Ban Fake Guns In Hollywood

Clearly the denizens of the Hellmouth can’t handle them:

Alec Baldwin has accidentally shot and killed the female cinematography director of his upcoming western movie Rust and wounded the director while firing a prop gun on set.

The 68-year-old was filming a scene for the movie at Bonanza Creek Ranch, near the city of Santa Fe, New Mexico, when the gun went off around 1.50pm, fatally wounding 42-year-old photography director Halyna Hutchins and leaving writer-director Joel Souza, 48, badly injured.

Hutchins – believed to be a married mother-of-one – was rushed to the University of New Mexico Hospital in an air ambulance but was later pronounced dead, while Souza was taken by ambulance to the Christus St Vincent Regional Medical Center. He has since been released, though his exact condition is unclear.

Meanwhile Baldwin was taken to a Santa Fe detectives’ office to be questioned about the shooting. He was not arrested and was later released without charge – though investigations are ongoing.

I understand how a prop gun mishap – or mishandling – can get an actor or actress shot. They’re actually being aimed at, and loading mistakes can happen. But how do you “accidentally” shoot the directors? Unless they’re standing in for an actor during a run-through, there is no reason to be pointing a gun at them, let alone pulling the trigger.

Anyhow, we’re told that if it saves just one life, it’s worth it, right? And clearly, it would save lives if actors just pointed their fingers at people and shouted “bang!”

UPDATE: Given the fact that the Hollywood crews were on strike and had been replaced by local New Mexicans, it wouldn’t surprise me to learn that the live rounds were planted by a union member.

It’s unclear where the union got the information that the round fired by Baldwin was a live one, since none of its members were on the movie set.

They’d certainly know if one of their members was responsible for loading it.

Shooting at Ohio State

There was a minor attack of some kind at Ohio State University:

At least 8 people have reportedly been injured in a mass shooting at Ohio State University. Columbus Fire Department officials tell CBS affiliate WBNS that 8 people have been transported to area hospitals.

Seven of those patients were reportedly stable, at least one of them critical.

Law enforcement say one suspect has been shot and is dead.

Police tell WBNS that the incident started around 9:30 a.m. this morning when a vehicle ran into the chemical engineering building.

Some reports coming in say that some of the victims have been stabbed, with at least 4 being shot.

No word on if it is Sudden Jihad Syndrome, but the fact that it took place at the chemical engineering building tends to indicate that it wasn’t an omega taking out his frustrations on women.

UPDATE: AAAANNND it’s Muslims. A Minnesota Man, to be precise, which I understand is the proper way to pronounce Somali. So sad. Another Magic Dirt fail.

Reality and gun control

The New York Times reluctantly concludes that gun laws are not an effective way to stop mass shootings:

The New York Times examined all 130 shootings last year in which four or more people were shot, at least one fatally, and investigators identified at least one attacker. The cases range from drug-related shootouts to domestic killings that wiped out entire families to chance encounters that took harrowing wrong turns.

They afford a panoramic view of some of the gun control debate’s fundamental issues: whether background checks and curbs on assault weapons limit violence; whether the proliferation of open-carry practices and rules allowing guns on college campuses is a spark to violence; whether it is too easy for dangerously mentally ill or violent people to get guns.

The findings are dispiriting to anyone hoping for simple legislative fixes to gun violence. In more than half the 130 cases, at least one assailant was already barred by federal law from having a weapon, usually because of a felony conviction, but nonetheless acquired a gun. Including those who lacked the required state or local permits, 64 percent of the shootings involved at least one attacker who violated an existing gun law.

Of the remaining assailants, 40 percent had never had a serious run-in with the law and probably could have bought a gun even in states with the strictest firearm controls. Typically those were men who killed their families and then themselves. Only 14 shootings involved assault rifles, illustrating their outsize role in the gun debate.

The fact is that banning no-fault divorce would reduce mass shootings considerably more than even the most stringent gun laws. Institutionalizing the mentally disturbed, banning psychotropic drugs used for depression, legalizing street drugs, and eliminating gun-free zones would further reduce their incidence.

Unfortunately, as with most solutions proposed by the fearful and the irrational, gun control isn’t actually about reducing gun violence, let alone lethal violence, it is about making the frightened rabbits feel better about their inability to defend themselves. That is why they will continue to push for it even though it is known that it cannot achieve its nominal purpose.

1x, 11x, 1250x

The President of the Philippines demonstrates how small-scale, but intense action can lead to significant results.

Duterte’s centerpiece anticrime drive, focused on an ambitious campaign promise to end the widespread drugs problem in six months, has left more than 400 drug suspects dead, many of them either in firefights with police or under suspect circumstances. More than 4,400 have been arrested, police said.

The unprecedented killings have scared more than half a million drug users and dealers who gave themselves up to police, officials said. An overwhelmed Duterte has said he was considering to set aside some areas in military camps nationwide to build rehabilitation centers for those who surrender.

We’ve already seen significant self-deportations take place in the USA response to fairly modest crackdowns on illegal employment. While people have questioned how 60 million immigrants could ever be deported, it should be obvious that tens of millions would self-deport with alacrity were the federal government to announce it was targeting them for arrest and would no longer respect their human rights.

If we assume that arrests are equivalent to deportations, that means 500,000 deportations would probably suffice, although it is unclear if the deportations alone would provide the sufficient motivation. One tends to suspect the drug users and dealers were more impressed by the anti-drug death squads.

Don’t forget, this math works two ways. I tend to suspect that the anti-gun forces in the USA are counting on a similar equation.

Quintessential cuckservatism

Rod Dreher demonstrates the effete and useless nature of modern conservatism:

The Speaker of the House of Representatives was shouted down by Democratic Congressman as he attempted to regain control of the House of Representatives. Actual US Congressmen behaving like a bunch of giddy Oberlin undergraduates.

They had better not give in. Look, on gun control matters, I am generally — generally — more sympathetic to Democrats than to Republicans. But this mob insurrection on the House floor is profoundly unsettling. I have not looked closely at the legislation, so it is entirely possible that I might support the Democratic proposal. But to attempt to get one’s way by showing utter contempt for rules of the House? No. No, no, no. Their passion does not justify their behavior.

This country is in trouble.

You know he’s serious when he resorts to no less than FOUR (4) nos. This useless, limp-wristed excuse for a purported conservative “opinion leader”, this hapless, low-testosterone shadow of a man, is more concerned about fucking etiquette, than he is about the single most important right in the Bill of Rights.

“Dear God, they’re sitting on the floor! Heavens to Betsy, whatever shall we do?”

If you want to understand the key difference between the Alt Right and the Conservative movement, all you need to do is look at Rod Dreher. If he strikes you as a strong and principled Christian man standing up for what is right and true and important, then you are most definitely a Conservative.

If he strikes you as missing the point so badly that he would have done far better to put on a dress, smear some lipstick on his face, and record a video reading from Amy Vanderbilt’s Complete Book of Etiquette, you just might be Alt Right.

Why gun control will never happen

Scott Adams explains the political impossibility of gun control in the USA:

On average, Democrats (that’s my team*) use guns for shooting the innocent. We call that crime.

On average, Republicans use guns for sporting purposes and self-defense.

If you don’t believe me, you can check the statistics on the Internet that don’t exist. At least I couldn’t find any that looked credible.

But we do know that race and poverty are correlated. And we know that poverty and crime are correlated. And we know that race and political affiliation are correlated. Therefore, my team (Clinton) is more likely to use guns to shoot innocent people, whereas the other team (Trump) is more likely to use guns for sporting and defense.

That’s a gross generalization. Obviously. Your town might be totally different.

So it seems to me that gun control can’t be solved because Democrats are using guns to kill each other – and want it to stop – whereas Republicans are using guns to defend against Democrats. Psychologically, those are different risk profiles. And you can’t reconcile those interests, except on the margins. For example, both sides might agree that rocket launchers are a step too far. But Democrats are unlikely to talk Republicans out of gun ownership because it comes off as “Put down your gun so I can shoot you.”

It does indeed, and not only to Republicans. What gun control advocates don’t understand is that they are advocating a very violent civil war that will lead to the end of the Union. Millions of Americans all across the country will absolutely shoot anyone who attempts to disarm them, and moreover, are also willing to shoot anyone who advocated their disarming.

We all know that the government has its lists. Do you really think that gun owners don’t too? The only reason they’re not shooting gun control advocates now is because they don’t believe it to be necessary in order to keep their guns.

Do you really want to convince them otherwise?

Irony: Gun Control version

A journalist tries to write an article about how easy it is to buy guns, is denied due to criminal record:

I was looking forward to shooting my new rifle the next day. I’ve shot guns. It’s fun. I was worried though, about having fun with guns in the current environment of outrage and horror. Had I been co-opted by the purchase process? By the friendly staff at Maxon’s?

 At 5:13 Sarah from Maxon called. They were canceling my sale and refunding my money. No gun for you. I called back. Why? “I don’t have to tell you,” she said.

 A few hours later, Maxon sent the newspaper a lengthy statement, the key part being: “it was uncovered that Mr. Steinberg has an admitted history of alcohol abuse, and a charge for domestic battery involving his wife.”

Well, didn’t see that coming.

The best part is how he tried, and failed, to set the Narrative.

Mr. Steinberg was very aggressive on the phone with Sarah, insisting he was going to write that we denied him because he is a journalist. “Journalist” is not a protected class, BTW. We contacted his editor and said that, while we don’t normally provide a reason for a denial, in this case to correct the record before you publish, here’s why; we pasted a couple links of press accounts of his past behavior and his admission of same. He’s free to believe or disbelieve that’s why he was denied, but that *is* why he was denied. There was no “We’ll see you in court!!!!” type of language from us – we simply want to set the record straight. That it undermined his thesis and rendered the column incoherent isn’t really our problem, is it?

Never talk to the media. Just do not do it. They are almost comically dishonest and they will go to any length in order to write the story they plan to write regardless of what the relevant facts happen to be.

And perhaps more to the point, they aren’t necessary anymore. The risk/reward ratio now tips heavily to the “why even bother” side. Furthermore, even just talking to them can be downright dangerous for the average citizen:

A Denver newspaper columnist is arrested for stalking a story subject. In Cincinnati, a television reporter is arrested on charges of child molestation. A North Carolina newspaper reporter is arrested for harassing a local woman. A drunken Chicago Sun-Times columnist and editorial board member is arrested for wife beating. A Baltimore newspaper editor is arrested for threatening neighbors with a shotgun. In Florida, one TV reporter is arrested for DUI, while another is charged with carrying a gun into a high school. A Philadelphia news anchorwoman goes on a violent drunken rampage, assaulting a police officer. In England, a newspaper columnist is arrested for killing her elderly aunt.

Unrelated incidents, or mounting evidence of that America’s newsrooms have become a breeding ground for murderous, drunk, gun-wielding child molesters? Answers are elusive, but the ever-increasing toll of violent crimes committed by journalists has led some experts to warn that without programs for intensive mental health care, the nation faces a potential bloodbath at the hands of psychopathic media vets.

Freedom trumps “free speech”

Eugene Volokh somehow manages to completely miss the salient point. This is why lawyers tend to be intrinsically flawed defenders of freedom; their training predisposes them to miss the forest for the trees:

Monday, a three-judge U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit panel handed down a third opinion in Wollschlaeger v. Governor, the Florida “Docs vs. Glocks” case. Florida law limits doctors’ conversations with patients about guns. The first opinion in the case held that the law wasn’t really a speech restriction, because it just regulated the practice of medicine (a deeply unsound view, I think). The second opinion, issued after a petition for rehearing, changed course and held that the law was a speech restriction, but that — as a restriction on professional-client speech — it had to be judged under “intermediate scrutiny,” which it passed.

First of all, since the State regulates doctors and protects them from competition, they can do anything they want with regards to how they go about their business. Second, as the article shows, what is actually being prohibited is doctors being used as a line of attack against gun rights.

It bans doctors “from unnecessarily harassing a patient about firearm ownership during an examination.” This means, according to the panel majority, that a doctor “should not disparage firearm-owning patients, and should not persist in attempting to speak to the patient about firearm ownership when the subject is not relevant [based on the particularized circumstances of the patient’s case, such as the patient’s being suicidal] to medical care or safety.”

And whenever there is a conflict between gun rights and speech rights, gun rights much always come first, because gun rights defend speech rights far more effectively than speech rights defend gun rights.

But that is a philosophical point, not a legal one, which is why even a libertarian lawyer is likely going to miss it. Here is the crux of his error:

Now I think that the supposed imbalance of power between doctor and patient, like the supposed imbalance of power among students, is quite overstated.

That’s completely absurd. This attempt to turn the medical community into a white-coated Stasi should be shot down in any and every way necessary. 

Mailvox: the power of freedom

A reader writes about a recent life-changing experience:

Yesterday, me and my wife took the second step in buying a gun — attending a four-hour Basic Firearms Safety Course .  The first step is finding out whether your town’s police authority will give out gun licenses.  Since [State] is a “shall issue” state, forget about getting a licence in [Big City] or another large city, forget it unless you’re well-connected.  The instructor said that this de facto ban was illegal, but what are you going to do?

All 40 seats were full.  This facility hold this class every day.   The instructor said that ever since the Paris attacks, they haven’t been able to keep up with the demand and would hold a second class if they had the range time.  The demographics were quite telling.  There was a 50/50 gender mix with six other couples.  There was one 18 year old guy and only one other guy under forty.  The rest of us were middle-aged and middle-class.  And… we were all white.

I wasn’t alone in having trouble practicing loading/unloading the full-sized guns.  My hands weren’t big enough, and I ended up waving the barrel around too much while trying to release the magazine clip.  Oops.  And my index finger ended up sliding down from alongside the barrel into the the trigger guard.  Double oops.  And I pointed the revolver up in the air when unloading it.  Nope nope nope.  Beginners mistakes; easily identified and fixable with training.

On the range, I got a very good cluster.  The instructor was astonished that I’d never picked up a handgun before, and my last time firing a gun was a 22 for the Boy Scout merit badge.  

I really enjoyed firing.  I lined up the sights, felt an adrenal rush, stopped thinking, slowly squeezed, and watched bullets hit the target.  It was a shock when the gun went ‘click’ instead of ‘pop’.  So here’s my problem.  All my life, I’ve been told guns are evil and as a upper-middle class white guy, I shouldn’t use one.  But it was fun, dammit!

Next step is to get a licence.  And more classes, leading up the practical purchase of a pump-action shotgun with an 18-22″ barrel that both my wife and I can handle.

The American militia is awakening. I have no doubt it will be ready when the time comes. None at all. Will it be enough? Only time will tell.

And if you haven’t armed yourself and your family, what are you waiting for? You can’t possibly say that you haven’t been warned. Repeatedly.

Remember when they said “no one wants to take your guns?”

They lied, of course.

It’s Time to Ban Guns. Yes, All of Them.

Ban guns. All guns. Get rid of guns in homes, and on the streets, and, as much as possible, on police. Not just because of San Bernardino, or whichever mass shooting may pop up next, but also not not because of those. Don’t sort the population into those who might do something evil or foolish or self-destructive with a gun and those who surely will not. As if this could be known—as if it could be assessed without massively violating civil liberties and stigmatizing the mentally ill. Ban guns! Not just gun violence. Not just certain guns. Not just already-technically-illegal guns. All of them. 

I used to refer to my position on this issue as being in favor of gun control. Which is true, except that “gun control” at its most radical still tends to refer to bans on certain weapons and closing loopholes. The recent New York Times front-page editorial, as much as it infuriated some, was still too tentative. “Certain kinds of weapons, like the slightly modified combat rifles used in California, and certain kinds of ammunition, must be outlawed for civilian ownership,” the paper argued, making the case for “reasonable regulation,” nothing more. Even the rare ban-guns arguments involve prefacing and hedging and disclaimers. “We shouldn’t ‘take them away’ from people who currently own them, necessarily,” writes Hollis Phelps in Salon. Oh, but we should.

I say this not to win some sort of ideological purity contest, but because banning guns urgently needs to become a rhetorical and conceptual possibility. The national conversation needs to shift from one extreme—an acceptance, ranging from complacent to enthusiastic, of an individual right to own guns—to another, which requires people who are not politicians to speak their minds. And this will only happen if the Americans who are quietly convinced that guns are terrible speak out.

Every vocal would-be gun banner needs to understand that this is what they are trying to make “a rhetorical and conceptual possibility”. Their endorsement of disarming the people is every bit as evil and horrifically unacceptable in a civilized Western society as endorsing cannibalism, pedophilia, or necrophilia.

You can email your thoughts on Phoebe Maltz Bovy’s call for disarming you to her here: