Quote of the Day: Adam Gopnik Speaks The Unspoken ‘Truth’ About Guns


“If the gun lobby ever spoke honestly, what they would say is that of course we are broadly responsible for these killings, but regular mass killings of innocent people is the price we pay for the liberty to own whatever guns we want, in order to be protected from a phantom threat we cannot name. That is their actual belief, although one sees, on examining it, why they never want to state it quite so clearly.” – Adam Gopnik in Our Shared Blame for the Shooting in San Bernardino [at newyorker.com]

[h/t JP]


  1. Too much blame to go around. Why not focus on the person committing the crime rather than blame metal?

    1. avatar Alex Peterson says:

      Wait…does the NRA now issue K-1 visas?

      1. avatar Vv ind says:

        Yep. And Qur’an’s

    2. avatar Henry Bowman says:

      Only fools blame tools.

      I wish morons like this were the only victims of violent crime.

    3. avatar Henry Bowman says:

      Free men wanting to be Slaves
      Armed wanting to be Disarmed
      The Living wanting to be Dead

      The left truly is insane.

      1. avatar Ted says:

        You forgot:

        Men wanting to be women.


        Women wanting to be men.

        1. avatar Evaris says:

          I take mild offense to this, I’m a MtF trans and I refuse to be lumped in with disarmist idiots and the collectivist-authoritarian progressives.

        2. avatar YaDaddy says:

          “Human sacrifice! Dogs and cats living together! Mass hysteria!”

        3. avatar Ing says:

          Glad to know you’re with us in regards to civil rights, Evaris.

  2. avatar James says:

    Well, I guess this is supposed to be more thoughtful than the small penis meme. But if Adam is so intentionally obtuse regarding government abuse, we got a lot of individuals who could share their stories about government being used as a weapon against them. We can start with the victims of the IRS targeting and the unconstitutional John Doe in Wisconsin. They’d keep Adam busy for a while if he were willing to be intellectually honest. I know, we can only dream on a lefty being intellectually honest.

  3. avatar neiowa says:

    More libtard sheeple bleating “me too, I’m also a wacko”.

  4. avatar jwm says:

    Adam Gopnik. How’s that for naming a threat that can’t be named.

    1. avatar Vv ind says:

      Gopnick, what’s that translate to in his granddaddys native land?

      1. avatar peirsonb says:


      2. avatar Another Robert says:

        Given the lack of intellectual prowess behind what he considers to be “logic”, I would say “trombenik” would be more appropriate.

  5. avatar C.S. says:

    There was a vicious attack by a pack of wolves at the Animal Farm. The Pigs all gathered together and stated that they couldn’t be absolutely sure it wasn’t the Dogs; so the Dogs were declawed and their teeth removed in the name of farm safety.

  6. avatar Greg in Allston says:

    Sorry Adam but your guilt shaming isn’t working on me. I’m no more responsible for the murders in San Bernardino than I am for the weather. Go ply your craft on some emo-progressive bed wetter you insufferable dimwit.

  7. avatar Kapeltam says:

    Wait… Did he just say that people commit murder, then accuse gun owners for arming up against a phantom threat…?

    1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      That he did.
      But the irony is lost, because he is a forward thinker and knows better than us.

    2. avatar Greg in Allston says:

      Why yes, yes indeed he did say that. This is what passes for reason and logic these days in certain circles. No doubt he went to the finest schools and knows all of the right people.

    3. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

      I’ll take “Things that make you feel smart, but look stupid” for 500, Alex…

    4. avatar Soccerchainsaw says:

      This particular ostrich has his head so deep in the sand that you can only see his toenails.

  8. avatar Kelly in GA says:

    If the gun control lobby ever spoke honestly, what they would say is of course our policies are responsible for these killings, but regular mass killings of innocent people if the ammunition we use to get the laws we want, in order to gain the control we will not admit we seek. That is their actual belief, and everyone understands, on examining it, went they never want to state it so clearly.

    1. avatar FlaResident says:

      Exactly. The unspoken truth of gun control advocates is that it’s not about guns, it’s about control. Guns present a threat to them being able to implement the prefect society as they see it. In their view all of those yahoos with guns and ideas of personal liberty don’t know what’s good for them, only we know whats good for them, we just need to get our yahoos with guns to enforce our vision, you know “for the good of the children”

  9. avatar James in Florida says:

    I can name the threat , how about “murderous A holes”
    That covers it…feel free to insert any A.K.A you can assert.
    These are the type of men that would rather crawl under a table than stand and fight.
    Thank God better men have always risen up against evil, men like this guy would be better off critiquing art.

  10. avatar P.G. says:

    Why do all the people writing these articles have that crazy look on their face and in their eyes?

    1. avatar Chrispy says:

      They are the same people who would be saying that “anybody can go crazy at any time.”

      They really don’t understand that there are some level headed people walking this earth.

    2. avatar RockOnHellChild says:


      Too much kale and vitriol. That stuff will back you up with a quickness.

  11. avatar Leo says:

    Funny how he lives up to his last name – pretty much means “thug” in russian

    1. avatar Brian M says:

      Not literally, but yeah, “gopnik” is used to mean thug, although its literally definition is like “5h!thead”

  12. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

    “Adam Gopnik speaks the unspoken ‘truth’about guns: If the gun lobby ever spoke honestly…”

    I knew this day would come… Ok, I’ll come clean; they beat me when you’re not around…

  13. avatar ActionPhysicalMan says:

    Lotta frustration evident in these would be disarmers lately. Can’t say that I am not a little frustrated and pessimistic myself, but I try to stay level headed, and would redouble my effort if I was speaking in public,

  14. avatar RockThisTown says:

    ” . . . regular mass killings of innocent people is the price we pay for the liberty to own whatever guns we want, in order to be protected from a phantom threat we cannot name.”

    No. Regular mass killings of innocent people is the price we pay for allowing wackadoodle ideological/religious fanatics to enter our country & roam freely among us, in order to not be protected from an identifiable threat we can name, as JIF did above.

  15. avatar surlycmd says:

    “… in order to be protected from a phantom threat we cannot name.”

    How about any elected official who derides Congress for not depriving civil rights of American Citizens without due process? These same officials swore an oath to the Constitution and then repeatedly choose to ignore the parts they don’t like or find inconvenient. Officials in both political parties.

    The hubris of Mr. Gopnik to believe his world view is the best for us all. The fact he can’t see the Fascists he supports would eventually turn on him too is astounding.

  16. avatar PeterK says:

    So turnabout is fair play right?

    If the gun control lobby ever spoke honestly, what they would say is that of course we are broadly responsible for these killings, but daily stabbings, robberies, and rape of innocent people is the price we pay for the liberty to feel safer, in order to be protected from the evils of gun violence. That is their actual belief, although one sees, on examining it, why they never want to state it quite so clearly.

  17. avatar Wiregrass says:

    There it is, my morning rage agent. The good thing is, I don’t believe in “Shared Blame” but individual responsibility so I will practice self control and act like a civilized human being. Something Gopnik doesn’t think people should be held accountable to do.

  18. avatar Chip in Florida says:

    “If the liquor lobby ever spoke honestly, what they would say is that of course we are broadly responsible for these killings, but regular killings of innocent people due to drunk driving is the price we pay for the liberty to drink whatever liquor we want, in order to drive out whatever phantom and demons of the mind we cannot name. That is their actual belief, although one sees, on examining it, why they never want to state it quite so clearly.”

    Do the kids these days still say FIFY?

    The National Restaurant Association, the ‘other’ NRA spends exponentially more money on lobbyist than does the National Rifle Association.

    1. avatar dph says:

      Actually not true, as in 2015 the Nat’l Restaurant Assn has spent about $3,000,000 versus $2,600,000 for the NRA. However the NRA isn’t even in the top 20 when it comes to money spent.

  19. avatar Mr. AR-10 says:


    Publishing on the TTAG main page later today.

    1. avatar Mr. AR-10 says:

      Huh? What happened…? this was one of my best comments. ?!?

  20. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

    ‘…in order to be protected from a phantom threat we cannot name.’

    Um… the name of the threat is ‘tyranny’. And gun owners are never shy about naming it.

  21. avatar MiniMe says:


    No ad hominem attacks please.

  22. avatar Mash44 says:

    The truth that these gun/Liberty grabbers never want to acknowledge is that in almost every one of these mass murder events is ended by other men with guns (police) showing up and engaging these psychos with guns. And yet, the idea of having law abiding responsible citizens carry the own guns, reducing response time from minutes to about 1.5 seconds is unthinkable to them.

    On top of that, with this latest event in California, the weapons they used were already on the California band list. You can see how well that worked. They also had made 16 pipe bombs that they thankfully never got the chance to use. Where are the bleeding hearts calling for sweeping pipe bomb reform laws, greatly restricting the possession and use of ….

    Oh wait. Pipe bombs are also illegal. I keep forgetting that homocidal maniacs don’t pay attention to laws! They pay attention to armed men and women shooting back!

  23. avatar samuraichatter says:

    I grew up in San Bernardino, Highland, and Loma Linda during the 80’s & 90’s. 14 people would die in under 2 months back then just from gang related violence – almost all w/ guns. Alot fewer people cared back then. Spree shootings are up but other homicides are down. Almost all the stats point towards things being safer w/ regards to violent crime then it was 30 years ago.

    The freedom for safety trade has always been an historically challenged one. We do not want to trade our freedoms for nothing. Cops did not stop this shooting. They did not stop the ones 30 years ago. The did not stop the riots in the 90’s nor the constant break ins both to cars and homes. No one on the left will give us one guarantee of safety if we give the government a monopoly on arms.

    * In the late 80’s the city of S.B. built a median on Highland Ave. between Sterling and Arden for the sole purpose of keeping cars farther away from a group of subsidized apartments (“projects”). Why keep cars farther away? Because drive-by shootings were that frequent. The city actually changed the topography of the city for the purpose of deterring and mitigating drive-bys.

  24. avatar DetroitMan says:

    “in order to be protected from a phantom threat we cannot name.”

    Mr. Gopnik seems to be willfully ignorant on this one. Let me take a crack at naming them.

    1) Terrorists / mass shooters of all stripes who have no regard for human life.
    2) Drug gangs of all stripes that have no regard for human life.
    3) Common criminals of all stripes who have no regard for human life.
    4) Government bureaucrats of all stripes who have no regard for the Constitution. This includes, but is not limited to, revocation of rights without due process, surveillance without court authorization, unwarranted police brutality against citizens of all races, no knock police raids, police black sites where suspects are “disappeared” and deprived of their constitutional rights, refusal to enforce immigration policies or other laws of the land, and the transfer of military grade weapons to drug gangs by the BATFE.

    If anyone would like to add to this list, feel free.

  25. avatar Woody W Woodward says:

    The day the automobile, hammer, ball bat, hockey stick, 5 gallon plastic bucket, plastic trash bag, scalpel, water and sewer pipe, nail gun, and cotton harvester manufacturers man up and apologize for all the deaths the misuse of their products cause, That’ll be the day, Mr.Gopnik, that I would expect an apology from the firearm industry. Until then, you and your equally long nosed comrades are welcome to mind your own damn business.

  26. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

    Sir, you don’t even know what a “mass killing” is until you’ve seen hundreds, thousands, of corpses stacked like cords of wood, felled by evil agents of their own government running feral among a disarmed populace.

    The government’s failures at criminal control and counterterrorism are important and timely topics which demand attention. Your input is welcome.

    The Second Amendment and the NRA’s successes at government control and individual liberty, on the other hand, are nothing with which you need concern yourself.

  27. avatar Joe R. says:

    OK – I’ll say (type) it:

    Of course you are broadly responsible for these killings, but regular mass killings of innocent people is the price you want us to pay for the liberty to own whatever guns you don’t have the right to even question, in order to be protected from any threat you cannot name even after it screams Aloha Snackbar and hits a NYPD gestapo in the head with a hatchet you Fing moron.

    1. avatar Joe R. says:

      P.S. – Why are taking a lecture by a Jews for Holocaust II, professor? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

  28. I’m at the point where I tell people like this that I flat out reject their arguments – seriously, a guy writing for the New Yorker is going to spread “shared” guilt on me?

    Pffft – I just reject it flat out.

  29. avatar Chris T from KY says:

    I have stopped engaging with self hating white liberals a long time ago. They are the enemy of the black inner city. And are moving on and in to a community near you.
    Be on your guard.

  30. avatar Paul says:

    The NYT and New Yorker do not get that one of these days they will do an expose on Islamic fundamentalism, perhaps after hiring a refugee author who has escaped one of those “peaceful” societies. A fatwa will be issued against the author, and there will be a Charlie Hebdo attack on one or both of these publications. Just like in Paris, an occasional armed guard will be of no value against multiple hand grenades, poison gas in the vents, fully automatic machine pistols brought in from abroad, or whatever else ISIS or Al Qaeda will have in store. And when the bodies have been counted, but before they are buried, there will be yet another editorial about how gun control would have prevented the massacre.

    1. avatar B says:

      The machine guns won’t come from abroad, they’ll be from our neighbors to the south. And every one will have a DoD serial number.

  31. avatar B says:

    I can name the phantom threat just fine: confiscation. We’ve got main stream newspapers threatening us with it now. Never again.

  32. avatar Chris says:

    Funny these pieces always come out of press outfits based in NYC, Chicago or LA (with most being from good ol SAFE NY) whose prime demographics include academics, artists, celebrities and trust fund kids.

    In other words, people far, far removed from the real world – but they clearly know what’s best for the rest of us unwashed savages.

    The whole “gun lobby” line is getting old too. We know, we get it, corporations are eeeevil, especially ones that make (shudder) g-g-g-guns! But please enlighten me how a range shooter in Kentucky buying a S&W M&P-15 from Cabela’s or even a rural Vermont resident picking up an esoteric FiveSeveN from Bud’s is KILLING BABIES!!

    Yes, companies sell guns. Average Americans buy them, and 99% of them never see bloodshed.

    Nevermind the fact that the “gun lobby”, if he means their bogeyman the NRA – is mostly funded by individuals, not Sturm Ruger or Freedom Group.

    So please go ahead and make that obvious link from the “gun lobby” to “terrorist murders” you’ve been blabbing about. Seriously, we’ve been waiting.

  33. avatar Sexual Tyrannosaurus says:

    >in order to be protected from a phantom threat we cannot name

    The threat is the government. Duh.

  34. avatar Binder says:

    Just a rant, but come on, what guns would they allow us to keep. Hell, I can pick up guns that are “allowed” in California that would make the AR-15 (AKA Poodle Popper) look like a toy. The Rio school shooting used a 38 and 32 revolver. Has anyone every seen how fast a good trap shooter can run an under and over shotgun? I just want to scream when someone stated that 223/556 is a “incredibly dangerous bullet”.

    So lets see, need to ban every semi auto, lever action, pump, revolver, handgun, rifle or shotgun. Also any firearm that uses a metallic cartridge. And any firearm that is capable of discharging any projectile over 20 grains or faster than 500 f/s. We can keep the rest once we pass a background check

  35. avatar Chip Bennett says:

    Did I miss something? Did two Islamic terrorists use my firearms to carry out their attack?

    Oh: and were those two terrorists a mere “phantom threat”?

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “Oh: and were those two terrorists a mere “phantom threat”?”

      Don’t sweat it, Chip.

      They were just an example of the ‘Junior Varsity’, you know, the terrorists that the US has ‘contained’…

  36. avatar NEOr says:

    “… in order to be protected from a phantom threat we cannot name.”

    Now that’s rich.

  37. avatar Southern Cross says:

    Adam Gopnik, for your benefit I will repeat a post I made earlier this week.

    Americans don’t want to be victims!

    If an Aussie can see this, why can’t you?

    If you think there is moral authority in being a victim, how much moral authority do you have if you are DEAD?

  38. avatar Rick K says:

    Shared blame? I’m vetted and my “current” status reviewed every time I buy a handgun with a NICS background check. As a subject of andy q homo’s new yorkistan I am not allowed to own 10% of the types of guns I would like to own. My outcries are for adherence to the entire US Constitution which also protects Mr. Gopnik’s right to spew his brand of progressive hatred and ignorance.

  39. avatar Trixie True says:

    Anyone else remember Phyllis Schlafly and how she did in the ERA? There’s a biography on her floating around written by a feminist, and what I found most interesting about it was the fact that most of Schlafly’s opponents are absolutely convinced that she does not believe in her own cause, one of them bluntly stating, “She is too smart to believe in that.”

    Apparently most liberals (or most liberal wonks) are so incapable of imagining that they might be wrong, so convinced that all intelligent people must agree with them, and so incapable of seeing things from someone else’s perspective, that they believe that their opponents are either stupid or, if the opponent is clearly intelligent, that the opponent must by a lying hypocrite. I’ve had liberal friends exclaim, “You can’t possibly believe that,” and then struggle to find a way around my opinion, because they are so convinced intelligent people only say or believe those things for political benefit that their mind is blown when that explanation doesn’t apply.

  40. avatar Brian M says:

    The funny this is that “gopnik” means “5h!thead” in Russian. Wonder what his ancestor did to get that name…

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