Guns, Germs And Government: Why Americans Love Liberty More Than Safety

Virus Outbreak Mississippi Protest

Over 30 vehicles filled with protestors circled the Governor’s Mansion in Jackson, Miss., honking their horns for over an hour to express their dissatisfaction at the gradual relaxation of the social and business social distancing restrictions established by Republican Gov. Tate Reeves, Saturday, April 25, 2020. However the protestors, some of whom are small business owners are asking the governor to fully reopen the state. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

By Cain Pence

The American character does not like authority. A nation born in rebellion, a country founded by exiles and a people possessed with a pioneer spirit do not respond well to dictates on their movements. It goes against everything that’s American.

The Minutemen at Concord and Lexington, the pioneer headed West, and the cowboy on horseback are all iconic images of American determination and freedom. Whether a musket in Massachusetts, a hunting rifle in Minnesota or a pistol in Texas, the history of America’s founding and expansion also involves the artwork and reality of firearms in the hands of free citizens.

I grew up in the heart of Minneapolis, one of the bluest places in a Democratic state. After graduating from Georgetown University I spent the next half decade working different jobs as I completed my quest to visit every congressional district in America. A great adventure, it was the ultimate graduate school in American studies.

Along the journey I was struck by the number of monuments and statues of men with guns. People memorialize in stone what is important in their hearts. I have visited every part of America and I believe the single most common memorial statues in America are of men with guns. This makes sense.

The plaques and markers to early patriots of New England, the monuments to soldiers of the Civil War found in nearly all towns in the North and every small town in the South, the statues to pioneers and trailblazers of the West and the ubiquitous Vietnam veterans memorials found at countless government centers and plazas throughout our land all show men with guns. I have not been to South Korea, Sweden or South Africa but I doubt their public plazas are full of monuments to men with guns.

Korean War Veterans Memorial

Korean War Veterans Memorial (Bigstock)

Our national history is one of violence and conflicts. It is also one of proud determination undeterred by a vast and hostile Western frontier. The American character is rugged and proud, bold and brave. Belgium and Britain, Japan and Portugal did not have thousands of miles to the West to settle and tame. The gun went hand in hand with the opening of the West. Not just for conflict and protection but for food.

Just one generation ago, my late mother’s farm family of eleven in Northern Minnesota defied the laws and hunted deer year round to provide venison for the harsh winter months. Go tell Northern Minnesota farm boys, or the ones in Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio they shouldn’t be allowed a gun.

The American identity, especially in rural America, is so connected to the gun culture that Americans would much rather put up with thousands of homicides and firearm accidents each year than surrender their constitutional rights to bear arms.

The same character that dominates rural America in regards to guns is prevalent in regards to the coronavirus outbreak. Our rights to liberty are more important than our risk of disease.

Cranberry Township, Pa., Tuesday, April 28, 2020. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

We want everyone to be safe, but not at the price of liberty. Just as all Americans risk death by fast moving steel machines called cars every time they drive on a road, so too will most be willing to risk death by what is essentially a nasty pneumonia for the elderly than give up our livelihoods and freedom of movement.

A desire for liberty really is more important to most Americans than a guarantee of safety. That’s why so many protesters at state capitals calling for reopening America are carrying guns….freedom of movement and the freedom to own firearms go hand in hand. Government can only do so much to protect us before the disease of tyranny becomes far worse than the demon of disease.

In a free society, capitalism and the free expression of speech, ideas and religion will flourish. So too will murder, accidents and disease. It’s the price we pay to have liberty of thought, livelihood and movement.

The American character shall not be infringed upon despite death and fear. Far better to risk an unknown virus that kills almost no young people than to endure the known evil of tyranny that kills not just free men and women, but the very soul of the American experiment called freedom.

 

Cain Pence is a Minneapolis based writer. Mr Pence is a graduate of Georgetown University and has traveled extensively throughout all 50 states. Mr Pence’s writings have been published in dozens of newspapers and magazines across America. He can be reached at [email protected]

comments

  1. avatar Stateisevil says:

    Uh, you must live in a different Amerika. The corona cattle are not allowed to work and under house arrest by their Rancher-governors.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      +1

      This article isn’t based on observation, It’s based on wishful thinking.

      1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

        said two who choose to stay home.

        1. avatar Ralph says:

          If my store was allowed to reopen, I’d be back there in a heartbeat, no matter what Fauci and his gang of interns and welfare queens might say.

          Moreover, choosing to say home versus being forced to stay home by the almighty government are two extraordinarily different matters. The fact that you don’t know that should embarrass you.

        2. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

          hence you are forced and compliant. is your store the only destination you would leave the house for? i find that all embarassing for you.
          i’m out and about everyday all day, frequently em- bare- ass myself while not complying.
          your cynicism is delightful, your bleakness not so much.

        3. avatar Don’t be dumb says:

          Wow you are really that dumb. The flu has a death rate of .1%. The covid 19 is 4%. That’s a big difference, it’s on par with the Spanish flu. In some cases higher. If nothing was done and say 5 million people caught it 200K die
          If covid 19 infected 80000000 people 3200000 people die. That is if the govt let covid 19 spread like the flu does. It’s more infectious, it’s more deadly.
          We went from 1 pt in March to over 1million infected and about 64K dead. That’s with mitigation steps in place.
          I get it your a tough guy… the think is we have seen a bunch of tough guys come into the ER. All begging for hep

        4. avatar Toni Smith says:

          Dont Be Dumb, I’m not american but i can still say i would rather take my chances with this damn covid than submit and be a good little sheep for totalitarian dictators that are only attempting to ramp up the fear factor…. Also most of the stats i have seen that take the number of infections over the whole population and then also compare it with the death rate it is less than 1% even in the states with the highest death rate. In the US those places are all democrat controlled too. The republican run states have a lower death rate. The death rate in countries that have dictators for leaders of citizens they dont like (eg Democide) have a higher death rate and they are just killing those that wont bow down and submit in totality to their masters. The Black Plague killed 50%!!!!! That is a pandemic to be concerned about.

      2. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Went downtown for BBQ yesterday and streets are pretty full, I don’t know where you’re talking about, but around here there are plenty of people out and about. The bride and I are among the vulnerable and try to stick to home in general, but I hold that the position of government should be to advise what needs to be done, with the understanding that it does not have the authority to order us to do anything, since we, the American voters and taxpayers, are the ones in charge here, not our elected employees. Until we are convicted of breaking a law passed by a legislature, we can not be ordered to stay at home, or anywhere else.

        1. avatar LifeSavor says:

          My wife keeps talking about moving to Texas. You may have just given her another reason.
          🙂

        2. avatar Garrison Hall says:

          Well, you’d best hurry. The major cities are all run by progressive/fascists who are not all that distinguishable from their East or West coast cousins. Fortunately the rural areas still survive. Gointo into them is like entering another country now.

        3. avatar Toni Smith says:

          LarryinTX and Garrison Hall, you are both making me wish I was there…. not in the city areas… but in the remote areas. The town I live in here is about 26,000 and I would prefer much smaller… or just right out of town altogether. It is also at minimum 1500Klms from any other major center

    2. avatar I Haz A Question says:

      Just heard an interesting conversation on the radio today while running errands. The two hosts are not known as conservative by any means, but they were tearing up Governor Newsom’s threat to override all Counties and City Mayors and “close off the Pacific Ocean” to residents who want to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine – which, by the way, is exactly the sort of atmosphere medicals professionals everywhere are touting as beneficial.

      So now we have the Orange County Board voting 5-2 to open up their beachfronts, and Newsom saying “no, you won’t…I’m going to force the entire State into submission.” Our two major SoCal areas that were open last weekend (with restrictions such as social distancing) were Newport Beach and Ventura County beaches. My wife and I went to Ventura and enjoyed the day amongst many people who were all observing the County’s guidelines. BTW…of all the articles on the matter I’ve seen so far, every single photo shown are of Newport Beach. Why?…because in Ventura there were no problems, and the crowds of Newport fit better into Newsom’s theme.

      We’re now at the point where we not only have individuals refusing to comply…we’re beginning to have local governments that are discussing defiance against Sacramento. A lot of people who were in an apathetic coma before this COVID-19 and thought Newsom was the a great freedom fighter when he defied State law years ago and illegally issued same-sex marriage certificates, are now seeing that he’s not so great now that he’s defying our liberties.

      1. avatar LifeSavor says:

        Haz,

        Good illustration of how the further government gets from the people it serves (state vs. county, in this case) the further out-of-touch with its constituents that government becomes.

        Maybe government is like produce: locally grown is generally better.

      2. avatar Victoria Illinois says:

        LIkewise in the Chicago suburbs, you’d never know there was a crisis. (except for the women wearing masks). The roads are very busy. I don’t know where everyone is going but the forest preserve parking lots are full (the ones without the orange tape across). Lots of people at HomeDepot. Lots of people walking on the side streets….lots, mostly couples.

      3. avatar GS650G says:

        CA may see a civil war before it’s all over.

        1. avatar jwm says:

          I doubt it will be a civil war. Our rights, both human and civil, are being violated by the party, democrat, that has a history of such violations. They even fought a civil war in 1861 to keep their right to violate human and civil rights.

          Enough of us here in CA come to the conclusion that the dems are the problem and not the solution and our elections will reflect that fact.

        2. avatar LarryinTX says:

          JWM, sorry, but I’ll believe it when I see it.

        3. avatar Ralph says:

          If there is ever a civil war in CA, it will be led by people screaming “Viva La Raza!”

        4. avatar Mark N. says:

          Sorry, no civil war, and no overthrow of the Democratic Party. The Democrats outnumber Republicans two to one, and the remaining 25% don’t seem to vote. If the gun rights activists can manage to get 500 people to show up for a demonstration in Sacramento, it is a good turn out. Yes, there are millions of gun owners in California–and so many bought guns in the last 60 days that it is still taking more than two weeks to get a BCG completed that should only take ten days. (The wait at one point was a month or more.) Will that change anything? Nah.

      4. avatar SoCalJack says:

        Per CA gov, OC beaches to close but VC beaches between Pt. Mugu and SB Co line to stay open. I’ll check out Pt. Mugu base’s beach this weekend.

  2. avatar D’Ernest Quills says:

    America: land of the free, home of the incredibly stupid.

  3. avatar Old Region Fan says:

    Agreed this article would have been applicable 35 years ago USA RIP

  4. avatar The Truth About Boomers says:

    Typical boomer drivel. You liken yourself to people who were drafted against their will to rush machinegun emplacements. You are being asked to sit on your ass at home and you REEEEEEE like a sperg. In typical boomer fashion you want to live your best life at the expense of everyone around you. Spoilers: you’re going to draw out this pandemic that you don’t even understand. Hyperinflation will cause your savings to turn into toilet paper. No one will want to buy your McMansion. You will live in the basement of your Gen X child who is the only one who can still look you in the eye. When you die your children are going to melt down all the CMP Garands you hoarded instead of allowing younger generations to enjoy. You will bitch and moan about this pandemic but other than limp-dicked whining online you’re not going to do a damn thing about it. Because you’re a boomer. You’ve lived the most priviledged time ever in human history at the expense of everything around you. Good times make bad people which lead to bad times. Absolutely pathetic. It’s cold but it’s true. Get over yourselves.

    1. avatar Casey says:

      A) In my best Arnie voice (though you might not get the reference) “ITS NAHT AH BOOMAH”

      B) Drawing it out was your idea. That’s what “flatten the curve” means. The point was NEVER to prevent people from getting the disease, it was to prevent EVERYBODY from getting the disease AT ONCE and overwhelming the healthcare system. Well good news, by all accounts, the curve is flattened. Hospitals are laying off people. We clearly have swung the pendulum away from “not enough healthcare workers”. So now we can talk about getting back to normal.

      The crazy paranoid people (myself included) have been saying from the beginning “This is an excuse. Even when the danger is past, the neo-stasi and their informants will never give up their newfound power. They will use this as an excuse to control and punish anyone they don’t like, and anyone who disagrees with their preferred truth.

      And, as you can see, we were right, because here you are trolling on a website about how terrible we are.

      As for not doing anything, you’re clearly fooling yourself. If we weren’t doing anything, then you wouldn’t be here complaining about it. We’re doing what we’ve always done, and that’s what gets your goat.

      Well, too bad.

      1. avatar Rick the Bear says:

        Casey,

        Got your reference. Good choice. Good retort, too.

        Also, the above writer seems to be projecting a bit.

      2. avatar The Truth About Pathetic People says:

        But the government told me to do “A”, so I’m going to do “A”. Anyone that disagrees with me is just a “insert latest fad insult”.

      3. avatar Bill B says:

        Finally, someone gets it and tells Karen to f#ck off.
        Perfectly stated.
        +1000

    2. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

      Not a Boomer, but you’re wrong about a lot.

      1. avatar Geoff "Guns. LOTS of guns..." PR says:

        It really pisses off us Gen-X’ers when people call us ‘Boomers’…

        1. avatar MouseGun says:

          “Boomer” is to gen-Z shitheads what “Nazi” is to obnoxious millennials; it roughly translates into “anyone I don’t like”.

    3. avatar Garrison Hall says:

      Liberty and Freedom are both worth more than your safety. Deal with it.

      1. avatar LifeSavor says:

        Garrison,

        Agree and taking it further. Liberty and freedom provide/are safety. No mandatory medical treatments, no government surveillance, no infringements on your ability to protect self and family, ability to chose homeschooling rather than government propaganda disguised as a text book.

        1. avatar Toni Smith says:

          My thoughts exactly and why i would rather die than submit

    4. avatar The Truth About Idiots says:

      Keep hiding under your bed, coward.

    5. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

      Truth, or is it troll? My son one asked me, “Dad, when you’re gone are all these guns, knives and everything going to be mine?” That includes the M-1 rifle. I replied, “Yes. I hope you’re not in a hurry.” Bear in mind, he already has his own modest battery. He’s twenty-three.

    6. avatar Doug says:

      Your post sounds like you jumped over from “The Damage Report” or the “David Pakman Show”. Snowflakes who are afraid of liberty and freedom because in your world safety trumps all!! The endless diatribe against President Trump. The lack of a spine and courage define snowflakes.
      Boomers choose to not live in your communist utopia and will resist your kind every step of the way!!!

    7. avatar Ben says:

      Yeah just sit at home, be poor, scared and loose your mind.

      Sounds like a typical zoomer plan. Helps that you probably don’t have a job anyway.

    8. avatar NotEvenCloseToABoomer says:

      Go back to impressing your friends on tik tok and instagram. You’re trolling is weak, son and you’re talking to people who have real knowledge on this site. Loosen up those skinny pants, get a little 2% in your next latte and come back when you’re ready to talk to the big boys.

    9. avatar strych9 says:

      This post suggests rather strongly that you don’t understand the pandemic either.

      On top of that your use of “sperger” tells everyone that you’re a trolling douchebag who’s only real talent in life is reposting memes that other people created.

      Here, a song for you that’s also a suggestion. From a millennial to a jerkoff.

    10. avatar Hugh Glass says:

      “It’s cold but it’s true.”
      It’s neither, and you’re an unimaginative putz.

    11. avatar GS650G says:

      The Truth about The Truth about Boomers

      Look son, you have no idea what your elders did and put up with so you can enjoy what we have today. We don’t have enough space to explain it to you but thanks for the laughs anyway.

    12. avatar Complete Disapproval says:

      @ The Truth About Boomers:

      That’s a laugh. You don’t even know what a boomer is. It was the boomers who got drafted and sent into that shithole, Vietnam. It was the boomers who came home from that fucking war and got treated like shit by the assholes who managed to dodge it. You see, I was born before the boomers and luckily served in the peacetime military before Vietnam. So I saw it, and I know what I’m talking about.

      It was asshole Democrat Lyndon Johnson who screwed to pooch by escalating that war. And, as much as I despise the man, it was Republican Richard Nixon, who finally got our guys out of there.

      1. avatar anarchyst says:

        I don’t buy the premise that “the greatest generation” was comprised of a “tougher breed of people”.

        To paraphrase a famous song “We Didn’t Start the Fire” by Billy Joel, it’s not every “boomer” that was the problem. In fact, many of us boomers struggled through life, but finally “made it”.

        I am a “boomer” who has worked all my life, starting at 12 years of age. Being one of many children in a large family, life for my parents and us was not easy, but we all persevered in our own ways and were successful in life.

        Nobody ever gave me anything. What I did was gained “with the sweat of my brow”.

        If there is any “blame” to be placed, it must be placed at those of previous generations, especially the “greatest generation”, that formulated and passed many of the destructive laws and customs that we live under to this day.

        From the enactment of the federal income tax and the creation of the unconstitutional Federal Reserve cartel, previous generations have a lot to answer for.

        The “greatest generation” was duped into fighting a war for European interests, destroying much of European culture as a result, and solidifying international bankster power by NOT going after the REAL enemies of human culture, legitimizing the state of Israel, thereby consolidating internationalist zionist communist power, and assuring the zionist hold on the world political process.

        Let’s not forget that the “greatest generation” pushed for the terribly misguided “civil-rights” acts, statutes and laws, which effectively disenfranchised whites (but only whites) with the abolition of “freedom of association” (but only for whites).

        In fact, federal troops were used against law-abiding whites in violation of “posse comitatus” laws which prohibit utilizing the military for domestic law enforcement purposes.

        Whites have been effectively neutered since these laws were passed. Forced integration of schools (cross-district busing and other schemes) was enforced by leftist judges who insisted that blacks needed to sit next to whites in order to learn. Every honest black person should be insulted by such a premise.

        The “elephant in the room” to which blame can be squarely put on the “greatest generation” was the “Hart-Celler Immigration Act of 1965. This act successfully cut off the immigration for white Europeans while opening up the floodgates for third-world brown and black immigration.

        Both major political parties were responsible for this travesty. Democrats saw increasing third-world immigration as a source for votes while the Republicans saw it as a source of cheap labor.

        The wages of native-born Americans have not increased in real terms since 1970, that point in time being seen as the “high-water mark” in relation to wage growth. There has not been any “wage growth” since then.

        All of the above can be attributed to those of the “greatest generation”…
        To those of the greatest generation (who are still alive), thanks for NOTHING…

        1. avatar Ron says:

          “Duped into a war for European interests.”

          Good to know Nazi propaganda is still alive and well.

        2. avatar Just Another TBP Reader says:

          Spamming other boards for converts, nothing new. Isn’t even original enough to change the ID …

        3. avatar Toni Smith says:

          agree with pretty much most of what you just said mate. Hitler was not good news but both the world wars were pushed by the banking elites Rothschilds, Rockerfellers and JP Morgan. In fact both sides of every war since and including the Napoleonic war have been funded by these families. Bill Gates family had/has close ties with those families as well. Most of the early deals with the individual countries governments have been taking over or setting up the national reserve bank of the nation. In the UK’s case it was the initial founding of the Bank of England and theirs was the first one set up by the Rothschilds. One of the family leaders (Mayer Amschell) since has stated that so long as he has control of a nations banking system (by route of their reserve bank) he does not care who actually makes the laws because he then controls those who make the laws because he can cut of all funding if they dont do as he says.

        4. avatar Miner49er says:

          “Nobody ever gave me anything. What I did was gained “with the sweat of my brow”.“

          A quick question, did you attend a private school with tuition paid by you or did you attend a public school financed by taxpayer dollars?

      2. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Complete, Sir, you are correct, and I *rarely* see correct on that subject. I spent over 20 years trying to convince my late father that Vietnam was not “Nixon’s war”, but he kept right on insisting that it was. And he was a professor with a PhD, and he insisted that his students all understand and agree that Vietnam was all Nixon’s fault, if they wished to pass his course. I was just a dubass who was briefed by the military in 1971 that the first 600 Americans in Vietnam were advisors sent there by Eisenhower at the request of Senator John Kennedy. While in office as president himself, Kennedy increased the number of “advisors” to 13,500. While president LBJ increased that to 550,000, and the week after Nixon was inaugurated in 1969 was the first week since 1963 that the number of Americans in Vietnam decreased. But the liberals and the press have deceived the American public into believing that it was all Nixon’s fault. Also, by the time Nixon resigned, the last combat death in Vietnam was over (Dec 1972). So Nixon did, in fact, END that war, which people can argue was good or bad, but there it is.

        1. avatar Miner49er says:

          “Haldeman, 42, was Nixon’s campaign chief of staff, a devoted political adjutant since the 1950s. In late October 1968, the two men connected on what came to be known as “the Chennault Affair.” Nixon gave Haldeman his orders: Find ways to sabotage Johnson’s plans to stage productive peace talks, so that a frustrated American electorate would turn to the Republicans as their only hope to end the war.

          The gambit worked, and the Chennault Affair, named for Anna Chennault, the Republican doyenne and fundraiser who became Nixon’s back channel to the South Vietnamese government, lingered as a diplomatic and political whodunit for decades afterward.

          Johnson and his aides suspected this treachery at the time, for the Americans were eavesdropping on their South Vietnamese allies—(“Hold on,” Anna was heard telling the South Vietnamese ambassador to Washington. “We are gonna win”)—but hesitated to expose it because they had no proof Nixon had personally directed, or countenanced, her actions. Historians scoured archives for evidence that Chennault was following the future president’s instructions, without much luck. Nixon steadfastly denied involvement up until his death, while his lawyers fended off efforts to obtain records from the 1968 campaign.

          It wasn’t until after 2007, when the Nixon Presidential Library finally opened Haldeman’s notes to the public, that I stumbled upon a smoking gun in the course of conducting research for my biography of Nixon: four pages of notes his brush-cut aide had scrawled late on an October evening in 1968. “!Keep Anna Chennault working on SVN,” Haldeman wrote, as Nixon barked orders into the phone. They were out to “monkey wrench” Johnson’s election eve initiative, Nixon said. And it worked.”

        2. avatar Ron says:

          Ah yes miner thats right. Democrats were simply tricked by republicans into starting Vietnam, so that the republicans could be seen as the anti war party. You’re absolutely delusional.

          In fact, I suggest you embrace your delusion whole heartedly, why stop there?

          Did you know? Republicans actually convinced hitler to start the Nazi party?

          Did you know, Republicans actually went back in time to Portugal to start the Atlantic Slave trade?

          Did you know, republicans actually convinced pol pot to genocide his own people for oil money?

          Did you know, Bush single handedly built hurricane katrina in his secret under water fortress of doom in the Atlantic, so he could use it to murder black peoples?

          Did you know, Trump used that same under water fortress to invent COVID-19 to unless upon the world?

          Did you know, the moon landings were faked by republicans to justify the Cold War?

          Did you know republicans are behind each and every sinister activity on earth today!?

        3. avatar Miner49er says:

          “Democrats were simply tricked by republicans into starting Vietnam”

          Actually, republican president Eisenhower was tricked by the French into supporting their colonial empire in Vietnam against the liberation movement by the Vietnamese.

    13. avatar Kendalls says:

      The Truth About Boomers; we (children of the 60’s) created all that you enjoy today. We built fuel guzzling fast cars, enjoyed fast women, and smoking the finest green. Our skills made your smartphones smarter and we built the future that you apparently don’t appreciate. We are in tough times for the moment, and we will get through it. If you don’t like the world we created, move to Russia. You sound like a person that needs an attitude adjustment. God bless America and the second amendment.

  5. avatar Greem Mtn. Boy says:

    The Marxist left fails to understand what it is to be a American,it’s that simple, they are free to leave anytime they feelz like it.

    1. avatar Eric Swalwell says:

      Wohhh there friend…. You have you’re government required health insurance that the Roberts SCOTUS said is a mandatory freedom that you are freely required to pay for. You are also free to pay the tax penalty each year you freely chose to not exercise your mandatory freedom. And, as SCOTUS has upheld, you have a constitutionally protected right to have men with guns storm your house, garnish your wages, seize your property, and lock you up in jail if you continue to defy your right to freedom….. So don’t lecture me about how I don’t understand America and freedom…. I am America. I am freedom.

      Eric Swalwell 2020

      1. avatar Mark N. says:

        You need to update your history file there, Eric. The mandate or pay tax expired, and it had an out if insurance was not “affordable.” Which is of course why Gov. Noisome got a bill signed into law re-enacting the same regime on us here in California. Funny thing though, all of this “affordable” insurance for individual insureds is still over $1000/mo. in my neck of the woods.

  6. avatar Kyle says:

    I’ve gone out more while under “lockdown” than I ever did. I’ve been buying mad gats and enjoying cheap gas. Eating takeout twice a day will make ya fat though.

    1. avatar RidgeRunner says:

      I never did “lock down.” The only days of work I’ve missed was to turkey hunt, and I’ve done pretty well there, too. I got one left on my limit, I’ll probably go to a friend’s two hours away to get him, I’ve put enough of a hurtin’ on my property.
      Tennessee is OPEN, but it never closed for me.

      1. avatar Kyle says:

        Yes I’m glad to live in this great state, moved here from Michigan and dodged a massive bullet.

  7. avatar LifeSavor says:

    Did not like or agree with this statement: “The American identity, especially in rural America, is so connected to the gun culture that Americans would much rather put up with thousands of homicides and firearm accidents each year than surrender their constitutional rights to bear arms.”

    I doubt any of us want to ‘put up with’ homicides by firearm and firearm accidents. We practice safety, we teach safety; we advocate that guns save lives.

    1. avatar Garrison Hall says:

      One thing about totalitarian societies: they do tend to have nice, safe streets.

      1. avatar LifeSavor says:

        Garrison,

        Yup. Same with the mafia. I used to live in Staten Island, NY. The area around Sammy ‘The Bull’ Gravano’s compound was as safe as you could wish (unless you annoyed Sammy and his friends).

      2. avatar GS650G says:

        And great train service. The best.

    2. avatar Serpent_Vision says:

      Yes, author seems to have bought into the media’s framing of the issue as gun rights vs. safety, as if restrictions actually would be effective in reducing “gun violence”. They would not, and gun rights supporters simply aren’t willing to give away their rights pursuing a false hope.

    3. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Savor, that clip on American identity is spot on, exactly correct. In fact, many of us would prefer to personally participate in those thousands of homicides each year, rather than give up the right to arms. What’s your problem with it?

  8. avatar Debbie W. says:

    The problems start with useful idiots who vote for scumbags like the democRat adam scheiff. Useful idiots have no problem laying their rights at the feet of the democRat Party; the party that owns the legacy of slavery, segregation, lynching, the KKK, Jim Crow, Eugenics and Gun Control.
    The sleaze the democrat party once used to beat down Blacks is alive and well today. It was seen in the schemes concocted to overthrow a duly elected POTUS. The same slander and libel tactics used on the POTUS were previously used to deny or prevent Black Americans from holding or running for public office. Frankly a Black American belonging to the democrat party makes as much sense as a Jew belonging to the nazi party.
    Bottom line…The fight for rights continues…no matter your skin color.

    1. avatar The Truth About Boomers says:

      When the POTUS and Senate are Republican I’m absolutely amazed this quarantine can be labelled a “democrat thing”. How do people manage the cognitive dissonance?

      1. avatar The Truth About Idiots says:

        How do you manage your collection of participation trophies?

      2. avatar Debbie W. says:

        The Republican POTUS has done a good job considering the circumstances and all the mealy mouth fake news and nancy pelosi walking around Chinatown to prove she is no racist…If she wanted to prove she is no racist she needs another party without the long, long racist history of her democRat Party.
        The usual democrat thing comes into play with the typical and expected democrat tyrannical restrictions that trampled rights. Like one democrat who let the cat slip out of the bag and said clearly he did not consider the Bill of Rights prior to imposing knee jerk restrictions such as zeroing in on closing gun stores, etc. Of course no house democrat objected…another democrat thing.

        1. avatar Dave G. says:

          @ Debbie W at 13:35 and 14:03:

          I could not have said it better, Debbie. Sock it to ’em!

      3. avatar jwm says:

        coumo and newsom are gop?

        1. avatar SAFEupstateFML says:

          Governors Oppressing People?

      4. avatar The Truth About Getting Your Head Out Of Your Azz says:

        Gretchen Esther Whitmer says hello, and thanks you for your easy compliance.

      5. avatar GS650G says:

        “I’m absolutely amazed this quarantine can be labelled a “democrat thing”.”

        Maybe because the most locked down and affected areas are either controlled outright by the democrats or have legislatures that tell the token Republicans what they better do.

        But that’s OK soy boy. We’ll see what happens in November.

      6. avatar Garrison Hall says:

        ” . . .I’m absolutely amazed this quarantine can be labelled a ‘democrat thing’. . .”

        This is simple enough: democrat+socialism = bad. republican+freedom and liberty = good.

      7. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Your idiothood, quarantines are instituted by state governors, not the President or Senate, due to the insistence of the governators, sorry, you cannot blame Trump, and you probably believe that was not the intention when he led you down that path. Haha.

      8. avatar Mark N. says:

        Last I checked, the states that have shut down did so on the orders of their respective governors. And most of those were Democrats in states with large urban populations.

  9. avatar neiowa says:

    American (or perhaps humans) have no ability to objectively evaluate risk. Or even their own tolerance.

    The US (perhaps the world outside of chicomland) has gotten off easy on Phase 1.

  10. avatar pwrserge says:

    Ok… now we’ve got a showdown between Xanax popping Karens and the Meth smoking Libertardians… Oh this is going to be GREAT. Hold on, let me go grab my popcorn.

    1. avatar S.Crock says:

      You do not know any meth smoking libertarians. You might know a few weed smoking ones but even that is unlikely because I doubt you interact with any outside of your internet trolling. Plus weed/meth, basically the same thing right? Drugs are bad mkay. Like many other Americans, you do not actually prefer dangerous liberty over perceived safety.

      1. avatar pwrserge says:

        Specifically meth? No. Shrooms and good old fashioned COCAINE! ? Yes.

        It’s only “liberty” when the dangers involved are only dangers to yourself. There’s also the “responsibility” part that most people forget about.

        … and yes, drugs that drastically alter your behavior are bad m’kay? Why? Because you are no longer the same person making the decisions.

      2. avatar GuyInWI says:

        You are wasting your breath on this guy. He prefers slavery like most Retardicans he’s just too stupid to realize it. This country was Libertarian in principal up until about the 1930s and guess who changed all that? Give you a hint, it was a group effort of 2 parties.

  11. avatar Billb says:

    We’re having a nice little test run for more gubment intrusion and jackboots on your throats. How much can they force on you. How much will citizens resist or quietly graze along. When you have public officials in some states literally saying shred the Constitution (wish I still had access to that one but the brain dead idiots on farcebook timed me out) and things of that sort it gives you a clear picture of their intent. Demonrats are electing a new breed of politician that have no regard for the Constitution or this country as a sovereign nation… Cortez, Omar and the other two in “the squad”. Of course there are older ones that feel the same way but they aren’t as vocal publicly. What it comes down to is we are all being tested and will continue to be tested as to how much we will take before we actually do something.

  12. avatar strych9 says:

    Previous experience with upheaval suggests that people will first support the measures and then, over time, begin to turn against them.

    The measures need to be local. Demographics and culture vary enormously and affect what happens with this disease a lot. What’s happening “on the ground” can vary enormously even from place to place in a larger metro area.

    People are starting to figure out that the larger antibody studies on this are showing an infection rate 12 to 85 times higher than the official numbers. Those extrapolations the best science we’re going to get because testing everyone is a pipe dream.

    The truth is that with how fast this spreads, and the LANL work on that seems pretty solid, and now that we know that we had “community spread” as early as January 19 (really at least five days earlier since that guy had to get it from someone)
    Still, call that guy Patient 0 and we’re talking, minimum, 524,000 infected before we took the first measure to issue orders for a state 60 days later.

    That’s a numeric way of saying that 1) we tried to close the barn door weeks after the horse had left and 2) this literally can’t be as dangerous as initially thought.

    Shortening the arithmetic for brevity, as of late last week there were a minimum of 11,088,000 infections and a max of 78,540,000 for an actual fatality rate, using today’s death toll of between 0.07% and 0.5%. Note that’s using last weeks infection numbers and today’s death numbers and we know for a fact we have continued spread in the past week. In reality the fatality rate is lower.

    And no, that’s not right-wing kookery. Those are studies done by CA and NY health departments and Medscape with standard extrapolations. They do the same thing to figure out the prevalence of other diseases every year. Also, really, my numbers are low since the minimum anyone came up with was 12.4 million infected, almost 1.4 million higher than the number I used. And even going out of my way to strong-man the opposing argument I cannot force a final result above 0.5%.. Heck, even Cuomo admitted 0.5% was about right for NY, the hardest hit state!

    At this point it’s starting to look like something on the order of 90%+ of the infected are unaware of the infection and of those who are aware ~3% are serious or critical.

    None of that is to say this whole thing is a hoax or that the disease isn’t dangerous to certain people. People should be careful to some degree because you don’t know who that person next to you in the grocery store is. They could be vulnerable and you don’t know it. But this needs to go back to common sense because we’re on the road to ruin and people are not going to tolerate that much longer.

    As I have been since the beginning; I’m more worried about the consequences of our reaction than I am about the disease itself.

    1. avatar RGP says:

      Good ol’ SS methods and Goebbels type statistical adjustment could bump those numbers way up, especially after a few conscientious objectors get worked over with machine gun fire.

      Now those numbers are whatever people like Cuomo want them to be!

      That was easy.

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        The disc spins faster and becomes unstable to the point of shattering without that kind of malicious behavior.

        What we’re seeing is the standard behavior of untrained, ignorant and scared people grasping at straws. That’s the real danger here and it applies to politicians, the public and “experts” (to one degree or another in some cases).

        No one wants to step back and actually look at the whole picture because they’re afraid that saying “We did the right thing but he have to alter course based on new information” because they’re afraid that will be taken as an admission of guilt for a screw-up that, really, never happened.

        As I’m wont to say; Panic fucking kills. And that’s what we’re allowing to happen because there aren’t enough adults willing to talk facts after they tell people on both sides to sit down and shut the fuck up.

        1. avatar strych9 says:

          Wow, piss poor comment editing on my part there.

          Weak sauce.

        2. avatar RGP says:

          Noticed that in Texas too… apparently some of these measures are not negotiable, and the governor, formerly perceived as a staunch conservative, wants to create a snitch force to weed out anyone who may have our favorite virus..

        3. avatar strych9 says:

          I will also point out two reasons why this is, very likely, pointless at this point in time (on top of the above).

          1) A v a c c I n e is, honestly, unlikely given our history of fighting with Coronaviridae. There are members of that family that we’ve poured resources into a into making a v a c c I n e for for on the order of five decades with no results. Best case, such a shot is 50/50.

          2) Something no one wants to talk about: BSL2 biolabs are no longer handling feline samples. Those samples now go to BSL3 labs which are capable of handling zoonotic diseases. This is in cats and very, very likely something they can pass back to us.

          The combination of those two facts means that we’ve hit the point where we need other options. Lockdown can’t last forever and this disease won’t go away. Even if the lockdowns were 100% effective, which we know they’re not, felines are a reservoir for many diseases including this one so we can’t get rid the disease by only dealing with people.

          There’s an interesting historical fact here. Part of the reason the Egyptians had cats as part of their religion was because sometimes the cats, as a group, “got angry” and shortly after that disease swept the land. That’s because cats are a reservoir for a ton of diseases, some of which we can get. The cats were not “angry” they were sick.

        4. avatar jwm says:

          So, S9, you’re saying we need to get rid of the cats.

          How about possums? Asking for a friend.

        5. avatar strych9 says:

          Possums are acceptable. They keep the spiders under control. With knives apparently.

      2. avatar Jeffrey Hunt says:

        Seriously believe the numbers are a Nazi tool? Come fly to Detroit and tour the tractor trailers behind our hospitals. See how many of us got sick taking care of these patients. Our morbidity here is 7%. Not fake numbers. Also none of our liberties are absolute. They taught us this in grade and high school. How do people forget? When we finally get this mess under control, with no help from paranois conspiracy theorists and protestors without masks willing to let their families and loved ones get ill, we can get back to more normal.

        1. avatar Toni Smith says:

          Hmmmm None of our liberties are absolute…. you learned that in grade school….

          ALL Liberties are from god not the government therefore the govt has no say over your rights unless you let them.

          Grade school…. or indeed school in general…. has been little more than a propaganda machine even as early as the 1920’s and that includes in the US.

          Many were far better educated back when there was no education system and their parents taught them what was needed including basic math, writing etc

    2. avatar GluteusMaximus says:

      Excellent comment.

    3. avatar GuyInWI says:

      Yeah just look at gun rights in California. They sure showed them. No most people prefer slavery unfortunately.

  13. avatar Enuf says:

    The problem is not in what we were and are being urged to do to fight this disease but in the threats that back up those guidelines. When a Governor orders or decrees that you the citizens are prohibited from doing a thing, that is an implied threat of force.

    “Stay off the beach or the cops will arrest you”

    “No more hair cuts or your will be prosecuted”

    Leadership does not require threats. Leaders inspire citizens to overcome a problem by everyone pulling together. Our elected big wigs seem to have forgotten this part of it, that the people of the USA did not simply limited their use of gasoline during WW2 because the government demanded it, they did so because they understood the common need and benefit in doing so.

    Where leaders inspire and the people act in their own best interest, and yes in the common interest, tyrants and authoritarians threaten and intimidate.

    It’s that last part that pisses off Americans, and rightly so.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      Everything the G does is backed by the implied threat of force. The lockdown threat of force is expressed.

  14. avatar LifeSavor says:

    Enuf,

    Your words: Truth and Wisdom.

  15. avatar DesertDude says:

    What country is Mr. Pence living in? Not this one. Most everyone has rolled over for the politicians. Yeah, there are a few scattered demonstrations, and a little more non-compliance, but I’ll wager dollars to donuts the soft, ignorant, obese creature that is the typical American will gladly give up his or her birthright to remain safe. The true character of this country is revealed in the Netflix, junk food, and alcohol binging during the “lockdown.” Those of us older than boomers are too busy planting gardens and trying to remain self-sufficient.

    1. avatar Miner49er says:

      Actually, I’m thrilled to see Mike Pence to a COVID-19 treatment facility with no mask.

      Remember when Donald Trump suggested President Obama hug everyone suffering from Ebola?

      We are well past 60,000 Americans dead from this epidemic, can someone remind me how many Americans died from Ebola or SARS under President Obama?

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Obama’s actions saved not a single American, from anything, ever.

    2. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Older than boomers is over 73. Somehow I doubt many 80-year-olds’ gardens are going on, except maybe in the desert where it won’t grow anyway. Good story, though.

  16. avatar Serpent_Vision says:

    “what is essentially a nasty pneumonia for the elderly” – Ignoring the 7K Americans under 65 that it’s killed in just a few months.

    https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid19/index.htm

    1. avatar AlexTheNewYorkEscapee says:

      So, approximately 0.0021 percent of the current estimated population? Super persuasive.

      1. avatar Youallsoundlikeguncontroladvocatesrightnow says:

        I’m a conservative gun-loving healthcare provider, and I’ve seen what this thing can do.

        Liberty is at our country’s idealogical core. I personally resent government interference, and agree with a previous comment where someone stated it’s 100% ok and expected for government to issue recommendations in regards to personal protection and essential services; however our government should NOT have the power to condemn and lock up those that do not or can not comply. This is approaching totalitarianism, and it’s exactly what my ancestors were running from when they came to this country.

        That being said, I have advised all friends and family to stay home for the time being. Believe me, it affects all age groups, and you do NOT want to risk falling in the small percentage of people that have severe complications from this thing. A fellow healthcare provider in his 30s, in much better physical shape and health than I am, succumbed to this. COVID-19 could be potentially lethal to anyone, and it doesn’t sound like a big deal until it hits close to home.

        Freedom and choice are what we should be practicing, but similar to when you end up in an “argument” with a gun control advocate, the scripted rhetoric needs to stop. People need to start paying attention to the facts.

      2. avatar SuspiciousFisherman says:

        If you need persuading, stick your head in a hospital in some of the more infected areas. You seem pretty secluded.

    2. avatar strych9 says:

      Anyone who presents raw numbers like this without providing context is not to be taken seriously.

      For example, 180,000 people under 65 die yearly from heart disease. That means that in six weeks of lockdown 18,461 people under 65 have expired from heart disease. That’s 2.46 times the raw number of people under 65 who died with a CoV-2 diagnosis.

      Now, pray tell, of that 7000 how many were obese? Smokers? Had preexisting heart issues? COPD? High blood pressure? A depressed immune system? Cancer? Unmanaged diabetes?

      I’ll give you a hint here, CIDRAP did a report on this a few days ago: For those who died with CoV-2 in the 20 to 65 age range “…high blood pressure (56.6%), obesity (41.7%), and diabetes (33.8%)…”. No one has crunched the data on overlap here, so there’s prolly quite a bit.

      So, it’s not just young healthy people. It’s quite a lot of young unhealthy people.

      Context matters. Spewing raw numbers is propaganda.

      1. avatar Serpent_Vision says:

        New cause of death 20% as deadly as heart disease (one of the top causes of death even for less elderly) is nothing to worry about. Sure.

        1. avatar strych9 says:

          You think CoV-2 is going to kill ~3500 people in the 20-65 age range each month each month for the rest of the year?

          There is zero data to support that. None. Nada.

        2. avatar Serpent_Vision says:

          Not with precautions being taken. If enough people dismiss the danger and fail to take precuations, it could. Past epidemics have been more deadly in the 2nd wave.

    3. avatar Someone says:

      How is it ignoring the dead? Are you suggesting that regular pneumonia doesn’t kill the elderly?

  17. avatar Jeffrey Hunt says:

    How is your opinion piece helping anybody? Your just stirring up contempt. All our liberties are not 100%. Your free speech doesnt allow you to start a riot by yelling fire in a crowded theater. We are in the midst of a very real pandemic. In Michigan the death rate from Covid 19 is 7%, which is more than 3 times that of a normal flu. Running around without masks and not staying home only makes my job and my coworkers’ much more difficult, and potentially dangerous for us and our patients. We have trailers of bodies behind our hospitals. This is a real thing, and when it is safe to do so, I will join you on the streets if we lose our liberty. I’m highly doubtful we will lose it, though. Hang in there and stay well.

    1. avatar Aaron says:

      You sir are most certainly free to yell fire in a theater. Especially if there is a fire. Now, if you do and there is no fire you are responsible for injuries and damage. But I’m pretty sure they don’t put a muzzle on you before you go in.

    2. avatar pwrserge says:

      Yeah… I’ll take “shit that never happened” for $1000 Alex. If the death rate was actually 7%, you’d be seeing mass graves in every park. At this point, I’d bet almost everyone in the country would test positive for antibodies. Put your big boy pants on and harden the f4ck up. I was down for a few days with this thing, mild chest congestion for two weeks after that. The worst case scenario for this thing is that Social Security just got a lot more solvent.

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        Yeah, 7% would be 868,000 to 5,450,000 dead as of late last week.

        Pretty sure we’d have noticed that.

      2. avatar Geoff “who cares about manufactured food shortages” PR says:

        You send your “Get Well Soon” card to Kim Jong Un yet? You must be heartbroken over this.

      3. avatar Jeffrey Hunt says:

        Michigan’s death rate was ~7%, today it’s 3866÷42356 gets .09= 9%. My math isn’t wrong, I just did it correctly with the official numbers.

        1. avatar Miner49er says:

          Your math is not wrong, they are just deluding themselves.

          Just because in your immediate vicinity you don’t see this high death rate doesn’t mean it’s not a reality for many parts of the country.
          Rural areas will have a slower exposure rate just because there is less inter-personal contact, but rest assured that rate will continue to climb as the virus penetrates every rural community.

  18. avatar SuspiciousFisherman says:

    *Laughs in world history.

  19. avatar BenG says:

    Calling BS. Multiple profiles on this board alone have supported bigger government control over the individual with anything healthcare related, especially vaccine uptake. Because suddenly the public health argument erroneously used against the 2nd Amendment is plausible for the communists in hiding when it comes to allowing the government to forcefully use medical interventions on the public.

  20. avatar BusyBeef says:

    I would have hoped someone with your education and experience would have a little more nuance to their article, including an analysis applying strict scrutiny to governmental regulations on assembly, as well as a more thoughtful analysis of this particularly contagious and lethal virus – where the concern isn’t that a healthy person will get it and die (although this is happening plenty), but that a healthy person will get it and pass it on to a vulnerable loved one, who will die.

    1. avatar TheTruthAboutTrolls says:

      🎼 Who let the trolls out…🎼

    2. avatar Someone says:

      Let’s not fool ourselves. We can’t hide from this virus forever. That’s unsustainable, no matter how much fake money the government sends us.
      The vaccine is in no way a sure thing coming. See HIV. We agreed to curve flattening two weeks of quarantine of healthy people, not to the end of the world as we know it. The curve is flat, the health care system capacity was not overwhelmed.
      Some will die. People always die from various causes. Most will live. Prolonged quarantine of American public will kill many times more people than the Chinese virus.

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