Well, it seems I've made considerable progress - Kevin Baker actually read my response this time, as evidenced by this intensely funny 4,300 word ranting retort which repeatedly brands me a bigot.
When someone starts equating your opposition to private gun ownership with anti-Semitism (yes, really) it's probably high time to heed Marcia's advice, and get on with enjoying Christmas. Just before I do, though, one of Kevin's grandiose assertions is so exquisitely ironic in the light of recent history that I simply can't resist having a very small nibble...
"That's because James does not understand the difference between warfare and despotism. Governments (and terrorists) use WMDs on other populations, not on their own soil."
In that case, clearly Saddam Hussein's chemical weapons attack on his own people at Halabja - used endlessly as a justification for the invasion of Iraq in 2003 - was a figment of Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney's imaginations. Just to refresh Kevin's memory, here's the Wikipedia account of an incident which blows a hole in one of his articles of faith, ie. that privately-owned handguns are a meaningful protection against 'governments gone bad', because tyrannical governments always sportingly refrain from using WMDs against their own people...
"The Halabja poison gas attack (Kurdish: Kîmyabarana Helebce), also known as Halabja massacre or Bloody Friday, was an incident that took place on March 16, 1988, during the closing days of the Iran–Iraq War, when chemical weapons were used by the Iraqi government forces in the Kurdish town of Halabja in Iraqi Kurdistan.
The attack killed between 3,200 and 5,000 people and injured around 7,000 and 10,000 more, most of them civilians; thousands more died of complications, diseases, and birth defects in the years after the attack. The incident, which has been officially defined as an act of genocide against the Kurdish people in Iraq, was and still remains the largest chemical weapons attack directed against a civilian-populated area in history."
Oh, but wait - Kevin has suddenly remembered this rather huge problem. A few paragraphs later he hurriedly backtracks -
"James does not understand that governments tend not to bomb or gas their own population centers. Oh, Saddam did it, but he only gassed Kurds, not, say, downtown Tikrit."
So despotic regimes only "tend" not to do the blindingly obvious and quell revolts using the weapons at their disposal. Or, to put it another way, they don't do it, except when they do. Oh-kaaay...
Oh, and to answer Kevin's final question - "coming from a bigot, this is not a surprise. How's it feel, James?"
How's it feel to have so much in common with the likes of Alan C Baird? It feels fabulous, Kev. Thanks for asking. Happy Christmas!