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A shotgun is a terrible thing to waste (courtesy

Gun control and anti-gun control playbooks are breaking out all over. Time magazine sent a blogger inside NRA University to uncover the secret brainwashing education given the college kids preparing to extend and defend Americans’ natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms.  While the magazine couldn’t resist taking a swipe or two at the NRA’s message on messaging, the post is accurate, informative and, sniff, patriotic! The college kids are taught that the NRA is not a gun lobby (see: civil right statement above), guns aren’t as dangerous as Michael Bloomberg would have you believe, and Michael Bloomberg is as dangerous as TTAG would have you believe. Oh and they learn that the NRA believe the children are our future (Wayne LaPierre’s post-Newtown slam against violent videogames aside). Now, if we could only get our institutions of higher learning to teach the youth who Wittgenstein was. Or get Time to use hot links. And see the irony of using the Jewish philosopher—on his father’s side—to mock the NRA.

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  1. Good. The NRA is often demonized in the media when MAIG, Brady Campaign, etc. are much, much worse (bribery, misinformation, outright lying, etc.)

  2. Or consider universal background checks. Such a thing cannot possibly exist, she posits, because criminals won’t comply. “There’s no such thing,” Bond says, so we shouldn’t use the term. Wittgenstein might cringe, but the audience nods knowingly.

    The Wittgenstein of the Blue and Brown Books, Philosophical Investigations, is the philosopher who considered philosophical problems as non-problems, problems caused by language which has been divorced from the physical, social, and perceptual context that gave rise to it. This is really what happens when the language of firearms (or social mores or citizenship) comes to be used in a metaphysical way, as a toy of propaganda divorced from the functional contexts in which particuar words gained their meaning. The use of the word ‘liberty’ within an extremely regulated hyper-surveiled security state’s pronouncements might be an example of a word’s slide into metaphysical use.

    Therefore, use of Wittgenstein to mock the NRA was a fail, utterly disregarding the content of Philosophical Investigations. The NRA seems to prefer Wittgenstein’s views over those of the MSM.

    As for Wittgenstein’s religion, only the Nazis considered Ludwig Jewish. His mother and maternal grandmother were Catholics, as was Ludwig, by baptism and early education. He wouldn’t pass the test of Jewishness in Israel today. Does his religion matter?

    It might amuse people at TTAG to reflect on this, that Wittgenstein’s favorite recreational reading was of Westerns.

    • Ropingdown, thanks for that little bit of insight. I’m still not sure what the hell all that means in the context of how Time used his name, but at least I understand in what line the reference was offered, so I can maybe figure out the rest.

      • From my point of view, the meaning of it all is that the writer of the TIME piece was being pretentious. Wittgenstein has nothing to do with the subject, but is meant to establish that the writer is not one of these NRA yokels, but rather a Wittgenstein-reading professor of elegant thoughts and sensitive emotions. Pathetic. I stand by the interpretation of Wittgenstein, of course, because having read him carefully shows I’m authentic Coastal. Journalists love to create new “language-games” in the L.W. sense, creating meaningless new environments for words, in which the words no longer mean what you think they did. This makes them like politicians.

        • Yeah, until I did some more reading, I had no idea. I’m a pretty smart guy, and consider myself pretty well-read, but I’d never heard of Wittgenstein. As a general rule, if someone in a mass-market media source (like Time) name-drops someone fairly obscure like that without giving some explanation, my normal assumption is as you said, they’re being pretentious. If you’re not writing for a super erudite audience, which this blogger isn’t, then doing stuff like that just makes your audience feel dumb for not knowing. Then again, maybe demonstrating superiority was the whole point. They know better than us what is good for us, after all.

  3. “Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent” -Ludwig Wittgenstein

    A big STFU to Time magazine .

  4. The NRA should be demonized. It’s an extremist group. They’re a disgusting, slimy bunch. Yes, it’s hard to argue against freedom, but the extreme of gun rights is dangerous. They have never come out for a solution for gun violence except for “more guns”, as opposed to “people should make better decisions with their lives.” You can defend law abiding citizens. That’s easy. Law abiding citizens aren’t going to break laws. Criminals are. But also criminals usually kill other criminals. That’s the majority of gun violence. I don’t really see the NRA talking about that. And if you think for a second that there isn’t some “law abiding citizen” out there buying guns and selling/giving them to “criminals” than your down right ignorant.

    I would like the NRA to stop suggesting that liberty will prevail, when it isn’t. You can offer up so many other solutions for white kids from killing other white kids, but when it comes to the poverty stricken browned skinned people, good luck NRA. I haven’t seen it. All I see is ignorance.

    On top of all this, the majority of gun deaths is suicides — by white people. Again, “no guns” isn’t the solution, but “let’s make better decisions with our lives” is. Maybe they should change their message.

    What I’m getting at is it’s disgusting TTAG writes “brainwashing” with a strikethrough and “education” as its alternative. Go ahead and regurgitate that rhetoric. You sound like a free thinker when you do that.

    • The NRA isn’t here to solve the problems of poverty, ignorence and injustice that lead to a lot of our violence. Their mandate is to stick up for my right to exercise my rights as a citizen of this country. I cannot be denied my right to buy, own or carry a gun because at some moment in the future I may exercise bad judgement with my gun. I cannot be judged for what others have done. My rights cannot be curtailed because of the actions of others. The NRA is doing it’s job. If our pols would do their job a lot of these issues could be dealt with without having to restrict my freedoms.

      • +1 JWM. What the hell does Mitch Herzog want from them? Are you going to blame them for world hunger and the economy next? What are you uninformed radicals doing to solve poverty, suicides and violence between “brown” people?

        BTW I am what you refer to as a brown person, let me guess, you are as white as they come, liberal, and believe you speak for all us brown people? Did I miss anything, Mitch?!

        • Remember, fellas: feed a fever, starve a Troll. He’ll go slither back under his bridge if you just ignore him.

    • So you call us free thinkers for regurgitating things? So what about your own comment? You know, the whole entire paragraph pulled right out of the Brady playbook and regurgitated it to begin with as if you are in the right and correct and have higher moral standing? Perhaps if you had an issue with poverty and brown people you can go and tell the NAACP to actually do something about it, like they are supposed to do instead of pushing a progressive agenda, and stop blaming the NRA for something they arnt even related to?

  5. I’m watching the recent NRA makeover (from Angry White Man Lobby to Civil Rights Advocacy Group) with a lot of scepticism, but I’ll keep an open mind. They’re at least two steps ahead of the Republican Party (from whom they should get promptly divorced) in this regard. Guns are a Civil Rights issue, and the NRA, like the antis, tends to wage a culture war.

    I have a dream that one day the sons and daughters of the NRA will sit down and break bread with the sons and daughters of the ACLU…

    • And the NRA can learn to accept non-white, non-Christian, non-heterosexual American Citizens and the ACLU can count to ten without skipping two…

      It seems like the NRA is making progress, with a way to go for sure, but at least they are trying. Soon, they won’t even have to remember to “try to include others” because they won’t see some of those “non-‘s” as others, but as fellow citizens to be taught firearm safety so they can enjoy and exercise their 2A rights.


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