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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Under Fire from The American Spectator

posted by on October 17 at 10:49 AM

Looks like I have drawn the ire of The American Spectator.

The conservative magazine is pissed about the column I wrote for last week’s paper which got picked up by Atrios, AmericaBlog, and Andrew Sullivan.

You see, last week, I got a chance to ask former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani a few questions when he was at the Sheraton in downtown Seattle hosting a fundraising dinner for Mike McGavick. Giuliani was stumping on post-9/11 security issues—criticizing Cantwell as a wimp for voting against Bush’s military tribunals bill and hyping McGavick as a steward of homeland security.

So, I asked Giuliani—a supposedly vigilant homeland security advocate and a famous advocate for the assault weapons ban—what he thought about McGavick’s opposition to the assault weapons ban.

Giuliani, sacrificing his conviction (he once said that anyone who voted against the assault weapons ban was putting special interests over life or death issues), pooh-poohed the assualt weapons ban. He told me “the assault weapons ban is something I supported in the past” and that he “didn’t think it was one of the most critical issues right now.”

The Spectator applauds Giuliani for “backing off from his history of anti-gun demagoguery” and then takes me to task for calling AK-47s assault weapons.

Basically, the AK-47s you can get at Butch’s Gun Shop in Seattle are semi-automatic, not automatic, which—gun enthusiasts argue—mean they are not assault weapons. Never mind that semi-automatic weapons are more precise (deadly) than automatics and can easily be altered to function like automatics.

Furthermore, try explaining all that to al Qaeda, which actually published a manual (discovered by U.S. forces in Afghansitan) advising Qaeda recruits to take advantage of U.S. gun laws to get AK-47s. Al Qaeda doesn’t make any distinction between semi or auto, unlike the terrorist-huggers at the Spectator.

And that’s all beside the point, anyway. My column busted Giuliani for flip-flopping on the ban he supported (a ban he referenced as the assault weapons ban) in order to kiss GOP ass. The GOP was against flip-flopping (see: Kerry, 2004) before they were for it.

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well, Josh has been drawing the ire of the Northwest for years now... congrats on going national... and with a "classic of the genre" no less. You must be tickled pink.

Posted by THE PEANUT GALLERY | October 17, 2006 10:57 AM

I didn't realize you could still buy AK-47s. Thanks for the info, I think I'll get two.

Posted by Doink | October 17, 2006 11:05 AM

"Self-righteous ignorance," they say? And then follow it up by claiming that the semi AK-47 is a "completely different weapon" than the auto version?

That's using the word "completely" completely differently than consensus would have it I think. From the ad copy I've seen, a major selling point of semis is their ease of transformation into an auto. Yes, it's illegal, but are terrorists really likely to balk at breaking that law when U.S. citizens don't?

"Terrorist huggers" made me laugh out loud. Nice!

Posted by MvB | October 17, 2006 11:15 AM

For instance, here's a San Antonio-based "convert in seconds" semi-to-auto offer.

Completely different weapon, though. It has *nothing* to do with the AK-47 being designed for automatic fire in the first place.

Posted by MvB | October 17, 2006 11:23 AM

Someone tell me it's kosher to wear flip-flops after Labor Day.

Posted by Stick Figure | October 17, 2006 11:25 AM

How to allow true americans to have assault rifles while preventing the evily axised islamo-fascists from getting their crude-oily little hands on them:
Pass a law mandating that all high powered rifle rounds need to be greased with lard.
I can't believe no one has proposed this. Anyone who sits up late watching war documentaries, as I imagine most of the readership of the American Spectator does, has surely seen a documentary or two about the Sepoy revolt.
Since this measure would no doubt abrdige the rights of actual muslim americans to bear high powered rifles of their choosing, perhaps halal markets could be allowed to sell halal bullets provided they kept a record of was buying them.

Posted by kinaidos | October 17, 2006 11:43 AM

Heck, we used to convert rifles to full auto with matchsticks. The only problem is the barrels and springs melt and they jam more often.

Posted by Will in Seattle | October 17, 2006 12:07 PM


Given a choice between eating pork and starving to death, a practising Muslim must eat the pork. (Otherwise s/he would be commiting suicide, which is a much worse sin.)

A jihadist could use this to justify handling larded bullets, if there were no alternatives for the purpose of waging jihad.

Never underestimate the power of rationalization.

Posted by A | October 17, 2006 12:17 PM

Yeah, they certainly don't give a shit about the prohibition against killing other Muslims.

Posted by keshmeshi | October 17, 2006 1:56 PM


Given a choice between flip flopping on the assault weapons ban and toeing the party line, a practising Republican must flip flop. (Otherwise s/he would be commiting political suicide, which is a much worse sin.)

A Republican could use this to justify flip flopping, if there were no alternatives for the purpose of getting elected.

Never underestimate the power of rationalization.

Posted by elenchos | October 17, 2006 4:24 PM

Semi-autos are fast enough that there's really no need to convert them. Such crazyness.

Posted by me | October 18, 2006 4:02 PM

Wow! Where to start with this one? First of all, maybe it would be best to clear up some factually wrong statements in Josh Feits piece. The premise that semi autos are more deadly than full autos is foolish. If it were true then one has to assume that Mr. Feit has more knowledge of guns than the combined military forces of the world and a hell of a lot of police. Why would they choose full auto weapons if semi autos were more deadly?

Additionally, every full auto weapon I have ever fired (this would include AK47's, M16's, G3's Oregon is a machine gun state) is capable of being fired in semi auto mode. How then can semi auto’s be more deadly?

Let’s move on. Mr. Feit goes on to quote from the Violence Policy center that semi autos are easily converted to full auto’s. This must be news to the ATF. They are in charge of assuring that such conversion is not easily accomplished and have banned guns in the past when it has been determined that such conversion is easily done. Again, we must assume that Mr. Feit and the VPC have more experience with this matter than the ATF. And again the argument is logically flawed. Why does the VPC not show any pictures of guns actually converted? Why do they not have newspaper clippings of all the guns that were so easily converted to full auto?

Mr. Feit then goes on to say Al Quaeda has manuals that encourage members to take advantage of our gun laws. This prompts the question, is Mr. Feit familiar that Al Quaeda also publishes manuals on how to take advantage of our constitution and how to concoct phony prison abuse stories? So what?

The assault weapons ban was a wildly unpopular law for one reason: it was silly. Bill Clinton himself has said it cost the Democrats the congress. Mr. Feit says he busted Giulianni for flip-flopping. Mr. Giulianni said quite clearly he changed his mind. That seems a quite reasonable stance to me. It was a useless law. Perhaps it took him time to recognize that?

Posted by R Huse | October 19, 2006 9:37 PM

It is amazing to watch libs shake to death. At the thoughtof patriots arming themselves lie the constitution promises. Sick minded libs.....

Posted by Loaded in Dallas | October 22, 2006 7:36 PM

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