On Facebook the other day, The “Reverend” Nancy Nord Bence went full-on gaslight:
“To face the reality of our gun problem, you’ll have to admit that you are the problem too. You’ll be forced to connect the dots between guns and your white theology, guns and your nationalism, guns and your Islamophobia, guns and your white supremacy, guns and your resentment of foreigners, guns and the people who so often shoot strangers in shopping malls and schools and churches and concerts—guns and you.”
That’s not “facing the reality of the ‘gun problem'”. That’s exposing the reality of American Tribalism, delivered with a nasal, smug upper-middle-class white ninny accent.
It’s a real-life example of what Dennis Prager says: “Conservatives think progressives are wrong; progressives think conservatives are *evil*. And you don’t bother talking, debating or reasoning with evil”.
Pass this around. People need to know the other side’s motivations.
This isn’t some crackpot. This is the moral and intellectual leader of the “gun safety” movement in Minnesota.
Ashley Auzenne, 39, fatally shot Parrish, 11, Eleanor, 9, and Lincoln, 7 — and then herself — in their Deer Park home, local police said in a statement. Authorities found their bodies when they got a request for a welfare check and responded to the New Orleans Street home around 8:45 a.m. Tuesday.
Police also found a gun inside the home.
The Harris County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the deaths a murder-suicide on Thursday, with Ashley Auzenne as the suspect, authorities said….Last November, Auzenne framed her Facebook profile picture with an “#End Gun Violence” banner.
And the reason? She got her way in her divorce – custody, apparently – but didn’t get everything she wanted:
She was concerned she’d not be able to move with the kids to her hometown, and would need to find a job and pay him rent if she stayed in their current home, he said.
And as we’ve noticed in the past, Auzenne was not the first prog to lose it and start killing helpless people with one of those guns they claimed to abjure (for everyone else)
Beneath all too many anti-gunners is a narcissist with a violence problem.
About ten years ago or so, he ran a blog – “MNPAct” – which was a website for putative organization Dave putatively ran.
Now, let me be clear: Dave was one of a small handful of “progressive” Metro-area bloggers from blogging’s heyday in the ’00s that didn’t and, to the best of my knowledge, still doesn’t belong under police surveillance; when my garage burned down, he didn’t feel compelled to disavow responsibility for it.
So there’s that. When you’re a conservative in the metro, you become thankful for the small things.
But that’s not to say Dave knows how to frame an argument any better than the rest of them ever did.
Example – last week, Dave felt the need to post this on Twitter:
Of course, Dave – confident as he seems to be in his side’s chanting points – didn’t know that Shannon Watts, like Nancy Nrd Bence (and Heather Martens before) has never, not once, said anything about guns, gun laws, gun owners, gun crime or gun statistics that’s simultaneously original, substantial and true; Lott’s “recent” testimony was 16 years ago.
I responded, natch – knowing, all along, I’d regret it, but such is the life of the contrarian.
It drew a “response” from Mindeman – one that was pretty clearly the fruits of a quick google for “John Lott Sucks” or some other “Dog Gone”-caliber thrashing about. Dave came up with…:
Now, if you are of a certain age, you might remember when MoJo was known for some capable journalism, even if it was always hard-left.
But the once-fabled counterculture investigative publication has fallen on risibly hard times; Babylon Bee doesn’t even bother parodying them anymore. What would be the point? (Interesting to see, by the way, that MoJo’s current “CEO” is City Pages hanger-on Monika Bauerlein).
The article – by “Writing Fellow” (read: glorified intern who’s hoping not to have to look for a job at Buzzfeed next) Gloria Exstrum, covers research Lott did on abortion and immigration, in addition to his usual gun research. I can’t comment on the abortion and immigration stuff – I cover my zone – but once it turns to the gun stuff, Exstrum’s article is proof that you never, ever use MoJo as a source on anything Second Amendment.
Following the 2015 shooting at a Planned Parenthood in Colorado, President Barack Obama and former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid urged Congress to pass gun control legislation. “I say this every time we’ve got one of these mass shootings,” Obama said in a statement after the incident, “this just doesn’t happen in other countries.” In a 2015 post on theCrime Prevention Research Center website, Lott’s group argues that “this claim is simply not true.”The analysis points out that, during the Obama administration, the United States ranks below several European countries in death rate per million people from mass public shootings. Predictably, conservative media outlets picked up the story, and Lott wrote a column for Fox News referencing his findings after the Las Vegas shooting.
So far so good. She got the basic assertions right – which is not something you can take for granted these days.
But here’s a challenge: try to figure out what the esteemed “writing fellow” is saying in response to Lott in this next bit. Honestly, I’m sort of at a loss, here:
However, as a Media Matters for America analysis points out, Lott’s claims only focus on public mass shootings involving machine guns, a criteria which excludes deadly incidents like the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre and the Pulse nightclub shooting.
For a “writing fellow”, Ms. Exstrum is either a terrible researcher, a lousy reporter (evidence toward this: using “Media Matters” as a source), a substandard writer, or – who knows? – maybe any 2-3 of the above. Whatever it is, I have read this sentence a dozen times, and I can’t figure out what she’s trying to say. But I’ll give it a try, here:
Is she saying Lott excluded mass shootings involving machine guns? Well, yeah – there’s never been mass shooting by a legally-owned machine gun – meaning “fully automatic weapon” – in US history, at least not since the 1934 National Firearms Act (shaddap about the Valentine’s Day Massacre). Lott “excluded” them because history and fact “excluded” them. They don’t exist in the past 85 years, to say nothing of the six year time frame of the study Ms. Exstrum is yapping about.
Is she saying that the overseas shootings used “machine guns” – well, no, the raw data points out that non-US mass shootings used a variety of firearms – the vast majority of them subject to stringent gun control, by the way, which would tend to reinforce Lott’s point, not Exstrum’s. The list below includes incidents with “machine guns” (notably the 11/13 Paris massacre, carried out with military-grade AK47s – which are as illegal in France as they are here) , semi-automatic weapons, even manual repeaters:
Is the dispositive point that Lott focuses on foreign “public” “mass shootings?” It makes no sense – Lott’s list of shootings in the US from 2009-2015 includes all sorts of locations – almost all public, mostly “gun-free zones”:
LIterally, there is no way to read “writing fellow” Exstrum’s sentence that makes it jibe with the facts.
I’m open to suggestions, here.
Exstrum also wrote – sort of – about Lott’s foray into police-on-black-citizen shootings:
In a 2016 study, Lott and co-author Carlisle Moody, a professor at the College of William & Mary and a member of the Crime Prevention Research Center’s academic advisory board, argue that white police officers do not unfairly discriminate against black suspects. In a Fox News op-ed about the study, Lott says, “Many people incorrectly believe the police are racist.”
To which she adds:
Of course, ampleresearch has concluded that black suspects are much more likely to be shot by police than white ones. But the study nonetheless received coverage from the National Review, Breitbart, and the Washington Times, with Breitbart saying Lott’s research “runs against the claims of groups like Black Lives Matter.”
“Ample research”. Is anyone but me seeing a google search for “shooting black people consensus” as Ms. Exstrum’s “research”?
Of course, there’s ample research on the other side as well – including this one, by Harvard professor Roland Fryor – that confirms at least the broad outline of Lott’s conclusion. Fryer happens to be black, and also happened to have started his research believing he’s find the opposite conclusion – so this finding, against interest (where “interest” <> intellectual honesty).
Conclusions Er, don’t start a land war in Asia, and don’t use MoJo as a source against someone who’s been paying attention?
Mayor Carter, presiding over the worst murder rate in almost a quarter century (even as crime outside the metro continues to fall) is holding a series of meetings:
In the midst of an uptick in gun violence in St. Paul, Mayor Melvin Carter announced on Monday that he’ll host three community meetings about public safety. Carter said last week he’s considering proposing a supplemental public safety budget to the City Council. The Council is slated to vote on next year’s city budget in December. The community conversations will be at the following St. Paul locations: Thursday, Nov. 7, 6:30-8 p.m., Central Baptist Church, 420 N. Roy St. Tuesday, Nov. 12, 6:30-8 p.m., Rice Recreation Center, 1021 Marion St. Saturday, Nov. 16, 1-2:30 p.m., Arlington Hills Community Center, 1200 Payne Ave.
I’m going to go out on a limb, and guess that ending pre-emption and “universal” background checks will be the only subjects seriously discussed.
Oh, look – the Trib has another badly worded poll intended to elicit results to be used as blunt-force DFL rhetoric. In this case, on Minnesotans’ views on gun registration – AKA “Universal Background Checks”
SCENE: Mitch BERG is taking in a glorious fall day walking around Lake Como when, unbeknownst to him, a Tantric Protest class in the pavilion building lets out. Before BERG can react, he’s confronted with Cat SCAT (the designated “fact checker” at the (possibly fictional) progressive blog “”MinnesotaLiberalAlliance.Blogspot.com“), Edmund DUCHEY (roprietor of that blog, and a person who was badly scarred by a childhood in which he was routinely bullied – by much younger children), Gutterball GARY (another of DuChey’s co-bloggers, who describes his hobbies as bowling, heckling people, and shouting really loud) and Avery LIBRELLE. Berg can’t get away before they notice him.
SCAT, DUCHEY, GARY and LIBRELLE: Merg!
BERG: Uh…hi, er, all of y…
SCAT, DUCHEY, GARY and LIBRELLE: The founding fathers never envisioned “assault rifles when they wrote the Second Amendment.
BERG: Huh. Forget for a moment that the British “Tower” Musket was the AK47 of its day – reliable, easy to train, with a high rate of fire. And the Kentucky Rifle was the sniper rifle of its day – hard to learn, a little fickle, but capable of killing people at undreamed-of ranges. Forget about all that for just a moment.
SCAT, DUCHEY, GARY and LIBRELLE: Consider it forgotten.
BERG: No doubt. Know what else the founding fathers did?
SCAT, DUCHEY, GARY and LIBRELLE: We’re not constitutional lawyers.
BERG: True. They required all citizens to keep one of the “assault rifles” of their day, and a battle or two’s worth of ammunition, at home, ready to go at a moment’s notice.
SCAT, DUCHEY, GARY and LIBRELLE: (Nothing).
GARY: I’m going to hide peep through your windows until I can find something about you to write about.
Creep pulls a knife and a bottle of bear spray on a real estate agent at an open house.
Agent was in – but the victim was out:
The incident took place in Commerce City, Colorado, on August 4. According to a report by 9 News, the man – later identified by authorities as 43-year-old Ernest Robert Chrisman – arrived at the open house at about 11:30 am. “He asked the right questions,” said Hetzler. “We talked about loans, what he had to qualify for.” After picking up a brochure, Chrisman asked to see the upstairs. Once he and Hetzler reached the master bedroom, Hetzler said Chrisman took out a knife and a piece of rope that had bear spray dangling from it. “He said, ‘This is a knife, this is bear spray.’ After he said, ‘This is bear spray,’ he asked me to take off my ring and get into the closet,” said Hetzler. At this point, Hetzler began to fear for her life. Hetzler has a concealed carry permit and had her gun with her at the open house. She drew her firearm, preparing to defend herself. Chrisman responded to her actions by soaking her with bear spray. “I couldn’t see,” said Hetzler. “My skin was burning, my eyes were on fire, I couldn’t see, so I fired.” She fired in his direction. Chrisman quickly fled from the home.
Shooting blind is not ideal – but all’s well that ends with a likely rapist and possible murderer in jail.
FBI crime stats show the “estimated rate of violent crime was 368.9 offenses per 100,000 inhabitants.” That is a 3.9 percent reduction in the rate when compared with 2017 stats, but the real lesson emerges when we look long term. For example, Bearing Arms reports that the 2018 rate of violent crime was barely above the 1971 rate of 396 offenses per 100,000 inhabitants. Ironically, one of the greatest differences between 1971 and 2018 is that there are exponentially more privately-owned firearms now than there were when the 1970s began. Rather than leading to more violent crime, as the left would suggest, the existence of millions of millions more privately-owned guns correlated with a lower rate of violent crime.
OK – but what about Minnesota?
Yep. Down. In a state with nearly 300,000 people with permits to carry – more per capita than Texas – violent crime, homicide, even property crime are down even more sharply:
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Apprehension on Monday, July 8, released its Uniform Crime Report for 2018…Incidents of violent crime were down 6.7% in 2018 as compared to the year prior, with murder, aggravated assaults and robberies down from 2017 levels, the report showed. And rape and involuntary sex trafficking reports increased in 2018. Property crime offenses also decreased in 2018, with burglary, larceny and arson offenses shrinking compared to rates in 2017. Motor vehicle theft, by contrast, increased for the third year in a row…
104 Minnesotans murdered last year, 59 were killed with a handgun.
Which is, if I recall correctly, a lower per capita rate than 2016. I’ll look it up. I’m also going to guess nearly none of those were people with no criminal records, with carry permits.
Liberals are thrilled with the notion that law enforcement should be able to petition the court to seize firearms owned by potential bad guys. The evidence presented would be rumor, innuendo, gossip, accusation. The standard of proof would be “he’s more likely than not, to do something bad someday.” If Sheriff Bull Connor petitions the court to seize guns from suspected troublemakers using the red flag laws as his authority, but 99% of the people he flags are African American males between the ages of 13 and 30 (on the grounds that they tend to be the most likely to shoot up the neighborhood), will liberals continue to be thrilled?
Those who take the “Liberal” thing seriously probably will.
“Progressives”, on the other hand, won’t care. It’s about neither safety nor equality. Sometimes you gotta break eggs to make an omelet. Some of those eggs are black.
The masked teens — a 15-year-old and two 16-year-olds — approached three residents around 4 a.m. Monday at the front yard of a home just outside Conyers and tried to rob them, the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office said. One of the would-be robbers took out a gun and fired shots at them before one of the residents returned fire, authorities said. “The victims of the attempted robbery were all uninjured, but the three attempted robbery suspects were all shot during the exchange of gunfire and succumbed to their injuries, one on scene and two at a local hospital after being transported,” the sheriff’s department said in a news release.
Many media outlets are omitting the fact that the teens went into the robbery blazing away with handguns, trying to spin this story as “Man kills teenagers with a black rifle1”.
Given the increasing number of home invasions and group robberies (see also: downtown Minneapolis) going on, it’s useful to remember that military weapon designs are designed, not to “kill as many people as possible”, but to not ever jam, and not run out of bullets before your attacker runs out of attack.
John Hinderocker posted an article on Powerline on September 3 called “Some Comments on Guns,” in which he praises an earlier column posted by Paul Mirengoff called “A Conservative Plan to Reduce Shootings and Other Homicides.” Good, we agree there are conservative ways to handle the problem. But then Hinderocker loses his mind and endorses red flag laws. Plainly, he’s never been up close and personal with acrimonious divorce cases; with law enforcement’s arbitrary denials of gun permits; with petty bureaucrats lording over groundlings; with entitled leftists entrenched in the deep bureaucracy of every local government office; with judges who think they’re God and you’re dirt because you hold the wrong political opinions, voted for the wrong political party, are a white male caught up in the liberal feminist system. I confidently predict red flag laws will be administered exactly the same as Orders for Protection, handed out like Kleenex, because judges will be terrified that someone will do something stupid and they will get blamed for it. If Hinderocker had experience with that system, he’d be scared spitless of giving those people the power to disarm him, without a hearing, based on rumor and gossip. I was tempted to argue reductio ad absurdum: Most Methodists are white people. Many Methodist congregations condemn certain sex acts. Many Methodists also own guns. Clearly, Methodists are a white supremacist hate group and a danger to historically oppressed victim groups. Society must ban Methodism to protect those potential victims. Just a pilot project, to test it out and see how well it works to reduce crime. We can move on to Lutherans later. Absurd, right? And plainly unconstitutional. Except today’s atheist liberal left wouldn’t think the argument is absurd, they would jump on it with enthusiasm. But they wouldn’t want the Lutherans next, they’d want the Catholics next, because they’re even bigger haters. Banning religion would be right up their alley. How can you argue that your rights are entitled to Constitutional protection, when the people you’re trying to convince don’t believe the Constitution should protect you or your rights? There’s a reason the Second Amendment doesn’t say ” the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall only be infringed a little.” Joe Doakes
There is a temptation among some conservatives who have experience with big negotiations to think that this is something where a rational agreement can be reached.
Yesterday I was listening to “All Things Considered” on the way to something more interesting.
The subject was “what are we doing to combat the kind of fake news that, we are told, affected the 2016 election”.
The guest – one Paul Barrett, an adjunct professor at NYU who lectures about election security for some reason or another – said that one thing that could help might be for social media companies (and, one might suppose, media companies in general) to “act more aggressively against provably false information”.
I couldn’t agree more, although I suspect that’s not the kind of cynical deception they’re thinking about.
The [San Francisco] board of supervisors passed a resolution on Tuesday officially labeling the gun rights’ group a domestic terrorist organization. District 2 Supervisor Catherine Stefani, whose district includes the Marina and Presidio, wrote the declaration stating that the NRA “spreads propaganda that misinforms and aims to deceive the public about the dangers of gun violence.” It said the NRA “musters its considerable wealth and organizational strength to promote gun ownership and incite gun owners to acts of violence.” “All countries have violent and hateful people, but only in America do we give them ready access to assault weapons and large-capacity magazines thanks, in large part, to the National Rifle Association’s influence,” the declaration read.
BERG: In other words, you people label everyone you disagree with “Terrorists”.
LIBRELLE: Well, if the San Francisco City Council says so. It’s science, after all.
BERG: Of course. Hey, Avery?
BERG: I’m an NRA member.
LIBRELLE: [Turns and runs in a wild-eyed panic]
BERG: [Whispers to self]Well, thanks for that, anyway, San Francisco…
Mentally ill man goes on stabbing rampage. Bystanders corral him with folding chairs and milk crates. Why not just shoot him? Oh. It’s Australia. Guns are banned. Law abiding citizens are defenseless.
Not only does Big Left not care – they’ve got their armed guards, they’re good, thanks – it’s a net gain. All that viral video of people impotently trying to swat at a guy with a knife, an axe or a sword is so funny, dude.
I’ve got a fair number of friends and acquaintances who say they never, ever come to the Twin Cities because of the crime.
Now, I’ve lived here for 34 years – and like most people who live here, I know that the whole place is not a cesspool of criminality. My neighborhood is generally pretty good. To the north, even better. South of Thomas? Not so much.
So most of the hysteria about crime in the Metro is the sort of game of “telephone” you get among people who don’t know the subject all that well – a phenomenon that social media has only accelerated.
But there are places I just don’t go, or at least times when I just don’t go there. Places and times when the risk/reward ratio just isn’t favorable. North Minneapolis after dinner. Dayton’s Bluff or the North End after dark. The less well-lit parts of downtown Minneapolis at night. The Green Line after 10PM.
Statistically, you are much more likely to be a victim of crime and violence when you hang out where violent criminals are.
I was about to say “that’s not prudence – that’s hysteria”; for the most part they are going from one place where mass shootings are vanishingly rare (but correlated via the media’s obsession and Big Gun Control’s focus on mass shootings, rather than by some actual indicator, like “gun free zone” or a state’s regulations on the law-abiding citizen) to another place where, statistically, mass shootings aren’t a whole lot less likely in the same sense that one is “less” likely to get struck by lightning in Saint Paul than Minneapolis.
There are really only two behaviors that affect ones coincidence with and vulnerability to mass shootings:
…that statement would seem to have spread to statements about her own “group”.
Bear with me.
“Protect” Minnesota was at Game Fair over the last two weekends. Game Fair is pretty much the biggest outdoor sports fair in the state; hunting, fishing, dogs, the whole nine yards. It takes place in deep-red Ramsay.
And “Protect” MN, for some reason, had a booth there.
Or so the Reverend Nord Bence reminds us:
So let’s get this straight – you gave away free stuff (of some marginal utility – cheap trigger locks), and people took them?
And 130 people out of tens of thousands of attendees, many of whom don’t understand what gun control will mean to them in the long term, lined up and talked and signed your meaningless petition?
So you know what would really convince me? If thousands of these rando hunters grabbed “Protect” Minnesota t-shirts, and wore them proudly around and about the game fair, showing the world that the tide was turning!
And did that happen?
Take a gander for yourself:
This is one of two loads being packed out to their Prius (OK, I made the car up) at the end of six days of exhibiting. The other load was equally as full.
If they gave away a dozen t-shirts, I’d be amazed – and I’ll bet dimes to dollars all are being used as bore patches today.
2/3 of all gun deaths are suicides – overwhelmingly men. In Minnesota, it’s closer to 80%.
Of all those men who shoot themselves, nearly all have been using guns without incident their whole lives – so background checks are useless. Magazine size restrictions are irrelevant – you need a magazine of one to check out. “Red Flag” laws, along with their many other faults, just make depressed guys keep their symptoms to themselves.
So what to do?
Read this. It’s not all that long, although it takes some thoughtful engagement.
Here’s the conclusion – but you should read the whole thing, and see the reasoning that led to the conclusions.
“We don’t need to remove all guns from America to start to see this sort of [reduction in suicide]. We just need to remove as many as we can from the suicidal people, while not disincentivizing suicidal people from seeking treatment. 64% of the people who attempt suicide visit a doctor the month beforehand. So let’s pretend instead that doctors explained these things to the 64%, and asked them all to voluntarily sequester their firearms, either by selling them off or entrusting them with a loved one for safe keeping while the depression was treated. Let’s pretend half of that 64% do so of their own free will. We’d see the same efficacy as if overall firearm ownership rate dropped by a third in the Siegal and Rothman model. Ownership rates among suicidal males drop from 41% to 27% for the period during which they’re contemplating suicide. Male suicide rates would drop from 14.2 to 11.6, and you save 6,000 lives per year. Slightly less than 1,000 women die from domestic violence per year in this country, and that’s a big, real problem. You can save six times this many men, simply by talking to them, and asking them nicely to sequester their firearms temporarily. The number of people you could save by doing this is double the number of people who die in gang and drug crime combined. It’s *sixty times more* than die in mass shootings. This is easy. It requires no new laws, no culture war battles, no erosion of rights. Why aren’t we doing this?”
Because gun control isn’t, and has never been, about saving lives. It’s about imposing a vision of what society should be.
After the shooting in Dayton, Ohio, Democrats repeated demands for universal background checks. The Dayton shooter didn’t buy his gun, he had a friend buy it for him. It was a straw purchase, which has long been illegal under state and federal law. Joe Doakes
And I’m going to guess the straw purchase happened in a jurisdiction where neither the federal nor state prosecutors have shown there to be any consequences for straw purchases in a long, long time.
A concealed carrier at a gas station during a robbery, waited his turn to make a move. While inside the store, two armed robbers came in and put a gun inches away from the armed citizen’s face. He complied and gave the robbers his belongings. Well, everything except his gun.
And had they left at that point, they both might be alive today.
But they just had to keep going.
As the suspects, identified as 16-year-old Qwanterrius Stafford and 17-year-old Brenna Harris, turned to rob the store clerk, the customer pulled out his concealed weapon and shot the suspects, according to investigators. Stafford later died at the hospital from his injuries. Harris took off after the incident, injured, but was later caught by police after he sought treatment at a hospital.
It being Charlotte, I suppose there’s a decent chance some reporter will write a scathing report about the shooter, since Mr. Stafford was just about to get his life all turned around…