Fully automatic propaganda

Posted: Sep 15, 2004 12:00 AM

?Police officers -- police officers -- begging the president all across our country: Keep this ban in place so we don't have to walk into a drug bust staring the down the barrel of a military machine gun, of an Uzi or an AK-47.? - John Kerry, fully automatic liar.
?And so tomorrow, for the first time in 10 years, when a killer walks into a gun shop, when a terrorist goes to a gun show somewhere in America, when they want to purchase an AK-47 or some other military assault weapon, they're going to hear one word: Sure.? -
John Kerry,  lying about weapons of mass destruction.

Last week, I was asked to go on a radio show to debate the assault weapons ban, which was passed on September 13, 1994. My opponent was a former New York City police officer who wanted the ban to be renewed because he was opposed to the private ownership of fully automatic weapons.

When I informed the former officer that the bill had nothing to do with fully automatic weapons he indicated that he would re-read it and reconsider his position if he discovered that I was right. In other words, he was a reasonable man who knows that people sometimes make mistakes. He also has the maturity to change his position when he finds that he was mistaken or, more likely, misled about important facts.

But the good natured debate was ruined when an ?educator? decided to call in to the show to offer his opinion on the issue. The self-described high school counselor said that he didn?t want the ban to expire because he didn?t want people coming into his school shooting up the place with machine guns. Again, I corrected the error.

Unfortunately, the educator didn?t respond to my correction in the same fashion as the former officer. He said something like ?you think you?re better than me because you?re a college professor. Shame on you!? After his momentary hissy fit, he threw out a statistic (from God knows where) saying that 27 heads of law enforcement agencies supported renewing the ban.

The ?27 police chiefs? statistic was pretty easy to rebut, given that approximately 17,000 state and local law enforcement agencies report crime data to the FBI on a monthly basis. I simply asked him why more police chiefs didn?t support the ban. The ?educator? said that most of them didn?t have time to travel to Washington, DC. I didn?t understand what that was supposed to mean. I still don?t.

Finally, the educator/master-debater suggested that citizens should never be able to own guns more powerful than those the police carry on duty. At least he was honest. Such a rule would eliminate almost all hunting rifles with a single stroke of the pen.

That suggestion is even more radical than one I once heard from a tenured sociologist. Though not opposed to hunting rifles, he thought that it was ?unfair? for hunters to use high-powered scopes.  If I were a deer, I guess I would prefer to die a slow death from a bad shot. I wouldn?t want to die quickly from a clean shot in the heart. If I were a deer, I would be a liberal deer constantly thinking about ?fairness.? If I were a tree, I would be a liberal tree doing an interview with Barbara Walters.

Of course, educators are not the only ones spewing nonsense about gun control these days. Nightline did a segment last week on the assault weapons ban with fully automatic weapons blazing in the background, nearly drowning out the voice of Ted Koppel (that wouldn?t necessarily be a bad thing). Such weapons have nothing to do with the 1994 ban. In fact, they have been banned since 1934.

Other news commentators have made reference to the AK-47, the Uzi, and other weapons, which are similarly unaffected by the 1994 ban. Even semi-automatic versions of those particular guns were outlawed under a 1989 import ban. They have nothing to do with the 1994 ban in question.

If none of this comes as any surprise, enter Dennis Miller. Dennis is one of my favorite television commentators. In fact, we have a lot in common. We are both former liberals who are very sarcastic and quite handsome, I might add. (Well, two out of three isn?t so bad).

Unfortunately, on September 13, Dennis Miller joined in with all the other misinformed media elites, saying that we need to keep ?machine guns? in the hands of our soldiers, not in the hands of our citizens. Claiming to be ?mad as hell? about the expiration of the ban, he made foolish references to the Uzi and AK-47, just like our friends in the liberal media.

Dennis Miller has every right to go on a fully automatic rant on national television, just as my fellow ?educator? had a right to make a fool of himself during a live radio interview. But there are certain rights that we should waive by using a little self-control (as opposed to government coercion).

We can?t trust people like Ted Koppel to give us good information on the pros and cons of gun control legislation.  Ted is more than misled (new bumper sticker, anyone?). He will engage in willful distortion (a nice term for lying) to spread his anti-gun propaganda. He would Rather pursue a poorly concealed political agenda than act like an honest journalist.

But we should expect more from the likes of decent people like Dennis Miller. I hope that Dennis will admit to his blunder Rather than freezing like a CBS anchorman caught in the headlights of an oncoming 18-wheeler.

I won?t even get into the quotes by Kerry. He just keeps shooting himself in the foot. No, I didn?t mean that literally, Chris Matthews.