#Gunsense is really only a hashtag used to bring attention to a topic of discussion. It is an interesting phenomena, use the hashtag #Gunsense in any context regarding what is frankly “gun sense” (a reasonable and open discussion in dealing with the very real and undeniable problem in this nation regarding too many, too powerful guns in the hands of too many unqualified, untrained and unhinged people with too few safeguards in place to mitigate the problem) and a cadre of twitter trolls will descend upon your timeline with insults, smears, harassment, false studies, false facts and utter contempt for you daring to use that hashtag.
When you view the accounts of these trolls, you often see avatars and backgrounds of weapons of death, patriotic symbolism, bios with terms “constitutionalist”, “molon labe”, “second amendment”, “conservative”, “patriot”, etc” followed by timelines almost completely devoted to one subject and one subject only, guns.
You also see attacks on anyone who brings up “Gunsense” and as if almost from a script, they use the same tired and previously debunked studies, positions, idiotic memes and of course groundless and baseless insults towards the character of those citing #Gunsense. They insist falsely that all who use the hashtag are “gun-grabbers” uninterested in compromise because they won’t give in completely to the views and lunatic extreme fringe position they hold regarding guns. They go after Moms Demand Action and particularly Shannon R Watts for having the audacity of caring about innocent victims of gun violence and wanting a discussion and action taken to mitigate the problem.
They will harass, insult, annoy, tease and bully you to the point where you simply block them. Then they will turn around and announce to the world that you are a coward for not sitting back and allowing them to harass, insult, annoy, tease and bully you. They take pride in being blocked by Shannon R Watts. They see it as a badge of honor.
So let’s examine this small group of armed unapologetic unreasonable compulsive armed gun owners afraid of a woman and women who want better gun control.
Who are the real cowards here? Why should anyone give a rat’s ass about these bullies who are stood up to or ignored by the population? Who are these idiots and what (if anything) do they base their positions on?
To counter and argue against a whole host of academia who study as best they can the issue gun violence (as best they can because NRA lobbying efforts have successfully cut funding from Congress to the CDC to study this issue) from Harvard and a multitude of peer reviewed statisticians and researchers, they will almost always use John Lott.
Who’s John Lott? A totally debunked and discredited researcher paid for and supported by the gun manufacturing lobby (shades of climate change science here). John has a supporter in social media who stands for and validates his work by the name of Mary Rosh. Who’s Mary Rosh? Well, she’s John Lott’s alter ego. They are one in the same. Why would a valid and self assured researcher create his own support group? Sounds similar to tactics used by Sarah Palin on FaceBook and Twitter.
Check this link from Media Matters that goes many of the full and validated stories regarding John Lott, his admittedly flawed research design and him creating the account of Mary Rosh to defend him.
If John Lott is the best the anti #Gunsense side can provide regarding the research of gun violence then they have nothing in science to help them.
Of course the anti #Gunsense group will project the obvious failings of John Lott on those who actually use validated and proper research techniques regarding sample sizes, demographics, multi-linear regression tables etc to do their studies and make their conclusions. However if their conclusions counter those of the anti #Gunsense crowd, they have to be wrong and not worthy of any consideration.
The anti #Gunsense crowd like to say that it is the sole and only objective of “Gunsense” to take all the guns away. They call them and even President Obama “Gun Grabbers”. While it is true there are many out there who do in fact want all guns taken off the streets, they don’t come anywhere close to the majority of those who advocate #Gunsense. Fact is all #Gunsense wants is real and universal background checks, elimination of certain weapons that clearly aren’t justified on the streets of our country, licensure for those who want to carry weapons on the streets to ensure they know what they’re doing with their guns much like what we do with motor vehicles. However the anti #Gunsense group always comes back to the second amendment on that argument. More to come on that issue as this rant continues, but first: The reality of the situation is that many who advocate #Gunsense, myself and over 70% of the members in the NRA are in fact armed and see no fear in our weapons being “grabbed.”
Further, the “Grabber in Chief” President Obama, in his only action regarding gun ownership in this nation actually expanded it. He signed into law the right to carry handguns in National Forests and Parks, a right that never existed before. Again, the anti #Gunsense crowd work from a false premise. I for one fault President Obama for not using his bully pulpit more to advocate more to Congress and nation that better gun control measures are long past due. But that’s just me, he’s still the President.
As to the United States Constitution, the anti #Gunsense crowd, who seem to think the entire constitution, from preamble to the last line of the last amendment consists of only nine words “the right to bear arms shall not be infringed” and will always cite the Heller decision.
They also cite that due to “stare decisis” it is settled law and cannot be undone. What is “stare decisis”? Essentially it states that established settled law cannot be changed or overturned unless new previously unheard or unknown facts are brought before the Justices. Both John Roberts and Samuel Alito swore to the Senate during their confirmation hearings they would abide by stare decisis in all their rulings.
Prior to Heller it was the position of the Supreme Court of the United States that due to the phrase “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state,” that the right to bear arms in this country per the Constitution was a “group right” not an individual right. Over two hundred years of SCOTUS decisions based on prior court rulings, the notes and diaries of the founders and the history of the writing of the amendment, the Federalist papers etc found that to be the fact. Nothing new was introduced in Heller, no new facts, no new history. In fact Scalia acknowledged that, but he, Alito, Roberts, Kennedy and Thomas violated stare decisis and for the first time ruled an individual right to own a gun is protected in the Constitution.
However, what the anti #Gunsense folks refuse to acknowledge is that in his majority opinion (keep in mind each word, each phrase of a written opinion carries weight of law) Scalia himself said that although individual ownership is now guaranteed by the Constitution, the government maintains the ability to regulate it. To quote Antonin Scalia’s majority opinion in Heller, (the current law of the land):
“The Second Amendment right is not a right to keep and carry any weapon in any manner and for any purpose. The Court has upheld gun control legislation including prohibitions on concealed weapons and possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, and laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. The historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons supports the holding in United States v. Miller that the sorts of weapons protected are those in common use at the time.”
Of course, an anti #Gunsense troll explained to me that the Court’s often get it wrong, even Scalia. Not sure how to take that other than the troll had no fucking argument to make.
Per Heller, guns can still be regulated. The major focus of #Gunsense is regulation of guns to keep the community safer. The anti #Gunsense folks have nothing; no validated studies, no law, no reason, no logic, no morality to counter the desire of #Gunsense. Only rhetoric, insults, selfishness, anger, paranoia, memes and bullying tactics. They don’t want to reasonably sit down and debate the reality of the situation and come to a reasonable accommodation and compromise for all of those involved, they only want it their way period.
In preparing this rant I pondered whether or not to identify the anti #Gunsense trolls I and many have had to contend with on Twitter. However, in much the same way as terrorists, trolls often merely aim for notoriety and attention. They simply want to be heard, not involve themselves in mature and reasonable dialogue. Thus, they troll, they insult, harass, annoy, threaten, bully anyone so that they themselves can be notice. So I won’t name them. Besides, they’ll identify themselves.
My only advice, and this is strictly your call, don’t feed the trolls. Ignore and block. You’re not a coward; you’re merely not wasting your time with someone who wants to waste your time. If someone wants a reasonable discussion of the issue with them, they’ll present themselves that way and won’t go into insults, belittling and threats to counter your points. They’ll show restraint and reasonableness, as should you.
The issue of proper gun control, proper #Gunsense is too important for the lives, wellbeing and security of our friends, families and ourselves to waste time with trolls.
If they’re afraid to have a mature conversation with you, they have nothing of value to offer. Ignore and block them.
If interested, here are some links that can help you educate yourself over the reality of guns in this nation:
Harvard Injury Control Research Center:
Right to Carry Gun Laws Linked to Increase in Violence (Stanford):
FBI Study discredits “Good Guy with a Gun” argument (summary and actual study):
What happens to the brain when exposed to lead residue on the firing range: