The Local Fishwrap pummeling the dead equine...long but fun.


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Hand_Rifle_Guy
September 19, 2004, 11:03 PM
Whine, whine, whine! What kind of cheese do you want? They tooK it, they TOOK it! Waaahhh! Make 'em give it baaack!! [Smack!] :eek:

From deep behind the Tie-Dyed Bead Curtain, completely surrounded by Socialeftist Institutionalism and Re-Education Camps, H_R_G sends out a dispatch from the front lines of the Battle For American Policy! Once again, the Local Fishwrap, aka The Murky Spews, oops I mean The Mercury News, lives up to my derogatory labeling and disingenuous sarcasm by presenting the informed views of a highly-edjumacated university spokesdrone from the misty halls of New Yawk.

Or spouting a bunch of fatuous tripe, in other words. Got themselves a high-falutin' "service professor of political science", a title full of hot air if ever I heard one, to write them a collumn for their Perspective section about how out-of-touch the Gubmint is by letting the AWB die.

That'd be the 1994 Crime Bill, yes? The one the Demo-leftists passed by virtue of waiting around until AFTER MIDNIGHT to call a vote on, when they'd counted and decided they had numerical superiority RIGHT THAT SECOND, as the more normal-flavored Congressmen were sensibly home in bed.

On top of that, they STILL couldn't do it! The vote was a tie, with InterNet-inventor VP Gore casting the tie-breaking vote to pass the bill, which only garnered as much support as it did by virtue of incorporating the sunset provision we all recently celebrated the expiration of.

The only way they could hope to pass it was by pulling a MAJOR weasel maneuver, and it BARELY worked. Thus is the will of the people's "majority" enacted. Of course, not according to Mr. Spitzer, here, who contends that it's expiring is All Bush's Fault, In Collusion With The Powerful NRA, both of whom are completely in the dark regarding what the citizenry desires.

BTW, didn't you know the NRA is powerful all on it's own? It's not that it represents some 4 MILLION gun owners nationwide, making it the single biggest bloc of voters assembled under one label. Couldn't possibly represent not only it's membership, but perhaps the views of many other gun-owners who are quite capable of voting in agreement, could it? Nope, it's a "special interest with a very narrow agenda, with a lot of political muscle." Political muscle usually translates into CASH-OLA, so the NRA has lots of this to throw around, uh, why? Couldn't be those members again, could it? Naw, the NRA's a conservative extremist lobby, the Leftists told me so, and they do all of my thinking for me so I don't have to stress about politics!

Spitzer gets a few things right, but Hoo-boy, does the compost fly fast and furious sometimes, delivered with an absolutely straight face as honest factual truth.

Yeah, right! :barf::rolleyes::barf: Aside from a few highlighted pithy comments by Your_Faithful_Correspondent, without further ado I give you:

Posted on Sun, Sep. 19, 2004, in The Local Fishwrap (http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/editorial/9704814.htm?1c), aka the San Jose Mercury News.

Why (the) gun ban died quietly.

ASSAULT WEAPONS LAW, NEVER A PANACEA, EXPIRES AS POLITICIANS WEIGHED NRA AGAINST VOTERS' WILL

By Robert J. Spitzer


A simple definition of democracy is this: The government does what the people want. Hah! Dreamer.

Yet civics-book definitions often run smack into political realities, and that was what happened last week when Congress failed to renew the popular 10-year-old ban on the manufacture and importation of semiautomatic assault weapons.

As the clock ticked toward the Monday expiration of the ban, politicians around the country weighed a tough choice -- siding with public opinion or with the powerful National Rifle Association. And when the dust had settled, it became clear that no one had walked that tightrope more carefully, and more successfully, than President Bush.

For all the political calculating, what is surely the most important question surrounding the ban -- whether it reduced crime -- was so clouded with rhetoric and incomplete data that clear-eyed judgment has been difficult. Two words: As IF.

NRA officials have called the law "meaningless'' in reducing crime, while a politician favoring its renewal has hailed it as "an amazing success.'' There is truth on both sides. "A" politician? An amazing farce is more like it.

Ban opponents are correct when they note that the 19 banned weapons operate by the same "semiautomatic'' firing method as many legal hunting weapons -- that is, firing a bullet each time the trigger is pulled. (First a bit of truth to set the level of credibility, then, here it comes!) Yet assault weapons were designed for military use: They are lighter, So? have shorter barrels or collapsible stocks, This is bad, how? can receive high-capacity ammunition clips, Standard-capacity magazines, please. include pistol or thumb-hole grips, What of it? and have other features that allow the user to lay down a line of fire across a wide area. What the?... Ok, NAME ONE such feature, Mr. Imagination! :mad: You call this a legitimate supporting point? This is LUDICROUS! Their concealability adds to their criminal appeal. CONCEALABILITY?! A three-foot-long banana-clipped RIFLE?! Concealed WHERE? In their baggy pants? CRIMINAL APPEAL?! WHAT COLOR IS THE SKY ON YOUR PLANET?!!

Sha-HEESH! I DID say tripe, didn't I? Good golly, but that is about the silliest paragraph of mis-pronouncements I've seen since Sarah Brady wanted to regulate boxcutters. Un-friggin'-believable. I'll shut up now, as this was my major sore point.

A look at crime statistics linked to assault weapons lends support to both sides, depending on whether one views the changes as significant. Before the ban -- when about 1.5 million such guns were privately owned -- these types of weapons accounted for between 2 percent and 8 percent of gun crimes. The most recent study found that, with the ban in effect, assault-weapon crimes declined, but in varying degrees depending on the city studied, ranging from drops of 17 percent to 72 percent. And how many MORE AW's got sold in the meantime?

Regardless of the significance attached to these numbers, the ban's narrow scope and big loopholes limited its effectiveness. Little noticed, for example, was the provision to stem the sale of large-capacity ammunition clips -- those holding more than 10 rounds. These have been very attractive to criminals because they mean less reloading. So, you hang-out with gun-toting criminals, is that how you KNOW this? Less reloading for us citizens in our own defence, too. But the more than 25 million clips in circulation when the ban was enacted were grandfathered in. The result was no measurable drop in their use by criminals.

Similarly, assault guns manufactured before 1994 were grandfathered in, leaving millions in circulation. In addition, the government allowed manufacturers to rebuild used pre-1994 guns with new parts, including new serial numbers and the replacement of the firing mechanism (called receivers). What? Where does this fiction come from? Many gun makers skirted the law by making minor changes in banned weapons to make them legal, as was the case with the gun used in the 2002 Washington, D.C.-area sniper killings. Stolen guns tain't legal, last I heard.

National outrage over those shootings, plus the law's practical effect of keeping some guns off the streets, You just said it didn't. Which is it? would, one might think, be sufficient to have sustained the renewal effort. After all, Americans have consistently supported the law. In 1993, 66 percent supported the ban. Earlier this month, a survey found 68 percent support for renewal. I don't believe you. A surprising sign of the breadth of support: A recent poll in Texas, the state with the most NRA members, found a stunning 80 percent of respondents were for renewal, including 78 percent of gun owners. A cite, you bleating amateur, or it's another worthless assertion. But I ask in futility, as you refuse to allow disagree-able FACTS to confuse your worldview.

If elected officials are supposed to implement the will of the people, why was the ban allowed to lapse? That's what we wanted, mayperhaps?

The obvious answer -- opposition by the formidable NRA -- offers only a partial explanation.

On many issues, it is tough to disentangle interest-group pressure from politicians' own personal inclinations, and in this case we know that Senate and House leaders -- spearheaded by Republican House majority leader and Texan Tom DeLay -- have been staunchly anti-gun-control. And in George W. Bush we have a president whose own beliefs have made him committed to the NRA agenda ever since his days as Texas governor. Yer point? Listening to their constituents?

Bush's only departure from the NRA line was his oft-repeated pledge to sign a ban renewal -- yet even here, things were not as they seemed.

Assessing the extent of the NRA's influence is not straightforward. Indeed, it does suffer setbacks. Just last March, the NRA failed to win a top legislative priority: enactment of a bill to grant the gun industry immunity from lawsuits. The bill's passage seemed assured. The House had already cleared it, and more than half of the senators had declared their support.

Yet remarkably, assault-weapons-ban supporters succeeded in attaching an amendment to renew the assault-weapons ban to the liability bill. Unwilling to accept the renewal, Senate supporters of the liability bill pulled the plug on the entire bill, at the NRA's behest.

In election season, the NRA wields clout in some key races. President Bush's sympathies clearly lie with the NRA position, but in the back of his mind must be the memories that both his father, when running for re-election in 1992, and 1996 Republican nominee Bob Dole failed to win the endorsement and financial backing of the NRA when their positions contradicted the gun lobby. And a lot of conservatively inclined PEOPLE, who don't seem to be relevant in your universe. Oh yes, I forgot, we're opposed and are therfore dismissable NRA-nuts, aren't we?

And this year Democrats are gun-shy. In 2000, Al Gore aggressively supported several gun-control measures, including a national licensing system. Gore's losses in Arkansas, Tennessee and West Virginia were attributed to his pro-control stand. Thus the NRA's perceived influence over a closely divided electorate, on an issue deemed as pivotal as gun control, is magnified. I can't make this stuff up. Perceived influence magnified? The people didn't vote for him because they didn't like his positions, they didn't need the NRA to tell them that. Oh yes, I forget myself again. People cannot think for THEMSELVES according to leftists, can they?

This explains why those who wanted to renew the ban worried about fighting the NRA, even though public opinion was on their side. They were left with only one strategy -- to arouse public support. Yet at a time when the country faces other critical issues, that effort failed. 'Cuz no-one wnted to support it? Hmmm?

Paradoxically, perhaps, those who wanted the ban to run out also feared political fallout. With opinion polls against them, their best strategy was to keep the bill from public view, and run out the clock until Sept. 13. Was there any media outlet that DIDN'T cover the AWB expiring? History is what you decide to believe it is, isn't it?

Though bills were introduced in both houses, no hearings were held, no votes taken (with the one exception). The plan worked. The ban expired. Yup. But the folks had nothing to do with that, right?

As for Bush's seemingly anomalous pledge to sign the ban renewal if it arrived at his desk, three pieces of evidence suggest an underlying antipathy to the ban:

He made no effort to secure the bill's passage, when even a modest verbal prod would have had important effects.

During questioning before a Senate committee in March 2003, Attorney General John Ashcroft refused to reaffirm his earlier support for the ban's renewal.

During Senate consideration of the bill to grant the gun industry immunity from suits, the White House announced minutes after attachment of the assault-weapons-ban renewal that Bush would sign only a ``clean'' bill, meaning one with no amendments -- despite the president's ostensible support for both measures.

These events indicate Bush feared going against public opinion if he blatantly opposed the renewal. The better strategy was to appear to support the renewal but make sure the bill never arrived at his desk. Sound political thinking, that.

In so doing, the president could have it both ways. He didn't anger Americans who want the ban renewed, yet he could shore up his conservative base in key states.

California law still bans the sale of assault weapons, and at the national level, the legislative battle isn't over. A bill to renew the ban will undoubtedly resurface in Congress next year, where its fate will be determined not just by the power of the NRA. Just as critical is whether America's voters speak up and whether their elected representatives listen.

Gee, I thought they had. Clinton thought so. He credited gun issues with the loss of control of Congress. Gore admitted the NRA and gun-owners cost him the election. But no, your mind's made up, so we shouldn't try to confuse you with FACTS.

ROBERT J. SPITZER (spitzerb@cortland.edu) is distinguished service professor of political science at State University of New York College at Cortland, and the author of 11 books, including "The Politics of Gun Control.'' He wrote this article for Perspective.

Well, thank you for your pseudo-intellectual, eh... "opinion", Mr. Spitzer. A more poorly-backed-up, un-creditable, made-up, concocted mish-mash of blind assertions and unsubstantiated claims, so nicely written, I haven't gotten such a good laugh from in a coon's age. Now kindly repair to your insulated, isolated academic enclave behind your walls of rose-colored glass, and take this stinking rag you call your credibility with you as I don't want fleas infesting the place. God help us should you actually be employed in some sort of teaching capacity. 11 books, eh? That supposed to lend your opinion some weight? You know, the idea that 'if it's been written in a book it MUST be true' went by the wayside in the 1850's when publishing became cheaper and widespread. Being published grants you no special consideration or claim to credibility, just ask "Professor" Micheal Bellisles. Look where fomenting lies as reality got HIM. Stripped of his awards, his job, and any vestige of a claim to credibility.

SUCH an achievement he accomplished, an inspiration to all of us, surely. As a negative example, that is, what NOT to do. But leftists cannot/will not be bothered to learn from history, or the mistakes of others.

"It didn't work, so let's try the same thing AGAIN! I just KNOW it'll be different THIS time!"

Uh-huh. You off yer meds or somthing? Oy...




I thank all who've slogged through this for putting up with my cantankerous interjections. I hope they made reading this pile of steaming crap more fun to wade through. I found I couldn't help myself when I saw this essay in the paper this morning. Do you suppose I ought to e-mail my deconstruction to him? Or perhaps fire off an op-ed to the Local Fishwrap? I'd have a hard time keeping it short enough. Hmmm, I shall have to cogitate on that a bit.

Edit: Here's Mr. Spitzer's e-mail, in case it didn't catch your eye, and you'd like to question the veracity of his worldview, or some other such cruel illusion-bursting: spitzerb@cortland.edu

If you want to yell at The Local Fishwrap, you oughta be able to get a contact from the link to the original posting at their site above.

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Mulliga
September 19, 2004, 11:14 PM
Funny post, H_R_G. ;)

I always find it funny when people who have obviously never tried to purchase or shoot a gun pontificate about how easy it is for people to rampage across the streets killing babies. :rolleyes:

His book's crappy, too.

Ewok
September 19, 2004, 11:43 PM
I've finally decided to let my subscription to the Murky News lapse after the end of the year. Daily newspapers are obsolete for any purpose other than having something to read in the bathroom in the morning, and I'd rather read "lather, rinse, repeat"....

AZRickD
September 19, 2004, 11:49 PM
I can't badger this guy if you don't give me his e-mail addy. :D

I'd ask him that since he's so up on majority rules, I wonder how he would feel if the majority of Americans who support banning gay marriage would put that issue to a vote? Or maybe partial-birth abortion? Or what about the majority of Americans who think that journalists should be licensed?

I'd ask him that, iffin I had his e-mail address.

Rick

Standing Wolf
September 20, 2004, 12:22 AM
It didn't work, so let's try the same thing AGAIN! I just KNOW it'll be different THIS time!

Yep. You'd think that Kerry creature would have learned from Lenin's and Stalin's and Kruschev's and Gorbachev's mistakes, but...

Hand_Rifle_Guy
September 20, 2004, 01:06 AM
ROBERT J. SPITZER (spitzerb@cortland.edu) is distinguished service professor of political science at State University of New York College at Cortland, and the author of 11 books, including "The Politics of Gun Control.'' He wrote this article for Perspective.
You mean THAT e-mail address? You weren't skimming his stuff to read my pungent and witty commentary, were you? Surely such a respected academic personage merits more respect from a reader than THAT.





:neener:

Ok, Ok, enough tooting the horn. Making my head swell, I am. His addy kinda disappears in there, I shoulda (I will! Where's my Wand of Editing?) boldificate it in the original post. The idea that other folks might want to send the guy a poke in the eye sorta hadn't trickled into my brain yet.

Must be that inflated opinion of myself interfering again. Yelling at blissninnies gets me up on my high horse, sometimes. Just poke me with something sharp, and knock over the soapbox. When I finish shaking my head after landing on my butt, I oughta be all right.

joe sixpack
September 20, 2004, 02:29 AM
Thanks for the laugh and good read HRG.

cheers, ab

deej
September 20, 2004, 02:35 AM
Another non-Mercury News reader here. The only thing I need it for is the Fry's ad on Friday, and I either look it up online or fish it out of the recycling bin at Peet's.

Hawkmoon
September 20, 2004, 10:27 AM
We all know that the DC snipers only fired one shot in each attack, so the so-called "assult weapon" was not really the ideal rifle for the job. Now we know why they chose it -- it was more easily concealed.

Like it's hard to conceal an elephant rifle when your shooting station is inside the trunk of a Chevy sedan.

Morons.

AZRickD
September 20, 2004, 11:34 AM
e-mail sent.

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