Jihadi Cool, Really?

I had a WTF moment this morning while watching Face the Nation. Journalist Clarissa Ward was discussing the ISIL crisis and she said that bored young girls read about Jihadists and are caught up in the romance and adventure of joining their cause. I’m sitting here thinking how did we get from Justin Bieber crushes to crushes on Jihadists?

Then, a guest on Meet the Press used the phrase “jihadi cool”. Are you kidding me? Lopping off heads and enslaving women is the new cool?

You know, I get the “everybody’s doing it” nonsense that leads to smoking, drinking and to a lesser extent drugs. I get the pressures that lead young folk to have reckless sex too young to handle the consequences. As parents, we struggle to navigate our kids through these land mines.

But are you really telling me that now we have to worry that our kids will mistake religious extremist psychopaths for romantic swashbucklers and buy tickets to Syria? Really? Has our society become this bored and stupid?

I can’t believe I’m saying this but I guess the next step is a PSA campaign telling kids it’s not cool to be a Jihadist. Maybe the first one can star Justin Bieber.

What do you think? The bar is open.

The Idiot’s Guide to Gun Control

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Nine Unarmed Men and an Armed Man Walk Into a Bar

This evening, barely disguising his anger, President Barack Obama asked how the Senate could ignore the will of 90% of the people by not passing a bipartisan written bill for expanded background checks on gun purchasers. The answer is simple. Nine men without a gun ask for expanded background checks. One man with a gun says no. Who are you going to listen to?

The Stupidity of Confiscation

There is an odd intersection of the illegal immigration debate and the gun safety debate. We have approximately 11 million illegal immigrants in this country and no one but the nuttiest on the fringe would suggest rounding them up and kicking them out of the country. On the one hand, there are humanitarian considerations in that many of these folks have lived here a long time and are law-abiding. However, there is a far less altruistic reason for not kicking them out. It’s a practical near  impossibility, a logistical nightmare.

There are approximately 270 million guns owned by civilians in the United States. Does anyone really think there is any practical means by which the US federal government could confiscate these guns? It is, like deporting every illegal immigrant, a logistical nightmare. And while kicking out immigrants might not be met with violence, you can be sure as hell that trying to take even a fraction of those 270 million guns away from their owners would result in a bloodbath. Yet the fundamental opposition to any gun control legislation comes from the slippery slope theory. First, they expand background checks. Then they register gun owners. Then they “come for your guns.” It’s the very definition of paranoid stupidity. In fact, the legislation that was shot down today (pardon the pun) contained a provision making it a felony to maintain a registry of gun owners. Wayne LaPierre and the gun industry funded NRA won’t tell you that. That’s because they think you’re an idiot. Enough idiots intimidated their Senators today to defeat a perfectly reasonable gun safety bill.

No Need to Pass Laws Because Criminals Will Violate Them Anyway

This has to be one of the hallmark idiotic premises of the pro-gun gang. There is no sense passing new gun legislation because criminals don’t abide by the law. Thankfully there are some in the media who won’t let folks get away with this idiocy. Witness this exchange between Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio and “Face the Nation” host Bob Schieffer.

RUBIO:  My problem is this, in addition to the issue I’ve just raised, which is that this debate needs to be about violence, not just about guns, we have to ensure that the laws that people are putting out there do not infringe on the rights of law-abiding citizens and that actually do keep guns out of the hands of criminals. And my skepticism about gun laws is that criminals don’t follow the law. They don’t care what the law is, that they don’t — you can pass any law you want, criminals ignore it, by definition they’re criminals.

SCHIEFFER: You know, Senator — are you still there, Senator?

RUBIO: Yes.

SCHIEFFER: You know, criminals don’t follow the laws on burglary and on murder and on auto theft. But those laws still, I think…

RUBIO: And we prosecute those.

SCHIEFFER: I think most people would say those laws are fairly effective.

My Conversation with an Idiot

OK, to be fair the following actually represents my exchange not with one idiot but with a composite of folks I’ve talked to online about gun control or more specifically, limiting the capacity of ammunition clips. Let’s call our idiot Quick Draw McGraw.

Rutherford Lawson: I advocate limiting clip size to ten rounds. That way a gunman can only fire ten bullets before he has to change clips.

Quick Draw McGraw: That’s ridiculous. I can change a clip in less than two seconds. If I have multiple ten round clips, I just change them once one is empty and I keep shooting.

RL: While I doubt the average person can change clips in under two seconds, even so, every time you interrupt the gunman you give advantage to the victim.

QDM: What’s the victim gonna do in 2 seconds?

RL: Jared Loughner in Tuscon got tackled while changing clips. If his first clip had only ten bullets perhaps fewer folks would have been shot?

QDM: Yeah, well you realize that when you limit my clip capacity you put me at a disadvantage to protect myself.

RL: How’s that?

QDM: I’ve got an assailant coming at me and I don’t have time to change clips.

RL: If you can’t drop a guy with ten bullets, you’re not a very good shot, are you?

QDM: A lot you know! You watch too many cop shows. Do you know how hard it is to shoot accurately under pressure?

RL: But I thought you said you could change a clip in under 2 seconds?

QDM: Uhhhhh …..

RL: So let me get this straight. Limiting clip size does nothing to slow down a potential assailant but it can slow you down. Is that what you’re saying?

QDM: Uhhhhh ….

It is really hard to understand how we are losing the debate to these people. Hopefully, the passion for better regulation will not die with today’s vote and we can take some sensible steps toward a safer nation.

Respectfully,
Rutherford

Art by INVERTED (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons