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“Molon Labe” Was Uttered By An Arms-Controlling Tyrant proclaims. The post is pithy and well-researched. But it fails its mission to pull the historical, rhetorical rug from underneath supporters of armed defiance. Sure, the screed provides some interesting if incomplete information about Spartan society. And yes,  (contributor to our old pal Mikeb302000’s blog) offers a convincing case that the expression was most likely invented post facto. But his dietribe [sic] fails to establish that “gun extremists” who use the expression “as a rally cry for the pro-gun movement” are FOS. Or, as Baldr puts it, “the joke’s on them!” Yes, well, in his last sentence, Baldr admits the limitations of his own argument: “Using ‘molon labe’ as a symbol for the pro-gun movement focuses only on the one, defiant sentiment, and ignores all other aspects of the arms-controlling society of the man who supposedly uttered it.” And? [h/t JM]

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  1. Wait a minute I thought Mike bunch of numbers offed himself! Is he the Messiah risen from the dead or just a Zombie?

  2. The joke is on him. The Spartans kept slaves and engaged in rampant homosexual behavior among many other less than savory things, but they were contemporaries of the Athenians and keenly remembered and idealized for their martial prowess. The founders of the United States sought to emulate Sparta, this is well documented.

    The thing is that the phrase as we use it today has more to do with the Texas revolution than Thermopylae. This guy is pretty dense, it is like reading “well regulated” the wrong way and announcing to everyone that you have solved America’s gun problem. It is only a meme.

    • The founders sought to emulate Athens more than Sparta. But they studied all the classics about Greece and Rome.

    • There’s a reason they hand you a copy of Thycidides’ “The Pelopenesian Wars” when you show up at the Army War College. Whether it’s the patience of the Spartans in war counsel, or the ideals of Pericles in his Funeral Oration, there are lessons to be learned.

      The Spartan women, BTW, were reputed to be loose and good. Sh–t to be a helot, though.

    • Actually it was the Athenians that practiced rampant homosexuality and couldn’t even take the time to leave their brothers behinds to protect Athens. They saw themselves as artisans. The ultimately led to their enslavement by the Romans. And of course over 2000 yrs of don’t drop the soap in a shower full of greeks

  3. Just about as valid as discounting Jefferson’s statements about freedom because he owned slaves.

    In other words, it’s an ad hominem attack just like any other. A tool for those without a proper argument to convince the simple minded.

    • It’s definitely a tactic used by some folks when they don’t have much else to work with.

      Standard Last Ditch Effort Rebuttal Form (use when all other arguments against liberty have failed)

      (please select one or more of each option)

      “You can’t use that [person] [group] [society] [event] [other] from history! That was not a perfect [person] [group] [society] [event] [other]. [He] [She] [They] were flawed because [he] [she] [they] were [racist] [sexist] [bigoted] [mean] [evil] [a businessperson] [wrong religion] [other]. They were not perfect! Therefore, your argument about [freedom] [collectivism] [tyranny] [firearms] [other] is not valid and irrelevant.”

      • Or as Calvin of “Calvin & Hobbes” would say: “Oh yeah? You’re just a pottymouth poopyhead!”

        Which pretty well captures the essence of most of the arguments from the anti-self defense groups.

      • Yep. Standard Progressive tactics..
        Right out of the Alinsky playbook “Rules for Radicals”.
        Typical trollish behavior too – make personal comments to enrage and engage.

        MikeyB was given a lot of respectful conversation here at first, as I recall, in a well-meant effort to educate, inform, about the truth. Which turned out to be useless, as in his case, he was obviously looking to gin up views on his own blog. And the ego gratification that trolls crave.

        In the end, engaging in “outreach/education/dialogue” with
        a “progressive/libtard/moonbat” is
        like trying to teach a pig to dance- it just wont work.

        Pigs can’t dance.
        All you do is piss off the pig.
        And end up covered in pig$hit.

      • Chip, consider that bit of editing stolen. That’s a rebuttal like a blacksmith’s hammer on a finishing nail.

      • Yall are welcome to use as you wish. Only request I have is that if someone makes it into a proper document, please post a link to it here.

    • Jefferson not only owned slaves, but his business records reflect that he found the most profitable of the various businesses on his estates was the sale of the slave offspring. His second most profitable business was the manufacture of nails, which employed exclusively the young negro males on the plantation that were too young to work the fields or the in house. (And when the boys were not sufficiently productive, they were whipped.) According to the Smithsonian.

      • When one tries to formulate an opinion based on a few happenings in that person’s life and then any conclusion, most assuredly a MORAL conclusion then 99% of the time it is false.

        Do not judge unless you are ready to be judged!

      • And George Washington’s best business was distilling whiskey. He got a lower tax rate on it than the “Whiskey Rebellion” guys he put down! But then again, they didn’t lead the revolutionary troops, or decline a third term as president despite universal acclimation.

        Jefferson and Franklin both had indentured servants ‘slaving’ away clearing western land, for their profit.

        In a slave era everybody with sense held slaves and put them to the best use they could, even as they renounced the concept of slavery. It is no different today. People pay minimum wage and keep people on short hours to reduce benefit costs. Many of these same people say publicly, “what the hell are you doing allowing such terms?” And the minimum wage employees don’t listen, don’t demand change, and leave their bosses competing with minimum-wage-paying employers.

        Those who claim that reparations should be paid never look to the people that originally sold them for the money. It is a gray gray world.

  4. The poor, misnamed (Odin’s son… really?) little man misses the point. The pro-gun-rights crowd doesn’t want to transform America into a modern Sparta. We just want to protect our rights to defend ourselves from tyranny, whether it comes as a thief in the night or via government dictate.

    Failing to grasp the essence of our fight, he quite naturally fails to understand why we embrace the concept of “come and take them.” His blog is nothing more than yet another attempt to paint all gun rights people with a misogynist, racist brush. It is not a good attempt. Wow. Spartans owned slaves and limited access to weapons for them. Wow. Ancient Greece. Wow. Almost all ancient Greek city-states embraced slavery. Wow. I am so not shocked. Wow. The Ancient World had slaves. Wow.

    I am going to spend the rest of the day trying to scrub the Pythagorean Theorem from my mind as I am shocked that Ancient Greece had slaves. Nah, maybe I’ll just put on my Gonzalez pin and go shooting.

    • +1
      Let’s ignore those idiots like Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle as well. They must have been racist bigots.

  5. How about we all just talk in plain language. You want my guns? Come and (try) take them…insert colorful expletive here.

  6. Just another statist wanna be tyrant that loves the idea of subject classes and races denied the right to KABA trying to deconstruct the mythology of those people that support freedom and the right to KABA.

    It would be laughable if not so pathetic; statists like him are right now fighting to create the same level of tyranny that has been so much the norm for all of history and is the norm for most of the people of the world today.

    • Progressives would rather be equal in government controlled poverty than unequal in free market liberty. For some reason though, they seem to believe that they would be spared the injustices in such a system of government.

        • I agree that they seem to want the government to step into the role of perpetual parenthood so they can be irresposible teenagers for eternity. Yet there seems to be this belief among Progs that if they were to get their Utopia, they would be able to just collect a sizable check from mommy and daddy (the government) and sit on a beach sipping umbrella-adorned mixed drinks while Facebooking on their latest iDevice. The reality contains more dilapidated public housing projects, lines for supermarkets with limited food stock and numerous other hardships that are associated with a populace that is content with laziness and having no respect or pride in the free shit that is available to them. Somehow Progs believe they would be spared this fate with all past and current evidence pointing to the contrary.

  7. μολὼν λαβέ (pronounced “Molon Labe”, I’ve forgotten more Ancient Greek than most people on here will ever learn, that is the Classical, not Modern, pronunciation.) has been done to death.

    I prefer the Greek word “αἴκα” (aika) myself, it simply means “If”. It’s shorter, and less well-known.

    When an ambassador from Philip of Macedon, father of Alexander the Great, who was in process of conquering all of Greece, told the Spartans: “You are advised to submit without further delay, for if I bring my army into your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people, and raze your city.”

    The Sparta representative said a one-word reply: “If.” (αἴκα)

    Philip of Macedon, and his son Alexander the Great, both avoided Sparta entirely. (Thermopylae to them was like Valley Forge to us, not just a distant memory, but something Real.)

    I tend to think along the same lines with the antis and the gun grabbers. If they enact their dream of a gun-free utopia, through whatever means they can muster, then they, or someone else, will have free-reign to do whatever they please to people like me, including putting a tattoo of numbers on my wrist, putting me in a camp, starving me, and gassing me and mine to death, if not worse.

    My reply to them is, like the Spartans before, “If.”

    • I tend to agree. Molon Labe sounds like someone who’d like to be yelling ‘Wolverine!’ anyway… and this before they go register their “assault weapons” quietly…

      • That’s why you never register anything in your gun safe. It will be confiscated from you at a later date. It’s that simple.

      • +1
        They desperately need to paint themselves as the rational, intellectual elite and their opposition as uneducated, sub-moronic, paranoids in order to rationalize their need to enforce their views on the rest of society.

      • They took two sociology courses. They’re quite sure we’re stupid and uneducated. And the people who taught those courses bitched non-stop because they aren’t the ones with the Porches. Typical. “But we have Phd’s!” Yeah. In what?

  8. By his logic, “Molon Labe” and “assault weapon” are equal. They are both fabricated terms that mean nothing except to the people that use them. His article is a waste of electrons. We know what they mean when they say assault weapon and they know what we mean when we say Molon Labe. Why not stick to the meat of the issue; freedom vs confiscation?

  9. How about a more Modern AMERICAN General’s Word: Tony McAuliffe “NUTS” 101st Airborne.

    It works the same way, you want US to surrender, make US do so, at your own peril.

    Hoplophobe was an invented word yet it works. So too for the progressives is Homophobe. They seem to be able to change or reinvent words and history yet when the Conservative / Libetarians point it out they scream “FOUL” Disagree you are a racist. If you like your rights you are a militant, patriot, old white guy, racist, gay hating, religious zealot, trailer park redneck hick.

    As a bumper sticker so says, “I’m Not racist I Hate Biden also”

    They will not be satisfied until we are penned and standing in line to get sheared. I am not now, nor will I ever be a sheep. My favorite saying, “Throw me to the wolves and I will come back leading the pack”

  10. Thanks for making this post, RF. I stumbled across that blog while doing a search for Molon Labe tattoos (of all things). This guy’s viewpoint is an interesting window into the mind of the anti-gunner, and I think it’s useful to see what they’re actually saying about us at the grassroots level.

  11. I am guessing he is missing the irony of pointing out that women and the servile helots were denied weapons. Gun control remains people control.

  12. Mikey numbers.

    “By now, nearly every single other pro-rights weblog is aware of the cold hard truth that Michael Bonomo, writing under the assumed name “mikeb302000”, is nothing more than a flame-baiting, attention-whoring, logically-deficient, ignorant, uneducated*, bigoted, lying troll with a admitted criminal history who only comments on other people’s weblogs to try to get return traffic, and who only cares about “gun control” insofar as his comments and posts on it generate attention for him, negative or otherwise. In short, he may or may not actually support “gun control”, but he only writes about it because he is a narcissist, and we pro-rights advocates are sometimes easy to prod into providing the attention Bonomo so desperately craves.”

    So why in the f–k does this site continually give him attention? Like the page views? MikeB and his followers like “propaganda professor” and Baldr are just anti-gun trolls devoid of any facts that love to enamor useful idiots to their anti-2nd amendment bullshit. They are the quintessential example of “the girl with the hooped earrings”: devoid of logic, big on feelings.

    dasvidanya. Ill come back when TTAG stops catering to trolls.

    • I appreciate your point, but the comments section shows that people around here are good at identifying things like this guy’s post as nothing more than a well-researched ad hominem attack under a scholarly title. It provides a good starting point for learning about anti-gun tactics for those who are unfamiliar with them, and might be cowed by the professorial nature and big words. And finally, it provides a point of conversation, and was sent in by a reader, who evidently thought it was worth some attention.

      You can’t talk about the civilian disarmament movement without talking about the civilian disarmament movement. If that upsets you, so be it. Isn’t this the second or third time you’ve said you’re “done with TTAG until…”? We’ll be here when you return from your snit.

      • “Isn’t this the second or third time you’ve said you’re “done with TTAG until…”

        No, but can I have what you’re smoking?

        Sure, its fun bashing Mikey numbers and trolling him on his website, but the real motive here is to use him as bait to generate page views. You must think myself and others are complete f–king idiots to think you altruistically want people to “learn from anti-gunners” by giving mikeyb the valet keys. But whatever.

        • OK, if that wasn’t you, I apologize. There are a couple folks who have threatened to leave, but they always come back, and one of them is all caps like you. All you people look alike to me.

          For what it’s worth, even if I mentioned mike’s name, I still wouldn’t have linked to that douchebag’s blog.

          Here’s a tip: Every single article is about generating page views. Some may be more about it than others, but not a single post is written in the expectation that nobody will click on it. And for my part, even I learned a little something from this post. This was the first time I’d seen someone take the molon labe thing and try to “put it into context” to undermine it. So the responses here helped do the heavy lifting for me in case I encounter someone trying to parrot that point of view, without me having to devote a lot of my own time to analyzing it to eventually reach the same conclusions.

          Is this post (and any others you take offense to) totally altruistic and providing a pure public service? No. Is it totally about driving pageviews? No, it’s not that either. Everything is a balance. I don’t think you or anyone else are idiots, nor do I think you’re naive about how the world works. Clicks pay the bills. If you’re offended, don’t click. If you’ve paid attention, you’ve seen that even I have called foul when I’ve seen posts that were pure clickbait. I’ve even had Robert threaten to ban me when I did it too often. It all balances out in the end. I actually am sorry if that can’t work for you.

  13. Aaand who cares?

    The Spartans had real freedom- for the few who were capable of using it. Modern Western societies.. nobody gets it. What an advance!

  14. the main article is definitely the opinion of a bigoted person who out of ignorance and loathing for freedom practitioners, has so little self worth that they’ll spew trash about what they know not for their own self aggrandizement and a feeling of misguided self worth because they were unloved at birth and have to justify their existence with a craving for attention all the while expounding on their Ignorance with opinions that prove too them selves that their own uttering is valued more than a person of lesser stature, and will twist all things including history to prove how righteous they are! and you are not

  15. I got this far into the link: “… In fact, the saying may not have actually been uttered at all.”

    And decided that was enough for me.

  16. Mr. BO missed the point of Herodotus’ story completely. The historian, as the Spartans and all Greeks understood, knew that slavery was an equal-opportunity employer. The sole difference b/tw a slave and a free man in ancient Greece was his and his city-state’s ability to preserve it’s freedom, which could only be done by force of arms. All Greeks were slaveholders at that time. It was considered a normal fact of life and societal good to Plato and Aristotle. A free Greek had before him every day the example of life was like when one couldn’t keep one’s freedom. So it was with Leonidas and his 300. They lived the restricted, armed camp life of Spartans because they agreed with their founder Lycurgus that discipline and choosing to live even in a police state as a citizen of that state was preferable to slavery. Herodotus chose the quote, “Molon Labe” to remind his readers that peace and freedom has to won anew in each generation, and that eternal vigilance is the price of freedom.

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