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Joe Nocera (courtesy

I’ve talked 2A with Joe Nocera a couple of times. The New York Times columnist seemed rational enough. Sure, the resulting columns willfully lied mischaracterized my position on gun rights to score points with his gun control homies. But that’s how it is with this guy: I’m right, you’re wrong and I’m going to make you look like a nutcase and brand you an “extremist.” Yesterday’s column (published in the printed paper today), That Spineless Gun Vote, reaches a new low. Reading between the lines, I reckon Joe’s looking forward to the day when a real nutcase opens fire on innocent civilians again—so that “spineless” pro-gun pols will do the right thing and disarm their fellow citizens. Yeah it’s that cynical, starting with . . .

On April 20, 1999, Katie Lyles, a high school sophomore, was taking a math test when she heard a popping sound. “I assumed it was a prank,” she says.

It wasn’t. The fire alarm soon went off, and a teacher shouted, “This is not a drill. Go, go, go!” Katie and several classmates ran through the neighborhood, seeking shelter. All around them, they could hear the screams of sirens and the whir of helicopter blades.

Finally, a woman answered their frantic knocking. “Are you all from the high school?” she asked. When they said yes, the woman invited them in. That is where they learned that two of their fellow students at Columbine High School had gone on a murderous spree, killing 13 and wounding 21, before turning their guns on themselves.

Joe’s a great writer, but not a particularly innovative one. Kicking-off a pro-gun control polemic with a painful memory from the victim of a spree killing is such a standard anti-gun ploy the text might as well be computer-generated. INSERT HORRIFIC ANECDOTE HERE.

I know that sounds cold, but waving the bloody shirt to promote civilian disarmament is as cynical as it gets. Until it gets more cynical.

On Thursday afternoon, I spoke again to Katie Lyles. She was deeply disappointed, of course, but she wasn’t ready to give up. A few months earlier, she had testified before the Colorado State Legislature as it debated stricter gun laws, including mandatory background checks and a limit to the size of magazines. The laws passed a month ago.

“It took a long time,” she said. “Fourteen years. You can’t give up just because you lose one battle.”

She pointed out something else. Colorado has seen some of the nation’s worst gun tragedies — not just Columbine, but last year’s shooting in Aurora. “We’re a Western state,” she said. Colorado has plenty of gun owners. Yet it was still willing to pass tough new gun laws. Katie believes that all that pain Colorado has experienced is the reason.

“I fear that people are going to have to experience that pain for themselves before we can pass these bills,” she said.

“But I hope not.”

I get the distinct impression that Joe disagrees. As does the editorial writer at

President Obama said last week’s failure on gun control was only “round 1.”

Presumably, “round 2” will come the next time somebody walks into a crowded place with an AR-15.

When tragedy strikes again, the Newtown families — joined by new victims’ relatives — are sure to remind us how the Senate betrayed the American people on gun reform . . .

Will the public be angry then? Will the majority of Americans who support reasonable gun control — including most gun owners — get as passionate as the fanatics, who consider any restriction an intolerable infringement on their rights?

What’s the bet Joe and Co. would have been be the first to say “I told you so” if the Boston bombers had used ARs instead of pressure cookers? And revel in the political fallout.

You know how the gun control crowd would spin this. We’re not the ghouls. The NRA’s and its supporters are the soulless f*cks who let these horrific homicides happen by encouraging the free flow of firearms—weapons of war!—to criminals, terrorists and crazies.

But that’s not how it is. This is how it is:

DAVIS: And here’s the other thing that drives me crazy. They trot out the victims. And I have something I want to say to the victims of Newtown, or any other shooting. I don’t care if it’s here in Minneapolis or anyplace else. Just because a bad thing happened to you doesn’t mean that you get to put a king in charge of my life. I’m sorry that you suffered a tragedy, but you know what? Deal with it, and don’t force me to lose my liberty, which is a greater tragedy than your loss. I’m sick and tired of seeing these victims trotted out, given rides on Air Force One, hauled into the Senate well, and everyone is just afraid — they’re terrified of these victims.

EMMER: Well they’re being used — they’re being used…

DAVIS: I would stand in front of them and tell them, ‘go to hell.’

This excerpt from a Minnesota talk radio show has and thus up in arms. Mr. Davis apologized, but let’s face it: the host got slammed for having the wrong strong feelings.

What he should have done, according to the anti-gunners, is had such strong feelings of sympathy for spree and guilt for the victims of Aurora and Newtown that he’d throw liberty under the bus.

That strategy didn’t work after Newtown. Quite the opposite. Gun control advocates’ attempts to exploit Newtown woke a slumbering giant: millions of gun owners who decided to become politically active. And remind pols to preserve their Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms.

That pissed off Nocera and his anti-pistol peeps no end. They’re angry that the NRA and American gun owners didn’t “meet their comeuppance” thanks to Newtown. They hope that some shocking slaughter will one day convince Americans to “come to their senses” and implement “common sense gun laws,” making the country safer for all.

How sick is that?

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  1. hell yes they do. They really can’t hide the body language when they report one that says they are thinking ” oh yeah, we’ve got em’ now” . look at how clear it was that they wanted the boston bombings to be a “right wing(NRA) act”.

    • Glenn Beck, for what it’s worth, had a great take on this. The first time in history where the media was actively wishing that an act of terror had been committed by fellow Americans. Seriously. How sick is what the media did?

  2. In 1863 a Democrat shot and killed Abraham Lincoln, President of the United
    States .
    In 1983 a registered Democrat shot and wounded Ronald Reagan.
    In 2007 a registered Democrat named Seung-Hui Cho shot and killed 32 people in
    Virginia Tech.
    In 2010 a mentally ill registered Democrat named Jared Lee Loughner shot Rep.
    Gabrielle Giffords and killing 6 others.
    In 2011 a registered Democrat named James Holmes went into a movie theater and
    shot and killed 12 people.
    In 2013 a registered Democrat named Adam Lanza shot and killed 26 people in a
    One could go on, but you get the point, even if the media
    does not.
    Clearly there is a problem with Democrats and guns.

    Perhaps it should simply be illegal for Democrats to own guns.

    • Not trying to start anything but would love to use these. Is there any visible evidence that the more recent shooters were Dems? That would be a jewel in debates.

        • The younger brother’s social web pages had pro-Obama comments. I haven’t seen his voter registration. The older brother was only qualified to vote in the Russian Federation.

    • Given the strength of the actual facts on our side, we should be careful about letting myths, no matter how comforting, slip into our message. Several of the above assertions are false. For example, Cho wasn’t a citizen, and VA doesn’t register voters.

      • Yeah, I believe the story about Holmes being a registered Democrat was withdrawn by the blogger who started it, and that it turns out Holmes wasn’t even a registered voter.

        I like the sentiment, but the facts are pretty thin on this list.

    • You’d think that they would self-select and choose to not buy guns for themselves. Unless, of course, they meant to go turn it in to the police!

  3. And yet, everyone from Biden on down has acknowledged that nothing the Senate was considering would have stopped any of the recent mass shootings. So what Nocera et al are saying is: “let’s pass legislation that would not have stopped any prior mass shootings so it will stop future mass shootings. ”

    You have to be (A) ignorant, (B) delusional, or (C) willing to do or say anything to get your way in order to subscribe to that sort of “logic.” I’m going with all of the above.

    • I said this differently the other day, but have you ever seen tapes of the UK parliamentary bodies in action? They shout over each other, and harrumph, and applaud as others are speaking. I wish ours worked like that in this case. That way, when anti-gun bills are being debated, every single time someone mentions Newtown or Aurora, etc. in support of the bill, someone else could stand up and say “…which this bill would not have prevented.” Every single time, to illustrate the disconnect between what happened and the unrelated bills they’re trying to pass.

  4. I’ve seen many, many comments from people wishing Wayne LaPierre’s grandkids had died in Newtown, that lawmakers’ family members be murdered. There’s no excusing that kind of sick “means justify the ends” thinking. It goes to show that some favor gun control for selfish reasons and really don’t care if innocent people have to die to accomplish it.

    • They can make threats and nothing is done, gun owners go out of line in comments and they get arrested. No, no double standards.

      • Read the comments under the New York Times article. Truly scary. These are the people we are up against. Not only are they are the self-appointed intellectuals who know what is best for the rest of us, they want to impose their world view on the rest of us.

  5. I’m a liberal who lives in a city. I have the right to protect myself from predation and the right to be secure in my possessions. The background checks are a violation of the fourth amendment to wreck the second amendment.

    The fourth amendment has been systematically trashed sine 1981.

    • Actually since 1934 when the first background checks and fees were implemented for fully automatic rifles. 1986 manufacture for civilian sale was prohibited.

  6. Gun grabbers pining for more mass killings-yup, I hear it on occasion when I argue my personal pro position with those who disagree. I have even heard it from those who have suffered under single party regimes. Shortly after Sandy Hook, I had a Cuban American tell me that we should have laws like Cuba, to which I responded with “Are you not here because you disagree with the way your homeland is run? This particular person went ballistic on me, responding “I can’t wait for the next time so changes can be imposed on you gun nuts”. I was amazed-here is a person who left her homeland because she could not live under totalitarian rule, demanding the same type of opression in our country.

    • “Political tags — such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth — are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. The latter are surly curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort.”

      —Robert A. Heinlein

        • The point is that one’s politics essentially boil down to one thing: the desire to control the actions of others or the lack of such a desire. I prefer the latter, needless to say, but it’s all too rare in today’s world (or yesterday’s world, for that matter).

        • I agree with Hal on this. In fact, I was just having a brief conversation to this effect with a friend in a coffee shop this morning. I personally fail to understand why so many people wish to respond, not just to tragedy but to any perceived slight in the public sphere, with a cry for more control over others. Why? I see it, I hear it, I watch it play out every day in politics, business, and personal interactions but I don’t understand it. Why do some want so badly to decide what others can and cannot do or be.

          I have begun responding to nearly every person who tells me that we need more gun control laws (or other control laws for that matter but this is TTAG not TTAControlFreaks) with the simple question, “Why?” They emote, whine, cry, scream and, occasionally, construct an argument but the only real answer I’ve successfully gotten can be paraphrased as, ” Because I don’t want you to have a gun.” My only response to that is, “Sorry, I don’t care what you want. Leave me alone.”

  7. That petty tyrant (and would-be mega-tyrant) looks like he just took bite out of a turd. Or maybe HE’S the turd, I dunno….

  8. Ironically, right before reading this TTAG article I was posting a comment to a red-equal-sign-sport’n lib over on “The Hill” site in response to exactly this kind of pine’n. Excerpt from what he posted:
    Oh this is not a dead issue (gun back ground checks) each and ever mass killings to come the issue will be back and bigger, And the people will win and not the Lobby Firm The NRA. It will only take a little time.

    Ignoring the grammatical confusion, what I gleaned from ^this post was a blatant wish for more tragedies that they can exploit for their “cause”. Makes me sick…

  9. They definitely wish for more. The biggest flaw in their thinking is that very few in the future, if any, will rival the horror that happened in Newtown. As far as the public’s concerned, a mass shooting with 8 people dead wouldn’t result in massive public outrage. The average American has already accepted mass shootings as the new normal.

  10. It’s a shame Emmer didn’t get elected governor last time around. We’d possibly have legalized suppressor ownership last year if he had.
    One can only hope for the future.

  11. They only want another mass shooting after they ban so-called assault rifles and limit mags to 10 rounds. Then when someone kills a bunch of people with a 10-round-non-assault weapon they will say gee obviously we need to go farther. Then they will. That has been the plan all along, which is why all attempts at gun control need to be resisted.

    If you don’t believe me look up the original NY Safe Act. They wanted a 5-round limit at first. FACT.

    • At leftist message boards such as Democratic Underground such sentiments are already being expressed; advocating the confiscation of all semi-automatics is becoming the norm there, with some calling for drone strikes on gun advocates and declaring the NRA a terrorist organization.

      No, they’re not just venting…that’s what they want.

        • The saner heads among them (which are few and far between) point out that the repeal of the 2nd is practical impossibility, which usually results in a profanity-laden tirade about “gun nuts”.

  12. Without killings, gungrabbers would actually have to work for a living. They are like mushrooms, thriving on decay and withering under bright light.

    But unlike mushrooms, they don’t taste very good when stuffed with a mixture of bread crumbs, herbs and bacon, brushed with butter and oven-broiled for five to seven minutes.

    • “Without killings, gungrabbers would actually have to work for a living.”

      It takes very few killings for them to justify themselves. In peaceful, gun loving Switzerland, where the homicide rate is the envy of most of the world, and even gun homicides are at a lower rate than most of Europe, the civilian disarmament crowd is hard at work, trying to disarm the Swiss, because a few of them choose to end their live by using a firearm instead of a tall building or bridge.

    • Cooper pretty well nailed it, didn’t he? “If you take all the guns, you will still have a crime problem. If you take the criminals off the street, you can’t have a gun problem.”

  13. Does TTAG even need to bother to ask the question? Can anyone here tell me with a straight face any of the proposed legislation is about saving kids? I bet Feinstein and McCarthy have bills sitting in desk drawers in anticipation of the next big shooting.

    Newtown was to be their “Dunblane” moment of victory only to see it unravel before their eyes. Of course they pine for more mass shootings. Dunno if I believe any of the conspiracies out there but damned if mass shootings don’t help out the gun grabbers.

  14. Gun grabbers are like Pavlov’s dogs, they hear a combination of killing spree and gun and they start drooling uncontrollably.

    P.S. a little error in the text “What’s the bet Joe and Co. would have been be the first to say” you have both Been and BE.

  15. You are a bigger man than I Robert. I wouldn’t walk across the street to piss on a NYT “reporter” if they were on fire.

  16. I doubt it about he rank and file, but as to rabble rousers, likely yes. Jet as every DGU strengthens our position, so OGU strengthens theirs.

    However, I doubt that it’s so much the hope that something nasty will happen as the hope that when it [unfortunately, inevitably] does it’ll be particularly shocking and therefor of better use in their quet to “make the world a better place.”

    They’re not bloodthirsty monsters, y’know; they’re just wrong, misguided and dangerous.

  17. It’s pretty simple, if “mass shooters” are taken out before they have an opportunity to get a high number of victims the gun grabbers lose. Gun-free zones become a feedback loop for stricter and stricter laws. It’s a self fulfilling prophecy.

    Now whether that’s intentional or just ignorance is the question, and a scary thing to ponder.

  18. First, we all know this, but it’s worth repeating, 1999 was smack dab in the middle of the original Assault Weapons Ban. So great going there guys.

    Second we can be pretty much metaphysically certain the “crowded place” that Nocera’s fantasy killer will hit will be a gun free zone. These guys don’t speed weeks and weeks planning these things without taking opposition into account. A gun free zone is a must for these plans to work.

    What’s really telling is when they expect a GFZ and don’t get one. Remember the Klackamas mall shooting? That was supposed to the a GFZ, but there as a permit holder there who either didn’t know about or ignored the sign. He confronted the attacker, who then fled and shot himself.

    This is what I’d like to see from the NRA: the next time something like Newtown happens, push hard to eliminate gun free zones. Have all the research ready. Have all the bills written. Have all the people ready to give their emotional testimony on speed dial. Take control of the narrative. Armed self defense works. Yes, by all means, do what you can to improve mental health treatment and make people saner, but when all else fails, the guy intent on killing everyone, be it with a gun, a knife, or whatever, needs to be stopped. It’s much better that he’s stopped now by someone already on the scene, than a cop five minutes from now.

    • Yes. This is what we need. Every time someone says “but it’s for the children,” we need to point out that almost all of these mass murders happened in places where people were not allowed to have guns and turn it around. We need to be saying, “If it’s for the children, why don’t you want to actually *defend* children? Do you want your kids to die?”

      And one of the biggest things that played in our favor this time around, and can win for us in the future, is the fact that women own guns and can use them for self-protection. The uninformed multitudes need to know that guns equalize things for people who otherwise would have zero chance. “Let me ask you a question, Mr. P: how many women do you want to be raped? Because without a gun on their side, thousands of women will be.”

      And BRING OUT THE WITNESSES. Hundreds of actual people with verifiable local news reports that document what happened. That’d be hard to beat.

      We’ll need all the ammunition we can get in this debate, because the prohibitionists are surely pining for another massacre so they can do their bloody little dance again. For what it’s worth I don’t think most of them *really* want anyone to die, but it represents their big chance to prove themselves right by imposing their ideology on everyone else, so they’re hoping for it in the abstract.

  19. I wonder if the outcome in the Senate would have been different if NY, Connecticut and Colorado would have waited on their bills until the Federal bill went through? I think the state bills got a lot of us fired up and in fighting mode , which we turned into emails and faxes and phone calls to politicians.

  20. Even before the massacres became more popular, thanks mostly to our media, they were out for the guns. Any pretext will do, and if it weren’t these things, it would be something else, whether crime generally or kids (those cute little political battering rams), or the danger of lead contamination in national parks. So they’re hoping for whatever they can latch onto.

    It’s a wonder how their souls got that way.

    • Well… depleted uranium small caliber ammunition is hard to come by, so lead’ll have to suffice. 😉

  21. Of course they do. Their entire cause is one devoted to ensuring people are helpless victims in the face of crime and tyranny, thus ensuring thousands more deaths, and also a cause devoted to oppressing people and eliminating basic human rights. What on Earth could make anyone think such soulless monsters wouldn’t be thrilled to have more dead children to parade around for their own benefit?

  22. It was indeed a horrifying moment when I came to the realization that the gun-grabbers actually DO wish for the death of innocents at the hands of madmen with guns so they can continue to demonize the rest of us and brand us as lunatics. It’s all they’ve got and is is why their emotions reach a feverish pitch in the wake of a tragedy – not because they are grieving, but because they are in the throes of ecstasy.

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