Victim Disarmament

Ten Things That Could Have Stopped the Las Vegas Massacre


Of course we’re hearing “gun control” as a solution to the Las Vegas Massacre. But if we’re looking for things that can be curtailed or outright prohibited, that would have stopped this massacre, let’s think outside the box.

1. Live music. The Bataclan Theater in Paris. The Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, UK. And now the Route 91 Harvest Festival. All of these live-music events drew large crowds creating a target-rich environment for terrorists seeking mayhem and death. Ban live-music events and these target-rich environments disappear.

Tent Revival

2. Open-air events. If there had been a roof or even a tent over the Route 91 Harvest Festival the sniper could not have aimed at the crowd. Concealment, if not actual cover, would have curtailed the number of victims.

3. Tall buildings. The sniper used 32nd floor windows to shoot down at crowds. If buildings were limited to a single story this could have been prevented.

4. Elevators. To get to a 32nd floor by stairs carrying many pounds of firearms, ammunition, and related equipment would have been very difficult for a 64-year-old man.

5. Hotels. Renting rooms to anyone with the money to afford one enabled this massacre.

6. Room service. A hotel room-service cart was placed outside the shooter’s hotel suite carrying a camera the shooter is alleged to have used to see approaching police.

7. Cameras. See. No. 6. Other cameras were found by authorities within the shooter’s hotel room.

8. Money. The shooter used money to purchase all the equipment, plus pay for the hotel room. As well, the shooter is said to have wired money to an account in the Philippines, which may have something to do with the massacre.

9. Tools. The shooter is alleged to have used “a hammer like device” to have broken out the windows of the hotel room, enabling shooting out the now-broken windows.

10. Possession of air. If there had been no oxygen available to the shooter, the shooter would have been dead and unable to commit the massacre.

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Making Liberty Go Viral


In the 1970′s, as a young radical-libertarian fiction writer, I had the thought: What If — instead of setting the struggle for liberty in the past, or on another world, or in a parallel dimension or alternate timeline or post-apocalyptic future — I played that story on streets barely changed from ones outside my own window?

I didn’t write Alongside Night to be another Atlas Shrugged or The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. I wrote it to say that you didn’t need to go to the Land of Oz if you wanted to see the wizardry of freedom. It could be right on the sidewalks you walked every day and you didn’t need any ruby or glass slippers.

I believe that in seeking liberty stories are far more important than either elections or marches. Ideas without the imagination to visualize them remain stillborn.

I knew right from the beginning that Alongside Night would have to be more than a novel. I wrote my first draft of a screenplay adaptation before the first book came off the printing press.

Today, Alongside Night is the novel which was its first expression; but it is now also a movie, a graphic novel, an audiobook, and a song. All versions tell pretty much the same story.

I tried and failed to get the major film festivals and Hollywood studios to put my movie onto hundreds or thousands of movieplex screens. They didn’t want it. Knowing their politics, in which sugar and safety rank much higher than liberty, that should not have been a surprise … but I’m always an optimist.

More disappointing to me were people whom I thought prized liberty as much as I do only to discover their conventionality and timidity when courageous imagination was needed.

I did meet some heroes along the way, too — both old friends and some new ones.

We who love liberty, whoever we are, have to get the word out ourselves and if they’re to be deeply ingrained not just words, but pictures, voices, music, and ideas.

Alongside Night is already in distribution as a novel, graphic novel, and audiobook. You can find all of those for sale on Amazon.com if nowhere else. In a few months the Blu-Ray and DVD of the movie will be just as available — we’re aiming at Amazon, iTunes, Netflix, and Redbox.

If you’re a blogger, a podcaster, or just have Facebook friends or Twitter followers — hey, maybe you even have a face, voice, or byline in the Big Media — you don’t have to wait. I just made a secret web page with links to watch the full Alongside Night movie, to read the movie edition of the novel, to read the graphic novel, and to listen to the audiobook.

If you want to write or talk about Alongside Night in any or all of these versions you just need to email me (jneil[at]jesulu.com) or send me a Facebook message promising me you’ll keep the page and its links secret and I’ll give you the secret URL.

Yours in liberty,

J. Neil Schulman

Alongside Night The Movie

Alongside Night The Movie Edition

Alongside Night The Graphic Novel

Alongside Night The Audiobook

It’s the near future and America is in trouble. Hyperinflation and disorder reign in the towns and cities of the nation. The government doesn’t have money to pay the military. A revolutionary group inspired by the Declaration of Independence is fomenting a second American Revolution and the director of a futuristic FEMA is arresting political enemies without court-issued warrants and imprisoning them in a secret prison.

This is the nonstop action and suspense in award-winning indie filmmaker J. Neil Schulman’s latest production, Alongside Night, based on his award-winning 1979 novel endorsed by Nobel-laureate Milton Friedman, A Clockwork Orange author Anthony Burgess, and Dr. Ron Paul.

Starring Kevin Sorbo (Hercules: The Legendary Journeys), Said Faraj (Green Zone), Contact and Starship Troopers’ Jake Busey, Star Trek Voyager’s Tim Russ and Garrett Wang, Alien Nation’s Gary Graham, Men in Black 3′s Valence Thomas, Parks and Recreation’s Mara Marini, Lady Magdalene’s Ethan Keogh, Adam Meir and Susan Smythe, Kevin Sorbo’s real-life wife, actress Sam Sorbo, singer/songwriter Jordan Page, and real-life activist Adam Kokesh, as well as up-and-coming actors Christian Kramme, Reid Cox, Kyle Leatherberry, Rebekah Kennedy, Charlie Morgan Patton, and Eric Colton, this is a film far more current than The Hunger Games or Divergence series.

This is the story of Elliot Vreeland (Kramme), son of Nobel Prize-winning economist Dr. Martin Vreeland (Sorbo). When his family goes missing and while being shadowed by federal agents (Faraj and Leatherberry), Elliot, with the help of his mysterious companion Lorimer (Cox), explore the underground world of the Revolutionary Agorist Cadre to find them. It’s a story of romance, intrigue, action, adventure, and exhilarating science fiction thrills.

“J.Neil Schulman’s Alongside Night is at the forefront of libertarian cinema.” — Josh Bell, Las Vegas Weekly

“I’d like to mention to the viewers, hopefully when you get the chance take a look at this movie, read the book. Neil’s worked hard in the libertarian movement. And we’d like to move it along and get it a lot of attention because that’s exactly what we want to do on this program, on this channel, is to promote the cause of liberty and I believe Alongside Night will do that.”
–Dr. Ron Paul, Ron Paul Channel, June 16, 2014

“The story is, by turns, touching, suspense-filled, violent when violence was called for, highly polemic, and altogether satisfying.”
L. Neil Smith, The Libertarian Enterprise

“A movie dedicated to promoting liberty and warning about a too powerful government.” — Coos County Democrat

“Abundant professional talent …supported the making of this fine movie. The result is visually bright and stunning, laced and layered with great music and pregnant with the theme of the unquenchable human spirit seeking liberty.”
–Jerry Jewett, Mondo Cult

Alongside Night has been recognized as an important projection of near-future crises on such diverse mass media as Fox News’ Red Eye, ABC’s On The Red Carpet, The Ron Paul Channel, Alex Jones’ Infowars, Reason.TV, the Larry Elder Show, Las Vegas Weekly, the Libertarian Republic, the Sam Sorbo Show, and many blogs, local TV and radio shows, and podcasts. With recommendations from Ron Paul and Alex Jones to their millions of listeners and viewers this movie has a fan base eagerly awaiting it.

Alongside Night has had successful paid ticketed theatrical screenings in Santa Monica, CA; Las Vegas, NV; Dallas, TX; Austin, TX; Columbus, OH; Scottsdale, AZ; Spokane, WA; Apple Valley, MN; Schaumburg, IL; Lansing, MI; Okemos, MI; and Lehi, UT.

Official Movie Website

Official Facebook

Official Twitter

YouTube Short Video Play List

Alongside Night Freedom Poster

Las Vegas Weekly article by Josh Bell

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PBS — Propaganda B*S*


I’m neither a conservative nor a supporter of the Republican Party. I’m a non-party libertarian — and I expect to be a principled non-voter in the 2016 presidential election — either that or vote for any minor-party candidate as a protest vote against the two major parties.

In 2008 I voted for the anti-War candidate Barack Obama to defeat the apparently more pro-war John McCain. My crystal ball was apparently not working well at the time.

So when in this article I identify a PBS program I just saw as Democratic Party liberal propaganda — a question framed by its producers in such a biased way that a preordained conclusion is inescapable for anyone not seeing the method of propaganda being used — it’s not because I’m favoring an outcome of Republican or right-wing enhancement.

Frontline logo

In the January 6, 2015 edition of PBS’s documentary series Frontline — tonight’s episode titled “Gunned Down: The Power of the NRA” — the program graphically and emotionally portrayed a problem of gun violence — dead children and grieving parents at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado and Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut — plus a severely wounded Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and surrounding fatalities in Tucson, Arizona — and the solution to this problem, increased barriers to civilian access to firearms, being stymied by the lobbying of the National Rifle Association.

Before we proceed, a question. Can you identify the source of this quote, a description of a police agency, as “jack-booted government thugs” who wear “Nazi bucket helmets and black storm trooper uniforms”?

Was it the Reverend Al Sharpton talking in 2014 about the Ferguson, Missouri or New York City police?

Uh-uh. It was the National Rifle Association’s Executive Vice President, Wayne LaPierre, writing in 1995 about the federal agents who killed unarmed women and children at Ruby Ridge, Idaho and Waco, Texas.

For which the NRA was attacked by liberals.

Suppose PBS’s Frontline producers wanted to do a show about the use of automobiles in America, and showed only a Red Asphalt type of gruesome vehicular fatalities — never mentioning even for a second all the times people got where they were going safely, usefully, and conveniently. Suppose there wasn’t a single example in this documentary about the use of automobiles in getting to work or going on a family vacation. Further suppose that the documentary juxtaposed these obviously destructive automotive death traps with profiles of the American Automobile Association and their powerful Washington lobbyists? Would one reasonably conclude we were seeing a one-sided propaganda piece?

Or let’s imagine PBS’s Frontline producers did a program about Alan Turing, and focused only on his conviction for indecency as a homosexual breaking long-established British law, and never mentioned that Turing developed the computer breaking the Nazi Enigma machine code that led to an earlier defeat of Germany, saving about 14 million lives? Would this qualify as propaganda?

Julius Schulman
Julius Schulman

PBS just did a show which showed us victims of gun-related violence and tugged at our heartstrings. But there wasn’t a single example such as that of my father, violinist Julius Schulman, who on several occasions saved himself and a Guarnerius violin made 1716 in Cremona, Italy, from Boston and New York City muggers, because he was armed with a handgun that he merely had to display to fend off gang attacks late at night as he returned home after a performance.

My father’s case is not mere family anecdote but is supported by criminological statistics finding that Defensive Gun Uses vastly outnumber uses of guns producing tragedy. I’ve written about this extensively. On the website I maintain, The World Wide Web Gun Defense Clock, I support this statement, and provide a link to a free PDF copy of my book, Stopping Power: Why 70 Million Americans Own Guns.

Stopping Power: Why 70 Million Americans Own Guns

There is nothing new or special about Frontline‘s propagandistic approach by which the good guns do in the hands of righteous people is eclipsed by the bad guns do in the hands of criminals, psychos, and terrorists.

But that’s because modern liberals on the left, like modern neocons on the right, worship absolute power to promote their totalitarian agendas, and the ability of a well-armed people to shoot back is their nemesis.

If you’re interested in a documentary that shows what Paul Harvey used to call “the rest of the story,” I strongly recommend the documentary Assaulted: Civil Rights Under Fire, narrated by Ice-T.

Assaulted: Civil Rghts Under Fire poster

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Stop and Frisk


Listening to Bill O’Reilly or Dennis Prager denouncing Brown University students for shouting down New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, making it impossible for NYC’s Top Cop to speak, reminds me how almost everything that passes for political discourse these days would have confounded the Founders. (And take that, Cole Porter!)

First, are college students who shout down a government official so he can’t speak thugs, as David Horowitz’s Freedom Center has made a talking point for everyone called a right-wing pundit by left-wing pundits? Americans protesting their government both before and after the American Revolution would have considered shouting down a speaker mild thuggery at worst, considering that tarring and feathering of government tax collectors was not uncommon.

Bostonians Paying the Excise-man, or Tarring and Feathering (1774)
The Bostonians Paying the Excise-Man, 1774

But getting beyond the question of whether a government official speaking to justify a police policy should be suffered a hearing at an Ivy League university on general grounds of preserving open political discourse, let’s discuss the policy in controversy.

Stop and Frisk is the practice whereby a police officer upon seeing an individual on the street whom that officer considers generally suspicious — that is, not matching the description of a suspect for a specific crime — is allowed to place his hands on a person in a search for weapons or contraband.

If a private person places his hands on another person without that first person’s consent, it’s the crime of assault — and possibly sexual assault.

These police assaults are not usually of Wall Street Bankers. They’re in minority neighborhoods plagued by violent crime. The argument in favor of this policy is an end-justifies-the-means utilitarian one that it deprives gangs and street criminals of illegal arms that are used in violent crime, and a statistical claim that this police policy can be correlated with a reduction in violent street crimes since implemented.

But buried among political debates about racial profiling is the context that these police searches depend on New York gun-control laws that have violated the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitutions’ Bill of Rights for over a century, and the Fourth Amendment which requires a warrant before searching a private citizen.

Let’s bring in to this discussion the actual text of these two Amendments:

Amendment II

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

I can read the English language and the intent of these two paragraphs is crystal clear to anyone not trained to obfuscate meaning as a lawyer or political operative.

I’ve been listening for days to right-wing pundits calling President Obama a liar because of the accusation he knowingly misrepresented to the American People that the Affordable Care Act would cause them to lose existing health insurance policies and continued treatment by their doctors.

May not I likewise, then, call the Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States liars when they rule that New York gun control laws don’t violate the Second Amendment and Stop and Frisk doesn’t violate the Fourth Amendment?

I can read these two amendments and reach a clear meaning. Can not Bill O’Reilly and Dennis Prager? And if they instead choose to ignore the clearly written protections of what is intended to be the highest law of the land in favor of inferior law that violates the people’s rights, do they not themselves deserve the appellation of statist liars?

But let’s put aside the question of law for the moment and merely ask if police policy that is intrusive of individual dignity should be allowed in a free society merely because it is speculated that its use correlates with an imagined social benefit — reduction in violent street crime.

If a policy that is not intrusive of individual dignity can be reasonably argued to produce the same result, should not the policy less intrusive be preferred?

The stop and frisk policy is more likely to deter a private citizen from carrying a weapon intended to protect against a criminal attack than it is to deter a gang member who upon seeing a police officer who might stop and frisk him passes his weapon to another gang member who can leave the street and not be searched.

The prior cause of any advantage an armed criminal has is the legal prohibition against private citizens — especially minorities without access to expensive private security – being allowed the means to protect themselves.

Why can’t a so-called conservative claiming to believe in limited government understand that their support for the police is the exact same destruction of individual self-reliance that they denounce when talking about food stamps and other government social programs?

The Framers of American government attempted to set up protections so the people would be free and independent. Today’s so-called liberals and conservatives are both statists who favor disempowering the individual and making them dependent on government for their well-being.

The Framers failed and today’s defender of freedom are blind both to that failure and their own failure to know it.

J. Neil Schulman’s latest book, The Heartmost Desire, which contains his manifesto on how individual liberty is necessary for happiness, is now out. Buy it on Amazon.com. Join discussion of The Heartmost Desire on its official Facebook page.

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Profiles in Sanford

If Trayvon was white, spiked hair, tattoos, piercings, leather & studs, George Zimmerman would have followed him anyway. Shut up about race.

President Obama’s impromptu appearance in the White House briefing room this morning showed the President with a lot of wisdom and common sense, and before I focus on what he could have said and didn’t, let me compliment him for what he did say.

First, President Obama did what President George H.W. Bush did not do following the California jury verdict in the trial of the officers charged with beating Rodney King, and the media did not do after the California jury acquittal of O.J. Simpson in the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman: President Obama supported the jury verdict as a final answer that the public has a duty to accept.

This institutional support by civic leaders for the meaning of a trial by jury and the finality of its verdict used to be taken for granted; today it is remarkable and must be commended. It is even more poignant when the President’s own Attorney General, Eric Holder, is looking for grounds to violate the Constitution’s prohibition of retrial of a defendant after acquittal, using weaselly excuses about different trial venues.

Second, President Obama raised a question that heretofore I have only heard raised by libertarians like myself and Brad Linaweaver: if Trayvon Martin had been armed and of age, would he have had the right to “stand his ground” against an unknown stranger who was following him in the rain? We don’t know that this actually happened in the case of Neighborhood Watch Captain George Zimmerman — there is nothing in the trial record that answers this question definitively. Nonetheless it’s the right question President Obama has asked and for those of us who believe in the right to use deadly force when threatened with death or mayhem our answer is: Yes, Mr. President, had Trayvon Martin been trained in carrying a firearm, trained in conflict de-escalation, and armed, he would not have felt he had to put a gang-style “whup ass” on George Zimmerman, resulting in his own death.

Stopping Power: Why 70 Million Americans Own Guns

Where President Obama failed as a leader of the American people today is his own tunnel vision. As an African-American male he identified with the pain and frustration of African-Americans who are disproportionately profiled and feared. But the President was unable to think outside of his own life experience to affirm that George Zimmerman — regardless of Zimmerman’s lack of wisdom and training that led him into harm’s way in defense of his wife and neighbors — was trying to do the right thing and his family’s frustration and pain needs to be acknowledged as well.

What you missed an opportunity to say today, Mr. President, is that the safety of our families and neighbors is not the responsibility of police departments who are minutes away when seconds count. You missed the chance to say that the job of each and all of us who prize civilization and liberty is to stand watch as George Zimmerman did.

You missed your teachable moment, Mr. President, to tell the American people that the lesson which could be learned from this tragic conflict is that Neighborhood Watch is a vital part of our national defense and that as Commander in Chief of the Militia with the constitutionally defined obligation to arm and train the civilian population known as the militia, you will act to ensure that civilian provision and training in the defensive use of arms will become a presidential priority, as has been neglected for well over a century.

You would have said that not universal spying by the NSA on the American people, presuming all of us to be criminal suspects, but relying on the American people themselves to be the eyes, ears, and arms in defense of our common security and liberty, is how a free people combat crime and terrorism.

Of course it is this very abandonment of Constitutional principles that is the reason Agorists have concluded that your office has become irrelevant, Mr. President, and it’s time for a new guard for our safety and liberty.



Now awaiting release: Alongside Night. Look for it in 2013!

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Stopping Evil, Ending Lethal Stupidity

Enough is enough.

The slaughter of innocent children, and of the heroic teachers and school administrators, who threw their bodies in between the children and the madman who brought high firepower into what the law dumbly calls a “gun-free school zone,” must never happen again.

Gun bans don’t work at stopping massacres. They didn’t despite strict gun-control laws in Dunblane, Scotland or at a summer children’s camp in Norway, nor in multiple gun-free zones in schools, movie theaters, trains, and malls.

Stopping Power: Why 70 Million Americans Own Guns

We all say that insanity is defined by doing the same thing and expecting different results. Let’s act on this understanding and end the utopian fantasy that legal bans of weapons magically dispose of the weapons.

I am not going to argue the Second Amendment here. I am arguing practical common sense.

If there are to be taxpayer funded schools and taxpayer funded institutions of higher education, those who teach and administer these institutions must have the means to protect their students and the legal liability for failing to do so once granted the means. They must have what even police in this country do not have: a duty to protect.

I propose not a freedom but a responsibility.



Every public-school and public institution of higher learning must make it a requirement that every teacher and school administrator take training in handguns equivalent to the standards that police officers and pilots must qualify, renew this qualification every six months, and openly carry sidearms while on duty.

Either this, or stop pretending that government exists to protect the people and be done with this epic failure of political solutions to social problems.



Now in production: Alongside Night. Look for it in 2013!

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Stopping the jokers

The day before the shootings at a movie theater in Colorado I took issue with a screenwriter who uses his scripts as a platform for his campaign to disarm the American people of defensive firearms. My title was Aaron Sorkin, You Magnificent Bastard!

This time I’m just writing about vicious and stupid bastards.

The 24-year-old creep who bought a ticket for a first showing of the new Batman movie at a multiplex in Aurora, Colorado a couple of nights ago — and after propping open an exit door re-entered the theater protected by body armor and shot up the place with a high body-count of women and children — was not the Joker.

The Joker is an iconic comic-book character created by Bob Kane, first appearing Spring 1940 in Batman Issue No. 1 and portrayed on screen in TV and movies by actors including Cesar Romero, Jack Nicholson, and Heath Ledger.

You can’t blame people who write comic books, or make movies, or wear costumes of characters in their favorite comic books and movies, for what happened in a darkened movie theater.

James Holmes was not only not the Joker but he also was neither Sherlock Holmes nor John Holmes. He wasn’t a brilliant mind or a movie actor with an enormous prick.

He was just a cowardly little prick with delusions of grandeur who bought a ticket to a children’s movie and used what the theater management had declared to be a gun-free zone to shoot and kill unarmed civilians. He had potential but wasted his life. He is nothing special.

Massacres of the unarmed are not infrequent events on this planet, and every time they happen there are jokers with no ability to learn from history who use these killing fields to call for further victim disarmament. What the Luby’s Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas; Columbine High School in Littleton Colorado; the Long Island Railroad; the campuses of the University of Iowa or Virginia Tech; Dunblane, Scotland; and the United States Army Base at Fort Hood, Texas all had in common is that it was illegal for the victims to carry firearms in case some demented joker who didn’t abide by gun laws decided it was their day to die.

I’ve written on guns and criminology. A lot. My first Op-Ed for the Los Angeles Times, published January 1, 1992, was titled “A Massacre We Didn’t Hear About.” It was about a mass shooting in a coffee shop that was prevented by a civilian carrying a concealed handgun. I interviewed that gentleman, Thomas Glenn Terry, plus on other occasions other gun-carriers who also stopped shooting attacks.

“Buy a gun. Learn to use it safely and appropriately. Carry it with you at all times. Be prepared to defend yourself, your loved ones, and your neighborhoods.”

-J. Neil Schulman on ABC TV World News Tonight, May 2, 1992, during the Los Angeles Riots

After the Spring 1992 Los Angeles riots I applied for and received a California license to carry a concealed firearm — which I carried in California until 2007 — and as training I took California’s PC-832 course, and passed the California POST exam. My Powers of Arrest and Communications and Tactics instructor, Jim Saharek, was a retired U.S. Secret Service agent; my Firearms instructor, Barry Dineen, was an LAPD officer. I got a perfect 4.0 grade in all three modules, as well as on the final POST exam.

POST Certificate
POST Certificate

James Holmes apparently wanted to survive his attack so he wore body armor and a gas mask and incapacitated his victims before shooting them by throwing tear gas cannisters into the theater. He was armed with a handgun, a shotgun, and a rifle.

A family member who lives in Colorado, and has a license to carry a concealed handgun, tells me every Cinemark movie theater she’s gone to has the same sign the Cinemark Century 16 Theater displayed to its customers: Firearms Prohibited. This sign informed James Holmes that the management was guaranteeing nobody would be shooting back.

Colorado Cinemark Sign
Colorado Cinemark Sign
Photo by Ray Hickman

Nonetheless, Holmes was concerned enough about the possibility of an off-duty police officer deciding to take his kid to the movies that he armored up.

I’ve heard over the last day or so a lot of uninformed chatter about how nobody with a gun could have stopped James Holmes because he was wearing body armor. It’s crap. Body armor is designed to save the wearer’s life but it doesn’t stop the shock and pain of being shot. A handgun round to the center of body mass would have knocked the wind out of James Holmes and the shock might have caused him to faint. In any event, the pain of being shot would have distracted him. Further, defensive handgun courses teach head shots, and a round would have easily penetrated the plastic gas mask, making a kill shot to the head possible.

As demonstrators have learned, wrapping a shirt around your mouth and nose can slow the effects of tear gas, and by shooting at Holmes’ muzzle flash in a darkened theater, Holmes would have been stopped from randomly shooting children, and created some cover for theater patrons to escape.

James Holmes did not have to be killed with a round through his body armor to stop his shooting rampage. He just needed not to be the only one firing a gun.

Yes, some innocent person might have been shot by “friendly fire.” But the outcome would have been a lot fewer shooting victims than the dozen deaths and 58 other shooting victims that happened with no one shooting back.

Once again, the media focuses on the psychology of the shooter rather than the practical question of how to defend against these unpredictable shootings.

Here are the actual facts on Defensive Gun Use that Fox News or CNN won’t tell you in their endless moaning about how tragic and unpreventable this latest shooting gallery was.

According to the National Self Defense Survey conducted by Florida State University criminologists in 1994, the rate of Defensive Gun Uses can be projected nationwide to approximately 2.5 million per year — one Defensive Gun Use every 13 seconds.

Among 15.7% of gun defenders interviewed nationwide during The National Self Defense Survey, the defender believed that someone “almost certainly” would have died had the gun not been used for protection — a life saved by a privately held gun about once every 1.3 minutes. (In another 14.2% cases, the defender believed someone “probably” would have died if the gun hadn’t been used in defense.)

In 83.5% of these successful gun defenses, the attacker either threatened or used force first — disproving the myth that having a gun available for defense wouldn’t make any difference.

In 91.7% of these incidents the defensive use of a gun did not wound or kill the criminal attacker (and the gun defense wouldn’t be called “newsworthy” by newspaper or TV news editors). In 64.2% of these gun-defense cases, the police learned of the defense, which means that the media could also find out and report on them if they chose to.

In 73.4% of these gun-defense incidents, the attacker was a stranger to the intended victim. (Defenses against a family member or intimate were rare — well under 10%.) This disproves the myth that a gun kept for defense will most likely be used against a family member or someone you love.

In over half of these gun defense incidents, the defender was facing two or more attackers — and three or more attackers in over a quarter of these cases. (No means of defense other than a firearm — martial arts, pepper spray, or stun guns — gives a potential victim a decent chance of getting away uninjured when facing multiple attackers.)

In 79.7% of these gun defenses, the defender used a concealable handgun. A quarter of the gun defenses occured in places away from the defender’s home.

Source: “Armed Resistance to Crime: The Prevalence and Nature of Self-Defense with a Gun,” by Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz, in The Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology, Northwestern University School of Law, Volume 86, Number 1, Fall, 1995

More gun-control could not have stopped James Holmes. The strictest gun control in Dunblane, Scotland — or even mass killings using a knife in Akihabara and Osaka, Japan — have never stopped these kinds of unprovoked massacres.

A public with a critical mass of individuals carrying handguns, ready at all times to shoot back at sudden attackers, has worked to minimize casualties from terrorist attacks in Israel. See The Israeli Answer to Terrorism by Massad Ayoob.

Israel does not have more civilians who can carry defensive firearms than the United States. We have the Second Amendment and Israel doesn’t.

But by disarming its theater patrons Cinemark accepted legal liability for their safety, and the victims disarmed by these enablers need to sue this corporation into bankruptcy for its failure to protect them from James Holmes.

The jokers who keep enabling gun massacres are the advocates of making us work, shop, and see movies in gun-free zones, and these massacres won’t stop until we stop these jokers from disarming us.

My 1994 book Stopping Power: Why 70 Million Americans Own Guns made me a celebrity to the Second Amendment movement. Charlton Heston wrote of the book, “”Mr. Schulman’s book is the most cogent explanation of the gun issue I have yet read. He presents the assault on the Second Amendment in frighteningly clear terms. Even the extremists who would ban firearms will learn from his lucid prose.”

Dennis Prager who had opposed private ownership of guns, told his national radio audience, “He has truly helped change my mind on guns and self-defense.”

Liberal Los Angeles talk-show host Michael Jackson said of me on his KABC radio show, “His research is impeccable. Nobody expresses the other side better.”

My writings on firearms have been used by witnesses on both sides of the gun-control debate in congressional hearings before the House Subcommittee on Crime.

I’m webmaster of The World Wide Web Gun Defense Clock that calculates and comparies the number of defensive-gun-uses to criminal uses, suicides, and accidents, based on peer-reviewed academic, and law-enforcement, criminological studies.

One chapter from Stopping Power was chosen to be reprinted in the book Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Controversial Issues in Health and Society, Second Edition, Edited by Eileen K. Daniel, (Dushkin Publishing Group/Brown & Benchmark Publishers, 1996), as rebuttal to “Guns in the Household” by Jerome P. Kassirer, MD, editor of the New England Journal of Medicine. Another chapter, “Talk At Temple Beth Shir Shalom,” was reprinted in the book, Guns in America : A Reader , Jan E. Dizard, editor (New York University Press, 1999), and my chapter was praised in the Village Voice’s review as “a tough Jew manifesto.”

Stopping Power: Why 70 Million Americans Own Guns
Stopping Power: Why 70 Million Americans Own Guns


Winner of the Special Jury Prize for Libertarian Ideals from the 2011 Anthem Film Festival! My comic thriller Lady Magdalene’s — a movie I wrote, produced, directed, and acted in it — is now available free on the web linked from the official movie website. If you like the way I think, I think you’ll like this movie. Check it out!

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Aaron Sorkin, You Magnificent Bastard!

The title of this essay is a paraphrase from the 1970 movie Patton, dialogue in which World War II General George S. Patton, Jr., says, referring to Rommel’s book, “Infantry Attacks”: “Rommel… you magnificent bastard, I read your book!

Aaron Sorkin is quite possibly the best screenwriter working in Hollywood today.

I look at his IMDb filmography and I see movie after movie that I love, including Charlie Wilson’s War, The Social Network, Moneyball, and — yes — The American President. I watched every episode of his signature TV series, The West Wing, watched most episodes of his sitcom Sports Night, and I’ve set my DVR to record all first-run episodes of the TV series he’s created, writes, and executive produces on HBO, The Newsroom.

Aaron Sorkin
Aaron Sorkin

When I’ve given talks to libertarian audiences about why they need to support libertarian authors and filmmakers like me in getting our projects financed and distributed, Aaron Sorkin’s dialogue in The American President is often one of the examples I use as to how “the other side” uses mass entertainment media to present their propaganda as unchallenged facts. Sorkin’s screenplay for The American President peppers Michael J. Fox’s character’s dialogue (a presidential advisor) with false-to-fact propaganda from the Brady campaign about how privately held guns increase violent crime, but has no problem with his fictitious President Andrew Shepherd (Michael Douglas) sending weapons systems to Israel for their defense. Then in a climactic press conference President Shepherd advocates that the Second Amendment be trashed by having government soldiers going door-to-door to collect Americans’ privately-owned handguns, because — in this Imperial President’s personal opinion — private gun ownership is a clear and present danger to public safety.

Oh, yeah. The rest of the sparkling political dialogue Sorkin gives his characters in The American President is horseshit about how the internal combustion engine needs to be eliminated because man-made carbon dioxide emissions — a greenhouse gas that represents less than one percent of ordinary cloud-carried water vapor — is threatening life on this planet.

Don’t misunderstand me. The American President is a brilliantly written high-concept romantic comedy wonderfully directed by Rob Reiner with superb acting performances throughout by a sterling cast led by Michael Douglas, Annette Bening, Martin Sheen, Michael J. Fox, and Richard Dreyfuss. It has a great Korngoldesque film score by Marc Shaiman. It’s one of my favorite movies that I’ve watched probably two dozen times. It’s just that when I’m watching it I realize that in about half a day I could rewrite the script retaining all the exact same plot points and character interactions, except that it would be a Republican President falling in love with the chief lobbyist of the NRA. The propaganda in this movie is just a fill-in-the-blank operation, the politics grafted on without affecting plot or character arcs, and the exact same characters and storyline could be used to propagandize anything.

Alfred Hitchcock called that which motivates the plot as “the McGuffin.”

Aaron Sorkin uses politics in his scripts solely as a McGuffin.

Sorkin just pulled the same crap on the latest episode of his new series, The Newsroom, but I need a few more paragraphs before I get to that. Apologies if I’m burying my lead; but I’m writing commentary, not news.

On the day I’m writing this the Los Angeles Times is reporting in its national news section on an incident in an Internet cafe in Florida, where a 71-year-old man with a handgun-license-to-carry used his pocket policeman to chase two armed robbers out of the store, slightly wounding one of them. This was particularly notable to me because back in the 1990′s, when I was writing Op-Eds on handgun-related topics for the Los Angeles Times, the Times would not report defensive-gun-uses on its news pages, and I stopped selling Op-Eds to the Times‘ editors after I organized a lunch-hour demonstration in front of the Times‘ downtown L.A. editorial offices when they ran a five-day editorial series calling for a complete gun ban.

I’m also writing this as the Fox News Channel is covering a just-released (but classified) FBI report on the November 5, 2009 shootings at Fort Hood, Texas, where a single military officer with a handgun he’d illegally brought onto the base was able to reduce dozens of disarmed army soldiers — some of them just returning from deployment in Iraqi and Afghani war zones — to running away, crawling away, and screaming like teenagers at Columbine High School. This happened because classified regulations put into place at the same time the Clinton administration was pushing the Brady Act and the Assaults Weapons Ban, not altered during the eight years of the George W. Bush administration, and not declassified until the Obama administration — removed from base commanders the decision to authorize soldiers on base to carry sidearms or rifles with them, and transferred that authority to the politically-appointed Secretary of the Army with a civilian-pro-gun-control agenda guaranteeing it would never happen.

My articles referencing “The American Humiliation Buried at Fort Hood” are linked here.

Now to Aaron Sorkin’s current series, The Newsroom.

The Newsroom is about a network anchorman (Jeff Daniels) whose nightly news casts have been tabloidish to increase ratings, but whose boss (Sam Waterston) decides to return the program to the earlier standards of Murrow, Cronkite, and Huntley-Brinkley, and report the news focusing only on facts and information informed voters need. In fact, this is not what the plot shows them doing; the news reports in the show instead follow in the muckraker tradition of Pulitzer and Hearst, columnists like Drew Pearson, and CBS’s Mike Wallace.

We are repeatedly informed by Aaron Sorkin’s dialogue that Jeff Daniel’s anchorman character, Will McAvoy, is a conservative Republican, but every target of his ire is one that is anathema to the progressive left and labor movement — George W. Bush, Karl Rove, Wall Street bankers, the Tea Party, the NRA, Charles and David Koch, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Halliburton, Dick Cheney, Bill O’Reilly, and just about everyone else on Fox News and talk radio. In a country in which Neocons have brought to the American right all the lying scumbag tactics the Wilsonian/Stalinst/Castroist hard left refined for close to a century, there’s plenty of lies, corruption, and hypocrisy to be exposed.

I, myself, spend much of my time writing about the lies of the Neocon/Pentagon/Homeland Security axis-of-evil — a lot of my ire was directed at all the right-wing talking heads asking only whether Fort Hood shooter Major Nidal Hasan was a Muslim terrorist or just a wack-job, and never asking why our own army was disarmed and had to dial 911 to wait for a female civilian cop to show up and save them — and most recently have criticized the NRA for abandoning its forever-used bumper-sticker “Guns Don’t Kill, People Kill” by blaming the BATFE Project Gunrunner firearms possibly authorized by President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder — and not blaming the criminals who shot U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.

The problem is, when you expose only the lies and hypocrisy of your enemies, you’re an in-the-tank partisan propagandist.

When you never acknowledge the virtues of your enemies it’s also propaganda.

Sorkin pulled this in Charlie Wilson’s War by passing over Charlie Wilson’s alliance with President Ronald Reagan in arming the Afghan rebels during the Soviet occupation with shoulder-fired missiles they used to bring down Soviet attack helicopters.

It’s a sin of omission that General Patton never made with respect to his German counterpart.

Today I finally got around to watching the episode of The Newsroom my DVR recorded this past Sunday, July 15th, titled, “I’ll Try to Fix You.” The “lie” exposed on this program broadcast in 2012 is a truth for the 2010 time period the show takes place, when it was a Fox News, right-wing talk radio, and NRA mantra that “Obama is coming for your guns.” During that period, the Obama administration was — correctly portrayed on the show — not pushing a pro-gun-control legislative agenda before Congress.

But that’s a lie by omission.

On March 18, 2008, U.S. Solicitor General Paul D. Clement represented the Obama administration in oral arguments before the Supreme Court of the United States in District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008), arguing that the Second Amendment was not intended to protect an individual right to keep and bear arms, but that the intent of the amendment was merely to ensure an armed militia with officers appointed by the President and no longer present in contemporary America — an attempt by the Obama administration to neuter constitutional recognition of private ownership of guns as an individual right … a necessary precondition to any such legislative agenda.

The Supreme Court ruled otherwise, and again treated the Second Amendment as protecting an individual right to own guns in McDonald v. Chicago, 130 S. Ct. 3020 (2010).

Nor, on the date of first broadcast of this episode of The Newsroom, when the Obama administration’s Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is attempting to bypass the Constitutional protection by supporting the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs proposed Treaty on Small Arms that would ban private gun ownership worldwide, it’s another lie-by-omission to write a fictitious 2010 news report ridiculing the NRA, Glenn Beck, and Rush Limbaugh for sounding an alarm that the Obama administration favored banning American private gun ownership.

Sorkin could argue that as a writer, and an American citizen, he has the right to disagree with the Supreme Court. I agree. But his method of writing on these topics is entirely one-sided. He always puts the strongest face possible on the arguments he agrees with, and either doesn’t present any argument for the other side or presents its weakest rebuttal.

But then Aaron Sorkin puts dialogue into his characters’ mouths that are just outright lies.

In a scene in this episode Will McAvoy is invited by a woman to go into her purse looking for a joint, and he instead finds a loaded handgun in the purse. He asks her about it.

Here’s the exact scene, dialogue injected by Aaron Sorkin into the mouths of the actor’s he’s paying:

Her: I’m a Southern liberal, dude. It’s Northern liberals who are afraid of sex and guns.

Him: Well, both at the same time and I’m a Republican from Nebraska. But do you mind if I — ?

He unloads the gun and hands it to her; she accepts the gun without checking herself to make sure it’s unloaded, violating a basic safety rule taught in all NRA pistol safety courses.

Her: You’re disarming. Get it?

Him: Here’s the thing –

Her: (interrupting): Yeah, yeah. I saw the show tonight. I’m a liberal’s liberal; I worked for Hillary. You were dead wrong on guns.

Him: I didn’t take a position on guns. I took a position on lying. I came out against it.

Her: “Well, if I’m walking the streets of Manhattan at night and a guy your size wants to rape me (raising gun, pointing it at Him) then this is gonna happen.

Him: Actually, statistics show that this is gonna happen.

He slaps the gun into the air and catches it.

Aaron Sorkin can write anything he wants to in his script, and as the showrunner the director and actors have to say the words he’s written and play the action the way he wrote it.

And that artificially created reality is how propaganda in entertainment works. If it honestly reflects reality, no harm, no foul. If it represents the writer’s honest opinion, it’s the First Amendment, babe.

But when the statistic quoted is provably false, then the writer has a moral obligation to fact check, even in fiction, or it’s a God damned lie.

I’ve written non-fiction on guns and criminology. A lot.

My 1994 book Stopping Power: Why 70 Million Americans Own Guns made me a celebrity to the Second Amendment movement. Charlton Heston wrote of the book, “”Mr. Schulman’s book is the most cogent explanation of the gun issue I have yet read. He presents the assault on the Second Amendment in frighteningly clear terms. Even the extremists who would ban firearms will learn from his lucid prose.”

Dennis Prager who had opposed private ownership of guns, told his national radio audience, “He has truly helped change my mind on guns and self-defense.”

Liberal Los Angeles talk-show host Michael Jackson said of me on his KABC radio show, “His research is impeccable. Nobody expresses the other side better.”

My writings on firearms have been used by witnesses on both sides of the gun-control debate in congressional hearings before the House Subcommittee on Crime.

One chapter from Stopping Power was chosen to be reprinted in the book Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Controversial Issues in Health and Society, Second Edition, Edited by Eileen K. Daniel, (Dushkin Publishing Group/Brown & Benchmark Publishers, 1996), as rebuttal to “Guns in the Household” by Jerome P. Kassirer, MD, editor of the New England Journal of Medicine. Another chapter, “Talk At Temple Beth Shir Shalom,” was reprinted in the book, Guns in America : A Reader , Jan E. Dizard, editor (New York University Press, 1999), and my chapter was praised in the Village Voice’s review as “a tough Jew manifesto.”

And, I’m webmaster of The World Wide Web Gun Defense Clock that calculates and comparies the number of defensive-gun-uses to criminal uses, suicides, and accidents, based on peer-reviewed academic, and law-enforcement, criminological studies.

Here are the actual facts on Defensive Gun Use that Aaron Sorkin has spent his professional career as a screenwriter ignoring or lying about:

According to the National Self Defense Survey conducted by Florida State University criminologists in 1994, the rate of Defensive Gun Uses can be projected nationwide to approximately 2.5 million per year — one Defensive Gun Use every 13 seconds.

Among 15.7% of gun defenders interviewed nationwide during The National Self Defense Survey, the defender believed that someone “almost certainly” would have died had the gun not been used for protection — a life saved by a privately held gun about once every 1.3 minutes. (In another 14.2% cases, the defender believed someone “probably” would have died if the gun hadn’t been used in defense.)

In 83.5% of these successful gun defenses, the attacker either threatened or used force first — disproving the myth that having a gun available for defense wouldn’t make any difference.

In 91.7% of these incidents the defensive use of a gun did not wound or kill the criminal attacker (and the gun defense wouldn’t be called “newsworthy” by newspaper or TV news editors). In 64.2% of these gun-defense cases, the police learned of the defense, which means that the media could also find out and report on them if they chose to.

In 73.4% of these gun-defense incidents, the attacker was a stranger to the intended victim. (Defenses against a family member or intimate were rare — well under 10%.) This disproves the myth that a gun kept for defense will most likely be used against a family member or someone you love.

In over half of these gun defense incidents, the defender was facing two or more attackers — and three or more attackers in over a quarter of these cases. (No means of defense other than a firearm — martial arts, pepper spray, or stun guns — gives a potential victim a decent chance of getting away uninjured when facing multiple attackers.)

In 79.7% of these gun defenses, the defender used a concealable handgun. A quarter of the gun defenses occured in places away from the defender’s home.

Source: “Armed Resistance to Crime: The Prevalence and Nature of Self-Defense with a Gun,” by Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz, in The Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology, Northwestern University School of Law, Volume 86, Number 1, Fall, 1995

So, the statistic put into Jeff Daniels mouth, along with directed action which “proves” it, turns out to be a lie.

And on a TV show the theme of which is that Aaron Sorkin’s political foes are liars, Mr. Sorkin is lying.

Note: I wrote this the day before the mass theater shootings in Aurora, Colorado. You can count on gun-control advocates like Aaron Sorkin to argue as they have after previous shootings that gun-control could have stopped this. It’s another provable lie, since the strictest gun control in Dunblane, Scotland — or even mass killings using a knife in Akihabara and Osaka, Japan — have never stopped these kinds of unprovoked massacres.

A public with a critical mass of individuals carrying handguns, ready at all times to shoot back at sudden attackers, has worked to minimize casualties from terrorist attacks in Israel. See The Israeli Answer to Terrorism by Massad Ayoob

I cover the Aurora shootings in detail in my next article, Stopping the jokers– JNS


Winner of the Special Jury Prize for Libertarian Ideals from the 2011 Anthem Film Festival! My comic thriller Lady Magdalene’s — a movie I wrote, produced, directed, and acted in it — is now available free on the web linked from the official movie website. If you like the way I think, I think you’ll like this movie. Check it out!

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Some 1/10/2011 Thoughts on 1/8/2011

Jared Lee Laughner Robert Brady Carolyn McCarthy
Jared Lee Loughner, Bob Brady, Carolyn McCarthy
Frank LautenbergGlenn Beck
Frank Lautenberg, Glenn Beck

Who Needs Protection from Whom?

Washington (CNN) 1/9/2011 – Rep. Robert Brady, D-Pennsylvania, said he will introduce legislation making it a federal crime for a person to use language or symbols that could be perceived as threatening or inciting violence against a Member of Congress or federal official.

It’s long overdue for a law making it a crime for a Member of Congress or federal official to threaten to send massively armed government officers against a private citizen if that citizen does not comply with rights-violating laws or forcibly resists violations of his rights.


Glenn Beck’s Tory Pledge

Glenn Beck posted today on his website the following:

I challenge all Americans, left or right, regardless if you’re a politician, pundit, painter, priest, parishioner, poet or porn star to agree with all of the following.

  • I denounce violence, regardless of ideological motivation.
  • I denounce anyone, from the Left, the Right or middle, who believes physical violence is the answer to whatever they feel is wrong with our country.
  • I denounce those who wish to tear down our system and rebuild it in their own image, whatever that image may be.
  • I denounce those from the Left, the Right or middle, who call for riots and violence as an opportunity to bring down and reconstruct our system.
  • I denounce violent threats and calls for the destruction of our system – regardless of their underlying ideology – whether they come from the Hutaree Militia or Frances Fox Piven.
  • I hold those responsible for the violence, responsible for the violence. I denounce those who attempt to blame political opponents for the acts of madmen.
  • I denounce those from the Left, the Right or middle that sees violence as a viable alternative to our long established system of change made within the constraints of our constitutional Republic.

Substitute “our constitutional Monarchy” for “our constitutional Republic” and Beck’s pledge could have been a British response to the Declaration of Independence, which reads:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

You can’t have it both ways. When violence is used to snuff out human rights, often violence is both necessary and morally justified in preservation of those rights.

This statement does not in any way countenance the violence of a madman who in a hail of indiscriminate gunfire targets a grocery shopper who by happenstance turns out to be a sitting federal judge, or a nine-year-old girl who was attending a rally because of a budding interest in politics. That madman deserves to die for his crimes.

But Glenn Beck said on his Fox News Show today that such incidents should not be used to support any political agenda.

Beck’s pledge does just that. It supports the political agenda of abandoning self-defense against established violent tyranny.


Crazy Violent reaction to Crazy Violence

Defenders of Jared Lee Loughner might use diminished capacity as a basis for claiming he wasn’t capable of forming a criminal intent in his shooting rampage. But what negation of mens rea can justify Rep. Carolyn McCarthy’s (D, NY) and Sen. Frank Lautenberg’s (D, NJ) legislative intent to send massively armed federal officers to initiate violent confrontations with peaceful owners of 2nd Amendment protected firearms?


The Real Climate of Violence

Every time a SWAT officer busts down a door to serve a warrant for a victimless crime — regularly resulting in the murder of innocent victims who weren’t even committing such victimless crimes — a climate of violence leading to a cycle of more violence is perpetuated. Let’s not lose sight: the number of innocent victims Jared Lee Loughner racked up with a gun in ten minutes is insignificant compared to the government’s weekly body count.

This article is Copyright © 2011 The J. Neil Schulman Living Trust. All rights reserved.


My comic thriller Lady Magdalene’s — a movie I wrote, produced, directed, and acted in it — is now available for sale or rental on Amazon.com Video On Demand. If you like the way I think, I think you’ll like this movie. Check it out!

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A Shadow on the Second Amendment


I’m reprinting this for a second time here from the July 15, 2009 issue of The New Gun Week.

Gabrielle Giffords
Gabrielle Giffords

The assassination attempt made yesterday on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D, AZ) is exactly the sort of politically-motivated violence I discussed in my Gun Week guest editorial published 18 months ago. I contemplated that the target would be President Obama. That’s it’s a moderate Democratic Party Jewish Congresswoman in Arizona doesn’t change my point: that there are always what I called “demented clowns” who attach themselves to any cause, and whose identification with that cause can damage it, perhaps irreparably.

Jared Lee Loughner’s ravings on YouTube against fiat money will be used to dismiss as demented anyone who now advocates gold and silver as money, and charges the Federal Reserve to be a criminal fraud that dwarfs anything done by Bernard Madoff.

His choosing a politician who voted to expand the powers of the federal government — and who deserved a Tea Party challenge for that reason — gives sympathy to those who advocate for greater government control over our lives.

There is a message here that must be taken from it: bad things done in the name in a good cause must not be used to dismiss the rightness of the cause.

For murdering nine-year-old Christina Taylor Green, and five others, may Jared Lee Loughner swiftly get a needle in his arm that delivers him to Hell.

– JNS, January 9, 2011

Anybody old enough remembers 1968 as the year the Second Amendment went into a coma.

Five years earlier, November 22nd, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated by rifle fire in Dallas.

Then, April 4th, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated by rifle fire in Memphis.

Two months after King’s murder, June 5th, 1968, after celebrating victory in the California Democratic Presidential Primary, President Kennedy’s younger brother, Senator Robert F. Kennedy, was assassinated with a handgun at the Ambassador Hotel in L.A.

Twenty weeks after the second Kennedy murder, the Gun Control Act signed by President Lyndon Johnson October 22nd, 1968, imposed federal gun controls on the sale or transfer of common firearms. Now any firearm crossing state lines had to be transferred or sold only through a federally licensed firearms dealer and records kept on buyers.

Why this history lesson?

Ever since June 26th, 2008, when the Supreme Court in its Heller decision recognized the Second Amendment as constitutionally enshrining an individual right to keep and bear arms, there’s been guarded optimism among Second Amendment proponents that a slow-and-steady march toward extinction of our rights had finally been reversed. The Ninth Circuit Appellate Court, which in its 1996 decision HICKMAN v. BLOCK wrote “[i]t is clear that the Second Amendment guarantees a collective rather than an individual right,” reversed itself on the basis of Heller and on April 20th in NORDYKE v. KING not only recognized the Second Amendment as an individual right but incorporated it through the 14th Amendment as one that must be recognized by state and local governments. On June 2nd the Seventh Circuit reached an opposite conclusion in NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA v. CITY OF CHICAGO, increasing likelihood the Supreme Court will have to decide between them.

But the Supreme Court’s Heller ruling was 5-4, and if the Court shifts to an anti-Second Amendment make-up, Heller could be short-lived.

Second Amendment politics is therefore still critical and politically motivated murders using firearms – particularly those identified with conservative causes – could once again swing the balance of public opinion against the Second Amendment.

We’ve had two political murders identified with conservative causes – both using firearms – within as many weeks.

On May 31st anti-abortion activist Scott Roeder, using a handgun, fatally shot George R. Tiller, MD, while Dr. Tiller was handing out prayer books during services at the Reformation Lutheran Church in Wichita, Kansas. Roeder is reported to have been a member of the “anti-government Freemen Militia” in Topeka, and a 2005 court ruling in a custody case identified him as schizophrenic. Dr. Tiller’s Women’s Health Care Services in Wichita was one of only three clinics nationwide performing late-term abortions. It wasn’t the first time Dr. Tiller had been a shooting victim. On August 19th, 1993, using a handgun, anti-abortion activist Shelley Shannon had shot Dr. Tiller in both arms.

Ten days after the church shooting, June 10th, James von Brunn carried a .22 rifle into the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., and shot to death African-American security guard, Stephen T. Johns. Motive? FBI Agent Richard Farnsworth filed a sworn affidavit that he found a handwritten note in von Brunn’s car that reads, “You want my weapons – this is how you’ll get them. The Holocaust is a lie. Obama was created by Jews.”

Clearly both Roeder and von Brunn identified with conservative causes. The Right to Life movement is right wing, as are “anti-government militias.” Not only did von Brunn worry about losing his firearms but in 1981 he’d pulled a sawed-off shotgun at Federal Reserve headquarters, threatening to take the Board hostage. As author, myself, of a novel in which the Federal Reserve causes a U.S. economic meltdown – a point of agreement between this particular right-wing Jew and this particular right-wing neo-Nazi — there’s no question for me that right-wing pundits like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Glenn Beck are engaging in a disgustingly dishonest game of spin when they try to convince their listeners that James von Brunn’s Nazi affections are left-wing, and his anti-Semitism no worse than President Obama’s former pastor, Jeremiah Wright’s.

As my fellow libertarian novelist, Brad Linaweaver, pointed out to me, the Nazi Party in 1930’s Germany came to power by fusing left-wing economics with right-wing nationalism.

And as far as I know, the only thing the Reverend Wright has ever shot off is his mouth.

The issue is not whether Roeder or von Brunn were hateful and mentally unbalanced. Of course they were. Neither one could have passed a firearms background check, particularly the convicted felon, James von Brunn.

Nor is it reasonably deniable that there are as many hateful and mentally unbalanced individuals on the hard left. Mega-deaths achieved not only by Nazis but Communists – plus endless ethnically and religiously motivated killings in Ulster, Rwanda, and Sarajevo – leave few political movements free of bloody hands.

Unlike much of the rest of the world violence is still the exception rather than the norm in the struggle for American political change. But no “American exceptionalism” can shield us from political violence if we’re not as vigilant in purging the haters who join our causes as we are in pursuing our love of those values which make our lives fruitful, free, and just.

Silent tolerance of bigots and haters is an intolerable danger to our just causes – particularly when one of those causes is the deterrence to despotism the Framers intended widespread private firearms to be. Our movement has a good track record in rooting out and shunning extremists, but that’s not good enough. We also need to admit openly that evil men do walk among us, and to tell the pundits who claim to educate us that that lying in defense of our rights is no virtue.

Most importantly, we need to remain civil in disputes with our opponents, even while we fortify our backbones with steel.

The Second Amendment movement just can’t tolerate a Bill O’Reilly who – knowing that Dr. Tiller had previously been shot at and his clinic bombed — repeatedly and editorially called George Tiller a “baby killer.” O’Reilly boasts The O’Reilly Factor has the highest ratings in cable/satellite television news. O’Reilly knew there are always psychotics waiting for a justification to commit mad violence and it was as foreseeable endlessly repeating “Tiller the Baby Killer” was inviting murder as it was for King Henry II’s infamous remark that led to the assassination of Thomas à Becket: “Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?”

It’s a lesson I learned in 1994.

While promoting my book Stopping Power: Why 70 Million Americans Own Guns on the Chuck Baker radio show in Colorado Springs in August, 1994, I implored listeners to burn up Congress’s phone lines to stop passage of the unconstitutional Federal Assault Weapon Bill.

One listener was Francisco Martin Duran, who was so worked up by our feverish rhetoric that he travelled to Washington D.C. and on October 29th, 1994 opened fire with his SKS semi-auto rifle on the White House lawn. Duran was convicted of trying to assassinate President Clinton and sentenced to 40 years. Like Roeder, Duran was mentally unbalanced. Like von Brunn he had a criminal record.

Knowing that, I still now temper my rhetoric whenever I’m at a microphone.

I have as many policy differences with President Obama as anyone else in the conservative or libertarian movements, particularly with economic policies. Nonetheless I voted for Obama over the slightly-more centrist John McCain. I saw Obama’s election as an opportunity to show the world once-and-for-all that America had moved beyond its sad history of race slavery and Jim Crow. It hurts me when I receive email from a conservative friend with an animated cartoon of a shucking-and-jiving dancing Obama that easily could come from the KKK.

It frightens me when Sean Hannity churns listeners by endless harping on the President’s guilt-by-association with a 1960’s anti-Vietnam-War terrorist and oppression-legacy black minister, or calling the President’s quest for an end to violence between Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs “selling out Israel.”

How can Hannity claim to be fair-and-balanced when he refuses to inform his listeners that President Barack Hussein Obama’s White House Chief of Staff, Rahm Israel Emanuel, is an observant Jew whose father fought with the Irgun underground in the founding of Israel and, himself, served as a civilian volunteer on an Israeli military base during the Persian Gulf war of 1991?

I have no problem with anyone opposing any Obama policies that we consider compromise our founding principles or weaken our rights.

But neither can we Second Amendment supporters tolerate extreme rhetoric directed at a President certified as achieving electoral victory who’s taken the oath to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” The remedy provided by the Constitution, should he fail to live up to that oath, is impeachment by the House and trial in the Senate – not a knife on the floor of the Senate or rifle fire aimed at a presidential motorcade.

God help us if another demented clown — even remotely associated with any of our causes — shoots at the first black President of the United States.

I do not believe the Second Amendment could survive it.

It’s not like change can’t be inspired by civilized rhetoric.

Read Thomas Jefferson’s harshest summation about King George III in the Declaration of Independence:

“A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.”

Jefferson didn’t even need to drop the F-bomb.

–J. Neil Schulman

Pahrump, NV

J. Neil Schulman is author of the book, Stopping Power: Why 70 Million Americans Own Guns, of which Charlton Heston said, “Mr. Schulman’s book is the most cogent explanation of the gun issue I have yet read. He presents the assault on the Second Amendment in frighteningly clear terms. Even the extremists who would ban firearms will learn from his lucid prose.”

This article is Copyright © 2009 The J. Neil Schulman Living Trust. All rights reserved.


My comic thriller Lady Magdalene’s — a movie I wrote, produced, directed, and acted in it — is now available for sale or rental on Amazon.com Video On Demand. If you like the way I think, I think you’ll like this movie. Check it out!

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