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Cut the Cord and Unsubscribe

I’ve been an advocate for some time for gun owners and center-right people of all persuasions to stop giving money to people who hate them. I’ll repeat that no gun owner should subscribe to a paper that insinuates “gun nuts” are either very dumb, or mass murderers. Nor should they pay any coin to people who wish them dead. It’s one thing to pen an op-ed against your position, but quite another to actively hate on millions of fellow Americans.

If you subscribe to a paper that hates you, call now and cancel your subscription, and tell them why. When they have free delivery days, call them and complain about them littering your property with trash. Bitter and I have been trying to convince family to cut the cord and ditch the papers, but for older people, it seems like asking them to cut off a limb. You can find alternatives online which don’t cost money, and if you use an ad blocker, or don’t click on ads, you’re not earning them any money either. Old people complain about the horrible articles in the paper, but they keep giving them subscription money. If someone tells me they hate me, it seems a logical thing to stop giving them my money. That seems masochistic to me.

Gun Clubs & The Press

Last week, I ventured out to West Virginia for a funeral and managed to stop by a couple of libraries between family gatherings to do a little bit of genealogy research for Sebastian. Needless to say, these aren’t the kinds of circumstances where I planned to think about the gun culture and media outreach.

While scanning microfilm for an obituary I knew existed somewhere, I found this article in the community news section of the March 18, 1899 edition of the St. Mary’s Oracle.

Gun Club Publicity 1899

Now, you might not really care about the winners of the clay bird shoot at the Mountain State Gun Club 116 years ago, but the local press did care because they were all locals. The same applies today.

Sometimes we focus on the national or statewide political fights while we ignore one of the best angles we can use in the media – the fact that people in our clubs are great representatives for our cause simply because neighbors, friends, and family know them and know that they won’t hurt people with their guns. Even better, the club members don’t have to talk to the press or do anything other than show up for activities they already enjoy.

The NBC national news won’t care about your club’s rifle shooters that managed to sweep the regional competition, but the local paper will care about it if you include names and towns. There’s one thing that will still move hard copies of newspapers, and that is mostly the fact that they will cover local stories with local people who have friends and family willing to read about them.

A volunteer with another group noted that regardless of what we might consider the news-worthiness of a story, if she includes the names and towns of the volunteers involved, it almost always gets picked up by more of the smaller community publications. Yes, they are even read by others, as I learned when congratulated for being elected to an office of the unrelated group by a Friends of the NRA volunteer. There’s no reason that we can’t do the same thing.

So I would say that if you’re part of a gun club, or even if you run a commercial gun range that hosts competitions, why not have a community/public relations type role that will put out a simple press release talking about who wins? If you include a picture of the winners, then the paper will be far more likely to run the news. It’s a great community outreach tool that we have been far too willing to ignore.

A Reddit thread on self-defense

Redditors who have had to kill in self defense, Did you ever recover psychologically? What is it to live knowing you killed someone regardless you didn’t want to do it?

Found this on Facebook, and while I can’t say I read all the comments, I did scroll through to the end, so I saw an awful lot of the root-level stories. Unsurprisingly, they were basically all self-defense incidents. Not all were defensive firearms uses, and more than a few ended with an attack hoist on their own petard, with the “victim” getting ahold of an attacker’s weapon and using it on the attackers.

The main thing I noticed? That in a lot of the cases, the attackers were not armed with firearms, but the victims were. So that even the anti-gunners got their way and were able to wave the magic wand and disappear all the guns, it would result in good people unable to defend themselves against bad people. These are the people anti-gunners want dead, maimed, or raped. And a number of them did what their attackers wanted and were still hurt after compliance.

Charge of the hobbyhorse brigade

The story of the Katie Steinle killing has taken a new direction, with the “breaking news” that the gun used by her killer was stolen from the car of a federal agent; though whether it was a service weapon or personally owned is an open question at this writing. And the right-hand-side of my internet is all about the carelessness of the agent (with gratuitous Project Gunwalker references as well.) I was already somewhat uncomfortable with how this story is being used by the right to saddle up and go after immigration policy, because the drifter who picked up a gun and let his DTs pull the trigger (his own explanation, basically) happened to be an illegal alien – as though only an illegal alien could have committed this tragedy. But if the owner of the firearm hadn’t been a federal agent, the very same people pointing and laughing would instead be pre-emptively defending the firearm owner and waiting for the other side to wave their bloody shirt for the cause of lost-and-stolen, and firearms registration, and strict liability.

Someone was tragically and negligently killed last week, by another person who is, by the accounts I’ve seen, remorseful and at least partially willing to accept responsibility (he appears to have pleaded not guilty in his first court appearance, despite the admission of guilt in the interview). Using it as an example of Something Must Be Done is just as much waving the bloody shirt as what the other side does under other circumstances. I get it, tragedy grabs eyeballs, and it’s tempting to try and use that to advance a cause. But if I don’t like it when the other side does it, I ought to also not like it when “my” side does it. And I don’t.

Positive Coverage on Gun Culture 2.0

I had expressed skepticism a while back about getting a fair story out of NBC on guns, but despite Newsbusters pooh-poohing piece, I find no fault with how any of the participants handled Farrow’s jabs:

The end result, I think, is a pretty fair piece. I think it’s clear from the lines of questioning, they would have exploited any opportunities here, but the interviewees didn’t give them much to work with.

I’m very torn on the value of speaking to media. With rare exceptions, I’ve ignored media inquires unless the person contacting me is someone known to be fair. But the other side of the coin is getting our message out there.

Thom Anderson of SC Morning News Parades Ignorance

YellowJournalism

I was going to place this in the Weekly Gun News, but reviewing it, I couldn’t waste a perfectly good yellow journalism post. Thom Anderson of the South Carolina Morning News doesn’t understand all this icky gun stuff. That’s OK, not everyone does. But a wiser person would leave it at that. Not Mr. Anderson, however:

Really? Can you imagine that guy wading into a crowd and killing nine people with a knife? He quickly would have found the knife shoved exactly where it belonged. A gun is the only thing that would have enabled him to commit this act or enable a weak, cowardly person to do such killing.

I don’t have to imagine it, because it happened with a death toll as high as Virginia Tech, the worst mass shooting in the this country. In fact, knife attacks are not uncommon in China, and the death tolls are higher than you would think, often with far more horrific woundings.

Terrible acts with guns seldom happen in other countries. In the United States, they are frequent because an overly influential right-wing minority sincerely fears that gun confiscation is just around the corner, and many politicians profit from that fear.

Were you asleep or unconscious on 22 July 2011? Worst mass shooting in history, and happened outside the United States. This claim, echoed by our President, was too much even for the biased folks at Politifact to abide by. Seems other Democrats have been on a roll with this one too. Dave Hardy has even more on this topic. The idea that this seldom happens in other countries is indefensible. He goes on to conclude, “[I]t would be even nicer to see our near-worship of guns decline and the 2nd Amendment brought back to the use The Founders intended.” Oh, what pray tell might that be, Mr. Constitutional scholar? At least with this claim, he managed to follow this sage advice.

Even NPR has noticed

Saw this on Facebook, and was mildly surprised that NPR posted this

Since 1993, the United States has seen a drop in the rate of homicides and other violence involving guns, according to two new studies released Tuesday. Using government data, analysts saw a steep drop for violence in the 1990s, they saw more modest drops in crime rates since 2000.

The author of the NPR piece can’t even get up much enthusiasm for pushing the “OMG gun suicides” angle; and the summation paragraph (the second most important one for the TL;DR crowd, according to my writing teachers) takes a hard shot at the “criminals get their guns from gun shows” fallacy:

“In 2004 (the most recent year of data available), among state prison inmates who possessed a gun at the time of the offense, fewer than two percent bought their firearm at a flea market or gun show,” according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. “About 10 percent of state prison inmates said they purchased it from a retail store or pawnshop, 37 percent obtained it from family or friends, and another 40 percent obtained it from an illegal source.”

They note WHY 1993 is chosen as the benchmark date; it’s the peak year for “gun violence.” They also note that in the same period gun ownership has risen significantly. This is an amazingly pro-gun piece, and it’s on the NPR website. Following up to the summary at Pew’s own website, I’d even say the NPR summary is a tad more pro-gun than Pew’s; since Pew spends more electrons noting that the trend was more pronounced in the 1990s and has fallen off since 2000. One article doesn’t make a trend, by any means, but it’s an interesting article. And one worth keeping in my back pocket to deal with people who attack the source rather than the data.

The Assault Weapons Hysteria Begins

Thank God the Charleston killer didn’t get his hands on an AR-15, or someone might have gotten hurt. Needless to say, the media and hysterical types are going to town with the fact that the killer wanted an AR, but supposedly couldn’t afford one. The deadliest mass shooting in America, Virginia Tech, was carried out with ordinary handguns. Handguns can be plenty lethal when the killer manages to find a small, enclosed space, can block exits, and is facing unarmed opponents with nowhere to run. A lot of Virginia Tech students jumped out of windows to escape the killer, but the confined nature of the setting is a big reason the killer managed to kill so many.

I’m not saying an AR-15 can’t be more deadly than a pistol, it certainly can be, but in a confined space, a handgun can be just as effective a tool. Despite the fact that I have an AR-15, I usually don’t keep it ready for home defense. I’ve found some of the hallways in my house to be a bit tight even with a carbine. Needless to say, I think the media are overhyping this. Bob Owens also points out that the Glock handgun the killer chose was actually no cheaper than an AR-15 can be found for.

This isn’t good news, folks

A lot of people are pointing to a CNN article that references an official statement that the shooter bought the pistol used in the attack himself (and thus passed a NICS check), rather than being given one; despite being under indictment for a disqualifying charge. This is being used as a talking point about the uselessness of BG check. That’s not a good argument against universal background checks, though, certainly not one for our side. It’s an argument for doing away with NICS, yes, but replacing it with the kind of invasive and lengthy background check that predated NICS, and is still in use in NJ and some other places.

We need to be very careful about handing talking points to the other side – pointing out flaws in NICS gives them ammunition to replace it with an actual background investigation.

Democratic Operatives Call for IRS to Investigate NRA

YellowJournalism

Yahoo News is following up on their hit piece against NRA, reporting on Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) calling on the IRS to open an investigation into the NRA. This is a hit piece, because nowhere in the article does Yahoo News mention that CREW was started by political hack David Brock, who’s exploits include illegally carrying a firearm around Washington D.C. Nowhere does the article mention that CREW is funded by noted non-partisan outfits such as SEIU and completely politically neutral billionaire George Soros’ Democracy Alliance. George Soros, who has of course never donated a dime or ounce of his attention to the international gun control movement.

So a bunch of left-wing operatives call on the Obama Administration to turn its scandal ridden and politically weaponized IRS on the National Rifle Association, like we haven’t seen enough of that already. I’m guessing Yahoo, which has been slowly circling the bowl for a while now, thinks it can get more eyeballs by being the Weekly World News for leftist hacks. We’ll see how well that works out for them.

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