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Dennis O’Connell pulls no punches in his letter to the editor at 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.

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  1. if you think you have a basis for murder or treason charges take them to the appropiate law enforcement agency. let us know how that works out for you,m’kay.

  2. We buy guns and ammo because we are told to, not because shooting is a fun, relaxing activity in which the whole family can participate and enjoy together.

  3. Treason.

    You keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means.

    If you believe that the government and its enforcers are the ultimate ruler and overlord and that to speak against them or demand that they follow the Constitution lest they be overthrown as per the instructions set by our forefathers is treasonous, then you and your warped definition can go settle in some other tyranny across the pond. You’re an enemy, a disease, and deserve every ounce of misery your blind obedience brings upon you and your loved ones.

    If, however, you recognize that the Constitution is the rule of law, not the government, and that treason in America must therefore be a betrayal of the Constitution, then congratulations, you get it. Gun-grabbers simply can’t recognize this, though, because it would mean recognizing that they’re the traitors.

    It’s scary how many people simply do not understand how America is supposed to operate. I suppose it’s no surprise, though…the great experiment that was this nation really did go against the inherent human nature of some to oppress and control and others to obey and serve. Most people are born slaves, some are born dictators, and the precious few that wish only to be free are simply not enough to sustain an entire nation.

    • If, however, you recognize that the Constitution is the rule of law, not the government, and that treason in America must therefore be a betrayal of the Constitution, then congratulations, you get it.

      That isn’t even coherent. As Bruce points out, the Constitution itself sets very narrow bounds for the definition of treason, and violation of the Constitution is not among them. Therefore any attempt to define “betrayal of the constitution” as treason would in itself be a violation of the Constitution and, according to your own logic, treasonous.

      • The Constitution defines treason as specific acts, namely “levying War” against the country, or in giving aid and comfort to the country’s enemies.

        So, depending on how you define what constitutes the “country,” your definition of her enemies may vary. It’s actually pretty simple.

        So, for argument’s sake, if treason is simply defined as waging hostilities against the country (government), how then do you reconcile the fact that Thomas Jefferson made it explicitly clear that it is the people’s right and duty to throw off oppressive government?

        Like I keep saying, I’m not even advocating violent uprising or saying it’s the right thing to do, I’m simply tired of people thinking country = government. If I didn’t make it clear enough I apologize, all I’m trying to say is that the highest power in this country is the Constitution, period, no matter how we’ve been taught to think otherwise.

        • So, depending on how you define what constitutes the “country,” your definition of her enemies may vary. It’s actually pretty simple.

          It doesn’t say “the country”, it says “The United States”. In the fever dreams of conspiracy theorists and Bill Clinton, words have unlimited potential for redefinition, but in the real world words have legal meanings.

          So, for argument’s sake, if treason is simply defined as waging hostilities against the country (government), how then do you reconcile the fact that Thomas Jefferson made it explicitly clear that it is the people’s right and duty to throw off oppressive government?

          I don’t think there was a single signer of the Declaration of Independence who was not aware his actions constituted treason under the British regime as it stood.

          all I’m trying to say is that the highest power in this country is the Constitution, period

          I agree. And the constitution defines treason a particular way, a very narrow definition at that, which does not include the government violating the constitution.

  4. Arguing with these people is like talking to a drunk, you just can’t do it. Attempting to present facts and logic does not work, as these things are not what the argument is about for them.

    It’s an ideological thing, far removed from facts. If God himself came down from the heavens and spoke to the entire world and told them that firearms were not the problem, that people of violent mindset and depraved intentions are the problem. And that there is nothing in his law that prevents a man from defending the gift of life given to him by his creator by any and all means…this would not impact them or their views in the slightest. Even for the few of them that actually do believe in a higher being.

    They believe that people, other than themselves (who don;t have an interest in guns) are too stupid or careless to own firearms an only the police and military should have them. And to be honest, there are times when I am tempted by this same thought process. I meet people who I find it amazing they are able to tie their shoes in the morning. But just like anything else, the most free and liberty based society in the history of mankind can not ban something simply because of a few bad apples. Remember alcohol…why they banned it? All the arguments that they made. How did prohibition work out for us? If we were not as free as we are, their views may take hold and have a glimmer of merit. But in this country…they can never stand, not ever. And we must and will fight them at every turn. Because to degrade the second amendment is to degrade all the others and I believe in my heart that this will be the downfall of the greatest country on earth.

  5. You know what you do, Bruce? You lay a real whopper on us and then follow it with so much bullshit and exaggerated nonsense that it’s completely buried. Lucky for me, I can’t stand your prolix bloviation and therefore I catch these things.

    “Remember, every single mass casualty shooting in the country (with the sole exception of Tucson) has occurred in a “gun-free” zone.”

    And you italicized “single.”

    Not only is that a blatant lie, if we use the FBI definition of what makes a mass shooting, but it’s misleading as well. Here’s how.

    When someone goes out to commit a mass shooting, they do not choose the location by whether guns are allowed or not. They go to the place of their grievance. This is true of the school shootings, which happen to take place at gun free zones, as well as the many work-place shootings, which somehow you’ve decided don’t qualify.

    People who are rageful or unbalanced to the point of deciding to do something like this don’t give a fuck if their targets are sitting ducks or not. Often they want to die in the process, so why would they? No, only you gun-rights fanatics with your ax to grind care about such things. I can even remember one case, I’m sure it’s not the only one of its kind, in which the angry shooter went to the police station in Detroit.

    You remember that one, don’t you Bruce? How does it fit into your italicized “every “single” one?

    • mikeybnumbers, it’s a civil rights issue. i can’t be punished or denied a right because of the actions of another. you’ve solidly placed yourself in the ranks of the great civil rights violaters like george wallace. and now that you see your side has lost the battle you keep getting more strident and desperate when you show up here, a successful site. keep lashing out, i love the thought of you grabbers in hysterics.

    • Your counter seems to imply that Bruce’s argument is that gun free zones are a cause of these despicable acts, a real twist of words. Of course gun free zones do not cause these acts. The point is that these acts do not generally occur outside gun free zones. This is a trend, yes a heavily statistical trend founded in historical facts, that cannot be ignored. It’s related to the concept of deterence. This is admittadly a difficult thing to measure. It’s more of a qualitative thing, not quantitative. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence and interviews from convicted crimnals about how they enjoy gun laws in stricter states, because they know that they are at a greater risk of injury and/or loss of life when invading a home elsewhere. Gun free zones do not create deterence, just the opposite of states with “looser” gun laws having lower crime rates. It’s deterence.

    • Many workplaces are gun free zones by employer mandate, rather than local or federal legal mandate. Makes it only slightly less binding, as violation could lead to loss of a job rather than criminal charges. End result is pretty much the same.

      Quite often, a mass shooter will stop, and either surrender or kill themselves if confronted. This can be either by uniformed law enforcement or by armed citizens. Look up Appalachian Law School, shooting stopped by students who had to retrieve guns from their cars.

    • Actually mike I wasn’t using the FBI definition of a mass shooting, but their definition (at 0:33) of a mass casualty shooting which is four or more people killed by the shooter.

      So I’m afraid the Detroit “suicide by cop shop” incident doesn’t count.

  6. Well said sir!
    From a political view I find it amazing how this person thinks. One of the foundations of this country is that we all have a voice. Politicians are public servents and work for the people. We have many groups from Marxists to Tea party activists and everything in between.
    They fact that they all have a place at the table of our government is a good thing.
    While you or I might not agree with another persons views it is a fundamental right that we can express them in order to shape and define legislation in this country.
    I might be pro choice or pro gay marriage but that doesn’t mean I disrespect someone else’s views. Especially if it is a theological stance.
    It seems to me the writer simply wants to toss it all aside and make us all comply with a single view point. He has a right to his views but unfortunately I can not agree with them since it simply does not lend any respect to anyone else.
    Saying Bruce could be a terrorist is ludicrous. Yeah ok I am reading into his inference here, but this is essentially what he is saying.
    As far as I know none of us have called for the armed overthrow of any government or mass killing of anyone who doesn’t agree with us. The writer presumes with all intent that we are simply drones set out to kill anyone and everyone.
    I think all of us can say that this simply is not true.
    I am sure there are organizations out there which decree at some level for some type of government overthrow or proclamation of no recognition of the current government, but the NRA and those of the AI are really not among them.

  7. When debating antis, try not to use the words “always” or “never” or similar absolutes.

    No matter how often it actually happens the way you say, the anti will quote the one time it didn’t…and declare victory.

  8. The only organizations I hear off wanting to “…over throw…” our govt. are those that belong to or follow some leftist leader or organization. Even the KKK does not advocate the over throw of the govt. However the American Communist Party does. Karl Marx preached violence, as did Lenin, Trotsky, et al. Stalin killed far more people than Hitler did, and he was one of the leaders in the 1917 Revolution, in Russia.

    Violence is a mainstay of the Communist Party. Mao Tse Tung used violence to over throw the Chinese Govt. in 1949. Now what was used to accomplish this? Firearms. The leftist-socialist-communist preaches anti-gun rhetoric. But when the time comes to stoke the fires, what is the first thing they reach for? A firearm. The very term Molotov cocktail come from the Russian Revolution, when Comrade Molotov taught his assemblage to fill a bottle with a flameable liquid, insert a rag, lite it, and throw it against something that will not only shatter the bottle, but spread the flames.

    I will not get into a Constitutional debate with one that assumes a psuedo-intellect. I am unwilling to debate a wall of misinformation. Lets us rather learn from what I have placed here. The true patriot, that loves their country, does not condon violent over throw. Rather they choose the ballot box. But when the ballot box is stuffed with fraudulent votes, and unscrupulous individuals become elected by fraud and deceat. Then it it becomes a patriots duty, to take up arms in defense of said nation.

    As a Veteran, I was never told that my oath to defend my nation,was null and void upon discharge. As a two tour Nam vet I am more than willing to defend my country. I denounce those that have taken office by unscrupulous means. People such as Harry Reid, Nancy Polisi, Barbara Boxer, and others.


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