Topic Number One And Only…

…in the media, these days, seems to be the idea that “the GOP is racist”, since Donald Trump, who has certainly brought out more than his fair share of the angry and the ignorant (sort of the flipside of Bernie Sanders, who, let’s not forget, is pimping xenophobic socialism himself) and who will be out of the race in a couple of months, is being closely tailed, and in the aggregate outnumbered, by two Latinos, a woman, and an African-American, all vying for the chance to take a shot at one of the three geriatric honkies on the Democrat side.

Which, in turn, is the sum, total, entire reason the media is obsessing over “racism”.


The Peasants Are Restless

A Survey USA poll shows Hillary losing to every single GOP candidate.

In Minnesota.


Longtime friend of the blog Fresch Fisch writes in re poll (about which more later today):

I predict the Minnesota Poll will come out in a couple of weeks showing her back on top.


But she won’t just be back on top, but on top by a margin guaranteed to discourage GOP turnout.


Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Listening to NARN, you quoted someone saying an adult writing a book should know that no students at West Point have scholarships, they have commissions, and failure to clearly say this makes one unqualified for President. Similarly, an adult writing a book about his life should know where he was born – Africa or America – and failure to clearly state the truth he later chooses, disqualifies him for president.  Unless, of course, it’s a form of simplification for explanation, or dramatic license, or hyperbole, or…

Carson could simply, a la Obama, say it was a “composite” of several schools, military and civilian…


For years, I’ve been listening to my various liberal friends grunt and shriek in horror as various school boards around the country adopt policies that call for their various school districts to recognize, in one curricular form or another, the existence of creationism.

To which I’ve responded with two questions:

“First – if someone who’s refinishing your driveway, or checking out your groceries, or working on the app that you use to calculate your heart rate, is a young earth creationist [because the type of liberals who always huff and puff about creationism tend to own fitbits, naturally, believe everyone who isn’t like them is in the service class], what difference does it make to you?”

The answer, generally, is something with pretensions to altruism with overtones of intellectual thuggery; “we want everyone in our society to start with the same basis of actual knowledge,” or some such.

Which leads to my second question: “So – let’s say that you go to the hospital with a life-threatening aneurysm in your brain.  And as you’re getting ready for surgery to stent a weak spot in a cranial artery to prevent it blowing like a water balloon, killing you in less time than it takes me to say this, you find out that your brain surgeon – a person who spent four years in a hypercompetitive hard-science-based pre-med program vying for a seat in a medical school, and then four more in a medical program designed to weed out the non-hackers, and not only surviving the cut but doing it brilliantly enough to get accepted to post-doctorate training and residency as a brain surgeon, and then years of experience operating on peoples’ brains – is a creationist?  Do you get up off the operating table, loudly proclaim “you, madame, have no respect for science!” and walk away, looking for a non-creationism brain surgeon?”

There was a time when it was a hypothetical question.  Ben Carson, the media is jumping up and down to remind us, is an old-earth creationist (who abjures ruling out a very old earth).  And – as the Clinton’s praetorian guard is reminding us these days, he believes a few other oddball things.

Now, Carson isn’t my guy at this point, although he’d be a better President than anyone on the Democrat ticket.

But let’s acknowledge a few things; he’s a very smart guy.  Literally, a brain surgeon.  To quote a less brilliant candidate, “that’s f****ng huge!”    But he believes in creationism, and that pyramids were used as granaries.


But I have a quesiton: is that any wackier than believing you can offer free college tuition without blowing up the deficit and distorting the higher education market out of recognition?  Or in believing that storing classified emails in a bathroom and telling the American people that the Benghazi attack was caused by an anti-Muslim video were good ideas?

How Bad Were The Moderators…

…of last night’s CNBC GOP debate?

Even Brian Williams is saying he wasn’t there”
— Mark Okern (from Facebook)

I watched the first half of yesterday’s GOP debate, before I had to go do some family stuff.

There had been some hope that CNBC – an ostensible financial network – would ask some substantial questions about financial policy.  And there were a few, sort of, in a way.

But “are you an evil comic book villain?”

John Harwood came across as a Liberal snidely whiplash. Becky Quick…wasn’t very.   Carl Quintanilla sounded like he was hosting a cable access production of Jimmy’s First Debate.  And Jim Cramer?  I don’t know if he was on cold medicine or had taken a couple of shots to the head before he went on the air, but good lord, that performance will be taught in broadcast schools for decades to come as an example of how not to sound when reading off a teleprompter.

It’s entirely possible (except for Harwood) that they were just trying to come across as tough, hard-nosed “journalists” – an effect that lasts precisely until the phrase “evil comic book villain” came up.

But the hour I spent was worth it, if only for this; Ted Cruz’ jeremiad against the media was one for the ages:


“But he should have answered Quintanilla’s substantive question!” Er, did you catch the question? “Does your opposition to a “moderate” budget deal mean you’re unqualified?”

UPDATE:  As I put this morning’s piece together in my head last night, I thought – as I often do when matters of discerning bias in others come up – “Am I right, or is this just confirmation bias?”

Well, it’s not just me; Roger Simon torched the moderators pretty ruthlessly:

The big story — the A-story — on Wednesday night — the actual full blown case of seppuku — was CNBC.  The network will never seem the same.  Their moderators — Becky Quick, John Harwood, and Carl Quintanilla — were so obviously biased you would have thought it was a parody, if you hadn’t known it was real, a kind of black comic nightmare out of a leftwing theatre of the absurd.

I thought that very thing as I was sitting at O’Gara’s watching the show last night; “this is like an SNL sketch”.

And there was this bit, that I didn’t catch last night; as part of the moderators’ attempt to gut-shoot Rubio, the non-Trump front-runner, John Harwood doubled down on a lie he’d already apologized for:

But more than that, the debate revealed something I had thought about before, but never seen so clearly — how bias can affect the brain, almost make it dysfunctional.  I assume John Howard is an intelligent man.  He writes for the New York Times. (Make of that what you will, but I did write for that newspaper myself once upon a time, so mind your manners.)  Nevertheless, Harwood did something extraordinary.  He lied about Rubio’s tax plan in the exact same way not once but twice — once at the debate and once about two weeks before the debate.  What made it extraordinary was that Harwood had apologized for that same lie the first time on Twitter on October 14 and then lied again Wednesday night as if he didn’t remember his own apology and correction.   (The Federalist has the full story  with the tweet – Surprise! John Harwood Lied About Rubio’s Tax Plan…)

Simon continues – pervasive bias acts as a form of cognitive disorder, blotting out right and wrong in extreme cases.

It’ll never get in the DSMVI, but we all know it’s there.

Nope. No Suffocating Narrative Here.

There was a mass killing over the weekend in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

This was the headline in the Traverse City Record Eagle, one of the local papers – a Michigan paper:


It’s a tragedy indeed, and a crime.

But there was no gun involved.   The four people were killed by an alleged drunk driver.

Remember: layers and layers of gatekeepers are what separate the credible mainstream media from mere bloggers.

UPDATE:  As God is my witness, I thought there was a Traverse City, Oklahoma.

But it’s Michigan.

Tomayto, Tomahto.

Nope. No Media Bias Here.

Last week, we noted that Heather Martens – leader of “Gun Safety” group “Protect” MN, and serial liar – demanded $1,500 to discuss “gun safety” on my show, with me, someone with at least some track record of knowing the issue in some detail.


We also noted that she did appear on KARE11 to debate “gun safety” with Andy Parrish, a GOP strategist, who is not noted as a Second Amendment activist or someone with an especial command of the facts of the issue (which is not to disparage him; I don’t know any of his areas of expertise, either).

Today comes confirmation that Martens did not ask, or recieve, $1,500 from KARE11.

Why, it’s almost as if Martens knows that certain Twin Cities media outlets will paint her toenails on the air, and she’s avoiding having to deal with anyone who can point out her chronic, vocational mendacity.

I said “almost”.

I have no idea why.

Heads? Disaster. Tails? Catastrophe

As we noted earlier in the week, the left is just dying to get the NRA out of its way.

And they have been since I started following this issue – in probably 1980.

It seems that lately, the left has taken to a three-tiered strategy for fighting the Second Amendment Human Rights movement:

  1. Lie About Everything.  Everyone from the President to the hapless Heather Martens, and the entire media class in between, has spent the past couple of years relentlessly churning out easily-debunked lies; no, Mr. President, we’re not the most violent nation in the world, and states with tight gun laws aren’t safer.  And it seems to be working – while violent crime in general and gun crime in particular has plummeted over the past 20 years, most people don’t know it.
  2. Refuse To Engage the Second Amendment Human Rights Movement Directly:  They always lose in open, head-to-head debates based on facts.  Always.  There has never in history been an exception, and there never will be.
  3. Appeal to Magic:  The NRA is going to go away!   Someday!  You just gotta believe!

This blog has spent nearly a decade and a half engaging points 1 and 2.  Today, it’s all about the 3.

The National Boogeyman Association:  As I pointed out earlier in the week, the NRA is both vital and irrelevant; while it’s a juggernaut at federal lobbying, it’s mostly a bystanding helper at the state level, where most of the actual legislation happens.   But the left – being a fear-based institution – needs a big, centralized boogeyman.  And for this, the NRA serves their purposes.

And let’s be frank; organizations come and go (although the NRA is, and remains at, a peak of numbers and power).

 Adam Winkler – a UCLA law prof who’s popped up on this blog before, and not as an idiot – wrote an op-ed in the WaPo (reprinted earlier this week in the Strib, Read It And Weep:  The NRA Will Fall.

Before I respond, let me establish something.

Baselines:  When I first started covering the battle for Second Amendment human rights, about 30 years ago, the gun grabber movement used to wave around a Gallup poll showing that 85% of the American people favored gun control.  While that number dropped sharply as the poll got into specifics (even then, near the nadir of the Second Amendment’s fortunes), it showed where The People were at regarding our right to self-defense.

But thirty years later, things have changed; a distinct majority support the right to keep and bear arms.

All by way of saying – peoples’ attitudes change over time.

Changes:  I won’t quote extensively from Winkler’s piece – which is based on the idea that the NRA, and the Second Amendment movement, are doomed by demographics; that Latinos, African-Americans, urbanites and women are much less supportive of the Second Amendment and the NRA than rural white males.

On the one hand?  That may be true – today.  Just as it was true of 85% of the people – thirty years ago.  Attitudes change.  Are they changing for or against the NRA and the Second Amendment?  All evidence is anecdotal; the fact that Minnesota has well over twice as many carry permittees today as were ever forecast before the passage of “Shall Issue” reform might be a hint that the swing might actually be in the NRA’s favor.

Are Latinos more favorable to gun control?  Perhaps.  But Latinos aren’t a monolithic bloc; while Latinos in general vote Democrat, those who’ve been in the US longer than 2-3 generations are much more likely to vote GOP.

Asians, Winkler notes, support gun control – but again, they’re hardly monolithic; Koreans and H’mong are actually fairly likely to be shooters (if not “NRA supporters”).

Women tend to be pro-gun-control. They are also the fastest-growing group of shooters in America today.

How will these changes shake out over two decades?  Will policy be dragged to the left, reflecting these minorities’ left-leaning politics?  Or will they, too, evolve?

I know what I’m working toward.

(Let’s also not forget that most of the anti-gun minorities live in states like California, New York and Illinois, that are already relatively hostile to gun ownership).

Omens:  But let’s say Winkler is right; that minorities, new Americans, women and urbanites’ current attitudes will stay static over time.   It is a fact – noted by the estimable Kevin Williamson – that many of our minorities have vastly different perspectives on the concept of risk and freedom than white, middle class Americans do.

So if New Americans and minorities-who-will-one-day-be-the-majority don’t support the Second Amendment, is that going to be a problem for the NRA?

Who the hell cares?  It’s going to be a problem for the whole idea of “America” as a place built on the ideal of freedom.  And by “freedom”, we mean the traditional American founding interpretation – life, liberty, pursuit of happiness, protection of private property, freedom of speech, conscience, religion, press, assembly, keeping and bearing arms, security in your home, trial by jury with representation, equality before the law, the whole shebang – as opposed to the “freedoms” the Democrat party is pushing these days; the “freedom” from consequences, the “freedom” to force other people to make you free of want, the “freedom” to have government force others to give you stuff at gunpoint and enforce an arbitrary, politically-motivated concept of “fairness”; the freedom to abort your fetus and wave your privates around in public.

If the Second Amendment collapses because a majority of “Americans” don’t understand what it is to be “American” or what “America”, indeed, is, then the demise of the NRA will be the least of our problems, because there will be nothing to prevent the rest of the Constitution, and the freedoms it ostensibly guarantees, from being shredded much, much more comprehensively than it already is.

My Letter To The Strib

After reading Heather Martens’ challenge in the Strib yesterday, I wrote this letter to the Editor.


And since there’s not a chance in hell the Strib will ever print it, I’ll run it here, too:

In her October 19 reply to DJ Tice’s October 11 editorial, Heather Martens says that the Star/Tribune should “do their homework, force the gun lobby and its friends to defend their indefensible opposition to important new policies”

On behalf of my many friends and colleagues in the Second Amendment human rights movement, I accept the challenge! I urge the Star/Tribune to set up a debate between Ms. Martens and her colleagues and members of the “gun lobby”, on neutral ground, on camera and on the record, with mutually-agreed-upon rules.

As Ms. Martens notes, it would be an essential act of journalism, and it’d part of that “conversation about guns” that everyone is always asking for.

If not us (and Ms. Martens), who? If not now, when?

I welcome this paper’s initiative in helping get this vital debate organized.

Please contact me; I’ll be happy to help set things up.

Mitch Berg
Saint Paul

What the heck – it was worth a try, for laughs.

No Cigar

Political movements rise and fall.  It’s part of political life in a democracy with a free market of ideas.

Of course, there’s nothing that the purveyors of central intellectual planning would like more than for the National Rifle Association to fade into obscurity. In this CNN article, the writer quite tangibly palpitates at the idea.

Could the National Rifle Association ever face a similar fate? Most Americans probably don’t think so. When a gunman murdered nine people at a community college in Oregon earlier this month, the President seemed to express what many Americans were thinking when he said, “Somehow this has become routine. … We have become numb to this.”

There’s a pervasive belief that any attempt to tighten gun laws would be futile because too many politicians are afraid to defy the NRA. But there are at least four examples from American history — including two snatched from recent headlines — where ordinary people and unforeseen events defeated a seemingly invincible lobbying group, and hardly anyone saw it coming.

Could the NRA vanish from political prominence? Of course.

But the article is wrong on three points:

Apples And Axles:   The author – John Blake – picked four groups as examples of “popular” opposition overturning “powerful lobbying groups”:  The “Anti Saloon League”, the “Tobacco Lobby”, the “Cuba Lobby” and AIPAC.

They’re all lousy comparisons:

  • The “Cuba Lobby” became less relevant with the end of the Cold War.  Not to say they’re not right.
  • The big defeats of the Cuba Lobby and AIPAC that Blake cites were the establishment of relations with Cuba, and the jamdown of the Iran treaty executive agreement.  Both were single-issue decisions by an ideological executive – in the case of the Iran “agreement”, very possibly a violation of the law.
  • The “defeat” of the tobacco lobby was a result of decades of public health propaganda (which happened to be largely correct, outside the canard of “second hand smoke”) that didn’t need to be politicized to be effective (although it often was anyway), and cost billions and billions of dollars.
  • The Anti Saloon League was opposed by an equally-large mass of countervailing opinion; this opinion took 15 years to get organized (Prohibition was nearly 100 years in the making); The ASL was, in fact, more analogous the gun control mement, and its opposition was more similar to the Second Amendment Rights movement between 1985 and 2000.

Which brings us to the second point:

NRA is the Vox Populi:  I’ve non-joke joked for nearly three decades now; the left has been jabbering about class warfare for a couple centuries.  And they finally got one; the battle over guns.  But they’re the patricians, and the Second Amendment movement are the uppity peasants.

As Jeffrey Snyder pointed out in his seminal essay A Nation of Cowards, that’s the reason the left has spent the last fifty years so knotted up about guns; not because they care about anyone’s lives, or “gun violence”; but because it’s the vox populi giving them a big bad veto, saying “the nannystate has its limits”.

In the early nineties, at the start of the Clinton Administration’s gun control efforts, the NRA reached a then-record membership of 4 million – people who paid a minumum of $35 a year for their memberships, frequenlty more.  At the time, the various gun grabber groups reached a peak strength of around 150,000 – at a time when “membership” meant, in most cases, saying “I’m a member!”.  The “Million Mom March” may have peaked out around 10,000 members, at a time when all a Mom had to do was…march.  Or indicate an interest in marching.

And focusing on the NRA is misleading in and of itself – because…:

The NRA Is Just A Part Of The Movement:  The NRA deploys some serious muscle at the federal level.  But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

The Second Amendment human rights movement is a mosaic of dozens, maybe hundreds, of smaller groups that do most of the heavy lifting in the states, where most gun legislation takes place.  In Minnesota, the bulk of the actual work is done by GOCRA and MNGOPAC, with several other groups helping out in the various trenches as well.  The NRA has always been a utility player in Minnesota; they had almost nothing to do with Shall-Issue; they helped with the lobbying in 2012 through this past session, but they are part of a cast of groups, not the big gorilla.

Here’s the real measure of support; when GOCRA says “turn out to the capitol” to show legislators where the real political brawn is, hundreds of people from all over Minnesota turn out in a sea of maroon shirts; the Bloombergs might be able to get a couple of dozen wan-looking Highland Park “progressives” accompanying their half-dozen paid, mercenary lobbyists.   It has more in common with the people who rejected Prohibition than the people who enacted it.

And this process has only accelerated as the distribution of information has become more decentralized.  In 1993, the Gun Owners Action League (the predecessor of GOCRA) had to print and mails its newsletters at great expense, to a database maintained on heaven only knows what.  Today, grassroots gun rights groups can, and do, form around facebook pages and online discussion forums, and with a little work and diligence and messaging can actually go on to persuade the unpersuaded.

The same dynamic holds for the anti-gun side – but at the end of the day, all they seem to draw is liberal plutocrats with deep pockets, and people who look like they got lost on their way to a live presentation of “This American Life”.

Backwards:  So in its lust to silence the peasants, CNN has gotten things more or less inverted:  the NRA is not only utterly unlike the four “unbeatable lobbying groups” that they cite, but they aren’t even the real issue.

The real issue is this:  the part of America east of the Hudson and west of the Sierra Madre thinks the Second Amendment is at least a weird throwback, and at most a threat to their version of civilization.  Real Americans treasure the Second Amendment as all other civil liberties, and will fight for it as they have for the past forty years – without regard to the group that carries the flag.

You Asked For It, John Oliver

To: John Oliver, this month’s Rachel Maddow
From:  Mitch Berg, ND Native
Re:  Anger

Mr. Oliver,

The other night, during your largely erroneous segment on oil in North Dakota, you patronizingly told North Dakotans that they should “get angry”.

I was born there, and I’ve spent years watching our self-appointed  “elites” – from Minnesota Public Radio to the documentary film industry to, now, you –  go from calling for the entire Great Plains to be ceded back to nature, to sniffing down their aquiline noses at the notion of all those red-state rubes getting all that unseemly, unregulated, private-market prosperity.  So while I’m not from there anymore, I spent 22 years there – so I’ll speak on its behalf if I want to.

I’m all about the help.

“Get mad!”, you say.

OK, John Oliver. I’m mad.  Your segment, as Rob Port showed, was crap, and you are beggaring the notion of “journalism” in your snooty, condescending attack on my homeland.

So go f**k yourself.

There.  I feel better.

That is all.


All The News That’s Fit To Gin Up From Pretty Much Nothing

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Star Tribune breathlessly reports that “questions” have been raised, front page, above the fold.  Why did 98% of the new state subsidies for rural bus routes go to Mn/DOT Commissioner Zelle’s former employer?  Conflict of interest?  Shenanigans?  What’s going on here?

“Jefferson Lines and Land to Air Express were two of three firms who applied for the state funding that year. The third, Rainbow Rider Transit, received less than $8,000 in state subsidies.”

Three firms applied.  Rainbow Rider is the short bus for handicapped people in a few counties in Western Minnesota, counties you never heard of, like Grant and Pope.  They got a few bucks.  The other companies provide bus service and airport shuttle.  They got the rest because Nobody Else Applied.  Which isn’t surprising – how many bus companies can you name besides Greyhound and they run long-haul between cities, not back lanes to Clodhopper, Minnesota.  There’s no conflict, there isn’t even a question, it’s perfectly clear and obviously the whole thing is completely above-board.

So why the headline?  The headline leads low-information voters to think the Commissioner’s a crook when the story itself completely exonerates him.  What a pathetic excuse for a newspaper.

Joe Doakes

They’re just asking questions:

“But why don’t you subscribe to the Strib, Mitch?”

Another Fearless Prediction

Lars Walker, author and longtime friend of this blog, has a prediction (from Facebook):

Here is my prediction. Within a day or two, we will begin to see character attacks in the media against the 3 American service men who prevented the terrorist murders in France. Our culture cannot bear the sight of heroes.

I wouldn’t take that bet at 10:1.  The mainstream media, dedicated as it is to the narrative that America is a corrupt, awful place that is the source of this world’s problems, will have these guys on Joe the Plumber watch before you can say “sacre bleu”.  


Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Some of us right-wing kooks think the media has jumped on the Dentist Killed National Treasure Cecil the Lion story as a way to distract Americans from the baby-butcher videos.  As proof, I offer . . .

Imagine if instead of Planned Parenthood it was some puppy mill and the workers were joking over the puppy parts, talking about using them for something and how much money they can make for kidneys or something.  Those workers would be in jail facing major prison time.
Joe Doakes

I have a hunch puppy mills are going to become a big story again, in about 3…2…1…


“Ombudsman” Is The New Green

A longtime friend of this blog writes:

In their usual holier-than-thou fashion, NPR ticked me off this morning.  I sent the following complaint to the NPR ombudsman.
“On the morning broadcast of  Friday, August 7, 2015, I heard the fact checkers make a very snide comment…that was at least 50% wrong.  Scott Horsley and Steve Inskeep fact checked the GOP presidential debate of the previous evening.  While discussing the responses of former Gov. Huckabee and Ben Carson the fact checkers made a very uncalled for remark that was factually incorrect..  The snide remark made by Scott Horsley was “One might remember Mitt Romney made similar claims in 2012, only to have President Obama poke fun at such anachronistic measurements, saying the military is using a lot fewer horses and bayonets than it used to.”  While the statement is correct about horses it is absolutely incorrect about bayonets.  The military has more bayonets in use today than it did in 1917 and President Obama was flat out wrong when he spoke it in 2012.  NPR listeners were subjected to a snide remark for which Mr. Horsley’s facts were incorrect.  We deserve better as listeners.

Your friend,

I’ve noted in the past the deep regard Public Broadcasting has for being corrected by the peasants.  With that in mind, and because you all have a right to know, I found a picture of NPR’s “ombudsman”:

Makes perfect sense now.

Bend Over Citizen: Part II – The NYTimes Demands A Police State

This morning, I beat up the Strib’s editorial board for babbling platitudes about gun control that I’m pretty sure none of them really understands.

But there are times that sit back and thank all that is holy that the “brain trust” behind the editorial coverage at Minnesota’s pre-eminent media outlet is merely dotty, smug, and genially ignorant.

As opposed to the toxic, malevolent, dangerous ignorance of the New York Times.   

Last week, columnist Timothy Egan wrote “Guns and the Two Americas“.

Now, I don’t know much about Timothy Egan; I’ve never written about him.  But he appears to be equal parts Dwight Schrute, rote stenographer and closet authoritarian.

Bears, Beets, Battlestar Galactica:  While Egan appears to be the kind of New Yorker that’d soil himself if he walked into the pistol range at Gander Mountain, he is, nonethless, an expert on tactics:

Just after the tragedy in a Louisiana theater a week ago — a shooting by a hate-filled man who was able to legally obtain a gun despite a history of mental illness — Rick Perry called gun-free zones a bad idea.

In his view, echoing that of the fanatics who own the Republican Party by intimidation, everyone should be armed, everywhere. [Aaaaand  there’s the inevitable strawman – Ed.] Once a shooting starts, the bad guy with the gun will be killed by the good guy with the gun, somehow able to get a draw on the shooter in a darkened theater, or behind a pew in church.

This scenario almost never happens. The logic is nonsense, the odds of a perfectly timed counter-killer getting the drop on the evil killer unlikely. And even when such a situation does happen, as in the Tucson shooting of 2011, the armed citizen who jumps into the melee can pose a mortal threat to others. In Tucson, an innocent person came within seconds of getting shot by an armed bystander who wasn’t sure whom to shoot.

There’s nothing “unlikely” about it; readers of this blog can quote the debunkment chapter and verse; even the Feds note that mass shootings where someone – with our without a badge – intervenes with a gun, the death toll is around 2; without intervention, into two digits.  Jabbering about “timing” is ignorant nit-picking by someone who’d seem to have watched too many ninja movies.

And the episode in Tucson in 2011, where a citizen responded to Jared Laughner’s shooting spree that killed six and wounded Representative Gabby Giffords, ready to return fire?  Egan uses as evidence against shooters an example of a shooter who, under pressure that would make Timothy Egan soil himself with fright, did the exact right thing, checking fire at a time when all too many police would have blazed away?

All The News That’s Given To Me And Stamped “Fit To Print”:   Egan is as ignorant and unquestioning about sociology as he is about tactics:

Nationwide, if you want to lessen your chances of getting shot, stay out of the South. The South is the most violent region in the United States, and also the place with the highest rate of gun ownership. More guns, easily obtained by the mentally ill, religious fanatics and anti-government extremists, mean more gun deaths.

But how do you feel about profiling, Timothy Egan?

Leave aside the patriarchal New Yorker references to phantom religious fanatics and militiamen; it’s entirely possible one of them actually will blow a fuse, someday.

Anything can happen.

Egan’s right, to an extent; the South is violent.  Indeed, as readers of this blog know better than anyone who gets their news from the NYTimes, the rural deep south is, per capita, the most violent place in the US.    And it was the same 100 years ago, when it voted solidy Democrat.  And it was 200 years ago, before the Civil War.  And it was 250 years ago, before most rural southerners had guns.

Because the violence in the rural South is not about hardware; it was an offshoot of Scots-Irish culture, which is and has always been more violent than the national average; southern Scots-Irish were dueling for keeps long after the rest of the country took their feuds to court; honor killings aren’t unknown.  And the violence in the South has exactly the same relationship to guns as does the violence in Chicago and Detroit or rural Afghanistan for that matter; the people were violent long before guns and, if you shut down every gun store in Dixie, it wouldn’t change.

Egan is also no better at picking his sources than the dumbest Minnesota liberal blogger:

Better to go to a city or state with gun restrictions, at least if you’re playing the odds. Most of the states with tighter gun laws have fewer gun deaths.

In which he uncritically points to a “study” in the Atlantic that was BS for all the same reasons Eric Ostermeier’s work at the U of M was wrong.

But Timothy Egan is ignorant.  So what?

One People, One Nation, One Times:  Because the Times has given a big megaphone to a guy who believes that the answer to “gun violence” is a smothering police state:

You want protection in a country that allows a deranged man to get an assault weapon to hunt down innocent people in a public space? Go to the airport — that bubble of gun-free security. Or go to a major-league baseball game, or a stadium in the National Football League.

Our big league venues may be engaging only in security theater, as critics assert, but their owners don’t think so. They now mandate metal detectors to snag weapons, and most of them even ban off-duty cops from bringing guns to the games.


“Gun Free” zones are dangerous not because they only affect the law-abiding, but because…

Most gun-free zones, like the theater in Lafayette, La., are not gun-free at all. They have no metal detectors or screening — that would cost too much, the theater owners claim. Gun-free is a suggestion, and therefore a misnomer. Eventually, the more prosperous theaters in better communities will pay for metal detectors, further setting apart the two Americas in our age of mass shootings.

…they’re not intrusive enough?

In other words, the answer is “smothering, patriarchal government surveillance?”   Allowing the state to poke and prod and scan us all will keep us safe?

Not just the state, but its private agents – like our own Mall of America?

The Mall of America — more than 500 stores in four miles of retail space, drawing 40 million annual visitors to a climate-controlled part of Minnesota — is trying to be a gun-free zone. “Guns are banned on these premises” is the mall’s official policy…The mall has a security force of more than a hundred people. Yeah — I hear the joke about the feckless mall cops. But the Mall of America trusts them more than well-armed shoppers to protect people, as they should.

No mass shootings have happened at the MOA.  God willing, they never will.   But hey, the signs at the doors must be working!

Of course, Crosswinds Mall in suburban Omaha had signs, and mall cops, when a nutcase killed seven back in 2009.

So, for that matter, did the Clackamas Mall in Portland Oregon, on December 11, 2012 – three days before the Newtown massacre.  When a man with hundreds of rounds of ammunition came into the mall, opened fire and killed two…

…and looked down the barrel of Nick Meli’s Glock.   Meli – like dozens of other armed citizens too mundane for Egan to note – did what Egan believes impossible, or superhuman (unless you have a mall cop badge); he pointed his gun at the killer.  Who, like most spree killers when faced with armed resistance, deflated; he turned, walked into The Gap, and shot himself.

Will the Mall of America’s signs (which are legally not binding, although it’ll take an expensive test case to prove it) and cops and dogs do a better job of protecting the customers?  Well, here’s hoping.

So Timothy Egan’s message is clear; the police state will set you free.  Well, not “Free” in the “life liberty happiness” sense of the term, but free from being killed off by deranged madmen.


Well, wrong.

Very, wrong.

So wrong, light leaving right won’t reach us until we’re long dead.

Bend Over, Citizen: Part I – Our Ignorant Priests Of Knowledge

Having been one level of activist on the Second Amendment or another for thirty years now, and having seen how far the issue has moved since the mid-eighties – when the Second Amendment seems to be on the ropes – it’s almost tempting to fall into a bit of complacent triumphalism.  This past twenty years has been one of the most impressive grass roots political campaigns in American history.  It’s also given us the class war that the left has always been predicting – in inverted form; the gun grabbers are overwhelmingly drawn from society’s lotus-eating NPR-listening Subaru-driving patricians; the bulk of the Human Rights camp is mainstreet, blue-collar and middle-class Real America.

But the temptation can’t be indulged too long; the bad guys are still out there, and they still have the media for their mouthpiece.   There were two notable calls for more gun control in the big media last week, ranging from the historically ignorant to the hysterically demented.

Continue reading

Doakes Sunday: Accessories

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Story makes the point the woman in the car who survived because she was wearing her seatbelt (politically correct), whereas the motorcycle riders who died were not wearing helmets (politically incorrect).


Completely missed the point that she had a stop sign, stopped for it, then pulled out in front of the motorcycle.  She caused the accident.  She killed those men, not their helmets or lack thereof.


Joe Doakes

Narratives gotta get narrated, dammit.

Austered The Wrong Way

To: National Public Radio News

From: Mitch Berg, uppity peasant

Re: Terminology

Dear NPR:

Over the weekend, while listening to one of your news programs, I caught a story about skilled workers emigrating from Portugal. 

Your story announced that the Portuguese economy was “recovering from austerity”

Austerity was not the problem. Or, rather, austerity was, at most, a symptom; The disease was unsustainable government spending, that sapped the vitality of the private sector economy.  

Unrestrained spending on things like lavish pensions, cradle to grave welfare, a government workforce that displaces private enterprise, and yes, public broadcasting, committed governments to endless, crippling spending that, when the economy goes south, cannot be sustained.  

See that we don’t make this mistake again, shall we?

That is all.