Cold Dead Hands: A Look at the NY Times Gun Control Op-Ed

Starting yet another piece with “in the aftermath of the XYZ shooting” is beginning to feel a bit redundant. Even so, there is good cause. In the wake of the San Bernardino, California shooting – which was a blatant act of terrorism meted out by Islamic individuals – the gun control drums are being beat harder than ever. It isn’t just the President of the United States pushing with increasing force to rip already-limited firearms from the hands of law-abiding citizens, either, it’s the mainstream media.

“…for now my concern is the flammable stuff that ignites the right. These are the social issues: gay rights, gun control, abortion and environmental regulation, among others. And if you think The Times plays it down the middle on any of them, you’ve been reading the paper with your eyes closed.” (Former New York Times Public Editor Daniel Okrent in a New York Times editorial, 2004)

The New York Times published an opinion editorial on December 4, 2015 which proved to be nothing more than yet another uninformed gun control rant from the liberal mainstream media. Now, the NYT is not exactly known as a bastion of fairness and rationality. Even editors have admitted this – think Public Editor Daniel Okrent, who penned an editorial in 2004 admitting the newspaper had a real liberal bias: “Start with the editorial page, so thoroughly saturated in liberal theology that when it occasionally strays from that point of view the shocked yelps from the left overwhelm even the ceaseless rumble of disapproval from the right.” Yes, the NYT is unabashedly liberal, so it was no surprise when they came out with an op-ed column titled “End the Gun Epidemic in America.”

The editorial has an introductory lead that manages to summarize the content rather neatly: “It is a moral outrage and national disgrace that civilians can legally purchase weapons designed to kill people with brutal speed and efficiency.” Now, this statement could refer to many things. Although the inclusion of “designed” does imply an actual item created for lethal purposes such as a knife, sword, throwing star, bow and arrow, medieval mace – the list goes on – there are a great many items with lethal potential. For example, cars lead to the deaths of tens of thousands of Americans each year. In 2013 alone 32,719 people were killed in automobile accidents. Alcohol is another big one with the CDC reporting an average of 88,000 alcohol-related deaths annually. And if I wanted to slip into some serious right-wing shoes I’d add that there were 1.06 million legally-performed abortions in 2011, the highest number of which take place in California. However, the NYT editorial was not referring to any of these. They were, of course, talking about firearms.

“Let’s be clear: these spree killings are all, in their own ways, acts of terrorism.” (NYT op-ed, December 4, 2015)

ShootingAccording to the editorial it isn’t just the actual acts of terrorism that are, well, terrorism. Apparently any shooting is an act of terrorism. The belief that any and all acts that incite fear are acts of terror would open the classification rather wide, including rapes, muggings, home invasions, and even bullying. By these standards, we are a nation overrun by terrorists of all ages from the toddler who pushes over a playmate in order to steal a toy to abusive spouses to pedophiles. If this seems to be lumping a strange group of people together, that’s because it is. Terrorism is, by its very definition, an act or acts of violence and/or intimidation for the purpose of political or religious gain. In the case of Islamic terrorists both bases are covered because the acts are based on a specific ideology while hoping to further not only said ideology but also a specific political end-game.

“Opponents of gun control are saying, as they do after every killing, that no law can unfailingly forestall a specific crime. That is true. They are talking, many with sincerity, about the constitutional challenges to gun regulation. Those challenges exist. They point out that determined killers obtained weapons illegally in places like France, England and Norway that have strict gun laws. Yes they did.

But at least those countries are trying. The United States is not.” (NYT op-ed, December 4, 2015)

The above statements are a bit baffling. This editor is admitting bad guys have no problem getting guns. Then the remark is added stating that at least those highly regulated countries are trying while the U.S. is not. At least those countries are snatching guns from law-abiding citizens, the New York Times seems to state in so many words, even though it doesn’t actually keep citizens safe. By God, they seem to say, those rules should be in place despite their not working. Not only do gun control regulations not do a thing to halt the evil acts of terrorists or other violent offenders but they actually hinder the ability of law-abiding citizens to protect themselves and those around them. Attacks such as those that took place in Paris have not occurred here – yet – for a simple reason: we have guns, and they know it. When an attack does take place here in the United States it is invariably in a self-proclaimed “gun-free zone”. This zone proclaimed as though a metal sign or painted warning on a glass door will make a criminal think twice before doing harm to those within. So what does make an evildoer think twice before acting? The possibility of an armed response.

“It is not necessary to debate the peculiar wording of the Second Amendment. No right is unlimited and immune from reasonable regulation.” (NYT op-ed, December 4, 2015)

No right? How about the First Amendment regarding religious freedom, freedom of speech, and freedom of assembly? How about the Fourth Amendment regarding the need for probable cause and the need for Americans to feel “secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects”? If freedom of the press were to be regulated, how might that work out for the would-be editor?

“Certain kinds of weapons, like the slightly modified combat rifles used in California, and certain kinds of ammunition, must be outlawed for civilian ownership.” (NYT op-ed, December 4, 2015)

Although it’s quite tempting to launch into a lecture regarding firearms terminology and the way the media simply makes their own rules when it comes to wording, this is not the time (the time will come in a different article, no worries). Suffice to say if the NYT believes a pair of .223 Remington-chambered AR-15s are true “combat” rifles – and many other media sources think them “assault” weapons – they know nothing of firearms or firepower.

“It is possible to define those guns in a clear and effective way and, yes, it would require Americans who own those kinds of weapons to give them up for the good of their fellow citizens.” (NYT op-ed, December 4, 2015)

“For the good of their fellow citizens” – yes, they really said that.

A Berlin synagogue after Kristallnacht.
A Berlin synagogue after Kristallnacht.

Kristallnacht is a historical event known best for its relevance to the Holocaust and because it is often mentioned by those supporting gun rights. Summarizing the years and weeks leading up to Kristallnacht – which translates to “night of the broken glass” – is almost impossible. What happened is laid out in history, though. The Germans ordered gun registration, saying it was for “public safety” but actually using it to discover the locations of firearms. Then, the Nazis ordered all Jews to turn in their guns, but they didn’t only ask for the guns. They took them. Door-to-door, gun by gun, they disarmed the Jews with incredible speed in the weeks preceding Kristallnacht. In fact, Adolf Hitler decreed that any Jew found to be in possession of a firearm would be locked in a concentration camp for 20 years. That threat in particular would be laughable considering what took place in the years to follow, but there is simply nothing humorous about the Holocaust. And then, on the night in question, they raided homes and businesses with destructive force. The Jews were unarmed. There was no fighting back. There are those who try to say that any claims stating the Jews were summarily and forcibly disarmed – right before being rounded up for torture and slaughter – are lies, lies with no basis in reality. Anyone who tries to say these are lies should talk to a Holocaust survivor or a member of the JPFO (Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership). Some evil is so great it simply cannot be imagined. Just take a moment to consider the incredible evil of these terrorists, who are willing to use men, women and children to further their insane ideology.

“Unfortunately, most gun control advocates are not really interested in rational debate, and their political games simply send Alice chasing white rabbits down holes.” (Former U.S. Congressman Bob Barr)

In an earlier article I discussed the importance of situational awareness, especially in today’s terrorism-rife society. One of the greatest threats to situational awareness, as mentioned in that piece, is normalcy bias. Normalcy bias refers to someone’s desire for normalcy – for safety – which is so strong they pretend a threat does not exist or is not as great as it really is. It’s the reason many people fail to fight back during an attack – that combined with shock, often the shock something like that could actually be happening to them (which brings us full circle to normalcy bias). Guess what? The threat is real. They really are trying to take your guns; they’ve been trying for some time now.

There are practically endless statistics to back the fact that legal gun owners provide a fantastic level of safety and security not only for themselves but to those around them. If you’re a fervent supporter of gun rights you already know them. If you’re a backer of gun control measures you undoubtedly have arguments against their legitimacy. It is a fact – one proven by the many alphabet organizations as well as by independent institutions – that guns in the hands of good guys really are the best way to stop acts of evil from being carried out by bad guys. It is a fact, one proven by each shooting whether they’re carried out by terrorists or mentally unstable lunatics, those attacks tend to take place in gun-free zones. Criminals do not respect laws, rules, or regulations.

“Refusal to believe until proof is given is a rational position; denial of all outside our own limited experience is absurd.” (Philosopher Annie Besant)

This is an argument between the left and right that will never be won by either side. You cannot convince someone who hates something so passionately they are wrong even when they clearly know so little about it. They are unable to accurately refer to firearm models, calibers, modifications, or functions. They cannot tell the difference between “ballistics” and “munitions” (CNN, I’m looking at you) or an Armalite Rifle and an assault rifle (mainstream media, any takers?). What is a bullet button? They don’t know, but they’ll make it sound as scary as possible (Fox News, sadly, get in line)! They know only that they want their way, and they want it now. The facts do not apply, not to their mind.

ARYou simply cannot convince an irrational person to think logically, and you will not convince a rabid gun control supporter to embrace the Second Amendment. This has become a debate so beaten to death it doesn’t even resemble a horse anymore. That does not mean it should not be fought because we must stand up for our Constitutional rights. It simply means it helps to understand where you are in a debate, to be aware of the ground on which you stand. Be aware and fight accordingly.

Col. Jeff Cooper once said that the first rule of gunfighting is to have a gun. In that vein, the first rule of the supposed War on Terror should be the ability to fight back. If you think the canister of pepper spray or the little pink kubotan in your purse or pocket is going to stop a terrorist hell-bent on slaughtering infidels, you’re in for a rude awakening. As for me and my family, we will fight terrorists the only way they understand: on our own two feet, with a legally-obtained firearm. Terrorists neither expect nor want their victims to fight back. They expect a submissive fear response and that is, all too often, what they get. Wouldn’t you rather die on your feet than live on your knees? And let’s face it, when it comes to terrorism, you won’t be living on those knees anyway. You’ll be mowed down without having raised a finger to defend yourself or your loved ones. Be willing to fight, and be sure you have the means with which to fight, the means with which to defend yourself and your loved ones.

As for the gun control debate instigated once again by the mainstream media, I have this to say. If you don’t know the difference between a clip and a magazine, please do not speak to me about gun control. If you don’t know the difference between “.9mm” and 9x19mm, please do not speak to me about gun control (no, that period was not misplaced, that’s courtesy of CNN). If you do not know what “AR” stands for, please do not talk to me about gun control. If you are irrational and resort to name-calling and insults, well, clearly you’re aware you’re losing the argument, and that’s entertainment all on its own.

When the SHTF, those in favor of gun control hide behind those who favor gun rights. A gun-free zone sign cannot keep you safe, but a loaded pistol can. Do not be the sheep.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

Katherine Ainsworth

Katherine is a military and political journalist with a reputation for hard-hitting, no-holds-barred articles. Her career as a writer has immersed her in the military lifestyle and given her unique insights into the various branches of service. She is a firearms aficionado and has years of experience as a K9 SAR handler, and has volunteered with multiple support-our-troops charities for more than a decade. Katherine is passionate about military issues and feels supporting service members should be the top priority for all Americans. Her areas of expertise include the military, politics, history, firearms and canine issues.
Katherine Ainsworth
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2 thoughts on “Cold Dead Hands: A Look at the NY Times Gun Control Op-Ed

  1. So Katherine, how would YOU have prevented the San Bernadino terrorists from obtaining the firearms and ammunition that they used? Equally, how would you prevent home-grown terrorists from obtaining firearms and ammunition that they can use to perpetrate acts of terrorism?

    These are the questions that policy and law makers wrestle with in there efforts to make decent people safer. Terrorists use the very laws and rights of the society they despise in order to attack that society. If law-abiding citizens aren’t to give up their rights in return for a reduction in the terrorist threat, then how is society meant to be able to differentiate between those law-abiding citizens and the terrorists that threaten them? In other words, how do we tell the sheep from the wolves in sheep’s clothing? And no, everyone can’t be a sheep dog. Many simply aren’t cut out for that role. So how do we protect them?

    When you are down range, you very quickly discover that a loaded pistol is no match for an AK-47 or an AR-15. That is why we now see the police trading their shotguns for AR-15s. Yes, bad guys still seem to be able to acquire firearms, even in strong anti-gun jurisdictions. But how do we make it harder for them without curtailing the rights of decent people? That question simply isn’t going to go away.

    This shouldn’t be a debate about gun abolition. It shouldn’t be a debate about gun control. But it may need to be a debate about just who has access to guns and how to tell the sheep and the sheep dogs from the wolves!

  2. Outstanding piece!! PLEASE submit it to every major newspaper in the country as an editorial…especially the NYT rag!!!

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