Quote of the day—David Brooks

So why are lawmakers responding to mass killings by loosening gun laws? The wrong answer is that the N.R.A. is this maliciously powerful force that controls legislators through campaign dollars. In fact, the N.R.A. spends a minuscule amount on campaign contributions compared with the vast oceans of dough washing through our politics.

The reality is that in some places people want these laws. It’s true that individual gun control measures, like banning bump stocks, have popular support, but, over all, the gun rights people are winning the hearts and minds of America. In 2000, according to a Pew survey, only 29 percent of Americans supported more gun rights and 67 percent supported more gun control. By 2016, 52 percent of Americans supported more gun rights and only 46 percent supported more control.

Today we need another grand synthesis that can move us beyond the current divide, a synthesis that is neither redneck nor hipster but draws from both worlds to create a new social vision. Progress on guns will be possible when the culture war subsides, but not before.

David Brooks
October 6, 2017
Guns and the Soul of America
[For a New York Times opinion piece I found this to be very insightful. His view on “progress on guns” is much different than mine but I believe his words to be correct even if his intended meaning is 180 degrees from mine. We need to win the culture war.

Even in Brooks opinion piece there is evidence this is about a culture war rather than about the facts of gun ownership related to public safety, constitutional law, or philosophy:

This gigantic shift in public opinion hasn’t come about because the facts support the gun rights position. The research doesn’t overwhelmingly support either side. Gun control proposals don’t seriously impinge freedom; on the other hand, there’s not much evidence that they would prevent many attacks.

Even though he knows the evidence doesn’t support his goal of “progress on guns” he thinks it should be done anyway. Why?

It’s about control. He want a culture controlled by a central committee. We want a culture of liberty. We have to win this war. We should only compromise if it takes us a small step closer when we find we can’t make a large step closer to our goals.

Take new shooters to the range. It works. I just found out a couple days ago that new shooters Kurt and Tracie recently bought their first gun.

Guns are a “gateway drug” to liberty. Get them hooked.—Joe]


14 thoughts on “Quote of the day—David Brooks

  1. One thing:. We’re winning the hipsters too. They are gun culture 2.0.

    • Don’t be so sure we’re winning the hipsters, D-bop. From where I sit, with a passel of grown kids, ALL LIBERALS, if they want guns, it’s because they know just enough history to know you don’t win cultural war while unarmed, and MAYBE, JUST MAYBE, they also read that chapter in the History Book which illustrates armed dictatorships and what they do, i.e.: purges on social whims.

      So, the kiddies arming themselves has both good and bad aspects. This is where I and Joe part ways: I do NOT take everyone I can reach to the range and connect them to the gun culture. As I see it, owning and mastering the ability to project lethal force should not happen unless those owners/practicioners are committed to individualism, NOT collectivism.

      I had 95% of a 22-year military career fighting the godless commies. I’m here to tell you that they are MUCH easier to beat as sheep than wolves.

  2. I have seen this shift in my own family. My mother hit the roof when I brought home my first 10/22; now when she visits, she insists we go to the range. With the magnums. She’s 80. My brother was utterly ambivalent about guns. Now he wants his own revolver.

    I followed a lot of the advice from Joe about slow patience with new shooters, and it works.

  3. Joe,
    You said “We can only compromise if it takes us a small step closer instead of a large step closer to our goals.”
    Shouldn’t it be “instead of a large step away from” our goals?
    I think I know what you meant, just asking about the wording…..

    • No, that wasn’t what I meant. But my intent wasn’t anything close to being clear. It’s fixed now.


  4. I earlier read Brooks’ commentary as laying the blame on the divide between the educated ( gun control crowd ) and the uneducated ( pro gun nuts ). Perhaps I misread it, and should go back and read it again.

  5. ” Progress on guns will be possible when the culture war subsides, but not before.”

    So when the Left stops trying to subvert our rights, we can make progress on gun rights? Tautology, thy name is Brooks.

  6. 1. The “culture war” is being fought by the left against American principles. The extent to which it’s a war at all, verses a massacre, is up to us. If the subject of the attack doesn’t fight back then it’s just a massacre.

    2. Culture war = psy-ops. When we don’t fight back, it’s largely because they’ve gotten us worrying more about being liked than being right.

    3. Brooks is talking to his own about their psy-ops tactics, making the whole piece a demonstration of the definition of sociopathy. In sort, he says, “Forget about right and wrong; this is what we must consider if we’re eventually going to get our way”. The left (authoritarian system) sees their lack of principles as cleverness– They have freed themselves, they believe, from the constraints of right verses wrong. They see us as being shackled by our principles (such that we have any); principles which we ourselves were trained to think of as “narrow-mindedness”. Once we realize that they’ve got it entirely backwards on that score (as on virtually all others), the authoritarian system loses its power.

    And now I’ll quote Bob Marley;
    “Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery
    None but ourselves can free our minds…”

  7. Yes, it’s a culture war. Get the kids. Get them young and indoctrinate them well. But man kids have BS detectors, and they don’t do well in school because they have them, either intrinsic or through being taught better at home. I wrote The Stars Came Back because I didn’t like the current S/F offerings, and my kids liked book. Castalia House was started for the same reason – to get old-school American culture published in the form of S/F stories.

    They are now raising money to start a new Comic Book line, Alt★Hero, an anti-SJW subversive comic (feel free to chip in a few bucks, just to trigger them), a project that has managed to bring Chuck Dixon, one of the biggest names in comics.

    To fight the culture war, you have to show up. I’m too poor to take lots of people to the range for free (to them), but I can reach a few people with my books. most will already be in the choir, but some won’t be, but they will at least sit in the pews and listen to story about freedom for a while.

    What front are you fighting on in the culture war? Even if it’s a tiny little salient in a backwater, every little bit helps.

    • Re subversive comics: great idea.
      Scott Bieser has been doing his part to bring those about for years now. There’s the marvelous “Roswell, Texas” (with Neil Smith and Rex May). And several on-line novel-length comic strip stories (see http://www.bigheadpress.com).

  8. No compromise with the left is possible on guns or anything else because whatever deal they make, they will not honor it.

  9. Banning bumpstocks in response to this massacre is about as effective as banning AR-15 pistols. But it is to be expected. I think Step Four in the famous phases of a project is Punishment of the Innocent. We’re past disillusionment and almost past Search for the Guilty. Punishment of the Innocent cannot be far off.

    • In the procedures as practiced by the left, the “search for the guilty” phase is normally omitted. It isn’t interesting to them; if anything, it is something to be avoided because the guilty might turn up someone they don’t want to see exposed as such. Consider their avoidance of the subject whenever islamic terrorists are involved.

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