The editors of USA Today asked me to write a 340-word “opposing view,” refuting the paper’s pro-gun control editorial. One catch: I had to write mine without seeing theirs. But they could read mine before publishing theirs. How great is that? Yes, well, this wasn’t my first USA Today rodeo. I knew the rules. And I had a pretty good idea of what they’d write.

Click here to read USA Today’s 565-word gun control editorial After Las Vegas, 4 steps to help cut mass shooting toll. Long story short, it calls for a federal ban on bump fire stocks, military-style assault weapons and large-capacity magazines; and the imposition of gun purchase limitations.

Absent any specific intel, I decided that an absolutist Second Amendment argument would seem strident, insensitive and old-hat. I also knew the paper would beat readers over the head with stats. So I wrote a stat-free piece slamming gun control and offering alternatives for reducing “gun violence,” making only an oblique reference to armed self-defense.

Let me know if you think I played it right. And don’t forget to click here after you finish, to vote on whether you agree or disagree with my view. ‘Cause as of right now, 60 percent of McPaper readers “strongly disagree.”

Robert Farago: Gun control doesn’t work

In the aftermath of the Las Vegas spree killing, there’s an urgent call to do something. A cry to enact new laws that will stop the slaughter.

Given the pain, suffering and horror created by the Mandalay Bay shooter, it’s an entirely reasonable reaction. But it’s not rational.

What gun control law would have stopped the killer? Limiting ammunition magazines to 10 rounds? Restricting sales of semiautomatic rifles to one a month? Per year? Banning “assault rifles”?

OUR VIEW:4 steps to help cut mass shooting toll

When Stephen Paddock opened fire, he broke the law against murder. Dozens of times. Believing that any gun control law would have disarmed or dissuaded a man willing to commit mass murder is to fail to understand the nature of the beast.

Like it or not, America is home to hundreds of millions of guns.

Regardless of gun control laws, criminals, crazies and terrorists manage to obtain firearms. Always have. Always will. To believe otherwise is dangerously naive.

That’s because gun control is more than ineffective; it’s a distraction.

If we’re serious about reducing firearms-related injury and death, we have to focus on a range of effective solutions.

We have to end the revolving-door justice system that returns dangerous criminals to the streets. We have to improve economic and educational opportunities for inner city youth. We have to find new ways to provide mental health care to teenagers, veterans and others contemplating suicide.

We have to strengthen the bonds that tie us to each other, so we can help keep each other safe. We have to realize that we are our own first responders, and work to identify threats before they’re realized.

If we could pass laws that keep guns out of the hands of criminals and mass murderers, it would reduce firearms-related crime. But we can’t. Gun control doesn’t work.

Even as we mourn the victims of the heinous assault in Las Vegas, we must resist the urge to see gun control as a simple solution to the death and destruction we decry. It is no such thing.

Robert Farago is publisher of The Truth About Guns website.

95 Responses to RF’s USA Today Article: Gun Control Doesn’t Work

    • Totally agreed. This thoughtful article is worded to prevent a straw man argument… namely that gun owners don’t care about victims or gun violence. Well done!

    • As of 7:20pm Central time those who agree or strongly agree with Roberts position total approximately 48% beating out the 47% who strongly agree or agree with USA TODAY editors. Only 2% don’t know.

      I found it interesting how polarized the view is. Only 7 percent disagree and only 11 percent agree with Roberts position. (The vast majority of those polled felt “strongly” about their position.)

      Robert you nailed the article. It sounded like the same editor who wrote the opposing argument for “reasonable restrictions” decided to play devils advocate for a minute.

      • Edit: I didn’t realize there were two poles. Robert has 67% of people “strongly agreeing” with his view as of 7:27 pm central time.

        In the pole at the bottom of the other article they are nearly tied.

  1. Guns are the one and only subject in which the Left demands to demonize, punish, and harass people who had absolutely nothing to do with the offense.

    The approach is as irrational as the sentiment behind it.

  2. >>If we could pass laws that keep guns out of the hands of criminals and mass murderers, it would reduce firearms-related crime. But we can’t. Gun control doesn’t work.

    Rework that first sentence big time. I had to reread it because my brain completely skipped over the word “could” and I ended up going Huh? He says gun control works?

    Imagine how someone with cognative bais FOR gun control would read it.

    Maybe something along the lines of “If laws could keep guns out of the hands of criminals worked, we would have already solved the problem.” Wordsmithing required.

    Q: Did you ask if it’s a level playing field, or will the pro-gun-control view get to read YOUR reply first?

    O2

    • No, he’s expressing the CONCEPT that IF we COULD pass laws that WOULD keep guns out of the hands of criminals, BY DEFINITION it would reduce gun-related crime.

      Perhaps that’s how he should have phrased it.

      But he’s right – IF we COULD. Except as he then goes on to point out, it isn’t POSSIBLE. So we CAN’T.

      Frankly at this point I think we should LET them pass a total gun ban bill. Then they would confiscate maybe 70-90% of firearms (IF they COULD), missing ten to thirty percent of them – not to mention all those in criminal hands already – which would leave some 40 to 120 million firearms still in private hands.

      Then gun crime would go up, ordinary crime would go up – and we’d be proven right. Too late, of course, but we’d be proven right. Just like in Australia crime has gone up since gun confiscation.

      Let’s face it. These people are NEVER going to stop trying to ban guns. Only as long as the NRA and its members and others who value firearms continue to resist are they likely to continue to be stopped. But every time we have a mass murder incident, the odds are that eventually the Congress will be forced to pass ever more restrictive legislation.

      The advantage we have is that 80 million people own 400 million firearms – 70 times the total in police and military hands, if that figure is correct. And that means that sooner or later those 80 million people are going to have to fight the police and military to continue to own those firearms.

  3. You’re going to gets bunch oh shit about appeasement, but I thought it was well done given the word count limitation, and given the forum itself.

    • Tried. Couldn’t vote for(or against) either. Not loading right on my phone, I’ll try again when I get to my desktop at home.

      • Don’t bother with Microsloth Edge either. The poll does not come up no matter what I tried. Worked fine in Chrome, Firefox and IE. ( hint )

    • and as I write this, theirs needs more downvotes. 45% strongly agree, 32% strongly disagree with knee-jerk gun bans in response to a one time event.

  4. So a national newspaper had to go find someone who is not employed by them to get the pro 2A position. Does this mean that they don’t have a single writer who is pro gun on staff who is up to the task? I’m pretty sure it does.

  5. The USA Today article is running a poll. Right now it is running 60% for more gun control including assault weapons ban and one a month purchase, 40% against

      • Is it 40% against gun control laws? If so, I agree with you. Or is it 40% somewhat opposed/not sure about specific gun control laws? That’s less encouraging.

  6. Given the obvious constraints, I think you got it right. The most important thing you said—essential I think you making your argument work—is that gun control measures are a distraction. Gun control advocates are far more interested in using law to underscore their valued beliefs than they are in achieving their stated interests in “stopping gun-violence”, etc., etc. Basically, they’re interested in symbolism—the “cause”, be it gun-control, speed-limits, or pornography simply provides the stage on which they present their drama.

  7. The problem with their perspective is that they simply don’t see the 2nd Amendment for what is really is. To them guns are for sport or home protection. They will never admit that the prefatory clause of the 2nd Amendment clearly tells us all how the founders viewed the right of the people to keep and bear arms. That a militia, which is comprised of the whole body of the People, is necessary to protect a free state. From what? From all enemies, both foreign and domestic. Even the venerable (RIP) Justice Antonin Scalia was wrong when he supported restrictions. There are NO restrictions upon the free exercise of our natural, civil, and Constitutionally protected rights.

    Robert – The problem with what you wrote is not in the words, nor the voracity of your argument. The problem is that you did not address guns and therefor your argument will be dismissed by the left as simple deflection. Good job though for all it will be worth.

  8. I just read two stories in which mothers killed their children, NO guns used. So now what? Where is the call for knife and blunt object control? Where are the late night know-it-all comedian outrage and answers? Where is Pelosi, Schumer, FiDi? I can’t find a peep from them or any other elite. HUMM does not fit their control freak agenda I guess.

    • The issue is the wide impact a gun can have versus a knife. I think all can agree that an automatic weapon can kill hundreds of people in 10-15 minutes – can I knife? Guns are used to kill – that is the main purpose – automatic weapons are used in war but being sold to civilians. If you weigh the pros and cons of allowing civilians to walk around with automatic weapons, I would say there are more cons than pros – just the sheer pleasure of owning an automatic weapon (because of course a sane, calm person would not shoot it at a crowd to kill them) outweighs the negative in how many people die from such terrible weapons. We are not talking about handguns and rifles – these are weapons of war.

      • “just the sheer pleasure of owning an automatic weapon outweighs the negative in how many people die from such terrible weapons.”

        Actually it doesn’t. A lot of people enjoy owning a car that goes faster than 55mph. They don’t NEED a car that goes faster than that. But we don’t restrict cars speed to 55mph despite the fact that 50,000 people a year die because of speeding (and other negative applications of a vehicle.)

        The pleasure of the 400,000 full auto weapons owners does indeed outweigh the 59 people killed and 400 wounded in this incident as well as the HANDFUL of other people who have been killed in mass shooter incidents.

        The difference is the word FREEDOM. People who AREN’T committing crimes with their full auto TOYS (because aside from serious collectors, that’s what full auto weapons ARE for most people who own them – and even serious collectors are simply HOBBYISTS like any other hobby) should not have to be penalized because of a few one-off incidents where these devices are criminally used.

        What happens if the next mass murderer commandeers a dump truck, a city bus or a tractor-trailer and runs into a mass entertainment event and runs over 200 people? Do we ban trucks? Now that vehicle homicides are becoming common, the knife analogy is no longer relevant. The vehicle analogy remains.

        Not to mention that the weapons involved in this incident were semi-auto weapons CONVERTED to full-auto or with devices to SIMULATE full auto while remaining semi-auto, so banning full auto weapons when almost no one has ever been killed by real full auto weapons is precisely irrelevant to the actual incident.

      • ” I think all can agree that an automatic weapon can kill hundreds of people in 10-15 minutes…”
        No. Automatic weapons can’t kill anyone by themselves. Sick in the head PERSON can kill people using automatic weapon. Or truck. Or can of gasoline and lighter. Or poison. Or thousand other things that can get USED for evil.

        Now about those hundreds of people in 10-15 minutes. I can hardly imagine more favorable conditions for murderer than those in LV. Thousands of people crowded together inside chain link fence and murderer in prepared high point, with bunch of rifles, just couple hundred yards away. Still – no hundreds of dead. Now some box cutters on a plane, thousands of dead in one day.

        All weapons were originally designed and used for warfare. From sticks and rocks, bows and arrows, knives and swords to bolt action rifles and handguns. Just because FA rifles are used in war doesn’t mean that we, the people should be barred from their ownership and use. We might need them to ensure security of the free state.

        It’s never about the weapon, it’s always about the guy holding it.

  9. It’s short, overly simplistic, devoid of any specific solutions, and provides no actual facts for the editors to dispute. I love it. Perfect for USA Today’s audience who probably arent going to read the actual editorial in it’s entirety anyway.

  10. “…We have to improve economic and educational opportunities for inner city youth….”

    Here we go; more time and money wasted on affirmative action programs that do nothing to affect hearts and minds of people unwilling to change or accept responsibility for their own actions. Works every time (sarc off now).

    “… work to identify threats before they’re realized….”

    Will definitely work– we can institutionalize every person deemed a ‘threat’ by liberal doctors with no agenda in mind. Works every time (sarc off).

    “…we have to focus on a range of effective solutions….”

    Of course, gun owners and those wanting to be can surely accept more restrictions on their freedoms while getting nothing in return. Oh, wait– they will get less freedom in return, and that’s a ‘win-win’ for everyone (sarc off now).

    Statistics aren’t needed to get across the point that tractor-trailer rigs don’t need bullets and would probably have cost less than what this murderer spent on firearms and ammunition. For thousands of dollars less and probably much fewer problems could have built an IED and wiped massacred even more than he did. How much would it have cost him to locate and purchase an aspirin bottle full of ricin (sp?) and disperse same among the crowd?

    That said, I don’t see anything really ‘wrong’ with your response, such as it is. The real problem is going to be with those who read both (fat chance) articles and utilize common sense and rational thought– ‘ain’t’ gonna happen, Robert.

  11. Well done. Of course repeat offenders, inner city youth, veterans, and poverty had nothing to do with Paddock’s (I believe) politically motivated slaughter of those who’s politics he disagreed most with, but you threw USA Today an important bone – one that is hard for them to argue against, because a) it really has nothing to do with the facts of this particular circumstance, and b) it somewhat aligns with, and fits their narrow and irrational narratives.

  12. Excellent. This is a personal responsibility issue. Looking for ANY excuse to not blame the person or persons responsible is just pushing the issue down the road.

  13. BS article.

    Then tell me why gun control worked so well in Australia, after the 1996 tragedy Australia is considered one of the safest countries in the world.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/mar/15/it-took-one-massacre-how-australia-made-gun-control-happen-after-port-arthur

    https://www.sciencealert.com/20-year-review-of-australia-s-gun-laws-has-one-clear-finding-they-work

    http://www.iflscience.com/editors-blog/figures-show-no-mass-shootings-australia-since-gun-control-laws-introduced-20-years-ago/
    Keep living in your fantasy that more guns will make us safe. Your statically more likely to murder yourself or a loved one or commit suicide with your weapon than stop an intruder.

    Time for you to WAKE UP and GROW UP.

    https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/10/2/16399418/us-gun-violence-statistics-maps-charts

  14. I agree but this is the golden cow for the gun control crowd. We may hold out for the next 3 years while Trump is president but the writing is on the wall and every time a lunatic shoots into a crowd the opposition gains a bigger foothold.

    In my humble opinion, Trump is such a liability to the conservative party in 3 years we will have another one-sided, left-leaning government and extreme gun control will be pushed through or worse yet the 2nd amendment may even be in danger. I know there are those who think this will never happen. I grew up in Illinois and just spent a year in California, I’m back in Colorado now but even here the winds are changing for the worst.

    You identified issues that are causing a rise in violence.

    The revolving door of justice? What are the statistics and what examples can be used to ground this statement?

    Inner city youth, no one cares because the gun control fanatics are not affected by it. We need to show a benefit to moderates and independents how improving conditions for young black men will help them.

    Improve mental health for youth and veterans? How do you both identify who has mental health issues and how to get the afflicted to identify, accept and enter treatment? Did anyone think Stephen Paddock had mental health issues? No.

    It is useless to continue this repetitive dialogue, we, the pro-gun crowd need to solve these problems ourselves because the gun control people have no reason too. If we cannot reframe this conversation, every time a shooting occurs the other side just gains more ground with people on the fence.

  15. I think you did the best you could given the circumstances. I also liked the piece you did for CBS. I think you are trying like hell for the rest of us to produce a relatable individual for the non gunners to see. USA Today has never been friendly to the POTG. That will probably never change. And the deck is stacked against you if they get to see your piece before they get to see their piece. They will probably hang you out to dry as a “right wing gun nut”. That being said i think that you are a prime example of a rational gun owner. The ones they dont want to talk about. You write these stories about how our rights are infringed again and again. But i have not once detected a sense of anger that could be perceived as dangerous. You are a reasonable person with logic behind you. Godspeed RF

  16. Out of the four USA Today suggestions, the stupidest has to be banning “military-style assault weapons.”
    That’s like saying that to cut down on car accidents, we should ban “race-car style cars” (e.g. ban spoilers, alloy wheels, racing stripes, dual mufflers, etc. because they make a car look fast!)
    A gun’s “style” doesn’t make a gun more deadly.
    Pistol grips, flash suppressors, bayonet lugs, adjustable stocks, and other “military style” cosmetic features that gun-grabbers want to ban don’t make guns more deadly.
    Gun-grabbers would be surprised to learn that a pistol grip, like that on an AR-15, actually makes a rifle MORE difficult to “shoot from the hip” compared to a straight stock like the Mini-14 (try dry-firing this way at a gun range, you’ll see! But I don’t recommend hip-shooting with live ammo if you’re not a professional, as “shooting from the hip” can be inaccurate).

    My guess is the next “assault weapon ban” will find even more COSMETIC “military-style” features to ban, such as Picatinny rails! (Oops, maybe I shouldn’t give the gun-banners any ideas).
    Maybe they’ll require gun stocks be wood instead of polymer? Or maybe they’ll want all guns painted pink?
    That’s what happens when gun-banners (of course) know nothing about the guns they’re trying to ban.
    They go, “Gee, that looks scary in Hollywood movies, so let’s ban it!”
    That’s why certain guns got banned before, like the revolver-shotgun (“Streetsweeper”) which is no more deadly than a pump-action shotgun, but movie villains used it in a movie, so it got banned.
    And the C96 Broomhandle Mauser (an antique from 1896) is banned in New Jersey because a James Bond movie villain used it (I swear that’s why New Jersey banned handguns with magazines outside the pistol grip — no other explanation makes sense! They’re actually LESS DANGEROUS than handguns that have magazines in the grip, because having the magwell forward of the grip makes the gun bulkier and have a shorter barrel, meaning less velocity and less concealibility!)

    • “because they make a car look fast!”

      From Futurama: “Cubert and Dwight paint the Planet Express ship red and add flame decals to make it go faster. When Leela questions their reasoning, Cubert answers ‘Uh, I’m twelve.'”

    • I guess it’s less about the old Mauser and more about the AR15 and AK47 “pistols”, which of couse are direct result of NFA as workaround for short barreled rifle.

  17. I would have mentioned the 89 people killed and hundreds wounded on 13 November 2015 at the Bataclan Theatre in Paris, France, where guns are heavily regulated and the automatic weapons used by the killers were certainly verboten. Proof that evil people ignore laws and acquire whatever weapons they think they need.

    I would have mentioned the 86 people killed and hundreds injured on 14 July 2016 in Nice, France, by a killer driving a rented truck. Proof that evil people are more imaginative than governments and will use whatever tools and methods they think will do the job.

    Ban all guns in the U.S. and it won’t prevent either of those atrocities from happening here. Confronting evil by attempting to regulate their tools of choice is a fools errand that does more harm than good.

    • I agree completely. Focus on tools is not going to help anyone except criminals. They shoure would like their prey defenseless.

  18. USA Today IS PART OF THE PROBLEM. The PROBLEM doesn’t get to DEFINE THE PROBLEM, much less suggest a SOLUTION.

    Leave any other argument out.

    We HAVE the RTKABA that does not go away, regardless of how it’s abused. The right and the reason for the right will outlive humanity.

    It doesn’t matter how pissed off or horrified you get at its uses. If you can’t take that or tolerate that, then off yourself.

  19. Perhaps an even simpler two-point argument would suffice. How about this?

    (1) An attacker is guaranteed to kill dozens/hundreds of people if he/she:
    — has average intelligence
    — has time
    — has a modest amount of money
    — is resourceful
    — is determined
    — is willing to die achieving his/her goals

    (2) Trying to restrict access to everything that anyone could use to harm dozens of people is a fool’s errand because the possibilities are quite literally endless. An attacker could achieve similar results with:
    — a pickup truck with a snow plow blade
    — a gallon of gasoline and matches
    — a small airplane

    Those are hard, cold facts. Period. Any resources that we direct toward restricting access to objects is wasted effort. Rather than foolishly attempting to restrict access to objects, we should direct efforts AT THE PEOPLE WHO ARE INCLINED TO DO SUCH THINGS.

    Closing slavo: if convicted felons in prison can acquire narcotics, knives, and guns, how much easier would it be for a determined, resourceful spree killer to acquire guns on the streets?

  20. Two out of four of their points are outright falsehoods.

    1)There was no ban on “assault weapons.” There was an increase in production due to the “ban.” Since the “ban expired, there are now millions more out there.
    2)There was no ban on “high capacity” magazines. These were readily available the whole time. Now that everyone has a case of PMags stashed away, a new “ban” of the 1994 type will be even more useless.

    I remember the 1994 “AWB” and it didn’t ban those things. They were plentiful and legal before, during, and after.

  21. These people believe it does work, though. It’s almost an article of faith for them. Maybe they can’t emotionally deal with the helplessness they feel if they admit this point? I dunno. But either way they start from the false premise that .gov solution is best solution and work from there. All evidence to the contrary notwithstanding.

    • Honestly, just look how pathetic their opinion piece is. All the mights, maybes, probably’s, and the final “we gotta do something!”

      It’s nonsense. Top to bottom. They don’t know WHAT to do, so they just pray to the government to fix things until they feel better then move on to ruining something else.

  22. Lot of NON-Americans on that comment page. They don’t get a say until they conquer us, and I’ll throw more effort behind preventing them. And their overt efforts will be responded to trebly.

  23. One thing that you forgot to mention is that terrorists will inevitably displace firearms with other tools. cars, trucks, bombs, planes it doesn’t matter.

  24. RF, as of a couple minutes ago, you had 57% agreeing with you. Pretty good.
    I strongly disagreed with their anti post. 32%.

  25. Can I make a really long comment without it getting deleted? I feel like it’s going to get deleted. Here goes…

    I’m going to copy/paste something I wrote on another gun website a couple years ago (a full 1.5 years before that one on TFB). I wrote this after Sandy Hook, when I started to notice the national debate going awry. I think the logic is very sound. My thanks to anyone who takes the time to read it…

    It’s important to do some critical thinking on the nature of freedom and how it relates to your life. Freedom is not “needs-based.” It’s not a privilege that must be justified to anyone else, and it’s not a state of being that is granted to you only after you’ve met a specific set of criteria; it’s a birth right. Provided that you’re not hurting another or impeding their right to live as they see fit, freedom is something that you have the innate right to enjoy.

    With respect to the question of whether or not we should have the right to own semi-automatic rifles, I beg of you not to make the mistake of buying into the current rhetoric which would have you believe that legislative action aimed at restricting or banning them is “common sense.” This is a very cleverly chosen buzzword that has proliferated in this debate and has done nothing but mislead otherwise sensible, thoughtful people. Use of this term makes many Americans (who may be less than informed on the topic) heave a sigh of relief, knowing that they really need not take time to examine the issue. After all, why would you? It’s common sense!

    True understanding of the issue of semi-auto rifles and, indeed, the right to own guns as a whole demands not only critical thinking, but more fundamentally, a working knowledge of human history and the many philosophical arguments regarding the relationship between government and governed. Our Constitution is not the product of common sense- it is the product of debate, education, intelligence, and sound reason. To suggest that the loss of any freedom should come from the realm of common sense is an insult to the spirit of liberty, as true liberty can only exist among the informed.

    If you want to see semi-auto rifles banned, then let’s take a look at the very core of the issue: Ownership of these rifles is a right that Americans currently have. Of those who exercise that right, a very small portion (really, a tiny fraction of a percentage) misuse or abuse that right. You argue that because they’re killing people, and we don’t need them, it’s “common sense” to ban them, and take away that right. Then you ask me, “What do you say to the parents of the innocent children killed at Sandy Hook?” The following is my rebuttal to those arguments, and to that intensely offensive question (which I have been asked).

    Let’s draw a comparison to something else that Americans have access to that also meets the criteria that the anti-gun movement has set forth as grounds for banning semi-auto rifles: Alcohol. Now, take it easy- I realize that an AR-15 and a bottle of vodka are not the same thing. However, for the purposes of this discussion, they are one and the same, and I’ll prove it.

    (Before I continue, know that I absolutely do not want to ban alcohol. I’m using it in a hypothetical context to give the anti-gun movement an important question to chew on)

    There is no argument that anyone can make as to why we need alcohol for recreational consumption (that is need, as opposed to want). You will not suddenly become mute if you stand at a bar without a drink in your hand, nor will you keel over and die if you don’t drink a few beers every day. I understand that you might want it for recreation, but as you’ve argued with semi-auto rifles, we’re talking about what we need, not what we want. Your body requires proteins, calcium, and countless other nutrients, none of which come solely from alcoholic beverages.

    Now, let’s talk death. By the CDC’s estimate, from 2006 – 2010, there were an average of 88,000 alcohol-related deaths in the US each year. That’s 88,000 lives lost each year due to the abuse of something that Americans have the right to own and use.

    Sound familiar?

    So, on top of the fact that you don’t need it, it’s killing people in the tens of thousands and if you’re reading this, chances are, you drink alcohol recreationally. So I ask you, those of the anti-gun crowd, as you sip your PBR or your vintage Bordeaux, why don’t you want to ban alcohol? How can you justify its use when you know in your heart that it kills so many thousands of people every year?

    Our stomachs turned at the unspeakable murder of 20 children at Sandy Hook Elementary, but what do you say to the parents of the 239 children killed by drunk drivers in the same year? What do you, Mr. & Mrs. Happy Hour, say to the parents whose children were struck and killed by some dumb college kid who did 15 beer bongs and drove home? Are you going to look them in the eye and say, “I’m terribly sorry for your loss, but I really just do not have enough self-confidence to engage in conversation without a few vodka tonics”?

    I’ve heard, “Assault weapons are made for one purpose, and that is to KILL PEOPLE. Alcohol is made so people can have fun!”
    Whatever their intended use might be is wildly irrelevant. Dead is dead. If a person is hit and killed by a drunk driver, would you argue that it’s less tragic or less significant than a person who is shot with a rifle? More to the point, would you tell the family of either victim that they should have an easier time coping with the death of their loved one than the other family should? Certainly not.

    Death is about the person that is lost, it’s not about how they died. The deep sadness, the grieving and the sorrow we feel is about who they were, and who they could have been. It’s about their personality, their sense of humor, their achievements, the experiences we shared with them, and the eventual realization that you and that person will never be able to enrich each others’ lives again.

    I’ve also heard, “But I drink responsibly. Nobody, not even myself, has ever been hurt as a result of my drinking.” To that, I say, “Thank you.” But, it’s not about what a single person does. We’re talking about sweeping federal legislation, which demands numbers, especially when the rights of millions of harmless people are in question.

    I pulled all of this data directly from the FBI’s (albeit imperfect) Uniform Crime Reports. I intentionally left out the Virgin Islands, because the numbers for that territory weren’t available for every year in question. Apart from that, nothing was altered, twisted, or otherwise “cherry-picked” to make my point. Even if I wanted to, I wouldn’t need to- the data speaks for itself. I encourage you to go to their website and take a look if you think I lack integrity.

    In the entire US in 2009, there were a total of 348 people killed by rifles. It is important to note that that number represents all types of rifles (bolt action, pump action, lever, etc.), of which, semi-auto rifles are a sub-category for which exact numbers aren’t even tracked. Now, that’s a very small number, but to help put it into perspective, I also tallied the number of people killed by hand, with no weapons of any kind. The grand total for that? 801 (that’s eight hundred and one). That’s right. In 2009, there were more than twice as many people killed by hand than killed with rifles. For 2010, 357 killed with rifles, and 745 by hand. For 2011, same story: 323 by rifle, 728 by hand. What does this tell us? Americans, who have access to rifles, choose bare hands over rifles to commit murder by a ratio of more than two to one. More importantly, it tells us that a murderer doesn’t require a rifle, or even so much as a butter knife to kill somebody. Clearly, they’re perfectly capable of doing it without such tools. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

    So you say you should be able to drink alcohol because you’re responsible about it? Well, I own guns responsibly. In fact, with the exception of a few gutless psychos, all of the other millions of Americans who own them do too. My rifles have never been used to kill anybody, and I truly hope they never will. I use them to shoot target, but they’re also there if a more dire situation happens to present itself. That’s it.

    I’m a perfectly normal, friendly, compassionate guy. If you met me on the street, or at a party, you would never guess that I had a gun collection at home with such “terrifying” pieces in it. In fact, I’ve been stared at in astonishment, mouth agape, on a few occasions where somebody who “knew me” finally learned that I own these rifles. They were baffled that somebody “like me” could possibly own such a thing. I always get a kick out of it because I can almost see the sparks shoot out of their ears when their brain short-circuits. They can’t wrap their head around the fact that a sane, stable person could possibly own one of these things, and they’ve been trained by the mainstream media to believe that anyone who does must be an uneducated, blood-thirsty redneck who sprinkles Skoal on his cereal. I’m not crazy by any definition of the word, and owning a semi-auto rifle doesn’t make me crazy.

    A rifle is an inanimate object. It requires a human hand to pull the trigger. It’s no more capable of killing someone than a bottle of whiskey sitting on a shelf. I enjoy drinking on occasion, and I have, like every other guy on Earth, used alcohol to help me loosen up a bit so I can approach that stunning woman across the bar. But, for every argument you can make against semi-auto rifles, I can make ten fold for alcohol. The bottom line is, millions of people use both of them responsibly, and just because a handful of idiots don’t, does not mean the entire country needs to be stripped of them, because…

    That’s not how freedom works. You wanted to ban my semi-auto rifle (I have to assume past tense if you’ve read this far), the parents of children killed by drunk drivers want to ban alcohol, families of lung cancer victims want tobacco banned, and so on and so forth, ad nauseam. If you expect your freedom to be respected, you have no choice but to respect that of others. The clowns who aren’t responsible enough to wield freedom will always be around, and you can’t let them ruin your day, nor can you ask your government to take away someone else’s freedom while you maintain yours. People die. Tragically. It will never stop. You enjoy your beer, and I’ll enjoy my rifle (in fact, I’ll enjoy both).

    Don’t just say, “This guy’s an idiot,” and then click away to Amazon to go buy stuff you “need.” Take a minute to think about it. Honestly think about it with an open mind. If, after all of that, you still want to see semi-auto rifles banned, then there is only one possible explanation: You’re scared of them. If that’s the case, I’m sorry, but your fear is your problem and it does not, by any stretch of the imagination, constitute the grounds for a new federal law that will strip millions of people of a fundamental right, while achieving nothing more than making you feel good.

    • I found that to be reasonable, level headed, and well thought out. Unfortunately, it’s length precludes its effectiveness from being reduced to a sound byte that can be broadcast.

      • Thanks. I know it’s long, but I don’t care. I’m not a writer. I just threw it in here for the hell of it, since the USA Today article was calling for a new AWB. If one person read it (you), I’ll call it a win.

    • Yeah, that was REALLY long, and the bits I managed to read had little or nothing to do with the topic. I’m not a moderator here, but if this was posted on the forum I do manage, it would be toast. Get your own blog – then you can write about anything and at any length you please.

    • i’ve noticed that it’s difficult to force enough alcohol upon a large crowd to kill a large majority of them.
      if you could drink me to death, i’d be all for banning jameson and miller lite.

        • I don’t know and it doesn’t matter. Included in this number are people killed by drunk drivers and other cases where the dead one did not drink.

        • ^This. Sober people being killed by drunken stupidity is well into the thousands annually. I know drunk driving as a whole accounts for somewhere around 10,000 deaths annually (which, coincidentally, is around the same number of murders committed with guns), but I don’t recall what percentage of those were the drunk drivers themselves.

  26. This shooting was an outlier. The murderer was rich. He easily spent $100,000 on guns and accessories. No doubt he could illegally bought the guns he needed on the black market. He could have got a real machine gun fully equipped from south of the border for that amount. Had he had a belt fed machine gun on a tripod the death toll would have been ten times what was that night.

    No law will stop a crazy with money.

  27. I think this is pretty good. I did have to reread the sentence about passing gun laws to keep guns out of criminals’ hands, but otherwise, good stuff.

  28. Here is what I would have submitted to USA today. It begins with a very sensible quote that I like a lot.

    “Regulating inanimate objects is not a successful method to control criminal actions.” (Pete Manning, TFB) The bottom line, if guns were illegal, criminals and terrorists will be the only ones that have them. Look at all the terrorist attacks in France which has the strictest of gun laws; The Bataclan, Charlie Hebdo, or the Jewish Deli. The terrorists had guns, machine guns nonetheless. Stricter gun laws will NEVER prevent a tragedy like Vegas.

    Terrorists or Psychopaths, or anyone hellbent on destruction and death, will accomplish their goal one way or another. They will buy or make a gun, rent a truck and mow down crowds of people, make pipe bombs, or hack their way through a crowd with a machete. Guns, trucks, baseball bats, are inanimate objects. Regulating inanimate objects is not a successful method to control criminal actions of terrorists and the insane. Gun control will have ZERO effect on stopping attacks like this. Gun control is nothing more than a feel good measure that will only hinder our inalienable right to protect ourselves, and punish the 99.9% of gun owners who are law abiding citizens.

  29. Has anyone on the left considered that if he couldn’t get guns, he could have easily driven a truck into the crowd, run over a bunch of people, then detonated it if so desired? Death toll would have been a lot higher. There’s only a chain link fence gate separating Las Vegas Blvd. from the 22,000 people that were standing in the concert grounds. That gate could have been easily broken by a truck if it wasn’t opened already. My point is – a deranged human such as this scum of a person, would have found a way to murder, because he was hell bent on doing so, whether he had access to guns or not.

    • “Has anyone on the left considered that if he couldn’t get guns, he could have easily driven a truck into the crowd, run over a bunch of people, then detonated it if so desired?”

      Someone mentioned yesterday that the guy was wealthy enough to hold a private pilot license (SEL – Insturment) and *two* airplanes.

      There was *nothing* that could have been done to stop him from filling the wing tanks, taking off and then slamming the aircraft into the crowd likely killing *hundreds* with the wreckage and fireball from the fuel.

      Ban airplanes?

  30. 1. I didn’t make you read it.
    2. It was as long as I needed it to be to make my point.
    3. It has everything to do with the topic, as the referenced USA Today article specifically called for a new AWB.

  31. You can only vote on their article. Not Robert’s.

    Mr Farago – you did well considering the constraints you had.

  32. What we need is counter snipers at large public events. Counter ambush the attack with concealed well trained riflemen and end conversation about the second amendment.

  33. So far, we only know that the shooter was a registered Democrat in Florida. He joins a long list of mostly all Democrat mass shooters. However, you won’t read that in USAToday – Commie Edition.

  34. You have to inform folks that diminishing the 1st and 2nd Amendments are the primary intent of leftists, Antifa, and the majority of the Democratic party.

    Our current confiscatory federal income tax started years ago as a “common sense” tax of 1% on the top 1% of earners. Government will ineviatbly try to consume everthing in its path because it rejects the idea of having “enough”.

    Just as Leftists are trying to diminish free speech and the 1st ammendment they also want to diminish the 2nd ammendment.

    You cannot give an inch with your liberties because there are an endless supply of “common sense” “well meaning” tyrants that will try to continue to diminish your power as an individual American.

  35. I might have tried something shorter, such as the following.

    According to FBI uniform crime reports (the most comprehensive data for the nation), about 285 Americans were killed annually by murderers using a rifle as a weapon. That includes *all* types of rifles, including semi automatic rifles.

    Therefore, the chance of any American being killed by a murderer using a rifle was about 1 in 1,123,000. The chances of an American being killed by a semi-automatic rifle, such as an AR-15, is smaller still.

    There are many sensible ways to save innocent Americans from needless premature death. Restricting the Second Amendment rights of millions of gun owners is not one of them. Restrictions on so-called “assault rifles” was proven ineffective between 1994 through 2004, when such a law was in effect.

    (I then would insert the appropriate end notes for my legitimate and objective sources of information. If I wished to make the article a bit longer, I would offer one or two ways of saving many more lives which do not involve gun control, such as raising the smoking age nationally to age 21, again, providing objective sources).

  36. Well, as of now(7:02 MTN Daylight time) it’s 58.68 percent “Strongly Agree”.
    But probably only until USA Today puts the fix in…. Or disables it entirely.

    • As of right meow (22:43 EST), 45.9% either agree or strongly agree with USA Today’s view (2,369 votes), and 52.02% either disagree or strongly disagree (2,685 votes)!

      WINNING.

      • RFs article is now (00:15 EST) at 61.31% STRONGLY agree, 5.63 agree, .45 don’t know, 2.69 disagree, and 29.91 Strongly DISagree.
        Winning hugely! Over twice as many on our side, vs the paid agitators and simple dupes.

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  38. “We have to end the revolving-door justice system that returns dangerous criminals to the streets. We have to improve economic and educational opportunities for inner city youth. We have to find new ways to provide mental health care to teenagers, veterans and others contemplating suicide.”

    Just playing devil’s advocate – but none of the solutions mentioned above would have stopped the Vegas shooter.

    The killer was a millionaire who had no previous criminal history, years to prepare, and practically no limit on the amount of firepower available to him. That’s what really makes these liberal blowhards so infuriating. Every gun control proposal they make will only make it more inconvenient for poor and middle class Americans to defend themselves, while the rich will always have resources to get around Congress’s whims.

    I am at a loss for imagining laws or policies that could reasonably have been taken to prevent this tragedy. If guns were straight up illegal to purchase then the killer had ample resources to manufacture explosives instead. which likely could have been even deadlier.

  39. Very GOOD article Robert, and surprisingly nothing in it about how you hate LEO’s and think most of them are corrupt! I am impressed!

  40. Whenever the subject of gun restriction come up, the Left has their go-tos, which are banning magazines of a certain capacity and banning Modern Sporting Rifles.

    But how? I’m old enough that I was in my twenties during the first Assault Weapons Ban. I also bought two rifles during that time—a Bushmaster AR and a Norinco MAK-90. Both were so-called “Clinton era” guns. What did that mean? That meant my Bushmaster was missing a flash hider and a bayonet lug. The MAK-90 came with no flash hider or bayonet lug a hideous thumbhole stock,and a 5 round magazine. They were functionally exactly the same as the ones before the law, and a quick install of some US made parts allowed me to put a normal stock on it.

    Magazines? What size is the acceptable limit? Is it 10 rounds like back in the 90s? Well, how many of them can I have? Can I have 10 ten round mags? Then I have 100 rounds. TBH, it wasn’t difficult or expensive to get 30 round AK and AR mags back then. AK mags were always about 10 bucks, and GI mags for the AR weren’t much more.

    So let’s say the Left manages to pass their ideal law—ban and confiscation of MSRs and all the magazines. Who’s going to collect them?

    • Nobody, because the local and federal constabulary alike know what a logistical impossibility it is. The best they can do is, every once in a blue moon, catch some poor schlep and make an example of them. That won’t change the fact that 95%+ of people that still own them won’t register them and won’t hand them in.

      What are they going to do? Arrest everybody? Not even on a cold day in Hell.

        • There’s that, too. But, I sincerely doubt it will ever come to that. After all, how can they take them from people’s “cold dead hands” if they don’t know where they are, and/or even if they did are still too lazy to go get them in the first place? 😉

          It’s a simple numbers game, folks, and we won that argument a loooong time ago.

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