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The term “assault rifle” does not apply to modern semi-automatic rifles. Technically. In popular parlance, it does. Thanks to the gun control industry and its media lapdogs, any black, scary-looking semi-automatic rifle is an assault rifle. Period. Building on that victory, exploiting the horror of the Sandy Hook massacre, gun control advocates are once again seeking to infringe upon on Americans’ Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms by manipulating the language. Led by the President of the United States (no less), they’re calling for a “conversation about guns.” Writing for The Atlantic, Conor Friedersdorf shines the cold light of truth on the gun control industry’s Orwellian suggestion . . .

In an Atlantic Wire post titled “It’s Time We Talked About Gun Control,” my sharp colleague Jen Doll writes, “We’re going to have to talk about this; we’re going to have to form coherent thoughts; and we’re going to have to stop simply cleaving to our agendas and our selfish little opinions of what we want and what we think we should have–and when ‘the right time is’–if this is ever going to get any better.” But that isn’t a call for a conversation! It’s an assertion that opponents of gun control are selfish, and that they (not “we”) are going to “have to” change their minds. It’s fine to make that argument. The problem is couching it as a mere call for talking, when it is in fact an assertion that the only reasonable conclusion is that the other guys are wrong.

As Friedersdorf points out, we, as a nation, have been talking about gun control for decades. We’ve been talking about it in our local, state and Congressional legislatures. We’ve been talking about it in our local, state and Supreme Court.

We’ve been talking about it down at the local gun range. We’ve been talking about it at the local gun store. We’ve been talking about it at the offices where we give our fingerprints to apply for a concealed carry permit.

We, as a nation, have decided that we want to defend, extend and exercise our Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms.

Through the democratic and judicial process, we have rolled back gun control laws throughout the land. We have increased the availability of firearms to law-abiding Americans. We have purchased firearms in record numbers. We are carrying them on our person in record numbers.

The legislative, judicial and commercial trend towards restoring our gun rights is clear and unequivocal. So sure, we can talk about it. Why not? Here’s what U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert (Texas) had to say on Fox News Sunday.

“I wish to God (the principal) had had an M4 in her office, locked up, so when she heard gunfire she pulls it out … and takes him out, takes his head off before he can kill those precious kids.”

And here’s the text of a petition at the White House website called “A gun in every classroom. Arm every teacher and principal to defend themselves and their students during an attack.”

If teachers and principals are armed and trained to defend themselves during a school attack there would be fewer casualties and less attempts to attack schools.

Fact: Crime rates decrease when the people are better armed.

It is time we gave our teachers the ability to defend themselves and stop pretending like a door buzzer is enough of a defense. Take a stand for school safety. Arm the teachers and principals today. A gun in every classroom will protect our students from massacres like the one in CT today.

Not to pre-empt those who see disarmament as the most effective preventative measure against senseless slaughter or, indeed, criminal predation, but here’s the argument against arming teachers (as voiced by Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois): a gun in a classroom is an accident waiting to happen. It could be used against the teacher by a madman.

“That’s it?” my nine-year-old asked as she heard Durbin’s dismissal of the pro-gun perspective. “Accidents?” Lola quite rightly considered the “it can be used against you” concept as patently ridiculous. “If they’re coming for your gun, you should shoot them.”

I know people want to live in a world where nine-year-olds don’t discuss the best way to deal with an armed madman intent on mass slaughter. But that’s the world we live in. Ipso facto.

So if we’re going to have a “conversation” about gun control, let’s skip the bit where we talk about new laws. Despite the Second Amendment’s clear prohibition against infringement on the right to keep and bear arms, we’ve already got an enormous number of gun laws on the books.

Connecticut’s strict gun laws didn’t work. To think that a new or different or amended gun law would have prevented or minimized the Sandy Hook slaughter, that an assault weapon or “high capacity” magazine ban will prevent future Sandy Hooks, is dangerous delusion.

Even if new gun laws were the answer or even “an” answer to gun violence (they’re not), they’re a slow and expensive process. Let’s have a conversation about actions. What effective actions can we take now to keep our children, ourselves and our society safe?

We can harden security around our schools. We can re-examine our mental health care system. We can educate the general public to increase their situational awareness, so that we can all be on the lookout for murderous madmen. And here’s another idea . . .

We can make it easier for individuals to exercise their Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. The more people who keep and carry guns, the less likely a madman or criminal will want to attack them. The easier it will be to stop them if they attack.

The advantages of armed self-defense are so obvious that tens of millions of Americans have already decided to buy the most effective firearms they can find and afford. It’s one of the reasons Americans buy “assault rifles” and favor firearms that can hold plenty of bullets.

Let’s talk about that . . .

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  1. In every instance I can think of—including this latest tragedy—the gunman has either surrendered or turned his weapon on himself at the first sign of an armed response.

  2. Friday afternoon my nine year old little girl had her first lesson at the range ( had been scheduled for a month, and it was fitting). As we drove to the range I told her what had happened and one of her first comments was, “why didn’t someone shoot him and stop him?”. She didn’t realize that we can’t take guns into the school (I have my CWP and she likes it when I carry, and assumed I was when I go in and volunteer). When I told her that she thought that was ‘stupid’

    Seems our kids have more common sense than a good portion of the country.

    Btw, she is a very good shot. And her and her friend, both in pink, were the hit of the range. It was very cool to see everyone want to talk to them and wish them well.

    • It is amazing how the mind of a child can show such clarity, and thought. It is so simple, but flies in the face of what gun control advocates want so they refuse to believe in such logic.

  3. Must be something with 9 year old girls, my daughter wasn’t sad, she was outright pissed off that there was no one there who could protect the kids.

  4. Brilliant discussion if gun control here at ZeroHedge under the heading of “Gun Control: The Big Picture”. I’m not able to post a link.

  5. I would rather arm more responsible citizens than strip the rights away from the whole entire nation. An AWB would be the beginning of the “slippery slope”. Next they’d want capacity from 10 to 5… to 3…. to 1, to not at all.

    Teachers have proven they are responsible people. They can handle it. Criminals have proven they wouldn’t even adhere to a ban. It’s useless.

  6. Conversation about guns = ban them.
    Common sense laws = ban them.
    We’re better than this = ban them.

    I don’t give a sh!t what euphemisms they use, they’re trying to ban them.

  7. I just sent this to my Senator:

    Senator Menendez,

    I received your email about the Newtown Connecticut tragedy. It was a horrific chain of events. I am a father of two young children, and I could not imagine what my life would be like without them.

    However, I am also a responsible gun owner. I own hunting rifles and shotguns as well as pistols and semi-automatic rifles. Each, in the hands of an unstable person is deadly. Hunting rifles can be some of the most powerful rifles, and some are even used by law enforcement sniper teams.

    Guns are tools – no more no less. They can be deadly, or they can be useful. The use is dependent on the user.

    I work in a small private school. I see the security vulnerabilities of a school daily. Most schools rely on a secretary with a door buzzer to defend the school from intruders. This is simply not enough.

    It is not fair to ask Principals, Teachers, and secretaries to defend and protect our kids. We need legislation requiring all local education authorities to employ armed security professionals. We expect armed security in our banks, airports, stadiums and offices. It is unreasonable to expect that buildings full of our precious children simply go unprotected.

    New Jersey already has some of the most strict gun laws in the nation. We already prohibit high-capacity magazines and assault-style weapons. It has not stopped bloodshed in cities like Trenton and Camden.

    A new approach is needed. There is no data that supports the assertion that more gun control results in less violent crime. In fact, a recent Harvard study found the opposite to be true.

    The sad reality is that schools and individuals are ultimately responsible for their own protection. The only way to prevent these senseless tragedies is to allow schools and individuals to protect themselves during the precious seconds and minutes where law enforcement can not be there.

    Please do not support another ineffective gun ban. Please support legislation that allows schools and individuals the ability to protect themselves.

    Thank you,

    Aristides Varias

    • Well written. We should all contact our representatives and let them know where we stand and what a common sense approach would look like: Get rid of the gun free killing zones.

      • Yup, I’m sure I’ll receive a form letter a couple of days from now.

        Nothing says you don’t give a sh*t like a form response letter.

    • You are mostly correct, but the last thing you should be asking for is more Government protection at the cost of taxpayers. Do you want TSA like security at your schools? All we need is to repeal the Federally created crisis of gun free zones and let freedom take care of the rest. It really is that simple.

  8. Want to see some action?

    Try buying something on right now (9:45PM 12-17-12 Eastern time) without the site crashing.

    Seriously. Go try.

  9. I don’t know if any diehard dems can get past the concept of shooting someone. sahra brady put it best, “there is never any reason to shoot someone” or close to this quote. I really believe in my heart that brady or her like, given the chance to shoot in the school or see kids slaughtered would stand there & watch, Randy

  10. “Gun Rights Advocates: A Little Less Conversation A Little More Action Please”

    OK, fine. What are the action steps to take? Gun owners need to get organized and do things. Do you know who else needs to get off their butts? The industry. I’m not just talking the NRA and other political groups. I’m talking all those who make so much money selling guns, gear, and equipment. Everyone from the local gunsmith to the big manufacturers need to support friends and punish enemies.

  11. They want to have a “conversation”, do they? Fine. Let’s have a conversation…

    Let’s talk about how every single mass shooting in the past decade except for one happened in a “gun free” victim disarmament zone. The sole exception was the Safeway Parking lot shooting in Tucson where Laughner was actually stopped by a concealed carry holder who tackled the shooter for fear of hitting innocent bystanders.

    Let’s have a conversation about how in Israel the terrorists blow up school busses full of schoolchildren because mass shootings are too damn difficult because the teachers shoot back. Let’s have a conversation about how the “gun free schools act” has done nothing but create shooting galleries of live targets for any and every whack-job out there.

    Let’s talk about the fact that in every mass shooting that is answered by deadly force, the average body count is 9 times lower than when the shooter is unopposed until the cops get there. Oh, and let’s talk about how the police and the government you adore so much have absolutely no duty to protect you or anyone else.

    Let’s finally admit to ourselves that no matter how good it sounds in theory, Gun Control simply does not work, and have a conversation about real solutions.

    Real solutions like repealing the Gun Free Schools Act. Real solutions like arming the 10’s of thousands of teachers in this country who are military veterans. Real solutions like training children how to resist an armed attacker and bringing firearms marksmanship classes back into the schoolroom. Real solutions like insisting that business owners who post no firearms signs be held civilly accountable for doing so.

    And while we are at it, let’s also have a conversation about how at the end of the day, there will always be evil, and evil has never been stopped by a sign, or a prohibition, or a law. Evil is only stopped by good men willing to use force to do so.

    You want to talk? Lets talk…

    • Very nicely done there. The only flaw (and I’m sure you realize this) is that, just like when the wife says “We need to talk” what they really mean is YOU shut up and listen while THEY dictate what’s going to happen.

  12. Arm the teachers, arm the principals, arm everyone. The constant refrain of armed response to stop mass shootings as the sole suggestion to address this problem is tired, ineffective, and makes gun advocates seem foolish if not nutty. This sounds ridiculous to the average American and ridiculous to many gun owners. It is beyond unreasonable to expect Americans everywhere to take on the responsibility to be ready to do battle with an AR toting mad man at a moments notice. This is not the society that I want to live in. This is not the mindset that we should suggest everybody to live in if they wish to have protections against this type of tragedy.

    I own multiple firearms, including ones that would qualify as “assault rifles,” but I have no desire conceal carry. I don’t feel the need to keep a compact AR in my car. I feel that the ownership of and proficiency with firearms is a component of good citizenship, but the absolute last thing that I want is to live in a constantly armed society. We cannot expect to force this on everyone.

    Be aware that things have changed greatly with this tragedy. If we want to keep the Second Amendment strong, we need to make an earnest attempt to prevent things like this from happening again or harsh gun control measures will come (but of course, they will make very little difference in reducing violent deaths.) We need to work for reasonable and potentially effective policy interventions. I propose integration of individuals who are known to be mentally unstable (expelled from school for being crazy- Loughner, referred to psychiatric services and punished at school for being crazy- Cho Seung Hui, etc) to be forbidden from purchasing guns like felons are. If they wish to have their right to own firearms reinstated, they should be given a free psych evaluation by an approved mental health professional. Obviously, this is a complex issue, but some manner of it must be undertaken. The private seller loophole at gun shows must be eliminated. I’ve sold guns to people at gun shows, and frankly, I would have liked to have them pass a background check (though there was no reason for suspicion.) Gun shows should have ffl holders who for 10 dollars can perform a background check and ffl transfer. Any individual who provides a gun to another individual without an ffl transfer must be held liable for the actions of that individual if they use it in the commission of a crime.

    Gun ownership is an element of responsible citizenship. A citizen should be ready to defend his/her country or home against any enemy (foreign or domestic) if the time should truly come, but it is unreasonable to expect everyone to assume an armed mentality. We must take reasonable and effective policy steps to reduce gun violence. If we don’t, at some point we won’t just be fighting against efforts to ban “assault clips.” Gun advocates must appeal to other demographic groups. Things are changing.

    • Suppose we do all this. Then a few years down the line, someone’s kid has a psychotic episode or something, holds a knife to their throat to force them to open the gun and ammo safes, kills them, then goes off to find another killing field gun free zone. What, exactly, would we have accomplished?

    • Give me a break! So tell me, exactly what would your “proposals” have done to prevent or at least lessen this tragedy, TomFox? That’s right, exactly NOTHING!

      Now lets think about Mark Horning’s proposals? What could they have done to prevent this tragedy? Teachers, principals, or security officers with guns? Well I think that’s fairly obvious what could have been done.

      Hey, I’m with you on the fact that I don’t want to live in a society where everyone NEEDS to be armed to defend themselves, but I have come to grips with reality, and the reality is that there are bad, evil, & crazy people out there. And there is no possible way to keep them all from trying to do harm to others. So my solution is, I will take whatever steps I can to protect myself and my loved ones from them, and not rely on the government to do it for me. You can keep hoping and dreaming that this wonderful utopia of yours will some day become reality, but I’m living in the reality that is here right now.

      • It certainly wouldn’t have stopped the recent tragedy, nor did I suggest that it would. Obviously, no interventions could stop every situation, but it’s very likely they could have stopped others, e.g., Loughner and Cho Seung Hui. I am totally supportive of having armed guards or police stationed at schools full-time. It would certainly help and maybe even create jobs. Israel has security everywhere, and it seems to work fine.

        My point is we need to push the gun lobby to change its ways and work for reasonable policy that can reduce gun violence and protect the long-term safety of our Second amendment rights or we will be overwhelmed at some point. If guns continue to retreat into right-wing rural/suburban white America, they will eventually lose, and suggestions of arming teachers as a solution or suggesting tht more guns are the only solution is a sure way to make that happen. We need to talk about the fact that assault rifles kill only 350 people a year. That mass shootings are responsible for 88 deaths a year, and that the 17,000 illicit firearms fatalities are the real problem. Keeping guns out of the hands or criminals and mad men should be a goal of gun advocates. It is currently (appropriately) seen as one of the gun lobby’s goals.

  13. What the hell is an “Assault Rifle”???

    I do not think one exists.

    They are simply rifles. Like forks, spoons, knifes, rocks, sticks….. they are all nothing more than tools.

    “Assault” is defined as: Verb – Make a physical attack on

    The actions of the HUMAN in possession of said rifle may be considered “assault’, but the rifle remains nothing more than it ever was. A tool.

    PLEASE STOP allowing the media (etc) to lull you into their own forms of dementia.

    • I actually try to point this out as often as possible. The term “Assault Rifle” is grossly misused. There was only one rifle ever referred to as an “Assault Rifle” and that was the Sturmgewehre 44 (although technically the literal translation is Storm Rifle). It did spawn a new class of rifles notable for being full-auto and firing an intermediate cartridge. One could argue that rifles following this model could be referred to as “Assault Rifles,” but in fact they weren’t by the military. They were simply called rifles, just like the M14 and the M1 Garand before it.

      Rifles are rarely used in crime. True “Assault Rifles,” defined as above, are even rarer. I doubt there has ever been a StG 44 used in a crime, and the use of ANY full-auto rifle in any caliber is also rare.

      The point is that, if the hoplophobes want to mislabel things, I say let them. As long as we control, legally, the definitions that are attached to them. For example, they want to ban high capacity clips. Fine, no more clips holding more than ten rounds. We simply make sure that the laws are written to reflect that a clip is precisely what we all refer to as a clip. A strip of metal holding rounds designed to by easily inserted into a magazine. I’ve never seen a clip that holds more than ten rounds. Does one even exist?

      If they want to ban “Assault Rifles,” fine, no new StG 44 or full auto rifles firing an intermediate cartridge. What’s that you say? The registration of new “Assault Rifles” has been banned since 1986. Guess it’ll be a hollow victory for the antis.

      Heck, I’d even recommend that the House write and pass a bill giving the antis a hollow victory using their erroneous terms legally defined correctly. Can’t you just see, Boehner announcing that the House has passed new gun regulation banning high capacity clips and “Assault Rifles.” It would force them to acknowledge that they have been trying to skew the debate for years by misusing labels. Of course, the Republicans shouldn’t acknowledge that. They should just say we banned what you wanted us to ban.

  14. “Led by the President of the United States (no less), they’re calling for a ‘conversation about guns.’”

    They may day they’re “calling for a ‘conversation about guns'” but that’s the last thing they really want. “Conversation” is defined as “the interchange through speech of information, ideas, etc.” They don’t want any kind of interchange because it would mean they actually have to allow the other side a chance to provide information that is counter to what they believe. Instead, they want to make a unilateral decision based on their own misconceptions, fears and prejudices, and to hell with anyone who disagrees with them.

  15. Many people can be reasoned with. Don’t just post here, go to MSNBC, CNN, etc. I’ve been trying. Be patient, keep countering with facts, recognize and call them out on Alinsky tactics and logical fallacies. Be firm and keep them on task. Now, I have gotten some of my posts deleted. Take heart, when they try to silence you that means you are winning the argument. Remember, readers on those web sites often get all their info from the mainstream media. A little dose of real info can go a long way. But be respectful, calm, and unemotional. Acknowledge good points, because the other side does make some, but come back with “Yes, what you say is true, but it doesn’t apply here because…” You can’t (and won’t) win them all over. But you really don’t have to.

  16. I believe this whole debate is actually a conservative v. liberal fight. Both sides are frustrated that they don’t have the numbers on everything, health care, taxes, abortion, gay marriage, and yes, gun control. And when you have a heart wrencher like Newtown you hope it can give you the points you need to get the upper hand on at least one issue.

    The sad part is that conservatives who have history and logic on their side insist on tacky posters, linking malpractice to Obamacare, and sharing discoveries that hammers kill more people than guns do. Hammers are used by more people in America than guns and hammers were designed to drive nails. For those reasons alone their legitimacy will never be called into question.

    We need to shift the focus from implements because the fact is that guns were designed to kill. Kill people, kill animals. Kill bad people seems acceptable but kill good people somehow demands action on the implements rather than the acts themselves. “Cop or off duty kills bad guy…hurrah. Armed citizen kills bad guy….oh god imagine what might have happened?”

    Psychotropic drugs have a downside. But banning them to prevent Newtowns is almost laughable if the subject matter were not so serious. Medications are not a panacea but they have given countless Americans the ability to live outside of a straight jacket or a locked bath tub. Aberrations to the contrary, we must preserve them but also try to make them better.

    We don’t seem to be able to discuss this topic in the public sector without the Dianne Feinsteins and the NRA coming up with their totalitarian (Feinstein) and Dodge City (NRA) extremism.
    The reason this dilemma has no potential for resolution is that like all Americans, our leaders believe that the people are entitled to a solution to all problems, even those that have no solution. And each side insists that their solution will work…which it won’t. Forrest Gump was, unfortunately, correct.
    Gun rights Americans will never prevent more useless legislation with cute posters, hopelessly unrealistic solutions like arming people who for the most part have no desire or inclination to become part time bodyguards or suggesting that mental health histories need to be rehabilitated by a mental health community that by its very nature professes a need to ban all guns.
    As long as we continue to believe that highly isolated tragedies, no matter how tragic, should be the catalyst for “doing something” or as long as we rebut those feelings with equally passionate “pry it from my cold dead hands” crap, we will
    continue to fight on this and tired or worn down legislators will cave in and pass “something” which won’t work and will lay the groundwork for further
    useless legislation.

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