What To Talk About Gun Violence? Facts Aren’t Enough.

When all is really said and done, there’s one basic point of disagreement between Gun-sense Nation on the one hand, and Gun-nut Nation on the other. And the difference goes like this: Gun-sense Nation believes that 120,000+ or more gun deaths and gun injuries each year is a public health crisis which needs to be addressed the way we deal with all threats to public health, namely, through a combination of research, education, and enforced legislation. Gun-nut Nation, on the other hand, does not believe that guns cause any kind of threat to public health; to the contrary, legal gun ownership protects the public from threats to its welfare both from within the country and without.

area51           I think that the gun violence prevention (GVP) community needs to stop worrying about what the other side says or what the other side thinks. To be honest, I’m not sure that anyone who truly believes that the 2nd Amendment keeps us ‘free’ or protects us from an invasion by ISIS has actually thought about the issue at all. And let’s not forget that we now have a real bully in the bully pulpit who appears to share Gun-nut Nation’s point of view. Nevertheless, the folks who want to do something about gun violence still need to figure out what to do.

Or more specifically, what to say.  Because the argument between the two sides resembles a similar argument that made a brief appearance during the 2016 Republican primary campaign, when Ben Carson, a pediatric neurosurgeon, made a remarkable statement during the 2nd debate when he said there were many vaccines that aren’t really necessary, a claim that medical science has long ago decided is simply not true.

Carson was responding to a slimy attempt by Trump-o to thrill his supporters with yet another conspiracy theory, in this case the idea that childhood vaccines lead to autism, a loony and completely disproven idea that’s been floating around on the fringes of the mentally-challenged population for years. Unfortunately, what’s scientific fact to one person may be fiction to someone else, and if you don’t believe me, just spend some time perusing websites which claim that global warming is a complete and total hoax.

In essence, the GVP community faces the same issue every time they talk about gun violence as a public health problem, because they run smack up against a response from Gun-nut Nation which has nothing to do with science, or research, or facts at all.  How many peer-reviewed articles have appeared in scientific/medical journals over the last 50 years which provide substantive data showing that access to guns increases the risk of getting shot or shooting yourself with a gun?  Probably somewhere around 1,000 articles, give or take a few. How many articles have appeared in scientific/medical journals over the same time period which provide data supporting the idea that access to guns protects us from harm?  None.  That’s another way of saying ‘zero,’ in case you didn’t know.

So when it comes to figuring out whether guns are a good thing or a bad thing, or what I call the ‘social utility’ of guns, the scientific evidence goes in only one direction, the research uniformly says one thing: i.e., the social costs of free access to firearms outweighs the social benefits – period, done

There’s only one little problem.  The people who promote free access to guns, who want everyone to walk around with a gun could care less about what the scientific evidence shows.  And didn’t they just help elect a President who could also care less about the difference between fiction and fact? So Gun-sense Nation better figure out some messaging which can respond to how Gun-nut Nation feels about their guns. Because talking about gun violence by citing this or that scientific study works fine when you’re talking to someone who believes in science and facts.  But what happens when you find yourself in a discussion about gun violence with someone who believes that Martins really did land in Area 51?

 

 

 

 

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Ann Arbor Is The Location Of An Important Event On September 25th. Get There if You Can.

There’s a group of physicians in Michigan who have formed an organization called Physicians for Prevention of Gun Violence (PPGV) which is sponsoring one of the September 25th Concert Across America To End Gun Violence events. Their concert, which will take place in Ann Arbor at the Genesis Center, and will feature performances by the chamber orchestra conducted by Kevin Fitzgerald, as well as solo piano works performed by a member (Emeritus) of the Ann Arbor music faculty, Louis Nagel.

ppgv           Events like the Ann Arbor concert are going to take place all over the country, and while the New York and California concerts are going to get the spotlight (how could they not get the spotlight with the artists who are appearing at both venues?) we shouldn’t overlook the value and importance of the more local efforts like the Ann Arbor gig.  And the reason we shouldn’t ignore such events is because to really build a national movement for anything, you need to get folks involved in the communities where they work and where they live. After all, it’s one thing to walk into a large, public event where you might or might not know anyone at all. It’s quite another to walk into a room and see other people whom you really know, then all of a sudden the event in that room takes on a special and personal meaning for you.

In the interests of full disclosure (I love that phrase) I happen to know several of the physicians who are active in the PPGV group.  The organization got started after the Tucson shooting (of Gabby Giffords) in 2011 and now counts more than 200 members, including clinicians, residents and medical students in all the relevant medical disciplines.  In 2014 the group was featured in a journal  article published by the Michigan Academy of Family Physicians after the statewide group adopted resolutions on gun violence prevention.

Back in 2014, Detroit’s Police Chief James Craig became a poster-boy for the NRA when he called for law-abiding Detroit residents to arm themselves against crime.  Of course this stance also made Craig an immediate resource for the Trump campaign, and he was, along with Dr. Ben Carson (remember him?) conspicuously present during Trump’s recent drop-in tour of the Motor City.  The only problem, of course, is that armed citizens or not, Detroit still has one of the highest murder rates in the United States, and the last time I checked, Detroit is still located in Michigan, which means that the members of the PPGV group have plenty of work to do.

But along with work comes opportunity and when I think about what PPGV has accomplished in such a short time, it reminds me of another group of physicians which started advocating over a public health issue back in 1961.  The group came together in someone’s apartment and formed Physicians for Social Responsibility to advocate about the health risks posed by nuclear testing and, in particular, the spread of Strontium-90 in the water, soil and air.  PSR limped along for a number of years and then, in 1979, decided to give it one last try.  The same week that they sent out what they thought might be their last fundraising appeal, the nuclear reactor at Three Mile Island blew.  Guess what?  In 1985 this group, known now as the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, shared the Nobel Peace Prize.

Am I saying that gun violence is as serious a risk to health as nuclear war?  Well, if you consider that over the last five years alone more than half a million Americans have been killed or seriously injured because of guns is a number that probably surpasses what would be the human toll from the detonation of a good-sized nuclear bomb.  So I applaud the work of Physicians for Prevention of Gun Violence, I know their September 25th concert will be a great success, and I only hope they and groups like them will continue to forge ahead.

 

Did A Good Guy With A Gun Stop A Bad Guy With A Gun? Not In Dallas.

The last time that a sniper climbed up into an office building and tried to kill someone in downtown Dallas was November 22, 1963.  The sniper was Lee Harvey Oswald and the victim was the President of the United States.  This time around, the shooter appears to have been an ex-Army reservist who served in Afghanistan, and victims were five members of the Dallas PD.  These two sniper attacks were separated by nearly fifty-three years in time, but less than five hundred feet in space.  The unfortunate Dallas police officers were apparently shot near the intersection of Main Street and South Lamar; walk a block east down Main Street, turn left and you’re standing in front of what was the Texas Book Depository Building where Oswald perched himself when he allegedly shot JFK.

 

Bystanders stand near pollice baracades following the sniper shooting in Dallas on July 7, 2016.  A fourth police officer was killed and two suspected snipers were in custody after a protest late Thursday against police brutality in Dallas, authorities said. One suspect had turned himself in and another who was in a shootout with SWAT officers was also in custody, the Dallas Police Department tweeted.  / AFP / Laura Buckman        (Photo credit should read LAURA BUCKMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Bystanders stand near pollice baracades following the sniper shooting in Dallas on July 7, 2016.
A fourth police officer was killed and two suspected snipers were in custody after a protest late Thursday against police brutality in Dallas, authorities said. One suspect had turned himself in and another who was in a shootout with SWAT officers was also in custody, the Dallas Police Department tweeted.
/ AFP / Laura Buckman (Photo credit should read LAURA BUCKMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Oswald, a former Marine Corps member, used a surplus military rifle called a Mannlicher-Carcano 91/38, which he bought from a mail-order sporting goods wholesaler in Chicago for twenty bucks. There’s been no confirmation yet out of Dallas, but I’ll bet you that the murder weapon used in yesterday attacks was an AR-15 assault rifle, or some variation on the theme, like the Sig-Sauer rifle that mowed down over 100 people inside The Pulse.

Wait a minute!  Nobody’s going to quarrel with the idea that President Kennedy was shot with a military gun; Oswald, after all, was a trained Marine Corps marksman, which meant he probably learned to shoot with a Springfield, bolt-action 1903 rifle, a gun that was similar in design and function to the gun he took into the Book Depository in order to carry out his assault.

But the AR-15 is a ‘sporting’ rifle, according to the NRA and the NSSF.  It doesn’t have any military application at all.  Those unfortunate Dallas cops weren’t shot with a military weapon, they were shot with a gun that is no more dangerous than any other rifle that you can find for sale in in any gun shop and can be purchased by anyone whose ownership of a gun is approved by a call to FBI-NICS.  Let’s not rush to judgement here, even if President Obama is already ‘politicizing’ this terrible tragedy by renewing his call for more regulations over these kinds of guns.  And what did Obama get in return for mentioning that these cop killings were the result of people being armed with ‘powerful weapons?’ He got an immediate response from Ben Carson (remember him?) who was plopped out in front of a Fox television camera to remind the audience that “we still have the 2nd Amendment” which gives us the right to use a gun to protect ourselves “against an overly aggressive government or external invasion.”

It’s going to be interesting to see how Gun-nut Nation gets past this one, if only because it’s one thing if a ‘street thug’ shoots another ‘street thug,’ it’s another thing if five police officers were killed and seven others, cops and civilians, were wounded by a guy walking around with a ‘sporting’ gun.  And remember that Texas is an open-carry state; in fact, there was one guy walking in the parade who had an AR-15 slung over his back; fat lot of good he did when the shooting broke out.

Adam Gopnick had a piece in The New Yorker in which he pointed out that the Dallas assault represented “the grotesque reductio ad absurdum of the claim that it takes a good guy with a gun to stop a bad guy with a gun.” The parade route was lined with good guys who had guns, and the result was that five of them ended up dead.

But not to worry, Adam.  Like the veritable phoenix arising from the ashes, the NRA will wait the customary few days and then trot out again the myths of the ‘modern sporting rifle’ being used by the ‘good guy with the gun.’  After all, they now have a Presidential candidate who will probably be saying the same thing.

 

Why Did Bill O’Reilly Call For Comprehensive Background Checks?

Did I really hear what I thought I heard Bill O’Reilly say after Obama announced his agenda for additional controls on guns? So I waited until Fox posted O’Reilly’s remarks from his Wednesday night show and here is exactly what he said: “The NRA and the gun owners should be reasonable. The FBI should background check anyone buying a firearm in America. That just makes sense. If you are paranoid and believe the government is stockpiling information so they can come to your house and take your guns — that’s your problem, your problem.”

oreilly               Is this the Bill O’Reilly whose nightly talk show always leads the ratings for Fox News?  Is this the same Bill O’Reilly who has either excused or justified virtually every racist attack on Obama over the last seven years? Is this the selfsame Bill O’Reilly who, following the shooting at Umpqua CC, told Obama that he could “never change” the 2nd Amendment?  Yup, it’s the same, old Billy-boy, and while I wish I had been the first one to pick up on this remarkable statement, I have to admit that you can also see the clip on Salon and Media Matters, along with a quickie from Trump (on the Salon website) commenting on Obama’s speech by saying, “Don’t worry folks, they’re not going to take away your guns.”

So all of a sudden, after months of the most outrageous and pandering lies, the Republicans turn an about-face and decide it’s time to be reasonable as regards guns.  And don’t make the mistake of thinking for one second that Bill O’Reilly and Fox News in general can be counted on to get out in front and take a positon on any political issue that runs against the Republican grain.  If all of a sudden someone as influential as Bill O’Reilly dismisses the idea that background checks will lead to gun confiscation, if this dismissal is then repeated explicitly by Donald Trump, then what has happened is that the single, most important idea used by the NRA to block any kind of sensible gun regulation – regulation leads to confiscation – has just disappeared.

The NRA and other pro-gun organizations have been promoting this slippery-slope crap since the 1990s, if not before.  The NRA usually trots this bromide out in their fundraising pitch, but there are some quasi-serious scholars out there like the NRA counsel Stephen Halbrook whose book, Gun Control in the Third Reich, also argues that gun registration in Germany then led to gun confiscation with the utmost, tragic results. I knew that Ben Carson didn’t have the wherewithal to be a serious Presidential candidate when he stated and then defended the idea that millions of Jews were killed in the Holocaust because they didn’t own guns.  But he didn’t say anything different than what has been floating around gun circles for years.

So what’s going on?  How come people who until a week ago were promoting the sine qua non of gun stupidity by warning us about how the gun-grabbers are hard at work trying to take away our guns, are now lining up on the side of reasonableness, on the side of common sense?  Should the GVP community take O’Reilly seriously?  Should Mike Bloomberg offer to appear with Trump if The Donald is willing to repeat his promise that nobody’s going to lose their guns?

What’s going on is what I have been saying is going on in the period since Sandy Hook; namely, for the very first time since guns became a public issue, the terms of the debate are no longer being set by the NRA.  I’m not saying that the playing field is exactly level.  I’m saying that the GVP movement is finally forcing the other side to consider whether what it says will continue to sell.  Because you don’t change a thirty-year public stance because all of a sudden you see the light.  You change it because otherwise your own bulb might just burn out.

 

 

 

Want To Produce A Video On Offensive Comments About Guns? Just Listen To Carson, Trump, Fiorina, Bush, Et. Al.

Last year a photographer named Dana Spaeth-Williams put out a three-minute video consisting of a bunch of stills of kids holding placards which together delivered a standard and benign series of statements about the risk of guns.  Nothing that was said on the video hasn’t been said on thousands of other YouTube videos, none of the portraits of the children were inflammatory, provocative or anything like that.  The music was spare and haunting, the black-white contrast was artistic as could be; the video was as much a work of art as it was a political statement about gun violence today.  Evidently the video was also posted on Yahoo, AOL and MSNBC.

oregon                To date the YouTube video has been viewed 32,115 times, which isn’t a game-breaker for YouTube by any means. It has also attracted 263 comments and garnered 337 ‘likes’ and 158 ‘dislikes;’ again, numbers which indicate that neither the pro-gun nor the anti-gun crowd is responding to the video in droves.  Nevertheless, Ms. Spaeth-Williams has produced another video, again with a lovely musical background, which is simply a series of comments that were made about the original video since it went live.  To sum up, the comments are about as nasty, ugly and (it goes without saying) stupid as they can be.  As much as we like to think we are an educated, advanced and cultured society, there are certainly some among us who still believe they can contribute to a conversation by saying the worst, most profanity-laced rants, regardless of whether they have anything to do with the topic at hand.

The second video states that the comments were culled from “thousands” of comments received from pro-gun extremists, and while I didn’t look at comments on Yahoo, AOL or MSNBC, I did read all the postings on YouTube which, I assume, would have been similar to what appeared wherever the video could be seen.  Were there lots of loony, nasty and indecipherable comments?  Of course.  Did some of the bloggers compete with one another to see who could say the nastiest, coarsest things?  Of course.  Did many of the most ‘extreme’ comments appear to be the work of teen-agers who love to say on the internet what they can’t say out loud in their 7th grade class?  Of course.

But what I found most interesting were the numerous comments that were positive, favorable and not just a quick pat on the back, but often contained serious efforts to talk about the content and impact of the video’s message, along with its clear attempt to be considered as a piece of art. In fact, I don’t recall seeing as many thoughtful and respectful reactions to any other gun-control message that has been posted online, which only proves once again that if you elevate the level of your content, you tend to elevate the level of people who respond.

Did the crazy, loony and offensive pro-gun comments upset me?  Not a bit.  Comments like “You left wing libernuts should be the first ones in the encampments like the Jews”  don’t bother me because the guy who wrote it talks to the same two or three people every day and nobody really cares what he thinks or says. Meanwhile, a guy who says the same thing to CNN is favored by nearly one out of five likely national Republican voters to be the next President of the United States. Can I really blame some poor, pathetic shut-in sitting in front of his computer all day making anti-Semitic rants when Ben Carson, a neurosurgeon no less, dismisses criticisms from a leading Jewish civil rights organization as “foolishness?” But we all know that Jews = Liberals so what does Carson stand to lose?

Hey Dana, want to make another video containing extreme and offensive statements about guns? Just splice together the words of Carson, Trump, Fiorina, Bush and all the other Republicans who have decided that protecting the 2nd Amendment is the most important problem facing America today.

 

Ben Carson Knows For A Fact That Jews Could Have Stopped The Holocaust If They Had Been Armed.

It’s been almost twelve hours since a shooting took place on the campus of Northern Arizona University, killing one student and wounding three others, and the pro-gun noisemakers have yet to point out that the campus is a ‘gun-free’ zone.  But if it turns out that guns aren’t allowed on the campus, I guarantee you that we’ll shortly be hearing from John  Lott, Dana Loesch and the other self-appointed Ministers of Personal Protection that once again we have failed as a society to exercise the proper response to violence, namely, to let everyone walk around with a gun.

carson                Actually, I should have known that even though it’s too early for him to have made a specific statement about the incident at NAU, we could count on America’s leading expert on self-defense against gun violence, Dr. Ben Carson, to say something so stupid that it really makes me wonder if he understands just how dumb he really is.  I’m referring to a comment he made yesterday on CNN in which he mentioned that the passengers on United 93 may have prevented even worse damage by rushing the terrorists who had hijacked the plane and, in the resultant melee, forcing it down in Pennsylvania rather than allowing it to crash into some other, heavily-populated site. Of course the Flight 93 passengers didn’t have guns, but neither did the hijackers, a minor point that Carson simply ignored.  But the reason he even mentioned the 2001 tragedy was to bolster his belief that anyone who is unarmed is vulnerable, and his proof of this belief is the ‘fact’ that six million Jews were slaughtered by the Nazis because they didn’t have guns.

This has been a quasi-official line of the NRA for a number of years, and received its formal enshrinement in a book written by the NRA counsel, Stephen Halbrook, Gun Control in the Third Reich. Halbrook argues that Jews might have been able to prevent the Holocaust had they not been disarmed by the Nazi regime in 1938.  But what he fails to mention is that the Nazis made no effort to disarm anyone else after they came to power and yet the fact that 99% of the German population were entitled to own guns did not result in any attempt by civilians to rise up against the Third Reich. The Anti-Defamation League reacted to Carson’s statement with their usual polite response, calling his comments “historically inaccurate and offensive.”  It was worse than that.  They were the product of a deranged, sick mind who is stooping to the lowest common denominator of human intelligence to try and gin up a few votes.

The argument over whether this campus or that campus is a gun-free zone is not just playing out because the pro-gun gang wants everyone to walk around armed.  It’s part and parcel of an ongoing strategy to promote guns on college campuses to get young people into ownership of guns.  As usual, the campaign is being led by Grandma Marian Hammer in the Gunshine State – the place where all laws that make it easier to own guns are first beta-tested before the campaign moves on to other states.  And you can be sure that Granny Hammer is walking around today telling all her friends in the Florida Legislature that what happened in Oregon and Arizona is proof that colleges shouldn’t be gun-free zones.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  My friends in the GVP movement need to stop being so darn polite. They need to stop worrying about protecting the 2nd Amendment and they need to stop worrying about upholding gun rights.  Most of all, they need to stop being concerned about offending anyone who actually believes that a jerk and low-life like Ben Carson should be part of the national gun debate.  I’m totally in favor of gun ownership without restrictions when it comes to hunting or sport.  Otherwise, America should be completely a gun-free zone. And Ben Carson should go lay brick.

Know What Ben? It’s Time For You To Shut Up.

Ben Carson isn’t the first physician to run for President and, in fact, isn’t the only doctor trying to get into the White House in 2016.  He may be the only board-certified doctor, because it’s not clear whether Rand Paul is certified or not.  Carson certainly is.  All the more reason that when he says something which violates the Hippocratic Oath we should ask whether he has the credentials even to claim that he’s a bone-fide physician, never mind credentials to be the next President of the United States.

Let me make one thing clear about the Hippocratic Oath.  It’s not mandatory either to subscribe to it or to follow it.  There are some medical schools that don’t, in fact, administer the oath to new graduates, there are also various versions of the oath floating around.  But the Hippocratic Oath is a reminder that medicine is a profession whose effective practice requires attention not just to science and learning, but to compassion and ethics as well.  After all, we vest the responsibility and often the authority for making life and death decisions within the medical profession.   So it’s heartening to know that this profession expects its members to think and behave according to certain basic and well-tested rules.

hippocratic                And rule number one is: Do No Harm.  Now these words aren’t, in fact, found in the text of the oath itself.  But ask any physician to tell you what it means to subscribe to the Hippocratic Oath and he or she will state either those exact words or words to that effect. Which brings us to the recent statements made by Ben Carson following the slaughter at Umpqua Community College that produced a sickening amount of harm.

The first statement was on Ben’s Facebook page, although he scrubbed it when the responses began pouring in.  Nevertheless, here’s the exact quote:  “I never saw a body with bullet holes that was more devastating than taking the right to arm ourselves away.”  In other words, if Carson was practicing in a locality that had very strict gun-control laws like, for example, Washington, D.C., he would claim that the inability of a D.C. resident to carry around a handgun was a greater medical risk than if that same individual was brought into the ER with a bullet lodged in his head. So much for Carson’s ability to stratify gun violence risk, adopt the proper medical response and thereby reduce harm.

Just to make sure that ol’ Ben keeps his bone fides alive with the pro-gun crowd, he then went on CBS and said that if he were facing a mass shooter, the first thing he would do is put up a fight.  He would also advise other people in the vicinity to do the same thing. Of course macho man Carson has absolutely no idea of the degree to which such behavior increases risk, and if you don’t believe me, just take a look at the active shooter guidelines issued by the Department of Homeland Security: Run, hide, if all else fails, fight.

Every time Carson opens his mouth about gun violence, he says something that increases risk.  If he wants to say something stupid, that’s fine.  But when he advises people to do something that increases risk, he’s not just being dumb, he’s violating the Hippocratic Oath.  The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence has posted a petition asking Carson to apologize to the survivors and victims’ families at Roseburg because of the comments he made on Facebook and ABC.  The petition says that Carson’s remarks are “offensive and beyond the pale.”

I think it’s now time for the medical community to tell their colleague Ben Carson that he should stop putting the initials ‘M.D’ after his name. Because no doctor who takes his work seriously would make statements like that. Ben doesn’t  just offend the Umpqua survivors, he offends the profession which he claims to represent.  Shut up Ben, just shut the f***up.

 

What Would We Do If Ben Carson Wasn’t Protecting Our 2nd Amendment Rights?

Uh-oh, the gun industry just suffered a minor jolt that could become a knockout punch because a Federal judge has decided that the suit against Bushmaster brought by the parents of children murdered at Sandy Hook must be heard in a state, as opposed to a federal court.  What this means is that the manufacturer, Bushmaster, will have to prove that their gun was not too dangerous to sell to the public, notwithstanding the fact that Adam Lanza was able to kill 20 kids and 6 adults in slightly more than five minutes’ time.

We don’t yet know which weapons were used to kill nine people at Umpqua Community College on October 1, but we do know that one of the guns carried into the school by Christopher Harper-Mercer was an assault rifle. The fact that the Connecticut Bushmaster suit was revived the day before another school slaughter took place is a horrifying coincidence that, if nothing else, tells us two things: 1) these mass shootings are become so frequent as to be almost routine; 2) the shooter’s access to an AR-15 in both incidents simply can’t be overlooked or ignored.

carson                I’m hoping that if the Bushmaster case is argued in open court that Ben Carson will decide to weigh in on the side of the gun. His recent rise in the polls has coincided with a shameless effort to grab every single pro-gun vote, even if it means saying things that physicians should never say.  Here’s a sample that was posted on his Facebook page although now it’s been taken down: “I never saw a body with bullet holes that was more devastating than taking the right to arm ourselves away.”  Does this jerk have any idea how stupid, pandering and medically-unethical such a comment can be?  Does he have any idea how reprehensible it is for a physician to compare the effects of any injury to a legal state of affairs?

Ben – you’re a creep. Nobody’s taking anybody’s rights away. What is going to happen when the Bushmaster suit is re-opened in state court, is that the whole issue of gun violence is finally going to be discussed by people who will be under oath and won’t be able to pretend that a marketing slogan can be used to obscure or fudge the truth.  Because here’s the truth about the gun that Adam Lanza and probably Chris Mercer used when they opened fire in classrooms on both coasts. They didn’t use a ‘modern, sporting rifle,’ if by ‘sporting’ the gun industry tries to pretend that it’s no different than the old Remington 700 or Winchester 64 that I lug into the woods. It’s a military gun, pure and simple. it’s used by military and para-military forces worldwide, and just because some of the military guns can be set on full-auto doesn’t alter the fact that many armed forces units fire it in semi-auto mode as well.

But the argument about whether a semi-automatic weapon is just as lethal as a full-auto gun misses the whole point.  And to understand the degree to which gun jerks like Carson will go to drag the argument away from the reality-lethality, here’s what he said today on Fox: “Guns don’t kill people. We need to figure out who is the dangerous person so we can intervene.”  Okay Ben, how do you propose we ‘figure out’ the identity all those dangerous persons?  Should we administer a Rorschach test to every gun buyer after they fill out a 4473? Or maybe you would prefer we use the Minnesota Multiphasic exam.

I don’t think there’s much chance that Ben Carson’s going to be the tenant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue come January 20, 2017.  But I’d give anything for him to represent the gun industry when the case against Bushmaster comes into court.  I can’t wait to hear him tell the parents of the kids gunned down at Sandy Hook that those lethal wounds weren’t as important as our 2nd Amendment rights. I just can’t wait.