Pink Revolvers Would Work Better

Saturday, July 2, AD 2016

rapes in sweden


Reported rapes in Sweden:  1975-2014






A perfect symbol of the age of pernicious make believe in which we live:



A recent Swedish press release warns that groping is a crime. In it, the country’s national police chief Dan Eliasson said: “No one should have to accept sexual molestation. So do not grope. And if you are groped, report it to the police.”

Mr. Eliasson mentioned a variety of actions such as “a hand tucked between the legs”, “a hug from behind in the crush at a club or festival”, and “one person holding somebody while another grabs their breasts”, describing them as “situations many young people recognise too well”.

The press release announced that police intend to equip young women with wristbands with the slogan “don’t touch me”. This will happen over the summer, at festivals and other events for young people. “By wearing these wristbands,” Sweden’s police chief said, “young women will be able to make a stand”.

It is unclear how effective the wristbands, which read “don’t touch me” in Swedish, will be in preventing attacks, as the majority of sex attack perpetrators are thought to be recent migrants who are unlikely to be able to read them.

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3 Responses to Pink Revolvers Would Work Better

  • We just celebrated St Peter and Paul. I’m forced to wonder what their thoughts would be on gun control, as I am fairly certain they didn’t wander the Empire with body guards in tow, or even the Rosary.

  • Yeah, they sure didn’t believe in sword control:

    “But they said: Nothing. Then said he unto them: But now he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise a scrip; and he that hath not, let him sell his coat, and buy a sword.”

  • Malmo is the rape capital of the world, with the exception of Lesotho. We can see by the charts that rape began its climb when Sweden began its multicultural adventure, 1975. Then they fudge the stats so it can’t be seen who the perpetrators are. The first logical questions are why? Why is this happening. The next is who is doing it. The classification of immigrant men is obfuscated by calling them Swedish men if they are born in Sweden of immigrant parents, or if the are citizens even if foreign born. It is unbelievable to me that they would sit by and let their women be raped. Inexcusable!


Saturday, June 18, AD 2016

Shea gun


Hattip to Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts.



The latest droppings from the mind of Mark Shea:


This mockery of gooey fake piety…

is currently circulating on the web.

When Christians offer “thoughts and prayers” not as prelude to obeying, but as prophylactic *against* obeying the fifth commandment, God’s Name is blasphemed among the Gentiles.

Not, of course, that I agree that thoughts and prayers are useless. On the contrary, I think them vital since I believe that the Gun Cult is a demonic spiritual stronghold just as abortion is. I think that conscious, deliberate prayer *against* that stronghold, undertaken by spiritual warriors at every Mass, will be an invaluable part of defeating and destroying this enemy of human life and this disgraceful and warping stain on the prolife movement and the witness of the Church. I believe Catholics must implore our Lord to send his mighty angels to break the grip of principalities and powers and spiritual forces of evil in heavenly places who hold people in thrall to fear and selfishness and blind them to the need to place the fifth commandment above their cultic devotion to the gun. But of course, such prayer will indeed be prelude to action, not studied inaction shrouded in pious goo.


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14 Responses to Comments?

  • Happily there are objectors to Shea that are not banned. When Mike Blackadder and several others appear, Shea tones down the histrionics yet perseveres in his ideology script….but they came out looking wiser than he on his recent equating of Trump and Hillary on abortion…and to his credit, he hasn’t banned that several yet. On violence, I suspect from past experience with confronting two priests who were all sweetness on the pulpit but both were ravenously angry in private…I suspect that Mark is preaching to Mark on violence. If anyone kidnapped his granddaughter and he found them, he’d put them in a rear naked choke for 80 seconds rather than the safe 8 seconds recommended by the UFC cage fighting owners.

  • The Bear is sorry, but his brain cells are currently maxed out spreading marmalade on piece of toast and has no time for fools. The Bear cannot understand this human insistence that “everyone has a right to their opinion,” when so many humans are manifestly incapable of landing a thought within a parsec of reality. The Bear shall miss your entertaining species. Try not to set fire to the woodlands on your way to extinction. Thank you.

  • ps…8 seconds is not safe for every bodily constitution.

  • Mark Shea is not worth paying attention to.

  • Another place to read or leave comments is the Banned By Mark Shea Facebook page. Give it a look, it’s a hoot!

  • What amazes me is that Mark-who earns a living making up stuff about God; and even more amazing that the idiots that listen to him have money to pay him for his nonsense.

    If you never leave your house, you may be safe. Until, they come for you.
    Evil prevails when good men do nothing.
    I read that Mark-who has a history of mental illness, look it up.
    Only reason to read him is that you’re not so far-gone that you’re shoving an ice pick into your eye sockets. He’s an imbecile, I’m being charitable: no sin in being a moron.
    On the night He was betrayed, Jesus told us to “. . . sell your cloak and buy a sword.” St. John the Baptist did not condemn soldiers, he told them to act justly.
    FYI. Today’s sword is an AR-15.

  • Favorite thought for anti-2nd Amendment types:

    Legal gun owners have over 200,000,000 guns and 12,000,000,000 rounds of ammo…if we were a problem, you’d know it.

  • Ken, Good point. I use it, too.
    Americans had been fully-armed since 1609. Arguably, in the late 19th century, cowboys and big game hunters armed with 30/30 Winchester lever-action rifles may have been better armed (more rapid firing) than the US Army Infantry. I’ve seen You Tube videos with a good marksman shooting a lever-action 30/30 as fast and more accurate than a semi-auto, even a .223 cal. which doesn’t take any time to get back on target.
    I’m no Constitutional scholar. But, here are two facts (I think).
    One, the Bill of Rights (B/R) was a requisite for the ratification of the Constitution. For liberal idiots (I repeat myself again) like Mark-who, that means the states would have voted it down the rat hole without the B/R.
    Two, more essential than number one, the B/R did not give the American people their rights. Rights are God-given and unalienable. The B/R denies the Federal government legal authority/power to infringe those rights.
    Ergo, the regime cannot take my guns.

  • Penguins Fan, unfortunately, many do. I mostly stopped visiting his sites, but his immediate exploitation of the shooting was made known to me. I then decided to watch and see what he did with the attack. I couldn’t believe my eyes. If Mark was just some fluke out there, it wouldn’t matter. But he is a major figure in American Catholic apologetics. He posts for such venues as National Catholic Register and EWTN. Major figures like Pat Madrid and Dwight Longenecker give him kudos and thumbs up. He hosts radio shows, publishes for Catholic publications, and has thousands who listen to him, many no doubt of varying levels of catechesis. If a single person was encouraged to believe that it’s a sin not to vote the way Mark says, that’s one too many. Given the large number of followers and fans who listen to him and use his words to spread the message, that’s why it’s an issue.

  • Hey I think I have my Shea translator guide working again.

    When Christians offer “thoughts and prayers” not as prelude to obeying, but as prophylactic *against* obeying the fifth commandment, God’s Name is blasphemed among the Gentiles.

    Translation: “Guuyyyysssss… your actions are totally embarrassing me in front of my liberal friends!”

    Because whether his posts lead a different group to mock and laugh at the Catholic church as an institution only for women and pansies running on the fumes of past accomplishments is not considered by Mark at all. I guess because liberal souls matter more than conservative ones or something.

    On the contrary, I think them vital since I believe that the Gun Cult is a demonic spiritual stronghold just as abortion is.

    Translation: “Click this link to see the detailed instructions on how I built my strawman so I don’t have to actually refer to any real persons since I am a coward who can no longer bear disagreement. — Oh and if you for a moment happen to listen to the other side’s arguments and think for a moment they might have a point repeat to yourself that they’re lead by Satan, it’s all lies…”

    I believe Catholics must implore our Lord to send his mighty angels to break the grip of principalities and powers and spiritual forces of evil in heavenly places who hold people in thrall to fear and selfishness and blind them to the need to place the fifth commandment above their cultic devotion to the gun.

    Translation: “Stop disagreeing with me or I’m gonna sic God on you! Honestly I will! Because I’m his favorite and he’ll do whatever I tell him to.”

    Of I course for myself, I have to wonder how well the Lord will react when He sees shepherds He left in charge of His flock increasingly panic and flee from the wolves that approach, even tossing the sheep at the predators in the hopes the shepherds might be eaten last.

  • What difference does it make now?
    Approximately one hundred percent of the imbeciles that “buy” his (complete) BS will vote for liberals, for abortion, and for the wrecking of America’s evil, unjust way of life with or without his distortions.
    I have been highly successful at pretending he doesn’t exist.

    Here is a possible solution. Mock Mark-who. Express sincere contempt for his Presbyterian hysterics (you know he’s a Presbyterian infiltrator).

  • Luke 22:36: Jesus would own an AR-15, high capacity magazines, and ammunition. He would be an NRA (Eternal) Life member.

  • When Christians offer “thoughts and prayers” not as prelude to obeying, but as prophylactic *against* obeying the fifth commandment, God’s Name is blasphemed among the Gentiles.

    What hypocrisy! Those guys are dead because of the policies he pushes, because their lives were so cheap to him and their free will so scorned that they were not just disarmed, but anyone who might defend them was disarmed, and he wants to accuse others of not loving their neighbors?
    Get the plank out of your own eye before you start theorizing about slivers in those of others.

  • The Bear cannot understand this human insistence that “everyone has a right to their opinion,” when so many humans are manifestly incapable of landing a thought within a parsec of reality.

    I for one would have thought a bear would appreciate that particular bromide. It’s like when humans hike through your berry batch saying “hey bear!” so they don’t accidently upset you at your supper and force you to defend your berry patch and claw their faces off. Telling Mark Shea he has a right to his opinion is a way for smart humans to give Shea the chance to amble off into the scrub and let the annoying people walk by before he back to his berry patch.

    Clint Eastwood put it much more rudely in The Dead Pool, but it’s the same general idea. Only foolish humans think “everybody is entitled to their own opinion” is some kind of virtuous sentiment.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn Explains the Importance of the Second Amendment

Monday, October 5, AD 2015

 The amendment, like most other provisions in the Constitution, has a history.  It was adopted with some modification and enlargement from the English Bill of Rights of 1688, where it stood as a protest against arbitrary action of the overturned dynasty in disarming the people, and as a pledge of the new rulers that this tyrannical action should cease.  The right declared was meant to be a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers, and as a necessary and efficient means of regaining rights when temporarily overturned by usurpation.

Thomas Cooley, Principles of Constitutional Law (1898)

(Whenever the usual suspects are in full cry for gun confiscation control, as they are now, I am going to repost this.)


Hattip to Babalu Blog. 


And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family?

Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?

After all, you knew ahead of time that those bluecaps were out at night for no good purpose. And you could be sure ahead of time that you’d be cracking the skull of a cutthroat. Or what about the Black Maria [Government limo] sitting out there on the street with one lonely chauffeur — what if it had been driven off or its tires spiked.

The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt!

–Alexander Solzhenitsyn, The GULAG Archipelago

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8 Responses to Alexander Solzhenitsyn Explains the Importance of the Second Amendment

  • I am convinced that without private gun ownership by the “good guys” this nation would have been totalitarian decades ago.
    One has to ask why liberals are such “freedom to do anything morally corrupt” freaks, but across the board, seek to take away firearms from free people.
    Maybe it’s because it becomes exceedingly difficult to impose one’s will on armed innocent people?

  • My stab at an answer woud be that for liberals freedom consists largely of freedom from responsibility —“no fault freedom” Rick Santorum called it; the freedom to be a perpetual adolescent. That kind of freedom is incompatible with firearms ownership. By and large, an armed citizen chooses to embrace a higher degree of responsibility, not evade it.

  • Make no mistake. Gun control, as with all their nightmarish programs, is about people control not guns.

    Channeling Rush Limbaugh here. Democrats and liberals come in two brands”. Those that hate Americans and their way of life and those that really, really hate Americans.
    They know, like Hitler, that there would be a rifle behind every blade of grass to resist the end game which is total control over you. That’s why they are destroying American communities and the middle class with massive illegal immigration. Because the destitute, desperate dependent is so easy to control.


  • More available for unregistered weapon distribution for the poor malcontents?
    How about constructive control/ help for the sociopaths with illegal arms popping up around the country, or would the issue go away?

  • No one of Irish or Scots ancestry with any knowledge of history could fail to embrace the second amendment.

  • “My stab at an answer would be that for liberals freedom consists largely of freedom from responsibility —“no fault freedom” Rick Santorum called it; the freedom to be a perpetual adolescent. That kind of freedom is incompatible with firearms ownership.”

    My firsthand observation exactly! Twenty years ago I was rather ambivalent on the issue of private gun ownership. I started to work in an office, and I quickly noticed that the nice people were gun owners and the backstabbers tended to be gun control supporters. I eventually decided that the correlation was not accidental. People who like to kill others with slander and innuendo deep down know they cannot be trusted with weapons.

  • Patricia, my opinion is that if the citizen’s militia were properly re-institutionalized, it would be a lot easier to spot sociopaths. We have out present problems because 1) Federal law now classes the citizen’s militia as the “unregulated militia” and 2) mass media continues to drive the sociopaths who seek herostratic fame (see

  • Gun-Control: Here is the factor overshadowing this issue. The gun control movement is not about crime or safety. It is part of the progressive agenda to exercise governmental control over private life, and is among various categories of matters including health, diet, energy use, communication, religious practice, population control and thought control. The essential difference between a progressive and a conservative is a matter of unbelief versus belief. And I think we all fall somewhere between these polar opposites. Else, why would one pray, Lord, we believe, help us in our unbelief. Now, we believe God made us in His own image and likeness, and accordingly gave us free will, the ability to accept the One Who is Love or to reject Him, to love our neighbor or to hate him. To the extent our leaders believe in God’s plan, they leave us to self-governance. To the extent they do not believe in God’s plan, they seek to enslave us.

15 Responses to It’s The People Not the Guns

  • The homicide rate in non-metropolitan counties in New York was (last I checked) 1.14 per 100,000. Hunting is a major past-time in those counties. The thing is, though, the sort of people who hunt and shoot sporting clays and get a pistol license because their work requires schlepping through underground parking garages are not Democratic Party clients. Actually undertaking effective measures to improve public order is despised by this crew. The whole point is to manufacture diversions and transfer attention and blame on subcultures you cannot suborn and who do not respond to your cultural signals.

    The father of one of the murdered reporters is already offering his services to the gun control cause, so we’re all compelled to ask a grieving man what he has in mind as Vester Flanagan had no history which would have precluded him from owning a pistol and the pistol itself was unremarkable. In Franklin County, Va., the frequency of homicide is about 20% below national means (and almost certainly is predominantly a phenomenon in domestic disputes), the frequency of forcible rape about 55% below national means, and the frequency of robbery is 95% below national means. Not exactly Dodge City.

  • SWHC…Smith and Wesson stock has a two day bull run of over 11% perhaps and will do good for awhile due to big earnings beat and forecast combined.. Does the Vatican hold it…:)
    what with Pope Francis’ weapons merchants remarks a month or so ago. I don’t know…his hotel has air conditioning while his encyclical denounced pressure marketing of same. They, SWHC, have a weighted barrel .357 revolver
    that’s always calling to me like a siren but …for my neighbor’s sake, a 20 gauge shotgun with low velocity self defense shells is worse on the criminal and safer on the neighbors as to wall penetration of several houses in a miss. There’s also a neighbor safe .223 that fragments. Has the Pope ever had a man come through his front window? I have. Fortunately I thrive in that situation….doing five straight minutes of fast boxing combinations non stop to Santana daily.
    It’s like jogging with the top half of your body and few thugs can do five straight minutes of non stop punching. But a 20 gauge is better if he enters with his own Smith and Wesson.

  • Wouldn’t it be great if someone picked up a Democrat and used her to bash someone’s brains in? and then we would ban Democrats and have “Democrat free” zones? never mind that the basher was a registered Democrat on mind-altering drugs. And no more knee jerk Democrats on full auto.Guy Mcclung, San Antonio

  • Bill–I’ve got the expensive “home defense” rounds for my CC revolver, too. Well, the first load– if I have to hunker down and reload, not so much, but if that happens I’m unlikely to be firing in a way that it can pass through walls!


    I’m still in a bit of whiplash– somehow this one didn’t hit as much of what media I do watch, so last I heard the murderer was supposed to be an angry redneck, with the implication that he was angry at the reporter because she was pretty.
    Find out yesterday that he’s a homosexual and black, with the motive being that he was a “grievance collector” — held grudges about EVERYTHING, even if it wasn’t actually a slight.

  • Foxfier,
    I envy all concealed carry. New Jersey is the worst and no one except criminals and detectives have concealed carry. I understand that it’s the most densely populated state but they should permit tactical knives by license since no innocent bystander gets hit by a knife. There’s almost no knife you can carry in N.J. The key in the cities is to avoid certain neighborhoods as you would avoid a ricin shower and after dark…why go out …since 80% of the violence happens then. Our fire chief’s ( black) son ( Jersey City) was murdered by blacks at night in a robbery and in same month, a black man was murdered after a fender bender in front of his family…both unsolved….both moron actors probably on the welfare dole living with mom.

  • My husband turned down a job he would’ve loved– with good pay– because it would require us to live there; at the same time, he’s applied for jobs on the Mexican border in areas known for Mexican gang activity.
    He knows more about gun laws and the gang risks– especially international ones– than I do, so I figure that’s all I’ve got to know about New Jersey’s laws.

  • . He was correct. If you get a flat tire at night in the wrong neighborhood in JC even if you live in an affluent area, your goose is cooked sauteed and roasted….because you have no right to carry in N.J. Only the thugs do. Funny story….I told one of the rappers from Mobb Deep in our NY affluent area that we were moving down to J.C. He squinted and mumbled…” watch out down there brother…be careful”. And their music is strictly for the thugs he was warning about. But I grew up here and my parents’ vibe is here while they are in Heaven I believe…and I like that vibe. One day I hope we live on a sailboat and follow the temperature along the Atlantic.

  • A good Communist never lets an opportunity go by to advance the Communist agenda of gun confiscation.

  • We left NJ fifty years ago. Their gun laws make no sense. It’s a case of ideology over logic. I think it was Cicero who said, “Fury will find its weapon”.


    Nelson Shields IV was killed perfectly at random due to his white skin. His father’s reaction to that was to give up his work at duPont and spend the rest of his life agitating against pistols. At least Sarah Brady’s agitation was induced by guns in the hands of a man who belonged in an asylum. Shields’ work has the hallmarks of a man substituting a socially acceptable object for an unacceptable one.

  • I think gun-control has become an idée fixe among the people of the Left. No correct statistical or logical argument seems to penetrate their argle-bargle on the subject. The only efficacious strategy is to keep their hands away from the levers of political power.

  • I think gun-control has become an idée fixe among the people of the Left.

    Again, it shifts the blame away from an unacceptable target (slum hoodlums) to an acceptable set (manufacturers and ordinary people, especially non metropolitan populations). It shifts the means from the unacceptable (police officers surveying and detaining slum hoodlums, courts and prisons punishing them) to acceptable means (civil servants refusing permits). For a bourgeois like Obama, a certain sort of self-aggrandizement is ever at work. In this case, it is professional people like himself acting to lower the status of one set of cultural competitors in order to avoid lowering the status of their slum clientele (whose ‘plight’ provides employment and status for those in their social circle).

    Look at the dismay among academics (Bernard Harcourt), politicians (Bilge de Blasio), and judges (Shira Sheindlin) over the success the Giuliani and Bloomberg administrations had in New York City (an 87% reduction in homicide rates). The point is never to accomplish anything real and broadly recognized as good. The point is to aggrandize your sense of self. North of 97% of the homicides which take place in this country could be accomplished with a double-barreled shot-gun. The prevalence of pistols contributes to homicide rates, but we have a pretty good idea that its an unimportant vector.

  • In NY, only the criminals and police are armed. After Sandy Hook, Capo Cuomo shoved through a law banning high magazine (sic) capacities and certain “assault weapons.” CT did a similar boondoggle. Guess how many CT and NY citizens now are criminals. It comes to a couple of million.
    The disconnected, execrable liars aren’t against guns. It’s people control they want. They want Americans disarmed to make safe the state’s final assault on liberty and property. The police will need all the guns they can carry when they come to disarm us.
    Go figure. They say that Trump cannot deport 11,000,000 criminals, invaders and looters. But the so-called progressives plan to forcibly disarm 83,000,0000 law-abiding Americans.
    Any idiot could be a liberal. All one need do is memorize inane one-liners on equality (translated quotas/preferences, gay privileges, welfare) women’s health care (translated contraception and abortion), fundamental transformation (translated irreparable damage), global warming (translated crony socialism), guns, racism (translated gimme everything), war on women, etc.
    Fun fact. When Algore was born there were 7,000 polar bears. Today, there are 26,000.

  • There are any number of ways of killing people, other than shooting.

    Of the 61 cases of homicide recorded in Scotland for 2013-2014,
    23 were by sharp instrument, mainly knives,
    10 by hitting or kicking,
    7 by strangulation/asphyxiation,
    5 by blunt instrument
    2 by fire-raising.
    2 by shooting.
    1 poisoning.
    11 other and unknown.

    In 43 of the 61 cases (70%), victim and accused were known to each other as friends, acquaintances, partners or ex-partners.
    There were some 88 accused; 37 were under the influence of alcohol, 2 under the influence of drugs and 7 were both.

  • Pretend for a moment that you don’t believe in God. People are just animals, albeit highly evolved apes. Pretend that your are among an elite of the most intelligent of these by nature naked but smart apes. You are the natural leader of the species. What to do? Dare you let them run free? No. They are animals. Bring forth the muzzle and chains. It explains a great deal.

Rebecca Frech Schools Mark Shea on Guns

Sunday, June 22, AD 2014

Mark Shea has a habit of saying that unless people do x, x always being a policy he endorses, they really are not pro-life.  This of course is simply an attempt, at least among pro-lifers, to stop debate on x and says nothing about the merits of x as a policy.  His latest attempt to do so is on the issue of smart guns, technology that purports to prevent a firearm from being fired, unless the owner is the one pulling the trigger.  Go here to read one of his posts on the subject.  Blogger Rebecca Frech, at her blog Shoved to Them, relates an incident to describe why Shea is wrong as a practical matter:

The argument seems to center around smart gun technology. Shea reasons that if gun owners were truly pro-life then we would support all efforts to create guns which would only fire for their owners, and then the world would be a better place. People who don’t support such legislation and research, even if they support the protection of life from conception to natural death, are not truly pro-life because they participate in a culture which accepts the possibility of death by gun shot (Mark and his readers haven’t mentioned how they aim to prevent people from being bludgeoned with a rifle butt or pistol whipped with a handgun).


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124 Responses to Rebecca Frech Schools Mark Shea on Guns

  • Thank God Rebecca Frech was able to defend herself and her child.
    Unless you honor me, I will make of you a no-people.
    Sadly, self defense for an honorable people has become a dead issue in a court of law. The court decided that the victim must determine if the rapist was going to kill her (as the witness) or only rape her before she attempted self defense that might be lethal. The victim must remember to ask her assailant if he intends to murder her or only rape her. Of course, the assailant might change his mind. Equal Justice.

  • I do not own a gun but absolutely support those who do. I do not read Shea. I have met him. He likes to start arguments and be critical; that seems to be his bailiwick. I do not need it and do not care what his opinion it. He is not a boon to the faith with his attitude.

  • Shotguns will be the last to have smart gun tech and they are the best gun to have for the safety of nearby neighbors because they wreck criminals at close range but their pellets lose lethality with both distance and two walls far more so than bullets. Miss with a 357 magnum pistol and the bullet could go out your window and travel freely many many yards and kill a passerby on a sidewalk 20 houses away. The self defense shotgun shells will fade into 20 slow moving,far apart pellets in the same event. Shea’s making cheddar…436 comments…that’s cash per click…but as usual by setting one group against another while his followers think they are really about content. He’s an Irish barfight genius. The Swiss guard have armor piercing H&K submachine guns. Shea should point out the dangers of that. Those bullets could go through a bad guy and the good guy behind him but are necessary if terrorists arrived with body armor.

  • The greatest boost to my faith life was when I stopped visiting Shea’s blog (or following anything he had to say) years ago.

  • I agree. I stopped reading Shea at least a couple of years ago, because he was bitter and dismissive. I went back to read his rant against gun owners, and could not believe the arrogant stupidity. I can’t even listen to his little Mark Shea minutes on the radio anymore, and I refuse to buy his books.

  • it merely means that you have a different opinion from Mark Shea on an issue that doesn’t have the foggiest thing to do with abortion.

    Yeah, but you’re assuming that Shea’s political commentary (or that of palaeo types generally) has much to do with advancing a policy perspective rather than heaping contempt on certain political sectors which you despise as a subcultural group.

  • Mr. McClarey:
    Re: In defense of Mr. Shea:

    I enjoy your commentary. Thank you for defending the faith.

    I have not followed Mr. Shea for several years; but when I did he was utterly and heroically pro life. I do not know Mr. Shea; but I suspect that he is not a “gun guy”. I also suspect that most “gun guys” (and gals) would laugh at the idea that this techno-fix would save innocent lives; and in fact most likely put innocent lives at risk.

    I respectfully suggest that these intramural, online Catholic firefights where Catholic media personalities are criticized by name are, in the final analysis, counter productive to our task of saving souls.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • “I respectfully suggest that these intramural, online Catholic firefights where Catholic media personalities are criticized by name are, in the final analysis, counter productive to our task of saving souls.”
    Well, this is an American-Catholic web site. It is focused on saving souls, yes, but also on how to live here on earth before salvation arrives.

    “I do not know Mr. Shea; but I suspect that he is not a ‘gun guy’. I also suspect that most ‘gun guys’ (and gals) would laugh at the idea that this techno-fix would save innocent lives; and in fact most likely put innocent lives at risk.”
    You are correct on all counts. Since you are correct, then the fact that the smart gun proposal would “most likely put innocent lives at risk” means that is cannot be characterized as pro-life. Consequently this means that Mark Shea can be criticized for attempting to make the proposal into a pro-life stance. At best the impulse and ideal and motive for smart gun technology can be characterized as pro-life, but it can’t seriously be taken farther than that given the technological limits.
    Here is another way to look at it. As long as the police refuse to endorse the technology for themselves it cannot be considered to be a serious proposal for the average citizen.

  • Mr. Tom D;

    Thank you for your reply: regarding your comment that this is an “American-Catholic web site” you are indeed correct; but my point is that the right of self-defense is, I believe, under natural law – universal. And in regards to your comment “that Mark Shea can be criticized for attempting to make the proposal into a pro-life stance” my point here is that bringing Mr. Shea’s name into this question is a waste of time diverting our attention from saving souls.

    OTH I would like to see someone like Mr. McClarey address my belief of whether we possess under natural right an inalienable right to self defense?

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Richard Comerford,
    But are you here to protect Mr. Shea through this peculiar angle of speaking of him as a detraction from saving souls.
    You were a regular on a little website called “Coalition for Clarity” started by Mark Shea but moderated by a woman, Red Cardigan, dedicated to the issue of torture. It’s still there but with rare posts. You were always on Shea’s side of the issue which was that of St. John Paul II who had said torture was intrinsically evil but he also said in the same place ( VS, sect.80) that slavery is intrinsically evil which is proved false by Leviticus 25:44-46. Slavery is sad but God gave it in perpetual form to the Jews over foreigners because in nomadic and post nomadic settings, it processes convicts, debtors and captured soldiers of the enemy.
    I went to that site several times because I believe there is a place for rare torture as when a murderous pedophile is captured by police but will not tell where a dying child is hidden…as per Proverbs 20:30..” Evil is cleansed away by bloody lashes, and a scourging to the inmost being”…..Proverbs 26:3. ” A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey, and a rod for the backs of fools!”

  • NOT bringing Mr. Shea’s name into this question could be diverting our attention from saving lives which would be lost due to smart gun technology malfunctions. He is the one wrapping his gun argument in the mantle of the pro-life movement. What are we to write? Some people (who we should not name out of concern for their pro-life work in the salvation of souls) are using pro-life rhetoric to promote so-called ‘smart gun’ technology, but we disagree with them on the technical merits of their stance and therefore on their applicability of the pro-life label to this promotion? Read that over again – it just sounds silly.

  • Why is anyone paying any attention to Mark Shea?

  • Mark Shea – he who must not be named. Sounds like an anti-Voldmort.

  • I have a mini-14 rifle and ammunition. My wife knows where both are and has standing order to serve the discharge of the muzzle end to any invader. And she is a better Catholic than I.

    Mark Shea is an egotistical bombastic arrogant self-appointed apologist to whom I pay zero attention. What he says isn’t worth the electrons it takes to display his words on the computer screen.

  • Mr. Tom D

    Is the issue one Catholic blogger or what I personally believe to be an inalienable right under natural law to self defense?

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Mr. Edwards:

    I am not quite sure what “sophistry” means. But we live in an age where our rulers appear both to have a contempt for innocent human life and a desire to strip the citizenry of its right to self defense. And the focus of Catholic commentators appears to be on the personality of one media personality. Should our focus rather be on what the Church, established by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, teaches on the right and even duty of self defense?

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • There is an inalienable right to self defense. Of course. The law also has held that there is a role foe government to promote public safety. Advocates of so-called smart gun technology believe that they are promoting both, or at least promoting safety without infringing on self defense. They are incorrect on both counts.

    What this has to do with pro-life issues is beyond me, other than the fact that self defense IS defending life.

  • So Mr. Comerford, is it your position that the promotion of smart gun technology is an attempt to infringe on 2nd amendment rights?

  • Mr Tom d:

    Thank you for your reply. This is not a 2nd Ammendment issue. Rather something greater. What the Constitution is based on. Natural law. Or if you will God given rights and duties. I believe that the Church teaches we have a right even a duty to self defense. If such right exists is it enabled in the 21st Century by the bearing of firearms? If the bearing of firearms enables said right can any restrictions be placed on the firearms – like the various techno gizmos under discussion?

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • I’m sorry, I asked a simple question. Dodging it smells like sophistry. Tito Edwards usually does not throw around such words easily, but I have to agree with him. I don’t mind if you elaborate your answer to my question with a natural law argument. I do mind being asked questions in return.

    This question, however, is very telling: “If such right exists is it enabled in the 21st Century by the bearing of firearms?” It is a hallmark of constitutional law that the nature of rights do not change from century to century. Your question implies that you think they can. I can assure you that if so you are wrong. Rights that can change are not rights at all.

  • Mr. Tom d:

    Thank you for your reply. I think that the Church teaches we have a right and even duty to self defense. However Cain did not slay Able with a gun. Does the Church limit our self defense to broad swords in the 21st Century? If we can morally bear firearms can limits be placed on said firearms? Can I be prevented putting a hitch on my car in order to tow my very own 106mm reckless rifle? The Church seems less clear on these issues. I think said issues should be clarified rather than lighting over a Catholic media personality.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • I can think of some Christians in Iraq who would very much like to have their own 106mm recoilless rifles right now.

  • Mr Edwards:

    Thank you for your definition. Please be assured that I strive to be honest.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Mr Tom d:

    A very good point. Should we not be revisiting at this time the history of the Church’s military orders? IIRC the Church h approved the constitution’s of @ 100 military orders between the fall of Jerusalem and the Reformation for the defense of Christians.

    God bless

    Richard W Cometford

  • I wrote “Rights that can change are not rights at all.” You respond with “The Church seems less clear on these issues.” That is not an answer. It is a dodge.

  • Mr Tom d:

    I think k that the Church clearly teaches that we have a right and even duty to self defense. But I am unclear as to whether the Church teaches there are limitations on the tools we use for self defense. Can it be for instance immoral for I to possess a 10 -round mag rather than a government approved 9 – round mag? I suspect not; but I cannot cite any authority to back my thought.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Mr Edwards

    Thank you for your reply. And from what issue do I detract. Have I not made it clear that I think the Church teaches we have a right even a duty to self defense? Is there some other issue here you wish me go address? Kindly tell me and I will be happy to do so.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • It is immoral for a government to prohibit the lawful ownership of weapons that are widely available to unlawful actors who care little for the lives of others. It is therefore also immoral to support such a prohibition with blind appeals to Church teaching that imply no prudential dissent is permitted. You haven’t done the latter, but you are suggesting that you just might.

  • Mr Tom d:

    Thank you for your reply. I am not sure if I understand you. I do not mean to infer or suggest anything. As evidenced by my post on the military orders it is clear that I think Christian men should realize we live in very evil times and we should be prepared to defend the right and the innocents. I think the Church teaches we have both a right and duty in this regard. As we live in the 21st Century self defense can only be accomplished with firearms. However there is an open question as to whether a limit can be morally placed on the type, functioning and capability of firearms in private hands. I would be happy to be enlightened if there are any relevant Church teachings on this matter.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • OK, since you are being a bit clearer I can respond a bit more clearly.

    In a properly constituted modern democracy limits can be placed on private weapon possession and ownership, certainly. The American constitutional order provides two mechanisms for the private ownership of weapons: the Second Amendment for individually operated weapons, and the clause on Letters of Marque and Reprisal for crew operated weapons. Note that the Second Amendment addresses individual ownership as an individual right which exists for public purposes, while the clause on Letters of Marque and Reprisal does not. Lawyers will argue over the details, but this is the overall structure.

    My previous posts are not really about this structure. They are about principles from which constitutionally valid and practical legislation may be enacted under this framework. Certainly Church teaching may be referred to here, but that teaching is prudential and does not necessarily override other principles.

    One Church teaching that applies here is derived from Aquinas’ view on properly constituted government. This cuts both ways. Governments which interfere with their citizens’ self defense are to some degree not properly constituted. It is certainly within the rights of the citizens to work toward the repeal of legislation that interferes with their self defense, and it is wrong to suggest that it is wrong of them to do so.

    Finally, if government completely fails and is practically non-existent, then there is no valid constitutional way that the private ownership of any weapon can be enforced, and doing so is plainly tyranny. I find your idea of re-establishing “military orders” to be sectarian and therefore not applicable to the modern world. I would much prefer that people in failed states work to establish the social institutions along the lines of those in English law which led to the American constitutional order.

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  • Mr Tom d:

    Thank you for your reply. Now I learned something. And no name calling. A potential convert seeing your post would be I think impressed. You know Mr V from the Vortex is pretty effective. He never replies to his Catholic critics by name. I think this is a good idea. We must spread the Gospel and save souls. Everything else is unimportant.

    Thank you very much.

    Richard W Cometford

  • Richard,
    Mr.V from the Vortex broached the salary oddities at Catholic Answers regarding very specific people being very well paid while others were being laid off…then noting that he takes a specific much lower salary per year even as head. His being specific therein showed potential converts that money can be a problem in Catholic media and not all Catholics think one way on it.. Mr. Shea used sins of the tongue like demeaning insults against individuals like Deacon Russel on the Lying as always sin issue repeatedly…then Shea issues repeated but seemingly general apologies. It is very good that potential converts for the good of their souls see that he is rejected by other Catholics as a model for behaviour for this ungoing and repeated sin. His example actually reinforces in Protestants their complaint that in Catholicism, you can do the same sin forever but just keep confessing it til death and all is well. You til your last post are seemingly more interested in silencing the use of his name here at TAC than in this gun issue. The gun issue is a bit moot. The smart tech depends on batteries and not even New Jersey will make them mandatory til dead batteries are not a variable. I think you came here to control the name issue really and I think your use of “God bless” has a teleology that also involves controlling others through disarming them. I saw this behaviour in you years ago and I would think you are perhaps a relative of Mr. Shea because your defense of him stretching out so many years is either close relationship or some strange attachment to one person.

  • To some extent, I think this issue is, for some of the Catholic blogs, taking on a bit of a “Blind Men and the Elephant” quality in that both Shea and his critics are focusing relentlessly on ONE or a few aspects of an issue and ignoring the big picture.

    Rebecca Frech has an important point that should not be forgotten — when you need a gun for self defense you need it instantly; any restrictions or burdens designed to make guns harder to obtain or use, therefore, will end up hurting precisely the people who most legitimately need them. However, Mark Shea has also made some important points: there ARE some utterly tone-deaf gun nuts out there — like the Open Carry activists who tote assault rifles into public places and behave like utter jerks toward those who disagree with them — who are doing far more harm than good to the cause of 2nd Amendment rights. Obviously, Frech is no gun nut, and the vast majority of gun owners are not “gun nuts,” but that doesn’t negate the fact that “gun nuts” do exist and appear to have disproportionate sway over certain public policy organizations.

    Shea’s personally combative blogging style is not my cup of tea, and I do NOT agree with many of his approaches to certain issues (like voting), but, he often posts interesting and humorous items that one may not find anywhere else. (No, I’m not related to him.) I am going to keep reading his blog AND this one every day.

  • Richard W Comerford wrote, “I would be happy to be enlightened if there are any relevant Church teachings on this matter” Can 29 of the Second Lateran Council (1139), the 10th ecumenical council, “We forbid under penalty of anathema that that deadly and God-detested art of stingers and archers be in the future exercised against Christians and Catholics.”

    It is thought to have been directed against crossbows and, whatever its precise meaning, it shows some restrictions are permissible.

  • It also demonstrates the absolute futility of most attempts to ban weaponry.

  • my point here is that bringing Mr. Shea’s name into this question is a waste of time diverting our attention from saving souls

    Better to bring his name into it so that spectators can judge the merits of both sides fairly than to do the cowardly method Shea uses of referencing vague “somebodies” that, when questioned end up applying to no one. For example we have this post where even the commenters point out that they can’t find anyone who “complain about acts of private charity”.

    One gets the impression that if Shea would give up all the boogeymen his imagination invents, he might be a much happier man able to bring back the “enjoying it” of his blog title.

  • Winning the argument and losing the soul trumps any good that is done with that style of engagement.

  • Mr. Paterson:
    Re: Can only use crossbows to kill Muslims

    Thank you for the reminder. However I have watched a few friendly debates between very impressive historians online on this matter (which is often used in Catholic bashing). There seems to be more than a little disagreement among the experts regarding either the translation, the meaning and even the existence of the citation in question.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Donald M McClarey wrote,
    “It also demonstrates the absolute futility of most attempts to ban weaponry.”
    Le Roi Soleil was both more subtle and effective than the Lateran Counci; in the aftermath of the Frondes, that astute monarch made the wearing of swords at Versailles, not illegal, but unfashionable By the end of his reign, the sword, like wearing one’s own hair, had become the badge, not of a gentleman, but of a provincial.

  • If you believe that God will forgive your sins because you let kill you an evil man who manifestly hates God and man . . .

    For the rest of us, the thought process starts with, “What would Odysseus do?” It’s one resaon the classics were important.

    There’s nothing like the sound of a pump shot gun chambering a round. It says, “Kiss you @$$ goodbye, Jack!” And, unlike a .223 or .30/06, OO buck shot won’t tear into your neighbor’s bedroom. And, unless you’re practiced with a pistol, it’s too easy to miss even at close quarters.

    Roger that, bill bannon. Comerford, Bless your heart, you’re a tool.

  • Mr. Winchester:

    My primary motivation for posting the comment you cited is that there are several people who I pray will convert to the true faith; but I tremble at the thought of they stumbling on a Catholic blog, reviewing the comments section and thinking not “see how the Catholics love one another” but rather “see how the Catholics hate one another”. Issues of faith and morals can be vigorously addressed and hopefully clarified without bringing names and personalities into it.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Mr. Shaw:

    You wrote in part: “Comerford, Bless your heart, you’re a tool.” Then please pray that I ma a tool in the service of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Even discussing Mark Shea makes you look intellectually unserious. It’s the same phenomenon as endlessly reporting what some bitter leftist celebrity says about the Church. The more you report it, the more they spread their lies because they’re not looking for truth, they’re looking to glorify themselves.

  • Issues of faith and morals can be vigorously addressed and hopefully clarified without bringing names and personalities into it.

    Yes, Shea has done a bang up job of making at least one person (raise hand) feel unwelcome to your church by, instead of addressing an individual, lambasts a whole group. Yeah, it’s better to make entire groups (like gun-toting libertarians, or blue-state liberals) feel unwelcome than challenging one person head on in honorable debate (like Don here on this blog or Nancy Pelosi in the general). That’s why Paul didn’t call out Peter by name but made vague references to “some apostles”. Oh yeah, those previous two sentences should have been sarcasm.

    I’ve certainly grown far more appreciative of my uncle’s choice in joining the Orthodox.

  • Mr. Winchester:

    Thank you for your reply. All we have to do is look at the Gospels to realizethat this sort of intramural skirmishing is not new. What is important is Jesus Christ, not a blogger who, like us all, will be forgotten in a few years. What should you or I care about what one lone blogger (who has no teaching authority like a pastor or bishop) posts? We should not allow such stumbling blocks to become stumbling blocks to our faith.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • What is important is Jesus Christ, not a blogger who, like us all, will be forgotten in a few years. What should you or I care about what one lone blogger (who has no teaching authority like a pastor or bishop) posts?

    Then why did you post your first comment at all? Caring about what Mr McClarey posts a little?

    Next time might want to take that beam out of your pot before calling the kettle, wolf.*

    *(yes, I was mixing my metaphors for comic effect)

  • Don McClarey wrote “It also demonstrates the absolute futility of most attempts to ban weaponry.” Absolutely correct. And the fact that the Church has not attempted since 1139 to pass another weapons ban demonstrates that the Church understands this full well.

  • “Even discussing Mark Shea makes you look intellectually unserious”

    That is, unfortunately, becoming an axiom for what’s wrong in the Catholic blogosphere.

  • T Shaw,
    Since a convict I fought and beat said he’d be back with a pistol to get me, we sleep here in the NY harbor with a shotgun and thorough motion detectors. But I think he’s over it. Cops arriving after the fight and entering our house said, “hide that pistol grip shotgun, the detectives will take it…get a stock for it in New Jersey.”
    N.J. is the most anti gun state because it is the most densely populated state ergo it is the state wherein distant passerbys to a gun fight are a greater concern. The pistol grip shotgun ban is probably to prevent guys carrying one under their longcoat….when young, I was approached by just that type of guy as I got off a bus. Pray for him ever since by name which I knew….baddo to the nth. Tough town in some parts…nice huge park on the harbor though where I cycle….thug free because it’s a very long way from rough neighborhoods.

  • This, I suspect, will be a long thread.

  • Phillip,

    Don’t ruin it for the rest of us!


  • That’s just me, I like to ruin things. 🙂

    Besides, a little voice told me this would go on and on.

  • I read Shea’s post, but not the 400+ comments. Did anyone get around to challenging him on the “30,000 corpses” statement he kept making? Last numbers I could find were 11,000 gun homicides per year. Is he including accidental deaths?

  • Richard W Comerford wrote, “There seems to be more than a little disagreement among the experts regarding either the translation, the meaning and even the existence of the citation in question.

    The canon is certainly genuine and can be found in the highly authoritative Hefele/Leclercq, Conciliengeschichte/Histoire des conciles vol V. Livre XXXIII p 733 (Paris 1912 ed)

    The original reads “Artem autem illam mortiferam et Deo odibilem ballistariorum et sagittariorum adversus Christianos et Catholicos exerceri de cætero sub anathemate prohibemus.”

    That is all the Council has to say on the subject.

    Leclerq translates “ballistariorum” &c as « des arbalétriers et des archers »

  • but I tremble at the thought of they [sic] stumbling on a Catholic blog, reviewing the comments section and thinking not “see how the Catholics love one another” but rather “see how the Catholics hate one another”.

    A valid point. Have you informed Mr Shea of this insight?

  • Mr c matt:

    Thank you for your question. IN answer: Yes. Several of his regular correspondent, including myself, did about 3-years ago. We were deleted and our e-mails went unanswered. And this is the blog owners privilege. It shows his good taste too. I would not allow me to post on my blog if I had one.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Mr. Paterson-Seymour:

    Thank you for your reply. I am a semi-literate knuckle dragger. I bow to your superior knowledge in these matters.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • In Woodbury, Connecticut:

    Public education probably skips or rewrites the Dark Ages period in history.
    Save the pre-cyber encyclopedias and dictionaries from the downsizing rage!

  • Mr. Winchester:

    Thank you for your reply. In answer to your question I made the original post in part because of my gratitude to Mr. Shea for his heroic efforts in defense of life. also because IMO the Catholic Church in the USA has, in worldly terms, all but disappeared; and the remnant of late seems to be fractured and conducting multiple civil wars. And sometimes very uncivil civil wars at that. The issue of self defense should IMO be addressed in light of the deposit of faith and not in the light of one Catholic blogger’s personality.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • The issue of self defense should IMO be addressed in light of the deposit of faith and not in the light of one Catholic blogger’s personality.

    Then – as they say – do it. Blogs are free and easy to get. Leading by example is far more effective than back-seat steering.

  • Richard W Comerford,

    I misread you, with apologies.

  • Mr. Winchester:

    You wrote in part: “Then – as they say – do it. Blogs are free and easy to get. Leading by example is far more effective than back-seat steering.”

    Thank you for the suggestion. We all have different abilities. I am very mildly ill and right now I have the time to make an ass of myself while pontificating. Normally I would not have either the time or the ability to run a blog with justice and charity. The folks here do a very good job but I suspect they put a LOT of effort in it.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • c matt: “see how the Catholics hate one another”.
    I do not buy into the concept of the death penalty inflicted by the state or the civilian as hate. It is Justice being imposed. This is why the homicide victim must be vindicated in a court of law.
    Persons, souls, are created in love and damned in Justice and redeemed by Jesus Christ. The word “ord” in Latin means law. The word “ordinance” is English for law. The word “ordnance” are the ammunition and force needed to preserve the natural law that all men are created equal and deserve equal Justice.
    The Second Amendment is for all people created equal. the militia is ordinary citizens. There was a time when citizens’ arrest, that is, a citizen might apprehend and hold a fleeing criminal, was incumbent upon everyone. Now, The true citizen will be arrested for assault and battery. Citizens’ arrest is no longer recognized by law authorities. People must ask the assailant: “Are you just going to rape and rob me, or are you going to kill me?” before self-defense will be extenuating circumstances in a court of law, for permanently preventing a criminal from plying his trade.
    There was one case in New Jersey. The woman asked the intruder if he was only gong to rape her, would he wear a condom. His plea: “She asked for it.” Consent only works if there is free will, with out duress or intimidation, (he had the gun). Yeah, he got off. Eleven year old children incestuously raped were blamed for the crime in a court of law. After two such cases of “She ( a minor child) wanted it” I wrote the Start Ledger with a letter entitled: “Get your free rapes here.., just line up and get your free rapes here.” Forty year old men raping eleven year old children whose consent is held in trust for them by their parents. Oh, but sometimes the rapists are the parents.
    It is incumbent for a citizen to protect a minor child, to give her food and shelter and an education if possible, even when she throws herself at him for sexual gratification, or any other human need. This is why “We, the people” have constituted government, and why “We, the people,”need our guns to preserve our government, liberty and peace.

  • Mr. Edwards:

    No apologies needed but warmly appreciated.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • bill bannon,

    I live in “Mayberry” just outside NYC. I can walk to Jamaica Ave., Couple weeks ago a neighbor’s car was broken into. A few years back a crew came in and stole a half dozen minivans, but were caught as they assembled to drive them out of the village. They were most upset that they would be tried in Nassau County court not Queens.

    In NYSSR, a high magazine capacity, a pistol grip and/or a bayonet lug (as if!) make a semi-auto rifle/shotgun an “assault weapon.” I have a mini 14 which has none of that (but I like it: small, light, easy to swing) and is not on the ban/register list.

    In any case, the solution is to emigrate to Amrica, if (financially) you can.

    One problem of the man and his tools is that all think that Shea’s prudential judgment/opinions are objective truth. They apparently much don’t reflect on the First Joyful Mystery: The Annunciatiion: desire the love of humility. Think of the humility of the Blessed Virgin Mary (my Mother) when the Angel Gabriel greeted her with these words, “Hail, full of grace.”

  • “Thank you for your reply. This is not a 2nd Ammendment issue. Rather something greater. What the Constitution is based on. Natural law. Or if you will God given rights and duties. I believe that the Church teaches we have a right even a duty to self defense.”
    A right and a duty to self-defense of ourselves and every other person. “to secure the Blessings of Liberty, to ourselves and our posterity”

  • Ms. De Voe:

    Thank you for your reply. I do not mean to offend but on these matters I tend to first look to the Church rather than the glorious documents produced by our Founding Fathers, in part because said documents are based on natural law; and in part because I do not think there is a rule of law anymore in our nation’s capital; rather a rule based on pure, raw power.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • T Shaw,
    Shea should be writing books on scripture …period. His essay on the phrase “my God” was top shelf.
    Blogging is an occasion of sin for him. I’m a stock trader. If I were a cop, I’d be arrested in the first year for excessive force…which I was almost in trouble for in a citizen’s arrest I made years ago. Shea is a book writer and outside that road…trouble follows him.

  • Mr. Bannon:

    I am sorry I have not responded to your posts. I remember you from somewhere else and your posts were usually serious, somewhat complex and required work to respond to. I am very mildly ill and too happy sitting here feeling sorry for myself to do actual work. I do remember your posts with some fondness because they were always so very honest. I pray that you are well.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • respectfully suggest that these intramural, online Catholic firefights where Catholic media personalities are criticized by name are, in the final analysis, counter productive to our task of saving souls

    Having dealt with the people that they drive off with their consistent behavior, I must respectfully suggest you are very wrong.

    Shea is causing scandal– doing something wrong (equivocating the meaning of a phrase, claiming those who disagree are supporting the culture of death) that causes harm to others (both by blackening the name of those fighting to end abortion and euthanasia as being opposed to self defense, and by driving people away)– and as his actions are public, the response needs to be public; how many times have people asked you why “nobody” speaks out about this or that Catholic public figure’s falsehoods, if they are actually false?
    As usual, Shea is trying to substitute his prudential judgment for binding Church teaching, and is nasty about it. It gets old.

  • Last summer, one of the locations that I do volunteer-work at, had the Bishop of San Jose visit for an annual festivity. PJ McGrath has waxed eloquent on gun-control and the need to eliminate guns from society as the moral obligation of a Catholic.
    So, as the great Lord Bishop disembarked at our little establishment of mercy (a skilled nursing facility), lo and behold: he was accompanied by a uniformed, and of course, armed security guard. Never know when one of the CNA’s might go postal and beat him about the mitre, I say.

    I am so glad some of our very avid gun-control-oriented episcopacy has their armed security to protect them 24-7. Arent you? Meanwhile, all of you, hand em over.

  • I’m about the same height as Mrs. Frech; I carry a 38 special revolver because those who do evil do not fight fair, and I have an obligation to protect my children even if I had some sort of philosophical delusion that the life of someone doing no wrong is . I use personal defense rounds because they’re designed so that it’s much less likely they’ll go through the badguy– or a wall– and keep going.

    It’s not magic, but it is a tool, one that doesn’t care that I am short, female and (frequently) recovering from a c-section. Criminals do care that I look like I would be easy to attack, and shame on those who object to self defense, especially on the basis of cooked statistics!

  • Richard,
    As long as you were really deleted by Shea, St. Luke will watch over your health in payment thereof. Shea deleted and banned me when I pointed out that death penalty countries were not all neanderthals per his list. Japan has the death penalty, great food, great art, kind to each other on food lines after the tsunami and…makes great cars and is sixty times safer from murder than the two largest Catholic populations on earth who are non death penalty countries…Mexico and Brazil…sixty times safer.

  • Foxfier,
    Kudos…and never let them engage you in talk as they move closer. They want your wrist. Say “freeze”…and if they take one step toward you, you shoot….as long as your state’s protocols align with that which they should. And back up if they’re within haymaker distance. Women hesitate at unusual movement. Get past all merciful hesitation. Judith beheaded Holofernes in a flash…while looking like Joss Stone singing ” I put a spell on you”.

  • Mr. Foxfier:

    Thank you for your reply. You wrote in part: “you are very wrong”. I have head that before. Are you related to my wife?

    More seriously: you are right in our obligation to deflate the balloon of scandal; but by directly confronting an individual the more important underlying issue (in this case the right and duty to self defense under natural law) becomes obscured; and there is a danger, no matter how careful we are, of also being uncharitable to the person in question.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Bill B– thanks.
    As my husband says: guns are not a melee weapon. Thankfully the Navy gave me a good basic understanding of how dang fast folks can move, especially if their weapon is already at hand. (be the weapon their body, a knife or a hammer)
    That said, I’ve still twice been caught in situations where I really should’ve had my weapon– once cornered by a crazy person at the grocery store, with my children, and once with a drunk or high psycho who literally thought he owned the road and could issue threats to those walking on the sidewalk. It’s really not nice to have to bluff your way through dangerous situations. (stupidity and ability to beat the heck out of him, respectively; problem with a bluff is that eventually it WILL be called)
    Richard W-
    You are ignoring the major, main issue in looking for an underlying one; your underlying issue is part of why Shea is wrong, but the over-arching issue is that Shea banks on HIS reputation and “authority” as speaking for the Church and pro-life groups in general.
    You also do not answer the points I made about Shea directly driving people off, and that only being able to be fixed by addressing the problem. Not broad statements of general correction, which all too easily (as he demonstrates in the source of this very topic) devolve into innuendo, passive aggressive attacks and a refusal to stand up for the facts, but “this person is wrong. Here’s why.”

  • Ms. Foxfier:

    Thank you for your reply. Mr. Shea, whom I admire for his pro life advocacy, is neither Pope, Bishop nor Pastor. He possess no teaching authority. If one disagrees with what Mr. Shea has to say one can in good conscience simply ignore him.

    You also posted in part: “You also do not answer the points I made about Shea directly driving people off”. It is his blog. He can drive off anyone he wishes to. I mean he showed great good taste in deleting my posts. After all it is only a blog. It is not like he is denying someone the sacraments.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Again, Mr. Comerford, you do not actually make any type of argument to support your claim that directly confronting Mr. Shea does more harm than good to the cause of saving souls; in fact, you change the subject to his blog, rather than sticking with the Catholic Church.
    If you are unwilling to support it, why on earth did you assert it?

  • MikeS wrote “I read Shea’s post, but not the 400+ comments. Did anyone get around to challenging him on the “30,000 corpses” statement he kept making? Last numbers I could find were 11,000 gun homicides per year. Is he including accidental deaths?”

    Accidental deaths are at an all time low thanks to vastly improved and mandated safety classes. The major number in the difference are the suicides. And of course, smart-gun technology will do nothing to stop most suicides.

  • Ms. Foxfier:

    I am sorry but I do not understand your question.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • TomD- I think I found the source.

    If you select

    1) All intents
    2) firearm
    3) Year of report 2011-2011
    you get Number of Deaths 32,351.

    That includes the ten-short-of-20k suicides, and the roughly 1k lawful-police-or-unknown-motive shots, and possibly the several hundred justifiable homicide (FBI caught 260, defined as shooting a felon during a felony by a US citizen)

    Obviously, the criminals don’t care about laws.
    Equally obvious, cases like Mrs. Frech’s “I HAVE A GUN AND WILL SHOOT YOU IF YOU COME IN” are the primary use of guns for defense– it’s a rather unusual criminal who will keep coming if he doesn’t have other advantages and isn’t out of his mind for one reason or another.

  • It’s Mrs.

    And I did not ask a question, Mr. Comerford; you made an assertion, and are steadfastly refusing to support it in anyway.

  • In late April, I was in Mr McClarey’s fair state and noticed the traffic billboard noting at that point that there were over 200 Illinois residents that had died in traffic accidents. When I returned back a week later to fly out of Mayor Rahm’s city, it was now over 220.

    So, Mr Shea must be equally concerned about traffic deaths and the outlawing of cars, because in the same year, 2011, there were actually more traffic deaths than gun-related deaths (32,367, Natl Hwy Traffic Safety Data), and the next year, the trend was up almost 5 per cent to around 34,000.

    Oh. He has never mentioned “violent” traffic fatalities? Humm.

  • Mrs. Foxfier:

    I am sorry. I have lost you. Which assertion would you like me to support please?

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • If you cannot be bothered to defend your assertion after multiple polite requests, I’m quite willing to accept that as you dropping your objection, though it wasn’t very gracefully done and has the added problem of misleading people.
    Goes rather far in proving the point of why problems need to be openly dealt with– if there is not a direct challenge, it becomes very hard for there to be a defense, let alone communication to find any sort of solution.

  • Mrs. Foxfier:

    I simply do not understand what you want. I have made five requests for clarification to you. I would be happy to oblige. Please tell em what is bothering you. Kindly be clear.

    Thank you very much.

    Richard W Comerford

  • …the Open Carry activists who tote assault rifles into public places…
    –Elaine Krewer

    It may not be true that Mark Shea and his minions don’t know what they’re talking about, but it’s a good working theory.

    (Like the media droids you and Shea parrot, you don’t know what an “assault rifle” is, do you honey?)

  • Mr. Comerford
    – that is objectively not true, as is easily found by looking at what you have written. That’s the nice thing about comment feeds like this– they make it clear when someone is trying to play games.

  • Until you can be bothered to find the manners to actually engage in conversation, rather than using the trappings and tossing out the essence, I’m not going to waste the time.

  • Mr. Elyi
    Re: Assault Rifle

    You know that is an interesting point. Just what is an assault rifle? The Germans titled their StG 44 a “storm” rifle. The Russians titled their AK 47 as an “automatic”. And the USA titled its M 16 simply as a “rifle”.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Mrs. Foxfier:

    OK. Whatever you want. If you change your mind let me know.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Micha-
    You might get a kick out of this recap of the “assault rifle” political phrase:

    If you use one definition, anything that was designed for military use is an assault rifle; by that definition, an AR-15 is not an “assault rifle.”
    If you ask the DoD, it’s automatic rifles, which… well, also not the AR-15.

    If you use gun control advocate’s definition, it means “scary looking, vaguely military gun.” Likewise “Assault weapon.”

    Like this pink trimmed 22lr:

  • Micha: I am aware that the definition of “assault rifle” varies considerably depending on who is using the term, and that in many cases it is simply a catch-all term for a “scary looking vaguely military gun”. I am also aware that attempts to ban so-called “assault rifles” often end up targeting weapons that have legitimate self-defense and sporting uses. That said, I still think that there are SOME (by no means most or all) gun rights advocates who overreact grossly to even the slightest percieved threat to their rights, and whose publicity stunts do more harm than good. Insisting that gun rights advocates can do no wrong is as counterproductive as making the opposite mistake of insisting that anyone who has any interest in owning a gun must be a bloodthirsty gun nut.

  • Elaine-
    you seem to be implying that the gun bans get some weapons that do not have legitimate self-defense and sporting uses.
    Would you care to describe what those weapons are?

  • Bill Bannon wrote, “Japan has the death penalty… and is sixty times safer from murder than the two largest Catholic populations on earth who are non death penalty countries”
    What you omit to mention is that the other eight countries with an intentional homicide rate below 1:100,000, (2010 figures) Austria (0.56), Norway (0.68), Spain (0.72), Germany (0.84), Denmark (0.85), Netherlands (0.87), Sweden (0.87) and Italy (0.97) do not have the death penalty. Austria, Italy and Spain have Catholic majorities and Germany and the Netherlands have large Catholic minorities.
    The rate in the US is 4.8:100,000, over eight and a half times the Austrian rate.

  • “You seem to be implying that the gun bans get some weapons that do not have legitimate self-defense and sporting uses. Would you care to describe what those weapons are?”

    No, actually, I don’t, because that is beside the point I was trying to make. My main point is that while most 2nd Amendment rights advocates are, to my knowledge, trustworthy, law-abiding citizens simply standing up for the right to defend themselves, there are some who go too far, like the Texas Open Carry group — which even the NRA and pro-gun groups thought stepped way out of line with some of their public displays:

    Yes, one of the linked sources is what Shea would call a “ritually impure” left-leaning publication and the other (from a pro-gun source) contains some bad language. Nevertheless, it is my opinion (not Church teaching binding on anyone) that sharing stories like Rebecca’s (of real people using guns to defend themselves and their families) is a far more effective way to convert people to the cause of 2nd Amendment rights than is walking into restaurants and stores openly displaying scary looking, vaguely military guns.

  • It does rather matter, since you characterize those you are objecting to as over-reacting to merely slight and perceived restrictions on their rights, so it does matter if you can show how the restrictions are slight and probably imaginary infringements of, per your choice of ground, legitimate defense and sporting purposes.
    Mother Jones isn’t “ritually impure,” although I can see why Shea would like to attribute that to those he disagrees with rather than making any sort of rational argument. They’re known to be wildly biased with a tendency to ignore anything against what they want to support and to cherry pick their “facts.”
    The other is childish to the extreme– “didn’t get enough hugs as a child”? This is what you wish to choose to represent your arguments, someone whose point can only be made with nasty personal insults?
    That’s like building an argument that praying outside of abortion clinics with nuns in habits is a crazy thing, and linking to “flying spaghetti monster” about how symbols of the Church like nuns and rosaries are scary, and justifying it because a pro-life group argues that it’s easier to persuade the mothers not to kill their children if you don’t look too religious. (Example chosen because it’s that “reach them” argument is one I’ve actually seen in action.)
    Why not just find the statement from the NRA? It was from the NRA-ILA in an email alert, incidentally, written by a staffer who was stating his own opinion in characterizing it, and which was disagreed with enough by the rest of the organization that it was removed.
    If you’d like to see the specific quote, here’s a source that’s not crazy:
    The NRA was objecting to a specific example of people making for bad optics in an area where open carry is fairly new and fights are still being had, because they know that the media will be hostile; see also, the people who bemoan how the Pope keeps saying things that are mauled and mangled by our media, not because he’s (some sort of insult,) but because he’s doing things that can be abused.

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour-
    that argues that the death penalty doesn’t hurt– it may point to a confused cause and effect, as well. It’s much easier to get people to let the death penalty be removed if murder is relatively uncommon.

    When Australia has drug gangs and an equivalent of the Mexican army walking across their borders, they might be a good comparison.
    Also, without looking it up, I know at least some of those Catholic countries are graying– young males commit the most murders.
    And there’s the issue of how various countries define murder or homicide… I know that at least as of a few years ago, it wasn’t murder until someone had been found guilty.
    (see also, the death rate for newborn children in the US vs countries that don’t count every child that “showed signs of life” as a “live birth”; TOF has a post about these definition problems: )

  • Michael PS,
    Europe’s present stability as to murder was partly formed by many centuries of the death penalty which was abolished only of late….Sweden 1921, Norway 1902, Denmark 1892, Austria 1968, Germany 20th century. They are safe now… partly because of centuries of the death penalty. Then add in that they do not have an ex slave underclass that the US has.
    Abolish it …the death penalty…tomorrow in Japan and Japan will stay non murderous for a very long time…unless a rich poor divide builds up.
    Several Catholic countries with the help of Pope Nicholas V ( Romanus Pontifex, mid 4th large par.) caused the crime legacy of Latin America but escaped that legacy and left it here…Spain and Portugal, the latter of which was last to leave the slave trade.
    Enter the US…which had both slavery and white indentured servants from European sources….whose descendants became our main violent criminals along with Irish and Italian etc. underclasses coming from Europe. The US attracts aggressive personalities also from all the world because to be poor here is not relaxing…it puts you in bad neighborhoods that can be lethal. Ergo we attract aggressives.
    The US needs a death penalty that does not have ten years of appeals ( Texas) or 20 years of appeals
    ( California).

    Back to Mexico. Read the ccc 2267 article virtually against the death penalty because prisons are so nice now…and then watch this tape of Mexican gangsters scaring prison guards into letting them open a cell and machine gun rival gang members ( the Mexican Human Rights Commission stated that cartels control 60% of the prisons)… you cannot turn this around with killing many if the 100,000 cartel members:

  • correct last phrase: you cannot turn this around without killing many of the 100,000 cartel members.

  • Regarding assault rifle bans: HO HUM . . . I am of of those million in NY.

    4/17/2014: “The SAFE Act, passed in New York last year, had an April 15 deadline for owners of assault-style weapons to register their guns with the state. Some 1 million residents have refused to abide.”

    2/20/2014: Instapundit: “I love the people who say you could never deport all the illegals, but who think you could lock up all the gun owners.”

    J. D. Tuccille: “This successful example of mass defiance horrifies the editorial board of the Hartford Courant, which shudders at the sight of the masses not obeying an order that, history, tells us, never had a shot at wide compliance. But compliance with gun registration would have been a historical aberration. Gun restrictions of all sorts breed defiance everywhere they’re introduced.”

    1/27/2014: Irish democracy: CT scrambles for “amnesty” after masses refuse to register their assault weapons and high-magazine capacities.

  • Reagrding so-called open-carry: I was stationed in Ca when that great state was yet part of America. Ronald Reagan was governr. Then, it was legal to carry a sidearm if it was in plain sight. I think the concealed carry was illegal.

    Now (last I heard), 33 (out of 57 if you’re an Obama-worshiping idiot) US states have not self-eliminated from America and have passed legislation allowing so-called concealed carry. My son in TN always has a .45 on his person, except when on post where he must needs be unarmed so that a terrrorist may safely kill him.

  • Foxfier
    I think you are confusing Australia (which I did not mention) with Austria. Australia’s 2010 rate was 1.16, more than twice that of Austria.
    You are certainly right about young males committing the most “intentional homicides” as we classify them in Scotland, that is both murders and those cases where provocation, diminished responsibility or excess in self-defence reduces the crime to Culpable Homicide. I believe the corresponding Anglo-American term is Voluntary Manslaughter.In 2011-2012, in Scotland, the young males (aged 16 to 20 years) were the most likely to be accused in homicide cases. The accused rate per million population was more than six times greater for 16 to 20 year old males, at 148 accused per million population, compared to the national average of 24 per million population In 2012-2013, it was males aged 21 to 30 years that were the most likely to be accused in homicide cases. The accused rate per million population was more than five times greater for 21 to 30 year old males, at 82 accused per million population, compared to the national average of 16 per million population.

  • “Now (last I heard), 33 (out of 57 if you’re an Obama-worshiping idiot) US states have not self-eliminated from America and have passed legislation allowing so-called concealed carry.”

    Actually, all 50 states now have (at least on paper) provisions for concealed carry by ordinary citizens; the last holdout, Illinois, approved it last year and thousands of state residents are now carrying or taking the necessary steps to obtain permits. The main difference between states at this point is “shall issue” — a permit must be issued to anyone who meets the legal qualifications — vs. “may issue” — permits are granted only at the discretion of a local or state official. At last count, 4 states (HI, MD, NJ and RI) were “restrictive may-issue” statewide; 3 (CA, NY and MA) had “may issue” laws that varied by locality; 2 (CT and DE) were classed as “permissive may-issue”; and 5 states (VT, AR, AK, WY and AZ) had no carry restrictions. The remaining 36 states are “shall-issue”.

  • Also, this animated graphic shows the spread of concealed carry laws across the nation over the past three decades:

    As recently as 1986, only 8 states had “shall issue” concealed carry laws and 16 states — mostly in the South and Midwest — were still “no issue.”

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour –
    Yes, I read the second “Austria” as “Australia” and thought you were trying to draw a more equivalent comparison– a country that doesn’t have wooden houses older than the country’s culture, closer in population and cultural diversity, higher migration rate (Australia actually has a higher rate than the US, per 1k population, though raw numbers are something like 780k for the US and 129k for Australia) and so on– although it doesn’t have a land border, it does have a lot of “refugee” boats.

    In that case, it’s not a decent comparison at all; it’s a smaller, muuuuuuuuch more established culture, more homogeneous (over 90% ethnic Austrians), much older population that has a big population bulge at 40-60 rather than the US’s slight bulge at 60 to… well, hard to tell, because it’s a very gradual drop to 40, and then it bounces back up at 35 for another spike at 20-25. (Looking at the CIA’s World Factbook population graph.

    Additionally, it doesn’t have an equivalent of the Mexico border.

  • Elaine Krewer-
    Part of the push for shall issue laws was people recognizing that they could not trust those in authority to exercise basic sense as had been the traditional expectation, so laws spelling out exactly what would disqualify a person were put in place.

    Comments to the effect that fearing for your life is not a compelling reason to carry a gun had something to do with that…. (Chief Zavaras of Denver, ’88)

  • Foxfier
    But I was not comparing Austria, or any of the other countries I cited with the United States, which I agree would be absurd. I was comparing them with Japan.
    Bill Bannon had attributed Japan’s very low intentional homicide rate – in fact, the lowest in the world at 0.36:100,000 – to its having the death penalty.
    Now, in my submission, the other countries I cited, all with an intentional homicide rate below 1:100,000, can fairly be compared with Japan and none of them employ capital punishment.

  • It is not without interest to note that in Public International Law, those who carry concealed weapons are treated as franc-tireurs or unlawful combatants.
    The requirement that combatants carry arms openly was, I believe (I am not a Publicist) first set out in the proposed Brussels Declaration of 1874 and was adopted in Article I of the Hague Regulations of 1907 and repeated in Article 4 of the Geneva Convention of 1949.
    There does seem to be something sneaky about it. In both France and the UK, laws against carrying concealed weapons abounded, when the open wearing of swords or dirks was commonplace.

  • “There does seem to be something sneaky about it.”

    Not at all. It is a very good thing that miscreants be uncertain if their next victim may be carrying arms. Security for politicians around the globe invariably involves agents in plain clothes who are carrying concealed weapons. In Europe, with the exception of the Czech Republic which allows concealed carry, as is so often the case in many areas, it seems there is one law for the ruled and other for the rulers.

  • Donald M McClarey

    “In Europe, with the exception of the Czech Republic which allows concealed carry, as is so often the case in many areas, it seems there is one law for the ruled and other for the rulers.”

    The Brussels Declaration was based, in part, on the experience of French farmers taking pot-shots at Prussian troops in the aftermath of Sedan.

    The government of Thiers tightened up French gun laws considerably after the crushing of the Paris Commune, including the Law of 14 March 1872 abolishing the National Guard; whatever benefits it offered in time of war were more than outweighed by the threat it posed to internal stability (they kept their Tabatière rifles at home!). As a result, there has not been an armed insurrection in metropolitan France since.

  • “The Brussels Declaration was based, in part, on the experience of French farmers taking pot-shots at Prussian troops in the aftermath of Sedan.”

    As you might have guessed MPS, I am well versed in the military history of the Franco-Prussian War and its aftermath. European governments routinely treat their people as subjects rather than as citizens, which includes France which has long demonstrated that democratic verbiage and ruthless centralization of power can walk hand in hand. The sheep like way in which, notable heroic exceptions to the contrary, the French lived under Nazi and Vichy rule from 1941-1944 demonstrates the advantages of a disarmed population for tyrants.

  • MPS, do you think there might be some utility to these sorts of regulations in a society which suffered repeated violent disorders between 1789 and 1871 and societies which did not? Re France, If the regulation is shopworn, can we repeal it?

    While we are at it, there are about 68 million people living in metropolitan France. I would think there would be some room for devolving police power, don’t you?

    You’re not quite getting the significance of chatter about ‘gun control’ in this country. Recreational hunting and target shooting are a class and subcultural marker. At the same time, violent crime is very unevenly distributed. The situation is a somewhat fuzzier down South, but where I grew up, the homicide rate in non-metropolitan counties is 1.14 per 100,000. In suburban zones and in the more agreeable inner-city neighborhoods, it might climb to 2.4 per 100,000. In the less agreeable sort of inner city neighborhood, it can range from 12 to 35 per 100,000. Fully two thirds of the homicides in the region where I grew up are in an inner city zone where live about 10% of the total population and nearly all unsolved homicides are in that zone. Please note that gun ownership is pervasive in small towns and rural areas in New York and if you do not process your deer you know someone who does.

    Sport hunters are not invading slum neighborhoods and putting a dose of lead in post-adolescent slum dwellers and gun regulations will be a weak vector in influencing rates of violent crime. Inner-city violence is the issue of what sociologists delicately call ‘social disorganization’ in the slums. Containing and ameliorating that (what’s been done very effectively) requires boots on the ground. The idea of fixed standards defined according to the general public’s dispositions and enforced by cops with the manners and sensibility cops have is repulsive to a certain sort of bourgeois. The objects of this enforcement are part of the Democratic Party’s clientele. How do you resolve this dissonance between social reality and the Vision of the Anointed? By sticking the bill with people you despise, and that’s Mr. Diehl who hunts deer and Mr. Tomaselli who bought a pistol when one of his neighbors suffered a home invasion.

  • Art Deco wrote, “Re France, If the regulation is shopworn, can we repeal it?”
    Certainly. If the National Assembly is minded to turn Saint-Denis, La Courneuve or Clichy-sous-Bois into a passable imitation of Gaza City or San Pedro Sula, there is nothing to stop them doing so.

    Here, too, shooting is a class marker; the typical charge for grouse shooting is £150 ($255) per brace shot, not including gratuities to loaders and beaters. Other driven game, partridge or pheasant is rather less expensive. For deer stalking one pays around £150 ($255) a day, including transport and a ghillie, which is not bad. Of course, most landowners and farmers will let anyone they know shoot rabbits and pigeons and, especially, Canada Geese for nothing. I had a Labrador I used to lend people. He enjoyed working, but, if anyone shot over him, he would come home.

    I own shotguns myself, a pair of James Purdey 29” 12-bores and a 31” pigeon-gun, all inherited. I keep them in the bank. At around £30K ($51K) each second-hand, they would be a magnet to thieves, rather than a deterrent. I keep a cheap Italian 410-bore 29” barrel at home for rough shooting. It is worth about £100 ($170). I keep it in a windowless tack-room with a steel door, along with my saddles. The ammunition I store elsewhere in an under-floor safe.

  • Here, too, shooting is a class marker;

    Different business here. It’s all up and down the social scale but tends not to include the salaried bourgeois, especially outside the South and the Plains and Mountain states. The go-to guy for hunting advice in my old office was the building custodian. Bow, rifle, muzzleloader season every year. The man could fill his freezer for the winter. Ironically, he doesn’t care for venison.

  • Unless they’re military. A lot of all flavors of (male) military– even the folks whose families have no tradition of it– pick up hunting.

    Oddly, the only group I’ve found that is less likely to hunt is the special forces and some of their support. My little brother accidentally made several big, tough, combat-tested SEALs physically ill when they found out that the jerky he was sharing was “bambi.”

  • Art Deco & Foxfier

    I love venison and I can gralloch one, too. A bit fiddly to prepare for roasting, but I have spent many a happy hour with a larding needle. Stewed is good, too.

    I am not a particularly good cook, but my dinner party dish is salmis de pigeon, roasted and finished in a game stock and wine sauce, something I was taught by an old French lady, when I was a schoolboy. She had been a cook/housekeeper in a noble, but impoverished family in the Auvergne. It is a good way to cook duck, too, teal or wigeon. Lapin a la moutarde I can do as well.

    In the winter, if I am in Scotland, I have game two or three times a week

  • the typical charge for grouse shooting is £150 ($255) per brace shot, not including gratuities to loaders and beaters. Other driven game, partridge or pheasant is rather less expensive. For deer stalking one pays around £150 ($255) a day, including transport and a ghillie, which is not bad.

    Sounds like an episode of Midsommer Murders.

  • The price of two days “deer stalking” is more than my dad’s new AR, including ammo.

  • “As a result, there has not been an armed insurrection in metropolitan France since.”

    I guess you don’t count the Molotov cocktails used by France’s North African youths against France’s Citroens and Peugeots and Renaults to be arms, MPS.

  • TomD wrote, “guess you don’t count the Molotov cocktails used by France’s North African youths against France’s Citroens and Peugeots and Renaults to be arms”
    No more than I would consider the OAS campaign an armed insurrection, despite such episodes of violence as the machine-gunning of the Communist Party headquarters in the Place Kossuth on 4 January 1962, the bombing of the Quai d’Orsay on the 22nd January (which I actually witnessed – I was just beside Voltaire’s statue on the rue de Seine, when the front of the building blew out), or the dozens of other plastiques around that period. In one night, 17 January (la Nuit Bleue) there were 18 in Paris alone.
    The attacks of the plastiqueurs became as frequent as they were inept. They bombed the wrong floor of Satre’s apartment-block on the Rue Bonapart and of André Malraux’s in Boulange-sur-Seine on 7 February, blinding little four-year-old Delphine Renard. The subsequent demonstration by 10,000 workers (banned by the authorities) on the following day resulted in the massacre of the Charonne Métro (the Soirée Sanglante), when eight demonstrators, including three women and a sixteen-year-old boy were killed by the police pitching demonstrators, iron tree-guards and marble-topped café tables onto those sheltering in the stair-well. On the following Tuesday, 13 February, the funerals took place at Père Lachaise. Again, demonstrations were banned, but that did not stop half-a-million trade unionists following the coffins, heaped with red carnations as the crowds sang the workers’ great anthem against fascism,
    « C’est la lutte finale
    Groupons-nous, et demain
    Sera le genre humain »
    – and not a policeman anywhere in sight.
    That day, Algérie Francaise was buried – by the OAS
    Terrorist attacks, public disorder, yes, but armed insurrection, no.

  • “Ms. De Voe: Thank you for your reply. I do not mean to offend but on these matters I tend to first look to the Church rather than the glorious documents produced by our Founding Fathers, in part because said documents are based on natural law; and in part because I do not think there is a rule of law anymore in our nation’s capital; rather a rule based on pure, raw power. God bless Richard W Comerford”
    It appears Richard W. Comerford, that you reject our founding documents because they are based on natural law and our Creator, and you adhere to church teaching; obviously, because Church teaching is no longer respected and outright banned by our government, leaving ordinary citizens with no refuge, in harm’s way.
    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.”
    Ratified by all the colonies July 4th 1776
    Amendment 1 – Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression.
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
    Ratified by all the states 12/15/1791.
    Citizens have a right to express their grievances. Citizens are entitled to a redress of grievances.
    Obama writes Executive Orders and ratifies these orders for himself and declares that the citizens are his subjects when he bothers himself to remember the citizens. When Obama acts outside of the Constitution, he acts outside of his citizenship and takes nobody else with him, for this is Obama’s personal opinion and Obama is totally responsible for his actions, and may not take the USA with him into annihilation.
    All free lands and waterways are owned in joint and common tenancy by each and every citizen. You own it all and I own it all.
    In the last days of Bill Clinton’s time in office, Clinton wrote an Executive Order making all free lands and waterways the property of the Chief Executive. Clinton wrote it and ratified it for himself. If Hillary gets into the president’s office, will she acknowledge the property that belongs to all citizens? Will she let us share our property? If the free lands and waterways become the property of the government, will these properties be used to pay off the national debt? Will foreign interest be free to violate our borders at will and take possession of property that was given over to them as debt holders by an illegitimate act of government?
    Maybe the people will need weaponry to defend against intruders, usurpers invited by our government, our government which hasn’t the will of water running down hill.

  • Sorry to be late to the party: If homicide statistics from Detroit, Chicago, New York City and New Orleans are removed from calculations, the United States would rank near the bottom of country by country comparisons. The anti-gun rights people like to demonize the so-called gun culture of we hayseed hillbillies out in the sticks but it is the urban hell holes run by entrenched Democratic politicians that contribute the statistics the Left uses seeking to disarm us. Why do those gathered to the left seek to disarm the rest of us? I think it’s ideological at best and coldly practical at worst. God save us.

Revenge of the Bitter Clingers

Thursday, September 12, AD 2013

5 Responses to Revenge of the Bitter Clingers

  • Instapundit: “Well, when you try to deny people’s civil rights, there should be swift consequences.”

    Dave Kopel: “It’s one thing for a deliberately polarizing legislator like Morse to lose a close race in a swing district. It’s quite another for Giron to lose by 12 points in a district that is 47% Democratic and 23% Republican. One reason is that in blue collar districts like Pueblo, there are plenty of Democrats who cling to their Second Amendment rights. As the Denver Post noted, 20% of the voters who signed the Giron recall petitions were Democrats.”

  • An awakening?!!
    Gods Speed!
    May this be a trend throughout the Republic.

  • The gun law wasn’t his only problem. From the Colorado Springs Gazette:

    “Morse raised utility rates, burdening Coloradans who struggle to get by. He tried to force firefighters to unionize in Colorado Springs, even though the public twice voted against it. Morse supported an assortment of other jobs-killing bills that caused a large primary employer and a national television production to abandon our state.

    At issue is House Bill 1303, known to Morse and other proponents as the “Colorado Voter Access and Modernized Elections Act.” When it became law, Democrats praised it as a new model for the rest of the country. Ironically, Morse and other advocates promoted the bill as something that might ease voting and enfranchise voters. It shortens the residency requirements, moves polling locations and generally reduces traditional eligibility standards for receiving mail-in ballots. The law even allows voter registration on the day of an election.”

  • Pour encourager les autres.

  • I have followed these issues for over fifty years and see it as part of the larger culture war and an agenda on the part of many to completely disarm the American public. The totalitarian tendency thrives in the Utopian mind-set. The Founders were wise to foresee this potential and provide against it. Cast the Constitution lightly away and the heavy hand of the super-state will crush us all.

Various and Sundry, 8/23/13

Friday, August 23, AD 2013

Sadly all vacations must come to an end, but on the bright side that means I’m back with some linky goodness.

The Debate We Aren’t Having

Three thugs murdered a young man simply because they were bored. Naturally this means we need to have another debate about the “gun culture” in this country. No, that’s not the debate we need to be having right now, at least according to the Wall Street Journal.

If Gun Control Worked, Chicago Would Be Mayberry

Speaking of guns,  Jim Geraghty quotes from a speech given by Cam Edwards.

If gun control worked, Chicago would be Mayberry right now! And Weld County and El Paso County would be Thunderdome! You guys wouldn’t have [Weld County] Sheriff [John] Cooke, you would have Tina Turner and Mel Gibson running around! It would be horrible! But that’s not real life! Real life is gun control not working in Chicago. Real life is gun control failing in Camden, New Jersey, and Oakland, California, and a lot of other communities in this country . . .

We are pushing back with the lawsuits, with the phone calls to our legislators, by electing officials and supporting elected officials who listen to us. But we’re also pushing back by being grownups, and by being okay at it. By having hundreds of people show up at a range and fire thousands of shotgun shells . . . and everybody’s okay! And now we’re enjoying cigars and drinks and we’ll all get home safely tonight, right?

Because we can control our lives! We can manage our lives! It’s not too difficult. We’re not perfect. We may eat a little too much dessert every now and then. We may not be able to beat that one bad habit, like smoking cigarettes, whatever. But we’re a heck of a lot more capable than our government gives us credit for, aren’t we?

Exposing Another Lunatic

Earlier this year some virulently anti-Jewish and anti-gay literature was spread around Oberlin College. Just another angry, right-wing loon, right? Err, wrong.

One of the two students removed from Oberlin College earlier this year for allegedly circulating virulently racist, anti-Jewish and anti-gay messages around campus  is an ardent leftist and committed supporter of President Barack Obama, The Daily Caller News Foundation has learned.

Rallying Around a Pedophile

Throughout the height of the Church’s crisis, I don’t recall too many Catholics actually defending or supporting the guilty priests. Sadly the same cannot be said for many citizens of Rose City, Michigan, where a former teacher (if only they could be married) named Neal Erickson was sentenced to 15-30 years in jail for first degree criminal sexual conduct. Erickson had had a “relationship” with an 8th grader, and this “relationship” was exposed by an anonymous letter. But Erickson was such a swell guy, you see, and really the 8th grader welcomed the “relationship” so it’s all good.

In May of this year, Circuit Court Judge Michael Baumgartner started receiving letters of support.  Not for the victim, but for Erickson.   Ten letters, nine of which were written by former or current teachers of the district, were entered into the record.  Many talked of Erickson’s dedication to a local 6th grade camp. (Yikes).  They all proved two things.  You cannot take back the words you write.  And these idiots just don’t get it.

His wife, Toni Erickson, wrote that the person that released the photo, “…simply wanted to embarrass the school district, and expose others.”  She further proclaims the victim (I will not share his name, though it has been made public) isn’t a victim at all.  “X does not perceive himself to be a victim, nor is he living a life that has been negatively impacted by Neal’s actions.”  She DOES know who the real victim is in all of this.  “Going to prison can’t punish him anymore than he has been already – but there is someone who will be punished if he is sent away – my daughter, Margaret.”


But it gets worse.  Sally Campbell, also a teacher, writes in her letter, “Neal made a mistake.  He allowed a mutual friendship to develop into much more.”  Harriet H. Coe, retired teacher, wanted to remind the judge that “Neal is, was, and always will be a good, kind, responsible, hardworking person.”

Suddenly Detroit doesn’t look like the most messed up town in Michigan.

Mike Trout is Awesome at Baseball

Miguel Cabrera is the best pure hitter in the game, but there’s no better all-around talent in the game than Trout. And he’s only 21.

Satire That Wasn’t Intended as Satire

Earlier this week Ace had a lot of fun with a new novel titled Christian Nation, written by Frederic C. Rich. Here is a description.

Christian Nation is a work of speculative political fiction, arising from the counterfactual of a McCain/Palin victory in 2008 followed soon after by McCain’s sudden death and Sarah Palin’s ascension to the presidency.

When the book opens, eight years have passed since the Holy War ended in victory for the fundamentalist Christian forces. Americans live in bondage to a comprehensive authoritarian law called The Blessing, enforced by a totally integrated digital world known as the Purity Web. The Narrator, Greg, whose best friend led the opposition to the theocratic movement, is brought to a secret abandoned cabin in upstate New York and told to remember and write.

The Christian right made no secret of its decades-long quest for political power, and did not hide what they would do if they got that power. Greg writes: “They said what they would do, and we did not listen. Then they did what they said they would do.” Struggling with perspective and memory, the memoirist recounts the country’s long slow descent to religious authoritarianism, propelled by economic distress, a second major terrorist attack, and the fanatical ambitions of an extremist evangelical minority.


Anyway, Ace poked a little fun at some of the sparkling dialogue from this true masterpiece. As always, the comments are a must-read as well.

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3 Responses to Various and Sundry, 8/23/13

  • Welcome back Paul. Vacations are too short and work is too long!

    “Ten letters, nine of which were written by former or current teachers of the district, were entered into the record. Many talked of Erickson’s dedication to a local 6th grade camp. (Yikes). They all proved two things. You cannot take back the words you write. And these idiots just don’t get it.”

    Letters of support for someone undergoing sentencing are fairly typical. The sentencing judge was shocked in this case however. To have fellow teachers rallying around another teacher who stands convicted of sexually abusing one of his pupils illustrates not only that they are morally bereft but they are as stupid as wooden posts. I have known several teachers who have gotten out of teaching because they were appalled by the quality, or rather the lack thereof, of their fellow teachers.

  • About 20 years ago, I decided to go to grad school (I choose University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and was accepted) to get my teacher certification. One of the things I had to sign was a “moral turpitude” form–promising I was a good person who didn’t do vile things and understood that “vile things” could be grounds for loosing a job, etc.

    I assume that the teachers in question also had to sign such forms as well, including the one who had the “relationship” with his student. Hmm, grade 8? So the boy was about 3 or 14? That is statutory rape isn’t it?

    As it turns out, I decided against going to get my teacher degree and didn’t go to U of M. All too often of the past 20 years, I’m thankful for that change of heart.

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What Is In the Water In Colorado?

Wednesday, March 6, AD 2013



I have had two prior posts on Democrat Colorado legislators, here and here, who apparently would prefer to see women raped then armed.  Ace, at Ace of Spades, brings to the fore a third Democrat, Senator Evi Hudak.


You’re a dumb little girl and you don’t know what you’re talking about.  Why don’t you stop talking, dumb little girl?

Katie Pavlich previously reported her story.  I’m going to quote some of it, but you should probably read it all.

Amanda Collins is a young rape survivor. While in college in 2007, she was raped 50 feet away from the campus police department office at the University of Nevada-Reno and was lucky to get out alive. Her attacker was James Biela, a serial rapist who raped two other women and murdered another. He attacked her at gun point in a gun free zone. At the time of the attack, Collins was in possession of a concealed weapons permit but was not in possession of her firearm due to university policies prohibiting carrying concealed weapons on campus.

“I was legislated into being a victim,” Collins said.


Well, that’s a hell of a story, and a hell of an inconvenience for the Bullets-Don’t-Work-On-Criminals crowd.  Fortunately, Democratic State Senator Evi Hudak was there to propagate this theory:

Well, I just want to say statistics are not on your side, even if you had had a gun. You said that you were a martial arts student, I mean person, experience in taekwondo, and yet because this individual was so large and was able to overcome you even with your skills, and chances are that if you had had a gun, then he would have been able to get than from you and possibly use it against you,” Hudak said.Collins responded by saying, “Respectfully Senator, you weren’t there…I was there, I know without a doubt in my mind at some point I would have been able to stop my attack by using my firearm. He already had a weapon of his own, he didn’t need mine.”


Ms. Hudak probably doesn’t know what “semi-automatic” means, given that she seems unclear that a gun is a projectile weapon usable at range.  She seems to not understand the rapist was interested in a live girl, not a dead body, and that Collins, however, would have been quite interested in a dead rapist.  As rape must be conducted at touching distance, but shooting can occur at touching distance to hundreds of yards away, I’m a bit flabbergasted by this notion that a rapist would obviously just take a gun away from a woman.

Is he going to deflect bullets with his Sith hands, too?

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2 Responses to What Is In the Water In Colorado?

  • “At the time of the attack, Collins was in possession of a concealed weapons permit but was not in possession of her firearm due to university policies prohibiting carrying concealed weapons on campus.” …university needs to be sued.

  • “This is just the sort of story that confirms that some gun-controllers have little or no interest in the proven effectiveness of citizens in defending themselves. For them such information is completely beside the point. Victims should sue those who contribute their injury, and we all should take seriously the violation of their oath of office by so many elected officials. Private ownership of guns is an obstacle to the establishment of a dictatorship, and many on the left are so blinded by ideology that they cannot see the dictatorship they are building, legislative brick by brick.

Prayer When It Suits Them

Friday, January 25, AD 2013


Pro-abort Senator Diane Feinstein, (D.CA)  at her press conference yesterday at which she displayed the guns she wants to ban, had it begin with a prayer by Episcopalian Canon Gary Hall, who runs the laughingly entitled Episcopalian “National Cathedral” in Washington, DC.  Canon Hall made news for himself earlier in the week by announcing that same-sex “marriages” would be performed at the “National Cathedral”.  I found it intriguing that a representative of a dying church would be tagged to baptize Feinstein’s gun grabbing efforts.

The Episcopal Church is clearly rotting away.

Self-reported statistics provided by the denomination this month show that the church has dropped from 2,006,343 members in 2009 to 1,951,907 in 2010, the most recent reporting year. The loss of 54,436 members increases the annual rate of decline from 2 percent to 3 percent, outpacing the most recently reported declines in most other mainline churches. The church’s 10-year change in active members has dropped 16 percent.

A branch of the otherwise fast-growing 80 million member worldwide Anglican Communion, the third largest family of Christian churches globally, the Episcopal Church had also seen a steady decrease in the number of parishes, losing or closing over 100 in 2010, as well as a drop in attendance from 682,963 in 2009 to 657,831 in 2010, a 4 percent drop. Fifty-four percent of all U.S. Episcopal Churches suffered attendance loss over the prior year. Over the last decade, attendance was down 23 percent.
The denomination, which once claimed over 3.5 million members as recently as the mid-1960s, has lost over 40 percent of membership even while the U.S. population grew by over 50 percent.



Why this is occurring is easy to determine by reading an article on Canon Gary Hall at The American Spectator.

Unlike some of his predecessors, Hall is not content to host conversational forums with authors and poets or preside over high-profile funerals like those of Gerald Ford and Neil Armstrong. From calling in December for new firearms restrictions, to announcing last week that the massive gothic church is available for gay weddings, Hall embraces liberal causes as easily as he dismisses traditional Christianity.


Previous generations of liberal Episcopal clergy often spoke in layers of obfuscation; discovering the heretical teaching buried in their writing and preaching required hours of decoding. Hall represents a younger generation of liberal Episcopalians who resemble nothing so much as Unitarian Universalists decked out in stoles and surplices; they are quick to denounce those who advocate historic Christian teaching—especially moral teaching—as intolerant perpetrators of injustice who must be silenced.

In an October interview with the Detroit Free PressHall announced that he is, “not about trying to convert someone to Christianity. I don’t feel I’m supposed to convert Jews or Muslims or Hindus or Buddhists or Native Americans to Christianity so that they can be saved. That’s not an issue for me.”

Hall was also forthcoming about the fact that he finds common cause with those who do not profess a faith in Jesus Christ.

“I have much more in common with progressive Jews, Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists than I do with certain people in my own tradition, with fundamentalist Christians,” Hall declared. “The part of Christianity I stand with is the part in which we can live with ambiguity and with pluralism.”

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13 Responses to Prayer When It Suits Them

  • Hall sounds as though he has given up reading and following Holy scripture and 2nd Jn 1:9 comes to mind; “Whosoever revolteth, and continueth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God.” No conversions Hall stated.
    He is a heretic.

  • Self-reported statistics provided by the denomination this month show that the church has dropped from 2,006,343 members in 2009 to 1,951,907 in 2010, the most recent reporting year.

    Maybe classification of Episcopal sermons as “assault weapons” should be explored.

  • They’re still waving them blood-stained, little shirts.

    They have no decency. They desperately need distractions, hysteria, and out-right lies to divert people’s attention from the massive economic mess they created.

    Such guys make it up as they go.

    And, lying, vile liberals are “trading up.” “Patriotism” or “What about the children!” were fall back positions.

    Now, add morally destitute, pisky prayers.

    That there are close to 2 million signed up with this so-called religious institution says more about those people than about the institution.

  • The national cathedral in the US, to the extent there is one, is St. Patrick’s in New York, the Saddleback Church in California, or the Salt Lake Temple. When the presidential and VP candidates, the Senate Majority Leader, the Speaker of the house, and the nine, ahem, “finest” legal minds in the country don’t include one mainstream Protestant, it’s time to stop pretending that they represent the heart of American thought.

  • The Washington cathedral is a very handsome piece of architecture. It is a great pity that it has fallen into the hands of this buffoon.

    Go here to read the rest. Once upon a time the Episcopal Church was the church of most of the elites in our society: the Old Money, the WASP aristocracy. It was not uncommon for Protestants, and a few Catholics, as they climbed the social ladder, to join the Episcopal Church as a sign of “having arrived”. No more. The Episcopal Church is a dying church where Christianity has been supplanted by Leftist politics.

    James Hashcookies Pike, disgraced ‘Bishop’ of California, among them. In a letter to his mother, “Almost everyone at our social level is an Episcopalian. An RC or a straight protestant is as rare as hen’s teeth.” (See Joan Didion’s White Album).

    You could call it ‘leftist politics’, but ‘cloying mush’ might get closer to it. I was at one time a member of a ‘young adults’ discussion circle at an Anglican parish. We scarcely ever had a serious discussion of anything. Would you believe, though, that two individuals from that small discussion circle later repaired to the seminary and were subsequently ordained? One has in the intervening years had stable employment as a rector, the other not. They are both bloggers; one is much more opinionated than the other.

    A Catholic priest of my acquaintance once said this, “I want to get to heaven, and I want to take you with me’. It is impossible to imagine such clarity of purpose from an Anglican vicar. I knew those two satisfactorily well, but I could not tell you then or now what their lodestars were (or are) or why they thought they had a vocation. One has a soft spot for Latin American reds (and Planned Parenthood) and the other for homosexual men. The best explanation I have ever heard of the behavior of clergymen like this (courtesy Leon Podles) is that they sought ordination because they wanted to be den mothers.

    Then again, who’d want to talk to this guy?

  • His remarks are in three sections. The insipid prayer is at the end, the policy jabber (revealing he knows next-to-nothing about the issue at hand) in the middle, and a self-referential spiel at the beginning. And you know what? It is a textbook performance. For upwards of 30 years, Anglican communicants have been treated to clergy making fools of themselves in just this way.

  • Art Deco, it’s appropriate that you mention Bishop James Pike, since he was one of the ‘new’ clergymen who did much to accelerate decline in the Episcopal Church. His agendas were mostly political and of the leftist sort, and his attendance at a seance was of course highly heterodox. Incidentally, he died a rather strange death: He ran out of water while travelling through the desert.

  • I find far more troubling the presiding bishop Schori. I can’t seem to pin her down though she strikes me as gnostic.

  • Art Deco, it’s appropriate that you mention Bishop James Pike, since he was one of the ‘new’ clergymen who did much to accelerate decline in the Episcopal Church.

    The House of Bishops did not have the cojones to put him in front of an ecclesiastical tribunal, though the bill of particulars was quite considerable (canonically invalid marriage, serial adultery, and, what was publicly well-known, heresy). He resigned in 1966 and saved them the trouble. He was the first of many rogues not properly disciplined.

  • Forgot about the serial adultery. Yes, he stood in stark contrast to the Rev. Richard Emrich, whose book “We Hold these Truths” represented the epitome of everything the Episcopal church and much of our society once stood for.

  • Isn’t he the grandson of Woodrow Wilson?

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  • I’m starting a Catholic gun rights and education group. Most of the blogging activity will occur here under the tag Defending Your Family. Anyone who is interested may email me here or just leave a comment. There are no dues and the list of members and supporters will be kept totally private.

This is Why We Have a Constitution, and Why the Alternative is Tyranny

Wednesday, January 16, AD 2013

New York’s Trespass Act of 1783  offered relief for Patriots who had fled New York City during the time of the Revolutionary “by permitting them to recover damages from persons who had occupied or used their premises during the war.” Common law had typically required  “that actions for trespass must be tried where the property was located, but the act allowed Patriots to sue in any court where the defendant could be found.” It also denied the laws of war by prohibiting the accused of arguing that they had been acting “under orders of the occupying British army, and the act also prohibited the defendants from appealing to a higher court.” (Citations from Forrest McDonald, Novus Ordo Seclorum.)

The New York Trespass Act was but one of many factors that led to the creation of the written United States Constitution. Under the Articles of Confederation government, the states had almost unlimited authority to pass any laws they pleased. The only check on the state governments were the citizens of the several states. Unfortunately, the people themselves were often the impetus behind the enactment of unjust laws.

The Constitution was a reaction to life under the Articles of Confederation. Though conservatives like to point out that the government created under the Constitution is one of limited powers – a fact which is undeniably true – the Constitution actually enhanced the powers of the federal government and was meant, in part, to curb some of the excesses of unlimited state authority.
In truth the Constitution was a perfect balancing act. The Federalists hoped to strengthen the federal government while simultaneously placing significant limits on the powers of said government. They wanted to mitigate the excesses of democratic government in the states while continuing to leave most of the day-to-day governing authority in the hands of local government. The Constitution is a document designed to prevent the outbreak of democratic despotism, but which also aimed at limiting the reach of government. These are not contradictory aims. As much as it may surprise political philosophers such as Piers Morgan to hear, purely democratic governments can become tyrannical – ask Plato and Aristotle about that.
If we understand the genesis of our Constitution then we can better understand why we revere it and strive to live as much as we can by the letter of said Constitution. It’s not because it’s some old, musty document and we just have a blind devotion to old things. There was a wisdom and a theory behind the Constitution that made as much sense in 1787 as it does in 2013.
And now, due to the gun control debate, we have proof of why the Federalists were right, and why we are inching closer to tyranny.
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27 Responses to This is Why We Have a Constitution, and Why the Alternative is Tyranny

  • Excellentem progymnasmam scripsis, Paule. Tibi gratias!

  • “Reasonable” has become, for me, an hated word.

    It is the word used to characterize every proposal one favors and to describe my comming around to the thinking of others. And so, reducing abortions while keeping the practice legal is a “reasonable” position and taking money from the “wealthy” to buy frivolous things for others is “reasonable.” if one holds to a view that a practice is inherently wrong, one is “unreasonable,” an “extremist.”

    So it is with the firearms debate. Requiring citizens to register their firearms is simply “reasonable” we are told. To oppose this is “unreasonable” and fears of tyranny and Constitutional Rights, are viewed as unreasonable fears. So too with concerns about unilateral executive action. Since the legislature isn’t doing what the public clamors for quickly enough, it is “reasonable” for the President to act without authority to cater to the whim of the majority.

    I fear, old friend, that you are right. Having forgotten lessons so painfully learned over 2000 years of Western history that liberty is hard won and easily and incrementally lost, we are wresting power from all authorities to resist tyranny.

  • Kipling said it well:

    “Ancient Right unnoticed as the breath we draw– Leave to live by no man’s leave, underneath the Law–

    Lance and torch and tumult, steel and grey-goose wing, Wrenched it, inch and ell and all, slowly from the King.

    Till our fathers ‘stablished, after bloody years, How our King is one with us, first among his peers.

    So they bought us freedom–not at little cost– Wherefore must we watch the King, lest our gain be lost.”

    The fight for freedom is never finally won or lost, but must be fought for again when dangers to it arise.

  • Jan.16th Religious Freedom Day! What a great President! We cares about us so much and our Constitution that he proclaimed the 16th of Jan. to forever be Religious Freedom Day.

    LIAR! I find it hard to share Christian love with tyrants.

  • Kiplig,

    “Freedom for ourselves
    And, Freedom for our sons.
    And failing freedom – War!”

  • In truth the Constitution was a perfect balancing act.

    No. It is a balancing act.

    If we understand the genesis of our Constitution then we can better understand why we revere it and strive to live as much as we can by the letter of said Constitution. It’s not because it’s some old, musty document and we just have a blind devotion to old things. There was a wisdom and a theory behind the Constitution that made as much sense in 1787 as it does in 2013.

    Ach. It is an organic law, not a piece of canonical literature. The utility or disutility of a set of institutional arrangements is going to be quite sensitive to local circumstances. ‘Local’ can be understood spatially or temporally. Our constitution has been (for the most part) a failure in containing the sturm und drang of our political life for more than 80 years. Some serious adjustments are in order (though adjustments in institutional arrangements cannot in any direct and transparent way correct the toxic culture of the legal profession or official Washington).

  • Our constitution has been (for the most part) a failure in containing the sturm und drang of our political life for more than 80 years. S

    Precisely because a certain subset of our political class has ignored it. That is not a failure of the Constitution, but of both leadership and citizenship.

  • Additionally, I shudder to think what the country would now look like without the Constitution. Imagine Obama issuing an executive order banning “dangerous and unnecessary” firearms, or one banning “seditious speech”. No, the Constitution is not merely an organic law but the concrete manifestation of the dream of the Founding Fathers of a Federal Union that would preserve the liberty that they fought for in the Revolution. In my eyes it is as “sacred” as any piece of secular writing can be composed by fallible men.

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  • In the hands of the current crop of supreme court justices, the constitution has become a blank piece of paper on which 5 of 9 justices get to write anything they chose. Remember that it was just a few years ago that five justices decided that the second amendment was an actually individual right (DC vs Heller). If Kennedy had woken up that day and decided to play the liberal justice instead of the conservative one, we would effectively not have a second amendment and all this talk of gun rights would be irrelevant.
    Think about that for a moment; the vote of one man has decided whether or not you have a basic freedom. I shudder when I think of what this nation has become.
    The great experiment of the federalists has failed. The fears of the anti-federalists that a large central government would become a tyranny have materialized.

  • “We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.”

    Abraham Lincoln

  • Precisely because a certain subset of our political class has ignored it. That is not a failure of the Constitution, but of both leadership and citizenship.

    Oh yes it is a failure of our Constitution. Paul, Israel has functioned for more than 90 years with a body of constitutional law but not discrete charter with entrenched clauses and supermajority requirements. If your political elite is satisfactory, you can get along without a charter. The point of a charter is that it contains the discretion of elected officials and others invested with authority, and erects a mechanism which can function passably in spite of a rancid political culture. Ours doesn’t.

    There are certain architectural features of our constitution which have been respected (as Robert Bork put it, “the stuff about elections every two years”), but the enumerated and limited delegations of discretion to Congress, the distinction between executive and legislative action, and the autonomy of provincial authorities have all been trashed. In addition, the immunities of particular communities and of households against federal or state authorities have been subject to judicial whimsies.

    In the years immediately after 1929, there developed immense social pressure due to the economic crisis which was not properly contained by the existing political architecture. The pressure simply blew the existing structure down. What replaced it was a de facto constitution running on stare decisis and judicial misfeasance. A secondary shock was delivered during the years running from 1953 to 1971. The Constitution you are referring to really does not exist anymore. It is going to require some sort of national reformation to restore it even in part.

    Added to all that is a phenomenon you see all over the western world: the efflorescence of a self-aggrandizing, pretentious, and antinomian culture among the professional-managerial class. This is most destructive as it develops in the bar. Students of Israel’s appellate judiciary contend that this body would clearly like to pull an Earl Warren but are constrained by the plenary discretion of the Knesset; what happened to Canadian jurisprudence after the enactment of the Trudeaupian Charter of Rights is well known. So, institutions matter, to a degree.

    Our institutions prevented a set of principled and adaptive changes to the political economy in 1933-39 and did so again in 1954-71. Instead, we had open-ended aggrandizement of the central government. Those institutions continue to prevent effective remedial action against an appellate judiciary for whom misbehavior is the order of the day. They also prevent us from containing the erection and maintenance of a permanent Washington political class (remember what happened to U.S. Term Limits?). We also have an incredible problem of collective action with regard to public sector borrowing. It is hard to imagine a set of institutions less equipped to address that problem than the ones we have.

    There is not much point in turning James Madison into the fictional Hari Seldon. The political culture stinks, but it does not stink so bad that our state legislators, working within political institutions which have some salient differences with federal institutions, cannot pass budgets. Madison and his contemporaries were making do in the matrix in which they were working and their handiwork sufficed in certain circumstances. However, the machine is broke and it is time to stop pretending and fix it.

  • Civil war scares me. However blatant lies from our Govt. leaders ( so-called ) and the abuses of our rights leaves one to wonder. What next?

    Maybe obama (small o ) will declare Jan. 22nd as Freedom for unborn children day. mentioned the absurdity of yesterdays presidential proclamation; “Religious Freedom day.”

  • Obama gives us Freedom From Religious Freedom Day without God.
    Pilate to Christ: “What is TRUTH?” Pilate imposes his definition of TRUTH: “TRUTH is what I say it is. The human being is who I say he is” The despot tells Christ WHO Christ is. Christ responds: “You would have not authority except that it is given from above.” Obama’s proclamation of Religious Freedom Day, January 16, is the usurpation of authentic authority to redefine the Supreme Sovereign Being, the human being, freedom, religion, and the unborn sovereign person. Obama says:”Look, I give you freedom.” and who can argue with a plagiarist? Obama gives us Freedom From Religious Freedom Day without God.

    In proclamation of Freedom of Religion Day, Obama says: Religious Freedom is what I say it is, and only what I say it is. This is the means that Obama uses to dictate to his constituents what their civil rights are. And some fools celebrate it as such. There can be no authentic freedom without the acknowledgment of God, Creator of man’s soul, Endower of unalienable rights. Freedom of Religion Day ought to dissolve the HHS Mandate and reinstate our founding principles.

    !) Man is created equal, not born equal, a self-evident truth we hold.

    2) Man is endowed by “their Creator” with unalienable rights.

    3) Man is endowed by “their Creator” with an unalienable Right to Life.

    4) Man is endowed by “their Creator” with an unalienable Right to Liberty

    5) Man is endowed by “their Creator” with an unalienable right to pursue his Happiness.

    6) Man is free to relate, to speak, to write and peaceably assemble with and for the Supreme Sovereign Being.

    7) These, our founding principles were inscribed 225 years ago and cannot be vacated, redefined or plagiarized by Obama.

    8) The unalienable right to the pursuit of Happiness vacates the HHS Mandate that is violating so many sovereign citizens’ conscience. The unalienable Right to Life vacates the HHS Mandate and abortion. The unalienable Right to Liberty vacates the redefinition of atheism as a religion.

    9) Obama cannot give us a Freedom of Religion Day without God, for that is usurpation.

    10) The Second Amendment cannot be changed without two/thirds of the states ratifying the change. Obama says that he has some Executive authority to change some of the Second Amendment, but Obama is mistaken. Eminent domain is no longer for public use and has been redefined for public purposes, such as the politicians’ new pay raise and vacation or maybe their health insurance. Only with two/thirds of the states ratifying such a change can the change be made. This is our Constitution.

    11) We, the people, have failed “to secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity”

    The Constitution is written for the sovereign person, who has come into existence by the creative power of God. It is the sovereign person’s choice how he will worship and acknowledge God. I do not think that it is through aborting others.

  • Mary De Voe,
    Congressmen / women are career-“minded & hearted” as they occupy a seat that is to be honorable and mission based. Serve the public…right?

    Is this, the current abuses and what seems like run-a-muck hypocrisy the beginning of the end of our freedoms?
    Executive orders and edicts leading to the “powder keg” that will soon feel the heat of a short lit fuse?

    I believe your thread. You have aptly hit it!…the sovereign person.
    I will continue to pray, protest and plead the case of Christ. For in him is our Hope, our Freedom and our Future.

  • Art, I’m not sure I disagree with much of what you wrote. Again, though, it actually affirms what the Framers believed. That society has crumbled as the constitutional safeguards they installed were ignored and done away with only confirms that what they feared about government and democracies was accurate. If there is fault with them and the Constitution is that there is no adequate means of addressing the issue of who has the final say on constitutional interpretation. If Hamilton was naive it was in writing things like the Judiciary would be the least dangerous branch of government. They did not foresee the rise of an imperial judiciary. And while they thought that the Supreme Court should be an arbiter of the Constitutional, they never believed it should be the final arbiter.

    Is the design flawed? No.

  • All designs are flawed, and the utility of designs is perishable.

  • “Though conservatives like to point out that the government created under the Constitution is one of limited powers – a fact which is undeniably true – the Constitution actually enhanced the powers of the federal government and was meant, in part, to curb some of the excesses of unlimited state authority.”
    This conservative in NY would appreciate a little curbing aimed at Cuomo&Co.

  • “Government without justice is mass brigandage.” St. Augustine

    If a gang of fascists or imbeciles in legislatures (none campaigned on gun control) and courts are illegally amending or to repealing parts of the Constituion.

    The political/social “contract” that bind us as a people is being torn asunder.

    These tired, effete “people control” exec orders and gun confiscation laws would not have saved one Sandy Hook school child nor will they make one US pupil safer.

    Criminals and madmen (by nature) don’t obey laws.

    It is a special kind of stupid of which these people suffer. It’s the reason every trillion-dollar liberal wet dream has been a waste of those trillions of dollars and a waste time and effort, with the “beneficiaries” of the liberal wet dreams worse off ever after.

    And, this idiocy explains the re-election (51% of voters) of the worst president in history and, concomitantly, the destruction of American peace and prosperity.

    The deficits, money printing, regulations, and presidential hate-mongering cannot go on forever. And, it will not. Soon, the “fat lady” will have sung her last note.

  • Could she expedite that song? Say yesterday. That would work for me.

  • Those stating that one of the purposes of the constition was to prevent state governments from trampling our freedoms should be aware that this was not true of the original constitution. The limits the original constitution placed on states were how states were to interact with each other and with foreign powers. For the first hundred years the Bill of Rights did not apply to the states, their constitutions had their own BOR’s. it was not till 1897 that SCOTUS decided that wasn’t good enough and started holding the states to selective amendments.

  • Those stating that one of the purposes of the constition was to prevent state governments from trampling our freedoms should be aware that this was not true of the original constitution.

    Well the original Constitution didn’t go as far in this regard as some of the Framers would have liked. Madison’s original plan called for a national veto over state laws, and this was actually a major concern for him. But that got shot down at the convention. That said, the Constitution did pull back from the states some of the unbounded powers it enjoyed previously. But you’re absolutely right about the Bill of Rights not applying to the states until the Supreme Court discovered the magical jujitsu power of the 14th Amendment.

  • This conservative in NY would appreciate a little curbing aimed at Cuomo&Co.

    The text of the 2d Amendment is as follows:

    A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed

    The plain meaning a) recognizes a personal right and b) specifies that what is referred to would be military arms. It does not specify the authority which may not so infringe. On the face of it, the people are immune from the actions of any public authority, not merely Congress and the agencies which act at its direction.

    The thing is, ascertaining what the boundary conditions of this right are is a perplexing task. Clayton Cramer has been building a case that Saul Cornell (an obnoxious advocate of the view that the Amendment protects the franchise of the states to set up militias) has been defrauding his readers by systematically ignoring 19th century case law which recognized this as a personal right. That aside, there is a question of whether it applies against state governments or not. Aside from that, there is the question of how literally to interpret this formulation. As a rule, people do not conceive of a right of free speech to encompass a right to run up and down residential streets at three o’clock in the morning bare assed and screaming obscenities. What would be the analogous situation with regard to 2d Amendment rights?

    (Personally, I would be pleased if Gov. Cuomo would propose amendments and legislation to scrape the barnacles off the state’s hull. Our political architecture is a mess, but no element of the political class seems to care, including the journalists who cover the legislature. At least Mr. Zummo will likely not tell me that the Unified Court System or the Town Law have no design flaws).

  • “As a rule, people do not conceive of a right of free speech to encompass a right to run up and down residential streets at three o’clock in the morning bare assed and screaming obscenities. What would be the analogous situation with regard to 2d Amendment rights?”
    @Art Deco
    1) Only truth is allowed freedom in the public and private spheres. Obscenities are out and a person must be arrested, that is stopped, by peace keeping officers and officials.
    2) Curfew laws are in place even if not widely acknowledged. No noise after ten o’clock.
    3) When I stop laughing I will write. The exposure of the human body must be respected and have an important reason. Take Lady Godiva. Lady Godiva was protesting the heavy taxes. Her husband was the tax collector. She gave him back her clothes, as did St. Francis, informed the town of her protest and asked for indulgence.
    4) Rightfully so. If the government disarms the person and injury is inflicted, the government becomes an accessory after the fact, not only for disarming the citizen, but for not protecting the citizen. The state then becomes liable to restitution for its failure to safeguard the citizen, and also complicit in disarming the citizen. Double jeopardy for the citizen, none for the culprit and his accomplice, the state. Endangerment is against the law, even for Cuomo.

  • @4) Government becomes an accessory before (before) the fact of injury inflicted. Sorry about that.

  • @Philip: The sovereign person constitutes the state. As you have probably read me before, the sovereign person loses his sovereignty when he consents to crime and sin, murder and lying. Criminals do not constitute the state. The sovereign person who constitutes the state and the state, itself must be protected from such and the Department of Justice is called into being by such a need. Any individual human being who presumes to deprive another sovereign person of his sovereignty, civil rights and Creator endowed unalienable rights forfeits his own unalienable rights. The atheist forfeits his own Creator endowed unalienable rights by despising, rejecting and repudiating, actually plagiarizing and impersonating the Creator, the Supreme Sovereign Being and Endower of sovereignty. The proof of this fact is that the atheist does not endow LIFE, nor does the atheist bless LIFE. Life, for the atheist, must be snuffed out by the atheist because HUMAN LIFE gives testament to the Supreme Sovereign Being, creator of LIFE. The Right to LIFE inscribed in the Declaration of Independence is from “their Creator”, and not from the community as the Declaration on Human Rights of the United Nations declares. One nation under the world bank would impose these godless human rights that might be disposed of by the state, by the “community” that plagiarizes these rights from God.
    In an act of free will, the atheist rejects the Creator of his free will, thereby making of himself, a beast of burden to the state, making of himself a human being devoid of his rational, immortal soul. The atheist then imposes his dehumanizing decision on sovereign and free people to make himself “somebody”.
    A real somebody praises God every second of every day for his being.

Doing the Job Big Media Won’t Do

Friday, January 11, AD 2013

My friend Jay Anderson linked to this excellent piece from a Fox affiliate in Cincinnati addressing crime statistics in Great Britain and the United States.

As Jay remarked, it’s sad that it takes a small affiliate news station to do the sort of fact checking that major news networks are incapable of, 0r, more likely, unwilling to do.

As for Piers Morgan, watch what happens when he is forced to interview someone actually tethered to reality.

I think “your little book” is going to be an instant classic.

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22 Responses to Doing the Job Big Media Won’t Do

  • Shapiro does an admirable job of keeping his head against Morgan’s aggressive ranting.

    I just wish that he hadn’t stuck to only talking about guarding against potential tyranny as the reason for law abiding citizens to own guns like the AR-15 (now the number one selling type of rifle in America.) With more than three million Americans owning these types of rifles, and at most a couple hundred people being killed with them each year, it’s obvious that a lot of people do have perfectly law abiding uses for these guns. They’re one of the most popular types of rifle used in the National Match target shooting competitions run by the government sponsored Civilian Marksmanship Program. They’re used for home defense. And they’re getting to be one of the most common types of rifles you’ll see men and women shooting (quite peacefully) at gun ranges.

    The Fox report is also pretty great. There’s a great report put out by a British group that looks at crime stats by type in OECD countries, and that only serves to flesh out the point that while the US has a higher murder rate than many countries (5 per 100,000 in population as compared to 1 to 2 per 100,000 in many other wealthy nations) we have lower rates of many other forms of violent crime than those countries:

  • I agree that Shapiro should have gone further to defend assault weapons other than on defense against tyranny grounds. That said, Morgan’s incredulous reaction to the response is quite telling. You would think a person hailing from a country intimately familiar with what happens when surrounding democracies go bad might not treat such an idea as preposterous. I wonder if Morgan would have said that Plato was absurd on his book tour promoting The Republic.

  • *delighted laugh*
    He does look incredibly young!

    Heard about Shapiro’s interview on the morning talk news radio show– I thought his delivery of the line about “My grandparents didn’t believe they had anything to fear from the government. That is why they are ashes.” was perfect. Horrifying, of course, but that is what disarming people and putting them at the mercy of an organizational machine means.

  • Yeah, and I don’t want my one criticism to be taken wrong, I thought Shapiro did an outstanding job, and boy did Morgan come off sounding like an asshat.

  • I think Paul touched on a very important mis-speak..”your little book.”
    This is fact is the disregard and blatant disrespect the left has regarding the most important document, ( declaration of independence w/ it ) that it is undeniable!
    Great job Shapiro! The grandparents intro. was right on.

  • “Heard about Shapiro’s interview on the morning talk news radio show– I thought his delivery of the line about “My grandparents didn’t believe they had anything to fear from the government. That is why they are ashes.” was perfect. Horrifying, of course, but that is what disarming people and putting them at the mercy of an organizational machine means.”

    Agreed. Under the Irish penal laws, Catholic Irishmen could not possess firearms. This was not repealed until the Irish Militia Act of 1793.

  • What I don’t understand is why Shapiro went on that show (which I hear is starving for ratings) thinking he could have a civil discussion with a pompous jerk like Piers Morgan. Here’s how you debate Pers Morgan:

  • Folks,

    As I just stated when I shared Paul Zummo’s post on Facebook (thanks, Paul Z!), as a matter of discipline, I simply do not watch or listen to any news or commentary from ABC, BBC, CBS, CNN, NBC, NPR or PBS. Since when has truth come from a liberal, progressive Democrat. Slavery in the 19th century? Yes! Abortion in the 20th and 21st centuries? Yes! Truth? Never! Good for Shapiro for facing down a pompous a$$ and having the decorum and self-control not to shoot him where he sat.

  • Glad that the comment from that troll “Salvage” was deleted. All he has time to do is go around the Catholic blogosphere spreading his odiferous trash about.

  • “What I don’t understand is why Shapiro went on that show”

    To show what an ignoramus and buffoon Morgan is, which Shapiro did in spades. It is easy to write Ted Nugent off as simply a right wing yahoo. It is impossible to do that with Shapiro.

  • Piers Morgan needs no help in demonstrating that he is a buffoon. He does a good enough job of that by himself. Notice Morgan did’t bully Nugent the way he did Shapiro. He kept talking over Shapiro. He knew better than to try that with Nugent. While Shapiro did a decent job of handling himself,Nugent did a much better job. The left effectovely treats. much more tame people than Shapiro as right wing yahoos all the time.

  • Completely disagree on all counts Greg. It is vitally important to show up people like Piers Morgan especially on his show. Nugent doesn’t have the intellectual wattage to hold his own in a debate even though I like his spirit and agree with him. Even the Washington Post admitted that Morgan got clobbered by Shapiro. Shapiro is an editor at large at at and his debating Morgan and besting him on his home turf is in the best spirit of Breitbart’s admonition that Conservatives must engage the culture. Nugent does this through his music but I do not think debate is his strong point.

  • I agree Donald.
    Having conviction is great however having conviction and hours of study is priceless.
    TAC assists me in my debates with Co-workers and acquaintances. The selection of clips and references is helpful to me personally so the future debates are grounded in fact, not in hyperbole.
    Thank all of you for helping a lower educated practicing Catholic in good standing.

  • @Paul

    Much of programming on NPR and PBS is worth your while. For instance, I watched a fascinating documentary on Iranian Americans on my local PBS affiliate just the other night. As a Minnesotan, I also am immensely proud of MPR, which was truly the pioneer of public radio. They spend time discussing issues and policies in a level of detail that cannot be found on cable news or talk radio, which dispense sound bytes and screeds instead of substance. I usually don’t agree with the conclusions of MPR and PBS correspondents, but I appreciate the serious manner in which they approach these topics. If you’re comfortable in your own convictions, there is a wealth of information that can be harvested from these sources.

    I also watch Al Jazeera when I can, and used to frequent their website with more regularity. Their coverage of the Middle East is far more in-depth than anything offered in the US, and the non-American-centered perspective is decidedly refreshing. They are state-owned, so do not mistakenly accuse me of arguing that all their coverage is completely balanced and fair, but there’s no denying that it provides another angle that is invaluable to those who seek to have a more complete understanding of that part of the world.

  • Try Memri for a contrast between what is said for English consumption and what is said for home consumption.

  • Thanks, JL!

    I do watch the science and history documentaries on PBS, as well as the BBC detective show re-runs that it routinely broadcasts. I just don’t pay any attention to PBS or NPR news. Nor do I pay much if any attention to Fox News.

  • Piers Morgan ought to be exiled as persona non grata for his demeaning “your little book” about our founding principles.

  • Donald:

    One need not a whole lot of intellectual heft to take on the likes of PIiers Morgan on this issue, as Nugent ably demonstrated. Me thinks you are giving Morgan far more respect than what he deserves.

    Unfortunately, Shapiro’s “intellectual wattage” didn’t completely convert into common sense. For instance, Shapiro said he favored a national data base, providing, of course, it not be made public. Now, anyone who has paid even a modicum of attention knows there is no way in the present climate such a data base will not be made public somehow, particularly in light of what happen with that paper in New York I think it was. All it would take is some Slick DIck Left Wing lawyer to find a judge who will grant a FOIA request. Or, if that proves too cumbersome, some bureaucrat will leak it to Media Blathers or the New York Slimes. I mean, the same New York Slimes can publish damaging classified information about CIA black sites with impunity. Shapiro walked right into Morgan’s trap on tht one. The New York case Shapiro himself cites made that much obvious. If that’s not an act of stupidy, what is?

    I don’t give a hootin hell what the Washington Compost (thank you Mark Levin) concedes or what some conservative blog may gush over, I will trust my instincts, especailly when it comes to the obvious,

  • “Piers Morgan ought to be exiled as persona non grata for his demeaning “your little book” about our founding principles.”

    You have to do the same almost the entire American left, because they have as little respect for the Constitution as he does.

  • Greg Mockeridge: “You have to do the same almost the entire American left, because they have as little respect for the Constitution as he does.”

    The sooner we start. the sooner we will have accomplished the deed.

  • Shapiro did a great job. Morgan is a pommie dickhead.
    I can’t belive he was quoting the UK as being better than the US in various statistics. You just need to look at was has happened to Britain over the last fifty odd years – it is the type of liberal garbage spouted by Morgan that has caused, to a large extent, the cesspit that the UK has become.
    I agree with a previous commenter – you should send him back home; he is only helping to make the US like where he came from.

  • It is easy to write Ted Nugent off as simply a right wing yahoo.

    I don’t know, maybe. But at least in that clip, he had Piers squarley in the cross-hairs and made a clean kill. Rattling off the recidivism stats was a perfect three shot burst.

The Need for Order, or “Do Something” Syndrome

Wednesday, December 19, AD 2012

In light of the horrific massacre at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, it is disappointing but not altogether surprising that the calls to just do something to stop the violence rang out before the middle of the day. I’ll address the disgusting behavior of the mass media in a later post, but wanted to focus this post on the reactions and what they might say about our overall attitudes about life and society.

Gun control activists, grieving with obvious sympathy and empathy for the victims, and of course concerned primarily about the human toil of this tragedy, took to twitter and other outlets to immediately call for stricter gun laws. Ignoring that Connecticut is hardly a modern incarnation of the wild west, they seemed to imply that if we only tightened regulations and banned guns with menacing-sounding names, then we could ensure that no more mass murders of this kind would ever occur again, so long as we all shall live.

There are many legal, constitutional, and logical arguments to be made against further restrictions on gun ownership, and Jeff Goldstein makes just about all of them here. To me the strongest arguments against the gun control crowd are the practical ones. An obviously troubled young man murders his mother, then walks to her school and guns down children  and the thing we’re discussing afterwards are guns? Aside from the fact that even worse crimes have been perpetrated without a single firearm being deployed, we’re missing the big picture when we’re debating the mechanism for carrying out a massacre and not the underlying cause or causes.

Another recurring theme is that this incident is further proof that there is no God. Deroy Murdock expressed this sentiment in the conservative on-line journal of opinion, National Review online.

 Just in time for Christmas, a reputedly almighty God must have been on break Friday morning when Adam Lanza massacred 20 Connecticut school kids. These six- and seven-year-olds were far too young to choose wrongly between good and evil — that choice being the way that believers typically explain how a supposedly omnipotent, omniscient, omnibeneficent God allows such atrocities. Atop the ongoing mayhem of Hurricane Sandy, the carnage in Syria, and the burgeoning power of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, it should be clearer than ever that no one up there watches over us Earthlings. We are on our own.

Of course we’ve all heard this before and have addressed this in myriad ways.

What hadn’t occurred to me is there is a certain commonality between those who use tragedies like this to further the fight for control and others who use it to push an atheistic agenda. Granted there is overlap between the categories, but for now we’ll treat these as separate attitudes.

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32 Responses to The Need for Order, or “Do Something” Syndrome

  • This is the basic affliction at the heart of progressivism. In short, the premise underlying “Do Something” Syndrome is that if only we pass some kind of law, then whatever horrible thing that just happened won’t ever happen again.

    In fairness to advocates of gun control, I think the less emotive of them would merely contend that enhanced controls would lessen the likelihood of these sorts of things. What regulations we have now, what the enhancements might be, a reasonable hypothesis about the effect of those enhancements, and the costs as well as the benefits of those enhancements are things to which they devote no thought (and when gun aficionados get talking about their hobby, you realize you know diddly/squat about guns). The whole point seems to strike attitudes.

    And what attitudes. Look at the remarks of Prof. Erik Loomis and then recall the remarks of Prof. Krugman about Gabrielle Giffords, et al. People who own guns are class enemies to these types. The rest does not matter.

  • the less emotive of them

    Unfortunately not a majority of the total class of anti-gun zealots, or at least not a vocal majority.

    FYI, you are no longer on moderation, Art.

  • “Just in time for Christmas, a reputedly almighty God must have been on break Friday morning when Adam Lanza massacred 20 Connecticut school kids. ”

    Atheists so often have a theological sophistication that would shame a snake handler in the Ozarks. My guess is that concepts like free will, original sin, divine foreknowledge as opposed to predestination, etc, are as foreign to Mr. Murdock as intelligent commentary. How National Review has fallen over the past few decades.

  • Some of them acknowledge those concepts, Don, but simply reject them as our way of rationalizing evil. I think there are some that can be engaged and perhaps brought to the light. Mr. Murdock does not strike me as the type. This is not the first time he’s engaged in simple hysteria.

  • I apologize n advance.

    I’ve been around a long time. I remember when you could buy a revolver in Sears and walk out with it in a holster – you couldn’t conceal it, though. We must have had thousands of mass killings a year in those days.

    It’s not about public safety or “What about the children?”

    It’s about control over you and me.

    The zombies don’t know how to think. They are told what to think.

  • “It’s about control over you and me.

    The zombies don’t know how to think. They are told what to think.”

    They are good Fascists in the making.


  • How National Review has fallen over the past few decades.

    Richard Lowry allows his stable a great deal of rope (while they are producing real time commentary of a type unknown in American political journalism prior to about 1998). The lapse of time between when he had ample justification to hand a pink slip to John Derbyshire and the time when Mr. Derbyshire was actually shown the door was just shy of six years. Richard Lowry ihas now where near the sophistication of Buckley, but then again, Mr. Buckley was a fairly singular figure who had no true peers among magazine editors of his era. National Review does not look bad compared to peer publications.

  • The modern world needs a better class of atheist:

    “Early in 1926 the hardest boiled of all the atheists I ever knew sat in my room on the other side of the fire and remarked that the evidence for the historicity of the Gospels was really surprisingly good. “Rum thing,” he went on. “All that stuff of Frazer’s about the Dying God. Rum thing. It almost looks as if it had really happened once.” To understand the shattering impact of it, you would need to know the man (who has certainly never since shown any interest in Christianity). If he, the cynic of cynics, the toughest of the toughs, were not-as I would still have put it — “safe,” where could I turn? Was there then no escape?”
    CS Lewis, Surpised by Joy

    One of the depressing aspects of the current era is how few people are concerned about whether something is true or false, probably because fewer people than in previous generations, at least on a proportional basis, have the intellectual heft and depth of knowledge to make that determination. Also our society has been so penetrated by subjectivism that the very concept of truth is viewed as unimportant.

  • I think you find proportionately fewer people who have been liberally educated in a certain way – studying philosophy and theology and the classics. The thing is, I doubt this needs to be imposed on everyone’s tertiary education. It should, however, be much more available to those who are receptive to it.

    You see this at National Review. Richard Lowry has his stable of academics (Stanley Kurtz, Victor Davis Hanson, Mackubin Thomas Owens). None of these men, however, have the sort of learning that Erik v. Kuenhelt Leddhin had.

  • Sometimes I think Vox Nova exists to confirm our theories.

    “But how can you blame me for this horrible crime? I didn’t do anything,” you and I might object.

    That is precisely the problem. You and I didn’t do anything.

  • Mr. Zummo,

    I congratulate you for your stern fortitude as evidenced by your going to that site and not barfing all over your keyboard.

    Whenever an evil (likely Obama voter) man (woemn don’t do it) massacres debilitated, disarmed victims other evil, Obama voters scream about disarming the te innocent and virtuous.

    When an evil Obama voter kills people that evil, Obama voter is guilty not me. Maybe it’s what psychologists call “projection.” Evil Obama people are evil through-and-through and cannot see that everyone is not evil.

    They exhibit a stark deficit of self-awareness.

  • Glenn Reynolds at “Instapundit” posts that gun control is about “a statement of naked power by one American culture over another.”

    As the higher education bubble bursts VN geniuses won’t get work in academia. Still, they can have stellar careers running concentration camps.

  • ^can we leave the weird Obama-focused comments and Nazi allusions out of this

    and while i share the skepticism of the gun-control advocates but i’m not much a fan of Instapundit’s libertarian reductionism either.

  • Agreed, Art. But it is worth noting that (i) who does? and (ii) those of us of a certain age encountered EvKL only in the pages of the National Review. If you did not read NR, you were pretty much guaranteed to have never heard of him.

  • to put in a word for “compassionate conservatism,” i think it was (and still can be, in a different form) a good rhetorical move to combat media stereotypes/public perceptions. as someone who’s more interested in the cultural side of conservatism than the Glenn Beckian “Woodrow Wilson was a Nazi progressive/big government=fascism” side (caricature but you get my point — maybe i’m reading too much into other blogs’ comment sections,) i think in the coming years conservative politicians should identify what exactly they think a lean, efficient government should do, as opposed to generic references to the leviathan state. to me it’s not so much whether government is big or small, as opposed to if it’s helping/harming in select areas. a good past example of this would be the welfare issue.

    i’m hair-splitting some, but there definitely needs to be a broader GOP economic message than the current tax/regulation-focused one.

  • and apologies if the “whether government works” seems too similar to Obama’s comment in his first inaugural. i think it’s one of his better pieces of rhetoric though, even if it doesn’t much match up with his actual policies.

  • I thought Megan McArdle summed up the “do something” mindset pretty concisely in her long but very good response to the current gun hysteria:

    There’s a terrible syllogism that tends to follow on tragedies like this:

    1. Something must be done

    2. This is something

    3. Therefore this must be done.

    It would certainly be more comfortable for me to endorse doing something symbolic–bring back the “assault weapons ban”–in order to signal that I care. But I would rather do nothing than do something stupid because it makes us feel better. We shouldn’t have laws on the books unless we think there’s a good chance they’ll work: they add regulatory complexity and sap law-enforcement resources from more needed tasks. This is not because I don’t care about dead children; my heart, like yours, broke about a thousand times this weekend. But they will not breathe again because we pass a law. A law would make us feel better, because it would make us feel as if we’d “done something”, as if we’d made it less likely that more children would die. But I think that would be false security. And false security is more dangerous than none.

  • i agree with the above but i don’t like saying “there’s little to be done.” of course i can’t think of a great solution myself without lazily saying “it’s complex” but clearly something has changed for these types of things to be more common (maybe it just seems like that? i’m younger so i dunno what things were like the ’50s or other eras.) i’m interested in some of the broader factors (violent entertainment, videogames, isolation combined with these things) though i don’t know how much of a role they played in this particular case.

  • It’s all good. Obsessing on guns distracts you from the impending economic catastrophe.

  • Opportunistically politicizing the grief and horror to the point of being on scene was a chilling imposition adding to the horror. The silence of dealing with overwrought insane behavior of few is deafening. There must be some gov. dept. in HHS that could point out that a gun control plan won’t stop deviants and miscreants etc. – or not. Mental health is the issue. But …
    Distraction of the many from the doings of gov. missions won the day.
    So, it’s all good ’til next time.

  • “This is not the first time he’s engaged in simple hysteria.”

    I guess Deroy Murdock still seriously needs some Xanax — his fears did, after all, come to pass with regard to the GOP and the Senate. But who doesn’t need some anti-anxiety measures when they contemplate the far worse horror of little children gunned down in their classroom at Christmastime? Still, I am put in mind of yet another remark by C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape, who tells Wormwood at one point that since the “Enemy” (God) has clearly told His followers that suffering is to be expected and is essential to redemption, a faith that is destroyed by war, pestilence, or other catastrophes was probably not all that strong to begin with.

  • i’d be OK with someone like Murdock at NRO (although i think there’s a debate to be have on how meaningful a conservatism can exist apart from Christian influence) if they didn’t frame their atheism in the ways i might’ve when i was 15.

  • The administration needs to do something alright…like get the hell out of the way. But I have a bad feeling that isn’t about to happen.

  • Politicians have to tread warily. I remember the shock to public confidence when, in a moment of irritation, then French prime minister Lionel Jospin told a reporter, “The government can’t do everything.” It is generally believed that that piece of ill-judged candour cost him the election.

    In the UK, in the wake of the Hungerford and Dunblane massacres, the reasoning among politicians and permanent officials was that a government that issues licences for hand guns will be blamed for their misuse, whereas a government that bans them can blame the illicit arms trade. No one was naif enough to believe a ban would prevent future outrages.

  • The inconsistency of liberal imbeciles (redundent) is . . . consistent.

    Inconsistency #!: All gunowners are responsible for any and all deranged, mass murders. No Moslem is responsible for 10,000 world-wide jihad attacks since 2001.

    Inconsistency #2: All gun owners are responsible for all gun deaths: including “Fast and Furious.” No gay (except Sandusky) is guilty scores of child molestations.

    I am victim of an FBI check and open a record if I buy a gun. That’s why we have gun shows.

    There are no background checks on gays and moslems.

    I will not be lectured on human rights, “What about the children!”, or violence by people that Idolize Che, Mao, Lenin, Pol Pot, Stalin, . . . they killed 100,000,000 people in the last century. Nor, who are using the coercive force of the state to take away our human rights.

  • Bravo T.Shaw! You are on a roll lately!

  • Mike Petrik,

    It is not likely you would have heard of Erik v Kuenheldt Leddhin. Acadmic literature has small audiences composed of scholars, teachers, and students. A modest number of academics reach a general audience through publications like the New York Review of Books and the Wilson Quarterly, and, nowadays, blogging.

    I doubt the intellectual quality of NR has suffered a whole lot in the last 30 years, but the sort of intellect cultivated is certainly different. Stanley Kurtz is a social anthropologist. You did not see much of that among the starboard intelligentsia ca. 1960, which consisted of intellectual historians, literary scholars, and theoretical economists, as well as generic men-of-letters like Whittaker Chambers.

  • There was a YouTube the other day about an golden eagle attempting to carry off a toddler. It seems it was photoshopped.

    My wife notes that online at MSNBC, a number of comments about this were about banning photoshopping.

    So comes the end of Virtue.

  • If the state makes gun-control the law and self-defense illegal, and innocent people are murdered, because, without gun protection, and because of the law, the state then becomes liable and maybe and ought to be sued for being an accomplice before the fact of the murder of innocents. A “citizens’ arrest”, the ability of citizens to arrest and hold a criminal until police arrive has been discounted, actually making “citizens’ arrest” into assault and battery of the individual who has not been tried and found guilty by a court of law. Based on the sovereign personhood of the citizen endowed by our Creator who constitutes the state and government, the sovereign person, chooses and decides if and when to carry armed protection. The failure of the state to protect the innocent person, (as in Sandy Hook, Conn.,) who is a citizen, is a cause for a negligence lawsuit against the state and taxation without representation. The innocent were not protected by those sworn to protect them. Gun control as “Do Something” is double jeopardy for all citizens, as all living people have suffered jeopardy of life when a murderer is at large.

  • Phillip: The Eagle, as in St. John, the Evangelist, is the symbol of the swiftness of God’s Justice and the symbol of America’s Freedom. All virtue will be besmirched. and where was the mother of the toddler? Somehow, I cannot imagine the eagle carrying off the stroller.

  • Mary,

    Obama is not only denying Americans civil protection, he is tearing away the bonds that once united us in peace and prosperity.

    “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun,” Obama June 14, 2008.

    On the Friday before election 2012, Obama told his supporters at a campaign rally – inside a public high school – to vote for revenge!

    “Eat the Rich!”

    Is it any wonder we seem to be devolving to a state wherein it will be a common occurrence to need to fight for one’s life?

  • Deroy Murdock is a fool.

    Notice that the media does not extol the success of gun control in the City of Chicago, where owning a gun is virtually illegal – and how many murders occur there each year?

Is The Public Crazy Not To Support Gun Control?

Monday, July 23, AD 2012

A number of opinion writers have taken the occasion of the mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado to express disgust with the fact that the American public shows little inclination towards increased gun control. According to Gallup, the percentage of Americans who say they “feel that laws covering the sale of firearms should be made more strict” dropped from 78% to 44% during the period from 1990 to 2010.

Some of the more hyperbolic has claimed this is because the US is seized by a “death cult” or that it “worships violence”, but I think the actual reason is quite rational.

If we look at the percentage of people supporting stricter gun control in relation to the percentage of people who say they own guns (also from Gallup) and the US homicide rate, we see that the homicide rate dropped by 49% from 1990 to 2010 while gun ownership rates have remained fairly flat.

Since people readily perceive that gun ownership remains common, and yet violent crime has fallen significantly since the height of the ’80s and ’90s crime wave, people seem to implicitly believe that restricting gun ownership is not necessary in order to deal with crime.

We can get a somewhat longer term view of this if we look at an older Gallup question which is available in the same study, the percentage of Americans who say they support a ban on civilian handgun ownership. The question has been asked somewhat sporadically by Gallup, so we have only a few data points from the 50s, 60s and 70s, but the pattern is still very interesting.

Gallup first asked the question in 1959 when the murder rate had just gone up from 4.1 in 1955 to 4.9 in 1959. Support for a ban was quite high as 60%. Support for a ban dropped rapidly while crime increased. In 1979 31% of Americans supported banning handguns and the murder rate was 9.8. Support for a handgun ban then rebounded, reaching a recent high of 43% of American in 1991, which was also one of the worst years for violent crime with a murder rate of 9.8. However, violent crime then fell sharply and has continued a gradual decline, and support for banning hand guns has declined along with it with only 29% of Americans supporting such a ban in 2010.

This suggests to me that Americans actually have a pretty reasonable approach to the question. Despite the occasional headline grabbing catastrophe, the current murder rate is down at the same level as the 1950s, despite the availability of Glock handguns and “assault rifles”.

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34 Responses to Is The Public Crazy Not To Support Gun Control?

  • Thank you, Darwin Catholic, for this post.

  • “A number of opinion writers have taken the occasion of the mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado to express disgust with the fact that the American public shows little inclination towards increased gun control.”

    The attempt by some Leftist pundits to use this tragedy by either a very insane, or very evil, man to promote war on the Second Amendment is as predictible as it is contemptible. Norway has fairly strict gun control laws, and they did absolutely nothing in preventing a far worse massacre a year ago:

  • Far more guilt is to be laid on the people who removed the Fifth Commandment: “Thou shalt not kill” from the public square.

    Guns do not kill people. People kill people.

    The Right to Life fair was a miracle and a blessing. The woman approached the table and stated that “babies of crack mothers ought to be aborted.” Charles said: “My wife and I adopted a crack baby and she is doing fine”. Last year a woman approached the table and said: “Disabled children ought to be aborted.” David, the man born blind who goes to work on the train to teach others with his disability said: “What kind of disability are you talking about?” and the weather held up. Thank God. One Hail Mary

  • Forks kill!

    Millions are dying horrid deaths from obesity.

    Ban forks.

    Correlation is not causation. Since the 1950’s, liberals have added layer upon payer of gun control laws restricting access of law-abiding people to firearms. And, year after year, we have seen horrid increases in violence.

    Americans outside the welfare states on the fringes/coasts, realize that criminals employ guns and they don’t obey gun laws.

    We understand that banning guns won’t stop violent predatory criminals.

    “So, if the USA follows Australia’s lead in banning guns, it should expect a 42 percent increase in violent crime, a higher percentage of murders committed with a gun, and three times more rape.”

    Plus: “The International Crime Victims Survey, conducted by Leiden University in Holland, found that England and Wales ranked second overall in violent crime among industrialized nations. Twenty-six percent of English citizens — roughly one-quarter of the population — have been victimized by violent crime. Australia led the list with more than 30 percent of its population victimized. The United States didn’t even make the ‘top 10? list of industrialized nations whose citizens were victimized by crime.”

  • Oddly, by choosing guns, this man avoided the McVeigh route and killed very few people RELATIVE to what his science trained mind could have done with fertilizer etc. Twelve is awful.
    Hundreds would have been worse. If we cannot stop 12 million illegals from entering the country, I suspect prohibition of guns would create a highway from Taurus pistols in Brazil right to our cities. Then only bad guys would have them and our probable cause restrictions would prevent cops from searching houses in the worst neighborhoods….as obtains now.
    We do need to de-glorify violence though. Example: It’s absurd that there are fist fights in professional hockey and none in Olympic hockey. A bar brawler gets time in jail for the very thing that hockey takes pride in while the municipal governments hosting the hockey games look the other way because of the money brought to surrounding culture by hockey.
    Secondly…we are still not as a culture identifying those who are moving into states of true oddity…whether of mental illness or of homicidal evil inclinations which they signal on the internet.
    Thirdly the papal Swiss guard is better equipped than our security guards in large venues to kill a mass murderer wearing body armor because they are given Heckler and Koch PDW’s ( smaller than submachine guns) with armor piercing bullets…the 4.6 mm in MP 7’s which Heckler and Koch probbly donated to Vatican city. So our anti death penalty Vatican is realistic off camera. It’s not impossible that Al Qaeda one day sends someone with body armor into St. Peter’s. The Swiss Guard are actually ready whereas our security in movie theaters are probably unarmed normally.

  • A little further on what Bill said. We have to consider ourselves lucky that Holmes only used guns and he was not well trained in using them – it could have been much worse.

    Lets face it. If only 1/10 of 1/10% of our population in America is truly insane enough to perpetrate something like this that is still 30,000+ individuals. In most cases we are lucky they choose less massively lethal ways of killing people.

    In this particular case the bomb making skills were in evidence and could easily have been used but weren’t. I won’t go into the many, many ways to make bombs, biological or chemical agents out of the proverbial “household items”. Suffice to say that we can ban everything but wooden spoons and one of those 30,000 will still find a way.

    At least with guns there is a chance for members of the public to actually defend themselves if they can legally carry. It is really hard to defend yourself against an IED.

  • Anybody that disagrees with the elites and their liberal narrative is both crazy and dangerous.

  • T. Shaw, I shall proudly join you in being both crazy and dangerous. 😉

  • Here is a curious autobiographical fact. On three occasions, I have been in the near vicinity of a bomb explosion.

    The first time, on Monday 22nd January 1962, aged 16, I was on the embankment of the Seine, in front of the French Foreign Office at Quai d’Orsay, when the OAS plastiqueurs set off a bomb there. Three 5 kg (11 lb) charges of C-4 were used, packed into the mouldings of the facade. Hundreds of windows were blown in. One woman was killed and thirteen people injured.

    The second was on Thursday 8th March 1973, when the IRA set off a bomb () outside the Central Criminal Court in Old Bailey in London. The bomb, about 14 kg or 30 lb of Semtex, was in a car across the street from a public house called the Magpie & Stump. One bar faces the street and the other is behind it, reached from an alleyway called Bishop’s Court. I was in the back bar, when the front of the building was blown in. In the street, one person died and one hundred and forty were injured

    The third was on Saturday 17th December 1983, when the IRA planted another car bomb, similar to the Old Bailey bomb, in Hans Crescent, at the back of Harrods’s, the London department store. I was going there to do some Xmas shopping and had stopped to chat to a friend in Sloan Street. I would have used the Hans Crescent entrance. Six people were killed, including three police officers who had just arrived and were still in their car. One of the dead was an American visitor. Ninety people were injured.

    It is worth noting that, in each case, the bomb was small enough to have been carried with ease in a suitcase or back-pack. From 1973 onwards, the regulations and licensing procedure governing the possession, storage and use of explosives, especially plastic explosives, have been tightened considerably. Terrorists in the UK now tend to use hydrogen peroxide based bombs.

    I have never been shot at.

  • Michael,
    So in your cases, 1,1 and 6 were killed. In the USA, lapsed Catholic Timothy McVeigh killed 168 of whom 19 were children with one very big bomb in a truck. According to reports, he received the Catholic Extreme Unction/ Anointing of the Sick… prior to execution.

  • I am not familiar with the current level of gun control, but aren’t there things such as waiting periods and backgrounds checks already in most states, not to mention licenses for concealed carry?

  • Besides, my understanding of the 2nd Amendment is its purpose is to provide citizens some modicum of defense against a tyrannical government, not self protection from criminals. Even if there is a crime/gun ownership correlation, that would seem to be irrelevant to a 2nd Amd analysis (in other words, the Framers determined the trade off was worth it).

  • “…aren’t there things such as waiting periods and backgrounds checks already in most states…?”

    In North Carolina I bought my mini-14 rifle and ammunition by just walking into the gun store and picking and choosing what I wanted.

    But there are mandatory training courses and background checks for conceal and carry handguns which a close friend of mine has. He let me see his handgun one day and by goodness, it’s ammunition would do worse damage than what my mini-14 uses! 😉

    Again, what terrorists like James Holmes and dictators like Barack Hussein Obama fear more than anything else is a well-armed citizenry able to defend its right to life, liberty and the private ownership of property.

  • “…my understanding of the 2nd Amendment is its purpose is to provide citizens some modicum of defense against a tyrannical government, not self protection from criminals.”

    Doesn’t matter, C Matt. Everyone has the moral right to defend his life and that of his loved ones against aggression. The Maccabean brothers knew that.

  • “Besides, my understanding of the 2nd Amendment is its purpose is to provide citizens some modicum of defense against a tyrannical government, not self protection from criminals.”
    Is there a difference?

  • No, Mary De Voe, not in today’s government where the criminal is the President.

  • “The Swiss Guard are actually ready whereas our security in movie theaters are probably unarmed normally.”

    Like the body guards of Ronald Reagan, the Swiss Guards are to throw their bodies down on the Pope as shields against the Pope’s harm. There were several men, real men, who saved their beloved ones.

    Our culture needs to return to the love of man for the love of God.

    While walking home from the fifth grade, my son was shot at with a bb gun. I picked the bbs out of his hood. He could have lost an eye. It is a law of physics: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Let the punishment equal the crime. Bring the power of God into the public square.

  • People don’t stop killers.

    People with guns stop killers.

  • Amen, T. Shaw! Another lesson from the Maccabean brothers, except they had only swords, spears, and bows and arrows to use.

  • Technical point of order for Mr. Primavera (whose points are right on):
    The .223 in your Mini-14 can do a lot more damage at the equivalent range than your friend’s handgun, can, unless he’s got one heck of a handgun. It’s the energy that determines stopping power. Remember that E=1/2mv^2. The .223 has low mass, but – coming out of a rifle barrel with a pretty good charge behind it – has a lot higher velocity. Your rifle will yield about 1100-1200 ft-lbs muzzle energy, depending on the round; a .45 handgun delivers way less than half of that.

    I would reccommend, however, trying to avoid being hit with either 🙂

    Rules for a gunfight (traditional):
    1) Bring a gun
    2) Bring more guns
    3) Bring all your friends with guns

  • Hey! A guy who knows Newtonian physics. Hooray! Thanks, Mike the Geek!

  • Because I’m a stodgy and un-fun kind of guy (and I authored the post) I’m just going to stick my nose back into the threat briefly and say that I don’t think it’s remotely accurate to describe the current president as a dictator or a criminal. I most certainly want to defeat the guy in November, but we’ve been blessed to have real criminals or dictators among our presidents, and I think it’s worth keeping that in mind. Otherwise I’d feel like I was following in the path of so many of my liberal acquaintances who spent eight years suffering from Bush Derangement Syndrome.

  • Agreed Darwin. Obama is not a criminal or a dictator. He merely is a President giving James Buchanan a run for his money in regard to Buchanan’s title of worst President of the United States! 🙂

  • *dryly* Yeah, let’s have more gun control, especially gun free zones– they work so well for preventing a large number of deaths.

  • I suspect that one reason support for gun control has dropped so dramatically over the past 20-30 years is the spread of concealed carry laws to the majority of states. The doomsayers who predicted that concealed carry would lead to constant Wild West-like shootouts have, for the most part, been proven wrong. As gun ownership and carry permits become more common– every state except, you guessed it, Illinois has some provisions for civilians to carry concealed weapons, though some states make the rules so strict that they might as well be no-carry states — more people learn how to use guns properly, and more people successfully use guns to defend themselves or their families, they lose their fear of them.

  • Donald R McClary

    There is a street market for second0hand books in Farringdon Street in the City of London, where second-hand books are sold, usually for coppers. I once saw a copy of “Mr Buchanan’s Administration on the Eve of the Rebellion” there, rather handsomely bound and gilded. It had one of those engraved heraldic book plates on the inside front cover, of the kind rather pretentious Victorians used to put in their books. The man wanted £5 for it, but accepted £3.

    Of course, I checked the arms in Papworth and it turned out it had belonged to Sir Edward Gray, who was British Foreign Secretary from 1905-1916. He obviously acquired it before being created a Viscount in 1916, as there was no coronet or supporters on the arms. It is now in my old college library.

  • What a coincidence MPS! I have a copy of one of the volumes in the Cambridge Ancient hstory that had once been in Grey’s library! He lived until 1933 and I assume his lbirary, or portions of it, must have been sold off after his death.

  • Did it have a book-plate?

  • Yep. And the spine in gold leaf states that it was part of his library.

  • I most certainly want to defeat the guy in November, but we’ve been blessed to have real criminals or dictators among our presidents, and I think it’s worth keeping that in mind.

    I think you can make a case for the criminality of some (I would be cautious with that – there’s a whole ‘investigative reporter’ subculture which has for forty years or more been manufacturing literature contending each and all were) and Jackson, Lincoln, Wilson, and Roosevelt were certainly severely and unjustly abusive to swaths of the domestic opposition and to people who just happened to be in the way. However, I do not think there has ever been a time where public policy could be made on the President’s whim.

  • Elaine,
    New Jersey allows concealed carry but to the absolutely rare person as per your remark. NJ is the most densely populated state per square mile so it makes sense vis a vis the probability of a distant bystander being hit by an errant self defense shot. P.A. is actually an open carry state except for large cities, Federal buildings and state parks; and concealed carry seems very possible there to almost anyone normal since many towns probably prefer that people don’t open carry for tourism reasons. Visiting my brother in Shippensburg PA, I never saw a person open carrying because not crime but bad teenage driving seems to be the greater danger in some rural areas. What should be allowed and is not in big NE cities is the .410 pistol that shoots a shotgun shell that quickly dissipates in power past the criminal’s space. So far though these pistols also shoot the .45. Where’s the creativity? Make a .410 only pistol which would stop criminals but dissipate as to far away bystanders in populous states.

  • Art,

    I’m an idiot. That was meant to read, “we’ve been blessed NOT to have real criminals or dictators among our presidents.”

  • Police don’t stop killers. People with guns stop killers.

    NY Daily News: “The evidence is clear: Massacres are stopped by legally armed citizens.”

The Magical Mystery Glock

Thursday, January 20, AD 2011

In the wake of the Tuscon shooting, there have been renewed call for gun control. This is hardly surprising, and while from my own point of view it seems like an attempt to make political hay out of widespread shock and fear, and I can certainly understand that for those who believe that our current gun laws make violence more common, this sort of event would seem to confirm their thesis. What is not, however, reasonable from those who believe that gun control would be a good thing for our country, is the odd fixation of the anti-gun lobby on the Glock brand.

The Glock 19

One common question from gun control advocates in the wake of the shooting was, “Why would any reasonable person think that civilians should need or want to own Glocks?” New York Times columnist Gail Collins summed up this line of thinking well in a column entitled “A Right to Bear Glocks?” Collins writes:

Today, the amazing thing about the reaction to the Giffords shooting is that virtually all the discussion about how to prevent a recurrence has been focusing on improving the tone of our political discourse. That would certainly be great. But you do not hear much about the fact that Jared Loughner came to Giffords’s sweet gathering with a semiautomatic weapon that he was able to buy legally because the law restricting their sale expired in 2004 and Congress did not have the guts to face up to the National Rifle Association and extend it.

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20 Responses to The Magical Mystery Glock

  • Granting that the Glock isn’t any more deadly than other handguns and granting that past gun control laws haven’t done much, what’s wrong with advocating an extended magazine ban? Loughner would have shot more people had his gun held more rounds. That’s undeniable.

  • Well, we’ve had extended magazine bans in the past, and they’ve neither prevented mass killings nor made an impact in the murder rate. It’s true that Loughner was tackled when he had trouble changing magazines, but a lot of mass killers (including Virginia Tech, Fort Hood and Columbine) used standard size magazines and changed them repeatedly before being tackled.

    I have no great attachment to extended magazines; I’m just not clear that banning them would achieve anything other than making gun control advocates feel good.

  • The Glock 9 mm. is light.

    Real men carry something effective like the M1911 .45 Government issue, or whatever.

    Heck, a rolled up magazine or newspaper is an effective weapon when intelligently employed. Thing is: need to keep alert and be ready to act at all times.

    PS: If that were a GOP gathering, someone would have stopped him before he got off three rounds.

    Fight gun violence! Shoot back.

  • If gun control had won, Loughner would still be shooting sheeple.

    This is not 1994. Tucson is similar to the 1993 LIRR raison d’etre for the 879th thru 902nd gun control laws, and Carolyn McCarthy and her 100% promotion of abortion and common snese socialism.

    Then, a white-hating, Jamaican immigrant shot up a commuter RR car. Mayor Dinkens (first and last black NYC mayor) was boss in NYC. So fellow-racist Colin Ferguson waited until the train was outside NYC to open fire. He was safe. No one in NYC and Nassau can carry a weapon except the murderers and cops that respond in 20 minutes.

    The sheeple had gun control to protect them!

    They were blessed with security and safety and got to experience how it feels to sit in their and cringe in their seats while the GUN calmly walked the aisle pumping rounds into sheeps’ heads.

    Fight gun violence. Shoot back.

    [T. Shaw — I take your point, but I’m going to ask you to avoid the sheep/sheeple kind of terminology when talking about shooting victims. It comes off as seriously heartless.]

  • “I have no great attachment to extended magazines; I’m just not clear that banning them would achieve anything other than making gun control advocates feel good.”

    Bingo. That has usually been the only good achieved by gun control legislation. However, in this political environment even this type of empty symbolic legislation is going nowhere quickly.

  • That has usually been the only good achieved by gun control legislation. However, in this political environment even this type of empty symbolic legislation is going nowhere quickly.

    I would just point out that it is often difficult for a sociologist to ascertain the effects of incremental policy changes. That does not mean that the policy changes are worthless, merely that their effects are difficult to isolate and discern. (And if I am not mistaken, hauling people in on weapons offenses was one of the salient features of ‘broken windows’ policing. ‘Symbolic legislation’ can have some salutary spill-over benefits.

  • I would just point out that it is often difficult for a sociologist to ascertain the effects of incremental policy changes. That does not mean that the policy changes are worthless, merely that their effects are difficult to isolate and discern.

    True — though I as regards to my own support or opposition to something I think I’d tend to feel it’s necessary for me to see a clear cause and effect relationship, at least when it comes to instituting a legal ban on things. I think a lot of gun enthusiasts would fear that the primary incremental result from an extended gun magazine ban would be more restrictive gun bans in the future.

    I guess my attitude toward extended magazine bans is:

    If a ban were suggested against 20+ round magazines, I wouldn’t support it (and if I were in congress I wouldn’t vote for it) but it wouldn’t worry me much and I wouldn’t bother opposing it much either.

    If the 10+ round magazine of the “assault weapon” ban were brought back, I would bestir myself to oppose it a bit, but I still wouldn’t be extremely upset if it passed.

    I don’t really think either one of these is a good idea or would save a discernible number of lives — to be honest the main effect might be to increase the paranoia of the more extreme band of gun rights enthusiast — but I don’t think the loss of magazine size beyond ten would be a major problem for legal gun owners. Of course, that’s mainly because I think such a ban would do absolutely nothing to change the overall effectiveness of guns. It would just remove a completely surface level aspect of “bad-assery” from the gun store.

  • Mac,


    I was out with arthroscopic knee surgery or I would have been on the LIRR train that that bad man shot up. I was also present at the (1993/2001) WTC bombings.

    Maintain a low profile, stay alert, keep moving, don’t get silouhetted on a military horizon, etc.

    Sorry, again. In doesn’t mean anything. One more such incident and I’m “packing it in.”

  • T. Shaw,

    Actually, that was me stepping in as editor — we each edit the threads on our own posts.

    Definitely understand. There are much lesser scares that have made me very glad to be a gun owner over the years. I just want to make sure we keep a level of discussion here at TAC that stays within certain bounds. Kind of the online version of broken window policing. 🙂

  • The 1994 ban on extended magazines didn’t ban existing magazines.
    The V Tech killer used a Glock with 15-round magazines. It’s very possible that he would’ve shot fewer people had it been 10-round magazines. One of the guns used in Columbine was a TEC-DC9 with a pre-ban 32-round magazine from which 55 shots were fired.

    It’s true that criminals will adapt to a ban by buying more magazines, guns, or recruiting accomplices. But every additional level of complexity is a place where criminals can get tripped up and it doesn’t affect law-abiding gun owners at all.

  • I think you kind of need to think about what you’re proposing here versus the size of the theoretical benefit. “Banning existing magazines” may sound very easy on paper, but in fact it would mean trying to confiscate tens of millions of magazines from legal gun owners — magazines that were bought legally and which have only an infinitessimal chance of every being involved in any crime. You’d doubtless have a lot of people who would (for one reason or another) defy the law, and so you’d have law enforcement tied up with enforcing it and the justice system tied up with prosecuting people for crimes (I’m assuming you’d have to make this a fellony to get any compliance) related to the law.

    And all of that chaos in hopes that maybe in the handful of crimes each year in which more than a dozen shots are fired, that changing magazines (assuming that the law succeeded in keeping these incredibly plentiful things from ending up on the black market) would trip up a criminal and thus result in fewer shots being fired?

    I can seriously see how, at first pass, the idea seems like a well intentioned way to “do something” about violence in the face of a news story about one of the exceptional events in which a lot of shots are fired, but it seems to me that once you think about it a bit the whole thing becomes both ineffective and untennable.

  • There are very few things impossible policy wise. Offer a $50 bounty on magazines with a capacity over 10, and you would see a significant number of magazines out of circulation. Combine that requiring a permit to transport after 180 days, and the problem would seem to be solved. I’m not claiming such a thing is prudent; I’m simply claiming it is a policy obstacle that can be overcome.

  • I wouldn’t want to spend much more than the recycle value to take illicit magazines off the streets. After a ban, I’d prefer that private charities do that. I think the most effective part of the ban would be making them unavailable at legit gun stores like the ones where Loughner and Seung-Hui Cho bought theirs. Marginal benefit for sure, but also marginal cost.

  • But if a “complete” ban actually left tens of millions of the things floating around the country on the grey market (which is seems to me either RR or MZ’s proposals would) then you might as well save the money on collection and enforcement and just have a ban on manufacture and sale of new ones.

    Which, yeah, might mean that some crazy intent on shooting a lot of people shot them with a 2-3 second pause every ten shots. I’m just not clear that’s a huge benefit.

    Like I say, I don’t see a huge downside to a “high capacity” magazine ban (though I see exactly zero chance of such a thing passing any time in the near future) I just don’t think there would be much upside other than annoying gun owners and making gun control advocates feel mildly better.

    If there was to be a piece of legislation taken out of this whole tragedy, I’d think the most obvious choice would be trying to come up with a way to make it harder for someone who has been reported to police repeatedly for issuing death threats and generally unstable behavior to walk in and buy a gun and ammo without having to answer a few questions or get put on a waiting list or something.

  • “If there was to be a piece of legislation taken out of this whole tragedy, I’d think the most obvious choice would be trying to come up with a way to make it harder for someone who has been reported to police repeatedly for issuing death threats and generally unstable behavior to walk in and buy a gun and ammo without having to answer a few questions or get put on a waiting list or something.”

    1. Make it easier to involuntarily commit crazy people who are a danger to themselves and to other. 2. Create institutions to treat and care for said crazy people. The civil libertarians would howl at one, and the cost would make most people howl at two. Until we bite the bullet on this, we will still have the odd massacre by someone who is deranged, and clearly mentally ill people living homeless on our streets.

  • Make it easier to involuntarily commit crazy people who are a danger to themselves and to other.

    We had a case in Brooklyn where a student was involuntarily committed for weeks. Turned out the student was completely sane. If anybody supports this now, they won’t once more stories like that come out.

    Create institutions to treat and care for said crazy people.

    Again, in NY, back in the 60’s and 70’s, notoriously underfunded mental institutes arguable made matters worse than no funding at all because it gave people the impression that something was being done. There is no public support for increased funding and politicians would rather dip into the coffers to buy votes than help non-voters.

  • In this political climate, political dissidents would end up in the mental institutions just like in the USSR.

    “Oh, you think that blob of cells is a human being, do you Mr. McClarey? Well that is clearly an insane belief, and you may be a pro-life terrorist. 3 years in a psychiatric ward! Next!”

    Besides, didn’t that incompetent left-wing sheriff know about Loughner in advance? Wasn’t it is professional failure that really is to blame here?

  • No Joe, I assure you that by the time I was done in the courtroom those who sought to involuntarily commit me would find themselves buried in litigation for the remainder of their existence. Contra One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest it is very difficult, certainly in Illinois, to have manifestly mentally ill people committed against their will. The streets and jails are currently where the majority of seriously mentally ill people are “housed” in this country. The fortunate ones live with long-suffering relatives who are often at their wits end as to what to do.

  • I don’t know RR, I think the student in question might be a few screws loose:

    In Illinois a legal hearing would have had to have been conducted, with appointed counsel for her prior to her committment.

  • Glock 19 “not suited for… personal protection.”
    Thanks! I needed a good laugh.
    And thank you for posting the picture of the Beretta, which aesthetically blows the polyGlock out of the water.
    Oops. Violent rhetoric. Mea culpa.

Hobbesian Gun Control

Tuesday, July 27, AD 2010

I was struck by a passage out of this recent National Review piece by Keven D. Williamson in reference to gun control:

People have a visceral reaction to guns, which is why the reactions to the Supreme Court’s recent decision in McDonald v. City of Chicago have been so emotional. One extraordinarily telling reaction came from David Ignatius of the Washington Post, whose response was headlined: “The Supreme Court Gun Decision Moves Us Toward Anarchy.” Mr. Ignatius wrote: “My biggest worry with Monday’s Supreme Court decision is that by ruling, in effect, that every American can apply for a gun license, the justices will make gun ownership much more pervasive in a society that already has too many guns. After all, if I know that my neighbor is armed and preparing for Armageddon situations where law and order break down (as so many are — just read the right-wing blogs) then I have to think about protecting my family, too. That’s the state-of-nature, everyone for himself logic that prevails in places such as Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Mr. Ignatius here is remarkably forthcoming:

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18 Responses to Hobbesian Gun Control


    The logic of David Ignatius is frightening and sobering. Unfortunately there are some Catholics who tend to agree with this absurd paranoia and distrust of fellow citizens.

    With due credit to Hobbes, he recognized as absolutely paramount the right to self-preservation. Modern “progressives” are even sub-Hobbesian, willing to throw their own lives onto the pyre – what WOULD they do if it all broke down? They’d be dead in a week, and the right-wing “nut” would survive.

    No one WANTS the state of war, moreover – as if the Lebanese people like living that way, or as if anyone does – and it isn’t entirely irrational to take modest precautions in the event of societal collapse, especially in times such as ours, during which the government is determined to see how much money it can create and spend before destroying the entire economy.

  • There is also a decided element of class snobbery to this as well, a profound distrust of/disgust with the great unlettered and their pastimes.

    It’s enclave thinking, and Ignatius needs to leave his bubble much more often.

  • The Hobbesian horror is a failure of the progressive’s imagination. Short of the managerial state, there are no intervening institutions or intermediary forms of community that act as a bulwark against chaos. In their view, we are all violent individualists at heart. Those of us with strong families, churches, etc., know otherwise.

    There is also an imaginative failure of the “wisdom of crowds” sort: That decentralized decisions lead to chaos, and only centralized direction works.

  • …Plus guns are just oogedy-boogedy scary to people who haven’t been around them. I don’t own any guns (Hello, criminals!), but my father was a police officer who came home with a .38 every day. It was no big deal to me, but it seemed to shock certain “enclave types” (to borrow from Dale, above) who were surprised to learn that no one actually shot anyone with anything all those years in our home.

  • I don’t own a gun (unless you count a WWII German pistol given to me by my late uncle, which is probably non-functional), and I have zero interest in owning a gun. And I favor reasonable gun regulations. I also favor a faithful interpretation of the Second Amendment just as a matter of principle. Ignatius’s criticism is telling in that it is a policy analysis, not a legal one. Like most Lefties he thinks that the SCOTUS should make policy rather than interpret our laws, including the law of the land, with fidelity. Of course he compounds his felony by commiting poor policy analysis.

  • I have never liked firearms. I haven’t fired one since I left the Army and bid a not so fond farewell to my M-16. However, I fully support the right to keep and bear arms pursuant to the Constitution. I also agree with many of the Founding Fathers that an armed populace is the final defense against a tyrannical government.

    “Conceived it to be the privilege of every citizen, and one of his most essential rights, to bear arms, and to resist every attack upon his liberty or property, by whomsoever made. The particular states, like private citizens, have a right to be armed, and to defend, by force of arms, their rights, when invaded.”

    Roger Sherman 1790

  • I don’t own any guns, and don’t plan to. But I certainly do not begrudge anyone from obtaining one legally.

    Every time this debate comes up I recall the scene from Zombieland:

    “Thank God for rednecks!”

  • There is also a decided element of class snobbery to this as well, a profound distrust of/disgust with the great unlettered and their pastimes.

    Can’t imagine who you have in mind.

  • guns are just oogedy-boogedy scary to people who haven’t been around them.

    I suspect that this effect is exacerbated by the fact that on tv and in the movies guns seem to be an almost magical cause of violence.

  • This is doubtless because they haven’t read enough classic British mysteries, in which people seem always to be mysteriously bludgeoned.

    In addition to the fun of the world “bludgeoned”, we also have the fun that everyone is a suspect!

  • Indeed. There are people around whom I am totally relaxed and at ease when they are holding a gun, and there are people who make me nervous when they hold a sharpened pencil. The problem with gun crime is not the gun, its the crime. The progressive penchant for holding things instead of people responsible is the key difference in the views.

  • “Can’t imagine who you’d have in mind.”

    Believe it or not, not anyone I’ve sparred with on the ‘net.

    It’s implicit in Ignatius’ horrified acknowledgement that “every” (read: the wrong kind) law-abiding American has a protected right under the Second Amendment.

  • Excuse me but are we to assume a rush to purchase most guns today is to protect ones life from other law abiding gun owners? Isn’t that a little absurd?
    If a poll were taken I believe we would find the average first time gun buyer today is most concerned with protecting his liberty and pursuit of happiness. This is the greatest threat to the average American at this time, not common criminals with guns but radical politicians with one party rule and a large following of thugs to enforce their tyrannical agenda.

  • Actually, I think most guns are purchased because people enjoy hunting and/or target shooting.

    Defense against crime probably comes second after that, and defense against the government a distant third.

  • I agree but in your haste..

    You missed my point. Did you not notice I said “first time buyers today”.

  • This is a recurring problem of the leftists.
    They play “humanitarian” but as soon as you scratch the surface you discover that they don’t like humans.

    The nanny thinking is the fruit of the same mentality: “you are a bunch of savages and we enlightened people must make civilised being out of animals like you” is the implied message.

  • So according to this article, progressives/liberals think the only thing standing between us and Mad Max-style anarchy is an all-powerful nanny state. Well, pardon my bluntness here, but what did they expect when they have been going around for decades trying to convince people that the freedom to copulate at will like savages is the only freedom that really counts, and anything or anyone that gets in the way of it (particularly inconvienient spouses and unborn children) can and should be disposed of at will? Or when they blame crime solely or primarily on poverty, lack of education, racism, mental/emotional illness, etc., and disregard the notion of free will? In essence, they’ve already conceded a low opinion of the common person as little more than animals who can’t help themselves, so it’s no wonder they assume that anyone who gets their hands on a gun has the potential to turn into some kind of crazed psycho.

  • Once guns are taken out of the commoners’ hands, knives and other sharp objects begin to take on the oogedy-boogedy scary aspect. Not sure what comes after that. Brass candlesticks perhaps.

    I admit to having a visceral reaction to the AYA side-by-side in the LL Bean hunting catalog, but it has remarkably little to do with my fear of a tyrannical government.

Debate on Armed Protesters at Townhall Meetings

Wednesday, September 2, AD 2009

[Updates at the bottom of this article]

Though long (my solution was to download the MP3 and listen to it in the background throughout the day) this BloggingHeads discussion between Megan McArdle of the The Atlantic (libertarian) and author Michelle Goldberg (left-ish) about protesters carrying guns at townhall meetings was very interesting. Michelle takes the position (which I imagine we’ve all heard somewhere) that these open carry protesters are trying to exert political intimidation through threat of violence and are indeed likely to commit violence. Megan explains why she thinks it much more likely that they’re simply gun nuts trying to make a point about 2nd Amendment rights. (In a way, incidentally, which neither McArdle nor I support, but still almost certainly not in fact a violent threat to the nation with whose brush the entire right side of the political spectrum can be tarred by association.)

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7 Responses to Debate on Armed Protesters at Townhall Meetings

  • Leave the guns at home folks! People who bring guns to these meetings, and they have been very few judging from media accounts, are playing right in to the hands of their adversaries.

  • I thought the fact Michelle said she would take the bet at 10 to 1 odds, then backed off when Megan said she’d give her those odds was interesting.

  • Agreed, Don. I hope I haven’t given the impression that it’s anything other than idiotic to bring a gun to a political protest, no matter how calmly you behave after you get there.

    I just think the claim that the right wing of the country is on the verge of breaking out into some sort of political violence is not only idiotic and irresponsible, but also probably by people who don’t really believe it.


    Yeah, that was pretty impressive.

  • Agreed Darwin. I have been impressed at how orderly most of the townhalls have been, in spite of high passions.

  • I am a believer in the 2nd amendment, but it is idiotic and counterproductive for people to bring guns to townhall meetings.

    The townhalls are not about gun control, they’re about healthcare. Stay on topic, folks, or you look like confused scatterbrains! It reminds me of leftists who would turn up at anti-war protests with pro-abort signs, pro-gay marriage signs, pro-PETA signs, whatever their favorite pet cause was. The message I got was “Yeah, the war’s bad, but what I really, really want you to know is that I’m against fur coats!”

  • As an avid gun owner and shooter who is adamant about the 2nd amendment…. it is absolutely ridiculous to openly carry at a political event, or frankly, anywhere else that you are likely to cause alarm, and embarrassment to gun owners… This hurts our cause.

  • As a retired LEO, firearms instructor, and shooter for half a century now–I am a strong 2nd Amendment supporter for good reasons. But “open carry”, and particularly “in your face” open carry is just dumb. It’s about on the same level as shouting obscenities just because you can.

    Sometimes I think half the population suffered arrested development at about the third grade level. Probably some residual impressions left over from my old job.

Law, Free Will, Choice and… Guns

Monday, May 4, AD 2009

In my mis-spent youth, I used to listen to NPR’s Morning Edition every morning while doing my math (yes, that’s the kind of thing we wacky homeschoolers get away with). One morning (this was probably around ’93) they were covering a “guns for toys” program, where people were being encouraged to bring real or toy guns down to their local police station and pick up stuffed animals in exchange.

How warm and fuzzy can you get? (And seriously, how many hardened criminals did the people staging this imagine would repent and come get a teddy in return for their gat?) They interviewed a few kids who dutifully said that they knew it was better to play with animals than with their toy guys they’d turned in. Then they interviewed an eighty-year-old woman who’d just turned in the police revolver that her grandfather used to carry in the 1870s and 1880s. “I’ve never shot it,” she said. “But I’d kept it all these years as a piece of family history. But you know, things aren’t the same anymore. I heard about this exchange and I thought: It’s not the wild west anymore. I’d better go turn this in to the police where it belongs. I think we’d all be a lot safer without so many guns around.”

Maybe in some abstract sense we would — but I’m not sure we got any safer when that old lady turned in her piece of family history.

However as I was thinking the other day about the enthusiasm for gun control (or just outright banning guns) on the left, this clicked into place as half of the puzzle. Here’s the other half:

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12 Responses to Law, Free Will, Choice and… Guns

  • A good set of reflections on this issue, Darwin. Enjoyable reading!

    I will say, however, that not everyone on the left is in favor of a total ban on guns. Most are simply for “more gun control”. While to those of us who support the second amendment, it looks bad no matter what, there is a difference between the two positions.

    In my experience the most hysterical opponents of guns have been liberal moms. And the reason they are afraid of them is that they don’t know how they work, really. Some of them act like a gun could magically go off on its own. Even some guys I have known – the sight of a gun makes them terrified.

    It is one of those Hobbesian policy pursuits driven by terror and fear of other individuals that leads a lot of people to want to transfer the right to bear arms to special forces like police and military units, and out of the hands of all citizens.

    All we can do is reassert our rights as responsible citizens. It isn’t even as much about the guns themselves as it is, like you said, about our free will.

  • Elegant analogy. One wonders, though, why there is no movement to ban kitchen knives or any of a number of toxins as well. They can have my Henkel’s parers when they pry them…

  • The biggest thing I see with guns is that they are most used to kill people;
    For example, some swords are generally outlawed (well in some places) because their only and sole intention is for murder (more or less).
    But butter knives, on the other hand, are very rarely used to kill someone, so to me it is more of a justification based on the fact that if something is used to kill, it should not be allowed.
    Coat hangers are useful for something other than killing; hanging up clothes, but if a coat hanger came out saying that it was specifically designed to kill, it would surely be immoral (and most likely outlawed).
    Just presenting a point.

  • The biggest thing I see with guns is that they are most used to kill people;

    This is probably because you don’t have much experience with guns. They are, in fact, very rarely used to kill people.

  • I think the gun control/AIDS prevention topic is interesting. Generally, people who support “safe sex” don’t support “safe gun ownership”. They’d rather you not have a gun at all. But they don’t believe it’s reasonable to expect people to voluntarily abstain from extramarital sex.

  • The biggest thing I see with guns is that they are most used to kill people

    My father carried a gun every day for 30 years (he was a police officer), and never killed or even injured anyone with it. Same with 97% of his colleagues. The utility of firearms goes beyond the point at which they’re fired; carrying one as a peace officer or even a legally authorized citizen can act as a deterrent to crime and actually de-escalate the violence. And no, this is not an argument to expand concealed carry laws and spread Wild West justice.

    We’re enamored of our data points, so we like to wring our hands about the stats on gun violence, but there are no data kept on the threat of lawful and morally licit force used as a deterrent to violence. It’s very common in policy analysis to over-emphasize the costs of a policy and diminish its benefits.

  • “To others its just a scary and evil hunk of metal which is liable to get up and make someone kill someone else.”

    Frankly, it’s this visceral “ick” factor which drives a lot of the anti-firearms advocacy. It certainly has driven legislative policy, namely the “assault weapons” ban, which has everything to do with how the gun looks and nothing with how it functions, given the far more dangerous weaponry it leaves untouched.

  • Well, the FBI lists guns in the upper 60 percentile of all murder/negligent homicide weapons, but cuts and stabbing come in second at 13%. (See Census 2000 site.)Maybe we oughtta round up those cleavers!

    Guns do have their legitimate uses. Around my neck of the woods, they are very widely used for deer huntin’, turkey huntin’ quail huntin’, etc.

  • I recall seeing a local story on a gun exchange and plenty of well meaning people were turning in “grandpa’s old gun” there were plenty of Word War era 1911’s, as well as some (probably rather valuable) 19th century and early 20th century revolvers. It was all getting melted down/destroyed/etc. It was like burning money.

    Some of those guns could have sold for thousands and the gov’t paid somone to destroy them.

  • Catholic teaching is very clear on obligation defend our families. Knowing that many, many criminals can only be stopped from bringing serious harm to them without the use of a firearm, it is completely moral for us to be armed in the event that such an incident should occur, while praying daily that it all may be at peace.

    It seems to me odd that most on the left seek to “control” access to guns for those who are law-abiding, a very odd strategy to reduce gun crime by criminals. A tactic which has never proven effective in the US or any similar situation.

    It should be noted that these recent mass murderers almost universally are committed in places in which it is illegal for law-abiding citizens to defend themselves from mass murderers. They seek out places where they can do the most damage. The left would see the whole country in the same state.

  • pardon the bad grammar.

  • This story from WBS Atlanta is a very good example of legitimate self -defence (and defense of others):

    COLLEGE PARK, Ga. — A group of college students said they are lucky to be alive and they’re thanking the quick-thinking of one of their own. Police said a fellow student shot and killed one of two masked me who burst into an apartment.

    Channel 2 Action News reporter Tom Jones met with one of the students to talk about the incident.

    “Apparently, his intent was to rape and murder us all,” said student Charles Bailey.

    TOM JONES: College Student Shoots, Kills Home Invader

    Bailey said he thought it was the end of his life and the lives of the 10 people inside his apartment for a birthday party after two masked men with guns burst in through a patio door.

    “They just came in and separated the men from the women and said, ‘Give me your wallets and cell phones,’” said George Williams of the College Park Police Department.

    Bailey said the gunmen started counting bullets. “The other guy asked how many (bullets) he had. He said he had enough,” said Bailey.

    That’s when one student grabbed a gun out of a backpack and shot at the invader who was watching the men. The gunman ran out of the apartment.

    The student then ran to the room where the second gunman, identified by police as 23-year-old Calvin Lavant, was holding the women.

    “Apparently the guy was getting ready to rape his girlfriend. So he told the girls to get down and he started shooting. The guy jumped out of the window,” said Bailey.

    A neighbor heard the shots and heard someone running nearby.

    “And I heard someone say, ‘Someone help me. Call the police. Somebody call the police,’” said a neighbor.

    The neighbor said she believes it was Lavant, who was found dead near his apartment, only one building away.

    Bailey said he is just thankful one student risked his life to keep others alive.

    “I think all of us are really cognizant of the fact that we could have all been killed,” said Bailey.

    One female student was shot several times during the crossfire. She is expected to make a full recovery.

    Police said they are close to making the arrest of the second suspect.

    Imagine being the parent of one of the students there. Would you not be thankful that your child escaped being raped and killed due to the actions of a friend?