Unreasonably warm temperatures (55° on 13, December) spawn tourist outbreaks along woodland trails. How does one differentiate tourists from regular hikers and mountain bikers? Voices as loud as their clothing, hands crammed with devices and radios, unleashed trail-poopers (dogs), and packs of even louder chubby fast-food wrapper spewing hotdog fingered kids for whom being chained to a hamster wheel for six months…without food, would be beneficial. People attend movies to laugh, cry, and escape reality if but for a short time. Conversations, seat-kickers, and cell phone glow can spoil the experience. In like fashion, nature is spoiled when rude civilization intrudes. Didn’t the Bush Administration argue the fight against Tourists was international? Didn’t they coin the term “GWOT” for “Global War On Tourism?” Recently I considered reporting a herd of Tourists to Homeland Security. None appeared menacing, not even their dogs, and some seemed friendly enough. But isn’t that what people say when told their neighbor ran over pedestrians with a truck or blew themselves up at the train station killing many people? I’m keeping an eye on them.
In Part I, I began exposing Michael Savage’s campaign to ban private ownership of certain firearms and magazines, in which he employed arguments perfectly useful…to Confiscationists. If I don’t like Savage, why listen to him? I don’t. I used to enjoy his wit and irreverent humor but his undisguised jealousy of conservative radio-talk show hosts and promotion of a Buddha-ized version of Judaism wore thin. His claim to be the only true radio conservative on the one hand, and assertion FDR’s socialist New Deal solved the Great Depression on the other, was the final straw. Anyone with a modicum of understanding with respect to economics, history, and the Constitution knows this is false. I listen when necessary because 2nd Amendment supporters must be prepared to answer its enemies. Las Vegas was the impetus for Savage’s first salvo against the right to keep and bear arms as the second was the Sutherland, Texas church shooting.
On 6 November, 2017 Savage resurrected with a vengeance his anti-2nd Amendment rant from the previous month yelling into the microphone; “Don’t tell me if everyone had a gun in that church they could have stopped the killer! You John Wayne types.” With a sneer he added, “And please don’t play John Wayne with me on this show. I’m going to hang up on you if you call and say if all those church-goers had had a gun, this wouldn’t have happened. Yeah, you John Wayne types. You’d freeze up, drop the gun, and shoot yourself in the foot if evil came into your church with an ‘assault rifle” (sic). He asked how the “shooter,”1 a nut, got a gun. “Why? Because gun laws are too weak” Savage continued. “Gun shows are wide open ranges and anyone can buy a gun there.” He mocked conservatives arguing more guns are the answer and pastors saying G_d is with us even in the midst of such tragedies. Savage insisted every “nut”2 in the nation can buy an AR15 because of “lax gun laws” and the killer was allowed to buy an “automatic rifle.” Although Savage conceded he was ultimately stopped by a man with a gun, “That was only after he had killed everyone” he said and then trotted out an argument near and dear to the hearts of liberals with respect to the 2nd Amendment; “People have a constitutional right to drive,” Savage argued, which comes with all sorts of regulations, licensing requirements, training, and tests to enjoy this “right” (sic). People have to “demonstrate” knowledge of how to operate the car and that they can drive before getting behind the wheel. Why isn’t this true with guns? Then he shouted; “Why is the right to own firearms one hundred percent free from licensing, but not the right to drive? All you tough guys who want ‘assault weapons’ (sic) say, ‘well that government will come down and get us. Let’s roll armed and go out like the militia.’ Yeah, all the tough guys on conservative radio are going to lead you. Onward Christian soldiers with their ‘assault weapons’ (sic). They’ll run so fast you wouldn’t be able to say Mickey Mouse.” Wow. During this diatribe Savage let out he has a concealed carry permit. How does one obtain a permit in radical Left-wing People’s Republic of Marin County of California’s Bay Area? You can’t unless you’re a rich celebrity or well-connected. But, Savage confessed, he’d be too scared to use his firearm so he has two body-guards. Are they armed? When it comes to self-defense, how long must Americans endure being preached down to by upper-crust gated community, goon-protected self-styled aristocrats? It reminds me of the unquenchable hypocrisy flowing from ultra-rich super-liberal Senator Ed Kennedy raging about the plight of the poor in America. Savage continued railing against conservatives claiming the “knee-jerk” reaction from “right-wingers” is; “You can’t touch guns. But we must touch guns!” He yelled becoming unhinged. “Tell me I’m wrong that every nut-job in the world shouldn’t be able to get ‘assault-weapons’ (sic). You’re wrong! Too many nuts have their hands on too many guns!” He accused conservatives of arguing “nuts” should be allowed to have guns adding that those who claim they “need assault-weapons” (sic) for home defense “would poop in their pants instead. People armed is not the answer!” He shouted.3
On the following day, Savage claimed “right-wingers” oppose any and all restrictions on who can have a gun and the number of rounds held by a “clip” adding; “I have no idea why anyone in this country ‘needs’ a thirty-round clip (sic). Who really needs an assault-rifle? What, to hunt elephants? Don’t they use single-shot rifles, in .30-06 to hunt elephants? A single round from that caliber would drop an elephant. So what in the hell do we need a thirty-round ‘clip’ (sic) for? I know, you’re going to stand up like Paul Revere and you’re going to say Charge! You won’t say charge. You’ll drop your gun, you’ll drop your shorts, and you’ll run like everyone else. Stop pretending that you’re a big hero!” He then called for banning “assault weapons” (Meaning ARs, AKs, and similar function rifles) and “multiple round ‘clips” claiming this would limit the number of guns in circulation hence limiting criminal access. The Texas killer was able to kill so many people because “He had a machine gun in his hands!” Savage shouted. But, with an “assault-weapons” (sic) ban, he continued, the killer would have been forced to use a single-shot rifle which would have allowed the men in the church to have subdued him by beating him over the head with a chair. To this insanity Savage added; “One in five police officers is killed by an assault-rifle” and then he screamed; “I no longer believe Americans need to run around with thirty-round ‘clips’ (sic) and assault rifles! When the hell did the 2nd Amendment ever say you had the right to own an ‘assault-weapon?’ (sic) What am I going to do with one, wait for the day the government comes to get me? I’m going to hold off a platoon of government agents? You people are living in a dream world!” He then asserted, as before, AR15s were useless for home defense. The best weapon, he said, is a shotgun but they “are complicated to use” and “their mechanisms are complex, not for amateurs.” Savage again claimed an AR15 round will go through house walls but shotgun pellets would not. A pistol round might go through a wall but this was unlikely, he claimed, because they had 15 to 20 round “clips” (sic) as opposed to the thirty-round capacity of “assault-weapons” (sic). Finally Savage claimed because there are restrictions on the 1st Amendment, you can’t yell “fire” in a crowded movie theater or threaten the president, banning “assault-weapons” and thirty-round “clips” didn’t violate the 2nd Amendment. “There’s a difference between the right to bear arms and the right to bear machine-guns” he said.4
It would be beyond charitable to describe what Savage said as either abysmally ignorant or intentionally deceptive. His persistence in calling magazines “clips” and conflation of the terms “assault-weapon” (no such animal), assault-rifle, and machine gun with semiautomatic rifles demonstrates his knowledge of firearms is limited, at best, and promotion of an agenda supersedes honesty.
Conceding the Texas killer was stopped by an armed man but this would have failed inside the church because, Barney Fife-like, fear-stricken and trembling men would have dropped their guns shooting themselves is illogical. It is stupid. It also ignores the many, more than capable, men and women who carry and could have stopped the killer. It makes no sense unless Savage, shamed there are real people with spines out there, beyond the Bay Area, in places like Texas, is projecting his own timorous nature onto others. During any mass shooting event, in the time it takes to call the police, for them to respond, set up a command post, assess the situation, identify the good from the bad guy(s), and formulate a counter-response, the massacre is usually over. Contrary to the lies told by Savage, when a “good-guy” with a gun is on the scene, casualties are “dramatically lower” and is often the deciding factor in limiting the “body count.” In nine mass shootings in which victims had to wait for police arrive, from Luby’s Cafeteria, Killeen, Texas (16 October, 1991) to Pulse Night Club, Orlando, Florida (12 June, 2016) 220 people died. In eight similar shootings in which an armed good-guy was on the scene, from Pearl High School, Pearl, Mississippi (1 October, 1997) to the Curtis Culwell Center, Garland, Texas (3 May 2015), 37 people died.5 Savage’s attack on men and women willing to shoulder the responsibility for the safety of others, putting their own lives on the line, is disgraceful.
Why do liberals seem to go after the rights of law-abiding Americans as opposed to violent criminals (Chicago)? Why do they mock and ridicule notions of personal responsibility with respect to self-defense? Are the spines of liberal men removed in-vitro or do they dissolve naturally as they progress toward puberty? Savage’s allegation; conservatives want every “nut” to have guns, is a malicious lie and ignores the fact that, under “federal” law, they are already prohibited from so doing. Information on anyone institutionalized and or adjudicated “mentally defective” by mental health officials and judges must be forwarded to the FBI where it is entered into their massive data base known as NICS (National Instant Criminal Background System). If anyone so classified attempts to purchase a firearm, once the FFL (Federal Firearm License) holder calls and submits the individual’s name as required by law, they will be rejected. Further, as to Savage’s assertion armed law-abiding citizens are not the “answer,” approximately 2.5 million people per year employ a firearm to prevent violent criminal attack. In 98% of those cases, displaying the firearm is enough to stop the attack.6 Instead of reducing violent crime, Savage’s solution, disarming intended victims, always the first on the scene by virtue of their status as targets of criminals, would lead to even more murders and mass shootings.
Savage’s analogy between the “right” to drive and to keep and bear arms is slick sleight of hand. There is no constitutional right to drive and it is untrue that the manufacture, sale, and possession of firearms is completely unregulated, unrestricted, and unlicensed. All manner of legal restrictions, including age, legal status as a citizen, mental health, criminal record, and so forth apply to obtaining a firearm. Savage ignores the fact that each year more than 37,000 Americans are killed by other drivers in automobile accidents, essentially negligent homicide, with an additional 2.35 million injured, maimed, and crippled. Automobile accidents are the single greatest cause of death in the United States.7 Speaking as a passionate car lover and former police traffic investigator, Americans in general are careless, cavalier in attitude, irresponsible, and exert little effort to perfect driving skills. And yet once started, they and their automobiles pose a grave hazard to everyone in their path. By contrast, more than 124 million Americans own close to 300 million guns but there were only 505 deaths by gun accident in 2013 and of 2,596,993 deaths from all causes the same year, only 1% were firearm related and most were suicides.8 Comparing drivers to people who own guns makes for a very poor argument. One wonders to which constitution he refers.
The right to keep and bear arms is not subject to a utilitarian “needs” test. It’s no one’s business how many neckties, cars, horses, guns, or pairs of shoes anyone owns. People have a G_d-given right to their property and to accumulate however much of it they desire. But, for the non-gun owning public swayed by such arguments, let me ask you this; how many guns, rounds (not bullets) of ammunition, and magazines will you need when the power goes out, it’s not coming back on for a long time, and when called, the cops aren’t coming either. Remember the riots in Los Angeles (1992), Ferguson, Missouri (August 2014), and Baltimore (April 2015) and attendant looting, robbery, destruction of private property, and even assaults including murder? Where were the cops? Where was the National (sic) Guard? Natural disasters like Hurricanes Andrew (August 1992), Katrina (August 2005), and Harvey (sic) (August 2017) all resulted in attempted looting, rape, robbery, and destruction of property. Again, where were the police? In each case it was armed citizens, or lack thereof, who prevented crime or fell to predatory animals called looters.
Savage’s attempt to delegitimize semiautomatic rifles by tying them to elephant hunting is pathetic. No one hunts elephants with so-called “assault rifles,” nor a .30-06 single shot rifle. It is illegal to hunt elephants (as is the case with buffalo, Rhinos, and lions) with a caliber smaller than the .375 H&H. Most professional and experienced hunters use either the .404 Jeffrey, .416 Rigby, .416 Remington, .458 Winchester, or the .470 Nitro Express in bolt action repeating rifles.9 The point is not to argue the efficacy of one caliber compared to another but to demonstrate Savage hasn’t a clue what he’s talking about. These are all strawman arguments. Savage also seems ignorant of the fact that it was the American citizen soldier; the farmer, mechanic, tradesman, shopkeeper, and laborer, trained to arms, who were the backbone of the resistance to Britain’s armies in the War of Independence possessing modern equivalents of the “assault rifles” of their time.
In Federalist Paper #28, Alexander Hamilton declared the people held an “original right of self-defense” to take up arms, resist, and defeat even their own government should it betray and usurp their liberties.10 In Federalist #29, Hamilton added the “best possible security” against a standing army was the whole body of the people, who are armed and “stand ready to defend their own rights.”11 In the Federalist Papers and writings of many other Founding Fathers it becomes clear the main purpose of an armed populace, not a military or National (sic) Guard was to serve as a bulwark against infringement of their liberties by their own government.
Savage’s claim one in five police officers is killed in the line of duty by “assault-rifles” is false. It comes, from Senator Dianne Feinstein (Democrat, California), who appeared on Face the Nation making this claim. She took this “statistic” from the Violence Policy Center, a virulently anti-2nd Amendment Leftist organization. Here’s the trick. California classifies all semiautomatic firearms, including pistols, rifles, and shotguns, as “assault-weapons” (sic) a classification rejected by the FBI. Feinstein and Savage conflate California’s broad and ambiguous “assault-weapons” category with semiautomatic rifles meaning ARs, but this is a lie. Roughly 1% of officers shot and killed in the line of duty are killed by semiautomatic rifles.12 Using lies spun by ultra-liberal Senator Feinstein and an extremist anti-2nd Amendment group? Does Savage attack conservatives so viciously, while claiming to be one himself because, well, he’s not really one after all?
More demonstrations of ignorance can be found in Savage’s claim that shotguns are complicated and complex to use. This is absurd. A shotgun is typically one of the first guns kids learn to shoot because its operation is so simple. His claim AR15 rounds will, but shotgun pellets won’t penetrate sheetrock walls is wrong to the point of being dangerous. They all will. Finally, his use of the hackneyed “you can’t yell fire in a crowded theater” cliché is another liberal shibboleth. Pay attention Michael; the 1st Amendment is a prohibition against government interfering with free political speech. For it to be free, one must rightly possess or control the platform from which one speaks. Yelling “fire” in a crowded theater is not political speech nor does its shouter own the platform from which they yell. At the least, it’s a property rights violation of the theater owner, the sole determiner of what will or will not be said on his platform. The same holds true for threats against the president. These are fallacious if not atrocious analogues.
Savage’s straw man arguments and discreditable analogies demonstrate ignorance of the fact America’s Declaration of Independence proclaimed all rights G_d-given, inalienable, and among them is life. They are off limits to a majority vote of one’s neighbors or act of government. Inherent in the right to life is the right to protect it which also presupposes the means to do so. It is an illegal and unconstitutional act by man or his governments to alter, modify, regulate, infringe upon, or in any way denature a G_d-given right. It is not possible to square calls for “reasonable gun laws,” which by their nature must violate the 2nd Amendment, with equal claims to support the 2nd Amendment.
11 Typically I employ terms like: Killer, murderer, dirt bag, scum bag, and so forth. A shooter is someone engaged in target practice and competition at the range. Never let your foes and the ignorant shape the narrative through misuse, intentional or not, of vocabulary.
22 Unless someone clearly defines what they mean by “nut,” you should not presume you share the same understanding. For example, to me the term applies to an individual clinically diagnosed as schizophrenic. A person suffering an emotional meltdown, depression, or PTSD, for example, is not necessarily insane, often far from it. Savage lumps them, including soldiers returning from war who have difficulty adjusting to civilian life with the same broad brush as the insane. Cops who have seen too great a loss of life, in tragic ways, too many times and are having trouble dealing with it, could, under Savage’s broad brush, be characterized as nuts as well. They are not.
33 Michael Savage, The Savage Nation, broadcast 6 November 2017.
44 Michael Savage, The Savage Nation, broadcast 7 November, 2017.
66 Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz, “Armed Resistance to Crime,” at http://scholarlcommons.law.northwestern.edu/jclc/vol186/iss1/8/1995. See also John R. Lott, Jr., More Gun’s Less Crime (Chicago, Illinois, The University of Chicago Press, 1998)
77 Association For Safe International Travel at http://asirt.org/initiatives/informing-road-users/road-safety-facts/road-crash-statistics.html.
88 Atlanta Center For Disease Control at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/invsr64/nvsr64_02pdf.
99 Cameron Hopkins, “African Big Game Hunting Rifles,” American Hunter (July 9 2010).
1010 Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, James Madison, Clinton Rossiter, Editor, The Federalist Papers (New York, N.Y., A Mentor Book, New American Library, 1961), 178-181.
1111 IBID. 182-187.