Answering an Editorial
Last Friday, _The Signal_ newspaper published
an editorial by Willy E. Gutman, entitled "Film Makes Weak
Case Against Gun Control." The subject of the editorial was
JPFO's award-winning documentary, _Innocents
Mr. Gutman's piece praises _Innocents Betrayed_
for its production values, but condemns the video for its message.
To read his article, navigate to http://www.the-signal.com/?module=displaystory&story_id=34757&format=html
Read the article and then ask yourself: did Mr.
Gutman find something factually wrong in _Innocents Betrayed_
("IB")? Did Mr. Gutman find anything actually wrong
in the book, Death by
"Gun Control"_, which he also criticizes?
To be frank: Mr. Gutman's article fails to offer
an argument that either IB or _Death by Gun Control_
are actually wrong about anything.
Here is Mr. Gutman's main criticism: "What I found, amid
a plethora of facts and sobering statistics, was a stream of illogicality
and assumptions contrived to link gun control with subjugation
by an abusive government, in this case, hypothetically, the U.S.
government. In 73 C.E., rather than face capture by the Romans,
1,000 Jewish rebels - men, women and children - committed suicide
on their mountaintop stronghold in Masada. There is no empirical
evidence that they could have withstood the Roman onslaught, had
they been armed."
Mr. Gutman does not show "illogicality" or "assumptions"
set forth in _Death by "Gun Control"_. He doesn't
quote assertions and then disprove them. He just says there is
"illogicality." That is an insult, not an analysis.
Interestingly, in the passage quoted above, Mr. Gutman follows
his insult with a reference to Masada. As Mr. David Hardy has
pointed out to us via e-mail, Mr. Gutman is wrong on the facts
because the defenders at Masada were armed. Even if Mr.
Gutman were correct, that single example is not sufficient to
disprove the fact that genocides have only occurred when the the
persecuting party has had a great deal more armed force than the
defending party, and that national gun control laws and policies
tend to render large segments of the population nearly powerless
against armed aggressors (including genocidal ones).
In short, the reference to Masada offers scant proof that armed
defenders cannot deter aggressors. So his reference to Masada
betrays a shallow analysis.
If you have not yet read _Death by "Gun
Control"_ or seen _Innocents Betrayed_, then
we must tell you these two works do not claim that all "gun
control" laws lead to genocide or mass murder. Mr. David
Hardy reminds us, however, that many thinkers on the subject realize
how "gun control" programs set the stage and make genocide
possible. Mr. Hardy wrote: "While a disarmed populace may
not make genocide inevitable, an armed populace makes genocide
impossible. In legal terms, but for disarmament, there would have
been no genocide or democide."
In addition, many mass murders were not conducted
by monolithic federalized death machines like Nazi Germany. Rather,
many mass murders and persecutions were carried out by relatively
small mobs or death squads with basic weaponry. Thus, an armed
citizenry that might not block a Nazi SS unit still might repel
many death squads.
As the true story is retold in both works, a young
girl with a handgun once held off a crazed lynch mob long enough
for help to arrive. Firearms deter aggressors.
When a critique assembles adjectives instead of evidence, then
you know the critique is emotional, not reasoned. Mr. Gutman hurls
insults, but doesn't show a single example of what he claims (e.g."
illogicality," false assumptions, etc.).
Another quote from Mr. Gutman, referring to IB: "I found
it simplistic and utopian at best, deceptive in the sham implied
altruism of its arguments and disturbing in its apocalyptic romanticizing
of gun ownership."
Mr. Gutman fails to offer one example of "utopian,"
"simplistic," "deceptive," "sham,"
"implied altruism," or "romanticizing."
Not one example.
He lauds the great writing of the script of IB and
the narration -- so he claims to have heard the words. But after
digesting a whole book and a 60 minute film, Mr. Gutman fails
to extract sentences or paragraphs that evidence any of these
As it lacks any factual grounds for its insults, Mr. Gutman's
critique does not rise to the level of counterargument. It is
a rant, and nothing else.
- The Liberty Crew
P.S.: To better understand how a person like Mr.
Gutman could react so emotionally to the video and book, without
his actually finding any factual errors in either one, click on:
. There you will find Dr. Sarah Thompson's article entitled, "Raging
Against Self Defense: A Psychiatrist Examines The Anti-Gun Mentality."
Dr. Thompson's observations will help you see why some people
react violently to the notion of self-defense, and help you communicate
Also read our pdf-formatted article, "Does
Civilian Ownership of Firearms Actually Do Any Good?" at
for more information.