Quote of the day—Vincent Shen

I can’t speak to that 10 to 15 years from now. But overall, it seems like the 2nd Amendment is here to stay.

Vincent Shen
February 7, 2017
How American Outdoor Brands Investors Should View the Threat of Gun Control
[I have much higher hopes for the “health” of the 2nd Amendment now than I have for the last eight years. It may never be what I think it should be in my lifetime but there is a good chance it will be good enough for all practical purposes.—Joe]

6 thoughts on “Quote of the day—Vincent Shen

  1. As in the law of physics which says that energy can be neither created nor destroyed, so it is in politics that a human right can be neither created nor destroyed.

    One might deny that law of energy, but only at one’s peril. For example you may end up with a sunburn, you might suffer from a bad fall, end up with a case of hypothermia, or you might even be dumb enough to believe that hydrogen/oxygen combustion is a “source” of energy which could replace fossil fuels, etc.

    The same goes for human rights. They are an immutable reality just like any other. No Earthly authority has the power to create or destroy them. To deny them or to attempt to create them is to cross the line into criminality, into the assumption of a higher authority you simply do not have.

    When we talk about the “health” of the second amendment or of other rights then, we’re actually talking about the degree of criminality within our government. It is not the “health” of human rights (i.e. the health of reality) then, that’s being discussed. Rather it is the mental health and level of criminality of those in government. What we may call the criminally insane then (those who would deny the law of human rights) have only so much power over us as we choose to grant them.

    It’s the same as the schoolyard bully scenario. The bully has a mental disorder which he attempts to assuage by controlling others through pain and threats. He’s attempting to spread his disease. Allowing him to continue in that behavior is a disservice to him and to everyone around him, even to generations yet unborn. All we have to do is recognize all of that and act accordingly.

  2. Human “rights” – all of them – are a human invention. As animals start to cluster into societies, they invent rules to enable them to work more efficiently together. Thus, wolf packs, monkey troupes, and whale pods work out the hierarchy of power within the group, and humans are no different. What humans call “rights” are simply societal rules that we regard of a higher order, and it’s debatable at many levels which rules should be elevated to that status.

    Those of us on the minimalist side of the spectrum figure that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness – which includes things like the right of self defense – are sufficient to our basic needs. In our view, when you claim “rights” that impinge on my “rights” – you are in the wrong. Although we may acquiesce in paying taxes, for example, to build schools or hospitals, we balk at the statement that everyone has a “right” to education or healthcare. We regard these as extraneous to the basic individual rights that we claim.

    Unfortunately, those at the other end of the spectrum – nestled as they are in the bosom of social programs – convert everything they desire into a “right.” And it doesn’t stop at education or healthcare – it extends to cell phones and footwear, and if they’re liberal and/or black enough, it extends to the stripping of those they perceive as being privileged of their wealth and possessions for redistribution.

    Somewhere between these extremes are “rights” that show social and individual benefit, but collectively are restrictive of other rights. The “right to clean air” is one of those. Although the benefits to society of clean air are manifold, it that really a “right”? Does your “right” to breathe clean air trump my “right” to burn garbage in my back yard? That’s where the separation between rights, rules and preferences gets pretty fuzzy.

    It’s an interesting case of semantics, pretty unique to humans. While animal societies have rules, it’s hard to imagine civil rights organizations among monkeys. And if you, as a prey species, try to convince a cheetah of your rights, you’ll simply become lunch.

    • I’d agree that “positive rights” such as the right to a jury trial are a human invention. But the right to self defense certainly is not. Self defense is practiced very widely among living creatures. As I put it some years ago, “even mushrooms understand self defense”.

      • I’d agree that self defense exists – all living kingdoms exercise it. But – is it a “right”? Speaking philosophically here. As humans, some of us declare for ourselves and others that self defense is a right. Amongst mushrooms, fire ants, or squirrels vs. foxes, not so much. If a squirrel fends off a fox that wants to eat him, he was successful in saving his own life, but the other squirrels don’t really care one way or the other. It’s a momentary state of self preservation.

        Among musk oxen, say, if the wolves come they’ll circle up for mutual self-protection, but there’s no National Musk Oxen Circling Association (NMOCA) to protect the right to circle up – it’s a behavior that is beneficial to the species.

        Amongst humans, self defense has also been a behavior that’s beneficial to the individual and the species, and as sentient beings, we have recognized it, adopted it as a part of our society, and elevated it to an honored position – but I’d still contend that as a “right” as opposed to a behavior exhibited when required – it’s still a human construction.

        As a human, whether it’s a behavior or a “right endowed by our creator” – I’m still very much in favor of it!

  3. Our founding document declares that all Men are created equal, and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.

    What you’re all saying is in opposition to this concept. It is the stuff of the Progressive Marxist Eugenicist left. Whale pods my fucking ass. You’re clueless.

    • Lyle, you’ll have to clarify why whale pods would want to fuck your ass, please. And name calling doesn’t necessarily prove your point, either. Next you’ll be calling my wiener size into question?

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