He actually said that. The “He” in this case, is a self-proclaimed “Constitutional Warrior” who I stumbled into, or should I say, was stalked by, on Facebook. Stalked is actually far too intense a term, as he is a “friend, of a husband, of a friend” on Facebook, who decided to make it his job to “school me” on Assault Weapons, the 2nd Amendment, and about everything in between, as it pertains to his right to own “any weapon he chooses.”
But in his defense, he is not unique…not by any stretch of the imagination. The kind of silly stuff he believes and spouts, is the same stuff I’ve heard from countless NRA trolls. He is just “another one,” from a long list of rhetoric spewing “gun dudes” who fancy themselves unique, while claiming to be a “protector of American freedom.”
But, first, before we start the real conversation, some subtext.
For decades now, I have watched the gun lobby, and more specifically, the NRA, morph from a group of sport hunters with an agenda, to a Deep State group of lobbyists owned by weapons manufactures, with the tacit goal of controlling Congress, and arming every citizen of the United States.
I use the “Deep State” analogy for the NRA, because like it or not, they are being exposed by their own actions, as purveyors of more manipulated fake news and influence peddling, than the supposed “Deep State” and “Dark Money” activities promoted as fact by idiots like Alex Jones. It was guys like Alex, and the propaganda factory of the NRA, that actually created a real-life “Pizza Gate” situation with another perplexed “motivated patriot” who discharged an AR-15 type weapon in a pizza parlor, certain that it was harboring child-sex-slaves that served the Democratic party elite.
I know. Old news. Right?
Except when you read the kinds of things that the “average” Gun Rights Supporter spouts during a social media “conversation,” (confrontation would be a better term), you will start to see the kinds of insanely narrow and rigid views that anyone seeking common sense and compromise is going to encounter.
However, to frame the conversation and my views completely, you need to know my position, and why I am now so ardently in favor of the ban of “Assault Weapon” and semi-automatic weapons to the general public. And no, they are not one in the same.
I am not against hunting rifles. Real, legitimate, hunting rifles do not allow for rapid discharge, cannot be fired semi-automatically, and can’t be modified or manufactured to hold high capacity clips.
There are countless other ways in which different associations, manufactures and law makers in different states define “Assault Weapons.” But, the items I listed are the most common in every interpretation.
Automatic weapons…including machine guns…have been illegal to the general public since 1934. But, yes…you can find them at Gun Shows, and many gun merchants…with assorted ways of hiding their identity and use. This also includes any type of rotary, or clip-fed Shotgun.
I have no delusions of thinking that handguns (clearly responsible for the most gun deaths in the country) will ever be legislated. There are probably more cute, pink, handguns in ladies purses in Texas, than there are ARs in the entire country…but, as of this writing, nobody with a cute, pink handgun has mowed down innocent children in a school shooting or a concert, with any sort of palpable threat. The fact is, most handgun deaths are suicides or domestic violence. Not a glowing endorsement for gun ownership, but again, not the same as going into a public place to randomly take human lives.
And so, I am more than willing to meet the NRA and their giant legion of GRWs (Gun Rights Wackjobs), more than halfway and use a term and practice that isn’t in their vocabulary… COMPROMISE. I don’t want all of your guns. Just one type.
Why am I adamant about banning these types of assault and semi-automatic weapons?
1. They are the single-most used weapon (94%) in all mass shootings, including schools, concerts, arenas, nightclubs and college campuses.
2. They are ineffective as an actual hunting weapon, as they were designed to shoot multiple rounds with less accuracy than traditional hunting rifles.
3. They are far easier to modify and hide than traditional long rifles.
4. They can easily be modified to fire in automatic fashion with currently legal, and illegal mod-kits
5. They are a sign that American hunters are losing their skills…and require 15-35 shots to bring down a deer.
That last one was for my hunter friends…
But, the key, and most important reason that I want these things out of the hands of the general public? My wife is teacher…in a school that was built in the late 1950s…and is completely insecure. She is not going to “armor up,” and start carrying a weapon. But, she teaches in a rural environment, with horrible design for security.
I come from a huge family of educators…one of whom is a certified “gun enthusiast” (who has been silent on this topic on social media). And, I also have 6 grandkids (soon to be 7), who are, or will be school-aged, and growing up in this idiotic culture that places the possession of “man toys” over the safety of their own kids.
And yes…ironically, the “Constitutional Warrior” who actually made the statement in the headline of this story, has a son in school. He appears to be the same age as the kids at Sandy Hook.
But, CWG (Constitutional Warrior Guy), isn’t a friend of mine. In fact, he is only a friend of the husband of a friend, who simply dove headlong into a FB slap-fest, when I replied to something my friend posted.
More about my friend…and the ambiguity of this conversation. She was one of the largest contributors to our work in Uganda for more than a year. That pretty much ended when the 2016 elections happened. It was then, that we discovered our deep divide over gun rights, and admitting that her husband was an ardent supporter.
That stuff happens. However, she was still listed as a FB friend, and I mostly see her pics about her kids. When you search her husband’s page, it is covered with pictures of kittens, and funny quotes to his wife. Ahhh….sweet, family, guy. But, he did pass up a job to work for George Lucas, because he found “the left coast culture” too hard to adapt to.
So, when he proudly showed his picture of his favorite AR… I wasn’t too surprised.
If you look at the thread (which I post in its entirety here)…
I confess to not exactly being diplomatic. But, I have learned years ago in marketing and communications, don’t talk down to people if it will hurt your neck to go low…it’s easier to just drop down to their level, so they aren’t put off by pretension…or write you off as a liberal book-learned jerk “who doesn’t understand their reality.”
I was in the middle of fighting the flu…was running a fever…and my “smart-ass button” was fully pushed.
That said…most of what Justin (the CWG) said, was text-book NRA pabulum. Nothing new. At least he never did the “guns don’t kill people” routine. Nope, he stuck to what I call the “Edumucated Gun Guy” tactic of trying to dazzle me with his weapons brilliance.
Is this stuff scripted? Gosh…I don’t know…you tell me.
But, when out of the blue…completely unprompted, both of them started in with a strange tangent about “black weapons,” I was more than a little taken aback. I’d never even thought of the term, much less considered it “scary.” It was as if they were spouting the same talking points from the same room, laughing gleefully as they waxed philosophically (or perhaps buffed one another with their gun oil) about how cool they were for modifying their guns.
They did answer a couple of salient questions for me…the first of which was, “Why do you actually NEED an AR-15?”
Steve– (Husband Dude with Cat Pics on his page)
Steve Oplatek Why do I need an ar15? Same reason you need a big house or fancy car. Oh and my Ar15 is protected by the constitution.
Well…my modest house and 5-year old car, probably won’t make his point…but, I get it. Because he WANTS one.
From there…a ridiculously silly debate about the meaning of the 2nd Amendment ensued… which lead to “THE QUOTE OF THE DAY!” after he tried to quote the number of kids killed each year by cars.
Pat Miller to Justin Lafferty how many kids were killed in their classrooms by automobiles?? Man. Soooooo lame.
Justin Lafferty to Pat Miller classrooms??? Where kids are killed has no bearing on this discussion… Semi-automatic rifle deaths are a sliver of overall child deaths. Why are you only focused on them? Especially, if you are so emotional distraught when children die???
So yep…there is is. He said it. “Where kids are killed has no bearing on this discussion.”
Yes, Justin…it is about HOW they are killed as well as where…and by whom, with what tool made readily available to almost anyone, no matter what their background…especially if purchased at a Gun Show or online.
Again…this guy…really says it all. The Constitution (or his version of it) is here to protect his guns…but, not the safety of children and the general public. Yep. Pretty sure that’s what the framers had in mind.
This prompted my favorite part of the conversation, which happened toward the end…when my illogical logic about my Constitutional Right to own a P-51 Mustang with semi-automatic weapons blew his mind, he started to do what all of these guys do…he started re-posting silly GIFs.
Which helped establish him as a racist as well…
But, maybe he DOES want the same 2nd Amendment rights for everyone, no matter their race or creed…right Justin? Gotta believe he supports the proliferation of weapons, no matter what the use, intent, or activity. It’s their RIGHT…
To be honest, I was almost disappointed that he “went there” so quickly. Reposting GIFs is unoriginal and weak-minded. At least make your OWN Gifs…right?
Look. Is there a lesson to be learned here? Yes. And it is this…
Guns, and the Worship of the 2nd Amendment have Replaced Religion
Like religious zealots, these types of hardened GRWs are able to suspend reality, and embrace emotion at a psychological and metaphysical level that supersedes statistics and common sense. Ironically, much like the crack-brained logic that motivates mass killers to action. It’s like the “Earth Flat Society” or being able to justify being a “Right to Life” crusader, while propping up the tools that take those children from us after they are old enough to go to school. The earth is flat and just 6,000 years old? Sure…why not? I have a GIF that supports it!!
However, at the end of the day…there is a serious question that none of them will answer (and I have done this same kind of verbal jousting with hundreds of them over the years).
“If it was YOUR CHILD that was killed in school, would you completely absolve the gun manufacturers, lobbyists, special interests and gutless politicians from their culpability in placing that weapon in the killer’s hands? Or would you just keep blaming society for not having enough school prayer to help turn the tide of angry, psychopathic kids with easy access to guns?”
I hope that the good, Cheese-Fries Loving people from Sheboygan, never have to answer that question. Too many prayers were likely said in those “active shooter” buildings to make sense of any of this. But, even at my angriest, as a father, grandfather and husband…I’d never wish that outcome on anyone.
I’ll dive more deeply into the root causes of the NRA take-over, and their ability brainwash and openly manipulate those in government in the next post. Because this conversation, like many, requires more than a few clever GIFs and some quotable rhetoric.
And now…the FINAL Word…from Justin’s wife, Kari…
Kari Lafferty Pat, I’m married to a “gun nut” who has wayyy too many “man toys”…but the funny thing in our home, is that as much as I hate guns…if someone entered my home and came near me or our children…they would not be leaving. It’s called being educated and smart with the guns in your home.
These kids in the schools shootings need to stop being characterized by “what kind of gun they used”. If that is their intention, it will happen even if it’s with a butter knife. Then there will be a massive worthless debate on knives in the kitchen. People need to start focusing on the real issue in these situations which is mental healthcare needs.
Ohhh, and if I die while eating cheese fries… 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 well, that would be awesome!
Oh. Dear. God. How those poor Country Music Fans in Vegas must wish Stephen Paddock had thrown butter knives at them from his 32nd floor window.
Yes. This is what we are up against.