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Busybodies Gonna Busy: Petition to Ban Kids From Shooting Machine Guns

Our opponents are circulating a petition to ban minors from shooting machine guns. I’m going to agree that starting the kids off on machine pistols is pretty irresponsible, as we’ve seen from at least two tragic accidents. It’s far better to start the kids off on something belt fed. It would seem they believe this puts us on a weak footing:

Now, opponents of the petition will have to explain why the right of a 9-year-old to shoot an automatic weapon is so important.

“My read on pro-gun activists right now is they are facing tremendous cultural pressure, and being asked tough questions that they weren’t five years ago about … how extreme the pro-gun movement has gotten,” says Ladd Everitt, a spokesman for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence in Washington.

Except I’m not going to accept the premise. This is not about gun rights, primarily. The issue is bigger than that. This is about the rights of parents to raise their children in the manner they see fit, provided they aren’t abusing them on putting them in grave danger. Letting a kid shoot, even shoot a machine gun, is statistically less dangerous than letting them play football. It’s none of anyone’s business where, when, or how a parent teaches their child to shoot. The state has no business poking its snout into parental choices like this. None!

“Laws say that children can’t drink, can’t drive, can’t vote. But they can shoot fully automatic assault weapons. That hasn’t changed,” Mr. Vacca’s oldest daughter, Elizabeth, says on the petition.

In many states, they can, under supervision of parents. The states that absolutely prohibit minors from drinking (like Pennsylvania) I think are wrong, and I would advocate repealing those laws. European children don’t seem any worse for wear for having more tolerant laws in this respect. Children can drive motor vehicles, if it’s not on public roads, and voting doesn’t have anything to do with the freedom of parents to raise their children how they see fit.

When you make something illegal for minors to do, you’re really limiting the parental freedoms of parents, and inserting the state into the parent child relationship. The people pushing this petition should answer why they also are not banning children from participating in other organized sports, or riding bicycles, which have astounding rates of injury. Sports contribute to 21% of all the traumatic brain injuries among American children. Every year approximately 50 children die in sports related injuries. Statistically, the shooting sports are safer than golf. The folks pushing this need to explain why they are singling out a relatively safe activity, while ignoring other sports that are far more dangerous.

Gun Control Folks Polishing the Turd Again

First it was “handgun ban,” but people rejected the idea thoroughly in very liberal Massachusetts. Then it was “handgun freeze,” but Californians overwhelmingly rejected that idea. Then it became “handgun control,” and when that got nowhere, they switched to trying to ban scary looking long guns. Then Third Way came along with “gun safety.” After that didn’t work, “gun violence prevention” became the rallying cry. Then back to “gun safety” when Bloomberg’s people came in and must not have realized people didn’t fall for it the first time around. Now it looks like they are trying out “gun responsibility.”

Same bullshit, no matter what you call it. Keep trying to polish that turd. We are not fooled.

Protecting Profits, Not People

So the news that Regal Cinemas is instituting bag searches at their theaters has been making the rounds.

Honestly, I didn’t even think to blog it when I first read about it because I presumed that everyone knows the real reason – and that it has nothing to do with public safety. It turns out that Sebastian suggested not everyone realizes the extent to which it has absolutely nothing to do with guns.

See, Regal, like every movie theater chain I’ve heard of, bans food and drinks not purchased at their concession stands.

Outside Food or Drink:
No outside food or drink is permitted in the theatre.

As this Time article notes, the theaters see about 85% of every dollar spent at the concession as pure profit. The money isn’t made at the ticket counter, but at the concession stand.

How bad is it? Search on the terms Regal Cinema and candy, and the first page includes Yelp reviews talking about how to sneak candy into the theater to save big bucks over Regal’s inflated prices. I could buy an entire pound of Twizzlers at Wegmans today for less than what Regal discounts a regular size candy to on Mondays for members of their rewards club.

Theater owners know that people sneak food and drinks in so that they don’t have to stop at the concession stand. I have no doubt that they have talked about ways that they could catch these people and toss their outside food for years, but only now feel like they have enough “cover” to do so in the name of public safety. It’s not about catching anything that’s a threat to the safety of patrons, but about catching those people who want to save a buck and forcing them to feed Regal’s profits.

I have little doubt that if you could spend a week watching which bags they choose to search, they will universally be targeted on those who don’t walk up with anything from the concession stand and those who appear poor (as though they might want to save a several dollars). It won’t be some creepy dude who buys a soda while carrying a suspiciously shaped bag.

Look Who’s Spendin’

Bloomberg’s anti-gun movement has been frustrated in many states, except Oregon has recently tilted in his favor. It should be no surprise, then, that Everytown outspend pro-gun rights groups 10 to 1 there too. The other side wants to talk about the well-funded “gun lobby,” but reality is that Bloomberg can outspend us election after election if he really wants to, and money talks. If we don’t match Bloomberg’s cash with real and sustained grassroots energy, he will end up being able to successfully buy legislation, as he succeeded doing in Oregon.

That’s a great pep talking video, except that he can do a hell of a lot of damage with his money. We have to match it with grassroots energy more than cash. NRA only has so much money it can spend in a state in an election year, and Bloomberg has been carefully targeting states he thinks his money can make the difference. The question is whether it makes sense to bite and throw everything at the states Bloomberg has targeted, or stick to making things better in states where we have a definitive grassroots advantage.

Latest Propaganda from Everytown

Bloomberg has been using his money to fund quite a number of studies that say guns are bad, Mmkay? The latest is that police officers tend to be killed by guns in states with more guns.

“If we’re interested in protecting police officers, we need to look at what’s killing them, and what’s killing them is guns,” says Swedler.

What’s killing them is cars, really. Take a look at this NPR story looking at 2014 deaths, and you’ll note that firearms deaths are only about 1/4 of all the police officer deaths. NPR also notes this:

One important asterisk to this news: While gun deaths of officers have increased, they still remain 12-percent lower than the decade-long average of 57.

And that’s while the civilian stock of firearms has been skyrocketing. Reuters has another article on the study. The media eats up these stories from Bloomberg’s researchers. Unlike other studies, this one can be found online. You can find John Lott’s deconstruction of the study here.

Everytown Already Spinning S. 2002

Over at, they are reporting on several anti-gun groups coming out in opposition of S. 2002. Bloomberg’s mouthpiece says:

“This bill would have the net effect of invalidating many records currently in the system, and it would allow people who have been involuntarily committed to buy a gun immediately after leaving a psychiatric hospital – a particularly dangerous time, according to mental health experts,” said Everytown President John Feinblatt in a statement.

Well, you know, maybe if your beloved Obama administration hadn’t put a bunch of records in there willy nilly, without sufficient due process which one would think we could muster for the sake of our nation’s veterans, we wouldn’t have this problem now, would we? Blame him for the problem.

Secondly, it would not automatically restore the rights of someone after leaving a psychiatric hospital. I can’t call them outright liars, because it could happen in theory, but only after a separate finding that “a judicial officer, court, board, commission, or
other adjudicative body” finds the person:

(I) Does not present a danger to himself or herself or to others;
(II) has been restored to sanity or cured of mental disease or defect;
(III) has been restored to competency; or
(IV) no longer requires involuntary inpatient or outpatient treatment by a psychiatric hospital[.]

Typically if a person is released from a psychiatric hospital, and they are still mentally ill, they are going to fall under involuntary outpatient treatment, and the firearms prohibition will still hold. Even if that’s not the case, if the person is released without any further hearing, the prohibition will hold unless they petition for a restoration of rights. So yeah, not outright lying, because in theory it’s possible, but in practice it’s not going to happen, so it’s definitely spin.

Ladd Everitt’s claim in the article is that it wouldn’t have stopped the Charleston Mass Murderer, the Lafayette Mass Murderer, or the Chattanooga Mass Murderer is even more pathetic. The Charleston shooter was hate filled sociopath. I haven’t seen anything that suggest he was insane. And as has been pointed out before, that was a case of a NICS examiner dropping the ball. The Chattanooga shooter wasn’t a prohibited person, as far as I’ve been able to tell. None of CSGV’s prescriptions, save banning guns for the law-abiding, would have stopped him.

Why Are Anti-Gunners So Violent?

It seems that a White House staffer, a special assistant to President Obama, was arrested for grabbing her boyfriend’s gun and shooting at him just because he wouldn’t give her access to his cellphones after she went ballistic accusing him of cheating.

It was not an accidental shooting, as she warned him that she would do it if he didn’t give in to her demands for full access to his electronic devices. She reportedly said, “You taught me how to use this. Don’t think I won’t use it.” Lovely.

The White House is refusing to comment on the woman who apparently believes that shooting at people is a reasonable response to not giving in when she steals their devices. However, the news article notes her earlier positions which would seem to put her in the anti-gun advocacy world:

[Barvetta] Singletary came to the White House a year ago from her job as deputy chief of staff and policy director to Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., the third-ranking Democratic in the House.

As policy director for Rep. James Clyburn, she was likely part of the team that helped to secure his solid F rating from NRA.

Bloomberg’s Everytown Distorts CRS Study

When I wrote yesterday about a new study that shows mass shootings are not on the rise, I told Bitter, “I’ll bet you Bloomberg’s mouthpieces are going to seize on the raw numbers and ignore the part about controlling for population growth.” And sure enough, right on cue. They have to deceive and distort in order to win, because the facts are not on their side. The fact is that when controlled for population, there’s no trend. But they ignore that, and rather than pointing out flaws in the study, they just leave off key facts and hope their readers don’t notice. I guess Everytown do want to be science deniers!

CSGV Encouraging 911 Abuse to “SWAT” People Carrying

Bearing Arms lead the weekend news cycle with a story about the Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence Ownership encouraging their followers to SWAT people who carry firearms and abuse the 911 system. This does not surprise me, given that CSGV are the rabid dogs of the anti-gun movement, and their followers are even more rabid. It’s interesting that one of their followers notes that the police department “laughed at me”, and CSGV encourages her to “call them again.”

They do realize that abusing 911 is a crime, do they not? In Pennsylvania it’s a third degree misdemeanor. They do realize that 911 is for emergencies, and not for political revenge against people they don’t like, do they not? Do they think tying up the resources of our first responders over something that is not a crime is really responsible behavior? They don’t care. They are zealots and extremists. They try to call us those things, but don’t let them get away with it.

Derision of the “Good Guys With Guns”

I’ve been watching the story of the Marine and Navy Officer using personally owned side arms, carried against military regulation, to return fire against the active shooteer. I’ve been reluctant to report on it, because I would hate to find out later, like so much of what is reported in a mass shooting, that it wasn’t true. It’ll probably be a while before we really know. What has interested me in talking about this story is how often I’m seeing in comment sections of news articles about this story, variants of: “Well, so much for that ‘good guy with a gun’ myth the ammosexuals keep babbling to us about.”

Aside from being highly disrespectful to the fallen Marine’s service and sacrifice, no one ever argued that a gun is a guarantee that you’ll prevail over a bad guy every time. We know gunfights can be lost. We know that people die in war, despite having the ability to shoot back. This is a straw man argument, because no one on our side ever made it. The shooter in this case was indeed stopped by good guys with guns, when enough of them showed up to overwhelm him (presumably, we really don’t know much yet).

I’ve found myself saying this to anti-gun folks over and over again: “Can you please argue against what we actually believe, rather than the caricature you’ve constructed in your head about what we believe?” It would also be nice if they’d pay a little respect to the “good guys with a gun,” who if all this pans out, acted heroically in defense of their fellow soldiers and sailors, with one giving his life. I’m half expecting the gun control crowd to demand a court-martial of the naval officer for violating the regulations on carrying guns.

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