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Posts Tagged ‘Fake News

Pelosi: Hell Yes, I Hope There’s a ‘Slippery Slope’ Towards More Gun Control

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By Guy Benson
Townhall
October 6, 2017

In which Nancy Pelosi undermines the best shot at a reasonable, bipartisan bill that would implement the first new gun regulation in quite some time, including the failed Toomey-Manchin effort.  With numerous Republicans talking up their openness to banning ‘bump stock’ mechanisms, including an initial green light from the Trump White House, the gun control lobby seems poised to tally a win.  Even the NRA is tentatively onboard, although it’s unclear whether they’d favor an act of Congress, or merely executive regulations in furtherance of this policy.  The most prevalent arguments against a bump stock ban that I’ve encountered from big gun rights people on social media go something like this (via Stephen Gutowski):

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Schumer Warns Fellow Democrats Off On Gun Control

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By Tom Knighton
Bearing Arms
October 19, 2017

Sen. Charles Schumer from the anti-gun state of New York is no friend to gun owners or Second Amendment advocates. His anti-gun credentials are well documented and understood. Also understood, however, is that he’s not exactly the dumbest member of the United States Senate. That’s evidenced by his warning to fellow Democrats regarding gun control.

Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.) is urging his colleagues to stay away from gun control in the budget debate despite pressure from activist groups that argue the party needs to take a stand given the string of mass shootings across the country.

Schumer, focused on next year’s midterm elections, thinks it is smarter to focus on economics — specifically President Trump’s tax plan, which Democrats say is a giveaway to corporations and the rich, and GOP proposals to cut Medicare and Medicaid.

“Democrats need to find courage and learn to speak to the issue,” said Ladd Everitt, director of 1Pulse4America, a gun-violence prevention group created after the Orlando nightclub shooting in 2016.

“There’s a lot of anger in this movement about the response from Democrats right now. People think it’s totally inadequate,” he added.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) tweeted Wednesday night that the country should be talking about answers to gun violence.

“The deadliest mass shooting in our country’s history was 16 days ago,” she wrote. “Conversations about gun violence have faded. We can’t accept that.”

In next year’s midterms, however, Democrats will be defending 10 seats in states won by Trump in last year’s election — including West Virginia, Montana and North Dakota, where guns are a big part of the local culture.

Schumer’s strategy is based, at least in part, on saving those seats and potentially winning back the Senate majority next year if Republicans falter badly.

Schumer’s strategy is actually sound. Harris and company are deluding themselves if they believe anti-gun votes won’t hurt Democrats in rural states like Montana and North Dakota. Further, Schumer is also smart enough to recognize one very important fact. They’re the minority party. They don’t have the numbers to force a vote on gun control, and even if they did it’s unlikely they’d be pleased with the result since they control neither the House, the Senate, or the White House.

Schumer is probably remembering the Democratic bloodbath that followed the 1994 Assault Weapon Ban, Anti-gun activists and organizations systematically targeted any who supported the legislation for removal from office. Run in conjunction with the GOP’s “Contract With America,” control of Congress flipped to the Republican Party.

Only now, Republicans already have the majority. The key difference is they don’t maintain enough of a majority to block filibuster attempts by Democrats. An anti-gun push now might result in more Republican control, effectively eliminating the Democrats as a force to even be considered for the next couple of years.

I hate to say it, but Schumer is on the ball here. He’s not our ally and everyone knows it. His position is one based on pure pragmatism for his party, yet hotheads like Kamala Harris want to keep pushing for something that’s not likely to happen anyway. Go right ahead. Just be sure to take a bow when you push your party into national irrelevancy.

Political Leaders – No Such Thing

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One thing citizens of the United States always seem to forget are the first three words written in the Constitution of the United States… “We the People.” The rest of the founding document details the limits we placed on a strong central government. It describes how the representatives, elected by the people, are to behave while in office. This means that the people’s representatives are beholden to no one but the people in the districts that elected them. In short, they are employees of their respective district. Their sole purpose in life is to advance the will of their employers.

This arrangement is no different than a person getting into a cab and directing the taxi driver where he wants to go. One can conclude that the driver is following the instructions of the fare. The chauffeur is not leading the rider anywhere.

This simple analogy is true for elected officials. The people’s representatives, therefore, are not leaders but serve at the pleasure of the people. There is not one leader among elected officials, they are all followers of the people’s will.

Written by Leatherneck Blogger

October 19, 2017 at 09:19

ATF Group Fires Back Over Criticism Of Bump Stock Decision

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By Tom Kmighton
Bearing Arms
October 17, 2017

Immediately following the largest mass shooting in modern American history earlier this month, a fair bit of criticism was leveled at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosive, or BATFE…aka the ATF. Now, an ATF group is taking issue with much of the criticism being directed at the bureau and are speaking out about it.

The association representing current and former ATF employees has pushed back against critics blaming the agency for approving bump stocks.

The ATF Association said the agency “does not have the legal authority to regulate” bump stocks, which allow semi-auto rifles to mimic full-auto fire.

“The bump slide, and several other similar after-market accessories that increase the rate at which a shooter can pull the trigger, are engineered to avoid regulation under Federal law,” said Michael Bouchard, ATFA president, in an open letter last week.

“The notion that ATF chose not to regulate an item it had the authority to regulate is false. The law is very clear and it does not currently allow ATF to regulate such accessories,” Bouchard added.

The federal laws that regulates machine guns — the National Firearms Act and the Gun Control Act — define a machine gun as “as any combination of parts designed and intended for use in converting a weapon to shoot automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger,” Bouchard said.

The man has a point.

Yes, it would be easy for the relevant agency to simply decide bump-fire stocks are really machine guns, but the law is pretty clear. Even with the stock, it’s simply a semiautomatic weapon. One trigger pull, one bang. That’s it.

If BATFE decided tomorrow to reregulate the stocks, a fair question would be “what else?” After all, the objective standard for what constitutes a machine gun is now out the window, which means anything else could be similarly regulated into illegality with the right political winds.

Do we really want that?

I know the NRA supports the regulation of these stocks through BATFE and all that, but I’m not sure they’ve thought of the slippery slope they’re asking for here. Once they have precedence, they can then feel free to reclassify a whole lot of other things as impermissible as well.

And don’t say, “Well, Trump’s president, so we don’t have to worry,” either. While Donald Trump is indeed the president, he won’t be forever. Anti-gun politicians will get control of the White House at some point, and with this precedence in their hands, they can do a whole lot of damage without ever having to run through Congress.

The truth is that if you want to ban bump stocks, you have to pass legislation. However, it appears that any legislation sufficiently broad enough to be effective in banning these stocks will also ban things like aftermarket triggers. Or more. There might be a middle ground here, a way to just ban bump stocks, but I doubt it.

Either way, it the ATF Association’s point is valid, and one that we should bear in mind as we progress forward.

Hey, Former Obama Aide: Isn’t What You’re Proposing Pretty Much Gun Confiscation?

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By Matt Vespa
Townhall
October 16, 2017

Well, if there are people Democrats should ignore when it comes to the Second Amendment fight, it’s former Obama officials. For all the haranguing, they got nothing done. We stopped them. And it wasn’t just us; western Democrats joined us to gut what became known as the Manchin-Toomey bill, which aimed to expand background checks in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting. It was at a point where the NRA and the gun rights movement were at a critical juncture. In the end, support for gun control post-Sandy Hook, as always, tapered off. It’s a losing issue, though former Obama adviser Dan Pfeiffer seems to think that Australian style-gun control is the path to victory for his party that’s regional and heavily reduced to its urban strongholds. That’s not the best ground for winning this argument. Forget the usual talking points, its urban, over-educated liberals trying to tell rural Americans what to do. It’s an extension of the hamburger problem, in which the Left has become so insufferable that people are averting Democrats altogether. The “hamburger problem” is the situation when liberals slam you for eating meat and contributing to global warming, another issue that only Democrats cares about. Normal people just dig in; enjoy whatever events they’re at, and crack open a few beers. Yet, this is the hallmark characteristic of the American Left: overregulate everything—to the point where it does make people hate them. Bill Maher, a liberal, aptly noted that his party’s incessant, and one could argue fetishistic, push to regulate everything has turned the Democratsinto the “party of poopers,” doing and pushing for things that even make him hate his own party, but I digress. Here’s’ what Pfeiffer thinks are bold solutions to our so-called gun problem (via Crooked): [emphasis mine]

The interpretation of the Second Amendment that prevails on the far right today was reverse-engineered to pander to fantasists. If it takes hold nearly all gun regulations will eventually be overturned, and once Democrats resign themselves to that interpretation, the fight will be over. That’s not what the Second Amendment imagines, and it is clearly not what the founders intended, but it is where the political fight over guns is taking us. (As an aside, what the founders likely did intend has become outmoded. The Second Amendment is in many ways an anachronism, framed before the age of drones and cruise missiles, when a well-armed civilian militia have actually been capable of turning back a foreign invasion. Times change. This is not Red Dawn. You are not Patrick Swayze. Chill out.)

The 2008 Supreme Court decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, which interpreted the Second Amendment to confer an individual right to own firearms, leaves Democrats rhetorically and substantively behind the eight ball in the fight to stop mass shootings. But that should not tempt gun control supporters to despair. It is certainly true that our short-term policy positions must pass the Heller test, but it is also a major strategic error to confine our vision to a Supreme Court decision that many legal scholars find ridiculous and many generations of judges would find astonishing. Just as Republicans organize themselves around efforts to overturn Roe v. Wade, Democrats should run on changing the balance of federal courts in ways that will make it less likely that citizens will be slaughtered simply because they went to the wrong concert, movie theater, or school.

Democratic politicians have been brainwashed by political hacks like me to begin all of their statements about guns by declaring support for the Second Amendment and a deep affinity for the cultures of hunters and sportsmen—even if they themselves have never fired weapons. We call them “gun safety” proposals instead of “gun control” measures because pollsters and consultants divined that “gun safety” would be less alarming to gun voters, and that gun voters were to be coddled at all cost.

The Democratic gun control strategy fails because it is defined by this poverty of ambition—the determination never to look beyond fear of political repercussions. Universal background checks and a ban on high-capacity magazines are good ideas and we should seize the opportunity to enact them if it presents itself. But they won’t come anywhere close to making gun violence in America a tolerable problem. We are nibbling around the edges instead of proposing bold, meaningful solutions such as:

  • A national gun registry, so law-enforcement officials can know when someone is compiling an arsenal. The government can track purchases of allergy medicines that can be used to make methamphetamine, and fertilizers that can be used to make bombs, like the one used in Oklahoma City in 1994, but not deadly assault weapons. That’s absurd.
  • Tracking and limiting purchases of ammunition.
  • Requiring that guns use smart-gun technology, which would dramatically reduce accidental deaths, particularly among children, who, according to a 2016 study, are dying accidental deaths at the hands of guns at the rate of one every other day.
  • A national gun buyback program similar to the one Australia instituted after a mass shooting that killed 35 people. That incident was in 1996. There hasn’t been another one since,

These proposals are essentially omitted from the national conversation largely because Democrats are scared that the NRA will spin them disingenuously to inflame gun owners.

And here we go with the regulations. Doesn’t this whole screed read as if the Left wants to regulate…evil? We tried to have that hyper moralistic approach to alcohol and drugs and the government’s response has done more damage to the American public than either substance could have ever inflicted. Tracking and limiting the purchasing of ammunition, smart guns, a gun registry, and praise for the Australian gun confiscation scheme—could they be any more transparent? Pfeiffer admits high-capacity magazine bans and universal background checks won’t work, so we have to destroy the Second Amendment. That’s what’s prescribed here. The limitation of a constitutional right, the compartmentalization of those who exercise that right, and the praise of a gun confiscation program from the Land Down Under. Oh, and of course the Left would push to make the latter point a mandatory one and guess what—the federal government has every one’s gun on file. If you think this is confined to the Second Amendment, think again—the Left is drifting towards the same rationale towards conservative speech because it could be construed as an act of violence. The advocacy for smaller government, less taxes, fewer regulations is now an act of violence.

A simple Google search will show liberal praise for Australia’s gun control program. Yet, there’s little application for it here. That’s from a pro-gun control FiveThirtyEight writer, Leah Libresco, who admitted in an op-ed in The Washington Post that when she analyzed the data, the support for the pro-gun control positions she favored simply collapsed. Oh, and here’s what she found about Australia and the United Kingdom:

I researched the strictly tightened gun laws in Britain and Australia and concluded that they didn’t prove much about what America’s policy should be. Neither nation experienced drops in mass shootings or other gun related-crime that could be attributed to their buybacks and bans. Mass shootings were too rare in Australia for their absence after the buyback program to be clear evidence of progress. And in both Australia and Britain, the gun restrictions had an ambiguous effect on other gun-related crimes or deaths.

The data crunching site also had a good post about how viewing gun control only through the eyes of mass shootings is bad for analysis and policy, mainly because they’re not the majority of gun crimes, nor are they responsible for the majority of gun deaths in America. All it does is lead to potentially bad social policy. In Australia, their gun confiscation and ban policy has led to a violent black market.

If Pfeiffer wanted to be bolder, don’t beat around the bushes. Just say you want to gut the Second Amendment. Ban it. Eliminate it. He already called it an anachronism. It never ceases to amaze me how the liberal mindset ignores the dangers of only allowing agents of the state to have firearms, and how they’re the only ones who can be trusted (you know what kinds of governments have that dynamic), despite ATF agents losing their guns…everywhere.

What Stephen Paddock did in Las Vegas was evil. It was savage. And it was wholly unpreventable. He bought all those guns legally. He went through background checks. He had no history of mental illness. He had no past run-ins with the law. What could have stopped him? Nothing. I understand the urgency to do something, but new laws that won’t save lives just so politicians can go home and fundraise off the fact that they did something seems to be a waste of time, no?

As for the child deaths at the hands of guns, these incidents are tragic. They’re also rare. In fact, accidental death dropped 17 percentbetween 2014-2015, according to the National Safety Council. We can thank the National Rifle Association, National Shooting Sports Foundation, and other pro-gun groups that stress firearm safety. They’re just wrong. Now, it’s time to show explicitly to the whole country how wrong they are.

Appalling: NRA Spokeswoman’s Family Forced to Abandon Home Due to Violent Threats From Leftists

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By Guy Benson
Townhall
October 16, 2017

Galvanized by the uglier-by-the-minute Harvey Weinstein scandal, women across social media are sharing their personal stories about sexual harassment and assault, using the “#MeToo” hashtag.  Among those speaking out is National Rifle Association spokeswoman and prominent conservative personality Dana Loesch — who, for full disclosure, is also a friend of mine.  She revealed to the world on Sunday that she and her family are abandoning their home under serious duress, stemming from a whirlwind of violent threats from anti-gun leftists, a number of which have been explicitly sexual in nature.  No matter where one stands on the NRA agenda (I’m generally supportive, but sometimes take issue with the tone of their messaging and some of their decisions), this is utterly revolting and wrong:

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Vegas Gunman’s Use of Bump Stock Reduced Casualties

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By Benjamin Baird
American Thinker
October 13, 2017

In the hypercharged partisan atmosphere that disgracefully follows any mass shooting tragedy, journalists, politicians, and anyone with an opinion spontaneously become firearms experts. Yet, as this U.S. Army combat infantry grunt can attest, these desk jockeys are no straight shooters.

The Interstate 91 country music massacre is no exception. From talks of machine gunsbump stocks, “silencers” and the semantics of weapons transportation, these would-be sharpshooters are negligently off-target when it comes to the laws of modern warfare. Although reporters posing as weekend warriors insist that crazed gunman Stephen Paddock’s decision to use a bump stock made his shooting ambush the deadliest in modern history, the truth is that his erratic gunfire inadvertently reduced casualties.

With over 1000 days of continuous combat operations during three deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as over a decade of training and leadership as a U.S. Army infantryman, my experience can provide some insights lacking from the deadly shooting rampage in Las Vegas. I have qualified as an expert marksman with the military-issued variant of every confirmed weapon system utilized by Paddock to carry out his heinous assault, and I have instructed hundreds of American, Iraqi, and Afghan soldiers in the finer nuances of advanced rifle marksmanship.

In a rare bipartisan effort to do something — anything — in response to the violence, lawmakers are currently considering a ban against the bump stocks, or the weapons accessory that modifies semiautomatic rifles to fire at an automatic rate of fire. Instead of pulling the trigger once to fire a single round, an automatic weapon fires multiple rounds when the trigger mechanism is depressed. A bump stock mimics this effect on standard semi-automatic rifles available for purchase in civilian stores.

Reporters have almost universally attributed thehigh casualty count in Las Vegas — 58 killed and well over 400 wounded — to the rapid rate of fire that gunman Stephen Paddock achieved with the use of a bump stock modification. A Reuters report called this device a “major factor” in producing the unprecedented casualty rate, while CNN saysthat the bump stock allows shooter to “convert a killing machine, an AR-15 rifle, into a weapon of mass destruction …”

Contrary to popular media opinion, Paddock’s cyclic rate of fire may have saved lives that horrible Sunday evening. The disturbing reality is that if the shooter decided to eschew the bump stock in favor of firing at a sustained and controlled pace, the death toll would have risen dramatically.

I have been in dozens of firefights with an M4 carbine — a weapons platform from the same family of rifles that Paddock used to fire from 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay. When engaging enemy targets in theater, I never moved my rifle’s selector switch from semi-automatic to a faster rate of fire because this would have completely compromised my accuracy.

Don’t take my word for it, though. The U.S. Army field manual for rifle marksmanship states:

“Automatic or burst fire is inherently less accurate than semiautomatic fire. Trainers must consider the impact of recoil and the high cyclic rate of fire on the Soldier’s ability to properly apply the fundamentals of marksmanship and other combat firing skills…”

The light weight and short length of the common assault rifle causes the muzzle to climb uncontrollably when fired on automatic. Therefore, more modern military rifles employ a less erratic three-round burst option in lieu of the automatic mode.

The same field manual says that three-round burst is preferable to fully auto and advises that soldiers firing older M16 rifles should pull the trigger, “but quickly release pressure to prevent an excessive number of rounds from being fired in one burst.”

Audio captured of the Las Vegas shooting shows that Paddock certainly did not preserve his accuracy, letting loose long, continuous clips of uninterrupted fire. As a rule, infantry fighting units deplore the use of automatic fire from a standard-issue rifle, and even when a situation calls for rapid suppressive fire (like shooting at tightly grouped targets), controlled semi-automatic shots are preferred.

Mandalay Bay is estimated to be about 400 yards away from the nearest victims at the concert grounds. From his vantage on the 32nd floor, Paddock was approximately 420 meters away, putting his nearest unfortunate targets just within the maximum effective range of a point target for an AR-15.

This distance to target means that as Paddock’s muzzle inevitably climbed from the wild shooting, a rise of a few inches from his barrel was equivalent to dozens of yards on the ground. Many of his bullets, intended for helpless concertgoers, very likely flew above the adjacent airport.

Admittedly, this theory is counterintuitive to anyone outside the profession of arms. Fox News host Tucker Carlson became the subject of outraged mockery for rejecting the narrative established by unqualified journalists.

Responding to a guest of his prime-time program who asserted that Paddock’s bump stock was responsible for the scores of killed and wounded, Carlson said, “Many more would’ve died actually because if you talk to people who know a lot about guns they say pros don’t even fire on fully automatic because they can’t hit anything.”

Carlson received a critical response for his educated observation, with sources like Salon calling his assessment “a bizarre claim.” Of course, none of these outlets provided any expert analysis to dispute his nonconformist assertion.

Incidentally, before the House considers banning bump stocks altogether, lawmakers should know that this modification is actually redundant. The same rate of fire can be achieved without a bump stock on most rifles by utilizing a method called “bump firing.”

Instructive videos may be found on the internet outlining this simple technique. The shooter applies forward tension with the non-firing hand while keeping the trigger finger stiff and immobile, biomechanically accomplishing an automatic rate of fire.

Before the inexperienced and unstudied offer misguided conjectures about modern warfare, they would be wise to consult an expert. Their friendly neighborhood Veterans of Foreign Wars outpost would be an excellent starting point.

Benjamin Baird is a Middle East analyst who writes for the Conservative Institute and the Middle East Forum. He is a graduate of Middle Eastern studies from the American Military University, and a retired staff sergeant with the U.S. Army infantry. 

Why I Oppose Banning Bump Stocks

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By Selwyn Duke
American Thinker
October 13, 2017

The latest firearm-equipment boogeyman is the “bump stock,” a device allowing one to fire a semi-automatic rifle more rapidly. Liberals learned of bump stocks because Las Vegas murderer Stephen Paddock had modified 12 of his rifles with them.

This has made them a target for prohibition, and an easy one, too. After all, almost no one wants to buy a bump stock, so even many Republicans — and the National Rifle Association — are willing to place greater restrictions on the device. I also have no plans to acquire one, but I wouldn’t even consider outlawing the stock. Why?

Remember last year’s Orlando massacre, perpetrated by Muslim terrorist Omar Mateen? In its wake the gun boogeyman, as it has often been, was the AR-15, the sleek black gun with military looks that makes libs wet their panties. We were told how outrageous it was that such a “killing machine” (is this the Terminator we’re talking about?) was available to the public. But notice something funny?

Paddock also had an AR-15 rifle.

Yet we haven’t heard a peep from the mice about this “killing machine.” The reason?

Right now, leftists have bump stocks to focus on. Being driven by emotion and/or Machiavellian motives (depending on the person), the type of equipment targeted in an anti-gun push is secondary, at best. The only consistent theme is an effort to steadily, incrementally erode gun rights. It doesn’t matter what weapon or accessory is outlawed today because there’ll be another opportunity, and target, after the next high-profile gun crime tomorrow.

The argument for a restriction is always the same. Logically rendered it states: “This _________ (fill in the blank) is far too effective to be available to the general public.” What this misses is that Second Amendment rights don’t exist just to secure the opportunity to go target shooting or hunting.

They exist to ensure that Americans can have effective weaponry. Full stop.

Again, realize that the current gun-grabber proposal has nothing to do with bump stocks. It has more to do with bumps in heads passing for brains that can’t figure out that any given anti-gun proposal is just another step in an evolutionary process whose apparent end game is the elimination of all guns. This must be concluded since liberals never articulate a different end game. And there always will be another massacre, and then another, and each will be followed with a further drum beat to outlaw _________, because it’s just too effective for citizens to own. It’s a crumb here, a morsel there, a slice today, a half a loaf tomorrow.

In his book Orthodoxy, in the chapter titled “The Eternal Revolution,” philosopher G.K. Chesterton wrote something relevant here: “Progress should mean that we are always changing the world to suit the vision. Progress does mean…that we are always changing the vision.”

While this fault, lamentably, plagues most ideologists today to some degree, it characterizes liberals. They’re the situational-values set, and their goalposts are always shifting. This is why giving them an inch only means they’ll come back for a foot and, later, a mile. This is why you don’t give them even a millimeter. It’s why you must insist upon a certain prerequisite before considering any more anti-gun laws: that liberals articulate a hard and fast, unchanging vision, to be presented for consideration, of what guns laws should forevermore be.

No more free-association legislating. No more shots in the dark. No more making it up as you go along. For example:

  • You say bump stocks allow a person to fire too rapidly. Okay, what exactlyis the maximum number of rounds per minute a weapon available to the public should be capable of firing? What’s your reasoning?
  • “High-capacity magazines” is an ambiguous term. Exactly what size magazine should citizens be allowed to own? What’s your reasoning?
  • Don’t tell us about “high-powered rifles.” Tell us exactly what the maximum muzzle velocity of a publicly available firearm should be. What’s your reasoning?
  • Another ambiguous (and misleading) term is “armor-piercing ammunition.” What exactly should the maximum penetration power of a publicly available round be? What’s your reasoning?

Once you formulate your concrete vision (for the first time in your lives), please present it. If we accept it, though, note what the agreement means: You don’t get to ask for more anti-gun laws ever again. There’s no more politicizing of the issue after every shooting. The vision is conceived, articulated, agreed upon — and then set in stone.

Of course, I’m sure there’s no way to make such a thing legally binding, and no other agreement with liberals is worth the paper it’s printed on. The point is that without such a vision’s presentation we shouldn’t even take anti-gun proposals seriously. Doing otherwise is akin to pandering to children (and liberals are overgrown children) when they stamp their feet and scream about what they want right now, “just because.”

This doesn’t mean we should be totally averse to compromise. So, try this on for size: I propose reducing the 22,000 anti-gun laws currently on the books by 10,000. If that’s unacceptable, however, I’ll agree to a 5,000-law reduction — for now. There’s always next year’s negotiation, after all.

Don’t ever let it be said I’m not a reasonable guy.

 Contact Selwyn Dukefollow him on Twitter or log on to SelwynDuke.com

Students for Life Launch ‘Sock It to Planned Parenthood’ Campaign

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By Lauretta Brown
Townhall
September 19, 2017

Washington, D.C. – Students for Life of America launched its “Sock it to Planned Parenthood” campaign at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Tuesday. The organization announced its plan to show the nation’s capitol and states across the country the 328,348 baby socks they’ve collected – one for every unborn baby that died last year in abortions at Planned Parenthood.

Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, emphasized that the pro-life movement is tired of waiting to defund the nation’s largest abortion provider and that it’s time for a visual reminder.

She cited the Center for Medical Progress undercover videos showingthe abortion giant “illegally selling the body parts of children they were aborting, not only that, they were also altering, dangerously altering the procedures to obtain more viable tissue to sell for profit.”

In the public outcry that followed, she said, “the House of Representatives voted to defund Planned Parenthood but that was it. We were told we had to wait, that we had to wait until after the election until we could elect a pro-life Senate and a pro-life president.”

“We worked in the election, we prayed, we voted, we have a pro-life congress, we have a pro-life president but thanks to the constant gridlock that we currently face in Washington, the debate over the repeal and replace of Obamacare, nothing has been done,” she said. “It’s been almost a year since the election.”

She said the group decided to ask pro-life activists from across the country to send in baby socks.

“In April we took half of those socks to Capitol Hill, we displayed them and we demanded that Congress uphold their promises to defund Planned Parenthood but nothing happened,” she said.

“Today we are launching our national Sock it to PP tour,” she concluded. “We’re going to start today in Washington and we’re going to be heading out to states across the country. States where there’s very important senators who have constituents, who have voters who voted to defund Planned Parenthood.”

Hawkins said they would be visiting Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and others.

The group will then return to D.C. and send the socks to 90 college campuses to “show this generation that not only is abortion violent, not only does it kill a pre-born baby girl or baby boy, it harms a woman, it harms families.”

Hawkins mentioned the current Graham-Cassidy healthcare bill being discussed in the Senate, saying it “will defund Planned Parenthood but the pressure’s on, there’s only days remaining for the Senate to take action before we lose this chance, before Congress loses their chance to uphold their promises to defund Planned Parenthood.”

She emphasized the need to “show America the enormity of Planned Parenthood’s abortion business.”

Hawkins later told Townhall that all Congress has to do “is defund Planned Parenthood and if this was any other issue, if this was about high oil prices and there was an issue with the oil industry, they would’ve found a procedural way to fix it and they wouldn’t have said ‘oh well wait till 2018 or till we have 60 votes,’ if they really cared about this issue.”

She explained that when Students for Life brought half the socks they had gathered to the Capitol in April many passersby asked about the display.

She said that when she told people, regardless of their beliefs, what the socks represent, “they stopped, like it’s a sobering thought when you think of it.”

Hawkins said at that point they realized they needed “to take this visual on the road.”

Samuel Matthews, a freshman at Catholic University of America who helped to transport the socks along with other college students, explained his reasons for working with Students for Life to defund Planned Parenthood.

“The reason isn’t that I want to take away women’s healthcare,” he said. “It isn’t that I want to impose my religious beliefs on people. I oppose Planned Parenthood because it is the largest provider of abortions in the United States and abortion isn’t healthcare, it is the intentional taking of an innocent human life in the womb where it is most vulnerable.”

Students for Life exceeded a weight limit for the socks in the truck so on Tuesday they donated a basket of the socks to the Northwest Pregnancy Center in D.C. which provides comprehensive care for pregnant women and their babies.

Former FiveThirtyEight Writer: After I Got The Data, Support For The Gun Control Policies I Liked ‘Crumbled’

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By Matt Vespa
Townhall
October 4, 2017

I’m sure FiveThirtyEight isn’t held in the highest regard among conservative circles. They said Obama would be re-elected in 2012. That happened. The site’s creator, Nate Silver, also took some flak from the Left when he said the Republicans would have a good 2014 midterm year, specifically the GOP takeover of the Senate. So, in a way, the data-crunching site can entertain and annoy those on either side of the aisle. For the die-hard Trump supporters, yes, FiveThirtyEight was totally wrong in their 2016 projections; Trump won. Yet, on gun violence, the site and its writers have been nuanced. They haven’t taken the ban all guns, more background checks, and prohibit so-called assault weapons route that other celebrities, pundits, politicians, and nutjobs have taken recently after the tragic Las Vegas shooting.

Fifty-nine people were killed, with another 527 wounded when Stephen Paddock decided to open fire on the 22,000 attendees, who were enjoying the last night of Route 91 Harvest country music festival. It’s the worst mass shooting in American history. Yet, the site noted that mass shootings are rare, they don’t constitute the majority of gun crimes or deaths, and viewing policies to reduce gun crimes solely through mass shootings is a way to conjure up some really bad policy on the subject. Specifically, more background checks as a policy initiative probably won’t stop future mass shootings. Over at The Washington Post, a former FiveThirtyEight writer, Leah Libresco, said she supported pretty much what the anti-gun Left wants on gun policy. But when she analyzed the data, support for those positions “crumbled.”

In all, she found out that there’s no such thing as an assault weapon, and that most gun deaths are the result of suicides. Still, she says she doesn’t want to own a gun and is probably viewed as anti-gun for those of us who support the Second Amendment.  Yet, she also said that reducing gun violence is going to be a long, tedious work of personalized and highly targeted interventions that involves, for example, disarming at-risk youths in gangs individually, not some blanket ban—which is what Democrats want to do with some long guns. Disarming gang members, saving lives, and keeping kids away from a life of criminality through an algorithm that can determine and find these kids—who isn’t for that. The Left probably won’t like that. It’s too small-scale. It doesn’t attack the concept and principle of gun ownership, or look for inroads to chip away at this constitutional right at the legal or legislative level. In short, it’s a policy that could work, which would shield any future attempt at banning guns in America and give conservatives a victory. On principle, the Left can’t support this method. Libresco said New Orleans is trying it out in combating gang violence.

Last, she also found that Australian and United Kingdom gun laws, which the anti-gun Left salivates over, were ineffectual. Mass shootings over there were still rare, and gun violence did not decrease as a result of the gun ban and buyback legislation that was passed.

…[M]y colleagues and I at FiveThirtyEight spent three months analyzing all 33,000 lives ended by guns each year in the United States, and I wound up frustrated in a whole new way. We looked at what interventions might have saved those people, and the case for the policies I’d lobbied for crumbled when I examined the evidence. The best ideas left standing were narrowly tailored interventions to protect subtypes of potential victims, not broad attempts to limit the lethality of guns.

I researched the strictly tightened gun laws in Britain and Australia and concluded that they didn’t prove much about what America’s policy should be. Neither nation experienced drops in mass shootings or other gun related-crime that could be attributed to their buybacks and bans. Mass shootings were too rare in Australia for their absence after the buyback program to be clear evidence of progress. And in both Australia and Britain, the gun restrictions had an ambiguous effect on other gun-related crimes or deaths.

When I looked at the other oft-praised policies, I found out that no gun owner walks into the store to buy an “assault weapon.” It’s an invented classification that includes any semi-automatic that has two or more features, such as a bayonet mount, a rocket-propelled grenade-launcher mount, a folding stock or a pistol grip. But guns are modular, and any hobbyist can easily add these features at home, just as if they were snapping together Legos.

As for silencers — they deserve that name only in movies, where they reduce gunfire to a soft puick puick. In real life, silencers limit hearing damage for shooters but don’t make gunfire dangerously quiet. An AR-15 with a silencer is about as loud as a jackhammer. Magazine limits were a little more promising, but a practiced shooter could still change magazines so fast as to make the limit meaningless.

[…]

I found the most hope in more narrowly tailored interventions. Potential suicide victims, women menaced by their abusive partners and kids swept up in street vendettas are all in danger from guns, but they each require different protections.

Older men, who make up the largest share of gun suicides, need better access to people who could care for them and get them help. Women endangered by specific men need to be prioritized by police, who can enforce restraining orders prohibiting these men from buying and owning guns. Younger men at risk of violence need to be identified before they take a life or lose theirs and to be connected to mentors who can help them de-escalate conflicts.

When you get the data, you see the liberal gun agenda for what it is: a massive soup of bad social policy that only chips away at our rights. I would have more respect for them if they just came out in unison and said that they want to ban guns, but they won’t. they’re too cowardly and deep down they know this battle has been won by us.

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