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Commentary AR-15

Published on January 16th, 2013 | by James Schlarmann

30

The Gun Zealot Emancipation Proclamation

I’m done. I am officially done arguing and “debating” with Gun Zealots both here on my site and on my Facebook page, and I am here to absolve the entire nation from having to worry or fret about what a small but extremely vocal minority of gun owners thinks and says and threatens to do over gun control measures. But first, let me be sure to define what a Gun Zealot is, so as not to offend someone who is most assuredly not a Gun Zealot.

Perhaps it’s easiest to sum up what a Gun Zealot is not:

  • Someone who has a vintage gun collection. I like antique stuff too, and while those guns can still kill, I’m not worried about a collector dumping a blunderbuss or a musket on the open market.
  • Someone who owns a rifle for hunting, whether for sport or sustenance. I understand the need to hunt, and as long as you follow your state’s gun and hunting laws, we’re cool.
  • Someone who owns a sensible gun or two for home protection. I myself don’t want a gun in my house. I believe the studies about how much more likely you are to be hurt by your own gun, or for your loved one to be shot with it. But I’m not a “gun grabber,” so if you’re all about safety and protection, own that gun.
  • Someone who is among the 85% of people polled by Pew recently that favor the kinds of sensible gun control measures the President is sure to be recommending to Congress (he may have already, I’m writing this on the morning of his announcement)

I am convinced, after reading a piece by Juan Williams of all people, posted on Fox News’ website of all places, that most gun owners do not fall into the category of a Gun Zealot. In his rather wonderfully written and pointed piece, Williams eviscerates those on the right who are planning to impeach the president, withhold funding needed to implement the new proposals The White House just released, and the arguments that Obama has no legal precedent. Williams points to LBJ, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton all using the executive privilege afforded the president in Article II of the Constitution specifically to legislate guns. Note that there’s a Republican on that list, Gun Zealots.

Williams rightly pointed to hardcore conservative Justice Anton “Maybe the People Should Be Allowed To Own Rocket Launchers” Scalia’s opinion in Heller that the Second Amendment is “not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.” Williams’ piece gave me the insight I need into the conservative world. Now, I know that Williams is Fox News’ go to ethnic liberal, but let’s face it, he’s had plenty of right-wing rhetoric and talking points escape his mouth before. But the fact is that the very same Pew Poll I mentioned earlier was also cited by Williams in his piece, and  it demonstrates the fact that the overwhelming majority of Americans, and therefore the overwhelming majority of gun owners are rather sensible people looking for sensible solutions and are not Gun Zealots.

So who are these Gun Zealots? Gun Zealots are the people I’ve come in contact with on various platforms here on the World Wide Intertubes that call me a “Gun Grabber.” They tell me I’m out to take everyone’s guns, even though you won’t find a single sentence in a single piece I’ve written where I call for the total disarmament of the populace. They tell me I’m not allowed to participate in the public discourse over gun legislation because I’m not a gun owner, and I still call AR-15s “assault rifles.” They’re the ones you see posting memes of Hitler and Obama side-by-side grinning while they disarm their countries. Gun Zealots are the ones who argue about total disarmament even when the discussion at hand is merely whether we can write new or revise the current gun legislation to ratchet up security for everyone. They’re the ones that scream at you that gun control laws and assault rifle bans don’t work, despite the fact that Japan has just about outright banned guns altogether and their gun violence statistics are embarrassingly low compared to ours.

Gun Zealots are the ones who look at the Pew Poll, and don’t understand. Gun Zealots are the ones who refuse to inject reality into the discussion of guns, and instead scream about everything from Hitler to Lincoln to Thomas Jefferson and beyond, but never actually answering the question of “Why do you need a weapon like the AR-15 for anything other than hunting human beings?” Gun Zealots are the ones poisoning the conversation before it gets going, spouting NRA talking points and never actually acknowledging the frightening level to which guns have become so goddamned ubiquitous, and cling to a sycophantic and historically inaccurate view of the Constitution to remain ensconced in the bubble that is their very existence.

In other words, they’re the Tea Party of gun owners.

And so it is with the knowledge that Gun Zealots represent a very small minority of not just gun owners, but of the American People, that I hereby give you this “Gun Zealot Emancipation Proclamation.” But unlike Lincoln’s most important document that he ever composed, I am freeing the majority from the minority:

A Proclamation,
Whereas, on the sixteenth day of January, in the year of someone’s Lord two thousand and thirteen, a proclamation was issued by some writer/comedian on a political “blog,” containing, among other things, the following:

“As of this date, going forward in perpetuity, given the overwhelming majority’s attitude towards sensible gun restrictions, I am no longer going to engage in debate or discourse with anyone who is among the very small but recalcitrant and vocal minority, known as Gun Zealots over the aforementioned sensible gun restrictions. And I am also hereby absolving the rest of the nation from their duty to involve any of their fellow Americans who fall into that descriptor – Gun Zealots – as well.

I vow to start this new era first and foremost on my website as well as on the accompanying Facebook page. Anyone who engages in belligerent, talking-point fueled nonsense as means of distracting from actual discourse will be banned, on sight and without prejudice. If you can argue against gun control without telling me I’m not allowed to participate, I’m or that I’m a Marxist-Leftist-Socialist-Pussy-Asshole-Douchebag simply because I share the opinion of the overwhelming majority, you are welcome to enjoy a vigorous and spirited debate. But if you are here to malign me or anyone else who is trying to discuss in a civil manner the problems facing this country in terms of gun violence and what some possible solutions are to fix them, you are not welcome here, ever again.

As firm a believer as I am in the First Amendment, and as firmly as I believe that the powers contained in that most sacred of legislative prose give the rest of the document it’s power, I will not tell you that you cannot spout your nonsense at all. It’s just not welcome here, in my forum, or any forum I conduct. And I hereby absolve any and all other Americans in the same situation of their responsibility to engage with Gun Zealots. It’s time for those who would prefer that mass murders be carried out from time to time instead of even talking about gun control measures to slink back among themselves and see if they have the requisite votes from stopping the rest of the country from moving forward, not to a total disarmament but to a restoration of common sense and societal responsibility. I do not aim to excise either the First or Second Amendment rights from Gun Zealots, but I, and no one else is under any legal or moral obligation to entertain the bleating and gnashing of teeth of the Gun Zealot. They are not out for discourse. They are out to arm our nation against each other.

When and if this small group of hyperbolic and histrionic Americans decides to stop resisting all attempts at dialogue, and can promise to not derail every discussion with hissy-fits and absurd claims that no gun laws ever work, when they are ready to stop insisting that every regulation is equal to prohibition, when they fucking grow up and stop pretending as if guns are benign implements of peace except only in the hands of the wicked, when they realize that the Second Amendment promises them to never have their guns ripped away by Federal authorities, and when they see that their fellow Americans who do wish to engage in dialogue and discussion are not the enemy, but instead someone with a desire to find ways to keep more innocents from being slaughtered, this proclamation will be null and void.  They will be welcome back with open arms.

Until that day, I hereby emancipate the sane and rational majority from  the tyranny of the small but extremely vocal minority. We can fear not, friends. There is not a violent uprising coming. President Obama does not have the legal authority to steal everyone’s guns. And he has no intention of doing that, and I promise you all that he will not, ever. And so it is with that recognition of the reality of the situation that I proclaim us all free from the chains that bind our society and keep us from finding common ground, and prevent us from at least trying, which is all we really want to do anyway.”

By The Writer/Comedian: James Schlarmann

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About the Author

James is the founding contributor and editor-in-chief of The Political Garbage Chute, a left-leaning satire and commentary site, which can be found on Facebook as well. You definitely should not give that much a shit about his opinions.



  • Jane Ryan

    I agree. This is going to get even uglier and more dangerous. We need to do something. Pres. Obama has started it now with letters and phone calls maybe we can influence the cowards who refuse to stand up to the NRA and Rush Limbaugh.

  • http://www.facebook.com/washougalite Jami Thomas

    I was beginning to think I was the only one that thought this way.Thank-you.

  • Tired in Columbus

    I am not a Gun Zealot. I do own more several firearms. I have pistols for target shooting and personal protection. My long guns (shotguns and rifles) are for mainly for hunting, with a few just for target shooting. However, I also own one AR-15, and it never occurred to me to use it to shoot human beings. I bought it because I live in rural Texas, and feral hogs are a serious problem. When encountering a herd of wild pigs, it is quite advantageous to be able to fire more than two or three rounds, and as rapidly as possible. So, I do use my AR-15 for hunting something other than people. If that qualifies me as a Gun Zealot in your book, so be it.

    • James Schlarmann

      Did you bother to read the piece, Tired? If you’d had, you’d probably notice that I would not consider you a gun zealot. All I can say is that I doubt you need a 30-round magazine to shoot feral hogs, right? Wouldn’t ten do just fine? And also, remember Obama is not taking away the AR-15 you already own.

      • Dariusz

        If person need more than 5 bullets to shoot the deer,probably should not be allow to cary any gun.

    • C.M.

      that is very reasonable, exception can be made, that is an explanation that people will accept, this gun hugging an assault weapon for the sole purpose of target practice is not really an argument that holds up, your argument makes a lot of sense!

    • Edwin Bode

      tired of reading?

  • jd
  • B. Stevens

    I’m afraid I have a family full of gun zealots. I have decided recently to enlighten them. Great post.

  • Bonnie

    Right On!

  • willi

    I personally would love to see every gun destroyed, but I am happy to just get some sane regulations. Thanks for this, it needed to be said

  • AJD

    What frightens me about the gun zealots is that they seem entirely unreasonable and completely irrational!! Irrational people tend to do irrational things which is what has led to the mass shootings we are all familiar with…and these are people with guns….IRRATIONAL PEOPLE WITH GUNS….if there ever was clear evidence for the need for gun control, they are it. They make the case for what that they are fighting against.

  • BD

    The problem is not the gun zealots, but precisely the people you describe as not being gun zealots. They are the average Americans who will believe any sound bite bite that kind of makes sense in ignorance of the reality. Over seventy percent on the American public believed that Iraq was involved in 911. It took years to convince them otherwise, and many still are ignorant of that reality.

    This will have to be a dirty war, exploiting the same ignorance that the NRA, and right wing extremist have done.

  • Justin

    While I am considered a Gun Zealot by this article, I prefer the term Gun Enthusiast. And while I agree that every bushel will have a few bad apples, and in this case they tend to be loud and stubborn, I know several reasonable and very rational Gun Enthusiast. Mr Colion Noir is a great example. I’d like to point out that I agree no one “needs” an assault rifle, but its not about need, it’s about having the right own something I want. While that may sound selfish, it’s the same principle as owning a new car. My old car was fine, but I wanted a new one, and as a free man I am allowed to buy one. I don’t need an AR15, but I find firearms fascinating, mechanically and as a skill, and therefore want to own the Ferrari of legal guns. Who wants a Ferrari with a speed governor? I’ll drive the speed limit on the highway, but when I get to the track, it’s not as fun with “only 10 rounds”. And yes to NRA it up, round count will not change gun crime, see Mr Colion Noir for further details. And as for Japan, they don’t have gun crime because they don’t have guns. If you build a house without hammers, you’ll have a low injury rate from hammers. To use stats from gun free countries you should use the overall violence records. :)

    • AJD

      Comparing cars to guns is the height of an apples and oranges argument. While cars can be misused or something completely accidental can happen that can kill a few people in a car accident, you don’t typically see people going into populated places like malls, schools, or theaters and taking out 20 or more people with a ferrari. Sorry, but when it comes to public safety, my rights and my loved ones’ rights and everyone else’s rights to “life” (which is also in the constitution by the way) trump your “wants and needs” when it comes to certain firearms and things like insanely high capacity magazines that are far more than what’s necessary for anything save warfare. It’s not so much “you” that concerns me, but the ability of others that may be mentally unstable or just plain evil to get their hands on your weapon or a weapon like it. You would be amazed at how many people keep weapons like an AR-15 unsecured so that anyone, friend or stranger, could walk into their house and take off with it. In the cases of the shooter in the mall in OR and Lanza in CT, they both were easily able to get their hands on guns that were not theirs…the OR shooter took the one he used from a friend’s house and Lanza from his mother’s collection.

    • Mitchina

      Justin and Kyuta: These people have been herded to the left for the past 30 years – they no longer understand the basic principals freedom. And Japan is about the size of CA, WA and OR combined. It’s easy to control crime in three states as an entire country. How many “irrational” gun zealots have committed mass murder via assault weapon? lol There is nothing to fear but fear itself: manufactured in your tiny little brain without any “rational” evidence to be in fear.

  • Kyuta Syuko

    Ok so lets say you nor anyone in your neighborhood owns any firearm in the “Assault Weapons” ban list and some foreign army sneaks in a squad at a time in different locations with the intent to take out as many Americans as possible and spreading the American Military as thinly as possible so they start exterminating everyone in various neighborhoods all over the US at the same time one of those being the neighborhood you live in where no one owns an “Assault Weapon” or a magazine that can hold more then 10 rounds. What then?

    Or how about Obama takes away these “Assault Weapons” now. Then next week or next month another tragic shooting happens and so he bans more guns and limits magazines further. Then another tragic shooting happens so he bans all guns and magazines. Then he decides he wants to be Dictator Obama so he deploys all military personnel to the other side of the world to fight a war that doesn’t exist and then sweeps the nation with his own private army. What then?

    Now I know most of you will go “Oh that’ll never happen.” Kinda like how 9/11 never happened? Like how terrorists didn’t hijack planes with box cutters and crash them into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon didn’t happen? The Second Amendment isn’t about the right to bare arms to go hunting, nor is it about the right to bare arms for sports shooting. It’s not even about the right to bare arms for personal defense. No the Second Amendment is about the right to bare arms to defend our freedoms and rights against anyone who would try to take them from us be them a foreign military or our own government.

    We can’t depend on our own Military or even Police Officers to protect us when the bullets start flying because it’s not very likely either with be anywhere near the area. No we can only rely on ourselves for our own protection.

    And that is why we need AR-15s and Magazines that can hold 30+ Rounds.

    • James Schlarmann

      Did you misread this article as being a place for you to drop your paranoid delusions as justification for owning assault weapons?

      • Kyuta Syuko

        There’s nothing paranoid nor delusional about anything I wrote. Both scenarios — while I don’t either will happen — are just as likely to happen as 9/11. Anyone who thinks otherwise are the delusional ones in my book.

        • James Schlarmann

          It’s extremely paranoid and delusional, actually. It’s one thing to hijack planes after years of planning it’s another to infiltrate the country like that. Besides, that’s what we have the National Guard, Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines for.

          • Kyuta Syuko

            And if you ask me it’s extremely delusional to think the country couldn’t be infiltrated. Because you know there aren’t any terrorists currently here now. Just like there weren’t any terrorists here when 9/11 happened. I won’t give out any possible scenarios so as to not give any potential threats that could be reading this post any ideas, but like I said before unless you have a Military Post in your neighborhood none of those branches of the military will be of any help when the bullets start flying. You’ll be lucky to survive until they arrive.

    • AJD

      Please show me a country that has the manpower to pull off something like that and the ability to get that many people into so many neighborhoods in the U.S? The only country with the manpower might possibly be China but the logistics of it are so far “out there” to think it could really happen. Yes, this is a very paranoid and delusional scenario. Sorry, but it is.

      • Kyuta Syuko

        I never said how many countries. I just said a foreign army. That could consist of one country or a dozen countries. I also mentioned squads they typically consist of 8-13 soldiers. As for logistics? Lets just say tourists come and go from this country at a fairly high volume practically everyday. Not to mention military grade weapons are smuggled in and out of this country at a fairly high rate as well, but it seems you’re much too deeply rooted in your fantasy that the US is untouchable that I could layout a plausible plan and you would still call it paranoid and delusional. Enjoy your fantasy I’ll be living in reality.

    • http://gravatar.com/octoberfurst octoberfurst

      If you seriously think that being armed with an AR-15 will enable you to hold off the might of the US military should we become a dictatorship you are seriously delusional. The military has drones, tanks and fighter aircraft that would decimate any resistance. Stop living in a Rambo fantasy land.

  • Bob

    Then move to a safer country Kyuta!

    • James Schlarmann

      Kyuta, you are paranoid. End of.

      • Kyuta Syuko

        I don’t suppose anyone’s going to be hostile to myself or the US in any way. I’m just saying anyone that doesn’t think it’s a possibility is themselves delusional and living in a fantasy world, but there’s no point in debating the matter with you since the only think you have left to spout is “paranoid and delusional” when the only people here that are paranoid are those who are willing to give up essential rights for a little bit of false sense of security.

        • James Schlarmann

          You’re not saying anything. You’re using hypothetical situations to justify…what, exactly? A civilian arms race?

          • Kyuta Syuko

            I’m giving hypothetical situations to show why we have the Second Amendment. It is our constitutional obligation to pick up Arms and defend our freedoms should they come under fire. Be us Military or not.

  • Thomas Joan

    The NRA lobbyists work for the Gun Manufacturers and Gun Industries. The members of the NRA and other frightened Gun Zealots listen to its lies and propaganda, and they become the advertisers and the marketing arm of the NRA. They rush to give their money to the Industry! Stockpiling weapons. The Manufacturers and Industries ONLY care about maximizing the bottom line – PROFIT. The do not care at all about the DEAD CITIZENS.

    In addition the powerful NRA lobbyists BUY Congress with money – and threats. Things will only change when the above is understood.

    Our country will only change for the better when all of us who care about and work for a more safe and decent country think independently and contact members of Congress !

    it is shocking when one realizes that more gun related deaths have occured within our Country, than in all the wars we have fought ! Consider also ALL the accidents and all the ‘collateral damage’ caused when one single person is shot dead. Each of the thousands and thousands of dead had ‘parents, spouse, children, siblings, cousins, grandparents, other relatives, neighbors, friends, classmates and others and such grief causes damage for generations! Ask the Kennedy grand or great grandchildren, or those who grieve forever for other dead. The ‘survivors’ need mentally health services and the gun injured persons need medical care and the costs are enormous. Oh well, you get my point.

    Please stop marketing and advertising for profits for the huge Gun Industries. The NRA (and other gun lobbyists) don’t care about you, or your family. THINK. Now IS the time.

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