Sunday, September 14, 2008

The usual dishonest arguments from the Left

"There's no such thing as right and wrong" after all!

Congress is considering a bill that would remove several burdensome restrictions on gun possession that the District of Columbia retained even after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that its handgun ban and firearm storage requirements violated the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment Enforcement Act, introduced by Rep. Travis Childers (D-Miss.) and supported by dozens of Democrats in the House, would repeal D.C.'s onerous gun registration rules, lift the requirement that guns be kept unloaded and locked except in the face of an "immediate" threat, and narrow the legal definition of prohibited "machine guns" so that it no longer covers magazine-loaded semiautomatics, the most popular self-defense weapons.

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) argues that the bill would allow people to carry "loaded AK-47s or .50-caliber sniper assault weapons openly in cars or in person," which would pose a "palpable the public safety of our residents" and create a challenge for "federal law enforcement and security officials in this city, where two presidents have been killed with handguns." D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier warns, "In attempted and successful assassinations around the world, the first step in attacking a motorcade is frequently to take out the security detail with semiautomatic and automatic firearms."

I'm not sure where to begin. The only provision of the bill that deals with carrying weapons applies in the gun owner's "dwelling house or place of business or on other land possessed by that person." There's nothing about carrying loaded guns in public. AK-47s and all other "automatic firearms" would remain prohibited in any case. The two assassinated presidents to whom Norton refers are Abraham Lincoln, who was killed with a single-shot derringer, and James Garfield, who was killed with a revolver. (John Hinckley also used a revolver when he tried to kill Ronald Reagan.) Both are types of weapons that would remain legal in Washington no matter what Congress does.

I assume Holmes and Lanier are not suggesting would-be assassins are deterred by laws against carrying loaded weapons. Their concern seems to be that if Childers' bill passes the streets will be filled with law-abiding citizens openly carrying loaded rifles and shotguns, making the assassins harder to identify. Leaving aside the rather important point that the bill does not change the rules for carrying guns in public, here's a good way to tell who the assassins are: They're the ones who aren't openly carrying loaded weapons.

In July I noted D.C.'s determination to continue flouting the Second Amendment.


Democrats to gun owners: `The party is over'

Breaking up is so hard to do. Judging from the Democratic Party platform, remarks from presidential nominee Barack Obama and his selection of anti-gun Sen. Joseph Biden as a running mate, the long, transparent courtship of gun owners by Democrats is over and instead of a goodbye kiss, there was a slap in the face; the political approximation of a domestic assault.

It was inevitable. After Democrats lost Congress in 1994 because their actions brought legions of angry gun owners to the polls, the party re-packaged its rhetoric and tried to sell itself as a friend of the Second Amendment. American gun owners, who are increasingly becoming gun rights activists, are not the fools Democrats think they are. As we note in our new book These Dogs Don't Hunt: The Democrats' War On Guns, Democrats earned their reputation as being the party of gun control. Instead of rhetoric, they need to repudiate their long-standing animosity toward gun owner rights.

The party platform tries to patronize gun owners by claiming to "recognize that the right to bear arms is an important part of the American tradition, and we will preserve Americans' continued Second Amendment right to own and use firearms." But then the document quickly reveals that Democrats have changed their tune but not their agenda: "We can work together to enact and enforce common-sense laws and improvements, like closing the gun show loophole, improving our background check system and reinstating the assault weapons ban."

Gun owners know that the ten-year "ban" on so-called "assault weapons" - which included more than 200 types of commonly-owned firearms - had no measurable impact on violent crime, and that reinstating it is all about symbolism rather than substance. They know that gun shows are the source of less than one percent of guns used by violent criminals. They know anti-gunners believe "common-sense laws" include licensing, registration and a surrender of the "right to carry" to the discretionary whims of police chiefs and sheriffs.

The party chose Obama as its standard-bearer. He once served on the board of the vehemently anti-firearms civil rights Joyce Foundation. During his first run for public office he supported a ban on the manufacture, sale and possession of handguns and semi-automatic rifles. He supports mandatory waiting periods on all gun purchases. He told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review in April that "I am not in favor of concealed weapons," insulting millions of armed citizens who care about self-defense in the process.

Gun owners know Biden as an anti-gun extremist. He consistently earns "F" ratings from gun rights organizations. He claimed credit for writing the original legislation to ban semiautomatic sport-utility rifles that are owned by millions of Americans who have harmed nobody.

The proverbial last straw for the firearms community was Obama's remark during his acceptance speech that "The reality of gun ownership may be different for hunters in rural Ohio than for those plagued by gang-violence in Cleveland, but don't tell me we can't uphold the Second Amendment while keeping AK-47s out of the hands of criminals."

The "reality" is that gun rights are the same for everyone, no matter where they live. And gun owners know from experience that Democrats falsely believe that the only way to keep guns away from criminals is to oppressively regulate gun ownership for everyone.

Mr. Obama told his faithful that Sen. McCain "doesn't get it." Actually, Democrats "don't get it." You do not woo people by treating them like criminals, and you cannot "support" someone's civil right at the same time you regulate it to irrelevancy. It is now clear to gun owners that Democrats only asked them to the dance just to get through the door.


Philly police chief trains people to be sheep; Complains when they won't fight a wolf

On Sept 10th, 2008 I watched in dumbfounded amazement a Today Show news report covering the vicious beating of an unarmed man on the Philadelphia subway. The victim was attacked by a man wielding a hammer and took place over a 5 minute period all the while approximately ten onlookers watched but did not intervene. The surveillance video shows the attacker placing a young boy in a seat, then reaching into his backpack to retrieve a hammer. He then proceeds to, without warning or provocation to attack a nearby sleeping man by repeatedly beating him with blow after blow from the hammer.

The attack lasted 5 minutes with the victim frantically trying to ward off blows after being knocked to the ground. The attack finally stops when the train pulls into a station and the attacker exits the train. At this point with the victim seriously injured, a bystander pulls a notification alarm alerting the train operator that an emergency exists.

It wasn't the attack or the lack of response that left me dumbfounded. After all, I don't need to tell our readers that the world is an unpredictable oft times dangerous place. This is why I and others have chosen to carry a handgun for lawful self-defense. What left me dumbfounded was the response of both the reporter and their guest, the Philadelphia Police Chief Charles Ramsey. They both were simply amazed by the lack of bystander response to intervene or to call for help. From MSNBC:
Ramsey criticized other riders for standing by when the assailant entered the train with his 5-year-old son, directed the boy to a seat, calmly pulled a hammer from a backpack and attacked a man dozing in a nearby seat. At least 10 other riders were in the car when the attack occurred last week, yet no one interfered as the man repeatedly struck the victim in the train car and later out on a platform, Ramsey said on "Today." "They better pray they're never a victim, because if someone was attacking them that way they would certainly hope someone would step forward and help, and it starts with stepping forward and doing something yourself," Ramsey said.

I found myself slack-jawed. For years law enforcement official such as Chief Ramsey have drilled the premise that we (the people) should "leave these matters to the police and other trained authorities". We have been told to comply with the attackers instructions, don't confront them, don't take matters into your own hands, don't look them in the face or antagonize them in any way. Children are taught this from the time they enter into our schools via official "lock down procedures". Why then would the Chief expect them to behave any other way? After years of training to become victims how can you be surprised when they exhibit the behaviors they have been taught and championed by law enforcement? When you raise a nation of sheep, you cannot be surprised when the sheep don't fight back.

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