TTAG Publisher’s USA Today Op-Ed: ‘Gun control is not the answer’

(courtesy usatoday.com)

The following editorial appears at usatoday.com and in their dead tree edition. It was written “in response” to the editors’ pro-gun control editorial [click here to read] which they didn’t show me before I wrote mine (as is their standard policy):

Even before the bodies were cold in the San Bernardino mass shooting, President Obama called for more gun control. He urged Congress to pass a law banning firearms purchases for people on the Transportation Security Administration’s unaccountable, unconstitutional no-fly list . . .

Wait. What? What would that have done to prevent the slaughter? By the same token, what would any gun control law do to prevent evil people from enacting their homicidal plans, be they Chicago gang-bangers or a religious zealot attacking a Planned Parenthood clinic? Nothing.

No assault weapons ban, no gun violence restraining order, no ammunition magazine capacity law would have prevented the San Bernardino slaughter. No gun control law has stopped Robert L. Dear Jr. from allegedly killing three people in Colorado.

There’s only one way to stop killers from killing: Put them where they can’t get access to a gun, knife, explosives, car or any other lethal weapon. Put them in jail or a secure mental institution.

How do we know whom to incarcerate, when and for how long? That’s a question worthy of debate — and due process. Certainly, criminals who commit violent offenses shouldn’t enjoy “revolving door” justice. And there are numerous examples of obviously and dangerously psychotic individuals, such as Newtown killer Adam Lanza and Aurora shooter James Holmes, who should have been institutionalized.

But there will always be people who fall through the cracks. There will always be evil men among us. Truth be told, they view gun control laws with the same contempt that they view laws against murder.

The incrementalist argument — that more or better gun control will derail some killers — ignores the fact that these measures make it harder for law-abiding Americans to exercise their natural, civil and constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. A right that protects them against those who would do them harm.

As the French terrorist attacks proved, gun control doesn’t work. Worse, civilian disarmament leaves innocent people defenseless against killers. Gun control enables — rather than prevents — homicide.

comments

  1. avatar RMan says:

    Well done. I applaud you.
    The push will be coming. If you’re not a member of NRA, GOA, SAF, whoever join. Hopefully they will work together this coming election year. I myself am a NRA guy. If you need to join, Jim Scoutten is running good specials on the http://www.shootingusa.com site

    1. avatar tdiinva (Now in Wisconsin) says:

      Let them push. This was not a spree shooting. It was terrorism in the raw. The people will push back twice as hard.

      1. avatar RMan says:

        All true…but since when does this administration (or politicians in general) care what the people want?

        1. avatar tdiinva (Now in Wisconsin) says:

          This Congress will not pass any new laws. You think about that over the next few months while you are considering who you want.

  2. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

    Good job.

    Love the tactical Minis.

    1. avatar The Original Brad says:

      +100!

      Just goes to show you that you don’t need tactically tricked out M-4’s to get the job done. A Mini-14, with iron-sights no less in the trunk is just as good of a choice, fiscally responsible too. If I understood the news correctly the city went bankrupt recently; this may have been first and foremost in their decision process. The A-Team would be proud.

      1. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

        “… fiscally responsible too.”

        Have you priced the Mini and its accessories?

        There were M&P 15 Sport ARs advertised less than $500 during the Black Friday sales.

        The Mini cannot make it even close to that price point.

        1. avatar Ing says:

          I’ve been pricing parts for a budget AR build, and if I manage to get everything at just the right time on sale, I could have a reliable and accurate (and eminently customizable/upgradable) rifle for about $450. It’s more likely to cost around $600, but I can spread that out over time as I get the best parts that fit the budget.

          Last week at Walmart I saw a Mini-14 with the black “tactical” stock for $900. I used to be anti-AR, but with some time to learn more about the platform — and especially in light of the post-Newtown political clusterfuck — I’ve come around to the virtues of the modern musket.

        2. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

          If you’re ok with some of the less mechanical parts being used; receiver, grips, etc., I bet you could keep it under 5 bills.

          I’m an AK guy, but I have an AR and wouldn’t try to talk someone out one; it’s a damn good rifle.

        3. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

          I wasn’t aware of any police departments using M&P 15 Sport ARs. You’d think they’d splurge for something with a forward assist maybe. True, Minis aren’t as cheap as the cheapest ARs anymore, but I’d bet they’re cheaper than the ARs most police departments use. And the aperture sights on the Mini cost exactly $0.00 as opposed to a $600 EOTech sight. So I’d say buying the Minis was a pretty frugal move.

        4. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

          I wasn’t aware an AR required an Eotech…

        5. avatar Timmy! says:

          “I wasn’t aware an AR required an Eotech…”

          Bro! Do you even operate?

        6. avatar Barstow Cowboy says:

          Yeah, but they onlypaid $450 for those minis back when they bought them…in 1980.

        7. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

          Actually BC, those are 580 series minis. You can tell by the protected front sights as opposed to the older gigantic blade sight. So they can’t be older than 2005. They also have a heavier tapered barrel. The French on the other hand were using the older 180s.

          ROHC, when the taxpayers are footing the bill, EOTechs are pretty much standard equipment on ARs.

        8. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

          Pulling stuff out of your a$$ doesn’t make the Mini any less over priced

        9. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

          I’m not sure what exactly I’m ‘pulling out of my a$$’, but I agree, Minis are a bit overpriced. Ruger’s MSRP on the AR-556 is $750 while the basic wood stocked Mini is $939, $990 if you want it to come with a pair of 20 round magazines. Looking at GunBroker, I don’t think the real world pricing is quite that drastic, but I don’t see why the Mini should be ~$100-150 more. But if you want something that’s just as effective as an AR without the operator wannabe image the Mini is about the only option.

          BTW I personally own both an AR and a Mini, and I like them both.

      2. avatar Sian says:

        Seems really cool until it comes time to clean it.

        Then it’s way way less cool.

        1. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

          Take down is easier on the AR, but if you’re planning on cleaning the bolt carrier group the Mini is easier overall.

      3. avatar jwm says:

        I don’t know it’s current status but at one time the mini 14 was the official CA state rifle. Does that mean that Ruger gives a sweet heart deal to CA leo agencies?

        I think I would rather have the mini 30 if I was to go the Ruger route.

        1. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

          Without a scope I’d agree, with a scope I’d rather have the 5.56. Since they’re the newer 580 series rifles they can’t be AC556 rifles, meaning they’re semi-auto only, not select fire. Cops don’t need to be spraying bullets all over neighborhoods (even neighborhoods in CA), so that’s a good thing.

      4. avatar Barstow Cowboy says:

        The city went bankrupt, they’re they ones with the good gear. The county is solvent, so they get the mini 14’s. Kinda like your neighbor with all the nice stuff who just went bankrupt while you’re the idiot paying the bills on the things you could afford.

  3. avatar DavidinNC says:

    Well thought and well written, Sir. And although I don’t subscribe to much of USA Today’s viewpoints, I applaud the publication for issuing your article.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      +1

    2. avatar Dr. Vinnie Boombotz says:

      “Brevity is the soul of wit, and tediousness its limbs and outward flourishes.”
      Good job, Mr. Farago.

    3. avatar Soccerchainsaw says:

      I would point out that at the bottom of the anti-gun editorial there is an informal survey showing whether you agree or disagree with the opinion expressed. As I post this comment there are only 511 votes with those against us showing a slight lead. I’ve got to think that the readers of this site could muster at least 500 votes pretty quickly.

      1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

        Just “voted”. Strongly agree is up to 79%. Excellent.

  4. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    Well written Robert. Succinct, points well made. I’m kind of surprised they published it.

    1. avatar Sixpack70 says:

      They actually seem to publish more pro gun op eds than other news outlets.

      Robert did a good job on this one short, clear, and concise. I’m sure some antis will freak out at it lose all rational thought.

      1. avatar Katy says:

        You haven’t been to the usatoday site to read the comments? “Will” has already happened.

    2. avatar DJ says:

      I just wish the voice of reason didn’t get drowned out in the stampede.

  5. avatar Paul says:

    Your site is no longer functional with the new popups that take over the entire screen. Get rid of it or you will lose me and probably many others. I can barely even type this protest before the ads take over!

    1. avatar ThomasR says:

      Interesting Paul. I have not had that experience. No pop up ads for me when I’m on the site.

    2. avatar Five says:

      I’m not getting any pop-ups here. You might have some add serving malware. It varies only a little depending on browser but turn off plug-ins, extensions, add-ons and block flash / active content, see if that helps your browsing.

      1. avatar Paul says:

        I block Flash routinely. These ads were coming up this morning using both Firefox and Chrome on two different computers in two different locations, using different ISP’s, one of which is behind a hardware firewall that can be tightened only so far before it cripples the usability of the browsers. Public Service Announcements for various causes like Designated Driver. Now it seems to be over.

    3. avatar Farmer Dave says:

      My pop-up blocker works to stop them, but becomes overwhelmed and my browser then locks up forcing a reboot. A fix is needed.

      1. avatar RMan says:

        That’s my experience..kicks me off frequently

    4. avatar CJ Minnesota says:

      uBlock Origin – Chrome Add-In, possibly Firefox too.

      I was fine with the ads until they became intrusive, now they are blocked. I also went as long as I could without blocking since I realize that is how one generates income from a site such as this. And I realize that the problem is that you have an advertisement provider and don’t control the content, and they simply overstep by providing more and more intrusive advertisements.

  6. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

    Mini 14’s???

    That’s not tacti-cool!!!

    1. avatar tdiinva (Now in Wisconsin) says:

      But it’s made of wood and doesn’t have a thingy that goes up. It’s a warm and fuzzy rifle. That’s why I bought one for a trail gun.

      1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        I was ready to go buy one until I saw that the suggested retail price was around $1,000. I’ll pass on that.

        1. avatar tdiinva (Now in Wisconsin) says:

          I have seen them as low as $740 and I paid $850 for mine.

        2. avatar BLAMMO says:

          That’s MSRP. Shop around. You can probably get a new Ranch in blue/hardwood for around $700. It’s a sweet shooter.

        3. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

          I was finding them for around $700-800 when I was in the market.

          At the time, all I needed was a semi auto, hog hunting rifle and the juice just wasn’t worth the squeeze for the Mini. So, I settled on an SKS for a quarter of the price.

        4. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          I am not interested even for $700 — especially since their magazines are proprietary and only hold 20 rounds. I would buy an SKS or an AK-47 first.

      2. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

        I almost purchased one years back, but thought them to be a little over priced and I didn’t care much for the proprietary nature of the parts.That being said, I like the modified Garand action and still think they are neat guns.

  7. avatar Tile floor says:

    Well done, I’m glad they published it.

    In other news, I really, really hope another Great Anmunition Shortage isn’t about to kick off

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      Doubtful.

      Congress is solidly in conservative hands.

      It’s *possible* he might pull an executive order out of his ass, however…

      1. avatar Chrispy says:

        I fear he might, but I doubt it would stand for any length of time

  8. avatar Dean Carpenter says:

    The truth rings true.

  9. No religious zealot shot anyone at a Planned Parenthood.

    1. avatar Peter says:

      +1
      Guy was certifiably insane & completely incoherent.

    2. avatar SteveInCO says:

      Yeah, technically you seem to be right about that. Instead, they bomb or burn the clinics and stalk the doctors and shoot them elsewhere.

      A distinction that makes no difference.

      1. avatar SteveInCO says:

        On second thought, I was quite wrong about this and I apologize.

        There have indeed been many instances of staff at abortion clinics and planned parenthoods being killed on account of the abortion issue.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-abortion_violence

        Mike, you are ridiculously wrong, as usual.

        1. Robert obviously referred to Robert Dear, the Colorado Springs mall parking lot shooter NEAR the PP “clinic”.
          The only Christian that we know of in this story was the slain police officer who was a pro life pastor.
          Your on the wrong side of this issue Steve.
          BTW, no patients or staff of that PP were killed or injured. Maybe they weren’t the target.

  10. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    Did anyone else notice the plethora of Ruger Mini-14 Ranch Rifles and the dearth of AR-15s in the hands of the police and deputies in San Bernardino?

    What’s up with that? Are they so “sensitive” in California that even the police won’t carry AR-15s? Do they carry the Mini-14 Ranch Rifles because they supposedly look a lot less scary? Are Ranch Rifles somehow much more reliable than AR-15s?

    1. avatar tdiinva (Now in Wisconsin) says:

      There is no difference between a mini 14 and an AR-15 in effectiveness. The AR is easier to maintain but a Garand is probably more reliable under police operating conditions.

    2. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

      It’s likely political, more than anything else.

      AR’s can be had cheaper, and maintained cheaper. Not to mention the modularity and aftermarket.

      But, the AR is just iky and super scary, don’t yah know.

    3. avatar voiceofreason says:

      San Bernardino County Sheriffs have used Mini-14’s for decades and I’m sure that their deputies are comfortable with the manual of arms. It really has nothing to do with political correctness. I’m sure that they got a fantastic price on them due to the size of their order.

  11. avatar I1ULUZ says:

    Don’t forget to vote in their poll on your thoughts about the piece. It’s 81% strongly agree right now. That has to drive them nuts and counter to their view of everyone wants more gun control.

    1. avatar Shire-man says:

      And vote on the anti’s op-ed.
      Currently it’s 41% for control and 31% against.

      1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

        Strongly disagree is now leading one the anti gun op-Ed. 44%
        The agrees are stuck at 31%.
        Hmmm

  12. avatar CBI says:

    Nicely done.
    One language comment. The use of the term “shooting” has the effect of emphasizing the type of weapon being used. The use of the term “attack” has the effect of emphasizing the intentional violence. For that reason, I believe the term “attack” should be used instead of “shooting”.
    Again, well done. And thanks!

  13. avatar DerryM says:

    Nicely penned, RF! I don’t like USAToday much, but I appreciate their willingness to print your well written editorial. A voice of reason in a cacophony of lunacy.

  14. avatar FrankieFran says:

    Interesting that your view is the “opposing” one. You basically said the same thing as the editors, keep guns out of the hands of the wrong people. That sounds like a noble concept, but how you go about doing that is going to be just as controversial as trying to limit access to certain types of guns in the first place. How many people that were assumed to be mentally and emotionally stable before will fall into some sort of category afterwards that prohibits them from buying a gun? Who’s going to determine this level of mental competence? And do you really think the almighty NRA is going to go along with ANYTHING that limits their ability to recruit new members to their cause? (And please spare me the displeasure of having to hear about how stricter gun control laws will only harm the “law abiding” citizens who only want to protect their families. Everyone lives under the same rules in society, whether they choose to follow them or not. If you make it easier to get more dangerous guns that hold more ammo, then you’re not only making it easier for the “good” people, but also the “bad” people. Yes, bad guys will still get their hands on the weapons they want, but why ask the government to legalize those weapons, thus making it easier for them?)

    1. avatar CarlosT says:

      Because the access for criminals and terrorists shouldn’t be the priority. Once it’s acknowledged that the laws will likely be circumvented by those groups anyway, the question then remains on how it affects the law abiding. And as we’ve seen in countless examples, it serves to render those who follow the rules defenseless before those who have evil intent.

      The larger point is gun control laws are mala prohibita, things that are wrong because we passed a law. Assault, murder, are mala in se, wrong in and of themselves. Someone with a plan to commit the latter category of crime, especially on a large scale, is not going to worry about the bureaucratic niceties involved in the former category.

      1. avatar FrankieFran says:

        But my main point remains- if you loosen laws on something, you’re loosening the laws for everyone, including the bad guys. If the govt decides to throw their hands up and say, “well, the bad guys are gonna get a hold of explosives anyway, so let’s just make explosives available for everyone.” Now, hopefully, the majority of Americans would be responsible with how they use said explosives, but those with harmful intentions just received their ammo of choice a little more easily. You’re basically saying, “whatever weapons the criminals can “potentially” get their hands on (which is just about anything), I should be allowed to own the same thing, for my and my family’s safety.” That, to me, just seems like an arms race played out in every neighborhood in America.

  15. avatar Jim Bullock says:

    Well, also hitting the press just today, George Seohenopolus (sp?) Agreeing w Podesta’s observations that:

    The bad guys aren’t deterred by registration n similar,

    The good guys are legitimately concerned about fees, hassle, and the camel’s nose in the tent,

    Thr N R A is largely right ( his words), and

    He’s for registration anyway.

    Per advisory fax Podesta sent to the Clinton White House, found in the Clinton presidential library. Kinda begs the question why hes for registration anyway … to what end. Somebody should ask candidate Clinton (the other one) about that, esp now that she has come out s hard on gun control. For this week, I mean.

    Insert “What difference, at this point, does it make.” Ref here. The difference, madam candidate, is this is still yr position, now. And still, to what end?

  16. avatar CZ GUY says:

    The left doesn’t care about facts and the truth. You can’t make them see it our way. The bottom line is they will try to disarm us one way or the other….

  17. avatar Fred says:

    All the news channels on the radio are blowing up on gun control. On one station a female Californian senator (not the Feinstein) called for all the same old tactics and lied on almost every point she made. She said “multiple automatic” in reference to guns and asserted anyone outside of California could buy a fully automatic gun anywhere and that “gun shows roll into town, sell everything and don’t do background checks”. She also touched in the (corrupt) CDC no longer being funded for research, even though the results of that decision are a clear a day, no money will be given to fund anti gun propaganda. Lies and ignorance do not make for good policy.

    My main question is, how would any of the proposed gun control measures help when those carrying out these acts obtain their guns legally and give no signals prior to the incident? No matter how many loops you make them jump through they still get the what they need legally. Secondly, how does any of this matter when you acknowledge criminals and determined terrorists can circumvent the law entirely? Look at Paris. The claim that national gun control a tight or tighter than California is not possible given the number of (at this point) legal guns out there. That only considers the state of the US. Consider Paris in which arms were supplied from another country. We can’t secure our borders against drugs or people and as it is now guns flow out of the US but of there is a demand they can just a easily flow in. A war on guns would be even less effective than the war on drugs.

  18. avatar fred says:

    Read your piece in USA…bad article. Why? You tell us guns control not the answer. Ok. Then you tell us we need to keep bad people from getting guns.Ok. But there is no evidence that these two were bad people. Had job. Married. Kid. You need to tell us how we can keep bad people from getting guns if you are as here talking about people with no record of being “bad.”

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      there is no evidence that these two were bad people

      Once the cops really tear their lives apart, I think that there will be a mountain of evidence that the two murders were radical jihadists who could have been discovered as such before the fact.

      In the meantime, I think that the mountain of dead bodies and the manner of their death is a pretty elegant proof that the murderers were bad people for a long time.

    2. avatar Mister Fleas says:

      “But there is no evidence that these two were bad people.”

      Uh, they frickin’ MURDERED FOURTEEN PEOPLE. They were both members of a cult that that demands the death of non-members of said cult. I think that qualifies them as “bad people”.

  19. avatar Ditto says:

    Good job, Robert.

  20. avatar pres stone says:

    excellent, well-put, well constructed retort.

  21. avatar Paul says:

    Now that the ads seem to have disappeared — . I stand corrected as I really thought this would prove to be gang-related. Given that it is not — at some point we have to ask about closing the obvious loophole, and it is not the supposed watch list or gun shows. It has to do with travel to and from certain countries where radicalization clearly is happening (Pakistan and Saudi Arabia at the top of the list); and for travel to and from places like Syria where ISIS or Al Qaeda are operating. Seems to me, if you cannot prove a governmental, business, or legitimate NGO reason for going there, you are free to leave the US. Just don’t expect to be allowed back in. Sorry if that means no going back “home” for a funeral; and if that means you can’t do the Hajj. When the immigrants of the past who really wanted to be here (e.g. my grandparents and most of yours) came here, they did not go back for funerals. Heck, many of them would have been arrested and sent to the Gulag, Devil’s Island, a concentration camp, or wherever similar if they went back. And I hate to show my obvious bias, but we have not heard of any mass shootings from people coming back from Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, or any other pilgrimages to places of historical value to these religions. But the older Tsarneev brother, now this couple, others whose names I do not recall. Clear pattern here. Is this un-American? Did we have free travel to Cuba when it was considered an enemy outpost? I don’t think so. Do we have free travel to North Korea? Is not Islamic radicalization a real enemy?

  22. avatar neiowa says:

    Here is a new law Barry – “No organization or gov’t body that receives Federal funds many restrict lawful, sane citizens from owning or carrying any individual weapon or accessory.”. Get your f-ing pen out.

  23. avatar Drew says:

    I haven’t heard too many news sources or politicians mentioning this happened in California – a state with some of the strictest gun control laws in the country. You have to endure a 10 day waiting period to pick up a gun and you’re limited to one handgun per 30 days.
    Bottom line is that more gun control laws wouldn’t have prevented this.

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