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“I don’t want to own a gun. But I have evolved on my stance on guns over the last year and I think many can. I don’t want to be a sitting duck if other people have guns and they’re not going away. I wonder, should I be armed myself if everyone else on the block is armed and I’m the only one?” – Don Lemon, Anthony Bourdain and Don Lemon’s Refreshingly Honest CNN Debate Over Gun Rights [via]

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  1. Own a gun because you want to, that is your right. If you dont want to own a gun, then dont, that is your right as well. But dont tell me I cant own one(or however many I want).

    • Understanding the need for something often times comes before understanding the rights associated with it. He is on the path as so many are we need to encourage them to keep walking rather than be annoyed that he has not reached the end of the journey right after he started it.

    • And that’s the whole issue. People who aren’t interested in gun ownership aren’t required to go out and load up. But when they start telling me that they’re uncomfortable with me owning guns and ammo, then they need to go back and study the Constitution some more.

  2. Dear Don,
    Yes, you don’t have to have a gun. It’s your right to choose. I just wish that others were not trying to take the right to choose away from you, and forcing us to be sheep. Stand proud and be strong.

    • “[Y]ou don’t have to have a gun. It’s your right to choose. I just wish that others were not trying to take the right to choose away…”


    • And depending on e block you live on, of course, just because ALL of your neighbors have guns does not mean that you MUST have a gun. Unless all of your neighbors are gang-bangers you probably live in the safest place you possibly could as a non-gun owner. If your neighbors ARE gang-bangers, well, being the ONLY GOOD GUY on the block with a gun might not be a great choice.

  3. If everyone else on your block is armed you probably live in a really safe neighborhood and are less likely to need a gun than the man who lives on the block with no guns.

  4. Well, if your in a bad neighborhood and your the only one with tools you might want to tool up, but you don’t have to. It’s better to be prepared and not need your tools. Personally I find it disturbing how many people wait until after bad stuff happens before purchasing a firearm.

  5. I really like Anthony Bourdain. He’s my kind of dickhead. I’m disappointed by his move to the most inaccurate, hysterical news organization on Earth, and I haven’t watched this yet, so I really, really hope he doesn’t buy into the gun control agenda.

    Just a few seconds in Bourdain says “This is a cultural thing, really more than about the issue.”

    Truer words are rarely said.

    • That was fantastic. Loved every minute of it. Even though I disagree with some of it, the overall message that the ridiculous level of bullsh!t propaganda and rhetoric on both sides needs to die is spot on.

      • Agreed.

        And for the most part, this is the kind of stuff we can show to our anti-gun friends to create better understanding.

        Unlike Colion Noir for instance, who is awesome, but anti gunners will not watch.

    • I’ve watched his show on both, it’s just as good or better. I’ve give him a lot of credit for his willingness to step outside his comfort zone and jump in to strange (to him) cultures

    • Anthony Bourdain follows the money, and is not stupid by any stretch. He also tries to have a good time on his own terms. I like him as a person.

  6. Good catch. Shades of Dan Baum! Bourdain, a self-admitted progressive who likes guns, and
    *gasps* admits he likes gun-owners as he travels “in this America of mine” (his words): “these people in red-state America, they like guns. I gotta admit, I like guns, I like holding guns, I like shooting guns.”

    But then comes a very revealing admission, perhaps even an unscripted slip that is revealing of the sort of elitist ‘we know whats best for you’ mind-set that is struggling to reconcile its own cherished belief system with reality. “I’m not sure I want my neighbor to have guns, until I know a little more about them…”

    Well, welcome Anthony and Don, to the ranks of the thoughtful Americans who value their self-defense rights. I have a sense that there are any many more like you who are putting down the kool-aid, and thinking for yourself- and are now looking for good information on guns.

    Thanks again for TTAG for being one of those places.

    PS: slightly OT,
    but relevant to past posts here on MDA, and its deceptive agitprop,
    heres an article also found on Mediate, today-

    • I’m not sure if Bourdain has ever referred to himself as progressive, but he has referred to himself as libertarian. People may interpret his dickishness for liberalism (and who could blame them?), but his overall demeanor and world view shrieks libertarian.

    • Shades of Dan Baum!

      Not. Baum likes some guns, his guns, but he certainly doesn’t like “Gun Guys” or gun culture. His book should have been subtitled, “an educated liberal tries to make sense of those unwashed weirdos.” It was as condescending as it was insulting.

  7. I watched this show when it aired. Although some of the speakers need a bit more information, it was refreshing to not hear all of them shouting “take the guns” for once.

    One of the best bits I heard was Don Lemon mention that if anyone wants to have a conversation about guns they need to quit comparing gun owners to the Sandy Hook and Aurora types.

    Amen to that.

  8. “I don’t want to be a sitting duck if other people have guns and they’re not going away.” — Don Lemon

    Perhaps this is the inroad where we should focus our message: guns are not going away. Guns are not going away because it is logistically impossible for government to confiscate 300 million firearms from people that don’t want to give them up. And it is impossible for government to stop people from making guns in their own garage workshops. Of course this will not impact people who are hysterical, although it apparently does impact people like Mr. Lemon who have not totally lost touch with reality.

    • I agree. We need to stress the inevitability of gun rights expanding.

      The left does this crap all the time with whatever they’re pushing and gun control is the one issue where even they can’t act like their agenda is inevitable.

      Gun rights are going to win the day, it’s inevitable, so jump the **** on board or go down with the losers who’d rather you be dead than armed.

    • I’ve had many a debate with people who want guns to go away altogether. It’s not very difficult to talk them out of this position. With 100+ million gun owners and 300+ million guns, these are numbers that most people cannot even fathom. The best number comparison to guns is passenger vehicles. As of 2009, there were 250 million passenger vehicles in the U.S. This includes cars, trucks, motorcycles, buses, etc. Ask them if it’s feasible to get rid of all passenger vehicles. They’ll tell you, “of course not”. The difference between people recognizing the number of cars vs. guns is a result of most people never seeing a gun, and seeing hundred or even thousands of cars every day. So, imagine if everyone who owned a gun carried around their guns in plain sight each and every day. They would exceed passenger vehicles.

      • Maybe this is a tactic that will get the lefties on board – redistribute the wealth.

        There are (approximately) 300 million Americans and there re (approximately) 300 million guns. If the government repeals all unconstitutional gun laws we will each agree to keep only our one favorite gun and turn the rest in to the BATFE who will then distribute one to each American over 18 years old, randomly.

        Perfect socialist solution AND we get our Second Amendment rights back. AND everybody is armed.
        (/sarc off)

    • Pretty much. To crib from a blogger I follow (google “John T Reed headline news” if interested), the antis are fond of falling back upon “my ideal situation is better than your real situation” and claiming moral victory from there. To which the response needs to be, “your ideal situation means nothing if it is impossible to achieve.” If you have a 0% chance of winning $100 and a 50% chance of winning $20, stands to reason you should bet on the latter.

      Of course, “no more guns ever” is really the 0% chance of losing -$100, but…it’s not a perfect metaphor, mk?

  9. This was truly a refreshing piece and am absolutely shocked that it aired on, of all places, CNN. But this being the case I follow the rule: Better to have and not need than to need and not have.

  10. Am I the only one that thinks Don buying a gun “cos everyone else has one / fear of his neighbors” is a rather unhealthy reason?

    I heard this when it aired… is Don a Colorado resident? He claims he bought an AR-15 to see how easy it was (for TV I assume), then claims to have since sold it. Claims it only took 30 minutes… which sounds fine, but unless he sold it right back, how did he get it out of state?

    • He said that he lives in Harlem. Only bought a rifle in Colorado when he was visiting. Out of state rifle purchase laws vary by state. It’s possible that he also bought it there and had it shipped to his local FFL (although he didn’t say)

      • it upsets me when people with a stage talk about hot button issues and don’t tell a complete story. Obviously the “30 minute” background checking isn’t the whole story

      • Perfectly legal for an out-of-stater to buy an AR-15 in Colorado and either bring or ship it out, or sell it there.

        Colorado allows long gun sales to anyone who can pass a NICS check. I’m a VA resident, bought an AR in Colorado just last month to leave at my brother’s cabin. Took all of 20 minutes.

    • I’d agree that this reason seems weird or silly. I also think that who cares what a gun owners reason is as long as they’re law abiding.

      Also, I believe that people who are just getting into guns are not always comfortable thinking “this is for defense against a home invader / tyranical gov”

      These newcomers to RKBA will sometimes say it’s for a strange or arbitrary reason, (ie: zombies, competition, in case it gets banned, it was in my fav video game)

  11. Good on ya, Don. Unlike the anti-gun crew, it’s fine if you don’t want to tool up and join the team. Just keep an open mind and don’t join thiers.

  12. The problem is that today it’s impossible to have a nuanced stance. Guns are an Official Wedge Issue. You can pee yourself in terror at the thought of them and want them all banned. Or you can believe that no cost in human lives is too high and that any restriction means the communists will come and take your guns before they force you to gay marry a New Black Panther in Obama’s FEMA camps.

  13. Here’s an interesting story I came across in The Diplomat
    It seems that “…every year, first-year university students all across China participate in their mandatory regimen of military training before the start of classes. The training, held either on campus or at the nearest military base, lasts a few weeks prior to the start of classes.

    ‘Students may be equipped with firearms and dispatched to a shooting range for target practice. Or they may be given gas masks and medical equipment to run an emergency response drill.” [emphasis added]

    Interesting notion: Compulsory firearms and marksmanship training. From the Government. Seems like they’ve been taking careful notes.

    • Texasbro originally from China here for explanation: China’s “military training” is somewhat of a joke; it’s really more like a couple weeks of American high school JROTC, and when it ends everybody gets to line up and fire exactly one bullet out of a milsurp rifle. It is said you can tell who the rich urban kids are because they’re the ones who don’t brace the stock against their shoulder properly (because they don’t want to get their nice fatigues dirty, see) and come back with big old recoil bruises.

      But it wouldn’t be a bad idea though. Hell, drafts combined with ending the “tours of duty” concept during wars might not be a bad idea either. Gets us into less wars (because LIVs are less inclined to be apathetic about their vote when it’s not someone else or someone else’s child, but potentially their own child), incentivizes the troops and brass to actually fight to win (instead of toughing it out until their tour of duty ends), cuts down on excess spending (bigger army means that you can’t buy super tacticool wizbang gadgets for everyone, instead needing to just equip everyone with boring but practical stuff), military now is representative of whole country instead of being disproportionately Southern, and best of all normalizes everyone to guns.

      • everybody gets to line up and fire exactly one bullet out of a milsurp rifle.

        But that’s like a billion bullets. I mean, we’re talking about China, not Luxembourg.

  14. Don Lemon impresses me with his ability to objectively address topics such as this, and to accept and actually consider the root causes of, versus the tools people use to commit, violence.

    I heard Chris Hayes’ interview on NPR where he talked about his thought process and outlook on life as a philosopher of sorts, willing to really think about issues and change his mind on things, to really meditate on issues. But then I watch his show and read his tweets on issues like gun control and womens’ rights, and I see that all his talk of rational thought is really an illusion that he projects on himself. He is not a deep thinker any more than my high school pothead friends were deep thinkers. Yeah, they felt like they were thinking really deep, but they were just too dumb (or high) to realize how shallow they were.
    Chris Hayes did mention a growing lack of faith in the government due to issues during the Bush admin, and I hope the Obama admin (NSA spying, Obamacare rollout, Benghazi, etc.) will only grow that distrust. He might be won over yet, but it will be a loooong road.

    • I have total faith in government. I believe that it will either totally fvck up or that it will totally screw me at every opportunity.

  15. “Why would anyone need a gun like this” The amateur Liberal battle cry.Children talking about sophisticated firearms they know nothing about then passing judgement as though they do.Exactly the same as lawmakers.Completely clueless .Ignorance is Bliss!

  16. There are days that I would like to NOT attach four pounds of steel to my hips before heading out of the house. But the bad guys never take a day off, so I still strap up. That’s not so different from what this guy is saying. I, as opposed to this guy, actually like guns. But I don’t really want to always have one around. When you are getting into a canoe, or trimming your pack weight for a long hike, it would be really nice to not have to take a gun. But you still have to take it. Because you might need it. That’s basically the realization this guy has come to. Bravo. Welcome to the real world.

  17. Your neighbors aren’t a threat to you. In fact if it is known that in your neighborhood most folks are heavily armed criminals may be more likely to go elsewhere for prey.

    Personally I think you should own a gun for a while, practice with it before deciding if it’s for you. Do whatever you need to do to conquer your fear before cementing your stance on this issue.

    Not that he’ll read this.


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