Stupid, easily disproved statements are not, sadly, exclusive to the political Left. Lately, with the gun control debate again hotly contested in the news and on the interwebs, I’ve seen an old one recycled, which I will paraphrase as “the NRA’s attackers are racist because they don’t know the NRA was formed to arm freed slaves against the KKK.” Even though I would find the actions of anyone in those times seeking to do exactly that to be laudable, that’s not why the NRA was founded; indeed, it’s just stupidly easy to show otherwise. From the “About the NRA” page:
A Brief History of the NRA
Dismayed by the lack of marksmanship shown by their troops, Union veterans Col. William C. Church and Gen. George Wingate formed the National Rifle Association in 1871. The primary goal of the association would be to “promote and encourage rifle shooting on a scientific basis,” according to a magazine editorial written by Church.
After being granted a charter by the state of New York on November 17, 1871, the NRA was founded. Civil War Gen. Ambrose Burnside, who was also the former governor of Rhode Island and a U.S. senator, became the fledgling NRA’s first president.
An important facet of the NRA’s creation was the development of a practice ground. In 1872, with financial help from New York State, a site on Long Island, the Creed Farm, was purchased for the purpose of building a rifle range. Named Creedmoor, the range opened a year later,and it was there that the first annual matches were held.
Political opposition to the promotion of marksmanship in New York forced the NRA to find a new home for its range. In 1892, Creedmoor was deeded back to the state and NRA’s matches moved to Sea Girt, New Jersey.
The NRA’s interest in promoting the shooting sports among America’s youth began in 1903 when NRA Secretary Albert S. Jones urged the establishment of rifle clubs at all major colleges, universities and military academies. By 1906, NRA’s youth program was in full swing with more than 200 boys competing in matches at Sea Girt that summer. Today, youth programs are still a cornerstone of the NRA, with more than one million youth participating in NRA shooting sports events and affiliated programs with groups such as 4-H, the Boy Scouts of America, the American Legion, Royal Rangers, National High School Rodeo Association and others.
We only embolden our adversaries when we use stupid arguments like “the NRA was founded to arm freed slaves.”
Readers of these virtual pages know that I have long attacked the gun-grabbers for their abysmal lack of knowledge of the very items they want to regulate out of existence. Many on the Left fancy themselves the party of “science” and “reason,” but when it comes to firearms, they are anything but; it’s all about the feelz, and they can’t be bothered to actually learn anything. Take Senator Feinstein’s bleating on how the 5.56mm NATO round fired by the AR-15 is “more powerful than a typical hunting rifle,” for example, or the famous “shoulder thing that goes up” remark.
So let’s co-opt their science and reason for ourselves. When it comes to firearms, we are the ones who know the specifics. Please, please, please don’t ruin it by making stupid claims like the one above that can be dis-proven in a ten-second web search.
Full disclosure: I’ve been an NRA member since the late Seventies. Mrs. Animal and I have both been Life Members for over twenty years. I know damn well why the NRA was founded. So do they. So should everyone.
This just in from national treasure Dr. Victor Davis Hanson: The Confederate Mind. Excerpt:
Progressives, in fact, seem to like the protocols of the old Confederacy in lots of ways. Southern antebellum chauvinists once claimed that the culture south of the Mason-Dixon line was innately superior to the grubby, industrial wasteland of the north. A two-class system of masters and slaves allowed an elite the leisure and capital to pursue culture without the rat-race competition of a striving middle class. So blinkered was southern arrogance that its pre-war youth insisted that southern manhood, with its innate moral superiority, could defeat a much larger, richer, and more industrial North — a myth dispelled early on at Shiloh.
Now the new cultural divide is not North vs. South, but the blue-state coasts versus the red-state interior. The map has changed, but the new mindset of the chauvinist, mutatis mutandis, is eerily the same. In blue-state doctrine, a sinking middle class in the interior deserves to fail. But an upscale hip and cool professional elite is properly thriving on the East and West Coasts as never before — itself often supported by legions of poorly paid and mostly minority gardeners, housekeepers, and nannies who free up their supposed betters to pursue higher things without tending to the drudgery of diapers, cooking, and mowing.
Pyramidal California has some of the wealthiest people in the world living within the coastal corridor of Hollywood, Malibu, Stanford, Silicon Valley, and San Francisco — even as one-fifth of the population lives below the poverty line, along with a third of the nation’s welfare recipients and half its homeless population.
It’s important to note that Dr. Hanson is part of a multi-generation Central Valley farm family. He loves California and has written regularly and often about the decline of the once-Golden State at the hands of Left Coast urban progressives.
But his point here is well taken. The American political Left has become weirdly race-obsessed. For quite a few years now, many on the leftward side of our political system has held the belief that one should think, speak and vote a certain way solely because of minor, secondary regional characteristics such as melanin content – characteristics that have no real phenotypic significance, and which comprise an utterly insignificant portion of our DNA.
Humans have less genetic variability than chimps. And folks like those running California seem willing to drag the country into another 1861 over the issue. Have we learned nothing?
There may be some hope for Germany after all. But, probably not. Excerpt:
New Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said Islam does not belong to Germany, and set out hardline immigration policies in his first major interview since being sworn in this week, as he sought to see off rising far-right challengers.
His comments put him on a collision course with Chancellor Angela Merkel, who on Friday reiterated her long-held view that Islam was a part of Germany, even if the country was traditionally characterized by Christianity and Judaism.
“Islam does not belong to Germany,” Seehofer, a member of Merkel’s CSU Bavarian allies who are further to the right than her own Christian Democrats (CDU), told Bild newspaper in an interview published on Friday.
Seehofer said he would push through a “master plan for quicker deportations” and classify more states as ‘safe’ countries of origin, which would make it easier to deport failed asylum seekers.
Seehofer is particularly keen to show his party is tackling immigration ahead of Bavaria’s October regional election, when the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) is expected to enter that state assembly.
OK, now my initial comment may have been a little optimistic. It’s probably already too late for Germany. It’s probably already too late for Europe. And it’s not just immigration that’s to blame for it.
Ethnic Europeans, from Slavs to Swedes, are breeding at far, far below replacement rates. Their increasingly restive Muslim minorities, significant numbers of whom are recent “refugees” who all seem to be men of military service age, not so much. And once those Muslim minorities reach a tipping point – then Europe becomes a Muslim caliphate.
Canterbury Cathedral will become a mosque. Stonehenge will likely be destroyed, as ancient pagan monuments and statues have been all over the Levant. And the Europe we knew, the Europe we expended many, many men defending in two world wars, will be no more. And that’s too bad.
Maybe Herr Seehofer can slow down the process. But at this point, there’s very little hope that he can stop it – at least, unless the German people start having more babies.
Sendai is also home to the remains of a historic castle and the largest statue of the Shinto goddess Nyoirin Kannon in Japan. It’s home to one of the biggest traditional shopping arcades I’ve ever seen – and to lots of great restaurants serving a variety of fare, in the case that whale isn’t your thing.
If you’re ever in Japan, I recommend a visit to Sendai if you can make it happen. Mrs. Animal and I hope to come back some time when we have more than a weekend to spend. Photos follow – enjoy!
This Monday finds us way up north in Miyagi Prefecture, having spent the weekend in Sendai. Sendai is an interesting town, known for (among other things) it’s fine dining, which includes whale.
Yes, whale. And yes, I partook. This first taste was in a sushi joint in Sendai just a few blocks from the shinkansen station. Whale was surprisingly tasty, although it was lightly cooked in the Japanese style and therefore undercooked by American standards.
These are little strips of whale meat, lightly braised and served on little beds of rice. I don’t know what kind of whale it is but I suspect it would be minke whale, since that makes up most of the Japanese harvest.
Note that the minke whale is listed as an animal of “Least Concern” by the IUCN, which should (but probably won’t) fend off most of the squealing by the “save the whales” crowd. And I confess, pissing off that subset of greenie nutbars is one of the reasons this has long been on my Japan bucket list – precisely so that when I run across one of the “save the whales” crowd, I can agree enthusiastically, adding, “yes, by all means – they’re delicious!”
So, True Believers, if you’re ever in the Sendai area up here in Miyagi Prefecture, the city is known for its whale sushi and various other whale dishes. It’s also known for beef tongue dishes, but only the real nutbars object to beef. In either case – try some! If you piss off only one radical Sea Shepherd type, wouldn’t it be worth it?
Florida has raised the age for purchasing a long gun to 21. The drinking age is technically set by the several States, but back in the early Eighties the Imperial government used highway funds to blackmail the states to raising that age to 21. Imperial law has for years stated the age to buy a handgun at 21, and now croakers in the Imperial City are talking about following Florida in the case of long guns.
I’m wondering if that’s such a bad idea.
Our society seems to have arrived at the conclusion that kids from 18 to 21 years of age are fundamentally irresponsible. We don’t allow them to drink, to gamble, to purchase handguns; we don’t allow them to adopt children or (in most states) rent cars.
Last month, over at Reason.com, A. Barton Hinkle weighed in on the whole gradual age of majority issue. Excerpt:
The U.S. already has raised the drinking age to 21. But as is often noted, you need be only 18 to enlist in the armed forces—i.e., to volunteer for missions that could entail not only losing your own life but taking others’.
The age of enlistment offers two rationales for not raising the age at which someone can buy a gun. If you’re mature enough to enlist, goes one, then you’re mature enough to own a gun. (Rebuttal: Enlistees’ lives are regimented to a ridiculous degree. Unlike civilian 18-year-olds, they’re not being given free rein.)
The second rationale holds that if you are old enough to sacrifice your life in America’s defense, then you should have access to all of America’s constitutional rights. Indeed, that was largely the rationale behind lowering the voting age once the age of conscription had been lowered.
Of course, nobody ever died because somebody picked up a ballot in a moment of anger. Nor has an improperly or accidentally used ballot ever killed anyone. People die from gunfire under those conditions all the time. So there might be some sense in leaving the voting age at 18 but raising the age of access to devices that can kill.
Except that most states let teenagers drive without supervision at age 16—and sometimes earlier—even though the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety points out that “teenage drivers have the highest crash risk per mile traveled.” In fact, the Institute says, the fatal crash rate for drivers age 16-19 is “nearly three times as high as the rate for drivers 20 and over.”
So, the answer is obvious. The age of majority should be regularized. Teenage drivers are dangerous, it seems; obviously the Tide-Pod Eating Generation can’t handle rifles or shotguns, or a glass of beer. Good, then; take this to its obvious conclusion. Congress should immediately act to raise the age of majority overall to 21. Prior to that age youths will not be allowed to drink, to drive, to sign contracts, to join the military, to purchase firearms and, most important of all, to vote.
At least then our idiotic graduated-age-of-majority system will be gone; at least then we will have some damned consistency.
And, yes, I am being sarcastic. I actually am in favor of regularizing the age of majority for all things. At eighteen. But occasionally it’s useful to take an argument to its ultimate, ridiculous conclusion.
Here’s a relevant excerpt from the first:
There are two Civil War II scenarios, and the left is poorly positioned to prevail in either one. The first scenario is that the Democrats take power and violate the Constitution in order to use the apparatus of the federal government to suppress and oppress Normal Americans. In that scenario, red Americans are the insurgents. In the second scenario, which we can even now see the stirrings of in California’s campaign to nullify federal immigration law, it is the blue states that are the insurgents.
The Democrats lose both wars. Big time.
And the second:
So what will you do, dear AR-15 owner, when the ‘Cheka’ comes for your neighbor, and you know the laws are on the books to prosecute? Will a “buyback” and “amnesty” be enough to convince YOU to acquiesce? You’ve got a job, a wife, kids to raise. When they “come and take it,” is your family worth risking?
No, when they take your guns there will be no civil war. There will be no large-scale revolution, because liberals are experts at pushing that Overton Window enough not to shock the system. Like frogs in water that’s about to boil, people won’t jump until it’s too late.
Of the two scenarios, I am (sadly) inclined to believe the latter. Why?
Because I honestly don’t believe most American gun owners are quite ready to join an armed insurgency. I’d like to think I’d be willing. I know quite a few of my fellow veterans would be, enough to make things pretty hot for the would-be tyrants. But in the end?
Fifty years ago we were a nation of outdoorsmen, farmers, tradesmen and woodsmen for whom strength was their stock in trade and for whom marksmanship and woodcraft were taken as a given. Now? We have a generation grown up on the Internet and game consoles, and while many of them are ardently pro-Second Amendment (yes, really) how many of these mall ninjas would give up their homes and all their possessions, taking the risk of being shot on sight, to go forth and join a cause where the odds are stacked against you?
I sure hope I’m wrong. I sure hope we never have to find out.
Plenty of Democrats are talking excitedly of a blue wave this November, but if they keep letting the daffy old socialist from Vermont be the unofficial face of their party, they’ll fall pretty flat. Excerpt:
With the economy roaring as it hasn’t in decades, the stock market at all-time highs, and unemployment (including for blacks and Hispanics) at all-time lows, the Democrats have just proposed to “fix things” by raising taxes.
This proposal, which includes raising the highest bracket and the corporate rate (after years of trying to get it down), plus raising the rates for “30 million companies which are organized as sole proprietorships, partnerships, Subchapter-S corporations, and LLCs” not to mention bringing back the alternative minimum tax (a boondoggle for preparers), will end up costing the vast majority of Americans most, if not all, of the money they just got from the Republicans’ tax reform bill.
Call it “Away with all crumbs!”
Only someone as terminally frozen in 1968 as Bernie Sanders, who has emerged as the spokesperson for the proposal, could think of this as anything less than economic suicide. It’s not for nothing ol’ Bern’ took his honeymoon in the former Soviet Union only a year before the wall came down, speaking of deep financial insight.
Do you want more Trump? Because this is how you get more Trump.
Nancy Pelosi – who I increasingly suspect is suffering the first stages of some kind of dementia – dismissed the green wave of bonuses and pay raises due to the recent tax bill as “crumbs.” I promise you, millions of working Americans don’t consider these raises “crumbs” and will be pretty pissed off at a clueless political party proposing to yank those raises away.
For a long time, the GOP carried the (deserved) title of “The Stupid Party.” For a long time, there was no party like the Republicans for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
It seems that the Democrats have finally taken a page from that same stupid book. We’re seeing falling unemployment, increasing labor participation, increasing wages, and over 3% GDP growth (which we never saw during the Obama years, even once.) But sure, Dems, go ahead and propose taking all that away. See how that electoral strategy works out for you. Meanwhile, President Trump is planning his second inaugural gala.