There’s a cold wind blowing in Hell. huffingtonpost.com has posted a TTAG hat-tipping polemic entitled In Gun Control Controversy, Can Americans Handle the Truth? Penned by right-leaning PR strategist Mario Almonte [above], the editorial dropped my jaw further and further towards the poker table that is my desk (when I smoke cigars in the garage). While an anti-gun undercurrent emerges fully-fledged in the last ‘graph, everything up to that point is unabashedly pro-gun. Check this out . . .
The United States’ current obsession with the question of gun control must seem absurd to the people of the Middle East, where every country is eternally embroiled in civil war or fighting off aggressive neighbors. People there clearly see the value of armed citizens protecting themselves against marauding rebels, brutal religious factions and corrupt governments.
In parts of the world such as Mexico, South America and numerous African nations, the brutal murder and wholesale slaughter of men, women and children take place almost every day. Their helpless citizens would welcome guns to protect themselves and their families. They would see America’s gun control advocates as extraordinarily naive to believe that it is all right to be defenseless in your own home and trust the local police force to protect them. In their countries, there is no such thing as an honest policeman, bands of lawless citizens kill with impunity and every government official is corrupt and dangerous.
See what he’s doing there? Setting-up the idea that American exceptionalism means we don’t need guns. We haff order! Only no . . .
. . . can we say that this particular government — these particular politicians and military leaders in whom we all place our trust — are the true, honest leaders who will always work together at all cost to keep America united and safe? That lawmakers of this particular government will never again choose sides and turn their armies against each other, as they did during the Civil War, to resolve their disagreement over a bitterly disputed topic?
Can we really be sure that the angry confrontations over issues such as gay rights and abortion, or the racial riots of Baltimore and Ferguson, or the growing resentment of the poor and middle class toward the wealthy “one percenters,” will never spread across the U.S. and ignite a revolution where neighbors turn against neighbors?
As Will Smith famously pronounced, oh Hell no. That said, police militarization – mostly federal – is the clear and present danger. Still, point taken.
In considering the question of gun control, the real question is not whether we need assault rifles or a better review process of those who want to own them. Rather, it is whether we as human beings should embrace the violence that bred us throughout history; or trust in the continued good judgement of reasonable men — in our government and across the street — that can make us more than animals in our daily lives.
Reasonable men like … the politicians who created and the police who enforce de facto gun bans in California, New York City, New Jersey and Hawaii? Anyway, you and I know Almonte’s set-up a false dichotomy. It’s not a choice between “embracing violence” and “good judgement.” It’s a choice between self-reliance and individual liberty, and passivity and blind faith.
Close, but no cigar.
He was so close, but I don’t feel like trusting those in power to “make us more than animals” because the “us” includes some people that will never be more than just an animal.
“Thank you Klein. Now that I know there was a part of me that could feel things, Ive found it, and killed it forever.”
“No, no! You were so close Kirito! You were almost a person !”
Logic can only bring you so close to the truth when your basic ideology is so committed to being blind to it (or blinding with it.)
It also reminds me of Animal Farm. “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”
Simply replace guns with any of the following: cars, food, housing, money, reproductive rights, your children, yourself… just trust the government. The truth is: when push comes to shove, government/society will try to set itself up so that it survives, not necessarily the individual.
Almost but not good enough. 95 percent from a piece on the Huffington Post is more then one could hope for from them. I guess Ill take it for what it was worth for now.
They are still far too huffy puffy for me. I thought huffington was a joke name the first time I heard it. Such two dimensional thinkers to believe there are only two choices. Bah bah
Most quality propaganda has some truth in it, the most effective lies are often at least partially true. This is a good example of leading an audience down the field, then fumbling(intentionally) at the 5 yard line.
The last paragraph could use some rewriting but the frame work of pertinent notions are there.
It falls apart where he mentions “continued good judgment of reasonable men.” The last “good” piece of legislation I can remember is the FDA drug fast track that got us Alleve back in the 90s. Everything else good has been repealing, rolling back, or sunsetting previous horrible laws.
Part of the rewrite would be making it clear that that part was tongue in cheek.
Reasonable people like the supporters of CSGV and MDA who post comments calling for the killing of gun owners? Or reasonable people like the Indiana high school volleyball coach that threatened to burn down a Pizzeria because she doesn’t share the owner’s religious views. Or the reasonable folks at Rolling Stone who published a false story about rape at UVA then a half-assed insincere apology stating while the story was false the narrative was more inportant. Ya, I’m trusting them. Thanks but No Thanks.
Never trust anyone who holds political power. You must maintain vigilance and watch them closely. Anyone with power may someday turn malevolent. Anyone already malevolent may someday direct that toward you. When they abuse that power, you take it away.
My first, and next ten thousand, choice is through peaceful, lawful, civil means as outlined in the Constitution. However, make no mistake, it is the Second Amendment that gives vitality and value to the First. Forfeit the Second, and they’ll confiscate the First.
There just has to be a better, clearer way to express that. Let me try. “We the people have an absolute veto power over any violation of the Bill of Rights, and we will have unless we give away the Second Amendment, after which we would have no say at all about any of the remaining Bill of Rights, much less a veto. No one would even ask.”
I declare the competition open.
That’s better, granted. A certain amount of circumspection is called for, though. Otherwise such a contest can turn into a race to the top of Bob from the NSA’s list. In that way, one could end up a winner and a loser at the same time.
So those who do not heed “reasonable men” like him are simply “animals”. Your anti-gun dehumanization of the day. I guess there’s no reason to respect our difference in opinion, then. Those who are not on his side are nothing more than Dr. Moreau animal facsimiles of mankind. We look like people, but we’re subhumans. Yeah, well, I’ve seen this kind of thinking before, and it’s exactly the reason we most need weaponry. Follow this rabbit hole deep enough and the undesirables are demonized to the point where murdering them is a moral necessity for the greater good.
I am not an “animal”, I am a person and a human being. I do not need the government to make me a person. If I ceased to follow their orders I would still be a person.
“Trust the good judgment of reasonable men.”
The devil as they say, is in the details.
World War I was caused and perpetuated by reasonable men.
The civil war was fought over a “bitterly disputed topic.”? Slavery? The precipitating “topic” which brought on the civil war was sectionalism. What the war evolved into is another “topic”.
The problem is that progressives actually believe that they can use the government to make people better people. They believe that if the government bans alcohol that no one will show up late for work because they’re hung over. They believe that if they ban drugs there will be no more addicts. They believe that if they take money from rich (and not so rich) people and give it to poor people that there won’t be poor people anymore. And they believe that if they just take away all the guns, no one will be murdered. The entire belief system requires a rejection of reality, replaced by fantasy. So yes, in their world view, America will never descend into chaos or tyranny because they’ve forced us to be better people.
Ahh yes…the planet Utopia, inhabited only by happy, meek unicorns.
I think a lot of people on the pro-2nd Amendment side and the conservative side don’t grasp how reality has nothing to do with their politics. You can’t underestimate the power of delusional thinking.
Liberals are ridiculous. NUCLEAR POWER IS EVILLLLL! Guns are bad, mmmkay?
Then you have conservatives:
THE BABIES THE BABIES ARE PRECIOUS!
But we don’t want to take care of the poor ones.
And we don’t want to fund R+D or birth control support so nobody has to make a decision to terminate.
BUT, BUT, THE BABIES! Because that’s just how I feel and my book written by dozens of authors over thousands of years featuring a talking donkey backs me up.
Yeah. I pretty much can’t stand either party.
I’ve never understood the people who think that killing babies is the moral thing to do. I guess that falls into the ‘delusional thinking’ category.
We’ve been taking care of poor babies to the tune of trillions of dollars, pubic and private, for many, many generations.
That you equate a refusal to acquiesce to the murder of unborn children, with a reluctance to subsidize and incentivize via welfare programs the promiscuous and reckless creation of milions more unwanted children, shows an appalling lack of serious thought on your part.
And by the way, no more R&D, at public expense, anyway, is necessary. Both condoms and the Pill are safe, effective, inexpensive and widely available. They have been for decades.
Often, the people claiming to despise both parties are closet liberals who hate conservatives, but are ashamed to admit they’re liberal. So they sprinkle a little bipartisan snark in with their anti-conservative vitriol.
Its more like we created a system that makes it where mothers think they are better off having the government subsidize their babies without the father, destroying the basic family unit and creating broken human beings that are incapable (or are taught that they are incapable) of existing without the government.
Humans lived for thousands of years without government welfare, I can’t accept that humanity’s spirit to achieve has been completely shattered beyond repair in a mere century.
I really don’t understand why so many people can’t acknowledge that their “moral” stance on abortion sounds exactly like the antis’ stance on guns.
If you don’t like it, don’t do it. I’m morally opposed to it myself. But unless you are going to take personal responsibility, put your money where your mouth is, etc – stfu.
Ultimately, it boils down the fact that a woman should legally and ethically have 100% control of her own body. Now, I realize my stance on this pisses off both sides of the issue, but so be it.
I also believe that men should have a legal way to absolve themselves of any legal responsibility to an unwanted baby – women have at least two right now. I think the number of “oops” pregnancies would mysteriously go way down if men could just sign a pieces of paper saying they don’t want to be a father and not have to pay child support.
Since virtually everyone in every society believes that one of the central purposes of government is to defend the weak against the strong (i.e. prevent murder, rape, robbery, etc.), the abortion question comes down to science not religion. If the unborn fetus is human, the government has a duty to defend it (him or her) just as it has a duty to protect any of us. Naturally there is a certain folly on depending solely on government for our own self preservation, for many there is not much of a choice.
So what have we learned about the fetus? We know that every genetic trait the child will have is determined at the instance of conception, including sex, hair color, blood type (often not the same as the mother’s) etc. At 18 days the child’s heart starts pumping his or her own blood. I could go on, but you get the point. The child is human. I’ve never heard of a human giving birth to an orangutang. Because it is human it deserves the same governmental protections the rest of us enjoy. Saying that if you don’t like it don’t do it is like saying if you think rape is wrong don’t do it. As if it’s not the proper role of government to punish a rapist.
As far as welfare goes, it’s a legitimate stance to view it as more pernicious than beneficial. We’ve dumped $22 trillion dollars on the war on poverty and haven’t improved the lot of the poor one lick. In fact, all we’ve accomplished is to break up the nuclear family by replacing fathers with government. Meanwhile taking money from the rich to give handouts to the poor takes capital away from the private sector that would (not could) be used to create jobs for the poor to fill. Furthermore, most conservatives are very charitable as well as most religious groups. Like B said, we’ve lived for thousands of years without government handouts just fine. What’s changed in the last century?
PuffHo’s is simply an ad-revenue generator. They contract with writers to write on some hot topic, to drag in new readers. Nothing wrong with that, except its not news, there’s really no “journolistic” standards, except spin, mostly aimed at the SJW Moms Demanding Intellectual Action of the Millenial set. Sort of a Salon mixed with Cosmo mixed with Vox, informed by MediaMatters. So if you want to debate what this spinner-strategist wrote by spec*, go ahead.
Right now AOL is in talks to be bought by Verizon, and spin off PuffHos, EnGadget, and TechCrunch. By positioning itself as pro-2A, I suppose PuffHos can convince gullible bankers they are independent and appeal to a broad swath of readers. Right now anyone will buy anything, in this market, so just dont get suckered being the last one standing when the musical chairs game stops.
*Ryan Halliday blogs for HuffPo. He wrote a book about how the model works “Trust Me I’m Lying”. Available on Amazon for $10 bucks.
When legislators remove liberty to lawfully protect oneself, they take the first steps toward tyranny.
You could interpret that many ways, for instance refusing to label GMO foods could be perceived as a way of preventing people from people from protecting themselves from a potentially dangerous product. I won’t even get into the mandatory vaccine issue. The road to tyranny started a long time ago.
Honor our heritage, work towards a brighter future, and be prepared in case we backslide while climbing.
No contradictions between these three.
The author almost gets it, but seems to miss that preparing for rough seas doesn’t mean we want to have to sail through them, but rather is simply prudent. Pity.
Shouldn’t the question be why the good judgment of “reasonable” men ever finds it necessary to restrict ownership of the very tools used in those earlier examples to uphold peaceful society? As long as we are all free to embrace peaceful coexistence then the question of gun ownership / gun “control” is moot. It’s pretty obvious to me that the default state of humanity is peaceful coexistence and a productive society. We do not, as a rule, *embrace* violence. Gun ownership simply recognizes that we cannot entirely abandon violence as a last resort against, well, violence.
You are neglecting what those “reasonable people” all know to be a fact; guns, in and of themselves, are evil creatures which use mind control to force innocent yoots to pick them up and fire them in all directions, at a rate of thousands of bullets per second from 30 caliber clipazines, after which the self-guided bullets will hunt down and destroy the most innocent children among us. Therefore, since we now know they are unneeded, and everyone recognizes the clear danger to children they represent, there can be no argument about the common sense imposition of the death penalty on anyone found with a gun.
Some “reasonable men” exercise their “good judgement” and thereby decide that they need to be prepared to “embrace violence.”
Si vis pacem, para bellum
Animals commit acts of violence themselves. Civilized people get other people to do it for them. /sarc
“I support the 2nd Amendment, BUT ….”
Good article until the last paragraph. There he stumbles in his effort to appeal to our moral goodness as humans.
“… it is whether we as human beings should embrace the violence that bred us throughout history; or trust in the continued good judgement of reasonable men — in our government and across the street — that can make us more than animals in our daily lives.”
It’s not truly ‘reasonable’ men that I’m concerned about.
Of course there are good people. I believe most people are OK, But not all. Evil exists.
Then it remains (a necessary) human right to be able to defend our lives, loved ones and property. This right to self defense is NOT “embracing violence” as the author suggests but rather, it is understanding that violence is, sadly, ever present and one needs to be prepared to deal with it.
I dunno. Seems like a perfectly reasonable paragraph to me. The answer is that we ARE animals and fool ourselves trying to be otherwise.
Of course we are animals. Aristotle, in the introduction to his classic work ‘The Politics,” puts it succinctly: “Man is the animal that prefers to live in politiies (towns and cities).”
Most of us know that non-human animal species have ‘hard-wired’ procedures for determining who is, for the moment, the boss, both empowered to make and responsible for having made..decisions which affect the other non-alpha species or group members. Responsible for? If you’ve ever seen the brutal fall of a King Chimp who had gone power-mad, abusive, before being overthrown….you would comprehend that statement.
Our politics (call it what you will, ‘democratic republic,” “representative democracy,” or other) is a human creation to assure (if possible) that our communities, laws, regulations, and customs….benefit the group, not primarily the moment’s Alpha(s). Given that we have allowed Alpha armies, corporations, parties, banks, to grow so large that ‘taming’ them or displacing them for long…is practically impossible, we need to come out of denial, admit we have some structural failures in our methods to restrict power concentration. We need to fix them.
Those who would weaken the 2A’s role as a doomsday measure…simply haven’t seen up-close-and-personal, the ascendance to power, and then the purposeful disarming of their opponents, by a for-the-moment Alpha clique. Many people simply like the hand they’ve been dealt. Many others are too simple-minded to think through our current arrangements, In the middle are those too powerless under current arrangements to act effectively without quickly being neutered by the current Alpha crowd.
This reality has been playing out over and over throughout human history. That history is still being written. The evolved systems are not necessarily worse that those that came before. The current systems pose the risk though, of carving into stone benefits gained by an Alpha clique’s privileges gained through political actions (legislative favoritiesm). These privileges are not “white” or “Asian,” but rather are usually family or guild (industry, union) based. Until we educate children and young adults in the nature of political power accumulation….regardless of one’s one situation at the moment…we stand no chance of steering a course towards a political society more just.
Until we manage to bring about this better political education, I’ll keep my 1st and 2nd Amendment rights in full, thank you very much. I will continue to resent the use of the labels “progressive” and “conservative” until the policies each of these cliques advocates can be placed in a clearer more intelligent portrait of how power (control over resources (money, title to land, benefits carved into legislation)) is actually enforced through power, that power which ultimately flows from the barrels of guns, which guns are used to herd the disaffected into prisons or status of ‘untouchable’ in the context of hiring and access to auctions, voting rights, and so forth.
He has confused causes and effects. It’s not that embracing the “good judgment of reasonable men” removes the need for an armed population, but rather embracing the need for an armed population produces the “good judgment of reasonable men”.
Almonte asks the right question at the end, but leaves the answer to the reader. Murderous violence has been a dependable human characteristic since primates dropped from trees, writ small and large, from rocks and clubs to arc light strikes. From atomic bombs to neighborhood thugs and creepers. Neither science nor medicine has changed man’s basic nature one whit, nor will they. A statistically significant number of us will always disdain productive activity, preferring to take the object of their desire by force, or lashing out against their neighbor for perceived economic helplessness. Some men (and women) commit violent acts because they like it. It wasn’t a chore for the Khmer Rouge to slaughter half the population; the Serbian death squads never shut down for the day from excessive absenteeism.
Huffpo’s readership will answer the question differently. They will nod sagely and agree that of course, of course, the answer is to nurture the peaceful inclinations of mankind, who are just like us; we only need raise them up from poverty and they will beat their swords into plowshares and break their spears in twain.
Personally, I think Almonte’s question is a good one and he gets to the heart of the matter. He might have hit it out of the park by answering his own final question, but it’s so obvious he shouldn’t have had to. Too bad that the wrong answer to the question carries such severe penalties.
I’ll believe the federal government has “reasonable men” when they shrink the tax code to the size of the “Books of Moses”. After all, if God can set His complete laws for an ancient nation in five short books, we ought to at least be able to get a tax code in the same space (or less).
He made one comment that I have been harping on for a few years now.
“whether we as human beings should embrace the violence that bred us throughout history”
Humans are violent creatures. Nothing will ever change that as long as we walk this planet, or any other planet for that matter.
Police CAN NOT protect us and I don’t care if it’s their duty or not. If some whacked out meth-head walks in my open garage door and eyeballs me with bad intent, he’s going to be staring at the hollow point parked in the chamber of my gun and there is not a cop on this planet that is going to help me right then. I have to do it. As an adult, I am responsible for my personal protection and safety. I choose to live a low risk lifestyle. I wear my seat belt, I drive the speed limit, I don’t drink and drive, I don’t go to bars and put myself in bad situations and I carry my gun and I will be damned if I will allow Obama, the hens and MDA, Bloombag or any other elitist scumbag, neuter me because of an “agenda”
They can kiss my ass!
To my surprise, every single one of the Huffington Post’s 18 comments (as of this writing) are very much pro-Second Amendment and well written. I’d not have guessed that.
===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle
Hey Huff has conservative posts often. I’m not surprised. It’s still mostly shrill left-wing crap but even I had my moments 40 some years ago(mostly related to Vietnam and getting high). Sometimes folks realize they are full of shite…
Newsflash we already have Mario!
We have the most expensive fighting force the world has ever seen. We spend more money, both in terms or raw amount and percentage, on our military than any empire the world has ever seen. Through tax dollars we created the A-bomb. the H-bomb, and a bunch of other bombs that blow up in different ways. Heck if it was not for such “trust” a.k.a. monopoly of force – some of the guns that trickled down from the DoD (AR rifles, Beretta Pistols, Garands, etc.) to civilians would not have.
Is it any surprise that the country with the most well armed military in the world has some of the most well armed citizens?
So basically…he’s saying that Americans are inherently superior to people from other countries in the world?