Rights, needs, and wants

There is a common “mistake” advocates of anti-freedom legislation make. In many cases I doubt that is an actual mistake but more likely just a deceptive method of argument but I tend to give people a chance or two before coming down on them for deliberate deception.

They insist that “no one needs” X, Y, or Z and hence there is little or no downside to restricting or banning X, Y, and Z. Brady Campaign Board member Joan Peterson made this mistake (I’m giving the benefit of the doubt here) in her most recent blog post.

I left a comment on her blog and reproduce it here because of the danger that it will fall victim to “Reasoned Discourse”:


Your understanding of things is a little mixed up. It’s called a Bill of Rights, not a Bill of Needs. Because of this it is required that the government demonstrate that any gun law pass scrutiny. There are various levels of scrutiny and the level of protection the specific enumerated right to keep and bear arms is given is still somewhat ambiguous. But basically it is up to the advocates of a restriction on the right to keep and bear arms that they need the law. It’s not up to the defenders of the right to demonstrate they need the freedom the constitution guarantees.

In other words it is not within the power of our government to “allow” the sale of products related to the right to keep and bear arms. The government must demonstrate they have both the authority and the need to restrict them.

Even if you can demonstrate the government has the authority you are going to be hard pressed to demonstrate the need to restrict standard capacity magazines. I have put together a little video to explain why such a restriction actually does harm with near zero potential for good: http://bit.ly/f2C8Vl.

And in case you haven’t heard anyone other than the NRA say something about 30 round magazines (and I don’t think they have said anything either), I think 30 round magazines are a good idea in some situations. I have several of them for some of my guns. And I have more magazines than I can easily count that are of capacity greater than 10.

If there weren’t a substantial number of people that thought that then there wouldn’t be a market for them and they would only exist as novelties, engineering prototypes, and museums of failed products. Since they are quite common there must be a large number of people that disagree with your desire to ban them.

I know, I know–Almost for certain I’m wasting my time attempting to deal rationally with the person who is the defining case of Peterson Syndrome. But it’s for the others that might be reading, right?

Update: She allowed the comment and responded:

No Joe, I am not at all mixed up. I believe what I wrote. Most in the public also believe it after this shooting especially. Your video only indicates to me that you must expect to be in some situation where you will need to fire off a lot of bullets in case you intend to shoot a lot of people. I very much doubt that you will need to do that in a situation of self defense. You are the one who is mixed up. Because I don’t agree with you does not make me mixed up. It just makes me someone with an opinion different from your own. It won’t do anything for the discussion, which you don’t want to have about this one, to call me mixed up or anyone else who disagrees with you. I will disagree and I won’t say you are mixed up again if you stop saying it about me. O.K.?

Okay. I give up—again. She simply cannot understand a train of thought that differs from her own. I tried to explain to her a simple portion of the constitution relating to enumerated powers and protected rights and she comes back with “I believe what I wrote”.

There is a reason why she is the defining example of Peterson Syndrome.


19 thoughts on “Rights, needs, and wants

  1. Are you sure it’s not really because every once in a while you get bored and go back to play with her, like a cat playing with a mouse?

    I have often heard people use the “need” argument. Why do I have to justify anything to anyone? If my doing X does not adversely affect anyone, who’s business is it? No one’s, it’s my money, and my time I spend on my hobbies.

    Let’s play the substitution game.

    Why do you “need” free speech?
    Why do you “need” freedom from search and seizure?
    Why do you “need” due process?
    Why do you “need” double jeopardy?
    Why do you “need” soldiers to not be stationed in your house?

    I could continue but I think I’ve made the point. When someone asks, “why do you need “X””? Just respond with, “Why do you need to open your mouth? No one actually cares what you have to say.”

  2. There has forever been a desire, among those who seek power and control, to become the “need police”.

    If you take away everything except that which we “need” you end up with a pretty miserable existence. For that matter, communists will eventually decide that whole populations have no “need” to live.

    The instant someone starts down the “need police” path, it’s time to jump down their throat.

    We can turn that crap around on them, and with credibility; “Do we NEED a government that’s over-reached to the point where it starts talking about what we need and don’t need?”

  3. She’s been really beating the “Most gun owners agree with me” drum pretty hard on that post. Not a hint of irony that she’s the only one arguing her point. Well her, the troll, and the other Joyce Shill.

    I wonder if those “Most Gun Owners” are paid to agree with her by the Joyce Foundation…

  4. I pointed out that the ONE gun owner she cited that agreed with her ideas about requiring training for carrying loaded guns was (surprise!!) a teacher of concealed carry courses. No…no conflict of interest there….

    I also liked here perpetual use of the word ‘nonsense’ to a three year old plugging their ears and babbling loudly to keep from hearing what they are told (the quoted Adam Savage: ‘I reject your reality and insert my own!’). The comment will probably get ‘reasoned’ out of ‘discourse’.

  5. If she said that 2+2 was 6, and you pointed out that 2+2 equaled 4, I think that she’d wonder why you wouldn’t want to “compromise” and say that 2+2=5.

  6. I feel sorry for her because you guys pick on her nonstop. She’s offended because you said she was “mixed up.”

    Keep in mind that the Constitution can be changed. That is what the Tea Party is trying to do with the 14th Amendment. You could have 2nd Amendment today and gone tomorrow. The Constitution wasn’t written in stone.

  7. I feel sorry for her because you guys pick on her nonstop.

    Ah, yes, focus on those big, meanine, poopieheads who are “pick[ing] on her”, rather than the fact that she could not follow a logical train of thought if her life depended on it, has no better means of determining fact from fiction than Sparky, cannot admit error even when it is plainly pointed out to her, and is a font of specious and fallacious information.

    But, no, all of that is irrelevant… “gunloons” are just picking on her! Righto then…

    You could have 2nd Amendment today and gone tomorrow.

    Tell you what, UBU – you get together all of your anti-rights buddies, and all the anti-rights buddies Joan has, and all the anti-rights buddies everyone else has, and you try to get the Second Amendment repealed. Go for it. Knock yourselves out.

    And when that fails, will you stop trying to circumvent, undermine, limit, and otherwise ignore it as best you can? Because until you can Amend it, the Constitution is pretty much written in stone, and the Supreme Court has said that the Second Amendment means pretty much exactly what it says – so are you illiterate, or “mixed up”?

  8. She only responded to the first sentence. Do you think she even read the whole post or understood it’s meaning?

    There must be a reason for hi capacity magazines. Glock just released a 22 round magazine for their 40S&W pistols. Glock added this higher capacity magazine at the request of the military.

  9. Japete is CAPABLE of understanding the facts of the matter.

    She just made a conscious choice to argue against the facts. Her arguments carefully avoid debating any fact that will invalidate her position. Thus, it is not ignorance or chance that drives Japete (or she would occasionally stumble across a fact that doesn’t fit her worldview). It is deliberate defiance of the facts.

    That is no surprise. She is a liberal, with all of the bad traits of that breed:

    * A willingness to lie/cheat/concoct “facts” to achieve her goals without any shame
    * A tendency towards knee-jerk ad hominem attacks, libel and slander
    * Opportunism
    * Lack of respect for the general public and especially those who dare to disagree with her
    * An unwavering devotion to absurd utopian beliefs and fads
    * Hypocrisy

    She does what she does to try and convince fence-sitters. And the way to neutralize Japete is to debunk her arguments as publicly as possible. Do not debate “with” her; debate against her but target her audience with your arguments. Refer to her in the 3rd person, as if you are discussing a mental patient. Provide the facts that debunk her screeds, and constantly ask your audience how someone could possibly believe Japete’s nonsense.

  10. When Ubu says that the Second Amendment can be here today and gone tomorrow, she displays a misunderstanding of natural rights. We could remove the first, third, fourth, etc. amendments from the Constitution, as well as the right to writ of habeas corpus, the ban on double jeopardy, the ban on ipso facto laws, etc. But removing these from the Constitution does not cause any of these rights to vanish out of existence. These rights remain–and any government that does not recognize these, and other, rights, is an invalid government, and needs to be replaced with a government that will respect our rights.

    In any case, Ubu seems comfortable with being able to amend a protection of a right completely out of existence. If that’s the case, then, why should we be comfortable with expressing our opinions? Our freedoms of speech and religion, by virtue of amendment, can be “here today and gone tomorrow”–and it doesn’t matter that we only said and believed these things yesterday and “saw the light” when the new laws were passed, because ipso facto laws can be acceptable after a Constitutional Amendment as well.

    Oh, it’s true that the Constitution isn’t set in stone. There are reasons, however, that the Founding Fathers made it so darn difficult to amend!

  11. Ah yes. The “Need” argument. A particularly insidious notion, which is little more than a rhetorical trap.

    You should NEVER explain why you “need” something (applies to anything, not just guns). Because when you try to justify a particular need, you are also acknowledging that “need” is a valid basis for allowing or not allowing the thing in question. Once you have done that, the only remaining questions are what the boundaries of that need are, and more importantly WHO decides the boundaries.

  12. Nice to see you folks being so polite. Really makes your side of the argument seem so much saner than the blog owner.

    I loved her response to a comment stating that she doesn’t here of break ins with multiple people. I did a simple google news search for “home invasion” and I couldn’t find one with less than two perps. There were 5510 hits for the search.

    Guess you have it right with the Petersen’s syndrome.

  13. Having been on the receiving end of a home invasion by about a dozen goons (one tends to lose count of such things between repeated boots and fists to the face..) before owning any guns, I was about to reply over there laughing at the weapons-grade wishful thinking needed to denounce any need/utility for the 15 and 30 round mags which have since populated my home. But then I figured the deluded women would just be happy the skinhead thugs, err, “poor innocent [20+ year old] children” didn’t become “victims” of “gun violence.” Well, that, or my comment would have just vanished into Reasoned Discourse™.

  14. I was silly enough to say to her,
    “Yes we disagree, but my position is supported by the Bill of Rights”
    Her response:
    “Why does the Bill of Rights support you any more than it supports me grey beard?”

    Peterson Syndrome?

  15. Wow, I commented above before noticing that you’d already been there. For someone to conclude that wanting to own a particular quantity of bullets beyond what they themselves believe anyone should want or need must mean they intend to shoot someone, wow.
    “How do you know she is a witch?” “She looks like one!!” Monty Python & The Holy Grail.

  16. Wow, I commented above before noticing that you’d already been there. For someone to conclude that wanting to own a particular quantity of bullets beyond what they themselves believe anyone should want or need must mean they intend to shoot someone, wow.
    “How do you know she is a witch?” “She looks like one!!” Monty Python & The Holy Grail.

  17. Make it rhetorically easy on yourself:
    Who can call getting their hair colored, their nails done, or more than two purses or pairs of shoes at the same time “needs”???

  18. ubu52, I’m not aware of any Tea Party attempts to repeal the 14th Amendment outright. There have been proposals to change the 14th Amendment to explicitly require that automatic citizenship by birth applies only to those legally in this country; unless that’s what you were referring to, your claim sounds like other leftist attempts to sow FUD. Could you please provide specific links/citations?

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