Welcome to Common Gunsense

I hope this blog will provoke some thoughtful reflection about the issue of guns and gun violence. I am passionate about the issue and would love to change some misperceptions and the culture of gun violence in America by sharing with readers words, photos, videos and clips from articles to promote common sense about gun issues. Many of you will agree with me- some will not. I am only one person but one among many who think it's time to do something about this national problem. The views expressed by me in this blog do not represent any group with which I am associated but are rather my own personal opinions and thoughts.

Friday, February 11, 2011

"Big girl panties?"

What a title for a blog. But honestly, someone who commented here- one of my "gun guy" friends, actually told me to put on my big girl panties and get with the picture. Those of us who wear big girl panties apparently know nothing because the guys with the man pants on make the rules. It's that simple.

Well check out this article about the absurdity of NRA V.P Wayne LaPierre's comments made at the CPAC conference. I just blogged about his comments. What I love the most about this article are the comments coming from people on my side. They are almost as rude as some on the other side but it does my big girl panties good to see people on my side fighting back against the nonsense of the NRA. Here is just one: " In this case, with a maniac at the head of the NRA, you can be forgiven your language. LaPierre, however, cannot be forgiven his insanity and lack of logic. To think this organization has brainwashed millions of Americans into leaving their sanity and logic behind is frightening."

It's about time. The organization and it's leaders are becoming more and more irrelevant the more extreme they become. Common sense just may break out in our country. Take Egypt, for example. If things had gone otherwise and the military had decided to side with President Mubarek instead of the people, what good would pistols and shotguns have done against tanks and machine guns? I say, not much. It would likely have elevated the violence and increased the potential for deaths and injuries.The NRA types would have their "man pants" on and pull out their firearms in a show of macho ism and force to accomplish what others can do in a peaceful way. There is no way to know if guns in these kinds of uprisings would work as the NRA believes they would. This is 2011 and not 1776. Time will tell whether things remain peaceful in Egypt and let's all hope they do. Meanwhile, the "gun guys" think people like me- women in big girl panties, and men with no guns, can't accomplish anything of substance. They may very well be mistaken. Watch out for those big girls. Enough said.

Speaking of pants and the situation in Egypt, I can't get the verses of "The Pale Green Pants" by Dr. Seuss, out of my mind. The Dr. Seuss book, The Sneetches, where the Pale Green Pants appears, is one of our family's favorites. I have alluded to this story before on my blog. It certainly is apropos on this day of victory for peaceful uprisings and the NRA's paranoia,fear and bravado. Just a few verses will suffice: "
"I never heard such whimpering                              
And I began to see 
That I was just as strange to them         
As they were strange to me!
I put my arm around their waist,
And sat right down beside them. 
I calmed them down.
Poor empty pants 
With nobody inside them. 
And now, we meet quite often,
Those empty pants and I,
And we never shake or tremble, 
We both smile and we say..."Hi!""

What are we afraid of?


  1. "what good would pistols and shotguns have done against tanks and machine guns? I say, not much. It would likely have elevated the violence and increased the potential for deaths and injuries."

    You say "not much," but as you say, there's no way to know. And in times of unrest, it's not necessary "armed citizen versus tank" but "armed homeowner protecting his family against an angry mob," and in that case it doesn't take much to convince the mob to move on to a softer target. In cases like this, when "the powers that be" are busy dealing with a full-on disaster, it's kind of important to be able to protect yourself, rather than hoping that the police eventually get around to answering your call and rescuing you.

  2. GMC70 says:

    Thanks for the quote, japete. I appear to be regularly quotable here (usually selectively and out of context, of course; that's the way gunbanners work), and I take that as an honor. That you confuse such a statement with some sort of sexism is your particular hangup, not mine.

    Trying to relate Egypt to some 2nd Am. analogy is ridiculous. The beauty and purpose of the 2nd Am. is not that citizens can take on the organized military in set-piece battles; they can't (at the same time, you severely underestimate the ability of non-linear warfare to inflict substantial losses). It's purpose is to deter the excessive abuse of power in the first place by raising the cost of doing so.

    In short, had Egypt had a vibrant democratic tradition (including a 2nd Am or its equivalent) in the first place, we may not have had to get to this point at all. Taking the 2nd Am out of the context of the traditions of republican (small 'r') limited government such as we have enjoyed here is meaningless.

    The 2nd Am. here is simply the Constitutional recognition of the fundamental truth of the Declaration of Independence. And gov'ts - who left to their own devices will always trend away from liberty and toward tyrrany - thus do so at their peril. Jefferson understood that, as did Madison, Washington, Hamilton, and the other Founders. Read their own writings on the subject.

    However good your intentions, you're on the wrong side of liberty on this one.

  3. You know...tanks run on fuel, and humans run on food and water.

    It's not THAT hard to render a 60ton vehicle immobile. Eventually those tank operators would have to come out.

    You don't have to destroy a tank to defeat it.

  4. I didn't bring up the Egyptian uprising and the Second Amendment, Wayne La Pierre did. I am responding to him. Several commenters on T.V. have also remarked about it. It's not just me who is thinking this, by the way.

  5. "Jefferson understood that, as did Madison, Washington, Hamilton, and the other Founders. Read their own writings on the subject."

    You simply don't understand. All prior attempts at unlimited government fell into tyranny and terror because the wrong people were in charge. Our modern day liberals aren't like that, they know what to do, and would never dream of abusing the authority that they demand we give them.

    Just ask them...

  6. I've either not dogged deep enough or you haven't posted it. But in a perfect world what gun laws would you like to see enacted what is your ultimate goal? sorry for the bad grammar and shortness of the post I'm posting from my iphone

  7. No, Japete you broughtit up here, therefore the comments here.

    As to the claim handguns and shot guns would have had little impact, bull crap.

    First if all, who has limited the 2nd to shotguns and handguns? But that's an argument for another day.

    Look at Bagdad in 07 and 08. A ragtag force of small group fighters very nearly caused the US people to lose their support for the US Army even when the army had total technical supremacy of the battlefield. Guys with homemade bombs riflles and a few RPG's were making our soldiers lives miserable.

    All it takes is a few well planned and thought out attacks to cause widespread disuption of a military process. If you added in that instead of fighting aq influenced guerillias the egyptian troops would be firing on fellow Egyptians and I think it's easy to see where pulling apart the military could have happened. The generals abandoned Mubarak not because they want freedom but they know that they do not have the hearts and minds of the soldiers enough to stage war against it's own people.

    Look at the disruption just the DC sniper was able to cause being just a nutjob and a kid? Multiply that times ten thousand if there was a coordinated attack on the regime by rifle armed snipers and guerillas

    Further more while a tank works well in the open, killing one in a city is not hard unless it has a awful lot of infantry around it. Would it have been bloodless? Not by a long shot

  8. Anon- I have answered that many times actually. Background checks on all gun sales at gun shows and/or all private sales would be great. Getting people on the terror watch list into the NICS list would be another. Bans on large capacity magazines another.

  9. I brought it up in my previous post today because Wayne LaPierre brought it up at CPAC which is what I was blogging about. So it was his comment that got me started on what's going on in Egypt.

  10. Japete, Thank you for you answer like I said earlier I haven't digged through your blog to see what you stand for and against. I have a question for you, if you/brady campaign/"anti's" got the law passed for NCIS checks for private sellers would you be opposed to a transfer between family members without an NCIS check or no? For example I have X amount of handguns. My kids grow up and move out on their own and want one of my firearms for themselves. Now assuming they have never been in jail, never had a ticket for a moving violation (it is possible I'm 28 and never had a ticket, knock on wood), or any other type of misdemeanors and are by all accounts "normal" as deemed by society would you have me perform an NCIS check on them or no? and one last question, if you got the NCIS check on private sellers law approved would be opposed to all parts of the NCIS check be free for the seller to perform the form, the background check, etc.

    I'm not arguing the terror watch list be put on NCIS but before that is done it needs to be fixed in the most extreme sense of the word when toddlers aren't allowed on a plane because they are on a terror list, common sense needs to be addressed when it comes to things like that and when it comes to putting the wrong people on the list.

    Sorry for the rambling, 12 hour work days do that to ya :)

  11. Dear readers- here is another blog with the same thoughts as mine about the peaceful process in Egypt: http://mimirreport.blogspot.com/2011/02/egypt-without-second-amendment-remedy.html
    " If the demonstrators in Egypt "stormed the castle" with guns a blazing like the Tea Party dreams about, Then the outing of Mubarak would not be seen as legitimate. It would have been seen and new dictatorship by the minority.

    So the next time you hear a Tea Party Thug talk about Second Amendment Remedies, remind that person that Egyptians did it without a Second Amendment and we as Americans should be proud of our democracy!"

  12. Anon- We have had exceptions in the background check bills for transfers to and from family members. And yes, I agree that there are some problems with the terror watch list. I think it could be worked out, however.

  13. I am glad it worked for them but it could have easily went sideways for them. I also hope that they make a good decisions in the upcoming election!

  14. Calling me a thug is highly offensive.

    You need to more fully understand the
    Motivations between the strongest political movement since the civil rights movement.

    Calling people who believe in the Constitution "thugs" is childish and repulsive.

    As I said before, the Egyptian Military leadership abandoned Mubarak to save themselves. They knew ordering the Troops to fire on the crowds would result in an uprising among the troops. The keep themselves innpower the Generals sacrificed Mubarak

    It was the threat of an uprising that caused the Generals to throw Mubarak out. Guess who held the arms, a conscript army who was no longer found to be beholden to the powers that be.

    I find your distasteful comments regarding your assumptions of my political leanings to be unbecoming and disturbing. Calling honorable and patriotic Americans " thugs" shows your true inner being.

  15. Joan-

    Thank you for at least ostensibly making this a place of "thoughtful discussion". I have read several articles as well as some of the responses. Some responses have admittedly been more productive than others, but I guess that's true of any demographic.

    You seem to be what Tim O'Brien described as "an older woman of kindly temperament and humane politics", so perhaps my story will help you. I grew up Mennonite. No horses and buggies, just a normal household besides being a strange mix of religious conservative and political liberal with a lot of pacifism, multiculturalism, and service to humanity. Conservative Christian hippies, if you will. Somewhere there is a draft card with my name and "conscientious objector" written on it. There is also a DD-214 with 13 years of service on it.

    Sometime around the time Desert Shield kicked off and 17 year old Mennonite kids were trying to figure out ways to avoid a potential draft, my aunt and uncle had a break-in. They came home to find the door broken open, and afraid the burglar might still be in the house, called the police from a neighbor's house. Their son later told a group of us how hypocritical he thought it was that they would profess to be pacifists and yet call the police. The police are not pacifists, so essentially you're just bringing in someone else to do your dirty work. If you call the police and they kill someone, no matter how deserving, you helped pull the trigger. That is how we saw it then, and that's how I see it now.

    The problem is, I'm still a pretty good guy at heart, despite my time in the military, despite the pistol that is always on my hip, and the "assault rifle", suppressed 9mm AR, short-barreled shotgun, and suppressed 22 rifle in my gun safe. I'm still the same guy who hasn't ever started a fight, and detests people who use violence to get their way. So how do I justify not wanting to kill people with owning guns for the purposes of killing people?

    "It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of nonviolence to cover impotence."
    -- Mahatma Gandhi

    Let's say a man breaks into your house. He is a career criminal, just as desensitized to violence as he is proficient at it. He is armed with a baseball bat and is intent on killing you. You are powerless to stop him.

    Anything you say to him will be seen as a manipulation. Of course you'll offer him money. Of course you understand and forgive him. Of course you understand the injustice perpetrated on the impoverished. That's exactly what he expects you to say. And according to Gandhi, NONE of that is non-violence. That is impotence.

    Now introduce a gun. Your gun. Aim the gun at his chest, and look him in the eye and make him believe that you'll do it. Now sit him down and make him a nice cup of tea. THAT, paradoxically, is non-violence. I'm not saying people should do that, because it's dangerous- it's just an example of what I consider real and effective non-violence. My experience in social work is what convinced me that some people are irreparably broken and empty inside.

  16. If I find an intruder in my house, he's going to get proned out, searched, flexcuffed, and then he'll have to sit down and look me in the eye and tell me why he deserves my stuff more than I do while we wait for the police. And my girlfriend will make him tea. If he so much as points a weapon at me, I will shoot him with my suppressed AR so I won't be deaf afterward. I will then make an earnest attempt at patching him up so he doesn't die for a stupid mistake, and so I feel less bad about it afterward. (By the way, it is scenarios like these that lead to the high numbers of "children killed by guns", as teenage criminals are considered children)

    Therein lies part of the disconnect between gun owners and gun control advocates. Gun control advocates seem to think that we're all just a hair trigger away from letting loose on the world, like we're all a ticking Jerod Loughner. It's both offensive and honestly a little frightening. I once took a tactical rifle course with a guy who said he wouldn't let his kids play violent video games. To legal non-felon gun owners, violence is not a toy. It is as frightening to us as it is to you.

    I like to shoot. Target shooting when done correctly is an incredibly Zen-like experience. I have occasionally killed groundhogs to keep them out of my parent's garden, but even that I feel bad about, because that little guy didn't really do anything to me, and I still haven't worked out how to field dress and cook a groundhog which I really owe it to him to do- at least make something tasty out of him.

    I was once a "reasonable gun owner". I remember 15 years ago telling a friend that it's a shame there's not a gun rights organization that's a little less...nuts...than the NRA. There really is no compromise from them, and some proposed legislation seems pretty sensible. That was before I heard Dianne Feinstein say "Mr and Mrs America, turn them all in". And she is not alone in her "extremism". So what goes around comes around- the trust is broken, and from here on out, any attempt to restrict gun rights will be seen as just the next step in the long slide toward total disarmament. What you think of as pro-gun extremism, we think of as political safety margin.

    I don't think there's any way gun control advocates are going to make us gun owners think that it's not just a matter of time until we're telling our friends in the UK that we should have listened to them. Or maybe we can repeat the DC experiment in Chicago, Boston, and New York and see if violent crime fails to spiral out of control yet again. Honestly, if all the states legalized concealed carry and NFA items, after about six months, everyone would probably forget about it. It's really not a big deal.

    That's my opinion, and I hope it helps.


  17. The situation in Egypt is a shining example of how peaceful demonstration can bring down repressive governments. It is a monument to the value of free speech and the right to assembly, and shows the irrelevance of the second amendment toward changing government. It didn't take widespread gun ownership, or armed paramilitary militias, to bring down a dictator and his cronies, nor pre-emptive war from foreign nations. Peaceful protest worked in Tunisia. It worked in Egypt. And it has even worked in Jordan (partially, so far).

    I would also argue that, if at the beginning of this in Egypt, if the protesters had pulled out guns and fired at the government thugs that attacked them, the government would have come down on them with a hail of bullets.

    LaPierre can spin this all he wants, but the facts overrule him. Let this be a lesson to all those "insurrectionist" interpreters of the second amendment.

  18. As proposed before, the terror watch list legislation had some serious, serious due process flaws. I think that you would find more mainstream support for its inclusion if the terrorist watch list only had terrorists on it.

  19. Yes, Baldr. I just heard this morning that any gunshots or other violence has come from anti-government thugs. The protesters in Tahrir Square were checking people for weapons and telling them they could not have them. They expressly wanted this to be a peaceful demonstration of their desire for change. I applaud them for it. And this morning, those very same peaceful demonstrators are out cleaning up the streets in Tahrir Square. These folks are an example for the world about how demonstrate for and get change to the power structure of an oppressive and dictator type government.

  20. Thanks for your interesting thoughts, Anon. I have just read the book, "Mennonite in a Little Black Dress". Very interesting book and I learned more than a bit about the Mennonite culture and religion. I don't disagree with much of what you said. We may approach things differently, though. These are thoughts from this "older woman" with big girl panties on!!

  21. Baldr-

    The problem with your assertion is that the military was essentially on the side of the protestors. This goes to show what has been said before when you ask "what good are rifles against tanks" (just ask the Viet Cong)- no military wants to fight their own populace. Any elected leader contemplating shenanigans will come to the same conclusion.

    As for "peaceful demonstration, well...
    You can say "but the government thugs started it" all you want- the truth, for those of us who watched it on Al Jazeera for days on end, is that lethal force was employed frequently on both sides. Only after the military created a secure environment for them did the protestors begin organizing and trying to maintain order.
    What do you know- peace through superior firepower.

    And there WERE neighborhoods that were able to maintain order with roadblocks and shotguns. They were just the wealthy neighborhoods. Defense against tyranny and thuggery should not be the privilege of the wealthy.

    When you're on TV and you can say "Help help I'm being repressed" is the one time where pacifism REALLY WORKS. We shall overcome if we can prove we're the good guys. That doesn't mean that we should go home to a dark house and be terrorized/disappeared by government thugs.
    I know. It's awful how complicated the world is.

  22. I enjoyed the Mennonite's story too. japete may not disagree with much of what he said, but I sure do. To decide to arm up with enough weaponry to hold off a small attack force because the auntie had a breakin once, is ridiculous. It's a perfect example of why so many gun owners decide to get guns in the first place, a combination of "Oh, my God, what if that ever happens to me," and an overactive fantasy life.

    Many of them turn it around and say gun control folks are just afraid of guns, but that's crap. The inordinately fearful are the ones who arm up when there's little or no need.

    The reason I object to that and disagree with it is because of the downside. It's from those guns owned by well-meaning people that the gun flow into the criminal world is partly supplied. And, let's not forget how often one of these law-abiding and well-meaning gun owners goes bad.

  23. Anon- I don't know what T.V. channel you were watching- most likely Fox which puports to be news but is all bluster and lies. All the channels I watched and the media pieces I have read are astounded at this peaceful movement to change the government of a country. It was not just pockets or neighborhoods- this was hundreds of thousands of people gathered in Tahrir Square in Cairo where very few incidents of violence occurred. In crowds that size, there is always the potential but this was a peaceful movement except in the first days when the military and police killed some people. Lethal force was not used by the protesters. There may have been a few but for you to say otherwise is absolutely ignoring what actually happened so you can rewrite history and make up your own truth to fit with the way you wanted it to be.

  24. Yes Mikeb. I do agree with what you said. I was thinking about what the Mennonite said later and wondered how he could change his mind to becoming someone who thought he could hold someone off with the force of his gun and then offer tea. That is some imaginary scenario that is unlikely to happen in the real world.

  25. Joan-

    I know you say those are your "thoughts" in response to my post but you really didn't respond to my post at all. This is "Thoughtful Discussion About Guns", not "Brief Discussions About Mennonites". I'm curious to hear more about what you agreed with and disagreed with.

    The tea comment...I'm curious where the confusion comes from. Do you object to my hypothetical compassion? That seems unlikely. I'm assuming you object to the hypothetical use of a gun. Not only did Gandhi disagree with you, but the Dalai Lama does as well-

    “If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.” (Seattle Times, May 15, 2001).

    In reference to your Fox News comment, I'll refer you back to my post to Baldr where I specifically said I was watching Al Jazeera. There's a fantastic iPhone app for it. Way better news coverage than anything coming out of the US. If you had watched Al Jazeera you would have seen both sides lined up pitching large rocks at each other from behind barricades and even off of buildings, which in any court in any land constitutes lethal force. I have photos I can email you if you'd like. Now I realize that the concept of "nuance" is often lost in these discussions, so let me be clear that I don't think that those particular protesters speak for the Egyptian people any more than Jerod Loughner speaks for me.

    There are "government thugs" being told to incite violence and looting so that the government has an excuse to crack down. Often these thugs are police officers.

    [[Citizens are also fearful of growing looting and neighborhood “watch” groups that have become armed with bats, knives and even guns in order to force alleged looters away from local areas.

    My nephew who is a police officer took out his gun and fired shots in the air and they got scared and fled the area,” said the eyewitness concerning the incident.

    “They are looting everything and state TV is saying that they are even looting the Children’s Cancer Hospital,” which Al Jazeera also reported.

    ... eyewitnesses reported that one plain clothed man attempted to loot and destroy private property, and when confronted he was shot. Bystanders then took his identification out and revealed that he was a police officer, leaving a number of demonstrators to argue that the government has told police to instigate looting and unrest.]]

    Absolute power corrupts absolutely. You can argue "what ifs" all you want, but the only people in Egypt who can effectively defend themselves against the machinations of a corrupt government are those that can band together with weapons. It sucks it comes to that, but there you have it.

  26. Mike-

    Is this what passes for "thoughtful discussion" here? It certainly isn't terrible civil.

    First off, I never said that I decided to buy guns because of the story I related. That's like saying water is wet because it freezes- one has almost nothing to do with the other. The point of the story, in small words, is that saying that you're a good person who doesn't hurt or kill people is not good enough. You have to have a workable solution to the problem of violence. Violence is after all the problem, not the method by which it is carried out. I have a well thought out response to violence, because it does happen. It is rare, but I wear a seat belt and get vaccines too, so call me paranoid if you must.

    As for your parting shot, you must be referring to some study I haven't heard of. I would be fascinated to know the percentage of law-abiding gun owners who "go bad".

  27. Anon- this is nonsense. There was some violence on 1 day as I said. But to say that the hundreds of thousands of people in the square would have been better off armed is ludicrous. They got what they wanted without arming themselves. That is just plain a fact. Al Jazeera may have shown the violence on the day or two that it happened and it was reported on the stations here as well. But the protest was largely non-violent by design. The people did not want this to be a violent uprising. It would not have been the same if it was. Tell me if you saw violence in Tahrir Square on the last few days or almost a week of the gatherings there. With all of the news coverage I saw there was very little of it. These folks defended themselves by finally protesting non-violently. If they had tried a violent protest, things would have turned out quite differently. What, exactly, do you think violence would have accomplished in this case? Your world sees things through different glasses than mine. Most people in the world are quite impressed with the Egyptian protest and how it worked out for the people of Egypt.

  28. I think our Mennonite friend's comment about the tea was a bit tongue in cheek. He was contrasting pleading for mercy with no recourse (impotence), with solving a problem without having to resort to violence, by demonstrating the ability to use violence, but having the restraint to not use it, and even treat your opponent with a degree of humanity (non violence).

    The protesters in Egypt were very lucky to get what they wanted without much bloodshed, but what if the military did not side with the protesters? How about Iran? The protesters there didn't succeed in that recent uprising, they were not able to peacefully petition their government for change. For every example of non-violent protest that was successful, there is an example of protest that did not succeed until the protesters took up arms, and there are many examples where the protesters all died since they had no arms.

    Also, the anonymous poster above said he was watching Al Jazeera, not fox. And while fox isn't perfectly unbiased or truthful, neither are any of the other news outlets, though some are better than others.

    You make it sound like the NRA, Tea Party, and many gun owners, are expecting to one day overthrow the duly elected United States government. There is no such plan, concept, or idea amongst them. To think so would be silly. They do however imagine the possibility of a time, where the government of our nation may one day no longer accept the will of the people. Whether it happens in 50 years or 200 years doesn't matter, what matters is that there is no magical spell that protects our nation from government tyranny. Never does the NRA say that the second we don't agree with the government, that we need to go to war. It is a last resort, when all else fails to re-establish our democracy. If you hear differently, it's because you want to hear differently because you insist upon the NRA being your enemy.

    I also want to ask why many comments have to be taken as personal attacks, when they clearly aren't meant as such. I could understand not liking the 'big girl panties' comment, but I wouldn't take that as a personal attack, just a bit of a jest. I also have to ask why you say such nasty things about the people you disagree with. It's one thing to completely disagree with a group's view, especially if you don't understand their perspective. It's another though to call them maniacs and thugs, it certainly doesn't lend credibility to your arguments. The level of hatred I see coming from the gun control side towards the NRA, the conservatives, and just gun owners themselves, is very disturbing to me. This sort of hatred doesn't come from the pro-gun side towards people with different views, excepting the few who talk about or treat us like we are bloodthirsty killers and selfish scum.


  29. DHS- you are a relative newcomer to this blog. There are plenty of rude and offensive comments that are made here. Many are not published because they are that offensive. I am not the rude one, believe me. I don't need you to tell me that. It is totally the opposite. Folks from your side feel free to say just about anything here. Snide remarks and condescending remarks are common place. As to the rest, you are wrong. Some in the Tea Party, many on this blog, extremist NRA members and the likes of Glenn Beck have pretty openly said they are ready to overthrow the duly elected government and they have their guns in case of this eventuality.

  30. I believe most people on all sides of the issue would say that violence is always a last resort.

    Its not so much about violently overthrowing the government though - but more for defense against those who would take advantage of others during times of chaos and civil disorder.

  31. Joan-

    I would respectfully remind you of Stephen Covey's "Habit #5"- Seek first to understand. I will direct you back to my post to Baldr where I suggested that non-violence was the PERFECT strategy for Tahrir square. Aside from the timeline and amount of violence (which I hold to be largely irrelevant), I agree with you.

    People who I have spoken to who have lived among Egyptians including both military personnel and missionaries have verified that the Egyptians are good, hard-working people. The maturity of the majority of them the last two weeks or so has been evident. You're right- get a lot of fed up people packed into one spot in defiance of the government and things can turn ugly real quick. They occasionally did turn ugly, but cooler heads prevailed (with the aid of the military) and the majority seems to understand that the Egyptian people have nothing to gain by appearing to the world as an unruly mob. I applaud their maturity.

    Where we differ is that I insist that when protesters decide to go home and finally take a shower and a nap, they should not have to worry about agitators and criminals taking advantage of the lawlessness to steal, destroy, or kill. They should be able to go home to a neighborhood where people have banded together to look after each other, and members of that band are just as well armed as any agent of the government.

    Believe it or not, it's all about equality and fairness.

  32. I don't deny that the gun owner's side says bad things too, I should have worded my comment better. What I mean though, is that gun owners generally are not out attacking non-gun owners saying bad things about them. If somebody doesn't want to own guns because they don't like them or don't believe they will ever need them, that's fine. But when somebody attacks gun owners telling us they don't like our guns and that we don't need them, well, how would you expect someone to respond to that?

    And now you say 'some in the Tea Party', 'extremist NRA members', 'the likes of Glenn Beck' (whom I never listen to since I don't care for conservative commentary), before you were making it sound like the policy of the NRA and the Tea Party is to embrace armed insurrection. Of course there are extremists in the NRA and the Tea Party, that's a part of society. Likewise, there are extremists who think all gun owners belong in jail, or that every gun should be confiscated, or that the people should have no say in government.

    The majority of gun owners are not extreme, do not believe in violence to achieve goals, and leave other people to believe what they want without ridiculing or attacking them. But we do fight back hard when attacked, and we've been doing pretty good fighting back against the gun control groups who seek to take from us. We're certainly not looking to employ violence, even those extremists (save for a handful, like those idiot 'vigilantes'), haven't done anything violent. If you pick up a copy of American Rifleman and see the NRA calling for any kind of armed insurrection, please show me, because I must be getting different copies of it, as I've never seen anything hinting at a call for violence, unless you count self defense against lethal force as a call to violence.

    Anyways, whatever side we are on, we should refrain from calling anybody anything nasty, (aside from those few extremists who actively seek to destroy other people's lives, and they come from both sides). We're certainly not going to achieve any goal of reducing gun violence by calling each other names or refusing to agree on any sort of a plan.


  33. DHS- if others followed those ideas, we'd all be more likely to actually start a process of common ground. If you look at any blog written by someone on my side of this issue, you will see people making rude, obnoxous, snarky and sometimes offensive - even racist and sexist comments. These same people, ( same names in some cases) show up on the comments section of any aricle that shows up on-line. The comments are not pretty. So far I have not been threatened but I am betting that will come. My family and friends actually worry about that. I consider many of the comments to be harassment, actually and have kicked some people off of my blog. They have been kicked off of other blogs as well. It is not pretty. You just don't find many people on my side getting on the blogs of the gun guys making similar comments. And there is a group of folks, some on this blog, who have said they are ready to take up arms against their own government. There's an increase in militia groups in general.

  34. I haven't seen any talk of armed insurrection against the elected government, I'm sure it exists somewhere, but I have not seen it on any mainstream firearms forums or media. I have seen talk of armed insurrection against a tyrannical government all the time, but nobody saying our government is today a tyranny that we must overthrow.

    A friend of mine runs a firearms forum and club with a small legislative action fund, he says he frequently gets hate mail. I don't think he would share it though, in case something were to happen and he needs it in court. The point is though, he is getting hate mail just for having a firearms forum, and this forum even organizes community service events.

    We get hatred from people just because we are gun owners, and we (or at least the vast majority of us) don't give hate to people that we don't agree with like that. The nastiness you see coming from the pro-gun side is only to match the nastiness coming from the anti-gun side. Now I don't condone it, I don't think it's mature or helpful, but it is only the response, not the initial aggression. I have seen nasty comments from the anti-gun side, calling gun owners selfish, violent, bloodthirsty, primitive or stupid, uneducated, etc. Both sides are in the wrong for sure with the nastiness, but I don't believe it is the gun owners who initiated it.


  35. The Anonymous Mennonite asked,

    "As for your parting shot, you must be referring to some study I haven't heard of. I would be fascinated to know the percentage of law-abiding gun owners who "go bad"."

    Is the inference of that question that the percentage is really zero? Just tell us if that's what you think and the discussion is over. If you do agree that some do go bad, just reading the news should be enough, then we're down to haggling numbers. As you well know, no study could produce the exact percentage, which is why in cases like this the pro-gun response is often to demand proof. It's a show-stopper, that one.

    Here's what I worked up. It requires common sense and honesty, and it talks of potential problems not actual ones.

  36. I need examples of hate talk from the gun control side. I have not seen it- or not to the extent I see it coming from the pro gun side. It is pretty prevelant on blogs like mine and the others like me who blog. I have shared some of it here on previous posts. We do not hate gun owners. In fact we work with a good number of them. That is a myth coming from your side. We just hate those who kill others with their guns. It is simply not true that you don't "give hate' to those of us on the side of controlling access to guns to those who should not have them. I see it most every day on my blog.

  37. Interesting, Mikeb. I have not had to time to peruse all of the information but it's a way to start with what the problem is in our country with access to guns by those who should not have them.

  38. Mike-

    Finally, some discussion. No, I am not saying that buying a gun suddenly means you'll never make an impulsive or stupid decision. The thing is, every now and then someone who has a history of using violence (real or implied) to get their way makes it to the age of 21 without being convicted of a felony. They'll eventually do something stupid like point a gun at someone in traffic and get their license revoked. That is for the most part how "good guys go bad". I've never heard of any other way, although I can't assure you that it's not zero. I was merely responding to your "let's not forget how often" making it sound like it was a daily occurrence.

    Your statistical methods aside (violent crime vs violent crime with a firearm vs shootings that are later ruled legal defensive shootings) I feel obliged to immediately point out that 7% of your 10% are already prohibited persons. Felons (no such thing as misdemeanor rape), drug addicts, and those convicted of domestic violence (which doesn't take much in this country) are not allowed to buy guns. If I sell a prohibited person one of my guns, I go to prison. I'm not counting the mental disorders you mentioned because I can't intelligently argue the point, but those who have been declared "mentally incompetent" are also prohibited from purchasing firearms.

    But even if 10% of gun owners shouldn't own them doesn't mean we should punish the other 90% for it. Like Jon Stewart said, "We cannot legislate ourselves to the craziest among us".

    I can't help but notice you're from the UK. So how long does it take before total handgun prohibition eliminates gun crime? Twenty three years seems like enough time to work out the "bugs"- if it was going to work, it would have worked by now.

    ...is UNBELIEVABLE. How do you explain this? London actually compares to Baltimore, one of the most violent cities in the US. Would you concede that this is evidence that outlawing inanimate objects doesn't work?

  39. Thanks for the link, anon.I couldn't find a comparison there of London to Baltimore. Can you find that one for me? I did find a quote here that really answers a lot of questions, however: ""But for that 4-5% who care about guns, they will vote on this." And in the battleground states and swing congressional districts, a change in 5% of the vote can make all the difference. So the NRA's influence has come from its capacity to move its supporters in these key swing districts and states – with its message, more than its money."

  40. I need examples of hate talk from the gun control side.

    You must not have looked at any comments to articles after the Arizona shooting.

  41. I don't know if they are still up so I can look at them. The hateful comments usually come from your side but some people on my side do get their "undies in a bundle" over this issue. It is passionate on both sides.

  42. London's violent crime is 1.5 times Baltimore's violent crime rate. See page 198 of the Home Office Statistical Bulletin and Expanded Table 8 of the FBI CIUS 2009 data set. You can get London's population here, which you will need to do the math.

    London's firearm offences are 40.6 per 100,000 (page 56), but that is difficult to compare to United States figures because the FBI doesn't create a report that is comparable to the Home Office. However, using these population figures for Maryland, the following rates per 100,000 can be calculated from the FBI 2009 CIUS tables: 5.4 (Table 20), 66.8 (Table 21), and 32.2 (Table 22). Except for robbery, London's firearm offence rates are worse than Maryland's. That's not to say that London's murder rate by firearm is higher, because it's not, Maryland's homicide rate by firearm is 2.6 times higher than London's, but it does say that London is more violent than Baltimore even with their gun ban. London also has significant firearm offences despite that ban. Apparently, England doesn't mind being a nation of victims, but here in the United States, most Americans still prefer to retain the right to fight back.

  43. Just look at the Brady Campaign feed on Facebook for examples of hating from your side. Shouldn't have to look too far!

    ...and have you told your "hunting friends" about the UK and Australia yet?

  44. Japete

    Why do you dismiss the reports of violence as willingly as you accept the reports of peace? AlJazeera may be new to you, but their reporting has been very solid for a number of years.

    If they say they have eyewitness reports of looting and unrest, I would trust that every bit as much as I would trust CBS , NBC or CNN. In some cases more so because they have local sources as a native language resource that Diane and Katie just don't have.

    For hate talk, all one needs are the statements from former speaker Fienstein. It was her wish to void the constitution and seize all privately held arms. I'm am on a handshake and finding quote is hard, but she said it. The current resident of the White House called us tired bigots who clung to our guns and religion, yeah, that's hate speach right there.

    Here is the point. Of those American Citizens who own arms, our tendencies to send forth ourselves and our offspring into military service is very high. If we are not able to go, or do not have childen to send, most mornings when we gather at the dinner or cafe for Breakfast, the first thing we ask someone at the table or counter is "any word from Debbie" or "how's Junior?". And everybody knows everything else takes second place.

    That means we are actively sending our kids out protecting the Constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic. When we hear someone denigrating that document, it gets us a tad riled up. When we read someone who seems to completely misunderstand the nature of Freedom and Liberty and why some of us are no longer able to talk to a full table of friends or family at lunch or Christmas dinner, it becomes sickening to our sensibilities.

    No one here is condoning violence, no one here except the anti's are condoning a restriction on Constitutional rights.

    I see your attitude as Unpatriotic. I know you also censor an awful lot of the comments you get. I understand you have that right, it's your blog. But each and ever single person who replies has just as much right to that opinion as you do to yours.

    To many who have served, your attitude borders on stabbing them in the back. None of them are in favor of violent crime. None I have met would accept your view that hardware causes the crime but only the person wielding it.

  45. It looks like Egypt has a way to go before it can be considered a relatively non violent successful change in power.

    Egypt's military rejects swift transfer of power and suspends constitution


  46. In all honesty, the Baltimore comparison was melodramatic and subjective, so go ahead and disregard that. I'll admit to indulging in a little schadenfreude when I hear how bad violent crime is in parts of the UK after 23 years of handgun prohibition, and even I was surprised to see it's so bad they're putting in "Shotspotters" like we have in DC. And probably Baltimore.

    It just goes to show you though- if people want something, there's no keeping it out. Just to drive that point home, here's a video of a kid who made a functional AK-47 (among many, many other guns) out of paper mache and a few springs and other small metal parts.


    The genie is out of the bottle.

  47. Thanks for looking that up, Migo. It is interesting and concerning that London has such a high crime rate. Unfortunately, the crime rate does seem to be higher in the big cities for obvious reasons. But again, the gun deaths are higher in Baltimore. We continue to go around about crime in general or violent crime and gun deaths. My figures almost always apply to gun deaths per 100,000. So when we compare, that's what I want to compare.

  48. Pat- if you ask that question one more time, I will not be publishing your comments. This is bordering on harassing. I have answered your question.

  49. As I said, time will tell how things are going to turn out in Egypt, Anthony. And P, I am familiar with Al Jazeera. I read stories from it sometimes. Some on the far right hate Al Jazeera because they consider it to be a Muslim media and they don't trust it- see Glenn Beck.

  50. Well yes, anon. I think we should be celebrating that some in the UK want and have managed to get AK 47s. That's great!!!!

  51. Or paper ones that only look like an AK-47.

  52. Kids do like to make guns out of anything but making an AK 47 for a kid is pretty scary.

  53. To clarify, he actually made ammunition for it as well, and has video of him test firing it in his garage.

  54. I think the events in Egypt represent a gigantic repudiation of the NRA position as put forth by Mr. LaPierre. It was the near absence of firearms that helped make the revolution peaceful.

    LaPierre's assertion is an amazing example of doublespeak. I wonder that so many people still lend their support to this kind of claptrap.

  55. like the real AK-47s given to ten year olds in various African countries. Y'know, where Government Knows Best...

  56. Alan-

    Thank you for such a good example of what Stephen Hawking calls "Refutation by Denigration", not that there aren't plenty of other examples here.

    The thing that it seems like a lot of people aren't getting is that it's not enough to rubber stamp your beliefs as "logical" simply because they're your beliefs. They have to actually stand up under cross examination. On this web page alone, there are numerous long, detailed, and civil arguments why firearms have a productive role in a just society.

    You can't just call it names and make it go away. Believe me, it's been tried.

  57. Actually Joan, I'd love the ability to access the NICS as a civilian. Saving $200 odd on a Federal Firearms License would be a huge favor.

    See! When you get laws passed, there are always unintended consequences. Every time the antis pass a law, the make the pro side stronger. The assault weapons ban actually made a better AR-15 by eliminating all the superfluous military junk on the 'evil black rifle'. Check my blog in a couple weeks, I'm making a post AWB AR-15 with out a bayonet lug, flash hider and with a few 5 round magazines. If you find yourself out in Eastern Washington, I'll even take you out to the range, with dinner afterwards. Think about it Joan! A nice pic of you holding up a target of Barney the Dinosaur with a few dozen holes in it!

  58. Yep- and I'll be sure to wear my big girl panties!!! Thanks for the invitation.

  59. Ms. Joan-

    I don't know John B, but he sounds like one of the good ones. You'd have a blast.

    I actually didn't mean that to sound so stupid, but there you go.

  60. I just noticed an omission in my previous post. The 2009 FBI rates per 100,000 for three specific firearm offenses in Maryland are 5.4 for homicide, 66.8 for robbery, and 32.2 for assault. This is in comparison to London's 40.6 per 100,000 for all firearm offences.

  61. Joan,

    You are completely correct in terms of apples to oranges. In London, heck the entire UK, to avoid any embarrassing drop in tourism, they only count convictions as crimes thus if crimes go unsolved its like they never happened. In addition, in London, 55% of all home intrusions are hot, i.e. the occupants are home versus 13% in the US. Yep, apples to oranges and boy isn't that UK gun control working well? Source http://www.gunfacts.info/pdfs/gun-facts/5.1/gun-facts-5.1-screen.pdf Great read and pretty much makes a mockery of the Brady Bunch "Facts" using sources like the DOJ, FBI, Time, etc.

  62. GMC70 says:

    japete wrote: apples to oranges Migo.

    Why? Because you say so? Are "gun deaths" any more bad than other deaths?

    YOU are making up the arbitrary distinctions, japete.

    What has become abundantly clear writing here is that you simply dismiss without argument any facts you can't deal with, and attack the writer as being full of "hate."

    The fundamental problem, and the fundamental problem with the gunbanners side in general, is that you're basically dishonest. And that's so because basic honesty doesn't serve your point of view.

    So you make stuff up, and dismiss or ridicule what you can't refute.

    That's just the way it is.

  63. Thanks for the link. This is surely unbiased fact, though I haven't had time to read the almost 100 pages of stuff. I did, however not this: "Politics: Guy Smith (writer, songwriter, political provocateur) is a civil libertarian. Because the 2nd Amendment is the only civil right under perpetual attack, Guy has chosen to make gun owner rights the focal point of his political activism." Hmm. So thanks, but no thanks. I don't think you have proven a thing here.

  64. Yup- surely I make up all those daily gun deaths! I am fabricating those to irritate you guys. Surely, the CDC is misrepresenting the number of deaths due to firearms. Surely your sources are better than mine ( see above) So , GMC- I guess if you want to believe I am a liar, go ahead. Did I say gun deaths are worse than other deaths? In many ways, that may be true. The facts are that gun deaths are one of the leading causes of injury deaths and accidental deaths in this country. Should we be doing something about that? Not according to you guys. Sorry you hate it that I am attempting to do something about a national public safety and health problem. Shame on me for taking on such an unjust cause.

  65. Joan-

    The problem is that what you are trying to do about a national public safety problem 1) doesn't work as evidenced by the UK, 2) actually makes the problem worse by encouraging criminals and potential criminals to victimize people, and 3) goes against the documents on which our nation is founded.

    That's why there's a frustration with the "guns kill people" argument. First, those of us who have spent lifetimes plinking with friends and family members and have good experiences with firearms have a completely different image of what firearms are about. If all you do is stew in stories about guns killing people all day, to us... it's kind of like the white guy who only sees blacks committing crimes on the news and says "why the hell would I ever want to get to know a black person?"
    Second, the arguments against guns always circle back to that initial emotional response- "well, guns are bad". Dead is dead, as demonstrated by the stabbing spree that took place in New York City last week.

    "Guns aren't the problem, CRAZY is the problem.
    We cannot legislate outselves to the craziest among us."

    -Jon Stewart

  66. Dear readers, There is a myth going around on the comments that gun control has not worked in the U.K. That is false. It certainly has worked. The gun deaths per 100,000 don't even come close to those in the U.S.

  67. We're not arguing that the UK has lower gun deaths. We're saying that we'd rather have more gun deaths and lower overall violent crime, than zero gun deaths and higher rates of violent crime if given the choice. Theres little else to say, you attribute gun deaths as being more terrible, where as we don't.

  68. I give you the argument of the guys with the "man pants" on ladies and gentlemen-" We're saying that we'd rather have more gun deaths and lower overall violent crime, than zero gun deaths and higher rates of violent crime if given the choice" And there you have it. Nothing more to say here except "Wow" and "unbelievable"

  69. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1296002/Grandmother-survives-shot-twice-head-partner-killed-himself.html
    By Daily Mail Reporter
    Last updated at 8:12 AM on 20th July 2010

    A pistol-wielding man shot himself dead today after blasting his partner twice in the forehead in broad daylight - as she pushed her one-month-old baby grandson in a pram.

    The 52-year-old man shot the unnamed woman with a pistol before fleeing the scene in Feltwell, near Brandon, Norfolk, at 11.15am.

    The woman, 40, was still breathing and conscious when paramedics arrived.



    A 'highly-educated' student working part-time in a money exchange shop was shot dead as he left for the night with £10,000 takings and his laptop.

    Khurram Ashraf, 30, was blasted once in the stomach after he and a co-worker were confronted by a gunman demanding he hand over the goods.

    A total of three shots were fired outside the money exchange in Longsight, south Manchester, shortly after 6pm last night.



    A householder is attacked by a violent burglar every 30 minutes.

    The shocking statistic exposes for the first time the epidemic of terrifying intruder confrontations taking place in Britain.

    It will intensify demands for householders to be given greater protection if they use force to protect themselves and their family against a burglar.



    A heavily pregnant woman was raped at gunpoint by a burglar who told her it was her 'lucky day'.

    The 33-year-old victim was only two months away from giving birth when masked raiders burst into her home and held a sawn-off shotgun to her partner's head.

    She was dragged upstairs by one of the three attackers wearing a balaclava.

    Despite the desperate pleas of her boyfriend who begged them not to harm the mother-to-be, she was forced to perform a sex act by the masked man, who threatened to shoot the couple if she did not follow his orders.



    Police have launched a murder hunt after a man was gunned down today in a doctor's car park.

    Junaid Khan, 21, suffered serious wounds to his leg and groin in the attack just after midnight.

    The attack in Chaddington, Greater Manchester, is the second fatal shooting in the urban area within a week.



    A football manager was shot dead in front of horrified children after being ambushed by a masked gunman.

    Ryan Musgrove, 36, was blasted six times by his attacker, who hid in bushes waiting for him at playing fields on Thursday night as children played nearby.

    The killer, wearing a white mask and skiing goggles, fled on a mountain bike leaving his victim in a pool of blood.



    A 'barbaric' robber who took part in the rape and torture of a young couple in their own home was jailed indefinitely today.

    Gavin Gordon, 31, a drug addict who has a string of convictions for violence dating back more than ten years, was part of a gang that raped a 26-year-old woman in her home in Clapham, south London, while her boyfriend screamed as he was tortured in the next room.

  70. "Shame on me for taking on such an unjust cause. "

    Waging a campaign advocating using gun violence against peaceful people is indeed an unjust cause.

    You obviously don't see the cruel irony in your call for using men armed with high capacity magazines to use violence and force against peaceful people who buy, sell, trade, loan, borrow, and share high capacity magazines. I do.

  71. Thanks. Do you want me to provide all the articles about the Veragr 32 daily homicides in America? It would take upper space than I have here.

  72. Sorry-average is the word I meant darned iPhone

  73. It's okay, happens to me all the timebrjxjs.

    It's not a comparison, just a refutation of the assertion that gun control worked. The second batch of stories didn't involve firearms, but go to accompany the statistics staing that UK violent crime is at epidemic proportions. I'll understand if you don't post them, as they do take up a lot of room.

  74. I get it Joan. You only care about gun control that minimizes or eliminates those bullets that hurt innocent people. At least I think your position is to protect innocent people and not criminals right?

    I ask this because the point I'm making is that London with a population that is greater than Baltimore, and even all of Maryland for that matter, is an example of what happens when you increase urban density and force different people with different needs to live on top of each other without a second force to keep those with a sense of entitlement in check. Violence increases and the trends in the United States are that people want to protect themselves against that violence.

    I truly understand how your personal tragedy drives your goal, it makes sense, but do you equally try to understand us? Many years ago, my ex-wife with a delicate skull was beaten about the head by thugs. Since then, she went on to become a nurse because she absolutely lives to help others. Recently she started to develop TIA's and cognitive failures. She is on disability now and can no longer practice nursing for obvious reasons. Neither of us were armed with any weapons back then because we were both naive.

    I know you're not anti-gun and you're not going to tell me that her suffering is better than the injury or death of those thugs, but apparently England does and I don't want to live in England.

  75. GMC70 says:

    japete wrote: I give you the argument of the guys with the "man pants" on ladies and gentlemen-" We're saying that we'd rather have more gun deaths and lower overall violent crime, than zero gun deaths and higher rates of violent crime if given the choice" And there you have it. Nothing more to say here except "Wow" and "unbelievable"

    Really? Tell me what is "unbelievable" or unreasonable about that position? Is there anything magical about gun deaths, as opposed to, say knife death, or car death, or baseball bad deaths, or poison death, or jumping deaths, etc.?

    If a nation has a lower gun death rate, but a higher death rate from violent crime overall, it seems to me that's not a particularly good trade-off. Ideal would be no crime deaths, but we all know same is not possible. If you tend to see that as a good outcome, it tells me that you care little for people's safety in general; rather, you just care that they weren't killed with a gun.

    The problem, of course, is that they're no less dead.

    The UK has essentially removed firearms from the picture, and the result has been a dramatic upswing in violent crime, even as "gun deaths" (a rather arbitrary and irrelevent measure) go down.

    You may see that as an improvement. Many other reasonable people do not. If my surrendering my firearm means that my home is more likely to be broken into and my person more likely to be attacked, whether with a gun or some other instrument, that's not progress. I am not better off.

  76. Anonymous said, "But even if 10% of gun owners shouldn't own them doesn't mean we should punish the other 90% for it."

    That's where we see things differently. The restrictions we're talking about are not "punishment." In fact, if you're on the up and up, they'd be little more than inconveniences.

  77. Migo- sympathies about your wife. I suggest you stay right here in the U.S. if you would feel less safe in the U.K. That is your preogative.

  78. If anyone can understand the comment made by "I love peace" above, please let me know. It alludes me.

  79. Dear readers, This post was NOT and I repeat NOT about the gun laws in the U.K. How we got to debating them is beyond me. But I am done with this nonsensical thread. No more comments will be posted about the gun laws in the U.K. That was not what my post was about. Stick to the point instead of all the diversionary tactics.

  80. 1. I don't consider banning certain guns or magazines, or taking them out of my hands in certain places, an inconvenience. More like an infringement.

    2. Nobody has yet to demonstrate how these little 'inconveniences' will actually be effective in preventing criminals from committing crimes.

    3. "...And there you have it. Nothing more to say here except "Wow" and "unbelievable" "
    Wait, so for example, rather than have 100 violent crimes with 13 gun deaths, it would be better to have 150 violent crimes with three gun deaths? I'm not understanding the part how getting killed with a gun is any more terrible a thing than getting killed with a knife, bat, car, fire, etc. I'm not saying that the definite outcome of reduced overall gun ownership is higher crime, but I do think that reduced gun ownership is not going to reduce crime at all. Even if it slightly reduces the number of guns in criminal hands, it's still not affecting the actual will of criminals, especially if the criminals know that they aren't going to be up against guns.

    4. I'm rather insulted by the repeated statement that gun owners don't want to do anything about gun violence, just because we don't want to do it your way. Also insulted by the constant targeting of guns rather than criminals, as if we are somehow to blame for the failure of the system to effectively deal with criminals.


    p.s., happy valentines day everyone

  81. Thank you, but she's my ex-wife now. I'm sorry if I started this distraction, but I was responding to "Thanks for the link, anon. I couldn't find a comparison there of London to Baltimore. Can you find that one for me?"

    Back on topic? I agree that Wayne LaPierre is a bit of an extremist and I myself am uncomfortable about some of the things he says. I'm not sure I would feel comfortable sitting in a room with him and his hunter friends. However, I don't pay my NRA dues to listen to him speak. I pay them so that he can keep America from turning into England. As long as he can keep doing that, I don't care what he says. We all have the right to express our opinions, right?

    As for your panties, I can't really comment on that, but I do like Dr. Seuss' green eggs and ham...

  82. What I love peace is saying is that the overwhelmingly vast majority of gun owners are peaceful Citizens. They just happen to have weapons you don't like. But you are asking the Government (and by extension) and law enforcement to seek to seize those items under threat of arms from the Law Abiding Citizens. So the cops are using weapons with high capacity magazines to seize high capacity magazines under your proposed laws.

    He's right.

  83. I give you the argument of the guys with the "man pants" on ladies and gentlemen-" We're saying that we'd rather have more gun deaths and lower overall violent crime, than zero gun deaths and higher rates of violent crime if given the choice" And there you have it. Nothing more to say here except "Wow" and "unbelievable"

    Yeah, absolutely. Take two hypothetical worlds:
    A: 10 gun murders, 10 murders by knife, 10 fatal beatings
    B: 1 gun murder, 15 murders by knife, 30 fatal beatings

    I would prefer to live in the first scenario, myself. In that world, there were 30 deaths -- all regrettable. In the second world, sure, there are many fewer gun deaths, but the were 46 total deaths. These are totally arbitrary numbers, just to illustrate the point; I would prefer even more to live in a world with zero violent crime at all but unfortunately I don't know that such a place has ever or will ever exist.

    The policies that you advocate have non-trivial costs associated with them. There are tradeoffs associated with diverting limited police resources into the paperwork of registration schemes directed at the 99% of gun owners who are law abiding instead of putting beat cops on the street in bad neighberhoods or hiring detectives to solve murders; there are costs associated with disarming women and minorities who may be subject to physical coercion by assailants who are often larger or traveling in groups; there are costs associated with prohibiting off-duty police officers from legally carrying sidearms within 1000 feet of a school. I don't think that my preference to live in a world with less overall violent crime is particularly "unbelievable" as you suggest it is.


    Re Egypt: Note that the protesters got what they wanted -- Mubarak's ouster and a dissolution of the rubber-stamp Parliament -- only after the Army stepped in and forced the dictator out. The peaceful protests may have helped persuade the army towards taking that course of action, but in the end, the "guys with the guns" (i.e., the Egyptian Army) were the ones that forced definitive change in the form of a military coup.

    Do you think things would have worked out the same way if the military had laid down their arms, turned security duties back over to the hated secret police, and joined the crowds in the streets? Nobody can say for certain, but I am not so optimistic about that outcome. Ultimately, the threat of force was needed to oust Mubarak.

  84. Mikeb: The restrictions we're talking about are not "punishment." In fact, if you're on the up and up, they'd be little more than inconveniences.

    OK, that's the theory -- now how about the reality? Gun control advocates have so many examples of places with gun laws they would like to see here. In how many of those places have restrictions on gunowners moved beyond "little more than inconveniences" -- and gun control advocates there are not still trying for even harsher measures?

  85. Here's a question for you guys? What did you do before you had your permits to carry in all of the places you now want to carry? Were people at more risk? Were you all less safe?

  86. Well I carry everywhere I go, and have done so since I got marrried. My grandfather put it into perspective when he said do you cherish her safety and well being more than your own life and freedom. I said yes. He said protect her and gave me a holster.

    She now carries as well. As doesmy daughter and my son.

    When I was young, I was a rock, I really had that indestructible mindset. It only took one time of coming home and finding my house burgled that convinced me I was not. By circumstance that was only a few days before my grandfather talked to me about the real responsibility of a husband. Except when prohibited by a law calling it a felony, I have not been out unarmed in 29 years. Seven times in those years I have prevented or disrupted a felony in progress. Not once have I fired my weapon in those cases. Five times the bad guys got a black and white taxi ride. Twice I was more concerned with the victims status than theirs. In three of those occasions, had I not had a gun to deter the bad guys, my probable outcome would have been at best the ICU.

    Yes. I was car more at risk before, I was just to naive and young to know it.

    The drug and gang business along with the rise in dysfunctional families has contributed to a lot of the feelings that things were and are out of control.

    While statistically the data says we are safer today, and I believe the carry movement has influenced that, the prior notion that gangs and drugs only happen in cities over 200,000 in pop and never in the country has changed dramatically. Meth has spread the drug crime much more across the rural areas and suburbia. I oils never have been concerned about a druggie robbing me or confronting me in Moose lake or Aitken area. Now, yes it's possible.

    Likewise in much of the rural parts of the country. Where southern Missouri northern arkansas used to be the home of an unlicensed distillery, now it's Meth labs all over.

  87. And this shows, P, the disconnect between our viewpoints. We had our house robbed while we were gone for a week-end trip. It was clearly kids looking for drugs or maybe jewelry. They went through kitchen cupboards and our dresser drawers in the master bedroom but nothing of value was taken. We called the police to make a report. I can tell you that buying a gun to stop the next time someone robbed us was never even discussed. That was over 30 years ago and we have not had another incident. I have never been anyplace where I would have wished to have had a gun. Never. Maybe we hang around in different places. Few of my friends have pistols and do they carry. One or two have permits to carry but have chosen not to carry. I guess my world is just entirely different from yours. Maybe it's where we live. Or maybe it is our view of the world.

  88. Anonymous:

    Good point. I wanted to be brief and there really was only one pejorative ("claptrap")in my post, but I could have been more specific.

    "LaPierre said that the situation in Egypt shows that the Second Amendment remains necessary, as illustrated by the protests in Egypt. He said that "the presence of a firearm" in the hands of good people "makes us all safer.""

    The above taken from the CBS news website. I'm not sure if it was the only reference LaPierre made to the Egyptian revolution, but, on the face of it, on first and even second glance, it just doesn't make sense. How, when the demonstrators made a conscious decision to exclude firearms as much as possible, does this confirm that their presence makes people safer? Almost the only day of violence was perpetrated by the government, not the demonstrators.

    By doublespeak, I meant the technique often employed by the American far right and their old antagonists, Russian communists to assert exactly the opposite of what the case is. If you get one such article in print, there are legions of lazy journalists that will repeat it. So, LaPierre sees that the Egyptian revolution directly contradicts what has been his long-time position and he says that it actually supports his position.

    I agree that the second amendment remains necessary, but not in any way like this head-case (oops, sorry) asserts.

  89. As a single mother living in a bad neighborhood in a major US city I had to take many precautions when my kids were growing up.

    For instance circling the block at least once before I parked in order to assess the situation on the street before I went into my apartment.

    Assessing the area outside before stepping out of my apartment or out of the gangway.

    I nailed strips of wood into the windows so they couldn't be opened (no burglar bars and I rented.)

    Kept a "cordial" relationship with the people on my block, this sometimes included the local gang members.

    I also carried a gun illegally. My children were small and never knew I had the gun and they still do not know now that they are grown.

    Sure I broke the law but I put our lives and our safety first. I had to wear my "big girl panties" all the time.

    This was not paranoid, this was the reality of where I had to live.

    I never did have to use the gun and I am very glad for that but I would not have hesitated to use it if I had to in order to protect my family.

    I'm not saying that I never had a crime perpetrated against me. I think different people come out of their experiences in different ways. My reaction to being burglarized was to get the gun and keep it with me, I did not like feeling like a victim. You reacted differently. Who's to say which one is the "correct" reaction?

    There's a lot of ugly out there, just because you have not experienced it doesn't make it less real. Tha's not our "view", that's reality. That's the world some of us have to live in.

  90. Well anon- I did experience one big ugly- the shooting death of my sister.

  91. Alan-

    Thank you for clarifying your earlier statement and providing some context to your opinion. I ask you this- Is the situation in Egypt only confined to Tahrir Square? Did all the homes and families of the protesters disappear or somehow become irrelevant? Are there not numerous reports of armed government agents stirring up unrest by attacking civilians in public and in their homes? Are there not looters taking advantage of the lawlessness just like was done in New Orleans, LA, and Detroit?

    The left liked to criticize Bush's "with us or against us" statement as too black and white. I would argue that your view of guns is too black and white. I don't think anyone here is saying that the solution to all social and interpersonal problems is a bullet in the face, in fact I've said twice that the antigovernment protesters made absolutely the right call. They knew that they needed to win and keep the favor of both the Egyptian military and the rest of the world. They did it by proving that they were willing to stand up to the government even if that meant doing so as a martyr.

    And again, that doesn't mean that the people who are back in their neighborhoods and homes shouldn't be able to defend themselves from people looking to victimize them. Especially while the government is either unwilling, unable, or are themselves actively participating in the victimization. There's a big difference between being killed publicly while the world looks on, and being killed in your own home in the middle of the night with no witnesses. One serves a purpose of justice, one serves the purpose of the oppressor.

  92. So anon, what you are saying in response to Alan is that those poor Egyptian citizens should now all have guns. Given the circumstances, it seems like that would be downright unwise if not madness. What is not needed now is for the citizens there to start killing each other when the situation is so volatile. Time will tell whether people will be killed in their homes in the middle of the night.

  93. With absolutely no attempt to mitigate the loss you suffered or the tragedy of it, I find domestic violence to be a completely different animal that dealing with gang or drug violence. The unfortunate outcome might be the same but there is an intrinsic difference in it's hard to equate the circumstance. Again please understand in all cases violent crime leaves behind more victims than those directly attacked. For me it was a feeling of safety at home. It was just a few weeks before we go married and they robbed U's of our wedding shower gifts. They stole money we had gotten to help with the honeymoon but my wife to be was out shopping with my grandmother and had they not been, they would have been in the middle of it.

    That was the biggest thing that was stolen. Peace of mind. A feeling of being safe in my surroundings. I traveled for work. I was a conractor who followed disasters in the employ of a insurance contractor. It was not unusual to be gone for amonth or two at a time and I was unable to provide a safe place to call home for my new wife.

    After my Grandfather had his talk with me I understood safe and protection had much different meanings and unneeded to adjust my world view.

    I was raised around guns,, they were a everyday thing as my mother used one to keep the critters out of her garden. In the sixties before it was outlawed by the GCA I ordered a pistol through the mail with my paperroute money.

  94. That must have been some garden P if it had critters big enough to be shot. I have deer, squirrels and rabbits in my garden but would not think to shoot them. But then, I live in the middle of a city.

  95. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/egypt/8291108/Egypt-protests-looting-engulfs-Cairo-as-Mubarak-clings-on.html

    Cairo residents boarded up homes and set up neighbourhood watches of citizens armed with guns, clubs and knives as looting and violence engulfed the capital.

    Thousands of inmates escaped prisons across Egypt, including at least one jail that housed Muslim militants northwest of Cairo, adding to the chaos engulfing the country as anti-government protests continue to demand the longtime President Hosni Mubarak step down.



    Armed with sticks and guns, residents in Cairo set up overnight neighbourhood watches to prevent looting following another day of demonstrations in which protesters pressed for Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s ouster.

    It's easy to tell the Egyptians to just suck it up from the safety of your home here in the US where the police aren't usually part of the problem and will actually show up in a matter of minutes. How much would you like to bet that at least a few of those thousands of escaped prisoners were abusive husbands with a score to settle?

    I don't understand the mindset that the average human being is so bloodthirsty that if given a weapon they will inevitably use it. I certainly don't believe that the life of a battered wife is somehow diminished if she defends herself against an abusive husband.

  96. How big does something have to be to shoot at it? I shot a rabbit last summer, but unfortunately it was just one of probably dozens. They ruin our garden, and there aren't any other predators to take care of their numbers. I'm hoping to get more this year, or they'll just keep multiplying.

    But yea, if you live in the city and they're being a nuisance, shooting them would be problematic for you.

  97. My parents made about two hundred dollars a month at a small church. If the critters ate the garden, we didn't eat. If the critter was edible, well, it was supper. Rabbits and other game fed us, raccoon, gophers that fed the dogs.

    If the local sheriff deputies had to put down a wounded deer from an accident, those often showed up on the doorstep.

  98. Joan, I think you are missing the Anonymous commenter's point about armed Egyptians. He's not saying that guns were needed by the Egyptians to protest, or that they should have had guns in their protest, I don't know where anybody would get that idea from.

    He is saying that many Egyptians did have guns, and they chose not to use them in protest. Just because we believe we should have guns for protection and security, does not mean we believe we need to employ them at every opportunity. The Egyptians had guns, but they didn't need them to protest. They did need them for protection and security, when the government failed to provide that for them. They have guns and they are not killing each other. Not all of them have guns, but those who do, are not running around blowing people away on a whim, they reserve those arms only for protection. The presence of arms is not a guarantee of violence, nor a prerequisite for violence, nor a catalyst of violence. They may be a factor in violence and change the dynamic of that violence, but they certainly do not create the violence.

    And P's comments about shooting garden pests is not unusual at all, especially when many households depend on produce from their garden to supplement their food supply. I sometimes have to shoot pest animals, which can be a problem when you have livestock and nearby farms and households are good food supplies to keep the pest's populations up (I use air rifles and a .22 with shotshells). I don't like doing it either, but unfortunately, it has to be done, otherwise they start destroying the habitat, killing livestock, and killing off native populations. I wish I had some wild rabbits tho, I could sacrifice some leafy greens for cute bunnies hopping around, but the area around my house is no good for them.


  99. P, That was a fascinating chronicling of your DGU experiences. Would you say you'd ever drawn your gun in one of these defensive actions unnecessarily? Where any of those seven incidents close calls about which afterwards it wasn't really clear if you'd needed to get so tough?

    What about negligent discharges, have you had any of those in all these years? Did you ever hurt someone or yourself unintentionally with a gun?

    What about theft? Have any of your guns ever been stolen?

    Of course I would respect your decision to not answer any or all of these questions. I myself do that, but I found your comment above very interesting and wondered if there might be more to it.

  100. mikeb302000 said...

    Of course I would respect your decision to not answer any or all of these questions. I myself do that...

    I've noticed that.
    If you're going to insert yourself into another nation's politics, you should be prepared to answer some questions. You certainly don't see me going around rubbing Brits' faces in the fact that they apparently can't be trusted with glass beer mugs or pointy kitchen knives. But if I did, you bet I'd answer questions.

  101. Interesting comments, anon. Care to elaborate?

  102. I'd LOVE to.

    Alcohol should be served far more often in plastic glasses and bottles to reduce the injury toll from violent attacks, says a researcher.

    Dr Alasdair Forsyth, from the Glasgow Centre for the Study of Violence, told a conference that the use of glass as a weapon could be eliminated.


    UK: Reducing knife crime, We need to ban the sale of long pointed kitchen knives
    British Medical Journal ^ | 05/28/05 | editorial

    Posted on 05/27/2005 7:27:55 AM PDT by Pikamax

    Reducing knife crime We need to ban the sale of long pointed kitchen knives

    "Britain in the grip of knives terror—third of murder victims are now stabbed to death." Daily Express, 31 January 2005 "Stabbing rampage kills one, injures five—a large kitchen knife was found." Independent, 24 December 2004

    Violent crime in the United Kingdom is increasing; figures from London show a 17.9% increase from 2003 to 2004,1 and one easily accessible weapon used in many incidents is the kitchen knife. Unfortunately, no data seem to have been collected to indicate how often kitchen knives are used in stabbings, but our own experience and that of police officers and pathologists we have spoken to indicates that they are used in at least half of all cases. UK government statistics show that 24% of 16 year old boys report carrying knives or other weapons and 19% admitting attacking someone with the intent to harm.2 Although other weapons—such as baseball bats, screwdrivers, and chains—are also carried, by far the most common weapons are knives.3 In the United Kingdom in the first two weeks of 2005 alone, 15 murders were attributed to stabbings and 16 other non-fatal attacks.4

    To tackle this increasing problem, various measures are being considered by the government, particularly targeting the adolescent age group.[red] These include raising the minimum age for purchasing a knife from 16 to 18 years and allowing head teachers the power to search pupils for knives.5 However, not all crimes are committed with newly purchased knives, and every household and home economics department in schools contains a plethora of readily available weapons. The modern stainless steel kitchen knife has a high quality blade that makes it unnecessary to look further for another lethal weapon.


    This is the REAL slippery slope. British society tends to look at drunken idiots who do criminally stupid things as just "lads being lads". Someone who takes a broken piece of glass to another human being's face needs to be locked up for a long time.

    This is why a line must be drawn. It is the individual at fault, not the method by which their crime is committed. In every one of these cases of a girl being blinded or a guy having his face split open with a glass ashtray, everyone wants to DO SOMETHING. How about each of us make sure that our friends and family members are not so messed up as to be so unbelievably violent? How about taking care of people instead of trying to remove everything pointy from our day to day lives? How would you like gardening with plastic bendy spades and hoes because someone somewhere went nuts at a farmer's market?

    It is more difficult to have uncomfortable conversations with the people we love, but it is far more effective than trying to limit their access to "weapons".

  103. And I would suggest that those uncomfortable conversations include the dangers of having loaded guns around in the house and how they can be used against you or someone you love. Also making sure children cannot get to your guns and talk to them about what to do when they are somewhere where there are guns. I would also suggest to you - no more than suggest- remind you that guns are the most deadly of all other kinds of weapons in the WISQARS report. That is why people want some restrictions. Garden hoes and spades may be used occasionally in crimes or to harm or kill someone but are not designed as such. Guns are. There is a difference.

  104. Anonymous

    You make your point well, but I doubt Mr. LaPierre was thinking of this fine point (that somewhere in Cairo outside of Tahrir Square there must've been some guns) when he spoke. I appreciate your thoughtful and civil posts in our "conversation".

  105. No Joan,

    there is no difference. It's the operator. A garden hoe and machete have killed millions in Cambodia and Rwanda. Trying to make a difference will make it so. It is the will of the operator that must be addresses. Also ask any ER doc which they want to see aguy with a GSW or a guy who's been in a knife attack. Ten to one they prefer a nice clean gunshot. Bullet holes are bullet holes. Knife wounds are ripping tearing slicing bits of destruction. The FBI in their training have said knife attacks are three to four times more lethal than gun attacks.

    Gee Mike. Let's see. In two cases it was women being assaulted. Why don't you go ask them if they minded the risk of me perhaps mishandling the gun verses getting raped or murdered.

    Never had a gun stolen, never had an AD or ND except once, at a range, while working to diagnose a malfunctioning firearm. We knew it had issues and we were being very careful with it.

    Do I care if there had been another recourse? No, not really. Because I never harmed anyone. I just more than likely stopped people from hurting me or others. One of the a holes who wished me harm was held until the police did show. They knew him by first name. He was wanted for stabbing three people at a dance club. He was also out on parole for beating up one of the mothers of his chdren, whe she was pregnant with another of his kids. I ALMOST wish I had had a weapons malfunction with him.

    If you carry a gun you must leave your temper at home on the dresser. Trying to be Rambo or Some other fictional character will probably get you killed. You become grey man. You don't want to even be noticed.

  106. I think someone needs to be personally violated before something snaps inside of some of them about their vulnerability. I have close friends whose cars have been broken into, with two of those right outside my house, and those are not "Oh my god! I need to get a gun!" type incidents. "Cold" burglaries are like that also.

    I already described the incident with my ex-wife. I've also had a knife pressed up against my face, very close to my eye, while being robbed by three *******s. I was also attacked by two car loads full of gang trash that went after my friend with a pipe while leaving me alone. They burst his arm with a pipe like a water balloon. I didn't know skin could split like that. He did nothing to deserve that, except maybe be a member of the wrong race. I helped a young woman minutes after she was raped and I've known other women who have put their rapes behind them. Raped women are different from the women I know who have never been violated. I won't get into those details here.

    I think personal violations leave us with a ghost of constant second guessing and wondering. I've always taken care of my eyes with safety glasses around dangerous tools, polycarbonate prescription lenses, regular eye exams, etc. They're important to me because I love photography. That thug could have changed that in a second.

    By all other accounts I have been very lucky. I woke up one day and decided I wasn't going to let luck completely control my life so I started carrying. It's one thing to be killed. You've got nothing to worry about after that, but I would really prefer not the suffer the rest of my life with an injury caused by some piece of **** kid who doesn't care about anything. It really hurts every day to watch someone's life unravel slowly as they progressively become more disabled. It really really hurts.

    To answer some of Mike's questions: No ND's No theft, yet of any gun, but it could happen. Even a safe is no match for a clever burglar with lots of free time. An ND could also happen, but I have to be holding the gun before that can happen, and if I continue to follow the four basic rules, (well, three out of the four anyway during an ND) nobody should be hurt if I ever have my first ND. A high quality holster that covers the trigger of a modern firearm will render it inert.

    I could also get ocular cancer but I prefer to focus on the things that I can control.

  107. Ms. Joan-

    I understand the difference in between guns and garden implements. It's why I carry a gun. I was NOT suggesting that garden implements are actually dangerous, rather suggesting that in the unlikely event they were used in a crime, some well-meaning soul would question whether we really need medieval looking metal tipped blugeoning weapons just laying around where anyone can get at them. I can send you a picture I took on my iPhone of two maintenance guys outside one of the museums in DC chopping down a tree with a shovel. I can only assume that's because axes are too dangerous to leave "laying around".

    I know garden tools aren't designed to be lethal weapons, but neither are kitchen knives or glass beer bottles. What I am specifically addressing is the tendency for people to blame the inanimate object rather than the person behind it. If we ban everything that dysfunctional people use to lash out at the world, we'll all be living in a padded cell.

    I will grant you that guns, like household chemicals, should generally not be left laying around where kids can get to them. I will, however, burden you with another story, and try to be clear about my meaning.

    When I was about eleven or twelve, my family went on a trip through the Blue Ridge mountains and stayed with some distant relatives. They had a stream running through their back yard, no TV and the kids (boys aged about 6, 8, and 10) spent almost all their time romping through pretty much endless wilderness. Much of the time, they had a 22 rifle with them. At some point, describing something from a TV show I mimicked pointing a gun at one of them (I did NOT grow up around firearms), and they were HORRIFIED. The oldest turned to me and said "Why would you do that?" like I had just kicked a puppy. I didn't have a good answer for him.

    Now I know exactly when I would point a gun at someone. The point of the story is not that we should all get rid of our TV and grow up in the mountains of West Virginia. The point is that while there are dangers to firearm ownership and use, those dangers are easily mitigated with training.

    Should that training be mandated? Like I said before- people who have ambitions of total gun prohibition have ruined that for me.

  108. P- you are so off the mark that I just can't believe you were willing to commit these comments in writing where they can be published. To say this: " Ten to one they prefer a nice clean gunshot. Bullet holes are bullet holes. Knife wounds are ripping tearing slicing bits of destruction. The FBI in their training have said knife attacks are three to four times more lethal than gun attacks."- is just ludicrous. First of all, it's not true that knife attacks are more lethal. The CDC WISQARS report does not have knife killings nearly as high as gun deaths. Your facts are just plain wrong. I guess I could ask the ER doctor who lives across the street from me and who is a member of our organization, what he thinks about your statement. As to killings by garden hoes in Cambodia and Rwanda? Wow- it turns out that you are right about that one. I didn't realize the methods used during those genocides. But I do remind you that these were countries at war whose leaders used force and genocide as a way to kill their own citizens. To equate that with what is happening in the U.S. is, again, comparing apples and oranges. I am discussing gun violence in the U.S. I can't do too much, except give money to peace keeping organizations or go as a missionary, to the countries where those awful things are and have happened. But I can try to do something in my own country and I will. Can all those law abiding citizens leave their tempers at home when carrying? They are human beings. Things go wrong. In public, things can and do go wrong and people lose their tempers even if they don't intend to. Losing your temper while carrying a gun may lead to a different scenario than losing your temper without a gun on your person.

  109. Migo- some of you guys have lived dangerous lives. I have no idea if my mind would change if I actually suffered from all the attacks you claim to have suffered from. I don't know- maybe I'm just lucky except for my sister being murdered.

  110. GMC70 says:

    japete wrote: Garden hoes and spades may be used occasionally in crimes or to harm or kill someone but are not designed as such. Guns are. There is a difference.

    While there is difference, there is not nearly so much difference as you suppose. Humans have been killing each other for millinea; it is, unfortunately, the thing as a species we do best. That will never change, this side of heaven, as human nature never changes.

    Any tool may kill; that a gun is designed to drive a lead projectile at high rates of speed and yes, kill, makes it a more efficient weapon, but that's about all.

    Moreover, that it is designed as an efficient weapon is exactly why it should never be restricted to gov't or authorities only. Given that human nature never changes, and that governments, left to their own devices, always trend toward tyrranny, it is exactly the terrible killing power of the firearm that makes it an effective deterrent, whether of gov't misdeads or of criminal action. As has been demonstrated, a firearm is used defensively far more often than it is used for evil in this country. And the greatest murderer of human beings in the 20th century was governments killing their own citizens, nearly always preceeded by disarming the victims.

    No, it is exactly the firearm's lethality that makes it useful. We will not surrender same on the good intentions of such as you. And yes, we will keep those "eeeeeeevil black rifles" as well. Frankly, given the language of the 2nd Am., it is exactly weapons of military pattern, designed to be used in combat, that are MOST protected (though that is something that courts and governments are loathe to say). Gun owners in this nation have no desire to use arms in revolt; on the contrary, it is the last thing we want. That said, the "insurrectionist" view of the 2nd Am you so quickly dismiss as "extremist" and "nutty" is the correct view. From where we sit we find such a thing almost impossible to imagine, and I hope very much that same NEVER becomes necessary; it is indeed a very LAST resort, when no other options are available. However, a study of history reminds us to have no illusions that gov't is naturally benign; it's not, any more than the mugger is. And like the mugger, gov't excursions into tyrranny must be deterred. Civilian possession of the means of resistance, including firearms, and yes, including "assault weapons," must be retained. Our liberties - mine, and yes, yours, and our childrens' - depend on it.

    The Egyptian model you cite in fact proves the point. The military chose not to fire on its own citizens, for doing so opens a Pandora's box that the military apparantly did not want to open, and for good reason. As has been pointed out above, it was not the citizens in the streets, but the men with guns who ultimately proved decisive.

    As is always the case.

    japete, you've become my favorite blog - I can always count on you for good information: not from you, of course; you selectively choose your "facts" to support your agenda, but from your commenters, who generally demonstrate more "common sense" than you do.


  111. GM- gee thanks for the compliment. So you think I NEVER provide facts here? You are wrong if that is the case. I take great pains to provide factual information, providing links and stats. Just because I don't provide the ones you want does not mean I am not factual, by the way. I am not blogging on behalf of the gun lobby. I am blogging on behalf of gun control. But do keep reading and maybe eventually you will like some of my "facts"

  112. Alan-

    Thank you, it is my pleasure.
    I have only read what CBS quoted him as saying, so I don't know what exactly was said, but according to CBS after saying that "the situation in Egypt shows the 2A remains necessary" (their words) he went on to say -

    LaPierre argued that everyone is safer when bad people "can't tell the difference between the lions and the lambs."

    Again, I don't know if that immediately followed or if he had moved on to concealed carry in the US. However, it would fit if he were speaking about the security of Egyptian individuals. NRA rarely involves itself in international politics- they are a one issue organization, as evidenced by the fact that they have endorsed Democrats with pro-gun voting records.

    NRA frequently points to examples where people are left unable to effectively defend themselves, like during Katrina. As an NRA member, I have never heard them say "Government X needs to go, and the people need guns to do it". Like DHS said, I pay the man for results, but I would have to raise an eyebrow at that.

    But maybe I'm getting the wrong newsletter.

  113. japete wrote: "As to killings by garden hoes in Cambodia and Rwanda? Wow- it turns out that you are right about that one. I didn't realize the methods used during those genocides. But I do remind you that these were countries at war whose leaders used force and genocide as a way to kill their own citizens."

    Really? You didn't know that? The level of naivity here is amazing. And your last sentence describes - perfectly - just exactly what the 2nd am. is designed to prevent.

    You note that the U.S. is different, and in some ways that's true. But remember we are only a generation or two apart from Jim Crow. That events of that type could happen here is not as far fetched as you would like to believe. I think it is unlikely, yes, but far from impossible. And if it doesn't happen, it is not because of any superiority of Americans, but because we have a culture which would not accept same, a nation of sovereign citizens, not subjects, who retain the ability to resist. Would citizens win that fight? I don't know, and I very much pray never to find out. But I have no doubt whatsoever that millions of Americans can, and would, make the cost of the kind of tyrrannies mentioned unacceptably high to a regime.

    And that's the point.

    - GMC70

  114. Ms Joan-

    I think P is saying that knives are capable of causing more damage than bullets and are more difficult wounds to repair, not that there are statistically more stabbing deaths.

    I'm curious about this statement-

    japete said...

    Migo- some of you guys have lived dangerous lives. I have no idea if my mind would change if I actually suffered from all the attacks you claim to have suffered from. I don't know- maybe I'm just lucky except for my sister being murdered.

    I can tell you that I am LUCKY. I can't say that I have any relatives who have been victims of violent crime.

    I can also tell you that if I had the tragic misfortune of having my sister murdered, I wouldn't use the fact while trying to insinuate that posters here have lead unusually violent or eventful lives.

  115. "First of all, it's not true that knife attacks are more lethal. "

    With all due respect, you are misunderstanding the point. The poster did not say that knives kill more people than guns, he said knife attacks were more lethal than guns. As in, if you are attacked by someone with a knife you are more likely to die than if you are shot. That cannot be proven or disproven by CDC data.

  116. Losing a sister is not lucky Joan. It's just a different kind of pain.

    Can all those law abiding citizens leave their tempers at home when carrying? They are human beings. Things go wrong...

    I'm going to tell you a funny story that my girlfriend would be upset about if she found out, but it's OK I think, because I'm anonymous here.

    One day after returning home from an unpleasant walk, my girlfriend was angry with me for something trivial and she just kept at me with her anger until I finally yelled at her and said, "Enough! I can't keep listening to this anymore!" So she got in my face and started sharing her point of view again. I ran away from her down the stairs, into the basement, and into a room while closing a door behind me. She chased me, started pounding at that door, and actually put her foot right through it. Anyway, there I was sitting in the room watching her try to break the door down and waiting for her to calm down, which she did in time.

    It occurred to me while I was waiting in that room that I also had a 9mm pistol concealed and secured in a holster inside my belt. I had it with me during that whole experience, but I didn't really think about it, choosing instead to run, because there's no connection in my brain between "gun" and "loved one". At that moment while she was trying to break down the door, it was just a useless piece of metal. I know she's the same way also. She grew up her whole life with unlocked guns in her TV room. Even when she's angry, they're just useless pieces of metal to her also.

    Something much deeper has to kick in before the gun leaves its holster. For me, anger won't do it. Fear, at least the kind I've felt so far, won't do it. I don't know what it is, because I've luckily never been at that point yet.

    But I have learned that instead of running away from her, I can just say I'm sorry even if I don't think I did anything wrong and then give her a big hug. That's so much easier than fixing the door.

  117. http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/glance/tables/viortrdtab.cfm

    Violent crime in the US has been described as being "in startling freefall", while violent crime in other "more civilized" countries is on the rise.

    Total violent crime peaked in 1981 at 52.3 per 1000.
    In 2009, total violent crime was 16.9 per 1000, and has gone down every year since 1994.

    That's 67.6 percent less than two decades ago. Clearly, something is going right.

  118. You know, GMC- I don't appreciate being called naive by your crowd. There are things you know that I don't and things I know that you don't. That doesn't make either of us naive. It just means that we may be interested in different things. I am guessing that a lot of people don't know about the killings by garden hoes. They know about the genocides but may not know the exact methods used. So can you just back off of the snide and uncomplimentary comments? It really annoys me.

  119. " I wouldn't use the fact while trying to insinuate that posters here have lead unusually violent or eventful lives. " What's that supposed to mean, anon? I just love how you guys accuse me of using the death of my sister. Why do you think I'm into this in the first place? And I do think that P was trying to say that knives accounted for more deaths than guns when he quoted a police officer who he claims said that." Knife wounds are ripping tearing slicing bits of destruction. The FBI in their training have said knife attacks are three to four times more lethal than gun attacks. " Lethal means more dead.

  120. Heather- see my comments above.I don't believe for a minute that if you are attacked by a knife you are more likely to die than by a gun. Why, then, are gun deaths the highest cause of death to injuries? Cutting doesn't even come close. You can't just defend this statement without checking it out. See here WISQARS as to homicides in just one age category: http://webappa.cdc.gov/cgi-bin/broker.exe?_service=v8prod&_server=app-v-ehip-wisq.cdc.gov&_port=5082&_sessionid=2MZ5kPe0M52&_program=wisqars.details10.sas&_service=&type=H&prtfmt=STANDARD&age1=10&age2=14&agegp=10-14&deaths=213&_debug=0&lcdfmt=lcd1age&ethnicty=0&ranking=10&deathtle=Death

    Firearms= 72% of homicides, knives= 10%

  121. Yes- perhaps the Brady Law which has prevented the legal sale of guns to almost 1 million people since 1995 to prohibited people. There are some pretty interesting stats here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_in_the_United_States

    This one, for example: "Recently, however, the homicide rate has stagnated.[7] While the homicide rate decreased continuously between 1991 and 2000 from 9.8 homicides per 100,000 persons to 5.5 per 100,000, it has remained level through 2005.
    Despite the recent stagnation of the homicide rate, however, property and violent crimes overall have continued to decrease, though at a considerably slower pace than in the 1990s.[7] Overall, the crime rate in the U.S. was the same in 2004 as in 1969, with the homicide rate being roughly the same as in 1966. Violent crime overall, however, is still at the same level as in 1974, despite having decreased steadily since 1991.[6]"

  122. "What's that supposed to mean, anon? I just love how you guys accuse me of using the death of my sister. Why do you think I'm into this in the first place?"

    Oh, God no. I didn't mean you were taking advantage of her death. I just don't understand the statement. In the context of a discussion about exposure to violence, it's like saying "I had a great day, aside from being hit by a bus".

  123. Yes, but crime started dropping in 1994. Brady kept gleefully pointing at the AWB, but when it expired it just kept dropping like crazy.

    I'm going to say something that some of my fellow gun nuts won't like, but me personally, I think it's the availability of abortion. Having worked with kids who are abused and neglected, I know how many of them turn out. It doesn't make it right, ideal, or even good, but someone has to raise kids or else they turn into little societal cancer cells.

  124. Thanks for the clarification. I can see your point now.

  125. I'm pretty sure that P meant knife wounds are generally more damaging than gunshot wounds. Lethal means deadly, knife wounds are more deadly than gunshot wounds, though they may be less frequent.

    Most gunshot wounds just cut a small hole, some types of bullets have a hydrostatic effect, a shockwave through fluid that damages organs. However most bullets, especially those that penetrate through heavy clothing or armor, just cut a small but deep hole. If these holes do not go through any organs or major blood vessels, they can often just be bandaged and allowed to heal, there isn't that much blood loss. Of course if a bullet strikes an organ or blood vessel, it must be surgically repaired and blood loss may be much higher, but generally the damage is not too great.

    A knife wound on the other hand, tends to always sever a number of blood vessels and results in significant blood loss. Stabbing victims often suffer multiple stab wounds, many more than gunshot victims. This results in a lot of blood loss, and often massive damage to any organs that are struck. A slicing wound will not have the deep penetration of a stab wound, but covers a large area and can sever a very large number of blood vessels. Knives are also silent, there is no gunshot to alert anybody to the event, and they can be bought at almost any store and found in almost any home.

    Personally, I'd rather be getting shot at than stabbed at, at least an attacker with a gun will likely be keeping their distance, where an attacker with a knife will be trying to get right on top of me in order to use the knife.

    Of course, I'd really rather than neither ever happen, but while I may be fortunate and never ever face it, I know a lot of other people have already not been so fortunate.


  126. "Heather- see my comments above.I don't believe for a minute that if you are attacked by a knife you are more likely to die than by a gun. Why, then, are gun deaths the highest cause of death to injuries?"

    Probably because guns are more frequently used than knives. A weapon being used more frequently doesn't mean that it is more or less likely to result in death.

    Again, the CDC data will not prove or disprove this. What you would have to do is find the percentage of deaths from firearms vs injuries from firearms and compare it to the percentage of deaths by knives vs injuries by knives.

  127. So let me get this clear-- you comment above:

    >>> I give you the argument of the guys with the "man pants" on ladies and gentlemen-" We're saying that we'd rather have more gun deaths and lower overall violent crime, than zero gun deaths and higher rates of violent crime if given the choice" And there you have it. Nothing more to say here except "Wow" and "unbelievable" <<<<

    You find this unbelievable. Let me rephrase it, using some illustrative numbers.

    Which would you prefer:

    A. 40,000 violent deaths per year of which 0 are gunshot deaths: total 40,000 deaths

    B. 10,000 violent deaths per year of which 10,000 are gunshot deaths plus an additional 1000 accidental gunshot deaths: total 11,000 deaths

    What we're saying is that option B, which entails less overall violence and fewer overall deaths, is preferable. What we infer from your above comment is that you prefer option A.

  128. As a former combat medic, I can say that DHS' remarks are pretty much right on the money. Knives are drastically underestimated by most people.

    From a medical standpoint, a good chef's knife can create a much wider permanent wound channel than a bullet, even considering an expanded defensive load. This means more chance to hit something vital.

    From a tactical standpoint, a knife-wielding attacker needs to be right on top of you, which means if you're stabbed once, you can be stabbed and sliced over and over again.

    And from the psychological standpoint, knives are ugly, ugly weapons. I have heard people who know (Marc MacYoung comes to mind) say that being in a knife fight is the most horrifyingly intimate and most permanently damaging kind of violence you can engage in. The kind of person who has no qualms about plunging a knife into another human being over and over again...let's just say they're probably the aggressor, and probably out of habit.

  129. Heather- I am comparing apples to apples- in other words- deaths to deaths. I suppose we could also look up injuries. Maybe you want to do that yourself since you are interested in it.

  130. Rob- ludicrous remarks that don't deserve a comment.

  131. "Heather- I am comparing apples to apples- in other words- deaths to deaths. I suppose we could also look up injuries. Maybe you want to do that yourself since you are interested in it. "

    Actually, I'm not all that interested in it. I simply saw that you were misunderstanding a poster and attempted to clarify (and I'm still not sure you understand the original point!). After all, it's difficult to have discussions when one side says "ABC" and the other side hears "XYZ." And this is true of both sides and any sort of communication in general.

  132. I think other commenters have tried to clarify what was meant. It was confusing and if he meant it the way it was written, then confusion was caused. I did explain that above.

  133. The phrase is quite clear.

    Knife attacks have a higher percentage of fatalities than do GSW's. That is for all the reasons added above, a knife attack is more lethal than a firearm attack. I will try to winnow out the data from the FBI or the police national reports at the DOJ.

    It's a simple phrase, it is not constructed in any manner to cause confusion.

    It seems everyone else here wants to Stop Criminal Violence. We wish to stop gun related violence, knife related violence, arson, you name it, we want it gone.

    Japete. Please understand in the history of genocide there have been many methods which despots have used to kill millions. Sometimes it can just be using food as a weapon. That after all was the weapon of food used in Somilia, north Korea, China and many other countries.

    In both Cambodia and rwanda the governments were so poor that they did not have enough ammunition to kill all the people who were targeted. Going back to Rome salting the fields of Carthage, depriving a nation of food has been a form of genocide.

    Please view the movies "the Killing Fields" and "hotel Rwanda" for more insight. Seeing as both were Academy Award winners or Nominees, it would be hard for us to be blamed for slanting the editorial content of the movies.

    Also both were widely reported on mainstream media at the time they were taking place so I figured you had heard it in MPR as I did.

    The Russian army killed some 21,000 polish officers using piano wire and small pistols at the onset of WW2. google Kaytn Forest

  134. Since you asked, I'll give an honest answer:

    Here's a question for you guys?

    What did you do before you had your permits to carry in all of the places you now want to carry?
    I don't carry a firearm in gun free zones which are mandated by law. I do however carry the most effective defensive tool I am allowed to. For example, we have cans of bear mace handy when traveling (reasonable up here against animals--we actually had a "rogue moose" alert on the traffic report the other night), which I imagine would be fairly effective against people if it came to that. I also bring an alert and aware mindset. The appearance of being a "hard target" may be enough to cause a potential criminal casing targets to go somewhere else.

    Were people at more risk? Were you all less safe?

    I believe the answer is "yes." There is no evidence to support the thesis "more guns, more crime." The best research available -- vetted by the National Academy of Sciences -- says either "More shall-issue CCW, less crime" or "More shall-issue CCW, no effect on crime."

    Personally, I don't see how disarming me makes me -- or anyone else -- safer. Criminals are going to ignore the magic "gun free zone" signs or permit requirements, anyways. Heck, we have strict licensing/registration laws for cars and drivers, and it is much easier to spot an expired license plate or check for a revoked driver's license than it is to spot an illegally concealed firearm, and yet people drive without these req'ts every day, so I have no idea how you'd enforce such laws. This really goes back to Joe Huffman's "just one question" which your side has yet to answer:
    Can you demonstrate one time or place, throughout all history, where the average person was made safer by restricting access to handheld weapons?

  135. Why do you insist, P, that I am denying that people have been killed by other methods. I don't see what that has to do with anything. In this country, it happens that firearms account for more deaths than any other type of "weapon" or "tool". I am not going to continue this stupid discussion about knives. I have provided the facts from the CDC and you continue to misinterpret my facts. " Knife attacks have a higher percentage of fatalities than do GSW's. That is for all the reasons added above, a knife attack is more lethal than a firearm attack." So if what you mean is that when someone is attacked by someone with a knife, they are more likely to die than when they are shot by a gun, maybe. I still have not seen facts to show that one. But the simple matter is that guns are more lethal in that they cause more deaths than knives. Time to move on. We've been over this ad nauseum. You guys are like bull dogs. You can't stop.

  136. Anonymous said, "If you're going to insert yourself into another nation's politics, you should be prepared to answer some questions."

    You go on to infer that I live in the U.K.

    You don't know anything about me, and besides who says a U.K. resident couldn't "insert" himself into the gun debate in the U.S., which so often compares itself to England? Who says that?

    About the lethality of guns vs. knives, I don't believe for a second that knives are more lethal or that they do more damage. Don't you guys have any common sense at all? Are you only interested in supporting your argument no matter what?

  137. I love how every one point to Egypt. Folks, face the facts. The Army was in charge under Mubarak, and now they are in charge without him. They have suspended the constitution and say they will alow a vote, it has not happend yet. I think you are counting your chickens too soon. There is a very good chance Egypt was just another Army take over and the masses were fooled into going along with it. Lets see where this goes. Not like they can fight back tehy have no guns anyway so they will take what the army gives them and be happy.

    As for what good are shotguns against tanks, look at Vietnam, Iraq and Afganastan, you see time and agian that determined bands of fighters who have inferior weapons still win against the big armys, US or USSR. . . that is why we have the Second Amendment.

    And I back the comment that the trust is gone. The anti gun folks want it all, they won't stop at "sensable" gun laws. Here in MA with our "sensable" gun laws violet crime keeps going up. This is not a safe place any more due to the liberals running the place.

  138. Yes anon. We liberals are coming for your guns. Just give us enough time. It's happening all over the country. I think you should stage a protest. You might have to actually prove that guns are being confiscated though. That could be tough.

  139. They're not confiscating guns, that wouldn't happen in this political climate, they're just trying to make ownership a legal mine field for honest people. They want guns expensive and the laws convoluted and difficult to follow.

  140. "Time will tell whether things remain peaceful in Egypt and let's all hope they do. "

    CBS News correspondent Lara Logan sure found them peaceful. Greg Palkot, Olaf Wiig of Fox were peacefully beaten right to the hospital.

  141. "Here's a question for you guys? What did you do before you had your permits to carry in all of the places you now want to carry? Were people at more risk? Were you all less safe? "

    Here I opened carried. Back in California I carried a knife.

    The sight of blood makes me feel queasy. The thought of using a knife or gun on a human being, even an evil one, makes me feel sick and weak in the knees. Try a thought experiment if you will, imagine yourself shooting or stabbing a person in self defense as best as you can. Makes me want to vomit and curl up into a ball. And you?

    I've long studied violence and how to prevent it and how to respond to it. I vastly prefer carrying the gun as it is much less likely to result in the death of the bad guy, and the nature of the wound will hopefully lessen the life long psychological trauma for myself. I feel much safer with the gun as it will likely permit me a greater distance from the bad guy so I will be less likely to get shot or cut myself.

    I loathe violence, especially above all else offensive violence. Take away my guns and I will carry a knife. Take away my knife and I will carry my hands and my elbows and my knees and my feet. Why? I love life more than I hate violence.

  142. The reason I keep going back to it is simple.

    You out right denied that a knife was more lethal. Using the proper dictionary definition of the term.

    You called me a liar in print for bringing Rwandan and Cambodian history into the discussion.

    You called me a lunatic in print for saying a car was more likely to kill me than a gun. And that Statistically I was far more afraid of a 17 year old girl driving and texting than I was of a gangland hoodlum with a gun.

    To SOLVE the issue of Criminal Violence, root causes must be dealt with. The root cause never involves the gun. The root cause is poverty, drug business, mental illness, and other factors. It involves discovering ways to rehab convicts out in to society where they can get a job that keeps them off the streets it involves interrupting the circular path that many kids find themselves born into.

    I never blame the hammer if I hit my thumb. I never blame the stove if I burn my finger. I never blame a gun for someone using it in a criminal act.

    It's all sound logic. I don't understand why you have the mindset you do, to me it is completely counter intuitive.

  143. Really P? " You called me a liar in print for bringing Rwandan and Cambodian history into the discussion" I actually admitted that you were right about your stats and the articles you sent me. I said that what happened in Rwanda and Cambodia didn't have to do with our discussion. Did I tell you you had lied? My words- " As to killings by garden hoes in Cambodia and Rwanda? Wow- it turns out that you are right about that one. I didn't realize the methods used during those genocides. But I do remind you that these were countries at war whose leaders used force and genocide as a way to kill their own citizens. To equate that with what is happening in the U.S. is, again, comparing apples and oranges." And then this- " You out right denied that a knife was more lethal" I provided you with the facts showing that you were wrong. As to this one- " You called me a lunatic in print for saying a car was more likely to kill me than a gun"-No, I did not call you a lunatic. Are you into making things up now? I also found that you said: "
    I see your attitude as Unpatriotic" about me.

  144. We have deer in our front yard most days. Habitat erosion. I used to joke that if it was only venison I was after, I could walk out front with a handful of cracked corn. Elk and Moose are more to my sense of sport. I'd hunt bear that way, but they prefer being hunted over bait. Specifically the dumpsters outside various Eastern Idaho, and Montana restaurants. If the same bear returns for a third time after being transported away, he's fair game. I'm not a hunter of bear. I'm an executioner. I can live with it though. The bear was given -at least- three chances. I bet if humans were given that kind of three strikes chance, they'd come out dumber than the bear.

  145. Joan.

    Yes I did say that and I stand by it.

    Your views of the Constitution is contrary to mine. Many, many posters have tried to show why the Second was important and you call their responses rubbish, naive and repulsive.

    Denigrating the Comstitution is not something I abide with.

    See it how you may, but I see that as Unpatriotic

  146. P- I am wondering why you said that I called people naive. It was you guys who called me naive. I don't recall using that word to describe any of you guys. I have also not said rubbish or repulsive. Where are you getting these things? You said on a comment yesterday that I had used names I had not.

  147. "You go on to infer that I live in the U.K. "

    "You don't know anything about me, and besides who says a U.K. resident couldn't "insert" himself into the gun debate in the U.S., which so often compares itself to England? Who says that?"

    My mistake, Mike. I assumed from your hotmail account. My point was not that you should mind your own business, but that you should answer a question or two if you're going to tell people in another country how to conduct business
    And I maintain that.