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February 21, 2018

Democrat Common Sense — A Non Sequitur

Whenever the words “common sense” come out of a Democrat’s pie hole, caveat emptor.

“The ultimate authority … resides in the people alone. … The advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation … forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any…” —James Madison (1788)

There’s a lot of Democrat chatter this week about “common-sense gun control,” their ubiquitous terminology for undermining what our Founders understood to be the First Civil Right of all people.

Frankly, whenever the words “common sense” come out of a Democrat’s pie hole, caveat emptor — all critical thinkers should vigorously challenge with prejudicial skepticism whatever follows thereafter.

“To Keep and Bear Arms” is the unalienable right enumerated in the Second Amendment to our Constitution. It is thus second only to the First, but make no mistake: It guarantees the First and all others. Our Constitutional Republic has existed longer than any other democratic government in history, and for one reason – “We, the People” retain the ultimate power and authority over tyranny. That is precisely as our Founders intended and the implications of our nation’s long survival as a beacon of freedom has had a staggering impact on Liberty worldwide.

In the wake of the Parkland, Florida, high school murders by a sociopathic assailant using a firearm, we cannot overlook the abject failure of federal, state and local agencies to intervene despite having been warned of the risk posed by this individual.

But it’s the response from Donald Trump versus that from Barack Obama which demonstrates the great divide between Republicans and Democrats on the causation for such violent acts.

Republicans, rightly and consistently, call attention to the cultural factors that result in violence — the statist policies that have propagated that culture, and the fact that young minds are inculcated with a saturation of media violence. Arguably, first and foremost, the cultural devolution and social entropy that give rise to such violence, are rooted in generations of failed Democrat policies.

On the other hand, Democrats, predictably, focus on the inanimate objects used to commit violence (in this case a semi-automatic rifle), the latter being a much easier target, as well as a tactic within a larger leftist objective — constriction of the Second Amendment and, ultimately, gun confiscation.

When I contemplate the words “common sense,” it first invokes the notion of an understanding of something which is universally shared.

Second, I think of the 1776 pamphlet, “Common Sense,” published by Thomas Paine, which framed the cause and call for undertaking the fatigues necessary to defend American Liberty thusly: “The cause of America is in a great measure the cause of all mankind.”

Clearly, the Democrat Party long ago abandoned Paine’s understanding of “common sense” as it related then and now to supporting and sustaining Liberty for this and future generations. That understanding is in direct conflict with the statist policies they advocate.

So, to consider what should be inferred from their use of “common sense” in regard to the Second Amendment, here are a few examples from the past week.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA): “Congress has a moral responsibility to take common sense action to prevent the daily tragedy of gun violence in communities across America.” (In other words, anyone who doesn’t comply with the Democrats’ political agenda is immoral.)

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo: “The president should follow our lead and advance common sense gun safety legislation.” (Make no mistake, by “gun safety” Cuomo means “gun confiscation.”)

Speaking for leftist celebrity hypocrites, this from the leader of the pack, Jimmy Kimmel: “This is the perfect example of common sense. … This is a mental illness issue, because if you don’t think we need to do something about it, you are mentally ill.” (That’s right. Forget the mentally ill perpetrator. If you don’t agree with Kimmel, you’re mentally ill.)

Of course, leftist editorial pages and advocacy groups across the nation, funded by the billionaire archenemies of Liberty who support them, are insisting on “common sense” gun control measures.

The socialist Daily Kos: “Are we ever going to have common sense gun laws?” “Let’s talk common sense. The National Rifle Association [is] one of the main reasons we remain unable to pass common sense gun laws.”

Most notably, within hours of the latest tragedy in Florida, the two most prominent Democrats in the nation were leading the “common sense” bandwagon, including the Orwellian BIG lie that “most Americans agree” with them.

Hillary Clinton: “The majority of Americans support common sense gun reform.” (Fortunately the majority of Electoral College votes did not support Clinton.)

Barack Obama: “Caring for our kids is our first job, and until we can honestly say that we’re doing enough to keep them safe from harm, including long overdue, commonsense gun safety laws that most Americans want, then we have to change.” (That’s right, according to Obama, if you’re a defender of Liberty and the Second Amendment, you don’t “care for our kids,” and when he says “gun safety laws” he means “gun confiscation.”)

(Keep in mind, all of these politicos have taxpayer-funded armed security with them 24/7, and they reside in high-security, walled domiciles.)

So, what is it that Clinton and Obama, and their legions of socialist useful idiots, mean when they refer to “common sense” gun control measures?

Both Clinton and Obama have advocated for the Australian gun confiscation model, and implementation of that model in the future would be the Democrats’ greatest legislative prize.

Obama declared in 2014: “The one area where I have been most frustrated … is the fact that the United States of America is the one advanced nation on earth in which we do not have sufficient common sense gun safety laws. … A couple decades ago, Australia … basically imposed very severe, tough gun laws. … This is something we should politicize. … I would ask the American people to think about how they can get our government to change [our gun] laws.”

During her 2016 campaign, Clinton likewise declared: “The Australian government … offered a good price for buying hundreds of thousands of guns and then they basically clamped down on guns going forward. … By offering to buy back those guns, they were able to curtail the supply. … Several communities have done gun buy-back programs, but I think it would be worth doing on the national level.”

Now, to be clear, when Obama says “imposed very severe, tough gun laws,” he’s referring to gun confiscation.

And when Clinton says “offering to buy back those guns,” she’s referring to gun confiscation, which she then says “would be worth doing on the national level.”

As a resource for dealing with gun-grabbing leftists, earlier this week I posted a detailed transcript of a debate with a suburban lefty on the Australian gun confiscation issue — and much more regarding the Second Amendment.

Clearly, Australia isn’t plagued with the broken families and the urban poverty plantations that five decades of failed Democrat social policies will engender. But appealing for gun control after a mass shooting is much easier than acknowledging the generational policy failures that account for most crime in the U.S.

In addition to the irrefutable link between fatherless homes and violence, what I believe is the single most significant contributing factor scripting this particular type of assault, but one that will get the least attention, is the fact that the assailant was steeped in the desensitizing violence of video game “entertainment” — spending countless hours through his formative years in a fantasy first-person killing role. Tens of millions of young people are submersed in these games and don’t emerge as sociopathic killers. But in those rare instances when a young person does become a mass assailant, their pathology, combined with their killing fantasy, results in bloodshed.

For example: The 1999 Columbine High School murderers were immersed in the violent game “Doom,” achieving “berserk mode.” The 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School murderer logged 83,496 kills in one violent video game, including 22,725 headshots.

To that end, a joint statement from the American Psychological Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Medical Association, and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry declares, “At this time, well over 1,000 studies … point overwhelmingly to a causal connection between media violence and aggressive behavior in some children.”

Additionally, many of the most noted mass shooting assailants were, or had been using, psycho-active prescription drugs, particularly selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors, including Prozac similar drugs. It was only after the introduction and widespread distribution of these drugs (now an epidemic of overprescription in the US) that mass shootings began.

The indisputable fact is this: If you don’t have a violent criminal record, and/or are not associated with the violent thug, drug or gang subcultures, who commit the vast majority of crimes in America, your chances of being shot or killed by an assailant with a gun are almost as low as murder rates in Western Europe where gun ownership is outlawed. Oh, and in Switzerland, which has a higher concentration of “assault weapons” per capita than any nation in the world, the murder rate is one of the lowest in the world.

To that point, according to research regarding murders in the nation’s second deadliest city, “The average homicide victim in Baltimore in 2017 had 11 previous arrests on his record. About 73 percent had drug arrests, and nearly 50 percent had been arrested for a violent crime. About 30 percent were on parole or probation at the time they were killed, and more than 6 percent were on parole or probation for a gun crime.”

Similarly, “The average homicide suspect, meanwhile, had 9 previous arrests on his record. About 70 percent had drug arrests, and nearly half had been arrested for a violent crime. Nearly 36 percent were on parole or probation, and 6 percent were on parole or probation for a gun crime.”

Here are a few more reality-check bullet points regarding the assault on the Second Amendment, ammunition for debate we should all be having with those who have bought into all the emotive “common sense” nonsense.

The Left is using kids as human shields for their agenda, including those unwitting teenage pawns being heralded for speaking out. (Notably, in the high-profile “town hall meeting” hosted by CNN, the network scripted the questions the youngsters were asking in order to bushwhack the pro-2A advocates on the stage.)

The nation’s most dangerous cities are invariably Democrat strongholds. More than half the murders in the U.S. occurred in 2% of the nation’s counties. Show me a deadly city, and I’ll show you a Democrat in charge of it.

For the record, the top urban crime centers have the most restrictive firearm regulations in the nation. Using Demo-logic, then, shouldn’t these “gun-free zones” be the safest places in America?

In fact, violent crimes are almost exclusively committed by sociopathic thug, drug and gang-bangers battling on city streets. Furthermore, it is also clear that 96% of all mass shootings since records first began being kept in 1950 occurred in so-called “gun-free zones.” In other words, people were killed in places where the victims were most likely unable to defend themselves. And 90% of those firearms were obtained illegally.

Of course, only law-abiding citizens abide by laws, and making lawful citizens helpless clearly does not make outlaws harmless. Remember: The vast majority of mass assaults occur in “gun-free zones.”

Sidebar: Anyone who asserts the public or private space they manage is safe by posting signs and/or establishing regulations prohibiting (gun-free zones), should thus be liable for any assault that occurs in that public or private space, because in effect they advertised it was safe from any firearm assault – and advertised to criminals that the space is full of people who are unable to defend them selves.

Despite all the Democrat rhetoric about “common sense” gun control legislation, Obama had full legislative control of the 111th Congress in 2009, including a filibuster-proof Senate majority and a House with 257 Democrats and 178 Republicans. Between 2009 and 2011, Democrats could have enacted every gun control measure they wanted (much as they could have enacted their ruinous immigration policies), but they didn’t.

Perhaps their understanding of “common sense” is not so common.

Crime in the U.S. has actually declined significantly over the last two decades. Concurrently, gun ownership in America has increased significantly, while homicides by assailants with guns have also declined.

Apparently, more guns, less crime.

If crime in America is a “gun problem” and not a cultural problem, then Switzerland should be a slaughterhouse. There are more full-auto assault rifles per capita in Switzerland than in any other Western nation, and yet the Swiss have one of the lowest homicide rates in the world — far lower than in the UK, which has the strictest gun laws in Europe and, now, one of the highest rates of crime. Several other Western nations with substantial numbers of guns in private hands, including Germany, Austria and Iceland, also have low homicide rates.

While President Trump is going to take a second pass at outlawing some firearm modifications, which, in effect make them function like select-fire weapons, recall that there was a so-called “assault weapon ban” in place from 1994-2004, when it expired. Research by the Department of Justice determined that the ban had no impact on reducing crime, and implementation of another ban is unlikely.

And according to the FBI’s latest annual crime statistics, rifles were used in 252 homicides, while knives were used in 1,544 homicides, blunt objects in 437 homicides and bare hands in 624 homicides.

The Leftmedia’s saturation coverage (selling advertising on the blood of innocents) communicates this to potential future mass murderers:

  1. We’ll make sure you’re famous by devoting all our air time to you.
  2. As targets go, a school will get you the most attention, and nobody will shoot back. (In fact, 98% of mass shootings occur in “gun-free zones” )
  3. Use an AR-15 — they’re the most popular gun for the job, and then we will call it an “assault weapon.”

What about the Leftmedia reports asserting that most Americans agree with added gun-control measures? This is a classic case of the tried-and-true “Pollaganda Effect,” whereby the MSM inundates viewers with opinion masquerading as “journalism,” then polls them on what they’ve just been told.

And it’s these same media propagandists who are fomenting student protests nationwide this week.

Finally, liberals tend to share a pathological insecurity, which causes them to embrace the false security of statism. They live in deep denial, particularly when hiding from the reality that history repeats itself. Recall the words of George Santayana: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Or Aldous Huxley: “That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.”

We are all deeply affected when sociopaths slaughter innocents, regardless of their weapon of choice. But it is no small irony that the Left side of the ideological spectrum is uniquely accountable for the mass murder of millions of innocents in the last century — but in every case only after they were disarmed.

And consistent with their insecurity, what is also at the core of the Left’s gun hysterics is a deep fear of common folks, self-reliant individuals across the nation who still uphold the most basic tenets of American Liberty.

Tucker Carlson aptly summarized it: “The calls you’re hearing today for gun control have nothing to do with protecting Americans from violence. What you’re witnessing is a kind of class war. The Left hates rural America, gun-owning America, the America that elected Donald Trump. They call it ‘gun control.’ It’s not. It’s people control. For the Left, voters who can’t be controlled can’t be trusted.”

Here’s the bottom line on “common sense” in regard to the Second Amendment: In his landmark work, “Commentaries on the Constitution” (1833), James Madison’s Supreme Court Justice, Joseph Story, wrote, “The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.”

Those words ring as true today as when first written.

When debating the Second Amendment, there are three points that are often neglected. First, possession of firearms is a deterrent against countless millions of crimes, as made clear in studies of convicted felons, who tell researchers that they choose victims who are least likely to be able to defend themselves. Second, there are more than a million crimes thwarted every year by those who defend themselves with a firearm.

And finally, the Second Amendment is, first and foremost, about protection of our Constitution and the Liberty it enshrines. As I have oft noted, handguns are for personal and home defense. But semi-automatic rifles, mislabeled by Democrats and their Leftmedia propagandists as “assault rifles,” are for protection of those who would infringe on the “right of the people to keep and bear arms.” If you find that notion unsettling, then you need to learn more about the history the constant assault of statist tyranny on Liberty.

And for the record, despite claims to the contrary, banning the sale of those guns has had dubious results in terms of reducing the rare but sensational use of such firearms by mass murderers.

“The ultimate authority … resides in the people alone. [T]he advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation … forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any…” –James Madison (1788)

Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Pro Deo et Libertate — 1776

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The First Civil Right is To Keep and Bear Arms. It is, as James Madison’s Supreme Court Justice, Joseph Story, rightly defined it, “the palladium of the liberties of the republic,” the ultimate assurance of all other rights.

What follows are a few key notes that all defenders of American Liberty and its foundational guarantor, the Second Amendment, should be prepared to articulate, in order to refute the rhetorical gun control agenda disinformation propagated by Democrats and their Leftmedia publicists.

While some of this data is based on annual findings, most of that data does not vary significantly year over year.

FOOTNOTE 1: Regarding so-called “gun violence,” there were approximately 19,600 homicides involving firearms in the U.S. in the latest year of record, which you can view state by state. Fortunately, there are indications that homicides may be declining after the significant surge of violence unleashed by Biden and his Democrat agitators in 2020. The 2022 homicide rate was 30% higher than in 2019.

The Demos ubiquitously and falsely label the generational murderous contagion they have seeded as “gun violence,” and they focus exclusively on the infrequent high-profile “mass shootings,” which account for only a tiny fraction of all homicides. More than 99% of murders in the U.S. are not the result of mass attacks. (Notably, guns don’t commit violence, thugs and sociopaths commit violence.) The oft-cited Gun Violence Archive defines a “mass shooting” as any incident that involves a “minimum of four victims shot, either injured or killed.” The vast majority of those violent attacks are the result of drug and gang violence committed in Democrat-controlled urban centers.

In a country and culture that ignores the rising generation of sociopathic murderers — mostly thugs in violent urban centers who are saturated with cultural violence and indoctrinated with mass-media glorification of violence — it is fortunate that the incidence of mass murder is not 10 times higher. Arguably, the only thing keeping that number from being higher is that 125 million Americans are legal and responsible gun owners.

Democrats don’t focus on the vast majority of murders, particularly the epidemic of black-on-black murders on their decaying urban poverty plantations, because they want to avoid the “inconvenient truth” about race and violence, which is the direct result of failed Democrat social programs. In fact, black people (13% of the population), are 12 times more likely to be murdered, per capita, than white people (62% of the population).

That gross racial disparity in murder rates isn’t useful for the gun control narrative Democrats invoke to evoke emotional reaction from mostly wealthy white suburban women, who form the Demos’ largest voter constituency.

FOOTNOTE 2: Regarding so-called “mass shootings,” for the record, murders of multiple people by one assailant are very rare in our nation of 335 million people. Less than 1% of all murders nationwide are classified as “mass shootings” and high-profile attacks, such as the 2017 mass murder in Las Vegas, are extremely rare.

The FBI defines “active shooter incidents” as “one or more individuals actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area.” In 2022, the FBI reported 50 incidents resulting in 313 casualties (100 killed and 213 wounded). That number was up significantly from 2020 when the FBI reported 40 incidents resulting in 164 casualties (38 killed and 126 wounded).

A broader record of “mass shooting” data is maintained by the Associated Press and Northeastern University, which uses the Department of Justice definition of mass public shooting: “A multiple homicide incident in which four or more victims are murdered with firearms.” These numbers fluctuate significantly year over year, and they range between 20 and 40 incidents. But notably, over the last 30 years, the number of black mass assailants is almost as high as the number of white assailants.

Democrats focus on these rare instances of multiple murders because these high-profile tragedies are political fodder to foment fear — most notably when they can toss out their oft-repeated but erroneous claim that “gun violence is the leading cause of death for children.” If by “children” they mean gang and drug-associated murders of those primarily between the ages of 16 and 21, then yes. Democrats are experts at fomenting fear and division.

The fear and angst Demos intentionally propagate are taking a toll on Americans’ mental health. Psychological researcher Dr. Riana Elyse Anderson observes: “Watching it time and time again on your phone or on the headlines can really impact you in ways that I don’t think we knew before to be as impactful. It’s so ‘in our face’ all the time and we have access to so much footage, so many pictures, so many videos, so many accounts that we’re ingesting it in ways that’s really unhealthy for us.” The result for many mothers, in particular, is an irrational fear that their children will be shot. That is precisely the fabricated fear Democrats want to perpetuate, especially among their female constituents, in order to advance their gun control agenda.

FOOTNOTE 3: Regarding what Democrats and their Leftmedia propagandists ubiquitously and falsely label “assault weapons,” an actual assault weapon, commonly known as a “machine gun,” is select-fire and can rapidly cycle rounds in fully automatic sequence. Very few select-fire weapons are in civilian hands, and only then subject to stringent licensing requirements.

In fact, civilian firearms in common use, like the AR-15 and other semiautomatic sporting and hunting rifles, are not “assault rifles.”

For much the same reason the Demo/Media talkingheads focus only on rare high-profile “mass shootings” to generate fear and angst, they also call semi-automatic rifles sometimes used in those attacks, “assault weapons.” Predictably, Demos then call for what Hillary Clinton framed decades ago as “common sense gun laws,” inevitably followed by calls for an “assault weapons ban.”

In 1994, Bill Clinton banned the sale of “military-style assault weapons,” but that ban was not renewed 10 years later because it was determined the ban had no effect on crime reduction. According to Rand Research, “We found no qualifying studies showing that bans on the sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines decreased any of the eight outcomes we investigated.”

The fact is, rifles and shotguns combined are used in less than 3% of all homicides, but Democrats never let facts get in the way of their “assault weapon ban” political agenda.

Both the Clintons were prolific prevaricators, masterful obfuscators of the truth. And Joe Biden has followed their template, establishing himself as the standard bearer of the “lying dog-faced pony soldier” cavalry.

FOOTNOTE 4: Regarding firearms and violent crime, researcher John Lott reports, “Over 92% of violent crimes in America do not involve firearms.” Again, the only thing keeping that number from being much higher is that 125 million Americans are legal and responsible gun owners.

FOOTNOTE 5: Regarding firearms and suicide, almost 60% of all deaths involving firearms are suicide, most also involving drug or alcohol abuse. But the big numbers promoted in “gun violence” reports do not distinguish between murder and suicide, thus implying that homicide rates are much higher. And does this mean that Demo support for assisted suicide is in conflict with their support for gun control?

FOOTNOTE 6: Regarding alcohol versus firearm deaths, if Democrats are serious about protecting Americans, they should outlaw alcohol. Alcohol abuse is far more deadly than firearm abuse. More than 178,000 people died from alcohol abuse last year — that’s NINE times the number of homicides associated with firearms. Drunk drivers are responsible for 37 deaths per day. And notably, it is estimated that alcohol is a key factor in at least 30% of homicides where the assailant uses a firearm. (Include drug dealing or use as a factor and that number jumps to about 60%.)

Of course, the vast majority of alcohol users possess and use it legally and responsibly. Likewise, the vast majority of firearm owners possess and use them legally and responsibly. Enacting a prohibition on firearms is tantamount to enacting a prohibition on alcohol. In both cases, only law-abiding users obey the laws.

BOTTOM LINE: Let me restate this point — only law-abiding citizens abide by the law. Only outlaws perpetrate acts of violence. Making good people helpless won’t make bad people harmless.

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