Senator Leahy's gun speech: pure ignorance

As our rulers pile on the gun-control bandwagon, they say some pretty stupid things. Most of us don't buy them. Photo: Senator Patrick Leahy

VERMONT, January 21, 2013  – “About the only gun law we have in Vermont is during deer season,” said Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT). “If you have a semi-automatic, you can’t have more than six rounds in it. Are we really as a nation saying we are going to be more protective of the deer than we are of our children? I think not.”

This type of argument is common among those who think the Second Amendment is about hunting. Leahy’s comments go beyond that insulting rhetoric, into some truly stupid territory, straining our ability even to laugh at this jester, who has spent more than half his life in the Senate.

Let’s look at a few of the stupid things he’s said, in just a couple sentences.

He says that Vermont has no gun laws “except during deer season,” implying that the only guns in Vermont are for hunting, and are limited to deer hunting at that. What he’s saying is that the only legitimacy guns have in his state comes from Bambi’s dad and his friends, who offer themselves up each year, for sport.

He mentions no other Vermont gun laws. If this were true, Vermont would be a great example for the country to follow; and in fact, its leadership in concealed carry is a good model. Vermont, though, has no standing among the states and cities that are recently well-known for their “gun” murders (with highly-restrictive Connecticut and Chicago at the top of the list).

He thinks that for some reason semi-automatic rifles should have different magazine capacity limitations than others (lever-action, bolt-action, pumps, etc). He offers no explanation; he expects us to simply nod our heads and acquiesce in the popular wisdom that semi-autos are so very different.

Then he stops being from Vermont, and turns to the national stage, where he’s been playing for most of his life, and asks what “we as a nation” think we should do. He says that the 6-shot law somehow “protects” deer during hunting season. Does he have any idea what “hunting” is?

The deer are protected, Senator, during the rest of the year; hunting season is for hunting.

Anyway, he thinks that having smaller magazines in hunting rifles is to protect the deer. In fact, the capacity limit is of no consequence whatsoever; it’s just a way to assert the State’s power in the regulations, and to imply that higher capacity magazines have no place in hunting (and by extension, everywhere else).

Frankly, anyone who has taken six shots at deer and missed, probably won’t have his aim improve if he has seven shots, or 30.

Then, he makes the most ridiculous assertion of all: “Are we really as a nation saying we are going to be more protective of the deer than we are of our children? I think not.”

WHAT? What is he saying? That Vermont has a hunting season on children? That children in Vermont are more-vulnerable to higher-capacity magazines than Vermont’s deer? That Vermont’s deer hunters are that stupid, that they can’t make the distinction?

Or is he counting on the notion that we’re so stupid, that we’d fall for a remark like that? Well, NPR liked it; they ran the speech all day.

You can fool some of the people, all of the time.

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Tim Kern

Tim Kern taught economics for fifteen years, and discovered that understanding life is easy; it’s recognizing reality that takes practice. He holds a music degree, and later earned an MBA in finance from Northwestern University. He has lived across the US, and now makes his home in Anderson, Indiana.

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