Get Ready. The NRA Show Is Almost Here!

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Guess what came in my email this morning? My invitation to the NRA Annual Meeting, which is happening Labor Day weekend in Houston.  More than 14 acres of guns and gear, 65,000 square feet of exhibit space chock full of all my favorite adult toys, plenty of food, plenty of t-shirts to buy, plenty, plenty, and plenty.

Since I am a Life Benefactor Member, I’ll even be able to relax in a private lounge, meet some of the celebrities and politicos who will no doubt show up, and maybe get a chance to congratulate Wayne-o for staying on as Executive V.P.  Will Marjorie Taylor Greene come by to say hello?  Where else would she be that weekend?

I have been going to the NRA get-together since 1980, and from time to time I even bump into a few folks who have been coming to the shindig even before I first began showing up. Going to NRA is kind of like making the pilgrimage to Mecca – you do it because you have to do it. You don’t ask whether or not you should make the trip.

For all the talk over the past year about how the NRA was in a state of collapse, how they couldn’t even pay their legal fees, how the members were leaving in droves, I have a funny feeling that the Houston show will be just like every other NRA show – lots of guns, lots of people playing with guns, lots of reminders that gun owners are the good guys and the good girls.

This may come as something of a shock to my friends in Gun-control Nation, but the last thing anyone thinks about while they’re walking around the beautiful displays of products from Smith & Wesson, Sig, Beretta, Kahr, Taurus, Colt, et. al., is that these companies make and sell products that are used to kill and injure 125,000 men, women, and children every year. You would never guess from the festive atmosphere at the annual meeting that these products caused more intentional deaths in 2020 than in any year since 1995.

Hey – just wait one goddamn minute! It’s not the guns that cause those deaths. It’s the people, the bad guys, who use those guns in ways they shouldn’t be used. If a gun is used ‘responsibly’ and ‘safely,’ two favorite words of my friends in Gun-control Nation, nobody would get hurt from guns at all. Or at least almost nobody except for the occasional dope who tries to clean his gun before he checks to see if it’s loaded or not.

There’s only one little problem with this fanciful scenario which is repeated by every Gun-nut Nation zealot whenever they try to ‘explain’ why there’s no difference between a gun and any other consumer product like a bicycle or a droid – you’ll hear this spiel again and again at the NRA show.

The whole point of using a gun ‘responsibly’ is to use it to inflict a serious, often fatal injury on someone else. What do you think the gun was designed to do? Do you think that Gaston Glock wanted to design a product that could be hung up on the wall behind the stove and used for making scrambled eggs?

Last week a friend who works for the Brady Campaign told me that he is planning a public meeting in my state that will be held in mid-September, right when I get back from the NRA show. The program will feature several speakers, including a survivor of gun violence and a police officer who will talk about safe storage of guns.

Isn’t that just wonderful how everyone on both sides of the gun argument now agrees that all we need to do to get rid of all those unfortunate shooting events is to make sure that guns are used in a safe and responsible way?

Which only goes to prove that you don’t have to go to the NRA show to have a completely unreal view about guns.

How Should We ‘Sell’ Gun Violence?


This is going to be a tough column to write because I have no choice but to criticize the efforts of a man and wife who lost a son to gun violence and are now devoting themselves to raising public awareness about preventing gun violence, or what we refer to as GVP.  The couple, Manuel and Patricia Oliver, lost their son in the massacre at Parkland High School in 2018, and they now run a program which “uses urban art and nonviolent creative confrontation to expose the disastrous effects of the mass shooting pandemic. It also brings focus to the NRA’s corrupt maneuvers to buy lawmakers, while forcing solutions which are essential to healing mass shooting victims’ families’ lifelong grief.”

Last week they got serious media attention when they posted a video showing David Keene, past-President of the NRA, and the hated John Lott allegedly delivering commencement speeches to a parking lot filled with 3,044 empty chairs. The chairs represented students who have not been able to graduate from high school because at some time or another because they have been gunned down.

The commencement was allegedly going to take place at ‘James Madison Academy’ in Las Vegas, except there is no such school in Las Vegas or anywhere else. Both Keene and Lott delivered their remarks in a television studio which, they were told, were warm-ups for their actual speeches later that day. But then they were told that the commencement had been cancelled because of concerns about Covid-19.

So, you do a taping of Keene and Lott from behind as they are saying whatever they said to an empty room. Then you edit the tape and put in a picture of a bunch of empty chairs and – voila! – you’re ready for prime time on the GVP network, i.e., YouTube, Democracy Now and everywhere else. If Donald Trump could hold a daily press ‘briefing’ in a room in the White House made to look like the South Lawn, what’s to stop anyone from creating total fiction with a video file and a software package like Adobe’s Premier Pro?

Again, please understand that I’m not even remotely trying to criticize Manny and Pat Oliver for what they did. My concern is how their foray into the public debate over gun violence may turn out to have a result which is exactly the opposite from what they and other GVP advocates intend.

Right now, the political alignment in D.C. is exactly what it was every time the Federal Government passed a law regulating guns: a liberal President and both Houses of Congress controlled by the blue team. Will Joe introduce a gun bill sometime soon? I suspect so. Will the bill get signed into law? WTFK?

But even if the Senate can’t find 60 votes, for that matter they couldn’t find 60 votes after Sandy Hook. But Obama’s attempt to pass a bill (with the help of Joe Manchin, by the way) inaugurated the birth of a true, national, grass-roots GVP movement, which will only be more invigorated if a new gun bill is introduced this year.

That being the case, here’s my problem with the video meme produced by Changethe Ref which shows Keene and Lott supposedly talking to a bunch of empty chairs.

I don’t think we get anywhere explaining gun risk to gun owners by blaming the ‘other side.’ I don’t think that a narrative which focuses on anything other than the lethality of guns when they aren’t being used for hunting or sport advances the GVP agenda one, single bit.

The United States is the only country in the entire world which gives its residents free access to guns that were designed and are used today only for the purpose of ending human life. That’s right – it wasn’t just the AR-15 rifle whose design was specifically intended for military use. This happens to be how and why all those concealable, polymer, hi-capacity handguns made by Glock, Sig, Beretta, et. al., also first appeared.

That should be the message about gun violence put out there by all my GVP friends.

The Deadliest Pathogen: Guns and Homicide (Guns in America): Weisser, Michael R.: 9781792317866: Amazon.com: Books

Do Cops Need Armed Civilians To Protect Them?


              A really terrible event occurred this past week in Arvada, CO, a suburb of Denver, where a private citizen shot and killed a guy who had gunned down a cop and then himself was shot and killed by the police. The cop-killer had already shot to death one officer and had just yanked an AR-15 out of his truck when a legally-armed bystander put an end to his rampage by shooting him dead.

              Unfortunately, the good Samaritan in this case, a 40-year-old named John Hurley, picked up the bad guy’s rifle and another cop arriving on the scene mistook him to be the guy who shot the cop and shot Hurley dead. Here’s the official statement from the Arvada P.D.: Arvada PD views Mr. Hurley’s actions as heroic; it is clear that he intervened in an active shooting that unfolded quickly in a busy commercial area in the middle of the day, and that he did so without hesitation. Mr. Hurley’s actions certainly saved others from serious injury or death.”

              Back in the 1980’s, when the gun industry realized that hunting was on the wane and they needed some other reason for people to buy and own guns, they began running TV ads that asked how long someone had to wait for help if the choice was between calling the cops versus using their own gun. One of the ads shows a guy being beaten up by some street ‘thug’ with a headline that reads: Why Can’t a Policeman Be There When You Need Him?”

              Of course, when it comes to the current debate over defunding the police, the same alt-right dopes who loudly proclaim that they have a ‘right’ to use a gun for self-defense happen to be the same alt-right dopes who believe that the cops need more, not less resources in order to deal with all those street ‘thugs.’ And who was the alt-right dope who began promoting this nonsense back in 2016?  The same alt-right dope who is on his way to Texas to celebrate the ‘completion’ of his wall.

              The problem with ‘citizen-protectors’ as they are venerated in the alt-right media and ads for buying guns, is that they are citizens by dint of their birth, but you don’t get to be a ‘protector’ just because you walk around with a gun. Talking about concealed-carry, the Governor of Louisiana just vetoed a bill that would have allowed state residents to walk around with a gun, even if they haven’t had any training to determine their fitness to be armed.

              The bill’s sponsor, a Republican named Jay Morris, said his law is for “law-abiding and freedom-loving citizens.” I can understanding the law-abiding part but freedom-loving? Since when does giving someone the legal authority to decide for themselves whether they should yank out the ol’ shootin’ iron because the guy across the street looks a little weird constitute a ‘freedom’ test? As Grandpa would say, “gay macht,” which means go stick it in your hat.

              I have been listening to these idiots in Gun-nut Nation tell me how nobody can prevent them from carrying a gun around because self-defense is a God-given ‘right.’ The last time I looked, and maybe I don’t know how to read English, I didn’t see the words ‘self-defense’ mentioned anywhere in the Constitution. In fact, even the sacred 2nd Amendment doesn’t say one word about defending yourself with a gun. The fact that my late friend Tony Scalia told everyone else on the Supreme Court that keeping a musket in your cabin because you had to show up for practice with the militia was no different from keeping a Glock in your pocket when you walked down to the mini-mart, oh well, oh well.

              The whole idea that a gun will keep you safe assumes that sooner or later you’ll find yourself in a position where you won’t feel safe. But the unfortunate guy who ran out in the street and shot the cop-killer wasn’t being threatened by the guy he shot. Let’s not forget that.

Why Are Guns Lethal: 9781536814002: Reference Books @ Amazon.com

Who Says I Can’t Protect Myself With An F-15?


              Now that Joe is moving his attention into what has always been sacred GOP territory, i.e., crime control, he’s also taking on the so-called gun lobby over the issue of how the ATF tries to regulate guns. And here’s the key sentence from yesterday’s speech: “The point is that there has always been the ability to limit — rationally limit the type of weapon that can be owned and who can own it.”

              Wait until Gun-nut Nation figures out how to respond to that one. Here’s the President of the United States saying that we can pass laws to regulate not only who can own guns, but what kind of guns they can own. That’s not just a violation of the 2nd Amendment, it’s an infringement on our God-given ‘rights’ to defend ourselves or whatever else we want to do with an adult toy that we refer to as a ‘gun.’

              And who is going to make sure that these beloved 2nd-Amendment ‘rights’ are no longer so beloved or even allowed to be thought of as ‘right?’ The ATF.

              And what is the ATF going to do to make sure that the 2nd Amendment will sooner or later completely disappear?

              They will go after all those ‘rogue’ gun dealers who are, to quote Joe, the “merchants of death” who are “breaking the law for profit.”

              To back up Joe’s decision to send the ATF out to all those gun dealers who are ‘willfully’ selling all those guns to all those guys who use those guns to commit crimes, Joe cited an ATF  study published in 2000 which found that 90 percent of illegal guns picked up at crime scenes were sold by 5 percent of gun dealers.

              Actually, what the study really showed was that 4.2% of all retail dealers accounted for 72.5% of all guns that were traced by the ATF, whether the trace was done for a gun connected to a crime, or for any other reason. It should be noted, by the way, that less than 25% of all traces conducted by the ATF each year are for guns which were used to commit a serious crime.

              What all this data being used to spot those rogue dealers does not explain, however, is the degree to which the gun dealers who receive most of the trace requests also happen to be the gun dealers who sell most of the guns. Know the old 80-20 rule which says that 20% of retailers make 80% of all retail sales? 

In the gun business, the rule is closer to 95-5. That’s right. Most gun ‘dealers’ are retired guys who rent a small retail space because the wife got fed up one day with him just sitting around the house and said, “Why don’t you take all those friggin’ guns out of the house and open a shop?”

So, the guy goes into town, finds some empty storefront that is available for a couple of hundred bucks a month, and now he can sit there all day long, shoot the sh*t with his friends and oh, by the way, he doesn’t have to do all those chores around the house because, after all, he’s got a business to run.

Think I’m kidding? Next time you drive past Joe’s Gun Shop, park your car and walk in. I can guarantee you that 95% of the members of Gun-control Nation have never been in a gun shop, not even once.

I have yet to see a study of all those rogue gun dealers selling all those crime guns which compares the shops getting most of the trace requests to the shops which just happen to sell most of the guns. Until someone at the ATF figures that one out, the idea that we know which dealers the ATF should go after because so many guns from their shops wind up in the ‘wrong hands’ is just so much talk.

That being said, Joe’s speech was still a good speech, particularly when he told the jerks who claim they need an assault rifle to fight the government that what they really need is an F-15.

Keep it up Joe, keep it up.

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Does The Public Health Approach To Gun Violence Work?

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              Want to reduce gun violence?  It’s simple.  Take the strategy employed by public health to reduce fatalities from car accidents and apply the same strategy to guns. Here’s a summary of the results: “This public health approach has saved millions of lives. We can learn from public health successes – like car safety – and apply these lessons to preventing gun violence.”

The above quote is from a Washington, D.C. outfit called the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence, one of many groups founded after the Sandy Hook massacre in 2012.

And here’s what a pediatrician writing an op-ed for The New York Times had to say about gun violence in 2016: “Please, can we stop framing this as an issue of rights — and see it as the public health crisis it is? We’ve organized to prevent deaths from cars and tobacco. It’s time we did this for guns, too.”

              So, we seem to have total and complete agreement within the groups that want to reduce gun violence that a ‘public health approach’ is the best strategy by far, and the proof of the value of this strategy can be found in how deaths from auto accidents has dropped year after year.

              There’s only one little problem, however. And the problem is that not only have fatal car accidents stopped dropping, but they have begun to show an increase at the same time that the number of cars on the road and the number of miles being driven by those cars is way down.

              The National Safety Council estimates that total vehicle deaths for 2020 will be at least 42,060, which is an 8% increase over 2019. The mileage death rate for 2020 will probably increase by 24% over 2019, largely because the total number of miles driven last year has decreased by 13% from the previous year.

              In case you’ve forgotten, 2020 was when the economy almost came to a complete halt because of Covid-19. Which is why the number of cars on the road and the number of miles driven by those cars went down from the year before. That being the case, how come we experienced such an increase in vehicle deaths when, if anything, the fatalities from car accidents in 2020 should have been way down? Duhhh…

              Last year when gun fatalities spiked everyone immediately knew the reason. It was because so many people were going into gun shops and buying guns, a buying surge which is still going on. Now the fact that the reporter who covered this issue for The New York Times derived her evidence by using the number for all calls received by the FBI-NICS call center which basically is twice as many calls as the center receives for gun transfers, oh well, oh well.

              It turns out that if you look at the trend of fatal car accidents from 1999 until now, deaths stayed above 40,000 from 1999 until 2006, and then began dropping to 35,000 until they levelled off in 2010 and stayed roughly the same until they increased again in 2016 and then went way up this past year.

              This trend, believe it or not, happens to be more or less the same trend for gun deaths over the past 20 years: increased numbers until 2005, then a decline until 2014, then an upward trend again with really bad numbers in 2019 and even worse last year.

              So, we have more guns and gun deaths go up. We have less cars on the road but car deaths also go up. Is there a chance that maybe the reasons for gun violence has nothing to do with how many Americans own guns?

The Deadliest Pathogen: Guns and Homicide (Guns in America): Weisser, Michael R.: 9781792317866: Amazon.com: Books

Critical Race Theory Meets The 2nd Amendment.


              Last week I reviewed a book by Professor Carol Anderson on how the 2nd Amendment has been used to discriminate against Blacks and helps maintain systemic racism, her book being a contribution to critical race theory (CRT) which has generated controversy on both sides of the current political debate.

              In last week’s review, I paid most of my attention to Professor Anderson’s analysis of how and why the 2nd Amendment was inserted into the Bill of Rights. In today’s column I want to look at how Anderson frames an argument about what the 2nd Amendment means to Black Americans today.

              Anderson cites two examples of how racism has been used in the contemporary period to define gun ‘rights’ – California’s  Mulford Law which prohibited carrying guns in public and was signed by then-Governor Ronald Reagan in 1967, and the Federal Gun Control Act which created the national regulatory system for guns which was signed by then-President Lyndon Johnson in 1968.  Both laws which, according to Anderson’s interpretation of CRT, were designed to protect America from violence committed by Blacks.

              The Mulford Law was passed in California after the Black Panthers showed up at the State Capitol, carrying rifles, to protest police brutality and lack of effective policing, particularly in Oakland and Black neighborhoods in L.A. Anderson is absolutely correct in pointing out that much of the political rhetoric and posturing which accompanied Mulford Law was not-so-thinly-veiled messaging about how Whites needed to protect themselves from crime and violence committed by Blacks.

              Anderson basically makes the same argument about the political and racial context surrounding the debates and ultimate passage of GCA68, quoting Michael Waldman’s judgement that the law was defining gun ownership as a “white prerogative” because the categories which defined unlawful behavior, lumped under the rubric of ‘dangerous people,’ tended to be behaviors that allegedly occurred much more frequently among Blacks than among Whites.

              It was in the aftermath of GCA68, however, that gun regulations began to clearly show a racist slant. I am referring to the spread of concealed-carry permits (CCW) which were issued in only 9 states without any kind of police discretion as late as 1986. As of this year, there are now only 8 states where the cops can deny a CCW application without cause, and every one of those states happens to have large, inner-city Black neighborhoods where it is simply understood that Blacks don’t need to waste time trying to get a CCW license because it won’t be issued, whether they meet the legal qualifications or not.

              States like California, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland,  Massachusetts Rhode Island – have cities with high levels of gun violence but are also cities where the cops don’t want anyone to own a legal gun. Want to protect yourself by carrying a legal gun when you walk down the street? Move to Wichita, KS or Des Moines, IA. Blacks can get licensed for CCW in those cities, no questions asked.

              The fact that Anderson could write an entire book to show how the 2nd Amendment has been used to discriminate against Blacks and never seem to be aware of the racial differential in issuance of CCW licenses tells me that her understanding of guns, gun laws and CRT represents nothing more than an ability to go on the internet and do a bibliographical search. Another expert writing about gun violence who wouldn’t know one end of a gun from the other end.

              But here’s the real problem with thinking about gun violence within the context of CRT. Would it be better if the laws on gun ownership and gun access were completely color-blind, thus making it easier for Blacks to buy and own guns? Isn’t it bad enough right now that a White guy can walk into a gun shop, buy a Glock 17 with 5 extra hi-cap mags, and walk around town with the gun just because he passed a two-minute background check?

              Want to get rid of the systemic racism that defines how we try to control the ownership and use of guns? Why don’t we make everyone equal and simply say that nobody can own guns?

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Want To Get Into Politics? Learn How To Shoot An Assault Rifle.


              Way back in 2000, Charlton Heston stood up at the annual meeting of the NRA, raised a plastic version of a flintlock musket over his head and vowed that in order to take away his gun, the government would have to take it from his “cold, dead hands.”  I was at that meeting, but I didn’t attend Heston’s speech. What I do remember is that after the speech, lots of kids and even some adults went walking past my booth with a clenched fist in the air and shouted, “from my cold, dead hands.”

              The use of a musket to represent what makes America ‘great’ has been a fixture of American culture for years. After all, it’s how Davey Crockett ‘kilt’ him a bar when he was only three.’ Or maybe he was six. I don’t remember which was which.

              Then of course there was the Alamo where Crockett, James Bowie and William Travis held off Santa Anna’s Mexican Army for almost two weeks with their trusty flintlock guns.

              But time moves on and things change. And one of the things which appears to be changing is the use of AR-15 rifles as prop in campaign ads for candidates from both sides.

              As of last week, six Republicans have announced their intention to run in the 2022 election to replace Missouri’s retiring GOP Senator, Roy Blunt. One of those candidates is none other than Mark McCloskey, the idiot who stood in front of his house and waved an AR-15 at some BLM protestors who were marching by. He and his wife, who was waving a pistol at the crowd, copped a misdemeanor plea last week so McCloskey immediately went out and bought himself another AR-15.

              How do we know he now owns another AR-15 to replace the gun taken from his ‘cold, dead hands’ as part of his plea deal?  Because he immediately posted a pic of himself with the gun on his Twitter page, where else?

              It goes without saying, of course, that McCloskey’s Senate campaign will probably be based on trying to get every gun-nut in Missouri to show up and vote to protect their 2nd-Amendment ‘rights.’ I mean here’s a guy who used a gun to defend himself, his wife, and his home from a Black ‘mob.’ Which trigger-head in Missouri wouldn’t vote for him?

But let’s not sit back, my fellow members of Gun-control Nation, shake our heads in dismay and assume that only members of the red team believe that using a gun as a stage prop is a quick and easy way to pile up the votes.

Back in 2017, Montana held a special election to fill a House seat vacated by Ryan Zinke who was picked to run the Interior Department for Trump. Both candidates ran TV ads showing them shooting guns. But the guns in their ads were old-style, lever-action rifles right out of the Old West. You don’t see guns around like that anymore. Those lever-action guns are just as old-fashioned as the flintlock that Charlton Heston held over his head.

Don’t make the mistake of assuming, however, that it’s usually a GOP candidate like McCloskey who runs campaign ads featuring what the gun industry calls a ‘modern sporting rifle,’ even though it’s really just an assault rifle known as the AR-15.

Pennsylvania’s 17th Congressional District is currently represented by a Democrat named Conor Lamb. The 17th District is about as rural and country as you can get. What kind of TV ads did Lamb run when he won his Congressional seat in 2018? An ad showing him banging away at a shooting range with his trusty AR-15.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with using a gun as a prop in ads for political campaigns. But that doesn’t mean we have to let civilians own those guns. After all, nobody who saw Charlton Heston raise a flintlock over his head at the NRA show went out and bought one of those guns to keep around the house for self-defense.


   What Is An Assault Rifle?: Weisser, Michael R.: 9798728410980: Amazon.com: Books






Don’t make the mistake of assuming, however, that it’s usually a GOP candidate like McCloskey who runs campaign ads featuring what the gun industry calls a ‘modern sporting rifle,’ even though it’s really just an assault rifle known as the AR-15.

Pennsylvania’s 17th Congressional District is currently represented by a Democrat named Conor Lamb. The 17th District is about as rural and country as you can get. What kind of TV ads did Lamb run when he won his Congressional seat in 2018? An ad showing him banging away at a shooting range with his trusty AR-15.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with using a gun as a prop in ads for political campaigns. But that doesn’t mean we have to let civilians own those guns. After all, nobody who saw Charlton Heston raise a flintlock over his head at the NRA show went out and bought one of those guns to keep around the house for self-defense.

Move Over Donald. There’s A New Defender of 2nd-Amendment ‘Rights.’


              Back in 2015, a 60-year old Black man was sitting in his living room watching TV in St. Louis when he heard noises out in his back yard. Grabbing his gun, he went out on the back porch and saw someone jump out of his car and evidently start to run towards him. The man raised the gun, pulled the trigger and a 13-year old kid was dead.

              The would-be teenage car burglar was actually trying to run around the car so that he could jump the back fence and retreat. But under Missouri’s Stand Your Ground (SYG) and Castle Doctrine (CD) laws, the shooter who had committed a felony years ago, was found guilty only of possessing an illegal gun.

              Missouri has some of the most expansive SYG and CD laws of any of the 50 states. Basically, what their laws say is that if someone comes on your property and after being warned to retreat doesn’t immediately back away, you can presume you are facing a serious threat, pull out the old shootin’ iron and bang away.

              You may recall that a year ago June, a man and his wife, Mark and Patricia McCloskey, stood on the front steps of their home in St. Louis and waved guns at a group of BLM protestors who were marching in the street. The McCloskeys both happen to be attorneys, so you would assume that they would defend their behavior by claiming their innocence under the SYG and CG laws. In fact, they claimed that they were protecting their home and themselves from a ‘mob’ that was about to storm their property and do them in.

              They were indicted for unlawful use of weapons an immediately became the poster children of the Trump campaign’s stupid attempt to make the 2nd Amendment a centerpiece of his failing re-election campaign, up to and including an appearance at the GOP convention when Trump was nominated for a second term.

              On Thursday, these two schmucks pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor which means they won’t do any jail time and can keep their licenses to practice law. Mark McCloskey is now running for Senate and here’s what his website says: ‘On June 28, 2020, and then again on July 3, 2020, Mark McCloskey and hie wife Patty, held off a violent mob through the exercise of their 2nd Amendment rights.”

As of today, contributions to the McCloskey campaign listed by the Federal Election Commission are – ready? – zero. Or as Grandpa would say – ‘gurnisht.’ Or better yet – ‘gurnisht helfen,’ which means it’s not going to work at all.

I think the Prosecutor in this case, Richard Callahan, got it right when he said, “We still have the Second Amendment rights. It’s just that the Second Amendment does not permit unreasonable conduct.”

On the other hand, when the President of the United States defends this kind of behavior, when he defends protestors who march up the steps of a State Capitol Building with their AR-15’s, when he says that a bunch of American Nazis marching around with their guns includes some ‘good people,’ he’s not just defending the 2nd Amendment.

He’s just pandering to the lowest, common mentality of all – the mentality which actually believes that walking around in a public space with an assault rifle is t he best way to protect yourself from the ‘tyranny’ of the Federal state.

Of course, somehow, don’t ask me how, the ‘tyranny’ of the national state only seems to appear when Democrats are in control or look like they may end up in control. When a Republican like Donald Trump or Mark McCloskey gets into office there’s nothing to worry about because they respect our 2nd-Amendment ‘rights.’

If we learned anything from the 2020 election, it’s that at least 81 million voting Americans don’t buy into such nonsense and are willing to help decide the country’s political stance on more realistic and honest terms.

I suspect this is also true of most voters who vote the Republican ticket whether they like the names on the GOP line or not.

The truth is that maybe, just maybe, all this nonsense about 2nd-Amdnement ‘rights’ may be ending up where it belongs. 

Want To Go Into The Gun Business? Machine Guns Are Fetching A Good Price.


              There’s a guy down in Texas who’s my kind of guy.  He’s 73 years old and still trying to make a living in the gun business. I’m 76 years old, so this guy’s in my league when it comes to sticking around in Gun-nut Nation until you croak.

              The guy’s name is William Scott Simms, and he lives in McAllen, TX, which is all part of the problem. Because McAllen happens to be located right smack dab next to the ol’ Rio Grande, which means that the town’s southern border happens to be Mexico. Which means you just walk down ol’ South Depot Road a bit, hop across the railroad tracks and you’re in the land of tortillas and fried beans.

              You’re also in the land where Americans have been selling machine guns that allegedly fetch a better price over there than over here, at least this is what the U. S. Government is saying is the reason they arrested ol’ boy Billy Simms. He was indicted back in May for getting’ ready to take eleven machine guns that he manufactured and sell them south of the border for – ready? – $10,000 apiece! 

              That’s a hundred grand for sittin’ in the kitchen, slapping together some plastic and metal parts that you can buy online for a couple of hundred bucks, then plopping a full-auto sear into the metal band above the trigger, attaching the sear to a loading spring and you’re good to go. In case you’re interested folks, I just told you how to make a machine gun.

              Billy Boy Simms was not only charged with the possession of ‘unregistered’ machine guns, which means the guns didn’t have serial numbers, which means they are so-called ‘ghost guns,’ he is also charged with exporting these guns to Mexico, which is a violation of export laws.

              As to the fact that the guns didn’t have serial numbers, the DOJ press release says that “On April 8, President Biden issued executive orders specifically targeting the manufacturing and transfer of ghost guns.” Uh-oh. Our man Simms is now in real deep doo-doo because he’s going up against a regulatory system which finally is going to get rid of those ‘ghost’ guns.

              Except the statement happens not to be true. Joe can issue all the executive orders he wants to issue about ghost guns or anything else, but if the order requires a change in the Federal code or the wording of any Federal law that defines the behavior of any government agency, such a change can only be made after a 90-day period which allows for the public to make comments about the new text has elapsed.

              When it comes to illegally exporting guns to Mexico, the Federal Government has machine guns on the brain.  You may recall that between 2006 and 2011, the ATF forced gun dealers in Arizona to make illegal sales of semi-automatic rifles which were then allegedly turned into full-auto guns in a car repair shop in Phoenix that would then be sold in Mexico as machine guns, i.e., the ‘Fast and Furious’ mess.

              The whole thing turned out to be nonsense, not a single machine gun was ever found anywhere, and if the Republicans sitting on the Senate Judiciary Committee hadn’t been so ga-ga about using their investigation to embarrass Obama and instead done some clean-up of the ATF, maybe we’d actually have a government agency responsible for regulating the gun business that would get something done.

              These days, everyone seems to have machine guns on the brain. The Associated Press just ran a story about how almost 2,000 military guns seem to have disappeared, including more than 1,000 rifles, all of which are full-auto guns. And here’s the headline: Some Stolen Military Guns Used in Violent Crimes.” Except if you actually read the story, you discover that a) we have some 2 million military guns sitting around so how could we not be missing a few, and b) the only military gun used in crimes is the Beretta M9 pistol, which is a semi-automatic gun.

              Now how come I can’t seem to find the full-auto sear that I want to plop into my AR-15?

Gun Trafficking in America (Guns in America) (Volume 5): Weisser, Mr. Michael R.: 9780692386125: Amazon.com: Books

A New Book On The 2nd Amendment


              For all the noise made by Gun-nut Nation about how they are always on the verge of losing their 2nd-Amendment ‘rights,’ a new book by Carol Anderson, who runs African-American Studies at Emory University, focuses on the 2nd Amendment as a device which was stuck onto the Constitution to help maintain the slave system and is still being used to foster what she calls the ‘fatal inequality’ between Blacks and Whites.

              I am convinced, incidentally, that if Donald Trump hadn’t flipped three states – MI, PA, WI – by 3/10ths of one percent of the total votes cast in those three states, he wouldn’t have won the 2016 election and the growth of concern about endemic racism – BLM, The 1619 Project, critical race theory, Anderson’s book – would probably have never occurred. If Hillary had been President when George Floyd was killed, she would have rounded up the usual suspects, appointed a Presidential Commission to publish a report, and that would have been the end of that.

              The first half of Anderson’s book is a detailed discussion which tries to revise the standard explanation for the 2nd Amendment, which says that the existence of local militias comprised of citizens who carried their own weapons was designed to maintain the political and military supremacy of the individual states. Against this view, Anderson posits the thesis that the existence of the militia was primarily to maintain slavery by chasing down runaway slaves and suppressing slave revolts.

              As far as I’m concerned, you could have it either way.  The fact that the way gun ownership is regulated today is couched in legal terms that which dates from the eighteenth century and grows out of a legal tradition which nobody really understands, may be an interesting discussion-point for a seminar on Constitutional law, but really doesn’t enlighten today’s argument about gun violence at all. If the NRA and Gun-nut Nation want to believe that the Founders understood the necessity to maintain their vigilance against the ‘tyranny’ of the national state, good for them. The guys who commit 125,000+ gun assaults against themselves and others every year aren’t thinking about whether they have any kind of ‘right’ to walk around with a gun.

              Professor Anderson makes a convincing argument about how the 2nd Amendment has been used in the modern period to enfranchise Whites with gun ownership while denying the same enfranchisement to Blacks. In particular, she cites recent instances in which Blacks who were in legal possession of guns (Philando Castile, Jemel Robertson, Emantic Bradford) were shot by cops even though the cops weren’t in any way threatened by the behavior of these Black men.

              The author also notes that exceptions to 2nd-Amendment guarantees fall disproportionately on Blacks, in particular the whole idea that only ‘law-abiding’ citizens can own guns. And since the incarcerated population is overwhelmingly minority-based, obviously any withholding of the ‘right’ to self-defense from members of minority groups hurts more than helps these individuals protect themselves and their families once they get out of jail.

              On the other hand, what Professor Anderson does not want to acknowledge is the fact that even though 2nd-Amendment ‘rights’ are seemingly reserved for members of the White race and denied to Blacks, it cannot be said that this particular type of discrimination makes Blacks more vulnerable to gun violence perpetrated by Whites. In fact, gun violence is overwhelmingly almost to the point of universality, an intra-racial event. When it comes to using a gun to hurt someone else, Blacks shoot Blacks, Whites shoot Whites. And it certainly can’t be argued that by restricting legal ownership of guns only to law-abiding Whites, that this practice has made it difficult for residents of inner-city, minority neighborhoods to get their hands on guns.

              Carol Anderson has written a lively book and there’s no reason to ignore the fact that there have been too many, much too many instances of Blacks getting shot and killed by cops, whether the victims were armed or not.

              I just don’t think the issue of gun violence will be better understood by viewing through the vortex of 2nd-Amendment ‘rights.’

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