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Gun grabbers' slips are showing

About Colin McNickle
Picture Colin McNickle 412-320-7836
Director of Editorial Pages
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Colin McNickle is the Trib's editorial page editor.

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By Colin McNickle

Published: Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Using the illogic of the most intellectually dishonest wing of the anti-gun lobby — that the Second Amendment, if it protects the right of the individual to bear arms at all, it only protects the right to own a firearm of the Bill of Rights era (think flintlock muskets, rifles and pistols) — then surely they would have to stipulate to the following:

• Given that there were no electric or electronic voice-amplification devices as of Dec. 15, 1791 (when the Bill of Rights was ratified), the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of speech does not apply to contemporary speech using a megaphone or a microphone or speech made in a motion picture or on the radio or television or any kind of Internet-based audio mechanism.

• Given that there were no high-speed printing presses in the Bill of Rights era (one of the more popular presses of the day was the English Common Wooden Press, which laboriously had to have type set, then printing commenced on one side of one sheet at a time), today's mass-produced newspapers, magazines and “just-in-time” books would not have First Amendment protection. ...

Speaking of illogic and intellectual dishonesty (and that's being charitable), the editorialists at The Toledo, Ohio, Block Bugler argue (and that word is used loosely) as follows:

“Industries promote and market their products, and it is within their rights to do so. At the same time, firearms makers and the National Rifle Association busily promoting guns and shooting to American children in the wake of the Newtown massacre of first-graders is obscene.”

One can only assume that The Bugler also would call “obscene” the busy promotion of motor vehicles in the aftermath of, say, a car being used in mowing down first-graders on a playground?

The Bugler's dissemblers also lambaste the likes of the U.S. military, 4-H clubs and the Boy Scouts who work in concert with gun manufacturers to promote gun safety.

And these folks call gun enthusiasts “nuts”? ...

Another argument still attempted (note the word “made” purposely is not used because the argument is not made) despite overwhelming evidence is that the “American gun tradition” rooted in our Founding era is a myth, one manufactured by gun makers. It's a way to smear every gun collector, every sport shooting enthusiast and every gun group, usually the National Rifle Association.

But the best count of guns then that's been made in the modern era came in a 2002 study — undertaken in the aftermath of the outright fraud of Colonial Era gun ownership “diminisher” Michael Bellesiles — by Northwestern University legal scholars James Lindgren and Justin Heather.

“(T)here were high numbers of guns in early America,” they concluded; “guns were much more common than swords or other edged weapons, women owned guns and the great majority of gun-owning estates listed no old or broken guns.”

At least 50 percent of male and female “wealthholders” in 1774 owned guns. “Given that these counts are based on incomplete probate inventories, unless nudity was also widely practiced, these gun counts are likely to be substantial underestimates,” Messrs. Lindgren and Heather wrote.

If the gun grabbers keep showing their slips at the rate they have been, they'll soon be naked. Which is apropos considering the naked misrepresentations they continue to make about guns, their owners and the Second Amendment.

Colin McNickle is Trib Total Media's director of editorial pages (412-320-7836 or cmcnickle@tribweb.com).

 

 
 


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