Pennsylvania House Rep Tries To Bury Anti-Gun Bills

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HT Bearing Arms.

I hope that  Pennsylvania  Representative Rep. Aaron Bernstine(R-10)nis able to derail these anti gun bills.

As gun control seems to be worming its way through the legislative process up in Pennsylvania, it sounds like a foregone conclusion that these bills will become law. Even the supposedly pro-gun GOP in the state seems to be embracing the bills.

To be fair, they’re not the most drastic anti-gun measures we’ve seen, but they’re still problematic.

Because of this problematic nature, pro-gun representatives probably feel like their backs are up against the wall. They’re looking for ways to fight this infringement on personal liberty any way they can.

I can’t say I find fault with this particular method.

Seeking to derail two bills that he said infringe on gun owners’ constitutional rights, state Rep. Aaron Bernstine has filed 79 amendments for the House to discuss and debate.

“We’re going to do every single thing that we can do to stop the folks in the anti-gun movement of achieving their goals of removing firearms from law-abiding citizens in Pennsylvania,” said Bernstine, R-10, New Beaver.

Bernstine is a staunch Second Amendment supporter who posted video on Facebook of himself at a gun range shortly after his driveway was vandalized last year and recently tweeted a photo of him and his young son target shooting.

House Bills 1872 and 2227, Bernstine insisted, would violate the Pennsylvania constitution, which states that the right for Pennsylvanians to bear arms “shall not be questioned.”

Both of the bills passed the House Judiciary Committee and have been referred the Rules Committee. House Bill 2227 passed in an 18-9 vote on Tuesday, while House Bill 1872 passed 14-13 on Wednesday.

Bernstine’s effort is a noble gesture, even if it turns out to be a futile one. Burying the bills in amendments slows down the process completely and may well “nerf” some of the more egregious possibilities of both of these bills.

As such, it’s a pretty smart move. Even if it doesn’t block the bill, it may well make them less of an infringement on people’s right to keep and bear arms. It sucks, but this is how the legislative game is played, and while I’m sure anti-gunners are already crying foul over this one, both sides do stuff like this all the time.

The goal is to either include poison pills or, at a minimum, make the least intrusive law humanly possible.

It’s just a shame that it’s even necessary.

The solution to many of these situations isn’t new laws, but enforcement of our existing laws. With news that so many of these shooters are domestic abusers, I can’t help but see enforcement of our domestic violence laws as being the key to stopping so many of these killings. Prosecute those who beat their families and then they can’t get legal access to guns in the first place.

Lock that down and stop trying to create new laws.

But, since politicians love to create new laws, Bernstine’s 79 amendments makes a valiant effort at trying to prevent Pennsylvania from embracing the stupid that has overtaken so many states in the wake of Parkland.


Anti-gun protester David Hogg — protected by armed guards?

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H/T The American Mirror.

David Camrea Hogg like the rest of the anti gun nuts it is do as I say and not as I do guns to protect me but never thee.

avid Hogg is a VIP now.

The 18-year-old attended the Parkland, Florida school where a student murdered 17 people in February, then made himself famous with relentless calls for gun control in the wake of the tragedy.

Now he’s got a book deal, and publicists — and armed guards.

Sean Di Somma snapped some pictures of Hogg strolling the streets of New York City recently with his new entourage in tow.

“Here’s @davidhogg111 in NYC today with armed guards and a bunch of publicists. #neveragain #Hypocrites,” Di Somma posted to Twitter.

Check out the photo:

The posted prompted a tit-for-tat with Hogg and his supporters.

“Love you too,” Hogg wrote in response to Di Somma’s tweet.

“Get dat money,” Di Somma shot back, along with a goofy meme.

Jeff Walsh, a Hogg defender, chimed in.

“The book proceeds are going to gun reform charities, not to David or his sister, so yeah, the more he promotes the book, the more it supports his cause (albeit not his wallet),” Walsh wrote.

“This ^^^^,” Hogg added, “you know @SeanDiSomma you should really read the book if you did you would know we’re pro second amendment.”

“I’m going to take a pass,” Di Somma replied. “I’m not really into books pushing shadow agendas not written by the listed author. Good luck to you though; if this sells well, surely there’s a nice advance for the next one. #capitalism”

Other folks on the thread simply pointed out the obvious.

“Perfect Hypocrite Hogg. Speaking out every day about taking other people’s guns but oh so willing to have people with guns protecting him,” Jim Gerber wrote.

“But why does he need armed guards? I understand its because of death threats but … he is in New York, guns are banned there correct?” bigh added.

“But @davidhogg111 I thought armed guards were not an answer to security?” GA Patriot posted.

“Armed? Hilarious! What a total fraud! I think the term is elitist,” JSGalambos posted. “Who is paying for this?

Hogg has courted the spotlight since the school shooting with numerous appearances on talk and political shows to champion gun control, speeches at rallies to fight the National Rifle Association, and calls for a political revolution that hasn’t materialized.

He’s also targeted conservatives who disagree with his perspective with boycotts and other attacks.

In his new book, which he allegedly coauthored with his sister, Hogg reveals he was a cocky jerk captain of his school’s debate team when the shooting took place in February, and not much has changed since.

“I was just so narcissistic and pretentious back then, even more than I am now,” Hogg wrote, according to the Associated Press.

Ohio’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ Measure To Get Vote, Kasich Vows To Veto

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H/T Bearing Arms.

I hope the Ohio Legislators vote to override RINO Kasich’s veto.

While Stand Your Ground laws get a bad rap, the truth is that they save lives. When armed citizens know they’re not required to run away from an attack and can act to save their own life or another, they can make faster decisions and act more decisively. Quick, aggressive action is the key to winning most violent confrontations, after all.

In Ohio, a bill that will put Stand Your Ground laws on the books will soon be coming up for a vote.

A controversial ‘Stand Your Ground’ gun bill will likely get a floor vote in the Ohio House next week and even if Gov. John Kasich follows through with his veto promise, there would be enough support to override a veto, said Speaker Ryan Smith, R-Bidwell.

House Bill 228 would give armed Ohioans the right to ‘stand your ground’ when facing a threat in public places such as parks, roads or stores. It would also shift the burden of proof in self-defense cases to the prosecution, which would align Ohio with the vast majority of states.

It is the first pro-gun rights bill to advance to a floor vote since the mass shootings in Parkland, Florida and Santa Fe, Texas, which prompted national protests and school walk outs.

Meanwhile, a package of six gun control measures — sponsored by state Rep. Mike Henne, R-Clayton, and supported by Kasich — faces an uphill battle in the GOP-controlled House.

For the record, Gov. Kasich’s vow to veto the bill is all the evidence you need to see that just because a politician is a Republican, it doesn’t mean he’s pro-gun.

Of course, let’s also note the third paragraph of the above-quoted text:

It is the first pro-gun rights bill to advance to a floor vote since the mass shootings in Parkland, Florida and Santa Fe, Texas, which prompted national protests and school walk outs.

Is there any doubt the media is biased? It should be noted that Santa Fe didn’t spark much of anything. Probably because Texans understood that the tool with the gun was the problem, not the tool in his hand. As a result, the students didn’t start crying and preening on national TV, demanding that their every wish be catered to.

But the media wants you to forget that. As such, they want to lump the two shootings in together to pretend both generated an equal measure of outrage. They’re hoping you simply forgot, and they’ll probably hide behind a claim of poor phrasing.

In either case, the paragraph is a non-sequitur since Stand Your Ground had nothing to do with either incident. They’re completely irrelevant to the matter at hand.

What matters is that Ohioans will be able to act in their own defense or while defending the life of another without having to spend precious seconds debating whether they should retreat first or not. They can act and know that the law protects them from prosecution.

The fact that Gov. Kasich would veto such a bill suggests that he’s out of touch with his own citizens, the majority of people in the United States, and reality.

And to think, he wanted to be president.

Georgia Lt. Governor Casey Cagle Blocking Pro-Second Amendment Legislation

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H/T AmmoLand.

The voters in Georgia need to send Lt.Governor Casey Cagle into retirement at the old RINO’s home. 

“Cagle has single-handedly fought pro-Second Amendment legislation in the State Senate over his tenure.” – Jessica Szilagyi, All On Georgia

Georgia Lt. Governor Casey Cagle Blocking Pro-Second Amendment Legislation


Georgia – -( For weeks, Casey Cagle has attacked conservative businessman Brian Kemp with television ads funded by the special interests.

Wanna know why? Because Cagle is hiding something.

On the campaign trail, Georgia’s Lt. Governor Casey Cagle claims to be a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment but his record under the Gold Dome is nothing short of alarming.

Here’s a quick summary:

  • In 2013, SB188, better known as Campus Carry, was introduced for the second time but Cagle refused to allow the Senate a floor vote.
  • In 2014, Cagle supported efforts to implement training requirements for gun owners during a Conference Committee on House Bill 65. Thankfully, he was unsuccessful.
  • In 2016, Casey Cagle told a group of pastors that Campus Carry was not “responsible” and he “does not agree with this and other legislation being pushed upon our state.”
  • In 2017, the legislature finally passed Campus Carry but Cagle allowed his College and Career Academies to remain on the exemption list. He said it was a “thoughtful compromise.

That same year, Cagle also sent the “Georgia Constitutional Carry Act” (SB177) to die in committee and blocked three pro-gun amendments in the Senate in 2017.

When it comes to protecting, promoting, and advancing our 2nd Amendment Rights, Lt. Governor Casey Cagle is “content” with where we are. As governor, he won’t fight for our values. He simply has “no appetite for that.”

Brian Kemp for Governor
Brian Kemp for Governor




Dick’s shareholder grills CEO over gun rules

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H/T Fox Business.

I hope the stockholders revolt and toss CEO Edward Stack out on his ass.

Dick’s Sporting Goods has a marketing battle ahead of them, marketing exec says

The Silent Partner Marketing CEO Kyle Reyes on Dick’s Sporting Goods’ announcement that they would stop selling all assault-style firearms after the deadly Florida shooting.

A conservative shareholder pressed Dick’s Sporting Goods CEO Edward Stack over the retailer’s decision to tighten rules for gun purchases in its stores.

David Almasi, vice president of the National Center for Public Policy Research, questioned whether the company was “willfully giving up money” with its new policies, he said in remarks during Dick’s annual shareholder meeting. Almasi attending the meeting representing the conservative think-tank’s Free Enterprise Project, which focuses on free-market investor activism.

Dick’s “has damaged its reputation by lending its voice and its resources to those who want to abolish the Second Amendment, even while the vast majority of Americans support the Second Amendment,” Almasi argued. “Thirty percent of American adults own guns, and another 11% live with someone who does. You’ve now alienated them.”

“We did not alienate every gun owner. We did alienate some gun owners. We had a number of people who are gun owners, myself included, who sent us notes saying that, ‘We applaud what you did,’” Stack said, according to a recording of the exchange.

“We think this was in the best interest of our shareholders long term. Did we alienate some customers? Yes, we did. We felt it was the best decision for the long-term aspect of our shareholders. You can see, from our announcement, our stock is actually up double-digits.”

Stack added that Dick’s and its board stands by the decision. “We will not be changing our position,” he said.

Almasi responded by urging Stack to reconsider, suggesting that Dick’s sales could suffer if the NRA and other pro-Second Amendment organizations lead boycotts of the retailer.

Dick’s didn’t immediately respond to a request for further comment.

The Pittsburgh-based sporting goods retailer announced in February that it would raise the minimum age for all gun purchases to 21. Federal law prohibits rifle purchases to anyone under 18 years old. The federal minimum age for handgun purchases is 21.

Dick’s also said it would stop selling “high-capacity magazines,” and it pulled AR-15 rifles from Field & Stream stores. The company previously ceased offering AR-15 rifles in its namesake stores following the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012.

Ticker Security Last Change %Chg
DKS DICKS SPORTING 36.73 +0.08 +0.22%

Dick’s was among the first major retailers to restrict gun sales following the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, where 17 people were killed. Walmart and Kroger also set a minimum age of 21 for all gun purchases.

Dick’s has faced pushback from the gun industry. The National Shooting Sports Foundation, a trade group representing retailers and firearm manufacturers, expelled Dick’s from the organization. O.F. Mossberg & Sons, a manufacturer of rifles and shotguns, said it would not accept future orders from Dick’s or Field & Stream stores, noting that the retailer had reportedly hired lobbyists to promote gun-control measures in Congress.

After Dick’s announced its new gun policies, Stack warned analysts in March that some customers unhappy with the decision might abandon its storesOpens a New Window.. But last month, Dick’s reported quarterly earnings that beat Wall Street’s expectations, as total sales grew 4.6% to $1.91 billion. Demand in other parts of the store offset weakness in the hunting category.

Stack acknowledged during an earnings call that Dick’s doesn’t have a strong relationship with firearms manufacturers, adding that the company’s hunting and firearms business would remain under pressure through the end of the year.

Over the past month, Dick’s stock has surged more than 13%.

Attorney Argues Parkland Deputy Had No Legal Responsibility To Protect Kids

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H/T Bearing Arms.

Sadly retired deputy Scot Peterson’s attorney is correct about him not having to defend the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

The United States Supreme Court has ruled the police are not obligated to protect and serve.

While we reported on the efforts by survivors of the Pulse shooting in Orlando to seek redress against people they feel failed to protect themfrom a crazed shooter, they’re not the only ones looking for legal redress for people failing to protect them. It seems the father of one of the slain children in the Parkland massacre is doing the same.

Meanwhile, retired deputy Scot Peterson is defending himself by saying he had no legal requirement to protect those kids.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Many have called him a coward, but former sheriff’s deputy Scot Peterson had no legal duty to stop the slaughter at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, his attorneys say.

Peterson took shelter rather than confront the killer, but he did not act with malice or bad faith, according to his attorneys, Michael Piper and Christopher Stearns of Fort Lauderdale. Therefore he can’t be held legally responsible for the deaths, they say in court documents.

Allegations against Peterson suggest only that he “opted for self-preservation over heroics,” the attorneys wrote.

The statements came in a motion seeking to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Andrew Pollack, the father of 18-year-old Meadow Pollack, who was killed in the shooting.

Pollack sued Peterson on April 30 in Broward Circuit Court, accusing the former school resource officer of failing to do his duty.

While shooter [the killer] rampaged through the school on Feb. 14, security footage shows Peterson ducking between two pillars outside, avoiding gunfire. Sheriff Scott Israel said Peterson should have entered the building and confronted the killer. President Donald Trump, like Pollack, called Peterson a coward.

I’ve called Peterson a coward too.

But he’s right.

I don’t like it, but Peterson is right. The government has no duty to protect its citizens. This has been found by the courts several times through the years, so I’m afraid that despite my sympathy for Pollack’s position, he’s likely to lose this case.

He shouldn’t, though.

You see, while I do believe that every human being has the responsibility to protect themselves, the government has made it so that there are some places where we’re simply not allowed to do so. So-called “gun free zones” artificially restrict our rights by making it so that we’re unable to defend ourselves from those who ignore laws and take guns into these places with the intent to kill as many disarmed people as possible. Places like schools, for example.

Because the government has restricted our ability to defend ourselves, I’d argue that they should be held responsible for the safety of all those who are within that gun free zone. After all, if you’re going to make it virtually impossible for citizens to protect themselves, then you need to protect them.

Makes sense, right?

Unfortunately, I suspect that such isn’t going to be the cast. I’m afraid Pollack will lose. Unless the intent is to take this to the Supreme Court and try and change the interpretations of the law, not much will come of this except making an expensive mess of things for a little while. It’s a shame, but it’s the law.

More than 500 guns seized from Southern California homes

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H/T Fox News.

This can’t be true after all California has gun control laws that would prevent these criminals from getting guns.Snark

Authorities have seized more than 550 guns at two Southern California homes (LA County Sheriff)

Authorities have seized more than 550 guns at two Southern California homes and made one arrest after getting a tip that a convicted felon was storing an arsenal.

Sixty-year-old Manuel Fernandez was arrested last week after Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies and state and federal investigators raided his Agua Dulce home.

Officials Monday say the searchers found 432 rifles and handguns, then returned later and found 91 more hidden weapons.

Finally, 30 guns were seized at another home believed linked to an associate of Fernandez who hasn’t returned to the home.

“Detectives also seized computers, cellphones, and hard drives from the residence believed to be involved in the illicit purchase of firearms by the suspect,” the sheriff’s department said in its release.

Fernandez was booked on suspicion of being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition and illegally possessing an assault rifle and large-capacity magazines.

He’s free on bond. A call by The Associated Press to his listed phone number rang unanswered Monday.

The Los Angeles Times, citing an unnamed source, reported that the owner of the firearms appears to be a collector as opposed to someone who intends to use the guns for violence.


NJ Gun Control Works So Well, 17 People Shot At Art Gathering

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H/T Bearing Arms.

New Jersey like Chicago has draconian gun laws yet their shooting and murder rates just keep climbing.

Albert Einstein once said “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” and that describes the gun control crowd. 


New Jersey has strict gun controls. I’ve had readers reach out to me, at least in part, to vent about the draconian laws in their home state and how it keeps them from defending themselves.

In New Jersey, you need to define a clear need for a concealed carry permit, for example. Saying you’re concerned about mass shootings isn’t enough. You have to have a real, viable reason to fear for your life.

That’s too bad. Someone might have been able to stop a couple of rampaging lunatics from shooting 17 people at an all-night art gatheringearly Sunday morning.

The gunmen were identified in a mass shooting that left 17 people shot, 22 injured and one person dead at an all-night art celebration in Trenton early Sunday, according to the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office. Authorities are calling it a “mass casualty shooting” on Father’s Day.

Four people – including a 13-year-old boy – were initially in extremely critical condition on Sunday, according to the MCPO. Three of those people, including the boy, were upgraded to stable condition by late Sunday. A third suspect is in critical condition.

A 33-year-old gunman Tahaij Wells, 32, is dead (pictured left), and another, Amir “Mir” Armstrong, 23, is in police custody and charged with unlawful possession of a handgun (pictured right). Both were identified as Trenton residents. One of the shootings was labeled “officer-involved.”

Wells was just released from prison on homicide-related charges, according to the MCPO.

“Devastated by last night’s shooting at Art All Night Trenton,” New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said. “We must eradicate the scourge of gun violence from our communities.”

The Art All Night festival was an opportunity for local artists to present their works, and some ironically used it as an opportunity to protest gun violence. The shooting reportedly started near a booth that said: “Imagine a world fee of gun violence.”

I’m not sure if that last bit has a typo or not, but I’m going to assume the booth said: “Imagine a world free of gun violence.” Honestly, it’s a noble sentiment. I wish there weren’t any kind of violence in the world. But there is, and the Art All Night Trenton got to witness it first hand.

So much for noble sentiments.

A police officer apparently put down Wells, but I can’t help but think about how this would have been different if this had been in a state that doesn’t automatically distrust its citizens when it comes to guns. I promise you the chances are damn good that both bad guys would have been put down long before 17 people were shot.

Remember what happened when terrorists showed up at an art show in Texas? They had AK-47s and didn’t even make it through the door for crying out loud. I somehow doubt these two yahoos would have lasted much longer.

Keep in mind that New Jersey also just passed a whole slew of new gun control measures, but guess what? None of them would have stopped this rampage, especially since it appears that Wells was a convicted felon and couldn’t legally own any firearm.

It’s almost like the bad guys don’t obey gun laws any better than they obey other laws. Go figure.


Another Florida Tragedy, This Time Showing Gun Control’s Failure

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H/T Bearing Arms.

This tragedy shows just how useless gun control laws are to prevent criminals from getting guns.

Florida feels kind of like the epicenter of tragedy in this country at the moment. Despite it having no kind of monopoly on horrible events, one can almost be forgiven for believing otherwise.

The most recent involved a man taking four children hostage after his girlfriend told police he’d battered her earlier this week. In the end, all four children were killed, a police officer was shot, and the hostage taker committed suicide.

Oh, yeah, he was also a convicted felon.

A Florida felon who authorities say killed four children after a daylong standoff that started with the shooting of an officer had recently violated his parole, and his parole officer recommended that he be put in jail for six months. Instead he was given supervised probation, court records show.

Gary Lindsey was arrested last month for theft and then jailed for violating his probation from a decade-old arson charge, the records show. His probation officer said Lindsey posed no threat to the community but she still recommended that he be incarcerated for six months. However, Lindsey’s sister agreed to pay $1,000 and he agreed to pay $300 a month toward restitution, and his supervised probation was reinstated during a court hearing. The records show Lindsey had been working at an auto center in Orlando, earning $1,300 a month.

Sunday’s 21-hour standoff began when Lindsey’s girlfriend left the apartment and told police she had been battered. Lindsey fired at responding officers, seriously wounding one of them. He then holed up inside the apartment for much of the day with the four children, who they say ranged in age from 1 to 11. The girlfriend was the mother of all four children and Lindsey was the father of two of them, said family friend Walter Benenati.

“We heard gunshots, and I saw through the window that the policeman was down,” neighbor Miguel Lopez said. “The top stair was full of blood. They took the police officer down. … It was horrible.”

The officer is in critical condition but is expected to survive, thankfully.

There’s no level in which this isn’t awful. It’s horrible. I just don’t understand how anyone could murder children. I can’t comprehend it.

But there’s something else here to be looked at. Namely, the fact that Lindsey was able to get his hands on a firearm.

The news report above makes no mention of that. It doesn’t even ask the question, which is interesting. I mean, killing four people and shooting another before taking your own life is a mass shooting, right? Normally at this point, we have all kinds of questions about the killing and how the murderer got his weapon.

Why not now?

In part, I suspect it has more to do with the fact that there’s no way he could have obtained a firearm legally. He either lied when he bought it, stole it from someone else, bought it off the black market, or something similar. He couldn’t have walked into a gun store, followed all the rules, have the store do the same, and still purchased a gun. It’s not possible.

And because of that, it doesn’t rate the scale of tragedy it might otherwise have warranted.

Instead, a bad guy broke one of the plethoras of rules designed to prevent them from getting guns, did something horrible as a result, and the anti-gun crowd will either ignore the reality that the rules failed yet again or will simply think more rules will somehow make it all better.

It won’t.

Time and again, we see gun control failing to stop the truly evil.

Impasse: The Emotional Gap Between Gun Owners and Gun Banners

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H/T Clash Daily.

President Ronald Reagan summed up the anti gun crowd and liberals.

 The trouble with our Liberal friends is not that they’re ignorant; it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.

Knowledge cures ignorance. False dogma, on the other hand, may be untreatable. As Twain said more politely, “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.” If you’ve spent any time listening to the so called “gun debate”, then you’ve noticed that the debate isn’t about facts at all. So where do our beliefs and feelings come from? More importantly, what will change them?

Too often our “facts” are chosen to justify our emotions. Most of what gun-ban supporters think they know is what they’ve seen on TV. Hollywood violence feels “real”, while self-defense is merely theoretical or non-existent. The gun-prohibitionists has never seen what self-defense looks like, let alone touched it, trained for it, and lived with it. Nor have their friends. Instead, “the police” are there to protect them, and self-defense is seen as vigilantism. In contrast, the gun owner thinks he will have to stay alive until the police arrive.

Violence is the quintessential emotional topic, but the message matters. When we read about the mass murder of our children at school, we first have to assemble the words into meaningful descriptions. That takes work and understanding. Even then, the emotions are ugly when we read the news accounts and police reports.

There is a reason the networks show us pictures of injured students on the news. Those images speak directly to our emotions without requiring interpretation or thought. That is both good and bad. Emotional images can motivate us or they can desensitize us. Our emotions can cause us to think or to stop reasoning entirely.

The gun-control advocate blames the tool. He claims that violent criminals wouldn’t exist if it were not for firearms. It is emotionally easier to blame a lump of plastic and metal than to realize that another human being thinks we’re worthless. When reminded that murderers used rented trucks, knives, sticks, and even bare hands, the gun-ban advocate might reluctantly admit that violent predators are real.

Despite that grudging admission, the gun-hater still clings to the claim that self-defense is not the answer. Like the zebra in the herd, they assume a violent predator will attack someone else. The anti-gun advocate assumes they are safe as long as the herd is present…most of the time.

I find it odd that the advocates for gun control have armed bodyguards.

The advocates for gun-control can’t imagine defending themselves with violence. To the gun-prohibitionist, any person who wants a gun is a criminal by definition. Gun-ban advocates think they are saving the poor when they ban guns in our inner cities. For the anti-gun crowd, it is morally superior to be an unarmed victim rather than to stand out as a defender or a protector.

It is as if the disarmed herd would rather not know about the predators who hunt them, as if self-defense is the ultimate social gaff. Self-defense is far too inconvenient to be taken seriously. For them, the solution is to call the police…if you are still physically able to do so after you’ve been attacked.

Gun-ban supporters can’t imagine that people think and act in ways different than their own. For example, they think that violent criminals will obey the next firearms law we pass…even though these same criminals routinely violate the twenty-three thousand firearms regulations already on the books. People who choose to be disarmed can’t imagine that there is an unnoticed world of people around them who are entirely capable of violence, and who control themselves. They are the defenders and the protectors. They are gun owners.

Some gun owners and gun prohibitionists do share a common fault. Both sides may think the gun is magic. Some prohibitionists think a gun causes violence. Some gun owners think a gun will protect them. In the real world, a piece of plastic and steel is a mundane tool.

Reality is tedious and boring rather than magical. In fact, protecting your family requires frequent attention. Self-defense takes practice. Turning the gun into a fetish is easier for both sides. It is easy to understand why.

Our reaction to violence is complex. I find it emotionally uncomfortable to think about violence. Most people do. That discomfort drives some people to look away and pretend that violence doesn’t exist and that they are immune from violence. Repeated exposure to violence numbs the conscience of a criminal predator.

For most gun owners, their empathy with the innocent victim drives them to be a protector. The defender is driven to study violence.

This empathy felt by the protector also kindles an unnatural ability to commit violence. The protector wants to stop predatory violence and to protect the next victim. If the defender can’t be there, then they want the victim to defend themselves. Sure, call the police when you can and file a report, but only once you’ve defended yourself and are safe.

That reaction is more common than you might expect. Many people who claim to be non-violent will break their pledge when their children are threatened. That is a good thing and we should forgive their hypocrisy. It is good to protect the innocent from acts “too terrible to contemplate.” Armed America thinks it is better still to plan for defense and have the physical and mental tools you’ll need.

Once these protectors are aware of violence, then their belief in self-defense is confirmed by the news. Defenders see the futility of “Just giving the violent criminal what they want.” Hundreds of people have been injured while waiting for murderers to reach satiation. Gun owners believe different people are different. Gun owners don’t plan for mercy from the merciless.

This awareness of violence manifests itself in other ways as well. Gun owners notice the thousands of examples were innocent men and women defend themselves with a firearm every day. They notice that poor minorities are most often the victims of violence, and that poor minorities need tools of self-defense more than anyone else.

Gun prohibitionists never notice these examples. It is as if gun owners and gun prohibitionists live in different and largely separate worlds.

Gun owners shake their head at the way firearms are used in popular entertainment. Real gun owners have lived with guns. They know what firearms do and what they don’t do. They know the physical reality of living with lethal force, as well as they psychological reality. Gun owners don’t recognize themselves in today’s violent and stylized “entertainment”.

There is another emotional disconnect between the armed and the disarmed. The people who chose to defend themselves and their families can’t imagine leaving their safety up to the kindness of criminals. Yes, they may fail, but they will not be easy prey.

How do these two worlds meet? The gun-control advocate can discover what he doesn’t know on his own terms. Step into a dojo and take an empty-hand defense course. Take an emergency trauma care course and understand the lethal damage that a knife or a screwdriver can do.

The gun-owner should talk to people who don’t own gun and are not part of his tribe. Rediscover what they don’t know and accept their limitations. We have to live with both points of view. The secret is to respect all the other person’s rights as we do so.

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