Quote of the Day: It’s The Guns’ Fault…Again Edition

“The gun people like to say there are law abiding people and there are bad people, and we want the law abiding people to have guns. I don’t think humanity is that simple. Humanity is a complex of all kinds of people. Good people do bad things when they have access to guns.” – Tom Diaz [at billmoyers.com]


  1. avatar Taylor Tx says:

    Lol and the first thing I read today. I met my in-laws yesterday and we talked about carry pieces and drank a little bit. A good time was had, and NO ONE WAS INJURED?! Craziness I know.

  2. avatar PNG says:

    Guy looks like he’s lived too long to still live in a bubble.

    1. avatar Herb says:

      Tom Diaz used to be a conservative but now he posts on Bill Moyers’ website? That says it all.

      So…..good people will do bad things based solely upon available capabilities? That’s a fascistic assumption. “No, citizen, you can’t have those things. You must give them to the state. It is for the good of the collective.”

      Last week I got out some Nazi coins my Dad brought back from WWII. The inscription around the edge reads, “Gemeinnutz geht vor Eigennutz”.
      Google it. There’s quite an argument over what it really means.

      1. avatar PNG says:

        “Public need before private greed,” “The common good before the private good,” “Community before individual”…

        Subtly different shades of the same idea. I thought I saw something similar to this idea in the Nazi Germany chapter in Michael Newton’s book The Path to Tyranny.

        So this guy is a (former) conservative commenting for Moyer? Neo-fascist, or opportunist? I say both.

        1. avatar Jake says:

          An I’m-losing-my-relevancy-ist

  3. avatar mark_anthony_78 says:

    That’s funny… My family has used guns for at least 3 generations on both sides… not a single gun related death or injury in 100 years or more… We must be doing something wrong.

  4. avatar DavidT says:

    Then what kind of person am I? I carry a gun and nothing bad has ever happened around or because of it. I thought I was a good person but he says that bad things must happen around guns to good people. I know I’m not a bad person because I try to obey the laws (ok maybe I drive a little fast). I’m so confused right now.(/sarasm)

  5. avatar Jürgen says:

    Humanity is not that simple, yet good people do bad things when they have access to guns?

    He starts from, what he thinks is higher moral ground, but then, when there are zero arguments against guns that he can actually use, just completely stumbles over with a total logical fallacy.

    The dude is just a 60 years old child.

    1. avatar Mark says:

      He seems to have limited experience with other humans. LIBERALS do bad things when they have access to firearms. The rest of us are capable of controlling our emotions and behavior.

  6. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

    Good people then could do bad things with lighters, cars, knives, hammers, tennis rackets, baseball bats, do I need to go on? I wish I were as blind about the world as these types, life must be a lot easier when there is only one side to every story.

    1. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

      If I remember my stats right, good people murder twice as many other good people with hammers and baseball bats than with rifles, and 3 times as many with their bare hands. We need to keep good people from having bare hands!

  7. avatar scottlac says:

    And bad people (including those in power) do unspeakable things when good people DON’T have guns. So what’s his point?

    1. avatar Klaus says:

      Great response. Best one of them all.

    2. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

      The anti-gunners (and the left in general) always seem to forget that politicians and bureaucrats are people too.

    3. avatar Mykel Obvious says:

      +1 Your internets are in the mail

  8. avatar brian says:

    His point? That it’s ok when government does unspeakable things, because that’s for the greater good.

    Us stupid gun nuts? We just can’t see the Big Picture. So we need to be disarmed so we’re not a threat to those who do.

  9. avatar nedd ludd says:

    One thing Mr Diaz neglects to mention is that sometimes “good” governments also do bad things when they have access to guns – just on a grander scale.
    After all, what is government but a collection of these “good people” who “do bad things when they have access to guns.”

    When the government has a monopoly on the access to guns and there is no check on the expansion of its powers, it is far easier for that government to quickly become a ‘bad’ government.

    Leaving citizens with no practical means to resist the abuses of a rogue government raises the likelihood that such ‘bad’ behavior will occur.

    The 20th Century provides us with a long list of examples of such murderous and tyrannical rogue governments: Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, etc, etc.

    Frank Herbert summed it up best:
    All governments suffer a recurring problem: Power attracts pathological personalities. It is not that power corrupts but that it is magnetic to the corruptible.
    Such people have a tendency to become drunk on violence, a condition to which they are quickly addicted.

    – Frank Herbert Chapterhouse: Dune

    1. avatar Matt in FL says:

      “After all, what is government but a collection of these ‘good people’ who ‘do bad things when they have access to guns.'”

      Exactly my thought.

      1. avatar Gyufygy says:

        What is a government but a group of people, usually ungoverned.

  10. avatar JOE MATAFOME says:

    There are also good people that do bad things when they have access to cars. I guess only our know it all rulers should be allowed to drive because the rest of us may hurt someone.

    1. avatar Gtfoxy says:

      That is why the elitists take limos:

      Ted Kennedy proved your theory like what, 3 times with DUI’s?

    2. avatar gemalo says:

      I’m sure Mary Jo Kopechne would agree.

  11. avatar Jim R says:

    It’s true that sometimes good people do bad things. My experience has taught me that guns do not make good people do bad things. Alcohol on the other hand can make good, upstanding citizens into unruly, senseless assclowns with nothing but bad ideas in their heads. Even then, nobody made them pick up the drink. Just like if you’re angry, nobody makes you pick up the gun.

  12. avatar JOE MATAFOME says:

    You made some fine points Jim. Maybe we can pass a law banning alcohol and that would solve a lot of our problems. I’m sure no one is going to buy illegal alcohol if it’s banned.

  13. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

    Elitist nihilistic agitprop. These people believe that there is no such thing as good or evil. They believe that the common people aren’t capable of making their own decisions about what is or isn’t good for them. They believe that they are our intellectual superiors and society would be advanced if they made all our decisions for us. And they fail to see the blatantly obvious – this has all been done before, with horrible consequences.

  14. avatar Clay says:

    The more I think about this the more I think this statement makes sense. I mean if I carry a golf putter, I am likely to putt something. If I carry a baseball bat I am more likely to hit a baseball. Oh wait these things aren’t bad.

  15. avatar DJC1012 says:

    We have complex, intelligent people and we have idiotic simpletons.
    Mr. Diaz fits nicely the latter category.

  16. avatar Cubby123 says:

    I used to be a good person ,then I got a car,no good ,then I went into the kitchen and made a steak ,ut oh I need a steak knife,no good,then I went. into the garage to move some stuff and found my old baseball bat,better sell it never know.Wait do I need to do a background check on the buyer? Cause it will turn him bad too.HMMM?

  17. avatar DaveL says:

    The overwhelming evidence of criminology is that:

    1) Yes, there really are good people and bad people, in that the overwhelming majority of crimes are committed by the same “frequent flyers” that have a history of criminal behavior. It may not be a perfect black/white dichotomy, but it’s stark and striking enough to be highly useful for the purpose of setting public policy.

    2) No, good people who get guns do not magically start doing bad things because they have them. Over the past 20 years the number of guns in America has exploded, concealed carry has gone from a rarity to commonplace, and the crime rate has been cut in half.

  18. avatar DrVino says:

    There was a series (I think on Showtime) where a ‘cursed’ or ‘possessed’ gun would make its way from owner to owner after causing them to spiral into some sort of depraved madness and causing mayhem until they and their life came smashing down into the ground.
    They were normal people until they picked up the gun.

    Indoctrination or profession of a belief?

  19. avatar Melquiades says:

    That’s right people, guns hold mystical properties that make good people with no prior history of malig deeds suddenly bad simply by being in their possession. What an idiot.

  20. avatar Frank McGhee says:

    What ever happened to journalists, news agencies, and governments conducting rigorous research PRIOR to making statements? It is so easy to do, given modern access to the interwebs. Tom Diaz fails in this regard, therefore his credibility is suspect. Bad journalists do BAD things when their weak intellects clash with reality and facts. The facts are that you are MORE likely to die via falling down than at the hand of a firearm:

    All figures below are for U.S. residents.

    Cause of Death Lifetime Odds

    Heart Disease 1-in-5

    Cancer 1-in-7

    Stroke 1-in-23

    Accidental Injury 1-in-36

    Motor Vehicle Accident* 1-in-100

    Intentional Self-harm (suicide) 1-in-121

    Falling Down 1-in-246

    Assault by Firearm 1-in-325

    Fire or Smoke 1-in-1,116

    Natural Forces (heat, cold, storms, quakes, etc.) 1-in-3,357

    Electrocution* 1-in-5,000

    Drowning 1-in-8,942

    Air Travel Accident* 1-in-20,000

    Flood* (included also in Natural Forces above) 1-in-30,000

    Legal Execution 1-in-58,618

    Tornado* (included also in Natural Forces above) 1-in-60,000

    Lightning Strike (included also in Natural Forces above) 1-in-83,930

    Snake, Bee or other Venomous Bite or Sting* 1-in-100,000

    Earthquake (included also in Natural Forces above) 1-in-131,890

    Dog Attack 1-in-147,717

    Asteroid Impact* 1-in-200,000**

    Tsunami* 1-in-500,000

    Fireworks Discharge 1-in-615,488

    ** Perhaps 1-in-500,000

    SOURCES: National Center for Health Statistics, CDC; American Cancer Society; National Safety Council; International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies; World Health Organization; USGS; Clark Chapman, SwRI; David Morrison, NASA; Michael Paine, Planetary Society Australian Volunteers

    – See more at: http://www.livescience.com/3780-odds-dying.html#sthash.pnnqDWZ8.dpuf

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      According to these statistics, it’s pretty improbable that I will ever die!

      Time for another beer and another cigar!

  21. avatar Bruce B. says:

    Uh, good people don’t DO bad things, dipwad. That’s what defines them as good people.

    There are bad people who wear very good masks. We know they are bad people when they do a horrible thing.

    “Well, that was a very good disguise. Never knew he was evil till he beat his ex-girlfriends entire family to death with a tire iron. ” (Christopher Harris)

    A good person just doesn’t do those things.

  22. avatar John Onderdonk Jr says:

    Kind of like some people saying dumb things when they have access to free speech. It might happen some of the time but it doesn’t represent the majority and pigeon holing an entire group to justify your narrow minded view is lame.

  23. avatar neiowa says:

    Channel surfing after Dr Who last nght and saw tail end of Moyer’s interview with this donkey’s rearend. Can’t expect much other than moronic nonsense from Moyers but this twit really lowered the bar. Apparently knows a much about many things. Unfortunately all that he knows is wrong. I did miss the name and intended to do some research. As always TTAG makes it easier.

  24. avatar DerryM says:

    Think about this. Imagine a scenario where two people are given an ultimatum that one MUST kill the other, or both will be killed. They are placed in a physical environment where there is no object of any sort that could be used as a weapon. Is it possible for one to kill the other?

    If you arrived at the inevitable “Yes!”, then you have understood the key thing that no Progressive Socialist seems to be able to grasp. Weapons have nothing to do with it!

    The will to violence is in the heart and mind of the person. Period. So, too, the will to non-violence is in the heart and mind of the person. Period. In the imaginary scenario they must decide one of two things, either one kills the other, or both choose to die together rather than kill the other.

    Until we address the “content of their character” (and that includes every person regardless of race or ethnicity), willful violence will continue no matter what objects we “outlaw”. The only effective way to address that issue was/is to embrace the principles and ideals outlined by The Founders, learn from their few mistakes and omissions, think rationally about how we “live” those ideals in the contemporary world and act decisively to implement them in our lives and society.

    Those who are saying it’s the difference between free, independent individuals, and a homogenized group identity are exactly right. In the first view The State is an extension of the free, independent individuals who comprise The People. In the second view The State is the absolute master of the collective herd of The People whose individual life and liberty has no value.

    There are two factors in every Polity, The People and The State. The crucial difference is which one controls the other. That is the choice we are facing today, and all other discussion is non sequitur, until this key matter is resolved in the United States of America.

  25. avatar David B. says:

    Is this the same Tom Diaz that works at the Brady Campaign?

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      I believe the proper name is the Brady Campaign to Get Rich Disarming America.

  26. avatar shawn says:

    I carried concealed and notice two others open carry at the carnival in PA. Not a single issue or problem.

  27. avatar DerryM says:

    Those who are saying it’s the difference between free, independent individuals, and a homogenized group identity are exactly right. In the first view The State is an extension of the free, independent individuals who comprise The People. In the second view The State is the absolute master of the collective herd of The People whose individual life and liberty has no value. There are two factors in every Polity, The People and The State. The crucial difference is which one controls the other. That is the choice we are facing today, and all other discussion is non sequitur, until this key matter is resolved in the United States of America.

  28. avatar Rich Grise says:

    Maybe he knows that if he had a gun, he’d suddenly go on a wild rampage; the reefer madness crowd are the same way, like the law is the only thing keeping them from running out and ODing.

    Maybe it’s all-or-nothing thinking: “Everything that is not forbidden is mandatory.”
    Has anyone ever told him or others of his ilk that that’s not true? Legal doesn’t mean required.

    “Oh, I would never do such a thing…” but they’re absolutely convinced that virtually everybody else would.

    One of the surest signs of insanity is being convinced that everybody else is crazy. Me, I know everybody’s nutty as a fruitcake, but I don’t claim to be the only sane one – far from it; I’m probably the looniest of the lot! But I know I’m a nut case, so I know better than to act wackily enough in public to put my Freedom at risk. 😉

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      I see it a little differently, but we could agree to disagree. Or agree.

      Liberal such as this contemptuous twit harbor fantasies of violent control over others, particularly those they disagree with, or whose tree overhangs their yard. They feel pretty confident that if THEY had a weapon, they would kill someone they disagree with. Ergo, those they disagree with must be more violent than they are, and must be disarmed – for their own good – HELL! He means for the STATE’S good!

  29. avatar Roadrunner says:

    Good people do good things when they have access to guns. Like shoot home invaders; defend innocent bystanders; put food on the table; catch bad guys; prevent rapes; stop the spread of fascism and communism; just to name a few. Probably one of the best things gun owners do is remind Leftists that the world isn’t the Disneyland they wish it was.

  30. avatar Chas says:


  31. avatar Soccerchainsaw says:

    You know it’s funny. It seems to me that most good people actually get more serious about their personal responsibility and self control after they get a gun.

    On the other hand, a lot of otherwise good people lose control when inside the bubble of their car, turning into lunatics that want vengeance for minor offenses.

    While I was on the way towards relaxing my driving attitude before, I accelerated my inner peacefulness after getting my concealed carry permit.

    Therefore based on my experience, all drivers should be required to get a CC permit before being allowed to drive. It only makes sense!

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