Reason Magazine: Interview with 2nd Am. YouTube guy about Biden


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Justin
July 25, 2007, 12:37 PM
Jered Townsend: The Reason Interview (http://www.reason.com/blog/show/121589.html)

| July 25, 2007, 10:38am
On Monday night Jered Townsend of Clio, Michigan got a question into the fourth Democratic debate: Would the candidates protect his "baby"? The baby he was referring to was a Bushmaster AR-15.

Sen. Joe Biden shook his head at Townsend, saying "I'll tell you what, if that is his baby, he needs help" and "I don't know that he is mentally qualified to own that gun."

Last night I called up Townsend to ask him what he thought of Biden's answer and the audience's loud applause for the senator.

Reason: What went through your mind when you saw yourself on TV getting called out by a presidential candidate?

Jered Townsend: I just couldn't believe the video got onto CNN. So I was thinking: "Is this really on?" I couldn't really believe it.

Reason: And what about the candidates' answers?

JT: Richardson tried to answer it, but it was a limited timeframe and he didn't get much time to answer. Joe Biden totally did not answer it. He took the fastest and easiest way to blow it off that he could find. But, you know, no skin off my back.

Reason: No skin off your back? He basically called you a lunatic.

JT: No, not really. I just laughed when he said that. He made himself look stupid and he didn't answer my question. Anybody who knows me knows different.

Reason: And when the room applauded his answer?

JT: Again, no skin off my back.

Reason: Are you really a Democrat?

JT: You know, I don't really vote by party, I go on a person by person basis. [Ed: Townsend has made no federal political donations.] If you're asking whether I'm a liberal or a conservative, I'm a little bit more liberal, except on Social Security and oil prices.

Reason: And the Second Amendment.

JT: Yes! That's a sticking point.

Reason: Back to the debate... I think Biden's snap response to your video was so snippy because he thought you looked crazy. Why did you call the gun "my baby?"

JT: First off, I used the word "baby" because I was sitting there thinking of a way to stand out, and me talking about a "baby" makes the judges think: "Oh, this guy is against guns." And then I revealed what I was talking about. I wanted a bold statement and I wanted it to be effective—to stick in your mind and stay there.

Reason: What was the point you were making about the 1994 gun ban?

JT: Well, I bought that Bushmaster AR-15 under the ban. Biden said he supported the ban, so maybe he was thinking the gun I was holding I bought outside the law. But the ban is all cosmetic: They attack the guns that look mean because they want to set a tone.

Reason: What do you use it for?

JT: I do target practice with it. I hunt coyote with it. It's a good varmint rifle.

Reason: So why were you wearing shorts and a tank top?

JT: Because that's what you wear in the middle of July in Michigan when it's 100 percent humidity. I don't know what Joe Biden wears in his air-conditioned limousine or his private jet. But I should say that I tried to write Biden about this. I sent him an email, saying "come to come Clio, I want to talk to you, we'll sit down and talk about this issue."

Reason: What'd he say?

JT: No response yet. And I sent a phone message and e-mail.

Reason: You were undecided going into the debate. Did the debate change your mind at all?

JT: I'm still mostly undecided but the odds of supporting Joe Biden have expired and disappeared completely.

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Frandy
July 25, 2007, 01:22 PM
Let's face it, no minds were probably changed by this. Antis probably came out of it smug and satisfied while pros simply dug in their heels and attacked Biden, as evidenced by the comments here on THR.

What is most unfortunate, is that no real, rational dialog or debate occurs on this topic or others. Yes, Richardson peeked out a bit, but other than Biden, nothing due to the format. I want to hear each and every one of them on the 2nd Amendment. And I mean the 2nd Amendment and not the hot button emotional issues of "assault weapons," "gang bangers and urban crime," or "concealed weapons." Just tell me if you believe the 2nd Amendment gives me, the law-abiding, private citizen, the right to own and bear firearms and if not, why.

I realize we can guess who stands for what and why, but it would still be good to have all the candidates stand up and be counted.

Whatever... :rolleyes:

Robert Hairless
July 25, 2007, 01:27 PM
It seems to me that Jered Townsend created something like the effect he wanted. He should feel satisfied. I'm troubled that he reinforces stereotypes about gun owners. He doesn't represent me.

Mr. Townsend participated in a nationally televised debate about a Presidential election while dressed in tank top and shorts, asked the candidates about protecting our "babies," then reached off camera to get his "baby," which Townsend dramatically revealed to be a Bushmaster AR-15.

Townsend's later explanation that he wore the tank top and shorts because it was hot and humid in Michigan summertime is at least odd: he was indoors, in what looks to be a comfortable home, not outdoors in a Southern state. People who violate decorum and lack the good sense to care about what other people think or feel invite bad reactions and negative response.

Someone who behaved more reasonably under the circumstances might have drawn more useful responses to a question about gun control. Townsend slanted the responses by his behavior. Jerks don't help. They hurt.


Townsend obviously tried to be provocative and was successful. He showed at least extremely poor judgment and disregard for the effect he made on other people. Biden wasn't too far off the mark in his comments about Townsend's performance. If Townsend is not a lunatic he might want to stop behaving like one. He did nothing to help gun owners and nothing to convince normal people that gun owners are responsible people. He did quite a bit to stroke his own ego while hurting everyone else.

coyote_jr
July 25, 2007, 02:05 PM
Mr. Townsend participated in a nationally televised debate about a Presidential election

It wasn't a debate.

Dravur
July 25, 2007, 02:50 PM
Where? All I saw was a clown show.

I still think Townsend looked kind of silly and stereotypical, but hey, we need the stereotypical gun owner on our side as well, so I support him. All told, Nothing in the Clown Show convinced me to vote for any of them. This is as usual.

turtlehitman
July 25, 2007, 02:57 PM
"It seems to me that Jered Townsend created something like the effect he wanted. He should feel satisfied. I'm troubled that he reinforces stereotypes about gun owners. He doesn't represent me." -Robert Hairless

dido

Have you seen the disscussion on youtube under this video? It is getting pretty nasty.

Sistema1927
July 25, 2007, 03:09 PM
Decorum? How is his dress less "decorous" than the bearded freak or the snowman?

Frandy
July 25, 2007, 03:17 PM
Let's all remember that we have no idea how many gun-related questions were originally posed. Maybe just this one. Maybe a score. The CNN screeners selected this one.

RPCVYemen
July 25, 2007, 03:31 PM
It seems to me that Jered Townsend created something like the effect he wanted.

I agree. And Joe Biden hit that one out of the park - a clear home run for the ants.

I would be less concerned if Jered were the only gun owner who wanted to brag to his buddies about how he "showed the antis". There seems to be a lot of that going around.

Mike

3fgburner
July 25, 2007, 03:47 PM
http://youtube.com/watch?v=dv6UPVQ_6SE

They deliberately went for the stereotype.

Thefabulousfink
July 25, 2007, 04:09 PM
Mr. Townsend participated in a nationally televised dog and pony show where CNN and the Candidates tell you what is important to think about.

There, I fixed it for you..... unfortunately I believe that is currently Webster's definition of a Presidential Debate. :rolleyes:

ABTOMAT
July 25, 2007, 04:22 PM
Decorum? How is his dress less "decorous" than the bearded freak or the snowman?

Dress?

Master Blaster
July 25, 2007, 04:29 PM
There was a debate?
Where? All I saw was a clown show.



Thats what it was a comedy act, and the joke is on the american electorate. CNN sold advertising and made money that was the purpose of this comedy show. The elections are a joke to the big money big media conglomerates, because they have all of the candidates in their pockets.:fire:

migoi
July 25, 2007, 04:34 PM
by 3ftburner, the question about gun control was screened onto the show with a clear agenda on the part of CNN.

The stereotype that was more reinforced in my mind was the one of politicians deliberately not answering the questions that are asked. Neither of the candidates that I saw speak to the video actually answered the question.

While I know that mass media has a political agenda, I believe it to be a really bad idea. I get a small knot in my intestinals everytime I read, hear, or see a "news" organization endorse a candidate at any level. Makes me wonder if they can be anywhere close to objective when reporting about that candidate, the candidates opponents, or any issue involving that candidate.

migoi

Dannavyret
July 25, 2007, 05:53 PM
Sen. Joe Biden shook his head at Townsend, saying "I'll tell you what, if that is his baby, he needs help" and "I don't know that he is mentally qualified to own that gun."

First thing, You Tube is a censorship hugging liberal mouthpiece, that's obvious when they ban your I.P. after the 5th Conservative home made video calling for immigration reform and how Democrats have basically been treasonous since 9/11.

Second. Biden is a member of that gang of traitors so why take him seriously?

jefnvk
July 25, 2007, 06:32 PM
Townsend's later explanation that he wore the tank top and shorts because it was hot and humid in Michigan summertime is at least odd: he was indoors, in what looks to be a comfortable home, not outdoors in a Southern state.

I'm about as far north in Michigan that you can go, sitting next to the biggest lake in the world, and I'm sorry to say that I am covered in sweat while simply sitting inside wearing shorts and a t-shirt. I might add that I have a fan blowing on me too.

EDIT:
Oh, as far as the whole debate, never much seen the point in basing a vote off a 30 sec speech about a topic, esp when half it is thanking the moderator for the question and telling everyone why the question was asked.

BAT1
July 25, 2007, 10:05 PM
I wonder if he is related to Fran Townsend? We gun owners realize that we need to look more professional and act more professional than the politicians that use labels to further their agenda because they don't want to talk about the facts. The facts are only considered when they are presented properly. But, You Tube wouldn't of used it then.

PennsyPlinker
July 25, 2007, 10:17 PM
You know, CNN could have picked the most urbane, sophisticated, well dressed, well reasoned person on the planet to speak for RKBA and Joe Biden would STILL have denigrated him (or her) with a personal attack, because that is all he has!

People can gripe all they want about the demeanor of the guy in the video, but the root of the matter is that Biden is an anti, will always be an anti, and will never have anything but demagoguery on his side.

ssr
July 25, 2007, 11:26 PM
Let's face it, no minds were probably changed by this. Antis probably came out of it smug and satisfied while pros simply dug in their heels and attacked Biden

Actually, it appears to me that a high number of pro-gun people are actually attacking the guy in the video too because they seem to be all worried about what the anti-gunners will think.

I, too, wish he had dressed a little differently and even sat a little differently, but I think the content of the question was very good and very effective. Why is everyone ragging on the questioner and not concentrating on what Biden said and how he said it, as well as the highly likely very anti-gun underlying Democrat agenda that many are trying to avoid?

poppy
July 26, 2007, 09:46 AM
My anti-gun wife saw the "debate" and noted that Townsend bought his gun under the ban. When I reminded her of what I have been saying about the ban not really banning anything, she got it. The video reinforced my position with her, but will not turn her into a pro-gun lady.

Townsend calling his gun his baby did not sit well with my wife, but I asked her how was that any different than me calling my sports car my baby? Again, it didn't change her mind, but I think it made Townsend more normal to her.

I think even anti's like my wife could easily see that Biden is an idiot.

Frandy
July 26, 2007, 10:21 AM
My anti-gun wife saw the "debate" and noted that Townsend bought his gun under the ban. When I reminded her of what I have been saying about the ban not really banning anything, she got it. The video reinforced my position with her, but will not turn her into a pro-gun lady.

Townsend calling his gun his baby did not sit well with my wife, but I asked her how was that any different than me calling my sports car my baby? Again, it didn't change her mind, but I think it made Townsend more normal to her.

I think even anti's like my wife could easily see that Biden is an idiot.

Poppy, your wife and mine must be soul sisters. :evil:

Oh, and for some of you who will tell us to dump our wives because of their position about guns, :rolleyes: .

My wife lost two close relatives in tragedies that involved the use of firearms and I totally understand and accept her position and attitude. Now, mind you, my wife will see me working very hard during the week and say, "Why don't you have some fun Saturday and go to the range." Or, "Did you decide to go to the gun show that you mentioned? I recall you saying that you were low on some ammunition."

:D I love her dearly.

#shooter
July 26, 2007, 11:14 AM
Jared's answers with followup interview was weak. He said he Biden didn't mean to call him a lunatic, yet it is clear that is exactly what Biden said. At the end of the interview he said he is leaning toward Obama, which is wierd as he is just as ant if not more so than Biden. CNN went for cheap drama, big surprise.

PILMAN
July 26, 2007, 11:41 AM
That guy sure has a load of negative comments, I myself had wish he represented gun owners in a better light and brought some facts but like many have stated, Biden is a well known anti and nothing would have changed his mind. The audience was already mindset and i'm sure the video didn't change their opinions though it just kind of gave them a reason to support Biden after seeing that "evil black rifle"

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