The Common Sense Language of Gun Control

Words have more power than just about anything. Words can get us married. Words can get us thrown out of bars. Words (in the form of outrageous lies) can get people elected to political office.

In fact, words have the power to change a discussion to a completely different topic.

As an example, look what words have done to the pro-choice / pro-life discussion. If an extraterrestrial NSA analyst was listening in on that debate, they might assume that the argument was over whether women had the right to buy Flintstone vitamins since the language speaks more to “healthcare” than abortion issues.

We don’t have to look far to see what kind of impact words have had on the gun debate.

Using our advanced underground particle literacy accelerator laboratory, located in an underground complex in the foothills of South Dakota, I’ve completed an analysis of words and their impact on the gun debate.

Impact of words on the gun debate

I think the phrase “commonsense gun laws” might be the most dangerous of them all. Using the phrase “common sense” is like a preemptive nuclear strike. When you throw out a term like “common sense” in the war of words, you’re immediately claiming the high ground and establishing your position as a given. It’s up to the opposing party to knock you off.

Heck, you can preface the most ridiculous of arguments with “common sense” to win virtually any debate.

“We should consider common sense solutions to America’s weight problem by doing things like banning large Cokes.”

“We should think about common sense solutions to fairness in reporting by putting Piers Morgan in charge of the FCC.”

“We should pursue common sense solutions to population control by deporting everyone who likes turnips.”

Part of the reason “common sense” is so dangerous is that it sounds so disarming.

So how do you go about fighting common sense? How do you overcome being the bad guy resisting the warm and fuzzy argument that’s based on common sense?

I like to use a technique developed here in the southern United States. It’s called the “bless your heart” attack.

Contrary to the point of this article the phrase “bless your heart” has absolutely nothing to do with words. It has everything to do with demeanor, facial expression and a voice dripping with high fructose corn syrup.

Delivered correctly, “bless your heart” delivers 25 megatons of nuclear insult to your target. (Tweet This)

Said to someone with the correct technique, it translates loosely as “you’re a tiresome lout and have the IQ of a can of spackle.”

So take a lesson. When someone tells you about commonsense gun laws, give your best politician smile and ask them to help you understand exactly how it represents ’common sense.

Example: “You’ll have to forgive me, I haven’t had my coffee yet today. How is that common sense exactly?”

One of two things will happen. First, if your opponent is simply parroting a talking point, you’ll expose them for doing so. Second, if your opponent has any knowledge of the subject matter at all, you have deflected the common sense preemptive strike and started an actual discussion, at which point victory is assured for you.

What’s the conclusion? Guns don’t kill people, words kill people! That’s just common sense.

While you’re here, why not grab a copy of my free eBook, A Fistful of Shooting Tips? It’ll help make you a better handgun shooter and the envy of your range in no time!

Astroturf? Not. NSSF Breaks 10,000 Member Mark

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) reports that it has recently surpassed the 10,000 member mark, reflecting strong industry support for its efforts.

No, these new members were not paid with a pack of cigarettes, bussed in to enrollment centers or counted multiple times. The best part? All of these new members are actually living. These are companies, media organizations and individuals who have made the effort to join, and pay dues, to support the industry.

As big as it is, the NSSF SHOT Show is only a small part of what the National Shooting Sports Foundation does for the industry.

As big as it is, the NSSF SHOT Show is only a small part of what the National Shooting Sports Foundation does for the industry.

“NSSF membership continues to climb because more industry connected companies, organizations and individuals are aware of the many ways NSSF works to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports,” said Chris Dolnack, Senior VP and Chief Marketing Officer. “Such growth empowers NSSF to speak with a single, powerful voice on behalf of the industry inside the Beltway and in state houses across the country.”

To better accommodate the volume of membership renewals, the NSSF has changed their renewal terms. Now, renewal dates can be anniversary, rather than calendar date, driven. The NSSF membership team hopes that this change will speed up the process of distributing membership and renewal packets.

“We appreciate this incredible support,” said Bettyjane Swann, NSSF Director, Member Services, “and we similarly thank our members for their patience in awaiting their membership renewal packets. If a member has not received the packet and has any questions regarding this, they can certainly contact me.”

The NSSF offers a variety of membership types including voting, supporting, non-profit, retailer, range and individual media. Contact nssf.org for more information.

Open Carry Ban Leads To Concealed Carry Win in California?

California Shall Issue Permit ProcessBack to back Second Amendment victories emerged from an unlikely source – the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In two cases filled with irony, it turned out that California’s recent ban on open carry paved the way for the concealed carry victory. Huh?

Yes, an anti-gun decision in California enabled a pro-gun court ruling. (Tweet This)

Monkeys are now flying out of my… well, never mind.

While California bans open carry at the state level, concealed carry policies and restrictions are determined at the county level. Frustrated by permit refusals from San Diego County, five residents sued, challenging the county’s requirement for “proof of need” to obtain a concealed carry permit. Apparently, if you’ve been murdered more than once, you “might” be eligible to obtain a carry permit in some locales.

On February 13th, the appeals court ruled on the Peruta v. San Diego case in favor of the residents and ruled the “may issue” concealed permit policy unconstitutional.

“We are not holding that the Second Amendment requires the states to permit concealed carry,” Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain, a Reagan appointee, wrote for the panel. “But the Second Amendment does require that the states permit some form of carry for self-defense outside the home.”

With no open carry option on the table, and concealed carry effectively banned in many California counties due to arbitrary permit issuance policies, the court agreed that citizens were effectively prevented from exercising their Second Amendment rights.

If you can’t carry visibly or concealed, that only leaves parallel universe carry, which is a difficult skill for most people to master. (Tweet This)

In a follow-up case, Richards vs. Sheriff Ed Prieto, Yolo County, California’s “may issue” concealed carry permit policy was also shot down by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The court rejected the county argument that the case circumstances were materially different than Peruta vs. San Diego.

“Today’s ruling reinforces the Second Amendment’s application  to state and local governments, and will help clear the way for more California citizens to exercise their right to bear arms,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “California officials have been put on notice that they can no longer treat the Second Amendment as a heavily regulated government privilege.”

According to the San Jose Mercury News, permits permit applications have been flooding in to a number of counties since the ruling, with many seeing double the annual average of applications in the past few weeks.

The bottom line? These two cases have solidified the position that Second Amendment rights apply outside the home – at least for California residents. At the national level, the Ninth Circuit decision is contrary to similar cases in the Second, Third and Fourth Circuit courts, so Supreme Court intervention is likely at some point.

Keep the pressure on folks!

Phil’s Phobias, Urticating Caterpillars and the Gun Debate

One of the joys of publishing written diatribe for public consumption is the comments and feedback from the… internet. Consider this recent example.

Phil from Australia writes…

I’m glad I live in Australia, with controlled gun ownership, where all guns must be locked away. EG. I read a story where a 3 year old boy shoots himself…….go figure.

Well there you have it. A random anecdote trumps decades of factual data, at least in Phil’s mind.

But when you step back and look at a comment like this, it just illustrates the real challenge behind the gun debate. You see, Phil is not alone. Think about how many people have their views about gun policy shaped by random “I heard that…” anecdotes.

I heard about a shark attack once. But that didn’t stop me from taking showers. For long.(Tweet This)

If one invests about four minutes to research the gun debate, it becomes pretty darn clear that guns themselves aren’t the driving issue for crime. Gun ownership is way up. Crime is way down. When folks aren’t robbed of their rights of self-protection, crime falls. Accidents are at an all time low. The vast majority of gun-related crime involves convicted felons. Guns are used far, far more frequently to prevent people from getting hurt than for hurting people. Let me repeat that.

Guns are used far, far more frequently to prevent people from getting hurt than for hurting people. (Tweet This)

In other words, a rational look at the data to examine the pros and cons of gun use yields a clear result. Guns save lives.

So what has so much power to trump decades of historical data and cause people to hold so dearly to viewpoints that have no basis in fact?

Hint: It’s fear.

You see, the power of fear is mind-bottling. You know, just like Chazz Michael Michaels so eloquently explained. “You know, when things are so crazy it gets your thoughts all trapped, like in a bottle?”

Phil is a perfect example of the power of the fear mentality.

You see, Phil lives in a country where children are 94.3 times more likely to be eaten by a crocodile than win a regional spelling bee.

Well, maybe I made that statistic up, but I’m sure it’s happened at least once, so that pretty much settles the argument.

Conclusion? If you don’t want to become croc-lunch, practice spelling the word “insouciant.”

I decided to consult famed behavioral psychiatrist, Dr. Emil Shuffhausen, to explore Phil’s case further. Based on preliminary analysis, there are a number of other things that frighten Phil.

Australian Phil's Fears

Australian Phil’s Fears

 At risk of causing Phil more undue stress, I want to point out some other hazards of living in Australia.

  • 715 people died tripping, slipping and stumbling, which makes one think Fosters Beer should be locked away.
  • 26 Australians fell off chairs to their earthly end. Consider working in the Lotus position. Yoga is all the rage right now.
  • 58 people died just falling out of bed, although there are not footnotes on which activity immediately proceeded these tragic accidents.
  • Australians are equally susceptible to death from human bites as dog bites. No comment.
  • More venomous arthropod warning signs might be in order, as urticating caterpillars are more likely to kill than crocodile attacks or earthquakes.

But here’s the thing. People like Phil aren’t really concerned with all these other potential hazards. Why?

Fear dominates attitude towards guns because people don’t assign any potential benefits to gun ownership – they only consider the negatives. (Tweet This)

That’s right. When subconsciously evaluating the cost / benefit of various life activities, which might kill us, people always consider the benefit side of the equation for things like swimming, walking, sitting, sleeping and even keeping pet urticating caterpillars. Yes, any of these activities can be lethal, but that’s OK because a larger upside is perceived to balance the risks.

We all just assume there are plenty of benefits to sleeping, sitting and caterpillar husbandry, right? (Tweet This)

So Phil, and others like you: Be intellectually honest about the debate. There are always two sides to any decision. Even a fart has benefits, so consider the other side of the scale before opining on gun control.

Oh, and Phil. One more thing. Nine people died in Australia last year as a result of horse-drawn vehicle incidents.

I sure am glad I live in a country with controlled horsepower transportation, where New York’s new Mayor is banning horse-drawn carriage tours. (Tweet This)

 

Be sure to check out our book, The Rookie’s Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition. It’s available in print and Kindle format at Amazon:

The Rookie's Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition

The Rookie’s Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition

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The Rookie's Guide to the Springfield Armory XD-S

The Rookie’s Guide to the Springfield Armory XD-S

2014 – The Year of 2nd Amendment Goblins, Trolls and a Few Fairies

Proving that few people have sense or good judgement, I’ve been invited to contribute articles to Bearing Arms. You might know them, along with 1.1 million other people, as 2nd Amendment on Facebook. Check them out. Subscribe. Get involved. Sign up for an Appleseed event in 2014, and better yet, bring a friend!

Here’s a link to today’s article at Bearing Arms

2014 is going to be the year of relentless attack on our Second Amendment rights.

His Royal-ness the Dishonorable Nanny-pants Bloomberg is now unemployed, and will be able to devote his full and undivided attention to helping us understand what’s best for us. We have a President in office, who, while not otherwise occupied vacationing, seems to believe that his lack of experience qualifies him to make unilateral decisions that no one else wants or agrees with. And last but not least, Vice President Grumpy McCrankyPants has not yet been distracted by a new Cracker Jacks trinket, so he’s still on a gun control rampage. Oh yeah, and Piers Morgan still lives here.

With all that looming in front of us, it’s time that everyone understands the real history of the Second Amendment.  You heard it here first folks…

A Second Amendment Fairy Tale

Once upon a time…

In a faraway land called Murrica, there was a great struggle, lasting many days and nights. You see, the settlers of Murrica were tormented by an insatiable and covetous evil troll known as George Threepence. While George lived across the great waters, in the hinterlands, he insisted on taxing the settlers with many fees and regulations. After all, he did not get the name George Threepence for his generosity.

Fed up with overzealous overdraft fees and parking tickets without representation, the villagers of Murrica were desperate to be free of the troll. They called upon a new leader, George Chiseled-Face for help. George Chiseled-Face had a plan. He knew that the good people of Murrica were well schooled in the use of magic kablooey powder and many of them maintained stores of it for their personal protection and other uses.

Without delay, George Chiseled-Face rode throughout the land of Murrica, yelling at the top of his lungs, “Militia! Militia! That means you – all you settlers of Murrica!” And it was in this way, that the people of Murrica had determined to organize themselves into a fighting force to oust George Threepence, the troll. For the people did not trust big armies like George the troll had. They preferred to call themselves up to service and yell “Militia!” with great enthusiasm as needs arose. It was most exhilarating!

Using their wits, a collection of farm animals and copious quantities of magic kablooey powder, the good people of Murrica, led by George Chiseled-Face and many fair and white-wigged princes, fought battle after battle with troll George’s Red Socks, until finally forcing them out at home plate.

Read the rest at Bearing Arms!

5 Reasons Concealed Carry Laws Are Ridiculous

I’ve started another new venture and am writing regular columns for Bearing Arms. It’s a great source of news, opinions, and how-to info for all things shooting and Second Amendment related. You can find them on Facebook also. Here’s this weeks rant…

Gun free zones

Every day there’s something in the news about someone or other campaigning to restrict concealed carry.

For example, the newly-formed group MDASININE (Moms Demand Action Supporting Irrelevant Nonsensical Insane Nanny-like Edicts) is frequently on the warpath to shame businesses, who want nothing more than to just sell stuff, into the gun debate.

And they’re not the only ones. Federal and state officials – you may know them as bamboozlers in training – are constantly dreaming up new restrictions, laws and public proclamations. All these rules are just as ‘guaranteed’ to make us safer as the rock-solid ‘guarantees’ that health insurance will be cheaper and we can keep our own doctors.

Restrictions vary by geography. If you have a fast enough computer, you can calculate the number of restrictions by multiplying the number of politicians by the number of media microphones within a radius of 97 miles. Some examples of “no carry” restrictions include…

Restaurants. Churches. Public bathrooms. Sporting events. New York City. Political conventions (think about the number of criminals per square foot there!) Medical facilities (even though doctors kill far more innocent people than guns.) Post offices. Buffalo Wild Wings. Staples – or maybe not Staples. Schools. Movie theaters. The St. Louis Mass Transit System that delivered most people to the NRA Annual Meeting. 7-11 stores? Canada. Military bases. My house. Ha! Just kidding with ya.

I can’t for the life of me understand the logic behind restricting concealed carry to reduce crime. To believe that, you also have to believe that those who carry concealed are the root cause of crime. There’s no other way around the logic.

Not surprisingly, the concealed carry community has been proven over and over again to be the safest measurable population group around. More so than priests, active duty police officers, Hollywood intelligentsia, politicians and Amanda Bynes. The crime rate of Mayors Against Illegal Guns membership (sorry, I meant Mayors Against Legal Governing) is orders of magnitude more than that of concealed carry citizens. I can’t prove this, but I hear you have to provide photographic evidence of extortion, fraud or preschool fight club gambling to become initiated into the exclusive MAIG crime syndicate.

A number of states have compiled data on the lawfulness of concealed carry holsters. For example, in Texas, the average citizen is 7.7 times more likely to commit a violent crime than a concealed carry holder, and 18 times more likely to commit a non-violent crime than a concealed permit holder.

Read the rest at Bearing Arms!

 

Be sure to check out our latest book, The Rookie’s Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition. It’s available in print and Kindle format at Amazon:

The Rookie's Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition

The Rookie’s Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition

Coming Soon To A Theater Near You: The Longest Gate

The Longest Gate - WWII Memorial Shut Down

A Government Shutdown Pop Quiz

Today’s pop quiz is a little complicated. It’s a combination of reading comprehension and true / false answers. Ready?

Government shutdown shooting range

OK, now they’ve done it. I’m really mad.

Reading Comprehension

Dick and Jane like to go shooting at a public range in the ‘Murrican National Forest. This range is completely unattended. It’s open 7 days a week from sunrise to sunset and there are no employees of any kind at the facility. It’s a nice facility and Dick and Jane have fun shooting and meeting other people who like to shoot. Today, Dick brought 3 boxes of American Eagle .223 Remington Ammunition. Jane brought 3 boxes of 300 AAC Blackout ammunition. One was 110 grain, one was 135 grain and the last was 220 grain subsonic loads. When Dick and Jane arrived at the shooting range, they found a padlocked gate with a sign saying that Bert and Ernie couldn’t seem to agree on a budget, so due to lack of Federal funding, the range was closed until further notice.

Questions – Circle the correct true / false answer:

1. (True / False) Since the range is unattended, no one actually reports to work there.

2. (True / False) Since the range is unattended, some Federal employee had to violate the government shutdown order to go lock the gate to the shooting range and place signs saying that the range was closed, even though no one works there.

3. (True / False) Federal government decision-making mimics the thought processes of cement.

4. (True / False) Dick and Jane’s conspiracy theorist friend, Vladimir, is convinced that a call was placed from the White House to the folks who look after the ‘Murrican Forest Shooting Range telling them to shut the range down just to poke gun owners in the eye.

5. (True / False) The United States Senate is full of complete idiots who are an obscene embarrassment to the American way of life.

6. (True / False) Dick and Jane left the range with 6 total boxes of ammunition.

7. (True / False) Harry Reid looks an awfully lot like the fairy in Dick and Jane’s reading books.

Answer Key

1. True.

2. True.

3. False. Cement is demonstrably more intelligent.

4. False. No call was placed. Air Force 1 was dispatched late last night so the matter could be handled personally.

5. True.

6. False. Dick and Jane snuck in anyway. And collected a pile of sweet, like new, once-fired .30-06 brass to boot.

7. False. Harry Reid resembles a Garden Gnome suffering from advanced stage Mad Cow disease.

 

I Do Not Like Guns Here Or There, I Do Not Like Them Anywhere

Dianne Feinstein Dr. Seuss I do not like guns

More on the LaPierreCare Affordable Gun Act here.

LaPierreCare Affordable Gun Act of 2013 Set To Launch Amid Defunding Fight

NRA Executive Vice President pitches LaPierreCare at a recent Remington State University event. Image: NRA.org

NRA Executive Vice President pitches LaPierreCare at a recent Remington State University event. Image: NRA.org

Tomorrow marks the go live date for the Affordable Gun Act of 2013, commonly referred to as LaPierreCare. Intended to make guns and ammunition accessible and affordable to all Americans, LaPierreCare levels the playing field by striking down capricious state laws that infringe on rights to bear arms. According to industry spokesperson, the late Charlton Heston, “This is a big flippin’ deal.”

The overarching goal of the LaPierreCare program is simple – help make guns affordable and accessible to the 152 million adult Americans who do not own a firearm. “Yes, Nearly 100 million people own a gun, but we hope to remove restrictions imposed by states like Illinois, New York and The People’s Republik of California that prevent all Americans from having the opportunity to enjoy their rights.”

House Minority Leader Fancy Pilates gushed about the new law’s possibilities. “Just think of an economy where people could be a trapshooter, action pistol competitor or 3 gunner without worrying about keeping their day job in order to afford guns. People wouldn’t be prevented from busting caps and vaporizing SPAM because of unfair inconveniences like jobs. The old system is racist.”

However, the LaPierreCare movement is not without controversy and flip-flopping. “Initially, I wanted to pass this bill so I could see what was in it. But then I found out it was about guns and that it would make it even easier for George Bush to buy another Perazzi. So now I’m opposed,” lamented Minority Leader Pilates.

Senate Democrats seem to understand the bill’s inevitability, yet are mounting an aggressive effort to defund LaPierreCare in hopes of stalling the program. “Obviously this is about guns, and those make me piddle my britches, so I’m opposed on principle. But it’s also really unfairsies,” groaned New York Senator Cluck Schmoozer. ”Under the proposed LaPierreCare program, unemployment and under achievement is simply not rewarded. This who live with their parents well into their 20s have to find ways to pay for their own guns and ammo. It’s just not fair – one-percenters just need to step up to the firing line, so to speak.”

“Yeah, what he said,” President Obama echoed. “If LaPierre says owning a firearm is every American’s right, then just because someone goofed off through seven years of college and has to live at home, their weekend recreational shooting activities shouldn’t be impacted. That would be, ummm, racist.”

New York Mayor Mikey Silverspoonberg, leader of the group Mayors Against Legal Governing, has also emerged as a powerful force in fight to stop LaPierreCare. “I will fight to defund LaPierreCare until my interns can no longer bring me skinny Chai Lattes,” claimed Bloomberg during a marathon, fact-filled, 93 second speech from New York’s famous Monkey Bar restaurant. “Knowing what’s best for the American public, I will use gobs of my money to enforce my will. Now where the hell are my bodyguards?”

Others are jumping on the defund LaPierreCare bandwagon. California Senator Polyanne “I would appreciate if you would refer to me as Senator – I’ve worked hard for that title” Whinestein stated “I think your rights are all hot air. I do not like them Mr. LaPierre. I do not like guns on a range, and I think your views are somewhat strange. I do not like people questioning me, I don’t like that at all you see. I do not like guns here or there, I do not like them anywhere.”

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