Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. That psychic discomfort is the price we pay for basic civic peace. It's worth it. It's a pragmatic principle. Defend everyone else's rights, because if you don't there is no one to defend yours. -- MaxedOutMama

I don't just want gun rights... I want individual liberty, a culture of self-reliance....I want the whole bloody thing. -- Kim du Toit

The most glaring example of the cognitive dissonance on the left is the concept that human beings are inherently good, yet at the same time cannot be trusted with any kind of weapon, unless the magic fairy dust of government authority gets sprinkled upon them.-- Moshe Ben-David

The cult of the left believes that it is engaged in a great apocalyptic battle with corporations and industrialists for the ownership of the unthinking masses. Its acolytes see themselves as the individuals who have been "liberated" to think for themselves. They make choices. You however are just a member of the unthinking masses. You are not really a person, but only respond to the agendas of your corporate overlords. If you eat too much, it's because corporations make you eat. If you kill, it's because corporations encourage you to buy guns. You are not an individual. You are a social problem. -- Sultan Knish

All politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war. -- Billy Beck

Friday, January 16, 2009

Another Invitation

Another Invitation

Say Uncle linked to a David Codrea post at Gun Rights Examiner where a sportswriter showed his ignorance in the comments and was promptly smacked down for it. Feelings apparently hurt, the writer took his ball and went home after complaining about how nasty gun rights advocates were.

So once again I have decided to extend the olive branch and invite the sportswriter, Tom Ferda, to have an open, public discussion on the topic of gun rights right here at this blog or anywhere else he feels comfortable. Even though I'm up to my eyeballs with work for at least the next two weeks, I really want to engage Mr. Ferda. Here's the text of the email I sent him tonight:
Mr. Ferda:

Welcome to the wonderful world of the gun rights debate! My name is Kevin Baker, and I live in Tucson, Arizona. No, I'm not Kevin Baker the award-winning novelist, I'm Kevin Baker the Professional Electrical Engineer who happens to run a blog by the name of The Smallest Minority, if you care to Google my name (which is how I found your email address).

Obviously you're new to this topic, but don't feel too bad - many are. On both sides. The problem is, there's been a concerted effort for, oh, the past forty years or so to remove firearms from the public. It's been described as a "decades-long slow-motion hate crime" against gun owners, and a lot of us are quite tired of it. So you were the recipient of some (very mild!) backlash when you demonstrated your ignorance the topics of firearms and Constitutional law.

I understand that you'll find this difficult to believe, but when you wrote the words "semi-automatic machine guns" you basically punched nearly every hot-button most of us on this side of the aisle have. The ones you missed on that first pass you punched - emphatically - with the words "think about when these original right to bear arms laws were written."

Mr. Ferda, I'm a calm, collected kind of guy. I started blogging with the intention of debating people like you in a public forum. Honestly, I don't expect to change your mind, and I'm absolutely certain you won't change mine (my position being the result of well over a decade of research, study, and consideration - I should have a PhD in the philosophy of gun rights) but I do believe that people LEARN when they discuss and defend their positions with people who DISAGREE with them. Hopefully, so do you, since you wrote: "Stay aggressive, call people with different opinions idiots and chase us all out of your area. You guys are doing a great job of forming a group where everyone can have identical opinions and keep anyone else out of the club." And: "Good-bye and enjoy conversing amoungst yourselves without any more comments from people like myself who may differ in opinion."

I earnestly wish to have a discussion with you - in a public forum! I will remain civil, factual, and I will give citations with links for you to follow and verify. (You'll have to bear with me, however, as my day job at the moment is pretty overwhelming, so my responses will be necessarily slow.) I am willing to give you guest-posting privileges at my blog, and I promise not to edit anything you write (except possibly for readability - text size, font, etc. - never content) or you may email me your responses and I can post those - again, in total and without editing - or you may post your half of the discussion anywhere you'd like, so long as I can copy those posts to my blog for archival purposes.

I do have open comments. If you are as sensitive to the response of the readers as you appear to be at the Gun Rights Examiner post, I suggest you not read them. Oh, and this invitation is also being published at my blog.

I hope you do accept this challenge. I promise you, if nothing else you will come away much more knowledgeable about the topic.

Kevin Baker,
Tucson, AZ
Here's hoping he accepts. Whatever the response, you'll be the first second to know!

UPDATE, 1/19 8:00PM: No response from Mr. Ferda as of yet.

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