We have seen the enemy and the enemy is us

68

December 19, 2012 by gomw

Here we go again! Still another mass killing and the same old outrage and litany of panaceas; and once again, the emotion will recede, the NRA money will start talking again and nothing will change significantly and in a few months, it will happen still again! Here is a list of the most prominent solutions:

1. A ban on assault weapons and conversion kits. Who can logically argue against this? No one; but the NRA, backed by gun nuts, will argue against it illogically (more guns not fewer – arm the students!) and effectively. Gun control advocates in supporting their position after a horrific mass killing like Columbine or Newtown will use the specious statistics of killings in and around the home; domestic violence, suicides and accidents. The problem here is that these killings don’t involve assault weapons. A ban on assault weapons would have had no effect in Columbine because this assault was planned for days and illegal weapons are available. It would not have had an effect in Newtown because assault weapons were not used.

2. Background checks by gun dealers. Once again, who can logically argue against this? Again, no one; but the NRA and their sycophants will do it effectively with the color of money. As in Columbine, this would not have had any effect. Illegal guns are readily available. It would not have stopped the Newtown murders because the owner of the guns would have passed a background review.

3. Identification of and treatment for mentally disturbed. A poignant and convincing argument for this approach was made by Liza Long, using a real situation with her son that has the potential of becoming another Newtown-like killing. Who can argue with the logic of this approach? No one; and the program has intrinsic value beyond mass killings. The problem is that it takes money and would be opposed by the same group who oppose an assault weapons ban…or any gun control laws. It is doubtful, also, that any program could be effective in reaching enough disturbed people to be effective.

4. A ban on all guns. This is the only law that could be effective but WILL NEVER HAPPEN. The state of New York comes the closest to such a ban but with local controls superseding state law, a patchwork of rules and regulations has made the law difficult to enforce and minimally effective. What the New York law has done is successfully challenged the gun lobby claim that gun control laws are in violation of the 2nd Amendment. It is obvious that the amendment was not intended to permit the unfettered possession of arms by the general public. Such a law, a total ban, would be opposed emotionally and effectively by a majority of US voters whose love of the gun may be as strong, or stronger, than the love of the automobile. There are a number of reasons people want guns in their home:

Self protection. This is a legitimate concern but futile. I have a gun for such a reason but am under no delusion that it is anything more than visceral and would have no problem turning mine in if required by law.

Hunting weapons. The love of hunting in pervasive.

Gun collections. Many people have an interest in weapons historically. Personally, I would be interested in visiting a museum to see all the weapons I was trained to use while in the army. I don’t need them in my family room, however. Many gun collectors, however, transcend an historical interest and have become part of the small but growing militia mindset. They see themselves as the last line of defense against a tyrannical government which is inexorably, and by conspiratorial design, destined to enslave the people. This feeling was apparent during the early so called town hall meetings which gave birth to the Teaparty. These meetings, sponsored by those like the Koch Brothers, were attended by a group who had grievances that were inconsistent with each other. The one thing they had in common was the unwillingness to accept an African American as president. The use of guns, as displayed at their rallies, was seen as the “final solution” to their dilemma.

For whatever reason, violence and guns have become part of the American montage. It pervades our government, entertainment and international politics. I don’t pretend to understand how this happened. We are like Sicily with organization. Killing is still the paramount part of the “final solution.” We still worship the “wild west.” Movies like the spaghetti westerns didn’t make us like this, our attitude inspired the spaghetti westerns. Clint Eastwood and the Duke never even stuck around long enough to bury their victims. It has finally pervaded our national policy. We no longer defend our country with troops on the ready in our borders. The 82nd Airborne, America’s guard of honor, is deployed in the middle east. Dick Cheney’s one-percent doctrine was the unannounced but de facto policy of the Bush Administration. We invaded Iraq using the excuse, the public one anyway, that they might someday have nuclear weapons and might someday use them against us. Hundreds of thousand Iraqis were killed, along with thousands of Americans, because of it.

We have learned that this kind of murder is too expensive so have pared our preemptive murders, with the Drone attacks, down to where a minimal number of people are killed in order to kill someone who might have planned an attack against us or might someday do so. No one can argue the effectiveness and economy of this approach but an American should ask how many innocent victims is it appropriate to kill in order to prevent another 9/11. We like to call ourselves a Christian nation, in fact there are some who will kill to prove it, but we need to ask the question in considering the above question, “What would Christ do?”

Is it terribly surprising that a mentally or emotional disturbed person, or an out of control malcontent, would resort to guns and murder as their “final solution”? We have seen the enemy and the enemy is us!

68 thoughts on “We have seen the enemy and the enemy is us

  1. Floyd Fitzgibbons says:

    Gun-free zones are victim-rich environments. Is it any wonder these killers chose places like schools and a gun-banned theater? There has never been a mass-killing at a gun store or a shooting range. The reason is pure logic. It’s an outrage that everyone at that school was left defenseless by gun-control. There will be blood on the hands of more than the killers as long gun-control advocates leave people unarmed against criminals and the insane.

    • gomw says:

      Thank you for proving my point! Yep, there’s the “logical answer”. Arm the kids! As a matter of fact the worst mass killing in US history happened on a campus protected by police who were aware of his being a problem..
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginia_Tech_massacre_timeline

      • Joel says:

        “Under no pretext should arms and ammunition be surrendered; any attempt to disarm the workers must be frustrated, by force if necessary.” Karl Marx and Frederick Engels http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1847/communist-league/1850-ad1.htm

      • stockoneder says:

        Nobody is suggesting the kids be armed but the teachers could be.
        I don’t think you understand what an inalienable right is. Rights are inherent to every human born on the planet. How an inalienable right is exercised and protected is up to the individual who has it. Neither you nor I, or any other group or entity can tell somebody how the use their rights. So if somebody wants to protect their life and property with a gun, any gun, is up to them and them alone. It is none of your business at all. And by the way a gun is the best tool for self-defense on the planet. If you disagree explain to me why all the “law enforcers” use them to protect themselves?

  2. jt says:

    Here’s another point of view for your consideration.

    http://lewrockwell.com/shaffer/shaffer264.html

    • gomw says:

      More of the same!

      After reading 4 or 5 paragraphs, I quit. The point of my post was that the guns aren’t the problem. The problem is the people who think they are necessary and how we have become conditioned to settling our problems violently. Shaffer’s article is little more than sophistry. I agree about the brutal deaths of people in countries we have invaded but it has nothing to do the murder of children in New Town. If I close my eyes, I can see Shaffer running through the woods in combat pants. I’m for gun control just because it’s morally right. I have no delusions about it ever happening or about it stopping the killing. Our problem isn’t guns, it’s the economy. The Second Amendment is neither in danger or important.

  3. You might want to add homeschooling to that list of solutions. As for what would Christ do, well, He certainly wouldn’t restrict the Bill of Rights.

  4. scootd28 says:

    You left out one reason why people want to have guns. To protect ourselves against the increasing encroachments on liberty. Actually, in my mind, that is the overriding reason. Thanks for your thoughts. We are in agreement.

    • gomw says:

      Actually, I didn’t leave that out. It was included. In my view, this is the most irrational reason of all. Any threat from the government would come from the Teaparty and it would be in form of political action – to which your guns would be useless. Take a look at the Patriot Act if you want to see a threat to your freedom. And if government did ever get physical with you, see Tariq’s comments. Also note his comments about the prisons and add the use of prisoners (eliminating jobs) in manufacturing products you use.

  5. tariq says:

    To those who think you need guns to protect America from government tyranny, we have actual tyranny in this country in the form of the prison industrial complex, with millions of people incarcerated — a minority that are actually dangerous, violent people, and a majority that are in for minor offenses and who pose no danger to society. What are you and your gun-nut buddies doing to protect America from that real tyranny? Nothing, because your talk about fighting tyranny with your guns is bogus, really you just live in fantasy world.

    Secondly, about this idea that you need to be able to protect yourself from the government; do you really think that you and your balding, overweight, middle-aged, impotent, militia buddies with your guns could take on the Navy Seals? How the hell are you guys with your guns supposed to defeat the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, or America’s increasingly militarized police force? You live in a fantasy world. Get real. Your guns do not protect anyone’s freedom. This isn’t a movie, its real life.

  6. Forest Simmons says:

    I’ve been reading John Dean’s book, “Conservatives without Conscience,” a title that he and his close friend Barry Goldwater decided on for a book to be co-authored together. Goldwater died shortly after the start of the project, so he is not listed as a co-author.

    There are dozens of branches of conservatism, but the maini thing they have in common is an intense hatred for :liberals.”

    I’m afraid that the guns are intended for use against perceived liberals.

      • tariq says:

        Joel, The Panthers hardly represent the modern gun-nut movement. Do you have anything relevant to say?

      • Joel says:

        In the context of this conversation, it is relevant to point out that not all advocates of private gun ownership are conservative gun nuts and that leftists (as opposed to reactionaries for managerial-state-capitalism: aka liberals) from Karl Marx to Huey Newton have viewed the personal possession of firearms as a useful and necessary tool for resisting oppression.

      • I went to Urban Dictionary to look up the definition of gun-nut. Here is what it said:

        1. Gun Nut

        The term used by idiotic people who can’t respect the fact a person likes something (Guns) they don’t.

        Also, a “Gun Nut” is often a normal person, but gets a negative label simply because of other people’s intolerance to their interests.

        Shooter “i like firearms, i’ve been a sports shooter for 10 years”

        Anti-Gunner “Oh great, another gun nut”

        Shooter “And?, do I think of rude terms to call you by if I don’t happen to like what your doing?”

        Anti-Gunner *goes on about how he will shoot lots of innocent children because he owns a gun – despite the fact he’s owned a gun for 10 years and no ones died yet*

        2. gun nut

        1. A person who takes a keen interest in firearms and ammunition, possibly including the study, peer discussion, ownership, bearing and use thereof – usually used playingly by oneself or by other firearms enthusiasts in this sense. Often associates with people with similar interests.

        2. A person who takes seemingly morbid interest in firearms out of a belief that they provide protection, security and freedom while appearing scary to the uninitiated – usually used derogatively by non-gun people, particularly those who are scared of firearms.

        Me: I keep my AR-15 mags loaded with hollow points for reduced penetration and higher stopping power for riot protection.

        I think if I had a choice between being labeled a gun-nut and a gun rights infringer, I’d choose the former.
        Everyone else: You’re just another dangerous Second Amendment freak, a raving gun nut.

      • Ah, that last part was pasted wrong. The part that says

        Everyone else: You’re just another dangerous Second Amendment freak, a raving gun nut.

        should have been put as part of the block quote, so that it read like this:

        Me: I keep my AR-15 mags loaded with hollow points for reduced penetration and higher stopping power for riot protection.

        Everyone else: You’re just another dangerous Second Amendment freak, a raving gun nut.

        The following words, which came after the block quote, were my own words: “I think if I had a choice between being labeled a gun-nut and a gun rights infringer, I’d choose the former.”

  7. Notice to the admins: my December 19th comment is still in moderation.

  8. brooksww says:

    To LDS Anarchist. There is absolutely no need to search for definitions of gun nut. You have defined it for us. BTW, I own a gun. I carried one as a cop and I was trained in all the weapons the infantry possessed during the Korean War. I was in an Anti-Tank and Mine platoon in the 82nd Airborne. As Tariq suggested, if you ever attacked the United States, your little rebellion could be put down in a manner of minutes. Have you ever seen a rocket go through a tank? As for the United States government attacking you. Foolish, almost wishful, thinking on the part of “GUN NUTS.”

  9. brooksww says:

    To LDS Anarchist and others who like to link gun control laws to government brutality and use Nazi Germany as example, you need to read something other than NRA propaganda and watch something other than Faux News.

    Unfortunately for those who would like to link Hitler and the National Socialists with gun control, the entire premise for such an effort is false. German firearms legislation under Hitler, far from banning private ownership, actually facilitated the keeping and bearing of arms by German citizens by eliminating or ameliorating restrictive laws which had been enacted by the government preceding his: a left-center government which had contained a number of Jews.

    It is not just that the National Socialist firearms legislation was the opposite of what it has been claimed to have been by persons who want to tar modern gun-grabbers with the “Nazi” brush: the whole spirit of Hitler’s government was starkly different from its portrayal by America’s mass media. The facts, in brief, are these:

    The National Socialist government of Germany, unlike the government in Washington today, did not fear its citizens. Adolf Hitler was the most popular leader Germany has ever had. Unlike American presidents, he did not have to wear body armor and have shields of bulletproof glass in front of him whenever he spoke in public. At public celebrations he rode standing in an open car as it moved slowly through cheering crowds. Communists made several attempts to assassinate him, and his government stamped down hard on communism, virtually wiping it out in Germany. Between upright, law-abiding German citizens and Adolf Hitler, however, there was a real love affair, with mutual trust and respect.

    The spirit of National Socialism was one of manliness, and individual self-defense and self- reliance were central to the National Socialist view of the way a citizen should behave. The notion of banning firearms ownership was utterly alien to National Socialism. In the German universities, where National Socialism gained its earliest footholds and which later became its strongest bastions, dueling was an accepted practice. Although the liberal-Jewish governments in Germany after the First World War attempted to ban dueling, it persisted illegally until it was again legalized by the National Socialists. Fencing, target shooting, and other martial arts were immensely popular in Germany, and the National Socialists encouraged young Germans to become proficient in these activities, believing that they were important for the development of a man’s character.

    Gun registration and licensing (for long guns as well as for handguns) were legislated by an anti-National Socialist government in Germany in 1928, five years before the National Socialists gained power. Hitler became Chancellor on January 30, 1933. Five years later his government got around to rewriting the gun law enacted a decade earlier by his predecessors, substantially amel ior a ting it in the process (for example, long guns were exempted from the requirement for a purchase permit; the legal age for gun ownership was lowered from 20 to 18 years; the period of validity of a permit to carry weapons was extended from one to three years; and provisions restricting the amount of ammunition or the number of firearms an individual could own were dropped). Hitler’s government may be criticized for leaving certain restrictions and licensing requirements in the law, but the National Socialists had no intention of preventing law-abiding Germans from keeping or bearing arms. Again, the firearms law enacted by Hitler’s government enhanced the rights of Germans to keep and bear arms; no new restrictions were added, and many pre-existing restrictions were relaxed or eliminated.

    At the end of the Second World War, American GIs in the occupying force were astounded to discover how many German civilians owned private firearms. Tens of thousands of pistols looted from German homes by GIs were brought back to the United States after the war. In 1945 General Eisenhower ordered all privately owned firearms in the American occupation zone of Germany confiscated, and Germans were required to hand in their shotguns and rifles as well as any handguns which had not already been stolen. In the Soviet occupation zone German civilians were summarily shot if they were found in possession of even a single cartridge.

    http://www.natvan.com/national-vanguard/assorted/gunhitler.html

    Also the absence of firearms control never protected negro slaves from brutality from the government in the south or the early LDS from persecution from the “Christian” neighbors.

    • For realz? You defend the Nazis to support your position of gun rights infringement? Is there no length that gun rights infringers will not go to?

      The Lord has given us the charge in D&C 98 to befriend that constitutional law that supports the principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges. We call that part the Bil of Rights. Those who do so are justified by the Lord. You cannot oppose the right to keep and bear arms and remain justified before the Lord. Infringers of this and other rights, or those who seek to have these rights infringed, are sinners. Here’s another video in case you don’t know the meaning of “shall not be infringed.”

      Btw, that first video I linked to was not NRA propaganda. It was produced by the Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership. You know, those same people who actually suffered, died and (some) lived through the Holocaust? Why don’t you contact them and inform them that their information on the Nazis is historically incorrect. Also, that video covered a bunch of different regimes throughout the world, but you only focused in on the Nazis. Care to comment on those other regimes and their disarmament policies?

      • With all due respect LDSA, I don’t think Brooks was defending the Nazis in order to support her point–particularly since she’s taken the opposite stance of the National Socialists she’s describing…

      • Jeremiah, what Brooks was doing was bringing up the one disputed point of the video, without addressing all the other undisputed points, trying to focus the issue on only the Nazis, to cast doubt upon the accuracy of the video. The video was not about the Nazis, it was about how history shows that when people are disarmed, they become sitting ducks for easy pickings, and history shows that the tendency is toward picking off those ducks. The Nazis were not even the main focus of the video, but were just one of many examples given. But since the video did bring it up, it was now painting gun grabbers with the Nazi brush, according to Brooks, and therefore, was not to be trusted.

        If Brooks is serious about historical accuracy, she can address the other historical inaccuracies she suggests that the video has, about the other regimes it brings up, and not focus on the one, single contested issue.

  10. brooksww says:

    1. I didn’t bring the Nazis into the gun control dialogue. You did with your inane video that fails to reach the level of sophistry. I just quoted some fact that totally repudiates the central theme of the video. It doesn’t make any difference who produced the video, it is wrong and you used it as evidence, hence you are wrong.

    2. For an anarchist, you rely pretty heavily on government documents to prove your point.

    3. Since you are invoking the constitution as law, then you have to accept case law as part of the constitution. The courts have upheld many state and local laws regulating the ownership of guns. The assault weapons ban was never challenged in court and clearly possession of machine guns do not fall within the protection of the 2nd Amendment.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firearm_case_law

    3. The 2nd Amendment was passed in 1791. It didn’t portend the elevation of weaponry to the point of mass killing that goes far beyond protection. Surely, even you would not protect the right of citizens to possess mortars, rocket launchers and nuclear weapons.

    4. Since you are invoking the Far West experience, you can clearly see that the legality of possession of firearms did not protect the Saints there. There goes the theme of your video that the possession of firearms in the home could have prevented all those government atrocities.

  11. 1. That isn’t my video. When someone responds to

    You left out one reason why people want to have guns. To protect ourselves against the increasing encroachments on liberty. Actually, in my mind, that is the overriding reason.

    with

    Actually, I didn’t leave that out. It was included. In my view, this is the most irrational reason of all.

    It shows that a little historical perspective is in order, don’t you think? Hence my posting the video. That you could not repudiate the many different examples of worldwide gun control that all led to slaughtering masses of defenseless people, is not my problem. That’s yours. You chose to focus on the one issue that had two voices, the Nazis, and chose the historical view that their gun laws were just and supportive of the right to keep and bear arms. That’s fine. You can take that view. This is, after all, a disputed point, and neither side has been established as fact or false. But the other facts of the video are undisputed, and you chose not to address them, instead trying to undermine the historical accuracy of the entire video to cast doubt on those who might watch it.

    2. The only document I’ve relied upon is D&C 98, which states that we are to befriend the constitutional law that supports that principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges. Now, when most people think of the constitutional law that maintains rights and privileges, the Bill of Rights is what immediately comes to mind. But, perhaps you don’t care about what D&C 98 says about that constitutional law. Or, perhaps you think it refers to the 3/5th clause of the constitution, that talks about the rights of slave owners during apportionment. To each his own, I guess.

    3. No, I don’t have to accept case law. The Lord specifically says, “Whatsoever is more or less than this, cometh of evil.” The only thing we are to befriend is the Bill of Rights, nothing more or less than that, which includes the case law. “Shall not be infringed” is the standard of the Second Amendment, and whatever is more or less than “shall not be infringed” is unjustifiable before the Lord.

    Second 3. The Second Amendment is not for protection, or self defense. It is for warfare. Visit jpfo.org to learn this stuff in depth, or go to my blog and read the latest article for summaries.

    4. I am not claiming, nor is that video claiming, that possessing firearms can or will prevent atrocities. We don’t know the future. But keeping and bearing arms is a definite deterrent toward the encroachment of rights. This is human nature. We simply treat people with a lot more respect when we know they have the means of causing us great harm or even death. In any of those historical examples of regimes disarming their populaces and then committing mass murder in the order of hundreds of thousands and millions of deaths, it may have been that had those people been armed, their government still would have attempted to kill them. But the evil nature of humans is to prey on the weak, not on the strong. So, the outcomes of such armed struggles may have been quite different, had the people been armed.

    Now, the idea that the U.S. military is unbeatable is a fiction, a myth, perpetuated by many in this nation. We like to believe that we can’t be beat, due to our technology, but the truth of the matter is that should the American people ever seek to overthrow their government, because they believe it is tyrannical, the Lord would be on the side of the American people, for the voice of the people is what the majority believes. The American people are uniquely qualified in stopping their own government, despite all its technology. It would be a logistic nightmare for our government to wage war against its own people, for they are literally surrounded by them, and this land presents unique problems that we don’t have when fighting in other countries. There is no safety for the government, nowhere to run to. Moral would be a problem for the government army, paying its bills, etc. There are many such issues to take into consideration. So, the view that the government is all powerful and the people are weaklings, unable to handle their government, is ignorant nonsense. Under real, wartime conditions, American innovation for warfare would be found on both sides. No one wants war, but everyone knows, that should a people vs. government war happen, that no one can predict which side would win. Although, given an armed populace, the population has a decided advantage in just about everything. And this is why disarmament is pushed by all the pundits and foolish people who believe the propaganda and voluntarily give up their gun rights, and who start parroting the same propaganda to get others to do the same. Once the American people are disarmed, the government then has the tactical advantage.

    So, our duty, as latter-day saints, is to follow the word of the Lord on this issue and befriend the Second Amendment, encouraging everyone to exercise this right.

  12. brooksww says:

    To Jeremy and LDSA.
    I am not insulted by being called a woman, some of my best friends are women. LOL. I spent 6 years in the military, including two years active duty in the 82nd Airborne during the Korean War and 26 years in law enforcement; including 8 years on the street. I was a detective for two years. I know about guns. I have one. I own it for protection although I realize that it is more likely to be stolen in a burglary than used to defend myself from a home invasion. To LDSA, I am unable to reach you with logic or fact. I’m through with this dialogue. It is a waste of my time. You can take this to the bank: You will never use your gun to defend yourself from a home intruder, you will never use it to fight off your government, there are no black helicopters, This political stuff will dye down and nothing will change. So you can live in your fantasy world of heroically fighting off invasions.

    • Brooks: Sorry, my bad. I probably should’ve known your gender from some previous discussion, but my memory doesn’t always work the way I’d like it too.

      I really enjoyed your post, by the way. An interesting and troubling issue upon which I’m fairly conflicted, and I appreciate your point of view, and doubly so considering your law enforcement background…

    • I assumed you were a man until Jeremiah said you were a she. I figured that he knew since he mentioned a gender. Sorry for the mix up.

      “So you can live in your fantasy world of heroically fighting off invasions.”

      That is exactly my point. Everyone needs to just back off of infringing on everyone else’s rights. If a person wants to exercise his or her right to free speech, the press, religion, keeping and bearing arms, or whatever, as long as it’s not infringing on anyone else’s rights, who the hell cares what they do or believe about it. They have a right to exercise it however they want, whenever they want, as long as no one else is infringed. Even if they live in a fantasy world of believing that they will never be required to ever use a weapon because everyone is nice to everyone else.

      • LDSA, you were taking the lead from someone who can’t remember the name of good friends (seriously!)–I’m not a reliable person to follow when it comes to anything social. Getting myself into awkward situations like this one are standard fare. Sorry to have mislead you.

        And sorry again, Brooks!

    • dallon j says:

      a cop and a war veteran? why on earth should we accept your arguments against an armed public? you align yourself with the systems of control and power and want to disarm the people, yeah sounds awesome. more cops more military and less guns for the common people

      • gomw says:

        Not necessary!!! The thought of you running through the forest wearing camouflage pants, combat boots, waving your Uzi and yelling HOOYAH makes the point.

  13. tariq says:

    LDSA,
    Comments like “You cannot oppose the right to keep and bear arms and remain justified before the Lord,” sound crazy to me. I don’t care about being “justified before the Lord” or whatever you’re on about.

    Secondly, my use of the term “gun-nut” has nothing to do with ignorance or fear of guns. I grew up in a house that has rifles in it. I’m a military veteran. I’ve used several different types of firearms and I’ve been around many people who carry firearms. I worked with explosives that can do far more damage than any automatic rifle can.

    I use the term “gun-nut” to refer to people who have a fanatical devotion to firearms and who have deluded themselves into believing that their guns are somehow protecting freedom. This idea that the U.S. government and the U.S. general population will one day be completely at odds with each other is ridiculous to me. Where I live, almost every single LDS man I know works for the government or works for a contractor that works for the government. The American people will NEVER, on any significant scale, unite as one armed libertarian force against U.S. government tyranny, and Mormons especially will not. IT WILL NOT HAPPEN! Come back to reality.

    Most gun nuts want guns so they can feel like big tough men and so they can protect themselves from scary poor people and scary black people.

    I don’t consider the Black Panthers to be gun-nuts. They, unlike the NRA, actually were resisting tyranny, and their gun-ownership only ended up hurting them in the end, with the state using that as an excuse to justify violent repression.

    • tariq,

      I assumed you were Mormon since this is The Mormon Worker blog, but I do know that non-Mormons frequent this blog, too. So, you don’t care about being justified before the Lord, or about what Mormon scripture says. Okay. Fair enough. But, assuming you are American, (and I may be off on that, too,) surely you subscribe to the very American idea of respecting and not infringing on other people’s rights, right? If a person wants to have fanatical devotion, as you call it, to firearms, who cares? What is that to you? How does someone’s passion about firearms affect you? Only if a person takes a firearm and uses it against you can you be affected, right? Merely keeping and bearing a weapon does not injure you or anyone else, right? And if someone wants to be deluded and believe that disarming themselves makes them less of a target for bullying, or better protects their freedoms, people should be allowed to disarm themselves, right? So, if so on the one hand, why not be allowed to arm themselves for the opposite delusion? Your idea is delusion to one person, their idea is delusion to you. None of that matters. The only thing that matters is that people have a right to keep and bear arms, which shall not be infringed. End of story. Talking about what people think about arms is pointless and fruitless and not the central issue. I couldn’t care less what you think about arms or what you think about people who are devoted to them. The only thing I care about is whether you attempt to infringe upon my rights. It is anti-American to subvert, or seek to subvert, through propaganda or other means, the rights of Americans.

      • tariq says:

        “…the very American idea of respecting and not infringing on other people’s rights…”
        Of course, because only Americans respect other people’s rights. I don’t know what America you are living in, but it is not the same America I live in. Americans overall are extraordinarily into rules and regulations from the highest levels of government to the lowest levels of any ordinary homeowners association.

        Anyway, I have not advocated anyone taking away your guns or your right to own them. I was simply trying to point out the silliness of the arguments that the gun lobby relies on. To gun owners out there, just admit it, you want guns so you can feel tough like the guys in the action movies. Don’t try to pretend you are protecting anyone’s freedom or that you are America’s last line of defense against tyranny. You defend America from nothing.

      • tariq,

        The very American idea, that seems to have escaped you, in my words, is not that only Americans respect and do not infringe, but that Americans laws actually recognize rights. This is a very American concept, especially as it pertains to gun rights. Many other nations do not recognize that their people actually have such a right, nor many others, only privileges which can be granted or revoked whenever those in government deem it expedient. Anyone who says that Americans don’t have such a right, and going farther, bringing in Mormon scripture, since this is The Mormon Worker blog, regardless of your particular religious or non-religious stance, Mormon scripture takes that further by saying that the Bill of Rights, you know, that part of the Constitution that maintains rights and privileges, the Bill of Rights belongs to all mankind. So, the Lord says that all mankind have these inalienable rights, regardless of what their governments and rulers say. But, as it is the American Constitution that contains some of these rights codified, to make sure that those in government would not attempt to infringe upon them, this has become an American idea, even though it is something that everyone has.

        Rights must be asserted, otherwise, people will attempt to paint them as something other than what they are and say stuff like, “That’s not a right, that’s just a privilege that may be revoked.”

        There is nothing silly about exercising one’s right to do this, or that. The Founding Fathers would be classified as a “gun nut” by you. Thomas Jefferson had a wide assortment of military weaponry and felt that his son should choose marksmanship over any other sport, because of how they felt about firearms. The right to keep and bear arms predates the Constitution and also the Articles of Confederation. Go here to learn the history of it:

        http://jpfo.org/filegen-n-z/rkba.htm

        Everyone has a right to life, liberty, private property, peaceful assembly, free speech, the press, religion, etc. If someone were advocate infringing on your right a little, by getting the government to administer poison to you by degrees, so that your life was shortened, would that piss you off a little? Would infringing on your right to life make you upset? How about a total ban on your life, by legislation? How about if someone said that law-abiding citizens should have their right to private property taken away, either partially or fully? Would you like that right of your infringed upon? How about if they legislate incarcerating you for part of the time, or full time, based on some criteria, not related to you committing any crimes? How about if I go about saying all those named tariq ought to have their mouths taped shut 2 days out of every week, so that there wouldn’t be any vexatious speech from that quarter? Would you enjoy that right being infringed? Just how much life do you need, tariq? Just how much liberty do you need? How much private property do you need? How much peaceful assembly, free speech, free press, how much religion do you need? Do you see the point I’m making. It’s not a matter of needs or wants, it a matter of rights. You have a right to have as much life as you can get, as much liberty, as much private property, to assemble peacefully as much as you want, to say as much as you want, write as much as you want, worship or not worship as whatever you want or as much as you want. As long as you don’t infringe on anybody else’s rights, it’s all cool. There is no limitation to the exercise of rights. This goes equally so for the right to keep and bear arms. Keep as many arms as you want, bear as many as you want.

        But…

        …the instant you start to promote the infringement of law-abiding, American citizen’s rights, you have committed a crime. If you are an American, that’s called treason. If you are foreigner, that’s called subversion. What is law-abiding? Anyone who does not infringe on anyone else’s rights is law-abiding. In other words, anyone who befriends the Bill of Rights.

        You are entitled to your silly opinion that an armed American populace is no match for their government, and others are entitled to their silly opinion that an armed American populace is more than a match. That is all debatable and we’d have to see, if it ever comes to that, which side would win. What is not debatable is that if the American people were disarmed, or were to have their right to keep and bear armed infringed to a degree that they were essentially disarmed, then there is no way in hell that they could stop their armed government, despite much greater numbers. And that is the point.

        There is nothing silly about this, or any other right. What is silly is your contention that an armed American populace couldn’t take out it’s government. This is merely your BELIEF, just as others BELIEVE otherwise. Or do you hold yourself out as a prophet or seer that can see the future? There are many variables that would or could come into play in such a conflict, which could very easily turn the tide in either direction. So, just admit that you are silly, and that your notions are silly, and that people do, in fact, have a right to keep and bear arms, that they should have this right, that it is a good right, that it was codified for a wise, just purpose, and be happy that people are exercising this right of theirs. And be happy also that it is available to you, whether you choose to exercise it yourself or not.

      • tariq says:

        Yeah, I suppose in some completely off the wall libertarian fantasy land, the American populace could take up arms and defeat its government. I live in the real world where nothing like that will ever happen. It’s a childish hypothetical situation. Your arguments are not based in reality. What makes you think the American people have the level of ideological unity, organizational unity, or even desire to overthrow the U.S. government. Mormons are the last people in the U.S. who would do such a thing. American Mormons, with some exceptions, overall are ultra-patriotic and ultra-loyal to the government.

        In your libertarian fantasies, your guns protect America from government tyranny. In reality, privately owned guns are used by mentally ill people to carry out mass killings, by racist vigilantes to kill young black men, by gang members to kill those they see as enemies, by rednecks to kill innocent animals, and by ordinary people who accidentally shoot themselves or their loved ones in gun accidents. It’s not about the Bill of Rights or Freedom; grow up.

        What kind of anarchist relies on government documents to make his points? What kind of anarchist accuses people of not being “justified before the Lord” or whatever. You are not any kind of anarchist I’ve ever associated with, and I’ve been involved in the anarchist movement for over a decade.

        Lastly, the NRA is not about freedom. It’s a lobbying group for the gun industry. It’s purpose is to protect and expand gun industry profits. If it was about freedom, they wouldn’t advocate having armed authoritarian goons patrolling every school in America like they’ve been advocating for recently. They don’t care about freedom. They just want gun sales to keep going up; that’s all it is about for the NRA. They routinely support the most authoritarian, bellicose, right-wing political candidates.

      • tariq,

        You asked, “What kind of anarchist relies on government documents to make his points?”

        I answer, “An American anarchist who believes in the principles embodied in the Bill of Rights. Where do you think the Bill of Rights came from, tariq? Don’t you know it came from the anti-Federalists? The Bill of Rights is not a government document. It’s a people’s document written to restrain the government, or protect the people from its government. It is wholly consistent with anarchism.”

        You asked, “What kind of anarchist accuses people of not being ‘justified before the Lord’ or whatever”?

        I answer, “An LDS Anarchist, meaning a latter-day saint (Mormon) anarchist. You need to diversify your anarchy connections. There are more flavors of anarchy, apparently, than you thought.”

      • Oh, tariq, one more thing. I’m not sure why you keep bringing up the NRA. The only thing I ever said about them is that the video I embedded was not from them. So, why do you keep throwing them onto me? Is this a straw man tactic?

      • tariq says:

        If you are an LDS anarchist, then you should know that whether or not someone is “justified before the Lord” is completely between them and the Lord, and has nothing to do with you. You are not the judge of such things.

        If you think the Bill of Rights is not a government document, then you are mistaken. The anti-federalists were not anti-government. They were opposed to Madison’s constitution, not government in general. Many anti-federalists were Southerners who were worried that a strong central government would take away their God given inalienable right to enslave black people (which it eventually did). They were hardly anarchists.

        Here is an article that gives some actual, well-grounded historical context to the gun debate:
        http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/13579-the-price-of-revolutionary-illusions

  14. So here’s a portion of my conflict–and I think this is an interesting and thoughtful article (as always, gun control in America was bound to be a controversial topic)–As a pacifist (in theory, a hypocrite in the real world), I think, with some possible exceptions, gun ownership is unnecessary and probably immoral. As an anarchist, though–and I think pacifism and anarchism are two sides of the same coin: one needs the other in order to be consistent–I’m reluctant to want to use force (in this case, the government) to impose right behavior on others.

    On the other hand, I’m also a pragmatist, and recognize we aren’t going to get rid of government any time soon. Call me an eschatological anarchist, if you will. The question then, is how much do we exercise the arm of government here? Obviously, as an anarchist, I won’t participate in any sort of regulation at all–except perhaps in passive obedience. On the other hand, I don’t intend to get upset over certain limitations on weapon ownership, particularly when the academic literature seems to indicate that gun control tends to lower violent crime after other factors are accounted for.

    When it comes to limiting government, our overseas military adventures and our internal “national security” efforts are much bigger priorities than worrying about whether the government is overreaching when it comes to regulating gun ownership. The constitution/second amendment argument doesn’t hold much weight, since the purpose clause can be read as either a guide to regulation or just a commentary. Case law is indeed important, because the constitution itself placed the power of its interpretation in the judiciary, not in some commenters on a blog. Self defense, etc.–well, as I mentioned, the academic literature has me doubting the legitimacy of those arguments.

    It’s pretty clear that gun control can save lives. The interface between theoretical morality and the real world is my apparently unsolvable problem here. Where is the balance between the concepts of “right and wrong” and the value of human life? Was pacifism supposed to be an emphasis on the greater value of the latter, and if so, to what degree should it be discarded when it doesn’t serve that purpose (such as the current situation in which it would create on obstacle to supporting gun control)?

  15. brooksww says:

    An absolutely awesome post. Your candor is appreciated and I find your logic compelling. I wish I were able to present my views with the absence of confrontation as you have. You may have convinced me that I am a pacifist. I hope I am.

  16. Joel says:

    To those who claim that small arms cannot be successfully used against the might and advanced weaponry of such a power as the USA, might I direct your attention toward Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.

    Look how quickly the centralized forces of Saddam Hussein fell in comparison to the decentralized insurgency that the US was never able to defeat militarily.

    The decentralized use of small arms was also key in the victory of Vietnam over the US, and is, likewise, a dominant factor in the current Afghan quagmire that the US will also likely lose.

    • Those are very good points you bring up, Joel.

    • tariq says:

      Your examples are insurgencies in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Vietnam. All of those insurgents were outlaws with no second amendment to support their right to bear arms. When the population is on your side, you don’t need gun rights or second amendments or anything like that. All of these insurgents were/are fighting outside invaders.

      In the U.S., we are not fighting outside invaders, and if we were, we would not need any gun rights to fight them off. Real revolutionaries and real insurgents don’t have or need government permission to own their weapons.

      We are not facing a similar situation here. In the U.S., guns are not being used to fight off outside invaders. They are being used by racists to kill black people, by mentally ill people to kill children, by rednecks to kill innocent animals, and by ordinary people who accidentally shoot themselves or their loved ones in gun accidents.

      Further, in all of your examples – Iraq, Afghanistan, and Vietnam – guns alone are not what make insurgents successful. There is a lot more going on than the oversimplified explanation of small arms versus central government. The Vietcong, for example, used a diversity of tactics and had layered goals. It was about much more than just guns. In fact, the U.S. never lost any actual battles in Vietnam. The U.S. killed far more Vietnamese than Vietnamese killed Americans. From a purely gun-fight point of view, the Vietcong took a severe beating from the U.S. But the U.S. lost the war, because it wasn’t just about who could shoot the most people down.

      American gun owners are not insurgents. They are not fighting the government, they are not fighting tyranny, and they never will.

      Are Iraq, Afghanistan, and Vietnam bastions of freedom now that they’ve had armed insurgencies? Get out of right-wing libertarian fantasy land. This is not a video game or an action movie. It’s real life.

      • Joel says:

        Just because guns are used by rednecks and criminals now, does not precluded their use by the Left as tools of resistance in the future.

    • brooksww says:

      The wars in Viesnam, Iraq or Afghanistan were not insurrections and they were not fought with home owners guns. VN was a civil war. Iraq and Afghanistan were wars against invaders. None of them were grass roots and none of them were fought with small arms that were squirreled away in the basement of someone’s home. The resistance to the US and the South Vietnam government was not decentralized and the use of small arms was not key. Their logistics were well organized and their weaponry went a trifle beyond machetes and pistols. They had anti-aircraft weapons, machine guns and mortars among their weaponry, all of which were supplied by a government. Ask John McCain if the only had small arms. You need to do some study: Might I direct your attention to:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viet_Cong_and_Vietnam_People's_Army_logistics_and_equipment

      The resistance to the US in Iraq was not grass roots. It was by a well organized and well equipped (mostly by the US). The resistance now in not grass roots either nor is it effective.

      The resistance in Afghanistan is from the Taliban which is government and is not particularly, if at all, supported by the Afghan citizens.

      Sorry, but you find no support for armed citizen rebellions in those countries.

      • tariq says:

        True. For example, in Vietnam, both the NLF and the DRV, which were fighting against the U.S. and the puppet government the U.S. was upholding, were very centralized organizations with arms support from both the Soviet Union and China. They weren’t just some private gun owners gettin’ the militia together.

      • Joel says:

        You’re just wrong. Vietnam did not when via anti-aircraft weaponry. They were successful through a guerrilla war of attrition.

      • tariq says:

        Joel,
        As far as attrition is concerned, the U.S. far outkilled the Vietnamese. It was about much more than just the number of people any side killed. I know that doesn’t fit well with your gun theories, but most of reality is more nuanced and complicated than the gun lobby wants it to be.

        I suggest Truong Nhu Tang’s autobiographical book A Vietcong Memoir for an actual Vietcong point of view as to why the NLF and DRV were successful. It has very little to do with the Vietcong’s ability to kill the enemy and much more to do with their political and public relations savvy, their ability to garner popular support, as well as their ability to evade and hide. Whenever they went head on in armed battle with the U.S. military, they got their butts kicked militarily, but they were able to create public relations and political victory from military defeats. Their minds were much more important than their guns. I’m not saying their weapons didn’t matter, but let’s not blow it out of proportion.

  17. Joel says:

    I’m not interested in using the power of the state to disarm arm anyone but the state.

  18. brooksww says:

    Tariq, good luck to you in convincing these guys. They claim to be anarchists but they use their own definition of anarchy which can change with the situation. The primary definition of anarchy is the absence of government or laws. As for modified definitions resulting from popular movements such as communism and socialism, there have been none. It only exists as a goal by some. Joel and LDSA’s claim that the Bill of Rights is not a government based law or even sillier, that the constitution is not from government because it comes from the people is inherently lacking in logic or fact. Good luck in breaking through their impenetrable armor of ignorance.

    One more thing; the use of LDS scriptures to support their belief in the illegality of gun control law is fatuous at best. The 13th article of faith, which we LDS accept as scripture because it came from a Prophet states clearly:
    “We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.”

    Further the 134th section of Doctrine and Covenants starts out:
    We believe that governments were instituted of God for the benefit of man; and that he holds men accountable for their acts in relation to them, both in making laws and administering them, for the good and safety of society.

    One last thing: the Mormon ‘Church has publicly banned guns in their places of worship:
    http://www.publicsafety.utah.gov/bci/CFchurch.html

    So Joel and LDSA will have to leave their guns in the glovebox when they attend church.

    • tariq says:

      Brooks,
      I don’t think LDSA and Joel are stupid or that they are bad guys. I think they are both probably good people in real life, and I know that LDSA is a pretty intelligent dude. I’m just disagreeing with them about gun rights arguments.

      I think you are a pretty intelligent person too, Brooks, but you may have the wrong idea about anarchism. It is has a very rich history with a range of exponents from Bakunin and Kropotkin to Tolstoy to Lucy Parsons to Emma Goldman to Dorothy Day among many others. Anarchists have played an important role in every good movement this country has ever had from the abolitionist movement to the women’s movement to anti-racist movements to anti-war movements to the libertarian education movement to the environmentalist movement, to queer liberation to animal rights and so on.

      Anarchism may not be as opposed to LDS Church doctrine as you think. In the first issue of the Mormon Worker newspaper, William Van Wagenen wrote a pretty good introduction to Mormon Anarchism: http://themormonworker.net/past-issues/archive/an-introduction-to-mormon-anarchism/

      Anarchism is not simply about no government. It’s about working toward a society that is built on the principles of mutual aid and free association. Classical anarchism is really a libertarian form of socialism, and many anarchists such as Bakunin, Kropotkin, Emma Goldman, Lucy Parsons, and Alexander Berkman all used the terms anarchism, socialism, and libertarian communism interchangeably.

      I would suggest historian Paul Avrich’s book The Haymarket Tragedy as a good introduction to America’s anarchist history.

      • brooksww says:

        I never said that either of them were stupid or bad guys. Remember, Tariq, that the dialogue has ensued from my post stating that the problem with gun violence has nothing to do with gun control laws but rather lies on the obsession of the American public with guns and with the use of violence as the “final solution.”

        Neither did I say that there were no influential anarchists but what they all had in common was their belief that anarchy is the absence of government and laws. I read Van Wangenen’s article. I love it. That is why I stay on this blog. I agree with everything he says and I don’t believe anything I have said as a reaction to those in this conversation who see more guns as a solution or necessary as protection against the state is contrary to his excellent piece.

        I also am an anarchist, but also a realist. It will occur when we are absent of greed. We found out in Joseph Smith’s failure to establish the United Order that it was doomed by greed. When people in my church ask me what my politics are, when the conversation is serious and deep, I tell them that I am a consecrationist. I see ownership of private property as the problem not the solution. I see capitalism as totally dependent on greed and selfishness. The problem is it has been more successful in producing goods and improving material well being than any other system extant, and the only reason it has not totally emasculated itself is because of intervention of government. Anarchy in an atmosphere of uncontrolled greed does not lead to Zion.

        Finally, when I referred to ignorance, I spoke entirely to the context of this dialogue; of ignorance of the constitution and scriptures as it relates to gun regulation, as a government document and the role that private ownership of guns has played in Iraq, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Nazi Germany; and the folly inherent in the video LDSA produced trying to make the claim that gun control laws are the nexus that permitted the atrocities the government committed on the people.

        I haven’t read the book by Avrich but I am familiar with the Haymarket affair. The fact that there were some self proclaimed anarchists who were blamed does in no way advance the promise of anarchy. The riot was a result an overreaction of capitalists and their police to peaceful protests in support of unionization which is not anti government but anti low wages. Unionization succeeded primarily because of government support by the Wagner Act.

        Anarchy will only happen in the next world, and even then we will be ruled by a King who makes rules and imposes penalties for disobedience.

      • tariq says:

        Brooks,
        I wasn’t suggesting that the Haymarket Affair advances the promise of anarchy or anything like that. I was just suggesting it as a good introduction to American anarchism as it discusses the personal histories of some of America’s most noteworthy anarchists.
        And I don’t know that unionization succeeded in any major way. Unions are constantly under assault from the right and even from mainstream democrats. For the unions, It’s an uphill and losing battle.

        As for the anarchists, they were anti-capitalists first and foremost and anti-government second. For example, anarchists supported the fight for the eight hour day. Really what anarchism is about is opposition to domination in any form, opposition to relationships of inequality. Plain and simple; it’s about mutual aid and free association. My issue is with your boiling it down to simply being about getting rid of the state. Having no state in and of itself does not constitute anarchy in the way I understand it or the way any of the anarchists I’ve mentioned understood it.

        Anyway we’re getting way off topic. I’m on your side.

    • Joel says:

      Real anarchists do not use the state to accomplish their goals.

      Gun control could not be accomplished without the passing of new laws and law enforcement.

      The state is the most violent entity in modern society. Pacifists can’t wield its power and still call themselves pacifists.

      • tariq says:

        Joel,
        I don’t necessarily disagree with any of that. You are correct that to be a 100% pure pacifist you cannot advocate for the government to increase its coercive powers. And yes, are correct that using the state to accomplish goals only strengthens the power of the state. All I am arguing for is a little bit of sanity in the gun conversation.

        We can’t have a good, honest talk about how to deal with mass shootings and gun violence if the gun lobby continually has knee-jerk alarmist reactions and keeps entertaining fantasies that militias of armed private citizens will overthrow tyrannical government. If there is progress, it is not going to come about like that. And gun-freedom advocates need to understand that gun control advocates are not motivated by the desire to tyrannize gun owners. They are motivated by the righteous desire to end all of these crazy mass shootings we’ve been having in this country.

        But whenever some reasonable person who is troubled by the fact that innocent children are killed by gun-wielding psychopaths, and they dare suggest that maybe it should be harder for people to get such weapons, the gun lobby immediately accuses them of being Hitler out to destroy America’s freedom. I want the gun lobby to tone it down and start looking at the world more clearly; to get a little perspective and have some empathy for the family members of the victims of gun violence.

  19. brooksww says:

    To Joel regarding Viet Nam. To use a hackneyed political expression, you are entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts. As for the reason for the Viet Cong success, you are getting confused by your own demagoguery. The argument here is whether or not the absence of gun control laws in North V had anything to do with the waging or success of the war. The obvious answer is NONE. The average family in either North or South V didn’t have enough money to own a gun and gun control laws were very strict. Less than 2% of the population owned guns.

    http://fromred2black.wordpress.com/2009/04/28/gun-control-in-vietnam-and-why-it-works/

    As for attrition, we killed 10 to one in the ground war and lost 2 planes to their 1 (migs) in the air war. We lost the war because we quit. We quit because it became very unpopular. It’s popularity there didn’t matter. It’s true that their guerrilla warfare was effective but it was neither spontaneous of self armed. It was centrally controlled and the guns were supplied by the Hanoi government and Moscow.

    In Operation Linebacker II, we tried to bomb them into submission and nearly leveled Hanoi but in the process we lost 30 aircraft including 17 B52s and over 60 crew members. They weren’t shot down by family gun collections.

    To Tariq. I accept your definition of and history of anarchy. It’s obvious that you know more about it than I do. I disagree about the success of the unions. It’s true that they are on life support now but they created the middle class after WWII. I was part of it. BTW, I am an anarchist wannabe but it won’t happen in this world…and even a world under God alone has rules – rules that are enforced by sanctions. The Ten Commandments are not suggestions and their violation carries severe penalties.

    • tariq says:

      You’re right Brooks, unions did have a major role in the creation of the middle class after WWII. The GI Bill, a government program, also played an important role in that.

  20. Forest Simmons says:

    When discussing issues of principle, it is a valuable exercise to carry the principles to their logical conclusions. If the logical conclusions are bad, then the principles in question, no matter how good and true, are not the complete story. Some missing principle has been neglected. Perhaps it is a principle that can be safely neglected in every day life, but as new dangers evolve it can no longer be safely neglected.

    The “the right to bear arms” principle is an isolated principle that stood on its own in the day of the long rifle and Bowie knife. But if this is the only principle that has bearing, the logical conclusion is that an individual has a right to possession of WMD’s. The right to bear arms by itself is not enough to distinguish the two cases. Knowing that it is ridiculous to claim that individuals have a right to WMD’s, then tells us that there must be some other principle that must be considered along with the right to bear arms.

    Most people, impatient with considerations of principle, will just say, “Use your common sense.” But people that love understanding things will search until they find another principle or set of principles that supplement “the right to bear arms” and explain why that lone right must have bounds, and perhaps might help establish hose bounds on the basis of other principles of equal importance.

  21. gomw says:

    Reply to Stockeneder post of Mar 4, 2013

    You wrote:
    “Nobody is suggesting the kids be armed but the teachers could be.
    I don’t think you understand what an inalienable right is. Rights are inherent to every human born on the planet. How an inalienable right is exercised and protected is up to the individual who has it. Neither you nor I, or any other group or entity can tell somebody how the use their rights. So if somebody wants to protect their life and property with a gun, any gun, is up to them and them alone. It is none of your business at all. And by the way a gun is the best tool for self-defense on the planet. If you disagree explain to me why all the “law enforcers” use them to protect themselves?”

    1. Gun possession as an “inalienable” right exists solely in the minds of you and the NRA. That right is guaranteed no where in the scriptures or in any law in the universe. The only inalienable rights listed in the Constitution are “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The ownership of guns flies in the face of the inalienable right to life. The second amendment does not render the right to bear arms inalienable. The bible’s only allusion to guns is in the Commandment, “Thou shalt not kill.”

    2. Policemen don’t carry guns as protection. They carry them to kill people – to enforce laws; laws like the illegal possession of firearms. I know; I was a police officer for 26 years. I personally know five officers who were shot. They were all armed at the time. I had to protect myself many times as a cop and I never had to use a gun. The weapon of choice has been the baton and superior numbers.

    3. The gun has been totally inadequate as a tool for self defense. For example, the cops in London are not armed, the cops in New York City are armed. The number of deaths by shooting in New York are far greater than in London. According to a report in 2006:

    “During the 20th century, both intentional and unintentional occupational police mortality rates were significantly greater in New York compared to London. These differences are likely from several socioeconomic, cultural, and occupational factors. The declines in police deaths in New York during the latter part of the 20th century indicate that at least some measures taken by the New York Police Department have been successful at significantly reducing the incidence of both intentional and unintentional police deaths.”

    The measures referred to in the above report include the Sullivan Act.

    http://injuryprevention.bmj.com/content/12/4/219.abstract

    • stockoneder says:

      1. You still don’t get what an inalienable right is. A quick definition for you- Inalienable: incapable of being alienated, surrendered, or transferred. That means no law or person can take it from you. They can infringe upon it, as governments all do, but not take it away. The rights you mentioned are actually in the Declaration of Independence and not the constitution.
      Just because you have a right doesn’t mean there aren’t people who will try to infringe upon it and there are a lot of those kinds of people in the world. Historically governments have been the worst infringers.
      The founders and creators of the constitution and the American constitutional republic recognized this fact and tried to create a government which would recognize and protect those rights. Sadly, they failed but that is another issue. The second amendment specifically recognized the importance of guns in defending inalienable rights. They used those guns to win their freedom from the British. Tons of writings by those people and their contemporaries
      make that fact clear.
      Gun possession per say is not an alienable right but owning a gun can be part of a person’s decision of choosing the best tool to defend their life, liberty and property with. Possessing a gun or not is a choice which each person makes individually. If gun possession was a right somebody like God would have to give you a gun.
      The fact is there are bad people in the world who care little about other peoples rights and they will harm or kill and steal without remorse. So how should a person defend their inalienable rights from those kind of people? What tools should they prudently employ? Again that is up to the individual and the individual alone. Some people use locks, gates, banks, high walls, safes, bodyguards, dogs, knives, bats, clubs, guns, etc. Some people just depend upon laws or others to protect them and trust that they will beat the odds. All those people have the right to use all those methods. Neither you nor I have a right to pass judgement on them or dictate how they exercise their rights. Again how one exercises a right is self-determined.
      The decision to own a gun, in order to protect oneself from a bad person who wants to harm or kill that person, is the epitome of defending ones right to life and liberty. Thousands of people do so successfully every year and most do so without firing a shot. A gun is a very good deterrent. Lots of youtube videos showing this happening. A gun imho is the best tool one can use for self-defense because a. It is easy to use with a little training and practice.
      b. It is small and relatively inexpensive.
      c. A child and an old, weak or infirm person can use it
      successfully against bigger, stronger attackers.
      d. It is a force multiplier.
      e. useful at a distance(unlike knife, club, bat, etc.)
      f. Works effectively against multiple, stronger attackers.
      g. Doesn’t even have to be fired to stop an attack.
      Jesus was pro defense(his disciples were armed) and so was Joseph Smith, Nephi and Moroni to name a few.

      D&C 134:11 11 We believe that men should appeal to the civil law for redress of all wrongs and grievances, where personal abuse is inflicted or the right of property or character infringed, where such laws exist as will protect the same; but we believe that all men are justified in defending themselves, their friends, and property, and the government, from the unlawful assaults and encroachments of all persons in times of exigency, where immediate appeal cannot be made to the laws, and relief afforded.

      Sorry it took that long to address your first point.

      • gomw says:

        I know what the definition of inalienable rights. I have a dictionary. My point is that the right to gun ownership isn’t one of them. The fact that you think it is means nothing. Thanks for the correction of where the “certain inalienable rights: phrase is, but it’s location doesn’t really make any difference anyway.

        Your defense of a gun as a defense weapon is well thought out and well articulated. I have a gun and have had one since my days in law enforcement; and I keep it for the very reasons you cite. My experience, however, proves that it’s value is limited. I’m sure that there have been occasions where someone has successfully defended themselves with a gun but in 26 years of taking reports and approving reports, I have never seen one in the city of Anaheim. On the other hand, I have seen countless suicides, accidental gun deaths, and spousal homicides that wouldn’t have happened were a gun not so readily available.

        My best friend was murdered by his wife with a gun that she purchased the day before.
        My best friend’s father put a bullet in his own brain.
        My nephew killed himself with a gun from his father’s collection
        My wife’s brother and father both killed themselves with guns, ironically, my wife’s brother used the same gun that my nephew used. My brother sold his collection to his father after he lost his son.

        I could cite dozens more of others.

        As for the gun being a silent protector, that just isn’t true. Burglars don’t wake anyone up and, in California, they go unarmed because the penalty is worse if they are armed. Home invaders are rare and usually involve drugs. If someone invaded my home, I would have to go to the bedroom to find my gun.

        As for Christ’s disciples being armed, they had two swords between them and Christ told them that was enough. (Luke 22:38), and the two swords wouldn’t have done any good if they chose to protect him.

        Since you quoted section 134 of the D&C, here is the first verse:

        “1 We believe that governments were instituted of God for the benefit of man; and that he holds men accountable for their acts in relation to them, both in making laws and administering them, for the good and safety of society.”

        Finally, I agree with you that people have the right, under the law, to keep a gun for self protection. I also recognize the peace of mind that if affords. I disagree that it is inalienable. I will also note that there is no legislation proposed anywhere that would deny that right.

      • stockoneder says:

        I am sorry you have seen so many deaths where a gun was the tool used to effect it. I disagree on the suicide comment though. Suicidal people use many tools and means to kill themselves and you can’t rule out the likelihood of those people using other methods if a gun was not available.
        I think we are disagreeing over a miscommunication on my part: I don’t believe that gun ownership is an inalienable right. How could it be? That would mean you were born with a gun.
        What is an inalienable right is how a person chooses to defend their life, liberty and property.
        Here is where I think you and I disagree.
        I have the right to choose any tool I can buy, make or acquire without stealing and then employ it in my defense. Nobody else has a right to prevent me from doing this for any reason. That is why nobody or no entity has a right to limit my choice of tools because they don’t like or fear them. They can limit what they choose but not what I choose. Anybody who wants to deny me access to the same tools they have and use is a bad person. If it is good for them it is logically good for me.
        Many statistics and studies show guns are used in self-defense successfully many times per year and the news has accounts daily. Estimates of DGU’s run from 100,000 to 2.5 million times per year. I have used one personally myself, without having to fire it(thankfully) on one occasion many years ago.
        I didn’t say it was a silent protector just that many times in a DGU the gun is never even fired. The presence(visibility) discourages a would-be attacker from pressing the attack. And studies with laser sighted weapons have shown they are even more effective in that regard. I have two laser sighted handguns. Really effective at night when a lot of break-ins and attacks occur.
        I take personal responsibility for my safety and don’t try to shift that burden to others. That is why I have weapons I am comfortable with and competent using. I have never hurt another person with a gun and hope I am never in a situation where I get forced to. But I will not be a victim and put my life in a system I don’t trust just because other people tell me I should.
        God gave me this body and I am its steward. Thus I have to do all I can to protect, safeguard and take care of it. That also shows I value and respect the gift He gave me.

        I have a blog and have written quite a few posts on this recently. Righttoreason.blogspot.com
        I am sure you will disagree with much I have written there as I am a voluntaryist and oppose the state but you might still find it interesting.

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