Dear Dr. Krauthammer: Please stifle your inner Canadian on “gun control” *UPDATED*

Never about guns always about controlLet me start by saying that I think Charles Krauthammer is one of the most brilliant, thoughtful, informed conservative thinkers around.  About eighty percent of the time when I read something he’s written I find myself nodding my head in agreement or exclaiming enthusiastically (and yes, I talk to myself) “That’s right!  I never thought of that.”  But when Dr. Krauthammer is wrong, well, he needs to be called on it in the same way as anyone else would be — and Dr. Krauthammer committed a doozy of a wrong in his most recent article about the Democrats’ inevitable anti-gun Kabuki performance in the wake of the shooting in Roseburg, Oregon.

If you read Dr. Krauthammer’s article, he’s correct about his two most pertinent points:  One, the Democrats’ posturings are theater, and two, they really want to confiscate guns.  The problem is with Dr. Krauthammer’s inner Canadian, which managed to ooze out in the middle of his otherwise excellent discussion (emphasis mine):

The reason the debate is so muddled, indeed surreal — notice, by the way, how “gun control” has been cleverly rechristened “commonsense gun-safety laws,” as if we’re talking about accident proofing — is that both sides know that the only measure that might actually prevent mass killings has absolutely no chance of ever being enacted.


As for the only remotely plausible solution, Obama dare not speak its name. He made an oblique reference to Australia, never mentioning that its gun-control innovation was confiscation, by means of a mandatory buyback. 

Dear Dr. Krauthammer — disarming law-abiding citizens does not work.  Guns are tools.  What matters is the culture, not the tools. Canada has so far been blessed with a fairly homogeneous Anglo-Saxon culture that reflects the 19th century Britisher’s respect for the law. The absence of gun violence in that country isn’t because of the absence of guns, but because of the absence of violence. When violence creeps in, guns both a sword and — very significantly — a shield.  Take away the shield, and all you’re left with is a sword with the point at innocent people’s throats.

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Hillary’s lastest speech on gun control — or, do Leftists even bother to listen to themselves anymore?

Mao and gun bansHillary has been taunting the NRA and its members:

Hillary Clinton is ramping up her rhetoric on guns, comparing the National Rifle Association (NRA) to global adversaries she negotiated with as secretary of State.

“You know, the NRA’s position reminds me of negotiating with the Iranians or the communists,” [Mrs.] Clinton said at an Iowa town hall on Wednesday. . . .

“The NRA tries to keep gun owners—the ones who are members—really upset all the time so they can keep collecting their money, because they tell them they’re the only thing that’s going to stop the black helicopters from landing in the front yard and people’s guns being seized,” Clinton said. “That’s the argument they make. And it works with some people and it has turned a lot of people into absolutists themselves.”

James Taranto makes mincemeat out of the simultaneously risible and invidious comparison between the NRA and the free world’s arch enemies, as well as about Hillary’s much publicized flip-flops on the trade agreement, so I won’t address those points here.

I wanted to address an entirely different point. According to Hillary, the NRA is a disgraceful fear-mongering organization that manipulates its members by telling them things that Hillary implies are false. And what are these falsehoods the NRA tells? “[T]hey [the NRA] tell them [NRA members] they’re the only thing that’s going to stop the black helicopters from landing in the front yard and people’s guns being seized.”

We’ll accept the bit about the black helicopters as acceptable rhetorical hyperbole, akin to puffery in advertising. Everyone listening understands that the “black helicopters” to which she refers are a stand-in for “the government.” And what does the NRA falsely tell people that “the government” is going to do? Well, if you look past Hillary’s passive voice construction, the NRA is telling its members that the government is going to seize their guns. And that, says Hillary, is a lie being used on feeble-minded mouth breathers who are all married to their siblings and have never seen The New York Times.

Funnily enough, though, that’s exactly what President Obama is proposing (and that every registered Democrat on my Facebook feed enthusiastically supports). He’s praised Australia’s approach to gun violence:

“Couple of decades ago, Australia had a mass shooting, similar to Columbine or Newtown. And Australia just said, well, that’s it, we’re not doing, we’re not seeing that again, and basically imposed very severe, tough gun laws, and they haven’t had a mass shooting since,” said the president in a pre-arranged session held to discuss his plans to help cut student debt.

More than that, he’s said he’d like to see Australia’s and England’s gun laws enacted here:

We know that other countries, in response to one mass shooting, have been able to craft laws that almost eliminate mass shootings. Friends of ours, allies of ours — Great Britain, Australia, countries like ours. So we know there are ways to prevent it.

So what did they do in Australia and England that Obama wants to emulate? They grabbed guns. That is, they didn’t just place more stringent regulations on selling guns (almost none of which would have stopped any of the mass shooters who have been appearing with some regularity under Obama’s administration). Instead, they took guns away. In Australia, it was framed as a “buyback,” but owners were forced to sell, so it was really compensation for a government-enforced seizure, and then left it to the government to decide whether any given individual is worthy of a gun:

But the Australian 1996 National Agreement on Firearms was not a benign set of commonsense gun-control rules: It was a gun-confiscation program rushed through the Australian parliament just twelve days after a 28-year-old man killed 35 people with a semi-automatic rifle in the Tasmanian city of Port Arthur. The Council of Foreign relations summarizes the Aussie measure nicely:

The National Agreement on Firearms all but prohibited automatic and semiautomatic assault rifles, stiffened licensing and ownership rules, and instituted a temporary gun buyback program that took some 650,000 assault weapons (about one-sixth of the national stock) out of public circulation. Among other things, the law also required licensees to demonstrate a “genuine need” for a particular type of gun and take a firearm safety course.

England has also made guns verboten. Private gun ownership in England has all but vanished (and the British Left would love to see it vanish entirely).

In other words, Hillary’s childish insults to the contrary, the crazy paranoid NRA and its crazy paranoid members are right: What the Democrat party wants to do is enact Australian and English style laws that have at their heart gun seizures and the denial of future gun ownership.

You can go here and here to find out just how successful those gun grabs have been at reducing gun crime and overall crime in England and Australia.  Hint:  Americans have seen a significantly greater drop in crime as their gun possession has increased, compared to the two other countries, with Australia maintaining the same trajectory as before the gun seizure and with England becoming one of the most violent countries in the West.  Let’s just say it’s not surprising that Muslims are moving on Europe with increasing confidence now that Europe has voluntarily and unilaterally disarmed itself.


To the Left all human lives are equal but some lives are less equal than others

Premature baby feetThe anti-Second Amendment Left was feeling very smug the other day (as my Facebook feed attested) because they think that The Daily Show’s new hack, Trevor Noah, hit one out of the park in attacking the sheer inhumanity of the crazed pro-Life gun holders on the Right:

The point is, if pro-lifers would just redirect their powers toward gun violence, the amount of lives they could save would reach superhero levels. They just need to have a superhero’s total dedication to life. Because right now they’re more like comic book collectors. Human life only holds value until you take it out of the package, and then it’s worth nothing.

There’s your logic for you:  All those people who claim to be pro-Life but support the Second Amendment are gross hypocrites; while the pro-Abortion crowd that wants to use government force to disarm the American public is all about “life”!

I have just a couple of numbers to share with you, both from 2011, because I found reports for that year that I could easily compare.  I doubt the numbers have changed significantly since then:

Number of abortions performed in 2011 in the United States:  1,100,000

Number of homicides using guns in 2011 in the United States:  8,583

The only way for the Leftists to think they win when comparing pro-Lifers who support gun rights to pro-Abortion types who want to ban guns is if the Leftists do not believe that a fetus is human.  Of course, every woman who’s carried a baby to term knows, if only in her heart of hearts, that this is a lie.

To hold that those fetuses are not human, so that their deaths cannot be counted when compared to crime victims’ deaths, is possible only when a belief system has turned into a death cult.  The Nazis did this when they convinced themselves that Jewish lives weren’t human lives; and the Left has done it when it comes to fetal lives.

The problem, always, is that once a culture starts deciding which groups among it, no matter how human they appear, aren’t really, truly human, then that culture inevitably slides into mass genocide.  This is especially so when resources become scarce, whether through natural causes (droughts, floods, volcanoes), or through unnatural science that declares, all evidence to the contrary, that humans are so destructive to Gaia that they must begin to erase their presence from Planet Earth.

First they came for the fetuses, and I said nothing because I was no longer a fetus….

Just Because Music: Really listening to Ella Fitzgerald’s “Just One Of Those Things”

EllaFitzgeraldI’ve been a passionate Ella Fitzgerald fan for decades now. The problem with that, though, is that I’m so familiar with her work that I often don’t really listen to it. I hear it, of course, when the songs come up on my playlist, but I don’t listen. Tonight, though, I listened hard when Ella sang “Just One Of Those Things.”

The lyrics are exquisite — among Cole Porter’s best, I think — and to hear her cradle them and then let them go is a wonderful thing. Ella is in complete control: confident, smooth, easy, and free. With Ella, you never worry whether she’ll somehow miss a note or a beat. The musicality flows from her like water from the Trevi Fountain. This, my friends, is music!

The Bookworm Beat 10-7-15 — the illustrated edition, part 2, and open thread

I’m still working away on a discovery project and on my Navy League project, but I still managed to collect a second fine batch of posters today. Tomorrow, time allowing I’ve also got some insanely stupid Leftist posters to deconstruct. (Sorry about the click-bait language on the bottom of some of the posters; they’re still good posters, so just ignore the click “like” stuff):

No call for gun control when Marines killed

Double standard on Christian slaughter in Oregon

James Woods on media bias against Christians

Planned Parenthood v the NRA

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[VIDEO] Sen. Cruz takes down the President of the Sierra Club

Ted CruzI am open-minded about most of the Republican candidates, but I’ve moved beyond that with Ted Cruz.  I really, really like Ted Cruz, and have done so for some time. Watching him oh-so-politely destroy the President of the Sierra Club when the subject is the actual science between climate change is . . . well, delightful:

Incidentally, more astute political observers than I have come to the same conclusion that I came to a few weeks ago: namely, that Ted Cruz is practicing a slow and steady strategy to the White House.

Watcher’s Council results for October 2, 2015

I can’t help myself — every time I see the stellar nominations from the Watcher’s Council, I think “bad times make for good writing.”  With that thought in mind, check out last week’s winners, placers, and show-ers.  And while you’re at it, take a peek at the forum, in which council members weigh in about the electoral process, and see what you think of the two Weasel of the Week nominees.

The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast, and the results are in for this week’s Watcher’s Council match up.

“When the winds of change blow, some people build walls and others build windmills.” – Chinese proverb

Peace is purchased from strength. It’s not purchased from weakness or unilateral retreats. – Benyamin Netanyahu

“The Middle East is obviously an issue that has plagued the region for centuries.”– President Barack Hussein Obama

“Instead of the triumph of democracy and progress, we got violence, poverty and social disaster — and nobody cares a bit about human rights, including the right to life. I cannot help asking those who have forced that situation: Do you realize what you have done?” – Vladimir Putin at the UN September 2015, commenting on those whom supported Islamist revolutions and left a vacuum of power in the region.

This week’s winning essay,Joshuapundit’s, The Real Story Behind Putin And Netanyahu’s Moscow Meeting – Updated deals with the real story of what went down at Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s meeting with Israeli PM Benyamin Netanyahu in Moscow, an analysis on what the Russians are up to in Syria and my accurate prediction on whom they would mount airstrikes against – and it wasn’t ISIS.

Here’s a slice:

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Socialists and the dearth of babies

Empty baby carriageSeveral of my recent posts have focused on the American Left’s death cult, otherwise known as unlimited abortion. As I’ve stated repeatedly, the Left’s risible claim that abortion does not take a life, combined with its obsessive demands that the right to abortion be unfettered up to, including, and even after a viable baby is born has turned me from a fairly mindless, garden-variety, pro-Abortion, old-time Democrat into someone who is edging remarkably close to being pro-Life. Even though I can still accept situations in which an abortion is reasonable, I’m so disgusted by the Left’s death cult that I want to run as far away from it as possible.

The Left doesn’t just have a death cult, it also has a lack of life cult. It is true that American women still seem to be shtupping like rabbits. In 2013, following a five-year drop in baby-making, American women gave birth to almost 4,000,000 new babies (and aborted about 300,000 more). Americans are therefore just about holding their own demographically.

In Europe, though, the demographics are a nightmare, which goes a long way to explaining Angela Merkel’s bizarre desire for her country to be repopulated with Muslim Arabs. While the Muslims are picking up where they left off in 1683 and looking towards a European conquest, Merkel is obsessively focused on cheap labor to care for an aging German population.

What’s fascinating about Europe’s declining baby numbers is that it’s entirely possible that the problem isn’t just because women are making good use of birth control and abortions to limit family size. Instead, as has been happening in Japan for a long time, it may be that the Europeans have lost interest in sex entirely.

I don’t have any scientific basis for reaching that conclusion. What triggered the thought is a video that a Danish travel company made urging wannabe grandmothers to buy their children vacation packages to the sexy warm climates in which they are most likely to get pregnant:

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Life suddenly got busy today — and Open Thread

California_Supreme_Court__First_District_Court_of_Appeal_San_FranciscoSorry for the blog silence today.  I was helping a client with an appellate court filing and, as is often the case, it proved to be much more complicated that anyone had anticipated. You’d think that, by now, we would actually start anticipating that the filing is always going to be much more complicated that we expect, but that’s never the case.  No matter how well prepared things seem, somehow the filing always runs down to the last minute.  Things today were made more challenging by the fact that the First Appellate District now requires e-filing for all writs and appeals, and this was the first time any of us had used the system.

This new e-filing rule means that, after the documents are finalized in Word and converted into PDF, someone (and that someone would be me) has to go through them to hyperlink and bookmark everything for the Court’s convenience.  I’d actually gotten much of that done . . . until others working on the brief made last-minute changes that required me to do everything all over again.  Sigh. . . .

Overall, though, the e-filing is a wonderful idea.  If you haven’t worked in a law firm, or at least a law firm in California, you have no idea how much paper is used up in a big appellate filing.  Between the originals, the copies for the appellate court, the courtesy copies for the Supreme and trial courts, and the copies for opposing counsel (and there might be a lot of opposing counsels if there are a lot of parties), if the brief several hundred pages of exhibits, it’s easy to end up using 5,000 or more sheets of paper for a single filing.  E-filing does away with all that ridiculous duplication, saving the client enormous sums of money and ending the horrific waste of paper (since most copies end up buried in a court’s files).

When I came home from the filing, I truly meant to blog but, instead, I ended up working on the liberty guide that our local Navy League chapter prepares for Fleet Week (which officially starts this Wednesday).  I’ve gotten the PDF finished, but I’m scrambling to see whether we can get a website up and running before Wednesday.  I like this kind of challenge.  I’ll let you know if I can make it work.

Why Leftists are wrong when they compare having an abortion to buying a gun

Woman's right to choose gunsMy Progressive Facebook friends — and I have many because I’ve spent almost my entire life in the San Francisco Bay area — have a new meme that’s got them terribly excited. Here, in all its glory, is what Progressives think counts as intelligent argument both to support abortion rights and destroy Second Amendment rights:

Stupid liberals on guns and abortion

Because I hate dense paragraphs — they’re very hard to address — let me break the above risible effort at logical argument down into its component parts:

Women who want to terminate a life (provided that life is within them, which is legal and known as abortion, as opposed to a life that is not within them, which is illegal and known as murder), must take all or some of the following steps, depending on their age and the state within which they live:

Wait 48 hours before proceeding with the requested abortion

Get permission from a parent if the female is under the legal age of consent.

Have a doctor’s note explaining that the doctor is intentionally carrying out an abortion.

Watch a video about the results of an abortion (i.e., a fetus will be vacuumed out of the womb or disassembled to remove it from the womb).

Have an ultrasound so that the woman sees the life she intends to abort.

Further, because some states do not like abortion, the woman opting to go ahead with the procedure might have to:

Travel a great distance to find an abortion provider.

Take time off of work to travel that distance (and, probably, to recover from the procedure).

Stay overnight in a strange town.

See strangers holding graphic pictures of what happens to the fetus she will abort, with the same strangers pleading with her not to act.

It’s unfair that women should have to suffer this information overload, inconvenience, and indignity to have an abortion.  Therefore men who intend to buy a gun should be subject to the same level of inconvenience.  Men should therefore suffer too.  The rationale:  “No woman getting an abortion has killed a room full of people in seconds, right?”

Where to begin?

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