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December 2, 2015 / 20 Kislev, 5776
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Posts Tagged ‘Gun Control’

Israel’s Security Minister to Further Restrict Gun Ownership

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

Internal Security Minister Yitzchak Aharonovitch announced that he plans to restrict gun ownership in Israel even further.

Aharonovich will now require a psychological exam, besides the medical exam currently required. If an applicant fails the psychological exam, the new rules would actually require the appplicant to visit a psychiatrist.

Private indivduals and security guards hold 290,000 guns in Israel, and Aharonivich wants to reduce that number.

Aharanovich also wants to restrict the types of security guards that can get guns and limit them only to high risk businesses, as well as require the guards to hand in their guns at the end of their shifts.

The security companies are fighting the reform, as is the Ministry of Education, which doesn’t want the new restrictions to apply to their guards.

As it is, Israel has overly restrictive gun control laws, and many feel that Aharonovich’s “reforms” are going to far.

Poisoned Letters and Death Threat Sent to Obama and Bloomberg

Friday, May 31st, 2013

A  third letter stating a death threat and possibly containing ricin poison was intended for President Barack Obama and bore the same postmark as two similar letters sent to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg last Friday and this Sunday. Both the president and the mayor favor stiff gun control laws.

The anonymous letters to Bloomberg were opened in New York on Friday at the city’s mail facility in Manhattan and on Sunday at the Washington office of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a group that Bloomberg founded.

The letters bore the postmark of Shreveport, Louisiana, according to CBS.

Secret Service director Edwin Donovan said, “The White House mail screening facility intercepted a letter addressed to the White House that was similar to letters previously addressed to Mayor Bloomberg in New York.

“This letter has been turned over to the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force for testing and investigation.”

At least one of the letters to Bloomberg stated, “You will have to kill me and my family before you get my guns. Anyone wants to come to my house will get shot in the face. The right to bear arms is my constitutional, God-given right and I will exercise that right till the day I die. What’s in this letter is nothing compared to what I’ve got planned for you.”

Mayor Bloomberg said that one of the letters “obviously referred to our anti-gun efforts, but there’s 12,000 people that are going to get killed this year with guns and 19,000 that are going to commit suicide with guns, and we’re not going to walk away from those efforts.”

The people who opened the letters were not harmed by the poison, but three police officers who examined the letter to Bloomberg felt minor symptoms. Ricin is a poison that is easily produced because it can be found naturally in castor beans.

If ingested, it can cause  breathing difficulties, vomiting, internal bleeding and liver and kidney failure, leading to death.

The Obama-Media War

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

Revolutions are rarely undone from the outside. Mostly they come apart from the inside as the forty thieves descend into petty squabbling over the loot.

The loot comes in different forms, but at its core it is always power. It may be the power to kill or to steal. It may be the power to claim a nice piece of real estate or to send a million people off to their deaths. The scale of it will occupy historians and shock the people of the future who leaf through the history books and walk through the silent museums, but it is all of one piece. The purpose of power, as a fellow in a little book by George Orwell once said, is power.

The quarrel between Obama and the Media is largely a lovers’ quarrel, but the love is only there on one side. The media made Obama what he is. But what he is, among many other things, is a control freak spawned by a political ideology that distrusts everyone and consolidates power at all cost.

The media loved Obama, but it discovered early on that he did not love it back. Instead of basking in the adoration of the Candy Crowleys and the Anderson Coopers and the massive corporate machines behind them, the love child of every liberal fantasy shut them out, rigidly controlled their access and ruthlessly punished unauthorized conversations with the press.

The media had made Obama into a tin god, but were constantly suspected of heresy. Instead of being rewarded for their loyalty, they were kept at arm’s length.

Obama Inc. knew that their biggest asset was the narrative. A close study of Obama’s qualifications or accomplishments would have given no conceivable reason for voting for him. The only thing he brought to the table was race and even in this he was less qualified than most of the black men who had run for president.

The narrative was the dearest treasure of Obama Inc. It was the one thing that its cronies protected. The economy could tank, wars could be lost and an asteroid could smack into the Pacific Ocean and none of it mattered nearly as much as the golden narrative. They didn’t trust anyone with it including the media.

The media these days doesn’t have much. Its numbers are bad in every medium from the tube to the inky pages of newsprint to the crackling AM radio waves. It isn’t very profitable. Often it’s a dead weight. But it wields a great deal of institutional power. The New York Times and CNN may both be dogs when it comes to the balance sheets, but owning either one gives you an impressive amount of heft in the national dialogue; though not as much as working for one of them does.

Power is all that the media has. Its power is projected in a fairly narrow circle. Fewer people are reading, watching and listening to it, so its circle becomes more incestuous. Everyone has learned to act like a member of the D.C. press corps, interpreting events through the lens of old West Wing episodes. The resulting noise reaches fewer people, but helps form the shaky consensus on which the institutional power of the media stands.

In its dying hour, the media used that power to ensure the double coronation of a corrupt Chicago politician with a facility for mimicking speech patterns. And that politician rewarded it by trying to bypass it and set up his own media.

Obama’s vision of the proper place of the media isn’t just at his feet, but under his control. Instead of dealing with the media, he has tried to cut it out of the loop by putting a larger emphasis on social media and developing narratives through think-tanks and media influencing groups. It was a power struggle that the media was initially baffled by. It had held out an ice cream cone to the little boy, only to have the little boy kick it in the shin, grab the ice cream cone and run away.

For years the media had groused about a lack of transparency, the unprecedented prosecution of whistleblowers and the hostile relationship between Obama Inc’s minions and many reporters. The grousing was usually understated. It could be mentioned offhand, but not too loudly. When Bob Woodward made the mistake of speaking his mind, he was swiftly punished for it by the avatars of the post-media media, while the old media sat silently and watched the show.

Biden Wants Rabbis, Pastors and Nuns to Back ‘Moral’ Gun Control

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

Vice President Joe Biden met with Jewish, Muslim Christians, Sikh and other religious leaders Monday to encourage them to back gun control as matter of morals.

He met for two and a half hours with rabbis, pastors, nuns and other religious leaders before the gun control bill comes up for a Senate vote.

“The conversation presumed the vote would happen first on immigration,” Rabbi David Saperstein, who directs the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, told the Associated Press.

“That seemed to be the back-and-forth on both sides — that immigration was a key priority right now. When that vote took place, it would be an opportunity to refocus on this,” he said.

Christina evangelicals at the meeting are concerned with background checks on gun owners and with mental health provisions that they fear might be used for a list to ban people from owning

Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, executive vice president of the Rabbinical Assembly, said a diverse spectrum of denominations and religious orders were represented, including evangelical leaders Richard Cizik and Franklin Graham, the son of evangelist Billy Graham, as well as Sister Marge Clark of Network, a Catholic group.

Giffords accepts JFK award in Boston

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

Former Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was awarded the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award in Boston on Sunday for pushing for policy changes aimed at reducing gun violence.

Giffords, Arizona’s first Jewish representative in Congress, has become an advocate for stricter gun control after being shot in the head in 2011.

Earlier this year, Giffords and her husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly, founded Americans for Responsible Gun Ownership, an organization that is lobbying for stricter gun control laws.

“Today we honor a woman who inspires the entire world,” said Caroline Kennedy, president of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, which gives the award. She commended Giffords for turning a personal tragedy into a movement for political change.

“When others would have withdrawn from public life, she has challenged us all to reengage in the political process,” Kennedy said.

“I believe we all have courage inside,” Giffords said at the ceremony. “I just wish there was more courage in Congress,” she added, alluding to the defeat by the U.S. Senate in April of a gun control bill that would have toughened background checks for gun purchasers.

“It’s been a hard two years for me,” Giffords said, “but I want to make the world a better place more than ever.”

While in Boston, Giffords and Kelly visited victims of the Boston Marathon bombings at the Spaulding Rehabilitation Center.

Huckabee Fears Gun Control a Step towards Nazi-Style Government

Friday, April 5th, 2013

Former Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee backed up a caller to Fox News who suggested that gun control is a step towards a Nazi-style government.

The caller stated, “So many people who have not read and do not understand how quickly Germany was turned into, it was a democracy, then turned into a dictatorship by everyone having to register their guns and then they went door to door and collected them,” according to Media Matters.

Huckabee quickly defended the caller.

“When you bring that up you get people who get crazy on us, and they’ll start saying, ‘Oh there you go comparing to the Nazis.’” Huckabee replied. “And I understand the reaction, but it’s the truth.

“You cannot take people’s rights away if they’re resisting and if they have the means to resist, but once they’re disarmed and the people who are trying to take over have all the power, not just political, not just financial, but they have the physical power to domesticate us and to subjugate us to our will there’s not a whole lot we can do about it other than just plan to die in the course of resistance….

“In every society and culture where dictators take over, one of the things they have to do is get control of the military and the police and ultimately all of the citizens and make sure the citizens are disarmed and can’t fight in the streets. Gosh I hope it doesn’t come to that.

Media Maters quoted an article in Salon that Hitler actually loosened gun laws for his political allies while banning firearms only from those hew wanted to suppress.

The Shadow of the Gun

Sunday, March 17th, 2013

Every day another one of the stories comes in. A teacher panicked by a plastic gun, an army man on a cupcake, a t-shirt, a pop tart chewed into the shape of a gun or a finger gun hits the panic button. Suspensions and lectures quickly follow as the latest threat to the gun-free zone, usually in the form of a little boy, is tackled to the ground and lectured to within an inch of his life.

Tellingly these incidents rarely take place in the inner city schools where teenage gang members walk through metal detectors at the start of the day. The safety officers in those schools, big weary men with eyes that look everywhere at once, don’t waste their time on toys. Not unless those toys are full-size, painted black and filed down to look like real guns.

It’s usually the schools where a shooting is wholly unlikely; where gun violence is not a daily reality, but an unlikely convergence of horror, that institutional vigilance hits an irrational peak as every school imagines that it could be the next Columbine or the next Sandy Hook.

The NRA’s initial proposal of armed school guards was met with an irrational chorus of protests. More guns aren’t the answer, was the cry. And the leading crier was the White House’s expert skeet shooter. In a country where law enforcement is heavily armed and gunmen are stopped by gunmen in uniforms, a strange Swedenization had set in. The problem was not the man, it was the gun. Get rid of the guns and you stop the killing. Schools across the country are banning not the gun, but the idea of the gun. It is a conceptual prohibition that is meant to push away the threat of gun violence by eliminating any mention of the G word. Gun-free zones mean places where guns cannot be mentioned, depicted or even symbolized as if the refusal to concede the existence of a firearm will eliminate the threat of it being used on the premises.

This isn’t a precautionary attitude, but a pacifist one. Gun horror is not a productive emotion, but learned helplessness disguised as moral superiority. Rather than teaching children to hate killers, schools are instead teaching them to hate guns. And reducing murders to instruments rather than morals, children are left with no sense of right and wrong, only an instinctive horror of violence.

Pacifists have always demonized armies rather than invaders. During WWI they obsessed over gas. During WWII, it was the bomber and the tank. During the Cold War they demonized nuclear weapons. In the War on Terror, they target the drone. By dealing with the object rather than the subject, they are able to avoid the question of moral responsibility. Rather than hold the Nazis, Communists or Islamists accountable for their actions, they extended a blanket condemnation over the weapons-wielders.

The American G.I. was just as bad as the S.S. man or the Kamikaze pilot or the Political Commissar. The only difference was in who had the bigger guns. And the one with the bigger guns, was also the most to blame.

That same attitude can be seen today when Israel is blamed for every battle with Islamic terrorists because it has the bigger guns. Rather than evaluating the nature of a conflict and the values of both sides, the pacifists score every war based on firepower.

While the left likes to indulge in stereotypes of gun-toting rednecks and bomb-brandishing generals, the only people who judge the worth of a man by his weapon are the pacifists, the gun-fearers and gun-hiders who mythologize weapons as black agents of evil.

To believe that there is no such thing as constructive violence is to reject free will. Without accepting the necessity of constructive violence, there is no good and evil, only armed men and unarmed men. Without constructive violence, two boys playing cops and robbers in the schoolyard are not acting out a childish morality play, they are becoming desensitized to murder, and without it a child with a pop tart chewed into the shape of a gun is on the way to being a school shooter.

If there is no such thing as constructive violence, then the police officer is not the solution to crime, he is part of the cycle of violence. And if that cycle of violence does not begin with a man choosing to use a gun for good or evil, then it must begin with the gun. The man becomes the object and the gun becomes the subject. American ICBMs become just as bad as Russian ballistic missiles. An Israeli soldier killing a suicide bomber is just as bad as the terrorist. There are no good guys with guns. To have a gun is to be the bad guy.

For decades the gun-control lobby has brandished assault rifles at press conferences and spent more time describing their killing power than their manufacturers have. The rifle has been upgraded to the assault rifle and now, in the latest Orwellian vernacular used by the White House and the entire media pyramid beneath it, weapons of war.

The dreaded assault rifle or weapon of war or killing machine of mass death actually kills rather few Americans. The average shooter doesn’t bring an AR-15 to a Chicago gangland dispute. Despite the number of these weapons in private hands, most of the killing takes place with handguns in the same parts of the country where large amounts of illegal drugs are sold, women trafficked and stores robbed.

Shootings in America are not caused by guns, they are caused by crime. Guns really do not walk off store shelves and go on killing sprees. That’s what criminals are for. But the trouble with that discussion is that it takes us into moral territory. Talking about guns is easy, talking about souls is not. If guns don’t kill people, then we have to ask the difficult question of what does kill people.

It’s a bigger question than just Adam Lanza pulling the trigger in a classroom full of children. It is a big question that encompasses the Nazi gas chambers and the Soviet gulags, the Rape of Nanking and September 11. It is a question as big as all of human history.

Pacifists once used to be able to address such questions, but they have become obsessed with the technology of violence, rather than the spiritual origin of violence. And the technology of violence is largely beside the point. Guns do not motivate people to kill. Nor do they represent that much of a quantum increase in death.

Some of history’s worst massacres happened long before firearms became useful for more than scaring off peasants. The heavily armed Americans of the 50s had lower per capita murder rates than medieval London. It isn’t the gun that makes the killer. It’s not the hand that kills, but the mind.

The gun-free society has little interest in individuals. Its technocratic philosopher-kings want big and comprehensive solutions. Their answer to gun violence is to feed a horror of guns. Their answer to obesity is to ban sodas. Their solutions invariably miss the point by treating people like objects and objects like people.

In the Middle Ages, rats were put on trial for eating crops. Today we put guns on trial for killing people. The left has tried to reduce people to economics, to class and then race, gender and sexual orientation. It has done its best to reduce people to the sum of their parts and then to tinker with those parts and it has failed badly. The best testimony of its profound spiritual failure is that the worst pockets of gun violence are in urban areas that have been under the influence of their sociologists, urban planners, psychologists, social justice activists, community organizers and political rope-pullers for generations. And what have those areas brought forth except malaise, despair, blight and murder?

Banning guns will do as much for those areas as banning drugs did. It is not the shadow of the gun that has fallen over Chicago, but an occlusion of the spirit. Social services have had generations to save the city and they have failed because the technocracy can reach the body, but it cannot reach the soul.

The gun-control activists drew the wrong lesson from Newtown as they drew the wrong lessons from WWII and September 11. The lesson is not that weapons are bad, the lesson is that people in the grip of evil ideas are capable of unimaginable horrors regardless of the tools at their disposal. A single man can kill a classroom full of children with a gun and a few men can kill thousands with a few box cutters. It isn’t the tool that matters. It’s the man.

Unwishing the gun brings us back to the sword. Unwishing the sword brings us back to the spear. Unwishing the spear brings us back to the stone club. And what then? When every weapon that ever existed or will exist is undone, all that remains is the deadliest weapon of all. The mind of man.

The gun, the sword, the spear and the club took countless lives and saved countless lives. Civilization has always balanced on a future made possible by little boys playing cops and robbers and playing with little green army men. They can either grow up to be the protectors of the future or the frightened men who will stand aside and do nothing when they hear the screams begin to come because they have been told that all violence is evil.

Originally published at Sultan Knish.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/daniel-greenfield/the-shadow-of-the-gun/2013/03/17/

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