‘Gun control,’ and the lessons of Boston

A quick visual summary of today's lessonsExaminer – by Kurt Hofmann

Although the vast majority of the carnage from the terrorism that paralyzed the Boston area for most of last week was committed with bombs, rather than guns, it would be a mistake to believe that these events will not weigh heavily in the gun rights/”gun control” debate. St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner predicted last week, for example, that a push for “gunpowder control” would be one of the results, and within hours, rabidly anti-gun U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) fulfilled that prophecy.  

The above articles also addressed angry attacks from left-wing media and anti-gun groups like the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence against the NRA, for having lobbied against a requirement for “taggants” (chemical markers used for tracing explosives) in both black powder and modern smokeless powder. This, despite a National Academy of Sciences study finding that incorporating taggants into propellant powder was not only unfeasible, but potentially quite dangerous. One of the lessons of Boston, then, is that the gun prohibitionists will not limit themselves to exploiting shooting victims for their forcible citizen disarmament agenda. When shooting victims grow scarce, bombing victims will have to do–and inconvenient facts will be ignored or distorted.

A second lesson was the terrorists’ choice of primary weapon. “Progressive” group, Americans United for Change recently released a video comparing Senator Mitch McConnell (D-KY) to Al-Qaeda (?) for his opposition to the “universal background check” bill. The supposed basis for this comparison was American-born Al-Qaeda spokesman Adam Gadahn’s (utterly false) claim that aspiring jihadists in the U.S. could buy fully automatic weapons at gun shows, without a background check.

The [alleged] bombers did indeed obtain guns (source not yet established)–an “arsenal of guns, ammunition, and explosives,” according to the New York Times, but when they sought mass casualties, they [allegedly] chose homemade bombs. An attentive pupil might learn from this that “lax gun laws” aren’t the boon to terrorists hoping to wreak maximum mayhem that we are asked to believe them to be.

Yet another lesson is the ineffectual nature of “gun control” laws. The accused bombers had their “arsenal” in direct defiance of some of the most draconian state gun laws in the nation. Our astute pupil thus learns that while the saying, “When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns,” may be cliched, it is no less valuable a lesson.

U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) fervently hopes the next lesson is not widely learned. In fact, she tried to “unteach” the lesson on Fox News Sunday, when Chris Wallace asked her if unarmed Boston-area residents might have been happy to have the means to defend themselves from the terrorists. Here is her response:

Oh, some may have, yes. But if where you’re going is do they need an assault weapon? I don’t think so.

She went on to channel her inner Joe “Double Barrel” Biden, saying that a shotgun would have a “good defensive effect.” What she did not address was the enormous number of law enforcement officers who chose not to rely on the “good defensive effect” of shotguns, and instead chose the AR-15 she wants to ban–that choice very possibly motivated by the fact that, as an experienced cop could tell you, those tend to be among the easiest firearms to shoot both accurately and quickly, which tends to be handy in a fight. The lesson, then, is that so-called “assault weapons” are quite comforting to have when terrorists are running rampant, and the police are running in circles.

The last lesson is on a theme that National Gun Rights Examiner David Codrea recently observed on the opposite coast. Mr. Codrea noted that former Los Angeles cop Christopher Dorner–one man–came close to shutting down the second largest city in the nation, and had his former brethren so rattled that they shot up a truck and the two women in it, simply because they thought it looked like Dorner’s. Similarly, the two [alleged] Boston bombers largely succeeded in freezing the Boston metropolitan area, despite a massive police presence and a huge contingent of federal law enforcement muscle (not to mention the National guard of not only Massachusetts, but several other states, as well–oh and did I mention a systematic, and apparently uncontested,campaign of illegal searches?).

What’s the relevance? If one or two men can so thoroughly shake the security apparatus of the United States, the idea that the Second Amendment‘s protection against tyranny is outdated, because the U.S. is now a modern superpower, and therefore “resistance is futile,” is simply not going to hold up. Imagine, after all, what even a small militia group of perhaps a dozen members could do, if the battle were not between terrorists and a country whose people can still convince themselves that they’re relatively free; but between a determined and angry citizenry who will no longer submit to enduring a long train of abuses and usurpations, and the government perpetrating those abuses. Now imagine a couple dozen of those militia groups. Now imagine hundreds of them. As Mr. Codrea states:

The deterrent effect of an armed citizenry as a last resort appeal against tyranny is often derided by those who don’t have a clue about what such individuals could accomplish in defense of their liberties. It’s derided even more strongly, and tellingly, more desperately, by those who do, and who see and are shaken to their cores by the vulnerabilities just one armed former police officer/citizen disarmament zealot has exposed.

And with that final, most important lesson, class is dismissed. Once the people know that they have the power–and the responsibility–to defend their freedom, it’s time to move out of the classroom, and to the gun range and training grounds.


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