Archive for the 'Gun Control' Category

CDC “Gun Research”

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 6 days ago

Hartford Courant:

Silence never solved complex national problems. Yet some spineless lawmakers put special interests ahead of the public even to the point of discouraging and shutting off discussion of important public issues.

This is nothing new. Congress imposed a gag order from 1836 to 1844 on the overriding issue of the 19th century, refusing to accept any and all “petitions, memorials, resolutions, propositions or papers relating in any way, or to any extent whatsoever, to the subject of slavery or the abolition of slavery.” It was unconstitutional, draconian and finally ended because a few congressmen fought it every day.

Gun violence in America is another critical public issue, but Congress has for nearly 20 years found a way to silence government researchers by using the power of the purse to intimidate the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. After the terrible murders in Newtown three years ago, President Barack Obama signed an executive order directing the CDC to resume gun research. The CDC still hasn’t, but it must — despite congressional threats from the majority Republicans.

The bullying started in 1996, when the CDC released studies that researched the risk factors that led to gun violence.

One study found that just having a gun in the home was associated with a nearly 300 percent increase in the likelihood that it would be used to murder someone in the house. The likelihood that someone in the house would use a gun to commit suicide was even higher — 500 percent.

Then the National Rifle Association swung into action, complaining that the CDC was using public funds to push gun control and ask political questions. The Republican-controlled Congress cut CDC funds by the exact amount used to study gun-related violence and prohibited researchers from using public funds to advocate for gun control.

This put researchers in a bind: If they did open-ended, scientifically sound research that, say, examined what local regulations were most effective in keeping guns out of the hands of criminals, Congress would accuse them of breaking the rules and would punish the CDC by slashing its budget.

The threats did what the weapons manufacturers wanted, dropping a curtain of silence on guns.

This is a piece of work.  Slavery and guns are brought up as if there’s some analogous feature.  Debunked “studies” are cited, emotional, draconian terms are invoked (silence, slashing, prohibited, etc.), and then finally, the NRA is blamed for it all.

Here are the facts.  Many NRA members lose patience with the NRA because we see it as too progressive and willing to compromise in its rating system.  The real enemy of progressives is gun owners, even though they don’t know it.  They still see gun owners as a monolithic group, controlled and told what to think by the NRA.  Independent-minded thinking never occurs to progressives because they don’t work that way.

No one has prohibited anyone from studying whatever they want.  What Congress did was prohibit the spending of tax dollars for studies that first of all, would likely be used to press for political ends, and second, should never be funded by the government anyway.  Many gun owners would assert that the government has a constitutional right to raise monies for the common defense, and not much else.  The only reason such a thing comes up with the CDC is because government spending is out of control.

I strongly recommend that the folks at the CDC – and anywhere else for that matter – study whatever they want, on their own dollars and on their own time.  There is no moratorium on such studies (they’re not illegal), just on using my money for them.  I don’t get to take your money and study how to make M855 ammunition more effective, and you don’t get to take mine and throw it away on “studies” I don’t sanction.  That’s fair enough.

If Worms Had Machine Guns, Birds Would Be Scared Of Them

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

Perspective from the sports world:

Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh has a way with words, and he proved that again Monday.

Speaking to reporters, Harbaugh said he doesn’t deal with “ifs” and “thats” before coming up with a crazy “if” scenario.

“If worms had machine guns, birds would be scared of them.”

Well, sure. Worms probably can’t do a whole lot with a machine gun, but I get your point.

On the surface it appears to be a completely random phrase. Even Harbaugh seemed unsure of its origins saying, “Somewhere along the way I got it in my brain.” So where did this phrase come from? It appears it came from a children’s book title, “If Worms Had Machine Guns.”

So if you read the summary of the book, it has to do with making do with what you have.  There’s a lesson in that for us all, but one has to wonder whether what the feds are thinking is a little darker.  We can’t let them have machine guns because then we would be scared of them, whereas now we can eat them up as we wish.  Hence, GCA and NFA.

But the analogy breaks down in who is the bird and who is the worm.  In our case, the worms do have the machine guns, no?

Austrians Stocking Up On Guns

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

There is this report, but the translation sounds like a five year old did it.  Much better is this report at World Net Daily.

Austrians are arming themselves at record rates in an effort to defend their households against feared attacks from Muslim invaders.

Tens of thousands of Muslim “refugees” have poured into Austria from Hungary and Slovenia in recent months on their way to Germany and Sweden, two wealthy European countries that have laid out the welcome mat for migrants. More than a million will end up in Germany alone by the end of this year, according to estimates from the German government.

Obtaining a working firearm and ammunition in Germany, Britain, Denmark and the Netherlands is practically impossible for the average citizen. Germany, for instance, requires a psychological evaluation, the purchase of liability insurance and verifiable compliance with strict firearms storage and safety rules. And self-defense is not even a valid reason to purchase a gun in these countries.

The laws in Austria, while still strict, are a bit less overbearing.

A Czech TV report confirms that long guns – shotguns and rifles – have been flying off the shelves in Austria, and Austrians who haven’t already purchased a gun may not have a chance to get one for some time. They’re all sold out.

And those arming themselves are primarily women.

“If anyone wants to buy a long gun in Austria right now, too bad for them,” the Czech newscaster says. “All of them are currently sold out.”

He cites the Austrian news outlet Trioler Tageszeitung as the source of his report.

“We cannot complain about lack of demand,” Stephen Mayer, a gun merchant, told Trioler Tageszeitung.

He claims the stock has been sold out for the last three weeks and that demand is being fueled by fears generated by social changes.

“People want to protect themselves,” Mayer said. “Nonetheless, the most common purchasers of arms are primarily Austrian women.”

They are also buying pepper sprays, which Mayer said are in big demand among those who can’t get a gun.

Alan Gottlieb, executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation, said he recently returned from a gun rights event in Europe, where he sensed a change in attitude toward firearms.

“I just returned from a gun rights meeting in Belgium, and I can attest that all over Europe people now want the means to defend themselves,” Gottlieb told WND. “Self-defense is no longer a dirty word. In countries like Austria, where it is still legal to own a firearm, gun sales are at record levels. I can tell you first-hand that people in Europe now wish they had a Second Amendment.”

When hard times come, the progressive ideas and self loathing of bored, pampered and effete men fall by the wayside, and in its place enters a reality check on the very nature of mankind and what it means to be made in God’s image, under duress and under threat.  Then there is this later in the piece.  The Czech TV station then reported that Islamists are promising: “We will cut the heads off unbelieving dogs even in Europe.”

And you can believe them when they say this.  As for Alan Gottlieb and his preening over the second amendment, what he won’t say is that he is perhaps the number one sellout of said protections.  But in the end, what he doesn’t mention is what’s most important.  Men and women are made in God’s image, and it is this which constitutes the surest guarantee of the right of self defense.  Austrians waiting for the government or a European equivalent of a second amendment is a stupid as Americans trusting in the second amendment.

I trust God.  Man is only blessed to the degree that he sides with the Almighty, and that includes self defense.  You can count on this coming to American shores.

David Kopel And Joyce Malcolm Versus Priya Satia On Carry Of Guns In England

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

An interesting exchange occurred between David Kopel, Joyce Malcolm, et. al., and another professor on carry of guns in England.  The first volley appeared at The Washington Post, and while I won’t quote in its entirety, I will quote at length and send you to the article for the conclusion.

Should D.C. residents have the same right to the licensed carry of defensive handguns as the people in most states? That is the issue currently before the D.C. Circuit, in Wrenn v. District of Columbia. The D.C. government lost on this issue in federal district court. D.C.’s brief to the D.C. Circuit argues that “For as long as citizens have owned firearms, English and American law has restricted any right to carry in populated public places.” According to the brief, the pre-existing right to arms, which was protected by the Second Amendment, “did not encompass carrying in densely populated cities.” Further, D.C. says that in the 19th century, carry prohibitions were widespread in the United States. An amicus brief on behalf of Michael Bloomberg’s organization “Everytown” makes similar claims.

In an amicus brief filed this week, several legal historians, including me, dispute the D.C. and Bloomberg claims. Besides me, the amici are Joyce Malcolm (George Mason Law; the leading historian on the history of English gun control and gun rights), Robert Cottrol (co-appointment at George Washington in Law and in History; a specialist in the history of race, including the racial aspects of gun laws),  Clayton Cramer (author of three books and many articles on the history of firearms law in Early America and the 19th century) and Nicholas Johnson (Fordham Law; most recent book is Negroes and the Gun: The Black Tradition of Arms). Our attorneys were Stephen Halbrook and Dan Peterson. Halbrook has a 5-0 record in the U.S. Supreme Court, all on firearms law cases, and is himself a leading scholar on the legal history of the right to arms.

The claim that there was a general prohibition on the carrying of arms is based on the 1328 Statute of Northampton, which D.C. characterizes as a public carrying ban. As our brief explains, the case law is contrary to such a broad interpretation of the 1328 Statute.  For example,  Sir John Knight’s Case (1686) said that the statute applies only to people who go armed to terrify the King’s subjects.” There was a lot of weapons-carrying in England, partly because of public duties, such as keeping “watch and ward,” as well as required target practice (in longbows and muskets) at the target ranges that every village was required to maintain. The peaceable carrying of arms was an ordinary thing to see, not a terrifying one.

In the American colonies, nobody appears to have thought that they could not carry arms because of a 1328 English statute. Rather, the colonies mandated gun carrying in certain situations, such as when traveling or when going to church. To the extent that a few early states (and later, D.C.) enacted statutes expressing common law restrictions on arms carrying, the statutes (like the common law) only applied when a person did so “in terror of the country.” (D.C. 1818 statute; similar language in the states). In the colonial period, and in the first 37 years of independence, there were no restrictions on concealed carry. Several states enacted concealed carry bans thereafter, but of course these did not limit open carry. Moreover, our first “four Presidents openly carried firearms.” The notion that they, or anyone else, thought Americans were prohibited from doing so by a 1328 English statute is implausible.

To this, Priya Satia responds at Slate.

Oddly enough, medieval English laws matter in legal debates about gun control in the United States today. The Supreme Court’s landmark 2008 Second Amendment decision, District of Columbia v. Heller, determined that sufficiently “long-standing” firearms regulations are constitutional. This means that in Second Amendment cases, we have to get our English history right.

Doing so is crucial in a gun case now before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals: Wrenn v. D.C. The case is critical for Washington residents but also more broadly as the pro-gun lobby challenges laws in cities across the country. The District of Columbia argues that English and American law has always permitted restrictions on the right to carry guns in populated public places, tracing this tradition to the 1328 Statute of Northampton, which generally prohibited carrying guns in public. The District argues that the Second Amendment and its English precursors did not allow unfettered public carrying in densely populated cities, and thus the District may restrict it.

A group of legal historians has disputed this interpretation in an amicus brief filed this month, followed by an essay in the Washington Post by David Kopel, adjunct professor at Denver University’s law school. They claim the English Bill of Rights of 1689 superseded the 1328 statute and that, “There was a lot of weapons-carrying in England.” Thus, they conclude, D.C. residents have the right to carry guns in public. But their English history is wrong, as are their conclusions about public carry in the nation’s capital.

The Glorious Revolution of 1688–89 established a Protestant monarchy in England under William and Mary, ending the reign of the Stuarts. The Bill of Rights codified the constitutional limits on the new monarchy, including a provision guaranteeing Protestants (but not Catholics or Jews) the right to bear arms. But political realities overrode this provision. The new monarchy remained vulnerable to “Jacobites” seeking to restore the Stuart dynasty, with French and Spanish backing. This danger meant the British state could not permit widespread gun ownership.

The new monarchy’s disarmament laws built on laws passed after the Restoration of 1660, when the Stuarts returned to power after 11 years of republican rule and were similarly concerned with political stability. A 1670 statute had limited firearms possession to the noble and rich, although even their arsenals were subject to search and seizure at sensitive moments. A series of game laws from 1671 through 1831 dramatically reduced the number of people permitted to hunt, empowering gamekeepers to search for and seize unauthorized firearms. Smuggling laws also made carrying arms grounds for arrest. An armed militia was active through the 1680s, but not the 80 years that followed. Through the 1740s, its arms were locked in royal arsenals and distributed only at assembly. The government’s success at disarming the population made the militia superfluous, since its entire purpose was to prevent an armed rising against the government.

The amicus brief by Kopel et al. paints a picture of widespread gun carrying incongruous with this well-established history. The authors invoke the 1686 acquittal of the gun-toting Sir John Knight as evidence that the 1328 statute was inconsistently applied, but Patrick J. Charles, the award-winning historian for Air Force Special Operations Command, has shown that Joyce Malcolm (one of the brief’s authors) created this finding “out of thin air.”  In fact, Knight was acquitted because he was armed while cloaked with government authority. In an era of rapid urban growth, before state provision of police, the wealthy and noble fulfilled the role of informal police.

And I think you see where this argument is going, i.e., justifying law enforcement use of weapons to the exclusion of everyone else, even the military.  I wrote to Dave Kopel for a rejoinder, and he declined saying he had too many “irons in the fire,” but that “among its errors are conflating anti-hunting laws (which continued after 1689) with laws against defensive gun ownership.”

He also sent me to Joyce Malcolm, who is also busy but reminded me of her piece in Financial Times (I cannot locate the URL except at Free Republic).

Self-defence, William Blackstone, the 18th century English jurist, wrote, is a natural right that no government can deprive people of, since no government can protect the individual in his moment of need. The English Bill of Rights of 1689 affirmed the right of individuals “to have arms for their defence”. It is a dangerous right. But leaving personal protection to the police is also dangerous, and ineffective. Government is perilously close to denying people the ability to protect themselves at all, and the result is a more, not less, dangerous society.

I won’t rehearse the details of the debate.  But one thing stands out to me in this exchange, and it’s Kopel’s statement that “The notion that they, or anyone else, thought Americans were prohibited from doing so by a 1328 English statute is implausible.”  This is an important observation, so let’s unpack it a bit.

From my pedestrian point of view (from my coursework in philosophy, history and apologetics in seminary), I’ve always claimed that the best way to understand what the founders intended was to observe their lives and understand what they did or didn’t think their words meant.  Look to the culture, context and milieu which created these men and their views.  I have cited the public and open carry of weapons to which Kopel refers.

In the colonies, availability of hunting and need for defense led to armament statues comparable to those of the early Saxon times. In 1623, Virginia forbade its colonists to travel unless they were “well armed”; in 1631 it required colonists to engage in target practice on Sunday and to “bring their peeces to church.” In 1658 it required every householder to have a functioning firearm within his house and in 1673 its laws provided that a citizen who claimed he was too poor to purchase a firearm would have one purchased for him by the government, which would then require him to pay a reasonable price when able to do so. In Massachusetts, the first session of the legislature ordered that not only freemen, but also indentured servants own firearms and in 1644 it imposed a stern 6 shilling fine upon any citizen who was not armed.

When the British government began to increase its military presence in the colonies in the mid-eighteenth century, Massachusetts responded by calling upon its citizens to arm themselves in defense. One colonial newspaper argued that it was impossible to complain that this act was illegal since they were “British subjects, to whom the privilege of possessing arms is expressly recognized by the Bill of Rights” while another argued that this “is a natural right which the people have reserved to themselves, confirmed by the Bill of Rights, to keep arms for their own defense”. The newspaper cited Blackstone’s commentaries on the laws of England, which had listed the “having and using arms for self preservation and defense” among the “absolute rights of individuals.” The colonists felt they had an absolute right at common law to own firearms.

And further:

Their laws about children and guns were strict: every family was required to own a gun, to carry it in public places (especially when going to church) and to train children in firearms proficiency. On the first Thanksgiving Day, in 1621, the colonists and the Indians joined together for target practice; the colonist Edward Winslow wrote back to England that “amongst other recreations we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us.”

The ownership and carry of weapons was virtually ubiquitous in colonial America.  It was so for the purposes of hunting, defense against animals, and defense against men.  As my own professor C. Gregg Singer has pointed out, news reports, primary source literature and eyewitness accounts are the best information on colonial America.  All information and data points to the expectation of the duty of self defense, rather than a prohibition of such.

Moreover, while I concede that it’s interesting what English law had to say about ownership and carry of weapons, it isn’t determinative.  We follow the constitution, and in particular, I have asserted before that rights to ownership and carry of weapons follows God-given stipulations, the constitution flowing from it’s basis in this moral history.

If Satia’s goal was to persuade me that I could look to England to find basis to reject ownership and carry of weapons, the goal wasn’t met.  The attempt was an abject failure.

Immigration, Dark Confessions and NRA Single-Issue Focus

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

Mike Vanderboegh:

… what I didn’t notice until after a discussion with a long-time friend is what a gift Winkler has made us with this confession in the same article:

The fastest-growing minority group in America is Latinos. Between 2000 and 2010, the nation’s Latino population grew by 43 percent. Hispanics, which make up 17 percent of the population today, are expected to grow to 30 percent of the population in the coming decades. Gun control is extremely popular among Hispanics, with 75 percent favoring gun safety over gun rights.

It is impossible to overstate the favor that Winkler has done us by this triumphalist bragging about the “demographics gonna get yo momma” message to the NRA. This collectivist’s inadvertent confession not only confirms their evil, confiscationist intentions but it absolutely condemns the NRA’s “single-issue” avoidance of the illegal invasion threat. My partner in thought crime David Codrea has been banging this drum for some time now, only to be ignored or ridiculed by the NRA partisans on the Internet.

Yes, David has indeed (although I’m hesitant to link them because of my new policy of not linking Examiner), and so have I, here, here, here and here.  It’s important to understand, as I have explained, that this isn’t some cooked up, half-ass theory.  There is a very specific reason for their political proclivities.

“For historical reasons to do with the nationalisation of the land under Lázaro Cárdenas and the predominant form of peasant land tenure, which was “village cooperative” rather than based on individual plots, the demand for “land to the tiller” in Mexico does not imply an individual plot for every peasant or rural worker or family. In Mexico, collectivism among the peasantry is a strong tradition … one consequence of these factors is that the radical political forces among the rural population are on the whole explicitly anti-capitalist and socialist in their ideology. Sometimes this outlook is expressed in support for guerilla organisations; but struggle movements of the rural population are widespread, and they spontaneously ally with the most militant city-based leftist organisations.”

One of the reasons for this reflexive alignment with leftism has to do with the the mid-twentieth century and what the Sovient Union and allied ideologies accomplished.  South and Central America was the recipient or receptacle for socialism draped in religious clothing, or in other words, liberation theology.  Its purveyors were Roman Catholic priests who had been trained in Marxism, and they were very successful in giving the leftists a moral platform upon which to build.  This ideology spread North from South and Central America into Mexico, and thus the common folk in Mexico are quite steeped in collectivist ideology from battles that were fought decades ago.

Hispanics and Latinos are collectivists from way back.  Their priests have trained them in statist thinking, and this to their own demise.  In other words, they can no longer see how their cultural and political choices harm them, if they ever could.

Sadly, the NRA is today good for nothing more than a fairly good magazine once a month.  As for Winkler, he has made a fatal error in judgment.  Like other leftists, he thinks that gun owners are monolithic and controlled by the NRA.  To them, we are reactionary and able to be turned by the winds of wording, able to be controlled like the hive controls its own.  They think this way because it’s impossible to imagine a world view without central command issuing orders.  This is good news.  It’s always better when the enemy underestimates your power and resolve, and misjudges your character.

Want A Gun? Take A Bullet

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 1 week ago


As a teen I watched Chris Rock brilliantly address America’s gun problem during his Bigger and Blacker stand up. “We don’t need gun control,” Rock pleaded to a packed house, “We need bullet control––if bullets were $5000, people would think before they shot some one! You gotta really piss someone off for them to dump $50,000 worth of bullets in to you!” And just like the crowd, my brother, some friends and I erupted in laughter.

Rock was definitely on point, $5000 bullets would be great but I’d take it a step further––I believe that being shot should be requirement for gun ownership in America. It’s very simple. You need to have gun, like taking selfies with pistols, can’t live with out it? Then take a bullet and you will be granted the right to purchase the firearm of your choice.

[ … ]

Bullets are extremely hot and they hurt. I saw them paralyze, cut through faces, pierce children and take life. I have friends, relatives and loved ones be gunned down. Guns break apart families and ruin lives. Other than giving a coward the heart to stand tall, what’s the positive part of gun ownership? Other than the people in rural areas who use them to hunt for food, I have only seen them destroy, both in the suburbs and in our inner cities.

[ … ]

Gun praisers are just like the people who were in favor of slavery back in the day–– the elite, lazy and ignorant who weren’t being beaten, raped or in the field doing the work, so they were perfectly okay with involuntary servitude, which is a problem and why I think gun owners need to feel more––they need a taste of the other side.

So if you love guns, if they make you feel safe, if you hold and cuddle with them at night, then you need to be shot. You need to feel a bullet rip through your flesh, and if you survive and enjoy the feeling­­––then the right to bear arms will be all yours.

Listen here, young’ un.  You’re just projecting the ugly, black-on-black violence onto others in a refusal to take responsibility for the social, theological and familial problems in the black community.  As we all know, criminal violence with guns in America today is primarily a black-on-black problem.  You know it, I know it, and everyone knows it.

And you don’t get to set the rules for when I can use weapons for self defense or what weapons I choose.  Rights are granted by God, not horrible writers who craft their dung in effete, metrosexual rages fit only for rap concerts.  You want to be a man?  You want to show how tough you are?

Good.  Go to the black community and tell them to stop taking handouts and having welfare babies by fathers who will never be there.  Tell them to stop blaming other people for their problems.  Tell them to shut the gangs down and go home to their families.  Tell them to shut down that hideous rap “music” with its lyrics about rape, violence and hedonism.  Tell them to return to God and put away the things of the world.

I doubt you will, because you are the real coward – a coward too scared to face down his own problems.  As for me, I’ll keep my guns.  You can try to take them any time you feel froggy.

Seven Questions Britain Has For America About Guns

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 1 week ago

Ema O’Connor has done a poor job of answering the questions, so I thought I would help her.

Q: Every time there is a mass shooting, President Obama makes a passionate speech about the need for gun control. And yet it never happens. Why? Does he not have the power to drive through change?

A: That’s easy.  We aren’t subjects of the crown.  That problem was handled more than 200 years ago by men who, not coincidentally, had guns.

Q: Would you say the majority of Americans want stricter gun control laws? If so, how come it hasn’t happened yet?

A: That’s easy.  It’s a lie promulgated by the elitist media who want America to be like obedient insects living in a collectivist hive.  The majority of Americans don’t really want more gun control.

Q: How did the gun lobby become so powerful?

A: We have guns.

Q: Gun rights advocates: What is their explanation for why the U.S. has a much higher rate of gun deaths than comparable countries? Or do they just not talk about it?

A: Gun violence is primarily a black-on-black issue.  Were it not for many of the entitled, inner city blacks who have been taught through the fourth, fifth and sixth generations now to expect handouts and never take responsibility, you wouldn’t have even asked the question.  This question is more properly posed to the elitist, collectivist, urban chattering class.  Let them explain to you why they chose to create a class of inner city criminals.

Q: What do gun rights advocates say the “well regulated” bit in “well regulated militia” means?

A: Capable of shooting and engaging other field combat tactics well.

Q: How easy is it to get a gun license in America? What’s the process?

A: Not easy enough.

Q: In a number of cases, the gunmen responsible for mass shootings have had criminal records and documented mental health problems, and yet they were able to purchase firearms legally. How does that happen?

A: Mental health issues don’t predispose one to violence.  You must mean how does an evil man obtain weapons.  With money.  Although not asked, why does an evil man obtain weapons?  To perpetrate acts of evil, as it has been from Genesis 2 onward.

I’m glad I could be of assistance.

Pry Those Guns From Our Cold, Dead Fingers

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

Huffington Post:

In 2012, 986 mass shootings ago, I wrote these words: “”In the wake of another horrific national tragedy, it’s easy to talk about guns. But it’s time to talk about mental illness.”

Now it’s time to talk about guns.

In the wake of the Umpqua Community College shooting, I had the unenviable task of appearing on CNN to defend the shooter’s mother, Laurel Harper, for sharing an entirely legal interest in firearms with her son.

Legal, but stupid.

Should Harper be blamed for her son’s actions? Of course not. Millions of parents share an interest in guns with their children. Harper did not have a crystal ball that could predict her son would become a mass shooter; in fact, it could be argued that mothers are the worst people to ask about their children’s weaknesses, because we prefer to focus, like Harper did, on our children’s strengths. Harper, who is grieving the loss of her son, the tenth victim of the shooting, couldn’t predict a mass shooting any better than anyone else can.

But was Harper irresponsible in how she owned and stored her guns? The clear answer is yes. Not because her son had a mental illness. Because all parents who own and store guns in their homes are irresponsible, regardless of whether anyone in the family has a mental illness.

What causes mass shootings? The same thing that causes 61% of all deaths by gun violence (suicides): easy access to guns. If no one in your family has suffered the negative effects of gun ownership, it’s not because you are a “responsible gun owner.” You are just lucky.

[ … ]

Our Founding Fathers were reasonable men. They surely never imagined a country where an amendment designed to keep the British from invading, at a time when guns could only fire one shot at a time with questionable accuracy, would lead to almost weekly mass shootings of innocent citizens.

I hope that Laurel Harper will join moms across America in demanding action from Congress on gun control. I’m one of those moms. Please don’t shoot me.

Our founding fathers were criminals and seditionists in the eyes of the British government.  And if they had the chance, they would have used any weapon at their disposal to shorten the war and ensure victory.  Your propositions are ridiculous.

Furthermore, storing guns isn’t any more dangerous than, say, storing typical household cleaning supplies, which can also kill you.  You just have to be responsible.  And no, I don’t believe in federal laws concerning the storage of household chemicals.  There is no inalienable right to wise parents.  Your propositions are ridiculous.

As for “please don’t shoot me,” I’m certainly okay with that, as long as you don’t come into my home and attempt to confiscate my guns.  Do we agree?

The Idolatry Of Security

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

Baptist News Global:

Of course, the problem with “the devil made them do it,” is that personal and social responsibility are minimized to the point that we are off the hook. There is no way to prevent every tragedy, but why the push-back against laws that might minimize tragedy?

Can you imagine if that was the Church’s response to other tragic and violent situations?

…like Human Trafficking and Sex Slavery – “The devil made that man kidnap those girls, so there’s no reason to pass laws that might prevent human trafficking, and certainly no need to talk about it.”

Such an approach is not only irresponsible from a biblical perspective, but from a social and moral one.

Another pastor wrote in a forum:

“We cannot stop this stuff from going down. The world is going to hell in two handbaskets.”

Actually, part of what makes these tragedies so infuriating (and painfully sad) is that in other developed countries, mass killings do not happen with anywhere close to the same regularity we have in the States.

Can you imagine if the response of Christians to every moral dilemma was like the one above?

…like Racial Segregation – “We cannot stop segregation because the world is going to hell. The Bible says it will get worse before it gets better!”

Preposterous. Such a view is escapist, and denies Christ’s call to help usher in the Kingdom of Heaven in our present reality. Unfortunately the escapist view is rampant among American Christians, and common sense gun legislation isn’t the only issue held captive to such faulty thinking.

I even heard a pastor say:

“As Christians we shouldn’t expect politicians, judges and other leaders to make moral choices that usher in God’s Kingdom.”

Then as Christians, why do we elect them? I’m all for separation of church and state, but just because the state should not favor a particular religion or denomination doesn’t mean we should expect the worst from our government, or not care when violence (that can arguably be minimized) runs rampant.

What if the above view was taken in other situations?

…like Payday and Predatory Lending – “Why should Christians expect society to limit predatory financial practices that prey on the poor and vulnerable? If the Church was just salt and light then maybe these companies would go away.”

Don’t count on it. On many issues the church works to affect change for the better in our culture including human rights, economic initiatives, racial reconciliation, and environmental stewardship. If the church is salt and light in the world, wouldn’t legislative change materialize as fruit of our collective witness?

The non-answers, the posturing, the moral avoidance and theological escapism have got to stop – especially among Christian leaders. It’s time for a reality check.

In my opinion, the reason this debate is seemingly intractable is nothing short of idolatry masquerading as weak rhetoric, tired arguments, and a refusal to face the truth – We have an idolatry problem in America.

  • Idolatry of the individual self
  • Idolatry of guns
  • Idolatry of “personal security and protection”

“The idolatry of security.”  This is a remarkable quote (and perspective) from a man who would be a boy, perhaps not old enough to have children or a wife who is precious to him and who depend upon him for protection.  He is old enough to be a Doctor of Ministry candidate, but not wise enough to study the Scriptures rather than the political scene for his world view.

Remember what we’ve seen concerning what the Holy Writ says about our responsibilities.

God’s law requires [us] to be able to defend the children and helpless.  “Relying on Matthew Henry, John Calvin and the Westminster standards, we’ve observed that all Biblical law forbids the contrary of what it enjoins, and enjoins the contrary of what it forbids.”  I’ve tried to put this in the most visceral terms I can find.

God has laid the expectations at the feet of heads of families that they protect, provide for and defend their families and protect and defend their countries.  Little ones cannot do so, and rely solely on those who bore them.  God no more loves the willing neglect of their safety than He loves child abuse.  He no more appreciates the willingness to ignore the sanctity of our own lives than He approves of the abuse of our own bodies and souls.  God hasn’t called us to save the society by sacrificing our children or ourselves to robbers, home invaders, rapists or murderers. Self defense – and defense of the little ones – goes well beyond a right.  It is a duty based on the idea that man is made in God’s image.  It is His expectation that we do the utmost to preserve and defend ourselves when in danger, for it is He who is sovereign and who gives life, and He doesn’t expect us to be dismissive or cavalier about its loss.

And yet in spite of God’s expectations for us, the man-child actually recommends that we subjugate our personal security – and that of our family – for the greater social good, whatever that means!  We don’t know what form it would take – universal background checks, which wouldn’t do what he wants, bans on certain kinds of weapons, which wouldn’t do what he wants, or what.  But something must be done, because remember the children.

I am remembering the children, son, and perhaps you will one day too.  That’s why I won’t subjugate my right to own whatever weapons I deem appropriate for the defense of my family to any perceived social good.  And if your seminary is teaching that you should, I suggest you discuss with your wife, or future wife, the notion that you want her to sacrifice some of the security of your children for the greater social good.  You can have a long, perhaps contentious conversation on how much that “some” should be as your children lay in their beds at night.

Best. Quote. Ever.

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

Mike Vanderboegh:

This makes about as much sense as someone reacting to rape committed by a stranger in another town by cutting off his own penis.

Yep.  That’s how much sense gun control makes.

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