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By Andy H.

We all know what gun control laws are supposed to do:  Gun control advocates are totally sold on the idea that newer, bigger, stricter versions of the same tired old rules will “make us safer.”  We also know that laws can pretend to be one thing while they actually serve another purpose. Voter ID laws, for example, claim to “prevent fraud,” but they’re really meant to prevent old, or poor, or brown-skinned people from voting. So, what is it that gun control laws are really supposed to do?

The people of the gun think they know:  “What they really want to do is take away everyone’s rights. The gun-grabbers are control freaks and megalomaniacs. They want to have everyone under their thumbs. They hate America, they don’t believe in freedom, and they’re just plain evil.”  That’s our go-to response, but it’s missing something.

Is that really how these people think of themselves? Of course not. I grew up in a family of liberal Democrats and didn’t take up guns until I turned forty, so I know where these people are coming from. They’re misguided, they’re ignorant of the subject, and they’re wrong, but they’re not wicked. Demonizing the opposition like this is every bit as unfair as it is when they mischaracterize us.  We ought to be better than that and rise above the hate.

I remember the 1970’s, when McDonalds had swizzle sticks for coffee with tiny little spoons at the end. These things were popular with cocaine users, since they were just the right size for a little snort. So, the company changed to little paddles about the same size, because they didn’t want to appear complicit with cocaine use. That was perfectly understandable. But it was also silly. Sometimes, I try to imagine even one guy doing any less cocaine because he couldn’t use the tiny McDonald’s spoons anymore. It’s cute, but tragic that people will do anything when they feel they have to do something…even if what they do is purely symbolic and doesn’t make any difference.

A “black swan” event is a rare or unique occurrence that (a) takes everyone by surprise, (b) has a major impact upon our conception of the world, far exceeding the scale of the event itself, and (c) tends to get rationalized in hindsight as “predictable,” despite the fact that it wasn’t predicted by anyone. The term was originally coined to describe unforeseen game-changing occasions in financial markets and geopolitical dynamics, but terrorist attacks like Oklahoma City and September 11, and spree killings like Columbine and Sandy Hook are also perfect examples of “Black Swans.”

We tend to over-react to them because we feel like we could never do enough. Our instincts tell us to do something, and do it quickly…and the knee-jerk actions we take are usually pretty clumsy. They often fail to do any good and usually create piles of unintended consequences. Our first attempts have to be redesigned several times over before we even begin to accomplish what we wanted. That’s what happened with the 9-11 wars and the establishment of the TSA, and it’s also the heritage of most gun control legislation in this country.

My gun control-seeking friends and family always pushed for more gun laws because they felt like there weren’t any, or whatever laws we did have were woefully inadequate. Of course, there are hundreds of gun control laws in place all over this country, and it’s been that way for generations, but there’s never been a consistent gun policy.  It’s a ragged mess of random legislation, most of which was quickly passed at the local level in response to tragic events or whenever political leverage allowed it. There was never any kind of overall plan or design. They were left with an apparent lack of regulation because half a fence will not keep cows in a pasture, even if parts of that fence are electrified barbed wire.

The same trend continues even now. Whenever there’s a push for a new law, it’s just some variation on an old theme: these firearms will be banned, but those will be permitted. Handguns are not allowed here but they’re still allowed there. Rifles can’t have this kind of stock but this other one is just fine. You can’t have fifteen rounds in the magazine, but you can have two magazines with ten rounds each.

It’s unclear how any of these rules would meaningfully enhance public safety, but the people who push them don’t seem willing or able to give up on the only strategy they have in play.  The mess we’re left with isn’t just because of the resistance we’ve put up from the other side of the fence.  Instead, it turns out that they don’t care what works.  They only want to “take action,” every so often, regardless of whether or not it will do any good, in response to Black Swans.

As it turns out, the real purpose of gun control laws and “gun-free zones”… and drug paraphernalia laws and “drug-free zones”… isn’t public safety.  It’s public indignation. These laws express condemnation, and they build moral distance between disagreeable objects and polite society, just like getting rid of the little spoons. When publicly declared ire takes the form of legal activism, any law that gets passed is seen as a moral victory, even if it doesn’t work. And, if you don’t believe in “gun rights,” there’s no apparent downside to any such laws.

Prohibition – of anything – doesn’t have a very good track record. We’ve tried prohibiting alcohol, pornography, and abortion. We’re still trying to prohibit pot and cocaine. It never works. The stuff just goes underground where it thrives and does even more damage than it otherwise would in a lawful environment.

It’s shocking how closely the logic of “gun rights” runs parallel to these other things, especially when you consider how fiercely each perspective is both championed and denigrated from opposite ends of the political spectrum. But people continue to try to ban things they hate because that’s how they publicly express that disapproval. That’s why gun control laws which haven’t been proven to reduce criminal violence remain on the books. That’s why there’s a cry out for more of the same, every time there’s a high-profile tragedy. These laws give voice to outrage, and they do a pretty good job of that. But they’re “successful” only insofar as they proclaim a moral position. And they only work as well as the Volstead Act.

More laws are not the answer, and neither is better enforcement of the laws already on the books. When the “But We Have To Do SOMETHING!” instinct kicks in, we should remind ourselves that serious efforts to get rid of things we don’t like always employ strategies other than legislation.  At the very least, violence and crime reduction requires a multifaceted approach that addresses the root cause of violent behavior.

The whole problem the antis have with guns is “gun violence,” but they are inherently limited in how much violence they can prevent when they adopt a purely instrumental approach.  Instead, how much would crime decrease if we were to resolve the issues of poverty and income inequality?  How much would public safety improve if we decriminalized drugs and demilitarized the police?  The real goal is societal change, not mere legality, because one thing laws have never done is make bad stuff impossible.  And more often than we’d like to admit, our efforts at prohibition can make the situation even worse.

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    • Well, except for this bit when you contrast it to his casting aspersions on the motives of supporters of voter ID.

      “Is that really how these people think of themselves? Of course not. I grew up in a family of liberal Democrats and didn’t take up guns until I turned forty, so I know where these people are coming from. They’re misguided, they’re ignorant of the subject, and they’re wrong, but they’re not wicked. Demonizing the opposition like this is every bit as unfair as it is when they mischaracterize us. We ought to be better than that and rise above the hate.”

      • Most are not wicked.

        But some are; I’ve met a few.

        Problem is, it’s hard to separate the two. And given that much of the gun control agenda doesn’t make any sense at all to folks with a clear view of how the world really works, it’s easy to jump to the conclusion that a majority are evil.

        Most are just stupid, easily led, or very poor thinkers. However, the effect on our rights of a large mass of stupid people, and a large mass of evil people, is the same; so, in a way, stupid can equal evil.

      • Except the voter ID laws are drawn up to address problems that do not substantially exist. It doesn’t matter what your original intentions are if you refuse to be dissuaded when shown that voter fraud is negligible and the impact on active voters would NOT be negligible. Sure, voter fraud is bad and I would like there to be no voter fraud at all, but incidence of voter fraud isn’t high, so why doggedly pursue it given the (demonstrated) negative effects? The analogies to gun control are so striking that I’m often surprised at the proportion of gun rights advocates who support restrictive voter legislation. Sure, restrictive gun control would prevent a handful of gun related crimes but only at the expense of serious infringements on 2nd amendment right. Sure, voter ID laws and other proposed legislation could prevent a handful of cases of voter fraud, but not without documented burden falling disproportionately on the elderly, the poor, and minorities. Sometimes I think people forget that franchise is constitutionally protected as well…

        • Without a method of IDing voters, no investigation into voter fraud can be considered valid. Also, no connection between gun control and voter ID can be made, that has been discussed in-depth here already, perhaps you missed those posts, or just prefer to continue to dredge up muck since you have nothing new to add.

        • On what basis do you say that the impact on “active voters” would not be negligible?

          You call it ‘restrictive voter legislation,’ yet it does not restrict voting.

          While it is certainly true that voter ID laws would reduce the amount of voter fraud that even you admit exists, it is not true that restrictive gun laws would reduce crime

        • ” incidence of voter fraud isn’t high,”

          Correction: Reported incidence isn’t high. That’s why the liberals and other frauds are fighting it – because it would so glaringly expose the fraud that they’ve been getting away with.

          For proof, consider the fact that _legal_ immigrants are (generally) in favor of Voter ID.

        • “Sure, restrictive gun control would prevent a handful of gun related crimes”

          No, they don’t. They never have, they never will, and there are those who believe that restrictive gun control actually correlates with an _increase_ in gun related crimes.

          And there’s that pesky Constitution that they haven’t completely trashed – yet.

        • Pseudo remarks above: “Except the voter ID laws are drawn up to address problems that do not substantially exist.”

          Except that it does, and members of BOTH parties engage in it (including poll worker and nun):

          Voter Fraud: We’ve Got Proof It’s Easy (National Review)

          Federal suit alleges ‘massive’ voter fraud in East St. Louis (

          Shorewood man [Republican] charged with 13 counts of voter fraud (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

          Woman Convicted of Voter Fraud Honored by Ohio Democrats (Breitbart)

          Mississippi NAACP leader sent to prison for 10 counts of voter fraud (Daily Caller)

          Three women arrested in voter fraud scandal (Dothan Eagle) [Note: 56 counts!!)

          Roxanne Rubin, Nevada Republican, Accepts Plea Deal After Committing Voter Fraud (Huffington Post)

          Nun pleads guilty to voter fraud; escapes prison (Cincinnati Enquirer)

          Massachusetts Democrat Pleads Guilty in NH Vote Fraud Case (Concord Patch)

          Officials Plead Guilty in New York Voter Fraud Case (Fox News)

          Virginia Republican pleads guilty to dozens of counts of voter fraud (Raw Story)


          A voter ID doesn’t “restrict” anyone’s ability to vote any more than registering to vote does.

          One is simply proving one’s identity.

          Based on Pseudo’s premise, voter registration should be abolished.

    • There are some good points in this article. Most of those who push for population disarmament are not intentionally wicked, but you get the same result from ignorance. I do not hear the old saying “The road to hell is paved with good intentions” much any more. That does not make it less true.

      It is their worldview and wrong assumptions about the nature of the universe that creates the problems. Those wrong assumption have been creating significant dangers to our entire society, and they should not be given a pass.

      Unfortunately, the author seems to share some of them.

    • Lost me at the evil voter ID part.

      How exactly do “old, or poor, or brown-skinned people” suffer under voter ID laws? I observe lots of them driving around Virginia. One would assume they all have a driver’s license. For those that don’t drive, IDs are neither difficult to obtain nor costly.

      Even the majority of blacks in Virginia supported voter IDs:

      Voter ID In Virginia: Poll Finds Strong Support For Controversial Program

      “Among black voters 66 percent were in favor and 34 percent opposed.”

      Let’s examine just a few other areas in life that you need to present ID in order to prove your age or identity:
      * Buy alcohol
      * Buy cigarettes
      * Cash a check or withdraw money at a bank
      * Register as patient at a hospital or a doctor’s office
      * Obtain a Social Security card
      * Ride on Amtrak
      * Ride on Greyhound
      * Attend college
      * Test drive a car
      * Rent a car

      Oh yeah…savvy private sellers of guns ask for IDs too.

      The whole “voter ID is disenfranchsing” thing is sheer agitprop. Bogus beyond belief.

        • I am pretty sure if that was sarcasm then Andy is illiterate. As written, if you see sarcasm then you are illiterate.
          Look at the phrases: “We all know…”, “we also know…”, “actually”, “for example”, “they’re really meant”, “really supposed to do”.
          These are phrases of affirmation not supposition.

      • There is a small but real burden imposed on voters under voter ID laws. It proportionately effects people of reduced means. Voter fraud has not been demonstrated to be a significant problem. The solution to the problem causes more burden then the problem is. My opinion of this would change completely if voter fraud was actually a significant concern, but there is no data to support that. There IS data showing the burden such laws would be. Why would I support them? I’d also remind you that the right to rent a car or purchase alcohol or any of the other stuff you mention isn’t constitutionally protected. I’d also imagine you’re a staunch supporter of mandatory background checks and firearms registration? That also represents a small but real burden on gun owners with virtually no data supporting its efficacy.

        • Voting is not an uninfringeable right. Bearing arms is. Yet somehow, the idea of background checks or permits to carry are not infringements, yet ID to vote is?

        • Can you please provide non-anecdotal sources for your assertion that there is data that supports the idea that Voter ID laws are a burden?


  1. You lost me at:

    Voter ID laws, for example, claim to “prevent fraud,” but they’re really meant to prevent old, or poor, or brown-skinned people from voting.


    • Oddly, the real world data contradicts the author’s view. Areas which have enacted voter ID have seen an increase in minority voting. It does what its’ meant to do– prevent illegal voting. Now, why the minority vote increases is up for debate– anger because they hold the author’s opinion about the intent and therefore are more motivated to vote? Or, perhaps believe that their vote is more meaningful and counts more since illegals, multiple registered folks are stopped?

    • Voter ID laws, for example, claim to “prevent fraud,” but they’re really meant to prevent old, or poor, or brown-skinned people from voting.

      Garbage. All credibility gone in the first paragraph. At least it saved me some time.

      • Then you missed some good points. The term “Throwing out the baby with the bathwater” comes to mind. It is ironic that you started reading a piece about how knee-jerk reactions are stupid, but immediately stopped reading when you came across a line you didn’t agree with and disregarded the rest of the article. Your knee-jerk reaction to his opinion on an unrelated topic made you miss a very well written article on a topic you agree with the author on.

        • “… but they’re really meant to prevent …”

          A crack like this is prima facie evidence that the author is an idiot and not worthy of note.

    • If you’d made it all the way through, you would have seen the companion bookend in the last paragraph: “income inequality.”

      • I noted that as well.
        Even though the author made good points in the article, those two things tainted it badly for me.
        Two thumbs down

    • That is where I stopped reading because it is clear the author does not possess critical thinking skills, and that argument is a well known Democrat talking point, so why should I be bothered to read any more of that drivel? Moving on…

    • Agreed. The rant about voting ID keeping people from voting is crap. Anywhere I’ve seen that has voter ID requirements will actually give the person a FREE voter ID. Simply prove you are ‘john doe’ and here you go.

      Who actually is the article writer? I see Dan Zimmerman and AndyH listed.

      • Andy H wrote the article as an entry in the P320 contest. Dan Zimmerman formatted the article correctly and posted it onto this blog.

    • I read the first paragraph three times trying to figure out which side of the line the author was on. The only people that voter ID laws stop from voting are dead people.

    • Yup, +1.

      ” Voter ID laws, for example, claim to “prevent fraud,” but they’re really meant to prevent old, or poor, or brown-skinned people from voting.” [Citation Needed]

      Why again is it BAAAAAD to require a free ID to vote but it’s GOOOD to require that and much, much more to exercise one’s right to bear arms? Aren’t both enumerated constitutional rights? The author seems to be against both (I think) but generally the statists are split here.

    • I read the first paragraph and skipped straight to the comments to post… EXACTLY this same comment. You beat me to it.

    • Yeah, this guy lost credibility on the voter ID statement. As far as I am concerned the little liberals he waxes on about are just pure evil. These people abdicate any personal responsibility for the crap they spew which pose as facts.

    • Funny, we all seem to hate restrictions on guns, but looks like everyone wants restrictions on voting. This , and other ideas like it, are why the republications are having trouble getting in the White House. And why our gun rights always seem to be in danger.

        • So backing infringements on an uninfringeable right seems ok to gun grabbers, yet asking for proof of identity to practice an infringeable one is a no-go? Sure seems backwards. When those against voter ID start campaigning against NICS checks and ccw needing a permit, I might start to consider that they truly interested in liberty.

        • Only US citizens who are at least 18 and not incarcerated or felons have an “uninfringable” right to vote.

        • Okay… so now the gun grabbers can make restrictions based on wanting to make extra certain the only people owning guns are US citizens.”Papers, please” works both ways.

      • What restriction?

        The voter is simply proving one of the following:
        * not dead
        * lawfully allowed to vote (once per election in the proper precinct)

        Hardly “restrictions.”

      • What ‘restrictions on voting’?

        As someone else asked, Do you have a problem limiting voting to citizens and only one vote per person?

      • CORRECT. No ineligible persons nullifying my vote. Bad enough that we have morons who ARE eligible to vote cancelling my smarter/more informed vote.

        Andy may be a libtard with a gun but he is still a libtard. Hopefully has a better grasp of the 4 rules than he has of American history and politics.

    • Yep. That is what made me click on it and only to read the responses. Did not bother to read the article. The ignorance of the author was apparent. Hope he doesn’t win the other Sig.

    • Yes, the author demonstrates the inherent racism of the left pretty well there; obviously brown skinned people aren’t organized enough to have a valid ID, it would be so unfair of us to expect them to obtain what essentially every other adult in the country has and carries about daily. . .

      Not to stray too far but the failure of leftist thinking in general is well demonstrated here; if you really worry about some people not having IDs with which to vote, why not work toward getting them IDs, which will help them in a multitude of ways, rather than opposing useful legislation regarding voting?

      Even when they have guns, leftists still don’t have a clue.

  2. I am pretty sure voter ID laws are about preventing fraud. Odd, you need an ID to get food stamps, but not to vote? So why isn’t that about hurting the old, poor, or brown skinned?

      • “Food stamps are not a right”….you are correct, but that does not invalidate the comparison. Why are those decrying voter ID not also decrying the need to ID oneself to obtain such assistance? If racism, class warfare, or ageism is their dogma then you would expect them to especially focus on the “social safety nets”.

        Also, as I and others have made clear already here, voting is not an uninfringeable right. Bearing arms is “not to be infringed”, but it has taken a number of amendments to reduce (but not eliminate) the number of legal infringements to voting rights. Big difference, voting rights can be infringed. Contrast that with the concept that one must ID and background check to buy a firearm from a licensed dealer, or to obtain permission to bear arms in a concealed manner in most states, and apparently anti-gun persons do not conclude that ID or background checks are “infringements”. In that case, ID to vote can not be considered one either.

        Checking the voting rights amendments, I also see that not a one of them makes it illegal to impose an identification “infringement” on voting anyways, so your whole argument is moot. You cannot have it both ways, the hypocrisy of the left always floats to the top, like the turd in the punch bowl.

  3. No. The sheeple who elect gun grabbing politicians may be doing it just in order to “do something”, but the politicos who pass the laws know better. They are either doing it out of pure re-election self-interest, or they are doing it to enhance government power at the expense of individual liberty. And BTW, voter ID laws are not to keep “the poor” and “brown people” from voting any more than requiring an ID to buy cigarettes or rent a video game is for the purpose of keeping “the poor” or “brown people” from renting games or buying cigs. How does requiring a FREE ID keep the poor from voting? And since when did ANY state deny DLs or ID cards to “brown people”?

  4. So instead of throwing money at gun control you want to throw it at other things. You can’t FIX things with government. You can only protect them. Protect rights and opportunities.

  5. Many leaders don’t lead — they’re so afraid of public approbation, they ping from one position to another. Witness Starbucks, Chipotle or SunTrust (regarding the Benham brothers flap). If people had principles, if they believed in Truth with a capital T, they wouldn’t be so quick to follow where the black swan leads. I’m reminded of Aesop’s fable about the Miller and the Donkey. Social media has only amplified our craving to be some sort of spineless hero showered with likes and follows. No Truth, no spine.

  6. On top of what the others have said, bloomberg, obama, the clintons, Shannon watts, are evil, they are the ones who manipulate people, but if anyone chooses to restrict my, or anyone else’s civil rights, they are evil. This post is drivel

  7. Voter ID laws, for example, claim to “prevent fraud,” but they’re really meant to prevent old, or poor, or brown-skinned people from voting.

    And if you can believe it — it got worse after that.

    With “friends” like this . . . .

  8. “Voter ID laws, for example, claim to “prevent fraud,” but they’re really meant to prevent old, or poor, or brown-skinned people from voting.”

    So people who believe in voter ID laws are young, white, racists?

  9. “tragic that people will do anything when they feel they have to do something…”

    “the real purpose of gun control laws and “gun-free zones”… and drug paraphernalia laws and “drug-free zones”… isn’t public safety. It’s public indignation. These laws express condemnation, and they build moral distance between disagreeable objects and polite society”

    GREAT points — if only the NRA was as smart as the author….

    • Again, no–the people who pass the laws are using public indignation to scale back individual freedoms. And if there isn’t enough “public indignation” they will try to gin it up with patently false crap like “74 school shootings since Newtown” and “a growing gun violence epidemic”. If only the author were as smart as some people think he is.

      • You’re mixing in the plebes with the leadership. All government would love to have disarmed, compliant subjects, that’s just the nature of statism.

        The sheep are uncomfortable with guns, they express this by calling for someone to do “something”. The leadership sees it as an opportunity to gin up votes, and writes up legislation that makes the minions feel like they have made a difference. When the law doesn’t work, they cry again. Rinse, repeat.

        I believe the author is giving us a peek into the thought process, as low wattage as it is, of your average anti-gun voter. Break the fear/ignorance has been working on the fence sitters, and some true blue antis. Take them to a range, start off with .22s, and work your way up to the caliber that they are comfy with, convert on the first range trip. There are 2 ways to defeat an enemy, Make them an ally, or, well…the last option is less than cordial.

        We are winning the hearts and minds of those that are ignorant to firearms and not too long from now, we will be the screaming majority that makes the whiny minority irrelevant.

        • Very well said.
          From the article:

          “The people of the gun think they know: “What they really want to do is take away everyone’s rights. The gun-grabbers are control freaks and megalomaniacs. They want to have everyone under their thumbs. They hate America, they don’t believe in freedom, and they’re just plain evil.” That’s our go-to response, but it’s missing something.

          Is that really how these people think of themselves? Of course not.”

          Just like we claim to not be a monodisperse group, so are not the anti’s.

          I’m more than willing to accept that there are gun control advocates with pure hearts as the author claims. But, I also KNOW there are ones in the ‘pure evil’ category – I’ve met some.

          If he does not believe they exist, he should look to the style of comments made on web sites just as crooksandliars, democraticunderground, etc.

          MDA’s rank-and-file twitter commenter, some Mom from Anytown, USA, may only want to ‘do something.’ Shannon and MIchael? No way. They have an endgame in mind that has NOTHING to do with the publicly stated purpose.

        • JR_in_NC,

          I had never heard of those websites. Read some comments on “crooksandliars.” Wow! I pity any conservative who ever posts a comment there! I’ve never seen so much hatred and name calling!!!

      • There is a very real public clamoring to do something to reduce the number of firearm deaths. The proposed legislation may be misguided, but it’s to address a real concern of people. I think you’re a bit off if you legitimately believe there are tons of people out there thinking “people have way too many rights What can I do about that today?” There’s an unfortunate mix of people who earnestly believe gun control will fix the problems and people who don’t care one way or another about the efficacy and just want to say they tried to pass gun control to appease their constituents.

        • Pseudo states: “There is a very real public clamoring to do something to reduce the number of firearm deaths.”

          The “very real public clamoring” is generated by a small, sophisticated elite (riding on the backs of emotionally distraught victims) who attempt to smear gun owners and blame everyone but the perpetrator.

          After years of being massively outnumbered on Lobby Day in Virginia, the local anti-gun crowd had to resort to busing in local students to the state capitol in a pathetic attempt to pad their numbers and match the HUNDREDS of VCDL gun-rights supporters who drove in from all over the state.

          And it is likewise across the country. Just compare the numbers of gun-rights supporters to gun-controllers who show up at civic protests.

          And regarding “tons of people out there thinking “people have way too many rights What can I do about that today?”….We don’t need tons of people looking to take away rights, when we have statists in Washington to do it for us. Note Markey’s assault on 1st Amendment as an example.

          Sen. Markey and Rep. Jeffries Introduce Legislation To Examine and Prevent the Promotion of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech in Media

  10. Never mind the dolts who stopped reading after the first paragraph, yet still felt compelled to scroll all the way down the page to leave a reply, just so they can bellyache about something else today.

    On a side note, many of you who complained here also complain that the anti-gun folks never listen to our arguments because our arguments don’t jive with their own beliefs. Aren’t your replies saying you “stopped reading” kind of the pot calling the kettle black (or African American, or whatever)?

    Long reply short, thanks Andy for a well-written opinion.

    • I read the whole thing. His voter ID opinions set the tone. He seems to believe the liberal politicians are well-meaning with the gun laws they propose. Their own comments have shown this to be a lie.

      As I said above…fail. On all counts.

      • Great sweeping generalization. There are definitely some groups and individuals that have shown themselves to scorn gun ownership completely, but there are many democrats that I personally otherwise support (and a handful I actually respect) who are for some form of ‘gun control’, usually in the form of universal background checks. If you think your opponents sit down everyday with their cups of coffee and their checklist of rights to deprive Americans of, then we’re past any point of rational argument.

        • Background checks on firearms intrinsically raise the prices on the firearms to cover the costs of these checks, and disproportionately affect people of lower income levels, affecting their abilities to protect themselves. This is especially disgraceful considering these people tend to live in more crime-ridden areas. How can you live with yourself supporting such tripe?

    • Truthfully, I can see your point. That’s why I made it a point to read it and respond specifically to the gun-control related arguments. And he’s still wrong, another liberal Dem trying to make excuses for his party’s obsession with gun-grabbing.

    • I didn’t scroll. I hit command + down arrow. Took me right there. Who is the dolt now? Unlike you, some of us value our time.

  11. McDonald’s did not want to look like they were supporting cocaine use by having their little spoons at every cocaine bust

  12. “They’re misguided, they’re ignorant of the subject, and they’re wrong, but they’re not wicked.”

    That description does NOT apply to people in power. Politicians creating felony statutes for an empty mag or a shotgun shell know EXACTLY what they are doing.

    • Even the rank a file are wicked. When the burning desire that drives you is restricting the liberties of your fellow citizens for reasons you don’t understand and remain willfully ignorant about you’re evil. What Andy has done is attempt to but a better face on evil people doing evil things because though he has a gun, he still doesn’t have clear, rational thoughts to replace the leftist narrative that demonstrably defines his world view. He can’t see the anti’s as evil because he still agrees with them on virtually everything else.

  13. “Voter ID laws, for example, claim to “prevent fraud,” but they’re really meant to prevent old, or poor, or brown-skinned people from voting…” What? Voter ID laws are to prevent fraud. You know, like that one lady I saw on TV who proudly claimed to vote 8 times as different people when interviewed, saying she didn’t see anything wrong with it. One person – one vote. It’s to prevent fraud, Andy H. Wake up and smell the roses. You lost all credibility with that statement.

  14. I hate to get off the main topic, but: “Voter ID laws, for example, claim to ‘prevent fraud,’ but they’re really meant to prevent old, or poor, or brown-skinned people from voting.”

    Oh dear. So requiring people to have state-issued photo ID to vote somehow prevents the old, poor or brown-skinned from voting? In some states, state employees will actually come to the dwellings of such people and issue their photo ID. In most, there is no charge for such ID. If they can’t drive to get an ID, how can they get to the polls to vote? Is requiring a driver’s license a plot to deny voting rights to the old, poor or brown-skinned? And if they can drive, how did they get their state issued, photo ID driver’s license in the first place? Isn’t that photo ID? If they can’t drive and got to the polls anyway, why can’t the person that drove them to the polls drive them to get a photo ID? Has the US Postal Service gone belly up? Can’t they get photo ID via the Internet and/or the mail?

    If someone is so lazy or otherwise non-resourceful that they can’t obtain a photo ID in America in 2014, particularly when the state is actively trying to give them one, perhaps we’re better off without them voting. Exercising the privileges of citizenship might reasonably be thought to require at least the tiniest bit of active participation on the part of the citizen, shouldn’t it?

    Oh, and perhaps voters should actually be citizens, and vote only once?

  15. So is the author saying that ID for anything (including guns, alcohol, welfare, bank accounts, jobs, drivers license) is to prevent old, or poor, or brown-skinned people from doing those things?

  16. Herein lies the problem with your assumption there is no malice in the laws being passed and it is supposedly just a patchwork of regulations with no underlying policy.

    If new gun laws are merely reactive, why do so many of them make it a felony for owning an inanimate object? Suddenly, I can be a felon because my gun holds too many rounds, or I have the wrong stock installed, or name whatever scary feature the gun grabbers don’t like.

    The laws make LAW-ABIDING citizens who have DONE NO HARM into FELONS.

    A felony used to be a serious crime. Now, felonies are politicized. Once you make someone a felon you can restrict all kinds of rights. Not just owning a firearm but also voting. Holding or finding employment suddenly becomes a lot more serious. Also, anyone else find it convenient that Fienstein already had a gun bill ready to be introduced right after Sandy Hook? They were waiting for an excuse to introduce it. Yes, they were absolutely capitalizing on the instinct of “something must be done!” but they were also ready for it.

    I believe there is no malice from most of my liberal anti-gun friends and cohorts. I have talked to them and know them. I do not believe there is no malice in the gun control lobby or the supporting politicians. When you have radio hosts conspiring on how to get open carriers killed I think we can establish there absolutely is malice intended.

  17. “Voter ID laws, for example, claim to “prevent fraud,” but they’re really meant to prevent old, or poor, or brown-skinned people from voting.”

    I’d assert that voter ID laws are designed to keep non-citizens from voting. And I’d say that’s a good thing. You can bet your patootie that I’m not allowed to vote in Mexico.

  18. “Voter ID laws, for example, claim to “prevent fraud,” but they’re really meant to prevent old, or poor, or brown-skinned people from voting. ”

    “…resolve the issues of poverty and income inequality?”

    What website am I on??? The first statement is just absurd on its face (many historically democratic states had voter ID laws on the books for decades and noone complained, it was only when SCOTUS overturned a section of the Voting Rights Act and allowed southern states to enact the same laws that they suddenly became ‘racist’ laws, and in those states, it has actually INCREASED minority turn out!) and the second one is a phenomenon that will always (and rightly should) exist. The only way to eliminate the possibility that some person might have more income than another would be to abolish all personal property rights and mandate a stipend for every human on earth. Good look with that.

    This article has one or two almost salient or interesting points. They are completely overwhelmed by the author letting his true feelings regarding individual freedoms shine through.

  19. “Voter ID laws, for example, claim to “prevent fraud,” but they’re really meant to prevent old, or poor, or brown-skinned people from voting.”

    This site needs a thumbs up or down voting option so I can vote this down. Do I need to show my ID?

  20. What the author describes is probably the reasoning followed by the majority of the anti-gunners but definitely not all. There are a lot of reasons gun control is advocated that have nothing to do with a primal need to express moral indignation. There are actually people with an agenda that is being hindered by the Second Ammendment that could care less how much innocent blood is shed by psychotic mass murderes. In fact massacres fit into their plan. This aspect of the issue isn’t addressed by this posting.

  21. Andy, since I appreciate that you took the time to write and submit your essay, I’ll be gracious and try to say positive.

    I actually like your McDonalds coffee spoon analogy. I’ll use it. Thanks.

  22. I am willing to give the author the benefit of the doubt on the voter ID thing. I choose to read that sentence as voicing the thoughts of liberals on the Voter ID issue — we think gun control laws are about something else, they think voter IDs are about something else. I think if he had to rewrite a sentence he would probably pick that one, but I can see what he’s trying to do.

    The rest of it is pretty much on-target from the standpoint that if you assume your opponents are EEEEVIL then that relieves you of the need to argue with them, and you can get to the fun stuff (demonization, ad hominem) that is a lot less intellectually challenging.

    A basic tenet of opinion change is that you have to understand how people you disagree with think, and you have to find some common ground to get them to see their way to understanding a) you aren’t evil for having a different opinion and b) might actually have a point. A basic tenet of conservatives is that liberals emote more than they think. They see a problem and a solution and assume that if you put Tab A into Slot B everything will work. Andy makes some good points about the monster that lives under the bed for all public do-gooders: unintended consequences. Prohibition has not been successful because of unintended consequences, particularly in instances where the prohibited item is easily procured outside of a few manufacturers. Prohibition works great in cases like R-12, where there are only a few companies that can make halogenated refrigerant gases. It works poorly for things like alcohol, pot and firearms – simple items that do not require a sophisticated manufacturing base. The second-order effects are never commented on by liberals, because if they had to own the consequences of something other than their intended effects a) they would be conservatives and b) it would make the project of Big Government a much more daunting task. It would turn Tab A-Slot B into Jenga with sticks of nitroglycerin in constantly variable gravity, which is a good way to consider the broad societal effects of government action.

    If Andy has liberal relatives then he has spent a lot more time talking to liberals about firearms than most of us have. Every mass public shooting, in the minds of his dedicated liberal family members, is in some small way his fault for being a firearm owner. I would cut the guy some slack. He’s looking for something other than the simple answers, which may make some liberals stop and think that there may be something other than simple answers.

    Having discussed many topics with liberals in the past, there is a worldview divide that is very difficult to cross. Given the same facts, they will come to conclusions that make perfect sense to them based on how they think the world works (like the Voter ID issue) that are bizarre and sometimes insulting (like the Voter ID issue) compared to what seems to be Common Sense to most of us. Telling them that they are idiots at this point will accomplish no more than them telling us that if we don’t support gun control we are in favor of killing children in their schoolrooms.

    Me personally I don’t think poverty causes crime (the 1930s were pretty peaceable other than gang violence), income inequality is a canard (the poor have a LOT compared to the poor of even 40 years ago) and the issue behind the majority of crime is a combination of a failed culture in the underclass and people doing stupid stuff while drunk and/or high. I think we all agree that some societal change is in order. The pro-gun-control crowd should go back to being ashamed to use a coffin for a soapbox, for one thing.

    Someone “interested in restricting individual freedoms” wouldn’t be objecting to the militarization of the police or getting the federal government out of the Drug War. I think politically we should fight tooth and nail to maintain and where possible expand gun rights, and the only definition of political victory is Conan the Barbarian’s (crush, driven before you, lamentations of women, etc.) Interpersonally, we should find common ground when we can, correct wrong assumptions with data, and maintain relationships with people who have wrong ideas about what will be effective in gun control matters. We won’t change their minds without engaging them and to do that will require more than being a keyboard hero on TTAG in the pro-gun echo chamber.

  23. I want my gold star. I can’t believe I read the whole thing. This little gem was at the tail end.

    “The whole problem the antis have with guns is “gun violence,” ”

    The whole problem the antis have with guns is, guns in the hands of anyone who is not an agent of the state. A little hint for Andy H., “gun violence” like “assault rifle” is a propaganda term used to promote hysterical overreaction,

    “the real purpose of gun control laws and “gun-free zones”… and drug paraphernalia laws and “drug-free zones”… isn’t public safety. It’s public indignation.”

    Public indignation (propaganda induced hysteria) is the means by which new gun control laws are passed. I have been around long enough to know the real purpose and ultimate goal of gun control is the elimination of privately owned firearms.

  24. Last I checked the old, the poor, and the brown can vote just fine. The old have ssn’s for their social security checks, the poor draw welfare and doubtless have a form of Government ID, and the brown should have a bank account or drivers license of some kind. We require verification of citizenship for employment, why on earth is doing the same for voting a ploy to keep people from voting?

    Far be it for me to cast aspersions on the democratic machine, but which party was it that tried to rig the Florida election back in 2000?

    In addition, those who push for gun control are statists of some kind. Consciously or unconsciously they want our rights curtailed for a variety of reasons. Either it’s the insultingly stupid reason of “it makes me uncomfortable” or “the government knows best and you shouldn’t be allowed to have those” of a true statist. Either way, I am all for drawing lines in the sand and calling them exactly what they are – complicit fools or power hungry tyrants.

    Your liberal is showing. Shove it in the closet and stick to guns.

    A note to Robert and the other editors, I think you are misjudging your audience. I don’t read TTAG to hear liberal BS, and this is the third or 4th article for the P320 contest that has been from a liberal perspective and I’m officially past irritated. Stick. To. Guns. I refuse to believe that this was one of the best articles available.

    • I’m with you on that one. I am still trying to find the mother load of conservatives on TTAG. I came here a few months ago for a gun review and stayed for the constant updates of articles but have been in constant dismay at the soft 2a support and strong liberal support on other non gun issues. I think the problem is that mid Westerners think that they are Conservative because they aren’t as bad as Californians or New Yorkers. Being from the South, I guess I have a different set of values and I sense liberalism where others are not so sensitive to it.

  25. Most of the points I wanted to make have been made. But I would add that McD changing the stir sticks had nnothing to do with genuine concern about coke use. Id guess that was about a real and justified concern over public perception and liability.

  26. I still have a small stack of the thin aluminum ashtrays in my garage McDs used to have out for smokers. Great for small projects where you need to keep track of small screws and other items…like taking a firearm apart or PC repair.

  27. Funny, we all seem to hate restrictions on guns, but looks like everyone wants restrictions on voting. This , and other ideas like it, are why the republications are having trouble getting in the White House. And why our gun rights always seem to be in danger.

  28. Voter ID laws aren’t about keeping brown people from voting, silly goose! That’s what reducing early voting periods, eliminating polling places, and reducing voting hours is for…

  29. “It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a ‘dismal science.’ But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance.” ― Murray N. Rothbard

    To really understand what happening in the minds of so many of the politically active, look up the Dunning-Kruger Phenomenon.

    Personally, I will not extend the courtesy of assumed rationality to irrational people. To do so is to equate love with prostitution. Their opinion is not just an alternate perspective, and is in no way equal to a rationally considered and carefully developed argument. I respect knowledge too much to sully it in order to spare the feelings of fools.

    • That last paragraph was not in quotation. Is that yours? This is what I have been thinking my whole adult life but have never been able to articulate it so eloquently.
      All I could come up with is “I’m not arrogant…you’re just an idiot”.

        • I would like to paraphrase it but as written is the perfect sentiment. I have been called arrogant and worse by people that have no concept of basic logic. They perceive my frustration when discussing matters with them as being demeaning, patronizing or arrogance. On the contrary. I don’t see myself as superior relative to what I believe should be common knowledge. My frustration grows out of a disbelief that a grown human being can be so incapable of grasping simple concepts of any range of topics from physical science to moral behavior. My father was correct when he said “One can never underestimate the intelligence of a human being.”

      • Scot,
        Thanks for pointing this out. Years of experience writing articles and yet I find myself a victim of the very same effect. I guess it only came out in the 1990s, but I’d never heard of it until now. Humorously, I concede, but oh how it explains the Bovine Excrement coming out of all levels of Washington. Going beyond Dunning-Kruger, it then sets the bar to recognize truly evil people and we are now seeing them pop out of all their convenient hiding places.–Kruger_effect

  30. Gun control people would do well to seek marital counseling, if not for addressing the dysfunctional relationships they have with their spouses than for the barely tolerable relationships with themselves they’ve been avoiding doing anything about for decades.

    Their misery and failure to summon the courage for introspection is projected out toward anyone and everyone they feel can become a believable scapegoat, if even for a short time. That is why there is no logic behind their sociopathy; it was never about the issue, anyway, it was always about them.

    • +1 So it always is with leftists. It’s impossible to be introspective and a leftist at the same time. Leftism runs on poorly perceived and in-articulable emotions stemming largely from an innate lack of confidence in oneself. Not believing that one is competent but refusing to admit it even to oneself results in projecting the lack of confidence and in seeking praise, attention and validation externally. The issues NEVER matter to a leftist, it truly is always about their psyche and its needs.

  31. OK, we’ve heard your opinions on this subject. Now want to hear mine?
    Do you truly believe that the antis are “just misguided”, and “not wicked” or evil?
    Then explain this story, also current here at TTAG, and DAILY, many more more exactly like them…

    “Two principals in widely separated states tried to use police against parents with gun permits. The good news: both principals ended up on the losing side when the parents refused to fold and took them to court.”

    “Under oath, the principal admitted that he did not feel threatened and the charges were dropped. There is no mention as to whether the rifle was returned or the gun permit restored.”

    Just ask yourself if these sound like the actions of a sane, NON evil “gentleman”, or if they sound like the actions of wicked men out to simply destroy that which they hate…. I think my point is made. These are not isolated incidents. These and many even worse occur every day. Just read TTAG daily and you will see that. If they are simply misguided and foolish, why are their actions so outrageously evil?

    • I strongly believe that “the leaders” in the gun-control movement are truly and extremely evil, because they know it is all a lie. On the other hand, I also believe that most of “the followers” are kind, loving, and very misguided fools, who are easily misled by their leaders. Most of the followers can be “de-programmed” out of their delusions, but the leaders will always be what they are – elitists who use the masses for their own personal agendas.

      • Kinda like what we saw with the Bushes, Clintons, Obama and their followers and the same thing with all those low-level Muslims who are getting whipped into believing that the average low-level American is out to strip them of a way of life they have known for millennia. It’s all propaganda and too many of the masses on both sides are being led into a state of war by politically opportunistic leaders, ……….. both here AND there.

      • While I can agree there are some so-called “useful idiots”, I cannot agree that most are. The references I provided were of two separate high school principles. Hardly the leaders of anything, except for a few low level “educators”. Yet their actions are pure evil. Thus my point; There are a great deal of evil people around at this time in history. Most of them greatly relish their perceived control over others, and that is evil all by itself. And like all with a little power, they always want more, plus will do ANYTHING to hold what they have. Even it is only over a few low level teachers. They will grasp at any idiotic straw, like “We have zero tolerance policies here, you know”, to get a little more power over a few more people. Like the parents that pay their salaries, for example….

        • “Like the parents that pay their salaries, for example….”

          That’s the problem with government schools. the parents don’t pay their salaries directly, the government steals the parents’ money, calling it a tax, and then pays the principal with it, so the government is the principal’s boss. That’s why all schools should be privatized. That’s why fragging everything should be privatized!

        • That’s the problem with government anything. The people that pay the bills are no longer in charge. Can you picture a teacher or anyone acting like this in the days of the one room country school, with the teacher paid directly by the parents? That’s not so long ago either, my father went to exactly such a school. With the parents paying the teacher directly, she had a very vested interest in pleasing the parents, and not some anonymous burrocrat in DC. No “common core” idiocy need apply for entry to a teacher’s union in those days!

      • I disagree. Leftists are essentially nihilists seeking to destroy the very foundations of their own cultures. Because of their bias to perceive things as being intolerable the rationalize that any means to effect any change are justified, regardless of the actual outcomes. That in doing this they cause real harm to real people is immaterial to them, not even worthy of consideration and immediately rationalized as being acceptable in light of their ‘intentions’. However their stated intentions and actual motivations never match up. The refusal to accept that real harm is caused in no way mitigates the fact of the harm or insulates those that caused it from properly being held responsible for it. Thus, leftists are evil.

  32. 9-11 WAS foreseen, it was the Second attack on the WTC
    Mass Shootings in Gun Free Zones WERE predicted
    ‘Black Swan’ is a clever word jumble used to sell a very boring and inarticulate book
    Gun Grabbers ARE evil

  33. The author appears to be a bit confused. On the one hand he believes that gun control isn’t an evil plot, but on the other, he believes that voter ID is. And on the gripping hand he appears to believe that poverty causes crime.

  34. Great article, despite its shortcomings. I suggest TTAGers try to read it all the way through.

    I think I understand readers’ negative reactions, e.g. about voter ID laws. I think what the author meant about that is that he primarily understands voter ID laws as being historically associated of a broad campaign to disenfranchise blacks in the South, etc. as in the Jim Crow laws. Regardless of whether you think that’s a fair way to think about current voter ID requirements, if you want to understand what the author meant, I suggest you take a look at what, had to say about Jim Crow laws: “In the United States, voter suppression was used extensively in most Southern states until the Voting Rights Act (1965) made most disenfranchisement and voting qualifications illegal. Traditional voter suppression tactics included the institution of poll taxes and literacy tests, aimed at suppressing the votes of African Americans and working class white voters.”

    • Voter suppression in the Jim Crow South (and elsewhere) was not about voter ID, it was about poll taxes, property ownership, and requirements that one have several generations of ‘free’ ancestors.

      Voter ID, particularly picture ID, is a very modern concept. If the author of the original article (which I did read, by the way, and generally found it less than persuasive) intended to be making an historical comment, wouldn’t you have expected him to bring in the fact that gun control was historically connected with trying to prevent “brown people” from getting guns?

      • So you figure out what an author means by reading what he wrote, instead of by a third hand report by a media talking head with a great hairdo and an IQ lower than their hat size? How very unamerikan of you…. 🙂

  35. Disarm you for the next Civil War and/or War with China. They might say that is not the case, but what would they say if it was?

    “The question is hereby asked, and answer demanded: How long will America last?
    This is an unknown, and assertions can be guaranteed by no one. However the existence of
    America requires not only the desire by its incorporated societies, to defend it but by THE
    VERY MEANS. Therefore, possession and retention of arms (as a right) IS HEREBY
    GUARANTEED to outlive even the idea of America.” TERMS, J.M. Thomas R., 2012, pg. 39.

    • If America goes down, barring any outright coup, it will be because the Supreme Court and Congress allowed it to happen. Each day they sit there and point the fingers of blame at one another, they march us straight into the jaws of hell.

      All they need do is get their heads out of their asses and ask themselves how, in God’s name, did we ever get to this point, given such a brilliant document by our founding fathers as our Constitution. But I guess all those stacks of honoraria heaped upon all those inflated egos just can’t climb out from the weight of all that corruption and treason.

  36. It always bugs me when people lump together things like ripping the arms and legs off a baby and sucking her brains out with things like drinking a can of beer or staring at a photo of a naked woman. I don’t see how they are anything alike.

    Aside from that nit, I enjoyed this article.

  37. “Prohibition – of anything – doesn’t have a very good track record. We’ve tried prohibiting alcohol, pornography, and abortion. We’re still trying to prohibit pot and cocaine. It never works. The stuff just goes underground where it thrives and does even more damage than it otherwise would in a lawful environment.”

    Frankly, I am astounded that you would lump guns (ownership) in with alcohol, pornography, and abortion. I have no rights if there is no universal truth, and there is no universal truth if there is no God. If there is no God, I have a “right” to whatever I can get away with, due either to others’ apathy, or to my ability to assert myself through my own power. But each defines his own “rights,” so the word begins to lose its meaning.

    I assert that I have rights, and they come from God. Therefore, pornography and abortion are fruits of and for the wicked. Arguably, alcohol in moderation is not sinful, but a life of drunkenness, or periodic insobriety that leads to sin, is a big no-no. However, there is sufficient evidence in the Bible to show that self-defense (and possession of a weapon) is justifiable in God’s eyes (in fact, Jesus veritably commands us to “sell [our] shirt, and buy a sword.”).

    Given your confusion on the voter ID and other issues, it’s clear that you subscribe to a version of the first example, namely that (government) might makes right.

        • “What makes our rights absolute?”

          You survived three million years of evolution and got born human. They simply come with the territory.

        • Rich, you must be a student of the pseudo-sciences. Philosophy? Sociology? Don’t say it…psychology?! Gasp! Not an English teacher?

        • Yes, Rich. “I don’t feed trolls” is the last non-defense of those incapable of defending their positions.

          How is it that this site exists to discuss our rights, but any true effort to explore the topic is met with “I don’t feed trolls”?

        • “defending their positions.”

          The fact that you think our natural human right to self-defense is a “position” that needs “defending” is what defines you as a troll.

        • No. The Constitution does that. You know, that pesky, basic, LAW OF THIS LAND, that our father’s fought and died for, and that they all agreed on???? That’s what GUARANTEES( NOT “grants”) those rights. Like most today, some remedial classes in your own history are in order. That’s what comes from govt. run schools. Ignorance of the most basic facts.

      • You’re basically arguing that your ‘opinion’ trumps everyone else’s opinion.

        You can assert that certain rights ‘come with the territory’ but that’s not an argument.

    • Never minding anyone’s religion or lack there of, the concept that right and wrong are derived from gods or religions has been thoroughly and scientifically debunked.

        • Because both “right” and “wrong” are subjective interpretations, not scientific concepts. Science can only deal with “correct”, and “incorrect”, which refer to factual things, rather than subjective ones. This is the sort of very basic mistake one gets from those “educated” by govt. schools. Not to mention those who adhere to science as the newest religion.
          Whenever a dogma is accepted, and then protected from all questions by its adherents, one will see this statement of dogma as absolute facts by those who know no better. Too bad, too. That sort of ignorance is very damaging, and the adherents never even know it. It matters not whether the dogma is Christian, Islamic, or Science.

    • “I assert that I have rights, and they come from God. Therefore, pornography and abortion are fruits of and for the wicked.”
      What does porn have to do with rights or where they came from? Abortion could be anti the unborn’s right to exist, but no one has ever been forced or coerced into watching pornography that I know of. So what “natural right” does pornography restrict? It doesn’t even say that in the Bible.
      What, heard it in a sermon somewhere, by some guy who you can’t even remember his name, did you?

    • “The fact that you think our natural human right to self-defense is a “position” that needs “defending” is what defines you as a troll.”
      I disagree with Rich here. Its the fact that the whole of the post in question was just a thinly veiled personal attack that makes you a troll. Thinking that the idea of self defense needs defending is just a mistake.
      IMO, ofc. 🙂

  38. Many years ago, I attended a crafts fair in Manitou Springs, CO. One of the vendors was selling cast silver replicas of the McDonald’s “coke spoons.” I’ve never done coke, and don’t intend to, but I wish I’d bought one of those, just because!


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