Where Does the Media Find These People?

I just watched Paul Helmke and Jacob Hornberger debate on Nightline’s Twittercast, and I thought Paul mopped the floor with him. Hornberger came off as a foaming at the mouth libertarian extremist, while Paul Helmke was, well, Paul Helmke. Hornberger is President of the Future of Freedom Foundation, which has little to do with gun rights, and I wish would have nothing to do with gun rights after hearing him debate Helmke. My disdain for doctrinaire Libertarians is well known, but it’s hard for even me to believe Hornberger’s statement on Fort Hood:

Amidst all the debate over whether the Ft. Hood killer is a terrorist, murderer, enemy combatant, traitor, sleeper agent, or insane person, there is one glaring fact staring America in the face: what happened at Ft. Hood is more blowback from U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, specifically the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. Even at this early stage of the investigation, the evidence is virtually conclusive that the accused killer, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, was motivated to kill U.S. soldiers at Ft. Hood by deep anger and rage arising from the things that the U.S. government has been doing to people in the Middle East for many years.

Yeah, you can go to hell Mr. Hornberger. You don’t represent the views of mainstream gun owners, hell, you don’t even represent the views of mainstream libertarians. With guys like this on our side, we don’t need enemies. Hornberger is an extremist, and yet he was chosen by Nightline to represent gun owners. Unbelievable.

14 thoughts on “Where Does the Media Find These People?”

  1. Maybe this wasn’t the appropriate stage to wax libertarian, but “go to hell”? Really?

    Saying terrorist actions are blowback is not blaming America for them, but is an honest assessment of the situation. Our presence over there does not warm the hearts of Muslims.

    I’m not sure if you’re saying Hornberger is an extremist for being against the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. Since when is that an extremist position?

  2. Hornberger is an extremist, and yet he was chosen by Nightline to represent gun owners. “He was chosen by Nightline to represent gun owners because Hornberger is an extremist.”

    There, straightened that up for you….

  3. Actually I’m surprised they didn’t get someone from the AHSA to represent “gun owners”.

  4. Hornberger is a douchebag, yo. He’s one of those classless guys that gets the concept of “being a dick” confused with “being edgy”.

  5. What Caleb said. There is no excuse for what Hasam did. I don’t care how much he disagreed with our foreign policy. That’s not an excuse to murder people, and shitbags like Hornberger, whether intentionally or not, detract responsibility from Hasam for his actions. He’s no better than the Brady Campaign in that respect. One is blaming the gun, the other blaming our foreign policy. How about blaming Hasan?

  6. Jeff,

    I’m not saying it’s an extremist position to be against Iraq and Afghanistan, though I do believe the Libertarian position on foreign policy only represents a small minority of people. What I find overflowing with extremism is the idea that America is reaping what it has sowed. That is no different than what Jeremiah Wright believes.

  7. “Major” Hasan deserves the blame for his actions, no doubt. It doesn’t matter if you think the government wronged you or not, you do not go on a killing rampage.
    Everyone’s already using this to further their own political beliefs:
    -Islam is evil
    -Guns are evil
    -Gun control is evil
    -The United States is evil
    -People that kill and shout “Allah akbar” are probably crazy and Islam isn’t evil

    and so on. I do see a big difference between Hornberger’s comment of what motivated Hasan and blaming America for his horrific act of terrorism, at least how it is written in your blog.
    Whether or not you support the war on terror, you gotta realize there will be side effects, and this is an opportunity to ask once again if the side effects are worth it.

  8. There is no excuse for what Hasam did. I don’t care how much he disagreed with our foreign policy. That’s not an excuse to murder people

    Examining and explaining the motivations that lead people to do things is not excusing them. Why was it acceptable for Americans to support actions against Iraq as a response to 9/11, but it’s unacceptable for people over there to support actions against us for responses to things we’ve done (or things they THINK we’ve done)?

    Likewise, if there were a psychopath who went on a shooting spree because he thought the government was sending him mind control beams and following him, and somebody stated “Mr. Lunatic was motivated by his rage arising from the belief that the U.S. government has been following him and shooting mind control rays at him,” that’s simply talking about why he did it. It’s not excusing it, nor is it lending credence to his beliefs.

  9. Where does the media find these people? They probably pull from a pool of people who make themselves available.

    I don’t see a substantial difference between Ft. Hood and Columbine High School. Both massacres probably occurred due to a combination of factors. One: a person willing to commit evil deeds. Two: a location where evils deeds are more likely to occur because of the policy adopted by other people. Three: motivating factors and other reasons why the guy did what he did.

    In your quote Mr. Hornberger did already lay out the various names of evil of the perpetrator and then he went on to lay out what thinks are possible motivating factors.

    If you don’t think that Nightline choose someone who has a gun rights advocate perhaps that is because some news programs don’t choose to cast all issues that involve a gun as a anti vs. pro rights issue. Would Ft. Hood never have occurred if RKBA policy on base had been different or if Major Hasan had decided murder was not ok – probably. Would Ft. Hood never have occurred if the US had never invaded Iraq and Afghanistan – probably.

    Mr. Hornberger didn’t frame the issue as one of RKBA rights. That is a poor reason to complain that his presentation didn’t focus on what you thought was more important.

  10. Mr. Hornberger didn’t frame the issue as one of RKBA rights.

    Which was pretty stupid on his part, since he was debating one of the leading advocates of gun control. If you were going to debate Paul Helmke, would you talk about foreign policy? No, you’d talk about gun control.

    So it’s a double fail for Hornyburglar.

  11. I would kinda agree with Jeff about the honest assessment of motivation.

    The problem with Iraq and Afghanistan was there were tenuous links to their involvement (though I think sufficient), and we didn’t prosecute the wars enough.

    Maybe some tactical nukes, shake our finger, and promise more if shit gets out of hand again.

  12. Caleb,
    Why is it a good idea to allow Helmke to cast the terms of the debate on a field he has ready answers for? To me that sounds like that a poor tactic.

  13. Packetman,

    There was a tenuous link to Afghanistan’s involvement in the 9/11 attacks? They had bin Laden, we asked for him, they didn’t give him up. Linkage. Iraq’s connections were certainly tenuous, but that’s a different can of worms.

    But the issue at hand is why debate Helmke on any issue other than gun control? One of the main reasons for advocacy group success is the ability to stay on message. A gun rights organization might have a membership that is 100% against, say, nationalized healthcare, but it should not bring up healthcare under any circumstances. It has nothing to do with their single-issue advocacy. When you debate an anti-gun organzation’s president, you stick to the gun issue and clobber him. If they bring you back to argue with the SEIU, you leave guns out. Simple.

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