NPR, polls: Millennials like guns too, think AWBs are stupid

Considering how much the media has been pushing the gun-control narrative, I was a bit surprised to see this article from NPR. Though, on further consideration, I’m not really all that surprised: NPR does at least try to report things factually, and to confront their internalized bias much more so than other major media outlets.

Some choice quotes:

Some have called [high school students -AZR] the “voice of a generation on gun control” that may be able to turn the tide of a long-simmering debate.

But past polling suggests that people under 30 in the U.S. are no more liberal on gun control than their parents or grandparents — despite diverging from their elders on the legalization of marijuana, same-sex marriage and other social issues.

This doesn’t surprise me me: young people have access to a vast amount of information, social networking, etc. This allows them to network with other like-minded people even if they’re physically distant. Online forums, blogs, discussion boards, YouTube videos, Facebook groups, etc. allow for those interested in gun rights to meet and discuss guns without many downsides.

Plus, there’s a lot more information about there showing people having fun with guns in safe, responsible ways, from hunting to competition to plinking. Guns aren’t some mystery hidden away that nobody in certain social groups ever sees or interacts with, as they were when I grew up in the 80s and early 90s, but something that one can easily learn about, experience, and communicate with without leaving the comfort of one’s own home.

Over the past three years, [polling organization Gallup -AZR] asked the under-30 crowd if gun laws in the U.S. should be made more strict, less strict or kept as they are now. On average, people between the ages of 18 and 29 were one percentage point more likely to say gun laws should be more strict than the overall national average of 57 percent.

[…]

Polling by the Pew Research Center last year came to similar conclusions: 50 percent of millennials, between the ages of 18 and 36, said that gun laws in the U.S. should be more strict. That share was almost identical among the general public, according to Kim Parker, director of social trends research at Pew.

Sounds about right.

I thought this bit was really interesting:

Pew did find significant differences between millennials and older generations on two gun control proposals — banning assault-style weapons and banning high-capacity ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. The results showed that a greater share of millennials — both Republicans and Democrats — are more conservative when it comes to those bans compared to Generation X-ers, Baby Boomers and members of the Silent Generation.

“What we’re hearing now in the immediate aftermath of Parkland might not be representative of what a whole generation feels,” Parker says.

That’s great news, and again unsurprising: the older generation of gun owners (“Gun Culture 1.0”) tends to be more interested in hunting, sporting clays, and other sporting usages of guns, while the younger shooters are more interested in self-defense, competition, and modern weapons.

Still, there’s a question mark about the future:

The teenaged high school activists who have been organizing since the Florida shooting, they say, are part of a separate group some call “Generation Z.” Pollsters generally don’t count the views of those under 18, so there probably won’t be national polling on this group until more of these young people are officially adults.

Hopefully we can bring these young people into the fold. I know I’ll try with my kids.

Still, for 19-year-old Abigail Kaye, who considers herself a millennial, these polling results about her peers come as a shock.

“I think that’s surprising because I feel like we’re a more progressive generation,” says Kaye, who attends the University of Delaware.

I don’t doubt she feels that way, since she grew up in Rhode Island and lives in Delaware. She’s living in a small anti-gun bubble that’s essentially the gun-related version of “How could Nixon have won? Nobody I know voted for him!”

Unfortunately, not all the young people interviewed are familiar with guns. Or physics, really:

Sitting outside a student center on the University of Delaware’s campus, Cahlil Evans of Smyrna, Del., 20, says while he doesn’t need a gun, he can understand why people would want hunting rifles and handguns. He draws the line, though, for assault-style rifles.

“There’s no need for these high-caliber rifles that pierce through walls,” Evans says. “People can say they use them for hunting or whatever, but why do you need a weapon with such high caliber that it would pierce through the animal and like eight trees behind it?”

It appears the gun controller’s efforts to depict common semi-auto rifles as extremely high-powered death machines have met with some receptive minds. We, as the gun owning community, really need to do more outreach to correct these misconceptions.

The article ends on a high note, which inspires some optimism in these turbulent times:

Still, 22-year-old Jeremy Grunden of Harrington, Del., says he’s encouraged to hear that millennials are less likely to support banning assault-style weapons.

“I base what we need off of what the military has,” says Grunden, who is president of Students for the Second Amendment at the University of Delaware. “When it comes to … the Second Amendment, we’re supposed to be a well-armed and well-maintained militia and all that. Quite frankly, we need that and plus more.”

Nicely done Mr. Grunden. Keep up the good work.

Personally, I’m disappointed that NPR consider gun control to be a “liberal” thing and gun rights to be a “conservative” thing. Sure, people and positions have become more polarized and ossified in recent years, but I like to think of gun rights as a “liberty” thing that is independent of political sides. I may be alone in that viewpoint, however, and I think that it’ll be a problem for gun rights going forward. Sure, millennials may have similarly pro-gun-rights positions as us somewhat older folks (says the guy from the “Oregon Trail generation” of the early 80s), but if their other political positions (e.g., those on gay rights, abortion, health care, Trump, etc.) align more with the Democrats (who are decidedly anti-gun), their interest and support for gun rights won’t amount to much.

On a related note, one aspect of the NRA’s media strategy over the last few years has irked me greatly. They’ve really been pushing this whole “cultural bundling”, “anti-liberal” thing of late, and that’s been incredibly off-putting to both young people, liberals (yes, there are gun-owning liberals), libertarians, etc. Yes, the NRA needs to be outspoken about gun rights and opposing gun control, but I’d really love to see them be a bit less divisive and more appealing to non-conservatives. Same goes for other major groups like the GOA (which is very right-wing).

Knowing so many things that aren’t so.

Ronald Reagan once said, “It isn’t so much that liberals are ignorant. It’s just that they know so many things that aren’t so.”

Every day proves that statement to be more and more true.

In looking over the print media coverage of the Parkland , I’ve been astounded at the number of blatantly untrue things about the NRA, guns, I’ve seen reported as fact.

Some examples that stand out to me:

  • The NRA is “pro-slaughter”. (WTF?)
  • The NRA TV channel produces dangerous, violent content. (Really? Really? Even the most controversial stuff they’ve put out explicitly condemns violence.)
  • The NRA is primarily funded by and works for the interests of gun manufacturers and industry, who are unfathomably evil and complicit in the murders of innocents.
  • Gun owners and NRA members receive “marching orders” from the NRA itself and follow them like automatons.
  • The AR-15 is a “weapon of mass destruction”. (No, it’s just a goddamn rifle.)
  • Someone armed with a “conventional” weapon (yes, the article used that term) stands no chance against a bad guy with an AR-15. No chance at all, so why bother?
  • Groups like the CSGV, VPC, Giffords, or Everytown are even remotely credible sources for information about guns, gun specifications/technology, etc. Seriously, I’ve seen newspapers quote reps from CSGV and VPC as if they are reputable, credible sources. I had to physically restrain myself from guffawing.
  • Plans to “arm teachers” mean something more than “let willing, volunteer teachers carry concealed as a last-resort against violent attack”.
  • The “armed teacher” strategy would be something other than “standard lockdown procedures, getting behind cover/concealment like a desk, and aiming a pistol at the door”, and that training requirements would be too rigorous. One particular example, to which I won’t link, stated that soldiers need tons of practice and constant training for tactical movement, coordination, communication, building clearing, etc. (all of which is true!) and implied that similar training would be necessary for teachers, and so that proposals to arm teachers are ludicrous. Ok, fair enough, the training requirements for teachers are likely to be a bit more rigorous than “aim at the door and shoot the bad guy when they come in”, but it’s by no means necessary to turn teachers into Special Forces operators or anything.
  • Armed teachers would somehow make things worse in the event of a school shooting. Honestly, I can’t think of much worse things than a deranged killer rampaging through defenseless people. Even in the terrible, exceedingly unlikely situation where an armed teacher hits an innocent person, or a cop clearing the building shoots the armed teacher, that’s almost certainly a better outcome than what would come about if the bad guy was left unchecked.

In addition, I’ve had someone in a discussion claim that it’s equally as morally and ethically repugnant to be “forcing students to be in the same room as an armed teacher” [their position] (even if the teacher is safely carrying concealed with nobody the wiser) as it is to “forcibly deny people the right to self-defense, leaving them defenseless against a deranged bad guy” [my position].

I’ve seriously wondered if something has gotten into the water, because people are losing their minds over this. These are interesting times, and it’ll be interesting to see how things play out.

In the interim, I really need to stop reading the news and stock up on antacids.

Media: reciprocity is making the sky fall!

H.R.38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, passed out of the House of Representatives yesterday and is now headed for the Senate. As expected, the media is beside itself with wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Let’s look at the New York Times’ article about it, starting a bit into the article:

Together, the measures were the first gun-related bill to pass through the chamber since two of the deadliest mass shootings in the United States, in Las Vegas and Sutherland Springs, Tex., in the fall.

While technically true, it seems a bit misleading to conflate lawful carry with the criminal misuse of arms. Still, par for the course for the Times.

But the background check measure was not enough to win over most Democrats, nor did it persuade law enforcement officials in some of the largest cities, including New York, who say the legislation would force locales with strict gun laws to bow to places with few or no gun restrictions.

So, the Democrats are against improving the NICS system. Got it. Nice to have that on record. Ss for forcing locales with strict gun laws to “bow” to places with few or no gun restrictions, good. Those strict laws are unjust.

Democrats said the measure would jeopardize public safety and set a dangerous precedent for overriding states’ rights to determine their own laws.

States can determine their own laws, but that doesn’t mean those laws are right, just, or constitutional. Restricting honest people from effectively protecting themselves is a terrible thing.

The House bill would not force states to change their own laws, but it would treat a concealed-carry permit like a driver’s license, letting individuals allowed by one state to carry a concealed weapon with them into another state.

Seems perfectly reasonable. What’s the issue here?

It would also allow visitors to national parks, wildlife refuges and other federally administered lands to legally carry concealed guns. And it carves out a provision that would let qualified permit holders carry concealed guns in school zones.

Good.

Law enforcement officials from major cities like New York and Los Angeles, where strict gun control laws are aimed at handguns, warned that the bill would usurp states’ authority to set their own laws and effectively impose the lax laws of Southern and rural states on densely populated cities.

Excellent. Nullifying or overturning unjust laws is a good thing, whether it’s overriding laws mandating racial segregation in the South or laws that restrict good people from protecting themselves.

Treating carry permits like any other state-issued license or certificate, like a driver’s license, marriage license, etc. is only logical. If I can drive from Arizona to New York without having to get a driver’s license from each state in between — even though those states all have somewhat different traffic laws — I should be able to do the same thing with a carry permit. The fact that one has a carry permit means that one has been vetted by both state and federal background checks, and is one of the most law-abiding people in the country. These are the people who should be encouraged to carry wherever they can.

In short, all the things that the New York Times and other media are complaining about are the very things that I’m pleased to hear. Now, if only the Senate can get this passed and signed into law. One can hope.

I’m shocked: NPR runs reasonably-balanced article about AR-15s

The media seems to be going into spasms of anti-gun hysteria, all focused on the AR-15. I wouldn’t be surprised if they started claiming that AR-15s are responsible for nails in your tires, cracks in the wall, mosquito bites, and that annoying itch on your nose that only starts once you’ve picked up something heavy.

Imagine my shock when I saw an article at NPR saying, in essence, AR-15s and similar rifles are pretty ordinary, common guns that average people own for normal, non-mass-shooty things.

They seem to love quoting anti-gun UCLA professor Adam Winkler, but even he had this to say:

“These are widely available in gun stores all across America. They’re incredibly popular firearms among hobbyists and gun enthusiasts…They’ve really caught on, just because of their military styling and because of their ease of use and customization. They’re very highly customizable. You can put on your own component parts to it, take things out and easily put new things in. So some people have likened it to the iPhone of guns.”

[…]

Despite its popularity, the AR-15 is not widely used in violent crimes. The rifle’s size makes it difficult to conceal, so most criminals tend to choose something smaller, like a handgun, Winkler says. Even most mass killings are carried out using other types of weapons such as handguns, he says.

Wow. They even quoted the Gun Owners of America website about why people like such guns.

Of course, they couldn’t help quoting the anti-gun tabloid New York Daily News, nor the ambulance-chasing attorney representing Sandy Hook parents in their lawsuit against gun manufacturers, but the bulk of the article is talking about how modern firearms are popular and normal.

Did I roll out of bed and find myself in some sort of bizarro opposite world?

LA Times: “Should people on the no-fly list be able to buy guns? Yes.”

The LA Times surprised me by breaking with the President and saying that yes, people listed on the no-fly list shouldn’t have their rights infringed without due process. I’m sure the President, Senators Feinstein and Schumer, and the various gun-control groups aren’t super thrilled.
Full article here.
This paragraph sums up the whole article:

One problem is that the people on the no-fly list (as well as the broader terror watch list from which it is drawn) have not been convicted of doing anything wrong. They are merely suspected of having terror connections. And the United States doesn’t generally punish or penalize people unless and until they have been charged and convicted of a crime. In this case, the government would be infringing on a right guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution ? and yes, like it or not, the right to buy a gun is a constitutional right according to the U.S. Supreme Court.

They even point out that the majority of people on the list are foreigners who are already prohibited from buying guns legally in the US:

Of those, the vast majority [of people on the list] are noncitizens living overseas; the number of American citizens on the list is believed to be fewer than 10,000 people.
That’s important because federal law already bars gun sales to most people who are not U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents or holders of valid visas, which means the vast majority of the people on the suspected terror list would already be barred from buying a firearm in the U.S. even without Feinstein’s law. That leaves us with about 10,000 American citizens (and some legal residents) who, under the proposed law, would be barred from exercising a constitutional right. That gives us pause.

Of course, just because the LA Times supports due process doesn’t mean they support gun rights. It’s wise to keep?Maxim 29 of the Seventy Maxims of Maximally Effective Mercenaries?in mind: “The enemy of my enemy is my enemy’s enemy. No more. No less.”
Supporting gun rights is?a bridge to far for the LA Times, and they still strongly support stuff like bans on popular firearms and other measures. Still, they recognize that, like it or not, people have a right to own guns and so long as that right exists the government shouldn’t infringe on it:

Truthfully, no one should be allowed to buy assault rifles or other military-style firearms, and the country would be better off with much stronger gun control laws for other firearms than exist now. What’s more, this page disagrees with the Supreme Court’s 2008 ruling that the 2nd Amendment guarantees an individual the right to own a gun. But that is a recognized right, and we find it dangerous ground to let the government restrict the exercise of a right based on mere suspicion.
[…]
Ending gun violence is critically important, but so is protecting basic civil liberties. Although we agree to the ends here, we object to the means.

Still, it’s better than?sycophantically supporting gun control no matter what, so I’ll take it.

New York Times: “We want to take your guns away.”

It is past time to stop talking about halting the spread of firearms, and instead to reduce their number drastically ? eliminating some large categories of weapons and ammunition.
[…]
Certain kinds of weapons, like the slightly modified combat rifles used in California, and certain kinds of ammunition, must be outlawed for civilian ownership. It is possible to define those guns in a clear and effective way and, yes, it would require Americans who own those kinds of weapons to give them up for the good of their fellow citizens.

– “The Gun Epidemic“, December 5th 2015 Editorial, New York Times
Hey, look at that. They?do want to take your guns (and ammo!) away.
Of course, we knew that all along, but it’s nice for them to finally come out and say it.

“Long Gun” and “Assault Clothing” are now scary words.

It’s long been the case that firearms have been classified into various categories.
For example, “handguns” describe relatively small firearms like semi-auto pistols, revolvers, etc. that can be held with a single hand.
“Long guns” like rifles and shotguns are typically larger and are intended to be operated with both hands.
The media recently — and accurately — reported that the San Bernadino shooters used “long guns” in their attack. This is true: they used rifles (DPMS and S&W AR variants, according to the news) in their attack and possessed, but apparently did not use, handguns.
Shortly thereafter I saw idiots on social media wondering, “Why does anyone need a long gun? They should be banned!”
*facepalm*
Adding to the facepalm were claims that since the original name for Smith & Wesson M&P guns comes from “Military & Police”, there’s no reason for private?citizens to own such firearms even though they’re essentially identical to every other AR out there.
Evidently the bad guys wore?”assault clothing” which allowed them to be much more deadly than if they wore, for example, jeans, t-shirts, and?fishing vests. I had no idea that “assault clothing” was a thing.
Finally, I’ve seen feverish calls to ban the private ownership of body armor. Why? I have no idea. Armor is purely defensive and cannot be used to harm someone, so why would it pose any threat? I suppose one could whack someone with an armor vest or bonk them with a helmet, but come on…
Honestly, where do people come up with such idiocy?

CNN: Bill Clinton: America has ‘bought the NRA’s theory’

Former president Bill Clinton talked with CNN on Wednesday and had a few choice things to say about the NRA. Those familiar with the former president should not be surprised that he looks disparagingly upon the NRA and gun owners:

The former president, in a conversation with CNN’s Erin Burnett at the Clinton Global Initiative meeting in New York, lumped together the NRA, stand your ground laws, and people surrounding themselves only with those who agree with them as problems that lead to a more violent climate in the United States.

He does have a point with the last part — diversity is the spice of life, after all — but he’s way off base on the other points.

“I think we have enhanced the risks by changing the environment, basically, because it seems we bought the NRA’s theory that we would all be safer if everybody in this audience had a gun that was a concealed weapon,” Clinton said. “Then if one of them felt threatened by another, they could stand up right here and stand their ground. And we could watch the whole saga unfold. That is what happens.”

I fail to see how someone being lawfully able to defend themselves when genuinely threatened,?regardless of where they happen to be at the time, is a bad thing.
Stand Your Ground laws are not a blanket license to kill anyone for any reason, but rather simply say that a person has no duty to retreat from a place they have a lawful right to be and can use force (including lethal force) if they?reasonably believe they face an imminent and immediate threat of death or serious bodily injury (emphasis mine). They’d still need to explain themselves to the authorities after the fact, and it’s not uncommon for people invoking “stand your ground” provisions to be found guilty.
Of course, it’s worth pointing out that even with the liberalization of concealed carry, the spread of Stand Your Ground, and other pro-gun-rights policies being enacted, gun-related violent crime is?way down since Clinton was in office.
It looks like America has indeed “bought the NRA’s theory” and that theory is?actually working.

PolitiFact calls Everytown’s “school shooting” map “mostly false”

From “Have there been 74 school shootings since Sandy Hook? A closer look at a tricky statistic

A statistic calculated by Everytown for Gun Safety, and shared widely on social media, said that there have been 74 “school shootings in America since Sandy Hook.”
The group?s figure is accurate only if you use a broad definition of “school shooting” that includes such incidents as suicides, accidents and spillover from adjacent criminal activity. The figure has some value in quantifying the proximity of guns to school campuses, but the group makes a significant stretch by tying the statistic so closely to the mass shooting at Sandy Hook. By doing this, the group closely associates the statistic with planned mass shootings targeting students and school staff — a category that, using a more strict definition, accounts for only 10 of the 74 incidents.
The statement contains some element of truth but ignores critical facts that would give a different impression. We rate it Mostly False.

Ouch. Between that and CNN’s debunking of the map, that’s gotta hurt.