gun control conversation
CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
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By Larry Keane

Time and again, we hear from those advocating for more gun control laws who intone with a sense of moral superiority that we need to have a “conversation” on guns. The goal, they say, is to reduce violence, suggesting that they are somehow more evolved.

Yet, just this week, some anti-gun activists and politicians were caught red-handed fantasizing about wanting to shoot politicians and gun rights advocates as well as suggesting the “doxing,” or publicly posting private information, on gun owners.

In one instance, a woman attending the Connecticut General Assembly’s Joint Committee on the Judiciary hearing on several gun control bills, was photographed texting a threat against Republican state Sen. Rob Sampson and NRA members.

“If I had a gun, I’d blow away Sampson and a large group of NRA,” a photo of the text message reads. The anti-gun activist was escorted from the hearing. Later, Sampson said that wasn’t the first time he’s been threatened with violence for standing up for the Constitutional rights of Connecticut citizens. No charges were filed against the woman.

Sneaking in A Lower Receiver

It didn’t end there. At the same hearing, Jeremy Stein, executive director of Connecticut Against Gun Violence, was escorted out of the state legislative office building for smuggling in an 80 percent lower firearm receiver. Stein had reportedly asked Bridgeport Police Chief A.J. Perez to bring the firearm component into the state building for him. The receiver was intended for use as a hearing “prop.” Both planned to testify in favor of tighter gun control laws, even as they tested the limits of existing Connecticut law and public building safety protocols.

What Stein did was to bring into a state government building that doesn’t allow firearms a piece of machined metal that’s not considered a firearm to try to convince people he was technically breaking the law since the lower receiver is intended to eventually become a firearm. He was also conspiring with the police chief of the state’s largest city to pull off the stunt. You can imagine what the reaction would have been if someone from the other side of the debate had tried a tactic like that. You can imagine, but it is not something that would likely happen.

Ironically, the hearing was about proposals covering home storage requirements that carry penalties, banning so-called ghost guns and requiring those open carrying handguns to furnish a permit to police.

Doxing Tactics

It’s not just Connecticut. Maryland Democratic Party Secretary Robbie Leonard posted photos to social media following a Maryland House Judiciary Committee meeting. The marathon gun control hearing saw law-abiding citizens exercising their right to attend the hearing, politely protesting by wearing “We Will Not Comply” t-shirts.

That was too much for Leonard. He posted photos of Maryland citizens, some of whom he surely represents, to social media platforms with the message, “I hope the FBI runs the name of every witness who is wearing a t-shirt that says ‘We Will Not Comply. They’re a bunch of terrorists in the making.”

He didn’t end with just the character attack. He took it a step further and may have violated state law. “Time to dox some homegrown terrorists,” read another Leonard social media post.

Doxing is when personal and private information of an individual or organization is published over the Internet with malicious intent. Maryland law specifically prohibits doxing. And, last we checked, freedom of expression is still a First Amendment right.

Maryland Democratic Executive Director Ben Smith attempted a half-hearted apology, and in so doing, blamed the gun rights protestors. He said the lawmaking process requires “sober and calm deliberation,” but added, “When activists wear shirts stating, ‘We will not comply’ with new firearm regulations, that action escalates the conflict and a willingness to flout the rule of law.”

Talk about some strange ways to start the conversation they claim to want.


Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel at National Shooting Sports Foundation

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  1. Time to dox some homegrown terrorists” is incitement. This person needs to be censured and probably have the police give him a call over terroristic threats.

      • Nope. Only had to delete the evidence(and, for some reason, all of his other posts this year. perhaps a lot more evidence of other wrongdoing was there, or perhaps he’s just being careful) and he gets off scott free:
        Once again, as I’ve said hundreds of times, no rule of Law in the US. Not anymore.

    • Publicly calling people “terrorists” next to photos of them is defamation of character, opening up Maryland Democratic Party Secretary Robbie Leonard to a very expensive lawsuit.
      The average verdict in a defamation of character lawsuit is in the tens of millions, so I suggest the people wearing those t-shirts get a lawyer and sue Maryland Democratic Party Secretary Robbie Leonard.
      Any Maryland lawyers on TTAG? Big money in it if you sue Maryland Democratic Party Secretary Robbie Leonard for calling law-abiding citizens “terrorists” and posting their photos.

    • Amen

      The only conversation thaey get from me anyway is a firm no.

      This comment system was, is and will be terrible until you change to something else. The reason, I’m so irritated about it is that this site could be an excellent central point for the POG to come together, but the comment system makes conversation difficult at best.

      • Compared to other forums, this one is very primitive. Besides the missing edit button, it lacks many features that are common on other forums. If it weren’t for the usually interesting comments posted by users, I’d probably abandon this place.

        • That’s why Dissenter exists. 100% unmoderated uncensored comments section for every publication.

      • Do you go to your favorite restaurant and whine about the plates they use too? How about the local hardware store. Do you moan about how awful the lighting is or how the shelves are too tall, even though they carry the hard to find parts? Just be thankful we have a place to converse. This private comment system, cumbersome and awkward as it it, keeps things in house.

        Agree about the firm “NO”

        Gunny, if you want to edit, click the “retain email” checkbox when you submit a comment. Sometimes it takes us grunts a few extra tries to figure this stuff out.

        • “Gunny, if you want to edit, click the “retain email” checkbox when you submit a comment.”

          The thing is, we didn’t have to do that. It did it automatically. It’s better than it was, but no where near as good as it was…

        • It’s also true that most adblockers will ensure that box doesn’t remain checked so you have to check the box for each comment you make. As soon as the page refreshes the check disappears.

          You could whitelist this site for your adblockers but then people complain about the ads.

      • I suspect comment tech is a “least bad” situation.

        Like, go with a comment product like Disqus n get data-mined, censored, n banned for violating their corporate conscience.

        The least bad public comment tech I’ve seen is a bit feature limited, but doesn’t suck in other ways. The sweetest spot I’ve seen in online community supporting features n organization was the old Compuserve topic “forums.” Those weren’t media, you didn’t get provided content, and it was a different world.

        Worse, whatever feature you put out, some bonehead might find a way to abuse, n poison everything else.

  2. As we say in California, “My gun isn’t illegal, it’s undocumented.”

    If these hypocrit liberals didn’t have double standards, then they wouldn’t have any standards.

  3. We had the conversation. They wanted to take it all and we didn’t want to lose it all. End of conversation.
    If they were in any way sincere they’d bring something to the table. Carry reciprocity, NFA changes, getting rid of wholly stupid shit like waiting periods, reducing permit fees, getting rid of “brandishing” overreach for printing in some states, etc…. but they never come with anything. They just want to take, take, take so screw all of them.

    • They want the conversation, but the conversation they want is they talk, we shut up, listen, and OBEY.

      We are supposed to make grand virtue signaling exercises of handing in our firearms to the authorities and then beseeching for atonement in a public press conference. During the press conference we are to make tearful requests for forgiveness for our selfish crimes against the community.

  4. A Progressive’s idea of “conversation” is the following:

    — Progressive, “You must do what I say.”
    — Conservative, “I don’t want to do that.”

    — Progressive, “Shut up and do what I say because I know better than you!”
    — Conservative, “The facts clearly show that you are wrong.”

    — Progressive, “Your ‘facts’ don’t matter because you are a hateful, intolerant, misogynistic, homophobic, xenophobic, and privileged scumbag! Be thankful that I am not demanding even more from you!”
    — Conservative, “But …” (Objections drowned out with incoherent yelling and screaming from Progressive mob.)

  5. “Yet, just this week, some anti-gun activists and politicians were caught red-handed fantasizing about wanting to shoot politicians and gun rights advocates as well as suggesting the “doxing,” or publicly posting private information, on gun owners.”

    Yeah, but I bet these gun activists and politicians were all Republicans, Right?????
    I knew it, I knew it!!!!!!!

    • Ha! It appears that someone married Manhands McDoublechin.
      Ban high capacity potato chip bags!

  6. I must be all of the above why because I am a white man.all the dimowits stand for iam against.i love Jesus,the flag,guns our constitution our republic.but the handwriting is on the blackboard (oops) we are doomed as a free people.there will be gunfire

  7. Don’t confuse them with the facts. This debate has to kept on an emotional level. I have a friend who used to own a gun store in Albany, GA. Gun control was often the topic for the local high school debate team. The pro-gun team would visit Small Arms Services to collect facts. We always asked that they let us know how the debate turned out. The pro-gun team won every debate. Every year. I once asked where the anti team got their information. ACLU, Brady, etc. From the mouths of babes.

  8. Their idea of a conversation is for them to speak of the evil guns and for us to shout, “Yes, you are right, here, you can have mine!” Then only criminals and the thought police will be armed.

  9. “I hope the FBI runs the name of every witness who is wearing a t-shirt that says ‘We Will Not Comply. They’re a bunch of terrorists in the making.”

    Two things:

    1) Giving the guy full benefit of the doubt the question arises: Who’s making the terrorists here, Mr. Leonard?

    2) Why would the FBI run the name of these people who may or may not commit a violation of a law that does not yet exist and may never exist? Precrime for prelaw… there’s an idea that should get someone tossed out on their ass.

    • Violation of a state law isn’t FBI jurisdiction anyway. Might as well call it treason and demand their deportation for all the legal sense it makes.

  10. Well, DUH! I’ve been trying to have a “conversation” about firearms with, maybe a few hundred antis for, oh, apx. 30 years now. Never yet managed to find a single one who would let anybody else talk.
    When they say they want “conversation” what they mean is: “listen to my insane monologue and shut the hell up!”

    • Don’t just talk. Ask questions in a manner that suggests you’re open to their ideas but need an explanation.

      Just “Why? Why? Why?” like a little kid. They’ll think they’re winning and keep going but they’ll be forced to check there premises in an effort to explain to you the “proper” way to think.

      It’s highly effective. I’ve done it to dozens of people. However, be warned, it doesn’t work on the internet because the lack of actual interaction means they’ll just call you names that they’d never say to you face.

      • It doesn’t really work face to face either. Most take any questions as an attack on their dogma and either turn away, go away, or get mad. The only thing I’ve ever had success with was offering a trip to the range and a free lesson. But that only works on a fence sitter who just doesn’t know what all they don’t know. Die hard antis just don’t have enough brain cells left to think, but can only parrot whatever they heard last on TV.

      • Some variations:

        “How does that work?”

        “And then what happens?”


        “And how do we know that?”

        • “And then what happens?”
          My favorite! Connect the dots. Predict what will happen to the next domino as the previous one hits it.
          Those who cannot think, or are really deep in cognitive dissonance, need to get around their amygdala’s(the lizard brain), that part of all mammal’s brains that are the most powerful, and can take over the entire body due to its position between the spine and the higher brain, but only understands four things: fight, run, eat, and mate.
          To get around the amygdala, one needs to activate the higher cognitive centers. One needs to get them to think. Questions are the only way to do that, but it is exceptionally difficult because the amygdala only wants to fight, run away, or eat. So the question really needs to relate to either fighting, running, eating, or f**king. The only things they can understand at that moment. But it can’t be ABOUT those four things, only around them. If one mentions fight, that’s exactly what they expect, and they can handle that. They see a threat, and can easily understand both running away from it, or fighting it.
          It’s a precarious balancing act, but if one can pull off a question close enough to one of the four to get the amygdala’s attention, yet different enough that the amygdala cannot come up with an answer from its extremely limited repertoire, then it will relinquish control to the higher brain functions, and then they almost become a different entity. It’s almost miraculous to watch the dawning of consciousness on their face as they start to think. I’ve managed it. Once. In 30+ years. It was a great feeling that I’ve never gotten again.
          The fence sitters are different. They still have a brain that is looking for answers, and the range is a great spot for the unfamiliar to find them. That has worked for me more than one time. I believe in asking the questions, not in answering them. People will find their own answers, if they just want to.

  11. her parents must be so proud
    the ones carrying the nra is terrorists signs are usually the first ones calling for sheriffs to be shot and killed for not confiscating the firearms of law abiding citizens
    it seems more than just slightly counterintuitive
    its almost as if they really dont care about gun violence per se
    its like all they really care about is amassing power and tyrannizing others

  12. How many NRA members would like to file a lawsuit because someone called honest American citizens, terrorists? And how much trouble would I get into for calling CAIR a terrorist organization?

  13. All of the political violence in this nation since President Trump’s election has been from the left. The left is not interested in Gun Control to control violent crime to control the people on the Right. When you have people on the left like one of Barack Obama’s mentors Bill Ayers say the left would have to dispose of 48 million U.S. Citizens because at least that many could not be re-educated to Marxism you know why the left want us disarmed. I love this nation and served it over 25 years in Federal Law Enforcement, but there are days I get up now and see the raging ninnies running loose on the left and I wish for the Republic of Texas. Yeah we have our ninnies here like Robert Francis O’Rourke,(I will never disrespect my Tejano Brothers by calling this fool Beto) Al Green, (Sad he has the same name as one of my favorite Motown Performers), and Shelia Jackson Lee(In the running with Ocasio-Psychotika for mayor of Crazy Town). I feel these fools would run up out of the State if it became a Republic along with a lot of other snowflakes, because you get outside the Metropolitan areas and Texas is still all about rugged individualism and I can do it on my own spirit.

    • I hear ya brother. I don’t live far from Dallas, crazy town is an accurate description of the majority metropolitan areas of our state, and after 45 years living in Arlington, I’d had enough. I now reside , fir the last 12 years, in a little country town in Johnson county. It’s close enough to be able to visit my 82 year old father, but far enough away so that I don’t have to put up with the loony tunes that make it their home. I too have wondered why Texas has stuck with the sinking ship that is the US of A, but then again, I know way too many that have served this country and I am honored to have known them and wouldn’t dream of diminishing their sacrifes.
      Most of the folks that I deal with, all take care of themselves, I think that’s just a part of being a true Texan. Thank you for your service my friend.

  14. The guy is an idiot look at the laws their all breaking! Going against our Constitution of the United States Of America every demoncrat is trying to destroy the Constitution. This guy needs to look at himself for trying to make unconstitutional laws. The demoncrats are traitors of America and We The People should start dragging them out of office one by one and tar and feather them in public for everyone to see brand them the traitors they truly are. Enough of the B.S. we are done with these evil demoncrats they don’t belong in our country they hate us and they hate GOD. Time to stand against them and their evil ways we have GOD on are side they have the dip shit devil on their side. With GOD with us who can be against us. That’s right JESUS said I have overcome the world.

  15. These Very stupid people that are against our 2nd Amendment rights still have no understanding how very Important our 2nd Amendment rights are in keeping These United States and it’s people a free Nation. The Very reason that we are all still free people is that we are allowed to keep and Bear ARMS. If we allow these Democrats to take away our 2nd Amendment rights to keep and bear ARMS that is when the American People will stop being a free people and will start being a slave to the Government and their Anti-Freedom Agendas.

    • Reporting from the time of the Founders states the made public statements about the Bill of Rights and it is even reflected in their commentaries on the Bill of Rights that it is a set in stone enumeration of GOD give rights to the people with which no person shall tamper. This means no New York Charlatan Shyster that continually cons a bunch of clueless twit into voting him into a Senate seat, or mindless wet behind the ears bartender that conned a bunch of clueless twits into voting her into the House, or any black robed political shill that attempts to legislate from the bench can in any way redefine or modify any of the rights listed in the Bill of Rights. So in the case of Amendment 2, all laws that hinder your ability to own, buy carry or possess the firearm of your choice are unconstitutional, illegal and if you take the Founders at their word we the people are the militia, those laws maybe treasonous. In the early part of the twentieth century you could walk into your friendly neighborhood hardware store and buy a Thompson Submachine Gun off the shelf no paperwork what so ever. Thompson actually marketed it as a home and ranch defensive arm. So it should be now.

  16. What I don’t understand is why she wasn’t arrested and removed wearing handcuffs!

    Anyone on the 2nd Amendment side would have been!!

    She should be put in the NICS system to be banned from EVER having access to the purchase of any kind of a firearm!

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