Jacob Sullum Debates Gun Control With Adam Winkler on


In December, less than a week after the Sandy Hook massacre, I debated gun control with proprietor Robert Wright. I returned to the same forum last week for a debate on the same subject with UCLA law professor Adam Winkler, author of Gunfight:The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms in America. This time Wright served as the moderator of the first-ever "triavlog," which I gather has something to do with three people talking on streaming video. Said video is now available here and below.

I think Winkler and I did not disagree as much as Wright wanted, but it was a polite and clarifying discussion. In other words, it's not for you if you are a fan of Piers Morgan interviewed Winkler last year. Thaddeus Russell reviewed Winkler's book (which I also recommend) in the January issue of Reason. My colleague Brian Doherty, whose book Gun Control on Trial Winkler praises in his book, told the story of D.C. v. Heller, the historic Second Amendment case that is the focus of both books, in the December 2008 issue of Reason.

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71 responses to “Jacob Sullum Debates Gun Control With Adam Winkler on

  1. So, is this two against one?

    1. Yes. The two halves of Jacob’s brain against their one.

  2. Department of Homeland Security recently put out an offer to purchase 7,000 full-auto “assault weapons” to be used domestically, inside the USA.

    Learn more:…..z2K5WtC6qs

  3. 4 Fast Food Ingredients Way Worse than Horsemeat

    Read more:…..z2K5X5eaB1

    1. Why is horsemeat bad?

      1. Because for some reason some people are insanely attached to horses.

        Personally I don’t have a problem with it (or, for that matter, people eating just about any other kind of meat, save other humans and in some cases endangered species). My father used to buy it back in the 70s when beef was really expensive; he said it was pretty good. I wouldn’t mind trying it myself.

    2. 7,000 full-auto assault weapons say you will eat what we say you’ll eat.

    3. This article is absurd and very poorly researched.

      Propylene glycol is harmless, and is approved by the FDA as a food additive. As is everything else on that list. (Seriously, they’re getting upset about YEAST EXTRACT?!).

      Bunch of alarmist nonsense.

      1. ow Toxic is Propylene Glycol

        According to the Environmental Working Group, propylene glycol can cause a whole host of problems. It is rated a 4 by them, which is categorized as a “moderate” health issue. It has been shown to be linked to cancer, developmental/reproductive issues, allergies/immunotoxicity, neurotoxicity and endocrine disruption. It has been found to provoke skin irritation and sensitization in humans as low as 2% concentration, while the industry review panel recommends cosmetics can contain up to 50% of the substance.

        1. Excuse me if I don’t take EWG’s word for it. Propylene glycol can be harmful in large doses, but so can damn near everything.

          Perhaps you should be focused on larger dangers, such as dihydrogen monoxide. After all, it’s found in large concentrations in malignant tumors, is found in sewage runoff, can be found in every lake, river, stream and ocean on the planet, and kills hundreds of thousands of people a year. And yet, it’s still a very common food additive.

          1. Also, in large doses, it can cause a critical imbalance of the body’s electrolytes, resulting in death.

            1. If accidently inhaled, just a few C.C.s (a low L/D-50) or more can inhibit oxygen absorption to the bloodstream, causing brain damage and/or death.

              1. True, which is how it kills the vast majority of its victims.

            2. And it’s full of fish poop!

  4. OK, I’m not watching the vid, either. Pretty sure it’s predictable.
    But: “Congress looks to limit drone strikes”
    “Uncomfortable with the Obama administration’s use of deadly drones, a growing number in Congress is looking to limit America’s authority to kill suspected terrorists, even U.S. citizens. The Democratic-led outcry was emboldened by the revelation in a newly surfaced Justice Department memo that shows drones can strike against a wider range of threats, with less evidence, than previously believed.”
    Maybe even some team blue folks think we shouldn’t have an emperor? Maybe?…..e-strikes/

    1. I’m about 5 minutes in. So far, so good. But I expect Winkler will aggravate me in a more subtle way like a papercut.

  5. I can name 3 things wrong with this map game. How many can you find?

    1. Are you counting the choice of things to label? But I do think I see what you’re talking about.

      Either it’s a post-global warming map or the Tamil Tigers have far more explosives than I thought.

      1. Are you talking about Sri Lanka?

        The map doesn’t go that far east, I think.

        1. Well, a little of it should be there, next to the southern tip of India has also been amputated.

          1. Were gonna need some latitude and longitude lines for this shit.

            What the hell wakeup, makin’ us do cartography all late at night and shit.

    2. Italy is connected to Sicily?

      1. Continental drift?

      2. There’s also no Corsica or Sardinia, Cyprus has been sanded down in the northeast, Arabia crashed into Africa at the south end of the Red Sea, the Suez Canal and Strait of Hormuz are *really* wide, Gaza isn’t shown but the West Bank is,


    3. I got
      1) No South Sudan
      2) Only half of Turkey is shaded
      3) Palestinian State?

      1. #3 is a little weird, but it’s more glaring that they don’t show the border between Gaza and Izrael.

      2. Dude, my version has all of Turkey, you turkey.

        1. Turkey doesn’t end at the Bosphorous

          1. You are correct, I totally missed that looking at the east end of the country, you turkey.

            1. Northwest you mean. Since you’re clearly drunk, I thought this directive from our DA would be important for you to know about.

              Prompted by a recent court ruling that questioned the reliability of breath-testing devices, Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. is telling police chiefs temporarily to consider using only blood tests on two categories of suspected drunken drivers — the most intoxicated and the least impaired.
              In a letter dated Monday and sent to Pittsburgh police Chief Nate Harper and Reserve police Chief Fred Boory Jr., the head of the Allegheny County Chiefs of Police Association, Mr. Zappala advised departments that a problem has been identified with using breath-analysis readings of below 0.05 and above 0.15 blood alcohol level.

              1. What AP was noticed was in the northwest, but I was looking at the eastern border for the problem.

                Does this mean I can drink and drive legally now? ‘Cause, yes I have had a few and feel like a drive. I’m an american, dammit.

                1. I once asked the MADD due if I can pass the “drunk drive” test at the mall, does that mean I can drive drunk legally?
                  He refused to let me try.

              2. Oh no you don’t. That blood test doesn’t just report alcohol levels. What a sneaky way to find out if perhaps you have THC in your system (from a joint at a concert two weeks ago) or maybe opiates (from the tylenol with codeine you took for your bad headache yesterday) — and now we’ve got you for “driving under the influence” of narcotics.

                Tell them you are happy to do their alcohol breath test, but they aren’t getting any of your precious bodily fluids. I don’t think they are going to restrain you to draw blood or catherize you for your urine.

                1. I don’t think they are going to restrain you to draw blood or catherize [sic] you for your urine.

                  I dunno, Dr. Anacreon, SCOTUS hasn’t ruled on that yet, AFAIK, and though they may not be doing the phlebotomy themselves, EMT’s or an ER would certainly suffice.

                  Though I would not order a blood draw against a patient’s will, Dr. Contrarian P has dealt with this before.

                  My prediction: SCOTUS upholds forced blood draws.

                  1. Noted beach bum and surfer stallion dunphy is also on record of supporting this practice in WA.

                  2. I’ve got news for you: forced blood draws are perfectly legal right now if you have been in accident and are suspected of driving drunk.

                    Sorry to burst your bubble. I guess there’s an open question about whether they can do one for “mere” suspicion of DWI.

        2. Part of it is yellow. Maybe Greece bought it?

          1. with what? Feta futures?

    4. Holy SHIT
      look at what else I found on that site

      “Reinventing Teachers’ Unions

      Are we on the cusp of a new social justice unionism for teachers? Last year, Wisconsin teachers grabbed international attention with a takeover of the state capitol. This fall, the collaborative nature of the successful Chicago Teachers Union strike?and the breadth of parental, student, and community support?heartened and inspired education activists everywhere. What can we learn? Where do we go from here?”

      1. I like how teachers getting paid more equals kids getting a better education to these people.

        They’re basically saying that without a raise they’re gonna purposely suck at teaching your kids.

      2. will someone please define “Social Justice” for me?

        1. Social Justice is like buckyballs, you can make it into whatever you want it to be.

        2. Whatever the Left-Libertarians and Bleeding Heart Libertarians want it to mean?

        3. will someone please define “Social Justice” for me?

          In a word, “Altruism.” AKA, “You have more than I do or something I want, I want it, and I will force you to give it to me!”

          See also: “The Access Argument”, Welfare, Rent Seeking, “Positive Rights”.

        4. “The way I think things should be.”

          Seriously, it doesn’t mean anything more than that. Whenever someone uses the phrase, you can just replace it with “the way I think things should be.”

          1. I believe social justice generally boils down into forcibly taking from Group A to give to Group B.

  6. Sorry to complain about Sullum, who’s my favorite Reason writer, but I’m 24 minutes into the video, Winkler keeps bring up “common sense” solutions to stop gun violence, and Sullum still hasn’t brought up ending the Drug War.

    1. My bad. Sullum brings up the drug policy issue at 28 minutes. It’s starts to get good at this point.

  7. Transcript? I’m trying to watch hockey.

    1. Who you watchin’?

      Pens starting to look in form.

      1. There’s only one game on. Hawks-Sharks. Top 2 teams in the league.

  8. Sullum is a good debater, but wouldn’t it be more appropriate to have The Fonz of Reason debate Winkler?

    1. Not much of a debate, since he would be to the left of Winkler

      1. Nazis expanded gun rights except you know the Jews. /Gillespie

  9. Jesse Jackson calls for DHS troops to patrol Chicago.

    Imagine the media’s reaction if Pat Robertson had called for something like that during the Bush admin.

    1. And your chuckle worthy quote, brought to you by our sponsor, Hebrew National hot dog company…

      When the president shows up, it shows ultimate national seriousness

      1. Jackson has been a proponent of new gun control measures, saying last month that “semi-automatic” and “assault weapons” need to be banned because they pose threats to national security with the capability to “shoot down planes.”

        Someone, ANYONE, please tell me the model and manufacturer of a firearm that can shoot at a plane 20,000 feet in the air.

        Have some video to go with it. And despair.

        1. I can shoot 2″ groups with my 10/22 at 20,000 feet. But only when I have the pistol grip on it.

          1. You can shoot 2″ groups with a 10/22 at a distance of almost four miles? I call bullshit.

            1. But only when I have the pistol grip on it.

              1. By my calculations, that’s roughly 0.028 MOA. I don’t believe that’s physically possible. 😛

            2. I call sarcasm.

        2. More seriously, the danger for slow-moving civilian jets is when they are taking off, not cruising at altitude.

          1. Thank FSM you don’t own a barrel shroud. That increases lethality and accuracy by 1000%.

            I would like to say that airports spend millions on runway security (which is true) and that it’s effective (which is not true). It seems surprisingly easy for people to get on to an airport runway. That aside, you know what Jesse Jackoff meant. He intended to paint the sensationalist picture that an AR-15 can shoot down a plane in flight.

            1. Runway security? This seems appropriate:


            2. To be fair (lord knows why, since this is absurd), you wouldn’t have to be on a runway here. Midway is smack in the middle of the south side.

  10. Sounds like a prettty solid case to me dude.

  11. Adam Winkler, what a joke.

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