Gays and Guns



More. Powerline Blog: Children’s Crusade? No, It’s Worse

18 Comments for “Gays and Guns”

  1. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    I have been a gun owner and gun user all of my adult life. I currently own two long guns, a shotgun and a handgun, each with a specific purpose. I don’t carry.

    I have no objection to people carrying handguns for self-protection. I know quite a few people who do. I don’t know any of them who have, in my opinion, anywhere close to sufficient training to be effective in a civilian live-fire situation, and that includes those of us with military combat experience years ago. Police train long, hard and constantly for live-fire situations, and there is a reason for that.

    As far as I am concerned, “The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun” is a fantasy in almost all cases. But it is each individual’s call under the Constitution. I’m content with that.

    But I think that it is a bad idea to carry because for most people (and I include myself in that category), any attempt to use a handgun in a live-fire situation almost guarantees that the likely outcome will be to make a bad situation much worse very quickly, like giving a mole a power shovel.

    When Pink Pistols formed some years ago, a friend looked into the possibility of starting a chapter in rural south central Wisconsin, but didn’t find enough interest among gays and lesbians to carry through. I think that the reason is that gays and lesbians are like everyone else in rural areas in this respect. Many are gun owners, and some carry. I suspect that Pink Pistols is more of an urban issue than rural, because rural people are raised to use guns as tools, and do so. Not much need for a special organization for gays and lesbians. I assume that the situation is different in urban areas.

    I quietly note that the current (and longstanding) debate about “gun control” is not over handguns owned and/or carried for self-defense, but over sale and ownership of AR-15 or equivalent military-style long guns with high rates of fire and high capacity clips, waiting periods, background checks and other matters.

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  2. posted by Jorge on

    I assume that the situation is different in urban areas.

    Last week someone who I encountered in the activist circles was attacked in her own home. I thought about the Pink Pistols then.

    But we have a situation where transgender activists consider the police in Manhattan to have a history of ignoring complaints of harassment and an overall heartless attitude toward them. How will you convince the public to join an organization that teaches them to request a firearm permit from the very same police department? So there’s a class issue as well. The Pink Pistols is the brainchild of those with the resources to integrate, who know how to use the law and authority to meet their goals at least some of the time.

    Those on the bottom rungs of LGBT society–take your pick what that means–are less likely to have the knowledge, mental health, or good character to pass a police background interview in a city with restrictive gun policies. What is their option for security and self defense while also living openly? Only those ways available to outcasts… mmm-kay? This is one reason why I instinctively shy away from arguments about gun regulation. It’s not just criminals who will own or benefit from banned weapons, but whoever they ally or claim kinship with.

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  3. posted by MR Bill on

    I wrote this a couple of years back: “: I’m a country guy: I’ve shot a few copperheads, a couple of stray dogs dying slowly after being hit in the road in front of my house, at least two probably rabid raccoons, and one unfortunate cow: renting some pasture land for a guy to run cattle on, he didn’t take enough care of them, and on a afternoon walk one drizzly winter day, I found her, in a thicket, straining to breech birth a calf. I tried to “pull it”, that is get my hands inside her and get the calf out..I was unsuccessful: by then she was dying of septicemia, and the owner didn’t return my call by the next day, and I shot her..We ended our business arrangement after that..

    I was never much of a hunter, but as we had butchered hogs and the occasional beef on our farm, so I’ve cut up a few deer for hunters, and will cheerfully eat venison..But we didn’t worship guns, and even made fun of the guys who had a rack in their truck, out of hunting season. We knew they were dangerous tools to kill, and you knew, sure as hell, not to show up armed at a neighbor’s if you had a dispute.

    I am old enough to remember when the NRA was FOR gun control, mandatory training, and licensing, and sought a sort of ‘gun hygiene’: you kept ’em clean, in practice use, and SECURED. But, in the 70s, I started seeing the paranoid mindset of “They” (the UN, The Gummint, Northern Libruls) are going to take yer guns…and scared, power challenged dudes increasingly used them as testosterone boosters, and fetish objects, and took the tropes of action films and heroic shooting seriously..

    I’m not anti gun, or anti hunting, for meat (trophy hunting is…pretty sick to me: have you ever been around many stuffed animals? they smell bad, and will shed until they become ratty..). But I lost my guns (an old service revolver, grandad’s shotgun, a .22) in a fire, and replacing them isn’t a priority. It’s gotten to the point where a public health attitude to gun violence is necessary. ”

    The case law is clear: there are legal and constitutional restrictions on gun ownership, consistent with good order: they include the things the NRA once wanted: licensing, training requirements, as well as restrictions on fire rate (the Republican congress removed the ‘Assault weapon’ ban, and, yeah, mass killings went up), clip size, possible requirement of insurance, etc. I know way too many guys, unstable, angry, threatening to shoot the old lady and the kids, wanting to shoot the neighbor or the boss, and jonesing to shoot some, preferably of color, as is the custom…And they leave the guns about for the kids to find…

    I’m sitting some 60 feet from a secured rifle that dad gave me since I wrote the piece above. But, I know it’s mostly gonna be a thing I shoot at critters with. The two times I’ve been subject to violence, It went down so fast a gun would have been worse than useless. Life ain’t a John Wayne movie, much less a Stallone or Bruce Willis one: very few people are gonna be able to escalate successfully. The power conferred by a gun is an illusion for most folks, and the danger, of a mistake or suicide, is real.

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    • posted by Jorge on

      Life ain’t a John Wayne movie, much less a Stallone or Bruce Willis one: very few people are gonna be able to escalate successfully. The power conferred by a gun is an illusion for most folks, and the danger, of a mistake or suicide, is real.

      I agree. When I get older, I’m going to learn cane martial arts.

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    • posted by Tom Scharbach on

      I am old enough to remember when the NRA was FOR gun control, mandatory training, and licensing, and sought a sort of ‘gun hygiene’: you kept ’em clean, in practice use, and SECURED.

      I am old enough to remember those times, too, and I was an NRA member before the organization disintegrated into madness. As far as I am concerned, the NRA has become a force standing against responsible gun ownership and use, and I will have nothing to do with it.

      The case law is clear: there are legal and constitutional restrictions on gun ownership, consistent with good order: they include the things the NRA once wanted: licensing, training requirements, as well as restrictions on fire rate (the Republican congress removed the ‘Assault weapon’ ban, and, yeah, mass killings went up), clip size, possible requirement of insurance, etc.

      So far the NRA has been unsuccessful in getting the Supreme Court to adopt the NRA’s radical interpretation of the Second Amendment. It is not for lack of trying, however, and I don’t have any predictions about how the Supreme Court will eventually rule after Justices Breyer, Ginsburg and Kennedy have been replaced by hard-core conservative so-called “originalists”. In theory, an “originalist” should support the Founder’s intention for a “well regulated militia”; in practice, I suspect that a future Court may well adopt the NRA’s dubious interpretation, born of the ante-bellum South.

      We got the first indication of where the so-called “originalists” will take us in the majority opinion written by Justice Scalia in District of Columbia v. Heller, a case that established an individual right to bear arms unconnected to the militia for the first time. Justice Scalia’s opinion was based on, and approvingly cited, the state-level ante-bellum as the foundation for Saclia’s reading of the Second Amendment. Given that, things don’t look promising for the future of any regulation of gun ownership.

      In any event, Americans own roughly 8 million “assault weapons” at this point, and we aren’t likely to put the cat back into the bag. Maybe we should start equipping school kids with Kevlar vests as well as backpacks.

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  4. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    More. Powerline Blog: Children’s Crusade? No, It’s Worse

    I am posting the actual wording of the link that Stephen posted so that no one can say that they missed it:

    Children’s Crusade? No, It’s Worse
    Posted on March 24, 2018 by John Hinderaker in gun control, Liberals

    I described the teenager-led anti-gun campaign, which has been breathlessly endorsed by the Democratic Party media, as a 21st century Children’s Crusade, referring to the ill-fated 1212 version. But with hindsight, that was unfair to the 13th-century kids. They undoubtedly had a better idea of why they were trying to liberate the Holy Land than the teenagers who demonstrated today have about why guns should be confiscated.

    Charlie Kirk, the President of Turning Point USA, waded into the D.C. crowd of lefty protesters to ask a simple question: What is an assault rifle? The results were predictably amusing:

    Most people would say that if you want to ban something, you at least should know what it is you are trying to prohibit. But today’s liberals can’t get over that low bar.
    The star spokesman for lefty anti-gun youth is a kid named David Hogg. He has become a media sensation in the weeks since the Parkland shootings, but I have never seen him in action. Life, after all, is short. But an email correspondent who wrote today described Hogg as a “smug a****** punk.” I suspect that is how most people respond to him. Hogg (unfortunate name, BTW) reminds me of Cindy Sheehan–i.e., he will have “absolute moral authority” until he becomes a liability to the Democratic Party, at which point he will never be heard of again.

    Uncomfortable with the issues that these kids are raising? Then don’t grapple with the issues. Resort to ad hominem attacks.

    If Stephen’s tactic was isolated, it would just be sad. But it isn’t isolated. It has been repeated over and over since these kids went into action.

    Take another Stephen, Congressman Stephen King of Iowa. His take?

    “This is how you look when you claim Cuban heritage yet don’t speak Spanish and ignore the fact that your ancestors fled the island when the dictatorship turned Cuba into a prison camp, after removing all weapons from its citizens; hence their right to self defense.”

    More?

    The Washington Post reports this morning:

    Other images attacking the teenager’s Cuban heritage circulated in conservative circles online.

    “Emma Gonzales, wearing the flag of an authoritarian communist nation. Makes sense, they both hate an armed citizenry,” stated one meme shared on Reddit’s conservative page r/TheDonald. It was shared on social media through variations of the theme, including one by conservative commentator Andrew Wilkow.

    Conservative critics made other attempts to discredit González over the weekend, most prominently through a fake, viral photo of the teenager tearing the U.S. Constitution in half. The doctored image and animation was lifted from a Teen Vogue story about teenage activists. In the real image, González is ripping apart a gun-range target.

    I wasn’t aware of the two examples cited by the WP, but I’m not surprised. I’ve read and seen plenty of stuff along this line recently. The ad hominen attacks have been flying fast and furious.

    What the hell is going on? Agree with the kids or not, the issues raised are serious issues. Can’t the right come up with anything substantive to say?

    I don’t pretend to have answers to the issues raised by these kids, which are complex culturally and constitutionally. My own view tends toward an economic analysis, arguing that (akin to auto safety) we should accept a reasonable number of deaths (including deaths of schoolchildren) as a necessary tradeoff for gun ownership, but can and should take reasonable steps to keep the carnage to acceptable levels. Right or wrong about that (and I get a lot of blow-back when I propose that way of looking at the issue), at least I take the issues seriously enough to be willing to discuss them.

    Not so the right, apparently.

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    • posted by Jorge on

      The results were predictably amusing:

      I’m not impressed by the Youtube video. That was simply one very stubborn woman and I think the questioner was a little too snarky on the cross-examination. I thought I was going to see something like a Jesse Waters segment where he asks multiple people the same question and gets a hodgepodge of guesses and I don’t knows.

      I have a lot of small problems and one big problem with this youth movement, and I think Children’s Crusade sums it up perfectly. Namely, I think some children just might decide it’s not a good idea to save the world by trecking off to some mythical holy land. I think it would be a much better idea to join the local military instead. If the baron sends you off to fight bandits instead? Oh well.

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    • posted by Jorge on

      My own view tends toward an economic analysis, arguing that (akin to auto safety) we should accept a reasonable number of deaths (including deaths of schoolchildren) as a necessary tradeoff for gun ownership, but can and should take reasonable steps to keep the carnage to acceptable levels. Right or wrong about that (and I get a lot of blow-back when I propose that way of looking at the issue), at least I take the issues seriously enough to be willing to discuss them.

      Yeech! My analysis isn’t much different than yours, but it’s nationalist (I think) rather than economic.

      I take the position that as a matter of risk assessment, the maximum possible preservation of democracy requires at least one democracy in the world to have a wide enough circulation of lethal weapons to make it very costly for a coup to occur due to the dangerousness of the rebellion that would follow. The certainty of a moderate increase in deaths in one country is outweighed by decreasing the risk of a catastrophic loss of life and national stability, and far outweighed by decreasing the risk that democracy will fall worldwide. Simply put, someone has to have a Second Amendment. I adopt the view that power is ultimately decided by who has weapons and who does not, and this is a country in which it is important for the people to have power in competition with the government.

      I have come to oppose most gun regulation that is being considered, but I also consider that most gun regulation is like closing the barndoor after the chickens have flown, or however that expression goes.

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    • posted by Tom Scharbach on

      I take the position that as a matter of risk assessment, the maximum possible preservation of democracy requires at least one democracy in the world to have a wide enough circulation of lethal weapons to make it very costly for a coup to occur due to the dangerousness of the rebellion that would follow.

      The level of carnage we are living with is not necessary to maintain democracy. Other countries democratic countries with high per capita civilian gun ownership rates (Austria, Canada, Finland, Germany, Greece, Kuwait, Montenegro, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, for example) have gun-related fatality rates in the 1.5-3.0/100,000 range. Ours is 10.45/100,000. We need to take a look at what those countries are doing, and how they are doing it, and see if we can do better than we are now doing.

      Switzerland might be worth a careful look, because not only is the per capita rate of gun ownership high, but a large percentage of the population serves in the military. All Swiss males who meet medical standards are required to serve in the militia until age 30. Militia members keep military-issued weapons at home, in addition to whatever civilian weapons the members might have. Beyond that, about 25% of Swiss own civilian guns. As a result, Switzerland has a “citizen army” trained and ready to go to defend democracy in that country, and a large civilian population of gun owners with military training and experience.

      I don’t think that anti-democratic forces would have a prayer’s chance in hell of taking over Switzerland’s government.

      Quite the contrary in this country. Very few people serve in the military anymore, so we no longer have a population that is capable of defending democracy. I would hate to think of the result if untrained American civilians tried to take on our military. The country would turn into a slaughterhouse.

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    • posted by Matthew on

      The Slaveocrat Party has been a liability to America since its inception.

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  5. posted by Matthew on

    We don’t have a gun problem. We have a white heterosexual gentile supremacy problem.

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  6. posted by David Bauler on

    So, good to know that Stephen doesn’t want to talk about guns as an adult would.

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    • posted by Matthew on

      “Ew guns are scary ban them” is not how adults talk about guns.

      Adults talk about how to use them, when to use them, who to use them against, and why they deserve it.

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  7. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    If David Hogg is looking for a way to finance college and law school, he was just handed a dead cert gift on a silver platter:

    Right-wing commentator Josh Bernstein posted a video yesterday in which he speculated that David Hogg, a student who survived the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, last month and who has become a leading activist for gun reform, “had something to do with the Stoneman shooting” and was possibly even “affiliated in some way” with the shooter, Nikolas Cruz.

    “David Hogg is an opportunist,” Bernstein said. “He is not a victim. He has used this tragedy to make a name for himself. He is exploiting this shooting in order to make a name for himself. In fact, I bet that his speech [at the March for Our Lives rally] was probably written by Michael Bloomberg himself or maybe someone at CNN … or, who knows, maybe even a Hollywood producer or writer or director.”

    “This kid, David Hogg, is not concerned about gun safety,” Bernstein continued. “He is concerned about pushing an agenda and making a name for himself. And, to be quite frank, I honestly wonder if this kid has something to do with the Stoneman shooting.”

    Bernstein went on to assert that “it seems very odd” that Hogg would have documented the event on his phone while hiding in a closet during the shooting.

    “Give me a break,” he said. “It seems very odd. My gut tells me that this kid was either warned beforehand—knew he wasn’t going to be shot, knew he wasn’t going to be targeted—or was affiliated in some way with Nikolas Cruz.”

    The President may be having trouble finding a competent lawyer, but Hogg will not have any trouble finding a couple dozen willing to take this on a contingency basis, and that’s a fact.

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    • posted by Matthew on

      Like all anti-gun fanatics, he’s a fascistic little worm who is endangering gay lives.

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  8. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    Well, if gays and lesbians need an excuse to arm themselves, consider this thought from NRA board member Ted Nugent (Inforwars interview, April 6):

    “Don’t ask why. Just know that evil, dishonesty, and scam artists have always been around and that right now they’re liberal, they’re Democrat, they’re RINOs, they’re Hollywood, they’re fake news, they’re media, they’re academia, and they’re half of our government, at least. So come to that realization. There are rabid coyotes running around. You don’t wait till you see one to go get your gun. Keep your gun handy, and every time you see one, you shoot one.”

    I don’t carry or advocate carry (for the reasons I’ve noted above), but I can understand why some gays and lesbians would choose to carry. There are a hell of a lot of people like Nugent out there, a number of them even more unbalanced that he is.

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