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Gun Controlís Dead End
National Review Online ^ | September 17, 2013 | Charles C. W. Cooke

Posted on 09/17/2013 11:02:05 AM PDT by neverdem

The Left, if it’s honest, will find no reason for a new push for gun control in yesterday’s tragedy.

Now that the terrifying confusion has abated and the wildly varying reports have been collated into some sort of consensus, we are able to review what happened yesterday at Washington, D.C.’s Navy Yard with a dispassionate and critical eye. Doing so reveals that it is once again time for the friends of liberty to be blunt and to be forceful in the face of what will inevitably come. So resolved, let us lay down this marker: Those claiming that yesterday’s abomination demonstrates the need for stricter gun control are either lying or they are ignorant, and, either way, they should be ashamed of themselves. It does no such thing.

We now know that the perpetrator owned only a Remington 870 shotgun, and that he murdered and maimed his way into possession of the two other weapons that he used in his attack. Those weapons were two standard 9mm handguns — not, as the media tripped over itself prematurely to report, a much-maligned AR-15 “assault rifle.” On his show last night, unrelenting bore Piers Morgan spent a great deal of time spreading misinformation about the role of the AR-15 in the shooting, a theme that the New York Daily News has rather embarrassingly continued on its front cover this morning. Although retractions will presumably be forthcoming in the usual tiny print, it is probably too late to remove completely the impression that the headlines will have left in the imaginations of many Americans.

It is not, however, too late to set the record straight in the public square and with lawmakers, who will be predictably pressured to “do something.” Here, the truth is vital, for it demonstrates neatly the reality that, in a country with 350-million-plus privately owned firearms, the state is utterly powerless to stop evil with the law. President Obama, Dianne Feinstein, Chuck Schumer et al. could have pushed through Congress every single gun-control provision that they coveted earlier this year — an “assault weapons” ban, a limit on the size of magazines, and a requirement that background checks be conducted for all private sales — and yesterday would nonetheless have happened exactly as it did. Indeed, in preparing for his spree, Aaron Alexis quite literally followed Joe Biden’s advice: He went out and bought an uncontroversial shotgun from a reputable, licensed dealer and subjected himself successfully to a federal background check. So routine was this purchase, it should be noted, that it could have been made legally in England or in France.

None of the usual political language applies here. Alexis, who killed twelve people, did not buy a weapon “from a friend” or “over the Internet” or in the “parking lot of a gun show”; he did not have a “high capacity” magazine from which to “spray” bullets around; he did not buy a “military style” “assault weapon” — nor even use one; he did not deploy “armor-piercing bullets.” Instead, he bought a shotgun that almost nobody is openly suggesting should be banned or controlled. Politicians and public figures who call for new laws in the wake of this shooting will thus need nailing to the wall with a simple and reliable question: “What exactly do you propose doing, and how specifically would it have changed what happened at the Navy Yard?” When I have asked this question of non-journalists on Twitter, I have received a common — refreshingly honest — answer: “A gun ban.”

If the mainstream gun-control movement were as forthright as the rank-and-file Left, it would accept that there is little choice now but for it to go back to its pre-1994 position and renew calls for the piecemeal prohibition of all privately owned handguns. To focus on other weapons, especially the AR-15, is downright absurd. If someone is killed with a gun in America, it is almost certain that a handgun was used. Rifles of all types — not just so-called “assault rifles” — are used in around 3 percent of killings, while shotguns are used in around 3.5 percent. So rare are deaths from either rifles or shotguns that the FBI finds hands and fists causing more deaths than both combined. Handguns, on the other hand, account for almost all deaths-by-firearm. Because handguns are clearly protected by the Second Amendment — as explicitly confirmed in the Supreme Court’s Heller decision — the Left will have little choice but to call for a repeal of the Second Amendment.

Conservatives, too, might take a little time to see if they have any answer to the question, “What can be done?” Personally, I am of the view that there is very little that we can achieve with laws. Still, there are a few small changes that could be tried. While Washington, D.C.’s strictest-in-the-nation gun restrictions needed no further indictment, Alexis nevertheless demonstrated yesterday the folly of expecting rules to restrain the wicked. It is not “playing politics” to observe that it is difficult to imagine a more “gun-free zone” than a military base in the nation’s locked-down capital, nor is it “ghoulish” to remind Americans that it was not only illegal for Alexis to carry a gun in D.C. at all, but unlawful for him to take firearms into the base, too. It is not “hijacking a tragedy” to remember aloud that the only people who are supposed to have firearms on the base work for the government. Most crucially, it is not “disrespecting the dead” to hammer home that, because you can’t stop people who want to kill, the strict arrangement in D.C., as it always does in America, proved disastrous for Alexis’s innocent victims.

All of this is to say that, if any changes are to be made to the American gun regime, they should clearly be in the opposite direction, tapping virtuously into the liberalization that has coincided with — if not caused — the halving of gun-violence that Americans have enjoyed over the past two decades. Conservatives might suggest, too, that the United States reexamine the Clinton-era policy that leaves military installations defenseless; they might demand that the nation’s capital city cease depriving its residents of their constitutional right to bear arms; and they might insist that — as pro–Second Amendment groups have been saying for years — the existing gun laws be enforced.

Alexis passed background checks to get into the Navy; he was given a security clearance that afforded him access to the base as recently as July; and he passed a federal NICS background check when he bought his shotgun from a well-regarded dealer in Virginia. None of this is remotely surprising to those of us who have been paying attention to the details of gun violence in America, as, contrary to the desperate bleating from the unlettered and the hysterical, it is an unassailable fact that most of America’s mass shooters sail breezily through the various background-check systems that we are supposed to believe represent a real obstacle to mass murder.

It would, of course, be impractical and unbecoming for a free nation to respond to this worrying reality by preemptively punishing the whole population. Instead, we should insist that as long as the background-check and other access-limiting laws are on the books, they are damn well followed. Anything else is not only to impose on liberty without result, but to invite and encourage a false sense of security.

Ultimately, Aaron Alexis should have been picked up earlier. He had two prior firearms incidents in his history: an arrest for shooting at his ceiling and an arrest for shooting out the tires of a car during a dispute. For some reason, the less serious of these two offenses was deemed sufficiently grave to justify his being dismissed from the Navy, but not to justify his being charged. More important, news reports this morning confirm that, predictably, Alexis was seriously mentally ill. He was, records show, being treated for a whole host of issues, including an inability to distinguish reality from fantasy and a tendency to hear voices in his head. Why did this not make it into the database of those unfit to own guns?

If there are good answers to these questions, conservatives should team up with progressives to change and to improve the system. That, however, should be the extent of it. If the Left wishes to continue its incessant attempt to infringe dramatically upon the basic liberties of free Americans, it is its unassailable prerogative to try. But those of us who oppose the authoritarian instinct must insist, now that the inconvenient facts are known and published, that they have the good manners to keep what happened yesterday at the Navy Yard out of it.

— Charles C. W. Cooke is a staff writer at National Review.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Editorial; Politics/Elections; US: District of Columbia; US: Virginia
KEYWORDS: aaronalexis; alexis; banglist; guncontrol; navyyard; secondamendment; washingtonnavyyard

1 posted on 09/17/2013 11:02:05 AM PDT by neverdem
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To: neverdem
"The Left, if it’s honest..."
...would cease to exist.

2 posted on 09/17/2013 11:03:58 AM PDT by Savage Beast (The forces of decadence are the forces of evil.)
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To: neverdem
The Left, if it’s honest...

Not a possibility in the real world.

3 posted on 09/17/2013 11:05:40 AM PDT by Navy Patriot (Join the Democrats, it's not Fascism when WE do it, and the Constitution and law mean what WE say.)
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To: neverdem

The Left, if it’s honest?

That’s a mighty big IF!


4 posted on 09/17/2013 11:05:46 AM PDT by JimRed (Excise the cancer before it kills us; feed & water the Tree of Liberty! TERM LIMITS NOW & FOREVER!)
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To: Savage Beast
The Left, if it’s honest . . .

Is sort of like saying that if my uncle had been plumbed a little differently, he might have been my Auntie.

5 posted on 09/17/2013 11:06:46 AM PDT by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: Savage Beast
"The left, if it's honest..."

is like "The right, if it had balls..."

If only...

6 posted on 09/17/2013 11:11:41 AM PDT by polymuser ("We have a right to debate and disagree with any administration!" (HRC))
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To: neverdem
It would, of course, be impractical and unbecoming for a free nation to respond to this worrying reality by preemptively punishing the whole population.

Impractical, unseemly, and even unconstitutional? That's Marxism in the famous "nut shell," isn't it?

7 posted on 09/17/2013 11:12:42 AM PDT by Standing Wolf (No tyrant should ever be allowed to die of natural causes.)
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To: neverdem

“Gun control”. The Left is not interested in gun “control”. What they really want is a gun BAN. They just know it’s not PC for them to say that out loud, yet.....


8 posted on 09/17/2013 11:13:03 AM PDT by jeffc (The U.S. media are our enemy)
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To: neverdem
Personally, I am of the view that there is very little that we can achieve with laws.

Things we can achieve with laws:

  1. Dispense with "gun free zones," ESPECIALLY military bases.
  2. Stiffen penalties for mischievous discharge of a firearm.
  3. Do away with affirmative action hiring for defense contractors, as my bet is this guy would never have been hired otherwise because of his arrest background.

That's a start. I don't suppose I have to go on about how government policies abet broken families that raise young monsters like this petulant thug.

In short, typically and once again, the left jumps in to supposedly "fix" a problem that was at least abetted by their own policies. The "fixes" they demand will do nothing to prevent a future recurrence, indeed the contrary. And said "fix" will only advance their interest in running a ruthless and murderous police state.

FUDF

9 posted on 09/17/2013 11:14:19 AM PDT by Carry_Okie (Islam offers choices: convert, submit, or die.)
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To: neverdem

Learn how to effectively MANAGE THE MENTALLY ILL!!!!!

This is the perfect job for a bunch of SOCIALIST CONTROL FREAKS!

Apply your vast resevoirs of self-promoted compassion, and develop mental health facilities that treat the patients like people and not animals.


10 posted on 09/17/2013 11:16:08 AM PDT by G Larry (Let his days be few; and let another take his office. Psalms 109:8)
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To: NFHale

Hey... when you get a spare couple-o-minutes, you should read this. It’s actually pretty good. :-)


11 posted on 09/17/2013 11:19:33 AM PDT by hiredhand
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To: neverdem

The left, if it’s honest.......

And hell’s not going to freeze over either...


12 posted on 09/17/2013 11:21:18 AM PDT by Ms. Blunt
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To: neverdem

Regardless of whether through the efforts of a “ruler” or a “ruling class”, when the rights of the citizenry are abused or denied by either, a change in leadership is mandated. We are on the road to ruin and sage advice is a rarity as well as the driver heeding a suggested direction change. There are few guardrails remaining and I fear we will all be careening over the edge. It may be time for a “Chinese fire drill”.


13 posted on 09/17/2013 11:29:38 AM PDT by chulaivn66 (Semper Fidelis)
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To: hiredhand

It’s an outstanding article.

Already sent it out to my Gunny list... danke!!!


14 posted on 09/17/2013 11:32:26 AM PDT by NFHale (The Second Amendment - By Any Means Necessary.)
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To: neverdem
If there are good answers to these questions, conservatives should team up with progressives to change and to improve the system.

Enforce the laws that are already on the books!

15 posted on 09/17/2013 11:35:34 AM PDT by fortheDeclaration (Pr 14:34 Righteousness exalteth a nation:but sin is a reproach to any people)
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To: neverdem
When I have asked this question of non-journalists on Twitter, I have received a common — refreshingly honest — answer: “A gun ban.”

Most conservatives do not appreciate the childlike faith liberals have in government's ability to simply dictate behavior, nor their panic when told "it won't work." "But it's all we can do," runs the reply. It isn't, of course, nor is it obvious that doing anything at all will not make the problem worse.

I absolutely understand the desire to "do something", but it does not follow that throwing gasoline on a fire in an attempt to put it out will improve the situation, good intentions despite, and the sulky rejoinder, "well, at least I did something" sounds as childish as it really is.

But an open call for an outright gun ban would be an improvement in one area - it would at least be honest. Most of the chronic mendacity associated with gun control movement is simply its members' fear of stating publicly what their intention really is. And so they lie: "we're only after ammunition that's environmentally safe, not a gun ban," or "we only want to take those dangerous 30-round high-capacity ammo clips out of circulation - oh, did I say 30? I meant 20. Oh, did I say 20? I meant 10. Oh, did I say 10? I meant 7." And so it goes. It has been that way so long that it is no longer an effort to tell that they're lying through their teeth, every time.

That absolutely poisons reasonable debate on the topic. When a concerned conservative states that he or she thinks that some sort of flag should be set on the mentally incompetent, the response is always, 100% of the time, "oh, good, now how do we leverage this to include everybody?" And so we don't, and if you can't talk about a problem, solving it gets much more difficult.

16 posted on 09/17/2013 11:40:09 AM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: G Larry
Learn how to effectively MANAGE THE MENTALLY ILL!!!!!

Unfortunately, depends on who gets to define the term "mentally ill". The next thing the gun-grabbers will try to do is get the psychiatrists to broaden the term to mean anyone who wants to own a gun.

17 posted on 09/17/2013 11:40:54 AM PDT by COBOL2Java (I'm a Christian, pro-life, pro-gun, Reaganite. The GOP hates me. Why should I vote for them?)
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To: COBOL2Java

Why would you let anybody know you have a gun?

As long as we retain our 2A Rights, we can fight such outrages from among the shrinks.


18 posted on 09/17/2013 11:59:16 AM PDT by G Larry (Let his days be few; and let another take his office. Psalms 109:8)
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To: neverdem
Photobucket

19 posted on 09/17/2013 12:00:51 PM PDT by Dick Bachert (Ignorance is not bliss. It is the road to serfdom.)
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To: neverdem

We’d all better get busy on ANOTHER front as well!

This is ESPECIALLY for those of you who think I’ve been unduly tough on government schools!

Folks, with some exceptions, they have increasingly morphed into GOVERNMENT INDOCTRINATION CENTERS, designed to train generations of misinformed, low and no information dummies.

If this subversion of the Founders’ vision for this country is not halted — and soon — what sense will it make to save America, the place on the globe, if America, THE IDEA, is eventually murdered as a result of OUR failure to defend that idea.

Over the years, I’ve had my OWN run-ins with the bureaucrats and fellow “citizens” on the dark side who believe that freedom is too dangerous to be allowed to any but them and their elitist associates.

“When an opponent declares, ‘I will not come over to your side,’ I calmly say, ‘Your child belongs to us already... What are you? You will pass on. Your descendants, however, now stand in the new camp. In a short time they will know nothing else but this new community’.”
Adolph Hitler Speech November 1933.

High School AP History Book Rewrites 2nd Amendment
http://www.thedailysheeple.com/high-school-ap-history-book-rewrites-2nd-amendment_092013/print/


20 posted on 09/17/2013 12:09:25 PM PDT by Dick Bachert (Ignorance is not bliss. It is the road to serfdom.)
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To: neverdem

If the guard had a single shot pistol Alexis could have only killed one other person. I say it’s time to make it illegal for cops to have multi-round clips! /s


21 posted on 09/17/2013 12:18:21 PM PDT by VerySadAmerican (".....Barrack, and the horse Mohammed rode in on.")
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To: Carry_Okie; All

Y’know, a lot of this problem is self-inflicted. We as gun owners have a real bad tendency to “hide our light under a bushel basket.” That is to say that most gun owners don’t carry and those that do tend to carry concealed. Which might be OK from a tactical perspective, but in the long run just undercuts our position. Very few gun owners Open Carry the Tools of Liberty. And it’s not helping us one little bit.

Ask yourself: would the kind of senseless butchery we’ve seen in CT and DC and CO and other places have occurred if even 10% of the population Open Carried?

No, it probably would not.

And we also have to ask whether we would even be hearing the tired bleatings of the gun grabbers if 10% of the population Open Carried?

No, we probably would not.

So while we complain about the gun grabbers and fight them politically, it continues to be something of a rearguard effort. We could largely eliminate violent crime and get marginalize the gun grabbers in one fell swoop if just say one out of 4 or one out of 5 gunowners would just openly and proudly carry the Tools of Liberty as they went about their day to day business.


22 posted on 09/17/2013 12:33:21 PM PDT by RKBA Democrat (Power disintegrates when people withdraw their obedience and support)
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To: VerySadAmerican

This guy attended a Buddhist church....we should BAN all Buddhist from America!!!


23 posted on 09/17/2013 12:39:14 PM PDT by Gopher Broke (Repeal Obamacare !!)
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To: NFHale

Yep. Good deal. I thought it was EXCELLENT. :-)


24 posted on 09/17/2013 12:39:40 PM PDT by hiredhand
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To: neverdem

These mass shootings are extremely rare

and the only reason these morons do it is because of the massive media attention they get. the media is causing most mass shootings and the media know this and egg it on so that they can take away our guns.

The media has said that if you are angry that’s what you should do and then you will become world famous and known forever. these idiots are just copy cats doing what they see on the media and the media knows this.


25 posted on 09/17/2013 12:48:11 PM PDT by Democrat_media (IRS rigged election for Obama and democrats by shutting down tea party)
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To: Carry_Okie
*Dispense with “gun free zones,” ESPECIALLY military bases.*

What a concept! Military bases that are gun free zones.

http://youtu.be/cNZKUozrBl4

Fings break, doan ney?

26 posted on 09/17/2013 1:02:49 PM PDT by PATRIOT1876
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To: RKBA Democrat
Open Carry, America! Pinglist
Stories about lawful Open Carry for those of us who DON'T want to hide our light under a bushel basket.

To be added or taken off this list, please send a FR mail to RKBA Democrat. FAIR WARNING, I'm one of the worst pinglist administrators on FR. I ping infrequently then I ping a lot. I forget to add people to the list. I disappear for months at a time when I get fed up with politics. Search the keyword "opencarryamerica" to see previous articles and pings.

27 posted on 09/17/2013 1:11:02 PM PDT by RKBA Democrat (Power disintegrates when people withdraw their obedience and support)
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To: Billthedrill
When a concerned conservative states that he or she thinks that some sort of flag should be set on the mentally incompetent, the response is always, 100% of the time, "oh, good, now how do we leverage this to include everybody?"

I forget the state. The issue was shall issue, concealed carry permits. One gun grabber said a DUI should disqualify!

28 posted on 09/17/2013 1:26:44 PM PDT by neverdem (Register pressure cookers! /s)
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To: RKBA Democrat
Actually, I do open carry from time to time walking the Country Road along my own property.

Coyotes and mountain lions you know.

This being California, I do get a strange reaction upon occasion. Back when open carry was first banned in this State, I actually called the Sheriff's office once to get clarification as to whether it's legal to OC on my own property, as the property line goes to the middle of the County Road. Once I explained the rationale for needing it they were on board completely as a "spirit of the law" kind of thing. I don't think they like that law any more than I do.

29 posted on 09/17/2013 1:43:52 PM PDT by Carry_Okie (Islam offers choices: convert, submit, or die.)
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To: G Larry; All

“Learn how to effectively MANAGE THE MENTALLY ILL!!!!!

This is the perfect job for a bunch of SOCIALIST CONTROL FREAKS!”

One of the problems is that this description applies to a great many of the people on the left. Most are sub-clinical, but they know it, and this is why they will never agree to this solution.


30 posted on 09/17/2013 2:14:01 PM PDT by marktwain (The MSM must die for the Republic to live. Long live the new media!)
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To: Dick Bachert

That picture is worth at least a thousand words.


31 posted on 09/17/2013 2:38:12 PM PDT by shove_it (long ago Orwell and Rand warned us of 0bama's America)
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To: neverdem

Somebody email this article to Governor Jerry Brown in California before he signs the law just passed by the legislature outright banning all center fire semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazines, that are protected by the SCOTUS ruling in Hellar. Not to mention the law yet to be signed by him that outlaws all lead bullets.


32 posted on 09/17/2013 3:11:25 PM PDT by Mat_Helm
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To: neverdem

Good article. Once more its time to flood the people in Comgress with letters, phone calls and emails.


33 posted on 09/17/2013 3:16:56 PM PDT by ZULU (Barack Hussein Obama is the Lord of Misrule)
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