Comedy outlet We the Internet TV took on the gun control debate recently, skewering both sides of the contentious issue and taking on the “newest form of American celebrity – the mass shooting survivor”. This particular video takes on more of a serious tone than their typical fare, but host Lou Perez still doesn’t shy away from tasteless jokes that will make you roll your eyes as you giggle.
How is it that the quietest voice in Texas politics during the past two weeks belongs to a candidate with a career in law enforcement and the military? Lupe Valdez, the former Dallas County sheriff and the Democratic nominee for governor, was slow to bring her experience to the debate over how to respond to the mass shooting two weeks ago at Santa Fe High School. She promised to make some proposals “in the coming days” and did that Friday morning in a newspaper op-ed article.
How is it that the quietest voice in Texas politics during the last two weeks belongs to a candidate with a career in law enforcement and the military? Lupe Valdez, the former Dallas County sheriff and the Democratic nominee for governor, has yet to bring her experience to the debate over how to respond to the mass shooting two weeks ago at Santa Fe High School. She’s promised to make some proposals “in the coming days.”
What has the National Rifle Association ever done to you? The amount of vitriol directed toward this organization that has done nothing wrong is unprecedented, and purely politically driven. Liberal and leftist politicians hold the NRA up as the ultimate “bogeyman” to their followers.
Fairfax, VA – -(Ammoland.com)- Social justice busybodies obsessed with how other people live their lives often portray the success of their causes as a matter of destiny.
“The young people will win,” insists one youthful gun control advocate, falsely portraying his personal crusade as a generational mandate. Yet recent events have demonstrated that bedrock American values – including support for the Second Amendment – tend to outlast moments of high emotion that are increasingly relied upon by political opportunists to advance their agenda.
Given the chance to collect their thoughts, most Americans instinctively revert to freedom.
We recently commented on this point with reference to poll numbers that show a familiar pattern of gun control support spiking in the immediate aftermath of an infamous firearm-related crime, only to taper off as the punditry aims its fury in another direction or overplays its hand and is forced to regroup.
Since then, additional evidence has arisen to complicate the media’s breathless narrative that “the ground is shifting on gun control.”
First, more recent poll numbers underscore the fact that Americans, including young Americans, recognize that the country has far more pressing problems than rushing to enact unproven gun control measures.
The Associated Press and MTV, for example, teamed up this year to measure the “Youth Political Pulse,” with surveys conducted from late February to early March (when the news cycle was focused on the terrible crime at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School) and again from late April to early May. Between the survey periods, the percentage of respondents aged 15 to 34 who identified firearm-related issues as their highest concern for the country fell 15 points, from 21% to 6%. During the earlier survey period, the gun issue was the highest concern. In the latter period, it was tied for the sixth most common response, behind the economy, social inequality, and even threat of nuclear war.
Moreover, a week after a similar crime in Santa Fe, Texas on May 18, support for gun control in the Lone Star State had actually dropped 6% since April, as measured by Quinnipiac University polling. Support for stricter gun laws was also lower in the May sample among those aged 18 to 34 than among those 65 or older, another inversion of the conventional wisdom that youth are destined to change the national debate on this question.
A Quinnipiac analyst opined: “The tragedy at the Santa Fe school south of Houston changed few opinions among Texas voters about gun control. Support for gun control in general is down slightly, while support for background checks for all gun buyers is virtually unchanged.”
Adding to the gun control advocates’ woes were the release of data and studies that contradicted their claims of a rising epidemic of school shootings fueled by easy access to so-called “assault weapons.”
The website The74Million.org, which describes itself as a “non-profit, non-partisan news site covering education in America,” published a lengthy interview in May with Criminologist Nadine Connell of the University of Texas at Dallas, who’s compiling a database of every school shooting since 1990. The piece underscored Connell’s findings that “school shootings are extremely rare” and that allowing them to drive policy isn’t “always the most productive” way to keep students safe.
Connell indicated that “from the perspective of policymaking,” the media’s current reporting on school shootings can be misleading.
“[A]s of now,” she said, “we don’t think there is an increase in the number of incidents as much as there is an increase in the attention to the incidents.” She also stressed that “the number of rampage-like incidents remains extremely low, and they are a relatively small subsection of the shootings we are analyzing.” Schools, Connell said, “are the safest they’ve ever been.”
While Connell indicated in the interview that she is not a fan of arming teachers, she also declined to put gun control at the center of the debate. When asked what would be the “most effective method to stop the lion’s share of the problem,” she emphasized “whole-school-centered approaches to improve climate, clarify expectations, and support teachers and administrators in creating a community of trust and support.” She also noted that the “environmental design” of schools can play an important role in keeping kids safe without making them feel like they are under siege.
Can Mass Shootings be Stopped?
Perhaps more even more ironic was a May 22 report from the Rockefeller Institute that was funded by a multi-state “Regional Gun Violence Research Consortium” representing a who’s-who of Northeastern antigun jurisdictions. Entitled “Can Mass Shootings be Stopped?” the report broadly focuses on mass shootings in general, rather than on school-specific events.
Like Connell, however, the authors mentioned media distortion as an impediment to understanding the true nature of the problem.
“Mass shootings, and those that are particularly lethal, are amplified by the news cycle, making them appear more commonplace when they are, in fact, statistically rare,” they stated. They also characterized the media’s coverage of the events as “unbalanced,” potentially leading the public to “hold disproportional attitudes about the events themselves.”
The report made the points that mass shootings are not limited to the U.S. but “occur in countries worldwide,” are nearly three times more likely to be perpetrated with handguns than with “assault weapons,” and occur more frequently in workplaces than in schools. Also likely to displease its funders is the report’s observation that gun control laws, whether passed in the immediate wake of a mass shooting or kept on the books for decades “often are not enforced, leading them to be ineffective at preventing the next mass shooting.” But perhaps most damning of all was the authors’ admonition that “[k]nee-jerk reactions rooted in emotion will not solve the problem.”
Yet that is exactly how gun control advocates operate and what they offer. Whatever can be said about the youthful gun control activists who have captured so much of the media’s attention lately, they are among the prime purveyors of emotionalism and hyperbole. And far from bringing innovative new thinking to the issue, their main “solution” is the tired notion of banning guns that are underrepresented in rampage gun crimes and remain highly popular among the law-abiding. Instead of treating every word out of their mouths as some new game-changing revelation, their gun control seniors should remind them that “assault weapon” bans had until recently been de-emphasized as an embarrassment to the movement and too obvious of its prohibitory intent.
Unlike the latest gun control hashtag or self-congratulatory Hollywood vanity project, the National Rifle Association has been around since 1871. We’ve seen movements come, and we’ve seen movements go. And while we never doubt the sincerity of our opposition in their desire to eradicate the right to keep and bear arms, we’re not about to change our values or objectives just because some media talking heads or youth-obsessed celebrities begin making demands or throwing around half-baked claims.
Fortunately, the American commitment to freedom also remains strong and resilient. And freedom-loving Americans know they have an ally in the NRA.
Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the “lobbying” arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Visit: www.nra.org
The post American Values Prove Stubbornly Resistant to Gun Control Opportunism appeared first on AmmoLand.com.
Americans demand Congress debate and vote on commonsense gun controls. That bill may not pass, but repeating National Rifle Association and pro-gun talking points hasn’t curtailed mass shootings. Here are five commonsense gun controls: • Mandatory …
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Rhode Island police have new powers to disarm people who appear violent and to confiscate rapid-fire “bump stock” devices after Gov. Gina Raimondo on Friday signed two bills responding to mass shootings. “There’s no question that we …
Yesterday was kind of a rough day for me. Most of you don’t know and don’t care about my personal life, and that’s fine. I’m just some guy who writes about gun rights on the internet. You don’t need to know anything about me.
But this time, you might find my personal life a little interesting. It relates to why I get so damn furious when anti-gunners claim we somehow want to see people die in mass shootings, that we somehow don’t care.
For me, mass shootings aren’t just a thing that happens. They’re a little personal. It’s why a Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School teacher absolutely infuriated me with this tweet.
After the mass shooting at Douglas there is no good reason to post this photo holding the weapon period, waa done in poor taste to generate a reaction period. You are entitled to your opinion but probably don’t live in Parkland so it is just another shooting somewhere else
— Greg Pittman (@GregPittman1957) April 25, 2018
You see, six years ago yesterday, I lost a dear friend in a mass shooting.
The place was a coffee shop in Seattle, Washington called the Cafe Racer. I’ve never been there, though it’s on the list of places to visit if I get the chance. I have no idea if the coffee is any good or not, and I really don’t care.
What I care about is that it was a place where a woman named Kimberly Lynn Layfield enjoyed spending time at.
Kim and I met in 8th grade. I’d just transferred into a new school, this one a private school that was created for more working-class families. Because of how so many teachers like to seat people according to the alphabet, I got seated right by Kim.
She was gorgeous, an absolute stunner. She had the kind of looks that let so many girls get away with being total snobs; only Kim wasn’t. She was exceptionally friendly to the new kid and became one of my first friends at the new school. She preferred to hang out with the kids who weren’t the popular ones necessarily. She didn’t like the mean girl schtick, after all, and we were a lot more genuine.
Throughout high school, Kim was there. She was special. Always friendly and eager to meet anyone special in my life. She was smart, funny, and down-to-earth, the kind of person anyone would want to hang out with.
After we graduated and I went into the Navy, I lost touch with her until our fifth-year reunion (yes, we did that). She came in and plopped down right next to me to catch up. She was living in Chicago at the moment, and she was really living. Then we lost touch again until I came across an independent film she’d been in. I emailed the director and asked him to pass my email to Kim.
I heard from her the next day, and we started catching up again.
Because of the time delay between Seattle, where she was living, and Georgia, we didn’t talk all that much. But social media let us stay abreast of what was going on in each other’s lives.
Until six years ago today.
That was when I logged into Facebook and saw activity in the group set aside for people who had graduated from our school. It was there that I learned that one of the fatalities in the Seattle coffee shop shooting the day before was none other than Kim.
At the time, I was the editor and owner of a small local news site. I had the news, no one else did. My journalistic instinct said to run the story. I just couldn’t, though. I wanted verification. Someone had to confirm it. Part of it was wanting to be very professional. The other part was praying that the news was wrong, that Kim was fine and it was a misunderstanding.
I’m going to be honest here. For a moment, shortly after I pulled my bawling butt up off of the floor under my desk where I’d collapsed upon hearing the news, I began to rethink my position on the Second Amendment. Could I have been wrong?
A moment later, I remembered that my position included the fact that sometimes jackwagons were going to be jackwagons and I wasn’t about to stop them. No law I could think of, except for possibly an outright ban on all firearms, would have saved Kim’s life. Even a ban might not have done the trick.
In other words, the Second Amendment and lawful gun owners weren’t to blame for Kim’s death. It was a pathetic maniac who couldn’t deal with the fact that the coffee shop didn’t want him in there anymore. That was it.
I don’t know that most of Kim’s circle of friends from back in the day feel the same way. I don’t know either way. I don’t know how her parents feel on the subject of guns, either. I haven’t asked them and, frankly, I don’t want to.
But what I do know is that I get livid when people act like I don’t care about those affected by mass shootings, that I somehow like this kind of thing. It’s bad enough when it’s someone else who has been impacted but imagine how it feels when it’s from someone who has only seen these things on the news?
Contrary to what they might think, violence affects people of all political ideologies. Further, being touched by it doesn’t necessarily transform you into a raging anti-gun zealot.
People on this side of the debate have been touched by violence as well. We simply have a different approach to the problem and pretending we somehow are ambivalent or worse, supportive of such violence, doesn’t help anyone. Instead, it makes it harder and harder to be civil in public debate.
I have no issue that people disagree with me. In truth, I don’t actually think they’re bad people because they disagree with me. I just think they’re wrong.
Meanwhile, they apparently think that I’m evil, all because I refuse to change my mind simply because of feelings, even when that feeling is loss and pain from one of the best people I’ve ever known being stolen from the world.
The post Why I Get Furious When Anti-Gunners Think We Support Mass Shootings appeared first on Bearing Arms.
The mass shooting at a school in Texas on May 18 brought renewed calls for stricter gun-control laws. This focus should include another, less-visible, aspect of the crisis: The killing by firearms of hundreds of women each year by their intimate …
Oh, good old Shannon Watts. She’s always good for a hot take, now isn’t she?
Most recently, in the aftermath of what might have been a mass shooting in Oklahoma, Watts had to point out that the two armed citizens who stopped the attack weren’t “average citizens.”
Hey @NRA – The two men who got guns from their cars to take out the Oklahoma shooter were: 1) A former police officer and current security guard, 2) A member of the National Guard for two decades and who served in Afghanistan.
Not. Average. Civilians. https://t.co/OP9QJbAq9p
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) May 26, 2018
Hmmmmm. Fascinating, Shannon.
Please, tell us more.
For example, tell us all about how the police aren’t citizens, or how the National Guard trains its troops for active shooter situations with privately owned handguns.
Of course, let’s not forget that police officers have also been criticized for their accuracy in shootouts before. It’s almost like folks like Shannon are trying to have their cake and eat it too. Tsk, tsk.
Let’s be clear here. Regardless of where Juan Nazario, the former police officer, got his training, he wasn’t a police officer anymore. Brian Whittle wasn’t on duty with the National Guard either.
No, both were living as private citizens, bound by all the same laws you and I are. Nazario was kicking back after work, trying to relax when the shooting started.
What happened then is exactly the kind of thing Shannon is trying to pretend doesn’t really happen. The two men were required to become the “good guy with a gun.” So they did.
Yes, both men previously served in roles that required some amount of firearms training, that’s never been our point about civilian firearm ownership. Our point rests in the fact that both men, despite neither currently enjoying any protected status from gun carry laws, had access to guns. Period.
They could rush to their cars to get their firearms because they had their guns in their cars. Plain and simple.
People like Shannon Watts would have seen both men disarmed and as a result, people would have died in that bar. Possibly a lot of people. If not in the bar, then the killer might have found somewhere else to go and found more targets. Who knows how it would have played out?
What we do know, however, is that a lot fewer people died because armed citizens responded and dealt with the threat long before police could arrive.
It doesn’t matter where they got their training. What matters is that they were there, armed, and ended a life-threatening situation by bringing down a maniac.
Policies supported by people like Shannon Watts would have prevented just that.
Notice she leaves that out of her hot take, which is normal. When an armed citizen responds, she tries to find a way to spin it so that it doesn’t really count, but completely ignores that her positions would have had both men disarmed and would have them serve as nothing but fodder for the killer. This isn’t really surprising, though. It’s not like she can admit that armed citizens are a good thing, not with her deriving all of her income from opposing that exact thing.
Well, they did. Guns saved lives. Again.
No matter how many hot takes Shannon gives, she’ll never be able to change that simple, basic fact.
The post Shannon Watts Pretends ‘Average Citizens’ Didn’t Stop Oklahoma Shooting appeared first on Bearing Arms.