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An Open Letter to the New York Times Editorial Board on Guns

NY Times Editorial on Guns

Dear New York Times; Captain America Civil War will be out next year.  I am as excited to see it as you are, but I would preference you not jump the gun and incite a real civil war in the meantime.  I know many people who own assault weapons and not a single one would commit an act of terrorism.  However, I also know that not a single one of them would “give them up for the good of their fellow citizens” as you suggested in your front page editorial.  I believe they would “use them for the good of their fellow citizens”, but give them up, I think not.  I have no doubt that you are all very smart people living in the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple.  But somewhere in Montana is a rancher who in a state the size of Iraq but with only 1,000,000 people is wondering why he has to give up his legally purchased firearms because someone from the city told him so.  He wonders if you are joking, but worse yet, he fears you believe the mantra “Cold Dead Hands” to be a joke.

A Moral Outrage?

I am actually not ashamed of America.  You indicate that it is a “moral outrage and national disgrace that civilians can legally purchase weapons designed specifically to kill people with brutal speed and efficiency.”  And while I will address the “speed and efficiency” point soon, let me first address the outrage part.  Slavery was a moral outrage and a national disgrace.  The ensuing lack of civil rights for African-Americans was a moral outrage and a national disgrace.  And when America woke up to realize that, they changed the constitution to reflect it.  For that reason, I am not ashamed of America.

Obama Mandatory Voting

We will always self-correct as time goes on and sooner or later, America gets what America wants.  However, the founders set an intentionally high bar on altering the rights they fought to secure.  A simple majority won’t get it done, but a morally outraged nation can make it happen quite quickly.  Yes, the founders perhaps didn’t foresee the advancement of modern weapons of war, but they didn’t foresee women getting the right to vote either.  It was a moral outrage and national disgrace that women couldn’t vote at one point in our nation’s history, but when America woke up to realize that, they changed the constitution to reflect it.  For that reason, I am not ashamed of America.

However, I would be ashamed of an America that allowed women to vote, but said they had to complete 20 pull-ups to do so.  I would be ashamed of an America that prohibited a poll tax, but charged $500 for parking outside a polling station.  I would be ashamed of an America who says we have the right to free speech, but makes words that could be offensive or hurt someone’s feelings criminal as apparently 40% of millennials would preference.  I would be ashamed of an America that said 18-year-olds had the right to vote, but they had to prove they weren’t an absolute idiot first.  Now wait, that last one is actually not a bad idea. But the point is, if it was indeed a moral outrage as you called it, then America would respond as we always have in kind.  It is called the 2nd Amendment because it is literally the 2nd one on the list, not an afterthought.  To alter it with anything less than the constitution itself  would in fact be, a moral outrage and national disgrace.

Assault Weapons

Confession time.  I actually tried to kill someone with an assault weapon once.  It wasn’t my fault really as the other guy tried to kill me and a few of my friends first with his own assault weapon.  But since it occurred when I was a Marine in Iraq, it all seemed like fair game.  Then, my friends and I all tried to kill this guy together because that’s what friends do I guess.  To my knowledge, I didn’t hit him, but I didn’t go back to check either.  Do you know how many people have been killed in America by assault weapons?  I’m sure you have fact checkers out there, but wouldn’t that be an interesting number to publish so that we can determine the scope of this moral outrage.  Actually, you already did that last September in another editorial you titled, The Assault Weapon Myth.  I attached a link so you can refresh your memory.

NY times Editorial on Guns

I actually respect people who just come right out and say they want to repeal the second amendment.  I might think them foolish, but at least they are honest.  In your September 2014 editorial you offered the following quote from the Department of Justice in reference to the 1994 assault weapon ban: “Should it be renewed, the ban’s effects on gun violence are likely to be small at best and perhaps too small for reliable measurement.”

You know that feeling you get when states pass Voter ID laws and you believe it to be an infringement on a person’s right to vote?  Despite the fact that anyone can easily get an ID, you believe the hurdle put in place to be much more nefarious that it seems.  That is kind what supporters of the 2nd Amendment are feeling right now.  I support voter ID laws in the same manner I am ok with background checks and some basic mental health component for a gun purchase.  Both can be very dangerous and lead to an infringement of a basic constitutional right, but if done well and aggressively kept in check, harmless.

In Summary

I realize that this was the first time you put an editorial on the front page in 100 years which I guess was supposed to make this carry more weight.  Granted, that man in Montana minding his own business is still trying to figure out who this “editorial board” might be that tells him he should feel moral outrage.  I’m sure he is staring at his assault rifle right now pacing back and forth doing his best to comply.  Perhaps it would help if you recommend he draw a little Hitler mustache on it.  I’m sure the brave man below is thankful he didn’t have any moral outrage to feel guilty about as the tank rolled over him.

NY Times Editorial on Guns

I am a proud gun owner, but I do not own an assault rifle despite the fact that it is the weapon which I am most familiar and trained to use.  But that will change.  I can read the tea leaves thanks to your editorial and I will have one or two soon.  And should you have your way and outlaw them, then it will be the craziest thing.  A bear just ran right in my house grabbed my assault weapons and took them off into the woods.  Darndest thing you ever saw.   Thanks for your contradictory editorials.  I’m off to do some work as a writer so I can pay for my upcoming morally outrageous purchase.

If You Fail to See the Moral Outrage, Like the Unprecedented Mediocrity Facebook Page Below

Jeff Edwards

50 Comments

  1. Very well said. I hear there are a lot of uppity bears in the woods around my place, too. Who knows what might prompt them to burglarize my stash?

  2. Bears aren’t too uppity in NH. It’s the damn deer. They hide out all huntin’ season, soon as it’s over, if it ain’t nailed down, it’s gone. But if that deer wants my “assault rifles,” he’s gonna have to pry from my “cold dead fingers”. Great job! Thanks for your service

  3. Only problem I saw was the use of “assault weapon” and “assault rifle” interchangeably, the media already seems to be very confused!!! Thank you for a very well written piece and most of all, thank you for your service, Marine! From an old Dogface 🙂

  4. Trained to fight, trained to kill, ready to die, but never will. Thanks for your service Marine. Semper Fi!

  5. First off, thank you for your service. Though I am not in the military myself, I have several family members and close friends who are and I hold your and their bravery in very high regard.

    That said, I’d like you to consider a few things that perhaps you may not understand about the liberal point of view on these things. You speak of people “using them [assault weapons] for the good of their fellow citizens”, yet the problem is that the “good” is totally subjective. The terrorist who shot up Planned Parenthood last month thought he was using it for good. The terrorists who shot up San Bernardino this week thought they were using them for good, too. The rancher in Montana may wonder why we want his M4 to be taken away, but us here in cities are wondering why we have to live in fear and practice live shooter drills in our schools and offices because people can go to Montana or Georgia or Arizona, stock up like they’re preparing for the apocalypse, show up in our town blazing away in the name of “good” in whatever crazy ideology they hold, and there’s nothing we can do about it. Think of how we view it, too, when guns come from Red states to kill people in Blue ones.

    I also think your comparison to slavery and women is just plain wrong. Nothing ever inherently changed about women and people of color in the past 200 years other than their legal protections. They’re pretty much the same, physically. Guns are not.

    All of that considered, I do think there’s a lot more that both sides of this debate have in common than people think. Personally, I think people -should- be able to own guns. If you agree that we can do better in this country than having to watch another massacre unfold on CNN each week (and I get the feeling that you do), then your voice is the one desperately missing from this debate. Give us liberals someone to work with who is willing to do something – universal background checks, mental health screenings, anything. There will still be a group on the left yelling to ban everything, but more people than not are reasonable and want to work together to protect our country, and we’ll take what we can get – isn’t that what government is supposed to be? Anything is better than sitting with the status quo, and if all we hear is the NRA telling us that more guns are the solution when our cities are flooded with them already, we’ll never get anywhere, and you and I both know that.

    • T, I served in the military. I’m conservative. I don’t consider myself a Republican because my views are much more center and even left on some social issues. But about guns, the liberals have it all wrong. To begin with, they’re patently dishonest. If you want to have an honest debate then the left has to be, well, honest. They have proven themselves completely incapable of being so. I too hoped for meaningful debate to come in the wake of Sandy Hook. That event woke me up politically. I held that hope for what now seems like about 60 seconds. The reason I awoke politically was because armed with a little knowledge of weapons and tactics I could see right through the intellectually and factually dishonest rhetoric of liberal politicians, gun control advocates, and the media. In the time since Newtown, even the phrase “common sense” has been hijacked and lost all meaning because of all the nonsensical statements, positions, and lies that the left attaches it too. “Assault weapon”? A political invention that cannot be consistently defined even by those who condemn them. “Clip”? It’s a magazine. Clips exist but generally serve a different purpose. A “clip” for an M4 holds 10 rounds together for easy loading into the magazine. There are very few firearms that can hold a clip and fire rounds from it. The M1 is one. “High capacity”? Another political invention whose definition changes with the wind among leftists. Is it 100? 50? 30? 15? 10? 7? Or 3, as was originally proposed for NY’s infamous “SAFE” law? “Standard capacity” magazines come in many sizes from 30 on down. Any argument along the lines of “you don’t need that many rounds” is intellectually dishonest or ignorant. If you want to push lower capacity magazines, start with law enforcement? Why do you think they keep 15+ rounds in their magazines? We face the same perpetrators they do and an officer’s handgun is primarily about protection of self and others – just like an ordinary citizen or legal resident, not assaulting a person or position. That’s what their rifles are for. “Epidemic of gun violence”? Define epidemic, please. I think that the almost 50% decline in gun deaths in this country over the past 20 years arguable eliminates “epidemic” from an honest discussion about guns. “Gun violence”? Define that too, please. When gun control advocates use this phrase they often accompany it with the 30,000+ annual deaths by firearm in this country. Like so many of their so-called “facts”, this one is flawed. The gun rights advocates are generally more knowledgeable and are willing to take the debates a level or two deeper because they know the numbers support their arguments. Of those ~30,000, approx. 18,000 are suicides and 12,000 are homicides. Of those 12,000 homicides, approx. 4,000 are justifiable homicide by police and citizens or residents. The real so-called “gun violence” problem resulting in death is about 8,000 per year any the vast many of those die due to their own criminal activity. “Sprayed bullets”? Invokes images of machine guns, which have only been used in ~1-2 crimes in the past 20 years, probably longer. (There’s a report that one of the semi-automatic AR-15s used in San Bernardino was illegally modified to fire fully automatic – not a design or purchased feature.). “Gun sense”? Shannon Watts has no idea what that means. “40% of gun sales are done without a background check”? A complete lie that’s been debunked several times, even by the author of the 20+ year old study from which it came. The real number from that study is still higher than many would readily accept but it’s substantially lower than 40. It’s even substantially lower than the 36% that is the actual number that Obama and others conveniently round up to 40%. And even the real number is highly suspect because the study wasn’t meant to measure that, which the author admits, so certain assumptions are made about the data and it was done at a precarious time because the study overlaps the implementation of the Brady Bill – before which background checks weren’t required at all. Red state to blue state gun trafficking? Not legally. A resident of one state cannot purchase firearms in another state without transferring those firearms through a FFL. There are very few exceptions to that. “High powered”? No. The handguns and rifles used in these killings are not considered high powered by the people who understand them. They’re actually on the low end. “High rate of fire”? A semi-automatic firearm will only fire one round per pull of the trigger. That technology has been in use for >100 years now, in both handguns and rifles. The gun industry is not producing “ever more powerful weapons” that are used in these crimes. “Universal background checks”? This proposal is fraught with problems. Have you read the legislative proposals? I have. Both in my own state and in some others. It’s a misleading banner used by gun control advocates to apply a mixed bag of stuff they really want, that gives away their true agenda, that they refuse to be honest about because they know that “most Americans” wouldn’t agree with some of it. The legislative proposal in my state included a provision for an annual inspection of my home by law enforcement to ensure safe storage. Really? Warrantless invasion of our homes now, under the banner of “universal background checks”? That legislation didn’t make it out of committee thanks to the Republics in this state. Yea for them! “More than 90% of Americans agree with universal background checks”? When a separate “universal background check” measure was attempted, and succeeded, in my state via ballot instead of the legislature, it passed, but by less than 60% (don’t recall the exact %). If 90% agree then why did only 60% vote for it? Another lie.

      The bottom line is there isn’t a single fact, statistic, issue, label, catch-phrase, etc. that the left is honest about in the area of firearms.

      As long as the face of gun control is that of Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Eric Holder, Dianne Feinstein, Harry Reid, Rahm Emanual, Michael Bloomberg, Andrew Cuomo, Shannon Watts, Gabrielle Giffords, Mark Kelly, Piers Morgan, or any of the dozens or hundreds to work closely with them or employ the same tactics, or is led by groups like Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, Everytown for Gun Safety, or the other prominent gun control organizations, we will never have an honest, meaningful, reasonable, or “common sense” debate. The fact is, none of them want a debate because they can’t win it on facts or reason. Their playbook is about emotion, which is why they attempt to exploit and capitalize on every unfortunate incident involving firearms that they can.

      That does not mean that there aren’t well meaning people out there who support gun control. But many of them are naive at best. Some are ignorant. Some are liars. Some are authoritarians. Some are idealists who are disconnected from the reality of the world we live within. Some can be persuaded to be more accepting of guns and gun rights if they can find someone to walk them through the real facts and show them the fallacies of the pro control control arguments. But that’s not many. Given an actual discussion, many, perhaps most, eventually resort to a version of “well I just don’t like guns”. That’s no rational basis to it. It’s emotion and the type of indoctrination advocated by Eric Holder.

      • Patrick, if you have a problem with the term “assault weapon”, I’d suggest you write the author of this article first. He’s the one who used it, not me.

        That said, all I got out of your wall of text was that I’m apparently (news to me) dishonest and a liar. You call it about emotion, and then you rattle off a bunch of names that get conservative mouths all frothy and spout off words like “indoctrination” and “their true agenda” that propagate paranoia and fear. My agenda is wanting less dead Americans, and that seems pretty damn patriotic to me. All you’re doing is plain old name calling, and sad too, because I was completely honest in my post to the author, and posts like yours are what makes people on the left say that you can never have a respectful conversation with a gun advocate. I’m from Texas, I grew up using guns, and I still shoot guns, but I guess I’m not allowed to have an honest opinion that’s different from yours. Look up “Echo Chamber”, because that’s where you’re stuck.

        I don’t particularly care how or why people get shot, if they’re shooting themselves, if police or residents are shooting them, if they’re “justifiable” (however that gets defined, and by whom). Dead people are dead people and we can do better.

        • You made Patricks point!…. Liberals are incapable of hearing/reading an opposing view…. your rebuttal was also emotional!… another one of Patricks points

        • To me the issue isn’t that you’re dishonest, I don’t think most of the rank-and-file gun control fans are dishonest, I think they’re ignorant.

          For example: No one can go to Montana and buy an M4. Unless you’re active duty Military or Law Enforcement they’re banned. After 1986, no newly manufactured machine gun may be bought by a private citizen and the M4 wasn’t produced until the 1990’s.

          Even the cops can only get one through their department’s armory. They can never own it.

          It’s comments like this that make it fairly obvious that you don’t actually know what you’re talking about.

        • I responded December 6 and tried again on December 8. Both copies of the same response are “awaiting moderation”. Now I’m trying again by breaking the response into smaller segments.

          Segment 1:

          T, it appears you’ve missed most of my points. Did you read the paragraph about well meaning people? I don’t know you but have no reason to believe you’re not one of those. If your goal is “less dead Americans”, fine, I believe you. You can take that argument as far as you want and I’ll respect your opinion even if I don’t agree with it. But if you support that goal with the numbers and phrases I’ve put in quotes then you’re at best proliferating lies that you didn’t create. If you know the truth behind them and still use them then you are a liar. That’s a pretty simple distinction. All those things are lies created by the left to demonize guns and mislead Americans. I think it’s patriotic to not want Americans to be lied to by our politicians and media in arguments that affect the rights of 300 million people.

          I probably do disagree with you about the methods by which to reduce American deaths by firearms. I don’t agree that all lives are equally worth saving. If hardened, violent criminals want to kill each other then they’re doing us all a favor and making us safer by reducing that population, as well as reducing our tax burden by not having to support them in prisons. Justifiable homicide is just that – justifiable. Are there bad judgments? Sometimes. Are there cover-ups, like recently in Rahm Emanuel’s Chicago? Yes. But they’re rare. Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown? Criminals who got what they deserved. Both assaulted their victims, who they were later justifiably killed by in self defense, and arguably were guilty of attempted murder had they been allowed to prevail. We all have a right to self defense. I have a problem with an ideology that values the lives of criminals more than those of innocent victims. The lives of criminals are not worth sacrificing or degrading our rights as Americans.

          I do have a problem with the term “assault weapon” because it’s origin is that it’s a political invention used to demonize guns and mislead people. I’m not going to attack the author of the article because he probably doesn’t know any better. He’s young. That term is probably about as old as he is and thanks to our liberal politicians and media, he’s heard it all his life. We don’t refer to rifles as “assault weapons” or “assault rifles” in the military. He didn’t get it there.

          Those names you say make conservatives’ mouths frothy? They put themselves in that position and strengthen that position every time they open their mouths on this topic. Every one of them is demonstrably a liar on this topic and an ideologue. (Full Definition of IDEOLOGUE. 1. : an impractical idealist : theorist. 2. : an often blindly partisan advocate or adherent of a particular ideology.)

        • I responded December 6 and tried again on December 8. Both copies of the same response are “awaiting moderation”. Now I’m trying again by breaking the response into smaller segments.

          Segment 2a:

          “Their true agenda”? There are rare occasions when vocal gun control advocates either say it outright or get caught in a moment with their guard down when they admit their goal is the confiscation of all guns, or certain types of guns, or the revokation of the 2nd Amendment. Dianne Feinstein is one – youtube.com/watch?v=1_LaBJvI0BI There are others in Illinois, Connecticut (?), and Florida (?) that I’ve heard myself and others that I’ve read. There are several US city mayors who abandoned Michael Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns group because they learned from the inside that MAIG’s true objective had nothing to do with their advertising or propaganda. They were after ‘all guns’, not ‘illegal guns’. Note too that even MAIG’s title is misleading. What is an “illegal gun”? There’s no national standard I’m aware of except those made entirely of undetectable materials. And those guns are hobbies and experiments, not in distribution. Again, they’re targeting a thing, not the criminal who would use a “legal gun” in an illegal manner. The same goes for the MDA group. I read an account of one of those mothers who left MDA because she learned from the inside that their goal was all guns.

          “Indoctrination”? Perhaps I misspoke. I should have used “brainwash” because I was intending to reference Eric Holder’s own words. Here’s a clip for you that shows it – youtube.com/watch?v=0nM0asnCXD0 “anti-gun…brainwash”. Thank you, Eric Holder, for being honest about your “true agenda”.

          So, fear and paranoia? The fear is based on demonstrable speech, actions and behavior, showing that if enough certain people get in power they will take away our valued rights in pursuit of their ideology. Remember about paranoia that just because you think they’re all coming for you doesn’t mean it’s not true. Of the people I named, it’s true. And Bloomberg alone has a $25+B fortune to spend on his pet projects. As mentioned, I watched the gun control agenda pass a ballot measure in my state with lies, propaganda and a 10:1 spending advantage thanks to Bloomberg and other very wealthy people. One prominent name I mistakenly left out, btw, was Hillary Clinton.

        • I responded December 6 and tried again on December 8. Both copies of the same response are “awaiting moderation”. Now I’m trying again by breaking the response into smaller segments.

          Segment 3: (1, 2a, 3 – The ones awaiting moderation contained fully qualified URLs that appear to be the problem. I’ve removed their prefixes in the posts that worked.)

          Your “echo chamber” reference to me is ironic and laughable, at least as described by Wikipedia – en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Echo_chamber_(media) because the “situation in which information, ideas, or beliefs are amplified or reinforced by transmission and repetition inside an “enclosed” system, where different or competing views are censored, disallowed or otherwise underrepresented” is EXACTLY what the left does about guns. I’m pointing out that the talking heads of gun control are demonstrable liars and actually showing evidence and explaining some of it. Their legions of followers are either in on the lies or being misled. Then there are those of us who see through the lies and know them to be what they are. And I’m doing this with you – my opposition, not on some right-wing blog (which I find equally distasteful when they employ the same tactics, btw). I have two anecdotes somewhat related to this. I posted a comment on the MDA FB page a couple years ago. At the time they were pushing something and I pointed out that their proposed policy would prohibit the Boy Scouts of America from teaching their scouts to shoot .22 rifles. My comment was deleted and I was blocked from making any others. I also went to high school with someone who is now a state legislator. He was promoting a gun control bill and I posted on his FB page 3 questions. I told him we disagreed about the bill but wanted to know how he intended to protect people’s rights along with the bill. Again my comment was deleted and I was blocked from further comments. The left is intolerant of dissenting opinion even when presented respectfully. There was no name calling or vicious rhetoric – just fair, plainly stated questions and comments.

          T, I can debate the issue respectfully with anyone. I don’t think all gun control advocates are liars, as I meant to convey with my “well meaning” paragraph. The celebrity ones are. In that respectful conversation we can talk about facts and statistics. If you use them you’d better be able to explain them and take some responsibility for the ones you use. If you’re not familiar with their origin or criticism of them they you’d better have an open ear. If once you know the truth behind it and still continue to misuse it then you are a liar, by definition. You may call that labeling but it’s a factual label if someone tells or knowingly proliferates mistruths. But facts and statistics aren’t the real basis of the gun control argument. They’re the supporting arguments. The real issue is our values. Some value all life equally. (That’s “life” as they define it since there’s an equally divisive debate about when life begins and is worth protecting in its own right.) Some value the rights of millions more than the lives of thousands. Some value an individual’s right to take their own life. Who are you to decide for me that my life is worth living by me? Some value honesty. This is where the real debate lies and why it will never be resolved. Our values will never coalesce. For those who are honest about wanting to revoke the 2nd Amendment, fine, I can respect your desire. There’s a process for that. It’s clearly documented in our Constitution. And it will not happen within our lifetime because our Founding Fathers set a very high bar for it. it’s not an unobtainable bar, as we have seen amendments passed since the original Bill of Rights. But even if it could happen in our lifetime or in the next 100 or so years, then you have the impossible logistical problem of trying to confiscate 300+ million firearms from some very angry people.

          • Sorry your comment got held up in moderation. Sometimes there is something that triggers it and it gets shot straight to the SPAM folder. I do my best not to limit any debate on here as I want all the opinions out. Let me know if this comment you just typed works for your or if you want me to go and clear out the other two from the SPAM folder.

    • T, speaking statistically, the majority of the shooters committing these mass murders with firearms are usually Liberal or lean toward the Liberal mindset or political ideology. Look the information up for yourself if you believe I’m wrong. Islamic terrorist/murderes are in a different category and their killing of American citizens shouldn’t be added in a gun control debate in this country. The only discussion we should be having about terrorists is how to illuminate these sons of bitches not guns. They will procure the weapons by hook or crook which means disarming law abiding citizens makes their goals easier. The proverbial genie is already out of the bottle as far as firearms. I would bet a wager there are more guns on this planet than there are human beings. Bad guys will NEVER heed ANY law if it takes away his/her power over the weak and powerless

      Another point which needs to be made to your reply to the initial editorial is this: no one is holding a gun to your head making you live in a city. I understand large cities are bastions of the Liberal society, yet the concentrated numbers of people killed by firearms occur in the big cities. I find your argument is DOA.

      • K, here’s a link that debunks the myths about shooters being predominantly left-wing. Most of them are easily proven lies by conservative fear radio. Check it out for yourself: http://www.examiner.com/article/the-idea-that-recent-mass-shooters-are-mostly-registered-democrats-is-a-myth

        Also, how about Timothy McVeigh – was he a leftist, too? He was as anti-government right wing as you can get, and he’s the deadliest domestic terrorist in our history.

        You can’t say “the only discussion we should be having is this.” Other people can have whatever discussion they want. It’s not a regular citizen’s job to be an armed policeman every time we step outside our homes.

        And to your last argument, of course more people are killed in cities, because that’s where more people are. 80% of the US population lives in urban areas. And besides, if my job and family and livelihood are in a city, do you think I should be forced to give those up to live under less of a threat? What if I told you, to have a lesser chance of being killed, you had to give up your country life and your land and move to a big city? How would you feel?

        • I agree, “It’s not a regular citizen’s job to be an armed policeman every time we step outside our homes.” I don’t think any rational person is proposing that – making it a job, a responsibility, or to enforce the law in a systematic way. But it is our right to defend ourselves. If we’re armed then we also have the choice of defending others, whether they’re known to us or not. “Common sense” gun control should be an acknowledgement that we do have the right of self defense. It should be especially so because there is clearly no conceivable way that law enforcement can protect us. There simply aren’t enough of them. There’s also this ‘inconvenient truth’…

          “The Supreme Court ruled…that the police did not have a constitutional duty to protect a person from harm…” http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/28/politics/justices-rule-police-do-not-have-a-constitutional-duty-to-protect-someone.html?_r=0

        • I’ll stick with the known statistical data and for the record, as someone has already mentioned, I didn’t even think to include the Oklahoma City bombing because it wasn’t the topic of mass killings with firearms. However, you made a good point and I’ll say I’m conservative,but I don’t side with the ultra right conservatives who go off the conservative reservation. By that I mean when innocent life is taken which is exactly what happened in OK City.

          I recall a remark made by Obama during his 08 campaign that the problems of the large inner cities is due particularly to people fleeing the cities to rural areas. He failed to address the reason why much of this flight from the cities was to get away from the filth and the crime which congregates in the large cities. So, when you blame guns coming from within or through the rural areas to the big city is ridiculous to me hence the reason I said no one is making you live in the city. You can only blame the city for the city’s problems. Not point the blame at those that choose not to live in it. What would be next on the list to blame for large cities problems if rural neighborhoods didn’t exist and everyone still lived in the large cities. I would suspect the blame would be laid at the feet of the law abiding people who choose to arm themselves for self protection because through them, the murderers become armed themselves? Well, if I lived in an area that was over ran with crime and murder and the police could do little to nothing to protect the public, I don’t think I would continue to live there. Especially if I had a family. I could easily remove my family from the danger, yet continue to work there if need be. I’m trying to use common sense here which when it comes to more gun laws, the term “common sense” has been ran over, trampled, waded up and thrown away. The common sense gun laws liberals want to introduce today are anything but common sense and are ridiculous and so are their arguments.

          I’ve been enforcing laws in California for 26 years and never have I seen a common sense gun law introduced into legislation. However, I’ve seen common sense gun laws which were already in the California Penal Code when I started become convoluted and harder to enforce. Why? Liberalism. California has the most restrictive gun laws in the nation, yet we saw the horrible images last week from San Bernardino even with those laws. We as a society can never stymie the flow of illegal weapons or ammunition to those who wish to do harm to others. You can try to disarm the law abiding, but criminals will never abide by the laws. They will always find s means of arming themselves. They always have.

          • Pardon my grammar, spelling or punctuation. I’m a bit tired at the moment.

    • You assert that guns have changed over the years, women and minorities have not. The assumption that women prefer to remain quiet, pregnant, and chained to the stove is belied by their strength in business, politics, military service, volunteer positions, choices available, and so on. The same basic applications can be said for minorities as well. We now have a large Black middle class and a growing black upper (1%’re) class. There’s alledged to be one in the white house. There are numerous black CEO’s in Forbes 500 companies. We also have growing numbers of criminals. They span all races and genders. The difference between the two “classes” is mental, social, economic, psychological, and moral. A great deal of change. The gun, however, has not grown a mind, a soul, nor a heart. It lies there unable to make a mental, social, economic, psychological, or moral decision. Just as every other weapon since the rock has been unable to. It has always required a person to manipulate the weapon into whatever use it goes. Evil goes to evil and moral fights evil. People have most certainly changed. Immorality and selfishness are rampant. This was not the case when weapons were vastly more common than now and considered as tools. I can use a hammer to build a house, tear down a barn, bash a skull, or destroy art and finery. I make that choice. The hammer just follows along. You can spend all day (or all week if you have that kind of time) sitting an arms reach from a loaded gun, alone in a room and it will not harm you in any way, shape, manner, or form the whole time. If I joined you in the room for another week ( I’m retired and do have the time) it will still not harm you in the smallest way the whole time. If a criminal type ( has a recent record, drug and/or alcohol problem, just plain self centered greedy, etc) you are still ok unless he/she picks up the gun and willfully decided to rob or hurt you. In that case I am the only security you have. You would be happier if I was armed than if I was not, because I would choose to remove the BAD people by whatever means necessary, and protect you by whatever means available, because I am a common, law abiding, honest citizen as are the 34% of honest law abiding gun owning citizens in America.
      The second amendment is not there to shoot at deer. It is there to shoot at those who would do us or our loved ones, friends, or innocents near us harm. Those choosing to do evil can be both foreign and domestic even if that enemy is our own government.
      I am stunned that this seems to be so far beyond liberal understanding.

    • You were not in the military. I was. So was my brother and father. Having a family member in the military does not qualify you for anything in the least, much less having some shared honor or insight. It simply means blood relations of yours took an oath and put themselves potentially in harm’s way for our Nation and you did not.

      You should know that whenever veterans hear that puerile line of “My (some relative) was in the military and…blah blah”, we think “Oh, another citizen who never served trying to glom some unearned military experience or honor onto themselves by association. Repulsive.” Probably better not to use that line. Also, after decades of being spit upon and denigrated by a significant percentage of the populace of this Nation as traditional virtues were ground underfoot, the now-vogue and perfunctory “Thank you for your service” means almost nothing to older vets.

      You won’t know unless someone tells you so I figured you should know.

  6. Actually, I can’t think of a single person in the US who has been killed with an actual assault rifle since the 1930s, unless you count the Border agents who were killed by drug traffickers from Mexico, using guns supplied by the DOJ. An Assault Weapon is defined as a SELECT-FIRE weapon that is chambered in an intermediate cartridge. I haven’t seen anyone use an NFA-registered transferable select-fire assault rifle in a crime… well, EVER. As for the term “assault weapon,” they don’t exist. It’s a term, like “assault clothing” made up by the liberal media to control the readers. If you want to sound authoratative NYT, please use actual words, and accurate facts provided by, say, the FBI instead of liberal-run propaganda factories like Mother Jones.

    • “Assault Weapon” was the term the author used, He’s a Marine, so I’m trusting him on this – or are you trying to correct him?

      • I’m a Marine too, and Sean M is correct. “Assault Rifle” is a military term with a defined set of characteristics, “Assault weapon” is a political term that’s been used mostly to describe how scary a weapon looks, with no regard to actual function.

    • I’ve done my homework. Instead of throwing blanket phrases about, care to address anything I said specifically, or is just a standard insult as far as you’re going to go?

  7. Just because he’s a marine doesn’t mean he knows all there is to know about weopons. The Marines have a lot of different occupations, and not all of them use the same equipment. That being said, in the military, they aren’t called assault riffles or assault weopons. They are just called weopons and/or riffles, depending on the equipment. Almost all can be called weopon systems. The term weopon is used more than anything to discribed a rifle, so that might be why he used the term assault WEOPON, in order to write something that a civilian could understand. I don’t think any marine would call any weopon an assault anything. It’s just not a teem used in the military.

    • Thank you, Amanda. What on earth is a WEOPON? And when you type it, ‘Marine’ is capitalized, it’s a pronoun (Matt might well be insulted if he was addressed as ‘matt’, capiche?). Aw, crap, probably don’t know what THAT is either. Y’all just refer to the last sentence in my last comment.

  8. For those who support Jeff’s views, chill the arguing semantics …. really. (What you will NEVER see/hear from the brainwashed smug, liberal media) “It is, therefore, a moral outrage that the shooters were allowed to casually walk through the crowd while shooting and killing those people in ___________ (insert city & country) without any resistance whatsoever from citizens whose privately owned guns and rifles were taken away from them. Countless lives were taken because of this folly and it’s too late to protect those that were killed. Those lives could have been saved if the citizens were allowed to legally own and carry guns. The killers, who did not follow the law, knew this and had absolutely no fear of meeting any resistance.”

    Damn straight, skippy in the designer suit …. ‘cold dead hands’ is very real and could very well save your candy ass when that mooslim strolls into your Manhattan office building carrying an assault __________ (insert rifle, weapon, 80 millimeter pistol, machine gun, canon, automatic magnum). Then again, wouldn’t it be nice for natural selection to eliminate those with narcissistic and stupidity traits from the gene pool ….

    Ignorance can be cured with education, you just flat cannot teach stupid.

  9. Can y’all tell this subject is like nails across a chalk board to me? Aw, never mind …. y’all have no idea what a chalk board is ….

    • I’m old enough to remember what a chalk board is. In the UK, a chalk board used to be called a blackboard, pretty logical really seeing as chalk was generally white and the boards were black. Nowadays, they’re called whiteboards because some bunch of politically correct, right on morons with FUBAR braincells got their panties in a twist and decided it was probably very racist to use a pejorative word like “black” just in case some 10 year old black kid got offended!

      Back in the 70s and 80s I used to enjoy pistol shooting. I started with a S&W Model 41, great little pistol, but, It took me 9 months to get my license! When it was finally issued it had a restriction stamped on it that effectively said that, I could own the pistol but wasn’t allowed to take it out of my house even to go to the range! It took two more months to get that rescinded. When I needed to renew it a couple of years later I wanted to include a 9mm, a .357 magnum and a .45acp as I’d been using some belonging to friends at various ranges and got to be pretty good with them. I also wanted to include a 7.62 self loading rifle along with a total of about 2000 rounds of the various calibres, ( reloading to keep costs down ). I actually saw a faxed memo from the Home Office ( the UK govt. dept that controls firearm licensing ) that instructed the local police to ask me ” why I wanted enough weapons and ammo to start a small war”.

      Long story short, I became the latest victim of a very long and concerted campaign by senior police officers and politicians to disarm the British shooting public. In other words, to get as many legally held weapons out of the hands of responsible shooters as possible.
      Their long running campaign was undoubtedly helped by fact that the weapons used in the massacres in Hungerford ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hungerford_massacre ) in 1987 and the Dunblane primary school in 1996 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunblane_school_massacre) were legally held.Those two events were virtually the final nail in the coffin for thousands of legal British shooters.

      As far gun control laws working, or not, one of the unfortunate but, entirely predictable consequences of the ban on private ownership of handguns, pistols, self loading rifles or whatever you want to call them in Mainland UK (The ban does not affect Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man, or the Channel Islands.), was the more or less instantaneous massive increase in gun related crime, because guess what, the criminals didn’t meekly hand over their weapons to be sawn up or turned into manhole covers.

      I’ll bet that Barry in the White House looks at the UKs firearms laws with ill concealed envy,

  10. assault weapon is a meaningless term coined to make military style weaponry sound mean and scary. just because someone was in the military doesn’t mean they are a weapons expert. i’ve met many a marine who had never even fired a handgun.
    one should always do their own homework, especially when listening to people on the internet.
    so before you go spouting off about universal background checks (i live in california, we have universal background checks already) and importing guns from red states to blue states, you might actually want to do your own research on where the guns are actually coming from.
    if you’re really interested in preventing these crimes and not having to worry about having active shooter drills, then maybe you should be looking into why anyone would think its ok to go to a school, to work, to a movie theater, a mall, anywhere and kill a bunch of people. see, that’s the real problem. when we hear about a serial killer, we try to look at the individual and what lead them to becoming what they are. isn’t a mass killer just a serial killer who takes all his targets out in quick succession? but instead of focusing on the why, we focus on the how. we focus on the gun.
    there is no gun law that you can pass that will suddenly make a criminal not be a criminal. if someone has ignored 20 laws in obtaining a firearm, that 21st law isn’t going to make them pause.

    • I’ve done my research on where they come from. The Chicago PD did a report that said 60% of guns recovered from crimes there come from out of state, mostly Indiana and Mississippi. In New York and New Jersey, two thirds of guns come in from out of state, mostly Georgia and Florida along I-95. They call it the Iron Pipeline. In your state of California, it’s mainly guns from Nevada and Arizona. The reports are there to read, go check them out.

      I’m willing to look at why a person snaps and becomes a mass shooter, mass killer, whatever term you want to use. Nobody ever said those on the left weren’t. But, the NRA-lobbied congress made it so the CDC CAN’T do research into gun deaths! I don’t care if the solution is more gun control, more mental health care resources, more policemen, or what – I want fewer dead Americans. Is that really too crazy to believe?

      • Another misrepresentation by gun control advocates. “…Congress included language in the 1996 Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Bill (PDF, 2.4MB) for Fiscal Year 1997 that “none of the funds made available for injury prevention and control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may be used to advocate or promote gun control.” Referred to as the Dickey amendment after its author, former U.S. House Representative Jay Dickey (R-AR), this language did not explicitly ban research on gun violence. However, Congress also took $2.6 million from the CDC’s budget — the amount the CDC had invested in firearm injury research the previous year — and earmarked the funds for prevention of traumatic brain injury. Dr. Kellerman stated in a December 2012 article in the Journal of the American Medical Association, “Precisely what was or was not permitted under the clause was unclear. But no federal employee was willing to risk his or her career or the agency’s funding to find out. Extramural support for firearm injury prevention research quickly dried up.” ” http://www.apa.org/science/about/psa/2013/02/gun-violence.aspx

        Note, “may be used to advocate or promote gun control”. Legitimate research is allowed, and even welcome by some. It is also available through multiple sources. But gun control advocates have a history of funding so-called research that is not objective or transparent and therefore not legitimate.

        Why is it that this CDC restriction is brought up so often by gun control advocates but other issues like the Justice Department’s position that certain proposed gun control legislation would have no or negligible effect and would require other more onerous legislation in order to even have a chance of being effective?

  11. I I think the author just spoke in interchangeable terms as a broader audience would understand it. I’m the author by the way, just not logged in

    • Author (Jeff?), as suggested by T, I am now asking you to avoid use of the politically motivated term “assault weapon” or “assault rifle” when delving into the gun control debate, except as to point out the true definitions, origins, or proper or misuse of the terms.

      I made an assumption in an earlier comment about your age. I just took another look at your pic and see that it’s several years old based upon the uniform you’re wearing. My apologies. Semper Fi (LtCol, USMC retired)

  12. The debate is flawed on both sides, as i see it. Liberals are not honest and push stuff that is doomed to fail to achieve the purpose. Yet conservatives are no better: eager to point where liberals are wrong yet not suggesting anything constructive. I got the point: gun controlis not useful, background checks can’t be done without hurting someone’s freedoms. Ok. So what is it specifically we need to do to reduce incidents of mass shootings? Even several thousands dead is not good enough. So suggest please as in 1).. 2)… 3)… And then lets debate which idea is better and why.

  13. Apparently you struck a nerve Jeff. Why can’t we just call them rifles? ( Parris Island taught me the hard way never to say guns). If we do away with the 2d then doesn’t it open the door to the 1st and 4th and so on ? Dudes doing it with dudes spreads AIDS but I don’t hear anyone rushing out to outlaw all that. The truth is most gun owners are perfectly happy to let you do whatever you want, they just have the ability to enforce their right to do the same. Liberals are all for letting in refugees and legalizing millions of other refugees that are here. I guess they aren’t concerned that refugees just shot up a Chistmas party and earlier blew up a bunch of people with some cookware. All of which will very likely repeat itself all to soon. Unfortunately for all those who want to pick daisies and live in a land with fairies and knomes the fact is that all of you need the sheepdogs to protect you from the wolves. And a cool byproduct is that the sheepdogs get to protect their own and do some target practicing in the process. America will survive without its fairies and knomes but it will never make it without its Sheepdogs. I know, it sucks, but it is the truth.

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