Professor Erin Ryan (courtesy wm.edu)

It’s ironic. The writer who penned The Great American Gun Violence Lottery for huffingtonpost.com is a law professor at Lewis & Clark College. Captain Meriwether Lewis and Second Lieutenant William Clark left civilization to explore North America’s western-most reaches. They faced any number of lethal threats: disease, starvation, injury, exposure, animal attack and native Americans’ ire, to name a few. Professor Erin Ryan [above] seems to share the explorers’ perspective: shit happens. But she fails to embrace the second part of that equation: deal with it. Personally. Instead, she celebrates statism, starting with a story . . .

Remember, back in junior high school, when you read that classic of American literature, “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson? In the story, a small town ritualistically draws straws each summer to see who among them will be stoned to death, to ensure a good harvest later that fall. (Goes the local proverb, “lottery in June, corn be heavy soon!”) As the lottery begins, the townspeople gather in the public square and begin to collect rocks. The head of each family draws a slip of paper from the box, hoping not to see an inky black dot . . .

Now, looking around your own world, does this dystopian game of chance seem at all familiar? Thankfully not, you are probably thinking–but if we’re really being honest, it should. On the anniversary of the soul-wrenching Newtown shootings, it’s time to concede that we, too, are participants in a lottery of our own making–one so horrifying that we mostly choose not to see it. But let’s face the grim reality. We are all living in that same nightmare town, where innocents are mindlessly sacrificed in service to ideals that don’t require this kind of sacrifice. When it comes to gun violence in America, we play the nightmare lottery every time we send our children off to school, each time we visit a public place, walk the streets, and in some cases, live in our homes.

That’s a bit . . . extreme.

Realistically, statistically, our children are not facing a constant, random threat of death by gunfire. Rounding it up, 350 million people live in the United States. Rounding it up, 40k Americans die from gunshots each year. Using those numbers, Americans have a one-in-8750 chance of pegging it via a firearm. That’s a .0114 percent chance.

Suicides account for roughly half of those firearms-related fatalities. If we take suicides out of the equation, the average American’s odds of rapid lead poisoning are .0057 percent. The vast majority of the remaining homicidal and accidental deaths involve adults (over 18). Halve that overall gun death stat again and we’re looking at a .00285 percent chance of experiencing fatal gunfire.

Now think about geography and ethnicity. If you’re a white child living in a suburban or rural low-crime area, the odds of dying by gunfire are lower still. Especially as compared to the death-by-gunfire odds of an African-American child living in an urban high-crime area.

Setting aside that racially-charged discussion, which is about relative levels of extremely low-risk, Ms. Ryan’s wrong. We don’t live in a “nightmare town” facing a “nightmare lottery.” Certainly not one where “innocents are mindlessly sacrificed in service to ideals that don’t require this kind of sacrifice.” Ms. Ryan lists these abhorrent, aberrant beliefs:

Tessie’s community [in the aforementioned dystopian fiction] tolerates their sacrifice to ensure the harvest, though we somehow suspect the corn would grow absent slaughter. Our own communities tolerate the slaughter in the name of other ideals: personal freedom, cultural identity, and market supply and demand. Personal freedoms are worth some sacrifices, to be sure, but–the lives of innocent children attending public school? In any moral universe, that can’t be right. On balance, wouldn’t the more appropriate personal sacrifice for this particular freedom be the minor inconvenience of waiting for a background check that screens for mental illness or criminal history? And for that matter, do we really need to be able to carry a concealed assault weapon, purchased (sans background check) at a gun show, to feel free?

What’s wrong with Americans’ desire to protect personal freedom, cultural identity and a supply and demand (a.k.a.  a free market) economy? I have this sneaking suspicion that a large number of Ms. Ryan’s colleagues could answer that question in great detail. None of whom ever lived under the yoke of a modern tyranny, of which there are many.

The fact that Professor Ryan admits, however grudgingly, that personal freedoms are worth “some” sacrifices indicates that she doesn’t consider it the default option. Perhaps she should hang out with some veterans instead. Or study early American history. All the freedoms she enjoys—including her First Amendment-protected right to promote civilian disarmament—were created by men and women who made enormous sacrifices so that they and their children could be free.

And safe. Ms. Ryan’s contention that the lives of innocent children are the price we pay for our gun rights — horse shit. Americans exercising their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms have protected millions of children – usually their own – from criminal predation. Robbery, kidnapping, rape, murder. Just consider the tens of thousands of child prostitutes in countries with draconian gun laws.

Do we really need a concealed carry firearm to feel free, the good Professor asks. No we don’t need it to feel free. We need it to be free.

Whatever the Second Amendment stands for, surely it doesn’t stand for this. There is a middle ground between the post-apocalyptic vision of gun-less civilians enslaved by evil tyrants and the post-apocalyptic gun violence free-for-all where we seem to be headed. We have moderated plenty of other constitutionally protected freedoms in the name of security from harm (just ask the NSA). Why has finding that sweet spot been so much harder when balancing personal gun rights with everyone else’s right not to be the next mass shooting victim?

As we’ve stated here many times, no one has the “right” to be safe. It is not enshrined in our system of law, nor should it be. Believing in such a fiction empowers the state to curtail or eliminate all other rights, and thus freedoms, in its name. I have a right to be safe so you don’t have a right to keep and bear arms because you might use them against me. Like that. Exactly like that.

When it comes to fiction, there is no greater tall tale (amongst gun control advocates) than the idea that the Second Amendment must be tempered for our own good. This assertion assumes that the right to keep and bear arms is a problem. That it’s too strong in its un-infringed form. That the bad things that happen with guns are due to our gun rights. Gun owners must be controlled.

Hello? How many years did Americans enjoy their gun rights without ANY legal restrictions? As stated above, it’s that legacy that created and assured the freedoms we enjoy today. The fact that the violent crime rate has been falling for decades, reducing the odds of a firearms-related fatality, may or may not be linked as well. But the fact that most of America’s “gun crime” tends to happen in gun control-heavy cities is an indication of a possible correlation.

The middle ground we are looking for already exists within many American families. My husband grew up in Alaska, where his family reasonably kept guns to protect the children from grizzly bears and eat moose through the winter. I grew up in New York, where there were no bears or moose, but still plenty of guns–often resulting in the accidental deaths of children. Our red-state/blue-state, rural vs. urban upbringings reflect some of the cultural divides across our nation, and he and I don’t always agree on every gun-related issue. But even from these diverging vantage points, there is rich common ground to be found. Subjecting our children to the gun violence lottery doesn’t make sense, no matter where or how you grew up.

Funny how she missed the whole defense against tyranny thing, and “balanced” Alaskan gun ownership against the accidental gun deaths among children in New York (which can be statistically rounded down to zero). In any case, We the People are not subjecting our children to gun violence. We, The People of the Gun, are doing everything we can to protect our children from all kinds of violence. And doing so by force of arms, if necessary, as is our right.

Well some of us are. Some of us are attempting to “protect” children by disarming those dedicated to protecting innocent life using the best possible means. Does that make any sense? None whatsoever. And here’s my inky black dot: period.

121 Responses to HuffPo: The Great American Gun Violence Lottery

    • She’s a weed just as Kirsten Weiss is a flower, game of change in action there too. Hey, I just call them as I see them.

      PS. She’s behind a wall for a reason…

        • She’s pretty typical of the downtown portland liberal crowd.
          Wears Birkenstocks with socks, drives a Subaru with no less than 5 bumper stickers (usually, keep portland weird, a rainbow, anti-logging, saving whales, Tibet, or ?)

          Hangs out in a trendy coffee shop while grading papers, has hairy legs and braided armpit hair, most of her jewelry will have hemp in it.

          Claims to be vegan, yet has butter on her scones.

          Listens to NPR. Attends protests to create more bike lanes.

          In other words, she’s nutty as a fruit cake. Or is that fruity as a nut cake?

          Lewis and Clark college is as bad as it can get here.

        • Hey! I’m wearing Birkenstocks with socks right now!

          I have a 4-wheel drive with a bumper sticker (“7.62” in an oval).

          I have a rifle and two pistols in the vehicle…

          Oh, wait, point taken.

      • It’s depressing that the first comments have to trash her looks. That’s the pinnacle of our arguments huh guys? “Who cares what she thinks, she’s ugly!”

        Armed Intelligentsia indeed.

        • Dirk Diggler, you’ve been chosen to be our next contestant on free America’s favorite new game show “Gun Grabber Roulette!” Will the wheel of demanding moms land on Erin “Ugly Stick” Ryan or will it land on Princess Watts? Will you put up with the drivel or will it shrivel? It’s time to SPIN THAT WHEEL!

    • “Personal freedoms are worth some sacrifices, to be sure, but–the lives of innocent children attending public school?”

      Check.

    • Why do I think she pines after Obamacare’s pajama boy?

      With pajama boy’s hyphenated last name, she could add that to her last name of Ryan and suddenly it would be a double-hyphenated child by the name of Blanket or Pillow or something like that.

      While rough men stand by to do violence on their behalf to keep them safe in their make-believe world.

      John

  1. Well of course we’re living in a lottery… just like I spin the wheel every time I get in a car, or go bike riding, or even hiking…

    Or walk down a dark alley, for that matter.

    • You begin playing the lottery the moment you are conceived and continuously play it until you lose. The only things that change are the odds at any particular moment.

  2. The quest for safety is becoming ridiculous. There is no true safety. I am more safe because I was a Boy Scout and actually internalized “be prepared.” Hence fire extinguishers and flashlights and extra food and water and guns and ammo and training and…

    I am beginning to think that what our culture has lost over the past 40 years is what it means to live. Too many people watching too much sensationalist media. If you are afraid of the big, bad world, it is time to turn off the TV, close the web browser, re-cycle the NYT, and get outside. It is not such a bad place, though there are evil people scattered around it. Hence, “be prepared.”

        • In the face of lawsuits and/or threatened lawsuits the BSA allows homosexual scoutmasters and atheist scouts, in spite of the Boy Scout pledge referring specifically to God (in the Christian sense):

          “On my honor I will do my best
          To do my duty to God and my country
          and to obey the Scout Law;
          To help other people at all times;
          To keep myself physically strong,
          mentally awake, and morally straight.”

          Seems unlikely that a homosexual or an atheist could pronounce that oath without lying.

        • Cliff,

          As I understand it, the only thing they did was allow gay boys to join, not scoutmasters, and not atheists of any age.

        • I guess they weren’t doing the purges yet when I was participating, because I was an atheist Boy Scout (sounds like a pulp novel).

        • REALLY? No God? How do you KNOW? It’s the same question I ask the believers. So much bravado.

          You do not know; no one does.

        • William Burke do you believe in fairies? How about Unicorns?

          “How do you KNOW?”

          See how stupid that sounds?

  3. “Realistically, statistically, our children are not facing a constant, random threat of death by gunfire. Rounding it up, 350 million people live in the United States. Rounding it up, 40k Americans die from gunshots each year. Using those numbers, Americans have a one-in-8750 chance of pegging it via a firearm. That’s a .0114 percent chance.”

    When we consider school shootings (which she is talking about) then it is much much less. about 500 deaths every 10 years. If you do the math, this is about on par with being killed by lightning.

    • The numbers don’t matter to this type. The only important part, in their minds, is the immeasurable emotional horror of it. The act is so great, in their minds, that facts and reality must take second place to their emotional reactions.

      People feed on these emotionally charged events. They are addicted to tragedies; selected, edited, and pushed out over every news outlet. They wallow in it until it overwhelms them.

      Of course “something must be done,” in their minds, because it has already been spun up into something so large and all-encompassing in their world that one can, for a moment, not even see a horizon past the horror of the latest tragedy.

      The fact that the world cannot be run based on unquantifiable abstracts and emotions escapes people. Reality is either too boring or too complicated to face.

    • Do you think for one second they wouldn’t try to ban lightning if they thought it would get them enough attention?

  4. RF. total “Gun Deaths” are less than 30K, almost 2/3 of which are suicides. Less than 1K die from accidents and less than 9K from gun related homicide.
    http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2012/crime-in-the-u.s.-2012/offenses-known-to-law-enforcement/expanded-homicide/expanded_homicide_data_table_9_murder_victims_by_age_by_weapon_2012.xls (2012 8,855 gun homicides)
    http://www.suicide.org/suicide-statistics.html (2004 16,750 gun suicides)
    http://www.guns.com/2012/01/03/accidental-gun-deaths-and-firearm-related-homicides-at-an-all-time-low/ (2008 592 accidental deaths).

    • And of those 8,855 murders where the criminal used a firearm for the murder weapon, about 80% of those were criminals murdering other criminals during criminal activity. In other words we good citizens and our children are only facing a lottery pool of about 1,771 murders annually.

      Now here’s the frosting on the cake. Of those 1,771 annual murders, a good portion are domestic violence events … you know, where the attacker has a personal relationship with the victim that would enable the attacker to easily kill the victim with a hammer, knife, poison, fire, etc.

      So, realistically, an average child or citizen faces a “murder lottery pool” of something like 1000 murders annually where the attacker will use a firearm for the murder weapon. That’s 1000 victims out of 290 or so million people. (I allowed for 20 million criminals in our population.) That is 0.0003445%.

      I close with this thought. If we as a society really want to virtually eliminate that remaining number of 1000 murders annually where the attacker uses a firearm, then we have to press our criminal justice system to stop releasing violent felons from prison! Something like 90% of violent criminals who are released from prison will commit another violent crime. Stop releasing violent felons and most of our violent crime will go away.

    • Yeah, I’m sure all the comments about her being ugly are really going to persuade her that we’re the good guys.

      Very helpful, boys.

        • It’s not all about convincing her, genius. It’s about convincing the people who wander into a TTAG article and are trying to learn about guns. If they see lots of sexism and bigotry, that hurts the cause of gun rights.

          Some of you have the political smarts of a dead skunk.

        • Trust me. You know where you stand with a skunk! I’ve had them wander across my path, not 15 feet away, and not even give me a glance. Thank goodness for that.

        • If you click into this blog after looking at the name you should know what to expect, and it’s not unicorns and rainbows. We have our opinions, and we do NOT have to be politically correct to satisfy those who already have made up their [alleged] mind. First Amendment and all that…

        • Did you even read what I wrote?

          “It’s about convincing the people who wander into a TTAG article and are trying to learn about guns.”

          For the people who are hopelessly anti-gun, I don’t expect to convert them to our side. It’s the people who are concerned about guns but not firmly set on gun control, or those who don’t know much about guns at all but would like to learn … those are the people I’m concerned about reaching.

          If their first impression of the world of gun owners is that gun owners are a bunch of sexist bigots, then I don’t think that’s going to convince them to join our side. For at least some of them, it’s going to make them think that gun owners are a bunch of horrible people, and they’re going to want nothing to do with either gun owners or guns.

          By the way … the first amendment doesn’t have a damn thing to do with this blog. It’s up to Mr. Farago and co. to determine what is and isn’t acceptable for people to post here. If they allow it, fine, if they don’t allow it, fine.

          I don’t question your right to speak your mind, or your ability to criticize anti-gun persons not based on what they wrote and any arguments they have made, but on their dress, on their body, on their choice of radio station, choice of food, etc. You certainly have a right to say whatever you want to and tell the world. If the TTAG folks don’t remove your posts, then it’ll stay online for everyone to read. That’s all fine and legal, and I would never attempt to stop those who run TTAG from running it the way that they want to run it.

          What I am saying is that if you have a goal of trying to advance the rights of gun owners, and are trying to win the hearts and minds of those who are not convinced about guns, then saying:

          “She is sho nuff fugly”

          “Wears Birkenstocks with socks, drives a Subaru with no less than 5 bumper stickers”

          “Hangs out in a trendy coffee shop while grading papers, has hairy legs and braided armpit hair, most of her jewelry will have hemp in it.”

          “she’s nutty as a fruit cake. Or is that fruity as a nut cake?”

          is really, really fucking stupid.

      • You’re a racist, baby killing, gun nut, you’re nothing, but a slave to the NRA and your gun lobbying masters.
        Only an ignorant, toothless redneck, like you, would own a firearm to compensate for his small member.

        Sound familiar, or have you never heard anything remotely like that?

        I have no problem with the name calling of anti-gun zealots who advocate to have my rights to be striped.

        Can’t always take the high road, the low road just feels too good.

        • I’m not going to stoop to their level simply because some of them are intolerant and prejudiced. It does me no good to behave like a bigot. It is counterproductive to my efforts to secure the rights of gun owners.

          I won’t deny that the low road can “feel good” but it is counterproductive in the long run. You won’t convince those whose minds are slammed shut. But you might convince – either in a good way or a bad way – those whose minds are open to learning about guns. If you drive them away by behaving as badly as some of the anti-gun folks do, then you’ve lost a battle.

  5. Would someone please inform that meat sack with hair that if she got off the wall and crossed the street, she would have a greater chance of hitting the nightmare lottery than from encountering hostile gunfire. Statistics can be a cast-iron b!tch…

    Oh, and Lewis and Clark are on their way back from the dead to kick her azz.

  6. Prof Ryan writes: “Yet just as our gun culture has changed for the worse, it can also change for the better. If the common-sense majority can just shake off this paralyzing mantle of powerlessness, we can start making the changes we want in our world. Even if we can’t all agree on every proposal, we can move forward on matters of consensus. Polling shows that most Americans want legal access to handguns, but we mostly agree that background checks are helpful. Assault riflesaren’t necessary for suburban self-defense.  Mental illness and guns shouldn’t mix. Nor should guns and substance abuse or other criminal history. The encroachment of videogame violence into all other cultural media has consequences. The entertainment industry should be accountable for cross-promoting with the violence industry, and consumers should vote with their feet.”

    Emmanuel Goldstein writes: YOU MAY IMAGINE “COMMON SENSE” RESTRICTIONS THAT ARE REASONABLE TO YOU — OR PERHAPS MANY PEOPLE — BUT THESE IDEAS HAVE *ZERO* TO DO WITH THE DRACONIAN LAWS PASSED IN 2013 IN NY, MA, CA, ETC. WHAT HAS OCCURRED IS MASS CRIMINALIZATION. IT SEEMS THAT ON THE ANTI SIDE — NOT EVEN LAWYERS READ THESE LAWS.

  7. Love ‘The Lottery.’ Shirley Jackson’s version, anyway.
    And while I’m thinking of it, holy crap, Farago writes a lot. Dude produces a ton, but his writing skills never seem to suffer for the volume. Impressive. But I’m just thinking aloud, now.

  8. First, I’d just like to say that I had never heard of “The Lottery” before, but now I understand the South Park episode where the boys were trying to help Brittany Spears after she shot herself in the head.

    Second, in the words of Thomas Jefferson, ” The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” The price of the second amendment is that a few innocent lives will be lost with a little less effort than would be without firearms. The price of not having a second amendment is, well, Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot – take your pick. The price is MILLIONS of people butchered by tyrants. And between tyrants the second amendment helps to keep thugs in their place too. So I can see the comparison. Without a good harvest the whole community might starve. It’s better that a few may die so that many may live. I get that. What I don’t get is why that is somehow controversial.

    • And imagine what a different world this would be if the families of the Newton victims stood up and said the same thing.

      Instead of their children being used as pawns and faux martyrs to gun violence by the statists and media shills, the children would be heroes of Liberty hailed by the common man.

        • I don’t think they can understand numbers, statistics or actual facts.

          You cant kill 2 million people our of a population of 8 million without murdering children.

        • What is impossible to understand is that for these statists, concentrated in the liberal/ progressive movement; but for so called Republicans as well; when the common man kills a few fellow human beings in a “mass shooting” it is a horror; when a statist tyrant committs real mass murder like Pol Pot, Hitler, Stalin and Mao; they were being a “visionary” and it was necessary for the “utopian” world they want to live in.

    • Here’s the game they are playing, one dead child at a time:

      “When one person dies, it’s a tragedy. When one million people die it’s a statistic.” – Josef Stalin

      They ignore the statistics that do not favor their cause and focus instead on the individual tragedies.

    • “…but now I understand the South Park episode where the boys were trying to help Brittany Spears after she shot herself in the head.”

      I almost laughed loud enough to wake the Beaglish dog and my 9 year old.

      Totally agree with the rest of your post, too.

  9. And speaking of natural laws, It is a natural law that EVERY living thing, from the moment of its conception, is in danger of pulling the black spot in Darwin’s lottery. This is why every living thing has developed some sort of defense mechanism to survive as long as possible against its competition.

    You cannot win the game of survival by insisting that the teeth and claws of every creature that might want to eat you be pulled, especially if you are not willing to volunteer to pull the teeth.

    Puts me in mind of this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bell_the_cat

    • “You cannot win the game of survival by insisting that the teeth and claws of every creature that might want to eat you be pulled” – yet that is exactly what they propose.

      Because Liberals are scared to death of your teeth and claws. Every minute, every day.

  10. Too many dipshits in this country haven’t tasted anything but the good life…they need a heaping helping dose of reality and most need a nice cup of shut the fuck up as well.

    I despise Leftist buttmunching a-holes.

  11. Another thing that lady forgets is that you spin that lotto wheel waking up every morning and taking(or trying to take) your first breath of the morning.

    There is no right to safety, and civilian disarmament won’t stop people from repeating Sandy Hook.

    • True, that. I awake each morning thankful I’ve been given the chance at another day. I learned this as a child, when I was much more asthmatic than I now am, fighting for breath – EVERY breath, all night long.

      Provenance looked kindly upon me. Now I’m old, and glad for it.

  12. Curious. In Alaska where it seems that everyone owns a firearm, are there any statistics as to the number of children killed by guns? I’m guessing not many as handling guns is a way of life and education starts early on.

  13. Actually, I’m relatively happy playing “the nightmare lottery every time we send our children off to school, each time we visit a public place, walk the streets, and in some cases, live in our homes.” I’ve played the real lottery, using real money, involving real human beings, a few times over the years, & came up with zip, zero, nada. So if the odds are about the same, I’ll sleep just fine, Professor Ryan.

    • I know – let’s send her on a fact-finding tour to Afghanistan, or Benghazi, or Syria, or Egypt, or one of the Sudans. I’m sure the Peace Corps would sponsor someone as learned as she. For maybe eighteen months. If she lasts that long.

  14. Another waste of a perfectly good education! Ms. Ryan has been supported and protected by others all her life and is selfish enough to complain about how it was done. Way too common nowadays.

  15. She’s a typical product of the American university system, and another reason why her former students are $250K in debt and living in their parents’ basements.

    The stupid should not be teaching the ignorant.

  16. Says Professor Ryan, “We have moderated plenty of other constitutionally protected freedoms in the name of security from harm (just ask the NSA). Why has finding that sweet spot been so much harder…?”

    She thinks the NSA’s domestic spying program is the “sweet spot” between liberty and safety?

    May God save us from all such rarefied ratiocinations.

    • I’m going to SCREAM. Thank god the rest of you cannot hear the wail of sorrow and indignation.

      Stinking PARASITES!

    • I was wondering if I was the only one that caught that.

      Is that why everyone has stopped talking about that? Has everyone just accepted that behavior as reasonable? Everyone likes to make jokes about it. “Well, the NSA sees everything I do anyway.” Or “I figured they were spying on all of us anyway.”

      No, f*** that s***! I figured that the government was spying on us, but I didn’t have any evidence. It was just another paranoid feeling. Now that we’ve seen it for ourselves, I’m pissed. I want people to lose jobs, i want people behind bars.

      I thought, surely, this is the thing that will make them see that the government only wants to control us, that the government doesn’t give a rat’s ass about our rights. No, they’ve all just accepted it, like they accepted the PATRIOT Act before that.

      Thank God my grandfathers are dead. They both served this country in World War II, and I’m glad they never lived to see us give this country away.

      • Nowhere in the Bill of Rights is there the added clause of “These rights may be violated when the cost/benefit equation clearly shows more benefits of such.” Yet lawmakers continually spout about how effective the NSA program is, how we need it to fight terror.

        Bullcrap. If I need to live under the heel of the state in order to avoid the reach of a terrorist, I don’t think that’s acceptable at all.

    • +1

      “Let’s point at something else that’s a complete infringement of our rights as a reason why we should infringe on another individual right.” Naturally that makes sense to a college professor.

        • They CANNOT destroy the Second Amendment. as it enumerates a God-given natural right. They may as well try to destroy the sun. They may think they have done the deed, but untold millions will not submit.

    • Thank you. I was going make this point as well. We should be repairing the damage done to our Constitution, not looking for new ways to gut it.

  17. What she misses is the fact that, as an armed citizen I am making a choice not to participate in her version of the lottery. You can try to pull my number, but I will not go as a silent and hapless victim.

    She makes a conscious decision to participate. Her choice is to remain the victim, without identifying the solution and taking personal responsibility to correct it.

  18. I think The Great American Gun Violence Lottery has an excellent ring to it. It could be an assault weapon raffle! Quick, what’s the most violent gun you can think of? Blunderbuss? That shit will make a bushmaster look like a pussycat.

  19. Superb post, Robert. I’m confident you could reason like this with a pig. These people are rabbits; one cannot reason with rabbits.

  20. she reminds me of a liberal english teacher I had in college, she gave me an F because I espoused the benefits of napalm in Vietnam. I had my facts straight too. I did it just to piss her off, it worked too. I hope she rolls snake-eyes one of these days..

    • NAPALM? And roasting non-combatants, neutral at that, accomplished WHAT? It lost us that conflict, thankfully. We should not be the policemen of the globe. Look at our policemen!

      The planet never did belong to one country, or one faction. And I got tear-gassed and chased down by cossacks for my efforts in opposing it.

      Never did catch me, though! 🙂

    • I always advocated using napalm at those hysterical, crazed Muslim funerals where the mourners wailed over the deaths of the suicide bombers and suchlike who succumbed to the Israeli security forces, or American drones. AK47s were always the punctuation as they sprayed fire into the air, demonstrating their thirst for vengeance.

      Somehow people looked at me funny when I expressed this view. To me it’s just a logical, and judicious use of force necessary in advance, and also a tactic to teach them to calm the fuck down. They say the death of a Muslim always spawns a dozen more, so a little advance rain of fire might discourage this spread.

  21. Gun rights opponents like Ryan always fail to have set a proper baseline for their analyses. They attempt to explore two states of society, which can be summed up as 1) flooded with firearms and 2) rid of the firearms.

    Naturally, the first one is the current state of the US.
    One would anticipate, that the second state would be carefully modeled based on the existing examples of all those countries, where the civilian population does not have access to the firearms. Instead, said opponents elect to make up an artificial model, based essentially solely on wishful thinking. They claim that in the society without firearms everyone is safe. They present their biased assumption as one and the only truth, using nothing but the magic of demagoguery — no numbers, no literature, no establishment of causal relationship, and no peer review.

    It is sad, that many of those individuals hold the title of a Professor, and as such have great influence on the minds of the general public.

    • “They claim that in the society without firearms everyone is safe.”

      If that were true, people would be lining up and taking numbers to get into prison.

  22. “We have moderated plenty of other constitutionally protected freedoms in the name of security from harm (just ask the NSA). ”

    Fuck her, Ben Franklin said it best. “They who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

  23. She’s right to assume danger is all around us and may stike at anyone at any time. That’s why some of us believe in carrying a firearm. We believe the government shouldn’t take this right away nor our weapons. She gets up every morning and walks out the door assuming her safety is the responsibility of others. This is something a mouse instinctively knows is not true. She believes herself to be wise. Indeed she is a premier fool of the highest order.

  24. Another thought: Freedom is more important than safety. If it wasn’t we’de outlaw tobacco, alchohol, and fatty foods. These kill exponentially more people every year than guns do. So why don’t we ban them? Because freedom is more important than safety.

    • Well, they’re working on banning fatty foods, Nanny Bloomberg & his crowd. But nobody’s seriously trying to ban tobacco or alcohol. Why? Just follow the money; alcohol and tobacco tax revenues are a HUGE part of government income. The statists may be evil, but they’re not stupid.

      As for this ditz in Portland, it’s not about public safety, gun control is about people control and is but one part of the larger culture war. The rest of us don’t want to be ruled by liberal creeps who are determined to rule us `for the greater good’. The current backlash against A&E over Duck Dynasty is only the latest skirmish in the culture war.

  25. Hey,it’s a free country and she can say and think anything she wants.Thanks to the 1st Amendment.Thanks to the 2 nd amendment ,we have the 1st Amendment,she doesn’t get that part .She only wants to voice her opinion cause somebody died protecting our rights using firearms to protect us from Tyranny so she can voice her small minded” I”m a professor(liberal) and I will use large language to try and reason with the little people why they should have a conversation about why you”NEED” a gun( comrade) .
    Egghead liberals( usually in the college system) always want to “reason” why you ‘NEED’ your constitutional RIGHT cause they are not exercising it(victims) so why do you’ NEED’ to? Can’t you just get raped and killed and be happy about that? Now doesn’t that just make. “common sense” ?

  26. C.S. Lewis wrote:

    “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. Those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

  27. “Our own communities tolerate the slaughter in the name of other ideals: personal freedom, cultural identity, and market supply and demand.” — Erin Ryan

    In other word Ms. Ryan is a communist. She places no value in personal freedom, culture, or a free market.

  28. “You mother%*^#/`> never wanted nothing, but your life saved”

    Sums up the entire way of life she is advocating. I wonder how many dead drummer boys would disagree w/ her if only they could. The Patrick Henry inequation seems more attractive to me:

    Liberty > Life

  29. So, using her “logic”, just as they superstitiously believed that sacrificing a life mythically made the corn grow, and sparing a life would cause the crop to fail, then having guns causes violence, and denying them would take violence away.

    Wow. Just wow. What color is the sky in her world?

  30. If some evil/deranged/drugged/MK-Ultra/jealous individual sinks to the level of the intention to murder, our fervent hope should be that he/she can somehow obtain an AR/AK derivative. Am I crazy? Well, hell yes I’m crazy, but let’s not change the subject. I am always amazed at how people on both sides of this issue who seem to be articulate and imaginative, and seem so willing to take the hypothetical past the horizon, never seem to sit back, take a long sip from their Jack and Coke and imagine THIS: What if the gun-grabbers dream came true and suddenly all firearms just disappeared? Then what would be the default setting for a murderer to go out in a blaze of infamy that would dominate the news cycle for days on end? We all know there would be a NEW default setting. A book I read a while back that was an instruction for LEOs on how to identify and deal with IEDs stated that GASOLINE was much more explosive that gun powder. However, one need not read a book to imagine the death, destruction and mayhem that would result from a Molotov action. If one goes to school with a rifle to shoot his debate coach, there’s a good chance that only the coach will be shot. There’s a good chance that if the jealous boyfriend had taken a rifle to that NYC nightclub (See Wikipedia) he probably would have only killed his ex-girlfriend and her new guy (Unless he was a cop and couldn’t hit a bull in the butt with a bass fiddle) instead of setting fire to the place and killing 87 people. We should all hope that no potential school “shooter” has considered the inherent DISADVANTAGES of using a rifle.

  31. The reasons her type of Liberal is scared to death of our guns is that she firmly believes, if given the opportunity, we would stand her up against a wall and shoot her to silence her because that is what she would gladly have her Police State Troopers do to us.
    She seizes upon this “Lottery” metaphor to spread her fear to others. She counts on the visceral, emotionally based images she can conjure to override any curiosity about what the actual facts are in the matter, and facts are counterproductive to her intentions. She does not care at all about informing, only about intimidating.
    Nothing new here, just another piece of spurious propaganda.
    As long as criminals have to calculate who may or may not be armed, most of them will choose the victims they think most likely are not armed. Once law-abiding Citizens are disarmed, everyone, including you, Miss Ryan, becomes “fair game” for criminal victimization…in short, your “Odds” in the Lottery you cite get much, much better. If that day ever comes, I hope you are one of the first “winners”….

  32. Here are some “Reasonable” gun laws for you:

    S1131 (proposed) MASS: Section 131M. 

    No person shall sell, offer for sale, transfer or possess an assault weapon or a large capacity feeding device that was not otherwise lawfully possessed on September 13, 1994.  Whoever not being licensed under the provisions of section 122 violates the provisions of this section shall be punished, for a first offense, by a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment in the state prison for not less than 2 years nor more than 20 years, and a fine of not less than $1000 nor more than $10,000, and for a second offense, by a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment in the state prison for not less than 5 years nor more than 20 years, and by a fine of not less than $5000 nor more than $15,000.

    https://malegislature.gov/Events/EventDetail?eventId=680&eventDataSource=Hearings

    https://malegislature.gov/Bills/BillHtml/122192?generalCourtId=11

    https://malegislature.gov/People/188/Profile/EMD0

  33. How in Hell did this woman become a professor? Her entire argument rests on a false dichotomy where further gun control would suddenly end all gun violence. Even if we banned all guns, the entire US would still be flooded with them; to think that there’s a way for the nation to “op out” of gun violence is just absurd.

    • Intriguingly these are the same people who (correctly) argue that the war on drugs is futile because people will always do drugs no matter what the legal status. Just like criminals will always terrorize the rest of us with guns, whether guns are legal or not.

  34. How about the great lottery of facing home invader thugs in your living room? I’d rather be armed when I face that lottery.

  35. If I grant for a second that Ryan is actually worried about the children, not about her own fear of minorities, I reason thus: Perhaps she also knows the unsupervised taking of other people’s unsecured prescription meds is a much more common killer and wounder of children 12 and under than are guns. For this reason she has voluntarily gone off her meds and safely disposed of them. For the children.

  36. I guess they hand degrees to literally anyone these days.

    Statistically speaking over 99%… yes 99% of guns in civilian hands are NOT used in crime a year. The majority of gun crime, is committed by a minority of gun owners. The majority of gun crime, is gang related and gang members shooting each other over drugs or selling territory.

    How can anyone blame guns with these facts. It is intellectually dishonest at the best and literal idiocy at the worst.

  37. Now, now people, let’s not be tetchy or blamey. All humans are irrevocably hard wired via the Amygdala (a little switch in the brain that serves as our fear response – the fight or flight mode selector) and nobody knows their own particular setting of this switch until a life threatening emergency happens.

    Those of us who have a “Fight” mode setting (yes, I have been required to test this setting) understand and accept the need to use whatever comes to hand to achieve victory in any situation. Firearms happen to be very efficient in this regard.

    Those who are unable to move beyond “Flight” (also sometimes “Freeze”) mode cannot and will not conceive of any possible action they might personally take to preserve their own safety. To them, the idea that others think differently is unbelievable – surely any right thinking person would share their timidity?

    Because personal courage is not tested at schools and is not a requirement for admission to University or a teaching career beyond that, many people assume positions of influence unable to cope with the concept of defending their own life or others’. They regard Police and the Army as being the protectors of society, and they do not understand that any official response to protect civilians will come far too late to achieve anything worthwhile. The Police will investigate your murder, but they cannot prevent it.

    If we only had a reliable method for determine the Amygdala response of individuals, we could weed out those unsuitable for teaching young people. Perhaps some sort of “Hunger Games” to eliminate the cretins and cowards?

  38. It’s just human fault, I suppose, that many people focus on things that really don’t matter when trying to solve a problem. (I’m being generous here.) Violence committed with firearms will never be solved by focusing on restricting the rights of the law-abiding. Things that would rank much higher on the list would be:
    1. Controlling criminal gangs
    2. Serious (not politically motivated) discussions about mental illness
    3. Gun safety education for all ages

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