Senate Blocks Gun Background Check Legislation. In Other News, I’m Done.

Unbelievable.

I don’t normally post on politics. Political news doesn’t interest me much, mainly because day to day it’s the same thing.

But today is different. This is unbelievable.

This isn’t rocket science, senators.

And gun lobby: seriously? This is a good day?

Unbelievable.

  • Jacob Prahlow

    Mr. Enns, I’ve followed your blog for sometime now, and I’ve appreciated your perspective on various theological and cultural issues. However, I’m a bit disappointed in your foray into making (however brief) comments on political issues. As is often the case in politics, rhetorical banging and not careful (and detailed) analysis into an issue has been the norm with recent attempts at gun control legislation. Mr. Enns, if you haven’t already, I ask that you go to the nearest place you can try to purchase a firearm. After you’ve finished the extensive National Instant Background Check and purchasing paperwork (as well as any state and/or local restrictions and/or paperwork that you may need to fill out), please write a more substantive post on precisely how passing the Manchin-Toomey amendment would have made it safer for you and me. Thanks, Jacob

    • Nathan H.

      Jacob – Have you ever tried buying a gun at a gun show? When you make the statement, “After you’ve finished the extensive National Instant Background Check and purchasing paperwork (as well as any state and/or local restrictions and/or paperwork that you may need to fill out), please write a more substantive post..” I have to assume one of two things: (1) You think we’re so stupid that we’re unaware of the gun show/on-line loophole and/or (2) You’re so ignorant that you’re not aware of those loopholes. Either way, get a clue.

      • ECM

        Ignoring, of course, that guns used in crimes are obtained, overwhelmingly (~90%), via friends/family or on the street, of course. (You would, of course, understand this if you didn’t glean your talking points and, indeed, what to think from the NYTs and Mother Jones, who would just love if everyone were as ill-informed–and proud of it!–as you appear to be.)

        As has been said by others–which you snidely ignore–this is feel good nonsense that does *nothing* to address the fact that 90% of gun crimes are committed with guns *not obtained* legally.

        Let me say that again, so even a being of your vast pseudo-intellect can grasp it: overwhelmingly (on the order of ninety percent, i.e. 9 out of of 10, i.e. many orders of magnitude, i.e. higher than you can count), the crimes committed with guns are perpetrated by people *who will never, ever, submit to a background check because they are not buying guns from places that will perform one, ever, regardless of how many background check laws Congress passes or attempts to pass or how much people such as you, in high, brainless, dudgeon, cry about it.

        Come back and wax righteous when lawmakers decide to do something substantive, rather than feel-good nonsense that doesn’t do anything to help anyone except politicians who use it to burnish their approval ratings from low info voters–voters such as yourself. (But, of course, the left in this country is about one thing and one thing only: feeling good about themselves–to hell with reality–while urinating on the rights that afford you the ability to be a self-righteous clown.)

        • http://www.ihatethemedia.com Sandcat

          I follow Wintery and came here because of another friend’s link. I’ve seen your posts. This one is magisterial.

          Thank you.

  • Derrick Doyle

    Jacob- Ever try buying a gun on the Internet?

    Try not to assume that your experience is normative for everybody.

  • http://www.fidesquaerens.org/blog/ Marta L.

    Years back, I received a gun by mistake from UPS. Someone had ordered it online some place and though the address was similar to mine (not identical – they had a similar street name in a different zip code, and put my zip by mistake) the company still delivered a gun to someone who hadn’t given so much as a credit card to prove my bona fides. I took it to the police, because I wasn’t about to just turn a gun over to the same parcel company that delivered it to me in the first place.

    I’m not the first person I’ve heard of, who’s had this kind of delivery problem with firearms. For whatever my anecdotal evidence is worth…

    • http://meaninginhistory.blogspot.com/ mark

      For what it’s worth, and strictly anecdotally, I’ve never heard that someone received a gun from a delivery service by mistake and then took the gun and went out and killed anyone.

  • Blair

    [random comment so that i will be informed when anyone posts in this discussion]

  • Abe

    If someone took as shallow of an analysis of Adam as you did with the Toomey-Mancin bill, you would have mocked them on this blog. This was feel good legislation that would have done very little. On the other hand, good to see your liberal worldview trumping your thoughtful consideration of all the real issues.

    • Nathan H.

      So background checks don’t do anything???? LOL

  • http://meaninginhistory.blogspot.com/ mark

    Steve Sailer has an interesting take on the push for civilian disarmament: Guns and Whites, and he has the bad taste to drag stats (actual information) into his discussion. Here’s a brief excerpt:

    Don’t assume that white liberals are unaware of black and Hispanic crime rates merely because they get so angry with you for mentioning “hatestats.”

    White liberals appear to be frustrated that white conservatives don’t help them disarm dangerous urban minorities who depress their property values. Sure, the Second Amendment was all very fine in 1791, but we need political assistance taking guns away from black and brown gangs.

    Yet the notion of white racial solidarity is so unspeakable that all white liberals can do is pretend that the main menace requiring more gun control is rural whites. Not surprisingly, this slander doesn’t make red-state whites feel more inclined to help their city cousins disarm minorities.

    • http://meaninginhistory.blogspot.com/ mark

      I should point out, however, that Sailer’s stats don’t appear to confirm his reference to “Hispanic” crime rates. That part appears to be the usual bee in his bonnet.

    • Andrew

      “Civilian disarmanent” . .you gotta be freaking kidding me. There has been no mainstream push to take away guns; this was a basic safety measure to check backgrounds of people purchasing guns in non-traditional venues that even the NRA used to support until Wayne LaPierre and his lackeys wern’t just satisfied with winning the war but decided to make the gun industry/lobby even more money by pushing for ridiculous notions like guns on college campuses and guns in bars.
      Guess who are the strongest backers of gun control? Inner-city minorities . . not “liberal whites” concerned with property values. Who are the people who peddle the most fear about inner city mobs overrunning the suburbs and thus exhibit the highest rates of gun ownership . . suburban whites. It’s all bogus BS. The people who actually deal with gun violence want common sense restrictions on guns (everyone in areas with crime regardless of property value or skin-color). It’s a portion of white-flight suburbanites who are the ones obsessed with guns for “self defense” due to, and I’ll be frank, their scapegoating views on people who look and live differently than they do. And I say this with confidence because I know a LARGE number of white suburbanites who share this sentiment; they aren’t evil people, but they do have unhealthy fears of urban minorities (and the NRA milks these fears for all they’re worth).

      • http://meaninginhistory.blogspot.com/ mark

        Guess who are the strongest backers of gun control? Inner-city minorities . .

        Uh huh. And guess what demographic commits murder at the highest rate–in gross disproportion to other demographics? Yup. Inner city minorities. Go figure, huh?

        Now consider this abstract paragraph from a Rutgers U. study titled <a href=""White, Black, and Latino Homicide Rates: Why the Difference? This study was conducted in an attempt to confirm that higher minority homicide rates can be accounted for by “structural pressures” on minorities that whites do not experience. Here’s the summary:

        The racial homicide differential in the United States is extraordinarily large, with minorities exhibiting much higher homicide rates than non-Latino whites. Several sociological explanations for crime suggest that if whites were subjected to the same structural pressures as minorities, white homicide rates would approach levels currently experienced among minorities. Based on 1990 data for 129 U.S. metropolitan areas, this study quantifies the extent to which differences in structural characteristics among the non»Latino white, non-Latino black, and Latino populations contribute to the homicide differential. The analysis reveals that all of the white-Latino homicide differential and about half of the white-black homicide gap could be reduced if the characteristics of minorities were improved to levels currently exhibited by whites.

        OK, now go to the Sailer article and see what that “white-black homicide gap” might look like if it were reduced by one half. The gap would still be “extraordinarily large.”

        It’s all bogus BS.

        Whatevah.

  • Will

    This death would most likely have been prevented with a background check. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/woman-kills-pistol-texas-gun-shop-article-1.1230950
    Pro-life and pro-gun are incompatible.

    • http://meaninginhistory.blogspot.com/ mark

      Will, if you look at the Sailer article I linked above he discusses the well documented fact that guns are used to commit suicide, and explores some sociological aspects of that issue. There’s plenty more about that out on the internet.

      Guns are implements, just like knives, axes, legal medications, automobiles, etc. All can be turned to wrongful uses, but all also have licit uses. I have no intention of buying a gun, but I see no reason to prevent others from purchasing them or to make the purchasing process terribly difficult.

      • Grant H

        Mark,
        “Guns are implements, just like knives, axes, legal medications, automobiles, etc.”

        They’re not “just like” these items. Unlike all of them, guns are entirely and essentially weapons designed to inflict injury or death. All of the others are tools that can be turned toward a lethal purpose, sure. But a gun has lethality as its sine qua non. This is an important distinction, I think.

        • http://meaninginhistory.blogspot.com/ mark

          Grant, I’ll accept (grant?) your distinction as basically legitimate. I assume you recognize lethality directed at animals as legitimate, assuming that the lethality is exercised in lawful hunting?

          But there’s another important distinction to be made. The lethality is only potential–while any firearm is potentially dangerous, death or injury is not an inherent part of their use. Very few of the people–statistically, virtually none–who purchase guns do so with the intent to injure or kill anyone. They purchase guns to hunt, to shoot at targets, or to defend themselves in their homes. Regarding the last purpose, that purpose can and most often is exercised without inflicting harm on anyone, even criminals. The potential of the gun is enough to effectively defend the home and its occupants. Remember: when seconds count, the police are minutes away. Owning a gun is not a totally crazy precaution. The police will not protect you and your loved ones–they’ll only conduct the crime scene investigation.

          Hey, good article:

          Clinging to Guns—and Abortion: Everyone clings to something, and we now know what liberals cling to

          • Grant H

            OK, fair enough. So should the use of high-powered firearms to commit massacres be accepted as a regrettable collateral of the “right to bear arms”. Are such massacres simply the sacrifice required by Freedom? Should Americans all just bite this bullet?
            Arm the teachers; post armed guards at the school gate; hell, arm the kids! Teach them to draw quick…

            It seems to me that a country awash with high-powered firearms is neither free or brave; it is frightened, and at war.

            Given that Christians preach faith in a Christ who has supposedly shattered the power of death, I would expect them – of all people – to disdain the use of lethal weapons for “self-defense”. Their selfhood is now hidden in the risen Christ; to live is Christ, to die is gain, surely. What higher protection can there be? Yet they seem to need their guns just as much as the next man. The possibility of being unable to meet a drawn gun with gunfire still scares the Jesus out of them … I guess it pays to play safe, in the long run, and trust Jesus to forgive just one more sin, if it’s even a sin at all. I mean, it’s just an assault rifle; it’s not like being gay or something….

    • Don L.

      According to the article, she did have a background check.

  • http://alexhuggett.me Alex

    Meanwhile, once again, the rest of the world looks on in bewilderment. As a friendly outsider can I say, your country is screwed, people. When Christians oppose modest efforts to control weapons that can be used for violence (a tautology for the sake of those who somehow use the bizarre reasoning that guns are just tools), we just shake our heads sadly and look elsewhere for moral leadership.

    • Leo

      I like that. “The rest of the world looks in bewilderment.” We’ve let everyone down here in America (the great Satan)….again. Tell me what utopia are you from?

  • JojoL

    Aaah Alex, you beat me to the punch, as somebody also from the “rest of the world”. And to think that 90% of Americans supported the legislation. Shiesh!

    • Leo

      Where are you from, JoJo?

  • http://meaninginhistory.blogspot.com/ mark

    Amazing. You’d think there weren’t a Gosnell trial going on and that abortion wasn’t responsible for tens of millions of deaths.

  • http://winteryknight.wordpress.com/ Wintery Knight

    Here are a couple of helpful academic books for those who wish to base their views on evidence rather than emotions and pop culture.

    University of Chicago Press:
    http://www.press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/M/bo6686900.html

    Harvard University Press:
    http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674016088

    Reading this would take considerably more time than saying “I’m done”.

  • http://lisesletters.wordpress.com Lise

    I shouldn’t be surprised but I’m speechless. Right there with you and with Alex and JojoL.
    http://www.theonion.com/articles/next-weeks-school-shooting-victims-thank-senate-fo,32094/

  • Leo

    Manchin/Toomey would not have prevented Newtown.

    • Andrew

      That’s not a point of argument. The point of the legislation wasn’t “to prevent all future Newtowns” the point was to enforce measures that could strengthen measures designed to keep guns from the hands of people who shouldn’t have them. It very likely could have prevented at least one death, which would have been more than enough.
      It’s the same argument people make when they cite a news-story of someone getting stabbed to death. Yes, people can find other ways to murder people. But it’s a HELL of a lot easier with a gun, and much easier to kill more people, more quickly and to inflict maximum damage to the target.

      And I’m a gun owner btw. I believe in lawful, responsbile citizens being able to carry firearms (within restrictions) safely. But the whole anti-background check/anti safety-lock, pro-high capacity magazine side of the gun lobby . . the ignorance they spew and the fear they try to instill in other people makes me sick. Is anyone seriously going to argue Jesus would be on the their side here?

      • http:/dancingpastthedark.com Nan Bush

        Thank you many times over.

      • Leo

        Newtown is why we are having this discussion. There was such an outcry after Newtown that legislators were forced to do something….anything. From what I understand, anyone buying a gun on-line and has to have it shipped, federal laws must be enforced. The gun must go to a Federal Firearms License Holder who will do the background checks and then to the buyer. I could be wrong, but that’s what how it at least should be. BTW- Seung Hui Cho passed his background checks as well as James Holmes. Adam Lanza’s mother, for some inexplicable reason, allowed her son to have access to her own weapons, which were obtained legally.

      • Klasie Kraalogies

        Amen

  • Doug Mitchell

    Yep, it was a good day. I am sick of seeing the families of Newtown exploited over legislation that has been gathering dust awaiting a tragedy to create a groundswell in support of a political agenda. I am sick of seeing law abiding citizens described as “nuts” for lawful, legal behavior. I am sick of the arrogant questioning of those who wonder how many rounds I need to hunt, thereby proclaiming their constitutional arrogance. Screw all of you.
    If you want to learn about gun ownership, safety, a legacy of proud, lawful behavior, if you are legitimately agenda free and curious- you are welcome -otherwise-go pontificate to the know nothing’s who actually believe this legislation would do anything to prevent mass shooting.

    • Grant H

      Why do you need to hunt?

      • Andrew

        It’s not why the need to hunt, but why the need to hunt with a weapon containing 15+ rounds. What in God’s name are you shooting at . . .?
        Again, everyone knows banning guns was never close to being on the table. This was only common-sense restrictions that the gun lobby even supported 15 years ago. But all I hear now is not wanting to “inconvenience” gun owners . . the amount of selfishness is unreal. I’ve bought a gun; the process was quick and easy. I would gladly go through a more burdensome, time consuming process if it meant just ONE child’s life was saved. That’s called living in a community with other people who don’t always make the right decisions, but sacrificing (and I cringe by even characterizing filling out some paperwork as a ‘sacrifice’) anyway for your fellow human beings.
        The ultra-libertarian, “I don’t care what others do but don’t tread on me” aspect of American culture is anti-Christian to its core, plain and simple.

        • Grant H

          Well put, Andrew. The ease of access to high-powered firearms is madness. It virtually guarantees future massacres.

        • Jason

          It’s very common while dove hunting with a 12 gauge shotgun to go through several boxes of shells (25 shells per box). It’s also very common when duck and goose hunting to go through a box or two of shells as well…..

  • Doug Mitchell

    I choose to hunt. You are welcome to join my son and me in the tree stand next fall for the organic venison harvest. You’ll have to practice though, we don’t wound animals when we harvest them, and of course you’ll need the PA Hunters safety course. That’s all under the assumption that you’ve passed your Ffederal background check when you purchase your rifle. Oh and my boy, the Deerslayer- he’s the best shot in the family, so I’d suggest you use a different stand than him.

    • Grant H

      I suppose if you must kill them, you may as well enjoy it.

  • Doug Mitchell

    I am not libertarian. I never suspected this legislation would result in banning guns, though I would have opposed Feinstein. The second amendment is not about hunting. In fact I do not hunt with more than 3 rounds, it’s against PA Game Commission regs. The second amendment, with standing equal to the first, is about the exercise of freedom. Part of the exercise of that freedom is the fact that my gun ownership, so long as I am law abiding, is a private matter.
    This legislation had nothing to do with mass shootings. It had everything to do with exploiting a mass shooting to move an agenda forward.

    • Andrew

      Sorry, but judicial interpretation in the last 200+ years does not classify gun ownership, or even most freedoms, as purely “private matters.” Just like I can’t simply decide to build a home wherever I see open space, or can’t should fire in a crowded place for kicks. Freedom is essential but certain limits have been placed as necessary when living in a society with millions of other people (both set by the courts and agreed upon by the social contract by which we all live with one another). Where those limits extend is always justly debated, but part of a true debate nonetheless.

      So that said, I don’t see why you have an issue with a very minor piece of legislation extending federal background checks. What is it costing you? And are you suggesting that the families of Newtown victims don’t have the intelligence and ability to make up their own minds about what to support following their tragedies?

      • Andrew

        That’s “shout fire”

  • Doug Mitchell

    No, I do not suggest the Newtown families lack the intelligence to choose which legislation they support. I do suggest that a dignified leader would choose not go exploit tragedy for the sake of ideology.

    You make too many uninformed assumptions, Grant, when you move my gun ownership to theology. I don’t assume you’re a fascist when you propose that only the state has the wisdom to tell its citizens how many rounds a sporting firearm can carry.

    • Grant H

      Well I’ll just goosestep my fascist arse out of here and leave you to your bloodsport, Doug.

  • Greg M.

    I’m not sure how much I want to get involved in a useless conversation, but let me remind everybody that the 2nd Amendement was put in place to help guard against the tyranny of government. Because all governments will decend into tyranny if not held in check by the people. And all governments want more power. We appear to have forgotten that.

    Disarmament will not happen overnight. But if it does, it will happen over decades and generations. One piece at a time, after one tragedy at a time.

    I have no faith in government. I have no guns because I am a Christian pacifist. Even still, I understand the desire by Americans everywhere to push back against the slow, but constant, disintegration of their right to arm themselves. Because like I said, it won’t happen over night. It wont be like jumping from A to Z. What you may see as a common sense restriction, another may see as a step B, or step C. Not Z yet, and not for awhile. But one step closer nonetheless.

    In the end you may prevent another Newtown. But in the end you may also find yourself without your freedom. We can sacrifice a million soldiers on the battlefield to the cause of freedom and loudly and proudly proclaim it.

    Can we do it when the casualties are closer to home? Do we understand the cost and the value of freedom enough to remained fully armed before our govt even though a thousand Newtowns were to happen?

    That’s for each person to decide I guess.

    Just don’t lose sight of what this whole thing is truly about.

    • Grant H

      I see.

      Government = power-crazed tyrants-in-waiting.
      Assault-rifle enthusiasts = sturdy freedom-loving yeomen keeping the villains in check.

      Arm yourselves to the teeth or it will be Waco on every street corner! And if your free access to heavy weaponry means that a classroom, or a restaurant, or a campus is murderously strafed from time to time, well, that’s just the price of Freedum. Think of those killed as like soldiers fallen in battle; the collateral damage that regrettably attends every righteous struggle. Better “a thousand Newtowns” than giving away one inch of Freedum…

      Perhaps I exaggerate just a little. It may not become Waco on every street corner. No, it’s more likely to be a stealthy legislative encroachment, a gentle smiling nudge down slippery slopes to sodomising socialist perdition. Sweet reasonable safeguards and limits will mark the nearly imperceptible slide, down, down, down….Be vigilant – every inch hides a mile; every compromise is a sellout; every restriction is an atrocity. Keep your house well-stocked with ammo, stay armed , or one day you’ll wake up and be forced by highly educated sharia lesbian abortionists to dance naked around fat golden idols, eat shredded Bibles, and undergo gay marriage, before being dragged away to slave in an endless gulag run by cross-dressing atheistic Taliban…

      Don’t lose sight of what this whole thing is truly about.

    • Andrew

      This slippery slope argument is a red herring and completely unfounded. It’s what people bring out when there aren’t any sound arguments to what is actually being proposed. Do Australians “live in tyranny?” After a Newtown-like incident they passed many strong gun control measures, and I will assure you they won’t contend Australian society has descended into Orwellian dictatorship as a result. Government in a large representative democracy is too bureaucratic and disorganized to ever plan to “take away your freedom.” If you believe otherwise you clearly have never worked in the federal government :)
      We will eventually have stronger gun measures but it will take time. Paranoia is not a sustainable counterargument.

      • Greg M.

        Slippery slope? Sorry, but you’re a special kind of stupid if you think the anti-gun crowd would just stop after the passage of the background check law. If anything it would embolden them even further. I believe they have even said as much.

        Protection against tyranny is one of the reasons why the 2nd Amendment was included in the Bill of Rights: “As civil rulers, not having their duty to the people before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as the military forces which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow citizens, the people are confirmed by the article in their right to keep and bear their private arms.” (Tench Coxe in ‘Remarks on the First Part of the Amendments to the Federal Constitution’ under the Pseudonym ‘A Pennsylvanian’ in the Philadelphia Federal Gazette, June 18, 1789 at 2 col. 1)

        During World War II the US government rounded up and put many Japanese-Americans in concentration camps. This is within memory of people still alive. If you do not think government is ever capable of tyranny, then you just have wool over your eyes. If you think government will voluntarily give up power it already has, and not attempt to gain power that it does not, then again, wool over your eyes.

        Tyranny wouldn’t happen overnight. But a disarmed citizenry is just one less bump in the road.

    • Dean Chang

      This by far the the most ignorant argument of all. So a civilian armed population is somehow going to take on the United States military if “tyranny” get out of hand? News flash, that opportunity came and went a long time ago. I’d love to see all these fat, middle-aged gun nuts take on the most sophisticated and dominant military force the world has ever seen. You won’t even get to use your AR-15, the drones will take you out while you’re sleeping in your underpants!

      • Greg M.

        If this were true, Iraq and Afghanistan would have been a cakewalk.
        Ten years later…

  • eric kunkel

    I went to a gun show once, just to look around. It was at the County fairground. I did not buy any guns. I was very interested in the run on them earlier this year with these laws looming.

    Pete, have you ever been to a gun show?

    I know that if I would have bought something, you would have had to have these mostly out of town vendors transport the thing to local dealer, also at the Show. You had to pay about 50 bucks while the waiting period and background check were done.

    And you would pick up your merchandise from the local guy, after paying that backround check/transfer fee in 10 days or 2 weeks – something like that.

    Eric

  • Andy

    For the record, I live in Australia.
    The world looks at America’s obsession with gun rights as freaking insane. People who are lobbying for the right to own Assault weapons need to get a bit of perspective and ask a human being from outside their little world.
    I know some of this language is quite emotive but this kinda stuff just blows my mind.
    You are fighting for the right for people to own crazy weapons created for the sole purpose of killing…..why?
    After the Port Arthur tragedy in Australia, we had the sense to totally ban semi-automatic weapons….

    • Andrew

      Thank you Andy. I just brought up Australia as an example.
      I reckon you haven’t had the special forces come and implant the tracking devices in your brain since the passing of that legislation . . . :)

    • http://meaninginhistory.blogspot.com/ mark

      Is it bad taste to inject facts into this discussion?

      After Australia’s gun ban took effect, armed robberies jumped 69%. Assaults with guns jumped 28%. Gun murders jumped 19%. Most alarming is something that wasn’t expected. Home invasions jumped 21%.

      People shouldn’t be surprised. When law-abiding citizens lose their ability to defend themselves, criminals take advantage of the opportunity.

      • Andrew

        False. Gun violence went down in Australia. https://theconversation.com/faking-waves-how-the-nra-and-pro-gun-americans-abuse-australian-crime-stats-11678
        One can argue how much credit should be given to the laws and not other factors, but to suggest that more people robbed houses because before they were scared of the owner possibly having an M4 is utterly comical. But I’m not surprised given that above you seemed to insinuate that black people supported stricter gun laws so they could more easily rob the unarmed white people. Your views are extreme to say the least.

        • http://meaninginhistory.blogspot.com/ mark

          Oh, my!

          you seemed to insinuate that black people supported stricter gun laws so they could more easily rob the unarmed white people.

          How about a bit of extrapolation–all that from a seeming insinuation.

          Nice smear, Christian.

          • Andrew

            You are the one being cute by posting hyper-racialized website links and then not saying how you really feel brother. Just come out and exclaim your beliefs. If I’m being “smug” by simply connecting the dots so be it. You clearly are not an unintelligent person but I don’t know if you see your racial outlook as some sort of right wing “enlightenment” or have less neutral motives. In any case we are clearly coming from VERY different places here so I will just say I wish you well and leave it at that.

          • http://meaninginhistory.blogspot.com/ mark

            Just come out and exclaim your beliefs.

            I have no problem with that. Having worked closely with black people all my adult life I know on a personal basis that many of them are horrified by the violence that is endemic in their communities. At the same time, for reasons that aren’t clear to me, large numbers of young black males are drawn into a gangsta subculture that glorifies nihilistic violence. Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to speak frankly about such matters without being pilloried as “hyper-racialized.” In any event, large numbers of black people support “gun control” because of their own life experience, which is utterly different from that of the gun owners of Red states. Unfortunately, because Liberals teach blacks to fear Rednecks as members of a threatening, irrational alien culture, no constructive conversation takes place. Of course, blacks are regularly betrayed by Liberals, whose “gun control” measures are targeted at people in “flyover country” whom they perceive as Rednecks–such measures do nothing to help inner city blacks or to prevent mass murders and are an injustice to peaceable gun owners in the rest of the country. In the meantime, mental health workers and law enforcement professionals feel hamstrung by privacy laws and are loath to take effective preventive action–as witness in the Holmes case and probably the Lanza case as well.

  • http://shalomistheword.blogspot.com Jason

    I haven’t been following your blog for very long. What do you mean by, “I’m done”? I hope you are not quitting writing here. I’ve been enjoying your articles very much.

  • Doug Mitchell

    The Obama administration and gun control advocates have themselves to blame for the slippery slope arguments. When legislators repeatedly use phrases like “good first step,” and NY state police violate HIPPA to confiscate permitted weapons only to give them back when confronted by an attorney, they give legitimacy to that “red herring.” Duplicity on the part of the administration, and focus on drama and uninformed emotion are what lost this fight for those who wanted gun control. It was an entirely political calculation. Now that they lost, they’ll blame the “big gun, NRA” and their band of supposed lemming rednecks. It would have been interesting to see if they had won: Would they credit big government and the Bloomberg/Cuomo alliance?

  • http://meaninginhistory.blogspot.com/ mark

    More FACTS, courtesy of Wikipedia (sorry to be such a bore):

    In 2005, 75% of the 10,100 homicides committed using firearms in the United States were committed using handguns, compared to 4% with rifles, 5% with shotguns, and the rest with unspecified firearms.[49] …
    The incidence of homicides committed with a firearm in the US is much greater than most other advanced countries. In the United States in 2009 United Nations statistics record 3.0 intentional homicides committed with a firearm per 100,000 inhabitants; for comparison, … Gun Homicides in Switzerland however are similarly low, at 0.52 in 2010[53] even though they rank third in the world for highest number of guns per citizen.[53]

    What lessons can we draw from this data?

    1. Guns aren’t the problem–if they were then the gun homicide rate in Switzerland would be MUCH higher than it is.

    2. More people are murdered with Joe Biden’s choice for self defense–the shotgun–than by all types of rifles combined. Why then no focus on shotguns?

    3. Only 4% of murders are committed by rifles OF ALL TYPES. And “assault” rifles are only a small fraction of that tiny amount. Obviously size of mag makes essentially no difference to the stats. Why then the intense focus of commenters on “assault” rifles? It’s obviously an emotional and not a rational thing. So if people don’t commit murder with “assault” weapons, what do they do with them? Hunt, target shoot, leave them in the closet or gun safe.

    4. Most gun murders are committed with illegal handguns (and heavily by revolvers, not semi-autos) in the inner cities–so why do commenters want to harass or even disarm harmless legal gun owners? Hatred of “rednecks”? Incomprehension of “gun culture”?

    5. Furthermore, from 2005 to 2011, more people in the United States were killed with blunt objects such as hammers and clubs, or with hands and fists, than with rifles. In many of those years, twice as many people were killed with hands and fists than with rifles.

    Register baseball bats? Hands?

    • Thorn

      Guns aren’t the problem…the WRONG people with guns are the problem. Anything that makes it more difficult for the WRONG people to obtain a firearm, while still allowing law-abiding citizens to purchase them, is a good thing.

      • http://meaninginhistory.blogspot.com/ mark

        The regs on offer were nothing but political grandstanding. They would emphatically NOT have made it “more difficult for the WRONG people to obtain a firearm.” Stats show that people who obtain their guns legally aren’t criminals. Criminals, people who murder, by and large don’t obtain their guns from legal dealers. We’re talking stats here.

        The Atlantic and the WSJ have excellent studies on the demographics involved here.

        • http://meaninginhistory.blogspot.com/ mark

          Why is it that liberals have to resort to euphemism to hint at what they really think? The WRONG people? Demographic studies clearly identify who those people are–they are easily categorized and regs to prevent them from getting guns could easily be devised and enforced. We used to have laws like that in the USA. They were known as Jim Crow laws.

          Here’s another example, of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg speaking in euphemisms about abortion:

          JUSTICE GINSBURG: Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of.

          Let’s see … who could she have been referring to? The 1 percenters? Lawyers? Jews? Who could she possibly be referring to by populations that we don’t want to have too many of? Maybe we could get some idea by asking: what demographic is most disproportionately affected by the abortion scourge?

        • Thorn

          So by that logic, we should do away with all background checks, right?

          • http://meaninginhistory.blogspot.com/ mark

            Go ahead and construct a syllogism using my words that will lead to your conclusion, LogicMan.

          • Thorn

            Oh, so so witty. Please, by all means, enlighten everyone with your immense wisdom: 1) should all background checks go away, 2) should there be any restrictions on the types of firearms available to the public, and 3) do you fear a tyrannical government coming to take your all of your firearms? I don’t want to put words in your mouth, so bloviate away and let everyone understand how you view the world.

    • http:///krwordgazer.blogspot.com Kristen Rosser

      The reason people are against assault weapons with huge mags is not merely emotional. The fact is that if someone decides to kill with a hammer or a baseball bat, one person may die (or may only be injured). If someone decides to kill with a shotgun, one or two people may die or be injured. If someone decides to kill with an assault weapon with a huge mag, many, many people will die, and many more be injured. It’s similar to the death count for a bomb.
      Why should we not limit weapons of mass destruction in our own country?

      • Martin

        Kristen, you do not seem to be familiar with what falls into the category of “assault weapons” according to the feds. Some research might surprise you. Don’t rely on the media to inform you.

    • Caleb G

      You are forgetting that about 20,000 people a year commit suicide with a firearm.
      You are also forgetting hand guns in your stats. In Australia when they enacted stricter gun control laws, gun homicides and suicides when down.

      • http://meaninginhistory.blogspot.com/ mark

        Those are totally legitimate points. But it also happens to be the case that Australia doesn’t have a Second Amendment that forbids infringement of the people’s right to keep and bear arms. It’s perfectly legitimate, also, to prefer some system of government other than the one we have, but it’s very dangerous to do end runs around the system. I was a LEO for 30 years and in that time I fired countless thousands of rounds from all manner of guns: revolvers, semi-autos, shotguns, submachine style guns, “assault” style rifles. Since retiring 7 years ago the only gun I’ve ever fired has been a BB gun, and I could probably count the times I’ve done that on one hand. But I still believe the Constitution should be respected. Sorry if that puts me beyond the pale.

    • Joe

      You totally miss the most reasonable conclusion that your data calls for. Ban baseball bats? Now you’re just being silly. Ban handguns! Sorry if I caused your blood pressure to skyrocket. Let’s just use compassion and common sense. Your hobbies and desire to play vigilante should never trump the common good and the addressing of a serious public health issue. Let’s move past our American style hyper individualism.

  • http://meaninginhistory.blogspot.com/ mark

    Three more matters worth tossing into this hopper:

    1. Why is it that the murder rate in NYC is significantly lower than in Chicago? The answer, which Steve Sailer discusses today at his blog, is that for years now the NYPD has engaged in aggressive stops and searches of … minority males. It gets results, even as it leads to complaints of bias from the minority groups who are so in favor of civilian disarmament. Lots there to talk about.

    2. A propos the above, Obama had years to bring up this subject. Why did it take the tragic murders of beautiful little white children to get him to act, when the carnage among black inner city dwellers has been ongoing for years? Is it the same reason that commenters here want to focus on “assault” rifles rather than the guns that are doing the vast majority of the killing in this country? Is it all just politics and class warfare? Does Obama and Dems in general really care about blacks, as long as they keep voting the, uh, Left way?

    3. Here’s a killing issue that should have everyone worked up: Obama Refuses to Send Senate a Witness to Explain Drone War Legality. Can I get a witness? A big rousing: Not in my name!

  • Bill Carsley

    I live in Maine and am proud to say both of our senators, one Independent and one Republican, voted in favor of reason and common sense by voting for this gun bill. We here in Maine have one of the largest gun owning per capita populations in the country, but we also can see through the propaganda of the gun lobbies. How can Christians be opposed to reasonable gun regulations? Why are we such easy targets for conspiracy theorists?

    • http://meaninginhistory.blogspot.com/ mark

      We here in Maine have one of the largest gun owning per capita populations in the country …

      And some of the weakest gun laws in the country.

      I live in Maine and am proud

      Whatevah.

    • Doug Mitchell

      I am a Christian, I am against these regulations. They are an infringement only on law abiding free men and women. As a Christian, I do not believe the government is the best arbiter of behavior. Civil behavior for the Christian should have no need for government to enforce it.

  • http:///krwordgazer.blogspot.com Kristen Rosser

    All I can say is that with the vitriol evident in many of the comments on this post, Peter Enns is well justified in generally staying away from politics on his blog . Is it really necessary to call anyone who disagrees with our own position all these nasty names?

    • Bill Carsley

      I agree with you, Kristen. It doesn’t say much for the “Christ-like spirit” of Christians, does it?

      • Joe

        Since this is a blog that generally focuses on Christian engagement with Scripture, it is absolutely relevant to note that the Bible never endorses any sense of individual ‘rights’. It just isn’t there. We have life because live was given to us as a gift. We don’t have a ‘right to life’. Rather, we do not have the right to act as God with respect to someone else. Life comes from God and belongs to God. Similarly, I think that for Christians, the Second Amendment is completely irrelevant!! Is it holy Scripture? Come on, now. Since when did the U.S. Constitution receive God’s baptism and blessing? Let’s get off our high horse as Americans and stop thinking that we’re so unique that we don’t have to listen to other people and nations and cultures. People love to talk about Switzerland as a model. Well, does Switzerland’s culture and demography look like the U.S.s? Take nearly every other developed country on earth and people have come to conclude that weapons of warfare need to be strictly regulated, or better yet, eliminated. I lived in Britain for 4 years and was grateful that their society respected life, re: this issue, than many Christians in the U.S. How can it be that Christians would rather have the opportunity to kill another in self-defense than to take steps to ensure that the rest of society doesn’t have to endure so much gun violence? I can understand Americans being ‘pro-gun’ given our Revolutionary heritage. I will never ever understand how those who pledge to follow the example of Jesus – one who saw that violence never solves anything – can be pro-gun. I agree with my brothers and sisters overseas, and with Pete. This is simply unbelievable!

        • http://meaninginhistory.blogspot.com/ mark

          Joe:

          1. Agreed–the Constitution is not Holy Writ. Moreover, we have a process in place for amending it.

          2. Re living in life and limb loving Britain, perhaps some of you saw this headline from the Daily Mail some years ago:

          Violent crime worse in Britain than in US

          The article goes on to state:

          According to the figures released yesterday, 3.6 per cent of the population of England and Wales were victims of violent crime in 1999 – second only to Australia, where the figure was 4.1 per cent. …

          In the U.S., only 2 per cent of the population suffered an assault or robbery.

          That article was debunked by the Skeptical Libertarian Blog. But even the debunker concluded that, “if we must compare the two, my best estimate‡ would be something like 776 violent crimes per 100,000 people” in Britain v. about 403 in the US.

          • Joe

            Mark,
            You may be right when it comes to including crimes such as assault. But this includes getting smacked in the face with a pint glass in a local pub. (Pint glasses have a purpose other than to be used as weapons, by the way.) The streets are far safer in countries where there are fewer guns of any kind. Your odds of survival are also quite better, if the weapon used is not a gun. Look at the 2007 official statistics released by the UN office on Drugs and Crimes. The rate in the U.S. for that year is this: 2.97 people in 100,000 are murdered by firearms. In England and Wales, 0.07 people are murdered by firearms. America has a fascination with guns… it’s in our cultural DNA. But there is no excuse for Christians to assume that violence has a place in our spiritual DNA. Again, Jesus serves as the chief, authoritative model. Non-Christians are, again, getting ahead of Christians when it comes to the issue of whether violence ‘works’ (let alone whether it is ‘right). Some people are learning the examples of Vietnam and Iraq. Sadly, the percentage of southern evangelical Christians who supported the use of torture against suspected terrorists was HIGHER than the percentage of non-Christians who supported this. I have absolutely no earthly idea why. But something is seriously messed up in the church.

            source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2012/jul/22/gun-homicides-ownership-world-list#data

          • http://meaninginhistory.blogspot.com/ mark

            Joe, thanks for the rational response. Re odds of survival, check out the demographics of murder and you’ll find that if you avoid inner city areas your chances of survival in America are every bit as good as in other Western countries–despite the fact that mass murders tend to occur outside inner city areas. The simple fact is that for the vast majority of Americans, gun violence is not an issue (Gallup puts it at 4% of Americans who consider it an important issue). As a retired LEO I could get a concealed carry permit far more easily than most Americans, but I haven’t done so and have no current intent to do so. Why not? No perceived need in my life–but it doesn’t bother me that other people around me may be “packing heat.” Again, no perceived threat.

            Sadly, the percentage of southern evangelical Christians who supported the use of torture against suspected terrorists was HIGHER than the percentage of non-Christians who supported this. I have absolutely no earthly idea why.

            Ah, now we get back to what this blog is supposed to be all about! Here’s my theory. You’re talking about “Bible believing” Christians–or something like that. These are people who take their OT seriously–and in my view erroneously–including the violent stuff. Ask Peter about that.

            “But something is seriously messed up in the church.”

            I’ll take your word for the situation in “the church.” I belong to what I call “the Church,” and its leaders are all in favor of civilian disarmament–that and protecting colleagues who bugger altar boys. Go figure, eh?

        • Doug Mitchell

          Joe, when I began my disagreement over background checks, I listed a number of very offensive things taking place during the debate that mischaracterize and wrongly stereotype gun owners. You are the first in my experience to call pro-gunners unchristian. Congratulations on being the first in my experience to utter that particular idiocy.
          Assuming you are a US citizen-the Constitution is crucial, not because it is holy writ, but because it enumerates rights coming from a power higher than government to free citizens. Among those rights, whose purpose is to limit government made of men, is the right of bearing arms. No firearm by itself ever caused a violent act. Owning one, enjoying one, or advocating for the freedom to own one, implies no particular propensity toward violence any more than owning a baseball bat implies the owner is inclined to beat someone to death. One of my criticisms of academia is that too often the participants, live in a small culture that encourages unchecked rhetorical idealism and limits their engagement with people who do more than think and speak for a living. I invite you to spend a month in the rural, small town “redneck” parts of this nation, preferably south of the Mason/Dixon line. Go with an open mind, listen to those folks and respect their faith and heritage. If you can’t find a month away, take the time to read Jim Webb’s book Born Fighting.
          Another of those Constitutional rights is freedom of Religion. It is likely that freedom of religion resulted in a culture under which you could freely learn about and come to freely engage and live out a Christian worldview. It is highly likely that without the US Constitution, you would be at least a criminal, if you had any knowledge of faith at all.

  • Caleb G

    I would encourage everyone to read this report on Gun Rhetoric vs. Gun Facts (http://factcheck.org/2012/12/gun-rhetoric-vs-gun-facts/)

    There is no simple solution to gun violence in our culture. But we can still be peacemakers where we live. The more people that actively promote non-violence, the better off we will be as a country. What disturbs me is how many people who claim to follow Jesus seem more concerned about protecting their guns than speaking up and sacrificing for to protect the poor, the marginalized, and the minorities who are disproportionally affected by gun violence. I’ll be the first to confess that by my actions I am more concerned about my personal safety than I am about non-violently sacrificing time and effort to reduce violence.

    • Dean Chang

      It’s embarrassing to me that Christians in this country are by and large the biggest advocates of gun rights and they’ll twist scripture every which way to get Jesus on board with their insane obsession with gun culture. Is this what we get for being a “Christian nation”?

      • Thorn

        You are not alone in this thought.

        • Joe

          If that’s the case, let’s stop trying to be a so-called Christian nation and just try to be a humane one. It would certainly come closer to Christ’s model.

          • http://meaninginhistory.blogspot.com/ mark

            Hey Joe, America long ago stopped trying to be a Christian nation: abortion.

      • Doug Mitchell

        I do not believe your argument has a basis in fact. I am a gun owner, relatively well versed in the arguments for preserving gun rights. I have a long history in the more conservative branches of the evangelical tree. I have never once heard anyone try to use scripture as support for gun ownership.

  • http://meaninginhistory.blogspot.com/ mark

    A recurrent refrain in these comments–beyond the usual, gun owners are insane one–is that the proposed gun regulations are “perfectly reasonable,” or some variation on that theme.

    In fact, I don’t necessarily see them as unreasonable per se, but it’s quite understandable why gun owners would be suspicious that registration is a first step towards confiscation. Just go through these comments and what jumps out is the overall hostility to gun ownership per se, toward hunting, toward virtually anything having to do with firearms. At the same time, no one has seriously tried to come to grips with the true nature of the gun violence problem in American–which is black on black crime.

    Since I’ve totally failed to interest anyone in statistics, let me try another tack.

    I’m a retired LEO. I’m also a lawyer. I don’t mean to be patronizing, but I’ll try to put this in simple words. The 2nd Amendment is part of our Constitution’s Bill of Rights. That means that the right to keep and bear arms is what’s called an “enumerated right,” just like the right to free speech, association, religion, etc. Established jurisprudence holds that any laws affecting enumerated rights are subjected to “strict scrutiny,” which means that virtually any restriction on those rights will be found to be ipso facto unconstitutional.

    Clearly a lot of people commenting here are perfectly fine with doing a legislative end run on the Constitution and with trashing established jurisprudence. I’m not. Of course, some might argue that the Constitution has already been pretty much trashed–abortion is the example that I’ve repeatedly cited, responsible for the gruesome deaths of tens of millions of children (and no one here wants to talk about that). Even liberal scholars like Laurence Tribe admit that Roe v. Wade was a terrible decision, so maybe you might argue: what’s one more assault on the Constitution and established jurisprudence? I prefer to fight every assault on precedent for the greater good, to insist that we remain as much as possible a nation of laws. For legislators to pass laws of questionable constitutionality pending judicial review years down the road is terrible practice. It’s far better to address the gun violence problem through sound law enforcement practice than through dubious legislative practice.

  • Bill Carsley

    Mark, you are certainly right that I am no Constitutional lawyer. I do follow the debate however. Am I wrong that the Supreme Court has ruled that there is such a thing as “reasonable gun regulation” which is not a violation of the Constitution? I understand that even conservative Justice Scalia said as much. I am a gun owner (hunting rifles, shotgun etc.) and am certainly not opposed to hunting for those who chose to do so. I just think the conversation on “gun rights” has become irrational and far too heated. Christians should be looking for reasonable answers, not blindly following the radical lead of the NRA by perpetuating unjustified fears.

    • http://meaninginhistory.blogspot.com/ mark

      Absolutely. But that’s fairly theoretical, in a sense. The moment that “reasonable” regulation infringes on the right, that regulation should be unconstitutional–by normal standards of constitutional interpretation. Think of free speech–what’s the classic example of speech that can be reasonably regulated? Shouting “Fire!” in a crowded theater. But hardcore porn cannot be regulated–it’s considered speech, and no “reasonable” regulation can prevent the internet from being awash in the stuff. Think of all the cases that involve a “chilling effect” on the exercise of enumerated rights–all regulation is strictly scrutinized. Apply that to the second amendment and you see the problem. Any regulation that arguably discourages eligible, would be gun owners from exercising their right is presumptively unconstitutional by normal standards. That’s why I said that the real “reasonable” solution to gun violence is to address societal problems honestly and apply law enforcement solutions that are known to work. But right now, the honesty is missing and I can’t foresee a time when it will return.

  • http://meaninginhistory.blogspot.com/ mark

    This is a must read article, even for liberals who couldn’t care less:

    New York City’s missing black men

    It might have been possible to respect the civilian disarmament crowd if they’d campaigned on a theme of: we’ve all got to sacrifice in order to get guns out of the hands of young black men. But no, they tried to pull the wool over people’s eyes by pretending suburban and rural white people were maniacs with AR-15s. If they’d openly and honestly addressed the real and huge problem of black on black gun crime, perhaps they would have been able to convince people that it wasn’t just politics as usual. As it is, the measures they pushed would never have prevented another Newton, and would have done absolutely zero to address the biggest problem of gun violence.

    • Thorn

      This Steve Sailer that you keep citing, writes for VDARE, a website that caters to rightwing extremists and white supremacists. His writing pushes the notion that blacks and hispanics have lower IQs than whites. I think I am getting a pretty good idea of your worldview.

      • Andrew

        The writing is on the wall. I personally would stop engaging him (I also need to take my own advice).

      • http://meaninginhistory.blogspot.com/ mark

        Hey, good for you, Thorn–guilt by association! Now you don’t have to pay any attention to anything I say. That’ll save you some trouble–like, thinking.

        And while you’re at it, you can ignore the likes of Michael Barone, Ross Douthat and Mickey Kaus. They’re among the many mainstream pundits who read Sailer closely–and have also cited him by name. I think I’m in good company.

        • Joe

          Mark,
          If you want to stay in the ‘company’ of Steve Sailer, fine. But you’re associating yourself with the sort of lunatic fringe that the internet enables. The ‘truth’ you claim can never be falsified in your mind. Sailer’s work feeds upon the base human instinct to discriminate and divide – all in the name of supposed ‘truth’ about the inferiority of certain races. Any simple websearch will demonstrate that Sailer is a man obsessed with eugenics. (Sailer heads up The Human Biodiversity Institute.) He can claim he’s not a racist all he wants, but a quick scan through his arguments clearly shows the opposite.

  • http://meaninginhistory.blogspot.com/ mark

    Here’s a great headline:

    Why Do The Philadelphia Police Have 1,356 Full-Auto M-16s?

    Since most commenters here seem to think there’s no reason for anyone to have a faux-assault weapon with a 30-round mag that they can empty only by pulling the trigger 30x, perhaps those commenters could explain why a local police department would need 1,356 of the real thing: military assault rifles that take 30 round mags and can be emptied in a matter of a few blinks of an eye.

    I can only guess at the reason, but here goes: It’s because police never make mistakes, so they can be trusted with machine guns. Hey, I mean, what else could it be?

    Seriously, the increasing militarization of American law enforcement should be a concern to all citizens.

    • Grant H

      Whereas the increasing militarization of the citizenry at large is just fine.

      • http://meaninginhistory.blogspot.com/ mark

        Puh-leeze! “increasing militarization of the citizenry at large”

        Do you realize how hysterical you sound? I’m referring to local PDs gearing up with equipment (including armored personnel carriers) obtained from the military and the use of SWAT designed techniques in everyday policing situations.

        What are YOU referring to? People owning guns? Semi-automatic rifles have been around for at least a hundred years or so. They’re very, very rarely used in criminal activity. As for an increase, according to the NYT:

        The household gun ownership rate has fallen from an average of 50 percent in the 1970s to 49 percent in the 1980s, 43 percent in the 1990s and 35 percent in the 2000s, according to the survey data, analyzed by The New York Times.

        So, what in the world are you talking about? Are you really willing to just say anything at all to attack people who disagree with you?

  • Grant H

    Mark,

    You write:
    “That’s why I said that the real “reasonable” solution to gun violence is to address societal problems honestly and apply law enforcement solutions that are known to work. But right now, the honesty is missing and I can’t foresee a time when it will return.”

    “Honesty”, eh?

    Your posts and links indicate that you regard these “societal problems” as grounded in inherent, genetically based differences between groups defined by race. For you, being “honest” is to subscribe to supposed statistical indicators that “blacks” and “hispanics” as groups are demonstrably less intelligent than whites, and that this should be adjusted for in law enforcement, education, et cetera.

    “Honesty” is, in effect, your code for white superiority – cognitive and cultural.

  • http://meaninginhistory.blogspot.com/ mark

    This is utterly irrational, full of non-sequiturs. I won’t waste my time on it.

    • Joe

      Maybe you shouldn’t waste your time on this blog, either. I don’t think you’ll find many people who read it interested in discussing eugenics with you.

      • http://meaninginhistory.blogspot.com/ mark

        Actually, I’M not interested in discussing eugenics, here or elsewhere. You and a few others seem obsessively interested in it, however–either that or in deflecting attention from the actual points, legal and otherwise, that I’ve been making.

    • Grant H

      Some of us can see what all your “actual points” point to, Mark, even if you won’t.

  • Ricky

    I keep seeing these comments about buying guns on the internet and at gun shows. It makes me wonder if the people making the comments have ever actually been to a gun show or purchased a weapon off the internet. You still have to have a background check when purchasing a hand gun from a dealer at a gun show, unless it is a long gun, such as a riffle. All weapons purchased on the internet must be delivered to a certified dealer so that they can do what’s called a transfer. A back ground check is a part of that transfer.

  • http://meaninginhistory.blogspot.com/ mark

    I think if I were a homeowner in Watertown, MA, I’d like to be a gun owner, too.

    Incredible Photos Of The Manhunt For The Boston Bombing Suspect

  • http://meaninginhistory.blogspot.com/ mark

    Here are two excellent, short reads. People who don’t want to think may want to stop right now.

    The first is from Walter Russell Mead’s The Boston Manhunt and the MSM’s Gun Control Blind Spot. I believe he’s a eugenicist, or I wouldn’t be quoting him:

    Millions of Americans listening to the bulletins on the developing manhunt were either glad they had guns in their homes or thought seriously about getting them. Yet for many professional journalists, and maybe especially those in the Acela corridor in the Northeast, this reaction is incomprehensible.

    Put simply, millions of Americans don’t want to depend only on the police for protection. They think about the inevitable interval between calling 911 and the arrival of the cops, and they don’t want to wait helplessly for the good guys to arrive. Events like this one reinforce deeply held public beliefs about the dangerous world we live in and the limits of the state’s ability to protect the people from the bad guys.

    This may not strike enlightened and well credentialed Acela liberals as sensible or rational, but that’s not the point.

    The second link is the perfect rejoinder to the comment:

    “guns are entirely and essentially weapons designed to inflict injury or death.”

    as well as serving as a perfect counterpoint to Mead’s remarks.

    Of course guns are designed to have that POTENTIAL, but that doesn’t mean that use of a gun involves a per se intent to inflict injury or death:

    Defensive Gun Use of the Day: Don’t Rely On a Piece of Paper Edition

    • Grant H

      Well, millions of privately owned guns in the fond hands of “good guys” couldn’t stop those two “bad guys” setting off their DIY bombs in the first place. So much for keeping at bay that “dangerous world we live in” !

      Too many Americans cling to the notion that they can divide the world clearly into “good guys” and “bad guys”, and that they can control the latter through overwhelming firepower. History screams its lessons, but the delusion persists.

      Two killers on the run in Boston, and “millions of Americans” go for their guns?

      Lots of itchy trigger fingers out there, just gagging for a pretext to open fire …wannabe minutemen, gagging for redcoats.

  • Martin

    And here I thought Clinton got a weapons ban through Congress, signed….. and it would make us all safe. Anyone remember that? One of the best pieces I have read on this was from a flaming liberal hunter who explained the whole assault weapon misunderstanding which showed how gullibe the public is cos he even had pictures of how you can put one little cosmetic type alteration on a gun and it goes into the “assault” weapon category according to the Feds. I am wracking my brain trying to remember the name of the website. These sorts of laws make us feel pious to support but really do nothing in terms seriously protecting us from psychopaths. Both sides trot out their favorities stats and appeal to emotions.

  • http://patheos.com/blogs/panmankey jason mankey

    The idea that a NRA-style-gun control is compatible with Jesus will ever confuse me. Even if closing the gun-show loophole results in the saving of only one life, that is one life that was saved. Violent crime has been decreasing over the last twenty years (probably due to a number of factors), but senseless tragedies seem to be on the rise. Does someone really need a clip that holds thirty bullets to “protect” themselves or to go hunting? We sell bullets designed for killing people and no other purpose (those bullets mangle the meat on an animal).

    No one is out “to take your guns away” but a few extra rules and regulations might save some lives.

  • http://josephmcauley.blogspot.co.nz/ Joseph

    Wow. Awful lot of comments for such a short post. If only my writing could get conversations going like Peter’s has… From someone who lives down under – Australasia – New Zealand specifically – all I can say is that this following video sums up our perspective on the gun control argument in North America.

    Do watch the short video… http://vimeo.com/64432171

  • Larry S

    Thanks Joseph, Loved it.
    As a Canuck my nieghbourhood to the south confuse me.

  • daniel de oliveira

    Brazil has a strict gun control and the rate crime (homicides by firearms) is more than three times here than in the US. You do the math!


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X