase "so-called modern sporting rifles" while mistakenly describing semiautomatiuc military-style guns sold to civilians as "assault rifles," which are guns carried by soldiers that can fire automatically. The implication is that the term used by gun manufacturers to describe their own products is suspect, while the term used by people who want to ban those products (or, as in this case, a garbled and plainly inaccurate version of that term) can be treated as a neutral descriptor.

Has the Times ever referred to "so-called assault weapons" in its news stories? The only example I could find appeared in an article by B. Drummond Ayres Jr. that was published in May 1994, during the debate over the federal ban that was enacted that year:

"These are guns that were fashioned for no other purpose than to kill," said Representative Charles E. Schumer, the Brooklyn Democrat who is the chief sponsor of the House bill. "They were designed not for hunting or plinking, but so that the average draftee with no real gun expertise could spray a lot of lead around in combat. The civilian versions are essentially the same as the military versions."

The bill's opponents counter that so-called assault weapons, while they may look more lethal, are in fact no more lethal than guns designed for hunting and target shooting. They contend that many other guns among the 200 million in the nation have the same capacity to kill and that in the end, the only way to stop gun deaths is to control criminals.

All the other mentions of "so-called assault weapons" that I found in a search of the paper's website appeared in quotations or letters to the editor from critics of the ban (including John McCain). The headline on Ayres' article: "In Gun Debate, Gun Definitions Matter." They still do.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

132 responses to “'Assault Weapons' vs. 'So-Called Modern Sporting Rifles': A New York Times Lexicon

  1. “has gained renewed urgency with the school massacre in Newtown, Conn.”

    I’m sorry, but has almost every article in the MSM began with some variation of the above phrase since it happened? Even ones having nothing to do with guns.

    1. without urgency, renewed or otherwise, there can be no govt action. And without govt action, no problem is ever solved. Ever.

  2. the average draftee with no real gun expertise

    Apparently, Schumer never heard of this process called “basic training”, during which soldiers are taught the use and care of their weapons.

    -jcr

    1. I’m also a little confused about how many “average draftees” Schumer thought there were in…1994.

      1. With tits like he’s got, who needs brains?

        1. MEWBS!

          1. Great minds, and all that, doc…

    2. Apparently, Schumer never heard of this process called “basic training”, during which soldiers are taught the use and care of their weapons.

      I spent four years in the Marines. During this time, I carried your M-16A2 rifle, which is a select-fire rifle that fires either in semi-automatic or in 3-round bursts. Being that I was in the infantry, I fired my rifle frequently. During my entire four years, never once did I fire the rifle in “burst” mode.

    3. Schumer actually thinks he is Homo superior with the right to rule over us lesser beings. In his mind, his perfect SAT score, and his Harvard degrees are prima facie evidence that he knows more about everything than you do. Schumer, having won an NRA marksmanship award at age 14 (really!), thusly considers himself an expert on firearms and firearms training.

      1. his perfect SAT score

        It appears Mr Schumer is an educated man. Now I really hate him.

        1. It has been suggested that those with larger breastage are smarter than the average bear.

          Judging by his moobage, Schumie is a positive Einstein.

        2. perfect SAT score and the best he can do is suck the federal tit for life? Education and intelligence are not necessary synonymous.

          1. Be fair: it’s smart, just immoral.

          2. Yeah, he’s making large sums of money in a job that requires him to do virtually nothing useful and he gets to spout his mouth off in his position with no notable consequences.

            Sounds pretty smart to me.

      2. Just for reference, a large percentage of the SS had doctorate degrees, qualifying them for uebermensch duty.

    4. Who needs basic training? Apparently all the army needs to do is sit these guys in from of violent video games for a few weeks.

      Tulpa said that video games make the average gamer more experienced in war tactics than Robert E Lee.

      1. Wow, I wish I had been around from that tulpaxcresence.

      2. Tulpa said that video games make the average gamer more experienced in war tactics than Robert E Lee.

        Which is ridiculous, because the first Kriegsspiel were played as early as 1812. Not to mention the very long history of Chess, which was closer, strategically, to 19th century warfare than warfare of today.

    5. It is just Schumer letting the mask slip and showing what he actually thinks of the military. Fucking ignorant asshole.

    6. And that doesn’t even consider the high numbers of AR 15s that are specifically designed to score points in 3 gun, and have absolutely no relation, in looks or function, to military rifles.

      And how dare we explain using “assault weapons” in collegiate sports?

      As an aside, I fucking love Kentucky.

  3. The lead story in today’s paper, for instance, implicitly advocates a comprehensive national database showing who owns what guns (or owns them legally, at least).

    What we need, to prevent defamation and false information being put out into the public, is a comprehensive database of reporters and mass media owners and employees. They shall be required to keep official credentials on their persons at all times and shall be required to wear an identifying mark in plain view on the right side of any clothing they wear in public.

    “These are guns that were fashioned for no other purpose than to kill,” said Representative Charles E. Schumer, the Brooklyn Democrat who is the chief sponsor of the House bill. “They were designed not for hunting or plinking, but so that the average draftee with no real gun expertise could spray a lot of lead around in combat. The civilian versions are essentially the same as the military versions.”

    Chuck, that’s why guns were invented to begin with. The original firearm, the fire lance had a range of only a few feet, but was something like hybrid between a shotgun and a flame thrower.

  4. I am very concerned about the presence of assault politicians like Charles Schumer in the vicinity of our children’s’ schools.

    1. And 535 of them surely violates some capacity ban!

    2. I am very concerned about the presence of assaulthole politicians like Charles Schumer in the vicinity of our children’s’ schools.

      FIFY

  5. Erica Goode and Sheryl Gay Stolberg mention the fear that registration could lead to confiscation

    Aren’t all legally purchased guns registered anyway? I mean, you must fill out a permission slip before you buy it, and that goes on file somewhere.

    Isn’t that de-facto registration?

    All some enterprising government agency needs to do is collate those records, get the most current personal information of the people on them, and viola they’ve got a registry that contains the majority of guns that were legally purchased over the last several decades!

    Who says they aren’t doing that already, and whenever you fill out that permission slip the weapon is registered?

    I know I’m not the first person to think of this.

    1. My recollection is that your purchase is registered by the dealer, but those records aren’t automatically shared with the feds, and I believe then can/should be purged after a certain number of years.

      Naturally, I have little doubt that the feds are maintaining a database in violation of the law.

      1. Same here. I wonder how long it would take them to contact each owner face to face? If they go alphabetically I’m going to change my name to Zazzerzuzz.

    2. No. And there are millions of weapons that are privately transferred every year. Those are not registered. That is the famous “gun show” loophole. That is why they hate it so much. It is all of these people doing things they don’t know about and can’t control. What they never mention is that the “gun show” loophole would make it illegal for your father to give you your grandpa’s shotgun or for you to so much as loan a weapon to someone.

      1. The majority (as in over half) of sales happen through dealers.

        Now if I’d said “most” then you’d have more of a point.

        1. I was responding to this question

          Aren’t all legally purchased guns registered anyway?

          No they are not. I have a whole collection of weapons that are not registered with anyone because none of them were bought from a dealer. And there are millions of people just like me that have unregistered weapons held perfectly legally.

          1. that’s okay; you’re already in the federal database.

      2. Before you go all epic derp on me here, allow me to quote myself:

        “majority of guns that were legally purchased over the last several decades”

        That statement deliberately does not include guns that were traded or inherited.

        I know you’re going to go all derp on it anyway. You can’t help it. You’re Red Tony, the Prince of the Derps!

        1. What you said was wrong. You can buy lots of guns legally and not have to register them. In most states, long guns do not require any kind of registration. It is only handguns that require a waiting period and registration or any kind of a background check.

          Now before you go epic derp. Understand that you asked a question and the answer to that question is “NO”. And someone, me, was nice enough to answer the question for you.

          You should learn to be more polite to people who answer your questions.

          1. When you fill out a form for a dealer to do a background check, are you not de facto registering the thing?

            That’s my point.

            You are not explicitly registering anything, but there is a government form there containing all the information needed to register it.

            You do know what de facto means, don’t you?

            1. It’s not the kind of registration that you can look up in a few seconds in some database. It requires going to the manufacturer, asking them to look up who they sold it to, then asking that dealer to look in his bound books and see who he sold it to, and so on. If the trail hits somebody who says he lost it, or sold it to a friend ten years ago who he has lost contact with, then the trail gets hard to chase. And that is fine with me.

              There was a court case sometime in the last several years where the ATF was trying to copy everything from some Alaskan FFLs; bound books to create the kind of instantaneous lookup database that most people think of. The court slapped them down.

          2. I guess my point was that if you don’t want them to potentially know what you have in your collection, don’t buy from a registered dealer. At least while you can.

            1. When you fill out a form for a dealer to do a background check, are you not de facto registering the thing?

              Maybe. First, I don’t think purchasing long guns requires a background check in a lot of states. And second, it is only a registration if someone keeps the record. And I don’t think the dealers do. If the record is destroyed, then there is no registration.

              I guess my point was that if you don’t want them to potentially know what you have in your collection, don’t buy from a registered dealer. At least while you can.

              For sure. And millions of people do just that. As I said below most people I know that have guns, have never “bought them”. They are gifts, taken in trade or family possessions. And don’t think for a moment liberals don’t hate that. If they ever closed the “gun show” loophole, millions of law abiding people would end up violating federal law.

              1. First, I don’t think purchasing long guns requires a background check in a lot of states.

                It’s required by federal law if you are buying ANY firearm from an FFL.

                Some states allow you to substitute showing your concealed carry permit, on the rationalization that it effectively acts as a background check since prohibited persons can’t get and keep one. There aren’t very many of these, though.

                And second, it is only a registration if someone keeps the record. And I don’t think the dealers do. If the record is destroyed, then there is no registration.

                Federal law requires that FFL’s keep sales records for 20 years, at which point they can destroy them. If they go out of business, they have to ship them to the ATF, and you can be sure they DON’T destroy them at any time.

                In addition, the FBI used to keep records of what background checks they did, in violation of the law. They were sued and were supposed to destroy those records, but there’s no guarantee that they did.

                1. Idaho is one such state. I knew a Navy Commander with a Top Secret clearance, but he couldn’t buy a gun in California because his name was somehow popping up on the NICS as a no-no. The Kafka-esque beauty of it was that DoJ told him he had to have the reporting agency remove it but wouldn’t tell him who the reporting agency was. So he just bought his guns in Idaho were he had a CCW.

          3. It is only handguns that require a waiting period and registration or any kind of a background check.

            Not true.

            In FL, there is a 3 day waiting period for long guns. At least in Miami there was. I had to wait 3 fucking days for a goddamn Marlin 60 .22.

            1. Hmm. I walked out of a gunshow with a shotgun in FL, although I don’t have a carry permit and had to wait on my pistol. Can’t remember, but I think my rifles I ordered and had shipped to a dealer, so I don’t know about rifles.

          4. In most states, long guns do not require any kind of registration.

            I could be wrong, but I think dealers have to record all sales. So the raw material for a long gun database is out there.

            When you fill out a form for a dealer to do a background check, are you not de facto registering the thing?

            Its been awhile (too long) since I bought a handgun, but I don’t recall that the background check involves any disclosure of what gun you are thinking of buying.

            1. I’m pretty sure the serial number is attached to the sale.

              1. It is, but the log of sales is not the background check.

      3. Some states ban private sales. PA is one, though I believe PA law allows family members to give close relatives firearms.

  6. …and for many it is no more exotic than, say, a motorcycle or sports car, from which they derive a similar satisfaction.

    Those people are, at best, unenlightened. Most likely, however, they can be safely regarded as sickos who don’t deserve to enjoy their perverse hobby at the expense of our children.

    1. he said exotic, not erotic. Get your mind out of the gutter.

        1. As you should. If we got our minds out of the gutter, we wouldn’t be commenting at HyR.

          1. Shorter RC:

            BEWBZ!-D

  7. I haven’t read the NY Times article. But I’m guessing that the author is hoping that the national database will be accessible by anyone and shame people into not owning guns in the first place. I feel safe in assuming that the writer had such a silly notion given that the NY Times is often the repository of very silly notions which have been derived from progressive prejudices. And one such prejudice is the idea that gun owners are the type of people who have attributes that make them unfit to mingle in society. Hence, they should be outed.

    1. shame people into not owning guns,

      What a fucking retarded idea, that you can make people feel bad about owning guns like you can about them washing their car in the driveway.

      1. All such efforts do is further divide the country and make real no shit political violence more likely. The NYT and people like them are nothing but fascist. It is and always shall be about finding an other to hate and to blame the world’s problems on. Today it is gun owners. Tomorrow it will be something else.

      2. I suppose in certain circles a person might be made ashamed of gun ownership. Here in rural bumfuck Pennsylvania, one is shamed for not owning a gun.

        1. A video of a man sharing his deep-seated feelings of shame and inferiority for not owning an AR-15

          It is funny

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6rNEW1vL94s

      3. But I’m guessing that the author is hoping that the national database will be accessible by anyone and shame people into not owning guns in the first place.

        [. . .]

        And one such prejudice is the idea that gun owners are the type of people who have attributes that make them unfit to mingle in society. Hence, they should be outed.

        It’s an affirmative tactic designed specifically to bring gun ownership in to TEH KULTUR WARZ where the left has been very successful in fighting their various battles.

        1. Quite so. See Matt Yglesias’s response to this tweet, for example.

          1. Matt Yglesias is an authoritarian asshole who ought to be shunned at every opportunity. Who the fuck is he to decide if I have an “unnecessary” gun in my own goddamn home?

            Fuck with with all of the unused bayonets designed to fit on my bayonet lug.

            1. Wow and I just went back to see the ensuing conversation he had with someone about it and it was even more depressing than before. To the question whether newspapers should publish names and addresses of welfare beneficiaries: “No. I think gun owners in NYC should be shamed and welfare recipients shouldn’t be.”

              You see, “No one is being harassed. But I’d like to know if my neighbors are storing anything deadly and unnecessary next door.”

              1. Seriously: “With all due respect, what business is it of yours whether your neighbor owns a gun or not?”

                “I’d be concerned about them using the gun to kill me, or my friends and loved ones.”

                I don’t understand at all how you get this stupid, but I guess it’s an accurate view of how pathetic and scared some people are?

                1. I don’t understand at all how you get this stupid

                  It’s all emotion. The most fervent gun control supporters know that they are unsafe with a deadly weapon. They know that in a fit of passion they would commit murder. Road rage, screwed up order at the drive through, coming home late, whatever. If they get mad, and a deadly instrument is nearby, they’ll use it.

                  They then project their weakness onto everyone else.

                2. If you go to his twitter page one tweet says, “Many gun owners don’t seem to understand or respect the cultural values of mainstream un-armed Americans.”

                  Huh?

                  If your values include imposing your will on me, then of course I don’t respect them.

                3. I don’t understand at all how you get this stupid, but I guess it’s an accurate view of how pathetic and scared some people are?

                  It’s projection. What he is really saying is that he might explode in a fit of uncontrollable rage and murder his family, friends, and neighbors. And since he is capable of this, obviously everyone else is too.

                  What convinced me that the rank and file gun-banner who uses the “ermahgurd thurl be shootins ovur purkin’ spaces, ermahgurd” is an encounter I had with an unusually candid prog that owned a website that he operated more or less as a “blog” before they were popularly known as such. Warren Ockrassa told the story of how he was “gay bashed” (though by the description of the event he was just heckled and is apparently a drama queen) while in college and went home to fetch a katana to kill the man. The man saw him approaching with a sword and took off and Warren was unable to catch up. He argued that if he had a gun he would have shot the fleeing man.

                  In my conversation with this prog moron it quite literally never occurred to him that somebody else might not have rage issues and be able to deal with a verbal heckler without resorting to murder. I couldn’t get him to grasp the concept.

              2. “No. I think gun owners in NYC should be shamed and welfare recipients shouldn’t be.”

                Those who would protect themselves from force should be shamed, while those who live off money obtained through threat of force should not.

                Doesn’t get much more statist than that.

          2. Thanks for bringing that to my attention. No need to even be tempted to read anything Yglesias has to say.

            1. Every once in a while he starts doing a fair impression of a reasonable person, usually talking about how stupid professional licensing restrictions are. Not so much right now.

    2. In order to be fair, I went to read the article. So my assumption was wrong – the author was not advocating for the registry to be publicly accessible. I live in an area that’s rife with people who assume any gun owner is some sort of borderline nutcase. So I pulled the trigger on making an assumption. (I take full responsibility for that really bad pun.)

      1. the author was not advocating for the registry to be publicly accessible.

        Effectively he is. Data can’t be locked away in a vault. If it exists, someone will see it.

      2. Someone is obviously advocating for public lists of gun owners.

        http://www.lohud.com/article/2…..ck_check=1

        1. two potential consequences: 1) criminals get a bead on places where they might be able to steal a gun, 2) criminals get a bead on where they will face limited resistance.

          1. Both of which show the evils of having to register a gun at all, much less having those registrations publicly available.

        2. Well, as handy as a map is, that does you no good at identifying that gun owner once he goes out among the general public, potentially hiding a child-murdering implement on his body.

          To protect and inform the public, they should also force gun owners to wear some sort of identifier on their clothing. A small picture of a gun would be ideal, but perhaps hard to discern for someone not familiar with guns — exactly the people the law would be intended to protect. Probably it should be something simpler and easily recognized, like a triangle or star. People need to be able to easily spot it on any sort of clothing, and it should be a color that indicates “caution: this person is dangerous”. A bright yellow would seem to work best.

  8. I did something insane and clicked through to the NYT story, and how sick is this:

    But even if someone were to be confirmed for the job [of ATF director], the agency’s ability to thwart gun violence is hamstrung by legislative restrictions and by loopholes in federal gun laws, many law enforcement officials and advocates of tighter gun regulations say.

    For example, under current laws the bureau is prohibited from creating a federal registry of gun transactions.

    This is how fucked we are: the paper of record not only fails to question the law-making powers of regulatory agencies, but actively laments the fact that the branch of government whose job it actually is to create legislation has “hamstrung” the legislative abilities of the executive branch.

    1. For example, under current laws the bureau is prohibited from creating a federal registry of gun transactions.

      Understand that creating such would make every person who so much as loaned a weapon to someone else or gave their kid’s their grandparents’ shotgun into a federal felon. They want that registry because they know everyone would ignore it. It would allow them to make most gun owners in this country into criminals under federal law. Most people that I know who own weapons have purchased surprisingly few of them. Guns are traded and handed down amongst families as much as they are purchased. And these bastards know that. And they know good and well, registration is the quickest way to make gun ownership criminal.

      1. I forget who it was (I think it was a runningback for Georgia), but recently a star college football player was kicked off the team for getting in trouble with the police for having an unregistered gun with the serial number scratched off.

        Not that he killed, but that he was in possession of a politically incorrect firearm. This event probably cost the kid millions of dollars in future income. Can you see what crap like this is costing society?

        1. http://onlineathens.com/sports…..gun-arrest

          It was Isaiah Crowell for Georgia, by the way.

        2. Don’t get me started on the racist fuckwads who make up the sports media. They have a heart attack every time some big scary black man is found with a gun. Obviously any black man carrying a gun is up to no good. It couldn’t possibly be that people who are well known millionaires and who have friends and family from some very dangerous places could ever need a gun for personal protection.

        3. Isaiah Crowell and much as I hate to yank this out, my hunch is that his being pulled over had more to do with a few young black males driving around on a college campus at 2 am. The “probable cause was smell of pot, none of which was found.

          Crowell was not a criminal; a prima donna maybe, but you never know when a star player might go crazy and start shooting the coeds.

          1. They smelled marijuana. Sure you did pig. That is why you found so much of it despite there being four guys in the car on which to plant the stuff.

      2. For example, under current laws the bureau is prohibited from creating a federal registry of gun transactions.

        Laws are for the little people.

        [Long discussion of various federal gun databases omitted, because squirrels.]

        Whether all these records are being combined into a huge data base is unknown. Regardless, each of these are a system of registration of firearms, firearm owners and firearm transactions specifically prohibited by 18 U.S.C. 926(a).
        http://www.ammoland.com/2009/1…..m-exposed/

    2. This is how fucked we are:….

      I say the measure of fucked is the NYT feeling emboldened enough to put in print what many on its staff have said among themselves for years.

    3. “For example, under current laws the bureau is prohibited from creating a federal registry of gun transactions.”

      How would a registry prevent a nut from killing his mother and stealing her gun?

  9. As if you didn’t know it was coming:

    Next: Calling all kitchen knives “Assault Weapons”

    A team from West Middlesex University Hospital said violent crime is on the increase – and kitchen knives are used in as many as half of all stabbings.

    They argued many assaults are committed impulsively, prompted by alcohol and drugs, and a kitchen knife often makes an all too available weapon.

    The research is published in the British Medical Journal.

    The researchers said there was no reason for long pointed knives to be publicly available at all.

    Opinions are passed as if objective truths by arrogant “researchers.” Also, water is wet. More news, at 11.

    1. “Researchers, who have never cooked a meal in their lives (unless it was a Lean Cuisine they popped in the nukerwave), said there was no reason for long pointed knives to be publicly available at all”

    2. The researchers said there was no reason for long pointed knives to be publicly available at all.

      Wait, what? I used a long, pointed kitchen knife three times this weekend. And I don’t even cook that often.

      1. it’s folks like you who belong in a database.

        /British researcher derp

      2. I used a long, pointed kitchen knife three times this weekend.

        Fatalities, or merely injuries?

    3. What’s really funny is that the article APPROVINGLY references:

      French laws in the 17th century decreed that the tips of table and street knives be ground smooth.

      …without pointing out that such laws were common on the continent as purely political laws aimed at disarming the peasantry.

      One of the key privileges of the French nobility was their exclusion from the laws against private possession of bladed weapons.

      1. I thought that the tips were rounded to prevent diners from stabbing their food and bringing it to their mouths as they had long done before the introduction of the dinner fork to the table. It was a matter of table manners as decreed by the king.

      2. Well, you have to keep the lower classes unarmed to keep them in line you know.

        tut, tut [adjusts monocle]

    4. Fuck. Now if I want to buy a knife that is capable of cutting animal flesh, I need to spend 4 years getting my Ph.D in Foodology, and the pass a licencing test?

  10. As usual, the gun control supporters are engaging in the kind of deplorable opportunism that, when viewed over time, makes the opportunism exploited after 9/11 look mild and almost acceptable.

    They’ve pushed ban after ban, but only really succeeded in the “usual suspects” states, and apparently it’s stuck in their craw that the federal ban sunset without major fanfare (or rise in crime), so they’ve tried to use every opportunity to push a new one, all the while deceptively claiming that it was merely a reinstatement of the previous ban when in fact nearly every proposal went much further then the 94-04 ban.

    Feinstein, Boxer, Schumer, McCarthy, Lautenberg might be called scum, but that’s unfair to scum everywhere. They are slimy and opportunistic, using the bodies of the dead as a platform to push laws that would not have had an effect on the current tragedy had they been in place from 1994 until now.

    I do like the idea that ‘we must do something now’ when it’s expressed by people who deplore the Patriot Act, which was basically a laundrylist of ‘wishlist’ items from the 80s and 90s and would have have little to no effect on the terrorists plans.

    1. The mask came off those people when it was suggested that the reforms of the Patriot Act be limited to just terrorism and national security cases. Somehow, they were not so interested in such a limitation.

  11. “The New York Times is using the Sandy Hook massacre as a pretext to flog just about every proposal on the wish list of gun control supporters”

    This feels a lot like it did when the Bush Administration was screaming about how our rights and freedoms were too dangerous to defend during the worst of the war on terror.

    I’d say that both the faces and the issue have changed, but the New York Times didn’t do much to speak out in defense of rights and freedoms during the war on terror either.

    They can always count on fear mongering to sell papers.

    I guess you could say their defense of our rights during the war on terror was mostly absent, but this time they’re leading the charge against the Constitution.

    Hypocritical liberals are bad; Progressives are the worst.

  12. More notable are the pieces that focus on the views of gun owners who do not understand the urge to ban “assault weapons” in response to the mass shooting in Newtown (especially since the rifle Lanza used did not qualify as an “assault weapon” under Connecticut’s law, which is similar to the federal ban that expired in 2004).

    This is just proof that the gun control crowd didn’t define “assault weapons” arbitrarily enough.

    1. If you go elsewhere online, and read the comments people are writing, it isn’t really the “assault weapons” they’re after anyway.

      They’re lashing out at gun owners. It’s not the guns they’re after; it’s the owners. They hate gun owners like some people hate Muslims.

      1. this bunch is just like the terror fanatics – the focus is always on things, from certain scary guns to equally scary containers of liquids, never people.

        1. Yeah, it’s a typical bait and switch.

          During the Bush Administration, they never asked if you wanted warrantless wiretapping or Americans denied a lawyer or a trial.

          They just asked if you were against terrorism, and if you were? Then, of course, that meant you wanted warrantless wiretapping, and you wanted to invade Iraq, too!

          So are you against nutjobs shooting children, wareagle?

          Well, are you?!

          If you say yes, then obviously the Second Amendment has got to go! It isn’t the first time in the last ten years that the president and congress have ignored the Constitution. And, hell, far as I can tell, the Supreme Court is likely to say that the manufacturing and sale of firearms is “commerce”.

          1. And, hell, far as I can tell, the Supreme Court is likely to say that the manufacturing and sale of firearms is “commerce”.

            Yes, but Heller specifically nixes the idea of blanket gun bans of any kind. At least with guns that have a legit use, and it’d be tough to argue that “assault weapons” don’t have various legit uses, including, in many cases, the rightful defense of one’s home.

  13. How do we explain the legitimate use of “assault weapons” in sporting activities?

    Even collegiate ones.

    BTW: I love Kentucky.

    1. May I suggest a nice .22 rifle for your squirrel problem?

      1. Don’t need a .22. My pellet rifle does just fine.

  14. Boxing Day is for Boxing Day shoots.

    There are still some few places in the civilized world where a driven shoot can yield 40o birds to a ten gun line, and a hot shot can bag 100.

    Their common denominator is that this is accomplished with nothing more than two shot 12 bores.
    At the scary upper extreme of what remains of big game hunting stand a few hardy souls facing irate pachyderms and predators with five shot clips .

    However much libertarian theorists want to justify the right to bear more formidible engines of manslaughter, there is nothing sporting about them – a more acute distinction between weapons and sporting arms ought to be drawn.

    1. Shooting paper targets is sporting. Fuck off.

    2. Well, Russell (if that’s your real name), there’s really nothing “sporting” about any hunting with firearms.

      You want sporting, use a bow and arrow, or a spear.

    3. It’s just like our First Amendment rights.

      Some people have no use for pornography. Is the world better off or worse because of pr0n? I don’t know. But I know people have a right to buy it even if it isn’t in everyone else’s best interest. And it certainly shouldn’t depend on whether it makes any sense to me in order for it to be a right for other people.

      Same thing with religion. Maybe Scientology, the Amish, and Mormonism are all a net negative for society. I don’t know. But even if it were a net negative, and even if those religions don’t make any sense to me, that doesn’t mean other people don’t have a right to do as they please.

      You can do that with just about any right. I have no use for a an AR-15, but then I don’t have any use for gay marriage either. If both of those things are a net negative for society, it doesn’t matter. People have a right to them anyway.

      We’re mostly better off when we respect each others’ rights, but our rights don’t exist for the benefit of society–and if some people care about things that other people don’t, that doesn’t make any difference either. Our rights exist anyway, and that means the Second Amendment, too.

    4. If the RKBA was for hunting you might have a point. Since it isn’t, you don’t.

      1. That is one of the things that bugs me most about the debate – the people who argue about whether or not you need or should be allowed weapons primarily designed to more effectively kill people. Unless you believe that the greatest threat to the security of a free state is deer or rabbits or ducks, the Second Amendment at least strongly implies that the RKBA specifically means weapons designed to kill people. The armed, government sort of people.

  15. The average NY Times editor and reader looks at that picture and sees an uber-scary killing machine, simply because it’s black. No doubt they apply the same rule when looking at people.

  16. But terminology is important, and the casual use of assault weapon puts a thumb on the scale in favor of prohibition

    True, of course. What we need is a counter-meme, a name for weapons that puts a thumb on the other side of the scale.

    Any thoughts?

    1. 99% Arms. Drones, private security, and even state agencies can be referred to as 1% Arms.

      I mean, I’m taking the support of the right for granted here.

  17. Well, R C Dean, if you aren’t a pious academic, when was the last time 38 people were murdered by a Swiss madman with a repeating crossbow ?

    1. What a lovely non-sequitur. The ultimate synergy of angry emotion and illogic in a quick comeback

    2. Don’t know.

      But I can tell you when the last time someone was killed with fertilizer and diesel fuel.

      Fuck off, douchebag.

    3. The more appropriate question is when was the last time I personally killed even one person, or wounded them, or even menaced them, with an “assault weapon” or any other firearm?

      1. How dare you insinuate that some crazed lunatic half way across the country who committed a horrific attack has nothing to do with you?

        You must be a racist who’s in favor of killing children.

      2. Ted Kennedy killed more people with his car than I have with all the fire-arms I owned over the course of my life.

    4. Russell is the most pretentious and annoying writer I have ever had the misfortune to read.

      I thought your prose style couldn’t possibly get more mindless and droning than the stuff you print on your blog, but it’s nice to see that I was wrong.

    5. The Swiss aren’t prone to mass killings, even though access to actual no-fooling assault rifles (by the technical definition) is quite easy there.

      So, apparently, it isn’t access to the right tool for the job that makes a mass killing, but something else.

    6. “When was the last time 38 people were murdered by a Swiss madman with a repeating crossbow”

      More than 30,000 Americans died in car accidents last year–many of them children–and RC Dean just drives around anyway!

      Does that mean RC Dean doesn’t care about children?

      Does that mean RC Dean shouldn’t be allowed to drive a car?

    7. I can tell you the last time a couple dozen children were murdered by assault-weapon-toting assailants. April 19, 1993.

    8. Oh, how quickly we forget….

      Man, 25, who killed his teacher father with a bow and arrow blamed him for his self-diagnosed Asperger’s and praised China in bizarre suicide note
      Despite being severely wounded, James Krumm, 56, distracted his son so his students could flee
      Christopher Krumm, 25, shot his father in the head with a high powered bow and arrow after barging into his Wyoming classroom on Friday
      The murder came after Krumm killed his father’s girlfriend Heidi Arnold, 42
      Shooter praised China, blamed his father for passing on to him Asperger’s genes and extolled eugenics

      1. high powered bow and arrow

        Jesus. Fucking. Christ.

  18. I’ll respect the NYT when it requires all its employees to report their gun ownership and then prints the lists in the Sunday paper.

    And how about we call these guns “mob defense rifles?”

  19. From one of the linked articles:

    Cerberus Capital Management put the company that makes the Bushmaster, a gun used in the shootings, up for sale on Tuesday, saying, “The Sandy Hook tragedy was a watershed event that has raised the national debate on gun control to an unprecedented level.”

    Or, it’s a company selling high during this period of “unprecedented” demand for AR-15 style weapons.

  20. I think ALL Americans should have assault rifles! I think they should be carried ALL of the time!

    http://www.Privacy-OT.tk

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.