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Eugene Weekly on Gun Control: “Duuurrr.”

December 4th, 2008 by CJ Ciaramella

Today’s Eugene Weekly cover story is on the recent surge of gun sales in light of Barack Obama’s victory. The writer, Rick Levin, chalks it up to the usual suspects: NRA hysteria and rednecks.

But is stocking up on guns and ammo really such a bad idea? Consider that Obama has tapped Eric Holder to be attorney general. Holder is a notorious supporter of gun control and even signed an amicus brief in support of D.C. in District of Columbia v. Heller, the Supreme Court case that struck down D.C’s unconstitutional handgun ban.

It doesn’t help that Levin also happens to be a self-aggrandizing dumbass. To wit:

Apparently, I’m a very good shot with the high-powered stuff. A dead eye. The first time I squeezed the trigger of a 9-mm Glock, I drilled a kill-center shot into a paper target strung about 20 feet away. Almost took off the thumb on my left hand, too, when the slide kicked back and hit my second and third knuckle, opening up a bloody wound that — once I realized I hadn’t accidentally killed myself or anyone else — only added to my feeling of bad-assedness.

Loading a gun, holding a gun, shooting a gun like that is no joke. It’s like wielding the power of God.

Perhaps when addressing such topics in the future, the EW could choose a writer who doesn’t have his head stuck up his ass.

ODE takes on gun control; predictable results

June 3rd, 2008 by CJ Ciaramella

In case you missed it, ODE Opinion Editor Elon Glucklich took on the 2nd Amendment yesterday in a piece titled “Gun argument lost in divide between sides.” He was spurred in large part by our latest issue, which contained a couple of articles about guns. In fact ol’ Elon mentions us in the lede! But here’s Glucklich mending bridges on the contentious topic:

Like I said before, my narrow-mindedness has prevented me from rationally approaching the issue of gun-ownership. Even now, liberal guilt pangs within me for having written a hundred words without demonizing gun owners as backasswards white trash that threaten our children’s safety.

A more reasonable and considered statement I have never read. Of course, the rest of the article can’t maintain these lofty heights of rhetoric, but it’s still pretty good. See how many factual errors about guns you can find.

UPDATE: Turns out Elon was on Lars Larson yesterday talking about his opinion piece. I’ve been trying to find some sort of audio or transcription of it, but Larson has the worst website ever.

UOPD Firearm Forum, Gun Rant

February 12th, 2013 by Nick Ekblad

Almost 40 (a generous estimation) people not affiliated with the newly named University of Oregon Piggy Department gathered in Great Global Scholars Hall last night and a public forum started around 6PM. The subject? The arming of UO Police Officers.

Jamie Moffitt explained that amidst budget cuts with EPD and lessened support, the growing campus community has heightened needs.

Public information officer and communications director at UOPD Kelly McIver maintained that armament is part of the mission to keep the campus safe. He also reiterated a few times that UOPD will generally refer students to the Office of Student Conduct, rather inject legal troubles into their lives.

“Police are not here to police students,” McIver urged. Fun fact according to officials: 88% percent of the suspicious persons investigated by UO Public Safety last year were people unaffiliated with the UO.

Interim Police Chief Carolyn McDermed said it’s really all about relationships. Building a relationship with the community in order to best serve their needs.

The Register Guard has a good play-by-play.

Yes, as of January 1st, 2012 the men and women public-safetying our campus are suffering an inferiority complex. Currently, the UOPD has eleven sworn police officers with thirteen public safety officers aiding them. Only a “couple of” (which I can only assume to mean at maximum but also minimum two) officers are on duty during its 24/7 operation.

In the spirit of the Great Global Scholars Hall, I must ask, “Qué tipo de mierda es eso? Súper inefectivo!”

Read the rest of this entry »


January 19th, 2013 by Nick Ekblad

From left to right: Photo of Joseph Kelley in Utah J.C. Penny taken by Cindy Yorgason;President Obama presenting his proposals in a photo posted on; “Pioneer” statue on UO campus carrying his rifle.


The following post contains views and opinions that are my own (Nicholas Ekblad) and do not necessarily represent those of the Oregon Commentator as a whole.


Now, I spent about half of my childhood in The-middle-of-nowhere, Arizona and the greater half in rural eastern Oregon. I was taught by my father how to use a gun and how to use it safely. My father did not make light– ever– of the power and responsibility of a holding a firearm in hand. I firmly believe in the Second Amendment, though it might surprise a lot of people to learn that I support “gun control” in its general sense (READ: the control of guns is as necessary and already as prevalent as the control of, say, the license to drive a motor vehicle)(fully automatic weapons have been outlawed since 1936). That being said, here is my take on Obama’s proposals to congress.


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Guns are bad? Really?

November 8th, 2010 by Rockne Andrew Roll

As my distinguished colleague Spencer Madison pointed out, sometimes guns hurt people. Because of this, Madison seems to think that guns are bad. He elaborates that the constitutionally enshrined right of this country’s people to own them is bad as well. He is confident that the recent events he discusses will not have significant influence, backing his point by deploying a brilliant non-sequitur: “because people are extremely forgiving of the liberties a bunch of entitled slave owners gave us.”

How this should be an argument against the constitutional right to own guns is beyond me.

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Obama’s Gun Laws

February 8th, 2010 by D

“Back up in yo ass with the resurrection”

There was a particularly ridiculous letter to the editor in last Wednesday’s Emerald, one in which the author of the letter, Curtis Taylor, made the claim that, “[Obama has] signed into law more repeals of good gun policies than President George W. Bush” whatever that means.

As November 2008 came near, many on the conservative side of things expressed great fear that Obama would pass some kind of sweeping legislation against guns, effectively changing gun ownership in America forever, and for the worst. Many on the left (as I assume Taylor is, given his opinion) felt this a compelling force behind myriad reasons why they voted for Obama. Yet not much has come in the way of mass gun control from Obama. Indeed, Taylor expressed his frustration that Obama has, “showed no signs of leadership on the issue.” Leadership, of course, being the backhanded term being used there for not “doing what I want.”

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Newtown, CT Shooting

December 17th, 2012 by C.W. Keating

Our hearts go out to the grieving families in Newtown, Connecticut, in the aftermath of an elementary school shooting that killed 20 children and six adults. Shooter Adam Lanza killed himself soon after police were called.

This atrocity is unignorable. The Commentator is working on an article that addresses the gun control debate from all possible angles and from all possible perspectives. For now, our love and condolences are with Newtown.

The Address for donations is: SandyHook School Support Fund c/o Newtown Savings Bank 39 Main St Newtown, CT 06470

The address for the school is where cards, letters, teddy bears anything for the siblings can be sent for the families: Sandy Hook Elementary School 12 Dickinson Drive, Sandy Hook, CT 06482

Thanks to Swamp Fox Green for the donation information (the full post can be read here).

Oregon: Relatively Free

June 19th, 2011 by Lyzi Diamond

Oregon is the 8th freest state in the union, according to a recent study from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. The study, which ranks New Hampshire and South Dakota tied for #1 and New York #50, ranks states based on their social and personal freedoms, analyzing a number of public policies specific to each of the states and taking care to ensure that fiscal policies are analyzed based on cost to the taxpayer.

Oregon, specifically, is ranked #24 in economic freedom and #1 in personal freedom (believe it or not).

Despite the low taxes, government spending in Oregon remains much too high, resulting in relatively high state debt. Public safety, administration, and environment and housing look particularly ripe for cutting. Gun control laws are a bit better than average. Marijuana possession is decriminalized below a certain level, and there is medical marijuana (cultivation and sale are felonies, though). […]

The state’s cigarette taxes are higher than most, and its smoking bans were recently tightened. Oregon’s spirits tax is the highest in the country and quite extreme (though interestingly, its neighbor, Washington, is the only other state three standard deviations above the national average).

The study also outlines some policy recommendations for Oregon in order to reach an optimum freedom ranking:

  1. At the state level, spending on the inspection and regulation bureaucracy, natural resources, and government employees’ retirement is well above national norms. We recommend cutting spending in these areas and reducing public debt.
  2. Eliminate occupational licensing for massage therapists, funeral attendants, pest-control workers, elevator installers and repairmen, boilermakers, fishers and related fishing workers, agricultural product graders and sorters, farm-labor contractors, and other
  3. Maintain, if not reduce, the minimum wage, even in the face of future inflation.

Oregon’s storied history of high property/income taxes and nonexistent sales taxes probably also contribute to our relative ranking, but from where I’m sitting, we’re doing fairly well. The full study can be downloaded here.

(Hat tip to the Oregonian for pointing us to this study.)

Oregon Supreme Court says medical pot and concealed carry A-Ok.

May 19th, 2011 by Ben Maras

The Oregon Supreme Court ruled today that qualified medical marijuana card holders can also apply for and receive a concealed-carry license. The case goes back to a retired bus driver in Grants Pass, who made the mistake of admitting that she was a cardholder in the state-run medical marijuana program when she went to renew her concealed carry license. Officials branded her as a drug addict and said that her medical treatment program barred her from the right to carry a concealed weapon under federal law. But the Supreme Court of Oregon reminded cleared things up for them.

The ruling issued in Salem, Ore., upheld previous decisions by the Oregon Court of Appeals and circuit court in finding that a federal law barring criminals and drug addicts from buying firearms does not excuse sheriffs from issuing concealed weapons permits to people who hold medical marijuana cards and otherwise qualify.

“We hold that the Federal Gun Control Act does not pre-empt the state’s concealed handgun licensing statute and, therefore, the sheriffs must issue (or renew) the requested licenses,” Chief Justice Paul De Muniz wrote.

In other words: states’ rights, bitches. Labeling law-abiding medical patients as dangerous criminals because their treatment is “wrong” in the eyes of authoritarian lawmakers is not only petty and childish, but also downright dangerous when real criminals come into the picture.

The more innocent people get caught up in the prohibition mentality, the more ambiguous the justification for these laws becomes. If the goal is merely to keep guns out of the hands of violent offenders (who are less likely to follow concealed carry laws anyway), it’d be difficult to find anyone less violent than a stoned medical marijuana patient. Oregon has nearly 40,000 registered marijuana patients, who don’t fit the Cheech and Chong paradigm, and have had their medicine prescribed for any number of reasons. Their rights, as well as the rights of the states to make their own policy on guns, drugs, etc., should trump federal meddling of how things “ought” to be.

Back to the Booze

September 27th, 2009 by Drew Cattermole

We are happy to inform you all that our new issue is ready to hit the stands.


  • Gun control really about all civil liberties by T. Dane Carbaugh
  • A letter to freshmen from Carly Erickson
  • Survival guide
  • Booze review


Tellin’ ‘Em What For

April 27th, 2009 by Vincent

Just thought I’d call attention to the fact that Commentator Publisher Guy Simmons has a letter-to-the-editor in today’s Emerald, laying to rest any notion that Truman Capps’ lamentable pro-gun control article was written or edited by anyone with even the slightest clue of what they were talking about.

Extra points for using the phrase “statist pukes.”

Mo’ ODE Opinion Columnists, Mo’ Problems

April 23rd, 2009 by CJ Ciaramella

You didn’t think we were going to let yesterday’s opinion piece in the ODE about concealed carry on campus slip by, did you? In case you missed it, columnist Truman Capps wrote about how icky guns are and how they shouldn’t be allowed on college campuses. Of course, he made sure to get his liberal credentials out in the open:

I live in Portland and listen to NPR, and my family owns a Prius and a Subaru (with a Volvo in our recent past) – perhaps it’s not surprising that I disagree with the notion that a campus full of armed students and staff is safer than an unarmed one. While I agree that people, not guns, kill people, I am also a firm believer in the familiar adage “Mo’ firearms, mo’ problems,” especially on a college campus.

It’s not so much that I completely disagree with Capps (although I do); it’s that his article is factually wrong on several counts. For example, at the beginning of his second paragraph Capps writes:

Currently, concealed weapon permit holders can take their guns with them everywhere except for government buildings, bars and college campuses.

There is no Oregon statute against concealed carry in bars or college campuses. According to ORS 166.370, possession of a firearm in a public building is a Class C felony, but one of the exceptions is “[a] person who is licensed under ORS 166.291 and 166.292 to carry a concealed handgun.” In fact, the only public buildings you are not allowed to carry a firearm into are courtrooms, airports and federal buildings.

The university system code against concealed carry is in clear contradiction of state law. I don’t even know where Capps got the idea that concealed carry is illegal in bars. Perhaps before he writes an article disseminated to the whole campus, he should do some basic research first. Or perhaps his editors should fact-check his stories for, y’know, blatant errors. Perhaps a retraction is in order.

I wrote an article last year about concealed carry on campus, which prompted this response from the ODE. Searching through the blog archives for “concealed carry” and “gun control” is also fun.

P.S. In his penultimate paragraph, Capps writes, “[I]f campus safety is such a concern, let Department of Public Safety have guns.” Can we nominate this for oxymoronic phrase of the year or something?

Eugene Weekly’s Rick Levin Responds to Critics

December 31st, 2008 by Vincent

Rick Levin, the literary drip who was last seen subjecting Eugene Weekly readers to a pointless and largely uninformed anti-gun diatribe (covered by the Commentator here and here), has decided to grace his critics with a reply in the latest edition of the Weekly.

Needless to say, it’s more or less content-free and tries hard to work in some gun-related suicide statistics, a basically non sequitur paragraph about the oppression and tyranny of George Bush, and a lot of ad hominem attacks on 2nd Amendment supporters. At the same time, Levin deploys one of his literary trademarks, namely “authoritative” statements about the gun control debate (“…the bigger, deeper picture… pretty much renders unregulated private gun ownership a ridiculous and dangerous proposition…”) that are more or less devoid of any real legal knowledge.

Maybe instead of constructing absurd straw men and putting words in the mouths of his critics, Mr. Levin would like to debate the 2nd Amendment with some of the Commentator staff?

Damn That Pesky Constitution: Eugene Weekly Edition

December 4th, 2008 by Vincent

Today’s cover story in the Eugene Weekly purports to be a debunking of the gun rights lobby’s concerns about the incoming Obama Administration. The author, Rick Levin takes as his starting point a random, poorly written blog comment on in which the the poster claims to be scared of Barack Obama and insists that the NRA is deterring an “open attack” on America’s heartland. Having managed to dig up this unquestionably authoritative representation of gun rights advocates nationwide, Levin feels comfortable announcing that “likely it is just this breed of hysteria that has caused local and national gun sales to spike.”

Well, color me convinced.

Read the rest of this entry »

On Not Quite GETTING It…

November 23rd, 2008 by Vincent

There’s a guest post up on Blue Oregon called “The 2nd Amendment is for Progressives Too” by someone who self-describes as “a progressive libertarian, someone who used to be welcome in the Republican Party.” A promising headline, I suppose, but unfortunately the post itself displays a fundamental ignorance of the actual motivations underlying conservative critiques of gun control legislation.

After some obligatory paranoia (“He explained to me that if our freedoms are taken away, it will come from the right, not the left, and maybe progressives are the ones who should be a little paranoid.”), the author, Peter Hall, goes on to make some curious assertions about the point of the Second Amendment:

Our founding fathers understood this, and I believe the 2nd amendment was designed specifically to allow military style weapons in the hands of the public…  it is clear to me that our founders were not thinking of hunting rifles when they wrote the amendment.

The Democratic Party has a major opportunity to make the West blue (with the exception of Utah, that religion thing). Truly embrace responsible gun ownership, and we take a big weapon away from the right wingers (lame pun intended). [emphasis added]

A couple of things, here:

First off, just what sort of weaponry does he imagine the founders were thinking of when the Second Amendment was written, if not “hunting rifles”? It’s not as if there was a whole lot of distinction between “military-style” weapons and firearms that might be used for hunting in the late 18th Century. Hall’s distinction seems arbitrary, to say the least.

Second, I’m not sure that someone who conceives of Second Amendment rights as something to be adopted solely for the purpose of “[taking] a big weapon away from the right-wingers” and “making the West blue” really quite “gets” it.

The Second Amendment is not a “wedge” issue. The right to keep and bear arms is a right guaranteed by the Constitution.  It’s not about “blue” or “red”. Nevertheless, while Hall might be a bit misguided, I’m hesitant to be too hard on someone who wants to finally pull the Democrats closer to a position that respects the Second Amendment. That’s more than can be said about some of the people in his comments section, who have such perceptive things to say as:

“On a day where the newspaper talks about how we’re supposed to make a bunch of noise and wear bright orange clothes when we’re out hiking (thereby destroying the solitude and beauty) because hunters are accidentally killing people, a post celebrating guns.”

“One can responsibly use a gun about as easily as one can responsibly drive a tank down a sidewalk.”

“Europeans seem to manage to get by without personal arsenals. Perhaps the difference was explained by Michael Moore in “Sicko.” In France the government fears the people. In America the people fear the government. So what will they do with all their guns? There may come a day when some people wake up and realize they are under a fascist dictatorship and call for a charge on the barricades…”

“… when the NRA starts advocating for public education and living-wage jobs, and stops worrying that the gummit gonna take away their armor-piercing ammo, then we might be getting somewhere.”

It goes on in that vein. One can only help but feel that people with the sort of views as Mr. Hall have a long way to go before they can overcome the reflexive and frankly ignorant anti-gun reactions of their fellow “progressives”.