Mission statement:

Armed and Safe is a gun rights advocacy blog, with the mission of debunking the "logic" of the enemies of the Constitutionally guaranteed, fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms.

I can be reached at 45superman@gmail.com.You can follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/45superman.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Milestone! My first (as far as I know) vituperative attack from the blogosphere

A couple months ago, I figured I had reached the zenith of my blogging "career" when I got my first heavy wave of comment spam (I can't remember what they were trying to sell) from China. This forced the annoying necessity of requiring people who wished to leave comments to use "word verification," in order to prove they weren't spambots, but "what the hell?" I figured--that's the price of "fame" ;-). Yesterday, I discovered an even more sure indicator that Armed and Safe is being noticed--another blogger found what I say objectionable enough to call me names.

I won't name the blog, or post a link--I'm not interested in giving his ego the satisfaction. I can't resist posting some kind of response, though. First, though, a little background. My critic is apparently another Illinois resident, more specifically, a resident of the district "represented" by Senator Dan Kotowski (for whom I have made no secret of my contempt). The blogger who took such umbrage at what I have had to say about Kotowski obviously holds a different view about the Senator.

What has our esteemed blogger stomping his little sheeple hooves is the fact that some gun rights activists (myself included) have railed against Kotowski's egregious agenda. He takes a brief stab at defending Kotowski's irrational demonization of .50 caliber rifles here (am I to assume that the same cartridge necked down for a .499 caliber bullet would be perfectly acceptable?):

One more such reasonable limit would be to ban .50 caliber rifles — these are the 5-foot long rifles which fire 5-inch long bullets capable of downing a passenger jet from the ground
What's the polite way to respond to that? Ahh . . . bullshit. .50 caliber rifles do not fire 5 inch long bullets--sure, the overall cartridge length is just under 5 1/2", but the bullets themselves are much shorter than that. As for downing passenger jets--it hasn't happened yet, ever, not just in the States, but anywhere. Collisions with birds have downed passenger planes--.50 caliber rifles have not. Perhaps birds should be the next target of Kotowski's witch hunts.

By the way, I should mention that I'm not that big a deal to this guy, and he dealt with me only briefly. First, he went after Big Gay Al:
Big Gay Al's Big Gay (Gun) Blog picks up on a recent NRA press release about a Kotowski press conference that was crashed by a gun-maker:

…when the senator pointed to an Armalite .50-caliber rifle and called it a "military weapon," he got the shock of his life. The top guy from Armalite [Mark Westrom] stood up in the audience and told the crowd that's not true. He said they'd never sold the rifle to the military.

That post from Big Gay Al is very similar to the ISRA press release discussing that press conference which Mr. Westrom snuck into. Apparently Big Gay Al, who is actually gun-toting, homosexual blogger Albert Lowe of Michigan, has never heard of fact-checking.

The problem for the Rifle Associations and the parrots who echo their baloney is that Sen. Kotowski didn't lie about a thing with regards to the Armalite .50 cal rifle. In fact, Mr. Westrom's company Armalite has in the past consulted with the military about this gun. They may not have "sold it" to the Pentagon (as Mr. Westrom technically said), but Sen. Kotowski never claimed they did in the first place. What the Senator did say, however, was that it was a military weapon — which it is. As such, it's also a potential terrorist weapon and would allow a wannabe Tim McVeigh or Mohammed Atta to obliterate a plane full of folks … leaving O'Hare in a jet bound for heaven instead of a Florida vacation.
Look, genius--if a firearm has never been adopted by any military, it is not a "military weapon," and referring to it as one is indeed a lie.
Now in his April 5th blogpost, Big Gay Al indicates that Mr. Westrom's Illinois-based company (Armalite) would simply close shop and move to a different state for manufacturing the gun if it were to be banned in the Prairie State. Based on the text of the bill as written, this is actually untrue. Armalite could make them but only for the military, the police, and a few select other law and marshall enforcement entities (as opposed to recreational "target shooters" or wannabe terrorists who feel a need to completely disintegrate their targets). Whether or not Armalite would choose to continue to do so would be up to them and their business' bottom line.
These companies do not get enough government business to make it without civilian sales as well. A law that locked them out of civilian manufacture would shut them down, and thus make them unavailable to the military as well. That was the point made by both the National Shooting Sports Foundation, and Al--and it is 100% correct.

Now he gets to me. I've written recently (here and here) about Kotowski's astonishingly dishonorable move of hijacking a bill designed to deal with the sick predators who sexually exploit children, and deleting all that language, and turning it into a magazine capacity limit bill. Supposedly, I am a very bad person for objecting to that.
Something else that's "gross"? Goofs who don't understand the legislative process. It sounds more complicated than it is but, up until the time a bill is voted on, the text of that bill is completely fluid and can (and does) change from hour to hour let alone week to week. One such goofball writes for a pro-gunner blog called "Armed and Safe". Apparently the "ignorant" part is implied. Blogger "45superman" titles his May 1st post: "Illinois State Senator Dan Kotowski supports the sexual exploitation of children" — another gross misrepresentation.

The bill in question started as a children's isssues bill but has since been revamped to account for gun safety as Sen. Kotowski works to ban large capacity magazines. Sexual exploitation has nothing to do with it, except for a partisan conservative who has decided that he can earn some cheap political points by twisting the words to sound sinister.
"Goof" though I may be, I understand more than I really want to about how the legislative process "works" (if you can call it that). I realize that the bill, before Kotowski got a hold of it, made no substantive change to existing law--it was introduced as what is referred to as a "shell bill." This is often done when the author of the bill hasn't gotten around to getting the text together, but the deadline for filing is coming up. By filing a bill with no real text, he can get it in before the deadline, and then amend it later. One could argue that such an approach to lawmaking is a hell of a way to run a railroad, and I would have trouble contesting the point. Still, it hardly seems unfair to expect that a bill advertised as being about protecting children from sexual exploitation to . . . have something to do with protecting children from sexual exploitation. Judging by the fact that the Senator who introduced the bill in the first place, Senator A.J. Wilhelmi, has already told constituents that he will vote against the amended bill, and that he is not at all pleased with what has been done to it, it would seem that it is not merely gun rights activists who find Kotowski's actions contemptible.

If Kotowski had found himself short of time as the original filing date for Senate bills approached, he should perhaps have filed his own shell bill--calling it "a bill for imposing draconian restrictions on law-abiding gun owners, with absolutely zero utility for saving life," for example. Instead, he chose to try to sneak his civilian disarmament legislation under cover of something that no Senator could easily vote against--a bill that is still presented as being geared to protecting children from sexual exploitation.

I am especially amused that I am now apparently a "partisan conservative"--my conservative acquaintances will be enormously pleased, I'm sure, to learn that I am abandoning my Libertarian alignment. To tell you the truth, I consider my brand of libertarianism to be vastly closer to Classical Liberalism (what is "liberal" about a government monopoly on the use of force) than to conservatism. I'm no neo-con--I'm a "paleo-lib."

Anyway, my blogging critic--thanks for noticing an obscure blog like mine--always good to get some extra exposure.


opaww said...

I think you are doing one hell of a job myself and wish I could do more to help.
I do not find lies within the progun issues but rather I do find them spewing from the s_ _t holes of the anti gunners.

Kurt '45superman' Hofmann said...

Thanks, Opaww. I have a lot of fun with this, and if anything I say gets my critic's (and Senators Kotowski's) panties in a bunch, then it's even more fun.

opaww said...

Feel free to use anything on my Blog or web site to help our cause. I would rather we have more ammunition then not have enough

It's hard typing with my Granddaughter sitting in my lap

me said...

I fail to see how citing facts, unlike the several gunners blindly attacking Sen. Kotowski, is "vituperative".

If you find the facts 'harsh' and 'abusive' perhaps that is because you find yourself on the wrong side of them.

That goes along with your classic editing job on your copying and pasting efforts there. It shows some effort to remove the parts that explain the gun enthusiasts lies.

In fact, apparently you're so offended by my recitation of the facts about Sen. Kotowski you can't even bother to link to my post on the matter. Where I come from that makes you weak in the knees (then again, you do think calling you a "goof" is some sort of harsh, name-calling attack)...

Cross-posted at Illinois Reason.

BobG said...

I have looked over your post at your site, and I have to say that you are totally ignorant of the most basic facts of firearms; you really should do some research before blathering about "5 inch bullets", shooting down planes with rifles, and the capabilities of large capacity magazines. Please confine yourself to facts if you are going to post about firearms. You merely sound foolish when you parrot some of the idiotic statements given out by the anti-firearm crowd.
Just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Well, 45s.I have thought this over and have some questions asked of myself that seem to answer themselves.

1. Who benefits from keeping an entire populace defenseless?

A. Only tyrants, would-be tyrants and violent criminals.

2. Who benefits by hijacking a bill to protect against child sexual molestation and turning it into a prohibition of rights to the populace?

A. Predatory pedophiles.

3. What type of person benefits most from the answers to questions 1 and 2, when tyrants or would be tyrants have been eliminated from consideration due to the status of the particular respondents in favor of this bill?

A. A violent criminal pedophile and Rob.

Which leads one to more questions, does it not?

Just saying.


Unknown said...

Funny "straightarrow".

Perhaps you guys should consider the fact that then-NSA chief Condi Rice told Congress no one had anticipated that terrorists would use passenger jets as missiles to blow up buildings before 9/11...

The fact no one's used a .50 caliber rifle to down a jet doesn't mean terrorists aren't trying to figure out a way to do it -- and y'all are helping clear the way for them.

Based on the level of venom in the comments here it's pretty clear whose panties are in bunches. You guys sound like little girls about to have their precious dolly taken away.

Unknown said...

PS: .50 caliber rifles are in use in the military (contrary to your claim).

At the end of my original post, which Mr. Hofmann conveniently ignored, I quoted Spec. Dan Tobon who used one in Iraq as a sniper -- and who is also ticked off that the NSSF would use his service like a cheap pawn for their political lies.

Kurt '45superman' Hofmann said...

I have NEVER claimed that .50 caliber rifles are not in use by the military. I stated that Armalite .50 caliber rifles (the kind on display at Kotowski's press conference, and that he referred to as a "military weapon") have never been adopted for military service--that is entirely true.

If a firearm becomes a "military weapon," by virtue of being the same caliber as other firearms that are used by the military--then my Dad's old single-shot 12 gauge shotgun that he uses for squirrels is a "military weapon." If you think that's the case--well, I'm not a big fan of our military's acquisition program, but I suppose I should be glad you're not in charge of it.

opaww said...

Well Rob no one expected that a child molester would tie up the mother, her boyfriend, and her oldest son then beat them to death with a baseball bat either then kid nap and molest the woman’s to small kids later killing one. So I guess we should outlaw baseball bats sense the baseball industry is opening a way for copycat perverts.

Fact is that no .50 cal has been used for any crime; they cost too much for law-abiding citizens to waist one a bank robbery. Many .50 cals were sold to other countries that were engaged in the Middle East some 15 years ago and still none have surfaced in the wrong hands.

A little known fact about .50 cals is that they have been around sense the First World War and still have not been used for illegal purposes.

Just which rights that Americans enjoy would you like to control or remove next?

opaww said...

I guess free speech is next on the list of left wing liberals.


If they can restrict free speech then we cannot refute the lies of the anti-gun morons

me said...

45superman, Armalite had spoken to the military about their .50 caliber rifle. Moreover, as you and I have both stated, .50 caliber rifles in general are in use in militaries worldwide.

You're holding up a red herring to prove an esoteric point that has no bearing on the debate over this issue. It's like debating what shade of blue the sky is today... the sky is blue, so such side arguments only serve to avoid the topic.


Opaww, baseball bats are used to hit balls 99% of the time, not kill people. But it's a curious example of extremism that you pulled out of your pocket.

The same could be said of pens or nail guns ... or even rolling pins to cite Illinois' last GOP gubernatorial candidate.

Those objects are not built to kill people, unlike guns which are built to kill people (among other things), though ne'er-do-wells appropriate them to kill people. There will always be idiots who want to try their hands at murder. The point is to make it as difficult as possible for them to do it.

As far as free speech goes, you might want to talk to our current president about his role in restricting free speech, in deed if not in fact, as well as restricting other aspects of the 1st and also 4th amendments.

opaww said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
opaww said...

You are using fear mongering to debate the issue of the .50 cal rifle. For many years they have been used for long-range target shooting with great success. This goes back to just after the First World War when people found that they could reach that distance with accuracy and skill. Some people also use this type of rifle for big game hunting, which I would not but it is their choice. Never has any plane been destroyed by a .50 cal rifle nor have we ever had an attack with one. To assume man is untrust worthy and incapable of controlling himself is ludicrous at best.

Questioning the ability of shooting down an aircraft with a .50 cal rifle is even more ignorant. First a plane is only vulnerable when sitting on the tarmac. The firepower of the .50cal Rifle is not up to standard for destroying it. Most of the .50 cal rifles are bolt action and cannot fire the volume of rounds to effectively disable the aircraft unless it is sitting there empty and not moving. This advantage of the .50cal rifle is it has a little more range and just a heaver bullet. Regardless of what you believe a 30-06 has a good range capable of inflicting damage to a plane also with the capability of killing a pilot.

The thing that most people like you forget s that people can find legal uses for any firearm, instead of being lawbreakers with them. The very fact that people like you attack the gun is a matter of wishing to control all other people. Forcing your type of beliefs on others and demeaning the abilities of man from making educated decisions for their own self’s.

Contrary to popular opinion the .50cal rifle was not made to kill people, its use was for anti-tanks during WW1 even our military designates it as an anti equipment weapon and not an anti personal one. Man can decide what its use is for and many I know who own one use it for long-range target.

The point is no one has been killed by a .50cal rifle in this country but many have been killed with other things like cars, knives, baseball bats, clubs, airplanes, axes, bow and arrows. So why pick on this one weapon? It is because you fear it nothing more.