Since “Fake News” Is All The Rage

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.

Let’s start with sanctioning people who passed on Dakota County Attorney Jim Backstrom’s provably false claims about gun rights issues, especially proposals to reform self-defense laws – a trail of lies that continues today.

Professor Barrett also says individuals need to be more skeptical about what they read and see online. This is something no conservative in the Strib’s coverage area needs to be reminded about.

When Everyone’s A Terrorist…

SCENE: Mitch Berg is walking through the Midway. He rounds a blind corner, and nearly runs into Avery LIBRELLE.


BERG: Oh, gooooouuuuuuuaaaaaaahhhey, Avery. How you doing?

LIBRELLE: Fine. Just one my way to the Midway Walmart to buy handgun ammunition.

BERG: Hey, Avery – remember when you proposed using the government’s “terrorism watch list” to keep people from owning guns?

LIBRELLE: I must have.

BERG: You did. And do you remember your response?


BERG: You said I, and gun owners, were being “paranoid”.

LIBRELLE: You are.

BERG: Not so much:

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…



Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

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.

Joe Doakes

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.

In Which Captain Obvious Gets Promoted To Major

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.

It’s not hysteria. It’s prudence.

The idea that a third of Americans modify their behavior because of fear of mass shootings?

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:

  • Being in a gun free zone
  • Being, yourself, gun-free.

Hope we’ve solved this.

And When I Say “The Reverend Nancy Nord Bence Has Never Said Anything About The Gun Issue That Is Simultaneously Original, Substantial And True…

…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.

The Reverend Nord Bence:

If her lips are moving, don’t believe her.

An Inconvenient Bit Of Genius

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.

But I’m digressing. Read the article. It’s great.

But If The Background Check Were Only More Mandatory…

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

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 Smart, Patient, Cool-Headed Good Guy With A Gun

North Carolina man kept his head during a gas station robbery.


 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…

The Very Definition Of “Treating The Symptom”

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

A commenter posted: “You don’t have to solve — or even understand — complex moral, cultural, and social problems to reduce their lethality.”
If we limit magazine capacity, people still will die, but not as quickly.  That’s what it means to “reduce their lethality.”  That’s not a real solution.
It is ONLY by understanding the complex moral, cultural and social mistakes we made, that we have a hope of reversing the mistakes.
The problem is, Liberals don’t think they were mistakes so they’re not willing to consider reversing them, regardless of how many people die because of it.
Joe Doakes

“Reducing lethality”. As Joe points out, it means – at most – that a spree killer switches to multiple ten round magazines (which most spree killers already use); since they’re pretty invariably attacking defenseless targets, they could be using a double-barrel shotgun for all it matters.

And if you somehow, magically, take away all guns? Psychos will switch – have switched – to gasoline, knives, fertilizer, poison gas, trucks, or God only knows what else.

Personality Study

For those wanting to bash the American Right over the head with the recent spate of spree killings – the Dayton shooter, Connor Betts, would seem to be…


Betts was the lead singer in a band that worked in an intensely masochistic genre:

The man who killed nine and injured 27 in a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, was the lead singer of a “pornogrind” metal band, a genre defined by its explicit subject matter and themes of gore and violence, specifically sexual violence and necrophilia, BuzzFeed News has learned.

The gunman, identified as 24-year-old Connor Betts, was a member of Menstrual Munchies, a three-person band that performed regularly in the Midwest death metal scene, recently appearing as one of the bands at the Summer Massacre 2 concert in Chicago on June 29.
Pornogrind is a subgenre of a fast and extreme kind of heavy metal called grindcore, which is known for its mostly dark, satirical themes of sexual violence and gore delivered for shock value.

Another, er, musician wrote

In a follow-up tweet, the band member running the account [of a band associated with Betts] described Betts as “another dime a dozen Ohio grind dude who caped progressive politics while treating women like shit.”

Oh, yeah – he supports Fauxcahontas.

Watch for the Dayton shooter to disappear down the memory hole – although his choice of firearm will remain.

Loose The Hysterical Ninnies Of Hell

Justin Perpich – scion of the Iron Range political family, but otherwise just another Metrocrat progressive fop – writes:

So the next time some progressive demands “why can’t we have ‘commonsense gun control'”, answer “because your side lacks common sense”.

Bonus: “Why are ‘red flag laws” without due judicial process a terrible idea?” Answer: Because people like Justin Perpich (and many, many like him( are not alone.


Two mass shootings over the weekend.

Senate Majority Leader Gazelka had an excellent response:

As does Representative Munson.

Let us, indeed, think about the “why”:

Speaking of “why” – law enforcement will be looking for patterns. And while we’re on the subject:

As a friend asks – “do they make these in a lab?” “Copycat killer” has a whole new meaning.

By the way; over the weekend – a “progressive” from the invincibly ignorant set bellowed (rhetorically) at me “askiing” if I’d renounce “white supremacy” in the wake of El Paso.

It was a groaningly stupid and insulting thing to say – I did mention he was from the invincibly ignorant crowd, right?

I haven’t told him “This is the appropriate response to ‘white supremacists’ with firearms on shootings sprees“.

And, for that matter, a good guy with a gun did in fact help out in El Paso.

Berg’s 18th Law is still in effect. Stay tuned.

UPDATE: In related news, Neil DeGrasse Tyson will never do lunch in Berkeley again:


No Guns, No Coverage

When I first saw the headline for this piece on social media, I thought it was Babylon Bee spoofing big modern media:

Kyoto Animation arson killings didn’t get much attention because we couldn’t demonize guns

Sure enougb, it’s an actual USAToday editorial, about the Kyoto Animation Studio mass killing -= which involved arson, not guns, so the American media snoozed it out:

The limited attention here in the United States cannot be explained away on account of distance. Compare the coverage with that of the mosque shootings last March in Christchurch, New Zealand, a location even farther from our shores. U.S. newspapers and wire services featured the Christchurch massacre five times as much as the Kyoto mass murder.
Sure, there are some differences between the two tragedies in term of victim count and motive. Thursday’s attack involved a personal agenda rather than a political one — never raising the dreadful specter of terrorism. The Kyoto massacre may not have been an act of terror, but the young victims undoubtedly experienced tremendous terror as the flames swelled around them and smoke invaded their lungs. 
Mass shootings remain one of the most widely discussed topics here in the United States. By comparison, we just don’t seem to be as unnerved by mass killings carried out by other methods, unless of course they hint of terrorism, be it of foreign or domestic origin.

This wasn’t always the case; when over 90 were killed by an arsonist at the Happyland Social Club in the Bronx in 1990, there was media coverage…

…but it didn’t lead to “National Conversations” about mental health, since that’s a) intractable, b) involves beating on no political opponents.

And I’ll posit this right here: If an insane arsonist killed 34 black people in Chicago, there’d be a similar shrug of the media’s shoulders. Because there’s no political angle to beat on gun owners in between editorials bemoaning “tribailism” in our culture.

“Why Does Anyone Need More Than Six Shots?”

Because you don’t want to run out of bullets before your attacker runs out of attack.

Three armed home invaders shoot man on the East Side, tie up woman, scare the hell out of the kids:

Police say three suspects broke into the house armed with a gun.
Investigators were surveying the scene of the crime Thursday, after a home invasion left a man shot in the leg and his girlfriend tied up. The man who was shot is expected to be alright.
Police say the victims were staying overnight at a relative’s house.
“These are terrifying and traumatic events to have happen,” St. Paul Police spokesperson Steve Linders said. “Also concerning is that they found two young children in the house that were present during the robbery.”
The children, however, were not harmed.

By the way – during the dog days of summer, it’s important not to be an idiot.

Linders says home invasions in the city are rare. Investigators think a social media post by the man that was shot may have played a role in this crime.
“Our investigators think it could be tied to a Facebook post that the victim made recently he had been on a successful trip to Las Vegas and posted about it,” Linders said.
Security expert Mark Lanterman, who is not affiliated with this specific investigation, says it’s a reminder that posting online about expensive belongings or cash can get you in trouble, but also if you share you’re leaving town or on vacation.
“It’s very important to be very careful about in the details you share on social media,” Lanterman said. “Burglars know hey you’re out of town now you’re an easy target so think before you post.”

I’m always home, and I’ve always got an AR15 in one hand and a .44 Magnum in the other.

At Long Last “Honesty” (Of A Sort) (Sort Of)

The Reverend Nancy Nord Bence has never, not once, made a statement about guns, gun owners, gun crime, gun laws, the 2nd Amendment’s meaning and history that is simultaneously original, substantial and true.

Not once.

Her news release earlier this week wasn’t “honest”, per se – but it was unusual in its frankness.

Because while Nord Bence, like all gun grabbers, will condescendingly coo “nobody’s coming for your guns” when asked, well, she wants to come for your guns.

You can read the release here. By the way – in a medium, the press release, that favors economy and succinctness, the Reverend writes the most gaseous, verbose excrescences ever to grace a circular file. The meme blow is the TL:dr version:

The PCUSA And The Big Sort

I’m a Christian.

Beyond that, I’m pretty committed to the Presbyterian church. Part of it is that the church traditionally favors ministers who give really good sermons; my dad was a speech teacher, and “giving speaker points” is kind of the family business. More importantly, I believe the Presbyterian book of worship puts less temporal fuzz between man and Christ than any other denomination.

And American democracy was influenced for the better by the Presbyterian church’s manner of temporal government.

But the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA), the largest Presbyterian denomination in the US, has been pulling *hard* to the left since I was in my twenties. They’ve dived deep into the “social justice” swamp; some congregations go out of their way to make it *extremely* uncomfortable to dissent with church leadership, not on matters of faith, but on matters of temporal government policy and social belief.

And it shows. The PCUSA is on track to disappear, demographically, by 2040 – worse than the Episcopals. Its membership is collapsing faster than the Cleveland Indians every June. It’s easier to find a closed PCUSA church than an operating one in most of the Twin Cities these days. And church leadership – the “General Assembly” – publicly calls this a feature, not a bug; they rejoice at all those dissenters leaving the PCUSA and going elsewhere. They are, in short, participating enthusiastically in tribalizing America – in pushing “The Big Sort” that is polarizing every facet of American life.

The hiring of a full-time gun control activist wrapped in an ecclesiastical costume is just a further nail in the PCUSA’s demographic coffin. I left the PCUSA 12 years ago; it’s a pity, because I’d leave them again if I could.

And I hate that – the fact that the PCUSA is driving people away from their spiritual home over matters that, in the eternal scheme of things, aren’t what the church is supposed to be into. Several of the most important, formative figures of my life are or were PCUSA pastors. Much of what I am today, at least the good stuff, is because of the influence that my church’s pastor and youth group leaders, and some of my Presbyterian-affiliated college faculty, had on me.

I don’t think that matters to the PCUSA anymore.

And when I say “ecclesiastical costume”, I’m being pretty charitable and neutral:

I expect resistance because when you talk about guns, you are tapping into the part of the brain that protects one’s identity. Guns and identity are linked for many people; that is why I have developed a spiritual practice that helps us shift our bodies from fight-or-flight mode and teaches us to welcome and hold with compassion all the sensations that arise in our bodies. When we connect with one another on the level of personal experience, it leads to empathy. Establishing empathy is key in peacemaking.

I’d be tempted to ask if she thinks that’d work with Nik Cruz, Dylan Roof, Omar Matteen and the like – but then, I’m pretty sure “dodging reality” is the reverend’s stock in trade.

If you’re a Presbyterian? There *are* options. I’ve moved to the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. The “Presbyterian Church in America” is also out there. I recommend you take a look at it, if you can.

By the way: “thoughts and prayers” – also known as reflection and rational thought – are *exactly* what is needed after a tragedy or atrocity – and nothing about thinking and praying rules out needed action. But thinking (and if you’re a believer, prayer/meditation/mindfulness) are nothing but a benefit when it comes to taking the *right* action.

And anyone who tells you otherwise is trying to logroll you…

…oh, yeah. Never mind.

Do We Have To Keep Saying It?

Gilroy Garlic Festival. A gun free zone in a gun free state:

Three people were killed and 15 injured. In 2018, the County with a little over 1.5 million adults had issued just 113 concealed handgun permits — that is just 0.007% of adults. To put it differently, that is only 1 permit issued for every 14,300 people. General citizens in Santa Clara County are banned from being able to carry concealed handguns. There is no nearby county that has even one percent of the population with permits, and for California as a whole, only 0.39% of adults have a permit. Last year, outside the restrictive states of California and New York, about 8.63% of the adult population has a permit.

And the security whose job it was to try to protect people “better than they could do it themselves?”

The shooter went to the unbelievable length of…avoiding it:

Police said the man who opened fire at the festival Sunday, killing three and wounding 15, was able to get around security by entering through a back area of Christmas Hill Park.
Gilroy Police Chief Scott Smithee said the gunman used “some sort of tool” to cut a fence next to a creek to get into the event.
Christmas Hill Park backs up against a wilderness area, though it is unclear exactly where the gunman entered.
Smithee said the festival had security checkpoints with metal detectors.

I started trying to count up all the mass shootings that’d taken place in guns where, unbelievably, shooters had broken laws and even explicitly evaded security measures. I gave up. It’s not “all of them”, but it’s pretty close.

Government in California would rather you were helpless and dead than have the ability to resist.

So would anyone who proposes gun control.

The Mission For Today

As crime plummets in the rest of Minnesota, violence creeps ahead in the Metro – most of it using mundane, stolen conventional handguns.

And suicides claim 80% of the gun deaths in Minnesota – mostly unfashionable older guys with depression and frequently terminal illnesses. And with suicide, magazine size is utterly irrelevant.

But Keith Ellison – former Congressman and current Attorney General with, one suspects, aspirations to the office of Governor of Minnesota, has filed an amicus brief in a state case seeking to limit magazine sizes.

Of course. limiting magazine sizes has no effect on violent crime – not even mass shootings. Especially not street crime or suicide.

But that’s how he’s wasting his time and your dollars.

You need to help fix that.

Go here and email his office; there’s an email form (please rewrite the boilerplate message to suit). You can also call – leave a polite but firm message.

We need to blow his inbox and switchboard to shreds with belt-fed reason and indignation.

Double-Dog Gun-Free Zone

The downtown “Crave” restaurant, which suffered a shooting over the weekend, has been called on the carpet by Mother City:

In the wake of a brazen double-shooting at a downtown Minneapolis restaurant, the city’s licensing division wants the owners of Crave American Kitchen & Sushi Bar to establish stricter security protocols to protect its patrons.
The city sent a letter to Crave owner Keyvan Talebi on Monday citing two code violations related to the early Saturday shooting, including failing to provide adequate security to prevent criminal activity. The letter asks Talebi to provide an updated security plan for staff training, how management will stop people from bringing in guns and how staff can work better with police in case of an emergency. The plan must be submitted to the downtown police precinct by July 23.

They were already a “gun free zone”.

Y’mean, that doesn’t work?


Thought Experiment

If I walked into your store with a sawed-off shotgun, demanded you hand over all your money, turned to leave with the loot, slipped on a banana peel, and cracked my head open, gushing blood all over the floor and rating a trip to the ER, would the local newspaper say I’d “donated blood” and “brought extra income to the local hospital?”

Only if I were a “progressive” who was the vessel of all the area’s media and Big Left felt about themselves.

Why Does Anyone Need An AR15?

So they don’t run out of bullets before their attacker runs out of attack.

Or attackers, plural:

Marion County sheriff’s officials say a homeowner armed with an AR-15 shot and killed two intruders and was injured himself during a home invasion robbery in Summerfield Wednesday night.
Two other robbery suspects — Robert John Hamilton, 19, of Ocala, and Seth Adam Rodriguez, 22, of Belleview — were detained near the scene, according to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.
Nigel Doyle, 22, of Summerfield, and Keith Jackson Jr., 21, Ocala, were killed. The homeowner, whose name was not released by the Sheriff’s Office, was in stable condition at a hospital Thursday afternoon.

But they were good kids, just about to start school to become missionary medics:

Sgt. Micah Moore found Doyle with a gunshot wound and a shotgun next to him on the ground. Deputies entered the home and found Jackson dead on the dining room floor. Detectives said he was wearing a “Jason” mask on top of his head, gloves on both hands, jeans and a black shirt.

Wait – indicting a criminal for murder when one of their accomplices is killed during their spree?

Why, if the Ramco Attorney office learns about this, law and order might break out.

Idiots Abroad

One Ron letnes (it’s his capitalization – and reading the rest of his not-very literate screed, I’m pretty sure it’s not a “style” thing), who writes for “Engage”, the “progressive” Evangelical Lutheran Church’s anti-gun propaganda blog, took a trip to Europe.

And he writes…:

Linda and I spent a month touring Europe this summer. We anticipated a wave of discomfort because of the global immigration demands for life and safety. We anticipated verbal antagonisms and increased gun visibility by persons and authorities. We anticipated the isolation of Muslim and African peoples from events and sites.

In other words, he “anticipated” exactly everything that the narrative police are telling the demented lunatic fringe to anticipate.

Have a free range cigar, Ron.

Narrative Shot Down Like A Dog

If you listen to Minnesota’s gun control activists, do you think this state had become South Bronx in 1970 – because of law-abiding gun owners, naturally.

But statistics are pesky little buggers.

Minnesota – with one of the highest gun ownership rates in the country, more carry permit holders per capita than Texas, and not coincidentally one of the safest states in the country with a major metropolitan area in it – just keeps getting safer.

And one of the most satisfying exercises in all of gun-rights-activist-dom is getting grabbers to admit they just don’t realize how the world has left them behind, and watching them deflect from street crime to “mass shootings”.

And then do that badly.