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a welcome breath of fresh air

Any long-time participant in the ongoing debate surrounding "gun control" and the unjust abrogations of our basic, Constitutionally-protected human rights will be familiar with the phrase Reasoned Discourse, but for those newcomers to the field, allow me to give you a short-and-sweet summation of the idea.

Of late, and in the past, "gun control" supporters have been crying that they want to have a "debate" / "conversation" / "discussion" about the future of "gun control" and the best way to proceed with it. Looking past the simple truth that we pro-rights activists have next to nothing to gain from such discussions, and a great deal to lose, those claims of wanting a debate are, in general, false. In truth, and on average, when those who support "gun control" are confronted with dissenting opinions, they resort to blatant censorship, threats and intimidation, "Memory Hole"-ing those threats when called on them, baseless misrepresentations of those dissenting positions (misrepresentations conveniently unfalsifiable by way of deleting the original material), attacking us through our families, and, when they cannot delete our material, deleting their material that started the actual discussion.

In other words, and in general, those cries for a "discussion" invariably resulted in "Reasoned Discourse" – a situation where only if you agree with those who support "gun control" are you allowed to speak your piece, which is hardly a "discussion" at all. If you want to read more about this particular behavior trend, feel free to dig through my archives.

To be fair, those of us who actively defend our rights – myself included – can be rather confrontational and brusque at times, but answer me this simple question: would you or would you not be "confrontational" with someone who wanted to have a discussion about enslaving you? Freedom from slavery and freedom to defend yourself are both basic human rights and Constitutionally-protected to boot; if a bit of an aggressively protective attitude is acceptable, if not encouraged, for one, why not the other?

Now, you will note that in the above paragraphs, I have been adding qualifiers like "in general", and "on average", and so forth. Why is that? Because I recently stumbled across this tweet linking back to this article at the Ruminator. Giving the article a quick skim at the time, I fired off a response tweet indicating that America is, in fact, not a democracy, was specifically designed not to be, and the rest of the article only goes downhill from there. This prompted a surprisingly reasonable conversation between myself and the man behind the twitter account (who, for clarification, is not the man behind the article; that site appears to have quite a few authors), and an invitation to write a guest post rebutting theirs.

At the time I declined, and they invited me to write a comment addressing the post, which I did… and the predictable happened. I got long-winded, the comment got verbose, and it ended up being a guest post anywise.

Take a moment and let that percolate a bit. I am certainly not going to say that the staff at The Ruminator are universally for "gun control" (though given it is a New Zealand-based site and most of the authors hail from there, Australia, or once-Great Britain, it is probably not incorrect to assume some/most of them do support it), much less rabidly so, but rather than nuke the comment from orbit – as other weblogs espousing "gun control" have done in the past – they went and made it a guest post.

Huh. It is almost like they actually want an actual discussion. How bizarre.

And speaking of, given that the author of the original post as well as one of their seemingly-regular commenters have continued that discussion (albeit misconstruing one of my main points), feel free to head on over and offer up your own two cents (though be advised that their system automatically moderates comments if they have too many links, just like mine does; this is not Reasoned Discourse, just good weblog management). However, I would request that you maintain whatever level of decorum you can and try to dial back the attitude a touch, as I did; these are not folks wishing for a missile strike on the NRA Annual Meetings, so please do not treat them like they are.

11 comments to a welcome breath of fresh air

  • Where I come from sir, if you write reasoned discourse, you deserve reasoned discourse in response. When I set up the blog I desperately didn’t want it to be a silo for people who all agree with me. How dull. So I welcome countering opinions – that makes life more interesting! But to get these, you cannot be a dick about it (to be blunt).

    So if you ever want to head on over and contribute, feel free.

  • “the Founding Fathers, and we, their ancestors“?

  • One other comment: I’d be very careful when saying “I have broken no laws” in order to show how good and responsible a person you are. “I have harmed no one” absolutely. “I have damaged no property” is fine too. But bear in mind, in addition to the trivial and obsolete laws, there are unjust laws that should be broken – as an extreme example, “It is illegal to shelter Jews, and anyone doing so must be reported to the Gestapo”. At a lesser extreme, a law-abiding gun owner can be made a lawbreaker with a stroke of a pen, even though they are doing nothing different – witness New York.

    I’d suggest “I have committed no crimes of violence” instead, if you wish to make that point.

  • LucusLoC

    @ Ruminator:

    Are you talking about reasoned discourse, as in two adults having a reasonable discussion even if their views are polar opposite, or “Reasoned Discourse” as practiced by the anti-rights groups here in the U.S.A where they delete opposing views, lie about sources and generally hold dishonest and one sided discussion? Because if we are talking about the former I absolutely agree, If we are talking about the later I disagree.

  • Archer

    @ LucusLoC: I believe he’s saying he didn’t intend his site to be an echo-chamber of like-minded people, and that the debate is often the most fun and challenging part of having such a forum.

    @ Ruminator: Thank you for being willing to entertain, acknowledge, and debate opposing points of view. I’ll admit I had not heard of your site before this, but I’ll be sure to check it out. I, for one, love to do the necessary research and defend my positions, and I find it ENDLESSLY frustrating that our opponents in the U.S.A. overwhelmingly refuse to acknowledge that we even HAVE a valid opinion. Good on you for doing so!

  • Mark

    Ruminator wrote:

    Where I come from sir, if you write reasoned discourse, you deserve reasoned discourse in response. When I set up the blog I desperately didn’t want it to be a silo for people who all agree with me. How dull. So I welcome countering opinions – that makes life more interesting! But to get these, you cannot be a dick about it (to be blunt).
    So if you ever want to head on over and contribute, feel free.

    Please understand that the occurrence of an actual reasoned debate on this subject is so rare that we, the firearms enthusiasts, feel we must take note when we actually find such an example.
    Our opponents here in the US always prattle on about how they want this to happen, but never actually follow through, as Linoge explains in some detail at the top of this blog post.
    It is disheartening that we have to specifically acknowledge when reasoned debate breaks out, but it is what it is.

  • Ted N

    @ Ruminator: You’re pretty friggin’ awesome.

  • @ Ruminator: As LucusLoC mentions, I would be… wary… using that particular phrase around the pro-rights community in America. As the first link in my post indicates, “Reasoned Discourse” (appropriately capitalized) dates back to when the Brady Campaign used to allow comments at their main website (they do not now) and used to regularly lose the debates hosted on that site. In response, they started a series entitled “Reasoned Discourse”, supposedly documenting how mean and uncaring we were. In an unsurprising turn of events, shortly after that series went live, they shut down and deleted comments. To this day, even their YouTube videos are closed to feedback, up to and including thumbs up/down.

    All that said, your willingness to tolerate, if not encourage, dissenting opinions is a marked deviation from the average set by the pro-”gun control” community here in the States, as I hope the series of links in the second post adequately showed you. I am not at all being hyperbolic when I say our jobs, our families, and our lives have been threatened (I, myself, have “enjoyed” all three) by people who support “gun control” simply because we have the unmitigated gall to disagree with them. And that is in addition to those “gun control” supporters making it impossible to disagree with them on their own sites.

    In the interests of fairness, it is worth noting that I have banned one “gun control” supporter from my site and auto-moderated another; the former cyberstalked and threatened myself and my family, and the latter was incapable of commenting without resorting to personal insults and logical fallacies. But, otherwise, if you can rationally disagree with what I say here, knock yourself out :).

    @ John Hardin: Bugger. Descendants. Was thinking one thing and wrote the other.

    While you do have a point and are arguably correct, I would observe that your suggested phrase also has potential problems, most notably states/locales outlawing self-defense. Radical, I know, but using physical violence to defend yourself without first attempting to retreat is a punishable crime in Kalifornistan, but one that falls under the “unjust law to be disobeyed” heading. I am not sure what a really good summation of what we are driving towards would be.

    @ LucusLoC: Given his behavior thus far, I dare say the Ruminator editor was referring to the former.

    @ Archer: Indeed.

    Mark wrote:

    It is disheartening that we have to specifically acknowledge when reasoned debate breaks out,

    This. In reality, behavior like that exhibited by the editor of The Ruminator should be so commonplace and expected that it would be hardly worthy of note, but, sadly, such behavior is, in truth, so radically different than that we observe from our opponents here in the States that it was unquestionably worthy of note.

    Unfortunately, the discussion rather died when the author over there literally came out and said he does not care about basic human rights, but that is no fault of the editor.

  • I am rapidly becoming negatively impressed by the staff at Ruminator. A brief timeline:

    * I visit Linoge’s guest post, and engage in debate.
    * I withdraw from debate when the author of the original article does not seem capable of grasping “That is not how our government works.”
    * I write a post on my own blog griping about inability to make a logical argument, but at no point do I name names or link links.
    * Original author follows me anywhere.
    * Linoge and I tear him multiple orifices.
    * I then post a link to the post so that readers have context.
    * Today I received a comment from one of the Ruminator’s editors, saying she sides with original author, insinuates that I and others are crazy, and my link to the article redirects back to my blog.

    I’m sorry, but I fully expect “reasoned discourse” to go into effect any moment now.

  • @ Erin Palette:
    Drat, noticed some errors and I can’t edit it for clarity.

    To whit:

    “Follows me anywhere” should be “Follows me back to my blog.”
    The comment from the editor did not state that the link to the article redirects. I noticed that when I was replying to her comment.

  • As I pointed out to the editor over on your site, if what I am saying comes across sounding “fractious”, good. Those who support “gun control” have nothing to offer me, and so I am not going to waste my time acting like I want a “compromise” with them when I want no such thing.

    We might as well put our cards on the table and be honest with one another.