William A. Levinson
August 1, 2014
Michael Bloomberg’s and Warren Buffett’s
Everytown for Gun Safety posted a series of YouTube videos in which an estranged husband smashes his way into a woman’s house, seizes her child, and then points a gun at her head. The organization then tells its stakeholders that domestic abusers can buy guns over the Internet. When last I heard, it’s illegal to buy a gun across state lines unless the transaction goes through a licensed gun dealer, who must perform a background check. Even if the transaction does not cross state lines, it is illegal to sell a firearm to somebody who is prohibited from owning one.
The video also, however, sends the unintended message that gun control laws like those in Mr. Bloomberg’s city, and Governor Cuomo’s state, facilitate and enable domestic violence. Watch the video carefully.
The estranged husband bangs on the door, which would have given the woman time to retrieve a firearm if she had had one. She must instead beg the 911 dispatcher to send help immediately even though, when seconds count, police are only minutes away.
Then the man kicks her door in, and she tries to resist when he takes her child. Then he draws a gun, and sticks it into her face. The truth is that he did not need a gun because an average man’s upper body strength is far greater than that of an average woman's. Even if Bloomberg had jumped into the scene while wearing a mask and a cape to pull the weapon from the assailant’s hand, he could have still beaten her to a pulp. That’s unless, of course, she had the means of killing or disabling a much larger and stronger assailant.
The scene in which the man kicks the door is, in fact, the only potentially educational part of this video, except it leaves out the potentially life-saving lesson. I took an armed self-defense course from a retired law enforcement professional last year, and he told me that a home invader can kick in an ordinary door faster than he can open it if it is unlocked. I had relied for years on a double-sided lock (it requires a key to open from the inside, so the intruder can't break the window to open it) to protect me from this kind of attack, and all I really had was a false sense of security. Needless to say, I made some substantial changes after that class.
Lowes offers the Gatehouse Steel Entry Door Strikeplate, and other hardware stores doubtlessly offer something similar. The screws go all the way into the wooden stud, the structural element that supports the house, as opposed to just into the door frame. There is also the Nightlock; the manufacturer had the incredibly good fortune to have Suzanne Collins assign this name to the poison in The Hunger Games, so a Google search on that brings up the manufacturer on the first page. It’s a doorstop that effectively bolts to the floor, which makes it almost impossible to kick the door in. This is not to say that a determined attacker could not actually break the door off its hinges, but this would give the occupant more than enough time to get a weapon — assuming that Michael Bloomberg, Andrew Cuomo, & Co. have not made it legally impossible to own one.
Nightlock also developed a realistic defense against active shooters. It is faster and far more effective than the Department of Homeland Security’s recommendation to improvise a barricade of furniture, or hide under a desk and hope the next Adam Lanza doesn't find you.
If the home invader manages to get into your house nonetheless, FrontSight offers a far more effective solution than citing your protection from abuse court order. It involves two shots to the assailant’s thoracic cavity, followed by one to the cranio-optical region if he still doesn't stop. The .45 Automatic Colt Pistol was, however, designed to stop even a crazed Filipino revolutionary with a single hit. What we have learned so far is that, while politicians like Michael Bloomberg and Andrew Cuomo can offer only meaningless platitudes, private businesses like Lowes, Nightlock, and FrontSight offer life-saving solutions.
If the video were not protected by copyright, I'd just download it to Windows Movie Maker, trim it to the point where the man breaks in the door to grab the child, and add frames with the key takeaways:
- When seconds count, police are minutes away.
- A restraining order will not stop a larger, stronger, and determined assailant.
- A reinforced strike plate, Nightlock, or similar security device can buy you enough time to retrieve a weapon with which to defend yourself.
PsyWar Opportunity: Take Bloomberg’s Agenda Down with His Own Money
Needless to say, anybody could produce a video of this nature, and groups like the NRA ought to do so. Do not use any kind of firearm without professional assistance. It is never acceptable to point a real firearm at another person regardless of whether it is loaded, and we assume the ones Bloomberg & Co. used were either rubber guns or
function guns that are physically incapable of firing so much as a blank. The above scenario, however, does not require any kind of firearm prop. This would be a devastating PsyWar counterattack because it piggybacks on the publicity that Bloomberg has paid millions of dollars to develop.
Suppose, for example, that somebody had developed a commercial that features cowboys galloping to the theme song of The Magnificent Seven; the same music that was used in the Marlboro Country television commercials.[*] Anybody who remembered the cigarette ads would pay attention immediately because cigarette ads have been banned from television. Then the scene switches to a hospital ward where a formerly rugged cowboy with emphysema struggles to breathe, and the narrator says,
This is Marlboro Country. Truth is, by the way, never libel or slander. If intellectual property considerations prevent use of the Marlboro trademark, say
This is Cigarette Country instead. This would have used hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of the tobacco companies' own advertising and publicity against them.
The U.S. Navy, meanwhile, felt itself sufficiently damaged by a Saturday Night Live parody of its
Not just a job, an adventure ad to sue. Again, the truthful depiction of undesirable enlisted personnel duties was not libelous. It is doubtful that SNL intended to undermine the U.S. Navy, but the effect of piggybacking onto the Navy commercial’s existing publicity was probably far more devastating than the comedians had imagined.
In summary, then, a slight modification of Bloomberg’s ad that concludes as I have described, or else with the woman fetching a firearm (subject to legal and safety considerations), would use his own money and publicity to demolish his and Andrew Cuomo’s agenda.
[*] One would, of course, have to license the music, which is probably still under copyright.
William A. Levinson is the author of several books on business management including content on organizational psychology, as well as manufacturing productivity and quality. He has no financial interest in Lowes, Nightlock, or Front Sight.