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Gun worshiper wins semiautomatic weapon at church raffle in upstate NY the New York Daily News proclaims. Does “Ron Stafford, 42, an avid hunter and single father of two from Schenectady” worship guns? Of course not. The Daily News’ headline writer was pandering to the paper’s disdain for Americans’ natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. To be fair, the headline’s certainly in synch with the article’s condescending not-to-say plain-old-nasty tone. Straight out of the chute, the paper’s playing cute . . .

An upstate gun nut went to church Sunday and walked out the winner of a high-powered assault rifle similar to the one used to slaughter 26 innocent people at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: calling lawful gun owners “gun nuts” is the equivalent of calling an African-American a nigger. Or a Jewish-American a kike. It serves no purpose – other than to promote the idea that the person being insulted deserves no consideration whatsoever. It’s hate speech pure and simple. Shame on the News for using the term.

As for linking the firearm that Mr. Stafford won with the gun used by Adam Lanza to murder 26 souls what can I say? That it’s the same firearm that millions of Americans use to hunt, recreate, arm themselves against tyranny and protect innocent life from criminal predation.

Note to the News: click here for an article on five people who used an AR-15 for self-defense. Also, guess what gun cops use during active shooter events? Yeah yeah I know. It’s OK for the cops to use “Adam Lanza’s killing machine” to defend innocent life but not their fellow citizens. Anyway, back to the bile . . .

But Ron Stafford, 42, an avid hunter and single father of two from Schenectady, said he didn’t see what’s wrong about owning a gun or a church giving away an AR-15 rifle.

“I believe it’s the right of the individual, I believe the church and our God-given rights and our rights to follow the Constitution go hand in hand,” said Stafford, who doesn’t even belong to Grace Baptist Church in upstate Lansingburgh, but made the 25-mile trek from his home for the gun drawing.

“I like to shoot,” said the Second Amendment zealot. “I believe that this shows the will of the people and what this country is all about.”

The News harps on the fact that Mr. Stafford is not a member of the church that raffled off the Adam Lanza-style AR-15. This is an issue because writers Caitlin Nolan and Bill Hutchinson want readers to think that Mr. Stafford doesn’t really believe in God. That the “zealot” worships guns. (Hence the headline.)

Yes, well, it’s clear that the scribes are the non-believers; they portray the service as an ordeal to be endured. “Stafford was so determined to win, he sat through the entire three-hour service — a requirement demanded by the church’s pastor, the Rev. John Koletas.” Demanded. Oy.

While the overall message at Sunday’s service was about God and guns, Stafford refused to ponder the question of whether he could imagine Jesus packing heat.

“I can’t answer that question,” said Stafford. “I’m not Jesus. I believe in my personal thoughts and to speak for him wouldn’t be very Christian of me.”

I’ve got no problem with debating Christianity’s teachings regarding armed self-defense, but the snide tone of that passage tells me that the writers have no morals whatsoever. In fact, I reckon these two worship at the temple of infinite cynicism.

[Pastor] Koletas triggered criticism from neighboring pastors that he was sending the wrong message when he announced the gun giveaway earlier this month.

“This is not a protest for anything. … It’s only different because everybody else has turned against God and turned against the Bible that this is such a shock to people that don’t know the Bible,” Koletas said.

In fact, he’s doing it again Monday at 7 p.m.

Forgive them Lord, for they know not what they do. As for me, I’m cutting them no slack. I’m with Robert Zimmerman on this one.

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  1. “I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: calling lawful gun owners “gun nuts” is the equivalent of calling an African-American a nigger. Or a Jewish-American a kike. ”

    Your martyr complex is showing.

    (I never felt the urge to punch someone in the face for calling me a gun-nut- I just roll my eyes. There is a fundamental difference in the power of the words, and there is no equivalency)

    As to the New York Daily… well, they’re about as ‘respected’ as they deserve to be.

      • As a direct descendant of a Jew who was forced from his home country due to war and antisemitism (not WW2, if you were wondering. Much more recent), and as a gun owner, I agree with his post 100% I wouldn’t get bent out of shape if someone called me a kike, either, but that doesn’t make it any less a pejorative.

      • Using the term “gun nut” for any gun owner IMMEDIATELY conjures a *characature* of a person, not a real person, and this is exactly what antis want.

        Racial slurs were used to dehumanize, and turn into characatures people they wished to delineate as “other” or “less than”. Think about the visage of “japs” in WWII.

        Dehumanizing your opponent makes them easier to attack and polarize others against (who are not ‘other’). Humanity LOVES “team sports”, and this has the same effect.

        As soon as someone who “isn’t anti gun” is called a “gun nut”, the point is to have the reader ignore anything from the counteropinion, it’s a dog whistle that says “anything this person says is not worthy of regard.”

        So yes, in intent and action, it is the same thing. The same as athiests (disclosure: I am an atheist) calling anyone religious a “bible thumper” (a term which I do not use.)

        It doesn’t matter to what degree or end the target of the term has met – the intent and mechanism is the same.

      • And I commend and respect you for it, Robert. And stand with you, too. If you ever get to Lewisville (just north of Dallas) let me know. The first several are on me.

    • I’ll back up Robert on this, too. Such terms are intended not just to demean, disparage, or even to discredit, one’s adversaries; but to dehumanize them. With use of that term, they’re saying our views aren’t simply mistaken, ill-informed, or just flat out silly. They’re blowing right past our views and denying that we’re even capable of intelligent discourse, and that we’re not due the dignity of being regarded and addressed as men and women.

      That we recognize their motives no more connotes martydom on our part, than rolling one’s eyes at the term’s use denotes innocence on their part.

      • Right on the money! To see the value in dehumanizing the other side just examine two extreme examples – the treatment of WWII POW’s by the Japanese, or the Herrin Massacre in 1922. By dehumanizing there is no need to shed a tear if a gun nut is imprisoned or killed.

    • In this case, the article says “upstate gun nut.” So not only do we have bigotry against gun owners, we also have bigotry against state residents who live outside the New York City area.

      • Well, yes, living in the NYC area for a good part of my life, this is, for sure, how it goes. If you aren’t “Enlightened’ enough to live in Manhattan (basically), you’re obviously of an inferior “strain”.

        This is expressed very often by metropolitan socialites. They won’t even hide it. They, and their way of life, are in their opinion, superior to anyone who isn’t in the city. The “flyover states” and “bumpkin country” only exists to serve.

        I’ve had conversations on the matter. They have full academic rationalizations for it.

        • Yep, the very same people who come to my neck of the woods in their luxury SUVs to buy apple cider and maple syrup, but couldn’t conceive of living here. While I was in the Army, I met plenty of New Yawkers, who acted like living there was something worthy of additional respect, when actually, most of us couldn’t care less.

        • Just shows you what excessive inbreeding will do. I’m surprised these “betters” haven’t bred themselves into oblivion by now. Woe be unto the dumb ba$tard$ should they ever have to fend for themselves. But, then again, WE’LL have a lot of nice SUVs to drive once they’re extinct.

    • Speaking as both a gun owner and as an American of Mexican heritage (on my father’s side) I’ve had experience with both kinds of slurs. While “gun nut” may not be racial in nature, it’s still a slur used as more than a mere insult. Actually, many of the slurs used against us conservatives and/or Bill of Rights supporters have the same impact for me as does “spic” or “wetback.” In both cases, though, the context does have to be taken in consideration — who’s saying it and with what intent.

      In the cases of a slur, they are used to dehumanize an opponent either when your position is intellectually and morally bankrupt or in a pathetic attempt to elevate yourself at another’s expense. It doesn’t matter if it’s about your race, your ideology or your theology.

      The good thing, is that people who resort to those kind of epithets in talking issues are amongst the easier to defeat. When they are that bereft of a rational position, you need do little more than let them talk and give them a nudge or two to dig their own graves.

    • Not at all; these types of words are supposed to demean, denigrate and dehumanize the person or persons being insulted.

      “Gun nut” does all of those things.

      The only groups that the liberal/progressive culture is allowed now to demean in this way are gun owners and Christians;

      • Their hypocrisy there is pretty evident. Some speak of tolerance, but they only tolerate those who think exactly like them.

    • I would argue as well that the words are not ‘equivalent’ in terms of their social acceptance in daily use (or lack there of), but the words definitely serve the same purpose.

  2. Where are these people getting the “high-powered” .223 Winchester cartridges for their “high-powered” AR’s? I’d like to get some of those instead of the standard .223 Winchester that’s considered marginal for deer hunting but suitable for smaller game and home defense…

  3. I’m gonna take a shot in the dark here and say that this raffle was specifically designed to poke at Gov Cuomo’s comments earlier this month about how gun owners and religious people don’t belong in New York. If that’s the case, I guess it worked.

  4. Note that a “Lanza like assault weapon” is illegal to transfer in Cuomostan, so clearly whatever he won, it’s not one of those.

    • The Cuomo “Assault weapons” ban (known as the SAFE Act), uses strictly COSMETICS to classify weapons as “asssault weapons”, those can be changed and modified. Using a stock without a thumbhole stock and no pistol grip, with a non-threaded muzzle on the barrel, you have the same weapon that is now NOT an “assault weapon. They are ugly as sin, but they are legal (as long as you only have a 10 round magazine loaded with 7 rounds or less). It just goes to show how idiotic these knee-jerk reaction “feel good” laws are.

      • Yes, the fact that “Cosmetics” are what is generally concentrated on actually demonstrates the nature of their fear; one rooted in “visage” and “shock”; “horror” and unhinged emotion. Not even in deadliness or rate of fire, but purely a can’t-get-past it emotional reaction.

    • Possible that it’s an AR-15 with one of those funky NY-legal “loophole” stocks without an EVIL!1 pistol grip. Or a Mini-14.

  5. The AR-15 is not a “High Powered Assault Rifle. It is a weak-assed glorified 22. No assault rifle is “high powered” since the definition of an assault rifle is a carbine length, select fire rifle chambered in an intermediate power cartridge. There are high powered 22 cartridges like the 22-250 but for the most part high power start with 243 Winchester.

  6. And He said to them, “But now, whoever has a money belt is to take it along, likewise also a bag, and whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one.”
    Luke 22:36
    No need to wonder, I think the Gospel makes quite clear how Jesus felt about “packing heat”.

    • I’m not an authority on Biblical plagues but from what I gather, packin’ heat would be non lethal in comparison.

      And as far as the equivalence of pejoratives goes, you can argue degree but the intent is the same.

  7. What? I always considered it a badge of honor to be called a “gun nut”…I dont think that word/term/whatever should automatically draw a negative connotation about the person, I never did.

    The other words you mentioned however…

    The NY Daily News article just shows how uneducated, closed-minded, and illogical the antigun crowd are.

  8. Words are not univocal they’re equivocal. Much like if one black person calls another black person a derogatory word they take no offense because to them it’s an ironic term of endearment…but if another person uses that same word then it is taken in its’ derogatory connotation.

    So yes if one of my close friends calls me a gun nut I would not be offended but when used by an anti-gun person to somehow try to categorize me and put my morals in question in some way, then yes it is a derogatory word.

    The story was spot on.

  9. I’ve never thought being called a “gun- nut” was derogatory, frankly it’s no different than calling some body a “CrossFitter”, or anything else that describes some bodies hobby, or calling somebody who plays lacrosse a “LAX bro”.

    • The “nut” part, when not used in a “punch-on-the-shoulder” endearing way, implies insanity, abnormality, craziness, and detachment from reality.

  10. The New York Daily News isn’t about ‘reasonable.’ I confess to having known the former editor, Gil Spencer, years ago. His daughter Amy was a friend and classmate of mine, as was one of Robert Zimmerman’s cousins.

    If Gil read your criticism, he’d have said “I see your point. The SOB’s underplayed it!” He would have suggested “Gun cult bedevils local church, leading to bizarre three-hour ritual.” If the NYDN likes your position on the Constitution, you know you’ve screwed up.

    As for “everybody’s got to serve somebody” I would only point out that that song preceded by years “Everything is Broken,” a personal favorite Dylan song of mine.

  11. In other news the New York Post has supported our current Commander in Chief.

    Whom recently used an unregistered high capacity gravity fed assault pen, with optional pocket (assault) clip. This pen was designed by a paramilitary organization, NASA, to be used in space. These sorts of pens are dangerous and in the hands of any legislator lead to higher taxes, political assassinations, war, foolhardy legislation, and the death of liberty.

    Do I also need to mention that using that sort of pen is obviously compensating for something…

  12. An upstate gun nut went to church Sunday and walked out the winner of a high-powered assault rifle . . . . . and no one was harmed or killed.

  13. “While the overall message at Sunday’s service was about God and guns, Stafford refused to ponder the question of whether he could imagine Jesus packing heat.”

    I’ll ponder it for him… Damn right!

    I totally see Jesus packing heat, he turned water into wine, hung around with loose women and shady dudes, and he worked with his hands for a living swinging a hammer…

    Homemade wine, loose lady friend, rowdy bros, carpenter, that’s a good ol’ boy if I ever heard of one. And what good ol’ boy wouldn’t like guns?

  14. I don’t think it’s equivalent either. As an evil old white man married to a beautiful black woman if you called her (or my sons) the “N”word I might KILL YOU. Call me a gun nut and I’ll probably laugh & agree. BTW is it possible to enter the church gun giveaway from Illinois???

  15. In other news… I went to Lowes this weekend and bought a small box cutter “similar to the one used to slaughter” thousands of people by the 9/11 hijackers. I must be planning to do some evil deed. :O

  16. Isn’t anyone going to point out that no AR 15 was actually used at Sandy Hook? it was recovered from his vehicle.

    • True, and thanks. Actually, it was reported recovered from another person’s vehicle’s trunk, a young male who had some vague, but unexplained, connection with Lanza. A second “lone nut”? That would ruin the narrative.

      There is footage of this recovery, from an overhead news chopper. And the initial reports had Lanza, a frail lad of not even 100 pounds on SSRI drugs (as always), using nothing but a handgun in the shootings.

  17. Does the accused “gun nut” have a job? Y’know, truck driver, bus mechanic, attorney-at-law? You wouldn’t know it from the DAILY NEWS’ hit piece and racist, classist drivel of an article.

    The DAILY NEWS slandered and dehumanized this poor man, along with churches and religion in general. SHAME ON THE pissants. The French pronunciation: pis-SANTS.

    • I was thinking this article is absolutely slander and was wondering if he would have a case against them. They seriously need to be taught a lesson by suing the hell out of them for defamation of character.

  18. So if a certain model of gun is used in a heinous crime, we now must refer to them as “(insert perp here)-style gun”?

    Do they also demonize Oswald-style Carcanos? John Wilkes Booth-style derringers? Or even Klebold-style pump shot guns?

  19. Is that a real paper? A respected news source? Not an op-ed? Wow. Theyre just being mean and stupid now. Though to their readers I imagine this reads as accurate and smart.

    Where you permit sewn into your lapel and submit to relocation for it is safer for the rest if you gun nuts all live tgether behind the wall.

    • You have to realize that the NYDN has been and always will be written for the grade school educated ignorant manual laborer who never left the boundaries of New York City and doesn’t realize that there is a world out there beyond the five boroughs containing intelligent people. Think Archie Bunker. The cheesecake picture in every issue helps sustain their readership. The Post is almost as bad, but they use multi-syllable words sometimes.

      Personally, I started reading the Herald Tribune in high school. I mourned when it shut down.

  20. Maybe I’d go to church more often if I could win an AR-15 there.

    Next time, they should find a way to trick those douchers into running a story before the rifle is raffled off. Might raise some extra revenue.

  21. Enough of this BS!!!
    The M16/AR15/M4 platform is simply an amazingly successful weapon system. It works flawlessly. The military has used it for decades. The Police use it. Citizens use it.

    What it IS NOT is a common weapon for murder.

    For those who haven’t been in the pro gun fight for years here is how this happened:

    There were a few low funded Anti gun groups in the 70’s such as National Council to Control Handguns and National Coalition to Ban Handguns. They didn’t do much until a psychopath named John Hinckley shot President Reagan. On that day Reagan Press secretary James Brady was shot and seriously injured.
    Brady’s useless socialite wife went on a crusade to disarm America. Mind you she didn’t give a rats ass about this issue before Jimmy got popped.

    So…she put a public face on what was a bunch of crybaby liberals. They were going to ban all handguns in the United States. “Handgun Control Inc” they called it.

    They tried and tried. Lied and lied. Accused and accused….but it didn’t work. Americans wouldn’t give up their handguns. So..they renamed it the “Brady campaign stop gun violence” and toned down their rhetoric. They waited for a liberal to move into the White House.

    They found William Clinton and they were overjoyed. That mean old man Reagan actually cared about the Constitution and they needed someone to ignore it.

    They managed to pass the Brady act. their crowning achievement. The were overjoyed. NOW they could go and collect up all the guns. The bad guys would never hold a gun again. The world would be a safe place.

    Guess what? It didn’t work. The criminals still had guns. Crime still happened. “How can that be…i mean really? We passed a law!” Idiots!

    What it did do was wake up millions of gun owners, such as myself and the fight was on. We shut them down at every turn. Their lies were exposed. A major pro gun group actually slipped someone into their gun ban group acting as one of them. What she reported was stunning.

    Brady and CO changed gears. They would publicize mass shootings and demonize scary looking rifles, then, when those were banned they would go after everything else. Ammo tax, magazine bans, handgun bans.
    Clinton went along with the “assault weapons ban”. That was their last real victory.

    Fast forward to today. They are still playing the same tired game they came up with in 1993. Same lies, same deceit,same treason.

    Their problem is they are loosing to the point of becoming obscure and they are sore loosers. They don’t have the numbers or votes Nationally to do anything. The fact that idiot Obama couldn’t do anything proves that. They are done.

    That does not mean we can stand down. They will try until they die.
    Press the fight!!!!

    • They had some negative lasting effects even in the gun owning community… the “I support the RKBA but” crowd parrot some of the same baloney wrapped in slightly different paper. They were successful in diluting the minds of some gun owners as to the real nature of the right to keep and bear arms.

      You wrote a well articulated summary. +1

    • I’m sorry, but it ain’t a miracle gun and pretending it is drives me nuts. There’s a reason the military teaches SPORTS, and it isn’t because the ‘reliable rifle’ goes bang every time you depress the switch. The AR/M is the 350 Chebby of the gun world – it’s an inherently flawed design, stone-axe primitive platform that’s had so many cubic research dollars (over several decades) thrown at it, that it seems to be acceptable. If you do all the upgrades. Which makes it more expensive than the rifles properly designed and built in the first place. Otherwise, itsa frakkin’ piece of garbage that breaks like a Chevy IROC…

      This ‘Modern Sporting Rifle’ is almost eligible for C&R status. And looks like a 1960s cartoon gun. Not to mention the popgun round it’s generally chambered for. I’ve got several accurate .22 variants. They’re only slightly less lethal.

      It’s a neato starter rifle for kids and mall ninjas. It’s good to have one around if things go sideways, and you wish to be able to source ammo from the self-ambulatory NattyGuard ammo caches. Otherwise? It’s objectively a very mediocre firearm until you throw piles of money at it.

      Oh, and Reagan? One of the absolute worst anti-gun Governors and Presidents in US history. He makes Obama look like Jefferson in comparison.

    • You’re spot on. When their attempts at handgun banning failed they went after what was then the low hanging fruit; MSRs. They were uncommon enough in 1994 that a partial ban was workable. Never mind that they are used in less than .03% of homicides, they actually managed to ban a class of guns (kind of)! They were ‘winning’. Then the backlash came, prohibition resulted in an unprecedented demand for MSRs and they are now so mainstream that a hipster won’t touch one. Fast forward to today and a ban on any class of firearms federally is unthinkable. The anti’s over played their hand and it came back to bite them something fierce.
      Now they go on about back ground checks that have nothing to do with anything and which are completely unenforceable to the point that the average citizen is apt to ignore any law that is passed.
      The low hanging fruit now are ineffectual laws that affect nothing other than to increase the ire of the gun owning public. Concealed carry wasn’t really a thing in 1994 ( the last heyday of gun control) but now it is the norm. MSR’s were uncommon back in ’94 but now they are hugely popular. Suppressors were for secret agents in ’94 but now they are on display at most serious gun shops.
      I’m convinced that the more the antis try, the greater the fire arms freedom generally.
      This might have something to do with Americans not being fond of being told what they can and cannot do, but it also might be due in part to the fact that as firearms freedom has increased over the last 30 years the violent crime rate has plummeted. There just isn’t anything left to support the idea of gun control as a crime reduction/safety measure, and most people get that.

  22. If they didn’t need the resources produced in the heartland of this country, food for their bellies, natural gas to heat their houses and provide the electricity for their Leafs (been waiting my whole life to use that word legitimately), maybe we could convince the “elite” states to secede, or kick us free states loose and leave us alone.

  23. Rags like this probably don’t even work lining a bird cage. Go with God, and an AR. Having a “Praise The Lord, and pass the ammunition” moment.

  24. Regarding the gun nut issue, I think the comparison was more spot on than many realize. The purpose is the same for both words and groups, to poison the well and dehumanize an opponent.

    It goes deeper than that too, the n word comes from a time of government sanctioned violence against those who were labeled with it. Which is something they advocating for all over again, government sanctioned violence against those they label with the g-n words.

  25. Love them calling him a “2nd Amendment Zealot,” as though it were an insult. I don’t know about you guys but I wish there were a lot more people that were zealot’s for the whole of the Constitution, especially in elected office.

  26. The New York Daily News is the finest journalism ever printed. Said no one. Ever.

    I really enjoy this blog, but I followed the link to the comments and decided I don’t care to raise my blood pressure by reading a bunch of incendiary garbage written by morons. “The Internet, making experts of anyone who can type since 1994”.

    My response to anyone who supports gun control is simple: Keep your cellphone charged and the police or your Senators on speed dial, because when seconds count, the Police are only minutes away. (not bashing the Police, but y’all can’t be everywhere, all the time).

  27. News repoters, Really? I think not Ignorant anti gun nuts , ya now we are getting close.Complete cynical left know nothings about the Bill of Rights, Gun crime, the 2nd Amendment, mental illness or firearm professionals, BINGO!!!

  28. I think this is a decent article and pretty insightful. As to whether or not Jesus would be armed: of course not. It never mentions him carrying a weapon of any sort and he was pissed at the violence which occurred during his capture. I’m not Jesus though, and I will not be a victim or a martyr.

    • Jesus told his men to be armed…And He said to them, “But now, whoever has a money belt is to take it along, likewise also a bag, and whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one.”
      Luke 22:36

    • Jesus himself didn’t go armed, true. But then you or I don’t have the luxury of turning our enemies into pillars of salt should the need arise….

    • And let’s say that someone actually did worship guns. Wouldn’t that fall under freedom of religion and make these leftist loons even greater hypocrites (if that’s even possible)?

      • In John 2:15, it says that he made a whip out of cords and drove sheep and cattle out of the temple while he scattered the coins, overturned the money changers’ tables.

        He’d definitely get tased or worse today… and the temple would be on lockdown. 😀

  29. And in other news, Caitlin and Bill, spin doctors for the NYDN, published a fountain of hate and ignorance, slandering honest men and denouncing legal exercise of rights enumerated by our country’s founding documents in an apparent but weak attempt to marginalized and demonize freedoms they probably don’t understand and certainly don’t condone. This blatant propaganda is similar to the kind used by repressive communist regimes and fascist dictatorships to repress their citizens throughout history.

    • Similar indeed! As time goes by, antics of government and mainstream media in this country resemble the stories we were told about the old Soviet Union and communist China back in the day; mixed in with a little banana republic.

      When our own POTG demean and whine about people open carrying (exercising their rights), they play into the game as well.


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