Stream: Pro Gun Is Pro Life


Today’s post is at The Stream: Pro Gun Is Pro Life.

Rob Schenck, a “leading” Evangelical preacher to DC politicos, or so says the Washington Post, has decided, as he puts it, that you can’t be pro-life and pro-gun. Schenck is not only wrong, but he has it backward. Pro-gun, rightly defined, is pro-life.

Northern Michigan, 1979, the day before Opening Day of deer season. One of the biology teachers brought his gun to school to show it off. New thirty-aught-six. I can’t recall the manufacturer. We marveled over it before he put his proud purchase away, and then we learned how to rabbit punch a rabbit so that we could dissect it. It was the day before Opening Day because Opening Day was an official day off school. Yes, really.

Nobody was shot with the teacher’s gun. Or with the many others that occasionally found their way into school.

My pal Chuck Coonrod and I used to hike into the woods behind his house carrying all sort of weaponry. Well, the guns his dad let us touch. Mostly pellet guns and twenty-twos. The bigger, nicer stuff was only used for official practice and real hunting, not for shooting birds and squirrels. Chuck and I would occasionally meet up with other boys doing the same thing we were.

Nobody was shot with these guns.

Incidentally, many folks (then as now) would get their limit of deer and turn them into sausages and steaks and freeze them to feed their families throughout the winter. Nothing more pro-life than providing for your family. Some (then as now) even used the guns to fend of ferocious beasties, like wild dogs and bears. Also pro-life.

Non-Events You’ve Never Of

You know what you never hear of? Non-events. Stuff that didn’t happen. Stuff is not happening all the time. So much stuff is not happening that there isn’t space to print it all. Now I’ve already illustrated for you two things — actually composed of many different things — that didn’t happen. What were these non-events? Nobody was shot with the guns I mentioned. But you never heard of it before because it wasn’t news.

Go there to read the rest. I mean it. Get going. Head on over. Don’t want for permission: you already have it.


  1. Ken

    Briggs article was surprisingly good, with the following being very well done…until he — probably — makes a major error [highlighted in CAPITALS] right at the end:

    “Rev. Schenck says Christianity demands we love all our enemies, including even the guy bearing down on your kids with an ax. This is true. The most loving thing you can do in that situation is shoot this man before he has a chance to commit a mortal sin. And you save innocent lives in the process. Call it a two-for-one.

    “The largest number of innocents slaughtered, systematically and with a pitiless efficiency, is by Planned Parenthood — … — using slick versions of scissors and vacuums. Vacuums don’t kill people. People kill people. Pro-lifers understand this. This is why you don’t hear arguments from pro-lifers about banning vacuums. But you do hear arguments about banning Planned Parenthood.

    “Since it’s people who murder people, one pro-life thing you can do is to work against those forces that encourage people to murder. If you want to make a stand, challenge the elites who are directing, desiring, and driving our cultural decadency. Reject abortion, enforced “diversity” and “equality” (code words for rigid uniformity), secularism, and perversion, all of which lead to madness. There is a battle being waged against reality by DELUDED SOULS WHO ACTUALLY THINK THEY CAN WIN IT. THEY WON’T, but it doesn’t mean they won’t score a high body count IN THEIR DEFEAT.”

    That might prove to be a the “fatal flaw” in the essay — those deluded souls just might win, they’re incessantly persistent….

    I certainly hope that doesn’t turn out…but such expressions of confidence encourage complacency.

    Those ‘good ole days’ Briggs describes were times where those deluded souls were already well on their way to winning their delusional struggle — consider the likes of Milton Friedman & even Ayn Rand who, back then, were commenting on & bemoaning the then-well-underway trend toward socialism/communism in the U.S. in any number of press interviews still accessible on-line.

  2. JohnK

    So this is clickbait Wednesday?

    The big secret: It’s about WHO has a gun. And it seems to me that very, very few people, including Matt, want to grasp that nettle. So-called government versus so-called citizenry is but one dimension. The fact remains: There are people, like the people Matt grew up with, who are good at making not-news. And there are people who don’t mind making ‘news.’ Only one of these groups should live in my neighborhood.

    Having resolved that, here’s my contribution to clickbait Wednesday, and just to be devilish, from the “National Fishwrap,” as Fr. Z. calls it:

    Tommaso Di Ruzza is or was “the expert on disarmament and arms control at the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace,” according to this 2011 piece in the ironically-named “National Catholic Reporter.”

    And he whispered this into the willing ears of NCR:

    …armed defense is something appropriate for nations, not for all individual citizens in a state where rule of law is effective, said Di Ruzza.

    According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, individuals have a right and a duty to protect their own lives when in danger, and someone who “defends his life is not guilty of murder even if he is forced to deal his aggressor a lethal blow.”

    How that “lethal blow” could be licitly wielded is unclear, but the catechism clarifies that repelling the aggressor must be done “with moderation” in order to be “lawful” in the eyes of the church; using “more than necessary violence” would be unlawful, it says.

    According to the catechism, the right to use firearms to “repel aggressors” or render them harmless is specifically sanctioned for “those who legitimately hold authority” and have been given the duty of protecting the community.

    Di Ruzza said that in “a democracy, where there is respect for institutions (of law), the citizen relinquishes his right to revenge onto the state,” which, through its law enforcement and courts system, aims to mete out a fair and just punishment.

    “There is a sort of natural right to defend the common interest and the common good, and in 1791 (when the United States passed the Second Amendment), my right to have a weapon served the common good because there wasn’t an army; the democratic institutions were young and a little fragile, and I could have been useful in a time of war as a soldier,” said Di Ruzza.

    But once a nation has a functioning army, police force and court system, “do I still serve the common good with my gun or do I put it at even greater danger?” and promote a lawless kind of “street justice where if you steal my car, I shoot you,” he asked.

    The Vatican’s justice and peace council’s 1994 document said, “In a world marked by evil and sin, the right of legitimate defense by armed means exists,” but, Di Ruzza said, it wasn’t lauding the potential of weaponry as much as it was lamenting the existence of arms in an imperfect world.

    Nations have a duty, the document said, to reduce if not eliminate the causes of violence.

  3. S2

    In college in mid/northern Michigan we had our guns locked in a closet on the main level so we could go hunting when we wanted to. One Christmas break a deer crashed through the dorm window into the lobby and the RA had to fend us off from grabbing our rifles and popping the deer indoors. Late 70s/early 80s – good times.

  4. I can’t abide by most gun regulations because disarmament is an in-practice denial of the right to life. If theft were allowed it would make us all ask the question “If any object can be taken without punishment, is it really my object?”. Likewise, if we are denied the ability to defend our lives, are they really our lives (in practice)?

    I like to ask gun grabbers just how quickly they think the police will show up if you are being attacked. It’s also amusing to watch the left simultaneously call all police racist and terrible and say that only police should have firearms.

  5. Rob Schenck is a political reverend, not a religious one. He preaches to DC politicians. The collection plate and his salary would be zero if he preached pro-gun. Actual religious teachings are ignored in favor of the collection plate. He may actually believe this way, which is why he is why he preaches where he does, but the beliefs are political. (The logical outcome of his preaching is dead Christians everywhere. It’s a wonderful way to remove Christianity from the planet if everyone actually cooperated.)

    I now refer to the politician mentioned as Speaker of the House Judas—sold out his voters and broke all of his promises for large sums of money and/or power. He is not a nice person.

    Ken: Reality always wins in the long run. There may indeed be a very dark period where denial of reality is on top, but in the end, reality always wins. Or perhaps more correctly, as Ayn Rand said ““We can evade reality, but we cannot evade the consequences of evading reality”.
    I agree that such expressions of confidence encourage complacency, however, which is why I always include the “very dark period” that will occur if nothing is done. It’s a warning that reality is not kind in how it treats those who try to evade it.

    JohnK: “a democracy, where there is respect for institutions (of law)” I’m not sure you can argue we live in such a state. There is massive disregard for law at the highest levels. The law has very limited ability and questionable desire to protect citizens. I would not you cannot legally shoot someone trying to steal your car unless you are in it and they are armed. You are only allowed self-defense, not defense of property. That remains in the hands of the police and courts.

  6. Ray

    The anti gun zealots believe that guns cause crime. We now have the statistics from the USSR that disprove this. In the USSR citizens were prohibited from owning hand guns and only licensed professional hunters were allowed to have rifles. They had the police force to enforce these laws. Despite these prohibitions the USSR had a murder rate twice the US rate. Lack of guns didn’t prevent murder.

  7. I don’t know what ‘pro-gun is pro-life’ would mean, but I do know that if someone tells you they are pro-gun, they’re dumb as a stump.


  8. JMJ: Back to toddler level, I see. Just call people stupid and hope they don’t realize that only the people who don’t know what they are talking about resort to name-calling as the first thing out of their mouth. Might as well put up a banner that says “I AM CLUELESS” because that’s what your comment shouts out. If you have something besides a clueless parroting of rhetoric, share. Otherwise, you remain a clueless person that everyone ignores the parroting of liberal rhetoric you spout.

  9. DAV

    The anti-gun rhetoric has led to the President making the proclamation that transferring a single gun is a felony if the transferer is not a federally licensed dealer. Some years ago I looked into getting a Federal Firearms License. Among the requirements is ownership of a gun safe (bolted to the floor) and the application has to be signed and approved by the local chief of police. Not to mention the time required for approval of the application.

    Imagine having to go through all of this just to give someone a hunting rifle for their birthday.

    Truth is, the executive order is unenforceable. Like the TSA it’s for show; not effectiveness.

    What’s really odd about yesterday;s speech was the claim Congress is not acting just to win elections. IOW: Congress is doing what the constituency wants and apparently that includes Democrats as well.

  10. I don’t have a dog in this fight–I don’t own a gun and my wife wouldn’t let me have one, because of an erratic temper and poor eye-hand coordination, but I do live in an area, north central Pennsylvania, where the Second Amendment is sacred, possibly the most important political issue for voters here.
    Let me put in a comment: I don’t see that exhaustive background checks are a bad thing, particularly those that check into mental illness. Indeed, Wayne LaPierre, NRA head, says that the problem is that background checks presently in place are not being enforced. See
    So the problem is to keep guns out of the hands of terrorists (native-born and immigrant), inner city gangs and those with severe mental problems.
    Anyone have any good ideas how that should be accomplished?

  11. Bob K: There is not any way to do what you are asking without the possibility of the government disarming the population and turning the place into North Korea (without the nuclear weapons, of course. Can’t be having those here.) If you want to exclude those with “severe mental health issues”, you run the very real probability that anyone whom the government does not want armed can be declared severely mentally illness—say those climate science deniers, for instance. Then there’s the privacy issue and people avoiding treatment for mental illness to avoid being labeled. Inner city gangs? Not happening. Years ago those could have been stopped, but the decision was made not to. Even now, there’s no effort to actually end gang violence, just bleating about it to act concerned. Terrorists? How do you know a terrorist? It appears the woman in San Bernadino could possibly be stopped if background checks had been done, but that might be interpreted as “profiling racially”. So we opted not to check. How do keep race from becoming the deciding factor? Originally, gun control laws were designed to keep blacks from getting guns. No one mentions that any more. The only group that might not prove useful in disarming large groups is felons. Felons can still be excluded if violent, though “violent felony” could be amended at any time. The problem is not the guns, the problem is a broken society that leaders do not want to fix because it serves their purpose the way it is. This is exactly why the 2nd amendment exists. The founders were not fools. They knew where this could go if the government had all the weapons.

  12. DAV

    Background checks only affect those trying to obtain a gun legally. If you don’t think you’d pass one then it’s just as easy to buy one from the guy selling them out of his car trunk. It’s already illegal to do this and it, too, is unenforceable.

    Here’s an interesting article from none other the NPR of all places:

    There are more murders in Russia than the U.S. despite Russia having fewer guns within the populace.

    What Obama did yesterday is just plain silliness. A woman recently deliberately ran over pedestrians in Las Vegas (not even a precedent) but no one is calling for making car ownership more difficult.

    Yes, guns are made to kill. It’s the ultimate defense. People become far more polite when it’s possible the other guy might have a gun.

    The problem with gangs having guns isn’t their gun ownership. It’s their very existence. that is the problem. Fix that and gang violence (not just gun violence) will automatically be reduced.

    Sure, crazy people might not be able to get a legal gun (I guess because they are so crazy they wouldn’t think about getting an illegal one) but even if guns were completely unavailable there are other options. Ever hear the story about Lizzy Borden’s method?

    It’s usually best to address the actual problems instead of the symptoms.

  13. Joy

    On Punching rabbits?
    “All the world will be your enemy.
    Prince with a thousand enemies,
    And whenever they catch you
    They will kill you.
    But first they must catch you,
    Digger, listener, runner,
    Prince with the swift warning.
    Be cunning and full of tricks,
    And your people will never be destroyed.

    Man cannot live on rabbit alone!

    On guns, for what it’s worth:
    Having been a head shaker at the US for their gun obsession in the past I see that Uncle Mike D, like Sir Maj. has so many things right but hey,

    It’s more subtle than all guns or no guns. What guns have to do with abortion is beyond me. Only in the US.
    In South Africa a gun, a hand gun, is a necessity for self defence. I’m sure the US isn’t there yet and some places are safer than others.

    It seems the justification shifts along with the shifting times. I see no reason for ownership of automatic weapons. When at War, perhaps in case of a civil war maybe when all the “civilians” own one. I think that’s where the US would end up if they don’t get a grip of the military grade weapons which we’re told any fool is allowed to purchase from Walmart? Are we being told a lie?
    So of course the sensible otherwise law abiding citizen has to own an automatic if he wants to compete, or at least that’s how it’s justified.

    I was watching TV as the Paris attacks unfolded. On pondering that incredible reality I surprised myself and I’m sure plenty of others responded the same way. However the reality is that people are never prepared for such a situation because the deviants pick their timing and make their first move, they are cowardly by default.

    Here gun crime is low because ownership is low. I would never advocate general gun ownership in the UK. It would be a disaster. People are allowed to hunt if they want people are allowed to shoot clays and targets.
    Approximately two million (1/35) people are allowed to own a gun with a license and there are well policed laws with respect to the gun and it’s owner. Enough said.

    Obviously murders will always take place. Some of the non premeditated manslaughter or murder II wouldn’t happen without a gun. As Lt Joe Kenda says especially with low velocity 2.2 bullets, “that thing’s in there for the grand tour”.

    I’m still outraged at the inaction of the public in stepping forward to help in cases of public random attack. This is close to my heart in more ways than one. People have had enough. Well enough people have had enough.

  14. Ray

    More laws and bans don’t make much difference. Gary Mauser did a study and concluded that national antigun legislation had little effect. Of course, with a name like Mauser he must be a shill for the gun lobby.

  15. Sheri and Dav, you both make a strong case for doing nothing, that the situation is hopeless (that is to say, no point alleviating the symptoms, since the disease in incurable).
    I disagree, but agree with Wayne LaPierre: if there were a different Justice and Immigration agency, then probably appropriate background checks would have been performed: if we ignore PC profiling restrictions; if we don’t release those with dangerous mental problems from institutions. The gangs are a different story; on the other hand Juliani, and even Bloomberg managed to keep NY safe, so that problem could be solved by the right kind of administration.
    Dav, I’ll agree with you that gangs and illegals will find ways to circumvent the law; but let’s make the penalty for doing that severe. You don’t have to abridge 2nd Amendment rights to make it tough for the evil-minded.

  16. Scotian

    A good article on this topic:

    If weapons and drugs can not be controlled in prisons, how can it possibly work in the society at large? It is all part and parcel of “the fatal conceit” of central planning which always degenerates into power and wealth for a small elite while the rest suffer. See North Korea for an example. But as I’ve quoted before:

    “Leftists believe only what they want to believe. So presenting evidence contradicting their beliefs simply enrages them. They do not learn from it.”
    —John J. Ray

  17. An Engineer

    It is now day six in my state of Texas and we’ve yet to have our politically predicted blood bath from open carry. I’ve been up and about and have not seen a single citizen holstered up. Many carry, some will advertise, and criminals will be deterred – pro choice leading to pro life.

    Your essay demonstrates uncommon common sense! Bravo.

  18. Scotian


    “I think that’s where the US would end up if they don’t get a grip of the military grade weapons which we’re told any fool is allowed to purchase from Walmart? Are we being told a lie?”

    Probably, see

  19. Joy: Yes, you are being told a lie about military grade weapons from Walmart. Military weapons are fully automatic in most cases. Citizens cannot buy a fully automatic weapon without a detailed background check and a tax stamp. Getting one legally is time-consuming, expensive and difficult. There are people who own fully automatic weapons and they are virtually never used in a crime. The government knows you have them, where you live and if the gun shows up missing, you are in deep doodoo. They are also very expensive to actually shoot. You can go through hundreds of dollars worth of ammo in a very short time. (Unless you’re a criminal stealing the ammo too—then you don’t care.)

    Bob: You have a point about NYC under Bloomberg. IF there was actual enforcement of laws, gang activity would be reduced. As for “gun control” achieving any dent in the crime problem, yes, it’s hopeless. We already have laws for gun crimes, but people are let out of jail early, coddled by the system or just plain ignored. If laws were enforced….. And, as Scotian points out, Leftists believe only what they want to believe.

    An Engineer: Same in Wyoming. We don’t need a concealed carry permit any more to carry concealed (though you can get one) and open carry has been legal all along. I once saw a person having a garage sale carry a holstered gun while talking to potential customers. No one freaked out.

  20. Briggs


    Good point; I meant in the ultimate sense. As for us: we’re doomed, destined to follow the path of all democracies.

  21. JH

    I don’t own a gun or hunt or farm, but I am pro-life by going to grocery stores and the local farmers’ market to buy food for my family.

    Well, if I want to scare people, I can probably just wear a headband boldly printed with the following message- I Carry a Gun Everyday Everywhere. (An idea inspired by a Chinese fable.) It should be very convincing because I have the look of “do-not-mess-with-me” and of a person with high integrity and honesty. Never have to worry about any extreme impulsive reaction (on my part) and about losing my gun. Plus all other benefits of wearing a headband, both in winter and summer.

  22. Bill S

    You are making me miss Laramie.
    Except for maybe the wind, the ice, and what I will call negative humidity.

  23. Peter A.

    “Pro-gun, rightly defined, is pro-life.” – Briggs

    You think?! What are guns for, what do they do, what are their one and only purpose? Can you guess? Its starts with the letter ‘k’.

    This is truly bizarre, the world really has gone mad. For once I am actually speechless, I don’t know how to respond to this, utterly insane, nonsense.

  24. Peter A.

    “Leftists believe only what they want to believe. So presenting evidence contradicting their beliefs simply enrages them. They do not learn from it.”
    — Scotian, quoting John J. Ray

    No, this is how it should be:
    “Rightists believe only what they want to believe. So presenting evidence contradicting their beliefs simply enrages them. They do not learn from it.”

    There, that’s better.

  25. Joy

    Scotian and Sheri, Thank you for putting me straight on Walmart. I can assure you that I didn’t dream that up. Mainstream media can’t be trusted it seems on ANYTHING right now. Gun wholesale depos do sell machine guns? Another generally “known fact” over here.

    Sheri explained that automatic guns are obtainable . So for what purpose are they? With or without a tax stamp?

    That is my point really. If nobody except soldiers had them there would be none for criminals to obtain by fowl or fair means.
    Scotian though This article: This writer, with slight of hand….
    Laces the writing with ad hominem.
    JMJ’s equally calling pro gun people dumb as stumps is as constructive. The argument, if it is serious shouldn’t require insults cathartic as they may be.
    A few:
    “Must every tragic mass shooting bring out the shrill ignorance of “gun control” advocates?”
    “so-called gun control laws”
    “If gun control zealots had any respect for facts”
    “gun control zealots’
    “The few counter-examples offered by “gun control zealots’”
    “Yet many of the most zealous advocates of gun control laws, on both sides of the Atlantic, have also been advocates of leniency toward criminals.”
    “Gun control zealots’ choice of Britain for comparison”
    “ignorance of the facts or in defiance of the facts.”
    “Every tragic mass shooting seems to bring out examples of both among gun control advocates….”
    Well what a surprise.

    Untrue: “In Britain, such people have been so successful that legal gun ownership has been reduced almost to the vanishing point,”

    As stated legal gun ownership is about 2 million which means one in thirty five people has a gun. It’s slightly more than that but population size at the moment is a mystery so I overestimated the population. by five million.
    1/35 is not a fixed limit.
    “vanishing” is a dishonest description for both reasons.

    Note: the change from “murders” to crimes involving a firearm”
    Throughout the article.

    It would be more consistent and straight forward to speak of gun crime.
    Of course if laws are introduced, more laws are there to break. That is clouding the argument there. In England it’s even a firearms offense to store a gun in a different property without informing the police. So you see why that being an offense is going to effect gun crime statistics for example.

    Maiming from guns is an important statistic.
    This article skims over that fact or seems to give it a miss,

    Like for like comparison would make for clarity.

    I’m neither a zealot on this nor shrill nor “pushing” for laws! Perhaps there are dark forces who would wish to change the fabric of culture on this issue I wouldn’t know because I’m obviously ill informed.
    It’s a point of interest and something worth looking at soberly.
    Perhaps mainstream media is winning the propaganda war on this.
    This article won’t be helping the pro-gun lobby since of course people do tend to throw the article out with the insults and inconsistencies.

  26. JH: Your idea of wearing headband is called a bluff. It works great until some bad guy decides to call the bluff. You don’t have to worry about impulsive behaviour if you have self-control and you can lose the headband, admittedly less expensive than most guns, of course. A nonsense attitude is a form of self-defense, since many criminals go for easy targets. You’re smart not to look like a target.

    Bill S: Sorry!

    Peter A: Guns do not just kill. Obviously, you have little familiarity with target shooting, fast draw and olympic competitions.
    Projection is a wonderful tool of the Left and they are virtually always blinded by the behaviour. (Look at the current elections—there’s no divisions on the Left. Only on the Right. Rightists have individual opinions. Leftists rarely do.) They also never actually address any issue and you’re doing pretty fair on this one. You should quit now or some kind of genuine reasoning might slip in.

    Joy: I do not think at all that you made anything you’ve reported hearing about guns up. There is a tremendous amount of misinformation out there.

    The automatic weapons are for fun (Yes, a fully automatic weapon letting go of multiple thousands of rounds per minute will make even non-gun lovers smile. That may be why people are encouraged never to touch said weapons by the anti-gun crowd.)
    There are also shooting competitions and meets for automatic weapons. There’s a machine gun shoot annually on a ranch near Casper. I suppose one could think of owning a machine gun as similar to owning a Lamborghini. (One can drive a Yugo and get where one wants to go. Why make any expensive, fast cars?) Some will say it’s to protect second amendment rights as a standing militia requires weapons equal to the government to protect it from the government. Reasons vary.

    No, your point is not valid. Consider: Oxycontin is a drug legally obtained only through a pharmacy. Yet millions get Oxy without going to a pharmacy. How? It’s called “criminal behaviour”. They steal it, get it from someone who has access, etc. Once an item exists, you can not really keep it out of the hands of bad guys. Why else would people fear a “dirty” bomb? Nuclear is very, very regulated industry, yet there are fears that even this can get into the criminal’s hands.

    Mass shootings generally do not involve automatic weapons. The North Hollywood bank robbery included illegally modified weapons (people can make and modify guns illegally all day long.) The media uses “assault” and “semi-automatic” to give the impression of a fully automatic. Neither term is about machine guns. All guns labeled “assault” and “semi-automatic” still require pulling the trigger for EACH shot. No bursts, no 1000 rounds per second.

    You make very good points about the differences in thoughts on both sides of the issue. Main stream media in the US is not winning the battle on this, though, because every mass shooting actually results in more gun sales and less support for gun control. When people don’t feel safe, they want a way to protect themselves and the media cannot provide that.

  27. Peter A.: There’s no such thing as rightists. We’re right-wing extremists or Vast Right Wing Conspirators.

    The Vast is true about me, girthwise.

  28. K.Kilty

    JohnK: I think one could argue that if everyone practiced only proportionate force in repelling aggression, then wars would likely last far longer than they ordinarily do, and as a consequence one could find themselves fighting many wars at the same time, perhaps overwhelmed in multiple wars. Proportionality leads to linear response which may never reach zero; whereas hard limits, which extinguish a response quickly, are non-linear.

    All that government can offer the victim of crime is vengeance, but a very unsatisfactory sort that often is drawn out and greater punishment for the victim. Government cannot offer much to deter crime. As the old saying goes when seconds count the police are minutes away. I once had a mentally ill person steal an automobile from in front of my business. The thief turned the car north on I-25. I called the local sheriff who was 28 minutes north on I-25 and gave them a description of the car, the thief, and the licence plate number. They could not apprehend him. He got beyond them, abandoned and stole more cars in other towns until he was eventually apprehended. So, in this State, when seconds count the police are more like an hour away.

    The one strategy that government could employ to reduce violence and the causes of violence is to not prohibit actions that reduce the asymmetry of power in a society. The criminal knows the average person is not good at hand-to-hand combat, easily cowed, and counts on having an easy time with them–asymmetry in power. The asymmetry promotes violence. Knowing, or not, that potential victims might be well armed restores symmetry. This is what Briggs is speaking of.

    Peter A.: While reading your “response” I imagined you in short pants kicking your feet in the air and screaming. Was I correct?

  29. K.Kilty

    Sheri: We often forget to mention that Wyoming has more guns per household than any other place in the world, yet we have a very low rate of murder. The response from the anti-gun crowd is to claim we have high “gun violence” by including suicide in the statistics. There was a mentally ill person from Riverton a few years ago who committed suicide by driving his SUV head-on at over 100mph into a family of four in a minivan, killing them all instantly. Frankly I would rather he’d used a gun and left the family alone.

    JMJ: I just realized that your avatar, with the defiant jutting jaw, resembles my four year-old when he is trying to bully me.

  30. Joy

    Those are justifications but they don’t hold up. Which is ironic because clearly people are purchasing more guns so it’s all commentary.

    On the drug argument you refer to criminals always finding their way to what they oughtn’t have. That criminals exist and always will was never a reason for doing nothing about crime.

    Here, there are no cases of which I know as yet of such a weapon making it’s way into the wrong hands. This is because they are not available on any open market, anywhere. If only the army can have them then criminals have only one source and the army are brighter and bigger than to leave the public and themselves vulnerable, obviously that’s their reason to be. Prisons are often sited as an example of hopeless contraband traffic. Prisons are run by people who can be bought. If they picked prison staff like they meant business they’d solve chronic prison corruption problems.
    So I argue that there’s no reason this set up wouldn’t work in any civilised country with well controlled borders, a must for any country. A country is only as safe as it’s borders and ours is going to be tested too.

    Dirty bombs being easy is a dark imagining. If I mean criminals as you do. WMD are owned by powerful nations and it is in their interest that access is limited. Even unfriendly nations. It’s not criminals people need to worry about with respect to wmd.

    “it’s to protect second amendment rights as a standing militia requires weapons equal to the government to protect it from the government.”

    The scaling up argument ends with the ridiculous. If one accepts the rule of law one has to accept that enforcement of the law is a necessity. Ultimately the government must have larger weapons than citizens. It takes one good shot. Machine guns are for war. Those who give this reason are going to lose that argument or form a new country. It seems the us would be happier in smaller chunks. The states are so different.

    People don’t need to own an army gun personally to have the smile you speak of Fast cars of course aren’t really a thrill enough if adrenalin is on their mind. These guys could ride a motorbike and fast jets make the best noise. That boys like noisy dangerous machines of any and every kind isn’t news but machine guns? no. They could always sign up if they want to have some ‘fun’ with an army gun.
    Call me a spoil sport.

    Over all I’m not a bit surprised that people buy more guns when they feel threatened. It’s rational behaviour.

  31. Ken

    The fundamental issue with gun control measures (usually coming from the political Left) is that no matter how well-intended, they invariably endeavor to achieve an end by undermining a fundamental, enumerated, individual Constitutional Right.

    For the sake of argument, even presuming that desired end is “good” and socially beneficial & so forth, allowing the end to be achieved by means that undermines [or worse] a basic Constitutional Right means that no fundamental individual right is safe from corruption or worse.

    This is profoundly significant because no enumerated individual right is absolute, there’s always a fuzzy boundary (e.g. the right to free speech does not allow one to yell “fire!” in a crowded theater, tell bomb jokes in an airport, etc.).

    Allowing any one fundamental right, no matter how outdated & despicable one might perceive it to be, to be undermined un-Constitutionally creates the precedent by which all rights & laws might be diluted or destroyed.

  32. Joy

    Sheri I forgot to name title my above comment, sorry.
    Ken, It strikes me that the clashing points are these.
    The Right being an absolute, apparently open ended, unbounded.
    How does a state,a county, or policeman uphold the rule of law?
    I mean has the system really been tested yet? I believe that it hasn’t.

  33. Michael 2

    Peter A. “What are guns for, what do they do, what are their one and only purpose? Can you guess? Its starts with the letter ‘k’.”

    Yes, I can guess. During my Navy career I learned quite a lot about guns and “k” and my job was to save the lives of bleeding heart liberals nationwide by being able and willing to “k” the enemy before the enemy “k” you or me. Fortunately I never had to actually do that.

    The movie “American Sniper” is the very best portrayal of this dilemma, how to save lives by taking life; and the necessity to do so, and the huge burden it places on those willing and able to be the “sheepdog”.

    It starts out with a playground fight; Kyle intervenes to stop the fight but that necessitates him throwing a punch or two if I remember right. So father at dinner asks about it, saying only, “did you start the fight?” No, sir. “Did you finish the fight?” yes, sir. That is when father explains “There are three kinds of people in the world, sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs.”

    Sheep are many, but do not fight or defend themselves or anyone else. Wolves are the predators of sheep. Sheepdogs are the protectors of sheep, but similar in appearance to wolves but temperamentally very different.

    The United States was created by sheepdogs. The men that met in secret in Philadelphia weren’t sheep, and they weren’t generally wolves. They were sheepdogs trying to create a place safe for sheep. But there is no place safe for sheep without sheepdogs.

    Now since you don’t know who is going to be sheep, wolf or sheepdog; you must allow at law that everyone can be armed. The sheep won’t arm themselves; they are horrified at the very thought of it. Wolves won’t hesitate and sheepdogs may be a bit reluctant.

    I’m a geek, but I’m also a sheepdog by instinct. I run toward danger automatically. when a woman was screaming in the parking garage in Washington DC, I ran toward it; as did some other sailors; many dozens of civilians in the area did absolutely nothing, not even to look in that direction. As it turned out about 30 sailors converged on an attempted robbery — but not one civilian, despite there being more civilians in the area.

    Since I cannot NOT run toward danger, it is my instinct, I am very unhappy with stupid sheep trying to make it difficult for me to protect them. They, you see, are stupid and do not make distinction between wolf trying to eat them and sheepdog, their protector.

    As you have said, in your mind there’s only two things — left and right, with right being your enemy. But “right” is at least two things; your true enemy but also your protectors.

    Now you may think, “We should only arm the sheepdogs, the protectors” and that would be a fine and wise thing to do. But wolves tend to run governments. Sheepdogs protect, they don’t govern. Sheep do neither. So that leaves the ambitious, lying, cheating wolves to run goverments. So what do they do? Disarm the sheepdogs. The sheep were never armed in the first place and you cannot disarm wolves. Who is going to do it?

    That is why some on the “right” think most on the “left” are stupid; the sheepdogs are trying to protect the sheep (and their own families, most of whom are going to be sheep just because that’s the way the numbers play) but the sheep seem to be trying to disarm the sheepdogs making it easier for the wolves to prey.

    “This is truly bizarre, the world really has gone mad. For once I am actually speechless, I don’t know how to respond to this, utterly insane, nonsense.”

    The world has not gone anything. It is, and was, and shall always be competititive. What is the natural enemy of man? Other men.

    “Rightists believe only what they want to believe. So presenting evidence contradicting their beliefs simply enrages them. They do not learn from it.”
    There, that’s better.

    There is no such thing as a “rightist”.

    What has been defined is the left, the herd, the hive. Everything else is not-herd and highly variable.

    Perhaps you could (1) discover my beliefs; ought to be easy since I post some here, (2) provide evidence that counters my beliefs (that would be incredibly difficult I think), and finally (3) see if I am enraged. That is unlikely even if you succeed with 1 and 2.

    Sheep, however, are not so easily enraged but certainly easy enough to stampede through fear. It is their herd they depend on for safety, they fear most of all being ejected from the herd. Their language is “we”. Even being pushed to the edge of the herd is dangerous so considerably pushing and shoving takes place to be at the safe center of the herd.

    The global warming consensus appeals to the herd instinct. 97 percent of something believes in something. You don’t want to be anywhere near the edge of that consensus, no doubt whatsoever, lest you be the next to be eaten by the Deniers of Doom. You don’t need to know what is the consensus about, or what the deniers are about, what matters is the herd. That is all.

    Nor is there any point to explaining this to a herd animal; really I speak to other sheepdogs here today 🙂

  34. Joy: You seem to be making the same argument the Germans just did about rape by muslim immigrants: Dress properly and you won’t get attacked. Taking away the provocative dress will stop these people from raping and groping, right? That’s what you are saying with guns—take away the guns and violence will stop. No, it won’t. GUN violence will stop-other forms will take the place of the guns. In Wyoming, school were attacked by bombers (Cokeville-bomb failed) and a cross-bow (three dead, two inside the college itself). The lack of guns was no deterrent at all.

    Again, we do NOT use military weapons in crimes here on a regular basis. The media lies about this. Virtually ALL weapons used are one bullet per trigger pull. No automatic weapons. Yes, some of the guns are used by the military, but most were also hunting rifles to start with and still are. The only true “military weapons” are fully automatic. They are rarely used in crimes. There are only one or two instances and one reportedly involved a police officer using the weapon illegally. There have been illegally modified guns used by bank robbers—again, note the illegal part. That can be done in any country that allows gun ownership of any type.

    Yes, the scale-up problem exists. However, as you said above, to argue that the citizens can’t match the government power so they should just disarm and shut up is not valid. Defense against a tyrannical government is necessary, even if it is not equal to the capabilities of the government.

    Yes, the US would undoubtedly be happier in smaller chunks and I would vote tomorrow to give the East to the libs and the West to the right wing. It won’t happen, but I’d love to give it a run.

    People don’t need a lot of things. Are you going to just give people what they need? A 1000 square foot house, beans and rice for food and a bicycle to ride to work? Who decides? I’m certain you own things you don’t need—do you want me advocating to take those away just because I say you don’t need them.

    Again, your concept of machine guns is so warped there is no reasoning with you and you don’t seem interested in the reality of the issue. I can’t do anything if you refuse to consider that your view is not accurate.

    Ken: Well said.

    Michael2: Very well said. Your analogy with sheepdogs and sheep is very good. Sheep will stand in the corner of a field, unable to back out, and die in blizzard. I’ve seen 20 or 30 sheep dead in a fence corner because they would not or could not move. They don’t comprehend the danger until it’s too late.

  35. Michael 2

    The National Board for the Promotion of Rifle Practice (NBPRP), an advisory board to the Secretary of the Army, [was] created in 1903, [and] disestablished by The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1996 (TITLE XVI) and replaced by the CPRP

    The Army was interested in preparing young Americans to handle rifles and is still interested in it; but handed it off to civilians in 1996.

  36. DAV

    Michael 2,

    +1 on your JANUARY 7, 2016 AT 3:20 PM post.

    Wouldn’t hurt to point out that the sheep are coddled because they are for the convenience of the sheepherder who is likely himself a wolf.

  37. I want to state clearly that I do not believe gun control nor more guns will solve the gun violence problem. Armed citizens obviously have a better chance against armed bad guys, but that is not going to fix the problem except in individual instances. As Michael 2 noted, there are those who will never carry a gun. Unless the armed citizenry protects them, the bad guys will just attack these persons. There’s plenty of sheep out there and plenty of wolves. The problem is not guns. It’s the complete lack of dedication, commitment and the fragmenting of society. Kids don’t have parents anymore—I read that over 75% of children live in single parent families and families that are products of remarriage after divorce. Of course liberals scream hysterically if this is mentioned. After all, if we just worshipped the government, this would not be a problem (yet no amount of government has ever prevented citizen violence except places like North Korea where the only violence is from the government). What we see is the logical result of loss of values and cohesion. This will become more apparent as Europe is invaded by Syrian and other migrants. The cultures are already clashing violently. Europe will begin to look very much like the USA, except their citizens have no way to fight back, short of their hunting rifles. They currently are setting fire to migrant camps as retaliation for the invasion. When a society loses cohesion and homogenous populations, the society often disintegrates. That’s why immigrants were expected to assimilate the American culture. No amount of gun control or arming the population will in any way “fix” the violence. Since society does not care to deal with any of this, things will get more and more violent worldwide. It is what it is. Humans are very bad at learning from history or any other source for that matter.

  38. DAV

    I don’t think anyone is advocating more guns. The gun control advocates think it irrelevant that violent crimes have gone down while gun ownership has risen. If you want to rely on others to defend you that’s fine However people who advocate this are more of a danger than any invader because their goal is to make everyone equally defenseless. It’s getting to the point that if you do defend yourself, you are the criminal harming a poor home invader. What a topsy-turvy notion.

  39. Briggs


    See tomorrow’s big post on guns!

  40. Joy

    Sheri ,
    I was clear but you reframe my argument falsely. Why do you say “warped?”.
    Automatic weapons/machine guns, there’s no ambiguity. I have experience with the MOD so I’m not ignorant about these things. I’ve shot clays, paint balled, shot heavy medieval longbow AND hit the pumpkin. So these sports aren’t alien to me but even if I had never touched a gun it wouldn’t alter anything.

    Not sure where you’re going with the dress codes and German invasion. Only you made the point earlier about provocative headbands. Which point triggered the comparison?

    Needs and wants are different. Nobody’s taking luxuries or necessities.
    Some people who are well represented on this thread seem to think they’re the only people who have noticed The Gathering Storm.
    Keep your powder dry.

  41. Joy: I say “warped” because you seem to insist that machine guns are somehow inherently evil and should be banned from all but the military. I have explained repeatedly that said guns have virtually NOTHING to do with gun crimes, but you keep returning to the subject. Which leads me to believe you are going by what you see on TV and have no idea what is happening in reality. There is no ambiguity in automatic/machine gun but machine guns are not owned or used by the general public. The ambiguity is in semi-automatic and military style weapons, neither of which have anything to do with machine guns. The semi-auto and “military style” weapons are used in gun crimes, not machine guns.

    Your statement: “That criminals exist and always will was never a reason for doing nothing about crime.” You seem to be blaming the gun owners for the fact that bad people use guns. If we are going to blame the gun, not the person, then we must blame the woman’s dress or provocative behaviour for the man’s bad behaviour. We must DO something, so change the woman’s dress. Men will always rape, so we must do “something”. Trying to limit access to guns is doing “something” in the same way—it does not address the problem and blames the gun and the gun owner, not the criminal. It is wrong to punish the victim or the innocent by stander for the behaviour of the criminal.

    Yes, needs and wants are different. You said machine guns weren’t needed by civilians and that their wanting them meant nothing. I said that some things you have probably are wants and I could easily demand they be taken away from you because I don’t think you should have them. You were saying we aren’t allowed to have “wants” unless you say the wants are okay, at least in the case of machine guns.

  42. Sylvain Alard

    “You know what you never hear of? Non-events. Stuff that didn’t happen. Stuff is not happening all the time. So much stuff is not happening that there isn’t space to print it all. Now I’ve already illustrated for you two things — actually composed of many different things — that didn’t happen.”

    If gun were successful tool to protect one-self surely it would make the news. Or at least the NRA would not have to fabricate hypothetical situation to say that gun are good at it.

    The reality is that guns kill there owner or owners family member (the women) in the vast majority of cases, including cops (right Jim).

  43. Michael 2

    Joy (and Sheri), there is an issue that seems seldom mentioned, and that is that guns are the great equalizer.

    Absent guns, most women are defenseless against typically stronger men. Without a gun, your power stops with your arms, and maybe so does his, but they are longer and stronger.

    A gun suddenly makes a 120 pound woman essentially the equal of a 300 pound man.

    Why is it that most gun ban advocates are women? They are the principle beneficiary of a right to bear arms.

    I’m a geek. I have never fought a fistfight in my life, save only once in middle school and it was an embarrassment to me. But I can shoot. I have in-laws that are dangerous, a few million brain cells shy of a full load and needing money for drugs. Having the means to defend myself and my family, and more importantly them knowing or believing I can and will (military career helps with the belief part), keeps the peace!

    While having it is important, it is a huge mistake to have it and not be willing to use it. If you go down that road, be prepared to go all the way. But if you refuse, well you are still on a road, just one in which the dispatcher at 911 will get to listen to you screaming your last breath as the police are on the way.

  44. Geezer

    Gun Control: Where one guy with a gun says to another guy with a gun, “Guns are bad; give me yours.”

    I repeat a question I asked in a previous thread: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

  45. Joy: I thought more about your comment that you have shot a shotgun, air rifle and longbow. That’s pretty much like arguing that you can plow with horses so you can drive a tractor and plow. Two century old technology is not equivalent to current and it does not empower you to know or understand current technology. You’re right that this is not relevant to gun control unless the argument is from ignorance, which considering machine guns have virtually nothing to do with current gun crime, you have illustrated a lack of understanding in one area, so I’m not sure if you aren’t doing the same in another.

    Michael 2: I would disagree somewhat with your assessment of women. Our power does not stop in our arms. While some men have more strength, there are 5’2” males out there, 300 lb barely mobile males, etc, as you point out. Women are also less likely to employ the defenses they do have (most of which are very graphic) because they tend to hold back when hitting or fighting. I do not engage in “play” fighting. If I decide to take you on, I may and probably will hurt you. I never want to hold back. I, like JH, am not the victim-looking type and have backed males up against walls and threatened to damage them if they didn’t back off. My size is equal to many males.
    Women who are reluctant to fight back are often hoping to “bluff” by pulling a gun. As you note, this is a very wrong action. I tell women if they are not willing to kill someone, do NOT carry a gun. That’s very important. If someone will not defend themselves, that is their choice. Please note, however, that I may not defend them either, since that would violate their moral code. Again, it is their choice, not mine.

  46. Joy

    Michael, I’m not sure from this that your argument is with me. You are arguing with another person. Maybe JMJ or Peter might oppose your guns better than fists argument. I once escaped from a 6.2” man who had well and truly pinned me down.

    If you’re going to start with a gun you have to be prepared to Finnish with your hands. Situations do go wrong even for the well armed man.

    Self defence classes at school have some value but not for the reasons people think.
    Judo is useful. Ground work, a life saver for women. Boxing for men. I couldn’t throw a punch at my trainer, a marine, with enough force but it doesn’t hurt to train and it’s an effective cardiovascular exercises. (I hit him in the face by accident, a good one, and he didn’t flinch.) “ Nah, harder than that!” women are weak and men enjoy pointing this out baby brothers do it too.
    Self defence is harder than defence of another. The anger is easier to muster. Two things strike me as important, that you get out of the situation alive and that you don’t overestimate the threat and escalate the back lash by causing more anger in the offender. Those are my personal conclusions. Guns make all that very easy but if you’re the only one with a gun you are the aggressor. It’s complex. Clear thinking is the best thing of all but you can’t do that if you’re angry. Some people are aggressors always. Those are the bad guys. If you recognise the threat them already you have some useful information.

    I had unsolicited instruction, ever helpful!! from a very mad marine whom I am sure you would have loved Michael. How to tackle a hand held weapon and what to do with mens bits! (which suffice to say was more elaborate than they taught in self defence and particularly logistical difficult! These guys have a solution for every scenario that would make your toes curl and never miss an opportunity.
    If you’ve been in the navy you’ll know what I mean.
    Every scenario is unique and outcomes are not fixed only on the strongest.
    I‘ve given this matter a lot of thought as would think many people have because of a sense of impending threat from abroad making it’s way home.

    It’s not just the techniques or the weapon but the prior thoughts and ideas that perhaps stop the initial rabbit stare from lasting too long. very young soldiers report how they felt shock and surprise the first time the enemy shot at them. It’s madness given all their training but it’s an instinctive reaction in not just a few…Then they get angry. That’s the sign of a good guy.

    You’re hoping, given the bad scenario that they don’t get near enough because you’ll use your gun. You were in the Navy, with respect to fist fights, I wouldn’t like to see an angry Michael2.

  47. Michael 2

    Joy writes “You are arguing with another person. Maybe JMJ or Peter might oppose your guns better than fists argument.”

    Peter is a reliable yet pleasant leftwinger; the full package.

    I remember in Virginia footsteps in the snow going to my bedroom window. That was spooky. I felt extremely vulnerable.

    The specific scenarios a person imagines suggests one’s choices of weapon.

    Are you preparing for intruders in your house at night? Zombies coming toward your house? Armageddon? The latter seems rather certain but unpredictably a long way off.

    The Second Amendment exists principally to defend the nation, not your personal self but to actually do that a personal right must exist in order to provide for a rapid response so that citizens are already armed and trained. The Army had a division of civilian marksmanship until 1996 or so; it still exists but is privatized, kinda like Boy Scouts but for shooting.

    It is written in law; “The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.”

    “I once escaped from a 6 foot man who had well and truly pinned me down.”

    Congratulations on your escape.

    “If you’re going to start with a gun you have to be prepared to Finnish with your hands. Situations do go wrong even for the well armed man.”

    You’ll finish when the lawsuits have finally ended.

    I taught my children not to brandish a weapon or offer any sort of threat that you are not immediately prepared to carry out; never bluff, because you have just upped the ante.

    “Self defence classes at school have some value but not for the reasons people think.”

    As I don’t know what people think I suppose I have only my own reasons. As you have pointed out, many or most situations simply don’t call for a gun but do still require defense.

    “Some people are aggressors always. Those are the bad guys. If you recognise the threat them already you have some useful information.”

    Yes. My wife and I are alert for threats and we have taught our children to be alert for threats and avoid conflict where possible. Unfortunately I’m not sure “taught” is the correct word when the teaching is ignored.

    “You’re hoping, given the bad scenario that they don’t get near enough because you’ll use your gun. You were in the Navy, with respect to fist fights, I wouldn’t like to see an angry Michael2.”

    I rarely get angry. I think I was last angry ten years ago or so when my stepson disrespected his mother most of all. He ended up going to live with his father and I haven’t seen him since. I suspect he turned into a Scientologist and is working off his billion year contract somewhere.

    That doesn’t mean I’m a wallflower; it just takes longer to fight back using my brains.

  48. Michael 2

    Sheri wrote “Michael 2: I would disagree somewhat with your assessment of women. Our power does not stop in our arms.”

    I was describing a specific, but possibly common scenario. Exceptions exist within my own family. My wife, not I, is the fighter and has been in street fights and bar fights in Chicago. I cannot bluff; I do not have the demeanor of a dangerous person. That actually makes a confrontation considerably more dangerous since I don’t dance the “dance” convincingly. I am simply not aggressive. People mistake that for lack of resolve.

    Her fierceness, and that of my Norwegian cousins, stems from conviction, resolve and fearlessness; like that of a badger or wolverine. When I married my wife I knew it was going to be quite a ride and so it has been.

  49. Michael 2: Interesting! I would guess you have deduced I’m a lot like you describe your wife (I’m also Scandinavian) by my gravatar image.

  50. Michael 2

    Sylvain Alard “If gun were successful tool to protect one-self surely it would make the news.”

    Oh? What news would that be? “I wasn’t robbed last night!”

    Over the past 20 years, I have been not robbed about 7,000 times presumably because robbers expect me to be armed. It is an extremely successful tool.

    One of my companions was assaulted at the city park; or at least an attempt was made but he brandishes his own gun and the hispanic perps went their own way. Now in this city, it is probably illegal to brandish a weapon even in self defense. Did he go to the police? No. There’s nothing to say; no witnesses, no crime has been completed, the only thing on the table is you admitting to have broken the law. Are you that stupid? This is why some surveys suggest that two million DGU’s (defensive gun uses) take place each year.

    I once called the police on a gang of youth defacing a church. For the next two weeks or so I carried a pistol 24 hours a day expecting some sort of retribution. It is a civic duty to stop crime, but “when seconds count, the police are only minutes away.”

    “Or at least the NRA would not have to fabricate hypothetical situation to say that gun are good at it.”

    Oh? What situation would that be? Words are cheap, use some, explain this hypothetical that is fabricated (and, by the way, all hypotheticals are fabricated or they wouldn’t be “hypothetical”!)

    “The reality is that guns kill there owner or owners family member (the women) in the vast majority of cases”

    Oh? Got cite? I didn’t think so.

  51. Sylvain Allard, your statement about gun possession not preventing violence is, as are many of your other comments, not in accord with the facts. See

    And just two days ago I read a news article–I’m not going to bother to look it up–about an elderly person preventing home invasion by shooting the criminal. Yes, it does happen!

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