Monday, January 17, 2011

NPR is Involved, Civilization is Doomed!

From The Smallest Minority (re: Snowflakes in Hell), I note this NPR interview with Paul Henke ("The Brady Bunch"); Robert Levy (co-counsel in Heller); Tracee Larson, an 'undercover agent' of the deliberately misnamed "American Hunters and Shooters Association" (new blogger with two blogs on her website, both in the past week); and Representative Carolyn McCarthy .. who plans to introduce new legislation restricting magazine capacity as per the 1994 Assault Weapon Ban.

The 33-Bullet Magazine: How Much Firepower is Too Much? | WBUR and NPR - On Point with Tom Ashbrook

[This is a 47 minute audio file, and there is no video ... or transcript ... currently available that I can find.]

Hemke is the pivotal interviewee, and he presents the basic themes of the Brady Center to Prevent Handgun Violence.

Robert Levy gets about a half-minute to state his basic position, which passes without comment.

McCarthy presents her bill.

But the majority of the interview time is spent with Tracee Larson, who purportedly speaks as an advocate of the Second Amendment. Just a quick quotes-snatch of her comments in the first 23 minutes of the interview serves to demonstrate her political position vis a vis the Second Amendment ... which is quite different from that of people who regularly enjoy their rights and comment in the various milieu:

Tracee re: the Glock gun used in the shooting: "It has a lot of power, it has a lot of kickback .. it's not easily concealed".

Host to Tracee: "You're a Gun Rights Advocate" ... "Are you familiar with those high-capacity magazines ... have you seen them?"
Tracee*: "Yes I have. I've seen them at various gun-shoots that I've attended. It's pretty heavy... it's not somthing that I see for the home-user personal protection. ... It does have a lot of power, it has a lot of kick-back ... it does have a lot of power."

*(Some confusion whether she is discussing the Glock, or the "high-capacity magazine". In the context of the interview, it seems as if she is discussing the magazine capacity, rather than the pistol or the caliber of the pistol..)

Host: "How do you look at it, Tracee?"
Tracee: " My personal perspective, as a gun owner and someone who does support the Second Amendment; I don't see the Congresswoman's amendment ... I don't see it preventing a person from legally owning a gun. it's not taking away my rights to bear arms. ... I would see it as a sensible step in ... having rightful and sensible gun ownership."

(Compares "high capacity magazines" with "Suppressors" The host immediately interrupts her and, in an alarmed tone says: "Suppressors, you mean Silencers!")

Tracee: "I don't see that the Congresswoman's bill preventing a legal able person from owning a gun. It doesn't take away from my right to bear arms. It didn't take away my right to own a gun [the AWB ban] then, and ... it won't now. I look on it as a sensible step in having rightful and sensible gun ownership."

Speaking of suppressors: Tracee Says:
Not all states allow gun-owners to legally possess them, but those who can must apply through the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to regulate the ownership of such devices. It doesn't mean that we can't own them, but there is a regulatory process that if you are to legally able and allowed to own a gun, that just go through a few extra steps .. uh .. um .. there is a little bit of a tariff that you do have to pay to own something of that, but it doesn't mean that a collector would be prevented from owning something [like that in their] .. .collection, but for me who is someone who owns guns for target shooting ... um ... [deleted text) I don't see why a gun owner needs ... a high-capacity clip."

That's a quick gallop-through of the first half of the interview, with special attention to the opinions of "Tracee", who represents herself as a "second amendment advocate".

Salient points are that Tracee is give the most air-time of any of the interviewees, and her opinions are consistantly that proposed (by Rep. McCarthy): legislation would not impose a hardship on gun-owners, and are entirely consistent with the Second Amendment.

Which is not, perhaps, consistent with the phrase " ... shall not be infringed ...". But then, if you really don't care about the rights of firearms owners, that is not an issue which needs to be addressed.

One more thing.
In the 2nd half, after asking about the NRA opposition to McCarthy's proposed bill, the host asks Representative McCarthy:
"Do you feel safe, championing this as an American congresswoman today?"

McCarthy, of course, answers that she does.

The question, though, is insulting to American firearms owners. The implication is that an American Congresswoman cannot safely propose a bill which might restrict full interpretation of the Second Amendment. Or in other words, it implies that firearms owners are so intrinsically unbalanced that nobody can challenge the Constitution without personal risk.

Assuming that I did not already find National Public Radio an egregious outlook on American sensibilities ... I would now. How can anyone imply such a despicable view of honest Americans? Well, NPR obviously feels free to ask even the most despicable questions ... which in itself implies that they "feel safe".

(McCarthy's answer is : "Yes", but as soon as she attempts to expand on her comments the Host says: "We're out of time" and goes to commercial.)

Perhaps that answers the question.


But however warped the NPR perspective, perhaps it is even more telling that the comments the interview invites reveal an America which is fraught with fear, misinformation and Liberal Suggestion.

The online comments (embedded in the interview audio) are interesting, including as they do some input from firearms advocates .. which are typically dismissed by the host.

But the online comments on the website are extremely telling.

The first comment:
Please understand that gun control and magazine control is not the issue here. Fewer bullets in a magazine will not stop the kind of tragedy that we’ve just experienced. It is only when we as a nation demonstrate that we are one, do we have a chance of stopping the desire to use bullets in our discourse.
"We are one". Right. That's helpful. I have no idea what the author is trying to say.
However, saying that "... gun control and magazine control is [sic] not the issue here ..." seems disingenuous at first, but perhaps the commenter is correct, although not the way he probably intended that casually proposed statement to be interpreted.
This really isn't about "guns", or "Magazines". This is about Control.

The second comment:
... don’t you think there might be a genetic disposition towards irrational violence, just as there is a disposition towards “irrational exuberance” and genes for homosexuality? Or albinos?
Again ... I have no idea. Is it "our fault" that we kill each other because it's in our genes? Is the author suggesting that we need to impose a genetic gene scan on each individual, to filter out the people who are genetically dispose to killing each other? Winston Smith, maybe, but the rest of us? I don't think so.

The Third Comment:

A simple preventative measure to gun toting Americans is to make military service mandatory for every one as do many nations from Switzerland to Israel.

If you have even been in the service, you won’t have the need to find your masculinity in a gun.

Hmmm ... I spent two years in the army, went to Viet Nam, saw the elephant, and I still feel the need to find my masculinity in a gun. Or maybe not. Maybe I just like shooting. Maybe a cigar is just a good smoke.

Maybe I just don't care that much; maybe the author of this comment is without a clue; maybe he's projecting.

The Fourth comment:

How many bullets do military pistols hold?

Try fitting a 32 round clip into a pistol and then into your holster. Duh !

M1911 is what ? Seven rounds ?
The Berretta? 8? 12?

If the military does not need a 32 round clip, why on earth would civilians unless it is for some sort of pseudo-marcho-commercial reason.

Maybe the "military" uses "Assault Rifles" as their primary weapons, with 30 round magazines. And maybe they use their pistols as only their final defensive weapon; and maybe they can use magazines with as high capacity as the Army chooses to support ... economically. Maybe this question is bogus. You think?

The Fifth Comment:

Any firepower is too much. The 33-bullet magazine should never have been available to anyone except police, bodyguards, & those in the military. Whose side are these judges, lawyers & lawmakers on anyway? (As if we didn’t know. They certainly aren’t concerned with OUR safety.)

I have NO idea where this came from, but "any firepower is too much" must surely be a clue to the cluelessness of the author.

Why does he include "bodyguards"? Does the commenter believe that only the rich, who can afford to hire professional bodyguards, deserve protection? If he thinks police, bodyguards and military might find an advantage in having a "33-bullet magazine", then why does he think that the rest of us should be penalized by not having access to this advantage? And if it is not an advantage, why does he 'award' this non-advantage to privileged classes of people, and not allow it for the rest of us?

Ultimately, the entire sequence of comments suggests that there is something intrinsically WRONG in having "too much ... bullets" in a magazine. But who is qualified to determine exactly how many "bullets" are "too much"? And why are they more qualified than the rest of us to judge?

Skip a few, and then we get to the Seventh (Sixth?) comment:

I also thought, (hoped), I was off to bed, but tomorrow’s (today’s!) topics appeared, & I couldn’t help myself.

I’d give almost anything to read just 1 haiku about now, then drift happily off to sleep. Don’t know if I’ll make it or not, but fingers are crossed.

Sorry, but when this breached the Event Horizon, I quit and went to bed.

"Somebody" though the question sufficiently important to respond, but that "somebody" was so intrinsically clueless that she was more concerned with posing an appropriate haiku rather than to address an issue which "Somebody else" proposed.

The best I can do is to respond in an inappropriate Haiku:

The moving Finger writes,

and having writ,


Oh, yeah, I almost forgot to check the "next comment":

I would like the Supreme Court to overturn the Second Amendment based on the concept that its ORIGINATION REPRESENTS AN ILLEGITIMATE BASIS FOR GUN OWNERSHIP TODAY. Once the amendment was overturned, the Court would require Congress to modify and replace it. Let us LEARN FROM this tragedy in Tucson: let’s work to grant ourselves True Life and Liberty!

The legal basis for this change is this: the Second Amendment was PARTLY passed as part of a Compromise between the North and the South. The South was afraid that the abolitionists in the North could get the federal government to overturn their states’ rights to raise armed militias which they had been raising for slave control, especially in times of slave insurrections, since colonial times. Should we be living under the “SWAY” of a law that was started in the context of slavery? Didn’t this “freedom” represent LOSS of freedom for millions of individuals living in this land, at the time, who helped to build this country? Yes, we no longer allow slavery, but we are living, on a daily basis, with the VESTIGES of it thru the Second Amendment!!

Not only way too many exclamation marks, but the author apparently confused the Revolutionary War with the Civil War.

Not only "Clueless", but .. aw, shit. These people are so without-a-clue that their ignorance automatically obviates anything they may offer in support of their so-called ... whatever.

I am so disappointed by the level of civic mis-comprehension of the average liberal, it makes me ill to read the crap that they write.

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