A Very Personal Opposition to Gun Control

(From here)


Please forgive this foreword…

This is arguably the most important essay I've written thus far.  If you like it, please share it.  Gun control must be stopped, and I'll indulge in ego to think I've created a compelling argument (at least, for those with open minds).

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As an introduction to the topic of guns and society, let me refer you to these excellent resources as overall “starter materials in general”:

·         ARMED by Don Kates and Gary Kleck

·         MORE GUNS, LESS CRIME by John Lott

·         UNDER THE GUN by James Wright, Peter Rossi, Kathleen Daly

·         THE SAMURAI, THE MOUNTIE AND THE COWBOY by David Kopel


·         GUNS AND VIOLENCE: THE ENGLISH EXPERIENCE by Joyce Lee Malcolm

This is, of course, nowhere near a comprehensive list, and if you have others please put them in the comments… but strong general information about firearms use and gun rights nonetheless.

[NUMBER ONE WITH A BULLET]

[YOUR SECOND AMENDMENT]

DEFENSIVE GUN USAGE
Many of the arguments presented in opposition to gun control revolve around crime and the deterrent use of firearms against criminals.  And there is that "practical-slant" argument path.  Multiple scholars / researchers have contributed to that debate about guns and crime, e.g., Gary Kleck, Don Kates, John Lott, James Wright, Peter Rossi, Joyce Lee Malcolm, David Kopel, and others  (Though if you’ll allow me the indulgence of being persnickety, as someone more than passingly-familiar with statistics it irks me when people cite Kleck’s work as showing 2.5 million DGUs per year; actually, it’s a range, from 600,000-odd to 2.something million per year.  That higher number cannot be quoted as being a proven number, merely the upper end of an estimated confidence interval.)


[Larry Elder - Larry Elder on the Left's Call for Gun Control] 

As it happens I know two people – civilians – who have used guns to defend themselves against criminals; one was told, explicitly, by the police that it was only their having a handgun that prevented their assault and rape.  So defensive gun uses are not fantasy.  And this is certainly a practical argument on which to rest a case: after all, while there are the visible misuses, often missing from the debate is what is not seen, i.e., the defensive uses specifically, and deterrent effect generally.
It was, interestingly, one of my “Red Pill” experiences that shifted my perspective on guns; related to guns and self-defense, I wrote about it in my essay, The Leftist Sense of Self:

I was living in the Midwest when my police officer neighbor remarked that I should get a gun for self-defense. Having been raised, all my life, to believe that civilian gun ownership was wrong, it shocked me to my core that – of all people – a cop was telling me this.
Unlike most Leftists – and have no doubt that I still was one – I didn’t dismiss this as a flier data point stated by a knuckledraggingslopedforeheadredneck, but rather it made me think those great two words that often stand at the threshold of a new insight: That’s weird…
There’s more about this sea-change moment in my thinking about firearms at the link.  But crime deterrence is not my lynchpin reason for opposing gun control.

SERIOUSNESS AT A BIRTHDAY PARTY
A few weeks before the horrific school shooting in Florida I was talking with a fellow parent at a child’s birthday party.  He is an American, but lived in Ukraine for several years with his wife; a veteran, he is leveraging his GI benefits and is applying to study for a PhD in Neuroscience at a local university.

With that revelation I brought up my take on the threat-recognition –> fear –> fight/flight survival response that is the key to survival – the apparent atrophy of which I believe is present in broad swaths of today’s modern society in Western nations and which I discussed in Civilizational Collapse and the Brain.  I outlined my hypothesis to him:

Any advanced and thriving civilization has large numbers of people – especially at the top of the pile – who are comfortable and safe, and are so for generations.  This lack of meaningful threats, from birth onward, causes the amygdalae structures in the brain to not fully develop compared to prior, more stressed, generations because of a lack of stimulation; thus, the ability to recognize actual threats has atrophied.  This leads to the society as an aggregate, and the leadership class in particular, taking actions that they do not recognize as dangerous, which result in the collapse of the civilization.
He agreed that this sounded quite possible based on his readings thus far.  He observed that I wear a yarmulke and mentioned that among the people he met in the Ukraine was a group of Holocaust (Shoah) survivors.  I was fascinated by his account of these people, and how – almost universally – they had not seen it coming.  Once they did see it approaching they did not believe it would be as bad as it was… nor, implicitly, did any of them believe how fast it would overwhelm leaving them no lead time to flee.  Or at attempt resistance.
(Image source here)
THE CHANT OF THE SHEEPLE

I’ve talked with my Jewish relatives about the Shoah and our mutual relations who were murdered in it.  In remembrance of one such relative my son’s Hebrew name is taken from someone in my family who, along with his wife and son, were killed in Auschwitz. 
(Pre-WWII, c.1930)

I’ve spoken with other Jews I know; few Jews do not have branches missing from their family tree.  I’ve also spoken with people in general as the subject comes up, about the connection between genocides and its necessary precondition, civilian disarmament – as highlighted in the following materials:

·         Innocents Betrayed DVD or VHS


·         Death by “Gun Control”

The evidence of history is clear in this chart:



Whether from my relatives who lived through the Shoah, albeit in America, other American Jews, or just other people in general with whom a discussion has evolved to this subject, the reply – with, admittedly, a few exceptions – is almost always the same:

Oh, that can’t happen here!
(Side note: My wife grew up in the former USSR; she has related, multiple times, that during its break-up there were months when they literally didn’t know where their next meal was coming from.  I’m something of a prepper in general.  A couple of years ago some of my in-laws visited, and they were all laughing at the “grocery store” I had in the basement.  When I quizzed them about why they were amused, in light of their actual experience, guess what they said?  “That can’t happen in America”.  Sigh.)


Her homeland, now also an independent country, had its own genocide from Stalin's starvation tactics.  He didn't just target the Ukraine: Stalin starved populations to death to russify Ukraine, North Caucasus and Kazakhstan, statistics show.  In the case of my wife's country, Stalin's pogrom-by-starvation killed 1/3 of the population.  Understand this: one third of an entire country wiped out.  He starved them to death.


THE GROUND CAN SHIFT, AND QUICKLY


[Gun Control is Genocide - documentary by Mike Adams]
In the short but truly excellent essay Stability Privilege: Why the American Left Thinks Gun Control is a Good Idea, the writer builds a solid argument against gun control, but one paragraph struck me as critical – the speed with which things can change:
Try to remember that Sarajevo once hosted an Olympics.  Remember that Beirut used to be called “The Paris of the Middle East.”  Remember that women used to wear lipstick and miniskirts in Tehran.

(Image source here)

On that last one, Iran specifically, I was there – albeit as a young boy.  I remember people, women included, in western clothing participating in society, not shunted aside as chattel, i.e., sex receptacles and baby factories in mobile tents.  I also remember the dissatisfaction at the Shah voiced by people we met, and hopes for a “new future” should he be overthrown and the Ayatollah Khomeini come to govern.  (I wish I could ask those who desired this, "So, how'd that work out?")  This article about the result of that revolution, History Lessons from Years Under Islamism, contains a twin warnings: the first, how the soft words of an aspiring tyrant can deceive a people desirous of “hope and change”, and second, a stark warning about how fast that thuggish government can flip things to the worse (links are in the original, bolding added):
My generation in Iran should be seen as a lesson for the West. Almost every state (and non-state actors) underestimated the power that these Islamists could wield. Warning signs were overlooked. No one believed that such a massive change could occur and be enforced. Many underestimated the crimes that these Islamists were willing to commit to maintain their power once they came into control. To this day, they continue to prove that there are no limits to the cruelty and lack of humanity that they will engage in, such as conducting mass executions, executing children and pregnant women, stoning, amputations, public hanging, flogging, torture, and rape just to maintain this power.


(Image from the article quoted above)
And check out the presentation by Jamie Glazov’s Iran-born producer Anni Cyrus where she discussed Sharia Law's rollout and highlights just how quickly freedoms evaporated after the Iranian Mullahs took over.  Weeks.

Afghanistan has a similar modern history: Life before the Taliban: Fascinating photos show short skirts, flash cars and no burkas before Afghanistan plunged into hell.  This is not limited to the Middle East: people from varied countries not as fortunate as the US know what can happen (bolding added):
I immigrated to the United States from a continent that had nearly destroyed itself in World War II.  The war was the end product of the ascension to power of various egomaniacs, steeped in socialist-Marxist ideology, determined to amass all political power within their countries.  Once elected to office, these despots began to centralize their authority and eliminate all individual freedoms and democratic institutions.  As they lived in nations that historically did not allow unfettered gun ownership, the people were incapable of stopping the inexorable seizure of power, and many paid the price as nearly 40 million were killed and untold millions displaced during the war.

Here in America, still within living memory, a Democrat ordered the round-up of persons of Japan descent who were deprived of property, herded into camps, and – fortunately – released and compensated.  Now, imagine if WWII had turned south in the Pacific; would America have turned genocidal against these people?  We don’t know and I'd like to think not, but... can you honestly rule it out?
And before the rise of Nazi Germany, Jews were a percent or two of the population but significant proportions of doctors, dentists, lawyers, and scientists:

[D]uring Germany’s Weimar Republic, Jews were only 1 percent of the German population, but they were 10 percent of the country’s doctors and dentists, 17 percent of its lawyers, and a large percentage of its scientific community. Jews won 27 percent of Nobel Prizes won by Germans.
That certainly does not sound like a society that, despite a mild "environmental" anti-Semitism, was seething with genocidal ambitions.  Multiple articles over the years have convinced me that that telling pre-WWI Germans that their country would be herding Jews (and others) into purpose-built death factories to be murdered by the millions would have been disbelieved utterly.  Professor and author (and notable scholar in general) Walter E. Williams likewise concludes his article, How to Assist Evil, with this sentence:

No German who died before 1930 would have believed the Holocaust possible.
(HT Irish)

The Second Amendment was, specifically, put in to give The People teeth in protecting themselves against such tyranny:

The ultimate reason that that amendment came to be was something just as crucial (perhaps more, if that's possible) as personal or family protection -- and I bet almost everyone in that CPAC crowd knew it.

It was for the citizenry to protect themselves against a tyrannical government.

But isn't that from a different era, you might ask, when people were running around with muskets?  Hardly.  In 1938, Hitler forbid all Germany's Jews from having guns.  We know where he went from there.  Stalin and Mao, the two greatest mass murderers of history, controlled the weaponry in their societies.  "Power," Mao famously wrote in the Little Red Book, "comes from the barrel of a gun.

TO GET PEOPLE TO DO EVIL, CONVINCE THEM THEY ARE DOING GOOD
“The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.”
– Louis Dembitz Brandeis, Whitney v. California 1927
(HT to Professor Williams, link above)
One of the concepts of which I’ve become aware in the last year or so is the idea that the “common man” actually has strong inhibitors against mass murder in most societies - and overall, I believe it.  Although there were, obviously, conscienceless persons who saw the enrichment and power opportunities and went for them whole-hog without regret *cough cough* George Soros *cough cough*, the vast majority of people – were a person in power to suddenly come out and announce an unprecedented pogrom against a specific demographic, or a sudden switch from an open government to a tyrannical one – would not accept this.

In the case of the Shoah in particular, though from my readings this seems to be a general pattern, there needs to be a years-long, perhaps even decades-long, drip-drip-drip of propaganda venom slowly turning that target from valued to pariah.  For example, the Jews were changed from valued members of society to an evil that had to be eliminated.  Once people believed that Jews were behind their Weimar-hyperinflation suffering (and, doubtless, myriad other "crimes against German people"), their elimination became seen as a moral good and national necessity.  From Einat Wilf and the War of Words against Israel, the writer starts by looking at criticism of Israel today – and let me be clear, no nation is above reproach – and they highlight the sinister reason behind the “Apartheid” and “genocide” accusations aimed nonstop at Israel (bolding added):

"Don't be fooled. this has not been an accidental strategy. It has a clear purpose. The purpose is not criticism of Israel nor a discussion of the issues; the purpose is to paint Israel and Zionism as the ultimate evil. These words [specifically Apartheid and genocide] are chosen because they have become associated in the global mindset with evil. If Israel and Zionism are the ultimate evil, then shouldn't people of good will do something to make sure that that evil is erased from the face from of the earth? Even the Nazis were convinced they were doing something good. Their minds had been prepared to such an extent that they believed that by eliminating the Jewish people, they were in fact serving the world; doing something good for the world, ridding it of a disease. So, if you think about it and history, the greatest atrocities have been preceded by the preparation of people's minds. This is what we're seeing today. This is the nature of this war."
Because only a person convinced he doing good by ridding the world of a great evil could do this:

Now remember that the Left’s guiding star, Saul Alinsky, had this to say (bolding added):
“There can be no conversation between the organizer and his opponents. The latter must be depicted as being evil.

Just as most modern Leftists view anyone to the right of Stalin.  What do you think his rule "Pick a target, freeze it, polarize it..." means as applied?  It means painting the other side not as the Principled Opposition but as the Irredeemably Vile Enemy.  Because such people, eventually, get herded into camps.  The Left is good at camps; they've had lots of practice. 

THEN AND NOW
Unrepentant domestic terrorist and Communist Bill Ayers, that “some guy in the neighborhood” in whose house – by random chance, of course </sarcasm> – Barack Obama launched his political career, and his Weatherman group, planned the elimination of an estimated 25 million people who wouldn’t go along with their revolution (don’t bother going to the youtube link from where this quote is taken – it’s been pulled for “hate speech”; bolding added):

They also believed that their immediate responsibility would be to protect against what they called the counter revolution and they felt that this counter revolution could best be guarded against by creating and establishing reeducation centers in the Southwest where would take all the people who needed to be reeducated into the new way of thinking and teach them how things were going to be.
I asked, well, what is going to happen to those people that we can’t reeducate that are diehard capitalists and the reply was that they’d have to be eliminated. And when I pursued this further they estimated that they would have to eliminate 25 million people in these reeducation centers. And when I say eliminate I mean kill – 25 million people.

I want you to imagine sitting in a room with 25 people most of which have graduate degrees from Columbia and other well known educational centers and hear them figuring out the logistics for the elimination of 25 million people and they were dead serious."
(Side note about the video removal: “hate speech” = telling the truth about the Left.)

So now, for just one example, consider the mentality of “climate change” alarmists who made this video:

In other words, kill those who don’t go along with the program.  While paying attention to the environment is certainly important, there are people who – quite literally – believe that CO2 emissions by mankind will end life on earth.  Not disrupt civilization.  Not destroy mankind.  End life on earth (bolding added):
A year ago a senior fellow emeritus at Britain's Policy Studies Institute, Mayer Hillman, author of How We Can Save the Planet, told a reporter, "When the chips are down I think democracy is a less important goal than is the protection of the planet from the death of life, the end of life on it. This [rationing] has got to be imposed on people whether they like it or not."

Anyone who opposes saving all life on earth is irredeemably evil; so their elimination is a moral necessity.

The article goes on to praise authoritarian China as a model, precisely because of absolute governmental power and a monopoly on force (an estimated 60 million dead - and all because those killing in the "Cultural Revolution" had been convinced they were doing a good thing for China). 

(Image from here)
From just a little earlier in the article quoted above:

Al Gore … [argued] that the environment should be the "central organizing principle" of civilization, he suggested that the problem with individual liberty is that we have too much of it. This preference for soft despotism has become more concrete with the increasing panic over global warming in the past few years. Several environmental authors now argue openly that democracy itself is the obstacle and needs to be abandoned.
Think about it!  If you truly believed that mankind’s CO2 emissions would end life on earth, what actions could you not rationalize?  In their view, democracy needs to take a back seat to “climate justice”.

More broadly, the Left have been attacking Conservatives for a long, long time; e.g., Violent Democrats: Attacking And Killing Republicans Since 1866:
From the inception of the Republican Party in 1854 as the anti-slavery party until today, Democrats have viscerally opposed the values of Republicans.

Imbued with deep-seated hatred of Republicans, Democrats started the Ku Klux Klan in 1866 that became the terrorist arm of the Democratic Party.
The Klan killed over 3,000 Republicans, 1000 white and over 2,000 black Republicans.

And let’s look at the contemporary genocidal rage at Trump voters (a hat-trick of examples... among legion):
ACLU board member calls for Trump supporters to be shot 'before election day'

That rage has taken form in physical attacks on Trump supporters, riots on college campuses over Conservative speakers like Milo, doxing Conservatives to get them fired - never mind actual stalking, and the shooting of Republican Congressmen.  And myriad other examples. 

These are not just random, one-off events... . they're recruiting, and training, and organizing.  And allied with Islamists against the West in general, and America in particular.

FUNCTION AND SYMBOLISM

A flag is, objectively, a piece of multi-colored cloth.  But seeing Old Glory waving in a soft breeze makes my heart swell with my love for America, its freedoms, and I remember the men and women who gave some – or even all – for that freedom.  In my case, my multiple ancestors who fought in the American Revolution (four at last count in my genealogical research).

“That rifle on the wall of the labourer’s cottage or working class flat is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there.”
— George Orwell
Like a flag, a gun not just a functional tool – whether for hunting or self-defense – my guns and ammunition are symbols of my ability to say NO, I WILL NOT. And, yes, I know I may die… but at least I’ll be in good company:

Live free or die – death is not the worst of evils.  – General John Stark

Give me liberty or give me death! – Patrick Henry

It is better to perish than live as slaves. -- Winston Churchill

So to those who want my guns, understand this: I’ve learned my lesson as a Jew – NEVER AGAIN will I be teased with the hope of a “work camp” or honeyed words that relocations or confiscations of things are temporary.  NEVER AGAIN will I trust a government to protect me; I only have the rights I'm willing to fight to protect, and it is my obligation to do so. 

As an American Liberty runs in my veins, and I would rather risk the “animating contest of freedom” than the pretend safety of slavery.  And I understand from reading both historical and the present day words of the Left that they hate me, they hate everyone not of them... and the Left has a long history of killing its enemies, from gulags, to concentration camps, to the killing fields, when they gain power.  Their rising anti-Semitism is also scary.  Between my Conservatism, my Patriotism and love of America / reverence for the Constitution, my skepticism of the Holy Writ of "Climate Change", my Judaism as well as Zionism, I have multiple crosshairs on me.

The philosophy of the Left is simple:

For the progressive, it is an article of faith that the masses will resist change and must be forced to swallow it.

And channeling C.S. Lewis, they will do it with the approval of their own consciences, for the view themselves as the new Philosopher-Kings, the enlightened ultra-moral, ultra-educated, superior intellects entitled to make people better.

This is why I own guns, and why I will fight to retain them.   I will NOT be compelled to obey what someone else tells me is "for my own good".  I will NOT be herded and/or culled like my son's namesake and his family.  I will NOT surrender that fundamental freedom to decide things for myself, and to choose my own way in the world so long as I obey the Golden Rule.  And I will NOT forget - as so many American Jews have forgotten - that the ultimate lesson of the Shoah is that if it happened once... it can happen again - and not just to Jews.  Marxism has killed over 100 million civilians in their quest to "purify" people... and I will NOT surrender my ability to say NO to that evil.

I live as a free man.  And, if necessary, I will die - but die a free man.
(Link to image source, which is particularly apt as I
have Viking ancestry on my father’s side)

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Comments

  1. What truly outrages leftists is the implied veto a heavily armed citizenry holds over their hateful, bitter, postmodern "progressive" power fantasies.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The Founders sacralized the Right to Bear Arms for three reasons: Self Defense, National Defense, Check on Tyranny.
    "The Founders didn't conjure up the right to bear arms out of thin air. They learned its value from the founders of Western civilization."

    ReplyDelete
  3. great piece. all arguments are relevant and valid .
    the clincher , for me, which is not mentioned above, is that when seconds count, the police are minutes away..... and are NOT REQUIRED TO PROTECT YOU. so says the SCOTUS in several findings.
    police are under no requirement to risk their lives to save yours. if they want to stand and watch as you are murdered, they may do that, even if they could save you, with no fear of negative action against them(beyond a slap on the wrist, to appease the public out cry).

    I am responsible for my own safety...YOU are responsible for your safety. don't give up the best self defense tool available, and if better tools come along, get them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good points, and I agree 100%. But I could write a whole essay about just DGUs, which was not the primary thrust of this axis.

      Delete
  4. Replies
    1. Thank you!

      And please do share... and come back often!

      Delete
  5. Well done. The only quibble I might make to this is that I think this is not a left-right issue, but rather a collectivist-individualist issue. You can have right-collectivists as easily as left-collectivists; John McCain springs to mind, and he is every bit as dangerous as Chuck Schumer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good point about Left/Right vs. Collectivist/Individualist.

      Nobody will stand in front of me to respect McCain's military service, but as a politician, the more I learn, the deeper my disappointment.

      Delete
    2. Why would you respect McCain's military record? Are you familiar with it? He killed more US servicemen in combat than he did enemy troops when he blew up a plane on a ship. He was not fit to be a fighter pilot- and he kept proving it over and over. Were his father not a high ranking official in military circles McCain would have been a janitor or on Kitchen Patrol during the war.

      Delete
    3. I will have to look into this. Thanks for the direction.

      Delete
  6. I too had a neighbor saved by guns.
    http://www.rottenchestnuts.com/an-argument-against-gun-control-you-probably-havent-heard/

    When I visited Israel last year, it didn't seem that odd to me. I saw a love of God, love of their nation, and armed citizens. In other words, it seemed like a typical American "red state" to me. Stay armed, brother, and stay free.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. DGUs are not uncommon, regardless of the attacker type (or species).

      Thank you for reading, and the kind words about my post. I hope my other essays are also worth your time...

      Delete
  7. Very good. I'll be back to read more.

    ReplyDelete
  8. The reason the left is so fierce in its self determination that they are the ultimate judge of right and wrong is that they are bigots, and they think they are better than anyone else. Bigots are the absolute lowest of humans. Because they are at the bottom of humanity they have Dunning-Kruger false confidence that they are correct. Of course their way of doing things is inevitably disastrous leading nowhere but misery because it is thought up by bottom feeders.

    ReplyDelete

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