by Nathan Barton
In a separate commentary, I discuss neutrality as regards political issues and liberty and wars. One of those fields where it is sometimes hard to tell friends from foes, and hard to be neutral, is the realm of self-defense, and the God-given right to keep and bear arms.
JPFO just published an article which they entitled “How An Anti Thinks,” reproducing an article in Salon from a Baton Rouge writer, ex-USAF, saying the Second Amendment must go. Now, Salon is well-known for its constant hatred of firearms, and its disdain for those who own and carry them. But this time, they really outdo themselves.
This thug, Sean Illing, is an example of the reality that “the enemy of my enemy is STILL my enemy.” Yes, he is “against” those like the Louisiana theatre killer who prey on others. Yes, he served in an apparently sincere (if wrong-headed) attempt to defend the nation against its enemies. But now, he has become one of those enemies. He is also a liar more interested in propaganda than truth: fortunately not common among USAF veterans I know.
Among some of his lies:
-Louisiana “leads the nation in gun deaths.”
He cites a 2014 Times-Picayune commentary using 2011 CDC data. But hard data published by the Kaiser Family Foundation (hardly a conservative or libertarian, pro-gun organization, and also using CDC data) with 2013 data indicates Louisiana at 19.3 per 100,000 is second to Alaska with 19.9 per 100,000. (Of course, the REAL story is in the death rate in urban areas, particularly the inner cities. Almost all are far higher than Alaska or Louisiana as states. And another real story is harder to find: how many of these deaths are due to police? …assuming (which we know is not true) that such are “justified,” and how many are due to self-defense?)
-Australia’s draconian gun laws are a “tremendous success.”
Yet statistics on violent crime seem to indicate otherwise. Even the study he cites [pdf] claims that the Australian “success” seems limited mostly to gun-related suicides and NOT homicides (“evidence indicates” but nothing more) and involves factors that cannot be applied to the Fifty States, but are unique to Australia. In addition, the claims of this study are challenged by other studies [pdf] But the real ignorance is failing to take into account the rise in violent crime allowed by even a one-fifth reduction in guns in homes and businesses. (Which, by the way, the 1997 buyback did NOT really do: the reduction was replaced by new firearms purchases in 13 years, by 2010.)
An attack on “culturally-isolated” gun fanatics is quite the contrary of such notables as Walter E Williams and John Lott and Ted Nugent and Thomas Sowell (whose recent commentary addresses guns and lies.) This is typical of anti-gun writers and apologists: attacks against their opponents on grounds OTHER than the facts and merits of the issue they are debating.
Of course, Illing approaches the entire business with the mistaken idea that if the government repeals (or changes) the Second Amendment, we “lose” our liberty to have and carry firearms.
In short, Illing is no different than 90% of the hoplophobes and hoploclasts out there, fearful and hateful of guns and willing to say almost anything to blacken them and those who own and carry them. (Unless, of course, they happen to be cops.) He is, at heart, a statist, a worshiper of the state, which can and must be obeyed and will make us (whether we like it or not) into happy and obedient citizens. He needs to be opposed, his ideas need to be challenged and ridiculed, his assumptions revealed for the nonsense that they are.
Which is why, despite the recent history of JPFO, it still bothers me to see them publish something like this without any serious, documented effort to rebut the claims, leading to a situation where other propagandists can claim that the organization is unable to respond to articles like Illing’s. Sometimes, even our “friends” seem more like enemies.
Mama’s Note: I’d have to say that the problems with JPFO now are directly related to the departure of Aaron Zelman and his friends, and the arrival of the friendly compromiser from the NW… It’s really no surprise. The supposed “friend” of our friends might just turn out to be an enemy…