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Mike Rowe and friends (courtesy

While I consider the background check system a clear infringement on Americans’ Second Amendment protection against government infringement of their natural and civil right to keep and bear arms, Rowe’s argument against “universal background” checks lends an important voice in opposition. He is our Gun Hero of the Day. The following appeared on Mike Rowe’s Facebook page.

Hello Friends

I’ve just received a request from The White House! On behalf of The President, I’ve been asked to share some talking points directly with each one of you, regarding the need to expand background checks on those citizens who wish to purchase a gun! Just kidding . . .

For some reason, I was not among those celebrities selected to assist The White House in this endeavor. I’ve since recovered from my initial disappointment, and identified three possible explanations for the oversight.

1. The White House did not ask for my assistance, because they do not believe I’m famous enough to persuade anyone of anything.

2. The White House did not ask for my assistance, because they do not believe I would tweet out someone else’s words and claim them as my own.

3. The White House did not ask for my assistance, because they do not believe I support background checks.

With respect to #1, The White House is correct. My powers of persuasion, like my celebrity, are limited.

Regarding #2, The White House is correct again. I would never post someone else’s talking points as if they were my own. My own particular brand of hubris requires me to use my own words, which is probably why everyone in my office has developed a permanent facial tick.

As for #3 though, The White House would be mistaken to assume that I oppose background checks on gun purchases. I do not. I’m just skeptical that expanding a broken system is the best way to keep guns away from bad guys and lunatics.

Currently, thousands of people deemed mentally incompetent by the courts are NOT registered in our National Check System. That’s insane, if you’ll pardon the irony, in part because it’s so easily correctible. Likewise, The ATF says that most states report less than 80% of their felony convictions to the national system. As a result, nearly 7 million convicted felons are not currently registered. Is it any surprise that nearly every mass killer in recent memory passed a background check?

Seems to me, our current system is only as good as the records in it, and right now, those records are laughably incomplete. But even more troubling are the tens of thousands of people who ARE in the system, that keep trying to buy guns illegally with absolutely no consequence.

Lying on your application to purchase a firearm is a federal offense, but very few are prosecuted for doing so. According to Politico, the Feds have prosecuted just 1.5% of all those individuals who have attempted to purchase a gun illegally. If my math is correct, that means 98.5% of people who are NOT allowed to own a gun, have not been prosecuted for trying to buy one.

Maybe it’s a manpower problem? Maybe it’s a resource problem? But whatever the reason, many thousands of individuals who try to purchase a gun illegally are allowed to keep on trying. Many eventually succeed, and then use that gun in the commission of a crime. This strikes me a serious problem. And yet, I’ve received no tweets from my favorite action heroes, asking me to support an effort to fix the system we have. Why is that?

To be clear, I’m not a member of The NRA. Last time I joined a club it was The Boy Scouts, and that was a long time ago. But from what I can tell, the NRA is not the reason that so many criminals and lunatics are able to buy guns today. Nor do they appear to oppose the kind of overhaul that would give us a more effective check system. In fact, wasn’t it The NRA that demanded background checks back in the mid-nineties, the moment the technology was first made available?

Regardless, we now possess the technology to update and maintain an accurate data base of felons, lunatics, gang members, terrorists, B-list celebrities, and other unsavory types that we can all agree should never be allowed to own a weapon. We also possess the ability to identify and prosecute anyone who attempts to buy a gun illegally. But if we don’t have the resources or the commitment to administer and enforce the system we have, why in the world would we want to make it bigger?

‪#‎When‬ there’s a hole in your net, you don’t need a bigger net; you need a smaller hole.

#When your foundation is shaky, you don’t keep building on top of it, you knock it down and start over.

Should The White House ever find itself in need of a tweet in support of that approach, please help yourself to either of the above. But if our elected officials are going to rely on actors and comedians to advance their political agendas, let’s not limit them to 140 characters or a list of pre-approved talking points. Seriously, where’s the fun in that? In the name of authenticity, let’s encourage our celebrities to use their own words.

Hey – it seems to be working for Trump…


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  1. I get the distinct notion that Mike is NOT a casual owner of a couple of cap & ball revolvers (which are pay & play, anyway)……

    • Can you seriously believe they wouldn’t like to plug that ‘loophole’ eventually?

      (I.E. , as soon as they get wind of it…)

      • Mike Rowe has an honest-to-standards old-school classical liberal arts education, the disappearance of which Alan Bloom lamented in “The Closing of the American Mind.”

        Despite being educated, or rather I surmise *because* he is educated as well as credentialed, he values work, and respects experience.

        • Oh, you mean Mike Rowe went to college before they were infested with communists and social agitators who developed Newspeak words like “micro-aggresion” and “White privilege”?

          • “Oh, you mean Mike Rowe went to college before they were infested…”

            I suspect rather that he found a way to get a disciplined education in the interstices. But, the how doesn’t matter. The fact is, he did.

            And his replies to nonsense, mainly on facebook, some on his own fora reflect old-school political essays, by public intellectuals. There’s more than a little Mencken in Mike’s POV, although Mike doesn’t go for the snark. He does, however t-off on “micro-aggression”, “privilege” and what all, from time to time.

            No name-calling or casual dismissal from Mike. He usually goes for: “What I take you to mean by that is *this*, which is nonsense, and I will not respond to. It could mean *that*, by which I’m still right, or *the other* which makes me right, and you confused or worse.”

            It is glorious. You’d enjoy the reads, I think.

        • Mike’s got himself a new fan here in Texas now. Time to go check my tv guide and find out when his show I haven’t been watching until now is scheduled.

          • In general I would never suggest exposing yourself to anything TED(*), but Mike Rowe’s TED talk is brilliant. As is his blog / forum, and various off the cuff essays about the value of work and so on.

            His explanation of the what, why & how of his foundation is clear and profound, on the order of the famous “Man in the Arena” speech, or maybe even Orwell’s “Politics and the English Language.” Certainly on a par with some of Mark Twain’s letters to the editor and op-eds, or Orwell’s lesser works, like his radio scripts.


            (*) “TED, ideas worth being seen by the right people, sharing with the right people.” Their as-published motto seems to have been eroded it a bit over time. I fixed it for them.

  2. “The ATF says that most states report less than 80% of their felony convictions to the national system. As a result, nearly 7 million convicted felons are not currently registered”

    I believe that if are a felon, and have served your time, you should have all rights restored.

    I mean, we aren’t letting violent scumbags and criminals out on our streets to commit mayhem and murder now are we?

    That would be insane.

    • “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”
      –H. L. Mencken

      Emphasis on all. Whether Felons, Scary Muslim Virgins, Drug Dealers, Drug Addicts, Gang Bangers, Rapists, Pedophiles, Terrorists, Cartels, Illegal Immigrants, Gays, Niggers, Texting Drivers, Secting Pervos, Abortion Doctors, Polygamists or whatever else is dragged up on stage as the hobgoblin of the day. None of them are worth half a bother, to anyone half sentient, properly armed and in possession of any other faculty than simply irrational hysteria over others who are none of their business. The only hobgoblin that is not imaginary, is government itself. But as long as those guys get to scare half the population about some of the above, and the other half about the rest, both halves will forever persist as nothing more than expendable sheeplings.

      • Yes!

        This administration appears to be particularly adept at using the tactics you describe, with of course, the enthusiastic help of all media types from (s)news to Hollywood.

        • This administration appears to be particularly adept at using the tactics you describe…”

          These tactics are one core facet of the techniques taught by Saul Alinsky among others – read either of his books. Another is preemptively accusing your “opponents” of whatever tactic you are using: “Getting people all wee-wee-ed up.”, for example.

          Along with establishing the community organizing programs in which President Obama was trained before entering electoral politics, Mr. Alinsky was the subject of Secretary / Candidate Clinton’s senior thesis.

          These people could get me to vote for a Republican for president, just to try to keep more of this destructive nonsense out. How unhappy am I with that?

  3. You seem like a good guy Mike-now join the freakin” NRA! Or not-OK response to Bury Soetoro. I’m sure it won’t help get funding for your next gig…

      • Maybe because some people believe the anti NRA propaganda? There was a gun store in my hometown that dealt almost entirely in milsurp and evil military style assault weapons. As part of buying a gun you got a free NRA membership. Some dude in the store pitched a fit when he was told that and said something along the lines that the NRA is crazy. This was in the late 90’s.

      • I’ll probably let my membership lapse and shift my dollars to GOA or SAF. My problem is similar to that of Consumer Reports. If I donate to you, don’t bombard my inbox and mailbox with spam and renewal calls after a month. I don’t need the harassment and it seems like too much of my dues money is going towards raising more money.

        • Yeah, it’s the incessant donation calls that I hate. Yes I understand funding is needed when a big gun control bill is potentially moving through congress. On the other hand I am less likely to donate when some random senator simply mentions gun control. I’m not made of money.

      • I am a member, but with reservations. I joined because recognize their influence and want to support that. But I wish they were a better organization than the are.
        > They say some great stuff, but they also say some stupid stuff, with bad timing.
        > They seem to be devoted to keeping the pot stirred up, rather than solving problems. That’s how they make their money.
        > As much as the liberals vilify them, I don’t think their stances on some issues, like background checks, are strident enough. They also initially came out against OC, but then flip-flopped when there was a member backlash.
        > They don’t cooperate with other pro gun organizations that are not under their aegis, especially state organizations. Here in VA, they support their sponsored organization, the VSSA, that doesn’t get anything useful done. They ignore the VCDL, who does get a lot done.
        > They are not getting enough pro-gun public relations out there to the level I would expect.

      • Because the NRA lobbied for a ban on funding to study gun crime. I’m sorry, that’s idiotic. I like my policy decisions data-driven, so if you support a policy to prohibit data gathering, piss off. Nothing would help clear up awful gun control legislation more then peer reviewed studies showing how worthless they are.

        • This is an oft repeated lie about the NRA’s involvement in 1990s CDC scandals revolving around gun control. I strongly suggest you do further research into this.

          Basically some of the CDC’s top officials admitted in a congressional inquiry that they were directed to conduct research to cast gun ownership in a negative light – pretty much ensuring that any research revolving around guns conducted by the CDC would be biased.

          Congress gave them the option to curtail this specific research, or risk losing funding. The CDC committed to a SELF-IMPOSED restriction on that research in order to maintain their revenue stream.

          It appears you’ve bought the anti-gun line on this, which states that “all gun research is banned by the NRA” or some such nonsense. Completely untrue.

          Check out some of the background on these events from Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership

      • The NRA supported background checks back when the anti-gunners had the votes to push almost anything down gun owners’ throats, so they chose the lesser of two evils (background checks vs a 3 to 5 day waiting period, which would have killed most gun shows outright). They also made sure the background check couldn’t be used as an open-ended foot-dragging measure by insisting on the if-not-found-to-be-prohibited-transfer-can-take-place-after-3-days clause.

        Those of us who lived through these dark days (and paid attention) know the whole truth; those with an agenda will only tell you certain parts of the story — the parts they want you to hear and echo.

        • That article gives a good overall history, and clearly states the NRA’s position on UBC and any expansion of existing background checks, none of which is in opposition to what I wrote, above. Selected quotes:

          “NRA opposes expanding background check systems at the federal or state level.”

          “NRA Opposes ‘Universal’ Background Checks”

          “NRA opposes expanding NICS and state background check systems, because background checks don’t stop serious criminals from getting guns and because NRA opposes gun registration.”

      • A recent video by LaPierre said they oppose background checks because the BC system is broken, which it is. But he brags that the NRA proposed the BC system and he doesn’t say BCs are an absolutely unacceptable an infringement on 2A. He leaves the door open for the idea that the NRA might support UBCs if the system were fixed. I thought the video was persuasive on the need to fix the system, but a sell-out on taking a hard line against infringement.

  4. Also, it should be noted that it is perfectly legal for a criminal to lie on form 4473 because of 5th amendment protections.

    • The fifth amendment doesn’t give one the right to commit perjury. It grants you the right to not incriminate oneself. So, that usually means refusing to answer a question that would incriminate oneself. It certainly does not mean one has the right to commit a new crime by lying on the 4473.

        • There’s a big difference between not answering and answering with a lie. Haynes did not say the latter was ok.

        • All you have to do is spend an evening watching re-runs of Law & Order or any similar TV show and you will get the wonderful legal education that your 5th Amendment right to STFU until you have a lawyer present is absolute, but you are in DEEP doo-doo if you are caught lying. Just ask Martha Stewart.

          However, you will also learn that there is absolutely NO PROHIBITION against the cops lying to you.

    • This really only applies to the drug question, since the others would be a matter of fact and therefore not a confession of guilt.

      The reason it would apply on the drug question is because the question does not ask if you have been convicted of anything, it asks if you are a user of illicit drugs. If you had no legal history (i.e. arrests), and were a user, then the question would indeed be a violation of the 5A by requiring you to self-incriminate in order to exercise a right.

      All the other questions deal in facts on record, and regard convictions, indictments, restraining orders, etc. It’s not self incrimination because it’s not asking if you actually committed said crime, only if you’ve been indicted or convicted.

    • I like Mike.

      But, while I understand the “Take whatever you can get” concept of the NICS system from the POTG side, the entire concept, and its execution, flawed as it is, is UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

      As important as it is to keep fighting against expansion of this system for all the reasons noted by Mile and in the comments, it is also important to stress the unconstitionality of the concept and keep fighting it on those grounds as well.

    • Only in totalitarian dystopias, is it common sense that whole bevvies of unconstitutional agencies ought to run around compiling lists of people who may at some point have been “found guilty” of violating unconstitutional laws.

      I’m not generally a big fan of death penalties, but a major benefit of limiting the possible penalties to either “not guilty” or “hang him”, is that it’s becomes more obvious which laws are really needed, and which ones are simply nonsense, only there to provide jobs and power trips for careerist leeches and other scum.

  5. “Mike speaks common sense, too bad Barry or Emperor Mike would never listen.”

    They’re not the ones he’s likely to persuade, nor the ones, in the end, we need to persuade. Sensible gun safety policies and implementations reduce Barry’s and Mike-y’s relevance, which is why they oppose such things.

    They’ve made it an issue. The facts are on the “sensible” side. Hijack the issue (which is way, way easier when you make sense and they don’t.)

    “So, can we plug the holes to keep guns away from terrorists, gang-bangers and loons?”

    “Maybe lightening up on people who don’t shoot up schools would free up some resources to go after prohibited people who apply to get a gun. (Seems like common sense to me.”


    They made it an issue. We have a (partial) solution. (Short of somehow living in unicorn-land, which nobody but North Korea has figured out how to do. How’s that working out for them, BTW?)

    Hey, you think it’s a big deal. How about you get behind our proposal for progress on your big deal. (Or maybe it’s not about what you said it’s about…?)

  6. Yeah, I got no beef with that point of view. I initially didn’t have a problem with background checks either, at least until I learned how useless they really were. That definitely put a damper on even entertaining the whole UBC thing with a straight face.
    Mike Rowe might not have reached that conclusion yet, but since he’s clearly a thinking man, I suspect he’ll arrive there eventually. Good on him.

    • When I was 10 I watched “From Here to Eternity” with my father. It was one of his favorite movies because he was a pre-war regular. I asked him if ever boxed in the Army, my dad, ever SGT Phil, said “hell no! Why would ever want to get into a fair fight? ” What does this have to do with background checks? Everything. Why do you want to give a criminal access to the same weapons and practice facilities that you have? Do you want to give him a fair chance when he breaks into your house?

      Background checks are just one layer in the defense against criminals. It takes away easy access to weapons and forces criminals to put themselves at risk to aprehension when they acquire firearms. It is a speed bump that slows him down. While you are your own first responder you are actually the last line of defense not the first. The bad guy had to get through a lot of defensive layers before he ever gets to you.

      • Which as we all know is pure BS. Criminals who are in the illegal drug river loop have easy access to weapons regardless of Gun Control.
        Most of the time, gun control is instituted to help the liberal criminal clientele voting block.
        Criminals have little fear of the liberal criminal justice system. Criminals by their own admission fear guns and dogs.

      • “Why do you want to give a criminal access to the same weapons and practice facilities that you have? Do you want to give him a fair chance when he breaks into your house?”

        That’s how background checks work in theory. The argument is *exactly* that background checks *as implemented* don’t work that way. Rather, they deter the lawful, create administrative crimes where there are no crimes of harm, while not deterring the unlawful.

        In particular consider every mechanism and authority as another token in a game of opportunism & graft played out over time. Let’s recall that drug laws have mutated into allowing *a ferry* to be “accused” of holding drugs (based on a few seeds found in a crack in a rail, if memory serves), the ferry charged, threatened with seizure, with the burden of proof on the ferry, not the accusers. That one got rolled back by public outrage when it hit the press. Sadly there are only so many front pages to be had – not enough for every over-reach.

        The outrage on that one is that the drug laws, asset forfeiture, and more were never to be used this way. The folks advocating those laws pinky-swore at the time.

        /Flogging the Expired Equine

        Here in the district administered by Proconsul Cuomo-The-Younger, we’ve already had instances of in-principle confidential “mental health” information propagated into the gun regulation system at the state level (via the “SAFE act” not the federal system under federal law), leading to armed enforcement dispatched to remove guns in possession of people already, who were subsequently judged to have been wrongly classified as prohibited (again, at state level), via information wrongly disclosed. (Google is your friend. The one that got press was in Buffalo.)

        I’m with Mike Rowe: gang-bangers, thugs, terrorists and loons. The question is, how do you keep it to those? I think all the veterans and SS recipients concerned that they’ll be suddenly prohibited because they visited a counselor, or had someone run their checkbook … have a point.

        You need to look at every proposed regulations as a token in a dishonest game of patronage and graft. Whether the advocates up front intend that, or not, the grifters will find a way to use the regs, in games of several kinds. It’s what they do. You gotta look at regulations as if:

        1) There’s someone with a dishonest agenda (civilian disarmament in this case) pushing the regulation as a means to an unadmitted end. It’ll get them an inch toward their goal, give them a tool, or both.

        2) Opportunistically, it’ll be used to create constituencies, award graft, expand reach of administration and prosecution. It’s a new token in the “more for me and my mooks” game. (There’s a lovely piece in the local paper today, bemoaning the rolling back of “civil asset forfeiture”, which illustrates exactly this. Lordy are they P-O-ed at the toys-that-go-bang they’re not gonna get to buy, now that all that sweet federal “sharing” money won’t flow quits so much. That was not the point of that policy, at all. Federal “sharing” of these funds has become a way to “encourage” local LE to implement federal preferences, outside their authority, against local preference. Etc.)

        Once there’s valuta on the table, the games to grab it multiply like fruit flies.

        3) it’s a tool for inflicting consequences on folks you don’t like. Consider “may issue” vs. “shall issue” with gun permitting. Funny how the people who have a real reason, and are no threat always vote for the official who approves their permit.

        So, demonstrate how this *discretionary*, *restriction* does not become a way to disempower people on the outs, say black people in the post civil-war South? Civil rights advocates in the same areas and times? etc.

        So, yeah, it creates an advantage for the law abiding, by keeping guns away from the BGs, except, the BGs don’t check, the GGs get fleeced paying off one way or another to get “permission”, it it becomes a hammer for punishing people you don’t like. All those laws to not restrict the GGs but just keep us safe … how’s that work out for the law-abiding in DC?

        So, explain how it gets, and stays implemented to disarm the dangerous BGs, but not the citizenry. Or the claim it does is disingenuous crap.

        • Pro tip for all non-prog NY residents: move to PA. I’m a proud expatriate to the Commonwealth and I’ll never go back to the People’s Republic of New York.

          • Well, glad you made the upgrade, Part…

            I’m from rural Pennsyltucky myself. Whether I go back when my anchor reasons for staying in Cuomo-the-Younger’s administrative district are fulfilled depends on how much (further) the commonwealth has drifted toward being The People’s Republic-lite in the meanwhile.

            Intellectually, it’s fascinating. It’s like comparing across the N / S Korea border without being able to notice, that one thing seems to work better than the other. (E / W Germany, Hong Kong & surroundings, Haiti & Dominican Republic.)

            Governor D-Man in Harrisburg doesn’t get it so completely that he just line-item vetoed the budget from the mostly-R legislature.

            The line-item veto is a lot like gun control laws, especially background checks. In principle it sounds like a great way to keep individual stupid things from happening. In practice, it’s a way to hold stuff hostage, to get what you want: give me the stupid thing I want, or the sensible stuff in the budget gets it.

        • “I’m with Mike Rowe: gang-bangers, thugs, terrorists and loons. The question is, how do you keep it to those? I think all the veterans and SS recipients concerned that they’ll be suddenly prohibited because they visited a counselor, or had someone run their checkbook … have a point.”

          As LBJ famously once said; You do not examine legislation in the light of the benefits it will convey if properly administered, but in the light of the wrongs it would do and the harms it would cause if improperly administered.

          • “As LBJ famously once said…

            Oh, that’s genius. Thank you.

            When you dig in a bit, you find that LBJ had some amazing insights, and put them well. Wily, cynical, and wise come to mind – despite the nonsense that went down during his administration, much of it at his hand.

            I gotta find a source for LBJ in his own words. I trip on gems like you quoted every time I trip on something of his.

  7. In my opinion anyone that serves his or her entire prison term has paid their debt and should not have their rights taken away for the rest of their lives. That makes them a lifetime slaveto the government. The paroll system only draws out their sentence and should be used to give them a chance to reacclimate to normal society through job training and placement at a normal living wage. Criminality is caused out of desperation and denial of basic needs or acquired needs that should be addressed in other than criminal forums.

    • Some criminality is caused by desparation, and denial of basic needs but in 21st Century America those cases are a minor part of the problem. Most crimanilty in America is generated by a breakdown of key social institutions that keep us from descending into the state of nature.

    • ^this

      There needs to be a simple low cost way for a person to have their rights restored upon completion of their sentence. There is no reason a non violent felon who has served their debt to society should be denied the right to self defense.

      • Yep, Al Capone was just businessman who cheated on his taxes. Non violent kind of guy. /sarc.

        Do you realize the most “nonviolent” offenders plea bargained some more serious charge away or got caught for some nonviolent offense right? California is releasing all sorts of “nonviolent” offenders and violent crime is spiking.

        • And Californians aren’t shooting back. So that servers them just well.

          Making felons out of everyone, then wanking on about how those “baaad felons!!!” somehow don’t have the rights their Creator bestowed upon them, is about the biggest, most obvious backdoor to unfettered tyranny one could possibly imagine.

      • “There is no reason a non violent felon who has served their debt to society should be denied the right to self defense.”

        They are not being denied the right to self-defense; they can defend themselves and their families with anything but a legally-purchased gun. Loss of gun rights on conviction is not a secret; they knowingly brought this upon themselves, and once caught and convicted, it is simply a part of the punishment (it just happens to run longer than the incarceration portion). Don’t want to lose your gun rights? Don’t commit serious crimes. Easy-peasy.

        Convicts are certainly in no worse shape than many law-abiding citizens who love in highly gun-restrictive states. If a baseball bat and 911 is good enough to defend those law-abiding folks who DIDN’T choose to terrorize and/or prey upon their fellow citizens, then it’s certainly good enough for the ex-cons.

        • Your “gun rights” are God given. Only in totalitarian dystopias, are they available to be taken away by a bunch of progressive trash.

          Pretty obvious that the right to keep and bear arms in order to keep government in check, is rendered rather useless if the government gets to write laws calling those they don’t like “felons”, then limit said “felons” from gun ownership, isn’t it?

        • Wrong. Only in unicorn-filled utopias do people really think that anyone who went into prison as a convicted violent offender, comes out as a non-violent flower-carrying peacenik. You don’t trust the government? Great, I’m not a huge fan either. But between the .GOV and a wave of convicted violent criminals, I know who I’m MORE worried about negatively impacting the life of me of mine in a sudden, violent manner. The government, I can watch; thousands of violent felons, not so much.

          Your right to SELF-DEFENSE is God-given; your right to posses and use a firearm can be restricted by your fellow man, personally or using the government, either by forcing you to conform to society’s standards using jail, probation and other majority-imposed restrictions, or by killing you outright, to prevent recidivism of problem cases. Whether the .GOV does it, or citizens do it, it matters not to me; I’d rather take my chances monitoring the government, than have to look over my shoulder every minute of every day due to the idiocy of arming people who have previously proven to anyone who is paying attention that they cannot be trusted with firearms, and who have ALREADY used weapons against their fellow citizens.

          Pull your head out, and find the REAL threat; you can still watch for, and (if needed) act against the other long-term one.

    • “The right to keep and bear arms is a natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right not subject to the democratic process nor arguments of social utility.” (Hope I got that right.)

      The government cannot revoke nor restore your RKBA, the best they can do, even in jail or prison, is suppress it to the best of their ability. Every instance of attempts at “gun control” is an instance of the government treating each and every citizen as a potential criminal whose RKBA MUST be suppressed to the maximum extent possible.

      If you give an inch on this issue then you allow the government to decide who may or may not exercise this right, and don’t for a moment think they will limit that power to ex-felons and people with mental illness, since they think that even WANTING to own a gun is a certifiable mental illness AND a potential crime that must be suppressed.

      Your name is already on that list.

      • My name is already on a BUNCH of lists; another one is no big deal.

        Giving ex-cons convicted of violent crimes immediate access to legal firearms on discharge from jail/prison is lunacy of the highest form, and you can’t browbeat me into thinking otherwise. I possibly MIGHT be convinced to allow them full RKBA after a long period of release into society with absolutely NO further criminal actions (10 years, minimum; 20 would be better IMO), but other than that, they made their bed, and now they get to lie in it.

        Loss of gun rights on conviction is not a secret; they knowingly brought this upon themselves, and once caught and convicted, it is simply a part of the punishment (it just happens to run longer than the incarceration portion). Don’t want to lose your gun rights? Don’t commit serious crimes. Easy-peasy.

        Convicts are certainly in no worse shape than many law-abiding citizens who love in highly gun-restrictive states. If a baseball bat and 911 is good enough to defend those law-abiding folks who DIDN’T choose to terrorize and/or prey upon their fellow citizens, then it’s certainly good enough for the ex-cons.

        I can work to hold the line against further RKBA intrusions for honest folks WITHOUT buying into the lunacy of arming proven violent ex-cons just after they leave the prison gates; I’ve been fighting for gun rights my whole life, this is no different.

        • Man, let’s just make disagreeing with the sitting President on “gun rights” a felony. Then everyone’s a felon, so we can take their guns. And just to rub it in, make resisting the gun grab a “violent felony.” So now we are all either nice, disarmed sheep, or violent felons. In both instances disarmed.

          Your line of reasoning, that ex-cons should be barred from having guns, implies that if the government can just come up with some lies, damned lies and statistics “showing” that some subgroup just possibly may be above average likely to use one of those scary guns at some point, it’s perfectly a-ok to walk all over those people’s rights.

          Shall not be infringed was never intended to come with pages up and down of qualifications. If you’re scared of “convicted felons”, avoid areas where they tend to congregate, arm yourself properly, build a bunker, whatever. Just don’t ever get caught championing we should “give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety.” Once some government lackey deeming us “felons” is all it takes to disarm us, you might as well stick a fork in us.

        • And your line of “reasoning” is that the people happily would go along with any such serious government infringements, saying and doing nothing until we’re somehow suddenly a full police state with people getting hauled off to the gulag or disappeared.

          Again, I know which threat is easier to keep track of and resist, and which is more apt to materialize as a sudden, violent threat.

          I’m guessing that your idea of a perfect celebration for completion of a 12-step alcohol abuse prevention program would be a party at the local bar, right? Makes just as much sense…

        • It is a shame to your intelligence that you do not see the error of your thinking. You believe that anyone convicted of a violent offense should never be allowed to use a firearm to defend themselves, unless they prove, for 10-20 years AFTER they have paid their debt to society, that they are good enough to actually live in that society. Hmmmm. Me thinks you have not thought through this at all and instead rely upon emotion and anti-American talking points.
          I, or any number of people I know and/or know of, could, if we so chose, EASILY and cheaply, get you personally arrested, and convicted of a violent crime, even of a sexual nature. Police, even more simply. You would become that dreaded VIOLENT FELON that is NEVER to have the ability/priv/right to defend yourself with a firearm ever again. May I suggest you re-think your position on this issue?

  8. I thought Mike’s article was well thought out and coherent.

    Between me and all the fence posts on the Internet, I think the NICS background check is fairly worthless and I do know some non-prohibited people who appear to be on the prohibited list. I do not like background checks as this gives the Statists an opportunity to register and later confiscate guns. I believe that the 2A has more to do with the checks and balances of government, than pertaining to duck hunting or the collective right of the National Guard. I still think the 2A has more to do with the defense of people from an out of control government, than the defense of people from the criminal element. I agree with Randy Wakeman that military grade weapons are the protected guns of the 2A.

  9. “With respect to #1, The White House is correct. My powers of persuasion, like my celebrity, are limited.”

    With all due respect, Mr. Rowe, I beg to differ.

    You are far more influential than our current sitting Pres. Your “Mike Rowe Works” program, for example, will have a far bigger positive influence on the next two generations (at least) than whats-his-name will even dream of having.

    Please don’t confuse “celebrity” with honest-to-goodness influence.

    • Oh, his dings at “celebrities”, their exploitation, and their willingness to be exploited woven through his piece are delicious, too.

      “Twitter” is somehow apt. What a twit one must be to propagate someone else’s 140 char slogan. Full of twits. One hopes the creators intended this delicious punning put-down of their users, but … yeah, not a chance.

  10. The progressives would never fix an existing firearm law as it could end the game. A game which they’ve made clear, eventual complete disarmament.

  11. Backgrounds checks, like most things the gov’t institutes, sound really good in theory, but do not fair as well in application.

    I watch documentaries as nearly my only form of TV entertainment now, and I can’t tell you how many docs I’ve watched about real gang life and criminals where it was talked about how easily guns are obtained.

    $50-$100 and you can get a gun. One gang member even said he knew where to rent a gun by the day, $20.

  12. Meh, not impressed. He isn’t the gun hero you’re looking for.

    He’s fine with the unconstitutional background checks in principle. He just wants them to be even more effective. He believes “we have the technology” to accomplish this. Well, “we” mankind have the technology. “We” the U.S. government can’t even build a website that doesn’t crash. In other words, he’s OK with disarmament through fascism. He’s just not too impressed with trains’ on time performance.

    He’s an entertaining guy and, in my limited experience with his work hosting various T.V. shows, pretty smart, too. He clearly has a greater familiarity with the subject matter’s nuances than about 90% of those involved in the nationwide debate. Nevertheless, that doesn’t make render his opinions superior to anyone else’s, though, nor does it make him an ally of any kind.

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