People often say dumb things in the heated passion of political debate. And in the new era of gun control regulations, inflaming emotions rather than engaging in a rational discussion has become all too common.
What follows is a list of 9 dumb quotes from gun-control proponents about the Second Amendment, gun violence, and guns that confirms, once again, that thinking before emoting is easier said than done.
1) "The Second Amendment only protects the people who want all the guns they can have. The rest of us, we've got no Second Amendment. What are we supposed to do?"
This comment was made by Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-New York) in a March 12 interview with John Fugelsang on CurrentTV's "Viewpoint." Slaughter blamed the Second Amendment for violent crime, saying "Americans aren't safe anywhere" and gun control "has to be done" to protect citizens from themselves and their constitutionally guaranteed individual right to own a firearm.
The 13-term congresswoman, who has represented the Rochester area in the House of Representatives since 1987, in the same CurrentTV diatribe also proposed that federal lawmakers "do the same thing with guns that we do with drugs" (whatever that means) and opined that "a lot of people" purchase AR-15s because they want to shoot it out with the federal government.
Or something like that.
Watch it on YouTube.
2) "What bothers me most about today is that we're getting used 2 it. ENOUGH. 2nd amendment must go. Violence has 2 stop. Culture MUST change."
Actor Jay Mohr tweeted this comment shortly after the Boston Marathon terrorist bombing, claiming the Second Amendment somehow inspired two jihadist brothers from central Asia to plant two pressure-cooker bombs in the Patriots Day crowd, killing three and injuring 264.
Apparently, according to Mohr, radical Islamic fundamentalism had nothing to do with it and, apparently, according to Mohr, if America would just rescind the Second Amendment, global violence will "stop."
3) "Congressman Giffords' life was saved and so many others' when very valiant folks stood up to defend themselves and protect themselves, and they did it with ballpoint pens."
Colorado State Sen. Jessie Ulibarri (D-Adams County) made this comment while testifying on Jan. 28 before the Colorado Senate Judiciary Committee that guns are unnecessary for self-defense when so many effective weapons are already handy.
Ulibarri, a first-term senator from suburban Denver, was speaking in support of four gun-control measures eventually approved on Feb. 18, including laws that limit magazine capacities to 15 rounds, require background checks for all transactions and ban concealed carry on college campuses.
Ulibarri was referring to the Jan. 8, 2011 shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Arizona) and 18 others -- six fatally -- in Tucson, Ariz., claiming that when lunatic shooter Jared Lee Loughner paused to reload, "people who were unarmed took that person down" with ballpoint pens.
Actually, Loughner was clubbed over the head with a folding chair by one bystander and tackled to the ground by a 74-year-old retired Army colonel, but what sense does it make to carry around folding chairs for self-defense when ballpoint pens will do the job?
4) "Well, you know, my shotgun will do better for you than your AR-15, because you want to keep someone away from your house, just fire the shotgun through the door."
Vice President Joe Biden made this statement in an interview with Field & Stream's Anthony Licata for an interview published February 25. Biden said semi-automatic weapons, such as AR-15s, are unnecessary to defend your home because all you need to do is fire a few shotgun shells through a door and no one gets robbed or hurt.
This uniquely Bidenesque -- Bidenese? -- solution to home burglaries was among "Shotgun Joe's" many misstatements while serving as point man for the Obama Administration's post-Newtown gun control initiatives.
They include such now-classic Bidenisms as, "You don't need an AR-15. It's harder to aim, it's harder to use"; people buy AR-15s because they're the "Ferrari" of firearms; and "Use a shotgun [on] someone invading your home -- you don't kill your kids. Use an AR-15, it goes through your wall and it can kill your kid in the bedroom."
Biden is such a prolific generator of dumb anti-gun quotes that he could fill a top 10 listing all by himself.
5) "The Second Amendment comes from the right to protect themselves from slave revolts, and from uprisings by Native Americans. A revolt from people who were stolen from their land or revolt from people whose land was stolen from, that's what the genesis of the Second Amendment is."
Actor Danny Glover in a Jan. 18 speech at Texas A&M University told students that "the Right" created the Second Amendment for no reason other than to enslave black people and kill Native Americans.
It seems no issue in America can be discussed without infusing real and imagined racism into the conversation. The post-Newtown gun control debate is not immune to this, nor are liberal actors (who really shouldn't be quoted in the first place) the only culprits using the race card when facts and logic prove elusive.
Following a Capitol Hill press conference on Jan. 16, Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Georgia) suggested that NRA opposed President Barack Obama’s gun control policies because the organization is racist.
“First of all, (Obama) is a black. And as a black person being the president of the United States, that is something they still cannot get over," Johnson said.
Apparently, according to Johnson, although the NRA was founded in 1871, it wasn't until a black man became president that it decided to defend gun rights and the Second Amendment.
6) "We have federal regulations and state laws that prohibit hunting ducks with more than three rounds. And yet it's legal to hunt humans with 15-round, 30-round, even 150-round magazines."
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California) made this comment during a March 7 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on gun control, claiming her proposed semi-automatic weapons ban would finally make it illegal to hunt people.
Since the bill didn't make it out of committee and was subsequently muzzled by the Senate, in Feinstein's world, it remains legal to hunt humans with "150-round magazines."
Such hysterical hyperbole is nothing new for Feinstein, who in 1994 said the Clinton-Era Assault Weapons Ban she authored didn't go far enough in restricting firearms.
"If I could have banned them all -- 'Mr. and Mrs. America turn in your guns' -- I would have!" she said in a quote that endures as a rallying cry for the growing legion of "Mr. and Mrs. Americas" who fear Feinstein's ultimate aim is to criminalize private ownership of firearms.
7) "If you ban them in the future, the number of these high-capacity magazines is going to decrease dramatically over time because the bullets will have been shot and there won't be any more available."
Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colorado) made this comment during an April 2 gun control forum in Denver confirming what gun owners already suspected: She doesn't know what she's talking about.
DeGette, a nine-term liberal from Denver, is a gun-control champion who has introduced federal legislation to ban high-capacity ammunition magazines at least three times since her 1996 election, yet didn't understand that a magazine can be reloaded with more bullets.
During the same forum, DeGette displayed the snide contempt many urban liberals have for gun owners when a senior citizen said limiting his magazine capacity could prove fatal in an emergency.
Too bad, DeGette replied, "You'd probably be dead anyway if (the criminal) had that kind of firepower."
The NRA was succinct in its assessment of DeGette: "Two words -- pretty stupid," NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam told the Associated Press on April 3.
8) "It's the kind of turn that happened to the great country of Germany, when Nazis came over and created tragic things, and they had to be told off. And if we continue this kind of violence and accept it in our country, the rest of the world's going to really take care of us, in a very bad way."
Singer Tony Bennett made this comment at a Feb. 6 press conference in Washington, D.C., apparently claiming the Second Amendment puts the United States at risk of becoming a reincarnated Nazi Germany and being invaded by the "rest of the world."
Picking on the beloved Bennett, who is 86, may seem unfair. He can be forgiven for taking a senile stroll from reality, but bigger questions beg answers from those who believe celebrities are sages of truth and justice, and whose wise counsel is necessary for the "little people" (you and me) to understand the complexities of the contemporary world.
We know Bennett lost his heart in San Francisco 51 years ago, but when and where he lost his brain remains a mystery.
9) "If there was special interests affecting police work, I believe that would be called corruption. So, if it has do with donating money versus a popular vote, I think we have a bigger problem in this country and somebody's gotta wake up to that."
Chicago Police Commissioner Garry McCarthy made this comment in a Feb. 17 interview on a local radio station, claiming that lawful gun owners who donate money to pro-Second Amendment politicians and advocacy groups are corrupt and endanger public safety.
The fact that more than 500 people were killed in gun-related homicides in 2012 in a city that banned legal gun ownership until July 9, 2013 (following a 2010 Supreme Court order) is not, apparently, a danger to public safety, according to McCarthy, who blames "government-sponsored racism" and Sarah Palin for Chicago's gun violence.
And in a city and state synonymous with corruption -- four of Illinois' last seven governors are in prison -- it's ironic that McCarthy believes that voters who participate in the political process by donating time and money to candidates and causes they support are engaged in an activity "called corruption."
Illinois gun owners are well-acquainted with such idiocy from their elected and appointed officials.
"Garry McCarthy's understanding of our Constitution barely qualifies him as a meter maid, never mind the chief of the nation's third largest police department," Illinois State Rifle Association Executive Director Richard Pearson said.