View Full Version : Guns in the other media (part 1, maybe)

08-27-2009, 9:13 PM
The periodic food fights over UOC made me realize that there is information not being used: the conservative media. Perhaps we should find out if there is something interesting there.

I and others have said that certain kinds of things are bad politics, legal or not. One is anything to do with schools and children. Another is probably guns at a presidential visit. I claim that those are bad juju because they bother people otherwise on our side--generally conservative voters who don't believe that inanimate objects have evil spirits or that punishing people who don't commit crimes affects those who do, but who aren't "gunnies" and may not even own a gun. If they do, it's not a big part of their life. We clearly must have those voters, and if we want to keep them certain issues are too emotional to touch, especially when we have plenty of other things to do.

I am convinced of that as a general principle, whatever the case may be with some specific issue. But how do we know that? It finally occurred to me that people periodically post dinosaur media gun stories, but I almost never see them from the conservative media. But that media serves precisely the audience I'm talking about. So I ask the general question:

How do our issues play out in the Conservative non-gun media?

This post (and maybe more in the series if I'm not distracted by something shiny :D) is a small attempt to gather data on that question. I'm not going to choose specific issues: I'm just going to look at gun reporting on certain conservative websites. My methodology is basically sloth: I'll just snag articles on the front page. I only see them if a non-gunnie could have found them quickly without effort. Maybe we'll learn something. Maybe not. We'll see if it's a waste of time or not.

For no special reason we'll start with a pair of articles from PajamasMedia.com/ (http://pajamasmedia.com/). The first is More Bunk On Concealed Carry From the Violence Policy Center (http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/more-bunk-on-concealed-carry-from-the-violence-policy-center/).

More Bunk On Concealed Carry From the Violence Policy Center

The VPC — an organization funded by Obama when he sat on the Joyce Foundation — invents its own reality with an assault on gun rights.

August 19, 2009 - by Bob Owens

Before he was president — even before he was a senator — Barack Obama was active on the board of directors for several organizations. Most people know of the time Obama spent with domestic terrorist Bill Ayers on the board of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, but fewer people seem to know that Obama was also a director of the left-wing Joyce Foundation.

The Joyce Foundation has always directed considerable monies towards funding gun control groups under the guise of scholarly research and anti-violence efforts. Thanks to the efforts of David T. Hardy, we know that Obama was part of a significant Joyce Foundation effort to subvert Second Amendment scholarship. Though Joyce’s efforts failed to sway the Supreme Court significantly, as evidenced by the Heller decision, Joyce has not given up on efforts to undermine Second Amendment rights and funds several anti-gun organizations.

Among these is the so-called Violence Policy Center (VPC).

The VPC long ago established a reputation for playing fast and loose with the facts and has often been guilty of making accusations that are scurrilous or unsupportable. It has claimed that there are “virtually no differences” between semi-automatic civilian rifles such as AR-15s and fully automatic military machine guns such as the M-16, even though the ability of a military weapon to fire automatically is a very significant difference, both as a practical and legal matter. The organization has also made repeated accusations that .50-caliber rifles are a preferred terrorist and criminal tool, even though the claims have not held up.

Now, the Violence Policy Center has issued a new report, “Law Enforcement and Private Citizens Killed by Concealed Handgun Permit Holders,” that will cement the organization’s reputation for shoddy research and intentionally deceptive reporting.

The report claims to have collected data over a 23-month period (May 2007 to April 2009) that shows concealed handgun permit holders have killed seven law enforcement officers and 44 civilians in 31 incidents. The VPC hopes the media and other gun control organizations will scan the document’s summary and report that concealed weapons permit holders are a danger to society.

I can't resist laughing at "the media and other gun control organizations." While it certainly means "other gun control organizations besides the VPC," it certainly sounds like "other gun control organizations besides the media." :rofl:

The truth, of course, is an entirely different matter, starting with how the VPC conducted its research. The organization did not rely upon hard data, but instead compiled its report by searching media accounts, which are notoriously inaccurate. To compound their poor choice of source material, the organization decided to include concealed carry permit holders even when concealed weapons played no part in the alleged crime. To further cloud the issue, the VPC included carry permit holders that erroneously had permits and who should not have had permits if authorities had not made mistakes.

Here is just a sampling of the problems in the report:

– One of the men cited in the report, Jason Kenneth Hamilton, should not have had a carry permit because of a prior domestic violence conviction. Further, he did not even use a concealed handgun in the commission of his crimes. He instead used two rifles, rendering his inclusion in this list highly questionable.

– Richard Poplawski is the white supremacist who gunned down three police officers in Pittsburgh in April of this year. Like Hamilton, he should not have had a carry permit due to a previous domestic violence incident. Also like Hamilton, Poplawski was armed with two rifles as his primary and secondary weapons.

– Michael McLendon, a spree killer who killed four members of his family and five others with a rifle before committing suicide, made it into the VPC report even though he, like Hamilton and Poplawski, did not use a handgun, concealed or otherwise, during the commission of his crimes.

– Tony Villegas wasn’t accused of using any weapon at all — he was accused of strangling his wife’s friend.

– Andrew Sherman Conley was showing his girlfriend a handgun — again, not concealed — when it discharged, killing her. He had a negligent discharge and is charged with manslaughter. This cannot be characterized as a crime caused because someone had a concealed carry permit.

– William Garrido pled no contest in 1997 to charges of aggravated assault with a weapon. He, also, should not have had a carry permit.

Of the 31 incidents cited by the Violence Policy Center in its report, eight did not involved the use of concealed weapons. One used no weapon at all, four used rifles, one was a negligent discharge, and three were incidents of domestic violence where non-concealed handguns were used.

In seven of the 31 incidents — accounting for 13 deaths — law enforcement failed, providing permits to those who legally should not have had permits due to either previous violent crimes, domestic crimes, or mental health reasons.

All told, 30 of the 57 people that the Violence Policy Center suggested were killed as a result of concealed carry should not have been included in any study citing concealed carry of handguns as a significant contributing factor. The report — which would never survive first contact with any sort of academic peer review — amounts to nearly worthless propaganda. In that regard, it is consistent with the reputation that the VPC has established for shoddy methodology and agenda-driven conclusions.

There are estimated to be more than three million concealed carry permit holders in the United States, and concealed carry permit holders are far less likely to commit any crime than the general population.

This truth doesn’t keep the VPC from misstating the facts about concealed carry.

It could be fairly argued that this long-running willingness to promote anti-gun propaganda over facts was the reason that Barack Obama and the other directors of the Joyce Foundation funded the VPC during his tenure on the board, and why Joyce continues to fund Violence Policy Center reports (including this one) even today.

It isn’t about being being accurate or truthful. Like its most famous backer, the VPC is willing to say or do nearly anything to trumpet its predetermined result.


08-27-2009, 9:20 PM
Now here (http://pajamasmedia.com/ronrosenbaum/2009/08/19/when-will-right-wingers-denounce-those-who-carry-guns-to-rallies/) is the second article, an opinion piece linked to the first so they are reasonable to place side-by-side:

When Will Right Wingers Denounce Those Who Carry Guns to Rallies?

So far I glean from the commenters here, it’s perfectly okay to deface Obama’s image with Hitler mustache, Nazi uniform, etc. This says a lot for your historical erudition and perspective (or about it). (And yes, knee-jerks, I’ve denounced lefty Bu****ler imagery, too.)

But do you approve of carrying guns to town halls where children are present? I’ve seen a lot of offensive signs at left-wing rallies, but I haven’t seen guns. Are the gun-tards making a brave statement about the Second Amendment? (I thought the topic was health care.) Or are they just brainless thugs and bullies putting innocent people in danger because they’re too cowardly to argue like civilized people? Better to try to terrorize them.

Where are the right-wing commenters who are condemning the gun carrier freakazoids? Let’s hear from you. Or is your silence approval or encouragement? Are they doing the dirty work of intimidating opponents on your behalf? Can’t you win an argument without having an armed creep at your side? I think the question answers itself.

Speak up in behalf of civility. Isn’t that a conservative value?

An entirely different tone. Is it because guns near political events plays differently than concealed carry, or just a less pro-gun author? From two articles, we don't know. Stay tuned.


08-27-2009, 9:22 PM
Can’t you win an argument without having an armed creep at your side? I think the question answers itself.

For some reason this just brings images of the armed guards our "public servants" refuse to travel without.....

08-27-2009, 10:05 PM
Hmm -- interesting angle 7x57 - looking forward to some more analysis...


08-27-2009, 10:13 PM
Hmm -- interesting angle 7x57 - looking forward to some more analysis...


08-27-2009, 10:16 PM
Interesting angle, 7x57....looking forward to some more analysis..


ETA - yikes - sorry about the triple post...had a wedged browser there for a minute...

08-27-2009, 11:09 PM
Interesting angle, 7x57....looking forward to some more analysis..


ETA - yikes - sorry about the triple post...had a wedged browser there for a minute...

You can say that again. :)

-I'm about to do the moth/candle thing. Avert your eyes if you must.

In certain States, in certain communities, it's no big deal to OC. This is the case in VA. In NH. In AZ. Probably in other States that I haven't visited lately.

However, folks don't really OC in thigh rigs. Nor do they OC rifles (with narrow exceptions). You just don't see Sven with a model 7 across his back in the produce aisle at Basha's. If you do, it's damn unusual.

Actions like this attract attention. Unfortunately, this isn't the "just spell my name right" attention. This is the "part of an anti-government militia" attention that revives memories of Koresh, OK City and the Montana Freedmen. If we're lucky, folks won't remember Ben Smith and the rest of the nutball Christian Identity ZOG-fearing wackos.

In contrast to normal OC or even the uniquely California flavored UOC, this behavior is intentionally threatening.

Water the Tree of Liberty...

Carry an unloaded rifle because someone might get upset and try to grab it...Isn't this an admission that "Chris" knew that his actions were intended to push people too far?

Apparently, the pushed our own people too far, too.

The 1994 AW Ban passed the House 235-195. It passed the Senate 61-38.

There were plenty of Republicans who voted for that abomination. They did because they felt that they had to.

Let's not recreate that situation.

08-27-2009, 11:12 PM

08-28-2009, 1:10 AM
Megan McArdle is the lone libertarian writer at The Atlantic (http://www.theatlantic.com/). She's recently been commenting on the whole "guns at Presidential rallies" meme, and has been vilified in the liberal blogosphere for her efforts.

Yesterday, she made another valiant attempt (http://meganmcardle.theatlantic.com/archives/2009/08/the_power_of_the_gun.php) to explain why "normal" people don't go on murderous rampages every time a firearm is present.

The Power of the Gun
27 Aug 2009 08:11 am

A lot of commenters seem sure that having a legal gun around substantially increases the likelihood that someone will, in a moment of rage, shoot someone — so sure that they are clearly convinced I am a lunatic for even suggesting otherwise. I understand the intuition, and maybe it's right. But the evidence for the proposition is not all that strong.

First of all, as it shows in the articles I linked earlier, something like 90% of homicides are committed by people with criminal records, i.e. people who probably cannot legally own a gun. A lot of the rest are committed by juveniles, or mentally unstable people, who also cannot legally own a gun.

It is perfectly true that adding a gun to a dispute involving violent criminals increases the likelihood that someone will be shot. But violent criminals are not like the rest of us. They have very poor impulse control, and, well, a demonstrated willingness to use violence. They also are not likely to apply for a permit before packing heat.

Murder is not something that usually just happens, even among family members. The people who do it are usually abnormal in some way, and it shows. For all the fears that allowing concealed carry would lead to murderous road rage and bar fights, these incidents have failed to materialize. I have managed to find one murder in Florida that was even arguably the result of having a gun available in a heated moment--the few others were either clearly premeditated, or involved a weapon other than a handgun. Given how small the number is, as far as I can determine, the good done by defensive uses of concealed weapons would virtually have to outweigh the harm, since several concealed carry holders have stopped violent crimes.

And if you think about it, you already know this. You have access to fatal weapons every day. How often, after a fight with someone, have you been seriously tempted to run them over with your car? Or grab a knife from the rack in the kitchen and brandish it at them? Put rat poison in their morning coffee? Or take an exacto blade to their throat while asleep? The men in the readership, at least, could be fairly confident of their ability to stab their spouse to death whenever she says something really awful. Yet none of you have done it. Virtually no one else has done it, either, except for people who were already clearly deeply troubled — either abusive, or mentally ill. That's why not a lot of hunters report getting into disputes with their friends or family that suddenly, unexpectedly, and tragically, turn violent.

It would be a very good thing if we could take guns out of the hands of criminals. But they really don't seem to make ordinary people any more murderous. (Possibly more effective suicides, but this is hard to assess, since the gun suicides may just be more determined people who would otherwise choose another, equally effective and irrevocable method). There is more we could be doing to keep criminals from getting guns — unlike most second amendment supporters, I would support extending the requirement for background checks to private sales. And perhaps there should be a presumptive temporary revocation for those who have restraining orders out on them. But with 220 million people in this country and a very long border, no gun control scheme is going to make much difference in the availability of guns to people who really want to have them.

08-28-2009, 1:24 AM
Megan McArdle is the lone libertarian writer at The Atlantic (http://www.theatlantic.com/). She's recently been commenting on the whole "guns at Presidential rallies" meme, and has been vilified in the liberal blogosphere for her efforts.

Yesterday, she made another valiant attempt (http://meganmcardle.theatlantic.com/archives/2009/08/the_power_of_the_gun.php) to explain why "normal" people don't go on murderous rampages every time a firearm is present.

thats a point i make with people if someone had three wishes and wished all guns were gone, we would devolve to cutting each other, if they wished that all blades were gone, we would devolve to bludgeoning each other. Witnessing this the person should use the 3rd wish to live in a world with guns and knives because who wants to look at blood & brain matter on the pavement? pretty much we have eyes in the front of our heads we are hunters by nature, killing is what we do like any other hunter. We will use what is available to kill period.

08-28-2009, 7:56 AM
Those looking at the article dates might wonder how I saw articles on the front page a few days after publication. In fact I started keeping gun articles in Firefox tabs about the time "Chris" OCed an AR at an Obama speech, because that is what gave me the idea for this project. I just hadn't entirely decided if I was going to post them. So from a few days ago when that was the headline news, here (http://www.redstate.com/marcus_traianus/2009/08/18/please-leave-the-firearms-at-home/) is a another article, this time from RedState: (http://www.redstate.com/)

Please Leave the Firearms at Home

Posted by Marcus_Traianus

Tuesday, August 18th at 10:02AM EDT

Let’s dispense of a few rhetorical attack angles right up front. I am a gun owner, supporter of the Second Amendment and NRA member. Living in New York, I am also jealous of the carry laws in places such as Arizona, Florida and New Hampshire. However, I will offer my differing opinion on the following;


PHOENIX — About a dozen people carrying guns, including one with a military-style rifle, milled among protesters outside the convention center where President Barack Obama was giving a speech Monday — the latest incident in which protesters have openly displayed firearms near the president.

I don’t question your right to possess or carry a gun. My only concern is appearances and the deceitful opportunity this provides to those who don’t support gun rights. It also puts all at the rally in danger of being ubiquitously dismissed as nuts or supporters of fringe groups and plays into liberals oft characterized stereotypes.

Carrying your gun at a rally to highlight Democrats attack on our Second Amendment Right is both justifiable and where permissible, legal. However, doing so at political rallies is intimidating to some participants. Given the latest increase Conservative protesters and demographic mix, I would simply ask you refrain from bringing the gun.

As we continue our effort to get folks actively involved, it would be helpful for them to feel safe and not be intimidated. Recent liberal attempts to use their supporters as potential flash points are already enough to deter some families from attending.

I understand the passion and cherish our Right. But in full consideration for all potential points of view, I simply ask for restraint.

The author's main arguments are that (1) OCing at a political event is handing ammunition to anti-gunners, and (2) will also discourage people from attending on the Conservative/Libertarian side. He is concerned with political consequences, not whether anyone has the right to carry at such an event or whether the gun will cause blood to flow in the streets.


08-28-2009, 8:04 AM
-I'm about to do the moth/candle thing. Avert your eyes if you must.

Should I just ask for the thread to be deleted now? :chris:


08-28-2009, 8:25 AM
Maybe if we had more women carrying EPR's to these rally's, it would throw the liberals and MSM off their game.


08-28-2009, 11:26 AM
Ms. McArdle (http://meganmcardle.theatlantic.com/) seems to have reached the same point as many calguns members on the subject of open carry demonstrations.

Here's a snippet of her most recent post (emphasis added):

My Last Word on Guns (http://meganmcardle.theatlantic.com/archives/2009/08/jason_zengerle_indicates_that.php)
27 Aug 2009 03:01 pm

...Expression in a free society is important — important enough even to let us risk the president's life, as we are indisputably doing every time we allow a protest, or for that matter a crowd, near him. You can say, well, free speech is really important, and carrying a gun isn't, but that's begging the question. I'm going to stop discussing this after th(is) post, because what it comes down to is liberals saying, "Conservatives with guns make me extraordinarily anxious and upset," and clearly, they're right. Nonetheless. Carrying a gun is clearly an attempt to make some sort of political statement, though we may not know what — rather like flag burning. And the supreme court takes a very dim view of "Fighting words" type excuses to limit constitutional rights.

Rather like flag burning, it shouldn't happen, even though you've a perfect right to do this. The problem with taking a narrow position is that everyone wants to push you into the broader position. It's easier to argue with the opposite of your position than a halfhearted compromise. And making narrow arguments in the face of towering rage and anxiety seems, well, kind of wussy.

Nonetheless, I take the narrow position: openly carrying a gun to a protest is idiotic. Our president isn't the only one who has had a totally lunatic pastor (http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/08/pastor_of_gun-toter_at_obama_event_day_before_even.php?ref=fpa). But there's really very little statistical evidence that it's likely to cause anyone any problems except their own stress. People who are planning to commit violence are probably going to try to conceal it until the last moment. And the other people aren't going to pick fights with the guy with the gun. Furthermore, these protests are hardly some variation on the Seattle WTO fights. They're small and, other than the gun freak show and the LaRouchies with Hitler signs, pretty boring.

People carrying guns are acting like jerks. So are the liberals who have created a giant scary amalgam of a right-wing protester, who has done every bad thing that every protester has ever done. More than one person has now asked me how I can defend someone who shows up at a rally holding a gun in one hand and a picture of Obama-as-Hitler in the other, and starts screaming about death panels?

Moreover, having created this horrifying bogeyman, the next rhetorical move is to claim that this constitutes the whole of the opposition to your program...

08-28-2009, 11:47 AM
Ms. McArdle (http://meganmcardle.theatlantic.com/) seems to have reached the same point as many calguns members on the subject of open carry demonstrations.

Here's a snippet of her most recent post (emphasis added):

Just another example; seems that she's saying that while exercising a right is supposed to be the whole message, we don't control the message that gets promulgated. Those who do not understand and those of ill will spin these occasions entirely differently from the intent.

Nodda Duma
08-28-2009, 12:47 PM
Has there been any open carrying at political rallies since Phoenix? Have the incidents since then been covered by the media? If there has, but without major coverage, then that's a step in the right direction. Why? Because it means MSM has started getting used to the idea of people carrying guns to demonstrate for 2A rights. It means it's started sinking in that law abiding citizens bearing arms actually is ok. Call it desensitization, if you will.


09-29-2009, 9:17 AM
I guess I'm going to revive this idea, since I just found an article on AB962 (http://www.redcounty.com/handgun-ammo-law-awaiting-governors-signature) in the non-gunny, non-Pravda media:

Handgun ammo law awaiting governor's signature

By Eric Ingemunson

A bill that would require a driver’s license and a thumbprint for purchases of handgun ammo is on the governor’s desk awaiting his signature. The proposed law from Assemblyman Kevin de Leon, AB962, would also ban sales over the internet or through the mail.

The proposed law is called the Anti-Gang Neighborhood Protection Act of 2009. It will prove to be major headache for responsible gun owners, and will be only a minor annoyance for gang members. Somebody tell de Leon that it’s also comically self-defeating. Follow the thought process:

1. Problem: outlaws are murdering people
2. Solution: write a law saying you can’t murder
3. Problem: outlaws don’t follow laws, and they are still murdering people
4. Solution: write a law saying they can’t have guns
5. Problem: outlaws don’t follow laws, are still getting guns, and are still murdering people
6. Solution: write a law saying they can’t have ammo

…which, of course, will promptly be ignored by the outlaws because outlaws—by definition—do not follow laws, Assemblyman de Leon! When your law fails, what should we do next? Outlaw gunpowder? Oh if only there were no gunpowder, nobody would get shot…

Do you seriously think that gang members are risking felonies by ignoring anti-handgun laws—but for some reason they will suddenly stop buying ammo for their felonious guns because they are afraid of your misdemeanor?

The only effects of bills such as these are to make it impossible for responsible people to protect themselves from well-armed outlaws. The original bill would have even banned ammo transfers between family members, but thankfully that was cut out of the final version.

Today’s Ventura County Star article on AB962 cited a Rand Corp. study in 2004 in Los Angeles.

It surveyed ammunition purchases over a two-month period and determined that 2.8 percent of purchasers were individuals who were legally prohibited from owning guns or bullets.

That means that we are going to enact a law and possibly violate the Constitutional rights of 97.2 percent of Californians in order to discourage 2.8 percent of law-breakers who, studies have shown, will continue to break the law?

That depends on the governor, who would have to sign the bill by October 11th for it to become law. Let's hope he has more sense than de Leon.

Pretty good article. My only objection is he didn't give the phone # and ask people to call.