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Columnist O. Ricardo Pimentel doesn’t seem to like guns very much. Oh, he’s willing to admit that they have their moments, citing this incident in San Antonio where a homeowner shot at two armed men (killing one, wounding the other) coming into his house through his garage. But Ricardo almost immediately goes into damning-with-faint-praise mode saying, “and this, of course, is the type of incident that seemingly undercuts the arguments of even the most ardent supporters of reasonable gun control and bolsters those of folks in the opposing, see-that’s-what-I-mean camp.” Okay, just for starters Ricardo, how is it that a successful DGU only seemingly undercuts the confiscatory arguments you and your fellow gun prohibitionists make?

More from Ricardo:

Sure, this homeowner used a shotgun and no one is reasonably arguing that the government take away your long guns (assault rifles excepted). But there have been other incidents here and elsewhere in which handguns were involved.

I couldn’t agree more. No one is reasonably arguing long guns should be confiscated. All the arguments have seemed to me to be completely unreasonable. And then there’s that one little exception of Ricardo’s. Since assault rifles are already strictly controlled by the National Firearms Act of 1934, I can only assume Ricardo meant assault weapons and there, indeed, lies the rub.

What, precisely, constitutes such a weapon? According to Illinois’ SB1588, any semi-auto shotgun that has a fixed magazine capacity of more than 5 rounds is an “assault weapon”. Given that you can get 1 1/2″ shotgun shells that means any semi-auto shotgun that can load three 3″ shells is already an assault weapon. The bill also defines any semi-auto pistol version of a full-auto firearm as an assault weapon. So Glocks would be illegal, as would 1911s, and Berettas and, well, just about any semi-auto pistol because just about any such pistol can be ‘modified’ (okay, remanufactured) to fire full auto.

As for banning shotguns, I guess Ricardo hasn’t seen the (relatively) new ATF study where they rule that just because a shotgun is used in a sport, that doesn’t necessarily mean it meets the “sporting purpose” test. Essentially the ATF is saying that traditional pastimes like hunting and skeet shooting are “real” sports, but that practical shooting is not. Never mind the thousands of participants and worldwide tournaments.

But gun grabbers always tell you who they really are, and Ricardo reveals not just his ignorance but his malice:

Everyone should be pleased by innocent lives saved as a side effect of gun ownership for the right people. But we can still recognize that the same laws that allow that also create a climate of too many guns in the wrong hands — and innocent lives taken.

So Ricardo, just who, exactly, do you think the white (sorry) the “right” people are who should have guns? And how many “guns in the wrong hands” is too many? And given that more than twice as many innocent lives are saved in DGUs each year than are taken by criminals with guns (see here for all the math; briefly 25,000+ lives saved vs. 11,800- taken), why would you want to see fewer guns in the the right peoples’ hands? Finally, do you agree with the Brady Campaign when they say that even one gunshot victim is too many?

Then Ricardo begins to reveal who he thinks are the wrong people:

Felons with guns are one problem. But we also have folks with no criminal records misusing guns.

Not wanting to get distracted, I will pass lightly over the felons with guns “problem” and merely quote David Codrea: Anyone who can’t be trusted with a firearm can’t be trusted without a custodian. But Ricardo is apparently not satisfied with keeping guns out of criminal hands, he wants them kept out of non-criminal hands as well! Indeed a couple of paragraphs down he states:

The sad fact is that, at sale, potential gun misusers often can’t be distinguished from people who will unfailingly use them legally and responsibly.

So it seems that as far as Ricardo is concerned everyone, everyone who buys a gun is a potential criminal, it’s just that most of them haven’t been caught yet. It is rare to see such forthright honesty in a gun-banner, usually they try to hide their true intentions behind phrases like “common-sense” and “reasonable restrictions”.

Ricardo then breaks out the twisted statistics to show what a “Faustian bargain” (aka deal with the Devil) we have made with the Second Amendment. Seriously, Faustian bargain? Dude, get over yourself!

Nationally, there were 554 unintentional firearm deaths in 2009. There were 14,161 unintentional firearm injuries in 2010. Between 1999 and 2009, Texas had 643 unintentional firearm deaths.

Now how about justified shootings? A 1998 study of shootings in and around residences in Memphis, Seattle and Galveston …  revealed that there were four unintentional shootings for every legally justified or self-defense shooting, seven criminal assaults or homicides and 11 attempted or completed suicides.

What Ricardo completely ignores here is that not every DGU involves shooting someone. Or even shooting at someone. According to the Kleck-Gertz study on defensive shootings, only 15.6% of respondents reported firing their weapon. So assuming respondents shot as well as cops and hit their target 37% of the time, that means for every legally justified or self-defense shooting there were a little over 17 actual DGUs. So there were 4 DGUs for every unintentional shooting, almost 2 1/2 DGUs for every criminal assault or homicide, and who cares about suicide because studies have repeatedly shown that increased availability of firearms may increase the number of firearm suicides and attempts, but has no bearing whatsoever on the total number of suicides and attempts.

So the “Faustian bargain” is not between citizens and the Second Amendment, it is between the hoplophobes and their disarmament philosophy.


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  1. “The sad fact is that, at sale, potential gun misusers often can’t be distinguished from people who will unfailingly use them legally and responsibly.”
    Ah, yes. The MikeB “hidden criminals” argument. The following has been said before, but it bears repeating:

    If you think you can’t be trusted with a gun, get help. If you think everyone else can’t be trusted with a gun, get humble. If you think I can’t be trusted with a gun, get bent.

  2. And you can’t distinguish responsible drivers from who’s going to binge drink and drive drunk. I suppose the answer is no one gets a driver’s license?

    It’s called the price of freedom. If you can’t deal with it, there are plenty of other countries looking for more career victims.

  3. I went to an immigration debate between Michelle Malkin and O. Ricardo Pimental a few years ago when I lived in AZ.

    (Michelle Malkin is tiny and gorgeous. The camera does not do the woman justice, btw)

    Anyway, after the debate, I was able to shake Ricardo’s hand and tell him how much I appreciated that he showed up to debate though I completely disagreed with his positions. Mr. Pimental, at the time, was very gracious. I emailed back and forth with him a couple of times after that.

    The debate was hostile territory for Mr. Pimental. I give him full credit for the courage of his convictions, no matter how wrong headed he is.

    As I side note, it didn’t register just how serious the debate situation was until I realized Mr. Pimental was being escorted out by 3 or 4 uniformed police officers.

  4. To sum up; “I know that most gun owners are perfectly reasonable people, but all this freedom makes me nervous because we run the risk that an individual might act imprudently. So I’m thinking, maybe we need less freedom.”
    Same old crap, he just double-bags it so its odor is a little more difficult to detect.

  5. The “no shoot” DGUs are a huge point, because in many if not most of those cases, people don’t even report those as crimes, and therefore they get missed in the crime statistics as well. But without access to firearms, those people would be crime victims and some of them gun crime victims.

  6. The second amendment has nothing to do with sporting use and very little to do with defensive gun use. It is about keeping the government an instrument of the people by the people, and for the people.

  7. “Sure, this homeowner used a shotgun and no one is reasonably arguing that the government take away your long guns (assault rifles excepted). But there have been other incidents here and elsewhere in which handguns were involved.”

    I’ve been seeing this more and more – the term “assault rifle” being used where a gun-grabber would, traditionally, use their invented term, “assault weapon“.

    I have always believed that this was their intent – to confuse the two terms so that Joe and Jane soccer/NASCAR-parents who don’t know the difference between the two.

    The last month or so, this is probably the sixth or seventh conflation of the two terms that I’ve seen in an anti-gun editorial. Somebody with a voice and an audience (hint hint nudge nudge) had better speak up and denounce that usage as the lie that it is.

  8. Hey Ricardo, exempt this.
    Airlines have daily non-stop flights to other countries with gun control laws, like Mexico. Feel free to hop on.

  9. The sad fact is that, at sale, potential gun misusers often can’t be distinguished from people who will unfailingly use them legally and responsibly.

    The sad fact is that, at puberty, potential penis misusers who rape women often can’t be distinguished from people who will unfailingly use them legally and responsibly.

    By Pimentel’s logic all males over 13 should be mandatorily forced to take anti-erection medication except for very brief periods when they can prove they are attempting to have a baby. If it saves the dignity of just one woman who won’t be raped it is worth it.

    • And all women in possession of a vagina would be potential prostitutes and therefore would need chastity belts to enforse the non sale of sexual services. The key to said belt would be available at the local magistrate’s office between the hours of 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM for the above mentioned attempts at making a baby while legally married to the hopeful father. Wonderful logic, isn’t it?


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