Quotes of the day
posted at 8:01 pm on May 26, 2014 by Allahpundit
The man suspected of killing six people in a drive-by shooting in California had three legally-owned handguns with him, authorities say.
In addition to the guns, Santa Barbara Sheriff Bill Brown confirmed that Rodger had a total of 41 10-round magazines with him.
Elliot Rodger’s shooting spree had Sen. Dianne Feinstein lamenting the “stranglehold” the NRA has over gun laws…
Feinstein questioned why Elliot Rodger was able to legally obtain and keep his guns.
“We must ask ourselves if an individual whose family called police with concerns about mental health, who is receiving therapy and who has had several run-ins with police should be allowed to own multiple firearms and hundreds of rounds of ammunition. When anyone, no matter their mental health or history, can so easily obtain any gun they want and as many as they want—we must recognize there is a problem.
“Unfortunately the NRA continues to have a stranglehold on Congress, preventing even commonsense measures like universal background checks that have overwhelming support. Americans need to rise up and say enough is enough. Until that happens, we will continue to see these devastating attacks. Shame on us for allowing this to continue.”
Rep. Peter T. King (R-N.Y.) said Sunday that Friday’s deadly rampage near the University of California at Santa Barbara underscores why expanded background checks for firearm sales are needed and said he hopes to pursue legislation to enhance mental health screening.
“This tragedy demonstrates once again the need to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill,” King said in an interview with The Washington Post.
King, who represents a suburban Long Island district and is one of the GOP’s most prominent gun-control advocates, also pushed Republicans to buck powerful gun rights groups.
“Even though this issue may not be popular in particular congressional districts, if we want to be a national party, we ought to be looking closely at it,” he said.
Even in California, with some of the strictest gun control laws in the country, Elliot O. Rodger was able to amass a stash of weapons and ammunition, despite having struggled with mental health issues for years…
California has some of the nation’s strictest laws limiting the gun rights of people with mental illness, going much further than the federal standard. Still, it was unclear if the police would have even had the authority to search Mr. Rodger’s home for weapons when they went to check on him. California law permits law enforcement to confiscate firearms in such situations only if the person is admitted to a mental health facility on a so-called 5150, or a 72-hour psychiatric hold for evaluation.
California has banned high-capacity magazines, but Mr. Rodger had at least 41 low-capacity magazines, with more than enough ammunition to unleash a deadly attack, said Adam Winkler, a law professor at University of California, Los Angeles, who is an expert in gun laws.
“The lesson here is that there is not necessarily some magic bullet that is going to stop these mass shootings, though I wish there were,” Mr. Winkler said.
Buried in the Second Amendment is the right to self-defense, the very mechanism that allowed our Founding Fathers to win freedom from tyranny. Some argue it is the right that guarantees all other rights. Our forefathers wanted us to be able to protect ourselves against outside threats, and even from internal tyranny. They may have even intended us to be able to protect ourselves from each other.
It is a stretch to argue they intended guns to be so available, in such strength, that children, high-school populations and co-workers and law enforcement could be so easily slaughtered…
Gun rights advocates often see a comment like that as an argument for further restriction on their use of weapons, but that’s not the way I intend it. I myself am a responsible gun owner. I believe in the right to justified self-defense. I also believe that reasonable restrictions to assure that only law-abiding citizens can purchase firearms better prevents over-restriction of our Second Amendment.
Our Constitution is a resilient force, and our Bill of Rights has survived countless modifications and restrictions without the erosion of fundamental freedoms. Our Second Amendment right is no different: It can survive modification and restriction without the fear that it will vanish altogether.
Christopher died because of craven, irresponsible politicians and the N.R.A. That’s true. That the killer in question was in the grip of a mad, woman-hating ideology, or that he was also capable of stabbing someone to death with a knife, are peripheral issues to the central one of a gun culture that has struck the Martinez family and ruined their lives. (The shooter, Elliot Rodger, had three semi-automatic handguns that, according to the Los Angeles Times, he’d purchased legally.) Why did Christopher Michael-Martinez die? Because the N.R.A. and the politicians they intimidate enable people to get their hands on weapons and ammunition whose only purpose is to kill other people as quickly and as lethally as possible. How do we know that they are the ‘because’ in this? Because every other modern country has suffered from the same kinds of killings, from the same kinds of sick kids, and every other country has changed its laws to stop them from happening again, and in every other country it hasn’t happened again. (Australia is the clearest case—a horrific gun massacre, new laws, no more gun massacres—but the same is true of Canada, Great Britain, you name it.)…
Speaking clearly also lets us examine the elements of a proposition plainly. We know that slogans masquerading as plain speech are mere rhetoric because, on a moment’s inspection, they reveal themselves to be absurd. “The best answer to a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun” reveals itself to be a lie on a single inspection: the best answer is to not let the bad guy have a gun. “Guns don’t kill people, people do.” No: obviously, people with guns kill more people than people without them. Why not ban knives or cars, which can be instruments of death, too? Because these things were designed to help people do things other than kill people. “Gun control” means controlling those things whose first purpose is to help people kill other people. (I’ve written at length about farmers and hunting rifles, and of how they’re properly controlled in Canada. In any case, if guns were controlled merely as well as cars and alcohol, we’d be a long way along.) And the idea that you can be pro-life and still be pro-gun: if your primary concern is actually with the sacredness of life, then you have to stand with Richard Martinez, in memory of his son.
The numbers say that so many of these guns used on innocent people, dead because they went to work or went to school, were purchased legally. It means that the real insanity in the greatest country in the world, the one for which my father and all those like him fought, is this:
That we are somehow sane on the subject of guns.
We think we can police the rest of the world while the rest of the world looks at us like the Wild West; while those here who say this is all a way of protecting the Second Amendment are the ones making a mockery of its original intent, and ideals.
This is Memorial Day 2014 then. We mourn more dead college kids along with those who laid down their lives for our freedoms, mourn more innocents gunned down on the real modern battlefield:
The streets of the United States of America.
With due respect to those who are asking me to comment on last night’s tragic mass shooting at UCSB in Isla Vista, CA — I no longer have anything to say about what is now part of normal American life. Everything I have to say about this, I said it 12 years ago: We are a people easily manipulated by fear which causes us to arm ourselves with a quarter BILLION guns in our homes that are often easily accessible to young people, burglars, the mentally ill and anyone who momentarily snaps. We are a nation founded in violence, grew our borders through violence, and allow men in power to use violence around the world to further our so-called American (corporate) “interests.” The gun, not the eagle, is our true national symbol. While other countries have more violent pasts (Germany, Japan), more guns per capita in their homes (Canada [mostly hunting guns]), and the kids in most other countries watch the same violent movies and play the same violent video games that our kids play, no one even comes close to killing as many of its own citizens on a daily basis as we do — and yet we don’t seem to want to ask ourselves this simple question: “Why us? What is it about US?” Nearly all of our mass shootings are by angry or disturbed white males. None of them are committed by the majority gender, women. Hmmm, why is that? Even when 90% of the American public calls for stronger gun laws, Congress refuses — and then we the people refuse to remove them from office. So the onus is on us, all of us. We won’t pass the necessary laws, but more importantly we won’t consider why this happens here all the time. When the NRA says, “Guns don’t kill people — people kill people,” they’ve got it half-right. Except I would amend it to this: “Guns don’t kill people — Americans kill people.” Enjoy the rest of your day, and rest assured this will all happen again very soon.
You have to hand it to the liberals: they never miss an opportunity to convert tragedy into political gain. In the wake of Elliot Rodger’s six murders–three with a knife and three with a gun, plus injuries inflicted with an automobile–they are calling, once again, for gun confiscation. I guess they are, anyway. As usual, they denounce conservatives and say things like “end the madness,” but confiscation seems to be the point of it all.
Once again, though, liberals are denied the holy grail of mass murderers–a conservative perpetrator, preferably a follower of the Tea Party. Rodger, like most of the others, was a devoted liberal. He followed the Young Turks on YouTube, a far-left group led by a goof named Cenk Uygur who once was an MSNBC host. So, foiled once again, liberals can make only their broader propaganda points…
Beyond that, some might argue that Rodger was a prototypical liberal male, only carried to a pathological extreme. Consider the profile: socially awkward, convinced of his own brilliance but not notably successful in life, hungry for revenge against those who have done better despite their obvious inferiority, eager to gain power over others, but through political influence rather than firearms–is this not a typical liberal on Twitter, or elsewhere on the internet? Or, for that matter, in the Obama administration? Isn’t state power the legal path to the long-awaited revenge of the liberal nerds? This strikes me as a plausible suggestion.