Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Alan Korwin: Arizona Republic deals with guns and politics

by Alan Korwin

Guns at the recent Obama rally in Phoenix made international news.

The Arizona Republic asked me to give the gun-rights side of the story, in
a pro-and-con piece this Sunday (8/30/09) to 550,000 readers. If you missed
this in the Sunday paper, here it is as written (they made changes of

Following the story is a reply to some of the letters I got, which are
still coming in. There are some disjointed illogical brains out there let
me tell you.

Black Man With Gun Harms No One
Black Man With Gun Harms No One
Black Man With Gun Harms No One

[The paper called it: "Bearing Arms Exemplifies Anger Over Big

by Alan Korwin, Author
The Arizona Gun Owner's Guide
August 30, 2009

Why are people showing up at political rallies armed? When Chris Broughton
appeared at the Aug. 17 Obama health-care rally in Phoenix, his holstered
sidearm and shouldered rifle made international news. What's happening?

More and more Americans fear their government is racing out of control,
and they're speaking up peacefully but in no uncertain terms.

For instance, when this health-care bill was introduced, president Obama
pressed for immediate passage, remember? Before we could read it he urged
enactment. Is that proper? Should we the people tolerate that?

Fortunately, sign-before-reading didn't happen. Then when the contents
emerged, even his own party revolted.

We faced wholesale takeover of medicine, inflexible doctor controls,
massive bureaucracies, monopolies without redress -- and no money for it!
They said it won't increase costs, but will cover 47 million uninsured
while creating bunches of federal medical departments. That's flat-out
impossible -- and it left many shaken.

People showing up armed at rallies aren't extremists or right wing. They
are centrists -- people attached to The American Way -- limited government,
delegated powers only, low taxation, free-market capitalism, right to arms,
freedom to assemble -- central principles that made America great. They see
this administration abandoning our inspired guidelines and are literally up
in arms. This terrifies "progressive" leftists but the central core of
America understands completely... and is cheering. It's overdue.

Let me put this metaphorically. When government gets this far out of
control, the farmers show up with pitchforks. That's what's happening.

When government can take your money and simply give it to anyone (like
floundering firms without enough bonus cash) or spend on anything
regardless of constitutional limits, that's tyrannical -- government of
unlimited powers. It is totally proper for common folk to rise up and
object. The Framers put the Second Amendment in the Constitution for
exactly this reason -- as a last recourse if government abandons its

[This graf was omitted] Remember similar coercion over "stimulus"? Sign
immediately or face doom. Our unrepresentatives caved and signed. Now,
czars control the cash. You remember history -- czars are tyrants. Congress
doesn't control them, only their proclaimer does. It's shadow government,
an affront, a usurpation. The people must object.

Ernest Hancock, the libertarian from FreedomsPhoenix.com who organized
that blackest of community demonstrations, said, "We're up against a
tyrannical government that will rob the next generation as long as they can
get away with it." His billboards with babies weeping "It's not my debt"
says it all.

In the aftermath I did the usual interviews. NBC-TV's affiliate confessed
(off-air) that including the armed man's race (Chris is black) would
undermine "the whole redneck right-wing extremist thing."

AP's reporter kept asking, "Why wasn't he arrested? He had a gun!" I kept
replying, "Because he didn't do anything wrong." She didn't get it.

WGN-AM Chicago asked, "Do you have shootouts on the streets?" They are so
lost. We relish banquets with "Tasteful open-carry appreciated." It's
incomprehensible to news-challenged masses.

Obama's forces thrust deep socialist hooks into the insurance business,
home mortgages, automobile making, banking, and now they're after our
doctors and medicine. They have zero constitutional authority. This must be
stopped. The only surprise is pitchforks didn't appear sooner.

Two good things ensued. Reprehensible "news" coverage attempted to vilify
it, hide the black guy, and failed, revealing those reporters' true colors.
And morbid hoplophobic (gun-hatred) fears permeating America's innards were

This fine country has guns, uses guns, buys and sells guns inside
communities, understands that guns are good, guns save lives, guns protect
you, guns are why America is still free. Totally natural, these facts our
"news" omits, leaving many progressively uninformed.

New York City and Washington, D.C. are where most national media festers.
Their gun rights are so violently repressed the mere sight of guns makes
them wet their panties [the paper said, makes them shake]. Visit a shooting
range? Puhleeze.

Pity them. It's sad. They're so far removed from these vital exemplars of
freedom they blindly spew self-righteous anti-rights bigotry at the public.
That's the message of the black gentleman with the black gun who harmed no

Alan Korwin, a nationally recognized expert on gun law, has written eight
books on the subject and can be reached at gunlaws.com.


[Form letter reply to correspondants:]

Thank you all for the thoughtful and sometimes outrageous responses to my

Too many to answer all individually, but let me address at least the
recurrent themes. For those with supportive views, thanks, below I'm mainly
dealing with the gripes and upset.

First, my article was not entitled "Bearing Arms Exemplifies Anger Over
Big Government," which set some people off. It was entitled "Black man
with gun harms no one." The newspaper changed my title (I specifically
asked them not to since it tied into the closing line.) They do that all
the time, manipulate meaning with headlines, even though it's decidedly
unethical (one of my main points -- news distortions).

For all the people (a lot!) who went on and on about Bush and Cheney, and
abuses and stupidity of the republicans, I feel your pain and hear your
angst, but your remarks are misplaced. OK, you're angry at the old boss,
you wish there was more protest back then. Well, where were you? And why
not deal with the topic of this article? Sorry if my staying focused got
you so upset.

I dealt with facts and spelled them out, and I called a spade a spade. Why
did so many people yell at me for not using facts? Read it again. There are
a ton. We DO face anti-rights bigotry, and I quoted examples, and you can
see Chris Mathews or Rick Sanchez or the rest get apoplectic on line --
sorry I couldn't quote them all, I had only 600 words to work with.

Not one of the complaints addressed the hardest fact -- Obama asked for
immediate compliance with his 1,100-page health bill before it could be
read. That IS outrageous. That IS improper. You SHOULD object to such a
tyrannical approach to lawmaking. Signing without reading is malfeasance,
it should be grounds for removal from office. No one should support such
policy, even his most ardent supporters. And it was worse than you saw --
this was cut from the article:

"Remember similar coercion over "stimulus"? Sign immediately or face doom.
Our unrepresentatives caved and signed. Now, czars control the cash. You
remember history -- czars are tyrants. Congress doesn't control them, only
their proclaimer does. It's shadow government, an affront, a usurpation.
The people must object."

To people who created their own imagination of who I was appealing to, I
wrote for the 550,000 readers of the state paper. Your projections of
ignorant masses, uneducated dolts, angry miscreants -- that's pure
projection. The piece was erudite, meticulously crafted, logic-and-reason
based -- you apparently just didn't like the subject matter or conclusions.
Your remarks say little for reasoned debate. "Deep socialist hooks" and
"zero constitutional authority" are not mindless labeling, they are
accurate descriptions.

And just a closing note on some errors in the counterpoint article. Chris
was carrying a modern-style one-shot sport-utility rifle, not a machine
gun. Mr. Obama was not standing a few hundred feet away, he was walled off
in a security bubble more than a thousand feet away. The symbols of
totalitarianism were protests aimed at Obama's actions, not flags of the
protesters. Chris was dressed in a white shirt and tie, not "like a
commando on patrol." Wwhat flagrant vitriol that was. And the crack about
armed drunkards was just abject silliness, totally off point.

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