Blaming Trump For Triggering The Recent Shootings Is More About Controlling Speech Than Violence

Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on the continuing recriminations following the recent massacres. The effort to blame the massacres on Trump reflect an ongoing effort to control speech by declaring certain words to be “triggering.” In this case, the meaning is literal.

Here is the column:

The final death tolls in El Paso and Dayton were not even established when the chorus of recriminations began. Several Democratic candidates like South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg accused President Trump of stoking the hatred leading to the shootings, while Senator Kamala Harris insisted the victims were the “incredible consequence” of the rhetoric used by Trump. Senator Cory Booker went even further, saying not only that Trump was “particularly responsible” and “complicit” in the mass shootings last weekend, but so is everyone who is “not actively working against hate.”

Many of us have denounced the rhetoric of Trump on immigration, the courts, and the media. However, there is a familiar ring to some of the coverage following the massacres that Trump is responsible for the shooting because the language he uses is “triggering.” Columnist Mehdi Hasan said, “The president may not be pulling the trigger or planting the bomb, but he is enabling much of the hatred behind those acts by giving aid and comfort to angry white men by offering them clear targets.”

There have long been efforts to limit speech as “triggering” to others. Colleges and universities have created “safe spaces” and implemented “trigger warnings” to protect students from opposing views or values. Faculty and students have demanded sanctions against those engaging in speech perceived as threatening or demeaning, including the poorly defined concept of “microaggressive” words. The result is a type of speech control that redefines censorship as merely “sheltering.”

In news coverage, “triggering” has taken on a literal meaning that Trump virtually pulled the trigger on victims by adding to a raging environment. It does not matter that a fair amount of violence is committed by leftist groups like Antifa. Such acts are often portrayed by advocates as merely “self defense.” The CNN special “United Shades of America” with Kamau Bell featured what Bell called the “redneck revolt” of gun toting liberals who are battling the “alt right.” Bell followed them to gun ranges and asked why “more white people” are not joining their ranks. Among the “good guys” featured was Willem Van Spronsen, who later attempted to firebomb an immigration center and died in a shootout with police.

Does that make CNN culpable in “triggering” Van Spronsen? Of course not. Yet it would appear from the coverage that Trump is still responsible for El Paso shooter Patrick Crusius, who referenced Trump and said “this attack is a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas.” It did not matter that both of these individuals apparently have serious mental health issues. It was the rhetoric of Trump that was responsible for the crimes of Crusius. It also does not matter that Conner Betts, the shooter in Dayton, described himself as a “leftist” Democrat who supported the candidacy of Senator Elizabeth Warren. He reportedly wrote, “I want socialism, and I will not wait for the idiots to finally come round to understanding.”

Trump supporters have been assaulted for wearing MAGA hats or overtly supporting the president. Protesters have shouted death threats outside the home of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. An MSNBC host told viewers that Trump was “talking about exterminating Latinos.” A new Hollywood movie, described as a satire, features the hunting of MAGA types called “deplorables,” the name Democratic candidate Hillary Clintongave to Trump supporters during the 2016 campaign. None of those stories led to condemnations of “triggering” rhetoric by Trump critics.

Few Americans will tolerate outright censorship. But 20 years ago, writers began to push an alternative way to silence their critics by limiting their words as “triggering” or threatening. They could claim they were not censoring a viewpoint, only the words used to express it. Yet the result is the same in curtailing what others say. The concept of “triggering” language has become so mainstream today that news hosts now nod in silent acceptance when guests denounce the use of common terms.

On “Meet the Press” last weekend, Eddie Glaude, Princeton professor of African American studies, declared the very use of the term “illegal immigrant” may have caused these shootings. He said, “You set the stage for people who are even more on the extreme to act violently.” Glaude, who previously called the immigration policies of Trump “terrorism,” interrupted another guest, who was noting that laws on the books make such immigration illegal. “No human being is illegal!” Glaude declared.

For years, activists tried to shame others into dropping any reference to the illegal status of some immigrants by claiming the term is verboten. It does not matter that the term appears in laws and has been routinely used by the Supreme Court, including decisions by such liberal icons as William Brennan, Thurgood Marshall, and John Paul Stevens. It is now “triggering” language and, according to Glaude, may actually cause massacres.

Even expressions of empathy can be considered “triggering.” After the shootings, Trump condemned the violence and white supremacy, expressed sympathy for the victims, and ordered all American flags to fly at half mast until August 8. Frank Figliuzzi, an NBC News national security contributor, claimed the flag order was “triggering” because the date, 8/8, could be viewed as a reference to 88, which could be a reference to HH, the eighth letter in the alphabet, which could be viewed as a salute to “Heil Hitler.” Thus, Trump unwittingly or wittingly signaled neo-Nazis.

Figliuzzi expressed shock, “No one is thinking about this. No one is giving him the advice. Or he is rejecting the advice.” There is another possibility that “no one is thinking about this” because it is perfectly insane. More importantly, what Figliuzzi refers to as the “little things” often leads to the limiting of a big thing called “free speech.” That some deranged neo-Nazi would celebrate the coincidence of flags being reraised on 8/8 does not mean that we should all change our actions or speech accordingly.

Trump did not help himself with disastrous visits to El Paso and Dayton, where he was denounced for such moments as giving a “thumbs up” in a photo with an orphaned baby and bragging about how big his crowds were at a rally. He then reportedly complained about the lack of good press out of the trip. However, it ultimately did not matter what he said because his very presence was the trigger. Catherine Wicker, executive president of the Texas College Democrats, said he had “no business” visiting Texas because “what he says to people of color is triggering.”

There is no sense of hypocrisy in any of this for those who use shootings to score political points by denouncing others for doing the same thing. It is inevitable that some will follow massacres like political carpetbaggers to make easy gains. Yet none of these gun triggers were pulled, literally or figuratively, by Trump or Warren or Fox or CNN. We live in an age of rage, however, there remains a big difference between rage and a rampage.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanTurley.

317 thoughts on “Blaming Trump For Triggering The Recent Shootings Is More About Controlling Speech Than Violence”

  1. “The point is obvious. There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running about with lit matches. Every minority, be it Baptist/Unitarian, Irish/Italian/Octogenarian/Zen Buddhist, Zionist/Seventh-day Adventist, Women’s Lib/Republican, Mattachine/Four Square Gospel feels it has the will, the right, the duty to douse the kerosene, light the fuse. Every dimwit editor who sees himself as the source of all dreary blanc-mange plain-porridge unleavened literature licks his guillotine and eyes the neck of any author who dares to speak above a whisper or write above a nursery rhyme.”
    ― Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

  2. The Democrats and their financial backers are striving for a world with only one political thought – conform!

    “If you don’t want a man unhappy politically, don’t give him two sides to a question to worry him; give him one. Better yet, give him none. Let him forget there is such a thing as war.”
    ― Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

    Ponder how close we came to being drawn in to another largely pointless war in the Ukraine, and who bullied the Ukrainians into not investigating vice-president Biden’s son. But we’re not allowed to think thoughts unsettling to those who’d be our masters.

    The people screaming most loudly about the dangers to our democracy are the ones poisoning its mind with ridiculous and false accusations. When we ask how true these charges are, we’re accused as co-conspirators in the looming (but largely imaginary) evil.

      1. Thanks for the compliment. It’s more to the point of this particular article than the quote I was looking for when I found this one. The whole point of leftist propaganda on gun control is not to have a “national discussion” on the topic but to create the false impression that every American supports red flag laws and draconian policies on firearms sales that will turn ordinary American citizens into Federal criminals because it’s impossible NOT to be ignorant of modern gun control laws. The truth is, if those laws were really explained (other than calling them “common sense”), Americans wouldn’t support them.

        Even the “Firearms Owners Protection Act of 1986” has language you have to be an attorney to comprehend – and if you just read the summary of the bill and think it protects you if you’re just passing through a strict gun control state, you could well find yourself in the shoes of the woman who checked her firearms in her baggage and was arrested on arrival in New York by the NYPD.

  3. The real issue is NOT “triggering”, in fact it is broader than just free speech.

    What we are seeing today is a permutation of “newspeak” and 1984.

    It is about control of language.

    Humans communicate using words.
    Most humans speak using words.

    When you attempt to game the language to control expression – you not merely attempt to control speech you are seeking to control thought.

    This fight is little different from that about originalist interpretation of the constitution.

    There are two critical attributes of originalist statutory and constitutional interpretation:

    The first is that it comes closest to a method of interpreting law and constitution that anyone can apply and that produces the same results regardless of the biases of the person.

    This is absolutely critical – one law, with one meaning that all understand.
    This is not about whether we agree with the law, only that everyone approximately equally understands the obligations of the law.

    The other is that when we do not like the law, not only do we have a method to change it, but we have the means to change it such that EVERYONE will know what the new law means.

    The keys here are all about LANGUAGE – not law.

    Language varies over time. Often times people and groups seek to deliberately change the meaning of language for their own ends – political or otherwise.

    So how do we preclude the natural or unnatural effects of changes to language from distorting the law that we are all equally obligated to know and obey ?

    Originalism is the mechanism by which the meaning of law is unchanged over time by the changes in language – absent a deliberate conscious effort to change the law.

    The problem today is beyond just censorship.

    The left is trying to not merely control what we day, but what we think, to distort entire concepts.

    1. Anonymous @ 2 pm said: “The left is trying to not merely control what we day, but what we think, to distort entire concepts.”

      Oh, please spare us: “The left”…”the left”, “the left”… Stop with this nonsense.

      It takes two sides…

      1. It does take two sides.

        The existance of more than one position does not mean each is equally wrong or equally right.

        When your house is burning, it is unwise to criticise the firemen for less than perfect technique.

        I can identify numerous “liberals” – liberals as in those who prize individual liberty, as in those who made up a significant portion of “the left” in a different era, who I have no problems with.

        Not so long ago the ACLU fought for the free speach and freedom of political expression of Nazi’s – even if it would “trigger” jewish hollocaust survivors. That is a “left” I can get behind.

        But today’s left has not only lost any connection to individual liberty, it is the primary threat to liberty.

        It is not “nonsense” to determine where the greatest threat is at this time.

        When the idiocy that is “the left” today, has been substantially diminished in power, I will be happy to confront the next largest threat individual liberty wherever that is on the ideological spectrum.

        There are two sides.

        Right and wrong,.
        Good and evil.
        moral and immoral.
        Truth and lies.

        Are you saying that each side of every binary is of equal merit ?

        “It takes two sides …” – absolutely, it takes good to fight evil.


    Today it appears Professor Turley’s column was written by Commenter Karen who specializes in ‘What Abouts”. Professor Turley ‘What Abouts’ the Dayton Shooter and refers to him as a ‘Leftist’. Presumably this absolves Donald Trump for having any influence on the El Paso Shooter.

    On closer inspection, however, the Dayton shooter, Connor Stephan Betts, seems to have had a number of mental health issues that render him more of a lunatic than a leftist. The following excerpts are from Wikipedia:

    Soon after the attack, law enforcement confirmed that the gunman was Connor Stephen Betts, a 24-year-old born in Bellbrook, Ohio on October 28, 1994. He had posted tweets that opposed Donald Trump and supported Elizabeth Warren, made favorable references about Satan, and described himself as a “leftist”. Although many of his tweets were mundane and non-political, he had retweeted posts that supported the antifa movement and opposed U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents and police officers. In the hours before he opened fire in Dayton, he “liked” a post in favor of gun control, and several concerning the 2019 El Paso shooting, including a tweet that called the El Paso shooter a “terrorist” and a “white supremacist.”

    According to Newsweek, the gunman was registered as a voter in Greene County, Ohio, as a Democrat. According to law enforcement, the suspect had no prior criminal record except for minor traffic offenses.

    Two former high-school classmates stated that the gunman was suspended from Bellbrook High School after he made lists of other students he wanted to kill and rape. The “hit list” was discovered in early 2012 and resulted in a police investigation. A classmate also stated that the suspect was previously bullied and had planned to shoot up the school. The notion of him having been previously bullied was disputed by other classmates, who described him as a bully, reporting that he enjoyed scaring people while attending school. Over the past year, the gunman had performed live vocals for a pornogrind band called Menstrual Munchies, which Vice News described as being involved in a “misogynistic, male-dominated” music scene, and Buzzfeed described as focused on gore, violence, and necrophilia, and known for its dark, satirical themes of sexual violence delivered for shock value. The suspect’s high-school girlfriend stated that at the time they dated, he had complained of visual and auditory hallucinations, and psychosis, and was afraid of developing schizophrenia.

    On August 4, police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) searched the shooter’s home and found writings that showed interest in killing people, with a preliminary assessment of the writings indicating the shooter had no racial motive or political motive.[6] As of August 5, 2019, police investigators stated that the investigation is ongoing and that they are not prepared to speculate about motivation. On August 5, Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl stated that: “We have a lot of evidence still to go through…based on where we’re at now, we are not seeing any indication of race being a motive” and that police had not determined whether he shot his sibling deliberately or unknowingly. A federal law enforcement official said that they were looking at whether the suspect was associated with incel groups.

    The suspect had additional ammunition magazines with him, and was wearing body armor, a mask and hearing protection during the attack. He ordered the firearm used in the shooting online from Texas, and the firearm was transferred to a local firearms dealer in Ohio, where he picked it up. The firearm used was “modified in essence to function like a rifle” per the Dayton Police; photos released by the Dayton Police show an AR-15 style firearm with a pistol brace.

    Edited from “Dayton Shooting”


    Initial news reports identified one Batt’s victim’s as his younger sister, Megyn. However many news outlets are now reporting that Megyn was a transgender female born male and previously known as ‘Jordan’. In any event, it doesn’t appear the Dayton Shooter was really that political. Betts’ alleged support for Elizabeth Warren is more or less a footnote to a very troubled individual.

    Interestingly, the Betts’ gun, an AR-15 with a pistol brace, was purchased online from a supplier in Texas.

    1. The Dayton shooter is being identified as a leftist for the same reasons (actually much better ones) than the El Passo shooter is being identifies as on the right.

      You make the argument that the Dayton shooter was mentally disturbed.

      I have zero problems accepting that all or nearly all of these people are mentally disturbed.
      I have zero problem with the assertion that you can not attribute the vile actions of the Dayton shooter to ideology because he is mentally distrubed.

      But I have enormous problems when you want to say the el passo shooter, the California shooter, Sayvoc, ….
      every one of these people who you can find bits and peices of viewpoints you do not like – those are sane and were driven by ideology, while concurrently asserting that The Dayton Shooter, or Hodgkins, or the Unibomber – those were just disturbed and you should pay no attention to their ideological claims of justification.

      When you do that YOU are the problem.

      Frankly you can not make legitimate assertions about ANY ideology purely based on the appeal bits and peices of that ideology has to disturbed people.

      But if you want to go down that path – there are hundreds of millions of people who have been murdered by the extreme left in the past century. The past 200 years are a testament to the unprecidented and incontrovertable connection between bloodshed and egalitarian ideology. Even if we attribute that blood to mad men – Mao, Stalin, Pol Pot, Castro, …. it is still ideology that drove hundreds of millions of us to kill hundreds of millions over differences in political viewpoint.

      From the French Revolution forward the argument that perceived inequality justifies not just revolution, but the murder of all who do not share your views is the driving force behind mass murder on a scale greater than all prior murder in all of human history combined.

      The only ideology with an incontrovertable connection to mass murder is the egalitarianism of the left.

      1. John, I can’t really make heads or tails of what you’re trying to say. Maybe that’s why you’re called ‘John Say’. ‘People are left to wonder what you’re trying to ‘say’.

        1. “John, I can’t really make heads or tails of what you’re trying to say.”
          Try a course on “Critical Thinking Skills”, trying to decipher what you wrote, gives everyone a headache.

            1. What he wrote was quite eloquent. Sometimes I think you may be an insomniac like many Americans. If so talk to your doctor about treatment options like Trazodone (generic and inexpensive) at bedtime. It is non-addictive like Benzos and is the second most popular off-label med for insomniacs. It also helps for Erectile Dysfunction to help your wife with her Leftism. Just saying


              1. “What he wrote was quite eloquent.”

                Estovir, I assume the ‘he’ meant John Say. I think he (Johm) differs from what appears to be your and my favorite, Scalia. Many of their thoughts are in parallel but in the world we live in I think they differ substantially in their jump off points.

              2. Estovir – please don’t prescribe for someone you do not know. John is a poor speller and poor grammarian. Hence, he is hard to follow.

            2. ” John confuses me.”

              Paul, though JB (John) sometimes strays or stays too long on his point most of what he says is quite understandable. I think you clearly understand what he is saying but the simplicity of it makes you uncomfortable.

          1. Anti Orwellian, is there a chapter in some Ann Coulter book that says: “A good rebuttal to liberal comments is something about their critical thinking skills”..?

            Limited variations of this ‘rebuttal’ turn up on these threads 50 times per day. And the Trumper writing them always pretends they came up with a zinger! Instead they merely stamped what is known as a ‘Cookie-Cutter Putdown’. Which is common for viewers of Fox News. In fact, the Fox website has a catalog of Cookie Cutter Putdowns. They know their viewers lack creativity.

        1. Hitler had no interest in maintaining or restoring Germany’s conventional social order. His goal was a mobilization state for revanchist aims.

  5. He also won the Nobel Peace Prize, caused Ghadaffi to be killed leaving Libya in ruins, played a part in the advancement of Russian interests in eastern Europe and Syria along with the advancement of Chinese interests in the China sea,, saw to a lot of middle eastern governments toppled. Practiced killing by drone even with American citizens, etc. and soon we may find out some new things about that loser who actually was at the right place at the right time to become great. His rankings will fall dramatically as more is learned about him and more competent people evaluate him.

    1. Alan, your concern fro Ghadaffi is probably the influence of Russian trolls. Only Russina trolls believe Ghadaffi was noble.

      1. Peter, stupidity seems to represent your intellectual abilities. Ghadaffi was not a good guy but Libya was more stable with him than without. Add to that the problem we now have in negotiations when a dictator thinks of how Ghadaffi cooperated with the US but that didn’t stop the Obama administration and Hillary from acting so that we appear responsible for Ghadaffi’s death.

            1. The logic of your position is that Libya should put up with characters like him in perpetuity.

              1. “The logic of your position is that Libya should put up with characters like him in perpetuity.”

                DSS, the logic of my position was to leave the deposing of Ghadaffi to the Libyan’s or others unknown. I don’t know where you coming up with these ideas.

              2. ha libya,. a bunch of his tribal rivals took him down with US air cover and Saudi assistance. “put up with him.” don’t pretend it was some kind of righteous operation. just another bush war, at best, a foolishly destablizing regional event, more likely

                US has no business replacing one tribal tyrant with another in various third world armpits. let them be

                1. kurtz, your ignorance of events in Libya is on full display.

                  The revolution was pro-democracy and pro-US. Those pro-US parades promised by McCain in Baghdad? They happened after the war in Tripoli.

                  1. OMG you really believe they are “pro-democracy?” In the sense that you and I understand democracy? Really?

                    Let me tell you. Democracy has very little meaning in tribal societies. You may be the sort of fool who doesn’t get that, which places you in the majority of suckers watching the boob tube, gobbling up the propaganda.

                    Pro US also means, “Give us money and guns, the other side is getting theirs from Russia” (true or not it’s always liked like a charm when they tell us so)

                    1. “…..On 7 July 2012, Libyans held their first parliamentary elections since the end of the former regime. On 8 August 2012, the National Transitional Council officially handed power over to the wholly elected General National Congress, which was then tasked with the formation of an interim government and the drafting of a new Libyan Constitution to be approved in a general referendum.[96]

                      On 7 October 2012, Libya’s Prime Minister-elect Mustafa A.G. Abushagur was ousted after failing a second time to win parliamentary approval for a new cabinet.[102][103][104] On 14 October 2012, the General National Congress elected former GNC member and human rights lawyer Ali Zeidan as prime minister-designate.[105] Zeidan was sworn in after his cabinet was approved by the GNC.[106][107] On 11 March 2014, after having been ousted by the GNC for his inability to halt a rogue oil shipment,[108] Prime Minister Zeiden stepped down, and was replaced by Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thani.[109] On 25 March 2014, in the face of mounting instability, al-Thani’s government briefly explored the possibility of the restoration of the Libyan monarchy.

                      In June 2014, elections were held to the Council of Deputies, a new legislative body intended to take over from the General National Congress. The elections were marred by violence and low turnout, with voting stations closed in some areas.[110] Secularists and liberals did well in the elections, to the consternation of Islamist lawmakers in the GNC, who reconvened and declared a continuing mandate for the GNC, refusing to recognise the new Council of Deputies.[111] Armed supporters of the General National Congress occupied Tripoli, forcing the newly elected parliament to flee to Tobruk.[112][113]

                      Libya has been riven by conflict between the rival parliaments since mid-2014…..”


                    2. Let me tell you. Democracy has very little meaning in tribal societies.

                      This is a nonsense statement.

                    3. September 11, 2012
                      U.S. complex at Bengahzi attacked, Ambassador killed.
                      Must be an oversight that little incident was not mentioned in the anon1 WikiPedia timeline
                      One could cite similar meeting, legislative assemblies, elections in a skimpy wiki whitewash of the 2003 Gulf War invasion of Iraq.
                      Sounds good, but it does not get with how things really played out.

                    4. It does not matter whether they were “pro democracy” or not.

                      Our right to provide them support ended short of the use of force.

                      Our use of force to advance democracy, even to remove despots, where those despots have confined their evil to their own people has had a horrible track record.

                    5. John, we differ on our use of our military. Beyond our own direct defense, I favor it when humanitarian or advancement of democracy are possible at and a reasonable cost to us (These type actions can also be justified as our pursuing enlightened self interest, since the spread of humane conditions and democracy may ultimately benefit the US.).

                      The Libyan intervention was based on the former, not latter reason and was backed by a UN resolution.

                      “….Many nations condemned Gaddafi’s government over its use of force against civilians. Several other nations allied with Gaddafi called the uprising and intervention a “plot” by Western powers to loot Libya’s resources.[118] The United Nations Security Council passed a resolution to enforce a no-fly zone over Libyan airspace on 17 March 2011.[119]

                      The UN resolution authorised air-strikes against Libyan ground troops and warships that appeared to threaten civilians.[120] On 19 March, the no-fly zone enforcement began, with French aircraft undertaking sorties across Libya and a naval blockade by the British Royal Navy.[121] Eventually, the aircraft carriers USS Enterprise and Charles de Gaulle arrived off the coast and provided the enforcers with a rapid-response capability. U.S. forces named their part of the enforcement action Operation Odyssey Dawn, meant to “deny the Libyan regime from using force against its own people”.[122] said U.S. Vice Admiral William E. Gortney. More than 110 “Tomahawk” cruise missiles were fired in an initial assault by U.S. warships and a British submarine against Libyan air defences.[123]…”


                  2. There were celebrations in Bahgdad after we took out Saddam.
                    As long as you ignore all of the other subsequent r fallout from that venture, you can claim it was a good foreign policy venture.

                  3. “Democracy has little meaning in tribal societies” is not nonsense, Absurb, but you like to make pithy digs to amuse yourself. Which is just wonderful! Half the time it amuses me too.

                    Democracy means the rule of the demos and emerged in Greek city states. Those city states actually had clans. Clans are a smaller subset of the tribe. Clan leadership gave way to voting among the free native men of Athens. You may have heard of that.

                    In the Arab world particularly among those still living like bedouin, I am sure they have forms of tribal consensus. I would not call that democracy.

                    I am not saying Arabs can’t form democracies. Arabs are very active in US democracy and in European democracies. Obviously. Also I said Lebanon was a functioning democracy. Arabs are a fifth or so of the Arab population of Israel and they participate fully if citizens thereof.

                    Now if we shift our gaze to other Arab countries where they have voting, um, I would say that’s voting, but not quite democracy. Such as Palestine. Or, the “Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan,” which is a constitutional monarchy– I would call that, a kingdom, like they do.

                    Saudis are not even close to “democracy” about as far from it as you can get

                    Now let’s go outside the Arab world to Afghanistan. This is a tribal society., The predominant tribe is the Pashtun people. They have a traditional institution of the Loya Jirga. It is a sort of legislative meeting. I would not call that Democracy.

                    Tribal society in Native America had some interesting features of voting that people call democracy, such as the Iroquois. Perhaps that lingers on today. I would be pleased to learn more about that if I had the time.

                    Tribal society of non-Arab Africa where they have regular elections take some form of a version democracy where the tribes vote against each other in the periods punctuated by tribal warfare. And then some tribes find themselves permanently outvoted like the Zulus and Afrikaaners and subject to an ongoing tyrannical majority of the tribal other.. I don’t find that to be democracy in the sense we understand it.

                    I am not a big fan of “democracy” in any form least of all as a shibboleth so I will leave it to those who idolize it to elaborate on my errors. And perhaps Absurd will share superior statistical details to illuminate as well.

              3. Gaddafi had been a sponsor of international terrorism and was developing WMDs.
                He did an about- face in 2003, actually cooperated in the war on terror, and gave up his WMD program.
                It was noted that the lesson in the GADDAFI case is that it is more dangerous to align yourself with the U.S. than to be an adversary
                What kind of a message to you think that sends to North Korea and others with WMD programs or aspirations?
                Your position is indeed “absurd”.

                1. How long are we supposed to “put up with” Assad?
                  Or Kim in N.Korea?
                  Stupid, flip questions like that don’t address the serious consequences of taking out a regime.

                  1. I lost a son when it became “necessary” to take out Saddam Hussein. A serious consequence I live with every day, and not happily,

          1. Peter, do you even bother reading your articles before posting. Moscow is always trying to gain footholds. Now that Ghadaffi is dead is it easier or harder? “Moscow’s foothold in war-devastated Libya “is growing” as Russian President Vladimir Putin “increasingly” supports former Gen. Khalifa Haftar”

            1. It is if the Russian invasion of Afghanistan never happened.

              It is as if the USSR did not collapse under its own weight.

              It is not our job to thwart every stupid thing the russians do, by trying to do something equally stupid ourselves.

          2. actually that’s not sweaty Steve Bannon nor dead Andy Breitbart, that’s some guy named edwin quoting some russian named lady with a face like a dog, from some Washington think tank

            “During a hearing on Russia’s objectives in the Muslim world…Anna Borshchevskaya, an expert on Russian foreign policy at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, told lawmakers:

            Moscow’s foothold in Libya is growing. This issue is important to watch in the months ahead. Putin increasingly supports Libya’s Gen. Khalifa Haftar, who controls the oil-rich eastern part of the country but wants more. With the fall of Muammar [Gaddafi] in October 2011, Russia lost not only several billion dollars’ worth of investments but also access to the Benghazi port.

            U.S.-backed militias overthrew and executed Libyan dictator Gaddafi (also spelled Qadhafi), in 2011.

            Borshchevskaya noted:

            Haftar (who served under Qadhafi) pursues an anti-Islamist agenda and looks to Putin to help secure his leadership in Libya at the expense of the UN-backed civilian government. Haftar is a deeply polarizing figure, one that by expert accounts is the wrong choice for the country.

            This Anna lady is a typical Washington think tank “expert” she just says whatever the “military industrial complex” wants her to.

            Is it bad that Hafter is “anti Islamist?” Who are the Islamists? That means one thing. Salafist radical mercenaries. They are only called “terrorists” when they directly attack the US. When they attack US adversaries like Assad or Qadaffi, then they are freedom fighters all over again.

            But this is a shortsighted viewpoint. Washington plays with fire too much.

            Remember the mujahadeen? freedom fighters gainst the Russian, now the evil Talibans. zzzzzz

          3. So what ?

            You do not seem to get it.

            it is not our job to thwart the Russians from doing something stupid, by doing the same stupid thing ourselves.

        1. The question is not whether Ghadaffi was good or bad,

          But what the US government should have done.

          George Washington got it right in his farewell address. Obama might have wanted to actually read the words of one of those old dead white guys that was his predecessor.

          Thus far it appears that Trump is mostly – atleast more than any other president since Eisenhower taken some heed of Washington’s words.

          Not enough, but atleast small steps in the right direction.

          1. JB, Ghadaffi wasn’t a good guy but that wasn’t the point. We have some agreement in our desire to limit American involvement in foreign millitary adventures. We likely don’t agree as much on the criteria. The killing of ghadaffi has not been proven to be good for the US, Libya or the world.

            1. “The killing of ghadaffi has not been proven to be good for the US, Libya or the world.”


              but go farther. Our use of force – to prop up some despots, or to drive out others has an unbroken record of failure.

              Our use of military force has proven to be beneficial ONLY when unequivacally justified, and constrained to the scope of that justification.

              Our use of military force except as a response to actual acts of war, against us or other nations, has an abysmal track record.

              It has near universally been a mistake for the US to use military force except in response to actual acts of war.

              When you prop up a despot – you become morally responsible for their despicable acts.
              When you depose one, you get no credit, and you become morally responsible for whatever follows.

              In all cases once you choose to use military force you weaken your own ability to condemn whatever vile acts the side you have chosen commits.

              Quite often there are no good guys, or even when there are, ultimate power shifts from one despot to the next.

              1. “but go farther. Our use of force – to prop up some despots, or to drive out others has an unbroken record of failure.”

                I am not a good enough historian to comment one way or the other on that statement and I have doubts you are either. You are making a lot of points which in the broadest of sense are relatively reasonable but arguable. I believe in the presence of overwhelming power. I am not so satisfied in using it though if not used its existence may not be appreciated and that can create larger wars.

        1. Kurtz, your article fails to explain why the Libyan people would ‘not’ get sick of a dictator who has ruled for 40 years. What’s more your article, from 2006, portrays Gaddafi’s overtures towards the west as mere posturing during a period when Arab countries were growing more friendly towards Washington. The article doesn’t actually say Gadaffi had gotten any more stable or democratic. It just notes that Gadaffi was blowing with the wind at a time when the Arab world was shifting allegiances.

          1. Libya. Seriously, that is what the Greeks called it and they were imitating a Berber word. Libyan people. Give me a break. Who are they?

            Today’s Libyans are mostly just Arabs not Berbers and damn sure not Romans, Vandals, Greeks or any of the other “peoples” who wandered that north african desert at any particular time in history. It’s mostly Arabs wandering around there since then.

            Now, whether in North Africa nor the Fertile Crescent, tribal Arabs are not democratic. They never have been and they never will be. City Arabs might be capable of it with enough long acculturation like Lebanese people but you are not talking Lebanon you are talking LIbya

            The strongman Qadaffi. had his merits. He was a Western bogeyman. One of his merits was that he was more secular than whatever pack of rabid Islamist jackals have replaced him.

            Democracy has been a meaningless slogan in the moouths of US foreign policy. One could make an argument that Mao’s bandits were far more “Democratic” than the Guomindang. But they were not our proxy. So they were the deviil’s men…….. Ok, I have no problem with strategic jockeying with the Russians to a degree, but, don’t feed me these stupid shibboleths such as “Democracy” as if I am a gullible sixth grader. Please.

            1. He had no special merits. He merely made a pointless irritant of himself to other countries and turned the place into a horrid police state. King Idris had been a passable ruler.

              1. I am not a fan of Qadaffi but I reject the usual make news media narrative of him.

                Do you think the ANC does a better job adminstering the RSA than the terrible awful wicked Afrikaaners did? I dont but the news won’t tell us much of anything which makes the ANC look bad.

                It’s hard to get solid information about Africa from the usual suspects. LOL. Round em up.

                a horrid police state is what it took to maintain order in some of these third world “nations” cobbled up from various disparate tribes and territories. stability is in itself sometimes a value especially if it’s us evaluating some far off corner of the globe. it may be good enough that it’s orderly. America is not the world cop and Utopian Reformer All rolled into one.

                of course, the way it’s going, one day America may be a horrible police state too because it will be all cobbled together from a tribal mishmash of disparate peoples which do not in any sense constitute a “people” anymore either. I hope to live to see how it all turns out.

          2. What does all this matter ?

            Why are we sacrificing the lives of our soldiers to take Ghadaffi down ? Why are we sacrificing our soldiers to prop him up ?

            The same goes for regimes throughout the world.

            Our track record at “nation building” has been abysmal.

            BTW other countries have done no better.

            It is not our job to thwart the russians from doing things that have proven historically stupid no matter what nation does them.

            1. John, I don’t this we lost ‘any’ soldiers amid Ghaddaffi’s downfall. And it wasn’t our idea to ‘take him down’.

              Show us the American casualty stats.

      2. I do not recall anyone claiming Ghadaffi was noble.

        The fundimental problem – with both the left and right have been culpable of, is that neither the US nor any other outside nation can bring about democracy or good government (they are different).
        The people of a country have to do that for themselves.
        And they may well do so badly – many times before getting it right.

        We had the right to destroy the taliban – because they committed an act of war against us.
        We did not have the right to dictate the government of afghanistan to the afghanies.
        We did not have the right to “liberate” Iraq from Sadam – even those Sadam was inarguably evil.
        We did not have a role in Syria even though Asad is clearly evil.
        We did not have a role in Libya even though Ghadaffi is clearly evil.

        We did not in the past, and do not in the present have a role in Iran even though the mulahs are evil.

        We can speak out against the evil or sadam or Ghadaffi, or Asad or … as a nation or individuals.

        But it is not our job to prop them up OR to remove them.
        Staying out, may well end up with worse. or it may end up with russian puppet states – though historically that has worked horribly for Russia. I see absolutely no good reason to prevent russia from making the same mistakes in Libya, Syria, …. as they made in Afghanistan 40 years ago.

        And I see no good reason for the US to do the same stupid things that Russia is constantly doing.

        It is not being a Russian Troll to choose not to sacrifice American lives to prevent the Russians from stupidly shedding their own blood.

    2. Libya’s been a mess because public life in Arab countries is a chancy affair. See the model developed by Stanley Kurtz for why this is so.

      The place had been a police state for 40-odd years and its doubtful it ever had much of a civil society on a scale larger than a town or village. Reconstructing a social order which doesn’t incorporate institutionalized cruelty wasn’t going to be had for free in aught but an ideal world. You could make the same observation about Iraq. One of the parties in the Libyan Civil War has been incrementally establishing itself throughout the country, absorbing some local militias and liquidating others. Tripolitania remains contested, but the rest of the country is in their hands. In Iraq, there’s been a secular decline in violence contra civilians (with spikes now and again) and the intensity of the violence in the provinces without a critical mass of Sunni Arabs is on the level of Ulster, ca. 1992. That in the rest of the country is more like Ulster ca 1972.

      Drone strikes are a way to avoid collateral damage. Like any tool, they’re not perfect for the task. And no clue why some flagitious character knocking about in a war zone like the Yemen should be immune; its not as if he valued his American citizenship for aught but brutely practical benefits.

      1. DSS, you have to ask yourself whether Libya, the US and the world are overall better off or worse off because of the attack on Libya and subsequent death of Ghadaffi. All else that you wrote isn’t pertinent to what I said.

        Secondly, your remarks on drone strikes aren’t pertinent either since I was mentioning all the things that happened after Obama won the Nobel Prize for Peace. Had all those things been known beforehand do you think he would have won the prize?

        1. Yes it is, pertinent. You are, for effect, refusing to acknowledge trade-offs and risks, which are inevitable in political life.

        2. Sadly ironic – Obama, who told us before he was elected he intended to drop some bombs in Pakistan, shocked us by keeping that campaign promise. Collateral (civilian) death from drone attacks in Pakistan and on the borderlands between there and Afghanistan increased four-fold under Obama.

          When the secretary of the Nobel Peace Prize selection committee recently said he regretted Obama’s having won that award before doing anything but running around apologizing to the world for someone else’s acts, the one thing he’s not reported as regretting is the butcher’s bill of Obama’s conduct of the Afghanistan War, especially in friendly, enemy and neutral civilian lives.

          I wonder if he regrets having helped give Aung San Suu Kyi that same prize, knowing she’d angrily deny the Rohingya Muslims had a right not to be ethnically cleansed from Myanmar, with a horrifying death tool as the price of that cleansing.

          The Nobel Peace Prize has always been morally ambiguous. It’s gone to Henry Kissinger, who brought stark realpolitik to our country’s foreign policy, and to Yassir Arafat, who was able to earn that award by fanning a sectarian way and killing his way to the top.

          But now, it’s a moral cipher. No morality seems to be required to win a Nobel Peace Prize.

          In Obama’s case all one has to do is symbolize the aspirations of those who give the Prize. If they’d researched the man’s Senate record, they’d find he only convened the Senate Subcommittee on Foreign Relations with Europe once. That was after the press discovered he’d never done it at all.

          We can safely do without the Scandinavian take on what “peace” is, and who deserves an award for it.

          1. “We can safely do without the Scandinavian take on what “peace” is, and who deserves an award for it.” 😀

            1. all these peace prizes came from the fortune of the guy who invented high energy explosives. dynamite. nobel. keep that in mind

              1. Yes, I think even some of the less intelligent on this blog might know that. If one thinks of what dynamite does one might have thought naming the prize, The Nobel PIECES Prize.

        3. It is NOT possible to know whether Libya is better or worse.

          It is not possible to know what would have happened had the US made different choices.

          Even if we could actually know what choice would have the best outcome, we do not have the right to impose something on other nations or peoples by force, except in direct response to their own acts of agreession against neighbors.

          It has universally ended badly when we did. It has pretty much universally ended badly when other nations have done so too.

          And we pretty much never get to actually know whether things would have been better had we acted differently.

          What we do know for certain, is that when we use force, WE are responsible for the outcome.
          When we reserve the use of force for the rare instances in which it is justified, we are NOT responsible for whatever mess results.

          1. “It is NOT possible to know whether Libya is better or worse.”

            That is the basic flaw in may of your arguments. You can’t prove one path right and the other wrong. Therefore, statements made as if they are fact have an inherent flaw.

            “What we do know for certain, is that when we use force, WE are responsible for the outcome.”

            Sometimes it is better to be resonsible than have another party dictate what is happening.

    3. Libya was left with a pro US and democratic government after Ghaddafi’s death. Obama regretted his failure to provide enough support after the civil war, not his decisions to bomb GHaddafi who was in the act of killing thousands.

      1. During his 40 years of rule, Gaddaffi killed thousands of political prisoners. Only Russian trolls can gloss over Gaddafi’s actual record. Nothing about Gaddafi is even remotely sympathetic.

        1. Ha! Pinkos of yesteryear used to love Qadaffi’s “Universal health care” and laud his medical system. You must have never been that far left to hear that sort of thing Peter. I have more diverse sources than you.

          a lot of Marxists in the US absolutely adored Qadaffi for aspects of his regime. Well, that was decades ago. Now they’re mostly in the nursing homes now I gather, replaced by Hillary’s propagandists on the right side of the Dem party and the Antifa nutters on the left. Too bad!

      2. Anon, I’ll quote from Peter Hill’s reference, Breitbart. “Moscow’s foothold in war-devastated Libya “is growing” as Russian President Vladimir Putin “increasingly” supports former Gen. Khalifa Haftar”

        There are many other things that have to be considered as well.

        Apparently you want the US militarily involved all over the world.

    4. PS Obama used drones to kill an instigator of terrorism against the US who happened to be a citizen – good. Drones are more effective and less indiscriminate than bombings. By the way, the Trump administration has reversed an Obama policy of estimating civilian collateral damage from bombings and drone strikes outside of war zones. Obama negotiated the now successful TPP which is designed to counter China’s influence in the Pacific Rim. Trump, unable to strike even the simplest deals, backed us out of that one.

      1. This was addressed to me but it looks like at least on of the prior comments was misplaced. In any event I don’t think my comment was directed directly towards what Obama did rather I was makeing it clear that Mr. Obama who was rated as the 12th best President (somewhat foolishly) was rated for all sorts of things such as the Nobel Peace Prize and how wrong the people were when they gave it to him.

        I didn’t mention whether or not I agree with the use of drones to kill people even if they are Americans on foreign soil working for the enemy. As I have said many times I don’t have 100% disagreement with Obama rather find he carried out his policies that I agreed with poorly and did things that I considered stupid.

        We discussed TPP and I explained the problems with TPP at which time you no longer wished to engage so it is fruitless to engage in a topic you know nothing about.

        1. drones are here to stay but it’s important to consider them according to existing principles of just war, part of Christian theology which concepts such as discrimination between civilians and combattants, are not only integral to western culture and law and civilized peoples around the world. And which undergird important treaties like the Geneva convention and the Hague and laws of war.

          there is an anology to something from the old days: the land mine. there is a lot of good stuff out there on this subject from academics, for once.

          it’s an important emerging topic as we rush headlong towards AGI artificial general intelligence. there is a very real danger somewhere short of the “Terminator” nightmare that yes computers could take control of war in a way that runs far out of human control. It’s important to think about it before the time comes and carefully consider what we are doing just with today’s level of AI

          I am not the decider on those things but i want to draw attention to them and ask people to take a genuine interest and not resort to polemical oversimplifications. drones might be more discriminating and have less collateral damage, which would be good, or they might pose a lot of other problems too.

      2. Trump has also radically diminished the use of Drones to kill people, and radically reduced the collateral damage.

        BTW everything is not right/left Trump/Obama.

        There are plenty of good reasons to criticize Trump.

        None of that alters the fact that Obama’s presidency on many levels was a failure.

        Trump carps on his “great economy”. And in fact it is so far the best economy in the 21st century.
        But it is only average for the 20th century. Both Reagan and Clinton had better economy’s.
        But Trump gets credit because the economies of Bush and Obama were failures.

        Even the C student looks good compared tot he D student.

        Outside of his rhetoric – which appeals to his base who are tired of being called hateful, hating haters, and deplorables, by the democratic party and the left fringe of the country. Trump is pretty tame as a president.
        He is doing many of the same things that Reagan and Clinton did.
        In some instances he is doing what Bush and Obama did – except within the legitimate scope of the law and his constitutional authority.

        Maybe less than I would like to see, but overall he is reducing the extra constitutional authority of the president, and following the law. He is reducing the footprint of government on our necks.

        He is not doing “great things” he is just doing what one should expect, but that is unusual today.

  6. Take it away Marty….. El Paso City Live

    There was jealous cowboy in El Paso. To kill another cowboy he had to leave El Paso on the run. Maybe death awaits me in El Paso.

  7. As the fighting grows between Left vs Right, neither side is up to the task to assess how we got here. Auxiliary Bishop Robert Barron of Los Angeles has a critique of conservative (and atheist) George Will’s newest magnum opus. I have long been a critic of conservatives for abdicating the very things Bp Barron articulates.


    The problem here is twofold. First, when God is denied, one must affirm some version of Hobbes’ metaphysics, for, in the absence of God, that which would draw things together ontologically, and eventually politically, has disappeared. Secondly, the negation of God means that objective ethical values have no real ground, and hence morality becomes, at the end of the day, a matter of clashing subjective convictions and passions. Catholic social teaching would argue that the rhetoric of the Founders regarding the relation between inalienable rights and the will of God is not pious boilerplate but indeed the very foundation of the democratic political project.

    1. Estovir, we’re supposed to believe that ‘you’, of all people, are a credible authority on theological matters? By ‘what standard’, I wonder.

    2. The only work by Thomas Hobbes the Left seems to have read is Leviathan. When Obama ruled with a pen and a phone, broke some of Congress’ laws while writing Executive Orders that usurped Congress’ exclusive right to make law, the press and most of the Left were content. Laurence Tribe was in heaven, even as Professors Turley and Dershowitz protested loudly. Nat Hentoff, one of the loudest voices for Nixon’s impeachment, wondered aloud “Why hasn’t Obama been impeached?”. Every other Old Leftist save Dershowitz seems to have forgotten how to read the news, or at least how to speak out about abuses of power.

      When Hobbes wrote Leviathan, a multi-party system was still embryonic in Britain, and Parliament could be suspended at the pleasure of the King. British government was still largely a Leviathan monster capable of trampling dissenters underfoot. The Left screamed when the Leviathan of American political power, the Federal bureaucracy and military, fell out of their hands. They knew the mischief Obama and Clinton did with that near-absolute power. They didn’t fear Trump wielding absolute power, but his knocking down the edifice Obama assembled in spite of the Constitution and Congress’ legal prerogatives.

      The Left is showing its true colors by trying to stifle dissenting voices to theirs. They don’t want democracy. They want Leviathan back on their side.

      1. nah, there’s old Leftists out there who still say some interesting and relevant things, but the Hillary drones dismiss them all as “Russian trolls” and then everywhere else, the zany antifa screaming drowns them out.

      2. The only work by Thomas Hobbes the Left seems to have read is Leviathan

        Bishop Barron and Justice Antonin Scalia both conveyed the sentiment I have posted several times by then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, i.e. dictatorship of relativism. In a previous post I quoted Scalia’s words on how US History and laws were imbued with Christian thought, e.g. laws against nudity, bigamy, cruelty to animals, abolition, Prohibition, et al. Likewise Scalia referenced the Founding Fathers theocentric words in the US Constitution

        The Declaration of Independence begins by invoking “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God,” and concludes “with a firm reliance on the Protection of Divine Providence.” The philosophy expressed in that document, that “all men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,” underlay the Bill of Rights. Belief in God, leading to that belief in human freedom, had much to do with the greatest war in our national history, as the words of the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” make plain

        Our enemy is not the Left though I reject the Left. Our enemy is within ourselves as Bishop Barron and Justice Scalia demonstrated in their lived experience. Witness the hubris by many on the Right, like George Will, who allegedly proclaim to be Conservative, a vague, amorphous, fake it till you make it construct, no better than Liberalism. To proclaim oneself Conservative is actually self-deification, which we see daily on this forum. The timeless cardinal sins of Pride, Gluttony, Sloth, Wrath, etc are all forms of appetites. We already know about the epidemic of obesity in America. The constant shilling, outrage, lying, etc are other forms of appetites and by extension take their origin in self-seification, i.e. “I am right, you are evil, screw you” mantra. One of the beauties of training in the gym vigorously is a literal “dying to self”. Vigorous exercise is onerous because it tempers the appetites and since our culture is running on Dopamine, the killing of self is not appetizing, pun intended

        The internet, and this forum included, reflect a grandiosity of “I did it my way”. How has that worked for us? Ask Hillary.

        I recommend reading Scalia’s most recent writings which I already posted elsewhere. Curiously his private writings testify that he was not a Saint. He stated that he could never be considered a Pope John Paul II, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Padre Pio because he confessed he lacked humility. True. There is something to glean from his honesty but then again Scalia knew who God was and who was not, a truth neither Liberals nor Conservatives will ever fathom, to their great loss and our nation too

        1. Estovir. If you are Catholic you could always say “just be Catholic.” it is ok

          for well over a thousand years the Catholic Church had as part of its social teaching the supremacy of the confessional state (as opposed to secularism and laiicite). Vatican II and the obiter dicta of the current Bishop of Rome has obscured this teaching– but i am not sure that it has been “changed.” You probably know that dogma was previously considered immutable. I am not a theologian to know if that amounted to immutable dogma or something farther afield.

          Here is a good book on the topic

  8. What Professor Turley is objecting to here is a logical extension of what the illustrious Oliver Wendell Holmes laid down in Schenck v. United States, 249 U. S. 47 (1919), as a cardinal doctrine supposedly justifying limiting freedom of speech: words that create a so-called clear and present danger to a substantive evil that Congress “has a right to prevent” (imagine, Congress has rights) may be legally curtailed notwithstanding that that same body shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, etc. Cass Sunstein has given talks on extending this doctrine farther than restricting freedom of speech which merely threatens “imminent lawless action” to just lawless action that bothers “us” enough, such as ISIS recruitment. We should be so lucky to have such formidable intellectuals who evidently have no trouble, when it comes to preserving freedom of speech, dispensing their concern by picking at the First Amendment and finding exceptions to it. In short, thank your liberal intellectual heroes for their betrayals. In any event, I do not see a material distinction between the Holmes doctrine and what Trump’s critics are complaining about here, that is, if we are all adults responsible for our actions, and if those who are not responsible for their actions, such as some of the “mentally ill”, do not set the basic legal standard of responsibility for the rest of us in terms of how we are or are not allowed to respond to things we hear said. Alas, methinks that ship has sailed. We are all infants now.

    1. What you have demonstrated is why Holmes was WRONG.
      A “logical extension” to a bad idea is still a bad idea.

        1. I understood that – eventually,
          To the extent I was criticising it was because you could read half of your post and conclude the opposite of what you intended.

          Holmes is NOT a hero of mine

          Holmes penned Buck V. Bell.

          Regardless, I am agreeing with you. Hopefully succintly, which is unusual for my posts.

    2. Before ISIS even existed, Cass Sunstein was in favor of muzzling the Internet or at least having the government decide which political speech was “healthy” (a philosophy Twitter seems to have embraced). The only robust free speech Sunstein seems to have embraced was leftist and condemnatory of their political opposition (gee, imagine that!).

      The whole idea of letting SPLC and Snopes (both pretty heavily leftist in management and their “fact checking” staff) determine what fake news is was cynical legerdemain on the part of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg. Hiring Eric Holder to bless Facebook’s stifling of conservative commentary went beyond that, to when the Inquisition was labeled “the Office for Propagation of the Faith” – hiring Obama’s chief hit man to “protect” conservatives’ rights. This was the same man who persecuited a rightist group so blatantly that he and the Department of Justice were scolded openly by the Federal judge hearing their case as she dismissed almost every charge DoJ brought against them..

      1. From what I can tell Trump’s response to social media censorship is appropriate.

        I have no desire to restrict Facebooks or Googles right to disciminate on its platform.

        But if it choose to do so, then it bears the same responsibility of any other publisher for its content.

        The message of Trump’s thrust at Social Media appears to be, if your platform is not a “neutral public platform” then you are not entitled to the section 302 protections against liable.

        That sounds fine to me.

        Beyond that it is time to start boycotting platforms that censor.

        I am struggling to cut google, facebook, etc. out of my life.
        It is difficult, but merely reducing my use still sends a message.

        And where I can I am seeking out alternatives that put less effort into controling what I am allowed to say or hear.

    But Is white racism really increasing?
    August 12, 2019 Larry Elder

    ” found declining prejudice and racial resentment, and certainly no increases”

    University of Pennsylvania political science professor Daniel Hopkins and research assistant Samantha Washington, the authors of a working paper, admitted that they began their research expecting it to corroborate what Trump critics and they themselves believe: that Trump is “normalizing” the expressing of racist attitudes and that white racism against blacks and Hispanics is increasing. “As a political leader, Donald Trump has used racist rhetoric to build political support,” they wrote. “In his campaign and first few years in office, Donald Trump consistently defied contemporary norms by using explicit, negative rhetoric targeting ethnic/racial minorities. Did this rhetoric lead white Americans to express more prejudiced views of African Americans or Hispanics, whether through the normalization of prejudice or other mechanisms?”

    But the authors, surprised by their own conclusions, stated, “Our findings contradict both hypotheses, as we primarily found declining prejudice and racial resentment, and certainly no increases.” Hopkins wrote: “Measuring prejudice is notoriously difficult, but we were able to draw on a panel survey, which has posed questions about political issues to the same group of people 13 times since late 2007. Our panel asked the respondents — a representative sample of about 500 white Americans — to rate different racial groups’ work ethic and trustworthiness repeatedly. …

    “On average, anti-black prejudice dropped sharply among whites, from … just before the 2016 election to … two years later. … That marked the lowest level of anti-black prejudice since we first conducted this study in late 2008. Prejudice against Hispanics also dropped. … In both instances, declines were larger among Democrats, but they appeared among Republicans, too.”

    1. For the record…and yes, this will be followed by the usual and typical comments heard, here, about the SPLC:

      FrontPage Magazine (also known as is an online right-wing political website, edited by David Horowitz and published by the David Horowitz Freedom Center.


      FrontPage Magazine, is a conservative journal of news and political commentary originally published under the auspices of the Center for the Study of Popular Culture,[1] later called the David Horowitz Freedom Center.[2]

      Notable contributors have included David Horowitz (editor in chief), Paul Gottfried, John Derbyshire, Ann Coulter, Mustafa Akyol, Jamie Glazov, Robert Spencer, Bruce Thornton, Raymond Ibrahim, Kenneth Timmerman,[3] and Stephen Miller.[4][5]

      In 2016, the Southern Poverty Law Center listed Horowitz and Spencer as “anti-Muslim extremists”.[6] Spencer called the article a “hit list”.[7]

      The website has been described by a number of scholars and writers as right-wing,[8][9][10][11] far-right,[12][13] Islamophobic,[14][15] and anti-Islam.[16][17] -source: Wikipedia

      1. The SPLC is a hate group and a political activist group. David Horowitz and all the people writing for Frontpage are good and honest writers. The Brainless Wonder is unable to attack their words so she falsely attacks character The left hates David Horowitz because he used to be part of the intellectual left that pushed the New Left forward. He also wrote and was editor of Ramparts magazine. He was a red diaper baby and understands the left and how deviously the left functions.

        Horowitz’s autobiography, Radical Son, is great reading as one can see how a person moves from the left to the right and why. He is the fly on the wall so what he says in his book tells one more than they can find elsewhere.

        1. “…and yes, this will be followed by the usual and typical comments heard, here, about the SPLC:”

          What did I tell ya. Old bully-boy Allan predictably, weighed in with this:

          “The SPLC is a hate group and a political activist group. David Horowitz and all the people writing for Frontpage are good and honest writers. The Brainless Wonder is unable to attack their words so she falsely attacks character…”

          Typical nonsense from the bully-boy Allaninny.

          1. Sounds like Diane might be imitating the Brainless wonder. The SPLC certainly is a hate group and it was very embarrassing when it hit close to home and one of the founders had to leave. Leftist organizations have to reevaluate how they utilize the SPLC attacks because they are now being sued.

              1. You and Allan are both idiots. Let’s call you Larry and Moe. Where’s your pal Karen? We’ll call her “Curly.” What a bunch of stooges.


                  Are you apologizing MORRIS DEES founder and LEADER of the SPLC for decades? Who was ousted for harassing women and people of color for decades?

                  That is very LIBERAL of you. He has his point of view, too!

                  I feel Morris Dees has done a lot of good work. Diverting money from pinkos savings accounts into the deep dark hole of his hungry pocket! Good work fleecing the Left, Morris, and enjoy your retirement!

          2. “You are a fraud and a conman,” the Southern Center’s director, Stephen Bright, wrote in a 1996 letter to Dees, and proceeded to list his many reasons for thinking so, which included “your failure to respond to the most desperate needs of the poor and powerless despite your millions upon millions, your fund-raising techniques, the fact that you spend so much, accomplish so little, and promote yourself so shamelessly.”

            From the Ken Silverstein article in Harper’s Magazine, 2000 “Church of MOrris Dees”

            Stephen Bright, not a right winger

            Harpers, not exactly “infowars”

            Ken SIlverstein, not really a “hater”

            MORRIS DEES, not really a “civil rights crusader

            YOU, Anonymous, not really helpful

      2. SPLC hates flag wavers and Baptists and Catholic sedevacantists and just about anybody to the right of Trent Lott,. And they did a big “expose” on him too. Needless to say Trump is their Devil Du Jour.

        SPLC what a fraud. I encourage everyone who has ever been slandered by them (that is thousands) to talk to a local personal injury lawyer about suing them for defamation. Maybe there should be a class action? First ever class action for Defamation but it would fit them and their phony “hate” Labels.

  10. John Oliver created the perfect site:

    It’s perfect for Turley’s regs.

    Coming soon:


  11. To me, it seems leap to say that concluding Trump’s language is responsible for the shootings is a call for censorship.

    What it is, is a recognition that words do matter, and when the man bellowing from the largest bully pulpit in the world bothers about alien infestations and invasions and criminal ‘illegal’ migrants?

    There is a BRIGHT line between those words and violent actions from certain individuals. Studies show a TRIPLING of hate crimes in those cities he visits and poisons with his hateful and bigoted rhetoric.

    I love most of your work, Professor, but I also think you have a collection of odd soft spots for this administration and this president.

    The media bear culpability, in my mind, for repeating the content of his hateful diatribes. There’s no rule stating they have to repeat his screeds uncritically.

    There’s a big difference between thinking that NO public official should be spreading this divisive language across the forum, and calling for censorship.

    1. Studies show

      LOL. Peter Shill tells us that Studies Show that BO is the ’12th best President to date’.

      1. Tabby, what are you talking about?? Show me where I said that.

        Obama probably ranks about 12. But show me where I said that.

        1. Obama was not that bad, really, not half as bad as he promised to be during his campaigns, in some ways he was a respite from a lot of Left wing insanity, they kind of put a cork in it some while he was in charge, didn’t stir up as much trouble as usual. but it’s a fantasy to rank him that high

          I am not on the hate and blame Obama bandwagon, but you guys who adulate him are cross eyed groupies. sad

            1. No, a claque of Democratic Party hacks on history faculties did that, likely a convenience sample. No serious academic historian would participate in such an exercise.

            2. Anon1 – that historians ranked anyone anywhere is suspect. What was their criteria for the ranking? Were they historians in American Presidential history? I spent too much time in academia and know how the game is played.

            3. 12th in some lame poll that was taken for an eyeball catching internet article

              academic history does not rank heads of state like that unless it is something factually and logically definable with rigor, such as a premise that can be verified or not.

              what you are saying is pure opinion. they are free to have opinions and agreed opinions but let’s not pretend that is some kind of holy writ for us to obey or else thoughtcrime

              my personal opinion is that he was a middling performer among our presidents. i was pleasantly surprised that some of my nightmare expectations of him based on his crazy talk, did not materialize. in many ways obama was quite restrained compared to his rhetoric

    2. “alien infestations”…Trump never said that.

      If you have to resort to straight up lies to make your case, then you clearly have no case to make.

      As you say, “words do matter” and your words are clear lies.

  12. i observe that in attorney ethics cases, courts have ruled that the words “illegal immigrant” are forbidden, as disparaging, even when the subject matter may cause the issue to be relevent. i have case names and citations. usually falls under rule of professional conduct 8.4, these are bad cases!

    Now reread what turley said and understand how “Rights’ can disappear piecemeal, by the salami effect, they get sliced down slowly just to a nub. It is not by accident! this is a political strategy.

    “On “Meet the Press” last weekend, Eddie Glaude, Princeton professor of African American studies, declared the very use of the term “illegal immigrant” may have caused these shootings. He said, “You set the stage for people who are even more on the extreme to act violently.” Glaude, who previously called the immigration policies of Trump “terrorism,” interrupted another guest, who was noting that laws on the books make such immigration illegal. “No human being is illegal!” Glaude declared.

    For years, activists tried to shame others into dropping any reference to the illegal status of some immigrants by claiming the term is verboten. It does not matter that the term appears in laws and has been routinely used by the Supreme Court, including decisions by such liberal icons as William Brennan, Thurgood Marshall, and John Paul Stevens. It is now “triggering” language and, according to Glaude, may actually cause massacres.”


    Democrats are now the party of censorship.

    1. Mr Kurtz – next we are going to have to rid of the word “felon” because they will feel triggered and feel bad about themselves.

  13. Democrats have routinely called Republicans every evil name in the book for decades, and Republican politicians rolled over. The hatred has produced the movie, The Hunt were Democrats get to kill Republicans. So for Democrats to blame Republican rhetoric for shootings requires an astonishing lack of self awareness.

    In any case, no one should be afraid to speak their mind for fear that a homicidal maniac will take that as permission. That could lead to complete and total censorship, and if it worked both ways, Rachel Maddow and The View would have to either go off air, or talk about nothing but the weather.

    Certainly, ad hominem is divisive, and perhaps more civility would help people release their white knuckle grip on conversation as blood sport. However, the Democratic candidates are acting like gladiators playing to the bloodthirsty crowd, and Trump is equally as rude and insulting as his critics.

    Most of the time, Democrats in positions of power get away with labeling Republicans as evil. They do it every day around the country in classrooms, Hollywood, Big Tech, politics…

    I would like to see more reasoning and debate skills taught in high school and college. We cannot expect our society to debate ideas and positions, when all they are taught from childhood on is propaganda and ad hominem. Teachers and professors model ad hominem against conservatives consistently. The students grow up to adults, and model that behavior at home. Personal politics must remain outside the classroom. Teach debate and critical thinking skills, instead, and then students will learn how to probe someone’s statements with an open mind.

      1. No. I have criticized Democratic policies and bad behavior when I see it. I have vigorously criticized the moving away from moderation and towards more extreme positions like Socialism, and I have said moderates need to reclaim the party so we can go back to arguing over spending and taxes. I have not called all Democrats evil, and I most certainly have not called all of them terrible names common to hear about Republicans.

        1. Karen is lying or completely unaware of her language. She regularly accuses “democrats” and “leftists” of being racists, anti-semites, liars, socialists, and for open borders, in a non-specific manner. Meanwhile she complains – also regularly and in unspecific ways of Republicans being slandered and called evil. No doubt, some do that. She does that.

          1. She regularly accuses “democrats” and “leftists” of being racists, anti-semites, liars, socialists, and for open borders, in a non-specific manner.

            1. All the Democratic candidates are, functionally for open borders. So are vociferous street-level Democrats.

            2. Bernie Sanders has embraced the term for more than four decades. What are the substantive disagreements between Sanders on the one hand and Biden, Warren, Harris, and Booty-gig on the other?

            3. Democratic politicians who don’t favor racial preference schemes are unknown nowadays. Those unwilling to engage in race-demagogy are atypical. See the recent remarks on Ferguson by Warren and Harris.

            4. The Democratic congressional caucus cannot manage to toss Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib off the bandwagon or even offer pointed criticisms of them. (Contrast with the hopeless Republican leadership, who threw Steve King under the bus for next-to-nothing).

            5. The entire culture of the Democratic Party is based on lies. And Democratic politicians can be extraordinarily brazen about it. (Again, see Warren and Harris on Ferguson).

            You live in a sh!theap. Not Karen’s fault, or anyone’s but yours.

    1. Karen, again you don’t have a clue. Because you are a Faux News disciple, you are the antithesis of critical thinking skills. Democrats have not called Republicans every evil name in the book, nor does this sort of thing get preached in schools, by Hollywood, or anywhere else. Trump is an outlier: unprofessional, lacking in leadership, a narcissist, misogynist, racist, xenophobic and lacking the filter most politicians have not to spout off and attack a critic every time they hear something they don’t like or to agree with people who praise him, no matter how anti-American or repugnant. Trump does NOT represent the Republican Party. MOST Republicans are not lying narcissists like Trump. Think of Mitt Romney or either of the Bushes. Would they have laughed at the suggestion that migrants should be shot? You got this idea from Faux News again, and it IS propaganda. They want you not to listen to leaders in entertainment, etc. who validly criticize Trump and to distrust them. They want you to generalize such criticism as applying to you. They want you to believe that you are a critical thinker. You are not. You are a disciple, and you’ve been brought to believe that Democrats are the evil ones, and that anti-Republicanism propaganda is being foisted on people.

      We are in a new age now: Trumpism, in which overt racism, xenophobia, pettiness and verbal vindictiveness are practiced every singe day by the narcissist occupying the White House: first, because he doesn’t respect the Office of POTUS (to him, it is an extension of his severe narcissism: the biggest big shot of them all–powerful, important); and secondly, for the simple reason that it appeals to people like you, which are, fortunately, the minority. There are many, many Republicans who are as appalled by Trump, his lying (we are now up to more than 12,000 lies in 900 some-odd days in office), his rhetoric, and his lack of leadership as Democrats are.

      Here’s the problem with your equating Trump laughing at the idea that unarmed migrants should be shot with unbridled freedom of speech: the Office of POTUS carries with it certain responsibilities and duties–things of which Trump hasn’t a clue because he’s never had a real job or even answered even to a corporate Board of Directors for his bad business decisions and multiple bankruptcies. A POTUS should be the role model for American ideals. We don’t shoot unarmed people who enter this country illegally, and we don’t advocate for doing so. We don’t call brown people criminals, murderers, rapists, invaders, animals or breeders, all words Trump has used to describe migrants. We believe in due process of law. The POTUS takes an oath to protect and defend the Constitution, which includes provisions for due process of law, so laughing at the suggestion that migrants should be shot might just be enough to impeach him in and of itself. No one says Trump can’t engage in freedom of speech, but when someone who purports to be the POTUS encourages assaults and engages in hateful rhetoric, which is repeated by someone who actually goes ahead and assaults people, he bears responsibility.

  14. I wouldn’t say Trump “triggers” violence. I’d say he incites it. He approves it. As to controlling speach, it’s the GOP and the lovely Mr. Trump who bans speak on climate change and abortion for instance.

    No president should be saying the things he does. He should be able to control his own speach and the GOP leaders should be working with him to do so but they don’t care what he says or how he says it as long as they and their all important big donors get what they want.

    1. Hear! Hear!

      This weekend, we have the president of the US suggesting a former president is a conspirator in a murder. Of course a GOP candidate he suggested the same about competing candidate and included that his wife was a dog. The GOP didn’t mind that, so it’s one big happy family. Thank God JT is not focusing on that harmless little incident and instead properly aims his fire at fellow talking heads, those monsters!

    2. To the foolish Trump incites violence.

      Let’s step back in time so we don’t have to include TDS. The left posted signs “Kill Bush”. Was that not violent?

      Back to today. The Democratic candidates for President are trying to outdo one another in their rhetoric of how they would like to beat Trump up. Is that not inciting violence. Trump has never said anything about physically beating up any political leader.

        1. No, but the Democratic candidates, almost all, on the podium spoke about violently beating the President up and Trump never said kill anyone nor did he advocate physical violence. It’s you guys that are inciting violence.

    3. “I wouldn’t say Trump “triggers” violence. I’d say he incites it.”
      Maybe you ought to read the legal definition of “incite.”

      1. Not a courtroom mespo. Here’s the common definition:

        encourage or stir up (violent or unlawful behavior).
        “the offense of inciting racial hatred”
        synonyms: stir up, whip up, work up, encourage, fan the flames of, stoke up, fuel, kindle, ignite, inflame, stimulate, instigate, provoke, excite, arouse, awaken, waken, inspire, trigger, spark off, ferment, foment, agitate for/against; More
        urge or persuade (someone) to act in a violent or unlawful way.
        “he incited loyal subjects to rebellion”

  15. It seems like all the Democratic contenders are trying to ‘trigger’ emotion rather than policy. Is that because Democrats recognize their policy failures and that they cannot provide policy that will equal the positive policy effects of the Trump administration?

      1. Why so, Holmes? What policy is the left offering? That we are all going to die in 10 years? That almost our entire energy sector should be closed down so that hundreds of thousands or millions of people lose their jobs and so that we revert to horse travel? That our borders be open to anyone that wishes to come here? I’ll bet almost a billion Chinese would be willing to change their residence with yours.

        Tell us. You state you have a point of view. Show us.

      2. Baldersash, Justice Holmes? Joe Biden to a black audience suddenly channeling the mannerisms of a Baptist preacher – “Republicans want to put ya’ll back in chains.”

        1. Quick, cover the children’s ears!

          So, Karen thinks someone might have taken Biden’s comment literally? Really?

          1. Anon1 – Karen is happily married, and is not that into you anyway. So you need to stop dipping her pigtails into the ink well just to get her to pay attention to you.

            1. “Karen is happily married, and is not that into you anyway.” So say old Foxtrotty

              Oh, FFS, turn it off. (And how would you know, unless you’re living with Karen…)

      3. Justice Holmes says: August 12, 2019 at 11:41 AM

        “Ha, ha, ha! Balderdash!”


        And plenty more where that came from…

  16. A good place to start would be banning military style assault weapons

    I trained on the real weapons at Ft. Bragg, NC. Fired them & cleaned a 1000 of them, day or night. Special Forces has some assault weapons that are light, have a sniper scope, can fire semi auto or auto & are quiet because these assault weapons have silencers.

    The West Point Cadets have been training with some kind of new assault weapon. It sounds like a weed wacker. It’s a gatling gun.

    1. What is an assault weapon to you? The current definition of a “assault weapon” is strictly cosmetic.

      Compare an AR-15 to a Ruger mini 14. Both fire the same caliber and have the same/similar capacity. One is considered an assault weapon and the other is not. It’s like outlawing all red corvettes because their too fast but every other color is good to go.

      You do realize that more people are killed by hammers/blunt objects a year than rifles. In the category of rifles deaths this includes all kinds of rifles (not just “assault weapons”). The number of people killed by “assault weapons” every year is very low.

      1. The definition of an assault rifle should match the technical abilities which make them particularly lethal and inappropriate for civilian use, though excellent for military use, for which they were designed or modified. Those characteristics include portability, the ability to shoot high velocity, low recoil rounds semi-automatically, and large or quickly replaceable magazines.

        As to the numbers killed by “assault rifles”, a ban would have little impact on gross numbers of deaths by guns, though it should – over time – as they become more difficult to obtain, even by those without concern for the law – minimize the deaths in mass shootings like El Paso and Dayton. Since these were almost random acts of violence in unpredictable locations, they instill a level of fear and terror in all citizens, which is harmful to our country in ways that other gun deaths are not. While these are also a cause for great concern, and even fear, we have some ability to avoid situations where we might fall prey to those type shooters. Not so with mass shootings like we just witnessed, which is the source of the terror they produce.

        1. “over time – as they become more difficult to obtain”

          ” there are over 16 million AR-15 and AKs in America today. That number might actually be higher because firearms built from 80 percent lowers are not tracked by the firearms industry.”

          If all AR-15’s disappeared tomorrow there would be loads of other guns to take its place along with other types of things that can kill large numbers of people in a short time period.



          The Number of AR-15s In America Will Shock Anti-Gunners

          Beth Baumann

          According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the firearms trade industry association, modern sporting rifles, like AR-15-style rifles, are the most common firearm in the country.

          The NSSF’s research shows that there are over 16 million AR-15 and AKs in America today. That number might actually be higher because firearms built from 80 percent lowers are not tracked by the firearms industry.

          Part of the reason the AR-15 is popular has to do with the customization factor. They’re modular, meaning

          “They are offered a wide variety of calibers and the design of the firearm allows beginners to quickly master safe and accurate marksmanship skills,” Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF senior vice president, told “Modern sporting rifles are the choice for millions of Americans for hunting, recreational target shooting and self-defense.”

          Some fast facts about the AR-15:
          • “AR” stands for ArmaLite rifle, after the company who initially developed the firearm in the 1950s. It does not stand for “assault rifle” or “automatic rifle.”
          • Despite what the media may tell you, AR-15s are not fully automatic. They’re semi-auto meaning they only fire one round per trigger pull.
          • The AR-15 can be used for various types of hunting as well as target shooting and competitions.
          • AR-15-style rifles are no more powerful than other hunting rifles of the same caliber and in most cases are chambered in calibers less powerful than common big-game hunting cartridges like the 30-06 Springfield and .300 Win. Mag.

          1. The writer of Allan’s true believer quote is apparently not smart enough to realize that the kinetic energy – and therefore the damage done by a bullet – is proportional to 1/2 it’s mass, but the square of it’s velocity . As attested to by DoD research, trauma docs, and physicists, high velocity rounds such as the AR15 shoots create explosive damage to, even tissue and organs it does not strike and that damage is often either fatal or non-repairable. Additionally, the small caliber of the rounds an AR15 fires results in low recoil and therefore more complete control and effectiveness of the shooter.

            1. Anon, you are like a parrot that repeats himself ad nauseam. but is happy doing so because his brain is not developed. No one in the article discussed the physics something you know very little about but can memorize a few words to repeat. The reason for posting was this statement: “there are over 16 million AR-15 and AKs in America today.” and then my comment about replacements for the AR-15.

              What that is telling us is that the can of worms and cannot be put back together so other mechanisms need to be considered. That idea is something beyond your intellectual reach.

              1. Given the writer’s ignorance regarding the “power” of the AR15, everything else in the article is suspect.

                1. “Given the writer’s ignorance regarding the “power” of the AR15, everything else in the article is suspect.”

                  Given the fact that the author wasn’t talking about the ‘power’ of the rifle or a bomb demonstrates that you are limited in your critical thinking skills. The author is far ahead of you and all you can do is repeat the few words you have already memorized and repeated in almost every argument even though those points have nothing to do with the comments being made.

                  1. ars are intended to cause damage, so what? all rifles are

                    they make a big temporary wound cavity from the energy dump. so what? that’s the intention. this is not a really bright line of argument

                    30 cal is the prefered round of the deer hunter and the sniper. after charles whitman, they wanted to ban hunting rifles

                    rifles are quintessential militia arms. a ban on hanguns is more constituionally viable under the second amendment than a rifle ban. that is not really a happy point for the gun controllers.

                    here’s a good book by stephen holbrooke. very influential scholar, laid the groundwork for Heller in man ways


                    1. “As I opened the CT scan last week to read the next case, I was baffled. The history simply read “gunshot wound.” I have been a radiologist in one of the busiest trauma centers in the United States for 13 years, and have diagnosed thousands of handgun injuries to the brain, lung, liver, spleen, bowel, and other vital organs. I thought that I knew all that I needed to know about gunshot wounds, but the specific pattern of injury on my computer screen was one that I had seen only once before.

                      In a typical handgun injury, which I diagnose almost daily, a bullet leaves a laceration through an organ such as the liver. To a radiologist, it appears as a linear, thin, gray bullet track through the organ. There may be bleeding and some bullet fragments.

                      I was looking at a CT scan of one of the mass-shooting victims from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, who had been brought to the trauma center during my call shift. The organ looked like an overripe melon smashed by a sledgehammer, and was bleeding extensively. How could a gunshot wound have caused this much damage?

                      The reaction in the emergency room was the same. One of the trauma surgeons opened a young victim in the operating room, and found only shreds of the organ that had been hit by a bullet from an AR-15, a semiautomatic rifle that delivers a devastatingly lethal, high-velocity bullet to the victim. Nothing was left to repair—and utterly, devastatingly, nothing could be done to fix the problem. The injury was fatal…..

                      A year ago, when a gunman opened fire at the Fort Lauderdale airport with a 9 mm semiautomatic handgun, hitting 11 people in 90 seconds, I was also on call. It was not until I had diagnosed the third of the six victims who were transported to the trauma center that I realized something out of the ordinary must have happened. The gunshot wounds were the same low-velocity handgun injuries that I diagnose every day; only their rapid succession set them apart. And all six of the victims who arrived at the hospital that day survived….

                      The injury along the path of the bullet from an AR-15 is vastly different from a low-velocity handgun injury. The bullet from an AR-15 passes through the body like a cigarette boat traveling at maximum speed through a tiny canal. The tissue next to the bullet is elastic—moving away from the bullet like waves of water displaced by the boat—and then returns and settles back. This process is called cavitation; it leaves the displaced tissue damaged or killed. The high-velocity bullet causes a swath of tissue damage that extends several inches from its path. It does not have to actually hit an artery to damage it and cause catastrophic bleeding. Exit wounds can be the size of an orange.

                      With an AR-15, the shooter does not have to be particularly accurate. The victim does not have to be unlucky……”


                    2. “Combat surgeons who have treated wounds inflicted by this type of high-velocity rifle, the AR-15 class, say the weapons scare them.

                      “The wounds are just otherworldly,” said Penn Medicine trauma surgeon Jeremy W. Cannon, an expert marksman who served with the Air Force in Iraq and Afghanistan. “You’re talking big, giant cavities and a hole you can put your fist through.”…

                      John M. Porter, chief of trauma at Cooper University Health Care in Camden and a former Army trauma surgeon, said injuries caused by high-velocity rifle rounds are “much harder to fix” than those from a handgun.

                      “It actually puts kinetic energy into tissue that it didn’t hit,” Porter said. “It can go next to the blood vessels and still destroy the blood vessels. It can go next to the liver and still destroy the liver.”…

                      If a high-velocity round strikes bone, it wreaks a different kind of havoc, according to Penn’s Cannon, who said he had qualified as an expert with the M16 – the military cousin of the type of weapon used in Orlando.

                      “The fractures are horribly splintered,” Cannon said. “The bone is just in multiple small fragments.”

                      When stationed overseas, Cannon saw wounds inflicted by the military versions of these rifles, which can deliver three bullets in one burst. But he said the impact of the individual bullets was the same as what was seen in Orlando: deadly…”


                    3. “Rifle wounds from high velocity, center-fire hunting ammunition.
                      DiMaio VJ, Zumwalt RE.


                      Wounds inflicted by high velocity, center-fire rifles firing hunting ammunition are radically different from wounds caused by handguns or .22 rim-fire rifles. Injuries from pistol or .22 rim-fire bullets are confined to tissue and organs directly in the wound track. In contrast, high velocity rifle bullets can injure structures without actually contacting them. This is due to the temporary cavity produced by such missiles with the resultant shock waves having pressures of up to 200 atmospheres (20 MPa). Organs struck by such high velocity rifle bullets may undergo partial or complete disintegration. Hunting ammunition, as it passes through the body, tends to shed fragments of lead from its core, producing a characteristic snowstorm picture on X-ray. The maximum range at which powder tattooing of the skin occurs from center-fire rifles depends on the physical form of smokeless powder used as propellant. In a test with a 30-30 rifle, cartridges loaded with ball powder produced powder tattooing out to a range of 30 in. (76 cm), while similar cartridges, loaded with the traditional cylindrical powder, produced tattooing out to only 12 in. (30 cm) of range.”


                    4. Anon1.. so are you proposing a ban on all rifles or just scary looking rifles?

                      AR 15 vs Ruger Mini 14….
                      Same caliber
                      Same rate of fire
                      Same size
                      Same capacity
                      But one looks meaner and is classified as a an “assault weapon”.

                      You can have a discussion about gun bans or background checks. The problem is that on this subject (and many others) the left outright misleads and lies. The definition of an assault weapon is based strictly on cosmetic features and has zero to do with rate of fire, caliber, capacity or killing/stopping power.

    2. “A good place to start would be banning military style assault weapons.”
      Ban scary looking guns! Who cares about firepower! A 30.06 does way more damage with less rounds but any reason to erode our rights little-by-little is a good reason.

      1. government used to sell M1 Garands, “greatest battle implement ever devised” according to a famous man

        now it’s outsourced. DCM now called the CMP

        awesome weapon. semi auto but 8 round en bloc clip. ping!

      2. “one of my friends” has cases of 3006 already loaded onto garand clips. decades old, still fires flawlessly.

        there’s still some cases out there which can be had like that, “i hear”

        squirreled away in his “arsenal” or is that called a “stockpile” i am not sure the proper “lingo” that “Journalists” like to use

  17. MARTHA..the same could be said of almost the entire left and media establishment that regularly refer to anyone that doesn’t support their viewpoint as racist, sexist, anti-gay, anti-Islam, and my favorite a Nazi. There’s little doubt that Trump could do a better job in choosing his words but the left side of the political spectrum is deranged. How about the left and media’s outright support of antifa. How about how any attack by antifa is simply not covered and the mere speculation of an incident where a Trump supporter is the suspect culprit is blasted 24 seven. Any gun violence from the left is either not covered, if covered his political leanings are conveniently omitted from the story, and their mental health is immediately brought up. Any violence from someone on the right is immediately used for political gain, blasted on the news 24 seven and Trump is blamed.

    If it weren’t for double standards the left would have no standards at all.

    1. This bias is very true. The only thing worse than the Left constantly calling anyone who disagrees with them a racist, Nazi, phobe, hates children, etc is those who deny this happens.

  18. In a quick read I don’t believe you touched on the use of the Presidents more flagrant language in the paper written by the shooter in El Paso. I believe that adds some credibility to the pairing

    1. It is irrelevant whether the shooter was inspired by the president.

      The Unibomber was “inspired” by the green movement – does that make all greens culpable in the bombings of the unibomber ?

      One of the many fundiental problems with this entire nonsensical argument – including your “pairing” observation, is that it inevitably leads to confusion and chaos, and an inability to communicate.

      The Dayton shooter was clearly influenced by the speach of the left. Must we silence everyone on the left because of that “pairing” ?

      The El Passo shooters manafesto absolutely parrots some of Trump’s rhetoric – but if you have actually read it, it also parrots many themes of the left.

      My point is NOT that the left is equally culpable, it is that you can not impose responsiblity on a speaker for the response a listener has to their remarks. Especially when you are adding multiple levels of indirection.

      If you do not like Trump’s or anyone else’s speach, you are not obligated to listen, you are not obligated to vote for them, you are not obligated to socialize with them.

      You are barred from using FORCE to curtail the rights of others, except very limited circumstances where that use of force can be justified.

      The support of a majority is a prequisite for justified use of force, but it is NOT sufficient.

      Merely observing that some things are “paired” is NOT sufficient to justify force.

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