Don’t Ban Guns. Just Ban The Ammunition.

              Ever since my late friend Tony Scalia decided that the 2nd Amendment protected the personal ownership of guns, Gun-nut Nation has been falling over themselves reminding everyone that any attempt to regulate gun ownership is an infringement of their 2nd-Amendment ‘rights.’ Now the fact that a Constitutional Amendment isn’t a ‘right’ of any kind, so what?  It still sounds good.

              Meanwhile, the Scalia opinion does create some problems for Gun-control Nation because the last thing that any liberal wants to be accused of, is being against the Constitution. After all,  wasn’t it a very liberal Constitutional scholar, Sandy Levinson, who reminded us liberals that if we want to use the Constitution to protect free speech, we also have to use it to protect private ownership of guns?

              But it occurs to me that in all this talk about what the 2nd Amendment means or doesn’t mean, there’s one thing for sure that it doesn’t cover. Nowhere in the Constitution can we find the slightest mention of ammunition, and since it’s the ammunition which is what really causes all those gun injuries every year, who cares about whether or not everyone can walk around with a gun?  Just ban the ammunition for those guns; there’s absolutely no Constitutional protection for ammunition at all.

              Hey, wait a minute! How can you have a gun without ammo?  How can you use a gun without ammo?  I play around and shoot unloaded guns all the time. Last night I was watching one of my favorite movies, The Usual Suspects, and every time that Kevin Pollak (Hockney) or Stephen Baldwin (McManus) stuck his gun in someone’s face, I raised my Sig 226 and shot the guy dead.  I have probably pulled the trigger of my Sig or my Colt Python thousands of times sitting on my couch and nobody’s ever gotten hurt. You show me a gun-nut who doesn’t dry fire his guns all the time and I’ll show you a gun-nut whose wife made him sell all the guns.

              If you take the trouble to read Scalia’s Heller opinion, you’ll note that he makes a distinction between guns that have always been found in the home, as opposed to ‘unusual’ weapons; i.e., weapons of war. The former are protected by the 2nd Amendment, the latter not. So, in making a somewhat arbitrary definition of civilian versus military arms, his opinion rests on what he and other conservative judges call the ‘originalist’ interpretation of legal texts. But when it comes to the ammunition used by these so-called personally-owned guns, the argument falls flat on its face.

              The most popular ammunition caliber currently sold to civilians who own all those self-defense guns is the 9mm caliber, sometimes called 9×19, sometimes called 9mm Luger, but whatever it’s called, it was designed specifically for military use. The inventor of this caliber was Georg Luger, who also happened to be the inventor of the Luger pistol, a.k.a., the P-08. The gun and the ammunition were standard issue to the German Army from 1900 until 1943.

              Want the second most popular ammunition caliber? It is probably the 45acp round that was developed by John Browning for his Colt 1911 pistol, the military sidearm for the U.S. Army until 1976.  Both the 9mm and 45acp calibers were developed for one reason and one reason only – to give soldiers and other armed forces a highly-lethal round that could be carried in a handgun.  Now if anyone out there wants to claim that ammunition developed for the sole purpose of killing human beings is a ‘sporting’ round, go right ahead.

              It seems to me that if my friends in Gun-control Nation really want to get serious about reducing gun violence, they might consider coming up with a plan that will strictly regulate the ownership of ammunition because those products don’t have any Constitutional protection at all.

              Of course, I can just see my Gun-nut Nation friends starting to yell and scream about ‘threats’ to their ammunition ‘rights.’ Good. Let ‘em yell and scream.

Advertisements

Join Americans Against Gun Violence.

              Before I begin this column, I need to make it clear that I am not an advocate for either side in the gun debate. The fact that I agree and promote many gun-control strategies doesn’t make me a hostage of Mike Bloomberg, nor am I a stooge for the NRA jut because I have been a member of the organization since I was eleven years old. On the other hand, when I discover an organizational development that fits my perspective for what to do about gun violence, I’m not going to hold back.

              And what I recently discovered was an organization, Americans Against Gun Violence, started by a retired ER doctor in California, Bill Durston, who just happens to be a former Marine decorated for ‘courage under fire’ during the Viet Nam war. Bill started his group because he would like to see ‘definitive action’ taken against gun violence, and while he and his members support the ‘reasonable’ public measures being advocated by other organizations – background checks, red-flag laws, blah, blah, blah and blah, this group also has a much different agenda.

              To put it bluntly: what Bill and his folks say is that we will reduce gun violence by doing the same thing that every other advanced country has done; namely, create a national database of gun ownership and initiate ‘definitive’ (i.e., severely restrictive) policies, such as banning assault rifles, creating a national gun database – exactly the kinds of policies which everyone knows will reduce gun violence but are policies usually considered too unyielding to be bought by the gun-owning crowd.

              Where Dunston’s group departs from the accepted, gun-control narrative can be found in their response to the very first question under the FAQ tab: “Should law-abiding people own guns for self-protection?” Answer: “In general, no.” They don’t say that people should be walking around with guns after they have been ‘trained.’ They don’t say that everyone has a ‘right’ to keep a gun for self-protection because of what my late friend Tony Scalia said in 2008. They say – no. Which makes this group the only gun-control group that is willing to take an entirely uncompromising position with Gun-nut Nation over the issue of using a gun for personal defense.

              I started writing about gun violence when I got sick and tired of the gun industry trying to maintain full employment in their factories by promoting the nonsense about how everyone would be more safe and secure if they walked around with a gun. And to make sure that the gun industry wouldn’t be accused of promoting unsafe behavior, they got the NRA to ramp up their training program which now focuses on what the boys in Fairfax call ‘Basic Shooting Pistol,’ a course that prepares someone to use a pistol in self-defense with the same degree of proficiency they would get if they took a lesson from Leonard Mermelstein, who happens to be my cat.

              If the NRA would promote what I consider to be the proper use of guns; i.e., hunting and sport shooting, they’d get no argument from me. But pretending that the only difference between a video shooting game and a live gun is that you have to pass a background check to spend money on the latter, is to foist a marketing scheme on current and would-be gun owners that is completely and totally wrong. Not just wrong, but unsafe to the extreme.

              Unfortunately, most of the gun-control organizations, along with their friends in medicine and public health, find one way or another to somehow avoid taking this direct and no-nonsense approach. Which is why I find the intentions and efforts of Americans Against Gun Violence to be commendable in every respect and I urge you to do what I have just done.

              Which is to join up, send them a donation and help keep them in the game.

How Do We Make Schools Safe?

              Our friend Shannon Watts is back in the news again because her parent organization, Everytown, has joined with the two major teachers’ unions – AFT and NEA – to raise concerns about the value of active shooter drills which are now performed in 95% of all public schools. This follows a report on school safety issued by Everytown last year, which outlined some basic strategies endorsed by the unions who represent most of the teachers working in the 132,000 public schools every day.

              School security has become a major issue because some of the worst mass shootings – Columbine, Sandy Hook, Parkland – have occurred in both elementary and high schools. And while a school building is still a very safe place, our friends in Fairfax and other loony-tunes gun nuts have been pushing the idea of arming teachers and conducting exercises to protect teachers and students from shooters, usually referred to as lockdown drills.

              When I was in the 5th grade, we had to squat down under our desks because the Russians were going to drop an atomic bomb on our city and lying down underneath our desks would protect us from harm.  I enjoyed these drills because it gave me an opportunity to fool around with my seat-mate Brenda, who had been left behind twice and was therefore already somewhat physically endowed.  I had absolutely no idea who the Russians were or what the term ‘atomic bomb’ really meant. I didn’t know and I didn’t care. All I really cared about was trying to cop a quick feel from Brenda without Mrs. Morse interfering in our fun.

              The lockdown drills now being conducted by a security industry are very unlike what I did to keep myself from being immolated by an atomic bomb. The drills require students to simulate a situation in which a shooter is roaming through their school, complete with warnings from teachers, maybe viewing a life-size replica of someone who has been shot, lining up and running out of the building in a minute or less. The companies which provide this service are now raking in more than $3 billion every year. Meanwhile, the kids often suffer from all kinds of psychologically-damaging reactions, and there’s no evidence that these drills make  schools safer or more secure.

              Shannon gave a solid interview on behalf of the new Everytown report. She was speaking on behalf of Everytown, but when it comes to school safety, she knows what she’s talking about because she also runs MOMS. And the MOMS organization must count at least several million mothers whose children attend school. So, when Shannon says that she hears again and again about kids who were terrified because they had to take part in lockdown drills, she isn’t just pushing out some alarmist messaging designed to raise more funds.

              Right after Sandy Hook, the boys from Fairfax rolled out a school safety program called School Shield, which went nowhere fast. The program involved doing safety audits of school sites, training teachers to watch for threats, hardening school premises with better locks, more alarms and stronger doors. Nobody who is seriously concerned about school safety paid attention to this PR stunt because, after all, the NRA has been promoting the elimination of gun-free zones such as schools for years.

              I have no issue with the security measures being promoted by Everytown which are endorsed by the AFT and the NEA. But perhaps as they move forward in this program, they might want to think of one more safety initiative as well.

              Most school systems now have curricular attention being paid to violence, but the violence is usually defined as bullying or other forms of personal, physical abuse. Why not widen the definition of violence to include teaching the kids about the risk of guns? After all, there isn’t a school system anywhere that doesn’t expose its students to the risks of smoking, drugs, obesity and unprotected sex. So why should gun violence remain, as they say, the odd man out?

The Dumbest Pro-Gun Legislator This Year – So Far.

              I used to think that Matt Goetz (R-FL) was the dumbest pro-gun politician in America because when he was a State Senator, he introduced a bill that would have made a business owner financially liable if his premises were a gun-free zone and a customer got shot because some jerk walked in, yanked out a banger and went bang. But I am beginning to think that maybe Goetz has been upended by a State legislator from Michigan, Beau LaFave, who had two guns, a handgun and an assault rifle, stolen from his residence last week.

Just because someone has guns stolen out of their home doesn’t necessarily mean that they deserve the Dumbest Pro-Gun Legislator Award (and yes, we also give out an award to the dumbest gun-control public figure each year.) But in LaFave’s case, his being situated at the lowest point on the left side of the bell curve is much more a function of what he did before the theft took place, and what he said after he lost his guns.

              Back on January 29, just before Michigan’s Governor, Gretchen Whitmer, delivered her State of the State address, this jerk walked into the State Capitol with an AR-15 slung over his shoulder to protest what he claims are her “proposed unconstitutional gun laws.” Whitmer has proposed a red-flag law which is bottled up in some committee; she is also on record favoring some kind of assault rifle ban, although she claims to have no issue with state residents who own guns for self-protection or sport.

              What does LaFave really want when it comes to gun laws?  He probably doesn’t want any new laws. After all, Michigan already requires background checks for private handgun sales. Isn’t that enough? The fact that the state does not require persons convicted of domestic abuse to surrender their firearms even if they are prohibited from owning guns should be reason enough to consider the passage of a red-flag law. But according to LaFave, all a red-flag law would do would be to disarm all those law-abiding state residents who have the ‘right’ to own a gun.

              So, over the weekend, while LaFave was out wandering around, someone broke into his home and stole the AR-15 that he carried into the State Capitol building, along with a .40-caliber handgun. The two guns were nestled side by side in the clothing chest drawer where LaFave keeps his underwear and socks.

              Punto Stupido Numero Uno: The guns weren’t locked up. The guns weren’t locked away. Want to break into someone’s house and find something valuable in 30 seconds or less? Start by looking through the clothing drawers – that’s the first lesson in Burglary 101. Why weren’t his guns locked or locked away? Because according to LaFave, he needed to be able to get his hands on his guns just in case he needed to “access them quickly.”

              Punto Stupido Numero Dos: Right after LaFave pranced around the Capitol building he tweeted a picture of himself with his trusty gun. That’s what he did. You don’t go to all the trouble of making a complete fool out of yourself and then forget to make sure that everyone is reminded as to exactly what a dope you happen to be.

              Did it ever occur to this idiot that maybe, just maybe he was telling everyone that if they took the trouble to break into his house, they might find a stash of guns? In talking to reporters, LaFave denied there was any connection between his self-promoting armed march through the State Capitol and the theft of his guns. Yea, right. No connection at all.

              My friends in Gun-nut Nation still seem unable to accept the fact that somehow, don’t ask me how, every single gun used to commit a fatal or non-fatal gun assault was first bought by someone who could legally own a gun. So how do these guns wind up in the hands of people who commit an act of gun violence against someone other than themselves? 

              I can guarantee you that the guy who swiped the guns from Beau LaFave isn’t some gun hobbyist who just wanted to add two bangers to his private collection. And Beau did everything he could, including advertising the guns on his Twitter account, to make sure that his guns ended up in the wrong hands.

The Bloomberg Super Bowl Ad Got It Right.

Since everyone else seems to be shooting off about Mike Bloomberg’s Super Bowl ad, I might as well inject my two cents into the discussion as well. I not only liked the ad, the fact that he used some questionable data about how many children are killed each year with guns didn’t bother me at all. Given how far from reality most narratives stray that are promoted by Gun-nut Nation about their so-called gun ‘rights,’ so what if Mike’s advertisement claimed that 19-year olds were just kids?

The internet is filled with all kinds of messaging saying that Mike’s ad was ‘hypercritical,’ ‘wrong-headed,’ ‘arrogant,’ ‘elitist,’ all the usual anti-Bloomberg crap. But the best video of all was put together by the boys at Fairfax based on some ‘interviews’ at the big Pennsylvania gun show that took place at the same time the Super Bowl was being played. These interviews were so candid, so original, so individual, that it took me about 30 seconds to realize that all the folks spieling about Bloomberg were working off the exact, same script.

Of course the line-up of people defending their 2nd-Amendment ‘rights’ was as inclusive as all gun-owning populations tend to be; there was the cop, the mother wearing her Trump hat and the Black dude who was particularly upset because Bloomberg spends millions on armed security guarding his house so how ‘I can’t use a gun to defend where I live?’ 

Hey schmuck, did it ever occur to you that the reason Mike has to spend money for armed security is because he wants to make sure that the security guards he hires to protect himself actually know how to use a gun? Did it ever occur to you that maybe, just maybe you don’t have any ability to engage in armed, self-defense just because you sat in a room while some old guy droned on and on for a couple of hours about how to hold, clean and fool around with a gun?

At some point, I don’t recall exactly the year, but it had to be after 2001 (because that’s when I went back into retail guns for the third time and this incident took place) my friends at 1200 Roosevelt Avenue, which happens to be the address of Smith & Wesson, decided to try and buy some ad space in that year’s Super Bowl magazine. The ad agency producing the magazine turned them down. They also tried to do a promotion at a NASCAR race except NASCAR also turned them down. I tried to do a promotion with the local Harley dealer but the Harley corporate office wouldn’t let the dealer get involved with anyone selling guns.

These incidents took place long before Sandy Hook, long before Mike Bloomberg started bankrolling Shannon and her Moms, long before all those shooting rampages that have focused significant public attention on gun violence. In other words, for all the talk by Gun-nut Nation about how guns are becoming a mainstream consumer product, the truth is that there isn’t a single, mass-market venue allegedly favored by gun owners which is willing to step up and do any kind of promotional activity on behalf of guns.

It’s not very difficult to go to a gun show and find some folks who will tell you all the reasons why they like guns. But what kind of reaction would be found if Nielsen or one of the other TV survey companies called up Super Bowl viewers and asked them what they thought about Mike’s message on guns?

To me, what was different about Mike’s ad was that it wasn’t really a political message; it was more like a PSA that focused on guns rather than on Corona virus or some other public health threat. And if Mike continues to run ads that focus on issues rather than on insults, invectives and lies, he will be making an important and necessary contribution to the current political debate.

GO MIKE!

Look Out Wayne-o. Here Comes Rob Pincus and Dan Gross.

Watch out everybody!  There’s a new gun-control organization in town.  It’s called the Center for Gun Rights and Responsibility, and it allegedly made its first appearance at last week’s SHOT show, which I didn’t attend. But for those who did show up, they had an opportunity to meet the guy who’s going to be running this operation, who just happens to be a long-time gun-control advocate named Dan Gross. 

Is that the same Dan Gross who used to run the Brady Campaign?  Sure is. And if you want to get a little taste of what his group is going to be doing, you can watch a brief YouTube video of Dan giving a spiel about his new organization right here.  He appeared at a 2nd-Amendment rally in DC back in November, which was one of a number of events leading up to the big rally held in Richmond, VA last month. 

Now here’s the really funny part. Gross was introduced to the crowd by Rob Pincus, a self-promoting gun trainer who used his social media presence last year to publicly attack the NRA’s continued support of Wayne LaPierre. Once it looked like the boys from Fairfax might be going into free-fall, Pincus went out and started a new organization, Save the Second Amendment, whose raison d’etre is to reform the NRA and bring the gun-rights discussion back to where it belongs.

Except the real agenda of Pincus and his friends is to pick up financial support from enough pissed-off NRA members to get things moving their way. And their way is to replace the NRA with an organization that will promote gun ‘rights’ while keeping the discussion fair and balanced at the same time.

Sooner or later, someone would try to take advantage of the mess at Fairfax and try to attract disaffected NRA members to a version of NRA-lite. The terrain to the Right of the NRA has been owned for a few years by Larry Pratt and his money machine, a.k.a., the Gun Owners of America scam. So, the only direction that a ‘new’ NRA can move is slightly to the Left, which is where all these allegedly ‘reasonable’ gun owners can be found.

Pincus already has his own organization called Save the Second Amendment, which is basically a blog that promotes the idea of a smaller, more focused and more open NRA. If anyone believes that by joining forces with Dan Gross, these two airheads can even remotely begin to make their presence known in the gun-control debate, you should also be willing to defend the proposition that Martians have landed at Area 51.

Here’s what we know for sure about Gun-nut Nation: When it comes to anything having to do with protecting gun ‘rights,’ or the God-given ‘right’ to self-defense, or any other marketing slogan which connects ‘guns’ to ‘rights,’ the members of this brigade are ready, willing and able to piss away fifty bucks just about every time they are asked. Know why Rand Paul is such an ardent promoter of gun ‘rights?’ Because he’s up to his ears in promoting and directing conservative, direct mail campaigns.

The first person to truly understand and take advantage of the desire of gun owners to part with cash was Tim Schmidt, who used an internet marketing strategy known as ‘tribal marketing’ to build a very successful product called the United States Concealed Carry Association, which basically pushed the NRA out of the concealed-carry training game. The idea is you sell products to people who will buy your crap because they want to belong to a special family or group who share certain common ideas and beliefs. And what stronger belief is out there than the idea of protecting yourself with a gun?

The problem with what Pincus and Gross are trying to do is they don’t have anything to sell. And if you think the NRA has in any way lost the ability to attract gun-owning bucks, I suggest you download their recent store catalog from which I just ordered a beautiful polo shirt for only $49.95.

Hopkins Has A New Online Course About Gun Laws.

Several years ago I ran a national survey asking gun-control advocates and activists some basic questions about gun laws. The questions covered the laws that have been part and parcel of the strategies of all gun-control groups: enhancing background checks, better regulation of dealers, purchasing and moving guns across state lines – the usual stuff. I ended up getting more than 250 responses from residents of 46 states, which was certainly representative enough for me.

The survey contained 12 questions; the average correct number was 6.  In other words, at least half the respondents who took the quiz on basic gun laws failed. And I specifically solicited responses from individuals who considered themselves to be involved in some kind of gun-control activity. Incidentally, I ran another gun-law quiz soliciting responses from individuals who considered themselves to be pro-gun.  The average score for that bunch was also around 6 correct answers – they also failed.

But the last thing you’ll find gun nuts supporting are more or stronger gun laws. On the other hand, the gun-control organizations that send me endless emails asking for more money (Everytown, Giffords, Brady – I support them all) consider laws and regulations to be the cornerstone of every strategy designed to reduce violence from guns. So, you would think that folks who donate time, money and energy to gun-control activities would want to understand how current gun laws work and what needs to be done to make such laws more effective.

In any case, our gun-research friends at the Hopkins Bloomberg School are trying to remedy this knowledge deficit by posting an online, interactive course covering the basic law which requires a background check before someone purchases a gun. The effort is part of a new distance-teaching approach being developed for internet users known as a ‘teach out,’ which is a digital version, if you will, of the old teach-ins that occurred on college campuses during the Viet Nam War. 

The Hopkins teach-out can be found here, it will be running for several more weeks, and I strongly urge everyone to register (for free) and support this effort before the course closes down. In particular, I think my gun-nut friends should sign up because the course also includes a nifty give-and-take between the instructors and the people who view the videos, an interactive Q and A that should be of value for both sides.

Now let me make it clear that this effort, like everything that comes out of the Bloomberg School, is a no-nonsense attempt to educate and inform. Which means that anyone who just wants to drop some nasty or snarky comment about all those tree-hugging, anti-gun liberals should stay away. The teach-in hosted by Dr. Cassandra Crifasi creates a forum for a serious, respectful and informed exchange about an important issue that should engage both sides. Want to rant and rave about your beloved 2nd-Amendment ‘rights?’ Do it somewhere else.

At the same time, I’m not about to simply let the other side off the hook. I learned about this effort because one of my gun-nut friends sent me an email about the online course. Did I get anything from Everytown, Brady, Giffords or one of the state-level gun-control groups who were all vociferously complaining last week when Gun-nut Nation showed up at Richmond for a jamboree? Not one, friggin’ word. And the lack of interest and support for this effort by Gun-control Nation is, to put it bluntly, a disgrace.

You would think that an open-source program that advocates extending the background-check system to private sales and permit-to-purchase licensing would be exactly the kind of effort that would be front and center on the agenda of every gun-control group. But if I have learned one thing from writing more than 1,500 columns on my website over the last eight years, it is the degree to which most gun-control organizations are more concerned about protecting their own, little turfs than getting together to promote a serious and sustained response to the violence caused by guns.

Anyway, enough complaints from me.  Sign up for the course – now!

What Should Mike Bloomberg Be Saying About Guns?

Tout à coup, Mayor Mike’s entry into the Presidential sweepstakes is beginning to look serious, and not just a function of the money he can spend. The most recent Morning Consult poll shows him beginning to pull even with Lizzie Warren, and by the way, Bloomberg’s increased numbers have come at the expense of the three leading contenders – Joe, Bern, Liz – all of whom have lost a bit of ground since Mike began to surge after December 29th.

I hate to give Sleazy Don any credit for anything, but I believe that some of Bloomberg’s support stems from the fact that being a business guy and being a politician is no longer a contradiction in terms. The only other candidate who promoted himself politically based on his business career, was Ross Perot, and all he accomplished back in 1992 was to get Bill Clinton into the White House with a minority of the popular vote. Gee, how come all my liberal friends weren’t complaining about the electoral college back then?

What makes Bloomberg really different from the other guys and gals still in the race, however, isn’t the fact that he can spend a gazillion dollars on his campaign. I signed up the day he announced and of all the candidates who send me daily emails, he’s the only one who has yet to ask me for one, thin dime. That’s a refreshing change.

What makes his candidacy different is the fact that for the first time the issue of gun violence would be front and center in a national campaign. Because if Bloomberg is known for anything, it’s not those bike lanes on New York City streets that are primarily used by the kids who deliver Chinese food; it’s not the tax he tried to put on soft drinks that was overturned by an appeals court; it’s not even his ‘stop-and-frisk’ policy which became a non-issue as soon as it was raised by other Democratic Presidential wannabees in the current campaign.

Front and center is the issue of guns. And most of Bloomberg’s baggage in this respect isn’t due so much to anything he has done or said, rather, it’s because he’s been a convenient target for Gun-nut Nation’s continued attempt to push the false issue of 2nd-Amendment ‘rights’ into the national debate.

The only thing Mike did in New York City to regulate gun ownership was to increase the annual license fee for owning a gun.  Now granted, a fee of $340 for a handgun renewal is a pretty steep price, but the good news is that you can now do the entire application process online. In the good old days, you had to shlep down to 1 Police Plaza, stand online in front of Mrs. Skeba’s desk, wait an hour or so for Jose to find your file, and wait another hour or so until your name was called. In other words, you lost an entire day of work. Frankly, I’d rather pay the $340 and avoid the trip downtown.

The law covering gun ownership in ‘da friggin’ city’ has been in effect since 1912. It hasn’t changed and it didn’t change under Mayor Mike. What did change during his mayoralty tenure was a steep decline in the number of New Yorkers shot with guns.  The year before he became Mayor, the city recorded 650 gun deaths; in his last year the number was 325. 

The 2020 Presidential campaign will probably come down to the same swing states that from blue to red in 2016 – Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida – a few more. If Mike is our candidate, you can bet your bottom or top dollar that Sleazy Don will pull out all the stops to sell himself as America’s staunchest supporter of gun ‘rights.’

What Bloomberg needs to do is sell himself as a supporter of everyone’s ‘right’ to walk down the street and not duck for cover if a gun goes off. That’s not a violation of the 2nd-Amendment; that’s common sense.

GO MIKE!

Meet The Biggest Celebrity At The Richmond Gun Rally.

Know who was the most photographed person attending Monday’s big gun rally in Richmond?  It wasn’t Alex Jones who has finally admitted that maybe, just maybe the slaughter of 26 adults and children at Sandy Hook actually occurred.  It also wasn’t Dick Heller who still can’t keep an assault rifle in his DC apartment although, thank God, at least he can protect himself with a loaded handgun. No, the day’s celebrity was a guy from Bergen, NY who showed up toting a sniper rifle that can deliver a 50-caliber shell out to a thousand yards or more.

The owner of this piece of equipment lives in Bergen, NY, a small, upstate town located in the middle of nowhere.  In fact, where he lives is just a few miles up the road from Attica, the maximum-security prison that holds several thousand not-very-nice guys and is occasionally visited by folks who remember the ‘uprising’ which occurred there in 1971. The town has about 3,000 residents and the primary business location is Ralph and Rosie’s Pizzeria which has been operated by the same family for more than forty years. In other words, Bergen is a serious and strategic location and if you control Bergen, you probably can easily threaten the major industries located in Rochester or Buffalo.

I have to assume that the reason someone in Bergen, NY goes out and spends a couple of thousand bucks on a 50-caliber sniper rifle is because, sooner or later, he will find himself perched on some rocky outcrop over the town, trying to get those terrorist invaders into the cross-hairs of his sniper scope. I can’t imagine he would use this piece of hardware to defend himself and his loved ones if someone just happened to try and break into his home. First of all, he’d have to pick the damn thing up, swing it around, aim it at the intruder and drop a cap (which means: pull the trigger.) That takes way too long.

For that kind of threat, the guy probably has at least three Glocks sitting around the house – one in the living room, another in the bedroom and a third hitched up to the holster on his pants. So, if he’s got a Glock riding on his waist, why does he need another one sitting next to his bed?  Because he’s not about to get into bed wearing his pants, okay?  Being prepared means always being prepared.

On the other hand, those Glocks won’t help him at all when the parachutes start dropping out of the sky and the invasion of Bergen begins to take place. And the enemy won’t just be coming from above. Bergen is only 15 miles from Lake Ontario, which means that the town is also potentially threatened by a deployment of troops brought in through the St. Lawrence Seaway. I mean, you never know.

When I was 9 years old, this was 1953, I somehow saved up a few dollars, walked down to the hardware store on the corner and bought myself a Daisy Red Ryder bb-gun.  I took the gun home, loaded it with bb’s, and for the next year or so I managed to kill Cochise and his entire Apache band of warriors again and again and again. Where did I think I was sitting? On some bluff overlooking Monument Valley in Utah where every cowboy movie was filmed.  Where was I really sitting? In the backyard of the home that was smack dab in the middle of Washington, D.C.

The only difference between what I was doing in my backyard with my Daisy Red Ryder and what the guy from Bergen was doing toting his rifle around the Richmond rally is that I wasn’t old enough in 1953 to buy a real gun. Believe me, I have made up for that situation many, many times over the past 67 years. I’m not a gun nut for nothing.

And neither is the guy from Bergen who told all those reporters that he wanted to demonstrate his support for 2-Amendment ‘rights.’ The truth is he’s just like me. He likes guns.

Trump’s Impeachment Firewall

Now that the leading Evangelical magazineChristianity Today, has gottenwith Nancy Pelosi’s program to boot Schmuck-o Trump back to Kingdom Come, it makes me wonder if Trump has a fall-back plan to keep himself in office even if the Senate votes to make him step down. Because believe it or not, the 45th President is such an unmitigated jerk and buffoon that he might actually believe his White House lease continues through January, 2021 whether he’s impeached or not.

Which brings me to the good folks who live in Tazewell County, VA, a place where roughly 40,000 God-fearing Americans live, of whom 82% of the eligible voters went to the polls in 2016 and voted for Trump. And just to make sure that the Deep State doesn’t try to overturn those results, the County Board of Supervisors just voted to: a) make Tazewell County a ‘Second-Amendment Sanctuary’ and, b) to support a ‘well-funded and well-regulated’ militia just in case anyone tries to deprive the county’s residents of their sacred, 2nd-Amendment ‘rights.’

The Board of Supervisors didn’t exactly state how they intend to pay the local militia but I wouldn’t be surprised if there are plans in the works to submit an application for funding to the Department of Homeland Security. In the meantime, I’m sure this bunch of super-patriots from a region which lynched more Blacks during post-Reconstruction than any other place in the South, are making plans to camp out around the White House and defend their hero from any attempt to kick his increasingly fat ass into the street. After all, it’s called the White House, okay?

And who exactly are the members of the Tazewell militia? We don’t really know because aside from the picture posted on Facebook the group has yet to actually form up. No doubt there are serious negotiations going on between the militia members and the Tazewell Supervisors to come up with a budget that will no doubt include the cost of pizza and beer for the weekend training activities. And let’s not forget to put out an RFP for the ammo which will be used up at the local shooting range. Oops! Maybe they don’t yet have a range.

Anyway, even though the Tazewell militia is still nothing more than a fantasy in a few semi-retarded heads (I know, I know, the word ‘retarded’ is now verboten in politically-correct circles) they will no doubt soon catch the attention of the national militia movement which also seems to be largely a creation of various left-liberal advocates needing something to get all exercised and steamed up about. Whether it’s the Anti-Defamation League or the Southern Poverty Law Center or some other well-meaning group which is on the lookout for every right-wing threat to the status quo, the militia ‘movement’ is basically a bunch of websites which always include a shopping cart where they can peddle their t-shirts and other crap.

Several years ago I spent time looking at the Michigan Militia after the group gained some notoriety when it turned out that Timothy McVeigh had attended some of the militia’s meetings before he went to Oklahoma City and blew up the Murrah Federal Building in 1995. The Michigan bunch got the usual treatment from the liberal media; i.e., these guys should be taken seriously because who knows? In fact, this ‘front line’ defending America’s core values was nothing more than a bunch of overweight, old men playing a 21st-Century version of Boy Scouts out in the woods. When I recently looked at the militia movement again, nothing had changed.

But in fact something has changed. What has changed is that we now have a President who will say anything to buy himself some votes next year, I suspect he has already appointed someone on his staff to be the liaison to the militia movement. After all, it’s pretty hard to keep reminding America’s gun-nut population that you’re protecting their 2nd-Amendment ‘rights’ when the budget you just signed contains $25 million to be given away by the CDC for so-called gun violence ‘research.’

On the other hand, who’s to say that Trump can’t cobble together a coalition to protect America against the ‘deep state?’ Let’s see, we have the anti-vaccination crowd, the anti-gay and lesbian crowd, the anti-everything else crowd and what’s left over from the anti-immigration crowd.

What all these groups have in common is exactly what aligns them with the militia movement, namely, that anyone takes them seriously. Looking again at the above picture of the Tazewell Militia, I mean, those shleps dressed up in their warpaint are going to protect the Constitution of the United States?

Give me a friggin’ break.