No matter how sad, crazy, or offensive the news is, there will always be clever people making great visual for the illustrated edition post.
Trevor Noah, a black man from South Africa, fails to see the irony in his demand that Americans turn their arms over to the government.
As is the case with all Progressives who have a late night television perch, Trevor Noah, the black South African who took over Jon Stewart’s post at The Daily Show, has been open about his wish that the U.S. government should seize all guns in private hands. (By the way, you’ve surely noticed that none of these Progressives seem disturbed by the fact that they’re attempting to give Donald Trump, the man they love to hate, virtually unlimited control over an unarmed American populace. The lack of logic confounds me but — hey! — they’re Leftists, so why am I expecting logic anyway?)
Trevor Noah’s on-air remarks about guns are same-old, same-old, so I won’t rehash them here. When it comes to gun grabbing, the Left has nothing original to offer. What’s more interesting is what Noah said off camera:
In a between-the-scenes moment from “The Daily Show” posted online Thursday, Noah took on critics who have questioned whether the foreign-born comedian should be chiming in on gun control. “This is an American conversation,” conservative radio host Larry O’Connor told Fox Business in a clip Noah showed his audience.
“People go, ‘Why do you have an opinion about this?’ And I say, ‘I hear what you’re saying but ask yourself this question: Why did nobody say that when Americans were protesting for South Africans to get freedom during apartheid?’ No one asked that question.”
Noah makes a valid point. People of good will, when they see something wrong, tend to have opinions. But if Noah is going to compare modern America with apartheid South Africa, he’d do well to take that comparison one step further and, instead of asking us whether he’s allowed to have an opinion, ask himself a different question: “Would apartheid have existed in South Africa if that country had a Second Amendment?”
The only possible answer to that question is “No.” The white South African government was able to exert tyrannical control over black South Africans, who were a majority, because the latter had no recourse. They were disarmed and helpless before tyranny.
Before opining again about gun control, Trevor Noah would do well to read Kevin Williamson’s truly splendid discourse on the rights articulated in the Second Amendment, rights that live in all people without regard to “documentary proof”: [Read more…]
Did the Holocaust’s shadow give Progressive Jews such a fear of dying that they cling to a political ideology promising (but not delivering) peaceful death?
A theory that popped into my mind yesterday that may help explain the mystery of the Progressive Jew, a person who clings desperately to the Democrat party despite the party’s escalating hostility to Jews and Israel. I wonder if it’s all tied into the way in which the Holocaust weighs on Jews of my generation.
I got started on this line of thinking because an old, although not terribly close, friend of mine died yesterday. When I say “old,” I don’t mean chronologically old. He was my age — mid-50s — which I consider to be on the slightly younger side of middle-age. (Perhaps that’s wishful thinking.) His death was also not entirely unexpected, because it was a recurrence of a problem he’d had before and was fighting for years.
My friend is not the first of the increasingly frequent brushes with mortality that are intertwining with my life. The older generation — parents, relatives, colleagues, all in their 80s and 90s — are passing away with relentless frequency. That’s to be expected. What’s more disturbing for me is the number of people, such as my deceased friend, who are my age and succumbing to cancer, heart disease, the effects of substance abuse, and other ills that start chasing us as we age.
What I’ve noticed is that my religious friends face death differently than my non-religious friends. They’re not resigned, which indicates a lack of hope, but they’re philosophical and that philosophy melds with the hope, allowing them to focus on the treatment process without too much fear. They see themselves as part of a greater plan, with God as their partner. If this plan denies them recovery, Christians look to the promise of Heaven; Jews put their faith in the final resurrection.
In contrast, my atheist friends have nothing to hang on to. The Grim Reaper is threatening them without rhyme or reason and then, at the end, there’s nothing.
I think, though, that there’s an added twist for many contemporary secular Jews when they consider death. By the way, when I say “secular,” I’m including non-Orthodox Jews who follow the outward form of worship in reform and “lite” conservative synagogues. They belong to a Temple, they attend on the High Holy days, and they probably send their kids to Sunday school . . . but they don’t believe in God. For them, these are rituals that tie them to their childhood communities, that fulfill a long for tradition, and that are a strong part of their Jewish identity. [Read more…]
The Second Amendment recognizes that evil exists by giving free people the best weapon to fight back. Sometimes, tho’, life is such that evil still wins.
Now that the Progressives have gotten into their groove attacking the Second Amendment, there is a lot of material defending the Second Amendment and exposing just how bad (and tyrannical) Progressive arguments are. I’ve also included a few other topical and just plain funny posters.
When it comes to the Second Amendment, Leftists measure it by those who die from guns; constitutionalists measure it by those who survive thanks to guns.
With the Las Vegas massacre having reopened the endless Progressive attack against the Second Amendment, I remembered that there’s a book on the subject — my book to be precise: Our Second Amendment Rights In Ten Essays. In an attempt to inveigle you into buying it, here’s an excerpt from Essay 5: “Gun Grabbers Ignore That Guns Not Only Take Lives, They Save Lives” (end notes omitted).
5. Gun Grabbers Ignore That Guns Not Only Take Lives, They Save Lives
When it comes to guns, the gun grabbers suffer from a very bizarre limitation: Their mental horizons allow them to see only those who died because of guns, not to recognize those who did not die thanks to guns. This myopia creates the giant intellectual chasm that separates those who oppose the Second Amendment from those who support it. The former see only the people who died in the past while the latter also see the ones who will live on into the future.
Logically, we all know that people are going to die under any circumstances. Given that existential reality, the important question is not whether people will die because of guns. Instead, the important question is whether more people will live than will die thanks to guns. Leftists, however, cannot grasp that simple idea.
Perhaps it would help these gun-grabbing Leftists to read Frédéric Bastiat’s magnificent Parable of the Broken Window, which the French economist wrote in 1850. If the parable doesn’t seem relevant at first, please bear with me, and I will explain why it matters:
Have you ever witnessed the anger of the good shopkeeper, James Goodfellow, when his careless son has happened to break a pane of glass? If you have been present at such a scene, you will most assuredly bear witness to the fact that every one of the spectators, were there even thirty of them, by common consent apparently, offered the unfortunate owner this invariable consolation – “It is an ill wind that blows nobody good. Everybody must live, and what would become of the glaziers if panes of glass were never broken?”
Now, this form of condolence contains an entire theory, which it will be well to show up in this simple case, seeing that it is precisely the same as that which, unhappily, regulates the greater part of our economical institutions.
Suppose it cost six francs to repair the damage, and you say that the accident brings six francs to the glazier’s trade — that it encourages that trade to the amount of six francs — I grant it; I have not a word to say against it; you reason justly. The glazier comes, performs his task, receives his six francs, rubs his hands, and, in his heart, blesses the careless child. All this is that which is seen.
But if, on the other hand, you come to the conclusion, as is too often the case, that it is a good thing to break windows, that it causes money to circulate, and that the encouragement of industry in general will be the result of it, you will oblige me to call out, “Stop there! Your theory is confined to that which is seen; it takes no account of that which is not seen.”
It is not seen that as our shopkeeper has spent six francs upon one thing, he cannot spend them upon another. It is not seen that if he had not had a window to replace, he would, perhaps, have replaced his old shoes, or added another book to his library. In short, he would have employed his six francs in some way, which this accident has prevented. (Emphasis mine.)
While not all of the links in this post discuss the Second Amendment, most do. There’s other stuff too, about health care, the economy, etc. It’s all good.
A great book about the Second Amendment. This post focuses heavily on the Second Amendment because, once again, Progressives are using an evil act to justify depriving Americans of a singularly important Constitutional right. I’m therefore opening by shilling my own little book on the subject: Our Second Amendment Rights In Ten Essays. The ten essays are
- A Typical Discussion With Gun Grabbers; Or, What Second Amendment Supporters Are Up Against
- Guns Are Most Dangerous When The Government Is The Only One That Has Them
- America’s Founding Fathers Ratified The Second Amendment Because They Knew That Government Is Dangerous
- A Self-Defended Society Is A Safe Society
- Gun Grabbers Ignore That Guns Not Only Take Lives, They Save Lives
- Beware Of Arguments Comparing American Gun Crime To That In Other Nations; These Arguments Are Always Dishonest
- The Only Way Gun-Control Activists Can Support Their Position Is To Lie
- Disarming Americans Is A Racist Thing To Do; Therefore, Second Amendment Supporters Are Anti-Racists
- Jews, Of All People, Should Always Support The Second Amendment
- If We Really Want To Protect Our Children, We Shouldn’t Ban Guns, We Should Ban School Buses
Those who took the time to review the book were good enough to say nice things:
“An exceptional set of essays addressing with the common progressive attacks on our Second Amendment right, as well as the historical origins of the right and its tremendous importance to our “free state.” In light of the stated intent of certain of our politicians to overturn the Heller decision and make a nullity of the Second Amendment, I would recommend that you read these essays closely.”
“A quick read, but packed with commonsense tracing the history & variously failed implementations of gun control in contravention of our Constitution.”
“Read it, live it, breathe it … for freedom. History shows time and time again that only despots want to disarm citizens. The result? Learn from history.”
“An excellent and incisive book written by one who has a firm grasp of both the subject and the issues at stake.”
“Well written, understandable, and timely. Excellent information.”
“Read this. Your freedom is a risk.”
“Well written and quite thoughtful.”
At the risk of sounding immodest, as the Progressives’ increase their strident demands that we turn all of our weapons over to Donald Trump (yes, that’s effectively what they’re demanding), this book has some useful ways of thinking about guns and a civil society that may help you rebut the insanity.
Nothing like a little data to reveal the stupidity behind gun control. If you haven’t already heard about and read Leah Libresco’s anti-gun control opinion piece at the WaPo, you must. It’s an honest acknowledgement that everything that the gun control crowd argues is wrong — and it comes from one who once supported those arguments until her data studies revealed they had no basis in reality:
Before I started researching gun deaths, gun-control policy used to frustrate me. I wished the National Rifle Association would stop blocking common-sense gun-control reforms such as banning assault weapons, restricting silencers, shrinking magazine sizes and all the other measures that could make guns less deadly.
Then, my colleagues and I at FiveThirtyEight spent three months analyzing all 33,000 lives ended by guns each year in the United States, and I wound up frustrated in a whole new way. We looked at what interventions might have saved those people, and the case for the policies I’d lobbied for crumbled when I examined the evidence. The best ideas left standing were narrowly tailored interventions to protect subtypes of potential victims, not broad attempts to limit the lethality of guns. (Emphasis mine.)
Since Stephen Paddock killed 59 people and injured 500 more, his motive is still a mystery. Progressives want gun control through. Let’s talk about that.
Enough time has passed since news broke that Stephen Paddock committed a massacre at the Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas broke that the facts seem to have settled a bit. Now is therefore as appropriate a time as any for me to blog about it. Before I share my thoughts with you, here are the facts as I understand them:
Stephen Paddock was a 64 year old retired accountant and “ordinary” white guy. He had made a lot of money in real estate, although I’m not clear whether he had a lot of money when he died; he lived in a $400,000 house outside of Las Vegas, which is a valuable house, especially if he had equity in it; he had an attractive live-in girlfriend; he liked to fly; he liked to hunt; and he liked to gamble, although it’s not clear whether his gambling losses exceeded his gains. Oh, and one more thing: His father spent time on the FBI’s “Most Wanted” list and was described as a “psychopath.”
Those who knew Paddock, including his family, were absolutely stunned that he would spend several days holed up in a Las Vegas hotel room with a huge cache of weapons that were either automatic or were jury-rigged for automatic fire; that he would have enough ammo to fill a suitcase; that he would have the ingredients for a bomb in his car; that he would fire into a crowd of concert-goers, killing 59 and injuring over 500, many of whom remain in serious condition; and that he would then turn a gun on himself. But it appears that this is exactly what Paddock did.
Regarding the guns, two Nevada dealers who sold him guns have stated that Paddock passed all federal background checks. Moreover, at one of the gun stores, the weapons he bought a rifle that was not fully automatic and a shotgun that lacked the range to do the shooting he accomplished from the 32nd floor. Paddock also apparently had at least one fully automatic weapon in the room and there seems to be no way he could have come by that legally.
Motive? Currently unknown. ISIS is claiming that Paddock converted to Islam a few months ago and carried out this massacre as his own personal jihad. Usually, ISIS has been accurate in claiming a connection between a killing and its loathsome ideology. However, with such a spectacular massacre as this one, it’s entirely possible that ISIS is piggy-backing so it can grandstand about the fearsome universality of its murderous message.
It’s just as likely that Paddock was crazy. Indeed, the part about locking himself up in a high place and then committing suicide reminded me strongly of Charles Whitman, who committed a mass shooting at the University of Texas in Austin back in 1966. (I attended UT, so that massacre is never far from my mind.) Whitman also barricaded himself in a high place, shot as many people as he could, and then killed himself when the police closed in. He too gave no indications before he cracked that he was cracking and his motive has never been determined.
From the first moment news broke about the shooting, though, I knew two things with certainty: Progressives would use the shooting as a platform to demand gun control and Progressives would engage in incredible hate-speech about the victims. The first, of course, was a given, but why did I predict the second to myself? Easy — the shooting took place at a country music concert. To Progressives, country music means God, guns, and Trump. It is their triumvirate of hate. [Read more…]
A gun, by making people equal in a conflict, removes the bully’s inherent advantage in size and youth, and therefore encourages civilized discourse.
Progressives like to castigate guns as the great evil. To the Progressive mind, those who hide behind the Second Amendment are the antithesis of everything that is civilized and decent. Ten years ago, however, Marko Kloos argued that the gun is the engine of civilization precisely because it is the great equalizer. His short essay was reprinted at Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, which encourages the article’s wider dissemination. I therefore present it here, in its entirety:
Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another: reason and force. If you want me to do something for you, you have a choice of either convincing me via argument, or force me to do your bidding under threat of force. Every human interaction falls into one of those two categories, without exception. Reason or force, that’s it.
In a truly moral and civilized society, people exclusively interact through persuasion. Force has no place as a valid method of social interaction, and the only thing that removes force from the menu is the personal firearm, as paradoxical as it may sound to some.
When I carry a gun, you cannot deal with me by force. You have to use reason and try to persuade me, because I have a way to negate your threat or employment of force. The gun is the only personal weapon that puts a 100-pound woman on equal footing with a 220-pound mugger, a 75-year old retiree on equal footing with a 19-year old gangbanger, and a single gay guy on equal footing with a carload of drunk guys with baseball bats. The gun removes the disparity in physical strength, size, or numbers between a potential attacker and a defender.
There are plenty of people who consider the gun as the source of bad force equations. These are the people who think that we’d be more civilized if all guns were removed from society, because a firearm makes it easier for a mugger to do his job. That, of course, is only true if the mugger’s potential victims are mostly disarmed either by choice or by legislative fiat–it has no validity when most of a mugger’s potential marks are armed. People who argue for the banning of arms ask for automatic rule by the young, the strong, and the many, and that’s the exact opposite of a civilized society. A mugger, even an armed one, can only make a successful living in a society where the state has granted him a force monopoly.
Then there’s the argument that the gun makes confrontations lethal that otherwise would only result in injury. This argument is fallacious in several ways. Without guns involved, confrontations are won by the physically superior party inflicting overwhelming injury on the loser. People who think that fists, bats, sticks, or stones don’t constitute lethal force watch too much TV, where people take beatings and come out of it with a bloody lip at worst. The fact that the gun makes lethal force easier works solely in favor of the weaker defender, not the stronger attacker. If both are armed, the field is level. The gun is the only weapon that’s as lethal in the hands of an octogenarian as it is in the hands of a weightlifter. It simply wouldn’t work as well as a force equalizer if it wasn’t both lethal and easily employable.
When I carry a gun, I don’t do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I’m looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don’t carry it because I’m afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn’t limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force. It removes force from the equation … and that’s why carrying a gun is a civilized act.
Unquestioning groupthink is a Leftist hallmark, especially for blacks. Antonia Okafor details how she escaped from that intellectual prison.
Don’t forget that the Watchers’ Council has transmuted into Wow! Magazine, an online magazine with articles you won’t want to miss. Here’s the latest.
The past week has reinforced one of the most important rules in life and politics: Never give a Leftist an opening. Block him at every turn or you lose.
Never give a Leftist an opening about Israel. As I mentioned earlier, I had the pleasure of attending the 14th Annual Ariel Avrech memorial lecture, at which Daniel Greenfield spoke. One of the points he made was that we Jews and Israel supporters should not enter into arguments justifying or proving our right to exist. Some things, after all, go without saying. Nobody asks Norwegians or Germans to justify their right to their ancestral lands and Jews should not have to do so either.
I’ll add to what Greenfield said by noting that there’s also a very practical reason for avoiding arguments, which is that engaging in an argument also allows the opposition to continue arguing. In this regard, I was reminded of something my sister-in-law, the clinical behaviorist taught me: Don’t argue with a teenager! Instead, reflect what they said but constantly return to your rule, a rule that needs no defending or explaining. Otherwise, you will get sucked into the teenager’s world, one in which your teen has all the time in the world and all the energy to incessantly push his or her cause. Two simple dialogues will suffice:
The wrong way to talk to a teen
TEEN: Can I go to the mall with my friends on Monday night?
YOU: No. It’s a school night.
TEEN: But all my friends are going.
YOU: We’ve talked before about the fact that, just because your friends go, it doesn’t mean you can go.
TEEN: Yeah, but everyone is going. I’ll be the weird dork if I don’t get to go.
YOU: You’re never a weird dork. Look at how many friends you have. People like me.
TEEN: They only like me because I do things with them. If you won’t let me go to the mall….
YOU: Look, we’ve talked about how you need your sleep on school nights.
TEEN: That’s silly. You know that even when I’m home I always go to bed late and I’m fine.
And on it goes, with you constantly responding to the shifting sand of your teen’s argument, and your teen taking every one of your responses as a new opening and a new opportunity. After all, you’ve got a life, while the teen has a monomaniacal need to go to the mall Monday night. Who’s got more stamina for the argument?
The right way to talk to a teen
TEEN: Can I go to the mall with my friends on Monday night?
YOU: No. The house rule is no malls on a week night.
TEEN: But all my friends are going.
YOU: Nevertheless, the house rule is no malls on a week night.
TEEN: That’s not fair!
YOU: I’m sorry you don’t think it’s fair, but it’s the house rule. No malls on a week night.
TEEN: Everyone will think I’m weird if I don’t go.
YOU: [Empathetic listening statement optional here.] Still, you know the rule: No mall on a week night.
Israeli’s, Zionists, and anyone else who supports Israel should take a page out of the smart teen parent’s handbook. Israel is a nation that exists. End of story. Live with it. [Read more…]
On July 1, California gun owners may no longer possess high capacity standard magazines. Learn here what you need to know about the ban.
A friend just forwarded me a notice from Gun Owners of California informing California gun owners that, within two weeks, any high-capacity standard magazines they possess are illegal. Here’s what you need to know: [Read more…]
A delectable illustrated edition tracking today’s insanity. This particular edition is dedicated to Caped Crusader, may he rest in peace.
Donald Trump told the NRA that “The eight-year assault on your Second Amendment freedoms has come to a crashing end.” Here’s why the promise matters.
Donald Trump spoke today at the National Rifle Association’s 2017 Leadership Forum. While it’s clear that he’s not necessarily up on the finer details of the intellectual arguments supporting our Second Amendment rights, there’s no doubting his sincerity when it comes to preserving them:
The eight-year assault on your Second Amendment freedoms has come to a crashing end. You have a true friend and champion in the White House. No longer will federal agencies be coming after law-abiding gun owners. No longer will the government be trying to undermine your rights and your freedoms as Americans. Instead, we will work with you, by your side.
The fact that President Trump will de-fang the federal government’s attacks against Second Amendment rights, however, does not mean that the Left will stop their relentless press to disarm Americans. They constantly tell us how disarmament works in other countries, and insist that we can be just as safe as such sweet, law-abiding little countries as England, Sweden, Germany, and Norway, it works so well.
Except that it doesn’t work well at all, at least not when a genocidal tyrant arises, as happened in Germany. And it doesn’t work well when a formerly culturally homogeneous country welcomes people in who bring with them violent values and an anti-Western animus, along with their guns, knives, trucks, gang rapes, bombs, etc.
While it’s great that Donald Trump backs the Second Amendment, the fight is not over. As long as there are Leftists, the fight will never be over. We therefore have to be prepared to defend our Second Amendment rights whenever they come under attack. Here’s a small toolkit for that defense. It addresses the following facts: (1) Armed citizens are the best defense against the world’s most dangerous killer: government; (2) the Founders understood that government was dangerous and added the Second Amendment as a bulwark against that threat; (e) the Jewish experience reminds us that disarmed people are easy victims; (4) only racists want to disarm minorities; and (5) a self-defended society is a safe society. [Read more…]
I’ve cleared my spindle and the articles I linked are a feast for the hungry mind — the Middle East, climate change, policing, gender, Obamacare, and more.
There’s land if the Palestinians want it. Did you know that President al-Sisi in Egypt has offered the Palestinians a state that would include Gaza plus 618 adjacent square miles in the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula? This offer reflects the fact that the Egyptians, like the Jordanians, Saudis, and every other Sunni Arab state around can’t stand the Palestinians.
With Iran looming on the Iranian, the Sunni nations are becoming more aware that Israel is their bulwark against Iran. If they can get rid of the Palestinian issue — and get the troublesome Palestinians out of their countries — they can unite to face off against Iran. You can read more here.
The Palestinians, of course, will not go for it. They don’t want their own country. They want the Jews’ country. The question is whether the combined weight of the Sunni Arab world, perhaps with help from the Trump administration, can force them to take what they don’t want and finally, once and for all, leave everyone alone. The problem is that the Palestinians (with a lot of UN help) have raised too many blood-thirsty generations who view Israel as their own land, to be taken with fire and sword.
Once again, a sociologist proves that sociology is not science. I laughed so hard I choked on my morning cereal when I read a Los Angeles Times op-ed by an academic sociologist assuring readers that atheists raise more moral kids than religious people do. The trick to this column is that the atheistic sociologist gets to define what constitutes “morality.”
I’m sure you won’t be surprised to learn that morality means having values that precisely track the Progressive/Democrat social and political agenda. My only question is for how much longer taxpayers are going to let their state and federal monies flow into the academic institutions producing this kind of biased garbage?
One brave man in blue. The ACLU sued the Milwaukee police department alleging (what else?) that it’s raaaacist. This is, of course, nothing more than a shakedown using the court system. Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn refused to be intimidated:
“If they [the police] are willing to risk their lives to protect our disadvantaged communities than the least I can do is be willing to risk lawsuits to do the same thing.”
Flynn said that the ACLU and organizations like them want only to “drive a wedge between the police and their communities.”
“The people that actually live in the neighborhoods punctuated by gunfire and non-fatal shootings every night of the week demand effective and responsive policing” while the “concerns of the neighborhoods are never on the agenda of groups like the ACLU.”
Chief Flynn also pointed out that the police are protecting blacks and other minorities, who are significantly more likely than whites to be victims of violent crime. Bravo, Chief Flynn!