The first good thing to come of Hurricane Katrina

Oh, my stars and garters. A pro-firearms story in the New York Times?

Yes, children, it has actually happened: Police and Owners Begin to Challenge Looters (link via InstaPundit). Property owners with guns maintaining civil order in their neighborhood are cited approvingly. There’s even a picture of a handsome armed couple “on the lookout for looters”.

I think I’m more shocked by this than I was by the hurricane. It’s bylined “FELICITY BARRINGER and JERE LONGMAN”; I wonder what life is going to be like for them at the Grey Lady’s next struggle session.

100 thoughts on “The first good thing to come of Hurricane Katrina

  1. As a European I can’t certainly understand that you approve the massive use of gunshots. From CNN: “Police and troops struggle to restore order in New Orleans, where looting, fires, gunshots and armed gangs are disrupting efforts to evacuate as many as 60,000 people from the flooded city”.

    It’s a matter of fact that here in Europe, when something wrong happens, nobody shots a rescue helicopter, nor people starts to loot any building and, of course, regular people doesn’t need to protect themselves against other regular people.

    What’s happening in New Orleans seems to prove that firearms are not the solution: they are the main problem.

  2. Firearms are not the problem any more than helicopters are the problem. Firearms are tools to help solve the problem. People are the problem. That gun didn’t shoot at the rescue helicopter all by itself; a person fired it.

    There’s no way to get rid of firearms. Like speech, they can be used for good or ill, and like speech, the only real answer to a bad use is to reply with a good use.

  3. Xavier: This would be the same Europe where (for example) large portions of French cities are now no-go zones for police and native-born because they’re full of violent Muslim youths?

    Yes, the regular Croats in Bosnia had no need at all to protect themselves from the regular Serbs. Or vice-versa. Oh, yes, firearms were the problem — not a thousand years of racial hatred, not demagogues whipping up a frenzy. Blame it all on the guns; then you can go back to sleep, deny everything, learn nothing.

    You’re living at the tail end of Europe’s holiday from history. The protection of the U.S. has shielded most Western Europeans from reality since the end of World War II. Your social-welfare state bribed almost everyone into passivity. But native Europeans are not reproducing at replacement rates and not assimilating their immigrants, and the bribe money is running out.

    Therefore, the day is almost certain to come, in your lifetime, that you will need to pick up a gun or be killed by barbarians with knives and clubs and guns, barbarians just like the New Orleans looters, barbarians your country has bred in the tenements of your own cities. On that day, all your fantasies that “superior” European culture has created a humanity that is intrinsically civil and nonviolent and doesn’t need guns will pop like soap bubbles.

    I hope you survive the education you will get.

  4. Eric, I can’t say about French cities because I’m not really aware of what’s happening there. I don’t live in France, but I’d say I’ve never hear anything about ‘large portion of French cities are now no-go zones for police and native-born’. Of course there are some places that are not safe, but these areas are exceptions… at least as far as I know.

    You should remember that Serbia and Bosnia were in war… Are you saying that currently you have a war in New Orleans? Is this a new American civil war? Some weeks ago there were floods in Switzerland, Austria and Germany. Nobody used a gun against the rescue teams and buildings were protected by police.

    I don’t know if we have a superior culture than you American. But at least it seems we have evolved a little bit and we don’t need to kill people around us.

  5. Xavier, the refusal to learn from history you expressed in your last sentence is probably going to kill you when the ongoing European demographic collapse reaches its end stages. But having done my best to warn you, it’s not my problem.

  6. Xavier, your last sentence is exactly the kind of European smugness (“we have evolved” implies “and therefore are more advanced than, and are superior to, you”) that turns off Americans and makes it hard for us to take you seriously.

    Is there a war going on in New Orleans? Good question. The answer is not a pat “no!”.

  7. Eric, I really appreciate your attempts to warning me. But I do believe the one that hasn’t learn anything from history it’s you, since you’re using the same arguments that have lead mankind to war in the past. I think I’m trying to learn from history what we’ve did wrong in the past so we don’t do that again.

    Unfortunately, I’m afraid I won’t change your point of view nor you’ll change mine, since we both have made clear statements and they are very different. But at least we were able to politely talk about it. Thanks for your answers and your time.

  8. Oh, damn. Dear Xavier. I am also European. Hungarian, to be precise. Totally don’t understand the way you think. Is really all common sense, raw honesty, and manliness hopelessly lost from Western Europe? Did you totally forgot that we have thousand-years -old ( => this just to annoy also Eric a bit, it’s fun :-))) ) values, and two-centuries-old values (of Enlightment and Humanism) that worth to fight for? Do you really not understand that all those millions of Muslim immigrants are completely unable to grasp these values? Do you really not understand, that criminals will always have guns so it’s the best choice to arm civilans as well? Do you really thing the Holy State, Laws, and Bureaucracy will do everything instead of us?

    I am starting to be greatly ashamed to be a European.

    I hope our fresh Hungarian, Polish, Czech etc. blood will pour back the WILL TO LIVE into EU.

    Or else I will have to follow Linus and Guido.

    Would not be happy to do that. I enjoy to live in a continent and country that has a rich history. I hope I will never face so much defetism and nihilism to having to move another continent. Please, try to wake up and be at least half as man and honest as your granddad surely was! No offense, I hope none taken. It’s not your fault, but of our overcomfortable and value-lost culture, that makes us think all the shit in the world has the same value…

  9. “On that day, all your fantasies that “superior” European culture has created a humanity that is intrinsically civil and nonviolent and doesn’t need guns will pop like soap bubbles.”

    So damn TRUE. And this is why I am really pissed of my goverment. It allows me only a tear-gas gun. And although novadays it is enough,and this Weihrauch Arminius Super Airweight of mine is really a sugar :-), and I don’t really care about self-defense – it’s just karma – I’d be really pissed if things would get rough and my goverment would deny me the basic right and obligation of all men: to defend women, children, old ones etc. And it seems damn likely they will.

  10. Well, it seems I’m the only one here that thinks guns are not good. I live in Barcelona and I’ve never felt, in my whole life, the need to carry a firearm with me. And yes, we have a lot of immigrants living here, not only people from Africa but also people from East European countries (I should say that these immigrants, from East Europe countries, are usually very problematic and causes a lot of trouble).

    I have visited some European countries (UK, Ireland, France, Switzerland, Italy, Andorra, and Germany) and I never felt the need of a gun.

    I was living for a year and a half in North Carolina and then for some months in Texas and, even there, I never felt the need to carry a gun with me.

    Is that so strange for you guys?

  11. xavier caballe: no one is forcing you to have a gun. But you are wishing to force us to not have guns. See the difference?

    Your motivation for this victim disarmament is basically that you feel like a potential serial killer ready to snap, so everyone else must obviously be like that too.

  12. Xavier, I only wish it were strange. A lot of Americans are as cut off from reality as you are. They don’t understand that a world without guns would not a world at peace — rather, it would be a world in which the brute with the biggest muscles almost always wins.

    Guns are just tools. Peace is a condition of mind. When you understand why I describe myself as a heavily-armed pacifist, you’ll have learned something. And maybe you’ll be better prepared for the day that civil order collapses where you are.

  13. Xavier: Yes, there were floodings in Switzerland, which has one of the highest guns-per-capita rates in the world, probably higher than the U.S. (since all swiss males are acctually forced by the government to own a gun) So, how does the “guns are the problem” come in to the picture there if that’s the case in the U.S., according to you?

    And moreover, how are the good people of New Orleans supposed to defend themselves and their property from bad people (looters and other criminals) if they were not to use guns? Please, explain that to the rest of us and the citizens of New Orleans. We are all dying to know.

  14. I’m with Xavier here!
    I’m from Belgium (yes, another anti-war country) and I must say that the USA is the one that has obviously never learned from history.
    And for another thing.. we do not feel superior. You do! Hence you’re policing the globe (although you’re only making things worse because of your incompotence, but that’s another topic).

    Thinking that being the gun-loving redneck and yelling “ow noes! society’s gonna collapse!the russians are coming ! defend yourselfs!” is the correct thing to do shows a lack of creativity and too much james bond films (or in your government’s case -> lies, fud and hypocracy shows their egocentrism and power-tripping).
    Also saying that Europe is just sitting on it’s ass fantasizing nothing ever’ll happen is also very untrue. Who has suffered the most from the two world wars? On who’s ground/countries was it fought? Heck, we’ve been confronted with all of these things by our grand-parents, schools, etc by people who’ve been there, who mattered and who fought it.. (I’m talking out of an 18 year old’s perspective).
    Bah, if only I knew the correct words to use in English :)

    True, a gun is easy. But it’s very lame.
    And your theory about survival of the strongest Eric S. Raymond just doesn’t make any sense.
    Guess you’ll all just need to suffer some more consequences from all of your actions before it’s all over for the Americans. Unless you get the time to learn first.
    And if you do get that time, Eric S. Raymond (and the rest in here)
    I hope you survive the education you will get.

  15. Guns are just tools.
    Making holes in people from a distance is sort of like DIY, I guess.
    Peace is a condition of mind. When you understand why I describe myself as a heavily-armed pacifist, you’ll have learned something. And maybe you’ll be better prepared for the day that civil order collapses where you are.
    You sound like you’re looking forward to it pretty avidly. If civil order collapses (and there are certainly a couple of plausible scenarios) I’ll mainly be concerned about whether I can grow my own food. I know, I know, criminals will come and steal my turnips at gunpoint, even in Japan. Sigh.

  16. Xavier, not feeling the need to carry a gun has nothing to do with feeling that *others* shouldn’t be carrying guns. I personally have never felt the need to carry a gun but I do believe that the right to bear arms is essential for freedom.

  17. It seems like the first time in recent history that I’m in total agreement with Eric Raymond.

    Miklos: There’s a definite difference between eastern Europeans (in the main) and western Europeans (in the main). There is, as you suggest, so much more life in the east, but I fear for you guys. I think joining the EU was a big mistake and I think it’s going to drag you all down and suck the life from you.

    Oddly enough, I never felt unsafe anywhere in eastern Europe walking around at night, but I certainly felt very unsafe when I was living in London. There’s a lot of savage, random violence in the U.K. It’s all anecdotal of course but in the first week alone that I was there, one man returning home from work was set upon by youths in his own street. It wasn’t enough to simply beat him unconscious, they then set him on fire. There seemed to be a story like that every other week while I was living there. I guess what I found so shocking was that in most places in the world, you can avoid the bad areas, but in the U.K., they seem to come looking for you.

    I’m sad to say it’s even here in Australia now. It doesn’t seem like that long ago when I was a kid and there were no places in Sydney or Melbourne you couldn’t go to. However, there are now huge swathes of both cities I wouldn’t go into for fear of unprovoked violence by various ethnic minorities (or even from some of the local white trash), and there are certain train lines I would never catch (I used to live up the line on one and it was a free for all). The day will come here where gated communities will become the norm because heaven forbid that the government should allow people to personally defend themselves or that anyone should clean up the trash in this country.

  18. What a lot of nonsense. The food in stores is insured equally against destruction by flood, destruction by rot, or loss by theft. Mediaeval Welsh law (which was a lot more stringent about theft, generally, then our English-derived law is) allowed a necessity defense after a person has starved for three days, which is just about what we’re up to now.

    As for the people who steal television sets, maybe they’re just foolish, or maybe they will need to barter them for food later. Since no provisions were made for anyone without a car — and some 20% of the people in New Orleans didn’t have one — to be evacuated before Kristina struck, those people have been essentially abandoned by civil society. They owe its laws no respect.

    As for the people who are threatening them with violence, they are posing.

    Finally, this talk of “barbarians” is rubbish. Come live in the slums of New York, as I do, and then talk about something you actually know about.

    (Note that the reporters are probably not NYT employees at all: I would guess they are locals.)

  19. Blaming guns is stoopid but ignoring the role that race plays in the handling the disaster is just as stoopid. The evacuation plans required evacuees to be of some means — means which the poor of N.O. lacked (most of whom are black). It’s a pretty simple case of Whitey saving his own privileged ass and leaving po’ black folk up shit creek (literally) without a paddle. Let’s be real here, folks: those black folks you saw wandering around on Fox News, looking for food, water, anything — they didn’t stay holed up in their tenement house because they *wanted* to.

    Of course, this is nothing new. Race — white supremacy in particular — is at the very heart of American politics, society, and economics. Understanding how this pernicious social construct compromises and undermines our so-called “free” country — and has done so for three centuries — makes a whole lot more make sense, including the lootings and shootings in New Orleans.

  20. Dear Xavier, I never felt the need to have airbags in my car because I never had an accident, still think it’s not a bad idea to have them. Although I agree that giving too much importance to self-defense can turn into kind of a really boring flanel-shirt survivalist way of living, but on the other hand, it would really be a shame to see others get in peril and being totally unable to help. I just feel it’s same kind of social responsibility as learning some first aid.

  21. The problem source is that in the States anyone can buy a gun. Then you may need a gun to protect from bad people that also has guns. If they were forbidden then this problem never happened because you would never need a gun to protect from those that also has one. Without guns no one can shoot a helicopter that is helping citizens. Correct me if I am wrong.
    My support to the people from New Orleans.
    Juanma
    Barcelona – Spain

  22. “They don’t understand that a world without guns would not a world at peace — rather, it would be a world in which the brute with the biggest muscles almost always wins.” – Eric

    In your world, the brute with the biggest guns always wins. And instead of breaking a nose with his big muscles, kills thirty people in two minutes. That is progress.

    The solution is to get rid of all guns. It is an impossible goal, but the one we should strive to. Like all other high goals humanity has: unreachable, but worth fighting for. Getting rid of violence must be done by piecewise engineering, step by step, but with a clear and defined goal. Having people like you, diverting us from that goal, is a *bad* thing.

    Just because you love so much relaxing in the forest with your mates, walking around and firing your big gun, that does not mean you are right about this issue. Get a new hobby.

  23. I have wrote a comment but I can’t see it yet. Anyway I want to note that the header of this site says that firearms are a life pleasure. Sorry folks but this is something that I will never understand. They are a tool to keep peace but they have to be used only by the people that works on it (police, army, …)Otherwise you can see the result on the news, people shooting against a helicopter that is trying to help free american citizens. I don’t uderstand why anyone can has a powerful and dangerous tool like a gun. Maybe this is the reason for you to be a life pleasure.
    The dangerous thing for the humanity is the humanity itself. Don’t let people carry firearms and no one will be damage by a gunshoot.
    Juanma from Barcelona

  24. Xavier,
    You say that nobody fired a gun during the floods in Switzerland, and compare the situatiion with New Orleans. I have two things to say to that.
    – The floods in Switzerland were nothing like what is currently happening in New Orleans. I know. I live in Switzerland. I’ve seen the floods.
    – That nobodyfired a gun is not because nobody had a gun. Gun ownership in Switzerland is the highest in Europe. Almost every house has a gun in it. Often a military grade automatic one.

  25. ERIC: NO WAY!!! Are you god?! You’ve the power to decide who have to live, or die? We need rules, just to respect the life. I believe, European people know the true meaning of the word “PEACE”. We have more than 2000 years of history (wars included), what about you?!

  26. As an European too, I agree with the possibility of civils having guns, and using them when the justice does not work, or can’t act.

    Here in Spain we have things like people killing others, the jury gives them 1000 years at prison and 15 years after, that person is out of jail. Or another who kills a man with a car, without insurance, and without driving license and hasn’t been a day in jail (this one is recent).

    I think corrupt justice is worse than having guns.

    I wish i had for my country the civil rights you have in America.

  27. Eric, I’m not sure about the process of getting a gun in the US, but in my country a licence is required and it’s probably not very simple to get it. Getting a gun should not be any easier (even though the criteria may be different) than getting a driver’s licence, pilot licence, or maybe medical practicioner certification. I think gun owners should be judged on their state (physical and mental) and on their abilities, just like drivers and medical doctors are.

    We cannot drive without licence because it’s dangerous, we cannot open medical practice without licence, why should everybody be allowed to have a gun? There’s still going to be people driving without licence, of course, just like illegal gun owners, but licencing limits the dangers.

    I do believe that there is correlation between US rules on gun ownership with the high numbers of shooting deaths and injuries in US, i.e. that lax gun ownership rules are not improving the average safety.

    When was the last time the people needed (or dared) to revolt against the government when that did things wrong? Isn’t that the intent of the second amendment?

  28. Xavier: I too have been watching the situation in New Orleans with horror, and from what I’ve seen and read, firearms have had their usual effect of escalating every problem. No, they’re not the problem per se, but they’re making it more difficult to deal with the problems that are there. Is there a war going on in New Orleans? Good question. Would there be without so many guns around? I think not. Is our European culture intrinsically civil and nonviolent? No, of course not. In the absence of large numbers of guns, can we keep a lid on it? Yes. Are Muslim immigrants going to murder us all in our beds? Don’t make me laugh.

    As for what Eric said about French cities: I understand that conditions are pretty dire in the banlieus (large poor areas encircling the major cities), but they aren’t no-go zones. Considerably better than parts of LA, for instance. But this is hearsay.

  29. To #3:
    > Like speech, they can be used for good or ill, and like speech, the only real answer to a bad use is to reply with a good use.

    Words don’t kill, dude. How the hell can you equate “guns” with free speech?

    To #4 and #6:

    > The protection of the U.S. has shielded most Western Europeans from reality since the end of World War II.

    > Xavier, the refusal to learn from history you expressed in your last sentence is probably going to kill you when the ongoing European demographic collapse reaches its end stages. But having done my best to warn you, it’s not my problem.

    Oh! nice and condescending [north] americans that bring peace to the poor and stupid [teen] Europe!.

    It seems that you forgot that the first time USA territory was attacked by foreigners was just few years ago, while European suffered them even when [north]America was still unknown for your own current “civilisation”. Perhaps we are only trying to repeat the same horripilant mistakes of the past.

    Nevertheless, thanks for your condescending advices. Billions of pacific muslims and immigrants of the world will certainly appreciate them. Just see Irak.

  30. If the media is to be believed, there are “gangs of thugs” going around the city shooting and looting. If said gangs decide to take this couple’s house, how would our couple fair against a dozen or even half a dozen handsomely armed thugs?

  31. Xavier, you’re one of those people who has never been face-to-face with evil. You believe that all people are good (or at least neutral), or worst case, they only habitate in areas that you will never go to? Robbers rob out of need? Rapists rape because they’re ill?

    Xavier, evil exists (and I say this as an atheist.) People (not many, but some) inflict pain for the joy of it. Some entice others to do it as well. (See Bosnia, Rwanda, and the Sudan for just the most recent examples. Or New Orleans.) They don’t need to have a gun to do it, but if you want to resist them successfully, a gun is the best tool for the job.

    True, to a large extent interpersonal violence is a cultural thing. I’d venture to guess you’ve never been in a crowd of British football hooligans on a rampage? You may even be right that Europeans have “have evolved a little bit,” but that evolution apparently required the wholesale slaughter of the flower of European youth over the course of two World Wars – leaving behind the “less aggressive” examples to breed. As Eric (and others) pointed out, the current European population isn’t breeding enough to maintain even a zero population growth. You’re being supplanted by immigrant populations that are largely not assimiliating into the cultures they inhabit. Those immigrant populations haven’t “evolved a little bit.” As a result, violent crime – albeit largely restricted to internal conflict within the subcultures – has been rising in many European countries. That doesn’t mean it won’t (or hasn’t) spread. Eric’s selection of France as an example was because it seems to be suffering the most. Read this Time Magazine Article from 2002 for some idea of the problems France faces.

    I’m glad you have never felt the need to carry a weapon. Something on the order of 98% of the law-abiding American population feels the same way. The remaining two percent, in the 43 states that permit it, jump through the legal hoops and get a concealed-carry permit so that they may carry legally when they feel the need. Just last week a 72 year-old man saved the life of a woman who was being brutally stabbed by her ex-husband in an Albuquerque, New Mexico grocery store. That elderly gentleman was carrying a concealed weapon, legally, and used it properly. Perhaps the woman never felt the need to carry a firearm either, but I bet she’s glad that he did.

    I sincerely hope that you never find yourself in a situation where you do feel the need, but try to consider the fact that some people do, and at least here in the States, (most of them, anyway) we have the legal ability to. And we’re not going to give it up.

  32. I am really simple minded. Especially on the issue of guns. Guns are bad as their solely purpose is to kill. Many of them exist only to kill human beings. In this they are different from cars, stones, knives and other tools that can be used to kill.

    I also don’t believe in armed population. The majority of population should have nothing to do with killing. Especially with killing human beings. Military personal and police are those to do the job if need be.

    This might sound funny, but I think that the proper way to protect yourself is to pay taxes. Yes. So that police and military personnel can be properly trained and equipped, as well as political and economical systems could be stabilised. For me owning a gun and paying taxes to the government are mutually exclusive.

    And to add some more nonsense to all of the above – there is a way without guns. If your family is in danger, you can just change your location. Leave and move to another neighborhood or city or region or country or even continent. Just walk away from danger. It works pretty good. I tried it and I am convinced now. And I will do so again if need will arise. In my book it is thousand times better than killing. Especially a human being.

  33. Your last note to Xavier made me wince. “…A lot of Americans are as cut off from reality as you are. They don’t understand that a world without guns would not be a world at peace — rather, it would be a world in which the brute with the biggest muscles almost always wins…” Personally I feel America should never have been given their ‘Independence’ since they obviously don’t know how to live at peace with themselves…guns or no guns. I’m inclined to agree with Xavier, but then I am European too.

  34. I think kids should be allowed to wear guns to school.
    Yes. Because those bullies need to be taught a lesson and free speech isn’t helping against them

  35. Eric, I don’t think you are a pacifist… Surely, you believe in self-defense?

    AFAIK, pacifists don’t believe in use of force at all.

  36. Xavier – 60% of the New Orleans police walked off the job. Most of the rest of the infrastructure to keep law and order is underwater. Such physical disasters can happen anywhere, though the character can change from place to place. Talk to a local policeman and ask what would happen to the rape and theft statistics if the effective police force were to be reduced by 75%. If there was no food in the stores, do you think that young men would not take to the streets and hunt down necessities, and even luxuries? How long does civilization last when the authorities are absent? In New Orleans, it lasted a day or two. In more civilized Barcelona, it might be twice that. But if there is no food or clean water and effective aid sufficient to area need is two weeks away, it will be a very uncomfortable second week.

    Do not trust me. I’m an american after all and have foreign ideas. Go to your own police, your own hospitals, your own emergency preparedness officials and ask them what happens if Barcelona is isolated for two weeks. Their honest, professional replies will likely shock you.

  37. Amid all the discussion about how this proves we should/shouldn’t allow guns, I think an important point is being missed: the violence in New Orleans is news. By definition, it is out of the ordinary. Those of you who point out that Europeans don’t shoot at rescue helicopters, are quite correct. But basically, Americans don’t either. This situation is making international headlines precisely because it is so bizarre for such things to be happening in a major U.S. city. So: Whichever side of this particular debate you are on, may I suggest that we do not make (or justify) major policy decisions based on highly unusual — and possibly one-time — events.

  38. “Heavily-armed pacifist”

    Oh men, you are these type of people finding peace bombing the others.

    This isn’t for christians.

  39. I do trust a heavily-armed pacifist, as I will try to shoot a heavily-armed terrorist or criminal. Or am I the criminal? No matter, I shoot faster.

    Weapons are tools, right. We talked about guns, what’s the difference? None. I don’t think having guns on a daily basis will prepare myself better for an upcoming civil war or other desasters. The couple of hundred boxes I have to pay for a gun will be more usefull to buy some books or help some education programs.

    Now, one can argue endlessly about the right to own guns, they are free and alive. US is not in war, I mean in the US territory, but which other countries have so many violent death? caused by guns?

    About ex-Yougaslavia problems, the problem is 60 years old and very little to do with racial hatred. I was there before and after the wars, I do not see those problems but economic and corruptions problems. The source of the problem was indeed not the guns, but the total and useless European Union, from a military, secure or defense point of view.

  40. > But at least it seems we have evolved a little bit and we don’t need to kill people around us.

    We clearly doesn’t include folks in the former Yugoslavia.

    Euros have lived for so long under American protection that they’ve lost their ability to provide for themselves. They’re probably safe for a generation, but if the US isn’t there when they need it….

  41. grendalkhan, it was AP that called the black looter a looter. It was AFP that called the non-black people who’d found stuff floating past them “finders”. So what has AFP got to do with “looters” being code for anything? They didn’t use the word, and the people they didn’t use the word of weren’t black (not that that made any difference).

  42. I understand armed-civilians are good for just one thing: Protect yourselves against your own goverment.
    Having guns to protect yourselves against the “bad guys” is just stupid. Your goverment national security bill goes into more and more troops, and guns and police. Our goverment national security bill goes into social services that reduces poverty. That’s why you have 50K gun killed people a year and we have 5K.

  43. Somehow I’ve always awed at the British Police for not carrying. It strikes me as being very manly to put your life and blood not at top priority. Surely my mutation will wane in coming days of riots? What say you, doomsday sayers?

  44. I agree with these people. Protect what I have. If I want someone to have something of mine I will give it to them. I do not expect anyone to just come an dtake what they want.

  45. Scanian Redneck: You were doing so well in that first paragraph. Why weaken your own argument with personal insults and unfounded allegations?

    I live in the UK and I see good points on both sides. A little polite and civilised debate on the topic would be welcome.

  46. It’s surprising that no one has mentioned the Kobe earthquake yet. The government response to the disaster was as dismal as in Louisiana but full-scale anarchy didn’t break out.

  47. I love anyone who talks about native Europeans are not reproducing at replacement rates and who has a wife, a cat and a gun but no kids (?).
    And people I love most are persons who think Europeans are not assimilating their immigrants and live in a country there almost 2 million persons are in prison.

  48. Juanma: I hereby correct you. First, we can’t get rid of all the guns “bad” people have. Second, many of those potential “bad” people are called “the government.”

    Yes, it’s nice to think we would never need to bear arms against the government, but the Framers had no such illusions, and those of us who know the recent history of Germany, the USSR, China, and so on should have none either.

  49. Leonid Mamchenkov:

    “Guns are bad as their solely purpose is to kill.”

    Even assuming that is true: how does that make them bad? If someone is threatening the safety of my family and we cannot leave the situation to safety, the tool I will require most is precisely that implement which will allow me to kill most efficiently and effectively. And damn you if you try to take away that tool from me.

    “I also don’t believe in armed population. The majority of population should have nothing to do with killing. Especially with killing human beings. Military personal and police are those to do the job if need be.”

    There’s two big, and indefensible, problems with this. First, there’s no police officer sitting on my lawn to protect me and my family. If in a dire situation, the police could not get here fast enough. Second, even if there were, what would protect me and my family from the police?

    And don’t say it doesn’t happen. It does. It has. It continues to.

    “And to add some more nonsense to all of the above – there is a way without guns. If your family is in danger, you can just change your location.”

    Yes, when a bad guy is in my house, I should just say, “Hold on! We’re gonna move. THEN you can attempt to harm us. Will that work for you?”

    “Leave and move to another neighborhood or city or region or country or even continent. Just walk away from danger. It works pretty good. I tried it and I am convinced now.”

    No, it doesn’t work. Danger is everywhere. Oh sure, it works in some situations, and the first rule of self-defense is always to remove yourself from a dangerous situation, if possible. But it is not always possible.

  50. Ivan wrote: “I personally have never felt the need to carry a gun but I do believe that the right to bear arms is essential for freedom”

    Ivan is right and the euro-pacifists are wrong. They have lived in peaceful conditions so long they think the whole world will always be like that if “we give peace a chance”. One suspects that the unarmed, and now dead people in Somalia, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Bosnia, Serbia, Iraq, Armenia, Tibet, Cambodia, Laos, Nigeria, Liberia, Afghanistan, Europe in general in the 1940’s, China, the USSR, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Cuba, North Korea, Vietnam and a bundle of other places since 1945 might think that being able to defend themselves against armed and murderous thugs would be a good thing.

    That Western Europe has forgotten the lessons of the real world is sad. The result of it will be tragic. The history of humanity is that civilizations rise and fall, there is a continuous cycle of chaos and order, a struggle between civilization and barbarism. Barbarism is on the rise again, and all you can do is whine about the “bad United States”. Europe was, once, the leading light of liberty, freedom and civilization.

    The meek shall inherit the earth …… a plot 6 foot by 3 foot.

  51. I wish Xavier could visit my university – where on average a student is robbed at gunpoint each day, one female student is raped each week, and we just found the body of one young woman near a suburban reservoir.

    Of course, the portrait is not very rosy where guns have been banned either. Gun crime is up 6% in the UK , and it was up 23% in 2003 – clearly banning guns is ineffective if the aim is a reduction in gun crime.

  52. Juanma (comment #25):

    If they were forbidden then this problem never happened because you would never need a gun to protect from those that also has one. Without guns no one can shoot a helicopter that is helping citizens. Correct me if I am wrong.

    You are not wrong per se (in the statement you posted), but you should use a bit of logic here. Like so:

    1) The people that commit crimes are criminals, by definition.
    2) Criminals do not follow the law, again by definition. (At least parts of it.)
    3) If the law says “no guns”, in addition to saying “no stealing”, then who’s to say that someone who is already going to disregard “no stealing” won’t disregard “no guns” while they’re at it? It’s a possibility.

    Whereas a law-abiding person must, by definition, give up their gun(s).

    You are correct that if no one had guns, no one would need them. (Well, probably not anyway. Defense against a stronger opponent who is wielding a baseball bat, or a knife, would still be a possible requirement.) But we can never get to the point where no one has guns, and doing it piecemeal (as Daniel Gonzalez is proposing) would seem to require removing weapons from the people that need protection the most.

    Trevor Curtis (comment #36):

    If said gangs decide to take this couple’s house, how would our couple fair against a dozen or even half a dozen handsomely armed thugs?

    Depends. What do they have to defend themselves? If you take guns away from the law-abiding people, they have knives or bats (or whatever) against guns. And you can’t take them away from the criminals. True, their chances are worse than they would be against a single assailant, but that doesn’t justify lowering their chances even more by removing the protection they do have.

    Leonid Mamchenkov, you say (basically), in comment #38:

    The police and military are supposed to protect you

    No, they are not. (At least not in the U.S.) Our courts have ruled at least twice that police officers are not obligated to protect any single civilian. And the military cannot be deployed against U.S. citizens unless something “special” happens. (I believe the thing that has to happen is “disaster has to be declared”, but I could be wrong on that. And yes, NO has had disaster declared. But no, disaster has *NOT* been declared at the time of the next attack in inner-city Detroit, so someone still loses.)

    Thomas Lontra (comment #55):

    It’s surprising that no one has mentioned the Kobe earthquake yet. The government response to the disaster was as dismal as in Louisiana but full-scale anarchy didn’t break out.

    I’ve seen some commentary by one Robert Tracinski (apparently one of Karl Rove’s friends, so take his argument on its logical basis, not the basis of the person who’s delivering it — don’t fall into the ad hominem logical fallacy), who said that what we’ve seen in NO is basically not only a natural disaster. It’s a man-made disaster, in that (1) some normal, law-abiding people did stay because they wanted to, (2) many of the poor (public housing, welfare, etc.) were unable to leave, and (3) (and this is the big one) the local government had basically no plan for getting the prisoners who were already in jail at the time out of the city, so they let many (presumably not all) out onto the streets (at least according to one Jack Wakeland, who I’ve never heard of before).

    (These groupings are not mutually exclusive, and probably don’t count everyone, but all groups have more than zero members.)

    So the people who stayed voluntarily (group 1) and the ones from public housing (group 2) are being preyed upon by the mass of “wolves” from group 3. That’s what you’re seeing on the news. To be sure, there are some crimes being committed by members of group 2, and even some by members of group 1, but the majority are likely to be coming from group 3.

    If 75% of the people from a city leave (for example; I’m not saying this is what happened in NO, it’s just for the sake of this argument), you may not need more than 25% of the police force to stay, IF the 25% that stay are a random sample. But when the 25% that stay are biased toward people that are already criminals (group 3), that logic does not hold — you need a much higher percentage of the police force. And they didn’t have that.

    He went on to make some points about the welfare state that I haven’t decided whether I agree with or not yet, so I won’t post them here. But that was the main point of his argument as to why NO was different from many other natural disasters — because of the people that were left in the city (i.e. the criminals).

  53. Juanma, happy to correct you: gun violence in England has gone up with the recent increased restrictions on legal gun ownership. Really, this isn’t too difficult to forsee.

    Mary, it wasn’t Americans who were slaughtering people in Bosnia, was it?

  54. I think it’s a little disingenuous to talk about Europe having so much more history than the U.S. On the one hand, the U.S. has a history as long as any region of the world, it’s just not talked about because it doesn’t fit our model of what history is (ie. recorded by a great civilisation). I think if we’re going to discard that and talk about “civilisation” in a narrow sense (something I have no problem with at all), then we also need to regard a large part of Europe’s history as consisting of the following: a) classical civilisation having at best a tenuous grip on the regions concerned, followed by b) a fairly barbaric/stupid period of close to one thousand years that produced little of note in the main, followed by c) a period of intellectual and cultural growth that really only began a little over half a millenium ago. Granted, in many respects, the U.S. wasn’t in the race until the past couple of hundred years, but it certainly started to come onto the scene in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, certainly outpaced all but Britain (and even that could be debated) for the first half of the twentieth century and completely eclipsed the Old World over the past fifty years. Whilst everyone gets stuck into the U.S. for being so culturally bereft, I think it’s more than just a glib comment to claim that Europe’s greatest contribution to the world in the past half century has been the Eurovision Song Contest.

    All of that aside, what I, along with a lot of those from the New World, probably find most ironic is that you’d think any great culture or civilisation would see itself as not only worth defending, but also worth reproducing, and most emphatically so. However, in the past hundred years, Europe has done its best to commit cultural suicide through two world wars and some pretty wacky governments. Failing that, it tried to see itself off with communism post-WW2. Failing that, it would see all of its great achievements of the Renaissance, Reformation and Age of Reason fall by the wayside with whatever post-something-or-other-ism is currently in vogue. Finally, failing that, it will simply breed itself out of existence by, well, simply not breeding and becoming a colony of the Middle East or Africa — a major step backwards in anyone’s book. The whole thing would seem to speak volumes as to how highly Europeans really regard their own civilisations and cultural legacy to the world given that their neither willing to defend it nor produce the next generation of Europeans to carry that forward. I’m really scratching my head over this one.

    To me, it also speaks volumes that for all of the failings of New World countries (and there are certainly many), in particular the U.S., we’ve never produced either a Stalin or a Hitler, and when the chips have been down, we’ve had to rescue Europe from its own absurdities because it couldn’t or wouldn’t do that itself.

    I’m just not convinced of Europe’s cultural advancement. If we’d been talking about one hundred years ago when it was still pumping out great thinkers and babies alike, I would certainly have acquiesced. What is Europe now though but a museum clinging to former glories?

  55. yeah ! shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot again…
    That is what I always like when I am playing Half-life II…
    Apart from the true fact that a small group of unscrupulous and trained people in real life with guns will always outsmart and destroy “Heavily armed pacifists” trying to defend their homes. Full Stop.
    This is why that possessing a gun is completely delusional.
    Leave this job to the army, and leave the job of fighting terrorists to competent intelligence agencies.
    Plus you can add the true fact that violence is the zero level of tactics and strategy, good and sound diplomacy is far more difficult to engineer.
    A gun will not make you any smarter or brighter in this world.
    People scaring people, haven’t you find a more elegant way of destroying yourself, mentally, spiritually, or are you just trying to impress high techies with rude and crude ideas…
    I mean, Eric, coming from you, it can only be some kind of dandy pleasure.
    :)

  56. So, the anti-gun argument, as usual, boils down to:

    1. I don’t like guns
    2. Guns are bad
    3. If no one had guns we’d have peace and love in the world

    You guys are so out of touch with reality that it is pointless to try and talk to you.

  57. No, I did not say that guns are bad nor do I dislike them, only that it does fit certain professions.
    Any kind or type of protector who was quite needed in large number in Louisiana to maintain order.
    But I simply do not believe in “amateurs”, you might think that you can take police’s or army’s job, like as any web developper might think he is quite good at photoshop and graphical design (which is largely not the case).
    So what I am detecting in your love of guns is a way to differentiate your personality from the rest of your kin (high techies).
    This is not because you want make an impression as everyone perfectly know that you are too smart for such faint pleasure.
    I believe that it is just another case of dandysm : you like to make some of your opinions difficult to defend because you enjoy argueing.
    To try to maintain order through society (and this is not just an easy task as peace and love is not for tomorrow) we (democratic countries and some others as well) have demanded to people wearing guns to live and to experience day by day a certain set of rules or laws. Sorry, but your job or occupations do not define as the most experienced or mentally skilfull target to we

  58. The anti-gunners seem to think a gun is such an incredibly complex device that if they were not mass produced and sold, then no one would have them. This is nonsense. Anyone with a metal lathe, the basic knowledge to use it, and the some 15th century level chemistry skills could build a gun and the means to fire it.

  59. Somehow I’ve always awed at the British Police for not carrying. It strikes me as being very manly to put your life and blood not at top priority.

    It’s got nothing to do with manliness, or with pacifism. When Sir Robert Peel introduced the police force, in the 19th century, people were upset at the whole notion; it seemed an affront to their liberties to have agents of the government roaming around with special powers of arrest, like in some dictatorship. In order to get them accepted, Peel decided that they’d be unarmed. People did go about the UK armed in those days, and it was only the Peelers who weren’t allowed to be armed. If Peeler needed to chase a dangerous suspect, he would often borrow a gun from a cooperative bystander.

  60. pudge (regarding comment #58):

    “Guns are bad as their solely purpose is to kill.”
    Even assuming that is true: how does that make them bad? If someone is threatening the safety of my family and we cannot leave the situation to safety, the tool I will require most is precisely that implement which will allow me to kill most efficiently and effectively. And damn you if you try to take away that tool from me.

    How many times was the safety your family threatened? How many times did the gun help to correct the situation? I am really interested in your answers. I myself was in a threat situation only once in my life (although I lived in 3 different countries, including USA). I am glad noone had a gun in that situation. Especially me.

    Oh, and there are still plenty places on Eearth where you will feel this warm feeling of safety. All the time. 24x7x365. Having no gun. I am living in one of these places now.

    “I also don’t believe in armed population. The majority of population should have nothing to do with killing. Especially with killing human beings. Military personal and police are those to do the job if need be.”
    There’s two big, and indefensible, problems with this. First, there’s no police officer sitting on my lawn to protect me and my family. If in a dire situation, the police could not get here fast enough. Second, even if there were, what would protect me and my family from the police?
    And don’t say it doesn’t happen. It does. It has. It continues to.

    If you are not happy with the police force and the job they do – that’s the way to work through. Improve the police force. Give them better equipment. Train them better. Hire more of them if you need. Improve personality tests. Whatever.

    If you don’t feel safe with police officers around, than there is no point in those police officers. And it is their job to make streets safe. Yours too. But not via owning a gun.


    “And to add some more nonsense to all of the above – there is a way without guns. If your family is in danger, you can just change your location.”
    Yes, when a bad guy is in my house, I should just say, “Hold on! We’re gonna move. THEN you can attempt to harm us. Will that work for you?”

    Not like this. I currently live in the place where bad guys don’t get into my house. Especially when I am in there. Oh, and I didn’t have anything to do with it – I do not have a gun, I am not a martial artist, I don’t have any guards, I don’t have any alarms, and as a matter of fact, I rarely lock my door. Windows remain unlocked all the time. Nothing bad happened to me in 10 years now. And I don’t now anyone who suffered too. My point: move to a safe place if safety is important to you.

    “Leave and move to another neighborhood or city or region or country or even continent. Just walk away from danger. It works pretty good. I tried it and I am convinced now.”
    No, it doesn’t work. Danger is everywhere. Oh sure, it works in some situations, and the first rule of self-defense is always to remove yourself from a dangerous situation, if possible. But it is not always possible.

    Obviously you haven’t been “everywhere”. There is no danger here. Come. Live here. Limassol, Cyprus. I promise you that you won’t even want to owe a gun here. And police will protect you if you will ever feel unsafe.

    Gun is not a solution.

  61. Bryan (comment #61):
    The police and military are supposed to protect you

    No, they are not. (At least not in the U.S.) Our courts have ruled at least twice that police officers are not obligated to protect any single civilian. And the military cannot be deployed against U.S. citizens unless something “special” happens. (I believe the thing that has to happen is “disaster has to be declared”, but I could be wrong on that. And yes, NO has had disaster declared. But no, disaster has *NOT* been declared at the time of the next attack in inner-city Detroit, so someone still loses.)

    I pity you than. What good is the police force if it is not oblidged to protect you? There is something wrong with it. That’s why probably so many people want to have guns.

  62. Guns have been illegal in this country(Republic of Ireland) (with a brief de facto pause for a civil war) for many centuries. We have low rates of crime, we are absorbing immigrants very nicely in general, after a bad start (nobody wanted to come here until our late 90s economic boom; now that we’re grotesquely rich everyone wants to come here, and initially there was a good bit of hostility towards immigrants from some groups), we are politically stable. So tell me, what do WE need guns for? :)

  63. Eric, why the need to burn straw men like this?

    Can you answer this simple question: if there were two or three orders of magnitude less guns in New Orleans, do you think a) more or b) less people would be coming out alive when this hurricane disaster thing is over?

    I won’t stick around to read your reply, so I will counter-reply right now: If your answer is b, then we are in disagreement and the best way to find out who’s right is to watch a similar disaster elsewhere on the globe. If your answer is none of the above, that equally many would die, then you believe people only kill when they are determined to do so at any cost. This is demonstratably false, and would say a lot about the believers empathic skills. If your answer is a then you’ve understood the ban-guns argument.

    You see, the legality of guns isn’t a personal issue. It is independent of whether or not I like guns and wants to have one. It is about the rules that govern a society. To read up on why we have a monopoly on violence, read the enlightenment philosophers and the ideological background that gave birth to human rights.

  64. Pardon my ignorance, but isn’t a bit ineffective using a gun against another gun? I mean, chances of end up dead are pretty high anyway, so your “protection” is quite poor. You would need numeric superiority as well.

  65. If i was american i would say:
    I am completely with Eric at one point. Give guns to that poor, uneducated and desperate people and leave them alone. In a matter of years America will be cleaner. And that is good. But be sure to sorround the areas with marines. Not like they did in the New Orleans problem. Having a mass of armed getto gangs in a half/deserted city is an easy to guess situation.

    But i am not and i say:
    Do americans realize that their son is at least 20 times more likely to die because of firearms than my son ??? And where I live it is at least 3 times less likely for me to die in an assault ?

    Ok, it is more likely that my house will be robbed when i am away and that i will be pickpoketed in bus. and recently in Uk and Spain the crime rate is getting our of control. But still is less likely for you to die there in an assault. For everything else you have assurance, don’t you ?

    I sit here and i think:
    Giving guns to people is sort of darwinian. Crooks will shot at each other. Most of them teenagers that are likely not to be so criminal when they reach maturity. Also you increase the chance for a domestic fight to turn into murder by at least 3 times. So mostly the teenages and the impulsive people are affected. The problem is do we really want to let them kill each other (accidentally killing others from time to time). Real crooks will get guns against the law anyway. And Francois has a good point on man to man situation.

    A guy in his 30’s or more and living in a decent neighborhood and having a decent life is very unlikely to misuse the gun. And is not likely to actually use it even in case of assault if the attacker has one too. And is very likely he will not have one at all realizing it is almost useless to own one. You cannot use it against real crooks, because is very likely to die like a stupid hero, but instead you give your son a chance to turn from a lazy stupid “i think i’m cool” teenager to become a murderer (althou these moments will be his “wild times” when he’s forty and watch the football game with his fellows at the bar after a hard day of work/or in jail if he got your gun), you give your histeric wife the tool to kill you when she’s mad. You give your stupid ugly daugher a tool to actually kill herself because she-s ugly instead of cutting her veins and bring her to the hospital (althou she will think she was very stupid when she’s 30 and has a medical degeree). Personally I would not keep a gun in my house.

    Using a knife to kill people requires much more self control. And phisical contact. And if you are really a professional murderer you have a gun anyway. Basically what i want to say is that if somone wants to kill you, he will do it, but the guns give the opportunity to people not actually wanting to kill/commit suicide to become murderers/dead people. And increase the number of fatalities.

    And giving the guns only to sane, capable and deserving men aka “elite” is fascism, becase you must discriminate on social rank, education, and you will get to the skin colour (basically because black people and immigrants are less likely to pass this kind of discrimination, and you will get the attribute racist, even if you are not). And fascism’s weakest point is that (as communist regimes also) the corruption that will soon invade such system. And will eventaully fail very soon, bacause keeping the order will require extreme violence and FUD. And I want to think that extreme violence is not a choice in a decent country.

    So it is bad with guns, it is bad without them. Without guns we have more property crimes, with guns we get more dead people mostly of them disordered teenagers.

    And I remember a great phrase, but i do not remember who was the one to say it (it roughly translates): “A man’s life values nothing, but it is priceless.”

    What do you choose, your disordered child to live, or your gold to be safe ?

    I choose life. Because i cannot be sure that my gold will actually be safe (it will just be statistically safer), but having the chance to spare a life is priceless.

    Imho this is the main difference, europeans are more into life, americans are more into property, and the societies are different enough to cannot say that this one is more advanced than that one, they just have very different values.

    I am not sure i can understand the american point of view, as i do not live there, But i try to get a good reason to get a gun and i do not find one. Oh, yes there is one, to dismantle it and see how it works. And to show my chldren : never use such thing on another human, even if he is a thief. it is useful against people that actually WANT to kill you. That would be only at war. (or serial mentally disordered killers, that most likely will not give you the chance to retaliate. I never heard about a victim shoting the serial killer that was to kill him/her and am am sure it is absolutely rare whan such a situation occurs, so the statisically the gun is no big help against people that actually want to kill you in the heat of the night).

    My point, instead of buying a gun, move to a better neighborhood, be nicer to other pople use better alarm systems and make a good assurance. Keep all your valuables in a bank, not at home. And let everybody know that. Having a gun will eventually kill you or your family instead of protecting.

  66. It appears from my detailed study of esr’s blog (namely, this thread and one other) that he just toys with first-posters and calls it a win. is this the case?

  67. Dragos: The idea that Europeans are more into life than Americans is a very nebulus statement. I would argue that they’re not, given that they’ve essentially stopped breeding. The two (and we’re making big generalisations here) may indeed have a very different outlook on life, but I believe the American outlook on life is more life-affirming.

    I think the issue of guns is very much dependent upon who has them, and why. Places like Vermont, for example, where there is a high incidence of gun ownership and people actually carrying guns, have very low rates of gun-related violence. The phrase “an armed society is a polite society” could quite adequately describe such a place.

    In my experiences with “gun nuts”, they’re actually quite rational and ethical people. If anything, they think about things a whole lot more than the average person. Personally, I don’t think anyone (except criminals and government — there’s a huge overlap, I know!) has anything to fear from a bunch of middle-aged white gun geeks. The people who need to be punished for gun crimes are the people who commit gun crimes, not ordinary people exercising their right to self-defence who have done nothing to anyone.

    Fredde: I believe you’ve got your ideas about Enlightenment philosophers totally mixed up, at least as it comes to the American variety. I’ll explain why. The rules of society were completely irrelevant in the broader scheme of how people like Jefferson regarded ethics. The rights to self-defence, self-expression, etc. are not defined or granted to individuals by kings, politicians, clergy, religion, or even the people (hence why the American Founding Fathers argued against democracy and the tyranny of the masses). Anyone’s rights are inherent to that person as a person. Something is right or wrong because it is simply right or wrong, and society can adopt whatever beliefs it likes, but that doesn’t change natural law. The American style of Enlightenment philosophers believed in an objective form of truth that was inherent to man, and self-defence (especially against government) was central to this. Read the Constitution. Also read the Bill of Rights (Amendments 1-10). The ideological background to this (which I believe you’ve missed) is that Europe was (and still is) a continent full of would be tyrants, busy-bodies, thieves, extortionists and mass-murderers from the kings and popes down to the mobs of peasants. Americans wanted to part ways with that. Of course, they haven’t exactly been successful, but that’s the theory anyway.

  68. A little late with my post here…but it has only now emerged that NOLA authorities (State/local troopers etc) have been forcibly disarming the lawful.

    I saw some footage of an old lady with what appeared to be a snubby .38 (held in a passive, non-ready state) getting FUCKING SLAMMED TO THE GROUND by the cops, then frogmarched off.

    Fascist thugs…there is positive *fury* among the grassroots gun rights movements here in VA…*seething*…this is America goddammit

  69. I have to ask this question:

    If the US way of having a solid constitution, with an inherent right to bear arms and to free speech, is so bad, how did they outlast the USSR, out-perform the whole of Europe by orders of magnitude, and beome the only superpower in the world?

    China is up and coming. They teach all their kids how to strip apart AK74 clones and SKS rifles. They hate us all, and want to rule the world, and they have a great technical base and the largest army in the world by a mile.

    Switzerland has been neutral and safe for 1000 years, *precisely because* the miltia is everyone, and they all have training and big guns, plus great natural defences.

    Oh the other hand, the UK is fast becoming a ghetto, the almost total gun ban is a joke, with hundreds more dead than you would have predicted before the ban, and shootings are no longer news. And the police are armed with Section 5 weapons (which means 5 years minimum to any subject who dares touch them!) such as Tazers, CS gas, Glock pistols and MP5 and G3 machine guns. Plus bullet-proof vests, radios, and bacl-up. They are far from unarmed! Yet they still cannot cope (too many laws, and too many bad people) so they have just started “psuedo-police” who patrol in place of the police, Community Safety Wardens, Traffic Wardens, Highways Agency, etc. in a massive and largely silent expansion of state-ism.
    It is so bad here that new sweeping laws are required every year to take more freedoms away. The current one is the “Violent Crime Reduction Bill” which will (in it’s current form) outlaw all blank-firers and deactivated guns. This follows a ban on certain air pistols (5 years for simple possession!), tighter restrictions on blank guns, tighter deactivation specs, restrictions on all sorts of things… yet crminals still shoot more people dead each year than before all this started.

    Who would have thought it? Making everyone into a victim increases victimisation rates! Shocking.

  70. I’ve been following this conversation and, as an european (Portugal), I feel compelled to speak up.

    First of all, you north americans tend to very easily forget that europe did not spring up all of a sudden last century… our culture spans thousands of years and we are a product of everything that has happened in europe since. You guys started out with all the criminals we didn’t want, so (going on to a bit of a generalization that will almost certainly will get me flamed, but what the hell) it’s no wonder that your “my gun is bigger than your’s” mentality is still mainstream. You might be offended by this statement, but it’s no worse offense than your “lifeless europeans” statement or your “you don’t live in reality because we’ve been sheltering us so you don’t know nothing” line.

    I agree with Xavier’s original statement of guns=bad. Guns might only be tools, but if you *know* people are not responsible enough and capable of handling their power, you *don’t* give them out like candy. A line must be drawn somewhere, and there it has to be. As someone once said “With great power comes great responsibility”. eh.

    This talk of sub-zero population growth and problems in “assimilating” immigrants is such a big bag of BS it’s almost enough for me to laugh right out of my chair! A bit of a history lesson for you… europe has been constantly “invaded” from “outside” cultures since civilization began. If you just want to count the last 2000 years, you still literally *everyone* going in and out from all directions! If you come to the south of portugal, literally every little town’s name starts with Al-, which is a tytpical arab name. Why would you believe that after building a milennial culture with hundreds of different cultures we’d suddenly have problems mixing it up again is beyond me. These new peoples coming in are what is going to refresh our “sub-zero population growth”, as it always happened.

    Every generation has problems accepting immigrants. My parent’s generation had problems with all the immigration from africa when we lost our colonies (in a bloodless revolution in the 70s where the soldiers did not fire any shots – talk about restraint – and there were no people going around on the streets looting and shooting…). Colored people pouring in from africa to work here upset a lot of people, there were talks of society going to hell, violence would rise, people would lose their jobs… sounds familiar? One generation later, everyone is settled, society did not crumble. Now a new wave of immigration is coming: brazilians and eastern europe folk. Same talk in my generation as I heard when I was little. I predict the same result as last time, as every time there’s an immigration wave.

    As for guns, which started this whole debacle, if people don’t have guns handed out to them, so much the better. Some cultures might not have problems with guns, so obviously people in that culture have learnt from a young age how to handle and respect them and the responsibility that comes with having a gun. If that’s not what americans are learning from a young age, then I’m sorry but you shouldn’t have guns so easily. Not everyone is like everyone else, you can’t just say that freedom is having a gun, if you’re not responsible enough you shouldn’t have one, if a culture is not responsible it should not have them, and nort-americans are *definitely* not responsible enough to handle guns.

    OTOH, if you slip into madness just because of a natural disaster (like what happened in asia when the tsunami hit, right? no? hmmm… or in turkey when monster earthquakes hit? no? hmmm…), maybe you’re better off handing guns to everyone… natural selection and all eh?

    and running :p

  71. Eric Says:
    So, the anti-gun argument, as usual, boils down to:

    1. I don’t like guns
    2. Guns are bad
    3. If no one had guns we’d have peace and love in the world

    You guys are so out of touch with reality that it is pointless to try and talk to you.

    Which reality Eric? Our reality? Or yours? Problem with reality is, everybody has one! Which kinda defeats the point of putting someone down ’cause their out of touch… :p
    I personally live in an european capital. I feel safe day and night, and wouldn’t dream of owning a gun, except maybe to satisfy some cowboy-style fantasy of duels at sunset. I don’t know anyone who ows a gun. I’ve never even seen one up close.

    I’ve been robbed and I’ve been with friends when they were robbed. Crime happens everywhere, but the robbers didn’t have guns either. They could have had, but if they did, what possible advantage would I have if I had a gun? We could shoot each other and be on our merry way to the other world?

    The idea of arming yourself to the teeth toughing it out after armageddon comes and society crumbles sounds very fascinating in books and movies, but people generally grow out of those notions when they grow up ya know…

  72. Gun control is the mechanism goverment uses to increase it’s power at the cost of the people’s. The American Fore Fathers understood this well, this why American’s should always have the right to own a firearm for the protection of themselves and their families against criminals but most importantly against a tyrannical government (strange how a one off shooting at a school happens and all guns are bad, but when a person knocks a child down the government isn’t foaming at the mouth to get rid of cars). If you think goverments through history have been fluffy friends of the people you’d better think again. A quote from George Washington “How soon we forget history… Government is not reason. Government is not eloquence. It is force. And, like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” gets this point through.

    Now in Europe when Hitler decided to takeover Germany the Nazi’s began enforcing gun control (http://www.jpfo.org/GCA_68.htm). See a government is less likely to send troops/police into your neighbourhood to breach your rights if they know they’ll have a strong resistance. The US Goverment has been literally burning the Constitution and Bill of Rights for the last 40 years at least. Hitler used the threat of Communism to galvenise the German people to accept his plans and burned his own government building to build support. Always saying that to get peace and security the German’s would have to give up their liberties and that it’s patriotic to give up your rights, for the Homeland (think Hitler referred to it as the Father Land, but it’s the same thing). The same thing comes out of the mouth of George Bush today.

    It’s also interesting to hear when Stalin started rounding up people for his slave labour camps (Gulags), the records of people who said ‘If only we had met them at the door with knives and bats’.

    Therefore to limit access to firearms in New Orleans is against Americans and is only likely to increase lawlessness. Criminals are far less likely to try and rob you if they think you are armed, also the nature of criminals is to pick on the weak and defenseless. In New Orleans I feel this action was taken to prevent anybody being able to go against FEMA (for European’s that is the Federal Emergency Management Agency), the “agency”* who take over American when something major happens. So FEMA could loot, push people around at gunpoint and basically get in some training for their plan of an eventual police state. Oh and of course the wider American people thought this was OK as it was sugar coated with stories of ‘it would stop rapes’, which of course it wouldn’t as a rapist wouldn’t try raping a women with a gun but a women without a gun is easy pickings.

    Also to dismiss guns are bad because they are guns is stupid. A man/women can easily kill someone with their bare hands. Guns just make this easier it doesn’t change the intent, murder.

  73. Don’t forget, the Forefathers of theses United States needed firearms to defend themselves and win indepence from the tyrany of EUROPEAN rulers!

  74. Guns can’t be bad. Being bad requires a mind and Guns don’t have one. If somebody invented “The AI Gun of evil” please link.

    Could Theo Van Gogh have used a gun against his Islamnazi assailant? I think so!
    Could Pim fortuyin have used a gun against his leftist assailant? I think so!
    Could Mona Salin have used a gun against her serb assailant? I think so!

    Europeans holier-than-thoughs are running around pointing fingers with their selfrighteous popehats and their selfawarded, neo-communistic imagined moral highground. It’s just obnoxious. America may have a problem with so-called Neocons, but europe has a problem with neocom’s. Which is worse? At least the Neocons are not maintaining an immigrant rate of 90% arab muslims flooding into the USA completely neglecting to see the writing on the wall – giving especially women all the more reason to carry guns. Where I come from, women are not even allowed to carry peppersprays for christs sake! Arabs are horrifically overrepresented in the rapestatistics in_all_european countries! But the correctnes elite still utterly refuses to see the causability in this scenario:

    The more one does not respect the rights of women, the less one respects the “no”, and the less one respects the “no”, the more likely the rape. And arabs very often do gangrapes from 6 participants to as many as 14 or 15 participants! Which is completey unheard of with the indiginous population of my country, and still the left feverishly denies the common cultural denominator in it’s politically correct and goodnes retarded “minority protection campaign”. What about the minority called… Rapevictims? It’s pathetic!

    The euroleft has blinded itself in true believeristic, moral-megalomanic selfrighteousness, spiced up with an almost perverse dose of superdenial. Who is not learning the lesson? Europe is not learning the lesson! If europe had learned the lesson, the nazibells would be ringing in answer to the Islamic immigration or, should I say: “cultural enrichment” The neo-communistic, culturalrelativistic, marxist-experimental infantility is unbeleivable. Some people are just too good to be clever. How’s that for relativism!

    When the islamic pavlovian trigger-style nazidroids has planted the first mushroomcloud in europe, people will take up arms and clean house in a heartbeat. Wait and see…

    Europeans will take up arming themselves when the prophet’s kettle starts to boil in the heartland, and the neo-commies will be entirely to blame for this, but can only respond frantically with a true-believeristic, borderlinenarcissistic denialcomplex. “Look what we have done to ourselves” they’ll say, neurotically allocating the blame for the islamic masspsychosis inwards in their pathetic and selfloathing guilttrip. Like the west wrote the koran…

    Arab immigrants should be facing the statebuildings eternally welfaresupplying europe in eternal grattitude five times a day instead of their black deathcube in mecca – which reminds me of the BORG! They’re unimployment rate is 50% (no shit!) – and they keep it that way, by deliberately not learning the language because then nobody will hire them, enabling them to take the welfareride till they hit the grave.

    Political correctnes could easily be the nature of the obituary of europe. “We’re dead – but we were correct in principle”. The lesson is “You NEVER tolerate a massive prescence of followers of acting out an ideology, who wouldn’t give you the same fundamental freedom rights they enjoy if the tables were turned” That isn’t tolerance, It’s misguided goodness, a slow, collective suicide waiting to happen.

    Euroretards…

    And oh… by the way – I’m danish!

  75. It appears from my detailed study of esr’s blog (namely, this thread and one other) that he just toys with first-posters and calls it a win. is this the case?
    Well, he’s a busy guy, hasn’t really got time to get down and argue with every passing liberal fifth columnist. You gotta understand that a lot of the people who post here just know they’re right, and entering into any kind of debate with people who don’t “get it” is a fruitless endeavour.

    Saves time for everybody, really.

  76. “Words don’t kill, dude. How the hell can you equate “guns” with free speech? ”

    I believe it was Hitler’s powerful words that whipped the Nazi Party into a warring and murderous frenzy, and since the Jews had been disarmed before he achieved his leader status, they were an easy target. Wasn’t it

    6 million men, women, and children in 4 years is enough to justify the private ownership of firearms. For me, I’ll leave the sheep to the pastures, and keep my weapons at the ready. I pray to God that I never need them.

    Remember the Warsaw Uprising, and I have an excerpt pasted in from http://www.jafi.org.il/education/festivls/yshoa/Warsaw/1.html

    “When the Jewish Fighting organization was founded, in July 1942, there was only one pistol in the Ghetto. The following months were dedicated to one sole objective: obtaining weapons and ammunition. For the lowly organization, every pistol, every bullet, every grenade was like another breath of air. As the affluent Polish underground refused to lend a hand, the Jewish underground had to operate agents in the Aryan section of Warsaw and to buy the weapons from smugglers, fugitives and private arms dealers. At the same time, small weapon-factories started working inside the ghetto, manufacturing mainly home-made hand grenades and Molotov bottles. In January 1943, when the Germans stormed the ghetto once again, the Jewish fighters had in their possession several pistols, about 50 hand grenades and a few rifles. With this small amount of weapons they set off to fight the well armed and well trained German army.”

    and this from http://www.ushmm.org/outreach/wgupris.htm:

    “In the summer of 1942, about 300,000 Jews were deported from Warsaw to Treblinka. When reports of mass murder in the killing center leaked back to the Warsaw ghetto, a surviving group of mostly young people formed an organization called the Z.O.B. (for the Polish name, Zydowska Organizacja Bojowa, which means Jewish Fighting Organization). The Z.O.B., led by 23-year-old Mordecai Anielewicz, issued a proclamation calling for the Jewish people to resist going to the railroad cars. In January 1943, Warsaw ghetto fighters fired upon German troops as they tried to round up another group of ghetto inhabitants for deportation. Fighters used a small supply of weapons that had been smuggled into the ghetto. After a few days, the troops retreated. This small victory inspired the ghetto fighters to prepare for future resistance.”

    Though the outcome of the uprising was eventually in favor of the Germans, this goes to that tyrrany can’t happen to a well-armed people citizenry.

    I’ll keep my Second Amendment. I will not succumb my freedom to my government, another government, or anyone else. You can have your enlightened society. I’ll take my basic freedoms.

  77. Andreia Gaita: “we lost our colonies (in a bloodless revolution in the 70s where the soldiers did not fire any shots”…

    In some other reality. In this reality, independence for Angola and Mozambique followed long, bloody guerrilla campaigns.

    The Angola war lasted 13 years; over 4,000 Portuguese soldiers were killed by the rebel forces (MPLA, FNLA, and UNITA). 25,000 rebels were killed by the Portuguese, and 50,000 civilians died as well.

    The Mozambique war lasted 10 years; over 3,500 Portuguese soldiers were killed by the rebel forces (FRELIMO). 10,000 rebels were killed by the Portuguese, and 50,000 civilians died as well.

    If you are this ignorant of recent and very important events in your country’s history, then I cannot take anything you write seriously.

    Or perhaps you are writing of the anti-Salazarist coup of 1974. A well-planned coup d’etat _should_ be bloodless. So should a well-planned armed robbery or police raid. That doesn’t make it peaceful; it merely means that the coupsters acted decisively and the old regime was discredited. Vide Batista’s 1952 coup d’etat in Cuba.

  78. During my teens I lived in the dojo. A room full of very well behaved people, everyone having fought it out with everyone else many times. I used to think citizens should all be taught likewise. Perhaps a compulsory gun is the same thought? Anyway, it’s great with these two approaches to personal armament being acted out in the world for us to observe. The highly individual one and the one where citizens give up rights and the survival of the society as a whole is what counts. A pack of generalised wolves or a stack of specialised ants.

    As you can all see I have no facts, no references to studies like what is needed to do science so just let this slip by. But I hope to do some computer simulations with agents defending their values in some environment with suitable weaponry.

    PS.

    ”Jacques Says: September 13th, 2005 at 8:18 pm

    Could Mona Salin have used a gun against her serb assailant? I think so!
    ..”

    Mona Sahlin could likely be made to use a gun, should it ever get to that, however, I doubt she would be a very good shot, but with Anna Lindh, our minister of forreign affairs at the time she was murdered, I’m not so sure, however, I’m certain she would have been a very good shot. On the other hand, she did go along with the bombings of Serbia. Ie Jacques has mixed up Mona with Anna.

  79. Andreia: As I’ve written before, the whole “Europe has a history of thousands of years” argument is nonsense. I don’t think it’s relevant to talk about the classical world, since honestly, a large slab of what constitutes Europe today wasn’t a beneficiary of Pax Romana — it was a land beyond civilisation. Then, that was followed by close to one thousand years (depending upon the region) of the Dark Ages and Middle Ages, which were hardly cultural or intellectual times. I don’t really consider European, and by extension western, history as beginning until the Renaissance, which really only gives Europe a jump of a couple of centuries on North America, but when we consider that the past one hundred years in Europe have largely been a slide into nothingness on the Old Continent, I’d say the score is almost even. Besides which, the over-whelming majority of civilisation came out of the English speaking and northern European world. I’m trying to think of a famous Portuguese scientist, inventor or philosopher. I can think of plenty from America. Hell, at least the Italians had composers! Everyone knows that it weren’t for northern European countries carrying Portugal and its like via the EU, Portugal would still be one of those third world nations on a par with those in the Balkans. Portugal is the Bulgaria of western Europe, so don’t talk to me about culture.

    In the case of criminals being sent to the New World, that’s certainly true in a sense, although not really. North America was also populated by a lot of non-criminals against their will (see Cromwell’s purges of Ireland, the Highland Clearings in Scotland, and the general round up of urban poor in England), but it was also settled by a huge number of free immigrants from all over Europe. The same is true of the Antipodes post-WW2. Almost anyone with half a brain has realised for a long time now that Europe isn’t the place to be, which is precisely why the New World is so much more dynamic than the Old World and why if western civilisation and European “culture” are to survive anywhere, it will be in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc., and to a lesser extent elsewhere. It sure as hell won’t be in Europe!

    Furthermore, here’s why Arab immigrants into Europe won’t be like those of the past. The great ideas of Europe such as those from the Age of Englightenment and Women’s Suffrage (oops, that’s actually an idea to come from us uncultured New Worlders — http://www.ipu.org/wmn-e/suffrage.htm — where the females in the Antipodes got the vote three decades before you Portuguese) mean nothing to these barbarians. How long do you think the Netherlands, that great bastion of European progressive politics, will retain its progressive politics once the Muslims get enough numbers? The Arab-Muslim colonisation of Europe is analogous to what happened at the end of the Roman Empire. The hordes that flowed over the Danube and Rhine didn’t care for Virgil or Aristotle, and ultimately, Greco-Roman civilisation was largely lost for one thousand years, in turns kept alive and surpressed by Christianity. Do you honestly believe those coming into Europe now give three fifths of five eights of fuck all about Voltaire or Kant? Wake up to yourself.

    Regarding guns, it’s not a matter of them being handed out to anyone. Again, something you Europeans, in the main, have failed to realise is that rights (in this case to self-defence) don’t come from anyone else. They’re not privileges granted by the government, the clergy or any other group of people. They’re inherent to man. The only reason we have to “ask” for guns is because those jack-booted thugs make us and we haven’t tarred and feathered the pricks yet.

    As for North Americans being responsible or irresponsible with guns, the overwhelming majority of problems with guns is not to do with white, middle aged pencil pushers living in Wyoming. Everyone knows precisely where the problems of irresponsibility lie in the U.S., but again, it’s one of those PC topics that no one wants to openly discuss (unless making the usual list of excuses — slavery, socio-economic depression, etc).

    Aside from that though, it’s incrediby rich talking about North Americans being responsible with guns. By your line of reasoning, Europeans should never be allowed to choose their leaders! As bad as Bush may be, North America has never produced a Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Franco, Tito, etc., and that’s just in the twentieth century! Half of Europe is a complete write off by your line of reasoning. The madness of what happened in New Orleans pales into insignificance when we consider Europe in the 1930s and 1940s. For all their culture and civilisation, Europeans (with the exception of the Danes and Bulgarians) marched their Jews off to Auschwitz and Dachau with glee.

    You wonder why we in the New World mock your notion of cultural and ethical supremacy?

  80. Being a skepticist my self on the whole gun situation, I feel obliged to remind Xavier that one of the most memorable and noble moments in the history of his city (Barcelona that is) is people taking control of the army weapon stock and starting a counter revolution against the fascists.

    And I feel obliged to remind everyone else that in the civil war that would follow, it was in fact not the owner of the bigger muscle set that won the war, but the owner of the bigger arsenal. And that was the fascists.

    It is of course without a trace of doubt, true that a weapon is a tool, as is a table knife or a fork. But then again, a nuclear bomb or a doomsday device is also a mindless tool, but I don’t think we really want to provide anyone with these kinds of things now, do we? But the basic notion put forward by Eric and others here is, of course, that it is not the weapon itself that shot that rescue helicopter but the owners of that weapon. Xavier’s position on this matter is naive in that it assumes that people are basically good hearted men and women that would do no harm if they were deprived the means to do it. He seems to believe that weapons somehow magically corrupt people. That a gentle old man can be turned into a murdering maggot by simply holding a weapon.

    Xavier does not understand that it is not the luck of weapons that kept the central european people from eating each other on those recent flags but the lack of motive. They did not feel like it.

    So, what needs to be done, dear Xavier is to somehow deprive people of the motive to kill someone, not simply the means. I also live in a country that forbids possession of firearms and I myself do not want that to change, but somehow, even though I do not want that to change, I can understand Eric’s position.

    In conclusion, I really cannot follow xavier’s notion that people commiting discusting acts in Orleans had something to do with the US law on weapons.

    And I simply cannot understand some people’s hints on the Muslims being Europe’s downfall. It is not the Muslims. It is the Americanization of our societies that is Europe’s downfall. And by that I do not wish to belittle the American people or their cultures, I am refering to their status of the political process in the US.

    All my respect and sympathy to all the people that have suffered in New Orleans. I honestly hope they can still have it in them to restore their beautiful city.

    And enough with the European (or American) supremacy jokes.

    Take care of each other people.

  81. All Europeans who claim superiority based on how much longer their history is than ours should consider that the US didn’t just spring up out of the ether. Our history is your history. Our founding fathers built on a foundation of what we used to call Western Civilization, tracing its lineage back to the agricultural revolution in Mesopotamia, drawing upon legal/ethical/moral/philosophical thinking from the Code of Hammurabi through Jewish, Greek, Roman, Anglo-Saxon, Rennaisance and Enlightenment thinkers, just as you did.* We just went further. You might even say we’re “more evolved”.

    The biggest difference between us that we expressly repudiated the idea that one must be a member of a noble class in order to lawfully bear certain classes of arms. The Magna Carta was about the balance of powers between the Crown and that noble class, but the Second Amendment was about extending the liberties (and the responsibility to use them wisely) from the nobility to the common man.

  82. is there an explanation of why there are more shootings and death from guns in the UK?

  83. Whereas Eric bitches about the gun opposers’ arguments, his arguments are:

    1) There is no peace
    2) Shooting offenders is good
    3) There is no such thing as emotion

    ESR, you are perhaps one of the most emotion-less human individuals, I’ve ever come across. But then again, your strange pragmatism hasn’t failed touting yourself as a leader of the pack. I think your pride and lack of debating skills will bring YOU down one day.

  84. Nothingness: I personally don’t believe the Americanisation of Europe will be its downfall. Personally, I don’t think that’s going to happen anyway at anything more than a superficial level. Let’s not forget also that America has already given Europe other forms of culture which they have adopted and adapted. I mean, is anyone complaining that Django Reinhardt was leading to the Americanisation of post-WW2 France by playing jazz?

    What would you have Europe be, a land of Morris Dancers? If not, why doesn’t Europe actually produce some culture then?!

    Let’s look at all the major musical forms of the twentieth century. They all originated in the U.S., with the exception of punk, and you could perhaps argue metal also. That’s right: rock, blues, jazz, country, rap, funk, electronica (okay, some of that came out of Germany via Kraftwerk or Tangerine Dream, or in part from the U.K. with early prog. rock bands like Hawkwind having a bit of a dabble, but essentially, most of the modern forms of electronica like house or trance trace their roots back to Detroit). They all came out of the U.S. Sure, Great Britain produced a whole lot of really great bands in the sixties (some might argue the eighties also, but I wouldn’t!), but all of these guys — from the Beatles to Black Sabbath — were borrowing heavily from American traditions. What has continental Europe produced meanwhile? The Eurovision Song Contest. Give me a break. Getting swamped by J. Lo and Brittney Spears could only be an improvement on that!

    As to the Muslims being Europe’s downfall, I don’t believe they will be by themselves, just as the barbarian hordes that overran the late Roman Empire would have been beaten back mercilessly as a light workout in the days of Caesar or Aurelius. Ultimately, any civilisation can absorb and assimilate a certain number of people. The problem in Europe comes in two ways. The first is that it seems that these immigrants aren’t being assimilated into the European mode of being (except when it comes to collecting handouts) as compared to the way in which people tend to rapidly become American or Australian. That in itself wouldn’t be such a problem in the long term (say one hundred years or so) if everything else were running smoothly. However, Europe (and the developed world in general) is not reproducing itself at the most fundamental level, ie. by sex. For whatever reason, Europeans simply aren’t having enough children. At the most basic level, you can’t pass on your culture if you don’t have anyone to pass it on to. Any of my other crititques of where Europe is in dire straits (such as the 19th and 20th century nonsense of socialism and post-modernism that’s replaced 18th century ideas) is completely unnecessary when we consider reproduction. Ultimately, no one is killing Europe but itself.

  85. It takes 2 to fight. Anyone, taking up guns, rifles or another form of armoury, opens the direct possiblity of killing someone. The gun culture is bred and born from generation to generation. The sad fact is that babies, born into gun-tolerant and gun-condoning homes, could one day pull the trigger, that their fathers indirectly taught them. It is a serious blind spot in American culture that claims the right to carry a gun. What right do the victims have, because of the “sport” and “hunting instinct” that a gun represents?

  86. Hunting and self-defence are two separate issues. Anyway, assuming that because someone likes to hunt, for example, deer, what does that have to do with wanting to go off and kill people? Do people who hit tennis balls want to go and hit heads too? You’re assuming that there’s little to no level of moral or intellectual reasoning going on at all.

    Furthermore, someone who wants to hurt someone else will still do so regardless of whether there is a gun around or not (and most likely, criminals will still get guns even if no one else does).

    The right to carry a gun is not a serious blind spot in American culture. The serious blind spot is in your knowledge of history that supplied the philosophical underpinnings of not just the 2nd Amendment, but the other nine in in the Bill of Rights too.

  87. Awright.
    What the Hell is this all about, anyway?
    I tend to be an optimist, and believe in PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY!
    I am responsible for what I do, and what I do it with. Nobody else.
    My life belongs to me. My body belongs to me. My property belongs TO ME.
    It is my responsibility to maintain and protect that which is mine, and that which is
    dear to me. We can pontificate all day or all year about which philosophical mental masturbation sounds best from a grubby little desk in a grubby little apartment paid for by a grubby little ‘pension’ stolen from your neighbors, but in the end, ask yourself who will sacrifice themselves to protect you and yours.
    Assume all people are bad and will do evil any chance they get, assume that a tool falling into their hands will be too big a temptation…
    That, my friends, is what is known as ‘projection’.
    If you think you have these problems, the ‘right’ thing to do is to turn yourself in, and remove yourself from any temptation which may force you to do evil, as you are obviously not in control of even yourself.
    I enjoy shooting at cans. Yes. Calm yourselves. There are uses for firearms which do not require death. Odd, you may think, that such an ‘evil’ object can be used for a sport no more deadly than golf.
    In the end, it all boils down to “My life, not yours. Piss off.”
    I think George P knows where that one came from…
    Heya George. Didn’t know you hang out here too.

  88. Well, this has been most enlightening…

    I’m not American, so let me see if i got it: The Bill Of Rights (second amendment in particular) does not grant anything; it merely states a supposedly irrefutable truth. Namely, that individuals are entitled to setup their own self-defence, resorting to private armament if necessary (or rather, if so chosen).

    Well, that’s cute. See, i also happen to believe (no, wait, i _know_) that it is my inalienable right to proactively seek my security. This means that i consider privately armed citizens a (potential) threat, and therefore i choose to protect myself by getting my own weapons and, by means of prevention, seek out and blast the hell out of any ‘citizen’ that i know is a gun owner.

    Wait… What? A crime, you say? That’s not self-defence?

    Well then, why don’t you fucking hypocrites allow Iran to develop its own nuclear weapons?

    And i can’t believe that load of bull about the ‘Founding Fathers’… Resisting government oppression? If you had kept to your ‘nice lady blows apart nigger trying to shortchange the store clerk’ fable, i might have bought it. But how, pray tell, are your guns, revolvers and rifles ever going to be any good should the government ever choose to bother itself chasing you? Remember the Waco siege? Fucking joke.

    A group of happy-going rednecks making a stand against the government’s military while swapping war veteran stories… Gimme a break. If you ever think that would work, you’d better grab your big iron cock and jerk off on some other fantasy…

    Like, the one where you win the War On Terror!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>