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Cthulhu '08

Losing is Winning, Ignorance is Strength

Paul Helmke (or whoever writes it) has a comical post post on the Brady Bunch blog about Obama’s pandering to gun owners. It seems that in their upside down world, the fact that candidates are running away from them somehow means they’re winning. Or something.

If Senator Obama is “doing the gun dance,” then he’s in step with most of the American people. A recent poll by the Washington Post indicated that while 72% felt the Second Amendment provided an “individual right,” 59% also supported gun restrictions as strong as those in the District of Columbia.

Umm, no, that doesn’t mean Obama is in step with most people. It means he’s lying. His support for banning pretty much everything is kind of the exact opposite of an individual right. And, Paul (or whoever), doesn’t that 72% there indicate that your belief that an individual right is a “fantasy” place you in a rather small minority?

As for the second number from the cited poll, that was something of a trick question. By asking who supports an extreme total ban and a ostensibly innocuous trigger lock provision, it’s hard to say who favors what. Do the people who strongly support trigger locks mildly support a total ban? Did some people who somewhat oppose a ban and support locks split the difference? Or, for that matter, did the people who claimed to like locks realize that the law never allows you to unlock it? There are plenty of people out there who think such “safety” laws are “reasonable” until you explain to them just what they do..

Either way, the compound question was a bit like asking someone if they support kicking puppies and protecting babies from cannibals. Of course some people are going to say yes to avoid looking like they don’t “think of the children” or whatever.

Support for common sense gun control should be a vote-winning issue for most candidates.

Bwahahaha! Given that the Brady Bunch’s idea of “common sense” is banning everything short of fingers, I’d say that’s a big no. Besides, if it was a “vote-winning issue,” he wouldn’t be doing the “gun dance,” now, would he?

Sebastian at Snowflakes in Hell has more on the absurd notion that gun control is a vote-winning issue in Pennsylvania.

Arizona to Abolish Free Speech, Personal Responsibility

GamePolitics has a story today about a proposed law in Arizona which would hold writers, publishers, and distributors liable for any crime committed by anyone who viewed their work. Not only would this pretty much kill free speech since there’s always some nutcase somewhere who can be inspired to kill by just about anything (think Charles Manson and Beatles songs or The Catcher in the Rye and John Hinckley or Mark David Chapman..), but it would pretty much reward criminal behavior by giving them something else to blame.

Rob a bank? Blame Heat or Dog Day Afternoon and let the victims sue Al Pacino. Shoot someone? Pfft, no worries, it’s all the military history book’s fault you knew how the gun worked. Punch someone in the face? Just say you watched a kung fu movie and let them get rich suing Chuck Norris or something.

Critically wound personal responsibly? Well, I guess we should all be able to sue the legislators who wrote this crazy bill..

Update: The Arizona Senate has rejected the bill!

Obama Wants Federal Ban on Concealed Weapons

Word on the street is that Barack Obama is out stumping for a national ban on carrying concealed weapons. Each of those words links to an article by someone else who said what I would have said. So instead of simply adding a “This,” let’s jump into the wayback machine and try to understand his reasoning (or lack thereof) for this..

Back on February 20, 2004, the Chicago Tribune published an article about Obama and gun control. The article is now locked away inside a subscription-only section of their site, but it was covered here and here. At any rate, when asked about taking the Illinois ban nationwide, he had this to say:

National legislation will prevent other states’ flawed concealed-weapons law from threatening the safety of Illinois residents.

Think about that for a second.

As it stands, Illinois is one of just two States which does not allow anyone other than law enforcement to carry a concealed handgun under any circumstances. They issue no permits whatsoever. And being that they do not recognize any other States’ permits, nobody from any other State is allowed to carry concealed handguns into Illinois. Full stop.

So, yea, how exactly would a national ban protect Illinois residents? Does he mean to protect them when they travel to other States? And if so, who is he protecting them from? Or, more precisely, which residents is he claiming to protect?

The only way some other States’ concealed weapons laws would be “threatening the safety of Illinois residents” is if said residents threatened death or grievous bodily harm upon someone in another State who has a concealed weapon. Otherwise, there would be no reason to shoot them. Ergo, the only Illinois residents he would be keeping safe are those who would travel to other States to commit violent crimes. I guess you could almost think of it as offering job security and industrial growth to criminals.

And I suppose it would also be much easier for his homicidal anti-gun buddies to have their way with us if we can’t defend ourselves..

High Powered Assault Clothing?

A friend sent me this link over IRC earlier about some UK fishwrap’s campaign to ban jackets with hoods on them. After much laughing, I was about to make a post sticking another fork in Britain..

..Until I popped it into Google and found this article from Alabama.

Mobile police are looking to ban the sale of hooded jackets that zip up over the face and have been used in several recent robberies.

“I’m almost to the point of outrage concerning the hoodies,” Police Chief Phillip Garrett said. “I don’t think these should be sold. The only reason you would buy one is to disguise your identity.”

Or, you know, you could buy one to keep your face warm in the winter and stuff. There’s probably dozens of other non-criminal reasons where that came from. But isn’t that beside the point? Last I checked, we live in a free country where we don’t need “reasons” to own things. Likewise, I seem to remember that the police work for us rather than rule us.

Now, maybe it’s just me, but banning an article of clothing doesn’t really sound like an effective way to fight crime. Especially since the “outrageous” and “terrifying” ability to hide one’s face can easily be replicated with a fifty cent bandanna. If that’s the best idea any of these people can come up with, maybe they should really be looking into a new line of work that doesn’t require so much thinking..

Propaganda 101: Lie by Omission

Good morning class. Today’s lesson in propaganda comes from a post on the “Gun Guys” site in which their astroturf blogger is shrieking hysterically that Kansas might allow people to buy machine guns. The first omission some of you may notice is the complete failure to mention that said machine guns would still be strictly controlled by the Federal government via the NFA and its progeny. This, however, is not the focus of our lesson.

Instead, please direct your attention to this skillfully crafted paragraph:

The potential availability of machine guns to just about any American is not a Constitutionally guaranteed right; it’s a recipe for carnage on a scale that we have yet to see.

But, umm, most States do allow the sale of machine guns to anyone who jumps through the Federal hoops. So where is all this “carnage?” Oh, right, it’s something we’ve “yet to see.”

As far as anyone can tell, there have only been two homicides involving legally owned automatic weapons. Since 1934. One of which was committed by a police officer. It’s amazing how their omission of these two facts while admitting the lack of carnage changes things entirely, isn’t it?

Or, if they do think 2 deaths in 74 years qualifies as “carnage,” then would the 62 lightning deaths per year be considered apocalyptic?

The bit about “potential availability” is rather funny too. After Congress closed the full-auto registry in 1986, the law of supply and demand has priced automatic weapons out of most people’s tax brackets. $16,000 (or more) for a used, 40 year old AK-47 is hardly what I’d call “availability.” But, hey, they can’t let little things like facts get in the way, now, can they?

To be fair or something, they could be soiling their pants over a repeal of the ’86 ban. But, even then, both known homicides involving automatic weapons happened after the registry closed. As above, one murder was carried out by a police officer, to whom the ban doesn’t apply anyway..

Hat tip to VPC Blog.

Snuffy, Wright, and Obama

Michelle Malkin is reporting that Rev. Michael “Snuffy” Pfleger has come out to shriek in support of Obama’s ex-pastor Jeremiah Wright. And shriek he does. Not content with trying to incite a mob to “drag” a gun retailer, gun owners, and pro-gun legislators into the street “like a rat” and “snuff them out,” he also doesn’t think anyone should be “allowed” to criticize Rev. Wright. Apparently he hates the First Amendment as much as the Second. Though I suppose these PC fascists kind of have to get rid of the Second before really going after the First.

Oh, and look, he’s endorsing Obama too. Surprise, surprise..

Now, before anyone moans about how it’s soooo unfair to judge the Obamamessiah by the company he keeps, let’s not forget how quick the left was to trash Ron Paul because some racist happened to donate some money to his campaign and because Lew Rockwell wrote some non-PC things in his newsletters. Naturally, I’ve probably associated with a few unsavory characters in the past as well. But, then, I’m not exactly expecting anyone to vote for me as President either.

More Arms Race Propaganda

Sebastian at Snowflakes in Hell has found this new anti-gun hit hit piece by the AP on one of my favorite subjects: The alleged “arms race” between the cops and bad guys blamed on the expiration of the AWB. And like the propaganda covered here before, this piece of “news” reads more like a press release from the VPC.

To set up the article, they start with four short paragraphs about a shooting that took place at a birthday party outside some low-income apartments. With the emotional think-of-the-children card played, they move on to the deception.

The Sept. 15 killing was remarkable in that it took place in the most innocent of settings — the fifth birthday of twin boys. But it was unremarkable in that one of the guns brandished was an AK-47-type rifle — a powerful, rapid-fire weapon that has long been used in Third World conflicts but is increasingly being used in American street fights.

Ah yes, ye olde powerful, rapid-fire weapons of war card. Make people think of a machine gun..

Figures from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, obtained by The Associated Press through public records requests, show a marked increase in the number of AK-type weapons traced and entered into the agency’s computer database because they had been seized or connected to a crime.

And, umm, where are these figures? The rest of the article is rubbish, but they expect us to believe these figures without seeing them? And, erm, haven’t they all been shrieking that they’re not allowed to see such figures anymore since the ATF trace data was closed to journalists? Make up your mind people..

The number of such tracings rose even while the federal assault weapons ban was in effect and has continued to climb since its expiration.

So, in other words, the ban didn’t do anything?

Since 1993, the year before the ban took affect, ATF has recorded a more than sevenfold increase in 7.62x39mm guns — which includes the original Russian-made AK-47 and a variety of copycats from around the world. The number of AK-type guns rose from 1,140 in 1993 to 8,547 last year.

It’s been illegal to import an original Russian-made AK-47 since 1968. It’s been illegal to register any new automatic weapons (which is what the real, original AK-47 is) since 1986. The 1994 ban did not effect real AK-47s, or any other “rapid-fire” weapons. But they’re telling me despite these all these laws (plus the 1934 NFA which requires the registration of all automatic weapons), the number still increased? Why, it’s almost like criminals don’t obey the law. Imagine that.

Since 2005, the first full year after the ban’s expiration, ATF has recorded an 11 percent increase in such tracings.

If we’re still talking about original Russian-made AKs, or rapid-fire weapons in general, they’re lying. The import and full-auto ban did not expire in 2004. If they’re talking about semiautomatic clones, those weren’t actually illegal. More on that in a bit though.

From here, they go into some anecdotal evidence about how “assault weapons are terrorizing their communities” and such. In the midst of this appeal to emotion, something interesting pops up:

On Thursday, Sept. 13, Jose Somohano, a 37-year-old officer with the Miami-Dade Police, was cut down during a traffic stop in suburban Miami by a man with an AK-type weapon. Three other officers — armed, like Somohano, with just handguns…

Days before the ambush, Miami Police Chief John Timoney agreed to let patrol officers carry assault rifles to help counter the use of such weapons by criminals.

Wait a second. Timoney now says he authorized the carbines days before Officer Somohano was killed? But, umm, he’s said in the past that he authorized the carbines in response to that incident. Which is it? Though I suppose that explains the picture from that ABC story of an officer holding what appears to be a shorty AR-15 with an EOTech and a low-profile gas block which Timoney said didn’t exist at the time. Either way, I find it rather hard to believe he authorized the carbines “days before” and started handing them out on such short notice. Don’t large police departments have like training procedures and stuff?

Next up, the Authorized Journalist drones on for a bit about machine guns and grenades in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Australia (wait, I thought they were banned there?!1). After using the classic Sugarman Method of confusing the reader about what kind of guns we’re talking about comes this nice piece of disinformation:

Bullets fired by AK-47s travel at a higher velocity than those from many other weapons, and can do grievous damage to the body. Often they have enough energy to pass clear through.

Higher velocity than what? Handguns? Sling shots? Crossbows? As far as rifles go, the 7.62x39mm is on the low end of the velocity scale. Most “traditional” hunting rifles travel much faster and can “pass clear through” a body. They kind of have to in order to take down large animals.

Knockoffs of the AK can be bought from legitimate gun dealers for as little as $300, and are also available on the street. Original Russian-made models are more expensive. Normal ammo clips hold 30 rounds, but higher-capacity ones are also available.

Nice touch throwing legitimate dealers and “available on the street” right next to each other. As if both are somehow to blame for the PSH above. However, it is nice to see the MSM refer to 30 round capacity as being normal, even if they called them clips.

Oh, look, after spending two-thirds of the article painting a picture of machine guns, they finally try to clear things up. No doubt hoping that most readers wouldn’t have made it this far in.

Most of the AKs on American streets are semiautomatic, meaning they fire as fast as the gunman can squeeze the trigger. Fully automatic ones, common on the battlefield, require just one pull of the trigger to release a burst of fire.

Yet, even then, they avoid mentioning that semiautos only fire one round at a time. Instead, they give a vague description more fitting for a squirt bottle; as if bullets spray out if you quickly jerk the trigger once. And of course, they just had to thrown in another battlefield reference.

Did I say the article read like a VPC press release? Oops. Maybe it was written by the Brady Bunch.

A 2004 study by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence concluded the U.S. ban on AKs and other guns was successful, saying in the five years before its passage, assault weapons made up 4.82 percent of ATF crime gun traces, compared with 1.61 percent between 1995 and 2003.

Hmm.. Is it just me, or does this totally contradict what was said above about the “sevenfold increase” during the ban? Oh. Right. The Brady moonbats are talking about things that look like “assault weapons.” Pretty much every rifle banned in 1994 remained perfectly legal to make if you removed a few odd cosmetic features like bayonet lugs. Remove said cosmetic features, and, bam, instant reduction in the number of imaginary “assault weapons.”

Many politicians, police chiefs and gun control advocates point to the expiration of the assault weapons ban as a reason for the spread of the guns. But many others argue the law was so riddled with loopholes that it had little effect.

They can’t even agree amongst themselves whether the law did a damn thing. First they say there was a “sevenfold increase” despite the ban, then that it worked and the ban’s expiration is spreading the guns. Finally they claim there were “loopholes.” By which I assume they mean the aforementioned fact that the law only banned trivial cosmetic bits, and people *gasp* followed the law by removing them.

Now with all that PSH out of the way, they finally let in an opposing view point get in a couple of words a few paragraphs before the end.

The National Rifle Association says the focus must be getting criminals off the streets, not more legislation.

“The basic reason why gun control laws fail is that they require the cooperation of a very unlikely source, and that is criminals,” said NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam. “Each time you pass a gun control law, the only people that are going to be affected by that law, the only people that are going to follow that law are law-abiding Americans.”

They probably expected an article this long to be continued on another print page where most people wouldn’t bother to read the tiny space they allowed for a rebuttal. But then, I suppose they couldn’t take that chance, as they finish the article with more appeals to emotion by talking about birthday ballons and bullet-riddled bodies.

Nope. No media bias there..


So, yea, the media is freaking out because someone, somewhere, looked at three of the Presidential candidates’ passports. I don’t get it. What’s the big deal?

For, like, forever, Congress has been making law after law collecting more info on us. They’ve been adding more and more places where we’re asked to show “papers, please!” And when RealID goes into effect, we will essentially have to carry Federal interstate passports which any agent of the state can ask to see, and will be needed to enter buildings that we pay for with our taxes.

But they’re shocked that someone would have the audacity to look at their passport?

With all due respect Senators, you’ve made your bed; now lie in it.

Head to Head With the Queen of Gun Banners

As the global media descended on DC to cover the Heller case, a rather interesting thing happened. Sebastian from Pro-Gun Progressive and Maryland Shall Issue debated Rebecca Peters from IANSA live on Al Jazeera. Videos can be found here.

Despite being in what had a hint of a hostile venue, Sebastian did a spectacular job of taking Ms. Peters to task on her lies and disinformation. Personally, I don’t know if I could have kept a cool head while she spewed such rubbish. As usual, she rattled off the usual crap about the US being the most violent country in the world, the NRA exporting illegal weapons, and that the UK is a fairy tale land of peace because they ban most guns.

And on that note, allow me to present the statistical piece I’ve been working on; Homicide in the US, England, and Wales. It was originally going to be a blog post (hence the snark), but it got so long I decided to make it a static page. While it could use a peer review and such before being considered truly scientific, the raw numbers do paint a different picture than what Ms. Peters and her ilk would like you to believe.