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Food for thought 3

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by burmafrd, Sep 10, 2007.

  1. burmafrd

    burmafrd Well-Known Member

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    We as a nation suffer an appalling number of handgun-related deaths each year --
    perhaps 11,000 of them. The number is not important; each is a personal tragedy
    and those lives can never be replaced.
    If we attempt to reduce this horrible number by banning handguns, we are taking
    away the property of a person who has broken no laws, by a government whose
    legitimacy is determined by a document that specifically allows that property,
    namely guns.
    Destroy that trust by punishing the innocent, by pulling a plank from the Bill
    of Rights, and the contract between the government and the people falls apart.
    Once the Second Amendment goes, the First will soon follow, because if some
    unelected elite determines that the people can't be trusted with dangerous guns,
    then it's just a matter of time until they decide they can't be trusted with
    dangerous ideas, either. Dangerous ideas have killed many millions more people
    than dangerous handguns -- listen to the voices from the Gulag, the death camps,
    and all the blood-soaked killing fields through history.
    The Framers, in their wisdom, put the 2nd Amendment there to give teeth to the
    revolutionary, unheard-of idea that the power rests with We The People. They did
    not depend on good will or promises. They made sure that when push came to
    shove, we'd be the ones doing the pushing and shoving, not the folks in
    Washington. And by the way, gun rights supporters are frequently mocked when
    they say it deters foreign invasion -- after all, come on, grow up, be
    realistic: Who's nuts enough to invade America? Exactly. It's unthinkable. Good.
    2nd Amendment Mission 1 accomplished.
    But back to the undeniable domestic cost: when confronted with the idea of
    banning handguns to reduce this horrible toll, many handgun defenders are
    tempted to point to the numbers killed on the highways each year -- perhaps four
    times that number -- and ask why we don’t ban cars as well.
    The logical response is that bans on travel -- cars, airplanes, etc. -- are a
    false analogy compared to banning guns, because cars have a clear benefit while
    guns don't do anything other than kill what they are aimed at.
    While that is exactly true, I think it misses the point, which to me is simply
    this: we'd never ban automobile travel to avoid thousands of highway deaths.
    It's clearly not worth it in both economic and personal freedom terms. We
    choose, reluctantly, and with many a lost loved one in mind, to keep on driving.

    Here is my dry-eyed, cold-hearted, sad conclusion: I believe that the freedom,
    convenience and economic viability provided by the automobile is worth the
    40,000 lives we lose to automotive deaths each year -- a number made more
    horrible by the fact that perhaps 40% are related to drunk driving and are
    therefore preventable.
    By the same calculation, I accept that the freedoms entrusted to the people of
    the United States is worth the 11,000 lives we lose to gun violence each year.
    I wish I could make both those numbers go away. I will support any reasonable
    campaign to make them as low as possible.
    But understand this: 11,000 handgun deaths a year, over four years is very
    roughly 50,000 killed. In Nazi Germany, an unarmed population was unable to
    resist the abduction and murder of 6,000,000 people in a similar period: a
    number 120 times higher. Throw in the midnight murders of the Soviets, the
    Chinese, the various and sundry African and South American genocides and purges
    and political assassinations and that number grows to many hundreds, if not
    several thousand times more killings in unarmed populations.
    Visualize this to fully appreciate the point. Imagine the Superbowl. Every
    player on the field is a handgun victim. All the people in the stands are the
    victims who were unable to resist with handguns. Those are historical facts.
    I, myself, am willing to pay that price as a society -– knowing full well that I
    or a loved one may be part of that terrible invoice. I wish it was lower.
    Obviously, I wish it didn’t exist at all. But any rational look into the world
    shows us places where the numbers of innocents murdered by their own governments
    in unarmed nations are far, far higher.
    Of course, many societies have far lower numbers. Japan is a fine example. I'm
    sure if the United States had 2000 years of a culture whose prize assets were
    conformity and submission, then our numbers would be a lot lower. Alas, we are
    not that society. Thank God, we are not that society.
    It is abundantly clear that the rate of handgun murders in the United States is
    not uniform. Very large murder rates can be observed in small, exceedingly
    violent populations of every race in this country, and these rates seem to be
    more related to issues of income, education and living conditions. Certainly
    guns are freely available in areas where our murder rates are appallingly high.
    They are also found in very large numbers in communities where handgun crime is
    virtually nonexistent.
    Doesn’t that tell us that there is something deeper at work here? Could it be,
    perhaps, that the problem is not with the number of guns in this country but
    rather in the hearts of those who we allow to wield them, repeatedly? Could it
    really be as simple as apprehending, and punishing, those that would do harm to
    innocents and to civilization? Rather than banning guns, should we not attack
    the moral rot that infests these small, violent populations of every color who
    put such horrible numbers at our feet?

    Assume for a moment you could vaporize every gun on the planet. Would crime go
    away? Or would ruthless, physically strong gangs of young men be essentially
    able to roam free and predate at will?
    The history of civilization shows time and time again how decent, sophisticated
    city dwellers amass wealth through cooperation and the division of labor -- only
    to be victimized by ruthless gangs of raping, looting cutthroats who couldn't
    make a fruit basket, sweeping down on them, murdering them and carting away the
    loot, to return a few years later, forever, ad infinitum. Vikings, Mongols,
    desperadoes of every stripe -- they are a cancer on humanity, but there they are
    and there they have always been.
    If civilization is worth having -- and it is -- then it has to be defended,
    because the restraining virtues of justice, compassion and respect for laws are
    products of that civilizing force and completely unknown to those who would do
    it harm.
    Therefore, since I believe in this civilization, in its laws, science, art and
    medicine, I believe we must be prepared to defend it against what I feel no
    embarrassment for calling the Forces of Darkness. Those forces could be raiders
    on horseback, jackbooted Nazi murderers, ecstatic human bombs, or some kid
    blowing away a shopkeeper.
    For the gun-ban argument to be convincing, you'd have to show me a time before
    shopkeepers were blown away, hacked away, pelted away or whatever the case may
    be. You would have to show me a time in history before the invention of the
    firearm, when crime and raiding and looting did not exist, when murders and
    rapes did not exist. We may lose 11,000 people to handguns a year. How many
    would we lose without any handguns, if murderers and rapists roamed free of
    fear, ignoring reprisal from citizens or police? I don't know. You don't know
    either. Maybe it's a lot fewer people, and maybe, in a world where strength and
    ruthlessness trump all, it would be a far higher one.
    You may argue that only the police should be allowed to carry guns. Consider
    this carefully. Do we really want to create an unelected subculture that views
    itself as so elite and virtuous as to be the only ones worthy of such power,
    trust and authority? Have we not clearly seen the type of people drawn to such
    exclusive positions of authority, and the attitudes and arrogance it promotes?
    Furthermore, I can't see any moral distinction between a policeman and a
    law-abiding citizen. Policemen are drawn from the ranks of law-abiding citizens.
    They are not bred in hydroponics tanks. They are expected to show restraint and
    use their weapon as a last resort. Millions upon millions of citizens, a crowd
    more vast than entire armies of police, do exactly this every day.
    If all of these horrors had sprung up as a result of the invention of the
    handgun I'd be right there beside those calling for their destruction.
    But clearly, this is not the case. In our cowboy past we used to say that "God
    created Man, but Sam Colt made them equal." This is simple enough to understand.
    It means that a villager, let's say a schoolteacher, can defeat a human predator
    who may have spent his entire life practicing the art of war. Firearms are what
    tipped the balance toward civilization by eliminating a lifetime spent studying
    swordplay or spear play or pointed-stick play. The bad guys have always used
    weapons and they always will. The simple truth about guns is that they are damn
    effective and even easier to operate. They level the playing field to the point
    where a woman has a chance against a gang of thugs or a police officer can
    control a brawl.
    I don't see how vaporizing all the guns in the world would remove crime or
    violence -- history shows these have always been with us and show no signs of
    responding favorably to well-reasoned arguments or harsh language. I wish it
    were not true. I wish the IRS did not exist either, but there it is.
    Criminals, and criminal regimes ranging from The Brow-Ridged Hairy People That
    Live Among the Distant Mountains all the way through history to the Nazis and
    the Soviets, have and will conspire to take by force what they cannot produce on
    their own. These people must be stopped. The genius of the 2nd Amendment is that
    it realizes that these people could be anybody -- including the U.S. Army. That
    is why this power, like the other powers, is vested in the people. Nowhere else
    in the world is this the case. You can make a solid argument that the United
    States is, by almost any measure, the most prosperous, successful nation in
    history. I'm not claiming this is because every American sleeps with a gun under
    the pillow -- the vast majority do not. I do claim it is the result of a
    document that puts faith and trust in the people -- trusts them with government,
    with freedom, and with the means of self-defense. You cannot remove that
    lynchpin of trust without collapsing the entire structure. Many observers of
    America never fully understand what we believe in our bones, namely, that the
    government doesn't tell us what we can do -- WE tell THOSE *******s just how far
    they can go.
    Of course, all of this is completely whimsical, because, like nuclear weapons,
    guns are HERE and they are not going to go away. You cannot just vaporize them.
    Honest people might be compelled to turn in their weapons; criminals clearly
    will not. So what do you propose? Forget the moral high ground of gun ownership.
    Again a simple truth, often maligned but demonstrably dead-on accurate: When
    guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.
  2. silverbear

    silverbear Semi-Official Loose Cannon

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    Care to share with us what wingnut you're quoting in all these simplistic rants??
  3. ologan

    ologan Well-Known Member

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    :hammer: Thanks III
  4. burmafrd

    burmafrd Well-Known Member

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    bear, seeing the way you are whining it must have hit a nerve. Which is just what I wanted.
  5. silverbear

    silverbear Semi-Official Loose Cannon

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    So, you're too chicken to cite your source... I can only assume that's because the source is such a whack job that you know you'd just get laughed at if you admitted who it is...

    As for "whining", though, I don't see where you get that from my post... I asked who the source is, and insinuated he was probably a wingnut goin' off on a series of rants...

    That's a sarcastic dismissal of the opinions expressed, not "whining"...

    FWIW, if "hitting a nerve" is all you're about, wanna bet I could, if I so chose, make your political trolling look like a kid's game?? Wanna bet that I could go out and bring back literally dozens of articles a week stone guaranteed to upset your little right wing world view??

    Go ahead and play the political troll, then... if I choose to go down that road, it will be some months closer to the next election...
  6. Rackat

    Rackat Active Member

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    Who cares? Are you unable to just reply to the post, or must you make it personal? What the heck does it matter who the source is. As the title says it is "food for thought", not "look at who I cited". Answer the post or leave it alone man. Instead of making a personal "are you too chicken" post, just respond to what was said. This is not high school and you're old enough to know better.
  7. burmafrd

    burmafrd Well-Known Member

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    Bear has no reply so he attacks the source. typical liberal.
  8. burmafrd

    burmafrd Well-Known Member

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    Bear is not capable of replying to the post. He cannot argue logically so he just attacks me. Tell me bear, why does it matter WHO said it? It DOESN'T as long as its logical and provokes thought. Now that rant by Osama was not logical and was whacked out- but then do you care?
  9. burmafrd

    burmafrd Well-Known Member

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    So B ear- if you have the GUTS. Reply to the post logically and reasonably. Otherwise you have nothing to say.
  10. Rackat

    Rackat Active Member

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    You don't help your own case dude. Ease off the trolling.
  11. Rackat

    Rackat Active Member

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    I believe he is more than capable. Why he doesn't I do not know. But, as I said, you're not helping your case.
  12. Rackat

    Rackat Active Member

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    Do you know when to leave well enough alone?
  13. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Lost in the Woods

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    The source.
  14. burmafrd

    burmafrd Well-Known Member

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    If bear had bothered the last one gave the name Proteus. But he really was just looking for a reason to discredit it- not answer it.
  15. silverbear

    silverbear Semi-Official Loose Cannon

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    Given the opinions expressed, the credibility of the source is relevant...

    Chuckle... this from the guy who freely admits his agenda in posting these threads was to piss people off...

    Naw, nothin' hypocritical in THAT little diatribe...

    My, my... all this angst, and all because I was so completely outrageous as to ask you to cite your source... you'll note that when I post other people's thoughts in this or any other forum, I note my sources...

    But that's what anybody with a little intellectual integrity would do, I don't deserve special credit for that... what's sad is that you're too ashamed of your sources to admit who they are...
  16. silverbear

    silverbear Semi-Official Loose Cannon

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    Asking who the source is constitutes an "attack"??

    And who exactly are you calling a "typical liberal"??

    Seems to me a "typical liberal" would be a big fan of Hillary Clinton and Teddy Kennedy... I'm not...

    Nope, what we have here is the stereotypical deflection attempt by a right wing zealot when he's challenged to defend his argument... apparently, it's easier for you to deflect rather than attempt such a defense...
  17. silverbear

    silverbear Semi-Official Loose Cannon

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    Chuckle... for somebody who "wanted to hit a nerve", it seems like it's YOUR nerves that got stepped on...

    You're not real good at this trolling thing, are you??
  18. silverbear

    silverbear Semi-Official Loose Cannon

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    If Burma ever find the cojones to admit who his source is, I might decide it's worth my time to respond... until then, that lengthy series of rants isn't nearly worth the bother, so I'll merely content myself with calling them the rants they are...
  19. silverbear

    silverbear Semi-Official Loose Cannon

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    I've got him all bent out of shape... and I wasn't even really trying, LOL... one little sentence, and burm's off the deep end...

    Sic semper trollius...
  20. silverbear

    silverbear Semi-Official Loose Cannon

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    Ahhh, now I see-- burma won't cite his source because he CAN'T cite it; this whack job posts anonymously...

    And a whack job he is... he compounds the felony by being the most stupefyingly BORING writer this side of George Will...

    Why am I not surprised that burma thinks highly of a whack job who doesn't even have the cojones to put his name on his work??

    Thanks for sharing that website with me, Sasquatch, when I went there it was further out there than any I've ever seen... I mean, those guys sound like they're trying to put together their own freakin' cult...

    "Ejectia"?? Is he SERIOUS about that??

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA... if this is a sample of the input that burma uses as the basis for his views of the world, no wonder he's the way he is...

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