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Why Did We Ever Take Back Those Confederate States?

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              I used to think that Jeff Sessions was the dumbest member of the United States Senate, but he’s been eclipsed by John Kennedy from Louisiana, who is running this lovely PSA on YouTube: https://twitter.com/NRA/status/1396945973830725635.

              For the life of me, I don’t understand why in God’s name we ever took them back. After all, there’s nothing in the Constitution about secession. As for the notion of a perpetual Union, Lincoln made the whole thing up.

              When the representatives from the Confederate states stood up in Congress and threatened to walk out and go home if Lincoln won the 1860 election, a few radical Republicans wanted to let them go. So, we didn’t get compensated for the post office buildings they turned into Confederate property. So what?

              Everyone keeps talking about how Northern cities like Philadelphia and Baltimore have high rates of gun violence because guns continue to flow up I-95, the ‘iron pipeline,’ because Southern states have little or no gun regulations, so guns wind up in the more regulated, Northern states. But if all those mini-vans bringing that contraband had to stop and go through a checkpoint at the Virginia-Maryland border, that would ne the end of that.

              What do we get from those Southern states besides guns? Oh, I forgot. We get tobacco. That’s perfect, just perfect. Two products that we know are risks to health, and both of them come up from the South.

              What else do we get from the South? We get idiots like Senator John Kennedy who tells us that there’s nothing he does which expresses his love of other people as well as walking around with his little gun. At least he carries the gun in a leather holster and not one of those cheap, plastic jobs. That shows class, real class.

              But don’t make the mistake of thinking that Kennedy’s some kind of trailer-park redneck. In fact, he happens to be an attorney who attended Magdalen College at Oxford after graduating from Vanderbilt Law School, is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and has published numerous books and articles on product liability and constitutional law.

              He ran for Senate as a Democrat in 2004 and received 15% of the vote. So, he switched parties in 2008, almost beat Mary Landrieu, then ran again as a Republican and won his Senate seat in 2016.

On occasion, he’ll say something that’s not right out of the Trump version of the GOP playbook, such as voting not to confirm several of Trump’s judicial nominees who were so dumb that they struggled to remember their own names. His great line was, “Just because you’ve seen ‘My Cousin Vinny’ doesn’t qualify you to be a federal judge.”

It’s not that Kennedy’s dumb at all. In fact, he’s very smart. And he’s smart enough to know that the best way to keep himself politically relevant in a Confederate state is to pander to the lowest intellectual denominator of all. And what’s the absolute bottom of the barrel when it comes to convincing the ‘average’ voter that you’re just like him? Pull out the ol’ firearm and pretend that you’re just another guy sitting around the house, cleaning one of his guns.

And if the gun you’re cleaning is one of those little, itty-bitty things that people want to carry around to defend themselves against all those street thugs? Talk about perfect political theater in a Confederate state.

Texas is about to become another state that has legalized ‘Constitutional carry,’ which means that if you can pass a background check, you can walk around the neighborhood with a concealed gun. Not that there’s any mention in the United States Constitution about concealed-carry, nor was the practice discussed by Tony Scalia in his District of Columbia v. Heller opinion that granted Constitutional protection to private gun ownership but not concealed-carry, published in 2008.

I love how all those ‘staunch’ conservatives like Senator Kennedy have invented a Constitutional legalism which doesn’t exist.  

All my gun books right here: Catalog | TeeTee Press.

When It Comes To Gun Violence, DeAndra Has Some Choice Words To Say.

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              I happened by sheer accident yesterday to tune into CNN for the noon report and actually found myself watching a story other than yet another interview with someone in Belarus. The young lady, DeAndra Dycus, is the mother of a kid who was shot and may or may not ever make any kind of decent recovery from his wounds. DeAndra, who lives in Indianapolis, now works with the MOMS group because she knows what she’s talking about when it comes to the violence caused by guns.

              The last 4 days, from May 21 through May 24, our friends at the Gun Violence Archive have counted up 429 shootings, resulting in 542 victims, of whom 134 so far are dead. That’s 45 fatal shootings every day, and if this rate of violence were to continue, we would wind up with more than 16,000 men, women and children killed over the course of a year.

              We came pretty close to that number in 2017, and we certainly exceeded it last year although we don’t yet have any validated data for the year that we also had to deal with Covid-19. What seems to be most disturbing about the surge of gun violence is that shootings which kill or injure 4 or more victims at the same time keep going up. There were 337 mass shootings in 2018 and 417 the following year.  This past weekend alone there were 13 mass shootings with 11 deaths and 70 non-fatal injuries across eight separate states.

              What’s going on? Truth is, nobody knows. DeAndra Dycus, who talked about her son’s terrible injuries at the Democratic National Convention last year, delivered another honest, clear and emotionally-wrenching narrative about gun violence yesterday on CNN, but like everyone else, she can only talk about what she thinks and hopes could turn the tide, not what she knows would work.

              I’ll tell you what won’t work. What won’t work is to continue to pay the slightest bit of attention to the drumbeat about the importance of gun ‘rights’ from a crowd who wouldn’t know what effective gun control means if it hit them right in the face.

When I post a column on my website, I often receive at least one angry message from someone who accuses me of not understanding how important it is to defend ourselves against the ‘tyranny’ of the national state. They tell me about how Hitler disarmed everyone after 1933, or how Mao disarmed everyone after 1949. And as long as we have guns, it won’t happen here.

There’s only one little problem with this doomsday scenario which somehow gets around the fact that 350 men, women and children are either killed or scarred for life by gunfire every, single day.  It’s nonsense. It’s total crap. There’s about as much chance that we would ever need to defend ourselves against a tyrannical government as there’s a chance that I’ll lose five pounds before I go for my annual medical checkup next week.

God forbid one of those geniuses out there who keeps spouting that nonsense about needing a gun to protect himself from ‘tyranny’ would take the trouble to read the gun-control laws passed by governments like Weimar Germany or the 2nd Republic of France, and then compare those laws to the federal laws that we passed to control guns in 1934, 1938, 1968 and 1994.

They would discover that all our gun-control laws state explicitly that the laws exist to help the cops fight crime. But the gun-control laws of every other government were passed because the government felt threatened by organized, armed groups from the Left and/or the Right. Who exactly are the Proud Boys worried about when they march around with their guns? Themselves?

I’m very pleased that DeAndra Dycus continues to add her voice to the debate about guns. I just hope her desire to promote community-based responses to gun violence includes some immediate plans for keeping the streets safe.  

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

Want To Increase Gun Violence? Pass Another Gun-Control Law.

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              Last week one of the liberal media’s most persistent gun-control websites came out with yet another brilliant idea for reducing gun violence and got it all wrong. Not just a little bit wrong. All wrong.

              I’m referring to a piece in Vox written by one of their gun experts, German Lopez, who has decided that the way that guns are licensed in Massachusetts is a template that could and should be followed in every other state. There’s no question, according to Lopez, that the way Massachusetts goes about licensing state residents to buy or own guns is the best and most effective gun-control system around.

              Here’s how the Massachusetts system works, according to the intrepid journalist from Vox. He refers to this system as “requiring a license to buy and own a firearm.” Note the singular – i.e., firearm, okay?

              And here’s what the Massachusetts system supposedly involves: “a multi-step process involving interviews with police, background checks, a gun safety training course, and more. Even if a person passes all of that, the local police chief can deny an application anyway. That creates more points at which an applicant can be identified as too dangerous to own a gun; it makes getting and owning a gun harder.”

              Note again the reference to owning one gun. And how well does this system work in reducing gun violence? “Massachusetts, for one,” says Lopez, “has the lowest rate of gun deaths in the country.”

              I happen to live in Massachusetts. I happen to own a gun store in Massachusetts. I happen to have taught the gun-safety course to more than 7,000 residents of Massachusetts and Connecticut who then maybe went back home and applied for a gun license either to the town chief (MA) or the State Police (CT). Once a resident in ether state ireceives a license, he can walk into a gun shop and buy every gun in the place. Not just one gun. Every gun.

              Now note Lopez’s comment that Massachusetts has the ‘lowest rate of gun deaths of any state in the United States. That’s true. It also happens to be true that the state’s gun-violence rate has been among the lowest of all states since the law covering gun licensing referred to by Lopez was passed in 1999.

              There’s only one little problem. Before Massachusetts passed the gun-licensing law that Lopez believes should be adopted in all 50 states, Massachusetts not only had a very low gun-violence rate, but the rate was significantly lower than after the new law was put into effect. Duhhh.

              From 1981 through 1999, Massachusetts had a gun-death rate of 1.73, only 6 states (HI, IA, MD, MN, SD, VT) had lower rates. Since 1999, only Hawaii has had a gun-violence rate slightly lower than the Massachusetts rate.

              But here’s the point: The gun death-rate in MA has almost doubled since the state passed what Lopez believes is a very effective gun law. Indeed, the national gun-violence rate has also just about doubled since 1999.

              So, what does the Massachusetts gun law have to do with reducing the gun-violence rate in my state?  It has nothing to do with it because the rate hasn’t gone down, it’s gone up.

              If you look at the map of state-by-state gun-violence rates which Lopez attaches to his article, you’ll notice that other than California, all the low GV states are in the Northeast. With the exception of Maine, where nobody lives anyway, the Northeast states (NY, NJ, MA, CT, RI) happen to be the states with the lowest rates of gun ownership.

              Gee – what a surprise! States where a healthy majority of residents don’t own guns are not only states with the lowest gun-violence rates, but also are states which have the strongest gun-control laws.

              If German Lopez really wants to understand how and why the United States has a national gun-violence rate that has basically increased by 100% in the last twenty years, he would sit down, take a serious look at the evidence, and withdraw his latest hot-air missive published by Vox.

              And if I want to lose some weight, I’d stop eating those Pringles before I go to bed.

Welcome To The NRA: Weisser, Michael R.: 9798505387108: Amazon.com: Books.

Do Guns Make Us Free?

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Yesterday the Amazon drone dropped off a book I have been waiting for with great anticipation.  It’s called Crackup, The Republican Implosion and the Future of Presidential Politics, and the author is a friend of mine whom I have known since the 1970’s named Sam Popkin, who has been thinking, teaching, and writing about contemporary politics at UCSD for the last fifty years.

In looking at the changes in politics leading up to 2016, Sam makes the point that it was during the first Bush administration that the ideological underpinning of the GOP’s effort changed from ‘liberty’ to ‘freedom,’ the former implying the existence of rules which checked behavior, the latter implying that government needed to stay out of the way, if not disappear altogether.

I’m not sure how and why this change took place, I suspect it was to some degree a function of the growing importance of the Religious Right, but it certainly is most pronounced today in the narratives put out there by Gun-nut Nation to explain and justify their adoration of guns.  Here’s the latest example of this crap.

Remember that idiot in St. Louis who stood on the front steps of his house and pointed an AR-15 at a bunch of BLM demonstrators last year? What was this guy thinking, if indeed he has ever had a rational thought swirl around inside his head? Did he think that the demonstrators were going to burn his house down when they were surrounded by an escort comprised of St. Louis cops?

But when you’re a member of Gun-nut Nation, particularly that segment of Gun-nut Nation which really believes that the only good guy is a guy walking around with a gun (or standing on his front steps with a gun), then ‘freedom’ is what it’s all about. And what we know for a fact is that the moment government gets involved in community safety, the first thing the government will do is take away your guns.

Missouri happens to have a Stand Your Ground (SYG) law, which lets you defend your person and property with a gun. The state also abolished pre-purchase licensing of handguns to make it easier for you to buy and use a handgun to help law and order, which is what all members of Gun-nut Nation believe they should do.

The jerk who threatened to use his assault rifle to keep those BLM ‘rioters’ from destroying his home has become something of a folk hero among the community which believes that guns keep us ‘free.’ He gave a speech at the Republican National convention, he’s now running for U.S. Senate, an activity he announced on Tucker Carlson – where else? He’s even been told by the idiot Governor of Missouri that he will be pardoned if he’s convicted of a felony for threatening the lives of the BLM marchers with his gun.

Of course, the moron with his assault rifle needs to be ‘free’ in order to protect himself with his gun. His first campaign ad states that “an angry mob marched to destroy my home and kill my family.” Which if what he said was even remotely close to being true, he could have not been charged with a felony thanks to Missouri’s SYG law.

What he said wasn’t true but since when does truth have anything necessarily to do with what either side says about guns?  On the one hand, we have guys like this St. Louis asshole who stands there, waving around his gun; on the other hand, we have folks in Gun-control Nation who just as fervently believe that Grandpa’s old shotgun rusting in the basement represents a threat to community health.

What I found very informative and useful about Sam Popkin’s book is how he explores and explains the shift in how and why the GOP seems to have lost its way from being a middle-right political party to being a haven for the alt-right. Which also happens to be what may happen to Gun-nut Nation, given the possible collapse of the NRA.

And don’t forget to buy and read Sam Popkin’s book: Crackup: The Republican Implosion and the Future of Presidential Politics: Popkin, Samuel L.: 9780190913823: Amazon.com: Books

What Should We Do About Gun Violence? Just Ask Gail Collins.

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              For years, my friends in Gun-control Nation have been kvetching and kvetching about something in Washington known as the Tiahrt rule.  This law, named after its sponsor, a Kansas Congressman, was passed in 2003 and has been a major thorn in the side of everyone who wants to do something – anything – about gun violence ever since.

              After we get done banning assault weapons and making all gun transfers subject to a background check, at least the legal transfers, then we have to get rid of the Tiahrt rule. So says all the gun-control groups. Why do we need to get rid of the Tiahrt rule?  Because this rule, according to Gail Collins, “prohibits the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives from sharing information with … almost anybody.”

              The result of the prohibitions and limitations in Tiahrt prevents law enforcement agencies from figuring out how guns get used in crimes and worse, prevents you and me and every other red-blooded American from learning whether the little ol’ gun dealer in town is following the law and selling guns the way they are supposed to be sold.

              And it’s important for you and me to know just exactly how the gun dealer down the street conducts his business because, after all, if someone walks into his shop, and then walks out five minutes later with 10 Glock pistols, this guy is obviously up to no good and the dealer is probably making it easier for this guy to drive up the ‘iron pipeline,’ park his car on some corner in Brownsville or East New York and sell the guns right there in the street.

              None of this nefarious behavior would be going on if the Tiahrt rule didn’t exist and the public could access all the information which is created whenever a gun is sold. This data is contained in the 4473 form which is filled out by someone who wants to buy a gun but first has to undergo a background check. The form lists the buyer’s name, address, age, gender, race, and ethnicity (i.e., Hispanic, or non-Hispanic) which is then transmitted to the FBI which uses the data to make sure the prospective buyer is a good guy, not a bad guy.

              Want the whole story from someone much more qualified to write about guns than Mike the Gun Guy?  You can get it from an op-ed published by Gail Collins whose statement about how the Tiahrt rule prohibits the ATF from sharing this information with ‘almost anybody’ is quoted above.

              What the Tiahrt rule actually says is that the ATF can only share all data with “a Federal, State, local, tribal, or foreign law enforcement agency, or a Federal, State, or local prosecutor, solely in connection with and for use in a criminal investigation or prosecution.” I am quoting from the rule which I took the trouble to look up and read.

              I’m not a celebrated op-ed writer for The New York Times. So, I don’t have the luxury of shooting my mouth off to a readership which will believe anything I say about guns because, after all, I write for The New York Times.

              Colllins’ op-ed is fluff obviously put together at the request of Bob Menendez (D-NJ) or one of the co-sponsors of a Senate bill that would eliminate the Tiahrt rule from the Federal law code once and for all. The co-sponsors are the usual gaggle of anti-gun Senators from New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, which is where most gun-control legislation starts out and then dies. I hope this bill dies too.

              The ATF exists to aid law enforcement in dealing with crime. And since the Tiahrt rule specifically requires ATF to share its information with any and all law-enforcement agencies, duhhh, isn’t this what they’re supposed to do?

              I don’t want the Brady Campaign to know that I walked into a gun shop and bought a gun. Should pharmacies give the names of customers who purchase medicines containing restricted substances to advocacy groups working to reduce overdose deaths?

Gun Notes: Research on Guns (Guns in America Book 9) – Kindle edition by Weisser, Michael. Politics & Social Sciences Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.

Are Ghost Guns A Threat?

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              Yesterday afternoon, the Department of Justice published a rule on ‘ghost guns,’ which follows from a promise made by Joe that he was going to require more regulation of these particular types of adult toys. Want to build a coffee table for your living room? Go over to Home Depot, buy some wood and maybe some shellac, make sure you have a hammer and nails sitting around in the garage, and you’re good to go.

              Want to build your own Glock? Go on the internet, do a google for ‘build a Glock’ and you’ll come up with website after website that will sell you all the necessary parts. They’ll also send you directions for putting the parts together, drilling a couple of holes in the frame to fit the screws, and in a couple of hours you own a Glock.

              What’s the difference between the new coffee table you stuck in front of the couch as opposed to the new Glock you built and now keep under a pillow on the couch?  The difference, legally speaking, is that there is no difference, because both items were made by you for your own, personal use.

              On the other hand, if you hold a tag sale to get rid of some of your household junk, you might get a few bucks for the coffee table. But if you give or sell the Glock to anyone else, and the gun is traced back to you, there’s a good chance you’ll get convicted of a federal felony, and that’s no fun even if you don’t go to jail.

              Ever since the feds passed their first gun law in 1934, the concept and practice of assigning a unique serial number to every, single manufactured or imported gun has taken on almost mythical proportions for aiding cops in their unending fight against crime. And who’s ever going to argue against helping the cops fight crime?

              There’s only one little problem with this reverential concern for putting serial numbers on guns, namely, since we don’t have any kind of system for registering guns, the odds that the serial number of a gun will help the cops solve a violent crime range from zero to none.

              The ATF loves to pat itself on the back about the hundreds of thousands of gun traces it does every year, in 2019 alone they claim to have used serial numbers to trace 450,000 ‘crime’ guns. In fact, most of those traces, probably at least 80%, had nothing to do with crimes at all. And even if the ATF actually ran traces on 90,000 real ‘crime’ guns, I notice they never give out a number for how many of those traces result in somebody getting arrested for committing a crime.

              The new rule published yesterday by the DOJ requires that any federally licensed gun dealer who sells a ‘ghost’ kit must first log the kit into his Acquisition & Disposition book, give the kit a unique serial number and require that the buyer fill out a 4473 form and pass a background check. The same rule will apply to a licensed gunsmith who repairs a kit.

              So, the DOJ has just given the ATF some more work, ditto the NICS call center run by the FBI. Nobody has any idea about the actual number of ghost guns that are floating around, but the DOJ justifies this new rule, in part, by noting that between 2016 and 2020, the ATF received 23,906 reports of guns without serial numbers being connected to crimes. How many of those guns were given serial numbers by manufacturers and then the numbers were rubbed off? Who knows?

              The FBI estimates that somewhere around 300,000 guns are stolen every year. That’s 1.5 million guns that disappeared during the same timeframe that 24,000 ghost guns were picked up by the cops. Between homicides, aggravated assaults and armed robberies, there are probably 150,000 serious crimes committed each year with serialized guns.

              Want to use an elephant to swat a fly? Just tell the ATF to come up with a new rule for regulating guns. They’ll wheel out the elephant every time.

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

A New Gun Group To Protect Gun ‘Rights.’

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              Last year I began giving out an award for the dumbest gun law proposed in any state. The winner was Matt Gaetz, who proposed a law requiring owners of commercial spaces which didn’t allow guns to compensate any customer who was gunned down because a bad guy walked into the space with a gun, but no good guy was allowed to carry a gun.

              I am now starting a new contest, which will give an award to whomever comes up with the dumbest idea for creating an organization that will promote gun ‘rights,’ something that I see happening more frequently, given the apparent demise of the NRA.

              And the award this year goes toThe Center for Gun Rights and Responsibility (CGRR) founded by Dan Gross and Rob Pincus, an effort kicked off at a rally in front of the Capitol in 2019, attended it was said by ‘thousands’ of folks, even though the video of the event showed many less people milling about.

              What does the CGRR want to accomplish?  You can read all about the group in an op-ed published last month by Gross in (where else?) The New York Times, where Gross, the ex-head of the Brady Campaign, explains why what he and Pincus want to accomplish will work because it will “end the culture war” on guns.

              Pincus, you should know, considers himself to be a champion of not only the ‘right’ to own a gun, but the ‘right’ to carry the gun around. He cloaks himself in the unquestioned mantle of being a gun ‘educator,’ because who would ever question the value of ‘education,’ right? 

              Pincus earns his living by selling what he refers to as ‘gun safety’ videos which allegedly educate gun owners how to walk around with a gun but only to use it in a ‘safe’ way. So-called gun trainers like Pincus have been inventing totally worthless courses on armed, self-defense since Jeff Cooper first published Principles of Personal Defense back in 1972. Here are the first two sentences of that book: “Some people prey upon other people. Whether we like it or not, this is one of the facts of life.”

              To Coop’s credit, he makes it clear right at the outset that people who don’t want to protect themselves with armed response have no reason to read his book. And most of the folks who have bought and read this book (like me) don’t necessarily always go walking around with a gun.

              But for those who do view human relations in terms of predators and prey, they will find plenty of fun and games in the videos sold by Rob Pincus and other scam trainers just like him. There’s a reason why more than 125,000 people get The United States Concealed Carry Association’s magazine every month.

              Is it just coincidence that Dan Gross and Rob Pincus began ramping up their new approach to ending the gun culture war when the NRA began to fold its tent? I doubt it. If anyone believes there’s a whole bunch of Gun-nut Nation members just waiting to find ‘common ground’ with the tree-huggers on the other side of the gun debate, they are either delusional, totally unaware of how gun owners think about gun control, or both. Probably both.

              I conducted a survey of more than 1,500-gun owners and non-gun owners to determine what types of gun laws were considered effective on both sides to reduce gun violence. More than 60% of all respondents supported CAP laws, more than 70% supported universal background checks.

              Guess what? More than 50% of all respondents favored national concealed-carry and the same percentage supported eliminating gun-free zones. Since roughly 40% of American households contain guns, even some people who don’t own guns support gun laws that are the priorities of the gun ‘rights’ crowd. You can download an analysis of this survey right here.

              Woodrow Wilson’s VP, Thomas Marshall, said “What this country needs is a good, five-cent cigar.” Let’s add to that statement what Dan Gross and Rob Pincus are saying about the gun ‘culture war.’

Read it for free on Amazon: The Deadliest Pathogen: Guns and Homicide (Guns in America Book 10) – Kindle edition by Weisser, Michael. Politics & Social Sciences Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com..

Time To Get Rid Of Killer Guns

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              Over the years, I have come to believe that from time to time, The New Yorker Magazine publishes an article which has a fundamental impact on the way we discuss political issues and events. I am thinking, for example, about ‘Fire in the Lake,’ the 1972 article by Frances Fitzgerald, which set the national discussion about Viet Nam onto a proper track.

              I was hoping that the recent article by Ian Frazier, ‘Fighting America’s Gun Plague,’ might do the same thing. After all, the article appeared at the same time that a serious Congressional debate about gun violence is about to take place.

              Unfortunately, Frazier’s article doesn’t move the discussion about gun violence forward at all. What it does is promote the same, basically useless bromides for dealing with gun violence that the gun-control community has been promoting for the past 20 years.

              The USA doesn’t suffer 125,000 intentional gun deaths and gun injuries every year because guns aren’t safely stored. We don’t have a fatal violence rate that is 7 to 20 times higher than any other advanced country because we don’t require that personal transfers of guns be FBBI-approved. We don’t have a gun-homicide rate which is the 3rd-highest cause of deaths for people between the ages of 25 and 34.

              Most of all, we don’t have gun violence because we own 275 million guns, or 300 million guns, or 375 million guns, or whatever the real number is.

              We have gun violence for one, simple reason – ready?  We are the only country in the entire world which allows guns that are designed and used only for killing human beings to be commercially and legally sold.

              This many come as a great shock to my many friends who are active in the various efforts to reduce the violence caused by guns, but anyone who believes that a Glock 17 handgun or an AR-15 rifle can be made ‘safe’ just by talking about gun ‘safety,’ doesn’t know anything about guns. But what does Ian Frazier and his group of activists at New Yorkers Against Gun Violence (NYAGV) believe? That we can reduce gun violence by lobbying for ‘gun-safety’ laws.

              New York State now has a very strong gun-safety law. It requires that “all guns in homes with children be under lock and key.”  The law, known as Nicholas’s Law, was passed in 2015 and the NYAGV group takes well-deserved credit for getting this measure onto the books. Frazier’s article about gun violence is basically a paean to the work being done by the NYAGV.

              There’s only one little problem, however, when we sit down and try to figure out whether Nicholas’s Law has made guns more ‘safe.’ New York State registered 849-gun deaths in 2015, the number dropped to 772 in 2017 and went back up to 821 the following year. Know how many of these deaths each year were accidental? Since 2010, the number of accidental gun deaths in New York State has never been higher than – ten!

              Do me a favor and please don’t respond to the previous paragraph by telling me that ‘every life’ is important. That’s not the point. The point is that The New Yorker Magazine says that Ian Frazier’s article is all about how we should ‘fight’ America’s gun plague.

              So, tell me. If the “Chinese virus” was only killing 10 people in the United States every year, would we be calling it a pandemic or a plague?  No, we wouldn’t be paying attention to it at all.

              I have been saying what follows again and again for the last nine years since I started writing about gun violence before the massacre at Sandy Hook. So, I’m going to say it again.

              Until we get rid of guns that are only designed to do one thing – end human life – we won’t get rid of gun violence, no matter how many trips a bunch of school kids make to Albany or to Washington, D.C.

              Want to understand what needs to be done? You can read it right here: Home | Mysite 1 (bantheseguns.org).

              Want to get things started? Try https://www.change.org/bankillerhandgunsnow or https://www.change.org/Ban_Assault_Rifles_Now.

            And yes, as soon as my 501c3 application is approved, there will also be an organization you can join.

Does The 2nd Amendment Protect Gun Ownership? Depends On The Gun.

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              Yesterday I listened to Michael Smerconish interview CNN’s Joan Biskupic on the 2nd Amendment. Smerconish is an expert on everything, Biskupic is only an expert on law and legal affairs. If you think that either of these two experts knows anything about the 2nd Amendment, as Grandpa would say, oy zuch en vai (read: they don’t know sh*t.)

              They went on and on about how the 2nd Amendment covered guns that were kept at home but were used when the gun owner had to show up for militia duty. Since we no longer have a militia (except for the Proud Boys), the 2nd Amendment gives Constitutional protection to privately-owned guns kept in the home which have no connection to militia service at all.

              Smerconish and Biskupic are convinced that the 2008 Heller decision is definitive in protecting private gun ownership, hence, the only way we can control guns is either to get rid of the 2nd Amendment or change the ideological balance of the Supreme Court. Unfortunately, either strategy would take a long time to achieve its intended results.

              There’s only one little problem. Neither Smerconish nor Biskupic really understand what the Heller decision is all about. They spent an entire segment talking about issues which have little, if anything to do with why we suffer from 125,000 intentional gun injuries every year or what we should do to reduce those injuries so that we no longer refer to gun violence as a ‘public health threat.’

              The Heller opinion which allegedly protects private ownership of guns turns on how Scalia defined this phrase: “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” He defines this phrase on Page 8 of his opinion: “The term was applied, then as now, to weapons that were not specifically designed for military use and were not employed in a military capacity.”

              Note the words, ‘military capacity.’ According to Scalia, guns that are used by the military do not (read: not) qualify for any Constitutional protection at all. Not when the 2nd Amendment was written, not since.

              I am still waiting for any of the so-called legal experts on either side of the 2nd-Amendment debate to demonstrate that they possess even the slightest degree of knowledge about guns. For that matter, I’m still waiting for any advocate on either side of the gun debate to demonstrate a shred of such knowledge at all.

              Because if such knowledge existed within or without the various groups, including all the so-called public health experts who do what they refer to as ‘evidence-based research’ on guns, they would have to confront the fact (note the word ‘fact’) that the guns which are used to commit 95% of all intentional gun injuries happen to be guns which were designed specifically for military use.

              And not only were guns manufactured by companies like Glock, Sig, Beretta, and Colt designed specifically for military applications, in fact (note again the word ‘fact’) they are carried today by military units throughout the world, in particular by troops deployed by the good, old, U.S.A.

              The United States is the only country in the entire world which gives law-abiding residents free access to bottom-loading, semi-automatic guns, which happen to be the design features incorporated into every military gun. We don’t suffer a gun violence rate 7 to 20 times higher than any other OECD country because we own 300 million guns. We suffer 125,000-gun injuries every year because we can buy, sell, and transfer guns which have absolutely no sporting use at all.

              And by the way, before you start ramping up your concern about 2nd-Amendment ‘rights,’ let me break the news to you gently, okay? There happen to be several jurisdictions which have passed laws which forbid ownership of military weapons, in this case the AR-15, and these laws have been upheld by that terribly conservative Supreme Court.

              I’m not a legal expert by any means. But I was taught to read English in the 3rd grade. So, I know what the Heller opinion written by Scalia says and doesn’t say.

I also know a little bit about guns, and I’d be happy to share that knowledge with Smerconish or Biskupic if they would like to drop by my shop.

Want To End Gun Violence? There’s One Thing We Still Don’t Know.

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              So now a terrible shooting rampage in the Indianapolis FedEx facility may actually be the camel’s straw that gets one of Joe’s gun-control bills through the Senate and onto his desk. Which is all fine and well, but I hate to be a spoilsport and remind my friends in Gun-control Nation that none of those measures passed earlier this year by the House will really do very much to reduce gun violence in the United States.

              Yesterday the State Senate in Alabama passed a measure called the Alabama Second Amendment Preservation Act. The law makes it a crime for any gun law from the Biden Administration to be enforced anywhere in the state. This effort is nothing more than an attempt by the state GOP to buy loyalty from local voters in the wake of Orange Head’s demise. But it also is a reminder of what gun-control laws represent.

              What such laws mean to supporters of Brady, Everytown and the other gun-control groups are nothing more than ‘reasonable’ measures aimed (pardon the pun) at gun owners to behave in a ‘responsible’ way. What these laws mean to most gun owners is just another bothersome thing they have to put up with in order to play around with their guns.

              Know all those surveys which purportedly show that most gun owners support comprehensive background checks? Those surveys are nonsense because they never ask gun owners to state what they believe would be effective measures to reduce gun violence. If they did, the same ‘responsible’ gun owners who have no problem with only transferring a gun following a background check would overwhelmingly support a national, concealed-carry law as a better way to reduce gun violence and crime.

              In 1959, the Gallup Organization did a national poll which asked respondents whether they would support a ban on the ownership of handguns. Not stricter licensing, mind you, but an absolute ban. The result was that 60% claimed they would support such a ban.

              If the finding of this survey had been transformed into law, we wouldn’t have gun violence at all. The reason our gun-violence rate is 7 to 20 times higher than any other OECD country is because we are the only country which gives residents access to what I call ‘killer guns.’ You can see how I define a ‘killer gun’ right here.

              In 1995, our friend Gary Kleck published research which stated that individuals who used or brandished guns were responsible for preventing millions of crimes every year. His thesis that more guns meant less crime was then taken up in the research of our friend John Lott. 

              These research efforts have been critiqued and discounted by the most respected gun-control researchers like our friends David Hemenway and Phil Cook. But their arguments have never gained any traction at all among the majority of Americans who believe that a gun is more of a benefit than a risk. By 1993, before either Kleck or Lott had published anything at all, the support for a national ban on handguns had fallen to 39%.

              The last time Gallup asked the handgun ban question in 2020, the percentage of handgun banners has now fallen to 25%.  And even with the terrible rampage shootings committed with assault rifles since the Sandy Hook massacre in 2012, only 47% of Gallup respondents want to see assault rifles outlawed.

              Want to blame the continued existence of a strong gun culture on the NRA? Go right ahead. Want to blame it on research published by Gary Kleck and John Lott. Ditto. You happen to be wrong on both counts.

              At best, the NRA membership maybe counts 6% or 7% of the people whose households contain a gun. And the last thing that any gun nut is going to do when he flips on his computer and goes to buy some crap on Amazon is to order John Lott’s book.

              Has any gun-control scholar ever attempted to figure out how and why so many Americans believe they need to protect themselves with a gun? Nope. Not one.

              Please add your name:  https://www.change.org/bankillerhandgunsnow and https://www.change.org/Ban_Assault_Rifles_Now.

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

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