they should share notes

So here is a random thought… 

According to the great and all-knowing Federal Government, I am sufficiently mature, trustworthy, law-abiding, and responsible to safely and lawfully operate items regulated by the National Firearms Act, up to and including fully-automatic firearms, suppressors, and even grenades. 

However, according to the sheriffs and other law-enforcement entities of San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, California (among other cities there), Maryland, New Jersey, Illinois, and Hawaii, I am insufficiently… something… to be trusted to safely and lawfully carry a firearm on my person in public. 

"Gun control"… it just does not make sense. 

why are gun control extremists so abusive?

[Note:  If excessive foul language, abusive mentalities, and borderline death threats are not your cup of tea, I would advise against reading through this post; I did not write any of that particular material, but I do believe it should be preserved for the future.]

Yesterday, I had the… misfortune… of interacting with the Twitter account @HockeyOpera, whose screen name is “Gloves Off!”, which apparently refers to “A Hockey Opera in Three Act is is a New Canadian Opera – A Tragic Opera with original story by composer and librettist Susan Hannah Rankin”, per the profile of the account.  The opera is based out of Wild Salmon Productions (which might be the best example of craptacular webdesign and graphic artistry I have ever seen) and apparently has been accepting auditions for the past two years without ever (?) reaching production. 

The account seems to be run by the aforementioned Susan Hannah Rankin, though I am not 100% convinced of that, and I only took notice of it when it started tweeting with the #guncontrol hashtag: 

image@thebiglambouski @mr_brugger http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoshihiro_Hattori ONLY MORONS CARRY GUNS #cpc unfit4 #cdnpoli #canpoli #gunregistry #guncontrol

@mr_brugger My 96 yr old mother doesnt need to hide behind a gun. Unlike YOU she has a BRAIN YOU are a COWARD. #gunregistry #guncontrol

As a reminder to those unfamiliar with Twitter, all of these quotes are from the @HockeyOpera account – the @name links in the quotes constitute the accounts to which that account was speaking.  Confusing, I know, but it does not really copy-paste any other way. 

In any case, I started retweeting some of the above material, prepending it with, “Typical #guncontrol #extremist hatred and intolerance. Sad, really.” and other similar statements; unsurprisingly, this appeared to have annoyed the mind behind @HockeyOpera, and then a group of us received this tweet: 

image@BigShoey @linoge_wotc @thebiglambouski @mr_brugger @drmattrawluk PLEASE go shoot yourself the world will rejoice. #cpc unfit4 #cdnpoli

Well, then, is that not the nicest thing in the world?  Why are “gun control” extremists such violent people?  And how can they honestly believe they are bitterly clinging to the moral high ground while simultaneously wishing death upon those who dare disagree with them?  And, seriously, who the hell “rejoices” in the deaths of innocent people who have committed no crime and done no wrong?  That takes a remarkably sick, warped mind indeed. 

image@DVCMAC I prefer u shoot urself before u shoot some innocent lost person cuz uR a PARANOID COWARD http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoshihiro_Hattori #cpc unfit4 #cdnpoli

More implied death threats.  More misspellings.  More lacking grammatical structure.  More warped “logic”. 

I am starting to wonder if the person behind this account is not playing with a full deck at this point, a belief which only became stronger after this particular string of tweets: 

image@bob_owens @linoge_wotc Yep you are a COWERING COWARD Glad you know it. Because everybody else does. #cpc unfit4 #cdnpoli

@lisakauai @DVCMAC http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoshihiro_HattoriCOWARDS COWER BEHIND GUNS Rest of us live nPeace& never have2 shoot anybody. #cpc unfit4 #cdnpoli

@bob_owens @linoge_wotc Yep:D & COWARDS COWER BEHIND GUNS the rest of us live in peace and enver have to shoot anybody #cpc unfit4 #cdnpoli

@Cz858Shooter @BigShoey @linoge_wotc @thebiglambouski @mr_brugger @drmattrawluk http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoshihiro_HattoriCOWARDS COWER BEHIND GUNS #cdnpoli

@bob_owens @linoge_wotc COWARDS COWER BEHIND GUNS the rest of us live in peace and NEVER have to shoot anybody. #cpc unfit4 #cdnpoli

@linoge_wotc @bob_owens COWARDS COWER BEHIND GUNS the rest of us live in peace and NEVER have to shoot anybody. #cpc unfit4 #cdnpoli

@Cz858Shooter @BigShoey @linoge_wotc @thebiglambouski @mr_brugger @drmattrawluk COWARDS COWER BEHIND GUNS #cpc unfit4 #cdnpoli

@lisakauai @DVCMAC COWARDS COWER BEHIND GUNS the rest of us live in peace without every having to shoot anybody #cpc unfit4 #cdnpoli

Hoookay then.  Proof by vigorous assertion, coupled with specious attacks against the characters and mentalities of those you are abusing and non-stop copy-pasting of the same disjointed nonsense.  I should have started backing away slowly, but the mine of priceless quotes was just beginning to be tapped. 

image@990twin I prefer some PARANOID COWARD shoot self and NOT some poor lost kid http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoshihiro_Hattori #gunregistry #cpc unfit4 #cdnpoli

Remember, by the above tweets, when @HockeyOpera says “paranoid coward”, she really means “any law-abiding citizen who has taken upon himself or herself the responsibility of personally protecting himself or herself and his/her family by lawfully bearing arms in a peaceful and responsible manner”.  In other words, again she wants innocent people to shoot themselves for daring to disagree with her. 

I am starting to detect a consistent pattern. 

image@bob_owens @linoge_wotc COWARDS COWER BEHIND GUNS the rest of us go through life without having to shoot people #cpc unfit4 #cdnpoli #roft

image@linoge_wotc @IanStumpf @bob_owens COWARDS COWER BEHIND GUNS Rest of us go thru life w/out ever having 2shoot anybody #cpc unfit4 #cdnpoli

I inquired if she included “military, police, and bodyguards” in that whole “cower behind guns” nonsense; unfortunately, she got somewhat distracted by “proving” – by way of a selection bias logical fallacy – that “all” veterans supported the Canadian long gun registry (which got shut down just a few days ago) because the veterans she knows do, so she never really answered that question. 

At this point, some of the folks in the audience were taking some small amounts of umbrage at the constant accusations of cowardice @HockeyOpera was abusively leveling at her current targets, and @IanStumpf offered to meet her in a ring and show her was “cowardice” looks like – not the best argumentative tactic, but it provoked a further decline in @HockeyOpera’s loose grip on reality: 

image@IanStumpf @linoge_wotc Sure, with one hand tied behind my back. #cpc unfit4 #cdnpoli COWARD SHIT SUCKER

I have not really heard swearing like that since my days of driving large metal boats around large salty oceans…  Which kind of makes me wonder about the second sentence in this one: 

image@R_ebecc_a @ianstumpf @bob_owens @linoge_wotc Youre a MORON. I am FEMALE. Now go play w/urself Cause nobody else will #cpc unfit4 #cdnpoli

So this one is hilarious from multiple angles…  First, despite the plethora of usernames in the quote, it was specifically to @R_ebecc_a… apparently @HockeyOpera never really got the hang of not mashing the “Reply All” button.  Don’t’cha hate people like that?  Second, it so closely verges on a Markley’s Law vindication, I dare say you might as well count it.  Third and finally, on account of her being married and not unattractive, I dare say @R_ebecc_a has no trouble finding at least one person to “play” with her. 

It is so cute when anti-rights cultists get angry – they just completely stop paying attention… 

I guess I, myself, should have paid more attention to @HockeyOpera’s Twitter stream archives, wherein I would have found this rather incomprehensible stream of profanities: 

image@wolframrose @mr_brugger GO BACK TO THE STATES AND DROP AMERICAN SHIT SUCKING ASSLICKING COCKSUCKER

In the end, @HockeyOpera, and, possibly, Susan Hannah Rankin, demonstrate a few consistent features of your average “gun control” extremist.  First, they have poor or entirely lacking impulse control – given any debate, the first side to resort to profanities and personal insults is typically that supporting “gun control”.  Second, they resort to those personal attacks at all, making the debate about the people involved, rather than the topic at hand – that is definitionally an ad hominem logical fallacy, and a trick straight out of Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals.  Third, they prioritize criminals’ lives over your lives, even when those criminals are in the midst of perpetrating their crimes, which dovetails nicely into the last point… 

Fourth, some “gun control” extremists want you dead.  Whether it is because you disagree with them, or because you exercise your Constitutionally-protected rights, or because you own firearms, or because of a host of other reasons, some people who support “gun control” genuinely and honestly want you dead.  Some of those folks are willing to express that desire in a recordable and public format, but I am fairly certain that for every one of them who speaks up, there is probably at least one who does not.  And yet people claim we are “paranoid” for wanting to have useful tools to keep ourselves and our families safe, in the face of criminals who do wish to harm us, and people who aid and abet criminals also wishing to harm us. 

It is not paranoid to acknowledge that people really do want to hurt you, and the reality is anti-rights cultists really do want you dead for your beliefs.  Sick. 

[Update]

In response to this tweet by @Gray_Area

image@linoge_wotc @HockeyOpera Great post, Linoge! I’m forwarding to all gun buddy’s in Ms. Ranking’s neck of the woods! #guncontrol #gunregistry

… @HockeyOpera, now almost certainly a product of Susan Hannah Rankin’s warped and twisted mind, replied: 

image@Gray_Area @linoge_wotc R u trying to threaten me?GOSHOOT URSELF PLEASE do planet earth a BIG favor SHOOT yourself #guncontrol #gunregistry

And then, when informed that some of the players in the conversation were not Canadians (you would think the whole “Knoxville, TN” location in my profile would give that secret away), @HockeyOpera wrote the following: 

image@linoge_wotc @Gray_Area AMERICANS INTERFERRING IN CANADIAN POLITICS deserve to be JAILED and SHOT as spies. #cpc unfit4 #cdnpoli #guncontrol

I think what we are witnessing now is the Canadian equivalent of Joan Peterson’s process failure, only with a few more metric tons of violence and hatred.  Quite interesting to observe, and, yes, the appropriate authorities have been informed. 

[/Update]

helps to know what you are talking about

So apparently the Mayors Against Illegal Guns took out some massive, whole-page ad in USA Today against the Senate approving H.R. 822, which would require states that issue handgun carry permits (or their equivalents) to recognize other states’ permits.  *shrug*  Cannot say as though I particularly care about a group of self-righteous, bigoted egotists who, on average, are convicted of crimes significantly more often than average citizens, so I never would have even noticed if it were not for John Richardson mentioning it.  Taking a quick gander at the advertisement itself (which is so chock-a-block full of anti-rights idiocy that it would take another whole post to adequately address), I could not help but to start giggling when I got to the list of mayors at the bottom. 

Why?  Well, maybe this email I sent to Mayor A. C. Wharton (mayor(at)memphistn.gov), Mayor Tom Beehan (tbeehan(at)cortn.org), and Mayor Daniel Brown (mayor(at)cityofknoxville.org) will help you understand my mirth: 

Dear Mayors Wharton, Beehan, and Brown,

My name is Jonathan Sullivan and I am writing to you today for a little clarification. It has recently come to my attention that your name has been included on a Mayors Against Illegal Guns advertisement that was printed in a recent USA Today and is visible here: http://mayorsagainstillegalguns.org/downloads/pdf/usa-today-10-20.pdf . This advertisement vehemently opposes the Senate passing H.R. 822, the National Reciprocity Act, which would effectively require all states that issue handgun carry permits (or their equivalents) to recognize other states’ permits (rather like drivers’ licenses are handled already); however, I am less concerned with national law, and more concerned with the laws here in Tennessee.

Are you aware that Tennessee already recognizes all handgun carry permits, carrying a concealed weapon licenses, concealed weapon permits, and their equivalents issued by all states in the Union, per Tennessee State Code 39-17-1351 (r) (1), which reads, "A facially valid handgun permit, firearms permit, weapons permit or license issued by another state shall be valid in this state according to its terms and shall be treated as if it is a handgun permit issued by this state; provided, however, the provisions of this subsection (r) shall not be construed to authorize the holder of any out-of-state permit or license to carry, in this state, any firearm or weapon other than a handgun."? In other words, by law, Tennessee already abides by the requirements which would be imposed by H.R. 822.

If you knew of this Tennessee law, why are you supporting the unjust limitation of my rights to self-defense and self-preservation in other states? Why do you believe my rights end at the Tennessee borders, if our neighboring states decide they should? On average, Tennessee handgun carry permit holders are less likely to be convicted of crimes than non-permit holding Tennessee residents (see: http://www.wallsofthecity.net/2011/05/handgun-carry-permit-holders-are-more-law-abiding.html ), and, in fact, they are less likely to be convicted of crimes than MAIG members (see: http://www.wallsofthecity.net/2010/02/a-criminal-perspective.html ), so what difference does it make which state I or any other HCP holder takes his or her firearm into?

If you did not know of this Tennessee law, perhaps your time would be better spent refreshing yourself on state and local legislation – which has a significantly more-direct affect upon your cities – rather than opposing national legislation which only serves to protect and preserve my individual, Constitutionally-protected rights?

Thank you for your time,
Jonathan Sullivan

(Please be advised: this email, and any response it receives, will be posted to http://www.wallsofthecity.net/ .)

… *headdesk* 

Here Tennessee – by state law – already abides by the regulations that would be imposed by H.R. 822, and these representatives-of-the-people are either blissfully unaware of it, or willing to oppose a law which would only serve to help their constituents and residents… or both, I suppose.  Great job, guys! 

yesterday*, at parafrog

I would like to thank Parafrog Airsoft here in Knoxville for not even batting an eye at the sight of someone lawfully and openly carrying a live firearm into their shop. 

Furthermore, I would like to thank them for answering my unquestionably stupid n00b questions, hooking me up with a full-face shield, and letting me drool over their wares for a few minutes past their scheduled closing time.  I have to admit, it is somewhat scary/surprising just how realistic some of the airsoft clones of “real” firearms are – they had an M-14 clone with a full wooden stock, a mostly-operating bolt (that I was cautioned not to let slam forward – cheap metal), a “happy switch”, and all the rest, and from about 10 feet, I challenge anyone to differentiate it from a .308-firing equivalent.  Regardless, they were helpful, they were friendly, and while their prices were a bit steeper than the online superstores, I appreciated their personal touch. 

Now, I head forth to see if airsoft is something that could actually interest me… or if being pelted by small, quickly-moving pieces of plastic is over my “annoyance” threshold. 

(* – Ok, day before yesterday, but close enough.) 

a funny thing happened yesterday

Dennis from Dragon Leatherworks gave me all his guns.

Okay, not all of them, and I am more “holding on to them for the time being”, but he did hand me a case loaded up with all sorts of pistols.

So why is this peculiar? Well, I had never actually met Dennis before yesterday when he handed me the case. Oh, sure, we have exchanged no shortage of emails, and we have talked extensively over the phone, and he did craft a holster for me, but he was, for all intents and purposes, handing a box of firearms to pretty much a complete stranger.

A stranger who could turn around, commit all sorts of crimes, and leave those firearms at the scenes of the crime just to throw the police off the trail.

Except I will not do that. Contrary to the pants-wetting hysteria being peddled by the “gun control” extremists of America, I am a law-abiding, responsible, mature, adult human being who fully comprehends that actions have consequences. More to the point, I fully appreciate and recognize the value of the trust Dennis is placing in me, and I know how heinous violating that trust would be.

Obviously, anti-rights cultists do not own firearms (except when they do), but I have to wonder if they would be willing to freely give an equivalently potentially-damning possession to a person they only know through the internet and phone lines? Would they be willing to trust a person to that point?

My inclinations are “no”. The entire basis of the “gun control” movement is distrust – no person (except the military, and the police, and bodyguards, and…) can be trusted with firearms, no person can be trusted to obey the current laws, no person can be trusted to behave responsibly, no person can be trusted, period. With a core mentality like that, how could one "gun control" extremist ever make the leap to putting faith in another?

By way of examples, I will use a number-laden anti-rights weblog that we all know and pity.  Its primary author lives in Italy, but he frequently flies back to the Jersey Shore to vacation.  Likewise, its second author lives in the D.C. region of Maryland.  Have these two individuals ever met in person?  Nope.  To make matters worse, this site’s fourth author used to (and may still) live in southern Pennsylvania.  Has he ever met either of the other two authors in his geographical area?  Nope. 

Hell, when I lived in southern Maryland myself, I used to date a girl who lived up around Gettysburg, PA, and I managed – without a car or job of my own – to see her at least every month or so.  Why can these grown adults with transportation and money to spare not take a few hours out of their weekends to meet up? 

Do “gun control” extremists ever meet up outside of the sanctioned and specifically organized Brady Campaign shindigs that infrequently occur?  Do they ever just get together and shoot the breeze? 

On the other hand, take a look at the blogroll to the right – every single one of those names with an asterisk next to it indicates a blogger I have met.  Just a few days ago, on a drive back from Dahlgren, VA, Jake from Curses! Foiled Again! met us up for dinner and to just chat for a time, even though we had never even met in person before.  The Gun Blogger Rendezvous just wrapped up today.  A few months back, my anti-social arse organized a Knoxville gun blogger get-together that was surprisingly well-attended.  And in most of these cases, I did not actually “know” any of the people I was meeting up with, and they did not actually “know” me, at least not outside of this text on this webpage. 

But if there is one thing to be said for the pro-rights community, it is that we trust people – we cannot not, given that we stand up, on a daily basis, and are proudly counted as working for the protection and preservation of individual liberties.  Those freedoms require trust… the trust that the people exercising their freedoms will not do so in a way that detrimentally harms another human being.  The trust that they will not randomly attack another person.  The trust that they will not steal another person’s property. 

The trust that I will not make ill use of Dennis’ firearms. 

So, really, what community do you want?  Do you want a community that trusts you to be a responsible, mature, adult human being, free to do as he or she likes so long as you do not harm another person… or do you want a community that does not let you out of your front door without a government minder watching and dictating your every action? 

The choice is fairly simple for me. 

(Oh, and why I have Dennis’ firearms?  Now that he proudly has a Tennessee driver’s license, his New York Firearm Owner’s Identification card has expired, but he is headed back up to the Empire State this week to finish up the movie.  As such, if he has firearms in his possession and steps inside of his house, his (and my) understanding is that he will automatically become a felon under NY law.  He owns the same firearms he did last week.  His house is the same it was last week.  The only thing that has changed is his move, and due to that, he could unintentionally become a felon.  This is what anti-rights cultists talk about when they say “common sense gun laws”.  Remember that.) 

why are they so eager to expose their bigotry?

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.

Sincerely,

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:

missmarciacguncontrolMissMarciaC – #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:

missmarciaccommentmoderationWhy Can’t We Just Ban Guns?!

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.

PEACE!

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…

Oh… Wait…

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™.

don’t be a dick

If you have ever considered openly carrying a firearm or are doing so now (and I certainly do not have a problem if you do… or do not, for that matter), please take a moment and read this post, in its entirety:

So all of that to say this.

If you are going to openly carry your pistol please don’t openly carry that chip on your shoulder.

I touched on this topic a while ago, but the concept still holds true – if you are openly carrying, getting in a confrontation, of any type, is A Very Bad Idea (TM). To be certain, some confrontations are simply unavoidable – after all, that is why we carry firearms to begin with – but if you can simply defuse the situation and walk away, that is almost invariably your better course of action.

In reality, that is your better course of action, period, regardless of whether you are openly or concealedly (word?) carrying, or even carrying at all, but it becomes especially poignant when you are acting as a representative of firearm-owners and -carriers in general… and that is what is happening when you openly carry, whether you want it to or not.