Thank You For Following This Blog.

As of today I have published 1,477 blogs on this website which have received 3,992 comments from readers.  As of tomorrow I will be decommissioning this website and transitioning my writing and publishing activities to my new blog, www.lovethedeepstate.com. I have enjoyed my interactions with folks on both sides of the gun issue, but my own interests have now shifted to other topics which I would rather follow in terms of what I publish and talk about with friends.

Thanking all of you for following this website.

John Lott Doesn’t Cause Gun Violence.

              The news that James Bennett has ‘resigned’ as Opinion Editor at The New York Times (nobody’s ever fired at  the NYT, they always resign) didn’t make it much harder for me to enjoy my morning coffee today. To the contrary, it’s a move long overdue. If nothing else, the way he characterized John Lott in an editorial back in 2018 told me that he was using the editorial page to make judgements and pronouncements that should have remained on the copy room floor.

              The editorial in question was a criticism of what appeared to be an attempt by Trump and his Congressional allies to sabotage the crime bill, even though ultimately Trump signed legislation that had bi-partisan support. The editorial cited a study by Lott about crime rates and immigrants, with Lott being described as a ‘disreputable economist’ who misused data “to suit his own ideological ends.”

              This idea that Lott is some kind of disreputable researcher has been floating around Gun-control Nation ever since he pissed off all my gun-control friends by publishing a book which argued that violent crime had gone down after the early 1990’s because more people were walking around with legal guns.  I have published my own critique of John’s work, but despite the hysterical attacks made against him by some gun-control advocates who have never done any research on their own, his book is basically just another contribution to the debate on why violent crime fell so dramatically after the early 1990’s and should be read and regarded in those terms.

              What the gun-control advocates who hate John’s work would like to ignore is the fact that a majority of Americans believe that a home containing a gun is safer than a home without a gun.  And since the number of homes that contain guns is somewhere around 30%, obviously a lot of non-gun owners also think that guns are more of a benefit than a risk. If everyone who buys into the idea that guns keep you safe owned a copy of John’s book, he wouldn’t need to ask people for a few bucks for the think-tank where he works.

              I have been asking my friends in Gun-control Nation to stop thinking that citing some data which shows that guns are a risk is an effective way to talk to gun owners about their guns. I have also stated again and again that the idea of lecturing gun owners on safe storage is a fool’s errand for two reasons. First, believe it or not, gun owners do safely store their guns, and when they don’t, it’s because they are human beings, and like all of us, sometimes they are careless and they forget.

The second reason that safe storage is a dead-end strategy is that there is not one, single study which shows that when gun owners safely store their guns, that gun injury rates go down. The studies on safe storage find that after gun owners are instructed about safety, more report that they safely stored their guns. But does this mean that gun-injury rates changed? It doesn’t mean squat.

My friends in Gun-control Nation can continue to rant and rave about John Lott but it such behavior will have absolutely no impact whatsoever on how America thinks about guns. And how America thinks about guns is how they will think about gun violence and how they will think about any so-called ‘reasonable’ measures to control guns.

Know why laws like comprehensive background checks and red-flag procedures are considered ‘reasonable’ to the point that even a majority of gun owners support such ideas? Because the truth is that such regulations won’t really prevent gun owners from buying more guns. And the further truth is that as long as Americans can walk into a gun shop and walk out with a little Glock, Kahr or Sig pistol that holds 15 rounds of military-grade ammo, gun violence isn’t going to decline at all.

Want To Restore Law & Order? Call In The Army.

              I think it’s entirely appropriate that on the same day thirty-one years ago that the Chinese government ordered its military to open fire on demonstrators in Tiananmen Square, that Donald Trump should militarize the U.S. Government response to the demonstrations about George Floyd. After all, as Nick Kristof reminds us in yesterday’s op-ed, this is the same guy who believed that the soldiers shooting at unarmed protestors were demonstrating the government’s ‘strength.’

              It’s gotten to the point that taking the asshole Trump seriously for anything he says is a fool’s errand at best.  It’s not that he doesn’t know the difference between fiction and fact; it’s that he got away with saying anything he wanted to say in New York because he was just another piece of local news.  Back before he ran for President, if he told a local reporter that he was willing to buy the Brooklyn Bridge, nobody would care. But if you’re the President and you say you want to buy Greenland, it’s international news.

              I don’t think Trump has the faintest idea about what it would mean to order the U.S. Army to come out and try to quell the demonstrations that are still erupting in response to the murder of George Floyd. He says it because he wants everyone to believe that a ‘tough guy’ is really in charge. But there’s a second thing going on here as well.

              Remember when a guy named Fred Guttenberg confronted Brett Kavanaugh during the latter’s confirmation hearing to challenge him about guns? Fred is the father of his beloved daughter Jaime, who was gunned down at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in 2018, and he has been appearing at various public events to talk and agitate about gun violence since that time. Back in February he got thrown out of the House chamber during Trump’s State of the Union address; frankly, everyone should have walked out.

              Now Fred has decided that enough with theatrical protests, it’s time to get real. And with the help of both Brady and Everytown, he has filed a complaint against Smith & Wesson for falsely advertising their assault-style guns. The complaint alleges that S&W markets their AR-15 in a way that “attracts, encourages and facilitates” mass shooters and should include a statement in its marketing materials warning consumers about the extreme lethality of the gun.

              It would be an important step forward for Gun-control Nation if the other side would get real and admit that maybe, just maybe, some of these so-called ‘sporting guns’ aren’t being sold for sporting purposes at all. There isn’t a single gun maker who produces an AR-style rifle whose advertising shows anything other than some camo-clad military ‘warrior’ sitting somewhere and just waiting to nail a terrorist coming over the hill. You think the guy pictured in the header to this story is waiting for Bambi to come out from a tree?

              The cops started becoming more military-minded in terms of weapons when they formed SWAT teams in response to the urban riots that occurred in some inner-city ghettos beginning in 1965. The big gugga-mugga between the cops and civilians took place at the Los Angeles Black Panther Headquarters in 1969 when more than 200 cops, including a newly-formed SWAT team, exchanged thousands of rounds of both semi-auto and automatic fire, but nobody was killed. Leave it to Hollywood, because a rather stupid show called S.W.A.T ran for one season on television in 1975-76.

              But let’s remember that we have a President who, to all intents and purposes, spends the greater part of his day watching TV shows, while the exceedingly dumb son-in-law pretends to be running the Executive Branch. And if you want to run a political campaign that will somehow gain you enough votes to win a 2nd term, you look around for some kind of narrative which becomes the symbol for whom you really are. Which is exactly why what Fred Guttenberg is saying about how the gun industry markets the AR-15 is completely and totally true.

              Right on Fred, right on.

When The Looting Starts, The Shooting Starts.

Know who starts shooting when the looting starts? The President starts shooting his mouth off because he never misses an opportunity to say whatever stupid idea gets into his head. And what’s really funny about his attempt to link the mostly-peaceful demonstrations about George Floyd’s murder to everything and everyone who’s against anything he wants, is that he’s the guy, more than anyone else, who has been urging his so-called ‘movement’ to show up with their guns whenever and wherever they can.

Let’s be honest, okay? A bunch of jerk-offs stand in front of the State House in Michigan with their AR-15’s in plain sight to protest the state’s lockdown rules and Trump gives them a Tweet high-five. Want to tell me how an assault rifle will protect you from COVID-19? Oh, I forgot. The anti-lockdown demonstrators just want to remind everyone that their ‘freedoms’ can only be protected if they go around armed.

Remember Charlottesville in 2017? Remember how guys went marching down the main street yelling anti-Semitic slogans, waving Nazi flags, and flaunting their beloved AR-15’s?  Remember how Trump couldn’t bring himself to say one negative word about those assholes without finding fault with the ‘other side?’ And this guy has the nerve now to get up there and shoot his mouth off about how much he believes in justice and peace?

I’m not going to waste one precious word of this comment by inserting the requisite ‘I’m not supporting violence’ comment that invariably finds its way into every, single op-ed being published by the people who feel badly about the murder of George Floyd. I mean, is there any reason to even consider the idea that a normal person would want to see local businesses being burned, private cars being trashed, and people no matter how they feel about politics getting bashed over the head?

Actually, there is such a person out there, but he’s hardly normal in the way we usually use that word. In fact, he’s a frightened, school-yard bully who never (read: never) misses an opportunity to tell everyone how smart he is and how much you are an idiot or worse if you don’t agree with him.

This guy took out full-page newspaper ads in 1989 calling for the execution of 5 Black teenagers (none of whom were older than sixteen) after they were convicted of gang-raping a young woman who was jogging through Central Park. And when it turned out that the kids were innocent and New York City coughed up some money to compensate the five kids for spending 15 years in jail, Trump published an op-ed calling the settlement ‘a disgrace.’

The disgrace is that back in 2016 we took Trump’s candidacy as a big joke and somehow talked ourselves into believing that the candidate, our candidate, who spent twice as much money as her opponent would have no trouble ending up in front. The truth is that we better not behave in such a disgraceful and stupid way again. And notice the pronoun ‘we.’ Two weeks before the 2016 election, I was as convinced as everyone else that the polls which showed Trump cresting in swing states had to be wrong.

I shouldn’t indulge myself in trying to figure out what’s in the minds of people who are demonstrating about George Floyd’s murder by burning, looting, doing all kinds of violent behavior that I would never do. Be that as it may, I’m not convinced that these demonstrations are just a reaction to the way a couple of dumb cops did what they shouldn’t have done.

These demonstrations are directed at Donald Trump. Stupid behavior? Maybe so. But I have a funny feeling that the message will get through. And know what will happen then? If anything, Trump will become even more hateful, more racist, more determined to goad his so-called ‘movement’ to support him to the extreme.

I wrote this column before Trump came out with his ANTIFA rant. It’s exactly 169 days until November 2nd, okay?