Firing Too Quickly, and Missing the Target

Liberals are already using recent tragedies as opportunity to push gun control agenda


It was only a matter of time until the liberals went there. Not enough hours had even passed to allow the soil to settle at the grave sites of so many innocent victims, taken from this life at the hands of criminals and killers, before those on the left once again hopped on the latest crisis and tragedy to advance another aspect of their contraconstitutional agenda.

In this case, the liberal fodder was indeed a staggering and tragic loss of life over the past few weeks. In fact, 57 people are dead because of recent gun violence, including seven police officers.

And sure enough, in “The Guns of Spring,” an op-ed piece published in yesterday’s New York Times, writer Timothy Egan tugged at heartstrings, lamenting our indifference to gun violence in America.


In a month of violence gruesome even by our own standards, 57 people have lost their lives in eight mass shootings. The killing grounds include a nursing home, a center for new immigrants, a child’s bedroom. Before that it was a church, a college, a daycare center.

We hear about these sketches of carnage between market updates and basketball scores — and shrug. We’re the frogs slow-boiling in the pot, taking it all in incrementally until we can’t feel a thing. We shrug because that’s the deal, right? That’s the pact we made, the price of Amendment number two to the Constitution, right after freedom of speech.

Don’t get me wrong — nobody wants to see innocent men and women fall victim to someone bent on taking life but, in this case, Egan has gone way over the top.

The killing grounds? He might as well have said “the killing fields.” After all, why not compare the unfortunate and tragic actions taken by a handful of individual criminals with the execution of hundreds of thousands of Cambodians by the Khmer Rouge if such a comparison will draw enough ire so as to stoke passions on the left? Given how Egan began his article, melodramatically wordsmithing like a hybrid of Emeril Lagasse and an overzealous freshman journalism student, understatement certainly doesn’t seem to be his strong suit.

Take the column apart, piece-by-piece, and you’ll find that every hyper-emotional phrase in Egan’s commentary only underscores just how badly the American political left is in need of an excuse to justify the expansion of federal gun control legislation, specifically the reinstatement of the so-called Assault Weapons Ban, a Clinton-era failure which fortunately was permitted to sunset in 2004.

The Assault Weapons Ban, like so many other ineffective gun control measures, attempts to stem gun violence among criminals–people who break the law–by placing new laws on the books. At the end of the day, however, only law-abiding citizens–people who do not break the law–are affected, and the measure essentially takes mechanisms for self-defense away from those who want the ability to lawfully defend themselves and their families from criminals who, by very definition, don’t pay much attention to the laws in the first place.

So ineffective on stemming gun violence and criminality is the Assault Weapons Ban that, back in February, new Attorney General Eric Holder attempted to rationalize its resurgence by insinuating that abridging the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens in the United States would somehow decrease Mexican drug cartel violence . . . in Mexico.

In reality, says Clark Neily, senior attorney at the Washington, D.C.-based Institute for Justice, Holder’s justification is just the latest example of how policymakers apply a “politically popular Band-Aid” to a difficult social problem (in the case of Holder’s rationale, drug violence due to ineffective drug laws) rather than do the work necessary to properly address the root of the problems at hand. Neily, who most recently served as co-counsel for Dick Heller in District of Columbia v. Heller, the seminal 2008 case in which the U.S. Supreme Court held that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to own and keep firearms in the home for self-defense, dismissed the Assault Weapons Ban as merely a “a feel-good measure for liberal politicians and their gun-fearing constituents” and called the notion that its reinstatement could somehow turn the tide in Mexico’s drug war “absurd.”

“First of all, the so-called ‘Assault Weapons Ban’ is a misnomer,” Neily told America’s Right, “It is, in fact, a ‘scary-looking gun ban,’ as many others have pointed out. Furthermore, the notion that the free availability of semi-automatic weapons in the United States has any significant impact on the extent or intensity of the violence in the Mexican drug trade is not only absurd but frankly infantile. Holder’s suggestion that reimposing the Assault Weapons Ban would have a positive impact in Mexico strikes me as either deeply ignorant, deeply cynical, or both.”

Banning guns in any way, Neily said, only affects the ability of responsible, law-abiding Americans to defend themselves, as criminals will always have access to illegal guns. He went on to use the example of narcotics which, of course, are “strictly banned in the United States” but nonetheless enjoy almost limitless availability.

“Of course, a substantial proportion of the illegal drugs in the United States come in through Mexico,” Neily said. “The notion that banning various types of firearms would somehow magically make them harder for criminals to obtain, however, flies in the face of our experience with the drug war and once again displays an almost infantile perspective on the efficacy of banning items that significant numbers of people wish to possess and that, unless used irresponsibly, are not necessarily harmful to society.”

In his commentary, Timothy Egan would like us to believe, similarly, that the tide of violence and criminality in America will miraculously ebb with the passage of new laws. What he and his ilk fail to understand is that criminality in itself is the ignorance of such laws, and violence is more often than not the end result.

At the end of his piece, Egan reinforces this point beautifully, writing about how until better gun control measures are in place, “[t]he rest of us can only mourn and shrug, marking grim anniversaries: Virginia Tech, Columbine, and on, and on, and on.” Oddly enough, gun control measures had ample opportunity to stop the shootings at Virginia Tech and Columbine High School, not to mention the incidents at Northern Illinois University, the Trolley Square Mall in Salt Lake City, and the Westroads Mall in Omaha. All of those places were so-called “Gun-Free Zones,” schools and shopping malls where firearms are strictly prohibited by law. In those cases, however, even the strict prohibition on all firearms did not stop those shooters from killing 62 people. Why? Because the shooters were criminals, and criminals simply do not abide by the law.

In his commentary, Timothy Egan would also like us to believe that, save for that pesky Second Amendment, we could treat gun violence like contaminated food, arguing “[i]f it was peanut butter or pistachio nuts taking down people by the dozens every week, we’d be all over it.”

And again, he argues against his own point beautifully. The recent peanut butter scare, just like the spinach scare and the scallions scare before it, stemmed from a packaging facility contaminated with bacteria. It was that bacteria which sickened and killed people, and if that bacteria were killing dozens of people every week, we would indeed “be all over it.” Stopping the tide of contaminated food, however, involves the meticulous cleanup of the packaging facilities in question so as to ensure that the environment itself is no longer dangerous to end users. By the same logic advanced by Mr. Egan, simply passing further gun control measures in order to stem the tide of gun violence would be akin to prohibiting peanut butter sandwiches in order to prevent people from getting sick — just like the root of the recent salmonella outbreak was the contaminated facility in which the peanut butter was prepared and packaged, the root of the gun violence in America is not the guns, but rather the mentality of the criminals pulling the trigger.

I live in Philadelphia, where the loss of life due to gang violence and drug violence is an everyday occurrence, where on most nights each late local newscast inevitably begins with a shot from a news chopper hovering over the scene of the latest bloodletting. Guns, however, are not the problem here. Instead, the problem in Philadelphia and Oakland and Pittsburgh and Binghamton and beyond starts with the inherent lack of respect for human life and lack of deference to authority. That being said, it’s not surprising that Egan failed to mention the rally held in support of the murdered who gunned down the four Oakland police department, during which people marched in the street, hailing the killer as the hero and the fallen as the oppressors. That’s the foundational mentality. That’s the root cause. That’s the bacteria in your peanut butter sandwich.

Like most liberals when it comes to gun control, Timothy Egan misses the target. To people like Egan, unfortunate gun-related tragedies like we’ve seen over the past few weeks serve as an opportunity to tap into true, justified emotion in a concerted effort to shift blame, much like Egan’s liberal counterparts on Capitol Hill have successfully used the real, justified fear and apprehension which accompanies economic crisis to shift blame onto the free market and rationalize the exponential expansion of the federal government.

In his commentary, Egan also wrote that “nothing is more chilling than a gun advocate racing before a camera to embrace a lunatic’s right to carry and kill.” First, the problem is the lunatic. Second, murder has nothing to do with the right to keep and bear arms. Finally, I don’t know about “chilling,” but I find it awfully heartless of Mr. Egan and his liberal friends to politicize these tragedies, in an attempt to somehow get their argument out first, while the bodies of the fallen are still warm and the wounds of the loved ones left behind are still fresh.

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Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    You cannot keep GUN’S
    away from criminal’s.
    They will get them by any mean’s.
    If Honest and decent
    citizen’s were allowed to carry a gun without
    FEAR of being prosecuted maybe the
    incident in Bingingham,NY could have
    discouraged.
    There are some town’s
    in the U.S. that require a new homeowner
    to have a gun and permit before you can buy a house in their town.
    Taking away “gun right’s” only HELP’S
    the criminal’s.
    They can make their own gun’s and ammo.

  2. Linda says:

    Bravo, Bravo, Bravo for the beginning of what I hope will be the start of many articles about the anti-gunners. The desire to severely restrict and even abolish the Second Amendment in this country is a serious one not to be taken lightly.

    Everyone knew it was only a matter of time. I draw your attention to the latest article by Ann Coulter on the subject also: “Let’s All Surrender Our Weapons — You First!” http://anncoulter.com/. She also hits the nail on the head.

    As a Federal Firearms Dealer, I know firsthand how responsible gun owners are. We have had guns at our home, and guns in our store for years and not once (yes, believe it or not, not once) has one jumped off the counter, out of our safe, or out of a closet to do harm to us or any person. Not once has a criminal come into our store to purchase a gun. That’s what drug runners/dealers, and those who want to keep us subservient are for. You don’t have to be a Rhodes scholar to figure out that imposing even more strict gun laws will do nothing to curb violence. For the most part, gun owners are the most responsible and respectful people I know. I agree with Anonymous above in that if one, just one, person in this New York city would have been allowed to have a concealed carry permit, the death toll would have been far less. If the teachers in Virginia were allowed to carry, there would be several more young and vital students alive today . . . and on and on.

    The Second Amendment is to protect the people from enemies foreign and DOMESTIC and THAT is the protection of which they are afraid. Stand strong against the attack on the Second Amendment.

    Thanks, Jeff. I look forward to your continued follow-up of this issue and their attempted erosion of the rights upon which this country is founded.

  3. Anonymous says:

    A year or so ago I saw a special on the women in the Congo. It was terrible. They had no way to protect themselves and were (and still are) gang raped often. It showed them building walls made out of mud bricks. While it really didn’t provide any protection from the guerilla, Militiamen, it made them feel better. However, it didn’t protect their husband or children from being killed. Or prevent them from watching their mother being raped multiple times.

    Here is my point. Mr. Obama does not even believe in the castle law, where one can protect themselves with arms while in their own home. Being a woman who lives alone,
    it is conceivable not being allowed to protect myself. While where I live the crime
    rate is not high; however, if it got back why should I not be able to protect myself?
    Tell me this, how is this much different than those in the Congo. Police cannot be everywhere all the time.

    To further my argument, just recently I heard about an older woman got raped by a man who came in through a basement window. Then in about a week, he came back in the newly fixed window; however, this time the woman shot him. Here is the question, what would have happened if she hadn’t been able to protect herself? Perhaps it would have been her life at the very least she probably would have been raped again. I ask you how is this any different that what is happening in the Congo? Except we have the RIGHT to protect ourselves. We must do everything we can to keep this RIGHT!

  4. quatelly says:

    I agree with Anonymous, if people can carry guns, a lot of these incidents would be stopped in their tracks.

  5. cher-pa says:

    Yesterday the Pittsburgh news outlets carried day long coverage of the 3 city police officers that were shot and killed.The coverage was heart renching and the respect these police officers recieved was astounding.I Watched with tears in my eyes as the 20,000 plus brotherhood of men in blue and the thousands of regular citizens lined the streets to pay their final respects to these brave men.
    God rest their souls.

    Now that these fine young men are laid to rest I cant help but fear for our second ammendment.Every spring as the grass turns green and new life sprouts up everywhere,So does the gun violence.I just wish someone out there would have statistics on the mental health of these killers.It seems to me that most of this violence is a direct result of mental illness and instead of taking guns away from Law abbiding Americans maybe mental health screenings should become a part of gun registration.

    The man that killed these 3 police officers had no remorse and stated that he thought he had killed more.To look at this guy is quite frightning.He has that empty Charles Manson look in his eyes.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Has anyone been able to put in benign context Obama’s comment (to a closed meeting of supporters in San Francisco, that bastion of conservative thought) about “bitter people, clinging to their religion and guns”?

    I’ve always wondered what the discussion/context was that, first, coupled these two freedoms together, and, secondly, what prompted the obvioulsy negative connotation in Obama’s mind (and in the receptive audience to whom the comments were directed). It would make sense that he and his listeners regarded such persons (and freedoms) as a threat to the success of both his campaign and, possibly, his presidency.

    To me, it’s a curious thing that a potential president would consider these Constitutional rights – both a signature birthright of free individuals – a threat – unless, unless, ————–. Uh oh.

    Old Bob

  7. Kris says:

    Ann Coulter’s latest column defends the defenseless:

    http://www.anncoulter.com/

  8. Gail B says:

    GUN CONTROL? Really!

    What about illegal alien control? Where is the outrage over the thousands of deaths of American People at the hands of illegal aliens driving drunk and without a driver license or insurance?

    Where is the outrage over billions of our dollars spent on pork instead of securing our borders?

    My guns were stolen, but I do know how to throw a knife and hit the target solidly with the point. And, I know how to kill a person with one hand — unarmed.

    If I am going to die a violent death, give me a quick bullet rather than bashing my head in. I don’t want to my hair messed up!

    The Macon GA PD told me years ago to get a gun, and this was back in the 1970s. I was sitting at my easel at 3:30 a.m. when I heard someone sneeze outside my window. I called the police and then my next-door neighbor to warn her and ask that she get her gun and watch my house until the police came. And today’s running-rampant government wants to render me defenseless, wants to strip us of our guaranteed right to bear arms? It didn’t work in Great Britain; why would it work here?

    We are going to have such a clean House and Senate, if any of this Marxism is realized by the majority of the American People.

    What about the police guns? We have a nationwide lookout for a law enforcement officer who shot and killed his wife and day laborer, was placed on house arrest, cut his monitoring bracelet, and fled. The company monitoring the bracelet reported him missing TWELVE (12) hours later. But people would really be upset if the police, too, had to give their guns up. Then, so much for police protection!

    I am sick of AKA Obama’s agenda. We have no place else on this planet to go. Why doesn’t he and his minions just pack up and go where things are to his liking and stay there? Leave us the hell alone, Weaslterd (word to verify recently)!

  9. JEFF SCHREIBER says:

    My guns were stolen, but I do know how to throw a knife and hit the target solidly with the point. And, I know how to kill a person with one hand — unarmed.

    If I am going to die a violent death, give me a quick bullet rather than bashing my head in. I don’t want to my hair messed up!

    At times, I think you’re an odd woman, Gail.

    Regardless, remind me not to mess with you!

    You’re like Chuck Norris in a cardigan.

    :)

  10. Jake says:

    Hey Jeff – I like the new look to the site!

  11. Claudia says:

    Canada is ready to REPEAL the law that bans guns all over Canada, they say that the law hasn’t worked and the people need to be able to protect themselves. I think the article was in the Canada Free Press, but not sue. I read it a few weeks ago and found it to be very revealing….. about what gun control doesn’t do.

  12. Linda says:

    “Where is the outrage over the thousands of deaths of American People at the hands of illegal aliens driving drunk and without a driver license or insurance?”

    Gail: One just happened here in Southern California yesterday. A drunk driver, illegal, in violation of suspended driver’s license hit and killed three people. I guess we’re just going to have to outlaw cars too. Wait, didn’t the government just do that with its GM maneuver? My bad.

    Gun control is a marxist population control.

  13. Gail B says:

    Well, Jeff, I was a Girl Scout. “Be Prepared.” I learned how to throw the knife at Girl Scout camp, back in the Stone Age.

    Thank you for saying “odd” instead of “old.”

    I am not your typical “little old lady” by any means. I’ll be 69 in a couple of weeks, but I think of myself as “29 with 40 years experience!”

    As you have discovered, I’m a night owl and hyperactive. At nearly 6 feet in height, I enjoy body leverage that most women don’t have. I am not afraid to live–or afraid to die. (Otherwise I wouldn’t have spent 12 years on a motor/sailboat with a man who suffered from narcolepsy!) I’m just afraid that Buckshot would be sad if something happened to me.

    Pardon my grammatical error–should have been “why DON’T Obama and his minions” because they are plural.

  14. La Muse Poetique says:

    Woah. I didn’t even hear about the protest rally.

    Though I do know that the streets around the University of Pittburgh were shut down with what looked like thousands of cop cars and other cars parked, and the streets were packed with people standing there honouring the four officers, the line of people went all the way to close to my apartment which is 5 blocks away.

    Ugh. I can’t even begin to show my disgust for these protesters…

  15. Linda says:

    As you can tell by my popping in and out, this is my issue. See this video:
    YouTube – CNN Rick Sanchez ‘SLAMS’ FOX News’s Gun Fear Mongering with guest Alan Gottlieb of the Second Amendment Foundation.

    Watch the “delightful” CNN bashing video at: https://secure.conservativedonations.com/saf/?a=2253

  16. tm says:

    Since I am one of those who cling to their guns and a NRA member – Here is some food for thought written by a musician back in 2007 but words ring true for me today:

    Ted Nugent: Gun-free zone is mass murderer’s dream
    Try these on for size:

    Columbine High School. Gun-free zone. New York City pizza shop. Gun-free zone. Pearl (Miss.) High School. Gun-free zone. Luby’s Cafeteria. Gun-free zone. The Amish school in Pennsylvania. Gun-free zone.

    Virginia Tech University. Gun-free zone.

    Anybody see what the evil Sarah Brady and her denial-infested gun-banning cult have created?

    I personally have zero tolerance for evil and denial. And America had best wake up real quick to this fact: The brain-dead celebration of unarmed helplessness will get you killed every time. I’ve about had enough of it.

    Conversely, at a Salt Lake City shopping mall, as occurs every day in varying degrees in this country, this happened:

    An American citizen with a gun in his belt stopped a man from killing more innocent victims.

    Trust in gun owners. In the 1998 school shooting in Springfield, Ore., a high schooler and hunter familiar with firearms was able to know when the student gunman was attempting to reload his .22 rifle.

    He made the tactical decision to tackle the shooter and bring the unfolding rampage to an abrupt end.

    A few years back, a Pennsylvania teacher retrieved his legally-owned Colt .45 and stopped a Columbine-style wannabe from wreaking havoc and murder at his school.

    My hero, Suzanne Gracia Hupp, was not allowed by Texas law to carry her handgun into Luby’s Cafeteria that fateful day years ago. Due to bureaucrat-forced unarmed helplessness, she could do nothing to stop satanic George Henard from slaughtering helpless innocents for no other reason than denial-ridden “feel-good” politics.

    As a state representative, Hupp led the charge for a concealed weapon upgrade in Texas, where we can now stop evil.

    Yet, there are still the mindless puppets of the Brady campaign insisting on continuing the proven gun-free zone insanity by which innocents are forced into helplessness.

    No one was foolish enough to debate Ryder truck regulations or ammonia nitrate restrictions, or a “cult of agriculture fertilizer” following Timothy McVeigh’s heinous crime in Oklahoma City.

    No one faulted kitchen utensils or other hardware of choice after Jeffery Dahmer drugged, mutilated and cannibalized his victims.

    Evil is as evil does, and laws disarming guaranteed victims makes evil people very, very happy. Shame on us.

    Already the Sarah Brady campaign of spinelessness is cavorting like a chicken with its tiny head chopped off — political hay to be made over the Virginia Tech horrors.

    In fact, it is gun-controllers’ own policy that enabled the unchallenged methodical murder of thirty-two students in that “gun-free zone.”

    Thirty-two dead, on a college campus pursuing the American Dream, mowed down over an extended period of time by a lone non-American gunman, in defiance of our “zero tolerance” gun laws. Feel better yet?

    Who doesn’t get this? Who has the audacity to demand unarmed helplessness?

    People who tromp on the Second Amendment, that’s who. They are people who refuse to accept the self-evident truth that free people have the God-given right to keep and bear arms, to defend one’s self and one’s loved ones.

    By their reasoning, Ryder trucks and fertilizer cause terrorism; water causes drownings; forks and spoons cause obesity.

    They believe that dialing 9-1-1 will somehow save your life when faced with a killer.

    For them, the greedy clamoring to “feel good” is more important than admitting that armed citizens are much better equipped to stop evil than unarmed, helpless ones.

    Pray for the families of victims everywhere, America. Study the methodology of evil. It has a profile, a system, a preferred environment where victims cannot fight back. Embrace the facts. Demand an upgrade of citizens’ abilities to defend themselves. Be certain that your children’s school has a better plan than Virginia Tech or Columbine.

    Eliminate the insanity of “gun-free zones.” They will never, ever be gun-free zones. They will only be good-guy gun-free zones. That is a recipe for disaster written in blood on the altar of denial.
    I, for one, refuse to genuflect there.
    http://www.wacotrib.com/opin/content/news/opinion/stories/nugent/04222007_wac_nugent.html

  17. Linda says:

    Bravo TM!!! I am standing in your honor. Well said.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Off the subject some but worthy of a note…the “new” American silver dollar is out and will start being given for change.

    ‘IN GOD WE TRUST’ IS GONE! Guess that says a lot for the “change” coming to America!!!!!!!!!

  19. Rix says:

    One question must be asked, clearly and loudly, and some politician in Congress should grow a pair and ask it, on the record:

    IF SECOND AMENDMENT IS REPEALED OR REGULATED INTO OBLIVION, AND GUNS ARE TAKEN FROM THE PEOPLE, WHAT STANDS BETWEEN THE NATION AND THE TYRANNY AND USURPATION OF ANYONE WILLING TO TYRANNIZE AND USURP?

    And I want to see the liberals worms’ faces as they try to weasel and wiggle out of answering…

  20. Jan says:

    Jeff –
    Again, another excellent piece! You said it very clearly in your piece – there is a lack of respect for human life in our environment. We kill the unborn, we terminate the comatose, etc., etc., etc. Our children are desensitized when it comes to violence since they see so much of it on tv. Family values have been broken down in just about every tv show out there. Now, I am not blaming TV at this point. Just reitering the lack of respect for human life. At the end of the day we all still have choices to make. Choices to take a gun (or any other weapon) and kill or not. That is the true culprit, each and every individaul choice. We are a society that constantly makes sure we aren’t responsible for our actions. Blame it on the Sunday School teacher, or your parents, or your lost pet, anything but your own choice. Is it any wonder then that we are where we are today. I’ll be glad to say it, without morality we become a debased society. I beieve that is where we are at. God, for most, has no relevance anymore.

  21. WHICH END DOES THE BULLET LEAVE? says:

    I am still vomiting from last nights 20/20 episode “If I Only Had A Gun”……. please.

  22. goddessdivine says:

    “Gun-free zone” is such a false sense of security. Only a liberal could dream up this naive notion.

    Hey–doesn’t Chicago have some of the strictest gun laws in the nation? And isn’t it Chicago that has the highest murder rate per ca pita? Interesting……

  23. Seth says:

    I am a (binational) US citizen who lives in Israel.

    Unfortunately, in the past there has been much terrorism here, which has be greatly exasperated by naive policies when the Left was in power here.

    The big difference between here and the US is that when terrorists ran amok here their killing sprees were, and are, frequently stopped by firearm-carrying civilians.

    Anyone who has visited Israel can see that guns are almost ubiquitous. However, it is the GOOD guys carrying the guns — police, off-duty soldiers (who carry their rifles with them while traveling), security guards at most public places like banks, malls and restaurants, and honest civilians.

    I would add the following distinction, however:

    In Israel the default assumption is that if you own a gun you are likely to carry it with you outside the home. So a gun license in Israel normally requires the gun owner to pass certain requirements that would be expected for someone who carries his weapon in public:

    1) Regular renewals of the licences

    2) Regular testing at the firing range to insure the owner can shoot straight and hit what s/he shoots at

    3) Regular declarations by a doctor that the owner is mentally, emotionally and physically fit to carry a weapon responsibly.

    Sorry if that is a far cry from the position of the NRA, but Israel is proof that private gun ownership can be wide-spread, properly regulated, and useful in combatting the most extreme form of “crime”.

  24. Brooks says:

    Interesting that the left does not also urge us to rethink the 1st Am. due to the abuse of all their irresponsible protected speech.

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