“It’s all happened before. It will certainly happen again,” David Frum admits over at thedailybeast.com. “And after the recall vote in Colorado on September 10, it seems more certain than ever that nothing will be done to prevent it.” Will be or can be? Interesting . . . Frum goes on to assume that the NRA’s stance on mass shootings—wait until everything settles down before issuing a statement—is the way of the People of the Gun. “Gun enthusiasts say it is inappropriate to talk about gun violence at the time it occurs. Better to wait … and wait … and wait … until time has passed, and the weeping next of kin have vanished from TV, and it’s safe to return to business as usual. The idea of the gun enthusiasts is that the way to show respect for the victims of gun violence is to do everything possible to multiply their number.” Whoa David, that’s a bit extreme. Maybe you should cool off a bit. Still, that particular piece of hyperbole isn’t as bad as the next ‘graph . . .

Yet the gun enthusiasts do have one point on their side: for all the horror of these massacres, they are only a small part of the story of gun violence in America. Most casualties of gun violence will not die at the hands of a mentally disturbed killer seeking random victims. Most gun casualties occur in the course of quarrels and accidents between people who would be described as “law-abiding, responsible gun owners” up until the moment that they lost their temper or left a weapon where a four-year-old could find it and kill himself or his sister.

Well see that’s just wrong. Most gun casualties are suicides. After that, it’s gang bangers. After that, well, statistically, you can round down all other firearms-related deaths to zero, ’cause statistically they’re irrelevant. Painful. Tragic. But in terms of public safety, irrelevant. Firearms-related death—accidental or intentional—doesn’t even make the top 15 causes of death.

What needs doing to curb “gun violence”? Other than ending the War on Drugs and enforcing existing laws against criminal use of a firearm (making sure that persistent offenders are incarcerated early, often and for a long while), nothing. Not a damn thing.

How’s that for not waiting to talk about gun control? But when it comes to gun rights—as in the natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms—Frum blows the dust off his collection of anti-gun agit-prop and plays Baby You Can Drive My Car.

As David Hemenway notes in his study Private Guns, Public Health, Americans have experienced similar debates in the recent past. “Cars don’t kill people; bad drivers kill people,” could have been the slogan of the auto industry when it resisted safety regulation in the 1960s. The garment industry could have argued: “Flammable pajamas don’t kill children; careless smokers kill children.” And so on. Every accident has many causes, of course, and public safety progresses by addressing each one. To reduce car fatalities, we both installed seat belts and cracked down on drunk driving. Child deaths by fire have been reduced both because pajamas are safer and because adults smoke less.

Likewise, better mental-health provision would contribute to the reduction of gun massacres. But America’s uniquely grisly record of gun death cannot be addressed without addressing guns.

Flammable pajamas. That’s a new one. And a good one. You know, for the gun rights crowd.

Anyway, here’s something about guns we can address about gun control right now: it failed. If some of the workers at the Navy Yard  had been armed, one of them could have taken out the shooter before the cops arrived. If not, they sure as Hell would have slowed him down. Maybe even made him choose another target. Am I wrong?

25 Responses to David Frum: “Let’s Not Wait to Talk About Gun Control”

  1. You’re not wrong, but at this point (and you can take that as “at this point after the current incident” or “at this point in history;” they’re equally true) the two sides are just shouting past each other.

  2. Clearly these anti gun fanatics have fine tuned their anti gun red herrings and perfected their rhetoric to misdirect reasoned thought and co-opt the sheeple of this country.

  3. Why were there no armed guards at a US military facility at a time when we are engaged in armed conflict with terrorists around the world?

    The lack of security evident at the Navy Yard facility boggles my mind.

      • Update to my previous comment: allegedly there was a single armed guard, whom the perp shot and used as a one-stop arms upgrade shop.

        If one guy with a shotgun could defeat building security to the point that he could take down 11+ more unarmed personnel, then I’m still going to go with the position that the facility was insufficiently protected against armed threats.

        • Having seen the quality of the Keystone Cops (aka HS/Fed PD) at the Fed site where I work as a contractor, I tend to agree. There, all that stands (sits) between a walk-on shooter and our office-lined killing floor is one pistol-packing 300lb Krispy Kreme connoisseur. On the bright side, my life-insurance policy payment is auto-deducted early each month.

  4. Armed guards at military facilities are not needed, because under the current administration terrorist attacks do not happen…here or anywhere else.

  5. See, he’s counting gang-bangers as “responsible gun owners”. SEE? 🙁 Why can’t you just be reasona… I mean, “reasonable” and go along with this sorry charade? ADMIT you’ve be safer without a gun around! After all, David Frum thinks so… and he’s a “reasonable person”!!

    He’s right about one thing: he admits mass shootings are a tiny fragment of shootings nationwide: about 60-65 per annum, on average, and easily half of those are gang shootings.

    So, about thirty a year, while bee stings alone kill about seven times that number. “Bee control”, anyone? “Stairway control”? “Pool control”?

    Death is a way of life everywhere; you can’t legislate longevity (not with Obamacare, you can’t) and you can’t keep everybody safe, and the idea that these people want to keep you safe in the first place is laughable. LIARS. DECEIVERS. MURDERERS.

  6. Talk about gun control all you want, David. Just keep your grubby little hands off my fvcking guns and we’ll get along fine.

    • Frum-hole just feels he has to give his input on everything and well, most people don’t really give a crap what he thinks. Still though, the comments on the Daily Beast really bring out the kooks. Reading some of the boiler plate crap over there, you’d think that the NRA is 10 guys in a dark room lighting cigars with $100 bills and they all look like the cigarette-smoking man from the X Files.

      Oh well, funny thing is I had exercised my rights this morning before I had heard anything about this to order a Seekins Precision lower for a long-term build.

  7. He probably wouldn’t have even tried to go there.Wonder if they are gonna find that this guy had a screw lose?This one won’t garner the same attention as Sandy Hook,due to the MSM will calm it down due to him being black,Some white folks must have done him wrong,I can see it coming.Be prepared and ready.Keep your powder dry.

    • I don’t know for certain, Alex, but I would not be surprised if many civilian employees didn’t work at the Navy Yard, also.

  8. Let’s talk about it, Frum. How people like you would make every decent person fish in a barrel for terrorists, the deranged, tyrants, and the just plain evil. Let’s talk about how your reflex to solve every problem is to rob good people of their constitutionally protected freedoms and blame them for what wicked people do. What is wrong with you? Let people defend themselves, yes even at work, and this crap will stop.

  9. Regarding flammable pajamas: it was decided that cotton, which burns to ash, was not suitable for full-cut pajamas because these kinds of pajamas were likely to catch on fire when the wearer brushes past open flame. So cotton got treated with flame retardants, which turned out to have negative health consequences. Now pajamas have to be made of either 100% static cling synthetic material, which doesn’t burn so much as it melts onto the child’s skin, or it has to be so tight that you can’t even put it on, prompting parents to buy the next size up, which makes the pajamas baggy again. Thus we see, and can bow before, the utter effectiveness of laws about flammable pajamas.

  10. One thing on the War on Drugs, but that might also have actually helped the gun rights cause, because by reducing drug violence from use of hard drugs, it has thus reduced a lot of gun violence. We have seen a reduction in gun violence alongside the war on drugs since it began. So is the WoD really a bad thing?

  11. Frum goes on to assume that the NRA’s stance on mass shootings—wait until everything settles down before issuing a statement—is the way of the People of the Gun. “Gun enthusiasts say it is inappropriate to talk about gun violence at the time it occurs. Better to wait … and wait … and wait … until time has passed, and the weeping next of kin have vanished from TV, and it’s safe to return to business as usual.”

    It seems Frum has read “Preventing gun violence through effective messaging.” He is clearly playing the emotional card instead of the logic card:

    http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/748675/gun-violencemessaging-guide-pdf-1.pdf

    “Cars don’t kill people; bad drivers kill people,” could have been the slogan of the auto industry when it resisted safety regulation in the 1960s. The garment industry could have argued: “Flammable pajamas don’t kill children; careless smokers kill children.” And so on. Every accident has many causes, of course, and public safety progresses by addressing each one. To reduce car fatalities, we both installed seat belts and cracked down on drunk driving. Child deaths by fire have been reduced both because pajamas are safer and because adults smoke less.”

    Wow. What a crock of garbage. If it wasn’t so ludicrous I might have managed a sly giggle and some minor furtive flatulence, alas no. I was disappointed and left unsatisfied, bereft of any meaningful substance. Lets look at it:

    So to reduce car fatalities they installed seatbelts in cars… ok. Child deaths by fire have been reduced because pajamas are safer… ok. So they made their products safer. Guns have safeties also. In fact guns are safe if you follow some simple common sense rules. Did the auto industry make cars safer by taking cars away from people? Making legislation that required that all cars are to be registered even if they are on private property never to be driven on public roads? Did they require background checks for people selling those cars? Did they take the pajamas from the children? Registration and background checks for pajamas? No. So what is Frum’s solution… wait for it…Background checks, registration, various gun and accessory bans for the owners of the guns.

  12. I don’t have talks with traitorous sub-humans about giving away my natural rights. I speak when there’s a purpose, so why waste breath on him?

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