I think what you guys have decided, if I understand you correctly, is you’ve taken a fairly universally accepted right like “life,” the idea that we all have a right to “life,” and you’ve moved from there to “self-defense.” If we have a right to “life” we must have a right to defend that life. So far so good. But here’s where you lose me and a lot of other people too, If you have a right to “self-defense,” you keep saying, then you have a right to own guns in order to best exercise that self-defense. I say that doesn’t follow.
How about this? We have a right to life, right? Too many guns in the hands of irresponsible or criminal people are interfering with that right, the right to life. We need proper (strict) gun control laws in order to ensure the ability of people to enjoy their right to “life.”
Why would your leap of faith that easy individual gun ownership is the best way to exercise our right to life be any more valid than my idea that the best way is to severely restrict and control guns?
February 23, 2011
Comment to Quote of the day—LaciTheDog
[As I mentioned in the comments I was fairly impressed with MikeB302000 comment. It showed remarkable understanding of our position and a plausible alternate conclusion. And he did it without his usual animosity. I said that I would respond to him. But it took far more time and words than I thought it would and my response brings up points that I wanted to get more visibility than they would in a comment. I know I run the risk of exceeding his attention span but perhaps the first few paragraphs will get sufficient information across that he will at least catch a glimmer of my point.
You don’t explicitly call it this but your claim ‘We need proper (strict) gun control laws in order to ensure the ability of people to enjoy their right to “life.”’ is a hypothesis. And in the absence of little or no data I would consider it a quite reasonable hypothesis. Even “common sense”. Perhaps even qualifying as obvious and of little need for validation. In fact, I think it is just as common sense and obvious as the hypothesis that the earth is flat was 500+ years ago.
I think this is where your weak point is. It is “obvious” to you and your fellow gun control supporters. In your camp there is no need for validation. It is so obvious that if was just “done right” strict gun control would result in a safer society. But the test data does not support your hypothesis.
But after many decades of testing this hypothesis, all over the world, in many different circumstances and cultures the best that can be said about gun control is that the benefits are inconclusive. If you want to look at more middle of the road data we have the example of what happened to the murder rate in Washington D.C. when the gun ban was declared unconstitutional. Within one year it dropped to the lowest level since 1985 – a 24 year low. And what about forcible rape? That turned out different. Within one year it dropped to the lowest level since 1967—a 42 year low. Or (via Roberta’s comment) some international data that suggests similar trends. That should be a strong hint that strict gun laws are not the solution to increasing public safety.
But if you want to look at the strongest evidence that gun control is a risk to public safety look at the genocides committed in the 20th Century. From the 1 to 1.5 million Armenians murdered in Ottoman Turkey from 1915->1917 to the 800,000 Tutsi murdered in Rwanda in 1994 gun control enabled the murder of tens of millions of people by their own governments. The evidence continues to mount in places like Darfur. Genocide only occurs when the government knows who owns the guns and/or bans guns.
I think of people advocating gun control similar to people still claiming the earth is flat. They are absolutely correct that evidence to support their belief is all around us. It’s easy to see they are correct. It’s obvious if you just look around your neighborhoods and cities. But as soon as you look at the question from a little higher altitude you see the curvature of the earth and then you see the earth is unmistakably round and that gun control is not a net win for society.
Perhaps an analogy with public safety implications will help get the point across. When nearly everyone gets vaccinated you don’t see the downside of not being vaccinated. You only see the one in 10,000 or one in 100,000 that dies from a reaction to the vaccine. It is difficult to directly see the benefits. It is only through control groups and testing that the hypothesis is rejected and gun control is found to not improve public safety. The one valid point gun control advocates have is (as first pointed out to me in Wright and Rossi’s book) is that with firearms relatively freely accessible it enables criminals to hit harder targets. Instead of young thugs snatching purses from little old ladies they can “knock off” a bank or maybe even an armored car. Just as with vaccines there are innocent victims no matter which path you take.
Gun control shifts the demographics of the victims. How do you want to measure public safety? If you want to measure it strictly by the number of deaths which occur via a bullet, as Joan Peterson apparently does, then you end up with a different solution than you do if you measure public safety in terms of total murders and/or violence crime rates. Most people see no benefit to being murdered or raped by a criminal using a club or a knife instead of gun and this is a big part of why we are winning the gun control debate. This is especially true when the chances of being injured by a criminal increase with increased gun control.
Using the most favorable data to gun control advocates they can only say that the demographics of violent crime are changed in some favorable manner. They end up arguing that one person’s life is more important than an other. I suspect this is part of why the liberal elites are frequently in favor of gun control. It probably does make them safer because the rich generally are “harder targets”. And this is also the basis of “it’s for the children” type of arguments. With very strict gun control society can reduce the number of accident deaths of children. It’s not like murder, rape, or armed robbery where substitute tools come into play. Without guns in the home there will not be a substitute in accidental deaths by drowning or poisoning. What will be substituted is an increase in the murder rate for the weak who might have been able to defend themselves had they had access to the proper tools. And in the long term even the murder rate of children is dramatically increased because of the increased risk of genocide which seldom shows mercy to children.
Gun control also violates the principle of prior restraint. For the most part we punish actions which have victims. If one were to falsely shout “Fire!” in a crowded theater and it resulted in injures there could be both criminal and civil actions against the perpetrator. This is a reasonable restriction on free speech. An unreasonable restriction on free speech would be to duct tape everyone’s mouth shut as they enter the theater. The analogous restriction on firearms is that you couldn’t shoot your firearm in the theater unless it was to stop an attack that was believed to be a immediate threat of death or permanent injury. Something on the order of 10 billion bullets are consumed by private citizens in the U.S. every year yet there are only about 100,000 injuries via shooting. That is a ratio of 100,000:1. In other words a gun being fired is up to 100,000 times more likely to be used beneficially or innocently than maliciously or result in an accidental injury. [Yes, I know that the way I used the number it assumes only one shot per injury or death, but the 100,000 injuries or deaths also includes legally justified shootings of people. I’m hoping the errors will come close to canceling each other out.]
Yes, people have a right to life and gun control is a plausible means of preserving innocent life but when put to the test it failed to live up to it’s promise. It’s time to end the experiments.—Joe]
I have had this argument with a friend who is reasonable, respectful, and seems to be actually interested in discussing this. It went sort of like this:
Him: “I agree we have a right to defend our lives, and sure, lives of others. But why guns? Why do you specifically rally around a gun, can’t you enthusiastically fight for your right to defend yourself with some other weapon?”
Me: “I assert that I have the right to defend the life of myself and others with whatever means I can. Firearms are effective. They are fairly simple to operate under stress. In my mind, they offer a great combination between ease of use and being effective stoppers”
Him: “Ok, so I think I have you now. Let’s say a new thing is invented. It’s an immobilizer gun, it operates like a modern handgun, except the target is completely frozen for some sufficient period of time, say an hour. It has 20-30 charges per ‘magazine’ or something. It won’t injure or kill anyone, just freeze them. I bet that’s not good enough.”
Me: “You’re asking would I prefer to stop an attacker completely without killing him? ABSOLUTELY! I have no experience killing another person. I do not want that experience. However, I’ve only thought about your freeze-gun for 10 seconds and I believe it suffers from most/all of the same problems that gun-control advocates have with current handguns.”
Me: “Ok, assume the freeze gun is the new Glock. If this is your new awesome solution the assume it completely replaces the number of handguns in the US. The point is, they are widely available, and criminals have them too. So, now a criminal wants to mug you. He gets to use a freeze-gun. That’s not so bad. What if that mugger is really a rapist? He can now immobilize his victims while keeping them alive, unlike a handgun. How about a home invasion that’s not strictly about robbery? Given a criminal who really enjoys harming others, imagine you being frozen while someone is free to move about your house with your family. Or, Think about freezing someone driving a car or a bike.”
Me: “The point is, effective weapons are easy-to-use while being good at stopping an attacker. Anything like this can be used against law-abiding people. Weapons are tools. They will do whatever it is they do regardless of who wields them. People make decisions about how to use them. You cannot change that.”
Great post Joe. If I may expand just a bit on various things.
“I know I run the risk of exceeding his attention span but perhaps the first few paragraphs will get sufficient information across that he will at least catch a glimmer of my point.” I highly doubt there is an attention span issue, of even the paid bloggers Mike B seems to have the most regular postings, not to mention his obsessive trolling. He simply chooses to hear only what he wants to continue his narcissistic quest.
First up something you only touched upon briefly is the right to Keep and Bear arms is not a free-for-all. Much like slander and libel are not covered under the 1st Amendment, nor the rights of prisoners to freely associate or gather peaceably….not to mention the 1st Amendment does not protect the right to form an “Angry Mob” or incite a riot. Gun control advocates MUST equate street gangs, violent criminals, the mentally ill, and other criminal misuse of guns with those who are using them lawfully and peacefully. They also must equate self-defense with murder (as Mike frequently does on his own blog) because defensive violence is the elephant in the room that spoils all their arguments.
I would also point out that accidental gun death and injury has fallen to statistical noise levels. Education, and understanding and respect of firearms are the key, not bans. Seems around here most of the child gun injuries are children or siblings of gang members finding an illegally held gun. Up in Maine it was the reluctant gun owners that were the big problem. The parents that voted to ban assault weapons and restrict conceal carry…but had a loaded .38 in a nightstand or closet shelf that they don’t tell their kids about, and possibly have never shot themselves. When the gun is discovered (and kids find EVERYTHING hidden) they likely aren’t even sure if its real or not…
Meanwhile the farm kids I knew growing up never had such problems dispute being avid hunters, shooters, and having scores of firearms at home.
Suicides are still the big “Gun Death” for children, and that WILL be replaced by other means.
Thing is, the “idea that the best way is to severely restrict and control guns” is absolute bollocks.
I should know – I supported it in my youth, to my eternal shame.
We across the pond in the UK don’t have a progressive attitude towards firearms as groups like the American NRA or other gun owners do. As long as I’ve been alive, we’ve required permits, the bullshit “proof of need” that only the truly unscrupulous can support, and various storage restrictions and transfer rules.
Did that help stop crime? Correct answer: “No” (“Of course not, you dozy git” is also acceptable).
When I was little, we had a shooting at Dunblane Primary School, a short train trip from where I lived. Seventeen children and a teacher were murdered at Dunblane by a man who was believed to be a paedophile.
We banned handguns on the basis that he was believed to be a “law-abiding gun owner”.
The Cullen Enquiry proved that was shite. He lied on every application, he violated the conditions of his certificate, and would never have owned his guns if the police had actually done their job. Our quite irresponsible laws did nothing to stop him.
So what did we do? Passed even more irresponsible laws, of course, and to hell with what’s right! Mike and Joan would be proud.
We attacked almost seventy thousand innocent gun owners, banned their hobby and forced them to turn their property in. (I could do the whole “monsters” thing I like to say, but this is already getting too long)
The criminals over here weren’t affected. Indeed, gun crime has increased by a huge amount over here, so our evil acts did nothing to prevent criminals getting guns. To our shame, a number of my countrymen are still proud of what they accomplished – as if lying about and stealing from the innocent is something to be proud of.
The idea that the law-abiding should accept unnecessary and irresponsible restrictions for the greater bad has been tried. It has failed, here as well as several of your states and D.C. The idea that they should be punished for the actions of criminals – and that is what we’re talking about here, let’s admit it – is dishonest and evil. There is literally no good in such a suggestion.
Anyways, rambling. I’m more than happy to discuss our goings-on over here as part of the thread if you wish.
Very, very well said, sir.
Now comes the interesting part. mikebMysteryScienceTheater3000 has two and only two options here.
He can accept what you’ve stated as true, or he can provide specific data points to refute yours.
I’m betting on option 3 which involves the Internet equivalent of a child saying “Nuh-uh!”
You can always tell a gun banner, but usually not much.
My counter-argument to mikeb is based on the idea that once Person A deliberately initiates any action to threaten the life of Person B, Person A has voluntarily waived his right to life. He may or may not leave the encounter with that intact, but he has no just reason to believe that he should. Person B, on the other hand, having started nothing and done nothing, has kept his rights intact–including life, liberty, and self-defense–and thus has every reason to expect that he should emerge unharmed.
Awesome post. I love your analogy about vaccinations. If you’re the one parent out of a million who’s child died, or a parent who honestly believes their child became autistic because of vaccinations, you’re going to have trouble supporting them. But we certainly don’t want to go back to the days of polio and small pox …
There is another side to vaccine argument. Vaccines are not 100% effective. So in any given pool of vaccinated children there will be a small number, a fraction of a percent, that is still vulnerable to infection.
For an infection to survive there must be a pool of people able to act as source for spread of infection. If everyone is vaccinated the pool is so small that the risk to those for whom the vaccine was not effective is very small. But once you add in those who have not been vaccinated there is a now a big enough pool and those for whom the vaccine was not effective are now at risk.
The logical conclusion using the MikeB argument is that all people must be vaccinated without choice. My child, who we shall say is one of those vaccinated but not fully protected, should not be endangered by allowing those who shun vaccination to create a pool of infection. So shots for all, regardless of personal choice I say. My childs life demands it.
This scenario is real, as witnessed by the resurgence of whooping cough and measles. These can be deadly infections that historically killed thousands.
So my question to MikeB is why should my child be put at risk because someone else might have a fear of vaccines.
Similarly why should I be denied the best means of defending my child (handgun) because some else doesn’t like them.
Either way I am being forced to place my child at risk.
I’m not in favor of forced vaccinations but I think you’re a bloody idiot to not have your kids vaccinated. Also FYI I also have an autistic child.
Getting off topic, but I did not have my first vaccination until I was about 22 years old (Mom is a Christian Scientist). I had Whooping Cough when I was about 14. I thought I was going to die. It was very, very scary for me.
The biggest problem with his thinking, which you touched on with the part about prior restraint, is that his idea of a “right” requires the action of somebody else. Rights, by definition (at least in the American legal sense), are inalienable things which existed before the government and would continue to do so should the government cease to exist. To have a “right” to have government agents around to use force (either implicit, in the form of threats of arrest, or explicit, as in actual arrests) to “control” guns would require a “right” to government itself. Which, in turn, would require a “right” to compel others to serve you involuntarily.
Leaving aside the whole 13th Amendment thing for a moment, I would ask MikeB the same question I throw at people who claim health-care/insurance/whatever-they-call-it-this-week is a right:
If you woke up on a deserted island, who would you demand such a “right” from?
Despite there being nobody there to hear it, one still has the right to speak. One could also exercise their right to a free press by writing a newspaper on tree bark and, in the madness of isolation, distributing it to wild boars or something. The rights to not be searched, not have your stuff seized, or not have soldiers quartered in your bamboo hut, while quite irrelevant with nobody there to do the searching or quartering, are also still intact. Likewise, one retains the right to bear arms, even if the best weapon available is a stick with a coconut tied to the end. If, however, one imagines there to be a “right” to arms control, would one sue himself for not policing all the sticks, coconuts, and rocks on the island?
Or, if there was one other person on the island who had the only gun, who exactly is going to compel them to surrender it or, say, comply with a background check? And under whose authority?
Now, one could argue that a “right” to a “service” such as gun control is analogous to the right to an attorney. However, this is still a restraint on government action should they choose to initiate* force against the individual. If the government (or the only other guy on the deserted island above) doesn’t want to provide a lawyer, it can choose not to prosecute in the first place. Same could be said about the rights to vote and to representation, as they are but limits on what others can do if they decide to form a government. If we add a third person to the island above, imagine one of them votes to form a government, and the other two vote for anarchy, the lone dissenter cannot morally compel the other two to represent him.
[*And, yes, I’m well aware that law enforcement is about defending against criminals who initiate force (or fraud). But once you get past stopping a crime in progress and into a courtroom to sentence them, the state–just or not –is now initiating retaliatory force. Hence why the criminal is now called a defendant.]
“Without guns in the home there will not be a substitute in accident deaths by drowning or poisoning.”
I would posit that this is incorrect. If one assumes that accidents involving children and guns is due to children rummaging through things during playtime, finding a gun and using it as a toy, then removal of the gun does not mean that there is no chance of accident/death. While people are usually not apt to leave full bathtubs around, I have noticed that many play sets (cowboys and indians) are substituting knifes for guns. So, now in the children’s rummaging around, they find a knife, that looks similar to the the play one they have. Result is tragedy. Same thing with chemicals (that have that great lemony smell)!
The only problem with this is, once you remove the 100 children (real children not 15 year old gang bangers) deaths and the 1000 or so children injuries with the comprehensive gun ban, you can see the decrease from 30,000 to 29,900 gun deaths (Or, 10,900 when you remove all of the suicides too.) However, the increase in injuries with knifes and chemicals will likely increase but will only be considered noise since there are already 300K cut/pierce injuries/deaths and another 60K poisonings (injury and death) of children 0-14.
I think you have a valid point but my guess is the amount of substitutions which result in death will be significantly less than one to one. And rather than explore that path I chose to make a somewhat overstated concession and get another step closer to my conclusion.
Perhaps even minor concessions are risky and should not be done but the risk of losing people in nearly infinite details is also a real concern.
The same old crap. Here’s the argument, (sic.) in plain English. We, (who, by the way, is we,)we need to confiscate private property from those who have not abused the privilege of ownership to protect us all from those who do.
I reject the “harder targets” argument entirely.
Those who plan to knock over a bank are not going to be dissuaded by the prohibition of a gun they could have for a few hundred, or a thousand dollars. They’ll smuggle them in, steal them from an armory, etc., buy them from cops or make them themselves. As we learned from alcohol Prohibition, and we see now with drug prohibition, the main result is the enrichment and empowerment of especially nasty organized crime gangs, by having granted them the exclusive use and market.
When we hear “prohibited” our immediate response is “from the law-abiding only”. “Reserved for criminal use only”
The other reason is, as we see over and over; certain people and institutions receive exemptions from the law of one kind or another. The majority of the “harder targets” are as well armed under Prohibition as before, either clandestinely due to their political connections or openly due to their perceived public importance.
But we need not look any farther than the founders’ own words. They made all these points back in the 1700s, and more eloquently, and having debated them every which way, they wrote it into the constitution. How many times must we re-learn this stuff? How is it forgotten so easily? Are we so arrogant that we dismiss out of hand the products of such a monumental and historical struggle?
I will concede that “harder targets” are still vulnerable because of the black market. But just as high taxes and heavy regulation reduce the viability of businesses the banning of firearms reduces the viability of attacking those hard targets. There is an additional cost of acquiring the firearm without getting caught, becoming proficient in its use without getting caught, storing it without getting caught, transporting it without getting caught, etc. And since criminals frequently rat each other out the criminal in possession of a firearm has a difficult time organizing a “raiding party” for attacking a harder target without dramatically increasing the risk of getting caught simply because someone couldn’t be trusted to keep the secret.
The total number of “hard targets” hit will be reduced because of these “taxes” on guns and also because of the easier prey that is available in such an environment. Hence my primary point about the demographics of the victims changing is still valid.
Excellent argument, Joe Huffman. Also see this video, if you haven’t already, by Bill Whittle: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRAw3VWVyD8
As far as Mikeb30200 … he lives in Rome; he works for and is paid by the United Nations to surreptitiously advocate for their anti-gun policies here in the US. Best if we could just ignore his antagonisms, just as the United States should ignore the UN’s voracious anti-US policies. Other than allowing for the creation of answering arguments like yours to his, he’s not worth time and effort, because you can’t persuade him with logic; he’s paid to act the way he does, and he can’t be changed by any presentation of reason, no matter how excellent it might be.
Yes. I know he works for the U.N. But it’s not clear to me that he is paid to work on their anti-gun crusade. It could be their food program or something.
I think this effort was worth it. MikeB302000 had a reasonable question and I thought it deserved a reasonable answer. My answer was viewed by thousands of people. That had to help our side because it gives them more intellectual ammunition.
I agree with the others, Joe, that it was a wonderful post.
Your first couple of paragraphs did indeed contain some points that interested me and to which I’d like to say something. The rest, which I did read by the way, seemed like a repeating of your standard arguments.
About Washington DC, you said after the gun ban was lifted they had all that improvement. That’s a little unfair because when I blame gun availability for gun violence I’m told there are other factors, something with which I agree completely. Naturally, the removal of gun control would not be the only factor in any improvement they had. Right? But here’s the real problem with what you said. After the gun ban was lifted things changed very little for the people of the District, isn’t that so? Didn’t the police and politicians conspire to make in next to impossible for them to excercise their newly restored rights? Same thing happened in Chicago a year later. So, for that reason you really can’t credit the lifting of the gun ban even in part on the reduced stats for violence.
Your next point is one that always baffles me. How an intelligent man like yourself can believe in that alarmist talk which says genocide can come to America and we better be prepared, is beyond me. It’s evidence of paranoia, sorry I don’t know how else to respond to it.
Can you really compare the present day US, with all it’s divisiveness, to Ottoman Turkey, or even the more recent Tutsi people of Rwanda? All I can say is “It can’t happen here,” to quote Frank Zappa. It’s apples and oranges.
You heard it here first, folks! Genocide could never happen in America, just like concentration camps could never happen in America.
Makes me wonder how some folks made it out of high school…
The food program, sure! he’s certainly feeding us a line of bullshiite. He’s posted on my blog from his desk at the UN, I’ve proof of that. Where’s his blogs on the starving children he ‘serves’ ?
Bear with me here: given the UN has ‘undercover’ agents provocateur working to forward their agenda, one wouldn’t expect them to have departments named as such, just as the CIA doesn’t label their departments or agents. It’s interesting to note that mikeb302000 picked up that infernal hanging-monkey co-blogger ‘jade gold’, a known troll of the highest order, as a smoke screen to give him credence in the US and as an inside connection to the far-left blogger scene…how’s that working out for you, mikeyb? He’s trying to seem innocuous enough, but please, never trust him, ever.
I’m convinced that mikeb302000 is paid by the United Nations to keep a close eye on the US gunblogger scene, and to stir up anti-gun reaction whenever he can, for purposes harmful to the US 2nd Amendment.
“I’m convinced that mikeb302000 is paid by the United Nations to keep a close eye on the US gunblogger scene, and to stir up anti-gun reaction whenever he can, for purposes harmful to the US 2nd Amendment.”
I think you are giving the UN and Mikeb302000 far, far too much credit.
I dislike “utilitarian” defenses of fundamental rights, for they are largely dependent on how the “statistics” for any topic at hand are running in any given circumstance, and thus place the disposition of fundamental rights at the mercy of collective behavior. If, for only one example, a large swathe of the population should abuse their right of free theology to start worshiping vengeful deities in need of bloody child sacrifice, that would *seem* a good occasion to repudiate the right of free religion, and many fine, plausible utilitarian arguments could be constructed in support of that position.
MikeB’s proposition is thus:
“How about this? We have a right to life, right? Too many guns in the hands of irresponsible or criminal people are interfering with that right, the right to life. We need proper (strict) gun control laws in order to ensure the ability of people to enjoy their right to “life.”
It has within it several unstated assumptions and conflations, jumping from identified cases of criminal misuse of arms to justification of broad prohibitions and restrictions of arms for all, and in asserting that what is actually an immediate, personal right of self defense somehow bootstraps into a vague, collective right of preemptive restraints based on some unproven theory that this constraint contributes to the defense of the person.
What you have to believe in order to accept MikeB’s proposition is that you fundamentally have the right to reach into the life of another human being, a complete stranger with whom you have not made any contract, and who has offered you no threat of harm whatsoever, and dictate to him the terms of his life, to require his obedience, and to curtail his property and activities.
Where would such a right or power possibly come from? My goal here isn’t to survey the many broken theories of collective power, but to simply point out that MikeB’s proposition is utterly dependent upon it, and to suggest that the question of the proposal cannot be reached until such awesome power can be justly founded.
Now, what typically happens at this point is that someone starts shouting “Rousseanian social contract!”, and all the other mental gyrations that are loved by folks who like to muck in other people’s business, but after 30+ years of looking, no one has ever shown me any compelling or just reason I should abandon my unalienable Natural Rights in favor of such a construct. Whenever people start quoting chapter and verse on that sort of thing, I’ve generally found that they’ve either not considered the matter with sufficient depth, or have done so and, even if “well intentioned”, have concluded that they profit from the exercise of powers that are not justly theirs, and prefer that they be executed in the name of that fictitious corporate being “society”, rather than in their own name.
what, do you think, is the fundamental difference between places where such things “can” happen and places where it’s paranoid to think they might? what, in your mind, sets the USA apart from Armenia such that genocide could (and did) happen there but cannot happen here?
obvious corrections obviously apply; genocide HAS happened in the USA, after all. ask any Indian. so the question perhaps becomes, what do you think is the fundamental difference between the USA now and the USA then?
personal polemics: humans are humans, and genocide is one of those horrible mistakes we are all capable of making. Weimar Germany was a civilized, industrialized, enlightened, polite sort of country. that nevertheless got taken over by an obvious madman (who’d already demonstrated his lunacy — he’d written and published Mein Kampf by then, and have you seen what manner of rabid crazy is in there? yet he was allowed in the corridors of power, when it ought to have been clear he belonged nowhere outside a padded cell) and went on to commit genocide. do you seriously believe 2010’s U.S. Americans are that fundamentally different from 1930’s Germans? how and why?
humans don’t change their nature all that quickly. if we’re incapable of that error today, yet weren’t back then, i really want to know exactly what has changed to render us immune — because i want to help ensure that this immunity is forever preserved and strengthened, as much and as long as is possible. i just don’t think anything truly fundamental has changed in that little intervening time.
What could make mikeb think it couldn’t happen here? Confident ignorance.
No, Mike; you can’t play in this arena. Stick to the one that works. You’ll be far better off sticking with the tribalism. “Gun nuts are a bunch of ignorant, paranoid, sister-humping red necks with small penises….” It will work much better than trying to be logical. It’s an age-old, proven tactic. Get to the youth as soon as possible- that’s a proven tactic also. Take full advantage of young people’s need to fit in, and to feel like they count for something. That’s why the phrase “Make a Difference” has remained so popular. Kids don’t even need to have it explained to them what difference they’re making, so long as they feel they can make a difference, belong to a tribe, and feel superior. You can rule the world this way, and since it’s been done, you already have the blueprints.
Since you can’t play in our arena of logic and reason, another objective is to shut us up. Look into that as well. It’s also been used successfully, many times.
I totally agree with you. I dislike that approach too. The problem is that for many people principles have zero meaning. They may generously (and frequently superiorly) think of themselves as pragmatic. I tend to think of them of incapable of understanding the principles but it doesn’t matter. They are not affected by a principle based argument.
With this in mind we need both approaches. Fortunately both approaches agree and our position is very strong. We just need to apply the proper approach for the target audience. I was tempted to go into the principles but the post was getting long as it was and in this particular case I thought the pragmatic approach was the best response. Perhaps I was wrong. But more likely if you consider MikeB302000 the target audience it really didn’t matter a whole lot. If you think in terms of the majority of people who actually read my blog then I gave a relatively succinct response usable by other gun-rights activists for pragmatists they may encounter.
I have expressed similar concerns about the stats coming from Washington D.C. The problem is that it would have to be a coincidence of some sort that the stats would improve so much at exactly the same time as the ban was lifted. And what is that other factor that made the difference? Crime has to be one of the most well studied fields in existence. With such a dramatic change surely some expert could offer a suggestion as to why the sudden change. If there was a change in police efforts you would think some politician would be taking credit for it. If it was some improvement in the economy (and I’m not sure there was an improvement) you would expect the decrease in crime rate would have appeared at other economic upturns.
I’m still skeptical and I anxiously await the stats for 2010 but more and more I’ve been convincing myself that the best explanation is the change in the gun laws.
As for the genocide issue others have done a pretty good job of addressing your point on that. I would like to add that you probably haven’t read nearly as many books on genocides as I have. I’ve read everything the JPFO has put out, I’ve read Hitler’s Willing Executioners, Planning Hitler’s Death, two different books on the Rape of Nanking, and watched more documentary videos than I can enumerate. As soon as you start doing the math you realize guns in the hands of the victims would have enabled them to easily stopped it even if the kill ratio was 1:100 (the victims were able to kill one attacker for every 100 victims). Add in the point that the JPFO makes which is there has never been a genocide where the victims were not first disarmed and the case appears very, very strong that gun control enables genocide.
I think you are correct, “It can’t happen here.” But the reason for that is that the most likely victims are those that happen to own firearms. The ownership of firearms changes your attitude and your relationship with your government. With that attitude change and the presence of firearms in the hands of the most likely victims those most inclined to commit genocide are severely discouraged from doing so. You might challenge my assertion that the most likely victims are those with firearms but look at all the great genocides committed within a population (not across cultures such as whites against American Indians or the Japanese against the Chinese). All of them that I can think of were committed by leftists and other statists upon those that resisted their authority. Gun owners, as a group, are more self reliant and oppose the big government involvement associated with leftist governments. Just look at the violent rhetoric and actions of the anti-gun people in this country. There are far more people advocating that gun owners kill each other, themselves, and their children than the other way around.
You claim it “won’t happen here”? You are correct but you don’t understand the real reason. It is because the gun owners won’t let it happen. We regard the protection of innocent life as a responsibility of gun ownership. The lefists regard genocide as just part of the cost of achieving and maintaining power.
for the record, Joe’s last posting here is one of those times i think his politics take him off the rails and over the cliff’s edge into the yawning chasm of bottomless crazy. implying that there’s anything particularly “leftist” about genocide is obviously wrong, in my eyes. and claiming that genocide is ever committed within one single population smells, also — those who commit it pretty much always view the victims as the “other”, or genocide would have no point to it.
this just to make it clear that not all people who think MikeB302000 is wrong necessarily think so for the same reasons, nor always agree with one another.
Not much time to respond at the moment but check out these major incidents of the 20th Century:
Soviet Union 1929-1945
Nazi Germany & Occupied Europe 1933-1945
China, Nationalist 1927-1949
China, Red 1949-1952, 1957-1960, 1966-1976
Cambodia (Khmer Rouge) 1975-1979
you just called Nazi Germany “leftist”. sorry, Joe, but that’s just you severely discrediting your own credibility. at that point, you might as well take to wearing your underpants on your head — there’s no purpose to even seriously responding to such patent nonsense, other than by pointing and laughing at you. even if your other examples had some merit, i’d have to find someone other than you to discuss them with, because you just marked yourself as beyond reason.
which is a pity, because some of the other points you make ARE eminently reasonable and sensible — including in the response to MikeB that started off this whole thread. but you bring those points also into question when you state such blatant gibberish as though you actually believed it; you give MikeB a lever with which to push his contention that you’re paranoid. (which i don’t believe you are, although you’ve just made it much harder for me to defend your sanity should i so desire.)
Nomen, Nazis were indeed leftist, when leftism is properly understood as being coercive collectivism. Wouldn’t be some kind of European, would you? Europeans have screwy ideas about Left and Right.
ah, i understand; just redefine the political “left” to be whatever you hate most today. i get it, Humpty Dumpty, but i’m not going to communicate with you that way.
(as it happens, i was born and raised in europe. politically, i’m a garden variety northern european social democrat. you go over there and try to use language the way you just did, and folks’ll treat you like a lunatic — for good reason; words have meaning, over there, beyond whatever you want to claim they have at the particular instant.)
The Nazis were indeed leftists, as the name National Socialist Workers Party would indicate. They nationalized rail transport, heavy manufacturing, communications, health care. They built a coercive police surveillance state to stifle dissent. They had no respect for individual liberty, religion, or the family. All society was to be bent toward supporting the Party and the State. The main point that distinguished them from international Communists is the nationalist aspect of their program. I agree with Justthisguy – Europeans have little contact with classical liberal political thought, and therefore view it with suspicion. You seem a smart guy, sneering “underpants on your head” condescension aside. Do some reading, you might expand your horizons some.
According to all the references I have consulted Nazi is literally “National Socialism”. One such reference is here. I always considered socialism as an exceedingly clear indicator of leftist ideology.
The policies align with leftist ideology too–health care, the school system, and the Nazi Party described itself as a “workers’ party”, “on the side of labour, and against finance.”
There were elements of the nationalism that are sometimes associated with “right wing” but the dominate themes align far closer to left wing.
Other than “proof by vigorous assertion” what is your evidence and/or argument that they were not leftists?
the former East Germany was officially the German Democratic Republic. now tell me all about how democratic an entity it was, won’t’cha folks?
among the first thing the Nazis did on coming into power was jail the socialists and ban the unions. hint: that is not a leftist thing to do.
In case you hadn’t noticed, there are a zillion tyrannical states that bill themselves as “democratic” including North Korea. “Democracy” is a great word, but it doesn’t mean much unless it’s based on strong foundations of civic tradition. Hitler banned unions and locked up (international) socialists because they opposed his national socialist agenda, not because he was a right-wing conservative. You’ve really got to look at http://www.politicalcompass.org and see there is more this than “right = Nazi.”
It also occurs to me that when it comes to banning unions and locking up socialists Hitler was a boy scout compared to Stalin and Mao. Those guys probably killed more leftists than anybody in world history. Would you therefore consider them right wingers?
Joe, Sorry it took me a few days to get back here. I hope you don’t mind, I took it over to my blog.
RuffRidr, What you said up there to Serr8d may be the first thing I agree with coming from you. He is giving me way too much credit, but he knows that. He’s just pissed off at me for challenging him on his taste in posting photographs on his blog.
You are welcome to post portions of my posts on your blog. But it is unlikely that I will spend much, if any, time there. I don’t spend time on Aryan Nations sites either even if they sometimes quote some of my material.
My time is more wisely spent associating with people that are not social outcasts.
Could care less about whatever off-topic criticisms you might have of me or my blog postings, Mikeb302000. What I’ve pointed out, correctly, is that you are a paid UN hack who desperately blogs some 5-7 posts daily to draw negative attention to the USA’s gun rights, something you and your UN sponsors hate. Hell, I work 50 hours a week and barely have time to get in one post a day; you post from work in seeming disregard to whatever your ‘job’ is said to be. If you are concerned about feeding the starving, then post on Sally Struthers, not the USA’s 2nd-Amendment guarantees.
Every post you create is another g00gle-fouling episode against US firearms ownership. Every time you lure another gun blogger into a conversation, to link your posts, is a victory to you and your sponsor, giving your works more g00gle exposure. I follow you via RSS, and I have analyzed your habits.
Too much credit? I don’t think so. You are a negative force what needs countering.
My comment is: don’t speak to Mikeb302000. Ignore him; pass the word.