Somebody nominate this guy for the congressional medal of snark


pointed out that the excerpt below is a hoax.  I should have verified it before I reposted it.

Swiped from

 , who got it from someone else:

This is one of the best comeback lines of all time.It is a portion of National Public Radio(NPR) interview be tween a female broadcaster and US Marine Corps General Reinwald who was about to sponsor a Boy Scout Troop visiting his military installation.

FEMALE INTERVIEWER: So,General Reinwald,what things are you going to teach these young boys when they visit your base?
GENERAL REINWALD:We teach them climbing,canoeing,archery,and shooting.
FEMALE INTERVIEWER:Shooting! That’s a bit irresponsible,isn’t it?
GENERAL REINWALD:I don’t see why,they’ll be properly supervised on the range.
FEMALE INTERVIEWER:Don’t you admit that this is a terribly dangerous activity to be teaching children?
GENERAL REINWALD:I don’t see how.We will be teaching them proper rifle discipline before they even touch a firearm.
FEMALE INTERVIEWER:But you’re equipping them to become violent killers.
GENERAL REINWALD:Well,Ma’am,you’re equipped to be a prostitute, but you’re not one,are you?

The naivete of that interviewer is beyond belief.  To suggest that it’s dangerous to teach kids how to treat guns with respect and responsibility…

When I was growing up, I was taught how to handle a gun responsibly, and to respect the terrible destruction one can cause.  I wasn’t even allowed to point my hand at someone in the shape of a gun, let alone play with gun toys.  Because guns are never toys.  Ever.

I had friends who grew up on farms, kids who were the children of hunters and “gun nuts”, kids who went to Boy Scout camp and learned to shoot on the range.  They understood what guns can do, and they knew how to behave around them.  They understood the rules, like that a gun is always loaded, and that you never aim the barrel of a gun at anything you are not willing to destroy.

When I was six some kids who had not been taught the rules got their hands on their older brother’s air rifle, and decided that the obvious next step was to take pot shots at the kid next door.  I have them, no, their parents, to thank for every time I have to turn my good ear towards someone in order to hear what they are saying.

Kids who have been taught about guns from a young age do not, as a rule, misuse them.  They know that if they find a gun lying on the ground they must not touch it and find an adult immediately.  Kids who haven’t been taught take the gun to school and use it to impress their friends on the playground.  Sometimes they are lucky and don’t have to live with the stigma of being a murderer before they learned to do long division.

Like it or not, we live with guns.  Whether or not you are OK with that fact, the most irresponsible thing you can possibly do is try to act as if they don’t exist, as if children can somehow be protected from them through ignorance.  That works about as well as preventing unwed pregnancy by refusing to teach kids about sex.

I’m frequently struck, whenever the gun debate comes up, by the disconnect between the proponents of gun control and their gun-owning opponents.  A lot of the former seem to have the idea that all gun owners are violent wackos, a hair’s breadth away from snapping and shooting up a Wal-Mart.  Periodically I read articles like this one, where a liberal columnist decides to venture into the wild world of shooters and comes away with the surprised impression that hey, these guys are actually thoughtful, responsible human beings.  Go figure.  They don’t have horns, either.

The above-linked article puts it well:

Gun control is a complicated and emotional issue and an informed policy discussion is impossible in this space. But one thing seems certain to me: no one who’s never shot a gun should be permitted to create gun-control policy. The psychological stakes are otherwise unfathomable.

The old shibboleth that “guns don’t kill people, people kill people,” with both its commonsensical appeal and its obvious flaws, was not trotted out in my presence, but a revealing variation was: “Guns aren’t evil, evil is in your heart.” Each time you fire a gun, you face for one moment your own secret capacity for violence: this is why we liberals, with our disbelief in evil, fear them. But each time you fire a gun safely, you have demonstrated that acknowledging such murderousness does not license it. “I think of shooting as an educational practice,” that same cracked-goggles range master tells me. “You don’t need to be scared of a gun,” he continued, “but you need to respect it.” It’s like armed yoga.

Draconian gun-control—outright bans, say, instead of registration statutes—laws feel, to these men, like the most insulting kind of paternalism. It’s the government telling them: Sorry, boys, but we don’t believe you can settle your own seething dark. Max Weber’s definition of the state is inverted: it’s not the institution with a monopoly on the legitimate use of lethal force, it’s the institution with a monopoly on the containment of such bloodlust. These men consider the Second Amendment to be less about self-defense than it is about trust: the right to bear arms makes them feel entrusted to their own psychic balance. When they say that guns aren’t evil, they’re not defending guns; they’re congratulating themselves, and, from what I can tell, for good reason.

View All


  1. Um…

    not that I don’t agree with most of your sentiment…(I’m a “pro-gun” liberal who believes knowing how to shoot and having basic gun registration is all that is really needed)…

    …but I call bullshit on this supposed NPR interview…

    1. Re: Um…

      Thanks. That’s what I get for not fact-checking a third-hand story. My crap detector was actually going off very quietly when I read it, but since is not one of the regular crap vectors in my friends list I didn’t bother to check. In retrospect it’s way too perfect a quote to be a real interview.

      1. Happens to me too…

        yeah.. it struck me that the dialogue was just so “perfect” that it resembled all of the “straw-man” arguments that I get to read so often…

        not that you don’t hear similar, if less strident, representations of such sentiment every so often…

        in any case.. since I will most likely be off the puter for the next couple of days–due to circumstances forcing me to go down waterslides and sit in hot tubs with good sexy friends while drunk–I will wish you happy holidays, Merry X-mas, Happy Chanaukhah, Happy Solstice, Awesome Yule, and a Merry Kwanza… Think that about covers it.. 😉

        1. Re: Happens to me too…

          All the same to you, from my pirated wifi connection here in soggy Florida.

          I think I need to invite myself over for YOUR version of the holidays next year :-/

  2. Myself I stand in the middle.

    I am a gun owner. And at the very least a fairly moderate liberal. I see handguns and rifles as perfectly legitimate things for civilians to own be it for home deffense, hobby or hunting.

    However, I do strongly question the wisdom and purpose of military grade firearms in the hands of the general public. If ever I need a machine gun to defend my home, the time has come to stop thinking about defending my home and start questioning where my life went wrong.

    1. If you ever do find yourself in that situation, my guess is that existential contemplation is the last thing you’ll have time for 😉

      1. Well, given my aim and the finite supply of bullets, it is about as useful as anything I can be doing come that day.

Comments are closed.