Supporting the Second Amendment

Reaction to Tragedy

Ultimately, it’s impossible to engage in a rational discussion with those who would reactively scapegoat guns and gun owners. Their mental state is not dissimilar to Elliot Rodger‘s who, because of an overwhelm of emotion, went on an indiscriminate killing rampage.

“Why did Chris die?” Richard Martinez said at a press conference. “Chris died because of craven, irresponsible politicians and the NRA. They talk about gun rights, what about Chris’ right to live? When will this insanity stop?”
— Richard Martinez (a gun shot victim’s father)

Note, too, that this was not just another shooting, though it’s hard to tell from steeply slanted media reports. It was also a stabbing, and an assault with a deadly weapon, a car.

Three of the seven were stabbed to death. Are the three stabbing victims any less dead? Was it somehow better for them to die by having their flesh, veins, arteries, heart, lungs, liver and whatever other organs repeatedly punctured and lacerated?

Is the sudden and sometimes prolonged violence of a car slamming into a bike rider, smashing bones and bashing internal organs, somehow preferable to a bullet wound? Of course the killer could have easily taken many, many more lives by ramming his car into groups of people, but it wouldn’t have been perceived as being as terrorizing, would it?

(That distinction— conditioning— is important, but I’ll cover that another time.)

You see, those who would decry this event as a mass shooting, demean guns, gun owners, and the NRA— a gun safety and educational organization, by the way, that includes a proactively safe attitude in firearms handling— are, like the killer, simply lashing out at anything they can identify as an enemy. It doesn’t have to actually be a legitimate foe, just a point of focus— a scapegoat. And these days guns are an easy target, albeit a dubious one.

So, until those who blame and demonize guns, gun owners, the NRA, along with logic, reason and reality can get control of their wild emotions they have no place at the table of meaningful discourse concerning any social policies. In fact, guns aside, in the interest of public safety, it is precisely those functionally impaired people who should be prevented from driving automobiles, possessing sharp instruments, holding positions of responsibility, interacting with impressionable children…and voting.

That’s right, as reason is surrendered to emotion our frontal lobes check out and our lizard brain takes over. Fight / flight. Reaction, not response.

Because those people clamoring on about guns continue to place feeling ahead of fact, emotion above reason, they are necessarily incapable of using sound logic and analysis in their decision making processes. As those people lose their mental capacities, they become a lynch mob.

Using Tragedy

Worse, there are those unscrupulous government officials, and media outlets that leverage such altered states into cultivating discriminatory sentiments and restrictive legislation.

Defrocked California State Senator Leland Yee— a most rabid gun control advocate— is a notorious example. Remember, Yee was caught attempting to disarm Californians as he was brokering deals to arm to the teeth, criminals and terrorists. Got that? He wanted to take away your last line of defense and provide real military weapons— that’s automatic, not semi-automatic guns, and rocket launchers!— to those who would commit crimes against you! Why? To make a buck.

“Senator Yee said, ‘Do I think we can make some money? I think we can make some money. Do I think we can get the goods? Yes, I think we can get the goods.'”
— from the actual indictment of Democrat State Senator Leland Yee.

Fortunately he’s now out of the running for CA Secretary of State.

Understanding Tragedy

Now, recognizing the fact that as civilized as we are our world can still be a dangerous place despite our best efforts. We cannot legislate or love our way out of that, but we can develop better awareness and take greater responsibility for ourselves.

We can now understand that inasmuch as our society provides about as good a place to live as has ever been, it also produces the kind of demented actions that wreak havoc within our peacefulness and serenity. This isn’t limited to physical violence that precipitated this post, it extends into cheating in sports, exploitive and disingenuous personal relationships, multinational corporate and banking malfeasance and political corruption, etc. Welcome to the jungle.

While the dog eat dog attitude that is natural to our earlier primitive cultures, those we like to believe we’ve risen above, it nonetheless continues within our so-called civilized lifestyles. What civilized people would cultivate the common afflictions we normally endure. Savagery like addiction to prescription medications, over the counter remedies and recreational drugs, nutritionally void processed foods, vapid entertainment, stifling entitlements and expectations, and a general dissociation with the natural world. All these are win / lose propositions. Consider now who is prospering at whose expense.

Even here, in 2014, in America, in California, in the enclave of Santa Barbara, and even within the guise of trust and cooperation the laws of the jungle are at work. Life, death, competition, bullying, winning, losing…retribution. It’s not right. It’s not wrong. It just is.

Preventing Tragedy

Our responsibility is to maintain some level of vigilance in protecting ourselves, not through prohibitive legislation— clearly that doesn’t and has never worked— but by understanding our world and its inherent dangers. Compared to most of the rest of the world we live in a very comfortable bubble. But, just as in the Yin / Yang symbol, there is a spot of light in darkness, and a spot of darkness in light. We just witnessed the latter.

But, in the tragedy that unfolded the other night a gun wasn’t the issue. Clearly this killer used other means of assault, too. The issue is recognizing danger signals, in this case symptoms of potential violent behavior, and finding suitable alternatives for the individual to find some sort of personal satisfaction, before an aggressive threshold is reached. Here, feelings have their place. What did the perpetrator want? Retribution. Yes, and before that? Acceptance, in whatever form. (Don’t we all?)

“It doesn’t make sense. I do everything I can to appear attractive to you,” Rodger said in a message to women in general. “I dress nice. I’m sophisticated. I’m magnificent. I have a nice car… I’m the ultimate gentleman. And yet, you girls you never give me a chance. I don’t know why.”
— Elliot Rodger

Thing is, that acceptance, for it to be valued, must come from those who are perceived as doing the rejecting. Oh, lots of reasonable, rational surrogate acceptance can be provided, but because we are dealing with feelings, viable alternatives are usually dismissed. Think of the child who wants the red toy. Take away the red toy, give it the blue or yellow toy and the child cries and rants. The child wants what it wants. Period.

“I didn’t want it to come to this,” Rodger said. “I desperately wanted a way out.”
— Elliot Rodger

I have to wonder, how might those closest to this individual have seen a condition, but not perceived the actual problem? How might we all be contributing to these sorts of things in our own social spheres?

As a hypnotherapist, I ask, “What do you want?” Then, my clients and I utilize trance to begin establishing a new set of options, behaviors that serve the needs of that individual, and that are ecologically appropriate, within context of the society. I believe there are always useful choices in what we do and in how we feel.

During a Tragedy

The events ended with seven deaths. Three by knife wounds, and four by a firearm. The fourth death, that of the perpetrator, came by a bullet to the head. Whether by his own or by a policeman’s, his demise came about only because he was confronted by a good guy with a gun.

And, it stands to reason that had one of the three stabbing victims been armed it’s likely this whole affair would have played out differently, and lives would have been saved.

References:

Media’s unusually sensible take on mass killings.

Though he stabbed fifty percent of his victims, it seems he’s still the “gunman”.

Father dismisses stabbing victims and blames NRA.

Motivation of killer.

Agenda driven late reporting on attempted gun runner, Leland Yee.

Notice how FOX reports on Leland Yee’s arrest and charges.

And, how SF Examiner reports on Leland Yee’s arrest and charges.

And, how Newsbusters reports on Leland Yee’s arrest and charges.

And, how Reuters reports on Leland Yee’s arrest and charges.

Leland Yee quotes.

Rush Limbaugh is on point regarding Leland Yee’s nefarious activities.

Kunming train station attack leaves dozens dead.

Student ‘Flashing knives’ stabs 22 at school.

Man stabs passengers aboard Taiwan train.

Gun control is way off target.

Brentwood, CA. 2008.

One morning a physician leaves his home in Mandeville Canyon, just as usual. At the same time, a dedicated group of bicyclists is completing their weekly ride which snakes past his house. They know each other already. They’ll get to know each other better. Or worse.

The riders’ gradual hill climb is a five mile time trial of sorts that reveals an hierarchy of fitness as the peloton of maybe fifty stretches and separates into small packs pedaling for between fifteen and thirty minutes. (FWIW, my times were a little better than 18 minutes. Not fast. Not slow.) The subsequent descent, depending on skill and derring do takes only a fraction of the uphill time. The cyclists rarely dip below the posted 25 mph limit, and many ride over 40mph.

Still, that’s too slow. For most– driving to work, dropping their kids at school, meeting their trainer at the gym, or what-have-you– customary automobile pace down this idyllic two lane road, with arching trees, pasture land and kids playing in yards is 40 to 50mph.

Most days cyclists and cars cooperate well enough. Some days individuals from one group or the other have been known to get a little testy. Today, hell breaks loose.

The doctor takes exception to the riders in his way. In anger, he curses them, speeds past, then swerves in front of a few and stomps his brakes. Crash!

One cyclist was flung face-first into the rear window of [the doctor’s] red Infiniti, breaking his front teeth and nose and cutting his face. The other cyclist slammed into the sidewalk and suffered a separated shoulder. — LA Times, January 8th, 2010

A police officer told jurors that shortly after the crash [the doctor] said he slammed on his brakes in front of the riders to “teach them a lesson.” — LA Times, January 8th, 2010

Yes — whether criminally or negligently– too many drivers are a danger to themselves and others, and cyclists are always vulnerable. But let me make clear that, having ridden with this group of cyclists myself, some arrogantly ride area roads with outrightly hostile traffic manners.

That’s right, cyclists aren’t all innocent, law-abiding victims. I fully understand drivers’ frustrations. Nonetheless, a car is no less intimidating nor any less lethal than a gun. But, cars themselves don’t cause accidents. And of course no reasonable person, not even an injured cyclist, would even think of putting a car on trial. Even as auto accidents kill over 45,000 Americans each year. Even as auto accidents are the leading cause of death of children, aged 10 to 19! That’s because to a rational mind, cars aren’t the problem.

Rather, a jury would convict this physician of mayhem, assault with a deadly weapon (his car), battery with serious injury, and reckless driving causing injury. He would be sentenced to five years in prison. Why? For allowing his emotions to dictate his actions.

“Danger to Self and Others.” When I hear this legal phrase applied willy-nilly to firearms ownership I think of those seeking to deprive citizens of their natural human right to self defense and how those crowing loudest about traumatized vets or others with general lifestyle troubles might just fail their own psychological litmus test. Not only with regard to guns, mind you, but within the context of everyday activity.

For instance, everyday in Los Angeles I see people driving (quite often in Obama / Biden branded) cars and SUVs with a wanton disregard for their own safety and the safety of others on the road. These menaces to society– and they are nothing less– are given the privilege of driving an automobile, and they habitually abuse it.

How? By intentionally breaking the law and texting while driving— not just typing a quick reply such as “on way” while stopped at a light, but rather swerving inside and outside their lane, sometimes into oncoming traffic while their heads are tilted down and their eyes focused on their smartphone screen as they are pecking furiously with both thumbs. Normally, these perpetrators are traveling at or above the posted speed limit, and frequently in residential, school, and construction zones.

Compare that aberrant, callous, anti-social driving behavior, and its resultant, astronomical daily rate of traffic fatalities and injuries to the hundreds of millions of guns in America owned by responsible, law abiding American citizens that remain safely idle in gun safes and that have not and never will cause injury nor death. Do the math– guns obviously are not a safety issue. Further, the FBI recently released it’s latest findings which show that even with far more guns in private hands than ever before, violent crime is at a forty-year low. Facts are facts.

Now, texting while driving is only one example. Others include cavalierly speeding through red lights and stop signs with (or without) a cellphone pressed to their ear. Yet another is carelessly whipping their car into a U-turn across two or three lanes of traffic, typically at speed and without so much as a glance over the shoulder. Or, get this, the driver who in mean-spirited interest of intimidating an approaching motorist making a late left turn at an intersection traffic signal, accelerates hard off his green light, aiming straight at the other driver. Regardless of outcome, this potentially deadly game of “chicken” is effectively criminal assault.

These drivers, without doubt, present a grave danger to themselves and others, and are arguably mentally imbalanced. How else could they continue to knowingly and routinely violate the law and put life, limb and property at undue risk? Do reasonable, rational people behave this way?

Do you know any such drivers? Could you be you such a driver?

Perhaps it’s time to preemptively remove these dangerous drivers from the road because isn’t it just a matter of time before they “accidentally” hurt or kill themselves, you, or one of your loved ones? How about, when licensing drivers a psychological stress test can be included as part of formal driver’s education? And, why not consider that any emotional outburst over the previous decade would preclude their being allowed apply for licensing in the first place? Or, maybe we can just ban cars and smartphones all together. LOL.

Actually, a good litmus test could be as simple as finding out whether people are fit to own and drive an automobile by checking whether they are able to put fact ahead of feeling when making decisions. Can they control their emotions well enough to rationally evaluate and navigate their circumstances? After all, giving in to infantile emotions and impulses– i.e., road rage, or choosing to text while driving– could very quickly lead to killing a whole family in one collision. It happens all the time. But, whether in heat of the moment loss of control, or a casualty of simple distraction such “accidental” death is doubly tragic because it’s so preventable.

Personally, I’d rather be shot and killed by an individual with ill intent than to become the collateral damage of some wholly oblivious teen, soccer mom, business exec, etc. whose careless text messaging trumps careful driving… Crash. OMG!

So even before cranking the engine we must ask ourselves,

Since being behind the wheel of a car is the same as having a finger on the trigger of a loaded gun, does my mental state make me a danger to myself or others?

And then consciously answer.

First and Foremost

Before asking anyone to reorient their stance on guns, I’d like to say, from the outset, that every single life is precious and worth saving. I cannot fully imagine the horror and grief that goes with losing a family member, a loved one, a friend, or even an acquaintance to (gun) violence of any sort. No words of sympathy can help. If it is possible, surely we civilized folk will work to prevent any undue deaths of our fellow human beings, and avoid it ourselves, too.

So, in considering policy on this issue, we must account for the lives lost in events like school shootings as well as the lives saved by people being able to defend themselves. The life of the child whose parent is able to repel a home intruder is as valuable as the life of the child sitting at his school desk. To best serve society our guiding imperative must be to understand fully what we are dealing with, and to make effective choices in solving our societal problems so we can best ensure security for all.

Those who have been killed, and their surviving families deserve the dignity of a contemplative, reasoned response rather than the disservice of a knee-jerk reaction. Any meaningful action demands that we consider and understand the facts at hand, first and foremost, and base any future decisions only on addressing reality instead of political expedience and prior agenda. The only thing that could be worse for the families and friends of those killed is for their suffering to be leveraged for political gain, especially if proposed legislation turns out to be self-serving, disingenuous and ultimately ineffective.

What’s more, this cynical labeling of guns as the catalyst in violence discounts and distracts from those murders not being committed with firearms. No less dead. No less aggrieved. But a parent can take solace in knowing his child was killed with only a kitchen knife, only a baseball bat, or only a soft, down pillow, right? No, that’s not right.

Let’s Look Closely

Some claim there is a gun violence epidemic in the United States of America, and that so-called assault weapons are at the source of this outbreak. And, the idea of imposing further restrictions on lawful gun buyers and gun owners is being heralded as some sort of single-dose inoculation. Facts, however, suggest we’re being sold snake oil.

Actually, the deceptive “assault weapon” moniker is a media construct intended to mislead the public into believing that civilians’ modern sporting rifles are military weapons of war.

Evidence

Despite local newscasts stoking public fear by regularly leading off their show by zeroing in on “another” shooting death, gun violence is really rather rare. Even as some politicians are trying to cajole the public into drawing a bead on those evil guns, their point of aim misses their ostensible target– public safety. While some people do engage in risky behavior, or live in risky areas– you know, drug dealers, gang bangers, and those living in poverty-stricken worlds where gun violence may indeed be endemic— for most of us the odds of being shot and killed with a firearm are slim indeed.

Statistics show that less than 4 people in 100,000 will be shot and killed by a gun. That’s below four thousandths of one percent (.004%)– a barely discernible measurement even for microscopes and micrometers. Clearly, any notion of “epidemic” gun violence can be dismissed straightaway.

In reality, the viral quality of gun violence is in how it’s being spread by media outlets and political opportunists. What’s underreported, even roundly ignored, is that as gun ownership has climbed to an all time high, violent crime in America has been sliding downhill! Access doesn’t equate to aggression. Not only, the idea that military style weapons pose any clear and present hazard, even considering anomalous mass shootings where an AR-15 may have been among the guns used– as tragic as they have been– is at best misguided. At worst, manipulative.

The 2011 evidence shows– and this is important– that those killed by a long gun of any kind accounts for about 8% of reported firearm murders. And rifles— a category which excludes shotguns and includes but isn’t limited to ARs and such– amounts to less than half of that, at under 4% of gun related deaths. Ironically, the single instance of a sniper attack was committed with a handgun. Of all US murders in 2011, rifles were used in 323 of the 12,664 incidences. That’s about 2.6%, and far less than the 13% of murders using knives, the 4% using blunt objects, and the nearly 6% using bare hands and feet. Together, the up close and personal slash, bash, and beat methods of killing constitutes a full 23% of murders in this country and heavily outweighs any assault weapon threat. This, even as wild-eyed yahoos have been buying up Bushmasters alongside baby formula at Wal-Mart.

I might also point out, whether guns are banned, or not, given the United States population of some 315,000,000 it’s naive to think that violent crime wouldn’t exist, or that now and again some whacko isn’t going to find a way of killing a large number of people. Not only, gun violence remains as part of English and Australian societies despite their severe gun restrictions.

But, some will argue that a recent attempted mass murder in a Chinese school left no one dead (this time) because the assailant had chosen a knife versus a gun, and that stands to reason. I would counter, though, that the same oppressive government in China that makes guns harder to come by is also responsible for mass murders (and other human rights violations) orders of magnitude beyond anything we’ve experienced here in this country. How many American citizens would trade places with their Chinese counterparts?

Like it or not, evidence shows that while gun ownership is prevalent in the United States, guns are far from being some pervasive scourge. In reality, guns serve the public good.

You can’t get around the image of people shooting at people to protect their stores and it working. This is damaging to the [gun control] movement.

—Josh Sugarman, Washington Post, regarding Korean shopkeepers during the L.A. riots.
Executive Director of the Violence Policy Center
1993-05-18

It’s Gettin’ Real

The legitimate defensive use of guns in America has been documented. The results corroborate what responsible gun owners have always maintained, that every day guns are used by intended victims to thwart a perpetrator’s actions against them, up to 2.5 million times per year. By any measure the proportion of lives saved by guns eclipses the total number of murders in the United States. In short, evidence supports that guns in the hands of ordinary Americans serve a vital protective role in society. Guns save lives.

Incredibly, in his comments on the Kleck and Gertz findings, the late criminologist Marvin E. Wolfgang agrees.

I am as strong a gun-control advocate as can be found among the criminologists in this country. If I were Mustapha Mond of Brave New World, I would eliminate all guns from the civilian population and maybe even from the police. I hate guns–ugly, nasty instruments designed to kill people.

What troubles me is the article by Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz. The reason I am troubled is that they have provided an almost clear-cut case of methodologically sound research in support of something I have theoretically opposed for years, namely, the use of a gun in defense against a criminal perpetrator.

Can it be true that about two million instances occur each year in which a gun was used as a defensive measure against crime? It is hard to believe. Yet, it is hard to challenge the data collected. We do not have contrary evidence.

The Kleck and Gertz study impresses me for the caution the authors exercise and the elaborate nuances they examine methodologically. I do not like their conclusions that having a gun can be useful, but I cannot fault their methodology.

— Marvin E. Wolfgang, “A Tribute to a View I Have Opposed,” Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology Fall, 1995, Guns and Violence Symposium, Page 188.

The Gun Violence Myth

Yes, guns are involved in about 2/3 of all murders, but despite media and political flame fanning murder is still rare. What’s more, it’s handguns– including five-shot revolvers, and excluding menacing looking rifles with cosmetic and ergonomic features– that are used in nearly 3/4 of these incidents. So, since the evidence debunks the myth of a gun violence epidemic, why are modern firearms– if you can call a fifty-year-old design “modern”– becoming the scapegoat for the media and a handful of political zealots?

Who’s Behind The Curtain?

What can a reasonable person make of this video from 1995 featuring U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder– who was then the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia– saying that he supported using Hollywood, the media and government officials in order to “really brainwash people” into opposing firearm ownership? Facts being what they are, one must ask, “oppose firearms for what purpose?”

And, who really stands to benefit from the United Nations plan to take guns out of the hands of average citizens, the citizens or the government? Is a civilian population more or less free than when armed? Who enjoys greater freedom, and who suffers governmental and criminal abuse, the armed or unarmed civilian? I might point out that over the last 100 years more than 160,000,000 people have been killed, directly killed– that is murdered!– by criminal governments. Civilian disarmament preceded these atrocities. Would armed resistance to genocide have made a difference?

Now, It’s Gettin’ Surreal

After a successful sting operation on March 27, 2014 media headlines revealed that the FBI Arrested California Anti-Gun State Senator, Democrat Leland Yee on Firearm Trafficking Charges! Here, check this out, from the Forbes Magazine article, Senator Yee Knew Conspiracy Would Send Money To Islamic Militants And Arms To North Africa, by reporter Greg McNeal:

While Senator Yee has focused much of his attention as an elected official on anti-gun legislation, he seemed to have substantial comfort with guns. In planning the conspiracy, Senator Yee sought to reassure the undercover FBI agent that another co-conspirator was a “gun lover” and had no moral arguments against selling weapons. Senator Yee also noted how on a trip to Mindanao in the Philippines, he had an opportunity to shoot some of the weapons he was helping to broker. Moreover, Senator Yee, who campaigned against the influence of violent video games, seemed unconcerned with leading a conspiracy which would send funds to individuals who had no problem, in his words, “kidnapping individuals, killing individuals and extorting them for ransom.” In exchange for those funds, weapons would be imported into the U.S. and eventually distributed to unknown individuals in North Africa and Italy.

Ironically, Leland Yee had been one of California’s most aggressive gun control proponents, and was running for CA secretary of state. Oops. As American patriot and rock musician Ted Nugent likes to say, “Are you kidding me?” But this is no joke. You see, politicians like Yee seek to profit by arming criminals and terrorists even as they are trying to disarm their constituents. You and me!

Shocking. Outrageous. Scandalous.

But no one in America is really trying ban all guns, or do away with Second and Fourth Amendment protections, right? Rather, the outcry is for “sensible” gun laws— as though some 20,000 laws currently on the books aren’t enough. Wrong!

Waiting periods are only a step. Registration is only a step. The prohibition of private firearms is the goal.

—Janet Reno, U.S. Attorney General, 12-10-1993

If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an outright ban, picking up every one of them . . . Mr. and Mrs. America, turn ’em all in, I would have done it.

—Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), 2-5-1995

In fact, the assault weapons ban will have no significant effect either on the crime rate or on personal security. … Passing a law like the assault weapons ban is a symbolic — purely symbolic — move [toward civilian disarmament]. Its only real justification is not to reduce crime but to desensitize the public to the regulation of weapons in preparation for their ultimate confiscation.

—Charles Krauthammer, “Disarm the Citizenry, But Not Yet,” Washington Post, p. A19
4-5-1996

Forget what our forefathers said.

—Dominick Potifrone, ATF Special Agent (Retired) “On the Inside: The BATF,” Discovery Channel 2000

To hell with the constitution…

—Mike Roos on the constitutionality of the Roberti-Roos assault weapon ban. Assemblyman (CA) 1989

What’s The Endgame?

Ya don’t have to look very far back in history to recognize that despotic governments are the worst of mass murderers, even justifying systematic killing of their own citizens. Hitler. Stalin. Mao. Hussein. But, it can’t happen here, right?

Not so fast. Remember that power is intoxicating. Corrupting. And, absolute power corrupts absolutely. Because people are people, all of us are susceptible to the allure of power. Once in power people are naturally prone hold it, and to abuse it…unless checked. With a disarmed and vulnerable population, what’s to stop government leaders from taking advantage of their position? Their good conscience? Many law abiding, responsible, gun owning Americans would rather imagine the worst than actually try living it first hand.

George Mason remarked to his Virginia delegates regarding the colonies’ recent experience with Britain, in which the Monarch’s goal had been “to disarm the people; that [that] . . . was the best and most effectual way to enslave them.”

And, as quoted from Chapter 12 of Bernard Crick’s George Orwell: A Life biography:

“Even as it stands, the Home Guard could only exist in a country where men feel themselves free. The totalitarian states can do great things, but there is one thing they cannot do: they cannot give the factory-worker a rifle and tell him to take it home and keep it in his bedroom. THAT RIFLE HANGING ON THE WALL OF THE WORKING-CLASS FLAT OR LABOURER’S COTTAGE IS THE SYMBOL OF DEMOCRACY. IT IS OUR JOB TO SEE THAT IT STAYS THERE.” (CAPS in original.)
–The Evening Standard, 1941

Of course…

Gun control is not an issue of left vs. right, or urban vs. rural. Liberal icons such as Hubert Humphrey and Eleanor Roosevelt recognized the right to arms as fundamental to preventing large-scale tyranny by criminal governments, and small-scale tyranny by ordinary criminals.

—David B. Kopel, The Truth About Gun Control

And, as it happened…

The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed the subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that the supply of arms to the underdogs is a sine qua non for the overthrow of any sovereignty.

—Adolf Hitler, Edict of March 18, 1938, H.R. Trevor-Roper, Hitler’s Table Talks 1941-1944 (London: Widenfeld and Nicolson, 1953, p. 425-426)
1938(9?)

Ideas are more dangerous than guns. We wouldn’t let our enemies have guns, why should we let them have ideas?

—Josef Stalin

If the [political] opposition disarms, well and good. If it refuses to disarm, we shall disarm it ourselves.

—Josef Stalin

Every good Communist should know that political power grows out of the barrel of a gun, and that gun must remain firmly in the hands of the state.

—Mao Tse Tung

Even as we are being reminded:

All too many of the other great tragedies of history – Stalin’s atrocities, the killing fields of Cambodia, the Holocaust, to name but a few – were perpetrated by armed troops against unarmed populations. Many could well have been avoided or mitigated, had the perpetrators known their intended victims were equipped with a rifle and twenty bullets apiece, …If a few hundred Jewish fighters in the Warsaw Ghetto could hold off the Wehrmacht for almost a month with only a handful of weapons, six million Jews armed with rifles could not so easily have been herded into cattle cars.

—Alex Kozinski, Chief Judge, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

It’s unfolding again, here & now, from what’s widely held as the political playbook of Bill & Hillary Clinton, along with Barack Obama…

The tenth rule of the ethics of rules [which] means… that you do what you can with what you have and clothe it in moral arguments. …the essence of Lenin’s speeches during this period was “They have the guns and therefore we are for peace and for reformation through the ballot. When we have the guns then it will be through the bullet.” And it was.

—Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals — P.36-37

And it follows…

“I just want you to know that we are working on it,” [Sarah] Brady recalled the president telling them. “We have to go through a few processes, but under the radar.”

—U.S. President, Barrack Obama during 03-30-2011 meeting between Jay Carney, Jim Brady, Sarah Brady, and President Obama, quoted in the Washington Post, 04-12-2011.

Sometimes with bald-faced cynicism…

“You never want a serious crisis to go to waste…and what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”

—Rahm Emanuel, as then-incoming White House Chief of Staff, Wall Street Journal interview, November 19, 2008.

Could the intent be any clearer? Or the likely result?

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

—George Santayana

Strong Words?

Yes. Because as an American citizen, I’m concerned. When elected officials begin wielding tragedy to begin forcing their fears, emotional sensitivities, and personal prejudices into private lives by attempting to dismantle Constitutional protections we should notice the red flags waving. When our Nation’s peacekeepers are coached to view even non-violent protestors as low grade terrorists, alarm bells should start ringing. Government by fiat and extremism is a hallmark of despotism, and not the American way.

Citizens, Subjects or Slaves?

Fortunately we have within our Constitution mechanisms to ensure our individual liberties. Our civil rights. Our natural human rights! We owe it to those who came before us, and to those who will come after to work within the system to preserve our Republic. While each and every American matters, this struggle is about more than one single life. Even so, to honor that one single life our policy decisions must also honor our national heritage.

Former US Marine, Corporal Joshua Boston, in his recent letter to Senator Feinstein, reminds her of her place in society…

I am not your subject. I am the man who keeps you free. I am not your servant. I am the person whom you serve. I am not your peasant. I am the flesh and blood of America.

Perhaps she, and the rest of us should take this to heart.

Gun Control Is Way Off Target

The facts reveal that the idea of a gun violence epidemic is a myth, a contrivance. Worse, firearms restrictions fail to protect the public at all. (In fact, the only gun law that does prevent crime is one that provides for concealed carry, as researcher John Lott Jr. shows in “The Bias Against Guns“!) So, when you answer the question “Where is this rush to disarm America headed?” you may find yourself writing, emailing, or calling your elected representatives in the House and Senate right away. Why? Because you want to tell them their political future hinges on doing right by our Country and its Constitution that they’ve sworn an oath— not to dismantle, nor to edit, but— to uphold. That means, in no uncertain terms, that they…

immediately stop squandering limited resources on ineffectual gun restriction measures and begin working to commit Washington’s political will to those less sensational day to day issues that are known to actually improve ordinary American lives, and thus reduce violence in general.

Links & References

American Gun Facts— Because facts are facts.

FBI stats show violent crime down; gun sales spike over I-594. More Guns = Less Crime. Again, exactly what I’m saying above!

Armed Resistance to Genocide: I was present at this talk delivered in Los Angeles by David Kopel, hosted by the Children of Jewish Holocaust Survivors. Highly enlightening. Sobering.

Forbes Magazine Senator Yee Knew Conspiracy Would Send Money To Islamic Militants And Arms To North Africa

NRA-ILA FBI Arrests Anti-Gun California Senator on Firearm Trafficking Charges

LA Times’ Contrasting Take on Yee’s Arrest

The Huffington Post’s Curious Take Yee’s Arrest

Think the NRA is Racist? Check This Out: Black American History and the Second Amendment

FBI Statistics: “Crime in the United States, 2011

Violent Crime is Down, as per Bureau of Justice Charts

Again, Violent Crime Is Down to a Forty Year Low, But It’s Under Reported In Mainstream Media.

The Truth About Gun Control — A brief video history from David B. Kopel.

FactCheck.org: “Gun Rhetoric vs Gun Facts.

Reality Check (FOX): Piers Morgan’s Anti-Gun Claims.

GunCite.com: Gary, Kleck and Marc Gertz, “Armed Resistance to Crime: The Prevalence and Nature of Self-Defense with a Gun,” Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology 1995, Vol. 86 No. 1. See also, Table 1.

SAF.org: Marvin E. Wolfgang, “A Tribute to a View I Have Opposed,” Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology Fall, 1995, Guns and Violence Symposium, Page 188.

The Blaze: “Will Banning Guns Stop Homicides? Stats from England and Australia Show…

Oleg Volk: “The Proud History of Gun Control.

Oleg Volk: “Why Does Anybody Take These Fiends Seriously?

Wikipedia: “Gun Politics in Australia.”

Katie Pavlich: “Gun Crime Soars in England.”

The Atlantic: “The Secret History of Guns.”

Senator Ted Cruz, Gun Related Facts.

Testimony of Gun Violence Victim

Chicago Tribune: Owning Guns Saves Lives by prosecutor Michael Boomgarden, Naperville, Ill.

Reason.com: Yes, Guns Are Dangerous, But They Also Save Lives and Secure Civil Rights by Damon W. Root.

Do Gun Control Laws Control Guns? by Thomas Sowell, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

The Bias Against Guns: Why Almost Everything You’ve Heard About Gun Control Is Wrong, by John R. Lott, Jr., 2003.

Rules for Radicals: A Practical Primer for Realistic Radicals, by Saul Alinsky, 1971.

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Christopher Drozd: The Heart of the Matter