“Why are Trump and so many red-teamers willing to adopt restrictions to curb the tiny risks posed by immigrants, but aren’t willing to do so for the similarly tiny risks posed by guns? Conversely, why are McAuliffe and blue-teamers willing to restrict guns but not immigration? Shouldn’t their risk sensitivities for either be the same? And, if you agree with me that they should be, then what is this red/blue fight over guns and immigration really about?” – Thomas Firey in Of Guns and Immigrants [via cato.org]

74 Responses to Quote of the Day: Creating Moral Equivalence Between Immigration and a Civil Right

  1. Twenty THOUSAND gun control laws already, none having any effect on criminals, since they don’t obey laws, and this moron thinks there are simple answers? Where do we find these idiots? And yes, you would think that one being mentioned in the BOR would make a difference to a thinking person.

    • Cato+Bunch of cheap labor whores, more then will to destroy the nation/ideals they claim to love in order to save a cent bucks with “cheap” labor.

  2. Illegal immigrants are often more akin to invaders or parasites than they are genuine immigrants. The language has been high jacked to the point that “citizen” and “immigrant” have become synonymous with “criminal”.

  3. The topic of immigrant vs. gun as put forth above cannot coexist.

    Immigrants further the idea of Utopian society Democrat goodwill for everyone. Immigrants get to come in. Illegal immigrants get to come it. Criminals are not punished or are released early or, pardoned. They are down-trodden and it is ‘our’ US role in the world to help them. ‘We’ cannot reach the society that ‘we’ are destined for if the populace is allowed freedoms, allowed to have firearms.

    The Constitution is a nuisance and, it is only a matter of time as long as we fight the flashlight spots on the rug while the fire burns the house down.

  4. What is this red/blue fight over guns and immigration really about. That is the question he is asking. Both sides are using these issues for political gains and are trying to twist the facts to make the problems sound bigger than they are. Sounds about right for both republicans and democrats.

    • “,,,are trying to twist the facts to make the problems sound bigger than they are.”

      Seriously? I’m trying to remember either party acknowledging the crushing costs of illegal immigrants – financial as well as societal. Not to mention the sheer insanity of even allowing the barbarism of Islam to be practiced in the US. let alone allowing the primitive invaders to freely bring their death cult here. Germany is gone, France is gone, not to mention Denmark, etc.

      This is nothing less than the invasion of Europe and the battle for the continued existence of Western Civilization as a whole. I guess the kids don’t even learn history anymore because ‘it be raciss’ At least China understands some of the dangers and is reigning them in a bit.

      We are the modern Romans, keeping the masses occupied with food stamps and Facebook. Without any real education, they don’t even understand that when the barbarians are at the gate, you don’t invite them in.

    • If you think it’s possible to blow the illegal problem out of proportion, you have no idea what’s going on.

  5. I am more than willing to admit any immigrant who regularly competes in IDPA or SASS competition who has competed in at least 50 matches in the last three years. How is that for tying the two together?

    • For me, I’d be satisfied if they could explain why Jefferson and Hayek (Friedrich) were correct and Hamilton and Keynes were wrong.

      • I’m sure the 9th circuit would find faith in austrian economics to be religious, making this a religious test and thus illegal.

  6. In what country are non-citizen and citizens afforded the same rights? Certainly not in America or any country on planet Earth. I don’t know how any reasonable discussion can be had with someone who doesn’t understand the concept of a sovereign nation. If this is where the state of libertarian thought is Libertarianism is doomed to obscurity.

    • Not to be pedantic, but the Constitution and BoR protect all people within the territory of the USA. Which is why visiting foreigners (here for leisure, work, study, etc) can own firearms and why there was so much opposition to conducting trials of terrorists in American soil.

      • True, but ultimately non-citizens are protected less than citizens. How we treat non-citizens is more of a matter of policy rather than constitutional requirement. The idea that this state of affairs is somehow immoral is ridiculous.

      • Incorrect. The “people” as referenced by the CotUS only applies to citizens of the United States. It’s only lefty activist judges who would claim otherwise.

  7. Guns are inanimate objects.

    Immigrants, being human, have agency. Illegal immigrants have used said agency to commit an inherently unlawful act: entering (or remaining) in the country without lawful authorization to do so.

    How is this even a “debate”?

  8. Um, no.
    All creatures have the God-given right to self defense. All creatures also have the right to forage for food. The right to forage would seem to grant free migration to all humans, but see the right to self defense. If there is not enough food around for me and my kids, it is my right and duty to defend myself from your incursion. Go find your own food. I’m hungry.

  9. America can be thought of as a corporation.

    All true honest to GOD U.S. citizens are its Shareholders. The evil POS (D) want to dilute your “shares” (your “say” / vote in how the corporation is run) buy selling more shares to non-shareholder /non-citizens who are not from here. Those people the evil POS (D) believe such new shsreholders will be sympathetic to the evil POS (D), and they MAY, or they might be sympathetic to your views, but, most likely, they are most sympathetic to their own views, so it’s another way of FING WITH YOU AND AMERICA, in the standard evil POS (D) communist globalist way.

    My mcim in this instance is:
    IF AMERICA IS YOURS TO GIVE AWAY, IT’S MINE TO TAKE AWAY FROM YOU.

    (R), especially Conservatives know this. You can’t support and defend the Constitution (that you FING swore to you POS reps we’ve had for some time) by inviting in a lot of people who openly profess to want to tear it up, or are pro- (professional) POS communists, globalists, and/or sharia MFs from elsewhere to come here. No, FU.

    We promote gun ownership because if the evil POS (D)
    And the we-sh_t POS Republicant RINO (R) ever do tear down AMERICA. We reserve the right (GOD GIVEN, but recited in 2nd Para., Declaration of Independene) to go F there sh_t up and rebuild AMERICA in a better way that is more resistent to their F’d up evil b.s.

    so. . .

    KEEP YOUR GUNS FOR THE END OF AMERICA

    or you won’t have a vote in what comes next.

  10. I agree. The only problem I have with unchecked immigration of barbarians currently is how the statists will be embracing them to forward the statist agenda which includes disarmament.

    I’m all for fully open borders. Nation states are obsolete. The problem comes from government being so big. If the stick of government wasn’t being wielded by a bunch of morons to beat me over the head I’d say open it all and do whatever the hell you want. But it is big and its only getting bigger and my head hurts so lock it all down and start deporting statists and barbarians to help ease the blunt force trauma.

    Reason had a good piece a while back discussing political partisan zealotry as a by product of a too large, too powerful government. A week or so before the Bernie-booster decided to embrace the cartridge box.

    • “I’m all for fully open borders. Nation states are obsolete.”

      Are you unable or unwilling to acknowledge the inherent danger to our nation on this?

      If you want fully open borders, than you will have no problem in letting someone in your front door to sleep on your couch for however long they wish, right?

      If that’s your position, why do you have locks on the doors of your home?

  11. Simple answer:

    Because you fail to comprehend guns are inanimate objects and neither evil or good. Just like a fork, hammer, or piece of wood.

    Violence in America is caused by people that are criminals, crazy, or ideologically incompatible and are willing to harm and/or kill people in the US.

    Period.

    Regarding immigration… terrorists are people with a shared ideology that is not compatible with the West. Usually from specific parts of the world. Why is this so hard to understand? It’s their ideology + extremism that makes terrorism possible.

    To recap: What is the root cause of violence?
    People. Greedy, crazy, or morally corrupt people.

    Once you make the argument about tools, you’ve already lost.

  12. Things are not people, ignoring one law is different from following another, and it’s not about risk.

    Other than that … Fire, ready, aim, there makes an apt comparison.

    BTW, the risk profiles are opposite, when you consider who is doing what to whom. Looking Through the Flames there, and his ilk, will read “who”, “whom” as colors, or languages, or some such. Of course, I mean *who* is them doing violence to the otherwise peaceful “whom” … just like Stalin did. You’d think Fanning the Flames, there would know the reference.

    Bad people use guns to inflict themselves on others. Good people use guns to get left alone. Only idiots can’t tell the difference. Only hacks pretend they can’t.

  13. There are lots of false equivalencies and spurious assumptions in such a short article.

    Frankly, I would expect something better from any organization that advertises itself as a public policy think tank.

  14. This is the problem with Libertarians.
    They have a utopian view of the world. They have no understanding of cultural differences between nations. Because they say there shouldn’t be national borders. Most of these people have never been to a third world country and then traveled out of the major cities which are for the most part westernized. The rural areas are as backwards as can be. But even the educated people in these places think in a backwards way when it comes to the western view of what Liberty is.

    That’s why I call them the the L’s. Libertarians, Liberals and the Left.
    They all agree that murderers have every right to come here and kill. They have every right to come here and tell other people to kill. That is why a Muslim cleric was allowed to come to the USA and say at a college “gays should be killed.” The ACLU has been saying bring them here for years. Then the Pule Night club massacre happened.

    You folks created Gary Johnson and William Weld. The most important thing to you is to “put things into your bodies”. Guns and marijuana are equal??? You traded pot for guns in many states. The leadership that is pro legalizing drugs has never been pro second amendment. San Francisco is a perfect example if this utopia.

    • You have a distorted view of the vast majority of libertarians and many people who call themselves libertarians are not.

      I won’t nerd out about it too much here but most libertarians are not in favor of open boarders and don’t much give a shit about drugs past thinking they should be legal because it’s none of .gov’s damn business. They want the government to leave you alone as much as possible, but to fulfill it’s originally envisioned roll: national defense, a reasonable set of laws, a fair court system etc.

    • I’m with strych9, I’ve never met a libertarian idealist – I’m sure they exist but I’ve never engaged one.

      Libertarians that I know believe that as strych9 noted, we want to be left alone. The gov has no business in our bedrooms, worrying about which recreational chemicals we choose, telling us that we have to use some nutters “preferred pronouns”, or any other social justice nonsense, let alone TIFs,, seizure laws, or any of the rest of it.

      Provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, etc.

      • As a conservative I’d like to be left alone as well.
        You say I have a misunderstanding about libertarians? Tell do libertarians believe there is a separation between the Church and the State?
        Is that in the US Constitution?

        • This libertarian (small-L) believes that. No, I KNOW it. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” Right there in Amendment #1 of the Bill of Rights. (But if you’re talking about the kind of separation demanded by the ACLU and various lefties, where religion is somehow unworthy of the public sphere, that’s a different story.)

        • “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”

          You opened a door to a most interesting piece of law. When most talk of the first amendment, they think primarily (if not exclusively) of “freedom of speech”. “The establishment clause” does not resonate with gun owners as equivalent to the entire second amendment. There is much to the tale.

          POTG love stating that “shall not be infringed” means “absolutely no constraint”. Such fills many a commentary exercise here. Is there anywhere among all the complaints about government “infringement” of what is clearly stated in the second amendment, even a sentence devoted to a more forceful statement of rights than “the establishment clause”?

          The second amendment uses the phrase “shall not be infringed”. People argue back and forth about what that means today, what it meant at the founding. One could well argue that the meaning is clear, that no legislation restricting firearms can be legally installed via mere legislation (as opposed to a repeal of the second amendment). Often we read that none of the other amendments are “infringed” or constrained. That one finds no legislative push to prevent even so-called “hate speech”. Therefore, the second amendment likewise cannot be tampered with by legislation. What goes unappreciated is the fact that an even more direct, forceful and unequivocal statement exists in “the establishment clause”…..”Congress shall make NO law (emphasis mine)….” What other words in the English language can be used to embellish, define, interpret the meaning and intent of the founders?

          In short, once “No” has been breached, there is no limit on what the federal government can do via legislation.

        • Sam,

          Many people also gloss right over Congress and law, when discussing the Establishment clause.

          The second amendment “shall not be infringed” analogy to the Establishment clause of the first amendment is in the context of Congress passing a law.

        • “…shall not be infringed.” is the equivalent of “…make no law…”. I would admit that the whole militia thing makes the second amendment a bit cloudy, however “…shall not be infringed” was a simple term to understand at the founding. There is no logical legal interpretation of “….make NO law…” that can overcome “make no law”. The only way around “NO” is to create an extra legal/extra constitutional test called “compelling governmental interest”. As I read the history of the founding, the patriots did not wish to allow the central government to have a “compelling governmental interest”. That phrase subverts the constitution entirely. So, again, once you purpose to negate “NO”, any restriction is permitted, and “…shall not be infringed.” has no stronger validity than “make no law”. From there, all constitutionally protected rights are subject to congress making law…without the need for amendments.

        • My point is this: if Congress isn’t involved, by way of passing law, then the Establishment clause is not germane – at least, when using the same, black-letter reading of the first and second amendments.

        • What I am getting at is that “shall not be infringed” is not a superior statement to “make not law”. “make no law” is dead dog plain, unadulterated English. If such a blatant declaration, such as “No” can be overcome (by legislation) by congress, then clamoring about how the second amendment “shall not be infringed” is a hopeless argument. All the “infringements” of the second amendment created by congress are the same as all the laws regarding how religion in this country shall be conducted. People who believe that only the second amendment is under attack by lawmakers, that only the second amendment is being infringed, need to understand that once the first amendment loses the power of “No”, there is no constitutionally protected right that is immune to congressional overreach.

        • Well, on that point, we absolutely agree. I don’t think there is a constitutionally protected right that hasn’t been (or isn’t) under attack.

        • “I don’t think there is a constitutionally protected right that hasn’t been (or isn’t) under attack.”

          All the constitutionally protected, memorialized, codified rights are constrained by mere legislation. Everything is now a matter of how much erosion will occur in which time frame. There is no “absolute” defense available to avoid charges if one exercises rights beyond that which legislators and justices permit.

        • Yes I am talking about religious speech and any speech that a conservative person wishes to practice.
          They say religious speech is for inside a church only. Just as they say guns are only for the national guard. I have not seen much support for religious speech from libertarians.

  15. I am hoping this is a rhetorical question because it isn’t hard to answer.

    To pull in votes from both sides of the extremes to keep the two party system in power. Republicans are generally pro-gun, Democrats are generally pro-immigration. Each party exploits each issue to rally the base to their side.

    To summarize it bluntly it is all about controlling the masses.

  16. In addition, here’s the root cause of why people are increasingly rejecting the Left platform (aka why Trump is in office):

    The Left apparently does not differentiate between a law-abiding citizen from a criminal, ideologically incompatible, or crazy person. And their definition of “acceptable” person shifts all the time. There is no standard to follow, because it’s all based on feelings — of that minute, hour, or day. Essentially, the Left behaves exactly like a temperamental toddler that is not in control of it’s emotions. And last I checked, 100% of adults don’t let toddlers be in charge of the household.

    Finally, feelings don’t solve problems. They are great for sharing empathy and relating to others, but feelings are useless without reason and logic.

    • And last I checked, 100% of adults don’t let toddlers be in charge of the household.

      Oh, you might be surprised!

      • I worked pediatric ER for a large hospital for years. You’d be amazed how many parents are Ruled by a 2 year old. They are afraid to parent/adult. The toddler was in charge.

        • Perhaps that’s because when the toddler gets to kindergarten and tells the teacher that his/her parents actually have rules, tell them “no”, and have consequences for their malfeasances, there will be a call made, and DFS will be arriving shortly.

          Especially when they get 13+. Parents have no chance if the child rebels at all – there are kids, I knew some, who needed a good solid pop from dad when they ultimately crossed some line (most didn’t because they knew dad would beat the ever livin’ stuff out of them if they did). Can’t do that anymore. Parenting a difficult child is impossible thanks to the nanny state.

    • >ideologically incompatible
      It sounds a lot like you’re talking about those who have committed thought crimes. Is this really the direction that we want this country to go?

  17. Shouldn’t [Conservative and Progressive] risk sensitivities for either [nasty immigrants or firearms misuse] be the same?

    In a vacuum: yes. Guess what? We are not in a vacuum. Our nation has zero obligation to accommodate foreigners from other nations who wish to come here because they were unable to change their home nation. If there is any question that such a foreign immigrant embraces values that are destructive to OUR society, they don’t get to come in.

    Oh, and guess what else? A LOT of Muslims embrace values that are DESTRUCTIVE to OUR society. THAT is why they do not get free reign to enter our nation. If in doubt, keep them out.

  18. If letting strangers into OUR nation is such a great idea, then all the politicians, actors and actresses, multi-millionairs, and billionaires will be immediately opening their gates to ALL of their land, homes, and businesses to said strangers from foreign nations, right?

    Note: someone else initiated this concept about five months ago. I would give them credit if I remembered who came up with it.

    • Politicians, actors and actresses, multi-millionaires and billionaires do open their gates to ALL of their land, homes, and businesses to strangers from foreign nations.

      You don’t think that they clean their own toilets, do you?

      I was discussing restrictions on immigration with one of my friends. His objection was, “Who’s going to deliver my pizza?”

      Yeah, I cringed too.

  19. Immigration has been hijacked and weaponized by the left, while the right buries its head in the sand and enjoys the cheap labor as Rome burns. The left wants to destroy capitalism and western prosperity. What better way to do that than import economic migrants to supplant the established culture. And let’s not forget, we have to surrender our firearms too. That way, the criminal element is free to do as it pleases, which provides an oh so convenient excuse for government to grow. Libertarians aren’t helping much either with their childish idealism. Known violent criminals should have the right to just waltz across our borders? Fvck that. We have enough homegrown crazies, we don’t need to adopt them from elsewhere. Much like the Paris Climate Accords, the immigration policies touted by progressives are just another globalist wealth redistribution scheme hidden behind a wall of pretty, altruistic-looking smoke and mirrors

  20. >but gun ownership is a civil right protected by the US constitution
    For anyone who holds this view, are you saying that you’d be completely okay with an AWB and all the other garbage that the anti-gun side pushes if the 2nd amendment didn’t exist? It sounds to me like you are no friend of gun owners.

  21. Moral Equivalence arguments are always specious. There is no moral equivalence between a constitutional right and illegal immigration. Enough said.

  22. CATO…. the liberaltarian think tank.

    The problem with immigration is they vote democrat by overwhelming margins because they are mostly from socialist garbage dumps.

    It’s not about “getting the message of liberty” to these people because by enlarge, they don’t care about freedom.

    People make the mistake by thinking that people who move somewhere for “more freedom” will actually vote for more freedom or for less government.

    No thanks, I don’t want what’s happened to CA, NY, NJ, and IL to happen to the rest of the United States.

    Liberaltarians are just as dishonest as the left.

  23. Chances are, Mr Firey is wealthy and lives in a neighborhood with good schools and feels safe from the distopia he would like to create for the rest of us.Check out Van Nuys tourist video on YouTube for a glimpse of what my hometown has become and what the future will be for all of us without a halt to immigration of voters from the third world.

  24. Robert, Dan, Dean, Nick.

    One of you should file a formal response with CATO. Allowing someone to conflate a right and a privilege should be grounds for terminating employment.

  25. There was an interesting study and subsequent TED Talk about immigration where it was found that it actually hurts the nation from which the immigrants come AND the host nation.

    Long story short: The people who leave all exhibit characteristics that would help them better their nation but generally don’t rise to the level of improving the host nation. It’s a net loss for both.

    One study, a single data point, but interesting nonetheless.

  26. While you guys are ragging on CATO, keep in mind that it was CATO that organized, paid for and won the Heller case.

  27. To any libertarian.
    Why do we allow people like Peter Jennings, David Frum, and Moni Basu to become American citizens????
    All of these people came from societies that do not have a second amendment or a first amendment. Why would a person come to America, become a citizen and then not support the Bill Of Rights???
    Maybe they are only here for the money and advancement in their chosen profession. They really don’t believe in Liberty.
    I think make them parasites. There are plenty of well educated and uneducated immigrants who don’t belong here. But we only talk about the uneducated or lesser educated ones.

    http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/28/world/indian-immigrant-nra-convention/index.html

  28. Look, this is really simple.

    Labor markets follow a supply and demand curve, per just about any sane person’s understanding of microeconomics. More labor supply in a constrained labor demand market (which has been the case since the recession of 2002/2003) means lower wages – period. This isn’t difficult to figure out – it’s basic micro-econ.

    How do you get Trump? People don’t vote for lower wages in American politics. Voting for anyone who wants to continue the relentless wave of immigration is voting for lower wages for a majority of the US workforce now.

    It is indisputable that immigrants, both legal and illegal, are taking jobs that would or could go otherwise to American citizens. Only the dope-n-buttsex libertarians at CATO like to try to dispute this. The dope-n-buttsex libertarians at CATO are insulated from the effects of immigration, because you see, there are vanishingly few ‘libertarian’ policy wonks in the immigration flood coming into the country – so the jobs of CATO policy wonks are safe. Further, libertarians (and CATO in particular) refuse to see the huge cost to the US taxpayer of how many immigrants (legal and illegal) end up on public assistance within a year of their arrival in the US. This is a large component of why our federal budget costs for social welfare programs is exploding upwards since 2000.

    The rest of the population can go pound sand, as far as the clowns at CATO are concerned – because, after all their high-minded policy wonkery, the people at CATO, like most coastal ‘libertarians’, care about only three things: freedom to smoke dope as much as they want, buttsex, and being able to cheat on their income taxes without repercussion.

    The best way to make fun of a LP or CATO wonk is to listen politely to their argument/grand plan, then furrow your brow and say, “Meanwhile, back in the Real World[tm], things work a bit differently…”

    I say this as a former member of the Libertarian Party in California.

  29. Because, you idiot, there us no place in our constitution that says we must let illegal aliens in our country. Gun ownerhip; however, that’s different.

  30. Because, you stupid ass, keeping and bearing a firearm is a RIGHT guaranteed in the CONSTITUTION. There is ZERO right for anyone who is not a citizen of the United States to enter this country or BECOME a citizen. That is a PRIVILEGE.

    Reading this quote burned my eyes with the stupid.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *