Does Gun Violence Increase Because We Keep Buying Guns?

              Once again, our friends at the ‘non-partisan’ gun magazine, The Trace, have promoted an argument about the relationship of gun ownership to gun violence which has no basis in fact. The argument has now been floating around for at least 20 years and is accepted as the non-plus-ultra explanation for gun violence in the United States. Unfortunately, the explanation doesn’t work,

              Why do we believe that our high level of fatal violence is because we have so many guns? Because our friend David Hemenway has been pushing this idea for years. And how does he explain the link between gun ownership and fatal violence? By doing a regression analysis using guns as the independent variable and then comparing the United States to other countries with similar demographics but much fewer personally owned guns.

              There happen to be two, actually three fundamental problems with David’s approach. First and most important is his definition of the word ‘gun.’ Because the fact that there are more than 300 million guns sitting around in basements, garages, underneath the living room couch and inside a toolbox out in the truck, doesn’t tell us how many of these guns are actually used in assaults.

              I looked at more than 9,000 ‘crime’ guns collected by police departments, and the types of guns which probably account for at least 75% of the civilian gun arsenal don’t show up on this list at all. Along with another 20 million or so gun owners, I own a Remington 700 bolt-action rifle. When was the last time a gun of this type was involved in a gun assault? As my grandfather would say: ‘shabbos noch schvee,’ (read: never.)

              The second problem with David’s approach is the assumption that there’s any connection between the number of guns owned by law-abiding citizens and the number of times that guns are used to commit crimes. And here is another issue I have with all the so-called gun experts who conduct public health researcher and or write for The Trace. Every time they talk about gun ‘violence’ they only refer to homicides and suicides, with the latter events being twice as great as the number of murders committed with guns.

              In fact, the only difference between fatal and non-fatal gun assaults is that in the latter category, the shooter didn’t shoot straight. Otherwise, everything that leads up to a confrontation that ends up as a fatal or non-fatal gun assault is exactly the same. More than 80% of all the gun injuries which occur in the United States every year are crimes. How come this issue is glossed over again and again?

              I’ll tell you why. Because if there were any degree of honest discussion about gun violence, (and this is the third problem with the more guns = more violence approach) it would have to be admitted that gun violence is a problem experienced in what we politely refer to as the ‘underserved’ population. And since this population is overwhelmingly minority – Hispanic and Black – to single out those two groups would be to inject the racial issue into the gun debate.

              After the last four years of being verbally abused by Trump, I don’t blame anyone for wanting to avoid discussions about social or political events which turn on the issue of race. On the other hand, why let facts get in the way of a good headline that will help gun-control organizations raise some more cash? And by the way, before yet another reader accuses me of being a shill for the NRA, I just renewed my monthly contribution to Moms Demand Action, okay?

              Last but not least, the whole issue of how guns move from ‘good’ to ‘bad’ hands is also a mess. According to the ATF, the average time between when a gun is purchased and when it is used in a crime (‘time-to-crime) is more than 9 years. So even though the number of handguns sold this year has doubled over the number of purchases in 2019, who says that this is the reason why gun violence has been going up? 

              There are all kinds of reasons why we are suffering from an increase in gun violence regardless of how many new guns have been purchased by law-abiding gun owners in the past year. God forbid our friends in gun journalism and public health research would stop trying to scare us with headlines and conduct some serious research.

Happy Holidays!

              If I had a nickel for every time some liberal media pundit has complained about Trump’s behavior being a ‘threat’ to democracy, I’d have enough money to fly down to Florida, drive over to Boca and lie down on the beach. Actually, I have enough money to do it anyway, but I’m staying home, and I hope all of you stay home as well.

              Oh my God! We won’t be able to be with the family this year. We’re always with the family this time of year. We love that Cousin Harold shows up drunk for Christmas dinner, that Uncle Dave gets into a fistfight with his son, you know, heartfelt memories like that. Like my grandfather used to say: ‘Shait en haim.” Stay at home.

              Anyway, back to how democracy is teetering on the brink.

              For all the talk about how Trump has been trying to demolish our government by promoting all this nonsense about how the election was ‘fixed,’ I notice that the government at every level seems to just keep rolling along.

              Last weekend we had a huge snowfall. The next day, the roads were all cleared, the school buses picked up half the kids, the other half were home playing with the free laptops they got from the school. The garbage was picked up a day late, but it was picked up. And when I turned on my tap, the water came out. Ditto when I turned on a light. The bulb lit up.

              Most important, the day after the storm my monthly social security check was issued and ended up exactly where it was supposed to end up – in my bank account. And by the way, if God forbid, I need to go to the ER because I feel short of breath, I could get in there, wave my red, white, and blue government-issued Medicaid card and I’m good to go.

              In this country we take for granted what government does every day in providing a level of comfort and services which doesn’t exist anywhere else.  I’m not talking about the lack of government-provided amenities in places like Zimbabwe or Cameroons.  I’m talking about places like England and France.

              The United States is the only country in the entire world where virtually every road is paved. It’s the only country where the store-bought meat is clean, and the milk is really fresh. It’s the only country where, with the exception of Flint, you can walk into any bathroom of any gas station and drink from the tap.

              We are the only country in the entire world which has street lights on just about every street. Next time you check into some pricey, quaint auberge in some lovely, picturesque French village or town, take a walk in the evening and see if you can see anything more than five feet ahead.

              When we use words like ‘government’ or ‘democracy,’ it means something much different to the average person than what it means to the liberal, educated elite. Don’t get me wrong. I think, actually I know that Trump is nothing more than a complete and total piece of shit.

              But he’s no ‘threat’ to democracy. First of all, he’s not smart enough to be a threat to anything. He’s dumb as a rock, and he magnifies his stupidity by making sure that the people around him are even dumber than that. Ever listen to the rants of a GOP House Member named Matt Gaetz? Try an exchange this moron had with a Democratic member during a committee hearing earlier this year.

              The good news about the holidays is that when they’re finished, Trump will be finished too. Granted, it will be three weeks into the New Year before the GSA trucks roll up, take all his personal crap out of the White House, and ship it somewhere else. I doubt if Trump will try to steal the White House silverware the way the Clintons did, but you never know.

              Let’s stop moaning and groaning about how we need to ‘recover’ democracy from the clutches of Donald Trump. Stay home, do a Zoom to everyone, and get ready for 2021.

Why Shouldn’t Inner Cities Protect Themselves From Covid-19 With Guns?

              Back in 2005 or 2006, a bunch of us rented one of those over-the-road sleepers and drove to Buffalo to see a Bills versus Dolphins football game. We got to the stadium, scalped some tickets and I found myself sitting upstairs behind three guys who had driven down from Hamilton earlier in the day.

              During halftime, a small plane flew over the stadium pulling an advertising banner for some gun shop in Buffalo. One of the guy from Canada poked his friends and said, “You know you’re in the United States when you see someone advertising a store that sells guns.” They all laughed.

              Used to be that the United States was a place with lots of gun violence and Canada had little or none. Used to be the case. Not true anymore.

              This year the city of Toronto recorded more fatal and non-fatal shootings in the entire modern era with the exception of one other year, which was last year. So far this year there have been 214 people killed or injured with guns. Last year, the final number of killed and wounded was – ready? – 495.

              I thought the only gun you can own in Canada is some old shotgun or hunting gun. I thought that Canada was a ‘model’ for what our gun-control advocates would like to achieve down here.

              The gun-violence issue in Toronto goes back to 2005, when a battle between two street gangs on Boxing Day resulted in the death of a fifteen-year old girl and injuries to six other young men and kids. So, the Toronto cops launched TAVIS, a.k.a., Toronto Anti-Violence Intervention Strategy, a nice-sounding euphemism which basically means put extra police in locations where guns keep going off.

              These locations are in what we now politely refer to as ‘underserved’ neighborhoods, which we used to call ghettos, or what back in my childhood were referred to as ‘slums.’ The TAVIS program resulted in less than 30 victims being shot and killed in 2011, the number had been 80 gun-homicides back in 2005.

              Know what Toronto did with this program in 2014?  They closed it down. Why did the city close it down? Because there was too much talk and bad publicity about the fact that the only neighborhoods being patrolled were neighborhoods which happened to be Black.

              So now Toronto is right back to where it was before the TAVIS program was put into effect. Residents of Toronto, nearly all of them residents of the ‘underserved’ neighborhoods, are getting gunned down all the time. And if you can’t flood these hot corners with cops because that’s a racist response, what can you do?

              The answer to this problem may have been provided by a story that has just appeared in that online gun magazine which refers to itself as always maintaining ‘editorial independence,’ a.k.a., The Trace. The particular article is about the growth of a new gun organization, the National African American Gun Association (NAAGA), which claims to have more than 40,000 members, with ‘thousands’ joining in the last year.

              Why do people join this group? According to the head of the Chicago chapter, they join for different reasons, but they all want to “exercise their 2nd-Amendment right.” And what is it about the 2nd Amendment which is beginning to catch on amongst Blacks? It’s the “pandemic, police brutality and civil unrest” which is fueling the growth of the NAAGA.

              I have no problem with Blacks thinking they are making themselves safer by walking around with a gun. If they want to believe the same stupid nonsense that many White gun nuts want to believe, they can go right ahead and believe. They can even explain those beliefs to a reporter from The Trace. That’s their 1st-Amendment right.

              My problem is with the tone of the reportage, which is different than the tone I have been getting from The Trace in their stories about the increase in gun sales over the past year. Those stories clearly associate increased gun sales with more injuries and deaths.  So how come when Blacks arm themselves, the potential for increased gun violence isn’t mentioned at all?

Just Like Covid-19, Stand Your Ground Laws Continue To Spread.

              Just in time for Christmas and no doubt in an effort to spread holiday cheer, the Ohio State Legislature has sent a bill to Governor Mike DeWine’s desk that would extend the state’s Stand Your Ground (SYG) doctrine to just about any place, any reason, or any time.

              The state’s current SYG law only allows someone to refuse to back asway from a confrontation if the incident takes place within an individual’s home or on the property around the home – the so-called ‘castle doctrine’ being the basis upon which a SYG explanation can be used.

              The new law expands SYG to just about any place where someone might gets into an argument with someone else. In other words, you could be walking down a public street minding your own business and bump into someone else by mistake. So, you say ‘I’m sorry’ but the guy you bumped into is in a lousy mood and he turns around and shoves you back.

              At the same time, he shoves you, he also says something like, ‘I’d like to kick your ass,’ and maybe comes towards you again. At which point under the new Ohio law you can pull out the ol’ trusty shootin’ iron and blast away.

              The spread of SYG laws into nearly 30 states is one of the concerns that my friends in Gun-control Nation raise again and again when they talk about the mis-use of guns. Or I should say, by the use of guns if we’re talking about most gun assaults. Such events usually to pistols manufactured by companies like Glock, S&W, Ruger, Beretta, Colt and Sig.

              These guns are designed to be used by one person to shoot another person, okay?

              Our friends in Gun-control Nation have always been concerned about SYG laws because of the alleged connection between such laws and gun violence, an idea which happens to be based on more of an assumption than any statistical proof. Earlier this year, the RAND Corporation looked at all the studies which evaluate the impact of SYG on gun violence rates and concluded that there is a ‘moderate’ possibility that SYG may increase homicides, which hardly makes the connection an established fact.

              The gun industry on the other hand, and the various organizational/political components comprising Gun-nut Nation, have always strongly supported SYG, for the same reason that they support carrying guns outside the home, i.e., the more we stand up to the bad guys, the safer we all will be.

              Is there any proof behind this self-serving argument from Gun-nut Nation about the value of SYG laws? We don’t need no stinkin’ proof. We know that walking around with a gun will protect you as well as walking into a crowded space today without a mask.

              What I find interesting about SYG laws, however, is the fact that they don’t exist in England and aren’t part of our legal heritage known as the Common Law. This is the major point of our friend Caroline Light’s book Stand Your Ground, which shows that such laws first appeared not in Great Britain but over here. To this day we are the only country whose legal heritage comes from the Common Law but whose legal system also includes SYG.

              Unfortunately, in the debate about this unique legal formulation, both pro-SYG and anti-SYG advocates miss one vital point. It’s not a question of whether or not an SYG law makes a law-abiding individual more prone to carry or use a gun. The real question, unanswered by both sides in the debate, is whether we have a unique culture which promotes SYG behavior, legal or not.

All the way back in 1957, the brilliant criminologist Marvin Wolfgang discovered that “the victim is often a major contributor to the criminal act.” In what type of crime did Wolfgang find this behavior to be most apparent? In homicide, what else.

              Why can’t the two sides in the gun debate drop their professed dislike for each other and start discussing the issue of culture and how people behave, regardless of what the laws tell them they can and cannot do?

Gun Violence And The 2nd Amendment Aren’t Connected At All.

              Now that our friends in Gun-control Nation have helped Joe Biden become the 46th President of the United States, it’s time to get back to figuring out how to reduce the deaths and injuries caused by the misuse of guns.

              Of course, the moment that groups like Everytown and Brady start making noise about gun violence, the other side will ramp up its campaign to defend 2nd-Amendment ‘rights.’ And first and foremost, in the arsenal of pro-gun narratives will be the phrase, ‘the right to bear arms.’

              Once Gun-control Nation begins reminding everyone that the 2nd Amendment and the ‘right to bear arms’ is just as important as anything else in the Bill of Rights, the gun-control organizations and public health researchers will fall all over themselves pledging total and unquestioned fealty to gun ‘rights,’ as long as some way can be found to reduce the deaths and injuries caused by all those guns.

              There’s only one little problem, however, which is that for all the attempts to explain how and why the 2nd Amendment came to give Constitutional protection to personally owned guns, the discussion invariably talks about the legal and historic meanings and precedents of the words ‘keep’ and ‘bear,’ while the word ‘arms’ gets no attention at all.

              My late friend Antonin Scalia’s 2008 Heller opinion which redefined 2nd-Amendment ‘rights,’ runs toughly 20,000 words. Know how many words are devoted to the issue of ‘arms?’ Try less than two hundred. And what Scalia says is that the 2nd Amendment refers to handguns that are traditionally found in the home, not the guns designed for the military, i.e., ‘weapons of war.’

              What Scalia doesn’t say, nor is it ever mentioned by anyone who has contributed verbal or written hot air to the gun debate on either side, is that the guns whose use is responsible for at least 80% of all gun violence, maybe more, happen to be weapons of war. Try Glock, try Beretta, try Sig, try Colt, – these are all guns that were designed for military use and are carried by troops everywhere.

              Now the fact that we are the only country which lets civilians have free access to those weapons of war doesn’t mean that such guns should be covered by Constitutional protection just because they happen to be in the home. You can also buy and keep a full-auto machine gun in your home, except you need to go through a much more intensive and expensive licensing process, which is why the last time someone was murdered with a full-auto gun was 1947 or so.

              Not only did Scalia totally misunderstand and mis-state this issue, but the other side, the Gun-control Nation side, gets it wrong too. Why do we have so much gun violence? Because according to our friend David Hemenway, we own so many guns, perhaps as many as 300 million, perhaps even more.

              But if David would take the trouble to do a slight amount of research into what kind of guns actually are used in fatal and non-fatal assaults, he would quickly realize that most of the guns sitting in the American civilian arsenal have nothing to do with gun violence at all. I own a Remington 700 bolt-action rifle chambered in .270 Winchester caliber, the Remington factory has probably produced and sold more than 20 million of these guns over the years.

              How many Remington 700 rifles mow someone down in the street? None. Ditto the fabled Winchester Model 70 rifle or the Browning Auto-5 shotgun which has taken millions of high-flyers out of the sky. The only person who ever got injured with a semi-auto shotgun was the guy that Dick Cheney shot by accident, okay?

              If my friends in Gun-control Nation would stop obsessing about the 2nd Amendment and learn a few quick facts about how guns are designed and used, maybe just maybe they could sit down and come up with a strategy that would have a real impact on how many Americans are killed and injured each year with guns.

American Democracy Under Threat? Enough Is Enough.

Notwithstanding all the hot air and bullshit on both sides of the political spectrum about how we are facing a melt-down of the political system due to the attempts by Trump and the alt-right to maintain some media presence after the ass-kicking they took on November 3rd, if we’ve learned anything over the past seven weeks, it’s how remarkably stable our two-party, political system happens to be.

The election was called for the blue team the very night it occurred, a call that was first made by a media network (FOX) that hasn’t been particularly friendly to the winning political party over the past twenty years. The Electoral College met and voted as scheduled last week, the Congress will validate the results on January 6th, and the 46th President will be sworn in exactly two weeks after that date.

Between November 4th and this past week, there has not in any way been a threat to democracy at all. It was nothing more than a lot of play-acting by alt-right media personalities like Trump and Giuliani who in one month will be looking for new jobs. Evidently, Trump has been musing about bringing back ‘The Apprentice’ because he’s used the phrase ‘you’re fired’ even more times as President than he used the same phrase on his weekly TV show.

Ditto all those supporting actors like Stephen and Jason Miller, Jared Kushner, Sydney Powell, and the rest of that bunch. In fact, the alt-right media has already stopped talking about election ‘fraud’ and switched to discussing the ‘fraud’ represented by vaccines for Covid-19.

Want to get an idea about how incredibly stable our government is compared to other democratic regimes? Let’s go back exactly one century and compare. Italy and Germany, as we know, collapsed into dictatorships, the latter perhaps being the worst, most vicious and destructive government of all time. The 4th Republic in France collapsed from the threat of a military coup in 1958, and there was basically no central government until a new Constitution was written and DeGaulle established the 5th Republic in December of that year. The British parliamentary government faced three ‘no-confidence’ votes and had to reassemble a governing coalition three times since 1919.

Know how many different governing coalitions have been responsible for running Israel since the Zionist State came into existence in 1949?  Try 36 different governments in 71 years.  How’s that for stability, okay?

We have absolutely nothing like that type of merry-go-round here. At the end of Joe and Kammie’s first term in 2024, since 1960 the blue and red teams will have controlled the Executive Branch exactly the same amount of time – 32 years.

As for Congress, the Democrats controlled both Houses from 1960 to 1980, although for most of that time the Southern Democrats often out-GOP’d the GOP. Republicans controlled the Senate from 1981 through 1986, then the blue team took over both Houses until 1995. Since then, Congress has been more red than blue, but the control of both Houses may shift back to the blue team on January 5th.

For all the talk about the ‘deep state’ on the one hand, and ‘armed rebellion’ or ‘secession’ on the other, there is simply no mistaking the fact that American government just rolls smoothly along. And this is true whether we are talking about federal, state, or local governmental affairs.

The United States is the only country in the entire world where you can drink the water from any tap (except in Flint), where you can drive on paved roads between every, single town, where meat is inspected before it can be bought or sold and where children get on a bus every weekday morning even if they live around the corner from the school.

If the Russians want to do some real hacking that will make a difference, why don’t they just hack all those internet news websites and blogs?  I’d be happy to fold up and go away If CNN, MSNBC, Vox, Huffington and Politico would do the same.

Another Plan To End Gun Violence That Won’t Work At All.

              Back on October 13, 2020 S&W received a court order from Jersey’s AG, Gurbir Grewal, which requires the company to produce “true, accurate, and complete copies of all advertisements for your merchandise that are or were available to New Jersey concerning home safety, concealed carry, personal protection, personal defense, personal safety, or home defense benefits of a firearm, including a Smith & Wesson firearm.”

              Smith & Wesson has been in the business of making guns since 1852. The picture above is an ad for the Smith & Wesson Model 3 revolver, which was manufactured between 1870 and 1915. Want to tell me how digging up this advertisement does anything to advance the debate about guns and gun violence right now?

              There happen to be exactly four states – Hawaii, Rhode Island, New York, Massachusetts – which have a lower rate of gun violence than New Jersey. I’m not saying there isn’t room for improvement, we can always do better in any area of public health. But Jersey recorded a rate for automobile fatalities that was twice as high as the death rate from guns. Do you see the AG showing up and demanding advertisements covering the personal benefits of owning a car from General Motors or Ford?

              Then there’s another issue about gun violence in New Jersey, and that has to do with what my public health friends refer to as the epidemiology of where this violence occurs. In 2018, according to the CDC-Wonder database, one-third of all fatal shootings in New Jersey took place in two counties which together hold 14% of the state’s total population. If the gun-violence in these two counties was no higher than the rate in the state’s other 13 counties, New Jersey would be far and away the safest state in the United States.

              I’m talking about Essex and Camden Counties. Ever take a ride through Newark’s Springfield-Belmont neighborhood? They only had 7 murders there last year. But if you really want to get a taste of gun violence in New Jersey, the city of Camden ranked third in the entire United States after East St. Louis and Chester, PA. East St. Louis always ranks first.

              This extraordinary level of human carnage in just two cities, and actually only within certain neighborhoods within those cities, has absolutely no connection to how Smith & Wesson advertises or sells its guns at all. And if the New Jersey AG wants to make neighborhoods in Newark or Camden safer places to live, it’s not going to happen no matter how many advertisements he forces S&W to produce.

              Every, single handgun that’s shipped from S&W in Springfield to a gun dealer in New Jersey can’t leave the retailer’s shop unless the purchaser is first granted a permit which allows him to buy one gun – not two, not three, one. Now the idea that someone goes to the trouble of first getting a state gun license and then getting a permit to purchase a handgun and then takes the gun out of the store after passing a background check so that he can walk down the street and gun someone down…. I mean, c’mon. Gimme a break.

              If the New Jersey AG wants to do something really serious about gun violence, he needs to sit down with the state’s Congressional delegation and ask them to promote a national gun-control plan, such as moving handguns onto the NFA list, or creating a national registry, or some other method t0 prevent guns from moving illegally into New Jersey from other, less-regulated states.

              I’m still waiting for our friends at Giffords or Brady or any of the other gun-control organizations to admit or even understand that we have gun violence because we allow free access to handguns that were designed for one purpose and one purpose only, which is to end human life.

              Until and unless my friends in gun-control nation stop fooling around with half-assed measures like suing Smith & Wesson for misleading ads, there won’t be the slightest change in how many Americans are killed and wounded each year with guns.

The Liberal Media Needs A New Target.

When I was a kid, my parents had a subscription to Newsweek, because it was the liberal alternative to Time Magazine. And since Time had always been (in those days) a right-wing rag for Henry Luce, it wasn’t allowed across the transom of our front door.

The world changes, thank God, and now Time Magazine has become one of the leading weekly news magazines for the liberal media gang. In fact, they just named Joe and Kammie Man & Woman of The Year. Meanwhile, the three featured op-eds yesterday on Newsweek were written by Tom Cotton, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Lazio. Now that’s a liberal line-up, right?

Anyway, Newsweek’s headline story was this: “Trump Allies Still Push False Hope of Overturning Election Despite Electoral College Vote.” And I couldn’t wait to read this story because I have noticed that Trump seems to have lost just about all his support over the last couple of days. The ground has shifted so much under his feet that the Senate Majority leader told his caucus on Tuesday to shut the f*** up about the election and finish the stimulus bill so they could all leave town.

Of course, the next morning Trump tweeted something about how the fight to redo the election was still going on. And so is the Mexican wall still being built.

Exactly who are these ‘allies’ which Newsweek wants us to believe are working tirelessly to promote Trump? First up is Stephen Miller, identified as Trump’s ‘senior adviser’ who was hired to craft the immigration bill. Now all of a sudden, he’s become an expert on the Electoral College, claiming that state legislatures can still elect a different slate of electors who will go to Washington to demand that Trump be re-elected and set aside 150 million votes.

Who’s Trump Ally #2? None other than Steve Bannon, who is taking some time off from preparing his defense to explain how a million bucks went into his pocket instead of being used to build the Mexican Wall. Bannon’s another expert on Constitutional law and he’s convinced that the movement to re-elect Trump has until January 20th to come up with an ‘unsteal the vote’ plan.

Trump Ally #3 is the best one of all.  It’s none other than Sydney Powell, her of the voting-machine software owned and operated by Hugo Chavez. She put up a tweet this week claiming that she had no less than four ‘election fraud’ cases pending before the Supreme Court. Obviously, the SCOTUS clerk hasn’t  had time to open all the mail because the docket doesn’t list anything from Powell at all. So what?

Beginning Tuesday, I made a point of listening to the opening monologue of three AM shock-jocks: Rush Limbaugh, a Limbaugh wannabee named Howie Carr, and a local guy, Jim Polito, who has reinvented himself as an alt-right broadcaster after being fired from a newspaper for sexual abuse back in 2008.

For the last two months, these guys have been ranting and raving about election ‘fraud.’ And the only subject which they have occasionally raised other than the election is how and why Donald Trump has been the best President we ever had.

Beginning this week, Trump’s name hasn’t been mentioned on these broadcasts even once. What are they talking about? Hunter Biden’s the big story followed by how the campaign to wear a mask is nothing more than an attempt to take away our freedom courtesy of the Deep State.

So, if the alt-right media has obviously decided that Trump no longer exists, how come the liberal media keeps trying to prop him up? Which comes back to what I have been saying again and again over the last four years, namely, that this whole nonsense about the new, right-wing populism known as MAGA is nothing more than click-bait messaging to drive advertising revenues for the media which spins for the alt-left.

The bottom line is that my liberal media friends have to identify a new, alt-right bogeyman to replace Trump. How about if the law-abiding states decide to secede?

Want To Reduce Gun Violence? Try The ‘Non-Partisan’ Approach.

              There’s a bunch of ER doctors out there who are promoting themselves as a group of gun experts who want to teach other doctors how to counsel patients about gun risks. The group says it has developed a ‘non-partisan’ approach to gun violence, shorthand for a narrative that will appeal to both sides.

               The head of this group, Chris Barsotti, claims to be a gun owner. In fact, the one gun he owns is an old hunting rifle that belonged to his father; a gun he has never shot. How do I know this? Because I gave him the ammunition for the gun.

              The other group leader, Megan Ranney, explained to me that the reason she never speaks out against the hundreds of thousands of dollars that the American College of Emergency Physicians donates every year to the political campaigns of pro-NRA Members of Congress is because “change takes time.”

              These self-righteous and arrogant promoters of themselves and a few other ER docs are going to hold a virtual seminar next month to explain how doctors and other caregivers should talk to gun owners about their guns. They claim to be developing a ‘preferred terminology’ so that clinicians can prevent firearm injuries and deaths.

              Let’s go back to the beginning, which is 1992 and 1993.  This is when two medical researchers, Fred Rivara and Art Kellerman, published evidence-based research which clearly and indisputably found that access to guns increases risks to health.

I read these articles when they first appeared in print and frankly, didn’t understand why this research needed to be done at all. Was there anyone out there who didn’t understand that if you pick up a loaded gun, particularly a handgun, and point it at yourself or someone else, that such an action wouldn’t increase risk? Isn’t that exactly what my Glock M-17 pistol is designed to do? Duhhh….

              How do you take a product like my Glock and reduce the risk inherent in its design and function without getting rid of the gun? You come up with some stupid or silly workaround like ‘safe’ guns or safe storage of guns or some other nonsense like that. And then you peddle that crap to a largely unsuspecting and ignorant audience and pretend that you have come up with a ‘consensus’ approach to reducing gun risk.

              There’s only one little problem, a problem which happens to make this approach not only wrong from a product design point of view, but also happens to be a violation of the Hippocratic Oath.

The Hippocratic Oath requires all physicians, even these ER docs, to use evidence-based research that will define medical risks, and then use the research to come up with a plan to reduce the risk.

              If you take the trouble to read the articles by Kellerman and Rivara cited above, you’ll notice that in neither category of gun risk – suicide, homicide – did the researchers find that gun risk was mitigated by adopting some kind of expedient like safe storage which would reduce the risk but still let a gun owner have access to his guns.

Not only do these ER docs intend to hold a seminar to explain a ‘consensus’ approach to gun risk which has no basis in evidence-based research, but the seminar also features an appearance by a guy named Rob Pincus, described as an “educator with 20 years of experience in the gun industry.”

Pincus’ educational activity consists of peddling a bunch of books and CD-ROMS on his website which promise to show the average gun owner how to protect himself, his family and his home with a gun. Want to reduce gun risk? Go out tomorrow, buy yourself a Glock or a Sig, then sit on your rear end and watch a video and you’re good to go.

The physicians who are promoting this nonsense should be ashamed of themselves. I can’t say it any other way.

If any of them would like to reply to this column and explain why they believe they are doing what needs to be done to reduce gun violence, I’ll give them all the space they want. 

Don’t hold your breath, folks.

Trump’s A Threat To Democracy? Yea, Right.

So last night, Joe went on television and basically said that he’s not going to take any more shit from Trump. The election’s over. Finished. Done.

Who wants Trump at the inauguration anyway? I sure as hell don’t. He can go back to Florida, take the Proud Boys, MAGA and Roger Stone with him and stick them all up his fat ass. As my grandfather would say: Gai gezinta hai (read: get outta here.)

The real problem looming ahead is what does the liberal media now talk about without having Trump and his ‘assault on democracy’ to kick around? And if you think that Trump’s clumsy attempt to override the Electoral College wasn’t anything more than a chapter borrowed from the playbook of a previous national election lost by the GOP, think again.

What Trump and Stone tried to do after November 3rd was not much different than what a group of red-neck politicians tried to do in 1960 because of how they perceived Kennedy’s stand on civil rights. The campaign was led by a Constitutional champion named Ross Barnett.

Remember Barnett? He was the Governor of Mississippi who tried to prevent James Meredith from enrolling at ole Miss in 1962. In 1964, he showed up at the trial of Byron de la Beckwith, the killer of Medgar Evers, to shake Beckwith’s hand.

It’s not so easy to find public officials quite as racist today as the way guys like Barnett, Strom Thurmond and Richard Russell behaved back then. But if you pull together a ‘Stop the Steal’ rally led by the Proud Boys bunch, it’s a good start.

Anyway, let’s go back to 1960 when, according JFK’s biographer, the attempt to get members of the Electoral College to change their votes was a ‘real threat.” Except the Southerners who wanted to block Kennedy’s victory didn’t want Kennedy electors to switch to Tricky Dick. They wanted electors to vote for Robert Byrd.

These bozos didn’t try to use the Electoral College to overturn the popular vote. They wanted to hold an entirely new election with a slate of candidates who got 15 electoral votes from unpledged electors in various Southern states. With the exception of 1976, when Carter led the blue team, the 1960 election was the last time the Democrats carried the South.

The attempt in 1960 to shield the Confederacy from the specter of integration went nowhere, primarily because there was no social media. Hence, no way to communicate with the morons who now show up toting their AR’s and wander around wearing (and buying) their MAGA hats in the public space.

How does the liberal media now react to those internet-driven ‘threats?’ They trot out none other than Laurence Tribe, Harvard University’s foremost liberal Constitutional scholar, who went on CNN last night and quaked in fear because there’s an ‘armed rebellion’ that could still take place.

Armed rebellion my rear end. Know what would happen to states like Mississippi, Alabama and Texas, which another GOP idiot, Allen West, says should secede? These states would have to come up with all the money which they currently spend on schools, roads, hospitals and just about everything else – money they get from the federal fisc.

There is not one, single Confederate state whose residents receive less than $2,000 more every year from the feds than what they send to D.C. Not one.

Know why we are going to have to put up with occasional outbursts from Trump over the next couple of years? Because my friends in the Liberal media, never mind the alt-right media, won’t be able to let him go. Trump has made over 56,000 tweets since he joined Twitter in 2009, of which 10,000 were retweets and the remainder contained words like ‘loser,’ ‘moron,’ and ‘fool’ at least 400 times.

These tweets weren’t news, even thoiugh many of them were treated that way by liberal media outlets like The Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC and the (failing) New York Times.

Trump was never any kind of threat to democracy. We’ll now see, however, if his disappearance becomes a threat to the revenues of the liberal media, If it does, they’ll find some way to keep him around.