Dennis O’Connell pulls no punches in his letter to the editor at TCPalm.com. Normally I love an outspoken anti-gunner, but it helps if they are A) coherent and 2) factually correct. Dennis’ letter diverges from both those criteria. “It is frightening that one organization owns so many politicians it can essentially get away with murder and treason.” Could he be talking about the Brady Bunch or Violence Policy Center?
Those two can arguably be characterized as accessories to murder given the number of victims their policies have created. Remember, every single mass casualty shooting in the country (with the sole exception of Tucson) has occurred in a “gun-free” zone. Saying they are guilty of treason is a bit of a stretch, though, since in this country, treason is actually defined in our Constitution.
And while I’d love to say that violating people’s natural, fundamental, and inalienable human, individual, civil and Constitutional right by disarming them constitutes “adhering to their enemies,” it really doesn’t.
But maybe Dennis will provide a clue:
This organization stopped a bill banning sales of arms to individuals on the Terrorist Watch List. Now all suspected terrorists can legally buy arms.
Okay, he isn’t talking about the Bradys, the VPC or any of their brothers in disarmament. But setting aside the question of who he’s talking about for a minute, let’s address the whole “Terrorist Watch List” boogeyman. First, according to the AP (as quoted by PBS here):
The watch list is secret and generated at the government’s discretion. It is not a list of people convicted of terrorism crimes. The list of about 450,000 people includes suspected members of al-Qaida and other terrorist organizations, terror financiers, terror recruiters and people who attended training camps. People’s names are added to and removed from the watch list every day, and most people never know whether they’re on it.
So what they are saying is that you or I could be on that list and never know it, especially since the .gov says they don’t have to tell someone when they become a prohibited person. I should probably point out here that I’m not in favor of arming terrorists, but neither am I in favor of disarming someone who happens to fall afoul of whatever arbitrary and capricious criteria the feds may use to define a “suspected terrorist.”
And if you don’t think these criteria can be arbitrary and capricious, check out the joint DHS-FBI report Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment.
It lists as potential threats to law enforcement people like vets, those who oppose Obama administration policies and post that opposition on the Internet, people opposed to gun control who buy guns and ammunition, people whose religion tells them that we may be facing hard times coupled with and compounded by unscrupulous and/or just plain evil political leaders.
Or read the Missouri Information Analysis Center’s “strategic report” on The Modern Militia Movement which gives these “warning signs”:
Political Paraphernalia: Militia members most commonly associate with 3rd party political groups. It is not uncommon for militia members to display Constitutional [sic] Party, Campaign for Liberty, or Libertarian material. These members are usually supporters of former Presidential Candidate[sic]: Ron Paul, Chuck Baldwin, and Bob Barr.”
Militia members commonly display picture, cartoons, bumper stickers that contain anti-government rhetoric. Most of this material will depict the FRS, IRS, FBI, ATF, CIA, UN, Law Enforcement, and the ‘New World Order’ in a derogatory manor [sic]. Additionally, racial, anti-immigration, and anti-abortion, material may be displayed by militia members.
They also list some “Militia Symbols” like the Gadsden Flag and the phrase Molon Labe (ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ or μολὼν λαβέ). Now aside from the chilling free speech implications, the report has a warning for LEOs:
You are the Enemy: The militia subscribes to an antigovernment and NWO mind set, which creates a threat to law enforcement officers. They view the military, National Guard, and law enforcement as a force that will confiscate their firearms and place them in FEMA concentration camps.
Think about that for a moment: You have government agencies telling cops that someone with an anti-Obama or pro Ron Paul bumper sticker may want to murder them. Arbitrary and capricious anyone?
But back to Dennis’ objections; he doesn’t like the fact that someone suspected of possible terrorist ties can buy a gun (so much for the presumption of innocence). Furthermore, he thinks someone who owns guns and is informed that they are on the watch list (something the government isn’t required to do and, indeed, doesn’t want to do) is an instant felon, facing 10 years in prison for each gun he owns.
But let’s back up a bit, back to the part about not being informed you’re on the list. Suppose this law passed and I’m added to the list (I am, after all, an outspoken blogger, vet and Ron Paul supporter who opposes the Obama administration), I wouldn’t know I was on the list. Then I go out to buy a new gun and I’m denied. I’d assume that it was a mistake and would probably make a note to follow up with someone.
Meanwhile alarm bells have gone off at DHS, FBI and ATF. They start poking around, see that I own an arsenal of guns (i.e. more than three) and decide they need to pay me a visit. I really don’t think they’ll send an officer to politely knock on my door and ask to see my guns. More likely it will be a midnight no-knock door kicking party. A party that I would very likely not survive.
With that cheery thought, let’s see what Dennis has to say next:
This group forced the lifting of the ban on sales of automatic weapons, allowing Mac-10s and AK-15s to be purchased by anyone who had the price.
Assuming Dennis is talking about the expiration of the assault weapon ban, what we have here is another ignoramus who fell for Josh Sugarman’s deception.
“The semi-automatic weapons’ menacing looks, coupled with the public’s confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons — anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun — can only increase that chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons.” — Josh Sugarman, 1988, Violence Policy Center.
And no, Dennis, no one “forced the lifting” of any ban; the AWB was written with a sunset clause (the only way they could get it passed) and when the time came for it to expire, since there was no evidence that it had done any good, it was left smoldering on the ash heap of history.
Mind you, even if there had been evidence the ban reduced crime, the fact remains 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. Not only should it have been allowed to expire, it never should have been passed in the first place.
But Dennis then goes on to show us what he really thinks about people involved in the shooting sports.
As a result, teenagers, bored with killing small mammals with their father’s .22-caliber rifle now had access to weapons to create havoc.
Quick side note: the Cumbria massacre (12 dead, 11 injured) was carried out with a bolt action .22 and a double-barreled shotgun; nary an “assault weapon” in sight.
What Dennis is saying is that everyone who enjoys the shooting sports is actually a bloodthirsty sociopath, not someone who enjoys the challenge of developing the physical and mental skills necessary to shoot well.
As for “killing small mammals,” Dennis must be a vegetarian. That or a howling hypocrite who’s perfectly willing to chow down on some tasty rabbit stew while sneering at hunters who kill their own food rather than passing the chore off to someone else.
They brought these weapons into Columbine, Aurora, and other campuses where it was more fun to kill your classmates or strangers in a crowd than to kill a rabbit.
The fact that the Columbine and Aurora shooters used semi-auto weapons seems to have escaped Dennis, as has the fact that all of those victims (plus those on “other campuses” were disarmed by law. Would these people have been any less dead if they’d been shot with revolvers?
And don’t try to tell me a shooter would have been unable to get off as many shots using revolvers; all it would take is one Il Duce vest a couple of IWB and SOB holsters and your shooter’s got 60 shots without reloading. And modern revolvers can be reloaded quite quickly.
But Dennis isn’t done bad-mouthing gunnies:
This organization forced its stooges in the Legislature to create the “Kill Your Neighbor” bill (aka: Stand Your Ground) allowing someone to kill another person for no reason at all providing there were no witnesses. Shoot the person, roll around in the dirt, and say you were attacked. You’re free.
So I’m a sociopath. I am a seething cauldron of rage and hate, so morally bankrupt that my burning desire to slap leather and gun someone down is only held in check by possible legal consequences. If I had my way, I’d joyfully murder people left and right. Bump into me at the mall? BLAM! You’re toast. Walk on my lawn and I’ll fertilize it with your blood. At least, that’s the way Dennis sees us.
You know, I think I’m beginning to worry a bit about Dennis; Sarah Thompson wrote an interesting piece for JPFO titled Raging Against Self-Defense: A Psychiatrist Examines The Anti-Gun Mentality and it seems to me that Dennis is showing clear signs of either projection or reaction formation. Either way, I’m really glad he lives in Florida and I’m in Minnesota.
Now that he’s exposed his psychoses for all to see, Dennis continues:
This organization sent surveys to sheriff candidates. Any who did not return the survey, or the questions were not answered to the satisfaction of this organization, were tagged weak on crime, an enemy of the Second Amendment. The survey was like blackmail.
I have often stated my belief that people who evince a hatred for the Second Amendment don’t really care about any civil rights and Dennis is doing nothing to change my mind. Based on what he said previously he doesn’t like the Second, Fourth, Fifth or Sixth Amendments, and here he is displaying his hatred for free speech.
Apparently voters should just walk into the booth, close their eyes and pick candidates at random, because asking them to commit to their positions on issues is blackmail.
Finally Dennis identifies this mystery organization:
This organization is the National Rifle Association. It has nothing to do with sportsmen or protecting the Second Amendment. It has everything to do with supporting arms manufacturing companies.
The more automatic weapons and handguns the NRA helps sell puts money in its pocket.
See what I mean about mature and reasoned discourse? Apparently Dennis is ignorant not just about firearms but also about the NRA as well, which is odd because his letter talks about both. The NRA sponsors a number of different safety training courses both for adults and children and certifies instructors.
They donate money for scholarships, they have helped develop shooting range safety standards, they provide several kinds of insurance for shooters, and they sponsor sport shooting events (the Bianchi cup and the Camp Perry matches come to mind).
They have become active in the courts (since the Second Amendment Foundation, Alan Gura and Dick Heller kick-started Second Amendment litigation, that is), they were complainants in the lawsuit to stop the New Orleans gun confiscations and have implemented and supported a number of other cases across the country.
And the only money a manufacturer has put in the NRA’s pocket (that I am aware of) came from the Ruger One Million Gun Challenge which was actually a marketing ploy on the part of Ruger, not the NRA.
Dennis finishes with one last jab at gun owners:
The NRA mission seems to be to frighten Americans into buying more guns. Whenever a Columbine or an Aurora occurs, Americans rush out to buy more guns, and the NRA licks its chops.
I guess we gunnies are so weak-minded and gullible that we have to be spoon-fed by the NRA. We go out and buy guns and ammo because the NRA tells us to, not because we are aware of the fact that whenever a Columbine or an Aurora occurs, antis of all stripes lick their chops in anticipation of passing some new gun law.
We buy guns and ammo because we are told to, not because we look at the economic situation here and in Europe, see the threat of social unrest across the Eurozone and the possibility of it spilling over into the US, and decide that stocking up is a good idea.
We buy guns and ammo because we are told to, not because we are cognizant of the tremendous expansion of the Federal Leviathan, the unsustainable level of deficit spending and the mind-boggling growth of the “public” debt, and know that these are precursors to hyperinflation and a breakdown of the social contract.
We buy guns and ammo because we are told to, not because we see the reduction of police services taking place in cities across the country as they deal with falling revenues and realize that, more than ever, our safety and that of our loved ones is in our hands.
You know what Denny? I don’t think gunnies are the ones being simple-minded here.