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John J. Donohue (courtesy YouTube)

Yesterday, DrVino and I discussed the post-Newtown push for civilian disarmament. We agreed that, on balance, the gun rights movement has gained strength in the aftermath of that horrific crime. Gun rights themselves? Not so much. To use the parlance popularized by The People of the Gun, California, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Maryland have “gone full retard.” All four states have passed gun control measures that bring new (old?) meaning to the words “civil rights abuse.” On the other hand, the Illinois Supreme Court has extended the right to keep and bear arms outside the home (duh) and various red states have passed pro-gun legislation and/or repealed infringement. The Colorado recall is a reason to be cheerful. Yes but—the enemies of freedom are mad as hell and waiting to spread their pestilence even further. Check this from an anti-gun CNN rant . . .

While Iowa is merely highlighting the absurd laxity of gun laws in this country, the damage will be slight since most blind Iowans will have the good sense not to possess or discharge firearms. But the overheated rhetoric flowing from the NRA crowd during the Colorado recall and from Missouri (and similarly inclined states) is dangerous for at least two reasons.

First, it undermines our democracy when voters act based on false and misleading views about the actual content of state and federal laws. Second, similar hyperbolic rhetoric after the passage of the federal background check system and the (now elapsed) federal assault weapons ban galvanized the unstable gun zealot Timothy McVeigh forward with his scheme to blow up the federal building in Oklahoma City.

Set aside the irony of using the term “overheated rhetoric”—ignoring the hysterical pronouncements and deliberately misleading claims the anti-gunners used to ram through Colorado’s ammunition capacity limitation and mandatory background check for private firearms sales laws—are you reading what I’m reading?

I reckon the professor of law at Stanford Law School (and research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research) is just waiting for some NRA member to go postal—so the gun rights group and its members can be labelled terrorists and . . . marginalized.

I’ve said it before. I’ll say it again. It’s the bus you don’t see that kills you. As Newtown proved, the “debate” over gun control is driven by events as much as anything else. As commentators hereabouts like to say, keep your powder dry. The fight for gun rights will never be over. [h/t KM]

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  1. ….so now they’ve gone from looking forward to school shootings to full on rooting for acts of domestic terrorism just so they can shove more idiotic and unconstitutional restrictions down our throats.

    Who are the enemies of the people supposed to be again?

  2. The author of that article also seems to have zero understanding of what the phrase “well-regulated” means in the Second Amendment. That Mr. Donahue is a professor at as prestigious a law school as Stanford and also a research associate with a respectable body such as the NBER, only shows how much the ignorance about gun rights, the Second Amendment itself, and guns exists even amongst the otherwise intelligent and very educated.

    • Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between ignorance and outright deception. I have a tough time buying that credentialed academics, particularly historians and English profs, don’t know what “well regulated” meant in the late 18th and early 19th century.

  3. “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.” Also, “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

  4. I go back and forth from hopeful to depressed. Certainly I’m not hopeful for places where moonbats are in full control. However, if you think about it, RTKBA has been gaining ground nationally for a long time. Even with this full-out assault prompted (I think) in part by confidence from Obama’s reelection and fueled by some first rate bloody shirts, the antis didn’t really accomplish much nationally. Obama spent a very large amount of political capital, and this returned him…nada on the federal level. And it may well be that it costs them in 2014. At least Bill Clinton seems to think so, with good reason. We’ll see. As I see it, the antis took their best shot at gun owners, many who had become apathetic, and gained some ground in States they already controlled. But we are still standing, and now we are fully awake and very pissed off.

  5. Oklahoma City was a reaction to Waco. Waco was an ATF raid gone terribly wrong, a classic example of governmental stupidity and abuse. CNN should be ashamed.

    • No, Stanford Law and the National Bureau of Economic Research should be ashamed and embarassed to have this ignorant dolt on their staff.

  6. That ignores that none these mass shooters were pro-gun zealots. Politically, they were all on the same side as the anti-gun zealots:

    Sandy Hook, registered Democrat; Fort hood, registered Democrat and Islamist; Virginia Tech, sent hate male to GWB; Aurora, registered Democrat, OWS participant, and staff worker on Obama’s campaign; etc.

    The Sandy Hook and Columbine shooters weren’t even gun owners.

    • Does anyone realize, Eric Holder,under Clinton supplied the fertilizer to McVeigh,and the rental truck was photographed by a private pilot at the army base in O K surrounded by tarps in the days before…

  7. “…the “debate” over gun control is driven by events as much as anything else.”

    I submit that the debate over “gun control” is driven more by marginalized and liberal MSM “journalists” desperately seeking anything that will get them ratings and they know that low-information voters will flock (Sheeple pun intended) to any show that blows out emotional rhetoric on this subject rather than cold hard facts.

    Piers Morgan – case in point.

  8. Finally get to be the PIA! “The People of the Gun, California, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Maryland have “gone full retard.” All four states”
    Robert, that’s 5 states, not 4 🙂

  9. There will always be infringements of civil rights so long as the police and government can’t be bothered to objectively and accurately distinguish friend from foe on the street.

    Case in point, open carry.

    The first problem are all the misinformed panic-y folk that call the police anytime they see a person with a gun that is not wearing an overly official-looking police or military uniform.

    People also need to distinguish between “open carry” legally (ie. in a holster) and “this person seems suspicious” (running around violating the Firearm Safety rules and brandishing). Of course, it is much more clear cut once a person goes from someone “disturbing the peace” to a criminal that is threatening or injuring civilians. At which point, yes, please call the police immediate and get out of dodge.

    BUT, until there is a CRIME being committed, know your laws, know what you’re looking at, and only call the police if you are reasonably suspicious someone is actually being suspect.

    I have a feeling 911 operators could also be better educated and trained to ask specific questions that would alleviate any assumptions regarding Open Carry. For example someone calls in that a person is carrying a gun, they should ask the obvious question “Are they committing crime?”. If not, then the operator should ask the method by which that person is carrying (ie. in a holster? Brandishing? Are they being suspicious? Are they alone? In a group?) and their location (ie. are they carrying in a prohibited area?).

    A better educated public, police force, and 911 operators would certainly cut down on the instances of police being called in and then harassing people that legally open carry.

    Which brings me to the police. If they would just educate themselves on the firearms laws, they could avoid a lot of embarrassment and video proof their officers are not versed on open carry that are increasingly popping up all over Youtube. For one, STOP harassing people that are legally open carrying. STOP with the attitude too. You have a badge and a duty, but you are a public servant. As in, you serve the citizens that pay your salary. So start treating people like people instead of like criminals, especially when you know nothing about them. Unless a crime is being committed or you have reasonable suspicion to stop somebody, piss off. And I say that in the politest way possible. I don’t harass you when you are going about your business, please don’t harass me. Thank you.

    The anti-gun crowd are misinformed and often willfully ignorant of firearms safety, practices, and facts and they can’t distinguish friend from foe, which, as a result, means they will continue to push laws and legislation that negatively impact the law-abiding citizen.

    All the pro-defense crown can do is educate and win over the minds and hearts of the smarter free-thinking populace and hope the smart outnumber the lemmings (ie. the stupid and/or ignorant).

    • Previously posted – repeat for effect:

      “Nine-one-one, what is your emergency?”
      “Calm down, Ma’m, What is he doing?”
      “He’s just walking along pushing his shopping cart right now, but he’s got that gun on his shoulder. Oh, please hurry!”
      “Can you describe the gun for me?”
      “Are the police coming? Oh my God! It’s all black with a pistol thing and looks like a clip for a hundred bullets.”
      “That’s not a gun, Ma’m, that’s a rifle. Are you carrying a weapon, Ma’m?”
      “What! Are you crazy? Of course not.”
      “Are there other people or shoppers in the area?”
      “Well, yes, the store is pretty crowded.”
      “Do any of the other shoppers appear to be concerned?”
      “No, I don’t understand it. They seem to be ignoring him. Please, when will the police arrive?”
      “Ma’m, you’re not from around here, are you?”
      “I’m visiting from New Jersey, why?”
      “That man is not committing a crime. If you are uncomfortable I suggest you leave the area, preferably back to New Jersey. And in the future please do not call 911 unless it is an actual emergency. Goodbye.”

      That’s how the 911 call SHOULD go.

    • When asked, “are they brandishing?”, don’t you think most callers will say yes, no matter what’s actually going on? A lot of folks have no idea what “brandishing” is. If someone is carrying a gun openly, they’ll think it’s “brandishing”.

      • Am I going mad, or did you just assert that a measurable percentage of “I saw a gun!” callers are thinking?!?

        Thinking typically is as foreign to the equation as are whales to baseball.

      • Hence education on terminology, facts, and firearms in general. And the difference between legal activity vs. suspicious activity.

      • I don’t think the 911 operator would use the word brandishing. I do think that in this hypothetical scenario they would ask “What’s he doing with the gun?” and/or “Where is the gun? Is he holding it in his hands, or is it (handgun) in a holster / (rifle) slung over his shoulder?”

        While we’re on the subject, I think people (often the asshole species of the genus open carry advocate) who carry their ARs strapped horizontally across their chest in a forward ready position are assholes. To me, that’s little different that walking around with your handgun in your hand. You’re not in Fallujah, sling your damn rifle.

    • If everyone were carrying it would eliminate a lot of this too. Walking around a FOB in AFG, everyone has an M4. No one even looks twice at anyone with a weapon, unless wearing ANA or ANSF uniforms.

      I have seen pictures of Israeli cities with at least half of the folks visible carrying. No one in the scene is hysterical. I think Israel is probably as good model as we can find for a successful contemporaneous open carry society .

  10. TO: All
    RE: I Keep Telling You Guys This….


    No more of the sitting around and carping. You need to recall your own oath-breakers.

    We here in Pueblo, Colorado, have shown you how it’s done. Now GET OUT THERE AND DO IT YOURSELVES!


    P.S. And for you poor souls who don’t have a recall capability….

    ….start a state constitution amendment initiative to establish such.

  11. yes, Iowa’s gun laws are so absurdly lax that they have 1/3 the murder rate of CA or NY. Shame that someone evidently so smart to be a law prof and NBER member has no common sense.

  12. Anyone else hear him emphasize “those who have not YET been convicted of a crime” may be issued a permit? It sounds as if he thinks all gun owners are criminals, the state just hasn’t gotten around to convicting them yet.

  13. I dunno about New Jersey “going full retard” this year. It was pretty “retarded” to start with, of course, but let’s not forget that reducing the magazine size limit from 15 to 10 never even made it to the governor’s desk, and a couple of other bills got vetoed. It was, in the end, a big fizzle.

    It’s also interesting that the push for gun control in Rhode Island and Delaware, that had seemed a done deal, fizzled out as well.

  14. “First, it undermines our democracy when voters act based on false and misleading views about the actual content of state and federal laws. Second, similar hyperbolic rhetoric after the passage of the …galvanized the unstable gun zealot Timothy McVeigh forward with his scheme to blow up the federal building in Oklahoma City.”
    Those words could describe the indignation of either side. The man just sank his own boat.

  15. How come these academic types know nothing about personal grooming. They can’t comb their hair and they always look like they slept in their clothes, which never fit quite right.

  16. Ok how the hell did ole boy in the article graduate??? He’s dumb as a box of rocks and effectively torpedoed his own boat in the arguement!! My dog is smarter than that and he eats his own turds…

  17. Legal analysis is, for the most part, unemotional. In talking about personal injuries, we refer to plaintiff and defendant, not Mrs. Jones and Mr. Smith. Except as an item of damages, emotions are irrelevant. Logic is supposed to rule the day, ordered thinking and organized presentations. Evidence is crucial to valid arguments.

    I find none of that in this rant. It is emotional, unorganized, and bereft of evidence, relying solely on opinion and hyperbole. Yes, lawyers are advocates, but I find it incredibly sad that this idiot is purporting to teach some of the brightest minds in America. His rant reflects poorly on the profession.


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