Only in America: Paul Broun brandishes a semiautomatic rifle in his bid for Congress

April 13, 2020 • 1:15 pm

Paul Broun is a Tea Party Republican who was a state representative in Georgia until 2015; he lost in the Republican primary race for the U.S. Senate in 2014. He also lost in a 2016 Republican primary race for a seat in Congress.

He’s now running for Congress again this year, and here’s one of his campaign videos. Lest those of you who aren’t blessed enough to live in America think this is a fake, it isn’t. And in case you wonder what his gun is, an AR-15 is a semiautomatic weapon, classified as an “assault weapon.” These illegal in 7 states, though a few states allow ownership if you’re grandfathered in. Georgia, like all states south of Maryland, allows them.

Note the coded racism  (“looting hordes from Atlanta”, a largely black city), the characterization of socialism as satanic, and the reference to this gun as a “Liberty Machine.” He even offers to give one of those Liberty Machines to one “lucky person” who signs up for email updates from his campaign site.

This video could have been made by The Onion. But again—it’s real!

Wikipedia has a bit more on this ad:

A campaign video where Paul Broun offered to give away an AR-15 rifle to “to one lucky person who signs up for email updates” from his campaign website. The video showed him walking through grass and shooting a rifle. The video says that during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic that Americans might need an AR-15 to shoot “looting hordes from Atlanta”. Broun lives in Gainesville, a white majority city about an hour outside the state capital Atlanta, which is a majority African American city.

In a phone interview Broun said that the phrase “looting hordes from Atlanta” was “not racial”, saying “Only the liberal press would take that kind of position” and “There are a lot of white people in Atlanta as well.” Broun was dismissive of the idea that his rhetoric might concern Georgian African-Americans or that it might increase the risk of innocent African-Americans being shot in majority-white neighborhods, and claimed “it’s about black people having the means of protecting themselves just as much as white people or Hispanic people or Asian people”.

Watch and weep. 

124 thoughts on “Only in America: Paul Broun brandishes a semiautomatic rifle in his bid for Congress

    1. I believe fascism is associated with greater control by a government, not recognition and expansion of rights by individual citizens. But, oh, those rednecks do go on and on about individual rights and such, don’t they?

  1. What a moron. Should make you ashamed even if you are from the south. Nobody hunts anything with that gun and if you are actually a hunter of anything you would never go out with someone carrying such a weapon. Notice the commercial has him walking around with it, as if he was hunting. I guess maybe he is hunting dirt and he actually hits it. We just hope there were no people over in that direct he may have hit or a house or animal.

    1. People like Broun and Ammon Bundy are the type of people who will not accept a Trump defeat, especially if he claims the election was rigged against him. With enough weapons to supply a small army, these right-wingers, always bellowing about government tyranny, are ready, willing, and able to create widespread civil disorder, just waiting for a wink and a nod from Trump. This situation would give Trump the excuse to proclaim martial law and cancel the results of the election. The election will not be over until Biden is sworn in. This is not a sure thing.

      1. Historian: I think you underestimate the number of liberals who own guns, and are ready, however reluctantly, to protect the Republic.

        But let’s say that I’m wrong. Let’s say that the liberals have largely abdicated any responsibility for self-defense, leaving that to the very government which they now claim is going to proclaim martial law. Well–whose fault is that?

        1. This is for rickflick and Brujo.

          It doesn’t take a vast army to create extraordinary civil disorder. A few thousand at most would more than suffice. And if Brujo is correct in his surmise (which I doubt) that liberals with guns would fight back then there is more than enough pretext for Trump to declare martial law and suspend civil liberties. If he should declare martial law a large swathe of the country would support him, mostly being Republicans. In other words, all Trump would need to jeopardize democracy as we have known it is for him to self-create his own version of the Reichstag Fire. It matters little if the military or civil authorities should suppress the civil disorder in a relatively short time, say a few weeks. The damage will already be done since Trump will have had his pretext.

          1. Historian: Thank you for the further explanation of your POV.

            As much as I hate to admit it, the picture that you paint is not at all implausible.

          2. I agree, not implausible. But, in the end he’d be removed. It might take a while to restore some sort of amity. Now, the question is, would tRump put the country through such turmoil knowing he’d fail? Would some general take control of the situation and have tRump put in the brig? Sounds like a Hollywood movie doesn’t it.

        2. There are few things as laughable as the idea that America’s gun owners are going to protect “the Republic”. Brujo takes on the Pentagon. Can’t wait for the Hollywood version to be released.

          1. GB James: “Brujo takes on the Pentagon.”

            Nice sneer. You’re joking, right? I fully expect that the Pentagon would be on the side of law.

            But of course, I could be wrong.

              1. Well, GB, I don’t know who you imagine “us” to be, but speaking only for myself, I don’t recall offering to protect you from anything or anyone. Especially since you make it clear that any such effort would be unlikely to be appreciated.

                But to answer your question as best I can, I see the threat coming from the Ammon Bundys of the world, and the rest of the Trum-putos. YMMV.

              2. “It’s a pity you don’t have a police force…”

                Oh, that tired old canard. Sorry for your ignorance about this, GB, but U.S. courts have ruled consistently that the police have no duty of any kind to protect anyone from anything. The U.S. Supreme Court so ruled in Castle Rock v. Gonzales, 545 U.S. 748 (2005), which courts have followed ever since.

                Which means that it’s the duty of the police to investigate crimes and turn over the evidence thereof to prosecutors–and that’s it. Period. You might want to look at the facts of the Castle Rock case for a particularly gruesome example of the police approach to their “duties.”

                And even when and where the police WANT to protect you? Remember: “When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.”

              3. “the police have no duty of any kind to protect anyone from anything”

                I’m not American, I’m no expert on the law of the US, but that instinctively sounds like insane b*llocks.

              4. Saul Sorrell-Till: “…insane bollocks.”

                Your comment is ambiguous. Do you mean that the law is insane, or that I’m misrepresenting what SCOTUS said? If the former, we are in complete agreement. If the latter, may I suggest that you read the case itself? Or any number of cases that have followed it ever since, including a 2018 one where a federal court threw out a suit by Parkland survivors on precisely that ground?

                The Castle Rock v. Gonzales opinion can be read here: It’s short and straightforward.

                Now, one might argue that that case “only” involved restraining orders. OK; fair enough. So–cite the case where SCOTUS (or any federal court post-Castle Rock) found ANY ground for requiring police to protect citizens.

              5. Thank you, Brujo for demonstrating yet again the paranoid delusions that underlie the gun-nut community. How other societies survive without liberty defending patriots like you is one of life’s greatest mysteries.

              6. The question is do the police in fact protect people, day in day out, and regard it as their duty to do so? It turns out they do.

                So why try and claim that such an absurdity is actually the current state of affairs in response to GBJ? Yes, that is insane bollocks.

                Eg. there are numerous laws in Britain, ridiculous laws, technically giving people the right to marry a sheep on Tuesday, or behead a Catholic if it’s a Thursday and he’s wearing something with red on it, that kind of thing(I’m making them up, but the actual laws are similarly ridiculous.). No-one concludes, on that basis, that they could go out and lop off the pope’s head and get away with it.

              7. (“Such an abusurdity” being your claim that the police do not have a duty to protect citizens.)

              8. Saul: “Such an absurdity…”

                I don’t know what to do with you, brother. I even gave you the link to the SCOTUS opinion so that you could read what it says for yourself. Do you think that they just made those facts up? Or do you imagine that, “day in and day out,” those situations (failed restraining orders) are even unusual?

                And BTW, for “all y’all” who think that cheap insults and unevidenced assertions are argument, I’ll point out what I’ve said here before: I spent 25 years in the ring, getting the shit beat out of me by experts. And now I’m a trial lawyer. Neither is particularly conducive to having a thin skin. Or to being impressed by fact-free claims.

            1. “You’re joking, right? I fully expect that the Pentagon would be on the side of law. But of course, I could be wrong.”

              So if the Pentagon is on your side of the law (which of course, may differ wildly from another’s interpretation of the ‘side of the law’) you have nothing to do. The most powerful military in the world is on your side, fighting to uphold your constitution and associated freedoms on your behalf. If the Pentagon isn’t on your side, you have nothing to do either, so relax. In the latter scenario the weaponry, intelligence, tactical awareness, planning, logistics, scale, organisation, technology, training and physical fitness of the military and its officers / soldiers would make any resistance a pitiful irrelevance. At best it would achieve unnecessary bloodshed of the civilians that are naive enough to play cowboys and Indians with the US govt. This is even more obvious when you consider such gun toting people are predominantly middle aged and elderly. They often have a beer gut and have not done a day’s exercise in years, yet they still kid themselves that a gun is the best way to stay safe. I find the claim juvenile in its simplicity, but am happy for someone to demonstrate why my reasoning is incorrect, please feel free to do so. This obsession with government overreach and self-protection is of course a great opportunity to remain in one’s comfort zone. There they can exist in stark denial of the fact they have orders of magnitude more likelihood of dying from Type II diabetes than from a tyrannical government violently destroying their rights or a burglar breaking down their door. One wonders why they don’t instead go for a walk, or watch their diet. Either way, they should realise that a beer gut, an AR 15 and a cowboy hat won’t do squat against the US military.

              We all know the claim about police not being obliged to protect is being used as a convenient yet transparent post-hoc justification for gun ownership. The police might not be perfect, but they do protect, as Saul says, every day. Nice try though. As GB James alluded to – it does make you wonder how on earth other countries manage to keep society in order with such draconian and tyrannical gun laws? How do they keep the marauding hordes at bay without firearms? It must be nightmarish eh? Being constantly at risk of being murdered, or your kids being murdered in school? No, not really, because in other western countries we do pretty well. We don’t have mass shootings in schools, cinemas, universities or nightclubs. Our kids don’t have to practice terrifying drills to escape a live shooter in school, or learn how to run from a gunman, and that’s because it doesn’t happen here.

              The fact that our (UK) government bans guns doesn’t supress us, it means we are all free. We enjoy the luxury of not having to be scared shitless of shootings of ourselves or our kids; just by denying the section of the populous that wants guns. It is a great credit to European societies that we feel it is worth denying a minority the ‘right’ to feel powerful and dangerous, in order to allow the rest of us to feel free and safe.

              The US criminal justice system is obviously broken, severely broken in fact, it is not protecting the public nor is it deterring crime effectively. The richest country in the world has the highest incarceration rate! WTF? The US has 655 per 100,000 locked up, the next on the list with 590 is El Salvador!!! That is a truly damning statistic. England and Wales, by the way, is at 140.

              So, this is how it is at the moment, with a large percentage of the US population owning a gun. It’s not going very well is it? Widespread gun ownership does not appear to work in cutting down murder, crime and incarceration. Is it not worth looking at another way of doing things? For the sake of the kids being shot in schools, or the people in nightclubs, or students at university?

              Many readers will be aware of Jim Jeffries and his gun control sketch, in which he does a great job exposing the protection argument for guns as BS. To (roughly) quote him: “None of you read padlock monthly, none of you have your picture taken with a security door, saying ‘fuck yeah look at this door’. If you leave your guns hanging around the house then they are dangerous – kids kill each other every day like that. If you lock them in a safe then they are no f**king protection!” The best bit is when he talks about the one reason for having a gun, which is “Fuck off, I like guns”. With limited exceptions, I couldn’t agree more.

              1. Great rant, wetherjeff. I almost didn’t read it because it was ‘too long’, but pleased I did. You’re right of course, in every particular, not that that will get through the bony skulls of the gun lovers.


              2. “it is worth denying a minority the ‘right’ to feel powerful and dangerous, in order to allow the rest of us to feel free and safe”

                Do you think we could squeeze that onto a bumper sticker? As per Infinite…great rant.

              3. Important to examine Franklin in this case :

                “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

                Source :

                Google results suggest the quote doesn’t mean what we think it means (The Princess Bride argument).

                Nonetheless, the new bumper sticker is good.

              4. Well, wetherjeff, when I lived in the U.K., I didn’t have any guns either. That was just fine.

      2. Hysterical predictions about not respecting elections and armed uprisings remind me of those who said, in 2016, that Trump would force muslims to wear yellow crescents on their clothing, be stripped of their citizenship, that minorities would have rights revoked, etc… Maybe your worst fears are… overwrought?

    2. And he starts lying right at the beginning of the video – saying your founding fathers wanted you all to own hand guns. Where do they make this shit up.

  2. I don’t understand, is he afraid of the grass or the ducks? Fat as he is, he should fear cardiovascular accidents more than anything else. (Not strokes, as he doesn’t seem to use his brain too much.)

  3. OK…first, “legal in seven states” should be “illegal” in seven states, according to the Giffords page that you link to. But even that is just wrong; I live in California, and I own an AR-15. They’re quite legal here (albeit with just weird restrictions, like you can have a non-fixed magazine, or a pistol grip, but not both), and I suspect (although I don’t know for certain)that they’re legal in the other six states as well.

    Also, the claim that these are not “sporting rifles,” while it suits the anti-BOR narrative, is just wrong. AR-15s are among the *most* popular hunting guns.

    Not an endorsement of Broun, BTW, he’s an idiot whether he has this rifle or some other or none at all. When people ask me what caused my final break with the GOP, it was Broun, a young-Earth cretinist (NOT a typo), being appointed as Chaiorman of the Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight of the Committee on Science and Technology.

    1. I’m not an American, so forgive the naive/stupid question, but what exactly do you need an AR-15 *for*?

      1. Steve Pollard: short answer is…at the moment, I don’t. I don’t need the CBR600F4i in the garage either. Or my Giant MTB, or my James Cave viola, or…I could go through my house, and as it turns out, almost nothing that I own could be justified if “need” were the criterion. All my camping gear? What’s that for–I have a house! The fishing gear? C’mon–there’s a Vons supermarket right down the street!

          1. Yes, EdwardM, I have a license and a registration for my motorcycles, just like I have a concealed-carry permit, issued by the local sheriff after a training regimen (more intensive than any required for a motor-vehicle license) and range performance test for my registered handguns.

            Did you really imagine that you’re the first one to cleverly propose a licensing scheme for guns similar to that for motor vehicles, not even realizing that the regulatory framework for guns is ALREADY stricter?

            So yes, I’m all for it! And thank you for proposing that my CCW permit will be valid in all 50 states and DC, just like my driver’s license is.

    2. Tell us Brujo, what are you hunting with this thing? Popular hunting gun in your dreams. Do you get by with the 20 bullet clip or do you need the 30 to hit something?

        1. If you want to provide evidence that this weapon is popular for hunting anything, give me an article that actually shows this. You give a commercial, an advertisement for using the weapon for hunting deer. That is a sales pitch to purchase the weapon and that is all it is. You cannot use this weapon in many states to hunt deer. You cannot use it in Iowa that is for damn sure.

          Using this thing at the range is not hunting. It is banging away at a range. You act as if shooting cans were a hunting sport.

          Let me add this – I bet you would have much trouble getting any land owner or farmer to let you bring this weapon on to his land. So you can take your gun rights where???

          1. Randall, as to the popularity of the Ar-15 for hunting, I’ll just refer you to max blancke’s comment; he pretty much covers it.

            But may I suggest that you actually read comments before responding? I didn’t say that I hunted, with an AR-15 or anything else. I’m not a hunter. Nor did I offer any opinion of any kind about “gun rights.”

            As for Iowa, my understanding is that it is not the AR-15 that is disallowed for hunting, but its most common chambering, the .223/5.56 (at least for deer). But in other chamberings (like the 6.5 Grendel) it would be. And I would be quite surprised if the .223 were disallowed for varmint hunting.

            But of course, as always, I could be wrong. Please cite the Iowa statute that disallows AR-15s for any hunting purpose.

            1. I will only make a couple of comments and then I am done. I make comments here on this subject only to help educate the urban cowboys who seem to think this assault weapon is something useful for anything but killing people. I know something about hunting in Iowa because I grew up there years ago.

              You cannot hunt deer in Iowa with any kind of rifle period. There has never been a rifle season in the state that I am aware of. Why would this be you say? Because it is too dangerous.

              I never had guns just for kicks or to shoot at some range. If that is your thing there are plenty of guns to do this with without needing an assault rifle. Do you really think it is something the second amendment wanted you to have. Please do not insult me or the people here.

              1. I could not read your attachment so I did some looking. Recently in the last few years they have allowed some rifle shooting for deer in Iowa. Republican state and had a republican governor so they do stupid stuff. Until then there had never been rifles used in Iowa for hunting deer and for good reason. Good for killing people. I notice they do not allow AR-15s or any 223 ammo.

                I will also say this. Deer hunting is generally done in Iowa by having pushers and people on stands. The pushers walk through the section pushing out any game. So with rifles, it is a good way to kill someone. Hunting in any kind of group that includes rifles is nuts. Just really good for shooting people.

              2. I grew up in Michigan. Hunting there is a life threatening trial. They used to use a “deer rifle”. I seem to recall they were a .30-06. Just before opening day of deer season the northbound lanes of all the highways from Detroit to the Upper Peninsula are nearly bumper to bumper with hunter traffic. In the morning, the woods are full of these gun toting heroes, shooting, it would seem, anything that moves. People are occasionally victims of their own sport, but it is amazing that the kill rate is pretty low. Most of the deaths are heart attacks – men who lost their physiques and stamina, now trying to be Daniel Boon one more season. After a few days, the cars stream back to the towns and cities in the south, deer strapped to the fenders and roofs of their cars, tongues lolling out, Eyes sunken in, proof that they still can drop a deer 30 feet away who’s terrified and exhausted from running back and forth through the bush from one loud bang to the next. Kids as young as 8 or 10 get involved and for many it lasts a lifetime.

              3. Colin – I wondered when someone would link to Tom Lehrer.

                “I went and shot the maximum the game laws would allow
                Seven hunters, two game wardens, and a cow”



            1. Me too. And, even after all the preceding posts, I’m still not sure why Brujo has to own (rather than ‘needs’, if that riles him) an assault weapon whose main, and really only, function is to kill other people.

  4. To make it worse – PCC(e) made what’s presumably a typo but also minimizes the issue – far from being legal in 7 states, these semi-automatic rifles are LEGAL in ALL BUT 7 states. And even in the 7 states where restrictions exist, weapons of similar or identical functionality are still available. Besides, with a lack of universal regulations, these rules are nearly toothless… As we see here in Chicago “About 21 percent of guns confiscated by police in Chicago are traced back to gun shops across the border in Indiana, a short drive from the city” ( {

  5. I sort of figured that this was going to be more anti-gun hysteria, but having watched it ,he looks ridiculous.
    It is as if he is LARPing a combat patrol, and he looks unfamiliar with the weapon.

    That being said, a few observations-
    ” Nobody hunts anything with that gun”
    Not true at all. They are great varmint guns. Most of the serious wild hog hunters also use the platform, although they use more powerful rounds than the standard .223.

    Also, AR-type guns are almost universal for truck guns. What I mean by that is ranchers, at least, always have a rifle in their trucks when out on the range, where they are likely to encounter natural hazards or poachers. They are pretty rugged guns, and can rattle around behind the seat of your pickup with no problems.

    “what exactly do you need an AR-15 *for* ?”
    It is no more or less lethal than other guns. If it is chambered in .223, probably less lethal than something with a more popular hunting round. In places where rifles are legal, what it looks like should not be a big issue.
    I have all sorts of things that would be unlikely to be classified under basic needs.

    1. You’re right, Max, that people do use AR-15s to hunt and “what does one need it for” is kind of a silly question as both you and Bruno (above) imply.

      But surely you can’t be blind to the issue of having these kinds of weapons so easily obtained and without any kind of limitations. Much of the anti-gun hysteria you sneer at derives from deep frustration with the obdurate refusal of gun rights people to acknowledge that we even have a problem, much less entertain even modest solutions.

      1. “without any kind of limitations.”

        If that were the case, I would agree. But there are tons of limitations. You cannot buy the select-fire military version.
        People who have been indicted or convicted of felonies, addicted to drugs, or are subject to a restraining order are among those prohibited from having any gun.

        A person with a clean record who purchases a gun to resell to such a prohibited person is subject to $250K fines and 10 years in jail.

        An AR-type rifle with a barrel shorter than 16 inches, thus easily concealable, gets you the same 10 years in the big house, as will any rifle that can easily be converted to auto fire.

        “Brandishing”, a word used in the post, is a specific behavior. It gets you 30 days minimum or up to a year, depending on location.

        Many states consider it a criminal offense to discharge a firearm in the city limits of any municipality.

        There are hundreds of limitations, at least.

        One thing that keeps happening these days is that people who sell guns are reporting that customers are coming in frequently these days with the belief that there are few restrictions on such ownership, but finding out differently.

        1. I’ll add that it is not only illegal, but a felony to merely seek to buy a gun if you are among that prohibited list from gun ownership. These are a set of laws that are rarely enforced. Perhaps we should start there.

    2. Varmints eh. Are those varmints good eaten? A good truck gun you say. I have never heard of that one. So the state you are in is nuts enough to let guys carry loaded weapons in their vehicle. Tell me, do they let them legally shoot these weapons from a vehicle. Not in states I am familiar with.

      Where I have actually hunted you cannot carry a loaded gun in a vehicle. And the gun must be broken down or in a case. You don’t get to advertise it in the back window. You cannot pursue animals from a vehicle either. You cannot shoot from a vehicle or from a road. And certainly you cannot shoot in the city limits.

      Here is where I have seen these guns used – At elementary schools, at malls and at theaters. Killing lots of people in a very short time.

      1. I have not eaten varmints in a long time. My Dad taught me how to hunt, prepare, and cook them, because he felt that it is a skill one should have if one falls on hard times. Many of my neighbors are not so picky.

        A truck gun is kept in the truck. In my area, they are ubiquitous. In fact, pretty much anyone that you see in the back country can assumed to have some sort of gun in their vehicle or on their person. The year before last, we had a mamma bear and two cubs living in a thicket 200 yards from the main house, and often coming much closer. I was armed every time I left the house.
        The last thing I want to do is kill that bear, and make orphans of the cubs. But if I came out of my garage and found myself unexpectedly between mamma and the cubs, it could get tense quickly.
        The last time I had to use a gun, a rabid critter was chasing after my youngest kid.

        And the last time I saw someone shooting from a truck(on a public road!), I called the sheriff.

          1. I myself have never been seriously threatened by a bear. It is simply that the possibility for such a threat exists for people that share their habitat.
            When the bear and cubs were staying so close, the possibility was elevated, and even more so for the fishermen (fisherpeople?) who had to pass through that thicket to get to the river.
            Anyone out here lives with the possibility that they could surprise a bear, moose, mountain lion, wild hog, poisonous snake, or whatever. We don’t obsess about it or anything. Nobody is running around posturing like the idiot in the political ad.

            If I was charged by any of those critters, the ability to quickly get off a second or third shot might make the difference. Probably won’t happen. But I probably won’t need any of those fire extinguishers, either.

            A few months ago I probably would have said the same thing about all that food we have in the pantry. But I am feeling pretty good about that one right now.

            1. It is profoundly reassuring to learn that semiautomatic weaponry is purposed for protection from wild beasts.

              I live in MIlwaukee. What do suppose is the reason my next door neighbor has for owning one? We don’t have a bear population here although there are a shitload of squirrels.

              1. We have no feral hogs on the East Side of Milwaukee. We don’t even have domestic ones. And, no, he doesn’t hunt. He does fish, but to my knowledge he doesn’t use his gun on Lake Michigan.

                I haven’t asked him. But I think his tee shirt probably provides a clue: “Jesus is my Savior. Trump is my President”. I’m pretty sure he’s “defending the Republic from tyranny”.

            2. It is profoundly reassuring to learn that semiautomatic weaponry is purposed for protection from wild beasts.

              I live in MIlwaukee. What do suppose is the reason my next door neighbor has for owning one? We don’t have a bear population here although there are a shitload of squirrels.

            3. “Anyone out here lives with the possibility that they could surprise a bear, moose, mountain lion, wild hog, poisonous snake, or whatever”.

              I have the impression that gun-lovers are scared of the wrong things. Of course all of these animals can potentially be dangerous but generally they just try to avoid us. I believe the number of people killed annually as a result of wild animal attacks is about 8. You are more likely to be killed as a result of a vehicle collision with an animal crossing the highway but you are not very likely to save yourself from that fate by ‘getting off a second or third shot’.

              Tens of thousands of people are killed annually by gun shot including around 500 who die as a result of accidental or negligent discharge of a firearm.

              Of the 8 people who die annually from wild animal attacks/bites the majority of these die from snake bites. However, while I don’t know what kind of snakes you have on your property, generally the way to get bitten by one is to tread on it, put your hand on it or sit on it and in such cases a semi-automatic rifle is of little assistance. I’d suggest if you have the time to let off two or three rifle shots at a snake from whatever type of firearm then it was actually very unlikely that you would have been bitten.

              1. “I believe the number of people killed annually as a result of wild animal attacks”

                I should have made clear this relates to the US as do the figures about gunshot deaths.

              2. Now that I think of it, it is a wonder that those of us who don’t carry semi-automatic weapons manage to survive all of these attacks by wild beasts.

              3. “I have the impression that gun-lovers are scared of the wrong things”, spot on Jonathan. This reminds me of a hilarious NatGeo show called Doomsday Preppers. They had one guy on showing his preperations for armageddon, obviously lots of guns and ammo included. They showed him patrolling his property with an AR-15 type rifle, but he was so fat – at least 400lbs – that he couldn’t do it on foot. He was driving round his property on an electric mobility scooter looking for threats. If he saw something dodgy he would make the herculean effort to prise his considerable heft of the scooter, before hobbling a few breathless feet with his rifle, thinking he’s John Rambo. It was hilarious, but also really sad. He’d be far better off investing in his health and wellbeing.

              4. Yet, somehow, many studies confirm that guns are used defensively with great frequency. Why would you deny a person’s right to defend themselves in order to indulge an irrational fear of an inanimate object.

        1. All of your personal little stories do is tell us how far from most of the world you are. Because you think you need assault weapons even if you don’t, forcing that legality on the rest of the country is just stupid and we have the dead people to prove it. Many people lived off the land long before your time and they did it without AR-15s. What you are is a republican dot on a much reduced map and we are all better for it.

            1. Gun fondlers? Do you care about the hundreds of thousands of people who use guns defensively, as intended, every year? I wonder what term we could concoct that would be a worthy counter to “gun fondler”. Would “rape enabler” be too harsh? “Abusive husband protection neutralizer?” “Elderly victimization augmentor?” I’m open to suggestions here.

              1. Silly people, afraid of automatic weapons and such. Proving my point, one can’t talk sense to gun-fondlers.

        2. I find this immensely interesting

          Without divulging personal details or other identifying info , could any of you – max blancke or Brujo Feo whom I think also referred to wild animals- share :

          • if your town or state is advertised to home buyers with a low cost of living or taxes?
          • a general idea of the local animal control support
          • DIY animal control availability at e.g. bear traps at a home center.

          1. Thyroid Planet:

            It’s not “divulging personal details” to note that I live in Ventura, in Ventura County, in Southern California.

            So neither our state or state could possibly be advertised to *anyone* who can count as low cost of living *or* taxes. (One obvious example only–we *always*, with the sometimes exception of Hawaii, have the most expensive petrol in the U.S. Right now in North Carolina? A little above $1/U.S. gallon. Here? Right around $3.

            Animal control around here is *pretty* good. We’re just urban enough so that a bear visiting a back yard, while not uncommon, will still make the evening news. Ditto for mountain lions, which are far more dangerous. Animal control and the sheriff’s department are fairly quick to respond to those situations. But there are coyotes everywhere, so you really do need to keep your pets in at night, or they’ll disappear in short order. Once in a while, a child will get attacked, but that’s less common.

            I can’t recall ever seeing a bear trap at the local DIY.

            1. ‘Once in a while, a child will get attacked, but that’s less common’.

              Do you have any figures on exactly how common Brujo? I believe it is actually exceedingly uncommon. I would suggest that the number of children bitten, seriously injured or killed by pet/domestic dogs greatly exceeds this. Sadly the number of children killed in firearm accidents in the US each year also exceeds the number of people of any age who are killed by wildlife of any kind (I am not including bacterial or viral pathogens in the definition of ‘wildlife’ here!).

              I think arguments for gun ownership based on protecting the owner from attack by wildlife are exceedingly flimsy.

              1. “I think arguments for gun ownership based on protecting the owner from attack by wildlife are exceedingly flimsy.”

                Jonathan: I offer no opinion about that one way or the other, as I never made that argument in the first place. And I agree, the instances of coyotes attacking children are quite rare.

              2. “Arguments for gun ownership based on protecting the owner from attack by wildlife are exceedingly flimsy.”

                I think a distinction ought to be made between a DIY wildlife protection device and a machine designed to murder human beings.

                Consider a device that was specifically designed to prevent injury from wildlife. There’s no reason such a device has to take the form and function of devices used by organized military to kill the enemy combatants. And as such, would have separate laws applied to it, so the fraud which is the 2nd amendment would be restricted to those proper firearms – not camping equipment.

  6. Semi-automatic rifles are not assault weapons.

    Only fully automatic rifles qualify for that designation.

    1. You are simply arguing words. People consider the semi-automatic AR-15 as an assault weapon. Why, because that is what it is. It looks like an M-16. If you know the military M-16 it is both semi-auto and full automatic. Why would they have magazines of 15 and 30 rounds of ammo – to assault a rabbit?? By the way, if you shot a rabbit with one of these, there wouldn’t be anything to eat.

      1. Much derision these days is focused on people who buy 6 cylinder Dodge Chargers.
        Not only is it very much underpowered, it is marketed to those who would seek a “race style” car. They sometimes even paint them as race cars.
        But nobody is reasonably suggesting that they be regulated as if they were actually race cars, even when they look like they are.

        1. “But nobody is reasonably suggesting that they be regulated as if they were actually race cars”

          So… cars that look like race cars but aren’t genuine race cars are regulated like normal cars … and this means…

    2. Wikipedia begs to differ, and even shows an AR-15 on its “assault weapon” entry:

      Assault weapon is a term used in the United States to define some types of firearms.[1] The definition varies among regulating jurisdictions but usually includes semi-automatic firearms chambered for centerfire ammunition with a detachable magazine, a pistol grip and sometimes other features such as a vertical forward grip, flash suppressor or barrel shroud.[1][2] Some firearms are specified by name.

      Take issue with them, not with me. And frankly, I don’t care how you classify it. People shouldn’t own them and the man in the ad is an idiot.

      1. Yes, I do take issue with their “definition” and you use of it. (Hey, it must be true, I saw it on the internet.) The difference between these are other guns are cosmetic features that are irrelevant to lethality. A real “assault weapon” is fully automatic. People that fear these guns conflate that termd to frighten people who don’t know much about guns into thinking these are weapons of war. They are not. Most guns, including handguns, are “one pull, one bullet” so the semiautomatic nature is no different there either. Lastly there are something like 5-8 mn of these style weapons in the country and approximately 50 are misused each year. The fear is wildly misplaced.

        1. “The fear is wildly misplaced”. Really?

          You are being disingenuous here, while you do not classify AR-15 type weapons as assault rifles, you are fully aware that they are distiguished by their ability to fire many high-energy rounds in a short period. This is why people are fearful of them – a scumbag can take out you and your family before you can blink. They give the shooter the ability to kill everyone in the vicinity, while having the firepower suppress any counterattack or deny any attempt at subduing them. These weapons give the loser brandishing them all he wants in those last moments before he blows his own head off – control, power and dominance. They are a cowards best friend.

          It is no coincidence that the worst mass shootings in US history have all involved these weapons. When the kids and staff in Sandy Hook screamed and ran for their lives, while 27 of them were being shot dead, was their fear misplaced? What about the distraught parents, traumatised and their lives destroyed. Are their fears misplaced? What about the 49 dead in Orlando, or 14 dead in San Bernadino, or 26 in Sutherland Springs, or 17 in Parkland, or 58 in Las Vegas, would they have been wrong to feel fear? Or the cinema goers in Aurora fleeing in panic as they were shot down? Misplaced, was it? To claim so is selfish, insensitive and demonstrably wrong.

          Would you be dearful when sat in a middle seat in the cinema with your family being sprayed with bullets and have nowhere to run. Yes, you probably have daydreams where you fight back with your concealed carry handgun and become a hero, but in reality you wouldn’t have a chance. You wouldn’t be able to escape, blocked in by others, being sprayed with hot lead and the attacker is wearing full kevlar combat protection. Like everybody else in the room, you would shit yourself, be useless in stopping the attack, and whether you and your family survive would be pure luck.

          Just one of these tragedies would be enough to convince any right thinking human, or right thinking society, that it’s just not worth it. Nothing in the 2nd Amendment mandates ownership of weapons that can create so much carnage in so little time, so what on earth is the justification? After the dreadful carnage and anguish caused by these guns in the last few years, why should civilians own them? How do the benefits outweigh the risk. And what are the frikkin benefits? Then where do you stop? Anti-aircraft guns? RPGs? Artillery?

          To support ownership of AR-15 type weapons, a person must maintain a willfull and irrational blindness to the anguish and devastation caused by these guns. WHY DO YOU NEED THEM SO MUCH? And how is this need so strong that it it’s worth sacrificing all those innocent victims?

          1. While every one of the incidents you cite is a terrible tragedy, but you ignored my argument entirely.
            1. These guns are not deadlier than other rifles and cannot fire faster than most handheld pistols. They are not exceptional. Some of the deadliest mass shootings have taken place with handguns. Virginia Tech comes to mind. There are others. Research it yourself.
            2. The fact remains that while these incidents are vivid and stay in one’s mind, it does not make them remotely frequent. More people are killed by fists and elbows than “long guns”. Check me on this via the FBI website. Again, 5-8mn AR’s in circulation, <50 deaths attributed to them annually.
            3. The daydream of defensive gun use you describe happens every day and more often by orders of magnitude than do homicides. Every day, every year. Gun-controllers simply refuse to acknowledge this. Shall I accuse you of being unsympathetic, selfish and uncaring about each of those defensive incidents? Is your hatred of these guns so strong that it it’s worth converting the threatened into all those innocent victims?
            4. I believe you to be well intentioned. If you truly care about human life, you will allow it to be defended. Every moral code including our legal system allows for violence in self-defense.

            1. “The daydream of defensive gun use you describe happens every day and more often by orders of magnitude than do homicides.”

              Only in your’s, and the NRA’s, imagination.

              1. “{Only in your’s, and the NRA’s, imagination.”

                tomh, I offer you Geoghegan’s Third Corollary:

                “It’s easier to make an argument if you just make shit up.”

                Back during the Clinton admin, it was the NRA’s position (based upon the work of a highly respected criminologist, Gary Kleck) that there were 2-3M defensive gun uses per year. (Almost none of which involve actually pulling a trigger.)The Clinton admin, which would have liked to be able to claim that the true number was approaching zero, tasked the CDC with attacking those findings. The CDC conducted it’s own study, to attack the Kleck findings, and when they were done…the results were buried. Never reported. But the Clinton admin did take the position that the correct number (IIRC) did not exceed about 600-700K per year.

                But why let facts stand in the way of your claims?

              2. That Kleck study from 1995 you refer to has been long discredited and the original paper by Kleck and Gertz was even pulled. Experts agree that it’s difficult if not impossible to get accurate results of the question, but more recent evidence suggests that less than 1% of personal contact crimes involve self defense gun use.

                But gun enthusiasts and NRA followers will twist anything they can to justify their fetish, whether self-defense, bear attacks, or whatever.

              3. tomh: you want to criticize Kleck, and you cite HEMENWAY? That’s adorable.

                I am aware of the various critiques of the original Kleck paper, but you fail to mention his revisions or defenses. Nevertheless, that’s precisely why I cited the CDC findings (, and the startling admissions of the anti-gun Clinton admin.

                But relax. No one is insisting that you be required to own a gun, let alone carry one. You can rely on calling 911.

              4. Easy to sneer at statistics that don’t agree with your agenda. How about FBI stats, for instance, “In 2016, the FBI reports there were 274 justifiable homicides involving a private citizen using a firearm. That same year, there were 10,341 criminal gun homicides. Guns were used in 37 criminal homicides for every justifiable homicide.”

                What’s remarkable is that in a country with 300 million guns, how rare it is that they are used in self-defense.

                But this useless discussion is way off topic. You’re welcome to the last word, I’m done.

              5. tomh: well, thank you for allowing me the last word. I’ll keep it short. You have non-responded to my plain statements with apples and oranges. The FBI stats refer to justifiable HOMICIDES; instances where someone is not only shot AT; not only actually shot but only hurt; but actually KILLED. As I* said in an earlier statement, DGUs VERY RARELY involve pulling the trigger, let alone shooting someone, let alone killing someone. The FBI stats are not inconsistent with those that I cited.

                But I agree–it’s not like either of us is going to convince the other of anything, and I have noticed in other threads that our host sometimes expresses a preference that we abstain from endless exchanges. So I also will leave the subject alone.

                Peace. Be well.

            2. In my opinion, the AR-15, though not more deadly than many other guns, is dangerous as a symbol of the military uses. People could be buying them because they suggest danger and power, even if only in the imagination. The idea of banning them would have to be primarily to defuse this mental trapdoor to violence. With a single shot bolt action hunting rifle, the suggestion is you will use it on game not people.

              1. Well, I’m not sure if we should outlaw symbols because symbols, per se, don’t kill people… Regardless, most pistols have the same capacity for rapid fire. And once again, these are used maliciously very infrequently. May I suggest that the AR is actually a symbol of the restrictions’ ire?

              2. “With a single shot bolt action hunting rifle, the suggestion is you will use it on game not people.”

                Really, rickflick? Because you’ve just described a sniper rifle. That not military enough for you?

                And the last time that I checked, “could be buying them because they suggest” hardly arises to the level of justifying…well, anything.

  7. I had an AR-15 once. I loved that rifle; it was so much fun to take it out and shoot at bottles and such. I had to give it away because I moved in with my sister and she had small children. Silly for people to assume liberals don’t like guns. I’ve had the AR-15, a Ruger revolver, and a Smith and Wesson 38 revolver. I also like the Washington Post, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, and Joe Biden, and I wouldn’t vote for a freak like this even if I lived in Georgia, which I don’t.

  8. I’m glad of these stories of almost-ignorable showmanship in Fantasyland.

    It has suggested some questions to me which I do not know the answers to :

    • what year was the 2nd amendment written
    • how many hospitals were in existence at that time
    • “” fire departments and police departments
    • public libraries
    • postal service

    … and how the United States constitution provides for these services.

    I know Franklin is credited with starting the first hospital and library, maybe fire department too, I think only in the United States.

  9. My question is, perhaps, not whether civilians should, on an absolute basis, own any sort of “arms”. My question is how any sort of slightly plausible reason – wildlife, defense from other gun owners – by necessity _must_ be provided for in an absolute sense in the founding documents of a country – the United States constitution. What is keeping this apparent need being covered by local laws and only local laws? For instance, where a population of coyotes is known to mingle with home owners that might choose to live in such areas.

Leave a Reply