Thank you, dear Twitter gods, for giving the willfully ignorant, narrow-minded, and bigoted a place to demonstrate their shortcomings freely and without limitations to the rest of the world.
Someone who enjoys blogfodder.
Now that we have taken care of giving thanks, let us turn to the matter at hands. This morning, I had the… privilege… of engaging in the following conversation with an anti-rights cultist who, as her words will eventually prove, is wholly deserving of that title:
MissMarciaC – #GunControl, por favor! Or just ban guns completely! What’s wrong with the world? #whereisthelove?
linoge_wotc – @MissMarciaC Respect my rights, por favor! Or just stop being intolerant. What’s wrong with the world? #GunControl
MissMarciaC – @linoge_wotc Why should I respect ignorance and violence? I could never do that. #peaceonearth
linoge_wotc – @MissMarciaC So "self-defense" constitutes ignorance? And doing violence to those who would harm me and mine is wrong? #fool
As many of my readers are probably aware, the turns and convolutions that short Twitter conversation took are already indicative of a markedly lacking thought process on the part of MissMarciaC, but for the rest of my audience, we will get to the specifics here momentarily.
Moving on, after this short Twitter exchange, MissMarciaC took the conversation, such as it is, to her personal webpage, though I will note that she did not notify me, the other half of that conversation, of the change in location – I was only alerted to it by the ever-observant ThirdPower. There she wrote:
Ha Ha! A twitter user replied to one of my tweets about banning guns, telling me to “respect” their rights and to “stop being intolerant”. Hm…let’s see. I’m the one who is all for ending violence and having some peace on this troubled earth. Guns do not equal either. Why should I respect and tolerate violence (and ignorance)?
I will always stand behind the idea that the use of guns should be exceptionally controlled and closely watched. Or better yet, banned. This is not a perfect world, but we can work together to make it better.
And I responded:
So "self-defense" is ignorance?
Accepting and acknowledging the fact that there exist evil people in this world, and taking steps to protect me and mine from them is "ignorance"?
Executing violence against those people who would harm me and mine is wrong?
In truth, you, like most people who want to arbitrarily infringe on individual rights, are intolerant – you are attempting to force your own narrow view of the world on others and keep them from expressing their own views. That is the very definition of intolerance. Thankfully, here in America at least, our individual rights are Constitutionally protected, and your authoritarian pipe dreams are likely never to come to pass.
And the better for it.
Guns are an equalizer between the weak and the strong, between those who would force their will on others and those who would leave in peace, between those who will take something from others and those who want to keep what is theirs. And so long as people like me continue to draw breath – and, trust me, we will – firearms will remain a tool available to us.
MissMarciaC has since responded to that comment, but I will refrain from copy-pasting it entirely here, because I am going to get around to fisking it in the below comment:
First off, let me apologize – I was in a hurry writing my first comment here, and I realize now that I did an inadequate job of addressing your base assumptions – when people’s most basic of concepts differ on some level, there is nothing else they can discuss except those base concepts, so let us start from the beginning.
From your first tweet, I am forced to conclude that you believe that banning – or at least "controlling" firearms – will somehow increase the "love" and "peace" on this planet. While some part of me hates being the one to shatter your naiveté, the larger portion of me hates that you are willing to limit other people’s lives based on your own ignorance, and as such, I must present you with the facts – not only does banning guns not increase peace, it is demonstrably tied to countries with decreased individual and economic freedoms and increased governmental corruption. If you want a more specific example of this phenomena, I am not attempting to draw a causal relationship, but I think you will agree that once-Great Britain "enjoys" some of the most draconian "gun control" in the world… and yet they also "enjoy" a violent crime rate that is four times America’s.
Four times. Is that your idea of "peace" and "love"?
The root problem with your entire premise, as I see it, is that you are so narrow-mindedly focused on the object that you are completely incapable of recognizing the simple fact that the object does not matter when it comes to the actions of people. The people matter. Even if you could somehow magically ban all firearms and confiscate them from everyone (and people like me simply will not allow that to happen, but we are speaking hypothetically), you will not get the utopia you desire, because you have not addressed the actual cause of hatred and violence in our world – the people who are the ones doing the hating and violence. Sure, you have taken away a tool from them… but it will not matter – those people will still hate, they will still commit violence, and you still will not get what you want.
Oh, sure, you will have arbitrarily and whimsically destroyed deodands to slake your own totemistic beliefs, but if you genuinely believe that objects have power over people… well, I think it is better if I just do not go there.
So, really, until such time as you are willing to discuss something that will actually address the core sources of things that disrupt peace and diminish love, you are doing the metaphorical equivalent of so much pissing in the wind… and getting it all over folks who simply want to live in peace with their rights unabridged and intact.
Now that I have addressed your root disconnect, I am going to do a point-by-point of the things you have said in our conversation thus far, if you do not mind (and if you do mind, I am recording this back-and-forth for posterity over my way – "gun control" worshipers like you have an annoying tendency of flushing things down Memory Holes when they start losing, and I have learned from those actions).
When I asked you to respect my rights, why did you immediately equate "rights" to "ignorance and violence"? I said neither of those words, neither did I even allude to them, and yet they were the first things that apparently leaped to your mind when I said "rights". Why is that?
Moving on, what is wrong with violence, in and of itself? Unquestionably, unprovoked or predatory violence is something that should be discouraged and minimized by all measures available, but defensive or protective violence is one of the best ways to do that "discouragement" or "minimization". After all, why do you think police officers not only carry batons and tasers, but also firearms? More specifically, why do you think almost every single spree shooter in the history of spree shootings has been stopped by either his intended victims or the police directing violence at him?
Might there be a pattern there? One that we could perhaps learn from? Why would you deny people one of the most effective, if not the most effective, means of defending themselves?
Why do you want to force other people to be victims, against their wills?
I’m the one who is all for ending violence and having some peace on this troubled earth. Guns do not equal either.
Talk about a mother of a non-sequitur… Guns have absolutely no bear in peace or violence in either direction. They are inanimate, non-sentient, and incapable of doing a damned thing by themselves except rusting. It is the people using the firearms who decide whether to be non-aggressively-violent and peaceful or not. If a person wants to be predatory and aggressive, they are going to do that regardless of whether a firearm is available to them or not. See England.
I will always stand behind the idea that the use of guns should be exceptionally controlled and closely watched. Or better yet, banned.
Congratulations – then you have voluntarily and of your own free will adopted not only the title of "petty authoritarian" by attempting to use the government to impose your own narrow, intolerant view on the rest of the world, but also the title of "bigot" for being unwilling or incapable of identifying information that exposes your beliefs as the farcical jokes they are.
Was that really what you intended?
Let me tell you what, buddy: this “self-defense” theory has gotten old.
No, it really has not. Law-abiding citizens employ firearms to protect themselves and their families on a daily basis. That is not "old" – that is about as current as you can get.
How many kids will have to accidentally kill themselves with their parents’ “self-defense” guns before people like you can realize the problem that guns represent in our society?
Again, you fail. The problem you are illustrating with that misguided question is not "firearms" but "irresponsible parents". Did you know that three times as many children between 0 and 12 drown than are killed with firearms? How long before people like you can realize the problem that swimming pools represent in our society? (Note: I am not advocating for the banning of swimming pools, just pointing out the common cause for all of this – irresponsibility of parents.)
You shouldn’t either!
Excuse me, but who the hell are you to dictate my actions? I am a free, law-abiding, adult, mature human being who has never been convicted of a crime, has had numerous background checks executed on him and come back clean (every time I purchase a firearm or get a new carry license, in fact), and who has never detrimentally harmed another human being.
So who the hell are you to tell me what to do?
This is a perfect example of your rampant intolerance – not only can you not stand another point of view being expressed or acted upon, you would go so far as to demand that another person behave exactly the way you want them to. On the other hand, I firmly believe in the freedom of choice, and the freedom to live life however you like so long as you do not directly harm anyone else.
This is not the Middle East, where guns are like toys and everyone and their moms end up shooting each other in conflicts. But I guess that’s what you’re aiming for.
Nice strawman, but a fallacious one.
The simple truth of the matter is that I want a society where I can live in peace and freedom. Period. However, people like criminals will want to take things from me by physical force, and I am neither large, nor strong, nor fast, nor particularly skilled, so I have availed myself of a tool that has proven time and time again to level playing fields between unequal opponents. Additionally, people like you want to dictate my life to me, dictate my actions to me, and strip me of numerous freedoms on the basis of your own phobias, shortcomings, and authoritarian pipe dreams, and those same tools have proven to discourage your ilk time and time again in the past as well.
Funny how that works.
A young friend of the family used to carry a gun for “protection” and guess what? One day playing around, one of his friends asked to see it and accidentally shot him dead. His gun was supposed to protect him, but it killed him. That’s one reason that people like you make me angry.
Ah, and now we get to your psychological projection and stereotyping. Why do "people like" me make you mad? The massively overwhelming majority of firearm owners are law-abiding. The massively overwhelming majority of firearm owners do not have accidents. And, by and large, people who lawfully carry firearms are more law-abiding than "average" citizens.
So why are you speciously conflating "people like" me with the anecdotal accident you shared? You might as well hate all blacks on the premise that higher-than-average numbers of them are convicted of crimes.
And might your emotional reaction to this conversation indicate that you are not considering it with a rational and clear mind? And why should my actions be hampered because you cannot control your emotions?
And “Our individual rights are constitutionally protected”— is that your best line?
Ah, no, my best line is "molon labe", but something tells me you will not grasp the finer nuances of that particular statement.
The Constitution is really just a bunch of words and it can be amended. Guns are not the answer and I hope the government does something about it soon.
*sigh* You do a wonderful job of acting like you know what you are talking about, but the sad reality is that you simply have no clue.
Not only is the Constitution not just "a bunch of words" (though I simply do not have the patience to go into that particularly noxious point of civic ignorance on your part), it also creates no rights, and thus it does not matter what the government does or does not do. You see, the Second Amendment, and the Bill of Rights as a whole, solely protects pre-existing rights that would continue to exist with or without the Second Amendment, and regardless of what it or any other Amendment was amended to say.
I have an individual right to self-defense, self-preservation, self-determination, ownership of private property, freedom of association, and so forth, simply because I exist, and the Bill of Rights was intended to keep the government from infringing upon those rights.
Unfortunately, bigoted authoritarians like you have found any and all ways to circumvent those Amendments at all available opportunities, but that is another conversation for another time. My real point is that it would not matter if the government outlawed all private ownership of all firearms tomorrow – I might be legally a criminal for not turning mine in, but I would still be morally correct for keeping them. Rights exist independently of governments, independently of laws, and independently of self-absorbed folks like you who think your beliefs are good enough for everyone.
I’m sorry, but I think we know who the “narrow-minded” is here.
You are right – we both know you are the narrow-minded one here. I am not the one trying to impose my personal beliefs on other people. I am not the one thinking that my personal beliefs are good enough for all people. I am not the one who cannot grasp the concept that other people might want to do something other than what I want them to do. I am not the one trying to limit other people’s freedom. I am not the one trying to take away people’s choices. I am not the one forcing others to be victims. I am not the one who believes that wishing for peace will make it magically appear. I am not the one adopting a one-size-fits-all solution for a tremendously complex problem.
You, Miss Marcia, are the one doing all those things… and what is worse is that you are proud of it. *shudder*
And so do gangsters, drug dealers and the likes, in order to protect their drugs (and their pride).
No, no they do not, and I would kindly ask you not to conflate law-abiding citizens with criminals – it cheapens your argument, exposes your ignorance, and is gratuitously insulting to boot. More to the point, people give up their own rights when they start infringing upon other people’s – when someone murders someone else, their own right to self-preservation is surrendered, and thus society can decide to imprison them for life, or simply end their life if they are incapable of being a functioning member of that society. As for drugs… well, you probably do not want to hear my opinions on that, given how violently you react to the notion of firearms…
If you really wanted to protect yourself, find another campaign, one that promotes peace instead.
Tell me, please, what a "campaign… that promotes peace" will do for me when a mugger is attempting to relieve me of my wallet… or my life… or when a rapist is attempting to relieve my wife of her dignity… or when a spree shooter is attempting to rack up his kill count in a public mall… or when a group of larger-and-stronger thugs are breaking into my home? What will all the good feelings and well wishes in the world do then?
Bringing more guns into this already screwed-up world is not going to make it any better!
That must be why police officers who are responding to the report of crimes always seem to show up with firearms on their hips…
More seriously, defending me and mine will make this world better, and if doing so necessitates the use of deadly force, then so be it. I would rather a scumbag criminal die than me, and that is not going to change.
Speaking to your actual statement, are you aware that, historically speaking, there cannot be a causal relationship between "number of firearms" and "number of firearm-related deaths"? There is a weak, negative correlation between the raw numbers of guns and fatalities, and there is a strong, negative correlation between the rates of firearm ownership and fatalities. This precludes your entire concept before it even got started.
And, by the way, if banning guns would never “come to pass,” it’d be only because — just like abortion, religion, and politics — the subject is too contentious.
Ah, no, that would be because the preservation of individual rights and liberties is always the right course of action. Period. And there are those of us who are willing to help society keep on the appropriate path to doing exactly that… and, in case, you have not noticed, we are winning – there is only one state in the union that does not allow some form of concealed carry, open carry is becoming more accepted in more state, permitless carry is starting to take off, the AWB not only failed but has failed every other time it has ever been brought up, we now have not one but two separate Supreme Court cases establishing judicial precedent that the Second Amendment protects a pre-existing individual right… the list just goes on an on.
You – and anyone else who would limit individual liberties and freedoms – are on the wrong side of history.
In the end, I do not care if you own guns, do not own guns, do not want to own guns, or whatever. I do not care if you want to leave yourself defenseless to the world, and I do not care if you genuinely believe that good wishes and hopes for peace are enough to keep you safe. You can do as you bloody well please. However, I do not ask, I demand that you respect and tolerate the same freedom of choice for all other people (so long as they do not directly harm someone else against their will), and you have come nowhere near to that concept anywhere in this conversation.
In closing, I will leave you with this quote from someone far wiser and blunter than me:
Where the hell do you get off thinking you can tell me I can’t own a gun? I don’t care if every other gun owner on the planet went out and murdered somebody last night. I didn’t. So piss off.
Exactly so. I have committed no crime. I have harmed no one. You simply do not have the right – and should not have the ability – to dictate my or anyone else’s actions. Period.
Good day to you.
Feel free to weigh in on your own comments either here or there – Miss Marcia seems to be permitting comments to go through, at least for the time being, but I would advise that you keep copies of them just in case (or paste them here). [Update] It would appear as though Miss Marcia has taken the coward’s escape and shut down comments on her site rather than attempt to defend her position. I am sorry that her beliefs are so weak that they cannot withstand others’ beliefs being expressed. Comments here will remain open, and she is more than welcome to address the points people are bringing up in them, but something tells me she will not, which is both disappointing and not surprising. [/Update]
I never cease to be amazed at how petty authoritarians feel so self-righteous over forcibly directing other people’s lives against their wills, and how they are able to convince themselves they are Doing The Right Thing™.