congressional house democrats
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
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By MarkPA

Nicholas Kristof writes in the New York Times “How Do We Stop The Parade of Gun Deaths?” . . .

I’m sympathetic to the aim [banning assault weapons], but also wary. I’m not sure it’s possible to get any gun legislation through Congress right now, and certainly not a ban on assault weapons. It’s also true that while liberals loved the assault weapons ban for the 10 years it was in effect, there is no strong evidence that it saved lives — but it did turn the AR-15 into a conservative icon, so that today there appear to be more AR and AK rifles in private hands than in the United States military.

“. . . it did turn the AR-15 into a conservative icon . . . “ Indeed.

Kristof goes on to propose a tactical shift away from “assault weapons” to a “ghost gun” ban. Yet, it doesn’t seem to occur to him that the consequence of that may be, as with ARs and AKs, to result in more ghost guns in private hands. The unmarked “ghost gun” would seem to make an equally good “conservative icon” as the popular AR-15. And with an 80% lower receiver, you get two for the price of one.

Napoleon counseled, “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.” It’s hard to resist the opportunity. We’ve seen this rodeo before. First, the excessive taxation of NFA artifacts. The ban on mail-order guns. The attempt to ban handguns. The Hughes Amendment. Assault Weapons bans. “Large capacity” magazine bans.

As soon as one infringement proves futile in the futile quest to end “gun violence” once-and-for-all, attention shifts to the next “weapon of choice.” Even many our beloved Fudds are beginning to wonder whether the tiger will eat their double-barrels last.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The gun-banners’ real mistake is continuously trying to take too great a bite out of the apple at any one time. They have given up their game of small, incremental steps (NFA’34, GCA`68, Hughes Amendment, etc.) and now they seem to be throwing everything at once into the legislative sausage maker.

Congress is currently considering universal/enhanced background checks; closing the “Charleston Loophole,” licensing requirements, liability insurance mandates, an assault weapons bans, mandated mental health examinations, permit-to-purchase requirements, waiting periods, and, yes, banning those “ghost guns.”

All are portrayed as “common-sense” steps and some might seem so…until you start to dig into the details and ask which of the infamous deaths that contributed to Kristof’s parade of gun deaths would likely have been prevented had any one of these proposals been in effect. Had they all been in effect, would they have made any difference at all?

Finally, how do legislators plan to enforce so massive a gun-control agenda on 100 million well-armed American voters? That would seem to be the most important question for politicians to consider.

The gun-control advocates shouldn’t be so puzzled by the difficulty they are have in getting their “common sense” plans into a bill on the President’s desk. All it takes to stop a bill’s progress is for one or two Congresscritters to consider sweeping gun control’s impact on their party’s control of Congress. Bill Clinton — perhaps the most astute politician of our age — figured that out…the hard way.

It seems as though the gun controllers’ strategy is to harass the members of America’s gun culture in the hopes that its members will eventually tire and give in. They have failed to glimpse Kristof’s insight that their earlier efforts only managed to turn “the AR-15 into a conservative icon.”

Each individual gun control proposal they promote irritates a few sub-segments of the gun culture. The more proposals in any one legislative session, the more sub-segments are affected…what we now call “diversity and inclusion.”

Together with all the additional issues brought to the public consciousness in 2020 (economic and assembly impacts of COVID, immigration, riots, arson, defunding the police, election integrity, the rise of China) the Democrat Party seems to have left no sub-segment of the conservative population untouched. Or unharassed.

Joe Biden
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Meanwhile, we now have 20 constitutional carry states with more to follow, and gun sales are at two million per month despite shortages of inventory of both guns and ammunition. More than eight million first-time buyers joined the ranks of gun owners last year.

Will continuing to harass gun-owners really work electorally? Will this voting block be successfully intimidated? Or will it turn out in droves at the polls and express its wrath?

It’s hard to say what the magic formula is for creating an overwhelming public outcry.  What, exactly was it about the in-custody death of George Floyd that seemed to trigger the summer of 2020’s discontent? Why didn’t the siege of the Federal Court House in Portland incite a counter-reaction? It’s very difficult to reconcile the calculus behind those two incidents. Perhaps it’s a mistake to try to pin the turn public sentiment on any specific incident.

It might be the symbology of a single tactical error — however minuscule — that coalesces public sentiment on a host of concerns. Something such as the blurry infra-red film of two young girls – ages 3 and 5 – dropping from a 14 foot border fence.

This image triggered our awareness of the terrifying journey so many children are experiencing to realize a better future here in the land of white supremacy and institutionalized racism. Might such an event also turn into a conservative icon?


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  1. Gun control legislation doesn’t matter anymore. We’re way past that, as evidenced by the record breaking pace of the firearms industry ( a 100 billion dollar/year industry), and the increasing number of States that are relaxing firearms laws – abandoning required permits, etc. All this is sending a msg to politicians that we are not going to put up with any more “common sense” crapola from them at the Federal, State, or Local level, and if they’re smart they will roll back all existing restrictions, before something bad happens to them.

    • GunnyGene,

      “… and if [politicians are] smart they will roll back all existing restrictions, before something bad happens to them.”

      If politicians are “smart” … ha ha ha ha ha!

      While many politicians are dumber than a box of rocks, many politicians are also very smart. (Actually shrewd or clever might be better words.) Regardless, even really smart people choose to be foolish at times and politicians are no exception.

      The result: any strategy which relies on politicians to be “smart” is doomed to fail.

    • Gunny,

      I see a slight modification from your point, that I think is significant. I agree that, at the state level, we have had a marked state-level increase (in all but the very bluest of states) in freedom and gun rights. It has been accompanied by an equal increase of federal fascist nonsense – like the bump stock ban, the proposed “ban” of normal, semi-automatic modern sporting rifles, etc.

      Apparently, our beneficent, omniscient national elites – our MSM, our federal politicians, etc., are trying to forge ahead, full speed, on the MOST expansive, unconstitutional, irrational “gun control” schemes they can think of. At some point, to the extent they are successful, we’re going to have an interesting confluence – MILLIONS of new gun owners, many living in “constitutional carry” states (22, so far, and increasing regularly), confronting the reality that Gropey Joe the Serial Child Molester and Kneepads Harris want their guns.

      I believe/assume that most will “not comply” (while I am skeptical of the “gun stats” generally, the estimates are that we had single digit compliance rates with the CA AWB, with similar results in NY, NJ, etc.), so . . . what happens next? Gonna be fun to watch, innit???

  2. From the article:

    “… NFA’34, GCA`68, Hughes Amendment …”

    As I read that, it occurred to me that Democrats have been accelerating elapsed time between major firearm infringements.

    34 years
    Time span between National Firearms Act of 1934 and Gun Control Act of 1968

    18 years
    Time span between Gun Control Act of 1968 and Hughes Amendment of 1986

    8 years
    Time span between Hughes Amendment of 1986 and Assault Weapons Ban of 1994

    And then there was a lull in the “action” when Democrats lost the U.S. House and/or Presidency in 2000.

    Fast forward to the last 10 years and the fevered pitch of Democrat attitudes is becoming glaringly apparent: they are no longer willing to patiently wait for “small bites”. Instead, they want everything and they want it right now. That being the case, I anticipate Democrats will “swing for the fences” while they have the House, Senate, and Presidency at the federal level. They don’t want to wait. Furthermore, they realize there is an appreciable probability that Republicans retake a majority in the House and/or Senate in the 2022 election.

    I will be shocked if Democrats have not seriously attempted to pass laws which significantly impede our inalienable right to self-defense by the end of this year.

    • I will be shocked if it is actually possible to have anything resembling a fair election in 2022. The left spent years setting up Virginia as a test run and they ran the test a few years ago. Then they went national with their election stealing program in 2020. Have we managed to get Virginia back? No. I doubt we will make any progress on unfixing federal elections either. As Stalin said “It only matters who counts the votes.” We are in a post election world. The only solution will be when ‘something bad’ starts happening to politicians and people involved in election stealing.

      • And Stalin’s role of “General Secretary” of the party meant he controlled who made the votes in the meetings.

      • In 2020 we had a test run in FL. The current Governor won by 3,000 votes beating a homosexual black guy who was recently found near unconscious in a Miami hotel room with a substantial drug supply in the company of a homosexual ‘escort’. The other was the Agriculture Secretary. He went to bed 50K votes ahead and lost. Sound familiar? DeSantis has now disassembled the Democrat cheat machine. Now the Ag Sec thinks she can beat DeSantis in a fair election.

  3. Ecuador must be a real sht hole.
    Keep the pig and toss the kid overboard.
    Parade of Death, I’m sorry but I see floats going down the street with dead people stacked on a wagon.
    Nobody waves back, they just lay there with flies a buzzing.

    • “Nobody waves back, they just lay there with flies a buzzing.”

      Those flies a-buzzing are the dinner bell for your folks… 😉

      • Make no mistake about it Assault Weapon is the bigoted Jim Crow Gun Control democRat Party N-word for those exercising a Constitutional Right to bear arms.
        You can see how brain washing works by the disgusting gun owners who fall for the Assault Weapon label and cater to it. One on this forum was a competitive shooter and the other owned a gun store…The N-word probably worked just as well on them too.

        • Although I agree with you, getting into a urinating contest with someone over the phrase ‘assault weapon’ is only going to end up soaking your pant-legs and making your shoes all soggy. That ship has sailed, the phrase has entered the common lexicon, and it’s not going anywhere–similar to Social Justice, White Privilege, and Critical Race Theory.
          Remember the aphorism about arguing with pigs.

  4. Thanks to the Senate Parliamentarian signing off on reconciliation with 50 votes instead of 60, expect all kinds of fun-n-games in the near future.

    Since reconciliation is primarily supposed to be used for fiscal issues, throwing semi-autos on the NFA is a very real threat, thanks to the NFA literally being a tax (with the Treasury department stamp to prove it).

    Return those seats to the upright position, folks, ‘interesting times’ are about to begin…

  5. I have never seen a logical explanation on how a firearm with a serial number is safer than one without.

  6. “and gun sales are at 2 million per month”. No, most months we have been hitting high 3’s and low 4’s. In March we hit 4.7M. Diminishing the true sales figures is a Democrat tactic. They do that all the time with the AR15 and suggest there are only 2-4M of them out there.

    • To be clear, that 4.7 million number for March was the FBI’s *unadjusted* background check total. That includes checks completed for reasons other than gun sales (permit applications, renewals, etc.).

      The NSSF’s adjusted background check numbers are a much better representation of gun sales, though they are understated because of states that don’t require background checks on gun sales to permit holders.

  7. Speaking of serial numbers. Watching a video about Springfields M&P, they serial number the rails that go into the frame.
    That would be a bitch to file off.

  8. Waiting periods and safe storage are the drum being beaten in Colorado after the Boulder King Soopers shooting. Does anyone think that 10 days after purchasing a gun a person will be miraculously cured of their their mental problems? That depressed people will decide to seek help instead of suicide? That evil hearted murderers will see the light and decide not to find out how many random people they can kill?
    Safe storage is a good idea, but a cookie-cutter political mandate doesn’t do much other than increase costs to exercise rights. If followed, safe storage might reduce the tragedies of small children accidentally shooting themselves or a friend, or make a suicidal teen find another method. Preventing these rare cases won’t reduce overall numbers, and there are greater threats to children that would save motives if addressed first. It does nothing to stop a suicidal or homicidal adult from getting their own gun, which is the supposed motivation for these latest infringements.

    • So you need the government to tell you how to protect your children. Seems like that should be up to the parents.
      I really think a lot of these laws has somthing to do with a Senator having a brother in law who wants to build the Titanic.
      As in ” Hey bubba, you know if you could get a law passed I’d get rich off it.”
      I’ believe safe storage laws has the backing of those who build safes. Capitalism

    • I view “safe storage” of life-saving firearms the same way I view safe storage of (also dangerous if misused) fire extinguishers. Screw the proponents of “punish the crime victim” laws.

    • Anymouse,

      If one of your purposes for owning a firearm is self-defense, explain to me the practicality of a firearm for “self-defense” locked away in a “state-approved” gun safe. I’ll wait . . . which is precisely what the burglar or home invader will NOT say when you say, “Hold on just a second while I open my safe and get my gun.”

      “Safe” storage is an irrational oxymoron. Just like with mechanical safeties, your real “safety” is proper training. Just like protecting your kids requires . . . proper training. We had guns around the house throughout my life, and I knew exactly where they were stored . . . and I NEVER touched them without permission.

      Instead of stupidly reductive “safe storage” laws, how about we reinstate the “Eddie the Eagle” kids’ firearm safety program??

  9. “Finally, how do legislators plan to enforce so massive a gun-control agenda on 100 million well-armed American voters?”

    Uuuuhhhh, uuuummmm, like, you know, uuuummmmm, same way the government made more than the 100,000,000 million armed civilians accept national lockdowns, and the mandate to wear masks everywhere.

    Nary a law enforcement action needed.

    Nary a peep from the public.

    • Mask mandates didn’t do so good here. Funny to see a sign on a door, ” Mask required “, then walk in and the person running check out has no mask on. Mask mandates depended on where you lived.

  10. If “common sense” gun laws like the AR ban or UBCs have no ascertainable effect on “gun violence” (i.e. the suicide rate plus the violent crime rate), then common sense is nonsense.

    I’ve always been amused by the emotionally charged use of “common sense” since there isn’t a politician out there who will tell you why that which he/she is proposing makes any sense at all. They just want us to accept their conclusion without any analysis or thought.

    • Politicians can only come to the conclusion that we’re stupid, after all they got elected by a campaign promise.

    • Sheep go baa baa, Cows go moo, the Frog says ribbit ribbit.
      Your See and Say musta been broke?

        • “But what does the fox say?”

          “Is that really your Mercedes?”

          *snicker* 😉

          (The common gold-digger fox, anyways…)

  11. “I’ve always been amused by the emotionally charged use of “common sense” ”

    Apparently you are not current on word meanings. “Common Sense” means, in all cases, that the individual is stating that “common sense” is defined as avoiding, controlling, eliminating anything that makes one fearful, uncomfortable, doubtful about ones self. It is just “common sense” that a person should not be burdened with anything other that the current moment’ self-satisfaction. Otherwise, a person’s freedom is being violated.

    Please do come along, through the looking glass.

    • Which is the source of political correctness.

      “Political correctness is neither political nor is it correct. It amounts to social censorship, and the sooner we spit it out, the better.” Jeff Cooper

  12. I wouldn’t consider the NFA or Gun Control act of 68 incremental. Those were the most abuses biggest pieces of gun control we ever got.

    “They have given up their game of small, incremental steps (NFA’34, GCA`68, Hughes Amendment, etc.) and now they seem to be throwing everything at once into the legislative sausage maker.”

    • Also the new website is still complete trash. I don’t understand why you would do this.

  13. “Mask mandates depended on where you lived.”

    Yet, hundreds of millions complied, quietly.

    • It’s hilarious to me that over a year ago Geoff asked my wife’s opinion on CoV-2.

      If he asked that today glowie heads might actually explode.

      • Your wife’s head, or the metaphorical ‘glowie (?)’ heads?

        (And in all seriousness. has her opinion of the contagion changed much?)

        • Both. She’s tired of the bullshit.

          Today she’ll tell you that the advice remains the same: stay home if sick, wash your hands (you dirty fucks) and cover a cough or sneeze like a civilized adult. Basic adult hygiene type shit.

          She’d also add that getting your information from the media proves you’re as much of a fuckwit as the people in the media, that Fauci’s proved himself to be a fraud and even bigger huckster than previously thought, Birx is incompetent and that this entire thing is a political shitshow of epic proportions. Masks work, but it’s barely measurable, at therefore is pointless virtue signaling to the other Karens, masking outside indicates an IQ <70 and literally everything to do with the lockdowns is exactly backwards, as evidenced by the average weight gains and massive jump in obesity which is comorbidity #2.

          Further, most people who die from Covid were less than a year from meeting the Reaper anyway and most of the people <65 who died deserved it because the stats on bloodwork comorbidities indicate that they'd been committing slow motion suicide for decades before this happened. It would be nice if they'd all done us a favor and washed down a family sized bottle of Tylenol with a quart of whisky years ago and called it a "post birth abortion".

          Oh, and that it's your choice to take one of the shots but don't come back crying if it turns out that it fucks you up down the line when your immune system misinterprets it and gives you a nasty autoimmune disorder. You volunteered to be a lab rat in the biggest mega-mouse experiment ever run and being a lab rat is like being bait; Often you get fucked, die and your body is thrown in the trash before being sent to an incinerator.

          That's her opinion in a nutshell. Mine's worse.

        • Lucky for me I’m immune to human diseases. But I wouldn’t get the covid shot if I could. More afraid of it then the virus itself.
          Time will tell.

  14. “Also the new website is still complete trash. I don’t understand why you would do this.”

    Dan does not own the website, nor the format used. IRRC, the culprit is the company that actually “owns” TTAG. Or WordPress, or Cloudflare, or some such.

  15. “Scared of dying and the mask was Jesus.”

    The covering of grace and mercy certainly is.

    • Every winter I would catch flu from those whose personal hygiene was lacking. Because of social distancing and mask wearing, I did not catch flu in my last winter. Proves to me it does work.

      • Nobody got the flu. “They ” didn’t need to release that virus , they had covid. Once they get covid halfway under control the flu will come back.

        • In the last year I’ve worked from home for a total of THREE days. Every other day I was traveling on public transport (buses and trains) and working in office buildings in the CBD. I only wore a mask when it was made mandatory and stopped wearing them when it was downgraded to advisory. On buses and trains social distancing was enforced but in now getting relaxed. The only problem we have now is a lack of vaccines which is slowing the vaccination program.

  16. “I dont like my free the way it is.”

    Can’t argue that.

    Consider, even if we paid for subscriptions, the website would be the same. As would be the comment function.

  17. “… but it did turn the AR-15 into a conservative icon…”

    I’d argue the GWOT did that for the AR the same way WWII did it for the Garand, or at least that it’s a bigger factor.

    “That would seem to be the most important question for politicians to consider.”

    They already did and are attempting implementation down other avenues as we speak. If you don’t see then then you must be blind to the realities of the world.

  18. “If he asked that today glowie heads might actually explode.”

    I’d like to see that. If anyone gets video, please post on TTAG. I could go through a bag of popcorn watching.

  19. “… more AR and AK rifles in private hands than in the United States military.”

    That’s bad?

    • It’s not that it’s bad; it’s that it’s imprecise.

      I assume that the US military has a handful of AR-15s and AK-type rifles in inventory. However, it’s primary small arm is the M-4 and M-16. But, Kristof isn’t a gun-guy so he doesn’t realize how meaningless his statement is. That we have more AR-15s and AKs than the US military has M-4s and M-16s is the meaningful comparison.

      In any case, it occurs to me that if a new assault weapons ban is adopted then manufacturers will have to read the legislation and go back to the drawing board. What “bullet-button” like work-arounds will be necessary to conform to the new law.

      Thereupon, the questions will be:

      – How many pre-ban, non-compliant, AR-15s will be turned in?
      – How many post-ban, compliant, AR-15 successors will have to be manufactured and purchased for public use at ranges?

      Could we go from 400 to 500 million in a single year? The more old weapon types they ban the more new weapons we have to buy. To pay for those new weapons some of us (those on a budget) might resort to selling their non-compliant models in the secondary market.

      Democrats never understood unintended consequences.

  20. “Democrats never understood unintended consequences.”

    It is neither prudent, nor safe, to assume any consequence of Dimwitocrat action is “unintended”.

    • +10

      Your average Democrat is not particularly bright. The ones who run the show OTOH are quit intelligent. Fortunately they tend to overextend themselves.

      “For once, our asses are saved by sheer incompetence”.
      -HM2 Robert ‘Doc’ Bryan

  21. “today there appear to be more AR and AK rifles in private hands than in the United States military.” Typical NY Times liberal misinformation and/or ignorance as there are no AR and AK rifles in the hands of the US military. Those are not weapons of war that any military would ever use.

    • Au Contrair my good fellow. The U.S. military has many thousands of Ak’s in inventory. It is also the most manufactured and used weapon of war on the planet.

  22. “Once they get covid halfway under control the flu will come back.”

    I like the way you think.

  23. Dems seem to regard “Common sense” as a super power. They keep talking about “Gun violence? I must live in a different world, never heard of any instance when a gun by itself hurt anyone.
    They also keep talking about “Guns on the Street”, Well I go for walks in my rural neighborhood everyday, keep looking to find these “Guns on the street” hoping to find a Sig P210, but nothing yet, even checked the ditches, but nothing. My neighbors are responsible and take care of their yards, houses etc, they probably also care for their firearms and never leave them on the street. Damn neighbors.
    Being sarcastic, but probably “triggered” some democrats.

  24. “Which is the source of political correctness.”

    Yep. Offend no one, no how, no time, no where .

  25. “Although I agree with you, getting into a urinating contest with someone over the phrase ‘assault weapon’…”

    On the occasion I hear the phrase, the user gets the observation, “Any object is an assault weapon when used in an assault.” It doesn’t change minds, but the look on the face of the person railing on about “assault weapons” is comical, for all to see.

  26. The snowflake class, and their puppet masters are not concerned with “guns on the street”, they are only concerned with guns on their streets. These people never support effective crime prevention, crime control, legislation.

  27. I can tell you that sexual harassment is very much on the rise right now. I know from experience that you can even find an essay on sexual harassment go right here and see for yourself. I think a lot of people would benefit from understanding the difference between real harassment and the ostentatious harassment that has been going on a lot lately. There are a lot of lies and abuses in this field. I wrote a term paper about it, so you can also read the essays from which I took excerpts.

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