Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Robert Farago on Adomas Grigonis

The Truth About Guns highlighted the essay of a Massachusetts high school student entitled Problem with the 2nd Amendment. Robert said he wouldn't tear the kid apart, which he kindly refrained from doing, but it got me to thinking.  What would he have taken issue with had he decided to critique the young man's writing instead of use it as a call to arms, if you will, for the gun community to win over misled and confused anti-gun folks?

For one thing, the young gun control aspirant, Adomas Grigonis, said, "all of the guns used in the Virginia Tech massacre were purchased legally."  There's nothing wrong with that, surely.  In fact he should get some points for not saying or implying that the gun show loophole allowed Cho to arm up.

He said, "According to firearms regulation in Canada the gun death rate per 100,000 people in America (13.47), is much higher than England (0.4) and hundreds of times higher than that of Japan (0.07)."  Now, I'm sure no one would bother to challenge him on "According to firearms regulation in Canada." That ambiguous phrase introduces a few stats which, even taken with a grain of salt, are quite devastating. Does anyone really think the stabbings in Great Britain make up for that disparity?

Of course, even Robert couldn't resist throwing a little Heller/McDonald mojo at the boy. "[his position] completely ignores the Supreme Court’s recent ruling affirming Americans’ constitutional right to armed self-defense."  That made me wonder what would have been said two years ago, or less.  Is the idea that before the landmark Supreme Court rulings, gun control folks had a point about the 2nd amendment and now they don't?

There's more, but I have to say the parts Mr. Grigonis gets wrong are not that important.  The part he gets right is.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.


  1. MikeB: “Is the idea that before the landmark Supreme Court rulings, gun control folks had a point about the 2nd amendment and now they don't?”

    No, it is that the Supreme Court confirmed what we believed all along.

  2. Actually, the kid is right about far many more things than your side. Yes, it's rather a Cliff's Notes version of the issue and it ceratinly glosses over some of the nuances but there's not a whole lot wrong with the essay.

    OTOH, your side's arguments are largely fraudulent. Consider the arguments of a typical "true, grown-up" gunloon:

    --Gun Control leads to Nazi Germany as run by Pol Pot.
    --Guns are a "God-given" right.
    --International comparisons are meaningless. Unless we're talking about Hitler and gun control.
    --All universities and professional organizations are biased.
    --Statistics rank below the practice of alchemy and tea leaf reading as a viable science.
    --Guns are the only things that prevent us from being overrun by UN forces, space invaders, or rabid panda bears.

    The list goes on.

    Sadly, your side can't claim youth as an excuse.

  3. And again your side somehow feels that "Gun Death" is a useful metric.

    Don't you turds get sick of being on the wrong side of history?

  4. Weerd: It absolutely is.

    Firearms greatly enhance the ability and feasibility to kill. I realize gunloons believe murder rates would be just as high without guns but it's simply untrue.

    Let's remove guns from the equation, for a moment. Would it be your argument that private citizens should be allowed to own, say, a barrel of sarin because even without sarin, murder would still occur?

  5. Jade, going over your list, the only one I have ever heard said by a pro-gun voice is the second one. The rest is either twisted by you to conform to your liking or is a complete joke. Adomas is more grown-up than that. If you disagree, I challenge you to show me one quote that agrees with your list (other than the second one- I have definitely read about the God given right).

  6. TS: Note I said "arguments" not "verbatim quotes."

    Let's take my first example. JPFO basically has as its theme that gun control=genocide.

    My third point. When confronted with international gun comparisons, gunloons such as Kevin Baker have said they're meaningless; that the American culture is somehow different. Of course, he also touts--erroneously--that gun control led to Hitler and genocide.

    Fourth point. Whenever a scientific study comes out--usually from a Harvard, Stanford or some other we;ll-respected university--gunloons are quick to point out they're biased.

    Fifth point. I can cite a bunch of gunloon blogs on this. There's a gunloon named "Lawdog" who has stated all statistics are "hogwash." Alphecca has made similar claims. In fact, I suspect there aren't many that haven't.

    Sixth point. Gunloons like to tell us guns are needed to protect against some unknown tyranny. In fact, the NRA (see Freedom in Peril) tells gunloons they need guns to protect them from vegetarians and lesbians.

  7. Jade: “Note I said "arguments" not "verbatim quotes."”

    I didn’t say verbatim quotes either, just quotes that agree with those positions.

    Jade: “Let's take my first example. JPFO basically has as its theme that gun control=genocide.”

    Perfect example of what you do. The website has a formula: Hatred + Government + Gun Control = Genocide. You twist that into: Gun Control = Genocide. So since 1+2+3=6, by Jadegold logic we can conclude that 3=6. With as blatant an example of your obtuse arguments, I feel no need to go past your first point.

    By the way, how is that 2005 SF total gun ban sitting with you since I pointed out? Are you going to be OK without being able to say “no one has ever suggested a total gun ban”?

  8. Ts: I remain correct.

    Basically, you're trying to claim JPFO says you need 3 things for genocide. But since every nation has both Hatred and Government, the only real differentiator is...drum roll..gun control.

    Your argument makes no sense because one could just as easily say Hate + Air + Govt + Water + Love + Gun Control = Genocide

    WRT 2005 SF gun ban never happened. Further, it wasn't a total gun ban.

  9. What do you think they mean by hatred, Jade? We are talking about hatred so strong that you are willing to kill. Because that is what we are talking about- killing people. This is the subject at hand. We are not talking about “I hate mosquitoes”, or “I hate Windows Vista”. Still with me? Now when that hatred belongs to the government (not simply that a government exists), and the people of which they hate are disarmed… are you still with me? …we have genocide. That is their argument. I am not a strong supporter of this, but it makes about a thousand times more sense than what you are making it out to be.

    Jade: “WRT 2005 SF gun ban never happened.”

    Ha! Why? Because it was overturned by the courts? I guess DC and Chicago’s handgun bans never happened either. The ban passed and was signed into law. You continually preach that no one has even SUGGESTED a total gun ban.

    Jade: “Further, it wasn't a total gun ban.”

    Ok, why doesn’t it qualify? Because cops still get guns? What is your definition of a total gun ban? Please share so that we know what you REALLY mean when you say “no one asks for a total gun ban”.

  10. "Total gun ban"

    Try justifying to any librian a ban on Huckleberry Finn, Catcher in the Rye, or Mein Kampf because it isn't a "total book ban".

  11. "Ban" is a buzz word that you guys love to use when the proper word is often something else. The reason you like to use it is because it sounds so drastic and extreme.

    It's especially misleading when you say something like "they want to ban guns." Usually that refers to a desire to ban one particular gun, not all guns.

  12. Really? You are complaining about the use of the word "ban" when discussing a gun ban but you sling "loophole" around when there is no loophole.

  13. It's especially misleading when you say something like "they want to ban guns." Usually that refers to a desire to ban one particular gun, not all guns.

    Straight bullshit MikeB. A ban on "one particular gun" is still a ban. A ban on computers doesn't cease to be a ban because we still have newspapers. It's still a ban.

    I wonder, why do you have such a problem understanding the simple definition of the word "ban?"

  14. Firearms greatly enhance the ability and feasibility to kill.

    And yet the deadliest school massacre in U.S. history was carried out without guns...

  15. TS: The problem with your argument re SF is that there wasn't a total ban on guns. IOW, you could own certain types of guns--so long as they weren't handguns.

    Gunloons are fond of pretending that restrictions on certain types of firearms represent a total ban. That's like accusing your doctor of trying to starve you to death if he says you can't eat sugar any more. You can argue that perhaps you're inconvenienced but it is ludicrous to pretend you can't eat anything.

    Re JPFO, take a look at their amicus brief in Heller. It plainly and clearly says that 70M people were murdered in 8 genocides in the 20th century as "direct victims" of gun control laws. Nowhere does it state Govt and hate are equal components.

  16. VD: Your analogy is somewhat off since we do ban books. Using your librarian analogy, why don't you ask your librarian why there aren't any books with child pornography in the library? Or books on how to make pipe bombs (gunshows will have this)?

    When the librarian tries to explain about the "public good" and such, you can accuse him or her of banning books!

  17. Anonymous made one of the worst comparisons we've yet seen, comparing gun bans to computer bans and then saying we'd still have newspapers.

    Just to humor you a bit with your need to compare, if one specific type of computer were banned, let's say Lenovo laptops, and you kept calling it a "computer ban," I'd say you're wrong. I'd say you still have IBM and Dell and Apple products and to keep repeating "computer bans" over and over again would be similar to what you now do with "gun bans." It's bullshit.

    If all computers of every type were banned and we went back to newspapers and TV, then you could say "computer bans." If all guns were declared banned and house to house confiscations were undertaken, then you could rightly say "gun bans."

  18. So then you'd be OK with the government banning Blogging? After all if you can still exercise your free speech through other mediums then it's not a violation of the 1st Amendment, right?

  19. Who cares what you call it? A "ban" or "partial ban" in this country is nowhere near happening. Under the most favorable conditions in years, there was not even so much as a peep of gun control in our legislature. It will take a dozen years or so before you could get such a stacked deck again. I think at this point we are more likely to see existing "bans" rolled back.

  20. Jade: "Your analogy is somewhat off since we do ban books."

    This cracks me up. So we do "ban" books because we ban some books, but we don't ban guns because we don't ban ALL firearms. Even still, I'll address the "all firearms" below.

    jade: "The problem with your argument re SF is that there wasn't a total ban on guns. IOW, you could own certain types of guns--so long as they weren't handguns."

    No jade. You are totally wrong. You are confusing this with DC and Chicago's bans which allowed for long guns. SF's ban included long guns with an extra provision on handguns in that it was forbidden to keep the ones you currently and lawfully own. Residents had 90 days in which they could surrender them without compensation to the police for destruction. Keep in mind the CA DOJ has a list of all San Franciscans who obeyed the handgun registration requirement. Name, address, make, model, and serial number of all those handguns which the law made illegal to own. That is exactly the "fantasy" that you guys have been claiming as a paranoid fabrication of gun owners, and if not for a court overriding decision (generated by a lawsuit by those intrepid warriors at the NRA, SAF, et al. who fight for rights of citizens) would have been reality. The only part less DRACONIAN about SF's ban (vs. DC and Chicago) is that a non-resident can legally pass through with a properly stored gun in thier car.

    Here is the text for the actual proposition in plain clear words for you and MikeB to read:

    Section 2. Ban on Sale, Manufacture, Transfer or Distribution of Firearms in the City and County of San Francisco: Within the limits of the City and County of San Francisco, the sale, distribution, transfer and manufacture of all firearms and ammunition shall be prohibited.


  21. Section 3. Limiting Handgun Possession in the City and County of San Francisco: Within the limits of the City and County of San Francisco, no resident of the City and County of San Francisco shall possess any handgun unless required for professional purposes, as enumerated herein. Specifically, and City, state or federal employee carrying out the functions of his or her employment, including but not limited to peace officers as defined by California Penal Code Section 830 et.seq. and animal control officers may possess a handgun. Active members of the United States armed forces or the National Guard and security guards, regularly employed and compensated by a person engaged in any lawful business, while actually employed and engaged in protecting and preserving property or life within the scope of his or her employment, may also possess handguns. Within 90 days from the effective date of this section, any resident of the City and County of San Francisco may surrender his or her handgun at any district station of the San Francisco Police Department, or to the San Francisco Sheriffs Department without penalty under this section.

    Here is the link to the full text so you can read it yourself.

    By the way, this is the second incarnation of the San Francisco Total Gun Ban. the first was in 1982.

    Jade, Mike, care to comment? at the least, you can stop saying things like "nobody wants to ban all guns".

  22. You're right TS, it's wrong to say "nobody wants to ban all guns." Fine. There have been those who want that and I guess there still are. They are not representative of the gun control movement, however, and certainly they aren't present in the gun control blogging world that I know.

    Anonymous, I don't think you're paying attention. "So then you'd be OK with the government banning Blogging?" My whole point in belaboring the definition of "banning" was to say we DON'T want that. As TS rightly pointed out there have been exceptions to it, but my point has been clearly made. I'm not suggesting we ban all guns any more than I would suggest we ban blogging.

  23. Mike, this is the answer I expected from you- basically “yeah, but that’s not what I want”, and I do appreciate that. Sometimes it is OK to acknowledge when your side crosses the line. Jade’s response is exactly what I expected as well- nothing.

    But I do have one more follow-up. This was put to the voters of SF and passed with a 57% majority, so it is not like some small fringe extremists wanting a total gun ban (granted, there are only a few other cities in the nation that would garner that vote). My question is to put yourself in San Francisco in 2005. Are you telling me you would have voted NO on the gun ban?

  24. Due to the events that occurred this past weekend in Arizona. Can you still argue the fact that the shooting would still have occurred if there were stricter gun laws in the state? Given the fact that currently Arizona does not require a permit for a weapon and does not require training. Also the gun can be carried concealed legally.

  25. What's missing in Arizona and everywhere else is mental health screening.

    It would not be too difficult to implement a policy by which gun owners need to pass a mental health test in order to own a gun.

    But your question is funny. You said, "if there were stricter gun control laws," and then went on to say "given that" there aren't such laws in AZ.

    That's the problem, there aren't gun control laws in AZ. You cannot count the mish-mash of overlapping and easily-circumvented laws they have on the books. They do practically nothing.