Quote of the day—Harry Binswanger

Statistics about how often gun-related crimes occur in the population is no evidence against you. That’s collectivist thinking. The choices made by others are irrelevant to the choices that you will make.

People understand the wrongness of collectivist thinking in other cases. They would indignantly reject the idea that a member of a given racial group is under suspicion because 10 percent of those with his skin color commit crimes. But the individualist approach also applies to gun ownership and concealed carrying of guns: group ratios offer no evidence about what a given individual will do.

Harry Binswanger
January 1, 2013
With Gun Control, Cost Benefit Analysis Is Amoral
[Or as Tam said:

Where the hell do you get off thinking you can tell me I can’t own a gun? I don’t care if every other gun owner on the planet went out and murdered somebody last night. I didn’t. So piss off.

A significant and unique component of western civilization is the concept of the individual apart from the tribe/village/collective. This gave us the greatest increase in our standard of living, wealth, and life expectancy in the shortest time the world has ever known. Yet many people want to revert back to a form of society more appropriate for stone age tribes that frequently, when applied to modern conditions, has resulted in brutal dictators, mass starvation, and death camps.

Even more interesting is that in the last 100 years the brutal dictators, mass starvation, and death camps only occurred in societies with gun control (see also Innocents Betrayed). So when the collectivists both insist we join their collective and that we give up our guns I think there are only two questions of, mostly incidental, interest in asking:

  1. Are they evil?
  2. Or are they “only” enablers of evil?

Regardless of whether you bother to ask the questions your response should be congruent with Tam’s.—Joe]

9 thoughts on “Quote of the day—Harry Binswanger

  1. I just refuse to believe that they are 1) so stupid or deceived that they cannot see how communism and other totalitarian ideologies always fail and cost the lives of millions of innocents, or that they are 2) completely ignorant of this stark reality since it has been repeated ad nauseam in recent history.

    So, at best, they are enablers of evil.

    Never Again!
    Molon Labe!

  2. My questions (for the Trials) is this : Is Enabling Evil the equivalent of being an Accessory? And should the Enablers receive the same Punishment as the Perpetrators?

  3. The counterargument they would use (I suspect) is that while people don’t choose their ethnicity, they do choose whether or not to be gun owners.

    And having chosen to be gun owners, well, of course that places us under suspicion, because we’re voluntarily hauling these instruments of terrible destruction around.

    • I like your point. I would like to add that people choose their religion, political affiliation, and the tribe they associate with; which have all been used as the pretext for their mass murder.

      The totalitarians just cannot stand that we might have the means to defend ourselves with “…instruments of terrible destruction” to keep them from forcing us to board the trains.

      On a personal level, Tam’s quote above appeals to me about not doing something horrific and yet their response is to punish him. Each gun control law is nothing more than a personal insult to me. I do not consent to collective punishment and I do not recognize any morality in my preemptive punishment for what I MIGHT do with a firearm. By their logic, everyone, everywhere should be locked up, just in case they might engage in an illegal activity sometime.

  4. We’ve all had conversations with what I call “default mentality” American communists, wherein no amount of information, examples or articulation of principles can reach them. They are under a form of hypnosis, and have a strong alliance with some imaginary master that’s hard to break.

    This is a tough question, the issue of culpability. If someone is brainwashed to go and commit a murder are they guilty of murder. Well yes, and so is the hypnotist. That’ll be something to keep in mind in the coming months and years.

    I’m going back and forth between the ideas of “kill them all and let God sort them out” and “forgive them, for they know not what they do” when it comes to communists and jihadis (including all variations thereof) and their upcoming trials.

  5. I dunno, I can see where *some* collectivism/tribalism is a good thing.
    Best way I could put it would be to repeat Penn Jillette’s point on drugs (hard drugs, stuff like cocaine and heroine). That is it should be legal to use- the law does not ban it for individuals- but it should be discouraged by friends and family because it does terrible things to one’s health. Sort of a “we take care of our own” mentality.

    But collectivism according to Dems? Straight up tyranny that won’t end well.

  6. You need a third choice; all of the above. I think a very good argument can be made that an individual (or group) that enables evil on a recurring basis is, in itself, evil. There certainly is enough empirical evidence that seems to indicate things like gun confiscation has a mathematical correlation with increased civilian deaths and even the chances of totalitarian governments. While I know correlation is not causation jeesh at some point in time you just have shake your head at the willful ignorance where people will not even consider the data, or for that matter any other viewpoint other than their own.
    Ed

  7. Minor quibble: it is immoral — not amoral.

    amoral
    not involving questions of right or wrong; without moral quality; neither moral nor immoral.

    immoral
    violating moral principles; not conforming to the patterns of conduct usually accepted or established as consistent with principles of personal and social ethics.

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