The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast, and the results are in for this week’s Watcher’s Council match up.
“Those who hammer their guns into plowshares will plow for those who do not.” – President Thomas Jefferson
“A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity.” – Sigmund Freud
“An armed society is a polite society.” – Robert Heinlein
“That rifle on the wall of the labourer’s cottage or working class flat is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there.” – George Orwell
This week’s winner, Bookworm Room’s – Bookworm’s 5 Point Gun Manifesto: Or Why I believe in Gun Rights spells out oh so clearly why without the Second Amendment all the others are meaningless. Here’s a slice:
God forgive me, but I used to be so anti-gun that I donated to The Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence. I know. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. Since that time, I’ve done a complete 180 and become a fervent gun supporter and a proud member of the NRA.
This change did not come about because I suddenly became a psychopathic killer, with guns as my weapon of choice. I do kill (spiders, fleas, and ticks) and I do eat dead bodies (cows, pigs, chicken, and fish), but I’m scarcely Hannibal Lecter.
Instead, my reversal on guns came about because I realized that gun’s are a predicate requirement for individual freedom and security. I’ve created five principles that justify this conclusion. These principles are: (1) Individuals bearing guns are the best defense against the world’s most dangerous killer: government; (2) I am a Jew; (3) I am not a racist; (4) a self-defended society is a safe society; and (5) the only way gun-control activists can support their position is to lie.
I develop each of these principles below.
A. Individuals Bearing Arms Are The Best Defense Against The World’s Most Dangerous Killer: Government.
1. DemProgs fear small digit murders by individuals; Second Amendment supporters fear murders in the millions by governments.
a. Mad or predatory individuals, ideologically motivated groups, and mean or careless corporations have never succeeded in using guns to achieve more than a few thousand deaths in any individual act.
DemProgs and conservatives alike share the same concerns: they don’t want killers to have guns. It’s just that DemProgs haven’t quite figured out who the real killers are. Their obsessive focus is on individuals and corporations. Let’s humor their fears and look at number of deaths those particular killers have achieved, beginning in the 20th century through to the present day.
Killers Without Guns:
The worst psychopathic individual mass murderer who did not use a gun: Gameel al-Batouti. On October 31, 1999, he cried out “Allahu Akbar” as he piloted a plane full of passengers into the Atlantic Ocean, killing 217 people.
The worst ideologically driven collective of mass murderers who did not use guns: The 19 al Qaeda members who, on September 11, 2001, used box cutters to hijack four planes, crashed those planes into three buildings and one into a field, and killed 2,996 people in a matter of hours.
The worst corporate mass murderer that did not use guns: In December 1984, the Union Carbide India Limited pesticide plant in Bhopal, India, accidentally released toxic gas from its facility, killing 3,787 people.
CONCLUSION: When dedicated mass murderers use something other than guns, they’re able to achieve deaths that range from a few hundreds dead to a few thousand dead.
Killers With Guns:
The worst psychopathic individual mass murderer who did use a gun: Anders Behring Breivik who, on July 22, 2011, shot and killed 69 people in Norway – mostly teenagers. This rampage came after he’d already set off a bomb, killing 8 people. Norway has strict gun control.
The worst ideologically driven collective mass murderers who did use guns: Given Islamists’ tendency to use all weapons available to shoot as many people as possible in as many countries as they can, this is a tough one to call. I believe, though, that the Mumbai terror attack in 2008 is the largest ideologically driven mass murder that relied solely on guns. Throughout the city of Mumbai, Islamic terrorists engaged in a coordinated attack that killed 154 people. Even the unbelievably bloody and shocking mall shooting that al Shabaab staged in Kenya killed only 63 people.
The worst corporate mass murder that did use guns: I can’t find any. To the extent that numerous workers died in any given 19th century labor dispute, those deaths occurred because state government, siding with management, sent out the state’s militia to disperse the strikers. For example, in November 1887, in Thibodaux, Louisiana, the state militia killed between 35 and 300 black sugar plantation strikers. The 20th and 21st century did not offer such examples.
CONCLUSION: When individual killers or small groups of killers rely on guns, their effectiveness is limited, compared to those who use planes or bombs. In addition, corporations (outside of crazed Hollywood movies) drop out of the running entirely.
It’s clear that both individuals (singularly and collectively) and corporations can kill. However, even when given optimal killing situations (e.g., acts of terrorism or corporate negligence), the numbers stay in the low thousands – and sink even further when guns are involved.
DemProgs could conceivably argue that, once you start adding up small killing events (a murder here, a murder there), you’re going to find a lot of dead bodies piled around you. For example, if one adds up America’s annual murder statistics from 1960 through 2012, the total number of Americans killed in those 52 years is 914,191. (This number encompasses all murders, not just those with guns, but we’ll still use it as the most extreme illustration of Americans’ alleged propensity to violence.)
If we then engaged in the risible pretense that these numbers were stable for all 233 years of America’s existence (900,000 murdered citizens per every 50 years), we could claim that citizens of the most murderous nation in history (which is how DemProgs view their own country) would have managed to achieve only around 4,000,000 murders in 233 years, using all weapons available.
Wow! 4,000,000 murders in 233 years! No wonder that DemProgs are so desperate to keep guns out of their fellow citizens’ hands. To them, Americans are stone-cold killers, wholly capable of killing almost a million of each other in just 50 years.
b. The serious killers in the last century haven’t been individuals or small groups. The serious killers have been governments acting against unarmed (usually disarmed) citizens.
Enough of the silly numbers! Let’s talk now about the real killers of the 20th and 21st centuries: Governments killing their own people or engaging in genocidal attacks against specifically selected religious, cultural, or racial groups – all of them unarmed and defenseless.
Much more of this must-read piece at the link
In our non-Council category, the winner was Mark Steyn for The Unmaking of the American World submitted by Liberty’s Spirit. In it,he analyzes the psychological aspect of America’s retreat, and how the Left is bringing it about.
Here are this week’s full results. Only Simply Jews, still enjoying himself in Italy was unable to vote this week, and was not subject to the 2/3 vote penalty for not voting:
- *First place with 3 1/3 votes! – Bookworm Room – Bookworm’s 5 Point Gun Manifesto: Or Why I believe in Gun Rights
- Second place with 2 1/3 votes – The Noisy Room – Obama Facilitates The Rise Of The Caliphate
- Third place *t* with 1 2/3 votes – Ask Marion – Should Stupid Is As Stupid Does Be America’s New Motto? And How Did We Get Here
- Third place *t* with 1 2/3 votes – Joshuapundit–Kerry Signals That Joint Military Action With Iran In Iraq Is Imminent
- Third place *t* with 1 1/3 votes – The Independent Sentinel – A Marxist President and a Fundamental Change We Can’t Recover From
- Third place *t* with 1 1/3 votes – Nice Deb – Issa Subpoenas IRS Commissioner – IRS Required By Law To Keep Records of all Agency
- Fourth place *t* with 2/3 vote – The Colossus of Rhodey – Priorities
- Fourth place *t* with 2/3 vote –The Razor – The Fact the GOP Leadership Is Stunned Says it All
- Fifth place *t* with 1/3 vote – GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD – Target Tehran
- Fifth place *t* with 1/3 vote – The Right Planet – The Blame Bush Meme
- Fifth place *t* with 1/3 vote – VA Right! – Setting Realistic Expectations on 7th District Funding – A Response to Anonymous Email
- First place with 3 1/3 votes! – Mark Steyn – The Unmaking of the American World submitted by Liberty’s Spirit
- Second place with 2 1/3 votes – Victor Davis Hanson – The New Children’s Crusade submitted by Joshuapundit
- Third place *t* with 1 2/3 votes –Mark Steyn –“Harmless as an Enemy, Treacherous as a Friend” submitted by The Noisy Room
- Third place *t* with 1 2/3 votes –Patterico’s Pontifications – Are the Cartels Using the U.S Government to Deliver Their Footsoldiers Into the United States? submitted by Rhymes with Right
- Fourth place with 1 1/3 vote–Dick Cheney, Liz Cheney/WSJ –The Collapsing Obama Doctrinesubmitted by The Watcher
- Fifth place with 1 vote– Syria Comment – The Future of ISIS and the Sectarian Response: ISIS has Picked a Fight it Cannot Win submitted by The Glittering Eye
- Sixth place *t* with 2/3 vote –Adam Garfinkle/American Interest –Iraq: What A way To Go submitted by The Razor
- Sixth place *t* with 2/3 vote –Francis Fukuyama/WSJ – At the ‘End of History’ Still Stands Democracy submitted by The Colossus of Rhodey
- Sixth place *t* with 2/3 vote –Father Z –Nancy “the Theologian” Pelosi scolds Archbp. Cordileone submitted by Nice Deb
- Seventh place *t* with 1/3 vote – Flopping Aces – IRS regulations require e-mails that are “federal records” to be stored in separate, permanent systemsubmitted by VA Right!
- Seventh place *t* with 1/3 vote –Jonathan Turley.com –Hot Dog Crimes: Five Guys Restaurants Could Be Committing A Crime For Selling “Kosher Style” Hot Dogs In Washington State submitted by The Independent Sentinel
See you next week! Don’t forget to tune in on Monday AM for this week’s Watcher’s Forum, as the Council and their invited guests take apart one of the provocative issues of the day and weigh in…don’t you dare miss it. And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that!