Sickened by yet another shooting (in a gun-free zone, a fact left unmentioned) and the apparent lack of concern shown by the masses, Sanjay Sanghoee has offered up another piece over at HuffPo.

Another day, another shooting — this time by an ex-marine armed with an AK-47 at a PathMark in New Jersey, but what’s new? Lately, mass shootings seem to have become a weekly sport … And that is the biggest problem of all: We are slowly but surely getting desensitized to the violence that is sweeping through our society and remain either indifferent or deliberately oblivious to the role that guns (and the overt aggression they represent) play in mass murders …

The thing is, Sanjay, looking at the chart below it’s hard to see any sort of “violence … sweeping through our society.”

As for indifference and/or oblivion, I’d suggest that it’s you and your anti brethren who are deliberately oblivious to the 1.5 million defensive gun uses that take place annually. At least that was the number back in May of 1997 when the DoJ published Jens Ludwig and Philip J. Cook’s report (see the table at the bottom of page 8 for a table of DGUs which shows the 1.5 million figure is distinctly conservative).

Given the explosion in the number of “shall-issue” states and firearm sales since that date, I find it inconceivable that the number will have diminished. Indeed if we look at the population in 1997 (267,743,595) versus the population today (which the Census population clock puts at 314,284,565 at the moment) we see a 17% increase. Applying that proportionally to the 1.5 million DGUs gives us more than 1.76 million DGUs annually. Applying the 17% increase to the over 25,000 lives saved annually by DGUs (see the math here) nets a little over 29,300.

Not, of course, that any of this matters since the freedom to own and carry the weapon of your choice is a natural, fundamental, and inalienable human, individual, civil and Constitutional right — subject neither to the democratic process nor to arguments grounded in social utility[1]. But I’m just sayin’.

So what does Sanjay offer next?

In order to address this issue effectively, we need to first reject the objections to gun control brought up by the Second Amendment fanatics, those people who are so enamored of the idea of private justice, anarchy, and insurrection that they lose their common sense and even their humanity in the face of these revolutionary fantasies.

You’d better smile when you say that Tex. I may be a Second Amendment “fanatic” (if by that you mean someone who believes that it means what it actually says) but I’m by no means a fan of private justice. Although, what is “private justice” anyway? Does Sanjay mean lynching? If so does he mean it in the frontier justice sense of “everyone knows he’s guilty so string him up!”? Or does he mean it in the sense of the KKK’s “you are getting uppity so we are going to torture you to death”?

Or perhaps what he’s referring to is the concept of armed self-defense? If that is the case then I definitely am a fan. Otherwise it seems to me that “private justice” must be a code for rank injustice.

As for anarchy, I can see why some people might suppose that I’d be in favor of it. I’m 6’5” 330 pounds, I own lots of guns and I have a lot of friends who own a lot of guns, so if things ever devolved into lawlessness and anarchy we could probably do reasonably well for ourselves. But the fact of the matter is that I am a strong proponent of law (assuming, of course, that the laws respect individual freedom) and order. I believe that contracts should be followed and that those who utilize force and fraud to attain their ends should be punished.

Now insurrection is another loaded term. According to the Google dictionary it means:

A violent uprising against an authority or government

So strictly speaking the French maquis in WWII were insurrectionists. I suppose Sanjay would argue that the Germans in the north and Vichy in the south did not constitute legitimate government to which I would reply that I would never violently rise up against a legitimate government either. Of course, one of my favorite bumper sticker quotes is:

If government does not obey the law, then what is treason?

Finally, on the subject of revolutionary fantasies I actually prefer the term Restoration to revolution, because I have no interest in overthrowing the Constitution of the United States; my fantasies revolve around a limited government restricted to the specific enumerated powers outlined in Article 1, Section 8 as opposed to one which has stretched the commerce, general welfare and necessary and proper clauses all out of shape. But again, different post for a different blog.

Sanjay continues:

… in the wake of this latest shooting, I think it’s worth considering what our Founding Fathers would have done if they had been confronted by such carnage in their own time.

Of course, for this analogy to be meaningful, it’s necessary to imagine that the weaponry of the time had advanced to the level that we have today, because it’s pretty hard to commit mass murder with the rickety weapons of the 1700s, like the flintlock fowler. So assuming a level playing field, would the Founding Fathers have removed the Second Amendment from the Constitution or abandoned the idea of empowering citizens to defend themselves because of a string of mass shootings? Not likely, but what they would have done is created a strong set of restrictions to ensure that guns were not abused by people to harm the welfare of their fellow citizens:

Well at least Sanjay understands what many other antis don’t; that the Founders would not soil themselves and refuse to even conceive a Second Amendment at the mere thought of modern weapons. Unfortunately what he fails to understand is that the “arms” carried by the colonists in the Revolution were the “assault weapons” of the day. These weapons were at least the equal of (and in many cases actually superior to) the Redcoats’ Brown Bess.

As for the difficulty of committing mass murder with such “rickety” weapons, I refer you to the Pontiac’s Rebellion school massacre. In July of 1764 a four Lenape Indians raided the school near present-day Greencastle PA, shot and killed the headmaster and killed 9 or 10 children (accounts vary). In addition people were hardly limited to single shot weapons. The pepperbox pistol made its first appearance in the 1500’s; those matchlock versions were updated to flintlocks by the mid-1700s (see below).

Sanjay then goes on to list the restrictions he thinks the Founders would have invoked:

Limiting Firearm Ownership

Training and Testing

Strict Ammunition Control

Unfortunately for Sanjay the Founders’ view of law and order was to punish bad acts, not try to prevent them. These three “reasonable” and “common sense” mala prohibita limitations that Sanjay calls for are the absolute antithesis of the Founders’ concept of liberty which can probably best be summed up by the old Celtic rede (sometimes today referred to as the Wiccan rede): An it harm none do what ye will.

The one restriction of Sanjay’s which the Founders probably would have supported:

Severe Penalties for Gun Abuse

Unfortunately Sanjay’s explanation seems to indicate that he doesn’t really mean that:

The Founding Fathers were champions of freedom but were not weak on law enforcement. Faced with a debilitating threat to society, they would have enacted laws to ensure that citizens treated guns with respect and did not use them in a cavalier fashion. That would have included harsh penalties for unnecessary gun use in any situation, and even harsher penalties for casualties or injuries caused to others by guns. By invoking zero tolerance on gun violence, the Founding Fathers would have provided America with a safe and stable social order.

Treating guns with respect? Of course people should treat guns with respect, but I don’t know of any law which could reasonably accomplish this without going into those silly mala prohibita restrictions again. Penalties for unnecessary gun use? Who decides what constitutes “unnecessary”? And there were and are already laws dealing with causing casualties and injuries; it’s called murder or assault.

But Sanjay isn’t content with punishing people who misuse guns, he wants to try and prevent their misuse:

In our country today, we have a serious problem with gun violence, as well as with the proliferation of guns and ammunition. That is not in doubt or a subject for debate. The only thing that is debatable is the best way to address that problem.

I love it when people make flat statements and then aver that “the question is settled” or “there is no room for debate”. Balderdash! There is always “room for debate” on these sorts of unsupported assertions. Take another look at that chart above; the national homicide rate in 2010 is only 4% above the 50 year low which occurred in 1963. Looking at the lowest 15 years, eight of them (more than half) occurred between 2000 and 2010. As for the “proliferation of guns and ammunition”, this is not a bad thing! Thugs and hoodlums always have access to guns and ammo; what this “proliferation” means is that law-abiding citizens are now more equally armed and able to defend themselves.

Furthermore, even if we ignore the fact that the freedom to own and carry the weapon of your choice is a natural, fundamental, and inalienable human, individual, civil and Constitutional right — subject neither to the democratic process nor to arguments grounded in social utility[2], we are still faced with the fact that more than twice as many lives are saved annually in Defensive Gun Uses as are lost in Criminal Gun Uses. This should tell us that the best way to “address that problem” is to start treating the Second Amendment as if it were the highest law of the land, not an inconvenience to be trampled when it isn’t flat out ignored.

Sanjay does manage to briefly acknowledge the Second Amendment when he continues:

The right to bear arms should be preserved, but in the context of stricter gun laws that enable law enforcement to control and track weapons, and to provide adequate disincentive for the abuse of firearms. This alone may not solve all of our problems, but it will definitely make an appreciable difference, and that is enough. If even one senseless gun murder is prevented by these laws, it will have been more than worth it.

Okay, first things first Sanjay; the Supreme Court has ruled that criminals are not required to register their firearms and cannot be punished for failing to register, so what “stricter gun laws” would allow LEOs to “control and track weapons”? As for disincentive to abuse firearms, whatinthehell do you call current laws against assault and murder? Or are you suggesting that killing someone with a gun is somehow more heinous hacking them to death with a pickaxe while having “intense multiple orgasms with each blow”?

And Sanjay trots out the familiar “if it saves one life it will be worth it” argument. Except it isn’t an argument it is simply an idiotic appeal to emotion which completely ignores reality. Here’s some reality, Sanjay, California’s “safe storage” gun laws were directly responsible for the pitchfork stabbing deaths of 7-year-old John Carpenter and his 9-year-old sister Ashley. So if your idiotic laws save one life while costing two lives, are they worth it then?

Sanjay concludes:

I bet the Founding Fathers would have agreed, and in fact taken the lead in this process.

Then you are a complete moron, Sanjay because they had the opportunity to “take the lead” in this process and what did they do? They passed the Second Amendment, stating that

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

Seems pretty straightforward to me.


[1] L. Neil Smith: Letter to a Liberal Colleague

[2] L. Neil Smith: Letter to a Liberal Colleague

33 Responses to Sanjay Sanghoee Re-Imagines the Founders’ Intentions

  1. In 2009, 23 people died *daily* from motor vehicle collisions . That is not every week, or every month even-but every day. That’s almost double the Colorado incident’s casualty number *EVERY DAY*.

    Clearly, this is not a matter that is up for debate. We Americans have a driving problem and since automobiles were not in the Constitution at all, the government should enact common sense laws protecting us on our commute to work.

    15 day waiting periods for a car purchase sounds reasonable. Someone who’s going to get a DUI might take a bus instead!
    A 6 month police investigation as a condition to acquiring a permit to buy a car sounds like a great idea. This way car theives and wheelmen can’t get a car to commit crimes with.
    21 year age requirement for ownership of a car. Your parents or friends can sell you one if your 18, but Junior’s not buying a shiny 400 HP Camaro in his own name. He clearly cannot handle that kind of power output.

    Heck, most adults cant safely drive performance cars. How many Corvettes and Mustangs do you see wiping out , after all. Thus, no car can be sold in America if it has three of the following prohbited features:

    Low profile tires.
    200HP+ motor.
    less than 60″ ride height.
    Turbocharger
    Supercharger
    Nitrous Oxide System.

    Ownership of a vehicle capable of high speed driving is clearly unnecessary for civilian useage. You don’t need 400 HP and a limited slip differential to get to work. I support the need for people to drive,but only a poor driver needs a V8 pony car to get themselves to work on time.

    Law Enforcement being the highly trained drivers they are will of course not be subject to those restrictions in their cars.

  2. Bruce:

    I don’t understand his chart. FBI statistics show that the US homicide rate was 4.8 per 100K in 2010. This down from 9.8 in 1991. This chart shows a rate of about 8 per 100k in 1991 climbing to 10 per 100k in 2010. I think our friend Sanjay has the the dates backward.

    • Yeah, my bad guys; I forgot to uncouple the chart from my spreadsheet, so when I sorted the sheet on murder rates instead of years (to find out that 8 of the lowest fifteen were since 2000) it changed the chart in my essay.
      I’m still figuring out this whole interwebz thing; bear with me.

      P.S. The chart is now corrected

  3. i’m doing the charlie brown thing when i hear the grabbers speak. wah wah wah wah wah.
    it would catch me completely off gaurd if they said anything that made sense.

  4. Every time anti’s bring up repeating firearms, as if the founders never heard of such a thing, we should tell them about Lewis and Clark’s Girandoni air rifle that could fire 20-22 shots in quick succession with the power of a .45 acp. That’s how their expedition could traipse around the countryside without getting killed by the various Indian tribes they encountered. At that time they just hadn’t figured out how to create a repeating firearm using gunpowder. And the Girandoni was created in the 1779. See:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Girandoni_Air_Rifle and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-pqFyKh-rUI and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9WEsILY92o.

  5. I’m sick of control freaks who lie by telling us that they support the Second Amendment. The need to have the honor and the backbone to be honest. I would still disagree with them and would work against them, but I could then respect them. We can argue facts and values, but when one side insists on lying time and again, there’s no discussion possible. Of course, that’s working fine for our side.

  6. Bruce, another excellent article and I always take the time to read your posts.

    However, the “pitchfork stabbing deaths” is a stretch. There must be a better example

  7. While I agree with the sentiments expressed in the article in its entirety, as well as many of the finer details, I would like to offer one minor, technical suggestion: the pepperbox pictured appears to be a percussion cap model, not a flintlock that the article describes.

  8. A few things to point out first our founders had a moral society (mostly Christian based) and liberty and our Bill of Rights etc . will only work in a moral society. Plus they wrote about everything you could ever have a question on.. they understand that only people are evil and do evil things… It’s in fact a true moral issue.. guns are metal and plastic etc… to call something made of metal is TRUE WITCHCRAFT,,, so you can see how far we have come from basics ( we live in the time of Socialism/communism and lots of witchcraft) equals lots evil and so ALL our current problems… WE have the answers , our founders had the answers… and it’s called follow the Bible and God , and our problems go away….that is why any type of firearm was just another tool to be used, you can blow lots people up with black gun powder …. but they did not… again all our problems are MORAL ISSUES..

  9. “the national homicide rate in 2010 is only 4% above the 50 year low which occurred in 1963.”

    I know Nick is the resident mathematician, so we can run it past him, but the chart shows a greater than 100% increase in homicides per thousand between 1961 and 2010 (from 4.x per thousand to 10.x per thousand). If the chart is correct, it looks like our society is much more violent than than it was 50 years ago.

  10. Why do we have people wanting to punish us, the law abiding, for everything a criminal element does? We have laws about drinking and driving and people still do it. We have laws against drug use and abuse. Still happens. We even have speed limits, people still speed. Going back to biblical times and farther, it has been unlawful to commit murder. It still happens. The threat of even going to hell hasn’t kept it from happening. Whether its a gun, a car, drugs, knives, bats, etc…There will never be a Utopian world. Get over it. Ain’t going to happen. You need to see the world for what it is. A violent place. With violent people. Violent people who could care less about the law. The harder people like Sanjay Sanghoee make it for the law-abiding to live, the harder it is to live in peace.

    • There are a significant number of people out there who are basically control freaks who like to meddle in other people’s lives… to make us better.

      These people are everywhere. On the right, the most conspicuous are the ones who think the nation will be ruined if two consenting adults of the same gender happen to be wearing rings while getting it on. On the left, you can see quite a lot of people who think the government should re-distribute everyone’s wealth ‘for the greater good’.

      Some of the ones on the left have fixated on firearms as something that needs to be ‘regulated’ (read: banned) for the greater good. Despite being a fringe minority, they had a pretty effective run from roughly the 60s to the 90s, largely because they were organized, persistent, and determined. Oh, and they lied a lot.

      Fortunately for the Republicans, that particular flavor of control-freak gravitated towards the Democrats…. but there are plenty of control-freaks among the Republicans, they’re just fixated on issues the readers of this site pay less attention to.

      The control-freak tendency is the problem. Whoever said “It’s not about the guns, it’s about the control” nailed it.

  11. Here are the 2009 Mortality stats from the CDC . Released in December 2011.
    Homicides as a whole, not just firearms, is number 15.
    I feel their efforts to control something should be on the other 14.

    http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr60/nvsr60_03.pdf

    Mortality experience in 2009
    + In 2009, a total of 2,437,163 resident deaths were registered in the United States.
    + The age-adjusted death rate, which takes the aging of the population into account, was 741.1 deaths
    per 100,000 U.S. standard population.
    + Life expectancy at birth was 78.5 years.
    + The 15 leading causes of death in 2009 were:
    1. Diseases of heart (heart disease)
    2. Malignant neoplasms (cancer)
    3. Chronic lower respiratory diseases
    4. Cerebrovascular diseases (stroke)
    5. Accidents (unintentional injuries)
    6. Alzheimer’s disease
    7. Diabetes mellitus (diabetes)
    8. Influenza and pneumonia
    9. Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome and nephrosis (kidney disease)
    10. Intentional self-harm (suicide)
    11. Septicemia
    12. Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis
    13. Essential hypertension and hypertensive renal disease (hypertension)
    14. Parkinson’s disease
    15. Assault (homicide) really? You would have thought this one would be #1 by listening to the rhetoric in the Media.

  12. I’m loath to trust a gun grabber, and even more so when they cannot figure out how to make a chart with a proper legend.

  13. “…and insurrection that they lose their common sense and even their humanity in the face of these revolutionary fantasies.”

    Funny. IIRC inhuman revolutionary bloodbaths in the 20th century were usually in the name of equality and statism. Most libertarians I know can’t even revolt against fatty diets let alone the state. Easily manipulated mobs have killed more in history than middle-class individualists.

  14. Wow…I live right near Enoch Brown park and had no idea why it was called that. Learn something new every day!

    [Insert obligatory “stupid anti-gunner” comment here]

  15. Bruce, if you don’t know what the hell you are doing just back away from the computer. Where the hell did that chart come from? It’s a lying POS, virtually everything that it shows is wrong. It’s not hard to find this information, what leads you to invent this kind of garbage?

    The US homicide rate is back to the rate we had in about 1916. Which is when the state drug laws started getting passed and the murder rates started rising.

    http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/glance/hmrt.cfm

  16. Another day, another jackass.

    Always sickening when some tyrant who longs for oppressive control of others tries to bring the founding fathers into play, claiming that the nation’s champions of individual freedom would approve of tyranny. It’s bad enough such filth as this “person” is allowed to be called an American, now he taints the founders’ intentions with his nonsense.

  17. The fundamental flaw in the gun control argument is its assumption that stricter/tougher laws will prevent or deter violent crime. This assumption is simply not true. We used to have almost universal capital punshment for a number of crimes, including murder and cattle rustling. Did it stop murder or cattle rustling? No; it didn’t even put a dent in the rate. The simple FACT of the matter is that criminals are not considering the (potential) consequences of their misconduct at the time they commit their acts. Punishment, no matter how severe, does not deter or prevent crime. If you ask them, most criminals will tell you that think they thought they were going to get away with it when they commited a crime. Those who are deterred are those that would probably not commit a crime any way.
    No society in history has eradicated crime, and as long as we remain a viable and successful species, no society ever will. Society can punish past acts; no matter how strict the punishment, we cannot prevent crime without eliminating free will. Not long after Adam took a bite out of that apple, his son committed the first murder; and we haven’t improved since, even with the threat of eternal damnation.

  18. Gauging the opinions of the Founding Fathers towards gun control is not something to be done by imputing one’s own biases and views to them and imagining from there. They were lawmakers in their own time and records were kept of the laws they made. The laws they did make do not support Mr. Sanghoee’s conclusions in the slightest.

  19. Chicago. The answer is Chicago.

    All firearms in Illinois are mala prohibita. It requires a permit to own a firearm in Illinois. Posession, in your own home, requires a FOID (let that sink in for a second). For the first 45 days that I lived in Illinois, I COULD NOT have a gun in my home. I was absolutely defenseless.

    Once you apply for your FOID and waiting more than a month for a permit to arrive, you cannot just go buy a gun. There is another 24 hour waiting period on long guns and 72 hours on handguns.

    Illinois is the last state to continue a ban on concealed carry of all forms, may or shall issue. Carrying a firearm outside your home requires it being locked in a case and unloaded.

    Inside of Illinois, Chicago has even tougher gun laws. To posess a handgun in Chicago requires a permit beyond the FOID issued by the State of Illinois. The Chicago permit requires fingerprints, two photos, a FOID, training, and $100.

    It’s a lot like getting a CCW from Florida or Utah, but the permit allows you to only have the gun in your home. It is a process that is designed by Chicago bureaucrats to make it so difficult to posess a handgun in Chicago that most people will not try to get a permit (and therefore not own a handgun) or will have their applications rejected (and therefore not own a handgun). TTAG covered this pretty well: http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2011/09/robert-farago/chicago-playing-silly-buggers-with-range-restrictions-again-still/

    There is a $15 fee to register each handgun, which must be done once a year, forever. If you miss the registration renewal, the gun cannot be re-registered, and must be removed from the city. On top of that, magazines over 10 rounds are banned. The Chicago AWB is even stricter then California’s, with all “assault rifles” being illegal. No “bullet button” or “thumb-hole stock” exemptions. If it is built on an AR, AK, M14/M1A, or other military style rifle receiver, it is banned. A California legal AR15 will get you sent to jail in Chicago. Don’t forget, until a few years ago, handguns were completely banned in Chicago.

    And what have all of these “reasonable” gun control laws gotten us in Chicago?

    Every Monday, Illinois news papers start with headlines like “2 Dead, 15 Wounded*” “6 Killed, 36 Wounded**” “7 Dead, 24 Wounded***” and “9 Killed, 37 Hurt****”

    The most firearms restrictive city in the most firearms restrictive state in the union has had more than 350 murders in the summer of 2012.

    Chicago proves that gun control does not work. Magazine capacity bans do not stop 48 people***** from getting shot in a weekend. Mala prohibita laws that make law abiding citizens bend over backwards to remain in compliance to own something from a limited list of approved firearms DOES NOT reduce crime.

    Whenever an anti-gunner goes on stage or TV to say it is time for “common sense” gun control, the gun owning community needs to yell, in unison: “CHICAGO! If your laws really worked, then explain to us Chicago!”

    * http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/09/02/2-dead-15-wounded-in-weekend-shootings/
    ** http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/08/19/6-killed-30-wounded-in-weekend-shootings/
    *** http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/6-Dead-23-Wounded-in-Weekend-Violence-167419075.html
    **** http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/9-Killed-37-Hurt-in-Weekend-Chicago-Shootings-167531715.html
    ***** http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/11/chicago-shootings-8-dead-_n_1586322.html

    • The only addition I would like to make to your post is that there IS limited concealed carry allowed in Chicago. Politicians are allowed by law to carry concealed to protect themselves from their constituents and voters. Though why they need protection from dead people escapes me.

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