Perhaps I’m not as internet savvy as I think I am, because I didn’t know what a “Listicle” was when my wife asked me. She saw it in a Mother Jones article. Apparently listicles are all the rage.
Here’s my top 11 gun control misconceptions and lies, which even includes a couple from the Left.
1: The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.
Here’s one example of why this zombie lie should be dead, dead, dead: Loughner, the monster that shot Gabby Giffords and killed a nine year old girl and others wasn’t stopped by a good guy with a gun even though there was a good guy with a gun in the area
. He was stopped by unarmed people. While he was reloading. There are other examples
. The biggest problem with this silly meme is the word “only”.
2: You can’t fight tyranny because governments have tanks and airplanes.
A spirited population can fight tyranny with sticks and stones. But the better armed they are, the better their chances. The goal isn’t necessarily to destroy the tyrant, but rather to be too much trouble to oppress.
3: Collective rights.
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
“The People” is used several times in the Constitution, as in “the right of the people peaceably to assemble”, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons”, and “chosen every second Year by the People of the several States”, and it always means a bunch of individuals. It doesn’t always mean every single individual with no exceptions, but it certainly doesn’t mean a representative authority
4: What part of “Shall Not Be Infringed” Don’t You Understand?
It’s not “Shall Not Be Infringed” that’s so complicated. It’s everything else. First of all, “Bearing arms” might be a phrase that means something other than the sum of its words, like “breaking bread”. Even “bearing gifts” doesn’t simply mean “carrying presents”. “Bearing arms” probably means “soldiering”. But even if that’s true it doesn’t answer all of our questions. Hand to hand combat could be considered soldiering but probably not bearing arms. So the meaning of the Second Amendment isn’t necessarily as easily understood as someone with a third grade reading level might think.
And don’t sell the Founders short on possibilities of what they could have meant by “arms”. They saw advances in firearms and probably could have imagined that guns would get more accurate and easier to fire. But they also knew something about biological warfare, and I doubt that the Framers meant we can carry around body parts infected with black death (though that might be a very literal interpretation of “bearing arms”). So at the very least, unless you disagree with my black death conclusion, the right to keep and bear arms doesn’t mean you can have any weapon you can get your hands on. So does it mean any gun? Well that’s what we’re arguing about, isn’t it.
5:a) I need a large magazine because it can take a lot of bullets to put down an attacker.
5:b) Limiting magazines won’t do anything because an attacker can change clips in a split second.
6: We don’t need the 2nd Amendment because we don’t have tyrannical leaders.
My son is a bodybuilder. He’s as big and strong as an ox. He was once talking to a guy about going to the gym and the guy said, “You don’t have to go to the gym. You’re so big!”
Cause and Effect. Get it?
7a: Guns don’t kill people.
7b: Guns save lives.
8: Criminals don’t obey laws
Well call me a “special kind of stupid”
but the more I think about this one the more I realize that criminals actually do obey laws. Not all of the time, of course, but most obey laws when they think they’ll get caught if they don’t. That’s why you slow down when you see a police car in the bushes. It’s why most of us don’t drive as fast as we’d like to even when we don’t see the the police car. And it’s why gang bangers usually don’t have fully automatic weapons.
9: Gun Control Increases Crime
That lie about Australia’s crime rate was debunked a long time ago by Snopes
, Yanks. But like a good zombie lie, it’s still not quite dead. Similar examples, like Britain’s crime rates, are harder to prove or disprove.
In many cases, gun control is a reaction to a rising crime rate which continues to rise after gun control is enacted. But that doesn’t mean gun control isn’t helping. And it’s hard to enforce gun control in a city when the surrounding areas have lax gun laws. Right wingers often point to Chicago and Washington DC as failed attempts at gun control, but if you live in either of those places, you can easily get a gun outside of the city.
If everyone else has a gun then it’s understandable why you might want to have one yourself. Ill-conceived and improperly enforced gun control certainly gives advantage to the criminals, and lax gun laws provide an incentive for law abiding citizens to arm themselves. But fair, properly enforced, and strict gun control would make us all safer. But if they’re too strict then they violate our rights.
If you want to be honest about your reasons for opposing gun control, stop citing misleading statistics and bullshit propaganda, and stick to arguments other than crime rates.
10: Obama is a Black Hitler
*sigh*. Hitler took a majority race army, with the support of the majority race population, and oppressed and murdered ethnic minorities. Obama is half Black. (People keep forgetting how White
he is). Who’s he going to oppress, White people? Black people? And with what army? (sadly, there are fools dumb enough to answer that question
And the line about “the first thing Hitler did was grab the guns” is not true. With the support of his ethnic majority, Hitler took guns away from “enemies of the state”, but relaxed gun control for everyone else.
11: The NRA
There are wingnuts who feel the NRA has sold out to the left. Leftists see the NRA as a pack of cold-hearted right-wing loonies. The NRA is really an organization that once promoted safe gun sporting but now promotes gun sales, represented by a flip-flopping chicken-hawk liar with a nervous disorder.
Posted by bnmng on 2013 April 7th
After I wrote,
I am loosing tolerance for the idiotic reasoning that criminals will get firearms anyway.
Lawrence Kennon wrote,
The argument is not that one should not make laws because criminals will disobey them. The real argument is that often the proposed law will negatively affect the rights or the law abiding without have much material effect on the non-law-abiding. It is basically an argument of unintended consequences.
He has a point, which I acknowledged. But then I heard this, from Kevin Starrett of the Oregon Firearms Federation on NPR:
Obviously, people who commit crimes with guns are not going to subject themselves to the background check. So who is it having any impact on? It’s having an impact on the people who are willing to obey the law, who wouldn’t do anything bad in the first place.
Keven Starrett seems to think that criminals will have an “opt-out” button that they can use to avoid subjecting themselves to background checks. That’s not how it works. Universal background checks will close off paths that criminals currently use to obtain weapons while still keeping those avenues open to law abiding citizens. They will force people who shouldn’t be buying guns to turn to illicit means of acquiring them. That won’t stop all criminals from getting weapons, but it will stop a lot of them.
A background check probably would have prevented this and many other tragedies like it:
Zina Daniel took out a restraining order against her husband after three years of abuse. The restraining order should have prevented her husband, Radcliffe Haughton, from buying a gun. Regardless, Haughton was able to skip a background check by buying a gun on the internet, which he used to shoot 7 people the very next day.
You can make all of the “criminals don’t obey laws” comments you want, but 100 percent background checks will prevent some people with violent records from obtaining guns. Some of them will find it too difficult or too risky, and others will get caught trying.
The beauty of 100% background checks is they don’t leave law abiding citizens unarmed while allowing criminals to easily get guns. Mr. Kennon argued that unless background checks are 100% accurate and nearly immediate, they’re a violation of our rights. I disagree. And so does the NRA.
Until recently, the NRA supported “mandatory instant criminal background checks for every sale at every gun show. No loopholes anywhere for anyone.” So is the NRA saying, “We used to support violating the 2nd Amendment but now we don’t”? It’s hard for me to imagine that the NRA had a genuine reversal of their interpretation of the Second Amendment. The 2nd Amendment didn’t change since Wayne LaPierre spoke clearly and strongly in support of 100% background checks and neither did LaPierre’s position at the NRA.
Nothing changed except an opportunity for the NRA to increase its popularity by obstructing the Obama administration, and gun sellers discovering that paranoia is good for sales. Gun organizations have been boasting about it. And the NRA can’t maintain lucrative gun grabber paranoia and hatred of Obama while supporting the administration on any gun control legislation, even if it’s legislation that the NRA strongly supported and even if it’s what over 90% of the American people want.
I acknowledge that Lawrence Kennon’s argument against background checks is not “idiotic”. But I can’t find a better word to describe Starrett’s statement that background checks don’t affect criminals because they won’t “subject themselves” to them. And I can’t abide the NRA’s reversal of a position they once so strongly supported, without changes in the facts on the ground other than the political landscape.
With overwhelming support among the American people for legislation that keeps firearms out of the hands of criminals while allowing law abiding citizens to keep and bear arms, defeating this legislation will not be a victory for the 2nd Amendment. It would be a victory for a small group of powerful lobbyists in their effort to circumvent the will of the people and put profits ahead of the lives of law abiding citizens.
Update April 6: I originally wrote that the facts on the ground hadn’t changed except the party of the current administration. That was a mistake since Clinton was in office while LaPierre was promoting universal background checks
Posted by bnmng on 2013 April 6th
I don’t always agree with “If it were a [whatever] guy… ” or “I bet they wouldn’t have done that to a [whatever] … “, but I find it very hard to disagree with this:
Can you imagine the panic if a prosecutor, then the District Attorney and his wife in one state, and in the meantime the head of prisons in another state, were killed by Muslim supremacists? The simultaneous pants-shitting of every state legislator south of the Mason-Dixon line would be loud and prolonged…
… Luckily, the suspects in these crimes are members of the Aryan Brotherhood, not the Muslim Brotherhood, so we can just let the police do their job …
Posted by bnmng on 2013 March 31st
I’m neither a linguist nor a constitutional scholar, but I have this to offer:
United States Constitution Article 1, Section 2:
The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.
“the People” here refers not to every person, nor every citizen. It doesn’t even refer to every White man. In the early days, only White, male property owners could vote. This single fact proves that the Framers of the Constitution allowed exceptions when they used the phrase, “the People”.
I get angry at anyone who sarcastically asks what I “can’t understand”. If those ignoramuses would take their heads out of the darkness they might realize that the Framers did not write the Constitution for children and the words therein don’t necessarily mean what a second grader might understand them to mean.
Thankfully, we corrected Framers’ errors (they were mortals, after all), by issuing amendments declaring men and women of all races and economics statuses full rights under the Constitution. But that doesn’t change the fact that “the People” was a term that included the possibility of exceptions. In fact, our entire criminal justice system depends on the possibility of exceptions.
Exceptions to the People who’s right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed would include Robert Wigg, who murdered his wife Deborah with a 9mm which the state of Virginia, thanks to the strong gun lobby here, allowed him to keep despite the restraining order resulting from the first time he tried to kill her. The Framers would not have objected to such an exception.
Furthermore, the Founding Fathers would not object to the government knowing where the guns are. The armed citizenry was their volunteer army, and our early leaders conducted counts of firearm ownership at various times throughout history.
There is neither a valid constitutional argument against background checks nor a public safety argument. I am loosing tolerance for the idiotic reasoning that criminals will get firearms anyway. The logical conclusion, (for those capable of drawing such conclusions), would be that no law should ever be made because criminals will disobey it. To give credit where it’s due, there is a difference between that argument as applied to background checks and the same argument as applied to disarmament, such as the D.C. gun law overturned by Heller. Regional disarmament and background checks both impede access to firearms, but disarmament affects the law abiding more greatly than criminals, while background checks does the opposite.
Remember the word’s of the NRA’s Wayne LaPeire, before he proved himself a psychopath and a liar by saying the opposite a few years later:
We think it’s reasonable to provide mandatory instant background checks for every sale at every gun show. No loopholes anywhere, for anyone,”.
Anyone who still holds loyalty to that double-speaking draft dodging monster should be ashamed. It’s one thing to change your mind – in fact the biggest failing of extremists is the inability to change their minds even when proven wrong – but it’s another thing to change your mind and whip up murderous hatred against people who still believe the words you used to say. Wayne LaPierre has no values other than a willingness to say what he’s paid to say by people who profit from violent fantasies and paranoia.
The only people against 100% background checks are gun sellers worried about loosing sales and the Orcs who they’ve whipped into a frenzy with paranoid delusions about national disarmament and uninformed interpretations the Constitution. If you’re one of those Orcs, you’re essentially supporting murder for profit and doing no good whatsoever for the Constitution or for the People of the United States of America.
Update, Mar 24 I’m not changing the text above but I should have avoided words like “idiotic” (as I usually do). Here’s a post proving you can disagree without being an idiot.
Posted by bnmng on 2013 March 24th
I attended the City of Suffolk’s public hearing on the budget last night but had to leave before council members spoke at the conclusion. An overwhelming amount of citizens spoke in support of fully funding the school board’s budget request. Most of those suppoters were connected with the school system and spoke proudly of the acccomplishments of Suffolk public schools and about how difficult it is for teachers, administrators and staff to work with relatively low funding levels provided to the schoolboard by the city. Wendell Foster of the Education Association of Suffolk said other regional cities provide more school funding as a percentage of their budget than Suffolk does, with another speaker saying “Dead Last” while another acknowledge that Suffolk did “beat Newport News”.
Few who came to defend the schoolboard’s funding directly addressed Mayor Linda Johnson’s assertion that we must either cut services or raise taxes. In fact, only a few citizens did respond to the mayor’s options, and most chose a third: cut abuse and mismanagement. Elliot Joyner had a list of eight suggestions, aimed at cutting “out of control spending”. This included cutting the amount of vehicles and driving, both of which he said was excessive. He also suggested cutting Parks and Recreation and Public Works in half. Other speakers also spoke to abuses and attacked the mayor and city manager over their high salaries. Chris Dove said the council is “reaping what [they] sowed” by breaking zoning laws, allowing an increase in population accompanying a decrease in property values, resulting in the shortfall which was the primary concern for the meeting.
A few speakers did express a willingness to endure tax increases in support of the schoolboard and other spending, including a businessman who said he has been successful and the city already has “plenty of” his money. At least two speakers defended the city manager and mayor and praised them for the city’s growth and for keeping Lipton Tea in Suffolk.
Even those who attacked the city council over spending cited other areas, not the schoolboard, to cut funding.
A few speakers spoke to specific issues. Marion Flood, who defended the schoolboard, decried the loss of Robertson Elementary and, in general, the lack of spending in Whaleyville. “What does Whaleyville get?”, she asked, and called for a computer lab in the Whaleyville recreation center to assist in after-school education. Two speakers complained about excessive development and loss of services in Pughsville, one saying the streets are so blocked by cars that an ambulance would have difficulty gaining access to the area. Linda Bunch of Suffolk Art Leage said investment in arts is an investment which provides a return of at least three times over. Karen Joyner of the Foodbank Of Southeastern Virginia defended spending on human services.
The Suffolk News Herald quickly posted a summary of the hearing. As Tracy Agnew reports, the mayor and councilmembers spoke at the end of the meeting and addressed the overwhelming amount of requests to fully support the schoolboard and other spending, but the very small amount of concrete suggestions on how to do so.
Councilman Charles Parr said he had not heard the specific suggestions he had hoped to hear, with a few exceptions.
“It’s ringing in my ears — education, no tax raise, education, no tax raise,” he said, adding later: “I’ve heard, I want this, I want that, I want this, but don’t raise taxes.”
I received an email from Arthur Singleton, who was at the meeting with me and stayed until the end, saying, “You missed the best part of the meeting”. According to Mr. Singleton, council members pointed out how the financial status of the city has improved under the leadership of our city manager, and that her pay hike was a promise made to her when she was hired at a low salary, with the challenge to improve the moody rating of the city. Council also pointed out that the emergency response bus was a federal grant, and that it was not paid for with city tax dollars.
Updates, Mar 20th: I added Art Singleton’s comments.
Posted by bnmng on 2013 March 19th