Atlantic Monthly: Gun Rights Harm the Rule of Law

Firmin

I’ve got to hand it to Firmin Debrabander: I’ve never seen so much fail in one anti-gun article and I’ve read thousands of them. The Atlantic Monthly writer has somehow managed to weave an intricate tapestry of lies and mischaracterizations to blame Americans who exercise their natural, civil and Constitutional right to keep and bear arms for the breakdown of the rule of law in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave. Wait. What? What breakdown? FBI crime statistics show a steady fall in the violent crime rate. Oh right. Facts. Who needs them? Firmin Debrabander does. Let’s take him to school . . .

Polls show that gun owners cite self-protection as the primary reason they are armed. Their intentions are generally good and admirable. The gun-rights movement has done a great job making the argument for individuals to be armed to protect themselves and their families in their own homes. What if you are faced with a menacing home intruder and police are far away? In that situation, it makes good sense to be armed.

This a classic Martin Luther King Jr. Letter from a Birmingham Jail lead. You begin by complimenting your opponent. Showing him respect and deference. Portraying yourself as a reasonable, rational, peaceable person willing to engage in a civilized debate. King continued in that vein. Debrabander does not.

But there is an unfortunate lesson playing out for those who have armed themselves to feel safer—and for all of us, too. The gun-rights movement has worked hard to push an increasingly radical agenda that undermines both our personal safety and our civic fabric. To that extent, there is something almost tragic occurring here: The well-meaning citizens who arm themselves in droves, perhaps even in public, are in that very process threatening the peace and order they seek to preserve, and claim to uphold.

Radical. I don’t think that word mean what Debrabander thinks it means. Well, what he wants it to mean. Fresh out of the gate he’s implying that gun rights advocates are extremists. Because guns are a bad, bad thing – and getting worse! For you, for me, for society. Gun owners asserting their Second Amendment protections and – gasp! – carrying guns in public are on the road to hell, though it be paved with good intentions. And they’re dragging the whole country with them. Allegedly.

Stand Your Ground laws are a prime example. These laws, which the NRA has championed in almost two-dozen states, are a logical extension of gun rights from the private home into the public sphere. What good is it to carry a gun in public if you are not also legally protected when using it in self-defense—or perceived self-defense? How are guns supposed to deter criminals if gun owners are legally hindered from wielding their weapons? Stand Your Ground removes these legal barriers so that people can better protect themselves.

“Perceived self-defense.” The trap is set.

But this also has social consequences. Thanks to Stand Your Ground, citizens must now fear their armed neighbors in addition to prospective criminals. What if someone who spies you walking down the street thinks you look suspicious? What if you become a target for would-be George Zimmermans? Or what if the man you argue with, or potentially insult or offend, even unintentionally, is armed and irascible—and the argument escalates?

And we’re off! Off into the world of gun control, where Stand Your Ground laws allow gun owners to target and, yes, shoot law-abiding fellow citizens. You and I know that’s not the case. Stand Your Ground laws remove the legal obligation to retreat in the face of a credible, imminent threat of death or grievous bodily harm.

Debrabander’s proof that SYG spells the death of us all? George Zimmerman. A man who didn’t claim Stand Your Ground in his defense, who was pronounced innocent of all charges by a jury of his peers. And, I might add, the United States Department of Justice. He further suggests that armed Americans are all potential killers, despite the fact that millions of Floridians, millions of Americans, are armed in their own defense and don’t shoot anyone – no matter how irascible they may be.

It’s the “rivers of blood” anti-gun agitprop approach. A theory which isn’t borne out by the facts. Despite misleading polls, gun ownership — indeed concealed carry — has been increasing dramatically in the last few years. Again, violent crime is down. If you remove urban gang bangers from the stats, it’s an even more dramatic drop. While there are plenty of anecdotes of firearms-related crimes by “average” people, statistically speaking, armed Americans are not a problem. Period.

The latter possibility was chillingly illustrated in a movie theater in Tampa last year, when retired police captain Curtis Reeves shot and killed Chad Oulson after the two had argued, and Oulson threw popcorn in Reeves’ face. Reeves initially invoked Stand Your Ground, claiming he did not know if Oulson meant him bodily harm. Florida’s Stand Your Ground law protects gun owners if they so much as sense the threat of bodily harm. In the darkened movie theater, Reeves said he could not tell the nature of his assailant’s weapon—he didn’t know that Oulson was only throwing popcorn. In a Stand Your Ground society, it makes sense to suspect your neighbor—and fear the worst.

That last sentence blows my mind. Debrabander is defending Captain Reeves’ actions. Reeves’ trial has yet to reach its conclusion, but I don’t know one gun owner who thinks it’s OK to shoot someone who throws popcorn at him. Debrabander is wrong, wrong, wrong to suggest that one must merely “sense” the threat of bodily harm to shoot someone legally.

As stated above, as enshrined in law throughout this land, a threat must be imminent and credible. A jury will decide whether or not Reeves had good cause to believe his life was in danger. Meanwhile, the idea that it’s OK to gun down someone simply because you “sense” someone’s about to do you harm, that “sensibility” faces the “reasonable person” standard imposed by the police, the District Attorney, the prosecution, the judge and, ultimately, the jury in a court of law. Just like George Zimmerman.

The gun-rights movement claims it is a staunch defender of the peace, contributing to and bolstering law and order. As gun rights are currently advanced, nothing could be further from the truth.

Because I said so? Just so.

Increasingly, gun-rights advocates like National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre offer dystopian warnings to make their case. In November, LaPierre wrote a letter to NRA members—fittingly entitled “Is Chaos at our Door?”—outlining this vision. “[T]he world that surrounds us is growing more dangerous all the time,” he warned. “Whether it’s enemy state actors, foreign terrorists, Mexican drug cartels or domestic criminals, the threats Americans face are massive—and growing.” He invoked massive terrorist attacks like those in Mumbai in 2008 or Kenya in 2013, hordes of armed and violent gangs that “are embedded coast to coast,” and an influx of illegal immigrants with criminal backgrounds. LaPierre complained that the government had detained and then “intentionally released 36,000 illegal aliens” with criminal records. “Where all these released criminals went,” he wrote, “no one knows. But you can bet on this: They’re among us, embedded throughout our society. For all you know, you pass them in your car on your way to work.

LaPierre’s argument for being armed boils down to this: Americans are on the verge of—or already sinking into—a state of anarchy, where it is each man for himself. In that state, “the government can’t—or won’t—protect you…Only you can protect you,” he warns.

LaPierre’s warnings are certainly strong, but what part of what he says is factually incorrect? How well did the Feds do in protecting the innocents slaughtered during 911? Or curbing gang warfare in cities like Chicago and Oakland? What protection did they, do they offer where the rubber meets the road?

Not to mention the fact that the police have no legal obligation to protect us? Didn’t Debrander himself begin his dietribe [sic] by asking “What if you are faced with a menacing home intruder and police are far away? In that situation, it makes good sense to be armed.” How far away is far away?

The cumulative effect of these efforts is a society where security must be upheld or enforced by individual gun owners, who could misperceive what justice demands in any given situation. Our police have a hard enough time with this task. Consider the controversies in Ferguson, Missouri, and Staten Island last year, where unarmed black men, implicated in minor crimes, died because police used excessive force. Police chiefs are generally critical of the profusion of privately held arms and laws that embolden gun owners to wield their weapons in public. Gun-rights advocates like to argue that ordinary citizens should be armed in public on the premise that they can halt shootings or crimes in progress. This argument is often summed up by LaPierre’s claim that “the only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” If only the “bad guys with a gun” advertised themselves as such, or the “good guys with a gun” acted that way in all circumstances.

Debrabander is mischaracterizing the Michael Brown case where, again, a court and the Justice Department both concluded that his killing was a lawful case of self-defense – not “excessive” police force. The writer’s slam against LaPierre’s “good guy with a gun” assertion, stating that it’s darn near impossible to tell the players without a scorecard, flies in the face of the facts. Yes, his vaunted police shoot the wrong person. More often than armed non-LEO armed citizens. In fact, I haven’t run across a single example of a mistaken defensive shooting by a non-LEO in five years.

More than that – much more – Debrabander makes no mention whatsoever of the tens of thousands of examples of successful defensive gun uses by armed Americans. It’s a glaring omission. So obvious one must wonder if Debrabander left out this inconvenient truth on purpose, knowing that it torpedoes his entire premise: that armed Americans (who aren’t criminals) are a danger to society. They most decidedly are not. Not on balance and not in any statistically significant way.

LaPierre’s Manichean universe, neatly divided between forces of good and evil, bears little resemblance to our messy real world. Consider the 2011 mass shooting in Tucson, where Jared Loughner shot Representative Gabrielle Giffords in the head at a constituent meeting outside a Tucson shopping center. After attacking the congresswoman, who survived her grievous injury, Loughner shot eighteen people and killed six. It turns out there was an armed citizen present at the shooting—and he drew his gun, ready to shoot the attacker. However, he identified the wrong man and nearly pulled the trigger on an innocent bystander. Luckily, he did not.

Hello? Joe Zamudio didn’t shoot the wrong person. Surely that backs-up the contention that armed Americans aren’t a danger. The fact that he could have is neither here nor there. An armed American could shoot the wrong person. But they could also run over someone in their car. Or poison them accidentally. By any sensible metric, firearms owners pose no threat to innocent life. The only case that can be made against them is anecdotal. And if this is the best Debrabander’s got, a case where nothing happens, what does that tell you about his thesis?

Another favorite gun rights saying is that “when seconds count, police are minutes away.” In other words, it’s better to have a gun on you, or an armed ‘good guy’ in the midst of a shooting, when police cannot arrive soon enough. But first responders arrived at the scene of the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting within three minutes of the first police radio broadcast of the attack. Police arrived on the scene at the Aurora movie theater 90 seconds after being called. How small ought that window be to satisfy gun-rights advocates? Perhaps it can’t be small enough. In their view, guns must be ever-present if society hopes to keep order. This logic implicitly undermines law enforcement’s role in society. The world is just too dangerous, it argues, and cops are outmanned and outgunned (again, thanks to the NRA’s efforts). Armed citizens are therefore needed to fill those gaps when cops are not present—no matter how small or short those gaps may be—in order to keep the peace.

In pushing this agenda, the gun-rights movement mistakenly urges supporters to think that public order rests upon overt shows of force. In a democracy, however, peace is founded on rule of law.

At this point, Debrabander’s rant is slipping into incoherence. As hard as it is to believe, he’s arguing that the police response to the Sandy Hook and Aurora slaughter was sufficient. And that ayone who thinks that they need an armed response to a mass shooter at the moment the killing begins or, hopefully, before, is undermining the rule of law. That’s just crazy talk.

Speaking of irrational thought, I’m not quite sure why Debrabander chose to italicize the words overt show of force. Surely that’s an exact description of police openly carrying firearms. You know: good guys with guns.

The rule of law is essential for maintaining the peace in civil society. It is also an act of faith: People presume and trust that everyone else around them will act lawfully and safely. For example, I must presume that the driver in front of me will obey the laws of the road; I must also presume that he will not, Mad Max-style, swerve around to aim a rifle at me and start firing. If people know others around them are armed, they may grow suspicious of each other, restrict their dealings with one another, or, in some circumstances, not deal with them at all. An over-armed society is a recipe for widespread mistrust and suspicion, with dire consequences for the vibrancy of civil society.

What pray tell is an “over-armed society”? Where does Debrabander draw the line? Probably the same place that Everytown for Gun Safety and its ilk draw the line (if they would but admit it): at anything less than complete civilian disarmament. Anyway, facts. Here’s the rundown of states with the highest percentage of gun owners [via usliberals.about.com no less]:

  • 1. Wyoming – 59.7%
  • 2. Alaska – 57.8%
  • 3. Montana – 57.7%
  • 4. South Dakota – 56.6%
  • 5. West Virginia – 55.4%
  • 6. Mississippi – 55.3%
  • 6. Idaho – 55.3%
  • 6. Arkansas – 55.3%
  • 9. Alabama – 51.7%
  • 10. North Dakota – 50.7%

Do these strike you as states where residents are “suspicious of each other, restrict their dealings with one another, or, in some circumstances, not deal with them at all”? Any more than any other state, I mean.

Gun-rights advocates typically consider themselves staunch conservatives. But it is worth reminding them that it is a bedrock principle of conservatism that a free society requires strong rule of law and that citizens must do all they can to ensure it and strengthen it. Milton Friedman argued that the duties and reach of government extend no further than articulating the law, making sure it is heeded, adjudicating differences between citizens, and prosecuting offenses against them. Beyond that, Friedman affirms, government should let the law and market do its work, with the compliance of free and rational citizens.

What part of that is incompatible with gun ownership?

. . . this clashes with gun-rights advocates’ worldview. They imagine some kind of libertarian paradise where government retreats—where law remains widely acknowledged and respected—and individual gun owners are free to enforce the law if and when they deem it necessary. But [conservative English political theorist Michael] Oakeshott understands that an armed and potentially violent public only goads the government into action and force. Law enforcement knows that gun owners may use their weapons recklessly, and prepares itself accordingly. Oakeshott’s strongest point is that an over-armed society makes government bigger, more intrusive, and more aggressive in carrying out its vested duty of maintaining order. It goads government, and the law enforcement officials who work for it, towards arbitrary shows of power and force. In this way, too, the gun rights movement makes its wishes and warnings come true. The NRA says citizens must be armed to combat government tyranny. But an over-armed society ensures that government will be anything but restrained.

Blaming gun owners (specifically the NRA) for “goading” excessive police/government force isn’t the stupidest anti-gun argument I’ve ever encountered but it’s certainly in the top ten. As John Basil Barnhill (not Thomas Jefferson) said, “Where the people fear the government you have tyranny. Where the government fears the people you have liberty.” Show me an example of an “under-armed” society where liberty is not dying, dead or in danger of extinction. And brother, I lived in the UK.

A common feature of the many police shootings perpetrated over the last year, and highlighted in the media during and after Ferguson, is that police now assume their suspects to be armed. Given the state of affairs the NRA has fostered, this may be a prudent and understandable assumption. But it also means police are instinctively cautious, hostile, and all too ready to use their weapons against ordinary citizens. In an over-armed society, we may also expect to see a steady uptick in the number of cases involving police brutality or excessive force. And then, as the NRA would have it, the government is most fully and clearly the people’s enemy, too.

Debrabander’s conclusion is the dictionary definition of scurrilous: defamatory, libelous, scandalous, insulting, offensive and gross. Bone-headed? That too. If Debrabander seriously believes that law-abiding armed Americans are “goading” the police into lawless brutality and excessive force by their very presence, he’s living in a world of his own imagination. Meanwhile, back in the real world, armed Americans are defending themselves, their families, their community and our Constitutional republic. Any other interpretation is simply anti-gun animus wrapped in cold, calculating nonsense.

comments

  1. avatar Silentbrick says:

    Traitors like the columnist are true violators of the rule of law. And if the real rule of law ever returns, the slavery loving left will find itself where it deserves to be, rotting in jail awaiting their just rewards for their never ending crimes.

    1. avatar SD3 says:

      That’s not a “man”, man.

      1. avatar DickDanger says:

        I knew something was off when a realized that he looked like Hillary Clinton with a greasy comb-over.

        1. avatar LarryinTX says:

          His kid’s funny looking, too!

  2. avatar spankeythejarhead says:

    He is full of Drivel. We need another fantastic pistol review!

  3. avatar Chip Bennett says:

    My head hurts. I can’t process that much stupid in one sitting.

  4. avatar pyratemime says:

    RF, I am just curious do you ever send links for these kinds of things to the original author? Do you ever get any feedback from them?

  5. avatar Hannibal says:

    The FB link https://www.facebook.com/TheAtlantic/posts/10153250636223487 has lots and lots of critical comments. Feel free to leave some more.

    1. avatar foodog says:

      If you want to make a difference, comment one of The Atlantics author’s errors, mis-statement, or mis-characterization of the law,

      using RFs talking points, and a link back to TTAG, as the hook to get independent thinkers to look here for a proof.

      If you read “Trust Me, I’m Lying” you will see there are “journolistas” paid to write on a theme, as part of a campaign, coordinated by lobbying groups, to shift ‘the Narrative’ on key themes.

      One of those themes is “the Constitution is just a piece of paper”, or “the second amendment is only about in home”. Two big cases are under review, with strong arguments to extend the implications in Heller, to carry outside, and to further define the role of government to justify weakening gun rights, in order to justify public safety.

      So when you see these same “thoughtful” writers, making the laymans case for same, you see anoher aspect of the Lefts last gasp, under The One, for gun control over the masses.

  6. avatar Ralph says:

    But first responders arrived at the scene of the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting within three minutes of the first police radio broadcast of the attack. Police arrived on the scene at the Aurora movie theater 90 seconds after being called. How small ought that window be to satisfy gun-rights advocates?

    Small enough so that 38 people wouldn’t be dead and 70 others wouldn’t be wounded, that’s how small.

    If Firmin Debrabander thinks that 108 casualties is a good police response, then he’s one huge asshat.

    1. avatar Grindstone says:

      How small ought that window be to satisfy gun-rights advocates?

      However long it takes for a person present that is carrying to draw their weapon. Of course, the thought of people taking protection into their own hands is inconceivable for him.

  7. avatar Frank Masotti says:

    Well if the “rule of law” decided these fools were no longer to use their first amendment right to free speech, they would be more then happy to ask those of us who practice out second amendment rights to help out.

  8. avatar mlloyd says:

    Sorry TTAG, as much as I appreciate your work and tireless efforts to expose the ridiculous wholly illogical nonsensical rantings of some clod who I’ve never heard nor care to, who posses the ability to sit at a computer and churn out FICTION, be it Bloombag, Obummer, needs a nose job Shannon Watts, or the galactic pompous ass nobody Piers Morgan, I would rather pull weeds out of my gutter than saturate my brain with more of same old tired rambling lies and nonsense. You can take a handful of words, throw them in a bag, shake them up and spill them out repeatedly and no matter what, it’s the same thing over and over and over, no matter how you twist it, shape it, structure it, use synonyms, it’s still the same tired story.

    1. avatar foodog says:

      I think there are many who feel the same as you. But remember there are many lurking who are new to the 2A right, and the massive propaganda campaign that is underway, under the radar, by the Left/Progressives, who are desperate to “double down to push through the resistance” (Alinsky).

      Having calm, logical, reasoned debate on the facts helps those who are new to the politics, and can use those facts with their own friends and family to explain the issues.

      As the CCW map proves, the right to carry did not just happen. It was dedicatee, principled citizens, who working in horizontally integrated groups, defeated the top down media. Read “The Rise of the Anti-media” an academic study of that movement, and the history of the NRA.

      Make no mistake, the battle is not won, and the anti’s are trying to do the same, but the obvious sockpuppets, like Shannon Watts, Bloombergs paid PR shill for MDA, and the sudden growth of the state chapters of MDA, Gun Sense, and others, is more of the same, especiallh as you discover the networks of the same PR firms, same website backends, (change.org) and follow he money trail back to the Center for American Progress, the Soros paid for political progressive machine that has generated literally hundreds of these fake shells.

      How we freedom loving citizens win, is by doing our part, contribute to you local or nationnal gun rights group, become informed and educate your friends and co-workers, with FACTS.

      1. avatar mlloyd says:

        it was not my intention to imply that TTAGs efforts were not of value, they are. I was simply making a derogatory comment directed at Firmin Debrabander and the likes. No, the war has not been won. Everyone is cognizant of that fact and yes there are lots of new people entering into the arena of life. Each person must discover their own path and determine for themselves the truths or lies that guide them on that journey.

  9. avatar Bake says:

    They certainly impede the rule of tyranny. That’s a feature, not a bug.

  10. avatar AlleyF says:

    I read this article a few days back. It really just struck me as a rant from someone on the losing side who bemoans the fact. Just a rant.
    I generally like the Atlantic’s writing, except when it comes to guns. They just can’t get over themselves on that one.

    1. avatar Another Robert says:

      What subject does The Atlantic write well about?

      1. avatar AlleyF says:

        Israel, for one. I think it’s Jeff Goldberg they have write on that subject.

        1. avatar Another Robert says:

          Interesting–thanks for the reply. I only read The Atlantic a couple of times, decades ago–altho I see the occasional article that is posted on one of the other news forums I frequent. I was in high school at the time. I still found it too liberal and kind of presumptuous even then.

      2. avatar LC says:

        None usually, although they have had a few gems detailing surveillance, the war on drugs, and the injustice system. It takes a good quantity of patience to wade through the pond of bullshit in search of gold nuggets though…

        The best one i’ve seen in a while was the piece about ISIS. Good stuff. http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2015/02/what-isis-really-wants/384980/

    2. avatar foodog says:

      I think the Atlantic lost its way when it changed hands in 2010. From being ” a thought leader without bias”, I think its surrendered to the solipsm of progressve editors and journolistas who have been drinking their own bathwater too long. Debrabanders article is an example of agenda driven dreck that doesn’t pass the rationality test.

      Here is a review at Amazon that says it better than I can.
      http://www.amazon.com/review/R1A3P92AAUCAMR/ref=cm_cr_dp_title?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B000UHI2LW&nodeID=599858&store=magazines

      What I see happening is good writers are developing their own brand, and their work becomes valuable to the outlet, depending on what the purpose is, news, opinion, or simply propaganda.

      I hope Atlantic is paying attention to what happened to the Boston Globe, Newsweek, and even NYT now. The ‘space’ for self stroking ego gratification for the Cultural Elites Wannabes is shrinking, especially when when the quality of discourse begins to approach Kim Kardashian spin on the themes they want to believe in.

      1. avatar LC says:

        I used to read the atlantic quite often and noticed the same thing. Sad really. Now rather than read the magazine to absorb something compelling and interesting, im searching, often fruitlessly, for something of relevance that was written with a single inkling of critical thinking applied. Now it is a miracle if a decent article is published. The rest are utter shite.

        James fallows’ recent piece about the US Military is absolute garbage and the subject manner desperately needed touched upon. I had lofty expectations and was completely let down. That was the final straw that drove me away from the atlantic for good.

        Now when it comes to Huffpro, mother jones, crooks and liars, the daily caller, etc, those media outlets are absolutely in the bottom of the barrel alongside newsmax, the blaze, etc. Just horrible garbage. Trollbait. Ironically, the only ones who make a lick of sense anymore are independent bloggers. and thats not even getting into the once vaunted military blogosphere is just a self-licking icecream cone courtesy of big defense.

        Man, news sucks now. I miss the good ol days 😉

        1. avatar Geoff PR says:

          I think this is actually a good thing.

          ‘The Atlantic’ looks like it is imploding like ‘The New Republic’ did recently.

          If the Progressives are being starved of quality propaganda, it’s good news for us.

      2. avatar Garrison Hall says:

        Esquire, The Atlantic, Harper’s were once excellent magazines. Or at least I thought they were during the time that I was a liberal/leftist/radical. Perhaps it was me, but as my politics began to change all three mags slowly became unreadable. I stopped subscribing to The Atlantic in the 90’s, long after I had dropped any pretense of adherence or even respect for liberalism. So, seeing an article like this appear in The Atlantic (I read it over coffee at the bookstore last weekend) isn’t particularly surprising. Neither, I guess, was my visceral rejection of what this guy had to say.

        If you haven’t read the article (don’t—it’s not worth your time), Robert does a good job of dismembering the guy’s rather lame assumptions. Like everyone who speaks for more gun-control, he labors mightily at restating gun-control’s most shameful canard: that in a society where violent crime is not only possible but uncomfortably probable, we are all better off being unarmed in the face of real threats where we could be maimed or killed. This guy actually believes that society would have been better off if George Zimmerman had been unarmed, thereby allowing ‘lil Trayvon to continue bashing his head into the concrete sidewalk. When you read guys like this, you’re reading ideas that are presented in a utopian abstract where bad things happening are necessarily minimized and turned into vague anomalies that somehow won’t exist in the perfect gun-free future.

        The problem with this kind of argument is that truth intrudes into the fantasy narrative. Zimmerman really did legally defend himself against an attack which could very well have resulted in his death. To get around this hard fact gun-controllers. like this guy, keep the fantasy narrative going by telling themselves that Zimmerman just got what he deserved.

        1. avatar ThomasR says:

          Well, I have my experience of actually OC’ing a 1911 for the last seven years here in Albuqueruqe, New Mexico According to Fermin, when in the hands of us subjects, they are the instruments of social chaos, police militarization, public paranoia, the break down of law and order and causes dogs and cats to live together.

          My experience? When I go into a store or restaurant; people just go about their business, eating, drinking, talking, studying and just hanging out. Cops will just walk by as we nod at each other, without being swatted, harassed or questioned as to why I’m open carrying a gun.

          When there has been a couple of times when an obvious human predator was on the hunt, when they saw me and my gun, they suddenly had some place else they needed to be.

          I believe the stats has been the same when they pass legislation to ease the carrying of weapons by law abiding citizens in other states as well.

          Oh, I my dog still hates cats.

          I don’t believe Fermin knows of what he speaks, or writes.

        2. avatar ThomasR says:

          Well, I have my experience of actually OC’ing a 1911 for the last seven years here in Albuqueruqe, New Mexico.

          According to Fermin, when in the hands of us subjects, they are the instruments of social chaos, police militarization, public paranoia, the break down of law and order and causes dogs and cats to live together.

          My experience? When I go into a store or restaurant; people just go about their business, eating, drinking, talking, studying and just hanging out. Cops will just walk by as we nod at each other, without being swatted, harassed or questioned as to why I’m open carrying a gun.

          When there has been a couple of times when an obvious human predator was on the hunt, when they saw me and my gun, they suddenly had some place else they needed to be.

          The stats show that the experience has been the same when they pass legislation to ease the carrying of weapons by law abiding citizens in other states as well. They haven’t needed to break out the hip waders for the non-existent rivers of blood either.

          Oh, and my dog still hates cats.

          I don’t believe Fermin knows of what he speaks, or writes.

  11. avatar DaveL says:

    Have I been taking crazy pills, or does he seem to think the purpose of being armed in the case of a mass shooter attack is to maintain public order ?

    I pretty much took it for granted that once bullets start flying, “public order” is pretty much buggered, and the idea is to stay alive and keep other innocent people alive.

  12. avatar John Thomas says:

    radical. adjective. of or pertaining to the root or origin; fundamental.

    radical. noun. a person who maintains or follows strong convictions or principles.

    1. avatar John Thomas says:

      “This logic implicitly undermines law enforcement’s role in society.”

      a very good point, however inadvertent it may be…

  13. avatar BlueBronco says:

    The Florida law 776.013 doesn’t say “perceived attack.” It says “who is attacked.” This bolshevik looking guy should check himself in to get thorazine drip for that hoplophobia.

  14. avatar Another Robert says:

    OK, I can’t take all the stupidity either. From the bits and pieces that I have seen here (I will NOT go to the Atlantic page), this piece looks like something a fairly bright eighth-grader, who still isn’t nearly as smart as he thinks he is, might turn out for a semester term paper with a rather large minimum-word limit. I know–I was one.

  15. avatar Stinkeye says:

    What’s the joke on the “dietribe [sic]” bit that makes its way into most of these kinds of articles on TTAG? I’m not complaining about it, I’m just wondering if it’s a reference to something, because I’m clearly not in on the joke. Anybody care to enlighten me as to what that is?

  16. avatar Another Robert says:

    BTW, does this guy seriously drive on the presumption that everyone is going to obey all the traffic laws? He would be several thousand–make that million–times more likely to die from being T-boned at a traffic light in San Angelo than by being shot by an irate driver. Like I said, something an 8th grader might write.

  17. avatar Sixpack70 says:

    I had to stop reading halfway through. It was just one big Charlie Foxtrot of an article. Did this guy do any research or is it feelings, nothing more than feelings?

  18. avatar Greg in Allston says:

    I’ve spent a little bit of time checking out Firmin’s CV. An “academic” and “philosopher” at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Having read a few of his articles/editorials of the last few years, and having just watched his sanctimonious TED talk in Baltimore (time I will regrettably never get back), I can only conclude that this man-child has never spent a single moment of his life, since he became a so-called adult, in the world in which the rest of us mere mortals reside. He very much strikes me as one of those ideologically myopic academics who, when confronted with an enormous mountain of irrefutable facts and data, would come back with; “Yes, why that’s all very well and good, of course, but how does that really comport with the theory of the matter”. Sadly, ladies and gentlemen, for far too many of our fellow citizens, this is what now constitutes gravitas, the moral high ground and the pinnacle of intellectual insightfulness into the current human condition. It matters not a whit that such drivel has absolutely no founding in the real world, it only matters that it sounds good and aligns well with our willfully ignorant prejudices. But I’ve got to hand it to him, he’s measured, smooth, and touches on all the right buttons to perfectly play on the low information voter’s confirmation biases.

    1. avatar LC says:

      Yeah another abstract thinker with no real world experience.

      Its sad how some of these people live. In lala happygas land. In a permanent state of condition white. With the moral and physical courage of a tapeworm.

      Meanwhile real adults are making a difference in the world, while him and his ilk enjoy their self-congratulating echo chamber of abstract nothingness. Fortunately, they dont reproduce that often.

  19. avatar Marcus (Aurelius) Payne says:

    ” “when seconds count, police are minutes away.” In other words, it’s better to have a gun on you, or an armed ‘good guy’ in the midst of a shooting, when police cannot arrive soon enough. ”

    What is it with the anti obsession with guns? This saying doesn’t just apply to shootings, but in every incident where a bad guy is just bigger and stronger than you are and bent on doing you harm. Every 5′ woman raped or beaten by a 6′ man. Any single individual facing attack by multiple others. Any 150 lb guy robbed by a 250 lb criminal, who may kill over too small of a score.

    1. avatar CarlosT says:

      It also applies just generically, to things like basic first aid and other aspects of self-reliance. Emergency services are great, and they should be supported, but in a crisis, you need to sort yourself first, then you can get help.

      1. avatar Jay-El says:

        That line of reason reminds me of people who try to stop others from doing CPR or the Heimlich maneuver because they fear they’ll just make things worse.

  20. avatar Sam I Am says:

    Everyone is free to have an opinion. Opinions are not facts, and need be based in nothing more than a waking phantasy. Gun dummies are entitled to their opinions; all they require is a thought and an oral or anal orifice through which to express it.

  21. avatar tdiinva says:

    The reason cops might be a little trigger happy when they patrol the ghetto is that these are virtually ungoverned areas controlled by warring tribes.(gangs) and the location of over half the murders in the United States.

  22. avatar Chip in Florida says:

    I am confused….. Are the Police supposed to be these highly trained individuals who, because of their training, are the only ones to be trusted with firearms? Or are the complete buffoons who couldn’t possibly tell the good guys from bad when they roll up on a situation?

    Are they the ones supposed to keep us safe, or the ones become overly aggressive because they have some primal fear of citizens doing lawful things in places lawful for them to do so?

    Mr Debrabander is not real clear in his writings on this matter.

  23. avatar gsnyder says:

    Yowzaa, that guy is the one who is off his rocker! He dislikes guns because he knows he could not be trusted with one, so he transfers his attributes to everyone else? Goofball deluxe. Sadly some likely see him as smart, right and reasonable.

    1. avatar Jay-El says:

      Precisely. He seems to be saying, “I am enlightened about human nature and you are not.” The irony is that such a mindset is the exact opposite of Zen, in which one says, “Others are enlightened and I am not, and by their actions they are trying to teach me something.”

  24. avatar barnbwt says:

    Wow, they really do believe the NRA itself gives guns directly to criminals.

  25. avatar Delta2actual says:

    Two words – punchable face

  26. avatar The Original Brad says:

    I feel sorry for Firmin Debrabande’s kid. He’s probably named something as ridiculous as his father and will be taught from an early age to be a victim. A hardcore statist looking to the government for all his needs, security and otherwise. Poor kid. With a scared father like that, he really doesn’t have a chance.

  27. avatar VTMasters19D says:

    This article should be forwarded to him. Doubt he would see the valid responses to his fantasy/lying remarks. It would be nice to rub his face in the facts though.

  28. avatar DetroitMan says:

    I find it odd that Mr. Debrabander confuses self defense with civic order (assuming that this mix up is not an intentional piece of propaganda, that is). I don’t think many gun owners see themselves as the keepers of civic order. We are perfectly happy to let the police do that. When things go bad and you are facing death at the hands of another person, the decision and ability (and right) to use deadly force isn’t about the benefit to society. It’s simply about protecting yourself and your loved ones, or perhaps a neighbor or stranger. This is why self defense law allows us to stop an imminent threat, but not hunt down a bad guy if they flee. Hunting them down is the job of the police, and deciding what to do with them is the job of the criminal justice system, hence the preservation of civic order.

    I think this offers some more insight into the minds of the statists. His question about “how small a window is acceptable” for police to respond to a deadly threat clearly shows a rock solid faith in the state to protect him if he encounters a predator. His conclusion, that the proliferation of guns threatens the civic order clearly shows a faith in the safety of that order. He either does not realize, or refuses to acknowledge, that predators operate outside of the civic order and disrupt it all the time.

  29. avatar DickDanger says:

    As someone stated in a previous article, here’s the antigunner’s double-standard front and center yet again: When it comes to the arm self defense, crime is on a down-turn and we’re all just paranoid for trying to protect ourselves, but then they turn around and say there’s a epidemic of crime ” ’cause gunz”.

  30. avatar Out_Fang_Thief says:

    Ignorance more frequently begets confidence, than does knowledge. – Charles Darwin

    This is what ignorance sounds like. Assumptions, presumptions, conjecture, innuendo, and then outright slander. I’m sure Firmin’s assertion that the police arrived in a quick enough time frame is little consolation to the families of those who were murdered in Aurora and Sandy Hook. Both of those mass murders were over by the time the LEO’s arrived on the scene. In case you were wondering, this is the kind of mentality that supports and cheers for a government eliminating the people it thinks are responsible for all societal woes. This is the ignorant, indolent mindset that looks the other way as a government digs the mass graves.

  31. avatar LarryinTX says:

    WTF kind of name is that? Does this guy have any credentials for anything whatsoever? He sounds like a 9th grade dropout loser.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      I *think* that name is Irish.

  32. avatar Myrealname says:

    Is he wearing lipstick?

  33. avatar Dustin says:

    THERE MUST BE ORDER!!!!!!!!

  34. avatar Dustin says:

    How do you fit that much hate and stupidity into a single person?

  35. avatar Dustin says:

    This is the overly-wordy version of people who associate weapons with sex organs. They’ll do anything to to shift the blame from their own sickness, and they’re so deeply disturbed there’s no point even talking to them.

  36. avatar Scott says:

    The rule of law no loner applies at the Congressional or Executive level of the Federal gov’t.

    The US Gov’t is now essentially the largest organized criminal gang in the world.

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