On April 5th, 1996, Charles Krauthammer gave his reasons for supporting the 1994 Clinton Assault Weapon Ban.  The column was called “Disarm the Citizenry, But Not Yet.” in the Washington Post.

Ultimately, a civilized society must disarm its citizenry if it is to have a modicum of domestic tranquillity of the kind enjoyed in sister democracies like Canada and Britain. Given the frontier history and individualist ideology of the United States, however, this will not come easily. It certainly cannot be done radically. It will probably take one, maybe two generations. It might be 50 years before the United States gets to where Britain is today . . .

Passing a law like the assault weapons ban is a symbolic — purely symbolic — move in that direction. Its only real justification is not to reduce crime but to desensitize the public to the regulation of weapons in preparation for their ultimate confiscation. Its purpose is to spark debate, highlight the issue, make the case that the arms race between criminals and citizens is as dangerous as it is pointless.

De-escalation begins with a change in mentality. And that change in mentality starts with the symbolic yielding of certain types of weapons. The real steps, like the banning of handguns, will never occur unless this one is taken first, and even then not for decades.

The column came to mind because even the Bloomberg-funded Moms Demand Aciton has decided  – for now – to step away from the idiotic “Assault Weapon Ban” for much the same reasons that Krauthammer mentioned:

While many gun control groups still officially support the assault weapons ban — “we haven’t abandoned the issue,” as Watts said — they’re no longer actively fighting for it.

Krauthammer has changed his stance a little since then. This is from his column “The roots of mass murder” published in December of 2012:

I have no problem in principle with gun control. Congress enacted (and I supported) an assault weapons ban in 1994. The problem was: It didn’t work. (So concluded a University of Pennsylvania study commissioned by the Justice Department.) The reason is simple. Unless you are prepared to confiscate all existing firearms, disarm the citizenry and repeal the Second Amendment, it’s almost impossible to craft a law that will be effective.

But Krauthammer has never really explained why he thinks that gun bans are necessary for domestic tranquillity.  They have never reduced the homicide rate anywhere else. The homicide rate in England increased with more gun control, including homicides with guns. Nowhere have gun bans been shown to decrease homicide rates. The closest place is Australia, where a massive, intrusive, gun control scheme was pushed onto the public in a rush after a mass shooting in 1996. The legislation had been planned in advance, just waiting for the right event to implement it.

The only problem is that even academics agree: the legislation had no effect on Australia’s homicide rate, which was already dropping before the ban.

An excellent counterexample is Switzerland, which had far less gun control than the United States for decades, up until 1998. Facing immense pressure from the European Union to impose restrictive gun laws, Switzerland implemented gun control that brought it close to the United States in some areas, more restrictive in some ways, less restrictive in others. Yet Switzerland has always had one of the lowest homicide rates in Europe.

The evidence that restricting guns lowers crime simply does not exist. So why does Charles Krauthammer think it’s necessary? Does his idea of “domestic tranquillity” mean something other than crime reduction?

I have one explanation. It is because citizen disarmament has become an article of “progressive” faith, not logic or reason. Perhaps part of that is simply that “progressivism” is built on the idea of a powerful state protecting and providing for its citizens. If the state is your God, limits on it, such as those presented by the Second Amendment, are intrinsically offensive.

But limits on state power have proven to be necessary everywhere. Even socialistic European nations have found that they must limit state power. All of them have far lower corporate tax rates than the United States, for example. Unlimited state power leads to disasters such as the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, North Korea, and most recently, Venezuela. Expecting a “world government” to be an exception to the abuse of state power is the worst kind of pollyannism.

I would like to have Charles Krauthammer explain how “domestic tranquillity” in the United States would be enhanced by a gun ban. Perhaps he will some day.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Gun Watch

131 Responses to Charles Krauthammer, Shannon Watts and the Assault Weapon Ban

    • Krauthammer generally has things pretty well figured out. He is one of a handful of talking heads whose opinion I want to hear. He was a lefty, but basically drifted right when it became obvious to him that LBJ’s great society crap wasn’t working. He’s generally for free markets, though not a hard-core small government guy. Regardless, he can be swayed by data. He’s dead wrong on this one, but he might come around if he actually bothered to read up on the issue. I bet he hasn’t payed nearly as much attention on this topic.

      • In the second Krauthammer quote, he does us a favor, which may be what he intended all along. He says, essentially “All or Nothing”. Half way measures will not do any good. That is a very important thing to say about disarming the citizenry.

        It would be a good quote to throw into any second amendment argument.

        All or Nothing, folks, and we will fight the “All”.

        • Krauthammer is an idiot, but even a stopped clock…. he’s dead about the all or nothing thing. You want to stop people from getting killed with guns? Ban handguns, go door to door like the commies in Red Dawn. Gun deaths will drop nearly to zero. Anything short of that is just anti-gun-rights masturbation. Look at the numbers, then put up and introduce a bill to confiscate American’s pistols or shut up and stop bothering me and my black rifle.

        • Well, the thing is, Charles Krauthammer (and yes, he IS an idiot) suggests that the Second Amendment would have to be repealed. Clearly he doesn’t understand the Bill of Rights (BOR). The preamble to the BOR makes it clear that the purpose of the BOR is to restrict government [generally, not the Federal government only; this nonsense about needing Rights to be “incorporated” is utter nonsense–the founders would not have put restrictions on the Federal government alone and then allow the state governments to ride roughshod our our rights] and in fact the BOR does not GRANT rights; it assumes them. The founders accepted that our rights come “from nature and nature’s God.”

          As a consequence, repealing the Second Amendment (2A) does not give the Federal government the power to infringe on our 2A rights (a power they have already usurped to a great degree in any event) and keep in mind that the government has NO rights, only powers. Further the Federal government has NO powers that are not positively enumerated in the Constitution. This of course has not stopped the Federal government from usurping these powers, and on top of that with the aid of the Judiciary, the branch charged with protecting us from the other 2 branches. It is collusion against the public liberty! And it is TREASON!

          I will repeat: we do not get our rights from the BOR! They are natural, pre-existing rights we have because we draw breath. Repealing the 2A grants no powers to the Federal Government (nor to the states) and neither does it deprive us of our natural, pre-existing right to keep and bear arms–the purpose of which is to defend against tyrants and their servants.

          God, I should charge real money for what I am teaching you all here today (with apologies to Little John)

          SamAdams1776 III Oath keeper
          Molon Labe
          No Fort Sumters
          Qui tacet consentit
          Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
          Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges.
          Idque apud imperitos humanitas vocabatur, cum pars servitutis esset.

      • +1. I also pay very close attention to what Krauthamer has to say. Brilliant thinker, and an impressive life story:
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Krauthammer

        He is an award winning psychiatrist, who wrote this on gun control- read the second point “The Killer” in this article in WAPO Dec 2012:
        http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/charles-krauthammer-the-roots-of-mass-murder/2012/12/20/e4d99594-4ae3-11e2-b709-667035ff9029_story.html

        Imagine if PBS had brought Dr Krauthammer on as a guest in the “debate” between RF, and Asswmn Skinner, post Elliot Rogers shooting. The mental health scandal in CA WOULD NOT have been swept under the rug, in the rush to yet another Progtarded CA Legislature signature moonbat midnite gun-grab via the Gun Rights Restraining Order bill, now before Gov Brown.

        And this after Feinsteins AWB v2.0 and Obama Gun Control failed, after:

        “He’s lost on gun control,” Krauthammer insisted, saying that even if the bill includes expanded background checks — the “last item standing” — it’s “not going to make any difference.”

        “Knowing all that, he is out there now exploring it as an issue. He is not going to get the solution he wanted, so he’ll make an issue. And that’s the way he operates. He does it on immigration. He does it on a lot of stuff. If you can’t win on a solution or get your way, you turn it into cash. He is excellent at turning stuff into cash.”

        Krauthammer cant be easily labeled or put into a box- but you would be foolish not to pay close attention to what he has to say. He and Michael Barone are the smartest guys in the room on politics, IMHO.

        • Interestingly, I came here to post about that wikipedia entry and I saw your post.

          Under the section “Political Philosophy,” it begins with these statements:

          “Krauthammer has been called a conservative;.[35][36] Krauthammer is a supporter of legalized abortion;[37][38][39] an opponent of the death penalty;[40][41][42][43] an intelligent design critic and an advocate for the scientific consensus on evolution, calling the religion-science controversy a “false conflict;”[44][45] a supporter of embryonic stem cell research using embryos discarded by fertility clinics with restrictions in its applications;[46][47][48] and a longtime advocate of radically higher energy taxes to induce conservation.”

          If that’s what someone calls a “conservative,” I’d hate to see their description of a progressive.

          The one thing I’ll give him credit for is he seems to speak his own mind and not simply parrot party talking points.

          I don’t think he is at all our friend in regard to gun control and I also don’t think he will ever be our friend in regard to gun control. I’d love to be proven wrong about that.

        • JR_in_NC, you are going by the definition of a social conservative. Not all conservatives want abortion strictly outlawed. Krauthammer is okay with limitations on late-term abortions and he defended when President Bush was seeking to limit embryonic stem cell research. Belief in evolution has NOTHING to do with being a conservative, that is just science, as evolution has been observed multiple times.

      • I’m with CK on the vast majority of his thinking. His thinking is usually a TON more logical than the Left.

        But somehow he really screwed the pooch on this thought experiment.

        Mehhh….nobody’s perfect. Maybe Prager will take him to task the next time he has CK on.

        • Well, I respect his intelligence very much, and normally think he comes up with reasonable answers. But, we have to remember he’s been a quadriplegic since he was around 17, he has not had much opportunity to actually learn how a firearm works. He’s also lived a great deal of time in large Eastern population centers, may have never had anyone explain why and how firearms are of value to a nation.

      • Seems that he is still holding on to the traditional view of Jews in the US, they seem to have forgotten what disarmament of civilians has done (especially to their own people).

    • Kraut hammer, (otherwise known as the crypt keeper), is the perfect example to prove that there is no substantive difference between “demopublicans and republicrats, so called “liberals and “conservatives.” they are simply the left and right cheeks of the same nasty ass, and the hole where they come together is called “Congress,” and we all know what comes out of that hole………
      If the American people keep voting for these same failed politicians in their same failed parties, then all we’re going to get is more of their same failed policies. It’s time to try something new, like true freedom based on the non-aggression principle. It’s time to give the Libertarians a turn at bat!

      • …so called “liberals and “conservatives.”

        While I agree that, at the federal level, nearly all politicians are Ruling/Elitist Class statists, making the distinctions between Republican and Democrat nearly meaningless, liberal and conservative are not political parties, but rather ideologies – and as such are diametrically opposed to each other. It is ignorant and specious to assert that there is no difference between the two.

        I could give Libertarianism a fair shake, but too many Libertarians throw around terms like “Zionist”, and condone the murder of unborn children.

        • “I could give Libertarianism a fair shake, but too many Libertarians throw around terms like “Zionist””

          So do many on all sides, including paleoconservatives. It’s a big problem.

          “and condone the murder of unborn children.”

          “Unborn children” is an oxymoron.

  1. Why would we WANT to get where Britain is? We were there and said no thanks! The United States is the envy of the non-Muslim world. Why does this twit think we need to become like any other country? Anybody unhappy with our American culture? Feel free to go to where ever you’d be happier. I’ll donate towards your (one way) ticket!

    • +1 in fact the trigger for the most recent exodus of citizens in this country was due to Obama’s threatened taxes on people working abroad… If you can show that a majority of this country is packing its bags to leave then I will concede we need to be more like their target countries… Until that day I would like to keep what we have. Freedom means you can move to whichever region or country suits your beliefs… Don’t like guns? Move to CA or NJ or NY. Like guns? Move to a more gun friendly place.

      • I’m all in favor of Federal intervention to get NY, NJ, MA, MD and CA (among others) to stop oppressing law abiding citizens.

        It is obscene that what is legal in PA is a felony across the Delaware river in NJ, and what is legal in VA is a felony across the Potomac river in MD.

        It’s as if rivers have the magical power to obviate the Constitution, turn citizens into felons and destroy their lives.

        • Exactly. My family has lived in New Jersey for generations. It is not such a simple matter for those of us with such roots to emigrate to a state that respects the 2nd A.
          I find it better to stand and fight than to run from the problem.

      • “Don’t like guns? Move to CA or NJ or NY. Like guns? Move to a more gun friendly place.”

        I don’t like where this line of logic is going.

    • Ill take a ticket to Iceland please.

      There should be no mistake about what the 2nd amendment is and is not. It was put in place to prevent a tyrannical federal government from asserting itself over the American public. Certainly the founders themselves violated the very same constitution. Lincoln jailed reporters, burnt villages and raped women during his tenure. Just one example. They also in no way could have foreseen M1A1 Abrahams tanks, F117As or B2 Bombers either. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. If you look at everything the US government is, represents and defends, it can be boiled down to a bunch of snobby rich corporatists representing and defending the “rights” of those fat, brainwashed, uneducated saps underneath then to consume as much crap as possible to keep the whole thing from imploding. This idea that you either love it or leave is ridiculous. Nothing here is or can be owned by anyone. Life is a giant game up Monopoly and at the end of it, all those houses and all.of those hotels, all those “properties” they all go back in the box.

      • geez, that’s just dumb, intellectually dishonest, and purposefully misleading. “Lincoln raped women”. uh huh. That was never policy or orders. Jefferson Davis starved and executed Union prisoners of war. Oh yeah, and kept millions of people in slavery, and used torture, coercion, and shackles to keep them there. But that’s an OK exercise of power?

        You have ZERO credibility now.

  2. The presence or absence of guns among civilized people is a non-issue. Civilized people do not commit heinous crimes on one another, so being armed or not matters not. The problem is that though the vast number of people in the US are “civilized” there are enough uncivilized people to wreak havoc even now on the civilized; what happens once the civilized are disarmed?

    The mere fact that you feel you have to disarm people to create a “civilized” society is tacit admission that there are uncivilized people in your midst. What they will do “when the brakes come off” is what is never considered when disarmament is proposed.

    O2

    • “Civilized people do not commit heinous crimes on one another, so being armed or not matters not.”

      ^ This!!!!!

      • Sadly, there exists no such utopia occupied entirely by civilized people, and utterly free of uncivilized people. The best we can do is enable civilized people to keep uncivilized people honest, through the use of force – up to and including deadly force – in self-defense.

    • “Civilized people do not commit heinous crimes on one another, so being armed or not matters not.

      People commit murder chiefly as a means to an end. If people do not value their own life, they have no problem taking yours to get some money to survive. And if they do value their life, then it becomes a question of price. Very few people have principles in the face of a truck full of unmarked $100 bills.

      The simple fact is people are capable of killing, deciding when to kill, and for what reason. Almost all of it goes on in spite of the law (some of it goes on because the law authorizes it). All “civilized” people do is agree when killing is ok, or not. When people become ungulates and give up their predatory instinct, that’s when there will be no weapons. Until then, you are going to want a gun in case there comes a time that you stand between another violent human and what they want.

  3. “domestic tranquility”- Having no way to oppose the will of the state, being entirely reliant on that state, and being socially warm and fuzzy.

    I think the idea is that if we are pushed into this socialist tranquility that we are then forced to work out all problems with it. If we have no other choice but to live under an all knowing and powerful regime, that we will then figure out all of the world problems and learn to get along.
    The fact is that the world is not that simple and until we can eliminate the part of a mans brain that makes him greedy, the part that makes him fume when he sees you have something he wants, and the part that would step on the heads of babies to fulfill his desires. We will always need an equalizer. Bloomturds equalizer sits in offshore bank accounts. My equalizer sits in my closet.

    • ” We will always need an equalizer. Bloomturds equalizer sits in offshore bank accounts. My equalizer sits in my closet.”

      This line sums up the entire issue very nicely.

  4. Krauthammer is a control freak.
    Think his way or your thoughts are wrong.
    I see him enough on Fox to know never to expect a normal response to a simple question.
    He was wrong then hes wrong now and will be wrong a lot in the future.
    Yup for a Doctor he can be a scary man.
    Im thankful his role these days is as a commentator.
    Listen to his views or don’t.
    I don’t for the most part.

  5. Maybe Dr. Charles will explain some day…probably not. An explanation will likely have to ignore much of the evidence of other countries which you have provided, which does not lead anyone to the conclusion that gun confiscation and banning works to reduce homicide rates. In fact, it often just results in the substitution of Sheffield knives or cricket bats for guns.

        • and yet the communist party has lots of guns, batons, bulldozers, and a powerful army and navy with all the fixin’s of state power. So they aren’t really banning weapons, they are just ensuring no one else in China has them.

          they confiscate land and homes from people to give to wealthy developers and give the homeowners a pittance in return, and the homeowners can’t do anything about it because brooms aren’t a match for batons, bulldozers, and guns. I recall seing smuggled pics of a protestor who laid down before a bulldozer and was partially run over – his head burst and his brains were all over the street.

  6. “If the state is your God, limits on it, such as those presented by the Second Amendment, are intrinsically offensive.”

    this. exactly this.

  7. You would think that a disabled man would appreciate the equalizing quality of firearms. Never the less he was wrong then and he is wrong now.

  8. Conservative commentator my a##! Just a run of the mill leftwing jerk on guns. He’s been paralyzed for many years and has probably never fired a gun. Whatever-this idea is straight out of a Marxist playbook.

  9. CK paralyzed himself by diving into Harvard’s swimming pool without knowing how to dive into a swimming pool. Now he wants the masses disarmed, to be at the mercy of the high street yobs and burglars of occupied dwellings, just like in peaceful old Blighty. He is, of course, Canadian. He left Canada because he loved it so much. He actually gave up medical practice quite quickly to take up political commentary.

    It goes without saying that the civilization he supposedly craves is primarily disavowed, lawless violence preferred, in a collection of dense urban neighborhoods, many denizens of which reject a civilized culture in favor of the one they have. It isn’t about race. It’s about culture, but CK also seems fond of importing more central American poverty-and-gangs culture. His opinions are basically self-regarding, and seem constructed merely to place him securely in the fold of Rockefeller Republicans. Were he in a wheelchair (as he is) but unable to afford the attendants and secure housing, I doubt his opinion about guns and civilization would be the same. He has and does live in a rich world. He can’t imagine needing a weapon to fend off the punks about to knock him out of his chair and take his wallet.

  10. Charles Krauthammer is not a progressive but he is an idealist. He is no different from the Rothbardians on TTAG who think if you abolish government you will end up with a peaceful society. Both believe, despite all evidence to the contrary, that humans are innately peaceful.

    • Too easy to dismiss him, and the reason I disagree with you tdi, is because he is evolving, just as many liberals have evolved, into fierce defenders of conservative ideals-and thus they know much MORE than most, how these ideals matter, and how to explain them;

      David Horowitz at Freedom Center, Roger Simon at PJMedia.

      Given the wide admiration in which he is held, in the MSM, and respect for his independence, and his reach, at WAPO, his “voice” is significant.

      Even if he WERE the “enemy” of 2A rights, I would listen to what he has to say-

      from wiki:

      “Hendrik Hertzberg, a former colleague of Krauthammer’s at The New Republic during the 1980s, said that when the two first met in 1978, Krauthammer was “70 per cent Mondale liberal, 30 per cent ‘Scoop Jackson Democrat,’ that is, hard-line on Israel and relations with the Soviet Union;” while in the mid-1980s, he was still “50-50: fairly liberal on economic and social questions but a full-bore foreign-policy neoconservative.” Hertzberg now calls Krauthammer a “pretty solid 90-10 Republican.”[53]

    • “if you abolish government you will end up with a peaceful society.”

      There are hundreds of people that post on TTAG. Name five that you know that think that.

      So far as I can tell, the vast majority of people here simply want a return to Constitutional government in preference to the extra-Constitutional mess we have now.

        • Let me clarify I want to return to the Constitutional government we are supposed to have , not the executive order mess we have now , as for anti-gun legislation or even the premise of any type of gun control to me is a violation of the Second Amendment and I consider treason , as this Amendment is law that cannot be legally taken away .Be prepared and ready . Keep your powder dry .

      • Aye, JR_in_NC. I, too, want a return to constitutional government. If I absolutely had to choose between tyranny, or even what we have now, and abolishing government; I would reluctantly choose abolition. However, most of the time I hold hope that our nation can restore our constitutional government. I don’t hold delusions that no government would be rainbows and roses but do believe that a lasting government with individual rights as its core principle could be formed out of the chaos. I do not believe that this nation will ever return to constitutional government if it continues along this current path unchecked. I firmly believe that the end result of America’s present course is extreme tyranny with global ramifications.

      • We have many posters who proclaim to be anarchists or who have made favorable statements about the condition with not too much disagreement.

        • Name 5.

          The reason I’m being a bit of a stickler about this is because I think you are conflating other stated ideas with the “anarchy = rainbows” that you asserted.

          Name 5 people here that say anarchy is preferable to “good government.”

          We can debate what is “good government,” but that’s a separate issue.

        • The only one I can think of was that wacko Matt who was banned a long time ago for being an anti-semite.

        • Which Matt are you referring to? I know there was a Matt who makes relatively intelligent posts, you mean him or a different Matt?

    • “The Hammer” is about as opposite an idealist in the way that you describe as one can get. He is a realist. I would say it is the libertarians and progressives who are more the idealists, albeit each in their own way.

      • We get it. You are a Krauthammer fan.

        But, looked at objectively, that link says nothing, not one single thing, to refute the assertion that he is a Statist.

        • Ok, JR, nice try- dismiss me as a fanboy. But I am not giving up on you- usually you are better than that-

          So if you read that, then heres a couple more- and if you like, come back and define “Statist”.

          Then explain Krauthammers positions, in re: the links, and your definition, of Statist.

          http://townhall.com/columnists/charleskrauthammer/2010/02/19/ungovernable__nonsense

          http://www.nationalreview.com/article/371639/myth-settled-science-charles-krauthammer

          http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/06/12/krauthammer-blasts-obama-operating-under-his-own-constitution/

        • There is nothing in any of those three articles that negates the claim that he is a Statist. The Town Hall and National Review pieces don’t clearly show him as being Statist, either.

          But the Blaze article does offer a hint.

          ““You want to run America? Don’t run for the presidency, get yourself head of the EPA,” Krauthammer added, claiming that the agency’s regulations make “Stalin’s five-year plans look like a picnic.” “

          He’s advocating playing but the bureaucratic game with an acknowledgment of regulatory power held by non-elected agency without stating that power is misplaced or should be checked in some way.

          One might think I’m judging that statement a bit harshly; perhaps he’s making a point through sarcasm or other rhetorical device. But, I maintain that it’s what he doesn’t say here that is very telling. He does not that next crucial step and question the existence of EPA in its present, over-regulatory form.

          Like his statements above on gun control, he does not call for a less involved, less control-heavy government but tacitly accepts government is the rightful controlling entity.

          ***

          statism (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/statism)
          [stey-tiz-uh m]
          noun
          1. the principle or policy of concentrating extensive economic, political, and related controls in the state at the cost of individual liberty.

          2. support of or belief in the sovereignty of a state, usually a republic.

          ***

          It sure looks like he accepts that as a given and spring boards his logic from that premise:

          I have no problem in principle with gun control. … Unless you are prepared to confiscate all existing firearms, disarm the citizenry and repeal the Second Amendment, it’s almost impossible to craft a law that will be effective.”

          -Krauthammer, Washington Post, 2012

          Laws don’t work to achieve gun control; only way to get there is confiscation, disarmament and repeal of 2A. Would agree with gun control, and for it to happen, confiscation, disarmament and repeal of 2A.

          Doesn’t sound like he stands for personal liberty at all.

        • ok, JR, thank you for that explanation, …I think you are cherry picking, but rather than nitpick, I will say I see your viewpoint and agree to disagree, with respect for your engagement. Thank you.

          Chip, sorry the “Reagan doctrine” reference was too obscure, and fit your definition of spam. I’ll try to be a liitle more obvious and relevant next time, if you will define
          YOUR point, rather than simply dismiss mine, so casually.

          The goal fot TTAG, per RF; “Clean, well lit atmosphere…”~ Hemingway

        • Chip, sorry the “Reagan doctrine” reference was too obscure, and fit your definition of spam.

          It fit my definition of link spam because it was left in lieu of any attempt to articulate a point. I glanced at it, and saw no immediate relevance to my statement that Krauthammer is a statist. If a treatise on the Reagan Doctrine was in any way relevant to my assertion, I don’t see it as my job to divine the relevance. As the person leaving the link, that burden falls on you to articulate its relevance.

          Otherwise, why have a discussion? We can just past link URLs back and forth.

          I’ll try to be a liitle more obvious and relevant next time, if you will define YOUR point, rather than simply dismiss mine, so casually.

          I’m pretty sure my point was well-articulated and succinct: I admire Krauthammer, but believe that the beliefs he espouses portray him as a statist. Krauthammer is a statist. That was my point.

        • “I think you are cherry picking,”

          How can I be cherry picking what is said in the articles you provided?

          By the way, I was not trying to be dismissive and I did not call you a ‘fanboy.’ Fanboy is derogative, and I purposefully did not choose that language for that reason. My only point in mentioning what I DID say was to point out that you had offered numerous comments on the page in defense of CK.

          Fair enough?

          I’m wondering if we are using the term Statist in a uniform way. Conservatives can be Statist. They sometimes hide it better. Statism does not imply anything further in ideology; it merely asserts that the rightful place of power is with the State and generally at the expense of individual liberty.

          Statism’s cousin in Collectivism, and since it is a short hop from there to ideas like socialism and communism, I can see why Statism is more often associated with leftist philosophy. However, I can think of a number of “conservatives” for whom the label “Statist” applies. GW Bush’s single act of creating DHS is a pretty good example to earn him that label.

          Krauthammer’s own words bely him as Statist. That does not really say anything about whether he is a Progressive Statist or a Conservative Statist.

          Hope that clarifies my assertion a little better.

        • Krauthammer is no statist. That claim is laughable to anyone who listens to him regularly or reads him regularly. And I can guarantee you he does not believe in anyone running for office to take control via a government regulatory agency. His point about the EPA is that it is a government agency out of control, and that is thus why Obama seeks to legislate through it. OBAMA I would say is a form of a statist, but Krauthammer is not. He has criticized the very idea of law enforcement having drones, he has criticized the IRS’s abuses, he called out the term when Obama was saying about how much he believes people should be allowed to keep of their money, saying:

          “Allowed to keep?” This is a government-centric notion that the government owns you and everything you produce…

          I forget the rest of what he said, but in other words, he believes really that the reasoning should be, how much of what a person produces should the government be allowed to take (which IMO is exactly correct).

    • CK is a very bright fellow, with brains to spare if such is possible. He is simply wrong on the 2nd Amendment issue. Lacking mobility, he doesn’t spend much time on the poor side of town. Being somewhat rich, he will never experience the ultra-slow police response times of the vast under-served city regions and rural districts.

      • For someone as intelligent as he is, he should not need to directly experience those things.

        A simple reading of history should suffice. I cannot imagine “subjugation of the disarmed” defensible by any person believing individual liberty is a goal worth chasing.

        I’ve never been the victim of a street robbery. That does not mean I can’t see the value of self defense that situation…learning from others and past history is a thing smart guys like Krauthammer constantly say we should ALL do.

        • I agree. In a post up the thread I concluded CK was clearly unable to see the issue from any set of interests but his own present circumstance. He cannot, for example, physically handle a firearm. Somehow many of the same people who can reach the conclusion that we need to go to war in yet another locale 8,000 miles away (they won’t do the fighting) seem to have an easy time concluding that armed self-defense is not needed in an imperfect world. I infer that they like the feeling of marshaling armies toward their own goals, but are bothered by any firearm in the hands of a citizen for his own self-defense. Such commentators think themselves reasoned thinkers, but to the contrary, I can with much greater evidence and precision predict what will happen if it becomes known I have no defenses…than they can predict the outcome of Syria/Iraq reorganization-by-violence.

  11. From the full article:

    “What needs to happen before this change in mentality can occur? What must occur first — and this is where liberals are fighting the gun control issue from the wrong end — is a decrease in crime. So long as crime is ubiquitous, so long as Americans cannot entrust their personal safety to the authorities, they will never agree to disarm. There will be no gun control before there is real crime control.”

    Mmm kay… so let’s say somehow you did get crime under control (death penalty for violent felons would be my personal best bet). So why then in such a safe world would it be necessary for me to give up my guns? I’m committing the same amount of crimes with them as I always have (exactly zero), so whats the big deal?

  12. A lot of the times, it’s power, a lot of the times, it’s sheer laziness. The antis aren’t all power-mad control freaks, a lot of them are just lazy. They want the State to take care of everything, and it’s easier to call for civilian disarmament than it is to actually go to their LGS, purchase a weapon, and learn how to safely use it, as well as keep it maintained and secured from misuse.

    Little do they know, it’s not like learning how to balance your checkbook. Learning about the proper handling of a firearm is, well, fun!

    I get convenience. That’s fine. But after a fashion it becomes ridiculous. Even in the “gun-free” utopias, the police response times are horrible. Plus, when things do go down, people don’t know how to deal with it.

    Not to parrot the party line, but people don’t think they need a gun, until they need one. Other than an interest in firearms since an early age, seeing direct evidence of “needing a gun” spurred me to do so. The fringe benefit has been an engaging and great hobby too. I’ll shoot at paper and ding steel til the cows come home or the credit card company repos my furniture.

    I sincerely hope I never have to use my Colt. I don’t want a DGU to happen. Killing someone is a messy business even if your intentions are just. It’s the oft-used fire extinguisher analogy. I never want to use it, but it is good to know it is there in the kitchen if I need it.

    I’m curious though, has anyone ever gotten a straight answer out of an anti with regards to self-defense? The most I’ve ever gotten is “Well, odds are it will never happen to me…”

    Then it happens.

  13. I agree with Charles K most of the time but on this issue, NO WAY!
    “Domestic Tranquillity” what the hell is this all about? I just dont see it happening with high unemployment, runaway regulation, and currency manipulation in a downgraded society.
    Is that what he means?

  14. An excellent counterexample is Switzerland

    Switzerland is peaceful because it isn’t up to its lederhosen in Crips, Bloods, MS13, Aryan Brotherhood and the Mexican Mafia.

    • Most of the crime in Switzerland is committed by foreigners. Remove the Crips, Bloods, Mexican Mafia, and the Urban Ghetto criminals, and the U.S. homicide rate is pretty close to Switzerland.

      Remove Switzerland’s foreigners, and they drop even below that level (about 1.2 homicides per 100,000)

      Homicide and violent crime is a cultural problem. The vast majority of those who commit it have not been integrated into the mainstream U.S. culture.

  15. Sorry for the sequential comment, but also, I have no idea how he thinks the US could disarm in 50 years. There’s 300+ million privately-owned weapons in this country of all makes, models, functions, and calibers. Some of which are quite costly.

    If there’s one thing Americans hate more than losing individual rights, is losing money. The government would have to go into bankruptcy paying out a fair price to confiscate everyone’s weapons. And I doubt they would actually come up with a fair price. Would a guy who paid $5000 for an H&K MR762 with the usual accessories want to part with it for $1500? Not likely. Would the guy (or girl!) who paid $25000 for an M16A2 want to part with it for a third of the price? No way.

    Confiscation would lead to a a rash of “boating accidents”, as it were. Even with today’s data mining, and let’s just presume NICS is an unofficial and illegal gun registry, it would take the police far too long to implement. At best, they’d get maybe a third of the 300 million. That leaves 200 million. This isn’t Australia with 23 million people and a few hundred thousand guns, this is the US with 300 million guns and 300+ million people.

    Even the Australian confiscation effort wasn’t 100 percent successful. While the Australian people were more conditioned to accept State control, the police are still dealing with gun crime and turning up caches of weaponry.

    Confiscation isn’t even feasible without violating a whole host of other civil rights that even the antis value. Confiscation is the antis pipe dream.

    • You have to remember that quote is from 96, so it would have still seemed possible from that point. Gun control advocates had been winning most of the battles. So if you didn’t realize how scared politicians had become to touch the gun control issue after a bunch of them had been voted out, the idea that they would continue trying to pass gun control laws would not have been farfetched.

      From their point of view this would have seemed like a very plausible road map to banning firearms.
      97-98 close the “Assault Weapon” loop whole (making it a one feature test instead of two)
      02-03 since they probably knew the AWB would have been in effective ban semi auto hand guns (even easier to get if the homicide rate had continued climbing like it had been doing in the 90’s)
      04 make the AWB permanent
      06 register all firearms
      10-12 ban the rest of hand guns
      16-18 start going after “sniper rifles
      20-22 start restricting hunting and hunting firearms
      And all through that time with them controlling most of the major media continue to shame gun owners so they don’t speak up/make guns uncool so future generations are not interested. ( in 96 I don’t think people realized what the internet would enable us to fight back against major media.)
      by time 46 rolled around under those types of conditions we could have easily found ourselves in the same circumstances as the UK is now.

      • A scary roadmap indeed. One of the things we have going for is is the antis don’t have much in the way of patience or foresight. They want a ban and immediate utopia. They can’t put something into motion that will come to fruition long after they are dead.

        That’s the problem with those long-term plans, as you say. You can’t anticipate cultural and societal changes. Who would have thought, in 1996, we’d have access to the sum of human knowledge from a device in our pockets, made by a then-failing computer manufacturer? If I told someone in 1996 that in fifteen years I could look up any piece of information from a device made by Apple that fit in my pocket, they’d have me committed.

        However, let us not fall victim to the same lack of foresight. We can’t think that just because firearms have been a fact of live in the US for over two hundred years, they will continue to be so just because it’s always been that way. The antis love to bring up the “tradition” argument, i.e. they compare the firearms tradition of the US to the “tradition” in Africa of female genital mutilation, i.e. “just because it’s tradition doesn’t mean it’s right…” – yes, they compare the ownership of an inanimate object to the mutilation of a little girl. While our tradition is just, it doesn’t render it immune from attack.

  16. Wasn’t he part of the Carter Administration? He has moved to the right since, but some utopian ideals are hard to shake apparently.

  17. I have to give him points for honesty here. He wants the 2nd amendment done away with, and lays how how it can be done incrementally. This is the actual goal of the antigun lobby, even as they deny up and down that they support the 2nd amendment, whatever they believe that means.

    The trouble is, the ‘idyllic tranquility’ of the disarmed nations has not proven to be a lasting, good thing. Canada isn’t so much disarmed as regulated, and GB has really only been disarmed for a few decades.. and is now cracking at the edges. And as far as I know every ‘disarmed’ nation in the Americas suffers from crime, strife, corruption, drugs, and police brutality. Why should we bow to European ideals when we are not European?

  18. I’ve tried to listen to the guy, but his mind is always made up to his truth and he won’t listen to any other view.

    • He’s an academic, an elitist and an atheist. It’s probably a miracle that he came out as semi-reasonable as he did.

        • Well, according to Wikipedia, you’re right. But I’ve heard him say enough to lead me to believe he was a committed atheist. Maybe he’s agnostic.

        • I usually read his Sunday column, never heard him anti-God. Don’t think he is a big fan of organized religion, seems he puts too much faith in the state.

        • I catch him on Fox quite a bit. The one I’m thinking of in particular was he said he didn’t believe in God but was open to be proven otherwise, which I took to mean he wasn’t militant about his atheism. But I could have it wrong, sounds like he’s had harsh words about atheists. I guess that only leaves agnostic.

      • He also has no use for”intelligent design”. No creator-no creation. BTW I agree with him on a lot. But TO ME the 2A trumps most other issues.

        • Just my 3 cents – YMMV. The second amendment is a protection for probably THE most vital element of a free society. But anyone who advocates for the wholesale slaughter of hundreds of thousands of human children every year is much more than just anti-freedom. So if I were to rank the issues, gun rights are #2. I don’t think I could ever vote for anyone who I disagreed with on those two issues. Krauthammer is wrong on both.

  19. Why Fox News keeps putting hacks like Charlie on the air is ridiculous.

    Hearing control freak such as him really makes me wish we could fast forward the technology knowing us 3-D printing. That way people all over the world will have access to self defense items, regardless of what people calling themselves the state or people calling themselves experts think.

  20. His position is completely inexcusable, since by supporting it, he is essentially saying he wants his fellow handicapped Citizens at the mercy of the able-bodied criminal.

    He’s a damn Facsist, in every sense.

  21. Until those policians/bureaucrats in government become benevolent angels (which will never happen), we’ll hang on to our guns.

  22. First of all, given that nearly every country that was part of the British empire has seceded, or is voting to secede (Scotland), we would want to be them… because? Or given the state that Europe is in.

    Keep in mind, Europe is gun free because NATO allows it. Or more correctly, because we allow NATO countries to not live up to their bargain: we spend 4% of GDP on defense, Europe generally <2% (the treaty calls for 2%). What would gun free Europe look like if they were not dependent on the US's guns?

    Second, great, these laws don't work. Now, try to repeal them. People will take these groups more seriously when they push for the repeal of nonsense laws.

  23. and another point the people in the USA vote two ways, first at the voting box and they vote with their money, buying more guns , ammo, and CCW permits than even , Krauthammer is way out touch with the REAL AMERICA…..He can not see the writing on the wall …in NEON flashing lights …Right or left ….gun control is a no sell…………

  24. Interesting stance (then and now) for an individual who writes and speaks so much on the atrocities of the 3rd Reich against an unarmed populace.

  25. Hmm… I usually agree with Krauthammer. Most of the time.

    Then again, he is an atheist. Never trust an atheist.

  26. I would like to have Charles Krauthammer explain how “domestic tranquillity” in the United States would be enhanced by a gun ban. Perhaps he will some day. Well, this will make violence the monopoly of the state ensuring domestic tranquility through the dictatorship of the proletariat. The Ministry of Truth and the Ministry of Love will guarantee Freedom from Freedom.

  27. I always thought it was interesting that people who support abortion don’t support that mothers choice to protect the lives of her family with deadly force. Strikes me as hypocritical.

    • Maybe just convince the left that self defense is nothing more than very, very late term abortion and all would be resolved. Then they’d be all for distributing handguns to eleven year olds in public school.

  28. It’s one thing to say you’re for gun control, another to actively work the reins of law to achieve it. CK can have his opinions but I don’t see him submitting legislation any time soon.

  29. so does this mean the mommies demanding attention can stop holding their breath and go back to the Tuesday sales @ Kroger?

  30. My brief research indicates that Charles Krauthammer is paralyzed from the neck down due to cervical vertebral trauma. He is unable to defend himself or his loved ones. He is dependent on an advanced and civilized culture to support his endeavors and his life, and you can well understand that he would prize these things above all else. It appears that in his view firearms destabilize his world. This is a view that we, as fully functioning human beings do not share.

    Charles Krauthammer is a staunch defender of liberty, and sharp as a tack. I believe that we should appreciate him for these things. And forgive him his myopia where firearms are concerned.

  31. +1000 JR. Everyone should check out Krauthammers wiki. He ain’t no conservative. Especially the baby murder and embryo use. This from the morally superior one publius. Oh wait he’s “evolving”…sorry I couldn’t reply to your post JR…the phone and the computer have been actingup.

  32. If you are for the repeal of any one of the original ten amendments, the Bill of Rights, then you are anti-American at worst, a statist, at best.
    I don’t ever see a door to door confiscation scheme ever arising en masse. Ditto on a repeal of the second amendment. Information demands it be free. The moment the public at large gets a whiff of congress finding some super huge brass balls to repeal/overwrite any part of the original constitution, will begin the tinder box, that is the second civil war in these United States. But it won’t be Billy Yank vs (Brother) Johnny Reb, but statists versus free peoples. And the statists will lose.

  33. So if I understand the “logic” of the antis here, the idea is that by removing certain classes of weapons from the law abiding, it will de-escalate the conflict with criminals. How is that working out in Mexico? Or right, it isn’t…

  34. Krauthammer has I believe come to understand now the nonsense that the term “assault weapons” is. I believe this because when he was commenting one time, he mentioned about the “quote-un-quote assault weapons,” i.e. he knew the term was rather arbitrary. He didn’t just say about the “assault weapons” but mentioned them as being in quotes, so I think he has learned some since then.

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