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 Runaway slave ad (courtesy Connecticut Historical Society)

“Given the connection between firearms ownership and individual freedom, I hereby declare Connecticut a slave state,” I wrote in Connecticut Passes Gun Ban Bill. (And not for the first time, for me or CT.) TTAG reader Jesse objected. “From one white person to another, that’s a little hyperbolic and even offensive. I personally am not offended, but it’s rhetoric like that that gives gun guys a bad name and makes us easy targets, no pun intended.” As the son of a slave, I disagree. Given that the enemies of freedom dance in the blood of the victims of their own statist agenda and call gun rights advocates “bitter clingers,” gun rights advocates need to use the language with equal restraint (or lack thereof). Am I wrong?

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  1. The description applies to what the grabbers’ purpose is in disarming a population…leaving them at the mercy of forces outside their control. I see no problem with calling them what they are. Besides, it’s your blog, people aren’t forced to read it.

    • I do not get too worked about about any phrase used on this blog, and I agree that no one is forced to read the blog, but it still is a pretty silly term to use. It is also offensive to some for reasons which have nothing to do with the matter at hand, guns and unreasonable gun control measures. As for those who equate slavery as it was practiced here in these “free” United States with Greece and Rome, etc., perhaps they should get a bit of a history lesson about the difference.
      In any event, as a resident of our (un)Constitution State I do not feel like a slave, just pissed off at the stupidity and futility of some of the legislation

      • I do not take offense but the term is inaccurate for the reasons Chrisis mentioned and one other, fundamental, reason. Slaves have no right to leave their masters if they wish. The newly oppressed population of Connecticut can, if they so choose, move to states that hold greater respect for their civil liberties. Whether they know it or not, or care, Connecticut’s citizens are now oppressed, but slaves they are not.

    • Agree. And this usage is more apropos than the incessant shouts of “racism” anytime someone criticizes the President over legitimate policy differences. The left has used rhetorical excess for years to move the foundation of nearly all policy conversations to ground favorable to their arguments. We need to stop worrying about offending “them” and making our strongest arguments and move the needle to where we don’t automatically start in the hole on every policy dispute. And having arguments about whether or not we should moderate our language automatically puts us at a disadvantage. Man up!

      • Well, I am totally against all bans and firmly in the R2BA camp – but there is quite a bit of racism targeted at Obama. I just write it off as adjunct to disagreement with his policies (many of which I share, EVEN as a black American), but I think any fair-minded person would agree there is some stuff out there that is legitimately racist even if in the name of those legitimate policy differences.

        • Nope. If you want to see “some stuff” that is “legitimately racist,” go see what the Left writes routinely about Condi Rice or Clarence Thomas.

        • 96% of blacks voted for Barry Obummer over the moderate war hero in 08′, leaving McCain with the same percentage as Hitler and Donald Duck.
          So….the black population (in general, of cource) is dead to me.

        • Criticism of the commie-in-chief couldn’t possibly be racist – he’s about the most double-stuf Oreo I’ve ever heard of. I wish there were a way to get his disciples to realize that.

  2. No, only because every person in one of these states is free to go as they please. Granted some may not have the means to get up and leave but these states don’t own you, you ultimately are choosing to live under their oppression.

    Not sure what other term you want to use but slave state isn’t at all accurate.

    • Well, the initial gun control laws in the US were directed at slaves. Then after the civil war, gun control laws were passed in the southern states prohibiting the newly freed slaves from owning firearms. Note, these newly freed slaves were also the targets of laws prohbiting their moving freely. So the combination of gun control, and control of their travel were directed at maintaining their slave status by actual condition, if not by title.

    • +1. Not slave, serf. It is serfs or citizens, free state versus serf state. Sadly there are many serfdom things about most states. It is part of the slow steady march towards serfdom that we have been experiencing for at least 100 years. Saying slave overstates the case because you can still move and have other liberties.

      • I think ‘serf state’ (or just serfdom) is not only more agreeable, but it’s also more accurate.

      • A slave is simply the lowest form of serf. The word “serf” comes from the word for “slave” in Latin servus.

      • Not asking for your guilt. Or your casual dismissal of serious issues involving race.

        -Serious Black Gun Owner.

        • Also, I have no problem with Robert’s usage. Only historically obtuse people would overstate the race-related aspects of the term and defintion of “slavery.”

        • Um didn’t say YOU as an individual were. And the only thing I casually dismiss is the ludicrous notion some folks (if not you) hold that I share responsibility for the actions of people who did their evil deeds and died decades or even a century before I was born, and share no relation to me. The fact that that notion is considered a serious issue by some on the left is what is actually the serious issue, and I do not dismiss it. I simply request that the people who blame me for some perceived past evil because of my skin color kindly stop being bigots.

        • The only issues with race among my crowd is the shaking of heads over the fact that the black folks can’t get over the racial/slavery thing the way us white folks were supposed to, and did. Move on with your life Gladstone. Most of us white folks really don’t care anymore.

        • Joke & Dagger,

          One doesn’t simply “get over” 300 years of slavery and 100 years of segregation. FLAME DELETED

        • Do. Not. Pull. That. SH*%. My Italian ancestors escaped to this place because the Cosa Nostra was driving people into destitution or into the ground. My Irish ancestors came here because they were tired of centuries of extermination attempts by the f&^%$#@ royals. All of them were subject to abuse when they got here because the official doctrine of the ACTUAL white people of the time was that only “native” Americans, preferably “first family” types were “white” and newcomers with light skin were chattel to be used and discarded. Every culture has had some shit heaped on it. That does not make any one’s claim superior to any others, and it CERTAINLY does not instill any responsibility for atrocities in people who DID NOT COMMIT THEM.

        • Aw come on Motha. Enthrall us with tales of how Whitey has ruined your life through lack of opportunity and disenfranchisement. Please use a lot of detail.

        • As an individual, Gladstone, you have my sympathy. If we indeed view classes and groups (which I hate), then as such, the so called black community, which has swallowed the statist/victimhood mantra since the mid 60’s, has no sympathy.
          96% voted for Barry over the moderate war hero in 08′? Are you effing kidding me? Talk about racism.

        • “One doesn’t simply ‘get over’ 300 years of slavery and 100 years of segregation”.
          Ha ha. THIS is your downfall. WHO THE EFF SAYS YOU WERE A SLAVE FOR OVER 300 YEARS?
          If YOU were a slave or segregated, then you have my sympathy (hell, I would fight to the death to free you). But if ya aint, your just a race hustler flippin an over used card. The USA didnt exist before 1776 so how can the country have had slaves for over 300 years?

      • I’m sorry but it’s a little twisted to think that since someone wasn’t personally a slave then racism hasn’t effected them in any way. The effects of the forced inequality are still pretty strong, a lot of it is due to liberal policies, but they did not create the problem. Those policies just kept it alive rather than allowing things to find equilibrium in a normal way. But just because a black man or women has not been a slave does not mean that they have suddenly been given equal opportunity to escape their situation.

        • DONT… sorry. THATS the problem. This victim (class, race, gender, etc…) card is EXACTLY how the libtards play (and a good deal why certain classes find themselves in the sad shape they are in today).
          Only you/me/the individual has the power to PERSUE happieness. This divisive class warefare garbage is page on of the libtard manifesto.
          Welcome to the 21st century.

        • Um nobody said they were unaffected by racism. Everyone is affected by racism. Reading comprehension, man, have more of it. The idea is that many leftists believe currently living young white people should be held personally responsible (both morally and financially) for the “historical unfairness” experienced by others. And this is simply delusional and racist, holding someone responsible for something they did not do and had no involvement with just by basis of the color of their skin. I’m sorry but that hypocrisy can not stand.

  3. I love the term “slave state” when used to describe states that severely infringe on our Second Amendment rights. And it’s not just the laws, but likely the attitude of the legal system and the media in that state. You know gun owners are going to be treated like second class citizens.

  4. NY Slave (ha ha) here.

    Although slave seems appropriate, it may not be the best term. I really prefer Subject. As an example, pre-1776 we were “British Subjects”, people that were _ruled_. Now, in the “slave states”, we are being “ruled.”

    Thus, I think “Gun-Grabber Colony,” or just “Colonies” may be appropriate.

    OR, we could also call ourselves territories. Unincorporated territories have no obligation to follow the Constitution, which sounds just like New York.

    • Agree. Slave implies removal of all rights. Subject describes the comfortable fantasy of having your civil liberties until the government decided you don’t. And no means of ultimate redress. That is the “twilight zone” here in NY

      • This.

        You hit the nail on the head. We have the illusion of rights, but no concrete rights. We only have privilege that can be removed at will.

        Sorry to hear you’re from New York too, bud.

    • Except, the colonists under British rule did in fact have the right to keep and bear arms. It’s that right the constitution was guaranteeing would not be infringed upon by the new government.

      The constitution did not grant RKBA, it was stating the new government would not infringe on a right already held by the people.

  5. I think people should lighten up a little. Everyone is soooo PC these days that you cant even call a buddy a “Fag” in gest, that someone around the corner takes a offense. You’re a writer Robert, and things are written to appropriately respond to those that oppose our ideas writing in a similar manner. If someone doesn’t get that, then maybe he doesn’t need to be fighting this 2nd Amendment battle, because he certainly doesn’t understand the 1st.

  6. I’ve previously advocated for TTAG to use “full retard”, despite the propensity to offend, because it encapsulates the way that willful idiots are acting. I think “slave state” also fits that criteria. It could offend, but it is an accurate description of the mindset of the powers that be in those states. A person whos personal defense is delegated to the state is not a free person. A person who has no option of last resort has no political power. It is a type of slavery, guilded cages not withstanding.

  7. Let’s go with what the founding fathers said:

    “[W]hen the resolution of enslaving America was formed in Great Britain, the British Parliament was advised by an artful man, – who was governor of Pennsylvania, to disarm the people; that it was the best and most effectual way to enslave them; but that they should not do it openly, but weaken them, and let them sink gradually, by totally disusing and neglecting the militia.” –George Mason, speech in the Virginia Ratifying Convention, 1788

  8. Hell YES !!!!!

    Offending those states is a good thing.

    Obama is not pulling any punches. He is going around the country using every dirty trick to get Senators to sign onto his agenda.

    We can’t be pulling any punches either.

  9. I have no problem with it. People who want to attach racist implications to the word slave often forget that black people are not the only people that experienced slavery. The number of slaves in the ancient Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Persian, etc. empires dwarfs the number of slaves that were ever held in the short history of the United States. But, I’m not one of those people that gets my panties all up in a wad because someone else says something “offensive.” Just because something is “offensive” to someone else doesn’t mean the offended party has the right to censure the offender. Free speech people, free speech. I hear a lot of things said that I don’t like…some of which I really disdain. However, that doesn’t mean that someone else’s opinions should silenced just to accommodate my sensibilities. Build a bridge and get over it.

    • I echoed many of your same points below. Besides, the first slaves in America were white indentured servants whom their sponsors had more incentive to work to death than to grant land and freedom after 7 years. African slaves were only used when they became economy viable given the explosion in tobacco cultivation and labor was needed–it was not based on racism, but rather availability.

  10. Slave states they are as any previously free man who lives there is a slave. It’s ironic how the Constitution state passed one of the most racist and tyrannical bills in recent memory. I say call them what they are while we are still at the speak softly stage. I fear that we will need to ram the “big stick” into their skulls before long.

  11. Sorry all, my pool of empathy is shallow even on a good day. But it is particularly shallow regarding isues like this.. We’ll all be slave states when the 2nd amendment gets squashed.

  12. Why not use it? It’s accurate. The slaves who live there may be unaware of their servitude, but slaves they are nonetheless.

  13. I have no issue with the term “Slave State” Robert, however I do question these words-“As the son of a slave, I disagree.” Please explain the ‘son of a slave’ portion.

  14. No, you should not. If only for the reason that when you use inflammatory language you come off as the stereotypical “gun nut” that is incapable of an informed and intelligent discussion. It’s no different than the far left people using a variety of phrases to describe gun right protective states. The rhetoric and invective needs to be toned down on both sides and you can start by taking the high ground and not demonizing an entire state for the stupidity of a reactionary legislature.

    • He is deamonozing the entire state for lacking the testicular fortitude to make these traitors dance on the end of a rope.

        • That’s why we have all those floaters in the gene pool. Besides, there is a difference between idiocy and treason or insurrection. These politicians are clearly guilty of the latter.

        • As long as we’re on the topic of proper word usage. If you’re going to call someone an idiot, you should spell the word correctly. I’m not calling you out. If we want to be taken seriously and win, we have have to be better than them. In every possible way.

        • Maybe he meant illinois department of transportation. I’m sure, like everything else in IL, they suck too.

    • Actually, the language isn’t inflammatory enough. We’re not going to get anything done by being meek, polite and knowing our place.

  15. Thomas Jefferson treated his slaves fairly well by any standard, but that didn’t change the fact that they were slaves. If you have an entity like government that claims control over your body or your life, you may not be a slave as in, ” get in those fields and pick the cotton kind of slave,” but you are no less a slave.

  16. I live in NY and I’m cool with the term slave state. It’s the perfect juxtaposition to free state. If you’re not a free man, you’re a slave. Do you need to ask the lord of the manor for permission to exercise your rights ? If so, you’re in a slave state.

  17. A slave is prohibited from owning arms because they are not seen as worthy of self determination, and armed slave might decide one day that they no longer wish to be a slave and take the rulers to task.

    I think the term is appropriate.

  18. Dear sensitive folks:

    Pull up your big boy pants and grow up, please. You remind me of the rabid throng of screeching housewives in Newtown who have decided they needed a cause to make up for their failings as mothers and wives.


    • Ha. I love it (as does my wife, who is all too aware of the failings of the neighborhood “mothers”).

  19. Well they arent free states! I’m lucky/smart enough to live in one of the “free” parts of the country. If Cuomo/Bloomberg/Feinstein want to turn their constituents in to slaves or their districts of responsibility into concentration camps, why shouldn’t we call them out?

    I think its appropriate, continue.

  20. Use it!
    It’s an accurate description and may help to wake some of the sheeple up. Oh yeah, use SHEEPLE too!

    If the shoe fits, wear it!

  21. Using the term “slavery” allows the other side to use it as a distraction from the real issues.
    The terms “oppressed” and “subject” might be more appropriate and accurate.

    • I prefer the terms

      Subject State vs Citizen State

      In a citizen state, the government concedes that residents are born with rights and responsibilities and that the government cannot infringe on those rights and responsibilities.

      In a subject state, the government declares that the residents are born subject to the government. The government grants some rights and responsibilities to the subjects. Therefore, the government has the power to alter those rights and responsibilities without permission of the governed.

      It has been so for thousands of years.

      The United States of America was founded on what was a somewhat radical concept of every person a citizen and the government created by the citizens to serve them by, e.g., the post office and building roads.

  22. It is what it is. Slavery is not just a black thing, has been in existence since ancient times and in many different cultures A hallmark of slavery is lack of legal self defense. Raise a hand to the master and severe punishment will be applied. Tell me how this is different in states that do not respect 2nd amendment. The opposite of slavery is freedom. I live in a free state, folks in New York, Illinois and now Colorado do not. The right to keep and bear arms is not optional, it is a right. What else would you call those states?

  23. I think the way our people often use the word “slave” is exceptionally ignorant.

    Slavery is a very real thing today in the world. There are people traded as property and compelled upon pain of torture and death to labor until they die anyway. Some first world regulation or law, no matter how stupid, does not give you slave status. To equate the two is irrational. Nothing looks more out of touch than someone throwing around a heavy term in a way that suggests they don’t understand the obvious and current real world context of. You wouldn’t call them holocaust states. You wouldn’t claim equality of experience between someone who can’t put more then 10 rounds in a magazine to someone who was burned in a Nazi concentration camp.

    • -Nothing looks more out of touch than someone throwing around a heavy term in a way that suggests they don’t understand the obvious and current real world context of.-

      You mean like gun-grabbers have done for years?

      It’s a war. Controlling the language wins.

      • So you can choose to be an idiot like they are, or you can choose to present yourself as a rational and intelligent person.

        The stronger man has control over his own anger, aggression, disappointment, and thirst for vengeance and spitefulness.

        • Your argument doesn’t hold up. There are different types of slavery, but that doesn’t mean that one type of slavery isn’t slavery.

          And you are naive to think that the most reasonable person will be the political winner.

  24. No problem with the term at all. Aggravates me that folks can be so hypersensitive to race issues that use of the term ‘slave’ in any other context than those defined by our moral superiors is challenged. Grow up. Get over it.
    That said – I agree with previous poster that ‘subject’ is more accurate to describe the “citizen/state’ relationship, but you can’t call CT a ‘subject state’ – ain’t got no rhythm to it!

  25. Hey, it’s your web site you should do exactly as you please. Speaking for myself, I like the language that RF and the other writers use. If people have problems with it they can vote with their web browsers.

  26. The connection between gun freedom and other freedoms is undeniable. Look at California, no right to arms. Is it coincidence that it’s the only state where you can’t home school your kids (the state says they own your kids)? Is it a coincidence they have no money and confiscatory taxes? It’s a slave state.

  27. Absolutely use the term. And don’t worry about offending others.
    The anti-right crowd finds everyone here at TTAG offensive
    simply because we speak up, speak out and are willing to defend
    our freedoms.

    Slavery is a condition enforced on a people, it does NOT have to
    be based on race. If some people cannot accept this they need to
    grow up and read a history book or two. Like RF, I too had family
    rendered slaves by the Germans. They weren’t Jewish, just Polish
    and in the way. My relatives were forced into labor camps to toil
    for no recompense except their lives. There was no question that
    the German machine considered them nothing more than chattel.

  28. Only if we are going to win the proverbial fight. Kind of like how the Union got to call the south slave states after they won the civil war. I don’t think they had the discussion with the southern states about how they felt about the name. Winners write history.

  29. Robert, on the question of “should TTAG”:

    I think TTAG should do whatever TTAG damn well pleases.

  30. No. It’s hyperbolic and impedes rational and reasoned dialogue. There is enough of that from both sides of the debate, a website called “The TRUTH About Guns” should hold itself to a higher standard.

    • Wrong. You lack critical thinking skills. It is an excellent metaphor. Keep your politically-correct religion to yourself and stop trying to convert others to your cult.

      • You keep saying I lack critical thinking skills without really backing it up. Oh well…

        My criticism has NOTHING to do with political correctness and EVERYTHING to do with the fact that an actual slave state is far worse than a state which passed limitations on gun ownership. In fact, CT could go much farther to infringe on the 2a (which I believe they will try).

        This makes the term ‘slave state’ hyperbolic (an exaggeration) and it detracts from the strength of pro gun arguments while at the same time diminishing the situation of those who do live in slave states.

        Now, if you care to respond with something substantive, I’d love to hear it.

        • I think Jason’s right. Logic, facts, and non-emotional arguments won out over hyperbole, lies, and emotion in CT, NY, and MD…

          Oh, wait.

          This is a war, Jason. Victory by any means, and controlling the language happens to be key. Not to mention, most of us are smart enough to look beyond the facade of what the leftists want now to see what their true endgame is: slavery.

        • Really? The dialectic in those states is that any person arguing for gun rights is dismissed as a zealot without proper argument. Embracing hyperbole will only further the amount we are isolated from honest discussion.

    • Actually, as long as RF is able to provide a consistent explanation for his interpretation of a slave state then it is both reasonable and rational.

  31. Use the term. Arguments about hyperbole are invalid in light of the left’s successful use of ridiculous arguments and demonization.

  32. Call it like you see it Robert. This whole PC walking on eggshells stuff is nonsense. Slavery is, ultimately, their endgame, though they don’t have the guts to admit it.

  33. Use whatever term you want, but please recognize that those states passing gun control measures are merely being more blatant about their slavery. Every “citizen” is enslaved to the government and must pay tribute to the “king” under threat of death.

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

    • Quite right Henry, I’d forgotten that quote and it’s very appropriate.
      It’s not just the actual laws being passed but the idea that the state will determine who is qualified or not and who shall be forever barred – without any recourse – that is the real “slave” part. The entire idea of this nation was that it be composed of free citizens who may be restrained in some ways for the general welfare but not “subjects” who only have the rights an almighty government chooses to give them. This is the basic change we are seeing today, not just in guns but in many other matters and the division line between slave and free.

  34. I say use it. I have been reading the Federalist Papers by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay. I swear we have become a nation of idiots. I look at the wisdom of our founding fathers, compared to the politicians today and truly feel the IQ of this nation is lower than it was when it was founded.

  35. Yes! Keep using the accurate and brilliant metaphor ‘slave state’. It is now part of my lexicon of word phrases in referring to states that hate the Bill of Rights. If gun-grabbers, the politically-correct, and others are against it then too bad. Come to think of it ‘slave city’ is an good metaphor for those living in Chicago, San Francisco, and NYC.

  36. Ask Dr Ben Carson what effect all the political correctness has had on this country. IMHO the worst slave states tend to be those placing the largest priority on not hurting peoples feelings with words.

    • It isn’t a problem with political correctness. It’s a problem with hyperbole concealing the fact that we have really good arguments in support of our position.

      Resorting to tactics like this gives anti’s a weakpoint in our presentation. A point that ISN’T reasoned to dismiss our whole argument. Our position is only as strong as the weakest argument we offer, and that’s why TTAG should avoid such rhetoric.

    • Thankfully the 19th Amendment passed so we can expect much more of this practice in the future. How’s all that ‘equality’ stuff working out for America?

        • You are ignorant and very PC. Recognition and criticism of how the values of society have been negatively affected by the inevitable liberalizing feminine values and liberalism is not hatred so wake up and grow up.

          Feminine values support progressive thinking and voting behaviors. What follows is a diminishing of freedom. The past ninety years has provided empirical proof of that reality.

        • Yep Aharon, It’s not like the founding fathers had a problem with taxation without representation… Oh yeah, they did.

          Also, blaming the inclusion of voting rights for women for the PERCEIVED deterioration of society represents a hatred, or at the very least, a prejudice on your part.

        • Jason, I’m LMAO with your comments. Do you know the definition of a TROLL? You are this site’s troll.

        • Actually, I’m quite a big supporter of gun rights, as you can see from my posts on other articles.

          I’m not trolling. I’m concerned that this site is moving farther and farther away from the substantive, fact based argument in favor of hyperbole, name calling and propaganda.

          I want this site to remain a source of well-reasoned, passionate support for the 2A. How does that make me a troll.

        • Jefferson said: “No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms in his own lands.” It stands to reason that if a man is so debarred, then he is not free. Keep the metaphor.

        • And what exactly has substantive, fact-based argument gotten us so far? Time for a change of tactics. Americans are by and large ignorant, stupid sheep, and need to be talked to as such through emotion.

        • Resorting to exaggeration and inflammatory remarks will just get us dismissed off hand. Part of the reason it’s so hard to have good arguments go through is that they are dismissed off hand because of people using rhetoric like this. Anyone disagreeing is dismissed as an irrational “gun nut”. I don’t see how ‘switching tactics’ to mimic the rhetoric of the poor arguments will help; in fact it will only hurt.

  37. Rhetorically, I think any regulation of arms (or infringement of RKBA) of peaceful, mature adults could be called slavery.
    In this case, the whole United State of America is a slave state.

    More specifically, any state that tries to remove all weapons from all citizens except security/state employees is a slave state.
    In this case, Britain does not have a slave state, but some states (like in Southeast Asia and non-state dictators) are slave states.

    Then there’s complete slavery, which doesn’t really work on entire populations, just minorities, captives, et al.

    I think calling CT a slave state but, for example, IA not a slave state is odd.

  38. Use it. This is America, I have the right to offend you, you have the right to be offended. Neither of us has the right to silence the other.

    In most of the states passing these laws, the governments also have the tendency to control other aspects of folks lives– what they can eat, drink, drive etc. etc. etc. They also have the tendency to argue that the earnings of individual are the government’s, not the individual’s to control. Government is justified in taking whatever portion they desire of the earnings of a segment of the population not because of the required functions of the government, but because its really not yours to use, its theirs. If the term does nothing else, it does point out that the disarming of a population is part of that slide to total slavery.

  39. I was using the term personally before I saw it show up on this site. I think it is an accurate and precise descriptor.

  40. Of course you should use the term here. We’re all grown ass men and women and (most of us) have the common sense to know that you aren’t belittling or making light of the plight of slaves here in our country’s past. Slavery is a dark and complex mark on our history, but we cannot allow ourselves to be afraid to use the term.

    Slavery has been present across the globe since the dawn of civilization and people need to stop instantaneously associating the word “slave” withAfrican Americans.

    RF, you use the term appropriately in my eyes because a man who is unable to defend himself as he sees fit is therefore beholden to rely on a higher power for protection, much like medieval peasants had to rely on their local Dukes and Lords for protection whenever my barbarian kinfolk swept down from the North for a bit of pillage and plunder.

    So sure, the new slave states may not be forcing labor (yet) upon the citizens in return for protection, but forcing them to give up arms is most definitely a mark of slavery.

    • the new slave states may not be forcing labor

      Well, since more than half of our income goes to taxes, we’re all working for government and getting shafted in return. That’s not forced labor, but it’s close enough.

    • “slave states may not be forcing labor”

      Um… income tax? I guess they’re not technically forcing you to work, but they definitely claim a portion of your labor.

      • Alright, alright I was a bit soft on ’em there at the end. But hey, we can always quit our jobs and file for unemployment, knock up a few broads for the extra food stamps, apply for free heating oil and subsidized housing, and earn a little tax-free income selling dope on the side and we’ll be just as well off, right?

        Wait a minute, remind me again while I’m still working…

        • Seriously. I wonder that myself sometimes… There’s not much incentive to do so anymore apart from moral principle.

  41. I dunno, you can offend anyone with anything these days…it’s hard to wanna be politically correct.

    Maybe use the term “occupied territory” like Nazi occupied territories during WWII? Refer to us folks in free states as citizens, and the occupied states folks as subjects?

  42. If you don’t mind displaying a profound ignorance as to what slavery actually is (and obviously you don’t), do continue.

    • I define slavery as an external claim of ownership over another person’s body, labor, or property against their will.

      What’s your definition?

      • The state in which a person is property or chattel. Your inclusion of that person’s property is not, generally, accurate (and is far too broad).

        • Why? If someone claims to own my body, then they would also own the product of my body’s labor, which would extent to the physical manifestation of labor… property.

        • Wrong again kiddo. The chains are heaviest for those who do not recognize they are slaves and yours are heaviest of all.

        • Because it includes as slaves all those who have any property be subject to another against their will.

          Taxes, financial obligations to others etc would constitute slavery. Slavery often includes the infringement of property rights, but infringement of property rights alone does not constitute slavery.

        • Jason, financial obligations are based on voluntary contractual agreements. Taxes are involuntary and collected through force or threat of force.

          Claiming ownership over someone else’s property absent voluntary agreement is enslavement. Maybe the term involuntary servitude is a better fit, but it’s enslavement none the less. If you’re claiming their property, then you’re claiming the product of their labor, which is a claim on their body.

        • So you would equate any taxpaying citizen to a slave? The whole point is that slavery is total ownership of property or person.

          The fact that CT has infringed on some rights does make it a less free state, but not a slave state. To equate the two is hyperbolic and not really helpful. Lack of some liberty is not anywhere close to lack of total liberty. Of course, the term ‘less-free state’ just doesn’t have the same ring as ‘slave state’, does it?

          Again, I am in no way defending CT, but I think we need to avoid exaggeration and inflammatory remarks to show the strength of our position.

          Not to mention, not all financial obligations are the result of contract, many are imposed by law.

        • Why does your idea of enslavement only apply to “total ownership”? And, what does “total ownership” even mean? Black slaves in America had the freedom to choose what to eat, when to go to sleep, what music to play… were they not truly enslaved then?

          Any claim of ownership over another person against their will, no matter how slight, is an infringement upon their freedom. If someone threatens you into working for them, you are not free. If someone claims the product of your labor through force, you are not free. If someone places theoretical restraints upon what you do with your body, you are not free.

          To say someone is “less free” really just means they are “more unfree”… enslaved.

        • No. Less free does not equate to slavery. Your definition would make any person with any limitation on liberty a slave. While that may be your position, it trivializes a useful distinction between slavery and infringement upon rights.

  43. Freemen are armed. Slaves are denied the weapons of a freeman. So slave state does apply for most of the Northeast and California.

    • You think that the definition of slave is “a person denied the weapons of a free man”?

      I’m sure the slave armies of the past weren’t really slaves then. After all, they had weapons of which the free men couldn’t dream!

  44. Given that “gun control” sprung from Jim Crow laws to begin with, I think the term “Slave State” is very appropriate.

      • Nope. Gun control laws as applied to non-slaves before the era of Jim Crow were entirely different in kind and degree. For instance, lawful citizens were not barred from carrying a rifle or pistol.

        • Arms control far pre-dates America as a country. Banning the carry or ownership of arms is nothing new, and has been applied for centuries. While it IS linked historically with subjugation, it certainly didn’t start in America, or the last couple centuries.

  45. I think “slave state” might be technically and emotionally correct, and it doesn’t personally offend me. People in the 2A community are likely to draw the correct implied meaning. But we must always be cognizant of the uninformed masses who have no 2A reference, no real 2A history, and receive their news in 140 character soundbites. The Antis love to twist anything they can into something that puts us in a bad light, and the MSM is only too happy to provide them the megaphone to spread the word. From a tactics angle, I’d prefer not to give them the opportunity.

  46. While I have no personal problem with the term, I can see how it would be beneficial to take the high road and not stoop to the level of the people who would deny us our rights.

    I prefer the term Serfdom as a descriptor of those areas under gun-grabber control. Their point of view is that the people exist to benefit the State (or landowner), which is in line with feudalism.

  47. Use it Robert.
    If the elected reps are treating us like they are our masters, then indeed, it is a slave state.
    Keep up the great site.
    Tom in Oregon

  48. Probably been said a dozen times (no time to read 77 comments), but if the state denies you the ability to effectively defend your life and property, the state in effect denies your very right to life and property. If you don’t own your own life, in a very real sense, you are SLAVE. Does that concept upset you? Good. It damn well should.

  49. It all depends on what you want people to think of you/your site. Asking for another’s opinion shows you are a slight bit uncomfortable with your image already. Do you want to be “fast and loose?” or do you want to be “refined”? It’s a personal fork in the road for you. You decide.

  50. In the infamous Dred Scott decision, declaring that Negros were never equal to citizens, the decision includes the argument against recognizing the full humanity of Negros:

    “It would give to persons of the negro race, … the right to enter every other State whenever they pleased, … the full liberty of speech in public and in private upon all subjects upon which its own citizens might speak; to hold public meetings upon political affairs, and to keep and carry arms wherever they went.”

    So yes, restricting the right to keep and carry arms is pathognomic of not just a state of slavery, but of dehumanization.

    N.B. that the gun grabbers are the same people who are attempting to restrict the “full liberty of speech in public and in private…” by invoking PC criteria such as “hate speech”.

    The student at the Florida University who protested against being forced to stamp on a piece of paper with the inscription “Jesus” is currently under suspension because her protest led to the “professor” feeling intimidated.

    It behooves us to recognize that the attacks on the Second are simply part of a more generalized attack on our rights as free human beings.

    But absent a term for a dehumanizing state, slave state will have to do.

  51. Under the literal definition of the word, I suppose you would be incorrect in your usage. In the spirit of the word however, the Government arbitrarily laying down w/e rules it wants with the “subjects” having no real recourse, I would call these states “Slave States”.

    On the other hand, I can see how some might be offended by it. I wouldn’t. If my state had anything resembling what Colorado, Conn, NY had, then I’d be the first to call it a slave state. I’d give it one election cycle to try and affect some change (while making plans to “strategically re-position”) and then I’d pack my bags.

    Using the word slave isn’t going to make those laws any more or less un-Constitutional, illogical, unethical, or oppressive. Whether or not you call them slave states isn’t going to change my opinion of those governments and those who voted them into power.

    To answer your question; Meh… do what you want.

  52. The fact is we are out numbered and need more support. This isn’t about what WE think. It’s about THEIR perception of us and our stand on these issues. Like it or not we need to be P.C. or risk them simply dismissing our arguments as the rants of gun nuts.

    • Funny, I never hear anyone on the OTHER side saying that they need to use more conservative terms so as not to offend people…

    • Disagree very strongly. Be polite. Be civil. But never flinch from telling like it is. The PC nonsense is, and was designed to be, thought control. If you let them shape the narrative, you have already admitted defeat.

  53. I certainly feel oppressed here in California, and I’m stuck here for a couple more years until I can finish getting my degree. We’ll probably end up moving to Oregon once we get enough money.

    I’m afraid of talking about guns to anyone since it’s looking more and more like the Salem witch trials with all the gun owners getting swatted.

  54. If a term in-and-of-itself or because of its “political charge” (for lack of a better term) needlessly distracts or allows the belligerent opposition to intentionally distract from the central important issue /topic then don’t use it. If a term, albeit a charged one, is needed for accuracy or is central to effectively discussing an important issue then use it. “Slave” is probably the former for the topic of gun control and “illegal alien” the latter when discussing border security and immigration.

    This of course can be taken too far. I mean, just because pseudo-journalist & uber-jackass Chris Matthews says the word “apartment” is racist doesn’t make it so.

  55. The folks that are – heh – up in arms regarding the use of the word ‘slave’ in this case as opposed to its actual meaning are completely missing the intent.

    The Second Amendment was written by men who had bled to rid themselves of the yoke of tyranny, and were attempting to create a government that had limited means to become the very thing they had just fought against.

    Free speech, open communication, was the first right they did not want the government to have a say in – and rightfully so. A determined people that can freely communicate can educate each other and work to correct issues created by the government.

    All well and good, but without the right to keep and bear arms you’re at the mercy of The Powers That Be. Note Tiananmen Square. If your right to exist can be declared null and void by the whim of the state, and you have no means to protect yourself against that whim, ultimately, you are a slave to that state. Any ‘rights’ you have are only a bit of legislation away from disappearing altogether.

    This is why I continually challenge those that want pro-gun people to ‘compromise’. How can I compromise a right that the government explicitly has no right to infringe? May as well ask me to slip on chains. Which is what the citizens of Colorado, Maryland, and Connecticut are in the business of doing, whether they’re aware of it or not.

  56. Robert Farrago – You are completely right. Moreover, we must never allow the gungrabbers to claim that they alone can speak for civil or human rights, when their policies run against such rights.

  57. The term isn’t offensive to me because I’ve always assumed it has been used to be funny but to somebody who is on the fence about the gun issue and hasn’t been reading here a while and is visiting this website for the first time I believe it would demonstrate that we do not understand history. And the fact is history is on our side and we absolutely should understand it far more than the disarmorment side.

    Disarmorment precedes slavery, always.

    And that’s the point we want to get accross but lets be more accurate than the other side who would have people believe that possessing a gun is synonymous with committing gun murder just because one of those precedes the other.

    For everyone talking about being sensitive keep in mind all the terms we are super sensitive about, bullets, clips, ak15 machine guns. This is about accuracy, I think.

  58. I think the use of the term ‘Slave’ puts the focus on the emotional language and takes the focus off the strength of your arguments. Plus, if you criticize gun grabbers for using emotionally charged language and then use the term ‘Slave’, you sound like a hypocrite.

  59. I prefer vassal state, m’self.

    That said, I lost relatives – uncles and such I could never meet – to German slavery and extermination; your arguments are sound.

    However, slavery – apart from the temporary, English variety to pay off a debt – is subject to repeal by election.

    Just my two cents’; it’s your call.

  60. No I don’t think you are wrong. Also remember people of all races and creeds have been slaves not just blacks. We when “To the Shores of Tripoli” for a reason. As I understand it even the Jews have some slavery in their history as well.

    So in short he can go and suck eggs.

  61. You use words and phrases like this because you know it pushes people’s buttons.

    If you’re in this for site hits, keep doing so. If you keep this blog in the interest of constructive discussion, tone down the button-pushing loaded words and keep the conversation on gun rights/reviews.

  62. Why is it that our side is always called upon to be restrained and guarded in our language and our actions? The bigots who oppose freedom are unrestrained!

    How is it that some of you guys don’t see that our opponents want us cowed into submission, criminalized and imprisioned, or dead?

    This isn’t some sort of intellectual discussion on Internet chatrooms anymore. Democrats and fellow traveller moderate Republicans are materially changing what it means to be an American. They are succeeding in changing the relationship between citizens and government so that “the government” is supreme and we are nothing but subjects, and expected to shut up and defer to our betters.

  63. Yes, continue to use slave state. Victory is all about controlling the language, and calling gun-grabbers out as slavers is not only true, but powerful.

    A slave is one who is completely beholden to the power of another. Without the ability to defend ourselves through equal force via weaponry, we are completely beholden to the state and its tyrants.

    In truth, nanny state and slave state are the same. A nanny is a master of a child with complete control over him. A slaver is a master of an adult with complete control over him.

  64. By the way, slavery is a state of being not a color. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with TTAG using the word here. I really don’t care what you PC types think anymore. Insofar as you are trying to make this into an issue of racism, no one alive today in this country ever owned slaves or was a slave. I wasn’t born with some sort of white “original sin” for which I am required to atone.

  65. The government labels me a minority. I am sick of these white people with a guilty conscience for what people did over a hundred years ago. Who the hell elected you to speak up for minorities in the first place? If you feel guilty that’s your business, quit trying to enforce all these retarded PC rules on everyone else.

    I vote to keep using it, and if someone doesn’t like it they can go to hell.

    • Good for you, Leo. That’s an honorable perspective, and I wish the PC police would listen to the people they’ve so self-righteously charged themselves with defending.

      Racism will never go away as long as the media and political parties divide us into a white America, black America, hispanic America, etc and continue to treat us very differently.

  66. I frequently call my home state of NJ the “Democratic People’s Republic of NJ”.

    Slave state is easier to say though. Either way gets the point across, and is fine by me.


    • Yes, I do that, too, but the trouble is that others don’t understand what life in communist countries was (and is). More precisely, they don’t understand that Mao’s China, for instance, was a nation of mass slavery, starvation, and extermination.

  67. On its face, I was un-bothered by the use of the term. Once RF posed the question, I was compelled to look up the meaning of a couple of words (another hobby I love).

    enslave [ɪnˈsleɪv]
    (tr) to make a slave of; reduce to slavery; subjugate

    sub·ju·gate [ˈsəbjəˌgāt]
    Bring under domination or control, esp. by conquest.
    Make someone or something subordinate to.

    Sounds about right to me…

  68. RF,
    Sometimes we disagree but in this case you have my full support. If it causes just one gun grabber discomfort with their tyrannical position it it is a win.

  69. While we’re on the subject, can we start calling the leftist media administration mouthpieces “Bahgdad Betty”? Seem to fit Piers Morgan, et al.

  70. Yeah. Let’s ban “slave state” and while we’re at it be very careful to not to identify roving gangs of black punks attacking Whites in Shitcago as “youffs” who tragically were born devoid of any normal human physical characteristics the eye can perceive….

  71. No.

    The issue is controversial enough without giving the other site an excuse to inject racial baggage into the debate.

    • They inject racism into the debate as soon as the debate begins. That’s what they do in any debate. We can’t stop them from doing that; but we can respond by putting THEM on the defensive for once.

  72. I don’t think it is an accurate term, and it is probably not helpful. “Slave-state” is a term with historic-contextual meaning, and it doesn’t fit here.

    True, these states are violating their citizens’ civil rights. But I hate to break it to you, but the federal government, states, municipalities, police, etc. violate civil rights all the time. When former southern slave states instituted Jim Crow, were black citizens suddenly slaves again? A warrantless search may be unconstitutional, but it doesn’t render the victim a slave, especially not while the citizen has legal recourse.

    Idiot legislatures passing sweeping gun-control measures is just the first salvo in a larger battle. Heller had meaning. There will be more fights and more victories ahead.

  73. “Slave State”

    How about to really impress the world with how rational and normal we keep telling them we are we adopt the phrases:

    “Gun Rights Holocaust”
    “High Capacity Magazine Genocide”
    “Raped with Mandatory Background Checks”
    “Ammunition Famine”
    “Gun Political Imprisonment” (To describe safe storage laws)

    I’ll bet the majority of Americans who politically apathetic or non partisan will be impressed with our rationality and measured self-control and line up to tolerate, support, and join us and never believe it true when the other side calls us “nuts”.

    • How about to impress the world with how rational you are, you observe the extreme nature of language used against us, and how well it works to rally people to the gun-grabbing cause?

      And then how about learning to distinguish among the meanings of simple words like slavery, holocaust, genocide, and famine?

      And then, once you’ve done both those things, how about explaining to us how nice guys finish first?

      • The argument that choosing to go “full retard” is the best way to reverse “full retards” is certainly a prime example of going “full retard”.

  74. YES. It is entirely appropriate; where there is not liberty, there is slavery. If you think you see “racism” in the term, there’s plenty off room for you on the other side.

    If we are not free, WE ARE SLAVES.

  75. If you aren’t free then what are you?

    “For if they were so received, and entitled to the privileges and immunities of citizens, it would exempt them from the operation of the special laws and from the police regulations which they considered to be necessary for their own safety. It would give to persons of the negro race, who were recognized as citizens in any one State of the Union, the right to enter every other State whenever they pleased, singly or in companies, without pass or passport, and without obstruction, to sojourn there as long as they pleased, to go where they pleased at every hour of the day or night without molestation, unless they committed some violation of law for which a white man would be punished; and it would give them the full liberty of speech in public and in private upon all subjects upon which its own citizens might speak; to hold public meetings upon political affairs, and to keep and carry arms wherever they went. And all of this would be done in the face of the subject race of the same color, both free and slaves, and inevitably producing discontent and insubordination among them, and endangering the peace and safety of the State.”

    Tell me which part of this fine quote from the Dread Scott case doesn’t reflect how “Slave States” treat the common class. For states like CA, NY, NJ, CT, et al., it fits it to the T.

    IOW, yes these are slave states, and the average private citizen is regarded as the new “negro” irregardless of skin color.

  76. Classic example of “White Guilt”. Anyone can be a slave regardless of race/creed/religion.

    The Right to Bear Arms differentiates Slaves from Free Men/Women. So TTAG and everyone else should most certainly use the term Slave State, because they have stripped Freedoms from the people, which is what slavery is!

  77. I guess I feel like if the word slave applies to these states would it not apply to any state where one must kneel before the ATF to request worthyness to own an nfa item?

    Everyone here just has the line drawn at a different place. Some would say their neighbor is a slave because their state gov passed an unconstitutional law and they’d go oh wow I’m so happy to be a FREE man where I can go to the store and buy a m4 that has an unusually long barrel and has had the select fire capability removed by completing a simple background check and receiving permission from my federal government.

    The term slave state is just a way to make those of us in Idaho, Texas, or wherever ‘feel’ better about ourselves. It’s our ‘gun free zone’.

  78. One problem with boiling the frog slowly is that it’s hard to tell when “freedom” ends and “slavery” begins. It’s fairly clear on the extremes. AZ & VT seem free enough. NYC, DC, and Chicago seem anything but (here is an example of insanity in NYC – – I posted this link before, but I still can’t get over it.)

    For everything in the middle, one criterion I use is whether various permits, where they are needed, are “shall issue” or “may issue” (not just for carrying, but also for possession, purchase, etc), and whether the process, even if theoretically “shall issue”, is so cumbersome or costly as to be impractical for the majority of the potential applicants.

  79. tend toward sheeple state, maybe we can get sheeple status maps watching the sheep pull the wool over our eyes as the sheeple migrate.

  80. Na. I frequently point out that the Democratic party was historically and remains currently the party of slavery. Instead of a couple of rich white guys enslaving the blacks, it is now a couple of government officials (elected or otherwise) enslaving the rest of the U.S. to perpetual debt and excessive regulation. Short of fleeing the country, it is becoming harder and harder to legitimately fight back.

  81. any chance you could post a list of which states you would consider to be free states and which are slave states?

  82. Being or not being a slave is a question of having ownership over one’s own body. It has nothing to do with guns, or most other freedoms (there are many countries around the world which don’t have e.g. free speech, but they don’t have slavery, either).

    Anything else is just abuse of the term, much like calling Bush “fascist”, or Obama “commie”. It carries no real meaning, and only serves to devalue the terms.

  83. yes, Yes, YES.

    do we automatically equate “slave” with race? we should not, but i suspect in the US that we do.

    if we are not ultimately free, then we *are*- to the inverse degree – slaves, regardless of the color of our skins.

    use the term, if for no other reason that it provokes THOUGHT, and provokes those who would make us less free and more slave.

  84. Here’s another vote to ending the ridiculous use of the phrase “slave state”.

    The only people who are going to approve of it are the already converted. This type of rhetoric only turns off the people we need to be reaching.

  85. Maybe “boot heel” state would work better. The residents do have the right to leave the state at any time but while there they are under the grinding pressure of the ever increasing footprint of local(state) government.

  86. No. Its insulting to people who are from states with “somewhat restrictive” or restrictive gun laws. Just because I can’t make a SBR or SBS doesn’t mean I’m an oppressed mass, or a slave. And I also think that the people who use that phrase and are from places like RI (you RF, I’m talking about you), CT, MA, CA, reflect a kind of self hate and self loathing that is unhealthy to say the least.

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