You Used to be Able to Expect Better from Reason

Articles like this are why I haven’t been a Reason subscriber or regular reader since Virginia Postrel left as Editor-in-Chief. As it says in the comments of this article, “Did this guy sleep through Sandy Hook?”

Not that NRA doesn’t sensationalize and scaremonger in its fundraising: it certainly does. So does every other advocacy group. What effect a Trump Administration will have on NRA’s ability to maintain membership at high levels and keep enough money coming in is something I wonder about too. But …

But under President Barack Obama, the NRA has occupied itself sowing groundless panic and fighting imaginary villains.

So Obama didn’t spend his second term promoting gun control? Justice Scalia didn’t die? Hillary Clinton didn’t run a campaign where the centerpiece was gun control and defiance of the NRA? Did I imagine all that?

The NRA insisted he planned to ban all handguns, ban “use of firearms for home defense,” increase federal taxes on guns and ammunition by 500 percent, and require a federal license to buy a gun.

That’s because as a Illinois Senator, he voted for these things, and was an outspoken supporter of Chicago’s handgun ban. This wasn’t a figment of Wayne LaPierre’s imagination, and it wasn’t just lip service. He voted this way.

23 thoughts on “You Used to be Able to Expect Better from Reason”

  1. The most ridiculous part of that article:

    “His “anti-gun” proposals amount to ending the manufacture and sale (though not possession) of “assault” weapons, limiting magazines to 10 rounds and requiring background checks for all firearm purchases, not just those from licensed dealers. These changes would have a minimal impact on law-abiding gun owners.”

    Sure, banning the most popular rifle and the most common magazines in the U.S. would only have had a minimal impact on law-abiding gun owners. . .

      1. Especially since this was just a republishing of what was originally written for the Chicago Tribune.

      2. Now that I think of it, it makes sense for publications like Reason to occasionally publish an article from the Loyal Opposition — even if it’s trolling for hate clicks.

        It would be nice, though, that if they were doing this, that they would put a paragraph at the beginning of such articles explaining that yes, this is what they are doing…

    1. “Require background checks” by making it a federal felony to hand a friend your gun except in limited circumstances. That’s something that happens probably a hundred million times a year. Yeah, “minimal impact”. It that’s “minimal” than anything Trump wants to do to Muslims, Mexicans, or gays could only be considered negligible.

  2. Libertarianism seems less like a coherent political ideology and more of a lifestyle choice lately.

    1. That may be because it is not the same ideology it was 25 – 35 years ago. Back then most people would have choked had (e.g.) Ted Cruz ever been described as “libertarian.”

      That said, I have never really analyzed it, but that evolution could be why I stopped subscribing to Reason more than 20 years ago.

      1. It seems changed from even 10 years ago. It seems to have become primarily a socially liberal with a little right principle thrown in there.

        Of course, libertarianism has always been misunderstood and hated, even among politically active people.

  3. The measured, logical tone of /Reason/,


    “He has repeated that position over and over. He has spent more time trying to assuage the concerns of gun owners than he spent wooing Michelle, with far less success.”

    “Obama has had eight years to pursue these sinister goals. We’re still waiting.”

    So… yeah I guess Sandyhook never happened in the writer’s mind.

    And when you have to use scare-quotes around anti-gun when talking about a mass gun ban… that’s another big tell.

    Wait… look at this on the end: “Steve Chapman is a columnist and editorial writer for the Chicago Tribune.”

    So… /is/ Reason trolling for clickbait?

  4. Reason exists primarily to convince the world that smoking dope should be OK.

    That helps explain a good number of their articles, FWIW.

  5. Note that the comments are about 100% against him,which is nice.

    I second Reason’s decline sinde Postrel left, too.

    Welch was … okay.

    Gillespie is not impressing me.

  6. Although I am a life member of the NRA, I don’t get my information about leftist gun control proposals from the NRA, I get the information from the leftists themselves. This is actually how I cam to join the NRA.

  7. What’s the name of the law that organizations, if unchecked, move to the left?

    There used to be something called Libertarianism. Given their choice of candidates in this recent election, including a vice-presidential candidate who said that the 2A only applied to hunting and ultimately campaigned for Clinton, there is no such thing as a Libertarian organization anymore.

    There are libertarians, but by their very nature, they can’t stay organized for long.

    1. You’re thinking of John O’Sullivan – something like “Any organization that is not explicitly conservative will eventually be taken over by left-wing loons.”

    2. “What’s the name of the law that organizations, if unchecked, move to the left?”

      How does that explain the NRA? Guess it was really “checked,” huh?

      I separated from the formal “libertarian movement” after it was invaded by right wing kookaboos back in the 1990s.

      Wasn’t Wayne Allyn Root the 2008 Libertarian candidate for Vice President?

  8. The author is Steve Chapman of the Chicago Tribune That is typical drivel from him . My question is why he was published at Reason

      1. Clicks pay. Hate clicks are reliable clicks.

        I actually left a couple of FB groups that mostly devolved into reposting leftist drivel so they could mock it in juvenile fashions. The original article authors’ were laughing all the way to the bank (of “exposure,” admittedly, in some cases), while the posters and the commentors were stewing in their own hate-sweat.

  9. so i can see the point of the article from a “we want arguments based on facts, not emotion” point of view. we get a heaping helping of the latter when it’s fundraiser time.

    …but it doesn’t exist in a vacuum, and there’s factual reason why gun owners rightly suspected Obama’s desires. poor article.

  10. Reason isn’t a single-issue website, and gun control isn’t the main focus. Unlike the ACLU, however, they at least consider gun rights a civil right at Reason.

    And they are currently running some good reporting on fake hate crimes that are doing a lot to shut off the Left’s false flag operations.

    1. Agreed. They do have a couple contributors like Chapman that post some nonsense like that, but the comment section afterwards is usually entertaining. That said, Reason definitely swung more “hipster” libertarian the past few years, but I still read them. (for free, via RSS)

  11. “Liberaltarian” was the excuse for opportunistic whoring after the Democrats a couple years ago. Reason is obviously still down on their knees because of the joints and gay marriage; that makes them cool.

  12. Reason does have disagreeing writers. Once in a while they actually cite disagreement with each other in Reason articles.

    I am not holding it against anyone except Steve Chapman. Even then, while I generally prize gun rights even above other rights as a personal priority, the general pro-liberty stance of Reason’s writers causes me to give their writers the benefit of the doubt. I disagree with his article, but beyond that *shrug* I will continue to read Reason. It’s niche of providing pro-liberty and intelligently written articles continues even if it is not ALWAYS things I agree with.

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