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    Reasoned Talk

    Guns

    by | May 5, 2013

    Just saying that word is usually enough to trigger an onslaught of Teh Crazy. So I’ll wait while you get it out of your system. For the rest of us, here’s a video about kittens.

     

    All done? Good. Now let’s have a reasonable, civil talk.

    I’m bringing up the subject of guns because I just learned of some right-wing radio host calling for civil disobedience in Washington, D.C., on July 4. The disobedience? Defying the district’s law against carrying loaded weapons around in public.

    Yes, boys and girls, these guys want to march on Washington with loaded weapons (I’m not linking to this page because I’d rather not drive any traffic there, nor would I like the lovely people who are commenting on the page to come over here. You’re intelligent adults, though. You can find it if you want to):

    This is an act of civil disobedience, not a permitted event. We will march with rifles loaded & slung across our backs to put the government on notice that we will not be intimidated & cower in submission to tyranny. We are marching to mark the high water mark of government & to turn the tide. This will be a non-violent event, unless the government chooses to make it violent. Should we meet physical resistance, we will peacefully turn back, having shown that free people are not welcome in Washington, & returning with the resolve that the politicians, bureaucrats, & enforcers of the federal government will not be welcome in the land of the free. (emphasis mine)

    I ask you, is this a good idea? Unless you’re a reasonable person, capable of rational thought based on a minimum of emotion, please don’t answer that. This eliminates the fearful people who would respond, “Hell, yeah! We have to show the government we ain’t gonna give up our guns!” as well as the bleeding hearts who would say, “That is wrong on so many levels I can’t even begin to parse it.” The rest of you, buck up and think a minute. I’ll wait, but no kittens this time.

    Sacramento Day Of ResistanceOK? What did you come up with? If you’re like me, you recognized right away that the organizers of this march fall into the-fearful-people-who-would-respond-”Hell-yeah!-We-have-to-show-the-government-we-ain’t-gonna-give-up-our guns!” category. Because rational people, capable of any form of rational thought, know that nobody is trying to take anybody’s guns away. This is the problem with Teh Crazy. It is not only incapable of rational thought, it believes rational people are part of the vast conspiracy out to take their guns or perform any other task required by the Liberal Agenda to Destroy America. You likely also thought that having a group of people incapable of rationality who believe that the truth is a lie march around with loaded weapons is an insanely stupid idea, especially given … oh wait. I forgot that part.

    We are truly saying in the SUBTLEST way possible that we would rather die on our feet than live on our knees.

    I can only assume that if that is considered subtle, then not subtle must be storming the capital with guns blazing, which would be even more insanely stupid.

    Let me be perfectly clear. I don’t want to take away anyone’s guns. I also wish there weren’t any, and I don’t think there’s a good reason to own one. But what I think and believe is not the law of the land, and I don’t believe I have to the right to force anyone to live by my beliefs. Simply put, I don’t believe in owning guns, so I won’t be buying one. I do, however, support common sense restrictions on buying guns, and I don’t think that violates the Second Amendment regardless of how it’s interpreted.

    Interesting, isn’t it, that the Second Amendment seems to hold some exalted place in the pantheon of Teh Crazy’s sacred objects, the only Constitutional amendment that cannot be affected by any legislation whatsoever and the only one not subject to the originalists’ and textualists’ rule that laws mean only what the writers of said law understood it to mean?

    Of course, I do have the right to petition the government to make my beliefs the law of the land, to ban guns, but in this case I’m not going to because I also believe that laws should be less restrictive, not more, and if they’re to impose any limitation or restrictions, they must make sense and not be because somebody’s god says it should be that way. We can’t be forced to make a decision, because when decisions aren’t made freely, there’s nothing substantial to back that up. There’s just what someone else decided that we should think too.

    So, have your guns. But there can and should be reasonable restrictions on how and when you can buy them and how and when you can carry them. And those of you who want to keep your guns need to understand that they won’t make you safe. That great spiritual teacher Albert Einstein was appalled in 1932 about a disarmament conference didn’t seem to be going very well. He held a news conference:

    Albert_Einstein_(Nobel)If the implications weren’t so tragic, the conference’s methods could only be called absurd. One doesn’t make wars less likely to happen by formulating rules of warfare. … The solution to the peace problem can’t be left in the hands of governments. … I think the conference is heading for a bad compromise. Whatever agreement is made about the ‘types of arms permissible in war’ would be broken as soon as war began. War can’t be humanised. It can only be abolished. (emphasis mine)

    That should be painfully obvious to everyone by now, but apparently it’s not. Einstein was speaking about violence between nations, of course, but his words apply equally to violence on a smaller scale, to any act of agression against any sentient being, no matter who barked first or why.

    Because, kittens.

    ###
    • Gun protest photo © 2013 Chris Aschenbrener (licensed a iStockPhoto.com); Einstein photo official Nobel Prize for physics 1921, PD.
    KC Wildmoon

    KC Wildmoon

    KC Wildmoon is an accidental journalist who never even bothered to finish school since her accounting major was incredibly boring. Instead, she opted for being a minor rock star and annoying as many government officials as possible on a regular basis. After 16 years at CNN, she's now doing forensic journalism for Ireland-based Storyful.

     

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    • Trevor Irvin

      Unfortunately a review of factual data, resulting in even the mildest forms of reasonable safeguards, methods and law won’t happen in America. At least not in my lifetime. Reality won’t wipe out the self induced fiction of the Right to Bear crowd. Guns are produced and marketed at an astounding pace these days. Between the money and the fictional gun ideology currently in vogue, any reasonable discussion is impossible to hold. Even gun owners who wish for reasonable controls are drowned out.

      When my Dad and grandfather were boys, a gun was simply a gun, a dangerous tool not to be fooled with and
      certainly not to be carried around with you … now it’s a religion. They didn’t deceive themselves into thinking they were protecting anything. They were smart enough to know they weren’t going to use a hunting rifle, or even sillier, a pistol to hold off an imaginary government coup. Their weapons were used exclusively for varmints and occasionally hunting. But even my grandfather, who was born in 1896, rarely hunted. Their “heritage” was farming not hunting. Little men can feel awful big holding a weapon and love to pretend they are protecting something. But self-deception is a powerful thing.

      Regards,
      T

      • KatrinaAnon

        I like to put it simply, if guns do not provide a deterent effect against criminals, then why do police carry guns?

        I also like to repeat the one time in my life when I used a gun to deter to motorcycle thugs. They were ready to drag me, my buddy, and girl friend out my truck. They were prepared to do just that until one of them spotted my cocked .45 we were keeping out of sight hoping we could discourage them with just words.

        That is when one of them went docile. It took the other guy a few more minutes to calm down, and they could have cared less that I had already called the cops.

        Odds are I will never have to do that again.

        There is plenty of research that already show you do not need to shoot a gun to discourage a crime, and that those events are rarely reported. It is also clear that thugs do not like encounters with armed citizens. In Europe where gun ownership is low “hot robberies” mean breakins with owners at home are more twice as high as they are here in the US.

        It is also clear that when maniac wants a high body count, they go to places where they do not encounter armed citizens.

        • Trevor Irvin

          You’re deaf and blind. There is a sea of research that discredits most everything you blather about. But solid research and factual statistics don’t register with you and
          never will. Facts, science, and well prepared research is simply wasted on your
          ilk. Your belief model is opinion based and child-like, not factual.

          • KatrinaAnon

            Trevor, check the news. Crime is down, gun ownership is up. I am more than wise enough to know that two are not necessarily linked, but it does show that incredible increase in gun ownership does not increase crime. I know the hoplophobic nationalists did not like that story coming out during the past few weeks.

            As far as solid facts from Europe. I forget the year, the British Home Secretary was going to make a statement that since banning most guns their gun crime had gone down, etc., etc. She got warned before she went to a press conference, that government agency had just finished a study that PROVED it had gone the other way (that gun crime was up).

            As far as home invasions go, they are rariety in the US but almost 3 times as high Briton, Australia, etc.

            If I remember to come back here soon (I am a little busy). I think I still have a link list to many of those articles.

            BTW, I am not trying to change your mind, this for all the others that have not read the facts and are still open to discussion.

            Others may want to read “Armed Citizen” reports. It is a monthly list of armed citizen encounters with thugs, etc. compiled by the NRA. You do not have to believe the NRA as they have the source material and you can Google for the original print story.

            Again, if you can answer my previous question, try this again, “if guns do not provide a deterent effect against criminals, then why do police carry guns?”

            • Lee Leslie

              Whereas, I suggest you both consider what occurred in Australia. For instance, take a look at this fine report by Jon Stewart: http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-april-25-2013/australia—gun-control-s-aftermath?xrs=share_copy

            • KatrinaAnon

              Could not get the video to run. Jon Stewart does not always do hard news and mixes it with satire, so its always hard to judge the quality of journalism, but his wit is quite good.
              I promise to look from another location at it later and see what I think of it. Thanks for the link.

              However, here’s one http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323777204578195470446855466.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop

              I had already known that gun crime had increased in Britain post ban, but I was somewhat unaware it had gone as high as it has. I do remember post ban, the cost of an illegal Glock pistol with 50 rounds of 9mm ammo had been about 800 pounds. That would be what I would expect a retail price of a Glock would be if you could buy one legally in Britain.

              I will agree that gun crime has fallen in Australia, whereas violent crime has not. It is also interesting that post ban violent crime with a register firearm is quite rare, while crime with unregistered firearms have increased dramatically.

              At least from the graphs I have seen, changes in Australia homicides looks pretty mild. The problem with most of the charts is that they do not plot homicide rates but rather total homicides. I was hoping I could find a population chart and then I could get a rough calc on homicide rates. I am sure I can find one.

              I do know that few people hold Australia up as a shining example of a success. It true that progressives/liberals do mention it a lot, but I rarely see it ever pursued.

              That always makes me wonder why they don’t If the hard stats are there why aren’t they being heralded? Politicians in Australia should be crowing about their success, going on tours to claim they have licked the problem with violence.

              It is somewhat clear that pure homicides have declined…somewhat. However, assaults and rapes have increased and by larger numbers. It seems odd to me that murders drop (all types) while assaults and rapes have been going up. It kind of makes me wonder if they tried to do what the London Metro police tried to do by reclassifying what a gun crime was to get the rates lowered.

              Among the reasons why they may not be heralding this is that the gun crimes went up just after the bans went into place. It took almost a decade before gun crimes started to tail off. Some of speculation about that were the increases in police force and that Prozac was gaining popularity (suicides) may be more responsible for this decline than gun bans.
              There wasn’t a dramatic change in the rates.

              With that, you also have to consider that in the US that has been a documented 40% drop in crime rates while there has been record gun ownership plus a dramatic increase in conceal carry nationwide. I believe that has been influenced by a number of things, but the only thing it demostrates clearly is more guns does not equate to more crime.

            • KatrinaAnon

              Sorry it took so long to watch the video, but I finally did get around to it. There is nothing like a story that gets the majority of its information on a bikini clad beach and made me wish I could have gotten the gig.

              Still for enlightening info I would rather what I typed below a few days ago. I did notice Stewart’s played a little fast and loose with the stats. For one, I think Australia has had 4 mass shootings total since the early 1950s. It might be quite a while before anyone can make a bold assertion that their gun legislation has stopped mass shootings due to how few they have ever had.

              I am really hoping Lee that by fine reporting, you weren’t talking about all the fine babes on the beach. But it really was intended for LIP and not for serious news junkies.

              BTW, is it interesting that the recent murder in Woolwich it took the police 20 minutes to get to the murder site though to two perps were still there. Then there is the story out of Washington state where the 911 operator said to the frantic women caller about to be attacked by an intruder that they did not have any police due to state budget cuts and to try to tell the attacker to leave.

              And you want women to give up firearms?

    • Hannah

      Statistics tell us that fewer people actually own guns but a few people own many more than they used to. So, in addition to money hoarders and hoarders of bottle caps, we’ve got gun hoarders in our midst.
      Personally, I’ve never understood why a concealed gun is better than one out in the open. Moreover, when I see one, I assume its loaded and give the person so outfitted a wide berth.
      Yes, that goes for cops, as well.

      • KatrinaAnon

        Hannah, you have probably been around a number of people who carry concealed. You have probably talked to them at dinner and maybe enjoy their company. These people have worked on you cars, your house, etc. and yet they have given no outward side of being loose screw and seemed perfectly normal.

        Concealed carry (CC) is not necessarily better, but rather a different aspect. The advantage of CC is for the person not CCing. If a region has high gun ownership and CC permits, thugs a little wary about engaging in street crime. They are much more likely to steal a car/battery break into an unoccuppied home risk getting shot.

        Those are just logical facts.

        The other thing lost on most people who do not research this is the people with CC permits are rarely involved in any altercation. When CC permitting was started around the USA, most, if not all programs, included funding for tracking the performance of CC permit holders.

        The results showed very few problems ever occurred. CCers were never engaged with gun battles, brandishing, etc. and they did stop crimes and prevent them.

        This was so true that most anti-gun groups stopped the OK Corral stuff about CCing since the facts have proven them wrong.

        My theory, and it is my theory, is the way the training for CC is conducted and what is called the “The Fear of God” part of CCing. That is the hour or two of class instruction telling you how much it will cost in time and money should you actually have to shoot a criminal. Even in righteous shoot you are going to have a lot of time in the DA’s office while they sort it out.

    • KatrinaAnon

      I am not sure what the purpose of this article was. Cats are cute though.

      As an NRA member I doubt I would support the march, and I suspect not many will.Not many people are going to be civilly disobedient with their AR as it would be a very long time before they got it back from the DC Police, if ever.

      I would rather advise doing what Students for Campus Carry have done with their empty holster protests. You would get a larger turnout and make the same point.

      DC like many cities have a large crime problem and use guns to distract the public’s attention to the root causes of their problems. They disarm the populous and when the thugs take advantage of that blame the gun and not their failed policies.

      However, you try making points about guns not making you safe and invoking Albert Einstein views I am guessing on the Geneva Convention. It might be interesting to have asked Albert about whether the Jews being disarmed in Germany made them more safe or less.

      Most people are not aware that background checks are the rule not the exception. Form 4473 have had to be filled out on commercial firearm purchases since long before the PC. Internet sales have always required a form 4473.
      I also wonder how much you do know about current gun laws and how rarely they are enforced? Why do we need new laws to make citizens into paperwork felons, when they have never been the problem. Does anyone think that if the current laws were enforced, something the NRA champions, that maybe that might take a bite out of crime?
      I agree that having guns does not necessarily make you safe. However, I think I might want a gun if 250 maniac decides to drag me out my car, or I was a teacher at a school and a nut bent on a high body count broke into my school room.

      The facts are clear, that when you are weaker than your adversary your survival is at the whim of the aggressor.

      If guns do not provide a deterent effect on thugs, then why do police carry firearms? Simply put thugs are wary attacking police because they are armed. Funny thing is a thug rather face a cop with gun than a civilian with a gun.

      I will be very happy to listen to coffee table and cognac when they give up their guns, armed guards, gated communities, and armed schools. They just do not have any skin in the game and I am not willing to risk my hide on their dumb ideas…

      • KC

        Well, now, there’s an argument that has nothing to do with the discussion at hand. I’m talking about Jews and Germany. Think it through before you throw that one out there. Einstein, in case you don’t know, was a devoted pacifist (who worked tirelessly against the Nazis and willingly gave up his German citizenship). While he never commented directly on gun control, to my knowledge, his ideas on violence and what to do about it didn’t boil down to “when you are weaker than your adversary your survival is at the whim of the aggressor.” For one thing, he might have wondered just who was the aggressor, but that, too, is another story. But here are a few things he did say: “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” “It is appallingly obvious our technology has exceeded our humanity.” “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction.” Perhaps you missed the part where I said I don’t believe there are any good reasons for carrying a gun, and that includes police officers. You addressed very little of what I actually said here, other than to make some weird reference to coffee tables, cognac, armed guards, gated communities, armed schools and dumb ideas. I happen to agree, if that’s what you meant, that armed guards, gated communities and armed schools are dumb ideas, but coffee tables serve a purpose as does cognac, although a much more limited one than coffee tables. But if you’re talking about peace and non-violence as a dumb idea, then I’m happy to be the dumbest of the lot. Einstein was absolutely certain of one thing, and that is that you will never have peace if you work from the idea that violence is inevitable. As I said, keep your guns. But know that keeping them makes you part of the problem.

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