“It’s true, too, that a background check would not have stopped Adam Lanza, who had no criminal record, and whose mother had reportedly bought the guns he used in Newtown. But laws influence culture, just as culture influences laws, and if Congress enacted a serious piece of gun-control legislation perhaps that might initiate a subtle shift in American attitudes toward guns, and that might eventually lead some parent with a deeply troubled, deeply isolated son fascinated by violence to think twice before turning the family home into a munitions depot. Conversely, if lawmakers won’t pass even a modest reform supported by the vast majority of Americans, they will be capitulating to the N.R.A.’s corrosive view that the only answer to gun violence is more guns.” – Margaret Talbot in Why is Congress So Afraid of Gun Control? [via newyorker.com]

51 Responses to Quote of the Day: Capitulation Edition

    • “But laws influence culture”

      Sure worked with Prohibition, didn’t it? America was transformed into a dry culture that persists to this day.

      Seriously, using coercive legislation to change the culture to suit some legislators’ prejudices is, in my opinion, raw fascism & nothing less.

      To a typical New Yorker reader, gun rights advocates “simply aren’t the kind of people that decent, caring, compassionate liberals would want to associate with”.

      • This.

        How do like this little gem?

        “if lawmakers won’t pass even a modest reform supported by the vast majority of Americans, they will be capitulating to the N.R.A.’s corrosive view that the only answer to gun violence is more guns.”

        Riiiiiiiight. REFORM. The biggest lie of them all. We’ll simply ignore ALL the historical precedence and ALL the second and third order consequences and ALL the governmental abuses that will stem from this legislation. F*ck it. Let’s just lazily slap the “REFORM” sticker on this thing so the drone-like voters think we’re DOING SOMETHING, which of course is always morally superior to doing nothing, right? Plus it sure doesn’t sound like statist tyranny when we call it reform!

        Margaret, we do need reform. But we should not be adding laws, we should be repealing laws. We should be shrinking gov’t instead of swelling it. We should be reforming entitlements, not expanding them. We should absolutely not be infringing on the rights and liberties of the citizenry.

        Also laughable is this “vast majority” nonsense, which is almost as big of a joke as the New Yorker itself.

        Margaret, thank you for confirming my belief that traditional journalism is dead, having been replaced in its totality by propaganda machines. F*ck off and die and by all means take the entire staff of that rag you work for with you. Oh, and don’t forget to go f*ck yourself before you do. Pig.

        • +1. The logic fails in this article disqualified it for rational argument but thats not the point…its the revealed solipsm of the author to “do something anything” that reflects the New Yorker mindset that “the elites know best…trust us”. (not those biitter clingers in flyover country) Nope. Not with my kids and not with the Constitution.

      • The word “prohibition” to gun spiders is like holy water to vampires. USE IT “LIBERALLY”! THROW IT IN THEIR FACES!!

  1. “Why is Congress so afraid of Gun Control?” Cause they saw what happened to the last set of congress-critters who passed gun control and the current set wants to keep their jobs.

    And if a strong set of gun control laws is supposed to influence the culture, why didn’t is stop the Columbine killers who committed their crime in the middle of the last big gun control law?

  2. I can’t believe people get paid to write thoughtless dribble like this.

    America was largely founded upon the-ends-don’t-justify-the-means principles to ensure that liberties and rights were not trampled upon under the guise of some greater good. A minority fundamentally had some protection from a majority, and conversely a majority had some insulation from a ruling minority (in theory, at least).

    Stripping away the RKBA because a bunch of sociologists THINK it MIGHT lower the chance of statistically insignificant mass shootings couldn’t be more un-American.

  3. It reminds of some of the debates I’ve had with antis when you shoot down all their factual arguments. They just start flailing for a reason to justify their position: ‘Well, you have to do SOMETHING!’ (Even though it wouldn’t have helped).

    • Not too unlike advice given in regards to treating the injured, where if one lacks medical knowledge/skills, it’s best to leave the victim to the professionals, else one may end up causing more harm then good.

  4. “….But laws influence culture…”

    A pretty grand statement, full of heartfelt utopian overtones; one that completely glosses over the FACT that such legal influences can go both ways (1920’s prohibition) and further, that the violent criminal “culture” doesn’t give an gram of crap about her utopian belief system and will always act accordingly.

    Talk about ways to change the violent criminal culture instead of limiting the freedom of law abiding citizens and then she’ll have my attention.

    • You should actually write this in to the New Yorker, not that they would overlook their agenda and publish it. What an excellent expression of what we all felt when we read this piece of garbage.

  5. if Congress enacted a serious piece of gun-control legislation perhaps that might initiate a subtle shift in American attitudes toward guns, and that might eventually lead some parent with a deeply troubled, deeply isolated son fascinated by violence to think twice before turning the family home into a munitions depot.

    Listen lady, if the thought of being executed in your sleep doesn’t make you think twice about your disturbed son having access to your firearms, no amount of legislation will, no matter how “serious”.

  6. the only answer to violence is to defend oneself. handing responsibility for your safety over to somebody else will never be the answer.

  7. “But laws influence culture, just as culture influences laws, and if Congress enacted a serious piece of gun-control legislation perhaps that might initiate a subtle shift in American attitudes toward guns”

    Occasionally “Homo Hoplophobicus” has a Freudian slip.

    She just laid out the endgame of all gun control. Such folk detest the fact that firearms are a tradition in America, and as such wish to employ the law to jettison it. Its not about magazines or evil rifles, but eventually turning our country into a pussified collection of people scared at the very image of a gun.

  8. When faced with the threat of enemy soldiers firing upon them, I do hope our soldiers will not answer violence with violence. Margaret Talbot has shown me the error in my logic. See, I thought that because someone may use a gun against me, I should be able to defend myself in a similar manner. But now I see the error of my ways. I will instead say “Please, don’t shoot me.” and demonstrate my empty hands. Thank you for enlightening me, Mrs. Talbot!

  9. The problem with these kind of articles is that “gun control” writers have no problem lumping pro-2A people with drug dealers, white supremacists, felons with a grudge, etc….
    Maybe what legislators fear is actual reprisal. After all, they have the examples not only of their former colleague Gabrielle Giffords, who was wounded with a semi-automatic pistol in 2011, but of at least four other public officials—the director of prisons for Colorado, two state prosecutors in Texas, a sheriff in West Virginia—who were shot to death in recent months.

  10. Sure, laws shape our culture. Like when slick Willy tried to take away our AR15s. We ditched our mini14s and now we have an AR culture. Worked like a charm.

  11. Why are you so afraid of allowing people to defend themselves, Margaret?
    Why do you insist innocent people be victimized for the sake of your selfish, flawed philosophy?

    Every hour women get raped, innocent people are attacked & murdered, and the “police” are never there to defend them. “To serve & protect”? I don’t think so. They’ll do a great crime scene investigation, maybe they’ll eventually make an arrest & put someone behind bars, but the defenseless victims are still brutalized/raped/violated/murdered.

    Not unlike all those little kids at Sandyhook. But as long as you feel good about yourself, I guess that’s all that matters, isn’t it?

  12. Put that on a sign & walk through Chicago’s south side at night, Madam Currie. I thought the NRA was made up of individual citizens instead of this one man dictatorship she seems to refer to. Get rid of the criminal protection zones bitch, & yes many more guns are the answer, just not for criminal longevity, Randy

  13. So what I’m hearing is “We have to do SOMETHING!” or “It doesn’t matter if the laws we pass are actually effective, as long as it’s enough to change people’s opinions of guns. If we enact enough laws to make guns seem bad, people will think they are bad”

    The sad thing is she might be right.

    Rules for Radicals:
    “RULE 11: “If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive.” Violence from the other side can win the public to your side because the public sympathizes with the underdog.”

    “RULE 13: “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions”

    • Use these rules against them. Punch back twice as hard. And go one bettet – be factual and give money to the lobby groups that oppose the OFA and MAIG anti-FREEDOM agenda. Its working. When you are receiving flak you are over thr target. Keep up the good work TTAG.

  14. Margaret my dear you are so wrong. Congress did pass a “serious” piece of gun control legislation back in 1968. Now, forty-five years later, more Americans than ever want to own guns, do own long guns and handguns, and guns with greater shooting capability. Unlike many years ago, a large buying segment of gun owners are now women. So much for laws influencing culture.

    BTW, what is it with all these Leftist groups using the rhetorical question “what are xyz group so afraid of”? I read and hear it all the time. They don’t debate on the subject; they turn it into a personal attack or accusation about the people opposing them.

  15. Madam,

    It’s the difference between being ruled or governed. It’s the difference between requesting or demanding. The government isn’t afraid enough.

  16. “Perhaps” + “subtle” +”attitudes” = reason to infringe upon our fundamental rights

    Great thinking.

  17. Ppl that write this contrived garbage should have “common sense” restrictions placed on their 1st amendment rights. For example, “Universal Editor Checks.” That way someone will verify the factual basis of their “assault prose.” There should also be a national database of ppl who are forbidden from having their 1st amendment rights bc they’re crazy, delusional, liberal, etc. lol

  18. Eat-me-last effing sheeple. That is some fanciful thinking there. People like her make great victims. Whether it is from a criminal or tyranny, she and her ilk will go quietly, without even a scream — just a whimper.

  19. So by adding to the stigma of the gun and the allure of the forbidden it will stop mentally disturbed people’s fascination with guns and they won’t kill anyone? the derp is strong with this one.

  20. Laws influence culture when the laws call for something just. The court rulings and laws enacted during the civil rights work of the 50s and 60s were aimed at recognizing equality of basic rights. A lot of nonsense came along with that, but the fundamental intention was sound.

    Gun control, the War on Drugs, Prohibition, and other such demands for one person not to do what another finds icky fail precisely because they’re a push from on high for all the peasants to do as they’re told. We citizens refuse to comply.

  21. Until she has become proficient in firearms handling and actually gone shooting, she should simply stfu. Too many people that don’t know what they are talking about trying to decide what is right for others nowdays!

  22. Oh, wonderful. The Stepford wife of the OCD Nanny-state has some wishful thinking she wants to share with us. First, and probably most obvious(and offensive)we aren’t supporters of the 2A and the Constitution, we’re “firearms advocates” who agree with the “corrosive views” of the N.R.A. Most anti-gun zealots step adroitly over that point and narrow their talking-points to issues about “things” instead of about principles. Heaven knows, they don’t want something as illusory as first principles standing in their way. This Ministry of Truth regional field agent knows what’s good for us, but we’re just too socially unenlightened and pedestrian to appreciate her all-knowingness. Isn’t it shocking to discover that common sense is thin on the ground, but we’ve got common nonsense by the bushel? You see, we would be much happier and safer if only we didn’t have to live under so many of these damned ridiculous principles. Why, the nerve of us, just who the Hell do we think we are, defying the will of the majority??
    Patriots.

  23. The police found two bolt action rifles, a BB gun and a .22LR revolver in the Lanza house. Add to this the three guns the killer took with him on his murderous rampage, and you have a total of seven guns in the Lanza house. This is not a “munitions depot”. It is barely a starter set.

  24. “if Congress enacted … gun-control legislation perhaps … that might eventually lead some parent with a … troubled … son … to think twice”
    This is a valid point, though it still wouldn’t necessarily stop the assailant in this case.

    “Conversely”, she should have written, the legislation could lead to helplessness, dehumanization, and higher opportunity for criminals who STILL don’t have a problem making steel tools.

    It’s as valid as saying that legislation would be worth it (in a utilitarian sense) if it saved “just one” life.
    Conversely, ending gun legislation would be worth it if it saved “just one” life, right?

  25. “But laws influence culture, just as culture influences laws, and if Congress enacted a serious piece of gun-control legislation perhaps that might initiate a subtle shift in American attitudes toward guns…”

    Family values and eroding morals also influence culture. It is more likely to initiate a subtle shift in american attitudes towards congress than american’s attitudes towards guns.

  26. So its ok for me to lose my rights because some parent cant control their kid?? I don’t think so!

  27. If there’s a sliver of an ice cube’s chance in hell that Lanza’s mother would have been influenced in the slightest, let’s pass a bunch of laws in the middle of the night that will surely leave law abiding citizens prey to crime and violence. What a bad trade off!

  28. “if lawmakers won’t pass even a modest reform supported by the vast majority of Americans”

    I am assuming she means “universal background checks”

    I see these comments, and every time I see a news ticker on CNN/MSNC/ABC etc… it always says “90% of Americans support universal background checks”. Where did they get that statistic from? At last count there were 315,646,769 people in the USA. So that means that 284,082,092 believe in “universal background checks”? Ok, so you take into account children and non- US citizens. That would still leave millions of adult US citizens. Is there a poll that we don’t know about? I have never been asked if I support background checks. Have you?

  29. I agree with her.

    AND

    If you can pass a few laws that encroach on one element of the Bill of Rights, gradually you can shift attitudes of people so that you can pass another law that encroaches on some other element of the Bill of Rights and one day…

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