"America is like a healthy body and its resistance is threefold: its patriotism, its morality, and its spiritual life. If we can undermine these three areas, America will collapse from within."
--Joseph Stalin

Monday, February 4, 2013

"Shotgun Barry" And Why "The Picture" Is Irrelevant To The Gun Debate

Will Malven

Okay, so Barack "Skeeter" Obama (A.K.A. "Shotgun Barry") has finally released a picture showing "The One" firing a shotgun, presumably at sporting clays.  Predictably, the picture was met with cheers and a chorus of "Hallelujah" by the President's most ardent defenders, fears from those liberals who are so rabidly anti-gun (anti-fun?) that seeing the President doing so brought on near cardiac arrest, and jeers from the still skeptical (and knowledgeable) gun rights crowd. The White House photo would best serve as a "What Not To Do When Shooting A Shotgun" poster.

White House photograph courtesy of Sad Hill News

Once again, this White House and it's liberal apologists have played into the hands of the conspiracy prone, first by the President's claim of shooting skeet "all the time" then in New Republic publishing the obvious Photoshop of picture of the President playing golf, and then, days after the President's assertion and the highly verbal skepticism of most gun-rights advocates, finally the above photograph that begs new questions as to authenticity.

Faked New Republic picture courtesy of Blur-Brain.com

Regardless of whether the photo is real or not, IT IS IRRELEVANT.  It is meaningless in the ongoing debate over gun-control.  It doesn't matter if the President is an avid skeet-shooter (pardon me while I collapse in paroxysms of laughter), or has only fired a shotgun in his fevered imagination.  THE SECOND AMENDMENT ISN'T ABOUT SKEET-SHOOTING.

It's not about hunting, it's not about sport-shooting, it's not about target shooting, it's not even about self-defense.  It's about having a populace so well armed that those in government disposed to usurp power and curtail the rights of citizen will never even consider doing so.

As I have said repeatedly in the past, in Federalist 84, Hamilton discussed the negatives associated with having any bills-of-rights attached to the Constitution.  His reasoning was as follows, if one writes a bill that says "government may not do thus-and-so," the very people at whom this restriction is directed will inevitably conclude that, because the bill says they can't, it implies a pre-existing authority.  Such an express injunction would provide those prone to usurp, "a colorable pretext" to do so.

This is precisely the thinking of the current administration and those members of Congress bent on further restricting the rights of gun-owners.  They assume they have the power and authority to pass such restrictions, in spite of the express prohibition against doing so contained in the 2nd Amendment.

Sadly, Americans have become so used to the gradual encroachment of government into their lives and restricting their activities that they have become inured to it and they are so poorly educated in the history of their own government and what the Founding Fathers intended that they are easily seduced by the promise of these dishonest politicians of greater safety for them and their children if they will only make this one small concession . . . and the lie continues with each of those "small concessions."

The American people have been making those "small concessions" to the encroachment of government for so long that most no longer notice them.  They are lulled into a false sense of security.  Each time a voice of reason speaks out and dares sound a warning, they are ridiculed by those who are deeply invested in the growing power of the state.

Saul Alinsky identified ridicule as the most powerful tool the left has in pressing their agenda.  Those isolated voices are laughed at, called "extremists," satirized in the media and programs like Saturday Night Live and that ridicule is echoed in the press and the media by others who also have a deep investment in that growing power of the state.

So, let me repeat once more, unambiguously:  The Second Amendment was intended to prevent the government from interfering ("SHALL NOT INFRINGE") with the right--the inherent "natural right"--of every law-abiding citizen to own, possess, transport, hoard, collect, amass, use, trade and/or sell firearms--modern and equal to any that the standing armies of the day possessed (regardless of magazine capacity or appearance) and the ammunition for them--among themselves, for the express intent of ensuring that they (the average citizens) would be so well armed that no power, foreign or domestic, would even consider attempting to abridge their rights.

Madison made it clear in his writings (see Federalist 46) as did many other of those who shed their wealth and blood and spirit to wrest control of this continent and this nation from the hands of an oppressive government.  A government, much like that we have today, intent on curtailing the rights of the individual, subjecting him to constant observation, illegal searches and seizures, unconstitutional invasions of private property by police based solely on hear-say evidence and, even more disturbingly, abridgement of guarantees through the auspices of the so-called National Defense Authorization Act, up to and including assassination by drone attack (yes killing American citizens by drone attack without the due process of law required and demanded by the Constitution).

As for the picture, I'll go out on a limb here and admit that at the least, the new photograph is authentic in showing the President holding a (Browning O/U) shotgun on a summer's day.  It may even be that he actually fired the gun, but it begs credulity that he has shot skeet "all the time."

So why did I call it a poster for "What Not To Do When Shooting A Shotgun?"
  • Worst of all, he has the butt of the shotgun high on his shoulder, resting against his collar-bone rather than the meat of his shoulder.  This would, if he actually fired the gun, at the very least be excruciatingly painful and at the worst, could conceivably crack his collar-bone.
  • He also appears to have it placed at the joint between his upper arm and his shoulder placing tremendous pressure on the joint itself--in the event that he actually fired it.
  • His left elbow is way too low again causing the placement of the buttstock to be improper.  Any experience shooter would be aware of this and avoid it, if for no other reason that to avoid the pain it would cause.
  • His line of sight is BELOW the level of the upper-barrel and he would be unable to sight down the rib at his target.
  • There is very little to indicate any recoil.  Anyone who has actually fired a shotgun knows that it generates a considerable amount of recoil, enough certainly to force the shooter's shoulders back and to elevate the muzzle.  Even a well padded shotgun will leave the shooter with bruising of the shoulder following a round or two of skeet--a lightweight 12 gauge, like the Browning he's holding, packs a lot of punch.
  • The angle at which he is holding the gun is far too low for skeet-shooting, trap-shooting maybe, but certainly not skeet.
  • The smoke pattern is . . . unusual at least.  It is possible that he is using a compensated upper-barrel (there's obviously something sticking off the end of it, but then why not compensate both barrels), but I have never seen smoke shooting out sideways from a shotgun and the amount of smoke present is also "unusual."
All-in-all it is a bizarre photograph.  I'll take the White Houses word for what it depicts, but to me it resembles nothing quite so much as the President standing posing with a shotgun he has never held before as a fire-cracker is exploding out of the muzzle.  Sorry, but that what it looks like to me.

Also of note, is how carefully worded the President's claim to Franklin Foer in the New Republic interview was:
FF:  Have you ever fired a gun?

President:  Yes, in fact, up at Camp David, we do skeet shooting all the time.

FF:  The whole family?

President:  Not the girls, but oftentimes guests of mine go up there. And I have a profound respect for the traditions of hunting that trace back in this country for generations. And I think those who dismiss that out of hand make a big mistake.
Notice that he said "we" and "guests of mine," not "I."  He says that he has in fact fired a gun, then he couches the remainder of his reply carefully.  Notice that he never claimed to shoot skeet himself nor any sort of clay pigeon shooting, only that he has fired a gun.  Folks, at the risk of quoting President Obama I will say "Words have meaning," and much of that meaning is in what one does not say . . . especially when it comes to the words politicians say.

I am also led to the question, Why not "the girls?"  Does this champion of women's rights not believe that "girls" can shoot skeet, or that skeet-shooting isn't appropriate for "girls?"  I know of a lot of women who would disagree with him vehemently on that score and I'm certain that the girls enrolled in The Scholastic Clay Target Program would disagree as well.  There are a number of skeet-shooting and trap-shooting programs at schools across the country that have "girls" who compete competitively and quite often win those competitions.

I guess the President just doesn't believe that guns and "girls" mix--or perhaps he just doesn't trust Michelle with a loaded shotgun . . .

Sarah Palin might disagree:

Courtesy of U.S. for Palin

Clearly she DOES know how to shoot and uses proper form.  I'm sure she would be glad to instruct "Shotgun Barry" in the finer points of shooting.

Long Live Our American Republic!!!!

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