This week, people were shocked when the Drudge Report posted a giant picture of Hitler over a headline speculating that the White House will proceed with executive orders to limit access to firearms. The proposed orders are exceedingly tame, but Drudge’s reaction is actually a common conservative response to any invocation of gun control.Continue Reading… …
CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) — The photos were chilling and enigmatic, just like their subject. In the pictures, taken on his IPhone hours before the Aurora movie theater massacre, accused gunman James Holmes mugs for the camera, sticks out his tongue and smiles as he holds a Glock under his face and displays his arsenal arrayed on his bed.Prosecutors who displayed the pictures at a hearing that ended Wednesday argued the photos display “identity, deliberation and extreme indifference.”Holmes’ attorneys – who have been setting up an insanity defense and said they might present testimony about the defendant’s mental health – decided not to call any witnesses.A judge is due to rule by Friday whether prosecutors presented enough evidence to justify Holmes standing trial for more than 160 felony counts stemming from the July 20 attack, which killed 12 people and injured 70. Holmes, 25, may enter a formal plea that day.The three-day hearing occurred as the nation still recovers from the shock of last month’s shooting at a Connecticut elementary school that killed 20 children and six adults. It wrapped up just as the Colorado Legislature began its session and pledged to tackle gun violence, and Vice President Joe Biden met with families of victims as part of the White House’s own gun control push.Continue Reading… …
Before we just laugh away the NRA’s plan to put armed guards (either police or volunteers) in every school in America, it’s worth at least asking: Would it even work? People who actually study gun violence were not impressed.“The statement by the NRA is without any evidence that it would be effective,” said Dr. Fred Rivara, an epidemiologist at the University of Washington and the Editor in Chief of the pediatrics division of the Journal of the American Medical Association, in an email to Salon.In fact, there was an armed Sheriff’s Deputy at Columbine High School the day of the shooting. There was an armed citizen in the Clackamas Mall in Oregon during a shooting earlier this month. There was an armed citizen at the Gabby Giffords shooting – and he almost shot the unarmed hero who tackled shooter Jared Loughner. Virtually every university in the county already has its own police force. Virginia Tech had it’s own SWAT-like team. As James Brady, Ronald Reagan’s former press secretary cum gun control advocate, often notes, he was shot along with the president despite the fact that they were surrounded by dozens of heavily armed and well-trained Secret Service agents and police.Continue Reading… …
By now, the response isn’t even surprising. After a horrific massacre like the one in Newtown, Conn., last week, gun-rights advocates will argue that someone with a gun at the scene could have stopped the killer. They conclude that the answer to mass shootings is to arm more people.This argument is usually made by people who can be easily dismissed, like boffo U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, or Larry Pratt, the executive director of Gun Owners of America. Pratt said this weekend that “gun control supporters have the blood of little children on their hands” for preventing law-abiding citizens from bringing guns into schools.But the more guns/less crime argument shouldn’t be dismissed so summarily. There’s an undeniable intuitive logic to it — if you were facing down an active shooter, wouldn’t you want to be armed? Nearly half of Americans keep a gun in their home — and the majority say the main reason they do so is to defend themselves. Across the country, states are expanding right to carry laws, which allow permitted citizens to carry concealed weapons for their own defense.Continue Reading… …
Reason Writers Around Town: Brian Doherty in American Conservative on the Death of Guns as a Political Issue
In the December issue of American Conservative, I
the new book ;Living
With Guns: A Liberal’s Case for the Second Amendment by
Craig Whitney, and note that the sense of mission that propelled
the book might be misplaced in a year when not even a series of
shocking gun massacres could really juice any life into the corpse
of increasing gun control regulation.
The book…pushes a set of policy prescriptions that Whitney
paints as the rational, intelligent middle between untenable
pro-gun attitudes (no new laws restricting our ability to buy,
carry, and store weapons) and untenable anti-gun attitudes (no
private ownership of firearms). Whitney argues there’s an
intractable political divide about guns that only his measured
wisdom can bridge.
But the reaction to this year’s string of prominent gun crimes
undercuts Whitney’s project. That reaction was—beyond personal and
some civic grief—nothing, except a bump in private gun buying. No
effective new call for stronger gun regulations arose. As
gun-control activists complained, guns and gun policy didn’t come
up at all in the domestic-policy presidential debate in October
between President Obama and Mitt Romney.
It may be true that there is still, as Whitney writes, “hysteria
that passes for discussion of the Second Amendment by gun rights
supporters and advocates of gun control.” But that hysteria is
localized within a narrow community of obsessives. It’s not
dominating American politics or tearing us asunder as a
Whitney stresses the importance of keeping guns out of what all
reasonable people agree are the “wrong hands,” even as he presents
the embarrassing history of colonial and early America, in which
seemingly reasonable people believed blacks, Indians, Roman
Catholics, and non-property-owners should be kept from weapons.
Whitney harps on the notion that the Second Amendment right is
supposed to come with civic responsibilities. Though he knows that
used to mean being prepared to fight government tyranny, he avoids
saying that might ever be necessary today, and Whitney fails to
convince a skeptical reader that the civic responsibility in
question should mean much more than making sure no one is unjustly
harmed by the weapons you own.
the whole thing. I wrote most extensively about gun control in
my 2008 book
Gun Control on Trial.
on the Second Amendment.
A survivor of the Colorado theater shooting massacre said she initially thought the man dressed in black who entered through an exit door was part of the premier of the new Batman movie. …
BEIRUT (Reuters) – The first ambassador to abandon Syrian President Bashar al-Assad called on the army to “turn your guns on the criminals” of the government, as troops backed by tanks swarmed into a suburb of Damascus on Thursday to flush out rebels. …