Just because Michael Bloomberg and all his money have decided to put Heather Martens on the sidelines in Minnesota’s Second Amendment “debate” doesn’t mean that the Twin Cities media isn’t dutifully lining up to give her a smooch on the hindquarters; she had an op-ed in the Strib on Sunday, in reply to an editorial by the Strib’s DJ Tice – one of few voices of relative reason on the Strib’s board.
Before we start, let’s remember the central fact about Heather Martens:
Heather’s Law: It’s almost up to the level of a Berg’s Law, although Berg’s laws relate to universal behavior; perhaps Martens’ behavior is universal among gun-grabbers. The Berg’s Law committee will consider this during its next meeting.
At any rate; the central thing to remember about Heather Martens is this:
Heather Martens has never, not once, uttered or written a substantial, true, original statement about guns, gun rights, gun owners or gun law.
She may have said some true things about guns – but nothing she thought of herself (things like “8,000 people were killed by firearms” are true, but they’re other peoples’ stats). She may have some some substantial or true things in her life – but not about guns or gun laws or even “gun safety”.
Her defenders – and there are no doubt a few people among the couple dozen who know she exists who aren’t Human Rights supporters who routinely eat her lunch – may try to dispute this – but I have yet to meet anyone up to the challenge of contesting it with me, least of all Ms. Martens.
But while most journalists would steer forever clear of a “source” that routinely, constantly, forever provides them with false, even risible, information, the Twin Cities media still beats a path to her door – often with comical results.
Lie #1: Anyway, Martens writes in the Strib:
For two decades, the gun lobby has controlled the national policy of weakening U.S. gun laws. Its solutions haven’t worked. In the U.S., we have 88 gun deaths a day, most of them suicides.
Now, Martens is a perfectly fine human being, but when it comes to Second Amendment policy, she is a vapid trifle – which wouldn’t matter if she ever told the truth, or were even accurate.
But even Martens knows that over the two decades she mentions, gun crime has dropped by half – faster still in places with more “liberal” gun laws.
What makes this troubling is that the Gun Grabber movement seems to have switched to a “Lie About Everything And Hope The Low-Info Voter Buys It” strategy.
Lie #2: Next, Martens writes:
Guns are poised to surpass car crashes as a cause of death.
Well, no. They’re not, except if you read the stats in the most ludicrously tortured way possible.
Not Quite A Lie; Just Dumb: Martens continues:
Yet Tice holds proposed gun violence prevention policies to a ridiculously high standard: Will they stop all gun deaths?
Given that the right to keep and bear arms is on par with freedom of speech, religion, press, assembly, security in your home, trial by jury and all the rest, the standard isn’t ridiculously high.
But since Martens wants to romp and play in the world of ethics:
A public-health-based standard asks instead: Does the policy measurably reduce gun death and injury?
Well, now we’re onto something. Voilá – the policies pushed by gun rights supporters have helped reduce the gun death and injury rate by almost half, and they’re still dropping (outside certain cities paralyzed by pathologies of Democrat party governance).
If Martens is interested in “public health”, that would seem to be important, right?
Lies 3 and 4: Onward:
Leading public-health expert Daniel Webster of Johns Hopkins University provides careful analysis based on research.
Well, no; as a generation of Second Amendment activists have shown, he crudely hammers public health fact into a form that fits a political agenda.
But let’s focus, here:
In a TEDMED talk, he aptly compares effective gun polices to the public-health-based campaign that dramatically reduced drunken-driving deaths in America without banning cars.
Webster notes three basic principles common to preventing both types of deaths:
1) Limiting access for inappropriate users: Just as a history of drunken driving can keep alcohol abusers off the road, effective gun policies prohibit access to guns by those with a history of violent or reckless behavior. Requiring a background check on every gun purchase stops prohibited buyers at the point of sale. Since the passage of the Brady Background Check law, 2.4 million sales to prohibited buyers have been stopped.
Some prohibited buyers – most notably Adam Lanza – have been stopped. Many more perfectly legitimate buyers have come up with false positives. But the beef comes next:
But gun-show loopholes and unregulated Internet sales let too many people legally avoid a background check.
And there are two lies.
First; go to a gun show. Try to buy a gun. You’ll be asked for your carry permit, or (in Minnesota) your “permit to purchase”, or run through the NICS database that Martens mentions approvingly above. You don’t buy guns at gun shows without a background check anymore without something indicating you’re clean.
Second? “Internet Sales” – the legal ones – go through a federally licensed firearms dealer. Where you take – taa daaaaa! – a NICS check!
Lie #5: She continues:
2) Holding users and sellers accountable: Accountability for drunken drivers and those who sell alcohol to prohibited buyers has been a key to success. Gun dealers, too, should be held accountable for unsafe practices…The gun lobby, for all its disingenuous bluster about “enforcing existing laws,” has induced Congress to protect reckless gun dealers from lawsuits,
Well, no. Congress has protected legitimate businesses from frivolous lawsuits designed to drive the firearms industry out of business through endless frivolous litigation. And it’s worked. Much to Heather Martens’ disingenuous chagrin.
Not Technically A Lie – But Just Plain Wrong: Martens decides to wax technical – or, more likely, copy and paste a Violence Policy Center chanting point:
3) Incorporating new technologies: For cars, it was air bags and seat belts. For guns, it is smart-gun technology (guns that can recognize their authorized user and operate only for them) and microstamping of bullets to identify crime guns.
Tell you what: I’ll use a “smart gun” when the cops and military use them.
Or to put it in terms Martens might understand? I’ll use a “smart gun” when she allows her daughter to be operated on using a procedure that is both highly experimental that that absolutely no reputable surgeons support.
Lies #6-9 – And They’re Dumb Ones: Martens turns the corner for what passes for her big finish:
Change is coming. Since Sandy Hook, community support for gun violence prevention has grown exponentially.
A recent Quinnipiac poll found a 93 percent national support rate for background checks before all gun sales.
It was a vague question that not only ignores the fact that something like 98% of all legal gun sales already have background checks, but counts on the survey-taker not knowing it.
It reminds me of the survey question gun-grabbers used to throw about; “85% of Americans favor gun control”. But when you got into suggesting specific types of gun control, that “support” fell like a greased brick. In the early eighties, at the height of the gun control movement. Like all such questions, when you get into specifics, and start relying on actual information, that “Support” drops fast.
The historically underfunded gun violence prevention movement has attracted millions of dollars in new resources and thousands of newly engaged activists.
The gun control movement has always had liberals with deep pockets – including Michael Bloomberg, who could buy the NRA with pocket change.
What it doesn’t have is small donors.
Per-household gun ownership is declining,
(Blink blink blink)
driving the gun lobby to increasingly extremist positions.
Like, apparently, simultaneously noting the drop in violent crime rates and electing an extreme gun-grabber president who has brought more people into the shooting sports than any previous President has.
We have begun winning at the state level — most recently in Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Washington, New York and Oregon, where background check laws have been strengthened without banning guns.
And crime has done…what?
But Wait: There has been a disburbance in the force.
Heather Martens not only said something true and factual – but she had a good idea!
Coming at noon today.