TTAG Daily Digest: Sam Harris is Seriously Misguided on the Issue of Gun Rights (And That’s Not a Rifle)

 

“A renewed ban on “assault rifles”—nearly the only concrete measure that anyone is talking about—will do very little to make our society safer,” Sam Harris writes, after eviscerating the logic underpinning an assault weapons ban. “It is not, as many advocates seem to believe, an important ‘first step’ in achieving a sane policy with respect to guns. It seems likely to be a symbolic step that delays real thinking about the problem of guns for another decade or more. By all means, let us ban these weapons. But when the next lunatic arrives at a school armed with legal pistols and a dozen ten-round magazines, we should be prepared to talk about how an assault weapons ban was a distraction from the real issue of gun violence.” It gets worse. Harris attacks the Second Amendment with antique arthritic arguments and then re-flaunts his stupidity. “I support much stricter gun laws. But I am under no illusions that such restrictions would make it difficult for bad people to acquire guns illegally.” Sigh. What is with these people? People like . . .

“Natick Democrat Rep. David Linsky said Thursday he intends to file a comprehensive bill within the next two weeks that will address the type of guns and ammunition that can be sold legally in Massachusetts and who will be eligible to purchase firearms.” patriotledger.com

2005 stat [via Breibart]: 605 murders with hammers and clubs and 445 with rifles.

Dana Safety Supply not safe from gun rights advocates; Georgia Sheriff stops buying ARs from company that stopped selling them to civilians. examiner.com

“When demand for magazines skyrocketed and we saw other companies increasing their prices, we made the decision that we would not increase our prices, and asked E-Lander to increase their production instead.” Israeli Magazine Factory Running Round-the-Clock to Provide AR-15 Mags to the US thetacticalwire.com

“The Redring is not a sight for aiming but for fast, instinctive shooting by providing the user with another reference point to confidently hit the target.” So it’s for aiming, right? My Benelli M4 awaits!

“Not only have my husband and I never talked to them about what to do if they find a gun at a friend’s or relative’s house, we have never talked to them about guns, or gun safety, at all.” A Tennessee-based New York Times Mommy blogger sees the light. Read the comments.

Putnam County refuses to surrender gun permit holders’ info. The battle continues. poughkeepsiejournal.com 

“Norway, Finland, Slovakia, Israel and Belgium were the top five nations suffering the most, per capita, fatalities from rampage shootings during the preceding five years.” rampageshooting.com

Gun Guru Rob Pincus: books can stop bullets. What should we do with that info?

Impeach Sen. Diane Feinstein for violating her oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, re: AWB petition at whitehouse.gov just passed “official response” trip wire of 25k

“When ‘Saturday Night Live’ recently reran its show with the fake town hall debate, the exchange about gun control was edited out.” Something about Obama’s pledge to do nothing about gun control. If only. wisconsinwatch.org

You can’t fix—or regulate—stupid. chicagobarstoolsports.com

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

58 Responses to TTAG Daily Digest: Sam Harris is Seriously Misguided on the Issue of Gun Rights (And That’s Not a Rifle)

  1. avatarmountainpass says:

    On Oconee GA Sheriff Scott Berry not buying from seller that decided to no longer sell to civilians here is a little more about him:

    Robert,

    The good sheriff wrote this several days ago:

    I can’t speak for every Sheriff, but I can speak for me…and whatever influence I have on my counterparts.
    First, there ain’t enough Federal agents in this COUNTRY to take every gun in Georgia….much less the rest of the country.
    Next, they will do it over my dead body in Oconee County, PERIOD. It ain’t gonna happen.
    I am telling you, door to door confiscation of any type ain’t gonna work, and it ain’t gonna happen. There are LOTS of reasons why, but Injunctions, law suits, court orders, etc…will be flying, not to mention the outright resistance of the entire American population.

    Here is a pic of the Sheriff before speaking at a 2A breakfast that our gun rights group GeorgiaCarry.Org was a part of by the Fulton County GOP put on back in 2010:http://i209.photobucket.com/albums/bb234/AeroShooter/Fulton%20GOP%20Breakfast/IMG_5247.jpg

    The sheriff was also on Colbert back in 2011 the first part is funny starting at the 1:30 mark is the Sheriff:http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/396382/september-12-2011/stephen-reports-on-an-old-fashioned-hero

  2. avatarjwm says:

    So if Sam Harris understands tougher gun laws aren’t going to stop the bad guys, why is he advocating tougher gun laws? What is the agenda of passing laws that you admit will do no good?

    The anti’s are truly out of touch with reality. Where the fuk do we get these people and why do they have a public forum to speak on?

    • avatarCody K says:

      Where the hell do you get the idea that Sam Harris is an “anti?” He fucking LOVES guns and WANTS PEOPLE TO OWN THEM.

      • avatarjwm says:

        Then why is he stating that he understands gun control laws basically do nothing but he’s for more gun laws? That doesn’t sound like a pro gun guy to me, Cody.

        • avatarAlphaGeek says:

          jwm, if you haven’t read the whole article, I encourage you to do so at your earliest opportunity.

  3. avatarRalph says:

    Natick Democrat Rep. David Linsky said Thursday he intends to file a comprehensive bill within the next two weeks

    Yet another reason why the Commonwealth and I will part ways as soon as I become Medicare eligible this spring. Goodbye, you f^cking Massh0les. Please do the world a favor and die. Painfully.

    • avatarGeorge says:

      As a resident of New Hampshire and an escapee of Deval’s hellhole, I couldn’t agree with you more.

  4. avatarIn Memphis says:

    I had a hard time reading past the parts where he basically admits gun control is useless.

  5. avatarOkieRim says:

    That Colbert video was funny..too bad it looks like someone @ the NYT really did steal the story…looser.

  6. avatarThomas Paine says:

    wow, so i don’t have to buy that level II plate after all. Thanks Rob Pincus.

    maybe we can make it mandatory that all children carry around the 2400 pages of the new healthcare law in their backpacks as body armor. Or maybe 50 copies of Dreams from My Father? or have they all been recycled yet? ok. that went a little too far.

    Thanks for the info, bro.

  7. avataranon@anon.com says:

    This douchenozzle is cut from the same cloth as Gavin DeBecker. Only “professionals” like him should have guns. The aristocrats can buy his services and the peasants can have 911 roulette.

  8. avatarMichael B. says:

    Sam misses the boat because he doesn’t consider gun ownership a right or a right at all. He’s flat out wrong on the second amendment.

    He strikes me as an enthusiast who likes shooting as a hobby and became more serious about his own security when he rose to prominence due to his criticisms of religion. After all, he’s had several uber-religious psychotics (particularly from the religion of ‘peace’) threaten his life.

    He also seems to think mass shooters are frequently tackled or subdued when reloading, among other things. They’re not. This is a ridiculous oversight on his part.

    You can tell that he is a man that does not respect the liberty of others when he uses words like “let” in reference to “letting” people own guns (as if someone died and made him dictator), recommends licensing schemes , repeats tired old canards about the “gun-show loophole”, etc.

    I’m disappointed by this but not surprised and his general condescension as well as his ignorance on this issue will ensure that I never buy one of his books.

    I find Christoper Hitchens’ criticisms of religion much more entertaining, on point, and damaging than Harris’s anyway. On top of that the man was a damned socialist who respected the individual right to keep and bear arms and thought we would be better served with actual Swiss-style militias than with our massive military machine (at least back in the early 90s) when he wrote this in the early 1990s:

    http://www.hoboes.com/pub/Firearms/Essays/Myth%20of%20Gun%20Control/

    Excerpts:

    “If you take the Second Amendment as a whole (which the National Rifle
    Association and the political conservatives generally do not) it can be
    understood as enshrining the right, if not indeed the duty, of citizens to
    defend their country, and themselves, from aggression, including aggres-
    sion from the government. The idea of the “well-regulated militia” arose
    from a hostility to the monarchistic imposition of a standing army. The
    time might come when the people might have to muster against the state.
    Well, what’s wrong with that?”

    and..

    “Thinking again about self-defense would involve reordering the idea of
    the “well-regulated militia”. In exchange for abolition of the military-
    industrial complex, who would not consider reporting for the occasional
    weekend – as in many democratic European nations – and acquiring the
    rudiments of weapons training, to be accompanied by a reading of the Con-
    stitution and the Bill of Rights? Utopian, you say. No more than the half-
    baked pacifism that, when preached by gun-controllers, has as its corollary
    a duopoly of force in the hands of the state and the criminal. Certainly no
    more utopian than the pathetic “guns for vouchers” swap meets that are
    now making police precincts a laughingstock as they concentrate on the
    disarmament of the law-abiding (and the opportunist).

    Since, with about 200 million guns on the scene, a gun-free future is not in
    the cards, and since the farce of Brady-style “registration” will have about
    the same effect as Prohibition had on narcotics, what could be more revolu-
    tionary and democratic than to nationalize and socialize the arms and
    weapons business? Instead of being another aspect of anarchy and alien-
    ation, it could become part of the solution. It would also cut with the Amer-
    ican grain. Of course guns kill people. That’s why the people should take
    control of the guns.”

  9. avatarCarlosT says:

    In another thread, I pointed out that bookshelves make for actual cover (not just concealment), since a 30″ shelf of books will stop everything up to and including 30-06 armor piercing.

    Since we know this, classrooms should be designed to take advantage of this fact. If a teacher were carrying, they could have a set of shelves strategically placed between them and the entry to the room, so they’d have a safe position from which to return fire.

  10. avatarGreg says:

    I’m a huge fan of this blog and I check it multiple times a day, and likely still will. But, I can’t justify wasting brain cycles trying to process anything Mr. Farago writes after the quote “Sam Harris is an idiot.” I read your article, but I kept imagining that you surely MUST have considered the totality of the man’s work before writing him off as an idiot.

    Please tell me I’m wrong and that the quoted paragraph is the only thing by him you’ve ever read. Please tell me you didn’t even read the rest of his article. Or his article on self-defense.

    • avatarRobert Farago says:

      I read the whole thing. And I’m familiar with the body of Mr. Harris’ work.

      As I stated above, Harris gives an excellent dissection of gun control laws. To then push that all aside and say it’s a good thing to do the stupid thing is stupid. Coming from such an intelligent and articulate man it’s dangerously stupid.

      What’s more (or less) rejecting the Second Amendment as an anachronism protecting militias is willfully ignorant. The Supreme Court has established the 2A as an individual right designed for self defense and defense against tyranny. As was the framers’ clear intention.

      Harris is one of the clearest thinkers alive. Except when he isn’t.

      • avatar16V says:

        Exactly.

        I’m not sure what his motivation was for rather thoughtfully analyzing the situation, then jumping to the wrong conclusion.

        Except… wait for it… money.

        As Dylan noted, we all “gotta serve somebody”. There are compromises we all make to care for our families, maintain our lifestyle, pay for our toys, and enjoy our dalliances. Sam Harris has an audience (and corporate masters) with, well, expectations, and as such, he has to deliver the product he knows they’ll pay for.

        I’m not apologizing for him, nor am I sanctioning this kind of behavior. In fact, I’m very disappointed. Especially since he should have enough money to be as independent as he wants to be. But fame and adulation from the “right folks” can be very addicting for a whole lotta reasons.

      • avatarMichael B. says:

        +1

      • avatarAlphaGeek says:

        RF, there’s a big difference between someone taking a stupid position on one aspect of an issue, versus that same person being an idiot. You used the terms “idiot” and “stupidity” to describe him, which by your own admission above are not applicable.

        Sam Harris isn’t an idiot. He’s misstepped, badly, in some of these statements regarding guns — but that’s ignorance, not stupidity. Ignorance can be fixed, stupidity is forever.

      • avatarroadkill6 says:

        Mr. Harris sums up his case in the final paragraph: “Rather than new laws, I believe we need a general shift in our attitude toward public violence—wherein everyone begins to assume some responsibility for containing it.” So it looks like he’s saying that, even though he doesn’t think the 2A is an individual right and even though he would LIKE to see all guns banned, it ain’t gonna happen and it wouldn’t work if it did so we should probably start looking for solutions other than “gun control” laws.

        It sounds to me like he’s writing to a liberal audience and trying to appeal to them by doing the whole: “Hey, I’m for gun control as much as the next guy, but…”

        • avatarPaul W says:

          That was similar to my take on it as well.

          Of course he did say he’d favor licensing ownership (without registration) which I’m against…but it’s factually incorrect to call him anti-gun when he’s said he does not want a world without guns and wants citizens to be able to own pretty much anything (provided they can get a license).

          In this case, I’m willing to assume that he, personally, wants the license to be affordable and reasonable to obtain…even though I’ll disagree with him on it, I’m not going to assume that he wants it to be impossible for anyone outside of the elite because there wasn’t’ anything in his article to warrant that suspicion.

          Again, I disagree with licensing and would not support a law demanding it, but I’m not going to call someone anti-gun because they’re mistaken on that issue.

    • avatar16V says:

      Guess I shoulda just said “+1″ and I woulda gotten posted.

      • avatarAlphaGeek says:

        If it’s any consolation I’ve had a couple of comments randomly get trapped in the moderation queue today.

  11. avatarNelson says:

    Dear Robert,

    Can’t believe I’m about to defend an atheist statist liberal, but have you read the entire article?

    If anything, despite Harris fully harnessing the necessity for 2A as an individual right of self defense, and aside from his erroneous reading of the original purpose of the Constitution as he trots out the same gun grabber canard that 2A should strictly be limited to State govt controlled militia to ward off the Feds, and stricter gun control laws & background checks at guns shows and private sales, the blog blurb makes it clear that those are his ‘in a perfect world if laws worked to curb those, I’d be all for it, but I know it doesn’t‘-thinking out loud verbal narrative flow.

    As a non-denominational spiritualist, I’ve often found his antagonistic/atheist derived-characterizations of the Judeo-Christian Faithfuls to be quite obnoxious at times, but I still sat through those videos of his ‘debates’ with his opponents and his writings, to fully gauge where he’s coming from.

    Sam Harris is not your run of the mill idiot liberal/RINO rabid gun grabber; he’s a practicing martial artist who have been trained in firearms, for a long time, and has spent time researching real-life deadly encounter dynamics, as you and I and many here have.

    But, unlike my friends, I own several guns and train with them regularly. Every month or two, I spend a full day shooting with a highly qualified instructor. This is an expensive and time-consuming habit, but I view it as part of my responsibility as a gun owner. It is true that my work as a writer has added to my security concerns somewhat, but my involvement with guns goes back decades. I have always wanted to be able to protect myself and my family, and I have never had any illusions about how quickly the police can respond when called. I have expressed my views on self-defense elsewhere. Suffice it to say, if a person enters your home for the purpose of harming you, you cannot reasonably expect the police to arrive in time to stop him. This is not the fault of the police—it is a problem of physics.

    Like most gun owners, I understand the ethical importance of guns and cannot honestly wish for a world without them. I suspect that sentiment will shock many readers. Wouldn’t any decent person wish for a world without guns? In my view, only someone who doesn’t understand violence could wish for such a world. A world without guns is one in which the most aggressive men can do more or less anything they want. It is a world in which a man with a knife can rape and murder a woman in the presence of a dozen witnesses, and none will find the courage to intervene. There have been cases of prison guards (who generally do not carry guns) helplessly standing by as one of their own was stabbed to death by a lone prisoner armed with an improvised blade. The hesitation of bystanders in these situations makes perfect sense—and “diffusion of responsibility” has little to do with it. The fantasies of many martial artists aside, to go unarmed against a person with a knife is to put oneself in very real peril, regardless of one’s training. The same can be said of attacks involving multiple assailants. A world without guns is a world in which no man, not even a member of Seal Team Six, can reasonably expect to prevail over more than one determined attacker at a time. A world without guns, therefore, is one in which the advantages of youth, size, strength, aggression, and sheer numbers are almost always decisive. Who could be nostalgic for such a world?

    Actually, if you haven’t fully read the entire article, you should. Because despite his wishful thinking, the reality of lethal dynamic encounters as he’s come to research and the extrapolated training he voluntarily applied himself in, yielded the following as his conclusion as to how to deal with society’s violence: NOT more new laws, but individual responsibility. Which kinda tells me you either speed read it, or missed his point entirely. To wit:

    Rather than new laws, I believe we need a general shift in our attitude toward public violence—wherein everyone begins to assume some responsibility for containing it. It is worth noting that this shift has already occurred in one area of our lives, without anyone’s having received special training or even agreeing that a change in attitude was necessary: Just imagine how a few men with box cutters would now be greeted by their fellow passengers at 30,000 feet.

    Perhaps we can find the same resolve on the ground.

    In fact, seeing as how you, Robert, and he both are authors, I actually urge you to reach out to Sam Harris, directly; he seems like a genuine ‘bridge’ to the liberal side, an intellectual ‘gunny’ that we may actually be able to work with to help us convince those who are on the fence. *(Though, personally, I’ve given up on ‘convincing the other side’ but from all your writings, you’re equally interested in communicating our views in a virtuous light for the on-the-fence to open-minded-but-utterly-ignorant-of-gun-issues-public at large, so I see this as such opportunity.)

    I urge you to reconsider the headline as well. Thank you.

    • avatarBradN says:

      You’d be surprised how many of us atheist liberals are proud gun owners and fully support the constitution and the 2nd Amendment. There’s so many law abiding gun owners in this country from every walk of life that will stand up in defense of the 2nd Amendment and I’m certainly no exception.

      • avatarNelson says:

        Welcome!

        In fact, I DO know, because I grew up with them and around them. My real peeve is really vs. Statism/collectivism/interventionism (whether domestic or foreign), but most of all, Keynesian statists.

        But, that’s for a whole other blog involving lengthy back and forth on philosophy, underlying premise of which, etc, etc… which I will not conduct here, for Robert Farago’s editing headache sakes. LOL.

        That said, I’m with anyone who’s a “leave me the F3ck alone-ist”!!!

        So, if you’re in that camp, it’s all peaches and cream to me.

        • avatarBradN says:

          You and I are more alike than I realized. While I certainly don’t support statism, collectivism or interventionism, I believe if it is being forced upon us that’s when my liberal ideologies kick in but outside of this, I do like being left the hell alone!

        • avatarShawmutt says:

          +1

      • avatarAlphaGeek says:

        Not surprising to me. But then again, I’m a liberal in the classic sense of the word, an atheist, and as has been well established at this point, a gun owner and 2A rights supporter. :)

        I find that the one thing that puts me ad odds with folks across the political spectrum who want to treat the Bill Of Rights as an a la carte menu. I’m not getting any more conservative as the years go by, but I sure as hell am getting more appreciative of the wisdom of the Bill’s authors as I look back on the enduring validity of their work through several hundred years of history.

        • avatar16V says:

          Many more of us than one might imagine given the propaganda of the FauxNewsCorporatists and their lackeys in the GOP. Let alone their sycophants.

          Of course, I’m waiting, as seem to be SOP lately, for some of my replies to be “moderated” despite the fact they contain none of Carlin’s 7 words.

        • avatarAlphaGeek says:

          On the other hand, there’s increasing recognition that non-religiously-affiliated is the fastest-growing demographic group in several Western democracies, including the US. And this isn’t just in obscure studies, either, I’ve seen stories on this at all of the major news outlets. (Except perhaps Fox, because I don’t count them as a valid source of news much of the time.)

          It’s not a monolithic group, to be sure — it includes everyone from full-on atheists to “spiritual but not religious” types who don’t go to any particular church. Now that it IS an interestingly large demographic, though, I’m looking forward to seeing how this group polls on various issues. Early indications are promising that there’s a strong small-L libertarian tendency with corresponding support for equal rights.

        • avatar16V says:

          True, we are officially coming out of the closet as it were. (Which is nice because Tom Cruise’s couch bouncing and Travolta’s fat self don’t leave much room…)

          Tends to go with level of education. Once you learn about folk tales and the ‘hero checklist’ you tend to have a better grasp of the true significance of the writings of Bronze age goat herders.

        • avatarPaul W says:

          I love that summary–people on both sides give hue and cry to the BOR but it seems to be kind of a pick and choose thing for them.

    • avatarGreg says:

      I wish this had been posted before my own comment so I could simply sign on in support of what Nelson is saying. Especially the part urging him to change the “headline” of this post.

      Folks, read the article by Sam Harris. Don’t let Mr. Farago feed you the quoted paragraph as the totality of what Mr. Harris has offered.

      [I've edited out the rest of my comment as Mr. Farago was replying to my comment while I was making a further statement criticizing his position]

    • avatarAlphaGeek says:

      Nelson, just wanted to share that I thought your comment was spectacularly well-written.

  12. avatarChristoff says:

    Harris’s “by all means” is irony. You ought read these articles (I’m thinking also of a fairly well thought out Megan McCardle analysis you bashed) more carefully before labeling someone who is in many ways an ally as an “idiot.”

  13. avatarAlphaGeek says:

    Gun Guru Rob Pincus: books can stop bullets. What should we do with that info?

    Here’s an idea: tell people to stop loading their kids down with “ballistic backpacks” because a textbook or two will do the same job. Better, even, since the books will distribute the blunt trauma significantly better than a flexible Kevlar panel.

  14. avatarCasey T says:

    I read the full article by Sam Harris because of the comments and it makes sense why he is being called an idiot. From his writing you can tell he is very intelligent and appears to be flowing with his thoughts and made many points as to why gun control is foolish. However, he appears to lose credibility when he argues the intent of the Constitution because he summarily ignores a large amount of information that came from that time period that further explains the purpose of the Second Amendment. It’s either ignorant or hypocritical because he basically explains the many fallacies found in gun control arguments earlier due to incorrect information or lack of understanding. To do so, makes him appear as though he either has an agenda or is ignorant for the basis of the Second Amendment. He literally states that people believe the 2nd Amendment allows civilians to own whatever they desire and how that belief is incorrect (I’m paraphrasing). I have read the second amendment and analysis of the language at the time and I can tell you that the Amendment does allow us civilians to own whatever we desire up to and including nuclear weapons. Now, though it does allow for it, I would be uncomfortable with everyone owning nuclear material as I think most here would too but my point is that we are entitled to own machine guns, semi automatic rifles, handguns, etc. Basically, the founders wanted us to be able to protect ourselves and the country if the need arose to include a tyrannical government (which we all hope does not ever happen).

    What I think Sam Harris’ article demonstrates is that there are people out there who may like firearms and know that gun control advocates are wrong but are willing to follow their ideology to a fault, even when they know it is a fault. Yes, they will point out fallacies in the arguments but are either willing to accept a flawed ideology or ignore the flaws to hold to the ideology. The sad truth is that we are all guilty of that in some way be it in our belief in religion, politics, scientific theories, sports, etc. What I think we can take from the article is that a bright person is wiling to point out the fallacies in gun control but will hold to their political affiliation despite that fact. Nothing more, nothing less.

  15. avatarLowne says:

    All of this high-brow talk about politicos and their statements….

    Did no one see the picture of the MENSA member pointing the gun at himself?

    The only thing that could have made me smile more is if TTAG had followed it up with a report that “Thuggy-G” had inadvertently shot itself only seconds after snapping the pic!

  16. avatarO.E says:

    The Harris clan are responsible for many thousand violent criminals running amok reigning terror upon the humble, they have also been cause for the heightened responses of bureaucratic expansion dreamed up by nanny goat do gooders.

    I would not credit Sam Harris on any of his points simply because I know the Jewish position of tribal arrogance that has ran its course through the generations.

  17. avatarLoic says:

    “Norway, Finland, Slovakia, Israel and Belgium were the top five nations suffering the most, per capita, fatalities from rampage shootings during the preceding five years.” rampageshooting.com

    And guess what.. it’s a pain in the a$$ to get a gun in Belgium I legaly own a SIG P226 and it took me 4 month and 100€ to have the paper to have it (and I am lucky for some it take years to have that paper). And I can only have it at my home stored in a locked box with a security device that block the trigger, with ammo stored in another locked box. All these mesures were the responses from our governement to previous rampage.

    It doesn’t seem to work that much except to annoy legal owners. The last rampage was done by an illegal gun and illegal grenades govenrement response > obligation to registrer the last guns that didn’t require any paper work to be bought (which were old gun with really hard to find ammo).

    Fight for your rights guys or you are gonna get screwed..

    • avatarAlphaGeek says:

      Loic, are you also subject to any government inspection regarding safe storage of your SIG? I’ve heard that some of the Euro countries which still grudgingly permit their citizens to own handguns have the right to come to your house and demand to inspect your storage arrangements at will.

      If so, have you ever been visited for an inspection?

      • avatarLoïc says:

        When I made the paper work to ask for my permission to own that gun a policeman came to my home and asked to see where I would keep it and asked me a bunch of really personnal questions. They can come back anytime (but I highly doubt they have the time to do so) and they need a warant to come in. But every 5 years they need to control if you still respond to the criteria (being registered in a shooting range, no criminal record,..) and they can check where you store your gun. You can tell them they are not allowed to come to your house but the risk is that they can take away the right to have your gun. ( and every 5 years you have to pay again the 100€ )

  18. avatarJoseph says:

    If Sam Harris is an atheist, then he’s obviously never been in combat, ergo he is, in fact, an idiot.

  19. avatarBilly Wardlaw says:

    I was very disappointed in the Sam Harris piece. While it was the most coherent and in some-places (self-defense) favorable to the guns, he committed a foul I can’t forgive him for. That is, he made the case that “assault weapons” bans would do little to nothing to curb crime, that they are a fraction of a percent of the problem, but then turned right around and said, “by all means, lets ban assault weapons” – HUH? My guess is that in spite of all he usually objective reasoning, his personal feeling is still that ordinary citizens do not need them, and he can’t help but feel this way, in spite of the evidence.
    He also has some incorrect information on ammunition and weapons design intent, but it was minor.
    Oh Sam, I wish you would stick to neuroscience and related subjects.

    • avatarTray says:

      This confused me as well, but on later reflection, I have taken his meaning to be dismissive hand-waving, i.e. “Go ahead and jump off that bridge, but it won’t do you any good.”

      • avatarRobert Farago says:

        That’s being extremely charitable.

        • avatarShawmutt says:

          Robert, I’m not sure you read the same article I did. As someone else mentioned before, I highly recommend you get in touch with Sam. The man is certainly open to criticism and would be more likely to change his mind when given good evidence.

          I don’t know if you have preconceived notions of Harris, but you have misrepresented his ‘go ahead and ban ars’ argument multiple times.

          Email the man, start a dialogue. You both might learn something.

    • avatarFlubnut says:

      As an absolute statement, taken by itself, sure it looks wrong: “by all means, lets ban assault weapons.” Taken in context with the remainder of the paragraph, it’s clear he was setting up a valid point: banning assault weapons will not prevent the next mass murderer, it will just cause him to change tactics slightly, and the original issue of “violence” still isn’t solved. So an assault weapons ban is a complete farce and we shouldn’t waste our time with it when we could be working on real solutions to the actual root problems.

      Cherry-picking sentences and soundbites is an unfortunate reality in this world, and everybody loves doing it to try and further their own agendas. A true Anti reading this story will see that 1 sentence and say “aha! a gun guy who says we should ban assault weapons!” A no-compromises 2A supporter will see that sentence and say “aha! he’s an Anti and doesn’t know shit!” Great…but we also need to address the huge number of people who are in the “murky middle” of this issue, most who are uneducated about guns, gun laws, what actually works, and what doesn’t. While I don’t think his post is perfect, it’s written in a way that (as a whole) debunks most proposed gun laws without coming across as blatantly pro/anti 2A propaganda. We don’t NEED the middle to “love guns” right now, we just need them to understand that all these bans are a fricking waste of time, don’t solve a damn thing, and actually make everyone less safe. If essays like this help to sway some in the middle towards 2A, I don’t see that as a bad thing. We need multiple tactics on multiple fronts to win this war.

      • avatarPaul W says:

        THANK YOU!

        That’s pretty much exactly how I read it. He was saying “OK, lets assume th ey’re all off the street. Does it help?”

        You don’t win arguments by preaching to the choir and giving the exact same talking points over and over.

  20. avatarCassandra (of Troy) says:

    It appears that everyone’s overlooked an important part of Harris’ piece that gives an insight into his base belief structure & that’s the final sentence of pgh 2. I found it breathtaking in its naked (& likely deliberate) ignorance; where was he when ‘gay marriage’ was lighting up the country’s discussion outlets & its use by our foreign ‘bettahs’ as yet another example of American’s utter lack of ‘sophistication’? Heard of Obamacare, the dire straits the economy’s in & what should be done about it, the ‘global warming/climate change’ debate, voter ID? Gad, fella, that was a BIG ‘tell’ on your part, & one that’s demonstrably untrue since the topic of ‘gun control’ isn’t usually on most people’s radar until it’s forced to be by either some incident like Sandy Hook or lacking that opportunity by a politico trying to score points. Look at what didn’t happen with Fast & Furious despite LOTS of evidence showing that it was intended to make the anti-2A cult’s case for more & increasingly stiffer gun control laws. Where’s this guy been?

    Paragraphs 6 & 7 are also revelatory of his basic mindset due to their repetitious use of qualifiers like “more likely” & “can” which are suppositions disputed by the fact that such manifestly isn’t the case else the decidedly anti-2A press would be trumpeting those occurrences from the skies. His reliance on the term homicide’s also indicative of his true orientation (ditto for ‘assault rifle/s’, ‘gun zealots’, ‘gun nuts’) in that he engages in the old anti-2A cult tactic of implying it the equivalent to murder which is isn’t necessarily true, witness how often homicides are re-classified as suicides or accidents in addition to its ‘troublesome’ legal definition. Despite those flaws & the barely concealed bias of the author, I found it to be surprisingly positive & useful as a rebuttal to the anti-2A cult’s claims & their slanders of the pro-2A side. The part that seems to be the most contentious, “go ahead & do it”, indeed appears damning but on further examination is (at least to me) what others have said it is,: Nothing more than a dismissal of such ‘solutions’ as useless & unnecessarily divisive & those who keep proposing them as either obtuse or duplicitous.

    Kicks & kisses, with more of the former reserved for the anti-2A cult & the latter (grudgingly) for the pro-2A side, kinda like a recent article from James Alan Fox/Northeastern Univ where he tried valiantly to retain his anti-2A cult’s articles of faith but ultimately expressed his defeat in light of their being demolished by the weight of evidence disproving them. Would that someone would do a show like Peter Jennings did back in 1990, it was devastating to the anti-2A cult’s case & as such makes me wonder just what the hell’s going on in the minds of the ‘leaders’ of the pro-2A forces.

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