Update On The Uvalde Massacre Extension Of The Sandy Hook Ethics Train Wreck, Part 4: ‘Don’t Confuse Us With Facts, Our Minds Are Made Up!’ Edition

Well, I tried again to discuss gun regulation with my next door neighbor following the Uvalde shooting. (The first time was a week before the shooting, discussed here.) We were talking over the proverbial fence about the Uvalde police chief, and her husband said, “Watch: now the whole thing will be blamed on him.” Before I could get out, “Well, not the whole thing, but you have to agree that the police share some resp…,” my neighbor said, “They’ll blame everything but the real cause: there is no reason to allow people to buy automatic weapons.”

“To be completely accurate,” I said cheerily, “you can’t legally buy automatic weapons. That guy in Texas had a semi-automatic.” She literally ignored that distinction. We talked for another 15 minutes, and she kept saying “automatic weapon.” “It’s just the difference between 400 bullets a minute and 300 anyway,” her husband offered. I assume he believes that; when I noted the same distinction between semi-automatic and automatic in a discussion on Facebook, my sister called it “semantics.” It’s not semantics! Moreover, an AR-15 can get off about 40 accurate rounds in the hands of a trained shooter, and about 25 when being used by someone like Ramos. An AK-47, a genuine “assault rifle,” fires about 600 rounds a minute. Hmmm…40 vs. 600. I’d say that’s a material difference. But my neighbor didn’t want to hear it, and didn’t.

Thus we get anti-gun zealots both programed by bad information and distributing it. Zach Seward, editor-in-chief of Quartz, tweeted this week, “We bought a gun—the same Daniel Defense DDM4 V7 assault rifle used in Uvalde. It was like ordering groceries. Click, checkout, done.”

Misinformation! Of course, Twitter doesn’t suspend accounts that spread good misinformation like that. The linked story went on,  “Aside from that, it was a routine purchase, not unlike ordering a Lego set from Amazon or a pair of shoes from Zappos. Except, of course, for the lethality of the product.”

Noting the legal requirements for purchasing a rifle, the report said, “We didn’t get any notices or warnings about that during the checkout process.” It concluded, “[T]he fact that shopping for a firearm does not feel noticeably different than ordering those everyday items is a telling commentary on the prevalence of guns in US culture.”

Firearms purchased online can only be delivered to federally licensed firearm dealers, not to the purchaser. Once there, the identification and legal eligibility of the purchaser is verified by the dealer, who also must conduct a background check. The process also requires the purchaser to complete a government document, ATF Form 4473. State and local laws may add more steps to the process. (Let’s pass the now routine disinformation of calling a semi-automatic an “assault rifle.”)

The Blaze re-published a few of the mocking comments to the Quartz tweet, like,

  • “‘It’s like ordering groceries..’ if Safeway had access to your criminal records and personal info to sell you a strawberry.”
  • “Just like ordering groceries if ordering groceries meant going to a specially licensed dealer and passing an FBI background check.”
  • “‘Buying a gun is just like buying groceries!’ Because we all know you have to pass a federal background check when you go to pick up your curbside order at Wegman’s….”
  • “Not a single person in this entire media organization thought this story felt incomplete before publishing it. That’s cultural illiteracy …”
  • “Yes, ordering groceries, something that famously requires proof of a clean criminal record…”

How do you have a productive, honest discussion about a public policy if one side insists on using misleading terms and false information, and refuses to acknowledge relevant facts?

Back to my neighbors: the bad analogies I have heard this week would justify its own article. Commenting on the shooter’s tender age and the fact that he had never had a regular job, my neighbor prompted me to note that the US can’t condition Constitutional rights on a citizen’s work history, and the response was “But states can require you to be 21 before you can buy a beer!”

“There is no Constitutional right to buy beer,” I said, smiling. “Ben Franklin wanted one, but it was voted down.”

26 thoughts on “Update On The Uvalde Massacre Extension Of The Sandy Hook Ethics Train Wreck, Part 4: ‘Don’t Confuse Us With Facts, Our Minds Are Made Up!’ Edition

  1. Why do you bother trying to make a point with someone you know from experience will not listen? Don’t spit into the wind.

    • Of course, if there are third parties who have not already locked in their biases listening, by all means make the points.

    • Oh, I had this discussion for my benefit, not theirs. I now have hard evidence that the “automatic-semi-automatic” confusion is like the “Illegal immigrant-immigrant” confusion. It’s deliberate in order to blur key distinctions, and on casual participants in the public debate, it works.

      • It’s a little like those who continue to process that AR15 means assault rifle. Of course it does not. It is for ArmaLite Rifle, named after the company that developed it in the 1950s. It was, however, the AR15 that eventually morphed into the fully automatic M16 (which we were issued at the AF Academy as a successor to M1). The AR15 is not sold as a fully automatic rifle, but can be modified using instructions available online. Therefore, it is not correct to say it is a military weapon….but not entirely incorrect, either. This is not part of the argument. Just factual background data.

  2. It should be noted that firearms technology hasn’t changed significantly in over a century. Something else in society has .
    It should also be repeatedly noted that gun control advocacy is largely based in ignorance … Ignorance of history, ignorance of law, ignorance of basic facts (like how firearms function).
    Why should we listen to the purveyors of ignorance?

  3. My generally conservative dad said at breakfast a couple days ago enough is enough, we should outlaw such things. So I noted the purpose of the second amendment, and the nature of cancel culture, government corruption, and collaberation and direction with mass media that is running as hard as it can towards totalitarianism.

    “It’ll never happen here”.

    So, the emotional, combined with the effective mass marketing deception of the left, overpowers reason and people’s own eyeballs (to the extent they’re paying attention – most are not).

    I wonder if one were to ply the old argument “never make a decision when you’re emotional” argument would give anyone pause.

    And how do you keep crazy people from doing crazy things? Would it have been better if he ran over 20 kids at recess in his truck? The guy in Wisconsin did it at the parade there. Just got in his truck and ran people over.

    Finally, even “conservative” media are piling on with, “the police had active shooter training just two weeks before and still blew it.”

    I heard one commentator on YouTube note that by the time law enforcement showed up, the kids in the classroom were already dead, the shooter had barricaded himself inside the classroom, and at that point the only shooting he was doing was through the walls at law enforcement.

    I still haven’t seen even a rough timeline of the events, so at the moment it’s all just wild speculation, and the first “Do something” is to blame law enforcement from the comfort of our couch.

    What a world we live in.

  4. Ok so you outlaw the AR15 and similar scary versions. What happens when the shooter brings a semi automatic 30-06 or other high powered weapon. The shooter can get off nearly as many shots but it only takes on bullet to go through several people in a crowd.

    • I didn’t try for too long, but I utterly failed trying to learn mow many shots someone could get off in a minute with a regular, non-semi-automatic rifle: Google kept defaulting to a semi-automatic. Does anyone know? If it’s 25-40 with an AR-15 in 60 seconds, how much less is it? 15? 10?

      • I wanted to point out, the 600 rpm you mentioned for an AK rifle, that is the cycle rate. That’s what the mechanism can fire at. Realistically, one uses 30-45 round magazines or 50-75 round drum magazines. So a practical rate one can achieve could be something like 40-100 rpm. Could be higher, if you’re really fast at reloading. At such a high rate though, that’s really supressing fire, which is not for accuracy, but for keeping the opponent from engaging in their mission. Also, firing an AK style rifle for a 100 rounds rapidly will get it hot. One will have to take a break, or it might become unusable.

      • The rate of accurate fire with other repeating rifles (bolt action or lever action) is more dependent upon the magazine capacity of the rifle and the skill (and eyesight) of the rifleman. Many bolt action rifles only hold four or five rounds and so must be reloaded frequently during sustained fire. Some of my bolt guns have detachable magazines (the same ones used in semiautomatic rifles) and can be fired twenty or more times before reloading. Typically, with a bolt action, twenty-round magazine, I can deliver about ten to fifteen accurate shots per minute on a 10-inch target at ranges from 100 – 300 yards. At closer ranges the rate of fire can be a bit higher because aiming is quicker, but again I am talking about well-aimed shots, not “spray and pray.” I have a couple of lever action rifles that hold ten rounds, but they also must be reloaded at the end of the ten-round string. In my hands, a lever action is a bit faster than a bolt action, but my lever guns are not in long-range calibers so typically 100 yards is the max at which I shoot them. I’m sure that many people can do better.

  5. Of course, you realize that had the honorable Minister of Truth, Nina Jankowicz, been allowed to assume her rightful role, none of this would be happening right now. /sarcasm

    TL;DR: I keed! I keed

  6. One thing I have noticed is that these people are suddenly very trustful of cops.


    Massachusetts has the lowest rate of gun violence in the country. Why? In addition to the regulations in place, there is a final step before your license is issued.

    An interview with a cop.

    Now, cops aren’t known for their opposition to guns (I have a friend with a license who in my opinion absolutely should not be allowed to own a gun), but if you meet up with a cop and he concludes you should not be armed, you probably shouldn’t be allowed to own a gun.

    Here come the indignant comments about how dare I suggest a law-abiding citizen should be subject to governmental oversight in any way shape or form, to which I answer:

    If you absolutely refuse to discuss gun ownership with a cop, you shouldn’t have a gun.
    If you refuse to undergo psychological testing (the “mental health” issue that keeps coming up in conservative arguments yet is never carried out to its logical conclusion), you shouldn’t have a gun.
    Spare me the “good guys with guns” argument. All it takes is one bad day—you get fired from your job, somebody hits your car, you find out your spouse is cheating on you—and all of a sudden a good guy with a gun becomes a bad guy with a gun.

    – Marc Clamage

    An interview with a cop.

    Why do you trust cops all of a sudden? What happened to ACAB? What happened to Defund the Police? What happened to the claims that cops habitually gun down unarmed Black men.

    Why do you believe requiring an interview with someone like Derek Chauvin to legally possess a firearm?

    – Michael Ejercito

    Ah yea, reductio ad absurdum. Phew! Thank goodness we dodged that bullet!

    The real reason conservatives aren’t more upset about school shootings is they’re already willing to accept 1,800 dead children a year as a result of gun violence. Why get upset about 19 more? And who cares whether it happens at home or at school. Those children willingly gave their lives to protect your right to own a gun.

    – Marc Clamage

    • Can comment from getting a license to carry in MA. Depends on what the town requirements are, besides the state reqs. State reqs are that you pass a gun safety course, submit an application, and pay $100. In the town I applied, they also wanted 3 letters of recommendation. I didn’t have an interview with any police officers.

  7. > “There is no Constitutional right to buy beer,” I said, smiling. “Ben Franklin wanted one, but it was voted down.”

    Imagine how different our nation’s history would be if Franklin had succeeded and prohibition never took place…

  8. “Moreover, an AR-15 can get off about 40 accurate rounds in the hands of a trained shooter, and about 25 when being used by someone like Ramos. An AK-47, a genuine “assault rifle,” fires about 600 rounds a minute. Hmmm…40 vs. 600. I’d say that’s a material difference. But my neighbor didn’t want to hear it, and didn’t.”

    The exact rounds per minute isn’t what they care about, though. What matters to them is that firearms in general are force multipliers. They empower people to do more harm than they otherwise could. They don’t care to be corrected about their “facts” on gun capabilities because even if they knew the accurate information, that wouldn’t change how they feel. It’s not relevant to their concerns about the situation.

    I’m in the process of writing an article about the topic depicting how I think a conversation about gun control ought to go. It should be finished this week.

    Now, if the Republicans were shrewd, which they’re not, they’d take this misinformation about how easy it is to get guns and run with it. “Alright Democrats, if we make sure that it is illegal for people to buy guns without a background check, will you at least come to the table so we can work out a compromise on this other thing?” Then later… “As promised, we have made sure that background checks are required for gun purchases. Say hello to the Gun-Purchase-Law-Thing of 1985 or Some Year!”

  9. “Aside from that, it was a routine purchase, not unlike ordering a Lego set from Amazon or a pair of shoes from Zappos. Except, of course, for the lethality of the product.”

    I mean, all the hoops and regulation aside, I don’t think he’s even right on the lethality… I mean, have you ever stepped on a Lego?

  10. It’s possible for civilians to own fully automatic firearms, as long as they were registered on the NFA list before it closed in 1986, a $200 tax stamp is purchased, and an extensive background check conducted by the ATF is passed, a process that can take over a year. It’s also possible to have certain firearms delivered straight to your door, antiques made before 1898 and C&R firearms, generally older than 50 years old or determined to be historically significant. C&R firearms can only be delivered to C&R license holders, which requires an application to the ATF, including recent photograph and fingerprints, and passing an extensive background check, which could take over a year. C&R license holders also cannot sell their firearms as a business. I’m unaware of any C&R license holder engaging in a mass shooting; the process is long, the rifles usually require tedious upkeep to maintain in a firing condition, and a Madsen or a Maxim will be much heavier and unweildly than an AR-15, even though the former are automatic.

    Of another note, the British distinguish between semi-auto and full auto by using self loading and repeating, respectfully. Might cause less confusion here if those terms were adopted in the States.

  11. A friend posted a link to the following video on Facebook with this message “This video also is worth your time.”


    My response was this…

    Lots of information in that video about gun control laws in Australia but there’s a very significant piece of information that’s not in the video; Australia doesn’t have an equivalent to the 2nd Amendment like the USA has in our Bill of Rights and that is a massive hurdle that Australia’s gun laws wouldn’t overcome in the Supreme Court of the United States. There is a huge difference in the United States of America between a Constitutional right and a civil privilege which is what Australia has. Like it or not, that’s reality.

    That said…

    We also have a 1st Amendment in our Bill of Rights, so if people want to abolish the 2nd Amendment they need to exercise their freedom of speech rights and publicly say so because grass roots efforts is where things begin. You just have to understand that just like you, others with differing opinions have the same rights and there will be rhetorical lumps to bare when debating this kind of Constitutional issue. Argue with logic, critical thinking and facts not raw emotion because hysteria will not win this kind of debate and remember that those who have differing opinions are not evil. There is a Constitutional process to amend the Constitution, and death by a thousand cuts is not going to work to achieve the goal that some people seem to want.

    Anti-gun activists have been and still are making false equivalency arguments like comparing the USA’s gun laws to Australia’s gun laws all the time and they are completely blinded to the facts by their hysteria and openly say we should do what Australia did. It’s become very clear that facts take a back seat to their raw emotion hysteria, it’s cultish.

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