January 3, 2013

How you know that guns protect people, 2

“Armed Guards for Returning Sandy Hook Students”:

When children from Sandy Hook Elementary school return to class in neighboring Monroe, Conn. today, they’ll be entering “the safest school in America,” according to the Associated Press.

“Law enforcement officers have been guarding the new school, and by the reckoning of police, it is ‘the safest school in America,’” the AP reported Thursday.

“I think right now it has to be the safest school in America,” Monroe police Lt. Keith White was quoted as saying.

Having armed guards in schools is the National Rifle Association’s suggestion for keeping children safe from the kind of terror that happened last month in Newtown, Conn.

“As parents, we do everything we can to keep our children safe. It is now time for us to assume responsibility for their safety at school,” NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre said at a Dec. 21 news conference. “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” he said.

LaPierre noted that five years ago, after the Virginia Tech mass-shooting, he called for armed security guards in every school, and the media “called me crazy.”

“But what if, when Adam Lanza started shooting his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School last Friday, he had been confronted by qualified, armed security?” LaPierre asked. “Will you at least admit it’s possible that 26 innocent lives might have been spared?”

Look, I don’t like the idea of armed guards in schools — too much of a police state vibe, and we don’t live in Israel, eg., not even remotely — but LaPierre has a point when he notes that it is probable that armed guards could have prevented at least the extent of the Newtown school massacre.

But here’s the thing:  massacres of the kind we witnessed in Newtown, or VA Tech, or the Aurora theater in CO, are prevented every day in places like Utah, or Indiana, or some districts in Texas, where CCW isn’t restricted, and law-abiding citizens, trained, fingerprinted, and carrying their weapons — which they are likely never to have to draw, much less use, statistically speaking — carry those weapons into places that in other states are designated “gun-free zones,” in one of the most head-scratching bits of legislation in our nation’s history.  That is, in places where CCW isn’t restricted, the very potential that a spree killer looking to tally up a hefty death toll before either surrendering or killing himself could have his plans foiled by some presumptuous private citizen with a legal weapon, is enough of a deterrent to make that spree killer look for softer targets — as the Aurora theater shooter did, skipping a number of theaters closer to home that were not designated as “gun-free zones” in order to target one that was.

Still, if you are of the mind-set that putting up a sign is a more effective deterrent than, well, an actual potentially lethal deterrent – and even if it isn’t, it’s simply more palatable, and your sensibilities should trump the rights of others to self defense why stop with “gun-free zones”?  Why not just label these mini-Utopias of peace and love, where the government simply will not permit weapons enter, “violence-free zones” — and in so doing, ban fists or rolls of quarters or knives or loose furniture or bottles, etc?

In fact, why not bring back the Briand-Kellogg Pact, and solve all the problems in the middle east, Africa, and elsewhere by outlawing war?

And the answer is obvious:  because criminals don’t obey laws — particularly those that are enforced by paper or double-sided window stickers.

As the children re-enter Newtown, even anti-gun CT has decided it best to protect them by keeping close responsible adults carrying weapons.  So the question becomes, if they believe that this is today a viable (and preferable) form of protection, why in several months, after the media scrutiny dies down and the fight over “gun control” is behind us, would they revert to the more pristine and self-righteous stance that guns in the hands of vetted, responsible citizens is vulgar and dangerous?

The answer to which is obviously this:  they’re goddamned hypocrites, plain and simple.

Posted by Jeff G. @ 10:09am
72 comments | Trackback

Comments (72)

  1. they’re goddamned hypocrites, plain and simple.

    And on top of that, eager to disarm the proles while arming themselves to better keep the proles in line.

    Lovely, lovely generation we’ve bred.

  2. Speaking of hypocrites, OT:

    The multimillion dollar deal came after Current rebuffed TheBlaze when it approached the network about buying the channel last year. According to a source close to the negotiations, officials at TheBlaze were told that “the legacy of who the network goes to is important to us and we are sensitive to networks not aligned with our point of view.”

    An executive for TheBlaze confirmed these details on Thursday, noting that the decision not to sell to Beck’s network came only hours after executives reached out to a Current representative to discuss the matter. As reported by the Wall Street Journal, Hyatt said that the decision to go with the Middle Easter outlet came, in part, because, “al-Jazeera was founded with the same goals we had for Current.”

    May Al Gore enjoy all those petrodollars in peace and security.

  3. There is a temporal distinction which, although already introduced into the current discussion of means to protect schools by Mr. LaPierre (and strangely, schools are here set apart somehow from other “gun-free zone” designations, almost as though these latter aren’t also in need of immediate attention) but which, I believe, has not been the subject of focus for many of the participants to the discussion. Jeff does point to the temporal condition, however. And by temporal, I mean, temporary vs. permanent.

    LaPierre asked, both in his initial press conference, and again during his appearance on Meet the Press, “what can we do right now to secure these schools?” and answered himself, “put armed guards on campus”. And as a temporary matter, this doesn’t seem to me incorrect, insofar as inhibiting laws may need to be rescinded and replaced by more rational measures, individuals may need to make decisions to purchase and train themselves in the use of concealed carry weapons where formerly they were prohibited, schools undertaking self-protection measures by means of newly empowered staff and teachers may need time to organize their defenses, and so on, whereas introducing police or other already qualified security agents (like retired policemen, for instance) can be accomplished quickly, to span the gap. But although LaPierre did ask in “right now” terms, he did not speak to the better long term solution, but left the question hanging: he did not suggest his ‘immediate’ solution should be merely temporary.

    We, on the other hand, I believe, should suggest this. Merely temporary because we expect the better solution to follow on.

  4. Remember that scene in the movie version of The World According to Garp? Robin Williams is looking at a house and a plane crashes into it – his response is (to paraphrase) “let’s buy it. what are the odds of THAT happening again?”

    Unless someone can prove to me that Connecticut has more mentally ill people than normal, I would say that Sandy Hook was statistically much, much safer the second Lanza’s rampage was over. Having armed guards there now definitely smacks of closing the barn door after the horses have left the building (having then run into the farmer’s house and kicked everyone to death).

    Still, I am all for armed presence at each and every school. Every school should be the safest place in America instead of a Sitting Duck Zone.

  5. The answer to which is obviously this: they’re goddamned hypocrites, plain and simple.

    And that’s the truth. *blows raspberry at any trolls treading this*

  6. I would say that Sandy Hook was statistically much, much safer the second Lanza’s rampage was over.

    You have just failed statistics. The probability of an event happening again is independent, in general, of past occurrences.

    That’s in theory.

  7. But waidaminnit: I thought that more guns were supposed to be more dangerous! These people are acting irrationally, according to a very very smart & successful former commentor.

  8. I would say that Sandy Hook was statistically much, much safer the second Lanza’s rampage was over

    Statistically this would be true. The fear (not completely unfounded, IMHO) is that some other nut would try and cash in on the opportunity to victimize this town again.

  9. You have just failed statistics.

    Only if you are observing events with a normal distribution – this is definitely a skewered distribution.

  10. Slart – the dice have no memory, true. We can still aggregate the odds of the same event occurring twice at the same place and intuitively assume an even smaller likelihood that the same event will happen here again.

    You can bet on the same lottery numbers appearing twice in a row but my guess is that this happens – uh, never.

    On the other hand, there are people that have won the lottery twice.

  11. And let me that I recognize that reducing the Sandy Hook tragedy to an exercise in probability is insensitive; my intent was more to characterize the symbolic nature of most of the responses to events like this. I do not doubt that, had I kids at that school, I would insist on some armed security of some sort statistics be damned.

    I just want the same consideration at the places where it hasn’t already happened. Let’s be proactive instead of reactive.

  12. But waidaminnit: I thought that more guns were supposed to be more dangerous! These people are acting irrationally, according to a very very smart & successful former commentor.

    Yes. Sandy Hook II is now a free fire zone, and dozens of casualties a day should be expected. Or so I’ve heard.

  13. You can bet on the same lottery numbers appearing twice in a row but my guess is that this happens – uh, never.

    The odds of drawing the same lottery number twice in a row is a different calculation.

  14. You have just failed statistics. The probability of an event happening again is independent, in general, of past occurrences.

    But in the specific, perhaps not. It’s oddly glamorous now, and whackjobs and statistics don’t mix.

  15. Anyone who has ever taught at a public school knows that they are one of the most proactive, in an ass-covering way, of any business. There are policies for everything (Yes. Schools are a business. A federally funded failed business venture.) most especially about safety.

    The safety of whom, you ask? Why, the teachers first (pages and pages about securing one’s keys, for instance) and the students, a distant second. That said, the school was locked and Lanza shot his way in. An armed staffer may or may not have stopped him, but I’m will to err on the side of “probably”.

    My biggest problem with this whole incident is the way it has been handled by the media. The wall-to-wall coverage of the event, the funerals, the building of biography on the dead shooter, et al, is nothing short of waving a red cape in front of other school shooters.

    Assassins are to be treated with contempt. Mocked for their shitty marksmanship and cowardice at shooting up wimmin and children. Referred to as losers and nerds who naturally have no friends because they are booger-eating nebbishs. Anything else, and I mean anything, just invites imitation squared.

  16. “and we don’t live in Israel, eg., not even remotely” I can personally atest to the fact that there is a better (armed) school security presence in third world shitholes. They post armed guards (shotguns) in the Mikkee Dee’s. I have been trying to teach this lesson to my 12 year old; that ultimately you are responsible for your own well being. He cannot expect a stranger to have the same value and respect for his life and well being as he would have for that, himself. Many in the U.S. do not want to accept that the world is a dangerous place and no amout of guards, armed or otherwise, can change that.

  17. Many in the U.S. do not want to accept that the world is a dangerous place

    How can we evolve past the need for violence to solve our problems if we don’t evolve past the need for violence to solve our problems?

    Hothouse flowers either deny the existence of frost or figure they can handle it.

  18. How can we evolve past the need for violence . . . ?”

    End sexual dimorphism.

  19. Sure. Because violence against women, already illegal, needs extra laws to make sure it doesn’t happen. Which are effective, and which we cannot do without.

  20. Violence against women?

    Try violence against male rivals for female attention.

  21. Sorry; was riffing off the latest Republican War On Women trope that has been revived concurrent with the lapsing of VAWA.

  22. VAWA was bad law. Good riddance to it.

  23. I looked at some dumb History Channel show about the Odyssey, and caught a bit where some fine female professor spoke to the odd happenstance that Homer seemed not to notice the ‘double-standard’ inherent in Odysseus’ sojourn with Circe and Calypso, whereas Penelope is simply ‘expected’ to remain chaste — and I laughed and laughed.

  24. “How can we evolve past the need for violence . . . ?”

    We can’t. It’s in our DNA for a reason.

    I say this as a rather mellow chick until you mess with me or mine. Then it’s too late to take it back or back off.

  25. It’s in our DNA for a reason.

    Not to worry, Leviathan will pass a law requiring its removal. Then it’ll reset the force of gravity to make things easier to lift, and raise the speed of light so we can finally, literally, reach for the stars.

  26. And oh the fun we’ll have on national holidays, watching water flow uphill!

  27. reset the force of gravity to make things easier to lift

    Mass is ended; go in peace.

  28. Good mass sucked anyway. I really hate it when my acceleration due to an applied force is retarded.

  29. “How can we evolve past the need for violence to solve our problems if we don’t evolve past the need for violence to solve our problems?” Evolve, poor choice wording that and telling as well. And you know better. I am what I was created to be and what opportunity would allow. Do you wish an answer or was that a rehetorical turn of phrase?

  30. “You have just failed statistics. The probability of an event happening again is independent, in general, of past occurrences.
    That’s in theory.”

    Sandy Hook was driven by intention. It wasn’t an integrative solution to a geometric area problem. It wasn’t stones identical in all but color lying inert in a vase waiting for a blind draw event.. There were no dice or coin flips.

    There was intention.

    A guy decided to do that. Thus statistics is a useful field analytically after the fact, but of no use predictively.

  31. “How can we evolve past the need for violence to solve our problems ”

    We have to produce a lot of offspring and they have to produce a lot of offspring and so on and hope that selection pressures and mutation somehow leads to a less violent being.

    Alternatively, you can stop externalizing violence away from the individual, and personally assume responsibility for your own actions in such as way as to minimize your own need for violent acts or responses. It might contribute to you getting killed though.

  32. How can we evolve past the need for violence to solve our problems if we don’t evolve past the need for violence to solve our problems?

    I understand that the scientists of the Alliance are seeing quite promising results with G-23 Paxilon Hydrochlorate in the lab.

  33. A guy decided to do that. Thus statistics is a useful field analytically after the fact, but of no use predictively.

    Then it was of no use predictively to begin with.

    Point being: you STILL cannot know whether your kids are less likely to be shot in school at Sandyhook now than they were a couple of months ago.

  34. You can’t evolve past the need for violence because evolution has shown pretty decisively that violence works.

  35. You can’t evolve past the need for violence because evolution has shown pretty decisively that violence works.

    And indeed requires violence (or at least death) to perform the weeding out of genetic traits that are contra survival to function at all. A process we’ve gone a long way towards short-circuiting.

  36. These guys plan out their mass shooting obsessively. The planning seems to be a big part of the thrill. What I think this one will do, at least in the short run, is convince the ones who are even now planning out their own event that they can get a bigger media boost by not just killing more, but killing younger victims.

    Our media have made that a touchstone to notoriety. They have also in their coverage outlined the defensive measures used by the “gun free” schools. Telling your enemy how you plan to defend against an attack is never a good thing unless you purposefully lie about the defense.

    We can’t predict where or when but can say that the intense coverage has made it likely that the next, or one of the next ones will be even worse. Since the media is for gun control I wonder if they are doing this with intent.

  37. A rather nefarious and evil application of Cloward-Piven?

  38. These guys plan out their mass shooting obsessively. The planning seems to be a big part of the thrill. What I think this one will do, at least in the short run, is convince the ones who are even now planning out their own event that they can get a bigger media boost by not just killing more, but killing younger victims.

    True. Not only do they plan obsessively, they will shift targets if one doesn’t seem to be working out or is proving to risky to them being able to carry out their mission. They aren’t crazy. They don’t care. They want to be famous.

    The other thing the media needs to answer up for is their glorification of these losers. The guy who shot John Lennon was studied by the guy who shot President Reagan who was studied by the guy who shot actress Rebecca Schaeffer. (I know all their names, but I’m not going to type them because they are losers and deserve to be anonymous.) All three had stalked their targets, had turned back at one point only to return later and all three carried a copy of A Catcher in the Rye to the crime.

  39. Evolve, poor choice wording that and telling as well.

    I was imitating a lefty, whose philosophical foundation comes down to a horrific interpretation of Darwin that started in eugenics and got much, much worse.

  40. I understand that the scientists of the Alliance are seeing quite promising results with G-23 Paxilon Hydrochlorate in the lab.

    Re–?
    Ree–?
    Reavers?

    I don’t hold with that.

  41. The guy who shot John Lennon was studied by the guy who shot President Reagan who was studied by the guy who shot actress Rebecca Schaeffer. (I know all their names, but I’m not going to type them because they are losers and deserve to be anonymous.) All three had stalked their targets, had turned back at one point only to return later and all three carried a copy of A Catcher in the Rye to the crime.

    Reagan was a target of opportunity, according to Rawhide Down. His would-be assassin was trying to decide if it was worth the trip to New Haven, or if he should just off himself in his D.C. hotel room when he read in the Washington Star that Reagan was going to be at the Washington Hilton to address the AFL-CIO that day.

  42. I was imitating a lefty, whose philosophical foundation comes down to a horrific interpretation of Darwin that started in eugenics and got much, much worse.

    Let’s not be so quick to let Darwin off the hook, okay? After all, it wasn’t Herbert Spencer who wrote The Descent of Man!

  43. Okay, but off the hook for what exactly?

  44. eugenics, horrific interpretation of.

  45. I’m uncertain what that means Ernst? Was Darwin a human eugenicist?

  46. Yes. The fish stinks from the head.

    As the Ruskies are wont to say.

  47. Can you point me to passages to read?

  48. And now, a PSA:

    Skip the eggshells, the duct tape, the elmer’s glue, the baking soda paste, the milk and bread poultice, and all the other splinter treatments your grandma learned from her grandma. Go for the anbisol. Your four year old squealer won’t thank you, but your ears will.

    The more you know…

  49. Passages? You want passages? My word not good enough for youse?

    gimme a bit

  50. I trust you’ll lead me aright, given my evident ignorance on this question (which ignorance I hope to repair).

  51. That’s not entirely accurate Ernst. Reagan had two speaking engagements that day and Loser followed him to both. He had alternatively been stalking Nixon and some other public figure whom I’ve forgotten the name of. Loser was bound and determined to kill someone famous, so in that sense Reagan was a target of opportunity.

    I’ve never read anywhere that Loser planned to kill himself prior to putting a bullet in the target. Most likely that is a fabrication of his attorneys and doctors to keep him out of prison and in the relative comfort of St. Elizabeth’s Hospital.

  52. Eugenics was really just animal husbandry concepts applied to humans, the basic ideas had been around in that respect since before Darwin. The progressives just tagged it onto Darwin trying to be hip.

    And for that matter, the science of eugenics is sound, it is the ethics and the morality of it all that is fucked up.

  53. Recall also that he was stalking Jodie Foster, who was at that time an undergrad at Yale (I’m guessing that is the reference to New Haven). She knew of the threat, had alerted campus security and had moved to safer quarters prior to the Reagan shooting. She courageously testified at trial, relating the stalking: phone calls, notes, a visit to her dorm (no entry) and stated “I have no relationship with Loser.” Loser promptly tried to jump over the table after he threw a pen at her.

    This is another aspect of these assassins. The lives of so many others they have forever changed. Ms. Foster has continued on with her career, but is nearly a recluse. Jim Brady is wheelchair-bound, an SS agent is dead, and so on.

  54. A Secret Service agent is dead? Not at that Loser’s hands. And maybe we need a better acronym for Secret Service agents. SS has other, well, connotations.

  55. Not a SS agent. Shit, one of the staffers. Name lost to foggy memory. Sorry.

  56. It’s also entirely opossible that I am conflating two different assasinations. One of my hobbies is researching violent crimes and their aftermaths.

  57. I gots yer steenkin’ passages right ‘ere!

    Quotes taken from Wiker (double quotations indicate references given by Darwin in Darwin’s text) bold emphasis mine:

    Chapter Five

    Natural Selection as affecting Civilised Nations.- I have hitherto only considered the advancement of man from a semi-human condition to that of the modern savage. But some remarks on the action of natural selection on civilised nations may be worth adding. This subject has been ably discussed by Mr. W. R. Greg,* and previously by Mr. Wallace and Mr. Galton.*(2) Most of my remarks are taken from these three authors. With savages, the weak in body or mind are soon eliminated; and those that survive commonly exhibit a vigorous state of health. We civilised men, on the other hand, do our utmost to check the process of elimination; we build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed, and the sick; we institute poor-laws; and our medical men exert their utmost skill to save the life of every one to the last moment. There is reason to believe that vaccination has preserved thousands, who from a weak constitution would formerly have succumbed to small-pox. Thus the weak members of civilised societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. It is surprising how soon a want of care, or care wrongly directed, leads to the degeneration of a domestic race; but excepting in the case of man himself, hardly any one is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed.

    * Fraser’s Magazine, Sept., 1868, p. 353. This article seems to have struck many persons, and has given rise to two remarkable essays and a rejoinder in the Spectator, Oct. 3 and 17, 1868. It has also been discussed in the Quarterly Journal of Science, 1869, p. 152, and by Mr. Lawson Tait in the Dublin Quarterly Journal of Medical Science, Feb., 1869, and by Mr. E. Ray Lankester in his Comparative Longevity, 1870, p. 128. Similar views appeared previously in the Australasian, July 13, 1867. I have borrowed ideas from several of these writers.

    *(2) For Mr. Wallace, see Anthropological Review, as before cited. Mr. Galton in Macmillan’s Magazine, Aug., 1865, p. 318; also his great work, Hereditary Genius, 1870.

    The aid which we feel impelled to give to the helpless is mainly an incidental result of the instinct of sympathy, which was originally acquired as part of the social instincts, but subsequently rendered, in the manner previously indicated, more tender and more widely diffused. Nor could we check our sympathy, even at the urging of hard reason, without deterioration in the noblest part of our nature. The surgeon may harden himself whilst performing an operation, for he knows that he is acting for the good of his patient; but if we were intentionally to neglect the weak and helpless, it could only be for a contingent benefit, with an overwhelming present evil. We must therefore bear the undoubtedly bad effects of the weak surviving and propagating their kind; but there appears to be at least one check in steady action, namely that the weaker and inferior members of society do not marry so freely as the sound; and this check might be indefinitely increased by the weak in body or mind refraining from marriage, though this is more to be hoped for than expected.

    If the various checks specified in the two last paragraphs, and perhaps others as yet unknown, do not prevent the reckless, the vicious and otherwise inferior members of society from increasing at a quicker rate than the better class of men, the nation will retrograde, as has too often occurred in the history of the world. We must remember that progress is no invariable rule. It is very difficult to say why one civilised nation rises, becomes more powerful, and spreads more widely, than another; or why the same nation progresses more quickly at one time than at another. We can only say that it depends on an increase in the actual number of the population, on the number of men endowed with high intellectual and moral faculties, as well as on their standard of excellence. Corporeal structure appears to have little influence, except so far as vigour of body leads to vigour of mind.

    Chapter Six

    The great break in the organic chain between man and his nearest allies, which cannot be bridged over by any extinct or living species, has often been advanced as a grave objection to the belief that man is descended from some lower form; but this objection will not appear of much weight to those who, from general reasons, believe in the general principle of evolution. Breaks often occur in all parts of the series, some being wide, sharp and defined, others less so in various degrees; as between the orang and its nearest allies- between the Tarsius and the other Lemuridae- between the elephant, and in a more striking manner between the Ornithorhynchus or Echidna, and all other mammals. But these breaks depend merely on the number of related forms which have become extinct. At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes, as Professor Schaaffhausen has remarked,* will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla.

    * Anthropological Review, April, 1867, p. 236

    I won’t go so far as to say that Darwin is the intellectual grandfather of Nazism, but I wouldn’t reject the notion that he’s a cousin to the intellectual grandfather, either.
    And all I mean by that is to go back to where I started from, i.e. Darwin was a social Darwinist too.

  58. That’s not entirely accurate Ernst. Reagan had two speaking engagements that day and Loser followed him to both. He had alternatively been stalking Nixon and some other public figure whom I’ve forgotten the name of. Loser was bound and determined to kill someone famous, so in that sense Reagan was a target of opportunity.

    Loser wanted to be Jodi Foster’s cat, so to speak; bring her a big dead mouse, like President Carter. As I remember Rawhide Down, Loser was on his way to Yale in order to profess his undying love before killing it, when he discovered he had one more chance at a big dead mouse that day.

    I’ve never read anywhere that Loser planned to kill himself prior to putting a bullet in the target. Most likely that is a fabrication of his attorneys and doctors to keep him out of prison and in the relative comfort of St. Elizabeth’s Hospital.

    Could be.

  59. Darwin was married to his first cousin. Maybe he was speaking from experience since they had, like, ten kids.

  60. Thanks for that expansive effort Ernst.

    Just in passing, the tribe Darwin refers to as Fuegian (somewhat murkily, as he identifies two types, East and West, but whom I think we can roughly identify as Ona and Yahgan), or in particular the Yahgan people of the two, who struck him as the deepest of the savages he encountered, are in fact, possibly among others, extinct, though I don’t believe they were driven intentionally so, but rather suffered from exposures to disease in combination with the harshness of their climate. And we’re all fairly apprised of the plight of the higher simians.

  61. Ms. Foster has continued on with her career, but is nearly a recluse.

    Also a lesbian. Which, whatever. I never really saw the attraction.

  62. Related: The paper that thought it was just spiffy to post an interactive map of all gun owners has now hired armed guards:

    http://www.rocklandtimes.com/2013/01/01/the-journal-news-is-armed-and-dangerous/

    The hypocrisy: it burns.

  63. Ms Foster has never outed herself as a lesbian. Her mother, however, is a lesbian.

    If she is? Whatever. I’ve read both that she is and that she is not.

  64. There is no conflict between the 1st and 2nd Amendment as loudmouths like Piers Morgan have been complaining of late. There is a conflict between a 2nd Amendment made use of by individuals and a 1st Amendment that has been thoroughly colonized by institutions and corporations that believe in the rights of the group, not the rights of the individual. David Gregory’s belief that he was immune from the law because he was acting as a media agenda spokesman is just another reminder that the institutions that have colonized the 1st Amendment consider themselves in all regards above the law.

    In an age of group rights, the Fourth Estate is claiming the special status that it is entitled to. But under the 2nd Amendment there are no estates, no groups that are more or less entitled to defend themselves, and no individuals with more or less claim on the right to own a firearm because of their race, religion, gender, bed partner, class or cleverness. It is a right of the people, back when the rights of the people referred to the people as a whole, not some idealized urban peasantry living off welfare checks or a coalition of official victim groups whose tears count more than those of anyone else.

    In its purest form, the people means everyone. It means a nation of individuals who are not broken down into any other group and whose rights are not allocated from any secondary source. The left spends a great deal of time shouting, “Power to the People”, but the 2nd Amendment with its sharp statement, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” is a literal invocation of power to the people. A people who are not designated as such by any category other than their peoplehood.

    The left shouts “Power to the People”, but doesn’t truly mean it. It would like to replace Power to the People with Predialed Cell Phones to the People and Lines at Government Offices to the People and Write to Your Local Congressman to the People.

    The people aren’t supposed to have guns, they’re supposed to have government on speed dial. The people aren’t supposed to have power, they’re supposed to have a hand out to the government which will decide whether to help them or not based on its own priorities. And if the help doesn’t arrive, then they can shout “Power to the People” outside government offices and demand that the rich people give more money to the government so that it can help them faster.

    link

  65. Ms Foster has never outed herself as a lesbian.

    Actually, she has. On balance, nr’s link is much more interesting.

  66. NR’s Link hopefully in a form that is not 404 flavored.

    “Wednesday, January 02, 2013
    Power To the People
    Posted by Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog”

    http://sultanknish.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/power-to-people.html

  67. Huh. I stand corrected.

  68. We need new perversions to make fun of. All the old ones are hate now. Like people who only have sex when dressed up as a sleestak.

  69. thanks palaeo

  70. On balance, NR’s link is more interesting. But Daniel Greenfield is the shit* who deleted my comment from this Front Page Magazine piece agreeing with other commenters that a seven year old story lacked the import Mr. Greenfield was ascribing to it. (Also because his stats on crimes committed at knife point were a year older than the article made clear).

    So. Either quote him at your own risk, or click every link and verify his facts for yourself.

    *(Now, I suppose in fairness he’s not the one who deleted my comment, but it was polite, and simply asked for a correction. You know, basic journalistic integrity, the kind of thing that a “Shillman Journalism Fellow” would presumably care about.)

  71. Just left this comment, which I’m reproducing here, with apologies to Jeff and the PW community, just in case it too is mem’ry-holed.

    Respectfully, when one write’s “the push is on to outlaw long kitchen knives,” and support that statement by linking to a seven, going on eight year old story, one does one’s reputation for creditability a disservice. I get the point. I agree with the general argument. But a misrepresentation that egregious, however well intended, is a self-inflicted wound.

    Better to have written something like “a proposal WAS made…” in place of “the push IS on…” in my humble opinion.

    If anyone thinks that was unfair to Mr. Greenfield, feel free to chastize me.

    Particularly for the comma abuse. Thrash me good for that.

  72. Alright. Apologies again for harping on this. But Daniel Greenfield, “Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center in New York.” Is not a journalist. He’s a right-wing journolist.

    Here’s how he leads off the column newrouter linked:

    At a Brady Center event to “Prevent Gun Violence by Jodie Foster Fans from Accidentally Hitting White House Press Secretaries in the Head” the Brady Center Legal Action Project Director asked retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens whether having a right to a cell phone might be a more universal form of self-defense than gun ownership. [emphasis mine]

    “Maybe you have some kind of constitutional right to have a cell phone with a predialed 911 number at your bedside, and that might provide you with a little better protection than a gun, which you’re not used to using,” Justice Stevens mumbled.

    Now, if you click through to his linked Front Page opinion piece and then from there click through to the CNS News piece he cites as his source you find:

    Jonathan Lowy, Brady Center Legal Action Project director, read a question from the audience, saying: “The Supreme Court held that the 2nd Amendment assures our right to have a handgun in the home for self-defense as you say. This question’s asked: ‘That [i.e. the right to have a handgun in the home for self defense] protects only gun owners. What about those who don’t have guns? Surely they have a right of self-defense. Instead of relying on the 2nd Amendment and dealing with gun laws, wouldn’t it be more rational to rely directly on the right we all have to self-defense. What are your thoughts on that?’

    Stevens answer, idiotic as it was and remains, was in answer to a question on the right to self-defense, not a Constitutional right to a fucking cellphone. The full Stevens quote, by the way is:

    “I’m not sure I actually have captured the entire question, but it does occur to me that one thing that I thought about from time to time is that maybe you have some kind of constitutional right to have a cell phone with a predialed 911 number at your bedside, and that might provide you with a little better protection than a gun, which you’re not used to using[.]”

    Hacktastic job there, Mr. Greenfield. I fucking despise you for it. Not because your a fucking hack, which you are, but because you’re a fucking right-wing hack, and there’s too few paying gigs in the arts & letters (broadly construed) and too many good people for one of those gigs to go to a fucking hack.

    Oh. The thing about fucking hacks? They all migrate left. Just like the three Davids: Brooks, Frum, and Brock.

    The ones that aren’t faux conservatives, at any rate.

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