November 16, 2006

Parrish: "Women should carry guns," men should carry their purses

Dump Bachmann is having a bit of fun with a picture of Andy Parrish, Michele Bachmann's former campaign manager and now apparently an "aide" (rumor is, he wants to be her chief of staff), carrying Michele's purse:

I thought it would be a good time to bring out some more of Parrish's college wackery. Here are some excerpts from a column he wrote for the February 6, 2004 issue of the UW-River Falls campus newspaper, entitled "Women Should Carry Guns."

In this column, he makes an attempt to argue for the efficacy of conceal-and-carry laws for preventing rape. Now, this is something that has and will continue to be debated. Parrish, however, in this column, appears to base his argument on an extremely suspect set of facts for which he gives no source, and which seem wildly improbable compared to other data:

In the states with personal protection acts, more than 200,000 women per year fight off sexual attackers with a gun. That's an average of 548 women per day who do not get raped because they protected themselves with a handgun. In those cases, the gun is never fired 92 percent of the time. It just poses a neutralizing threat to the attacker.

Parrish does not cite his source for these statistics, but they don't seem to jive with other statistics I've found on the internet. For comparison, the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network estimates that the 200,000 number includes the total number of all sexual assaults, attempted rapes, and completed rapes:

Of the average annual 200,780 victims in 2004-2005, about 64,080 were victims of completed rape, 51,500 were victims of attempted rape, and 85,210 were victims of sexual assault.

Even if you assume that all of the 51,500 victims of attempted rape protected themselves with a gun, which is a ridiculous assumption, that comes nowhere close to Parrish's number. So I have no idea where he got this information, or if he misinterpreted some data, or if he just made it up. Examining sympathetic websites, I can't find anything close to Parrish's number. This study, by two University of Chicago economists, concluded:

Allowing citizens without criminal records or histories of significant mental illness to carry concealed handguns deters violent crimes and appears to produce an extremely small and statistically insignificant change in accidental deaths. If the rest country had adopted right-to-carry concealed handgun provisions in 1992, at least 1,570 murders and over 4,177 rapes would have been avoided.

Those numbers are significant, if they are accepted as accurate and still relevant. But they do not even come close to Parrish's wild assertions. Do they fact-check at River Falls?

But, after all, we don't read Andy Parrish for his crazy fairy-tale-land statistics. We read him for his overheated, ignorant, offensive, and ultimately entertaining rhetoric. Here are some gems from this article:

On this topic, the left's extreme arrogance, which I call Mad Democrat Disease (very similar to Mad Cow Disease), indirectly causes hundreds of thousands [ed: already debunked!] of women to be raped every year while the left does nothing but condone rape by fighting conceal and carry laws everywhere they are up for a vote.
How often have we heard left wing liberals claim guns are evil in and of themselves? [ed: Umm... never?] When was the last time you saw a gun load itself, jump off a table, walk into school and kill students all on its own?

Never, again. Obviously. But thanks for putting words in my "left wing liberal" mouth.

Don't those silly women over at N.O.W. understand that this is a great way for women to defend themselves and stop being constant victims of men? You would think that N.O.W. and other women's rights organizations wouldn't want men to be raping women but they must want these types of attacks since they don't want women to carry guns.

As usual, impeccable logic, Mr. Parrish.

His closer:

I have to bring this article to a close before the gun store closes. I plan on getting a handgun for my girlfriend so she does not become the statistic of a violent crime.

Let the snarkiness begin!

September 21, 2006

Bachmann campaign manager Parrish proposed a "womb tax" to curb abortion; wrote that "life for the left begins at taxation"

You can tell a lot about a person by the people they associate themselves with.

In the case of Michele Bachmann, we can tell a lot about her by the person she hired to run her campaign, Andy Parrish. Through the immense help of a source at UW-River Falls, Parrish's alma mater, I have obtained a stack of materials pertaining to Parrish's days on campus, which were filled with controversy, to say the least.

I will be writing about Parrish more in the upcoming weeks. Suffice it to say that there's enough here to keep me entertained for a looooong time.

Parrish wrote columns for the UWRF student newspaper, The Student Voice, for at least the 2003-2004 school year. Unfortunately, the newspaper's online archive only dates to October, 2004, but I have photocopies of some of his columns from the newspaper archives at River Falls. Once I get access to a scanner, I will post images of the columns so that you can all enjoy them as much as I have. The following are excerpts from a column Parrish wrote on November 21st, 2003, entitled "Left might think right with womb tax."

I have come to the conclusion that, for [liberals] life does not begin at conception, life for the left begins at taxation... Since liberals believe that life does not begin until they can tax you, I thought it my duty to educate [them.]

Parrish then proceeds to give readers advice on how to "be your own abortionist" (direct quote) and gives an extremely graphic description of a home abortion. (Isn't this an argument for legal and safe abortions?) He then continues,

Some people argue that this new partial birth abortion ban takes away their right to play God and choose who lives and dies based on convenience. I have this to say to the anti-life crowd. I am not taking away anyone's choice over their own reproductive life. They already chose when they engaged in sexual intercourse. Here is my solution to this life debacle.

If we tax the baby--we'll say property tax--for occupying the mother's womb, the left will fight to keep the baby alive instead of fighting to abort it. Then they can receive more money for-we'll say education beacuse there isn't enough spent there already--then maybe, just maybe, the left would acknowledge the fact that this fetus is more than just a fetus: It is a human life.

If you still want to try partial birth abortions on your own, happy abortioning. Support our troops, support our president and have a great conservative day.

His trademark is ending every column with the "have a great conservative day" line.

I also have a page of letters to the editor criticizing Parrish's insensitive, inaccurate, and inflammatory column. I will quote one of the letters:

This article is more of a shallow attack and a cheap attempt to demonize liberals at the expense of a valid issue. Your points about taxing the baby to get liberal support are about as dumb as saying [R]epublicans would support it if they got a tax break... When given a chance to provide a piece on why we need to deal with these issues, Andy chose instead rhetoric and baseless attacks. Talking about what type of limits for the life and health of the mother would have been a far better issue.

Hmm... rhetoric and baseless attacks rather than an attempt to deal with the issues? That description also fits Andy's boss, Michele Bachmann, to a T.

So, where does Michele Bachmann stand on the "womb tax" that her campaign manager proposed less than three years ago?

Keep checking back for more Andy Parrish Antics.