Gun Control and 9/11

The best line about gun control and the 9/11 attacks comes courtsey of the New York Times‘ John Tierney in an article about war-related toys,

American males’ fascination with guns doesn’t seem so misplaced now that they’re attacking Al Qaeda’s fortress. No one is suggesting a Million Mom March on Tora Bora.

Second-best gun related quote comes from a piece by Lisa Snell talking about her 5-year-old’s reaction to seeing the 9/11 attack on television,

My mother-in-law called from Baltimore before 7:00 AM [Pacific] to tell us to turn on our television. My five year old saw the live coverage of the second plane crashing into the WTC. He immediately went and found his Spiderman t-shirt and told me that he and Gavin would not be at school when I picked them up because they were going with the Power Rangers to save the world. He urgently wanted to get to school to call a meeting with Gavin and Tanner, his five-year-old compadres, to decide what to do—a typical reaction from a boy who lives and breathes bad guys versus good guys. People are always talking about how bad television is for children and they seldom talk about how bad their schools are for children. Yet, I would rather be on a highjacked airplane with someone inoculated by Power Rangers than someone who believes the message of every school institution: that weapons are bad and that the authorities and the government will solve all problems and protect you.

Amen. At the moment, my daughter alternates between Power Rangers and Batman (we watch the extremely violent Justice League cartoon together). Someday, when I have nothing better to do, I’ll write up a summary of psychological studies of children and mock violent play (it ain’t necessarily a bad thing).

Outrageous Lies from Million Mom March Representative

Last week at the United Nations Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms, several groups spoke on behalf of Americans who fear the UN’s treaty on small arms would limit their ability to own guns. After several of them had spoken, it was time for Mary Leigh Blek of the Million Mom March to speak. Blek decided to tell an outright lie.

The gun lobby has been talking for 40 minutes. During that time, 40 people have died from the use of small arms and light weapons in this country. That figure, not the statement of those representatives, is further proof that this country is at war.

Just do the math. If one person dies from a small arm/light weapon in the United States every minute, that translates to 525,600 gun deaths a year. There are only about 2.3 million deaths total in the United States every year — if that claim were true, more than 1 in 5 deaths would be due to gunshots.

In 1997 — the most recent year I could find information for, there were 32,436 gunshot-related deaths. That works out to about 2.5 gunshot deaths every 40 minutes. Blek is only off by about 1600 percent.

All in a days work for gun grabbers.


Civil Society Groups Highlight Impact Of Firearms Injuries, Gun Ownership Rights In Small Arms Conference Debate.United Nations Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms, 8th Meeting July 16, 2001.

On Motherhood and Successful Political Movements

Last week two of the most prominent anti-gun groups, the Million Mom March and the Brady Campaign/Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence announced they would merge effective October 1. The groups tried to spin the event as two large groups coming together, but the reality is that the MMM was forced to close its national office recently due to lack of funds and the organization has never come close to the grass roots level of participation it thought it would inspire.

At a press conference Sarah Brady told reporters, “It’s not until these members (in Congress) hear from their own constituents that they really act. And now, they are not going to be able to say not to this formidable group.” Hmmm. When the MMM had to close its national office due to a lack of funds, it didn’t seem very formidable.

But leaving the gun issue aside, what surprised me in news coverage of the merger was an odd comment made by MMM founder Donna Dees-Thomases who said at a press conference announcing the merger, “If we moms can push 9 pound babies through our bodies, some of them with heads as big as bowling balls, surely we can push legislation through the halls of Congress.”

I fail to see the connection between the two examples. I’ve never seen a group of men with NRA hold a press conference and say, “If we can ejaculate hundreds of million of sperm at a time, surely we can push legislation through Congress.”

It is very odd to see liberal, presumably feminist-oriented women, falling back on a standard motherhood and apple pie routine to push their political agenda.


Two leading gun control groups merge in U.S. Reuters, June 28, 2001.

Round 2 of Million Mom March Draws Only 200

The folks behind the Million Mom March were furiously trying to spin control the low turnout in Washington, DC, for their second march, but they had to be severely disappointed that only 200 people showed up to protest in favor of gun control.

The MMM spin is that they were intentionally focusing at the local, rather than national, level. In fact, the groups is in deep financial trouble and as the Post notes, the anti-gun fervor that was supposedly behind the Million Mom phenomenon never showed up at the ballot box in November. Al Gore and other Democratic nominees ran away from the issue as fast as they could, knowing that the pro-gun constituency is far more motivated than are anti-gun voters.

Two dozen pro-gun supporters turned up to protest the second Million Mom March event, chanting slogans including, “Control your kids, not our guns!” I still can’t get over the irony of holding a rally in favor of gun control in Washington, DC, where it is illegal to own a handgun and yet the violent crime rate is among the highest in the country.

The way things are going, MMM might not even be around as a serious organization by the time Mother’s Day 2002 rolls around.


This Time, No Million To March Over Guns. Mary Beth Sheridan and Jennifer Lenhart, The Washington Post, May 13, 2001.

Ban Guns — After I’m Finished Shooting

I vividly remember Barbara Graham’s appearance on CNN during last year’s “Million Mom March” because she symbolized everything that is wrong with the gun control argument. Here she was on national television explaining the tragic death of her son who was murdered in Washington, DC, in 1999. Graham went out about how stricter gun control laws would have prevented her son’s death, the only problem being that Washington, DC, already has some of the strictest gun control laws in the country (not to worry, when they can’t buy guns, criminals make them — a 1986 study found that 20% of illegal guns seized in the district were homemade weapons).

I felt sorry for her loss, but that’s no reason to go around arguing for ineffective laws that ultimately end up disarming victims.

Anyway, it turns out Graham herself appreciated the power of guns, and decided to avenge her son’s death by shooting the man responsible. As with her gun control efforts, however, Graham went after the wrong target — she mistakenly shot the wrong person! She ended up shooting Kikko Smith who is now paralyzed from the waist down. Smith remains in the hospital with a bullet lodged in his spine.

On February 1, Graham was convicted on nine separate charges and faces up to 50+ years in jail.

One of the interesting aspects of the case is how liberal newspapers chose to cover it. The Washington Post, for example, ran several stories on Graham’s trial over the past couple weeks but somehow never thought it was relevant to point out Graham’s prominence at the “Million Mom March.” If Graham had been a member of an “extremist” organization such as the National Rifle Association and had actively protested and spoken out on the right of people to bear arms, it is hard to believe that The Post wouldn’t have found a way to include this prominently in their stories. In fact, the headlines would have almost certainly read “Gun Advocate Convicted of Murder” or some such headline rather than the plain old “Mother convicted in shooting” headlines The Post went with.

When guns are outlawed, apparently only gun control activists will have guns.


Mother Convicted in Shooting. Donna St. George, The Washington Post, February 2, 2001.

‘Million Mom’ activist convicted in shooting. Jon Dougherty, WorldNetDaily.Com, February 5, 2001.

What Ever Happened to the Million Mom March-ers

Tanya Metaksa has a hilarious look at the aftermath of the Million Mom March at FrontPageMag.Com. Several marchers, after going on about the horrors of violence, were themselves involved in violence, including gun violence.

The march also had its share of victims; people who had suffered as a result of the criminal use of firearms or gun accidents. Many stories were poignant and heartbreaking. One victim was Barbara Lipscomb, a mother and grandmother, whose son, LeÂ’Pierre Clemons, was gunned down on Martin Luther King JrÂ’s birthday just four months prior. LeÂ’Pierre was another victim of teenage violence in the nationÂ’s capitol, and his mom told everyone she was going to the MMM to stop the violence.

Yet, 2 months later, on July 14, 2000 Barbara Lipscomb, now known as Barbara Ann Martin, found herself under arrest on a charge of assault with intent to kill. According to the Washington Post, D.C. police say they found three handguns and a TEC-9 submachine gun at her home.

Oops. Metaksa also reports that the shooting was basically an attempt at vigilantism, the only problem being Lipscomb/Martin shot the wrong man.

Of course just because some members of the MMM turned out to be hypocrites doesn’t make them wrong. What does is their bizarre logic.

Right before the MMM, I happened to catch CNN coverage of the March while working out. A woman, perhaps it was Lipscomb/Martin, was going on about how her son had been killed by gun violence and if only guns were illegal her son’s shooting might have been prevented. Very sad, to be sure.

The only problem being that they flashed where she lived and it turned out her son had been murdered in Washington, DC, where it is already illegal for people to own guns. If laws were the answer to gun violence, a reasonable observer might think that Washington, DC, would have a relatively low rate of gun violence instead of always being near the top of murders.

I should qualify that statement by the way. The same Congressman and their aides who fight for gun control have passed a special exemption that allows a member of Congress or anyone on his or her staff to carry a concealed weapon. I can’t imagine why they feel they need guns — surely a member of Congress could talk an attacker into surrendering or waiting on the oh-so-efficient DC police to resolve any disputes.