Zo and some friends take on the racism behind Sarah Silverman’s “‘Black NRA” video

It must be enormously frustrating for the Left that new media no longer means that the Democrat white power structure can be the official and the only voice for black America.  Because Democrats’ vested interest is in keeping blacks subordinate to the Democrat party, that Leftist voice has always worked full-time to tell blacks (a) that they are victims and (b) that they can find succor only within Big Government.

Sarah Silverman’s unfunny video about a “black NRA” is the perfect illustration of this paradigm.  It attempts to be a satire implying that the NRA wants to kill blacks.  The problem is that this world view is so grossly untrue that the video does nothing more than engaging in skin-crawling racism that tells the world that blacks are irremediably murderers who cannot be trusted with weapons.  (That is, the only way to save blacks isn’t to change their culture, it’s to keep all of them helpless.)  Ouch.

Last week, I posted Colion Noir’s rebuttal (along with Silverman’s video).  This week, the honors go to Zo and friends:

What I particularly like about this video is that it acknowledges a problem — black drug use and gun violence — but refuses to fall into the “we are victims, whites are racists, Big Brother is the savior” trope. Instead, it’s a video that speaks about true black empowerment, not by insulting whites into obeisance, but by raising blacks up to the full dignities of all Americans.

Hat tip:  Danny Lemieux

The deep, pervasive, ugly racism of the anti-Gun left

This Sarah Silverman anti-gun commercial comes from “Funny or Die.”  It’s not funny.  In the parlance of comics, “Silverman died up there.”  Not only is it not funny, it’s terribly, terribly racist, since the implication is that the only thing that blacks will do if one gives them guns is commit murder:

Aside from being racist, the video the video raises stupidity to epic levels.  The wonderful Colion Noir, after delivering a few nicely calculated verbal blows to the video’s participants, gets to the heart of the matter:

It’s worth considering as you watch both those videos that anti-gun efforts in America, going back to the revolutionary war, have been aimed at keeping black people in their place, in part by keeping them away from their right to bear arms.

Colion Noir challenges those racists who claim he must be an NRA puppet

I know I’ve mentioned before how much I like Colion Noir’s pro-Second Amendment videos.  Let me just say it again:  I really like his videos.

What’s tragic is that Noir is being forced to defend himself against charges that he’s a brainless oaf who is being used by the NRA.  Even thought he has to defend himself against unspeakable racism, Noir manages to be funny and on point.  (And he’s certainly right about one thing:  he’s much better looking than Tyson Beckford.)

Two stories about guns, each showing that the issue is how they’re used, rather than their existence

First, from the NRA, a really solid video about women and guns:

The point, of course, is that guns without people are simply inanimate objects.

Second, an article about the use to which Palestinians put guns — training their children to kill Israelis.

Guns aren’t the issue. Culture is.

Obama whines and Biden cries when their gun grab bill fails

Obama frowning

Here’s another one that appeared first at Mr. Conservative, but I wrote it and I agree with every word I wrote:

With the failure of the Democrats’ gun grab legislation in the Senate, the President and the Vice President took the political blow like the sensitive, New Age, Progressive men that they are – Obama whined and Biden cried.

Standing on the White House lawn, along with the same sad, bedraggled group of people Obama has been dragging around for weeks as he made his emotional argument against guns, Obama hurled insults in every direction. Ignoring the fact that the gun control bill contained cute little provisions, such as the one giving liberal physicians the right to report for a national criminal background check patients seeking treatment for depression, Obama blamed his newest scapegoat – the NRA:

But instead of supporting this compromise, the gun lobby and its allies willfully lied about the bill. They claimed that it would create some sort of “big brother” gun registry, even though the bill did the opposite. This legislation, in fact, outlawed any registry. Plain and simple, right there in the text. But that didn’t matter.

And unfortunately, this pattern of spreading untruths about this legislation served a purpose, because those lies upset an intense minority of gun owners, and that in turn intimidated a lot of senators. And I talked to several of these senators over the past few weeks, and they’re all good people. I know all of them were shocked by tragedies like Newtown. And I also understand that they come from states that are strongly pro-gun. And I have consistently said that there are regional differences when it comes to guns, and that both sides have to listen to each other.

In fact, Senators – the Democrat Senators — backed away from the bill because their constituents recognized an unconstitutional gun grab when they saw it — and they let their displeasure be known. In addition, these same constituents understood what Obama refuses to acknowledge: that nothing in the bills before the Senate, including the background check, would stop a future Newtown, while everything in the proposed bills was intended to undermine the Second Amendment.

We know that more guns in law-abiding hands, not fewer, will protect students; we know that, despite the dog-and-pony show not all Newtown parents support gun control; and we know that both Biden and Obama are hostile to and neither understands the Second Amendment. No wonder the NRA prevailed.

While Obama whined, Biden looked as if he was seconds away from tears. With his mouth pinched shut in a frown, and his eyes squinted closed, Biden, the same man who cackled maniacally through the Vice Presidential debate, was the personification of tragedy.

Biden near tears

Obama and Biden represent the debasement of American politics. Government is no longer the preserve of intelligent gentlemen – it’s the home of emotional actors who try use tragedy to bully through an agenda that has as its sole purpose depriving the American people of their individual rights. It’s true that bad things happen because of guns. Bad things also happen because of pressure cookers, and cars, and baseball bats. We cannot legislate away risk. The Founders understood, though, that, even though guns do present the risk of accidental and intentional injury and death, they are the only reliable tool standing between an individual’s freedom and his government’s overreach.

Do you remember a president EVER doing something like this? Because I don’t.

Obama frowning

I’ll just quote from the Washington Times story, and then you can tell me if this is unique in your experience — that a President hurls defamatory insults at a hugely popular private organization:

President Obama angrily blamed the defeat Wednesday of his centerpiece gun-control proposal on lies spread by the National Rifle Association, calling it “a pretty shameful day for Washington.”

“The gun lobby and its allies willfully lied about the bill,” Mr. Obama said in the White House rose garden about 90 minutes after the vote. “It came down to politics.”

As he spoke, Mr. Obama was surrounded by family members of victims of the Newtown, Conn., school shooting. Also with him was former Rep. Gabby Giffords of Arizona, wounded in an assassination attempt.

[snip]

The president put the blame squarely on the NRA, which he accused of spreading falsehoods that the legislation would lead to a national gun registry.

“They claimed that it would create some sort of big-brother gun registry, even though it did the  opposite,” Mr. Obama said. “This pattern of spreading untruths … served a purpose. A minority in the U.S. Senate decided it wasn’t worth it. They blocked common-sense gun reforms, even while these families looked on from the Senate gallery. It’s not going to happen because 90 percent of Republicans just voted against that idea.”

With his attack on the NRA, former VP Al Gore stands fully revealed as an American-hating nut

You all know how much I dislike and disrespect Al Gore.  With a recent attack against the NRA, he’s managed to drop even further in my estimation, something I didn’t think was possible.  The following post (which I wrote) originally appeared at Mr. Conservative:

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Al Gore’s name has become synonymous with hypocrisy. He tells Americans they most freeze in the winter, bake in the summer, and drive microscopically small cars to afford $5/gallon gas. Meanwhile, he has a disproportionately huge carbon footprint. He owns numerous properties, all of which suck up more energy than the average American home, and he uses jets and SUVs to travel between his homes and his speaking gigs.

Recently, he refused to sell his failed “Current TV” cable station to Glenn Beck, citing incompatible values. When he eventually sold it (netting himself $100 million) the purchaser was Al Jazeera, an America-hating, anti-Semitic Qatari media empire that now has a foothold in America.

To Gore (or, as we here like to call him since that sale, “alGore”), the sale made perfect sense because Al Jazeera shares its values with this man who once stood a heartbeat away from the President and hoped to be elected to that office in his own right:

Current Media was built based on a few key goals: To give voice to those who are not typically heard; to speak truth to power; to provide independent and diverse points of view; and to tell the stories that no one else is telling.

Al-Jazeera has the same goals and, like Current, believes that facts and truth lead to a better understanding of the world around us.

Gore couldn’t have made himself clearer: He has more in common with anti-American Al Jazeera than he does with all-American Glenn Beck.

Now Al Gore has taken yet another step to distance himself from American values, while still claiming to represent American interests. In a keynote speech he gave to the annual South By Southwest Conferences (SXSW), a gathering spot for stars in film, music, technology, and politics, Al Gore launched a direct attack on that most American of institutions – the NRA:

The NRA is a complete fraud because it is financed by the gun manufacturers.

Right. Got it. Al Gore’s plan is clear: pull the plug on the energy usage that makes American a dynamic, first-world country; disarm Americans by backing gun control and attacking the NRA, an organization that has been a bastion of individual rights since the end of the Civil War; and use Al Jazeera to indoctrinate Americans with its toxic blend of anti-American and anti-Semitic news.

Another edition of “tame the inbox”

I stopped going through my inbox when I got it down to 100 unread emails.  It’s now scooted its way back up to 170 unread emails.  So, I’m going to continue clearing the inbox and posting those things that are not only interesting but still relevant.

Here’s a matched set for you.  Back in December, Breitbart ran a post noting that California’s budget has gone right off the cliff.  We’ve been hearing about “rich athlete flight,” and I know several rich non-athletes who have fled since the Prop. 30 and 32 debacle.  Several California municipalities are massively in debt, politically-connected little birds have told me that the so-called “balanced budget” is funded by imaginary revenues resting on wishful thinking, and California is America’s champion welfare sucker.  So can someone explain to me this Daily Kos post saying that California — under Jerry Brown, of course — leads the nation in job creation?  Kos cites some pretty impressive statistics to back up his claim:

California leads the nation in job creation

California contributed more than 15 percent of the nation’s new jobs between October 2011 and October 2012 – adding more jobs in 12 months than Texas and the rest of the other top-10 fastest-growing states combined – while home building is bouncing back and demand for houses is increasing.

The end-of-2012 results were even more impressive.

Of the 171,000 new jobs the entire U.S. added in October, 27 percent were in California. And since the beginning of the year, California has added nearly 300,000 jobs, outperforming Texas by a decent margin and outpacing New York by more than 2 to 1.

San Francisco is overrun with cranes, as the new digital economy (Google, Apple, Facebook, Twitter) continue to be HQ’d in the Bay Area. Heck, add Samsung to the pile.

Conservatives have made hay of reports of California companies leaving the state. And it’s true! Some have—254 in 2011, to be exact. Conservative media had a field day with that little stat. On the other hand, 132,000 new businesses were created that same year—second highest per capita in the nation, tied with Texas, and behind only Arizona. And that was California’s down year.

Off the top of my head, I guess what matters isn’t just the numbers of jobs created, but the nature. If California is losing big businesses that pay solid wages, but gaining in returning fly-by-night small businesses that function at a minimum wage level, there’s a superficial net benefit, but an actual net revenue loss.

Anyway, I would appreciate your input on this one. If we’re right, it’s nice to know; if we’re wrong, it’s necessary that we know.

***

Speaking of California, one of the engines driving California politics is climate change.  California has all sorts of regulatory and tax schemes aimed at punishing “dirty” producers and rewarding “clean” energy.  Conservatives doubt whether these will achieve their stated goal (affecting the climate), but pretty darn sure that they will affect the unstated goal, which is to rid California of the ill-gotten gains of capitalism.  That’s what California voters want, that’s what they’ll get.  But I do wonder how voters will feel about all this when/if they start becoming aware of all the stories that indicate that anthropogenic climate change (as opposed to naturally occurring climate change) is the scam what am.  When even the IPCC starts tentatively admitting that the sun could matter more than we puny humans do, you’ve got a problem.  It’s also going to be worrisome for the AGW crowd when people start realizing that they’re playing games with the numbers — and that the real numbers do not show dramatic climate change.  Getting rid of unnecessary pollution is a laudable goal.  Creating a world without humans, or one in which humans exist at a subsistence level, is a genocidal, downright evil goal.  In any event, if you’re interested in climate news, you’ve got to stay current with Watts Up With That.

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It’s a post from December, but it’s never too late for a good idea (or, as I’m wont to say now, a tipping point idea).  Coyote Blog suggests legislation holding unions to the same standards as insurance companies.  I like it !  (H/t JKB.)  After all, if the government is going to go all fascist and run ostensibly private businesses, it should certainly apply those same standards equally across the board.

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They all laughed at the NRA for suggesting armed guards in school.  But now Newton is doing exactly what Israel does, what the NRA suggested, and what the Clinton presidency funded.

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While I’m on the subject of guns, Eugene Podrazik, at Elkhorn Creek Lodge, notes that the entire gun battle in America (not battles with guns but the battle over guns) is tightly linked with the Left’s elitism.  Leftists speak of “the people,” but they don’t really like “the people,” nor do they consider themselves to be down in the gutter with the people they purport to represent.

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Six harsh truths that will make you a better person.  Or life is tough — get used to it and work with that reality.

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More inbox taming to follow in subsequent posts.

NRA calls out the president on his hypocrisy

I don’t know what kind of airplay NRA ads get.  Since the clicker never touches my hand (others in the household are more wedded to it than I), I haven’t seen a commercial in a good twenty-years.  I do hope, though, that this particular commercial gets some serious play.  People need to start remembering that America is not a monarchy or aristocracy, and that there is no reason that there should be an elite class in Washington that gets special benefits at taxpayer expense:

Gun control supporters count those who have died; Second Amendment supporters count those who will live

View of Marin from San Francisco

Because this is Marin and I am not a hermit, I frequently find myself in conversation with Democrats.  It was to be expected, therefore, that conversation over the Christmas holiday would end up revolving around gun control.  These conversations were disheartening on all sides.  My friends concluded that I support wild-eyed mass murderers, since I believe in the Second Amendment, and I concluded that their devotion to feelings over facts will result in many unnecessary deaths over the years.

As I explain at some length below, the only fact that matters to them is that guns do indeed kill people.  Any other data is irrelevant.  Indeed, the conversations were practically textbook illustrations of the giant chasm that separates the two world views.

My friends began by attacking the NRA and Wayne LaPierre as evil and fanatic. Only a deranged person could come up with the lunatic idea of placing armed guards in schools. They batted aside the fact that Clinton had proposed and put into place the same plan LaPierre now suggested — armed guards in schools — and that Obama had de-funded that initiative.  LaPierre is evil because he wants people to have semi-automatic weapons with unlimited magazines.

I explained that semi-automatic still means you have to pull the trigger.  I also explained that large magazines are a small convenience, but they don’t change the dynamics of shooting, because a practiced person can change clips in seconds (see the video above).  I got shouted down before I could even point out that the Dunblane killer, who didn’t have large magazines, simply went into a gun-free zone with more weapons and ammunition.  I also got shouted down when I said that the magazine size is pretty irrelevant if you’re in a gun-free zone.  The counter to this was that the only reason to have a large magazine is to have a people killing gun.

Reginald Denny

Well, yes, I said.  Imagine you’re in a riot, such as the 1992 Los Angeles Riots or the completely lawless situation after Hurricane Katrina or Hurricane Sandy.  In those circumstances, you want to be over-armed, not under-armed.  “Ha!  So you admit it.  You just want guns to kill people.”  “No, they’re also fun for sport shooting.  But the fact remains that, when you’re isolated and the mobs are coming, a gun with a good capacity is your only protection.”  “Yeah, you want to kill people.”  I realized at this point that I wouldn’t get any mileage out of saying that some people deserve killing — meaning that, if they’re coming to kill or rape me or mine, I don’t think I’d have second thoughts about valuing their lives at zero.

Shifting arguments, my friends bemoaned the fact that the NRA is so rich and powerful.  If only there was an anti-gun lobby.  They were taken aback when I out that the Brady Center is precisely that anti-gun organization.  In other words, the NRA has not driven all other money or approaches out of the marketplace of ideas.  Americans, though, have voted with their feet by voluntarily supporting the NRA rather than the Brady Center.

George Zimmerman broken nose

Someone shouted out George Zimmerman — and was then shocked when I said that (a) Trayvon Martin wasn’t a sweet 12-year-old but was, instead, a hulking gang banger; (b) that Martin had smeared Zimmerman’s nose all over his face and was busy smashing his head into the pavement; and (c) that Zimmerman had black family members, was part Hispanic, and had a reputation for helping black youths at risk.  Zimmerman instantly vanished as a gun control topic.

The next argument to emerge was that the only thing the Second Amendment allows is muskets.  I countered that the Founders were good with words.  If they’d wanted to limit the Amendment to muskets, they would have.

Second Amendment

Well, you need a “militia” then, they asserted.  No, I explained.  We are all the militia.  The Founders had just emerged from a lengthy battle against a tyrannical government with a standing army.  They were able to engage this army only because, living as they did on a frontier far away from the motherland, ordinary citizens were generally armed and could therefore come together to stand against the government.  The Founders wanted to protect against any future tyranny by ensuring that the nation’s own government was never able to turn against the people.

Rounding Up Jews

I also pointed out that the first thing the Nazis did was confiscate guns.,  The response was predictable, and can be distilled to “that can’t happen here.” I’m sure that’s what my dad’s family thought, probably right up until they entered the gas chambers.

Since my friends think the Second Amendment is a pointless relic, I suggested that they get rid of it through the amendment process.  We should, they agreed — only the Red States would never allow it to happen.  Neither would the Blue States, I muttered.

London OWS riots

Where things really got frustrating, as far as I was concerned, and what I alluded to in my post caption, was my friends’ total disregard for the hard data we’ve received from existing gun control experiments.  In both Chicago and Washington, D.C., strict gun control played out exactly as the NRA said it would:  When guns were outlawed, only outlaws had guns.  When guns were reinstated in Washington, D.C., violent crime dropped.  In England, outlawing guns resulted in a huge uptick in violent crime, including gun crime.  Gun homicides in Britain have leveled out somewhat but, aside from the fact that the gun ban never effectively lowered gun crimes, the sad truth is that Britain is no longer a civil society:  instead, it is one of the most violent societies in the Western world.

The response I got to that indubitable fact is that Britain has a much lower murder rate than America.  This is true, but that’s an apples to oranges argument.  Britain has always had a lower murder rate than America.  When we at the effects of gun control on gun and other violence, we can’t reasonably compare Britain to America.  Instead, we have to compare pre-gun control Britain to post-gun control Britain — and that comparison shows that gun control coincided perfectly with a vastly increased crime rate.

Armed civilians save lives

My interlocutors were also unimpressed by the fact that, if someone opens fire in a public place (meaning he’s planning a mass slaughter), the best lifesaver is a civilian with a concealed carry weapon.  After all, the average police response time is measured in minutes.  Even if the shooter doesn’t have a big magazine, when he’s the only one there who’s armed, nothing stops him until the police get there.  If there is an armed civilian at the site of the shooting, however, and that civilian is neither crazed nor criminal, you usually end up with an intended mass shooting that becomes nothing but a small headline as the tragedy is limited to one or two, not scores.  I understand that correlation is not causation, but I suspect that there’s a connection in America between the increase in concealed carry over the last 20 years and a corresponding decrease in gun crimes.

When I threw out data about police response times, the difference in numbers of dead when someone with a concealed carry weapon is present, and the decrease in gun crimes over the last two decades, the gun-control people scoffed at the data.  “That can’t be true.”  “Guns kill people.”  “That doesn’t make sense.”  “If we got rid of guns, fewer people would die.”

It was at this moment that I realized that there truly was a giant intellectual chasm between me and them.  They can see only the people who died in the past, while I can count the ones who will live on into the future.  To them, the body count is the only data that counts.  To me, the statistical difference between those who die under a “gun control” regime and those who don’t die in a concealed carry environment, was the single most compelling piece of data out there.

Unlike my fellow Marinites, I realize that people are going to die under any circumstances.  Even the gun-control people concede that gun control will not actually do away with guns.  They’re just pretty sure it will decrease the number of guns overall — and to hell with the fact that this will be a lopsided decrease with law-abiding people ending up disarmed and lawless and crazy people ending up holding all the remaining arms.  It’s the gun equivalent of the old saying that, in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. In the land of the disarmed citizen, the armed, crazed criminal rules.

My goal is to create the circumstances in which the largest possible number of people live.  My friends, however, believe that there is a Utopian future in which no people die.  To the extent that they understand that guns kill people, and they have the body count to prove it, they want to outlaw guns.  That data shows that outlawing guns results in more deaths is irrelevant to them.  The one fact they know and accept with comfortable certainty is that those who have already died because of guns might still be alive today if those particular guns hadn’t been available on that day, in that time, at that place.  Because this is the only fact that they can recognize, they focus obsessively on past deaths that could have been avoided with a few less guns, rather than projecting to future lives that, statistically, could certainly be saved with many more legal guns.

And as I said, I have absolutely no idea how to (a) get them to acknowledge that people will always die and (b) get them to understand that the best way to prevent future deaths isn’t to rehash old crimes but, rather, is to take the steps that are most likely to prevent future crimes.

Sensible ideas for protecting our students *UPDATED*

Armed guard at school in Israel

Wayne LaPierre, the NRA’s executive VP, says that our violent culture is to blame for gun violence and that, as long as the culture is what it is, school children should have police protection.  Despite the fact that the majority of Americans agree with him, the drive-by media is excoriating as if he had just announced that he eats children for breakfast and urges us all to do the same.  Americans, who have been schooled out of rational thinking, will soon be referring to LaPierre in the appropriate pariah-like terms and, like the useful idiots they’ve been trained to be, mouth agreement with the same media that espouses values they reject.

Well, that’s all I have to say on the subject, because promised that I’d back off from the gun posts for a little while.  That doesn’t mean, though, that I can’t direct you to other people’s.  (Hey, I’m a lawyer.  I’m always looking for loopholes.)

First, Bookworm room friend Servo1969 put up a solid post at the Free Republic detailing practical ways to protect our children when they’re herded into public schools.  And honestly, I had no idea you could holster a gun in your bra.

Second, when it comes to the media’s performance in the wake of this tragedy, Mark Steyn says it best:

For those untouched by death this Christmas, someone else’s bewildering, shattering turn of fate ought to occasion a little modesty and circumspection. Instead, even by its usual execrable standards, the public discourse post-Newtown has been stupid and contemptible. The Left now seizes on every atrocity as a cudgel to beat whatever happens to be the Right’s current hottest brand: Tucson, Ariz., was something to do with Sarah Palin’s use of metaphor and other common literary devices — or “toxic rhetoric,” as Paul Krugman put it; Aurora, Colo., was something to do with the Tea Party, according to Brian Ross of ABC News. Since the humiliations of November, the Right no longer has any hot brands, so this time round the biens pensants have fallen back on “gun culture.” Dimwit hacks bandy terms like “assault weapon,” “assault rifle,” “semiautomatic,” and “automatic weapon” in endlessly interchangeable but ever more terrifying accumulations of high-tech state-of-the-art killing power.

Okay, I’m done for now. But please don’t tune out of this debate. Our fundamental liberties have never been more at risk. The Obama administration has now taken aim at both the First Amendment (religious freedom) and the Second Amendment (right to carry arms). With the media running interference for him, we have to be strong on facts and logic, and willing to take the fight to the Left, if we want our Constitution to be more than just a tattered piece of paper.

By the way, this bit of Israeli satire, especially the first minute or so, explains a lot.  An awful lot.

UPDATE:  One more.  You have to read this one, regarding the lunacy of the Left’s instantaneous negative reaction to LaPierre’s proposal.

My deepest condolences to the people of Newtown, Connecticut — but don’t let this make you give up your guns *UPDATED*

Mother in Newtown Connecticut

Despite being fairly decent at both sympathy and empathy, I truly cannot imagine what the survivors of the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, are experiencing, and that’s true whether I think of the ones in the line of fire or the family and friends whose loved ones were at the school.

Shooting children like fish in a barrel goes beyond crime.  It is, instead, an act of profound evil.  John Podhoretz latched onto this intrinsic evil when he likened the situation in Connecticut to the horrors of Gehenna:

Gehenna, a synonym for Hell, is a real place, or so the Bible tells us. You can see it today. It is a valley outside Jerusalem, the valley of the son of Hinnom, and it was where worshippers of the idol Moloch sacrificed children to sate their god’s hungers.

Gehenna was revived today in Newton, Connecticut, where as many as 20 children at last report were slaughtered in an elementary school this morning.

[snip]

The connection between the protection of children and the practice of monotheism dates back to the beginning. After Abraham becomes the first Jew, the first monotheist, he is tasked by God to sacrifice his beloved son Isaac, the miracle child of his and his wife Sarah’s old age, and he takes up the task without complaint until God stays his hand. The story of Isaac’s binding, the akedah, is one of the most challenging of the Bible and is often taken to mean God was testing Abraham’s faith with the ultimate demand. But one might also say that at the very dawn of the worship of the One God, the Bible was placing the sacrifice of children outside the realm of the thinkable for the first time.

The idea that civilization is dedicated to the protection and preservation the weak and the innocent, and not about fulfilling evil impulses to defile and destroy innocence, is the root and core of the West. One cannot conceive of anything more monstrous than a person or persons who could look small children in the eye and systematically shoot them dead. Which is why this crime, among the worst crimes in American history, is not just an assault on the children, or their families, or the town of Newtown—though it is all those things.

Podhoretz says that today’s shooting turned the killer into one who sacrifices to Moloch, thereby creating a Hell on earth and fundamentally violating a just people’s covenant with a just and loving God.  Incidents such as this one are jagged rips in the fabric of a stable and civilized universe.

Children in Newtown Connecticut

My deepest condolences go to the Newtown community.  Time will never remove the grief, but I hope that it softens it, enabling them to continue living the fulfilling lives their loved ones would have wished for them.

If you want, you can tune out now, because I’m about to go political.

You and I both know that, in the wake of this slaughter, the gun control crowd will begin agitating loudly and strongly for increased limitations on weapons.  This agitation is predicated on two false beliefs:  (1) that everyone with a gun is ipso facto a bad guy; and (2) that gun control will actually remove all the guns from all the bad guys.  In my liberal days, I used to believe this myself.  I foolishly thought that Washington, D.C. could wave a magic wand and make all guns disappear, thereby making all violence disappear.

Back in the day, when I heard the NRA slogan that “When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns,” I shouted it down.  “When guns are outlawed,” I shrilled, “no one will have guns.”

In the past ten years, I have had a reality check.  First, I’ve realized that there is no government on earth powerful enough to get rid of all guns, and that’s true even if the anti-gun crowd as able to revoke the entire Second Amendment.  Guns from the moment of their invention, instantly escaped from Pandora’s box.  They are part of the world.

Second, I realized that the NRA was right:  If we accept, as we must, that the guns ye will always have with you, you also accept that laws controlling guns only control those guns in the hands of good people — meaning people who are not violently inclined, but who have guns for defensive purposes and for sport.  The good people, because they are good, will yield to the law and give up their self-defensive and sports guns.  Bad people, however, by definition will not obey the laws.  They will continue to have guns.  The rest of us will be fish in a barrel, nicely gathered together for the coming massacre.

NRA Logo

The best way to think about guns is to accept that, in America, we thankfully still have vastly more good people than bad people.  Good people view guns as a means of self-defense and for sport (hunting or target shooting).  Bad believe view guns as a useful weapon to enable them to eliminate opponents, overwhelm victims, or play out their paranoid delusions.  The best way to keep the bad people from doing bad things is for them to be overwhelmed by good people who also have guns.

Having a gun does not make you bad.  However, being bad and having a gun makes you powerful.  Likewise, being unarmed does not make you good, but being unarmed in the presence of an armed bad guy makes you dead.

If several teachers at the Newtown school had owned concealed-carry weapons, there is a substantial likelihood that at least one of those teachers could have killed or disabled the shooter.  There’s no doubt that many people would still have died, but it’s much more likely that, with the shooter instantly in someone’s cross hairs, many more would have lived.  As it was, the shooter was able to go on a spree until the cops came and we all know that, when seconds count, even the best cops are minutes away.

Connecticut School Shooting

I know this sounds peculiar, but the best thing you can do now to prevent future tragedies such as that which occurred today in Connecticut is to send money to the NRA. If the Leftists leave us with a society that has only armed bad guys, we’ll all be potential Newtown, Connecticuts. Our salvation lies in making sure that there are more of us (armed good guys) than there are of them (armed bad guys) and the NRA is the way to make that happen.

UPDATE:  If you want to go deeper into the data, here’s a Harvard Law Review debunking the connection between gun control and crime reduction.  Or just look at the statistics coming out of incredibly violent, gun-controlled England.

Also for a more look at God’s ways and consolation, the Anchoress has posted.

Second Amendment day: shooting the Glock

I had a delightful reason for my blog silence today:  I had a pistol safety and training class, followed by an instructor supervised hour at the shooting range.  As you all know, on November 28, 2009 — exactly three years ago — I went to the shooting range with my brother-in-law and had a wonderful time.

Up until today, that long-ago outing was my first and last day at a shooting range.  Back home, none of my friends are interested in going to the local gun range.  I’ve heard it’s very good, but I was too intimidated to go on my own.  Also, while our local shooting range has very competitive prices for the San Francisco Bay Area, it was more than I could justify spending on something that would be purely for my pleasure.

So I didn’t shoot any guns in 2010, or in 2011, or in most of 2012.

What changed this non-shooting pattern was a Living Social offer I got in my email:  three hours of pistol safety and usage training, plus one instructor hour on the range, all for $75.00.  Saying “yes” to that was a no-brainer.

Early this morning, feeling a mixture of excitement and trepidation, I made the 50 minute drive to Burlingame to Bay Area Firearms.  If you are thinking of going there, be warned:  if you don’t have navigation on the car, memorize the route beforehand, because the exit interchange and overpass is one of the most complicated I’ve ever experienced.  Thankfully, I do have navigation in my car, or I think I’d still be looking for the place now.

Bay Area Firearms is tucked away almost invisibly in a little office complex.  The front of the office sells and rents scuba gear.  The back of the office is dedicated to weapons and weapon training.  Scott, the owner and one of my instructors, had four or five gun safes, each about 4 feet tall, occupying the far wall of the room in which I trained.  (I appreciated the fact that, every time he opened a safe, he was meticulous about locking it the moment he finished using it.)

I got lucky, because I was originally supposed to be part of a group class.  When the other two attendees canceled, however, I had Scott all to myself.  And when Scott started feeling ill (Get Well Soon, Scott!), he seamlessly passed me into Dean’s very capable hands.  Both men were very patient and supportive.  They fully agreed with my philosophy (at least when it comes to physical skills) that repetition is the best teacher.

The gun I learned on and used was a Glock 23.  After going through the NRA’s fundamental gun safety rules several times to make sure I fully understood them, Scott and Dean taught me how to use the gun.  This started with the stance (a good fighting stance), how to pick the gun up, how to insert the magazine, etc.  They were very particular about my having a good grip, which I found very helpful.  Not only did it stabilize the gun, but it also meant that my finger didn’t wander down to the trigger until I was actually ready to fire.

Because Bay Area Firearms doesn’t have an attached range, Dean and I headed even further south to Reed’s Indoor Range, in the heart of Silicon Valley.  It is a very impressive place.  I arrived at the tail end of lunch and the front room, where they process people and sell myriad guns and gun supplies, was packed.  I later learned that firing a few rounds at the range during lunch is a popular activity at Reed’s.  The staff was helpful and friendly.  Also (and the ladies will appreciate how important this is) the single bathroom — that is, one used by both men and women — was immaculate.  It seems that guys who shoot guns have good aim no matter the activity.

Dean was great.  He explained everything to me, patiently took me step-by-step through the first few rounds, and was very supportive of my progress.  Here’s the target I worked on:

The results aren’t actually as bad as they look.  With straight-on shooting, at about 25-30 feet, I consistently hit inside the red part or inside the circle immediately next to the red part.  My shooting degraded somewhat when we moved the target further back to about 45 feet.  It took my a little while to compensate for the curve.  Also my vision, when fully corrected, is only 20/30, so I was a bit outside of my vision range.  Whether near or far, you can see that I periodically swung left.  I’m left hand dominant, and it took a huge effort for me to keep absolutely straight.  Still, I stayed within the No. 9 circle, except for a few very close eights.

The stray shots — the ones in the No. 8 circle and the black areas — happened when I tried the triple shot:  tap, tap-tap.  If I had been shooting an intruder, I would have gotten his torso every time, but only the first shot would have been on target.  I also had a hard time doing one-hand shooting with my right hand, which accounted for a couple of those wild shots.  I did much better shooting one-handed with my left hand.  By then, though, I was starting to feel my muscles.  I’m in very good shape, but holding a 31 oz gun at arm’s length was working muscle groups I didn’t know I had.  By the last round, I had a fine tremor going on.

Dean paid me a very nice compliment, which was that I did a very good job of grouping.  And, if you look at the first two circles (the red and the first white), I think he was right.  “You have good focus,” he said.  I don’t know about that, but I do know that I had good fun.

In addition to fun, I was reminded that, if used carelessly or with malice, guns are very dangerous.  If used correctly, though, with proper respect for the harm they can cause, guns are a delightful form of recreation.  There’s something viscerally satisfying about firing a gun and hitting the target — and the better the shot, the more satisfying it is.

Other than all that, what has Paul Ryan ever done for us?

Within seconds of Romney’s announcement that Ryan would be his running mate, the chatter started.  Democrats expressed delight, because they see Ryan’s stance on Medicare as one they can use to portray Romney and Ryan as Satan incarnate.  A couple of years ago, they showed Ryan pushing grandma’s wheelchair off the cliff.  This year, I’m sure that they’re going to show him detonating the mushroom-shaped cloud that immolates every American over 50 . . . or is it 40?  Or maybe 30?

Republicans haven’t been much better.  They celebrated wildly because Ryan is so wonderful, and then immediately began worrying:  He’s not the right color; Wisconsin brings too few electoral votes (10), as opposed to being a major swing state; bold picks seldom end well; he’s merely a competent speaker; and, of course, he is a target because of his attempts to save Medicare from itself.

What’s funny, though, is that each person who worries about some deficit in the Ryan pick comes back with an offering to show some demographic that nobody thought about, but that Ryan can bring into the Republican fold.  Right now, Republicans remind me of the famous Monty Python Life of Brian skit, with a leader expressing horror about Roman rule, and the followers reminding him that it’s not all bad.  For those of you unfamiliar with that scene (is there anybody unfamiliar with that scene), the leader of the People’s Front of Judea rhetorically, and with great disdain, asks his follows what the Romans have ever done for them, only to learn that his followers are able to recognize Roman virtues:

In no particular order, here are some of the things Paul Ryan, by appearing on the ticket, will end up doing for us, American conservatives:

1.  As the famous six-minute video shows, Ryan has already stared Obama down once, when he wiped out Obama’s pie-in-sky rhetoric by agreeing with Obama’s goals and then showing irrefutably that the ObamaCare numbers couldn’t possibly add up:

Ryan’s math literacy didn’t actually dissuade an innumerate, ideology-driven Congress from leading us to the economic abyss.  Polls show, however, that the American people, perhaps with a math ability driven by their own pocket books, have consistently agreed with Ryan to the effect that ObamaCare is a bad thing.

2.  Ryan is popular in Wisconsin.  Despite coming from a heavily Democrat district, he keeps winning.  This matters because, with the Scott Walker statehouse protests, Wisconsin put itself right in the middle of the referendum over the direction America is taking.  Despite the union spending there, Ryan’s and Walker’s party won.  Wisconsin, then, finds itself being in the peculiar position of being a bellwether state and Ryan is one of the tocsins.

3.  Ryan may not be the most fiery speaker in the world, and we’re completely in the dark about his teleprompter skills, but he is able to articulate the American vision in a way Romney can’t.  Since this election is a referendum about American values, have someone on the ticket who is comfortable speaking about those values is huge . . . ginormous . . .incredibly important.  If you ignore Charlie Rose’s bloviations, this video shows Ryan articulating just those values:

On second thought, don’t ignore Rose. The video shows admirably, not only that Ryan espouses core constitutional values, but also that he will not let MSM bullies derail him or even fluster him.

4. Although the Democrats are crowing about Ryan being toxic to seniors, the numbers show that seniors like him.  Seniors understand two things:  The first is that Ryan will not touch entitlements that have already vested; and the second is that Ryan is holding out the last best hope for the seniors’ children and grandchildren.  Seniors, having lived long, are able to take the long view.  Also, they’re probably supportive of Ryan’s values, which resonant with those values that were still prevalent in their own youths.

5.  Young people may like him.  Not only is he charmingly youthful, but they, next to African-Americans, are the demographic most horribly harmed by the Obama economy.  Hope and change has morphed into sleeping in Mom’s garage and riding a bike to work because you can’t afford a car.  Tara Servatius has a great post at American Thinker on precisely this point.  I’ll cherry pick a few idea, but I urge you to read the whole thing:

A staggering 51 percent of those who graduated from college since 2006 don’t have a full-time job, according to a recent study.  Ironically, these are the same voters who mobbed the polls for Obama in 2008, giving him a significant part of his winning margin.

Mitt Romney could have gone black, Hispanic, or female with his vice presidential pick.  Instead, he did something smarter.  He went young.

[snip]

A whopping 66 percent of voters under 30 gave Obama their votes in 2008, making the disparity between young voters and other age groups larger than in any presidential election since exit polling began in 1972. But now, four years older, many of them have entered their 30s, and a full 50 percent say Obama has failed to change the way Washington works.

Until he picked Paul Ryan this weekend, Mitt Romney had no way of credibly addressing this cohort. Now, with Ryan at his side, he does. The Ryan pick was first and foremost a nod to a generation whose problems Obama not only has never truly addressed, but rarely even acknowledges.

6. Paul Ryan has an A rating from the NRA.  Cynics will say that NRA ratings always matter to conservatives and constitutionalists, but this election is special.  This may well be the first time in which NRA members and gun rights supporters understand that the loss of the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms is no longer a hypothetical worry, something that must be guarded in the abstract, but a genuine concern.  Another four years in office will give Obama the chance to affect the Supreme Court (and that reed is sufficiently fragile already), to pack lower federal courts, and to issue more and more executive and administrative orders curtailing the American right to bear arms.  Mitt Romney has waffled on this point, although he’s better than Obama; Ryan, as I said, is an “A.”

7.  There’s nothing about Ryan that will scare away the Jews.  That is, if Jews were already leaning away from Obama, Ryan won’t change that.  Israel hasn’t been an issue for him, but every indication is that, as is true for most Republicans, he’s a friend to Israel.

8.  Yes, Paul Ryan is a Tea Party candidate — and that’s a good thingAs Rick Richman points out, 2010 wasn’t the result of a few crazy people in George Washington costumes.  The wave election that resulted in conservative candidates winning races in every corner of America, from small towns to the federal government, meant that many more people than just Tea Partiers looked at the Ryan world view and found it good.  There’s no reason to believe that, in the face of Obama’s continued attacks on traditional American values, politics, national security, etc., people will have become disaffected from that Ryan-esque world view.

Those are just a few of the nice things I remember reading about Paul Ryan.  I’m sure you can think of more.

I’ll just ask worried Republicans one thing:  Other than being a budget wizard who’s not afraid of Barack Obama; being popular in a bellwether state; having the ability to articulate conservative values; appealing to seniors; holding out true, not hyped, hope for young voters; getting an A rating from the NRA; not scaring Jews; and representing a rising tide of American conservativism, what has Paul Ryan ever done for us?

The NRA vows to defeat Obama at the ballot box

If I recall correctly, the NRA was cautious in 2008 when it came to Barack Obama.  It campaigned against him, but without vigor.  That tentativeness is gone this year, as demonstrated by the official 2012 NRA campaign slogan:  “All In.

To this end, the NRA has created a page called Firearms Future, which looks at the deleterious effects of gun control on law-abiding people.  It examines Fast and Furious (drug runners had American-supplied guns; border patrol agents had American-supplied beanbags); Britain’s summer riots (when seconds count, the police — who are also without arms — are only minutes away); and other anti-gun initiatives the world over, all of which prove that the NRA was right all along:  when guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.

California gun owners: Beware

Here is a message from the NRA:

Anti-gun hysteria has reached a fever pitch in the Golden State. The California Assembly is considering a bill (Assembly Bill 2062) this session that, if passed, will have dire consequences for California’s law-abiding gun owners.

AB2062 is scheduled to be heard on Wednesday, May 7 in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.Sponsored by State Assembly Member Kevin De Leon (D-45), AB2062 would require that law-abiding gun owners obtain a permit to buy handgun ammunition and would impose severe restrictions on the private transfers of handgun ammunition. Applicants for a “permit-to-purchase” would be required to submit to a background check, pay a $35 fee, and wait as long as 30 days to receive the permit.

Under AB2062, it would be unlawful to privately transfer more than 50 rounds of ammunition per month, even between family and friends, unless you are registered as a “handgun ammunition vendor” in the Department of Justice’s database. Ammunition retailers would have to be licensed and store ammunition in such a manner that it would be inaccessible to purchasers. The bill would also require vendors to keep a record of the transaction including the ammunition buyer’s name, driver’s license, the quantity, caliber, type of ammunition purchased, and right thumbprint, which would be submitted to the Department of Justice. Vendors would be required to contact the purchase permit database to verify the validity of a permit before completing a sale. All ammunition sales in the State of California would be subject to a $3 per transaction tax. Lastly, mail order ammunition sales would be prohibited. Any violator of AB2062 would be subject to civil fines.

Here’s what you can do to help protect our Second Amendment freedoms:

  • Participate in NRA’s Virtual “Lobby-Day” on Tuesday, May 6 and tell the Assembly to stop supporting ill-conceived anti-gun proposals like AB2062.
  • On Tuesday, May 6, call, fax, and email the Assembly between 9:00 AM until 4:00 PM and voice your opposition to more gun control proposals. Respectfully, tell your Assembly Member to oppose any assault on our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. To identify your Assembly Member and to get contact information, please click here. A roster of the entire Assembly can be found here.
  • Firearms owners able to travel to the State Capitol will be visiting the legislative offices at the same time your calls, faxes, and emails will be arriving. Please be polite while you address your concerns! The combination of your calls, faxes, and emails, together with those personal visits, will show legislators that California’s firearms owners strongly oppose AB2062 and similar anti-freedom proposals.
  • Forward this message to every gun owner you know and include all gun clubs, stores, ranges and Second Amendment groups. Please cross-post this on the internet on websites and firearm-related forums.

I have to admit that I never would have dreamed, a decade ago, that I would be serving as a conduit for the NRA. I’ve never handled a gun myself, and find them somewhat frightening. I know that guns in criminals’ hands are a huge problem. I also know that good people die in gun accidents all the time.

What I also know, though, is that the Constitution is not ambiguous about guns: The Founders saw government as the greatest threat to people and they wrote the Second Amendment with the idea that armed citizens could come together to protect themselves against a dangerous government — something I bet German Jews, Chinese intellectuals and Sudanese villagers all wish they could have done.

I know too that the NRA’s slogan — “if guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns” — something that I always thought was superficial and glib, is absolutely true, as experiments in London and Washington, D.C. have both shown. Lastly, I know that, just as good people die in gun accidents, they also die in car accidents, yet no one would think to outlaw cars.

But to get back to the NRA’s action message. We know that, if the Legislature passes that law, it will instantly be challenged in Court. It will probably fail, although there is a possibility that it won’t. It will certainly cost the California taxpayers a great deal of money as California defends the indefensible. Isn’t it easier just to protest the proposed law now, before we go down that risky and expensive path?