Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Stephen King's Guns: A Rebuttal

I asked my former co-blogger and wife Denise to review Stephen King's screed that is on sale for the Amazon Kindle. She read this so you don't have to. I think this rebuttal needs to be disseminated as widely as possible so feel free to use it with attribution of course. Stephen King is one of if not the most popular novelist in the world. A screed by him carries weight. Denise has done her hopefully not small part to counter this.

No links to this book. You can find it on the Amazon site if you want to find it. Stephen King has shown his even handedness by donating profits from this essay to the Brady Campaign. 

Denise has no plans to return to blogging at this time.


I've read much of Stephen King's work.  He is a great craftsman and he brings that skill to this piece, a quickie Kindle Single.  

The fact that he wrote the "book" fast shows.  He made at least one huge mistake.  He named the Newtown shooter as Ryan Lanza the first time he mentioned Newtown (he later correctly names Adam).  This was after describing how the press reacts to a mass shooting including getting the shooter's name wrong.  There are also irritating quirks like the use of "honey" to address readers.

Style and mistakes aside, King tries to add to the national dialog about gun violence.  The last section of this short work, lists policy ideas that might cut down on gun violence.  One notion is a ban on "assault weapons" but he loses his argument when he gets too cute by half, honey.

King justifies calling for such a ban by insulting owners of semi-automatics (a gun that fires one round per trigger pull).  He says that the owners only use these guns to fire as fast as they can while yelling yeehaw and getting horny.  I shoot often and own what might be called an assault weapon.  I have never fired as fast as I can twitch my finger.  I've never yelled yeehaw while shooting and I've never seen such behavior at gun ranges.  In fact, most people participating in rifle competitions today use variants of the AR-15.  The platform is highly accurate, stable, and has low recoil.  

Along with the assault weapon ban, King has two other policy ideas: universal background checks and bans on magazines holding more than ten rounds.  King's policy ideas will not work and I'll take them one at a time.  

Congress may pass some sort of enhanced background checks.  Depending on details, such a law really will not affect me much.  I tend to buy guns from federally licensed dealers who must check my  background even if they are selling guns at a gun show.  Criminals tend to buy guns on the street where there are no background checks.  Some mass shooters have bought their guns legally (Cho, Holmes) and were not in the system as "nucking futs" even though Cho should have been.  Others steal guns.

A magazine ban ignores the millions of magazines that already exist.  A magazine is a box with a spring and anyone with a 3D printer can print one.  Do we really want to try to outlaw 3D printers, springs, sheet metal, let alone the millions of magazines that people bought legally one year and become felons for owning the same box the next year?

King admits that an assault weapon ban probably will not happen. There is the problem of identifying just what is an assault weapon. There really is no such thing when you start getting into it. That's why the 1994 ban really did not ban much. King touts Australia's ban on them and pump action shotguns.(In other words, confiscating your grandfather's duck hunting gun.)The jury is not truly in on that gun ban. For one, there are still a lot of guns in Australia and other countries that have strong gun laws (see, http://reason.com/archives/2012/12/22/gun-restrictions-have-always-bred-defian/print). Also, crime has risen in Australia after the ban (see, http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/index.php?Article_ID=17847). 

Finally King calls on gun owners to "urge Congress to do the right thing, and insists the NRA climb aboard...."  I own guns.  I am a former police officer.  I first shot a gun when I was 8 years old.  I was given a pump action .22 rifle for my 13th birthday.  I've owned guns for over 40 years and never put a hole in anyone (not even as a cop) or anything I was not willing to shoot.  I am a responsible gun owner.  

There are millions of gun owners who have never abused the right to own a gun.  They've never shot up a school, or stuck up a taxi driver.  Gun laws will only affect these responsible people.  Laws will not stop crime, and will not stop a mass shooter.  

Given this fact, why should I support Congress banning my guns or making it impossible to leave them to my children?  Why would I support a ban on magazines that might make me a felon?  Why would I support enhanced background checks when I don't know the details and don't believe they will work anyway?  Sorry Stephen, you haven't convinced this gun owner who has never once yelled "yeehaw" while shooting a semi-auto or any gun for that matter.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

A National Day of Strike

Contrary to the image presented of gun owners in the media, that is the gun owner is a sub-grade illiterate back woods hick, many if not most gun owners are well educated, well to do (guns are an expensive hobby) and extremely competent.

In the last ten years, I have met gun owners who are engineers, doctors, lawyers, government executives, business owners, millionaires..... you get the point. Gun owners are a big part of what makes our society work. They are your friends, co-workers and neighbors as many in New York found out when their addresses were published by the Journal News.

All this being the case, I have a modest suggestion. Maybe gun owners should have a national day of strike. The NRA or SAF should organize a day when gun owners stay home from work. We can all call in sick that day. Let them know how many of us there are and how much what we do affects their lives.

How when it gets down to it: They need us more then we need them.


Monday, January 28, 2013

The party of gun control

I have said for a long time: There is no such thing as a pro-gun Democrat.

But, what about Reid, Manchin, Tester and...yeah it's a pretty short list. As we have seen Manchin has all but thrown us under the bus. Tester who knows; he'll be bought off with a sweet sinecure. Reid will do whatever his puppet master Obama wants.

When the rubber hits the road, they'll all vote to support the party's agenda unless it is deemed that their votes are unnecessary. It's the way things are done.

That being said, the Republicans are almost as bad. Almost. But.....they don't make elimination of gun rights a key plank in their party's platform. There are many Republican members of Congress that are strong, unwavering supporters of the 2nd Amendment.

Look at the states. Which states have the most rigid, inflexible restrictions on our firearm freedoms. That's right, all are states run and controlled by Democrats. The states with the most firearm freedom are by and large Republican leaning states. There are a few Democratic controlled states that have limited gun restrictions. Notice that in these states Democratic representatives are chomping at the bit to pass gun control like their big brothers in the big blue areas. I'm looking at you New Hampshire.

Vermont has been an exception to this rule but I did notice that Burlington, VT did pass a local assault weapons ban. Sooner or later Vermont will fall as well.

Democrats are the party of gun-control. If you support firearms freedom, never vote for a Democrat, not even for dog catcher.


Thursday, January 24, 2013

The wind is at their wings

In the last few weeks and certainly since the beginning of the current troubles, I have seen a surprising amount of what I feel is a very peculiar sentiment. In short, the idea that if Mitt Romney had been elected president he would be just as earnest in eviscerating our 2nd Amendment rights as the current occupant.

Since this is among friends I'll be polite and to the point. Bullshit.

But some of you will probably say: But he signed an Assault Weapons Ban(AWB). That's more than Obama ever did. Yes, you are right, he did sign a state continuance of the Federal AWB as governor of Massachusetts. He signed a bill that would have passed regardless of his support or rejection. Now, that was a very naughty thing to do and I will certainly agree that Mitt Romney is a two-faced flip flopper (e.g. a politician) but I still strongly disagree that he would have been as bad as Obama.

Why is that, you are probably saying? Several reasons. Firstly, that Mitt Romney is a politician. If he had been elected president and if he hoped to get reelected he had better keep his base happy. A big part of his base is us. People who care deeply about our freedom to keep and bear arms. Romney is a smart guy. He wouldn't have dared alienate a huge chunk of his voters to push what is essentially a Democratic Party issue.

Secondly, if Romney was a newly elected president he would be a newbie in the White House. He would be spending all of his time learning the ropes. A new president usually doesn't get all that much done in the first year. The last thing on his mind would be pushing a Democratic agenda item that most non-Democrats find anathema.

That takes care of the Romney side of the equation. What about the O Man? Well, his re-election has energized his base. They are frothing at the mouth to enact their agenda and gun control is at or near the top of their list. The wind is at their wings. Events have played right into their hands. If Romney had been elected they would be demoralized and in the corner licking their wounds. Unfortunately we don't live in that alternative reality.

The unfortunate truth is that elections are almost always the choice between two choices that are far from ideal. Romney for all his faults would have been far better than the choice we are stuck with.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Cuomo lied, freedom died

The first round of the blood danse-macabre ended yesterday when the New York Senate at the instigation of New York's Governor Cuomo rammed through the most restrictive set of gun laws in this nation's history. With one fell swoop, gun rights in New York passed Canada and dropped somewhere in central Europe circa 1925.

As I mentioned in a previous post this act depriving the people of most of their rights to arms stands in direct opposition to the fundamental principles that this country was founded upon. The last shred of sovereignty left to the people of New York has been stripped away. Cuomo and company could care less. As they say, that's a feature not a bug. They want the people, the hoi-polloi, put in a nice box and to do as they are told by their betters. That's not a surprise or the real problem.

If the problem was Cuomo, Bloomberg and the rest of the kleptocracy running the prison camp called New York then they could be simply voted from office and replaced with politicians who minded their P's & Q's.

No, the real problem is that the vast majority of people in New York State want this. They want their rights taken away, their rights and concomitant responsibilities. They want mommy government to take care of them and wipe their faces and bums and kiss their boo-boos. The remainder who can take care of themselves scare the crap out of the dependent majority. Read the comments of any New York Times article about guns or anything having to do with traditional self-reliant American culture to see what I mean.

There is a self-reliant minority in upstate New York but they are aging and dwindling fast.

The gist is that New York is almost assuredly doomed.

If you are a gun owner in New York you have two choices, leave or fight.

 If you leave, be careful when you choose your new home. Don't choose a place where you will be going through this all over again in a few years.

If you stay, you will have to fight. Remember, the media is the prime enemy. They are driving all of this. Fight then with every ounce of your strength. Do what you have to do. Throw a monkey wrench in their works. Protest them constantly. Don't make this easy for them.

Realize that it won't stop with New York. These tyrants will each try to one up each other to make their state gun control central. We will have to be perpetually vigilant.

Remember that gun rights are just a part of this. We now have two cultures in this country trying to share the same geographical location. Conflict is guaranteed.

WinM 94 Assault Weapon--A Parody(reprint)

This post from 2005 isn't so funny now after what happened last night in New York

mentioned I had bought a new gun with my tax refund. It's a Winchester M1894 lever-action rifle. While cleaning it prior to a range day that'll happen in a few hours, I remembered that repeating rifles were the assault weapons of their day. That made me think how easy Brady Bunch, Million Mom March, and others demonize guns. So without further fuss, here is a parody.

Organization to Declare that Guns Are Bad

Contact: Kimberley Hoplophobia
For Release On: March 7, 2005

America is under the gun. Every day our lives and those of our children are threatened by gunmen with so-called licenses to carry concealed weapons. Underneath their coats one can find AK-47s, and vicious sniper rifles like .50 caliber Ferretts. Terrorists enter America to buy guns at our open-air gun-exchange bazaars where 13-year-old miscreants can buy machine guns, grenades, books, beef jerky, and the dreaded AR 15.

Our chief researcher, Tom Bradeyson, has discovered one more weapon, WinM 94, added to the battlefields that are our American cities. This weapon of war, a monstrous killing machine, will take its tolls in America's malls, schools, and churches. Terrorists will forsake all other deadly weapons in order to obtain one of these bullet hoses.

The weapon, really a "weapons system," is a light rifle with highly accurate sights capable of launching leaden missiles into bodies, cars, and buildings at distances of up to two miles. In semi-trained hands, its deadly cargo can hit airliners in flight. In untrained hands, it can strike at children in their classrooms. It is said to have killed more innocent deer in America's forests than any other gun. America is waking up to the dangers posed by WinM 94s in the powerful, deadly .45 LC caliber.

There are several features that make a WinM 94 more deadly than any one person has the moral right to wield. Deadly features found on a WinM 94 cry out for a total ban. If not for opposition from the NRA and fellow gun nuts, this fantastically evil weapon with its deadly child-killing features would be banned too.

A WinM 94--truly a horrendous example of a gunmaker's deadly art-- has many death-dealing features, which we depict and describe here.

A close up of a section called a receiver reveals many threatening features that make a WinM 94 a rapid-fire bullet distribution system.

WinM 94 Weapons System Close Up # 1 Posted by Hello

Its exposed hammer allows manually cocking, thus giving its terroristic user a choice to "lower the hammer" to carry it concealed with less danger to himself and then with a flick of his thumb bring his gun into play in perhaps your child's schoolyard.

The automatic cycling device allows a shooter to "cycle bullets" from the extended, high-capacity magazine. A WinM 94's magazine holds 11 deadly missiles in its "high-cap mag" and is easily and rapidly reloadable. A high-cap mag coupled with an automatic cycling device raises an evil shooter's firepower to disastrous levels.

A WinM 94 sniper rifle is equipped with a straight hand stock--a truly evil invention unlike a more familiar pistol-grip stock. Using a straight hand stock a shooter has great flexibility. He can spray-fire from the hip causing a "curtain of lead" to fly into a mall or school. He can use the straight hand stock to clamp his WinM 94 to his cheek and take accurate sniper-aim, or he can raise the gun overhead and fire in a deadly "plunging-fire mode."

weapons retention system is provided so that a terrorist will avoid losing the weapon or have it removed from his hands by a police officer. Trained officers are capable of handling such weapons and retention systems and ownership should be limited to government officers and agents.

WinM 94 Weapons System #2 Posted by Hello

A WinM 94's "terminal distance alignment system" includes the dreaded buckhorn rear sight and a post front sight. Together these make this weapon of war easily and accurately pointed at an evildoer's target. That target could be your child, your airliner, yourself.

A WinM 94's ammunition is the final nail in this deadly coffin of death. We carefully placed a .45 Long Colt cartridge full of explosive powder next to a bottle of hot sauce for you to understand how large it really is. We believe shooters added "Long" to its name to make up for certain personal inadequacies. Beyond that, the cartridge is but a hair's breadth smaller than a .50 caliber bullet.

WinM 94 Weapons System #3 Posted by Hello

As we have seen, a WinM 94 is a truly deadly and frightening weapons system. We demand that our Senators, Representatives, police officers, mayors, and city councilpeople remove this destructive device from our streets.

Of course, this is a parody and I don't think I'm giving gun-grabbers any ideas. After all, they make up fiction better than I can. They have more practice.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

That son of a bitch ain't been born yet

There's this old story I heard a lot while growing up in Texas. It is probably apocryphal but it has the ring of truth. Sometime in the 19th century an Englishman was visiting a ranch and couldn't find the ranch house. He noticed a grizzled ranch hand intent on his work and went up to him and asked a question: My good man, would you direct me to your master? The worn man looked up from his work, his eyes filled with disdain and said: Well, that son of a bitch ain't been born yet.

This sentiment is fundamentally American. The document that created this nation says much the same thing:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal".

It is difficult for many people to understand how much these words are radical and revolutionary. They stand in defiance of most of human history. Kings, their retainers, lords and knights ruled over the vast majority of the people. The people not born into this elite were denied any rights whatsoever. They had no right to speak their mind, no right to work where they chose, certainly no right to bear arms.

This country was the first to say NO, the people are sovereign, not a King or even a President. That the people have fundamental rights that cannot be taken away, not by a President, not even by a majority of 99 percent.

If the people are sovereign then it follows that they retain the rights and privileges that were once the exclusive province of kings and potentates. The privilege to speak our minds and assemble as we wish is the right of a sovereign people.

Of these rights the right to bear arms is the most important. If the people are not to be trusted with arms then it must follow that they cannot be sovereign. How could one be sovereign if denied arms? The one denying the arms would be the sovereign. If the people are not sovereign then the entire foundation of our country and society disappears in a puff of smoke. 

We would then be back to the society of elites and serfs that has existed for most of history. Well, my friends, we are well on that path. In America today we already have a nation where all men (and women) are not created equal. Laws are not applied evenly and fairly to all people. This is just one example of a growing list that details the decline of our republic. Many are quite comfortable with this state of affairs. Having a master to oversee and guide them throughout their lives is extremely appealing to many people.

I find it ironic that even France seems to believe more in equality than the United States. Does anyone really believe that a court would strike down a tax in this country because it wasn't equally applied?

In close, I'll quote Benjamin Franklin: " A republic, if you can keep it"