Invincible Ignorance?

I hate to rant but (I can see everybody believes THAT)…

Well, first Reid provoked me with this, knowing that it was like poking a stick at a hot rattlesnake.

At first I just sputtered. “I can’t even debunk this– it is like Mary McCarthy’s famous remark on Lilian Hellman: “Every word she says is a lie including AND and THE.”

Except of course it is not a “lie”– it is merely smug, invincible ignorance, with libel of all hunters or even non New- Yorkers thrown in for snark. Would the “Paper of Record” accept an op- ed on any other subject featuring as basic an example of incorrect terminology as using “bullet” for”shotgun cartridge”? That indulged in such basic illogic as comparing putting voluntary limits on a tool used in a sport with limiting the effectiveness of one primarily used in self- defense?

And of course the not very subtle dismissal of NYC cops shooting bystanders because EVERYBODY is a bad shot. You think someone who had been through a serious class like Gunsite would miss 30% or more of the time? Maybe one reason that NYC cops in particular are so bad is that they live in an anti- gun culture, though studies show that cops who are not gun nuts are almost always bad. She should be forced to read the Armed Citizen page in the publications of the “mindless” NRA.

I do read anti- gun propaganda, and one of its most striking features is that it is virtually always factually and technically incorrect– even those who say they know guns make mistakes. And they never, never read our side enough to even refute our facts. They already know we are mindless, paranoid, frightened, even racist, and probably don’t believe in evolution… even if we are scholars, or women or Hispanic…

And then I began thinking about history, and subtleties even our allies don’t mention, perhaps because nobody reads outside the lines anymore. The roots of the three- shell limit are historically interesting and have little to do with anything but a bunch of rich sportsmen, who thought repeaters ungentlemanly, trying to put the brakes on market hunting in a time of little enforcement– they also banned gauges larger than ten, an arbitrary and unnecessary move never done in, for instance, England. Both bans could be repealed today with no bad effect. They have no effect on conservation– driven shoots in Europe make bags of 1000 plus with archaic side- by- sides like mine.

The anti- repeater bias might well have started with the excitable conservation pioneer and bigot William Hornaday, who like the artist Frederick Remington believed the US should be a “pure” Anglo- Saxon nation. In one of his books on wildlife he had photos of a Browning autoloader. On the same page he complained that such were used by immigrant filth from the dregs of Europe’s society, and that Italians and other inferior “races” should not only be refused entry but deported with all their descendants. Imagine my reading this in the fifties after it was recommended to me by an old WASP librarian.

He wanted all Italians, “southern and eastern Europeans”, Slavs, Jews, Asians, and “negroes” deported; better at least than the unspeakable Remington, who wanted them exterminated and offered to help in one of his letters. Remington: “You can’t glorify a Jew! Nasty humans! I’ve got some Winchesters and when the massacring begins, I can get my share of ’em and what’s more I will. Jews, Injuns, Chinamen, Italians, Huns – the rubbish of the Earth, I hate.” I don’t put political standards to art, but if I owned a Remington and read that, I’d sell it so fast it would bounce on the way out– and maybe use the money to buy a Charlie Russell…

Compare to two other establishment figures, both hunters and infinitely more appealing than Hornaday, never mind Remington: Teddy Roosevelt and his generous acceptance of anyone who embraced our culture, and Aldo Leopold (who married a NM “Mexican”).

I added, in my note to Reid: “I assume you are acquainted with the utterly racist origins of handgun control? Think “Jim Crow Laws” or read Condoleeza Rice on her childhood in the segregated south, or the pro- gun liberal Don Kates. Hint: white people had no trouble getting guns, just like rich people in New York today.”

Maybe sometime I’ll talk about “Progressivism” and eugenics. Know your history!


  1. Wow, I want a cup of what was in your mug this morning because you've been quite productive today.

    I share your bemusement at the lack of basic knowledge of guns posited in PRINT by those in the gun control camp. I am by no means an expert, but the errors in the press and against guns are just profoundly ignorant.

    Fellow sport/dog bloggers claiming to be pro-gun made some pretty astounding mistakes as well when this issue came up following the Aurora theatre shooting.

    I don't think I'm going out on a limb here that it will be determined that of those that died the majority were killed by the handgun and shotgun and not the assault rifle. Not only due to the news that the gun misfired and jammed, but do to the simple math of ballistics and caliber.

    Most people don't realize that the assault rifle is firing rounds that are only slightly bigger than a child's .22 plinker and that those are not substantially larger than the .177 "bb" pellet rounds that one might use on a squirrel. Of course the .223 rounds shot in Aurora were leaving the barrel at 4 times the speed that my Daisy 1000 will push a pellet, but from the coverage you'd think that the Assault rifle was the most deadly and scary weapon.

    Personally, I think 3 round burst of .223 from that rifle would be easily more survivable than a single shot from either the .40 caliber or the shotgun.

    Frankly, I wouldn't be surprised if you showed someone like Gail Collins a round of ammunition they wouldn't even understand that the shell casing doesn't fly out the front of the barrel and into the target.

  2. Also, please DO write about Progressivism and eugenics.

    I have a draft that I've been kicking around for years on that and two more on Pathological Altruism and the stilted science of Sociobiology and the inability to let go of blank slate ideologies.

  3. I GUARANTEE you if some of the movie-goers(or others unfortunetely present at various mass shootings) had guns, the perpetrator would have been downed in SECONDS! People shooting crazily in the dark? Why would they be shooting anywhere except at the threat? Have these people never handled guns, or bows, or spears, or rocks; and don't even realize that you don't just shoot or throw things in any general direction? But AT whomever is threatening you? Okay, I guess that was a rhetorical question. Not to mention the very obvious deterrent of the knowledge that everybody is packing in any given situation…….L.B.

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