If Bibles were Treated like Guns . . .

Fascinating comment from Ing underneath today’s Quote of the Day: Banning Guns ≠ Burning Bibles Edition:

The state requires everyone to register their bibles and pass a criminal background check before they can own one . . .

Then there are laws restricting the use of index tabs for quicker study. No automatic scripture-finding without a tax stamp and a 6-month wait.

Say that quite a while ago, there was a ban on “Saturday night bibles” — you know, the cheap little abridged pocket versions those street-corner evangelists can whip out at the least provocation.

More recently there was a ban on “assault bibles” — you know, the ones with weatherproof black covers, carrying handles, a high-capacity concordance, and tabs for rapid-fire scripture finding.

It was allowed to expire because it had no measurable effect on Christianity, and in the meantime, these modular, flexible bible systems have become the most popular type in the country, but recently a few nut jobs have misinterpreted scripture so badly that there’s talk of banning them again. Because bibles like this belong only in the hands of professional pastors.

You can’t carry a bible in public without a special permit. In some states, you can only transport it in a locked case, if you’re traveling to church and back with no deviation. And in a few places, you can’t transport a bible at all.

And then there’s a vocal minority that wants to confiscate all bibles and make it illegal for anyone except professional, government-paid clergy to own one.

NO ONE would put up with this kind of assault on the First Amendment.

Guns and bibles are not the same thing, true. Yet both are inanimate objects that have great significance and power; both can save lives or inflict terrible harm, depending on whose hands they’re in. And BOTH of these objects are equally protected by the Bill of Rights in the US Constitution.

comments

  1. avatar jwm says:

    None of the other amendments have so many restrictions on them as 2a. Yet right in 2a is “Shall not be infringed”. None of these restrictions on 2a are legal. None. But I’m willing to compromise in the interests of public safety. I’ll give up my right to nuclear warheads and napalm when the anti’s give up their 1a rights.. sounds fair don’t it?

    1. avatar treidhead says:

      I could get in line with compromise like that…

    2. avatar Rokurota says:

      Certain liberals already believe 1a rights have limits — you have the right to speech, but not “hate speech” or, as so many have recently decried, “disrespecting a sitting president.” You have the right to worship, as long as no one else knows about it. You have the right to peaceably assemble, as long as you’re not a militia or other counterrevolutionary group. You have the right to press, unless Rupert Murdoch owns you. So don’t be too confident the 1a is sacrosanct with the left.

      1. avatar JoshinGA says:

        Every time a liberal tells me I shouldnt be disrespecting the sitting president I respond with “Sieg Heil!”. Last time I checked we still lived in America, where it is ok to critique the management. Maybe its just me.

        1. avatar 16V says:

          Just remember that same freedom to criticize is relevant for that borderline retard shrub and that senile old “B” actor who took away our machine guns.

          Regardless, pretending our current nonsense is something to rustle one’s jimmies is a joke compared to how much baseless ad hominem mud was slung in our elections less than 150 years ago. Candidates regularly accused the other of everything from baby molestation, to sex with animals, to well, use that google thing and find some of it yourself.

        2. avatar JoshinGA says:

          Im an equal opportunity criticizer. If you dun screwed up, you dun screwed up. I just dont like the mindset that just because he is the president he is above contempt. These are the same people who had no trouble letting fly when the president was not of the same political affiliation as the one they subscribe to.

        3. avatar 16V says:

          Exactly. Which is why I hold the guy who says he wants an AWB but hasn’t yet done it in the same disregard as the guy who now says he doesn’t want one, but has already done one.

          Giant Douche or Turd Sandwich, those are your choices America.

        4. avatar peter m. gruhn says:

          Isn’t voting for the other guy a kind of disrespect? Aren’t term limits inherently disrespectful?

      2. avatar Milsurp Collector says:

        They fail to realize that the 1st amendment was written to protect the right to say things that offend others, regardless of whether it’s by accident or on purpose. If I don’t want to hear someone speak on the radio, I turn off the radio like a mature adult. I don’t get up in arms and rabidly claim someone’s right to free speech should be banned because what they say doesn’t agree with my beliefs or those of “the majority”.

        1. avatar 16V says:

          Exactly. Same reason the popular vote means squat and the electoral college is who decides who the next pres is.

      3. avatar karlb says:

        I remember how hard the liberal Nixon worked to keep the Pentagon Ppers from being published? Also, people are acting here as if the 1st is completely free of restrictions. The example of the Bible is cute, but misleading. Try publishing state secrets and see how free we are. And while I will be congratulated when I start teaching my daughter to shoot when she is big enough and mature enough (and what a great excuse to buy a .22 handgun), the fool who supplies kids with pornography would face a very different reaction.

      4. avatar BIlly Wardlaw says:

        Seems to me the only good time to criticize/disrespect a president is when they ARE sitting…afterwards is too damn late!

    3. avatar Zachariah says:

      I disagree. I think we’ve seen equally egregious infringements on many of those Constitutional rights that were written to protect our individual liberties. Just look at all the exceptions the courts have granted over time to the warrant requirement that would protect us from unreasonable searches. Or the under funding of the courts and the public defense function for those who find themselves facing the full weight of the federal government (and yes, the government does make mistakes). I’d say the First has held its ground, and several of the original 10 seem sort of moot today (like the Third), but given the ubiquity of electronic surveillance do you really feel like you have any privacy anymore?

  2. avatar Greg Camp says:

    If we look at all the wars that have resulted from differences of religion or differences within religions, all the people who have killed others who didn’t follow the favored interpretation, and all the generally boorish behavior that the book has been used to justify, we’d have to say that the Bible is a dangerous object. And yet, I don’t want to ban or even to restrict it. See how open-minded I am?

    1. avatar BIlly Wardlaw says:

      Ding! What he said.

    2. avatar scottlac says:

      Be sure to add the millions of people in Soviet Russia, Communist China, Cambodia, Romania, etc. who were slaughtered by fundamentalist Atheists for possessing Bibles.

      1. avatar Delmarva Chip says:

        There is no such thing as a “fundamentalist atheist.” Yes, communists are atheists, but that doesn’t make an atheist automatically a communist. There’s only one requirement to be atheist: lacking a belief in a god. That’s it.

        For a country that is communist, the object of worship is the state … so banning bibles there is logical (as well as bad). Christianity is logically a potential threat to the power of the communist state.

  3. avatar Ing says:

    Ha! I thought the comment form had eaten that thing…went on about my day and forgot all about it. This is a nice surprise.

    I forgot to work “the shoulder thing that goes up” into it, though. Missed opportunity.

    1. avatar Buzzy243 says:

      This was the best thing I’ve read on TTAG all day. I’m glad Rodert found it. I applaud you sense of humor, good sir.

  4. Comparing bibles to firearms is disingenuous at best.

    1. avatar Jarhead1982 says:

      Like the antis continued blaming of all violence on law abiding gun owners when over 92% of deaths by illegal use of a firearm are committed by career criminals, gang members, and suciders, yeah, that is disengenuous!

  5. avatar ChuckN says:

    Darn your apt and slightly sarcastic article. Your equivalencies only
    make the “common sense” gun control movement seem less
    effective and more tyrannical. It’s just not fair.

  6. avatar John says:

    “The state requires everyone to register their bibles and pass a criminal background check before they can own one…”

    At the rate we are going I see this in about a year

  7. avatar Cameron S. says:

    If guns were like bibles… I would rent a lot more hotel rooms. Free guns in the desk drawer!

    1. avatar Kirk says:

      Gideon guns? You might be on to something there.

  8. avatar Gregolas says:

    Cogratulations on a brilliant satire, Ing. Thank you.

  9. avatar Bob says:

    This is so good, I had to share it with my Facebook friends.

    Ing, I gave you credit for it. I didn’t just ‘steal it’. Here is your byline that I put at the bottom:
    “This was a comment by username Ing on the blog: http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com

    If sharing it is not OK, tell me and I’ll delete the Facebook post.

    1. avatar Ing says:

      No worries–as far as I’m concerned, that’s perfect. Glad you liked it.

  10. avatar Buzzy243 says:

    If only they treated guns like they insist we the Koran. Oh sorry, The Holy Koran.

  11. avatar Jon R. says:

    Maybe this guy had a point. Religion is arguably more dangerous and responsible for more deaths than firearms are. Maybe the Government should compromise our constitution even further by regulating what kinds of religions we can practice and how often we can attend. Freedom of religion as well as the rest of the constitution are open to interpretation anyhow.

    1. avatar Rory Green says:

      Atheism has caused more in the last century. Stalin and Hitler. Compared to them, the crusades and jihads are nothing.

      1. avatar Rory Green says:

        more death that is

      2. avatar Greg Camp says:

        Don’t forget the murder of heretics. Also, you have to factor in the population sizes at the time. But what Hitler and Stalin had was a kind of state religion.

        1. avatar Rory Green says:

          Numbers don’t lie. Also, nowhere in the bible does it say to kill non-believers just because. Nowhere does it say to go and “protect” Jerusalem. In fact, there was no reason for an inquisition. These were fundamentally unchristian acts. It wasn’t the bible that caused people to do that. Actually, most people of that time could not read and the the bible was only available in LATIN. I guarantee you, whatever the pope said to those crusaders was most definitely not in the bible. Those weren’t christian acts by definition.

          Christ says that no man can come to salvation except through Him. The pope was seen as Christ on earth (a lie), and he promised salvation to any man who came along. That is not through Christ and not Christian.

          Stalin and Hitler on the other hand, didn’t have to deal with any of that. They were most definitely not Christian, I’ll tell you that.

        2. avatar 16V says:

          While i realize it doesn’t fit what you’d like to believe, you need actually sit down and read that thing, because obviously you’ve missed a bit….

          God kills 70,000 innocent people because David ordered a census of the people (1 Chronicles 21). God also orders the destruction of 60 cities so that the Israelites can live there. He orders the killing of all the men, women, and children of each city, and the looting of all of value (Deuteronomy 3). He orders another attack and the killing of “all the living creatures of the city: men and women, young, and old, as well as oxen sheep, and asses” (Joshua 6). In Judges 21, He orders the murder of all the people of Jabesh-gilead, except for the virgin girls who were taken to be forcibly raped and married. When they wanted more virgins, God told them to hide alongside the road and when they saw a girl they liked, kidnap her and forcibly rape her and make her your wife! Just about every other page in the Old Testament has God killing somebody! In 2 Kings 10:18-27, God orders the murder of all the worshipers of a different god in their very own church! In total God kills 371,186 people directly and orders another 1,862,265 people murdered.

          That handy little paragraph gets you started on what’s actually in that book. I can do this all day long for NT, OT, Tanakh, Talmud, and the Q’uran. The things they teach in Catholic school…

          For those who may not have a Bible handy, I’ll just leave you with how to (properly) sell your daughter as a sex slave…

          When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her. And if the slave girl’s owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter. If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife. If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment. (Exodus 21:7-11 NLT)

        3. avatar Bob says:

          Religion may have been behind several wars, but the weapons were the tools used to do the killing in those wars, not the scriptural texts. During the last few centuries, guns and explosives were the weapons of war.

  12. avatar Kirk says:

    Some Rights are more equal than others. There is room in the 1st Amendment to allow for legal consequences of its use, but few they are. Regulate behavior, not things.

  13. avatar Ralph says:

    Bibles are already banned. If you don’t think so, try finding one in a public school.

  14. avatar Sean says:

    If you try to take our Bibles, we will kill you.

  15. avatar jwm says:

    Not a religious man. But I believe you would touch off a real civil war in this country if you tried to treat bibles like guns.

    Think of a christian or a jew or a muslim having to get a permit,provide id, have a background check, provide a thumb print to purchase their holy text.

  16. avatar William says:

    I worked in a place like that once. I was directed along the following lines:

    1. If you bring your Bible to work, it must remain locked in the company safe when not in use.
    2. You may not take the Bible out unless you agree to take it off premises to read, even on break.
    3. You may not talk to people who share your views, even in private. People are offended that you have been talking faith/religion with others who agree with you, even though the offended party was not there for the conversation, nor were they a topic of conversation. No one overheard your conversation. They are offended that you have these conversations at all.
    4. You may not discuss or even insinuate your belief into any interaction, even if asked or solicited for a religious opinion. You may not wear any item of clothing, jewelry, etc that in any way can be construed to advocate for any particular of your faith.

    I resigned. Now I’m a pastor.

  17. avatar JustAJ says:

    Only a true anti cannot see the analogy being portrayed here. Restricting/regulating an object or the ownership thereof is never the answer. Because an object itself is not inherently dangerous. It is use of said object which is the problem, and that takes a conscious act. It is often quoted in the press “Guns kill people daily!” Mine must be defective, because not one of them has ever shown any desire to do so. I sometimes sit and watch them, waiting to see if they’ll “go off” or “kill someone” but they never do.

    Antis always call for “common sense gun control” but would call the above article outlandish or foolish or ridiculous. Amazing how their own arguments seem so silly to them when it becomes an object that they are not obsessed with banning.

  18. avatar Brian Whatever says:

    I know I’m jumping into these comments late but it’s interesting you compare restricting the Bible.
    The reason I say this, is that back in the 1500’s the Catholic church was doing just that. The common man could not read the Bible because it was written in Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic (there may have been other languages, so don’t quote me on it).
    Martin Luther thought that the Bible should be available for everyone, so he translated into low German, the language of the common man.

    From that came the Reformation, the church tried to have him tried and sentenced to death and in the aftermath a lot of people died.

    All because one group did not want the common man to have access to the Holy Bible and Martin Luther did.

    So, I think you did a very apt comparison between the Bible and a Constitutional Right.

  19. avatar Alex says:

    “Both can save lives or inflict terrible harm, depending on whose hands they’re in.”

    That is true. But no matter whose hands their in, only ONE of those “inanimate objects” gives its user the power to instantaneously take a life with only the simple movement of an index finger.

  20. avatar Brian Whatever says:

    “That is true. But no matter whose hands their in, only ONE of those “inanimate objects” gives its user the power to instantaneously take a life with only the simple movement of an index finger.”

    Well, with the press of a foot on a gas pedal, someone just outside of Washington DC ran over and killed a one year old boy and severely injured his father, plus just outside of DC three girls were hit while playing on the sidewalk.
    So, we should ban all motor vehicles?

    What about people talking or texting while on cell phones and driving into someone or falling down the stairs, either of which can cause injury or death.
    Ban cell phones?

    Drinking and driving, ban alcohol? Oh wait, they tried that and it didn’t work.

    Where is the line, where we stop and realize that it is not the object’s fault?
    Why blame an inanimate object for the actions of an individual?
    Where has personal responsibility gone in this world?

    It seems that the resounding cry in today’s world is: ‘It’s someone else’s fault or responsibility.’

    The US Constitution and the Amendments were written to limit the ability of unjust leaders from seizing control over the people. Both you and I have the right to discuss the above article, where in other countries it would not be allowed.

    The scary part is when the ‘leaders’ and their media people, rather than listen and be part of discussions on the matter, would rather demonize and criminalize hard working law abiding citizens who just happen to want to take advantage of their 2nd Amendment Rights.

    And guess what, I don’t even have a gun!
    But seeing where this is all going have been educating myself on firearms and I will avail myself of my 2nd Amendment Right before someone tries to take this right away from all of us.

    1. avatar Alex says:

      Yes it is possible to kill someone while driving a car. Or while talking on a cell phone.

      But unlike guns, neither of those “inanimate objects” is DESIGNED to kill or inflict bodily harm. Guns are. Guns are weapons. (Or if you prefer, guns are tools for “self defense” — just like some might prefer to classify nuclear bombs as “tools for national defense” rather than “weapons.”) But the point is that they are designed to kill quickly, easily, efficiently. I firmly believe that most legal gun owners are good, law-abiding citizens and fair-minded, loving people. They would NEVER use their firearms for anything besides sport (hunting or target shooting) or defense of themselves, their loved ones, or any potential defenseless victim of a crime that they happen to witness. However, that does NOT change the fact that the premise of this article is built on a faulty comparison between guns and other inanimate objects. Cars are designed for transportation. Cell phones are designed for communication. Bibles are designed to communicate words. Guns are designed for destruction.

      We are right as a society to place limits on people’s ability to wield objects capable of destruction/deadly force. The act of killing is committed by an individual who has made a conscious decision for which they are personally responsible. HOWEVER, because of how uniquely small, portable, cheap, abundant, easy to use, and deadly efficient/effective guns are, being able to act on that individual decision to kill — no matter how impulsive or in-the-moment — is so easy in the United States that it’s scary. Make no mistake: in the US you will be prosecuted and fairly tried and administered justice if you make that impulsive decision, and the certainty of these consequences no-doubt play a role in deterring crime. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that guns are efficient killing devices in a way that no other inanimate object is capable of. If people are just as likely to commit murders and other crimes with knives, then why don’t 2nd amendment enthusiasts just carry switchblades and tasers for self-defense?

      1. avatar Brian Whatever says:

        I believe that you are missing the point of this article, which is that owning guns is a right guaranteed by the founding fathers in the US Constitution, to protect the people from a potential tyrannical government and comparing it to limiting the ability to purchase or own a Bible, which is another constitutionally protected right.

        The founding fathers tried very hard to give as much power to the people, which is why we are able to discuss what we are discussing by the right of free speech, I am allowed to proclaim the Bible is the inspired Word of God by the right to be free from religious persecution and you and I have the right to protect ourselves, our families and the US Constitution by the right to bear arms, along with the US Constitution and the rest of the Amendments. If you look around the world, despots and tyrants work very hard to take away the various freedoms, such as bearing arms, the ability to practice the religion of your choice, the freedom of speech, etc., all in the effort to control the people and the country.
        So again, it is an apt comparison for this article.
        Limiting or taking away ANY Constitutional right is definitely a bad thing

        But going beyond the scope of the article about your statement to
        ‘We are right as a society to place limits on people’s ability to wield objects capable of destruction/deadly force.’
        The only way placing these limits on the people of the United States would help is if you could magically enforce those same limits on criminals. That is at the crux of this discussion, the reality is that what these ‘limits’ do are aimed directly at law abiding citizens and if you could take away the right to bear arms from law abiding citizens, then only the criminals and the government (city, state & federal) will have guns. This will render the citizens of the US powerless and lest you forget, this is supposed to be a government of the people, by the people and for the people.

        As you have said, part of the design of any gun is to inflict injury or death but and this is a big but, the actual use depends upon who is handling the gun, whether law abiding citizen or a criminal. I’ve read news articles about people who defended themselves without killing the criminal and I’ve read about criminals who kill unarmed victims. And stating people could carry knives or taser, I for one would not like to have a knife while defending myself against a gun and would not want a taser against multiple attackers.
        And while a motor vehicle was not designed to injure or kill, every day people are injured and killed and it makes a big difference on how someone uses the vehicle and in some cases the harm is intentional.

        Another aspect is whether ‘gun control’ makes a difference. The UK banned all guns and as a result they have a low number of gun deaths, but on the flipside the UK is rated as 5th in the European Union for violent crimes and has a very high rate of burglaries. Some much for gun control in the UK.
        Another statistic is that per capita, the US something like 25th in the world for gun related deaths.

        I find your later statement:
        ‘The act of killing is committed by an individual who has made a conscious decision for which they are personally responsible.’
        somewhat off base when you consider what has sparked the ‘gun control’ issues.
        In regards to shootings like ones in Sandy Hook, Aurora, Columbine, Tuscon, Virginia Tech, etc., one of the things that ties most (if not all) of them together is the fact that the shooter had mental problems and what makes it worse is that in most (if not all) of these cases, people around the shooter knew there was something wrong with that person and in some cases, the local police even knew the specific person.
        So how can a mentally ill ‘individual’ be ‘personally responsible’ if they are unable to make a rational ‘conscious decision’?

        I see it coming down to a choice, do we, as a country, treat millions of law abiding gun owners as criminals or should we try and help the much smaller number of people who have serious mental problems?

        And the funny thing is that I don’t even own a gun! But with everything going on, I will probably purchase a gun to protect my wife, myself and our home.

        1. avatar Alex says:

          Yes, I see your point, and it is well taken. The government can’t confiscate Bibles — or Qur’ans, or The Catcher in the Rye for that matter (or John Grisham novels, but hey let’s face it, the country might be better off) — because of the first amendment, in the same way that the government cannot confiscate guns because of the second amendment. The author and other gun rights advocates wish that the public outcry against perceived threats to the second amendment was as strong and widespread as the public outcry against any hypothetical threat to the first amendment, because either way it’s the government infringing on the rights of the people.

          And I know this isn’t going to earn me any points or win the argument or change any minds, but I feel like this whole narrative of the government actively, strategically working to disarm its citizens in order to be able to oppress them or institute a command economy or gather power unto itself is, well, baloney. It just seems paranoid and far outside the realm of reasonable probability to me — in the same way that it seems like the notion that I face a daily risk of being assaulted by multiple attackers seems overly paranoid and outside the realm of reasonable probability

          Even if you DON’T have those fears, I can understand you wanting to own guns and defend the second amendment right on principle. It’s not that the government IS trying to confiscate our guns; it’s that SOMEDAY, the government COULD. And since “law abiding citizens” owning guns doesn’t HURT anything — and in fact can help promote the common good by deterring crime and potentially saving lives in a romantic lone ranger/boy scout gun owner-hero in the right place at the right time kind of way — then you might as well keep and bear arms just in case one day you need it, whether to defend against the government or something else.

          But for the same reasons I stated above about the destructive power/potential that guns hold, I believe we should reduce the number of guns in the world. In the same way I am for reducing the number of bombs/chemical weapons in the world. The reason you need a gun instead of a taser or knife for self defense is that your attacker might have a gun. Well, if your attacker knows you have a gun, now he needs a BIGGER gun. And on it goes.

          And yes, I fully agree that these mass shooters have mental issues and that mental health services are severely lacking in our country. In those instances, it’s not so simple as holding perpetrators “personally responsible.” But I feel like the mass shooter instances are an entirely different thing in many ways…

  21. avatar Brian Whatever says:

    Your comment about the author and other gun rights advocates wanting a strong public outcry is only the tip of the iceberg. There is erosion of other constitutional rights which is very frightening because it’s like dominoes, start one falling and the rest may fall right behind it and so may our constitutional rights. In certain areas of the country you or I could be stopped and be asked for our ‘papers’, checking to see if we are US citizens. Or a group of police show up at your door, with bullet proof vests and drawn weapons and they ask ‘kindly’ if they may come in and search your house, because of course, you have nothing to hide. The worst of that is they will not tell you what your rights are until after they have intimidated their way into your house.

    You say the all of the worries about taking away constitutional rights, starting with the second amendment right, is ‘baloney’. Think back on the oppression that the states felt from England that led to the American Revolution. The founding fathers used what they had learned from England’s way of trying to control the upstart colonies and translated that knowledge into the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution. They had firsthand knowledge of how things had been and they wanted better for their children.
    So I would prefer to keep the Constitution and the Amendments as strong as possible to keep the unthinkable from ever happening again.

    “Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin

    “The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect them selves against tyranny in government.” – Thomas Jefferson

    And on me wanting to own a gun, it is partly principle and partly concern as to where the United States and the world are heading.
    How can countries that gives up (or has taken away) guaranteed constitutional rights stay strong and survive?
    These rights and constitutional guarantees are what have helped make this country as strong as it is in the world.
    The UK is talking about putting controls on their media because of scandals.
    Cyprus is on the verge of confiscating money from bank accounts to cover their debts.
    Putin sounds like he’s trying to rebuild the old USSR.

    On your statement:
    “It’s not that the government IS trying to confiscate our guns; it’s that SOMEDAY, the government COULD”
    If the government wanted to confiscate all of the guns, they literally could not right now, but if a ‘universal background check’ happens, which then allows the government to know who has what guns and where they are located, it leaves it open for them at a later date to say that certain guns are now illegal and show up at your door and take them away from you. Canada started the same kind of background checks 20 years ago and I saw a Canadian newscast where the anchor was warning US citizens that if we follow suit on the universal background checks, the government will, at some point, start confiscating guns.

    Your point about reducing the number of ‘bombs/chemical weapons’ only works if all sides disarm and it’s able to be documented and all sides never try and make new weapons without the other concerned parties finding out about the new weapons.
    This goes back to my point about all of the recent and upcoming laws, they target law abiding citizens and do absolutely nothing to target the criminals with guns. Plus, in the case of some (maybe a lot) of the proposed or recently signed laws, the US citizens do not want the laws as passed/proposed.
    I live in MD where at a legislative hearing where citizens were allowed to speak for/against, there were 32 for and over 1300 speaking against the proposed law.
    So much for a government by, for and of the people.

    There have been discussions on helping mentally ill people for a long time with limited action and I feel that’s where we need to start.
    Followed by enforcing the gun laws currently on the books.
    And last but definitely not least, we need to enact laws that specifically target criminals how have and use guns.
    I kind of liked the movie “Escape from New York”, throw all the bad criminals, including for violent gun use, into a big prison together and let them survive with each other in whatever way they can.

    In closing, I will tell you that my thoughts may have been a little closer to your thoughts before I started reading more and seeing more erosion of our rights. Once started down the slippery slope of giving up rights, it’s extremely hard to stop and we, as a country, has
    definitely started down that slope and I’m concerned as to when and where we will finally stop.

  22. avatar Ardent says:

    I realize I’m nearly a year late into this debate but I cannot resist responding to Alex.

    Alex said: “The government can’t confiscate Bibles — or Qur’ans, or The Catcher in the Rye for that matter (or John Grisham novels, but hey let’s face it, the country might be better off) — because of the first amendment, in the same way that the government cannot confiscate guns because of the second amendment.”
    I can’t help but read this as meaning that since we ‘might be better off’ if certain books were banned but they can’t be because of the 1A, then we ‘might be better off’ if guns were banned, but they can’t be because of the 2A, as if guns were a necessary evil. Disregarding the deplorable assertion that we as a society would be better off with more infringement of the rights described in the 1A, I believe this position reflects an attempt to reconcile civil liberties and the natural rights of the people with what the author perceives as a wholly negative situation; private ownership of firearms. I would refute that outright in light of the fact that for every study done there is either a decrease or at least no increase in violent crime associated with either the rate of firearms ownership or the lawful carry of firearms (keeping and bearing arms). Further, all evidence indicates that firearms are used in legitimate self defense at a rate so far exceeding their criminal use that any argument against the utility of civilian possession of arms cannot be based in fact. I would challenge the author to provide any evidence at all that we would be better off without guns as a society.

    Alex said: “. . .but I feel like this whole narrative of the government actively, strategically working to disarm its citizens in order to be able to oppress them or institute a command economy or gather power unto itself is, well, baloney. It just seems paranoid and far outside the realm of reasonable probability to me — in the same way that it seems like the notion that I face a daily risk of being assaulted by multiple attackers seems overly paranoid and outside the realm of reasonable probability . . .”
    Arguing that government at all levels does not, by degree, actively work to disarm its citizens is an absurdity and false on its face and so I will address the remainder of Alex’s statement instead;
    The purpose(s) for which government works to disarm its citizens may not be clear. However since all evidence indicates that arms constitute a greater good for the citizenry, one has to wonder to what good end the government would attempt to disarm its citizens. That is, what legitimate concern of government could disarming the citizens serve in the demonstrated absence of social utility?
    A review of the history of governments who have disarmed their citizens would suggest that what follows disarmament is tyranny and all too often genocide. Given the historical precedents and the utter lack of legitimate governmental motivations for civilian disarmament I submit that it isn’t paranoia but a fear of the most likely outcomes that suggests itself as the reason to fear civilian disarmament.
    Furthermore it’s worth noting that ‘gather[ing] power unto itself’ is what governments do. I challenge the author to give an example of an established government voluntarily divesting itself of power absence intense pressure from outside of government.

    The third part of Alex’s excerpted comment above regarding the likelihood of assault by multiple attackers is again a demonstration of the commenter’s inability to reconcile reality with his perceptions. On any given day many citizens are violently assaulted by multiple attackers. While there are riskier locations and behaviors no citizen can say with complete certainty that they will not be so attacked today. Given that house fire is a statistical improbability for any given person one could well say that possession of smoke detectors and fire extinguishers demonstrates a paranoia regarding fire. The decision to arm oneself against the statistically unlikely event of attack is perhaps an abundance of caution but cannot rise to the level of paranoia since a threat does exist and the consequences for ill preparedness (as with house fires) may be catastrophic.

    Further the ‘multiple attackers’ inclusion seems to be an attempt to establish a strawman argument. I’ll explore this after the next quote:

    Alex said: “The reason you need a gun instead of a taser or knife for self defense is that your attacker might have a gun. Well, if your attacker knows you have a gun, now he needs a BIGGER gun. And on it goes.”

    This portion of the comment requires considerable deconstruction in order to clearly understand what is said and seems to be tied back to the use of ‘multiple attackers’.
    First it implies that a TASER is a preferable weapon to a gun without giving any indication of why this might be. Given the TASERs questionable performance, limited range, poor capacity, very short lasting effect and ability to be defeated by something as mundane as a coat I submit that it is a grossly inferior weapon to a gun and as evidence note that among its most frequent users, police officers, it is considered a compliance weapon only and is not preferable to the gun when faced with a lethal threat, such as from a knife.
    This segues into the next objection; that a knife is somehow less lethal than a gun in the way that a TASER is. According to the US DoJ, non-gun homicides averaged approximately 5,000 per year for the period of 1980-2000, while homicides by gun averaged approximately 7,500 (though the number declined so sharply over that period that by the year 2000 there were scarcely more gun homicides than non-gun. Source: http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/htus00.pdf)
    Obviously non-gun weapons can be quite lethal and knives are certainly very lethal among non-gun weapons. To suggest that a TASER and a knife are somehow on the same level of lethal potential is to demonstrate a serious misunderstanding of the operation of a TASER or else a failure to recognize the lethality of edged weapons, or both. This alone would seem to invalidate any conclusions drawn by the author regarding the nature of violent crime as the demonstrated lack of understanding of its dynamics would cast all further assertion in serious doubt as to their validity and accuracy.
    However the author also asserts that “The reason you need a gun. . . is that your attacker might have a gun”. If any doubt remained, this statement alone would preclude any belief that the author is an authority on matters of violence and self defense. As the author himself asserted, one could face multiple attackers, in which case a gun would be the surest method of countering the threat. This however does nothing to address all the other reasons why one may need a gun other than ones attacker also having one. What if the intended victim is disabled, frail, caught off guard and injured in the opening seconds of the attack? What of the elderly, would we have them go knife to knife with a larger, more athletic and younger attacker who also has the advantage of surprise? What of women attacked by men, who statistically have an enormous advantage in both size and upper body strength?
    There are so many variables in which a gun is the only truly effective means of defense from criminal attack that to suggest that it’s only necessary when ones attacker is similarly armed is not only false but again demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of the realities of violent crime and self defense.

    Finally, the author states that with the knowledge that the victim is armed with a gun the criminal must seek a ‘bigger gun’.
    This statement is absurd in light of the fact that it ignores several more likely outcomes of a would-be attacker knowing that his intended victim is armed.
    First it assumes that the criminal in question has access to a ‘bigger gun’ or in fact any gun at all at the time he intends to commit the crime. Secondly it assumes that the criminal is willing to use a gun to accomplish the goals of the crime AND that he is willing to engage in armed combat in furtherance of same. I submit that it is a rare criminal who is willing to knowingly engage in a gunfight to affect a mugging or an assault.
    The statement also implies that the criminal has no option to choose not to commit the crime in light of his knowledge that his intended victim is armed and therefore must seek a greater disparity of force to affect the crime. This is quite obviously untrue and in fact all available statistics indicate the opposite, that a criminal, when faced with the prospect of an armed victim, does in fact choose not to attempt the crime on that victim even when he is similarly (or better) armed.

    The statement assumes that all criminals are willing to escalate to murder or attempted murder in order to carry out their crime and this is also demonstrably untrue since the vast majority of criminals do not commit murder or attempted murder.
    The statement further assumes that a ‘bigger gun’ creates the type of force disparity that leaves the citizen effective defenseless in the face of attack with such a weapon. I would argue that while disadvantaged by being attacked with a more capable gun the citizen is none-the-less still in a position to defend effectively being that they are still armed with a weapon that can incapacitate at range.
    Finally this last statement presupposes an endless arms race between citizens and criminals which is unprecedented in all available data and though highly unlikely, would eventually result in the extinction of violent criminals even if it did exist.
    The concept that since citizens have pistols criminals must attack with shotguns, resulting in citizens carrying rifles only to face criminals armed with machineguns and so forth is patently absurd and demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of criminality and the current state of legislation and law enforcement couple to an astounding ignorance regarding crime statistics in those places where citizens are in fact armed with pistols (again I challenge the author to present any evidence to support his conclusions, it’s not as if we live in a vacuum where the concept of citizens carrying guns is an academic abstract). While in many locations citizens can openly carry long guns on their person the idea that criminals would adopt the same tactic is laughable in light of the fact that an important piece of their motivation is to avoid detection and that a large majority of violent offenders have previously been convicted of felonies and as such are barred from the legal possession of any gun. I would find it unlikely that convicted felons would take to openly carrying rifles. It also cycles back to the already debunked idea that criminals are largely willing to engage in gunfights in furtherance of their crimes.

    I conclude that there is nothing of any substance in the comments Alex made and that moreover they constitute not a reasoned argument against civilian armament but rather a series of confused rationalizations that attempt to prop up an utterly failed position that civilians don’t really need or ought not to have guns. What more, I submit that his position was initially arrived at without either evidence or attempt at logically examining the topic but rather results from an uninformed and wholly emotional plea: ‘I don’t want to need a gun, thus no one should have guns.’
    Unfortunately reasoned argument and presentation of hard fact has seldom proved effective in disabusing those who are emotional and irrational on any topic, and I conclude that it’s unlikely to be effective in this instance either.

  23. avatar Nighthawk says:

    Liberals hate the first amendment almost as much as they hate the second amendment. They only want “free speech” when it’s falling inline with their ideology. When you disagree they want to silence you so no one can hear what you have to say. Liberals are tyrants, through and through.

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