Commentary by James Shott
Everyone says something dumb once in a while, some more than others, of
course, but some people in prominent positions have a real knack for it,
and others seem to think they can say whatever they want to, and people
will believe them. Worse, though, is that for some of these people,
like politicians, there are millions of folks who do believe what they
say, no matter how weird it may be, how unlikely to happen it is, or how
simply unbelievable it is.
In the most recent example, you may
remember that IRS official Lois Lerner was called to testify by three
Congressional committees looking into the abuse of IRS power in the
intimidation of conservative applicants for 501(c)(3) status, and after
making a lengthy statement declaring her innocence then availed herself
of the 5th Amendment protections against self-incrimination, and then
refused to answer any questions. She apparently forgot that as a hired
government worker, she is accountable for her actions to the American
The committees had requested Ms. Lerner’s emails months
ago, but, Shazam!, the IRS announced the other day that, darn the luck,
those emails have just disappeared.
Adding considerable interest
to this much-too-convenient occurrence is that Internal Revenue Service
Commissioner John Koskinen testified in March that Lois Lerner’s emails
Oh, well. Maybe the NSA or Edward Snowden has copies.
a couple of days earlier, Hillary Clinton, told the world that when
hubby Bill finished his eight years as President of the United States
they were broke and in debt.
That fails both the smell test and the laugh test. Is it possible? Yes, but doubtful.
American taxpayers paid President Clinton $200,000 a year in wages,
$1.6 million over his eight years in the White House. Presidents may
have to pay for some of their normal expenses, like food, clothes, and
such, but there are several expense accounts that enter into the
picture, so it is difficult to imagine exhausting $1.6 million in only
eight years with all the help presidents get through expense accounts.
the other hand, given the liberal penchant for spending money they
don’t have, it is entirely possible they really were broke and in debt,
and if that is true, maybe we ought to remember that if Mrs. Clinton
decides to seek the presidency.
Outlandish statements sometimes
serve to cover up misdeeds of government employees and burnish the bona
fides of politicos. Sometimes it’s difficult to make up things that are
more ridiculous than what reality gives us, as we have just seen, while
other times making stuff up is precisely what people do to mislead the
public for some narrow political end, as the next example shows.
the December 2012 shooting in Newtown, CT, there have been at least 74
school shootings in America.” So states the Website for “Everytown for
Gun Safety,” which explains, “Everytown is a movement of Americans
working together to end gun violence and build safer communities.”
you are wondering why you haven’t heard about 74 more Sandy Hooks or
Newtowns, it’s because there haven’t been 74 of them. In fact, CNN
investigated these claims, and found that only 15 percent of them – 11
incidents – involved “a minor or adult actively shooting inside or near a
Politifact “quotes a former member of the FBI’s
Behavioral Analysis Unit as stating ‘[t]here is an ocean of difference’
between what average people consider a school shooting and various
episodes in the Everytown accounting.”
Stipulated: Even one shooting in a school is one too many. But the dishonest use of data to try to scare people is intolerable.
from the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) shows that the annual
number of school-associated violent deaths, and the annual number of
homicides and suicides of students ages 5-18 at school, were lower
during the 2010-2011 school year than at any time in the last 20 years.
And, in fact, they had been reduced by almost half.
Five of the
74 incidents involved accidental non-fatal shootings; and two other
incidents were apparent acts of self-defense. Again, any shooting at a
school, other than in self-defense or to stop someone from hurting or
killing people, is unacceptable. But that is a very different matter
than when someone intentionally shoots and kills or wounds kids.
appears the anti-gun fanatics will stop at nothing, even creating fairy
tales to try to persuade people to their point of view. In doing so,
however, they prove that their point of view is unworthy of public
“Everytown” is the brainchild of former New York Mayor
Michael Bloomberg, and unfortunately contains the same absurdities as
Mr. Bloomberg’s other manias, like his war on sodas.
things illegal actually worked, we’d have no drug problems, robberies,
murders or rapes. If limiting the right of law-abiding citizens to own
weapons as powerful as those criminals possess made any sense, people
would support it.
Does anything say, “Come on in” to a criminal more succinctly than posting a “No Guns Allowed” sign on the door?
Gun violence is the result of the desire to commit violence, not the gun.
Cross-posted from Observations