You Can’t Talk To Stupid About Guns

By Don Feder

( A friend’s father says: “You can’t talk to stupid.” When it comes to guns, there’s nothing stupider than a liberal. 

It’s impossible to have a rational conversation with the studiously illogical, the willfully ignorant and those who believe in a kind of sympathetic magic. It’s like trying to explain to Cargo-cultists in remote parts of New Guinea that building crude imitations of aircraft won’t result in supplies falling from the skies. 

James Holmes sits in a cell in the Arapahoe County House of Detention, with hair to match his jump-suit. On Monday, Holmes was charged with 24 counts of first-degree murder (two for each of his victims) and 116 counts of attempted murder for those he wounded or tried to kill. 

The Aurora, Colorado tragedy has become the latest excuse for the left to bleat for more restrictions on gun owners – a ban on so-called assault weapons (liberals are great at devising scary names that have nothing to do with a weapon’s function) or a limitation on magazine size. 

Did we need to be told that Holmes was seeing a psychiatrist at the University of Colorado (before he dropped out of the neuroscience doctoral program) to know that he’s just plain nuts – a citizen of Neptune, like Jared Lee Loughner, who killed 6 in Tucson and wounded Rep. Gabby Giffords in 2011? A judge found Loughner incompetent to stand trial based on medical evaluations – and the fact that his Napoleon hat kept slipping over his eyes, obscuring his vision. 

Liberals themselves suffer from a curious obsession when it comes to guns. After the Aurora’ shootings, Barack Obama told the National Urban League, “I, like most Americans, believe that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to keep and bear arms.” 

Of course, the president believes no such thing. As a candidate for the Illinois state senate in 1996, Obama said he favored a ban on the “manufacture, sale and possession of handguns.” 

John Lott, author of “More Guns, Less Crime,” who taught at the University of Chicago at the same time as Obama, says that when they met, the future president told him, “I don’t believe people should be able to own guns.” He also doesn’t believe people should be able to own property or have their own medical insurance. 

In an unguarded moment during the 2008 campaign, Obama told us what he thought of those who “cling to guns” – that they’re religious fanatics, bigots and xenophobes. His wife informed us that America is such a dangerous place (due to gun-toting racists) that Barack could be shot stopping for gas. His attorney general believes “we have no right to possess guns” – unless we’re running them to Mexican drug lords.

After dissembling on the Second Amendment, Obama continued: “But I also believe that a lot of gun owners would agree that AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers, not in the hands of criminals. That they belong on the battlefield of war, not on the streets of our cities.” 

Obama has a habit of trying to justify his assaults on freedom by making it seem that he has the consent of his victims. When he gave his surreal you-didn’t-build-it-speech, the president confidentially disclosed that a lot of businessmen agreed that they had nothing to do with their success and were actually embarrassed not to be paying more in taxes. 

Of course, most gun owners agree that criminals shouldn’t have AK-47s — also that terrorists shouldn’t have tactical nuclear weapons and interns don’t belong in the hands of Bill Clinton. 

Obama is either being disingenuous or knows as much about firearms as he does about fiscal policy. 

The Soviet AK-47 (a fully automatic weapon) is illegal in this country, with a few exceptions. One of the guns that was used in the Aurora movie massacre was an M&P 15, which bears a cosmetic resemblance to the military-issue M-16 but is a semiautomatic and no deadlier than many hunting rifles. 

Yes, we all agree that criminals shouldn’t have fully automatic weapons, semiautomatics or flintlocks. Just as – and I know many Democrats agree with me – Barack Obama shouldn’t have a credit card issued by the Treasury. 

But if there’s ever been a theory massively disproved in the course of human history, it’s that gun control laws will keep us safe from criminals and whack-jobs. 

If gun control worked, New York City, Detroit, Chicago and Washington D.C. would be as peaceful as Coral Gables, Florida on a Sunday morning. Between them, these municipal free-fire zones have 6% of the nation’s population and 20% of its homicides annually. Their gun laws border on a ban. In fact, two had a ban, until the Supreme Court acknowledged that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right. 

In the Windy City (Obama’s kinda town), as of mid-June, there were 228 murders this year, almost double the number of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan in the same period. 

If gun control worked, Anders Breivik wouldn’t have killed 77 Norwegians in 2011, most with a firearm. Norway’s gun laws are among the most stringent in the Western world. 

If there was a direct relationship between gun ownership and crime rates, America would be floating on a sea of blood. There are an estimated 80 to 90 million gun owners in the land of the free. Over the past 40 years, the number of guns in circulation has steadily grown. According to the FBI, in 2009, firearms sales at large retail outlets increased 40%. 

But nationally, from 1991 to 2010, the murder rate declined by 51% to a 47-year low; the total violent crime rate declined by 47%. 

Keep guns out of the hands of criminals? How? The way we keep drugs out of their hands? The way we keep cars out of the hands of drunk drivers? The way we keep matches out of the hands of pyromaniacs? The way we keep cameras out of the hands of morbidly-obese Marxist producers (“Bowling for Cholesterol”)? 

Let the mentally ill have guns? That’s crazy! But how to stop them? 

It’s estimated that 26.2% of Americans have some diagnosable mental disorder in a given year (coincidentally, the same percentage of Americans call themselves liberals). For ages 18 and older, that’s almost 60 million. What about those suffering from a serious mental illness, about 6% of the population, still 12 million to 15 million? Most have never been diagnosed. Will those who have be deterred by gun laws? 

A man who’s planning to go to a movie house and randomly kill complete strangers, discovers that, because of a past diagnosis of schizophrenia, he can’t buy a piece at a local gun shop. 

What does he do? Take a course in anger management? Try to connect with his inner-child? Take up knitting or backgammon? These are rhetorical questions. 

Liberals’ blind faith in gun control is based on their belief in determinism and rejection of personal responsibility. 

Their views on crime control, gun control and control of the economy proceed from the same premise. 

The left is overwhelmingly opposed to capital punishment, three-strikes-and-you’re-out laws, stand-your-ground laws, and minimum sentencing. They’re responsible for the deinstitutionalization of mental patients in the ‘70s and the coddling of predators with Miranda and other get-out-of-jail-free cards in the ‘60s. 

The Hollywood left is responsible for the orgy of cinematic violence. Director Peter Bogdanovich says “Violence on the screen has increased tenfold. It’s almost pornographic. … I can see where it would drive somebody crazy.” 

I can’t. But guns don’t put ideas in people heads – especially the empty heads of juveniles. Movies and television do. 

Liberals believe criminals aren’t responsible for their actions. They came from deprived backgrounds. They’re the product of bad schools. They were abused children. They have low IQs. They’re addicts or alcoholics. Besides, the economy is in the dumps. 

“Dear kindly Sergeant Krupke

You gotta understand,
It’s just our bringin’ up-ke
That gets us out of hand.
Our mothers all are junkies.
Our fathers all are drunks.
Golly Moses, natcherly we’re punks!”

If the criminal isn’t responsible for crime, what is? Simple – easy access to guns. Applied consistently, the same reasoning would hold that the Holocaust was due to easy access to gas chambers. The Rwandan genocide (500,000 to 1 million dead) may be attributed to easy access to machetes. The Fort Hood slaughter (when a Muslim officer shot and killed 13 of his fellow soldiers, while shouting, “Allahu Akabar”), easy access to Korans? Well, come to think of it.

Liberals have transferred responsibility from humans to inanimate objects. The trigger pulls the finger. I once actually heard a babbling head say that a murder victim was killed “by a gun” – not “with” but “by a gun.” If we could only do an early intervention with guns before they go bad (while they’re still low-caliber) how many tragedies could be avoided? 

On July 20, Dylan Matthews, who writes for The Washington Post “Wonkblog” produced a little gem titled “The Philosophy of ‘You didn’t build that’” – a defense of Obama’s it’s-the-public-works-stupid comments. 

Let’s say you did build the road that carries commerce, Matthews (a Harvard grad, like the president) mused, so what? Were you able to build it because your parents could afford to pay for an education that gave you the right cognitive skills, because your DNA gave you the ability to grasp engineering concepts, because an aunt gave you a book on civil engineering that first got you interested in the subject? And so, Matthews asks, “Do you deserve that money” that you would have earned from road-building? 

Matthews explains: “Political philosophers are sharply divided on these questions. Many do not like the idea that people ‘deserve’ things at all. For one thing, most people think that to deserve something, a person must havedone something to deserve it. That implies that there are actions for which certain people are responsible.” What a weird and fantastical notion. 

Once you reject personal responsibility – and the corresponding concept that certain people deserve certain things based on hard work, application, creativity and the like, or deserve other things, like life in prison, based on the evil they do – you end up with demands that the rich pay more in taxes, turning corporations over to unions, the abolition of capital punishment, the insanity defense and gun control. In short, you end up with Barack Hussein Obama – with whom a dialogue is futile.

Don Feder is a former Boston Herald writer who is now a political/communications consultant. He also maintains his own website,