The folks at the NPR program ‘Here & Now’ do a God-awful job at covering up their desire to cram new gun control regulations down the throats of Americans. They speak in calm and even tones, but everything from their choice of phrases to their choice of guests proves that they couldn’t care less about an impartial view on the day’s news. On Friday their guest was Paul Barrett, author of the recent GLOCK history, and together they mourned the lack of “progress” on gun control in the United States following Newtown. And in trying to explain the failure of their civilian disarmament efforts, they fell back on some of the favorite (and widely disproven) groupthink of the Civilian Disarmament Industrial Complex . . .

Democrats (and liberals in general) feel that they’ve “won” the debate when they’ve aligned themselves with the biggest group, as outlined in an amazingly interesting piece I recently ran across. So naturally, the first order of the day is to try to downplay the popularity of guns in the United States.

BARRETT: Well, they got a vote at the federal level, but the mere fact that the president was pleading for a vote, as opposed to charting a course toward actually winning that vote, showed you the politically vulnerable position he was actually in. The president suffered a defeat on Capitol Hill, and we got no significant change in federal gun control rules as a result of the atrocity at Newtown.

The pro-gun forces, even though they may be a minority in the country overall, are a very, very well-organized minority. And the way Congress is structured right now, it is not possible to pass significant gun control at the federal level.

Having said that, there was considerable progress in blue states at the state level, where laws were passed to put in place some of the kinds of restrictions that Obama sought to enact at the federal level.

HOBSON: And, of course, the primary opponent to gun control measures was Wayne LaPierre, who leads the National Rifle Association. We remember his press conference right after Newtown and his appearance on “Meet the Press.” He was saying there should be armed police officers in every school.

And we transition into the second major objective for any good gun control advocate: the demonization of the evil National Rifle Association. Nevermind the fact that it’s an organization backed by over 5 million Americans, the talking point about the NRA being funded by gun manufacturers and only wanting to boost sales over the dead bodies of American citizens comes before any logic.

HOBSON: So why weren’t the president and other Democrats able to get more of the American people on their side in favor of stronger gun control measures?

BARRETT: I think there’s a couple ways to look at this. One, I think you need to look at the larger sociological backdrop, the larger mood of the country. In the immediate wake of any kind of mass shooting, of course people are horrified. But once the horror has subsided slightly, there’s a larger sociological truth that, to some degree, undercuts any push for stiffer gun control, and that is that, overall, violent crime is coming down in this country, and has been for many years.

In other words, overall, we are a safer country. Fewer people are killing each other with guns. In that environment, it actually is more difficult to stand up, as a politician, and say what we need to do now is add restrictions on how law-abiding people are able to acquire firearms. So that’s, I think, the first step of the answer.

And within the president’s own party, the Democratic Party, he had a number of members of the Senate from red states who were unwilling to go along with him, because they were unwilling to face the wrath of pro-gun forces in their home states. We have a very large country, and attitudes towards firearms are very different.

And if you’re in Alaska or Idaho or Arkansas, even if you’re a Democrat, you’re likely to be very, very pro-gun. So, even if the president is of the same party that nominally controls the Senate, that does not mean he’s going to be able to tell the Senate what to do on this issue. And the other part of the Capitol Building, the House, that’s run by the Republicans.

This is the point in the discussion where Hobson and Barrett run out of Democratic gun control advocacy talking points, and the reason is that if the talking points were actually true then they would have won. But they didn’t, and now they’re slowly facing the reality of the situation where their opinion is in the minority and Americans disagree with their proposed solutions.

The interview aired on Friday, which means that there was sufficient time for Barrett to check in on the latest polling numbers. And according to CNN, the percentage of people in the United States who support gun control has dropped to 49%. So while Barrett might like to claim that gun ownership is on the decline and gun control is inevitable, the reality of the situation is that the opinion of the program (that increased gun control is necessary) is the one that’s in the minority and on the decline. They’re in the wrong group.

And the reason for their decline in popularity might have something to do with the lack of facts that supports their position. Even Barrett is forced to admit that the proposals put forward by gun control advocates just don’t make sense.

HOBSON: So Paul Barrett, answer that question. How do we live in a country that allows this to keep happening?

BARRETT: Well, the problem is that the very heartfelt emotion expressed by Ms. Watts there, who as it happens I spoke to yesterday at some length about all of these issues, while completely understandable at an emotional level, really doesn’t take you very far in policy terms or in practical terms, and here’s why.

Let’s look at the Navy Yard shooting as an example. Really nothing that Ms. Watts has been pushing in terms of banning assault weapons or magazine capacity would have had any bearing whatsoever on that horrific incident at the Navy Yard. The weapon used was an old-fashioned shotgun, a long gun that is on no one’s ban list. In fact, it’s the exact kind of gun that Vice President Biden suggested earlier this year was the kind of long gun that everyone should have in their home, and he said he had advised his wife to use if she heard a rustling out in the front yard, she should go out on the porch and fire off a couple of rounds.

So this illustrates that in a country that is already permeated by gun ownership, where the civilian possession of guns is seen as commonplace, it’s simply not as easy, and shouldn’t be as easy, to simply say this isn’t the country I want to live in, I want to live in a different and better country. That just doesn’t take you anywhere.

In the case of the Navy Yard shooting, I think the only direct, applicable thing to talk about is mental health treatment, is how could this man, who had been identified as someone who was unstable, the police had had an eye on him in the days and weeks prior to this shooting, you know, why was it that he hadn’t been involuntarily taken in to custody and given some type of treatment, whether he wanted it or not.

Now, if you want to talk about that, I think that’s a very practical approach, but talking about assault weapons or the horror of the fact that some people like guns really has nothing to do with what happened at the Navy Yard.

It’s kinda refreshing to see such staunch liberals take a realistic look at why their prized political movements are failing so dismally. Especially when the answer they’re getting is “because your opinions aren’t based on actual facts.” Barrett continues:

HOBSON: OK, but you would also have people say, well, why shouldn’t we just have universal background checks.

BARRETT: I’m all for it, but I’m not – but universal background checks wouldn’t do a darn thing…

HOBSON: In that case.

BARRETT: In that case or in most of the cases of these mass shootings. They wouldn’t have done anything to Adam Lanza up in Newtown either. All of those guns were legally purchased and legally in the home of that disturbed young man. So you see, unless you’re proposing actually confiscating guns, or you’re talking about, you know, people not being allowed to buy guns at all, OK, those very extreme proposals might have bearing on these situations.

But talking about tinkering with the rules of how we lawfully acquire guns doesn’t address the mass shootings situations, and I think it’s also the case that it doesn’t really have much to do with violent crime on the streets on a day-to-day basis. I am not arguing against universal background checks, in fact I’ve written over and over in favor of universal background checks.

What really warms my heart is that you can hear the frustration in Hobson’s voice in the interview. He thought that gun control was a slam dunk, and now he’s reeling from the impact of reality slamming him in the face.

75 Responses to NPR Shocked Gun Control Efforts Failed, Interviews Paul Barrett to Find Out Why

  1. I like NPR, and even though it does lean left, I find the programming to more tolerable than other talk radio. That bring said, “Here & Now” isn’t one of my favorite programs.

      • NPR is a great place to go if you want to hear about how a Sri Lankan coffee plantation is crowd-sourcing its funding to build a new school for single mothers who were raised by adoptive gay parents. Put as many obscure characters into a story, add in some urbanite NYC liberal assumptions, stir and voila.

      • Nick,

        Thank you for posting the link to the blog entries about touching the raw amygdala. I read about of an hour of it (and some of it a second time.) It really puts a name on something I’ve observed my whole life, but just didn’t realize exactly what I’ve been seeing.

        I will finish the rest of them over morning coffee. I am looking forward to the future posts on the topic. There is a ton of truth there.

    • I enjoy their non-news programs, e.g. Car Talk. Everything else I quit listening to shortly after the “You Didn’t Build That” speech. They were upset that Romney was using excerpts in campaign ads and that the excerpts were mis-representing Obama’s actual words. So they played the whole speech so that their listeners “could form their own opinion.” When put in context, Romney’s excerpts were the most conservative parts of the entire speech….

      • Are you saying that the attack ads used after that speech didn’t take what was said out of context? Because I’m sorry they did. I certainly am not a fan of Obama, but saying that ANY politician has clean hands when it comes to a chance to make the other guys remarks look worse than they really were is naive.

    • I used to donate yearly to my PBS station as I believed in a media station payed for by the people. After their coverage last year crucifying gun owners like myself I decided they could FOAD before they got another cent out of me. Keep in mind my donation level qualified me for way beyond the minimum membership level. The local PBS station didn’t even call me to find out why. So instead, I took the funds and bought a Larue PredatAR.

    • Even with the slight left bias, it’s still heads and shoulders above most of the talk radio out there.

      However, I do avoid Diane Rehm like the plague though. She doesn’t even make the attempt to veil her opinion about the second amendment, and it also reflects in the callers they allow on.

      • Diane Rehm would still be terrible even if she could talk right. She sounds like the crazy old lady in the apartment down the hall that tapes “Milk Causes Cancer” flyers to everyone’s door. Someone liked her flyers and gave her a radio show, where she frequently interrupts guests and dismisses the opinions of “expert” guests, substituting them with her own. Then her vocal chords exploded, and they STILL try to keep her on air.

    • I detest listening to NPR because they’re so ignorant of science, math & engineering. Listening to NPR cover any technical story is almost guaranteed to raise my blood pressure. There’s only so much preening arrogance an educated man can handle, and NPR regularly exceeds my limits.

      They’re the classic bunch of well-spoken, know-nothing liberal arts majors that make a hash of public policy at all levels of government – except that NPR’s liberal arts majors can’t be troubled to run for office. They want to hector and bullyrag (in those processed audio tones so characteristic of NPR stations) their educational cohort in elected offices into pursuing their agenda.

      They’re a pestilence upon the republic.

  2. I don’t know anymore. So many people are ignorant about buying guns (“What do you mean, they call the FBI?”) and what a background check is(Hint: It ain’t a crystal ball). I had someone actually use the scene in the Halloween remake of Malcolm McDowell buying a gun as PROOF! of how easy it is to buy a gun. I pointed out Illinois has a 72 hour waiting period and the whole FOID thing but then it’s on to “the internet! You can buy a gun without a background check on the internet!” Where? I ask. “On the internet!” I can also buy drugs, whores and real live human slaves on the internet too. So pass another law.
    …the hell is my point?

    • I don’t know, but keep making it. You’re making more sense than this NPR puke. And that scene from the movie. I’ve had to correct people on that one also. Amazing the number of people that think hollywood has accurate facts in their movies.

  3. So that idiot is all for universal background checks but admits they won’t do squat. Then why the hell have universal background checks? Their lack of any form of logic is astounding, absurd, and frightening.

    • UBC did stop the Santa Monica shooter from buying an off the shelf AR. So they do work as they’re designed to do. Its just there are other ways of getting weapons….Adam Lanza showed up one way, the SM shooter with his 80% non-firearm another, there’s gun shops that sell under the table to those who can’t pass a UBC, illegal buys on the street (straw purchasers that NYC is so familiar with), and the old standby of taking them during a burglary.

      If the front door is closed, if you look around long enough you’ll find a window.

  4. So, gun-rights supporters are the minority, but some how progun politicians keep getting elected in our first past the post elections and anti gun politicians are getting booted.

    Because that makes sense.

    I guess our democratic system is failing.

    Also, I thought the whole schitck of the left was that minority communities are under represented and that they are in need of special protections…

    • Just like the link he posted in the beginning of the article; Liberals fight using emotion and yelling “They’re the minority!” hoping lemmings believe that they, infact, ARE the minority and thus mus side with the majority to win.

    • That’s why I think the POTG need to start singing “We Shall Overcome” at gun rallies and pro-(and ESPECIALLY anti-) gun demonstrations!

      Think about it. Eventually, the TV stations will pick up on it.

  5. Even if these fools passed any of these silly laws, they still wouldn’t stop evil murderers from committing these mass shootings. I’ve gone through so many background checks that it almost made my head spin. My state requires these checks just to leave the house(not really but it could happen) and I’m so used to them that it no longer matters. I don’t want these silly checks forced on people who live in the free states in our country. I’m just unlucky enough to live in one of the COMMIE states that know how we should live our life, so I’m pretty screwed because I can’t just pick up and leave to one of the free states. Maybe one day I’ll escape my COMMIE rulers, but for now I have to be a good little sheep.

    • Work to overthrow the masters from inside the system. Become politically active. Write your elected representatives [sic]. Vote, and get others to do that too. Up the Revolution!

    • They don’t give a rat’s fig about stopping murder and violence! What they care about is getting your guns and mine. True story.

      • “…or the horror of the fact that some people like guns”

        The NPR leftie just asserted that gun rights supporters “simply aren’t our kind of people”. Does he also instruct his children to shun other kids whose homes might contain guns, not as a safety issue but as a means of social ostracism?

  6. I see a silver lining here. More and more, the left is acknowledging the realistic limitations of gun control. It is better than the avalanche of discredited Kellerman studies and lies that we got right after Newtown.

  7. …or the horror of the fact that some people like guns really has nothing to do with what happened at the Navy Yard.

    Yes, it is so horrifying that some people actually LIKE guns!

    Making sure people support gun rights though isn’t predicated per se on people owning them, no more than support for same-sex marriage is predicated on people being gay or support for free speech is predicated on people being authors or journalists. The ideal is for gun ownership to be considered a right in society as protected as speech, regardless of whether one owns guns or not.

    And I disagree that gun rights supporters are any minority. We are (thank goodness) right now, a majority, although not per se in the blue states unfortunately. But membership numbers of the NRA are not the number of gun rights supporters.

    • Tanking ratings! That’s a huge understatement CNN and MSNBC have lost viewers in DROVES in the last year, particularly. I forget the figure I read – something like a million viewers between them? When will Comcast be forced to bail on MSNBC?

  8. I suspect CNN deleted it because it scared the crap out of them, but I once commented on an UBG article last spring that the more laws they pass the EASIER they make it to simply buy a gun on the black market. NYC is of course the perfect example. All one needs, of course, is the money. Capitalism, pure and simple.

    Tom

  9. I used to listen to NPR on the way to work for the news and chuckled at the plummy self satisfied tone of the we-who-are-so-much-smarter-than-you opinion and feature writers. Then I heard Daniel Schurr on the morning of 9-11-01 reflexively blaming America and stopped listening. Nothing I have read since including this account gives me any reason to go back. The progressives and libtards are drinking their own bathwater and I see no reason to waste my breath trying to share facts or reason with them as a group.

  10. When the gun haters were all running around like their hair was on fire, they were easy prey for the NRA and got crushed in the Senate. And while they had their unexpected victories in Colorado, they paid a major comeuppance. Three gun haters booted from office, and all the King’s money couldn’t help them.

    But now, they’re starting to “get it.” They’re starting to realize that their specious claims about making us safer if only we accepted “reasonable” magazine limits and “universal” background checks have become laughable even to the uninformed.

    They’re getting smarter, and that only makes them better and more devious gun haters. I find that very disturbing.

    • Just one of the many forces of evil and tyranny in the world. They have always been there, and they always will be. Stay frosty.

  11. There are a few programs on NPR that I like. NCPR is our local station and they have weekly blues, blue grass and R&B music I enjoy.

    What warms my heart is sucking my donation-free electrons out of the air during fund raising weeks.

    • I listen to my local NPR station for the classical music. But their “beg-a-thons” are merely all the commercials they missed during the preceding six months broadcast back-to-back with short programming breaks. It sounds more like North Korean radio.

  12. The MOOD of the country? lol.

    The MOOD of the country is thus: Obama barely won 2012 by less than 5%. Out of all that voted, half don’t like him, and I guarantee that they REALLY don’t like him.

    The “mood” of the country is far more dire than this idiot Barrett believes – it is not just about guns. Half of the country (if not more) just plain does not trust the federal government, at all, zilch, zero, nada.

    I used to laugh at conspiracy theorists. I used to be an Obama supporter. I used to say that everything would be great when Bush left office, and we got a democrat that respected the people back into office. I used to laugh at people that thought Obama would try to go for more gun bans. I used to laugh at people that thought Obamacare meant the destruction of the health care system and skyrocketing costs.

    I was wrong about ALL OF THAT.

    I thank Obama for helping me come to that realization.

    • This warms my cynical heart. The facts changing a mind, I was not sure at all if people were paying any attention to the facts.

    • ^^^
      Multiply this shattering experience of profound disillusionment by the millions and you have a primary cause of Obama’s approval ratings’ slide into the basement.

      The wanton assault upon a cornerstone of American freedom in the context of generally increasing suspicion of the federal government caused many fence sitters to hop down onto our side. Heck, I saw some people jump clear over the fence from one side to the other.

      Obama will never admit how badly he blew it when he went after the Second Amendment.

      • TBH the turning point for me was the supreme court decision on Obamacare. I completely doubted that the supreme court would rule that we should be forced to purchase a broken, shite product. Before that, I watched Obamacare get pushed through congress without even being read. Listening to Nancy Pelosi on the floor was a HOLY FUCK moment.

        Going after the 2A, I was already absolutely fed up with Obama and his administration already, but that sealed the deal. It all went downhill from there, and now I would be a BILLION times more likely to vote for a Libertarian or Republican than a Democrat, and I grew up in a mostly Democrat household.

        I know both parties are shite by and large, but I now see the Democrats for the fakes and frauds that they are, and feel ashamed that for so many years I thought of them as “the good guys.”

        My dad is now a “never again” abandoner of the Democrats as well, though my mom – like most other middle-aged female Democrats – still loves old Barry and anyone else with a D next to their name, because “they just want to help.”

    • That amazingly interesting piece is…amazingly interesting.

      Most of it is insightful and very useful, even though the liberalism-as-mental-disease part is complete garbage. The author has made a big mistake in trying to highlight “the aberrant nature of the Liberal psychology within the human race”; r-selection isn’t an aberration, it’s a beneficial adaptation to a particular set of evolutionary circumstances. Combine it with unbalanced fear and you get the malignant narcissism he so often references, but liberalism isn’t any kind of defect. It’s just a very different way of processing emotional and rational stimuli. Liberals are emotional in ways that conservatives aren’t and rational about things that conservatives emotionally reject. It cuts both ways.

      Despite the ideological missteps, the author seems to have an unusual grasp of what makes the liberal emotions tick. Anyone who wants to know how to “win” an argument with a hardcore liberal (that is, reduce one to incoherent rage) or get a moderate one to see your point of view should read it.

  13. And once again. Who do the grabbers consider the 800 pound gorilla in the room? Me? You? Leonard Embody? No. The NRA.

  14. The ANTIs are still at it it and winning in large urban areas. WE need to keep up the resistance and educate all who we can reach. They (YKWTA) will not stop until the only ones with guns are the criminals and the government (I know its difficult to tell them apart sometimes). Or their body guards.
    The truth IMHO is that til someone suffers at the hands of a criminal most never even think of the tools needed to prevent such suffering whether it be training, OPSEC, vigilance or just situational awareness. These are basic tools that inherently help to avoid US from becoming victims.

  15. What do “So you see, unless you’re proposing actually confiscating guns, or you’re talking about, you know, people not being allowed to buy guns at all, OK, those very extreme proposals might have bearing on these situations,” AND “a busty maiden manning a Minigun on my mansion,” have in common???

    They’re both not-so-secret desires that will never actually come to fruition!

  16. I listen to NPR every morning on my way to work (45-minute commute). I enjoy much of the programming, but I don’t donate. This is why.

  17. Gun control is like republicans with gay marriage… everyone can see they are full of shit and don’t have a leg to stand on when they talk about it… They just seem like a-holes without reason for their position…

    Gun owners need to come out of the closet and debate them more, call them on their logical fallacy bs.

  18. It is just as the Anonymous Conservative says: Liberals don’t care about truth or honor or anything but winning people to their side. Building consensus for their false premise is all.

  19. Not sure how you “happened” upon the Anonymous Conservative’s piece about debating liberals and touching the raw amygdala – I’ve only been posting links here to it for about 3 months now almost daily.

    It’s about time one of you guys started noticing it! His concepts are very uniquely applicable to fighting gun control.

      • ok not almost daily, I didn’t want to get kicked off for being a huge pain in the behind and being repetitive.

        but yes, I have posted the link a Real Lot. Over 30 times … at least. 🙂 so it is nice that someone seems to have noticed. I guess I need to ramp up my frequency a bit, maybe a few more of you will take the time to take a look.

        • I’m not sure where I first saw the link, but I followed one several weeks ago and I’m glad I did. I’m willing to assume it was one of yours.

          My one big problem with the articles is the author’s assumption that liberalism is an aberrant mental condition; that’s a fundamental misunderstanding of r/K selection theory.

          Still, he has good insight into the way liberals process emotions and information — especially the raw core of fear beneath hardcore liberalism. Great practical techniques.

  20. “the pro-gun forces, even though they may be a minority in the country overall”

    It is frustrating for the gatekeepers of ms.-information who lead the diverse groups and organizations (from the Left and the Right) seeking to control public opinion that the Internet provides the average citizen with access to more direct and comprehensive information making average citizens less dependent on CNN, NYT, NPR, etc.

  21. “HOBSON: So Paul Barrett, answer that question. How do we live in a country that allows this to keep happening?”

    How come crazy people and criminals can get hold of guns and kill people?

    Because they aren’t in institutions or jail.

  22. When I was a minor under my parent’s care, I remember them saying more than once, “And if everyone pooped in the middle of the street, would you do it too?” It was there way of teaching me that, while there is a strong and natural yearning to be part of your community, right and wrong still constrains your actions even if a majority of people are doing something.

  23. “The pro-gun forces, even though they may be a minority in the country overall, are a very, very well-organized minority.”

    So are gay-rights groups, but liberals never complain about them. I find no fault with those rights since half my friends are gay and the expansion of rights is usually a good thing.

    The only difference here is the expansion of the latter and the infringement on the former, and we must not allow that, for various reasons.

  24. “… to simply say this isn’t the country I want to live in, I want to live in a different and better country.”

    Move to England. Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

    “We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.” (Sam Adams, 8/1/1776)

  25. I think it’s clear now that gun control will not be successful on the federal level. The move has and will continue to be at the state level, where it has been extremely successful in being approved. These are generally blue/purple states, but demographic changes will impact more conservative states as well. There will be holdout red states, but nothing a little hard dealing with much need highway and infrastructure money can’t handle.

    Combine this with another horrific mass shooting (only a matter of time) and public support will be back at Newtown levels or higher.

    If you deny all of this, you are denying reality.

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