Between the Lines: “Nightmare gun rights logic 
is twisted and outdated”

A letter to the Editor of The Daily Tar Heel headlined Nightmare gun rights logic 
is twisted and outdated:

I find that people who advocate for “gun rights” tend to have a really interesting picture of reality. Do you really think, given a situation where someone tries to break into your home, or tries to rob you on the street, pulling a gun on that individual and initiating a firefight is the best way to deal with the situation?

I love the word “interesting.” It’s the perfect adjective to describe the evening dress your wife reveals when you know she’s looking for the word “fabulous” but you just can’t quite get there. Well, maybe not the perfect word. That would be “fabulous.” But it’s a whole lot better than “hideous.”

In this case, Mr. Foote (for it is he) deploys “interesting” in the sense of deluded, misguided and just plain stupid. To credit gun control advocates with an “interesting picture of reality” is to say that they are completely divorced from it.

By putting the words “gun rights” in quote marks (the grammatical equivalent of an arched eyebrow), Foote asserts the self-evident “truth” (see what I did there?) that there’s no such thing as a right to keep and bear arms. Which there is. But you knew that.

What you may not know: there’s a whole population of ostensibly educated people who consider a self-defense gun an offensive weapon per se. Ipso facto. Working from this deeply flawed premise, Mr. Foote suggests that drawing a weapon is an unjustifiable act of aggression—no matter what the circumstances surrounding the unholstering.

I don’t think Mr. Foote has considered the full range of criminal activities which could trigger a justifiable defensive gun use (DGU), such as, I dunno, attempted rape. Equally important, his statement leave an obvious unanswered question: what IS the best way to deal with a home invasion or street robbery?

I’m thinking that Mr. Foote would counsel compliance. But I don’t want to make that assumption; that would fail to credit him with an ounce of common sense and suggest that he is without access to Google, which offers access to a large number of stories of victims who did as they were told—and nonetheless suffered grievous in many cases lethal attacks.

If a person is violent enough to carry a weapon with intent to use it, then how does matching that aggressiveness with additional aggressiveness make for a better situation? The counter retort that guns somehow give criminals “a mental sense,” or some kind of “tingling in the force” that there is a firm defense close by sounds just as ridiculous. Overall, what kind of society are we advocating for? A society that instigates violence with more violence or a country that realizes by legally endorsing the ownership of guns we are sending a strong implicit message their use is also acceptable.

I doubt Mr. Foote has ever been in a fight. Anyone who has encountered violence against his or her person knows the only way to stop the aggression is to either run away or counter force with equal or greater force. (Fight or flight.)

“The counter retort”? From the department of redundancy department, no doubt. The rapid decline in Mr. Foote’s rhetorical skills gathers pace as he mischaracterizes deterrence as some sort of psychic transfer. The subsequent use of the word “overall” as a qualifier indicates that he’s all at sea, even before he ends his sentence with a preposition (up with which I will not put).

“A society that instigates violence with more violence . . .” I don’t think that means what Mr. Foote thinks it means. People who carry or use guns for self-defense aren’t instigating violence. Quite the opposite; they’re defending themselves against violence.

The second part of the sentence reveals the philosophical underpinnings beneath Mr. Foote’s antipathy to firearms. ” . . . by legally endorsing the ownership of guns we are sending a strong implicit message their use is also acceptable.”

The problem with that way of thinking: preventing legal ownership of guns does nothing to deter criminals who believe that their use is acceptable.

I call Mr. Foote’s reasoning the Make the World Go Away School of Gun Control. Not to coin a phrase, but people who believe that we can eliminate evil by some collective act of will (e.g. laws) have an interesting picture of reality.

I applaud Katie Noonan’s insight (“More guns won’t solve the campus’ safety issues,” Mar. 30). Laws are written for good reason, but they have a historical and social context. Just as we have amended our Bill of Rights to better reflect the times, so too should we amend the outdated laws written in times where revolution was in the air and wild animals still roamed through American backyards. Making weapons less available may not completely eliminate gun violence, but it will certainly lessen the more prolific and preventable danger of accidental gun injury.

Whoa. The Bill of Rights refers to the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution. Excluding Kentucky (which became a state after the amendments were approved), Virginia was the last state to sign off. In 1792. As far as I know, the Bill of Rights hasn’t been amended since.

And while we’re talking about this whole “get in touch with reality” deal, Mr. Foote may wish to note that there’s still talk of revolution in the air (it’s never really stopped) and there are plenty of Americans who live in places where wild animals roam through backyards. In fact, even extremely urban environments are home to any number of wild animals, even if you exclude history and zoology-blind liberals.

If there’s one thing that really sticks in my craw about gun control advocates, it’s their abject refusal to state a coherent position and stick to it. You can no more pin them down than you can render an experienced jello wrestler immobile (if they’re in their preferred grappling medium). If you corner a gun control advocate on a point of fact or logic or reason, they change the God damn subject.

Mr. Foote concludes his dietribe [sic] by switching from the inadvisability of defensive firearms to preventing firearms accidents. But first he says well, gun control may not work, but it will work a little. Enough so that it’s OK to abrogate my Second Amendment “gun rights,” apparently.

So how much gun control is needed? How much is enough?

Show me a gun control advocate who’s willing to throw down some numbers or quantify their approach and I’ll show you someone pretending to be a gun control advocate just to get me riled up. Not to put too fine a point on it, these people are cowards. At the first sign or trouble they cut and run.

Here’s the most disturbing part of Mr. Foote’s letter: the fact that he’s a philosophy student. There is nothing philosophical here. But there is condescension aplenty. And it’s catching. So I’ll end my anti-counter retort with a quote from Voltaire: “Prejudices are what fools use for reason.”

comments

  1. avatar Gunnutmegger says:

    “I doubt Mr. Foote has ever been in a fight. “

    Not a fight that he won, anyway.

    A philosophy student, hah. No wonder he can’t follow any simple logical premise to its obvious conclusion.

  2. avatar JOE MATAFOME says:

    This fool can be a good lil sheep and get slaugtered, but he shouldn’t decide how we want to protect ourselves.

  3. Honestly, these questions seem very reasonable and I’m happy to answer.

    Q: Do you really think, given a situation where someone tries to break into your home, or tries to rob you on the street, pulling a gun on that individual and initiating a firefight is the best way to deal with the situation?

    A: Yes

    Q: If a person is violent enough to carry a weapon with intent to use it, then how does matching that aggressiveness with additional aggressiveness make for a better situation?

    A: I live. He doesn’t.

    Q: Overall, what kind of society are we advocating for? A society that instigates violence with more violence or a country that realizes by legally endorsing the ownership of guns we are sending a strong implicit message their use is also acceptable.

    A: A society where the ownership of guns for self defense is perfectly acceptable.

    Q: Just as we have amended our Bill of Rights to better reflect the times, so too should we amend the outdated laws written in times where revolution was in the air and wild animals still roamed through American backyards. Making weapons less available may not completely eliminate gun violence, but it will certainly lessen the more prolific and preventable danger of accidental gun injury.

    A: Go right ahead and propose your changes to the Constitution to the 2nd Amendment. If you can get two-thirds of both houses of Congress or two-thirds of the state legislatures to agree then we’ll be more than happy to consider the issue. Of course it does take a three-fourths majority of state legislatures to approve it. The last time this was attempted was in 1972 when both houses of Congress approved the ERA. After ten years (in 1982) the states still had not approved the amendment so it was dropped. Give it your best shot Mr. Foote.

  4. avatar TTACer says:

    ” . . . by legally endorsing the ownership of guns we are sending a strong implicit message their use is also acceptable.”

    Ships in the night.

  5. avatar Aaron says:

    The biggest failure of anti-gunners when I debate with them is that they usually have no answer for “what would you have me defend myself with, if not a gun?”
    Sometimes it’s “get fit and learn self-defense” or “get a dog.”
    There’s never a guarantee that dogs deter an assailant, or that they will necessarily help in a distress situation. To give a hideous example, a decapitated female hiker in Georgia a few years back had a dog that didn’t even join in as she fought for her life and lost.
    Learning self-defense is great, but criminals with harmful intent often have weapons, numbers, ruthlessness or strength that will neutralize the skills that most folks attain in the dojo.
    A firearm is the best equalizer.

  6. avatar Christopher says:

    They whine about the rights of the perps that break into our homes, pull a gun or knife on our family and friends… I feel a fellow pretty much throws his life to the wind when they threaten my family and friends with deadly force… as far as what these morons are peddling, when their butt is in need of a sheepdog to protect their little moron herd, this old dog worries about family, friends and country first.

    1. avatar Magoo says:

      Robert Farago writes: “If there’s one thing that really sticks in my craw about gun control advocates, it’s their abject refusal to state a coherent position and stick to it. You can no more pin them down than you can render an experienced jello wrestler immobile (if they’re in their preferred grappling medium). If you corner a gun control advocate on a point of fact or logic or reason, they change the God damn subject.”

      I’ll debate you on gun control. You’ll lose the plot first, I guarantee it. That’s how this dialog works. Three sentences into any discussion on gun regulations, the typical gun loon at TTAG changes the subject to car crashes or homemade bombs. I’ve seen it here dozens of times.

      In political rhetoric, each side invariably believes that it exclusively holds the logical and moral high ground, though that is rarely the case.

      A frequent rhetorical device at TTAG: “What part of ‘shall not be infringed’ don’t you understand'”? Which takes any discussion of firearms regulation right back to square one and it’s Groundhog Day again. Don’t underestimate yourselves. You guys are as good as anybody at talking in circles.

      1. avatar BLAMMO says:

        It’s “shall not be infringed.

        I’m not sure why we care about one gun-grabber’s letter to the local rag. Nothing new here.

        1. avatar Magoo says:

          Noted.

      2. avatar A Critic says:

        I’ll debate you on gun control.

        Is that an offer open to the public? I’d be happy to play.

        Three sentences into any discussion on gun regulations, the typical gun loon at TTAG changes the subject to car crashes or homemade bombs. I’ve seen it here dozens of times.

        I think you are wrong – people don’t change the subject, they merely point to other areas where the logic, principles, and methods of gun control are not applied. i.e. Gun control advocates believe that since guns play a role in many people dying, we must ban guns. They don’t apply that to cars. It’s a double standard that illustrates the insanity of gun control and gun control advocates.

        1. avatar Magoo says:

          How many examples would you like?

        2. avatar A Critic says:

          How many examples would you like?

          I’d rather have an example of gun control working to prevent violence without causing the deprivation of liberties and without causing a significant advantage to criminals.

  7. avatar Javier E says:

    Simple, when they (you who they are) can guaranty that the CRIMINALS are going to give up their guns, knives, bats, and ………(other weapons) I’ll think about giving up mine. I’ve been in a few fights in my life, took a few good hits in the prossess but in most cases it ended on an even note both of us tierd and beaten. A gun in those situations may have been a deterent and I would have hopefully had one less black eye. Note that when criminals attack it’s ussually more than one criminal.

  8. avatar justin says:

    Just like the Frontier settlers had an “interesting” world view. I mean who in their right mind believes that when a Comanche is forcing his way into your cabin that the correct response is to grab your gun and defend yourself instead of waiting patiently for the calvary to come racing over the hill.

    1. avatar karl b says:

      Or a settler is forcing his way into your land?

      1. avatar justin says:

        touche

  9. avatar sdog says:

    i know were mr. foote can stick his head

    “Do you really think, given a situation where someone tries to break into your home, or tries to rob you on the street, pulling a gun on that individual and initiating a firefight is the best way to deal with the situation?”

    what would foote do in this situation, ask for the home invader to sit on the couch and have his wife bring the man a drink so they can talk it out? gimme a break.

    1. avatar Javier E says:

      I think Mr. Foote already has his head up his @$$. What he needs to do is pull it out.

  10. avatar Pat C says:

    “Do you really think, given a situation where someone tries to break into your home, or tries to rob you on the street, pulling a gun on that individual and initiating a firefight is the best way to deal with the situation?”

    Seems to me the perp is the one who “initiated” the firefight. You’re just electing to finish said encounter without becoming a victim.

    But perhaps that logic is just too simplistic for an erudite student of the humanities…

  11. avatar blin says:

    I would have thought that the outcome of 9/11/2001 would have proven to enough people that the advice of ‘doing what the bad guy demands’ doesn’t work.

    Question: Why do gun-grabbers hate women? Or, put another way, gun-grabbers are pro-rapist.

  12. avatar Chaz says:

    When accosted with “should” and “ought” by some ivory tower know-it-all we might ask what responsibility they’ve taken for their own self defense. It’s not just our opinion but a matter of fact that violence happens. What would they do? Repel the rascals with rhetoric? Subdue them with sophistry? Dodge them with denial?

    1. avatar Magoo says:

      Allure them with alliteration?

      1. avatar Phil says:

        You guys crack me up. If the perp happens to be on your level then you could disable him with laughter. Nothin like a tense moment and a good laugh to generate affinity and comradery. Next, you’ll be sharing a beer and telling stories. What the boorish Mr. Foote doesn’t understand is if the locks didn’t deter and an invader is in your face it’s time to employ more aggressive tactics.

  13. avatar Robert says:

    In response to:
    Do you really think, given a situation where someone tries to break into your home, or tries to rob you on the street, pulling a gun on that individual and initiating a firefight is the best way to deal with the situation?

    To paraphrase a quote from Andromeda:
    “It may not be the best way, but in most cases it is the only way.”

  14. avatar Ralph says:

    “Do you really think, given a situation where someone tries to break into your home, or tries to rob you on the street, pulling a gun on that individual and initiating a firefight is the best way to deal with the situation?”

    My preference would be to challenge my attacker to a spirited debate or perhaps a brisk game of quoits whereby we could resolve our differences peacefully. Failing that I would empty an entire magazine of .40 cals right into his nuts.

  15. avatar JOE MATAFOME says:

    I’m with Ralph, I’d have more to say but I can’t stop laughing.

  16. avatar DesertRat says:

    I ain’t ever started a fight, but I’ve finished a few.

  17. avatar UNC says:

    Debate gun control all you want, but how dare you bring Eve Carson into this and connect her tragedy with this ludicrous post.

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      The fact that you don’t see a connection is revealing.

  18. avatar Ralph says:

    Am I being arch, or did The Daily Tar Heel shoot itself in the Foote.

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

button to share on facebook
button to tweet
button to share via email