If you missed my 90 minute talk about the atrocity in Las Vegas and gun control, mental health and other related issues last night on the radio, you can go here to listen to Part 1 and Part 2. I'll be on again tonight, not talking about guns, and you can listen live by going here and clicking the Listen Live link at the top from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. PDT.
Tonight's guests include John Stokes of Cuesta College. We'll be talking about SkillsUSA and Career and Technical Education available here on the Central Coast.
Starting at 6 p.m., we'll have on Dr. Roy Spencer, a climatologist and former NASA scientist to tell us why global warming isn't to blame for hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
*UPDATE* Due to a miscommunication, Dr. Roy Spencer will be on at 5 p.m., followed by John Stokes at 6 p.m.
Dave and I set out a challenge early in the show. A challenge that went unanswered.
The challenge was this: What laws or public policies could we enact that would've stopped the Las Vegas shooter? I opened with this article from The New York Times by columnist Nick Kristof entitled "Preventing Mass Shootings Like the Vegas Strip Attack." I went through each of Kristof's eight suggestions and noted that not a single one of them would've prevented what happened Sunday night. Not. a. one.
We've got a problem in America, but more gun control isn't going to solve it.
There were a couple of callers who believed we can solve the problem by banning "assault weapons," firearms that they said had no purpose other than killing people.
A few points:
First, if assault weapons are good at killing people, then they're good self-defense weapons. I mentioned a recent case in Fresno where a homeowner had used an AR-15 to defend against a home invasion. I mistakenly said that the person was a woman, but it turns out it was a 30-year-old man. A news article about the case can be found here. And that's not the only evidence for this. A search turns up more instances of an AR-15 being used for self-defense, like this one in Oklahoma.
Second, "assault weapons" are often used in hog hunting, as the bullets are a sufficient size for bringing down those animals humanely.
Third, "assault weapons" are the preferred gun for 3-Gun target competitions.
Finally, I asked the caller to define what an "assault weapon" was. This is where every gun control advocate I've ever asked the question of fails. They simply can't (or in some cases won't) do it. It's that black gun that looks like a military weapon. Only it isn't a military weapon. There isn't a military in the world that uses the AR-15.
I ended the show asking gun-control advocates to educate themselves. Go to a gun store. Let them tell you about firearms. One thing you'll quickly discover is that, though AR-15 model rifles are popular for various reasons, there are numerous functionally equivalent rifles that someone with murder in their heart could use and it wouldn't make any difference.
Don't complain that I'm annoying you with details. Details are important. If you're going to arrest someone for having an illegal rifle, you need to be able to define exactly what makes it illegal. You can't toss someone in jail simply because they didn't understand what you meant. Especially when you don't know what you're talking about.