Let’s Get Irrational About Gun Control

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You may be familiar with the Bizarro Code, the legal “system” devised by inhabitants of the cube-shaped planet of htrae (“Earth,” spelled backwards), who were imperfect duplicates of Superman, Lois Lane, and their extended Super-family of friends. The code read:

“Us do opposite of all Earthly things! Us hate beauty! Us love ugliness! Is big crime to make anything perfect on Bizarro World!”

Granted, it was a little simplistic. But it had its own internal logic, and besides, its intent was to amuse readers of a children’s comic book.

Now we have the Venola Code, which makes the Bizarro Code look like Hammurabi. Unfortunately, it’s no laughing matter.

Its genesis was a column by Dick Metcalf, a decades-long writer and columnist for various Intermedia Outdoors publications, which specialize in “gun” and “ammo” magazines, including, oddly enough, Guns & Ammo. Metcalf’s other credits include helping draft and pass the Federal Firearm Owners Protection Act, which loosened many gun restrictions passed into law following the assassination of Robert Kennedy. In short, the self-described “Second Amendment fundamentalist” is no softy when it comes to Americans owning firearms.

However, in his December Guns & Ammo column titled “Let’s Talk Limits,” Metcalf proposed that owners of concealed weapons be required to take a 16-hour training course. He added, “I firmly believe that all U.S. citizens have a right to keep and bear arms, but I do not believe that they have a right to use them irresponsibly.”

This deeply, deeply offended members of what can only be called the Irresponsible Community. A firestorm of letters and phone calls to G&A demanded that Metcalf be “tarred and feathered” and otherwise put out of his misery. Longtime readers threatened to cancel their subscriptions. Two of Intermedia Outdoors’ biggest advertisers demanded that Metcalf be fired.

Their umbrage was perfectly encapsulated in this comment by former Guns & Ammo editor Richard Venola, who chimed in, “We are locked in a struggle with powerful forces … who will do anything to destroy the Second Amendment. The time for ceding some rational points is gone.”

There you have it: the Venola Code. When it comes to matters of the Second Amendment, “Us make opposite of rational points! Us love firearms! Us hate nuance! Is big crime to make reasonable argument in Gun World!”

The gist of many of the rage-fueled tirades regarding Metcalf’s column was “If we give ONE INCH, make ONE concession, even on something that is common sense, then the federal government, led by Obama personally, will break into our homes and seize all our weapons.”

It mirrored some of the “open the floodgates” fear-based arguments made by those who oppose gay marriage: let gays wed, and the next thing you know, people will be demanding the right to marry their turtles!

That goes a long way towards explaining why, since the Sandy Hook shootings, the vast majority of gun-related laws passed actually loosen restrictions. And a proposal by Obama to limit gun access to the mentally ill is going nowhere in Congress. I suspect a lot of congressmen fear the law would apply to them.

In regard to Metcalf’s column, Venola’s Code effectively states that if someone puts a concealed weapon down his trousers and blows his nuts off because he wasn’t trained to affix the safety latch, well, that’s a small price to pay for freedom.

Irrational? Of course! That’s precisely why it’s a welcomed position — and suggesting otherwise is tantamount to treason.

It’s impossible to pass laws when one side argues that “rationality” is off the table.

Just ask Dick Metcalf. Within 24 hours of publication of “Let’s Talk Limits,” he wasn’t talking “limits” or anything else to Guns & Ammo readers. He was fired, expelled, and labeled gun nut non-grata.

Bizarro world, indeed.

About Stan Sinberg

Stan is an award-winning newspaper columnist, radio commentator, and features writer whose humor has appeared in everything from the NY Times to WSJ and MAD Magazine. Stan is a native New Yorker living on the west coast. His website is www.stansinberg.com and you can email him at stan@stansinberg.com or follow him on Twitter @ssinberg1
Posted in: Civil Rights, Constitutional, Law, Society
  • http://www.beattheend.com/ Beat The End

    Stan,
    You come off as a little condescending and so it actually hurts your argument. We have the thing called the second amendment. There are ways built into the constitution to change it. Why is there not a call to change or amend the 2nd amendment instead of making laws that go against the 2nd amendment.

    • Stan Sinberg

      There’s no discussion about ending the Second Amendment. There is only discussion about INTERPRETING the Second Amendment. Just as there are many First Amendment cases. There are laws “qualifying” virtually every amendment in the Constitution. But the 2nd is supposed to be the exception, for some reason..

      • wireknob

        But the discussion on the gun control side is aimed at (mis)interpreting the second amendment into non-existence by denying it protects an individual right as inviolable as any other civil right mentioned in the Bill of Rights. And just as all civil rights are subject to some minor restrictions, laws that restrict second amendment rights should be subject to the same level of judicial scrutiny as all other rights. Would you not agree with at least this last statement?

        Consider this quote:

        “Foolish liberals who are trying to read the
        Second Amendment out of the Constitution by claiming it’s not an
        individual right or that it’s too much of a public safety hazard, don’t
        see the danger in the big picture. They’re courting disaster by
        encouraging others to use the same means to eliminate portions of the
        Constitution they don’t like.” — Alan Dershowitz

        See, reinterpretation and misinterpretation are just illegitimate end-runs around the Bill of Rights. To avoid going through the proper procedures required to amend the Constitution, some would rather just claim the clause that offends them means something other than what the framers intended.

      • Chuck Wagner

        Actually, all the same limits “qualifying” the 2nd amendment already exist. If you falsely yell fire in a crowded movie theater, you get prosecuted. If you use a gun to murder someone you get prosecuted.

        You don’t get ball-gagged as you enter the theater because you might yell fire. You get prosecuted for mis-using speech in a manner that isn’t protected. The same goes for the right to keep and bear arms.

        …already.

        • Stan Sinberg

          How can you seriously make an argument like this? If you yell “Fire” you cause a panic. If you use a gun to murder someone, SOMEONE IS DEAD. Do you have NO sense of nuance or proportion? (Aside from the fact that I don’t think anyone HAS ever yelled “Fire” in a crowded theater resulting in any harm. Can you say that about guns?

          • Chuck Wagner

            You need to work on your reasoning skills, if you don’t grasp the fact that we don’t precondition our rights in the US of A. For speech or guns.

            Owning a gun doesn’t cause harm to others any more than having the ability to speak in a movie theatre.

          • Stan Sinberg

            I’m withdrawing from this dialogue because it’s an endless, fruitless endeavor. Here are some parting thoughts to y’all:

            I DID NOT want to get into a debate about gun control here,
            because I know it’s pointless. And endless. For the nth time, I wrote the piece in reaction to how G&A readers, editors, advertisers, etc – bullied, threatened and expelled a decades-long writer for having the temerity to
            suggest that “irresponsible” people having guns might not be a good thing, and that some training might be in order for concealed weapons. Hardly “outlaw guns”
            material, and only the most extreme zealot would consider Metcalf “anti-gun.”
            But, again, Venola said it: “The time for ceding some RATIONAL points is over.” A couple of you, by refusing to concede that “popcorn V. gun” in a movie theater is not a fair fight, and similar examples, have borne him out.

            This is what I think: I think you guys fancy yourselves as
            Patriots and all that stands between us and government tyranny. In that, you are
            delusional. There is no possible way in 2014 America, there is going to be mass
            uprising from the people, or that you would stand even a smidgeon of a chance
            if the government DID come down on you. This is NOT 1789. For all your wrapping
            yourselves in the Constitution – and I haven’t heard a single historical figure
            quoted who was alive as recently as the Civil War – you’re just a bunch of gun
            fanatics with a siege mentality “playing” at having a larger purpose. Just say
            it: WE LOVE GUNS. All this other posturing is costume dressing.

            Your side has already won the war, but you’re too blind to
            see it. The fact that after Sandy Hook, for God’s sake, most legislation passed
            RELAXED gun restrictions should make that painfully obvious. But for your side,
            it never will. I made this point once in this dialogue before, but I’ll repeat
            it:

            For you, it’s always, “Guns don’t kill people, people kill
            people.” However, when it comes to DEFENDING folks, it’s “GUNS save people,
            people don’t save people.” Guns only do good, never bad. How about a little
            consistency, like “Guns kill people, and ALSO save people.” That way lies
            dialogue.

            Finally, for those of you throwing statistics at me about
            how gun control doesn’t make us any safer, I would love for you to watch this great
            clip

            http://www.iamjohnoliver.com/?cat=4

            from John Oliver from
            the Daily Show, where he went over to Australia last year and saw the effects
            of a gun ban there. Of course you’ll find reasons that it’s stupid and
            pointless. At the very least, you’ll hear a lot of your arguments repeated
            here, and see how the ‘other half’ views you. And perhaps be entertained.

            I won’t say it’s been a pleasure, but I appreciate the
            interactions.

            Watch that clip. Really.

          • williamdiamon

            Yes, you can yell FIRE in a theater. How would you warn others if not? If it is a lie we will hold you responsible for all damages and injury caused by that lie. But we don’t outlaw the word FIRE.

          • wireknob

            Yelling “FIRE” in a crowded theater is a crime (people do die from stampedes like this). Killing someone is a crime. We don’t restrict or criminalize speaking in order to stop some person from yelling “FIRE” in a crowded theater, and we should restrict or criminalize gun ownership to stop one person from committing murder. First of all it wouldn’t work, and second of all it denies law-abiding citizens with no intent of committing a crime their rights.

          • Reality122

            Merely brandishing a firearm is a crime and you get punished for that as well. The extend becomes worse if you kill someone. Shouting fire in a movie theater will likely only get you charged with disorderly conduct for inciting a panic. However, if someone dies in that panic you are now guilty of manslaughter.

            You, my friend, are the one with a lack of sensibility of nuance and proportion.

      • williamdiamon

        “On every occasion [of Constitutional interpretation] let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying [to force] what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, [instead let us] conform to the probable one in which it was passed.”
        - Thomas Jefferson

  • spencer60

    Sorry, but you are writing strictly from ignorance, and have no idea what the actual issue people had with this is.

    Mainly the problem was that he was repeating all the irrational ideas gun control people hold so dear.

    For example, he brought up the old argument that a gun is like a car, and so the ‘state’ has the right to regulate your use of it.

    Wrong on it’s face.

    Driving is not a constitutional right, it is a privilege. It would be far more appropriate to look at how the legal system treats other constitutional rights like speech and voting.

    No judge would ever allow the kind of prior restraint we have for buying a firearm to apply to writing an editorial. Nor would you see mandatory training allowed before you could vote.

    As for mandatory training itself, it’s not even used in his example of automobiles. You don’t have to take training at all to get a drivers license, you just need to pass the test.

    These are both canards that the gun control lobby loves to try and get people to believe, and many people who don’t think too hard actually do.

    While Metcalf was entitled to his opinion, the vast majority of the magazines’ readership decided that they weren’t going to pay good money for a magazine that simply insulted their intelligence.

    • wireknob

      Not to mention Metcalf’s misrepresentation of the term “well regulated”, which means properly trained and disciplined in the context of the second amendment, and not subject to government control, as Metcalf ridiculously seems to believe.

      • Stan Sinberg

        Gee, too bad we waste all that money on a Supreme Court when YOU have the ONE, DEFINITIVE AND ONLY interpretation of the Second Amendment. You also conveniently leave out defining “militia,” because a bunch of individual gun owners in their own home don’t make up one…

        • wireknob

          First of all, there are plenty of uses of the term “well regulated” in the writings and speeches related to the Constitution, the second amendment to the Bill or Rights, and the Bills of Rights of the several states that included a similar right to keep and bear arms. In all these places the meaning of “well regulated” is clear. Moreover, this is acknowledged in the Supreme Court’s decision DC vs Heller, so it’s also a matter of constitutional law.

          The “militia” referred to in the second amendment was a “general militia” composed of all able-bodied citizens, called forth in times of need. That is in contrast to a “select militia” or standing army, and the general militia was in part a check on these forces. So, in fact, a bunch of gun owners and other citizens DO make up a general militia. Try reading Federalist 29, for example, and take up your misunderstandings or ignorance with Hamilton.

          Gee, why have a Constitution and a Bill of Rights when YOU will just manufacture whatever interpretation you need to comport with your personal opinion, attitudes, and prejudices?

          • Stan Sinberg

            Did you read your post? YOU’RE the one “interpreting” the Constitution to conveniently dovetail with your views. I’m making the case that there ARE different interpretations – which is why we have a Supreme Court and why Metcalf is not a “traitor” for suggesting common sense restrictions. AGAIN: I did NOT call for a ban on guns in any way, shape or form. What I railed against is your “Venolas” being so intransigent and bunkered down in their siege mentality, that, by his OWN ADMISSION, he’s not willing to entertain “rational” discourse from the other side.

          • wireknob

            The difference is that the Supreme Court agrees with me, and that there are volumes of evidence supporting the interpretation that I subscribe to and virtually none supporting these other “interpretations”. Interpretation is different than uninformed opinion and emotional reasoning.

            Point me do just one example of where the term “well regulated” was used in any speech or writing by anyone involved with the framing of the Constitution or Bill of Rights to mean under government control. Show me one example of where one of the framers explicitly articulated the second amendment as a collective as opposed to an individual right. Show me one example of where the militia referred to in the second amendment was used by the framers to refer to a standing army or select militia. Without evidence, interpretation is just uninformed opinion.

            Let’s have a rational discourse then. Pick a policy and we’ll debate it. But what is rational about the demagoguery and misinformation used to promote gun control policy? Where have the gun control advocates clamored for a rational, fact-based, reasoned discussion about gun control policy? I think you have to admit when looking at all the posts here that those on the gun rights side are eager for such a discussion.

          • Stan Sinberg

            I’m bowing out of this dialogue, but here are my final thoughts:

            I DID NOT want to get into a debate about gun control here,
            because I know it’s pointless. And endless. For the nth time, I wrote the piecein reaction to how G&A readers, editors, advertisers, etc – bullied,
            threatened and expelled a decades-long writer for having the temerity to suggest that “irresponsible” people having guns might not be a good thing, and that some training might be in order for concealed weapons. Hardly “outlaw guns”
            material, and only the most extreme zealot would consider Metcalf “anti-gun.”
            But, again, Venola said it: “The time for ceding some RATIONAL points is over.” A couple of you, by refusing to concede that “popcornV. gun” in a movie theater is not a fair fight, and similar examples, have
            borne him out.

            This is what I think: I think you guys fancy yourselves as
            Patriots and all that stands between us and government tyranny. In that, you are
            delusional. There is no possible way in 2014 America, there is going to be mass
            uprising from the people, or that you would stand even a smidgeon of a chance
            if the government DID come down on you. This is NOT 1789. For all your wrapping
            yourselves in the Constitution – and I haven’t heard a single historical figure
            quoted who was alive as recently as the Civil War – you’re just a bunch of gun
            fanatics with a siege mentality “playing” at having a larger purpose. Just say
            it: WE LOVE GUNS. All this other posturing is costume dressing.

            Your side has already won the war, but you’re too blind to
            see it. The fact that after Sandy Hook, for God’s sake, most legislation passed
            RELAXED gun restrictions should make that painfully obvious. But for your side,
            it never will. I made this point once in this dialogue before, but I’ll repeat
            it:

            For you, it’s always, “Guns don’t kill people, people kill
            people.” However, when it comes to DEFENDING folks, it’s “GUNS save people,
            people don’t save people.” Guns only do good, never bad. How about a little
            consistency, like “Guns kill people, and ALSO save people.” That way lies
            dialogue.

            Finally, for those of you throwing statistics at me about
            how gun control doesn’t make us any safer, I would love for you to watch this great
            clip

            http://www.iamjohnoliver.com/?cat=4

            from John Oliver from
            the Daily Show, where he went over to Australia last year and saw the effects
            of a gun ban there. Of course you’ll find reasons that it’s stupid and
            pointless. At the very least, you’ll hear a lot of your arguments repeated
            here, and see how the ‘other half’ views you. And perhaps be entertained.

            I won’t say it’s been a pleasure, but I appreciate the
            interactions.

            Watch that clip. Really.

          • wireknob

            I’ll concede that guns are used for bad purposes and good. They are used to commit crimes, and they are also used to deter, disrupt and defend against (far more) crimes. They are also used for recreation, to put food on the table, and to protect property. I think those of us on the gun rights side universally acknowledge that guns are used to do bad things. You just haven’t been paying attention, because it’s been acknowledged here repeatedly.

            What gun rights advocates have trouble with is when the solution to crime committed with a gun, which involves only a teeny-tiny fraction of guns, is used as a sociopolitical cudgel to go after all gun owners, the vast majority of whom will never harm anyone with a gun. Why can’t we focus on bad deeds with guns instead of guns, most of which will never be used to commit a bad deed?

            I’ve seen the clip, but because many buy into the ugly stereotypes of gun owners doesn’t make the gun owners ugly, it makes the anti-gun bigots ugly. Same type of bigotry surrounds other groups. No different here.

            And mischaracterizing gun rights arguments while ignoring the actual evidence on gun control failures to reduce crime and suicide is just wanton ignorance. You should look into all the research studies done on the impact of the Australian gun ban and confiscation…it was not seen as responsible for any reduction in overall crime or suicide rates. Some violent crimes actually went up after the law was implemented. But you don’t seem interested in studying the facts, just watching funny clips.

          • BlueMoney

            “There is no possible way in 2014 America, there is going to be mass
            uprising from the people, or that you would stand even a smidgeon of a chanceif the government DID come down on you”

            ___________________
            -Ah, the latest iteration of the old “your gun won’t do you any good against an attacker” argument. Back in the day (1970s-1990s) the argument stated, “a criminal will just take your gun away and stick it in your hiney” or words to that effect. Since CCW expanded nationwide in the 1990s, armed citizens prevent about 2 million violent crimes a year. There went that argument down the toilet.
            Now the anti-gun weenies are saying, “guns would be useless against a hypothetical future rogue government, so you might as well not own any.” Funny how cavemen in Afghanistan using antique rifles have not only made life miserable for US forces, but also made life miserable for RUSSIAN invaders in the 1980s (who unlike the US, came down on the cavemen with both feet and STILL failed to subdue them.) And so, your argument swirls down the toilet again! (But then, thats where sh!t belongs – right?)

          • Reality122

            He’s not the one making the interpretation…he’s quoting the interpretation made by the Supreme Court. Read Heller, McDonald, and Miller ’39.

            The rational discourse is hardly rational. In the case of our own discussion we have someone (you) preaching about the need for more training and safety classes and yet you do not understand the basic functions of a pistol and the safety devices on it. How rational is the discussion when Carolyn McCarthy, long time gun control proponent, defines barrel shrouds (something she wanted to ban) as “a shoulder thing that goes up.” How about Diane DeGette who thinks that you can only use a magazine once and the supply will dry up if they are banned? How about Kevin de Leon just a few days ago? “This right here has the ability with a 30 caliber clip to disperse with 30 bullets within a half second. 30 magazine clip in half a second.”

            Those ignorant folks are the face of gun control in our nation. They are the ones pushing for the new laws. They are the ones we are supposed to have a “rational” conversation with and so much as pointing out their woeful lack of knowledge on the subject matter at hand makes us gun nut extremists.

            It’s like trying to have a rational discussion about political candidates with a 5 year old. They just don’t understand or care to understand and any conclusion they come to is based merely on emotion and coercion rather than fact.

        • williamdiamon

          From:
          “Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man against his own bosom? Congress shall have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American … The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the People.”
          — Tench Coxe, 1788.

          To:
          Today, we need a nation of Minutemen, citizens who are not only prepared to take arms, but citizens who regard the preservation of freedom as the basic purpose of their daily life and who are willing to consciously work and sacrifice for that freedom.”
          — John F. Kennedy

          The militia has always been with us, it is in fact -us-. My State is considering a Bill now to extend the 45 year old age limit as many vets have valuable experience and skills. Read your own Sate’s Constitution for clarity. You are the Militia. Like it or not.

        • Reality122

          We spent all that money on a Supreme Court that has done a nice job of saying you are wrong. The prefatory clause has no bearing on the operative clause so all this BS about the militia and well-regulated is meaningless. On top of that, well-regulated has nothing to do with draconian laws. Also, you might want to read up on the definition of militia.

          10 US Code 311
          (a)
          The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section
          313 of title
          32,
          under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of
          intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female
          citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.

          (b)
          The classes of the militia are—

          (1)
          the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and

          (2)
          the unorganized militia, which consists
          of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard
          or the Naval Militia.

    • Stan Sinberg

      I’d say ONE difference between a car and a gun is the PRIMARY PURPOSE of a car isn’t killing something.

      But you’re being disingenuous: if people got as livid as G&A readers did at Metcalf every time someone wrote or said something stupid, there wouldn’t be ANYONE left to say Anything. Including you or me. If this was about Metcalf’s arguments, Venola wouldn’t have said, “The time for ceding some RATIONAL points is gone.”

      • Chuck Wagner

        Hey, if Metcalf was writing for the Huffington Post, he would’ve been fine. But as a writer for G&A, it was like the head of the Humane Society coming out in support of wolf hunting.

      • williamdiamon

        Wow, did your ancestors fight a terrible 8 year long war for the right to drive a car? Mine did for the right to own a gun. Well, now I can understand your passion.
        BTW, cars kill three times as many people as criminals with guns do.

        • Stan Sinberg

          Ah, now I understand. You’re fighting for your great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather. Why didn’t you SAY so?
          Hey, here’s another parallel between cars and guns: both deliver people to hospitals.

          • williamdiamon

            My ancestors were Patriots in the American Revolution. That’s funny to you?

          • Stan Sinberg

            I’m just saying that ‘C’mon, that’s not why you’re up-in-arms on this issue. Pro-gun advocates like to wrap themselves around the Second Amendment/Constitution, as if the 2nd was the be-all/end-all of the document. The simple truth is: YOU LIKE GUNS! Fine. But please. All this sacrosanct baloney that you’re carrying on the work of our Founding Fathers… No disrespect meant, but it’s nonsense.

          • williamdiamon

            It is the end all/be all document. Maybe that’s the source of your confusion, the lack of understanding and respect for the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

            Guns are only tools, if I had an affinity for them I would be at Ruger.com or Bushmaster.com, no? Not wasting my time trying to head off the mistakes you are making brother.

            Freedom. The Bill of Rights, the whole Constitution. The Founding Fathers, all Patriots who fought in the war to free us from the whims of kings, all that fought overseas to free others, and for the freedom of all that will come after us. The Bill of Rights, unique to America and why 50% of the world’s population wants to live here, and why we are the apex of civilization on this planet. That’s why we fight. You may not realize this but the 2nd Amendment of the Bill of Rights is a civil right. It belongs to all of us. Like the other 9. We treat this matter as a civil right before SCOTUS and we win. Why? Because we are defending the Constitution.

            Believe what you want but, go ahead and dis our Constitution and my ancestors. Pretend it does even exist, laugh at it and the Patriots all you want, big deal. You will find out how we really feel, and how real America, the Constitution, + militia really are if you make the same mistake General Gage did.
            Some people have to touch the stove to understand.
            You pretend the stove isn’t hot, I’m just tryin to warn ya, it is.
            But don’t say I didn’t warn ya!

          • Stan Sinberg

            The Constitution ALSO says we have a government, OF, BY, and FOR the People, not a government that’s an ENEMY of the people. WE are the government – at least in theory. You guys act like there hasn’t been legitimate govt in this country since Jefferson, Washington,…

          • williamdiamon

            We don’t live in a pure democracy, we live in a republic- a democracy with a Constitution.
            The supreme law of the land is the Constitution. The congress can pass laws and the President can order by executive directive, but if these changes are contrary to the Constitution and declared so by the Supreme Court, they are null and void. The Supreme Court is also a part of the Federal Government, and they have been wrong before too, witness the Dred Scott case. It is your duty to ignore them at that point, as a patriot. Or you can follow unconstitutional laws and be considered a rebel. All Soldiers and public office holders all the way to the President swear to uphold and defend the Constitution. The Administration is a part of the Federal Government with duties and responsibilities to perform certain functions for “We the People”. “We” are the sovereign in this nation. not the government or even a political idol. That means they work for us, not the other way around. The people defending the Constitution are called Patriots. Because that’s what patriots do. They conserve the Constitution that our ancestors gave their lives, fortunes and sacred honor for. the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The people who want to change the Constitution are called Rebels. Cause that’s what rebels do. They rebel from the norm. They overthrow and change constitutions. Sedition is when you “fight” your Federal Government. You can go to jail for that. Treason is when you “fight” the Constitution. You can be hung for that.

      • BlueMoney

        One could argue that the primary purpose of a defensive firearm isn’t to “kill people”, but to deter aggression from predators… both 4-legged and 2-legged.
        For 20 years, US murder rates have been dropping like a stone. In that same period, we’ve seen concealed carry rights liberalized in most US states. I’d say firearms (evil semi-automatic handguns, at that) have been fulfilling their “primary purpose” rather nicely… unless you’re a believer in amazing coincidences.

  • Anonymous

    It only seems that some gun owners are being irrational. Gun control advocates have shown themselves to be arrogant in victory and untrustworthy… give them one thing, they go right to the next. There is no gun control advocate that respects anyone’s rights, to own firearms or otherwise.

    I honestly believe in a world without guns, people like this would find some other freedom to try to curtail. There is no basis for trust here.

    • KB

      Exactly. I think the media focuses on these outliers, the most extreme protesters against gun control, the ones who bring weapons to protests, etc. in order to elicit an emotional response. The very same way they only show outliers in gun violence itself; the gun owner who goes off the rails rather than the millions of responsible ones. It’s an underhanded and dishonest strategy.

      • Stan Sinberg

        Then why don’t you “vast majority of responsible gun owners” let THEM dominate the discussion? If they don’t represent you, why do you LET them speak for you?

        • wireknob

          Why do those who want to consider gun control let gun-control advocates who are anti-gun and disrespectful of second amendment rights represent them and dominate the discussion?

          • Stan Sinberg

            YOU’RE the one who said these folks don’t speak for you. Why don’t you answer my question?

          • wireknob

            They do speak for me. I agree with gun-rights groups with respect to the issues before us today. I am open to discussions, obviously, about ways to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and those adjudicated mentally ill, but whatever approach is taken should not infringe upon second amendment rights or expose them to infringement.

            Now answer my question.

          • Stan Sinberg

            As far as I can tell, your side has already WON the debate. It’s definitely shifted over the years from ‘outlaw guns’ to ‘background checks’ and the like. But the NRA and its ilk sees $$$ in perpetuating hysteria that “we” – or Obama – is out to TAKE YOUR GUNS – even though he’s never said – or hinted – anything of the sort. But it’s good to keep the coffers flowing. So my answer to your question is: “Who on “my” side is making this argument? I never hear them.”

          • wireknob

            Well, you should read some of the statements of groups like the Brady Campaign, MAIG, etc. and like-minded politicians. Then look at the types of laws that gun-control supporting politicians have passed or tried to pass: Major taxes on all ammo purchases, mandatory liability insurance for gun owners, bans on commonly owned firearms that are only distinguished by stylistic and ergonomic features, banning of handguns altogether, not allowing gun stores and/or ranges in certain jurisdictions, etc. All these laws are primarily aimed at law-abiding gun owners…not criminals. Is it wrong to be concerned about these types of attacks on our rights.

            The naivete of judging a politician by what he/she says is mind-bending. Of course all politicians that are gun control advocates SAY they respect the second amendment, don’t want to infringe on the rights of law-abiding citizens, etc. If they didn’t say things like that, and were honest about their attitudes and agendas, they would never be elected in to a position where they could carry out their agendas. You have to judge politicians by their actions.

          • Stan Sinberg

            This may come as a shocker, but “taxes” and “mandatory insurance” aren’t unique to guns, and to equate that with trying to outlaw or otherwise take them away is pure lunacy. And I HOPE you would agree, as someone who is such a fan of “liberty” that local communities have the right to say “we don’t want a gun range in our neighborhood.” NOTE: That doesn’t prevent you from OWNING them. Your nickname should be Gun Quixote, because you are battling something that DOESN’T EXIST. There is no remotely plausible scenario in this country in which your guns get taken away from you. It’s even more impossible than shipping every illegal immigrant back to where they came.

          • williamdiamon

            If I could’ve gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an outright ban, picking up every one of them — Mr. and Mrs. America turn ‘em all in — I would have done it. I could not do that. The votes weren’t here. Dianne Feinstien

          • Stan Sinberg

            Right. THE VOTES WEREN’T THERE. THEY WILL NEVER BE THERE. THEY CERTAINLY – 100% – WILL NEVER BE THERE IN THE HOUSE, IT IS ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE THAT THIS WILL HAPPEN. YOU ARE OBSESSING ABOUT A ‘PLOT’ THAT IS NON-EXISTENT.

          • wireknob

            Are you as unconcerned about voting rights, abortion rights, gay/lesbian rights, religious rights, warrantless searches, censorship, etc.? Nobody is really trying to deny these rights, correct? According to you, those that are guided by less than honest and true motives with respect to these issues should not be worried about since they will never, ever achieve their goals, is that right? Why have civil rights groups then, if we are all otherwise protected from infringements of our rights? Why have judicial review?

            Don’t you think you’re being a little naive?

          • williamdiamon

            She said it, not me.

            They don’t need 100%.
            51 will do, and lead to a civil war. This is bloodshed we should all try to avoid.

            I am concerned with maintaining the best way to protect myself, loved ones and community. DF wants to confiscate all guns in America. Tell me, just who is OBSESSING.

          • wireknob

            Here are some more collections of anti-gun rhetoric from politicians, gun control lobbyists, etc:

            http://thefiringline.com/library/quotes/antifreedom.xml

    • Stan Sinberg

      Well, let’s make a gross generalization and say that “gun control advocates” are on the liberal side of the spectrum, and avid gun owners are more conservative. What “other rights” don’t “liberals” respect? The right for gays to marry? The right of a woman to have an abortion? Animal rights? I’d venture its conservatives who are more “anti-rights” – excluding guns and the rights of corporations to run roughshod and do whatever they want. So WHAT are you TALKING about?

      • williamdiamon

        “So WHAT are you TALKING about?”
        The Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution. It is a Right describing the sentiments of the Founding Fathers and Patriots, who had just fought a terrible 8 year long war, a war started when somebody tried to take their guns, on April 19th, 1775. Read it, it’s still popular now, 238 years later.
        Conservative means to conserve the Constitution. Liberal means “free of mind”. There is no mention of “gays, animals, or abortion” in the Constitution. We are free to advance these causes or any we desire, but if you want folks to respect your “rights”, you better respect theirs.

        • Stan Sinberg

          The Constitution also doesn’t mention AK-47s. Arguing about gun control is not going to get us anywhere. I’m challenging the specious argument that “anti-gun” people are “anti-rights” in general. Aside from being preposterous and totally unsupportable,if it were true, there are a lot of OTHER, and LESS DANGEROUS, “rights” to go after than the one that threatens people with semi-automatics in their hands…

          • williamdiamon

            It doesn’t mention the internet either, what’s your point?
            Why would the Founding Fathers place the Patriots on a less then level playing field? Are you suggesting they would want the Militia to show up to battle this Nation’s enemies with out dated weapons? What do you base this concept on? Do you apply this train of thought to the other of the Bill of Rights?

            What do you have against semi-autos? Police and armed citizens protect you with them every day.
            Anyone concerned with preserving America’s Rights cannot miss the Second Amendment. This is the Right that protects all the others. The fastest way to erode our Bill of Rights is to diminish the 2nd as it is the teeth of the Constitution. Therefore, anyone attacking the 2nd is either a fool or actively trying to erase the Bill of Rights.

          • Stan Sinberg

            Meanwhile in today’s NY Times – yes, I know -some of you reading this will instantly dismiss the rest of the story since it’s from a “lib’ral rag” – that due to the rash of school shootings, school children are learning “lock down” drills and being taught what to do in case a nutjob bursts into their school shooting to kill. I doubt that these kids feel very “free” in this environment. Guns may make YOU feel free: for a lot of other people, the sight of you carrying a gun in public instills fear. THOSE people ALSO have a right to feel “free.”

          • wireknob

            Some people have an irrational fear of black men due to prejudice and racial stereotypes. Does that mean we must not allow black men to walk the streets so as to protect the “rights” of those who have irrational fears about them. Where is there written a right to “feel free” or to not feel irrationally afraid that trumps everyone else’s constitutional rights?

            And just exactly how would any of the gun control policies at issue eliminate the threat of a nutjob bursting into a school and opening fire? Where these policies (background checks, laws against concealed carry, gun-free zones, etc.) are in full effect seems to be where many of these scenarios unfold.

          • williamdiamon

            That’s why I carry concealed, I understand the fears some folks have concerning open carry guns. No big deal. The schools would also be better served if teachers carried concealed as the children would not be intimidated and the attacker would not know who was armed. This is important as H+K knew there was an armed guard at Columbine, they simply waited for him to go to lunch before committing their evil.

          • normal business owner

            Hmmm. I have no fear of a gun that I can see. The ones I fear are the ones I can’t see. I prefer to try to level the field just a bit. Funny thing is my daily carry weapon has never been pulled, and unless I wish for it to be, has never been seen by anyone. Any restrictions on guns will have no effect on those wishing to do harm. They will just restrict our ability to protect ourselves. In a county that is WAY down on police protection our sheriff has decided that maybe we should be able to protect ourselves if needed. BTW those that fear the guns carried by law abiding citizens will be the first to call a bunch of guys with guns when they are involved in some type of confrontation. Good luck where I live. The police MIGHT make it to you in 30 minutes or so.

          • wireknob

            An AK-47 falls in the category “arms”, so it is mentioned in the second amendment. Does the right to free speech list every word that may be spoken?

  • williamdiamon

    The United Nations is not made up of people from around the world. It consists of governments from around the world, the enterprises meant to control the people of the world. Gun-control is an evil and draconian way to control these people, as it reduces the common man to the status of herd animals. This is why governments propagate it. Gun-control does not make you safer (unless you are a criminal), it makes governments safer. Consider the proposed “assault weapons ban”.

    America in perspective:
    Total murders- 12,664
    Handguns- 6,220
    Knives-1,694
    Hands and feet-728
    Hammers + clubs-496
    All rifles- 323 (that includes your “assault” + .50 rifles)
    Source: FBI 2011, Expanded homicide data table 8

    Why would anyone suggest banning the semi-auto rifle when more people have been murdered with “hands and feet” then all types of rifles? Because it is an effective battle weapon and the one a modern day Minute Man would carry. This is what concerns them, not your safety.

    • Mgh999

      Why would we care what the UN says when 35% of member countries are defined as “not free” . UN is a one nation one vote body – the Congo vote cancels the US vote.
      Top 10 most traced guns: 9 handguns, 1 shotguns (Mossberg 500). of the 9 handguns – 1 0.22, 4 0.25 cal, 2 38s and 2 9 mm – 2 of which I know are revolvers. Only 1 – Glock comes up as a “serious” handgun (most of the those hit the streets when the Police sold off older GLOCKS).
      The number of AR/AK uses is so low you can count them. DiFi says on average 35 people per year are killed by AR/AK weapons.
      Why push laws that don’t work? don’t address the issue?

      • williamdiamon

        More proof of the NWO’s fear of the armed common man:
        Number of Violent Crimes per 100,000 capita:
        1. UK 2,034
        2. Austria 1,677
        3. South Africa 1,609
        4. Sweden 1,123
        5. Belgium 1,006
        6. Canada 935
        7. Finland 738
        8. Netherlands 676
        9. Luxembourg 565
        10. France 504
        11. United States 446
        Source: EU Commission, United Nations
        This shows America to be safer then Europe, so why do they want our guns?

    • Stan Sinberg

      I really, really don’t think the federal government is shivering in their booties that “you” have a semi-automatic rifle. Really. Get over yourself. You’re not that scary.
      I think maybe it has to do with mass killings of innocents in movie theaters and schools…

      • williamdiamon

        Well you think wrong. Follow me,
        When was the ban first championed? In 1994, by Bill Clinton.
        Why? See my post above as there were no mass murders committed with semi-auto rifles at that time. Plain as day. Please feel free to search this matter for yourself.
        What was the outcome? No change in crime with the ban, it was allowed to lapse because it was worthless to our safety.
        Yes, the Gov. is terribly afraid of a populous armed with these weapons, They are the “torch and pitch fork” of our time. Otherwise why continue with the push? Millions of rifles, less then 100 deaths from -criminal use of them- and you are going to stand there and say “mass murder” is the reason for this legislation? REALLY?

      • Chuck Wagner

        Hey, Stan – how about giving me the YES or NO to “if these scary rifles were banned, it would prevent all future mass murders.”

        • Stan Sinberg

          The answer is “No.”
          See? I can do it. How about you?
          Yes or No: “If these rifles were banned, it would prevent AT LEAST ONE future mass murder.”

          • Chuck Wagner

            “NO.” The next mass murderer would simply use a much more deadly caliber rifle or a shotgun.

          • Stan Sinberg

            And of course, we shouldn’t restrict Those, either. I just don’t get you guys. Let’s say – hypothetically – in 10 years guns could carry a small nuclear charge. Would you favor restrictions on THOSE? is there NO limit to the destructive power a gun can cause that would get you to concede some restraints? Because compared to the firepower that we have now and the muskets our forefathers had when the 2nd Amendment was drafted, this is not an absurd comparison.

          • Chuck Wagner

            I was just making the point that the restrictions won’t stop until guns are outlawed.

            Accepting restrictions without compromise is not rational for those of us who believe in gun rights. You want something different? Offer a compromise instead of telling us we need to be irrational.

          • Stan Sinberg

            I’M not telling you you should be irrational! VENOLA said that! Metcalf started with “We should keep guns out of the hands of IRRESPONSIBLE PEOPLE” and THAT was judged to be treacherous and got him shelved, not to mention death threats. So please, don’t talk as if you want “Compromise.” If a reasonable discussion was in order, you’d be debating it with Metcalf in the pages of G&A, not me.

          • Reality122

            Your kind of compromise always requires that gun owners give up a little more and gun controllers gain a little more. When one side always gains something and the other side always loses something it’s not a compromise.

          • Stan Sinberg

            Really. Examples, please…

          • wireknob

            We have been discussing many gun control policies and legislation where the legitimate, lawful ownership and use of firearms is made more expensive, restrictive, inconvenient, legally risky, etc? Where are the corresponding policies advocated by gun control groups that do the opposite for responsible, law-abiding gun owners? Where have these groups been willing to accept, or even support, a relaxing of gun control laws?

          • wireknob

            What Chuck was saying is that the guns you seek to ban are not of the high power variety and are not more destructive than other non-ban worthy guns. They just look scarier to some people.

          • williamdiamon

            Actually it’s lasers. In 10 years we will have the capability to manufacture high power lasers the size of rifles. As only militaries will have them though, we will need more belt fed machine guns, sniper rifles and battle rifles to defend against them per our militia duties. So stock up guys.

          • Stan Sinberg

            I wish I thought you were kidding about the ‘stocking up’ line. Tragically, I think you’re serious.

          • williamdiamon

            VERY serious.
            The 2nd was not written for hunting or even self defense. It was written to allow the sovereign in America (that’s us, We the People) to be able to throw off a tyrannical Government. As our military has real nice weapons, we must also. This places us on equal footing with any potential aggressor, foreign and domestic.
            Did you miss the whole American Revolution thing? Please research the sentiments of our Founding Fathers for a complete education on this subject. The Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights. The Federalist Papers will explain the context and arguments of these men when writing the Constitution. This is very important when you are engaging in the gun-control debate as this is where and why and how the whole issue stems from. To ignore this leaves you ill prepared to even understand the issue, let alone advance your point of view.
            That’s OK though, you have made a start by writing this article and getting involved in this, “the animated contest of freedom”.

          • Stan Sinberg

            I am going to post this individually to the 3 or 4 of you
            with whom I’ve been doing the most conversing, because I am withdrawing from
            this conversation.

            I DID NOT want to get into a debate about gun control here,
            because I know it’s pointless. And endless. For the nth time, I wrote the piece
            in reaction to how G&A readers, editors, advertisers, etc – bullied,
            threatened and expelled a decades-long writer for having the temerity to
            suggest that “irresponsible” people having guns might not be a good thing, and
            that some training might be in order for concealed weapons. Hardly “outlaw guns”
            material, and only the most extreme zealot would consider Metcalf “anti-gun.”
            But, again, Venola said it: “The time for ceding some RATIONAL points is over.” A couple of you, by refusing to concede that “popcorn
            V. gun” in a movie theater is not a fair fight, and similar examples, have
            borne him out.

            This is what I think: I think you guys fancy yourselves as
            Patriots and all that stands between us and government tyranny. In that, you are
            delusional. There is no possible way in 2014 America, there is going to be mass
            uprising from the people, or that you would stand even a smidgeon of a chance
            if the government DID come down on you. This is NOT 1789. For all your wrapping
            yourselves in the Constitution – and I haven’t heard a single historical figure
            quoted who was alive as recently as the Civil War – you’re just a bunch of gun
            fanatics with a siege mentality “playing” at having a larger purpose. Just say
            it: WE LOVE GUNS. All this other posturing is costume dressing.

            Your side has already won the war, but you’re too blind to
            see it. The fact that after Sandy Hook, for God’s sake, most legislation passed
            RELAXED gun restrictions should make that painfully obvious. But for your side,
            it never will. I made this point once in this dialogue before, but I’ll repeat
            it:

            For you, it’s always, “Guns don’t kill people, people kill
            people.” However, when it comes to DEFENDING folks, it’s “GUNS save people,
            people don’t save people.” Guns only do good, never bad. How about a little
            consistency, like “Guns kill people, and ALSO save people.” That way lies
            dialogue.

            Finally, for those of you throwing statistics at me about
            how gun control doesn’t make us any safer, I would love for you to watch this great
            clip

            http://www.iamjohnoliver.com/?cat=4

            from John Oliver from
            the Daily Show, where he went over to Australia last year and saw the effects
            of a gun ban there. Of course you’ll find reasons that it’s stupid and
            pointless. At the very least, you’ll hear a lot of your arguments repeated
            here, and see how the ‘other half’ views you. And perhaps be entertained.

            I won’t say it’s been a pleasure, but I appreciate the
            interactions.

            Watch that clip. Really.

          • Guest

            I’ve seen the clip, but because many buy into the ugly stereotypes of gun owners doesn’t make the gun owners ugly, it makes the anti-gun bigots ugly. Same type of bigotry surrounds other groups. No different here.

            And mischaracterizing gun rights arguments while ignoring the actual evidence on gun control failures to reduce crime and suicide is just wanton ignorance (and perhaps good for a laugh). And you should look into the research studies done on the impact of the Australian gun ban and confiscation…it was not responsible for any reduction in overall crime or suicide rates. All it did was take people’s lawfully owned guns away and destroy them.

          • Stan Sinberg

            Oliver called for a ONE HOUR background check and the guy rejected it. Oliver didn’t “create” the ugly stereotype. He was there for all to see. Did he speak for you, as well?

          • williamdiamon

            Thanks Stan for a interesting discourse. Stimulating, and mostly free of personal insults. Feel free to use me as your emergency contact.

            This is what happened in Australia,

            “Homicide has decreased by nine percent since 1990 and armed robbery by one-third since 2001, but recorded assaults and sexual assaults have both increased steadily in the past 10 years by over 40 percent and 20 percent respectively.”

            They have reverted to a “might makes right” society. Notice rape has increased 20 percent? Violent assaults 40 percent? It is THE reason to carry. Protection of yourself and loved ones, the innocent and community. Violent assault, home invasions, strong arm robberies. Compare the rates of these crimes before and after. Now that the innocent has only kitchen utensils to defend with as long as the criminal is bigger, or in multiples, there is no more deterrent. Think that’s a good thing?
            England is similar, with a higher violent crime rate than America.

          • williamdiamon

            Actually it is absurd. Lets review their sentiments

            “A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government.”
            - George Washington

            “No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.”
            - Thomas Jefferson

            “The Constitution of most of our states (and of the United States) assert that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed.”
            - Thomas Jefferson

            “To disarm the people is the most effectual way to enslave them.”
            - George Mason

            “I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians.”
            - George Mason (father of the Bill of Rights and The Virginia Declaration of Rights)

            “Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed, as they are in almost every country in Europe.”
            - Noah Webster

            “The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops.”
            - Noah Webster

            “A government resting on the minority is an aristocracy, not a Republic, and could not be safe with a numerical and physical force against it, without a standing army, an enslaved press and a disarmed populace.”
            - James Madison

            “Americans have the right and advantage of being armed, unlike the people of other countries, whose leaders are afraid to trust them with arms.”
            - James Madison

            “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country.”
            - James Madison

            “The ultimate authority resides in the people alone.”
            - James Madison

            “To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.”
            - Richard Henry Lee

            “A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves … and include all men capable of bearing arms.”
            - Richard Henry Lee

            “Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined…. The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able might have a gun.”
            - Patrick Henry

            “This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty…. The right of self defense is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any color or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction.”
            - St. George Tucker

            “… arms … discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property…. Horrid mischief would ensue were (the law-abiding) deprived the use of them.”
            - Thomas Paine

            “The Constitution shall never be construed to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.”
            - Samuel Adams

            “The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.”
            - Joseph Story

            Is there anything in the Founding Father’s sentiments expressed above that give you reason to consider that they would have wanted We the People to show up, to defend this Nation and it’s Constitution, less armed then the enemy we may someday face?

          • wireknob

            The answer is probably “No” since non-scary semi-automatic rifles (those not covered by any current or proposed ban) operate exactly the same way that the scary guns do, so a scary-looking gun confers no new, unique capability. Therefore, there are ready substitutes.

            It’s like banning sporty-looking cars so that bank robbers wouldn’t have a suitable get-away vehicle. Any other car with similar speed and handling would do just as well, even if it didn’t have the stylish pin stripes, cowl hood, or rear spoiler.

  • Reality122

    The very fact that you make a statement like, “…blows his nuts off because he wasn’t trained to affix the safety latch.” demonstrates your own ignorance. The vast majority of carry firearms do not have a safety latch. They use grip safeties, trigger safeties, heavy double action triggers, but rarely a safety with a lever/button/other actuator as you might find on a long gun. The 1911 is one of the few firearms commonly carried with a safety latched…and even that firearm has grip safeties besides.

    Ask a cop someday if they have their safety “latched” on their duty arm…

    • Stan Sinberg

      So instead of trying to “discredit” me for maybe misusing the word “latch” – even though you know EXACTLY what I mean, how about instead addressing my POINT by answering YES OR NO to the gist of the statement: “Blowing my nuts off is a small price to pay for not being compelled to take 16 hours of safety training.” I CHALLENGE you to answer this with a one-word YES or NO.

      • wireknob

        Would the government be paying for the safety training courses and making them readily available to everyone? Yes or no?

        And would the 16-hour safety training courses be for every intended use of a firearm, including hunting, target shooting, home defense, and personal defense with carried handgun?

        By the way, accidents with firearms are very rare and responsible for only about 0.5% of fatal and non-fatal injuries. Perhaps we need some government mandated safety courses to protect against motor vehicle accidents, drowning, falling, suffocation, fires/burns, etc. which cause far more accidental injuries than firearms. Would you support that?

        • Stan Sinberg

          So if the government paid for training, you would support it? Or would you cry “The government is COERCING me to take a course, with MY tax dollars?” I’m betting on the latter.
          And you’re ALSO saying that since we can’t give safety-training courses on all aspects of gun safety (And why would THAT be, I wonder? What group could POSSIBLY be opposing that?) we shouldn’t have Any. Less is more! I get it!

          • wireknob

            I would support gun safety training funded by government and available to all. I don’t support it as a requirement for some uses of guns, like hunting and target shooting, since what one must learn to shoot safely in these cases is easily and quickly learned from an experienced shooter (e.g., a friend, parent, etc.).

            For concealed carry I do support a training requirement because defensive shooting is much more difficult to do effectively and safely.

            What troubles me about placing requirements on rights is the fact that once a requirement is attached to the exercise of a right, satisfaction of this requirement can be made arbitrarily difficult to meet, thereby unduly restricting or even effectively denying the right. For example, not allowing gun ranges in a particular jurisdiction would make it very difficult for people that live in that area to obtain the required training.

            The NRA trains and certifies gun-safety instructors, BTW. Firearms education and safety is still their primary mission.

          • Stan Sinberg

            The first sentence in your penultimate paragraph is entirely correct. You know what you should be worrying about? VOTING RIGHTS. Because right now, Republican controlled states are putting ALL sorts of obstacles in the way of people voting. And if it’s ONE right that DEFINES what a democracy is, it’s the right to vote. Where are you “freedom lovers” on THIS issue?

          • wireknob

            Again, you assume that I am inconsistent on these issues when it is you who is apparently inconsistent (and prone to stereotyping). You see the threats to other rights, but not to second amendment rights. I see the threats to all rights, and see the disingenuous means that are used to whittle away at these rights. You are seemingly blind to the very practices used elsewhere when they are used to infringe upon gun rights. Do you not see the obstacles placed in the way of exercising second amendment rights, and the specious reasoning used to put in place these obstacles?

          • Stan Sinberg

            Keeping old and primarily minorities from the ballot box is, I would suggest, easier than taking guns from Americans by a factor of, oh, roughly a million. If I have to explain why, it’s pointless.

          • wireknob

            But the distinction you make is not in how easy or hard it is to infringe upon different rights, but in whether different rights should be protected against infringement. So, for you it’s OK to use disingenuous and deceitful practices to go after gun rights because these rights are better protected by the citizens who exercise them, but it’s not OK to go after voting rights because these are not as well protected by voters and civil rights groups? Interesting perspective.

          • Stan Sinberg

            Who the heck is saying that? Voting rights are being threatened and SHOULD be fought for. Gun advocates, on the other hand, are fighting a foe who is armed with a wet noodle. You can go from Code Red to Code Paisley

          • wireknob

            Gun rights are being threatened, too, and there are powerful civil rights groups defending the right to vote. So you’re making the same argument as before: it’s OK to threaten rights you don’t like because there are people to defend them, but it’s not alright if the threat is to a right that you cherish. But why advocate threatening rights at all?

            Do you even know what laws are on the books, what legislation has been proposed, what laws have been overturned by the courts, and what policies have been tried in the past? You seem not to care about the evidence concerning the efficacy of such laws. The history behind the gun control movement and their tactics. You only want more gun control laws and for gun rights advocates to concede on something, anything, no matter what the substance of the issue is. You can’t even seriously argue for why any given law might be worth considering, you just parrot the facile sophistry you’ve apparently picked up from comedy shows. A single factual counterpoint to your attempted argument and you go off on a bigoted tirade and accuse gun owners of not wanting a serious discussion.

            Have you ever considered that it is you who isn’t being serious about this issue. If you don’t respect other people’s rights, then why would you expect those people to respect your opinion about their rights?

          • Stan Sinberg

            Ahh, just when I think you’re semi-reasonable, you misinterpret me again. I don’t know how many times I can say I’m NOT an expert – nor am I interested in being one – on “gun control.” CERTAINLY am not interested in arguing about the whys and wherefores of arcane laws on the books. What dismayed me -AGAIN – is that it’s impossible to deny that we have too many shootings/killings in this country, and that guns are involved in a vast preponderance of them. The G&A community reacted with Pavlovian shock and awe to any suggestion that guns contribute to the problem. I believe that if “your side” responded as sympathetically that ‘yes, we have a violence problem involving guns, what can we do to solve it?’ that “my side” would meet you considerably more than halfway. There’s a lot of talk here about how “my” side has to compromise first, but YOU’RE the ones with the guns. YOU have the leverage, although you don’t believe it. So intransigence wins the day.

          • wireknob

            Well, let’s circle around to the beginning and look at what some G&A readers were reacting to, because it was not just a simple call for open-minded discussion on the matter. It was a column larded with historical misinformation and inaccuracies that were used to justify restrictions on second amendment rights, and argue that gun owners should accept restrictions on their rights because that’s what the framers intended.

            In particular, it is the erroneous notion that the term “well regulated” in the second amendment means subject to government control and restriction which is offensive and aggravating to those who of us who have tried to debunk this stupid canard promulgated by gun-control activists.

            You might expect a similar reaction from civil rights groups if the editor of a voting rights newsletter opined that we all know that the framers of the Constitution didn’t really intend for all citizens to have the right to vote and that supporters of voting rights should be open to restrictions based on income, property, knowledge of American history, race, respectability, etc.

            And imagine how the president of planned parenthood would be received by abortion rights supporters if she wrote an editorial acknowledging that Roe vs. Wade was clearly decided based on specious and fallacious reasoning, and therefore women should be open to all manner of government restrictions on reproductive rights.

            And again we come to the question of compromise: Gun owners give a little in exchange for being allowed to exercise their more limited rights. How about voting rights advocates allowing some voter suppression in exchange for being allowed to vote under certain restrictions and requirements? And perhaps abortion rights activists should agree to some additional restrictions on abortions in exchange for being allowed to keep what’s left of that right. The problem with your reasoning on this is that you think that not taking away the right altogether, but just abrogating it partially, is a compromise.

            I think many gun owners would be open to an intellectually honest, fact-based, mutually respectful discussion on how to better limit criminal access to guns, for example. But when the gun-control side repeatedly resorts to rank demagoguery whenever a tragic event occurs involving a gun, refuses to acknowledge and accept scads of evidence that certain gun control policies do not work, stereotypes gun owners, deliberately spreads lies and misinformation, tries to enact legislation that only penalizes lawful gun ownership and use, etc. Well, that is going to cause a bad reaction from gun owners.

            But that’s what many professional gun control advocates do, just read their playbook which I linked to elsewhere. These actions are not mistakes on their part, it’s their strategy.

            Don’t you feel “your side” bears some of the blame for the mistrust and anger over this issue? I hesitate to even call it your side, though, because many, if not most, gun control advocates are on record as not supporting private gun rights and wanting to do away with them. They do not respect second amendment rights and are happy to see them restricted. Crime reduction for them is an ulterior motive, not their real agenda. But you apparently haven’t been following this fight for very long or critically evaluated the situation.

      • Reality122

        You have presented a false dilemma that I cannot answer with a simple yes or no as both answers are incorrect.

        I CHALLENGE you to answer a similarly absurd question with a one-word YES or NO.

        Did you stop molesting children last night?

        • Stan Sinberg

          Ayy-yi-yi. This is NOT an equivalent question. The question you pose is a classic “trap” – either answer means I’m guilty of the behavior. My question to you is a CHOICE, because accidents happen every day (this kind or even worse) because people aren’t trained to use guns. That football player shot himself in the leg and ruined his whole career.

          • Chuck Wagner

            More people get injured from texting while driving that guns.

          • Stan Sinberg

            Yup. Should be outlawed. WE AGREE!!!!

          • Chuck Wagner

            If your end goal is outlawing guns, then why is compromising with you rational on our part?

          • Stan Sinberg

            WHO -WHO-WHO – WITH ANY SEMBLANCE OF POWER – IS TRYING TO OUTLAW YOUR GUNS??? You keep SAYING that’s our goal, but it’s NOT, and repeating it endlessly – or because the NRA says we say it – DOESN’T MAKE IT SO. YOU ARE FIGHTING AN IMAGINARY FOE! THERE IS ZERO CHANCE THAT A COUPLE OF HUNDRED MILLION FIREARMS ARE GOING TO BE TAKEN AWAY FROM THEIR OWNERS. Present me with a scenario where this could even REMOTELY happen. (And please, no “Obama declares himself Emperor and decrees it.”)

          • wireknob

            They have outlawed certain styles of semi-automatic rifles, nationwide for a while and in several states today, and have forced gun owners to get rid of their firearms or modify them, or else have them confiscated. They have effectively outlawed handguns in several cities. They have proposed punitive taxes on guns and ammo (for example, in CA). They have proposed a requirement for gun owners to purchase “liability” insurance (liability for what I’m not sure). Many gun control advocates and politicians have expressed the desire to ban either whole classes of commonly owned firearms and even privately owned firearms in toto. In many states there are very serious legal penalties for transporting firearms. There is legislation to impose background checks and onerous record keeping requirements on all ammo purchases as well, and laws to force buyers to purchase only in face-to-face transactions, which will drive the cost of buying ammo through the roof. There has been legislation introduced that would make all ammo purchases public information. And there is legislation that would make you criminally liable for acting in self defense with a firearm away from your home. They have laws that vaguely require “safe storage”. Maybe you should look into the gun laws that already exist and those that have been proposed.

            Your problem here is that you assume that your agenda is the same as the agenda of most gun control advocates, and that gun control advocates with an agenda to end private ownership of firearms would be open and honest about their motives. Many gun control laws are designed to make lawful private gun ownership more expensive, more inconvenient, and more legally risky. In other words, they are chipping away at second amendment rights. Your other problem is that you accept any argument for gun control, no matter how specious, as legitimate and sufficient to justify the abrogation of gun rights.

          • Stan Sinberg

            Yes, I do. Absolutely. Difference is, guns are involved in tens of thousands of criminal incidents a year. The only person hurt by restrictions on voting is the voter.So…not equivalent.

          • wireknob

            Voter fraud hurts all citizens. Your argument that the laws that would significantly reduce voter fraud adversely impacts some small group of voters is similar to mine, except that gun control laws do not significantly impact criminals (again, study the evidence) and have a much broader impact on law-abiding gun owners.

            The real difference is that you don’t sympathize with law-abiding gun owners, who do not unjustifiably kill anyone but must suffer poorly targeted gun control measures, while you do sympathize with voters who are somehow unable to obtain an ID but can manage to vote.

          • wireknob

            Firearms are one of the least common causes of accidental injury, accounting for something like 0.5% of fatal accidents and a similarly small percentage of non-fatal accidents.

          • Reality122

            The only options you gave me were 16 hours of compulsory training or blowing my nuts off. There exists an alternate reality, one that I’m living right now. I took my state’s mandated training class for a carry permit (much less than 16 hours) AND I still have fully functional genitalia. Prior to taking my class I still had fully functional genitalia AND owned firearms. You offer only two choices, both negative and neither encompassing of reality.

            No…the trap is much the same and it is unfortunate that you are unable to see it. It speaks to the “rationality” of your whole article.

          • Stan Sinberg

            This is silly. Obviously the “vast majority” don’t blow off their nuts. My question was: IF this happened, you would consider it “worth it” because you weren’t coerced to take a 16 hour class. I believe you already said that it WOULD be worth it. Me? I’d rather hold onto my nuts. But that’s just me.

          • Reality122

            How would your 16 hour class prevent it from happening considering it hasn’t happened yet? How did you arrive at 16 hours being the magical amount? Why not 17 hours? What training would be provided in those 16 hours considering you will never ever damage your genitalia if you follow the 4 basic rules which a 5 year old can memorize and do with 5 minutes of training? What exactly is discussed at firearms training? From your previous ramblings it is obvious that you do not know.

            Hint: The largest portion of carry classes deals with the legalities of carrying and how to navigate the web of laws people like yourself advocate for.

          • Stan Sinberg

            So someone picks a number, and you say Why not THIS number instead? And then they say, OK, we’ll make it THAT number, and YOU say, “Wait. Why not THIS number?” At some point, we pick a number! Age for voting, age for drinking, age to be president. I don’t care if it’s 16 hours. Someone else suggested it. PIck a number (more than 5 minutes, please) that the AVERAGE, NON-GUN TOTING INDIVIDUAL would need to learn – and PRACTICE – gun safety. Once you come up with a number you’re willing to live with, then it’s just a question of working out something that both sides can live with.

          • wireknob

            He picked a number: 5 minutes. But that would be a trivial legal requirement. And we don’t at some point “pick a number” for the vast majority of other activities. We leave the decisions about risk and possible mitigation up to the individuals engaging in the activities. Shouldn’t the risks of personal injury and the decisions on how to mitigate the risks be left to the individual, as they are for virtually all other, much more common manners of personal injury?

            Most activities we participate in involve the risk of injury. Statistically, owning and operating a firearm involves a very small risk of accidental injury, and a much smaller risk than many, if not most, other activities. So why single out guns for a mandatory, government imposed, legally enforced, criminally punished safety training requirement? Are you arguing for these types of safety training requirements for all activities that involve some small risk of injury?

          • Stan Sinberg

            I really don’t give a rat’s ass if You -or any other gun owner injures themselves because they were cavalier about safety. But they injure and kill OTHERS. Or have you never read stories about folks who “thought their gun was unloaded” or who “didn’t properly secure it” killing family members, friends, innocents. Jesus. At least PRETEND that you understand that guns are an order of magnitude different from slipping on a banana peel.

          • wireknob

            Do you think that there should be government-imposed safety training requirements for the causes of the other 99+% of accidental injury and

            death? Many several hundred hours of training before you are allowed to drive a car, walk up and down steps, use matches or lighters, go swimming or take a bath, etc. Why the fixation on just gun safety, which is responsible for less than 1% of accidental injuries?

          • Reality122

            I believe you should go reread everything I’ve posted because I have never said it would be worth it because I realize all the training in the world doesn’t prevent people from being careless. A person makes the choice to not be careless and with the 4 basic rules, easily learned in 5 minutes, they will never injure themselves or anyone else.

          • Stan Sinberg

            I hereby, by fiat, change your “handle” to UNREALITYINFINITY..

      • Chuck Wagner

        YES, the risk of blowing my nuts off is a small price to pay for not being compelled to take 16 hours of safety training.

        Because the 4 rules can be taught by virtually any gun owner to someone in 5 minutes.

        • Stan Sinberg

          Ladies and Gentlemen: This man just admitted he’d prefer to walk through life Nutless than to sit through listening to 16 hours of stuff he already knows.
          I give you Exhibit A of the Venola Code.

          • Chuck Wagner

            Ladies and Gentlemen: Stan can’t read or reason.

            Stan, the operative word in my reply is “risk of…”.

            And I don’t think you get the moral high ground for “rational” when your basic premise is “failing to sit through 16 hours of training on stuff you already know will cause you to shoot your nuts off”.

          • Stan Sinberg

            Not “will.” “Might.” “Higher risk of” “Better chance.” Ergo, if it happens (or it just “accidentally” goes off – which, oh, I know, never, ever, ever happens – ) it’s most probably due to lack of knowledge.

          • wireknob

            Are you this concerned with all risks of injury? Since accidental gun injuries account for only about 0.5% of fatal accidents and 0.05% of non-fatal accidents, and other causes of accidental injury are far more common, should we apply the same logic to other causes?

            To keep things in perspective, let’s require a few thousand hours of driver’s safety classes in order to get a drivers license. And a few hundred more to purchase a home with a bathtub, stairs, electrical outlets, etc. And before people are allowed to have children they should be forced to take a few hundred hours of child safety courses to prevent accidental suffocations, drownings, poisonings, etc. And a few dozen hours of fire safety classes to purchase matches or a lighter.

  • williamdiamon

    “It’s impossible to pass laws when one side argues that “rationality” is off the table.”
    Maybe you should understand the issue before you try to pass law. It is you who are “irrational”.
    History, data, and common sense will enlighten you.

    “universal background check”,

    The NICS record tells us that gun sales are at record highs. Store shelves tell us that lead is the new precious metal. Do the math and use common sense, the reason the Federal gun control bill failed is lack of public support. People like guns and the safety they can provide.

    Public support for “universal background checks” was never at 90 percent. That number came from a poll by Quinnipiac University, a institution well know for it’s biased and “progressive” ideology. The questions asked of participants were phrased to give these numbers. Rasmussen came out later showing only 49 percent replied they thought background checks even make any difference to crime rates. They are right. Would a criminal even buy a gun? Why would they if their job description is to “rob and steal”? Their “homies” would probably laugh at them.

    Interviewed incarcerated criminals report getting -2- percent from legal sources, that includes gun shows.

    Would a criminal pay $400-$900 dollars for a handgun to rob a store for $300? Maybe but I doubt it. They steal guns and buy them from other criminals.
    It is also evident stopping crime and mass murders are not the reason for the bill as it would not have stopped any of the mass murders. It cannot stop crime either. Witness laws on the books now against drugs, murder, rape or any crime. If you want to make a difference in crime rates go after gangs. Mass murders? Address mental health care.

    The only way we can effect the desired change through law abiding citizens is to liberalize concealed carry laws and remove the “gun free zone” as this is where mass murders happen. Crime has gone down across the USA. It has gone down faster in states with “shall issue concealed” laws faster than “discretionary” laws. And not at all in places like Chicago, or DC, with draconian gun laws. Had the current gun control bill addressed these issues it would have made a difference to our safety. It was obviously crafted for other reasons.

    The DOJ told Eric Holder the bill can’t work without a complete registry of gun owners in the USA. This is the danger of this bill and why there is so much resistance to it. The NICS is set up in a certain way, You can trace a gun to it’s owner but not a owner to a gun. If a weapon is found at a crime scene, we call the FBI with the serial number, they have a record of who sold the gun, they call the FFL and they will search their records for the buyer. This way no one can look up your name and know what guns you own, then persecute in some way. This system was set up this specific way to prevent what happened in Nazi Germany. Still, All it would take is someone keeping a copy of the checking list to know who has what. Don’t think it could happen? Neither did the disarmed Jews. Or the other 6 million undesirables. This is why it will never happen in America. Read History, it hasn’t been kind to those who’ve been disarmed, we know them as “victims”.

    • Stan Sinberg

      According to your logic, not a single unstable, violent, or criminally disposed person has ever been thwarted by not passing a background check. Only completely stable and honest people get turned down, and for no good reason.

      • williamdiamon

        Yes, that’s right, consider, “stable and honest” people require guns for pleasure, sport and security. We get turned down because of incomplete and mismatched data on file with the FBI. Not a big deal, but this happens about 100,000 times a year.

        “unstable, violent, or criminally disposed” people however use weapons for crime and murder. These folks are not above going outside the law, in fact it’s in their job description. To suggest a madman or criminal will be dissuaded from their evil by a background check is comical. Some, like the Naval Yard shooter had extensive security clearance, others will steal and murder for weapons, like the Newtown shooter. Career criminals such as gang members steal guns during robberies or buy them from their fellow gang members. Columbine’s murderers had a straw purchaser.
        Please present a scenario describing how a gang member or mentally unstable individual may be convinced not to commit their evil because of a background check. Now tell me why they would not pursue procurement of weapons through other means.

        • Stan Sinberg

          You’re actually making a case for MORE gun control, not less. But be that as it may, the point, as Metcalf stated, is to make it a little HARDER for Irresponsible People to procure guns. A little HARDER for a mentally ill person to get one. A little HARDER for an angry person with little impulse control to get one. You guys don’t make any distinction between This and “They’re coming for our guns!”

          • williamdiamon

            OK, Describe “Irresponsible people” to me, you maybe mean people who are late on their taxes? Have weeds in their yard? How about “an angry person”, what’s the cutoff point for anger? “Mentally ill” is an issue to be addressed with restrictive HIPPA laws, many States won’t allow the information to be transferred for privacy reasons. You tell me what you want to include in your “dream version” of a background check, or keep your “little harder” to yourself, you are talking about a Constitutional Right, you better have valid reasons for your proposals.

          • Stan Sinberg

            The initial blog I wrote about Metcalf was about how “your” side – in this case – squashed ANY argument on the subject. So “arguing” about it is actually a GOOD thing. If G&A readers didn’t react by putting fingers in their ears and going “LALALALA” and instead engaged Metcalf on his points, he would still be writing his column, and maybe some small, incremental movement could’ve occurred.
            William, without going case by case, I would HOPE there is SOMEONE out there who we could both agree was too “irresponsible” enough to own a gun. We could start with that person and work backwards.

          • wireknob

            Beautiful example of how not to reply to a single question asked. Really, how would you set requirements that disallows the exercise of a constitutionally protected right based on such criteria as “responsibility”, “mentally ill”, “angry”, “little impulse control”? Should all rights be predicated on some bureaucrats judgement with respect to these criteria?

          • Stan Sinberg

            We ALREADY have restrictions: age, criminal record, not permitting them in government buildings or courtrooms (or, now, Starbucks.) We have restrictions on rights of speech, assembly, every single right there is. That was Metcalf’s point, as well. Why do you ONLY care about guns? Why don’t you rail (I’m assuming you don’t) about restrictions on gay people getting married? That’s a Right, not a Privilege, also, no? Why are you so selective on what rights you care about?

          • wireknob

            Most restrictions are objective facts, like criminal record, adjudicated mentally ill, and age. Other restrictions must pass constitutional muster with the appropriate level of judicial scrutiny, depending on to what extent the restriction abrogates the right. Subjective qualifications like whether someone is responsible enough, mentally stable enough, calmly disposed enough, of self-controlled enough are easily used to deny people their rights. That’s why I asked how you would legally define
            such nebulous qualifications (and why you couldn’t answer).

            And you would assume incorrectly. I don’t think the government has any business at all penalizing or rewarding marriages between any consenting adults. If you marry and who you marry should be none of the governments business. So instead of catching me in an inconsistency, you’ve only succeeded in showcasing your own stereotyping of gun rights advocates.

          • Stan Sinberg

            Well, Ok, I stand corrected on your view of marriage. Happy to be wrong. I still submit though, that many of your 2nd Amendment brethren would disagree with you on this. But that’s immaterial.
            I didn’t answer your question because a) Getting into the ‘weeds’ on this is an endless, fruitless endeavor. AND because I will leave that debate to minds more qualified than mine. But I think a consensus CAN be reached – certainly ATTEMPTED – if both sides stop thinking the other side is the “enemy” trying to destroy them – and try to solve the PROBLEM that there are obviously a lot of deranged people out there killing people, and a lot of them are using guns. Now: how might we try to prevent that, while protecting YOUR right to have one? Why is that such a threatening question?

          • wireknob

            Let me disagree with you somewhat. I think the way the current debate plays out between gun rights and gun control advocates (“more qualified minds”?) will get us nowhere since there is no trust between these groups any longer.

            Instead of people just aligning on either one these sides, I think we need new ideas from ordinary people, discussing and debate with each other on forums like these. I think the question of how to prevent guns from falling into the wrong hands while protecting the rights of law-abiding citizens is a proper question to ask and a challenge to try and meet.

          • williamdiamon

            I agree that discussion on this matter is a good thing, thank you for writing this article.
            The reason Metcalf was treated so harshly though is the persistent call for gun owners to be scrutinized, fingerprinted, pay fees, undergo background checks, waiting periods, take mandatory classes, etc. Basically being treated like a criminal, just to exorcise a Constitutional Right my ancestors fought for. The law abiding gun owner is tired of and not amused at being considered the “problem”. We are not. Mass murders still happen all over, in places with AWBs and UBCs in place. The fact that the original 10 year long AWB had no discernible difference on crime is our clue, again, we are not the problem, and to continuously suggest we are is rubbing us the wrong way. One year after Sandy Hook and we still have to deal with people who want to restrict our weapons and access to weapons.
            Personally I agree with Metcalf that a 16 hour course is a good thing, I undertook one to get a CCW permit. I learned more then I expected and consider it a good thing. However, to suggest it be -mandatory- for a gun owner is what got him fired. It’s a Right, not a privilege.

          • Stan Sinberg

            Y’know, that kind of talk – agreeing with Metcalf- can get you called a “traitor to the cause.” More of that, and you’ll be on MY side warding off attacks.

          • williamdiamon

            Good but, let me make my sentiment perfectly clear.
            The 16 hour class is an excellent idea, this should be taught in grade school, when people can safely handle a .22 rifle and pistol. Like the shooting clubs in our parents day. Instructors can teach students gun safety, laws, and shooting skills.
            The idea that we should take a -mandatory- class to exorcize a God given Right enumerated in the Bill of Rights of the Constitution of the United Sates of America, is silly. And un-American. Metcalf can be as silly as he wants to be, it’s a free country, it’s the un-American thing that bothers me.
            The cause is to protect the Constitution and civil rights for all.

          • williamdiamon

            Yes, criminals and madmen should not be allowed weapons. So what do you propose to do, pass a law? That won’t work as they don’t follow laws (it’s in their job description).
            I have been in a gunfight with an armed criminal, there is no one who wants to deny these people weapons more then I. We won’t succeed in this however, by our focus on the common man. I am the common man and we are the ones to respond to criminals.
            It comes down to intent, prosecute the criminal, not the law abiding.

          • Stan Sinberg

            Well, we ALMOST agree on something – keeping weapons out of the hands of criminals. You seem to think the solution is everything BUT trying to restrict their access to guns, and I think it’s a logical place to start.

          • wireknob

            The question is how to restrict criminals from accessing guns without infringing on the rights of law-abiding citizens? First, we need to concentrate on illegal gun markets. Then we can also support background checks on private sales by giving gun owners the ability to check quickly and without cost. Gun owner groups have been asking for this for some time, but gun control advocates seem uninterested unless they can attach fees, criminal penalties, and record-keeping requirements. How about a stamp on everyone’s drivers license that indicates whether the person is legally allowed to purchase a gun (would work like a concealed carry permit)? Or how about providing access to the NICS system for free and without record-keeping requirements? Wouldn’t this be a big step in the right direction?

          • Chuck Wagner

            Sure, it’s a logical place to start. But if you continue with “by also making it more of a hassle and legally risky to be a gun owner” the conversation ends right there.

            We’re being rational based on our values. If you want something, you really need to get the idea through your head that you’re going to have to give something too.

          • Stan Sinberg

            When you get patted down at airport security, do you think you’re “being treated like a criminal?” When guns aren’t allowed on airplanes, do you regard that as an infringement on your rights? Most people accept these as compromises we make to ensure our safety and don’t take it personally, like WE’RE being treated as criminals.

          • wireknob

            In these areas we are very certain (or should be) that there is no one with a gun, and with self defense off the table there is no use for a gun in an airport terminal or other fully secured area. Also, everyone is treated the same, no one is treated differently because the choose to exercise their rights where legal to do so.

            That is not the same thing as preventing citizens from carrying guns in unsecured areas, especially in high-crime area, for self-defense purposes as many gun-control advocates and politicians argue for. We all accept that some minor restrictions on rights are necessary, or at least sensible, but that is a far cry from saying any restriction is OK, and that only the flimsiest of justifications are required to infringe upon people’s rights.

            If you want to argue for a particular law, then do so based on facts, evidence, the law, and reason. Endlessly setting up straw men is not constructive. Pick a law that you support and present an argument for it.

          • Stan Sinberg

            Wait. In an airport, you’re without your guns, and you’re surrounded by ARMED GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS WHO CAN DETAIN YOU ON ALMOST ANY PRETEXT. I can’t think of a place you’re MORE vulnerable. If I were you, I wouldn’t fly anymore!

          • Chuck Wagner

            You really don’t understand what the term compromise means, do you?

          • williamdiamon

            What do you mean ALMOST?
            How exactly did you want to restrict “their access to guns” that doesn’t include looking into my holster…

  • Tony152

    What do you mean “lets get irrational on gun control”? I haven’t seen any rationality thus far and don’t expect to see any on the anti gun side. I can sum this article up in two lines
    “Me think you got no rights. Me no care if you get raped or killed because you unarmed. Me got no fact so me just insult people. Me big big ignorant.”

    • Stan Sinberg

      I see. So NONE of the parents of the Sandy Hook children who were slaughtered have said ONE RATIONAL thing regarding calling for gun control. How come with you guys, it’s always “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people,” and yet it’s always GUNS that are SAVING people? At least be consistent. Either guns don’t kill OR save people, or guns BOTH kill and save people. I’d say it’s the latter. If you start from THERE, then you can argue about what sensible steps regarding gun ownership can we take to minimize the Killing and maximize the Saving…

      • williamdiamon

        Sandy Hook? OK, lets discuss it, a madman murdered with a rifle.
        Background check? They have background checks in CT.
        Semi-auto ban? They had a semi-auto ban in CT.
        Which specific law are you suggesting will prevent another episode?
        In fact there was a law against murder but that didn’t stop him from murdering his own mother as well as everyone else, did it.

        • Stan Sinberg

          So your argument is because gun restrictions don’t prevent ALL massacres, we shouldn’t try to make it harder to prevent ANY.

          • wireknob

            What he is saying is that what is being proposed to “try” has been tried and doesn’t work, AND some of it significantly infringes on people’s rights. The “we need to do something, anything” mantra is not an argument and does not pass constitutional muster. The “save just one life” justification for policies that abrogate people’s rights is ridiculous and if applied to other rights would have civil libertarians howling.

            A major problem with the logic of gun control advocates is that while many criminals use guns to commit crimes, the overwhelming majority of gun owners do nothing but use firearms responsibly and safely. So you end up punishing and restricting tens of millions of responsible, law-abiding citizens in a misguided effort to inconvenience a few thousand criminals with many ways to circumvent the laws designed to thwart them.

            There are much more focused and effective ways to go after criminals without harassing law-abiding gun owners, and should be the objective.

          • Stan Sinberg

            Although I said I was withdrawing from the debate, I will answer you this (hopefully) last time, because you stated your side well, and it’s ALMOST reasonable.
            Restrictions aren’t meant to “punish” You. They are meant for the “bad guys.” Unfortunately, we can’t predict WHO those bad guys are, so we require laws. We also have a FREE enterprise system, but because a small minority lie, cheat, steal, pollute, etc, EVERYONE must comply with laws that may feel onerous, but are designed – in an ideal world – to enhance our common benefit.
            That’s when you fall back on the “but they don’t work” argument. You can’t prove a negative. It’s impossible to know how many horrors were prevented by background checks, etc. You don’t hear the silent dog.

          • wireknob

            We have punishments for those who violate the laws. In this country we try very hard not restrict the lawful exercise of rights because some small minority may not act lawfully. That’s called prior restraint. In other words, we don’t trample on everyone’s rights in a misguided and futile effort to prevent a few from transgressing. Consider if we censored everyone’s speech to prevent some few people from uttering libelous statements.

            When restrictions disproportionately impact responsible, law-abiding citizens, as opposed to the criminals you say the laws are aimed at, then that is clearly not a good law. I would also say it’s evidence that the law was aimed at infringing upon the rights of people. You seem to agree when these types of laws are directed at limiting the exercise of other rights with which you are more sympathetic with.

            There is ample evidence on the ineffectiveness of most gun control policies. We’ve been trying this for decades in this country, and it has been tried in many other countries as well. Before you advocate more of the same, you should read (extensively and critically) about what has been tried before and what the best evidence shows about the results.

          • LibertyDwells

            The restrictions demanded by the fringe left are meant only to “punish”. They have no impact at all on criminals. They don’t even pretend to and their talking heads acknowledge (Biden, for example) that they have neither time nor money(nor interest) in pursuing the laws they have. So they want more solely to limit the number of firearms owned by everyone, criminality regardless.

          • williamdiamon

            No sir, not at all what I’m trying to say. Your desire to limit or end murder and criminal madness is commendable and noble. We won’t however achieve this by scrutinizing the law abiding citizen. This tract has been tried before with tragic results. The “gun-free-zone” – this is precisely where these crimes happen. Restricted availability to weapons for the common man – this gives the armed criminal the upper hand when confronting their victim. AWB- was in effect between 1994 and 2004 and showed NO improvement in our safety, a waste of time and resources.
            All I’m saying is these “gun-control” ideas, so far, are ineffective and foolish, lets find a better way to curb crime. As we are talking about crime and madness though, this is a formidable task, as these maladies have been with us since Cain.
            I don’t know of a more effective way to diminish crime then to prosecute gangs. Mass murder? HIPPA laws restrict the transference of medical records because of privacy concerns. That may be a place to start.

      • Chuck Wagner

        Compromise, anyone? If the universal background check bill had something in it that gun owners wanted (like national concealed carry reciprocity) it would’ve sailed through.

        It went nowhere because the authors approached it with only a “guns need more restrictions” attitude.

      • LibertyDwells

        Anything they have said that follows the VPC/MAIG Scary Guns propaganda is utterly irrational, illogical and ignorant. Their loss does not suddenly imbue them with any knowledge or wisdom and there is none to be found from the fringe groups who have manipulated so many of them.

  • Chuck Wagner

    Metcalf’s mistake was accepting the pre-conditioning of a right.

    Requiring training before speaking in public because “you might slander” is the same concept.

    It also ignores the fact that an idiot with 16 hours of training is still an idiot. People don’t shoot people (like the retired cop in a movie theater because someone threw popcorn at him) because they lacked training. People who take it seriously will get that understanding through books, training, dvds, etc. People who don’t will ignore it anyway (see retired cop above).

    Requiring expensive training just makes it a right of the rich – that’s what gets objected to.

    • Stan Sinberg

      Ah, so if Obama made the training Free, you would support it. Thanks for clearing that up.

      • wireknob

        Free training is a great idea. I’d support that. I wouldn’t support making it a requirement, though.

      • Chuck Wagner

        No, the pre-conditioning of a right to speak, vote, or keep and bear arms is not acceptable. It’s not okay to require training for any of them. The poor don’t have the same access to transportation, child care, taking time off work, or any of the other issues besides just the direct cost.

        Because you only seem to read the last sentence, the answer is still NO, preconditioning of ANY rights are not acceptable.

  • wireknob

    I wonder how civil rights groups would react if the editor of a voting rights newsletter opined that we all know that the framers of the Constitution didn’t really intend for all citizens to have the right to vote and that supporters of voting rights should be open to restrictions based on income, property, knowledge of American history, respectability, etc.

    And I wonder how the president of planned parenthood would be received by abortion rights supporters if she wrote an editorial acknowledging that Roe vs. Wade was decided based on specious and fallacious reasoning, and therefore women should be open to all manner of government restrictions on reproductive rights.

  • Berry J Griffin

    FI hear a lot about “compromise” from the gun-control camp … except, it’s not compromise.

    Allow me to illustrate:

    Let’s say I have this cake. It is a very nice cake, with “GUN RIGHTS”
    written across the top in lovely floral icing. Along you come and say,
    “Give me that cake.”

    I say, “No, it’s my cake.”

    You say, “Let’s compromise. Give me half.” I respond by asking what I
    get out of this compromise, and you reply that I get to keep half of my
    cake.

    Okay, we compromise. Let us call this compromise The National Firearms Act of 1934.

    This leaves me with half of my cake and there I am, enjoying my cake when you walk back up and say, “Give me that cake.”

    I say — again: “No, it’s my cake.”

    You say, “Let’s compromise.” What do I get out of this compromise?
    Why, I get to keep half of what’s left of the cake I already own.

    So, we compromise — let us call this one the Gun Control Act of 1968 –
    and this time I’m left holding what is now just a quarter of my cake.

    And I’m sitting in the corner with my quarter piece of cake, and here you come again. You want my cake. Again.

    This time you take several bites — we’ll call this compromise the
    Clinton Executive Orders — and I’m left with about a tenth of what has
    always been MY DAMN CAKE and you’ve got nine-tenths of it.

    Let me restate that: I started out with MY CAKE and you have already ‘compromised’ me out of ninety percent of MY CAKE …

    … and here you come again. Compromise! … Lautenberg Act (nibble,
    nibble). Compromise! … The HUD/Smith and Wesson agreement (nibble,
    nibble). Compromise! … The Brady Law (NOM NOM NOM). Compromise! …
    The School Safety and Law Enforcement Improvement Act (sweet tap-dancing
    Freyja, my finger!)

    After every one of these “compromises” — in which I lose rights and you
    lose NOTHING — I’m left holding crumbs of what was once a large and
    satisfying cake, and you’re standing there with most of MY CAKE, making
    anime eyes and whining about being “reasonable”, and wondering “why we
    won’t compromise” as you try for the rest of my cake.

    In 1933 I — or any other American — could buy a fully-automatic
    Thompson sub-machine gun, a 20mm anti-tank gun, or shorten the barrel of
    any gun I owned to any length I thought fit, silence any gun I owned,
    and a host of other things.

    Come your “compromise” in 1934, and suddenly I can’t buy a sub-machine
    gun, a silencer, or a Short-Barreled Firearm without .Gov permission and
    paying a hefty tax. What the hell did y’all lose in this “compromise”?

    In 1967 I, or any other American, could buy or sell firearms anywhere we
    felt like it, in any State we felt like, with no restrictions. We
    “compromised” in 1968, and suddenly I’ve got to have a Federal Firearms
    License to have a business involving firearms, and there’s whole bunch
    of rules limiting what, where and how I buy or sell guns.

    In 1968, “sporting purpose” — a term found NOT ANY DAMNED WHERE IN THE
    CONSTITUTION, TO SAY NOTHING OF THE SECOND AMENDMENT — suddenly became a
    legal reason to prevent the importation of guns that had been freely
    imported in 1967.

    Tell me, do — exactly what the hell did you lose in this 1968 “compromise”?

    The Lautenberg Act was a “compromise” which suddenly deprived Americans
    of a Constitutional Right for being accused or convicted of a
    misdemeanor — a bloody MISDEMEANOR! What did your side lose in this
    “compromise”?

    I could go on and on, but the plain and simple truth of the matter is
    that a genuine “compromise” means that both sides give up something. My
    side of the discussion has been giving, giving, and giving yet more —
    and your side has been taking, taking, and now wants to take more.

    For you, “compromise” means you’ll take half of my cake now, and the
    other half of my cake next time. Always has been, always will be.

    I’ve got news for you: That is not “compromise”.

    I’m done with being reasonable, and I’m done with “compromise”.
    Nothing about gun control in this country has ever been “reasonable” nor
    a genuine “compromise”, and I have flat had enough.

    LawDogrom the LawDog Files

  • Last of the Jedi

    I am a LIFELONG gun owner and staunch conservative. I served in the Air Force in the 1970′s as well. I have owned and operated both long guns and pistols since age 10. I have always been of the belief that IN ORDER TO CARRY OUTSIDE THE HOME, one should be required to take a training course and pass a certification test. That training and test would cover not only proper firearms handling, but shoot/don’t shoot scenarios as well as carry law. Some will instantly berate me for this position, but I feel that there is a certain percentage of people CCW that know nothing about the applicable laws, nor have they done any shooting outside of paper targets.

    Those are the ones who most often get themselves into real trouble after they employ a firearm for personal defense, particularly in states hostile to such defense. By attending a SIGNIFICANT class and passing the tests, they are assumed to be at least minimally competent to use a firearm. Not only are they safer, but gun rights in general would be safer, as the liberal scum would have one less arrow in their quiver to launch at us. So all that being said, and having read the original essay, I find myself in agreement with his position.

    Flame away….

  • LibertyDwells

    Sorry but this article is without any point at all. For decades the extremists have talked about “compromise” and gun owners have given in. We’ve ceded each point with nothing in return from the domestic terrorists known as leftists. They give nothing, demand everything and call it compromise when what it really has been is a rout. So yes, at this point there is nothing left to give because all rationality has long been thrown away by the side of irrational, knee-jerk leftwing Talking Points.

    It’s past time the forces of the fringe left make do with what they have already taken. MAYBE, after a couple decades of no further petulant demands, and some obvious results achieved on their part, we can talk about making some limited adjustments to very specific, limited items but, otherwise, no. The time for “rational compromise” has passed. The crazies on the left took it all and peed it away…

  • Robert Dalton

    It is real simple, do a crime with a weapon and all hell comes down on you. It is not who owns a gun, it is what you do with the gun. Self protection is everyone’s right, just don’t commit a crime..I have a problem with people telling me how smart they are and everyone should do something to make them feel good. Our ancestor’s were criminals who never got a permit from the king. but now we have a bunch of little kings running around telling people what they can not do.

  • BlueMoney

    Actually, as a hard-core Darwinist I’d like to see stupid people blowing their nuts off. Guns are simple devices… far simpler than cars, really. If you’re too dumb to carry a pistol safely, maybe you shouldn’t be allowed to drive a car (or live on your own), either.