I stumbled across an interesting blog entry the other day. Posted by Annoyed Librarian (not pictured above) it was titled Those Dangerous Public Libraries and contains her plaints against us ‘gun nuts’ and the activity of some of our brethren in Windsor Colorado where a library was – horror of horrors! – made to obey the law. “ALib” starts out by mentioning some of the people she’s worked so hard to piss off recently: “A while ago it was the homeschooling creationists who homeschooled their children to keep them from learning any science later than the Middle Ages. Last week it was the earnest evangelicals who actually believed The Hiding Place was “banned” at a library…. This week, it might be the gun nuts. We’ll see.” Give her credit, though. She magnanimously makes it clear that there is a difference between ‘gun nuts’ and regular old gun owners . . .
Before we begin, it’s important to know who the gun nuts are. Because of the craziness of some of them, some people think anyone with a gun must be a nut. However, the vast majority of gun owners who hunt or shoot skeet or target shoot are unfairly represented by the nuts who show up to political rallies with machine guns assault rifles on their back.
I must give ALib kudos for correcting her post when someone pointed out that machine guns are not generally available. She did not, however, correct her terminology when someone pointed out that assault rifles, as opposed to so-called assault weapons are actually select-fire weapons capable of full-auto fire.
Beyond that, however, I find it distressing that ALib is willing to classify law-abiding citizens exercising rights protected by the First Amendment (freedom of speech and assembly, petition for redress of grievances) and Second Amendment as “nuts”. If I were to protest at a book-burning while openly carrying Catch-22, the Canterbury Tales and some Harry Potter books would she call me a “book nut”? Fortunately her next paragraph makes it clear that she would not brand me as such since:
The gun nuts are the ones who are obsessed with guns. They fantasize about them, devote their lives to them, and want to carry them everywhere. They’re gun fetishists, and fetishists are always a little creepy and a little crazy. …
Setting aside the sexual connotations of the word, the most common definitions I found for fetishists and fetishes include the belief that the object in question (in this case a gun) is inhabited by a spirit and/or has magical or supernatural powers. That sounds to me more like the beliefs held by the antis; that a gun in the home increases the risk of suicide; that the “mere presence” of a gun leads to domestic violence, and so on. Maybe instead of calling the hoplophobes we should call them gun fetishists?
Anyway, it would probably surprise ALib to know that I am not even close to being any sort of gun fetishist; I enjoy the aesthetics of a well-made firearm, just as I do a good knife or fine tools. I think what would make me a “gun nut” in her eyes is the fact that I actually believe that the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution means what it says, and that, furthermore, L. Neil Smith had it exactly right when he said “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.” Maybe I am a gun rights nut.
Speaking of the Second Amendment, ALib continues:
Even they sometimes seem to realize that if they just come out and say this, everyone will know them for the crazy people they are, so while fondling their guns obsessively …
See above about the lack of fetishism in my case, but I am a little confused here; if we come out and say what precisely? That we imbue our firearms with magical powers (we don’t, that’s the Brady Campaign and their AstroTurf® buds)? That we fantasize about them? It’s not called ‘fantasizing’ dear, it is called forethought. Every time I get on a plane I make a note of where I am, where the heads are and where the exits are. I then sit there and mentally run through possible disaster scenarios because studies have shown that most survivors are people who have thought through what they will do if/when something bad happens.
As for obsessively “fondling” our guns, anyone who knows the 4 Rules knows that the more you futz with it the more likely you are to have an ND, so keep your weapon holstered until you are ready to shoot it. Or clean it. Or replace the factory trigger with a much smoother one, and pitch those crappy iron sights for a nice . . . umm, okay, maybe some folks do handle their guns a lot. I say handle because the word fondle has definite sexual connotations. I know a lot of gunnies, and not one of them has any sort of sexual relationship with their weapons.
… so while fondling their guns obsessively they like to prattle on about the second amendment or their right to self-protection.
According to Dictionary.com, Prattle: verb (used without object), prattled, prattling.
- to talk in a foolish or simple-minded way; chatter; babble.
If ALib is only hearing ‘foolish’ and ‘simple-minded’ arguments regarding the Second Amendment and self-defense, then she has obviously been hanging out with the wrong crowd. Maybe if she spent a little time on TTAG we could educate her. This, of course, presumes that she wants to be educated on the subject and going by her next paragraph she’s like my sister-in-law; her mind is made up and she doesn’t want to be distracted by facts. Facts like those found in Dr. Lott’s More Guns; Less Crime which show that liberalized concealed carry laws lead to significant drops in violent crime; facts which have been verified in 20 separate peer-reviewed studies by criminologists and economists. Even the 11 such studies which found no significant effect showed no indication that easing CCW restrictions increased rates of murder, robbery or rape.
More non-prattle on the subject of self-defense: As shown in Gun Facts ver. 6.2, using a gun to defend yourself is the safest course of action when attacked; you are less likely to be injured, any injuries you do receive are likely to be less severe than if you had done nothing, defended yourself in some other fashion or even if you had cooperated with your attacker.
If you want to talk about a “war on women” don’t forget to mention that when a woman is armed with a gun or knife only 3% of attempted rapes are completed, compared to a 32% completion rate against unarmed women. Furthermore, between 1995 and 2003 Australia and the UK tightened gun laws and the USA loosened them; in the same period Aussie rape rates rose 26.5%, UK rates rose 59.8% and US rates dropped 13.5%. Coincidence?
And if any outside gun nuts try to bombard the comment section trying to educate everyone on the second amendment, I’ll approve the comment if you can prove you’re a Constitutional lawyer.
I’m not sure what an “outside gun nut” is, but it is clear that ALib indeed does not want her pretty little preconceptions and misconceptions overset because you really don’t need to be a Constitutional lawyer to understand what the Second Amendment means. Thanks to Constitutional lawyer Alan Gura and SCOTUS you just need to be able to read American English in the form of the Court’s ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller. The majority, Justices Scalia, Roberts, Kennedy, Thomas and Alito, stated it quite clearly:
The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.
And Justices Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg and Breyer agreed in their dissent:
The question presented by this case is not whether the Second Amendment protects a “collective right” or an “individual right.” Surely it protects a right that can be enforced by individuals. But a conclusion that the Second Amendment protects an individual right does not tell us anything about the scope of that right.
See? Simple English and no law degree required.
Next we come to the issue which irks ALib:
Guns and libraries are in the news again. … Now it’s Colorado, where the local gun nuts, I mean rights, group threatened to sue a library if they didn’t eliminate their “no guns” policy after the director asked a gun-toting patron to leave. The library reluctantly changed its policy.
So a library was violating the law and was called on it; this apparently was annoying to the Annoyed Librarian because, well, guns.
After prattling on about how paranoid we gun nuts are, how safe libraries are and how we gun nuts should not shoot noisy teenagers or masturbating creepy guys, she finishes up with this:
So the people who can’t go into a public library without carrying their guns are either a) gun fetishists, and thus crazy, or 2) suffering from extreme paranoia, and thus crazy.
And that, gun nuts, is why people don’t want you carrying guns in their public libraries. You see the public library as a dangerous place, and everyone else agrees, at least when you’re there.
Well yes, everyone knows how dangerous permit-holders are; just look at the Violence Policy Center’s Concealed Carry Killers report. From May of 2007 to August 2014, 659 people have been killed by permit holders. We can discount the 230 permit holders who committed suicide which leaves 429. Of course that includes a number of people who just plain didn’t have permits, but let’s be generous and give them all of those. In fact, let’s round it up to 435, which gives us a nice even 60 CCKs a year. According to Dr. Lott, as of April of this year there were 11 million permit holders in the US, and according to NBC News in June of 2010 there were 6 million of us. So let’s go small and figure there were an average of 6 million permit holders over the last 7 ¼ years, committing 60 killings per year which gives us a rate of 1 CCK per 100,000.
Now according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports Expanded Homicide Data Table 3, in 2012 there were 14,581 “Murder Offenders”. Pulling the 618 who were under 18 and the 60 CCKs leaves 13,903 non-CCKs. Census data says we had 234,719,000 people 18 and older in 2012 which gives us a general population killer rate of 5.9 non-CCKs per 100,000 or 5.9 times the CCK rate.
Well, maybe ALib has her knickers in a knot because of just violent crime in general, not specifically murder. Fortunately the State of Florida has kept moderately detailed records of permit-holders and lost licenses for the past quarter century or so, and according to their latest numbers, of the 2,684,337 licenses issued during that time, 168 have been revoked for using their gun in a crime. This gives us an overall crime rate of 6.25 per 100,000 permit holders. Going back to the FBI’s numbers we find that “[i]n 2012, an estimated 1,214,462 violent crimes occurred nationwide” and using a the lowball over 18 population figure gives us a non-CCW violent crime rate of 517 per 100,000 or about eighty times the permit holder rate.
In short ALib can relax, the sky is not falling and things will be okay. Really.
 All of which have been banned someplace in the US at some point
 And yes, my sister-in-law actually had the integrity to admit that.