That is what I am afraid of

Joan Peterson writes, “Rights of gun owners will be placed right along side of the rights of Americans to be safe from senseless shootings.”

You have zero rights “to be safe from senseless shootings” or be safe from someone beating you with a baseball bat, or be safe from someone cutting your liver out with a sharpened credit card.

What you can reasonably expect is such criminals will be punished by our legal system.

Peterson thinking is so scrambled that I don’t think she even understands the concept of a right but this time I think she said something refreshingly honest and almost profoundly revealing. She wants people to have same right to own a firearm as “to be safe from senseless shootings”. That is saying she wants you to have no right to own a firearm.

Thank you Brady Campaign Board Member Joan Peterson for finally saying what we have long claimed and you and your organization have long denied.

Update: Mostly off topic but I left the following comment on her post. I post it here out of fear she will not allow it to be seen on her blog.

Last September at the Gun Blogger Rendezvous I spent many hours talking to Paul Barrett and have continued discussions with him via email since. And he will be attending a shooting event I am hosting in April. He readily admits he is a novice in the field of firearms and still has a lot to learn.

He has also agreed with me with there is no data to indicate a legal limit on the capacity of firearm magazines would result in a net increase in safety of the public. And even in his book he states that efforts to pass such a law would fail and would hence be a waste of time and effort.

19 thoughts on “That is what I am afraid of

  1. From her last post prior to going on vacation “People could actually just look at my blog. They could read it and not respond. But I guess the pro gun extremists who read this blog just have to bring me down a peg or two and find fault with what I write. Whatever.”

    In other words, read my stuff and shut the fuck up, prole. Here’s a hot tip, Joan. If you don’t want comments, instead of censoring the crap out of the ones you do get, just turn them off.

  2. Is this anything like the ‘right to not be offended’? While the Bill of Rights isn’t an all inclusive list of rights, I think it’s funny how they can make up rights that aren’t mentioned, and ignore ones that actually are.

  3. I disagree. I think you have a right to be safe from senseless (i.e. non-justifiable-self-defense) shootings. If you deny that, then no one can be brought to justice for shooting you when they didn’t need to. It’s just that no one has the obligation to keep you that way. Which means that (where legal, yadda, yadda) that onus is on you. Once that right has been violated (you get shot when doing nothing wrong), law enforcement has a duty (note–not obligation) to investigate and, if possible, bring the perp to justice. Of course, by then it’s too late to not get shot, but I believe it is important to punish people only for what they have done, and never for what they might/could/would have done.

  4. Also if you deny the existence of such a right, that means that you don’t have the right to shoot back in self-defense. To me this is a case of “I don’t think that means what you think it means.”

  5. @Publius, I think we are mostly quibbling about semantics but I disagree. I would say you have a right to defend yourself against illegal violent attacks. You don’t have a right to be free from such attacks.

    In other words you have the negative right to not be punished for defending yourself. You do not the positive right, provided by someone else, to be provided 24×7 protection against illegal attacks on you.

  6. Have you ever read Grimm’s Fairy Tales as an adult? I have. Subconsciously I expected something something like a modern fantasy novel, with a consistent albeit impossible plot. Instead, I got a bunch of nonsensical story lines with such twists as a princess turning a villain into a frog, making me wonder why she didn’t do so before he imprisoned her for twenty years. What I hadn’t previously realized was that, to give an example, J. R. R. Tolkien was an educated man who knew his world wasn’t real, and took pains to explain it in his fiction. The peasants who told the fairy tales were superstitious people who were not critical thinkers, and it shows in the stories. Joan Peterson is like that: you expect at least a pseudological argument, but instead you get the weird ramblings of a woman with the critical thinking abilities of an 18th century peasant.

  7. I didn’t say you had the right to protection, (I attempted, perhaps unsuccessfully, to clarify that distinction above). I said you have the right not to be attacked. I believe there is a difference there. But you are correct that we agree on the central issue, it’s just the peripheral details…

  8. Publius,

    Forgive the semantics to follow.

    Natural rights are primarily negative: they uniformly restrict the actions of others, they are not positive actions others owe to any given individual.

    Thus -you- don’t have a right to “not be attacked” by others, which would be a positive right they “owe” you as an individual; rather they do not have the right “to attack” any other individuals (unjustifiably), which uniformly restricts -their- actions irrespective of anything “owed” to you.

    AKA the Non-Aggression Principle.

    In practice they amount to the same thing but in principle it maintains consistency between the moral/ethical right of justifiable self-defense (resisting aggression) with the other negative natural rights.

  9. Ah,but (more semantics here) if you pay close attention to the verb (passive voice) I believe I have articulated a negative right, but in a different way. This formulation is rather similar to the “shall not be infringed” language.

  10. I’ve read her blog, if only for a giggle or too. There’s a statement I’m rather fond of:
    “The ‘gun lobby’ as you call it, always wins because it IS the people. The Brady Campaign to ban guns and distribute butterflies and unicorns has less than 28K members. The NRA, on the other hand, has over 4.3 MILLION. Put another way, for every 1 of you flowerchildren that wants to make guns illegal, there are over 150 of us people with guns who respectfully disagree with your nonsense.”

    and the other phrase is this:

    “I have often observed that individuals who appeal to “common sense” do so because they are unable to rationally justify their position. As such, they engage in the “poisoning the well” fallacy through implying that those who disagree with their unjustified claims lack “common sense.”

  11. Matthew,
    I agree with you, but the question of rights is best explained by John Locke in his Two Treatises on Government.

    The idea of “rights” comes from the older definition of right (as in right versus wrong). He questioned whether it was right to obey a king, and when it was right to rebel. His contemporaries believed that God blessed the King, and therefore whatever the King did or decided must be right. As a corollary, only the King had ‘rights’. Locke believed that all people were equal before God, and therefore that all people have ‘rights’.

  12. “Safe from senseless shootings” is a broad category that is actually hard to disagree with, sort of like “motherhood, apple pie, and baseball are good things” is hard to disagree with. Except in some cases some unwed mothers lead to poorly raised children, some eaters of apple pie get too fat, and baseball can kill spectators with an errant foul ball, so bad things happen despite these being good things. Similarly, “SFSS” in some peoples’ belief systems means no wife beating, home invading ex boyfriend should ever be shot as he violates the restraining order against him and threatens to kill his ex girlfriend. They are wrong.

    Joan Peterson is making a false argument here, in that she argues for some balance between the “rights of gun owners” and the implied conflict of those rights with the existence of “senseless shootings” that occur. Senseless shootings occur where individual gun rights are honored by government and society, and in places where gun rights are completely denied to everyone, and places where there are some guns and some rights. Senseless shooting occur worldwide, in all political systems, and in all societies. Nobody believes senseless shooting should occur, except maniacs and tyrants. This is a classic Joan Peterson false argument, a slander against gun rights, in making such a false connection between gun rights and senseless shootings. There is no connection between the two, period.

    Rights of gun owners do not include any subset of senseless shootings and cannot be in conflict with senseless shootings, since “gun rights” do not allow gun owners to senselessly shoot anyone, ever. Joan Peterson is an idiot.

  13. @mikee, I think you noticed something important here. She puts all gun owners into the “evil waiting to happen” category despite the evidence of millions upon millions of lawful gun owners never being a threat to anyone.

    I do not appreciate being accused of being a menace to society.

    My retort, her policies enable criminals and governmental tyranny/genocide. Not what I would call the moral high ground.

    I am unsure about her mental prowess, as you noted. I think she has a poisoned heart and mind.

  14. Some folks are misunderstanding rights in a natural rights context. You don’t have any right to be safe, because safety is not a state of nature. Safety is something that is provided, or won, and that is not something you can have a right to.

    In a natural state, self-defense is a right, and retribution is a right. The natural right of retribution, to seek redress from someone who has wronged you, is one we surrender to the state in order to form governments. We don’t surrender our right to self-defense, to defend against those actively threatening life and limb.

  15. Caleb, that’s right. I’m thinking of getting a T-shirt with the words, “If you disagree with me you lack common sense”. I might be able to sell a lot of them; as you say, everyone believes that to be true.
    Ken, an interesting book to read in conjunction with Grimm’s Fairy Tales is Bruno Bettleheim’s “The Uses of Enchantment”, which looks at the tales through the lense of Freudian psychological theory. Bettleheim made a strong case for the tales being explanatory and cautionary stories that made sense and provided a life lesson for the listeners, who were as you note, uneducated and superstitious peasants.
    Sebastian, your distinction between retribution and self-defense leads into another post of Joe’s here in which the Leftist scum “author” conflates self-defense with the settling of scores (implicitly at some other time and place as the incurring of the “score”.

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