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Patrick Blanchfield (courtesy

“Toting a weapon in a demonstration changes the stakes, transforming a protest from just another heated transaction in the marketplace of ideas into something else entirely. It’s bringing a gun to an idea-fight, gesturing as close as possible to outright violence while still technically remaining within the domain of speech. Like a military ‘show of force,’ this gesture stays on the near side of an actual declaration of war while remaining indisputably hostile. The commitment to civil disagreement is merely provisional: I feel so strongly about this issue, the gun says, that if I don’t get my way, I am willing to kill for it.” – Patrick Blanchfield, What Do Guns Say? [via]

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  1. Horse manure. In that context, my wearing a gun says I get to say what I mean just as well as you do, you can not shut me up or beat me up, I have freedom of speech as well. And that is what they hate.

  2. Like rich kids not understanding the value of money, we as a nations forgot that our founding fathers were willing to kill for freedom. It is too sad that most people will need chains to ever appreciate freedom.

    Go ask people from former soviet (communist) countries what they think of America these days and they laugh at us.

    • I sometimes wonder if it would take something drastic like doing time for a person to really appreciate the incredibly sweet feeling of being able to walk out my front door any time I feel like it.

      I’ve been Free, and I’ve been a prisoner, and Free is better.

  3. A description of the Bundy issue from his article:
    “hundreds of self-appointed militia…blockaded a federal interstate and trained their weapons on B.L.M. employees who sought to negotiate with the rancher and his family.”

    Yeah, right. Dozens of armed federal agents “sought to negotiate.” That’s his problem right there.

    • Love that phrase, “self-appointed militia” for its sophistry and/or demonstration of ignorance.

      Since as early as the 1600s, and as affirmed in the Heller decision, and as reflected in state statutes across the USA, the militia has always meant all of the males in a given area capable of bearing arms.

      One cannot self-appoint to the militia any more than one can self-appoint for jury duty.

      • They were self-appointed, that’s what makes it a militia.

        I am so tired of the arrogance that constantly pours from the mouth and pens of these coastal elite “liberals”. How dare anyone but the properly government appointed and sanctioned personnel have the gall to come to anything armed? How dare they stand up to those same agents when someone’s rights are being oppressed by the very government that is supposed to be enforcing them?

        Ok, here is what galls me. At some point the same people so breathlessly defending the state will find that they will be the next victims of oppression if it is never stood up against. They will whine and protest “Why is this happening?” all the while having enabled their would-be oppressors.

        I hate to think that it is people like us who are all that defends people like them even while they demonize anyone who doesn’t think exactly like them. Ironic.

        • “Ok, here is what galls me. At some point the same people so breathlessly defending the state will find that they will be the next victims of oppression if it is never stood up against”

          Yep. And history shows this to be inevitable. Where were they when we were studying Stalin’s Soviet Union?

    • Would this ignorant writer have complained about the “self-appointed militia” that protected Martin Luther King, Jr.?

  4. It also says that if you sick your dogs on me you’ll lose your dogs. That if you think your riot shield and baton give you permission to crack some skulls you’ll be placing yourself in mortal danger. That if you think you can put down a riot with bullets that there will be a battle not a massacre. Face it, governments have a long track record of responding to peace full protests with violence. When the protesters are armed it changes everything.

    • That’s pretty much it right there. It says I’m committed, that I’ll use my 2A rights to defend my 1A rights, right here on this spot today if necessary.

      I prefer an armed but peaceful demonstration to a ‘First Amendment Area’ cattle pen any day.

    • Think Ukraine. Events there would be very different if the population had gun ownership rates similar to the US, Israel, or Switzerland.

    • “Battle not a Massacre” Now there is a bumper sticker. That the people who showed were armed is the ONLY reason the BLM backed down. Bullies do not like their quarry to fight back. I too am stealing this.

  5. When the government posts armed police at demonstrations, does that mean their commitment to freedom of speech is contingent on their getting their way? That they are willing to kill if they don’t?

    • And look at the flip side. When there are armed police at demonstrations and the police have orders from their “betters” to suppress the demonstration, will the police use their guns to shoot peaceful demonstrators if the demonstrators refuse to be silent?

  6. ” I feel so strongly about this issue, the gun says, that if I don’t get my way, I am willing to kill for it.” – Patrick Blanchfield, What Do Guns Say? [via]-

    Never heard any guns speak,
    bark maybe,
    but not speak.

  7. Funny, I find myself less emotional and less belligerent when I a carry a gun just because the stakes are higher if you lose control. This is another example of Progressive projection. In may be true that Mr. Blanchfield would shoot someone for opposing his views but that is not true for me.

  8. As incendiary as this quote is, there is a grain of truth to the core idea of being willing to fight for our rights. Lots of the same people who were willing to be beaten to a pulp, dragged through the street, battered by fire hoses, etc. for their civil rights 60 years ago were also willing to take up arms if the peaceful avenue didn’t suffice. But this is conveniently ignored by the pansies who populate the media.

    Ballots or bullets, anyone? Hell, even The Great Saint Savior Nelson Mandela was a quasi-terrorist at one point.

    • Quasi-terrorist? From all the non-PC reports. (you know, the truth) he was an out and out Marxist terrorist. The “Mandela necklace” is named after our “saint”, it’s referring to having a gasoline soaked tire being put around your body and being set on fire; his wife, Winnie Mandela fully supported using this tactic against opponents.

      It is amazing the myths of being a humanitarian put out about this man and the terrorist organization that he lead.

  9. “I feel so strongly about this issue, the gun says, that if I don’t get my way, I am willing to kill for it.”

    Well, yeah.

    And that’s no vice.

      • You are assuming he has ever taken an AMERICAN History class.

        A few years back I was looking at history books being adopted in the country; one of the most popular ones began American History with Susan B. Anthony.

        I suspect the situation is even worse now.

  10. Still more anti-gunners mistaking a gun as an offensive weapon rather than a defensive weapon. I’m pretty sure the “self-appointed militia” showed up with their firearms because the BLM brought their’s first. Not too difficult to figure out really.

    • There is no such thing as a defensive weapon to them. In a past exchange it was explained to me that “no gun can be defensive because their purpose is to kill and once you use it you are on the offensive”. The fact it is a response to a threat (defense) does not register to them because they cannot comprehend threats exist.

  11. This is hysterical coming from the NY Times, chief water carrier for all ideas liberal. If the anti side would acknowledge facts that don’t fit their narrative, then maybe an idea discussion could take place in earnest. But we know better don’t we NY Times? It is so much more emotionally gratifying to call the other side killer of children and demonize with yelling ad hominem attacks. The main stream media just sickens me that we can have such evil, yes evil, people in our world.

  12. I kind of agree with what the NY Slimes is saying.
    They word it “if I don’t get my way”, I word it “if my rights are violated”, but yes, my natural rights, guaranteed under the Constitution, will not be taken from me, and if you try to do so it will be fatal to somebody.

  13. He’s completely right. That is what open carry at a protest says. We are openly declaring that if the Man ever decides to take away our rights, our guns, we will actively and violently fight for that right. And…?

    It does not say, however, we have any plans to fire the first shot in the war.

  14. LOL WTF? Guns dont do anything unless a person interacts with the gun. Especially TALK…LMAO

    I wish my guns could talk, the history behid them and some of the stories they could probably tell would be very interesting indeed.

  15. What they can’t wrap their heads around is that we would like for THEM to exercise their 2a freedom as well. They see these rallies and think “armed confederates,” when they should be thinking “gun salesmen.” What kind of tyrant tries to arm his victims?

  16. You know, maybe I’m missing something, but it seems like protesters with guns don’t get pepper spray in the face at point blank range, or shot with water cannons, or hit with batons, etc. It’s almost like the 1st Amendment becomes guaranteed or something.

    • I think that’s more because protesters with guns do not, as a rule, throw rocks at police, throw bricks at shop windows, defecate on the streets or parks, smash up bystanders cars, rape fellow protesters, shout obscenities at crowds or promote general mayhem.

  17. It says “tread on me if you like, but don’t forget I have fangs and will bite.”

  18. I thought he was arguing for open carry until I got to the last few paragraphs. Most of the article articulated a really strong case for how an armed citizenry supports the respect of other individual rights by the government.

    Also, I would love to see minorities open carrying as some of the Black Panthers and C.O.R.E. folks did back in the 1960s, and I bet most gun owners would like to see it too.

  19. I totally agree!

    And all those gay people need to quit bringing their gayness to those pro-gay rights rallies. It detracts from a civilized discussion.

    I mean seriously, how are we supposed tell you that you’re not allowed to be gay when you bring you’re gayness with you?

  20. Obviously Patrick Blanchfield doesn’t own a gun – and this is a good thing, since he can’t understand the difference between the presence of a firearm (an inanimate object) and the intent to do harm (a conscious decision on the part of a human being).

    • People like Blanchfield assume that anyone that isn’t a liberal already has the intent to do harm.

  21. And when the antigun side shuts down comments, has private meetings with legislatures bypassing public comment, and basically out right lies and suppresses all dissenting opinion, what do you call that?

  22. “I feel so strongly about this issue, the gun says, that if I don’t get my way, I am willing to kill for it.” – Patrick Blanchfield

    Where do these people get these ideas?!?!?!?!

    Every year, violent criminals kill several hundred people with their hands and feet. At the last rally that I attended, everyone had hands and feet. Is Mr. Blanchfield going to rail against everyone who attends the next rally because they could kill to get their way?

  23. Isn’t print media dead yet? He’s very close to the truth. Except it is almost always the leftwing lunatic fringe who violently protests.

  24. Google this scum bag he has been writing stories like this for years. Including claiming to own dozens of gun.
    According to him someone tried to bream into his home, and like every gun grabber claimed he spilled the bullets all over the place and then threw up on himself claiming he couldn’t defend himself with a gun.

    • I remember that article; because he fell apart and was a complete waste of space in dealing with a potential home invasion; everyone would be just as much of an incompetent.

      A total case of projection, and in contradiction to the daily reports of successful GGU around the country.

    • Ha, I’ll have to see if I can find that article. Did he keep an unloaded revolver at home? Ha, found it. That was easy.

  25. I hear what this guy is saying, and to an extent, I agree with him. And that is why I repeatedly say in my comments that open carry and particularly open carry at political events will have negative consequences for the second amendment. I know this is an unpopular view here.

    • “will have negative consequences for the second amendment.”

      Does that crystal ball you are using have a track record of being correct in forecasting?

      I mean, do you have any documented data the rest of us could look at to support your assertion that open carry WILL have a negative consequence?

      Or, is this just emotional projection based on your personal disagreement with the practice?

  26. Unarmed demonstration or protest is absolutely pointless. Unless you are on equal footing with the states representatives (police) you are by default less-than and ignored or abused.

    Until the platform is equal (armed) your voice will not be heard.

    We arent Ghandi living in an era of Downton Abbey propriety here where our masters want to save face or care about how the world perceives them. The state cannot be shamed. The state can in its own eyes do absolutely no wrong.

    Sit-ins, marches or hunger strikes cannot affect change in this world anymore. A world where “First Amendment Zones” and permits to assemble are the norm.

    • I agree with you, but even Ghandi wasn’t a fool; he understood the value of being armed (particularly in the more modern world).
      “There was a time when people listened to me because I showed them how to give fight to the British without arms when they had no arms […] but today I am told that my nonviolence can be of no avail against the [Hindu–Moslem riots] and, therefore, people should arm themselves for self-defense.” -(Via the “nonviolence” section of Ghandi’s Wikipedia page )

      Being armed at a rally really is the best way to protect against police brutality and thus protect your ability to speak peacefully. Being able to fight and choosing not to seems to be more of what Ghandi was saying ( “where there is only a choice between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence.” ) and is very much what peacefully open carrying at a rally is. Hell, I’d say the core of the 2nd Amendment is that the people have the ability to fight should other methods (soap box, ballot box, etc) fail to protect the people and/or their rights.

    • The era of “Dowton Abbey propriety” saw British soldiers shoot down unarmed civilians in Ireland and India, burn down Irish homes and businesses in “official reprisals” and ignore the results of free elections when the results didn’t go the Crown’s way.

      Gandhi survived because he was too well-known to beat to death in prison.

      The British didn’t leave India because of Gandhi. They left because tens of thousands of Indians took up arms against the British during WW 2, and because the British-controlled Indian Army stopped taking orders from the British.

      The myth of Gandhi exists today for two reasons: he was a powerful emotional symbol that the Congress Party of India has milked for decades — right down to Indira Gandhi and her kids adopting the Gandhi surname for political reasons — and because the “nonviolent resistance” storyline lets the British and their apologists ignore their bloody history in India and other parts of the empire. Only a few years before the “peaceful” departure the British had no problem with starving hundreds of thousands of Indians to death in order to maintain control of Indian markets.

  27. This article says everything about the writer, and sadly that this is what the NYT has fallen to in the opinion section. There is no point in addresing the many logic fails and hysterical strawman arguments but two things stand out: “tacitly accepting mass shootings…” and white racist Tea Party…

    Fantasy world construct positing armed response.

    Weird vibe from this psychoanalytic institute grad. Like the Aurora shooter. Or the Army shrink shooter…Everyone around those two knew there was a screw loose but no one pointed out they needed an intervention…

  28. People of the Gun,

    Stop making the mistake of thinking that the other side has any regard for facts, history, rights, law, truth, integrity, or personal responsibility. They are willing to do pretty much anything to get what they want. Their primary tactic to get what they want is to turn as many citizens, politicians, and bureaucrats against us as possible. And their primary weapon to turn people against us: they demonize us. Virtually every exchange is about establishing that we are either stupid, crazy, corrupt, or malevolent.

    Do NOT underestimate this. The other side wants to demonize us and thus turn everyone else against us. The other side may occasionally touch on data or questions but it isn’t in good faith to discover the truth or solve problems. They only touch on data or questions in an attempt to paint us as stupid, crazy, corrupt, or malevolent.

    Who are the other side? The “other side” is anyone who doesn’t care about our inalienable rights to life, liberty, and property and are more than happy to infringe on our inalienable rights — whether they infringe on our rights themselves or via proxy (such as government agents or police). Some of the labels that come to mind when I think of the “other side” include Statists, Elitists, Progressives, Communists, and even Fascists. But the labels themselves are not important. What is important is recognizing when someone is intent on infringing on our rights — and their primary tactic for doing so.

  29. I feel pity for this guy. Years of education, a doctoral candidate even, and he only now is he understanding the bill of rights?
    “Where does this leave us? Now more than ever, the state’s putative monopoly on violence has been counterbalanced by the free market proliferation of weapons.”
    Yes, you finally understand the 2nd amendment, a counterbalance that has only been around for a few hundred years. Welcome to America, enjoy your freedom, maybe you should study about where it originated…

  30. Srsly guyz its like bringing a gun to an idea fight like srsly not even play’n.

    Im sure this dweeb is walking around all day with a huge smirk on his face for coming up with that one.

    And what do anti’s bring to the so called “idea fight?”

  31. Yeah, right. Just like wearing pink at a gay pride rally says “I will have sex with you right now regardless of your orientation”. That’s the same crap, the flawed thinking that every gay person is interested in every individual to the point of rape. There aren’t mass rapes perpetrated by gay individuals just like there isn’t mass violence perpetrated by gun owners.

  32. The pen is still mighter than the sword. Peaceful demonstrations illustrate that perfectly.

    The sword is just the backup in case the pen breaks or falls into the wrong hands.

  33. These are the same people that say just because a woman wears a miniskirt that barely covers her butt, she isnt trying to get raped (correct by the way).

    So if you wear a miniskirt, doesnt equal sex
    Wearing a gun = shooting someone. Ok.

  34. Please don’t equate this with gay rights. Nothing in the 2nd Amendment about gay rights.

  35. Patrick seems to forget the gun always has a ruler. The gun can not work unless you have a operator pulling the trigger. The people who carry long guns or handguns at rally or counter protest have no desire to outright pull the trigger on people who disagree.

  36. I don’t know. On one hand obviously he’s throwing false motives around left and right and obfuscating for a political purpose.

    But on the other hand, he gets right to the heart of the matter. If we “lose the argument” in an overall national/political sense, and people come for our guns, we WILL use them. People ought to know that.

  37. Yes guns at protests speak volumes, they say “we will stand up for somthing worth dieing for, and you can take those chains and shove it”
    And thus modern liberals shit their pants, and answer it with more government

  38. Yet the USG sends the USM with guns and other weapon systems into Poland in a show of force demonstration to protest and pressure the Russians not to meddle in the affairs of another country ie the Ukraine just like America does around the world. Oh OK, I get it.

  39. My guns are quiet except for the occasional tinnitus.

    Another sad demonization attempt.

  40. “It’s bringing a gun to an idea-fight, gesturing as close as possible to outright violence while still technically remaining within the domain of speech. Like a military ‘show of force,’ this gesture stays on the near side of an actual declaration of war while remaining indisputably hostile. The commitment to civil disagreement is merely provisional: I feel so strongly about this issue, the gun says, that if I don’t get my way, I am willing to kill for it.”

    So when the police or the feds show up at a protest carrying THEIR guns, are they saying “We feel so strongly about controlling you that we will kill you to ensure our control.”?

    Just askin’.

  41. Bringing a gun to a pro-2A protest is the same people of the same sex holding hands with each other and engaging in public displays of affection with each other while carrying carrying pride flags at a Gay Rights protest.

  42. But what does it mean, in a democracy that enshrines freedom of speech, to publicly carry a gun as an expression of political dissent? …I feel so strongly about this issue, the gun says, that if I don’t get my way, I am willing to kill for it.

    From my cold, dead hands, lead first?

  43. I guess if its government it’s o.k. to bring a bunch of guns and kill Ruby Ridge citizens, but wait a minute, the people better not bring guns, give me a break, the government we have right now cannot be trusted. We have communist, gun runners, thieves, and liars in office and we need to trust them, ha, maybe you, but not me. Our forefathers did not want government to run our lives, just support us. Keep on packing, the day is ours.

  44. To the tune of ‘what does fox say?’
    Knives say “snikt”
    chucks go “hyah!”

    But what do guns say?
    “bang bang bang bang reload! Freedom bang boom clack click ping kaboom”
    what do guns say?

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