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Massad Ayoob on Guns

Want to Comment on a blog post? Look for and click on the blue No Comments or # Comments at the end of each post.

Massad Ayoob


Friday, December 21st, 2012

The “gun control” debate has, from its beginning, been a battle fueled by emotion and symbolism on the banning side, and by logic and common sense on the side of the responsible gun owners.  The fires of emotion flare brightly, but they burn down with time, particularly when dampened by logical public discourse.

I suspect this is why POTUS is moving so quickly on his long-promised gun banning legislation, which he has said he wants to see on his desk by sometime next month. It is why he appointed to lead a supposedly impartial fact-finding commission none other than long-time gun ban advocate Joe Biden, which is rather like appointing the leader of the Westboro Baptist Church as chair of a committee to study gay rights.

Leading the charge are “journalists” who’ve abandoned all pretense to impartiality and fact finding. CNN has become “all gun control, all the time” over the past week.  One needs only witness Morgan’s vicious personal attacks on such invited guests as Larry Pratt of Gun Owners of America, here.

I thought Larry stood up to him admirably, as Alan Gottlieb of the Second Amendment Foundation did earlier in the week, here.

We gun folks aren’t the only ones who’ve picked up on such empty, malevolent ranting on the “ban” side versus the plain facts put forth by the “rights” side.   Peter Wehner at Commentary nails it, here.

The general consensus of cops and criminologists is that a decade of the Clinton Assault Weapons Ban proved absolutely meaningless as a “crime-stopper.” That law was in full sway when the Columbine High School massacre was perpetrated.  Wasn’t it Einstein who said that the definition of insanity was to keep doing something that didn’t work?

Some of us who actually work in the threat management/public safety field have been recommending an armed security presence, including trained volunteers among the teaching and admin staff, since the 20th Century. Had that been in place in Sandy Hook, it would likely have prevented or at least mitigated the slaughter.  The idea is now gaining traction in the wake of the Connecticut atrocity. We realize, as do the Washington Examiner and the FBI, that in 2010 more murders were documentably committed by bare hands and stompings (745) than with rifles (358) of all types.


More timely reading to share in hopes of informing the public: .

And this morning, Wayne Lapierre and his NRA team absolutely served up a healthy dose of reality at their press conference, available in transcript  here.


  1. Darek S Says:

    Interesting point that anti’s use and depend on emotion and rhetoric while we argue facts. I will use this in my attempts to educate those I come across ready to jump on the bandwagon of the “gun control is the answer” crowd.

  2. Jaji Says:

    The Clinton-Era “Assault Weapons” ban (*written* by then-Senator Joe Biden) was passed in 1994 and expired in 2004.

    The atrocities in Columbine happened in 1999.

  3. Noah Vaile Says:

    Can anyone give me the reference to the SCotUS decision that the police are not required to actually protect citizens from crime, only to act after the fact.

  4. Robert Says:

    Hope you’ve seen Larry Correia’s fine essay on the subject, Mas:

  5. Victoria Says:

    The treatment he gave the first man made me cuss-and I am not a cusser. I wish he would go back to GB. What we need to get rid of Piers-is the likes of you.

  6. Steelheart Says:

    The New York Times posted the entire video on their YouTube channel too.

  7. D London Says:

    I don’t have a link to the decision, but the conclusion was that police only owe a general duty to protect the public and no duty to protect any specific individual. In other words, they have the right not to protect anyone as long as they can convince the judge they were looking for crime elsewhere (which is nearly impossible to disprove).

    The book “Dial 911 and Die” has the info you are looking for.

  8. Z Says:

    The case you’re looking for is Warren vs. District of Columbia.

    Read the summary, the case is pretty ****ed up.

  9. Paul Edwards Says:

    Well, when I listened to the initial Lame Stream Media coverage of this last shooting, the first thing I noted was that they made a point of saying that the common semi-auto pistols (not banned even under Clinton’s Gun Ban) used by the shooter, were capable of using 30 round magazines, not that the shooter did use such extended magazines, but merely that the weapon could be fitted with such a magazine.
    Immediately, I knew that this was the incident they were looking and hoping for, in order to press for reinstatement of Clinton’s Gun Bans, plus even more and restrictive bans, if not out right confiscation of all privately owned firearms.
    So, now is the time, and likely the last chance, to contact your Senators and Representatives, and tell them in no uncertain terms, that they will need to find new jobs, if they support or vote for the expected legislation the Joe Biden and this anti-gunners will rubber stamp and try to push through into law next month.

  10. John T. Says:

    Interestingly, there is an article on PJMedia, with a link to an old LA Times article, which points out that the idea of putting armed officers in schools was proposed in 2000 by none other than President Clinton. You can find the article here: I didn’t recall that; neither do I see any of the mainstream media pointing that inconvenient fact out now.

  11. Old Fezzywig Says:

    Imagine driving down a road, and coming upon a billboard. The billboard has two pictures on it, but no text. One picture shows an American family. They are sitting in their living room, holding their guns. They are well-fed, well-clothed and smiling. The other picture shows prisoners in a WWII concentration camp. They aren’t smiling, they wear ragged clothing, they are ill-fed and they are standing behind barbed wire fences. They are not holding guns.

    Our words aren’t reaching enough zombies who vote. Maybe such a visual billboard picture, without words, could change some zombie hearts and minds. Maybe I’m too optimistic.

  12. Mike Smith Says:

    “The “gun control” debate has, from its beginning, been a battle fueled by emotion and symbolism on the banning side, and by logic and common sense on the side of the responsible gun owners.”

    This last year week has been a notable exception. Both sides, it appears, have been engaging in emotion and symbolism. Wayne LaPierre’s primal scream the morning of 12/21 is the best example.

    The grabbers can work to push a law; we can work to prevent it. But frankly, LaPierre’s “more police in schools” proposal is lame, and he knows it. Neither proposal is going to change the fundamental dynamic that led to Sandy Hook, Columbine, etc. The issue is how culture treats guns. WIthin shooting circles, guns are about self-control. We are polite to a fault and respect one another. In the larger culture, a Rambo mentality has set in. Neither the NRA nor the gun grabbers want to address it, because it busts their narrative. Until it’s addressed, our lives will only get worse as freedoms erode and the killings will continue.

  13. Allan Says:

    First of all, all of us as law abiding citizens of the United States of America and gun owners, were and still are very shocked and saddened with a criminal act of a psychopath who murdered young children and innocent adults. Now can someone please explain to me since when a non citizen named Pierce Morgan has the audacity and legal rights to create such a propaganda against Americans? Since when another brit named Christian Amanpour ( a non US citizen as well ) work with PM and CNN to market the same garbage of lies and propaganda about AMERICAN LAW ABIDING CITIZEN AND GUN OWNERS. My advise is all of us should come up with plan to damage his TV show rating that is pure garbage anyway. A while back his only guests were KARDASHIAN SISTERS and other non productive members of our country. This is specially hard to digest since it is coming from a non US citizens attacking American gun owners while their native country still is under a King and a Queen while 80% of the UK population are living close to the poverty line. If I misstated anything please correct me.

  14. Shotgun Willie B Says:

    When I heard of the tragedy in CT, the first thing I thought of was Charles Whitman. The young man who in 1966 killed 13 people and wounded 30 others at the Univeristy of Texas in Austin after first killing his mother and wife. I suppose it was the parallels of both men killing their mothers before performing mass murder at a school that made me connect them. For all the carnage inflicted by Whitman, one might think today that he used a machine gun. No, no machine gun. No AR15. No 30 round magazines. He stabbed and shot his mother to death and stabbed his wife to death in her sleep. For all the firearms he brought with him that day to the school, he killed most of the people with a 12 gauge shotgun and 6mm Remington 700 Bolt Action deer hunting rifle.

    There is not one piece of gun legislation that could have prevented Charles Whitman from obtaining those guns legally that existed back then, or now, nor any they are proposing. Unless they are also proposing to ban duck hunting shotguns, deer hunting rifles, and all knives too.

  15. Eben Fowler Says:

    I’d heard that Morgan was an obtuse bloviator but until seeing these two “interviews” with Alan and Larry, I had not seen how obnoxious and rude this little man is. He is clearly not a journalist and is not interested in having a rational discussion about this issue. Hats off to Alan and Larry for going up against this very unreasonable little fellow. Morgan interrupts Alan and Larry and insults them frequently. This is what we’re dealing with, unfortunately. We need to take the offensive and lead the discussion about how to increase safety and prevent incidents like Sandy Hook, but as long as the Piers Morgans of the world have their little soapboxes from which to spout, the job will be an uphill climb.

  16. Marc-Wi Says:

    Mas, I’ve only watched Piers Morgan a couple of times. That’s all it took to know he’s an idiot…and a hypocrite. Biased as all hell. He said Europe is so safe and I’ve heard him say the UK has no gun crime. BULL. Yesterday ion the UK’s Daily Mail the headline was the UK is tops in gun crime over the US and South Africa. Piers can go pound sand. Piers Morgan is without honor.

  17. Doc A. Says:

    In the second interview, Piers says that the similarity between Aurora and Newtown was that both shooters used AR-15s. The main similarity and one more important is that both were in “gun free zones”.

  18. Cliff in SD Says:

    Wow! I don’t watch CNN. I really didn’t know who this “Morgan” was…..until now. Independent of his obviously narow view on this topic, WHAT A RUDE A$$! I think our position would be better stated if he had no one on his little show. Why willingly joust in front of his fans and deciples just so he can get a few more brownie points with the Queen. With all due respect, shut him off.

  19. Hanza Says:

    @Paul Edwards:

    The anti gun media and politicians are hammering on magazine fed firearms by stating that they can *accept*, for example magazines that hold 30 rounds or more.

    Their pushing this idea because they want to put into place bans on firearms that can *accept* those magazines. Magazine fed firearms will *accept* a magazine of any capacity.

    Therefor if any new laws are passed that have the *accept* language in it there would no longer be any magazine fed firearms that would be legal to own.

  20. LarryArnold Says:

    Irony alert: According to the Brady folks Connecticut has the fifth most restrictive gun laws in the U.S. The gun control that is supposed to protect us from the next mass killer, including an “assault weapon” ban, is ALREADY IN EFFECT there.

    And it failed. Again.

  21. Chris - VA Says:

    2013 looks to be a very polarized year.
    People that ignore facts and the rest of us.

  22. TSgt B Says:

    The case of Warren v. D.C. was in fact decided in the 1st U. S. Court of Appeals for D.C., and was refused by the SCOTUS. Cortez v. Colorado was a SCOTUS case, and states the same thing: the police have no legal obligation to protect and individual citizen.

    So, when some anti-Freedom idiot tells you to dial 911 and wait for help, tell ’em to GPS. (Go Pound Sand).

  23. Moe Says:

    Interesting that Mr. Ayoob paints the banning side as “fueled by emotion and symbolism” in his first paragraph, and then compares Joe Biden to Fred Phelps in his second.

    I’ve seen plenty of “malevolent ranting” on the “rights” side. In my opinion, much more so.

  24. Randy Says:

    Thanks, Mas, for the links to those CNN interviews. I don’t watch CNN. Occasionally I will watch Headline News which is put out by CNN. I had no idea that this guy Piers Morgan existed. He needs a rabies shot. It didn’t look to me as if the interviews were person to person, in the same room, as it were. If Morgan did these interviews face to face, I don’t think he would have many of his own teeth left.
    I was staying home after our snow storm and got a chance to see the NRA news conference. Wayne LaPierre needs to do something about his comb-over. He puts forth an image that I thought was detrimental to our cause. I don’t think the media liked being taken to task for their coverage over the gun issue. The interruption by the demonstrators got more air time after the news conference than what LaPierre had to say.
    Sometimes I think a liberal’s brain is wired differently. Years ago their rallying cry was the Saturday Night Specials. Yep, they got SNS off the shelves and now the criminal elements are using the larger caliber more reliable firearms.

  25. guntotin-mama Says:

    I had a wise history professor, who during the course of a Western Civilization survey class stated:

    You can’t legislate morality.

    And then proceeded to give examples all the way Hammurabi and the Pharoahs up to modern governments of how it was tried and failed.

    Anti-gun people believe that making a law solves the problem, and we’re all safe and protected. And because they allow themselves to be ruled by fear, they then project that fear onto gun supporters, as the reason why we “cling to our guns”. Rather than try to “win” the argument on that playing field (not possible with irrational, emotional people)…

    it would be much, much better to simply make a lot of extremely positive statements about gun ownership, the 2nd amendment, and the data that does exist (far from perfect, as it is) regarding crime, self-defense, etc. The number of “gun incidents” can appear quite huge to the uninformed – because without the context of just how many gun owners there are and households with guns and CCW holders… they do not realize how rare these incidents really are. And that they’ve been living surrounded by guns all their lives – relatives, neighbors, LE, former/active military – quite safely.

  26. Phil R Says:

    The liberal definition of an assault weapon would be something more powerful than a toy dart gun. I thought an assault weapon had selective fire and a bayonet lug? Oh, wait the POTUS says we don’t use bayonets anymore but he might want to ask the US Marines about that. As long as there are “gun free zones” and the police response is 3 to 10 minutes the cowardly, nut jobs are going to score big. Studies show when the nut jobs are confronted with return fire they either give up or kill themselves. You can wait for the police if you want. Me, I’m going for my 45 “gun free zone” or not and deal with the aftermath later.

  27. Paul Edwards Says:

    @ Hanza

    You are Absolutely Right,

    That’s Exactly what they want.

    In spite of the fact that our Revolutionary Militia used exactly the same weapons that our British oppressors were using at the time, our current Anti-gun Administration seems to believe that us civilians are only entitled, by the Second Amendment, to posses and use weapons equal to those of our revolutionary Founding Fathers, while their forces will be equipped with the finest and latest of modern firearms technology.

  28. mark Says:

    One of the biggest problems in this country when it comes to gun violence is that our society is reactive instead of proactive. A second problem is that there are to many people out there that are poor when it comes to a vigilant and consistent practice of gun safety and education. There are loop holes in our gun laws for sure, but the biggest loop hole by far is gun safety and competency by to many gun owners. We just had a man make the news when he went to store his pistol in his truck and it fired and killed his 7 year old son. The man claimed he did not realize it was loaded. This was a so called experienced gun owner. Where was the safety principle that all guns must be treated as if they are loaded? Another incident not to long ago in my area was when a person entered a gun shop to sale his gun. The staff member behind the counter began checking the gun and shot himself in the hand. This is supposed to be a person who handles guns every day. This staff member never cleared the weapon, and the person who brought it in never cleared the weapon. All three of these men by the way were considered experienced gun owners in the area. I am sure that Mas can attribute to how many police officers have shot themselve over the years. A professional gun trainer I heard speak once said that there is no such thing as a gun accident, there is just gun negligence. How does this tie into the multple school and mass shootings in this country? I would bet a dime on every dollar that if you went into the modern history of school shooting in this country, you would find a youngster who got access to a gun that his parents of friends had no buisness allowing him access to. You see, there are two kinds of law breakers in this country. There are those who are criminals with illegal guns that break the societal laws, and then there are legal gun owners who violate the laws of safety and competence. Both are responsible for many gun deaths in this country. Having the right to own a gun is a far cry from having the responsility to own one. Someday our society may no longer be able to tolerate irresponsible gun deaths, especially children on a mass scale. If that day comes, The NRA and prominent gun proponents will be marginalized, and it will be to late. The people who practice safe and responsible gun ownership will suffer the most.

  29. Dave Says:

    Shotgun Willie B Says:
    There is not one piece of gun legislation that could have prevented Charles Whitman from obtaining those guns legally that existed back then, or now, nor any they are proposing. Unless they are also proposing to ban duck hunting shotguns, deer hunting rifles, and all knives too.

    If the anti-gun gang gets their foot in door with an AR / Magazine ban, you can count on them making incremental bans until just the guns you mention are banned too…..oh yea the 2nd Amendment..

  30. Mas Says:

    Moe, that was an interesting comment for your first time here. Please share with us some of that malevolent ranting you see from the gun owners’ civil rights side. Links, screen captures, citations, etc.

  31. Paul Edwards Says:

    Quote by – Adolf Hitler, in 1935

    “This year will go down in history.
    For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration!
    Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future.”

    After Hitler said this in 1935, and got all the guns and gun owners identified, then in 1939, the Gestapo came around and, at gun point, demanded every gun owners registered weapons.

    IF THEY REFUSED, or tried to say they had sold the guns, or didn’t have them any longer, they were shot to death, on the spot, and their homes ransacked until all the firearms were located.

    That will happen again, by Obama’s new Civilian armed Gestapo, if he is able to do the same thing, here in America.

  32. Roger Says:

    Shotgun Willie B , I have made the point numerous times about Whitman. I live in the UK and the weapons he used ,in the main,would still be legal to own on a firearms licence.
    As for Piers Morgan, you have him now. I am sorry but no returns, exchanges or refunds accepted on this one. :-))
    As for another posters comment on crime here we have far below your level of crime involving firearms, but we have far more violent crime overall.
    Consider this Switzerland has a violent death rate of 0.71 per 100,000 the UK has 11 per 100,000. Yet Swiss households by and large contain at least one fully automatic assault rifle. According to the libs it should be carnage. Not only that but had Lanza been Swiss his mother would probably been in the Swiss defence force so the guns he would have took when he murdered his mother would have been full military spec.
    I suspect that the Swiss are far better than both the UK and the USA at spotting and treating mental illness as well as promoting a more cohesive society. Both of which have more bearing on Lanzas rampage than how many bullets the magazine held.
    One final point. Derek Bird the Cumbria spree killer(2010) here in the UK killed 12 and wounded 11. His weapons were a shotgun and a silenced .22 rifle. Not an ‘assault’ weapon in sight.

  33. Dean Weingarten Says:

    I am glad to see Mass mention the clear failure of the “assault weapon ban”. Another collosal failure that should be repealed, both because of its unintended consequences and its unconstitutionality, is the Gun Free School Zone act of 1996:

  34. Eben Fowler Says:

    To be in step with Piers’ desire for an “assault weapon” ban, I think we need to ban cars that go more than 35 miles per hour, because of course it’s a known fact that most multiple fatalities caused by cars occur when they are going faster than 35 mph. Doesn’t matter that cars aren’t intended to be used to kill, but sometimes they just do. So we MUST infringe on your right to own a car that exceeds this speed, as well as banning the ownership of cars with accessories that make the car look like it’s capable of going fast! An we need this legislation now!

  35. Mas Says:

    Paul, you might want to double check the Hitler quote for a direct cite.

  36. Hanza Says:

    @Mark says: “All three of these men by the way were considered experienced gun owners in the area. ”

    Yes, all three were neglegent. However they were considered experienced gun owners by whom?

    Any citations as to what their experience consisted of?

    It could be that the reporting was slanted to infer that gun owners are actually incompetant regardless of how much experience they have had.

    Speaking of neglegence. A man here in Oregon recently had his concealed carry permit cancelled because a pistol he had been carrying while he was in a movie theater fell out of where ever he had it on his person, AND HE DIDN’T KNOW IT.

    It was later found by a couple of 12 y/o boys who had had hunter safety training so knew not to touch it, and reported it to a parent who called 911.

  37. LPH Says:

    We can sit and talk this to death but action is what needs to happen. Obama is not going to waste this “opportunity” and he intends to strike before we can get our act together. So far I have emailed my US Senator, House Rep and State Rep. Obama feels he is above the constitution and can make his own laws by executive order and nobody can stop him. We must act and act quickly. Inudate every politician with emails but please please be cogent and responsible. Once this ban goes into effect it wont have a time out date.

  38. Patrick Says:

    Reaction to NRA Press Conference II: Not Terribly Supportive

    We’ve covered the ”evil incarnate” initial reaction to the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) post-Sandy Hook slaughter press conference. To say that NRA Veep Wayne LaPierre’s suggestion of armed guards in every U.S. school has been received less than enthusiastically by the left-leaning media would be like saying that Gal Erez looks comfortable with a rifle. My inbox is over-flowing with links to commentary ranging from antagonistic to personally threatening. And “news” stories suffused with opposition to “guns in schools” that somehow always end with a negative quote. Here’s a sampling of the coverage — just in case you’re not feeling sufficiently paranoid about threats to your Second Amendment protection. Or something like that . . .

    “This vision, straight out of the Wild West, is farcical. There are 132,000 elementary and secondary schools and 6,700 colleges in the nation to protect. Despite the NRA’s promise to train a volunteer militia, its members won’t have the judgment of police in making split-second decisions about when to shoot or back off. The NRA’s solution would probably result in more students killed in accidental shootings.” – The NRA’s extremist fantasy [via]
    “To stop determined shooters from killing children anywhere, Dodge said, ‘we’d have to put fences up around our school parking lots, and we’d probably have to do the same around shopping malls and parks and everywhere kids go.’That is not necessarily a bad idea, said Quinn of the school police officers’ association, who suggested there should be more police everywhere children congregate. ‘The way things are going now, it sure as heck couldn’t hurt,’ he said. But Dodge argued for a different path — one that looks at school safety as a consequence of the larger problems with violence in America. ‘Isn’t it more straightforward to just get rid of the guns?’” – Arming Teachers, School Cops Could Cause More Harm Than Good, Experts Say [via]“‘Is this the answer? That America should become an armed camp?’ said Feinstein, who is sponsoring legislation to reinstate a ban on assault weapons. ‘I don’t think so, and I don’t think that’s the American dream.’Democratic Sen.-elect Christopher Murphy of Connecticut, whose current congressional district encompasses Newtown, called LaPierre’s comments tone-deaf.Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said if the NRA wants to be part of the national conversation about gun violence, it’s not doing itself any favors. ‘The NRA today in its approach will be irrelevant,’ he said, ‘because it can’t be a credible and constructive participant in this debate if it says the only acceptable solution is armed guards in schools.’” Democrats Slam NRA’s Response To School Shooting [via“Ernest Logan, president of the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators, called the N.R.A.’s plan ‘unbelievable and cynical.’He said placing armed guards within schools would ‘expose our children to far greater risk from gun violence than the very small risk they now face.’ Officials in some districts that use armed security officers stressed that it was only part of a broader strategy aimed at reducing the risk of violence.But Ben Kiser, superintendent of schools in Gloucester County, Va., where the district already has four police officers assigned to patrol schools, said it was just as important to provide mental health services to help struggling children and families.What I’m afraid of,’ said Mr. Kiser, who is also president of the Virginia Association of School Superintendents, ‘is that we’re often quick to find that one perceived panacea and that’s where we spend our focus.’In Newtown, Conn., the N.R.A.’s call for arming school guards generated considerable debate among parents and residents on Friday — much of it negative. Suzy DeYoung, a parenting coach who has one child in the local school system, said she thought many parents in town and around the country would object to bringing more guns onto school campuses.” N.R.A. Envisions ‘a Good Guy With a Gun’ in Every School [via]
    The growing outrage against the organization extends beyond school officials — even state Republican politicians are weary of eliminating school gun-free zones. Senate Minority Leader John McKinney (R), whose district includes Sandy Hook Elementary School, called the proposal ‘ill-timed.’ ‘I also don’t think his idea of undoing or repealing gun-free school zones is a good idea at all,’ he said. ‘I’ve always understood, and believe, that our Second Amendment is an integral part of our Constitution, and people should have the right to bear arms … but I think we should have a fair conversation in this country about what the limits to those rights are.’
    Schools across the state are enacting greater security measures, but more guns aren’t on the agenda. Instead, districts are focusing on adding interior classroom door locks, expanding swipe-card access and requiring staff to wear photo identification.Tom Moore, assistant superintendent for administration for West Hartford schools, told the Hartford Courant that his district ‘won’t be taking our advice on how to keep kids safe from the president of the NRA.’ He added, ‘I come from a family of hunters; I have four brothers who are hunters and members of the NRA. All I’ll be asking for for Christmas, after hearing Wayne LaPierre essentially blame school officials for the shootings, is for [my brothers] to resign from the NRA.’” Connecticut School Officials Blast NRA’s Reaction To Newtown [via] My case why Nra measure gone fail.

  39. Richard Says:

    CT: 50% Ammo Tax, No Internet Ammo Sales, Mag Cap Limits, New AWB Ban
    Posted on December 22, 2012

    Connecticut has some of the most restrictive firearms laws in the United States. None of them stopped Adam Lanza from carrying out his heinous crime. That simple fact hasn’t so much as slowed the gun control industry’s relentless campaign to restrict law-abiding Americans’ Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. In the aftermath of the slaughter, Nutmeg State legislators have wasted no time falling in line with the antis’ agenda. “Less than a week after the atrocity at Sandy Hook, a detailed and extensive package of proposed changes in gun laws has already been announced at the State Capitol,” reports . . .

    The proposal would immediately expand the definition of Assault Weapon under current state law to apply to firearms which show one particular physical trait, as opposed to two, like the presence of a pistol grip beneath the action of the weapon.

    And despite the fact that there are perhaps thousands of legal handguns in the state with a greater than 10 cartridge magazine capacity, this proposal would prohibit the sale and possession of any magazine with a capacity of over 10.

    The proposal would also call for a 50 percent sales tax on all ammunition, permits would be required to purchase ammunition, and the online purchase of ammunition would be prohibited.

    My constituents have been screaming to do something…now.” [the proposals’ author State Senator Beth] Bye said.

    When the mob howls, politicians listen. Thankfully, the framers of the Constitution had that one sussed. Still, look for these measures to sail through; a template for federal action. [h/t Patrick Devine]

  40. Richard Says:

    Connecticut School Officials Blast NRA’s Reaction To Newtown
    Teachers, school superintendents, mayors and police chiefs in Connecticut are rejecting the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) response to the shooting in Newtown, describing the gun lobby’s proposal to equip schools with armed guards and more guns as too simplistic, shameful, and opportunistic.

    One Connecticut school superintendent dismissed the NRA’s suggestion as “an ill-conceived reaction from an organization that does not have any credibility or expertise with respect to addressing school violence” and said that the idea “is an excuse for not addressing the need to enact meaningful safe gun legislation in conjunction with an investment in mental health services.” Putnam Police Chief Rick Hayes called the proposal “scary,” noting that teachers can’t possibly have the kind of training necessary to safely handle large weapons.

    In fact, newspaper headlines across the state flatly rejected militarizing Connecticut schools:

    The growing outrage against the organization extends beyond school officials — even state Republican politicians are weary of eliminating school gun-free zones. Senate Minority Leader John McKinney (R), whose district includes Sandy Hook Elementary School, called the proposal “ill-timed.” “I also don’t think his idea of undoing or repealing gun-free school zones is a good idea at all,” he said. “I’ve always understood, and believe, that our Second Amendment is an integral part of our Constitution, and people should have the right to bear arms … but I think we should have a fair conversation in this country about what the limits to those rights are.”

    Schools across the state are enacting greater security measures, but more guns aren’t on the agenda. Instead, districts are focusing on adding interior classroom door locks, expanding swipe-card access and requiring staff to wear photo identification.

    Tom Moore, assistant superintendent for administration for West Hartford schools, told the Hartford Courant that his district “won’t be taking our advice on how to keep kids safe from the president of the NRA.” He added, “I come from a family of hunters; I have four brothers who are hunters and members of the NRA. All I’ll be asking for for Christmas, after hearing Wayne LaPierre essentially blame school officials for the shootings, is for [my brothers] to resign from the NRA.”

  41. Fruitbat44 Says:

    Mas – For examples of emotive words in pro-gun arguments, well you could find some examples on these threads e.g. any argument which invokes Obama/Hitler comparisons.

    I do agree with Rogers point, assuming I’m getting his point correctly, the level of firearms available doesn’t affect the level of violence in society; it’s the nature of the society. Switzerland, Israel etc may have a lot of firearms available, but they do seem to have relatively low numbers of firearms related murders. And both seem relatively nice places to live. (I will confess a preference for Switzerland; the chocolate.) Somewhere like say Somalia, where fully-automatic weapons are freely available and there seems to be no government higher than clan loyalty, well it isn’t a nice place to live.

    I am paraphrasing here, but guns don’t a good society, people make a good society.

    As for Piers Morgan; well as a Brit I would like to say thank you very much to the USA for taking him off our hands. To be honest the man is a complete twerp, so if you do want to send him home I will understand, but meanwhile please feel free to keep him for as long as you like.

    And, yes, arming school teachers does seem like a very good idea.

  42. Brogan Says:

    I have this thing about looking at world events and tying pieces of information together to build a big picture and figure out what the hell is going on and what the endgame is. Multiple things have been going on that lead me to believe that our arguments against gun control won’t matter at this point, they’re going to push for it anyway. And as history shows this is not the first time government has used a crisis to push an agenda that would normally not be embraced by the people (the Patriot act, the military commissions act, NDAA, TSA,…). The chess board is set and it’s all in their favor…

    When Obama was re-elected, Diane Feinstiein immediately stated she wanted to reintroduce the assault weapon ban but to also include semi automatic weapons and take grandfathering out of the equation. That would mean confiscating everything but revolvers and bolt action rifles (this was way before the sandy hook shooting I might add). The question then became, why so drastic a measure? It’s not just a hate of the dreaded assault weapon were talking here. She’s talking about even banning semi auto weapons which would include your pistols.

    While thinking about the WHY, it occurred to me that it’s not just the guns they’re worried about. They’re seriously afraid of gun owners right now. Why? Because of the coming fiscal cliff. Haven’t you noticed their lack of urgency in dealing with the matter? We all know that the Euro is in deep shit right now. It’s about to go down in flames which would hurt us but I don’t think that would be the trigger for our economic demise.

    As we all know, the Fed has been printing money like crazy. Our dollar is facing possible hyperinflation. If you do any international travel you’ll realize it’s really weak right now. Chris Rock recently joked on Letterman that he went to the UK recently and went to the money exchange place to trade $3000 in for British Pounds. The punch line was that in return they gave him a loaf of bread. While funny, it made a good point about how weak our currency is right now.

    As if all this isn’t bad enough, China has made no secret of its intentions of replacing the US Dollar with the Yuan as the world’s new reserve currency. I remember watching Obama make a speech in which he said that the rise of Asia as the center of the financial universe is inevitable and there’s no point in fighting it. THEN, earlier this year China and Japan began doing all their business in Yuan. I just found out that China has as of September of this year negotiated to buy their petrol straight from Russia, USING YUAN.

    Why is this such bad news for us? Because the US dollar has been the standard global petrol dollar in which all international business is done. With Japan and Russia jumping on board with the Yuan, it’s only a matter of time before other countries like Brazil, Argentina, Africa, and the Middle East follow suit. When they do it’s going to cause a run on the dollar and our fiat currency ponzi scheme will come crashing down around our ears triggering our financial collapse.

    The reason the government hasn’t lifted a finger to resolve the fiscal cliff is because there ain’t a damn thing that’s going to stop what’s coming!!!

    Pretty soon, maybe as early as in the next few months, your savings, your retirement, your 401k and your cash will be literally be worthless.

    Don’t you think that might piss off a few people? Maybe cause a little civil unrest? Maybe more? Like revolution to depose an inept government and the bankers who caused this?

    And think about what’s going to happen when the collapse comes. Banks will close their doors and any money you have in there will be inaccessible, the money you do have in your possession won’t have the same buying power unless the government does a little price fixing. But that will still mean we won’t be able to buy things from abroad, like out of season food, or oil.

    When supplies run short, people get desperate. The rules of society change. This is why they want to take away anything semi auto.

    God help me I pray I’m wrong. But if I’m not we better do everything in our power to prepare and resist any attempts at gun confiscation. This is not the 1994 gun ban we’re talking about here. The stakes have literally not been any higher than they are today. Everyone needs to be contacting your representatives in the federal government and spreading the word to others so they too can get involved in this life or death fight for your gun rights. The consequences of not getting involved or letting others fight your battles will mean the difference between having the means to survive what’s coming or living it up refugee prisoner style in a FEMA camp like the Hurricane Sandy victims and the Hurricane Katrina survivors in the football stadium.

    This may come down to them passing gun control and sending cops to your door telling you that you have to surrender your guns and you’re going to have to decide to submit like sheep or tell them “I will not comply!!!”

  43. Matt Says:

    The key factors – which will decide the outcome:
    1) The Democrats now don’t control both houses of Congress – unlike in 1993 and early 1994.
    2) The regional chasm on this issue is YAWNING – between a Northeast/California and a heartland that loves guns – and heartland congressmen all know what their voters want (or don’t).

  44. mark Says:

    Dear Hanza, you say considered experienced by whom? One of these men was a long time gun store staff member who handled guns everyday. If you think that experienced gun owners do not get neglegent then you are mistaken. Experience means little with gun safety if you do not practice what your experience has taught you every sinlge time you are dealing with guns. I am talking about simple basics here like clearing the gun, storing the weapon in a manner that does not allow access to certain individuals etc. It would not suprise me if the parents or friends of many of these shooters considered these people as trust worthy with guns. The truth of the matter is that if I have a gun there is nobody that accesses that weapon without my direct supervision under my roof. The rules of safety are followed to the tee regardless of experience with firearms, or there are consequences. I have never been to one of Massod Ayoobs courses, but I would bet the house that if you violate gun rule safety and are neglegent you will not be participating in the event long. I have seen groups of people get yelled at at CCW courses for not following instructions that would not technically be considered a direct safety violation in and of itself. One might say that is different if you know the person and they are experienced gun handlers. As experienced as Massod Ayoob is; I do not want a gun in his hand if he was going to be neglegent. I have no doubt he would agree.

  45. mark Says:

    Sorry for my spelling. Neglegent should be spelled negligent.

  46. Dave Says:

    Roger Says.
    One final point. Derek Bird the Cumbria spree killer(2010) here in the UK killed 12 and wounded 11. His weapons were a shotgun and a silenced .22 rifle. Not an ‘assault’ weapon in sight.

    I have seen a number of similar points made. To me it just feeds the anti gun gang’s real goal which is the eventual ban of all guns….oh yea the 2nd Amendment.

  47. Brogan Says:

    Look at what they are saying in a place that they already disarmed the public. Take heed!

  48. Roger Says:

    Fruitbat44 you have got my point there. Israel is a perfect example. 2.7 violent deaths per 100,000 people, those figures include those murdered in terrorist attack and ‘honour’ killings. Compare that to the USA or here in the UK you can only conclude despite the unhinged neighbours, Israel is a safe place to live. They have a lot of firearms there and most people have done national service. It is also an incredibly diverse country so having a single cultural influence is not the reason. It seems that such countries are producing a more stable and cohesive society. That is the solution because as the UK gun laws have demonstrated limiting ownership of various weapons has not altered the frequency of our spree killers or their effectiveness and fun crime keeps going up!

  49. Old Fezzywig Says:

    John Farnam reports a gun and ammo buying frenzy at this time. He says this one is bigger than the recent previous frenzies.

    Medieval alchemists tried to turn lead into gold. They were unsuccessful, but today’s ammo companies have figured out how to do it. Make lead bullets, sell them for US dollars, then use those worthless dollars to buy gold. Voila! They turned lead into gold!

  50. WR Moore Says:

    Pogo said it best a long time ago: “We have met the enemy and it is us.”

    Schools are much more violent than they used to be. Our local rural school system has had several assaults on teachers that would have justified deadly force. Not that there’s been anything in the news about such things, the incidents have been buried. Fortunately, no persons have been. The image that all of todays schools are idyllic fountains of knowledge is a shameful sham.

    Why? Many parents aren’t paying any attention to their kids and what they’re doing much less providing positive guidance. Several decades ago, when releasing minors over to parents I’d respond to their questions as to how they got to where they were detained by asking who their friends were. The answer was always “I don’t know.”

    We also have the outpatient treatment of those with emotional challenges. While many are successfully treated in this manner, those who can’t be are continuing burdens on the public safety sector. Many as recurring issues. You may recall the perpetrators of the Virginia Tech, theator and the Sandy Hook shooting all had interaction with mental health practitioners.

    As the Prez noted, this is an issue that deserves serious study and discusstion of all the issues at hand. Unfortunately, he then did an ‘ole and allowed one of his lunatic fringes to monopolize the demonizing, er ah discussion.

    The NRA statement could have been better crafted. Citation of all the various issues that required discussion first before launching the “good guys with guns” message might have helped, but I doubt it.

  51. Captain Bob Says:

    Eben Fowler Says:
    December 22nd, 2012
    To be in step with Piers’ desire for an “assault weapon” ban, I think we need to ban cars that go more than 35 miles per hour, because of course it’s a known fact that most multiple fatalities caused by cars occur when they are going faster than 35 mph. Doesn’t matter that cars aren’t intended to be used to kill, but sometimes they just do. So we MUST infringe on your right to own a car that exceeds this speed, as well as banning the ownership of cars with accessories that make the car look like it’s capable of going fast! An we need this legislation now!
    And, actaully do you NEED a car? You can use a bus or a taxi to get around, right? Shouldn’t only the city have the transportation? What do we civilians NEED with our own?

  52. Randall Says:

    “The “gun control” debate has, from its beginning, been a battle fueled by emotion and symbolism on the banning side, and by logic and common sense on the side of the responsible gun owners. ”

    I disagree Mas. I’ve read some pretty whacked out, virulent and abusive comments from our side too. Some comments made me embarrassed to be on the same side. But you are right that the anti-gun people are simply reacting with emotion to something they don’t understand. We have to keep working to make them understand, in a respectful way. Calling them “evil libs”, “socialists”, etc. DOES NOT help our cause. We are in a minority and we have to win independents who don’t own guns, over to our side. So to all of you I say, think CAREFULLY before you comment on stories about guns. Think not about insulting, but about winning over undecided people.

  53. Mark Says:

    The “g” in Piers Morgan is silent.

  54. Richard Says:

    December 20, 2012

    Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Thursday that he had started discussions with leaders of the State Legislature about new gun control measures, and that he planned to propose a package of gun legislation in his State of the State address on Jan. 9.
    “There’s a big difference of opinion on these issues,” Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat, said in an interview on an Albany radio station.

    The New York Assembly, controlled by Democrats, has voted for a number of proposed gun control measures in recent years, only to have the legislation falter in the Senate, which has been controlled by Republicans. (Starting next month, the Senate is to be led by a coalition of Republicans and a breakaway faction of Democrats.)

    Mr. Cuomo, speaking on WGDJ-AM, said gun control had not recently been among the most discussed topics in the capital, so he had reached out to lawmakers to gauge where they stood before he made his proposals final.

    He added that he was focusing his attention on changing state laws restricting the possession of assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines. The governor described the state’s existing ban on those items as having “more holes than Swiss cheese.”

    “I don’t think legitimate sportsmen are going to say, ‘I need an assault weapon to go hunting,’ ” he said. At the same time, he noted that he owns a shotgun that he has used for hunting, and said, “There is a balance here — I understand the rights of gun owners; I understand the rights of hunters.”

    In the interview, Mr. Cuomo did not offer specifics about the measures he might propose, but, while discussing assault weapons, he said: “Confiscation could be an option. Mandatory sale to the state could be an option. Permitting could be an option — keep your gun but permit it.”

    Mr. Cuomo said it was highly unlikely that lawmakers would reach a deal on new gun laws in the coming days, dismissing as unfounded suggestions that legislators would be called back to Albany as early as this week for a special session devoted to the subject of gun control.

    “The only thing that’s going to happen in the next few days is Christmas,” Mr. Cuomo said.

  55. Dave Says:


    You make some good points and I agree with you. I sure hope Ted Nugent does make any public comments. He is a good example of one who makes “whacked out, virulent and abusive” comments. We sure do not need his “help”. On the other hand watching him take on Piers Morgan would make good black comedy theatre.

  56. Tommy Sewall Says:

    My wife and I had a discussion about pay per view college football. I didn’t want to pay the forty dollars. We agree we would pay, although not CNN, to see Morgan vs. Nugent. If you don’t like Mr. Morgan, there is also a petition to have him deported (see the Whitehouse’s web site).

  57. Brogan Says:

    Andrew Cuomo better take a look at what’s going on. Guns are flying off the shelves in record numbers. If the number of people they say wanted stricter gun laws were accurate the gun stores would not be sold out. He should also count how many guns were sold in NY as each sale is a potential vote. If he really does push for stricter gun laws or mandatory buy backs his political career is over!

  58. Patrick Says:

    December 26, 2012 by Robert Farago
    “A House Democrat is pushing a package of gun reforms that a recent poll indicates are popular among members of the National Rifle Association (NRA),” reports. “Representative Jim Moran (D-Va.) said the legislation — which comes as a response to last week’s massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. — will highlight what he calls a disconnect between NRA members and the group’s leaders, who are in near-blanket opposition to tougher gun laws.” There’s the latest strategy from the gun control industry: marginalize the NRA, divide American gun owners and conquer. It’s not a bad plan (for them). But where is it coming from? History is our guide. Let’s start with voting . . .

    In the post-Civil War South, various state governments placed “common sense” conditions on voting. A literacy test, for example. What’s wrong with that? Surely any right thinking person agrees that a person who votes should be able to read and write? A literacy test exclude voters who can’t understand the political system. OK, sure, the literacy test included clauses designed to exempt whites, but the idea was sound, right?

    By the same token, why not require that voters pay a tax, to ensure that they’re economic “stake holders”? I mean, should someone who can’t pay a nominal tax get to decide how taxpayers’ money is spent? Obviously not!

    Equally obvious: these laws disenfranchised African Americans. The literacy tests and poll taxes throughout the South infringed upon their right to vote. Oh wait. African Americans didn’t have a right to vote. Not until the 14th Amendment, affirmed by the Supreme Court’s Brown vs. the Board of Education decision. In 1954.

    On the other hand, all Americans have a Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. Have done since 1789. And guess what? As the Supreme Court’s recent McDonald decision pointed out (numerous times), American gun control laws were the firearms equivalent of the literacy test and poll tax: specifically created and designed by southerners to subjugate African Americans.

    Modern gun control laws continue this racist legacy through various tests (e.g., concealed carry applications), taxes and restrictions on firearms ownership. Truth be told, the vast majority of the cities and states that violate the Second Amendment’s prohibition against laws that infringe upon Americans’ right to keep and bear arms have high concentration of minority citizens.

    You want to see gun control in action? Go to New York City. Los Angeles. Chicago. Boston. And New Haven, Connecticut. The Nutmeg State’s second largest city (New England’s sixth) is 35.4 percent African American.

    New Haven is 31 miles from Newtown, Connecticut. But that’s as the crow flies. More to the point, Newtown Connecticut is just off of Interstate 684. It’s a direct shot to Stamford Connecticut, where 13.2 percent of the population is black. In Newtown, 1.75 percent of their population is African American.

    At this point, I feel obliged to say that no child deserves to be shot. The blame for the unconscionable slaughter of 20 children at Newton Elementary School lies squarely on the shoulders of Adam Lanza and, to some extent, those who enabled him. Or failed to take sufficient action to institutionalize him. IF they had reason to believe he was a danger to himself or society.

    But it’s also true that the gun control laws that make it difficult if not impossible for an ordinary citizen in Connecticut to exercise their Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms, the laws that (at least theoretically) left Sandy Hook Elementary School teachers and staff defenseless against a murderous madman, are rooted in racism.

    Connecticut, the Constitution State, a state with a long and noble history of firearms manufacture, passed 2A-subverting gun control legislation to disarm their African American population. It may not be quite that obvious, but it’s true. Connecticut’s gun control laws were designed to protect the white public from black criminals.

    How’d that work out? It depends on where you live.

    If you live in one of the Connecticut’s minority communities, not so well. According to stats compiled by, your chances of being a crime victim in New Haven are one in 74. That’s 13.53 crimes per 1000 residents, with 1753 violent crimes last year.

    If you live in Newtown, the chance of being a victim of crime is one in 2141. That’s .47 crimes per 1000 residents, with 13 violent crimes last year.

    Make no mistake: there is a direct connection between violent crime and gun ownership, or lack thereof. You can argue against it all you like, but John Lott’s More Guns, Less Crime is the definitive study on the subject. Its findings couldn’t be more clear: crime is lower where guns are more prevalent.

    The hidden truth: states without significant firearms ownership have crime rates that are relatively the same as crime rates as those of states with high gun ownership rates—outside urban areas. The people who suffer most from gun control live in the cities, away from the white population.

    In short, gun control was, is and always will be a racist policy. It is, in fact, a form of segregation.

    The spree killing-related gun control legislation coming down the pike in Connecticut is only possible because of the state’s racist legacy of gun control. While the death of 20 children is horrific beyond imagination, it should be seen in the context of the suffering of Connecticut’s minority communities, who are personally defenseless against the criminals in their midst.

    In states which haven’t violated the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution, where the government respects the individual’s right to keep and bear arms, assault weapons and “high capacity” magazine bans are politically impossible.

    Strangely (or not), the same Southern states whose racism gave birth to gun control are now bastions of gun rights. They’ve moved on. It’s time for northern liberal-minded states to do the same. Until and unless they do so, they are perpetuating racism in its most virulent and dangerous form. And it will continue to haunt them.

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