“If men were the automatons that behaviorists claim they are, the behaviorist psychologists could not have invented the amazing nonsense called 'behaviorist psychology'.”
by Lazarus Long




"walls of the city" logo conceptualized by Oleg Volk and executed by Linoge. Logo is © "walls of the city".

that ugly "need" hydra

A few months ago, I happened to have a rather… interesting*… conversation with the warped and benighted mind behind the Twitter account of @1StopCity. A recurring theme in this particular conversation is that unless you have a particular "need" for something or to do something, you have absolutely no right to that thing or to do that thing, or, in his very own words, "Odds against you "needing" a gun negate your right to own one."

Oh, the places you could go with that kind of "logic". Obviously it is inherently and intrinsically incorrect – rights exist independent of any arbitrarily-defined concept of "need", and, furthermore, who is someone else to define what I need? – but let us examine its actual underpinnings for a moment.

In 2001, arguably our worst year for such things, 2926 people were killed due to terrorist’s actions, and at the time, there were 285,081,556 people living in the country. While not entirely accurate, one can therefore say you had about a 0.001026% chance of being killed by a terrorist or terrorist actions in 2001.

However, on the basis of that one-thousandth-of-a-percent chance, over the past 11 years, America has wasted in excess of sixty billion dollars (yes, with a "b") on a program that has never once caught a terrorist, has failed more times than we care to count, and is responsible for sexually assaulting and invading the privacy of millions of travelers a year… all in the names of "safety" and "security".

On the other hand, in 2001, 1,436,611 people were the victims of violent crimes – murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault, so, again, while this is not entirely accurate, you can say you had about a 0.5039% chance of being the victim of a violent crime.

In other words, you were, more or less, five hundred times more likely to be a victim of violent crime than of terrorism.

So if the Thousands of Sexual Assaulters are the Best Thing Since Sliced Bread(TM) (and I am, admittedly, assuming 1StopCity would hold to that belief), then the notion of "self-defense" is a Totally Awesome and Earth-Shatteringly Necessary Thing, and, furthermore, the United States Government should subsidize it somewhere on the order of $30,000,000,000,000.

By my calculations, that works out to somewhere around one Glock 17, one middlingly-good AR-15, one tricked out Remington 870, and somewhere around 180,000 rounds of mixed ammunition for all three for every man, woman, and child in the country. I could live with that.

And this is why "gun control" extremists like 1StopCity have failed in the past, are failing today, and will invariably fail in the future – once you take apart their "logic" (and I use that term very loosely) and examine it for what it is, it dissolves like the Wicked Witch of the West swan-diving into the Pacific. Even looking past the disturbing and inherently flawed notion that you have no rights if he decides you do not "need" them, his position falls apart as soon as you consider it in light of actual, honest-to-God facts and figures, much less apply his "reasoning" to other concepts.

Of course, this is the same person who, in the same conversation, informed me that "There are no absolutes" so something tells me he would pull the standard anti-rights cultist tactic of wishing those facts away…

(* – "Interesting" because in response to the question, "would majority-approved slavery infringe on people’s rights?", his response was, and I quote, "As no one has any inherent rights, no, their rights wouldn’t be infringed. Would it be horrible? Yes."** This was the culmination of the above "you only have the rights the majority approves" conversation; at that point, I figured the discussion was over – how do you actually hold a conversation with someone with such a radically totalitarian position? – which is just as well, since he ended up blocking me for daring to have the gall to quote his own words back to him. Joe tried to continue the debate, but given that they were coming from such disparate starting points, it did not get far.

** – Speaking more specifically, this concept still befuddles me. If an action does not abridge a person’s rights, why or how could it be "horrible"? How do you determine the "horrible" nature of an action without some way of measuring – or even determining – if harm has been done to a person? After all, if a person has no right to be free of slavery, then slavery does not harm them, does it?)

10 comments to that ugly "need" hydra

  • john

    Well said! It is hard to argue with crazy viewpoints. I believe that is partially why our great United States are in this condition. We have allowed things to happen because, when we heard the “crazy” idea, we thought that could not actually happen it’s to crazy so we went on with our lives. Even people who I know to be logical, reasonable like Rob Portman are now talking gun control. Insanity.

  • If I didn’t want a Glock, and swapped that AR out for .357 lever Marlin–could I get a 1911 instead?

  • dave w

    Oh i wouldn’t bother with that fool, after checking out his profile he is a far far left extremist who wants to give canada back to the indians.
    Which is funny as they have gun rights no one else does up here, even beating your spouse and kids wont stop you getting a gun.

  • Merry Christmas Linoge!

  • Tom

    You can’t tie rights to utility. That’s the whole point of our country, that people have certain rights regardless the perceived benefit or cost of those rights. But to tie this back into the current arguments vis a vis the Newtown murders, if we want to protect our children at all costs, the real enemies are the First and Fourth Amendments, not the Second. Child abusers, molesters and pedophiles — all of whom provide a much more likely source of danger than mass murderers — would be much easier to keep away from our kids if we could restrict their online presence and communications, and “detain” them for harmful thinking. So what if you have to “register” or get a license before you can get on Facebook or make posts on forums or blogs? If you’re not a child molester, you have nothing to hide, right? And do we really need online forums or Facebook to exercise our First Amendment rights? The founding fathers were more into pamphlets and town hall meetings. I think I’ll write my pal Piers and see if he’ll get on this bandwagon. Oh, wait, the Brits don’t have a First or Fourth Amendment, but they still have this: http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/21/world/europe/uk-children-abused/index.html

  • Volfram

    Just FYI, 1StopCity has been moved to http://twitter.com/KnerdPaladin

    You know… in case anybody here wants to respond to the anti-gun side’s mass spam-reports of pro-Gun accounts.

  • Volfram

    https://twitter.com/ole_grandpa/status/283280970231197696 KnerdPaladin is harrassing an old grandfather on Twitter. Unprovoked as far as I can tell.

    Everyone click the little icon next to the “block” button, and select “report spam.”

  • @ john: I can deal with insanity and crazy folks, and, in the end, have no objective problem with them. However, when they start attempting to force their insanity upon me without my consent, they are kindly invited to kiss my hairy white ass.

    @ Kurt P: Only if it was a Coonan. Ammunition commonality and all that ;).

    @ dave w: Canada does have a… unique… way of dealing with the folks who lived there before the whites. My parents complain about how bad WA is, but I dare saw you America’s Hat folks are worse ;).

    @ MSgt B: Merry Christmas to you as well!

    @ Tom: Too true… but as the saying goes, if you do not and cannot respect one amendment, you do not and cannot respect any of them. You and I both know that if the government were to make its subjects toothless and defenseless, the Constitution itself would become nothing more than scrap of paper to be run through the shredder.

    Hell with that. The Constitution guarantees rights, it does not grant them, and my right to defend myself from someone who would take from me against my will – be he a murderer, a robber, or a government-endorsed thug – remains intact regardless of the Second Amendment’s disposition.

    @ Volfram: Oh, I had my fun with that imbecile; if anyone else wants to toy with him, they are more than welcome, but I have little cause to do so.

  • Rob Crawford

    I have a particular solution for anyone that sanguine about slavery. I won’t state it for fear of getting the host in trouble.

  • Oh, do not fret – worse has been said and will probably be said here, I have no doubt.

    That said, I have no problems with people wishing to be slaves. I do, however, have issues with folks who would force that slavery upon ME.