Random Thoughts About Gun Rights and the Bunker Mentality

I remember watching All in the Family as a kid. My liberal mother loved the show. She saw Archie as a figure of fun, and rightfully so. The show dissed conservatives even as it gave voice to their beliefs. As it does above, with the “laughable” suggestion that Alabama Governor George Wallace might not have been disabled by an assassination attempt if he’d had a “rod” to shoot Arthur Bremer. What’s intriguing about that clip: Lionel’s reply to what “his people” think about guns. “Depends who’s holding it.” Someone was thinking outside the box there. Here’s Archie’s gun control editorial . . .

Archie’s rant begins powerfully. The Queens’ resident reveals himself as a “veteran of the big war” in a matter-of-fact way. His initial argument makes perfect sense: asserting that gun control was key to the Communist’s power grab. And then Archie’s off, linking American gun control to a conspiracy by “international bankers,” code for Jews.

You’d think that the show’s producer, a Connecticut Jew who flew 52 combat missions during World War II, would hesitate to connect Bunker’s belief in armed self-defense as a bulwark against Communism with thinly veiled anti-Semitism. Especially as Bunker synched with blacks on the issue (as above). Nope.

Norman Lear (now 91) adheres to the stopped clock theory of conservatives: even when they’re right they’re wrong. They’re not right for the right reasons. In other words, they’re stupid. Like many Jews taught to value education above all else, Lear looked down on those who lacked a liberal (in the traditional sense) education. His progressivism is nothing more or less than paternalism.

That’s why Lear couldn’t let Archie make a sensible point about gun control without revealing him as an ignoramus. Or, more charitably, a lovable loser. Same thing with the bit about arming passengers against skyjackers. Lear’s writers undermined Archie’s “common sense” approach to the horrific terrorism through reductio ad absurdum. Passing out pistols and collecting them at the other end. Geddit? Well the California studio audience did.

Gun rights conservative Archie Bunker endeared himself to middle America because he was one of them. His appeal was as much as a testament to Carroll O’Connor’s acting ability as it was to the writers’ understanding of the conservative mindset. Right thinking viewers knew well enough when Archie went over the top, but they were right there with him. Even though the liberals always got the last laugh. (You could tell when Archie’s rants got a little too righteous; a malapropism would cut him off at the rhetorical knees.)

Even when the All in the Family, its spin-off and ancestors finished their run, Lear kept the progressive flame burning. In 1981, Lear founded People for the American Way, dedicated to “making the promise of America real for every American: Equality. Freedom of speech. Freedom of religion. The right to seek justice in a court of law. The right to cast a vote that counts.” But not the right to keep and bear arms. An America that “respects diversity, nurtures creativity and combats hatred and bigotry.” But not the right to keep and bear arms.

Watching YouTube clips of All in the Family, the program doesn’t seem as dated as Lear’s other, equally liberal-minded productions (e.g. Sanford and Son, One Day at a Time, The Jeffersons, Maude). Archie Bunker had something that Lear’s other comically accomplished, perfectly cast characters lacked: gravitas.

O’Connor’s Archie was a working stiff and a combat vet. Right or wrong, he’d earned the right to his opinions. You could imagine an Army rifle in Archie’s closet, exactly where it should be. Just as you can imagine a current vet’s AR-15 in his gun safe, right where it should be. And while Archie was portrayed as a racist, anti-Semite and idiot. But, as BDub says below, you could always count on him to do the right thing. Which is why my mother loved him. [h/t DrVino]

comments

  1. avatar jwm says:

    A very flawed man, Archie. But in the end you could count on him to do the right thing.

    1. avatar Jay1987 says:

      Truer words have never been spoken of old Archie.

    2. avatar BDub says:

      This is exactly the argument i always make in the face of naysayers, regarding our Founders and The Constitution. Flawed Men created a document, the ideals and principles of which endeavored to create and protect an idea, a Free Society, that even they themselves were, at the time, incapable of living up to – A Document greater than its writers, with the hope that it would inspire and enable subsequent generations to be better than they were. That IS the Great Experiment.

      1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

        Yes. And consider how long it took to write the Declaration and the Bill of Rights.
        Amazing men in very difficult times.

        1. avatar Bob says:

          Declaration: “All men (sic) are created equal.”

          Constitution: “Congress (some men) shall have the power to lay and collect taxes.”

          Can someone reconcile those two statements?

        2. avatar Rich Grise says:

          Sure. Congress is the employee of the people, and that’s their assignmnet, per the Constitution.

          That’s what the Constitution is supposed to be – the set of operating instructions: “This is what the government does.”

          Anything they do that’s outside the Enumerated Powers (see Article I, sect. 8) is Unconstitutional and therefore null and void, and the Supremes aren’t the only ones who can make that call – the 3-legged milking stool of the Executive, Judicial and Legislative sits on a foundation of The Will of the People.

        3. avatar B says:

          Just as long as the will of the people isn’t against the Constitution, ie banning guns, segregation. And if it is, then they go through the proper Constitutional channels and amend it through either 3/4 of the States or Congress.

        4. avatar Bob says:

          Rich Grise – “Congress is an employee of the people…”.

          Funny, I don’t remember hiring them. But if that’s true I should be able to fire them (and don’t tell me I can do that by voting, my one vote doesn’t mean anything). And that only brings another politician who supposedly has the right to tax.

          Besides, can you or I give something away or delegate a power we don’t possess? If we’re all created equal, none of us can delegate the power to tax to anyone because we never had it to delegate.

          Simple logic. Only, logic and critical thinking is actively discouraged in public schools government indoctrination camps.

    3. avatar a Colvin says:

      Nice to know there are those still defending the mentality of a racist, bigot. Archie was a parody. That was the point. He was a caricature of a mentality embittered by his time and unable to move beyond it. Stuck, like a dinosaur, in a past he could not shake off, no matter how much life moved on. He was in conflict with everything and every one around him including every other character on the show. The laughter from the audience was at him, not with him because of his Looney tune, paranoid world view. Lear was exposing us to the Archies of his time, who were everywhere, and who hoped, as many of their type still do today, we could wind back the clock to a time when “those were the days.” Those days are gone. Romanticizing them, or putting Archie Bunker on a pedestal will not change that. Ever.

  2. avatar rlc2 says:

    Thoughtful. When you think you know enough to tell all other people whats good for them its time to look within and check your ego and true motives. That takes intellectual rigor and humility that some progressives never achieve.

    1. avatar Model 31 says:

      “When you think you know enough to tell all other people whats good for them its time to look within and check your ego and true motives.”
      A very true and powerful statement. A memorable sentiment to be used during a Presidential debate.

  3. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

    Archie did more to advance the conservative cause than all of Lear’s other characters combined did to advance the progressive cause. The reason is that when it comes to an argument of ideas, even an ignoramus like Archie made a hell of a lot more sense than an educated liberal like Meathead. Progressives live off of personal attacks and euphemisms. It’s not gun “control” anymore, it’s gun “safety” and by safety they don’t mean forward to fire they mean confiscation. It’s not an abortion (itself a euphemism), it’s a “choice” or “women’s health”. If someone won’t speak in a straightforward manner they are dishonest. And if there was one thing Archie was it was honest.

    1. avatar Rich Grise says:

      Yeah, that woman isn’t a human being who deserves to be protected from unreasonable searches and seizures, she’s only chattel property – a brood mare for the Xtian Soldiers.

      And, of course, the government has a holy duty to intervene in her personal decisions between herself and her physician, right?

      If you slavers were “pro-life,” you’d end the wars.

      1. avatar Lucas D. says:

        Another leftist trick: framing a conflict in such a way that neuters the very crux of the debate. For instance, the debate is all about a woman’s body and her right to choose… to do what with it, again? How come that part never comes up?

        Personally, I don’t give a tinkerer’s f*ck what your position is, but for God’s sake, don’t hide behind chicken-shit double speak; just call it “abortion” and go forward from there. Don’t call it “gun safety” when that’s clearly not the goal; call it “civilian disarmament” or at least “gun control.”

        I mean, calling a turd a “biological by-product” won’t make it stop being a turd, so why do these people think relabeling their abhorrent doctrines will make any of them more appealing?

        1. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

          My point. Speaking in euphemisms is in itself an admission that you are in the wrong and you can’t speak plainly about your positions.

        2. avatar Lucas D. says:

          I know, but until science invents a way for me to reach out across the internet and slap the tinfoil hat off his crazy-ass head, restating the point in a more confrontational way is the next best thing. Besides, he did reply to your point about the foolishness of doublespeak by using doublespeak, so we could say it just bears repeating.

        3. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

          Now, you invent that and you’ll be a trillionaire.

        4. avatar Rich Grise says:

          ” For instance, it’s about a woman’s body and her right to choose… to do what with it, again? ”

          Whatever it is she chooses to do, and there’s nothing you can (legally or morally) do about it. Oh, you can rant and rave and yell and scream and preach and exhort and spew guilt trips and shame, but using force on her in any way to override her Free Will is just plain evil, and there are no two ways about that.

          If force is used to override anyone’s Free Will, the person wielding that force is doing Evil.

          It’s odd that there seems to be a correlation between the “pro-life” brigade and the Bible-thumpers, because God Herself defines the Beginning of Life early on, in Genesis 2:7: “Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”

          i.e., The Breath of Life makes it a living being. Until then, it is entirely the property of the person who created it inside of her womb.

        5. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          Rich,

          I support free will as well … unless a person uses that “free will” to murder another person. That is where “free will” ends and becomes a crime.

          Women who abort their babies are ending another human’s life — that is murder. Of course that sounds bad so people use other terms like “lump of cells” or fetus. And I have even heard people refer to unborn babies as “tumors”.

          Consider the absurdity of the situation. It is a crime if a women kills her baby 1 second after it is born. Is it still a crime if the woman kills the baby when its foot is still in the birth canal? How about if the baby’s entire leg is still in the canal? Why does it even matter?

          This is an example of Pandora’s box because, in order to justify murder of the unborn, people start arguing that humans only have rights in certain locations such as outside a uterus. Where have we heard the argument before that we only have rights in certain locations? Oh, that would be gun control “gun free zones”. Or worse people will argue that only certain classes of people have rights … which means that “subordinate classes” of people do not have rights, or the “subordinate classes” only rights when the “superior class” says they have rights. I am sure you can all see the obscenity in that mindset.

          I honor, cherish, and respect all people, whether they are women, men, boys, girls, toddlers, infants, and yes even babies that are not yet born. Any other mindset leads to the horrific genocides and democides that are a stain on human history.

        6. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

          “If force is used to override anyone’s Free Will, the person wielding that force is doing Evil.”

          There you have it. All laws should be abolished. If I choose with my Free Will to pull a gun out at a liquor store and rob the clerk it would be Evil to punish me for using my Free Will. I could go on, but what’s the point?

      2. avatar Merits says:

        You can stick up for an adult female’s right to not be searched, but not a infant female’s right to not be pulled limb from limb?

        1. avatar Rich Grise says:

          No, I’ll stand up for the life of an infant that you can actually see without having to subject a woman to vivisection.

      3. avatar Bill says:

        I hate abortion and I hate war. Both senselessly end life prematurely. Happy?

      4. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

        I was speaking about euphemisms and personal attacks and you respond with euphemisms and personal attacks. If you believe that a woman should be free to kill her unborn children for any reason at any point before natural childbirth then just say the fv*k so, don’t dance around the subject. If you believe that doctors (or non doctors) should be free to help her kill her child then say so. Why are you ashamed of your own beliefs? And why do you feel it’s necessary to personally attack those who have a different view as yourself?

        And we all deserve freedom from unreasonable search and seizure as recognized in the fourth amendment. If the police have no legitimate reason to believe you have committed a crime they have no right to search you.

        1. avatar Rich Grise says:

          ” If you believe that a woman should be free to kill her unborn children for any reason at any point before natural childbirth then just say the fv*k so, don’t dance around the subject.”

          I believe that what a woman does with whatever is inside of her own skin is none of your damn business, and it certainly is not your call!

          It’s not the government’s call, it’s not the church’s call, it’s not anybody’s call but hers, because if people are not the absolute owners of every molecule that is inside of their own skin, then we might as well just all go ahead and don our swastika armbands and start marching the goose-step.

          Each and every person is sole owner of his or her own body and every single molecule of substance that that body contains, period. It is none of your business what she does with what’s inside her own body. Hell, a lot of people don’t even want you to know what’s inside of her CLOTHES, but you want to control her actual freaking INSIDES? What kind of control freak thinks he has a right to be absolute dictator over any human of any gender?

          Of course, once she gives birth and it’s viable and breathes, it’s a new person, albeit a very young one.

          Haven’t you ever heard of the “Miracle of Childbirth?”

          “What if your mother had aborted you!!!!!!”
          I suppose that if she had, my immortal soul would have found another suitable fetus to possess.

        2. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

          OK. Euphemisms, personal attacks and hyperbole.

      5. avatar Accur81 says:

        I’m sorry, Rich, I don’t see the freedom in the mother’s decision to abort as being very meaningful from the baby’s perspective. Actually, I’m not sorry. I’m tired as abortion as a contraceptive, and doubly so if the baby is viable. Wait a second, its called a fetus if it is on death row and a baby if the parents plan to allow it to live.

        1. avatar Rich Grise says:

          A fetus isn’t a baby. A baby is a separate person. A pregnant woman is one person. Its fetus is her property. And anyway, unless she told you so, how do you know she’s pregnant?

        2. avatar Matt in FL says:

          I’m tired of how often posts here get turned into abortion debates. It happens basically every day at least once, and it’s always the same 3-4 people shouting the same arguments past each other, with nobody listening, and precisely zero chance of any of them changing their minds. We are very permissive about conversations here, but at this point if it was up to me there’d be a moratorium on abortion discussions on this site.

        3. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          Matt in Fl,

          As I touched upon in one of my responses, there are several parallels between abortion and gun control. Both abortion and gun control go to great lengths to use substitute terminology. Both abortion and gun control create elite and subordinate classes. Both abortion and gun control try to deny rights to one or more subordinate classes.

          This blog is “The Truth About Guns” of course and that is where I expect the focus to be. As we all know, there are significant resources and efforts to disarm civilians and those topics are a central element of this blog. Therefore, occasional forays into parallel topics which help us understand and defend our rights are a good thing in my book.

        4. avatar Matt in FL says:

          @uncommon_sense

          Sorry, I stand by what I said. I understand what you’re saying, but it’s gotten to the point where the same three or four people have the same conversation, often using the same words, every goddamn day. I’m guessing I’m not the only one that just blows right past that conversation when it crops up at this point, while I used to take part. It’s not like I’ll miss anything. I saw it yesterday, and I can read the same thing again tomorrow.

        5. avatar Kyle says:

          A fetus is a baby after a certain point. That is something that the “pro-choice” crowd never wants to admit. It shows how the Left ignores science when it doesn’t jive with their ideology. Claiming it’s a “fetus” while in the womb and only becomes a person at the moment of birth, as if it just turns on like a toy or something, is one of the most blatantly un-scientific ways of reasoning I’ve ever seen. We know for a fact that it is a living human being within the womb late in the pregnancy. At that point, killing it means one is killing another human.

          I would disagree that it is the woman’s property at that point. I am okay with late-term abortion if the woman’s life or health are in danger, but otherwise, third-trimester abortion limits I am fine with.

        6. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

          Not sure if I’m one of the usual suspects, but I haven’t chimed in on this subject in weeks.

          Anyway, my point was about the euphemisms and double speak of the left. Archie, although challenged when it came to constructing complete coherent sentences, never danced around the subject. He was a straight talker, something you don’t find much on the left. And of course someone with a rabid belief in woman’s unfettered “right” to end the life of her unborn children came and proved my point.

          I’ll shut up now.

      6. avatar Marcus Aurelius says:

        Breath of life? Every definition of life I’ve ever come across involves the consumption of nutrients from the surrounding environment, extracting chemical energy, and producing a waste product. If bacteria are living things, so is an unborn human.

        Embryos and fetuses are, according to science, alive, human, and differentiable from the mother’s body, containing only a portion of her genetic code and a portion of a father’s.

        Abortion itself is, in fact, the forcing of a choice upon a human being that was not allowed that choice for itself.

        1. avatar Rich Grise says:

          But the point is, in order to even know it is there you have to violate the woman’s body. And that’s Wrong, unless you have her consent. And knuckling under and acquiescing because you can overpower her does NOT constitute consent.
          .

        2. avatar Kyle says:

          One doesn’t need to violate a woman’s body to know the baby is there, they only need to know the length of the time pregnant and look at the size of the bump.

      7. avatar Model 31 says:

        Rich,
        “Until then, it is entirely the property of the person who created it inside of her womb.”

        The father or the Father?
        The former gives ownership to a man of this Earth. The latter implies the unborn belong to God and an abortion would be the willful destruction of that which belongs to God.

  4. avatar Jus Bill says:

    Hey Ms. Parson and Ms. Watts – STIFLE!

  5. avatar Mistereveready says:

    What gets me is how many people think that if they give control to the government it won’t abuse the power, but then those very same people some how do extensive mental excercises to ignore all the atrocities, botched jobs, and straight out tyranny that the government has and still does today.

    I think why some people, even those who lived through things like war & still be an anti-gun moron is that

    1) some people have such distaste for humanity they don’t think anyone is trustworthy of having a weapon.

    2) they believe in the class system & that only the elite (who are arbitrarily chosen) are the only ones to have the opportunity to self defense, everyone else are sheep who need protecting.

    3) they did so for the state. not for freedom. they aren’t necessarily upset that atrocities happen, just that their people were on the receiving end. (I’m not referring to any specific ethnic/political group either as I’ve seen this with a variety of people. )

    1. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

      0:50 – 3:15 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GapXLpLoZBs

  6. avatar OldBenTurninginGrave says:

    The gun control editorial, and the surrounding argument, shows how little has changed. The grabber’s arguments are still exactly the same. But at least the guy on the TV was far more open about what the end goal was.

  7. avatar LongPurple says:

    The adage that comes to mind:
    “Many a true word said in jest”.

  8. avatar ready,fire,aim says:

    Ok showing my age here….Someone has to post Archie’s editorial re-butal to the guy on the news…yes later in the show they let Archie on TV…it’s funny

  9. avatar Out_Fang_Thief says:

    “Meat head…dead from the neck up.”

    You can feel the moral superiority, and the self-righteous indignation of the younger generation, about anything from their parents generation, ironically enough, from people that actually had to go and fight on foreign shores to stop a global tyranny. Isn’t it amazing how the younger generation believes it knows more that the generation that spawned them? In this case, Archie can’t help himself, life has shown him how bad things can get. The privileged 60’s generation grew up with only a cold war. When Vietnam started, they all went WTF? I don’t want to die in S.E. Asia. This war is interrupting our groovy young lives of smoking pot, listening to Dylan and the Stone’s, and feeling self-important and superior to….well, anyone over 30. Mike on the other hand, has his tortuous assumptions of what “militia” means, and who is in one. So, war is bad, guns are used in war, ergo, all guns are bad. The problem is, everyone over 30 knew otherwise. The spoiled 60’s generation got royally flim-flammed by socialist propaganda. That makes them, for the most part, the most gullible, pseudo-intellectual generation to come down the pike.
    Socialism is just the scientifically explained, justification for collectivist tyranny. This is what Archie, and anyone over 30, already knew. My dad(one of those over 30 types, and Korean vet) loved watching, but hated Norman Lear’s oddly bigoted message, that If you’re not a liberal, you’re an Archie Bunker bigot.
    Go figure?

  10. avatar Xbonesrider says:

    “would it feel any better, little goil, if they wuz pushed outta winders?”

    LOL, Classic line. I love it

  11. avatar Matt in FL says:

    I enjoyed this editorial. Could you imagine seeing this conversation/argument taking place on a modern day show?

  12. avatar Some Dumb Grunt says:

    I love the articles that spawn intellectual Constitutional debates in the comments. Please keep them coming. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t visit this place for the comments. Educates me more and more on all aspects of the Constitution so I can then pass that info on to my Marines to ensure they fully understand and keep their oath.

  13. avatar Dallassoxfan says:

    “Prime time propaganda” by Ben Shapiro. A must read.

  14. avatar Blue says:

    Meat Head can’t read a comma nor understood what “The People” means.

  15. avatar HiPlanesDrifter says:

    Mistereveready “What gets me is how many people think that if they give control to the government it won’t abuse the power . . .

    The great economist Milton Friedman had a great thought on this:
    Concentrated power is not rendered harmless by the good intentions of those who create it.

  16. avatar David says:

    Arch would just say it straight without any pre-tense and that is what people loved about him. And arming passengers would “work”. What works and what does not is defined by a values. Killing terrorists even if you get killed, or even a third party, sends a message to all. It galvanizes your side and puts liberty before mere life.

    People (not just liberals) are often guilty of projection. Getting a chance to kill your enemy at the risk of death of oneself or another might sound absurd to a New Yorker but to a Jihadi, to a hilltop settler, to anyone more concerned about hurting the other guy than being a punk who only wants his life saved . . . arming passengers is tame.

    As they say in Califus, “We are few but we are crazy”.

  17. avatar Rich says:

    The issue today is that our 230+ year experimnet is self government is failing and failing titanically. One large factor is the media is failing to do its job of reporting on the crimes of government going on in our country nationwide. An uneducated poulace cannot vote effcetively. The media, sellects, omits, fabricates, distorts, and outright lies in its reporting of so called news. They are no better than Bagdad Bob, Joseph Goebbels, or Pravda of the old Soviet Union. This regime is in an outright race of criminal activity assaulting the constitution and the American people. Almost every thing wrong with this country can be traced to the 545 people in DC. That includes the POTUS and the SCOTHUS. Today our country is in what in aviation is known as a graveyard spiral. It will end the same for all of us in disaster.

  18. avatar Mike V. says:

    What Lear never got was that he thought everybody was laughing at Archie. As my Grandfather used to say, we were all laughing with him.

  19. avatar Bdk NH says:

    This clip highlights one fact. The sooner the baby boomers pass into obscurity the better. The most selfish generation has laid a scored earth policy to this country and it’s resouces for too long. My grandfather, in many ways, was “Archie Bunker”. My mother made fun of him and his ignorant politics daily. As I age, I realize how often he was right and how much of a spoiled brat my mother is.

  20. avatar RLC2 says:

    Agree on the abortion topic. It starts to feel like hijacking the thread.

    As much as I honor the right to free speech, and the respect the passion of the posters – this gets tiresome after awhile.

    Its a very deep issue, with huge moral implications, that are beyond the truth about guns. There are better places devoted to the discussion elsewhere.

    Just my two cents.

  21. avatar Cassandra (of Troy) says:

    Rich Grise/14Oct13@01:22,

    “A fetus isn’t a baby. A baby is a separate person.”

    In that case, Rich, you’ll unequivocally & PUBLICLY support the IMMEDIATE repeal of ALL laws/ordinances/regulations/rules/statutes regarding fetal endangerment/injury/death & will also actively & PUBLICLY campaign against ANYONE who opposes repeal of the aforementioned laws/ordinances/regulations/rules/statutes in ANY venue & will NOT stop until said unfair & blatantly sexist acts are repealed, right? You’d also naturally do likewise regarding repeal of the equally unfair & blatantly sexist financial liability/responsibility laws/ordinances/regulations/rules/statutes on the same grounds, wouldn’t you?

    And if not, why?

    Cassandra (of Troy)

    1. avatar Rich Grise says:

      I’m not allowed to talk about it any more.

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