Don’t enable that tool

Sebastian says this is Help We Don’t Need. Say Uncle says this is How not to win. I’ve upload the 67 second MP3 here. It has received nearly 80,000 views on YouTube.

This is not about whether the firearms instructor has the right to say what he did or refuse his services to anyone. I fully agree he was within his rights to do what he did. I just don’t think it is a good idea.

Yes, there are some Muslims in this country who are actively trying to murder as many Americans as they can. Yes, there are Obama supporters who are actively working to destroy our freedoms.

But one of the basics of our country is that an individuals actions and character not their religion or who they voted for (we have secret ballots for a reason) should determine their status. There are certain specific enumerated rights which are guaranteed to everyone but those that have proven themselves completely untrustworthy.

The right to keep and bear arms is a specific enumerated right. It is a fundamental natural right. What does this look like to people who are undecided on the issue of gun owner rights?

Think of it how it would look if a teacher refused to teach someone to read on the basis of religion/voting-record/skin-color. Or a lawyer that refused to represent someone on that basis. Or someone that refused to sell books or newspapers to someone on that basis. Or a police officer that refused to arrest the attacker of someone who was “the wrong type of person”.

I once had an Arab Muslim student for my NRA Personal Protection class. I didn’t think it was that big of a deal. He was married to an American woman and studying architecture at a nearby university. He wanted to be able to get an Idaho concealed weapons license and that required proof of training.

A few years later after I stumbled across some more information about him I initiated a long conversation with the FBI about him. The FBI agent I talked said they knew of him but, naturally, wouldn’t tell me much more. I don’t know that he was really anything to be concerned about and I don’t know that the FBI or any other government agency ever did anything beyond keep a file on him and watch him a little closer than they would most people.

I still think this was the proper course of action. Sort of an innocent until proven “guilty” policy.

Based on the information I had at the time it was entirely appropriate to teach him to defend himself with a firearm. Later information led me to question that conclusion. But I knew that I did not have as much information as needed to draw the correct conclusions. The people responsible for drawing the correct conclusion and had access to far more information than I did probably would be interested in this student seeking out firearms instruction. My usual policy is to not keep records of my students and even to destroy the list of previous Boomershoot participants after I send out an email to them announcing the next event. But this guy was memorable and I violated that policy only after spending a lot of time thinking about it and urging from wife Barbara.

When I was getting my instructor credentials I was told, and I followed this advice, to ask every student why they were taking the class. Any hints that they were intending to break the law would have been sufficient to refuse my services to them. I still think that refusing to teach someone on the basis of their religion alone, even Islam, is not a good idea. There are far, far more Muslims in our country who are friendly to our culture and form of government than are hostile.

I believe that in most cases there are going to be indicators other than religion (or voting record) that can be used to appropriately deny firearm instruction services to someone. In the case of the Muslim student I had he was married to a U.S. citizen and all appearances were that he was friendly to our country.

Also, there are (or at least was) terrorist training camps available. If the guy merely getting training to acquire the license rather than because he had near zero training that would probably show up during the class. The FBI guy repeatedly asked me about this. As near as I could tell he was truthful in telling me he had no previous training. Looking for those sorts of signs could be useful should you decide he needs the attention of the authorities.

If this is someone who is really serious about causing us harm then far better training is probably easily available to him.

Think of this issue another way, as a percentage of the population people with dark colored skin are overrepresented in prison. One could reasonably conclude that people with dark colored skin are less likely to be trustworthy with a firearm because they apparently are more likely to commit crimes. But this denies a basic human right to an entire class of people most of which have done nothing wrong.

Treat people as individuals not as part of some “class”. Isn’t that one of the basic tenets of our form of government and our society? Isn’t the promotion of “class warfare” a major tool of the people who desire the destruction of our form of government? Don’t enable that tool for them.

10 thoughts on “Don’t enable that tool

  1. What a marvelous defense of both individualism and equal rights!

    May I conclude that based upon this sterling statement of principle you’re now opposed to routine and ritual circumcision?

    Because if you really believe what you just posted, Joe, you don’t appear to have any congruent and consistent alternatives. Routine and ritual circumcision violates just about everything you just claimed to believe, endorse, and support.

  2. While the laws on commercial speech and public accommodation likely have something to say about what this guy said in his commercial, and I agree that the laws enforcing equal access to his commercial services are valid, and I agree with the post above that individual rights and equal rights are the ideal upon which we operate, I am left with this little problem: I laughed out loud when I heard this guy on the radio.

    I laughed out loud at his his description of Obama voters as being “unable to make a knowledgeable and prudent decision as required under the law.”

    And of all the commenters I have read or seen on the subject, everyone addresses the issue from the perspective of equal rights and individual rights, or commercial law, or good business sense. Nobody, it seems, has addressed what the old curmudgeon actually said. Because if anyone does, they will start to laugh out loud, like I did, at the on-point description of Obama voters. ANd I definitely have heard no arguments saying that the description is, well, not correct.

    Strong ridicule is a powerful weapon, and I think the commercial nailed Obama voters to the wall with an apt description of them. The elephant in the room in this case is that Obama voters are being accurately portrayed as exhibiting something like Peterson Syndrome, and I don’t see any rebuttal of that.

  3. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights are, for the most part, limits on government action. (The exceptions being those places where the proscription against infringement upon rights — as in the Second Amendment — is absolute and universal.) But the First Amendment is most specifically a limit on the actions of CONGRESS and no other body — or individual. (The incorporation doctrine notwithstanding.)

    By definition, as a private individual, I cannot infringe upon your First Amendment rights unless I somehow involve the legislative power of the Federal Government.

    This to me is the invidious part of the so-called Civil Rights laws and decisions of the ’60s which forbid commercial discrimination. While I applaud the outcomes to a certain extent, I find the means abhorrent. If there were no other example, I would say this is the exact case in point that proves the contention that the ends do not justify the means.

    Especially since the First Amendment purports to protect the right of free association, which ought to encompas as well the right to refuse association. The current case being brought by Muslim students against Catholic University being a textbook example.

    While I have a well-conditioned — almost kneejerk — reaction against what the guy said, it seems clear to me he has every right to both say it and structure his business to make it so. As individualists and believers in ordered liberty, we cannot do other than respect his rights in the matter. Nor do I see a countervailing claim of rights against his interests as having any weight.

    All that said, I sure as hell wouldn’t take his course, if for nothing else than that he displays piss poor target selection capabilities.

    M

  4. Hopefully people in our community will marginalize him for his (righfully gauranteed) speech. I don’t want to be painted along with him by anybody’s broad brush.

  5. It’s worth about as much as not having any other normal, healthy, functional human body parts cut off any of your children, regardless of sex. I.e., not much, because the idea itself is fundamentally insane ITFP, and nobody deserves much credit for not doing patently insane things.

    The only time “religious belief” or “parental rights” or “a miniscule potential chance at a possibility of an unproven and highly doubtful preventative benefit” applies to non-therapeutic amputations is when it’s the penis of a baby boy. For every other normal, healthy, functional human body part, all of those “reasons” are obviously inapplicable BS. If the only thing that *can* change that is the body part, then clearly only the body part is what matters, not the primacy of religious belief or parental “rights” or anything else. Not just because we don’t do it to any other body parts for such “reasons”, but because we’re pretty much all commonly and strongly opposed to doing it to any other body parts for exactly the same “reasons”. Why exactly does that strong opposition to needless amputations suddenly vanish the moment we start talking about the penises of baby boys? Nobody ever answers that, and, well, like I keep posting. . .I know what it usually means when people do that.

    Do you?

    So pretty much the only reason you or anybody else of good conscience and rational outlook thinks it’s at all acceptable for anybody to do it is because you make a thoughtless, knee-jerk, utterly unjustified exception to the default standard of “Don’t amputate without a direct medical health necessity”. People treat the male prepuce as though it alone, uniquely and extraordinarily among every other normal, healthy, functional human body part, is just. . .somehow, magically!. . .inherently disposable.

    Problem is, it’s not disposable, any more than any other normal, healthy, functional human body part is.

    Circumcision is wrong by default. It’s every bit as wrong by default as cutting off any other normal, healthy, functional human body part is — ears, nose, eyelids, lips, etc.; all completely and utterly unjustifiable, unless they’re so infected and/or otherwise severely damaged that they’re posing a genuine threat to the patient’s life and well-being. And when 80+% of the world’s men and boys today are living quite healthily and safely with intact foreskins, they’re obviously no threat to anybody’s well-being.

    That’s the single common moral, ethical, professional, and legal standard for amputations, and circumcision doesn’t come even close to beginning to meet it. And if doesn’t. . .then it’s genital mutilation, and it’s being done to over a million innocent children every single year in this country out of literally nothing more than ignorant sexist bigotry.

    Just looking the other way on that and never saying anything is fundamentally the same as looking the other way on segregated water fountains. . .or the public refusal to train paying muslim customers to defend not only themselves, but those around them. . .and never saying anything.

    If it’s still necessary, I’d be more than happy to explain my reasoning to you and how what you posted marches right alongside it. Just tell me where you stopped following, and we’ll take it from there.

  6. Doesn’t Texas license firearms instructors? Is not the licensed instructor therefore acting as an agent of the State? Would he not, then, be barred as any other State agent or employee would be from discrimination against any non-prohibited person in the licensed services he offers?

    It appears this is the case. I don’t think the guy can deny access to his Texas CHL classes in the manner he claims; possibly he could do so for firearms classes not related to the Texas CHL.

    (IMO, Children are chattel. So you can send them to gun class even if they object. Just sayin’.)

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