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Free Minds & Free Markets

Culture War Is All That’s Left When Gun Policy Battles Become Pointless

Forget the debates over laws that can’t make a difference; the heat and noise is really all about political tribes attempting to inconvenience each other.

Last year, I noted the growing tendency of the "dominant political tribes to effortlessly taunt each other by waving cultural flags—or putting the legal screws to lifestyle choices that aren't overtly partisan." Since then, the escalating strife between political and cultural factions has turned into economic warfare, as opponents of private ownership of guns pressure businesses to end relations with the National Rifle Association. The culture war is almost guaranteed to harden the sides rather than hand anybody victory. It's also unlikely to go away, since posturing and stigmatizing is all the combatants have as debate over actual policy slides toward irrelevance.

Ironically, predominately progressive gun opponents are adopting the conscience-driven boycott model—an exercise of free association rights—that many of them sought to deny to social conservatives who spurn the business of gays and lesbians (bake a wedding cake, anybody?). So far, Enterprise Holdings, Avis Budget Group, Chubb Limited, MetLife, Delta, United Airlines, and the First National Bank of Omaha are among the companies breaking ties with the gun-rights group, or just discontinuing discounts to its members. The end goal of this project seems to have less to do with policy changes than with flipping the bird to the five million members of the organization most closely associated with opposition to restrictions on self-defense rights.

"I think that the best way to describe the gun debate in this country is not as a policy battle but as a culture war," the conservative writer David French recently told an interviewer. "What you often see are two competing visions of a way of life, two competing visions of what it means to be a citizen in a constitutional republic, two competing visions of the kind of society and culture you want to live in."

That we're in a culture war rather than a policy debate is pretty obviously true when the targets of a boycott effort are not lawmakers, but supporters of a mass-membership organization. It's the equivalent of surveillance-state fans trying to cut off ACLU or EFF access to bank accounts and social media—a symbolic gesture and an exercise of cultural power, rather than an effort at policy victory.

But staying clear of policy specifics is probably a wise idea when experts remind us that as horrifying as mass shootings are, they continue to be rare events that resist easy solution.

"Notwithstanding the occasional multiple-fatality shooting that takes place at one of the 100,000 public schools across America, the nation's schools are safe," Northeastern University's James Alan Fox writes. He points out that such horrific incidents were more common 20 years ago.

Some gun foes want to ban so-called "assault weapons," but that's an uphill slog when most advocates of such laws have no idea what they're talking about.

"The mainstream media lobbies hard for gun control, but it is very, very bad at gun journalism," Rachel Larimore explained at Slate. "The term assault weapon itself, of disputed origin, is a thorn in the side of gun enthusiasts, who point out that the differences between 'assault weapons' and other semi-automatics are largely cosmetic and don't increase the gun's lethality."

"Because these guns are really just ordinary rifles, it is hard for legislators to effectively regulate them without banning half the handguns in the country (those that are semiautomatic and/or have detachable magazines) and many hunting rifles as well," adds UCLA law professor and gun control advocate Adam Winkler.

Tighter screening and mandatory reporting for mental health problems also make the wish list, but that has its own drawbacks.

"There's a lot of criticism about denying more people their Second Amendment rights based on mental illness," Prof. James Jacobs, Director of the Center for Research in Crime and Justice at the New York University School of Law and author of Can Gun Control Work?, told me several years ago. "Mental health professionals think it will deter people from seeking help and will stigmatize the mentally ill."

Universal background checks that would legally oblige gun owners to run person-to-person sales through government databases have also been floated as policy proposals, but there's no real way to enforce them. NYU's Jacobs acknowledged that it would be "very easy to get around" such restrictions. In fact, Colorado's implementation of such a law resulted in far fewer checks for transfers between private parties than anticipated.

"There's no increase in private transfers for background checks," Colorado state Sen. Greg Brophy (R-Wray) commented in 2014, "which means either there aren't very many private sales, or what is much more likely people are just ignoring this law."

And then there are the ongoing bureaucratic hiccups that complicate every implementation of a government database, especially when somebody's liberty is dependent on the quality of records-keeping and its proper use.

"I don't think anyone on either side of the gun debate really has come to terms with how uneven our records are—whether because of poor procedure, lack of resources, or arbitrary decision-making," the University of Arizona's Jennifer Carlson, cautioned me around the time of the publication of her Citizen-Protectors: The Everyday Politics of Guns in an Age of Decline.

Looming over all of this are technological developments in 3D printing and CNC machines that make the home manufacture of physical objects—including those that government wishes to restrict—an easy, inexpensive, and untraceable process.

"Now I can ship gun machines that can help you crank out 1911s in your kitchen all day long, and no one has anything to say about it," Cody Wilson, who developed the original 3D-printed pistol, recently told Reason TV. Wilson now sells the Ghost Gunner, a CNC mill that's part of a class of innovations that promises to put people's activities well beyond the reach of impotent laws.

Social media at the moment is full of gun opponents celebrating efforts to isolate the NRA and its membership. It also features gun supporters flashing images of their new membership cards in that organization. NRA members now vow economic retaliation against the companies that succumbed to similar threats from anti-gun activists. The big losers are bound to be those companies who felt obliged to publicly pick a side in the new economic phase of the growing culture war.

But pick a side, they did, and many more will come under pressure to do the same in the days to come. The political tribes are restless, and they're eager to do as much damage as possible to their cultural enemies with the only tools left to them.

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  • loveconstitution1789||

    I WILL NOT DIE FOR THE GUN GRABBERS.

    That would be my sign.

  • Res ipsa loquitur||

    You won't get much of a choice there skippy !

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Sadly, I'm sure they'd he willing to kill you despite your unwillingness.

  • croaker||

    If even three gun grabbers die for every gun owner, they will run out of gun grabbers right quick.

    And I would suggest that the ratio would be much higher.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Needs a line break. And I think using proper capitalization for the other words works better.

    I will not DIE
    for the GUN GRABBERS
  • Citizen X - #6||

    ...among lefties.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Among #6

  • Juice||

    Man, they are really hung up on the NRA. Even if it disappeared tomorrow, support for gun rights wouldn't budge.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    Yep. But when you want to appeal to personal attack, it's easier when it's only one entity being attacked. They want it to look like gun grabbers vs the one. Opposed to gun grabbers vs millions.

  • silver.||

    Indeed. They're not even a particularly powerful lobby group. Don't they mostly do training and outreach and such?

    Great. The gun control crowd is attacking a training organization. Usually they're saying that we need more training, and I certainly don't think that's a bad idea.

  • BigChiefWahoo||

    The NRA was founded by a group of former Union Army officers whose experiences in the Civil War had convinced them that most Northern soldiers were poor shots. The NRA was established to promote practice(by civilians) with US service rifles. The NRA still does that. The National Match Service Rifle Course competition is the "Super Bowl" of target shooting.

  • Lawn Darts||

    The legal wing of the NRA is the Institute for Legislative Action. NRA-ILA. That's the part that works on bringing lawsuits and writing amicus briefs and stuff that makes a difference in the law. They keep them separate... you make donations to them separately. Probably tax reasons for that.

  • Migrant||

    Pathetically ignorant about the history of the NRA and the entire history of gun madness in what passes for civilisation in America

  • Octopher||

    No, his description is pretty accurate.

  • mad_kalak||

    That Hiln guy with the copy pasta in 5...4..3..2.1....

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    BOLD ALL CAPS

    (Parenthetical onomatopoeia)

  • Rebel Scum||

    Accuse BUCS of something ridiculous.

    definition of ridiculous accusation

    (gigglesnort)

    [Sqrt(Left-right)]/3.14=Hihn

  • Ariki||

    Nailed it.

  • ||

    I really enjoyed this article. A good 30,000 foot view of what is going on in society regarding this "discussion" as the ideologically possessed teenagers keep calling it.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Agreed

  • TLBD||

    Damnit, now I have to read it.

  • Fat Hubie||

    Someone's "culture" seems determined to take the inalienable rights of American citizens. Our culture has the means to circumvent that permanently. How many of these communist funded groups are getting tax exemption as a nonprofit?

  • croaker||

    Georgia already told Delta to kiss their $40 million tax break bye-bye.

  • NoVaNick||

    Delta sucks anyway, so does United...

  • damikesc||

    That's something people forget. How long they've been terrible. Before 9/11, it was not controversial to say that airlines were fucking awful and then going out of business would hardly be a negative. 16 1/2 yrs later, nothing has changed.

  • RoyMo||

    The best part is that I have been assured this will cause Delta to move to Minnesota.

  • Fat Hubie||

    Where did my comment go?

  • Fat Hubie||

    Resolution to be more patient?

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    Squirrels are frisky today.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    Chicago.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    My kind of town

    (But not really)

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

  • EscherEnigma||

    Ironically, predominately progressive gun opponents are adopting the conscience-driven boycott model—an exercise of free association rights—that many of them sought to deny to social conservatives who spurn the business of gays and lesbians (bake a wedding cake, anybody?).


    You overstate your case.

    I have heard nothing of companies refusing service to NRA members, firing them from work, refusing to rent to them, cancelling their hotel reservations, or so-on.

    What I have heard is losing discounts and sponsorships.

    They really aren't comparable.

  • MarkLastname||

    Nor have gay people been denied service for their homosexuality.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Why are so many gun absolutists opposed to, and obsessed with, society's relatively recent decision to choose decent treatment of gays over bigotry and backwardness?

  • Red Tony||

    Why are so many progressive morons opposed to, and obsessed with, society's relatively recent decision to elect a loudmouthed manchild over a corrupt, traitorous bitch?

  • Dariush||

    "...loudmouthed manchild over a corrupt, traitorous bitch".

    Now that made me laugh out loud. Thank you for that Red Tony.

  • Finrod||

    (applause)

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    I am pro gun, but apparently I am neither a homophobe nor a "absolutist." A rather narrow category.

  • Migrant||

    how can anybody with any brain cells call themselves pro gun? Are you pro bubonic plague as well ? how about anthrax?

  • DesigNate||

    Derp da derp da tiddly terp.

  • Finrod||

    Guess you won't be getting Botox, then.

  • Rhywun||

    Because only one of those things has found its way into the Constitution, and for good reason?

  • Eidde||

    "Decent treatment of gays," in the reverend's definition, seems to include crippling small businesses if they don't cater gay weddings - even when there are plenty of so-called "gay friendly" businesses which would be happy to do such catering.

    I expect the rev's next move will be to mention the Jim Crow South, in which (thanks to a private/public partnership of white supremacists) black travellers had to sleep in their cars because no hotel would serve them, and business which tried to integrate faced government harassment.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Republicans and conservatives were bigoted toward gays long before gay marriage became an issue, and they are still bigoted today.

    Which is fine by me, because America's electorate becomes less bigoted, less rural, less backward, less white, and less religious just about every day of every week of every year.

  • Eidde||

    So, reverend, you're saying you're bigoted toward whites and religious people?

    After all, you want them to outvoted and to have their preferences thwarted - isn't that the definition of bigotry? /sarc

  • RoyMo||

    You are aware that much of this crowd dreams of a world where a married gay couple can defend their marijuana grow with assault rifles,

  • Ama-Gi Anarchist||

    Of course he doesn't. the Rev. is just another Proggie asswipe who thinks he's doing God's work among us heathen libertarians and anarchists. Too bad we can't throw his ass in the cooking pot and boil him alive like real heathens would do....

  • GeneralWeygand||

    That may be the most accurately succinct definition of the conventional wisdom here.

  • BigChiefWahoo||

    But bigotry against white, or religious, or rural people is just A-OK, eh, Rev? YOUR kind of bigotry and narrow-mindedness is acceptable in the Big City, I take it?

  • EvilWayz||

    Your kind's bigotry against rural white folks is what got Trump elected. Way to go Rev.

  • Finrod||

    Yep. As I've heard it said multiple places: "Do you want more Trump? Because this is how you get more Trump."

  • Bruce D||

    I haven't witnessed "gun absolutists" bad-mouthing gays or being bigoted.

  • Eidde||

    I've heard of caterers refusing to cater SSM ceremonies.

    The comparison would be to a caterer refusing to cater an NRA gala.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Sure. Has that actually happened?

  • Eidde||

    I have no idea, but that would be the best analogy.

  • Palatki||

    The NRA is not a protected group. Anyone could refuse service to them any time they wanted. They are not a religion, or a racial minority or a sexual orientation. So, the fact that no one will be sued or arrested and fined for outright refusing to serve the NRA, or by extension, any of its white male members, means that it will definitely happen at some point. It's just one more tactic in the culture war.

  • Eidde||

    Scrolling back up to the original comment to which I was responding, I was backing up the position that progs want freedom of association for themselves but not for their opponents.

    So your argument defines the problem, but doesn't give any useful rebuttals.

  • Eidde||

    I also see that California has a law which imposes some limits on employers' right to engage in political discrimination.

    Perhaps you can explain why that law is wrong, from a prog standpoint.

  • ||

    I have heard nothing of companies refusing service to NRA members, firing them from work, refusing to rent to them, cancelling their hotel reservations, or so-on.

    Just as with the gay rights 'culture war', the merchants don't exactly advertise "Now gay free!" on the radio. Just so we're clear how far around the bend it is; imagine a the crossed-circle on a rainbow flag, now imagine people openly discussion how much they hated the rainbow symbol and what it stood for that they openly discussed how they found stickers indicating 'gay-free zones' offensive.

    I don't like the term culture war. It was invented by a marginally victimized gropu to advance themselves as victims and, in the context of the gun culture sense, equates victimhood both with very anti-American notions (relying on others and the government for personal protection/sovereignty) and co-opts actual victims as props for a larger political cause. That said, when your opposition continually screams 'Kulchur War!' as they advance on you, it's exceedingly difficult if not impossible to distance yourself from it.

  • ||

    *goddamnedfuckingeditbutton*

  • EscherEnigma||

    I didn't say there wasn't a culture war.

    What I said is that Tuccille is overstating the comparison between boycotts of businesses and refusing service to individuals, and blatantly ignoring that "progressives" have never said that boycotts aren't a valid expression of Free Association rights.

  • ||

    What I said is that Tuccille is overstating the comparison between boycotts of businesses and refusing service to individuals, and blatantly ignoring that "progressives" have never said that boycotts aren't a valid expression of Free Association rights.

    I think this assumes a frankness and generally ingenuous nature not known to progressives and/or politicos.

    Tuccille does specifically mention free association and, as I said, just as with the gay rights 'culture war' advocates didn't come right out and say "We want to violate your right to free association." as much as use language about common decency and moral fabric the same way the gay rights community talks about tolerance and public accommodation when they really mean "We want to violate your right to free association."

    I think the only way you consider it to be an explicitly biased, inapt, or wholly unequal comparison is if you enjoy that privilege or selectively fail to read into one or both side's explicit/implicit meaning.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Again: I have heard nothing of companies refusing service to NRA members, firing them from work, refusing to rent to them, cancelling their hotel reservations, or so-on.

    Delta no longer giving a discount to NRA members is not the same as Delta refusing service to NRA members. Hotels not giving discounts to NRA members is not the same as hotels cancelling the reservations of NRA members when NRA members show up and the manager-on-shift realizes that they're NRA members. Companies dropping sponsorship and endorsement of the NRA is not the same as companies firing employees for being NRA members.

    You can whine about "meaning" all you want. It hasn't translated into action. Y'all have a lot further to fall, and to suffer, before it's an apt comparison.

  • A_Spellman||

    Yet, all of those are previously negotiated contracts. The cakes and flowers were contracts that one party chose not to participate in and were thus run out of business. It is not the same as firing a NRA member or cancelling their reservations.
    As for the refusal to rent, again, that's a contract that if one party chooses not to participate, so be it.
    The biggest difference between the "gay agenda" and the current gun owner boycotts is the gun owners aren't using government resources to force their agenda down your throat. Just simply choosing not to participate.

  • EscherEnigma||

    First up?

    [...] and were thus run out of business.


    That's a thing that hasn't actually happened. The closest you get is Sweet Cakes by Melissa which wasn't "run out of business", but realized that they made more money being professional martyrs then they did as bakers.

    Second up?

    The biggest difference between the "gay agenda" and the current gun owner boycotts is the gun owners aren't using government resources to force their agenda down your throat.


    So you haven't read the article about Georgia and Delta yet?

    Third up?
    The actual "biggest difference" is gay folks have been fired, evicted, beat, murdered, jailed, and so-on because they're gay. NRA members haven't. Y'all are a bunch of whiners.

  • A_Spellman||

    Yes they were run out of business, regardless of 'professional martyr' status BS. Which describes quite a lot of the other side. Cake shops, florists, pizza parlors
    Wow, Georgia say "No, Delta, we're not giving you freebies." Georgia did not say " Well, Delta, we are going to hit you with the most extreme fines and taxes"
    Last up, the ones that did those things were horrible people. Also, they were private citizens, not government. Up to a few decades ago, being gay was illegal, and I'm glad we corrected that. How long ago has it been since a LGBT member was fired, beaten, evicted, and so on? Please, let us know, because it's been decades.
    Just give up, because the majority of America disagrees with your extremist BS. But you won't, because you're locked in the groupthink of the left.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Choosing to close your doors of your still profitable business because you have an even more profitable new opportunity is not being run out of business. For how much y'all whine about "economic terrorism", it doesn't actually work on that scale.

    And yes, a government taking deliberate action to change the status quo to the tune of $50 million dollars is the government trying to coerce a company into compliance.

    And let's see... arrests, I think the last report I heard was 2014 or so, some idiot Louisiana sheriff that didn't care that the law was unconstitutional and set-up a sting operation to get gay men anyway. Beaten and murdered? This year. Happens every couple of weeks. Fired? This year. Happens every couple of months. Evicted? Doesn't happen as often, I think it's been a few years.

    But decades? Hah, not even close.

    because the majority of America disagrees with your extremist BS.


    I'm curious what you think my "extremist BS" is.

  • A_Spellman||

    Oh, and 5 minutes over at Google gets me these tidbits:
    https://www.gunowners.org/a04272011.htm - Gun owner fired for keeping his firearm in his car
    http://bulletsfirst.net/2014/1.....-gun-home/ - Gun owner fired for admitting he owned guns and believed in the 2A, even though he never took guns with him to work.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Congratulations. You are the first person to even try to look up an example. Of course, those stories would probably be more relevant if they weren't from 2011 and 2014.

  • A_Spellman||

    And where is your examples? At least I can do my due diligence and look. Interesting when one refutes leftist arguments, all of a sudden, they never put up their own evidence. And they go and disparage the right's evidence. 2014 isn't good enough for mine, but it is for yours?
    Cite where a gay man was beaten and/or murdered for being gay. Or fired, or evicted. I've not seen it. I have seen cases in the last few years where 'being gay' was used to obfuscate the actual behavior, criminal or ethical, that got them fired, or evicted, or beaten. I've found one case, back in 2014, that involved being evicted solely for being gay. And, as we've established, it's not relevant to you due to the age.
    As to you extremist BS, equating legal gun owners choosing to not participate in commercial activities to activists using government coercion to force that association is the extremist part. Georgia Legislature is an outlier, yes, but at the same time, let's be honest, they didn't take anything that Delta didn't have in the first place. They chose not to pass the bill which would have given Delta tax breaks. If they had passed a bill specifically to add taxes to Delta, then we would be in agreement there. Of course, this being Reason, the fact they were even considering tax breaks for Delta in the first place is BS. But that's neither here nor there.

  • EscherEnigma||

    equating legal gun owners choosing to not participate in commercial activities to activists using government coercion to force that association is the extremist part.
    ... seriously dude? You've really lost the plot. This entire thread got started by me refuting Tuccille's comparison.

    As to the rest, you kind of just showed why I didn't bother giving citation. "I have seen cases in the last few years where 'being gay' was used to obfuscate the actual behavior, criminal or ethical, that got them fired, or evicted, or beaten."

    You already know what I'm talking about. You've just dismissed it because it doesn't fit your narrative.
  • ||

    Again: I have heard nothing of companies refusing service to NRA members, firing them from work, refusing to rent to them, cancelling their hotel reservations, or so-on.

    And, again, the NRA isn't all gun owners any more than GLAAD is every last homosexual. I've never heard of a GLAAD employee or member being fired, refused service, canceled hotel reservations (If it's like the emergency room panic, at some point you're just making shit up) for being gay. Plenty of gun owners are beaten, arrested, fired, evicted, jailed, and murdered for possessing a firearm. Hell, people get shot to death all the time because people *think* they have a gun. If 'we all' have a lot further to fall, it's not because of guns and is rather explicitly because you hold homosexuality on some manner of disparate a pedestal. Are you really going to sit here and say that homosexuals have never persecuted Jews, Christians, or even secular people(s)?

  • EscherEnigma||

    And, again, the NRA isn't all gun owners [...]


    I'm curious who you think has made this claim. It certainly wasn't me.

    Plenty of gun owners are beaten, arrested, fired, evicted, jailed, and murdered for possessing a firearm. Hell, people get shot to death all the time because people *think* they have a gun.


    Mostly by the police.

    Are you really going to sit here and say that homosexuals have never persecuted Jews, Christians, or even secular people(s)?


    Nah. But based on history, that won't stop someone from assuming I did anyway.

    Regardless though, you seem to have skipped over my actual point and started arguing something else entirely.

  • ||

    But based on history, that won't stop someone from assuming I did anyway.

    Well, considering you just swept away widespread abuse of gun owners with "Mostly by the police." as some manner of explanation or justification, I can see how they might consider you to be a bigoted asshat.

    I didn't skip over your actual point. I addressed it directly and provided examples. As did Tuccille. You just dismissed it because it doesn't fit your narrative.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Y'know what? Fine. You convinced me. Plenty of NRA members/gun owners† "[...] are beaten, arrested, fired, evicted, jailed, and murdered for possessing a firearm."

    Kinda makes me wonder what's the point of carrying for defense though if it just makes you a target. And apparently a soft target at that.
    ________
    †These two groups may be conflated or kept separate, based on the whims of the reader. And the failure of any other reader to not know when it's appropriate to conflate the two and when it's appropriate to keep them separate is on their own heads.

  • mpercy||

    Remember when the Susan Komen Foundation decided to stop giving money to Planned Parenthood?

    The left lost their minds. So much so that the Foundation changed their minds after 3 days. But that was OK, just people speaking out...

  • Ride 'Em||

    Except when it suited progressives like in the case of the boycott of the Dixie Chicks.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    They're limiting it to that only because Operation Choke Point got exposed and stopped.

    If they do limit it to that.

  • What's that smell?||

    I looked up Operation Choke Point as a refresher. I looked at several references and was struck by the fact that, while giving the date, there was no mention that this was an Obama/Clinton directive. Funny how that works.

  • DesigNate||

    If it was a "2013 initiative by the DOJ", there's only one person that could have signed off on that.

    Well two people, if the Attorney General thought their boss was an incompetent boob that didn't need to be bothered with it.

  • mpercy||

    Speaking of stupid "Operations" run by that particular administration, how about Operation Fearless?

  • croaker||

    How can you have a culture war when you don't have any culture?

  • Finrod||

    Well, there's bacteria, it's the only culture some people have.

  • Jeep's Blues||

    Dr. Stephen Karpman's Drama Triangle, sometimes called the Victim Triangle, should be offered in schools. It is the dominant model of public, media, political and civil discourse employed today and highlights the zero sum nature of the culture wars quite well.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    Looked it up, thank you. The model seems to have been intended for individual and small group psychopathology, but I do not see why it cannot apply to social movements as well. There are surely plenty who are happy to play the victim and use it to their advantage, as well as those who want to shift blame in the prosecutorial role. I think these alternate between certain politicians and the SJW crowd.

  • Jeep's Blues||

    "The model seems to have been intended for individual and small group psychopathology, but I do not see why it cannot apply to social movements as well."

    Place any modern identity group (BLM, feminists, the "Left", the "Right", etc.) in the victim role and watch as they exchange positions along the triangle — victim, persecutor and rescuer — under the guise of seeking 'justice'. A great recent example could be observed in the 'Town Hall' exchanges between Jake Tapper, the young Parkland student, the Broward sheriff and Dana Loesch.

    "There are surely plenty who are happy to play the victim and use it to their advantage, as well as those who want to shift blame in the prosecutorial role."

    "I think these alternate between certain politicians and the SJW crowd."

    Yes and yes. One's "starting gate position" (Victim, Persecutor or Rescuer) is programmed in childhood and plays on a repetitive loop. A starting gate victim (e.g., a self-identifying member of a 'social justice' group) who doesn't attempt to resolve their own trauma will invariably "shift" to the role of persecutor and seek rescuers to extend the drama. The common denominator is no one takes responsibility and the conflict is never resolved.

    The entire "drama" is meant to appear altruistic but in reality is based on maintaining inequality (1-up or 1-down positions) through exchanged servitude. The only way to win is not to play.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    President Barack Obama spent a trillion dollars on a fiscal stimulus that built bridges to nowhere

    Remind me again why New Yorks City desprately needs federal funds for the Gateway Project that got left out of the stimulus package.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    Because the Gateway Project actually goes somewhere, and they couldn't have that.

  • PewPewGunsarecool||

    The thing that gets me is that being a victim or in the vicinity of a victim makes you on expert on guns, drunk driving or whatever.

    I know a lot about guns, more than most people. But that's all irrelevant. Knowledge and experience are considered irrelevant when compared to anecdote.

    Now, I got some great drug anecdotes. I know so many lives destroyed by drugs and I've been personally impacted by the results of others drug abuse.

    So I suppose I could become an anti drug crusader. I know nothing about how they work, how they're made, where to get them, how much they cost, or what they'd do to me. But they hurt me and my family so I'm an expert.

    I could cry on the news, I could demonize drug enthusiests, and call people bad names if they don't blindly support my insane calls to make heroine more extra double illegaler.

    But then I'd be as idiotic as these gun control nuts.

    Talking about anything but banning pistols shows that these people are idiots because we don't have a problem with long gun murders, not at all. Arguing for restricting pistols without calling for a constitutional amendment illustrates that they don't know how the law works nor are familiar with gun laws and recent jurisprudence. Finally, thinking that laws or our laughable law enfarcement could do anything statistically significant to reduce the hundreds of millions to near billion guns in circulation in the US is at best magical thinking.

  • GeneralWeygand||

    I could demonize drug enthusiests

    And we could ridicule your spelling.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    "Arguing for restricting pistols without calling for a constitutional amendment illustrates that they don't know how the law works nor are familiar with gun laws and recent jurisprudence."

    Sure they know. They've seen Constitutional gun rights extensively altered, with no amendment. Scalia wrote the militia clause out of the amendment. Then he created an individual federal right to a gun for self-defense, without benefit of ANY founding-era historical record to support it—not one quote talking about self-defense from any founder in Heller. If one existed anywhere in the historical record, don't you think Scalia would have put it in, right near the top? Nope, the political right didn't need no stinking amendment.

    What can be done with a swing of a pendulum can be undone when it swings back. Which is why it might make sense for gun rights advocates to consider looking now for common-ground compromises with their opponents. Because, based on reasoning like yours, PewPew, when the pendulum does swing back, and would-be gun controllers have the kind of political power the right wing enjoys now, the gun controllers won't be asking themselves how to pass an amendment. They have had that lesson, and they won't forget it.

  • Ride 'Em||

    Thomas Jefferson made quite a few comments on being armed including such comments as "let your gun be your companion on walks" or "no free man should be disbarred from being armed".

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    ""Scalia wrote the militia clause out of the amendment""

    So many people have got that wrong for a long time. The right to arms has never been about an entity that possessed no arms.

    Personal ownership of a working firearm was a requirement to join a militia. That's why the amendment says "the right of the people to bear arms". If you don't have a right to personally own a firearm, government could subvert your ability to join a militia.

  • John||

    ^^THIS^^

    One of the reasons for the 2nd Amendment was to keep the federal government from disarming the public and in doing so depriving the states of their militias.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    A job, being necessary to economic liberty, the right of the people to own a car, shall not be infringed.

    Some would argue that only those who have a job should have a car, totally ignoring the economic liberty part. Just like they ignore the security of a free state in the 2A.

  • John||

    that is a very good analogy. I will remember that one.

  • Lawn Darts||

    Another good version is: "A well-informed electorate, being necessary for the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and read publications shall not be infringed."

    No one would read that and conclude that only people eligible to vote are allowed to have books and newspapers... and that the only legitimate use for them is to decide who to vote for.

  • KevinP||

    Good analogy!

    And here is another one:


    That religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and therefore all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience . . . .

    Virginia Const. Bill of Rights § 16 (1776). Source: The Commonplace Second Amendment http://www2.law.ucla.edu/volokh/common.htm

    Question: In Virginia, can anyone be denied the free exercise of religion? And if not, how does this illuminate the justification clause of the Second Amendment?

  • JFree||

    Personal ownership of a working firearm was a requirement to join a militia.

    No it wasn't. Everyone from 16-45 was part of the militia by default - and required to muster a few times a year. Subgroups of the militia (eg minutemen) were required to be armed and mustered/trained a lot more. Local wealthy guys formed the Committees of Public Safety and funded the purchase of arms/ammunition - which for those who didn't own a personal weapon was kept at the local arsenal/range.

    The purpose of the individual right to keep/bear - in the militia context - was to ensure that a)training could be mandated (as it was originally for English longbowmen in the Middle Ages) and b)in case of emergency, people could fight their way to the arsenal as individuals where they would form up into units so that c)in combo, there would be no need of a standing army. I agree that that right has been perverted in today's culture to be solely deemed either an individual-in-isolation or a group-in-community (which we have abandoned) right - when it is in fact BOTH together.

    The reason the militia idea failed in most states was because the local wealthy quickly had no interest in funding a community militia but solely in funding a private army loyal to them. So in the south, the militia quickly morphed into a slave patrol. In the north, it morphed into 'professional police' loyal to those who paid them.

  • John||

    But there was a long tradition of every able bodied male being expected to show up and serve. If you banned private ownership of firearms, you would have enabled the federal government to effectively disarm the states by disarming the public. If private ownership of fire arms is banned, the rich guy can't buy the guns either.

  • EscherEnigma||

    If private ownership of fire arms is banned, the rich guy can't buy the guns either.


    Nah. He just has to get a "Militia License" from the state, and then he can build his personal arsenal. Just like folks that buy machine guns.

    Something doesn't have to be available to everyone to be available to someone.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    Or just hire private security.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Personal ownership of a working firearm was a requirement to join a militia."

    The militia was to be made up of average people who had acquired the knowledge and training necessary to use their weapons like regular army (rather than like a bunch of proverbial "irregulars" with torches and pitchforks).

    I wouldn't say that personal ownership of a working firearm was a requirement to join a militia.

    I would say that people could not form a militia that would be effective in defending their rights against a tyrannical government with a standing army unless they had a) arms and b) the training required to use them.

    That is why the right to bear arms is necessary for a free society--because people need to have arms available and know how to use them in order to rise up, form a militia, and defend themselves against a standing army.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    ""I wouldn't say that personal ownership of a working firearm was a requirement to join a militia."'

    It was one of the requirements. The militia did not have arms to hand out. You could have borrowed one from a friend or family member. But it was bring your own.

  • Ken Shultz||

    We're talking about two different things.

    You're talking about the way the official state militias did things historically in reality.

    I'm talking about "the militia" in the Second Amendment that arises in the future to defend our rights and liberties against encroachment by a tyrannical federal government and its oppression.

    Whatever the requirements were to join whatever official state militia in history, the militia of the Second Amendment (as described in the Federalist papers) was meant to hopefully never materialize unless we were invaded by a hostile enemy--be it foreign or domestic.

    The purpose of the Second Amendment was to assure that average people could own their own guns so that they would already know how to use them proficiently if and when they were compelled by oppression to rise up and form a militia to oppose an oppressor. The Second Amendment is protecting our right to own a gun so that we could form a militia that has not yet been formed.

  • JFree||

    the militia of the Second Amendment (as described in the Federalist papers) was meant to hopefully never materialize

    Well that is simply nonsense - as is the mewling crap that the purpose of the militia is to fight federal oppression. Congress is specifically given an enumerated obligation in Art1Sec8 to To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress. That means - it was presumed to exist.

    And Federalist 29 and 46 both explicitly describe how the militia in practice is to function - at the state level. Which means - it is supposed to exist.

  • RoyMo||

    Capitalism ruins everything

  • mpercy||

    Current US Law...

    10 U.S. Code § 246 - Militia: composition and classes

    (a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.

    (b) The classes of the militia are—

    (1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and

    (2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Scalia wrote the militia clause out of the amendment
    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the "people" to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    Emphasis mine apparently required

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Well, he did in a sense, by making the 2nd amendment out to be about non-threatening guns that the government hadn't gotten around to banning yet, instead of the military arms it was really written to guarantee the right to own.

  • KevinP||

    Speaking of justification clauses:

    That retrospective laws, punishing acts committed before the existence of such laws, and by them only declared penal or criminal, are oppressive, unjust, and incompatible with liberty; wherefore, no ex post facto law shall ever be made.

    Florida Const. art. I, § 18 (1838) Source: The Commonplace Second Amendment http://www2.law.ucla.edu/volokh/common.htm

    Question: In Florida, can ex post facto laws be passed? And if not, how does this illuminate the justification clause of the Second Amendment?

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Then he created an individual federal right to a gun for self-defense, without benefit of ANY founding-era historical record to support it

    You're lying here, since Scalia cited plenty of examples.

  • Ken Shultz||

    The purpose of the Second Amendment is made abundantly clear in The Federalist Papers

    "If circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little, if at all, inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow-citizens. This appears to me the only substitute that can be devised for a standing army, and the best possible security against it, if it should exist.''

    ----Federalist Papers 29

    People play word games with the Second Amendment all the time, but if there's anything plain about the Second Amendment, it's the purpose.

    The purpose of the Second Amendment is so that the people can rise up against a tyrannical government should one ever use a standing army to impose itself and threaten our rights.

    It's really not hard to understand why the Framers thought that was important either--since they were revolutionaries who had overthrown their own government by force and defended themselves against the British.

  • EscherEnigma||

    The purpose of the Second Amendment is so that the people can rise up against a tyrannical government should one ever use a standing army to impose itself and threaten our rights.


    And yet when folks bring up rocket control and artillery control, suddenly it's all "that's a dishonest strawman and you know it".

    To put it simply, I understand this reading of the 2nd Amendment. But y'all don't seem to stand by it once we get beyond long arms.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Are you suggesting that because we aren't all rigid ideologues that will go to outrageous extremes, that this means we're wrong?

  • EscherEnigma||

    I'm saying that because you aren't consistent, you're not sincere.

  • Ken Shultz||

    So, if I don't think everyone should be free to bear rocket artillery (firing biological weapons?), then that means I'm wrong to think that people should be free to bear arms--and I'm insincere about the Second Amendment?

    Does not compute.

    You seem to have backed yourself into a corner--your reductio ad absurdum doesn't support your ad hominem.

    My position isn't inconsistent and in no way means that I'm insincere.

  • EscherEnigma||

    So, if I don't think everyone should be free to bear rocket artillery (firing biological weapons?), then that means I'm wrong to think that people should be free to bear arms--and I'm insincere about the Second Amendment?


    Almost.

    So, if I don't think everyone should be free to bear rocket artillery (firing biological weapons?), then that means I'm wrong to think that people should be free to bear arms-- and I'm insincere about [my reading of] the Second Amendment [that it's about rising up against the government]?


    There you go.

    There's room for nuance of who should be doing the "rising up" (the Founding Fathers certainly didn't want their slaves rising up, after all) but the bottom-line is that your "rising up" interpretation doesn't work with permitting artillery control.

  • Ken Shultz||

    So you haven't bothered to read Federalist 29.

    They speak of the Yeomanry, by which they mean middle class farmers.

    You seem to just be trying to interpret whatever text in any way you want to mean whatever you want it to mean--no matter what it really say and what it really means.

    That's evidence for insincerity.

  • EscherEnigma||

    You seem to just be trying to interpret whatever text in any way you want to mean whatever you want it to mean--no matter what it really say and what it really means.


    Nope. We have not, at any point, mentioned my reading of the 2nd Amendment or how I feel about gun law†.

    I am talking, 100%, on whether or not I treat other people as sincere in their stated convictions based on their contradictory behavior.
    ________
    †Hint: it's probably not what you think.

  • Ken Shultz||

    You think your personal feelings matter more than what it actually says and what the Federalist Papers #29 actually says?

    With all sincerity, they both say what they say regardless of how you feel about what they say.

  • EscherEnigma||

    @Ken
    Dude, I just explicitly said that we aren't talking about my views.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    People (private individuals) an and do own artillery pieces, tanks, and can shoot them with enough land. True, you cannot buy a brand new tank with classified technology, but take a suburban where someone paid to armor it and outfit compartments to support a small security team and with the right people, you have a hell of a weapon with better armor than we give to soldiers in active war zones.

    And none of that is illegal (though some of it requires licensing), but should firearms be illegal, then none of that matters.

    Besides, if it actually came to the US government against a large percentage of the population, individual arms will be used to stay alive long enough to get more serious weaponry from the multitude of international groups who souk readily supply things such as RPGs.

    And if I recall, it was just a bunch of farmers with AKs and RPGs who defeated the tanks, fighters, bombers, attack helicopters, and everything else the USSR could throw at Afghanistan.

    Disclaimer: I do not think a revolution is coming soon nor am I planning for one.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Dude, you're missing the plot.

    I am not talking about what is or isn't legal or what is or isn't constitutional.

    I am talking about whether or not I trust that someone is sincere when they talk about the 2nd Amendment. Hypocrisy and sincerity, not policy.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "I am talking about whether or not I trust that someone is sincere when they talk about the 2nd Amendment. Hypocrisy and sincerity, not policy."

    Does the term ad hominem fallacy mean anything to you?

    Jesus.

  • EscherEnigma||

    @Ken
    Sure it does. And if we were actually debating the 2nd Amendment, me dismissing your arguments because you don't actually believe them would be a fallacy.

    But we aren't debating the 2nd Amendment and I haven't dismissed your arguments. In fact, in my time here, I've probably never bothered debating the 2nd Amendment, and probably never will, with you or anyone else. The most y'all may get out of me is a summary of my views, but I'm not interested in debating or evangelizing them.

    To put it simply, I insulted a narrow class of people, whereupon you self-identified as belonging to that group and took offense. So we aren't debating the meaning of the 2nd Amendment. We're debating whether you're sincere in your stated beliefs. And since your personal character is now the topic of debate, commentary regarding the lack of integrity and sincerity are perfectly relevant.

    To put it even more simply? I made a general statement. You chose to make it about you. And here we are.

  • Ken Shultz||

    This is ridiculous.

    If it's "sincere", it's hilarious.

  • EscherEnigma||

    This is ridiculous.
    Well, yes.

    That's what happens when you repeatedly ignore what someone is actually saying to argue something else. I refused to say you were "wrong" multiple times. You are the one that chose to ignore that.

  • Bruce D||

    Sounds like ad hominid to me.

  • Horatio||

    Yep, you are correct - we've made many compromises over the centuries that go directly against the spirit and clear intent of the Constitution. This includes creating a formidable standing army - both military and police forces in modern times. We the people have allowed our government to accrue massive power, both in the political sense and in terms of lethal weaponry. We've also allowed a myriad of compromises in personal defense rights, especially in terms of gun ownership.

    And then people, for whom history began with their own birth, wail, gnash their teeth and loudly wonder why that those "absolutists" won't just make ONE MORE common sense compromise...

  • EscherEnigma||

    What can I say? When you don't take your own arguments seriously, I don't really feel that I should either.

    Want me to take your arguments seriously? Take them seriously yourself.

    Anything else is just whining.

  • Horatio||

    Ok...

    I want the USA to disband it's standing Army and adopt a more Switzerland-like approach to defense. Also I want it's various police forces to give up their military equipment. In fact I want a whole host of policy and structural changes that remove or otherwise push government authority down to the local level.

    But...

    I won't realistically achieve those goals, although that does not stop me from advocating for them. I certainly can't uninvent the Apache helicopter, for instance, so I'm stuck with the reality I live in. So I argue for incremental change where I can get it, and advocate for maintaining the rights I currently have.

    But assholes like you call me a kook when I iterate my "serious" arguments, and accuse me of being flip with them when I merely point out that reality is, in fact, reality.

    So, with all due respect: Molon labe or fuck off.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Oh, I'd never accuse someone of being flip. The sheer hypocrisy would crush me in an instant.

    As for calling you crazy or "come and get it", you seem to have imagined a conflict that isn't in evidence. So maybe I am calling you crazy. But not because of the 2nd Amendment stuff.

  • silver.||

    I think the rule-of-thumb is that if one person can carry it, it's fair game. That abides the "individual" reading of the second amendment. There's an argument to be made that as a part of the "militia" one ought to also be able to have tanks (and largely, one can), but for the common person on the street, it'll never be an issue.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Seeing as the average American doesn't own any gun, I don't think you should be basing your answers on "the common person on the street".

  • Ken Shultz||

    What does whether the average person owns a gun have to do with his observation that the right to bear arms includes something one person can carry?

    The question of the extent to which the Second Amendment protects the right to bear arms capable of various amounts of destruction may have a range of perfectly constitutional answers.

    The question of whether people have the right to bear arms according the Second Amendment and why, however, has a much narrower range of correct answers--and you seem to be conflating one set of questions with the other.

  • EscherEnigma||

    What does whether the average person owns a gun have to do with his observation that the right to bear arms includes something one person can carry?


    Because he ended his paragraph with

    There's an argument to be made that as a part of the "militia" one ought to also be able to have tanks (and largely, one can), but for the common person on the street, it'll never be an issue.


    Gun law should never be based around the "common man".

  • mpercy||

    Pew Research: "About four-in-ten adults (42%) report that there is a gun in their household, with three-in-ten saying they personally own a gun and 11% saying they don't own a gun but someone else in their household does."

  • mpercy||

    Pew Research: "Many adults who don't currently own a gun say they could see themselves owning one at some point. In fact, 52% of all non-gun owners – and 71% of those who have owned a gun in the past – say they could see themselves owning a gun in the future."

  • JFree||

    Actually the 'rule of thumb' was - is the weapon an individual issue to a soldier. That meant then - and still today means the rifle handgun and sword. Machine guns, artillery, SAM's, ATW's, tanks, grenades, etc are platoon or company or division level equipment - NOT individual issue.

  • RoyMo||

    I see your point about rockets, but do I really have a right to bear arms if I can't have a 105mm howitzer? While I am a terrible shot I am really good at math so it makes no sense that should I be prevented from using indirect fire.

  • EscherEnigma||

    [...] do I really have a right to bear arms if I can't have a 105mm howitzer?


    Not if Ken is right about what the 2nd Amendment is really about.

  • Ken Shultz||

    No.

    People can believe that the Second Amendment includes the right to bear AR15s but not the right to bear weaponized ebola--without invalidating the right to bear arms at all.

    Your silly straw man is still made of straw.

  • EscherEnigma||

    People can believe that the Second Amendment includes the right to bear AR15s but not the right to bear weaponized ebola--without invalidating the right to bear arms at all.


    Correct.

    But if they also believe that

    The purpose of the Second Amendment is so that the people can rise up against a tyrannical government should one ever use a standing army to impose itself and threaten our rights.


    Then they're not being very honest about at least one of the beliefs.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Those two things are only inconsistent in your imagination.

  • Azathoth!!||

    People can believe that the Second Amendment includes the right to bear AR15s but not the right to bear weaponized ebola--without invalidating the right to bear arms at all.

    People can believe lots of things. That doesn't make them true.

    The Amendment, as written, does, in fact, include the right to bear missiles--nuclear OR ebola equipped. Or both, if that's what strikes your fancy.

    It doesn't delve into specifics because if it had done so, we'd have gotten to the 'let's ban X because Y' point much sooner than we have.

    All of the suppositions we have about the second amendment have been used to do exactly what the amendment itself expressly forbids--infringe on the people's right to bear arms.

    But that wording helps.

    As it is we have ammo to fight EE, and, sadly, you, Ken.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Actually, honest people can and do disagree about that.

  • GeneralWeygand||

    Remind me to invite you over when I complete my working KARL. I'm paying some migrant workers to lay the tracks in my backyard from the housing cave to where I can fire it at Coit Tower

  • DesigNate||

    At the very least I should have access to whatever your standard issue grunt is given before jumping off the transport.

  • Bruce D||

    I do. At the time the Constitution was written, people owned cannons and explosives. People should be able to own artillery under the discipline prescribed by congress, admitting of reasonable regulation, which would be greater in the case of artillery.

  • JFree||

    little, if at all, inferior to them in discipline

    THIS is the key part of that phrase. Some inchoate anger about 'oppression' as in your 'people can rise up against a tyrannical government' is just BS. He was specifically talking about the militia as an alternative to an expensive STANDING ARMY. Something that NO ONE HERE seems to object to in the slightest. Not many of the 'R' commenters even object much to its seemingly perpetual global activity.

    One of the weaknesses of modern Libertarianism is its origins during the Vietnam War when conscription was being abused in order to fight foreign wars of aggression - and yes tyranny v gook-looking furriners.

    Opposing conscription itself also means undermining the militia - and ALL the institutions of the state (police, fire, natural disaster, pandemic, etc) where the militia can in fact be an alternative to an expensive full-time professional 'standing army equivalent'.

    And making our standing army fully professional pretty clearly made it EASIER to use it perpetually - without any opposition - in order to either secure an empire or become a cronyist instrument of coercion or provide career sinecures for apparatchiks.

  • Bruce D||

    Militia service, which I support, does not have to be mandatory like the draft. To receive any government benefit, militia service could be made a requirement. JROTC could be extended to pre-school as required courses to graduate in any school that receives federal funds. There's no reason why basic training and AIT can't be squeezed into the 12 years of K-12. As the standing military is wound down, the DOD funds could be diverted onto the state educational systems to train the state militias. Many of us here oppose having a large standing military and very much favor the Swiss approach. How many wars has Switzerland avoided over the past two centuries? WW I, WW II.

  • EvilWayz||

    There is no common ground with you people. You take a bite of our gun rights pie, and then come back for another one. We never get anything in return. Well I'm thru dealing. You want universal background checks? Fine, i want the tax stamp removed for NFA weapons. You want to raise the age to buy long guns to 21? Fine, I want National concealed carry and open carry reciprocity. Ad infinitum, ad nauseum.

  • mpercy||

    I want the voting age raised to the same age as handgun purchase age.

    I want welfare recipients to get the same treatment when they apply for their benefits as carry permit applicant gets: multiple photo ID required, fingerprinted, photographed, wants & warrants check, federal background check, get asked questions about drug use, criminal history (and saying yes to any means a denial).

  • JFree||

    posturing and stigmatizing is all the combatants have as debate over actual policy slides toward irrelevance.

    What we really need is a third party to posture and stigmatize. The duopoly has had free rein for far too long in forcing their partisan posturing onto everyone else as both the only acceptable vent and the only acceptable definition of the 'policy agenda'.

    We need the independent honesty of someone outside the duopoly who will fart in their general direction and point out that their mother was a hamster and their father smelt of elderberries.

  • Vernon Depner||

    Mmmmmm...smelts.

  • Billy Bones||

    "Some gun foes want to ban so-called "assault weapons," but that's an uphill slog when most advocates of such laws have no idea what they're talking about."

    This is so 100% true. Listening to local talk radio this morning, they played a clip from our favorite lawn gnome (Sessions) discussing restrictions on bump-stocks. He literally said they, "...turn semi-automatic weapons into fully automatic". What an ignorant douche.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    Not only are they ignorant (not meant as derogatory) about firearms, they show no respect or willingness to be civil to those who like firearms.

    They like using personal attacks, and misrepresentations (18 school shootings) to promote their agenda.

  • Rebel Scum||

    That, and banning them is a useless gesture. It's a plastic sleeve with a spring. Any idiot can make one.

  • Ron||

    does'nt the bump stock make a gun ADA compliant. those bastards hate the trigger finger disabled

  • Billy Bones||

    That is what the bump-stock was original designed for, the disabled.

  • Billy Bones||

    "There's a lot of criticism about denying more people their Second Amendment rights based on mental illness," Prof. James Jacobs, Director of the Center for Research in Crime and Justice at the New York University School of Law and author of Can Gun Control Work?, told me several years ago. "Mental health professionals think it will deter people from seeking help and will stigmatize the mentally ill.""

    I have a problem with this mental illness point of view. I do not think anyone would disagree with the statement that serial killers have a mental illness. But most serial killers are incredibly intelligent, and function somewhat normally in our society. They can plan out their murders to a tee. (I know it is fictional, but think about hit Showtime series "Dexter"). So how do we keep the guns out of their hands when they are virtually undetectable?

  • Brett Bellmore||

    This guy wasn't virtually undetectable. He was doing everything but wearing a T shirt that said, "Ask me about my plan to commit mass murder."

  • Billy Bones||

    Well, no one caught him for what, like 8 seasons? But that is kinda my point. He exhibited signs, but they were so subtle and questionable, no one noticed. Are we going to deny 2A rights to everyone that might act a little kooky?

  • JeffreyL||

    In order to understand why no one "caught" him, you have to understand that incentives matter. One tribe keeps harping on this fact, while the other tribe believes they don't matter. Broward County received significant Federal subsidies under the PRMOISE program. They were incentivised to reduce the number of criminal sanctions against students in order to receive program funds.

    The signs exhibited by the shooter were not subtle. Posting on Youtube you want to be a school shooter is in no way shape or form "subtle". Putting a gun to the head of another is in no way shape or form "subtle"

    Regards

  • Zeb||

    But serial killers are a whole other story. I don't think removing guns from society (if that were possible or desirable) would do anything to stop serial killers.

    A lot of the crazy, suicidal rampage shooters are pretty obviously nuts. But I am worried by the noise about mental health and guns too.

  • Rebel Scum||

    The real problem is that anti-gun people know absolute dick about guns and never debate in good faith.

  • John||

    So one side viciously attacks the Constitutional rights of the other one, but somehow both sides are equally culpable for fighting a culture war? Why are the people whose rights are being attacked obligated to have a "policy debate" over just how much their rights are going to be violated?

    This article is a perfect example of the sort of too cool for school false equivalence that reason is so often stereotyped for being. Sometimes there are not two sides to an issue. Sometimes one side is just wrong and that side can be the left. I know that must come as a shock to the cultural leftist millennials who write for reason. But sometimes life is like that.

  • TLBD||

    Yep, JD alludes to the fact that the left is in the wrong, which I suppose is better than most of Reason, but any respectable libertarian would not equivocate.

    The left is wrong from a moral perspective, a constitutional perspective, and a logical perspective. They are certainly wrong from a libertarian perspective. If pointing out the abject stupidity and totalitarian ideas of the left makes me a culture warrior, fine. My culture is liberty, logic, reason and thousands of years of history.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    I often wonder about how anyone could be so stupid as to believe Republicans and conservatives are more libertarian than are Democrats and liberals (and moderates, and RINOs) . . . but then I remember the rise of homeschooling, backwater religious schools, bright flight, and other factors fueling the ignorance of our can't-keep-up backwaters, and I understand how this has occurred.

    Carry on, clingers. Touch up that unconvincing libertarian drag a bit, though.

  • TLBD||

    I often wonder about how anyone could be so stupid as to believe Republicans and conservatives are more libertarian than are Democrats and liberals

    Because Republicans are far more liberal in the classic sense than modern Democrats are. Jesus you are a stupid fuck. We already have a Hihn and an Amsoc, why you insist on being the worst possible combination of the two is beyond me. Fuck off to the Kos, you add no value here, troll.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Where the hell do you live that NYC is a "backwater"? That DC is some kind of "can't keep up' hick outpost?

  • Zeb||

    one side viciously attacks the Constitutional rights of the other one, but somehow both sides are equally culpable for fighting a culture war?

    Yes. Maybe not equally always, but culture and law are not one and the same and law (even the constitution) can be changed.

    Why are the people whose rights are being attacked obligated to have a "policy debate" over just how much their rights are going to be violated?

    No one is obliged to do anything, but I'd say that the people engaging in the debate either don't share my views on the importance of the right to be armed or are afraid that if they weren't involved in the debate, the outcome would be even worse.

  • John||

    Maybe not equally always, but culture and law are not one and the same and law (even the constitution) can be changed.

    No one who owns a gun is saying that those who do not should be forced to own one. It is the gun controllers who are demanding that those who own guns give them up. So, to the extent there is a culture war going on, it is the gun controllers who are the aggressors and the ones entirely responsible for it occurring.

    And no Zeb no one should be obliged to do anything. But JD seems to think otherwise. If he didn't, he wouldn't be accusing people who are only defending their rights of the sin of "waging the culture war" whatever that means.

  • Zeb||

    Well, if someone is waging culture war at you, what are you to do but wage it back at them, I guess. Maybe it's not always such a horrible sin.

  • John||

    No it is not.

  • silver.||

    I agree that it may not be proper, but if you watch videos of Piers Morgan and similar ilk arguing against guns, they are specifically avoiding logic and rationality. They are persuading people entirely on emotion, and it's effective.

    People do not care that gun control is blatantly unconstitutional because they don't believe in the constitution. Court precedents and 100 years of gun control have slowly eroded the 2nd so that it's very possible that all three branches will pass, enforce, and uphold laws that infringe on the right to bear arms.

    If we can't break that momentum, they will succeed, and it will be very hard to undo.

    I admire that you realize that we should be above it all, and if you can argue these points while keeping cool when somebody is calling you a child murderer, then we need you on the front lines. But we need people who can fight fire with fire, too. The passionate people on our side can keep the masses busy while the big boys and girls get to work keeping lawmakers and courts away from our constitution. As it is now, Dana Loesch can't even attend a Town Hall event without being threatened with death. They will not listen to reason, and they will not debate in good-faith. It's a field full of mud, and some of us are going to have to dive in to wrestle.

  • silver.||

    That said, even those of us in the mud pits should not be baited into disrespectful behavior or ad hominems. Period. A gun lobby group in my state is filled with some of the most professional men and women I've ever met, and they so thoroughly defy the "gun nut" stereotype that it knocks a lot of people off guard.

    Of course, I'd argue that the majority of gun owners are this way, but we just get a little ticked when people are calling us child muderers and threatening our own families.

  • John||

    The problem with gun debates such as there should be any, is that even if you wanted to compromise with gun controllers, they refuse to operate in good faith. Today's compromise is tomorrow's loophole that must be closed. So, there is no way to compromise with them because nothing short of complete gun confiscation will ever satisfy them or settle the issue. So, there is really no point in having a debate with them or giving any ground. At most you offer to give ground in ways you know they will refuse so they look like the fanatics they are.

  • Vernon Depner||

    To be fair to the gun controllers, many of them are completely frank about total confiscation being their goal.

  • John||

    They are starting to be.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Good article, JD

  • Eidde||

    I had the impression that the concept of a culture war is generally invoked by people like Thomas Frank and Obama to explain how evil rich Republicans tricked working-class white voters to vote against "their own economic interests" (their own interest meaning an economically interventionist government, of course) by whipping up outrage over "non-economic issues."

    Like the non-economic issue of limiting people's right to purchase certain products.

    Or the non-economic issue of small businesses being driven out of business because they wouldn't cater SSM ceremonies.

    Or the non-economic issue of out-of-wedlock births, which is a contributing cause of poverty, especially child poverty.

    (I hope you noticed my use of sarcasm.)

  • eyeroller||

    "Notwithstanding the occasional multiple-fatality shooting that takes place at one of the 100,000 public schools across America, the nation's schools are safe," Northeastern University's James Alan Fox writes.

    Follow the link, it's a pretty good article.

    It has the important stat "Over the past quarter-century, on average about 10 students are slain in school shootings annually." (It doesn't make it clear whether that includes suicides.)

  • KevinP||

    Link and quote:
    Northeastern University: Schools are safer than they were in the 90s, and school shootings are not more common than they used to be, researchers say


    Quotes:
    Mass school shootings are incredibly rare events. In research publishing later this year, Fox and doctoral student Emma Fridel found that on average, mass murders occur between 20 and 30 times per year, and about one of those incidents on average takes place at a school.

    Shooting incidents involving students have been declining since the 1990s. Four times the number of children were killed in schools in the early 1990s than today, Fox said.

    "There is not an epidemic of school shootings," he said, adding that more kids are killed each year from pool drownings or bicycle accidents. There are around 55 million school children in the United States, and on average over the past 25 years, about 10 students per year were killed by gunfire at school, according to Fox and Fridel's research.
  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    I suspect a lot of that is because, after Columbine, a lot of schools smartened up and ensured that most of the buildings are now single or double point of entry facilities, with magnetic locks where people have to be buzzed in and you have to sign in at the front desk for accountability.

  • KevinP||

    So the lessons the culture warriors have learned from the Parkland school shooting:
    * Local police were called to the shooter's home 45 times, but he was never arrested or committed which could have placed him on the background check list.
    * The Broward County Sheriff's Office was informed twice that the shooter was planning a school shooting, but did nothing.
    * The FBI were informed two times, once very credibly, that the shooter was planning a school shooting but did nothing.
    * The killer took a gun into a gun-free zone where everyone inside was disarmed and defenseless except ...
    * ... the police officer assigned to guard the school who hid outside the school building like a coward in the critical moments while the youngsters inside he had to protect were slaughtered.
    * This is all the fault of the NRA.
    * Law abiding citizens should be disarmed since the government will protect them from criminals.

  • John||

    Because the police in Florida refused to do anything about an obviously dangerous person who then murdered a bunch of people in a school where the police again refused to intervene, everyone in Texas must now give up their guns.

    You have to hand it to the gun control nuts. They really engage in some top flight reasoning.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    It wasn't just one officer hiding outside, either--there were a total of four altogether. These assholes, who are supposedly "highly trained" to confront and subdue armed individuals to the point where they are empowered by the law to shoot them dead, outnumbered Cruz 4-1 and they stood by jerking off while students were being killed.

    Plus, the lack of arrests of Cruz was the result of a deliberate policy of non-enforcement by the piece of shit sheriff so he could brag about the drop in arrests to the community.

    This was a failure of government officials at both the local and national level, but somehow it's the NRA's fault that these kids were killed.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Universal background checks that would legally oblige gun owners to run person-to-person sales through government databases have also been floated as policy proposals, but there's no real way to enforce them.

    They're prosecuted after-the-fact, and of course only if a gun is used in a crime. Washington's i594 law has had exactly one (1) prosecution (not sure if it was successful) and a zillion unintended consequences.

  • John||

    Universal background checks do nothing but make most gun owners criminals. Most people don't buy any or all of their guns from the gun shop. Guns are handed around between friends and family. I can honestly say, I have never paid cash for a gun in my life despite owning a fair number of guns. I come into them from inheritance or trade with family and friends. Universal background checks would mean your grandfather giving you his shotgun without going to a federally licensed firearms dealer to do so would be committing a crime. Such laws have two purposes; to give gun shops a crony payoff by forcing everyone to do business with them and to make as many currently law-abiding gun owners criminals as possible. They are nothing but a Trojan horse for gun control and eventual gun confiscation. Anyone who claims to care about gun rights who supports them is either a liar, a fool, or both.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    The washington law has some exceptions for family, close relatives, but for everything else, it's impossibly vague because they couldn't just say "sales" they had to refer to "transfers". So by the letter of the law, if we're on the range and I hand you my handgun for you to try, I've committed a crime. However, law enforcement says they won't prosecute that. But they steadfastly refuse to define what the limits of a "transfer" are. 30 minutes? An hour? 24 hours? If I hand it to you and leave the room, if you leave the room?

  • John||

    However, law enforcement says they won't prosecute that.

    Just the tip honey, just the tip.

    No thanks.

  • AlmightyJB||

    They have no way to enforce those laws without national gun registration which is really what want. There is no way no know if a transfer took place without it.

  • John||

    Yes. Those laws only work if they know exactly where every gun in the country is and who is supposed to own it. Yeah well, fuck that.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I demand greater rock control

  • AlmightyJB||

    No one needs a half pound projectile.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    Military-style assault gravel can hit multiple people at once. Only the military should have access to deadly assault gravel.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    since posturing and stigmatizing is all the combatants have as debate over actual policy slides toward irrelevance.

    This sums up the issue for me. Given the anti-2A side's obvious lies and distortions of this issue, why should I assume that they'd debate this issue in good faith, or be interested in a suitable compromise? And if you have to resort to lies, why on Earth should I view you as an equal in the first place?
    Not that the pro-2A side is innocent in this (some distortions are obvious and others probably ignored by my own biases), but the anti-side seems much more prolific in this practice.

  • AlmightyJB||

    They could never come down off of their high horse to have an honest debate about anything.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    But pick a side, they did, and many more will come under pressure to do the same in the days to come. The political tribes are restless, and they're eager to do as much damage as possible to their cultural enemies with the only tools left to them.

    Hey, Facebook chose Israel, why can't Delta choose Palestine?

  • Eidde||

    Fly the friendly skies - our Palestinian friends don't hijack planes any more!

  • John||

    If Delta wants to get a handout from the taxpayers of Georgia, maybe they should think a little harder before demanding those taxpayers lose their right to own guns. It is amazing how JD twists himself here to get a false equivalence. Delta is the beneficiary of the worst sort of corporate welfare and is now in danger of finally getting what it deserves and losing said welfare because it attacked people's civil rights. But somehow that is just an example of both sides in the culture war trying to hurt each other. Really?

    You read this piece and you get the sense that JD really doesn't like guns or gun owners very much and is put out and embarrassed by the task of defending them.

  • Zeb||

    You read this piece and you get the sense that JD really doesn't like guns or gun owners very much and is put out and embarrassed by the task of defending them.

    Speak for yourself. Maybe it's because I am familiar with Tucille's other writings and know that he is an enthusiastic gun owner who cares very much about the right to be armed. But I don't get that sense at all.

  • John||

    He doesn't show it here. Good for him if he owns guns. But he doesn't seem to have much use for the people who wish to protect his right to own them and to be very apologetic for the people who would take them. I guess he figures his prog friends wouldn't really take his guns, just the guns of various deplorables or something.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Not giving someone a discount is the same as attacking folk's civil rights?

  • TLBD||

    Google removes all mention of the word gunfrom it's shopping page.

  • Eidde||

    Google: "Gun" done gone

  • Eidde||

    They're "gun" to lose some users over this.

  • Zeb||

    Also a whole lot of other related terms, it appears.

  • Eidde||

    You get a lot of results by typing "sex," for example.

  • NoVaNick||

    This puts progs in an awkward position-they went silent about guns after they lost the 2000 election. They now think that they have enough soccer mommies in their ranks that they can make it their issue again. Time will tell, but I don't think its going to help them in 2020, once this shooting is old news and it gets blended in with the rest of the prog outrage.

  • John||

    They thought for sure they were going to get to ban guns after Sandy Hook. I can't see how this will get them there when Sandy Hook did not.

  • Eidde||

    This time the banners are Responsible Republicans - it's amazing how responsible Trump becomes when he's calling for gun control.

  • John||

    Except that I doubt Trump can offer them anything they would take. And even if he did, I doubt it could pass the Congress. So, I am not too worried.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    There is a culture war alright but the different sides are not remotely equivalent.

    The left is all about using the force of government to make other people change their lives in ways that the left approves of.

    The other side is simply resisting the left's attempt to force them to change their lives. They are not trying to force the left to become more like themselves. They simply want the left to leave them alone.

    The two positions are not remotely equivalent.

  • Eidde||

    "I wish the Chancellor and Mr. Benes would simply stop fighting and agree to get along."

    /Godwin

  • Ken Shultz||

    I would also reiterate, that if there's any back and forth going on between people about the culture war and the Second Amendment, it's in no small part due to progressives and social justice warriors constantly threatening people's rights.

    How can you argue, out of one side of your mouth, that white people should be discriminated against to make up for injustices that happened before their grandparents were born, that the government should force Christians to accommodate LGBTQI+ regardless of the First Amendment, that speech that makes people feel uncomfortable doesn't qualify as free speech, that the government should force us all to pay for each other's healthcare, etc., etc., etc.

    . . . and then, out of the other side if your mouth, claim that Second Amendment advocates are ridiculous to think that they'll ever need to defend themselves and their rights against the incursions of an authoritarian federal government.

    It's no wonder that some people assume that the progressives want to disarm us as a means to loftier goals. Wouldn't it be great if the progressives no longer had to worry about us fighting back anymore?

    I don't think so, but if you want to make people less enthusiastic about their guns, how 'bout giving up on the attempts to use the coercive power of the federal government to force other people to sacrifice their rights for your common good?

  • EscherEnigma||

    How can you argue, out of one side of your mouth [...]
    Probably by misrepresenting their opponents arguments.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Did I misrepresent someone's argument in that comment?

  • Finrod||

    Yes, you're quite good at that.

  • ravenshrike||

    Economic retaliation? The companies in question have VERY clearly signaled they do not want to do business with people who support the NRA. Those who refuse to do business with the companies cancelling discounts are merely taking their actions at face value and spending their money accordingly.

  • Migrant||

    Another morally illiterate piece by Tucille. Gun control proponents are trying to put a stop to mass slaughter. Their use of boycotts is compared to social conservatives boycotting the business of gay people. To equate the two is demonstrate bottomless inhumanity.

  • Eidde||

    Click here for topless inhumanity.

  • DesigNate||

    Damn you Eidde!

  • ranrod||

    Soviet era gun control!
    These politicians are conflating the issue by combining the word criminal with mental health confiscation..
    House speaker Ryan says Senate should stay focused on gun background checks.. Any politician voting for this form of gun control should be disarmed
    The House has already voted to encourage states and government agencies to provide criminal and mental-health records to the national background check system.
    Long time gun grabber Senator John Cornyn of Texas, the chamber's No. 2 Republican, urged the Senate to pass that legislation this week, which enjoys wide support among Democrats and Republicans.
    "It doesn't make sense that we allow anyone, regardless of their criminal history or a history of mental illness(communist style confiscation), to walk into a gun show or go online and buy a gun, no questions asked," Democratic Senate Leader Chuck Schumer said on the Senate floor.
    https://www.reuters.com/article/ us-usa-guns-house/house-speaker-says -focused-on-gun-background-checks-not-bans- idUSKCN1GB26A

  • Barry Gold||

    I have one small disagreement with what Tuccille said: "Because [assault weapons] are really just ordinary rifles..."

    That's mostly true. An "assault weapon" is just a semi-automatic rifle that _looks_ badass. But there are some "assault weapons" that can partly disassembled into easily concealed pieces, then reassembled into a full-fledged rifle with the usual advantages: more accurate, more mass = less "kick" for a given amount of kinetic energy in the bullet.

    I believe Omar Mateen used a weapon of that sort in the Pulse massacre. I think limits on these would be appropriate.

  • MaleMatters||

    Re: "Some gun foes want to ban so-called "assault weapons"

    They keep no eye out for the unintended consequences. See what I mean in:

    "Gun Control and Mass Killers"
    https://relevantmatters.wordpress.com/
    2016/06/30/rush-draft-why-gun-
    control-fails-against-mass-killers/

    Join the link parts, then delete any spaces in the link.

  • Curmudgeon49||

    I suggest people read the 2nd Amendment carefully, and do some research on what the words meant at the time of its creation. I suggest you will find: 1) "Infringement" means any legal attempt to restrict and 2) "Militia" means a military force that is raised from the civil population to supplement a regular army in an emergency. These forces are voluntary and historically, raised by local citizens. The context is that there was no US standing army. Military forces were under state control.
    Either you have a right or you don't. Criminals, while incarcerated, lose rights. Once freed, they regain any constitutional right that is unrestricted. Congress has already enacted many laws to infringe. The irony is, that the NRA has supported restrictions, like background checks. The issue of mental illness is not unlike a criminal. Someone mentally ill and committed, loses rights. If not committed then the person has the same rights as any other citizen.
    Gun registration is not in, and of itself an infringement. It may be an infringement if there is a cost involved in the registration. It may be an infringement to individuals unable to afford its purchase.
    I submit, that people who want restrictions on gun ownership, need to think in terms of a constitutional amendment, not laws. The "Assault" rifles/weapons argument is a red herring. All arms are offensive by nature, irrespective of whether they are muskets or AR15s.

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