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Luis Valdes for TTAG
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[Hannah] Arendt offers two points that are salient to our thinking about guns: for one, they insert a hierarchy of some kind, but fundamental nonetheless, and thereby undermine equality. But furthermore, guns pose a monumental challenge to freedom, and particular, the liberty that is the hallmark of any democracy worthy of the name — that is, freedom of speech.

Guns do communicate, after all, but in a way that is contrary to free speech aspirations: for, guns chasten speech.

This becomes clear if only you pry a little more deeply into the N.R.A.’s logic behind an armed society. An armed society is polite, by their thinking, precisely because guns would compel everyone to tamp down eccentric behavior, and refrain from actions that might seem threatening.

The suggestion is that guns liberally interspersed throughout society would cause us all to walk gingerly — not make any sudden, unexpected moves — and watch what we say, how we act, whom we might offend.

— Jason Kottke Quoting Firmin DeBrabander in The United States of Guns

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  1. Who is this idiot, the only thing protecting “Free Speech” is guns, we have them, and the government ain’t getting them. Without the 2nd Amendment all other rights are indefensible.

    • I see his article is entitled “The United States of Guns.” I was just wondering how one applies for citizenship and a passport.

    • Like everything else leftist, they’ll keep on repeating this until people are gaslit to believe it to be true.

  2. Watch your thought crime or your social reach will be stifled, your bank will close your accounts, your employer will fire you and your local police will stand back while a bused in mob from out of town burns your home down and kicks your wife in the head until blood flows from her ears.

    Yeah, it’s the gun owners are doing that.

    • Not in some towns. The bus was met by armed citizens along with the sheriff in a small town outside Tulsa Ok.
      And here the citizens had the same on standby.
      I understand larger towns can’t do this.

  3. Accusing your opponent of doing what you are already doing is typical of Progressives. Unlike conservative speaker I don’t know of any Progressive speaker who has had their event cancelled because of an unruly,k violent mob.

    • Michael,

      Yup. Once the guns are gone (ain’t really gonna happen), conservatives and patriots will all be cancelled.

  4. Got a 20 bill that says that the people hualed away in the night in Hong Kong, The Soviet Union, Nazi Germany etc. would disagree if they are still alive. Hell the ones that were murdered even more so.

    • In Burma(er Myanmar)the poor folks getting SHOT are using freakin’ bows & arrows! I’m keeping my guns you pos…

  5. About a dozen of us, my delivery team and a few members of the client team, were going out to dinner after a long day of requirements and design. One of the business analysts saw me unlock the safe I had chained in the trunk of the rental car, take out my Sneaky Pete, and affix it to my belt. The safe, the fact that I had not carried this leather holster into the client site, the positioning of it on my belt, gave him the clues that this was a firearm. He did not say anything. We all had a great time at dinner.

    The next day, he rode with me to the airport. He confided: “At first I was alarmed, but then I realized we were actually safer because you were armed.”

    He recognized the true reason an armed society is a polite society: the bad guys (and gals) have far less chance of succeeding in their badness when armed, law-abiding citizens are present.

  6. “guns would compel everyone to tamp down eccentric behavior, and refrain from actions that might seem threatening”

    Really? The only time that happened by the public was under Jim Crow and were used against people that were not allowed guns.
    As anti-gun laws came into being, it was LE that used their guns to control the masses. Sadly, with the Fed growing even stronger, LE will do their bidding from Washington DC, ordered from corporate boardrooms.
    “Peasants are revolting, we can’t allow them firearms.”(sarc)

  7. Most [ but, NOT all ] Firearms Owners, That I know or Know Of will support your right to free Speech with a couple exceptions and they are, {threatening speech, Hate speech, Spittle speech, painful in the ear speech, harassing Speech} We would like to know where you stand,
    which in turn would determine further association.

      • Yeah, well you cannot shout fire in a theater either…. but if you are close enough to get spittle on me, or hurt my ear by shouting in it those same folks will severely limit your speech…. permanently !

        • They my “severely” limit someone’s speech, butt the speaker still has the right of Free Speech and consequences relative to the exercise of any right is a given. The rights still exist whether folks like it or not.

        • Rick, you are either lying or else completely ignorant of Brandenburg v. Ohio. It is quite Constitutional to shout “Fire!” in a crowded theater.

        • Yep Dave, Ignorant of Brandenburg v. Ohoho…. Rhetorical anyway….
          The Rest wasn’t, close enough to get spittle on me in your frenetic shouting and gesticulating, could get you (a) punched in the nose (b) whacked (c) shot (d) All Of the Above. Same with shouting in the ear…. Same with bothering me as I walk down the street.

      • ” I’m gonna kill you” would be The correct example of hate speech, and Opens up that “In defense of” Rule Ending speech Entirely,

    • Either you protect all speech, or you aren’t protecting speech at all. That doesn’t mean you have to agree, like what is being said, or even pay attention. But once we decide some speech doesn’t need protecting, the next step is to decide who determines which speech is protected and which isn’t. Picture your worst enemy making those decisions for you, and then decide whether any exceptions to the 1st amendment are really such a good idea after all.

      • the next step is to decide who determines which speech is protected and which isn’t.

        That’s already being done by BLM, ANTIFA, the government, colleges, corporations… You know ALL those folks that know what’s best for YOU…

  8. Liberals have defined common sense as a superpower. It’s hard to live a full life when you won’t believe in facts.

  9. “…and refrain from actions that might seem threatening.”

    So… guns, when carried, are threatening in a manner that causes people to refrain from being threatening… by doing things like…. carrying guns?

    Is the author OK with threatening behavior or not? They seem unsure of their own position on threatening actions. Or is it this uncertainty about which threatening behavior they’re OK with that they are certain they dislike?

    I feel like Deadpool could go on an epic and humorous rant on this topic.

    • strych………Every time I have seen someone open carrying , my reaction was’ wonder if it’s 9 or a forty. Maybe I wasn’t intimidated because I wasn’t up to no good.

    • “Is the author OK with threatening behavior or not?”

      That depends on who is doing the threatening, and the direction of the particular threat.

      “I feel like Deadpool could go on an epic and humorous rant on this topic.”

      Preach it! 😉

  10. These people have slurred the meaning of freedom to the point of bastardizing it.

    This is what provides example to how clueless they are.

    • Quote: “Prndll April 17, 2021 At 09:24
      These people have slurred the meaning of freedom to the point of bastardizing it.

      This is what provides example to how clueless they are.”

      They useful (indoctrinated) fools are clueless but their overlords know exactly what they are doing….destroying America.

      They are doing it and getting away with it.

      Be Prepared !!!

  11. Armed law-abiding citizens protect free speech.
    “Arms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property… Horrid mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived of the use of them.” Thomas Paine
    Firmin DeBrabander has a PhD specializing in Political Philosophy. A product of socialist indoctrination, he probably knows little to nothing about our Founding Fathers or the US Constitution.

  12. The full quote is:
    “An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.”

    A disarmed society, wherein no behavior (except self-defense) is unacceptable, is by definition one in which abusers of all stripes go unpunished and indeed, not even chastised.

    The author seems to disagree that people who abuse others should face consequences for their behavior. I find that scenario unacceptable.

    • That quote is from Robert A. Heinlein. (Beyond This Horizon)

      He had other “crazy” ideas; like citizenship is earned through service, not given at birth. Citizenship is a prerequisite to vote. (Starship Troopers)

      • “…citizenship is earned through service, not given at birth. Citizenship is a prerequisite to vote. (Starship Troopers)”

        On the surface, that sounds good. In reality, that’s a feudal society, and the ‘little people’ are never given the opportunity by the ‘citizen class’ to apply for service in the first place…

  13. Who is this pinhead?

    The anti-gun left has done more to suppress free speech in the last 5 years then gun owners have done in the last 1,000

    • “Who is this pinhead?”

      Clue : The article quoted ‘The Onion’. Really!

      “From The Onion, ‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens:

      At press time, residents of the only economically advanced nation in the world where roughly two mass shootings have occurred every month for the past eight years were referring to themselves and their situation as “helpless.””

  14. Meanwhile people who describe themselves as progressives chant “words are violence” across college campuses and cities around the US but it’s firearms stifling free speech.

  15. An armed society IS a polite society,,,
    No bout adout it…
    I’ve been to (and own two properties) in open carry states, (usually RED) & yes, people are pretty friendly, only people that are tourists or SNOWFLAKES seem to object…

  16. This guy is only saying what some on TTAG will not say. The so called defenders of the second amendment.

    And there are many so-called Libertarians liberals and leftists on TTAG who are against open carry.

    This is why I’ve been saying for years now if you don’t support open carry you don’t support the Second Amendment. The Deviant in our society are made uncomfortable when they see someone peaceably openly carrying a weapon. They are even more uncomfortable when it is a firearm.

    I’ve known for quite sometime that there are people who do not like being polite. And the presence of a firearm does force some people to be polite in society. And they don’t like that.

    They would prefer to be rude and disgusting to total strangers on purpose. Some of them even want to spray graffiti on their private property. Or perhaps even burn a cross on your front lawn.

    And that is the real reason why so many do not like open carry. Yes it does intimidate people. And what’s your point? You’re now forced to control yourself in public?

    When a representative of the government called the policeman in uniform, is open carrying his sidearm, that does force people to control themselves in public doesn’t it? This is also related to anyone who has a fixed bayonet on their long gun. Because Obama tried to Outlaw, get rid of the bayonet in the military.

    You can use your firearm and a fixed bayonet to defend your life and property. And you won’t have to shoot or stab anyone to do it. That coupled in St Louis did an outstanding job of using their own guns to protect their private property, from invaders. And they never shot anybody. And their property wasn’t burned to the ground either by the mob.

    And Yes you should be polite when you Open carrier.

    • Leftists seek to deny ANY carry. If they bother with open/cc distinction, it’s as an incremental measure toward their real goal.

      As for edged weapons such as bayonets, they’re also arms. After Heller and Caetano, no honest court could uphold bans on blades, but honest courts are rare.

    • Someone on this forum once stated, “anyone who says I support the 2nd amendment BUT”…..doesn’t support the 2nd amendment.

  17. “An armed society is polite, by their thinking, precisely because guns would compel everyone to tamp down eccentric behavior, and refrain from actions that might seem threatening.”

    Proof that they just don’t get it.

    “Polite” in this context means a society where violent criminal behavior is sure to suffer swift and significant consequences – thus deterring said behavior in the first place.

    Using guns to intimidate opposing views is the game of the Democrats, starting soon after they lost the Civil War.

  18. As noted above, the quote Firmin DeBrabander attributes to the NRA is actually from Scifi legend Robert A. Heinlein’s “Beyond This Horizon.” What wasn’t noted is that the book was published in 1942 and Heinlein followed up with that in his 1949 book “Red Planet,” where teenagers were considered to have come of age when they earned their carry licenses. (While I haven’t read the book, or it’s been so long I’ve forgotten, I would imagine this is more of an analogy to teens earning their driving licenses.)

    Heinlein was a libertarian and probably was more influential in spreading libertarian ideas and ideals than Ayn Rand, in that his books were more widely read and by a greater range of people. As such, Heinlein had a great distrust of all governments.

    Heinlein acknowledged that there were some functions, such as defense, that governments were suited for but they could not be trusted in the general sense–thus his belief that individuals needed to take their personal defense in their own hands. If this means that some people can’t make radical expressions of their views–such as assaulting those they disagree with, looting, and burning down private (and even public) property indiscriminately–it just enforces the fact that your liberty ends at the tip of my nose.

    As such, I don’t see that enforcing someone’s restraint of unbridled “free speech” is such a bad thing. Especially the “free speech” we’ve seen in Minneapolis, Seattle, Portland, and elsewhere.

    • The 20 year-old thug thinking that a grandmother walking down the street alone to the store at night would be a good target needs to be very concerned that if he tries to rob her of her social security check, he could be killed.

      That’s the only thing that stops a predator – The mental calculation beforehand of the success of the attack : “Can I get away with it without injury?”

      • Excellent Point Sir, and to refine it a bit, that Stoop shouldered old great-grandfather, might Accidentally whack them with that 7 & 5/8″ Octagonal barrel Pistol REPEATEDLY Upside the head ( yes,yes Accidentally officer ),
        Hell with that hoss pistol usually they just get hit, Old guy doesn’t Need to Shoot them…. We have some colorful folks out where the average Aged Rancher is 70-75 and some 80-90, And I will bet they do not give up their Pistol….

    • Heinlein’s point was that responsible armed citizens would avoid conflict lest they need to escalate to taking a life over a trivial matter. They don’t get to flip off people in traffic, be a drunk idiot, or be thin skinned.

      Unfortunately, reality shows that there hood rats that don’t hold to those high ideals. They don’t value human life and will happily shoot into a crowd of strangers because somebody ‘dissed’ them.

  19. I love my guns.
    I’m like Ebenezer Scrooge when counting my ammo.
    When I clean my guns, it’s a religious ritual.

    All of this is quite necessary because:
    Psalm 109

    1 Hold not thy peace, O God of my praise;

    2 For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful are opened against me: they have spoken against me with a lying tongue.

    3 They compassed me about also with words of hatred; and fought against me without a cause.

    4 For my love they are my adversaries: but I give myself unto prayer.

    5 And they have rewarded me evil for good, and hatred for my love.

    And also because Jesus said:
    Luke (22:35-38): “……….It is different now, whoever has a purse had better take it with him, and his pack too; AND IF HE HAS NO SWORD, LET HIM SELL HIS CLOAK TO BUY ONE.”

    Who can go against the word of God ?

  20. guns pose a monumental challenge to freedom, and particular, the liberty that is the hallmark of any democracy worthy of the name — that is, freedom of speech.

    That is the ABSOLUTE truth… Guns in the hands of an oppressive government lording over an unarmed populace WILL definitely stifle FREE SPEECH unless of course it is pro-government “free speech” Cuba, China, Venezuela, Hitler’s Germany, England, France, and almost EVERY other country in the world experience this on a daily basis… On the other hand when everyone has an equal ability to defend their freedoms against would be oppressors the free will AND the freedom to speak one’s mind abounds… NOT exactly the authors point, but he appears to be confused about exactly what firearms interspersed throughout the civilian population actually does…

  21. Another quote from that idiotic article:

    “We’re sacrificing America’s children to “our great god Gun”
    Says the person who is ok with killing 62,000,000+ children since 1973….

    Is there ANY greater hypocrisy than this???

  22. Anyone ever notice how rambling and politely most of the founders spoke and wrote? They wanted to ensure that they did not agitate anyone because in those days dueling was still a thing. Alexander Hamilton found out the hard way. Sometimes I think we need to bring it back. People’s behavior would change drastically. Thoughts?

  23. I fail to see how any of what he said is a problem whatsoever. If you can’t protest or debate public policy without resorting to threatening behavior and vile ad homenim, or it takes other people being armed for you to “watch how you act” (translation: be a civil human being), you just might be the problem in the first place.

  24. The right of free speech and the right to keep and bear arms are co-equal and essential to the other. Neither can long exist without the other.

    For that matter, firearms in the hands of common citizens are the ultimate defensive tool in the protection of all our rights, liberties and freedoms.

    Claims to the contrary are bullshit, plain and simple.

  25. I think knives would be more of an enemy of free speech, shooting your tongue off is not as easy as cutting it off.

    • As usual, the Marsupial One is wiser than he appears, beady eyes, scraggely tail and all… 😉

  26. Guns would cause us all to “watch what we say, how we act, whom we might offend,” he says.

    Because nobody has to worry anything like that in the “progressive” society he’s holding up as a model. Perfect freedom. No one will ever have his life or livelihood smashed to bits for what he says (or fails to say) or how he acts. Not in this progressive utopia, no sir.

  27. Cancel culture is the enemy of free speech. Jason Kottke is a friend of cancel culture. And also a horse’s ass, but that’s not germane. Or is it?

  28. So if guns undermine “equality” then what do thermonuclear weapons do?

    If a group of individuals who’s apex of firepower is the rifle (NRA) is an impediment to freedom then what do you call The United States (or Russia, China, etc.) who’s apex of firepower is unknown and is at the very least the H-bomb?

  29. Guns protect the right of free speech. Without a way to defend yourself your rights can more easily be taken away from you by gov.

    The rights of expression and thought are enshrined in the first amendment but then the founders wisely made the 2nd so as to have people able to defend those rights from those who would take those rights away.

    it’s really quite simple.


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