Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. That psychic discomfort is the price we pay for basic civic peace. It's worth it. It's a pragmatic principle. Defend everyone else's rights, because if you don't there is no one to defend yours. -- MaxedOutMama

I don't just want gun rights... I want individual liberty, a culture of self-reliance....I want the whole bloody thing. -- Kim du Toit

The most glaring example of the cognitive dissonance on the left is the concept that human beings are inherently good, yet at the same time cannot be trusted with any kind of weapon, unless the magic fairy dust of government authority gets sprinkled upon them.-- Moshe Ben-David

The cult of the left believes that it is engaged in a great apocalyptic battle with corporations and industrialists for the ownership of the unthinking masses. Its acolytes see themselves as the individuals who have been "liberated" to think for themselves. They make choices. You however are just a member of the unthinking masses. You are not really a person, but only respond to the agendas of your corporate overlords. If you eat too much, it's because corporations make you eat. If you kill, it's because corporations encourage you to buy guns. You are not an individual. You are a social problem. -- Sultan Knish

All politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war. -- Billy Beck

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Do It Again, Only HARDER!.

Say Uncle points to another Laura Washington piece on gun control. It seems Ms. Washington wants to "energize the base," since in her previous jeremiad she stated that she wanted to "get organized and shove tougher gun policies right down their throats."

One of those throats, obviously, would be mine. Now she wants to "pry open those cold dead hands."

Guess whose?

Say Uncle has done a masterful job fisking her op-ed (and I'll get back to that), and Ahab has some things to say about it, as does Sebastian, and Countertop, and Alphecca. Since Ms. Washington states in her current piece, "Whenever I write about the plague of gun violence, I get a huge blowback from the gun lovers of America," I thought I'd do my part as well.

Before I do that, though, allow me to bask in the pleasure that Ms. Washington took what I told her in my first email to her, and wrote an op-ed from it. I wrote previously:
Ms. Washington, you note in your piece: "(I)t seems the gun control advocates have been outmatched. Abigail Spangler acknowledges as much. Spangler is the founder of, a Virginia-based group that has been spearheading a slew of anti-gun protests around the nation.

"Gun control activists, she wrote me, 'are TRYING HARD but they are seriously affected in state after state by lack of funding and contributions." She recently met, she says, with the leader of Virginia's only gun control group. "He says they may not even be able to afford any lobbyist at all soon in Virginia!'"

Ms. Washington, the citizenry will offer an opinion to anyone. Opinions are free. But activism costs money - and the anti-gun side has shown that the hearts and wallets of the general public are not really into it. Ask any hundred random people on the street if they favor stricter gun laws and most likely the majority will say "yes." Ask them what the current gun laws are, and they won't be able to tell you. Gun rights activists can. The gun control side of the argument has been supported for decades with money from foundations, perhaps the largest contributor being the Joyce Foundation. Look them up. Those of us who believe in the right to arms are the true grass-rooters, and there are far more of us than the mere four million that the NRA claims as members. As someone once put it so pithily: "Poor Lefties; they've been playing on astroturf so long that they don't know grassroots even when fed a mouthful of divot."
In the current piece she writes:
Through organizing, the Internet, and plunking down plenty of cold hard cash, the gun lobby has proven it is ready for primetime. Meanwhile, its opponents are languishing in the wee-hours of late-night local cable.
Right. The Violence Policy Center, the Brady Center, IANSA, the Second Amendment Research Center of Ohio State University, the Harvard School of Public Health, the.... Well, you get the idea.
Gun control advocates should piggyback on the success of online activist groups like and These efforts have raised millions to promote political candidates and the antiwar movement. The money is there. Barack Obama, for one, has raised over $17 million on the Internet. Marches and protests are fine, but it is imperative to devise a response that is sophisticated and symmetrical to the gun lobby's tactics.
She realizes her side needs money, but I don't think she knows the mailing address for her grant application to the Joyce Foundation.

ANYWAY, back to Say Uncle's fisk. In it, he uses one of my favorite "Uncleisms" - "Gun control is what you do instead of something."

Ms. Washington makes two statements that I think are crucial to understand about the topic, but that almost no one on either side ever addresses. To wit:
The gun army, made up almost exclusively of white men from suburban and rural areas....
According to a recent report by the U.S. Justice Department, nearly half the people murdered in the United States in 2005 were black. Most lived in cities and were felled by guns. While blacks make up about 13 percent of the nation's population, they comprised 49 percent of all murder victims.
I am reminded of the truth of the first point every time I go to the range. While Zendo Deb, Denise, Tam, Bitter, KeeWee, Breda, and hundreds if not thousands of women, not to mention black men like Kenn Blanchard and Walter Williams, are members of the "gun army," the overwhelming majority of us are white males, mostly suburban or rural.

But very nearly half of the victims and perpetrators of violent crime are less than 13% of the population. A very identifiable less than 13%.

Young. Urban. Black. Males.

In fact, the level of violence committed by and upon this tiny demographic skews America's violent crime rates markedly, as I pointed out in Questions from the Audience? back in January of last year.

But whose throats does Ms. Washington want to shove "tough new gun policies" down? Whose "cold dead hands" does she want to pry open, in the apparent belief it will somehow affect the problem she herself identifies?

If you misidentify the problem, it's no surprise that you misidentify the solution, but it's more than a little exasperating when the other side points right at a crucial datum, and continues to make the same error. It leads one to suspect either a logical disconnect, or an ulterior motive.

"Gun control is what you do instead of something" indeed.

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