Tyranny of the Lunatics

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Via Streak, in another "gun culture" post, he draws our attention to this article regarding a constitutional amendment in North Carolina for "gun freedom."

In yet another one of Streak's posts, I kinda derided myself for not deriding the nuttier fringe of gun enthusiasts, collectors, and the like.  Being steeped in gun culture myself, owning guns, and generally believing in responsible gun ownership, perhaps, like the Jimmy Carter post below, it is more impactful for people of a certain predilection to participate in "policing their own."  

So here it goes.

A Republican lawmaker in North Carolina is proposing an amendment to the state's constitution allowing residents to carry concealed weapons, in an effort to block federal "tyranny."

Fellow gun enthusiasts, owners, sporters, supporters, collectors, sellers and others:  this shit is stupid.  There a number of reasons, but let me select a few more quotes from the HuffPo article linked above, and respond in kind as to why the things you say and do are not helpful to the average gun-owning collector, enthusiast, etc.  In fact, they opposite-of-help our cause.  Stop helping.

To wit:

he wanted the North Carolina Constitution to provide more gun rights

Look.  The federal constitution and nearly two hundred years of court decisions already grant those of us with guns every "right" we can imagine.  We can own them.  We can own lots of them.  Though we may have to jump through a couple hoops, it's possible to own current military-style weapons as well.  There are actually very few places we can't take them.  So, by saying we need more, you make us sound greedy (at the very least), and paranoid.  Most of us, actually, are fine with reasonable restrictions, and don't feel like we need more.  We have about as much as one can have in terms of "rights."

along with legislation he plans to introduce that would allow teachers to carry guns. The amendment would block concealed guns from schools, courthouses, federal buildings and buildings prohibiting guns, which Pittman said he included to help gain passage.

Ah, guns in schools.  I understand each family introduces weapons to their kids as varying times, and that's our "right," if you will.  My oldest, at 8, gets a BB gun, and perhaps, if he shows proper discipline, we'll discuss a .22 when he's maybe 12.  But the presence of guns in schools is something that makes a lot of gun owners nervous.  Accidental discharges, bad aim...no amount of training on a course at your local gun club prepares people to fire under pressure.  I spent 8 years in the Marines, and there are still some people I don't think can handle firing under stress.  I want my sons' teacher's first reaction to be to get my kids the fuck out of the room, not B.R.A.S.S. principles or where the gun is.  Many, many normal, regular gun owners feel the same.

As for courthouses and the like, why?  Just...why?  What is it about your life that makes you either so miserable or so afraid that if you're not armed every moment, that you're in peril?  I think I know.  It's paranoia mixed with guilt over not having had the balls to enlist and get to play with the Really Big Guns.  You need help, not more guns.  

Pittman told the crowd that he wanted to fight President Barack Obama's gun control proposals.

"I hope and pray that never happens, that we never actually have to fight the government for our freedom," Pittman said. "But if we do, if they're going to be coming at us with fully automatic weapons, we ought to at least have semiautomatic weapons to respond. I want you to have the ability to deter those who wold impose tyranny upon you."

You guys, seriously.  When non-gun owners see this rhetoric, they think we're all nuts.  That the only reason we own guns is because we fear a government attack.  Most of us don't.  Most of us recognize that the rule of law works here.  Most of us feel like the only guys who feel that the government is just waiting for the right moment to strike wear Army Surplus cammies and write weird, disjointed screeds.  Also, that fails to take into account that our troops are A) sworn to uphold the constitution; and 2) sworn to obey lawful orders.  So for your delusion to come true, that means American troops would have no problem at all firing on....other fellow Americans.  No.  That's just fucking stupid.

Also, back to this part:

But if we do, if they're going to be coming at us with fully automatic weapons, we ought to at least have semiautomatic weapons to respond

Let's pretend like I and other normal, not-paranoid gun owners are wrong.  Let's pretend like somehow, American troops don't care about firing on other fellow Americans.  Again, I spent time in the Marines.  Been deployed a couple times.  Our firepower and training is un-fucking-stoppable.  You and your fat-fuck buddies with a couple Bushmasters and Remington 870s are absolutely no match whatsoever for several well-trained regiments.  Hell, even a solid platoon will fuck up a small town.  Have you seen what a MK-19 does?  It's a rapid-fire , belt-fed 40mm grenade launcher that fires 325 grenades a minute.  

If you wanted to play macho tough guy, you should have enlisted or become a cop.  All of this shit about "more guns" and "guns in schools to protect our kids" 1) fails along the same statistical lines as "ban guns"; and B) just makes us all sound crazy, when most of us aren't.

So stop helping us, please.  You don't represent the bulk of normal people, but you're the only ones who get any play, so the perception is that all gun owners are this paranoid, jealous, and misguided.  Please stop.


Bob 3:24 PM  

"It's paranoia mixed with guilt over not having had the balls to enlist and get to play with the Really Big Guns. You need help, not more guns."

Fucking classic. I thought the same thing, and I never enlisted.

Frankly I think most of the gun-nuts out there are not just paranoid, they are cowards. They are afraid of the government and afraid of the criminals lurking around every corner. They are afraid of actually being in a fist-fight. They are wimps who have to have a gun in their pocket at all times to have enough confidence to walk the streets at night.

If - as you say - every damn Marine decided to fire on Americans, I am betting their training would allow them to kick our asses even if they were armed with much less than MK-19s.

Bob 3:34 PM  

You know I used to like shooting - not that I did it a lot. I really liked the simple, craftsmanship of a gun, and admired guns like the Henry repeater. My dad owns a few unique guns and I had been meaning to do some research on them.

I used to argue with my wife about guns. I told her I would one day inherit guns that I wanted to keep. She wanted nothing to do with them.

Now I want nothing to do with them or be associated with most gun owners. Your post is right on. Gun advocates have become crazy, foaming at the mouth, paranoid lunatics. I don't want anyone to think I am one of them.

steves 3:59 PM  

I am not really into the whole fight the tyranny movement. From a historical perspective, it is interesting. I understand the background of the 2nd amendment and despite what some people say, it has jack shit to do with hunting.

I am comfortable enough and too damn old to go all Red Dawn and move to the sticks to wage war on the govt. I hope and pray that things never get bad enough that this is something that people consider.

That being said, I do think there is some natural resistance between the states and the Feds on some laws (e.g. Drug Policy). I think there is an intelligent way to do this and a stupid way to do this. North Carlolina seems to be going the second route.

As for gun rights in general, things have been improving, but there is still room for more improvement. It is refreshing to see the courts apply some heightened level of scrutiny to gun laws and not just rubber stamp all of them.

If I had to predict, I don't think much will come out of the Feds, despite all the talk from some. I don't see a magazine ban or an AWB making it very far. These types of things are far more popular than they were in the early 1990s, when we last had an AWB. I can see background checks as the only thing.

My other prediction is that the law will be heavily ignored. The Feds lack the resources to police the millions of gun sales without some kind of massive registration program.

steves 4:05 PM  

Bob, do you really seriously think people carry a gun because they are cowards? Your comment is so stupid that it makes my head hurt. I suppose I should bd thankful that you didn't throw out the one about compensating for small genitalia.

FWIW, I have some hand to hand combat experience, but I wouldn't want to rely on that if my life was is danger. What about the elderly or the disabled or people that just lack the stature to get in fist fights? I suppose they are just out of luck.

Bob 4:20 PM  

Yes. Steve. I think the majority of people who carry every day are cowards.


If they looked at the likehood of being a victim they would realize that they were more likely to shoot themselves or a family member than defend themselves.

Instead they are too afraid to walk the streets without a gun. The only reason to have a gun, is becuase the other guy might have one and then there are two fools killing each other.

As for women or disabled...Maybe.

Bob 4:22 PM  

Actually this is a stupid arguement, becuase there are no serious proposals to eliminate concealed weapons or handguns.

steves 4:23 PM  

See streak, I am just as harsh on people over here.

Let me apologize. I have taught more than a few concealed carry classes and I have yet to run into a student that came across as wanting to do it for the reasons that Bob cited. I am not saying that there aren't any people like that, but I doubt they are the majority.

Some courts allow carry, some don't. Personally, I think you should be allowed to carry anywhere, except for private property. This is the case in some states and there hasn't been any problems.

Bob 4:27 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bob 4:32 PM  

Of course they aren't going to say they are scared, but a guy who lives in an otherwise safe community who thinks he has to carry a gun at all the times is scared of something.

steves 5:10 PM  

Where do you get the notion that gun owners are afraid to go out unless they are packin heat? Do you know any?

Who said anything about women? They can defend themselves without guns. They could block bullets with their Wonder Woman wrist bands.

Where did you get the notion that gun owners are more likely to shoot themselves or one of their family members? The only study that presented that was thoroughly discredited back in the 90s. I am surprised to see it making the rounds still.

Streak 5:20 PM  

"See streak, I am just as harsh on people over here." Getting closer, anyway. :)

Thanks for this post, Smitty. It is exactly where I am on this. I am so tired of the irresponsible discusion around guns. One of the things that offends me, quite frankly, is the blatant lack of respect and honor so many of these people have for the political system they hold up as the best. And for every discussion that might have some constitutional merit, Steve, we have conversations where idiots on the right are ready to take their AR to the street to oppose health care for poor people. Good god.

Or put another way, from some of these idiots, it is the response of, "I love my country so much that I am willing to take up arms against it if it does anything I don't like."

As I asked on my blog, I am still looking for the public good in institutions like the NRA and the Republican party stoking paranoia about their own government. In what democracy is that good? At some point, our political systems work or don't based on our faith in them working. And we have a whole bunch of supposed adults making money, NRA memberships, speaking fees, and collecting (ironically) government pay checks doing nothing more than stoking fear and paranoia, and damn near urging people to distrust and not believe their government at any point. Skepticism is a good thing, mind you. Questioning the government is a good thing and should be encouraged. Paranoid nuttbaggery, however, like the idea that Obama wants to come in and take your guns, execute your elderly in death panels, and then ship all of you off to a Fema concentration camp?

That is back to my definition of sociopathic behavior. And no, the NRA has not endorsed all of those ideas. But they, and the rest of the gun culture I so dislike have encouraged the very paranoia that disrupts and degrades our system.

steves 5:23 PM  

Good point, but I think some people look at it and say it is better to have a gun and not need it, then need one and not have it.

I will admit that I don't carry all the time.

steves 5:48 PM  

I agree that violent action is not warranted, but I am dismayed that you have so much faith in the system. Frankly, I am disturbed about some of the actions that this country takes, such as going to eat under false pretenses, drone strikes that target civilians, and a whole other host of human rights violations.

I am not confident that things will always just work themselves out or that the govt will use power appropriately. That doesn't mean I am suggesting some kind of revolt, but I do prefer when there is more caution on the part of the legislature.

How does this relate to gun laws? I think that the Constitution mandates that any law be narrowly tailored to fulfill a compelling governmental interest. It should be demonstrably tied to public safety. If it isn't, then it should be thrown out.

As for the crazy people, I don't know what else to say. One of the perks of living in a free society is that idiots get to say their shit, too. With the advent of the web, they have an easy way to do this. If any of you spent any time with other gun rights advocates, you would find that many of them look down on those people. I don't spend any time whatsoever reading Alex Jones, Ted Nugent, or even Wayne. If I am reading gun stuff, I read The Volokh Blog or stuff by the Second Amendment Foundation. I hate to sound like a broken record, but if you look at a lot of movements, such as the environmental movement, the labor movement, or even the peace movement, you will find a ton of bat shit crazy folks and even a fair amount if people that were violent. That doesn't mean that any of those movements didn't have a good message or decent people.

Streak, I am genuinely sorry if I have been a dick. This topic may not be all that important to you, but it is to me, both personally and professionally.

Smitty 6:25 PM  

Gun advocates have become crazy, foaming at the mouth, paranoid lunatics. I don't want anyone to think I am one of them.

Well, I don't want to head too far down that road, but I could see a future where I might have an opinion on some gun legislation. As it is, I promote responsible gun ownership, and enjoy owning guns myself. That makes me a "gun advocate." But I don't think I'm crazy.

I understand the background of the 2nd amendment and despite what some people say, it has jack shit to do with hunting.

It has 2 things to do with hunting: jack, and shit.

Steve's predictions

Yup. Part chicken-heartedness from legislators, part being realistic and seeing the writing on the wall with how SCOTUS will probably handle some of those issues.

I think the majority of people who carry every day are cowards.

I want to be careful with this. The CPL I just applied for is so much more useful than just carrying to feel "safe." Hunting, how I carry it in my car, what I can buy with it...practical things that have nothing to do with carrying in...Flint. Am I a lunatic?

but a guy who lives in an otherwise safe community who thinks he has to carry a gun at all the times is scared of something


Do you know any?

Yup. But Bob's point is that there are some dudes who talk loudly and proudly about carrying in really safe communities, and it's steeped in anti-government fear jack-booted thuggery shit. Those people are scared. BUT...maybe I carry sometimes. But ,maybe it's cuz I'm headed to the range or hunting or whatthefuckever. I'm not paranoid. I just can.

On the NRA stuff....look, Steve makes money off the NRA. He teaches gun safety and CPL classes. I took that class, like I mentioned in a previous post. I was impressed with how the materials presented safety, last-resort-edness, responsible decision-making, and calling the cops. I liken it this way: a billion motherfuckers are Catholics. The Catholic Church has done some SHITTY shit, and EVERYONE in leadership positions in the church had a hand in covering that shit up or excusing it. They are ass-backwards on birth control, gender roles, gay marriage, fucking boys, and a host of other stuff, outside of how hilarious some of the tenets are. BUT: they still have a BILLION members. a BILLION people see some good in it, and stick around. Thus: Steve and the NRA. And yes, the religious analogy is dead-on.

idiots get to say their shit, too

Hence: this blog.

Bob 6:47 PM  

If I carried every day in any one of the safe communities I have lived in, i'd be an idiot and a coward. Yes, I know able bodied men who do. Several.

Yes, due the the fact that they have a firearm in reach of their kids they just made them more likely to get killed by it.

Feel free to point to evidence that this common sense is discredited.

Bob 6:51 PM  

"Yup. But Bob's point is that there are some dudes who talk loudly and proudly about carrying in really safe communities, and it's steeped in anti-government fear jack-booted thuggery shit."

No, I know many of these guys think they will be mugged or attacked at any moment. These are the guys who think Downtown Lansing is dangerous.

Smitty 7:02 PM  

Yes, due the the fact that they have a firearm in reach of their kids they just made them more likely to get killed by it.

Oh come on, Bob. That's dishonest. Yes, sure, the naked presence of a gun in proximity to anything increases chances of discharges and the like. Some assholes, just by putting their guns on the dashboard, have shot their kids. But the implication behind your statement is that carrying is wrong. It isn't necessarily.

I am probably not going to carry around my kids. My choice. I agree that there's an elevated risk. Lotsa cops carry concealed with their kids around though.

Bob 7:24 PM  

"I agree that there's an elevated risk,"

My whole point.

A firearm in the presence of anybody by simple common sense elevates their likelhood that they will be shot by it. You would have to find instances where guns somehow prevented so many violent crimes that it offset the number of homecides, suicides and accidental deaths by gun, especially kids. Show me the evidence.

My whole point, is that in most communities, your chances of being the victim of a violent crime is so low, that the presence of a gun just made those around you less safe than you would be without it.

steves 7:37 PM  

Bob, that is BS. If you want to make a claim, you need to back it up with some evidence. Common sense doesn't count. It is like me saying that Bob has sex with goats... now prove that he doesn't. If you can wait a few days, I will dig up the studies that disproved Kellermans claim that a gun was more likely to injure yourself or a family member.

Kids and accidental shootings are incredibly rare. More kids drown in buckets than are killed in accidental shootings. Some states have gone for years without one. Pools kill more kids and I rarely see anyone suggest that parents should never have a pool. The focus is usually on how to be safe.

steves 7:41 PM  

Smitty, are you agreeing with me on the hunting thing? My point was that there is no right to hunt. The legislature could ban hunting all together. I just threw that put there because even the most die hard anti-gun person seems to think that hunting is a legitimate reason to own a gun.

Smitty 7:49 PM  

Correct, Steve. Agreeing with you. The 2nd amendment has nothing to do with hunting (which can be done also by crossbow, bow, etc), BUT, hunting is a "legit" reason to own a gun.

Bob 8:18 PM  

Parents should never own a pool.

Bob 8:19 PM  

And the 2nd amendment has no relation to hunting.

Smitty 8:42 PM  

Parents should never own a pool.

Or knives, cars, buckets, bath tubs, hot tubs, kitchen chemicals, matches, lighters, small change, marbles, ovens, range tops (gas or electric), nails, saws, circular saws, miter saws, saws-alls, Dremmels, screw drivers, screws, liquor, beer, rubbing alcohol, sticks, sharp yard stakes, darts, lawn darts, sharp pencils, sidewalk salt, fishing implements...

Bob 8:47 PM  

I was serious about the pool. I'd never own one, at least an inground anyway. I would never sleep at night. Plus nobody makes a good pool safe or lock.

Streak 7:50 AM  

In the great Pool Debate of 2013, I missed that Steve apologized for being a dick. :)

But seriously, on this point: "but I am dismayed that you have so much faith in the system. Frankly, I am disturbed about some of the actions that this country takes, such as going to eat under false pretenses, drone strikes that target civilians, and a whole other host of human rights violations. "

Again, I am not sure you understand or read my point. I am not suggesting some naive support for government. But there is a big difference between critical thinking, active political action, and the kind of paranoia that the NRA and other gun people are stoking.

For one thing, that paranoia is rarely about the real government issues. It is about made up shit dealing with the UN and sustainability or the UN and black helicopters coming to get your guns.

I am not some Pollyanna. But I am pretty sure you know the difference between a healthy skepticism and paranoia. And if you watch anything the NRA and Fox are doing, it is to encourage the latter, not the former.

Streak 7:58 AM  

As for the NRA compared to the Catholic church, I would note that my catholic friends are more than willing to criticize the catholic leadership. They don't excuse it.

As for the second amendment, I get that it has nothing to do with hunting. I also remember that it called for a "well regulated militia." I also know that the court seems to have read the amendment without that phrase.

Here is my prediction right now. We will do very little on gun control until the next mass shooting. At some point, the NRA will actually start to lose credibility even among the Republican right and we may end up with worse limits than we could now.

If, as Smitty suggested, the grownups with guns stood up and pushed for reasonable limitations and background checks, that might put out the fire for now.

Personally, I am with Chris Rock. There is a part of me that would like to see us tax the holy fuck out of ammunition so that amassing a huge arsenal would be too expensive. I like the idea of a Bushmaster as a club.

steves 6:47 PM  

The court has not ignored the militia clause. It can still be read as an individual right. If you really wanted to go with a strict reading, then we need to look at the Militia Act that was around at that time. The militia included both the organized and the unorganized militias. The latter included "all able bodied men from 16 to 60. Fine with me, but I don't know if parents and the AARP will be happy.

Easy for Chris Rock to say. He likely lives in a gated, secure community and has private, armed security that protects him when he goes out. Typical elitist assbag.

Streak 6:49 PM  

No, of course. Elitist assbag.

Really classy, Steve. I thought you apologized for being a dick. Evidently that was tongue in cheek.

steves 6:51 PM  

Chris Rock is an elitist assbag, not you.

steves 6:55 PM  

Personally, I am with Ice T, who said, "I'll give up my gun when everyone else does."

Streak 6:59 PM  

Right, it isn't as if I said that was my view too.

No wonder you think LaPierre is fine. You are absolutely ok with the paranoia. I keep asking about it, but you want people to fear for their lives and get guns to protect themselves.

Fuck it. You can have it.

steves 12:41 AM  

If you think that taxing a legal product that is closely associated with a Constitutionally recognized right to the point where only the wealthy can purchase this product, then you are by definition, elitist.

Are you really ok with only the wealthy enjoying fundamental rights?

Rock is hardly an intellectual and probably didn't really think it through. I expect better from you.

steves 12:46 AM  

I have never told people to get guns. Have I?

In case you missed it, here is my advice:

If you want to buy a gun for any lawful reason, then do so. If you do not want a gun, I would suggest that you just not buy one. It is fine with me.

Streak 8:23 AM  

I like it that you assume paranoia is a fundamental right. I thought you had some training in psychology. That shit must just leave you when you talk guns.

I notice that you don't suggest that people who are irresponsible or who think Ted Nugent is cool should not get guns. Of course not. No suggestion (as smitty suggested here) that those who are in fear that Obama is going to take their guns, or who want to prove themselves with a weapon--those are all legal, at this point, right?

But you won't suggest to them to not get a gun.

Sure. Paranoia is good for the gun people. The rest of society would prefer that we not have that many paranoid people, but if we actually did that-if we actually addressed the mental health of the paranoid right, the NRA membership would disappear.

steves 8:05 PM  

I wouldn't say that paranoia is a fundamental right, but the libertarian in me says that if you aren't hurting anyone, why should you have your rights restricted. In my professional opinion, there is a difference between paranoia and Alex Jones paranoia.

As for my list, I say hell yes, we should add people that like Ted Nugent. I apologize for the oversight. It was somewhat hasty. I suppose I would also add people that think "The Big Lebowski" was a great movie, people that make Streak feel scared, and bass players that use a pick.

Streak 8:15 PM  

Obviously dicks get first dibs at guns. I hear you.

I suspect being a dick is the first "step" to joining the gun culture. You need to not give a shit about other people. Hell, if you perfect it, you can become a national figure. Chief Dick gets to be head of the NRA. Sub dicks just spend their time excusing the big guy.

Others just talk about the need to have guns to defend themselves from the UN. Steve, I am sure you know them all. You are in such great company.

steves 3:55 AM  

You figured it out. Your card is in the mail, along with an autographed picture of Ted and Wayne, and some UN targets.

Streak 12:21 PM  

Ok, in all seriousness, I am not suggesting we make all ammunition so expensive that only rich people can go on killing sprees, but I would think that tracking ammunition isn't a terrible idea. Nor is it a terrible idea to have universal background checks.

And can I suggest that the retort "would that have stopped Adam Lanza" is not helping. I think we can all acknowledge and accept that we cannot stop all of these things from occurring. We can enact gun control or no gun control and arm teachers and still have these occur.

But the fact that some kind of reasonable action might not stop a shooter is not, in itself, an argument against it.

If I am willing to acknowledge that we always have to be conscious of the 2nd amendment, then perhaps Steve could acknowledge that the amendment doesn't mean that no gun owner can ever ben inconvenienced.

steves 5:05 PM  

How would it be tracked? Some kind of log or similar thing?

I agree that some inconveniences may be constitutional.

As for background checks, I am concerned about the implementation, but they will likely pass in some form.

Monk-in-Training 9:18 AM  

Good friend of mine (former Southern Baptist Pastor, very conservative politically) tried to have a reasonable conversation about ‘common sense’ issues surrounding the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre on his Facebook page.

His FB post was immediately controversial with people who don’t believe it ever happened posting. They believe that Pres. Obama staged the whole thing, as a big plot to take their guns away.

I was just sickened, really was. I grew up with guns, my Dad, brothers and I all owned or own them. But this lunacy really gets to me, it is counter productive and perilously near bearing false witness. It is also pretty normal for living here in Oklahoma.

Imagine the pain of these parents to hear such a thing! Not a Christian thing to do at all.

I realize there are rational, reasonable, educated adults who own and enjoy guns. I don't see many here past the frothing at the mouth crowd. Sorry I just don't.

Perhaps gun educators could make it a part of their classes to tone down the rhetoric and help some of these wack jobs who have never heard of Occam's razor to calm down.

steves 10:03 AM  

The "false flag operations" people have been around for decades. Almost every high profile event from the Kennedy Assassination up until Sandy Hook, to them, was the result of some nefarious conspiracy.

Unfortunately, these people will pop up anywhere, but places like FB and Youtube, that are fairly unmoderated, seem to be the worse. If you want an intelligent conversation, then you will likely have to look elsewhere.

steves 10:06 AM  

As for instructors, I have never known a single one that engages in that kind of rhetoric in their classes. The people that believe that garbage most likely already believed it before taking any classes and would likely believe it if they didn't own guns.

Believe me, if you visited a moderated or semi-moderated firearms site, you would find that people that espouse those kinds of conspiracies are mocked and ridiculed.

Monk-in-Training 11:21 AM  

I would love to experience that. Here at my company, there are two other guys (all old white dudes over 50) who have what I consider reasonable discussions, but we hide them, and only whisper when we talk about it due to the freak out that has occurred in the past when others over hear us. We can't let people over hear us any more, it is too volatile. I suppose that is where I come from when I think about this stuff, I am so tired of the rhetoric. Honestly I have never seen reasonable discussion, and would like to see it.

Streak 12:37 PM  

That certainly matches Smitty's take on the training class--clear, responsible and about safety.

I am glad to hear that too. My fear, and this is part of the discussion on my blog where I am frustrated as well, is that in the goal of protecting gun rights, you would welcome as allies anyone regardless of their tin foil. I certainly understand that you don't, nor ever have, endorsed criminal behavior, but on my wall, it seemed that homophobia or paranoia were no reason to distance yourself from them.

steves 2:22 PM  

MIT, I don't have any easy solutions. If you are interested, I can make some possible suggestions as to some sites, but the problem with on-line discussions, IMO, is that the anonymity seems to discourage polite discourse and many people just "let loose."

The other issue is that gun owners are not some monolithic group with a set of common values, unified goals, and an identifiable leadership. Estimates say that there are upwards of 40 to 50 million in this country and include a broad spectrum of people.

I participate in a few discussion forums and am a moderator at one. Obviously, there are thousands of forums that discuss these issues. I tend to prefer the ones that are moderated and make some effort to maintain some rules. A few are not open to everyone and you have to be invited. People that abuse others or "troll" get kicked off.

I won't say that there aren't any kooks and I have heard about really far fetched idiocy, but these people don't usually get that great of a reception and eventually give up, presumably to find a more receptive audience on some other site.

I certainly think reasonable discussion is possible, as we have had them here most of the time. I think that it can be difficult because there is a tendency of some proponents to assume that people on the other side are dangerous, stupid, or out to get them.

Monk-in-Training 6:34 AM  


I would like to review a couple of those moderate links. I hope you understand that my normal experience is simply exhausting and has been very negative.

It appears that your experience has been different and I would at least like to observe reasonable discussion about guns, even if I don't believe it could happen in my normal day to day life.

I also hope that you realize that for many of us, the crazy is normal, and pretty much all we see.

steves 8:25 AM  

The Volokh Conspiracy is a good site for rational discussions. There are some idiot comments, but most of the discussions are on cases and research. They also discuss other things besides gun rights.

This would be a good start. If you want others, let me know.

Monk-in-Training 9:26 AM  

Actually of all things it appears that I can offer one. My esteemed Bishop has written what is in my mind a great article with resonable discussion and in OKLAHOMA! wow, miracles never cease!


steves 9:42 AM  

I thought it was reasonable, too. I don't know that man, but he seems sincere.

All to often, a request for a reasonable conversation is followed by some kind of disparaging comment, and this most certainly applies to both sides of the argument.

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