Monday, June 16, 2008

PSH: Make That a Triple, Barkeep

These stories are coming in faster than I can keep track of. I've run out of room on my proverbial back burner, so I gotta get this post up today to clear the deck in anticipation of the next wave of PSH-laden drivel.

And, with a Supreme Court decision on Heller looming on the horizon, we can expect that wave to be apocalyptic in scope.

First up, on the topic of allowing concealed carry in our National Parks, we get this gem from one Maureen Finnerty:

...the U.S. Interior Department is considering a proposal from 51 U.S. senators to change its regulations on guns in national parks.

As the law stands, a person can take a gun -- unloaded -- into a national park, but it must be packed away or rendered temporarily inoperable.

The country's 391 national parks, recreation areas, monuments and scenic trails are operated under a single set of regulations by the U.S. Interior Department.

The proposed change would have the parks adopt the gun laws of the state in which they are located. This means a person would be able to take a loaded, concealed weapon into a national park if he or she holds a valid permit to carry a concealed weapon in a given state and as long as they would be allowed to carry a concealed weapon in that state's parks.


Gregory Hylinski, a gun owner from Connecticut visiting a friend, tells me there's another reason for guns in national parks: "It's important for people to be able to protect themselves at all times and in all places even from wild animal attacks."

When Maureen Finnerty hears warning like that she gives an exasperated shrug.


"Right now parks are very safe, they're very safe places to take your family," she tells me. "Our crime statistics are very, very low and you put loaded weapons in people's hands and there's a tremendous possibility that there will be increased violence."

First off, no one's "putting loaded weapons" in anyone's hands. These are weapons already being carried legally outside of the park by individuals who have repeatedly proven themselves to be entirely law-abiding citizens. This ridiculous statement of hers is pretty much the same panic alert being sent out by those opposed to allowing concealed carry on college campuses.

It's the pathetic "Why do you want to hand out Uzis to every kid on their way into class?" argument, only modified slightly to apply to national parks. It's a disingenuous and misleading argument and serves only to blur the facts in the discussion.

But, then again we're talking about a proud member of the the anti-gun rights brigade here. Misleading the public and blurring the facts are what they do best.

As to her claim that "there's a tremendous possibility that there will be increased violence", that's simply another layer of fear-mongering and hyperbole to spread on the bread of her bullshit sandwich. Nothing in what she's saying is based on anything resembling real life.

There's a good reason why no one who's ever regurgitated this ridiculous talking point has ever followed it up with "...such as in [name of city or state], where the rate of violent crimes committed by licensed individuals has been on the rise ever since concealed carry was made legal there."

There's also a good reason why people like Maureen Finnerty don't argue against concealed carry in national parks by pointing to all the violent crime already being committed by concealed carry permit holders in the state parks where they're already allowed to carry their loaded sidearms.




Finnerty knows the National Park Service statistics by heart. The latest data, from 2006, shows 272,623,980 people visited the parks that year. There were 11 cases of homicide or manslaughter, 61 robberies and 35 rapes or attempted rapes.

So, just so I understand...

We shouldn't allow concealed carry in our national parks because they're already such safe, low-crime areas, in which no one needs to carry a gun to protect himself or herself from harm.

Likewise, we shouldn't allow concealed carry in Washington DC, because it's already such a safe...ummm...

Hey, I never argued that consistency of thought was among the gun controllers' strong suits. As The Geek so eloquently once stated:

In a truly civil society peopled primarily by enlightened, sober individuals, the carriage of arms might be deemed gratuitous, but it is nonetheless harmless.

In a society that measures up to anything less than that, the option to carry arms is a necessity.

Speaking of Washington, DC, that number of 272-million visitors includes more than just visitors to National Parks. The National Park Service also oversees such entities as National Monuments and Memorials.

I wonder how many of the millions of annual visitors to our nation's capital became crime victims walking from their hotel room to any of 15 National Memorials located in the District. I'm sure the fact that no one was actually raped or murdered last year inside the Washington Monument, itself, comes as great comfort to the people who have to live and work in its shadow.

But, I digress.

"Now, could something happen? Of course it could happen, but the chances are extremely, extremely remote," she says.

Notice also how she's more than happy to use her statistics to back up her claim that your chances of becoming a victim are "extremely, extremely remote", but she's more than willing to ignore the statistics on the law-abiding, non-violent nature of concealed carry permit holders and declare that there would be a "tremendous possibility" of violence if they were allowed to carry firearms in the parks.

Facts? we don't need no stinking facts!

Also, try reminding these people that the number of guns used illegally in this country to commit violent crime represents but a minuscule fraction of a percentage of the privately owned firearms in this country, and they'll tell you "The numbers don't matter! If this new gun control law saves JUST ONE LIFE, it will all be worth it!".

Why does it never work the other way around? If one concealed carry permit holder saves just one life, isn't that enough justification for expanding concealed carry laws across the country, using the gun control lobby's own "reasoning"?

The proposed change, their Web site says, "could significantly increase the danger to visitors in national parks." It would put wildlife at risk, they claim, and make poaching easier.

In her sad, little world, an individual intent on illegally hunting wildlife in our national parks, and ignoring entirely the "No Poaching Allowed" signs posted there, will change his mind when he sees that "No Guns Allowed" sign at the gate next to them.

Likewise, of course, if law-abiding citizens are allowed to carry concealed weapons into the park, they will be over-powered by the mind-altering radiation emitting from their sidearms, and will all start taking out caribou and mountain lions with their Kel-Tecs and .38 snubbies.

Enter graduate student Nathanael Snow, with today's breath-of-fresh-air counterpoint:

"For me, I feel safer if I know that people who are qualified and proficient in handling a weapon have it on them because the bad guys are going to have guns on them anyway."

Game, set, match.

Next on our journey in to the Forest of Pants-Shitting Hysteria, we find this Letter to the Editor of the Portsmouth (NH) Herald, written buy one Joan Pike of Newmarket, New Hampshire.

This post at Wake Up America does a nice job addressing both Ms. Pike's historical and hysterical shortfalls. I gotta give her credit though. She really brings her "A-game" in this opening paragraph.

So continues the pointless gun debate, since one side is mired in the desire to protect their image, and the other staunchly protective of the victims, both human and animal, of gun violence.

Yeah, that's it. We are simply trying to protect our image. Here's some images to think about, Ms. Pike.

First, there's the "image" of Bryan Gaedtke. He's the guy who took off his clothes, crawled in through a window of Geoff Gamann's house in Rochester, New Hampshire, clutching a tube of mechanical lubricant, and yelling "I'm gonna get you!" as he made his way toward the bedroom where Gamann's wife and child were sleeping.

Gamann shot and killed the poor homeless guy who was just looking for directions to the nearest bus station Mr. Gaedtke.

Your side of this "pointless gun debate", Ms. Pike, would rather see this man's family brutally beaten, raped, and killed, than to see a man protect his wife and daughter from such a crazed, violent individual.

Who's being "staunchly protective" here?

Certainly not the people who claim Mr. Hamann had no need for a gun.

Then there's the image of Eliezer Encarnacion, who began shooting at the doorman of a bar in Manchester, New Hampshire after being kicked out of the bar earlier that night. His would-be killing spree was only thwarted because an armed customer in the bar came to the defense of the would-be victims and was able to return fire, striking the assailant twice.

Your side of this "pointless gun debate", Ms. Pike, would rather see the doorman of the Uptown Tavern lying dead in a pool of his own blood than to see a brave, armed American come to the aid of his fellow citizen.

Who's being "staunchly protective" here?

Certainly not the people who would like to see the Uptown Tavern turned into a "gun-free zone", or who would work to abolish the laws that recognize the right of a law-abiding citizenry to carry firearms.

How about the image of Peter Camplin, who, while drunk and high on cocaine, broke into Donald Narkis' house in Hollis, New Hampshire one night and then proceeded to embark on a crazed, violent rampage destroying Mr. Narkis' living room.

His rampage was promptly brought to a halt when Mr. Narkis and his daughter, who was in the house at the time, held him at gunpoint. He with a .45, and she with a .357 Magnum revolver.

Your side of this "pointless gun debate", Ms. Pike, would rather see a drug-fueled maniac terrorizing innocent people in the middle of the night, than to allow people to be safe in their homes and protect themselves from such assailants.

Remind me again. Who's being "staunchly protective" here?

Certainly not the people who claim Mr. Narkis has no right to keep a gun in his home, because he is not an active member of the National Guard.

Your side, Ms. Pike, whether you're willing to admit it or not, is "staunchly protective" of evil-hearted scumbags like Bryan Gaedtke, Eliezer Encarnacion, and Peter Camplin - all individuals for whom the laws against aggravated assault, breaking and entering, criminal threatening, and attempted murder amounted to little more than a bowl of after dinner mints at the Applebee's hostess station.

"Gee, those look nice, but I'll pass, thanks."

Don't bother reading the rest of her letter, I can sum it up for you quite easily.

You're all a bunch of drunk rednecks who like to sit in the woods and stroke your guns, because you've all got little peckers (or, you wish you had one).


Last stop on our mystical journey into the world of irrational fear of inanimate objects is this op-ed piece in Boston Globe, written (originally in crayon, I'm guessing) by James Carroll.

'Open carry' guns at our children's risk



And, we haven't even made it past the headline.

Even at age 4, I was hypnotized by a gun. The gun was a mystical object, with significance that far transcended any imagined use. Fear, but also consolation. Awe. Trembling.

Gun as magical, mind-altering objects?


That the gun was my father's was a first clue to potency.

Gun as a measure of one's "manhood"?


What is it with Americans and guns? "The right to bear arms" is the constitutional dynamo sparking an electromagnetic pulse through every corner of politics.

You're forgetting the words "keep and" there, pal. Where have I seen that before? Oh, yeah, it was Barack Obama saying:

I think there is an individual right to bear arms...

Translated: You have the right to store your guns at a government controlled storage facility, where you would be allowed to sign them out when you wanted to engage in politically correct sporting activities.

But, I digress. back to the subject at hand.

Meanwhile, in the nation's cities, a slow-motion massacre unfolds, with gunshots mercilessly cutting down a legion of the young. Yet in legislatures, bills designed to reduce gun violence are routinely killed by the all-powerful lobbying of the National Rifle Association. Presidential candidates are universally required to worship at the altar of the Second Amendment.

Deliberately failing to differentiate between the actions of the nations millions of law-abiding gun owners and those of the inner-city gang-banging scumbag population?


Blaming the evil "gun lobby"?


Using the illegal behavior of the country's street gang population to vilify the country's law-abiding gun owner population is tantamount to blaming collectors of vintage Corvettes for the problems the country faces dealing with drunk driving and illegal street racing.

It simply makes no sense.

But, this is the gun control movement we're talking about. Nonsensical is what they do best.

That last paragraph there should read:

Meanwhile, in the nation's cities, a slow-motion massacre unfolds, with gunshots mercilessly cutting down a legion of the young. Yet in legislatures, bills designed to incarcerate violent criminals and gangbangers for longer periods of time are routinely killed by the all-powerful lobbying of the Sharpton/Jackson Perpetual Victimhood Society. Presidential candidates are universally required to worship at the altar race-based political correctness.

But, what do I know, I'm just a bitter gun-clinger.

Now an "open carry" movement encourages gun owners to wear their weapons ostentatiously on their belts, "to make a firearm," in the words of a Los Angeles Times story last week, "as common an accessory as an iPod." Or, as one open carrier said, "Hey, we're normal people who carry guns."

Get used to it. In most states, there is no law against license-holders cradling a rifle on the street, or holstering a firearm on a hip, like Wyatt Earp.

Obligatory "Wild West" reference?


In despair over unchecked gun-carnage in Chicago schools, Mayor Richard Daley asked, "Why is America turning its back on its children when it comes to gun violence?"

"Unchecked" gun carnage?

In Chicago?

But, the police are the only ones in Chicago allowed to have handguns. Why isn't Daley asking, "Why are so many of my city's police officers shooting innocent schoolchildren?"

The gun is a totemic object, with meanings that drill far below surface arguments about self-defense, the sport of hunting, standing militias, or the intent of the Framers. Children die because these deeper meanings of the gun go unreckoned with.

Sorry, James, but these children are dying because scumbag liberal politicians and judges refuse to put violent criminals in prison where they belong, out of fear of offending their race-obsessed constituents.

Doing the right thing by going after criminals is hard work, and requires people to recognize the presence of evil in the world and to assume responsibility for themselves and their families.

Disarming law-abiding people as part of some feel-good, do-nothing, legislative puppet show requires only the use of one's hand and a pen.

He closes this diatribe by saying that gun ownership is something to be ashamed of, no doubt trying to shame people into surrendering their Constitutional rights (well, just the icky ones), should the Supreme Court fail to take those rights away when they hand down their decision in Heller vs. DC.

Shame yourself all you want, pal.

Come after my guns and my freedom, and you're coming after my right to keep my children safe. It will be the last mistake you make. I promise. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go check my artificial penis collection for surface rust.