This past Friday the New York Times continued their push for gun control by publishing a further editorial piece. Apparently they saw that their initial editorial produced no change whatsoever and decided that the best thing to do was try the exact same thing again, which is the very definition of insanity. I’m happy they did it though, because they decided to go even further with their inflammatory language and tried to shock their readers into action. In doing so they once again proved that they have absolutely no idea what they’re talking about, and their audience is now dumber for having read their article.
The piece starts out the usual way bemoaning the availability of “military weapons” in the United States. You only have to wait until the second paragraph for it to start to go off the rails, though.
Across recent decades, gun manufacturers, facing a decline in general gun ownership as demographics shifted and sports hunting faded, have cynically created a domestic market for barely altered rifles and pistols developed for the military. These are weapons designed for the rapid spray-shooting of multiple enemy soldiers in wartime, not homeland civilians living in peace.
No, they aren’t. The NY Times believes that “assault weapons” are designed for the kind of “spray and pray” shooting that you see in bad TV movies, but one of their own writers completely disproves that idea. C.J. Chivers in his book The Gun discusses the technical requirements used in the development of the modern firearms used by the military and reveals that the modern M-16 rifle was specifically designed to take precision shots at long range — not “spray and pray” a group of soldiers. In fact, when soldiers began doing that in Vietnam the military reacted by chopping their magazine length to 20 rounds and eventually removing the full auto feature and replacing it with a 3-round burst. The gun was not designed to “spray bullets,” that’s a misuse of the gun by poorly trained conscripts that Hollywood has used in films ever since.
Does the New York Times care to actually fact check their editorials? Apparently not.
Yet the latest casualty count of 14 killed and 21 wounded last week in the gun carnage at San Bernardino, Calif., is another horrendous confirmation of how these easily available weapons — marketed as macho tools for a kind of paramilitary self-defense — are being used again and again for rapid-fire attacks on innocent people. The fact that the California killers were self-proclaimed Islamic warriors makes the ease with which their arsenal was assembled all the more outrageous.
Here’s the catch with this whole article. The Times is demanding that we re-enact the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban, a law that they think will remove these scary-looking, evil “assault rifles” from the streets. The problem with their logic is that it’s divorced from reality. California already has a stricter version of that very law in place. The terrorists in San Bernardino complied with the law when they purchased their firearms. The guns they bought were 100% legal and “assault weapons” ban-compliant. They later modified them in their garage to be illegal firearms.
In short, the very location where these attacks took place disproves the Times’ argument that a new “assault weapons ban” would have any impact on these kinds of attacks. But that’s not the only thing they’re going after.
While lurid-looking rifles may cause the most shock in the public aftermath, the industry has also been selling pliant statehouse politicians on the legalization of “concealed carry” handgun licenses. These are spreading powerful semiautomatic pistols with the firepower of rifles through the civilian population, from bar rooms to college campuses, even as evidence mounts that they cause more harm to innocent victims than to fantasized malefactors.
OMG! Concealed carry! People walking around with guns! OMG!
The reality of the situation is that the police cannot be relied upon to protect every single person. They say so themselves, and every time there’s a mass shooting the number one recommendation for how we can reduce the body count is “faster response time.” It logically follows that if the response time can be reduced to zero (if, say, you’re carrying a gun) that would the best solution. The Times doesn’t see it that way, though.
In fact, the Times has been down this road before. They’ve been trying to demonize Americans with concealed carry permits for years. The last time they tried to claim that concealed carry would result in “blood in the streets” they actually accidentally proved that people with concealed carry licenses are far less likely to commit a crime than the standard population. People with a carry permit are one-sixth as likely to kill someone as the general population, one eighth as likely to commit a violent crime, and one seventh as likely to be arrested for drunk driving.
The Times wants us to believe that the prevalence of concealed carry is a bad thing and that the streets will run red with blood if we allow it, but the actual evidence (including evidence that they themselves provided) prove otherwise.
Did I mention that this editorial goes off the rails? Because the author may have well been Casey Jones after the next paragraph.
Assault weapons were banned for 10 years until Congress, in bipartisan obeisance to the gun lobby, let the law lapse in 2004. As a result, gun manufacturers have been allowed to sell all manner of war weaponry to civilians, including the super destructive .50-caliber sniper rifle, which an 18-year-old can easily buy in many places even where he or she must be 21 to buy a simpler handgun. Why any civilian would need this weapon, designed to pierce concrete bunkers and armored personnel carriers, is a question that should be put to the gun makers who profit from them and the politicians who shamelessly do their bidding.
The Times has their knickers in a twist about the availability of .50 caliber “sniper rifles” and somehow believe that an “assault weapons ban” would fix this. There’s just one small problem: no version of any “assault weapons ban” would prohibit .50 caliber rifles. Do they even know what’s in the legislation for which they’re cheerleading? I’m pretty sure they haven’t even bothered to read it before declaring that any gun control is good gun control.
Why would prohibiting these guns make any difference anyway? Their article uses the recent “mass shootings” to make their argument that “weapons of war” need to be banned, yet I can’t think of a single “mass killing” in which a .50 caliber firearm was used. That statement comes completely out of left field, apropos of nothing.
Rifles of any kind used in the commission of a crime are extraordinarily rare. Criminals prefer to use small lightweight handguns which are easy to conceal — rifles are the exact opposite of that requirement, and .50 caliber rifles are so far on the other end of the spectrum that they can see Russia from their front porch. The best way to describe a .50 caliber rifle (like this Armalite AR-50 I reviewed a while back) is field artillery. The gun is massively heavy and a huge pain to move anywhere, annoyingly large (so big it doesn’t fit in some cars at all), and amazingly expensive. If the New York Times believes that criminals are spending thousands of dollars on .50 caliber rifles (and $5 a round on ammo) then they are officially off their rocker. One look at a Department of Justice report on the issue should be enough to dissuade any logical person from the idea that these “super destructive” .50 caliber rifles are a problem in any way shape or form.
That’s the problem with the Times’ gun control editorial: the writers are completely divorced form reality. All they know about guns is what they see on TV and in movies and they don’t take the time to actually educate themselves on the true causes of “gun violence” and what solutions would actually make a difference. Instead they are simply operating on pure emotion — they see a scary looking gun and want it banned, no matter what irreparable harm that would do to the ability of American citizens to defend themselves from criminals or what harm it would do to the Constitutional rights of Americans.
The New York Times has made it astoundingly clear that they have no idea what they’re talking about. Anyone who takes more than five minutes to fact check what these guys are saying will be able to understand exactly how full of B.S. this editorial is, and yet because it falls in line with the modern northeast Democrat line of thinking their factually inaccurate statements are allowed to stand. There’s a reason why the Times has refrained from putting a front page editorial in their paper for so long: they were afraid that people would actually read it and realize how amazingly uneducated their authors have become. The good news is that the American people seem to have caught on.