Thursday, January 10, 2013

This is not my editorial, but it's certainly worthy of being "re-blogged" and discussed.


Fox Gets It Right (!) On Guns
Fox News argues....
In the wake of tragedies we tend to react out of emotion. When dealing with policy-making, however, we all benefit if logic enters the discussion. It is difficult to imagine a more heart-wrenching event than the Newtown, Conn. shootings. The inevitable calls for more gun control legislation reflect an understandable desire to do something after 26 defenseless and innocent people are slaughtered.
The more important question, however, is what can we do that will make a difference? That, I suggest, is the best way to honor those who lost their lives. Making us feel better should not be the measure. We should try to make a difference.
And to do so we need to look at what happened objectively, which is very difficult to do in the "heat of the moment."
So let's agree on a couple of things -- first, those who argue in the heat of the moment are not arguing for safety.  They're trying to play on the "feel better" side of the ledger, and we must reject that.  Second, we must demand and discover their true motive, which is not making a difference -- at least not when it comes to the issue at hand.
We also must look at the facts, no matter where they lead us.  Like, for instance, the fact that alcohol kills roughly as many people as do guns (most of the deaths are self-inflicted or accidents, as is true with guns) and indeed alcohol causes well over a thousand homicides a year which is remarkable considering how horrifying people consider guns to be and the fact that a bottle of booze has zero defensive value.
Now for those inconvenient facts that nobody wants to discuss.....
First, the current furor over "assault rifles" is a false, media generated hype campaign that lawmakers have seized upon -- and they know they're lying as well.
First, there are no legal "assault rifles" manufactured since 1986 in civilian hands.  That's because an "assault rifle" is a select-fire weapon -- that is, it is capable of firing more than one cartridge with each depression of the trigger.  The common name for such a weapon when that mode of operation is selected is machine gun.  No select-fire weapon made since 1986 can be lawfully transferred to a civilian, and ones made prior can only be transferred when registered with the BATFE (and with payment of a $200 tax.)
Oh, and unless I missed a news story in my sweep one legitimately civilian-owned select-fire weapon (that is, an actual assault rifle) has been used in a crime in the last 20 or so years -- and the person who did so was a police officer.  (There have been plenty of very-illegal select-fire weapons used in crimes, but I'll get to that in a bit.)
What the media and Feinslime want to call an "assault rifle" is in fact an automatic-loading rifle similar in design and operation to hunting and sporting rifles used for target practice, varmint control, plinking and competitive shooting.  In fact, that's exactly what such a rifle is almost-always used for.  The only distinction between an "evil assault rifle" and a rifle that lawmakers "accept" as being intended to shoot varmints on a farmer's land is the color of the weapon and its decorations, along with things such as a handguard (which helps prevent you from burning your hand by touching the barrel after the gun has been fired) and a "flash-hider" (which serves to direct wherethe flash goes, but does not prevent it from being seen -- in short, it keeps it out of your eyesight and is useful for shooting said varmints in low light conditions, or in some cases is fashioned to help control the muzzle by directing the blast in a fashion that counter-acts the natural motion of the barrel as the weapon is fired.)
The other interesting statistic is that only about 1 in 500 guns used in a crime are "assault weapons" as these people would define them according to some statistics, and less than 2% of people in prison for a firearms violation (including simple possession by a felon or other crimes where no violence took place) involve such a weapon -- yet there are some 3.5 million of them, according to various surveys, in civilian hands. Indeed these weapons are extremely popular among law-abiding Americans; the much-maligned "adjustable stock", for example, allows the same gun to be comfortably fired by a 6'4" man and his 5'8" wife at the range -- a perfectly-lawful and reasonable consideration.  The removable "flash-hider" is popular as it can be replaced if it is damaged in the field (while hunting varmints) at low cost and protects the crown of the barrel rather than forcing a barrel replacement or if you wish to change it out for one that better-controls muzzle flip (the tendency of the barrel to rise when the weapon is fired) at the range.
Why do they appear to be used by whack jobs like the Sandy Hook shooter?  Probably because they look scary. After all, these are whack-jobs we're talking about; they are unlikely to pick the most-lethal weapon as they probably haven't studied weapons well-enough to do that (and that's a good thing as it keeps them from choosing bombs and similar items that would do even more damage) but a scary-looking gun, oh boy, that's just the ticket in a mentally-disturbed person's mind.
Are you really going to suggest that if a particular scary-looking gun wasn't available for some reason that this would actually deter said whack-job from committing his horrific act?
And besides, are you really going to argue that we should ban something because of how it looks?  If that's the case then Dianne Feinstein is certainly on top of the list of things to ban!
 by genesis
Speaking of that fine gentleman with which Feinstein shares a particular love of firearms registration (and confiscation), I'd like to draw the reader's attention to this chart up on JPFO's web site.  It lists nine acts of genocide in the 20th century alone, each of which was preceded by gun permitting, restrictions, registration in and many cases confiscations and/or outright prohibitions.
Not one of these incidents occurred without first disarming the people to be exterminated.
You may have heard about some of these people; certainly everyone knows about the Jews in Nazi Germany.  But it was not just Jews -- anyone critical of the regime, Gypsies, political opponents and even just people who they thought would make "good examples" were shoved in the hole, some 20 million in all.  The law requiring registration began in 1928; 10 years later Hitler used it to begin murdering millions.
I'm sure some will argue that this is a "bygone era" since WWII.  Well then I'm sure you can explain away Rwanada in 1994, which came about 15 years after a 1979 law requiring gun registration, justification of need and restriction on ammunition - - along with confiscation powers.
Fifteen years later fully 20% of the population, some 800,000 people, were slaughtered in 100 days.
Oh, and the left's beloved President Clinton did exactly nothing about it.  I guess he was too busy getting blowjobs in the Oval Office to worry about 800,000 black people being slaughtered like rats.
In Guatemala it was Mayans, other Indians and political enemies.  In Uganda, Christians.  In Cambodia it was anyone that the government didn't like (about 2 million people fell into that category) and China had two bouts of this in the 20th Century, totaling somewhere around 40 million citizens, all murdered in cold blood.
All told the count is somewhere north of 170 million citizens that have been executed not by combat in war or as "collateral damage" (accidental injury) but rather simply because once the government obtained an absolute monopoly on force it was able to slaughter people with impunity, and did.
170 million people is an extraordinary number.  Since we're only 330 million out of a world population of something like 7 billion, it is not fair to charge all of them against us when making comparisons.  We're about 5% of the world population, basically, so you could "charge" 8.5 million of those deaths (5%) to us in comparison.
How's that work out?
Well, we have 11,000 firearms homicides, more or less, annually.
Objectively looking at this issue it would take 772 years for civilians to murder 8.5 million people, most of them one at a time, but the comparison table only runs in the last century. 
It is therefore nearly eight times more likely that you will be slaughtered by your government wholesale if you give up your guns than the risk you run of being murdered by a bad guy if you don't and this assumes that all of the 11,000 gun murders do not happen if we ban all or some firearms.
But many if not most -- or possibly even all of those killings will still happen, and we all know it.
How do we know it?
Because they have and do occur in the past and present.
The worst mass-murder in a school in US history took place in Bath Township, Michigan.  The assailant used explosives to blow the place up.  Tim McVeigh used home-made explosives to blow up a federal building in Oklahoma City.  A bunch of Islamic nutjobs used aircraft as bombs to kill over 3,000 Americans on 9/11.  A handful of Islamic nutjobs tried (and mostly failed) to blow up the WTC several years earlier -- with a truck bomb, not a gun.  A deranged individual used a can of gasoline to burn up a nightclub and murder 80 people.  Just the other day a nutjob murdered a man because she thought he was Muslim -- she used her hands to push him in front of a subway train.  In China, which disarmed its citizens and then suffered not one but two acts of genocide in the last 100 years, knife attacks have become commonplace with horrific results.
Mentally-deranged individuals use all sorts of implements of destruction.  Guns are tools, and like gasoline, airplanes, explosives (both commercially available and home-made), automobiles, trucks, knives, crowbars, chainsaws, baseball bats and other items they can be used for good or evil.  A mentally-deranged person is not particularly concerned with what implement he or she employs to commit their dastardly deed.
Now let's separate the gun murders out a bit, and I'll refer to "the bible" on this -- the FBI's statistics.
I'm going to first go after the single largest group of people who both shoot and die, because if we're serious about addressing gun violence instead of playing politics (or setting up your own personal genocide a few years hence) you have to start where most of the violence is centered.
And the fact is that it is gang-bangers, mostly black gang-bangers, shooting one another.  These are all our (collectively) our fault (I'll get to that later), and account for abouthalf of all gun murders.
Here's an ugly fact -- black people were charged with 49.7% of the murders in 2011 but are only about 13% of the population.   What's worse is the distribution of victims by age.

In short if you're black, male and make it to 25 your risk of being gang-banged (that is, dead by gunshot) drops by about half.  But here's the key -- it's still four times that of a white person and was nearly 10 times greater before your 25th birthday!  It's not much better if you're black and female -- your risk is four to five times greater than if you're white.
So if you want to talk about people being shot to death, it's black people, especially young black people, who are both doing the shooting and being shot.
But that's not the "pretty white face of a child" we saw in Newtown, is it?
It is, however, one Newtown worth of dead black youth approximately every day.
Where's the outrage?  Why is this not a Newtown-style scandal and media event every single day?
That outrage and attention is in the exact same place it was in 1994 with Rwanda -- all missing.
You know why?
Because both the victims and the killers are black, that's why.
You want to argue otherwise?  Then go ahead and explain it.  Close to a Newtown's worth of youth murdered every day.  That's a fact folks, and there's a huge concentration of those shooters and victims in one small subgroup of our nation's population -- the 16-24 year old black youth.
And while you're at it, pay close attention to what happened during Rwanda (that would be "nothing") and what the United States did in response.  Who also remembers Madame Albright and the "little dustup" she subsequently got us involved in over in Bosnia, Kosovo and Croatia?
What was the difference?
Gee, not the color of the skin of the participants and how that sells to both the government and the people, eh? 
Let's cut the crap -- about half of the murders in this country are committed by and against one tiny subset of our population.  That subset of our population has a risk of homicide ten times that of the same age group outside of that ethnicity.  Simply put young black men are killing one another at an outrageously high rate, this is roughly half of our homicides all-in, it amounts to roughly a Newtown every single day and nobody gives a damn.
What could we realistically do to address this problem?  That's not hard to figure out either.
If we were serious about this issue we'd legalize all drugs tomorrow, selling them in pharmacies to anyone with ID for 21.  And yeah, I said all drugs.  It would put the gang-bangers out of business in an afternoon and a huge percentage of those homicides would disappear overnight.  We'd also stop incarcerating half of the people we currently hold in federal prisons (who are there on drug charges) and about 1/3rd of those in state prisons (ditto.)  Those people, having no felony record any longer, would have better economic opportunity, which would do even more toward making it possible for them to choose a productive life instead of a criminal one.
The fact is that nobody is interested in putting a stop to all the black youth being killed in this country.  Nobody is proposing that which we know would stop it, just as it did when we repealed Prohibition.
If we were really going to have a logical examination of the problem of gun homicide and violence in this country, this is what we'd do.
But we're not going to do that, are we?
No, we're not.  At least not thus far.
Instead we have official racism throughout our government, media and nation as a whole.
Yes, even Barack Obama practices it personally by refusing to deal with the real issue, instead stomping his feet like a petulant child with his minions in Feinstein and now Blumenthal.
Now let's look at history.
You want to know where gun laws came from and why they were first enacted?  The same place marriage laws came from: To keep "those people" from having firearms.
This is not conjecture; it dates to 1751!  There was actually law in Louisiana requiring colonists to stop any black and "if necessary, beat any black carrying any potential weapon, such as a cane." 
Free blacks in slave states were required to obtain a license and show need to have a firearm.  Whites of course, did not have any such restriction.
So official racism is dead in the United States eh?
Bull.  We may be better at hiding it but we're still practicing it to this day and it originates in our government and mainstream media, exactly as it did in the 1700s and 1800s.
So having settled that our government doesn't want to talk about where the real problem lies, nor to fix it, because the folks who are both doing the shooting and dying have the wrong color skin, we'll turn next to that tiny subset of those who commit such crimes that our screech-owls are desperately trying to focus our attention on -- mentally-deranged individuals.
What can we actually do about this subset of the problem?
Can we ban guns?  No.
How do I know this?  Because we can't successfully ban drugs despite a near-100 year attempt, and yet if you get caught with drugs, whether possessing or selling them, you may go to prison but it is generally not a life sentence.  The same would be true for a "bare" firearms offense.
The problem is that once someone decides to commit murder all of the other crimes are free.  You see, it's only possible to imprison someone for life -- or hang them -- once.  Therefore once the decision is made to commit homicide no other law is of any effect whatsoever upon that person's conduct.
This is a matter of basic logic and is irrefutable; anyone claiming otherwise is mentally deranged themselves -- or lying.
Let us remember that the shooter at Sandy Hook apparently murdered his mother to obtain the weapons he used in the assault.
Once he had made the decision to murder the children at the school there was no barrier to any other crime he would then have to commit in order to carry out his original intent, up to and including killing his mom to obtain the weapons he used.
There is no "gun law" that will prevent what Adam did.  Not only are there over 100 million guns in America but our borders are swiss cheese, as we've seen with 20 million illegal immigrants that we refuse to force to leave this country.  Hell, some states even issue them driver licenses and all look the other way when they take jobs that citizens could be performing.  Literal tons of cocaine, meth, heroin and marijuana come into this country every year over those very same borders.  Guns are trivially easy to move across our borders as well; they don't smell like dope does, among other things.
To those who propose that an "assault weapons ban" will help: Have you forgotten Columbine?  It happened during the previous assault weapons ban!  That assault occurred when high-capacity magazines were banned and Harris carried 13 10 round magazines for his pistol, 10 of which he consumed.  So much for 10-round magazine limits "slowing people down" and "preventing mass-murder."
It did neither.
The pair also sawed off two shotguns (instantly making them federal felons; note that they didn't care as they intended to commit murder) and constructed nearly 100 improvised explosive devices (also making them instant federal felons for that too) -- fortunately, the two largest ones made with propane tanks didn't explode.
Once Harris and Klebold decided to murder people in the school all the other felonies, well over a hundred of them that they committed first, were "free."  There was no law that inhibited their actions nor could there be -- not the acquisition of the firearms, their felonious modification, the felonious construction of explosives and the placing of said explosives.  All those crimes were free because once they decided to commit murder no other sanction could be applied to them for the other offenses.
So we can't stop nuts with gun restrictions; we can neither get rid of the guns successfully nor will limiting certain guns stop the nuts or even slow them down -- they'll just choose different guns.  A shotgun is a basic weapon; Harris and Klebold procured two of them (illegally) and then sawed them off (illegally.)  Just as with Adam Lanza they didn't give a damn what the law was or what it restricted, as they already had decided to break the most-serious law we have (murder) and as such all other violations of the law were "free."
Now let's talk about the shooters themselves.  Virtually all of these deranged individuals are on psychotropic drugs of some sort.  And we know full-well that these drugs can cause homicidal rage along with suicide; it's documented as a "black label" warning. 
Indeed this warning singles out teens and young adults under 25 as being at particular risk!
Yet we continue to give these drugs to teenagers and young adults, who are the group that continually are overrepresented in these homicidal rages.
Yes, I understand that the reported incidence of such "bad reactions" is under 1%.  But let's face reality; if there are 1 million young people prescribed these drugs then that's 10,000 potential homicidal or suicidal maniacs we create with these drugs.
Of course the NIH and other agencies all maintain we're "appropriately" using these drugs.  The problem is that they can be statistically correct (that is, 99% of the people prescribed them are helped rather than harmed) and at the same time be responsible for the creation of the monsters that go insane and shoot up movie theaters, US Representatives and schools.
The question then legitimately becomes this: Is the creation of thousands of potential homicidal maniacs an acceptable price for our society to pay so we can medicate our youth with these drugs?  Are we willing, as a society, to accept the price that the medical and pharmaceutical profession imposes along with the claimed benefits
That's a policy question for our society to examine in depth and a debate we must have as a society.  We must confront this head-on and bring into the forefront the facts.
And the facts are that virtually all of these "active shooter" incidents involve someone who is on, or has recently been on, psychotropic medication.
Again, that 99% of the people who are prescribed these drugs are helped doesn't change the fact that according to the prescribing information some percentage -- even if a very small percentage -- of the people who take it, especially among teens and young adults, become psychotic to a degree where extreme violence or suicide are recognized risks.
It's either worth it or not, and if we're going to hand these drugs out to this segment of the population which the drug-makers themselves have documented as being "at risk" for extreme negative side effects we must accept that price, or we must stop prescribing these drugs to the segment of the population that is "at risk" for turning into homicidal maniacs when using said drugs.  Period.
If you want to actually make a difference when it comes to mass-shooting incidents you start here because it is a statistical fact that virtually all said mass-shooters are either using or were recently using these drugs.
Finally, we must talk about deterrence.  And this too comes from our knowledge and history of "mass-shooting" incidents.  In virtually every case these people are documented cowards -- when faced with resistance they either give up (e.g. in Aurora) or kill themselves.
The sooner someone can offer effective resistance the fewer people will die. 
We saw this in Oregon where, despite having a full magazine once the shooter saw a man with a concealed weapon draw he killed himself instead of continuing his rampage.  Time and time again as soon as these shooters hear the police sirens they blown their own brains out or give up.
The people who do this, by the manifest weight of the evidence, are fundamentally cowards; they're not looking for a fight, they're looking for a shooting gallery with unarmed targets.
That means we must stop advertising "free-fire kill people zones", which is what the insanity of passing laws and posting signs for "Gun Free" zones actually represent.
With exactly one exception (Giffords) all of the contemporary "mass active shooter" incidents have taken place in allegedly "Gun Free" zones because they are looking to minimize the odds of running into effective resistance.
The people who commit these acts are insane -- they are not stupid.  They are specifically looking for targets of opportunity and are demonstrably, in case after case, cowards.  This is not "Seal Team Six gone bad" or some Rambo-type looking to "go to war" (with all that comes with doing so including being shot at), they're sniveling keyboard warriors who spent too much time in their mother's basement with a video game screaming DIE! at the monitor.  As soon as their fantasy world of firepower and invincibility turns to **** and bullets start flying the other way they either stick up their hands and surrender or blow their own brains out.
If we're not willing to stop dispensing the drugs that we know are correlated with these events and are documented to produce homicidal rage in some percentage of teens and young adults who take them we must increase the odds that anyone attempting such an act will rapidly, within seconds, face such resistance.
And that means we must allow everyone who is not insane to pack heat.
That means everyone, all the time and everywhere.
No permits, no BS, no kidding.
If you're a law-abiding citizen and wish to carry, especially concealed, you may exactly as The Constitution provides.  Period.  I am all in support of charging straw purchasers as accessories before the fact for crimes committed with the weapons they procure; indeed, I see no reason why that couldn't be charged under existing law in exactly this fashion (as is done today if you knowingly give someone a ride to the bank for the purpose of robbing it.)
The bottom line on risk reduction is really rather simple:  If we will not stop turning out mental zombies willing to commit mass murder because we are so married to the pharmaceutical industry that we will not force them to stop marketing and making available these drugs to people under the age of 25 -- the population that we havedocumented evidence are at heightened risk of psychotic reactions while using these drugs -- then we must do what we can to put an end to "free fire" zones where the zombies we create can murder with impunity.
Since the police cannot be everywhere all the time, there's only way to do that -- drop the pretense that paper stops bullets, that signs deter aggression instead of encouraging it to be focused where there is no resistance, and exchange the "gun free" signs with one that looks like this:

You want a thoughtful discussion and debate focused on logic?
Here it is.

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