Ukraine citizen rifle gun firearm weapon AK
A young woman holds a weapon during a basic combat training for civilians, organized by the Special Forces Unit Azov, of Ukraine's National Guard. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
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In another recent article, I pointed out that arming civilians at the last minute to fight an existential threat isn’t the best plan for success. If you really want to have armed civilians be a last line of defense, it’s better to at least ensure they have some experience. But that’s still better than nothing and appears to be making a difference.

One Ukrainian Twitter account, however, made a very good point . . .

While Ukraine, like other countries, is far from perfect, they had one significant thing going for them: trust.

If someone like Vladimir Putin or Xi Jinping distributed tens of thousands of rifles to their general populace — people who haven’t proved their loyalty in some fashion — things would go badly for them. Why? Because tyrants rule by force and intimidation instead of relying on the consent of the governed.

Autocrats have more power, but that power comes at the expense of being able to trust the public. Should Russia ever face an existential threat, arming the general population is an option they probably won’t want to risk.

Ukraine is small and relatively weak compared to Russia. Their president used to be an actor and a comedian. Allies didn’t jump in and do much to help until recent days. And yet they’ve been able to draw on the public trust that they had banked over the years to hold off a much bigger country’s military, lead by a Chekist (Putin himself says there’s no such thing as a former KGB officer), and they’ve managed to do it for days so far.

No Such Thing As Too Much Trust

Just as arming inexperienced and untrained citizens at the last minute is suboptimal, so is trying to build public trust in an emergency. Yes, when a country faces a significant common threat, people tend to unite against the enemy, but that’s not something that can be counted on for the future of a country or the safety of its people.

Let’s not kid ourselves that things are necessarily better in the United States. We have gun rights and that helps us be more prepared as a country, but those rights are under constant assault. Politicians always want to take what they think is the easy way out of society’s problems. Instead of putting in the work it takes to solve deep-seated problems that result in violence, they’d rather sweep those problems under the rug by disarming the populace.

The very same people who act this way and make us lose nearly all trust in them are suddenly shocked — shocked I tell you! — when something like the coronavirus pandemic comes along. They close down small businesses while big corporations continue to operate, blame a sometimes skeptical population that had been given conflicting information, and vilify those who are hesitant about taking vaccines that were rushed into production. Instead of realizing that they didn’t earn our trust, they blamed us for not trusting them.

And don’t think that my use of this one example (the pandemic) lets Republicans off the hook. Like Democrats, they’re often just as quick to push the limits of public trust for short term political gain, sometimes even on gun control. Both parties are guilty.

Burning Fewer Bridges

This goes far beyond guns, of course. Authoritarian whack jobs are always trying to find other ways to put and keep the public under their boot. When the ruling elite tries to pass laws against encrypted messaging, Big Gulps, religion, blurting out the wrong pronouns, LGBT rights, parental rights, and all manner of other matters that aren’t the government’s business — that takes a toll. Forcing people to do things they don’t want to do burns bridges and erodes public trust, taking us just a little closer to living under something not un like what Vladimir Putin or Xi Jinping might impose.

Instead of pushing the “easy button” and forcing people to do things their way, we need to be finding common ground and win-win solutions for divisive issues. That takes more work and more thinking — activities most politicians aren’t enamored with or capable of — but it’s the only way to keep our relatively free society free. Letting people we disagree with come away from these debates with their dignity intact is important, because like it or not, we’ll need them one of these days.

The worst thing we can do in our society is burn all the bridges of trust during safe and peaceful times. We need to accumulate that trust for the inevitable rainy days, not unlike Ukraine is experiencing. Hopefully we will never see that, but I’d rather have my neighbors by my side in dark days than working against me or sitting the fight out because we hate each other.

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146 COMMENTS

    • Putin is not only ex-KGB with the rank of colonel, but for several years in the 1980s was based in East Germany as a liaison for the Stasi. The apple certainly does not fall far from the tree.

    • Reasonable minds can disagree. I thought this was one of the better editorials I have read on this list. Congratulations, Miss Sensibe on a well reasoned editorial.

  1. Much at the end hits home up here. Sucks to have a crisis in NY for all except those who profit from it.

  2. Reagan said it best: Доверяй, но проверяй, (Doveryay, no proveryay, trust but verify). Nothing that this or any other government says can be verified, because governments prefer to operate in the shadows. If it cannot be verified, it cannot be trusted.

    • Ironic as Reagan hated guns and non whites. If you are verifying you really are not trusting now are you? Always found that comment odd. But this is the same man who said; I never left the Democratic Party, it left me.

      • for goodness sakes, he shared the screen with a chimpanzee.
        blind obediance/ taking at face value without a little research can be detrimental. trust. it lasts as long as the last exchange.

      • “Ironic as Reagan hated guns and non whites.”

        But he did like white gay men. Because he did invite them to sleep over in the Lincoln bedroom. Before it became fashionable in the 1990s. During the Clinton years.

      • And, Son, he was correct on both comments. John F. Kennedy is an iconic “Democrat”. In what UNIVERSE could he be elected to anything under the banner of the Dimocrat Party??? If you “trust” but don’t verify??? You’re even stupider than your comment. As for the status of the Dimocrat Party, I leave you with ONE question: What would JFK, or Scoop Jackson, or LBJ, have thought of “the Squad”. And if you are a supporter of “The Squad”, well . . . have fun in the theological place of eternal punishment.

  3. Putins army is doing poorly for a number of reasons. Probably the foremost is that dictators don’t promote generals based on talent. They promote them based on loyalty.

    As far as trust goes. I’ve said it before. I would not risk my life defending biden. I would talk to all I know to spread that message. Any pol that distrusts his citizens enough to want them disarmed is not a good pol.

    Not worth fighting for.

    • “Putins army is doing poorly for a number of reasons.”

      Saw a write-up on that last night, can’t recall where.

      The gist of it was, the troops are taking the path of least resistance, avoiding exposing themselves to fire if at all possible. They want no part of Putin’s war…

      • The Russian army has a well deserved reputation for mistreating its conscripts. Beatings, extortion, sex. No way to treat your soldiers.

        Why would any of those troops take chances for their leaders. I wonder how many fraggings have occurred in the Russian army since this began?

        • Dedoshvina (trying to remember this wotd) survived the Soviet Union. From memory, Russian conscripts serve a 2 year term with intakes every 6 months. The group in their last quarter are the ones at the top of totem (excluding NCOs and officers) with the 1st term draftees being on the bottom. Robberies, beatings, and rape (and even murder) are rife.

          And the conscripts are complaining in text messages they were lied to about going into Ukraine, the welcome they would receive, and the level of resistance they will face. On top of that their status was changed to “contract soldiers” which means they are in for the duration.

        • “..Beatings, extortion, sex..”

          And you are trying to argue what?

          Sounds like Marxist heaven to me.

        • to Miner49er
          The term “anal sex communism” come to mind. A communist interrogation and torture method. A favorite of the Romanian Communist secret police I believe.

    • To Jethro W.M.

      As usual Jethro you think with rectum gas not facts.

      Brutally treating conscripts is as old as time itself by the worlds militaries and obviously you never tried out for the U.S. Marines. The Japanese Army of WWII was loyal and they were treated with extreme brutality.

      And try watching the news some time Jethro because many Russian troops are not in agreement with the war because many are actually surrendering tot he Ukrainians or punching holes in their gas tanks to render their vehicles inoperative.

      Try again Jethro, the High School Drop out, that professes to know everything about anything and what he does not know is not worth knowing.

      • If you consider the treatment a recruit gets in the Marines to be brutal you are indeed a non hacker. Tell me again dacian the nazi when did you serve?

        And you never gave any list of your degrees, jerry. When I last looked at your facebook it showed an amazing lack of credits.

        And how is it that such a highly educated person is not welcome to move to europe while I am?

        • Jethro W.M. You are one of he biggest liars on this forum. You have repeatedly stated that you live in the Bay Area.

        • Nobody can lie more than you, dacian the nazi. I was welcome to move to France and decided not to go after the bataclan fiasco where the French .gov did a hard right turn against their own people. I’ve told this story a number of times. I will be in the bay area for 2 more years until my wife retires.

          After that? We are financially independent and free to go damn near anywhere we please.

          Unlike you.

      • dacian the stupid,

        You PURPORT to be knowledgeable about history. If so, riddle me this, Buttman: What distinguished the Roman Legions from ALL other armed forces they faced, and was the key to their success??? Bonus points if you can extrapolate from there.

        You remain too stupid to insult. You are a sad parody of a (supposedly) “educated” Leftist/fascist. You literally know NOTHING of history, and the few “lessons from history” you learned?? You got them wrong.

        You are too stupid to insult. Go micturate up a cable.

      • And, Dacian, exactly when did you serve in the U.S. Marine Corps? And if so, what was the level of your discharge?

    • “dictators don’t promote generals based on talent. They promote them based on loyalty.”

      I’m glad we don’t do that in the USA.

  4. “They close down small businesses while big corporations continue to operate, blame a sometimes skeptical population that had been given conflicting information, and vilify those who are hesitant about taking vaccines that were rushed into production. Instead of realizing that they didn’t earn our trust, they blamed us for not trusting them.”

    Exactly this.

    • That is something I’ve questioned since the beginning of the Dempanic/pandemic. How is it safer to be in a big box store with several hundred people than in a local shop with 5 or 6 people? Guess it’s safer to patronize the big political donor corporate stores, rather than the little store that is either politically neutral or possibly in the opposition camp.
      Honest politicians, sustainable socialist/Marxist governments, along with bigfoot, extraterrestrial aliens, and sensible legislation and common sense gun laws are all in the same class. Rumored to exist, but no actual proof of any of the above exists.

  5. I’ve read a couple of stories about how the local gangs have essentially used this opportunity and newly acquired weapons to ramp up the crime and anarchy while the Azov and their buddies vie for control of territory.

    Not mentioning this to poo-poo guns for civis but just to remind folks it isn’t all rainbows, sunshine, white hats vs. black hats stuff. Way to early to be picking who the good guys are. Early on I thought gee, sucks for Ukraine but now I’m seeing maybe Ukraine and NATO were playing a game of “fuck around and find out” for the last 30 years and now they’re finding out. In any case it sucks for the people who aren’t in power, who aren’t in a gang, who aren’t nazi militiamen, who are just trying to live their lives. Those are the people who should be armed.

    • Shire-man,

      And this could very well be, “coming soon to a theater near you.” (Pun intended.)

      Yesterday, Russia’s Foreign Ministry issued a disturbing threat of disastrous consequences to the countries who provide weapons and fuel to Ukraine. I have to believe that such consequences would include, at a minimum, debilitating cyber attacks. Given our nation’s already extremely fragile supply chain, it would not take much of a cyber attack to push our nation into significant anarchy. Should that come to pass, I have to believe that domestic criminal gangs will see a golden opportunity and go for the gusto.

      I don’t know about you, but I certainly do not want to be unarmed if I have to face-off against domestic criminal gangs.

      • “coming soon to a theater near you.”

        there are some who have been waiting for this for decades ….

        “if I have to face-off against domestic criminal gangs”

        even if armed, you won’t want to do that alone.

      • Russia could do some real damage with cyber. But it pales in comparison to what the USA could do to them. It’s our internet. They’re just visiting. When their power does out, their trains stop on their tracks, and their internet is crippled nationwide, they’ll understand what some of us already know.

  6. Ukrainian men aren’t as unskilled as Jennifer claims. The percentage of them that have military training in their past is much higher than in the United States or the rest of Europe except for a few countries (e.g. Switzerland and Scandinavia) where service is mandatory. The Ukrainians’ training may be years in their past but it’s not forgotten.

    • ⬆️ This at 18 every male is required to do 2 years in the Ukranian Army. We should have a similar policy only including women too.

      • That would be called a mandate there, BSon, and mandates are straight up tyranny no matter how or where you slice it. Tell me, what would be your next mandate? Because you know you’ll do it again, having succeeded before. Or am I wrong and we just haven’t applied it correctly yet? Next time will be different?

        • Rider,

          You are not incorrect, sir. A “mandate” is a mandate, whatever pretty dress you doll it up in.

          Income tax is a mandate (and damn the day we passed the 16th Amendment!!), just as evil as any other infringement on human rights.

      • In Russia, even the neo-soviet Russia, small arms use is highly encouraged if not mandatory. All high schools in USA that accept federal money should be mandated likewise. IMO

  7. “The worst thing we can do in our society is burn all the bridges of trust during safe and peaceful times.”

    Thirty years too late.

  8. How many experienced vets do we have in the US population?

    Speaking of experienced vets, anybody got eyes on JW Taylor? Maybe he got the urge for one more fight.

  9. Nov. 16, 2018. Eric Swallwell : ” You’ll give them up or we’ll take them. We have nukes. “…
    The left responds with crickets Feb. 26, 2022. : Vlad Putin ” I have ordered my nukes to readiness ” . The left responds ” he’s a fucking madman ” . Jan. 11, 2022. : Democrats put plan into place to tank the American economy. The left responds with crickets Feb. 28, 2022. :America and allies put plan in place to tank the Russian economy. The left responds with cheers Since forever : The left thinks no citizens should have common weaponry. The left comes up with myriad ways to slowly implement that thought Since start of Russian invasion :The left cheers on citizens being issued common weaponry for their self-defense. The past week : Putin puts up false information on how well the war is going. The left counters the lies with “facts and statistics”. Tonight : King Dribblecup puts up false information on how well the country is doing. The left responds with cheers, Raggedy Ann translates what his gibberish “actually meant “, talking heads drag out “statistics” to verify claims…

    • Pb, I think you got one of your dates wrong. It certainly didnt take a year for Xiden to start tanking our economy, pretty sure it was job one! Other than that, I think you could have named it A Tale of Two Tyrants.

      • Three tyrants now, unicorn. Don’t forget that our idiot manchild in Ottawa is now sending the people of Ukraine a bunch of them evil assaulty weapons he recently decreed us unfit to own plus a bunch of handguns. Because Freedom. And Liberty. Wonder if the mags are pinned for public safety and if he got cash?

        • Nah, Rider, no matter what he aspires to, Justin the Leftist Mantwat can only be a tyrant wannabe . . . sorta like being “the world’s tallest midget”. But he looks effin’ BOMB in blackface!!!

          Sorry, Rider, but if Justin Trudeau is you potential “tyrant”??? Kind of a sad comment. Historical tyrants: Genghis Khan, Alexander the Great, Augustus Caesar, Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin, Mau Zedong, Pol Pot, Richard Nixon, and . . . Justin Trudeau??????? Another reason for Canadians to be embarrassed. If the best “tyrant” you can generate is a pathetic, brainless, d***less, idiot like Justin??? U R doin’ it wrong.

          Get a better class of tyrant (says the guy living in a country ruled by the Walking Rutabaga).

        • Lamp, how serious a tyrant can I think him if I continously refer to him as the idiot manchild? And consider; if he’s the best we can do in the way of a tyrant then I’ll take that as a compliment, not something to be embarrassed about (you were tongue in cheek, I know). Never assume though that a child tyrant isn’t exceedingly dangerous when he’s offered the kingdom but knows all the peasants (already) hate him. He panders to the wimmens and the gay community for a reason. He’s a weak, cowardly, vile, vindictive little snake from way back and would, I’m quite sure, do literally anything to spite us other kids if he thought he could get away with it, including ordering full scale massacres. Remember, it’s literally in his blood. I would bet good money that he and the Stalins, Francescas, Maos and Pol Pots in the world have much in common. Look at “Rocket Man” over in NK; vindictive children, every one of them. And we allow it, over and over again. Truly an insignificant, unimaginably tiny ship of fools hurtling through the unknowable vastness of the cosmos to our self demise.

    • Vlad Putin ” I have ordered my nukes to readiness ” . The left responds ” he’s a fucking madman ”

      for the left, they are sane by definition, and anyone who opposes them in any way is insane by definition.

      • Hey skinny rhino whisperer – oops, typing this out on a cellphone; got bored with retirement and am on an install job in beautiful N. Dak. To r7 : agreed. Heard someone talking about the Ukraine war, as in ” bet you haven’t thought about covid in a week ” … or the economy, govt. bungling , or runaway inflation. Nope, just a crazy man in a faraway continent. Sorry people, we have one here that I’m more worried about

    • “Eric Swallwell : ” You’ll give them up or we’ll take them. We have nukes. “…
      The left responds with crickets Feb. 26, 2022. : Vlad Putin ” I have ordered my nukes to readiness ” . The left responds ” he’s a fucking madman ”

      Classic conservative false equivalence.

      Eric Swallwell, 2-bit politician’s campaign blustering. (like Donald Trump saying if he had been at Parkland school he’d gone in and taken out the shooter… )

      Vladimir Putin, ruthless ex-KGB dictator who kills his political opponents and has launched a massive invasion into a sovereign country, killing thousands.

      It’s obvious the intellectually challenged have difficulty comparing and contrasting events and individuals, this is one of the basic reasons for their vague anger and frustration with the world around them.

      • MinorIQ,

        Please don’t feel the need to demonstrate your idiocy to prove your Leftist/fascist bona fides; we already know you’re a stupid Leftist/fascist mant***. The idiocy of the above statement, made for NO OTHER PURPOSE than to carry water for another of your Leftist/fascist political whores, would be embarrassing to a reasonably mentally competent human being.

        But, then, that would exclude you, wouldn’t it??? Vlad is a pathetic, flailing, Leftist/fascist wannabe tyrant . . . kinda like Senile Joe, the serial child-groper, Justin Castreaux, pretty much every politician in the EU, and, yes, MOST aspiring Dimocrat politicians (most particularly including Beta O’Jerk). Pro tip: That they are too completely brain-dead and incompetent to ACHIEVE tyranthood does not absolve them of their nake desire for it. A particularly pathetic and brain-warped version of “whataboutism”, but probably the best “argument” you Leftist/fascists can mount.

        Vlad IS a Leftist/fascist tyrant, wishing to increase his influence. Beta O’Jerk is an idiot Leftist/fascist nitwit, with delusions of gender, aspiring to “greater things”. What differentiates them?? Well, Vlad is a very competent psychotic fascist, and Beta O’Jerk is . . . what MinorIQ would be, if he were more competent than Beta. Think about it, soiboi – you aspire to Beta O’Jerk status, and fail to achieve it. Remember “A man’s reach should exceed his grasp, else what’s a heaven for?” Apparently, your reach AND your grasp begin and end at your tiny little Johnson. Beta is a buffoon, but he’s YOUR buffoon, MinorIQ . . . he espouses all of your idiot talking points, doesn’t he?? I mean, what part of the Leftist/fascist platform of the Dimocrat Party do he and you NOT support???

        Sorry, if you got to absolve yourself of culpability based on the incompetence of your “chosen” leaders, no one who voted for Dimocrats would ever be responsible for anything. Because you were “doing something”. “We TRIED!!! We had “good intentions”!!!” Eff off, MinorIQ, your excuses do NOT excuse your f***tardery. Nice try, though. Might have worked with your fellow Leftist/fascists.

        • Lamp, left a reply to you just above and one back in the “only one gun” (horribly distressing thought) article by Sam ‘Sound Off in the Comments’ Goober 🙄 regarding the 590A1. Ha! I think I’ll leave that auto correct on ‘Hoober’ just as it is.

  10. This is probably going to earn me some hate (rightfully so) but wouldn’t giving weapons to civilians and telling them to give the Russians hell get them labeled as unlawful enemy combatants (unless they get drafted into the Ukrainian armed forces). Granted this is based on my understanding of US law (which is likely lacking) from when I was active duty, but if correct I can see the Russian equivalent of our DoJ and DoD taking a page or two from our play book.

    • In my state, any capable person age 18 to 45 is considered part of the militia. While in Iraq and Afghanistan, we didn’t treat armed opposing civilians any worse or better then any other group.

    • “wouldn’t giving weapons to civilians and telling them to give the Russians hell get them labeled as unlawful enemy combatants”

      the international rule of warfare in christian europe was always that legitimate combatants were in uniform and under the command of legitimate officers. after wwii this was dispensed with so that french partisans could not be charged with war crimes – however the rule was upheld against german partisans. so, the “law” now is that anything your side does is legitimate, and anything the other side does is illegitimate.

        • without an external morality standing judge over both, all around the world it’s always “us vs them”. with that external morality is a chance for peace. but for some, their entire culture and religion is “us vs them”, held pure from the dawn of their existence to the present day, and “peace” with them is nothing more than an opportunity for them to wage “war by other means”.

      • rant7,

        ” . . . anything your side does is legitimate, and anything the other side does is illegitimate . . . ”

        Nicely summarized. The “law of war” and “international law” are pretty much what the power elite want them to be, at the time. Anyone who takes an order, and carries it out, WITHOUT an internal examination of the morality of that order is a person without a soul. I MAY choose to do the bidding of my beneficent gummint . . . or I MAY choose to tell them to take a flying f*** at a rolling donut. But I make that decision, for myself.

      • Rant7, are you suggesting that religion has brought us or is our best chance at “peace in our time”? Or that it hasn’t been used throughout history to divide and conquer, justify and enact mass slaughter and to genocide the fuck out of each other (indeed it was undoubtedly born from the mind of man for this very purpose)? That the widely differing ‘morals’ in each and every cultish body of mob enforced superstitious dogma invoking a Supreme Being are some kind of guiding light instead of a tool continuously used to manipulate, enslave and enrich? Are you suggesting, as you have before, that without a little jeesus in ‘ya we are bereft of moral guidance? Say it ain’t so, rant7, say it ain’t so. And this time, answer the damn question. JWM has you pegged to a tee .

    • It would, if eithrr nation was a signatory to the Laws of War.
      It would also matter more if the Russians had any intention of treating the Ukrainian people decently in the first place. Hint: look up the Holodomor.

    • Geneva Convention III, art. 4(A)(2). Members of other militias and members of other
      volunteer corps, including organized resistance movements, who belong to
      parties to the conflict and:
      i. are commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates;
      ii. have a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance;
      iii. carry arms openly; and
      iv. conduct their operations in accordance with the laws and customs
      of war

      • neiowa,

        Yeah, that whole “fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance” is all about, “We don’t want any narsty-arse ‘guerillas’ interfering with our Plan”. There are many reasons for ‘armies’ to wear recognizablel ‘uniforms’. And there are at least as many reasons for those opposing larger forces to invite them to pound sand.

        I don’t think any rational human being thinks that the “rule of law” or “laws of war” require that, when your country is being invaded, if you see tanks outside your window, you can ONLY attack them AFTER you’ve donned a uniform. Yeah, whatever.

        And the whole pretense that “field armies” actually observe the “laws of war”, the Geneva Convention, etc., is simply a fig leaf to give some comfort to the @$$holes who probably started the whole thing in the first place (for some reasons they’ll never admit). Talk to a WW II or Korean War of Vietnam vet about how they dealt with surrendering forces (if you know one well enough to (i) get them to talk about it, and (ii) they feel like telling you the truth.

        Rules are great for athletic contests. Rules are stupid for “life or death” situations. As our military lore goes: “If you ain’t cheatin’, you ain’t tryin'”.

  11. “But that’s still better than nothing and appears to be making a difference.”

    Putin is putting in effort for sure and is certainly getting a very negative reaction across the world but he hasn’t even takin his gloves off yet.

    I wouldn’t doubt a lack of fight in his military ranks. I also wouldn’t doubt that the Ukrainian people are putting up a decent fight. This needs to end quickly.

    • The Russians are finding their conscripts are reluctant at best. The Belarus soldiers said the Russian troops were almost always drunk and selling them their fuel and ammunition (probably traded for alcohol).

      I wasn’t joking when I said the Ukrainians should have left stockpiles of liquor on the suspected invasion routes. To Russians, beer is a soft drink and can even be sold to minors.

  12. “Arming Civilians Proves Public Trust Is Essential To Defense and Preparedness”

    does the moral quality of those civilians play any role here? “our constitution was written for a moral and christian people, it is wholly inadequate to the governance of any other.”

    • Let me guess. Only church going christian, white men are trustworthy enough to bear arms. No jews, non whites or women, right?

      What color is the sky in your world?

        • Depends on who is judging ‘moral character’. And you, as usual, dodged around the real meaning of my comment.

          What about jews, non whites, non christians? I believe your moral character is in question until you give an honest answer.

        • “And you, as usual, dodged”

          answer the question. does the moral quality of those civilians play any role here?

        • I answered the question. Moral character is a red herring. Hitler thought he was of good character and I’ll bet Putin does, also. Who judges moral character?

          Now. It’s time for you to answer, honestly, what about non whites? Jews? Non christians?

          You always play word games but you never have the courage for a straight answer. Either you have doubts about your convictions or you’re simply a coward.

          Say it in plain english.

        • “I answered the question”

          (rereading) no, you didn’t. for obvious reasons – you reject “yes” and cannon support “no”, but rather jump in with a diversion to silence the issue.

          “Moral character is a red herring”

          see if anyone else agrees with that.

          “Say it in plain english”

          ok.

          To the Officers of the first Brigade of the third Division of the Militia of Massachusetts

          Quincy October 11. 1798

          Gentlemen
          I have received from Major General Hull and Brigadier General Walker your unanimous Address from Lexington, animated with a martial Spirit and expressed with a military Dignity, becoming your Characters and the memorable Plains, in which it was adopted.

          While our Country remains untainted with the Principles and manners, which are now producing desolation in so many Parts of the World: while she continues Sincere and incapable of insidious and impious Policy: We shall have the Strongest Reason to rejoice in the local destination assigned Us by Providence. But should the People of America, once become capable of that deep simulation towards one another and towards foreign nations, which assumes the Language of Justice and moderation while it is practicing Iniquity and Extravagance; and displays in the most captivating manner the charming Pictures of Candour frankness & sincerity while it is rioting in rapine and Insolence: this Country will be the most miserable Habitation in the World. Because We have no Government armed with Power capable of contending with human Passions unbridled by morality and Religion. Avarice, Ambition Revenge or Galantry, would break the strongest Cords of our Constitution as a Whale goes through a Net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious People. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other

          An Address so unanimous and firm from the officers commanding two thousand Eight hundred Men, consisting of such substantial Citizens as are able and willing at their own Expence, compleatly to arm, And cloath themselves in handsome Uniforms does honor to that Division of the Militia which has done so much honor to their Country. Oaths, in this Country, are as yet universally considered as Sacred Obligations. That which you have taken and so solemnly repeated on that venerable Spot is an ample Pledge of your sincerity, and devotion to your Country and its Government.

          John Adams

        • Still blowing smoke, rant7. Apparently your christian morals do not extend to having the courage to answer about non white, non male, non christian individuals. How about jews?

          And moral character is still a red herring. Who decides such moral character? Does the fear of being banned from ttag haunt you so that you would set aside your moral character and play smoke and mirror games? Or will you give an honest, no bs answer?

        • My final word in the matter. No where in the constitution do I see ‘moral character’ as a requirement to exercise our rights.

    • If you’re equating morality with Christianity then those are fightin’ words, dude. Is that what you are doing or implying? And to echo jwm; answer the question, directly.

      • “If you’re equating morality with Christianity then those are fightin’ words, dude.”

        you’ll have to take that up with john adams. he and his compatriots wrote the constitution with their presumptions in mind, not yours. if you wish to substitute your own presumptions then there will be repercussions to the kind of government you envision …

        “answer the question directly”

        … and since neither you nor jwm will address that, then your question is irrelevant.

        • Evasion, obfuscation and hiding behind the words of others. Is this miner49er? Sure have the same mo. I’m taking it up with you, rant7, not someone 200yrs gone. I’m not presuming anything when I, an atheist thru and thru (you can thank ‘christianity’ for that), claim to be of sound moral standing, I merely state fact. Rather it is the devout who continuously presume to claim sole ownership of that domain (see what I mean?). The question was and is directed straight at you: is that also your claim, that you, a god fearing Christian (assumed for sake of clarity due to your op) claim superior moral standing over me, a godless heathen, due to association or lack thereof? Answer the question directly, rant7. Is that what you intended to convey? Yes or no?

        • Rant7, i see you’ve declined to respond. Again. Still. Not surprised. Or the least impressed. Again. Still.

    • jwm,

      Morality is necessarily personal. I may agree, or disagree, with another person who “identifies as” Christian, or ‘conserative’, or ‘libertarian’ on one issue, and . . . disagree with them on another. I can assure you that whatever “ethical, moral” position you want to assert, I can make an argument why it isn’t “ethical” or “moral”.

      If I can agree on the underlying concept . . . the “morality”, if you will . . . of a particular position, I may choose to make common cause with others that share that opinion ON THAT SUBJECT. If I demand absolute fealty of my co-belligerents to every aspect of MY worldview? I’m gonna run out of “allies”, and that right quick.

      ALL humans act in their perceived “best interestes” . . . as they should. Now, “self interest” can include many things, including belief in “causes”. If you propose to engage in violence – war, insurgency, guerilla action, whatever – then best you understand what your co-belligerents believe. Small differences at the beginning can create giant gaps by the end.

      • Lamp, and is this not much the same as what jwm put forth, even more directly in his next few comments? “Who shall vette the vetters”, right? Morality, as you state, is the domain of an individual, not a dogma. Indeed, immediately upon said dogma making such claim then that dogma has cast aside it’s moral compass and in truth was possessed of none from the start. Hypocrisy at a level almost none under the sway of their chosen (or indoctrinated) dogma ever allow themselves to see, in much the same way as they will deride the utterly inarguable fact of Darwinian evolution (just as a similarity). Religion, communism, socialism and all forms of tyranny have much in common. I would go further and suggest they even have the same authors, at least in spirit. And ooh, look, I’m “awaiting moderation”. Again. Still. What’s that, twenty or thirty times now?

  13. YouTube blocks RT and Sputnik as Russia tells media not to say “invasion” >

    https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2022/03/youtube-blocks-rt-and-sputnik-as-russia-tells-media-not-to-say-invasion/

    After Ukraine recruits an “IT Army,” dozens of Russian sites go dark > https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2022/02/after-ukraine-recruits-an-it-army-dozens-of-russian-sites-go-dark/

    Russia Today’s European satellite broadcasting operations are expected to be blacked out later today, the Luxembourg company distributing the channel has indicated. (14:48 by Lisa O’Carroll) >

    https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/world/russia-ukraine-war-latest-moscow-tells-kyiv-residents-to-leave-and-threatens-high-precision-strikes-live/ar-AAUrAtQ?ocid=uxbndlbing

    President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said: >

    https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/speech_22_1483

    “We are suspending the licences for the Kremlin’s propaganda machine. The state-owned Russia Today and Sputnik, as well as their subsidiaries, will no longer be able to spread their lies to justify Putin’s war and to divide our union.

    These are unprecedented actions by the European Union and our partners in response to an unprecedented aggression by Russia.”

    BP and Shell have pulled out of Russian oil, taking with them about 40% of the Russian federal budget.

  14. quote——————-Just as arming inexperienced and untrained citizens at the last minute is suboptimal, so is trying to build public trust in an emergency.———-quote

    So true and this extends to other aspects of societal problems. Psychologists have revealed that one of the major reasons the largely uneducated Far Right rejected getting vaccinated against the deadly Covid scourge was that they did not trust their Government nor did they trust their fellow Americans. All this resulted in the U.S. having the highest death rate on the planet from Covid-19.

    Much of this unnecessary death was the direct result of Trump and his dividing the people of American against each other and his denial of the seriousness of the disease. All this resulted in almost 1 million people dying unnecessarily.

    Gun control also is subject to mass hysteria by the Far Right as they do not realized the majority of gun owners are well aware of the fact that Universal Background Checks and Safe Storage laws would keep thousands of people who should not have guns from getting them so easily.

    In conclusion the evil Trump legacy will continue to divide America, unfortunately, for many years to come. The evil Trump created will long outlive him and his legacy which will make people both shake their heads at his incompetence and ignorance and laugh about it when reading History books about him in the future.

    • Could have had something to do with wide open borders and no way to check the vaccination status of illegals swarming over those same borders.

      As far as incompetence. biden is crashing our economy. He’s fixing our energy situation to where this winter folks will have to choose between heat and food. He is a total mess of a potus and anybody, even a half trained chimpanzee would do a better job.

      But you keep hiding under the bed from Trump. He’ll be back in 24, maybe sooner if things get much worse.

      • jwm, biden of course has trouble tying his shoelaces but the ‘incompetence’ is now global, i.e.: every bit intentional. I have little doubt you’re aware of this, I’m just putting it out there for those still hunched over in front of their TVs, slackjawed and glassyeyed, drool dripping onto their remote. Funny how suddenly so many TTAGers who yesterday avowed the media public enemy #1 eagerly gobble up every word now fed to them as if from on high.

      • I’m sorry I keep going on and on about being a fake dacian. I didn’t take my meds this morning. Now that I took them, I see that when I was off them, I went around commenting on my own comments, saying that my own comments were a fake dacian. My Bad guys.

    • “All this resulted in the U.S. having the highest death rate on the planet from Covid-19.”

      As of March 1, 2022, Peru had the highest death rate from Covid per 1 million persons. Bulgaria was number 2.

      https://www.statista.com/statistics/1104709/coronavirus-deaths-worldwide-per-million-inhabitants/

      “Much of this unnecessary death was the direct result of Trump and his dividing the people of American against each other and his denial of the seriousness of the disease. All this resulted in almost 1 million people dying unnecessarily.”

      Yes, All Trumps fault that the Country was divided. Don’t look back 20 years and the times the Democratic Party contested elections and said not my POTUS. Not to mention that China was protected by left even tho it was China who allowed the spread worldwide.

      “Gun control also is subject to mass hysteria by the Far Right as they do not realized the majority of gun owners are well aware of the fact that Universal Background Checks and Safe Storage laws would keep thousands of people who should not have guns from getting them so easily.”

      Mass hysteria? No, it is common sense to know that UBC and safe storage as proposed do nothing positive. The focus on objects does not stop people from misusing them. Focus on those who commit crime.

      “In conclusion the evil Trump legacy will continue to divide America, unfortunately, for many years to come.”

      You have serious mental issues. America was already divided when Trump came along. You don’t know the past history yet you theorize the future.

        • Dacian’s grand plan to eliminate “gun violence” is to eliminate “gun owners”. Especially those who own incorrect guns.

      • to Wannabee Paratrooper

        Quote—————–Mass hysteria? No, it is common sense to know that UBC and safe storage as proposed do nothing positive. The focus on objects does not stop people from misusing them. Focus on those who commit crime.————-quote

        Only a crass and demented nut case would make such an idiotic statement. Visit the U.S. graveyards where 1,300 children are buried each year not to mention 3 times that many in wheel chairs for the rest of their lives. That alone is a good case for safe storage besides the fact that it often thwarts quickie smash and grab robberies of deadly weapons out of homes.

        quote————–You have serious mental issues. America was already divided when Trump came along. You don’t know the past history yet you theorize the future————quote

        Another one of your delusional nut case ranting’s. What planet do you live on anyway. Trump made racism cool again and ran a political campaign based on racism just as Hitler did decades ago.

        I might add that attacks and murders of minorities skyrocketed under Trump. The attacks on, and murders of, American Muslims and American Asians skyrocketed after Trump made racist statements against them. And even Jews were gunned down in their synagogues and their grave yards desecrated. Again You are living on another planet and your eyes are closed to the atrocities committed by your Lord God Storm Trooper Herr Drumpf.

        quote———–As of March 1, 2022, Peru had the highest death rate from Covid per 1 million persons. Bulgaria was number 2.———-quote

        As usual you cannot tell the forest for the trees. You argue over 1 or 2 more people dying and fail to realize that the main point of the discussion was that the U.S. has lost 1 million people and if its 1 or 2 less than Peru your argument is as asinine as it is demented.

        • I’m sorry. I was wrong. It’s not 1300. it’s 492. There are 492 unintentional deaths by gun every year.

          https://www.aftermath.com/content/accidental-shooting-deaths-statistics/

          492 people unintentionally die by gun in an average year. Now that isn’t just children – that’s everyone. So in 2021, there was 154 deaths from accidents with firearms. AND! those include those where a children was under adult supervision. So unaccompanied children finding firearms and killing themselves with them, would be a fraction of 154. So the real truth becomes, when do we start voting???! LOL. 154 is too many to me. Your freedom, your choices, and your personal responsibility isn’t good enough. I want legislation that forces stuff taken away from you like a nanny slapping a child that is misbehaving. The government is my machine, the nanny, and my votes are the levers.

          Lastly, I would like to say, I have Trump Derangement Syndrome, and I hate Trump. I will lie, cheat, and readily make anything up in order to paint him in a bad light. Trump hated Jews, even though his son in law was jewish. Trump hated Blacks, even those some of his biggest fans were black rappers, and Trump hated people from the indian subcontinent, even after he pardoned Dinesh DeSouza. Trump was super racist, because that was the mainstream news message for the entire time during his administration, and the mainstream news absolutely cannot be wrong, or created in such a way to program it’s viewers.

    • Shorter dacian the stupid: “Anyone who disagrees with me, or my catechism of Leftist/fascist dogma, is a poopyhead, and I don’t like them!!”

      dacian the stupid, you are cordially invited to osculate my anal sphincter.

  15. I sympathize with the Ukrainians. However; the fact that the Senile Sock Puppet Biden’s staff provoked Russia to invade Ukraine to distract attention from his own domestic tyranny is why I am cheering for Vladimir Putin. It is a classic example of the staff wagging the Presidential Dog.

    Of course it is horrifying to think that just as JFK provoked the Cuban Missile Crisis by deploying Jupiter missiles to Italy and Turkey, Biden has intentionally provoked this crisis by offering membership in NATO to Ukraine. His own Director of the CIA has written that this is the only action that the US could take short of a nuclear strike that could provoke Russia to go nuclear. Many Americans are unlikely to survive this. Fortunately; the Americans who are most at risk of being incinerated in the nuclear fire are the imbeciles who voted for Biden.

    • “provoked Russia to invade Ukraine”

      after the boolshevik’s imposed a holodomor on the ukranians they moved many russians into the ukraine to replace the vanished population. my understanding is that russia is simply annexing regions of “the ukraine” where there are few ukranians but man russians. is that the case? I’m seeing very little information about this war, only propaganda.

      • Oddly finding similar overall assessments to both this and Elmer’s comment the more I look into it. Will see how that develops with more information but an unsettling theme to see.

      • rant7,

        Based upon my historical research and education, that is both “true” and (more importantly) incomplete. Russia most certainly oppressed Ukraine during the Soviet consolidation of Eastern Europe. The Holodomor was a real thing.

        And the Ukrainians horribly abused the Jews, prior to and during WW II. This is a war in which there are no “good guys” and “bad guys”, and NO ONE wears a black hat. Notwithstanding, the reality is that, WHATEVER your perception of right, wrong, or morality as they retain their various prejudices or “casus belli”, the reality is we are all flawed humans.

        There are ample reasons to support EITHER side in this. I choose to accept Ukraine as the “lesser of two evils”. YMMV. If anyone wants to argue, “Well, the Ukrainians were bad to the Jews (and they definitely were), feel free. I wasn’t there for ANY of the conflicts which supposedly gave rise to this clustergrope. I have reason to doubt MOST of the stories that the parties are propounding.

        “Oh, shit, Lamp, do you REALLY expect me to learn the history of this conflict??” Well, yeah, nitwit – if you’re too lazy to actually study the situation, then simply pick a side, and memorize their talking points. That’ll give you “plausible deniability”.

    • “is why I am cheering for Vladimir Putin”

      I come from the era where the Soviets were still in power. I will never cheer for a KGB man who worked with the STASI. This war is a proxy between Russia and the rest of the world, Ukraine is suffering for it.

      Russia had already invaded Ukraine before Biden, and now are moving against the entire Country instead of the Donbas region.

      Ukraine has its faults, but does not deserve what is happening there now. I am happy the people are making a stand and that people in Russia are protesting. Hopefully this is the beginning of Putin’s demise. Hopefully he eats a bullet before he tries to go nuclear.

      I understand your disdain for our current leadership. That does not give excuse to support Putin in my opinion. I am rooting for the Ukrainian people. This is their moment to find common ground and fight against the same threat. If they survive I sincerely hope they build a better society of better individual rights and and remember that their freedom cost a lot of blood.

      • This war was totally avoidable. When the Soviet Union imploded three decades ago, the Kremlin lost control of 400 of their most powerful ICBMs that had been deployed to silos in Kazakhstan and Ukraine. These were the MIRVed missiles that could nuke our missiles. The Soviets were confronted with a USE THEM OR LOOSE THEM scenario. The Kremlin chose to loose them. WE OWE RUSSIA BIG TIME!

        The US treatment of Russia?

        We enforced a NO FLY ZINE in the former Yugoslavia which enabled muslims to ethnically cleans the country of Serbs. The Muslim forces included Al Quida.

        The US violated commitments made by Bush Sr to not expand NATO into former Warsaw Pact countries much less former Republics of the Soviet Union. Austria and Fundland were to be the models of neutrality.

        Keep in mind that Ukraine has a very large Russian minority and inherited about 30% of the USSR’s military industry. Between 1991 and 2014, Russia and Ukraine were peacefully coexisting. Ukraine was even selling jet engines and gas turbines to Russia.

        In 2014, Hitlery Clinton decided to incite and support a coup in Ukraine to install an anti-Russian government. Her Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland got herself videoed passing out cookies to the protesters, then she got recorded dictating who would form the provisional government.

        Ukraine then cut Russia off from their only warm water port which is in Crimea. Ukraine then began a purge of ethnic Russians who speak Russian.

        Now Biden does exactly what his own CIA director had warned would trigger Russia to invade Ukraine by offering membership in NATO. Biden then telegraphed the offer to China who he KNEW would tell Russia.

        Putin is a thug and Condi Rice might be correct that he has become mentally unbalanced. However; this war is totally Biden’s fault. I’d recommend buying a shovel and start digging a bomb shelter.

        • Go take your meds. You sound crazier that lil dacian

          Yes, Obiden is a brain addled POS and crook

        • “In 2014, Hitlery Clinton decided to incite and support a coup in Ukraine to install an anti-Russian government. Her Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland got herself videoed passing out cookies“

          Good Lord, that Hillary is so powerful, just passing out cookies toppled the Russian puppet government of Ukraine, fascinating!

          Beware the chocolate chip cookie!

        • “this war is totally Biden’s fault“

          Invited me or Putin thought he was in charge of the Red Army, imagine how disappointed he’ll be when he finds out that Joe Biden is actually in command of his military forces.

  16. I might add that in Europe it was decided that more civilians were killed because of them carrying weapons to kill themselves with over trite arguments than there were people killed by criminals. This is why it is illegal in many European countries to carry a gun outside the home for self defense. An armed society is not a polite society but a murderous one. The number of U.S. homicides with guns v/s Europe is well documented on this.

    Of course there is a sane alternative totally rejected or unknown by the ignorance of the Far Right and that would be to make it mandatory for military training for all able bodied young people, male and female. This would be better than letting people run loose on city streets in peacetime with deadly weapons and shooting it out on a Saturday night in the local bar. The insanity of the U.S. way permitting any nut case to buy a weapon, especially weapons of mass destruction, like assault rifles, has proved this way does not work.

    • Mandatory military training? Now you’ve become a chickenhawk. Shilling for the MIC.

      dacain the nazi pimping the draft.

      • Only if the those who were drafted were proponents of the Little red Book. The rest of us he would like to see stripped of rights.

      • Forgot to mention:

        quote————–I might add that in Europe it was decided that more civilians were killed because of them carrying weapons to kill themselves with over trite arguments than there were people killed by criminals. This is why it is illegal in many European countries to carry a gun outside the home for self defense. An armed society is not a polite society but a murderous one. The number of U.S. homicides with guns v/s Europe is well documented on this.————–quote

        Despite this, I still don’t want to leave the United States. Other countries are better than the US, and I could get a visa tomorrow, and my ability to get citizenship there is *almost* guaranteed, but….

        I still don’t want to leave. Because despite how much better it is over there, I still just can’t go. And that is definitely NOT because the USA is better. LOL

        quote————–Of course there is a sane alternative totally rejected or unknown by the ignorance of the Far Right and that would be to make it mandatory for military training for all able bodied young people, male and female. This would be better than letting people run loose on city streets in peacetime with deadly weapons and shooting it out on a Saturday night in the local bar. The insanity of the U.S. way permitting any nut case to buy a weapon, especially weapons of mass destruction, like assault rifles, has proved this way does not work.————–quote

        I would also like to mention, that when I say “weapons of mass destruction” – I’m not talking about Iraqi nuclear bombs, nerve gas missiles, scud launchers, VX nerve agent, or anything like that. I’m talking about semiautomatic rifles. Because that’s who I am!

        So let’s sum this up. People can’t be held responsible for their own decisions, so instead, we need to ban all weapons. Why lock up violent people who are impulsive and can’t control themselves? No. Ban all weapons, and let people beat each other in the street with their fists and with clubs. That is just so much better! When an elderly couple get beaten to death in the street, I just feel all warm and fuzzy that a member of the next generation, didn’t die by firearms, and that is what is important.

    • So homicides without guns don’t count?

      I don’t see how being stabbed or bludgeoned to death makes you any less dead.

      • Kidding of course but we could test it on dacian and miner. Perhaps we assume too much? Which one do you pick and with what tool?

        • “we could test it on dacian and miner“

          Kremlin’s keyboard commando reveals he is 14 years old.

    • This is a gun community website. Given your outlook, one can only assume that you hang out on this website because you are a bitter, lonely individual who has nothing better to do with your time. I feel sorry for you, Dacian. I’ll bet you haven’t been laid in years.

  17. “I might add that in Europe it was decided that more civilians were killed because of them carrying weapons to kill themselves with over trite arguments than there were people killed by criminals”

    What history book did you find this nugget of knowledge? When did this decision get made and by whom? Care to provide the source?

    • Paratrooper Wannabee

      Your nonsensical rants never fail to make me laugh.

      Road rage incidents are a very good reason to outlaw carrying concealed weapons outside the home as most are crimes of passion by nut cases that would never have been allowed to own a gun if they would have been vetted thoroughly for past violent behavior and for mental illness.

      You do not see the shoot outs on the streets of Japan as their vetting system for rifles and shotguns involve mental tests and very thorough vetting of people including past history and even interviews with their neighbors and co-workers. If such vetting were done in the U.S. most all of the far right nut cases would be banned from owing deadly weapons as most are looney as fruit cakes.

      And I might add the number of homicides in Europe pre-WWI up through WWII taught the Europeans that letting people go armed was not a good idea. And yes History flunk out its in the history books. Try reading a few some time instead of shooting off your big mouth.

      • quote————–Road rage incidents are a very good reason to outlaw carrying concealed weapons outside the home as most are crimes of passion…————–quote

        The reason I say this, is because this is the way I am. And I can’t envision people that are different than me. I would definitely gun down a person that offended me on the road, therefore, you shouldn’t have guns! And we need to preserve this trait in the general populace. Thus instead of allowing these types of people to perish, let’s just ban guns instead!

        quote————–You do not see the shoot outs on the streets of Japan as their vetting system for rifles and shotguns involve mental tests and very thorough vetting of people including past history and even interviews with their neighbors and co-workers. If such vetting were done in the U.S. most all of the far right nut cases would be banned from owing deadly weapons as most are looney as fruit cakes.————–quote

        I forgot to mention, it really wouldn’t matter though. Because people in the US are really really interested in guns, and people in Japan – not so much. I mean, when you are machining your own gun in your own home in your own garage, completely anonymously, with the ghostgunner 3, gun control… really doesn’t matter anymore. Gun control is over.

      • You failed in rebuttal on all posts here. You also failed to provide your little history cites on your statements.

        Of course we all know what you are.

    • It boggles the mind that he’s still amused enough to continue. I mean, it’s gotta be for money. Wonder if he’s considered ‘upper echelon’ by his… peers?

  18. It’s kind of late after the country has been invaded, to be handing out guns, to a society that had previously had their guns confiscated. But it is better than doing nothing. Unfortunately the “gun Community” is not interested in having an American population that is educated about its Second Amendment civil rights.

    There are a few individual states that are pushing Second Amendment education. But unfortunately most states are not trying to educate their populations about their second amendment civil rights.

    There are a few individual states that are pushing Second Amendment education. But unfortunately most states are not trying to educate their populations about their second amendment civil rights.

    In the 1960s and earlier it was common practice to teach high school children how to mathematically calculate artillery fire. And nearly every public high school had a rifle team. Some even had handgun teams.
    And nearly all of them also had archery classes/teams.

  19. 2A, LGB, FJB! Better Dead than RED! Wether it’s Russia or China! Remember China lied thousands died! And Clinton’s orchestrated the nuke disarmament of the Ukrainian to ensure Russia would not invade them! They should of said “come and take it “!

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