Your Friend The Handgun

Nothing new here, folks.


Not everybody is hunky dory with the current president. M.D. Harmon, a retired journalist and military officer, is one of them. As a free-lance writer and speaker, he could always be counted on for sage advice contra the policies of out-going President Barack Obama. Here is some commentary from last June:

Harmon: Gun owners unjustly under fire

Restricting firearm sales won’t prevent crime.

Why is it that when a man motivated by a foreign ideology attacks a group of Americans, many of us ignore the perpetrator and attack each other instead?

It’s been more than a little sickening to see commentators, celebrities and politicians from our top national leadership on down (all of whom seem to lack an effective strategy for defeating jihadists, “homegrown” or otherwise) blame gun owners, traditional Christians, Republicans and conservatives in general because a U.S.-born son of immigrants from Afghanistan killed dozens and wounded many more in a vicious attack at a gay nightclub in Orlando.

 I doubt that quail hunters in Wisconsin, target shooters in Arizona or gun collectors in Maine were responsible for this massacre. And it’s more than hypocritical for people who have armed guards protecting them 24/7 to tell free Americans they can’t even defend themselves with guns.

And Mr. Harmon had a lot of other things to say. He touched on additional concerns, such as baking cakes for gay couples and people holding onto biblical moral standards on sexual issues. But, the gist of the June posting had to do with the value of maintaining an armed populace. His remarks included the following:

So I will offer my expertise instead. As a retired Army officer (and Vietnam vet) who has fired everything the Army has to offer, up to and including a 105 mm tank cannon, I will consult for free with first-time gun buyers, male or female, gay or straight, who want to acquire a weapon for self-defense.

I can also put people in touch with range officials and firearms instructors who can teach them how to shoot safely and also maintain their firearms, both critical components of their use.

And here’s a special bonus: For the first five people who contact me and prove they have acquired a gun since the Orlando attack, I will buy them a standard-sized box of ammunition.

That’s strong stuff. If ever there were a champion for the Second Amendment, here was that person. Harmon, as you might expect, was one of many glad to see the back side of President Obama as he sidles out of office tomorrow. As it turned out, Mr. Harmon did, indeed, have the very last word:

M.D. Harmon: Obama flounces out of office as Democrats ponder much-diminished prospects

Donald Trump’s election is what’s offering ‘hope and change’ these days, as the outgoing president’s U.N. inaction puts Mideast peace even further out of reach.

President Obama’s last few days in office (writing those words is one of life’s simple joys) illustrate the lyrics of the old country song: “How can we miss you if you won’t go away?”

Oh, he’ll depart the Oval Office soon, but because Hillary Clinton’s defeat meant his policies will get no “third term,” he has become like a spiteful ex-spouse smashing as much furniture as he can before the door slams and the lock clicks behind him.

And that was, in fact, the very last word. I neglected to include in the above a note added by the editors of the Portland Press Herald. Here is the omitted note:

Editor’s note: M.D. Harmon filed this column earlier this week for publication Friday. A longtime columnist and former Maine Sunday Telegram and Press Herald editor, Harmon died late Wednesday.

Died on Wednesday. Died on Wednesday? Really? Totally no sense of irony. What the editors of the Press Herald linked to but did not print along with Harmon’s very last posting was this:

As the Press Herald itself reports, the 71-year-old Harmon was showing off one of his guns to a 16-year-old boy in his home in Sanford, Maine, on Wednesday. Harmon apparently let the teenager handle the weapon, which went off while the boy was holding it.

Both the teenager and his father were visiting Harmon for undisclosed reasons, and Harmon’s wife has called the shooting an “accidental tragedy.”

Yes, well this brings us around to the supposed Benjamin Franklin quote featured above. I covered this previously:

I did a quick search of Franklin quotes. There may be one, but I couldn’t find any related to this, so let’s consider this a made-up case. Somebody created this to make a point, and the point is not explicit, only implied. I will state the point: “Disarming innocent people does not protect innocent people.”


Let’s go back to  M.D. Harmon’s headline from last June:

Restricting firearm sales won’t prevent crime.

For the record, the purpose of gun control laws is not to prevent crime. Most crime is committed without the use of firearms. My own experience is that most homicides by firearms are not committed by criminals. That is, at least in most cases the killers are not criminals up until the time the point  a gun at a person and pull the trigger.

This is number 42 of this series of postings, and there is going  to  be one every week while my fingers remain able to work a keyboard. Keep reading.

And may Jesus have mercy on our souls.


5 thoughts on “Your Friend The Handgun

  1. Pingback: Your Friend The Handgun | Skeptical Analysis

  2. 1. What was Harmon “president” of?

    2. I don’t get your statement: “My own experience is that most homicides by firearms are not committed by criminals. That is, at least in most cases the killers are not criminals up until the time the point a gun at a person and pull the trigger.”

    Aren’t they criminals when the commit the homicide? If so, what does the first sentence mean? They aren’t criminals? Isn’t Criminal Intent or Conspiracy in itself a crime?

    3. At the end, you pray to Jesus for our souls; I thought you were an Atheist.

    4. If gun accidents are a reason to ban guns, are car accidents, which far outnumber them, a reason to ban cars?

    I’m inferring that’s your position, that you’re not just throwing tomatoes at clumsy and foolish people.

    • Dan, I’m always glad to receive comments. Yours among the best. Sometimes the epitome of innocence. Where to start?
      1. I don’t think the post mentions that Harmon was president of anything.
      2. Regarding my personal experience. Strictly speaking, a person who has not been convicted of a crime is not a criminal. In the case, for example, of a man who decides to send off his wife by firearm rather than divorce, then he has not committed a crime when he purchases, the gun. He has not committed a crime when he loads the gun. Technically he is guilty of assault when he points the gun at his soon-to-be-late wife, but he has committed no crime until he pulls the trigger. My personal experience is this:
      My grandfather’s cousin shot him. He survived. I am fairly sure the cousin was not charged.
      I watched, perhaps you watched as well, as Charles Whitman killed a number of people. He purchased his weapons legally. Prior to that day he had never been convicted of a felony.
      My classmate from high school, David Fant, was killed by a person with a handgun. I think there was no criminal charge filed.
      You may have met Dickey Martinettes. He was a friend of Bobby Kretchmar, he hung around the motorcycle shop a lot. His cousin shot him in the forehead, just above his nose. I don’t think criminal charges were filed.
      A person I met in the course of business, a retired Major Upthegrove working for a Texas government agency, was new to Austin He shot his neighbor who was sleep walking in his back yard, twice. She survived.
      Two suicides by firearm: Rogers Meredith, a motorcycle racer known to all of at the motorcycle shop, and my father’s youngest brother.
      In all of this, no criminal element was involved. In my experience it’s ordinary people killing ordinary people.
      3. Yes, Dan, and may Jesus have mercy on your soul. I put that in because Christians may be reading. They seem to say stuff like this a lot.
      4. Regarding guns and cars. A person typically uses his car every day. If I had a gun, and I shot it off every day, I would expect casualties in excess of the number of automobile injuries and fatalities. Keep this in mind. When a car is used in accordance with its design and intended purpose, people get to work and the grocery store. When a gun is used for its intended purpose somebody dies.

  3. Thanks for the double compliments! I haven’t been called “innocent” in many decades… if ever.

    1. The first sentence under the cartoon: “Not everybody is hunky dory with the current president. M.D. Harmon, a retired journalist…”

    You’re right, in that it doesn’t say of WHAT he was president. That was my question.

    2. I get what you meant now. Kind of slicing thinly the sequence of events. I don’t know that it’s significant to the evil of guns, though. A lot of “I thinks” as to culpability or criminality among those sad examples, though. I’m skeptical.

    3. Ohhh… So the “Jesus” and “soul” part, you were being inclusive. Nice!

    4. Still, by your reasoning, anything that kills by accident is harmless, itself, in doing harm. It is the mis-user who is culpable. This includes the costumed purveyors of violence in the name of the State.

    Also, the shootings in which there was “no criminal charge filed:” By your previous reasoning, that means no crime was committed.

    Handily, that reasoning also applies to James Comey’s startling list of crimes for which he would not prosecute Hillary. I guess possible corruption or incompetence of law enforcement isn’t in your equation?

    We are having some interesting discussions now!

  4. I added:

    5. Have you done any research into how many lives are SAVED by guns in the US? We could even exclude the use of guns by Law Enforcement, if you like, if they would remain armed in “John’s world.” Feel free to use FBI figures (I’ve seen them).

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