Why Does Anybody Need an Assault Weapon? Because They Want It.

Apparently doing his best to piss off the people who work for him, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta went in front of  crowd of overtly Second Amendment-supporting U.S. troops at a military base in Italy to ask why anybody "needs" assault weapons or (oddly) armor-piercing bullets. It's a question that's become a bit of a mantra for would-be restricters of personal armaments who insist on knowing what possible justification gun owners could have for possessing semi-automatic rifles that have pistol grips, or for purchasing magazines that hold more than ten seven rounds. It's also a question that seems deliberately dismissive toward the underlying principles of a free society.

As the Washington Post reported, "Defense Secretary Leon Panetta fired off a strong defense of gun control legislation Thursday, in front of a decidedly skeptical audience." Panetta's comments came after he was asked what proposals the Obama administration had in mind that "don’t have to do with tearing apart our Second Amendment." Showing the tact for which he has become famous, Panetta answered:

“Who the hell needs armor-piercing bullets except you guys in battle?” Panetta told the soldiers at the U.S. Army Garrison Vicenza in northern Italy. “For the life of me, I don’t know why the hell people have to have assault weapons.”

At this point, many self-defense activists respond that the need for guns has to do with the ability to defend against tyrannical government. Then gun controllers chirp, "but you can't defeat tanks and nuclear weapons with rifles!" thereby demonstrating that they don't keep up with the war in Afghanistan and skipped their history lessons about some difficulties the U.S. military ran into in a place called Vietnam.

But really, that's all irrelevant. Because in free societies, you don't have to justify owning things. You get to own them because you want them and have the means to acquire them. And you get to acquire more than just the basic necessities, if you so choose.

As I look around my office, I see a lot of stuff I don't need. There are two dogs aggressively shedding on the upholstery, a hat collection (panamas and vintage fedoras), CDs and DVDs, a shit-load of books ...If I owned only what I need, I'd be living in a spartan efficiency apartment, wearing a Mao suit and eating gruel. I have no interest in living that way.

My ability to acquire pets and stuff that I want without having to justify the acquisitions is an expression of my personal freedom. If I had to go, Stetson Stratoliner in hand, to some puffed-up bureaucrat to beg permission to purchase the boxed set of Firefly DVDs or a mutt rescue dog, I would very obviously be living in a state of severely constrained liberty. I would be unfree, even if that hard-working civil servant ultimately signed off on my acquisitions without extracting too hefty a bribe.

The appropriate answer to "Who the hell needs ... ?" is "hey, if you don't want one, don't buy it." The right to own stuff without an explanation is the right to be free.

Oh ... And Leon, all bullets are armor-piercing, depending on the armor. You might want to bone up on that, given that you're the Secretary of Defense.

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  • rts||

    I look forward to the day when all purchases are reviewed by top men at the Bureau of Needs to make sure you really "need" whatever it is you're buying.

  • Rich||

    That's just silly. They'll only need to pre-authorize purchases over $50.

  • sarcasmic||

    The appropriate answer to "Who the hell needs ... ?" is "hey, if you don't want one, don't buy it." The right to own stuff without an explanation is the right to be free.

    "If I don't want one then I'm going to get a law passed that says you can't have one either! Who's going to stop me? Huh? Huh? I've got the whole government on my side! What are you going to do about it? Huh? Huh? Yeah, that's right! Might makes right!"

  • LarryA||

    And then someone comes along that doesn't like something the statist wants to buy, and he's all like "Where did the government get the power to ban what I want?"

  • R C Dean||

    Once you get past food, shelter, and clothing, you don't "need" much of anything.

    That Iphone? You don't need that.

    That flat-screen TV? You don't need that.

    That second car? You don't need that.

    Ad infinitum.

    All together now:

    FUCK OFF, SLAVER!

  • NoVAHockey||

    you didn't need that. somebody else did.

  • Pro Libertate||

    America can't afford liberty these days.

  • JW||

    America can't afford liberty these days.

    Obama needs to enact the "E-Z Liberty Lay-away" executive order as soon as possible.

  • Pro Libertate||

    That's a great idea. Circulate a petition online where each American signs away all of his liberties in exchange for Obama's enlightened and perpetual rule. Oh, naturally, this would include a repudiation of the Constitution.

    The administration will sign for Republicans and libertarians, since they're all known to be illiterate buffoons.

  • JW||

    No, no, we buy our fundamental liberties back with easy payment terms. They'll just hold on to them while we scrape up the cash.

  • ||

    That petition should be one of the ones on the Obama petition website, made as sarcastic and snarky as possible.

    Force them to raise the bar for replies to 1,000,000.

  • ||

    Repudiate the Constitution? Nah. Just circulate the petitions across state borders. Commerce clause bitches!

  • ||

    Obamaphone! I needz it!

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    "Obama phones" have been around since 1984. Another wingnut strawman burned.

  • Jordan||

    Can we get a troll with a working sarcasm detector, at least?

  • Anomalous||

    Only if you can build one.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    "Obama phones" have been around since 1984

    Umm...no they weren't. Shanty towns also existed before anyone ever used the term "Hooverville", you mendacious twit.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    I prefer using things they find particularly beyond reproach.

    An abortion? You don't "need" it. A marriage license? You don't "need" it.

  • ||

    Someone recently defined "needs" and "wants" to me as being "things you'll die without" and "things you'll be inconvenienced without". I suspect a lot of people think of it this way. Not my definitions, so have fun shooting away at them like I did...

  • Shmurphy||

    Property is theft, though, so even the stuff you need you shouldn't have.

  • T o n y||

    So why are you guys universally against programs for guaranteed basic needs as you listed?

    Or are you suggesting that, merely for the sake of your rather sadistic form of self-satisfaction, people on assistance ought to only have the bare necessities--less than we give prisoners--and no phones or TVs, things that are far less expensive than even food in the long-term?

    And God forbid poor families be allowed to have phones and second cars. They should find those jobs you demand they get by walking and banging on windows.

  • ||

    So why are you guys universally against programs for guaranteed basic needs as you listed?

    Because giving people that which they have not earned violates premise #1. By "helping" them you are depriving someone else of what they have earned.

    To give to the needy of my own free will is one thing, for you to tell me I must is immoral as you are imposing force without consent.

    Why is this so difficult for you to grasp?

  • T o n y||

    It's not difficult to grasp. I've heard it a million times. That it's so pat and easy and self-serving is why it's so clear to me that it's bullshit.

  • Drake||

    I wish Leon would direct to the armor-piercing ammo. Is he talking about full-metal-jacket? But aren't hollow-point and lead-tip bullets cop killing instruments of destruction? I'm losing track.

  • Restoras||

    Wait until these asshats figure out that a .30-06 or .270 rifle round actually does far more damage than a .223 round, and allows that damage to be dealt at distance and under cover.

    That hunting rifle with 4 round capacity? ZOMG!! Killing machine!!!

  • sarcasmic||

    The deadliness of a rifle is determined by the color and by cosmetic features, not the caliber and velocity of the projectile! Sheesh! You don't know anything!

  • R C Dean||

    Restoras, I seem to recall a hysteria awhile back over "sniper rifles" that died down after it was pointed out that nearly every deer rifle in existence was a "sniper rifle" by any definition.

  • Restoras||

    You are of course correct RC, but I'm not sure that would stop them from trying to ban hunting rifles if those suddenly become the new "scary thing".

  • ||

    Yeah, that's kinda funny.

    The M40, is based on the Remington 700 which was a hunting rifle.

    The process the USMC used to select it was to basically go out and buy factory original deer rifles off the shelf and test them til they found the one they liked the best. That one happened to be the Remington 700.

    Now admittedly, the M40 is a tricked out version, new trigger group, heavier barrel etc, but aside from long range accuracy (which is so rarely a factor in criminal firearms use as to be never) it's no more effective a killing machine than most other commercially available deer rifles.

  • ||

    The shoe's on the other foot, now. "Fuck you, that's why."

  • LTC(ret) John||

    + one extended middle finger!

  • ||

    If I owned only what I need, I'd be living in a spartan efficiency apartment, wearing a Mao suit and eating gruel. I have no interest in living that way.

    Mr. Tuccille -- you, sir, win one internets for this beauty.

  • ||

    I was watching People's Court the other day and there was a lady who said she kept guns in her house (it was a landlord-tenant dispute), and the judge asked why she kept the guns. The woman said, in essence, "because I can". Surprisingly, the judge thought that was a good answer.

  • R C Dean||

    the judge asked why she kept the guns.

    "I plead the Second Amendment, your honor."

  • Restoras||

    Ummm...JD? Stop buying DVDs. They're obsolete. Just sayin'.

    Not that I deny your right to do so if you wish. But if you do then you have more dough for that...collection of vintage fedoras? Really?

  • ||

  • jdtuccille||

    Hey, if you don't want ... Heh. I know I have odd tastes. And the DVDs are a few years old, but I'm not gonna toss them -- or my old LPs.

  • Restoras||

    You can have my old LPs when you pry them from my cold, dead hands.

  • kinnath||

    I want it all
    I want it all
    I want it all
    and I want it now

  • LTC(ret) John||

    No
    No
    No
    Fuck you, cut spending?

  • kinnath||

    Dad?!?

  • Sevo||

    "Why Does Anybody Need an Assault Weapon?"

    Why does anyone ask?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Second Amendment is not license for treason, armed revolt

    http://blogs.ajc.com/jay-bookm.....ed-revolt/

    In District of Columbia v. Heller, issued in 2008, Scalia and the court made it clear for the first time that the Second Amendment “protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia.” But in that same opinion, Scalia brushed aside claims that the Second Amendment guarantees citizens the means to armed revolution. He concluded that technology has rendered that part of the amendment an archaic artifact, because “a militia, to be as effective as militias in the 18th century, would require sophisticated arms that are highly unusual in society at large” and that “no amount of small arms could be useful against modern-day bombers and tanks.”

    For that reason, Scalia made it clear that the Second Amendment “does not protect those weapons not typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes,” and that the government is fully within its rights to ban military-style weaponry.

    ATTACK!

  • ||

    Yes, when one wants to understand what the Constitution means, one should consult what government judges say it says about constraining government, because there's no possible conflict of interest there.

  • John||

  • Anonymous Coward||

    It's only treason if you lose.

  • ||

    This is so simple, why is not more easily understood? Oh yeah, even simple is too complex for really stupid people.

  • ||

    Does anyone else smell urine? I just caught the pungent smell of urine.

  • ||

    Your nose must be clogged. I smell sulfur.

  • Restoras||

    I only smell an old, rubout soaked sock.

  • Solanum||

    Speaking of urine, whatever happened to double asshole? Or is it trolling under a new handle?

  • Randian||

    So, wait, does PB now realize we aren't Republicans? I am very confused here.

  • R C Dean||

    the government is fully within its rights to ban military-style weaponry.

    Which, oddly, pretty much overturns the only significant 2A case on the books before Heller, in which the Court indicated that the 2A protected military arms, but not sawed-off shotguns.*

    In the absence of any evidence tending to show that possession or use of a "shotgun having a barrel of less than eighteen inches in length" at this time has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument. Certainly it is not within judicial notice that this weapon is any part of the ordinary military equipment, or that its use could contribute to the common defense.

    *Of note is that sawed-off shotguns were in fact issued by the military, mainly to prison guards.

  • Zeb||

    Fuck Scalia, then. The reason these arms are not typically possessed by civilians is because it is illegal or difficult for them to acquire them.

  • sarcasmic||

    Firefly has been determined to be subversive due to its encouraging of self reliance and distrust of authority. Report to the nearest reeducation center immediately.

  • Jeff||

    No, it's okay because Nathan Fillion and Joss Whedon are Obamatards. All that shit was supposed to inspire you to distrust the Bush Administration, but the government is run by the Good Guys now.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    So Bush/Cheney were the Good Guys?

  • Jeff||

    BOOOOOOOOOOOOSH!!!!!

  • John||

  • Monkey's Uncle||

    Bush/Cheney about the same as Obama/Biden, Mr. Shrike Trollholio. And off you may fuck, sockpuppet.

  • Libertarius||

    We are the left. We will assimilate you into our collective where everyone is equally dependent on the government. There is no such thing as an individual achievement or personal responsibility. Resistance is racist.

  • Bobarian||

    I NEED an assault weapon because I want one.

    Shall not be infringed, bitchz!

  • UnionBuiltOhioRoads(LAOL)||

    Because the founders built us a Swiss-like republic. Its no coincidence why Switzerland is the freest country left in Europe.

  • UnionBuiltOhioRoads(LAOL)||

    Every male 18-45 is required to have an "assault" weapon....you know, those scary military like guns.

  • Bam!||

    I believe they're banned from owning handguns, though.

  • ||

    No, they aren't.

    They did however cave to pressure from EU countries in the '90s to require that all gun buyers have a permit to purchase weapons from a dealer.

    They caved to further restrictions in the 2000 as well.

    They still have one of the highest rates of personal firearm ownership in the world even without counting military issued ones.

    They also have one of the lowest homicide rates in the world.

  • ||

    Only by virtue of membership in the military. After basic, Swiss men are reservists by law. Nothing libertarian about it.

  • ||

    Yes, but in addition to the standard military rifle issued to reservists (it is possible to be exempted from military service so there is nothing actually universal about 18-45 possession), ownership of firearms is widespread and the laws are much less restrictive than anywhere in the EU. In fact, they're less restrictive than several states in the US.

    The main reason for any regulations they have are to appease the EU and prevent the transfer of guns to the EU. Though to be sure there is an active anti-gun lobby there as well.

  • ||

    Example: mind-fuckingly intricate storage requirements and inspections by active militia to ensure you're complying. Noncompliance is a felony. Nothing free-market about the Confoederation Helvetica, either.

  • ||

    Not even close.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    This answer to the 2nd amendment as a means to thwart tyrannical gov't amounts to:

    You can't stop us if you wanted to so just submit!

    In other words, fuck you, you can't do anything about it anyway, that's why!

  • sarcasmic||

    Leftists subscribe to the most basic and primitive moralities: might makes right.

  • T o n y||

    First, we don't have a right to armed insurrection. I mean, you can try, but justifying any policy on a nutter's fantasy is not exactly in the service of prudence.

    I suppose it's abstractly true that government should have to justify itself for regulating something before people have to justify themselves for owning something, but it's not hard to come up with justifications when it comes to guns. Government regulates lots of things that aren't expressly designed as machines to kill people.

    The US has gun death rates higher than any country not having a civil war, and the only difference between the US and other far more safe countries is its level of gun proliferation. There are still video games and insane people in other places. You can try to track the mentally ill all you want, but the single biggest factor determining whether they will go shoot people is their access to guns. Is that justification enough for you? Because we require far less of a threat to public safety than the level of gun deaths in this country to regulate canned goods and scooters.

  • sarcasmic||

    the only difference between the US and other far more safe countries is its level of gun proliferation

    *snort*

  • Jeff||

    "We do stupid shit such a regulating canned goods and scooters. Ipso fact, we have the right to do more stupid shit."

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "First, we don't have a right to armed insurrection."

    And you don't have the right to scream when someone pulls your hair while they're ass raping you either.

  • Drake||

    Come back with murder and violent crime rates.

  • sarcasmic||

    The UK, with the most stringent gun laws in Europe, has the most violent crime of any European country.

    But we shall overlook this because we're only talking about gun crime, not violent crime.

    Any fact that doesn't fit the narrative shall be ignored.

  • T o n y||

    The US has 4 times the murder rate of the UK.

  • sarcasmic||

    Obviously the only possible explanation is guns. Culture has nothing to do with it. Neither does gang violence and the drug trade. Nope, it's those dang guns that cause murder. Yup, blame the guns. The actual people committing the murders don't count, it's the fault of the guns.

    That makes perfect sense. If you're a feeb, that is.

  • T o n y||

    It's a question worth asking. All evidence, not to mention common sense, seems to suggest that the presence of guns increases the likelihood of dying in a dispute.

  • ||

    All evidence, not to mention common sense, seems to suggest that the likelihood of dying in a dispute increases the presence of guns.

    Fixed.

  • ||

    Common sense.

    The retort of a man without a legitimate argument.

  • Tejicano||

    Fuck the sock puppet - but for everybody else's erudication the UK only lists an act as a "homicide" if that it the final verdict. Anything which gets pleaded down (manslaughter, etc) does not go on the books.

    The FBI lists any killing (justified, done by police, etc) as a firearm death.

    Any wonder why the only huge disparity between "violence" and "murder" rates reported in the UK and the US?

  • Adam330||

    And the UK has twice the murder rate of Switzerland, despite the proliferation of guns (including automatic military rifles!) in Switzerland.

  • T o n y||

    So, and I'm genuinely curious, is the US just especially hot-headed and homicidal? What could have caused that?

  • Drake||

    Where do most murders take place (hint: Chicago, Baltimore, Trenton, etc...)?

    What are the gun laws like in those cities? What kind of politicians run those cities?

  • Adam330||

    I'd imagine its primarily been caused by a series of government policies (slavery, drug war, war on poverty, etc.) that have created a permanent black underclass that has murder rates 8-9 times higher than the rest of the population.

  • Suki||

    The minimum wage perpetuates the Black underclass.

  • Chris Mallory||

    A large population of violent, homicidal minorities.

  • ||

    So, fuckstain, explain how it is that gun proliferation is increasing and violent crime rates are decreasing?

    Fucking retard.

  • ||

  • Hugh Akston||

    Holy shit, what's the deal with Nunavut?

  • ||

    I'm hoping Slappy will come around and share some insights about Africa and Brazil.

  • Hugh Akston||

    He's in the Drug War thread below. It's totally awesome.

  • ||

    I'm tickled pink to learn that the US still has a murder rate below the world average. USA USA USA USA USA

  • John||

    This despite having a doozy of a drug war and having spent sentry years trying to destroy civil society via welfare. USA USA is right.

  • ||

    I found something a while ago where some guy attempted to reconstruct the murder rate of California in 1880 or so, and he got a figure that was much higher than today. I wish I could find it now, because it seemed pretty hard to believe.

  • John||

    The murder rate in the 19th century was much higher today mostly because it was so much easier to get away with it. When the most common cause of death was the flu and there was no toxicology and the coroner was a political hack and almost never had any medical training, poisoning someone was ridiculously easy. Only the really stupid or unlucky ever got caught.

  • John||

    They were taken over by the Danish and turned into a welfare state hell hole. No really. Read this book

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/09403.....3ntfdvbp_e

    It is one of the strangest and best travel books ever written. And in it the guy describes the horrible disfuctional culture Danish welfare created.

  • ||

    Nunavut is the injun province of Canada. The book sounds worth reading, though.

    Greenland's incredibly high murder rate of 19.2 per 100,000 works out to 11 murders. I found that amusing as hell for some reason.

  • John||

    That book is totally worth reading. That guy is one of my heroes.

  • ||

    Small population probably means it doesn't take much to spike the rate. The Yukon has a big year there too in 2004, another small population.

  • ||

    But yeah, Nunavut being a dependent shithole is a big part of it.

  • SIV||

    Those racist cocksuckers made some arbitrary "Northern America" region so they could expel more brown people from North America.

  • Spoonman.||

    Puerto Rico, with its very intense gun restrictions, has a much higher rate than the United States.

  • Spoonman.||

    And if you look in the United States, the highest rates are in DC, Puerto Rico, and Louisiana.

    Lowest are New Hampshire, Vermont, and Iowa.

    It's almost like gun laws have no connection to murder rates.

  • Brett L||

    In fairness, there's lots of people in DC and Lousiana (New Orleans) who need killin'.

  • KDN||

    Raaaaaaaaaa......

  • Adam330||

    "I suppose it's abstractly true that government should have to justify itself for regulating something before people have to justify themselves for owning something, but it's not hard to come up with justifications when it comes to guns."

    Ok, please provide the justification for the "assault weapon" ban then. Because I haven't yet heard one that makes a lick of sense.

  • Doctor Whom||

    The US has gun death rates higher than any country not having a civil war

    Demonstrably untrue, unless you're going to pull an "every true Scotsman" and argue that all of the countries with higher gun death rates than the US are ipso facto having civil wars. Some of those countries are known for their strict gun control.

  • T o n y||

    Well they're all shitholes.

  • iggy||

    HAHAHA. Way to move that goalpost idiot. You said something untrue and then change it to 'well all those countries suck!'

    You also claim that the only difference between the U.S. and safer countries is the level of gun proliferation. That's another lie since it ignores demographic issues and cultural differences. It's lies all the way down with you, isn't it?

  • John||

    With evil brown people. God you are an appalling white supremacist Tony.

  • iggy||

    It never occurs to Tony that there are incredibly poor countries in Asia with murder rates among the lowest in the world. In fact, all of Southeast Asia has staggeringly low murder rates, regardless of prosperity.

    Gee, that almost makes it sound like homicide and crime rates are predominantly cultural, doesn't it Tony?

  • Dudeasurus||

    RACIST!

  • iggy||

    You didn't know about Greenland's civil war or Brazil's civil war? There are currently 150 ongoing Civil wars, according to Tony.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    Dude, that Greenland Civil War has been an epic bloodbath.... brrrr. Two utterly irreconcilable factions - this one will only be finished by genocide!

  • ||

    First, we don't have a right to armed insurrection. I mean, you can try, but justifying any policy on a nutter's fantasy is not exactly in the service of prudence.

    "When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them"

    Did you think this was followed by a "Pretty please, may we be allowed to do this, your Majesty?"

  • LTC(ret) John||

    Hey pal, White Guys wrote that over 100 years ago - does not apply anymorez!!!1!

  • Anonymous Coward||

    The US has gun death rates higher than any country not having a civil war

    And the locality with the highest incidence of gun related murders is also the locality with the more stringent restrictions on firearm ownership (Chicago).

    Why might that be, Tony w/spaces?

  • LTC(ret) John||

    Uh.....BOOOOSH!? Um, intractable Rethuglican opposition in Illinois?! Um, wait...uh, the NRA?!!

  • Jordan||

    The US has gun death rates higher than any country not having a civil war, and the only difference between the US and other far more safe countries is its level of gun proliferation.

    Fail #1.

    I suppose it's abstractly true that government should have to justify itself for regulating something before people have to justify themselves for owning something, but it's not hard to come up with justifications when it comes to guns.

    No, the government should have to demonstrate where in the Constitution it derives the power to do so. It can't and won't. Fail #2.

    Government regulates lots of things that aren't expressly designed as machines to kill people.

    And those regulations are unconstitutional. Fail #3.

    Is that justification enough for you?

    No.

  • Xenocles||

    "First, we don't have a right to armed insurrection."

    So you're saying it was just okay that one time.

  • ||

    Yes. We replaced their Top. Men. with our Top. Men. and everyone knows ours are better because ours adhere to the principles of liber...

    ...well, ours are better, regardless.

  • Dudeasurus||

    This is a boldface LIE. neverbtrue, never been true. T O N Y move to Australia (where I lived for 3 years) and enjoy that "crime free" utopia.
    You DUMB FUCK

  • LarryA||

    The US has gun death rates higher than any country not having a civil war

    We are having a civil war. The one on drugs, where most of the violence is concentrated.

  • Bam!||

    Citizens needn't justify their possessions to the government.

    Next.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    Didn't take long for the 'tard brigade to come in....sigh.

  • SugarFree||

    We shall never be free of the sockpuppets; they will always be with us.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Two things you shall have with you always: death and asshattery.

  • SugarFree||

    A 15% tax on stupid would pay of the debt in just a few weeks.

  • Hugh Akston||

    I don't have that kind of money!

  • LTC(ret) John||

    Hey mister, I ain't got that kind of cash to spare!!!

  • Rich||

    the Washington Post reported, "Defense Secretary Leon Panetta fired off a strong defense of gun control"

    Emphasis added. Why the violent rhetoric? I thought this was a civil national conversation.

  • JW||

    The corollary question is "What right do you have to tell me that I can't own a gun of any kind?"

    I should note that my neighbors, despite ample opportunity to do so, have not murdered me or attempted to murder me by any conventional means, nor I, them. I'm not going to worry one bit if they acquire firearms, nor should they worry if I do.

    Just the same, gun owners will have the last laugh when the Zombie Apocalypse comes.

  • Bam!||

    "The corollary question is "What right do you have to tell me that I can't own a gun of any kind?""

    They're the government. They have guns. That means they can do whatever they want and you pretty much have to put up with it.

  • SugarFree||

    If the right shut up about abortion and gay marriage and the left shut up about sodas and guns, we could live in a paradise free of 24 hour news again.

  • JW||

    Just like being married, a little peace and fucking quiet. AMIRITE?

  • SugarFree||

    Personally, I support aborting soda with gay guns. I know it's controversial. It's just how I feel.

  • nicole||

    You monster. That soda could have had a loving home, right here in my tummy.

  • JW||

    But, what of the WAR ON MISSING VAGINA CHILD OBESITY CLIFF EPIDEMIC news cycle?

  • SugarFree||

    That's what the rocket launchers are for.

  • JW||

    A rocket launcher can't stop a trillion dollar coin!

  • LTC(ret) John||

    Maybe the coin could buy the rocket launcher?

  • Drake||

    I wish there was a video of this speech. A couple thousand Paratroopers looking at Panetta with absolute disdain.

  • Ken Shultz||

    The idea that other people's rights are only important if they're important to you is the root of all evil.

    I've got no use for gay marriage, Scientology, nipple piercing, or thousands of other things that are really important to other people but not me, but a society in which people are only free to do things that make sense to other people is not a free society.

    I am not here for your benefit.

    Just because Leon Panetta and Barack Obama don't understand why people like to do things, that isn't a reason for the government to restrict--anything ever.

    It's like Panetta's imploded in on himself and become a redneck. *kentucky drawl* "Well I don understan why gay people wanna get hitched anyway!" /*kentucky drawl* Yeah, well obviously if it doesn't make sense to you, Panetta, then nobody should be allowed to do it?

    What a stupid redneck Panetta is!

  • Tman||

    What bothers is me is how many people completely misunderstand what the Bill of Rights does. It does not "grant" you any rights, as the government has no rights in which to grant. It specifically says that individuals shall not have their rights (which are endowed by our creator or whatever) infringed by the government.

    It's not a list of rights your are given, its a list of rights you already have that the government is not allowed to take away.

  • sarcasmic||

    If your guiding principle is "might makes right" then the concept of natural rights simply does not compute.

  • T o n y||

    The concept of natural rights does not make rational sense. You're too dumb to be aware of this, but there are secular, materialistic schools of ethics. It's not either magical fairy tales ("natural rights") or anarchy ("might makes right").

  • Ken Shultz||

    Tony's so dumb, he thinks that Rosa Parks didn't have a right to sit in the front of a public bus--until the government said so.

  • SugarFree||

    Back when Tony was a real person and not a sockpuppet, I got him to admit if just he and I were alone on a desert island, he had no inherent right to defend himself if I tried to kill him. In other words, without a government to tell him it was wrong, murder was just fine by him.

    Moral idiot.

  • T o n y||

    I have a right to take all your possessions for myself. God said so. He told me himself. Who are you to say I'm wrong?

  • sarcasmic||

    Slavery, while legal, was perfectly ethical because it was legal. It only because bad when it was outlawed.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Slavery, while legal, was perfectly ethical because it was legal. It only because bad when it was outlawed."

    That is what Tony thinks.

    And notice he won't admit that Rosa Parks had a right to sit in the front of a public bus.

    I've gone through this with him before about MLK. About how MLK didn't sit around and wait for the government to respect his rights--he went out and exercised his rights no matter whether the government recognized them or not!

    Which is to say that Tony's had this smeared in his face at least ten times, regarding the civil rights movement, and he still refuses to see the light...

    I think Tony must be a disgusting racist!

  • T o n y||

    You're deliberately misconstruing my argument. I think it's morally wrong to enslave people or to treat them differently because of race. I just don't think God said so, which is the entire breadth of the difference between your ethics and mine. Yours comes with the haughty presumption of a deity's stamp of approval. I'm not so arrogant. I know that sometimes rights take decades or centuries of brutal struggle to secure. To me that makes the right all the more precious. Dunno about you.

  • sarcasmic||

    I think it's morally wrong to enslave people or to treat them differently because of race.

    Why? Based upon what principle? Other than 'might makes right' do you have any principles?

  • ||

    Hey dipshit, you do realize half the folks here are atheists right?

    Where could we possibly obtain morals if not from God or the government?

  • T o n y||

    "Nature" is just a stand-in for God. And for that matter, "reason" was a stand-in for God for Ayn Rand. Clever, I must admit. Make a series of declarations about right and wrong, then declare them the product of reason. Problem was she didn't show her work--and neither do you guys.

  • sarcasmic||

    Problem was she didn't show her work--and neither do you guys.

    Oh, but we do. We start with some base principles, such as self ownership and that force is justified only in reaction to force (NAP), and work from there.

    It's called logic. You build on basic premises.

    You do the same thing. You start with the basic principle of "might makes right" and work from there.

    The difference between us and you is that we're honest about it.

  • T o n y||

    sarcasmic,

    So you're for some form of restitution for pollution, being that it's a form of harm against others?

    Or no?

  • sarcasmic||

    I wouldn't specifically say restitution as the resolution, but pollution can most definitely count as force/fraud against life, liberty and property.

    Then again it still depends upon how pollution is defined, because I don't accept that CO2 is pollution.

  • T o n y||

    Of course you don't.

  • ||

    I worship freedom.

    1. A person can do anything they wish, PROVIDED, in doing so, they do not infringe upon the rights of others.

    2. The ONLY legitimate function of government is to protect the rights of the individual.

    These two premises maximize liberty. Rights stem from them. Morals stem from them. I test all of my conclusions and actions against them. That is what being principled means.

    Tell me shitbag, what is the basis for your life? What truths do you base your conclusions upon? Principles must be traced back to a premise and they should be consistent. Come on you immoral piece of shit. Tell me about your principles.

  • sarcasmic||

    Principles must be traced back to a premise and they should be consistent. Come on you immoral piece of shit. Tell me about your principles.

    Obviously his morality stems from the principle that might makes right.

    He just won't admit it.

  • ||

    He also, WILL NOT ANSWER. I've asked him to explain his principles REPEATEDLY. He will not, or more likely cannot, as he has none.

    Not that he's an actual person anyway. He is fun to argue with.

  • T o n y||

    And Francisco you give away the game when you say "I worship freedom." You shouldn't worship anything. I believe individual liberty is a huge component of human well-being, as it happens. But maximizing individual liberty is most certainly not the only way, and can indeed be disastrous, as you admit when you introduce your major caveat. Maximizing human well-being requires a messy, complicated, and evolving set of compromises.

  • sarcasmic||

    You shouldn't worship anything.

    Says the guy who worships violence.

  • ||

    But maximizing individual liberty is most certainly not the only way, and can indeed be disastrous, as you admit when you introduce your major caveat.

    Please, dipshit, enlighten me, when is individual liberty that doesn't infringe upon others..."disastrous?"

  • Fladnag the Yarg||

    +++++

  • T o n y||

    It must be true, it's so simple! My basic premise is maximizing the well-being of human beings.

    I don't pretend defining well-being is easy, nor do I pretend that the means of achieving it are easily accomplished. I think it takes a long time of trial and error and an understanding that it will never be perfect--in other words, the pragmatic approach.

  • Redmanfms||

    My basic premise is maximizing the well-being of human beings.

    "Even if I have to destroy your lives to do it."

    I don't pretend defining well-being is easy,

    "but fuck it, SOMETHING MUST BE DONE and we have TOP MEN! who can make those definitions!!"

    nor do I pretend that the means of achieving it are easily accomplished.

    "Isn't it a moral good that millions die if the well-being of all (well, some.... well, a few) human beings improves?"

    I think it takes a long time of trial and error and an understanding that it will never be perfect--in other words, the pragmatic approach.

    "Might makes right and the ends justify the means, because it's intentions by which success or failure should be judged."

  • T o n y||

    Your reinterpretations are pretty much exactly the opposite of what I said, but thanks for the effort.

  • sarcasmic||

    I think it takes a long time of trial and error and an understanding that it will never be perfect--in other words, the pragmatic approach.

    If you believe in trial and error, why are so in love with government and hostile to markets?

    Markets have consequences for error. People go out of business.
    Government does not. Government makes an error and it goes double-down with more errors.

    So you really do not believe in trial and error. You believe in government force. In might makes right.

  • iggy||

    Tony literally thinks all morality is based on government. He has no moral argument for why anything is wrong other than majority rules.

    He's as close to a fascist as anyone I've ever seen.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Yeah, he's got that whole true believer "it's for the common good" mentality goin' too.

  • A Serious Man||

    Slaves didn't have a right to not be slaves until the government said so. It was perfectly moral for society to say taht blacks and Native Americans were subhuman because rights are subjective to the state.

    Bravo, Tony.

  • T o n y||

    It's like you guys intentionally fail to understand the simple point that rights are abstract concepts, not concrete things that exist in the fabric of the cosmos. Rights are simply assertions until they are enforced. It's not that difficult. It doesn't mean I think slavery was ever moral. It does mean that people had a "right" to own slaves until they didn't, and it took government to align rights with morality in that instance and many others.

  • sarcasmic||

    Shorter Tony: Might makes right.

  • SugarFree||

    When a slave ran away from his master, he was stealing himself. It's OK to arrest thieves.

  • A Serious Man||

    So slavery is not objectively wrong? Saying that it's merely an abstract concept would seem to indicate that it ceases to be immoral if everyone believes its okay.

  • sarcasmic||

    it ceases to be immoral if everyone believes its okay

    It's not what everyone believes. It's what the people with the last word in violence believe. Might makes right. That is the only principle in the universe. Thus if those with the last word in violence say they will not punish rapists, then rape is OK. Because the only principle in universe is might makes right.

  • T o n y||

    Nothing is "objectively" wrong. Morality is not a science.

  • John||

    Nothing is "objectively" wrong. Morality is not a science.

    If there is no objective morality, then I guess there is nothing wrong with murdering first graders. You just don't like it. Well, good for you. Adam Lanza apparently found it to be great.

  • T o n y||

    There have been societies in which it was acceptable, under certain circumstances, to murder children. I prefer modern sensibilities surely--but I'm not going to arrogantly presume that we already know it all. Maybe in 100 years' time people will have formed a consensus that slaughtering animals for food is morally abhorrent, and that we are utter barbarians for doing so. These things change with time, and morality is nothing but a social consensus.

    There's no reason to indict me for that reality. It's not my fault there is no Santa Claus. There just isn't one.

  • sarcasmic||

    These things change with time, and morality is nothing but a social consensus.

    So slavery was indeed moral until it was outlawed. Is that what you are saying?

  • pmains||

    No, no. That would be ridiculous. It was moral until the consensus shifted.

  • T o n y||

    There was a point in time that the social consensus deemed slavery morally permissible (though I'm sure the slaves would have had a different opinion). By modern standards of course it's immoral.

    Social conscience and law are not the same thing, but it did take law (not to mention a bloody war) to do away with the practice. See lots of people couldn't fathom why it was immoral to treat black people as animals long after they lost the argument. But it was, in fact, an argument won by force, not the deployment of self-righteousness and soap boxes.

  • AZ||

    How can morality evolve, and arguments made to shift consensus, without other animating principles beyond just the current consensus?

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    Legal positivist bullshit.

  • TheAstorian||

    So if there comes a time when social consensus deems slavery morally permissible, then it will again become a moral act?

  • ||

    There have been societies in which it was acceptable, under certain circumstances, to murder children.

    And you are claiming that it was moral because it was legal?

  • sarcasmic||

    And you are claiming that it was moral because it was legal?

    It was moral because it was socially acceptable. There are no absolutes, like "murder is wrong" or "slavery is wrong" because nothing is wrong unless it can be enforced. Thus there is only one principle, and that is "might makes right."

    But Tony can't admit to that he subscribes to that primitive morality because that would require being honest.

  • pmains||

    And you are claiming that it was moral because it was legal?

    Right. ::Puts on the Tony hat of moral idiocy:: All morality is subjective and should be judged by the prevailing consensus, or the current state of the law, or what society enforces or whatever else I happen to pull ex rectum. If you would prefer a different moral consensus, you are free to argue for that. Because moral principles are not tangible objects that we can scientifically examine, they don't exist at all. You just think they exist.

  • T o n y||

    You'd be far better off just reading some Plato. For my money this is just a tiresome debate over the meaning of words.

  • pmains||

    Plato's Socrates believed that some things were right and others were wrong. The Sophists, whom he vilifies, were people who thought that winning debates by any means necessary was a good goal in and of itself. If they had to pick up new principles mid-argument, so be it. Socrates (and Plato) rejected that, because they believed argument should be a search for the truth.

    Socrates rejected polytheism, and was ultimately forced to drink hemlock because he denied the polytheistic and, by implication, polylogistic worldview of his fellow Athenians.

    The people with whom you are arguing are monologists rather than polylogists. We believe that there is right and wrong, and that through good-faith argumentation and logic we can arrive at a better understanding of morality.

    You believe in no morality aside from that which suits you at the moment. You worship, figuratively speaking, whichever deity makes you happy today. That's basically the way the Athenians looked at the world. They had gods with competing worldviews and values that they tried to keep in some sort of balance that seemed "right" (in the unsubstative sense you use) to them.

    Now, they probably didn't believe in those gods literally (some people did, and some didn't. This ties into Joseph Campbell's distinction between esoteric and exoteric faith), and neither do you. That didn't stop them from being zealots who martyred Socrates and Christian missionaries who challenged their disordered view of the universe.

  • T o n y||

    My suggestion to read Plato was not because he had a good definition of moral goodness, but because he confounds the issue in an enlightening way. Remember--Socrates drank the hemlock willingly.

    The concept of being "polylogistic" is libertarian claptrap, not a description of any serious school of thought. I am certainly a rationalist. As such I believe that morality can be studied empirically, but it is clearly evident that different societies in different times have markedly different sets of moral norms. To deny that there are "better" sets would be to assert that all discussion on the matter is pointless, but that still doesn't mean there is a perfect morality floating in the ether, having been plucked down only by libertarians. Libertarianism is a dead-end cult more than a school of thought, otherwise it would admit that it doesn't know everything once in a while.

  • KDN||

    Libertarianism is a dead-end cult more than a school of thought, otherwise it would admit that it doesn't know everything once in a while.

    You're a retard. We admit that we don't know everything constantly; that fact underpins the entire political philosophy.

  • ||

    Why are you guys surprised by this? I've tried pointing out in the past that T o n y is a moral nihilist. Occasionally he'll admit it, and then there's no point in arguing. You can't argue with moral nihilism.

  • T o n y||

    I'm not a nihilist I'm a materialist. I don't believe in magic. You guys, like many other magic-believers before you, find that concept horrifying, evidently.

  • ||

    Materialism and moral nihilism aren't mutually exclusive.

  • T o n y||

    They're not synonymous either.

  • ||

    They arguably are, unless you want to redefine morality. And even if they aren't, I'm not labeling you a moral nihilist because you're a materialist. I'm labeling you a moral nihilist because you're a moral nihilist.

  • iggy||

    So since there's no right to control over your own body, there'd be nothing wrong if we banned abortion and gay sex. Right, Tony?

  • Tman||

    That's the difference between you and the rest of us Tony.

    You need someone to take care of you, to provide for you, to protect you, thus you don't believe in the concept of natural rights. Without the government to protect you, you would probably be taken advantage of all the time, thus you cannot comprehend the idea that someone might not need the "benevolent" hand of big brother taking care of you.

    Most of us here neither need nor desire any help. We are fine on our own, and do not require the government to provide for us or protect us, thus we are threatened by the idea that a big brother could come along and infringe on the rights we already have.

    I kinda feel sorry for you. It must be so emasculating to know that you cannot fend for yourself.

  • T o n y||

    I don't believe in the concept of natural rights for the same reason I don't believe in the Easter Bunny. I am simply incapable of believing in magic.

    Actually I find people's sense of their own masculinity to be all the more suspect the more they assert how tough and self-reliant they are. Sure you can fend for yourself in the absence of law and order. I really believe that, not only do you not totally freak out if your wi-fi drops for an hour, you could tear apart a large mammal with your bare hands.

    Sounds like textbook tiny dick syndrome to me. Whether I could fend for myself or not is not the point. I don't want to fend for myself. I like civilization. I like running water and a system of laws. Now I don't have to spend my whole day worrying about finding potable water or defending against roving gangs and can instead be productive.

  • sarcasmic||

    Straw men are made of straw.

  • Tman||

    Again proving my point Tony.

    "I can't provide for myself so I will depend on others to get me potable water and weapons to defend against other people who want to take things from me."

    You are entirely dependent on others to survive, thus the concept of personal responsibility and natural rights never penetrates your thought process.

    You are basically incapable of understanding them because you are too afraid to stand up for yourself.

  • T o n y||

    We are all mostly dependent on others to survive. Sorry, it's the nature of the human species. We happen to be social creatures.

    In some apocalyptic scenario I'd hope I'd be able to step up to the challenge and provide for myself. I would just prefer not to have to bother. It's hard for people to be productive at a high level when they have to spend all their time meeting their basic needs. You might intuit that this is the logic behind a social safety net. There's nothing appealing about a society in which people have to "fend for themselves." It all sounds like a bunch of macho posturing to me.

  • sarcasmic||

    There is no cooperation without coercion. Might makes right.

  • Doctor Whom||

    Right, since human beings are incapable of voluntary cooperation.

  • Tman||

    There's nothing appealing about a society in which people have to "fend for themselves."

    Again further proving my point. You don't want to provide for anyone, you want others to provide for you. And even worse, you fail to learn from the historical disasters in which ideas like yours have lead.

    You are the grasshopper from Aesop's The Ant and the Grasshopper, thus the idea of "fending for oneself" is alien and abhorrent to you.

  • T o n y||

    Actually I'm describing every human society that has ever existed. Some have been better than others. What is impossible to judge qualitatively, having never existed, is the fantasy of the rugged individualist society.

  • ||

    Look at the settlement of the American West dipshit.

  • T o n y||

    And what a lovely place that was.

  • ||

    You bet. It showed what people can accomplish when they have their freedom.

  • T o n y||

    Of course it was also a place of brutal law and order and stringent gun regulations.

  • ||

    It was based upon the NAP...

    ...dipshit!

  • T o n y||

    Wow, are you delusional.

  • ||

    Anthony, you truly test my principles. In particular, my adherence to the NAP.

  • SugarFree||

    You can't punch a fictional creature.

  • T o n y||

    So I have a grown-up understanding of the philosophy of ethics. Sue me.

  • sarcasmic||

    Actually Tony, 'might makes right' is the most primitive philosophy of ethics.

  • iggy||

    Now, now, don't be mean to Tony. 'The government told me to do it' is a very grownup philosophy of ethics. It's like when I just do whatever my Dad tells me, and that makes me a grownup!

    Also, I'm 11 and a half years old. I don't know if that's relevant.

  • Ken Shultz||

    +1

    God bless the 9th.

    Seeing a difference between legal rights and rights is actually a step up for most people; most of them think our only rights are our legal rights--whatever the government gives us.

    But our legal rights are just a shadow cast by what our real rights actually are. And to think that our rights would change based on what Panetta or Obama this is important--that's the other root of all evil.

  • T o n y||

    What are our rights "really"? Whatever you say they are? Can they be whatever I say they are?

  • sarcasmic||

    Natural rights include anything that does not involve the initiation of force and/or fraud on another person's life, liberty or property.

    As opposed to your idea of rights which are "anything I damn well please as long as those violent thugs over there say it is OK because might makes right."

  • Ken Shultz||

    Where our rights come from, how they evolved, the extent to which each of them extend, these are legitimately debatable questions.

    Whether our rights exist apart from government is not a legitimately debatable question--not to anyone with an once of concern for the ethical treatment of other people.

    Is the only reason you don't go around raping women and stealing from people becasue you're afraid you'll get caught? Given your apparent racism, that wouldn't surprise me...

    But if the government and the police disappeared tomorrow, I wouldn't rape anybody or steal anything. Because you see, people have rights--whether the government protects them or not.

    Out of curiosity, do you believe Jews had a right to live under the Third Reich--you disgusting racist bastard?

  • sarcasmic||

    Out of curiosity, do you believe Jews had a right to live under the Third Reich--you disgusting racist bastard?

    That's a good point. The Holocaust was perfectly legal under German law at the time. So by Tony's standard there was nothing wrong with it until the Allies won the war. But up until that moment it was perfectly ethical.

  • Ken Shultz||

    According to Tony? Yeah, apparently, Tony thinks the holocaust didn't violate anybody's rights.

    Tony's disgusting.

  • T o n y||

    Sigh. Define "right." This is a tiresome argument over semantics. Did they have a right in fact to live unmolested? No, they didn't. Did they have a right according to modern standards of decency? Yes. I'm sure that comes as a great comfort.

  • sarcasmic||

    Shorter Tony: Might makes right.

  • iggy||

    What do you derive modern standards of decency from? Is morality only based on what the majority of people currently believe? Because it seems like that's what you're saying.

  • AZ||

    Tony believes that oppression is impossible, since if a right can be taken away, it must not have been a right after all.

  • sarcasmic||

    It's not oppression if the majority says it's not oppression.

  • T o n y||

    Yes, a moral norm is the product of consensus in a particular time and place. If that's not the case, then you tell me where moral norms come from.

  • AZ||

    Hey Tony, answer this question you missed above: if morals are solely a function of consensus, how can they be argued and people convinced, so that the consensus moves?

  • T o n y||

    Mass media. The abolitionist movement gained strength via petitions, articles, books, and sermons.

    Arguably the most recent moral sea-change in this country, the acceptance of gay equality, was accelerated, as the vice president put it, by Will & Grace.

  • SIV||

    Then gun controllers chirp, "but you can't defeat tanks and nuclear weapons with rifles!"

    or

    The notion that a rag-tag band of regular folks armed with semi-automatic weapons and the odd shotgun are a serious hedge against tyranny strikes me as a stretch (and I even saw the remake of Red Dawn!). Hitler and the Nazis didn't take away everyone's guns, as is commonly argued. They expanded gun rights for many groups (though not the Jews). When the whole mutha starts to come down, if the choice is between Jesse Ventura or Janet Napolitano, I'm not sure where to turn.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Once again, these same idiots also believe that the US military, with all of its power and technology at the time, was held at bay by AK-47s and the determined resistance of the Viet Cong. Remember when Ted Kennedy bally-hooed about quagmires like Vietnam?

    Why are the Vietnamese capable of "determined resistance" but not Americans?

  • Adam330||

    I'm fine with any gun ban, so long as it applies equally to every law enforcement and police agency. Police only need guns to protect themselves and others from harm (and to shoot the occasional dog), which is one reason that citizens own guns. So if legislators think police need them, then ipso facto, citizens need them.

  • tarran||

    If they think they can remove a particular class of firearm from public circulation while issuing them to police/military they are deluded...

    The biggest source of weapons on the Mexican black market are soldiers selling firearms owned by the government.

  • Adam330||

    I haven't heard Diane Feinstein suggest that her laws should apply to the police.

  • ||

    Panetta should know that the biggest Nutters are ex-military.
    Low IQ
    No job prospects
    Post-traumatic Stress
    Bitter loners

    You don't have to scratch the REason commentariat too deeply, nor the NRA Nutters who invaded Slate, for the military background to be self-revealed.

    If Amerrika really wanted to address it violence culture, it should start with asking itself whether it's wise to take semi-retarded losers with non prospects and train them in the fine art of dehumanizing Others and killing them as efficiently as possible. And then turning them loose on American society.

    Oh, and I now hear that King George III has taken Manhattan. If you Nutters, you can thwart him before he Occupies Central Park.

    Best of luck. I'll watch for it on CNN.

  • SugarFree||

    The meds must have run out early this month.

  • Randian||

    Poor Mary.

  • GILMORE||

    NUFF OF YOUR YAPPIN' = BACK TO DRILL!!!

    hup! hup! hup! hup! erl-eft, erl-eft, arl-eft, haiight-aleft! Kill a commie for mommie! Only Good Red is a Dead Red!! arrrgggg Show me your war face!!....

    The fact joe blow here thinks SLATE has gone all Hutaree Militia is a hoot. Shermer - probably the only libertoid thing there - rolled over and pissed himself to please his proggy overlords... and meanwhile, half the time we're getting called cheese-eating intellectual commie cosmotarian snobs by everybody else. WHY CANT ANYONE MAKE UP THEIR MIND!!!

  • Randian||

    I like guns, am a veteran, and I like Pinot Noir, good cheeses, and France.

    MIND BLOWN

  • John||

    I like all of those things too. And am a veteran as well. We shouldn't exist Randian. It is like we are both some kind of kink in the space time continuum.

  • nicole||

    UNPOSSIBLE

  • GILMORE||

    Yes, but we know what bitter loners you all are... and your low IQ and utter lack of employment prospects.

    Strange how you manage to spell better than the above Font of Insight, though.

  • John||

    Low IQ, few job prospects, wracked by PTSD. That is me.

  • ||

    If only you'd been smart enough to stay in the rear with the gear where you belonged.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    Warty, Dammit - I knew I should have pulled rank and hid out, away from everything.

    Now if you will pardon me, my lunch break at my non-existent job is over, and I must grunt and scratch some before I spend 15 minutes figuring out how to open the door, so I can shamble home to beat my family in a PTSD driven rage.

    Man, I wish we had better trolls here.

  • tarran||

    He was smart enough... Yesterday he admitted that it was watching Disney's Bambi that gave him PTSD.

  • Libertymike||

    Peyton Manning as well. He has to be wracked with some kind of PTSD given his 4th quarter and OT performance the other day.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    DO NOT DISRESPECT PEYTON MANNING!! DEATH TO THE INFIDEL!!

  • Tejicano||

    I put myself through college and grad school on equal parts GI Bill, academic scholarships (Tau Beta Pi grad), and personal savings. Another kink I guess

  • Alan||

    I disagree with the author.

    The appropriate answer to "Who the hell needs ... ?" is "Fuck you, that's why!"

  • A Serious Man||

    So in 2012 it was 'you didn't build that' and in 2013 it's become 'you don't need that'.

  • GILMORE||

    I made a similar comment days ago re: how the, "But why do you *Need* a semi-automatic blah blah?" has indeed become a key mode of 'framing' the discussion on firearms since the school shootings... one which i find implicitly offensive, with its multiple presumptions, such as :

    a) apparently 'defense of my home, my family, and my own life' is *not* either an obvious "need" or something the questioner is necessarily prepared to accept as 'justified' - which i do not think is a matter for anyone but *me* to decide - and

    b) that laws exist only to give us "tacit permission" to acquire the things we "need" (as judged by the state), whereas posessing things that the state may deem "optional" or "unecessary" are clearly privileges which are granted us at its whim, and which we should always be prepared to justify if ever they are deemed offensive or unsavory by others.

    It stinks of slave-mentality at every level, and I find it repulsive and offensive. I don't appreciate the suggestion I am not fit to judge my own 'needs' or that self-defense is a 'silly' concern ("dont worry, the police will take care of you!")... or the implication that any person should have to justify themselves to either the government or their peers. It irritates me that this rhetorical question continues to be parroted in the media without a single person pointing out the implicit flaws in its conception.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    dont worry, the police will take care of you!

    I'm sure they will be glad to "take care of me" with a double-tap to the brain pan. As to ensuring my personal safety, Warren v. D.C. puts to rest the idea that police have any legal or moral obligation to ensure your personal safety (they don't).

    So if the police are not bound by law or moral to protect me, what should I do? Roll over and die, happy in the knowledge that I didn't soil my hands with anything so icky as guns?

  • SusanM||

    "...but we recognize that “self defense” is a human right and sometimes extreme measures are called for."

    Take your friends where you can find them :)

    http://pinkpistols.org/about-the-pink-pistols/

  • iggy||

    Gay people should be some of the most pro-gun individuals in the country. Even in 'safe' areas, gays as a percentage of the population are very likely to be the victim of some kind of hate crime.

    I don't know how you intend to defend yourself against gay bashing thugs if you're anti-gun.

  • SusanM||

    And we are. Much more so than the stereotypes might have you believe. Especially since "the authorities" are likely to be of little help.

  • John||

    Yup. How are gays like Tony not considered traitors?

  • SugarFree||

    Tony might have been gay, but T O N Y the sockpuppet is undetermined. It's lies constantly about everything; why should the character's sexuality be more true than anything else?

  • John||

    True. It is the same group that owns the Tony and the Shreek franchises. I think sometimes the night shift gets their wires crossed with the day shift.

  • Proprietist||

    To be clear, unlike Tony, Shrike is a libertarian-leaning Democrat loyalist just like you are a libertarian-leaning Republican loyalist.

  • John||

    That is comedy gold Proprietist.

  • Proprietist||

    I mean, he voted for Gary Johnson purportedly. He's right to hate Republicans and stupid to love Democrats. For you, swap teams.

  • T o n y||

    Gun present = higher likelihood of someone dying. The idea that more guns makes us safer is an NRA-invented bullshit myth. And no one needs a 30-round clip and a semiautomatic rifle to protect oneself against a thug.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    You are factually challenged.
    "Gun present = higher likelihood of someone dying."

    Of course this is true. This is one of the main reasons to possess a gun.

    "The idea that more guns makes us safer is an NRA-invented bullshit myth"

    All of the research, ALL, ALL, ALL of the research shows that this is false, that more guns, more widely held, equal less crime.

    "And no one needs a 30-round clip and a semiautomatic rifle to protect oneself against a thug."

    They do if the thug comes with his friends in a SWAT van.

  • T o n y||

    Gonna need a cite for that research.

  • ||

    "Gun present = higher likelihood of someone dying."
    Lie.

    "The idea that more guns makes us safer is an NRA-invented bullshit myth."
    Lie.

    "[N]o one needs a 30-round clip and a semiautomatic rifle to protect oneself against a thug."
    Who the fuck are you to tell me what I "need?" I forgot, Sarcasmic's often stated "/shorter Tony: Might makes right."

  • iggy||

    Good for you, Susan. I don't know why you needed to say 'take your friends where you can find them' since no one here is really anti-gay and we'll all support your right to defend yourself in any situation.

    Except Tony, who thinks it is morally superior to have gay people beaten to death by mobs than be able to defend themselves.

  • T o n y||

    I want guns taken out of the picture entirely, merely decreasing the likelihood of someone dying in an altercation. It is, of course, an NRA-invented myth that if we just armed everyone, we'd all be safer. If that were the case, the number of guns in this country should make it the safest place in the world.

    People quarrel for all sorts of reasons, rational and irrational. Putting a gun in the picture just increases the likelihood of someone dying instead of someone being merely hurt. That's all. This isn't a Lifetime movie, it's real life.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    Apples to oranges. That the US is well armed, or armed better than some other place, does not mean that it is safer than the other place (see previous syllogisms regarding culture), only that it (the US) is safer than it would be w/o the guns.

  • John||

    It is appalling how easy it is to get the lefty mob fixated on something. The lefties I know on facebook never said a single thing about the NRA or gun ownership until that became the talking point. Last fall it was all about the evil rich and the one percent. Before that it was the evil "corporations" buying the American electorate.

    Their handlers just pick a target and they mindlessly hate it. It is really Pavlovian.

  • tarran||

    ... and they then turn and say only Republicans/conservitive movements have astroturf groups.

  • John||

    The conservatives and the SOCONS are at least consistent. You know who they don't like and who they are out to get. Lefties are just nuts. You never know who the Goldstein is going to be from one week to the next.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Well John, if you had just bought the scorecard like I did, you'd know that Wayne LaPierre is currently up to bat.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    Say, who do you have up for #1 hate in February? I seem to have misplaced my Racing Form.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Say, who do you have up for #1 hate in February?

    Opening at 9:1 is Colin Kaepernick for showing off his Bushmaster tattoo following his Super Bowl victory.

  • GILMORE||

    The lefties I know on facebook never said a single thing about the NRA or gun ownership until that became the talking point

    reminds one of this?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQqq3e03EBQ

  • T o n y||

    American conservatives are a disaster for humanity on multiple levels.

  • OldMexican||

    Projecting much?

  • sarcasmic||

    The appropriate answer to "Who the hell needs ... ?" is "the burden of proof is on you, asshole."

  • John||

    But they don't like how it makes them feel. It makes them uncomfortable. And that is enough to band something.

  • Ken Shultz||

    So you're comin' around on gay marriage, then, John?

  • John||

    I have never been against gay marriage. I have only said it is not a Constitutional right but something that should be left up to the state legislatures.

    Do yourself a favor Ken. READ THE POSTS before posting yourself.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Thanks for clarifying.

  • A Serious Man||

    And then that's when their argument blows up in their face.

    So-called assault rifles are used in a very small amount of gun crime(more homicides are committed with knives and blunt objects than rifles). Handguns are far more prevalent in killing people, so if they wanted to make a dent in that they should ban handguns.

    But they won't because that would mean they must reveal what there real motives are altogether.

  • John||

    It does and it doesn't. It does in the sense that it makes them look stupid and hypocritical in the moment. But it does not in the long term in that after measures to control "assault weapons" fail to do anything about gun violence, they will then use that as an excuse to go after all weapons. They know these controls will fail and that is just what they want.

  • John||

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/mckayc.....r-liberals

    Remember, redneck flyover tea baggers owning weapons is evil. But douchebag hipsters doing it is just great.

    In all seriousness, I wonder what the age breakdown is for support of gun control. Just a guess, but I bet the biggest supporters of gun control are old white people.

  • ||

    "Do I plan to go back again [to the range]? Yeah, yeah, I probably will," he said. "Would I mind my ID being checked and having to sign off on a bunch of forms before I'm handed a rifle and a box of 20 shells? Hell no, I wouldn't mind."

    Implying that that's not what happens now. Fuck you, hipster prick.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    The gun-fearing author, Phillip Weiss, disapprovingly describes the "almost orgasmic" feeling of wielding a shotgun,

    This says more about Weiss than it does the gun-owning public in general.

  • ||

    PROJECTION

  • John||

    No shit. I read a lot of weird sexual connotations about guns written by dip shit lefties. They really do seem to have some psychological issues going on that they assume everyone else shares.

  • SugarFree||

    They assume that people who have guns are compensating for something--usually a small penis. It's Soviet psychiatry all over again.

  • John||

    They assume that because that is why they are attracted to guns

  • ||

    Why is it, anyway, that a large penis is seen as the sine qua non of manliness? It's not like everyone has always thought so. The Romans, to give a counterexample, made fun of oversized genitalia.

    Consult the archives. I demand an answer.

  • SugarFree||

    I'm just going to throw out a trite observation:

    The first penis the vast majority of men see other than their own is their father's, the manliest man you know up to that point, with the power and authority of a god. And to you, his penis is enormous.

  • Libertymike||

    Well, my cousin, who is eight years my junior, once, at age 4, walked into the bathroom while yours truly was taking a leak.

    She said, "Michael, my daddy has one of those things". I chuckled and then told her to scram.

  • GILMORE||

    are you smoking a cigar?

  • ||

    Eating a banana. Why do you ask?

  • SugarFree||

    are you smoking a cigar?

    No. Cigars make me... uncomfortable. For some reason.

  • AZ||

    I thought Freud said it was discomfort with weapons that indicated an impotent sexuality.

  • SugarFree||

    Freud has be discredited because they couldn't make him jibe with feminism.

  • JD the elder||

    Oddly enough, the people who whip out the "gun = penis" analogy first are always the banners. It's always great fun pointing that out and asking them why they want to take everyone's penis away.

  • pmains||

    It's because it's an imponderable as well as mindless ad hom. How can we really prove or disprove a class of people's motivations? Who cares? Let's slap them with a pseudoscientific diagnosis and see if they squirm. If they do, it doesn't matter if we were accurate or not.

  • T o n y||

    I believe it's more apt to say you should put away your gun and try to be happy with the tiny, shriveled penis you are substituting it for.

  • nicole||

    He makes it even sound like even more fun than it is. I'm almost jealous.

  • Randian||

    I bet the biggest supporters of gun control are old white people.

    Well yeah, they're rich and in the safe neighborhoods.

    "The most important principle of self-defense: Avoid dangerous people and dangerous places" - Sam Harris

  • John||

    Aging hippies. It is always funny to laugh at people with an idiotic collection of bumper stickers. You know the types who have an Obama 12 sticker right next to an endthis/less war left over from the Bush Administration. I see those all of the time living in Washington. And they are nearly always driven by someone over sixty. Man do leftists not age well.

  • kinnath||

    When my son was in Boy Scouts in the late 80s, I got along best with two other dads, one a former military policeman and the other an aging hippie. They used to go out into the desert to practice with various firearms.

    The hippie had been one of those radical lefties (very political) that kept a shotgun at every door during the 60s, because you could never be sure when the police were going to break in.

  • John||

    What happened to those hippies? How did they turn into fascists?

  • SugarFree||

    They won, and so their status quo is what they are trying to defend.

    You can't fight The Man when you are The Man.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    And thus, SF @2:02 answers the question perfectly.

  • kinnath||

    He was actually a very fine man. A skilled woodworker, blue collar labor (with really long hair), great family man, wicked sense of humor, and rabidly anti-government.

  • John||

    I have known people like that Kinnath. And I think the difference is working class hippies versus little bastard rich kids who joined the New Left.

  • kinnath||

    He was into backpacking, snowclimbing, and picked up rockclimbing in his forties (a bad habit picked up from his daughter's finance).

    And he was a 60's radical who hung out with the black panthers in Portland at one point or another.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Sounds like someone who is self-reliant, and distrusts authority. BITTER CLINGER!!!!!

  • BuSab Agent||

    That could be true for many; because old white people can't imagine the police ignoring attacks on them ( blacks v. KKK in the south)(gays or non-Christian individuals in many conservative areas), or letting their homes and businesses burn (LA riots), or not being anywhere near them when the bad guys break in (most of flyover country).

  • John||

    And most leftists whites live in cities that have police forces that are downright fascist like LA, Chicago or New York. Easy to wax philosophical about the evils of guns and self defense when you have a armed group of goons waiting to beat the shit out of any minority or poor person who happens to stroll through your neighborhood.

  • some guy||

    The "debate" over armor piercing bullets is fine. But I also like it when people talk about banning fully automatic weapons. Frankly, if someone were trying to kill me I would prefer them to have it set on full auto. Their accuracy is going down (way down if they haven't practiced in that mode) and they're going to run out of ammo quicker. Full auto is another one of those things that sound must scarier than it is.

  • John||

    The army doesn't use fully automatic personal sidearms. The M1A2 fires in three round bursts. Unless it is a crew serve weapon, full auto is generally a waste.

  • Proprietist||

    I wish Piers Morgan and the other blowhards would get some Korean LA shopowners on their show to debate whether there are legitimate reasons for civilian-owned assault weapons. Of course, that would defeat their point.

  • John||

    Those facts don't fit the narrative.

  • Doctor Whom||

    That argument is beside the point because RACIST!!!

  • AZ||

    Obviously "need" is bullshit burden-shifting that demonstrates a slave mentality and should be called out as such.

    But even if "need" somehow mattered, how are politicians that outsource their self defense to innumerable armed guards, hipsters, and tittering soccer moms proper arbiters of what is "needed" for an individual's self-defense?

  • GILMORE||

    AZ| 1.17.13 @ 1:56PM |#

    Obviously "need" is bullshit burden-shifting that demonstrates a slave mentality and should be called out as such.

    See my comment 1:11PM above

  • jimburns||

    Tony is just another stereotypical liberal without any critical thinking skills who has been indoctrinated to believe in the might-ful, bludgeoning power of the majority of the masses. It's a school child perspective on democracy, which never even climbs its way upward to more complex and realistic forms such as democratic republics. There is no command of history here. There is no study of the ancients, no philosophy, no real thought here at all but the childlike reaction to stimulus and the corresponding childlike fantastical reaction, whimsically creating a worldview that is purely fantasy and ungrounded whatsoever in the realities of man's experience on this earth! There is no understanding of the difference between society and government there is only the childlike longing, the out stretched hand toward the toy shelf, of fantastical desire and want!
    His world, like all liberals, is one of the never-ending laboratory experiment, where all manner of fantastical wants and hopes are mixed and kneaded and tried over and over and with each new failure, the liberal never stops to question his premises, but continually adjusts the recipe because the ends are all that matter, however farcical!

    But I'm off course. Here's a link to a 1990 paper on the childish dishonesty and statistical misrepresentation of the anti-gun (false) academia. A long but great read but you must be a thinker if you hope to follow along.

    http://www.catb.org/esr/guns/gun-control.html

  • T o n y||

    The only arguments presented against me here are to say I believe a bunch of stuff I don't believe ("The Holocaust was morally permissible") and then imply that libertarians have figured out the entire depth and breadth of morality for all time, because they say so the end. Might makes right indeed.

  • ||

    The US has gun death rates higher than any country not having a civil war, and the only difference between the US and other far more safe countries is its level of gun proliferation.



    So, Toady, how do you account for the fact that the murder rate in Switzerland (0.7 per 100K) is nearly half that of the UK (1.2)?

    Or for that matter that the British Virgin Islands, which is a territory of Britain and hence subject to the same laws, has a murder rate (8.6) nearly double the US (4.8)? No civil war in the BVI last I checked. And it's islands too, so they don't have the Bloomberg rational of allegedly smuggled guns either.

  • T o n y||

    I would suppose the BVI has a high murder rate because it is a hotspot for drug trafficking. I say let's compromise and end the Drug War in the US and see what that does to crime rates overall.

    Then we can see if hundreds of millions of guns have anything whatsoever to do with inflated levels of gun violence.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    I would suppose the BVI has a high murder rate because it is a hotspot for drug trafficking.


    The U.S. also has a lot of drug trafficking.

    Then we can see if hundreds of millions of guns have anything whatsoever to do with inflated levels of gun violence.


    The U.S. is 28 place in gun murder rates. That is, DESPITE the fact almost everybody is armed to the teeth.

    Your conclusions do not jive with the facts, Tony.

  • ||

    Then we can see if hundreds of millions of guns have anything whatsoever to do with inflated levels of gun violence.


    If there were some magical correct ratio of guns owned to number of homicides based on the number of guns owned in the USA, Switzerland would have a homicide rate of between 2.4 and 3.5 per 100K or half to tree quarters of the rate in the USA.

    But, then I see you've acted just like every other gun-control advocate when confronted with the fact that the Swiss somehow manage to refrain from murdering each other despite the fact that it is as nearly full of gun nuts as the US is.

    I can just see you, fingers in ears going LALALALALALALALA, I can't hear you.

    So let's try again, "So, Toady, how do you account for the fact that the murder rate in Switzerland (0.7 per 100K) is nearly half that of the UK (1.2)?"

  • ||

    And, by the way, you might want to think twice about ever using this patently false chestnut in any of your gun con control arguments ever again,

    ...and the only difference between the US and other far more safe countries is its level of gun proliferation.

  • ||

    So let's try again, "So, Toady, how do you account for the fact that the murder rate in Switzerland (0.7 per 100K) is nearly half that of the UK (1.2)?"


    Keeping in mind the fact that any adult Swiss citizen (ie a person 18yo) can buy almost any firearm he/she wants to on demand (about the same regime that exists in nearly every state in the USA), how can you or any other gun banner claim that Switzerland's low homicide rate is due to "gun control"?

  • R C Dean||

    Alt-text win on the Panetta pic, BTW.

  • geekster||

  • LTC(ret) John||

    Ha, I was signature #2.

  • tarran||

    Again, why are you idiots setting up accounts on a server owned by the White House? It's a giant fucking data mining exercise. It's like ticking off Jewish on a census form in Germany in the 1920's.

  • geekster||

    And being on the Internet isn't? You seriously think that posting here doesn't get you on a watchlist?

  • Loki||

    If I owned only what I need, I'd be living in a spartan efficiency apartment, wearing a Mao suit and eating gruel. I have no interest in living that way.

    Sounds like someone has an upcoming apointment at their nearest re-education center.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Then gun controllers chirp, "but you can't defeat tanks and nuclear weapons with rifles!"

    RED DAWN WAS JUST A MOVIE!

  • John||

    Look Brooks rape only lasts a couple of minutes. But murder is forever.

  • Fladnag the Yarg||

    Fact. You can defeat a nuke with a rifle. But only before it goes boom.

  • Michael||

    “For the life of me, I don’t know why the hell people have to have assault weapons.”

    To return fire, you fucking idiot.

  • Drake||

    Because they are too weak to handle a battle rifle?

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    The U.S. has four times the murder rate of the U.K.


    The U.K. has a much greater criminality rate than the U.S.

    That has to do with guns.

    Thanks!!

  • freeAgent||

    Obama should appoint a Czar of Unnecessities.

  • Tejicano||

    Funny how the statist, gun-grabbing comments here remind me of the exact reason why I actually do need to have semi-automatic rifles which accept magazines of any capacity. I need them to ensure that I can live free or die (either would be fine) in the case if/when those people try to take them from me.

  • Abdul Kareema Wheat||

    You think Panetta's pin head? Wait till we get that horse face Kerry in . He'll admit along with Hagel that our soldiers are nothing more then Ghengis Khans and should be totally disarmed.

    We are on the downside and are witness to the disintegration of greatness.

  • James Anderson Merritt||

    If we had remained faithful to the Constitution, we would have attained and maintained true greatness. This grotesque, swaggering bully role we have played in the last 100 years is not greatness. Confusing that role with greatness is exactly what has led us to the precipice and promises to push us over into the abyss.

  • James Anderson Merritt||

    "My ability to acquire pets and stuff that I want without having to justify the acquisitions is an expression of my personal freedom."

    HELLO! I'D LIKE TO BUY A LICENSE COR MY PET FISH!

    ...

    ... (fill in the rest, I know you know it)

    ...

    IT'S PEOPLE LIKE YOU WHAT CAUSE UNREST!

  • James Anderson Merritt||

    xxx ...FOR MY PET FISH!

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