Video: Farago Debates Gun Control Advocate Eliot Fineman

The “debate” with Eliot Fineman, CEO National Gun Victims Counsel, starts at 34:53. I put the word in quotes because this conversational confrontation was more a case of dueling polemics rather than dialogue or debate. Even so, I hope I was able to defend and extend the pro-gun side against Fineman’s wall o’ words. It would be great to have a proper debate with a proponent of civilian disarmament with a moderator enforcing an agreed format. Otherwise, talking to gun grabbers is like herding cats. With a blindfold on.

comments

  1. avatar Alex Peters says:

    Began listening to it and have to give RF credit for just being able to stay awake. I think I might listen to Mr. Fineman late tonight in hopes of falling asleep quickly.

  2. avatar Mark N. says:

    I was wondering what happened to this tape. It’s been a while since the debate happened.

  3. avatar Sammy says:

    Kind of reminded me of what one of the posters said about playing chess with a pidgin.

    And being a convert to Judeisum and an interested student of the persecution of all people, for the life of me I do not comprehend why of all people the American Jewish community would not be in favor of self defense. That applies to the African America folks as well.

    1. avatar MothaLova says:

      As someone in the same position, let me welcome you to permanent suffering and bewilderment due to the political opinions of most Jews, even among the modern orthodox. You have to enter the haredi communities before you will encounter a substantial number of Jews holding reasonable political opinions.

      1. avatar William Burke says:

        My opinion only, but I believe the reason for so many Jews embracing gun control is that they believe they will be on the winning side this time. In other words, they’ll be the Nazis, except in this belief system, the Nazis will win.

        If you hate something strongly enough, you run the risk of becoming the very thing you hated.

        1. avatar Ralph says:

          If you hate something strongly enough, you run the risk of becoming the very thing you hated.

          If that’s true, then you will either become Jewish, black or a St. Louis minister named Paul.

      2. avatar Doc_Samson says:

        Jewish convert #3 here! I believe that most American Jews are fairly secular and are more beholden to liberal statism than they are to the Torah or the tenets of Judaism. They mistakenly believe that the government that freed that slaves and instituted equal rights is still functioning in a benevolent and equality promoting manner. They find the concept of violence against another human barbaric and almost unfathomable, regardless of the reason, resulting in being blind to the reality of the big picture (i.e. that we have the right to defend ourselves/family with deadly force when necessary).

    2. avatar GenghisQuan says:

      Being Asian, I find that my people are roughly split.

      You have one half who go full leftist and find guns icky and are all up into the Social Justice Warrior nonsense.

      Then you have the other half who love guns and shooting stuff and are decently realistic about the world.

    3. avatar Anmut says:

      Founded right here in Wisconsin: http://jpfo.org/

      1. avatar MothaLova says:

        I just paid the dues to become a member of that group (Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership). It should have at least a million members, comprising the entire orthodox population. Perhaps one day.

  4. avatar Sammy says:

    By his own definition, Fineman is mentally ill and should not be allowed to own a firearm,

  5. avatar Bernard says:

    The argument seemed a little unfair to Robert because his voice was a little muffled and in phone quality.

    1. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

      I noticed that, too, when I was listening to it live. I don’t really blame the phone so much as I do the show. The straight volume of Robert’s connection was b.s. and struck me as intentionaly lowered. It allowed the host to speak in a very relaxed and reassuring tone and volume, completely talking all over Robert. Meanwhile, Robert would have to raise his voice and seem to interrupt just to be part of the debate. To the low information crowd going off just impressions, I bet this dirty trick worked well for presenting the host as the more reasonable and comfortable of the two, and by extension, his position the more acceptable.

      If one’s position, as with the anti’s, relies on tricks, lies, willful ignorance and steamrolling for it to have any persuasive power whatsoever, then it’s long past time to re-evaluate not only one’s position, but one’s character. I wouldn’t debate this clown again on his own show. Neutral ground or never mind.

  6. avatar John says:

    Damn you and your facts, Robert! How dare you use statistics and analytical research.

  7. avatar JoshtheViking says:

    Can’t stand to listen to this statist. Anyone who doesn’t like freedom should live elsewhere, end of story. If someone tries to infringe upon the natural rights of another, they should be shipped to Europe. Also, does anyone else think that Fineman resembles the little Gestapo guy from Raiders of the Lost Ark?

  8. avatar A-Rod says:

    Anyone who doubts that mass murder by our government has not happened needs to talk to an American Indian. Like RF said “Disarmed, rounded up and killed.”

    1. avatar Felix says:

      Government’s mission is to compel or prohibit, its core competency is coercion, and its tool is violence.

  9. He doesn’t seem to understand that current law requires psychiatrists to report people that are obviously a threat to themselves and/or others, that such people need to be involuntarily committed thru a judicial process, and those people are already prohibited from owning firearms.

    Of course, if people that are “too dangerous” to have a gun are locked up then it doesn’t matter whether there is a registry or not, because those “too dangerous” people would be locked up, and they wouldn’t have a gun.

  10. avatar Maineuh says:

    Nicely done. Robert really presented the facts well, coming off as reasoned where the other dude just sort of flounders and infuses pure opinion into the conversation. What’s funny, to me, is that if I saw headshots of each of these guys, I’d assume Robert was the bleeding heart and Fineman was the 2A supporter. I think it’s his hat. He shouldn’t be allowed to wear something that cool.

  11. avatar Maineuh says:

    Confiscation after Katrina was “perfectly reasonable.” Okaaaaaay.

    1. avatar MothaLova says:

      Yeah. It was obvious that Fineman had no idea what the facts of confiscation are, and he wanted to avoid talking about it.

  12. avatar Kyle in CT says:

    It really is like herding cats . . . he just moves on when you make a good point, spouting useless numbers like “90% of mentally ill people who should be prohibited were able to buy a gun”. As defined by whom, and under what standard? As far as I can tell his standard was someone who had ever had any kind of psychological or emotional issue. When the guy talks about his research, he comes off as a walking, talking confirmation bias.

    1. avatar NYC2AZ says:

      “As defined by whom, ….”

      As defined by some gun control group’s website that references another gun control website’s study that was done near a water cooler with a bunch of echo-chamber-loving employees that are obviously mathematically challenged.

      1. avatar JasonM says:

        I remember back when Dubya was trying to force the country into war with Iraq some US spy agency gave a copy of a doctored report to the Israelis or the Brits then used that agency’s reference of the US report as “independent verification” of the “facts” in the report.

        It’s a well known trick of the statists.

    2. avatar Gene says:

      Herding cats is easy if you use catnip. The problem is what to do with the once they are herded.

      But still, the tool is still a tool.

      1. avatar JasonM says:

        Not true. They tried it on Mythbusters recently, and were unable to herd cats at all.

        1. avatar Gene says:

          Wow! Missed that episode! Fortunately the feral cats around the village we live in don’t watch it otherwise e couldn’t trap and take them to theanimal shelter.

        2. avatar JasonM says:

          They defined herding as being able to move the cats in a group that moves as one, like a flock of birds, school of fish, or herd of sheep.
          They even had a shepherd and her sheep dog (a border collie, I think) try to herd the cats. The dog got freaked out by the cats not reacting like sheep.

    3. avatar Hannibal says:

      That’s the problem with an uncontrolled debate like this. You can just throw a bunch of stuff at the wall and hope something sticks but there’s no time to go through and refute all the BS claims.

      The best ‘debate’ would probably be for each side to pick it’s three main points, be limited to those points and then be able to directly rebut the other side’s ones as well. Sorta like mock trail.

      1. avatar MothaLova says:

        Agreed, Hannibal, and I would suggest having the debate in three parts, too, such as over the course of a few weeks, so that the debaters have time to research the claims between debate sessions.

      2. avatar JasonM says:

        Oh sure. The pro-gun guys want a reasonable, logical debate. Have you ever thought about how unfair logic and fact-checking would be to the anti-gun guy in a debate? That’s not very nice of you.

        1. avatar Tommycat says:

          Won’t somebody think of the poor little children?!!

  13. avatar BDub says:

    I tried…..I really, honestly tried, but I cant listen to this guy drone on like he is only talking to himself.

  14. avatar Michael G Marriam says:

    Robert,
    It helps to remember that you can’t reason a person out of a position they weren’t reasoned into in the first place.

  15. avatar MothaLova says:

    Great response describing his large-scale solution to a very small-scale problem.

    1. avatar Gene says:

      Yay for Rube Goldberg solutions to nonexistant problems!

  16. avatar Chris says:

    Way to go Robert! I’m glad you stayed calm enough to point out his fallacious arguments and red herrings. I want to see that guy debate a high school debate team because I am pretty sure they would win easily. I also like how he threw out tons of numbers. Show me research don’t act like these random numbers you say are the end all be all of an argument. The numbers he came up with from his research he conducted with a grant hahahahah I’m sure there was no bias.

  17. avatar Kyle in CT says:

    And another thing, he quotes 7% of the murders are gang related. Bull. I’m looking at the 2012 report, and I can almost guarantee that he is looking at “Expanded Homicide Data Table 13”. In that table there are two headings, “Gangland Killings” and “Juvenile gang killings”, which account for around 900 homicides combined out of the total ~12,000 reported. In that case yes, 6.8% is the number you come up with. But does anyone believe that NONE of the homicides listed in “other arguments” (3,085) or “Unknown” (4,582) or any of the several other narcotics or property-related homicides are gang-related? Seriously? Keep in mind that the “unknown” category alone accounts for over a third of the total homicides, and if you include “other arguments” you’re hovering around 60%.

    It might be a pain, but I think hammering BS numbers needs to be the strategy. Next time grab the UCR beforehand and have it ready to go, because these kinds of baloney statistics need to have the curtain pulled away.

  18. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

    Wow! That wallpaper at the beginning with the bloodied USA is way over the top.

    The host’s views and comments were way over the top too.

    Everything was over the top, except his voice… M-o-n-o-t-o-n-e.

    1. avatar MothaLova says:

      The “unmodulated voice of reason” (as Michael Kelly, RIP, once phrased it), a tone typical of NPR announcers but in this case offered with a NY Jewish flavor.

      http://www.jewishworldreview.com/michael/kelly111401.asp (for the original article by Michael Kelly)

      1. avatar Jeff says:

        e.g. any David Harris-voiced AJC radio commercial I’ve ever heard.

    2. avatar Curtis in IL says:

      … and the red blotches on the wallpaper are all in the wrong places.
      There should be one for Chicago, one for D.C., one for New York City, one for L.A…

  19. avatar alanhinMN says:

    well they left the comments open on Youtube. I see a number of arguments here that should be posted there.

  20. avatar crndl says:

    You can’t fix stupid, valiant effort Robert…and he was DEAD WRONG about the situation in Weimar/Nazi Germany…I just read Stephen Halbrook’s “Gun Control in the Third Reich” and you completely nailed it.

  21. avatar Bob says:

    I’m not sure what’s more infuriating, a guy like this spouting ideas for gun control that have no basis in reality or the Senator from Rhode Island who just tells the opposition to go fuck themselves. Anyone who uses the phrase, “I think we can agree” in a debate doesn’t have the mental capacity to debate in the first place.

  22. avatar Kirk says:

    You done good, Robert. But I could not listen to his voice through the whole thing.

    He must not be in Alaska, as they’ve just banned drones for hunting.

  23. avatar ZM 1306 says:

    Did this guy argue that less guns is safer and will not lead to mass murder by using an example were guns were taken away then the people were mass murdered!?

  24. avatar Cloture says:

    The number of lies these two told in just the first 5 minutes is mind blowing. Last time I bough psudo for my cold I didn’t have to go through an hour long back ground check and pay a fee on top of th cost of the cold medicine.

  25. avatar Maineuh says:

    I made it through the whole thing, by gum. Fineman doesn’t strike me as very intelligent, charming or even passionate. He IS, however, quite soporific. I need a nap.

  26. avatar squashpup says:

    Just like all gun grabbers, in every “discussion” I’ve ever had with them. Move the target.

  27. avatar Haiku Guy says:

    He keeps on talking about how we would have to live like they do in France, Italy or Scandinavia. What was going on in France, Italy and Scandinavia 70 years ago? How many Jews were taken from France, Italy and Scandinavia and sent to Nazi death camps?

    Millions!

    Heaven forbid we have to live like they do in France, Italy and Scandinavia!

    1. avatar ropingdown says:

      The “France, Italy, Scandinavia” bit cracked me up.

      First, say what you will, the French and Scandinavians are, on average, anti-semitic, though both will deny it adamantly in public. Ask a few French or Swedish Jews who grew up there. Second, both are anti- most other global non-European types. Fineman’s going to be happy there? Go there!

      I actual can’t comprehend ‘debating’ with a guy on a program no one listens to. Perhaps this is a mitzvah, providing companionship to a lonely bitter old man?

  28. avatar DrVino says:

    Psychologists are the alchemists of neurobehavioral science and he wants them to make determinations of who can and cannot own guns?

    Oi…..

  29. avatar Wolf says:

    Honestly it wasn’t much of a debate… you completely destoyed him on every single point when he actually stayed on topic or let you speak. Good job!

  30. avatar Mack Bolan says:

    It’s sad to me that Mr. Fineman is so confused in his thinking. His reality is one that he probably cant square in his own mind so he must blame something, and in this case its guns.

    All because of context.

    His son was a combat medic so if his son happened to be shot while serving in that capacity this debate, and Mr. Fineman’s organization would never have existed. Because he could rationalize the loss if that happened as justifiable.

    But because he was shot by a random mentally ill stranger, he blames guns and all guns are bad.

    So in his case, the context is what is important to him even though the outcome would have been the same. He fails to accept the inherent risk that exists in society yet accepted that risk while his son served. Death by gunshot, is the same regardless of who pulls the trigger.

    As a medic his son was protected by men with guns. What failed to save his son in society was he should have been protected by men with guns, but it was California, so sorry about that.

    I sincerely hope someday he will move past the anger/blame phase of his grief, and accept that his son died a hero regardless of who was doing the shooting. Because what he is doing dishonors his son who served and swore and oath to defend the Untied States and uphold the Constitution.

    That makes him a very small man.

  31. avatar Tommycat says:

    You missed an opportunity to beat him over the head. “Mentally ill persons taking their medication should not be allowed to have a firearm.” The problem with that is that simply means that mentally ill people getting treatment will lose their ability to own firearms. That means that mentally ill people NOT getting treatment will NOT lose their ability to own firearms. That means that people who might otherwise seek treatment for something that can be treated will refuse to get treatment for fear of losing their rights.

  32. avatar smackit says:

    Whew….that monotone was just horrible. I thought that was a pretty decent performance by RF considering that he didn’t control the microphone and it wasn’t equal. Sounds like he could hold his own if he was on an even plane with an opponent. The best thing I heard is where RF tried to keep the opponent from changing topic when they were losing their point…you got to bore in and highlight the fact that they lost that argument which discredits your opponent. Shapiro, Prager, and only a few others do that well. Don’t let the opponent escape! Check out the Shapiro 10 debate tips.

  33. avatar Morgan Y. says:

    Thank you RF for try and speaking for a lot of us. I wouldn’t have the patience (and frankly the memory) to debate anybody, but the points he was trying to make we’re straight Pravda in my opinion.

  34. avatar cubby123 says:

    THIS GUY IS A COMPLETE BAFOON! HE DESERVES TO LIVE IN MURDER CENTRAL, CHICAGO.THE SHOW SHOULD BE CALLED;I DON’T HAVE A GUN CAUSE I AM STUPID! STUPIDITY ON A STICK!

  35. avatar 2Alpha says:

    I was intrigued by the NRA bet of 50k. I wanna see this happen. Problem is he’s on a news broadcast thats not very popular and he knows the small organizations he gets a hold of cant spare 50k and big ones like the NRA don’t really care about his small time show so he wins by making the bet and no one else participating. Lame.

    1. avatar Salty Bear says:

      How on earth could an anti possibly think they could win a bet like that? The experiment would go like this:

      Bad guy walks up to good guy, raises his baseball bat/fist/hammer.

      Good guy pulls gun.

      Good guy wins. The end.

      The answer, of course, is that Fineman would never agree to an experiment like that. He’d give an empty gun to a three year-old, whom he’d pit against Vin Diesel in an MRAP.

  36. avatar Taco says:

    I’m sorry, did he infer the Jews were taken away and executed BECAUSE of guns? WHAT??? This guy doesn’t know his history…

  37. avatar Don says:

    You need a better debate partner.

  38. avatar peirsonb says:

    Again, out of respect for the kinder, gentler TTAG, I’ll just leave this: Comment Moderated 🙂

  39. avatar Alex B says:

    “more children die from gun violence than cancer, heart disease, and accidents”

    WHERE THE HELL IS HE GETTING HIS NUMBERS!?

    its amazing to hear someone say that in all seriousness.
    cancer and heart disease, not traditionally something children suffer from.
    child abuse, car ACCIDENTS, and drowning ACCIDENTS kill WAY more children.

  40. avatar Matt says:

    This is not intended as an ad hominem attack but I must point it out. The likeness in voice between Mr. Fineman and Droopy Dog is uncanny.

    Also why do these things always end so soon? I want to listen/watch one of these where one or two points are talked about and things are really hashed out until it is fully covered. No time limit bs. I’d listen to it regardless of it was 12 hours or 12 minutes. There were many points where RF could have had an insurmountable logical argument but just was not allowed to hash it out because of time constraints.

    I also like Mr. Fineman’s ending point about seat belts and anecdotes. The argument works both ways pal; just as an anecdote is no reason to make a law, lack of actual conclusive evidence is no reason to make a law.

  41. avatar inglysh says:

    people are cans?

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