Monday, June 20, 2016



If facts matter to you, please read on.

Otherwise, turn to Rolling Stone.

The smoke had barely cleared at the Pulse club in Orlando before the predictable yammering began: blame the tool rather than the perpetrator. 

The call to ban “assault weapons” and inflict other restrictions upon people who have broken no laws was absolutely predictable.  Yet every year we incur 30,000 motor vehicle deaths while nobody advocates banning automobiles—except some extreme Greenies.  So what’s the difference?

Well, first things first:

“Assault weapon” is a phrase used by liberals to delegitimize semi-automatic firearms.

Here’s the fact:

The United States Department of Defense has one gadget officially designated an Assault Weapon.  It’s called SMAW, the Shoulder-Launched Multipurpose Assault Weapon.

It’s a rocket launcher.  Enough said? 

Meanwhile, Rolling Stone just published an article listing methods of addressing The Assault Weapon Problem.  Two focused on objects rather than human behavior: reinstituting the largely ineffective Clinton semi-auto ban, and prohibiting “high capacity” magazines.

To quote an attorney friend: “I trust that Rolling Stone has done a cost-benefit analysis, calculating how many lives would be saved by confiscating all those magazines versus how many lives would be lost in the attempt.

“I also have to admire the folks at Rolling Stone for believing so strongly in a principle that they are prepared to die for it.”

National schemes to ban or confiscate stuff have a terrible success record, starting with places like Lexington and Concord in 1775.  Few people still living remember Prohibition, which spurred violent crime sprees in the 1930s, but currently we have the 40-year War On Drugs.  How is that working for you?

Fact is: magazines are simple devices: a metal or plastic box with a spring and a follower.  Ignoring the millions already legally owned, the rapidly evolving 3-D printing technology easily could fill the gap.

Meanwhile, we keep hearing that the Pulse atrocity is “the worst shooting in U.S. history.”   (That’s a lie—the U.S. Army murdered 297 Sioux at Wounded Knee, South Dakota, in 1900, using small arms and artillery.)  Note, however, that Pulse is far from the worst “killing” or the worst “act of terrorism.”

Non-Gun Mass Murders

For readers who still favor facts over rhetoric:

In 1910 a disgruntled union organizer killed 21 and injured 100 by blowing up the Los Angeles Times building with dynamite. 

Ten years later, on Wall Street, suspected anarchists killed 38 and wounded 143 using a horse-drawn wagon loaded with dynamite. 

Then in 1927 the Bath School bombing in Michigan killed 38 children and six adults—a worse toll than the Sandy Hook shooting.

In an incident bearing similarities to Orlando, in 1990 Julio Gonzalez killed 87 people at a club in New York City, mostly Hondurans celebrating Carnival.  Julio Gonzalez used a plastic bucket with $1 worth of gasoline, and a match.

On April 19,1995, Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols blew up the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, killing 168  and injuring 680.  The weapon was a truck loaded with diesel fuel and fertilizer.

On September 11, 2001, Islamic terrorists flew airplanes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, killing 2,996 and injuring more than 6,000.  No guns were involved; hijackers used boxcutters to seize the planes.

That was not the first attack on the World Trade Center, though.  In 1993, some Islamists tried to blow up the north tower, killing “only” six, but injured more than 1,000.  The weapon was a fertilizer bomb.

In 2013 the Tsarnaev brothers murdered three people in Boston but injured, maimed, or disfigured 264.  Their weapons were two pressure cookers containing homemade “kitchen table” explosives, ball bearings and nails.

We needn’t limit our survey to the United States.  In 1993 radical islamists killed 33 Turkish intellectuals and others by setting fire to a hotel.

During a largely-forgotten atrocity in barely three months of 1994, at least half a million Rwandans were murdered by tribal rivals mostly wielding machetes.

In 2003 an unemployed South Korean taxi driver started a fire in a South Korean subway, killing 198 people with nearly 150 injured.

In 2014, 33 Chinese were knifed to death in a train station.  Last year fifty were killed in a multi-attacker knife incident in a coal mine.

Do you see a pattern?

People who want to ban guns need to be careful what they wish for.  They think that the basic economic Law of Substitution will lead psychos who cannot get guns to use knives or sticks or rocks or something less lethal.  History shows otherwise.  Psychos without guns kill and injure far more people than those who use firearms.  They substitute things that are impossible to regulate, like gasoline, diesel fuel, plant fertilizer, household bleach, nails and pressure cookers.  

Foreign Firearms Mass Murders

After the June 2015 church attack in Charleston, S.C., Barack Obama said that mass shootings “just don’t happen in other countries.”

That’s a lie—not a mistake—it’s a lie.  And he said it in Paris five weeks after the shooting-bombing attacks that killed 130.


Between 2009 and 2013, the U.S. ranked sixth in fatal rampage shootings per million population.

In 2004, Chechen separatists seized a Russian Federation school and killed 375 people with over 700 wounded.

Near Oslo in 2011 an assassin killed eight people by explosives and 67 by gunfire, injuring over 300.

The two Muslim attacks in Paris killed 147 people in 2015.  The combined toll of wounded was 380. 

If, somehow, authoritarians could confiscate every gun and “high-capacity magazine” in the country, mass violence would get worse, not better, because the substitute for guns is fire and explosives.  It sounds counter-intuitive, but when we hear about mass shootings, we probably should be thinking, “Thank God they only used guns; otherwise it would have been much worse.”

And consider this: if even half of gun-owners have a semi-auto firearm, banning "assault weapons" could turn about 35 million law-abiding, tax-paying Americans into criminals overnight.  Are police officers going to enter the homes of suspected illegal gun-owners to arrest them and confiscate their offending firearms?

Assuming that a semi-auto ban were passed, then what?  Consider that Great Britain and Australia are islands, both with strong gun laws.  Yet firearms still are brought ashore.  In the U.S., boatloads of AKs and ammo from around the world would land on remote stretches of Mexican coastline and reach the U.S. through the same methods used by drug smugglers.

We’ll barely mention the systemic problems that plague any government bureaucracy.  Last year in a test of TSA airport security, over 90 percent of imitation guns and bombs got through.  Furthermore, prohibited individuals purchased guns because of faulty paperwork, including the Virginia Tech and the Tucson killers.

So what’s the answer?

It’s the same as always: armed citizens adequately trained in safety and defensive shooting.  Three Saturday Night Specials could have saved nearly 3,000 people on 9-11.  And it doesn’t require armed citizens—it requires people willing to fight.  On the Belgian train in 2015, four unarmed passengers (three Americans) stopped a mass shooting though the islamist had an AK and a pistol.  Apparently there was no such resistance inside Pulse at 2 a.m. on June 16, although a variety of improvised weapons were available, from pool cues to fire extinguishers.

That noted firearms authority Bill Clinton declared that armed citizens would not stop mass shootings because concealed carriers would hit bystanders.  (Incidentally, soldiers state that Clinton expanded Bush 41’s ban on carrying loaded weapons on base—then came Fort Hood.  That policy has not changed.)  Aside from the fact that cops shoot vastly more bystanders than armed citizens do (New York City budgets millions to compensate NYPD victims every year), consider this: the world’s militaries acknowledge that 1 to 15 percent of battlefield casualties are caused by friendly fire.  The official term is “fratricide.”  So if in stopping a mass murder, a responder hits one or more potential victims —SO WHAT?  That’s vastly better than losing 13 at Fort Hood, 23 at Luby’s, 32 at Virginia Tech, or 49 in Orlando.

In nearly every instance, the survivors of mass shootings had one thing in common—they waited for men with guns to come solve the problem.  Think about that.  Twice.

And specifically for the anti-gunners: Imagine a world with no guns.  Wouldn’t that be wonderful?  The world was like that once.  Physical strength ruled the planet, and women were grapes to be plucked. 

It was called the Dark Ages. 

Be careful what you wish for.