Ethics Quote of the Week, Sandy Hook Ethics Train Wreck Division: WSJ Blogger James Taranto

“It’s like a proponent of laws against hate speech standing on a street corner shouting racial slurs in order to “demonstrate how easy it is” to say offensive things under the First Amendment. Of course it’s ‘easy’ to do something that is perfectly legal and protected by the Constitution. That doesn’t mean you ought to do it, especially if you claim to believe it is wrong.”

—–Wall Street Journal blogger, pundit and wit James Taranto, describing the “stupid stunt”perpetrated  by Mark Kelly, the husband of  former Rep. Gaby Giffords, in which he purchased the kind of weapon he and his wife have been lobbying Congress to ban, a so-called “assault weapon,” in order to “demonstrate how easy it is to obtain” one.

At least Kelly didn’t break the law, like David Gregory, to show how easy it was to get an illegal magazine in Washington, D.C.


If this is the best argument you quiet.

If this is the best argument you have…be quiet.

Is this hypocrisy? No, it’s not hypocrisy. Kelly’s act is reminiscent, though not as certifiably cretinous, of stunt pulled by the foolish Ronald Miller, who walked into his child’s school and announced that he was going to start shooting people, just to show that he could. Kelly proved nothing. To someone who believes that a law-abiding citizen who believes he needs an assault weapon to protect his family against home invaders, Rodney King-style riots or the breakdown of civilization (never mind what Joe Biden or Andrew Cuomo think he needs), Kelly’s purchase proved only that the system works: a law-abiding citizen can buy a legal gun. The Horror. To anti-gun crusaders, Kelly proved that a gun they think should be made illegal is legal—but presumably they already knew that. Kelly was trying to demonstrate that legal conduct should be made illegal because people can currently do it?


This is the caliber of thinking the news media regards as persuasive gun opposition. Rep. Giffords already made a Congressional appeal in infantile terms, for which she can be excused (but not her husband) since she is being programmed, exploited and manipulated and may have little capacity to resist. Kelly, however, with this incoherent incident, shows that he has not applied sufficient quality thought to his anti-gun campaign (or is incapable of it) beyond a primitive “Guns kill…guns bad!”

He is using his wife’s tragedy and notoriety to assert influence he has not earned, and is not  justifying with his words, logic or conduct. In short, he is wasting everyone’s time.


Pointer and Facts: James Taranto (WSJ)

Source: Fox News

16 thoughts on “Ethics Quote of the Week, Sandy Hook Ethics Train Wreck Division: WSJ Blogger James Taranto

  1. The amount of ignorant passion on this issue is disheartening, to say the least. To keep it short, I am glad I live in a ‘conceal and carry’ state, and hope it stays that way. Also, the ‘definitions’ of ‘automatic weapons’ are so diverse among gun control freaks that one can’t even discover what types of weapons they’re talking about.

    The whole thing is an emotional scam. Who wants only the police, the military, and the criminals to be the ones carrying guns? I sure don’t. The level of disingenuous on this issue is unbelievable. Like “hate crimes;” murder is murder, and should be prosecuted as such. The ‘motive’ for murder (or assault) is only part of the picture. But now ‘motive’ carries a special penalty. ‘Hate speech’ is another one. But you’ve gone there…

  2. Mark Kelly was given carte blanche to speak to the Colorado legislature about all of the proposals, saying that he hadn’t read any of them and couldn’t speak to specifics, but gave his emotional plea and his opinion on the matter. The Colorado residents who came to speak were prevented from doing so – apparently, being a constituent with an opinion on the specifics means less than being an out of state astronaut with an opinion of emotions.

  3. In the meantime, a picture of Gabby Giffords has gone viral. It shows her aiming an AK in an obviously posed picture. However, that sends a different message now than it did when it was originally intended to attract conservative voters- Manchin style. It seems that every one of these suddenly fervent anti-gun pundits either owns guns, has used guns and/or have “hired guns” to protect them. As though crass hypocrisy has ever deterred these people! Certainly, it has not deterred Kelly.

  4. Yesterday at a staff meeting I heard for the first time officially that in a situation with a shooter in the building we are supposed to go proactive. Fight back, escape, throw things, get into the shooters head, use pepper spray, tackle him, whatever means necessary to keep him from completing his plan. They even said act first and don’t think about legalities. In other words, the attitude is changing.
    At last they recommend being something besides a passive victim.
    I believe this will have a far larger effect than any gun ban or gun law. The shooters need to know they aren’t going into a building full of passive victims.

  5. But Jack think of the children.

    That is my new argument against or for anything. No matter what any else is for or against just say “Think of the children” and they look evil if they dont “think of the children”.

    • How many illicit and corrupt actions of government and political activists have been initiated under that same heading, Bill? I’m sure we’re thinking alike, here. For myself, whenever I hear that phrase from the usual suspects, I check my wallet and my holster! Unlike those suspects, I actually work for a revived society where children can expect love, stable families, an education worthy of the name and a decent nation under God where they can grow up sound and safe in mind and body. Children, to me, are not the tools of my agenda, but the object of it.

  6. The only point I gleaned from his escapade is that he thinks that upstanding, law-abiding citizens such as himself should not have access to firearms. He was subjected to a background check and a waiting period for that rifle. “Reasonable restrictions’ aren’t enough for him.

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