Friday, November 07, 2003

Now, a fisking...

Angela Cortez of The Denver Post writes about Taking A Stand On Guns

"Gun owners tend to have hardened views on where Democrats stand on gun issues, according to a recent poll.
But the Second Amendment doesn't belong to any political party.

I agree. republicans deserve just as much condemnation when they attempt to take away our Rights. But alas they have better PT than the Democrats, so the Democrats take more than their fair share of the blame.

"The poll, released by Americans for Gun Safety, a gun-rights organization that works to build bipartisan support for federal legislation to close the gun-show loophole, enhance background checks and aggressively enforce existing federal gun laws, found gun-owning voters often assume that Democrats, particularly if they are silent on the issue, are anti-gun, anti-Second Amendment and disrespectful of the values held by those who own firearms. In addition, the study shows that a plurality of gun owners define themselves as moderates who would likely flock to Democratic candidates with a moderate position on guns."

First of all, if AGS is a gun rights group then I'd hate to think what Ms. Cortez thinks of the KKK. Perhaps they're actually a civil rights group?

But it is correct to assume that any politician who is silent is anti-gun. After all if you don't speak up for something, then you oppose it , even if you're opposition is only in the form of your silence.

"I identify with the report. I have written about gun control, Many of my readers, and others, say they know I'm a Democrat, or a liberal, out to take their guns away. I guess there are some signs, but I don't think I've ever told anyone what my party affiliation truly is, and I've never threatened to take anyone's gun away (no one who didn't deserve it, anyway)."

Actually I have read some of Ms. Cortez's writing before & here views are left of center IMO. She may not be a Democrat, but she's damn sure not a Republican or Libertarian. However, she has lied already. In her advocacy for gun control she has threatened to take firearms away from thos who do deserve one. All gun control takes away the firearms of those who deserve it. It's a Right, remember? But I do find her statement that she advocates taking away the guns of those who deserve it to be a sign of ignorance or arrogance on her part. Hopefully it's ignorance, cause there's a simple cure for that. If it's arrogance then it's harder to deal with.

"No one really knows where I stand on guns - gun rights or gun control, depending on how one perceives the debate - but they think they do."

Actually I do know where Ms. Cortez stands. She's on the opposite side of the line that I am. What may be perhaps more accurate is that no one knows to what degree she supports gun control, even though her statements give us an idea. But proof of that will come in this fisking.

"In editorial board meetings, I probably come off "anti-gun," but it's my job to argue an additional point of view. I've written what seems like dozens of editorials - some award-winning - on closing the gun-show loophole as well as opposing other measures that would increase the proliferation of guns on the streets and in the wrong hands. But that doesn't mean I'm 'anti-Second Amendment'."

Actually anything she wrote concerning the denial of a person's Rights as acknowledged under the 2nd amendment would seem anti-2nd amendment for a very good reason: it is. Playing the devil's advocate is one thing, but promoting laws that restrict access or hamper access to firearms is what I'd call anti-2nd amendment.

"I do understand that constitutional right and will fight with all my might to protect it."

Ms. Cortez does not understand that Right as Acknowledged by the constitution. Nor does she understand what "hypocrisy" or "contradictory" means. She has admitted in supporting legislation to hamper a person attempting to excercise their rights as acknowledged by the 2nd amendment & then in the very next friggin' sentence claims to support it. I wonder if she'd support a law to close the "blog loophole" while claiming to defend the 1rst amendment?

"Many people who think they know me are taken aback when I tell them my father is a gun collector who taught me to shoot and how to handle and clean a gun in a safe manner. My dad even considered me a crack shoot."

Not suprising at all. I can make no assumptions about her father, but it sounds like she's a left leaning Fuddite. Unfortunately that's not a rare occurence.

"Whether I own one now or not is similar to my party affiliation, it's not something I'm going to reveal here. But I do believe that the public has a right to know if I have a gun in my home, or on my person. Public records should answer that question."

Public records? So this staunch defender of the 2nd amendment wants registration that's available for public review? The public has no Right to know anything concerning the activities of an individual who has caused no harm or attempted to cause no harm. But if she truly believes the public has a Right to know, why does she not come forward with the information?

"The bottom line is: I'm not anti-Second Amendment and neither are most people - Democrat or otherwise. I don't dislike people who own guns. But I don't necessarily like guns."

I can't really think of an inanimate object I like or dislike. There are some that I feel are more useful for certain tasks, & again some who perform those tasks better than others, but I have never for the life of me understood how a person can dislike a whole category of objects.

But again, she lies. She is very anti-2nd amendment. The 2nd amendment she asserts that she is a supporter of is not the 2nd amendment mentioned in the Bill of Rights, but some interpretation that totally miconstrues the clear meaning & intent of that amendemnt, as well as the concept of federlism itself.

"We're law-abiding citizens, and my father has every right to own and collect guns. I don't want to take that right away from him, or anyone else who posseses the legal right to own a firearm."

Really? but that qualifier makes all the difference doesn't it? "Law abiding". I do not presume that Ms. Cortez would shed any tears for a person whose firearms are confiscated because of a law that allows it. Nor do I see her fighting to prevent laws from narrowing the criteria of people who may legally own firearms. In other words, she claims to support legal gun owners to have firearms, while supporting laws that restrict the number & type of people who may own firearms.

"That said, I don't want people to have guns in their homes if they have children or suffer from mental ailments. I don't want people owning guns if they're not hunters. I don't like the idea of people walking around with concealed weapons. I want guns under lock and key. Like motor vehicles, I want them to be licensed."

Huh??? So this staunch defender of the Right to Arms thinks those with children or other dependent conditions should not have the means of defense? She doesn't want non-hunters to be able to protect themselves or particiapte in formal target shooting competitions? She disapproves of people who have the means to protect themselves outside their home? She wants them locked up? She wants them licensed like cars?

Well, many people have made comparisons of motor vehicle & car licensing. I think she doesn't realize what she's saying.

Anyone with the money can buy a car. No license required, no background check. They may only drive the car on public roads after they get a license, which is usually available to those over 16. There are no restrictions on the type of car one may purchase, own, & drive around on their own property. Further there are no prohibitions on one driving a car on their own property or getting a license to drive on public streets even if they are convicted of a violent crime. If they prove themselves negligent or dangerous in driving on public streets, their license to drive on public streets may be suspended or revoked, but they still have no barriers preventing them from buying a car, owning a car, or driving on private property.

If Ms. Cortex thought about that for a few minutes I'm sure she'd change her mind about wanting firearms regulated like vehicles.

"I believe victims should have the right to sue negligent manufacturers or dealers of firearms. I wish people didn't feel they need guns in their homes for protection because I think that during a burglary or a struggle between a homeowner and an intruder, innocent people are likely to end up at the wrong end of the barrel."

Victims do have the ability to sue negligent firearms manufacturers &/or dealers. But considering that firearms accidents are usually caused by negligence of the user & the number of accidents in general is at an all time low, I think Ms. Cortez is ignorant of the situation. I would advise she reads this post from Kevin at The Smallest Minority which deals with accidental firearms deaths & hte misue &/or understanding of the statistics involved.

Here's an excerpt from Kevin:

"Let's look at the facts, as unpleasant as they actually are. In 1999, as the piece says, 824 accidental deaths by gunshot were recorded. But how many of these were children? If you define it as I do as "under the age of 18" then the total number of "children" who died by accidental gunshot wound was 158. If you mean small children, such as the one in the picture - say, under the age of 10? 31. Not 4,000. Not 824. Thirty-one.

Compare that to the number of children under the age of 10 who died by drowning in 1999: 750. The number under the age of 10 who died in bicycle accidents? 81.

But we're told endlessly that they're no longer interested in gun-control any more, but now it's gun-safety they pursue. I'm sorry, but guns are apparently safer than water or bicycles, at least for small children."

Now as to Ms. Cortez' belief that firearms in the home are most likely to hurt their owners rather than protect them, I would suggets she read this. It's a page containing links to some of the self defense stories involving citizens with firearms. I fear that her own occupational bias has mislead her. Just because her paper, or papers in general don't report defensive firearms use does not mean it's a statistically insignificant occurence.

But stats aside, who is she to assert that we should not have a choice? If she feels firearms are more likely to cause problems, then she perhaps shouldn't have one. But it is arrogance that leads her to express the desire to make that choice for others.

"I wish society could evolve at a faster rate into one that is non-violent and has little interest in or need for firearms. But I'm also a realist, and I don't make the rules. Anyone who has the right to own a gun can do so. My thinking on the matter really is neither extreme left or right, but somewhere near the center, like most people."

Every gun owner out there wishes society would be non-violent. However even a non-violent society would still have legitimate interests in firearms. Target shooting is fun. there's a variety of disciplines to involve yourself in & it deserves its place as a sport just as much as baseball, football or hockey. Also hunting is an enjoyable & sometimes necessary activity. It can be accomplished without firearms in some cases, but not as effeciently & not with the same nostalgia that a firearm offers.

But her thinking is not like most people. I would opine that it's like most reporters, or perhaps most leftists. But even if it were like most people it would still not matter to me as long as she stopped attempting to impose her beliefs on others.

"So don't tag me anti-Second Amendment. Tag me a Democrat if you will, but don't tag all Democrats 'anti-Second Amendment,' or 'anti-gun'."

It seems that Ms. Cortez has tagged herself as anti-2nd amendment & anti-Right to Arms. whether she's a Republican, Democrat or third party supporter makes no difference. She wishes to take away part, if not all, of my Right to Arms.

"Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., Jack Reed, D-R.I., Mike DeWine, R-Ohio, and Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., have introduced compromise legislation to close the gun-show loophole. heIt will be offered as an amendment to the gun-manufacturers immunity bill expected to come up for a vote this session. In addition, an amendment to renew the automatic weapons bill is expected to be attached."

I'll get to those attached amendments in another post, cause it's very important news.

"This is where my sense of fairness and reality collide, because the immunity bill is rotten. 'This bill (gives) gun manufacturers and dealers total immunity from civil lawsuits,' says Sarah Brady. 'This means the gun business will enjoy a legal freedom that no other industry has ever gained'."

That's another lie. The immunity bill prevents lawsuits caused by the actions of thrid parties. It does not affect standing in cases of faulty or defective manufacturing. It more or less keeps you from suing a gun manufacturer if someone who is legally entitled to buy a gun shoots you or a relative, or if someone steals a gun & shoots you or a relative, or if someone legally owns a gun & shoots you through their own negligence. You can still sue the person who shot you, you just can't sue the manufacturer for the acts of a second or third party unless those acts were the direct result of negligence on the company's part.

But apperently this staunch defender of the 2nd amendment trusts information from the person who is the most visible supporter of removing all firearms from civilian hands.

"The problem is that the manufacturers immunity bill has the votes - TheRepublican votes are there, as well as and some key Democrats. Sadly, it is likely to pass, and President Bush has already said he'll sign it. The best we can hope for is that if it must pass, we get two good pieces of legislation out of it: Closure of the gun-show loophole - the gap that currently allows non-licensed dealers to sell their wares at gun shows without performing background checks - and the renewal of the automatic weapons ban."

Hmm this staunch supprter of the 2nd amendment is hoping that a bill that keeps frivilous lawsuits from bankrupting gun companies will pass with attachments that infringe upon our Right to private transactions involving firearms at certain locations & infringe upon our Right to possess newly manufactured firearms with certain cosmetic features?

She refers to it as a ban on automatic weapons. Either she is ignorant of what the ban she supports entails, or she is purposefully misleading. She is talking about the "assault weapons ban" which only affects certain firearms with certain purely cosmetic features. Automatic weapons have been heavily regulated since 1934. New manufacture of automatic arms was verbotten for civilian use in 1986.

"While we've closed the gun-show loophole in Colorado (thanks to voters, not the legislators), we need a federal mandate to close the loophole throughout the country. This is important legislation and - apologies to to Ms.Mrs. Brady - must be passed."

Again. she's not content that her views have been imposed on those in her own state, but wishes those views to be imposed nationwide. The gun show "loophole" was closed in Colorado by a majority of voters via a referendum. This is why democracy was not chosen as our form of government. I wonder if she would feel as pro-deomcratic as she does if 51% of the voters in Colorado passed a law requiring government approval of every news story & licensing of every reporter, even if they wrote something outside of their papers office? Or perhaps more appropriately a law that prohibited anyone from buying a newspaper at a news stand without a background check?

The gun show "loophole" is not a "loophole" at all. It's merely something that's not illegal. It's the ability of individuals to seel firearms to other individuals at gun shows w/o registration or governmental approval. what Ms. Cortez advocates is a federal intrusion into the private transactions of individuals. She wants Congress to strecth the overly broad definition of interstate commerce yet again & regulate transactions that they have no authority to hamper in the first friggin place.

"Unless, of course, something better can be worked out. But I doubt it."

What would be better in her opinion? I can only speculate but I wouldn't be surprised if it made Great Britain's gun laws look libertarian by contrast.

Ms. Cortez is either ignorant or a liar. Hypocritical is something that would describe this piece of hers despite motivation.

& this person is probably not uncommon in journalism, which would explain their anti-Right to Arms slant & their denying they have a slant in the first place. They're too absorbed in their own circles to realize that they are only moderate or center when compared to those of similar views. further they place too much importance on the majority of biews, as if Rights should subject to majority whim.

But in Ms. Cortez' case it saddens me that she is so ill informed & that through negligence or malice she seeks to spread that ignorance. I would be more than happy to calmly & rationally discuss her views with her & at least attempt to point out the factual erors she makes, if not the philosophical ones.

Ms. Cortez is a member of the Denver Post Editorial Board & may be reached at

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