Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Michigan Build Your Own AR-15 VFW Class Attracts Professor's Ire

The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) post 4073 in Marshall, Michigan was the site of a class to teach people to build AR-15 rifles. The class had been scheduled for months. This was the third year the popular class was held at the post. Chris Walden of Walden's Firearms taught the class to about 60 participants. This year was a little different a professor from Albion College, W. Jeffrey Wilson organized a protest of their peaceful, voluntary activity.

No one at the VFW post or Chris buckled under to the bullying of the protesters. The protest drew national attention. The protesters numbered about 30, half as many as the people who were learning to build AR-15 rifles. From
Chris Walden teaches the class and sells the parts used. He pointed out that all of the guns have serial numbers, are registered and are sold only to those who legally can own them.

Walden said there was never any talk of delaying the class after the massacre in Florida last month that left 17 dead. The shooter used an AR-15.

"There's always significant things going on and if we tried to weave that between whatever tragedy and anything else, I'm not sure we'd ever find a good time," Walden said. "Now's as good a time as any."

Protesters who came out Tuesday say the very idea of creating more of these guns is a terrible idea.

"I would say what they're doing is perfectly legal," protest organizer W. Jeffrey Wilson said. "They're entitled to do this, they are within their rights. Morally, I have questions about it. And that's how laws change - when we address the morality of things that are currently legal."
The gun culture is winning the cultural, legal, and moral war. Gun culture people learn how to build AR-15 rifles, buy them, buy magazines and ammunition, join the NRA and build communications networks such as those fostered by VFW post 4073.

The people who want a disarmed population protest and attempt to bully the government into passing laws designed to tear down the Second Amendment, bit by bit.  W. Jeffrey Wilson organized and lead the protest against the AR-15 build. He is a Psychology professor at Albion College. He posted some thoughts on his home page that he considered persuasive. Here are some words  from W. Jeffrey Wilson.

The first line from his home page: 
For my own mental health I need to stop replying online to people who cannot comprehend data.
Professor Wilson may comprehend data, but he has a difficult time with logic, science, and the law. He includes this gem, from the Supreme Court Heller decision:  
The Supreme Court has ruled (2008) that the 2nd Amendment allows restrictions on who can have a gun, on where a gun can be carried, and on the commercial sale of guns. This is law.
Professor Wilson conveniently leaves out that these restrictions are very minor. Only a few prohibited classes are prevented from having guns. Guns are forbidden in only "sensitive areas" such as government buildings and schools.  The commercial sale of guns may be regulated, but the decision did not allow for restrictions on the personal, private sale of guns.

The decision also stated that firearms in common use for legal purposes were protected by the Second Amendment. The AR-15 and variants are in common use. They may be the most popular rifle in the United States. Estimates vary, but there are likely 8-10 million AR-15 rifles privately owned in the United States. There are probably 50-150 million detachable magazines for firearms in the United States.  It is likely a majority of firearms now produced in the United States are semi-automatics.

A previous Supreme Court decision, Miller, in 1939, held that the Second Amendment protects weapons appropriate for use in a militia. The AR-15 is eminently suitable for militia use.

Professor Wilson then shows that he knows how to lie with statistics. He claims the following:
that gun homicides across countries are directly related to the number of guns per capita,
That is a Straw Man  argument. It does not matter if gun homicides increase where there are more guns. It is like saying there are more car accidents where there are more cars, or more hospitals deaths where there are more hospitals.

The number that counts is the overall number of homicides that were not justified.  If there are more guns, but the same or smaller number of homicides, there is no reason to reduce the number of guns. If you have more justified homicides with guns, but the illegal homicide rate is reduced, that is a positive good.
and that during the time that Federal Assault Weapon Ban was in effect (1994-2004) mass shootings and the resulting deaths were significantly lower than in the decades before or after,
Even left leaning Politifact disputes the research the Professor relies on here.  It is from Louis Klarevas, who conveniently changed the definition of a mass murder from four or more people killed to six or more, to reach the findings above. Professor Wilson implies that rifles such as the AR-15 were used in the killings researched by Louis Klarevas, but many of the killings were done with pistols. Semi-Automatic rifles have been easily available in the United States for more than 100 years. AR-15 rifles have been easily available for more than 40 years. An AR-15 was first used in a mass murder in 2007. It was a police issued rifle.
and that (from a New England Journal of Medicine paper) gun ownership greatly increases the odds of a homicide in the home, often involving a relative, while providing no protective value to the gun-owner. 
The New England Journal of Medicine has lost all credibility as an authority on criminal actions. They routinely fail to include any positive effects of the ownership of firearms. They ignore the criminological studies that dispute their ideologically driven findings. Without considering the benefits of firearms, they put themselves in the position of only looking for a potential drug's side effects, without considering the benefits.  The Center for Disease Control, in a study commissioned by President Obama, acknowledged that defensive uses of firearms likely occur between 500,000 and 2.5 million times a year.

Moreover, Professor Wilson fails to consider other causes of mass murder, particularly the role of the United States media. From
Among other factors also worth considering is media coverage of mass shooters, which Adam Lankford, a criminology professor at the University of Alabama, said rewards perpetrators with fame and can lead to copycat effects.

"Although firearms availability is the primary reason why the United States has more public mass shooters than other countries, media coverage of perpetrators may largely explain why the United States has seen more public mass shooters and deadlier incidents over time," Lankford said.
Professor Wilson would do better to stick to a field he knows. Most leftists do not know the position of Second Amendment supporters, only a cartoon image of it. Evidence and sources are well summed up by
“The results were clear and consistent,” remarks Haidt. “In all analyses, conservatives were more accurate than liberals.” Asked to think the way a liberal thinks, conservatives answered moral questions just as the liberal would answer them, but liberal students were unable to do the reverse. Rather, they seemed to put moral ideas into the mouths of conservatives that they don’t hold.
Professor Wilson's lack of knowledge, conflation of correlation with causation, and Straw Man argument should embarrass him. I doubt they will. Those of the Progressive persuasion tend to be immune to shame.

At VFW post 4073, 60 gun culture members learned how to build AR-15 rifles. Those same 60 learned that 30 protesters, organized by Professor Wilson, are ignorant, but want their guns made illegal. VFW post 4073 learned they can stand up to the crybullies of the Left, and not be destroyed or intimidated. About half of veterans own guns, and are willing to share that information on a national survey.

Second Amendment supporters are winning the debate on gun legislation. That is why the Left resorts to emotional arguments.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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1 comment:

phpmiller said...

States cannot enact gun laws that would hurt the individuals who make up the militia that the state may call upon to defend itself from the federal government.

Banning "weapons of war" = disarming the state itself.

And one state government cannot bind another future government to a loss in its authority.

Lose the 2nd amendment means that states will be completely subservient to the federal government.

As far as individuals go, we had the RKBA before the constitution was written.