Kamala Harris Knows How To Reduce Gun Violence – Carry A Gun.

              Our friends at the Violence Policy Center (VPC) have just updated their Concealed Carry Killers report which now shows that at least 1,313 people have been killed by shooters with concealed-carry (CCW) licenses since May, 2007. Of these events, more than 500 were suicides, which is far below what must be the real gun-suicide number because rarely do suicides, regardless of how they occur, make the news. And since the VPC report is based on open (mostly media) sources, by definition the numbers must be read and treated with care.

              But that’s not the point of this column. The point of this column is to address a statement made last week in Iowa by Kamala Harris, who told reporters that she not only is a gun owner, but owns her gun for personal defense. Now she didn’t say what kind of gun she owns, and she also made it clear that she supports ‘smart’ gun-safety laws; I assume she means gun-safety laws that work.  And with all due respect to my friends in Gun-control Nation who keep touting the idea that ‘reasonable’ gun owners support ‘reasonable’ gun laws, my response is this: So what?  Know what happened to the gun homicide rate in Colorado after comprehensive background checks went into effect in 2013?  It went up by fifty percent.

              When Harris announced she was going to run against Schumck-o Don in 2020, she became an immediate darling for the gun-control crowd, in part because as California Attorney General she incurred the wrath of Gun-nut Nation by arguing against unrestricted CCW in the Peruta case. This case was a test of this stupidism known as ‘Constitutional carry,’ which Gun-nut Nation considers to be one of the hundred-million Constitutional ‘rights’ given by God and protected by the revered 2nd Amendment.

              I’m not sure that gun control issues will be as important in 2020 as they might have been in 2018, but what I do know is that once again, the arguments on both sides are being fashioned and pronounced with little, if any relationship to the truth. Last week, Kirsten Gillibrand went on CNN and made a bunch of statements about the NRA which simply fly in the face of reality, chief among them a statement that the NRA is ‘largely’ supported by the gun manufacturers, which happens not to be true.

It’s not even close to being true. It’s simply false. The ‘truth’ was then immediately offered up by home-school queen Dana Loesch, who delivered one of her brain-dead video spiels for the ‘losing’ NRA-TV where she starts off in typical Dana Loesch fashion, which means throwing a series of personal insults at the person speaking for the other side.

Now let’s get back to Kamala and her attempt to stick herself into the middle of the gun debate. I don’t know whether she actually walks around with a gun or not, but her statement that she ‘needs’ to carry a gun as a protective device also happens not to be true. There isn’t a single study which even remotely proves that carrying a gun keeps you safe, there happens to be substantive research which shows exactly the reverse. To which my friends in Gun-nut Nation will immediately ask: So how come more than 15 million Americans now have the legal right to walk around with a gun? To which my answer is very simple: More than 30 million American adults smoke every day. Does that mean that those 30 million are healthier than people who don’t smoke?

Once again, my friends in Gun-control Nation are backing themselves into a corner by pushing the idea that we can reduce gun violence by the development and application of ‘reasonable’ laws. Obviously Kamala Harris considers CCW to be a reasonable gun law, at least when the cops have discretion to decide who can and who can’t walk around armed.

If that’s Kamala’s idea of how to reduce gun violence, welcome to another political campaign where the truth about guns and gun violence will take a whack.

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How Come All Those Guns Are In The South?

              I know it’s probably too early to start handicapping the 2020 Presidential race, but if any of my Gun-control Nation friends are thinking about which Democratic candidate might be the best bet for enacting a serious gun law, they might start paying attention to Beto O’Rourke. Why? Because if Beto grabs the brass ring and the Democrats shove Mitch McConnell and his Trump stooges out of the way, the political alignment will be exactly what worked to produce gun laws in 1968 and again in 1993-94, namely, a Democratic-controlled Congress at one end of Pennsylvania Avenue and a liberal Southerner in the Oval Office at the other end.

              What this little bit of history points up is the degree to which gun violence may be a national problem, but opposition to gun control is a regional problem because ever since Richard Nixon came up with a brilliant ‘Southern strategy’ and moved the South’s political coloration from blue to red, the self-appointed protectors of our beloved 2nd-Amendment ‘rights’ can always find fertile grazing ground in states and regions where the phrase ‘federal government’ is a not-very-disguised code for ‘civil rights.’

              But don’t make the mistake of thinking that the argument against gun control that pop out of the moths of every GOP politician from below the Mason-Dixon line is just a cynical attempt to ‘hold the line’ against the encroachments against personal liberties by big-government in Washington, D.C. If one out of every three homes in America contains at least one gun, I can guarantee you that in the 13 Confederate states, the 3 border states and some rural swatches of the Midwest, the ratio is one-to-one.

              What the GOP is taking advantage of is not some special affinity that Southerners have towards guns. It’s the legacy of history and of historical conflicts that are still being played out. In this respect, the NRA and other Gun-nut Nation noisemakers (e.g., Sleazy Don) are playing to an audience which is large enough to maintain a critical political edge.

              In 1865, when the War of the Rebellion came to an end, the South was gun-rein.  Or at least the guns had to be kept hidden, because all small arms were confiscated by the Union Army which also enforced martial law. Beginning in 1866, however, with the emergence of white supremacy groups (Ku Klux Klan, Knights of the White Camellia) in response to Reconstruction and the ratification of the 13th Amendment which ended slavery, Southern whites began to rearm.

              When Southern states started imposing laws to undo Reconstruction by limiting Black suffrage, segregating public facilities and schools, these Jim Crow measures were often enforced by armed ‘militias,’ such as the South Carolina Red Shirts, who called themselves the ‘military arm’ of the Democratic Party and were particularly active in the election of 1876. Politically-speaking, this was the election that, de facto,  returned the South to the racialist divisions which had existed prior to the Civil War. I find the color of the MAGA hats to be very instructive in that respect.

              For all the nonsense about how today’s African-American community should arm itself because this would maintain a long tradition of Blacks defending themselves in the post-Reconstruction South, the threat to the Black community didn’t come from the federal government, it came from the armed hooligans and thugs who constituted a real-life form of domestic terrorism. Unless, of course, you would prefer to believe that the burning and bombing of more than 100 Black churches since the 1950’s was nothing more than an expression of religious freedom on the part of some misunderstood Southern Whites.

              There are plenty of legal gun owners in the South who keep guns around because they either hunt or enjoy sport shooting, or in some cases have simply decided that they feel better knowing they can grab the old six-shooter just in case. But what makes the South so gung-ho about guns is the degree of violence which this region has suffered for the last 150 years. And remember that guns and violence go hand in hand.

              Thanks to Eric Foner for pointing me towards certain key sources.

It’s About Time! Shannon Watts Tells It Like It Was And Is.

              Well it’s about time. The Indiana housewife who revolutionized how America talks and thinks about guns has finally sat down and explained how she did what she did after hearing about the tragedy at Sandy Hook.  I’m of course referring to Shannon Watts, whose accounting of her journey from her kitchen to Mike Bloomberg’s office and back to her kitchen, with many stops in between, will shortly be published by Harper Collins and I hope will force Shannon to get back on her horse and do the requisite book tour.

              The book is entitled, Fight Like A Mother, and the sub-title, which I really like, is How a Grassroots Movement Took on the Gun Lobby and Why Women Will Change the World. The good news about this book is that while most folks write memoirs to sum up what they have done with their lives, Shannon is just getting ready to star in Act 2. Her first act, of course, was when she transformed a little Facebook group that she pulled together after Sandy into the first, truly grass-roots challenge to the NRA. And if anything, referring to her as the ‘NRA‘s worst nightmare’ is something of an understatement in this regard.

              I have been involved in the gun business in one way or another for over fifty years, actually for more than sixty years because my first connection was as a consumer when I bought a Smith & Wesson K-38 at a tag sale in Florida when I was twelve years old. Okay, okay, I know it was a straw sale. But in 1956 there weren’t any straw sales because there were hardly any laws covering gun ownership at all.

              When the feds got into gun regulation big-time, first in 1968 and again in 1994, the impetus for regulating the gun industry came not from the bottom but from the top. GCA68 was initially a response to the assassination of JFK in 1963; it was passed following the shootings of RFK and MLK in 1968. The gun law passed by the Clinton Administration in 1993 were also first introduced in 1991, although the idea behind the bill had been floating around since both Reagan and Jim Brady survived an assassination attempt in 1981.

              Not only did the 1968 and the 1993 laws pass muster without any great degree of grass-roots support, but in the aftermath of the 2000 election, when Al Gore couldn’t hold his home state because of pro-gun messaging from the other side, it became axiomatic in Democratic Party circles that the gun issue was best left alone.

              I am a Life Benefactor Endowment member of the NRA and I never thought that the organization’s alleged power and strength was such a big deal. Why not? Because I never met a single person who ever told me they would vote for the candidate supported by America’s ‘first civil rights organization’ who didn’t own a gun. And since a majority of Americana don’t own guns, how come everyone has always been afraid of the big, bad NRA?

              I’ll tell you why.  Because until Shannon went out there and began putting together a plan, the grass-roots movement to stop the madness known as gun violence didn’t exist. It was one thing to do what our friend Donna Dees Thomases did in 2000, namely, to fill the National Mall with nearly one million people for a demonstration against gun violence. It’s another thing to organize and sustain a national movement which puts out a coherent and continuous message every single day.

              Last month I attended a meeting of the Massachusetts chapter of MOMs.  Several hundred people filled a large room in a community library and listened to remarks from gun-violence survivors, community activists and other like-minded folks. What is most attractive about Shannon’s book is that it is not only a recounting of what she has accomplished over the last half-dozen years, it’s also a guide to building your own movement, to pushing your own community forward into making effective change.

              And by the way, with all due respect to the strengths of women in this regard, my male friends will profit from reading this book too.

Want To Understand Gun Violence? Try Hip-Hop.

              One of the major talking-points Gun-control Nation, particularly now when some kind of gun control law may actually be coming due, is the idea of ‘knowing’ or ‘understanding’ gun ‘culture;’ i.e., why do people own guns?  Because to pass some kind of ‘reasonable’ gun law, we need to make sure that ‘reasonable’ gun owners will go along for the ride. Hence, the term ‘gun culture’ becomes the shorthand for understanding why 90 million Americans live in homes that contain guns.

              I happen to believe this idea to be pure nonsense and just another manifestation of the liberal fantasy which believes that some of the more ‘enlightened’ gun owners can somehow be made to agree with non-gun owners on how to regulate their guns. Did gun violence prevention (GVP) messaging play a role in various Congressional campaigns?  Yes, it did. But did all those House seats flip because gun owners voted blue instead of voting red? Yea, right.

              Anyway, back to gun culture. As far as I’m concerned, if my Gun-control Nation friends want to really understand why Americans own guns, it seems to me that what they need to do is stop worrying about why the average, law-abiding redneck in Kentucky or Pennsylvania keeps some bangers in his closet and get real by asking a question which goes like this: Why do the people whose behavior results in the overwhelming number of gun homicides and gun assaults own guns? This particular population’s behavior happens to account for at least half, if not more, of the total number of all gun injuries which we suffer from each and every year.

              Who are these gun-toting and gun-wielding folks?  They happen to be inner-city residents between the ages of 16 and 34 who listen to hip-hop music all day long. And know who they hear when they listen to hip-hop?  They hear Dr. Dre sing ‘A Nigger Witta Gun,’ or Sticky Fingaz crooning away with ‘My Dogz is My Gunz,’ or Gang Starr belting out ‘Who Gut Gunz.’ And then there’s always the greatest hip-hopper of all time, Tupac, who’s hit ‘Me and My Girlfriend’ was an ode not to a real woman but to the Smith & Wesson revolver which he carried around in his pants. The picture above is of Ice Cube holding what he refers to in a big hit as ‘Man’s Best Friend.’

              I keep hearing how the kids are turned on to guns because they play video games involving guns. In 2017, the video industry generated 36 billion in revenues, of which roughly one-quarter came from shooting games, which works out to $9 billion in gun-shooting video sales. Know what the hip-hop business is worth today? Try $10 billion, okay?

              Of course the quick and easy answer which will allow the GVP to continue ignoring this issue is the fact that most hip-hop songs don’t necessarily evoke guns or gun violence at all. Know who these people are? Yadi Kadafi, B.I.G., Fat Pat, Big L, DJ Uncle Al, Half A Mill, Mac Dre, Blade Icewood? These are less than one-quarter of the hip-hop artists who have been gunned down since Tupac was shot and killed in 1996. And believe me, this is a very incomplete list.

              So tell me. When was the last time any GVP group ever held a candlelight vigil for victims of gun violence like these? Do any of my Gun-control Nation friends talk about coming together with the hip-hop community to discuss issues of common concern? If you don’t think that hip-hop culture and gun culture aren’t one and the same, you don’t know very much about either kind of culture – you really don’t.

              Want to get a taste of what I’m talking about? Just click here and listen for a bit. Then tell me about how all we need to do is contact all those responsible gun owners and get them to line up behind all our reasonable ideas to control their guns.

Why Should The Gun Debate Have Anything To Do With Facts?

              So now that Democrats no longer have to fear that talking about gun control is a big no-no on the campaign trail, how will Gun-nut Nation respond?  For the last twenty-five years, the alliance between the GOP and the 2nd-Amendment gang held firm, and with the exception of a few Congressional seats in Communist states like California and New York, all a politician needed to do was wave the ‘don’t tread on me’ flag as regards gun ‘rights’ and the issue would disappear. 

              Thanks to some serious spending, the media spotlight grabbed by the Parkland kids and some overreach by various pro-gun Congressional candidates, the case can probably be made that the ability of the blue team to wrest control of the lower chamber of Congress certainly wasn’t hurt by a more aggressive gun-control pitch in many swing districts and might have even helped.

              So the question which now looms for 2020, particularly in key swing states whose votes will probably determine whether or not we have to put up with that schmuck for four more years, is this: How does Gun-nut Nation move the needle back to the center-right or at least the center of the gauge which measures the respective strength of the two sides in the gun debate?

              For the last twenty-five years, the gun-nut noise machine has promoted itself through a combination of patriotism (2nd-Amendment ‘rights,’) and protection from crime (concealed-carry and stand your ground.) But what made the NRA appear to be such a fearsome political opponent was the simple fact that there was basically no opposition from the other side. Occasionally there would be a break-through, like the Million Moms March put together by our friend Donna Dees Thomases in 2000, but by and large the pro-gun narrative went unchallenged in most parts of the country, even in places where a majority of voters didn’t own guns.

              Without doubt, Sandy Hook was a watershed event, because out of the tragedy of senseless violence emerged a true, national, grass-roots effort funded primarily by Mike Bloomberg and his friends, and organized by a little lady from Indianapolis named Shannon Watts. For the first time the pro-gun narrative was countered by a gun-control argument which continues to shape the entire gun debate, namely, that you just can’t justify 35,000 or more fatal shootings each year as representing some kind of support for ‘civil rights.’ Sorry, but the argument just doesn’t work, particularly when, every once in a while, some of those 35,000 victims happen to be kids sitting inside a school.

              So what do you do if the health and welfare of your particular industry depends on whether the average, law-abiding American consumer can still have more or less free access to the products on whose sale your industry depends? You come up with a way to argue the issue which may or may not have any connection to reality at all.

              What caught my eye in this respect was an op-ed in The Daily Mississippian, ‘The Truth About Guns,’ whose author approaches the subject without even the slightest concern for the relevant facts. Here’s the formative statement: “States like Illinois and California have implemented increasingly strict laws against gun ownership, but numbers of gun deaths per capita in those states is significantly higher than in places like Mississippi, where permits are not required in order to own firearms.”  

              Ready?  The gun-violence rate in California from 2010 to 2016 was 7.92, in Illinois it was 9.29.  In Mississippi, the rate was 18.15.  This op-ed was published in the student newspaper on the campus of Ole Miss, so we shouldn’t expecting the editorial staff to operate as if they are running The New York Times.

             But I have a funny feeling that this is the kind of narrative, devoid of even the slightest concern for facts, which is how Gun-nut Nation will define its side of the 2020 gun debate.  After all, the guy who’s still heading the GOP ticket wouldn’t know a fact if it hit him in the face.

Does Gun Registration Lead To Gun Confiscation?

              Perhaps the single most cherished myth floating around Gun-nut Nation is the idea that gun registration has always led to gun confiscation which then leaves citizens defenseless, allowing dictators like Hitler and Stalin to impose tyrannical rule. It’s a myth usually referred to as the ‘slippery slope,’ and it briefly appeared in last week’s Congressional hearing when Andy Harris (R-MD) asked the panel whether they supported national gun registration, and all three gun-control ‘experts’ said or mumbled ‘no.’ Had any of them – Morral, Stewart, Webster – been honest enough to respond to Harris’ question without first measuring their answers against what they believe is the politically-correct point of view, a national audience might have learned that the ‘slippery-slope’ argument has no basis in history or truth at all. So much for how we can rely on the practitioners of evidence-based gun research to align their advocacy with the facts.

              The slippery-slope fantasy was most recently in full display when Alaska’s long-time Congressman, Don Young, told an audience last year that the Holocaust happened because Hitler had disarmed the Jews. You can’t really blame Young for saying something that dumb; after all, the Republican Party briefly flirted with the idea in 2016 of running a Presidential candidate named Ben Carson who said exactly the same thing.

              If you think, by the way, that the murder of six million ‘defenseless’ Jews was originally the handiwork of some nut-job, far-Right conspiracy theorist like Alex Jones, think again. In fact, the argument can be found in a detailed, scholarly work by Stephen Halbrook, an attorney who argues many 2nd-Amendment cases for the NRA.  In this book, Halbrook argues that  the Nazi Regime used the gun-control laws previously passed by the Weimar Government to identify and disarm domestic ‘enemies’ like Jews and Communists, thus making it easier to consolidate fascism which led to both the Holocaust and World War II.

              Granted, the Nazis made full use of gun-control lists compiled by the Weimar Government after they took power in 1933. But what prompted the Weimar Government to institute a gun-control system in the first place were threats against the government’s authority posed by widespread political agitation from the Left, largely the handiwork of Germany’s Communist Party, which happened to enroll substantial numbers of Jews.

              Where Holbrook’s argument falls apart and the myth of an ‘armed citizenry’ as representing the first bulwark of protection against tyranny collapses as well, lies in the fact that the Weimar Government made no effort to disarm the Nazi Party’s street militia, known as the SA, which Hitler formed in 1921. Over the next 12 years, the SA became increasingly violent in its attacks on opponents. By 1931, its 400,000 members, mostly otherwise unemployed street thugs, were engaged in armed battles with government authorities, as well as committing physical assaults on political opponents and Jews.

              The point is that the SA armed itself not as a defense against tyranny, but as part of the Nazi strategy designed to create widespread distrust and anger against a democratic state. The disarming of the Left after 1933 wasn’t a slippery-slope at all. The Nazis imposed a military dictatorship with the support of the army and the help of a trained, armed and organized citizen’s militia known as the SA.

              Funny, but the only time the NRA and its apologists like Holbrook get concerned about protecting America from government tyranny is when the government happens to be in the hands of the gun-grabbing, tree-hugging liberals who most recently staged a coup d’état and took over what had previously been a bastion of freedom, a.k.a. the House of Representatives, on November 6, 2018. And worse, now they are trying to extend their coup by running a ‘legally-elected’ President out of town.  

              The only thing which will stop this mad power-grab are the patriots who stand fast with their God-given AR-15s to protect us from the tyrannical, liberal elite. They did it at Lexington and Concord, they can do it again.

Don’t Waste Your Time Worrying About H.R. 8

              Before everyone goes nuts and crazy about the amendment that the sore-loser Republicans inserted into the background-check bill (H.R. 8) which yesterday cleared the House, I’m going to explain what the language means and doesn’t mean. The problem is that what Jerry Nadler (D-NY) said about the background-check process (“Well, first of all, if he fails a background check because he’s illegally in the country, that means the system knows he’s illegally in the country. It means they already know that — so what’s the point of reporting him?”) isn’t really true. But what the GOP said about this stupid amendment also isn’t true.

              The amendment says that when someone fails a background check because he/she is an undocumented immigrant, that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, our new Gestapo known as the ICE, has to be notified so that the individual can be found, prosecuted and  charged with all sorts of things. I don’t believe, incidentally, that the amendment contains a specific method for making all of that happen.  In other words, after the FBI-NICS people fail to approve a transaction, who picks up the phone and calls the ICE?

              Here’s what happens when the (hated or beloved – take your pick) background check occurs.  The buyer of the gun fills out fields 1 through 10 on the form and gives name, address, date of birth, all the usual identifiers. The buyer then gives a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’ to 9 questions covering the various ‘prohibited’ categories (i.e., felon, fugitive, mental ‘defective,’ – I love that one – and so forth.) If the buyer says ‘yes’ to any of those questions, the FBI denies the sale. If the buyer says ‘no’ to any of those questions but the person’s name turns up in one of the databases used by the FBI, the sale is also either prohibited or delayed (the notorious 3-day delay) until more information can be found.

              You should know, by the way, that neither the dealer nor the customer is told why a specific sale was denied or delayed. The customer will be told if he decides to appeal the decision, the dealer is left in the dark. And here comes the tricky part. The customer must also affirm or deny that he/she is a citizen and produce some kind of government ID to validate his/her current address. But there are currently 42 states which will issue a driver’s license to an undocumented immigrant either because they want everyone who drives to have a license, or because they have agreed to issue a license to anyone covered by the DACA program, which enrolls ‘illegals’ up to age thirty-one.

              So the guy who walks into a gun shop, produces a driver’s license and says he’s a citizen is going to fly through the background check process unless the FBI finds that he’s committed some kind of serious crime or is listed in their database for some other disqualifying event. In other words, the authors of that stupid amendment are simply grandstanding by inserting some language about reporting ‘illegals’ to the ICE when said individuals try to legally purchase a gun.

              Pace Jerry Nadler, the only way that someone could fail a background check because they are here illegally is if the individual actually admitted their illegal status at the time they were filling out the background-check form. And anyone doing that should be denied a gun simply because he’s beyond dumb.

If I were someone in the country illegally and wanted to get my hands on a gun, I’m not going to get anywhere near the FBI when it comes to buying a gun or when it comes to anything else. The FBI-NICS system has been operating for more than 20 years and everyone who hasn’t been brain-dead since 1998 knows what the phrase ‘law-abiding’ means when it comes to buying or owning a gun.

When it comes to gun violence, there are more important things to worry about than whether some GOP members of Congress want to score a few points with the anti-immigration gang.

Florida Gears Up For An Assault Weapons Fight.

              Now that our Florida friends are moving forward to place an initiative on the 2020 ballot that would exempt assault rifles from protection under the state’s Constitution, the local gun nut gang will soon start gearing up to defend their gun ‘rights.’ Article I, § 8 (a) says: “[t]he right of the people to keep and bear arms in defense of themselves and of the lawful authority of the state shall not be infringed, except that the manner of bearing arms may be regulated by law.”

Note the phrase – ‘regulated by law.’ This phrase has been defined by the Florida Supreme Court to mean, “the right to keep and bear arms is not an absolute right, but is one which is subject to the right of the people through their legislature to enact valid police regulations to promote the health, morals, safety and general welfare of the people.”

If regulating a weapon used to kill and injure 34 people at Parkland on February 14, 2018 doesn’t promote the health, morals, safety and general welfare of the people, I don’t know what does. But leave it to my friends in Gun-nut Nation to pretend otherwise, and last Sunday they got some unexpected help from a seasoned news reporter who should have known better than to shoot his mouth off when he didn’t know what he was talking about.

I am referring to a roundtable on WPLG  in South Florida which included a discussion about the afroementioned Constitutional amendment, whose backers are busily gathering signatures throughout the state to put the issue to the voters next year.  Before I get into what was said by Politico’s Marc Caputo, let me just spend one paragraph explaining what the amendment does and, more important, doesn’t do.

Basically, the amendment follows closely the law passed in Connecticut after Sandy Hook, which prohibits assault weapons from coming into the state but grandfathers in guns already in the state as long as the owner registers such weapons with the state Department of Emergency Services and  Public Protection, a.k.a., the police.  Connecticut prohibited new assault rifles by enacting a general law, which in the GOP/NRA-dominated Florida legislature is about as likely to happen as me staying on my diet and losing the 20 pounds I have been trying to lose since I was a bar-mitzvah boy.

So here comes gun-expert Caputo who starts off by saying that the Amendment has no chance of passing even though early polls indicate that it’s a 50-50 split. And then Caputo says: “Basically, this amendment bans basically all types of semi-automatic rifles, except for bolt actions or ones that have a fixed magazine with a capacity of less than 10 rounds,” blah, blah, blah and blah.

Wrong. The amendment prohibits the purchase or ownership of assault rifles not currently owned. And while the registration of any type of weapon is always a bitter pill for Gun-nut Nation to swallow, Florida already requires that purchasing a gun from a dealer requires a 3-day wait so that the state police can do a background check; in other words, the Florida cops already know who owns or may own a gun.

I guarantee you that as soon as Gun-nut Nation realizes that the folks promoting this amendment are serious and have a chance to succeed, Granny Hammer and her minions will launch their usual assault consisting of some riff or another on the idea that ‘they’ are going to take away all ’your’ guns. And the gun nuts will promote this nonsense by playing the video of an experienced, mainstream  journalist telling his audience that this measure ‘bans all types of semi-automatic rifles’ when, in fact, it does not.

The amendment defines assault weapons as, “any semiautomatic rifle or shotgun capable of holding more than ten (10) rounds of ammunition at once, either in a fixed or detachable magazine.” Want the names of some semi-auto rifles that do not accept magazines with more than 10 rounds? Try Browning, Remington, Benelli, Savage, Winchester – okay?

It would be a nice change if Marc Caputo would make some effort to align his future reportage on this issue with the facts. In the meantime, I’m going to send the folks in Florida another Franklin to help speed their work. You should do it too.

Enough With Being “Reasonable’ About Guns.

              Back in 2016, you may recall that our friends in Fairfax (a.k.a. the NRA) not only endorsed Sleazy Don for President at an unprecedented (for them) early date, but combined this decision with an attack narrative that went far beyond anything they had previously said or done. Remember Dana ‘home-school-queen’ Loesch warning ‘every lying member of the media’ that their ‘time has come?’ Recall how Wayne-o showed up at C-PAC and told the adoring audience that the media ‘wants to make us less free?’

              The problem with lumping their PR strategy together with what Trump was whining about on the campaign trail, is that it never occurred to the leadership of America’s ‘first civil rights organization’ that maybe, just maybe, the whole thing would hit a dead end. And the dead end occurred back in November, when the Democrats handed Trump and the GOP a startling and staggering loss. Despite claims by Sleazebag Don and fathead Limbaugh that the election was a ‘victory’ for the red team, in fact, neither Party has ever gained as many House seats in any election since 1938.

              More important than the size of the victory is the fact that the blue team now has a national leader who cleaned Sleazy Don’s clock this week by responding to his taunts about the ‘radicals’ running the Democratic Party by telling him that as for the State of the Union, he could stay away.  The best example of the collapse of America’s great deal-maker was his comment that he might look for an alternate site for delivering the speech. Why not the Trump International Hotel?  He could walk over from the White House in ten minutes or less.

              So the bottom line is that the world has changed both for our friends in the gun-control movement as well as for our friends who run the NRA.  Between trying to pick up the pieces of their dopey Carry Guard insurance program, defending themselves against allegations of all kinds of nefarious election activities and looking to put together a new list of corporate partners offering discounts to the NRA faithful, there’s not a lot of time left over to promote the agenda of Sleazebag Don. So they have fallen back on what they do best, namely, posturing themselves as being stalwart defenders of our beloved 2nd-Amendment ‘rights.’ And the most effective way to get that message across is to claim that all those groups advocating ‘reasonable’ gun laws are nothing more than fronts for the continued efforts of Mike Bloomberg to get rid of guns.

              If you were the mayor of a city where shootings were a routine part of life, how could you not want to get rid of guns? Frankly, I never understood why anyone would be either surprised or upset by the fact that a guy like Bloomberg would be against guns. Now maybe if he had been responsible for public safety in a quiet little town somewhere in the Midwest, it would be difficult to imagine him leading an anti-gun crusade. But his views on gun violence happen to align a lot more consistently with his background and experiences than the positions on gun violence taken by that stupid, vulgar, POS-landlord who happens to be sitting in the White House right now.

              Just as Gun-nut Nation was probably unprepared for the strength and depth of November’s blue wave, I also suspect that the outcome of the 2018 election came as something of a shock to my friends in the gun violence prevention movement, a.k.a. the GVP. Which brings me to the real reason for what I want to say today.

              Given the new political realities in DC, I think it’s time for my GVP friends to drop all this nonsense about supporting ‘reasonable’ gun laws and tell it like it is. Either you end gun violence by ending open access to the guns which cause the violence (read: handguns) or you don’t. If Nancy’s willing to tell Sleazebag Don to stick it you know where, why can’t my friends in the gun-control movement say the same thing to the NRA?

Want To Contribute To This Blog?

Last year I began posting content on this website written by people other than myself. To date, readers have been able to enjoy columns by 14 men and women who can all be seen on the Contributing Editors page. I wanted these contributions to reflect my commitment to listening to voices on both sides of the gun debate because until and unless we learn how to communicate across the great divide between pro-gun and gun violence prevention (GVP) communities, we won’t get anywhere at all.

I believe that my website is the only online venue which gives visitors an opportunity not only to read commentary which agrees with what they believe, but to also access commentary which disagrees with their beliefs. Which is exactly the point.

For all the talk within the GVP about how they are committed to ‘reasonable’ solutions to gun violence, I have never seen a GVP venue which hosts a single, ongoing discussion between the two sides about what the word ‘reasonable’ really means. Or what it should mean. Every time that GVP advocates jump for joy when a survey shows that a majority of gun owners support comprehensive background checks, I wonder how the GVP would react if they knew that these same gun owners also support eliminating gun-free zones.

On the other hand, the pro-gun movement has certainly never demonstrated any interest in hearing from the gun-control crowd. At best, the 2nd-Amendment gang usually dismisses all talk about gun controls of any kind as nothing more than a Bloomberg-Soros hoax. At worst, I won’t bother to mention the worst, okay?

I am not only very pleased that 14 writers have contributed to my blog – the purpose of this column is to reach out and solicit more commentary from people on both sides. I do not make editorial judgements of any kind, the writer can discuss any subject he/she likes, there is no limit as to length and I ask only that the content does not contain any profanity or personal attacks. Otherwise, what you send to me is what you will see posted on this blog.

By the way, of the 14 contributing editors whose work has been published here so far, I would consider 8 of them to be from the pro-gun side and 6have views are aligned with the GVP. That’s an interesting breakdown, insofar as the majority of my readers tend to be more pro-GVP than not.

Anyway, please feel free to become a Contributing Editor on Mikethegunguy.com.