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“Second Amendment fundamentalism rests powerfully on the idea that an empowered individual — armed to protect himself (gender definitely intended) and his family — is the morally virtuous way to live.” – Michael Waldman quoted in the review, ‘The Second Amendment’ is a smart history of guns and the U.S. [at latimes.com]

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28 Responses to Quote of the Day: And Your Point Is…? Edition

  1. He’s trying to say that women do NOT have the right to defend themselves and their families? I’d like to know how he defends that statement. Sounds like a loser, I don’t need his book.

  2. “Ooga Booga Second Amendment”

    Look, guy, we don’t need the Second Amendment or any piece of paper to tell us that we have a human right to protect ourselves and a moral duty to protect our families.

    You wanna do that with an alarm? Go ahead. Choose from literally thousands of options. Guard dog? I like Belgian Malinois, but all the options are wide open.

    But if you want to supplement those things with one or more firearms, then you should have the ability to choose what is best for you based on what YOU want. Instead, we have politicians who haven’t even met you trying to tell you that an AR-15 is bad for home defense. It is great for home defense, and it happens to also be great for National defense. I said National instead of national because the Nation is the People, not the boundaries of the borders.

    As far as that “gender” thing … ever heard of 1 Million Moms Against Gun Control?
    /rant

    • I have a pal who lives on 20 acres of desert south of Tuscon, and you better believe, in the middle of drug smuggling terrirory, an AR or AK is PRECISELY the correct home defense weapon.

    • +1. What’s more, it’s not only moral and responsible to be prepared to defend oneself and ones family, it’s absurd to do so with less than the best practically available tool. Further more, all that an alarm system or a call to 911 gets is for people to show up with guns for the defense of self and others. What argument then can be made for not being people armed with guns for the defense of self and others? If having armed police is a virtue then having armed citizens must also be a virtue.

      Orwell opined that ‘We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm’. I think that this is something that is self evident but also anathema to progressives generally and something they try very hard to ignore. Who are these ‘rough men’? Soldiers certainly, police must be included, armed citizens? I don’t think you can leave out armed citizens since the police and soldiery are made up entirely of citizens and in fact one could call a group of soldiers or police ‘armed citizens’ properly within the language and the scope of it’s meaning.

      Most people are quite reasonable and moral all of their own. They will generally not take what is not theirs nor attack others without plain and sufficiently justifiable provocation. If every person were like this there would be little crime, virtually no violence and a paucity of need for either police or soldiers, or for that matter going about armed for ones own defense. When conflict arose all that would be needed to resolve it would be calm rational dialogue into which both parties would readily enter and agree to be bound by the fairest and most logical resolution. Indeed, the vast majority of interpersonal conflicts are solved this way as evidenced by the relatively low level of violence in the population. We seldom expect for disagreements to become violent conflicts and are rightly shocked when they do. We also don’t expect to be stolen from or attacked, but we know that it can happen.
      There are some people who are largely moral and reasonable but who would use intimidation, posturing and deceit to enrich themselves but who would not resort to violence to achieve their goals. These likely represent the largest subset of the people, after those illustrated above. These people my rationalize instead of being purely rational and may stretch morality or even beggar it but still stop short of outright theft and violence.
      There is an even smaller subset who are somewhat reasonable and who follow some code of morality that is overridden in part by either actual need, sense of entitlement or which suffers from poor moral maturity and development. These may steal, defraud, burgle and perhaps even rob using threats and intimidation but will still stop short of actual injurious violence.
      There is a final subset, minuscule in number and representing many sociopaths and psychopaths as well as those who’s personality disorders, addictions and experiences have driven them to ragged edge of humanity and morality, if in fact they have any internal morality at all. These people will kill, beat, stab, shoot and take whatever they believe they can get away with and do so without pause to consider the ramifications for anyone but themselves and some don’t even consider that. The are immoral, unreasonable and rapacious. You cannot bargain with them for they will accept only what they wanted in the first place and see any means as acceptable to achieve their ends. You cannot reason with them because their demands are not based in reason but rather in desire. You cannot call upon or depend on their morality since either they have none or else theirs is so relativistic and rationalized that whatever acts achieve their goals are moral to them.
      With this latter group there is but one way to cope; you must meet them with equal or superior force. You must demonstrate to them that the consequences of what they intend will be dire for them (imprisonment, injury or death) and even this will not always suffice for they may not be concerned even for their own welfare. With these you can only escape, drive off, incapacitate or kill them. They may not even ‘understand’ violence in the traditional sense, but it is the only thing that prevents them from their acts. Deprived of the means for effective self defense one is at the mercy of these individuals who have no mercy. We know such people exist, we can even point to them in the prisons and hospitals. To argue that the rest of us should be denied the means to resist them effectively is to argue that these people should be ‘free’ to take whatever they want from us, even our dignity, freedom and lives. That is counter to liberty, counter to sense and counter to ‘good’. To wish that everyone were subject to the cruel, agonizing, terrorizing and deadly whims of such people is evil. There is no rational escape from it, advocating ‘gun control’ is advocating that evil prevail.

      • “These people will kill, beat, stab, shoot and take whatever they believe they can get away with and do so without pause to consider the ramifications for anyone but themselves and some don’t even consider that. The are immoral, unreasonable and rapacious.”

        I do believe the correct term in such a case is “amoral”. It’s not that they make an intentional choice to be evil; they simply have no use for the societal constraints that most of us have chosen to follow. They view these as hindrances, and if there’s one thing psychopaths have no use for, it’s moral constraints.

        • I believe it depends on the individual; some actually delight in doing things simply because they are evil things, making them immoral, but you’re correct that for some amoral is a more accurate description.

  3. 2A fundamentalism is based on a) the notion that words have meaning and b) the knowledge that it is a cornerstone of freedom’s/humanity’s survival. It’s not “morally virtuous,” as much as it is pragmatic. (Though it IS morally virtuous.)

  4. …”an assault weapon is precisely the kind of armament a modern-day Minute Man might want to use.”

    He keeps saying things that make sense and then he acts as if it’s a bad thing.

    • This is the same tactic that attacks Christianity then argues to ban guns because in a society based on Christian morals and philosophy guns are not needed. Of course the religious foundation is never mentioned.

  5. “It reflects with frankness that our sense of human dignity has, in fact, evolved.”

    I would love to know where this idea that humans have “evolved” comes from… It’s complete BS.

    Pompous people think we have somehow “evolved” because we have more advanced technology than the generations before us giving us the increased availability food, water, energy, goods, etc.

    We have not evolved, nothing has changed about humans in thousands of years, we still need air, food and water. Human still kill each other and hurt each other, there are still wars, rape, child abuse, and all kinds horrible, but uniquely, human things.

    Human are only the electricial grid going out and about nine meals away from being not so f^cking “evolved” and down right uncivilized…

    Most people would beat their neighbor to death with their bare hands over a can of beans to feed their starving family, if need be. And the ones that “couldn’t do such a thing” are not “evolved”, they’re weak.

    If anything we are becoming fatter, lazier, more entitled, less self reliant, overly indulgent, and too dependent on technology for even the most basic of needs and wants- we are devolving.

  6. Really? Because I think it’s MORE important for women to be armed. I’m a fairly imposing man that’s unlikely to be a target for violence. My 120lb wife? Not so much. Typical liberal BS as trying to paint all gun owners as OFWG’s when the reality based upon gun sales trends shows very different results.

  7. “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. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be “cured” against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.”

    ― C.S. Lewis, God in the Dock: Essays on Theology (Making of Modern Theology)

    I welcome mutual defense with any person of good will, but I’m not interested in being anybody’s cow. 🙂

  8. Note to Waldman and LA Times:

    You lost me at “living Constitution.” The concept of a “living Constitution” that can be selectively ignored as Congress sees fit essentially means no Constitution at all.

    If the Constitution doesn’t seem to be working for the times, the founders included a process for altering it. It’s called a constitutional amendment. But rather than do the hard work of trying to repeal or alter the 2nd Amendment, Mr. Waldman would rather work around (that is to say, violate) the Constitution instead. The LA Times cheerleads for this.

    The amendment process was deliberately made hard for one reason. The United States is not a democracy. It is a democratic republic. The rights of the individual are paramount and are recognized in the Bill of Rights. The pure democracy Mr. Waldman seems to pine for, where 51% of the people can, though Congress, alter or deny constitutionally guaranteed rights to the other 49%, is mob rule pure and simple. Once one right is curtailed in the spirit of the “living Constitution” where does it stop?

    America would be a much safer place if police were allowed to randomly search any house, person or car any time without a warrant. (And is Mr. Waldman in favor of “stop and frisk?” After all, the times have changed.) Illegal weapons, illegal drugs would be taken off the streets by the bushel.

    Odd how I don’t see him proposing that.

    • A living constitution is like a living promise. For example “you can keep your health plan” or “as a veteran you well be provided healthcare”.

  9. Wow. So they admit they know EXACTLY what the 2a means, and how far over backwards they have to bend to make their “living constitution” work. Do you remember their early Iraq war mantra? “The constitution is not a suicide pact.” I get a feeling it’s about to make a comeback.

  10. From the article:

    “By way of explanation, he takes us on a looping ride from the colonial era, when gun ownership was not only common but also, in many cases, compelled because of the militias, to our own post-Sandy Hook America, in which “‘Second Amendment fundamentalism rests powerfully on the idea that an empowered individual — armed to protect himself (gender definitely intended) and his family — is the morally virtuous way to live.'”

    Funny how they don’t seem to notice the similarity of the two positions.

    Also, good luck to them in finding any gender being “definitely intended” by modern-day 2A advocates.

  11. Aside from his implied swipe at women as being incapable, unsuitable and unwilling to defend themselves and their families according to their God-given and Constitutionally protected right (or is it an equally offensive swipe at Second Amendment-supporting men whom he believes hold that view of women?), I don’t see the controversy. He may have intended this observation to be insightful, striking and damning; but to my mind, it’s one of those feature-not-a-flaw propositions.

  12. The Second amendment, like all three documents: Declaration of Independence, Constitution of the United States, and Bill of Rights, are framed/written basically this way:

    For the group/collective/country to do/act/exist, with the assistance of a secure/responsible/representative government, to be free and secure in their existence and continued worth and welfare, the unalienable rights of the individual must and will be protected.

    In the 2nd amendment it is this:

    if the group/collective is going secure itself and its representative government, the individual’s/the people’s right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

    Individual rights must exist and be protected FIRST, before any individual, group, and or, idea of “representation/government/state” can exist or be secured.

    This book and its author are acid and poison to the concept of freedom and individual rights. A book twisted to look like your protector, if you will.

    Don’t buy it. Stand and Fight.

    • +1000

      The only way to have a free people/collective is to protect the rights of each and every individual. The rights and freedoms of the individual must be more important than , and be protected before, the rights of the collective/government.

  13. Folks, he isn’t being sexist with the “gender implied” comment. He’s saying that we are sexist. He’s saying that we think men should be the ones with firearms, just like Michael Moore claims we are planning to shoot black and brown criminals.

    There is, of course, an equal amount of evidence for both.

  14. Bah–I don’t take lectures on the constitution from “living document” revisionists, and I don’t take advice on self-preservation from sheep–nor from wolves offering advice to the sheep.

  15. Take a good look, people. These are your enemies. They’re not goosestepping an ocean away or brazenly inviting confrontation like movie villains. They’re traitors masquerading as Americans, scoffing at the concept of liberty, willfully misleading the public. We’ve reached an unfortunate era when our neighbors are the greatest enemies of America in the world. Be careful out there.

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