February 20, 2013
The Gun Control Movement's Dangerous IncompetenceBy William A. Levinson
"Dangerous incompetence" means exactly that: ignorance, negligence, and/or dereliction of duty that endangers human life and safety. A medical quack who prescribes medications for patients he has never seen, or without going to medical school and passing a licensing examination, is a prime example. Equally dangerous incompetence, of the kind that can kill people, pervades the gun control movement.
Dangerous Incompetence Regarding Armed Self-Defense
Senator Dianne Feinstein and Governor Andrew Cuomo, like any medical quack who prescribes drugs for real or imaginary illnesses, think they know how many bullets a person might reasonably need for self-defense against one or more violent assailants. Feinstein thinks it's ten, and Cuomo seven.
"Interview with a Gunfighter" by Front Sight describes, however, an attack in which a senior citizen needed 11 rounds of .40 caliber to stop two armed home invaders. Colonel Jeff Cooper's To Ride, Shoot Straight, and Speak the Truth describes an incident in which eight rounds of .380 automatic were required to stop a violent assailant. Six rounds were not enough to stop a home invader who threatened a woman and her children in Georgia (he fled the house and drove away with five gunshot wounds), but he did not know his prospective victim had run out of ammunition.
The voting public should trust the judgment of a professional law enforcement instructor such as Massaad Ayoob over that of dangerous incompetents like Dianne Feinstein, Andrew Cuomo, and the majority of New York's Legislature, just as we should trust the judgment of genuine medical doctors over that of quacks.
The cops are the experts on the current criminal trends. If they have determined that a "high capacity" semiautomatic pistol and a .223 semiautomatic rifle with 30-round magazines are the best firearms for them to use to protect people like me and my family, they are obviously the best things for us to use to protect ourselves and our families.
Ayoob also discusses the previously-mentioned shooting in which the mother fired six shots for five hits, but did not stop the assailant.
Reckless Firearm Handling in an Official Video
We recently purchased the first season of "24" on DVD. The story plot is engaging, but firearm handling is typical of Hollywood: the same left-wing enclave whose often-mindless celebrities support attacks on the Second Amendment. There is a scene in which Counterterrorist Unit agents Jack Bauer and Richard Walsh point guns at each other because they have not bothered to identify their targets as hostile first.
Hollywood does not, however, routinely employ real law enforcement or security professionals for guidance on its productions. The Department of Homeland Security, aka Department of Homeland Stupidity under the Obama Administration, apparently doesn't either. "Options for Consideration Active Shooter Training Video," for which ratings have now been disabled because of almost universal negative reception by viewers, depicts equally reckless and irresponsible firearm handling by "police officers." One points a rifle at the innocent people who are running from the active shooter, and another points his weapon at a fellow "officer's" back during the building entry.
The advice given by the DHS video, which includes hiding under desks as depicted in the Cold War "Duck and Cover" movie, could meanwhile get people killed very easily. Here is how that advice worked out for the Sandy Hook victims.
They found Lanza dead from a self-inflicted gunshot, and beyond him a group of children huddled with their teacher, all dead. Nearby in a bathroom another group of children huddled, also dead, CBS reported.
The bottom line is that the Obama Administration has propagated dangerously incompetent material that can kill innocent people who rely on it.
Smart Guns: Dumb Idea
The idea of smart guns that fire only for their authorized users is as old as A. E. van Vogt's The Weapon Shops of Isher (1951). Advocates of this idea need to distinguish between science fiction and reality.
Estimates of the fraction of police officers who are murdered in the line of duty with their own weapons range from eight to forty-three percent. (That is, of every 100 officers who are murdered, 8 to 43 are shot with their own sidearm.) This is a strong argument for police sidearms that only the officer, or his or her partner, can fire. As far as I know, not a single law enforcement agency in the country considers the technology sufficiently reliable to implement. A gun, like any other piece of emergency equipment, must work when you need it regardless of faulty electronics, electromagnetic interference, or other factors.
The antigun camp has, meanwhile, embarrassed itself twice on the similar issue of trigger locks. Maryland's former governor, Parris Glendening, had to struggle to remove a locking magazine from a "safe" handgun. Handgun Control Inc. lawyer Dennis Henigan excused his failure to release a trigger lock with the words, "Even if a klutz like me fumbles on the first try, the benefits of having a lock outweigh the risks." Had he been facing a violent felon, of course, he would not have gotten a second try. A person of character would have agreed with the facts (the technology is not sufficiently reliable in an emergency) instead of continuing to insist that he is right anyway.
How New York Arms Criminals
New York, which prides itself on having the most restrictive gun laws in the country, also cases homes and apartments for burglars who want to steal firearms. New York handgun permits are public records that are accessible to any criminal with Internet access. The state has therefore abused the privilege of requiring a permit to own (as opposed to carry) a handgun by knowingly, willfully, and recklessly endangering the safety of the permit holders while helping to arm criminals in the bargain. This sounds like a strong argument for Federal "gun safety" legislation to void New York's handgun licensing laws, Illinois' Firearm Owner ID (FOID) registration law, and similar laws in other states.
Guns Don't Kill People: New York's Paroled Killers Kill People
Gun control advocates cite the Bushmaster "assault rifle" that William Spengler used to ambush two emergency responders in New York as yet another reason to ban weapons with high capacity magazines. The Bushmaster was, however, merely the tool that Spengler, with New York State as his accomplice, used in his crime. Spengler used a hammer to kill his grandmother in 1980, allegedly because she wouldn't give him money for drugs. If New York had not allowed him to plea-bargain for first-degree manslaughter, he would still be in prison and the firefighters would still be alive.
The only difference between Andrew Cuomo, Dianne Feinstein, the majority of New York's Legislature, and a medical quack is as follows. A quack can be held civilly or even criminally liable for the harm he causes. Cuomo, Feinstein, and Company are not accountable to anybody for any deaths or injuries that result from their equally dangerous incompetence.
William A. Levinson, P.E. is the author of several books on business management including content on organizational psychology, as well as manufacturing productivity and quality.
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