The reaction is virtually ubiquitous across the progressive world, and it pays to know what’s going on. I won’t have a long analysis of any one commentary, but I have brief comments on multiple commentaries.
First up is Bill Clinton, who is lying when he says that his AWB did anything to drive down any sort violence whatsoever, using any metric at all. The trend on crime has been decreasing from since before his AWB and continues to decrease today.
On another front, Jeh Johnson says that gun violence is a matter of homeland security. What he (and the administration) wants to do here is promulgate rules, directives and regulations separate from and unreviewed by Congress, accountable only to a FISA court (which is just a rubber stamp on the executive).
According to NBC, the shooter was racist, belligerent and toxic. Not Muslim, mind you, but something else. Because this certainly couldn’t come down to Islam.
Heather Digby Parton at Salon, with whom we’ve interacted before, thinks we don’t need an AR-15. No one needs an AR-15. Because she says so.
Would a ban on semi-automatic rifles end Islamic extremism? No. But it won’t make it worse, the way that religious bans and calls for torture and killing of suspects family members will. And it would sure make it a lot harder for any of these twisted souls, Muslim or otherwise, to spray bullets at a room full of first graders or movie goers or gay guys dancing the night away. You can’t fix what’s in these people’s hearts. That is beyond anyone’s ken. But you can make it harder for them to act on their hate. Nobody needs an AR-15.
So bans won’t end the problem, but it won’t make it any worse. That’s a pretty low threshold for passing laws. But wait. She modifies the assessment. It sure would make it a lot harder, she says. But how does she know? How does she know that someone couldn’t bring multiple handguns to the shooting and perpetrate the same carnage? She doesn’t. She just made that up.
Amanda Marcotte, writing at Salon, tells us that we are a bunch of puckered old farts except when it comes to guns.
Conservatives might be opposed to “politically correct” ideas like same-sex marriage, religious tolerance, due process for all, efforts to end race and gender discrimination, and even a freedom so basic as the right to choose when you give birth, but hey, you get to spend a cool grand on an AR-15 and all its trimmings, and isn’t that the only thing that really matters?
Amanda doesn’t hang with enough of us to know. Hey, we support low or almost no taxes, minimal government regulation, oppose the war on drugs, and believe in small government. I’m not sure who Amanda is referring to, but she needs to expand her horizons a little. I think we’re more gun – um, excuse me, fun – to be with than she does. Care to hang out, Amanda?
Mark Follman at Motherless Jones doesn’t remember his history. As I read his histrionics I couldn’t help but think of Charles Whitman and scoped bolt action rifles wielded by someone in a sniper’s hide. For hours and hours and hours.
Josh Earnest doesn’t know what an assault weapon is. It’s okay, Josh. It doesn’t matter to me what you call it. It’s just a machine, like any other machine. It can be used for good or not, just like a car, or a hammer. It’s a shame when they send a ventriloquist dummy out to perform without the ventriloquist, huh?
Justin Peters with Slate has issues with what we call the black gun.
The term modern sporting rifle, evoking outdoorsy competition and good, clean fun, sounds incongruous when applied to weapons like these …
Well, it can be used for hunting, or 3-gun competition, or target shooting, or self defense, but since Justin is having difficulty with this, let’s just be clear. To dispel the myth surrounding the gun, some folks don’t like it at all and prefer an AR-10 or some other weapon (M1A, etc.). Tall tales about how this gun can inflict carnage on a scale like no other weapon in history are usually written by ignorant boobs who are just pushing an agenda. It’s just a rifle firing an intermediate cartridge.
But I like it and always will because of a number of reasons I’ve rehearsed before (e.g., the modularity, the fact that the recoil is on-axis rather than being coupled about a point, etc.). And one reason not mentioned is that we have guns as a remedy for tyranny. That’s right, Justin. Got it? That’s the close quarters battle thing you mentioned and didn’t really flesh out. As for a field rifle, it may not be the best option if you’re talking over 500 yards. One may decide not to use the “black gun” for that. Is this too much detail, Justin? All the talk about remedies for tyranny?
David S. Cohen, professor at Drexel University, thinks it’s time to repeal the second amendment. He spends a lot of time talking about how deeply flawed the constitution is. In fact, I think Cohen is deeply flawed and the constitution pretty good. But his prose is cute.
The Second Amendment needs to be repealed because it is outdated, a threat to liberty and a suicide pact. When the Second Amendment was adopted in 1791, there were no weapons remotely like the AR-15 assault rifle and many of the advances of modern weaponry were long from being invented or popularized.
Oh horse shit. The founders wrote the second amendment specifically as a remedy for tyranny. If they had been able to craft the AR-15, they would have used it and ended the war of independence much more quickly. Guns, rather than a threat to liberty, are the practical surety of liberty. But the disconnected professor should give it a go if he thinks he can repeal the second amendment. Any time he feels froggy.
Finally, writer Charles Pierce at Esquire writes about Stanley McChrystal on guns.
If an Army general says this is a weapon that should not be in civilian hands, like a grenade launcher or an F-16, then we should be able to agree as a nation that this is a weapon than should not be in civilian hands. I wonder why “both parties” can’t “talk about it in a rational fashion to dial it down.”
Well, we’ve already talked about what a complete ass clown and worm Stanley McChrystal is, or really to be more honest, a murderer with his ROE (see many engagements in Afghanistan, and I used Ganjgal as one stark example). But beyond having to use an adulterer (Petraeus) and a murderer (McChrystal) as your touchstone for gun control, what kind of analyst asserts that being a general has anything whatsoever to do with public policy?
Seriously. Staff and flag officers spend time in TRADOC, strategy, logistics, and so on. Why would anyone conclude that a general had to have any knowledge of operation of weapons or any special insight into public policy at all? What kind of juvenile did Esquire hire with Pierce? Here’s a bet. The gunsmiths down at Hyatt Gun Shop can out-gunsmith McChrystal or anyone he knows every time, and I’d lay good money on that. And a random selection of people in the phone directory (and testing those people) would yield better policy results more focused on the maintenance of liberty than Stanley McChrystal at his very best and most studied.