EppsNet Archive: Guns

AR-15s and AK-47s

Here’s a phrase I’m hearing a lot of lately: “AR-15s and AK-47s.” As in “We’re going to take away your AR-15s and AK-47s.” It really doesn’t make sense to talk about those two weapons together. I’m not a gun expert but among media people reporting on gun issues and especially among politicians presuming to legislate gun issues, the level of ignorance is really appalling. The AR-15 is the most popular rifle in America. It’s a semi-automatic rifle, meaning the action will automatically cycle a new round after each shot, but the shooter must release the trigger and pull it again to fire another shot Granted, the AR-15 looks a lot scarier than older rifles favored by Buffalo Bill and George Armstrong Custer, but the principle is the same: only one round is discharged with each pull of the trigger. In fact, the AR-15 looks like an M16, the military version… Read more →

What is the Goal of Background Checks?

  What is the goal of background checks? To prevent murders? The Odessa shooter, to cite one example, couldn’t pass a background check, but he got his hands on a gun anyway. If you’re trying to get a gun for the purpose of murdering one or more persons, why would you care about passing a background check? Has anyone ever said “I was planning to go on a murderous rampage but I didn’t want to do it with an illegally obtained firearm. Because I might get in trouble with the law.” So for Odessa, charges would include seven deaths, 19 wounded, plus illegal possession of a firearm?! Is that a deterrent?   Read more →

Praying for Protection

Texas state lawmaker calls for ‘praying for protection’ instead of gun reform in wake of mass shooting CNN Let me ask you: what is “gun reform”? Why would it be better than prayer for preventing mass shootings? Pray for protection and if you get shot, take comfort in knowing it was God’s will. Can I get an amen? Read more →

Fact Check: Trump Said One Thing While His Critics Said Another!

From an Associated Press “fact check”: Trump distorted science in seeking to assign blame on video games for the deadly shootings in Texas and Ohio, rather than on his own words that critics say contributed to a combustible racial climate spawning violence. Trump said one thing while his critics said another? That’s a fact check?! First of all, “I blame video games” is a ridiculous simplification of what he actually said but okay, let’s talk about video games . . . I’m not aware of a “scientific link” between video games and mass shootings. Nor am I aware of a “scientific link” between Trump talking about immigration and mass shootings, but notice that doesn’t stop the AP from throwing it out there. (“Critics say” does not establish a scientific link.) How is the video game research done? Do researchers look at the percentage of video game players who commit mass… Read more →

Mass Shootings, Thwarted and Unthwarted

Arresting some knucklehead on a weapons charge and saying you “thwarted a mass shooting” is a speculative fantasy. Meanwhile, since El Paso there have been 25 actual unthwarted mass shootings (per Mass Shooting Tracker), which don’t make the news because they don’t fit the preferred narrative. For example, four of the shootings occurred in Chicago, where in each case the shooters fired into a crowd of people. By my count, about half the victims were women. I can’t find any reporting on this in Mother Jones, which is pretty shocking given their obvious interest in mass shootings. They’d rather report on imaginary mass shootings by white males than on the actual mass shootings of Chicago residents . Read more →

What is a “Mass Shooting” and Who Commits Them?

The Mass Shooting Tracker defines a mass shooting as “an incident where four or more people are shot in a single shooting spree.” The FBI definition of “mass murder” is three or more people murdered in one event. The FBI doesn’t have a definition for “mass shooting.” You have to actually die for the FBI to take notice of you. As of this writing, of 75 mass shootings in 2019, where the race of the perpetrator is known, 22 were white, 39 were black, 8 were Latino, 3 were Asian, 2 were American Indian and 1 was Arab. Many of the 2019 mass shootings are currently unsolved, thus the race of the shooters is not known, but they often took place in black areas and claimed black victims. Mass shootings of black citizens is not generally considered newsworthy, possibly because media have written inner cities off as unsalvageable, so what happens… Read more →

Was Nikolas Cruz Bullied?

In 2018, being accused of bullying is not on a par with being accused of murder, but it’s close. Emma Gonzalez, one of the Parkland shooting survivors, said this about Nikolas Cruz at the anti-gun march in Washington, D.C.: Since he was in middle school, it was no surprise to anyone who knew him that he was the shooter. Those talking about how we should have not ostracized him? You don’t know this kid. OK? We did! I can’t see anything unusual about that. The popular kids sneer at the geeks, the nerds and the weirdos. Because they deserve it. You don’t know this kid. We did. But when the kid in this case goes off the rails, which “was no surprise to anyone who knew him,” some self-reflection seems to be in order before blaming the usual suspects. I don’t understand the strategy of gun control proponents. Every tragedy… Read more →

More People I’m Sick Unto Death Of: High School Gun Experts

I’m burned out on the high school gun “experts” for a couple of reasons: They’re rude. It’s too obvious that someone or a collection of someones is scripting their talking points. I heard one of the kids raising an obscure point about record-keeping requirements at the ATF. Most gun control advocates are not even familiar with the basic mechanisms and terminology of guns, let alone with ATF policy minutiae. That’s something a gun control lobbyist would know about, but it’s not something a high school kid knows about, unless it’s scripted out for him. I don’t object to the anti-gun message, although I disagree with most of it . . . I object to being treated like the kind of rube who can’t tell when a high school student is plagiarizing someone else’s ideas. Also: these kids have a platform, not based on their own merits, but because 17 other… Read more →

See You in Hell: Rifles Have an Undeservedly Bad Reputation

[See You in Hell is a feature by our guest blogger, Satan — PE] Greetings from the Lake of Fire! I was perusing the FBI data on murder weapons in the U.S. For 2016, what do you think was the most frequently employed murder weapon? Survey SAYS — handguns! The weapon of choice in 7,105 murders. I blame the NRA! Ha ha, just messing with you there. The NRA has nothing to do with the existence of evil in the world. That’s my department. That handgun number is actually a little low, because the FBI also reports more than 3,000 gun murders where the type of firearm is not specified — and it’s almost always a handgun. Running a distant second behind guns: knives, used to end the life of 1,604 Americans in 2016. Now here’s a surprising one: 656 people killed by “personal weapons,” which essentially means beating someone… Read more →

Making it Through High School Alive

Baltimore schools spend a staggering $16,000 per student – the fourth-highest rate in the nation – and still an investigation by Fox45’s Project Baltimore revealed that at six city schools, not one student scored proficient on the statewide tests for English and math. At West Baltimore’s Frederick Douglass High, one of five high schools and one middle school where not one student scored a four or a five on the state test, only one out of 185 students who took the test last year scored a three, while 165 students scored a one, the lowest possible score. — Zero Hedge The schools are: Booker T. Washington Middle School Frederick Douglass High School Achievement Academy at Harbor City New Era Academy Excel Academy at Francis M. Wood High New Hope Academy It looks like if you live in Baltimore, you want to avoid sending your child to a school whose name… Read more →

Overheard

Man reading news story from his phone: “‘A 4-year-old boy is among at least 29 people shot in Chicago this weekend as violence across the city left two dead and more than two dozen others wounded.’” “Twenty-nine people shot and only two dead? Thank god black people can’t shoot straight.” “How do you know they were black people?” “Uh . . . ok, you got me there.” Read more →

Signs of Trouble

When a headline starts with one of the following, rest assured there’s going to be trouble: “Bungee jumper . . .” “Florida woman . . .” “YouTube gun stunt . . .” Related link: How Much Paper Does It Take to Stop a .50-Cal Bullet? Read more →

My Answer to Creepy-Clown Hysteria

Target halts clown-mask sales amid creepy-clown hysteria — Chicago Tribune Anybody surprises me with a disguise, it’s shoot first ask questions later. Except “Is it Halloween?” … I ask that question first. All other questions, later. Read more →

Why Gun Control Can’t Be Solved

On average, Democrats use guns for shooting the innocent. We call that crime. On average, Republicans use guns for sporting purposes and self-defense. . . . So it seems to me that gun control can’t be solved because Democrats are using guns to kill each other – and want it to stop – whereas Republicans are using guns to defend against Democrats. . . . Democrats are unlikely to talk Republicans out of gun ownership because it comes off as “Put down your gun so I can shoot you.” — Scott Adams   Good points. The NRA gets a bad rap in some circles but you never hear of an NRA member going out and shooting random people. Meanwhile, Democratic constituencies are shooting each other like the Olympic Games of murder, which for some reason leads their representatives in Congress to insist that Republicans should have to give up on… Read more →

How Is “Gun Control” Supposed to Work?

In Wake of Orlando Shooting, Obama, Others Call for Stricter Gun Laws — WSJ Maybe we should have stricter laws against killing people. Oh we have strict laws against killing people? Having laws against things doesn’t stop them from happening. How are stricter gun laws going to stop mass shootings? How is that supposed to work? I was planning to shoot 100 people but I didn’t want to do it with an illegally obtained gun. Because I might get in trouble with the law. It doesn’t make any sense. Making guns harder to buy or illegal or making certain kinds of guns illegal doesn’t stop anyone from getting them. We have an “assault weapons” ban here in California. The rifles used by the San Bernardino shooters to kill or seriously injure 36 people are illegal in our state. If you’re going to shoot 36 people, why do you care about… Read more →

A Couple of Random Thoughts on Gun Control

Laws don’t turn crazy people into good citizens. What reasons are there to think that gun laws would make it difficult for anyone to obtain a gun? We’ve had a War on Drugs for decades. How difficult is it to obtain illegal drugs? Read more →

See You in Hell

[See You in Hell is a feature by our guest blogger, Satan — PE] CLAYTON, Mo.— A grand jury declined to indict a white police officer in the shooting of an unarmed black teenager whose death in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson became a national flash point on race, justice and policing. — WSJ.com Greetings from the underworld! Why is Michael Brown always described as “an unarmed black teenager” rather than “a violent troublemaker” or “a current resident of Hell,” both of which are at least equally accurate? Anyone who thinks an unarmed person doesn’t pose a threat has never been punched in the face. If you have a gun and I don’t and you let me take the gun away from you, all of a sudden I’m not unarmed anymore. See you in Hell . . . Read more →

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