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

Monday, May 18, 2009

Now that the Comments are Posting...

. . . over at the Christian Science Monitor, I've left another one. Probably too long (you know me), but it's in response to comments 82 and 82 by Suzan Gill and "AdamG" respectively.
Susan Gill: "Well, I knew I’d bring everyone out of the woodworks with my comments, and my post did just what I wanted it to."

But did you learn anything?

AdamG: "I’d like to see the NRA and gun enthusiasts work on a way to prevent firearms falling so easily into the hands of criminals rather than worrying about their own rights."

Sorry, Adam. Wrong premise. Let me quote from the 1982 Carter Administration commissioned report, "Under the Gun: Weapons, Crime and Violence in America":

"The progressive's indictment of American firearms policy is well known and is one that both the senior authors of this study once shared. This indictment includes the following particulars: (1) Guns are involved in an astonishing number of crimes in this country. (2) In other countries with stricter firearms laws and fewer guns in private hands, gun crime is rare. (3) Most of the firearms involved in crime are cheap Saturday Night Specials, for which no legitimate use or need exists. (4) Many families acquire such a gun because they feel the need to protect themselves; eventually they end up shooting one another. (5) If there were fewer guns around, there would obviously be less crime. (6) Most of the public also believes this and has favored stricter gun control laws for as long as anyone has asked the question. (7) Only the gun lobby prevents us from embarking on the road to a safer and more civilized society.

"The more deeply we have explored the empirical implications of this indictment, the less plausible it has become. We wonder, first, given the number of firearms presently available in the United States, whether the time to "do something" about them has not long since passed. If we take the highest plausible value for the total number of gun incidents in any given year - 1,000,000 - and the lowest plausible value for the total number of firearms now in private hands - 100,000,000 - we see rather quickly that the guns now owned exceed the annual incident count by a factor of at least 100. This means that the existing stock is adequate to supply all conceivable criminal purposes for at least the entire next century, even if the worldwide manufacture of new guns were halted today and if each presently owned firearm were used criminally once and only once. Short of an outright house-to-house search and seizure mission, just how are we going to achieve some significant reduction in the number of firearms available?" (pp. 319-20)


"Even if we were somehow able to remove all firearms from civilian possession, it is not at all clear that a substantial reduction in interpersonal violence would follow. Certainly, the violence that results from hard-core and predatory criminality would not abate very much. Even the most ardent proponents of stricter gun laws no longer expect such laws to solve the hard-core crime problem, or even to make much of a dent in it. There is also reason to doubt whether the "soft-core" violence, the so-called crimes of passion, would decline by very much. Stated simply, these crimes occur because some people have come to hate others, and they will continue to occur in one form or another as long as hatred persists. It is possible, to be sure, that many of these incidents would involve different consequences if no firearms were available, but it is also possible that the consequences would be exactly the same. The existing empirical literature provides no firm basis for choosing one of these possibilities over the other. Restating the point, if we could solve the problem of interpersonal hatred, it may not matter very much what we did about guns, and unless we solve the problem of interpersonal hatred, it may not matter much what we do about guns. There are simply too many other objects that can serve the purpose of inflicting harm on another human being." (pp. 321-22)

The UK has done everything that the major gun-control groups over here have insisted will reduce gun violence and access to firearms by criminals: licensing, registration, "safe storage," and outright bans on fully-automatic weapons, semi-automatic and pump-action centerfire rifles, and all handguns. The result? The Guardian newspaper recently reported, "Firearms: cheap, easy to get and on a street near you"

Gun violence in the UK - always low, even before there were any gun control laws on the books - has steadily increased. Crimes committed with handguns has greatly increased. While US homicide rates have been trending down sharply over the last dozen years, theirs have trended steadily upward. If the trends continue, the homicide rates in the U.S. and in the UK will be essentially equal in about five or six years.

We're told here that states with "lax firearms laws" are responsible for the high firearm crime rates in adjacent areas with strict gun laws (think Chicago and Washington, D.C.), but no one asks why the crime rates in the areas with "lax firearms laws" are so much lower than the areas they're supposedly supplying. The UK - England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland - doesn't HAVE adjacent jurisdictions with "lax" gun laws. In order for guns to enter the UK, they have to come by boat or by air or by train through the Chunnel.

And they do. It's Economics 101 - Supply and Demand. There is always enough supply to feed the demand, and the UK is the sterling example of this well known rule.

Gun control doesn't keep guns out of the hands of criminals, it only keeps guns out of the hands of the people you need to worry about the least. We know that. Decades of research proves it. It is said that repeating the same behavior over and over while expecting a different outcome is one definition of insanity. I call it "cognitive dissonance," once defined thus:

"When someone tries to use a strategy which is dictated by their ideology, and that strategy doesn't seem to work, then they are caught in something of a cognitive bind. If they acknowledge the failure of the strategy, then they would be forced to question their ideology. If questioning the ideology is unthinkable, then the only possible conclusion is that the strategy failed because it wasn't executed sufficiently well. They respond by turning up the power, rather than by considering alternatives. (This is sometimes referred to as 'escalation of failure'.)"

I call it "Do it AGAIN, only HARDER!"

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