Quote of the day—George M. Lee and John R. Lott

Despite assertions that the benefits from waiting periods and background checks are obvious, the complete lack of empirical studies to support those claims is stark. No evidence is offered that either of these laws reduce violent crime, nor that they reduce overall suicide rates. Even more striking, the discussions that Appellant and amici use are not relevant to the case before the court.

Evidence provided in this brief shows that for at least concealed handgun permit holders, one of the classes of plaintiffs in this case, are demonstratively law-abiding, and that it is unlikely that waiting periods or background checks for additional gun purchases could lower crime rates.

George M. Lee
John R. Lott
June 2, 2015
in her official capacity as the Attorney General of California,

[This is about California having 10-day waiting periods for people purchasing a gun even though they already have one or more existing guns and/or a concealed weapons permit.

You might be interested in reading the whole brief but it can be paraphrased as:

Kamala D. Harris and the supporters of this law must be living in an alternate universe. Not only don’t they have any data to support their half-baked ideas, they aren’t even talking about the topic at hand, and they misconstrue the data they do offer.

And if we were talking about what they want to talk about, which we are not and never were discussing, here is the data which destroys their view and proves they have at best a tenuous grasp on reality.

Lee and Lott were much more polite in their choice of words but that is what they said.—Joe]

6 thoughts on “Quote of the day—George M. Lee and John R. Lott

  1. I see where they are now requiring licensing for private citizens to purchase firearms. So now everybody is a Jr. FFL holder?

  2. All of this argument, good as it is, plays along with the Progressive notion that government’s job is to reduce or prevent crime. As such it misses the main point entirely.

    Almost always the argument focuses on Second Principle, meaning it looks at results, outcomes, statistics and appearances. That’s the Progressive view, which sees government as property owner, planning and managing a garden or a farm. That view reduces the citizen to the status of livestock, to be treated as necessary to achieve the property owners’ vision of the right and proper garden, or farm. Certainly the farmer doesn’t want his livestock armed, certainly he wants his livestock to look and live in certain ways, eat certain things at certain times, to be in the right places at the right times, and to exist in the right numbers and classifications, and so on.

    In fact, preventing crime is NOT the government’s job. Not in the U.S., because this is the first government founded on First Principle. First Principle does not address outcomes, appearances, statistics and so on. It does not manage the herd. It does not see a herd. There is no herd. There are but individuals. First Principle looks only at achieving “liberty and justice for all” (in American parlance).

    When First Principle is the focus, the rest takes care of itself. It’s look at what really matters, and having faith, yes the f-word, faith, that when liberty and justice for all is the only cause, purpose and goal of government, all else will follow naturally. Outcomes, in fact, are none of government’s business. That’s OUR business, each of us, as individuals.

    When you ignore First Principles, you’re ignoring all that matters, focusing on those things which can properly result only from focusing on First Principles, and therefore you lose every time. This we now refer to as Progressivism, but it has countless names.

    So as we enter the blogs, the newsrooms, the planning meetings and the courtrooms of America, we must always be ready to argue from First Principles.

    With that in mind, what was happening in that courtroom was more of a Central Planning Committee meeting than an American court hearing. That’s the kind of argument that happens nearly everywhere now, as we (as a society) are in the last stages of forgetting our principles altogether. They only come up as a footnote now, and only occasionally.

    Does anyone out there understand any of this? Can we see a show of hands?

    • Yes, all those things are true.
      There are two ways to argue the right to arms: the principles of liberty argument, and the utilitarian argument. You’re saying that the former is superior, and I agree. That doesn’t mean the latter should not be argued.
      One consideration is that one should answer the opponents’ arguments in a court case. If the opponent argues utility, explain why his claim is false. That’s what Lee and Lott are doing here. It shouldn’t be the only argument (and I expect it isn’t) but it would be a mistake to leave an opposing claim unanswered. Clearly that’s a matter of tactics, but I think it may be a matter of legal procedure as well — courts tend to assume an argument made by one party is valid if not countered by the other party. Consider what happened in the Miller case.
      Another consideration is that a lot of people are more easily swayed by utilitarian arguments than by first principles. You can blame a century of indoctrination against principles for this. Or you may find that two arguments are stronger than one argument.
      Yet another consideration is that you may need to argue why the 2nd amendment should not be repealed. In that discussion, the argument from Constitutional principles is obviously harder to make. Not impossible; you could argue Article 1 Section 8. Or you could argue that the Bill of Rights was a prerequisite for adopting the Constitution in the first place. But it is easier to use the utilitarian argument that such repeal (if it actually made gun bans legal, which of course it does not) would be harmful.
      And finally, some people specialize in one argument and some in another. Your specialty is first principles, and you’re in good company there: Thomas Paine, Stephen Halbrook, Neil Smith. John Lott specializes in the utilitarian argument, and he has done a brilliant job in making it and bringing in the evidence for it.

      • Yes; It’s a matter of the person with whom you’re having a discussion. People who can not see (not sees > Nazis) simply cannot grasp the concept of First Principles. If you’re in the unfortunate position of having been forced to bany words with the blind about the differences between red and green, and the color of rain-washed forgetmenots, your options are limited. Still though, First Principles come first, even in that discussion. Second Principles can be used, but only as a buttress, for the blind, to the First Principles.

        Otherwise one might argue the merrits and utilities of slavery all day without ever addressing the main point which is that slavery, no matter what, is wrong. Further; how does one argue against genocide while relying purely on Second Principles (the future of the human race in this case)? That people don’t want to be (or “shouldn’t be”) killed en masse is irrelevant to the question of whether or not the rest of us might be better off without them. The Progressive veiw (government as farmer, people as livestock on the farmer’s property) allows for genocide, and has often resulted in it.

    • I think I understand. Thirty-five years ago I recall reading that President Carter’s view of human rights was indistinguishable from the rights a cow in a herd had to be a cow (right up until the cow became hamburger). Your farm analogy is good, because animals have horns, hooves claws and fangs to protect themselves from other animals, and one of the first things farmers and ranchers do is dehorn the cattle, and debeak the fowl. Having just typed this, I realize the same people who think a human being has no need of a gun or a knife for self defense will also send money to organizations that espouse the idea that even within the protection of a chicken ranch, the chicken should not be debeaked, and in a cattle ranch the cows should not be dehorned.

      • Yes; there is a contradiction there, seemingly, that is, until you grasp what I believe is the bigger picture. What we refer to as Progressivism (incremental communism) or communism, or collectivism, authoritarianism, Fascism or whatever word one wishes to attach to it (it’s all the same thing) is a war against the human mind, or human spirit. Therefore to say that Progressives de-horn people while standing up for animals is both true and consistent. They’re both anti-human and both hide behind false compassion. It’s gone so far, as you point out, as to assert more rights for animals in some cases than for humans.

        Again, because this is important; there’s no contradiction there. It is at the same time consistent and predictable. It all stems from envy, and leads to seeing humanity as a stain on an otherwise pristine Earth, which in turn leads to hate, which leads to mass destruction. The rationalizations used to mesmerize the gullible along the way (second or third principles sometimes even disguised as first) are quite beside the point. It explains why the rich are hated and attacked rather than looked to for advice on how to succeed, it explains why the strong and healthy are never consulted by the weak and the sick for advice, but instead are demonized as the reason why the sick are sick, and why the weak, the broken and dysfunctional are seen as heroes who are owed some kind of “justice” from those who can cope with relative ease. It’s the same reason why, when a stunningly beautiful woman enters a room full of people, the other women will automatically hate her.

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