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Mark O'Mara (courtesy

Back in May, after the Navy Yard spree killing, Mark O’Mara came out for “reasonable restrictions” on gun ownership. The man who successfully defended George Zimmerman against Second Degree murder charges in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin asserted that the Second Amendment “can survive modification and restriction without the fear that it will vanish altogether.” Without these infringements, the 2A will “buckle under the weight of thoughtful opposition.” Well, it didn’t buckle then. And it ain’t gona buckle it now. Never mind. O’Mara’s recycled his [increasingly fatalistic] kill-it-to-save-it meme to mark the aftermath of the Oregon high school shooting . . .

Gun debate? What gun debate? Americans seem to have this settled.

Yes, we witnessed on our TV screens this week yet another parade of children being evacuated from their school — this time in Oregon — their arms held high to show they were not armed as they fled a 15-year-old shooter who police said took the life of their 14-year-old classmate.

But Americans, ever more desensitized to the school/mall/navy yard attacks that come, weekly, into their lives, don’t seem to want to talk about a gun problem. Americans remain pleased for the general population — even 15-year-old kids — to have nearly unfettered access to all manner of firearms, including assault rifles. Even the President seems to have acquiesced. A tweet from @WhiteHouse: “‘If public opinion does not demand change in Congress, it will not change.’ — President Obama on legislation to prevent gun violence.”

Americans do not have anything like “unfettered access” to “all manner of firearms” including “assault rifles.” Americans have restricted, government-monitored access to guns, with various local, state and federal agencies playing unconstitutional gatekeeper to their natural and civil right to keep and bear arms. By the same token, most American do not have access to assault rifles (properly defined). They have access to semi-automatic rifles. In some states. In some states, the firearms are banned.

Of course, I know what O’Mara means. He’s saying Americans have too much access to firearms as it is currently stands. I’m also aware that O’Mara is sneaking in the idea – slur, really – that most Americans are happy for 15-year-old kids to have “unfettered access” to AR-15-style rifles. Which is also false. Even the most ardent gun rights supporters believe that teenagers should only be given access to these rifles with proper adult training and supervision.

And no one is arguing that Jared Michael Padgett, the Oregon high school killer, should’ve had “unfettered access” to his parents’ guns. Which, by the way, the police deemed properly “secured” (right until they weren’t). But that’s how gun control advocates work: they set-up straw man arguments so they can burn them down. Otherwise, they’d have to deal with the facts of the matter. And any good lawyer knows if you don’t have the facts, you argue the law. 

What this means is that we’ve accepted school shootings and other random mass shootings as a normal part of life in America, no matter how they affect the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness that was first announced in the Declaration of Independence, some 13 years before our oft-quoted Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

O’Mara is using a classic gun control ruse: declaring that the Declaration of Independence is the law of the land. Never mind gun rights, what about the victim’s right to life? In fact (there’s that word again) the Declaration is a declaration of principles. It has no force of law. Americans have no legal right to life or the pursuit of happiness. What they have is the aforementioned Constitution, which declares that the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

You know what’s coming next: if you have neither the facts nor the law, you pound the table. Or, in this case, wave the bloody shirt.

I guess that’s not surprising: We accept collateral damage for other privileges we enjoy. We tolerate a certain number of drunk driving deaths, more than 10,000 in 2012, and there’s little public outcry for greater restrictions. We’ve been willing to sacrifice nearly 7,000 soldiers (and tens of thousands wounded) in two wars to maintain our political influence in the Middle East. About 400 children drown each year in pools and spas, but we’re not scrambling to outlaw summer fun.

Why should guns be any different? In the United States only about 10 people out of every 100,000 are killed by guns, or a little more than 30,000 per year (As a reference, we lost about 60,000 soldiers in the Vietnam War).

This is clearly an acceptable sacrifice to make to maintain our sacred, un-infringed right to bear arms, no?

Setting aside that half of those 30k people “killed by guns” are suicides, O’Mara is attempting to elicit an emotional response with a statistical litany. In so doing, he inadvertently touches on the truth. I hate to say it (as in give comfort to the enemy) but yes, there is an acceptable level of sacrifice to maintain our sacred, un-infringed right to bear arms.

Every firearms-related death is regrettable. But a large portion of the total is inevitable. When you have a society of freely armed men and women there will be firearms-related deaths. In the exact same sense that conducting military operations will result in fatalities. And “allowing” Americans the “right” to own pools will result in a certain number – small percentage-wise, but tragic nonetheless – of accidental deaths.

The sacrifice is clearly not clearly acceptable to gun control advocates. Hence their rallying cry for every new gun rights infringement “If it saves ONE child . . .” O’Mara’s question mark indicates he shares the antis’ opinion on the subject of unacceptable loss. Not to mention his [willful?] ignorance of John Lott’s seminal work More Guns, Less Crime. Or the simple fact that armed school resource officers ended Padgett’s attack.

Oh, I’m sorry. Like so many gun control advocates, O’Mara sees no contradiction between an armed government ruling over a disarmed populace. Luckily, gun rights advocates do.

After all, I’ve been told by some gun-rights advocates that reasonable restrictions on gun ownership will undoubtedly send us down a slippery slope to the abolition of all guns in America. And if we didn’t have unfettered access to guns, think about what would happen: We would be overrun by a foreign power; our government would assume totalitarian control and burn the Constitution; and criminal gangs, the only people left with guns, would run roughshod over all law-abiding citizens.

If you suggest, as I have, that we should place reasonable restrictions on guns, then you are clearly a delusional or ignorant pacifist who has been dropped on his head. What part of “shall not be infringed” don’t you understand? they ask. (For the record, I’m a responsible gun owner.)

Normally, gun control advocates twist and distort the pro-gun side’s logic. In this case, O’Mara plays it straight. Which forces him to ignore the argument presented to launch an ad hominem attack on himself, supposedly echoing the pro-gun side’s attack. The net effect is an own-goal. To the point where O’Mara has to defend himself from himself. (You might say that this strategy involves a fair amount of self-loathing but I couldn’t possibly comment.)

Reasonable restrictions on guns will not lead to totalitarianism and anarchy. Suffering 30,000 gun deaths annually is not a reasonable sacrifice to make in order to blindly maintain our unrestricted gun culture, particularly when the rallying cry is an outdated reference concerning infringement which, known to anyone who has actually studied the Constitution and our founding fathers who drafted it, was a reference to the then-existing reality that young men, when called upon to defend the state and the laws of the state, were expected to provide their own arms.

Reasonable restrictions on guns will not lead to totalitarianism and anarchy because . . . I say so? Because it won’t? O’Mara’s unsubstantiated statement reveals his hubris. Intellectual laziness? No matter. History proves that O’Mara is dead wrong. Again. The facts simply don’t back-up his argument. So he goes back to ignoring the facts to argue the law.

I guess O’Mara has no time for scholarly studies that establish the fact (last time I swear) that the Founding Fathers enacted the Second Amendment to protect Americans’ individual right to keep and bear arms. Nor does he have any truck with the simple idea that all the rights in the Bill of Rights are individual rights. Or the Supreme Court’s Heller and McDonald ruling which establish the individual right to keep and bear arms as “settled law.”

Nope. ‘Cause he, Mark O’Mara, has “actually studied the Constitution and our founding fathers who drafted it.” Yup, it’s that pesky hubris again. With more than a soupçon of self-righteous condescension. Not like we’ve seen that before – from every gun control advocate attempting to justify their disarmament dream. Right. Back to pounding the table.

Listen, reasonable restrictions are necessary to assure the continued viability of our Second Amendment rights, and to curb the unnecessary bloodshed caused by the proliferation of guns into hands of irresponsible people who care little about constitutional rights, and less about the sanctity of life. Like that of a boy in Oregon, who was shot dead.

Listen (you knuckleheads), as I said before, we need to destroy the Second Amendment to save it. And curb the unnecessary bloodshed that’s unnecessary because we can have our Second Amendment and not have it at the same time. Look at that baby!

You’d think that a man who helped a client stay out of jail for exercising his natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms would support that right without equivocation. If so, you’d think wrong. Listen, we can’t all be Neville Chamberlain. Unfortunately, some of us can. And that settles that.

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  1. Do these people just not accept that the GCA and the NFA exist? If killing it to save it worked folks would not still be trying to kill it. Been there, done that, it didnt work out so well for us.

  2. He only succeeded in the Zimmerman case because the special prosecutor was so inept and let race politics drive the entire case. When she over charged, the case was over. O’Meara was the beneficiary.

    • No he succeeded because he had the law on his side. It should’ve never went to trail.

      Anyways he is run of the mill criminal defense attorney, they don’t always argue cases where they agree things. So I am not surprised that he isn’t a pro-gun advocate, because his position on gun rights had zero to do with his ability as an attorney. Granted if he billed himself as a specialist in concealed carry issues, and defending self defense cases like Gutmacher, yes I would be surprised if he turned out to be anti-gun.

      • People lose cases despite the law and the facts being on their side, just as sometimes people walk when neither the law nor the facts were on their side. O’Mara is, among other things good or bad, an exceptional criminal defense lawyer.

  3. “Reasonable restrictions” on gun ownership.

    The only one I can think of is you should actually have to pay for your guns. That would be easier in most cases, by the way, without all the unreasonable restrictions, but that obvious zinger aside, I don’t imagine repealing NFA, Hughes Amendment and GCA would make those $20K shotguns and $6K or more high end rifles much cheaper.

    • Gaah.

      I just read that again and I realized now I sound like I am arguing for forbidding guns given as gifts. I didn’t intend to.

  4. I am pretty sure he is exhibiting some stage of grief with his parroting of our talking points. Or maybe all of them at once, I’m not a shrink. They were supposed to finally have us “gun nuts” in a corner. Instead they got hushed by the adults and sent to their rooms, and this article is them talking tough to their teddy bears and threatening to run away.

  5. I’d like to hear his definition of “responsible gun owner” that he applies to himself. And if his claim of being a gun owner is true, I’d like to hear exactly what restrictions he’d like the government to enforce on him. Only a masochist would ask to be chained.

    • I find myself wondering if he is in fact a gun owner, it’s only because he acquired a collection of guns in satisfaction, or partial satisfaction of attorney’s fees.

  6. “Reasonable restrictions on guns will not lead to totalitarianism and anarchy.”
    Really? You promise? Well, if some obscure criminal lawyer says it’s so, I guess I can rest easy.

  7. All right, let’s talk about “reasonable restrictions”. I think it is reasonable that a man or woman can buy any useful safety equipment for their firearms as they see fit. If they feel that the best way to protect their hearing is with an attached suppressor, I see no need to require that equipment to be taxed and regulated any more than the muffler on my car.
    I think it is reasonable to treat rifle barrels of all lengths equally. The ballistic and ergonomic differences between a 16″ barrel and a 12″ barrel are negligible, and conceal-ability is a non issue, as the firearm in question is still a rifle, and thus too bulky to be reasonably hidden.
    I think it is reasonable to be allowed to create or modify weapons in your own home using your own tools. The idea of restricting somebody from creating a sawed off shotgun is ludicrous on its face, as the operation requires no more than a hack saw. The completion of an 80% lower, or indeed a lower from raw materials is also unreasonable to restrict, as there is no way to prevent a man from purchasing a drill and a block of aluminum or a steel sheet.
    It is also unreasonable to charge $200 in order to exercise a basic human right, especially according to a law written during the deepest depth of the Great Depression.
    So, I am all for the creation of reasonable restrictions, but only if we also remove unreasonable ones, which is basically every one on the books right now, and subject any and all restrictions to the strictest scrutiny, which none of your proposed restrictions would pass.

    • The 2nd Amendment doesn’t say, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms may have reasonable restrictions.”

      What part of Shall Not Be Infringed don’t those weenies understand?

      • I don’t think they have a problem understanding Shall not be Infringed, so much as they can’t wrap their heads around the concept of “the people”. We POTG are not people, we are psychotic, hate filled untermensch, who should be kept in cages, or failing that, kept in the south. We are not the people, They are, and They don’t want that right, and we don’t matter.

  8. Let’s round up generously and say there are 35,000 gun-related deaths each year, counting suicides. Let’s round down a bit and go with a U.S. population of 312,000,000 people. Unless my math is way off, that works out to 0.0112% of the population is killed by guns every year. Saying thirty or thirty-five thousand sounds like an incredibly huge number of deaths per year, but saying one hundredth of one percent, which is the same thing, doesn’t make their case for them. It’s all about the language and misleading statistics when these people argue. And reading my post here I’m making about as much sense as this guy.

    • If it’s about saving the children, howcome they never mention the 35,000 killed each year by cars? And cars aren’t even intended to kill people!

      And once again I reiterate, all this conversation is stuff and nonsense. The Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms Shall Not Be Infringed. Any government employee who violates that is a traitor, plain and simple. The tough part is going to be prosecuting them, and figuring out what to do with them once they’re convicted. I say, exile them!.

      • The Constitution is pretty clear on what to do with those convicted of treason. And I agree, they are traitors. They are subverting national defensive capabilities while our country is in a state of war against an enemy that drew first blood by killing American citizens on American soil. We’ll never get the prosecution to go through, though.

        • Treason? Man, that’s a stretch. Gun enthusiasts would be much more believable if they didn’t bend the rhetoric to the point that it’s laughable.

        • Section 3 of the US Constitution
          Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.
          Pretty well defined, and if enemy nations are demanding we disarm, such as the UN’s Arms Trade Treaty would have essentially been doing, and our duly elected representatives (snark), comply with their wishes and issue orders that would adhere to those demands, aiding them in a take over of our nation, well…
          I don’t think I’m stretching definitions, I’m just trying to show how they apply.

        • Problem is, they’re not making war on the United States, they’re making war on the citizens. So I guess I’ll grudgingly have to admit, they’re not committing treason, but then I’ll fall back on a slightly earlier document:

          “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security” — [emphasis added]

          So don’t go the treason/court of law route – theow them out physically! Tar and feather them, and run them out of town on a rail, and reestablish the Constitution as the Supreme Law of the Land.

  9. he also cited the bogus school shooting since newtown number from mda. you would think he would know better but i guess its much easier to get rich parroting the party line than to actually think for yourself. i bet becoming a shill for the antis was the only way to prevent being totally ruined by them after he defended zim. otherwise i bet they would have went after him like they do everyother big name that doesnt tow the line

  10. Why should poor parenting over the years affect the constitution. Since Dr. Spock’s book & the advance of socialism in the 60’s & 70’s to our current parents in College.

  11. If he truly believes this way then why did he take a ton of money from Zimmerman, it seems that the slip and fall lawyer would represent even those he despises.

    A man without principle.

  12. ‘Reasonable restrictions’ on absolute rights tend to end badly; The problem with them is that someone who may not necessarily be ‘reasonable’ gets to decide what IS ‘reasonable,’ and it always seems to be that what is ‘reasonable’ is what THEY think is ‘reasonable,’ which just may not be ‘reasonable’ at all.

    ‘Reasonable restrictions’ on free speech leads to censorship, and ‘free speech zones,’ and Political Correctness. ‘Reasonable restrictions’ on the right to be secure in one’s home and property leads to the NSA, No-Knock warrants and SWAT raids on animal sanctuaries, flash-banging of babies in their cribs, and laws prohibiting certain bedroom acts. ‘Reasonable restrictions’ on the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages can lead to Prohibition, which worked out SO well, as did the War on Drugs.

    If there is anything about the Bill of Rights that needs rewritten, it is the lack of an expressed and unequivocal Prime Amendment: “The right of the people to be let alone by their government if they are not harming anyone else shall not be infringed.”

    I am pleased, though, to hear that I now have unfettered access to all kinds of firearms; I hereby place my order for a new, untaxed, unregistered HK53. With suppressor.

  13. Where do these morons keep coming from??? In the first place, the 2nd Amendment was voted in by the Whole Congress for a very specific reason! Our Founding Fathers had just come through a period in their country’s development much like Iraq’s except that they shed their own blood, not some one else’s. Now we (American) are expected to give up our hard earned rights to advance some politicians personal agenda. I don’t pretend to know what Obama, Feinstein, Pelossi, Bloomberg, Hitler, Mussolini… have on their agendas but I’m not buying it!!! The laws as they stand are no threat to honest representatives of the people of this country! As a veteran of our armed forces, I swore to support and uphold The Constitution against any and all threats both foreign AND DOMESTIC. We seem to be approaching a turning point in this great nations history and it will take a greater mind than mine to lead us through it. God bless Us all!!

  14. Here’s what I don’t get. Suppose you buy their argument that there’s a “rash of school shootings” and “gun violence is at an all time high” and “epidemic of murder” and all the rest of the propaganda, in the face of various pieces of statistical evidence.

    Well, people have been owning arms, specifically semi-automatic rifles and pistols, for 100 years now. And yet the problem they bring up is supposedly a recent one.

    Are they actually arguing that they want to ban guns because they’ve come to the conclusions that over the last 20 years people have become too stupid to be entrusted with the safety of their selves and their families? And that, rather than making people smarter again, they’d rather just slap a bandaid on the issue and call it good?

    Are we actually supposed to believe this?

  15. So the fact the Oregon shooter had to defeat security measures to acquire his rifle means he still had “unfettered access?”

    I wonder if Mr. O’Mara has ever experienced having that kind of “unfettered access” to, say, a bathroom.

  16. HOLY CRAPPOLA BATMAN !!!! Am I crazy or what??? Would you take a look at the photo O’Mara is holding in his hand. It is of the Zman. It is a side by side of Zman from the front, then the back of his head.


    The photo of the BACK of his head shows a picture of a face in the blood stains !!!! Could it be of Mary or Jesus???? This is REALLY weird….I never saw this before !!!!

  17. So are you saying our right to bear arms is granted AND defined by the Constitution? If so, you are acknowledging that your right can be removed from you I.e. it is not inalienable.

  18. “Listen, we can’t all be Neville Chamberlain. Unfortunately, some of us can. And that settles that.”

    for the win. nuff said.

  19. I take issue with the use of sacrifice. When you make a sacrifice, there is a choice involved. The implication is that we choose to kill those people. I take great offence to those comments that we make sacrifice of those victims. I wish the article had recognize that the choice to use sacrifice is an emotional ploy that “we” have killed all those people. Otherwise article is very well written and to the point.

  20. Sounds like he’s trying either to clear his conscience or otherwise redeem his political future in the ashamed socialist (Democratic) party….

  21. “Reasonable restrictions on guns will not lead to totalitarianism and anarchy. Suffering 30,000 gun deaths annually is not a reasonable sacrifice to make…”

    In order to be effective at stopping gun deaths, the restrictions cannot be “reasonable”. In order to prevent these deaths, particularly the 15,000 that are suicides, you would have to restrict all access to all guns. After all, the suicide needs only a single shot of a modestly powered round. Pretty much any gun will do, so to prevent the suicide, you have to remove all guns.

    “… in order to blindly maintain our unrestricted gun culture…”

    I would be interested to visit this place that has an unrestricted gun culture, but I live in New Jersey.

    “… particularly when the rallying cry is an outdated reference concerning infringement which, known to anyone who has actually studied the Constitution and our founding fathers who drafted it, was a reference to the then-existing reality that young men, when called upon to defend the state and the laws of the state, were expected to provide their own arms.”

    Actually, anybody who has studied the Constitution and the Founding Fathers would have to, on fair reading, conclude just the opposite. These men had just lived through a violent overthrow of an established state. The Founding Fathers were not defending the state and the laws of the state. Far from it!

  22. “Americans have no legal right to life or the pursuit of happiness.”

    Can’t face-palm hard enough. What a stupid thing to say.

    • Mr. Monkey, may I give you a high five for pointing out the obviously idiotic. Thanks!

      May I also say that people that hang on what the founding fathers meant are silly. The founding fathers never imagined airplanes, computers, or AR-15s. What the founding fathers did expect was that technology would change and they would be horrified by those that want to live in the late 1700’s.

  23. Remember this is a lawyer, most couldn’t tell you anything the constitution says w/o 10k worth of research. They only answer to there puppetmasters or make a statement if prepping a run for office.Remember the 1st rule of politics repeat a lie enough & eventually it becomes the truth. My wife asked a number of her friends (all right) if they knew Obamas middle name or the last time you never saw a U.S. President attend a church.

  24. 150 years ago children as young as 10 years of age had unfettered access to guns………..why? so the family could eat!!!!! What is the difference between children of that time period and today’s children????? A working knowledge of firearms and the experience necessary to use them safely. A maturity level that shames 99% of current adolescents and a large percentage of current adults..Our forefathers would be ashamed of our present day antics. I am!!!!!!!!!!

    • You forgot 2 things; a work ethic & a family unit. I hope we have raised our child right. He does want to quit school & get a job so he can help mom & dad pay the bills. He’s not going to quit but it shows he does want to work. He also does think for self politically. Calls Obama the dark overlord of the universe (not racial) 1st movie he snuck into vcr was Howard the Duck. Hated Mommy making him watch Barney.

    • The other thing that he forgot is that food is now plentiful. The idea of needing to go out and shoot your food marks you as a product of poverty.

      • My point is……, familiarity and hands on experience with firearms negates the IGNORANCE OF FIREARMS and the agenda driven stigma being forced down the throats of the ignorant dumbmasses!!!!! When people open their eyes and understand our rights are individual and not collective we may have a slim chance at recovery. Being a free man requires a backbone!!!!! Rights are not granted by our government only enumerated (recognized), now is not the time to remain silent.

  25. The problem is this: Let’s assume they finally get their universal background checks or registration or whatever. We all know that before long another mass shooting will happen. Will the anti’s be satisfied? Of course not! Then they’ll say, “Well, what we really need is a universal 30 day waiting period.” Now assume they get it and after a while another mass shooting occurs. Then they’ll say, “We need a caliber restriction. If only we had a caliber restriction.” Assume it becomes law yet another shooting happens. Next it will be raising the age limit to 25 for firearm ownership. “These mass killings are mostly committed by young people. If only we could make it where only 25 year olds could own guns, then we’de solve this problem!” Then it would be an assault weapon ban, followed by a ban on all semi-autos, etc., etc., etc. If we could pass just one more law and say without compromise that THIS IS IT FOREVER I swear I just might go along with it….but that is not the nature of man. Once you begin sliding down the “sensible restriction slope” you are finished. Therefore gun owners have said finally “Not one more inch of ground will we surrender” and for this we are called the irrational ones.

  26. He’s a lawyer. He’s using guilt trip lawyer nonsense to try and guilt trip all of us into admitting we have anything to do with any of the nonsense he mentioned because that’s what lawyers do. They are very good at manipulating whatever subject they are discussing, and they twist, twist, twist words around to make things sound however the hell they want. I hate laywers.

  27. The anti-liberty crowd has a very poor grasp of the facts. Yet they continue to scream louder. In a way, it’s hilarious, like speaking a second language that you have yet to master more slowly and more loudly in a vain attempt to get your point across.


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