A leftover from yesterday via BuzzFeed that shouldn’t pass unnoticed, if only for the sheer density of stupidity Jeanne Shaheen managed to pack into a few sentences. Count the mistakes as you read the excerpt below. Mateen didn’t use an AR-15; automatics, not semiautomatics like the AR-15, are most commonly thought of as weapons of war; many people who own the AR-15 do in fact use it for hunting; the automatic version of the AK-47, which is probably what Shaheen had in mind here, has been illegal in the United States for years; and, um, not all of the five million people who own an AR-15 — more than one percent of the U.S. population — are looking to commit murder with it.
Believe it or not, virtually none of them are. Crazy fact.
“The fact is, the AR-15, the gun that (Omar) Mateen used, that’s a weapon of war; it’s advertised as being able do technologically advances in killing people that previous weapons have been unable to do and somebody who is buying that kind of a weapon isn’t buying it for target shooting,” she said. “They’re not buying it to go out and hunt deer. You don’t need an AK-47 or an AR-15 to hunt deer. They’re buying it to do bad things and we need to recognize that and address it.”
You’ve never seen me write these words before and probably never will again: Your must-read of the day comes from Vox, where AR-15 owner Jon Stokes patiently explains to the site’s liberal readership that it’s possible to own the gun without being a homicidal maniac. It did begin as a weapon of war, notes Stokes, but then many rifles began that way. It is in fact useful in animal control. It’s accurate, reliable, and most importantly highly customizable, the real reason many gun owners prize the weapon, not because they have secret fantasies about playing The Most Dangerous Game. Contra Shaheen, notes Stokes, you might want to buy an AR-15 because you’re interested in hunting. In the past, you’d need different guns for large and small game. With this weapon, you can swap in different parts to make it suitable for both. Imagine how widely understood that fact is among the population — again, five million AR-15 owners coast to coast — and then marvel at how deeply misunderstood it is not only among millions of liberals generally but among the liberal brain trust in Congress, which sets policy. Shaheen can’t even plead that she’s from a highly urbanized state with little institutional knowledge of rifles. She’s from New Hampshire. How the hell does she not know that the AR-15 does have virtuous uses?
But maybe she does know. Maybe David Harsanyi’s right that the left’s demagoguery on guns has reached the point where they’re willing to play as dumb as they need to in order to get their base excited. He’s writing here about Elizabeth Warren echoing Chris Murphy that the GOP is, ahem, selling guns to ISIS:
You will remember the media distress when Trump insinuated (and later denied) that Barack Obama was sympathetic to terrorists. You also might remember last week, when John McCain blamed the president for the rise of ISIS, and we discussed how terrible this was for an entire news cycle.
Surely indicting a major political party — in Congress, this party represents the majority of the American people — of aiding Islamists should be an equally big deal? Surely someone will ask Clinton to denounce this incendiary rhetoric. Surely some melodramatic New York Times op-ed columnist will call out Warren for tossing “the truth around with the callous disdain of a spoiled child.” I can’t wait for the house editorials condemning attacks on decorum and cable news network break-out sessions lamenting the putrid state of civility in Washington.
Can anyone remember a Republican, even in the height of the Patriot Act debate, questioning a Democrats’ loyalty in this explicit a manner? In contrast, Ari Fleischer’s “watch what you say” comment is a mild rebuke. These days, Republicans who disagree with the president can be accused of “betting against America,” “making common cause” with hardliners who chant “Death to America,” and being guilty of conventional treason.
The capper was Democrats voting en masse yesterday against John Cornyn’s bill that would have allowed the DOJ to block gun sales to someone on a terror watch list temporarily, with the feds able to make the ban permanent by going to court and proving that that person’s a threat. That was a compromise by the GOP; for all of the left’s rhetoric about Republican obstruction on guns, conservatives conceded that watch-listers should have their rights infringed despite not having been convicted of a crime. All they asked from Democrats was some due process. Democrats voted against the bill en masse. And Gabe Malor knows why: They’d rather have watch-listers, whom they claim are dire threats, continue to buy guns unimpeded than agree to a compromise that would take this issue off the table for them before November. Gun-control shrieking is too important to them in motivating their base, so unless Republicans capitulate entirely to Democratic demands, there’ll be no legislation. That’s how concerned liberals really are with potential terrorists shooting up crowds.