Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Carter Joins the Call for a New AWB

The droning from the leftist disarmament camp seems to be continuing at a dizzying pace, as does the continuing misinformation campaign. Now former president Jimmy Carter is getting in on the act with an editorial piece from the New York Times, a rag that is already hostile to the Second Amendment itself. As someone who believes in personal liberty, I honestly think this editorial should come with a warning label as I know my blood pressure shot through the roof at the outright lies and distortions contained in this piece. Fortunately there’s nothing new here as it is essentially a compiled re-hash of every lie and distortion that’s been used before, thus far without success this time around.

The editorial hardly gets going before the distortions and lies start:

“The evolution in public policy concerning the manufacture, sale and possession of semiautomatic assault weapons like AK-47s, AR-15s and Uzis has been very disturbing. Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and I all supported a ban on these formidable firearms, and one was finally passed in 1994.”

Of course, we know that isn’t true. The 1994 ban only indicated which features could, and could not, be combined on semi-automatic rifles after the law was passed. You could still get AK-47 clones, AR-15’s, and Uzis (with extended barrels or in pistol form) all day long – and do so legally. You could also get magazines all day long as existing stocks had been grandfathered in. Prices increased, but the “manufacture, sale, and possession” was not “banned.” That’s an outright lie, and Carter knows it! In addition you see Carter building the foundation for the “high-powered” argument with use of the phrase “formidable firearms.”

“When the 10-year ban was set to expire, many police organizations — including 1,100 police chiefs and sheriffs from around the nation — called on Congress and President George W. Bush to renew and strengthen it. But with a wink from the White House, the gun lobby prevailed and the ban expired.”

I guess Carter believes that history is written by the winners, and since the Democrats won the 2008 elections, they can re-write history. Bush actually said he’d sign a new assault weapon ban (something I held against him!), but Congress didn’t pass one. Another paragraph, another blatant fabrication.

“I have used weapons since I was big enough to carry one, and now own two handguns, four shotguns and three rifles, two with scopes. I use them carefully, for hunting game from our family woods and fields, and occasionally for hunting with my family and friends in other places. We cherish the right to own a gun and some of my hunting companions like to collect rare weapons. One of them is a superb craftsman who makes muzzle-loading rifles, one of which I displayed for four years in my private White House office.

“But none of us wants to own an assault weapon, because we have no desire to kill policemen or go to a school or workplace to see how many victims we can accumulate before we are finally shot or take our own lives. That’s why the White House and Congress must not give up on trying to reinstate a ban on assault weapons, even if it may be politically difficult.”

Wow – two paragraphs and enough distortions to fill a novel. First Carter tries to demonstrate knowledge and credibility on the subject by relating his own experiences with firearms. He fails miserably on multiple counts. The issue here isn’t hunting; the issue is the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment affirms the right to keep and bear arms for many reasons – hunting being only a peripheral one. The primary goal of the Second Amendment is to protect the nation and people from tyranny, be it foreign or domestic. Even if you look only at the hunting issue, the AR-15 is one of the most popular platforms for hunting rifles out there today. Its modularity makes it ideally suited to hunting everything from squirrel to big game.

However, the second paragraph quite frankly goes beyond the pale. He basically states that any individual who owns a so-called “assault weapon” wants to commit mass murder and kill police officers. This is a blatant insult to many law-abiding American citizens bordering on slander. At the very least Carter owes millions of American citizens an apology. Frankly I’d like to see him slapped with a defamation suit.

“An overwhelming majority of Americans, including me and my hunting companions, believe in the right to own weapons, but surveys show that they also support modest restraints like background checks, mandatory registration and brief waiting periods before purchase.”

I’d like to see the polls he allegedly cites here. His first statement, regarding recognizing the Second Amendment affirms an individual right, tallies with the polls I’ve seen. I’d also tend to agree that the polls I’ve read support the assertion that most Americans support background checks. I question whether or not the majority, much less the “overwhelming majority” of Americans support universal registration and waiting periods. Clever how he groups those all together without citing sources.

“A majority of Americans also support banning assault weapons. Many of us who hunt are dismayed by some of the more extreme policies of the National Rifle Association, the most prominent voice in opposition to a ban, and by the timidity of public officials who yield to the group’s unreasonable demands.”

Here’s a poll I’ve never seen. I again seriously doubt whether a majority of Americans “support banning assault weapons.” Of those that do, I believe many of them think an “assault weapon ban” refers to fully-automatic, not semi-automatic firearms. However the disarmament camp isn’t interested in educating the public as to what their proposed legislation actually covers. In fact, they seem to be counting on that level of public ignorance. Also included here is the typical demonization of the NRA. I wonder if Carter remembers that JFK was an NRA member?

“Heavily influenced and supported by the firearms industry, N.R.A. leaders have misled many gullible people into believing that our weapons are going to be taken away from us, and that homeowners will be deprived of the right to protect ourselves and our families. The N.R.A. would be justified in its efforts if there was a real threat to our constitutional right to bear arms. But that is not the case.”

This is an interesting paragraph. Simple statement, no support, no reasoning, just “trust me!” I’m sorry Dr. Carter, I don’t trust you on this one. The Heller ruling indicates that the Second Amendment covers firearms used commonly by the populace. These so-called “assault weapons” are commonly used by Americans for self-defense, hunting, and many other sporting uses. Therefore an “assault weapon ban” is a threat to our constitutional right to keep and bear arms. Rather than admitting this, Carter points to the shadowy NRA and “firearms industry” as the bad guys. I’m surprised he didn’t use the phrase “merchants of death” as the rest of the propaganda he’s spewing lends itself to that sort of hyperbole.

“Instead, the N.R.A. is defending criminals’ access to assault weapons and use of ammunition that can penetrate protective clothing worn by police officers on duty. In addition, while the N.R.A. seems to have reluctantly accepted current law restricting sales by licensed gun dealers to convicted felons, it claims that only “law-abiding people” obey such restrictions — and it opposes applying them to private gun dealers or those who sell all kinds of weapons from the back of a van or pickup truck at gun shows.”

Here Carter is using the “fling enough mud and something will stick” approach. Anyone who uses tactical rifles or so called “assault weapons” will immediately pick up on the “high powered firearm” argument being used here. What Carter isn’t telling you is that his “hunting rifles” fire a much MORE powerful cartridge than just about any so-called “assault weapon”. AK-47 clones fire the mid-powered 7.62x39 cartridge (or the less powerful 5.45x39 cartridge). AR-15’s can fire a variety of cartridges, but the most common is the .223 Remington which has very low stopping power. Hunting variants of the AR-15 fire more powerful rounds, but these are uncommon and expensive. The most powerful round commonly fired out of a so-called “assault weapon” would be the .308 NATO round – which also happens to be a very common big game round. However, even the .308 is far less powerful than many other common hunting rounds.

“What are the results of this profligate ownership and use of guns designed to kill people? In 2006, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported more than 30,000 people died from firearms, accounting for nearly 20 percent of all injury deaths. In 2005, every nine hours a child or teenager in the United States was killed in a firearm-related accident or suicide.”

Now Carter tries to play the emotional statistics card. However, if you look at the numbers before and after the ban expired, they have remained essentially flat. Why? Even the Justice Department concluded that the 1994 ban was ineffective because it didn’t actually ban any firearms and because so-called “assault weapons” were (and are) only used in a very small fraction of crimes. Furthermore, the 30,000 number includes suicides (which take out roughly half of that number). Suicides aren't generally performed with rifles, and America's suicide rate is lower than Japan (where firearms are effectively absent from the hands of average citizens). Also, he fails to mention that the deaths of teenagers are generally gang related – which tells me the problem is the gangs, not the firearms. There are lies, damn lies, and statistics, and Carter seems to be a master of “statistics” in this particular example.

“Across our border, Mexican drug cartels are being armed with advanced weaponry imported from the United States — a reality only the N.R.A. seems to dispute.”

Carter also can’t seem to resist pushing the “big lie” as well, never mind that the actual BATFE report disputes the “advanced weaponry” claim as do several news reports that have come out in recent weeks. However, he may be right in a sense – some of the advanced weaponry in the hands of the cartels could have originated in the United States. Thousands of Mexican army soldiers have deserted over the years, perhaps as many as 100,000. Most of them take their fully automatic M16 rifles provided to Mexico by the U.S. government with them. Rather than legislating away our Second Amendment rights, perhaps our government should no longer supply Mexico with military hardware?

“The gun lobby and the firearms industry should reassess their policies concerning safety and accountability — at least on assault weapons — and ease their pressure on acquiescent politicians who fear N.R.A. disapproval at election time. We can’t let the N.R.A.’s political blackmail prevent the banning of assault weapons — designed only to kill police officers and the people they defend.”

Carter concludes his diatribe by repeating his slander of law-abiding supporters of the Second Amendment. This is perhaps the most insulting “editorial” I have ever read. It consists entirely of lies, distortions, misused statistics, and ad homiem attacks against American citizens that cherish their Second Amendment rights. The fact that Carter would write this and the New York Times would print it shows you the lengths that those who seek to abolish our right to keep and bear arms will go to in order to realize their goals. I urge everyone to write the Times and let them know that these sorts of attacks will not be tolerated. They are baseless and they are slanderous.

Until next time!!!


Troy said...

I'm just speechless... Such slanderous, vitriolic lies coming from someone once elected to the highest office in the land? I... I don't even know what to say.

Fingolfen said...

I was absolutely disgusted... it just shows the links the "disarmists" are willing to go to at this point. The truth is meaningless at this point... It's a sad day indeed...