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The other day, a few “progressive” members of the armed intelligentsia pleaded that I not drive away supporters of the 2nd amendment who are among the center-left. Apparently, the fidelity of left-leaning supporters toward the 2nd amendment is tentative and easily cleaved from the edifice of freedom lovers with divisive words. Liberals love guns too, you know. I am a human being. I can and do, in fact, hold contradictory thoughts. I possess unresolved dilemmas that pit competing values, one against the other. I get it, but let me assure you my liberal friends, you will not be able to hold to your New Deal progressivism AND your gun rights, at least not over successive generations . . .

“Why?” you ask, realizing that I am obviously a conservative ass who scoffs at compromise. “Because” I respond, “Progressives do not understand freedom like I do, and our views of freedom are fundamentally incompatible.”

The 2nd Amendment has many purposes. Self-protection from criminals, support of the state against foreign enemies and protection of citizens from the state are three major utilities of gun rights. The first two have a lengthy roster of examples throughout our history. The latter, only a handful and those did not end all that well for the rebels.

Still, though the Whiskey Rebellion was quelled and the Union was preserved, I think there has always been a credible threat that the government may have a fight on its hands if it went too far.

But going too far is baked into the cake of progressivism.

To me, freedom is not “stuff I like.” Freedom is the right to generally do what I choose and rise or fall on my own merits. I often see examples of actions I don’t consider wise, praiseworthy or profitable but unless they are kinfolk or close friends, it’s really none of my damned business. But the pointy end of the progressive movement is populated by those for whom there is nothing that is none of their damned business.

To me, government’s job is to secure the “negative rights” as Progressives call them – life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness – and to otherwise leave me and my neighbors alone to conduct our affairs. Lock up criminals, settle disputes, keep the Japs, Nazis and Terrorists on their side of the border.

There are many things I consider wise, fruitful or prudent, but I wouldn’t want them to carry the force of law. Proggies, however, simply do not think this way. They repeat FDR’s muddled four freedoms wistfully and believe freedom from want means taxing the shirt off someone who makes one dollar more per year than they do.

From Wickard to Kelo, progressives are contemptuous of anything that interferes with “what we want.” Want higher prices for wheat? Fine a farmer for growing too much. Want private property to yield higher taxes for municipal programs? Take it from one property owner and give it to another. Supreme Court got you down? Pack it with two more friendly justices.

It is this compulsion of the Progressive mentality to use the power of the state to produce desired changes in society without regard to the constitution and ultimately, the rule of law. Progressives are so sure of the righteousness of their POV, they are OK with skipping over “convince the people” and go straight to “compel the people.”

In contrast, I realize that there are many good things that the constitution would not permit the state to make compulsory, and I am satisfied this coercive path to achieving a desired end is not open to my desired outcome.  Rare is the progressive so humble.

All of which means that eventually the progs will go too far. I think they know it, which is why the home of gun control activism is found on the left, and the gun controls we are currently undoing were a monument to progressive thinking. Theirs is a jealous god, and they understand intuitively that an armed citizenry is a constant existential threat to their preferred policies.

We are bitter clingers to our guns and religion. Until we no longer cling bitterly to firearms and providence, we will always thwart their more perfect vision of progressivism. If the constitution is a contract between the people and their government, the 2nd Amendment is the enforcement clause of last resort. The progressive vision where regulation and centralization managed by an elite cadre of beneficent functionaries demands unfettered control over the social environment, and armed citizens saying “no” just won’t do.

If you want Obamacare, if you want New York fatasses to be served sugary drinks in limited quantities, if you want taxpayer money shoveled to private businesses to support “green energy” then your faux-freedom from want is on a collision course with actual freedom. Not if, when.

God forbid, but should the ramparts be erected and fellow gun-owners walk the post against a government that has gone too far, I have no confidence that “progressive” gun owners will side with the people in limiting government power. If you won’t protect the right to keep and bear Big Gulps, why should I trust your understanding of the right to keep and bear arms?

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  1. “If you won’t protect the right to keep and bear Big Gulps, why should I trust your understanding of the right to keep and bear arms?”

    Well said.

      • Obviously you read the article where creating a special class privilege based on being female and discriminating against men is equal and just in the Family/Divorce Courts, Criminal Courts, employment, and government-funded tax payer programs.

        • No, I was giving a counterpoint to your one sided comment by implying that unjustly lower pay for female employees in the same position continues to exist as an example.

        • Unjustly lower pay Curzon?

          You still buy into that 35 year old feminist propaganda? If firms could get away with paying women less for the same productivity they would hire women and exclude men. Get real. Men and women often choose different occupations, men work more dangerous jobs, work different hours per week (men work more), etc etc.

          Almost four years back Time Magazine (liberal) reported women out earning men in 48 out of 50 major urban areas.

        • As for the same job title/position: keep in mind men work an average of eight hours more per week, they don’t take time off to have/raise kids so they often have more industry experience as time goes by, etc.

          Sorry Curzon, that stat just like the bogus feminist claims about rape rates has been debunked numerous times. The reality is BTW that most claims of rape did not occur.

        • I work with 2 women who make much more than me, maybe I should get a lawyer and ask for more money just because.

      • When you account for factors such as hours worked, productivity, experience, etc., there is virtually no gender gap. If you follow footnote 17 of your Wiki article, you’ll see that the unexplained pay gap, the portion generally attributed to discrimination, is, and for a long time has been about seven cents per dollar. You’ll also note that the actual total gap in 2007 was about 11 cents, not 25 and that the portion of the gap that is explained has grown in relation to the total gap, meaning both that the factors leading to pay inequality are becoming less significant and that we now understand more about reasons for the gap than we used to.
        Feminists lie, and they do so gleefully and every time they’re given the chance.

        But the real point is that virtually no one seriously argues in defense of discrimination against women, whereas feminists almost universally endorse discrimination against men.

        • I’d consider a mimimum of 7% less due to discrimination far from insignificant. How’d you feel about going home with 7% less in your next paycheck compared to your buddy who does the exact same thing?

        • Actually, I’ve been in that situation many times, most notably in the military, where my female colleagues very often enjoyed much better and more expensive pay, living conditions, and benefits than I did despite doing the same job I did (and, in many cases, being much less experienced and lower ranking than I was).

          Regardless, the point is that the numbers about gender pay inequality that repeated ad nauseum are lies, and many of the people repeating them know that. The rest of them should know that. And again, the fact that the proportion of the pay gap that has been explained by legitimate factors has grown continuously strongly implies that we will learn that at least some of the portion that we now believe to be due to discrimination is actually due to legitimate reasons.

          But, the real point is still that virtually no one argues that discrimination against women is okay. Feminists do make that argument regarding discrimination against men, and lie flagrantly in the process of doing so.

          As another example, an instructor I once had in a criminal justice program in college once told me to believe that there are 19 billion rapes of women by men committed in Minnesota every year. (Minnesota has a total population of about 5.5 million people.) She noticed that I was adding up the numbers she was citing to back up her absurd claim and responded by calling me a rapist.

        • As a follow-on: The expression “rule of thumb” did not originate in regard to men beating their wives and almost certainly was never used on a wide scale in reference to wife beating. Nor is gender simply a matter of upbringing.

          As an academic movement, feminism has the same credibility as the Flat Earth Society.

        • Sorry Curzen – that’s BS. If you look at men and women in their 20s, and men and women who remain childless, there is no difference. Women often sacrifice experience and facetime in order to be involved in raising their children, while men are grinding it out at the office.

        • “How’d you feel about going home with 7% less in your next paycheck compared to your buddy who does the exact same thing?”

          Are you sure that the other person does the exact same thing? How about qualifications? Is the other person your twin? Or maybe the other person asked for more money when he was hired on the same day at the position doing the same work as you.

          Maybe you were stupid and made a mistake when you asked for a salary. And we don’t need laws for that.

      • Curzen,

        When it comes to wiki (a left-leaning San Francisco pc operation) they have an obvious bias. Why are you trying to make fun of my name with your intentional misspelling of it?

      • Depends on the type of MRA. At times, the PUA finds himself falsely accused of rape and paying child support.

        • If every man made one feminist call him “daddy” the anti-man court bias would collapse. Culture makes the law.

  2. And once conservatives at large stop trying to legislate Christianity onto the rest of us and conservative representatives don’t legislate freedom mostly just for the benefit of those who line their pockets I might even consider voting for them.

    • Interesting use of “at large”–meaning every single conservative. Nice broadbrush.

      Using your logic, but switching ideologies, probably hundreds of examples of overbearing progressive legislation could be listed. Mind listing a few of yours?

        • I really love how you were taken task and your argument about gender pay was completely demolished so your next post was some incomprehensible rant about legislating Christianity. What a maroon!

    • I’ve lived just outside detroit mich. It has been locked up democratic for 40 years. it has been systematicly looted by democratic politicians into bankruptcy. former mayor, police chiefs, city council presidents, and dozens of other former city employees convicted of corruption. All Democrats.
      here is a link to some details for you from a former liberal humanities prof. at bard and yale alum.

      You got the bill number for the legslation to orere you to tithe a church? how about keeping the sabbath? surely those bad ol cristinans are putting them to a vote on a regular basis. Give us a few bill numbers , becaues I looked and I can’t find any. I did find progressive politicians legislating the I emlopyers have to pay for early term abortificants, even churches and synagogues.

      there will always be “more important issues” in the minds of liberals that allow them to vote for canidates will support even the most rediculous gun control measures. I feel that liberals who “support the 2nd. amend ” are making excuses so they won’t have to feel hipocrital about enjoying shooting and voting for anti gunners.

      • miforest, I’m a Michigan resident, and I’m surprised you’re unaware of the legislation mandating the marking of the sabbath – namely in our liquor laws. We only just began allowing Sunday liquor sales a couple of years ago, and individual communities (note: not individuals) can still opt out of allowing the sale of alcohol on Sunday morning or all Sunday long.

        • thats a 100 year old law that was not repealed by our democratic governer when she held office for 8 years with democratic control of the state legislature for part of it. it took a conservative govenor to pass the law in 2011 after she left office. how can you say you live here when the opposition to sunday liquior sales have always come form DETROIT. they’re democrats. so in the end your point contradicts your own argument.

          as a fellow michigan resident i ask , how can you expect to be taken seriously when you think the lack of universal sunday liquior sales is a serious problem .
          we have murder, rape, addiction,theft, and lawlessness going on at an outrageous level. And the biggest worry you have is having to buy whatever you want to drink on sunday the day before? really?
          At least I can see the city leaders point, I don’t think sunday liquior sale are a boost for the city, so even though they are democrats , they do have point.

      • Well, the mayor a few weeks ago torpedoed a referendum for sunday alcohol sales to keep that day holy and the only booze inside the church or something.

    • Ding ding ding ding! And we’ve got a winner. Somehow, the right thinks that only the left attempts to force their viewpoint or goals onto the rest of us. The right would [i]never[/i] do such a thing.

      So let’s turn the question around: I can’t trust the right to ensure equal treatment and rights for all members of society, I can’t trust the right to put their money where their mouth and run a (fiscally) responsible, non-intrusive government, and I can’t trust the right to keep their god out of government. So why should I trust them to be sensible when it comes to guns?

    • Oh boo hoo, Curzen.

      All legislation is about morality. The question is whose morality? While imperfect, moral choices informed by Christianity have worked out pretty well. Should we repeal laws against murder and theft because the Bible is agin’ it?

      • We should repeal laws based on superstition and fairy tales when they limit personal freedom and invade my home.

        • I agree, Curzen!

          Let’s get rid of all the Global Warming-inspired Environmentalist regulations. Toilets that pay a sacrifice in efficiency to the holiness of mama-gaea, light bulbs that anoint the unrighteous with mercury to bless them for their enviro-sins, and heating/energy prices that tithe to the “state” religion so they may ever-more press us onto the path of redemption and away from being that most wicked of creatures: human.

        • im with curzen, global warming/climate change is real. time to take off the blinders child.

        • Wonderful! I’m a scientist. The neo-religion that is Global Warming is damaging garbage wrapped in numerically tarted-up propaganda. The global “studies” that support it belong in the same pile as the children’s books that try to explain away evolution and say that all the dinosaurs were killed in Noah’s flood.

          It’s a religion, not The Truth(tm), and it’s being legislated into every home and business.

        • global warming a religion? LMFAO!!! thats a good one!

          its called science and a mathematical reality of 7 billion people on this planet.

          you know, denial is not just a river in egypt

      • Declaring something imaginary does not make it so. Some day, your faith that rights do not flow from a creator may be ascendant (though Nietzsche is still waiting) but until then, you are enjoying rights protected by that core belief that to deprive you of your liberty is an offense against God.

        It may not be enough in your estimation, but be careful what you wish for. As bad as Christians can be (and believe me, we can be real dolts sometimes – I’m looking at you Mike Huckabee), our ill-conceived notions are no match for secular rationalist materialists for deprivation of freedom and sheer body count.

        Not by orders of magnitude.

        • Once someone unearths an early biblical manuscript in which Jesus advocates for the right to bear arms your opinion might even make a little bit of sense.

        • Tim, give me a good reason to believe that Christianity is true that couldn’t as easily apply to every other religion that has ever existed. How do we know that Islam isn’t true? Or Buddism? Or Hinduism? Or some yet to be revealed religion? People always fail to consider that possibility. After all, all religions currently existing now and claiming to be the one true faith did not exist at one time, and people living before that time could never have had even the possibility of practicing it. So we could be living in that time ourselves, with God waiting to reveal the one true faith decades, centuries, or millenia from now, and we never had even the slightest hope.

          Also, explain why the only mentions of religion in the Constitution are prohibitory: Article XI, no religious test for any federal or state office and the First Amendment, Congress will not interfere in the free exercise of religion. It almost seems like the drafters of the Constitution wanted to keep religion out of government, doesn’t it?

        • Cruzan said:

          “Tim, give me a good reason to believe that Christianity is true that couldn’t as easily apply to every other religion that has ever existed. How do we know that Islam isn’t true? Or Buddism? Or Hinduism?”

          Faith and gun culture are part of our history, and irrespective of the epistemological status of the existence of the object of faith are, in my opinion, well within the mandate of TTAG topics. What you ask is well beyond.

          Feel free to email me if you really want an answer, but otherwise, I will demur.

      • “Once someone unearths an early biblical manuscript in which Jesus advocates for the right to bear arms your opinion might even make a little bit of sense.”

        Luke 22:36 (NIV) “He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.”

        Right to bear arms? Heck, He commanded it!

        • congratulations, you cited one of the most terribly mistranslated verses in the KJ bible.

        • Far more importantly, it has nothing to do with actually owning arms: it is about fulfilling prophecy. In the next verses, the Christ is told that the disciples already have two swords; he replies that the two are sufficient. Clearly, he did not mean that everyone should be armed.

        • I can’t help myself……

          In which one of the THOUSANDS of translations of the bible did you get this from and how do you know that that’s EXACTLY how the ORIGINAL language meant it to be understood?

          All right….I really need to go to bed on this one…

        • the bible did not command me to own arms or do shit. it is irrelevant.

          i do, however, have a natural right as a human to defend myself and own weapons.

    • “…only the left attempts to force their viewpoint or goals onto the rest of us…”

      Dong Dong Dong, we have a missed point. In fact, I said this:

      “In contrast, I realize that there are many good things that the constitution would not permit the state to make compulsory, and I am satisfied this coercive path to achieving a desired end is not open to my desired outcome. ”

      Now, not everyone with an R beside their name is a true constitutionalist. I find these far more troubling that you probably do.

    • The most authoritarian (intolerant of dissent) political movement in American history is feminism. To paraphrase University of Michigan Professor Schwartz; “future historians will identify the greatest intellectual crime of the current era the suppression of the truth by feminists”.

        • You actually thought feminism still has anything to do with equal treatment among the sexes?

      • If you worked in a university setting in the past 30 years, you will understand why this is a true statement. At that level of education people say that they are arguing about ideas, but they are really arguing about access to the money in the budget. It is a zero-sum game up there in which losing an argument can mean losing a tenured position in your department.

  3. “Progressive” is a poor label because it never indicates the direction of said progress. It’s a great label because even when used sarcastically it confers legitimacy.

  4. No one ever said we had to make sense.
    My econ teacher in high school was a former Marine, member of the Sierra Club, loved guns, and was one of the biggest liberals I knew.
    The best shot I know grew up on a farm and is the Japanese reincarnation of Che Guevara. “A revolution with out guns will never work.”
    I usually vote democrat and donate heavily to the NRA, because I want to have my cake and eat it too.

    • “I usually vote democrat and donate heavily to the NRA, because I want to have my cake and eat it too.”

      Honesty is a step in the right direction…

  5. Tim, honest questions:

    Social security: going too far?
    The Marshall plan: going too far?
    The reconstruction of Japan: going too far?
    The GI Bill: going too far?

    The same guys who were the architects of the New Deal, and the Four Freedoms, created Social Security because they thought it was better that old people didn’t starve to death. They were the same guys who pushed back the Axis Powers and then rebuilt Europe and Japan so the West could fight the Cold War on a solid footing. They also created the GI Bill which allowed more people to go to college than ever before, creating the biggest middle class in history. This allowed also allowed companies such as GE and IBM to find large numbers of trained professionals to be engineers, middle managers, technicians, what have you, and allowed unprecedented innovation and growth in the economy.

    • CarlosT – My honest answer is that you are missing the point. Let’s say I think all these things are wonderful in their outcome (and I do not think all of them are) if they are outside the bounds of the federal contract, it’s a demonstration of the contempt the New Deal progressives had for the rule of law.

      I am not willing to be drawn into the debate of the relative merits of the outcome of one New Deal notion or another because it is a false debate based on unproven assumptions, including but not limited to the idea that there was no other way to take care of pressing social problems than to empower government.

      How far IS too far is the real question. To me, my limiting principle is the powers granted by the Constitution. To you, there seems to be no limit, save that you like or do not like the outcome. Therefore, when you have to trade your gun rights for a bright shiny program, what will you do?

      • So, short answer, yes to all.

        How about this then: how did you feel about the warrantless wiretapping during the Bush administration? How did you feel about the killing of al-Awlaki? Personally, I’m a lot less bothered by people getting monthly checks from the government or sent to college than I am by massive violations of the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments. If you’re not disgusted by those things, you don’t have any credibility with me to be lecturing about rule of law.

        And in any case, your whole argument is a strawman. You, others, and I simply disagree about what those limits are. You believe the Constitution allows the federal government to do almost nothing, and I disagree.

        Do I think the federal government has overreached at times? Hell yes. But I also think it has a legitimate role to play in tackling large scale issues. For example, if unemployment is nearing 25% and civil unrest is around the corner, then I’m okay with the government creating a program encouraging old people to retire and free up jobs. I don’t aee that as illegitimate and it’s way better than 25% unemployment and civil unrest.

        I also don’t see the rebuilding of a war ravaged continent so their not easy pickings for a new enemy as illegitimate. That was a massive government program, but it was preferable to the alternative. And Ralph, you’re forgetting that while the Marshall plan had a general’s name on it, it was primarily designed by a politician, Dean Acheson.

        As for your final question, no there’s no program that would lead to surrender my gun rights, but on the other hand how many conservatives have been willing to trade away Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights because they’re afraid of terrorists? The Republicans’ hope for the presidency believes “(o)ur most basic civil liberty is the right to be kept alive.” That’s just dispicably craven. It’s also a stark demonstration of how far we’ve fallen from the standards of “give me liberty or give me death.”

    • Social security’s architects couldn’t have cared less about old people. SS was a ponzi scheme created to encourage the old to retire and make way for the young at a time when the unemployment rate exceeded 25% and social unrest was destabilizing the country.

      It’s no accident that the Marshall Plan and the Reconstruction of Japan were both created by Generals (Marshall and MacArthur). Had it been left to the politicians, neither plan would have existed.

      The Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944 was created by Republicans. Sorry to bust any leftist balloon, but that’s the truth. The first draft was authored by the former Chairman of the RNC. Roosevelt only wanted a bill for “the poor.” The Republicans were having none of that “progressive” gerrymandering crap, and neither were the veterans’ groups who were gaining great power.

      One of the definitions of insanity is (stop me if you’ve heard this one) doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Greece, Spain, France, the Soviet Union (‘memba them?), there’s a long list of “progressive” countries. All of them are, or were, destroyed from within by their leftist policies. And the same political voodoo is part-way to doing the same thing here.

      • You might be referring to other leftist policies but one of the main is doing anything with other people’s money. Governments get away with more and can run a con longer than an individual or business because usually they have a currency they can debase. Effectively twice robbing their citizens by forcing them to pay for unsustainable programs then increasing the currency supply faster than growth in production (inflation) to extend the unsustainable. This OPM policy is now universal, left or right, I don’t hear anyone saying a government cannot spend more than it brings in (taxes).

    • Social Security: Doomed from inception and FDR’s administration knew it.

      GI bill: Bad idea, because, as per usual, it is a government program expanded beyond it’s original intent. (Dad went to college on the GI bill, even though Dad never saw front line combat, rather, Dad served in the Coast Guard during the Korean War)

      Marshall Plan: I’d have to say yes, bad idea, because Europe became dependent on the US for military protection and used the money saved for increasing unsustainable social programs.

      Reconstruction of Japan: Not sure.

      • wasn’t SS still running a surplus if not for our dear elected officials pilfering those coffers for other means?

        • Look at the demographics. SS was designed with the base assumption that average lifespan would not get any longer than it was at the time, and fertility would not get any smaller. Now we have people living longer and having fewer kids. SS was doomed from conception.

        • Yes, but not a sustainable surplus. Our delightful officials knew that our birthrate could not sustain the program. Which is one reason why uncontrolled immigration is popular among some officials — it allows them to trade one problem for another, while controlling both voting groups.

        • curzen you are correct.

          the problem is social security is that it is also based on the idea of infinite growth, which is a flawed assumption to begin with…

          it is disgusting that the government dipped into social security to pay for the wars. it is also disgusting that citizens are forced to pay into a elaborate pyramid scheme.

        • It was running a surplus b/c the rate of growth of those paying into the system, exceeded the rate of growth of those taking “benefits” from the system. The current generations of the workforce are no longer growing at a rate sufficient to pay for those currently drawing benefits.

          It has never been about a person paying into the system for their own benefits. The first generations that received benefits when the program was created never paid into it. When someone pays into the system they are always paying for those currently receiving benefits and they must rely on those who come after them to pay for their benefits.

    • Carlos Said: “So, short answer, yes to all.”

      Not, not at all, and I was very explicit.

      The premise of your question is, if I like the outcome, then the constitutional infirmity of a Federal action is a non-issue.

      Further, drawing me into a debate about an endless variety of thorny questions is a distraction from MY central premise, that Progressives have an endless appetite for stuff they like, and the constitution is a barrier when it stands in the way.

      I am not an anarchist. I believe in government, and for some things I think it needs to be big. In those areas where it is big outside its constitutional mandate, scratch it and you will see Progressive philosophy 9 times out of 10.

    • I seem to remember something about people being “endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights.” So if linkage between religion and guns is a trend, it’s been going on for over 200 years.

      • Obama did that with his “Bitter clingers” remark. he said “.then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion .. .”

        above a number of liberals bashed conseratives for trying to legaly force them to be christians, and thats why the wouldn’t support them . It seems like a silly argument given the ablolutely minimal role religon plays in the public arena, but I think it gives them a straw man to hate.

        • It came long before Obama was born. He certainly was not the first person to have made the connection.

    • “Can anyone explain to me the trend of pairing guns with religion?”
      – – –
      Jihad with sticks and plastic buckets wasn’t working.

      • You might actually have something there with the plastic buckets…

        What I actually meant by that was to express, in a civil way, how much it grinds my gears to be classified automatically as a religious nut simply because I’m nuts about guns. They are so explicitly linked in the public consciousness, when they are in fact very different issues, while being only peripherally related in matters of freedom.

    • Sure. It’s Left Wing propaganda to disarm people using negative stereotypes and humiliation. The Left Wingers in the West want the people disarmed and helpless since he masses of sheeple are easier to control, intimidate, arrest, and slaughter.

      Ancient Hebrew teachings called upon the people to be self-reliant, own weapons, and to act aggressively in justifiable self-defense rather than wait for the ancient Hebrew police to roll up in their chariots and chase the bad guys back over the hills.

  6. Progressive are okay with owning firearms, as long as only state approved “green” ammunition is used. Also, carbon sequestering devices along with emission controls must be attached to muzzle of each and every firearm.

  7. I thought this was going to be an article on liberals and guns, instead it seems like a long tirade on why Tim doesnt like progressives. Color me disappointed for just wasting the past 5 minutes of my life.

  8. Last thing the gun world needs is another divisive screed about liberals. The country isn’t divided into conservatives and liberals.

    News flashes for Tim and the other haters:
    -Most Americans are neither conservatives or liberals.
    -Most Americans do not (yet) own guns; but…
    -If they didn’t agree that we could, every state would be like Illinois.
    -The 2nd Amendment isn’t for conservatives; it’s for everyone.
    -Gun ownership is a mainstream issue.

    The divisiveness you buy into is just a tool for the NRA, extremist Republican politicos and the corresponding parties on the left to get more power and money for themselves. That’s not America; it’s a Fox News fairy tale.

    Out here in Oregon, we have very liberal state politics, and very liberal gun laws. Works just fine, thank you.

    • Works just fine, thank you.

      Reminds me of that fella back home who fell off a ten-story building. As he was falling, people on each floor kept hearing him say, “So far, so good.”

      • If Oregon gun laws were liberal they would recognize my Utah conceal carry permit. Maybe the Umatilla County sheriff and Tribal Police will be liberal enough to grant me an Oregon permit.

        • Totally agree with Jameson!!

          I’m a Washington resident and all I kept hearing was how impossible it was for an out of state resident to get an Oregon CC through Multnomah County(Portland). Guess what…I had mine 3 weeks.

          This is the 2nd article in a week where McNabb sounds like some douchey Limbaugh parrot. Hurrumph, hurrumph, liberals. Hurrumph, hurrumph, progressives. Because it’s only one group that’s responsible for anything bad, right? You really do nothing to sway people on the fence with this crap. The only one’s who start the rounds of applause are the people who already agree whole heartedly with your case. One of my neighbors in Seattle are an older lesbian couple that I really adore. Great neighbors, great people but like McNabb, they will only point the finger at the other side. No matter what. It’s extremely disappointing when intelligent people are so intellectually dishonest about how things really are.

        • Gee, I’m a Washington state resident and had my Oregon CC in 3 weeks. That’s even going through Multnomah County(Portland). Not sure what your problem is…….

        • @pmscd and Adam,

          No issues if you live in a BORDER state to OR. They don’t issue CC to anyone else. I travel to OR frequently, and I agree the state is extremely checkered when it comes to gun rights.

    • Jameson said:

      “Last thing the gun world needs is another divisive screed about liberals. The country isn’t divided into conservatives and liberals.”

      I said:

      “Apparently, the fidelity of left-leaning supporters toward the 2nd amendment is tentative and easily cleaved from the edifice of freedom lovers with divisive words. ”

      I also make arguments in the piece that either stand, or can be refuted. Whining about divisiveness is not the same as discerning truth.

    • I believe Tim has explained himself very well, and has had the benefit of many more “news flashes” than his detractors.

    • I don’t know that it will last. Those leading your national platform and making policy, from Obama to Holder, have made their gun-control ambitions known.

  9. I am a gun fanatic, and a confirmed liberal. Everybody on here thinks all liberals are out to get your guns, simply not true. It’s a way for the RepubliCONS to get your vote. Just wait until you retire and find that Social Security is gone. GULP, GULP. All from your friendly neighborhood, we only care about the wealthy, CONservatives.

  10. We gun-owners are stronger without being divided. Gun rights are shared, appreciated, and defended by progressives and conservatives alike. Devisivism is as much a threat to productive gun rights advocacy as is the ignorance of policy-makers.

    Party politics provide little service to the second amendment and instead advance polarization when more strength is had in unity. A government too small is as unhealthy as a government too large.

    Thanks for a thought provoking read.

    • “Party politics provide little service to the second amendment and instead advance polarization when more strength is had in unity.”

      I very carefully avoided party and spoke to philosophy. Half the stupid crap we have to deal with from the government came from the Progressive fountain of Richard “We’re all Keynesians now” Nixon.

      Ideology matters.

      • Carefully avoided party?!?!? You’ve blasted liberals in 2 articles in a week!! I don’t claim to be with ANY party but it’s universally accepted that liberal=democrat.

        • How exactly are political parties separate from philosophy anyhow? Their one and the same!

      • Really? Which party did I blast? Liberal is a philosophy, not a party. Wilson was a Progressive, Hoover was a Progressive. Wilson was a Democrat, Hoover was a Republican.

        Progressive is an equal opportunity philosophy.

        • Republican and Democrat are philosophies disguised as parties. Anymore, there is no way to differentiate one from the other on an intellectual basis. We’re all individuals with individual thoughts and beliefs and we can pick and choose the ones that make sense to us. That’s the point I’m trying to make. It’s all such a giant grey area it makes one’s head explode. My mind is blown and I haven’t even taken a bong hit…………yet.

  11. I’d also like you to contemplate the record of a certain presumptive GOP presidential nominee in regards to gun rights which would pretty much put him in your progressive corner.

    • News flash: Conservative != GOP.

      And this is where a lot of Republicans and Democrats go wrong. They are still rooting for team “D” and team “R” rather than rooting for Team America.

      The reality is that both sides, GOP and Democrats, try to buy votes with tax dollars.

      Big nanny state government is still big nanny state government, whether run by Republicans or Democrats.

      • oh, most certainly, if you want to get close to the root of all evil you have to consider that certain notable historic figures where very much opposed to the idea of political parties and the rather laughable number of them which are shaping politics in this country today adds insult to injury. But be it as it may, it’s what we got right now and when the poll open again conservative will again equate GOP given the utter unavailability of any real choice.

  12. I love die hard conservatives, they’re always good for a laugh. The patriot act is a perfect example of the perverse conservative views on freedom. Refresh my memory was it liberal democrats who wanted ti change the name of french fries to freedom frie after 9/11? Conservatives talk about freedom for everyone except women, gays and people of differing faiths. I love how the conservatives got so angry that federal government mandate that health Insurers make contraceptives available everyone there was no discrimination, if you were offering health Insureance you have to cover contraception. That seems more fair than making excuses for religious zealors. There big argument was that government should not be able to legislate relgion, except if your Mormon or Islamic and you want to marry multiple women, that must be legislated agianst.Conservatives just as abad about legislating away American freedoms as liberals. Conservatives only care about protecting the freedoms of people who think and act like them. You views on freedom are just as limited as progressive and liberals.

    • Gad, how many standard tropes can you toss into one post?

      Again, you leftists are accusing conservatives of racism and bigotry. Hardly original.


      I suggest you look in the mirror when it comes to such accusations because you leftists certainly seem to see bigotry all the time. Ever suspect that perhaps the problem is with you and your world view?

      • It’s not a world view, it is the conservative voting record. I suppose i should take the world view that suggests 60 seconds if praying is better for American students than 60 seconds of teaching? FWIW I can’t stand conservatives or liberals, both groups believe in wildly idiotic notions. Remember, it was conservatives who came up with such political gems as Mcarthyism, Vietnam, Iraq, the bailout, the Patriot Act, and the TSA. Those seem to be a little more invasive than the EPA, food stamps, universal healthcare, Social Security, earth day, hybrid cars, equal pay for women, abortions, non discrimination, gay marriage and tofu.

        Oh and Tim, before you get on to progressive and Farm Subsidies, check out what the conservatives have to corn industry. That is a buch of monetary waste right there.

        • Wow, you’re so willfully obtuse it’s astonishing.

          You’re a progressive/leftist through and through, yet cannot see it.

          Every single government program and agency you list should be done away with. They’re either bankrupt or have gone so far beyond their original intent they can no longer be reformed.

        • Vietnam was a conservative deal? Wow. I seem to remember Lyndon Johnson crafting that fiasco.

          McCarthyism? McCarthy was a blowhard — but he was correct. We didn’t know how correct until the Soviet Union fell and outed the spies that Joseph Welch said didn’t exist.

          TSA? The biggest TSA pumpmeister is your current liberal darling in the White House. So’s the Patriot Act. Of which, btw, I can’t seem to find many abuses. That doesn’t mean they haven’t happened, but they sure are hard to find.

          The bailout? Check to see who voted for and against.

          Iraq? We’re still there. It’s been four years since the Annointed One took office, and we’re still there.

        • “Vietnam was a conservative deal? Wow. I seem to remember Lyndon Johnson crafting that fiasco.”

          That fiasco was crafted by the military-industrial complex, who sought kennedy’s assassination because of his impediment of their growing war in vietnam.

          “McCarthyism? McCarthy was a blowhard — but he was correct. We didn’t know how correct until the Soviet Union fell and outed the spies that Joseph Welch said didn’t exist.”

          McCarthy was a charlatan plain and simple. A witch hunter chasing around imaginary enemies. He belongs in the same category as that monster J Edger Hoover.

          “TSA? The biggest TSA pumpmeister is your current liberal darling in the White House. So’s the Patriot Act. Of which, btw, I can’t seem to find many abuses. That doesn’t mean they haven’t happened, but they sure are hard to find.”

          The TSA and patriot act was established under george bush. You can’t find abuses? LOL i suggest you actually read the patriot act itself. here’s a idea

          Americans sold their freedom out for the “patriot” act…precisely what the holders of the status quo want.

          “The bailout? Check to see who voted for and against.”

          Yeah George Bush signed the bill into law within hours after it was passed through congress.

          “Iraq? We’re still there. It’s been four years since the Annointed One took office, and we’re still there.”

          thats because obama, like bush, is a banking president, plain and simple.

  13. Perhaps we can agree to focus our discussions here on preserving the 2nd amendment rights of everyone, regardless of political standing. And perhaps we can realize that both liberal and conservative are very broad brushes. Many people on both sides share a belief in wanting to keep unneeded government regulations out of their houses and in the soundness of our constitution. Whether one is a well armed conservative or a well armed liberal we share the well armed part.

    • the diffrence is that the liberals are voting for people who want to take all of our arms. So no , we can’t just join hands and sing “we are the world”.

      • Good point. We should keep an eye out for these weirdos, they seem to have the ability to brainwash people into doing some pretty stupid shit.

  14. “Bitter clingers?” No way. I’m very joyful about it. Guns mean liberty. Never had much use for religion, but I own not one thing more valuable than my faith.

    As for liberals or progressives, some of my best friends and most of my family are. But most of what they cling to is neither liberal nor progressive in the truest senses of the words. Their goals usually mean less freedom and trying over and over again things that have failed everywhere else a hundred times.

  15. It disappoints me that the author’s reaction to learning of opposing opinions on this blog is not a desire to learn from those who hold them, but to denigrate them instead. This also seems to be exhibit A in the case of the mystery of why the NRA/the shooting community has a hard time attracting minorities and women. If this blog wants to be a political blog, so be it, there are plenty of ones to follow that don’t call progressive liberal gun owners like myself weak-willed, misguided, freedom-hating political caricatures. But if this blog is interested in presenting gun news and information to the widest audience possible and creating a consortium of gun-lovers that transcends other political differences, it’ll reject the posts like this that serve only as an echo chamber for politically conservative gun owners and alienates readers like me.

      • Thanks for the response, I didn’t make the author connection between the two and I appreciate the thought and sincerity involved in your occupy experience. I’m just not sure what happened between personally meeting and understanding both gun-loving and gun-averse progressives and now. How fruitful would those conversations have been if you’d begun by telling the “Proggies” that they don’t “understand freedom”? Is that really the lesson you took away from meeting the people involved in Occupy?

        I’m a Berkeley-educated progressive liberal who’s the son of two Berkeley liberals and now going to school in the middle of Missouri, and being able to have respectful understanding of opposing politics is what has let me continue to enjoy shooting with a wide variety of fellow gun-lovers. I’m not expecting TTAG to turn into a political love-fest, but I’m of the opinion that the larger and more diverse the gun community is, the more difficult it will be to limit or marginalize its members.

        • Holly hell. A “progressive” “liberal” just said something that I agree with.

          A rare occasion to say the least. Of course, I stand by my forgoing use of quotation marks.

      • “How fruitful would those conversations have been if you’d begun by telling the “Proggies” that they don’t “understand freedom”? Is that really the lesson you took away from meeting the people involved in Occupy?”

        You and I clearly disagree. I detailed arguments as to why I think our visions of freedom are incompatible. How are we to learn from one another if we do not express our disagreements.

        Would it be too much to ask for a counter argument explaining how I am wrong rather than a complaint that I am being divisive?

        I’ll bet RF will publish your essay on how you can be a New Deal era Progressive and still support the 2nd Amendment. Address my issues. I doubt I am wrong, but it has happend before.

        You’re going to college for pity’s sake. Put that expensive education to work.

        • I’m certainly not trying to speak for Alex. He’s obviously a well educated and well spoken cat. But why is it so hard for you to accept the fact that there are a lot of us who support issues on both sides of the isle? Why don’t you explain why you think it is impossible to do so? Why is it not right or possible to truly support gay rights and the 2nd Amendment? Why is not possible to believe in the idea of SOME social services even though the execution of them has been mercilessly corrupted? I believe you are a very intelligent person with beliefs that I don’t share. I’m not asking you to explain them even though I kind of did. I really don’t care. But your insistence in lumping ALL progressively minded people into one pile is insulting to say the least. Because you’re Christian should we lump you into the same sociopathic pile that the Westboro baptist church is in?

        • This isn’t my soapbox, but I’ll give it a shot. I believe the biggest difference between our concepts of freedom lie at the boundary of Constitutionally enumerated powers. Socially progressive government programs like Medicare/Medicaid/Social Security that I favor and value represent popular programs whose justification and existence are questionable at best from a strict constructionist point of view, but represent a safety net for the sick, old, and impaired. Philosophically, I believe that a man without a safety net, living paycheck to paycheck, and a hairsbreadth from ruin, is less free to innovate, take chances, start a business, etc, so in the interest of ensuring that freedom, a social progressive will favor a safety net on the scale that government can provide. As this relates to gun rights, I believe that the 2nd amendment represents a safety net as well; my right to own and carry firearms protects my ability to live free from violence and oppression when all else breaks down. Every safety net has its cost and every cost will have its detractors: taxes paid for the upkeep of social programs can be viewed by some as just as onerous as the toll taken by firearms accidents that inevitably occur in an armed society, but both are necessary, in my opinion, to maintain the kind of freedom I want to have in America. I see this as logically consistent, which is why I disagree with you that being progressive, freedom-loving, and gun-toting are fundamentally inconsistent.

          I’m happy to have philosophical and political debate as it relates to gun rights, and I know full well that my opinions aren’t going to be shared by a majority of readers on this site, but that wasn’t my complaint. If you’re going to tell me what I believe, call me contemptuous, and say I can never understand, the discussion’s over before it even begins. My hope is that TTAG can be a source for gun news, information, and discussion that doesn’t exclude the people who hold my political views.

    • I’ve tried to keep out of this cluster^%$k of a thread but…good post.

      Another “progressive” gun owner here that doesn’t appreciate the hackneyed stereotypes and thoughtless assumptions of this editorial. The author has done a lot of good work for this site and is entitled to his opinion but…really? Intelligentsia?

  16. There you go, McNabb. See what your douchey Limbaugh parroting posts do? Promotes a lot of traffic but does nothing but create more arguing. I even agree with most of your post. It’s just a douchey way to make a point. ILLLLCCCHHHH!!!

  17. Who says Liberals that love guns want impose size restrictions or other government limitations? Bloomberg who is the poster boy for anti-big gulp legislation is clearly not a stalwart for gun rights and is in a city with a culture of odd politics that goes beyond the comprehension of the rest of the country aside from California and other bastions of kooky anti-gunners.

    If you equate liberalism and progressives with nanny state and anti-gun, then perhaps the generalization has gone too far or perhaps there are gray areas that go beyond labels of liberal, progressive right wing, compassionate conservative, socialist.

  18. I support LGBT rights.
    I support healthcare reform.
    I support vaccinations.
    I support stem cell research.
    I support the right to an abortion.
    I support nuclear energy.
    I support renewable energy.
    I support drink buckets.
    I support education reform.
    I support collective bargaining rights.
    I support funding for all these projects.
    I am a liberal, I am a progressive,
    And I support gun rights.

    • I support LGBT rights. What they do is nobody’s business but their own.
      There’s no such thing as “healthcare” reform. There is insurance reform, and it’s none of the federal government’s business.
      I support vaccinations for people who want them but not for people who don’t.
      I support stem cell research. It’s the way they’re going to get the stem cells that concerns me.
      I support the right to an abortion. I think it’s a responsibility and there should be more of them.
      I support nuclear energy when it’s paid for by industry, not my tax money.
      I support renewable energy when it’s paid for by industry, not my tax money.
      I support good whiskey.
      I support education vouchers because public education absolutely stinks.
      I despise unions because I’ve had to work with them and know what they do.
      I do not support funding for any of these projects.
      I am a financial conservative, I social libertarian, and a fullblown thermonuclear hawk on foreign policy.
      I support gun rights and don’t trust any leftist policitian who doesn’t trust me with a gun.

  19. Since it’s political affiliation show-and-tell day, I’m an atheist paleocon. Any other paleos in the house tonight?

  20. For what it is worth, this has been a rollicking discussion and I am thoroughly enjoying it. Be advised, disagreeing with you is not the same as hating you.

  21. No matter who wins we loose, are rights are God given period. It’s our government that is violating are fundamental rights, not just the 2nd amendment. Are rights are being destroyed from all sides and sometimes we get a little of are rights back but in the end we have lost alot. This blog should be about us talking to each other about the machine gun shoot we participated in or that are new rifle we ordered just came to our home in the mail and without BS useless paperwork, taxes, tranfer fees and registration of firearms. I miss the days when a person could freely own various firearms no matter how short they were or how fast they could fire. And their wasn’t near same amount of violence we have today it was not perfect back then but we were a hell of alot more secure and free. We all have to stick together to ensure the return of all are God given rights. God Bless and take care!

  22. This quote sums up my politics entirely:

    “I believe in only one thing: liberty; but I do not believe in liberty enough to want to force it upon anyone.” – H.L. Mencken

    Any person or organization that tries to force their will on me without my consent is my enemy.

  23. When I discovered this piece yesterday afternoon, my first thought was, “He’s written an article just for me!” Then I saw that there were already 146 comments, and the thread was just hours old. There was a lot to get through before I felt like I cold say anything.

    When you say stuff like, “Progressives do not understand freedom like I do…” well, you are just baiting people. I had a German teacher once who used to compel us to speak in class by serving up outrageous statements like, “Es gibt keine Kultur in Amerika.”

    There have been some excellent responses to the initial provocation, but my favorite is Alex’s view that unfettered access to guns is a safety net like any other.

    I guess that I reject the notion that my gun rights will one day be taken away from me progressively by my progressive representatives in government and that, when that day comes, it will be my own damned fault because I had a flawed understanding of freedom. My position regarding this threat is that, when that day comes, I shall recognize its arrival along with every other American who values gun freedom. Unlike some, I am confident that, regardless of our political or philosophical stripe, we shall stand together on that day and defend our freedom.

  24. yes, individual progs or libs can love and support gun ownership, but the party they support does not and works overtime to destroy those rights. i support ssi. gay rights and other social issues and programs. but i must vote to the right until the left ceases it’s attacks on my most important right. i wonder how many others such as myself would be lost to the right if the left backed off this one issue?

  25. You know what Shin Chan would say to this?
    “You can’t abort them if they aint your’s.” translated it means “Keep your hands off my Uberti!”

  26. Thank you for this article. It is a pristine example of why I hold the political beliefs I do and carry a gun on a daily basis. This is truly, astoundingly, horrifying. This article does a PERFECT job of summarizing why I own and carry firearms: because I am terrified of this breed of hyper-conservative extremist right-wing zealots drowning in firearms and–apparently– a deeply ingrained fetish for guns, along with an apparent desire to use them in what is inevitably (to these people) some coming revolution or happening”.

    Though the mental gymnastics at work here are truly impressive and exhausting, they do not hold a candle to the racism, extremism, conflation, name calling, hyperbole, conspiracy theorizing, persecution, and the host of rhetorical fallacies committed in the name of bitching-about-your-persona-politics-to-your-friends-on-the-internet. If there were a Pulitzer Prize for offensiveness, illogicality, incorrectness, poor writing, outlandishness, irrationality, and extremism, the author would be a multi-medal winner. Unfortunately for him, the only accolade he will receive is the continued circle-jerking of his extremist compatriots, ecstatic to have yet further washed their brains in a violent collective delusion incarnate in the love of weapons and their magical purifying righteousness. (On second thought, it wouldn’t win any awards after all due to general poor writing and usage.)

    I only wish I could say that such ridiculous words I do not take seriously, but quite to the contrary; I think the author is completely serious. Bat shit crazy, maybe, but serious, definitely. And that is why I am crap-my-pants scared of this hyper-conservative breed of double think and its fanatical purveyors. I only wish this were satire.

    The only part of the article with which I agree is where the author refers to himself, correctly, as “obviously a conservative ass”. Get your heads out of your asses, people. You’re not better than anyone else because you can make a piece of metal go really fast, nor does that ability make you righteous, exceptional, special, or powerful.

    P.S. Before he publishes anything in a public space again, I implore the author to learn what government is and what green energy is. (i.e. Why-the-actual-fuck are there quotation marks around “green energy”?)
    P.P.S. I don’t have the time or patience to tear apart this post line-by-line (as it begs to be disassembled by a mind that operates within logic) as that would take all night and the Olympics are on, and I have guns to clean.

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