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“It took both sides in the gun debate about two days to respond to the horrific incident in Hayden, Idaho, and as usual, they both behaved in kind,” Mike “The Gun Guy” Weisser writes at “Pro-gun bloggers like Robert Farago immediately attacked gun-control organizations as ‘bloody shirt wavers of the civilian disarmament industrial complex’ because they suggested that Veronica Rutledge probably had ‘little’ required training . . . Poor Veronica Rutledge held a CCW permit from Washington State, by the way, so Farago’s attempt to push back on the Coalition’s statement was both silly and wrong.” I don’t know about silly, but I was wrong . . .

Weisser’s right: Rutledge held a Concealed Pistol License from Washington State. Which is recognized by Idaho. Here’s the info I missed via

Deputies said the Rutledge was in town for holidays and is not from the area. Authorities said the victim did have a concealed weapon. Authorities said Rutledge had a concealed weapon permit out of Spokane.

So my post’s extensive reference to Idaho’s concealed carry training was irrelevant. More than that, anti-gunner Ladd Everitt’s snarky anti-gun aside – upon which I based the post – was right. Ish. This is what Everitt wrote on his Facebook page:

The mother in this case was a concealed handgun permit holder in Idaho, which as you know by now, means little in the way of required screening or training.

Washington state does not require any firearms training for its Concealed Pistol License. I regret the mistake and have amended the post in question. I would also like to credit Mike TGG Weisser for putting firearms “accidents” (a.k.a., negligent discharges) into statistical perspective in his post – even though he seems to conclude that we should ban all guns.

One more thing: I don’t support mandatory firearms training. Or any law that infringes on Americans’ natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. Don’t get me wrong: I recommend firearms training for anyone who owns a gun. But “shall not be infringed” means no government-mandated regulation for keeping and bearing arms. None. No mandatory training. No background checks. No limitations on ammunition magazine size. No limitations on firearm type. No safe storage laws. Nothing.

As for Rutledge’s demise, firearms training might have convinced her to keep her gun under her direct control at all times, especially around children. But that’s simple common sense. Which millions of American gun owners practice every day of their life. The statistically insignificant – but nonetheless tragic – percentage who don’t practice common sense gun safety sometimes pay the price. At the risk of sounding cruel, that’s the price of freedom.

In any case, I regret the error. And one more thing: in two other posts, I upbraided Mr. Weisser for using the phrase “The Truth About Guns” in his posts, and claimed that we owned copyright on that phrase. Not true. As Mr. Weisser reminded me in a short phone call, we hold the right to the name The Truth About Guns for a blog or other publication, not “in common parlance.” Coke is it?™ Nope. Mea culpa.

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  1. Kudos to RF for standing in the spotlight’s harsh glare and taking it on the chin. Few on “either side” of this debate show such backbone.

  2. “No mandatory training. No background checks. No limitations on ammunition magazine size. No limitations on firearm type. No safe storage laws. Nothing.”
    You can always tell a fundamentalist fanatic because they stop thinking and always divert to “well it says right here so thats what i have to do to the letter”. same as a west borough baptist member. if you really think in your mind that our founding fathers wanted criminals and the insane to be able to get firearms with no intervening, then you are an idiot. Then you’ll say “oh well those people shouldn’t be in our society anyway” which is a total bullshit cop out statement. I would like you to name a place or time in human history where there have NOT been criminals or the mentally ill. you can not. because those people ARE part of our society which is why we need firearms. Playing the denial game does not change the facts. it only makes you look like a fanatic. which im sure youll say “thanks” and think that you win, which is the problem.

    • I’m pretty sure no one wants criminals (to have guns, or otherwise). So that is an odd red herring that you’ve proposed. As for mental illness, a quick Google came up with this article: which paints a pretty interesting picture of the view the Torry/Pro British colonial government had about categorization of mental illness. Given that view (dissidents are basically the same thing), I’m certain the founding fathers DID want the “mentally ill” to be armed, if they so desired. Certainly there are a lot more people that are neither criminals nor truly mentally ill in such a way as to be a danger to others, than there are people within those two categories combined; better to allow all of those that are positive members of society to be armed than to try, futilely, to restrict those that are negative with the (un?) intended side effect of effectively disarming those positive members.

      • Depends on your definition of ‘criminal.’ Someone committing a crime right now, no. But I’ve seen plenty of people speak out against prohibiting felons from possessing guns after release from incarceration.

        • If someone’s debt to society has been paid, they should not be denied their rights anymore. It’s that simple.

          If they are still a menace to society and should not have weapons, they should not have been released from prison.

    • Then you’ll say “oh well those people shouldn’t be in our society anyway” which is a total bullshit cop out statement. Well, if they really are that dangerous, then they should not drive a car or be allowed to own a knife either.

    • if you really think in your mind that our founding fathers wanted criminals and the insane to be able to get firearms with no intervening, then you’re an idiot. Ok, so who is going to define who is a habitual criminal ( dangerous or otherwise) or who is insane? What if they were in jail just for BS drug laws? What if they just had insomnia?

    • Preston,
      Nobody ‘wants’ bad guys to have guns, but that’s the problem; bad guys are bad guys because they don’t abide by the laws. So from the perspective of keeping the bad guys from obtaining weapons, laws don’t do a darn thing. From the perspective of keeping weapons out of the hands of those who do abide by the laws, laws work. So what we wind up having is a situation where a body of laws exist to provide barriers to the law abiding that prevent them from exercising a constitutionally protected right, for no other reason than the fallacious assertion that we are safer because of those laws. That state of affairs is exactly what the phrase “shall not be infringed” is meant to avoid.

    • I take it you are a tad progressive, you want things both ways, yet will take anyone to task when they actually point out that they are playing by the rules.
      For instance, “obamacare has been upheld by the supreme court and is the law of the land, deal with it”….appeal to the rules, even if the statement isn’t quite correct.
      Versus….”federal exchanges are almost the same as state exchanges, and even though the law does stipulate state exchanges, you knew what we meant. Let’s follow the intent, not the letter, of the law”.
      I always thought that deference to the actual words should always trump intentions in the case of a conflict between the two. If you don’t like it, change the words. Of course, that could be problematic.

    • if you really think in your mind that our founding fathers wanted criminals and the insane to be able to get firearms with no intervening, then you are an idiot.

      If only there was some way to infer from the fact that none of them ever proposed or supported any gun control legislation, not even anything restricting the rights of released convicts, what they believed about gun control…

    • That’s not a fair or full reading of either Farago’s comments or the Constitution, Preston.

      I don’t speak for the Founders, the Framers, or the Farago, but as I read his comments in the context of theirs, the rights and freedoms naturally possessed by the People are so as the initial condition. That is, you come into this world, by the grace of God, and you’re endowed by your Creator with certain unalienable rights.

      Count the right to one’s own life, manifesting as the rights to self defense and to keep and bear arms, among them. What happens thereafter is heavily dependent upon the decisions you personally make. If you initiate deadly force against someone else, there’s a good chance you could lose your life. What happened to having a right to one’s own life? Well, you forfeited that when you attacked someone else.

      Likewise you do start out with a right to keep and bear arms, but just like your right to your life, which you can lose, there are decisions you can make, such as becoming a criminal, which can cause you to lose your right to keep and bear arms. Go on a violent crime spree, for example, and watch how quickly you’re deprived of not only your right to keep and bear arms, but also your property, liberty, and perhaps your life, as well. It’s all right there in the 5th Amendment.

      So when Farago talks about the RKBA as an absolute right, he’s talking about it at the outset. Of course, he doesn’t intend for dangerous criminals and the deranged, who pose an ongoing violent threat to society, to have firearms.

      But that’s after having had due process observed and a person’s freedoms restricted as a result of their own actions, not government fiat. Your and his difference, therefore, is a matter of timeline and circumstances, not necessarily of principle.

    • The second amendment is not about who may have arms, but about the power the government may have to decide who has arms and what arms they may have, which is none. No power on that subject whatsoever.

      The minute you start thinking about whether criminals should have guns you have framed the discussion upside down and backwards and therefore have prevented yourself from understanding it.

      Considering government also has no power to prevent criminals from owning arms anyway, further illustrates the futility and lack of meaning such a gaming has.

    • Preston, as you astutely pointed out: “name a place or time in human history where there have NOT been criminals or the mentally ill” I would like to ask you if you have considered the possibility that the Founding Fathers have also been aware of that fact? And yet, they have chosen not to restrict any citizen’s ability to own and bear arms, just as, no doubt, they were aware of people who, for whatever reason, have said and will continue to say things that are vulgar, offensive, untrue and repugnant and still their rights to free speech have been expressly protected by that same Constitution. Nor is there an exception for murders in exercising their Fifth Amendment rights and so on… Perhaps you may astutely reflect on the thought that, based on their writings, the Founding Fathers recognized that by far the biggest potential criminal is the government and all the resources need to address protecting the citizens from allowing this beast to grow. In case you haven’t picked up on this from American history (yes, I know, this is not taught in public schools), you may want to look at the history of all other countries in the world and do a very rough calculation comparing the number of deaths due to individual criminals vs criminal governments. Perhaps when you compare the danger posed by a dissident classified as insane by the government (a standard practice in the Soviet Union and other socialist countries) to the danger posed by the government, Robert Farago’s position will not appear so “fundamentalist fanatic” after all.

    • Oddly enough, before the law was changed, when a person was released from prison in Arizona, he was given as part of his release, a rifle, and a pistol. You served your time, you paid your debt to society. If you want the man to never have a firearm again, he should be executed, because that’s the only way to prevent a man from getting another firearm.

      Perhaps what we need to do is 1) increase prison terms for violent offenders and 2) make prison actually REFORM a criminal instead of as a place to tuck them away temporarily.

  3. As a fellow Spokane CPL holder, I can also attest to the fact that there is a range that has
    excellent training available just 5 – 10 miles from the site of the incident, Center Target Sports.

    She did, indeed, make a series of untrained decisions poorly, but the steep price was
    paid for this neglect, and just a bit of training could have gone a long way.

    Just as with anything that has the potential to cause harm, training is just a good idea.
    Making it mandatory is, indeed, an infringement, but would walk up to a chain
    saw and just fire it up without know how to use it?

    This is the real meaning of common sense, and her lack of it, with so many good places
    in the area to do so, is the largest part of the tragedy, IMHO.

    • Pretty sure you don’t need training to buy and use a chain saw, mower, drill, table saw or any other power tool. There is also no requirement to take training about how to store household chemicals. Nor is there a requirement for training in order to own a pool. Much more children are killed by these things. Our focus is on the wrong thing.

    • Except she did have training*, according to her family. How much or what kind, I don’t know, but negligence can happen to us all. Training isn’t enough–we have to implement that training into our everyday lives. *The purpose of the retraction is to amend the statement that she had training because she had an Idaho CWL, which she didn’t. Robert was correct when he said she had training, but only incidentally so, and not for the reasons he thought.

      You’re right, though, about CTS; it really is top-notch. When I lived in Hayden I was a member, a regular visitor, and took multiple courses through them in addition to getting my Utah permit there.

      • Clearly, even if she had training, she ignored the most basic aspects of that training. Never leave a gun within reach of a child.
        She made a fatal mistake leaving her purse in the shopping cart next to her child.

  4. +1 on the correction.

    Rare in the blogosphere, and even more rare by progressive media, even with ombudsmen, like WAPO or NYT.

    Now if we can just get Mike the Gun Guy to divulge his contractual arrangement to Bloomberg, et al, for the latest PuffHo propaganda on the new AntiGunArchive we’d be all square…

  5. I made some similar assumptions. I figured she had the gun stuffed in her purse. i didn’t figure she had a dedicated pocket for the gun and certainly not an internal holster to cover the trigger and keep the gun oriented. Apparently she had a purse with a dedicated Ccw pocket. I made the assumption that perhaps the climate concerning guns may have lead her to not seek info that would either dicurage off body carry, and if that was the best option to at the very least have a dedicated pocket. All that was wrong as, apparently, she has family that know enough to look for a specialy built purse and buy it for her. All that said, you can’t child proof the world. Not everywhere you go will have child protection features like electrical outlet covers and while I’m not a pairent I would think people should anticipate a lot of the risks that surround a child and do your best to monitor them if the risk can’t be removed. She knew she had a gun in the purse and left it unattended and unsupervised within reach of a child for long enough for the child to gain access. Not sure where security futures like a manual or grip safety or a holster to cover the trigger would come into play, but it certainly couldn’t hurt. More important taking your attention off of it long enough for this to happen definitely speeks a lot to off body carry, especially something you can set down and walk away from, would have been enough time for somebody to walk away with it as well. No law or safety device will replace being attentive when there is something potentially dangerous around a child, bucket of watter, open outlets, plastic bags, all are common in the world and pose a risk.

  6. Weisser is still a douchenozzle and one of the most despised vermin on the planet by POTG. He’s nothing more than a Judas goat.

    • I guess that’s a pretty fair assessment. I don’t understand how the guy runs a viable business. Somebody who is retired and local to his store should take it on as a personal mission to alert folks in the area as to what this guy moonlights in.

    • I don’t like the idea of government run schools: they seem to spend more time indoctrinating than teaching, but they teach sex ed for safety reasons and “stranger danger” for safety reasons. If firearms are such a safety issue, killing millions per day, why not teach gun safety in schools?

  7. This is another example of the gun-control’s grand deception. They claim they only want to take guns away from the bad guy… but then use this incident as an example of why the good guy shouldn’t have them either.

    It is unfortunate that this event becomes an argument over the right to bear arms instead of what it really should be; How can we better foster the gun culture and its safe use of arms?

    Insufficient training is a talking point the gun control crowd uses. Then they go on to protest the opening of gun facilities, condemn children for even pretending with a toy gun, and try their best to evade any discussion about safe gun use.

    It can’t be done both ways. If they demand that people have a thorough understanding of gun handling – they need to be encouraging safe gun handling and use not fighting it.

    • Somebody, somewhere in this country, probably died due to a drunk driver last week.

      Let’s reinstate prohibition on alcohol.

      • Better yet, roughly 100 people per DAY die from falls. We don’t need new safety laws. We just need to repeal the Law of Gravity.

        • I’ll have you know that this keyboard I sprayed with beer (via my nose; thank you) cost me $150. I’d appreciate some warning for snarky, witty shit in the future…

  8. Do we know yet what kind of gun she was carrying? If that detail was released I missed it. I’ve got a ten year old that has trouble with any trigger more than about 4 pounds so I’m curious what kind of gun a 2 year old could fire.

  9. “One more thing: I don’t support mandatory firearms training. Or any law that infringes on Americans’ natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. Don’t get me wrong: I recommend firearms training for anyone who owns a gun. But “shall not be infringed” means no government-mandated regulation for keeping and bearing arms. None. No mandatory training. No background checks. No limitations on ammunition magazine size. No limitations on firearm type. No safe storage laws. Nothing.”

    NEITHER DO I. It is NO ones business how I lawfully protect myself, whether in my “castle” or in public. The moment legislators get that through their thick skulls, the better off our world will be.

  10. I’m not going to go back and check, but as I recall, one of the commenters under that original article was the first to observe that the deceased actually held a WA license, as oppposed to one from Idaho, and could not on the basis of that WA itself be presumed to have had any firearms training. Perhaps she did, but merely possessing a WA license would not speak to that.

    If Mike Weisser came out with a gotcha on Farago on that point, after having read the article here, then he may well have read that commenter’s observation, too. Or not. Either way, it would appear that a member of the AI was the first to spot the error. The Armed Intelligentsia, once again, polices its own faster and better than the gun grabbers.

  11. With kids in general, and toddlers in particular, additional precautions are needed. Carry is about a system comprised of MULTIPLE elements including the container and the firearm. Harping on purse carry misses this simple fact.

    Pocket carry, fanny packs, and non-locking holsters can all be accessed by grabbing little hands. Thought must therefore also be given to another element: the firearm. Some firearms are simply more difficult for toddlers/children to discharge. DA only and DA/SA are examples (DA/SA with a manual safety being even better).

    Another consideration is the condition in which a firearm is carried. Israeli carry is particularly well suited for situations where little hands are around. Yes, it can slow down your quick draw, but as the Glock guys like to say, “Training is critical”. With proper training and practice, the Israeli’s have proven it to be both fast and effective, even when confronted with multiple instances of the most evil scum on the planet.

  12. She could have been very well trained and competitive shooter and still have been off body carrying. It is the traditional way women have carried. They didn’t call what now refer to as pocket pistols as purse guns for no reason. Beretta has several designer purses for concealed carry in their catalog. This isn’t a training issue. It is a cultural issue where women aren’t encouraged to carry in holster like men to.

  13. Every blowhard with an opinion concludes this or that. Let’s ban doctors because they kill 120,000 people a year accidentally. (some statistic I read somewhere)

  14. Her husband bought her the damn purse for Christmas. Something I noticed immediately. Please RF-no kudos toQuisling…

  15. That is how a correction should be done, very straightforward, no weaselly words, very clear

    You would think one would see more of these, but since it stands out as so well done, good for you

  16. Idaho doesn’t require any more training than washington. I am an Idaho concealed carrier and with the exception of our new ‘enhanced’ permit, there is no requirement. Sheriffs are allowed to ask for a safety class like the NRA etc, but its optional and we are shall issue. The training for the enhanced is only required if you want to carry on college campuses etc, its a new and ridiculous law; and you can still get our old carry permit, the new one is optional for now.

  17. I want to thank Robert for setting the record straight about what he said and what he didn’t say. So now I’ll set the record straight for what I said and didn’t say in the Huffington column which referenced the fact that the late Mrs. Rutledge held a WA CCW permit, not one from ID. But what Robert didn’t mention was that the bulk of my column was not a criticism of his statements but a criticism of a liberal, anti-gun writer who tried to create the impression that unintentional gun accidents are still so high that something needs to be done about it. In fact, unintentional gun accidents have dropped by nearly 40% over the last 15 years and are now so low that the only way that they could continue to decline would be if there were no guns. Which is very different from saying that there shouldn’t be any guns, which Robert also seems to think that I said, Which I didn’t. I also made no judgement and have never made any judgement about whether there should be mandated training for CCW or gun ownership in general. What I have said and will continue to say is that taking one course and shooting a few rounds does not give anyone the skills to believe that they are somehow protecting themselves if they walk around with a gun. It’s cynical and misleading to argue that there should be a little bit of training, like the training mandated by Idaho for their CCW, which then makes one proficient in using a gun. I didn’t say that but Robert did, which is why he reproduced the ID CCW training requirements, as if this showed that Mrs. Rutledge “knew” how to use a gun. Which is why I said his comment about her preparedness was silly, and because he had the wrong state as issuer of his CCW was also wrong.

    • Mike: please clarify your position on the civilian ownership of firearms, and the right to keep and bear arms. I have read all your columns, and like many here, all I come away with is that you think gun ownership is extremely dangerous, really not worth the risk, and if one does chose to do so, they shouldn’t have any illusions that they are somehow safer. Honestly, most of your work reads like an attaboy to MDA. I think most of us, including RF, view you as deeply unhelpful at best, and at worst a charlatan. I know that you do business in a state that is a shade away from Europe in its gun control laws, so are you comfortable with the status quo in MA? What are you doing to advance the RKBA? Is that something that even needs to be advanced in your view?

    • Mike: In case you decide to monitor reponses to your post here are some thoughts As I have noted above this case does not prove one thing or another about training for concealed carry because it doesn’t tell us anything about how well trained Veronica Rutlege was. Let’s face it, women are encouraged to purse carry because they are steered toward subcompact and pocket pistols. There are entire lines of high fashion purses for carry. Off body carry is not a good idea. This incident has even made re-evaluate pocket carry using a pocket holster. A carry gun belongs on your hip or in shoulder holster. That is the real lesson of this incident.

    • Mike: I appreciate your willingness to post on here. I am REALLY curious to nail down your views on guns and the right to keep and bear arms. I have read all of your work for Huffpo, and have considered reading your books, if only to understand where you are coming from. Honestly, your work at Huffpo is rather ambiguous, but gives a general impression that you feel that gun ownership is dangerous and ill advised, people shouldn’t consider self-defense as a valid reason to own a gun, that one should never feel safer because they own a gun, and that you would be VERY comfortable with much higher rates of gun ownership regulation. You posts generally read like “atta-girls” for Moms Demand Action. Your status as a firearms dealer seems to offer some street cred for the Huffpo, but I think that most gun owners, particularly gun rights advocates, view your work as unhelpful at best, and deliberate charlatanism. Now would be a great time to lay out your position clearly. If not here, perhaps you could do so in a submission. I for one, would be well served in hearing your ideas clearly articulated.

      • Okay. Here is my stance on guns, as clearly as I can make it.
        1. I agree with Robert Farago that there is no reason to legislate any rules or regulations regarding firearms ownership whatsoever. I have published more than 340,000 words about guns in 4 books, 100+ Huffington posts and 200+ posts on my own website and I challenge anyone to find where I have ever advocated a single regulation or law on guns. And if you can find one, I’ll send $100 to the charity of your choice. And don’t give me the nonsense about ‘well, you don’t say it but you mean it anyway.’ Either I’ve said it or I haven’t. Period. I never accuse anyone of anything unless they actually said it. And I don’t like accusations based on what people ‘think’ I mean. If I say it, I mean it. If not, not.
        2. I do not believe that owning a gun or owning anything else makes me more free or less free. Those are wonderful slogans but if I were to go before a judge who had the power to put me in jail and deprive me of my freedom, said freedom would be based on whether I had Constitutional protections that we refer to as ‘due process.’ Period.
        3. I do not believe in ‘unlimited’ rights. We all give up a certain degree of ‘rights’ in order to live together in a civilized state. And Western society has been defining the limitation of rights since the Magna Carta. Does that mean that the limits can’t be pushed too far? Of course. Which is what free speech and free assembly are all about – we need a place and a method to define those limitations. But the argument isn’t between no limitations and some limitations. It’s between degree of limitations.
        4. I like guns because I have always liked guns. I bought my first real gun when I was 12 years old in 1956 and I have been owning guns ever since. I don’t attach any particular metaphysical value to guns or gun ownership. I like them because I like them. And I don’t invest my guns with some kind of inherent value or any particular importance or role. I have friends who like their model trains as much as I like my guns. I don’t see any difference. And if you want to indulge yourself by telling me that a model train can’t protect you from tyranny or some other slogan, don’t waste your breath.
        5. I served in the 78th Lightning Division of the USRA as a volunteer. I am a registered Democrat. I make no apologies for my political opinions.nor do I feel that my opinions are more or less valid than anyone else.
        6. I don’t learn anything from opinions. I learn from facts. Want to persuade me about something, guns or anything else, show me the facts. I have never made a statement about guns that could not be backed up by peer-reviewed facts. I have plenty of opinions about guns but those are my opinions. They aren’t facts and I would never assume that anyone should agree with my opinions. But if you tell me that something I said based on facts isn’t true, you better have some facts to back you up. No your opinions, but facts.
        7. Finally, I always try to be polite. No profanity, no name-calling, no personal attacks.

        • Mike, here are some facts to consider with respect to your comment – “I do not believe in ‘unlimited’ rights. We all give up a certain degree of ‘rights’ in order to live together in a civilized state.” In this case (2A), the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are very clear that the limitation on rights (and powers) is not of the citizens, but of the government. Regardless of your studies (I presume) of Rousseau and Marx, the US Constitution is not about the citizen to citizen or citizen to government social contract; the entire purpose of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights is to limit the power of the government. Government, I repeat, not people. This, however, does not negate any presumed social contracts among the citizens that are necessary for a civil society; it is just that the American version (the 18th century version, that is) leaves the social contract to be voluntarily created and adhered to by the citizens themselves, not through the force of the government, as it has been done, and is continued to be practiced, everywhere else. That difference is the American “exceptionalism,” something that socialists cannot stand and have devoted all their energies to destroying. That is why the socialists always bring up other countries for comparison, conveniently leaving out that two hundred million people left those failing countries and came to America (and perhaps a billion more would like to). So, Mike, yes, this Constitution and this Bill of Rights are different from the way the rest of the world acts and sees itself; they are different on purpose. That difference is what made America the most desirable place of earth. Some of us would like to keep it that way.

    • Thanks for commenting here.

      How else are we to interpret the headline of a piece entitled “The Only Way to Make Gun Accidents Disappear Is to Make Guns Disappear” other than to think it’s a call for a total gun ban? A sentiment repeated in the very last line of your piece.

      You and I disagree about the amount of training required to be safe with a gun. I reckon ten seconds ought to do it: only point it at a bad guy. Which most people know anyway. Besides, even if a larger amount of training was needed for gun safety, so what? The 2A is clear: no training requirement, or any other government infringement.

      • “How else are we to interpret the headline of a piece …”

        Um, by reading the piece?

        I came away with the strong impression that Weisser does not think that eliminating guns is a cost that is worth reducing the already amazingly low incidence of gun accidents to zero.

      • And the truth is that most people who favor gun ‘control’ want to eliminate all guns. But that’s not what I said. What I said was that the # of gun accidents is so low that the only way it could really drop any more was if there were no guns. Now how that sentence gets turned into a call to get rid of guns is something you’ll have to explain, unless if someone writes a phrase like ‘there were no guns,’ then he obviously doesn’t want any more guns. But Robert, you also thought that the government gave you ownership of the phrase, ‘the truth about guns,’ no matter how anyone else used that phrase, right?

      • Robert: If you think it only takes 10 seconds to be adequately trained to use a gun in a tactical situation, then either you have never been in a tactical situation or you’re just trying to make your readers think how hip and cool you are because, after all, just point the gun at the bad guy, right? There’s a reason why more than 60% of police shootings result in the cops either hitting the wrong target or missing everything completely. They don’t get enough training and the training they do get doesn’t and can’t prepare them for situations in which it’s dark, the target is moving, you’re stressed, etc. I see these video training products all the time – they’re junk. They are grown-up versions of what kids have on their television when/if they want to play a video game. So now the first video gamer generation is old enough to stop playing with plastic guns and move to real guns. Gee, that’s a hard one to figure out from a marketing perspective. And don’t get me wrong. I’m not in favor of mandatory training or mandatory anything else. Everyone should be able to decide for themselves what they need and what they don’t need. Find one instance in all my writing where I have ever advocated mandatory anything with guns and I’ll send $100 to the charity of your choice. Don’t bother to look: you won’t find anything. But what I am against is the pandering that goes on in the gun industry in which they take something which is no more than cheap, stupid marketing and dress it up into the divine right, as if after playing a video game (and 90% of all video revenues come from shooting games) someone can then pick up a real gun, do minimal or no training and this will “protect” them against criminals, ISIS and God knows whatever other fantasy threats the gun industry wants you to be worried about as you plunk down your hard-earned cash to walk away with another gun. It’s cynical, it’s misleading and it’s taking advantage of people’s fears and people’s fantasies that have been nourished by a generation of video gaming and the ‘War on Terror.’ Does this make me anti-gun? No. It makes me someone who just wants the debate about guns to proceed on the basis of fact, not marketing fiction.

        • Let’s do this scientifically. Let’s take 20 people to force-on-force training. Ten with no firearms experience whatsoever. Ten who’ve had training. Let’s see whether or not he training has a significant effect on the outcome.

          I know a facility in Dallas that’ll do it. Game on?

        • Mike: There are a couple of reasons why the police are not as effective as one might think. It is true they don’t spend enough time at the range but the other is called situational awareness. The police show up in a violent situation not knowing the entire picture and have to make a split second decision. Sometimes they get it wrong. In fact they get wrong more often than private citizens do whether they are trained or not. The individual whose home or person is under attack knows who the attacker is.

          Training is neither a necessary or sufficient condition to effectively use a fire arm. There are lots of people who get lots of training who fail because they just don’t get it. Do you really think that Captain Herbert Sobel, the first CO of E Company/506PI wasn’t superbly trained? He was an absolute dud as a combat leader. There are many people who just get it whether they are trained or not. Most of us are in between these extremes but too many examples of people who successfully defend themselves with firearms who have had absolutely no tactical training to claim that the average person can’t use gun. The one kind training that is useful is safety training. It might not take 10 seconds but it can done in a couple of hours.

  18. Good man, Robert. The willingness with which you admit you made a mistake is admirable, and all too rare among media outlets. Thank you.

  19. So, Robert….

    Apply for a copyright, trademark or whatever on the phrase “The Truth About Guns”. Use a unique spelling, or whatever makes it possible to own a phrase. Phil Jackson, once of the LA Lakers, owns the term “three-peat” due to the three back-to-back championships.

    You can do it !!

    • I’m not lawyer, but I’m pretty sure you can’t copyright a phrase. Is Pepsi going to come after me if I talk about the condensation that forms in the early morning in the Rockies?

      • Hi,

        As noted above, Phil Jackson actually holds the patent/copyright a phrase; no one can use “three-peat” without permission or royalty. Robert should look into same.

        • That applies to certain products, not written or spoken communication.

          I find it very funny that we’re arguing about copyright law on a gun blog :-).

    • You certainly can’t patent or copyright the phrase. Trademark, maybe, but I doubt you’ll get it. “Threepeat” was only barely distinctive, “truth about X” is about as generic as it gets. You might as well try to trademark the word “gun.”

  20. “But ‘shall not be infringed’ means no government-mandated regulation for keeping and bearing arms. None. No mandatory training. No background checks. No limitations on ammunition magazine size. No limitations on firearm type. No safe storage laws. Nothing.”

    Actually, no, it doesn’t mean anything close to that. To infringe a right is to destroy it. Think “frangible” bullets. Same root. Any law that does to the RKBA what a brick wall does to a frangible bullet is an obvious infringement. Any lesser regulation, aimed at promoting responsible use of guns (as opposed to unduly onerous requirements aimed more at deterring the exercise of the right altogether) is debatable.

    • Not even close Jeff. Nice try. Infringe means to violate, restrict or trespass, and is the most selective in regards to those terms. For instance a law that may not be considered restrictive will still be an infringement.
      Frangible means to be able to be fragmented.

      • Not in the historic sense of the word that was in common parlance in the 18th Century. See Latin infringere, to break or destroy. Even the more modern meaning is not as absolute as the author suggests, e.g., not all use of a copyrighted work “infringes” a copyright.

        • Keep trying. The word has not undergone real changes, sorry. Infringement meant, and still means, the least bit of intrusion is not permissible. The idea of “break” or “destroy” is part of the root, and as described by the usage, any even slight intrusion upon a right breaks or destroys the whole of that right. The right is either whole, or completely destroyed. Indeed, it signifies that the right must be absolute. Not quite how you wanted it, I guess. Oh well.

        • It’s not a question of what you or I want the word to mean. It’s a question of what it did mean in 1791, what any serious legal scholars say it meant in 1791, or what any court in 2014 might rule it means now. And a simple, non-onerous training requirement for concealed carry – of the kind required by most states today – does not approach any of those definitions of “infringe.” That it may violate your made-up definition and folk history is of no consequence.

        • Yes, it does. Infringe would be similar to encroach, even back then. That is a lesser degree of hindrance than a limitation or a restriction, it is the barest minimum of hindrance.

  21. The fact that it was a gun is a moot point – You wouldn’t sit a baby beside a knife, hammer or power tool. It was a very stupid thing to do and she paid the ultimate price.

    You have to wonder if the gun-control mob influenced Veronica Rutledge’s decisions to not carry her gun safely in a holster… Idiots like Shannon Watts or Mike Bloomberg try to make fun of gun owners who use holsters. They mock safety-conscious holster-wearing gun owner – saying that we want to be Old West Cowboys, play-acting with pretend spurs and a holster on our hips.

    To some people such peer-pressure (even from the minds of fools) does influence them. They have been brainwashed to dismiss wearing a holster and end up carrying their defensive guns in pockets, tucked into waistbands or rattling around in a purse – waiting for an accident to happen.

    • Women have traditionally carried small pocket pistols in their purses instead of on a belt or shoulder holster. Blame a gun culture that promotes the use of backup guns as the ideal CC piece. The compact is the optimal size for CC and its size forces people to carry it properly.

  22. “… [Weisser] seems to conclude that we should ban all guns.”

    Unless you read the entire piece. Weisser’s closing paragraph:

    “Let me break the news gently to Michael Cohen and his friends who are concerned about violence from guns. As emotional and frightening as the incident in Hayden may be, when only 548 people die yearly from gun accidents in a country which contains more than 300 million guns, the only way that unintentional gun injuries will completely disappear is if we get rid of all the guns. Remember lawn darts?”

    As in, “The only way that automobile injuries will completely disappear is if we get rid of all the cars.”

    IOW, “It ain’t gonna happen.”

    But YMMV.

    EDIT: Oops, just read the rest of the thread … Weisser’s already set the record straight!

    Peace …

  23. You’re saying Veronica took the easy way by getting her concealed carry in Washington and firearms training could have saved her life. I am calling BS on the above story. Veronica’s family AND her in-laws are ALL outdoors people. There’s plenty of pics on facebook of them standing next to animals they’ve hunted, fish they’ve caught. She probably began her gun safety training before she was even a teenager and she did, in fact, take a handgun safety course.


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