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Fact Checking?

I believe a basic lack of ignorance should be a prerequisite to anyone wishing to be taken seriously in public debate, and that goes double when you’re presuming to check the facts of your opponents:

Fact checking the claims in this video is easy enough. Just for one, the National Firearms Act of 1934 refers to regulations on only certain types of guns like automatic machine guns. The original NFA of 1934 is now void. What is left of the original 1934 NFA is not an assault weapons ban by any stretch of the imagination. Unless, of course, you believe that only automatic machine guns fit the definition of assault rifles.

If this is what passes for fact checking in the gun control movement, no wonder they’ve been losing. First, the original 1934 NFA is most decidedly not “now void,” though in some cases the government must now carry out prosecutions under the FOPA Hughes provision (18 USC 922(o)) because it can no longer accept taxes for machine guns manufactured after 1986. The National Firearms Act is not, and was never intended to be, and “assault weapons ban,” given that the assault rifle was not invented until the 1940s, and the term “assault weapon” didn’t come into the legal lexicon until the late 1980s, when some states, and eventually the federal government, started restricting them. NFA did regulate assault rifles once they came onto the scene, by virtue of regulating machine guns, but the law could never have specifically targeted what did not exist at the time. That brings me to the final point, which is that assault rifles are rifles capable of automatic fire because that is just a fact. That is a separate category from assault weapon, which is a legal term of art. Again, these are not opinions, these are facts. Also a fact, not up for debate because they admitted it, is that the gun control movement deliberately went after assault weapons as an incremental step on the road to further restrictions. They fully admitted that defining them would be difficult.

Is it really too much to ask that someone understand the topic they demand we make new public policy on? Apparently in the gun control movement, it is. One reason I’ve given up on persuasion, or even serious debate with many of our opponents is because there can’t be any basis for such when the other side is committed to defending an utterly false set of facts. There is plenty of room in this debate for differing sets of opinions. There’s even room to spin statistics, which can often be read like tea leaves. But having a debate where the other side believes they are entitled to their own basic facts is just a waste of everyone’s time, and fortunately only serves to display their stunning ignorance of the very issue they want to influence opinion on.

HatTip to Chris in AK for the story, who notes “Thank goodness for ignorant political opponents.”

20 Responses to “Fact Checking?”

  1. Thirdpower says:

    SHe’s the gift that keeps on giving. Last time she tried to ‘prove’ you could buy grenades at your local flea market, she linked to those ‘Take a number’ gag items and some airsoft.

    • Pyrotek85 says:

      I remember that one, and it was blatantly obvious from the descriptions (and I’m no expert on grenades). Of course she wouldn’t respond to comments that pointed that out. It’s hard to believe what a fool she makes herself out to be.

  2. SPQR says:

    She’s so incompetent that it is literally impossible to separate the intentional lies in her writings from the mistakes borne of stupidity and ignorance.

  3. Shootin' Buddy says:

    She is on a different planet. Planet Gross Incompetence.

  4. Diomed says:

    The ’34 NFA is void. It was replaced by the NFA of ’68 due to Constitutional defects identified in Haynes, and to incorporate broader definitions of firearms and a new category of same.

    • Sebastian says:

      Haynes only identified a specific constitutional defect. It did not nullify the act, just precluded prosecution on one aspect of the NFA for a certain class of persons (convicted felons). The act was not voided by the Supreme Court, nor was it rewritten wholesale by the Gun Control Act, though the Gun Control Act did make a number of changes.

      • Diomed says:

        The amendments were extensive enough that the law itself recognizes that it is no longer the original NFA (26 USC 5841(d)). Calling the law in place now the 34 NFA is about as accurate as calling cartridges, bullets – and to those “in the know”, makes one look about the same.

        • Sebastian says:

          Then to what extend is the Gun Control Act still the Gun Control Act, considering that’s been heavily amended as well?

        • SPQR says:

          The amendments were part of the Gun Control Act of 1968, adopted together with it albeit titled the National Firearms Act Amendments of 1968, and recodified sections of the original NFA of 1934 into different part of the USC together with new provisions from GCA.

  5. Ash says:

    To give her credit though, she did identify the Yamamoto ‘blades of grass’ quote as bogus. It bugs me when our side trots out bogus quotes like that and the Orwell ‘rough men stand ready’. Anyone who knows the slightest history of either man should know better.

    • Sebastian says:

      Yes. She’s right about that. But some of the biggest voices for shouting down bogus quotes and BS come from our side as well.

  6. SPQR says:

    Much of the amendments of the NFA Amendments of 1968 were part of the code reorganization into Title 26. Code reorganization, in and of itself, is hardly “voiding” a law.

  7. TS says:

    The thing is she is not interested in learning the facts. Once again she linked us to this site to scare us into believing we need a new Assault Weapons Ban:

    http://www.autoweapons.com/products/destructivedevices.html

    Maybe she has learned something because at least this time they are real M203s and not a flare gun or Airsoft toy. But anytime she does a Google search for something and sees a price tag that means anyone can buy it cash and carry no questions asked at a gun show.

  8. Matthew says:

    I actually feel bad about people arguing with her. I sincerely believe she qualifies as DSM-IV 317. That is not a joke or name calling. It is pretty obvious that something is not exactly right.

  9. Carl from Chicago says:

    It is not too much to ask that people understand the law. In fact it can be argued that people are required to understand it. And Joan Peterson has consistently demonstrated not only ignorance of the law and an unwillingness to understand it, but an approach that purposely misconstrues the law. On this topic, she is pathetic.

  10. Andy B. says:

    “A basic lack of ignorance should be a prerequisite to anyone wishing to be taken seriously in public debate. . .”

    Does anyone here think she is taken seriously in public debate — whatever her wishes may be?

    However, we need to recognize that some people serve the purpose of merely being amplifiers and repeaters of the Big Lies. Does anyone think that the people who send us those forwarded-a-thousand-times email political hoaxes are taken seriously as individuals? Yet they have their place in the political spectrum of tactics. They are dutiful water-carriers.

    So is someone who paraphrases hoaxes, and puts them out there as if they were something fresh.

  11. Sigivald says:

    I think “the original NFA of 1934 is void” is just an incompetent and semi-irrelevant way of saying “the NFA has been modified since 1934, so it’s not the ‘original’ NFA anymore”.

    Which is true … but, again, irrelevant – since there is active law there, it contains a whole lot (almost all of?) the original NFA, and it’s still called the National Firearms Act.

    I think. It’s hard to tell with her, but on the principle of charity I’ll assume she’s trying to say the least-nonsensical thing I can make out of it.

  12. Jack Alternatov says:

    I can’t be the first person to mention this but….

    The logo on the top of your blog, which appears to mimic the consitituion, provides a quote which is not in the constitution. It displays “The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the state…” but the constitution very clearly does not say that. It’s just funny because you talk about ignorance and then you are either ignorant of the constitution or purposefully misrepresenting it, which is just as bad. Its not the right of the people to bear arms in defense of themselves and the state. Its very clearly in order to maintain a ‘well regulated’ militia. Now, well regulated could mean a lot of things but lets be honest, regulated never means “freedom without any regulation” by the very definition of the word. So the constitution says that bearing arms is only a part of a well regulated (read: goverened) militia. We have one of those, its called the US fricking Armed Forces.

    Let me refresh: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    • Bitter says:

      What a fantastic cherry-picking of made-up facts! Bravo for your elaborate attack on our understanding of simple reading comprehension! It made me chuckle before deciding to make you look really, really uninformed and clueless to any and all direct and contextual clues around you.

      Fortunately for you, I can help you out with some additional fact checking. See, if you could be bothered to read anything about the site you’re on, you would have caught this little tidbit:

      While our blog covers happenings in the pro-Second Amendment community in the country as a whole, we have a Pennsylvania focus. (emphasis added)

      Now, if you haven’t quite caught up with what that has to do with your claims of ignorance on our part, let me help you. The Pennsylvania constitution has this little section that reads:

      Section 21.
      The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned.

      Contrary to your claims that we are simply too ignorant to read the Constitution and Bill of Rights, we picked the name of the blog to serve as a way to explain to readers that there’s a Pennsylvania focus.

      You might have also picked up on a clue about the focus from the domain name – PAgunblog.com. Another clue might have been the categories listed in the sidebar on every page that include Pennsylvania and even down to the city-specific Philadelphia. In other words, there are numerous clues throughout the site that you have willfully ignored in order to try to claim that we’re clueless about a topic. In fact, it looks like we’re far more thorough in our research than you are when it comes to things right in front of your face. (Speaking of in front of your face, another clue for you is embedded in the logo you have clearly examined with such careful and excruciating detail – the background text is not just from Section 21 of our state constitution, but the sections all around our state right to bear arms provision.)

      • Jack Alternatov says:

        Well that’s a great rebuttal. I sure didn’t know that about the constitution of PENN and I certainly made some assumptions about the banner that turned out to be false. I also clearly made some false assumptions about either the ignorance of the person who put up the banner or their bad intent. I’ve definitely been wrong before so its not surprising and I have also been rash. I’m sure you made some assumptions about me that aren’t true (i hope!) but that’s not your fault, I did post first and had not taken a look at any other part of your website. Plus you don’t know me.

        Frankly, I’m not opposed to gun ownership but I certainly believe it should be regulated heavily. To avoid any further confusion, I’m not arguing that it is not heavily regulated now. I would like it to be more rigorous to get a gun in the hopes that it will at least weed out one person who shouldn’t own a gun (like a criminal). But that’s not why I came here.
        I came upon this site when I was just going around the internet looking for the statistics on how many assault rifles are owned in the US and how many have been bought in the last two years. I had trouble finding reliable information. Do you happen to know those numbers? The people on this website at the very least seem to know how to pull together facts. I swear I’m not using it for any nefarious anti-gun rant or any other crap. Just for my own personal knowledge and to use at cocktail parties. Disclaimer: I’m not sure I’ve ever been to anything you can qualify as a cocktail party but hey you always gotta be prepared.

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  1. SayUncle » That’s some fact checking - [...] Wow. I wonder if they believe this stuff? [...]
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