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Jonathan Kay of Canada’s National Post is weighing in on America’s “gun culture”. Before asking what in Hades a Canadian could know about the subject, know that he spent two years studying the conspiracist subculture on his way to authoring Among The Truthers, so his current polemic, America’s firearms culture forged by paranoia, racism and civil rights unrest, is based in part upon that experience. Which may also explain the paranoia he attributes to us “gun nuts”. Unfortunately he doesn’t seem to have researched this topic as fully as his book. If he had . . .

he wouldn’t have made goofs like this:

This week, the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit upheld a 2011 Florida law that makes it illegal for doctors to ask parents if they keep a gun in their house— notwithstanding the fact that the presence of such a weapon is, according to one expert, “43 times more likely to be involved in the death of a member of the household than to be used in self-defence.” [link in original]

I would never accuse a journalist of flat out lying so Jonathan must either be incompetent or simply too lazy to do proper research. I base this on his opening paragraph which has three statements of fact (the ruling, the law and “43 times”) two of which are flat out wrong. Yes the 11th Circuit upheld Florida’s 2011 Firearm Owners’ Privacy Act, but no, the law does not bar doctors from asking about guns in the home. Section 790.338(2) of the law explicitly states: “Notwithstanding this provision, a health care provider … that in good faith believes that this information is relevant to the patient’s medical care or safety may make such a verbal or written inquiry” (regarding the presence of guns in the home).

As for Dr. Kellerman’s infamous “43 times” number, any member of the Armed Intelligentsia could have told Kay that A) the number is almost 3 decades old and 2} has been debunked at least a dozen times in at least a half-dozen different ways. My personal favorite debunking is over at where they use Kellerman’s own method and dataset to show that in homes without a gun your not-a-gun is ninety-nine times more likely to be involved in the death of a member of the household than to be used in self-defense.

Jonathan then switches from bogus numbers and flat out lies to more nuanced untruths:

Earlier this year, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed legislation known to critics as the “guns everywhere bill.” The law allows Georgia residents to carry guns into bars, most government buildings and gun-friendly churches.

Yes Gov. Deal signed the law, yes it allows permit holders (whether or not they are GA residents) to carry in bars. Kay neglects to mention the facts that carriers can’t drink and that bars can opt-out by posting a sign. Yes the law allows permit holders to carry in government buildings, except for those which have security screes and controlled entry. Jonathan also neglects to mention numerous other aspects of the law, but since he probably did so for the sake of brevity I’ll let that pass.

On the same day, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed a bill that would ban any local government from enforcing ordinances that restrict the open carrying of firearms.

Ooh, yeah, again not really. The main thrust of the law was preemption, designed to remove the patchwork of different (and sometimes conflicting) local gun laws and regulations. The bit about open carry was to prevent hoplophobic localities from arresting people lawfully open-carrying for “disturbing the peace” or “creating a public nuisance” as had been happening before the law was passed.

But having set the tone Jonathan now goes for the meat of his diatribe:

Meanwhile, members of a group called “Open Carry Texas” are marching proudly through busy stores and parking lots armed with assault rifles, small children in tow.

I guess Jonathan is as ignorant about firearms as he is about firearms laws, because the ‘omg OMG OMG women open carrying with children’ photos show that two of the three moms are carrying unloaded rifles and the third is carrying what appears to be a shotgun. In addition, since these folks are in Texas if they want to open carry then they must open carry either long guns (aka “assault rifles” and shotguns) or antiques (firearms and replicas of firearms manufactured prior to 1899).

In one iconic photo, an overweight man with a massive gun slung over his shoulder stands in front of a rack of baby toys at Target, drinking from a bottle of water.

If you can’t attack the message then attack the messenger, eh Jonathan? Here’s a hint for you; lots of us are “overweight” and those of us who are often are the ones who most need to carry for self-defense (hence the OFWG tag). We also like to stay hydrated.

According to Open Carry Texas founder CJ Grisham, such stunts will help show Americans that liberals’ collective fear of guns is “irrational.”

This is an ongoing debate in the gun community (one of my early pieces on TTAG concerned this issue) with some of us believing that seeing regular folks open-carrying in regular situations has a normalizing effect on the general public. Others in the community believe that open-carry is too scarifying for the Muggles to deal with. Jonathan apparently falls in the latter camp:

Well then colour me irrational. And colour all of Canada irrational, too — even the conservative parts. There is a fine line between responsible gun-rights advocacy and America’s GOP-enabled Yosemite Sam gun-cult carnival — and I feel comfortable drawing that line around the diaper section of my local big-box store.

Okay I’m not sure I even know what Jonathan is trying to say here; the Second Amendment was written long before the GOP existed and shall-issue permit laws have been approved by bi-partisan majorities (and opposed by bi-partisan minorities) across the country. Yosemite Sam was a cartoon character meant to be a more aggressive foil for Bugs Bunny (some people thought Elmer Fudd was so inoffensive that Bugs was a bully for besting him). As for gun-cults . . . Wikipedia defines cult as:

In the sociological classifications of religious movements, a cult is a religious or other social group with deviant and novel beliefs and practices.

I imagine Mr. Kay and others of his ilk find the idea that “the freedom to own and carry the weapon of your choice is a natural, fundamental, and inalienable human, individual, civil and Constitutional right — subject neither to the democratic process nor to arguments grounded in social utility” quite novel but that does not change the fact that according to the Gallup Poll, as of October 2013 39% of households in the US had a gun, nor does it change the fact that there are currently an estimated 11 million permit-holders in the US (this does not count the 11.5 million or so inhabitants of Constitutional Carry states). According to the Census Bureau numbers (Table 1) 71.8% of our population or almost 222 million people are 21 and older, which means that even ignoring CC states, 5.1% of our population has a permit to carry. Couple that with 2 out of 5 households having guns and I think this hardly qualifies as “deviant” behavior.

Finally, it’s nice that Jon feels comfortable drawing lines, now if only criminals would pay attention to those lines.

But wait, we should listen to him because he’s a gun owner too:

Make no mistake: Millions of Canadians value their guns. Since the gun-control excesses of the Chrétien years, our hunters, target shooters and collectors have been fighting back against excessive bureaucracy … But for these Canadians, guns are tools, not objects of psycho-sexual religious veneration.

Seriously Jonathan? You are actually going with “psycho-sexual religious veneration”? Again, what the hell does that even mean besides being some sort of pseudo-intellectual swipe at gun owners? And why is it that you list three types of gun owners while skipping what is, in America, the #1 reason for owning a gun? Again according to Gallup sixty percent of Americans who own guns keep them for “personal safety/protection”.

To a Canadian shooter, a gun is something used to kill gophers. To his American equivalent of the Heston school, it’s a sort of giant wand for killing Voldemort. How, exactly, did this massive gulf open up in our perception of “that wooden stock and blue steel”?

Simple; Canadians (and Brits and many Aussies) have been over-socialized to the point of virtual double orchidectomy. You can’t even conceive that people have the right, indeed the obligation, to protect themselves and their loved ones from violent crime and criminals. It has gotten so bad that in the UK people are told to yell “Call the police!” instead of “Help” when they are being assaulted, because only the police should ‘fight’ crime. Just look at Canada’s self-defense laws; they specify that victims have a duty to retreat and require that any defensive force used “is no more than is necessary to enable him to defend himself.” You are only justified in causing “death or grievous bodily harm in repelling the assault” if you have a “reasonable apprehension” that you will suffer D/GBH and you have no other recourse.

I could continue, but I think this horse is dead. Jonathan talks about our paranoia and bigotry while demonstrating his own irrational fear of peaceable open carriers and characterizing us as “Yosemite Sam” and cultists.

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  1. A Canadian getting American values, laws, history and customs incorrect, while trying to compare them to Canada’s…………..I am not going to lose any sleep over this. Got better things to think aboot (sic) Gotta go get a refill, for thirsty I am.

    • Wait didn’t a British little POS try to demean our gun culture? Where did that get him? Oh right FIRED! God save the Queen? (Only in SF) He’ll no! God save the constitution! I’m willing to fight for it, I have sworn to protect it once, and I will gladly do it again.

  2. I’m not paranoid, it’s not paranoia if your fear and worries and mistrusts are applied towards a true threat to yourself.

    • The truly paranoid are those that think just because someone owns a gun, it will use it’s mind control powers to make them shoot children.

    • Hop across the border. I hear that we are handing out candy and prizes to those that make it. You could have free food, healthcare, great loans that you don’t have to payback… The list goes on. You would be better than most of that have lived here our entire lives.

    • Border-jumping only works if you’re a member of the cartel, usually, and of a darker complexion than most Canadians. We make it a royal hassle for our friends to the north if they want to immigrate, unfortunately.

  3. Yosemite Sam is my hero. So is Foghorn Leghorn. Bugs is the conservatives. Porky is the LEFT. Speedy Gonzales was just really, awesomely cool. But. . . well – he was just too Mexican. The LEFT killed him (and the crows and the aliens from Mars too). And every other stereotyped character in the BB cartoons. Do people REALLY/ACTUALLY realize what the Progressive Liberals have done to the fabric of America? Is OBlahBlahma going to replace the Founding Fathers……with LIES????

  4. Meanwhile, members of a group called “Open Carry Texas” are marching proudly through busy stores and parking lots armed with assault rifles, small children in tow. So Grandpa taking me along while he went hunting with his Model 12 was evil?

  5. In one iconic photo, an overweight man with a massive gun slung over his shoulder stands in front of a rack of baby toys at Target, drinking from a bottle of water. You do know that I bought my 788 from a Target store in 1980 and carried it through the store?

    • The only thing major that happened was that you both walked out of the stores and absolutely nothing happened. According to people this guy the little gun voices were supposed to compel both of you to become mass murderers.

  6. Yet another yappy, willfully ignorant, flagrantly arrogant, historically illiterate, ill-mannered, uncouth, uneducated, socially-inept, haughty, backward, inbred, sub-Human, pseudo-intellectual scumbag drawing Hasty Generalizations from unqualified authorities spewing lies to build an old and moldy batch of Ad-Hominems to push a frankly sexist, racist, anti-rights, and anti-Humanist agenda.

    This is my surprised face.

  7. According to Open Carry Texas founder CJ Grisham, such stunts will help show Americans that liberals’ collective fear of guns is “irrational.” Well. liberals are irrational about guns.

    • “The fear of weapons indicates retarded emotional and sexual maturity.”
      Sigmund freud

      Seems quite reasonable to me. I would say the paranoia is on the part of those whoare paranoid of their armed neighbors. Obviously being fearful of an oppressive government attempting to universally disarm the population is a reasonable fear. Mao, Stalin, Pol Pot, North Korea, Hitler…..

      We have historical evidence of what a disarmed population has to fear. The Framers knew this and made damned sure that the mention was made to support the people and the historcal truth of their warnings have been born out by substantial evidence. We call this emperical evidence not theory based upon questionable models stilted to support the argument of the naysayers.

      But all this conjecture is worthless. We have an obvious paranoid individual here making baseless statements supported by very doubious information attempting to pursuade a democratic infulence contrary to a natural law which is inalienable. His remedy is to use force of arms to deprive people of their arms.

      I would think a child of about 12 or so able to repell this worthless mass of irrational blathering. Just because this individual represents a waste of oxygen, I don’t get to deny him the right to it. I should think that he would afford me the same courtesy. Obviously the rabidness of liberalism-socialism by any other name-is as intollerant as it has been historically. A snake is a snake and this is its nature. If any of you expect to change the nature of a snake there are plenty of sayings and stories reminding us of the nature of the snake.

      The old Hindu Proverb states: “If you feed a serpent milk, you only increase it venom”. In that light and difference to the obvious history of such as its ilk, I think the only rational action would be to smash its F*cking Head. But then again I tend to deal with reality and not be enveloped in the drama and lies of the Marxist Ideology.

  8. But for these Canadians, guns are tools, not objects of psycho-sexual religious veneration. Guns are usually tools for Americans as well. What planet is this guy from?

  9. Yeah, I will never go into canada, ever again.
    Trying to drive through there enroute to Alaska for some bear hunting. Got turned around at the gate.
    Their forms, and laws suck. Out loud.

  10. Spending time among Truthers to find out about US gun culture is like spending time with an eco-terrorist group to learn about the organic food movement.

  11. Walk with me Mr. Kay. Through Chicago, Detroit, Miami, New Orleans, Los Angeles and Atlanta. In the places that don’t show up on the Monday Night Football scans or on the Chamber of Commerce web page. The places that are free of malls, chain stores and name brand gas stations. Places where the main commerce is in flesh and drugs and there is always plenty of both. Places where good people with no money suffer and bad people with no conscience thrive. Places in the shadows of the high rise buildings festooned with names we know and love. Buildings that give no hope to the people in the places we will be visiting. Walk with me for just a few nights and then kneel with me and worship at the altar of psycho-sexual religious veneration.

  12. Wow, a Canadian claiming, in a nauseatingly self-righteous fashion, that Canada is superior to the US. That is just so unusual.

  13. We Canadian gun owners have been giving Kay his what-for for a week on this…please don’t judge us by this guy.

    • Thank you. Keep calm and carry on…

      Just another Journolista…expose them to the light and let them crawl back into the cracks and crevices of the looney tunes left.

    • Nah, most of us don’t judge all Canadians by morons like this. Just keep up the fight against the statist morons and regain the rights that have been stripped from you by people who have no clue about how the world really works.

      • The US has just as many of this kind of moron as Canada does, I’m not judging either country. Only difference here is 2A.

  14. Not all Canadians think alike. There are wide ranging opinions on guns and gun law in Canada, but you won’t hear about it from mainstream Canadian media. Most outlets will spoon feed their eastern urban readers, while forgetting that Canada exists beyond the urban centres of southern Ontario and Quebec. I would go so far as to say that almost no opinion presented by the media is representative of those on the prairies of western Canada. Mr. Kay’s sweeping generalizations, of what Canadians think about guns, are just wrong and demonstrate his ignorance of the Canada that exists outside his bubble.

    On the other hand, Kay’s perception of “the average American gun owner” is widely held in Canada. I held this misconception, but then all I knew about American Gun owners came from what I saw on CNN and MSNBC. It wasn’t until I moved to the USA that I saw how wrong these perceptions were. My first trip the the local range was a real eye opener, I couldn’t believe how diverse the group of shooters was. In fact I think gun owners in the USA are a more diverse group than gun owners in Canada.

  15. He doesn’t speak for me and many other Canadians. I’m sorry that you have to listen to this nonsense, it’s bad enough when these twits lecture us. He needs to mind his own business.

    Our self defense laws aren’t quite that bad, however. We don’t have a duty to retreat, and we are allowed to use “reasonable” force. For example, Basil Parasiris killed a police officer in 2007, and was found not guilty owing to the circumstances. From Wikipedia:

    “The jury suggested that there was reasonable ground to believe that Mr. Parasiris acted in self-defence believing the police officers who he thought were attackers were going to harm his wife and children while the Judge deemed that the search warrant which was used to enter Mr. Parasiris’s suburban home was illegal.”

    Our self-defense laws have been both further simplified and strengthened in 2012. They certainly aren’t perfect, but we are moving in the right direction, much as our firearms laws are slowly but surely improving. That’s a good sign for all our friends in California, New York and many other states- as bad as it gets, it can get better. Just keep standing up for your rights.

  16. “Paranoia, racism, cultists making guns as objects of psych-sexual religious veneration.”

    This is the perfect example why trying to reason with this type of mentality is futile. There is no reasoning; there can be no compromise; there is only victory and freedom or defeat and slavery.

    These are the only two options. But only because this person and those that think like him will accept nothing less than our absolute subjugation and enslavement.

    • Because, among other things, they think they personally are going to be the rulers! I mean, how stupid can you get?

  17. My understanding is that in GA since 2010 (passage of SB 308) it has not been illegal to drink while carrying a weapon and it is legal to possess a weapon while intoxicated. It is illegal to shoot a gun while intoxicated, unless in self defense.

    Not to say that it’s a good idea to mix booze and guns of course.

    • Correct. Also bars no longer have to Opt In(they did from 2010-2014)
      They can still say no guns and trespass you if they want, but not illegal to carry. Treated like other private property.

    • I think this is absolutely correct. I have been carrying while drunk many times, never the first time was I tempted to even mention my firearm, much less present it. Nowadays, having reached old fart status, I carry a mouse gun and surrendered the thought of running to anyone’s rescue (or running at all-Doctor’s orders) or using it for anything other than my own family’s defense, which helps prevent mistakes. Blowing holes in the walls and ceilings of a bar, I think being arrested should be the least of a person’s worries, I expect he’d be dead first.

      The illegality of carrying in a bar was foisted on us by people who really wanted to add “or anywhere else”. A solution to a nonexistent problem. And, as usual, concealed means concealed.

  18. And Canadians wonder why South Park makes such a sport of ridiculing them.

    This flappy-headed fool can get in his square-wheeled car, get on the Only Road and drive back to whence he came.

  19. “Even the conservative parts”. Huh? Canada has “conservative parts”? News to me, as I used to live in Manitoba.

    • In General the western provinces are more conservative with Alberta being the most. In fact Alberta took the federal government to court over the last set of gun laws passed in 95, but unfortunately lost. Also most of rural Canada varies from fairly conservative to very conservative, but urban areas now dominate Canadian politics which swings things to the left.

  20. This guy is a liberal idiot!! I have many Canadian friends that show up each summer to spend a day or two shooting and enjoying the latest n greatest that I can afford from .50 BMG to AR-15 also AKs in all calibers up to 12ga. They are sick of Canadian Firearms Act and from the news I am hearing this registry if starting to crumble. Most talk of a gun here or there they’ve registered but most laugh and talk about arms that are sealed over in drywall and such things. A great many are still armed and they made good law abiding people have to choose between having and owning arms some with historical significance others with sentimental values but most just a arm to defend them and there. These people are just like you and I most believe in defending them and theirs only problem being it takes some having a hammer handy an a extra 30-60sec to deploy that arm. They have a good deal of ignorant people just north of the line just like we do just south of that line. The problem in both Countries is The Political Arena and The Dumb /other /ukkers that either Lied Or Bought themselves into a place where they can help themselves get Richer off The Sweat of the Working Class or Try and do and become a dictator of Law over There Lower Class in there minds they atleast on our side of the line realize to Rule Thier Subjects must first disarm as Samual Colt Made Us There Equal.

    • Current Canadian firearms storage laws make using a gun in a home defense situation a risky proposition. In a rather sick catch 22, the fact that you could access your gun, in time to save your life, could be used as evidence of illegally storing your firearm. You would probably beat the murder charges but will face firearms charges, and likely lose your guns.

      • A variation on “shoot, shovel, and shut up” applicable here,(and I would certainly try it if that’s the situation) would be to make sure the invader is dead, throw the body in the truck, drive 20 miles in any direction and dump it, leave LE out of the equation. That is probably the goal, let LE alternate sleeping and eating donuts. Turn it around, make them work to convict you of anything.

  21. Based on his logic, he will allow the threat of grave bodily harm, crippling injury or death happen to him/his loved ones given his rabid anti-gun and anti-personal responsibility for ones own/loved ones safety from “black swan” (Nassim Taleb) level assaults.


    Jonathan acts like a little b*tch does, spouting little b*tch vitriol, poorly researched/reasoned tripe like a good little intentionally defenseless b*tch loves to do.

  22. Has anyone out there every actually met anyone like the author describes?

    I deal with gun nuts daily on line helping to run an active California gun page and in person at events and at the range. Ive also lived or shot or both in Oregon, Washington and Texas and I have no idea who or what this guy is talking about.

    I don’t think hes ever actually talked to a gun owner. In either country.

  23. “Kay neglects to mention the facts that carriers can’t drink and that bars can opt-out by posting a sign.”

    2 things here that are incorrect…in GA there is no law against carrying while drinking, and 2 signs dont carry legal weight in GA.

  24. “…according to the Gallup Poll, as of October 2013 39% of households in the US had a gun…”

    Let me correct that: “As of October 2013, 39% of households in the US were WILLING TO ADMIT to some stranger on the phone that they had a gun in their house. Gallup has no idea how many people lied to them, told them to eff off, or hung up as soon as they heard ‘poll’.”

    • True.

      Whenever someone tells me that they’ve told a pollster X, Y or Z about themselves, I always ask “And you believe that the anonymous voice on the other end of the call is really who they say they are? You’re going to tell them about stuff that strangers have no need to know, and shouldn’t know, and you’re going to give that information up without a warrant? C’mon…”

  25. “In the sociological classifications of religious movements, a cult is a religious or other social group with deviant and novel beliefs and practices”. If this is true then the anti gunners are a CULT.

  26. This guy must have been asleep when that whole High River Gun Grab thing happened in Alberta a few years ago, or maybe he is just oblivious that a lot of his own country probably think he is as much a total idiot as we do.

  27. As of August 11, there have been no bloodbaths or bar shoot-outs in Georgia. I’m pretty sure the grabbers are lying.

  28. Oddly enough, the “self defense laws” here attributed to Canada do have a counterpart in the US. New York City’s Penal Law states that before one is entitled to use any kind of force against an attacker, one MUST make ANY kind of effort to retreat. Example: If one is in a room on the fourth floor, and there is a window on the other side of the room, if attacked the victim MUST attempt to escape via the window(regardless of the fact that there is nothing between the window and the pavement below but four stories of air, and the window is across the room).
    Another NYC Penal Code ruling on self-defense is called “Escalation of Force”. It states that you cannot use more force to defend yourself than is used against you. If an attacker comes at you with a knife, you cannot use a gun to defend yourself. If your attacker is 6′ 4′, 275 lbs, and you are 5′ 0″ and 100 lbs soaking wet, and he doesn’t have a weapon, then you can’t have one, either.
    In NYC, it is against the law to defend yourself, your family, and your property. There is no such thing as a “self defense” plea. You can be arrested. Any weapon you may have used will be confiscated, and you’ll never get it back, or receive any compensation for the cost of the weapon. Even if the DA declines to press charges, you’ll have the arrest on your record. If you kill or injure your attacker(s), even if no charges are filed, his/her relatives or friends can sue you in civil court, and probably win, costing you everything you own.
    I worked for the NYPD for six years; I learned about the Penal Code as part of my job training. I’ve also seen incidents such as I described

    • You can’t draw that distinction across the U.S. and compare it to Canada though. You’re comparing only the state of New York to the entirety of Canada, while most sates in the U.S. have the “Castle Doctrine”. In most states you are not required to retreat as far as you can, and you can even go outside and defend your property also.

  29. People who want to regulate and reduce guns to reduce crime have not explained the American experience. Between 1994 and 2010 Americans increased the gun supply by 93,965,151 firearms including 40,681,376 handguns (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives manufacturing, importing and exporting records).

    The result (Bureau of Justice Statistics, Special Report on Firearms Violence 1993-2011)
    Homicides dropped from 23,326 to 14,722.
    Firearms homicides dropped from 17,527 to 11,078.
    Fatal and non-fatal firearms violence dropped from 1,585,700 to 426,100

    The reason; in the US, unlike Canada, the government does not empower criminals by guaranteeing them unarmed and defenseless victims. From 2007 to 2011 the Special Report identified 341,700 instances were firearms were used for defense of person or property. The impact of these defensive uses are multiplied many times over by the deterrent effect the ability to defend has on criminals. If you are really interested in reducing crime and not just moral posturing and condemning inanimate objects you need to support the right and the right to the means of self-defense.

  30. And what a surprise. He jumped at the end to invoke Markley’s Law. I have no idea why so many anti-rights people have a weird sexual hangup with regard to firearms.


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