Category Archives: Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence

With Friends Like These. . .

I’ve had occasion to mention Joan Peterson’s weblog, Common Gunsense, before, but today, it’s time to have some fun at her expense. Her article of 2 November 2011 is in praise of Plaxico Burress’s joining the Brady Bunch (Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence). Have a look at the video that she includes in the post.

Clearly, public speaking isn’t his strength. That being said, note that he lets us know that he no longer owns a firearm. Was that a message to his parole officer? As a convicted felon, Burress is no longer allowed to own guns. I’m no fan of the gun laws in New York City, but they aren’t hard to understand. To summarize, NYC gun law is, “You have Second Amendment rights only if you can afford to bribe a politician.” I do have to wonder why Burress didn’t play the game, since he does have the money. Perhaps his riche is too nouveau to have learned how to act. Burress illegally carried a handgun into the city, and he suffered the penalty of an unjust law.

He did act stupidly with his handgun, so it may be a good thing that he no longer owns firearms. From the news accounts (which are generally woefully lacking in details on these matters), I understand that he carried a .40 Glock in his pants without a holster. Had his aim been a little better, either to the left or to the right, he would have earned himself a Darwin award or would at least have removed his material from the gene pool.

The lesson that he learned is that firearms don’t provide security. I’d say that he’s a bad student. The lessons that Jeff Cooper tried to teach us for years is keep your finger off the trigger until you’re ready to shoot and don’t let the muzzle cover anything that you’re unwilling to destroy. Those aren’t so hard.

In the future, if Burress feels his own life or that of his family to be in jeopardy, he’ll be able to hire a security company to provide him bodyguards. Those guards will carry firearms. But that’s the lesson that the wealthy have to learn: Do nothing for yourself that you can pay someone else to do.

Peterson finishes her article with this tissue of foolishness:

“People just don’t like to see others carrying loaded guns around in public places. Plaxico Burress now understands how badly that can work out. His message is important to young people who look up to sports figures. Role models like Burress can better deliver the message that guns don’t make you safer. . . .”

I find the whole idea of role models to be wrongheaded to begin with. I don’t have to be told by some famous person what I’m capable of doing. But if we must have role models, surely we can pick better ones than this idiot.

And surely we can understand that our rights aren’t determined by what some people like to see.

Keep trying, Joan Peterson. Your message is an encouragement to those of us who support gun rights. If you and Burress are the best that the Brady Bunch can offer, the future looks bright for us.

And Joan, if you want to get depressed, look at this page. Hint: Blue and green are good colors.

Playing Twenty Questions

I ran across this site

http://www.commongunsense.com/2010/09/where-there-is-open-mind.html

the other day and tried to submit my own answers to the twenty questions, but it appears that comments on that article are closed. My comments on recent articles only elicited requests for me to use logic and plain English. That being the case, submitted for your approval are my answers:

1. Do you believe that criminals and domestic abusers should be able to buy guns without background checks?

I believe that rights are inalienable. Once a criminal is restored to full citizenship (i.e. full humanity), that person should get everything back. (I presume by domestic abusers, the author means someone who is convicted.) Under our current system, licensed firearms dealers are obliged to run a background check, and the named categories of people are ineligible. I don’t believe that the government has any business regulating private sales.

2. What is your proposal for keeping guns away from criminals, domestic abusers, terrorists and dangerously mentally ill people?

I carry my own guns whenever and wherever doing so is legal, and I encourage the expansion of legal areas. This is not a joke. Unless we want a police state, we cannot keep bad guys from getting guns. My solution is for the good guys–that’s you and I, folks–to have our own and be ready to use them.

3. Do you believe that a background check infringes on your constitutional right to “keep and bear arms”?

Yes.

Expanded answer: The First Amendment ennumerates rights in the same manner as the Second. Do you want a background check at your library or bookstore? How about for writing articles on a weblog?

4. Do you believe that I and people with whom I work intend to ban your guns?

The author of Common Gunsense is apparently associated with the Brady Campagin. Perhaps she has forgotten the Assault Weapons Ban of the 90s? Yes, I do believe that the Brady Bunch wants to take my guns.

5. If yes to #4, how do you think that could happen ( I mean the physical action)?

Let’s see–refer to the law named in #4. Also, if one more anti-liberty justice gets appointed to the Supreme Court, the balance tips the wrong direction.

6. What do you think are the “second amendment remedies” that the tea party GOP candidate for Senate in Nevada( Sharron Angle) has proposed?

I don’t know. I observe that she lost.

7. Do you believe in the notion that if you don’t like what someone is doing or saying, second amendment remedies should be applied?

That depends. First, define what such remedies are. If Second Amendment remedies mean using arms to fight a tyrannical government–such as what happened recently in Libya–then yes, I do agree with that application.

8. Do you believe it is O.K. to call people with whom you disagree liars and demeaning names?

O.K. in what way? We do not have a right to go through life without ever being offended. Free speech means just that–free. I don’t have to like it or agree with it to support the right to say it. Besides which, some people are lying sacks of shit.

9. If yes to #8, would you do it in a public place to the person’s face?

I don’t generally speak to people that way, but if the situation called for it, then yes. I don’t say one thing on-line and another in person. That being said, as someone who carries a firearm, I have a higher duty to avoid a fight, so I don’t instigate violence.

10. Do you believe that any gun law will take away your constitutional rights?

As I’ve written elsewhere on this weblog, I don’t think that I have a right to artillery pieces or an unrestricted right to dynamite. But laws banning small arms or restricting my carrying of the same do diminish my exercise of my right.

11. Do you believe in current gun laws? Do you think they are being enforced? If not, explain.

Do I believe in them? Yes, they do exist. I don’t support most of them. Are they enforced? I have to fill out a background check form every time I buy a gun, so apparently they are. On the other hand, the BATFE seems able to send weapons to Mexico without following the rules. . .

12. Do you believe that all law-abiding citizens are careful with their guns and would never shoot anybody?

All? No. The vast majority? Yes. (I presume that by never shoot anybody, the author means never shoot anyone who isn’t threatening an innocent person.)

13. Do you believe that people who commit suicide with a gun should be included in the gun statistics?

I don’t like statistics. In this specific case, I also have to state that suicide is the right of all adults without minor dependents.

14. Do you believe that accidental gun deaths should “count” in the total numbers?

“Count” for what purpose? If the study is counting gun deaths, lumping all kinds together just produces a meaningless number. I don’t believe that we should ban guns just because a few people are silly with them.

15. Do you believe that sometimes guns, in careless use or an accident, can shoot a bullet without the owner or holder of the gun pulling the trigger?

Modern firearms designs make that exceedingly unlikely. My blackpowder revolver will fire if the hammer is resting on a live cap and receives a blow, as will my Peacemaker clone. Those are old designs. It is broadly true to say that firearms sold today cannot fire without the trigger being pulled.

16. Do you believe that 30,000 gun deaths a year is too many?

It depends on the circumstances. Are we talking about persons who are in the commission of violent crimes? Then no. If those are innocent persons dying, then yes. The number is irrelevant to the right, though.

17. How will you help to prevent more shootings in this country?

See my answer to #2.

18. Do you believe the articles that I have posted about actual shootings or do you think I am making them up or that human interest stories about events that have happened should not count when I blog about gun injuries and deaths?

As I read recently on the Internet, the plural of anecdote is not data. For every one of your stories about an innocent person being killed by a gun, I’ll raise you accounts of good guys saving themselves and others. But again, rights aren’t subject to quantitative analysis.

19. There has been some discussion of the role of the ATF here. Do you believe the ATF wants your guns and wants to harass you personally? If so, provide examples ( some have written a few that need to be further examined).

I’m not important enough to have gained the attention of said bureaucracy, but I am deeply suspicious of a government agency that monitors an area of my rights.

20. Will you continue a reasonable discussion towards an end that might lead somewhere or is this an exercise in futility?

That depends. As I wrote above, the author of the site told me that my arguments are illogical and are written in difficult wording. Apparently, she doesn’t wish to continue a reasonable discussion with me. If by getting somewhere, the author means further restrictions on gun ownership and carry rights, then hell no.

Speaking of futility, though, have a look at the Brady Campaign’s state scorecard some time. Notice how, with a few dismal exceptions, the trend is going in the direction of individual liberty. The Brady Bunch must be feeling the futility of their efforts.

The lines are now open for comment.

Update

Yesterday’s post discussed the sloppiness in the Brady Bunch’s concealed carry map. I sent a message to their web master, as well. Today, Vermont is red, and New Hampshire is pink. Colorado and Wyoming are still swapped, but I suppose the road to speaking sensibly about guns is a long one.

The Facts Matter!

This image comes from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Handgun Violence, located here. On the map, red represents states that do not require a permit to carry a concealed handgun (the free states, in other words). Pink states issue permits to anyone who passes a background check. Pale green states have discretion in issuance (if you donate to a politician’s campaign, you get a permit). The dark green state of Illinois refuses to allow good citizens to carry.

Now the free states in this country are Alaska, Arizona, Wyoming, and Vermont.

Wait for it…

Do you see the problem?

The map shows Colorado and New Hampshire as states that require no permit. I do realize that we all make errors from time to time, but the Brady Bunch make factual claims in an effort to take away our gun rights. We can demand that they, at least, give genuine facts.