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Reader Chip in Florida writes:

This is one of my favorite visual illusions. Are you looking at the tip of a cone or down into a well? You are getting sleepy…very sleepy…but I’ll come back to the graphic soon. Robert ran an opposing view op-ed for USA Today titled “Gun control is not the answer.” In it, he pointed out — and rightly so, in my opinion — that a bunch of the usual suspects jumped at the opportunity to use the San Bernardino as a political tool to promote their gun control agendas and did so while the bodies of the victims of that shooting weren’t even yet cold . . .

Scrolling down to the comment section underneath the article on USA Today’s site — always a gamble because you never know if you are going to get thoughtful comments or screeching monkeys flinging poo — one comment stood out. Someone by the name of Jean-Paul Sartre posted this:

It does not make sense to refer to a city or a state that has stricter gun control when the greater part of the country does not. Remember, we have no border guards from one state to the next. That is your answer.

This idea that the neighboring states don’t have enough gun control isn’t a new one; Chicago’s problems are, they say, due to imports from Indiana, Mississippi and Wisconsin. California would be a gun-free wonderland if only Nevada and Arizona had the same laws. New York City gangs would be weaponless if not for Virginia and Georgia.

The ‘not enough gun control over there’ excuse is hardly original, but it’s becoming more commonly used by the anti-rights crowd. But it’s certainly not very well thought out, because if there is so little gun control in those supposedly lawless states, why don’t they have the same crime problems as Chiraq and the Big Apple?

Let’s go back to that graphic: is it a cone or a well? However you see it, it’s a metaphor for the firearms debate.

To the civilian disarmament industrial complex, it’s a cone. They see themselves, naturally, as the top. “We have gun control here, we are more enlightened, we are more civilized, everyone looks at us with envy and they crave common sense gun control like ours. We only have a crime problem because of the lax laws where the troglodytes live down at the fat part of the cone. We occupy high ground and if those states that don’t restrict guns aw we do would just be more like us, they too could join us here at the top of the pyramid.” The gun-control crowd sees themselves as, in a word, elite.

To gun rights supporters that graphic is a view down into a well. They look at places like California and see a problem. The pro-gun crowd understand that criminals go where crime is easiest to commit and what’s easier than having a large group of people that aren’t allowed to defend themselves? More criminals mean more crime-ridden areas. They are the low points, the bottom of the societal well. Places where the citizens can’t fight back because they are disarmed by law ultimately become bad areas. The gun rights crowd see the problem of gun control as something to be guarded against. Step back people, there is a hole there you don’t want to fall into.

Like any good debate, there is are three-sides: Yours, Theirs, and the Truth.

You and They will see gun control from opposite standpoints. They will see it as a good thing we obviously need more of. You will see it as bad and something to be avoided at all costs. The Truth regarding gun control is that the guns aren’t what we need to control. Guns don’t cause commit crimes.They are inanimate objects and all the laws in the world won’t stop those who would use them for evil purposes. Trying to control them is a fool’s errand.

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  1. That looks like the Muslim Crescents and a Star to me, but then again, I have Islamic terrorists on my mind.

  2. I seen a well, let’s hope we don’t end up with border guards between state lines. Liberty and liberal thought are opposite.

    • I’d say walling up NY and not letting them out would be fine with me. But the folks outside of the large cities would probably not like being walled in with the loons. 😉

  3. What I have never understood about the neighboring states excuse was why those neighboring states didn’t have the same violence problems as the gun control states. Here in Michigan we get blamed for Chicago’s “gun violence”, but I am three hours away from Chicago and we don’t have anywhere near the violence. After they closed down the housing projects in Chicago we recieved a lot of the gang members that got displaced, and yet a murder in the metropolitan area of the states second largest city (Grand Rapids) is a major news story.

  4. Gun control is/ is not the answer. It depends on where you live. In California, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, D.C. and similar places, the pols will be piling it on; there is never enough until all the guns are gone or kept under lock and key, available to the special few. In the free states, the pols will be doing away with it more and more. The country will continue to go in opposite directions, just like Congress.

    • The antis keep wailing that their gun problem is that the adjoining states are ‘polluting’ their paradise with guns.

      Then let’s use Chicago as a laboratory for gun control.

      Mayor Rham, build an electric fence around Chicago. Set up check points, search every vehicle, use airport body scanners on every last person, *zero* exceptions, even you, Mr. Mayor.

      At *your* and only your expense.

      If you want Chicago to be gun-free, pay for the privilege.

  5. I have this recurring dream where states like California just split off from the union and live in their own little utopia.

    • I have a dream that California will have a massive earthquake and it just falls into the Pacific Ocean leaving the rest of the country in peace….ok, so it’s not actually a dream, more like wishful thinking. But I did enjoy watching “San Andreas” and the delightful devastation that was wrought in that movie. There’s something about a tidal wave washing away San Francisco that brought a smile to my face.

  6. Is the glass half full? Half empty? Both are correct. It’s also the wrong sized glass, IMHO. Even the blonde that Trump hates on Fox News has pointed out that the worst crime usually happens where there’s the most gun control (Meghan something I think). Everybody’s yelling gun control, but can’t see that it’s the wrong sized glass.

  7. The question really is, “do you want this ‘cone’ or ‘funnel’ four feet in your a_ _?”

    I DGAF if you feel threatened, I give a f_ _k if I’m concerned about a possible threat. I arm up, I don’t take away your right to do so. Our Constitution prevents our government from destroying its mandate in attempting to overwhelm my ability to overwhelm it, if I so choose to find that my neighbors have ganged up on me and attempted to make “government” of equal or greater value than any of the citizens that I serves.

    On the notion of individual sovereignty one individual could say to another “Stand feet
    shoulder-width in your largest foot gear and draw a chalk line around the soles of your shoes.
    The lines alone contain the hallowed ground upon which you are king, until, by you, I am made
    to move my feet.” [J. M.Thomas R., TERMS, 2012,p 77]

  8. Just ask an anti-gunner why places like Vermont, Utah, Idaho have almost no gun restrictions, lots of guns, and yet little gun related homicides and they’ll give you a litany of answers. The simple reply should then be: so you admit it’s not about the guns…

  9. How do I see gun control? Pols deliberatly setting up law abiding folk to be murdered. That’s how I see it.

  10. The Antis rhetoric is the same bu– sh–. What is starting to surprise me though is the number of people now who see through it and discount and dismiss it. I’m talking about the general run of the mill folks you meet and talk to that are now taking taking a pro-gun stance and are saying so.

    The desperation of the anti-gun grabbers and democrats is unmistakable . The press conference at the white house yesterday mentioned the NRA. They are talking about a terrorist attack, and the guy mentions that people fear the NRA!! I almost couldn’t believe he said that.

    I’m a member of the NRA and I tell you what you democratic piece of sh–, I resent that.

    However, with that being said, it oozes desperation. How ridiculous is it not being able to stop Islamic terrorist attacks against us, but the anti-gun Democrats want to disarm us! Who’s afraid of who? I’m afraid of the democrats, that’s who I’m afraid of. Is it obvious to anyone else the attack occurred in a state that has the most gun control? Not a single person among the targeted was armed. I have to wonder if at least one or two people at the attack site had been armed and returned fire, what would the attackers have done? How many lives would have been saved? It’s one thing to mow down unarmed people, but when one or two are shooting back at you, things are quite different. Forget being unarmed, I want to fight back if I can. That’s the American way.

      • NRA better do some “teamsters”, “black panthers” response, there ought to be a march in D.C. (people need to wear masks bc they film that crap out there because D.C. inhabitants are more important than the people they serve).

        NRA needs to avoid protracted court proceedings with the gov’t/media/pope, but they need to beotch-slap talk like this into a parallel universe.

  11. So just like everything else the liberals want, they want to spread around the wealth (of criminal element) by making ALL places equally pleasing to the criminal element by making all places disarmed.

    As long as all the gun violence is equal across all of the United States they will feel that they have won on the issue of gun violence.

    I’m guessing that the criminal element who comes across a previously 2A supported who has been disarmed by their government is going to have a whole lot of aggression unleashed upon them and send them back to their known softer targets…

    When will they come to the “if you can’t beat them, join them” revelation and give the whole “let’s arm our citizenry and see what happens” a try. Oh, wait, that would be our utopia!

  12. Since the anti’s are clamoring for “sensible” gun control measures I must conclude that the ones in place are NOT sensible and should be reversed.
    Wait 10 days to take home MY paid-for property? NOT sensible, for example.
    Can’t purchase a gun in another state in the same country I am a legal citizen tax payer? NOT sensible.
    Can’t purchase a product as designed by the manufacturer? NOT sensible.
    Laws mandating technologies that do not exist? NOT sensible
    Laws that make criminals out of law-abiding citizens based on arbitrary bullshirt? NOT sensible.
    They’re right. What is sensible infringement anyway?

  13. A quick analysis of the available BATFE data would suggest that Mssr. Sartre’s postulation about Cali’s gun laws being nullified by “lax” gun laws in neighboring states is false. About 21K “crime guns” recovered in Cali in 2014. About 15K traced to Cali, about 6K traced to one of a dozed other states.

  14. California has the strictest gun laws in the nation- and that didnt stop the terrorists.

    Those same laws DO prevent the average citizen from defending themselves-
    in most counties you have no right to a concealed weapon permit for “self-defense” thanks to CA AG Kamala Harris intervention in the Peruta case, now tied up for going on four years, and at the rate its going in the highly politicized 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, will need to be appealed to SCOTUS- another two years easy.

    So, tl/dr: criminals and terrorists can use guns to kill innocents, while the law-abiding cannot legally defend themselves outside their homes.

    And Obama, Jerry Brown, and most Democrats want MORE gun control.

  15. What bothers me about this debate is that far too many people are thinking strictly in terms of black and white. Either all guns must be available to all, or that the Democrats want to take ALL the guns. But rarely are such issues so easily categorized. For my money, I’d like to see assault weapons banned since they serve no purpose other than to kill people. I know. I served in the Army and am all too familiar with the effects of an AR-15 round on the human body. Second, the Second Amendment is not something that many people have actually read. It states “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” I think I can safely say that few gun owners are actually part of a “well regulated militia.” And the amendment was written to protect the populace from a tyranical government. But in 2008, the Republican dominated supreme Court handed down the decision saying that the 2nd amendment should be interpreted to mean that any Tom, Dick, or Harry has the right to own an friggin’ arsenal if he so chooses. And even if every citizen owned a semi-automatic handgun, they would still have no chance against, tanks, mortars, and tactical nuclear weapons. Finally, there is this quote from the article above which says that trying to control guns is a “fool’s errand.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Please look at the gun crime statistics in England, Australia, and especially Japan. Tokyo is the most populous city in the world. Some 35,000,000 people live and work in Tokyo and gun crime is virtually non-existent. Gun laws there are so strict that even the Yakuza (organized crime) don’t carry them. As a result, Tokyo is also one of the safest cities on the planet. But gun rights supporters still believe that more guns are the solution. The very thought of Los Angeles residents having the right to carry weapons is frightening, given the daily incidents of road rage which would likely escalate from brandishing “the finger” when someone cuts you off, to a fire fight at 70mph. Sorry. When did we lose our civility? Why does the NRA want our cities and towns to look like Beirut where everyone has an AK-47 slung over their shoulder? The answer is…profit. The NRA doesn’t serve the American people. It’s serves the gun manufacturers. And they do that very well indeed.

    • “Please look at the gun crime statistics in England, Australia, and especially Japan”

      Yes that is true, BUT what is the VIOLENT crime rate in those country’s?

      • ” I served in the Army and am all too familiar with the effects of an AR-15 round on the human body.”

        Do you know what a 30.06 Springfield will do out of bolt action rifle?

      • “The answer is…profit. The NRA doesn’t serve the American people. It’s serves the gun manufacturers.”

        Would you please tell me how the NRA get’s money from firearms manufacturers?

    • Not too long ago, I learned that the Czech Republic has shall-issue national concealed carry, full access to your “assault weapons”, and has a homicide rate lower than that of England… And after all, on average 100 people illegally cross the U.S. border every day. For the criminal end-user, getting an illegal gun is sourced similarly to getting illegal drugs. But don’t let that or the Paris Massacre get in the way of your narrative…

    • If so-called assault weapons “serve no purpose other than to kill people”, then why does every assault weapons ban have a law enforcement exemption? Would you include one in your ban? If so, who do you envision the police killing, and under what circumstances, exactly? Remember, under your definition, these are guns that are exclusively for people-killing, so if you are exempting law enforcement, you are saying there’s a law enforcement mission that needs a purpose-built people-killer.

    • You say that it bothers you that people are thinking strictly in black-and-white terms, and yet that’s exactly what you go on to do. At length, I might add.

      “I’d like to see assault weapons banned since they serve no purpose other than to kill people.”

      The purpose of a firearm-any firearm-is to launch a projectile out of a barrel.

      Whether the projectile is subsequently hurled at a person, an animal, a paper target, a clay pigeon, or that printer that’s jammed on you FOR THE LAST @$*&ING TIME is the sole purview and responsibility of the operator of the device; it has absolutely nothing to do with the design or operation of the firearm itself.

      “Assault rifle” is a made-up catch-all term used mostly by people that are unfamiliar with guns to categorize a bunch of rifles that share some cosmetic features. As Frank said, there is little to no functional difference between an AR-15 and a Mini-14; none at all, in fact, with respect to their efficacy as tools of mass murder. There is no logical reason to ban either one in the first place, and advocating for the ban of one but not the other is indicative of an unspoken agenda to slowly phase out civilian firearm ownership in general, a major cognitive deficit that prevents said advocate from engaging in rational thought, or both.

      Select-fire “weapons of war” are either prohibitively expensive and difficult to come by or outright banned on a state level-as is the case in California-in every state in the country. None of them have been produced for legal private ownership since 1986. They’re also almost never used in the commission of a crime-literally a small handful of cases since the passage of the NFA in 1934. The so-called “assault rifles” that the vast majority of people buy and use are no different than any other rifle except that they’re (apparently) extra-super-duper-scary-looking.

      Don’t start with the “oh, but they’re so much more powerful” garbage, either. The two rifles that the gun-grabbers have at the top of their ban wishlist-the AK-47 and the AR-15-both use relatively small, relatively lightweight, low energy ammunition; they are both, by design, considerably less powerful and less lethal than the ammunition used by the guns they replaced. Hell, that design decision-and some of the resulting consequences, mainly relatively light weight and low recoil, are part of the reason the AR platform, chambered in .223/5.56, is as popular as it is for feral hog and coyote control. That’s right-your “assault rifle that was designed only to kill people” is uniquely well-suited to varmint hunting. Better, in fact, at it than a lot of not-assault(? assault-free? unassault?) rifles.

      “Second, the Second Amendment is not something that many people have actually read. (…) I think I can safely say that few gun owners are actually part of a ‘well regulated militia.'” “(…) the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed” stands on its own, as a complete statement. What precedes it explains why the right is being enumerated, it does not place a restriction on the exercise therof. This is basic English. The fact that it took a Supreme Court decision to recognize this at all is a testament to the capacity of the human mind for willful ignorance in the face of fact.

      “Even if every citizen owned a semi-automatic handgun, they would still have no chance against, tanks, mortars, and tactical nuclear weapons.”

      Didn’t the army teach you about asymmetric warfare? You should try reading up on what happened to the U.S. in Vietnam some time; turns out that tanks and mortars don’t always do so hot against a bunch of real pissed rice farmers with AK-47s. Or goat farmers, for that matter… *ahem*

      In short, it is absolutely both possible and feasible to take on a more powerful, more organized, more highly trained opponent and win. With that in mind, let’s now look at this from a numbers perspective, shall we?

      Between the Armed Forces and sworn police officers, there are approximately 3,500,000 people that could conceivably stand with the federal government against an armed insurrection. Going by Pew research estimates, there are about 109,000,000 gun owners in the United States. This should-for a number of reasons that I don’t really feel like enumerating at the moment-be considered a lowball number; potentially extremely low. But let’s take it at face value anyhow.

      Then, let’s be conservative and say that 10% of them were to oppose the government in a hypothetical armed insurrection. That’s roughly 11,000,000 people. Even if you assume that every single soldier and leo in the country sides with the government (hint: they wouldn’t-I would estimate a defection/desertion rate of 50%+), you’re talking about 3 armed and angry civilians who are presumably fighting for their way of life to every government representative that’s fighting for… a paycheck.

      It would be a bloody, hellacious mess and I would prefer to not see it happen. But I would not expect a comfortable victory for the government in such a scenario; in fact, I wouldn’t bet money on a victory for them at all.

      “look at the gun crime statistics in England, Australia, and especially Japan.”

      Comparing crime rates across international borders is a fool’s errand for a myriad of reasons that include but are not limited to different reporting and recording standards, varying rates of cultural homogeneity in different countries, etc.

      However, if you absolutely insist on comparing data that is demonstrably incomparable, the UNODC does indeed record a higher murder rate per capita in the US than in most of Europe.

      On the other hand, though, the US’s total crime rate per capita is lower than the majority of the EU, often considerably-about 41 crimes per 1000 people per year in the US vs 61 in France, 110 in the UK, 138 in Sweden, and 209 in Iceland.

      Personally, I’m ok with trading a slightly higher homicide rate for a reduced chance of having my girlfriend assaulted, or having my stuff vandalized or stolen, or finding myself in the situation that one of my Australian friends did a few weeks back: being threatened by a nutjob in a train station with a knife with no recourse but to try to leave the area and hope the police would deal with it.

      “the daily incidents of road rage which would likely escalate from brandishing ‘the finger’ when someone cuts you off, to a fire fight at 70mph.”

      Yes, because this clearly happens all the time in places like Texas or Utah where people are able to carry more freely than in California. Or did those states figure out how to eliminate road rage and just not tell those of us stuck here in the land of fruits and nuts?

      “Why does the NRA want our cities and towns to look like Beirut where everyone has an AK-47 slung over their shoulder?”

      You must be listening to a different NRA than I am. The NRA members that I know want the option to own an AK-47 for use at the range, for hunting and/or for self defense, ideally without a bunch of pointless, demonstrably ineffective government intervention.

      Some of us want to open carry them, sure; some of us don’t think that’s appropriate, and some of us just don’t care. Either way, the only people that I’ve heard claim that the NRA and its members want everyone to be carrying an AK everywhere at all times are the people that would like nothing more than for the NRA to go away.

      Cliff’s notes: 2/10. Try harder.

  16. Ban “assault rifles”? What is the definition of “assault rifles”?

    What is the difference between a Ruger mini14 and an AR? Both fire the .223/5.56 round. Both are magazine fed, gas operated semi auto action. The only difference is the furniture. Are you saying that both should be banned because YOU can find no purpose for them?

  17. I see gun control as a distraction or misdirection from the real cause of the problem. Guns don’t cause crime or even make it worse.

    People cause crime, and as people get worse so does crime. We need to find ways to improve people – higher levels of morality, self-responsibility, empathy for others. etc. If only more people followed the second greatest commandment, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”, there would be a lot less crime in the world.

    • Thanks for making my case. You’d rather shoot someone than allow a person with a different point of view than yours to be heard. Moron.

  18. Let’s see…
    Heroin control – I don’t use it but can buy all I can afford within 30 minutes.
    Cocaine control – I don’t use it but can buy all I can afford within 30 minutes.
    Marijuana control – I don’t use it but can buy all I can afford within 10 minutes.
    Prescribed Narcotic Painkiller control – I live in Florida. Pharmacies require a prescription and a double secret phone conference from the prescribing Doctor followed by a two to five day waiting period or I can buy all I can afford within 4 hours.
    Designer Drug Control – These substances are relatively hard to find. Availability seems to be limited to those who enter establishments where men, women and alcohol are found in conjunction with a source of music. The probability of these four components forming the correct environment limits their availability to bars, lounges, clubs and dwellings.
    Gun control – Should it happen and a gun is needed contact your local source for illegal and controlled substances.

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