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By MarkPA:

“There are no easy answers.“ Truth in five words. Think of it like this: All of the problems that have easy answers are solved quickly and no longer draw attention to themselves. For example, how to sharpen a pencil.  When was the last time you had to think about the answer to this question? Why do we invest 12, 16, 20 years in getting an education if the problems we face as adults had easy answers? For another example, what can we do to persuade young minority males dwelling in the inner city to stop killing one another? The “easy answer” of taking their guns away does not seem promising.  

The ranks of gun rights advocates appear to be divided into two camps: First, there are the ‘NO compromise! Guns for everyone and everywhere!’ campers.  Second, there are the ‘No easy answers’ campers who are earnestly trying to think through the criteria for Prohibited Person laws and other gun controls, looking for anything that might have some merit, however slim.

How do these two divided camps stack up against the closed ranks of gun controllers? The ‘NO compromise’ controllers want to eliminate all guns, starting with those in the hands of We the People. They are followed by masses of people who believe in “common sense” “gun safety” laws.

Frederick Douglass, former slave and great 19th Century orator, said, “A man’s rights rest in three boxes: the ballot box, the jury box, and the cartridge box.” On the fields of battle called the “soap box” and the “ballot box,” the controllers have the upper hand versus the divided gun rights advocates.

Die-hard ‘NO compromise’ rights advocates recognize where this is going: “Politics by other means”, as Clausewitz put it. “Political power emerges from the barrel of a gun,” as Mao put it. Will the question ultimately be put to the field of the “cartridge box” as Frederick Douglass saw the struggle?

We are looking through the fog of dawn onto a battlefield within our generation’s future. The naive seek simple answers and, we are all vulnerable to this seduction. But as long as there are no simple answers, there can be no easy consensus. Neither side wins. There will be some unsatisfactory compromise—that is the nature of a republican form of government with a democratic electorate. Yet, there is nothing in human history to suggest that men will refrain from using force.

Politics in America are becoming ever more polarized each year. Google the phrase “Probability of a second American civil war.” The issues seem to be defined by the several planks of the progressive agenda versus the largely divided opposition.

It would be over simplistic to peg the cause of an outbreak of widespread violence upon any one plank, whether it’s abortion, border control, climate change, etc. And yet, it’s still worth remembering the incidents which triggered our War of Independence and our War Between the States. General Gage marched his Redcoats through Lexington to confiscate arms in Concord. Charleston shelled Ft. Sumter.

A pronounced act of violence in an atmosphere of great division can ignite a conflagration that takes on a life of its own, transcending the underlying issues that divide peoples. Neither the noble goals of taxation with representation nor emancipation of slaves lit these fuses in the first place.

Gallop has run polls on the gun issue for sixty years. In 1959 it found that 60% of Americans would favor banning handguns except by the police and other authorized persons.  This figure dropped by half—28%—by 2017.  Opponents of such a ban rose from 34% to 71% over the same period.  Nevertheless, Gallop still finds 55 – 67% of respondents preferring “More strict” gun sales laws (off from 67 – 78% at the peak of the crime wave in the early 1990s).  What could explain such a divergence from seemingly a strong preference for the right to own handguns vs. a strong preference for gun control at point of sale?

Perhaps Americans see themselves making peace—however uneasy—with the fact of a Constitutional right to arms and the political reality of a changing gun culture.  Still, they are looking for some means of mitigating violence perpetrated by gunfire. Yet popular opinion is no guarantee of efficacy. Americans once polled strongly in favor of the war on drugs. But enthusiasm waned as we recognized that law was on the losing side and the casualties became politically unacceptable.  Would Americans come to such a realization about the war on peaceable civilian gun ownership?

Such an epiphany could occur only if combatants on each side could join in a constructive examination of the data on gunshot suicide, violence and accidents and the practical difficulties in controlling guns (just as there are practical difficulties in controlling drugs). Otherwise, we may face brutal politics “by other means”.


’MarkPA’ is trained in economics, a life-long gun owner, NRA Instructor and Massad Ayoob graduate. He is inspired by our inalienable rights to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” and holds that having the means to defend oneself and one’s community is vital to securing them.

This article originally appeared at and is reprinted here with permission. 

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  1. One common sense thing is to increase the sentences for gun crimes. Not 5 or 10 years but by 10 or 20 years. make it very expensive. A second gun crime you’re gone for good.

    • ….lets limit “gun crime” to “shot somebody with a gun” or “threatened to shoot somebody with a gun” first.

      Otherwise you’ll be looking at 10-20 because you loaded too many rounds in your magazine.

      • It’s simple: if there’s no victim, there’s no crime. That rubric should be applied to every regulation on the books at every level. Imagine how much money we’d save if we just though logically about crime. Imagine how much crime would reduce immediately?!

      • Excellent points. The gun grabbers will pass a hundred laws against guns knowing the public cannot know them all and will violate some of them unknowingly. How many people realize you cannot transport guns through certain states without their permits? How many people understand NYC’s or California’s bizarre laws?

    • Why is it common sense to somehow punish the method of violence? So stabbing someone is somehow far more acceptable than shooting him?

      This strikes me as the exact opposite of common sense.

      • Exactly. Characterization of a crime should depend only on the fact of a perpetrator violating the rights of a victim. The victim is not a super-victim just because she was killed with a gun instead of a hammer, a car, or a blowtorch.

      • I have to agree.
        Why should I be punished more harshly if I shoot you to death then if I beat you to death with wet flip-flop? Are you more dead if shot then if gutted with rusty razor blade?

        Let’s not fall for every gun grabbers excuse – violent crime. Civilian disarmament has nothing to do with reduction of crime.

        • If you have failed in your civic duty as a responsible citizen, if indeed you are actually the aggressor by the fact of never having used Dr. Scholl’s foot powder on your “Wet flip-flop”, then, by all means, you should be prosecuted to the limits of the laws. Not only as one possessing and using a lethal weapon as the aggressor, but you also should be charged with civil rights violations E.G. forcing non-aggressors or innocent bystanders to be exposed to deadly chemicals.

    • I don’t get the idea of an arbitrary sentence for a crime. If a convict is no longer a threat to society, then it’s a waste to keep him locked up. Conversely, if a convict is still a threat after 10-15 years, he shouldn’t get out, just because the timer ran out.

      I’d favor a system that allows convicts to incrementally earn their freedom back by proving to be rehabilitated.

      • It would be a good idea but expensive to implement. I remember a science fiction short story about a teenager who got into trouble and was sentenced to juvenile detention. Another inmate persuaded him to figure out how to defeat the prison’s sophisticated, computer based security system. During their break out, a third inmate who had come along with them was critically injured. The kid who had figured out the technical details for the escape stayed behind so that the injured escapee would get the medical help he needed to survive. The ringleader kept going. Unknown to any of them, there was a second layer of security that caught the ringleader. At the end of the story, the kid who sacrificed his chance to escape so that the injured escapee could survive was told that he had demonstrated progress toward becoming a responsible citizen. The ringleader had not and there was little chance he ever would. There is little interest in funding effective rehabilitation programs. In response to complaints about overcrowded prisons, governments are arbitrarily reducing the nominal severity of crimes in order to justify releasing violent criminals sooner.

  2. This isn’t about public safety. It’s about submission. Look at every country which banned and confiscated. The peaceful ones enacted draconian laws that are an affront to liberty.

  3. Quite often, firearms owners are their own worst enemies. The duck hunters don’t like the AR-15 “black rifles” so they see no problem if attempts are made to ban them. The traditional rifle owners don’t like machine guns, so they have no problem with them being legislated out of existence. Some pistol owners see nothing wrong with certain long guns being outlawed just as some rifle owners would have no problem seeing pistols banned. You see, anti-gunners want them all. They will chip away a little at a time until their goal of civilian disarmament is complete. They have an excuse for banning every firearm. Scoped bolt-action rifles are defined by anti-gunners as “sniper rifles” because they are “too accurate”. Magazine-fed weapons are suspect because of high (actually normal) magazine capacity. Handguns are suspect because they are “easily concealable”. The gun grabbers want them all and have made (flimsy and suspect) excuses for banning every type of firearm. They don’t care how long it takes. and will use incrementalism to their advantage.
    Friends, ALL firearms advocates must “hang together” and realize that an assault on ANY means of firearms ownership and self-defense is an assault on ALL forms of firearms ownership and self-defense.
    There is absolutely NO ROOM for complacency among ANY Second Amendment supporters. An attack on one is an attack on ALL…
    ALL firearms laws are unconstitutional on their face. Imagine the hue and cry if “reasonable” restrictions were placed on First Amendment activities, especially with the “mainstream media”. The Second Amendment is clear–what part of “shall not be infringed” do politicians and the media not understand…of course, they understand full well…it’s part of their communist agenda…
    Even the NRA bears some responsibility for capitulation on matters concerning firearms. The NRA failed when it allowed the National Firearms Act of 1934 to stand without offering opposition, the 1968 Gun Control Act, the NICS “instant check” system, the “no new machine gun for civilians” ban in 1986, the so-called “assault weapons ban in 1991, and other infringements on the Second Amendment. Let’s face it. What better way to increase membership than to “allow” infringements to be enacted and then push for a new membership drive. Yes, the NRA has done good, but its spirit of “compromise” will only lead to one thing…confiscation.
    If the NRA is truly the premier “gun rights” organization, it must reject ALL compromise…

    • In my opinion, guns are only a secondary target. The primary target is the use of force by a private citizen to defend himself against violent criminals. Tell a gun grabber, “I don’t need a gun as long as I have a baseball bat. It’s all the same to me whether a home invader is carried out with bullet wounds or a fractured skull.” I’ll bet the reaction will be that they don’t want that either.

  4. Put me in the “no compromise” camp. If someone believes that a person’s rights can be removed without first going through the 4th, 5th, and 6th amendment remedies for such, maybe that person should consider reevaluating their belief in the Rule of Law and the Constitution.

    Rights are rights, not privileges that can be thrown aside out of convenience for some majority that doesn’t like it when certain people exercise them. Replace “right to bear arms” in this debate with “right to life” and see how stupid it sounds.

    • I may not believe in the “rule of law” or be particularly fond of the U.S. constitution, but I do believe that people have the right to do anything they want as long as it doesn’t infringe on anyone else’s rights to life, liberty, and pursuit of property.

      • I think you will find that the “rule of law” is the best thing that guarantees “the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of property.” Firearms are great, not having to use them is better.
        Pursuit of property: Remember the game Monopoly is an accelerated version of unregulated capitalism in the hands of the amoral – more a cautionary tale than entertainment

  5. Public opinion? Without the billionaire funded anti-civil rights propaganda, disseminated by billionaire funded, AstroTurf anti-civil rights groups and the billionaire funded, anti-civil rights politicians, the gun control “movement” in this country would not exist. How do you “compromise” with liars whose only goal is the imposition of any restriction backed by any civil or criminal penalty on a constitutionally enumerated right? The “light at the end of the tunnel” for all gun control advocates is the total disarmament of the American people. They will tell any lie and nibble away at any opportunity to achieve their ends.

  6. ” Still, they are looking for some means of mitigating violence perpetrated by gunfire.”

    If not gunfire then:

    “In the dimness of the shadows
    Where we hairy heathens warred,
    I can taste in thought the lifeblood;
    We used teeth before the sword.”

    Perhaps you recognize the quote.

  7. We are not at the cartridge box state yet. The jury box is still good mostly everywhere in the United States.

    However regarding the ballot box that’s another matter. In a one-party states like New York or California when you allow non-citizens to flood at the country and destroy the voting pool that becomes a different matter.

    • It is not good at all. The whole point of the system was jury nullification of laws that are unjust or misapplied. They have removed that from jury instructions.

      • Wrong. The judges jury instructions are meaningless nonsense. ONE person on the jury has the power to nullify. The purpose of the judge is to maintain order in the courtroom. Any opinion he may have is irrelevant.

    • We have been at the cartridge box for a long time, we are just too nice to realize we should have been refreshing the tree of liberty since 1934.

  8. I’ve spent a long time studying history and politics, not just here but around the world. History goes in cycles. The flags change, the names change, but the conflicts throughout history often follow rather similar tracts. Technology only changes the speed and arena available. I believe that “pax Americana”, the relative peace on the North American continent since 1865, is close to its end. America is the kind of nation that doesn’t need to be in poverty for revolution, like the French or Russians. Americans are prefectly willing to go to war over ideals. We are rapidly approaching this time now.

      • You know, I’m truly glad I’ve enraged you to the point where everytime I post anything you just lose your shit. I’m oretty sure I’m now tied with Pwrserge in making you tweek out like a child. Seek help before you start taking it out on others.

        • My the animosity, the interwebz needs to learn more acceptance. One person may chew bubble gum very well, the other may be quite the walker. One may trip over the cracks in a sidewalk and another may jump over them. It’s the person whom learns to jump over the cracks tis the one who becomes the better hopscotch player. And as everyone knows being able to hit your target while playing hopscotch is the second rule of a gunfight. The first rule is being able to hit your target while playing Jax

    • And neither is any of the others. We have the Bill of Rights ONLY because of the second amendment. We lose that and the old communist saying applies “What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is up for “negotiation”.

      • Pretty much right on- those God-given rights are only valid as long as good men are willing to insist they be maintained. Sometimes it involves bloodletting.

  9. Back to the Bell Curve rule. If seventy percent believe in restricting your rights, they will be restricted.
    My interpretation of the Second Admentment is that the individual should be able to aquire all weapons that the military has. I am willing to compromise on nukes. I realize that I have a outside the Bell Curve position.
    So I must compromise with people who are in the Bell Curve. Most of those people are not afraid of my Hi Point carbine or pistol in my hands. They are afraid of those weapons in the hands of “bad guys”. These people are” bad guys” because they see a easy life and pleasure selling mind altering products. This produces the majority of the gun crime. I am willing to negotiate on a end to this madness with anyone from the 70 percent of good will.

  10. The jury box, nay I say. Lady Justice is not blind she sees the color green. The ballot box? Snakes or snakes your choice. The cartridge box? A well regulated militia versus one of the most powerful military and police forces on Earth.

    • O’possum, Oh possum, those members of the mightiest armed forces and police units in the world live among us. So do their families. There is a terrible price to be paid to either enforce or fight against tyranny. I must not only be willing to die for my principles and rights, I must be willing to kill for them too. Mercilessly, for that is how my adversary will be looking at me.

    • “…A well regulated militia versus one of the most powerful military and police forces on Earth.”

      that well regulated militia out numbers and out guns that military and police force by at least ten to one.

      Just saying

    • “The mightiest military” that has utterly failed to beat a bunch of goat raping savages hiding in caves lit by burning donkey shit for 17 years and counting.

      • Americas military could beat those goat raping mooslims if it wanted to. But then the two largest arms dealers in the world would have less cannon fodder to sale their wares too. Yah all ain’t caught on yet, how it works. You’ve never questioned why NATO will take on third world countries but let super powers do whatever they chose. How the drugs just keep flowing when lab complexes can be seen from outer space . How all needs done to stop illegal aliens is super fine the employers of them. Solutions that have no monetary gains doesn’t go very far in Global Economics

        • The problem is you are both right. The mil could utterly crush the goat violators but it would be “inhumane” / interfere with profits. By the same token mil could utterly crush an uprising domestically…… until defections and reprisals get started. Best advice is what I used to give my privates, don’t stick your dick in crazy and we already did that a few times too many as a country.

  11. The ballot box won’t be a reliable choice for much longer. The Electoral College and the equal representation of the states in the Senate has staved off much of the encroachment of the ant-gunners in recent years. This will come to an end as we continue to be invaded by illegals from Mexico and Central America, even if the Leftists don’t succeed in getting them the vote, their children raised on government handouts will put the Democrats in permanent control of the federal government and that will be the end of the Republic.

    • Which is why the window for any non-violent change, if such a window exists, is short. And the powers that be know it. They just have to stay in power, or in the wings, long enough that the oldest generation dies off, and then the next one is too old to do much. And those generations that follow have been indoctrinated and dumbed down, emasculated / ‘de-feminized’, and made into obedient drones.

    • Lordy, I first saw ” Build The Wall Increase ICE Fishing” I thought, ” WTF’

      • As long as they fish at employers that hire illegals. Arrest the employers as well and that will help. Then deport them for using someone else’s social security number.

        • That right there is the answer. 100,000$ fine for every illegal found. You wouldn’t even need to verify the accusation of illegality, the threat to the employers would be all it would take. That’s to simple and would fuck up the ” grand plan”. Vote for me, I will build a wall, vote for me I’m 2a/ not 2a. Vote for me it’s Medicare. Vote for me it’s not free health care. ….. Carrots

    • “The Electoral College and the equal representation of the states in the Senate has staved off much of the encroachment of the ant-gunners in recent years. This will come to an end as we continue to be invaded by illegals from Mexico and Central America, even if the Leftists don’t succeed in getting them the vote” So- you’re saying that it will become simple to amend the Constitution and delete the Electoral College? I doubt that- a Constitutional Amendment takes more than the popular vote of some states that are burgeoning with illegal voters… The Founders were more intelligent than some of us give them credit.

      • It’s not the invaders from without that we should worry about, it’s the invaders from within!
        They’re moving from leftist enclaves on both coasts to the cities in Tx,Wa,Or,NM,Va,NC,Fl,Oh,Mo Mt,Co, and more…get the message? The electoral college which has us protected for so long is being compromised . What a great strategy for the Fundamentally changing of America. He told us but we were too busy fighting amongst ourselves. Birthers Muslim? false student documents, divide and conquer. I left a state where my vote didn’t matter (Ct) but Fl is getting as bad, admitted socialist running for Governor! WE’RE BLIND!

        • I take it you are replying to the part of my post that is quotes, which was MY reply to the previous poster. It will be nearly impossible to amend the Constitution to do away with the Electoral College- read it- Article II. Then read Article V, or maybe read it first. What ever you do- read them both, along with the rest of the document.

  12. No compromise, no retreat, no surrender. They pretend that it’s negotiable, but, it’s not and really never has been. They try to make it way too complicated. It comes down, as it always has, to a matter of will and it’s really very simple; whoever wants it the most, and is able and willing to do whatever it takes to win…wins. The rest don’t matter, they never have mattered, and no matter how much they scream in frustration on their way out, they never will. Natural selection always beats wishful thinking. Choose wisely, my friends, for by their deeds you will know them. -30-

        • Nothing fanatical about standing on ‘shall not be infringed.’ We have been playing on the enemy’s playing field ever since 1934, conceding that the government has a right to regulate anything to do with our owning of whatever firearms we want. Conceding at all, opened the door to where we are today. If there are at least a few million who are willing to stake our lives on keeping guns — no guarantee that we will keep them even if we do — we have a chance. Otherwise communism is the only outcome. And communism will be what communism always is: mass murders in the many millions, just because. There doesn’t appear to be anything pretty or polite or non-violent about where all this is headed. They want our guns, and whatever the Constitution says, is irrelevant to them.

  13. … an epiphany could occur only if combatants on each side could join in a constructive examination of the data on gunshot suicide, violence and accidents and the practical difficulties in controlling guns …

    Civilian disarmament proponents have a position based on emotion and Utopian ideals. They will NEVER examine data, suicide, violence, accidents, and the practical difficulties in controlling firearms (other than a cursory look to produce talking points for their agenda). And that means they will never have an epiphany.

    Unless we can find a way to break through their emotion and Utopian ideals, there is no hope of any reasoned, peaceful resolution. Therefore, it simple boils down to “might makes right”. Which of course is why civilian disarmament proponents want to disarm us.

    The men who framed our Constitution knew this: it is EXACTLY why they codified the Second Amendment.

  14. There’s another variant of the “boxes” quote that includes (in addition to the -100% true- three already mentioned) “soap box” as in free speech. The efforts by YouTube etc to stifle and suppress firearm-related content is extremely concerning, and with net neutrality nixed, who’s to say that big corporate cable/internet/wireless providers, at the behest of or under pressure (Cuomoism) from big government might not eventually throttle or completely block firearm-related content no matter what online source it is published from. Because a majority of the US public rely on these corporate entities for connectivity, “the signal” can, unfortunately, be blocked or at least impaired. Yes there are workarounds, like VPN or darkweb, but those are really only available to those who are motivated and savvy, and who know of the existence of particular information, which will not include those not already knowledgeable) If information about availability and use of firearms is suppressed, then the know-how connected with firearms will be at risk of fading out. I don’t like or trust “Big Bro’ in corporate clothing any more than in State clothing, the two (gov’t Big Bro and corporate Big Bro) are more and more blurred and incestuous these days anyways.

  15. There are no “practical difficulties” in controlling guns. There is only the “practical reality” that no free citizen, righteously bearing arms, can be controlled. You, “Progressive” cowards and faithless, oath forsaking traitors, can try to kill the free citizen, but, God help you when you fail. There is no “practical” way to control, disarm or enslave said citizen. That is why we have fought, that is why we continue to fight and that is why we will win. Remember the most democratic, fair and final box of all, the fourth box, the coffin, without exception, we all end there. All that matters is what we stood for on the universal journey we all share. The choice, as always, comes down to Freedom or slavery, nothing else accurately frames the issue. Please choose wisely my friends. Once again, we are making history. They shall never be allowed to succeed. We will never allow ourselves to fail.
    No compromise, no retreat, no surrender! -30-

  16. The article highlights the real problem: that we allow the exercise of rights to be subject to ballot boxes and jury boxes. You will NEVER get hundreds of millions of people to agree on one way of life, and yet we reverence our “right to vote” (a euphemism for collectivising tyranny) and “due process” (which means whatever the black-robed clowns say it means). Why can’t we disengage from such a futile pursuit? Why do we cling to stars and stripes like moths to a flame? All they do is impose restrictions on our rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of prosperity. Yet they’ve convinced us that it is *because of* – not in spite of – them that we are “free.”

    “None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.”

    • Wow- you must live in quite a bunker. Perhaps you could suggest a better country for all of us to move to- you know, somewhere that’s less restrictive than this gulag? Didn’t think so… You want change, state your case in a manner that will gain popularity among the masses and do something. The Donald certainly has. Of course no one can agree 100% with anyone or anything. Humans would just sit on their asses and do nothing if that was the case, and enough just sit around and complain now as it is.

  17. Got to say, I am offended that I seem to be categorized with some “guns for all and everywhere” group when that is hardly the truth. I don’t think any of us wish that criminals and irresponsible people have access to a gun. Conversely, irrefutable logic dictates that when responsible citizens are able to be armed they become the front line in the initial defense against violence to themselves and others. The gun free zone experiment is a total failure and it’s time to admit it. I daresay if those in attendance at criminal trials could be armed Judges might be inclined to hand out a lot more justice than a slap on the hand.

  18. “The ranks of gun rights advocates appear to be divided into two camps” If there are actually 2 camps, they should more correctly be labelled “Reality” and “Fantasy”.

    Fantasy to believe that because a statement is written down on paper all factions will automatically agree to it and there’ll be no need to stand up and fight for it, day after day, year after year, generation after generation.

    Reality to understand that there are swings in support and that the battle will never be completely won so it’s important to keep the battle alive and do what needs to be done to be able to continue tomorrow, year after year, generation after generation.

    Those running the Fantasy Camp would’ve lost it all back in 1992-93 had they been in control with their “no compromise” BS. The Reality Camp took a hit for a short time and gun owners have been on the offense ever since. Of course the leftists and MSM won’t acknowledge it- they’ll continue to try to produce polls (!) that show the majority of Americans are opposed to concealed carry. semi auto firearms, ammo capacity, transfers of firearms- you name it. Then they get their butts handed to them in the next election. I predict no Blue Wave this time around- I think the American people are still a lot more intelligent that some of the overly-cynical posters here portray them. The swarm of illegals headed north right now, 2 weeks from the mid-terms ought to scare the hell out of most Americans regardless of their decent. It’s an invading mob, no other description is viable, and they’re coming to take what you have in every manner.

    Get off your butt, get out on Nov 6 and vote and make sure all your Gomer pals do likewise, even if they have to stand in line for a while.


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