More anti-gun strangeness. The anti-gun media salivates over the thought that a gun enthusiast might be trying to kill President Obama, Mayor Bloomberg, et. al. with ricin…until it is discovered that the suspect’s estranged (and just plain strange) wife is the culprit. And whaddaya know, there are indications that she’s vehemently anti-gun. See here: http://weaponsman.com/?p=9018&utm_source=feedly
Meanwhile, an avowed anti-gunner decides that she will arm herself, using all deliberate ignorance and irresponsibility, in hopes of showing that knowledgeable and responsible gun-wearers must be as ignorant and irresponsible as she. Follow the continuing saga of stupidity here: http://msmagazine.com/blog/2013/06/12/my-month-with-a-gun-week-one/
I haven’t checked the new DSM-5 to see if they’ve categorized neurofeces (shit for brains). However, we seem to already have a couple of poster children for a prevention campaign.
A lot of our readers seem to be Glenn Beck fans. I’ve also met some folks who find him a bit too far to starboard. Wherever you stand on that, we all have to admit, it’s good when someone gets the truth across.
Beck has, I believe, done exactly that in his new paperback, “Control: Exposing the Truth About Guns.” His powerful message begins at the very front with its dedication: “To Martin Luther King, Jr., who preached nonviolence but knew that passive resistance could not be relied on for his own family’s protection. King owned several guns but was subjected to the worst kind of gun control – and deprived of his basic right to defend himself and his family – when police in Alabama denied him a concealed carry permit in 1956. When will we learn? The right to bear arms shall not be infringed.”
Glenn Beck assembled an all-star panel for his research: Dan Andros, Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, Stephen Halbrook, David Kopel, and John Lott, supplemented by Sharon Ambrose, Cam Edwards, Joe Kerry, Tim McGinnis, Skip Patel, Meg Storm, and Jacob Sullum. That list includes some of the finest minds that have ever researched the complicated issue of “gun control” and the civil rights of firearms owners. The result is an excellent short compendium of proof that destroys many of the bogus arguments now being wielded against us.
“We’re experiencing an epidemic of mass gun murders?” “No one needs a fast-shooting, high-capacity firearm?” Beck presents the solid statistics which show otherwise. “A gun in the home is 43 times more likely to kill the occupants than protect them?” Beck’s new work gives the best layman’s explanation I’ve yet seen as to why that figure, from a deeply-flawed and long-discredited study, is totally bogus.
Glenn Beck is a best-selling author. His work reaches people the rest of us can’t reach. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen one of my books for sale at an airport newsstand; “Control” is there conspicuously. He simply gets the message across to folks who won’t be reading or listening to the rest of us. For those of us who are activists in this fight, “Control” is the handiest digest this side of Gun Facts 6.2.
In the current conflict, no American warfighter emerged with a more recognizable name than Chris Kyle, a SEAL who set an awesome kill record as a sniper in Afghanistan and Iraq. His book “American Sniper” became a huge bestseller, and not just among military and shooter folk. The story of a young man who came to terms with killing other people to keep them from killing his people struck a responsive chord throughout our society. (If you haven’t read it, do.)
He captured the nation’s attention again a few months ago when, home stateside and working hard to help vets who came back damaged, Kyle and a friend took a PTSD-suffering veteran to the range at his request. They became victims of cowardly murder at that man’s hands.
At the time of his death, Chris Kyle was working on a second book which celebrated his life-long understanding and appreciation of firearms. His wife and friends finished the job, and “American Gun: A History of the U.S. in Ten Firearms” came out this week. The partial manuscript was completed by a team that loved him and understood him: his young widow Taya, and his friends William Doyle and Jim DeFelice.
I was in a Barnes & Noble this past Monday, and even though they had cases already in stock, they adamantly refused to sell me one until Tuesday, the scheduled release date. So, on Tuesday, in another city, I got to another book store and bought a copy.
It lives up to its title.
“American Gun” smoothly weaves firearms development with the history and needs which drove that development. Though it focuses on ten iconic firearms, each is set into the context of generations of development before and after that specimen. Kyle and company make clear how the guns were used, by whom, and for what purpose. Famous battles and shootouts are described, not to revel in morbid bloodshed, but to illustrate how understanding of human conflict led to the creation of better fighting tools.
Like Kyle’s first book, this one does not appear to be written so much for the specialist in the field, though that reader will certainly appreciate it. It seems to have been written more for the person new to the topic. It clearly shows that the gun is a tool, its effect driven by the people who use it. The Thompson submachine gun favored by Al Capone and John Dillinger was considered a life-saver by the Americans of The Greatest Generation who used it to help defeat the Nazis on one side of the world and simultaneously avenge Pearl Harbor on the other. The book makes clear how the duality of the gun, in that respect, is simply an allegory for the duality of Man.
I hope this book becomes a huge best-seller, too. More Americans need to understand what Chris Kyle was trying to tell us when he died, a message I thank Taya Kyle and William Doyle and Jim DeFelice for finishing and bringing to a nation which desperately needs to understand it.
When I was young, most states had a provision for an ordinary law-abiding citizen to get a permit to carry a concealed and loaded handgun in public, but the issuing of the permit was discretionary to the issuing authority. In many jurisdictions, this “may issue” situation became a code phrase for “we’ll issue you the permit if you’re white, male, rich, and politically connected.” Fewer states were “shall issue,” making it mandatory for the authorities to grant the permit to anyone who applied unless those authorities could show that the applicant was a convicted felon or had been adjudicated mentally incompetent. Only a single state, Vermont, allowed the citizen who was neither a confirmed felon or mental patient to carry without a permit.
And seven states had no provision at all for carrying a gun in public to protect self and family.
Over the last twenty years, things changed profoundly for the better. The great majority of states moved from “may issue” to the egalitarian “shall issue” format. Vermont was joined by three other states in eliminating the permit requirement. And, one by one, those “no-permit” states fell. Wisconsin had been the most recent. Only Illinois was left with nothing in its law to allow the good citizen to carry.
That appears to have changed this week, thanks to a lawsuit brought by the Second Amendment Foundation and a mandate by Federal judge Richard Posner. Leading the fight on the ground in Lincolnland was ISRA, the Illinois State Rifle Association, one of the great grassroots state-level organizations devoted to gun owners’ civil rights. There is much yet to be worked out, and ISRA’s official position on the matter can be found here. http://www.isra.org/
Now awaiting the signature of a spectacularly anti-gun governor, the new bill will establish shall-issue concealed carry in Illinois, the permits to be issued by the Illinois State Police. The bill is, in many ways, less than ideal from the viewpoint of hard-core gun owners’ rights activists, but it’s a huge improvement over the previous situation. When the prohibitionists scream about it as loudly as they’re screaming right now, it’s proof positive of a victory for gun owners’ civil rights.
Stay tuned for how it shakes out as to the fine points. We’re not winning on every front – witness recent Draconian legislation in California – but concealed carry in Illinois can’t be seen as anything but a huge, landmark victory. Thanks to all who made it happen. I hope to go to Illinois soon to raise an adult beverage in a victory toast to those who fought the good fight…and I hope to hear blog commentary on the matter, particularly from our Illinois readers.
In one of my favorite used bookstores, I recently picked up a copy of LIFE magazine from April 10 of 1939. Amidst the ads for big ol’ Hudson sedans for $695 new off the showroom floor and Dodge Luxury Liners at $756 for a coupe and $815 for a sedan, firearms were distinctly in evidence in the main body of the reporting.
With the Nazi threat looming, LIFE reported, Europe was shipping gold to the US for safekeeping, and the largest shipment yet – sixty million in 1939 dollars – was being guarded by a fella with a Colt double action revolver and a Thompson submachinegun.
The main theme of that issue was a focus on Texas. A well-worn Westerner was depicted sitting on a porch with his back to the camera, a Colt 1911 .45 auto prominently holstered on his hip. The caption read, “Texans still tote loaded guns.” (Oddly enough, that open carry in public would not be legal today in the Lone Star State, though unlike the fellow in the picture today’s Texan can get a permit to carry a concealed handgun.)
So far, so good. But then, in a segment titled “Texans Are Lusty,” there were the three pictures below.
Making a shot with a revolver bent over, upside down? Well…been there, done that.
Three of you grabbing your friend and one of you trying to pull his presumably loaded six-shooter out of his holster, while there’s a whisky bottle in his hip pocket? Gee, I guess the mainstream media was already a little anti-gun when they staged that one for the camera 74 years ago.
The piece de resistance of the sequence, though, is one Stetsoned Texan shooting a cigar out of another’s mouth with a six-inch barrel target revolver. To which I can only say…well, nothing that will pass the family-friendly filter of Backwoods Home.
That trick was supposedly a staple of Annie Oakley’s act. It was said that on one of her European tours prior to World War I, she blew the tip of a tube of tobacco out of the mouth of Kaiser Wilhelm. After the war began, the legend says, Ms. Oakley invited the Kaiser to give that one more go. He apparently declined, perhaps realizing the feisty American hero might do it this time with him facing her.
Shooting a cigar or cigarette out of someone’s mouth with live ammunition? “Only in Texas,” the effete anti-gunners of the time might have sniffed. “That certainly wouldn’t happen in a civilized place, such as Los Angeles!”
Au contraire, Muffy. The LIFE photos below post-dated by three years the film which follows in this blog, recently discovered from the archives of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Watch it, and revel in the fact that firearms safety is better in America in the 21st Century.